Friday Night Music: Portugal The Man

Like Quiet Company, this is another of the bands I first heard about from Chris Stedman's atheist & agnostic music list. This uptempo, anthemic prog-rock song, from their 2013 album Evil Friends, was his #1 pick, and I find it hard to argue (although I have no idea what the video means): … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: December 7

Coffee

• Creationists lose a lawsuit seeking to keep evolution out of public schools on the spurious grounds that it's "religious". It's worth noting that they've given up on demanding equal time for their own beliefs and are now just seeking to destroy science education.• This painfully appropriate headline says it all: Actual War on Black People Distracting from Fictional War on Christmas". And along the same lines, don't miss the magnificently righteous anger of my Patheos colleague … [Read more...]

Weekday Coffee: Skepticon Edition

I've spent this past weekend at Skepticon 7, and I'm still recovering (especially from the Skeptiprom dance party on Saturday night). In the meantime, here are some links I picked up from the weekend's talks:• My favorite talk of the convention was by Ben Blanchard, who spent a year working abroad with the Foundation Beyond Belief's Humanist Service Corps. He dug wells in Cambodia and Ecuador, helped build latrines in Haiti, taught science to children at the Kasese Humanist Primary … [Read more...]

Open Thread: An Unwelcome Change [Updated]

As you may have noticed, post pagination is back, and I'm not happy about it. This isn't of my choosing; it was imposed on Patheos atheist bloggers without our consent and with very little advance notice.This is a cheap and artificial way to inflate page view counts, and it does so at the cost of actively antagonizing people who want to read a longer essay all the way through. It makes information harder to search for and makes the site almost impossible to read on slow or data-limited … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Shameless Self-Promotion Sunday

Peacock

I think it's about time for another of these. This is an open thread for the purposes of self-promotion.Do you have a blog, a Twitter or a Tumblr account you'd like to publicize, a Kickstarter project you'd like to promote, a side business that does cool things for reason or science? Post in the comments and tell us about it!This month, I'm especially interested in hearing about good works: a charity that deserves support, a personal fundraiser for someone who needs some help, an … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Election Chatter

It was an exceptionally ugly night for Democrats. The Republicans winning the Senate is discouraging, though not unexpected. (I had held out hope of a 50-50 tie.) But the Democrats also lost multiple governorships, including several that should have been easy holds or promising pickups. A few scattered thoughts:• If you thought the last few years of obstruction were bad, things are about to get worse. It was already a given that President Obama wouldn't be able to pass any major … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: November 2

Coffee

• After serving most of a ten-year prison sentence for tax evasion, Kent Hovind was due to be released next year... but now the government is pressing new charges, saying that he filed fraudulent liens in an attempt to stop them from seizing his property as part of the punishment for his original conviction.• Virgin Galactic's experimental rocket plane SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight in the Mojave Desert, killing one of its two pilots. It's a tragic setback and a … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: The Dollyrots

It's Friday, and after a week like this one, I'm guessing we could all use something upbeat to ease into the weekend.So here's a blast of pure sonic joy from the Dollyrots, a pop-punk band fronted by the husband-wife duo of Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabezas. This is one of my favorites off their self-titled, fan-funded 2012 album. Take a listen and tell me it's not catchy:What's been running through your head lately? … [Read more...]

I Get Religious Mail: Help the Jews, Emphasis on Jews

Here's the latest in the list of mistargeted religious solicitations I've gotten in the mail. As you can see, the back of the envelope contains an endorsement from Pat Boone (this Pat Boone), which probably gives you a good idea of what demographic this group was aiming at:Inside was a lengthy letter, which I'll quote some selected passages from:Dear Christian Friend,My name is Yechiel Eckstein. I'm an orthodox rabbi who's been working with thousands of … [Read more...]

Support the Ada Initiative

FWord

If you, like me, are sick and tired of all the bad news that's been coming out of the atheist community lately, here's something you can do to help: support the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit group that seeks to change sexist cultures and increase women's participation and representation.Although their primary focus is on programming and the open-source development community, the Ada Initiative has played a role in fighting sexism in atheism and skepticism, in science fiction/fantasy … [Read more...]


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