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...
Upstreamism advocate Rishi Manchanda calls us to understand health not as a "personal responsibility" but a "common good."
- Upstreamism tasks health care professionals to combat unhealthy social and cultural influences that exist outside — or upstream — of medical facilities.
- Patients from low-income neighborhoods are most at risk of negative health impacts.
- Thankfully, health care professionals are not alone. Upstreamism is increasingly part of our cultural consciousness.
The Bajau people's nomadic lifestyle has given them remarkable adaptions, enabling them to stay underwater for unbelievable periods of time. Their lifestyle, however, is quickly disappearing.
- The Bajau people travel in small flotillas throughout the Phillipines, Malaysia, and Indonesia, hunting fish underwater for food.
- Over the years, practicing this lifestyle has given the Bajau unique adaptations to swimming underwater. Many find it straightforward to dive up to 13 minutes 200 feet below the surface of the ocean.
- Unfortunately, many disparate factors are erasing the traditional Bajau way of life.
We explore the history of blood types and how they are classified to find out what makes the Rh-null type important to science and dangerous for those who live with it.
- Fewer than 50 people worldwide have 'golden blood' — or Rh-null.
- Blood is considered Rh-null if it lacks all of the 61 possible antigens in the Rh system.
- It's also very dangerous to live with this blood type, as so few people have it.
An innovation may lead to lifelike evolving machines.
- Scientists at Cornell University devise a material with 3 key traits of life.
- The goal for the researchers is not to create life but lifelike machines.
- The researchers were able to program metabolism into the material's DNA.
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