A short headsup: it’s been brought to my attention that a person out there is pretending to be me. They’re pointing at this site and claiming that they are Brian Lynchehaun, and including the above photo in their email correspondence.

Putting aside the (clearly insane) notion that being this particular Brian Lynchehaun improves your odds with the women (I have not yet been informed that they are hitting on men), should you receive an email from someone purporting to be me, I’d encourage you to click on the twitter link that follows all of my posts in order to verify that The Real Brian Lynchehauntm.

Alternatively, I can easily be found on Facebook and G+.

And now back to your regularly scheduled posts…

A link to Brian on Twitter!

Trying something a little different this week

Hey all,

There’s an idea I’ve been kicking around inside my head for a couple of weeks, and I’ve decided I’m going to try and get it all down here this week. Unlike my regular pattern of posting, this week will be far more chaotic in terms of frequency and post length. I’m hoping to get feedback from you, and hope that this will prompt some rigorous conversation.

As a heads-up to new readers, I will be marking my customary observation of Black History Month by taking on this book. While I recognize that there is much more to black history than the story of racism, my emphasis continues to be on placing contemporary race relations in a historical context, which requires an honest exploration of what race has meant in Canada up to this point. I am sure, incidentally, that there will be abundant references to Canada’s treatment of Aboriginal people and various Asian migrant populations, so it will require a bit of branching out.

Anyway, that’s what’s going on over the next few weeks.

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Catching up, and a study in contrasts

Hey all,

I was in Kamloops and Kelowna this weekend giving talks, so I didn’t have much time for blogging. I’ll get caught up soon, but for now (if you missed it), be sure to read Edwin’s post from late Friday.

Also I want to relate a quick story that I think is pretty cool. When I was in Philadelphia in summer 2011, I went to a place called “Geno’s” for Philly Cheese Steaks. Geno’s is a Philadelphia institution, where you supposedly get the ‘authentic’ cheese steak experience (complete with ‘Whiz’). Of course, because the guy running Geno’s is a fucking asshole, these decals festoon the order window:

Various decals admonishing you to speak English, because this is America, and endorsing Donald Trump for president.

He also sold ‘freedom fries’. Seriously.

Anyway, fast forward to a few days ago, I had to go downtown Vancouver, and as I got out of the train station, I was greeted by this food cart:

A food cart selling Philly Cheese Steaks with lettering in both English and Chinese

I’m pretty confident saying Vancouver for the win on this one. I can’t read (or speak, or understand) Chinese, so I’m secretly hoping the Chinese lettering says “Fuck you, Geno’s, you xenophobic knuckle-dragger! Also, Donald Trump would be a terrible choice for president, and your endorsement of him undermines the credibility of your political opinions!”

But it probably just says “Philly Cheese Steaks”

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Shades of Black Atheism

Bridget Gaudette, co-founder of Secular Woman and blogger at EmilyHasBooks has started a series called “Shades of Black Atheism” where she has invited black atheists to share their stories. This week, the subject of her series is lil’ ol’ me:

Twenty-eight years old and living in Vancouver, British Columbia, Ian was raised as a Roman Catholic by a father who is a former priest from Guyana (a small South-American former British colony). His mother was an Irish/German Canadian convert to Roman Catholicism, but his family was what he described as “averagely religious,” attending church on a weekly basis. Ian went to Sunday school as well. The family celebrated the major religious holidays, but their “lives were not suffused with gods.” Perhaps it is for that reason that Ian’s being an atheist has not affected his relationship with his family. He stated, “I live very far away from them, which means that my day-to-day life is fairly off their radar, and vice versa. When we are together, we focus more on spending time with each other than on things that we disagree on.”

Go check out the rest, and be sure to read the rest of the series as it comes out. I’d imagine the best way to manage that is to follow her on Twitter or rig up one of them “RSSR” dealies you kids are using these days.

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Kiva Project Update: January 2013

Hey all,

Beginning of the month means Kiva time. Given the total lack of commentary in December about my proposal to change the way these loans operate, I’ve gone ahead and allowed the $546.23 that this blog has loaned in the past year (that’s $716.23 in total revenue minus $170 donated to charity instead of loaned) to continue to circulate among existing loans. I plan on using the income from the blog to defray some travel cost, to allow me to attend some conferences if possible.

That doesn’t mean our project is ending, however. We still get periodic repayments as the loans are repaid to Kiva’s financial partners. This month we received about $50 in repayments, plus an additional $25 bonus that I got for buying Kiva loan cards as gifts. As a result, we were able to make the following loans: [Read more…]

Some random thoughts on blogging

A bit of a brag here: this blog just passed the million hits mark at FTB (technically, I got a million cumulative hits a few months back), and insofar as that makes this a “successful blog” or something, this advice may be helpful.

Freethought blogs has just gone through its third round of a formal screening and recruitment process, a process that I have had a role in designing and implementing. One of the common questions I see asked when we’ve announced that this blog or that blog has been invited to join us is a (usually friendly) inquiry into how blogs get chosen. This usually takes the form of “I sure would have liked to be selected. What do you have to do to get the attention of _________?” I have fielded a couple of times, and I know other people get this more often, questions from people who want to know how to make their blog successful or how to ‘get hits’ or whatever. What follows is a handful of opinions on blogging that I’ve developed over the past couple of years.

Before I start, I want to caution anyone looking to cite me as an expert that I am, in fact, no such thing. I have run two blogs in my life, only one of which went anywhere outside of my immediate circle of friends. The one that ‘made it’ (insofar as being on FTB is ‘making it’, which is arguable) is still not anything like a runaway success. Even within the small pool of FTBers, I am hardly the top when it comes to traffic or name recognition. However, having talked to other bloggers who are more well-trafficked and having listened to what they say, I don’t think my advice is too far outside the apparent consensus.

Okay… [Read more…]

Vanity Thursday: Don’t Look Back in Anger

Around this time of year, television stations are flooded with “Year in Review” features. My personal favourite year-in-review things are created by a rapper called Skillz who does a yearly feature called “The Rap-Up” (although this year’s version is pretty… meh). My personal practice is to reflect on the past year around my birthday rather than at the turn of the calendar, but since this is a time where many people try to make sense of the last 12 months, it’s my hope that you will be able to find some joy and satisfaction in some of the things that happened this year, and use them to propel you into more joy in 2013.

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Merry Whatever

Hey folks, just want to let you know that I am currently celebrating Christmas in Toronto with my family, which means that my traditional blogging vacation is on. I will have new stories for you in the new year, including an account of my experience at an #IdleNoMore rally, a first-ever (for the blog) book review, an audio book review, in addition to the usual thoughts and news stories you’re used to.

Whatever you’re doing over the next few days, I hope you are able to find some joy and laughter in it. You’ll have me back to join you in the new year!

As a gift, here is a video of an otter that I shot myself at the Vancouver Aquarium:

Here’s another one:

And here’s a picture of what I looked like when I saw the otters for the first time:

A picture of me with a wide-ass grin, excited to see otters for the first time ever!


Merry whatever, everyone!

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Upcoming speaking gigs in January (Kamloops/Kelowna)

Hey all,

Just a quick note for any folks living in the British Columbia interior – next month I will be giving a pair of presentations in Kamloops and Kelowna on the 12th and 13th of January respectively.

The Kamloops crowd will be getting some info about the HPV vaccine and how to sift through some of the myths and conspiracy theories that you find on the internet. In Kelowna, I will be giving an expanded version of my Eschaton2012 talk. After both events, there will be some kind of social event where we can hang out and talk about whatever, so if you live in the region and you’re curious what I’m like in person (spoilers: less interesting than you’d think), you should mark those days on your calendar.

Both events are organized and sponsored by the local chapters of the Center For Inquiry. I will of course post reminders and any additional information I have as details become finalized.

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Movie Friday: FAN MAIL!

Ohmygosh you guyse, I am just super excited. I was poking around in the dashboard of this site yesterday, and I noticed that I was getting a lot of hits from a Youtube video. Seeing as it is highly unusual for me to get referrals from Youtube, I clicked on through to see what was driving traffic to the site. Well wouldn’t you know, someone loves me and loves this blog enough to record a ten minute piece of fan mail! I’m so incredibly flattered. For someone to take ten whole minutes out of what I’m sure is a very busy schedule of hating the shit out of women to talk about little ol’ me? Gosh…

Let’s watch!

Well it’s the oddest piece of fan mail I’ve ever got. It doesn’t even seem like fan mail. It seems like he doesn’t like me! But that can’t be… I’m so loveable.

For those of you who didn’t/couldn’t watch all the way through, I will summarize IntegralMath’s* points: [Read more…]