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Jun 22 2012

Rad Thunder

If you don’t know Cristina Rad (ZOMGitsCriss, “Zoh My God, it’s Criss!”) or Phil Mason (Thunderf00t), you should. They’ve just joined Freethought Blogs. But they have huge chops as YouTube vloggers of the first order. You can read all about them at Rational Wiki (Cristina / Phil). And Cristina introduces herself to FtB fans here; and Thunderf00t, here.

I’ve long been impressed by Cristina Rad’s talent editing her videos and speaking on camera. No word is wasted, every point is spot on, and it doesn’t even look like she’s trying. She’s very smart and informed, with a keen sense of humor. Basically, the ideal vlogger. And her relentless take down of religious nonsense is a thing to see (one of my favorites, her take two on the Ten Commandments exemplifies her style and genius). Mainly vlogging from Romania, you’ll get from her a perspective on the world you won’t likely get elsewhere. Even still, I rarely can find time to view vlogs, and for that reason did not know Thunderf00t’s work very well until now (though I had seen and loved this video on William Lane Craig), but all of it is smartly done and rich with scientific fact (and scientific humor). He doesn’t just find creationist gems of stupidity and correct them (which makes for some top entertainment, believe me), he also fights vociferously for free speech online and promotes the beauty of the natural universe, using video as his vehicle for both.

We’ve also recruited several other smart vloggers and bloggers, including Zinnia Jones (introduced here), who does some great analytical vlogging in her own right, defending a reality-based worldview against godist assaults, and educating people on LGBT issues. And the well-known Aron Ra and Ashley Miller have started blogging here, too. Aron has a huge following and critical acclaim as a popularizer of evolution science against creationist lies and foolery (check out his YouTube channel and his intro to FtB), and Ashley writes smartly and well on many legal and cultural topics of interest to the godless (intro here).

Welcome them all, check out their stuff, and enjoy!

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Pikemann Urge

    Aron Ra has arguably the most entertaining and informative video series on YouTube, ‘Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism’. If you’re like me and aren’t an expert in biology, you’ll find that series great viewing. Richard Dawkins (no disrespect intended) could learn a lot from him about how to communicate about how nature works.

    I also love thunderf00t’s ‘Why do People Laugh at Creationists?’ series.

  2. 2
    Christoph Burschka

    Phil Mason

    Am I the only one who has only just now learned Thunderfoot’s real name?

    Welcome to him and Cristina (and also a belated one to Aron Ra, Zinnia and Ashley). FtB is becoming more awesome by the day.

  3. 3
    AZryan

    [Almost completely irrelevant, off-topic, rambling, verbose, largely creepy question about Zinnia Jones' gender identity deleted by the editor for violation of comment policy. But the question itself will be answered because it's the only thing even remotely thread relevant that was in the comment and it's an opportunity for educating. -- RC]

    1. 3.1
      Richard Carrier

      Zinnia Jones is a transsexual woman. That shouldn’t matter very much. But I’ll just quote her on that point:

      One thing that put me off declaring myself as trans, and still kind of does, is the way that people tend to see this aspect of myself as overshadowing almost anything else about me, but that’s just the risk of being in a minority. While I’m still cautious about speaking on behalf of all trans women, I’ve become less reluctant to speak on behalf of myself and my own experiences as a trans woman. …

      I do know plenty of people, especially in the atheist and skeptical communities, who are wholly accepting and won’t even blink about the fact that I’m trans. On the other hand, I’ve had the displeasure of reading thousands and thousands of YouTube comments which seem to elevate ignorance to a competition. While I’m inclined to think most of these people were a lost cause from the outset, it’s disturbing to see how many people will ignore anything you say in favor of focusing on your gender.

      It seems that for many people, someone being and living as a gender other than the one they were assigned is a largely foreign and incomprehensible idea, one which they have almost no experience with outside of the oversimplified, objectifying, transphobic portrayals of trans women in the mainstream media and pornographic films, where we’re alternately fetishized or portrayed as disgusting and shocking. This creates a significant barrier to overcome, and a lot of people just can’t get past it.

      I think that pretty much says all that needs saying.

      (And is a great example of how efficient and well spoken she is, the very thing I was praising in my article.)

  4. 4
    AZryan

    I meant no harm. Tried to make that clear. I apologized for the length of my post in the post, but can understand you deleting it. Thanks for answering my post, but you didn’t have to call me a creepy insane jerk. I’m a good guy who has NOTHING against whatever sexuality or whatever anyone is. Like I said, I posted here ‘cuz I didn’t want to make her uncomfortable on her own page.

    1. 4.1
      Richard Carrier

      I didn’t say insane or jerk. It was just creepy.

      And weirdly verbose. You could have just asked, “Is Zinnia trans?” or some such thing. And you could have asked her, using just one sentence to express your embarrassment at not knowing how to ask or whether it’s appropriate, but you’ve heard confusing things and want to make sure you have it right.

      Natalie Reed has posted on how to ask transgender people questions sensitively. Although before even bothering to ask, you should ask yourself “Does it really matter?” I mean, she clearly identifies as a woman. Do you need to know any more than that? Reed’s post does acknowledge that for some people the answer to that question is yes. But they should still go forward with some sensitivity, and her blog post can help you with that (and if it doesn’t, you can politely ask Natalie Reed to answer questions like “How do I ask someone their gender?” on her blog for everyone’s benefit–this is the sort of thing Natalie does well; Zinnia would probably be open to such a request as well. Just be nice. And brief.)

  5. 5
    VyckRo

    Thunderf00t,known in the Christian YT community as the Thunderfool. This man promotes a number of myths and legends on YouTube. Reason for which tha man has been challenged my me to a debate.

    http://vyckro.blogspot.ro/2012/02/open-letter-to-thunderf00t_17.html

    Did I said that man is a coward?

    1. 5.1
      Richard Carrier

      Since he has departed this blog network, this is now moot. You can take that up with him elsewhere.

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