Oh, how things change

I rediscovered my old Xanga blog the other day. Most of my entries are from age 13 to 15*, so it’s both painful and hilarious to read. For example, I found a post where I was whining about fashion – nothing new there, I suppose, but I loved this line from 2003 (bolded):

None of the clothes I like fit me anyways. At least in the junior department, which is were all the nice stuff is. I’m not like, overweight, but everything there is just so tight that is looks crappy. Like, if I lost 10 pounds it would be perfect. All the jeans are too short even when they’re in the Long style (curse you, height!) and all the shirts seem to be built for girls who are like AA cups >_< I’m not even what you would consider busty and they don’t fit me. Stupid fashion.


God, how was I complaining about fitting into things when I was barely a B cup? If only Young Jen knew how much more annoying it would get to find well fitted shirts.

If you want to read more…well, don’t bother looking for it. I have it friends-locked. No one needs to be subjected to that many Japanese emoticons and personality quizzes.

*I later switched to Livejournal for most of high school and part of college, then finally set up Blag Hag publicly on Blogger. If my trend of upgrading blogging platform continues, I’ll switch to WordPress right when something more awesome surpasses it.

Getting off my ASS for the SSA

I have a little bet going with JT Eberhard, who you may remember as the brains behind Skepticon and the new high school organizer for the Secular Student Alliance. JT and I were discussing our dismay at the extra pudge we’ve put on, the holiday season definitely not helping despite our godlessness. Finding motivation to get off our butts is hard for two bloggers, but we came up with a good idea: Competition!

JT and I are both speaking at the SSA regional leadership conference in Southern California on February 19th. Starting on January 1st, whoever can lose more weight before February 19th is the winner. And to turn it into a good cause, we’re encouraging our readers to donate to charity to support our goal. If you want to be awesome, you can support me by using the widget below to donate to the SSA.

You can either donate a flat amount, or pledge (in the comments) to donate a certain amount per pound I lose. JT and I will post updates every Saturday, so you can either donate as we go along, or wait until February 19th in case you think I’m going to break down and gain it all back in a Day After Valentine’s Day Chocolate Sale moment of weakness.

And if you want to be less awesome, I guess you could always support JT by donating to Skepticon.

It wouldn’t be a bet without consequences. The loser has to buy the other drinks for the whole night at the conference. It’s kind of unfortunate that JT is going to spend a significant portion of his first paycheck from the SSA buying me alcohol, but oh well.

Anyway, I hope you’ll donate! The SSA and Skepticon are both great causes, and who doesn’t want their skeptics to adopt healthier lifestyles?*

*And in case anyone thinks a weight loss competition will just encourage unhealthy dieting or starvation… trust me, I like food way too much. I plan on cracking out DDR and EA Sports Active 2 every day. Yes, I will win this nerdily!


EDIT: JT thinks he has me beat with his plan to eat lots of pizza in order to gain weight before January 1st. Oh yeah? Well you know what I have to say to that?!?!Great minds think alike. (Yes, that’s the best Game Face I can come up with)

The Most Influential Female Atheist of 2010

It’s that time of year again! Yep, time for arbitrarily quantifiable Top 10 lists. Last year’s poll on influential atheist women was so successful, I felt like it would be a great idea to do one again.

Yes, we all know polls aren’t scientifically meaningful – technically PZ Myers was one of the most influential female atheists of 2009 (should never allow write-ins when Pharyngulites are around). But the way I see it, all the women on this list are winners, and this is just one way to showcase them. Here are the nominees, suggested by my blog readers via twitter and facebook, or added by yours truly:

I know it’s hard to vote when there are so many awesome women on one list, so you can vote for up to three. If you want to vote for someone not on the list, please select “Other” and leave your vote in the comments:

Who was the most influential female atheist of 2010?Market Research

It was hard selecting just 15 nominees – you can see a much longer list of awesome female atheists here.

Some people will probably think a women-only list is just perpetuating sexism, or implying women can’t play with the “big boys” of atheism, so they need their own poll. But really, it’s addressing the problem that so many women are doing fabulous things in the movement, but too few people know about their achievements. This is just one way of highlighting all the awesome work they’ve done in the past year.

*People using Google Reader or other RSS feed aggregators may not be able to see the poll. Please visit the original post to voice your opinion!

Nifty new video about the Secular Student Alliance

I command you to watch it. And if my decree is not enough motivation, you should totally watch it because it has cameos by Richard Dawkins, Brian Dalton (Mr. Deity), and Hemant Mehta:

While watching this video, I realized yet another thing that makes the Secular Student Alliance so awesome. Out of all the people featured, I have only not met one, and that was the guy from Africa. And out of the rest, I consider the majority friends rather than acquaintances, and some of them as very close friends. So not only did the SSA help make my club at Purdue a success, but I’ve personally made connections that I’ll have for a lifetime.

I’ve come a long way from thinking I was the only atheist out there. Thanks, SSA!

‘Tis the season for giving

Boobquake is still making an impact months later*. You may remember that I sold some boobquake t-shirts in my store promising the royalties would go to charity. The total royalities earned from boobquake shirts was $621.87, and my April volume bonus thanks to the shirts was $369.53. That’s a total of $991.40 raised from Boobquake! Well, the donations have finally been made.

$500 has been donated to the Red Cross for disaster relief, and

$500 has been donated to the James Randi Educational Foundation

The delay in donation paid off, since the JREF is having their Season of Reason right now. What does that mean? An anonymous donor is matching all donations, meaning Boobquake’s contribution to the JREF is effectively doubled to $1,000!

I know that’s still not much for a big organization, but it’s equivalent to one of my paychecks, so I feel like quite the philanthropist right now. But really, the money wasn’t mine – I should be thanking all of you who bought merchandise in order to support these organizations. So, thank you!

We may still debate if boobquake did any good in terms of politics, religion, or women’s rights, but it’s certainly not debateable that it raised money for two wonderful causes.

*The months later part is mostly due to me moving twice after April, first to my parent’s house and then to Seattle. This resulted in Zazzle checks (which are already notoriously delayed thanks to waits in processing) to get returned to sender for a while as they tried to find me. I then realized I could just get paid through PayPal, so that solved that issue. …But yeah, it’s also partially due to procrastination. Oh well, I guess it worked out, since we ended up having a matching donor!

For my ginger friends

Even though the science is wrong*, I still laughed:*Zach presents sexual antagonism as having a lower chance of reproducing, but if you do reproduce, your daughters will be high quality so it makes up for your lower quality. But that’s not right. It’s that his sisters are so high quality, it doesn’t matter that he’ll never reproduce, because they’ll more than make up for it. His parents wouldn’t care that he’s an evolutionary dead end, since the sisters are pulling his weight in terms of grandchildren. Of course, never getting laid while watching your sisters fend off endless suitors doesn’t sound too great either, so the joke stands.

Though I’ve been attracted to three red-headed guys, so maybe Zach’s theory is bunk. Hmmm, his wife is also an evolutionary biologist. What does it all mean?!

Merry Christmas!

I’m having lunch with my grandparents and uncle, then I’m off to the airport. Yep, spending my Christmas flying back to Seattle. Oh well, I don’t really mind. I got to see my family and friends, and that matters more than the date I see them on. Plus it was hundreds of dollars cheaper to fly today.

I’m still kind of sad that I didn’t get to see my brother, sister-in-law, and nephews. It snowed too much yesterday to make the drive… stupid Midwest. I’m kind of tempted to keep my nephews’ dinosaur coloring book, though.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I’m a singer now too!

Well, sort of. I’m autotuned saying three words, but it’s still for awesome. You can listen to and download Skeptical by Three Ninjas here.

Here’s a snippet of the lyrics:

My skeptical muscle is strong like Bertrand Russell
I like to avoid fights but still find the occasional tussle
I try to act famous but I’m just a small corpuscle
and if creationism comes up expect me to dominate the discussle
These faith-based fucks like to pretend to sound logical
but it’s founded on fallacies frequently fully mogical
you can misinterpret data about polystrate logs
but everyone points and laughs reading Ken Ham’s blog

Make sure you check out his other delightfully nerdy songs!