Busy busy busy

There are a couple of events going on here in Morris this week that I’ll be participating in, and that any of you in the region might find worth seeing. First, tonight:

Everyone is cordially invited to the last session of

THE 31st

Personal Identity

Eric T. Olson

(Professor of Philosophy, University of Sheffield, UK)

Will present

“When Do We Begin and End?”

Monday, March 26, 7:30 p.m., Newman Catholic Center
306 East 4th Street, Morris

The gradual nature of development from fertilization to birth and beyond leaves it uncertain when we come into being; advances in medical technology leave it increasingly uncertain when we cease to exist. Many philosophers have tried to answer these questions. Professor Olson will argue that most of these answers are wrong, and that a simpler answer follows from the apparent fact that we are biological organisms.

Then, tomorrow night (Tuesday, 27 March, 6:00 at the Common Cup Coffee House), it’s time for Café Scientifique!

“So… what am I looking at?”

Kristin Kearns

An introduction to the celestial objects
visible through the UMM 16-inch telescope.

An observing session at the University’s telescope might begin with a view of the Moon and some of the more photogenic planets then, as the sky darkens, move on to a wide variety of stellar views, from planetary nebulae to globular clusters and maybe even a supernova remnant. On a clear, moonless night the telescope may probe even deeper into the darkness to find galaxies beyond our own. Whether you’ve looked through a telescope or just always wanted to, this talk will fill in the details behind the images. I’ll discuss the physical nature and cosmic context of those “smoke rings” and “cotton balls” you see in the eyepiece.

If the skies are clear, Kristin will also open up the UMM Observatory to the public after the talk, so you can come on down and see some stars.

You might as well just come on out here and spend a few days in town.


  1. says

    “Busy busy busy”? Is PZ a closet Bokononist?

    In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

    And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.

    “Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.

    “Certainly,” said man.

    “Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.

    And He went away.

  2. Ribozyme says

    A post with the highligts of Prof Olson’s talk would be a great, PZ. If you’d rather do something else, do you know if I can find a transcription somewhere? THX.

  3. Keanus says

    Telescopes and heavens (not the religious type) are a match made for the curious. One of my fondest memories of childhood decades ago was having the chance to take a look through the 84″ telescope at the MacDonald Observatory in the Davis Mountains of West Texas (in the ’50’s the set up the big scope for eyeball viewing once a month for the public). I was all of about 11 and have no idea what the telescope was pointed at, but the thrill of climbing the steel stairs beneath the enormous steel skeleton of the telescope to look through the modest eyepiece was out of this world for one wide-eyed kid who’s still a kid 50+ years later.