The Ham/Nye Debate

This item was filled under [ Politics ]

I started watching the “creation debate” last night. I got through the 30-minute arguments and rebuttals and switched to Netflix (the first episode of Suits is really good, I can’t wait to watch more). Really I’m just not interested in the whole thing. I know what I believe, and what I don’t believe, and I don’t feel I need to make a big deal of it.

So why do I now have a few hundred words written about the debate? Because I feel my opinions and observations are unique. Looking at my Facebook feed I think I’m the only atheist/nontheist I know that isn’t high-fiving and chest-thumping about a debate “victory” last night. Indeed both sides are patting themselves on the back this morning for “winning” the debate. Small rant: since when is a debate a win/lose sporting event?

Truthfully – I felt neither side was presenting anything that would sway the believers of the opposing views.

I had to roll my eyes when Ham kept diverging off into fire and brimstone scare tactics. As if keeping Christianity out of science classrooms is really going to have any effect on the moral salvation of the world. Oh but I forgot; it’s just a small part of a large secular conspiracy. Interesting how his movement only wants to see the Christian/Jewish creation theory taught alongside evolution. If they want to make points about an agenda perhaps they should be asking for ALL the creation myths to be taught in science class, and not just their preferred one.

Bill Nye was all over the place presenting (albeit good) science tidbits that I feel were probably “information overload” for anyone on the other side of the debate or even on the fence.
I’ll also say that his slides were poorly done compared to Ham – and though I know it’s really irrelevant to the argument I am an attention-to-detail fan.

Ham’s side pleaded that (his type of) Christians “love science” – which seems to be true when science is used to invent things, but not when it explains things. He kept trying to break science apart into ‘historical’ and ‘observational’ science and I think Nye would have done better to put more focus on rebutting that and talking about science as a process, rather than so many specific examples of evidence that refute a literal interpretation of the bible. Showing a young-earth creationist how science pokes holes in their cherished beliefs is not going to be well-received. It comes off as arrogant.

Y’all obviously know what side of the fence I’m on when it comes to teaching religion in a science class, and I’m happy that most of my Christian friends and family can agree with me on at least that point. Outside of science class everyone is free to worship and pray and think and believe whatever you want, and I hope you continue to allow me the same luxury.

Let me also say that I’m pleased that these topics rarely come up in any conversations I have with my friends or family, regardless of their religious beliefs. Tolerance and good manners make me happy.

PS – I don’t eat babies, but I do nibble their fat little baby toes.

My Autumn Cuties

This item was filled under [ 2013 ]

I think everyone should greet the arrival of fall with a corduroy sport jacket.

A note on the last photo: JL moved out of the shot just as I took the picture so all I caught was a bit of his ear. There’s a little curl of hair there that we never seem to be able to get with the clippers. It’s something I decided I want to remember – hence this ‘mistake’ might be one of my favorites from this set.

Touch a Truck

This item was filled under [ 2013 ]

Jean-Luc flips his shit everytime he sees anything bigger than a pickup truck. Buses, transports, dump trucks, backhoes. There’s something about construction equipment that appeals to almost everyone.

One very smart charity in Saint John has cashed in on this phenomenon by creating “Touch a Truck” day. They partner with local construction companies, police, fire, and others and offer kids a hands-on experience with over 80 vehicles. NB Southern Railway even brought in an engine and three passenger cars.

I have to say I was so impressed by the way this event was run. Everything was reasonably priced – entry, food, drinks. Hell even the t-shirts were only going for $8. We couldn’t have asked for nicer weather too. Good times.

Confession time: I like to Ogle…

This item was filled under [ Doing Good Things, Fun, Geekery ]

I’m going to confess a secret addition: I love crowdfund-stalking. You know crowdfunding? It’s a term used to describe those websites that let anyone with an idea and an internet connection pitch their project to the cynical webosphere and beg for startup cash.

Sites like kickstarter, indiegogo, and fundrazr.

Some very innovative projects have been launched from humble crowdfunding campaigns. I’ve pitched a few dollars here and there, but I can easily spend an hour just browsing through all the ideas. I marvel at the creative problem solving. I die a little inside when I see people that are trying to prepare for or recover from a tragic situation. And of course I like all the diverse art, dance, and film projects.

Here are a few hand-picked campaigns I think you should take a look at. I figure if I can’t fund everything I like I can at least help promote the projects. More eyeballs means more potential donors; and you, dear readers, are all fabulously rich and generous, right?

Without further ado, here is Amy’s curated list of crowdfunding campaigns for September 2013:

The First Little Free Library in New Brunswick

Who wouldn’t love a miniature lending library on their street corner. I have a particular affection for this campaign because it’s within my province AND close to my old stomping grounds to boot! It’s a very modest request – she’s only hoping to raise $350 and she’s already halfway there!

A Redtail’s Dream: Hardcover Print Drive

I love non-superhero comics, and this one is so beautiful it hurts. The entire comic series is available for free as a webcomic, but now the author/illustrator wants to bring it to life in print. Sometimes the writing of the story seems a little awkward, but it is just so.damn.pretty I don’t even care. I’m seriously considering donating enough to get the hardcover book – a book I’m sure will be a treasure to own and share with JL when he gets a bit older.

Help Offset Felix’s Medical Expenses

This fundraising campaign came to me through work. I did donate to this fund, and Jon did too. How could we not, when their story is so close to our own? Thankfully Jean-Lucs condition wasn’t a (huge) mystery and was corrected with two short laprocopic procedures. This poor kid has lived with a chronic condition for nine years and still has a long journey ahead.

Indie Game: Scurge of the Shadows

I’m a firm believer in NOT underestimating what young people can do, so I hope 13-year-old Seth raises enough to take his indie game from good to great. If you have a hard time taking “kids” seriously then skip the pitch video – it kinda rambles a bit. That said, Seth is a game designer/programmer, not a PR expert. He seems dedicated to the project and that’s enough for me to want to send him a twenty. ONLY 18 DAYS TO GO!

Heroics: A Role Playing System

This campaign appeals to my inner (and outer) nerd. I love a good old round-table role playing game, and I love superheroes and villains. I also love that for $50 I can have a hero or a villain named after me. I’m kinda geeking out over all the female hero/villain options on the Wiki. I would cosplay the shit out of Heat Wave (http://heroicsuniverse.wikispaces.com/Heat+Wave).

Harbour Con-Fusion

This item was filled under [ 2013 ]

I decided, somewhat last-minute, to check out Saint John’s own comic/fantasy/sci-fi convention: Harbour Con-Fusion.

I had a BLASTY-BLAST!

I got to meet Batman, Iron Man, and one of the Russian Yaeger pilots from Pacific Rim. I sat in on a cosplay class and three writing classes/panels. I got to join an impromptu game of Munchkin Apocalypse, LOL with my fellow nerds over some bad fanfic, and help save cute animals in the SPCA charity auction.

Oh, and I got to see some amazeballs costumes in the cosplay contest! I was S-M-R-T and had my camera along for that event. I took some stills, but there were lots of people doing that. I figured why let my awesome video gear go to waste? I switched over to video, lamented that I didn’t have my tripod, and got some half-decent footage – for a while at least. Partway through the contest my camera rebelled; it would take about five seconds of video and then just stop recording.

Anyway, here’s the awesomeness I did manage to capture:

VIDEO:

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