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A.R.T. Meetings

Association for Rational Thought Meetings are free, open to the public, and held the second Saturday of each month, September through June, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. The meetings will be held at Molly Malone's (formerly The Dubliner) in Pleasant Ridge. This is in Pleasant Ridge near the intersection of Ridge Ave. & Montgomery Road. At this point, Ridge is running nearly due north-south. The restaurant is about 3 doors east of the intersection, on the north side of the street.
Molly Malone's
6111 Montgomery Road
Cincinnati, OH 45213
(513) 531-0700

Click on map

6/23/2012  ART Picnic at Susan and Bernie's

The picnic on June 23th at Susan and Bernie's will be a potluck, so if you are a member who wishes to list the items you are bringing, please do so in the comments on the Blog. This way we should be able to eliminate duplication. remember to check previous comments to see what others are bringing.
The address and directions will be on the mailer card and in the Email.

Please let us know if you are going to be there, and how many will be with you.
just leave a message if no one is home. Call if you get lost on the way.

6/9/2012  Annual Field Trip:

Cincinnati Underground” A tour of old Cincinnati.

Saturday, June 9, 10:30 AM tour (arrive 30 minutes early)

$20, Please pay in Cash. Bring your camera, wear your walking shoes

Tour Starts at Cincy Haus, 1218 Vine St., Cincinnati


5/12/2012  Owen Findsen

"King George Commands and We Obey"

Schemes, Plots, and Scoundrels : The Hidden History of the American Revolution

Owen Findsen, Author, Writer and Historian

4/14/2012  John Martin, Ph.D.

"The Logic of Mysticism"

John Martin, Ph.D. University of Cincinnati, Department of Philosophy

3/10/2012  Levi Morran

"Why sex is better with a partner: Lessons learned from the sex life of worms"

There is a lot of sex in nature. In fact, sex is the most common form of reproduction among plants and animals. Interestingly, this widespread prevalence of sex is contrary to the predictions of evolutionary theory. Sex is costly relative to other forms of reproduction because it reduces the genetic contribution each parent makes to an offspring and it may require males that consume resources but do not directly bear offspring. It seems that other mating systems would be far less costly and far more efficient than sex, but yet sex is everywhere. Explaining the evolution and maintenance of sex is one of the major problems in evolutionary biology. My team and I conduct evolution experiments in the laboratory with the microscopic worm, Caenorhabditis elegans, to test evolutionary theory and explain why we see so much sex in nature.

Levi Morran: I am an evolutionary biologist and a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow in the Biology Dept. at Indiana University. I received my Ph.D. in evolutionary genetics from the University of Oregon and my B.S. in biology from Indiana University. I am a native of Bloomington, IN. I am also an avid fan of the Oakland Athletics baseball team and may be forever scarred from that 1990 World Series against the Reds.

2/11/2012  Randy Weaver

"James Bradley and the Abolitionist Movement's Origins"

Randy Weaver will do a reading in honor of Black History Month.

Discussion will follow.

1/14/2012  ART Members

"Ten Minute Free-for-all"

12/10/2011  Brad Bonham

"Emerald Ash Borer Myth-Busting"

Emerald ash borer is an invasive wood-boring beetle which, in all likelihood, will cause functional extinction of native ash trees in North America. Urban ash trees, public and private are manageable in the face of this pest. ART member Brad Bonham's interest in municipal management of EAB led to issuance of an EAB management consensus document through the Coalition for Urban Ash Tree Conservation, followed by specific work aimed at "EAB Myth-busting" among municipal arborists. She'll provide an overview of persistent myths about EAB management and provide guidance for management of ash on private property. (But here's a hint -- if you live in the east half of Hamilton County and own an ash tree, don't wait for the program, call an arborist today to discuss the health of your ash and treatment options.)

Asian longhorn beetle (ALB) is another invasive wood-boring beetle which just appeared on the local horizon. While far more cosmopolitan in its feeding habits, this pest is equally deadly. Management is entirely different and is based on Federally-run eradication efforts. There may be some consumer protection issues to address with this pest. Brad will provide the latest info on this infestation.

J. Bradford Bonham, DVM

11/12/2011  Bruce Levine

"Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite"

Polls show that the majority of Americans oppose current U.S. wars and corporate tax-dodging, yet the vast majority of us are politically passively. Since Get Up, Stand Up was published in March 2011, more -- but still relatively few of us -- are actively fighting for genuine democracy. In Get Up, Stand Up, Bruce Levine explains how major U.S. institutions have created fatalism, defeatism, and a loss of confidence that genuine democracy is possible. For democratic movements to get off the ground, history tells us, individuals must recover the "psychological and cultural building blocks" of democratic movements: self-respect, courage, determination, anti-authoritarianism, solidarity, and collective confidence that they can succeed at eliminating top-down controls. Get Up, Stand Up describes how we can recover the "energy to do battle" and details those strategies and tactics that oppressed peoples have successfully employed to gain power.

Bruce E. Levine, a practicing clinical psychologist often at odds with the mainstream of his profession, writes and speaks about how society, culture, politics and psychology intersect. His latest book is Get Up, Stand Up: Uniting Populists, Energizing the Defeated, and Battling the Corporate Elite (2011). Earlier books include Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic (2007) and Commonsense Rebellion (2003). He is a regular contributor to the CounterPunch, AlterNet, Truthout and Z Magazine..

10/8/2011  Dr. Kirk Little

"Neural Plasticity in the Ageing Brain: Understanding Executive Functioning and how to stay 'sharp' as we get older"

Cognitive abilities such as learning, memory, and executive functions show considerable age-related decline. These abilities rely heavily on the functioning of the medial temporal lobe and the prefrontal cortex, two areas of the brain that are particularly vulnerable during the ageing process. Dr. Little will talk about the lifespan development of "executive functions" and how these functions can be impacted by traumatic brian injury, attention deficit disorder, epilepsy, and ageing. He will also discuss strategies for assessing and rehabilitating the executive functions via our most advanced brain-computer interface devices.

Dr. Kirk Little is a clinical psychologist licensed in Kentucky and Ohio. He is the only licensed health care provider in the greater Cincinnati metropolitan area to use Quantitative Electroencephalophraphy guided neurofeedback to treat Neuropsychological disorders. His main office is in Florence, KY. He has been invited to speak about QEEG and Neurofeedback at the Lindner Center of Hope, BRIDGES NKY traumatic Brain injury conference, the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, the BMW Performance Driving School, the Cincinnati Academy of Professional Psychology, and at Wright State University and Chatfield College. In 2010, he published two book chapters on Neurotherapy: Neurofeedback: Research-Based Treatment for ADHD in Integrative Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine: Perspectives, Practices and Research. Carlsted, R. A. (ed). Springer Publishing Company, New York, NY. and Neurotherapy. In: Earning a Living Outside of Managed Mental Health Care: 50 Ways to Expand Your Practice. Walfish, Steven (ed). American Psychological Association, Washington D.C.

9/10/2011  Jon Entine

"Better safe than sorry? The downside of risk aversion"

Should "Better safe than sorry" drive science regulation, particularly genetics (human and agricultural) and chemicals, whose impact is widely misunderstood?
If we don't take appropriate precautions, we will be dogged by the specter and uncertain risks; but if we take too many, we will squelch innovation.
Science policy is shaped by risk--not only the fact of it but public perceptions of what potential harms are acceptable and what are not, which are often far different from actual risk.

Jon Entine, director of the Genetic Literacy Project at George Mason University, will examine the perception/reality gap.
Among Jon's books: Crop Chemophobia: Will Precaution Kill the Green Revolution?,
Scared to Death: How Chemophobia Threatens Public Health;
Let Them Eat Precaution: How Politics is Undermining the Genetic Revolution in Agriculture;
Abraham's Children: Race, Identity and the DNA of the Chose People;
and Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It.

6/25/2011  ART Picnic at Susan and Bernie's

The picnic on June 25th at Susan and Bernie's will be a potluck, so if you are a member who wishes to list the items you are bringing, please do so in the comments on the Blog. This way we should be able to eliminate duplication. remember to check previous comments to see what others are bringing.
The address and directions will be on the mailer card and in the Email.

Please let us know if you are going to be there, and how many will be with you.
just leave a message if no one is home. Call if you get lost on the way.

6/11/2011  The Association for Rational Thought Field Trip

"Celebration: A Gathering of Four Directions"

Experience one of the premier Native American-themed educational events in the region! Enjoy Native flute music and drumming, view up to 100 dancers in full regalia, participate in workshops, and listen as expert storytellers ply their trade. Adult $9, Youth $5

Saturday, June 11, 10:00 AM - ?

General Membership Business Meeting and Officer election for next year 10 – 11 AM. Meet fellow ART members in the large open area to the left inside the main building.

There will be 2 food vendors at the festival, but you will be allowed to bring your own food, and there is a large shelter house for picnics.

Fort Ancient, 6123 St. Rt. 350, Oregonia, Ohio 45054, 513–932–4421

5/14/2011  Jake Mecklenborg

"Cincinnati's Incomplete Subway: The Complete History"

 Author Jake Mecklenborg will discuss the rise and fall of Cincinnati's infamous subway project.  He will detail how the project became the political victim of Murray Seasongood and his mid-1920s Charter Reforms, and how the era's smears evolved into still-heard subway folklore.  He will also discuss why it is nearly impossible for American cities to build subway systems today.  Jake will bring copies of the book for sale ($20).

Jake Mecklenborg is a Cincinnati native and a 1996 graduate of St. Xavier High School. He has worked as a photojournalist, a graphic designer, a teacher and as a towboat deckhand."

4/9/2011  Rolland Workman, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Philosophy, University of Cincinnati

"Justice as Balance"

An analysis of the concept of justice embedded in the western philosophical tradition.

3/12/2011  Dr. Randy Seeley

"How Obesity Goes To Our Heads: Why Can't We Just Eat Less?"

Dr. Randy Seeley is Professor of Medicine at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine & Director of the Cincinnati Diabetes & Obesity Center. His research focuses on the actions of hormones in the brain that regulate food intake, body weight & circulating fuels. He studies hypothalamic & G.I. peptides & their receptors that effect energy intake & peripheral metabolic processes, emphasizing new treatment strategies for obesity & diabetes.

2/12/2011  Linda Newman, UC Librarian

"Digitization of Books and the New World of the Born-Digital"

Almost all academic libraries are involved in large scale efforts to digitize rare books and materials.  Some of the largest are working with Google.  The ambitious Google Books project has had an interesting, important impact on the availability of online texts.  Many books, reports, papers, etc. are now available in a ‘born-digital’ format – no scanning of hard copy required – and we may not be far from a future where not only ephemeral web sites, but important manuscripts, works of fiction, research reports, etc. may never appear in print but only in the digital world.    Is there a conflict between Open Access publishing on the web and for-profit web-based publishing?  How have these trends to date impacted scholars for the better and occasionally the worse?  Will our public and academic research libraries be able to continue to fulfill their missions to acquire and preserve our cultural and scientific record?

Linda Newman holds the position of Digital Projects Coordinator at the University of Cincinnati Libraries.  She is involved in planning and coordinating digitization projects, including methods for digitization, record loading, and delivery platform support and development.  She participates in a state wide project called the OhioLINK Digital Resource Commons.  She has been with UC since 1983 and has held various technology-focused positions within the UC Libraries including the development of UC’s first online catalog.

1/08/2011  ART Members

"Ten Minute Free-for-all"

12/11/2010  Roxanne Qualls

"Analysis of the Election results"

11/13/2010  Jack Kallmeyer

"Dry Dredgers"

10/09/2010  Skip Schulte

"The Connection Between Depression and Suicide"

For many years I have had a keen personal interest in mental health and mental illness.  During the past couple of years I have become increasingly interested in suicide prevention.

In early 1982 I was first diagnosed with depression.  Later that year I took an overdose of medication, prescribed not for my depression but rather for my tinnitus.

For more than 25 years I have spoken about depression and suicide to various groups of people.  I am ready, willing, and able to speak about these topics to ANY group - students (high school, college, med school, etc.), educators, mental health and other health professionals (including physicians), social workers, support group members, attorneys, parents, members of civic, fraternal, corporate, athletic, military, governmental, and church groups, etc.

An article about my personal experience with depression and suicide appears on page 11 of the January 2009 issue of Streetvibes, a newspaper sold largely by homeless persons on street corners in downtown Cincinnati, OH.  Here is a link to that article:

9/11/2010  Chaplain Judith R. Ragsdale, Ph.D.

  "The use of religion in coping with illness".


Judith Ragsdale will address research done by selected physicians, psychologists, and pastoral care providers on how people use religion/spirituality to help them face illness. The use of faith to help people cope is not confined to any one faith tradition, though most of the research considered here will come from patients and families in the Judeo-Christian traditions.


The speaker is a supervisor certified by the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education; she has served as a chaplain at Cincinnati Children's Hospital since 1995. She is a minister with the United Church of Christ and holds a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University.


8/14/2010  Picnic at Susan & Bernie's

Potluck - 4:00 pm - There is a thread in the Blog where people can list what they intend to bring.
Further details will be on the postcards or Emailed.

We hope to have enough chairs, but some extra folding chairs might help


6/12/2010  Fernald Road Trip

The Association for Rational Thought Presents-

"History of the Fernald Preserve"

Nuclear Age Icon becomes a Nature Preserve

Saturday, June 12th, 10 AM at the Meeting Room, in the

Visitor's Center of the Fernald Preserve at 7400 Willey Road,

Hamilton, OH 45013       phone: 648-4899

You may bring a dish for pot luck or pack a lunch.

Driving directions      Google maps      More detail

New York Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/20/us/20park.html?

5/8/2010  Dr. Bill Jensen

"Ambiguous Icons of Skepticism"

In their ongoing fight to defend reliable and rationale knowledge against the continuous onslaught of pseudoscience and superstition, modern skeptics frequently cite both Karl Popper's criterion that true science must be capable of empirical falsification and Hume's adage that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. However, few realize that the writings of these two philosophers have also been the source of many ideas used by some modern philosophers of science to attack the very concept of science that the members of ART hope to defend. This irony was first pointed out some years ago by the Australian philosopher David Stove. The talk will summarize Stove's critique of the roles played by both Popper and Hume in these attacks as outlined in his two books "Popper and After: Four Modern Irrationalists" (1984) and "Scientific Irrationalism: Origins of a Postmodern Cult" (2001).

UC Professor of the History of Chemistry, Dr. Bill Jensen

4/10/2010 Wolf Roder

"The Supervolcano"


A talk on volcanoes, including supervolcanoes at Yellowstone and the Toba eruption 70,000 years ago.
Wolf Roder's research has been concerned with rural development and water resources. He is author of "Human Adjustment to Kainji Reservoir in Nigeria" and "The Sabi Valley Irrigation Projects" [in Zimbabwe]. He served as Fulbright exchange professor at the University of Zambia. He has traveled in southern, eastern, western, and northern Africa, and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, but is a long way from having visited "all" of the continent.

3/13/2010 Dean Regas

"The New Solar System - How Pluto & Other Oddballs Fit In"


-OR- Pluto, Don't Be So Rational.

Outreach Astronomer at the Cincinnati Observatory Center. Dean's profile: The stars captured me in 1998 while working at Cincinnati's Wolff Planetarium in Burnet Woods. It was there that I discovered a passion for astronomy and have since become a local expert in observational astronomy, star identification and mythology. I have written over 60 astronomy articles for the Cincinnati Enquirer and Community Press and have been featured on local television and radio. I have been the Outreach Astronomer for the Cincinnati Observatory since 2000.

2/13/2010 Howard Tolley Jr.

"Strange Bedmates: Conservative and Liberal Advocates for Judicial Activism"

New Deal liberals condemned the conservative activists who invalidated progressive economic regulations, and 21st Century conservatives denounce liberal activist judges for legislating from the bench on abortion, gay rights, criminal procedure, and religious liberty. Progressives on the left and libertarians on the right have recently joined forces in suits asking judges to find unconstitutional overbroad criminal laws, bans on gay marriage, and limits on gun ownership. Are there any principled legal boundaries or legitimate political checks on the abuse of Judicial Review by justices who substitute personal policy preferences for the choices made by popularly elected legislators?

UC Professor of Political Science and adjunct Professor of Law Howard Tolley Jr. earned a PhD at Columbia and a JD as a human rights fellow at the UC College of Law. He served as President of the Cincinnati ACLU and member of the state board, clerked for a judge on the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, and does fact finding/mediation in public sector labor disputes for the State Employment Relations Board. He teaches undergraduate public law courses on the U.S. legal system and Constitution as well as international law and human rights. His publications include three sole authored books and nine interactive Teaching Human Rights Online cases http://homepages.uc.edu/thro/

1/9/2010 ART Members

"Ten Minute Free-for-all"

12/12/2009 Shirley Maul

"An Exploration of the Creative Process"

A presentation of selected sections of performances followed by an attempt to answer the questions "How do you think of these things?" and "What makes one performance Art, and another performance not Art?"

Shirley Maul, a former
recipient of an Ohio Arts Fellowship, has been creating performances and collaborating in group performance pieces for 20 years. Shirley has performed in several venues in the Cincinnati area, as well as in Columbus, Cleveland and Yellow Springs.

11/14/2009 Steve Driehaus


10/10/2009 Larry Schweikert, University of Dayton

"Bad History Textbooks"

This talk will be "48 Liberal Lies About American History", based on his book. He looks at the top 20 U.S. history textbooks, how they cover different events and people, and the bias that is present in almost all. From notions that Mikhail Gorbachev, not Ronald Reagan, ended the Cold War to the view that the transcontinental railroads couldn't have been built without government funding, to famous trials (Sacco and Vanzetti or the Rosenbergs) the bias is consistent and often fairly blatant.

9/12/2009 Gary Weiss

"Backgammon for Blood"


Job Title: Professor of Mathematics, University of Cincinnati

Gary is a highly experienced, competitive backgammon player.

The ancient game of backgammon is a basic, simplified metaphor for life, business strategy and government policy formation.

Sometimes the obvious decision is the wrong decision, and the proof of this will be explained.
The first half hour Gary will explain the basic rules and movement and betting. The rest of the time will involve playing games and discussing moves. Gary will dissect games in real-time projected on a screen. All opinions will be entertained and briefly analyzed.
If you have ever wondered about the wedges printed on the under side of the checker board, don't miss our first meeting of the year!

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