Insight Cruises Experience

Insight Cruises Videos

Some Videos & Whatnot

Never cruised with Holland America? Watch this!

Holland America in the Caribbean

Holland America in Alaska

Celebrity Cruises’ Galapagos

Leo Laportes’s The New World of Social Media talk (2 hours). This is a must-listen-to talk. Here are the slides (27mb file).

Listen to one of our Opera Odyssey classes — Singing Rossini (60 minutes)


Curious about Insight Cruises’ conferences at sea? Get a picture of the Insight Cruises experience. Take a look at videos of cruise lines who host us. Listen to free sample presentations. Take stock of an Insight Cruise in depth by watching some of our sessions, recorded live! Let us know what you think!


Neil Bauman on Tech TVWatch the TV interview of Insight Cruises’ CEO, Neil Bauman on TechTV’s Screensaver television show. (Filmed in 2005.)

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Bright Horizons #9

Michael Shermer
Speaker: Michael Shermer, Ph.D.

Above find the slides for Bermuda Triangle and Other Weird Things that People Believe (159mb pdf)

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Dr. Michael Shermer (left) is the Founding Publisher of Skeptic magazine (, the Executive Director of the Skeptics Society, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, the host of the Skeptics Distinguished Science Lecture Series at Caltech, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at Claremont Graduate University. Dr. Shermer’s latest book is The Mind of the Market, on evolutionary economics. His last book was Why Darwin Matters: Evolution and the Case Against Intelligent Design, and he is the author of Science Friction: Where the Known Meets the Unknown, about how the mind works and how thinking goes wrong. His book The Science of Good and Evil: Why People Cheat, Gossip, Share, Care, and Follow the Golden Rule, is on the evolutionary origins of morality and how to be good without God. He wrote a biography, In Darwin’s Shadow, about the life and science of the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace. He also wrote The Borderlands of Science, about the fuzzy land between science and pseudoscience, and Denying History, on Holocaust denial and other forms of pseudohistory. His book How We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God, presents his theory on the origins of religion and why people believe in God. He is also the author of Why People Believe Weird Things on pseudoscience, superstitions, and other confusions of our time.

Michael ShermerThe Bermuda Triangle and Other Weird Things that People Believe (Delivered on May 9, 2011)
Speaker: Michael Shermer, Ph.D.

As we sail into the Bermuda Triangle our expert on pseudoscience and paranormal claims will explain the legends and myths that have grown up around the triangular area allegedly associated with the mysterious disappearance of ships and planes over the decades, which have been variously attributed to an energy vortex, time travel, aliens and UFOs, the lost continent of Atlantis, dark matter, black holes, and all manner of secret government experiments. Dr. Shermer will explain what really happens in the Bermuda Triangle, as well as explore and explain many other mysteries such as UFOs and alien abductions, mind-reading and psychics who talk to the dead, reincarnation and life after death, out-of-body and near-death experiences, urban legends and satanic panics, and how the mind works to find patterns when none exist and to impart intentional agency to those patterns to perceive ghosts and gods, demons and angels, intelligent designers and government conspiracists.

Above find the slides for The Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Lessons from Evolutionary Economics (50mb pdf)

Michael ShermerThe Mind of the Market: Compassionate Apes, Competitive Humans, and Other Lessons from Evolutionary Economics (Delivered on May 14, 2011)
Speaker: Michael Shermer, Ph.D.

How did we evolve from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumer-traders? Why are people so irrational when it comes to money and business? Bestselling author Dr. Michael Shermer argues that evolution provides an answer to both of these questions through the new science of evolutionary economics. Drawing on research from neuroeconomics, Shermer explores what brain scans reveal about bargaining, snap purchases, and how trust is established in business. Utilizing experiments in behavioral economics, Shermer shows why people hang on to losing stocks and failing companies, why business negotiations often disintegrate into emotional tit-for-tat disputes, and why money does not make us happy. Employing research from complexity theory, Shermer shows how evolution and economics are both examples of a larger phenomenon of complex adaptive systems. Along the way, Shermer answers such provocative questions as, do our tribal roots mean that we will always be a sucker for brands? How is the biochemical joy of sex similar to the rewards of business cooperation? How can nations increase trust within and between their borders? Finally, Shermer considers the consequences of globalization and what will happen if nations allow free trade across their borders.

Florida Indians and the Invasion from Europe
Supplemental reading (

Jerry_Milanich‘In 1492 Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue,’ Then What Happened? Colonial Spain in the Southeastern United States (Delivered on May 14, 2011)
Speaker: Jerald T. Milanich, Ph.D.

By the time of the founding of Jamestown in the first decade of the 1600s, Spanish St. Augustine was already up for urban renewal. The story of Spain’s sixteenth-century colonial activities in the Southeast and their impact on the American Indians who lived there is a fascinating and little-known story, one that has been uncovered through archaeological and archival research.

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Sky & Telescope #1

David Stevenson
Speaker: David Stevenson, Ph.D.

Above find the slides for Origin of the Moon (3mb pdf)

Above find the slides for Mysteries of the Moon (2mb pdf)

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Dr. David Stevenson (left) is the George van Osdol Professor of Planetary Science at the California Institute of Technology and an expert on the origin, evolution, and structure of planets. He obtained a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Cornell University in 1976, where he worked on the interior of Jupiter. He has been on the faculty at Caltech since 1980. His research highlights include the development of the idea that Jupiter and Saturn have helium rain deep down, proposed explanations for the magnetic fields (or their absence) for planetary bodies, identification of an ocean in Europa by magnetic field measurements, explanations for both the remarkable similarities and some differences between the Earth and Moon, and an explanation for why Venus has no moon. His awards and honors include membership of the National Academy of Sciences, Fellow of the Royal Society (London), the Urey Prize (awarded by the American Astronomical Society) and the Hess Medal (awarded by the American Geophysical Union).

David StevensonOrigin of the Moon (Delivered on Dec. 15, 2010)
Speaker: David Stevenson, Ph.D.

Although there are many ideas for how our Moon came to exist, only one makes sense chemically and physically: The Moon came from a Big Splash, the molten and vaporized rock that is ejected during a giant impact on Earth by a body about the size of Mars. I will describe how this not only explains the Moon but also sets the stage for all of subsequent Earth evolution. For indeed, the nature of our planet is inextricably linked to the existence and nature of our satellite companion.

David StevensonMysteries of the Moon (Delivered on Dec. 18, 2010)
Speaker: David Stevenson, Ph.D.

In many ways our Moon is better understood than any planetary body aside from our home. We have rocks returned by the Apollo astronauts, dated in our labs, and numerous other sources of information about this near neighbor. Nonetheless, there are many mysteries about lunar history and structure: how the Moon got to the orbit it is now in, how lunar rocks acquired some evidence of an ancient magnetic field, why the inside of the Moon contains small amounts of water, how the Moon is layered and why the Moon may have a small iron core. Despite its rather special and remarkable origin (though a Giant Impact) the Moon has much to tell us about planets in general and we need to continue with robotic exploration.

Above find the slides for Planet Diversity (6mb pdf)

David StevensonPlanet Diversity (Delivered on Dec. 21, 2010)
Speaker: David Stevenson, Ph.D.

We now know that planets are common. I will describe the evidence and explain why this is a natural consequence of how stars form. I will also describe how robotic exploration of our own solar system has led to a view of planets that emphasizes diversity rather than similarity and what this suggests for planets elsewhere. Although there are surely so many planets that some must be like Earth, perhaps the most exciting prospects are for planets and life forms very different from our home.

Above find the slides for The Quest for Mars (6mb pdf)

Andrew ChaikinThe Quest for Mars (Delivered on Dec. 21, 2010)
Speaker: Andrew Chaikin

Dreamers and space scientists, engineers and biologists, backyard astronomers and artists have devoted their lives — sometimes at the expense of their careers — to the quest for Mars. Andrew Chaikin, who covered Mars exploration as a science journalist and took part in the first Mars landing, chronicled this epic quest and the enduring dream of going there in his book, A Passion for Mars. Chaikin will share the story of Earthbound explorers and their robotic surrogates caught in the irresistible pull of the Red Planet.

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Bright Horizons #6

Bright Horizons 6 saw our first Space Shuttle Astronaut, Guion Bluford, Ph.D.

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Dr. Guion Bluford was a NASA mission specialist and payload commander astronaut on four Space Shuttle missions. He was selected in the first class of space shuttle astronauts in 1978 and was the first African American to fly in space in 1983 aboard Space Shuttle Challenger. In addition, he flew on a Spacelab flight as payload commander in 1985, a Department of Defense Strategic Defense Initiative Office flight in 1991, and a classified Department of Defense flight in 1992. He has spent over 688 hours in space.

Here are the slides (33mb pdf)

Shuttle Atlantis Take OffThe Future of the Space Program (Delivered on Dec. 10, 2009)
Speaker: Guion S. Bluford, Jr., Ph.D.

Guion BlufordTravel back to the future with an in-depth discussion on the future of the NASA space program. Dr. Bluford will address the issues and opportunities ahead as space exploration matures. You’ll get the big picture of the Constellation Program (with its Aries, Orion, and Altair components) which will return humans to the moon and later take them to Mars. Come away with the insights and views on what lies ahead from Dr. Bluford, astronaut and aeronautical engineer.

Listen to the first 10 minutes
pdf icon  Watch the entire lecture

Here are the slides (79mb pdf)


Evening_with_Guion_BlufordAn Evening with Shuttle Astronaut Dr. Guion Bluford
(Delivered on Dec. 11, 2009)

How has aeronautics affected society and vice versa? Having worked in space, what open questions does Dr. Bluford have about space exploration, and space? What are the core characteristics and qualities shared by astronauts, i.e., what is “the right stuff”? Dr. Bluford will present food for thought arising from his experience in space (688 hours), in jet cockpits (5,200 hours), and in the field of aeronautical engineering. We’ll have an out-of-this-world round of astronaut Q&A, too!

Listen to the first 7 minutes

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MacMania #10

MacMania 10 departed New York City early in May 2010, just days after the iPad was available for purchase ... and not long after Mac OS 10.6 shipped. We covered both products in depth. Watch three sessions taped during our event here:

Here are the slides (1mb pdf)
Here’s the list of “the gems” (also shown at right).

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Jason_SnellMac Gems (Delivered on May 7, 2010)
Speaker: Jason Snell

Mac_GemsThe Mac world is full of great, low-cost software that can dramatically improve your Mac-using life. The only catch is, they’re generally made by small companies you’ve never heard of. That’s where Macworld comes in. In this session, Jason Snell gives you a tour of great Mac programs that will make you more productive and informed, and make your Mac more fun! We guarantee that when you’re done you will have found several programs that you’ll need to add to your Mac right away.

(Sorry, slides are not available; but this rare presentation by Applescript Product Manager Sal Soghoian is fabulous, even without the slides!)

Sal_SoghoianServices in Snow Leopard (Delivered on May 3, 2010)
Speaker: Sal Soghoian

Without a doubt, the best feature of Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) is the newly revamped Services menu. Services are now contextual, convenient, configurable, and customizable, delivering the power of automation to the tip of your mouse cursor. Make your own application launchers, text editing, image manipulating, and audio processing tools that are available when and where you need them. If you want to truly get the most out of Snow Leopard, take this class!

Here are the slides (8mb file).

Bebo_WhiteSocial Networking — Why and How? (Delivered on May 5, 2010)
Speaker: Bebo White

Do you belong to a social network (Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, etc.) or an “antisocial network” (to paraphrase Groucho Marx, “I wouldn’t join any club that would have me.”)? Computer-based social networking is here to stay and is reshaping many of the fundamental ways that people interact with one another. They can be extremely powerful tools as well as potentially dangerous environments. This talk will examine the underlying concepts of social networking, pros and cons of the current networking spaces, and even how to set up your own social network.

David Pogue
David Pogue

MacMania 10
Download the MacMania 10 Program Guide

Peruse the MacMania Experience page

Play ButtoniPhone—The Next Generation (Delivered on May 8, 2010)
Speaker: David Pogue

The iPhone is no longer a novelty; with 40 million people multi-tapping away on its touch screen (and the iPod Touch’s), this iPod/cellphone/wireless Internet terminal has become as standard as, well, the iPod.

David Pogue, New York Times tech columnist and author of iPhone: The Missing Manual, will take you through the very latest developments concerning the iPhone, its features, its hidden powers, and its backdoors. This time around, he’ll also introduce you to, ahem, Product X—Apple’s much-awaited iPhone spinoff product.

Play ButtonDavid Pogue’s Efficiency Handbook (Delivered on May 7, 2010)
Speaker: David Pogue

NY Times columnist David Pogue writes 100 columns a year; maintains a daily blog; writes and stars in a comic tech video each week for CNBC and the web; speaks at 35 conferences a year; Twitters every night; writes five Missing Manuals a year; and his first children’s novel will be published early next year. Oh, and he’s a very involved father of three. How does he get it all done?

By mastering today’s efficiency technologies. His secrets involve speech recognition software, macros up the wazoo, typing-expansion software, mail rules, a networkable calendar, and an unorthodox email filing system that keeps it all organized. In this first-ever session, he’ll show you exactly how it all works.

Play ButtonInside Mac OS X Snow Leopard (Delivered on May 7, 2010)
Speaker: David Pogue

Join this highly entertaining session as NY Times columnist David Pogue makes Apple’s newest Mac OS X operating system — Snow Leopard version 10.6 — sing, dance, and walk on its head. Witness a parade of undocumented shortcuts, walk through the updated apps, and discover the power of the Unix system that powers the whole thing. Based on his book Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual, this session is, in particular, a life preserver tossed to anyone who’s interested in finding out which of the 150 new Snow Leopard features are worth learning, and which old features wound up in new places.

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Bright Horizons #7

Above find the slides for A Brief History of Our Universe (6mb pdf)

Above find the slides for Parallel Universes (9mb pdf)

Above find the slides for The Mysterious Dark Side of Cosmology (7mb pdf)

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Bright Horizons 7 was a one-way Canada-to-New England cruise, which departed Montreal on May 29, 2010. According to passenger Dr. John Paull, “Insight #7 was the most intellectually stimulating week of my life.” Get a glimpse into our universe and see why:

Max TegmarkA Brief History of Our Universe (Delivered on May 30, 2010)
Speaker: Max Tegmark, Ph.D.

With a cosmic flight simulator, we’ll take a scenic journey through space and time. After exploring our local Galactic neighborhood, we’ll travel back 13.7 billion years to explore the Big Bang itself and how state-of-the-art measurements are transforming our understanding of our cosmic origin and ultimate fate.

Max TegmarkParallel Universes (Delivered on May 31, 2010)
Speaker: Max Tegmark, Ph.D.

Is physical reality larger than the part that we can observe? Dr. Tegmark argues that not only are parallel universes likely to exist, but that there may be as many as four different levels of them, related to infinite space, cosmological inflation, quantum mechanics and mathematical structures.

Max TegmarkThe Mysterious Dark Side of Cosmology: Dark Matter and Dark Energy (Delivered on May 31, 2010)
Speaker: Max Tegmark, Ph.D.

A recent avalanche of accurate measurements has revolutionized our understanding of cosmology, but also stumped us with new puzzles. What are the dark matter and dark energy that together make up 96% of the stuff in our universe? Learn about some of the most promising dark matter and dark energy candidates, and some of the experiments that may solve these mysteries in the next few years.

Above find the slides for How Did It All Begin? (6mb pdf)

Max TegmarkHow Did It All Begin? Or Did It? How Will It All End? (Delivered on June 1, 2010)
Speaker: Max Tegmark, Ph.D.

Although we humans have undoubtedly asked these questions for as long as we’ve walked the Earth, we’ve made spectacular progress on them in recent years, forcing us to discard much of what cosmology textbooks told us up until quite recently. Get the latest on competing ideas, their implications and how they can be experimentally tested.

Above find the slides for Black Holes (2mb pdf)

Max TegmarkQuestions? I’ve Got Questions: Black Holes Edition (Delivered on June 4, 2010)
Speaker: Max Tegmark, Ph.D.

Take a look at some of the most spectacular recent evidence that black holes really exist. Dr. Tegmark will cover what we know about them and what remains mysterious. Are black holes in fact crucial to enable galaxies to form? Can black holes form new universes in their interiors? Plus, using a fully general-relativistic flight simulator, you’ll take a scenic orbit of the monster black hole at the center of our Galaxy and discuss how one could actually make this dizzying journey with only modest energy expenditure.

Above find the slides for Genetics and Food (7mb pdf)

Max TegmarkGenetics and Food: Can Knowledge of Genomes Transform Agriculture? (Delivered on May 31, 2010)
Speaker: David Sadava, Ph.D.

In some ways, we are what we eat. Many people are concerned with what they eat (the scientific field of nutrition). Fewer people worry about the human food supply (the applied biology field of agriculture). Genetics and DNA have a lot to say about both of these topics. With Dr. Sadava as your guide, get the latest on the “green revolution” in crop production, the interaction of the human genome with foods, and the potential and risks of genetically altered crops.