Another meeting I’m hoping to attend


I’m going to take a real vacation next year, and take a week or so off and just do stuff I enjoy, with no pressure or obligations. And the one thing I really hope to do is attend the World Humanist Congress in Oxford next August, and then meander north to Scotland. Just because. It’s a good part of the world and seems like a lovely relaxing place to spend a little time and do nothing but think and travel. Also, I’m pinin’ for some Irn Bru.*

But wow, look at the speakers at that meeting. They might jazz up my brain to a non-relaxing, non-somnolent state. Just a risk I’ll have to take, I guess.

(By the way, humanist organizations in general tend to discourage the kind of behavior that asshats take as a given privilege — if you’re looking for a group of people who won’t treat you as a piece of meat, look into the humanists.)

*Not really.


  1. Bernard Bumner says

    I’m pinin’ for some Irn Bru.*

    I hear that the girder harvest was particularly good this year. It could be a vintage, in fact.

    You should reconsider.

  2. embertine says

    Ooh, fancy. I’m not far from Oxford, so I’ve signed up to the mailing list. If there’s going to be a FtB contigent going I am definitely there.

  3. embertine says

    Sorry PZ, I meant as visitors not as speakers. Am up for co-ordinating a pub hangout if so.

  4. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Oxford!? I’m in Berkshire, I can totally come to that! ‘cited! :)

    How much is it? It mentions a fee, but I can’t find any info on what that fee might be.

  5. embertine says

    Thumper, I think if you subscribe to the mailing list they will update with the fee when it’s confirmed. Hope to see you there!

  6. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    Thanks embertine, I will do that :) Yes, hopefully I can afford it, in which case I will see you there!

  7. opposablethumbs says

    Any chance you might be stopping over in London, in either direction? And if so, would you probably be in a mad airport transit lounge rush or might there be an evening with a bunch of the locals in some pub or other … ??? (I brought my whole family to hear you both nights you spoke in London last time. Very glad I did!)

  8. says

    I’m sure you’ll get all kinds of suggestions as to how you should spend your vacation in Scotland, but might I recommend Oban? From Edinburgh (where you can visit David Hume’s tomb and pay your respects) it’s a three-hour drive or a restful and scenic five-hour train ride, and is very beautiful, harboured and becastled and home to a famous distillery. It’s kind of touristy, but everything just slows down there. It’s lovely. I’d go back in a heartbeat.

  9. says

    I have no specific plans at all at this point, other than that I will be committed to taking it easy. No rushing! I might be able to find time to do something briefly in London.

    Of course, you have many asshats in England, too, so I might be on some hate lists there. Not going to worry about it, though.

  10. embertine says

    Ooh, Oban’s gorgeous. I went up to the red deer sanctuary on the hill, and then took a boat out to see the eiders fishingfor mussels. Ducking lovely.

  11. says

    No, really, my tentative plan at this point is a series of leisurely train rides northward, with stops. For once I’d like to visit a country without a series of deadlines at scattered intervals.

  12. aleph says

    Ooo, Oxford? I’ll be back from my exchange year by then, I might pop by and attend as well.

    As far as leisurely train rides northward go, I recommend the East Coast main line up from London to Edinburgh, which gives you some beautiful views of the country on one side, and comes right up alongside the sea on the other, literally a stone’s throw away. And better yet, it gets you into Edinburgh, which I can say with certainty born of a week spent there is an excellent place to spend a few days – there are some really good restaurants and the Castle is a beautiful thing, well worth a look.

    Also everyone has Scottish accents, which are gorgeous.

  13. Rich Woods says

    *Not really.

    As an Englishman I have to disagree with this statement. Irn Bru has got me up and going on many, many mornings when even a decent cup of Earl Grey won’t do the trick.

  14. he11cat81 says

    if you come to scotland you MUST come to Dundee! We have not only D’Arcy Thompson’s fantastic collection in the Zoology museum, we even have a pub named after him! With some of his collection in it and its a great base to visit the beautiful countryside and scenery here, especially the Angus Glens. The museum curator is always happy to go to the D’Arcy Thompson for a pint of our finest ale and share his marvelous D’Arcy stories too.