Open Thread: Conference Decompression
I'm home again, safe and sound. As I mentioned, this weekend I was in Columbus, Ohio at the 2012 Secular Student Alliance Leadership Conference, having a blast with some of my favorite bloggers, some amazing freethinking students, and many of the other people in the vanguard of the unstoppable juggernaut of secular awesome that is the atheist movement. Many informative and inspiring talks were given, many good times were had, many new friendships were made, many drinks were consumed, and much sweat was sweated (Columbus, in my informal estimation, having had an average air temperature throughout the weekend that was just barely hot enough to melt lead).
As always, I come away from these events feeling like a charged battery, brimming with hope, optimism and positive energy. If you follow me on Twitter, you've already seen me mention some of the highlights from this weekend. If you don't, I'll have some wrap-up posts on this blog soon. But in the meantime, some teasers: I was an answer in a round of SSA Jeopardy!; heard Jessica Ahlquist tell us all why she doesn't want to be labeled with the "C-word" (not the one you're thinking!); learned the Camp Quest Corn Dance; sat through a Pentecostal sermon; and watched an impromptu Christian therapy circle try to pray the gay out of Hemant Mehta (which would be quite a feat, since he isn't gay as far as I know). And apparently, I also gave a talk to an audience of 300 or so people, which I'm told went pretty well.
I see Daylight Atheism has been busy in my absence, with several comment threads bubbling throughout the weekend. I haven't been keeping up on e-mail, but I'll look those over soon (once I've had some sleep, since I'm currently operating on about five hours' worth) and respond as appropriate. In the meantime, consider this an open thread and talk amongst yourselves!
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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