Archive for November, 2009

Ummah Channel

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 | Photos, Religion & Politics

Ummah Channel

Myself and Ian Abbott from Lancashire Secular Humanists at the Ummah Channel studios where we were filming a debate.

Planning for our new course

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Foundation

We held the first planning meeting for a new course today which will hopefully be piloted by Leeds Atheist Society next year. It will focus around issues on sex and relationships but in a way relevant for atheists, in particular students.

How much this will be abstract discussion and how much will be real issues is yet to be worked out but the idea behind the course is to actually make it useful for attendees – for example nobody really needs advice on what contraception is available and how it works because this gets taught in school and we all know it anyway. But things like breaking up with people for example aren’t really looked at.

Development will continue for the next few months though if you have any ideas or feedback regarding the project do get in touch (or even just comment on this blog post).

Skeptics reboot

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Events, News

Yesterday we re-launched the Leeds Skeptics in the Pub group with a new venue, new format and new speakers. The event went quite well despite Ariane have cancelled us on due to illness earlier the week – we got a better than average turn out and it was thumbs up all round for the new venue. We also took a lot of feedback about how we can improve in the future so we will continue to improve from here.

Leeds Skeptics Daryl Marples Skeptics in the Pub

Movie Goer’s Guide to Life & Death

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Humanism

On Tuesday we had our second Movie Goer’s Guide to Life & Death at A-Soc. It was basically a load of clips from American Beauty and while I found some of the analysis dubious I certainly enjoyed seeing the clips again very much enjoyable. Smile – you’re at Mr Smiley’s!

Movie Goer's Guide Nicola doing karaoke John

AHS Reverse Otley Run

Sunday, November 22nd, 2009 | Events, Humanism

Last weekend the AHS ran it’s first region social. It was somewhat less than a success with only Leeds actually turning up to it but it still remains the most success regional social the AHS has ever run. Good times.

AHS regional social Nicola Chris

Laptop steering wheel desk

Thursday, November 19th, 2009 | Reviews, Thoughts

Richard Wisemen tweeted about this Amazon product listing recently, it’s a little travel desk which hucks onto your steering wheel so you can use your laptop while driving.

Richard was most impressed by the customer images that users have taken the time to upload but I personally think it’s the quality reviews that people have written to really let us know how effective the product is that is the real gem of the page.

Wow is this thing great! I use it as a “mini-bar” when the friends and I go out to the bars. I can quickly fix multiple shots of tequila for myself and the friends as we drive from one bar to the next. We also discovered that if you place a pillow on top of it and turn on the cruise control you can catch quick naps on the interstate. If you swerve to the left or right the rumble strips on the road wake you up in plenty of time before you get into trouble. I can now take longer trips without being tired!

Also, i am now dating a midget and she fits nicely on the steering wheel desk which allows us to experiment sexually while driving. This thing is like WD-40 or duct tape, it is a million and one uses!

This has been a total lifesaver. It allows me to prop my sheet music against the wheel, allowing me to play the guitar with both hands while driving.

It is also great for holding your food if you decide you want a full meal (but you can’t check facebook on your steak), rolling illegal products in clear view of officers, and it makes a GREAT holder for your 6 pack of beer so you don’t even have to reach in the backseat to get another (reaching behind you while driving is dangerous)

This desk leaves just enough room to control the wheel with my knee so my shoulder is free for my phone and I can type with one hand and eat my lunch with the other. Best invention EVER.

I had hoped to find a low-cost/safer alternative to a car seat for my 21-month old. I was certain this would work well–even allowing me to see her clearly while driving (I am a freak about child safety!). Imagine my utter shock when she careened into my head while backing out of the driveway. And the darn “child seat” turned over too–seemingly it moves with the streering wheel—WTF? Luckily, I slammed on the brakes, and we have sustained only mild-to-severe concussions

Do you have any idea how hard it is to read Braille books while driving? Every time I’d hit something my book would slide off my lap onto the floor and I’d lose my place. Problem solved…Thanks Laptop Steering Wheel Desk.

Definitely one for the Christmas list.

Four Nations Final

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 | Distractions, Life

Four Nations Final

Having won tickets to the rugby league Four Nations final, I headed down on Saturday to watch the game. Luckily England had pulled a surprise victory over New Zealand beforehand so had made it through to face Australia in what would hopefully not be a repeat of their first encounter in the competition.

We started off quite well scoring the first try to take an early league and were only trailing by 4 points at halftime. However shortly after the second half had kicked off Australia realised that rather than trying to break our line, if they just kicked the ball past us and ran after it we wouldn’t really know what to do eventually leading them to win 46-16.

Still, no matter how many times you witness it, it’s still funny to watch someone shout advice about the rules to 26 national-level professional players whose job it is to play the sport and several officials whose job it is to marshall the sport even though they are at the other side of a 40,000 seater stadium.

All in all I have to say I really enjoyed it, I thought I would get bored at some point during the match but I never did. Although I did lose the £1 I had wagered on the match even with Australia having a 12 point handicap. Gutted.

Perspective Leader’s Guide now available

Sunday, November 15th, 2009 | Foundation

Perspective When we launched the Perspective course in 2009, we had no idea it would be such a huge success. Of course you hope that it will be a popular event but the interest we received in the course was far better than we thought we could hope for.

It proved to be popular with both members of the society and with the religious speakers who came to give the talks. Not only that but it even proved popular with your rank and file religious followers who wanted to learn about what religions other than their own believed and it wasn’t long before our events were packed out to capacity.

Given the course had worked so well we set about, as we have with all our courses, developing a leader’s guide so that the course could be run by other societies around the country and even the world. This suffered some delays over the summer but finally we have it in a state ready to ship out – as such we are now officially launching the guide!

So if anyone is interested in running a Perspective course at their local community do not hesitate to get in touch with us for a copy.

The Gijs returns

Saturday, November 14th, 2009 | Events, Friends, Humanism

Yesterday Gijsbert returned to Leeds Atheist Society to deliver a One Life session on human needs.

One Life Gijsbert Stoet Leeds Atheist Society

The H-Soc

Saturday, November 14th, 2009 | Events, Friends, Humanism

I went down to the Humanist Society of West Yorkshire on Thursday to listen to Norm’s talk on student atheism. It was a good talk although oddly punctuated by an altogether not all their Christian who had randomly turned up and occasionally started talking about Jesus. Crazy times.

Norman Ralph Norman Ralph Humanist Society of West Yorkshire