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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 http://www.portlandhumanists.org 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: 33 min 4 sec ago

Fourteen Years in the Oregon Legislature [2014/07-13]

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 10:51pm

Representative Carolyn Tomei provides a summary of the 2013 and 2014 legislative session. As she will be retiring at the end of 2014, she offers highlights of her legislative career, especially as they relate to the separation of church and state. Tomei is a member of HGP and is now in her seventh term in the Oregon Legislature. Currently, she serves as the Chair of the House Human Services and Housing Committee. Twenty years ago, she was on the Milwaukie City Council. She was among the first to advocate for the Portland to Milwaukie Light Rail Line which opens Sept. 2015.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: state politics

Noodling Around Northern India [2014/08-03]

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 9:00am

Robert Sanford has been a world traveler for many years and has given us presentations in the past. This time, he talks about his adventures in northern India -- mostly in Rajasthan with some time spent in Uttar Pradesh. He visited a number of major cities there. He's been a serious photographer over the years, and he describes his travels as “following his camera around.”

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: travel and India

Portland’s Eccentrics [2014/07-27]

Sat, 08/16/2014 - 1:32pm

Presentation by Heather Arndt Anderson. We've all seen the bumper stickers, but what made Portland weird in the first place? Maybe it was the fluoride-free water, or the magnetic fields around Mt. Tabor, but Portland has a long history of coddling eccentrics, including the telekinetic wife of a wealthy Congressman. Come learn about a few of the major players from a century ago. Heather Arndt Anderson is a Portland-based culinary historian and food writer. She is the author of Breakfast: A History (2013) and the forthcoming Portland: A Food Biography (2014).

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Portland, eccentricity and history

Typhoon Yolanda [2014/06-29]

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 9:27am

Presentation by Marilee Dea. Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013, with gusts of 235 mph. View the effects of this typhoon from the perspective of a medical disaster team member. As we Oregonians ponder a forthcoming earthquake, we have lessons to learn from the Filipino people. Marilee Dea has been a Nurse Practitioner since 1975, primarily working in Public Health. She has provided disaster relief and cared for families in Arica, Central America, and most recently the Philippines. She was named Nurse Practitioner of the Year for Oregon. She was recently arrested for civil disobedience at the White House in a peaceful protest against the Keystone Pipeline.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: disaster relief and global warming

Constitutional Amendment [2014/07-20]

Fri, 08/15/2014 - 9:23am

Presentation by David Delk. The court-created doctrines that money is speech and that corporations are people undermine our democracy, and moves us toward corporatocracy and plutocracy. How did this happen? How do we respond? David Delk is the national co-chair of Alliance for Democracy and local co-president. He also founded the local chapter of Move to Amend, advocating for a 28th constitutional amendment.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: politics and constitution

Share Your Book [2014/06-01]

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:49pm

This is an event in which we tell one another about our favorite books or about what we’re currently reading. Some of us may be looking for a gift for a friend. Some are just interested in what others are reading. Some of us are just plain nosy.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: books

Galileo and his Times [2014/06-08]

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:48pm

Presentation by Duane Ray. Galileo (1564-1642) lived in the middle of an exciting time of turmoil in both science and religion. Science was on a path to understanding the world. Religion was redefining itself. Galileo had impact in both areas. His high profile almost got him executed but his connections and his deference to the Church saved his life. We review the turmoil of the time and put Galileo’s life and achievements in their historical context. Duane Ray received a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: science and history

Science of the Big Island [2014/06-15]

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:48pm

Recently, Robert McGown travelled to Hawaii to observe the transit of Venus. He then became immersed in the science of the big island. This presentation is about astronomy, atmospheric physics, oceanography, geology, energy, and self-sustainability. Robert McGown is a self-employed electrician whose interests encompass astronomy and physics. He has a Master’s degree in physics and he has co-authored three science books. Robert is also a member of the Rose City astronomers.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: science, telescopes and oceanography

Fossil Fuel Threats to the Columbia Gorge [2014/06-22]

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:47pm

Presentation by Ryan Rittenhouse. Coal and oil corporations have proposed a tenfold increase of shipments through the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. These projects pose numerous threats beyond global warming.
We can stop these proposals. Ryan Rittenhouse is an environmental organizer. He is with the Friends of the Columbia Gorge. He has worked with Public Citizen and Greenpeace in Texas. His work included fights over the Keystone XL pipeline. He has a degree from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and he has worked as an independent filmmaker.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: environment

California Gold Rush [2014/05-25]

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 12:30pm

Presentation by Mark Eifler. Traditionally we think of the gold rush as being about unattached young men on a lark. In fact they were closely tied to family, and they struggled with the meaning of "success." We look at three young men whose letters reveal the California rush in a new light: one who was a stunning success, one who was a horrific failure, and one who never really understood if he had succeeded or failed. Together, the three stories tell us strike themes that still ring true today. Mark Eifler received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. He now teaches at the University of Portland.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: history and california gold rush

Changing Racial Ecology Through the Arts [2014/05-18]

Fri, 05/30/2014 - 9:44am

This topic relates to “The August Wilson Red Door Project” and Bonnie Ratner is its Executive Director. The goal is to have people from diverse backgrounds and experiences live, work, play, and create together, with a view to everyone fulfilling their highest human potential. Ms. Ratner is a community development expert, writer, and educator with over twenty years’ experience assisting people in strategic planning, community building, and race equity work.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: community development and diversity

Development of Targeting Drugs [2014/05-11]

Wed, 05/28/2014 - 3:35pm

Topic: Development of Targeting Drugs [2014/05-11]
Speaker's name: Jeffrey Tyner Date of presentation: May 11, 2014

Dr. Jeffrey Tyner gives us a summary of efforts to apply gene-targeted therapies for cancer on an individualized basis. This touches on the basic biology of cancer as well as the technological revolution that is unfolding in the realm of DNA sequencing. Tyner is Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell & Developmental Biology at OHSU. His research focuses on identifiying cancer-causing genes and on patient-tailored, gene-targeted, therapies.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: medicine and gene-targeted therapies

Beyond Standing Up To Discrimination Against Atheists [2014/05-04]

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 6:23pm

Presentation by Doug Matheson. Until recently, “coming out of the atheist closet” was viewed as tough and optional. Recently some humanists have spoken out against anti-atheist bias and discrimination. Our central focus is on getting beyond that. We consider our global circumstances, alongside the intrinsic risks of faith. We explore engaging our fellow citizens who remain in the communities of faith. Doug was brought up as a Christian. But an inquiring mind, and the conviction that there should be a match between what we believe and what the best evidence says, couldn’t let him stay there. He has published a book titled "Actually Thinking vs. Just Believing."

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: global concerns and atheism

Reflect Peace Now [2014/04-27]

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 12:43pm

Nicki Pistacchio, the original grass root organizer of “ReflectPeaceNow.Org”, leads a discussion on the ways that marketing peace goes hand in hand with Humanist beliefs. She will outline a variety of sustainable personal actions that promote peace. Ms. Pistacchio is a native Oregonian, having grown up on the coast. During her working life she was gatekeeper and clean-up person for presidents, CEO’s, and department managers. She was often responsible for marketing and outreach projects. Upon retirement, she became a volunteer working to continue marketing for peace.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: peace

Easter Breakfast Potluck [2014/04-20]

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 12:20pm

This time the potluck came with a 15-minute slide show narrated by Laurent Beauregard. Darwin’s scientific revolution was compared with that of Newton. The implications of each on religious belief were discussed. At the end, the winner of the Charles Darwin look-alike contest was announced. It was Del Allen, our Program Chairman.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Darwin and Newton

Humane Education [2014/04-13]

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 10:01am

Presentation by Dani Dennenberg. What is the local organization HEART (Humane Education Advocates Reaching Teachers) bringing to Portland schools and organizations? Hear about HEART’s role in encouraging young people to help solve community and world problems. Dani Dennenberg is the Director of HEART. She is a graduate of the Master’s Program of the Institute for Humane Education (IHE). Ms. Dennenberg graduated with honors from U.C. San Diego with a B.A. in Sociology and with a minor in Environmental Studies.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: education

Journey of a Civil War Surgeon [2014/03-30]

Tue, 05/27/2014 - 9:50am

Presentation by Mark Eifler. At the beginning of the Civil War, William Peck surprised his family by enlisting in the Union Army as a surgeon. His unpublished letters are an invitation to investigate the life and times of doctors and medical practice during a critical period in American history. We look at a world that, in many ways, sought to move into a modern era, but was still firmly rooted in a somewhat confused and contentious past. Remarkably, we may see a world strikingly similar to our own. Mark Eifler received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley. He now teaches at the University of Portland.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: history and civil war

Secular Origins of the U.S. [2014/03-23]

Mon, 05/26/2014 - 9:56pm

Presentation by Dave Collamer. How was it that the seminal documents of our nation, the Declaration of Independence, and the U.S. Constitution, were composed with the intent to set up a secular government? What were the religious sensibilities of the Founders? Why did they consistently vote down proposals to proclaim the US a Christian nation? What did Thomas Jefferson mean when he spoke of a "wall of separation between church and state?" Join us for a discussion of these questions.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: american history and secularism