Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Social Media Anthem!

The Drybrook Male Voice choir, parody Engelbert Humperdinck's "Please Release Me".


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tell the BBC how important faith is to you

BBC Rado 2 has a three part radio show, The Great British Faith, starting at 22:00 tomorrow. This, despite faith being on the way out in the UK, and no mention anywhere of those without faith.

As part of that, they're encouraging people to contribute to the Great British Faith map.

Radio 2's Hardeep Singh Kohli journeys to three of the most exciting cities in the UK, Cardiff, Leicester and Glasgow. In doing so he tells the story of faith in Britain today.

Share your experience. What does your religious faith mean to you? How has it influenced your life and continues to do so? We'd like to hear how important your faith is to you. Email, including pictures and audio, to:

This is our chance to email the BBC and tell them how important faith is to us. We can't all be as succinct as Dawkins*, but the BBC are asking us to let them know. We should respond.

Also a good time to remind you all of the BHA's Census Campaign.

*"Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence." Richard Dawkins

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stephen Neary

Graham Linehan tweeted this post from Anna Raccoon.

Essentially, due to daft legislation, Stephen Neary who is autistic was put into respite care for three days whilst his father was ill. This was December last year. Some truly daft legislation is keeping him "in care", away from his father, which causes him more distress. Please read the full story. Then do at least one of, if not all, of the following:

After next week, no one will be able to write of Stephen’s case. It will vanish behind the stone walls of the Court of Protection. Just one more file.

You can help by giving this case as much publicity as possible over the next few days.

You can sign the petition demanding he be returned to his family. (Currently 2,286 signatures).

You can write of Stephen’s case on your own blog.

If you still have time to spare, might I suggest that you write to whichever Daily Newspaper you read and ask them why their pages are full of tittle tattle from illegally released diplomatic cables – and yet they can never find the space to illustrate true injustices happening to a British citizen right under their noses?

Please let's get on this guys.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Homeopathy overdose - first symptoms!

Well, as I mentioned in my first post on this, I do sometimes do voluntary shifts with a charity, at night. This is one of those nights.

My sleeping has been fine, and nothing out of the ordinary.

I do however have:

A sore throat/cough.

I have had it since Monday, and it still persists.

On Saturday, I was in Liverpool, doing a street collection for Breast Cancer Campaign (raised £396.60 in loose change)*. I was outside from 09:30ish until 18:30ish (with a few breaks in between, in total I'd wager, about 45 mins). I also got drunk that night, but was in bed by midnight.

Sunday I went to Manchester, my car thermometer said it was minus four as I parked in Manchester. This time it was Marie Curie Cancer Care I spent from about 10:45ish to 17:00ish (though took more breaks, total of about 1h 15 inside) outside.

For this, I did have six layers on, including a beautiful tiger onesie from Primark. However, I had no gloves, and my face was entirely exposed.

Whilst collecting, you're speaking all day to people, encouraging them to put their coppers (or to be honest pound coins, notes, and if they want to be totally old skool, cheques), into your bucket.

Now it *could* be my homeopathy overdose at work here, or it could have been the excessive time in the cold, using my voice. However, I'll be reporting any other out of the ordinary stuff as I go along. Ordinary stuff would just be more boring than usual, after all.

This is also a suitable time to high light the next 10:23 campaign - they're looking for 10 countries, 23 cities, and more than 1023 activists.

*Also a time to end a misconception - people collecting loose change on the street are always volunteers, and don't get paid a penny. Unless they're doing it illegally. Always check they have a copy of their collecting permit on them, and a sealed container for the money.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cheltenham SITP success!

Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub got off to a great start last night! We had 31 people in all (though the demographic was unsurprising, got me thinking cap on about how to combat this), and had to get more chairs from upstairs, which was pleasing.

On top of that, I really enjoyed the talk, Breaking the Crop Cirlce, given by Trystan Swale of Righteous Indignation podcast fame.

It was an entertaining talk about the world of the people that make crop circles; why people believe in them having origins other than; and why the evidence given for this falls flat.

Top moments include Trysten finding out his old biology teacher was in the room; the pie I had (beef and venison) and the Cotswold Humanists being kind enough to give away lots of books which needed new homes.

It also left me quite tempted to make one.

This was followed by a fun q & a session, and after that, a bit of mingling. I got to meet, along with lots of lovely people, CJ, who's a really interesting guy, and I hope I'll get to have a longer chat with over a pint or two.

Next meeting's Nervous Laughter: Promoting Science and Skepticism through Comedy, on January 25th, 19:30.

Given by Dean Burnett, a recently qualified doctor of neuroscience, and a stand up comedian to boot. You can check out his blog Science Digestive as a warm up!

Massive thanks to Sall and Will for getting it all together!
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