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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: 22 min 5 sec ago

Water: It's Complicated [2014/09-28]

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 9:10pm

Presentation by Catherine Howells. Our urban environment is dependent on basic infrastructure (water, sewer, electricity and garbage) for our health and survival. This infrastructure is ignored by most of us because it runs so well that we take it for granted. This talk will look into what it really takes to deliver water to our taps.
Catherine Howells is an adjunct professor at Portland State University where she teaches and researches about urban water systems. She has served on the City Club committee looking at water and sewer rates and is currently a member of the Portland Public Utilities Review Board.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: water and infrastructure

Why Are We Here? [2014/09-21]

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 2:07am

Presentation by Paul Wathen. Existence can be thought of as a four-dimensional metaphysical space in which human consciousness is the lynchpin. This model has profound implications for discovering who we are, and it also leads to some crucial paradoxes. Unraveling them leads to a new understanding of how we’re all interconnected, and to a powerful way of understanding why we exist at all. Mr. Wathen has worked as an editor, television production manager, and as a certified public accountant for 30 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. This has made him wonder what it’s all about. His presentation summarizes the conclusions he’s come to so far.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: philosophy

Why Are We Here? [2014/09-21]

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:29pm

Presentation by Paul Wathen. Existence can be thought of as a four-dimensional metaphysical space in which human consciousness is the lynchpin. This model has profound implications for discovering who we are, and it also leads to some crucial paradoxes. Unraveling them leads to a new understanding of how we’re all interconnected, and to a powerful way of understanding why we exist at all. Mr. Wathen has worked as an editor, television production manager, and as a certified public accountant for 30 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer. This has made him wonder what it’s all about. His presentation summarizes the conclusions he’s come to so far.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: philosophy

Reports on Articles [2014/09-07]

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 5:41pm

The program for this Sunday was a series of member reports on articles of interest. Reports were followed by comments from the audience.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: articles of interest

Humanist Video Theater #2 [2008-05/11]

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 2:03pm

This is HGP member David DiNucci's program from May 11, 2008 in which he shows short video clips on a variety of humanist topics from the Beyond Belief conference. A discussion period follows each clip.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Humanism Atheism Skepticism

Humanist Video Theater #3 [2014/08-17]

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 12:36pm

HGP member David DiNucci reprises his program from years past, where he shows short video clips on a variety of humanist topics, such as from the Beyond Belief conferences, to evoke discussion and thought. A feedback period follows each clip.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Humanism Atheism

From Aristotle to Einstein [2014/08-31]

Wed, 09/24/2014 - 12:16pm

HGP member Laurent Beauregard presents a user-friendly discussion of space and time that begins with Aristotle, goes through Isaac Newton, and ends with Albert Einstein. What was Aristotle’s physics? What did Newton do that overthrew Aristotle? What was Einstein’s relativity all about? Laurent holds an M.S. in physics and a Ph.D. in the history and philosophy of science. He has taught at U.C.L.A. and at Reed College. He is currently a member of the HGP Web committee and he edits the videos that you find on the front page of our website.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: History, Philosophy and Science

Socrates: The First Humanist? [2014/08-24]

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:15am

Socrates is often regarded as a major contributor to ideas in western civilization, frequently compared in significance to the Buddha and Jesus. Was he a secular kind of guy? If he came to a HGP meeting, would he feel at home? Is he really deserving of the praise he has received for 2,400 years? Dave Collamer has served in the Peace Corps and has worked in public health agencies. He retired from teaching high school science and moved from Oakland to Portland in 2010. Dave has always been interested in philosophy and history. It seemed to him that a talk about Socrates would fit right into what humanism is all about.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Socrates, philosophy and history

Humanist Video Theater #3 [2014/08-17]

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 10:20am

HGP member David DiNucci reprises his program from years past, where he shows short video clips on a variety of humanist topics, such as from the Beyond Belief conferences, to evoke discussion and thought. A feedback period follows each clip.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: humanist videos

HGP Scholarships [2014/08-10]

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:11pm

Today’s program consists of readings from HGP’s 2014 Scholarship Essay Contest entries. Nathan Potter, Samantha Voeller, Kelly Priest, and Bradley Lewis are this year’s winners. Nathan will attend the University of Oregon next year. He will study political science. Samantha will attend Pacific University in the fall, majoring in Public Health. Kelly will major in French and Mathematics at Lewis and Clark College. Bradley plans to attend Oregon State University to major in linguistics, political science, or business.

Cast: Portland Humanists

Tags: Humanist Scholarships

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