Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Doctor on Netflix

“Dr. who?” you might ask. And that would be funny.

I am not an expert on the old Dr Who’s by any means, but it has come to my attention that a lot of people are unaware of the recent addition of Dr. Who shows on Netflix, even though I did post something about this on my facebook page. Try to keep up, people.

Here is the specially designed Netflix page which provides many of the important details.

And here is a cool blog post I found that covers the larger issue of access to all/many of the Dr. Who episodes.

So there you go.

Michael Cortese uses personal vendetta to deprive SSA of much needed funds

As you know, as part of a fund raiser for the Secular Student Alliance, I wrote a novella called Sungodogo, which I’ve since made available on Amazon for the Kindle (and in other formats … I’ll have a print version in January some time). The book is about a handful of people who travel across the Congo in search of an elusive primate. What they find instead is quite unexpected. Yes, there are elusive primates but not at all what was expected. The story then becomes the origin story for the modern Skeptics and Secular Movements, and explains the rise of anti-feminist haters like those of the famous “Slymepit.”

One of the members of that movement, Michale Cortese, who uses the the line pseudonym “Mykeru,” has started to write negative reviews of the book in order to damage me and my reputation and to damage the book’s value as well. Here is the twitter tweet in which he brags about this:

In this tweet, he is asking his friends to write one star reviews of my book.

There is a great irony here. The book is about the origin of the very fight that Mykeru is engaged in here. It explains the origin of modern sketpics organizations, the problem of sexual harassment at conferences (and the purpose of that sexual harassment) and ultimately explains why there was so much pushback against Rebecca Watson when she said, correctly, “guys, just don’t do that” in reference to some rather thoughtless behavior on the part of some guy she ran into at a conference.

The book is, of course, tongue in cheek. It is project meant to be fun, to draw attention to the wonderful students of the Secular Student Alliance, and at the same time, tell an adventurous and rather realistic (up to the part where it gets all weird and impossible) and entertaining story.

And now, the book, and the secular movement, and feminism, and me, and everything else, are being attacked by Michael Cortese and the slyme pit.

So, I need your help with something. I don’t need you to buy the book. I’ll give you the book (an electronic copy of it) … all you have to do is ask. But if you do buy the book, 100% of the proceeds will go to the Secular Student Alliance. What I do need you do to is the following two things, please: 1) Go write a good review of the book to offset Mykeru’s, or at least, down vote the bad reviews he or others at the slymepit have obviously written; and 2) do something supportive for the secular student alliance. Join, donate, support, something. Preferably, donate. (Obvoiusly I don’t want anyone to write a review who has not read the book, needless to say.)

Let’s not let the slymepit have their way.

And seriously, if you want a copy of the book send me a note and the format you prefer to have it in. I’m making a revised version now, it will be done in about three weeks, I’ll send you that one.

Thank you in advance.

UPDATE: I just noticed, because of a link to my blog, that Myeru’s latest hate video (hating me, Ophelia Benson, others, I’m told, though I havn’t seen it) is feature in this blog post on the site A Voice for Men (isn’t that one of those sites listed as a hate site by the SPLC?) which seems to link the MRA movement, for which I’m sure Mykeru is some sort of saint, with JP Rushton’s racist doctrine. I did not know that Rushton’s pseudoscientific racism was held in such high esteem by the Men’s Rights Activism movement, but the link between Mykeru and the Slymepitters and the MRA movement has long been clear. Recent (mild) attacks on me for my activism against climate science denialists by members of the MRA/slymepitter group sort of tie it all together. They are just a bunch of bad people.

You have to read my friend Sarah's post.

I’ve been lucky. Becoming a secularist and atheist and, to some extent, activist in those areas (though I quickly add my activisms is mostly in other areas) was not to hard. Hey, this very morning Minnesota Atheists had a show on what you do for Christmas and other holidays as a non-believer, and asked for contributions. Even though I was asked directly a few times by the producers, I ended up providing nothing because I’ve got nothing; What do we do for Christmas? Try to eat the cookies very slowly, unwrap the presents very quickly. It is just not that interesting.

Sure, I get harassed now and then, and back in the Roe v. Wade street wars I got knocked on the ground, hit in the head, or had my clothing ripped a few times by 80 year old Italian Catholic ladies who were in a rage (we were trained to stand still and take it). And, most of the harassment I get these days other than the occasional creationist’s is actually from fellow Atheists, who hate me because I respect and refuse to rape women, and I recognize that much of the violence done to women is by testosterone poisoned men. Those guys (the Testosterone Poisoned Men of the Blogosphere, or TPMoB) compose hateful tweets, emails, and other missives about or to me and other secular feminists on an ongoing, continuous basis.

But really, I’ve never had something happen to me like what happened to Sarah. Sarah’s story is fascinating, instructive, important, and above all, inspiring. All those things are as true of her as a person as they are of this one story, I dare say. This is the story of a young woman, recently deconverted (is that the word?) from a some kinda Christian sect to atheism, and her attempts to form a Secular Student group. She just posted it, I just read it, and holy crap… so to speak … just go read it. CLICKHERENAO!!!!!!!!!

Sarah: I am very fortunate to have you as a friend and ally. Thanks for doing what you do.

The Nightmare That Was Christmas (Death Never Dies)

I remember it as clearly as if it was yesterday, even though it happened years ago, even before you were born. I screamed silently, pinned on my back by the massive weight of a cotton blanket, legs frozen, the dark lights flickering as the human-like form approached, its arms raised in front like The Mummy or Frankenstein’s Monster, hands ready to grab, closing in. A strange net-like pattern covered the featureless humanoid shape, moving around on its surface like Saint Elmo’s fire dancing on Jacob’s Ladder, undulating, letting off light, disintegrating and reforming and making a crackling noise as it did so.

rum pum … rum pum … rum pum …

The ever-repeating chant that was once barely audible, then louder, then deafening, is now pounding terribly in my ears and once again, I scream, but it is once again a silent scream and the cotton cloth that covers me once again grows heavy and pins me down.

rum pum … rum pumrum pumRUM PUM

Finally, the creature’s hands come down around my neck and take hold, it’s head, faceless, now pressed against mine and I think it may be growling, but since it has finally grabbed me, and only now, because those are the rules in this particular nightmare, my scream of terror can break loose so it does breaks loose and I cry out …


And I sit up with a start, drenched in the sweat of night terror, panting heavily, and I can hear adults heading for my room in response to my horrific screams and uncontrolled sobbing.

DAMN YOU BING CROSBY!!! Continue reading The Nightmare That Was Christmas (Death Never Dies)

Skeptically Speaking #193 Science Books for Your Gift List

The just uploaded podcast of Skeptically Speaking is a must-hear:

Whether you’re dropping a last-minute hint to a relative, or buying science books for the people you love, Skeptically Speaking has you covered. We’ve enlisted two dozen scientists, science writers and bloggers, including some of our favorite past guests. They’ll bring you their favorites from 2012, and some classics to help fill out anyone’s science library. Happy holidays!

(Mine is at about 19 minutes.)

Pan Am 103 from Frankfurt

Scene: Berkeley, California, April 1986. A bar. Five conference attendees, myself included, grabbing a hamburger and a beer in a fern-bar on or near Telegraph.

All eyes are on the TVs mounted over the bar, where we watch footage of an air strike against Libya. This is the retribution by Ronald Reagan against Insane African Leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. The White House was issuing statements about al-Gaddafi’s involvement in bombings in Europe, the OPEC oil ministry kidnapping, linkage to the infamous Jackal, and so on. Nikki, a friend and colleague, said something, and I remember asking her to repeat it. Nikki is a low-talkier. You’ve got to lean in really close. So I leaned in and heard her say, “Lybia is the only country in Africa where the people get to share in the national wealth. They love Gaddafi. Others should take a lesson from him.”
Continue reading Pan Am 103 from Frankfurt