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Robert Todd Carroll

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Skeptic's Dictionary Newsletter 29

August 6, 2003

"Natural science has no axioms to grind." --Bob Carroll

Subscribers 2,304

(Previous newsletters are archived at http://www.skepdic.com/news/)

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1) Calendar

On August 16th I'll be in Eugene, Oregon, signing copies of The Skeptic's Dictionary at the Borders Bookstore starting at 7 PM. The store is located at 5 Oakway Center. I'll be taking time out from attending the Skeptic's Toolbox conference being held at the University of Oregon. I hope to see some of you at the conference or at the bookstore.

2) Skeptic's Dictionary, the book

The Skeptic's Dictionary should be available now at your local bookstore. Five signed copies are available at the Borders Bookstore in Davis, California. If your favorite bookstore doesn't have it, ask the manager to order it. Also, please ask your school and local librarians to order the book for their libraries. If you like the book, consider writing a review for Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you don't like the book, please buy ten copies and give them to people you don't like or have a well publicized public book burning. And remember my request from the last newsletter: Please make some bookmarks and leave them in Gideon Bibles in hotels and motels, inserted at your favorite Biblical passage. Or make posters and put them where you think they'll do some good. In all seriousness, if you belong to a newsgroup or chat room, let others know about the book. Together we may not change the world, but we may change a few minds!

In addition to Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, the book is available in Canada from Amazon.ca, in the UK from Amazon.co.uk, in Germany from Amazon.de, in France from Amazon.fr, and in Japan from Amazon.co.jp.

Megathanks to whoever ordered 15 copies of my book from Amazon. Likewise to whomever order 7 copies. Several others ordered multiple copies and I thank you all very much.

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My first public reading from The Skeptic's Dictionary was attended by a few dozen people at the Monticello Inn in San Francisco on the 23rd of July. I read about a dozen excerpts from articles as varied as the Indian rope trick, Area 51, reverse speech, and inedia. A lively discussion followed, culminating with one lady falling out of her chair. The free wine, generously contributed by general manager Chris Holbrook, may have contributed to the convivial atmosphere. I believe it was my rousing commentary or mesmerism that knocked the lady out of her seat, but others say it was the wine.

While I had no books to sell or sign, as it had not yet been released yet except on-line, I did have some news: our ranking on Amazon jumped from over 50,000 to under 300 within 24 hours of my sending out the announcement of its availability. Of course, after the initial flurry of buying, sales on Amazon have settled down.

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 3) Changes in The Skeptic's Dictionary or Skeptic's Refuge

Since the last newsletter I have

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Finally, this from Tim Boettcher:

I showed my trainer the book poster. He saw the comment on evolution and he said "You only have to go to the Galapagos Islands to see evolution in action." I replied, "Why go that far? Just look at me." He pondered that for moment and said "I guess evolution doesn't always have to be positive."

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Thanks to John Renish for his editorial assistance.