SSA 2012 Conference Wrap-Up, Day 2

Read Part 1 here. On Saturday, the SSA conference was in full swing, with three simultaneous tracks of talks going on throughout the OSU student union. As Murphy's Law predicts, the ones I wanted to see the most were inevitably scheduled at the same time as each other. But I still got to see some outstanding speakers, with topics running the gamut from the nuts and bolts of campus organizing to high-level political strategizing to important lessons on community and social justice. Here are some … [Read more...]

SSA 2012 Conference Wrap-Up, Day 1

We've survived fire and flood! The Reason Rally in March was a day of gusty cold and battering rain. This July 4 weekend we went to the opposite extreme, as secular students and atheist movers and shakers from all over the country converged on Columbus, Ohio for the 2012 Secular Student Alliance Leadership Conference. And the summer was merciless, as Columbus broiled under 100-degree temperatures all weekend. (There had been a violent storm across the Midwest the previous week, and some areas … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: A Houdini Pilgrimage

At the Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. last month, my friend Greta Christina told me something that I, a lifelong New Yorker, never knew: Harry Houdini is buried in a cemetery in New York City. Houdini, of course, made his fame in the early 20th century as a magician who could escape from handcuffs, straitjackets, and all manner of bizarre contraptions. But atheists should know him best as a dedicated debunker of mediums who claimed the ability to channel the dead. For Houdini, this was a … [Read more...]

Reason Rally Wrap-Up, Part 3

Read Part 2 here. I've talked about the weather, the crowds, the protesters and the speakers, and I wanted to end up with some overall impressions. One of the things about the Reason Rally that made me happiest was how young and diverse the crowd was. I've been to atheist conventions that were overwhelmingly populated by old white guys, and this was a big step forward. A major part of this, I'm sure, was the enormous student involvement, and it's that more than anything else that makes me … [Read more...]

Reason Rally Wrap-Up, Part 2

Read Part 1 here. Before I deliver my recap of the speakers at the Reason Rally, I need to give a shout-out to the people who accompanied me for the weekend. On my first day in town, I met up with Rieux, who was a fearless scourge of trolls in Daylight Atheism's early days on Big Think, and who first enlightened me to the prejudice against atheists within Unitarian Universalism that I'm still sorting out. I also met Leah Libresco - transhumanist, virtue ethicist, Bayesian conspirator, and the … [Read more...]

Reason Rally Wrap-Up, Part 1

It's Sunday morning, and I'm writing this on the train from Washington, D.C. back to New York. I'm exhausted, washed out, and my calves are two knots of pain from all the standing and walking I've been doing these past two days. But I feel like a live wire, buzzing with energy and happiness. I'm returning home from the Reason Rally, and it was tremendous. It was everything I had anticipated and more. When the history of the atheist movement is written, this is going to go down as a defining … [Read more...]

Skepticon Wrap-Up: Day 2

Read the recap of Day 1 here.Day 2! I have to admit I missed the first talk of the day by Joe Nickell (see my previous post about goings-on at the gastropub - an early rising just wasn't in the cards). Jen McCreight of Blag Hag led off the morning instead with a talk about how the genome works and what genetic science can and can't do. You can never have too many cat photos in a talk on science.We persevered through some technical … [Read more...]

Skepticon Wrap-Up: Day 1

As promised earlier, here's a full wrap-up of my weekend attending Skepticon IV in Springfield, Missouri. I really have to give tons of credit to the organizers, who not only put together an amazing convention, they did it as a part-time volunteer effort and made it completely free! They're rock stars, and I sincerely hope the atheist movement can find them full-time jobs doing this kind of stuff, because we need people with those sorts of skills. Here are some highlights from the … [Read more...]

His Noodly Appendage, Now in Yarn Form

I'm inordinately pleased by this. :)Earlier this summer, I threw in for a fundraising contest for Camp Quest, pitting a team of us lowlier bloggers against the Dark Overlord himself. The over $30,000 we collectively raised was reward enough for me, but I just received a completely unexpected thank-you gift in the mail: a hand-crocheted Flying Spaghetti Monster, crafted by Sue Henry and Kelley Freeman of the Secular Student Alliance. Thanks, Kelley and Sue! I shall display it with pride, and … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Barcelona

To see the pictures, click to continue: … [Read more...]


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