Archive for May, 2013

The European Witch Hunts

Friday, May 31st, 2013 | Humanism

Following the Atheist Society’s AGM, Hugh Clayden delivered a talk on the European Witch Hunts. You can watch the video on Worfolk Lectures. Not only was it a really interesting talk, but you have to love Hugh’s gestures.

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Atheist Society 2013 AGM

Thursday, May 30th, 2013 | Humanism

Earlier this month, the Atheist Society held their AGM. Congratulations to Dan Murgatroyd (President), Josh Hulks (Secretary), Gabrielle Stakaityte (Treasurer), Hugh Clayden and James Murray who were all elected. It’s really looking like a superb committee and I wish them all the best for the coming year – I’m sure they’ll do brilliantly.

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Slushie heaven

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 | Photos

Chester Zoo have the most amazing range of slushie flavours I have ever seen.


Chester Zoo crops

Tuesday, May 28th, 2013 | Photos

More photos from Chester Zoo, these ones have been cropped.

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Chester Zoo

Monday, May 27th, 2013 | Photos

Here are some photos from my trip to Chester Zoo.

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Toastmasters and cake

Sunday, May 26th, 2013 | Public Speaking


Earlier this month we held the elections for White Rose Speakers. Erik was elected president, Jane will be taking over from me as Vice President of Education, I’ll be moving to Vice President of Public Relations, Tony will be remaining as Sargent At Arms and Michael will be remaining as Treasurer. Kartik and Sam will be joining the committee as Vice President of Membership and Secretary. Congratulations to everyone who was elected!

We also celebrated our District Governor Anthony’s birthday with some cake.


Waiting To Be Heard

Saturday, May 25th, 2013 | Books

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir is a book by Amanda Knox, the girl who was convicted of murdering University of Leeds student Meredith Kercher in Perugia, Italy. Four years later the conviction was overturned on appeal, though is since going back to trial.

I’m not sure how useful it is as case notes – it’s clear from the book that Knox is innocent, but then as she wrote the book, you would expect it to be. If everything she says in the book is true, then the entire trial is a joke, but it certainly can’t have been written without bias.

BBC News published an interesting article about how what she writes in the book differs from what she said at the time. Things have almost certainly changed in the edit. But that said, even when you strip away the bias, it seems very generous to describe the evidence they do have as beyond reasonable doubt.

In any case, the book itself makes for an interesting read. Presumably there is little left to hide after the trial went through every detail of her personal life, so it is laid out without reservation. It’s structured well, in a small chunks that made it easy to read and I struggled to put it down every time.


The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Friday, May 24th, 2013 | Distractions, Reviews

I’ve finally got round to watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It’s the first in a trilogy of films based on the book The Hobbit, which is a lot of films given the whole of Lord of the Rings was covered in the same time. As Elina points out, if you have time for a song at the start, your film is too long.

Overall, I didn’t think it that good, but I wasn’t disappointed (because I had already lowered my expectations).

I didn’t like Martin Freeman as Bilbo. I like Martin Freeman in general, but we spent most of the film asking why Arthur Dent slash John Watson was running round Middle Earth. Not a problem I’ve had before, but he seemed a little more out of place here.

While The Hobbit was always a lighter book than Lord of the Rings, I felt the film was almost comic and silly. For example the orc king in the Misty Mountain was just a silly joke character and the fact that they survived that while being mobbed by such huge numbers was one bridge of disbelief too far.

Despite that though, it held my attention for the whole time (though we did watch it over two evenings) and I’m looking forward to seeing the remaining films.

Leeds Half Marathon

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 | Foundation


We would like to say a big thank you to James Murray, who ran the Leeds Half Marathon earlier this month, in aid of us. He completed the 21km run in under two hours!

Immigration unit

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 | Photos, Religion & Politics


Sadly, this photo almost entirely sums up the British attitude towards immigration.