Archive for November, 2008

Live from London

Sunday, November 30th, 2008 | Events, Humanism, Life

While I will blog far more extensively when I return to Leeds, having finally got onto the wifi network at my hostel I feel the need to blog. London has been an interesting bag of tricks so far, the Natural History Museum was a bit disappointing but Sin City was amazing and I meet up with Kieran even if our catch up time was brief. Stay tuned for more stories.

Atheist Society at large

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 | Humanism

Liz isn’t drunk!

She wanted to stress this quite a lot last night.

Nicola however was far more open about her level of intoxication.

But let’s rewind for a second. The evening started with the usual commitee meeting to which Kate didn’t turn up to (because apparently she had bailed on London but was too scared to tell me or Norm face to face) nor die Rosie who apparently is putting her degree ahead of A-Soc (but not ahead of the pub, /judge),

The meeting went well given that Norm forgot his talk and indeed all of the A-Soc stuff, it was rather well attended which was good to see which both together was a bit of a shame as the topic really has a lot of potential especially given recent events. Still there was some good discussions, especially at the pub afterwards so all is good.

The talk was on discrimination against atheists which as we found out when we got into discussions is very wide spread in society which is already fairly evidence despite the fact that we actually make up the majority.

Becky bailed on the pub which was disappointing but both Brett and Nicola arrived, killing any rumour that they had eloped to Mexico together but we can’t rule out the plan being put in place for a later date. I left shortly before midnight with a few hard core A-Soc’ers still hanging on. As ever these days, a rather good night.


Wednesday, November 26th, 2008 | Life

Yesterday I decided that the current glass of Red Bull I was holding would be by last before London so hopefully it will actually have some affect when we’re down there.

So far I’m doing alright. I mean, I’m really tired and I’m having chest pains but other than that I’m fighting fit! And I am pretty sure that it’s not entirely related anyway. So, so far, so good.

The open road

Monday, November 24th, 2008 | Friends, Life

We didn’t half get round last night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in that way.

We started the night with a stop at Co-op to get a sandwhich. But they didn’t have any. Well, they had one egg and cress or some crap. Certainly not the kind of sandwhich you would ever actually eat. So we headed over the road to Sainsbury’s. Who didn’t have any either. So we ended up settling for a bit of a random assortment of food.

It was then off to Xscape for some bowling which is where things started to go wrong. Having found Charlotte hanging out with her 50 year old friends she proceeded to somehow beat us in the first game. Hang your head in shame guys 😀 . Luckily some sense of normality was restored and I won the second game.

Next stop was Hunslet McDonald’s as Craig was on the close over there. It didn’t feel as traitorous as exprected to go elsewhere but then they didn’t have any M meat so was it really worth it? We finished the night by heading back over to Colton Mill as to not disappoint Becky. How nice are we? 😀

Human needs

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 | Humanism

Friday saw the long awaited session of One Life on “Human needs” presented by Dr. Gijsbert Stoet.

While we were missing quite a few regulars we never the less had a large turn-out as expected. The food went down a storm as the photo gallery shows with many people going back for second and even third helpings!

Gijsbert’s talk was good and importantly included Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which everyone loves (because it’s awesome, obviously). All in all, a very successful week for One Life.

Secularism – The Big Debate

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 | Events, Humanism

On Thursday we headed over to the University of Bradford for a talk entitled “Secularism – The Big Discussion” which was sort of a debate slash discussion about religion but it was all fairly wishey washey and never really got on topic. Not that, that made it a bad event. It was good.

One of the speakers was the chair of the Humanist Philosophers’ Group Peter Cave who we ended up going for a pint with afterwards! He’s actually a fantastic guy, not only does he know his stuff (which is to be expected) but he is also incredibly quick witted and entertaining.

Well worth the trip. Even if I didn’t get to bed until 1am while still having work the next day. Like every day really I guess.

Interfaith panel

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | Humanism, Religion & Politics

Yesterday was our long-awaited interfaith panel in which we invited representatives from each faith down to an open discussion in which the audience could ask questions and each representative could answer with respect to their faith.

In the end we had quite a good panel with Buddhism, Christianity, Mormonism, Sikh, Bahai and Atheism represented. ISoc and JSoc have continued their long-established tradition of refusing to talk to us despite Nicola’s best efforts but I didn’t feel we were missing anything as it worked really well with the good selection of beliefs we already had. John also did a good of chairing the meeting and making sure things didn’t get too out of hand.

As already mentioned we also successfully broadcast the event live for everyone who couldn’t make it in person. It is also available as a saved video clip somewhere, hopefully it will get posted on the A-Soc website in the near future.

All in all, it was a very successfully Give It A Go event for us. We managed to get a total of 45 people down which is probably the best turn out we have had this year.

Live on the net

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | Humanism, Tech

Yesterday Atheist Society completed our first successful webcast.

Not that we have previously had unsuccessful webcasts, this was the first time we tried it and it worked really well. I made use of the services on uStream which performed like a bottomless pit – flawlessly (I know, I know 😉 ). I’m really impressed with it to be honest, it has a lot of options and you can do things like overlays but the real jem is just how well it works out of the box as it were.

We had some technical issues in that the feed was password protected during our testing phase and then when I turned it off it kept prompting for a password anyway and wouldn’t except the previous password. Still once we got this issue sorted we were on our way achieving three viewers! On of which was myself monitoring the playback but that still leaves Norm and someone else geniunely watching it.

One Life

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008 | Events, Humanism

Friday was the long awaited session of One Life – no, not the Gijs’s, mine of course! The subject was “leading a better life” and was your typical group discussion though scaled up for the fact that we would have a lot more people there, having sub-groups which then fed back to everyone else.

It being AHS weekend we brought in loads of takeaway food which despite quite disappointing attendance we still managed to eat our way through it all. Which I think is testament to the hedonistic lifestyle led by most of our society members. And believe me, it’s good 😀 .

AHS November 2008 Conference

Monday, November 17th, 2008 | Humanism

Where to begin, where to begin?

There is so much to talk about. We’ve just come out of a whirlwind conference for the AHS. I guess the logical place to begin would be at the start. But I’m not going to start there. I’m going to start in the middle and work my way round in some kind of circular motion.

First of all, we now have an AHS. While I am a firm believer the AHS began at our June conference, because that is when it actually began, was named and became “something” but as of Saturday we now have a ratified constitution and so are even more “official.”

Secondly we now have elected representatives. Congratulations to Norman, Jenna and Tom who have been elected president, secretary and treasurer respectively. Myself, Alex, Chloe and Andrew have also been appointed as trustees. Hmm, thinking about it, we should probably let Andrew know about that 🙂 .

All in all it’s been a busy, busy weekend. We started on Friday with One Life (which I will blog about later) then had some drinks in The Terrace and then headed down to the German Christmas market. Saturday consisted of looking at the constitution and society presentations followed by dinner at L’oranise, drinks in The Old Bar and then Wendy House and then we finished up on Sunday with breakfast at Wetherspoon’s and some roundtable discussions. Still once it was all done I could go home and relax while I tried to catch up on all the freelance work I still had to get completed for Monday 😀 .

It was great to see everyone again and meet a new few faces too. If I thought I packed a lot into the weekend it was nothing compared to the amount of jokes and puns that Stuart and Greg from Edinburgh managed to fit in. Even if they did start to grate on certain other conference delegates by the end of the weekend 😛 .

We also recorded a “live from the AHS conference” edition of the podcast which will be available from Friday, providing I get it edited together in time lol. All in all, a very productive weekend and I look forward to seeing everyone again next year.