Upcoming HAAM events

Monthly meeting – Murder Mystery Party – Who Whacked the Mole?

Saturday, March 13th, online via Zoom, 6:30 PM

And now for something completely different! Instead of the usual discussion or presentation about a serious topic, this month we’re planning a fun evening aimed at lifting our spirits after this tedious winter, and building community with our fellow Humanists.

This is a virtual version of a murder mystery theme party – played on Zoom. Here’s the mystery:

Hal Sapone, a notorious crime boss from Chicago, has directed his mobsters to meet without delay to find out who whacked the mole in his faction, Jimmy The Legs. Jimmy was squealing to the feds about the inner-workings of Hal’s underground organization, but it’s a sign of disrespect and rebellion to clip someone without an order from the top. Hal wants the disloyal thug found at once.

The crime boss has received puzzling notes from the extortion racket known as The Iron Hand. Hal wants everyone to work together to decipher the messages and find the killer.

Who Whacked the Mole is a game for adult players, and all attendees are either characters or spectators.

  • Characters (suspects) will have their roles assigned ahead of time. All characters can be played by either gender, and the character who is the murderer will not know that their character is the murderer.
  • Spectators (non-suspects) watch and play along. They will receive an email with information and instructions a day or two before the game.

There are 2 rounds in the game, and it takes about 2 hours to play. Each round contains at least one group challenge. At the end, players make their accusations and then the culprit will be revealed. Watch the trailer on YouTube.

Everyone is welcome to join the fun!

When you register for this meeting, you will be asked if you prefer to attend as a character or as a spectator.

If you would like to portray one of the characters, read the following carefully:

  • There are only 10 characters. If we receive more than 10 requests to be characters, we may have to turn people away or draw lots for the roles, so register early. Characters will be assigned the weekend before the meeting (March 5/6). After that, requests for characters will be accommodated only if there are remaining unfilled roles (only 6 roles are required).
  • You must have a reliable internet connection and be comfortable using Zoom.
  • Commit to attend and play the role (the game won’t work if the murderer doesn’t show up).
  • The email address that you use to register for the meeting will be shared with the people who are playing the other characters.
  • Prepare for your role. You will receive your character assignment via email a few days before the game. It will contain your character’s bio, instructions, and a ‘pre-game pass’ that will allow you to contact the other characters and do some planning together before the big night (hence the sharing of emails).

Or simply watch the fun and try to solve the case as a spectator. No pressure! But you should still register early to receive the information package before the game.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Social evening – Chat, games, and punny Jokes

Saturday, March 20th, online via Zoom, 7 PM

Join us on Zoom for our second social evening. This is a casual get-together for conversation and a few light-hearted games. Pour yourself a drink, get to know your fellow Humanists, and enjoy the fun. New people welcome!

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

To ‘attend’ (participate or just listen) our virtual HAAM events, you must register ahead of time with Zoom. After you complete the registration form, you will automatically receive the link to join.

Using registration makes it easier for us to securely share our events. You do NOT need to have your own Zoom account – just a computer, tablet, or smart phone to open the link. You can dial in by phone (audio only) if you do not have access to internet

Stay connected

We can continue to interact, support each other, and maintain friendships online. If you are not a member of our private Facebook group, and would like to join it, contact us. It is open to anyone in Manitoba who identifies as a Humanist/atheist (i.e. you do not need to be a paid member of HAAM).

In between regular monthly meetings, we may hold informal get-togethers on Zoom for conversation or games. These impromptu events may not appear in our newsletters if they are planned on shorter notice. So keep an eye on our Events calendar, Meetup page, or private Facebook group (NOT the public page) for up-to-date information on HAAM events. (If you join Meetup, you will automatically be notified and reminded of all events by email.)

Other online events of interest

 Check out all these offerings from the following organizations:

Dying with Dignity – Winnipeg Chapter

Presentations are continuing via Zoom this winter.

The next topic in the Death Matters series is Your Graceful Exit (funeral planning), on March 9th or 16th.
Next MAiD Talk: An Interactive Talk on MAiD and Bill C-7, is on March 23rd.
The next Advance Care Planning workshop will be March 30th.

These events are free, but registration is required. Visit the Chapter Events page for details and the full schedule.

Skeptical Inquirer

Skeptical Inquirer Magazine is continuing their series of online (Zoom) lectures by experts in science, skepticism, medicine, media, activism, and advocacy, all devoted to the cause of advancing science over pseudoscience, media literacy over conspiracy theories, and critical thinking over magical thinking.

SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines: Where Do We Stand? – March 4th – Speaker is vaccine expert Paul Offit.
Mental Immunity: Infectious Ideas, Mind-Parasites, and the Search for a Better Way to Think – March 18th
Gamification to Counter Science Misinformation? – April 1st – Strategies to overcome the psychological hurdles in fighting misinformation.

These lectures are free but require advance registration. Visit Skeptical Inquirer Presents, to learn more and to register. Recordings of the previous lectures are available on the same site (scroll down below ‘upcoming events’).

CFI Canada

The ‘Virtual Branch’ of CFI Canada holds regular online secular chats and support groups for people Living Without Religion. They also host occasional presentations on some varied and provocative topics.

Ethical Issues in Police Conduct – March 10th – Featured speaker will be Dr. Eike Kluge, a professor of philosophy specializing in ethics.
Saving the World, One Tire at a Time – March 20th – Green design: Using sustainable design to promote education, employment, and environmental stewardship.

Visit CFI Canada’s Virtual branch MeetUp page for more information and to register for these events. If you missed any of the previous presentations and want to catch them on video, check out CFI’s Youtube channel.

CFI USA

CFI has a new online series of events called Skeptic’s Toolbox to equip people with the practical tools they need to guard against deception and evaluate the validity of claims using critical thinking and skepticism.

Tools for Non-Confrontational Discussions – March 9th – Anthony Magnabosco will explain how to use Street Epistemology to help people reflect on the reasons and methods they use to conclude their deeply held beliefs are true.

Visit the Skeptic’s Toolbox page to sign up. Bonus: this page also features resources on fact-checking, media bias, cognitive biases, and logical fallacies.

The Manitoba Museum

The Manitoba Museum presents DOME@HOME, a weekly series of shows from the planetarium inviting Manitobans to explore the universe. Learn to identify constellations and planets in the real sky, and explore space science with hands-on activities and experiments. Streaming live every Thursday at 7 pm, on Zoom, YouTube, or Facebook. Details here. 

Charity of the Month – Craig Street Cats

Craig Street Cats is a non-profit feral cat management program and kitten rescue working with Winnipeg’s 100,000+ community cats. It originated in 2008 as a trap-neuter-release program intended to manage street cats in the Wolseley area, but by 2012, it had grown too big to run out of a private home, and an adoption facility was opened near Polo Park. CSC now works all over the city to humanely reduce Winnipeg’s free-roaming cat population.

Programs include adoption, colony management for community cats, community trapping, education and outreach, and a foster program for cats and kittens (including newborns).

Like just about every other organization these days, animal rescues need extra support during the pandemic. Winter, combined with the struggling economy and public health restrictions, are taking a toll. CSC has had to cut back opening hours at the adoption centre, and cancel volunteer orientations, outreach events, and trapping seminars. Yet at the same time, they are receiving many desperate calls and emails, begging for help with cats and kittens living outdoors. They have also been running short of canned cat food.

CSC relies on donations to help pay their vet bills (especially for the spay and neuter program), feed the cats, maintain feral shelters and feeding stations, foster kittens, prepare cats for adoption, buy equipment, and keep the lights on. Their list of needs includes food and litter, kitten formula, blankets and bowls, garbage bags, hand sanitizer, and gloves, and much more.

Managing roaming cats benefits entire neighborhoods, and the number of animals that Craig Street Cats can help is dependent on donations. Please contribute if you are able.

Please use the ‘Donate’ button to support this charity. (It’s in the right sidebar on a computer; you may have to scroll down to see it on a phone or tablet.) Just include a note that the money is for the charity of the month.

Tax receipts will be issues for donations over $10.

Calls to Action

Equal treatment for non-religious refugees in Canada

Please sign this House of Commons e-petition in support of atheists threatened by religious extremists and fundamentalist governments in other countries. These atheists desperately need asylum in Canada because of the imminent threat of serious injury, imprisonment or death.

Canadian immigration has expedited asylum requests for religious persons from several countries, like Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia, via the Less Complex Claims policy. Under this policy, certain refugee claims can be approved with a shortened hearing process. Currently, atheists are excluded from this policy.

Secular Connexion Séculière, Humanist Canada, and the Centre for Inquiry Canada are working together on a House of Commons e-petition that asks the Minister of Immigration, The Hon. Marco Mendicino, to include atheists in this fast track to refugee status. 

Manitoba government guilty of gender discrimination and endangering health

A February press release from the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada called on the anti-choice Manitoba government to stop offloading reproductive health issues onto the Minister for Status of Women, who has no authority in this area. The Health Minister is responsible for healthcare delivery and funding. This means that Manitoba is passing the buck and intends to do nothing at all to ensure reproductive healthcare for its citizens, thereby putting their health in danger through deliberate neglect and stigmatization.

ARCC demanded that the Manitoba government require Health Minister Heather Stefanson to do her job by taking responsibility for all health care and ensuring that all Manitobans can access high-quality reproductive healthcare in their own communities, including abortion.

Read the entire press release here.

If you live in Manitoba, please email your MLA to reinforce our concerns and demands. 

Latest News

Library Update – New books added

We have two new books in our library, thanks to a donation from Diane Montague: Religion for Dummies, and The Bible for Dummies.

Here is your opportunity to delve into the nuts and bolts of religion without breaking your brain in the process. You won’t have to read the dull parts, because the authors of these books have done it for you! All the important bits are summarized in easy-to-digest parcels of knowledge and trivia.

There are a few weeks left before we really get into spring weather, so if you have a few hours to kill and are curious to understand some of the quirkier bits of religion (who can explain the concept of the Trinity?), now is a good time to read.

Note: Borrowing privileges are limited to paid HAAM members only. If you live anywhere in the Winnipeg area, contact us and we’ll figure out how to get the book to you.

Browse the rest of our collection anytime on the Library page.

Outreach report – World Religions class

As in past years, HAAM and the Eastman Humanist Community were invited to present to and meet with students in a World Religions class at Green Valley High School in Grunthal. Due to COVID, this class was a virtual event. This is an excellent opportunity to meet with young students, most of whom come from a religious background. I find the students to be open to listening and to sharing their opinions.

For many, this is a first opportunity to meet atheists and to learn that we are not all immoral, greedy people. Topics raised included the historical accuracy of the bible, sexism in the bible, and homosexuality. Interestingly, there were two parents of students who took part in the class. I assume that they were aware that atheists were meeting with their children and wanted to know what was being discussed.

This is an excellent opportunity for HAAM and EHC to become more visible in the community and more accepted. I hope that we will have similar events in the future. If you are a HAAM or EHC member and would be interested in joining future class presentations, please let us know.

Arthur Prystenski

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