Puerto Rican Atheists Are Receiving Threats Online After Their Activism Becomes More Public

A few days ago the American Atheists convention in Puerto Rico was announced with billboards around the island. (The convention will take place on August 21-23 at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino in Old San Juan.)

Just hours after this announcement was made in the local newspapers of the island, one of the organizing groups, Humanistas Seculares de Puerto Rico (Secular Humanists of Puerto Rico) started receiving death threats over social media.

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Bangladeshi Cops Arrest Three Islamists in Hacking Death of U.S. Atheist Avijit Roy

Last Thursday, American author and activist Avijit Roy, an atheist, was slaughtered, in front of his wife, by assailants wielding cleavers or machetes. The Roys were visiting Dhaka, the capital of his native Bangladesh, for a book fair. Now, Bangladeshi police have three suspects in custody.

Three suspected Islamists were on Saturday arrested in Bangladesh in a pre-dawn raid, as authorities intensified a crackdown on extremists following the brutal killing of American blogger Avijit Roy in the capital. … “We have seized 30 grenades…it appears they (the militants) could have made some 300-400 bombs with the explosives we found at the den,” [said a] commanding officer.



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Becoming a Tree: A Practical — and Beautiful — Form of Burial

I don’t mind graveyards, but they do tend to be cold, somber places. Could we instead have memorial gardens of trees and shrubs, each organism drawing life from a human body placed in a biodegradable pod or shroud beneath it?

Yes, please!

Burying bodies is a huge waste of space that could be used by the rest of us who are still breathing. Even cremation, though cheaper and easier, can produce a lot of toxic waste. But what if your dead body could be turned into a tree instead? Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel are proposing just that, in the form of a biodegradable burial-pod project.



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Richard Dawkins’ Best Piece of Advice? Break Out of the “Anesthetic of Familiarity”

British “self-help guru” Paul McKenna has an interview show on the Television Four channel (think Charlie Rose). During a recent conversation, he asked Richard Dawkins for the best advice he could offer:



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Raif Badawi, Possibly Spared from Additional Lashes, Could Now Be Sentenced to Death

While the fate of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi (below) is still up in the air — he received 50 lashes of a 1,000-lashes punishment for “insulting Islam,” though the flogging has been indefinitely delayed — it looks like things may be getting worse for him.



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