Round-Up – On Charities To Support And (UK) Skeptic Things To Vote For

In the aftermath of a blog-post on weird dreams and “What could they mean?!” by Digital Cuttlefish, I had a dream which concluded with my sealing an envelope to send to someone. The message contained was:

Dear *****,

Thank you very much for your discordance, but I’d like to point out that some of us have to WORK and MAKE A LIVING and possibly GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES during the time that it takes for you to potentially ruin the little seasonal spirit we have left. Please find enclosed one I-don’t-give-a-#$)&! and a voucher for a very large enema at the homeopathic clinic of your choice. If you’re lucky, perhaps they won’t flush out what little value you have left to give to the world. 

Oh, and big hairy ball:


The Rest of the Working World.

No, I’m not kidding. And here I was thinking I was rather upbeat these days. Gah. I genuinely woke up at the point I popped this into a postbox (which happened to be large, green and shaped like a Santa hat; oh, and it was at the local shopping centre, which was populated with koala bears dragging around their whinging offspring, with shopping bags full of eucalyptus leaves).

I don’t know if that’s the subconscious telling me that posting off one’s troubles and moving on is the best solution for the season, but I’m willing to bet it’s a far healthier option than making a list, checking it twice and buying a bunch of colonic irrigation gift-vouchers for those nominated. So, here’s two very-positive things that I intended to get done for today, and I’m doing them now:

Firstlythe Skeptically Speaking podcast’s Desiree Schell put out a call via Twitter for people to nominate charities and Twitter gleefully accepted the challenge and threw a number of suggestions her way – and now they are all catalogued and neatly listed in a way that brings the seasonal joy back to the levels one should have during this time of the year:

If you are the person who has everything (or you’re trying to find a gift for one of those people), we’d like to offer you an assortment of science-related charities that will happily take your money. They’re all registered charities in their countries, or projects of organizations that are, and they’re all providing education, science promotion, or other valuable services. We haven’t exhaustively researched them, so check them out before donating.

Another one that has been promoted by Digital Cuttlefish – the Long Walk of New Zealand, by Gold – is given here: “If You’re Looking To Give”.

Secondly – the UK Skeptic Awards asked if it was possible whether I could help them out with a short-list of suitable candidates for their 2011 awards. Absolutely! I’ve already written about videos you could nominate here, but I brainstormed a little further:

Podcasts – I would firstly suggest that you check out DJ Grothe’s A Skeptic’s Guide to Podcasts article on CSICOP and there’s a more extensive list featured on this Reddit thread and also on this blogpost.

Of course, it being the UK Skeptic Awards, I hope that a number of UK skeptical podcasts like Inkredulous, Skeptics with a K, Righteous Indignation, Little Atoms, Just Skeptics, The PodDelusion and Strange Quarks and the like end up in the running.

Blogs – Dear holy hades, where does one start… Okay, the BIG name ones like Blogs and Bad Astronomy and many of the ones on FreeThought Blogs and ones over on Scientific American, ScienceBlogs and Discover blogs and the Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science and Richard Wiseman’s blog and so forth should catch your eye and will most likely get a fair share of attention

But I think it would be great if smaller, but just as fantastic, UK-based ones like Crispian Jago’s Science, Reason and Critical Thinking or Hayley Stevens’ Hayley Is A Ghost or the Jack of Kent Blog or Dr Petra Boynton blog should be considered for your vote. I would also recommend the ICBS Everywhere Blog by Barbara Drescher (she also writes for the JREF Swift) and the newly released We are Skepticxx blog. Honestly, like the Podcasting category, this shouldn’t be a difficult one to pick and you’re fairly spoiled for choice when it comes to range and diversity.

The Best Event, Campaign or Outreach Event of the Year – I’d like to mention on how this isn’t just campaigns like 10:23 (as great as it was), but could also include conferences or SkeptiCamps? The QEDCon of 2011 could be nominated; also the Amazing Meeting in Las Vegas for 2011, or CSICon, perhaps even a local event that you attended in 2011, like a Science education fair or a Skeptics in the Pub? It might be best to look back over your diary and see what you took part in and use that for inspiration. I nominated the Skep-Track at Dragon*Con for my category, because it included not only a fantastic event but did a significant amount of outreach to the general convention-goers as well.

Right, back to work – before someone sends me an imaginary letter delivered by an angry Santa-koala.

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