Recently I sent a gift to some friends (in fact two friends, Derek and Swoopy of Skepticality), as a gesture of thanks for the four years that I worked on the SkepTrack at Dragon*Con. I’ve been backstage for a number of events at that convention, had the opportunity to contribute to panels as both a creator of topics and even a presenter, and I know that it wouldn’t have been possible to do that if it wasn’t for them.
Since the gift I sent them was for an event some time in the future, I organised it early with the hope that they could sort out some arrangement so they could attend, with the suggestion that if they couldn’t use the tickets, perhaps they could feature them as a giveaway of some sort on their podcast. I thought that it was a suitable gesture of thanks and a fairly good one since it could also double as a Christmas-season-kind-of gift and was open enough with the timing so they could give it away if things didn’t work out.
Then two things happened:
Marian Call: I’m trying to buy all local vendor stuff OR direct from artists on the internet. Occasionally it costs a little more, but I’ve decided that’s actually Awesome Tax, and I am happy to pay it.
…and then some unknown called Annette made a bitter comment about my Wheels and Dollbaby shirt (a local couture label I support, a design also worn by Katy Perry and Debbie Harry). Which, since a bunch of friends were talking about the Codes of Conduct II article, was rather hilarity-ensuing timing and also got me thinking – how many of us support either local talent or skeptic and/or atheist artists during this time of the year?
Also – how many of us might, like me, live far enough away from some friends, so it’s kind of difficult to come up with gifts that will reach people in time and yet also reflect the effort to support science and skepticism?
Daniel Loxton’s books – Featured on Scientific American’s Christmas List with ‘This Year Give Them Brains‘: they talk about his Evolution book but not the Anklosaur Attack! book, which is his more recent one. An absolute must. I haven’t seen Ankylosaur advertised enough and it’s wonderful. You can also support rationalist bookstores like Embiggen Books, by getting it through them.
Speaking of great music that’s newly available – Shelley Segal’s “An Atheist Album” Is Very Good is what Camels With Hammers has to say and he’s right. Now out on iTunes – An Atheist Album is available for download.
I support the Perth artist Rikki B and her Etsy site over at KissyFace. I have several of the Charles Darwin brooches that I’ve given as gifts, but there’s more she has to offer.
Finally – because I might as well plug my own podcast at the end – the Token Skeptic merchandise page. There’s even a design by the previously mentioned Rikki B featured.
Of course, it wouldn’t be the time of the year if you couldn’t support skeptical ventures and projects as well: Intentionally Homeless
Te Araroa is a 3000km trail that runs from Cape Reinga to Bluff. To make it a little less place name related the trail runs from as far north as you can go (without having to swim) to as far south as you can go (without having to swim). I’m planning on starting this around the New Year and will be starting down south and fleeing the cold weather.
There’s also the JREF fundraising drive and a number of podcasts – like the PodDelusion and Skepticality, who all accept donations to help keep them going. Many thanks to those people who donate to mine.