I <3 A+!

I’ve been meaning to get round to visiting the Atheism+ siteit’s been live since August 27th, you’d think I’d get there sometime – and here I’ve finally made it. I already love it! Loved it the moment I registered for the forums and got asked about rocks in order to verify my status as a person rather than a bot.

Yay, I got them right! See, kids, geology is important in your everyday life.

Then, when I got all logged in, I discovered the forum is apparently a Doctor Who fan:

For those of you who are, sadly, not yet fans of the show, the reason why you’ll always hear a fan giggle when something says “information” before providing some info:

(And no, that’s not the Doctor. This is the Doctor. Although he regenerated and now looks like this. Look, it would all make sense if you would just stop making excuses and just watch the show.)

So, there I am, all registered. We need a card. I’d love to be a card-carrying member of Atheism+. I suppose I’ll have to become a Surly-Ramics-wearing member instead.

Alas, I won’t have much time for the forums – must give me freelance career me full attention, as I may have to live off of it sooner than expected – but I wanted to add myself to the numbers. You see, while I don’t insist everybody of worth must identify as an Atheist Plus, I think Atheism Plus is a fantastic idea, not to mention necessary. So there I am, and I always knew it would be a good fit, but I didn’t know how much fun merely signing up would be.



***Attention A+ haters and other assorted miscreants attempting to comment here: why not familiarize yourself with ye olde comment policy, and then cease wasting your time?****

Freethought Friday: “Whom Shall We Thank?”

I have now read and marked up dozens of books by freethinkers of the past, including eleven of twelve volumes of Robert G. Ingersoll. In reading them, I’m struck by just how little things have changed, as well as the differences between now and then. Differences are easy – the past is another country, after all – but it’s the similarities that stand out to me. So many things are alike. The problems, the arguments for freethought, the religious retorts….

Some detractors of the New Atheists like to say that we’re saying nothing new. We know that. We know we’ve had these conversations before. We know we’re “new” only to folks who forgot those who came before us. We haven’t forgotten the freethinkers who fought these battles against religion long ago. And we know that in freethought, as in geology, the past is key to the present, because many of their words still hold meaning. Many of their arguments still stand.

And they were brilliant, these men and women brave enough, driven enough, to defy the entrenched religious institutions of their days! So I figured that on Fridays, we should listen to them once again. And with this being the day after Thanksgiving, I have just the thing: [Read more…]

Hanging Valkitteh

Our own RQ has sent in one of the funniest, cutest, and more scientifically versatile geokittehs I’ve ever seen. Go see Mimi illustrate two geologic concepts at once – all without missing a wink!

Eat it, PZ. Cats and rocks cannot be beat.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Geokittehs, my darlings – Evelyn posts a new one quite often, making up for the fact I’m an enormous slacker.

The Joye of the Scientific Literature

I bloody love the scientific literature.

This was my night Monday night, while North Creek flooded and the cat cuddled and I recovered my sense of humor after a rough day. I got all excited about finding gem after gem in Google Scholar. I started posting this on G+, but a small observation ballooned into a full post. So it goes…

Off in the scientific paper weeds right now…. Really, all I meant to do was look up a few papers on lateral blasts and Mount St Helens. Somehow, I’ve ended up taking a wrong turn at Bandai-san and ended up in the San Francisco Volcanic Field, squeeing all the way. I had no idea we had maars there! Woo-hoo! [Read more…]

By Popular Request: Geology Book Extravaganza

By popular demand, just in time for the holidays, here ’tis: a maclargehuge list o’ geology books! Okay, so Heliconia asked merely for an introductory geology book. And Redpanda may not have expected a huge list when inquiring after a few titles to fill in ye olde gaps in scientific knowledge. But if a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing, I say – and besides that, I had two years of book reviews to pull from.

So here they are at last, books I recommend to those who need the short (compared to a university degree) and sweet course in geology. [Read more…]

You Voted for Death

Dear Friend Who Voted for Romney:

I’ve spent a week trying to process the fact that you voted for Mitt Romney. I still don’t know what those “conservative values” of yours are – you couldn’t tell me, and I can’t figure out what in the Republican Party platform you could agree with. I’m still hoping that you weren’t well-informed and were just voting how the people around you recommended you vote, because if you’d educated yourself on Romney’s values, lies, business practices, actions as a bishop, and history with gay classmates, and still chose him for President, then I don’t know if I ever really knew you. [Read more…]

Sunday Song: Autumn Interlude

You know how you hear a word that you weren’t paying much attention to, and suddenly it’s everywhere? Yeah. That’s happening with autumn. Here I am, minding my own business, listening to my new favorite radio app Jango (ha ha ha fuck you and your intrusive ads, Pandora!), and thinking I had autumn songs sewn up already because, hey, I have a whole bloody playlist full of ’em – then they hit me with two more. And they are gorgeous.

First, though, a photo to get you all in the mood. [Read more…]