Sunday, January 25, 2009

Things that are neat

The shopping carts at IKEA are neat because all four wheels turn, allowing you to move your cart sideways easily if that is something that you might like to do. I was pushing my cart sideways through the store today. I had to say "pardon me" a few times as people seemed to keep getting in my way.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

There is probably no God... Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.

A £140,000 advertising campaign aimed at persuading more people to "come out" as atheists was launched today with a plan to broadcast a message doubting God's existence on the sides of buses, the tube and on screens in central London.

Its slogan – "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life" – can already be seen on buses in central London. A total of 200 bendy buses in London and 600 buses across England, Scotland and Wales will carry the slogan from today and tomorrow following a fundraising drive which raised more than £140,000.

The money raised will also pay for 1,000 advertisements on London Underground from Monday. Organizers today unveiled a set of quotes from famous writers and thinkers who endorse the atheist message.

The launch, held today near the Albert memorial, featured speeches by Dawkins, author of The God Delusion; Ariane Sherine, creator of the Atheist Bus Campaign; and Hanne Stinson, from the British Humanist Association.

The fundraising drive was prompted by a suggestion from comedy writer Sherine, who received support from the British Humanist Association (BHA) and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins.

Sherine, a television comedy writer, suggested the idea in a Guardian Comment is Free blog last June, saying an atheist bus campaign would provide a reassuring counter-message to religious slogans threatening non-Christians with hell and damnation.

Speaking at the launch , Sherine said the sheer number of donations received had demonstrated the strength of feeling in Britain.

She said: "This is a great day for freedom of speech in Britain and I'm really excited and thrilled that the adverts have been approved and I hope that they will make people smile on their way to work.

"I am very glad that we live in a country where people have the freedom to believe in whatever they want."

There has been overwhelming financial support for the project, which exceeded its funding target less than 24 hours after being launched, raising nearly nine times the amount needed to have its posters on buses.

Around £6,000 was needed to run adverts in London but within two days, individuals and organizations had pledged more than £87,000. More than £135,000 has been pledged so far. Today's event will also reveal the next stages of the campaign.

The theology thinktank Theos welcomed the campaign, saying it was a "great way" to get people thinking about God. "The posters will encourage people to consider the most important question we will ever face in our lives. The slogan itself is a great discussion starter. Telling someone 'there's probably no God' is a bit like telling them they've probably remembered to lock their door. It creates the doubt that they might not have."

The success of the British campaign has inspired atheists in the US to run their own advertising slogans in Washington DC. The American Humanist Association launched a bus advertising campaign last November with the slogan, "Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness' sake", appearing on the sides, rear and insides of the city's 230 buses.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Catching Up

Happy New Year! Christmas came and went and I managed to treat everyone to some fairly decent gifts. Even though we always spend Christmas Day at our parent's, Sean decided to decorate our house. He went out and got a tree and ornaments. We had friends over to help us trim the tree and got the place looking very warm for the holidays. And then we got drunk.

Kent came into town and stayed with us from the 27th through the 2nd. His birthday happens to land on the 31st, so its always a double celebration for him. We rang in the New year with friends in Scripps Ranch. Mark and Stephanie hosted a great party, that included the first annual drink-off competition. Competitors were judged on drink-ability, presentation, and originality. My vote went to Josh Kirwood for his creation below.

I woke up with a wicked headache.

I've put on a somewhat expected 5 or 6 lbs, what with all the chocolate-covered whatevers and caramelized thingajobs. I hope to be rid of that in a week or two.

New Years Resolutions:

- Be nicer. Even though I've made leaps and bounds in this category over the last few years, there is still a ways to go before one might go so far as to described me as a "Nice Guy". This will generally involve smiling more, and being pleasant, even to assholes...because, let's face it: they are everywhere and they are trying to recruit us everyday.

-Take more risks. This is about the direction I am taking my life and where I would like to be in 5 years and forward. It's going to involve putting aside everyday comforts and using my time and energy to work for the future. but I have to start by taking some chances.

- 1/2 marathon. This is a 21K run or about 13.1 miles. This will be very difficult for me. If you wanna run with me, that would be awesome.

-Practice discipline. I've got a good amount, but not in places where it is becoming more important as I grow older. More everyday discipline, and less errors in judgment.