Enjoy a no-host dinner and drinks while listening to two entertaining presenters who are in the trenches for reason and skepticism. Both have come up from California to train our new Independent Investigations group in Portland on Saturday. On Friday night, they've agreed to join us at Ringlers to give you an update on their work:
1. Jim Underdown, Executive Director of CFI Los Angeles and founder of the Independent Investigative Group (IIG), which offers $50,000 for proof of the paranormal, will talk about the work of IIGs around the country. IIG is the largest paranormal investigations team in the world, with teams across the US and Canada. Underdown received his BA in English from DePaw University where he was defensive end for the Tiger’s football team. Underdown has done improv comedy, written and directed short films and plays, and is the lead singer of The Heathens rock and roll band. He has appeared on TV shows such as Dr. Phil, the Discovery Channel’s Weird or What?, Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! and the Oprah Channel’s Miracle Detective.
2. Susan Gerbic, affectionately known as the Wikapediatrician, is known for her work on Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia, a project started in 2010. She is a co-founder of the Monterey County Skeptics, a steering member of IIG and a “self-proclaimed skeptical junkie.” She received the “In the Trenches” award at the 2012 Skeptics Toolbox. Her World Wikipedia project began in August 2012 to get skeptical Wikipedia pages up in as many languages as possible. Her first worldwide project was the Jerry Andrus page, in which her team of interpreters released the page in Arabic, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Portuguese. Her project We Got Your Wiki Back writes or rewrites the Wiki pages of skeptical leaders when they are in the news and she knows hits on their Wiki pages will go up. Wikipedia is the fifth most popular site on the Web. Gerbic’s efforts to clean up pseudoscience on Wikipedia and create pages for well-known skeptics has made her a “super villain” in the eyes of the paranormal community, where one blogger lamented they needed a Gerbic on their side!