Smart Commute Week in Traverse City

Smart Commute Week in Traverse City June 4-9 2012

Smart Commute logoFrom The Affirmations of Humanism…“We want to protect and enhance the earth…preserve it for future generations…”

Smart Commute Week is an annual week-long celebration of smart commuting that takes place the first full week in June. During Smart Commute Week an exciting, energizing, cool and noticeable transformation in transportation takes place in Traverse City and beyond of people getting around without their individual automobiles. Smart Commute Week’s critical mass and safety in numbers makes it a perfect opportunity for people to give smart commuting a try. In addition to encouraging new smart commuters, the purpose of the Week is also about gathering to celebrate the community’s year-round veteran smart commuters and infrastructure improvements to provide more safe, connected and accessible active transportation.

Enjoy free breakfasts at locations around Traverse City every morning if you ride your bicycle! Click here for more information.

Scott Blair Speaks at Etcetera on “Knowledge, Reason, Faith, and the Search for Truth”

Scott Blair Speaks at Etcetera on “Knowledge, Reason, Faith, and the Search for Truth.”

April 26 saw the first meeting of Traverse City’s “Street Level Philosophy” group, Etcetera, at the Good Work Collective on Union Street. Featured on the panel were Grand Traverse Humanist board member Scott Blair and parkour specialist Levi Meeuwenberg, with Anthony Weber moderating. Scott began the evening with an excellent summation of why reason and dispassionate inquiry are the best tools to discover what is true, as opposed to faith. Click here to see the session on youtube. Etcetera is planning to meet once a month for civil discourse on a variety of topics. It was an interesting evening!

Reason Rally Photos

Our merry band...Dave, Scott, Heather and Gail
On the road to DC…

DC Metro
Taking DC’s excellent Metro downtown to the National Mall.

Scott and Mark
On the Metro, after deciphering their complicated ticket-buying procedures.

DC Metro Station
Throngs of people going to the rally!

DC Metro Escalator
Nearly there…one escalator ride away from the Mall…

Non-Praying Mantis
The first of many wonderful t-shirts we saw at the Rally.

Gail, Scott, Mark, and Dave
We have arrived at the Mall!

Helpful Reason Rally volunteer
A Reason Rally volunteer dispenses helpful information.

We found Larry and Lynda almost immediately! Not so lucky with Bob, unfortunately.

Scott, Mark, and Larry
Sharing a laugh at the rally…we’re all among friends!

Humanism definition
Another great t-shirt!

Atheist Homeschooler
Took this picture for Jennifer…see, there are at least two of you!

I do teach evolution!
Thank goodness for sane people.

Heather, Mark, and the Washington Monument
He’s even taller than I thought.

Opening musicians at the Reason Rally
Two musicians opened the rally with some festive (if irreverent) tunes.

Rally audience
Our best view of the audience was on the Jumbotron.

Happy human evolution
Another t-shirt logo we loved.

Wall for a reason
A few of the many great signs at the rally.

We stood steadfast through steady rain.

Jessica Ahlquist
Jessica Ahlquist, the high school student from Rhode Island, wowed the crowd.

Damp but happy
Rain could not dampen our enthusiasm for the awesome Tim Minchin!

Even the Flying Spaghetti Monster was there!

Separation of Church and State
Have to agree with JFK.

TC Reason Rally group
We had a pretty good spot near the front!

Richard Dawkins at the Reason Rally
Richard Dawkins rallies the secular masses!

Convention schedule
On to the American Atheists convention. Just a few of the excellent speakers.

Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins offers some thoughtful remarks at the convention.

personal relationship with reality
Another great t-shirt seen at the convention.

Reason is a virtue
And the front is great, too!

Heather and Dave
Dressed up for the costume party…er, well, one of us is.

Margaret Downey
Margaret Downey, president of the Freethought Society, hams it up as a devilish angel!

PZ Myers
The wonderful PZ Myers…check out his blog, Pharyngula.

same old indisputable scientific evidence
Excellent cartoon from PZ Myers’ presentation


Remembrance of Harrison Nelson

Harrison NelsonRemembrance of Harrison Nelson

Harrison Nelson, member of the Grand Traverse Humanists, died unexpectedly January 2 of this year. He and his wife, Dr. Kieran Fulkerson, moved to Traverse City five years ago and became members of our group in 2010. Harry was an aerospace engineer, rocket scientist, and design executive who was inventing right up to the end of his life. He was most proud of his contributions to NASA, the stealth bomber, and top secret projects for the Pentagon. Harry was a vibrant presence who exuded an optimistic outlook to his friends, family, and co-workers. He is sorely missed. More photos and remembrance of Harry…

Grand Traverse Humanists Make Darwin Day Presentation

TurtleGrand Traverse Humanists Make Darwin Day Presentation

Dr. Mark Elliott and Heather Kingham traveled to Petoskey on February 12 to make a presentation on their recent trip to the Galápagos Islands to the Freethought Association of Northern Michigan. Entitled “The Galápagos: Our Pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” Dr. Elliott discussed the flora and fauna of the islands, as well as Charles Darwin’s 1831 voyage to the Galápagos and the development of and evidence for his theory of evolution. We are very pleased to have been able to visit the recently-formed Freethought group in Petoskey, and look forward to future collaborations.