July 2017



Join The Conversation

Secular Conversations —(public welcome) freethinkers participate in respectful dialogue sharing ideas and opinions on a variety of subjects. Videos, essays, participant and guest speakers provide topics at 2:00 pm on the third Saturday each month at Cypress Hall, 8413 SW 80th Street Ocala.

This Month

July 15th 2017:  Nuclear Power…A Blessing or a Curse.

Instructor: Bob Zannelli

Should the US shy away from the use of nuclear energy to meet power generation needs? Are the risks of nuclear energy being evaluated rationally? Using videos produced by The Teaching Company, we will learn, at a basic laymen’s level, about radiation and nuclear fission and take an unbiased look at the pros and cons of nuclear energy. Questions and comments from the audience will be welcomed.

Bob Zannelli earned enough credits for  Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering Technology and Nuclear Engineering Technology from the University of New York Regents College.

After six years in the Navy as a nuclear power plant operator, Bob spent 27 years at various nuclear power facilities.  His responsibilities were in start-up engineering and engineering support, focused mainly in the area of instrumentation, control and safety systems  included new installation, design review, developing operating procedures and establishing certification standards and programs for nuclear technicians.

As an avocation, he collaborated with the physicist Dr. Gerald Fitzpatrick on three papers on the puzzle of  Fermion Families in particle physics  and with Dr. Victor Stenger (along with other members of Dr. Stenger’s “physics gang” on eight books and two papers, fine tuning questions in cosmology and the defense of New Atheism.

Next Month

August 19th: Marijuana-Science or Fiction

 While our history with cannabis has been known since the beginning of civilization, amazingly there are many myths and misconceptions about its effects on our body.

At a time when cannabis products have been approved in several states and recently in Florida for either medical or recreational purposes, our communities need to understand the possible benefits and risks of its use. For this lecture, I have done a comprehensive review of the literature, from historical features of the plant and the data regarding its potential medical benefits, to its short and long term side effects.


Dr. Gaudier is neurologist practicing in Ocala for 25 years. He studied medicine at the University of Puerto Rico and then moved to the states for his neurology training in Alabama, before establishing his practice in Marion County.  He is former president of the Marion County Medical Society, former member of the hospice board and among other positions was chairman of the hospital ethics committee.  He is known for his interest in education and has lectured extensively on topics of history, science, medicine and neurology.

Secular Friends at Home

Doris Gamelin and Rod Broker
would like to host 8 Members
for a Pot-Luck Summer Salad Lunch
at 12:00nn on Tuesday July 25.
Secular Friends at Home is a series of
small group gatherings for Members-Only
on Fourth Tuesdays in 2017.
Host locations are now being accepted
from HNCFL Members who wish to host either
a 12:00nn Lunch or a 6:00pm Dinner
on July 25 or August 22.
Host in your home or favorite restaurant.
You make the meal arrangements.
Four to eight other Members sign up to join you.
Good food and conversation builds friendships.
if you have questions or you want to Host.
 IMG_3760 (1)

Secular friends at the home of Pat McMurray including Danny James, Pat, Ellen Goodman, Carole James, Gene and Barbara Klein, and Bob Zannelli on June 27, 2017. Good friends, new friends, getting together for great conversations and fun.

Secular Tables

HNCFL members and friends come together to enjoy conversation over lunch. Held monthly on the first Wednesday at 11:30 AM at a variety of restaurants. We welcome suggestions and input regarding where you would like to meet.

Seating is not prearranged nor tables pushed together preferring instead to have smaller groups at separate tables for easier communication.

Wednesday, July 5th 11:30
  Mesa de Notte
2436 SE Silver Spring Blvd.
Ocala 34470
RSVP by July 1st: hncf2015@aol.com

R.A.M.A.L. Educational and Social Services, Inc.

Gives Thanks to

Humanists of North Central Florida (HNCFL)

R.A.M.A.L. Educational and Social Services, Inc. (RAMAL) is grateful to the Humanists of North Central Florida (HNCFL) for the financial support.  The financial commitment to RAMAL has allowed the organization to help children and families, including examples:  Children’s Christmas Party for at-risk children at Parkside Gardens Housing Complex; tickets were given to low –income individuals to attend the annual “New Year, New You” Breakfast & Learning Event; a free Financial Empowerment Workshop; $2,000 scholarships; sponsored four students to attend the Fakhoury Young Leaders Conference; and the Summer Academic Program at the Boys & Girls Club Marion County.

Thank you for caring about the most vulnerable people in our community. RAMAL  appreciates all that you have done to help us fulfill our mission, “ To improve the lives of people and the community in which they live.” We will continue to “Reach, Aim, Motivate and Lead” with your support.






New Web Site

Check it out!

Humanists of North Central Florida



Now more mobile device friendly.

HNCFL Member Receives National Recognition

On June 13th at the Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, Dr. Felipe Korzenny, was inducted into the AHAA (Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies) Hall of Fame.

Since 1999, AHAA has honored those that have made significant contributions to the U.S. Hispanic advertising and marketing industry. Expanding on this program, AHAA has established the AHAA Hall Fame, which recognizes a select group of visionaries, leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the Hispanic advertising and marketing field.

Felipe is the Professor Emeritus of Advertising and Integrated Marketing Communication, and Founder and Director Emeritus of the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State University. He currently independently consults with major US corporations on their Hispanic marketing strategies, and speaks to them about approaches to better connect with Hispanic Consumers. He is well known in industry for the consumer experience insights he has helped generate to position successful products in the U.S. Hispanic market and in Latin America. A social scientist by training, Felipe has a critical academic perspective combined with a strong business practice. He holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Communication Research and has published six books and almost a hundred research publications dealing with communication and culture.

Congratulations Dr. Korzenny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Click here for the full article


Total Solar Eclipse

According to eclipse meteorologist Jay Anderson on his website eclipsophile.com, the odds of clear skies in South Carolina are fair. If you want to see totality in South Carolina, be prepared to quickly relocate based on cloud conditions. If the weather forecast the day before is not favorable, strongly consider driving to an adjacent state within the path with a better forecast. A pro-active eclipse chaser can increase her odds of success by studying the short-term weather forecast before eclipse day and being prepared to relocate if necessary. That being said, it is very possible that you can successfully see totality in South Carolina.

South Carolina will be a significant destination for the eclipse because it will be the nearest spot within the path of totality for at least 100 million Americans in the Atlantic Seaboard and Florida.

One of our members, Christie Huntenburg, is planning on traveling to Columbia, South Carolina to view this event. Other interested parties may contact her for additional details.




The U.S. Constitution provides protection for disagreeing with leaders and policies. INDIVISIBLE is an online guide developed by former progressive congressional staffers who “believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda but a resistance built in the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness.” This short guide offers proven strategies for action and making your voice heard. Google INDIVISIBLE to read this free guide. Groups have formed in Stone Creek, OTOW, Dunnellon and Ocala.

Have a smart-phone or tablet? Text RESIST to 50409. You will receive a message from RESISTBOT who will invite you to identify your concerns and what you want your leaders in DC to know. It will then send your comments to their offices. It is the least one can do.



October 20 – 22, 2017, Orlando Florida

FREEFLO (short for Freethought Florida) is the only conference in Florida geared toward Humanists, Skeptics, Atheists, and other freethinkers.

The Florida Humanist Association works to promote humanism across the state of Florida. FHA is a 501(c)(3) educational association comprised of individuals and groups who are working together to create change in Florida. It is the largest state organization in Florida.

Click HERE for details


Can you afford an extra $5 a month to support HNCFL?



A note from our Vice President!!!

I’m Donating My Starbucks Funds

By Bert Gagnon

If you are like me, you probably waste more than a few bucks a month on things like specialty coffees or baked goods we really don’t need.   Recently I’ve made a personal decision to redirect some of my discretionary spending, call it my “Starbucks Funds,” into a $5 monthly donation to the Humanists of North Central Florida.

You may ask, “Why?  Don’t you already pay an annual membership?  Isn’t that enough?”  My answer is, “Yes, I do.  And No, it is not.”

Our organization is continuing to grow.  We want to provide better programming. We are working to increase our visibility and get the word out that Humanists do exist right here in North Central Florida.  We want to let other non-religious people know they are not alone.  The modest $25 annual membership fee we pay does help toward those goals but, if you do the math, you will see it does not go far enough to accomplish what we could if we had more money.

Recently I learned that a couple of our members already make regular monthly donations to our organization.  Those donations go into our general fund and, while they can be ear marked for specific projects, they can also be donated as unrestricted funds.  These donations give the Board the autonomy to direct those funds where they will best serve our mission.  Those folks are my heroes and I’m joining them.

I too would like to see better and more diverse programs with humanist themes, and I recognize it costs money to bring in qualified speakers from outside our area.  I too would like to see HNCFL more involved with greater visibility and increased local recognition, and that also takes money.  I too would like to see us continue to grow our online presence and give other questioning people an opportunity to find us.  Each of these efforts comes at a cost.

So, for me, I’ve decided to kick in the equivalent of my specialty coffee and raise my donation to the HNCFL by $5 bucks a month.  I hope you will consider doing the same.  Just think of the difference we could make if we each give just a little bit more?

Author! Author!!

Congratulations to members Felipe and Betty Ann Korzenny who have just published a new book entitled ” Hispanic Marketing.” Please click HERE to find out more about their new book.

Social Media

MEETUP:  Ocala/Marion Co Freethinkers, Humanists, Agnostics site is available to everyone online.  You can find them HERE.

Facebook:  Humanists of North Central Florida Community needs LIKES.  

The HNCFL directory (password protected) is available on our website.

Help Wanted!

Facebook Page Manager

  • Manage Page Roles and Settings
  • Edit the Page
  • Create and Delete Posts
  • Respond to and Delete Comments

Newsletter Editor/Publisher

  • Collect monthly Humanist items of interest
  • Edit as appropriate
  • Peer review by board of directors before publishing
  • Publish the newsletter on a monthly basis

Program Committee Member

  • Help in planning programs for 2018

RSVP: humanistsncfl@gmail.com


Speakers Wanted

One of the goals of the Florida Humanist Association is to develop a speakers bureau to groups like the HNCFL through out the state.  If you are interested please reply to humanistsncfl@gmail.com with your requirements (travel cost reimbursement, distance willing to travel, availability).

Input Please

Program planning for 2018 is underway.  What topics are you interested in learning more about?  What topics do you suggest we build programs around which will be of interest to members and the public?  Please reply to humanistsncfl@gmail.com.

On The Lighter Side










Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More

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Posted in HNCFL Newsletters

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