Some Cool Stuff Coming Up

There are so many geeky, gaming, skeptical, atheist events on the horizon for 2014! Eeeeeee!

GwoGGeeks Without God on Atheists Talk – January 18th, 2014

This Sunday I’ll be interviewing Tim Wick, Molly Glover and Nick Glover on Atheists Talk. They’re the hosts of the podcast Geeks Without God. They’re Very Funny People and totally worth waking up for at 9am on a Sunday morning. You can listen locally on KTNF AM950, livestream the show online, or you can always catch the podcast later. Look for Atheists Talk on iTunes or check out our website.

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raidersThe Hubby’s 40th Birthday Celebration! - January 24th, 2014 This is a semi-private event, but I want to share that I am SO excited! We rented a movie theater, y’all.  We’ve invited a bunch of friends, and we’re going to serve sandwiches and soda and then show Raiders of the Lost Ark. In a theater. That we rented. A theater!

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ftbcon2

FTBCon2 – Jan 31-Feb 2, 2014

The second Freethought Blogs virtual convention – FTBConscience2 – is at the end of the month! More info is coming so very soon. Panels in place. Final schedule being scheduled. Final Lanyrd being Lanyrded.

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Con of the North – Minneapolis, MN – February 14-16th, 2014

conofthenorth

Con of the North is a local board game convention. This will be my second year attending because last year was a freaking blast. I played back-to-back board games in two and four hour time slots from 8am-midnight all weekend long. I discovered a ton of new games. Board games. Card Games. All weekend long. They also had LARP, computer gaming and RPGs. Miniatures has a huge presence, and while I don’t do miniatures, it was amazing to stop and look at the art and craftsmanship of the games.

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skepcamp

Chicago Skepticamp 2014 – Chicago, Illinois – April 5th, 2014

A day long event promoting science and critical thinking, put on by volunteers from the Chicago Skeptics. Participants are encouraged to discuss and question both traditional skeptical topics and new subjects. Attendance is free, though all attendees are encouraged to help by either speaking, helping set up/clean up, or by making a donation. I attended back in 2012 but had to miss last year’s event. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to make the drive down this April.

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SkepchickCon – Bloomington, MN – July 3rd-7th, 2014

convergence

CONvergence – the first and purest of my scifi/fantasy convention loves, and then the Skepchicks come along and make it that much more awesome! Once again, Skepchick.org and FreethoughtBlogs will combine our awesome powers to bring kick-ass science and skepticism panels and rock-til-you-drop room parties to CONvergence. SkepchickCON is fundraising right now – they’re auctioning off a hand-knit MISANDRY! hat – perfect for the man-hating feminazi in your life – and a customized voice message from Debbie Goddard.

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Okay! So what else is going on that I shouldn’t miss?

Interview with Greta Christina for Atheists Talk

Who had the most fun this morning? That would be moi.

Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Greta Christina for the radio show that I co-host for Minnesota AtheistsAtheists TalkWe discussed anger – what it is, what it isn’t – and anger’s place in activism. The inspiration for our talk was Greta’s book Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off the Godlesswhich she published in 2012.

I recommend Greta’s book to those who are genuinely interested in why atheists are “so angry” about religion (spoilers: we’re angry, but not all the time, and for very worthy reasons, and many of us want to do something effective with this anger). The book is written for believers and non-believers alike, for atheist activists, religious apologists and those who haven’t given the topic much thought, but wonder what all the fuss is about.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is that it addresses those who argue that the religious right extremists aren’t “real” Christians, that Christianity is all about love and tolerance. Greta explains reasons why one can’t simply be “a better Christian”, why moderate and progressive religions, New Age religions and those who identify as “spiritual but not religious” aren’t let off the hook when it comes to the religious-based and reality-blind injustices that are committed by believers and by religious or spiritual institutions.

You can listen to the interview on iTunes, on the AM950 radio station website, or at the Minnesota Atheists podcast page. Or here, if I figured out how to embed the link properly :)
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And I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to say that if you enjoy the interview, and want to help Minnesota Atheists continue to keeping doing work like this, you can donate at the Atheists Talk radio show Fund Page.

Godless Money Fundraiser

How cool is this? A member of Minnesota Atheists has donated some of her early-1950s US paper money to use as a fundraiser for the Atheists Talk radio show that I co-host with Stephanie Zvan and other members of Minnesota Atheists. The bill is free from God – the “In God We Trust” motto didn’t appear on paper money until 1957, although it has been stamped on some US coins since 1864. This particular bill is a circulated 1950 B series $20 bill.

The eBay auction started last night and ends on Friday. Because we were accepted into the eBay Giving Works program, the purchase is tax-deductible. 100% of the proceeds are able to go toward keeping Atheists Talk on the airwaves and available as a podcast around the world. So all of you godless radio supporters, take a look at the auction, read more about our radio program, and consider placing a bid!

Godless20

As a side note, I was looking up information about the “In God We Trust” watermark and found a 2011 article by Freethought Blog’s Ashley F. Miller over at Open Salon called Why “In God We Trust” is a Problem.

Student Atheists on the Radio

On Sunday I had the pleasure of interviewing two members of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists (CASH), Bryan Carver and Joshua Brose. The interview was a live, in-studio chat for Atheists Talk on KTNF (AM950). Carver and Joshua were good sports and agreed to take a photo with me, even though it was before 9am on a Sunday morning.

From the left: Joshua Brose, me, Bryan Carver

During the interview we discussed Joshua and Carver’s background, how they as students found CASH, and what their involvement in the group is. We chatted about the role that CASH plays on campus and in its members’ lives. We discussed some of the events that they’ve already held this year including the Brother Jed counterprotest and Everyone Draw Mohammed Day. They shared information about upcoming CASH events (which are usually open to the public), including a mentalist in November and SkepTech, a conference that they’re hosting next spring which will feature some pretty big names in the secular community (whoever is first on the list is the coolest speaker ever. Truth.). And to close the interview, they each shared what they believe is the one of the most important issues affecting young atheists today.

I had a very good time doing this interview, and I love working with Atheists Talk radio as a host and interviewer. I like knowing that there is a weekly atheist radio in my area that not only delivers awesome interviews (In the past couple of months alone we’ve have Alex Bezerow, Howard Bloom, Chris Rodda, Rebecca Stott, Guy P. Harrison, Matt McCormick, Herb Silverman, Teresa MacBain, David Niose, Jessica Ahlquist…well, I could go on, but now we’re all the way back to July), but also information about local atheist events and activities individuals and families.

You, uh, know we primarily fund this radio show with donations from listeners and supporters, right? *cough* Anyone, any donation amount, anytime. Go ahead, click the link. You know you want to. We have the best tagline ever: “Atheists Talk: It’s good radio without the Good Book.” That’s worth a few bucks just for sheer awesomeness, right?

You can listen to the CASH interview with Joshua, Carver and me in several places: the Minnesota Atheists radio page, in the KTNF archives, or you can search on iTunes for the podcast “Minnesota Atheists Atheists Talk”. Or maybe even here if the player embeds correctly:




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6 O’Clock BS: What Should We Ask Katherine?

Guess what? This weekend Atheists Talk radio show is interviewing Katherine Stewart! This Katherine Stewart:

So, we’ve got Katherine Stewart, investigative journalist, parent and author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. She’s going to be on the air with us to discuss her personal experiences with The Good News Club, as well as what she has learned about the the tactics of the Child Evangelism Fellowship and other fundamentalist, evangelical campaigns that are targeting kids in public schools across the United States.

You can listen to the show on Sunday morning, 9am Central Standard Time and call in or shoot us an email with questions or comments. You can find information on how to do all of that at the Minnesota Atheists Atheists Talk website.

So what do you think? What should should we ask Katherine on Sunday?

 

Today: Atheists Talk

This morning at 9am CST, Scott Lohman and Carl Hancock will be interviewing Robert Price, the author of The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems on KTNF AM950. You can stream the show live or download it later on iTunes or listen to it on the Minnesota Atheists podcast page.

“The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems” Robert Price on Atheists Talk #171 Sunday, June 10th, 2012

Even among those who don’t believe that Jesus was divine, disagreement remains over whether he existed at all. On one side, there are the historicists, who believe that Jesus was a fully human preacher who founded a small cult. On the other side, there are the mythicists, who believe that the cult was formed later and Jesus was hallucinated and/or invented to support the cult.
The academic fight between the historicists and the mythicists is heating up at the moment. A number of leading scholars have released or are about to release books making their cases to the public. In his recent book The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems, Robert Price makes a case for the mythicists.

The Christ-Myth theory … “Worse Than Atheism”? New Testament scholar Robert M. Price, one of America’s leading authorities on the Bible, has assembled in his book evidence that shows that almost the entire “biography of Jesus” is a conscious reworking of earlier literature.It is one thing to say “There are no gods” or “Jesus was not a god, just a man.” It is quite another thing to say “Jesus of Nazareth never existed at all” or that “Christ is a myth.” But scholars have been saying exactly that since at least 1793 when the Enlightenment scholar Charles Dupuis began to publish his 13-volume Origine de Tous les Cultes, ou Religion Universelle, which elucidated the astral origins not only of Christianity but of other ancient religions as well.

New Testament scholar Robert M. Price, one of America’s leading authorities on the Bible, here summarizes much of the scholarship that has led him and a growing number of modern scholars to conclude that Christ — a partial synonym for Jesus of Nazareth — is mythical. Most usefully, Price has assembled evidence that shows that almost the entire “biography of Jesus” has been created from Greek Old Testament stories and themes and even incorporates motifs from Homer, Euripides, and perhaps Aesop. Because readers will have a hard time “taking it on faith” that the Jesus biography is merely a reworking of previous material, broad swaths of “Old Testament” context are quoted in association with each New Testament equivalent, so readers can judge for themselves whether or not Dr. Price’s claim be true: the “Live of Christ” was not fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies; it was, rather, a conscious reworking of earlier literature.

This is post 40 of 49 in the SSAweek Biodork Blogathon. Donate to the SSA today! Read more about my reader challenges here.

6 O’Clock BS – Home Again Home Again

I went camping this weekend, so it’s been a bit slow here at Biodork. I actually did have wireless at the camp site, but somehow managed to find things to do that didn’t involve internet (*gasp*!). We went walking through the woods, sat around the campfire, sang camping songs, chatted with friends over meals, and generally had a kick-ass time.

But now I’m home, showered, tick-checked, itching from a gazillion and ten mosquito bites, and excited to get blogging again.

The big story I wanted to highlight for the 6 O’Clock BS was this story about the horrifying Orvillecopter. Art + taxidermy + robotics + the history of flight + dearly departed kitty = remote-controlled flying dead cat. I’m weeping over the dark weirdness of this.

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I Did This Today

This was just a typical day for me, hanging out with Phil Ferguson (Skeptic Money), Greg Laden (X Blog), Jen McCreight (Blag Hag) – that’s me next – and Stephanie Zvan (Almost Diamonds). 

Back story: The Atheists Talk radio show had Jen in the studio for a live interview. Greg, Stephanie, Jen and myself chatted about our blogging, our activism and Freethought Blogs. Phil Freaking Ferguson – which is how he introduces himself* – from Skeptic Money happened to be in town, so he stopped by the studio to watch the show and ended up letting us drag him on the air for a few moments. And we took this snazy photo afterwards.

And then this afternoon I attended the Minnesota Atheists monthly meeting. Jen was the guest speaker; she gave a talk called “God’s Lady Problem”. By my estimation the talk had major three parts: Religion-based discrimination against women and a thought-provoking God-as-abuser analogy, the current War On Women that we’ve been fighting against in the US in recent months (the Catholic church birth control hubaloo, transvaginal ultrasounds, Terry England’s “women-slash-livestock” speech, etc), and lastly the lady problems that we run into in our own atheist communities. It was a solid, engaging, well-attended talk and the Q&A took up all of the allotted time and then some. Jen will be in Indiana for three more speaking engagements in this next week leading up to the Reason Rally. If you’re in the area, I’d recommend stopping by.

So this was a pretty dandy way to spend a Sunday, right?

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*Not intended to be a factual statement.