Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dogma Debate with David Smalley #180 – Smalley vs. Dr. Michael Brown

Echo and Buzz at Sorrel

Photo by: Geneva Miller
"How does a writer go about capturing the true essence of an artist? Which traits do you focus on when the defining characteristics that create that person are so diverse?"

These questions and more are from the article in Echo and Buzz, "One Artist to Another", written by fellow artist, Johny Ray Price.

I am performing with a slew of fantastic songwriters tonight at Sorrel in Temecula, including: Nathan Rivera,Jessie Andra Smith, Matt Folkmuse Stone, George Miguel, Larry Thompson, Tim Moyer, Joe Gillaspie, and author of the before-mentioned article, Johny Ray Price.

You can pickup your copy of the local music zine, Echo and Buzz, and read all about me on page 3, for free at Sorrel. Can't make it out tonight? No worries! Echo and Buzz is available at several fine establishments in the Temecula Valley area, and I will be hand delivering copies to all my favorite Coffee Shops in Downtown Riverside. Do you live in Corona? I will be dropping off some copies at Corona Music Center tomorrow.

Peter Singer: Maximizing Morality with Reason | Point of Inquiry

Peter Singer has revolutionized the way we think about morals and values. He’s lead the way in providing evidence for some of the toughest moral controversies such as animal rights, abortion, and wealth inequality. Singer’s newest book is entitled The Most Good You Can Do, and it's an exploration of the philosophical movement known as effective altruism; the desire to make the world its best possible version using reason and evidence.

 This week on Point of Inquiry, Singer discusses how opinion and fact are not mutually exclusive, and how effective altruism uses science-based evidence and critical thinking to uncover moral facts and open a dialogue about what values are objectively going to benefit us the most.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

TTA Podcast 219: My Family Thinks I'm Going To Hell

Are you an atheist (or perhaps an adherent to a religion apart from that of your parents, siblings, children or distant relatives), and your loved ones are terrified that you're sliding the slipper slope toward damnation?

This podcast is about the fears of the faithful, the damage done by religious concepts of Hell and torment, and the liberation that comes in living without fear.

Neil Carter's blog, "You're (Not) Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone?"

The Collision Between Religious Freedom and Gay Rights | eSkeptic

Skeptic Magazine 2.4 (cover)
The Collision Between Religious Freedom and Gay Rights

Imagine for a moment that you are a Jewish baker who owns a small bakery. One day a couple enters your establishment and orders a wedding cake to be adorned with swastikas and the likeness of Adolf Hitler. They explain that they are neo-Nazis inspired by the marriage of the Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, attended by the F├╝hrer himself. You are of course offended and decline the job. Is it your legal right to refuse service to a neo-Nazi couple? If you answer in the affirmative, would you apply the same reasoning to a gay couple who requested a wedding cake adorned with two men or two women? Are these not the same moral and legal issues?


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

StarTalk Radio | George Takei and the Legacy of Star Trek

Neil deGrasse Tyson delves into the legacy of Star Trek with George Takei, who played Lt. Sulu, helmsman of the USS Enterprise. In studio, co-host Leighann Lord and astrophysicist Charles Liu discuss how the series inspired the future.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Nepal Earthquake | Humanist Disaster Recovery | Donate Now!

Humanist Disaster Recovery Drive
Humanist Disaster Recovery is now raising funds to help with the recovery effort underway in the wake of the Nepal Earthquake.
A 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday, April 25, 2015. The area surrounding Kathmandu was hardest hit, while an avalanche was triggered on Mount Everest and deaths have been reported in surrounding countries. The government of Nepal has confirmed more than 3,000 deaths and is accepting international aid.

Talk Nerdy Episode 59 - Taryn O'Neill

Cara sits down with actress, writer, and producer Taryn O'Neill (Granite Flats, After Judgment) to talk about her love of scifi and her STEM advocacy group SCIRENS. Also discussed: why we need more strong female characters on screen, including scientists and engineers. Hear hear! Follow Taryn: @tarynoneill.

Waking Up with Sam Harris | "Ask Me Anything #1"

In this episode of the Waking Up Podcast, Sam Harris talks about atheism, artificial intelligence, rape, public speaking, meditation, consciousness, free will, intellectual honesty, and other topics.

Showcase The Documentary

The story of Corona's Showcase Theatre isn't over yet...
Showcase The Documentary
Two days ago, I received a Facebook invite to like Showcase The Documentary. I was so stoked, but I was simply thinking it was just a novelty; some folks reminiscing of the glorious crucified savior of Corona's fallen music scene. Hoping to connect to some sentimental millenials, I reached out and asked if there was anything I could contribute. Come to find out, there is a grassroots campaign to tell the story of the venue and try to reopen the Showcase! It is starting with a little promo/teaser (for which I, and several others are going to be interviewed) that will be used to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fund "Showcase The Documentary".

The Showcase meant the world to me. It was my stronghold, my chapel, my civic center, my town hall, my college, my gallery, my pulpit, my podium, and my escape. I don't think I could have survived adolescence without it. I went to so many shows, hung out outside for so many others. I met so many awesome people. I learned about so many things. I made a pledge to become straightedge (and I am still xEdgex after 14 years), and though it took me over a decade to come around; I was opened to animal rights, and I eventually became a vegetarian. I learned about politics and how to defy the system. I learned that I wasn't alone, and that fear, pain, doubt, anger, anxiety and depression were not things to ignore and hide, masked with some delusion; but to confront and accept, and embrace. I was there from 2000 to 2007 as punk went hardcore, and even punk bands like Officer Negative went hardcore. Who could forget when the Adicts would play? How many times did I see The Deal? Or, how about when Norma Jean and Bleeding Through played on Valentines day, 2003, and some dude spin-kicked me in the face and broke my nose. And, what about moments later, when the same kid tracked me down in the bathroom and put his arm around me and asked, "Hey dude, are you OK?" 

I played in 3 bands that played at Showcase: Plague of Sheol (Black Metal), In The Trenches (Tough Guy Hardcore), and Elohim (Metalcore). I will never forget how "Joecase" actually listened to our demo and gave us a show, none of that shit you hear from promoters now like, "How many tickets can you sell?" or "Can you do 75 tickets presale?" or "How many heads can you get in the door?" He was a human being and he looked you in the eye and shook your hand, and genuinely tried to put you on a show with bands that were your style.

I am still playing music, and still playing in bands, but the music scene sucks now. It is nothing like the Showcase days. There are no venues; just bars, restaurants, and coffee shops, and no where to play that is just a pure, plain music venue. But even if you can get people to come to see you at some coffee shop, there is no participation. People are so consumed by their smartphone that they cannot lift their eyes from the screen and notice that there is an artist; a human being strumming the guitar, singing, vulnerably baring his or her soul for you. Everything is a commercialized commodity; downloadable, and consumable. And only the few people who are just old enough, but still young enough, and just unique enough to have experienced something like the Showcase can possibly understand what music meant to us at that time. It was spiritual in its own way (not with any woo woo), just some profoundly emotional experience that transcends words, language and description. 

That is why this documentary is a necessity, for me, for you, and for young people everywhere who just don't feel "normal". And maybe the yuppies who tried to shut us down, who put us down; maybe they can understand it now too. 

I don't have any children, but some day, if I do; I want to show them this and show them what some of our generation stood for. My grandmother saw Pete Seeger at her college in the 60's. I am told that my grandfather wrote essays to the senator and congressman on why the death penalty is immoral and should be abolished, and he even may have marched with Cesar Chavez. Well, maybe my show-going comrades can't say that, but we were Punkrockers, we were Hardcore, we were Metalheads, we were protesters, we were supporters, we were Poison-free, we were Cruelty free; we stood for something. We can change the world too. And, we are changing it right now, and it all started at the SHOWCASE!

If you agree, please go "like" the Showcase The Documetary page, and invite your friends.

Friday, April 24, 2015

StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson - The Science of the Mind

An oldie...  ...but a GOODIE!!!

StarTalk hosted by renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil & co-host Eugene Mirman are joined by Wyatt Cenac ("The Daily Show"), Cara Santa Maria (HuffPo's "Talk Nerdy To Me") and neuroscientist Heather Berlin at the Bell House in Brookyn to discuss the science of the mind.

Co-host: Eugene Mirman 
Heather Berlin
Wyatt Cenac 
Cara Santa Maria

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions

OVER THE LAST 25 YEARS, “no religion” has become the fastest-growing religion in America. Around the world, hundreds of millions of people have turned away from the traditional faiths of the past and embraced a moral yet nonreligious—or secular—life, generating societies vastly less religious than at any other time in human history. Drawing on innovative sociological research, Dr. Zuckerman—a Pitzer College professor who founded a Department of Secular Studies, the first of its kind—illuminates this demographic shift with the moral convictions that govern secular individuals, offering crucial information for the religious and nonreligious alike. Living the Secular Life reveals that, despite opinions to the contrary, nonreligious Americans possess a unique moral code that allows them to effectively navigate the complexities of modern life. Zuckerman discovered that despite the entrenched negative beliefs about nonreligious people, American secular culture is grounded in deep morality and proactive citizenship—indeed, some of the very best that the country has to offer.

SGU Podcast #510 - April 18th, 2015

Main Image for Episode 510
The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe:

Special Guest: Bill Nye
Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Lise Meitner and Ida Tacke
News Items: Parents No Longer Anti-Vaccine, Noticing Spiders, Solar Sail, NASA-ET Life in 20 Years, Lava Tubes on the Moon
Special Report: Bill Nye on GMOs
Science or Fiction

Monday, April 20, 2015

TTA Podcast 215: Unholy Trinity Down Under - Matt Dillahunty "Why Won't ...


In March of 2015, the Atheist Foundation of Australia hosted atheist activists Matt Dillahunty, Aron Ra and Seth Andrews (under the tongue-in-cheek tour title, "The Unholy Trinity Down Under").

The speakers' presentations from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are posted on AFA's tour website:

StarTalk Radio Cosmic Queries: LightSail with Bill Nye

In May 2015, the Planetary Society will launch its first LightSail spacecraft for a “shakedown cruise” in Earth orbit. So who better to answer fan questions about the program than their CEO, Bill Nye, and comic co-host Chuck Nice?

Talk Nerdy Episode 58 - Natalie Panek

Rocket scientist, explorer, and champion for women in engineering Natalie Panek connects with Cara across international borders to talk about how we can attract more women to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields and then retain them. They also discuss the state of modern television as it relates to science literacy and what we can do about all that space junk orbiting planet Earth. Follow Natalie: @nmpanek.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Facebook Photos

Some photographs of me by some of my talented photographer friends.
Posted by Jonny Miller on Thursday, April 16, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Chomsky & Krauss: An Origins Project Dialogue (OFFICIAL) - (Part 1/2)

Join intellectual giant Noam Chomsky and noted physicist and public intellectual Lawrence Krauss for an intimate evening of conversation at the Origins Project Dialogue. Science, Mind, and Politics is a candid and unscripted conversation on contemporary issues on the nature of humanity, the power of science and the mind, and global social justice.

Chomsky & Krauss: An Origins Project Dialogue (OFFICIAL) - (Part 2/2)

StarTalk Radio | Autism and Animal Science with Dr. Temple Grandin

Discover how her autism helped Dr. Temple Grandin revolutionize animal science when she sits down with Neil deGrasse Tyson. Featuring Chuck Nice, Dr. Paul Wang of Autism Speaks, and Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Talk Nerdy Episode 57 - Chris Mooney

Cara speaks with Chris Mooney, Energy And Environment Reporter for the Washington Post, about all things climate change. Topics discussed include: how personality and psychology play into the decisions we make about the environment, how understanding liberal vs. conservative viewpoints can help us affect environmental change in a more meaningful way, and the difference between sea ice and land ice in ever-warming Antarctica. Follow Chris: @chriscmooney.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

SGU | Podcast #508 - Going Clear - April 4th, 2015

Main Image for Episode 508

SGU | Podcast #508 - April 4th, 2015
Forgotten Superheroes of Science: Sandra Faber
News Items: Radio Bursts and Alien Signals, Peer-Review Scandal, Is The World Greener, Gravity Tunnel Revisited
Special Report: Going Clear
Who's That Noisy
Dumbest Thing of the Week
Science or Fiction

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

James Randi on Being An Honest Liar | Rationally Speaking Podcast

The Amazing Randi, famous magician and a pioneer of Skepticism, joins this episode of Rationally Speaking for a conversation about the past and future of the Skeptic movement. Massimo and Julia's questions for Randi include: Do you think Skepticism has shaped public opinion in any significant ways? What do you want the JREF to look like several years from now? And what have you changed your mind about, and why? Randi's pick: "An Honest Liar"

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Government Surveillance (HBO)

Monday, April 6, 2015

StarTalk Radio | StarTalk Live! from SF Sketchfest 2015

Explore the Moon, asteroids and Mars from the stage of San Francisco’s Nourse Theater with Bill Nye, Eugene Mirman and guests astrophysicist Dr. Yvonne Pendleton, “Mars Czar” Dr. G. Scott Hubbard and comedian H. Jon Benjamin.

POI Podcast | Phil Zuckerman: Those Normal, Upstanding Nonbelievers

Phil Zuckerman: Those Normal, Upstanding Nonbelievers

Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology at Pitzer College, and among the world's leading experts in the growing field of secular studies, with a deep understanding of how people's lives are lived without religion. He’s the author of the books Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old QuestionsSociety without God, and Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion.
There is a wide range of secular people, from hardcore atheists and secular humanists to those for whom religion is simply unimportant, and Zuckerman distinguishes between the vast majority of nonbelievers who live normal, upstanding lives, and the small minority for whom secularism is an organizing force. He discusses with Point of Inquiry host Lindsay Beyerstein how empathy, rather than belief in the watchful eye of a deity, is the guiding force of secular morality, and how religion can actually hinder society’s larger moral understanding.
It’s a fascinating inward look at our own community of skeptics and humanists, and you can learn even more from Zuckerman about his ideas and research at the Reason for Change conference, where he’ll be among the many brilliant and provocative speakers. Reason for Change takes place July 11-15 in Buffalo, New York. Visit for more!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Echo and Buzz - Riverside County's New Music Zine

 Echo and Buzz
Echo and Buzz Indie Music Newspaper is a free monthly press, complete with stories of what’s happening in our area. Echo and Buzz also includes advertising, an events calendar, local press releases, music and concert reviews, critiques, and much more.
Echo and Buzz is currently delivering it's first issue, April 1, 2015. Supporters of the music scene in Temecula Valley and surrounding communities are coming together to generate coverage for independent artists, labels, shows, and events.

But Echo and Buzz is not just taking over Temecula Valley, it is also spreading accross Riverside County, and featuring artists all over the Inland Empire. I am one of those artists and last night, I was interviewed for the May 1st edition of Echo and Buzz.

Johny Ray Price met me at Back to the Grind in Downtown Riverside for some Coffee and tea. The interview continued as we explored the Riverside ArtWalk that happens every first Thursday of the month. With my guitar on my back, I entered the Life Arts Center, and Johny and I stumbled on an upright piano in the long wood-floored hallway of that historical brick building. He sat down at the piano, and I got my guitar out and started singing my Folk tunes and blowing away on my harmonica. Johny joined in with some beautiful bluesy accompaniment and we started to attract a crowd. To our astonishment, the interview turned into a full-blown concert!

Stay tuned for the May issue of Echo and Buzz, and you can read all about our experience, but in the meanwhile, keep a lookout for this month's issue at your local artsy hangout.

Riverside's Saturation Fest 2015

I am so excited. Riverside's own DIY festival is coming again! And my band is playing. 
Stay tuned for updates!
Saturation Fest is a DIY art and music festival that occurs annually in Riverside, CA. Events are held at venues around downtown Riverside, with a majority of the participants based in the Inland Empire. Saturation includes concerts, films, workshops, exhibitions, guerilla shows, organized bike rides, and handcrafted art.

Saturation Fest was started by Alaska Quilici in 2001. "I launched Saturation Fest as a weekend event of every local band and artist I knew, and people were really excited about it," says Quilici. The audience has steadily grown over the years, going from a few hundred the first year to about 10,000 in 2008. "It has grown to the massive project it is now because people believe in it, they look forward to it, they get involved, contribute and play."

As a mostly all-ages and largely cost-free festival, Saturation pushes for the de-commodification of culture, concentrating instead on the value of the experience. Saturation is a Do-It-Yourself festival, meaning that it is participant-created. Organizers work behind the scenes to connect venues, performers, artists, art vendors, event curators and volunteers.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

NPR | Southern Baptist Minister: Religious Liberty Law Permits Denial Of Some Services

Southern Baptist Minister: Religious Liberty Law Permits Denial Of Some Services

Indiana's religious freedom law is the subject of national debate, and for many its wording is a problem. Steve Inskeep talks to the Rev. Tim Overton of Muncie, who is in favor of the measure.

The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happ...

IN THIS ENTERTAINING AND PERSUASIVE LECTURE based on her new book, psychologist Susan Pinker shows how face-to-face contact is crucial for learning, happiness, resilience, and longevity. From birth to death, human beings are hardwired to connect to other human beings. Face-to-face contact matters: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, help children learn, extend our lives, and make us happy. Looser in-person bonds matter, too, combining with our close relationships to form a personal “village” around us. Not just any social networks will do: we need the real, in-the-flesh encounters that tie human families, groups of friends, and communities together. Marrying the findings of the new field of social neuroscience with gripping human stories, Susan Pinker explores the impact of face-to-face contact from cradle to grave, from city to Sardinian mountain village, from classroom to workplace, from love to marriage to divorce. Creating our own “village effect” makes us happier. It can also save our lives.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Inquiring Minds Podcast | 79 Ken Caldeira - Can Geoengineering Save the Planet?

On the show this week we talk to Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist working for the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University. He investigates issues related to climate, carbon, and energy systems. In the interview, we focus on geoengineering—the process of making big changes to the Earth’s climatic system in an attempt to solve issues related to climate change.

Lamb Born With A Human-Like Face | IFLScience

Lamb Born With A Human-Like Face | IFLScience

NPR | Minimal Sierra Nevada Snowpack Will Not Ease California's Drought

Dry, cracked earth is visible on a cantaloupe farm near Firebaugh, Calif., last August. Record-low snowpack levels in the Sierra Nevada mean most Central California farmers will face another year without water from the federal Central Valley Project.
The latest figures on the California drought are expected to be released on Wednesday. The state's snowpack, a major source of water for the rest of the year, is at the lowest level on record. Morning Edition.