SSA Week Day 1: My Picks
I'm back! Apologies for the radio silence these past few days - as I mentioned earlier, I was in Providence, Rhode Island attending Netroots Nation, an annual convention of liberal bloggers and political activists. I've had a jam-packed three days of panels, forums, and afterparties, all of which left scarce time for sleep, let alone blogging. (Although, if you follow me on Twitter, you probably saw a lot of tweeting about all the speakers I saw.) I'll have more to say about the convention later, but for now, I have something more pressing to mention: SSA Week is underway!
My last post was about SSA Week, a ten-day (yes, I know) event in which atheist bloggers from across the spectrum are coming together to raise money for the awesome Secular Student Alliance. Some of the participants are doing blogathons, in which they pledge to write a new post every half-hour or every hour for a full day, while others are crocheting, posting pictures, performing songs, or otherwise offering their talents in support of this fine cause.
I was invited to participate, but between this past weekend's convention and my day job, I just didn't have the time. (Ah, for the carefree days of grad school...) But what I can do is spotlight the best material that's come out of this joyful frenzy, and towards that end, I plan to write a new post each day from now until the end of SSA Week pointing out my personal favorites from the previous day. (There will be regular blogging as well.)
So, of yesterday's participating bloggers, here are my picks!
From Ellen Lundgren at Skeptic Freethought: "Knowing Your College Campus and Advertising", with a list of helpful suggestions for how campus freethought groups can design the most effective and eye-catching advertising for their events.
From Christina Stephens at WWJTD?: "When Faith Hurts Lives", a powerful eyewitness account of how unfounded belief in the supernatural helped destroy what little quality of life was available to a housebound quadriplegic man. Also, don't miss JT's long but incredible post about the kind of stonewalling and intimidation that secular students routinely get from their school administrators when they want to form a club.
From Brianne Bilyeu at Biodork: "Losing Friends Over Religion", a sad, enraging retelling of how differences over religion destroyed a friendship. And as a runner-up, I also enjoyed "Biodork Sloganeers", a hilarious hypothetical of the kind of truth-in-advertising disclosure you might see on a religious billboard.
And because no fundraiser would be complete without kitten pics, Greta Christina's cats support the SSA too.
If you want to support the SSA, click here to contribute. And if you do, leave a comment below or send me an e-mail letting me know you chipped in and for how much. I may just have a special gift for the top contributors...
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
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