Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Ritual for a new mother

Recently, I was reading Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet. It is the second in a series of graphic novels telling the story of a young woman, Aya, growing up on the Ivory Coast during the late 1970s. The joys and worries of the characters are themes universal among people growing up anywhere but the pages are rich with the colours, styles and sounds of the author’s childhood home. As an extra in the back of the book, Abouet includes some recipes, tips and explanations relating to the story and its environs. One part of this is an explanation of the attitude to raising children and the ritual that happens when a child is born. I thought the ritual sounded like a great example of a non-religious cultural ritual or ceremony so I’ve included an excerpt below.

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A rational response to racism

Today I would like to make one thing clear: there is no such thing as race. Join in with me this time. There is no such thing as race. ‘Race’ as we commonly refer to it in our current language usage only describes superficial differences in skin colour and other superficial physical features and not even consistently at that. In this post, I’m going to discuss points raised in a talk given by the science writer Kenan Malik this year as part of the British Humanist Association’s Voltaire lecture series. Finally, I will discuss the responsibility that a rational humanist community has to reject and fight racism.

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Interning with a humanist organisation

At the beginning of the year I spent three months volunteering at the British Humanist Association (BHA) as a part-time intern. The internship consisted of helping the campaigns team as a campaigns assistant, as well as helping with events and other tasks. I thought it might be useful to share my experiences and explain how it came about for anyone else who is curious or interested in working for a humanist organisation.

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The 42nd Humanist Symposium is here!

The 42nd Humanist Symposium is ready to read over at The Greenbelt. I have an older piece in there on Diversity and there are contributions from authors all over the web on a wide range of topics from atheism to torture and sex to common sense. Is 42 really the answer to life the universe and everything? You’ll just have to see for yourself! Don’t forget that you can submit your articles to the Humanist Symposium blog carnival or offer to host an edition.


Some more shout outs

It’s time I made some long overdue updates to my blogroll. there are some interesting folks I’d like you to meet.

Alms for Ashes is the new blog from another young british atheist who was a founding member of the National Federation for Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies (AHS). Under the name Mennochio he expounds his thoughts on atheism, skepticism and social critique. Enjoy.

Samantha Stein is the founder and director for Camp Quest UK. After volunteering for Camp Quest Michigan in 2007, Samantha decided it would be a good idea to bring the idea to the UK. The first Camp Quest UK successfully took place this year and attracted a lot of media interest. This is but the first step to atheist superstardom…

Andrew West was the man of the hour on the Atheist Plinth who taught a ragtag bunch of atheists, humanists and passersby the choreography to ‘Thriller’ as a celebration of atheism and dance. He studies photography and is currently the official photographer for the Brtish Humanist Association. Keep an eye out for his upcoming projects.

The Atheist Plinth

On Sunday 4th August, the Atheist Bus Campaign moved onto the next level. As part of the One and Other project, excellent photographer for the British Humanist Association and all around nice guy Andrew West took an original atheist bus sign onto the Fourth Plinth at Trafalgar Square and taught the assembled crowd the choreography for the Michael Jackson song Thriller as a celebration of atheism and dance. I was lucky enough to be there and experience the thrill first-hand.

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And here comes another one

Today I was pleased to discover the appearance of the new humanist blog ‘Time Out of Mind‘. This latest offering comes from Stuart, former president of the Edinburgh University Humanist Society and Penicuik’s finest rock’n’roll skeptic. Stuart promises to apply his sparkling wit and skills of reasoning to any preposterous and mighty claims which come his way. Should be a good read.

Welcome Stuart!