Mohs Nokia

I’ve owned two Nokia phones so far. The first one I dropped on a concrete parking garage floor. It split into two pieces, and I was all, “Oshit, I’ll have to buy a new phone!” But I picked up the bits and snapped them back together, and that phone is still in service six years later. Cujo has it now.

My second Nokia phone took a dive from a second-story balcony onto the concrete patio below when I was visiting Evelyn in New Hampshire. She offered me sympathy, because second story and concrete. I just laughed, skipped downstairs, grabbed the phone, snapped the casing back in place, and turned it on. It’s the phone I’m still using today. Well, until I break down and get a smartphone.

Speaking of smartphones, did you know that if you need a hammer but haven’t got one, you can use a Nokia Lumia instead? Not that you necessarily should, but chances are, it would do the job and survive.*

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Vote for One of Our Own!

Begin super-sekrit communiqué from our own RQ:

I just need your vote, via Twitter or Facebook.

As I may or may not have mentioned previously, my choir is planning a trip to Canada in the summer of next year, for the Canadian Latvian Song and Dance Festival (program here, that’s us on July 4th). So, one of the local breweries here (Cēsu alus, no comments) is running a competition for local groups of singers/dancers to win a rather large sum of money, which we, the choir, would put towards our trip next year – either for plane tickets, or for sight-seeing in Canada (since that costs money, too, and for the vast majority of choir members, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get to North America).

So, please, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, go here and vote (Click ja to say you’re over 18, then click on ‘Balsot’ at the top, then look for Jauniešu kora SONORE dalība XIV Latviešu Dziesmu svētkos Kanādā, Hamiltonā and click Balsot again), from each account, every day (I’ll be putting out reminders until you’re all sick of me). Please. This would mean a lot to me and my fellow choir members, as it would reduce a lot of the stress and financial worry currently causing doubts in some members.
If anyone doubts our skill, I can re-post some of our music – and I’ll (hopefully) have new music/video after this weekend (amateur choir finals on the 29th).

Anyway, if you can help out, muchas gracias! *hugs*

End super-sekrit communiqué.

Right, simple enough. Let’s get ready to vote! First, a song for motivational purposes:

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A Landscape in a Hand Sample: To Transform

Were you afraid I was Meatloaf? We did two out of the three major rock groups, and then a whole week goes by, and perhaps some of you wondered if I decided two outta three ain’t bad. I assure you this isn’t the case. I just got a bit distracted by other things. I wasn’t going to leave it at igneous and sedimentary and neglect one of my all-time favorite rock groups.

Metamorphic
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Thank You, Ron

Dear Ron Lindsay,

Thank you for your apology. Thank you especially for this bit of your apology:

I am sorry that I caused offense with my talk.  I am also sorry I made some people feel unwelcome as a result of my talk.

You could have taken the Way of the Weasel and said so sorry we were offended, but you did what a leader needs to do and accepted full responsibility. I respect that. And that has, in turn, restored a bit of my respect for you. (Still – I’d have suggested replacing some with many, but otherwise not too bad.)

I’d also like to say that you just bested your own Board of Directors (and it might be nice if they stepped up and followed your lead – it would show they have the same ability to recognize when they’re wrong that you do). I appreciate that. I realize you could have left matters with their ridiculous non-statement and cut us all loose, but you didn’t – you did the right thing, and you’ve explained why you waited to do it. I hereby rescind my request for your head on a pike your resignation. Never wanted that as much as a sincere apology, anyway – you’ve done good work in the past, and it will be good to see you continue that work with a new understanding going forward. I certainly haven’t forgotten your strong statement against hate directed at women in the secular community. Perhaps now we’ll see you live up to your own words:

Those who are incapable of treating others with decency and respect do not belong in our communities. To such individuals we should say with one voice: take your hate elsewhere.

(Hint: Justin Vacula is one such individual. Y’know – the dude you hugged who writes for a hate site? Yeah. The people who cheered your unfortunate speech, snippy blog posts, and subsequent silence, and are now no doubt enraged by your apology, are others you should consider carefully before extending any welcome.)

Some folks are still wary, some are still pissed, and all of us will be watching to make sure you and CFI were actually listening, but I for one am reasonably sure you were. I think you’re the kind of person who can take criticism on board and, after the heat of the initial moment, and the instinctive defensiveness, comprehend why it is you came under so much fire. I know you can read past our anger and disappointment, extract our advice, and put it to good use. And I know that will make you a better ally, one I’ll be proud to stand beside.

We all fuck up sometimes. Thank you for being a person who can recognize a serious mistake and issue a true apology. Thank you for letting pride bend when it needed to.

See you at WiS3.

Sincerely,

Dana Hunter

PS. Have a sleeping kitten as a symbol of peace between us. Who (other than PZ) can resist that, amirite?

Sleeping Luna.

Sleeping Luna.

PPS. Dear Board of CFI: You have a long way yet to go before you earn forgiveness for that appalling and frankly insulting non-statement of yours. Get crack-a-lackin’.

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Unleashing Nuclear Cute Option in 3…2…1…

I haven’t any substantial content for you today. I’m not sorry. In fact, I’m about to do something so vicious and evil that you will be mopping yourself off the floor for the next three days.

Prepare for kitten…

I know. I’m a bad, bad person. Bad, evil, cruel Dana. Perhaps these will help.

Paper towel photo courtesy Mets501 via Wikimedia Commons.

Paper towel photo courtesy Mets501 via Wikimedia Commons.

I hope they’re absorbent enough for ye.

Choosing Rock

Some of you fence-sitters and those who’ve been, I dunno, trapped deep underground with no internet access for two-plus years, may be wondering what the fuss is about. I mean, jeez, Ron Lindsay just made a bone-headed speech and spouted off on the official CFI blog. What’s the harm, amirite? You may think the response is disproportionate to the offense.

But the thing is this: both the content and the context of his little lecture at WiS2 were awful. His actions afterward, when he attacked Rebecca Watson rather than attend a fundraiser for his own organization, displayed a stunning lack of professionalism, and went against the principles he himself had agreed to abide by. He betrayed himself as well as the women he said he stood by. That shows a weakness of moral fiber that concerns me deeply. [Read more…]

Cryptopod: The Red and the Black

Let’s have nice times with a wee beetle. I like beetles. They’re frequently interesting. And most are quite companionable. They also keep the cat amused when they venture indoors – she’s content to dart around watching them for hours, although thankfully she doesn’t offer to eat them. I’d feel a bit bad. “Thanks for entertaining my felid. Shame about the digestive juices.”

I see very little not to like in a beetle, which may be why “The Creator, if He exists, has ‘an inordinate fondness for beetles*.'” You know who else had an inordinate fondness for beetles? Charles Darwin. Can you blame him? They’re fascinating. And they did a bang-up job helping him figure out that whole evolution thingy.

Tis the season, and we found a few out and about round Twin Falls (the Washington waterfall, not the city). There was this lovely bloke, who makes a virtue of simplicity.
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No Longer Donating to CFI? Skepticon Could Use Your Help!

Thanks to our own John-Henry Beck, I was made aware of this outstanding adherence to principles, irregardless of money:

However, after witnessing the actions of one of our years long sponsors, the Center for Inquiry (CFI), it has come to our attention that, in order to uphold the values that we have come to embody and endorse, we will no longer accept their sponsorship.

So what does this mean for Skepticon? Well, losing a large sponsor is going to hurt a little bit (we’re probably going to have to sell some of those awesome hats were were talking about) but it has made even determined than ever to make a conference that we can be proud of.

That right there tells me Skepticon is worth supporting. If you’ve withdrawn your fundage from CFI, Skepticon is a great place to redirect your donations. I’ve thrown some money in their coffers, and will be doing so on a semi-regular basis. Remember, this is student-led and free, and principled. If you can spare the change, show them some love.

And, Skepticon? Thank you for being awesome. Much love!

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Please Link Me Your Pissed-At-CFI-Board Links

I’ve been seeing a lot of eloquent outrage since the CFI board issued its fine fuck you. But I know I’m missing some. If you’ve read and/or written a post expressing your displeasure, or left a comment regarding same, leave me a link. I figure it would be nice to collect all and sundry in a single location. In fact, once collected, I think it would be nice to deliver said linkfest to the CFI Board. They may not wish to listen, but we can show them we’re paying attention, and just what their disdain will cost them in volunteers and donations.

We-are-Not-Amused

Right. Bring ’em.

Ron Lindsay’s Extraordinary Bullshit Part III: A Fine Fuck You

Dear CfI Board of Directors:

I’ve spent the day attempting to determine what I could compare your moral courage to. However, each and every candidate has turned out to have more moral courage than you, up to and including John McCain and William Dembski. Even Enron showed more sense. I’ve seen corporations deny responsibility. I’ve seen not-pologies that require a dictionary of corporate-speak to decipher. I’ve seen organizations run from mistakes. But this is the first time I have ever witnessed a statement written by people too oblivious to even mention what interested parties told them repeatedly had caused distress, and then have the audacity to blame the injured parties for the injury dealt them. That’s private-health-insurance-quality fuckery, that. [Read more…]