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Greta Christina has cancer, and she needs your support

More information at Greta’s blog.

I know a lot of you are familiar with Greta’s writing and activism. She’s one of the atheist movement’s best advocates. But she’s also a dear friend of mine. She’s kind, thoughtful, and always there for me when I need her. Now she needs all of us.

 

You know how I was afraid the hate would spread to my family?

Yeah, so now people are harassing my dad. Weee. I found that link after the fact – I originally found out because I’m home for vacation and he knocked on my door to laugh about the stupid comments he received on his blog. Partially because he thought I was the only one who read it and isn’t used to getting comments, let alone articulate ones like:

YOUR DAUGHTER IS A SLUT!!!!!!!!!!! That’s right, you raised a SLUTTY SLUT SLUT OF A SLUTDAUGHTER!!!!

And

After reading that I can certainly see why your daughter turned out to be the laughably irrational, nauseatingly self-important attention whore she is today.

No, my dad shouldn’t have remarked that he wants to punch my abusers in the face. That’s wrong, even though I know he has never hurt anyone and was speaking out of anger because someone he loves is facing constant abuse. I don’t think he should have said such a thing because like I’ve said before, violence is never the answer. But I don’t know how it shows I’m a big baby because my dad wants to say that he loves me. I didn’t ask him to make that post.

I know. I shouldn’t even be blogging this. I shouldn’t be reading these comments. I was actually starting to feel better until I read these things. But jesus fuck, people. This here attention whore is asking you to please stop giving me and my family attention.

[Comments are disabled. It’s the least I can do for my mental health since I couldn’t control myself to not write a post. I don’t need people shitting on me and my family even more in the comments.]

I’m alive and well

I’ve had people asking if I’m okay since I haven’t been blogging at all lately. So I wanted to make a quick update to let you know that no, I haven’t been hit by a beer truck or muted by my university or enslaved by aliens. I just decided that I needed a mental break from blogging for a while. All of the drama, pettiness, short-sightedness, name calling, insults, hate mail, and general crappiness was making me miserable. I found myself unable to become passionate about issues I used to care about, because I knew writing about those issues would just lead to even more shit thrown my way.

I understand that you always have to deal with some level of shit when you’re trying to change minds. But I’m human. This blog is a hobby for me. I logged into WordPress and opened up Google Reader everyday to express myself, connect with people, and have fun – not to feel hopeless, worthless, angry, and scared for my personal safety. But with the current atmosphere of the atheist/skeptic movement, the latter is how I’ve been feeling.

So instead of permanently rage quitting, I decided to take a mental break and go back into the Real World for a little while. I saved up enough money to replace my broken desktop computer, so I’ve been having fun fiddling with my new toy. I’ve been playing a lot of Tropico 4 and Civ 5 Gods & Kings (I always name my religion Pastafarianism or Satanism). I went to a wedding. My advisor gave me a paper to review for a journal for the first time, which is kind of like taking off the Grad Student Training Wheels. Sean and I went camping in the Olympic Peninsula.

I’m sorry if I’ve made any of you worry, and I’m sorry for not providing you with your usual blog entertainment. But I felt it was better that I rest and recharge and wait for some of the gnarlier drama to subside, rather than keep blogging out of duty and permanently burn out. I’ll be back.

Off to the Secular Student Alliance annual conference!

I haven’t been off a plane for 48 hours, but I’m about to hop back on one. But I’m excited because I’m going to the Secular Student Alliance annual conference in Columbus, OH! Wooooooo!

I’ll be giving the same talk I gave last year – “Diversity.” ” Or, “That Obligatory Diversity Talk.” Or, “How to Make Your Group Not Just Contain Nerdy White Dudes (Though It’s Cool if You’re a Nerdy White Dude).” Or, “Indoctrination into the Feminazi/Femistasi Politically Correct Totalitarian Conspiracy.” Whichever title works.

Before someone actually accuses me of a feminazi diversity conspiracy…It was the SSA con organizers who asked me to give this talk last year, and who asked me to do it again. I’m not shoving it down their throats – they realize the importance of groups being diverse. Of course, I guess that just makes them part of the conspiracy. Oh well. DEEP RIFTS!

I’ll be tweeting about the conference @jennifurret if you want to keep up to date about secular student shenanigans.

Blogathon 2012 is complete!

A fourth year has gone by without me passing out or overdosing on caffeine, huzzah! I was oddly less delirious this year – grad school must have trained me for this level of sleep deprivation. The current level of donations for SSAweek is around $90,000, which is freaking amazing. Thanks so much to everyone who donated, spread the word, and commented. Special thanks to my boyfriend for making sure I actually ate and didn’t accidentally fall asleep.

Those of you who didn’t get your doodles yet – you’ll get them before I go to Europe, don’t worry. I just forgot to bring my tablet for the blogathon.

And with that…I’m going to go pass out. Good nighhhzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

This is post 49 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Random things I have learned from this year’s blogathon

  • Don’t go to parades and expect cell phone service to still work
  • People born in the 80s are most likely to take part in naked bike rides, judging from the theme of the costumes
  • Going outside now that the 9 months of Seattle winter gloom have passed = instant sunburn
  • Calling a fancy Italian extra-thin triangular flatbread panini thing a “quesadilla” will get you a dirty look from a barista
  • A hot box and dutch oven are not the same thing
  • Diablo is basically a lot of random clicking
  • Tyler Perry sucks
  • There are way too many ways to cook an egg
  • 5 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin B6 will not kill you (yet)
  • I can listen to Tropico music for 12 hours without getting sick of it

This is post 48 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

It’s disco time

I just convinced Sean to put on disco music to keep me awake. I’m staying alive, staying alive, etc.

…Not gonna lie, disco is a huge guilty pleasure for me. I love it. I blame my parents. When they were dating they would go disco dancing all the time, and their musical preferences were what I grew up with. …Which also explains my inexplicable love for Huey Lewis and Bob Seger.

We’ve just determined Heart of Glass by Blondie is the missing link between disco and 80s music. Just so you know.

But yeah, I fucking love disco music. Bee Gees, ABBA, Earth Wind & Fire… it’ll instantly make me want to dance. That explains my love for the Scissor Sisters, who I finally get to see in concert this Tuesday!

…And I realized there is absolutely no point to this post, so I’m going to go back to dancing. The ten minute long version of Disco Inferno just came on.

This is post 42 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Cryogenics

One donor requested that I make a blog post about cryogenics!

*opens up the Wikipedia article for cryogenics*

“Cryogenics is the study of the production of very low temperature (below −150 °C, −238 °F or 123 K) and the behavior of materials at those temperatures.”

Welp, that was fun, on to the next post!

…In case you can’t tell, I know absolutely nothing about cryogenics. Well, that’s not true. I just learned that it’s the study of the production of very low temperature and the behavior of materials at those temperatures. So I know one thing about cryogenics!

Now, if this person intended for me to talk about the use of cryogenics to preserve people in order to wake them up much farther into the future…I don’t know anything about that either.

Well, I guess I know a little. I know that with our current technology we can freeze people after they’re dead, but we don’t have the power to revive them. The whole hope is that in the future we’ll have it all figured out, and at that point all the frozen dead cryonics people will be resurrected.

Would I do it? Probably not. I know a frequently think about how I wish I could see what the future is like in hundreds or thousands of years…but practically speaking, would I? What if I get revived in a terrible world that I don’t want to live in? How fulfilling would life be knowing all of my friends and family are long dead? What if something goes wrong in the cryonics process (since we basically have no idea what we’re doing right now) and I wake up disabled, or mentally retarded, or with a totally different personality, or who knows what?

Honestly, life is made all the more sweet knowing its the only one I have. I’m not sure if I want to cheat that process.

This is post 40 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

Female Michigan legislators to perform Vagina Monologues at their capitol building

This is such a fantastic response to a mind-numbingly stupid controversy. For those of you who aren’t up to date, Michigan legislators barred Rep. Lisa Brown (D) from speaking in the House after she used the word “vagina” during a debate on an anti-abortion bill. Yes, people are losing their shit over the word “vagina”:

“That comment would be very inappropriate,” [Rep. Rick Johnson (R)] said. “You have young children? Is that something you want them to hear from your state rep?”

Actually, yeah, I wish young children had comprehensive sex education and didn’t respond to the medical terminology for a body part the way you do. Heaven forbid they know about vaginas in addition to arms, stomachs, brains, eyeballs, and what have you. Heaven forbid little girls know about their bodies! Why, we can’t have that – they may start touching their vaginas then! APOCALYPSE!

And this:

“What she said was offensive,” said Rep. Mike Callton, R-Nashville. “It was so offensive, I don’t even want to say it in front of women. I would not say that in mixed company.”

Uh…does this guy realize that (most) women have vaginas? I think this says it all:

But female Michigan legislators have come up with a wonderful idea to protest this puritanical nonsense. On Monday they’ll be performing the Vagina Monologues on the steps of the Michigan capitol building, led by Eve Ensler herself (who wrote the play). The legislators include Senators Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) and Gretchen Whitmer (D-East Lansing), and Representatives Barb Byrum (D- Onondaga), Stacy Erwin Oakes (D-Saginaw), Dian Slavens (D- Canton Township), Rashida Tlaib (D- Detroit), Lisa Brown (D-West Bloomfield), Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills), Joan Bauer (D-Lansing).

This is such a fabulous idea. If you’re in Michigan, check it out and email your legislators messages of support (or messages of anger, depending on their stance).

This is post 11 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

My favorite Seattle coffee spots

It’s time for a coffee break!

I wish it were intraveniously. Also, I love how that cartoon looks like me! Well, as much as a stick figure can look like someone. (Can anyone let me know the source? A friend sent it along and I’d like to give proper attribution to the artist).

Anyway, I figure instead of just telling you how I’m nursing a mocha, I’d share with you my favorite Seattle coffee spots around the city:

1. Bauhaus (Capitol Hill): This is definitely number one. I almost always get mochas, and they make the best. They have the perfect creamy texture, a delicious coffee taste, and not an overwhelming amount of chocolate. I love working and blogging there, since it’s the coziest environment with great music (and is conveniently by my apartment).

Photo from here.

2. Cafe Vita (Fremont): Also delicious and cozy. One of their shops is conveniently by my boyfriend’s place (though they have more around the city), so that’s where I currently refueled:

3. Cafe Solstice (U District): When I want good coffee while at work, this is my go-to place. I’d go there more frequently but I’m usually too lazy to walk up the Ave, so I settle for the crappy coffee that I can conveniently get in the cafe within my building. I did a lot of General Exam studying in here.

4. The Muddy Cup (Wallingford): I used to live right by this place, and spent a good chunk of last year’s Blogathon there. I love how cozy it is, and the owner is super nice. My favorite thing to get there is their Endless Iced Coffee – the ice cubes are made of coffee, so it really does last forever as it melts!

If you’re a Seattleite, what’s your go-to coffee place?

This is post 10 of 49 of Blogathon. Donate to the Secular Student Alliance here.

I get comments: There’s no patriarchy, just evolution

This comment gave me a good laugh, so I thought I’d share:

PZ’s reputation as a reasonable scientist is definitely tarnished by the way he sets aside reason in exchange for chivalry–i.e. the defense of women and femininity even when it’s clear that the other sex really deserves the defense. He likely rationalizes this with a conspiracy theory called “patriarchy” wherein women are infantilized and treated as robots with no free will.

It’s quite funny how someone can be so rational in some areas but completely credulous when it comes to patriarchy “theory”.
I really do think that men like him behave this way because of deep, evolutionary pressure to compete with other males for the favor of females. It’s not impossible, that’s for sure. It would be difficult to prove but, it makes perfect sense and is completely logical. I mean, those who didn’t behave in a sycophantic manner towards women would almost certainly not have reproduced in numbers as abundant as their competitors, right? I’m not evolutionary biologist, but the idea at least makes sense.

I don’t want to steal all the fun, so have a blast pointing out the 3864831 things that are wrong with those paragraphs in the comments.

Take your kitten to work day

That’s what Pixel wishes it was:


I’m not sure why she’s suddenly treating my backpack like her personal sleeping bag, but I don’t care because it’s adorable.