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Aug 21 2012

A+, Plus Drool-Worthy Geology, AW #49 Info, and Other Bits

Blowing the dust off ye olde computer to say “Allo, allo, I’m still alive!” Taking a break, still, although I’m dipping my toes back in to a desultory bit o’ work. Like, this post.

First off, I just want to throw my support to Jen McCreight’s brilliant Atheism + idea. When my brain is back from its temporary vacation, I’ll have something more to say than “Woo! Count me in!” But this, plus the overwhelmingly enthusiastic reception, reminded me once again why I’m so damned proud to be a part of FreethoughtBlogs, and why I won’t ever give up on the atheist movement. People like Jen see problems that almost seem intractable, roll up their sleeves, and get to work.

Judging from some comments I’m seeing, at least a few folks are going to say, “Huh huh humanism!” with a greater or lesser degree of snark. So allow me to provide some links to read before too many people start protesting that A+ is just a snotty way of saying secular humanist. I have helpfully put the links most focused on the humanism vs atheism+ discussion in bold, which means you should read them carefully before launching into a tirade.

How I Unwittingly Infiltrated the Boy’s Club & Why It’s Time for a New Wave of Atheism

Atheism+

Why Atheism+ and not Humanism?

Atheism+: It’s time to walk the walk

A new atheism

Standing on Our Own

A new dawn

The difference between “atheism+” and humanism

Atheism Plus: The New Wave of Atheism

Is “Atheism Plus” Just Secular Humanism?

Atheism, Plussed And Nonplussed

The New Atheism +

I hereby join my fellow atheists +. This is it. This is the right spot for me. Although I’m a rebel and just had to change up one of the logos to suit myself, because I don’t like red and blue juxtaposed. Deeep riiifts!

A+ logo by by One Thousand Needles, with one minor modification by moi.

I like this. I feel very good about this. And I hope Surly Amy gets to work on the A+ Surly-Ramics ASAP. Want.

Right. Position staked, on to other matters. I’m in week 3 of nicotine withdrawal, for those interested and wondering how that’s going. Answer: nawt too gooood. I think this is the week where The Addiction Strikes Back, because it’s being a bastard. I still, however, am not smoking, although at the moment, I’m not happy about it. I feel like most of my personality has been cored out. That’s the trouble when a not-insignificant part of your identity was tied up in a particular habit. I will adjust, and I am definitely enjoying the fringe benefit of not coughing all the damned time, but it will take a while longer before the physical addiction subsides and I have managed to reinvent myself. In the meantime, I’m staying mostly offline and away from the usual routine. I’ve chosen to spend the majority of my time reading classic freethought and atheist works, in between bouts of cooking and eating all the food in the universe, and sleeping. Lotsa sleeping. Soooo much sleeping. It’s as if a twenty-year sleep debt has tracked me down and demanded paying. Chantix combined with ordinary pre-Aunty Flow fatigue, I’m relatively certain. The cat’s mostly enjoying my immobility, except when she becomes bored by it and amuses herself by yowling in my ear.

The dreams continue apace. Some have been rather dramatic, some have been prosaic (I hate the dreams about work. Chantix makes each dream more vivid, so I feel like they should be paying me for this shit). Some have been wonderful sci-fi extravaganzas I hate waking up from, because I want to know what happens next – and for some reason, I always wake up on a cliffhanger. And then there was the wonderful one where I was talking to a theist, one of the sorta mushy-gushy mystical ones, who dramatically announced that religion is the moon and stars, then asked me what atheism is. I thought about it for a moment. Then I looked up at the blue infinity above me, held my hands up to compass it, and said, “Atheism is the sky.” And I believe he got my meaning: a bright, clear place where a person can breathe and think and is not boxed in by old myths.

I quite liked that dream.

Food-wise, this has been an adventure. One side-effect of quitting I didn’t expect was a sudden interest in vegetables. Seriously. I’m craving things I don’t ordinarily crave: squash, spinach, corn and the like. I’m more of a meat-and-taters person, so this is rather odd. I’ve never had much of a sweet tooth, and since quitting smoking, I’ve wanted sweet stuff even less. To the point, mind you, where I even like water. In moderation, of course. Let’s don’t get too crazy. Water’s still mostly for washing in, but I’m drinking more than before. Weird.

And yes, I’ve put on weight. Not much, but some. There are a few bones I can only feel if I prod for them now. Judging from my father, I’ll end up looking malnourished, though: pot belly with chicken arms and legs. That’s just how our side of the family rolls.

Now, I promised you some eye-popping geology. Courtesy of Hexidecima, here ’tis, and I’m shamelessly stealing a teaser photo so that you’ll go read the post and look at the others and begin to drool with soft noises of ecstasy, as I did.

Looking westbound. US 322. Image courtesy Club Schadenfreude.

Want.

And this brings me to a point: those of you who write geology posts should always be bold and pimp them in the comments, even if unrelated to the current discussion, because I like to drool.

Also, if anyone wants me to start open threads to encourage jibber-jabber and such sharing between cantina regulars, I’m happy to. Say the word, and it will be so.

A quick note on Accretionary Wedge #49: some of you have never encountered the Wedge before. It’s basically geobloggers getting together monthly to post around a common theme, chosen by the host of the month. The host announces the theme, those of us inspired by it write a post about it, plunk the link into the host’s comments, and then, ideally, the host gathers all links together into a single post for all to enjoy. Does that mean you have to have a blog to participate? No. If you haven’t got a blog, but want to write up a little something on otherworldly geology, I will be happy to put you up as a guest post right here. Just send the draft to me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com. Make sure you have the rights to any pictures you include, because this is a commercial blog, and copyright rules are important.

And, finally, it’s time for the arachnophobes to avert their eyes, because Jean Gogolin sent me this link. Yes, that’s a new spider. Yes, it dwells in the Pacific Northwest. Yes, it has wicked claws. And yes, I’m going to be looking for one! I’m hoping to catch it using its claws on some poor unsuspecting prey, so I can make a new discovery for science. Hopefully, I won’t be announcing it eats humans….

That’s about it. I’ll probably be going dark again, have to get some research done and fight my poor addicted brain a bit more. Thank you all for your support and understanding. I’ll be coming back refreshed soon, and then I will present you some geology that will make your eyes pop.

Especially if Lockwood and I end up following Trebuchet’s footsteps into the John Day Fossil Beds this fall… Yum!

18 comments

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  1. 1
    (e)m

    1. Nice geology, I am looking forward to the wedge post.

    2. Congratulations on staying smoke free. I hate dreaming about work myself. But vivid sci-fi dreams sound cool. and I’m gonna remember that “atheism is the sky” line.

    3. My take on Atheism +

    4. Cool spider.

  2. 2
    rq

    Craving vegetables and less sugar = a very good thing!!! :) As for not being able to cut yourself on bone protrusions anymore, I imagine it does wonders for your feline’s sense of comfort. (“Meaaoooowww, self-heating pillows!”)
    I’m all for jibber-jabber, as long as I’m not the only one. I’ve been feeling a lot more open and willing to share lately; the question is, is anyone else interested? :)

    And I might attempt a smallish post for the Accretionary Wedge. I got abnormally excited about the idea of completing a research assignment and handing it in, just like in school. Now I’m trying to think (very quickly) whether I have the time for the actual digging and research.

    Glad about the update post. A+! (Definitely an improvement in the general comfort feelings for me, too.)

  3. 3
    chezjake

    I was always a veggie eater, but even so my spinach consumption has probably tripled since Chantix. Also my cheese consumption. My coffee consumption has decreased, but definitely has not gone away. And, yes, my water intake has increased substantially too.

    Not to worry about the water if you take my grandfather’s advice: “There’s nothing wrong with water so long as it’s taken in the proper spirit.” ;-)

  4. 4
    A Hermit

    Hang in there, it does get easier.

    And I think you anwered Al Stefanelli’s question over here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/alstefanelli/2012/08/20/what-the-hell-is-secular-spirituality/ with this bit…

    “Then I looked up at the blue infinity above me, held my hands up to compass it, and said, “Atheism is the sky.” And I believe he got my meaning: a bright, clear place where a person can breathe and think and is not boxed in by old myths.”

    Maybe it was just the drugs, but I quite liked that…

  5. 5
    smhll

    The warped geology picture is pretty spectacular.

  6. 6
    hexidecima

    glad you liked the rocks, Dana.

  7. 7
    One Thousand Needles, lumper-splitter

    * draws a line in the sand *

    So this is where the Atheism+ Blue Faction and the Atheism+ Black Faction part ways!

    1. 7.1
      Anonymous Atheist

      And have you seen PZ has an all-red version in his sidebar now? :)

      1. rq

        Oh no!!!

    2. 7.2
      Lou Doench

      Reminds me of the split in the NWO… which side gets Kevin Nash?
      (no one is going to get this wrasslin’ reference…)

  8. 8
    votecaboose

    I feel like most of my personality has been cored out. That’s the trouble when a not-insignificant part of your identity was tied up in a particular habit.

    This.

    It’s enough to make you wonder if the health benefits are worth the loss.

  9. 9
    Lou Doench

    Congrats on the no smoking! I kind of miss my Chantix dreams.

  10. 10
    Ron Schott

    Been there, GigaPanned that: http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/93590

  11. 11
    Julie

    Very cool rock pics. Awesome-ly cool spider pictures too. Why do I always get all itchy when viewing spiders?

    Good luck with the no smoking thing. I did it and I am a wimp so it is possible.

  12. 12
    Pat

    Congrats on being a nonsmoker!
    Remember that the cravings DO get fewer and further between…you don’t have to fight like this forever.

  13. 13
    Physicalist

    Congratulations on quitting the smoking. It’s hard, but hang in there. It’ll never be easier than it is now, and it’s worth it.

  14. 14
    Emu Sam

    I have to make sure you don’t miss PhD Comic on lava. http://www.phdcomics.com/tv/#009

  15. 15
    Worldtraveller

    Dana, I assume you’ve been to the Ape Caves around Mt. St. Helens? A group of friends and I hiked the upper tube this past weekend (not all of them had such a good time). I was wondering how familiar you are with the region and if you could do a post on it. It was pretty incredible, and the sights inside were spectacular. Of course, just turning off all the lights and appreciating the dark was kinda fun, but not really conducive to hiking.

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