Archive for April, 2010

Leeds Reason Week 2010

Sunday, April 25th, 2010 | Events, Humanism

Leeds Reason Week has come and gone for another year and what a year it’s been! 22 events and 7 days later and we’ve had another amazing week in which we’ve talked to hundreds of people acquired many new members as well.

The marquee was packed out every night, often with us running out of chairs to put people on. The Christian Union debate alone has 67 people attending and the other nights weren’t too far behind in terms of attendance either.

See the official photo gallery for pictures from the week.

Bare Faced Messiah

Sunday, April 25th, 2010 | Events, Humanism

Last Saturday we kicked off Leeds Reason Week 2010 with Skeptics in the Pub. The duty had fallen to me to deliver the event so I settled on the topic of L. Ron Hubbard. I wanted to find out the true story behind his life and came across the book Bare Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard.

Whether the book itself is entirely accurate is of course open for dispute too, though it does at least go as far as to regularly cite sources. It was a fascinating journey because in many ways Hubbard was an amazing man – everyone laughs at Scientology but he convinced millions to take it up and follow him – no mean feat by any standards!


Saturday, April 10th, 2010 | Humanism, Life

On Wednesday myself and Gijsbert headed down to London on CWF business. Actually we almost didn’t – when I phoned Gijsbert at 17:40, an hour before the train was due to leave, he answered the phone with the question “so, what time do we leave tomorrow?” :D.

Luckily he made it in time though and we were on our way. As well as some productive meetings we managed to get round the Imperial War Museum in the morning, which was cool although I didn’t think it was as fantastic as most people had talked it up to be.

I have to say I really like the taxi system in London also. It may be rather expensive (though what isn’t in London) but just the fact that there are so many of them driving around that you can flag down and you just can’t beat a chatty London cabbie.

Easter Sunday at Humanist Community

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Foundation

This morning we held out “Easter Sunday” event at the Humanist Community of Leeds. The day started with Chris talking to BBC Radio Leeds about the event though given so many people were spending time with their family this weekend we were expecting a fairly low turn out.

It was quite a shock then when we got such a turnout, though certainly a pleasant one! The discussions were great, the feedback was positive and Sunday lunch was as enjoyable as ever. Roll on our May meeting!

All in a Humanists’ Day’s Work

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Life

It’s been a long day, already.

I started at 6am this morning because I was being interviewed live on BBC Radio Leeds at 7:15 regarding the Humanist Community of Leeds event taking place later that day.

As usual Richard Staples made me feel most welcome in the studio – I say as usual as it was only a few weeks ago I was talking about the Catholic Care adoption agency as some of you may have heard. If you want to, you can listen again to today’s show for the next week (it’s an hour and fifteen in).

Then the rest of the morning and indeed a large part of the afternoon was filled up with the event itself which went very – we had quite a few “first-timers” come down. Indeed given we were expecting quite a low turn out with it being Easter Sunday we were quite surprised so many people turned up!

As if that wasn’t enough I’ve then spent the afternoon coding, catching up on my blogging and later I’m going out to be interviewed for a documentary on volunteer work in Leeds. Not exactly the leisurely Sunday I could have done with but an exciting one none the less!

Gambling does pay

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Life

I ways always told that gambling doesn’t pay, that you would always lose money and it was a bad habit to get into.

On Thursday we had a work’s nigh out to Alea Casino down at Clarence Dock to take advantage of their special offer dinner which also includes a free chip to use on the casino floor.

After dinner hit the roulette table and to my surprise I managed to hit the right colour several times in a row. I then moved onto strips of numbers and hit lucky again. Indeed by the end of the night I cashed out and left the casino with £1 more than I went in with even after factoring in my coke, a two course meal plus an extra side and two glasses of wine.

What this means is that I have done the scientific research and it turns out that gambling actually does pay! I know, I’m as shocked as you are but there you go. Of course part of the scientific method is being able to repeat the experiment, however most of the office managed to walk out of there having won some cash. So take that science!

The Viaduct

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Friends, Life

Kate organised a gay night out last week (we’re not entirely sure whether this is her way of slyly trying to tell Steven something or not) and we ended up in The Viaduct on Lower Briggate.

As soon as we walked in there a guy with a good ten years on Steven asked him to get his penis out so he could have a play with it. Scary times. What is more interesting is the fact that it is almost acceptable – as Rich pointed out, you would never get away with that in a heterosexual environment if that is the right description to give, but it’s for some reason just acceptable in a gay bar?

This was soon followed by drag cabaret. This really annoyed me because of the obvious technical inaccuracies. For example her singing was coming out of the PA system but she clearly had no microphone, if you can’t even bother to pretend to be miming then it’s just a poor effort in my book.

And why where their sex catalogues, everywhere?

And somehow people still wonder why I preach the virtues of a relaxed night chatting in Wetherspoon’s.

Lil is a bad person

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Friends, Life

I just wanted to make that clear for the record because I don’t really feel enough has been said about it.

Last week myself, Oli, George and Lil headed out for a night out which ended when Lil got really drunk, decided to attack a group of guys and earned Oli a rather beat up eye for his trouble when he tried to calm things down.

Still, spoils of war and all that, at least I got myself a nice new hat.

Triangles in Bermuda

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Events, Humanism

With Rich having been doing research for his book on the Bermuda Triangle (the book isn’t about that, he’s just writing a section which it makes an excellent case to reference) he volunteered to give Skeptics in the Pub a talk on the topic.

It was really interesting even if the answers are somewhat mundane compared with the mystery. It was also interesting to know that statistically no more ships have actually disappeared in that area than any other similar size body of water – there is actually no mystery at all.

Steve also did an excellent job filling in for Daryl in the news segment.

Scientology and me

Sunday, April 4th, 2010 | Events, Foundation, Religion & Politics

For the final session of this year’s Perspective we invited Sam Butler over from the Church of Scientology in Manchester. It was really interesting to hear what he had to say and get a good insight into the beliefs that Scientologists hold.

Unfortunately it wasn’t chaired well and we ended up not getting any real chance for questions which was a disappointment. Also I managed to mess up the focus on my camera and so half the photos were out of focus. Still, the first of hopefully more such Perspectives.