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Almost every Sunday, HGP members gather in Portland, Oregon, for a program which is free and open to the public. With the invited presenters' permissions, we record those talks for our members, and with further permission, make them available here. Hovering over a thumbnail below shows its full title and [date] of that program, and clicking it brings it to the top window to view its "Description" and/or video. Most programs start with a very short reading chosen by a member. See for more info about HGP and our programs. Members also get access to videos not authorized for public release, as well as the HGP library and member-oriented events. Video credits: For most videos, camera is done by Mike Birtchet, audio is done by Bill Maiden, and final editing was done by Dave DiNucci and is currently done by Laurent Beauregard. None of these videos would be possible without the excellent work of the HGP Program Committee to schedule speakers and to carry out the programs, or without the contributed time and effort of the speakers themselves.
Updated: 4 hours 34 min ago

Unraveling the Alt-Right [2017/10-01]

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 9:34pm

Randy Blazak discusses the alt-right political phenomenon in relation to the white supremacist movement and the election of Donald Trump. Blazak’s scholarship on hate crimes has made him a regular commenter in media outlets from NPR and CNN to BBC and Al Jazeera. Blazak earned his PhD at Emory University in 1995.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: trump and white supremacy. alt-right

Constructing Poetry [2017/09-17]

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 11:58am

Robert Sanford provides an overview of the elements of poetry, with examples from two poems. Sanford has taught poetry as a high school English teacher. Since then he’s been a police officer, professional speaker and trainer, human resources manager, and technical writer. He joined HGP in 1998 and has served as emcee for seven years.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: poetry

What is Bitcoin? [2017/10-08]

Mon, 10/23/2017 - 12:05pm

Presentation by Eray Tav on the basics of an online form of currency know as “bitcoin.” Mr. Tav was born and raised in Istanbul. He first came to the U.S. in 2000. After having the misfortune of being a student in Alabama during 9/11, he moved to a friendlier location and ended up in the Portland area. Tav is now a Software Project Manager.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: digital currency and bitcoin

Sustainability in the City [2017/08-27]

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 1:00pm

Presentation by Carey Booth about ways, big and small, to go green at home, and outdoors. Her house has been on the city’s Build It Green tour. She has a solar hot water system, photovoltaic panels, an electric car, a rainwater collection system, a rain garden, composting, food garden, and Backyard Habitat. Ms. Booth studied ecology ecology in college and graduate school. She became a Master Recycler in 2013. She makes going green seem fun and not a chore or a guilt trip.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Sustainability and Solar Energy

Oregon Symphony [2017/09-10]

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:37am

Norman Huynh, Associate Conductor of the Oregon Symphony, will speak about his path to becoming a conductor. Mr. Huynh is in his second season with the Oregon Symphony. He is responsible for conducting family, youth education, and specials concerts, as well as for assisting the masterworks series. One of his greatest passions is educating the next generation of musicians and music lovers. With an extensive background in music education, he develops youth concerts to provide a tailored and meaningful experience for concertgoers of all ages. Norman Huynh’s performances have been nationally broadcasted on American Public Media's “Performance Today.”

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Music, Conductors and Oregon Symphony

Portland’s Historic Neighborhoods [2017/09-03]

Fri, 10/20/2017 - 7:46am

Presentation by architectural history researchers Jim Heuer and Robert Mercer. West coast cities boomed in the early 20th century and Portland was no exception. The rapid growth of electric streetcars led to the rise of "suburban" developments. Heuer and Mercer have been studying the evolution of Portland architecture for the last 17 years. As both life partners and research partners they found common ground in a fascination for the ways our buildings and places are shaped by cultural and technological change.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Portland History

Public Mental Health Services [2017/08-20]

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 3:25pm

Kevin Fitts provides an overview of the mental health consumer movement. Mr. Fitts is the Executive Director of the Oregon Mental Health Consumers Association. His first experience of the mental health field occurred when he was a patient involuntarily committed to Damasch State Hospital at the age of 19. After a few years of instability including hospitalizations, homelessness, trauma, and substance use problems, he found peer support and he developed ways to cope.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: mental health

Why Poetry? [2017/08-06]

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 4:01pm

Presentation by Robert Sanford. There's a world packed inside quality poems, but it's pretty crowded in there. Sanford provides tools to open up some poems (crack the concentration code) and discover their truths and pleasures. This is the ninth of his poetry programs; the first eight were very well received. Sanford taught poetry in his first real job: High School English Teacher. Since then he’s been a police officer, professional speaker and trainer, human resources manager, and technical writer. He joined HGP in 1998 where he originated the emcee position, having served as emcee for seven years.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Poetry

Stand Up Comedy [2017/07-30]

Wed, 08/23/2017 - 12:25pm

Presentation by HGP member Todd Kimball. Todd writes: “Laughter has been shown to reduce stress, improve memory, boost the immune system and enhance creativity.” He sees stand-up comedy as an under-appreciated voice of humanism. From Jim Jeffries to the late George Carlin, Todd shows that stand-up comics have the ability to raise questions about religion in a way that other forms of dialogues cannot. Stand-up comics are verbal entrepreneurs. Todd has tips on how anyone can become funnier and find more enjoyment in life.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: humor, religion and humanism