Radio Freethinker

Vancouver's Number 1 Skeptical Podcast and Radio Show

Posts Tagged ‘UBC Freethinkers Club’

Radio Freethinker Episode 190 – Killer Energy Shot Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on November 20, 2012

This week:
Women’s issues in the secular movement,
Ireland’s ‘pro-life’ laws kill,

– Rogue Planet found, and
– Killer Energy Drinks – is Caffeine toxic?

Download the episode here!

Women’s issues in the secular movement

We have special guest Free Thinker, Stephanie Van Dyk from UBC’s Freethinker’s club talk about the club and the impact the ‘women’ and ‘skepticism’ debate has had on our local club .

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Ireland’s ‘pro-life’ laws kill

Over 20 years ago the Irish Supreme Court made abortion, under curtain conditions, available to women in Ireland and yet the Irish government has not altered any of its laws. This purposeful neglect result recently in the death of a women who died because she was refused a abortion on a miscarried pregnancy. She was told “this is a catholic country” and we don’t do abortions here. We discuss the history, politics and ethics of the Irish position on abortion.

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Rogue Planet found

Scientist have discovered a rogue planet…that’s cool and we talk about the science and wonder of the news.

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Killer Energy Drinks – is Caffeine toxic?

There has been much reporting in the news about how teenagers have been dropping like flies..why? They drank energy drinks. We talk about the real risks behind caffeine poisoning, the hype over energy drinks and the need to better education to ensure people now how to mix caffeine, alcohol and recreational drugs.

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Skeptical Highlights:

NerdFest: A Night of Medieval Fantasy

This event will be a fun filled night of medieval fantasy with some of the best Vancouver has to offer. A variety show consisting of stage performers, live music, magic, sword fighting, short films, and even a costume contest.

Highlights include live music by local folk-metal band Scythia, belly dancing by Mahsafoun, burlesque by Precious Metal, fire dancing by Vespor Sephony, weapon-arts demonstration by Western martial-arts school Academie Duello and Vancouver Traditional Martial Arts Academy.

Vendors of all types will be setting up booths selling their goods and services that will bring out the nerd in us all. This is an annual event and something not to be missed!

Date: Friday, Nov 23, 2012, 6:00 pm

Location: Biltmore Cabaret – 2755 Prince Edward, Vancouver

Admission: $15

End of Life Care – Assisted Suicide

Assisted suicide is a sensitive issue being challenged in the Canadian courts on multiple levels. Is it moral to assist in the death of another person, or is there neither a time nor a place for such things? If it is conditionally moral, then what are those conditions?

The UBC Freethinkers are hosting a night devoted to the topic with an opportunity for discussion and Q&A. We are very excited to have three guest speakers for the night coming from a diverse background to aid in the discussion.

Date: Wednesday, Nov 21, 2012, 5 pm

Location: 221 West Mall Swing Space – UBC – 2175 West Mall

Admission: by donation


Russel Ogden – Sociology and Criminology — Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Will Johnston, MD – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Dr. Scott Anderson – Department of Philosophy — UBC

Science of Harm Reduction Drug Policy by Dr. Thomas Kerr

Friday, November 30, 2012
Room A102 of Buchanan Building, Block A, 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver

Dr. Thomas Kerr is Co-Director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE), and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of AIDS at the University of British Columbia.

Harm reduction drug policy has become a politically polarizing issue, which often leaves the science behind the rhetoric. With recent court challenges over Vancouver’s safe injection site, Insite; society must become scientifically informed on what strategies are effective in treating addiction and improving public health.

This talk will take place in room A102 of Buchanan building block A at UBC. There is a suggested donation of $5 to $10.

Check out the FaceBook Event


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Radio Freethinker Episode 162 – Freethinking President Edition

Posted by Don McLenaghen on April 17, 2012

This week:

–       One hot March,

–       Climate Change – Now and then,

–       More research into violent video games,

–       Saskatoon has no exorcists and

–       Interview with new UBC Freethinkers Club president.

Download the episode here!


One hot March!

New data from NOAA shows that March is second hottest in record and over 15,000 record high temperatures were recorded this month in the USA. It’s not all scary data though, in limited ways Canada may benefit.

We also discuss how the central/eastern part of America can be warmer than the western part. 

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Climate Change – Now and then

We talk about the recent rediscovery of a paper published in 1981 by  James Hansen (NASA’s Institute for Space Studies at Goddard Space Flight Center) that explains the mechanism (as understood then). It also makes some predictions about the effects of global warming. 

This seemed an excellent opportunity to use the scientific method to check to see if the predictions made then have come to pass. Listen to find out if the verdict.

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More research into violent video games

There is a long-lasting and at times intense debate about the possible link between violent computer games and aggressiveness. We discuss a recently published article about a new study showing that, more than anything, a good ability to cooperate is a prerequisite for success in the violent gaming environment.

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Saskatoon has no exorcists

In a recent report on the CBC, we discovered that Saskatoon lacks an exorcists. Why should this matter? Well to the local priest, he thought it might be needed when he was called to the home of a mentally disturbed man. In spite of his theological bad thinking, the priest called then police. Then, giving in to the unenlightened side thought he would try some medieval medicine…he tryed to pray the ‘demon’ out of the man.

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Interview with Stephanie van Dyke – new president of the UBC Freethinkers

Ethan site down and finds out what in the mind of the new president and the future of the club.

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Skeptical Highlights:

Most likely to be banned books of 2011.

2012 State of America’s Library Report shows free access to information in jeopardy
In the US, they are celebrating National Library Week. To show the risk to the “freedom to read” the American Library Association has published list of the most often challenged books, because of content, in an effort to show the problems and risks of censorship. Apparently the Office of Intellectual Freedom received almost 350 challenges to books deemed inappropriate. To make the message clearer, and in conjunction with library week, libraries across the US are putting these books on display to both show their value as literature and to make a stand against censorship.


Shoppers Drug mart sued

Shoppers drug mart is being sued for selling ineffective and misleading products…in particular those based on homoeopathy. This will be on an upcoming episode of RFT.

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