What's happening in your neck of the woods?
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27-09-2017, 08:21 AM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
I got a new shirt.

[Image: f5a48a52-dbcb-4836-b399-093e745e5f11_530x@2x.jpg]

'Murican Canadian
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27-09-2017, 01:10 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
Heavy machinery is now clearing debris, moving fast. Lower islands still look like a war zone.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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27-09-2017, 02:57 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
*I live in Michigan*

Today the temperature feels more like Fall than it has the last three days = )

67 F today as opposed to 97 F yesterday.

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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30-09-2017, 12:46 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
Just finished my dog getting a bath. My bf and I decided to go grab a burrito for lunch. He's like what do you want? And I said just get me a small because I'm not really that hungry. He just pauses and looks at me like realllllly?? And so then I say, "Who am I kidding, get me a medium with extra guac." Tongue

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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30-09-2017, 10:44 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
(20-08-2017 08:30 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(20-08-2017 07:59 PM)Shai Hulud Wrote:  Apparently the Mythinformation conference is next month about 30 minutes north of me. Trying to tell myself I don't need to spend the money to go to a thing where the theme is "skepticism in the age of social media" and includes special guests like Seth, AronRa, Dr. Richard Carrier, etc. And a VIP After Party where Ron Miscavige, father of the head of the Church of Scientology will be speaking. And the debate will feature a Muslim feminist author whom I first heard speak 13 years ago when I was a Freshman in college, who is from my home state.

Go, go, go, and I expect a report and pics, yes I do!

I went to what seemed to be an Alt-Right anti-feminism rally Mythcon IV. Many special guests, including Seth, had dropped out of the attendance due to certain speakers being there. (Apologies but the lighting in the Pabst sucked and my cell phone camera does too; I don't own a smart phone, thus I have no zoom and lighting correct.)

Now maybe I'm spoiled by academic conferences, and the comic and gaming related convention I went to. But it seems like it would be reasonable to tell your attendees, before they arrive, that the street the venue parking garage is on, is closed for road construction. Ended up spending 3 times as much to do a parking garage elsewhere and walking there (and walking back to garage in dark; did not go to VIP party). I spent longer circling bad road construction and one way streets in Milwaukee, than I did driving to Milwaukee! While waiting outside there was a guy on the street corner ranting at high volume about how 'quantum vibrations' are the cause of evolution and are God, or something? I'm not sure, some Sargon and Armoured Skeptic fanboys near me were busy making derogatory comments about a card we'd all just been handed for a Faithless Feminism book and talking about how "feminism is cancer"; how do I know they were there for Sargon and Armoured Skeptic? They said so.

Rest of day below.
The venue doesn't open until after we're scheduled to begin and then there are three cops outside, and security makes everyone empty their pockets and wand them. Make my way in, get hand stamped, go into auditorium. The Pabst Theater is gorgeous, I didn't get a photo of the alcoves with busts of Beethoven and Wagner, but here's part of the interior ceiling:
[Image: 1BS7U3w.jpg]

Nice intro, then they intro Armoured Skeptic and ShoeOnHead...who talk about how people tried to get them deplatformed and how that hurts. They're actually rather tame compared to their YT channels in person. I think it was Shoe that said something along the lines of how they can have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but staring at 200 people in person makes one nervous and it was their first conference as speakers.

Bad photo of AS and SoH:
[Image: rjkKgXZ.jpg]

Melissa Chen with Ideas Beyond Belief was next and her talk was absolutely fascinating! She walked people through how the ideals of the Enlightenment have shaped modern society, remarking on how in her home nation of Singapore, she wouldn't have the same civil liberties (like freedom of speech) that she does as an immigrant to America. She bashed postmodernism a bit...this is unfortunate, as it prompted a text to a friend on my part, "I swear to God, I don't know how Melissa Chen is being so nice to these postmodernists rambling at her". It was like the entire Q&A, postmodernists being upset with her.

Chen's presentation was also depressing at points, showing a rise in illeberal democracies, and a vast decline in the amount of youth who care that they live in a democratic society.

Poor photo of Melissa Chen' presentation:
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Then it was time for lunch...went down to restroom, came back up to find out as a security guy screamed at me to get out of the building, that we were all being kicked out and locked out during the lunch hour. Go fuck yourself event security. I go to two conferences a year that have a lot of federal agents, researchers, police chiefs, etc. and never had anyone close down a venue like that. Oh and it's time to empty all the pockets again, get wanded, and show our stamps to get in. All while listening to Sargon's fanboys talk about Kek-i-stan? Oh and how they're discriminated against for being white.

Speaking of Sargon, he was up next, alongside Thomas Smith of the Serious Inquiries Only podcast. The audience was mostly on Sargon's side, and it showed. This is the point where I felt like I needed to wash the race baiting wannabe Alt Right stank from my body, that accumulated during the course of I can't even charitably call it a debate, it was two grown men shouting past each other and the guy I agreed with was a whiny ass baby. this...shit show. We start with Smith asking Sargon about telling a rape victim on Twitter, "I wouldn't rape you", and the audience cheers Sargon. Smith takes an instant dislike to the audience as a whole. They argue about that and about how Sargon calls feminism "a mental illness". And how Smith takes it as a person insult. Sargon starts trying to paint Smith as a racist. Smith tries to cite studies (which I'm familiar with) when they began to talk about race and crime. Sargon dismisses those, Smith starts yelling at the audience that we're all disgraceful. I don't know if he called us all Nazis and white supremacists during his meltdown, because the boos and jeering were so loud. Honestly I'd not have been shocked at that point if people had started to do the Hitler salute, from some of the commentary I was hearing around me. I'd not have been shocked at that point if someone would say that the Holocaust was a good idea. Sargon also takes the time in the Q&A to remark that, "you can't rely on the white man to pull people out of poverty if they don't want to be" to applause from his racially charged groupies. People also began to display "Kekistani" flags during the Q&A. One of my fellow Catholics took the mic and asked if they had any cognitive dissonance and got a resounding 'no'. Then, at 2:40, after having insulted the audience more than once and having grown increasingly frustrated throughout the evening, Smith picked up his bag and said "2:40 guys" and left during the middle of the Q&A like a petulant child. As someone who was ideologically on his side, his rudeness and cowardliness rankled, as he surrendered the floor to angry racial rhetoric and such.

Here's a bad photo of the two: Thomas Smith on left, Sargon on right.
[Image: Zvuc8RW.jpg]

Next up was Ron Miscavidge, father of the head of the Church of Scientology. He told about how he got started, how he and his wife escaped, and talked about standing up to bullies. He also played the trumpet for us! His time slot was the shortest, and I seriously wish it was longer. (None of my photos of him came out even as well as the others. I took 25 photos throughout the day total, these crappy ones are the best of them.)

Following that, the host made a joke about how Scientology had not tried to de-platform Ron. Then it was on to the best event of the day, the Buzzed Belief Debate between Islamic feminist and reformer Asra Nomani, and Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, a human rights activist. As an aside, this is the second time I've seen Asra speak; the first time was 13 years ago and 600+ miles away. We also learned, during her intro, that she's ruthless at Magic the Gathering with a "mean blue green deck" and 'she will crush you" according to the host. This 'debate', moderated by Matt Dillahunty, was the kindest, most cordial, and gentle debate ever. In broad strokes they often agreed, only to really debate the finer points and a few things they disagreed on.

Though Matt did declare her, only half joking, the winner after her opening statement, because, "Without notes, Asra is the only person I've ever had in a debate who finished on time and without having to ask or be told the time left." The Q&A was the more fascinating part for me, as my fellow Catholics seemed to come out of the woodwork for it. But also because we heard some interesting things...like when Faisal forgot to turn his mic off while he jumped out real quick to the restroom and the host rushed after him to get it turned off. Great recovery on Faisal's part when he came back, saying something along the lines of, "Well, I didn't mean to share that much with all of you." He also had a great story highlighting the need for clear communication, that as a boy during the Gulf War, he and his dad would climb up to the roof of their home in Iraq, with a radio and listen to the American broadcasts, because Saddam was telling everyone how they were being victorious in the "mother of all battles". (Matt also had to leave at the beginning of the Q&A because he had two hours to catch his flight to London.)

Matt, did, however, while introducing the parameters of the debate, have the best joke of the day, "I had to go outside and around back, and I saw the three cops out there. I told them not to worry, the contentious part of today was over, all we had now was a Muslim and an Ex Muslim discussing religion and politics." Though Asra probably had the second funniest with, and I paraphrase, 'You do have to admit, Trump did something almost impossible. He managed to get the first ever flight from Saudi Arabia directly to Israel. Unless you count the prophet Muhammad flying a mythical winged horse to Jerusalem back in the 7th century."

Matt Dillahunty (blob left), Faisal (blob center), Asra (blob right):
[Image: nZBnfPT.jpg]

Oh also managed to pick up Jesus Mything in Action Vol. One from the witty and nice David Fitzgerald. I only noticed later what he inscribed it, somewhat blasphemously given the topic, but it made me laugh.
[Image: dytIQEe.jpg]

Batman & Jesus movie premier was lovely. It was good film-making too, on a shoestring budget, and it was fascinating to watch the people from a comic convention charged with making a Bat-canon go through striking parallels to the Council of Nicaea at their Council of the Bat arguments.

Unfortunately, the sheer amount of bigotry during Smith and Sargon's debate really ruined the whole day for me. As did the reactions of the audience and the comments I heard all around me. Also pretty terrible...the venue parking garage charges you $5 if you're there for one of their events, but since I had to park elsewhere, I paid $16.

Need to think of a witty signature.
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01-10-2017, 02:45 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
Folks,

Autumn. Smile

[Image: 37.jpg]

D.
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02-10-2017, 04:41 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
I live in Salem MA. and it's October so it is Halloween central. Along with throngs of tourists and traffic I get the added benefit of listening to people talk about how great the psychic they went to was. So yeah, I got that. Drinking Beverage

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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03-10-2017, 02:33 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
Not much happening here, I'm just watching a TV programme about Barbie's 60th birthday.
What has happened to my life.

Get your own bleeding hymn book
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04-10-2017, 02:55 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
From a local newspaper: Blink

After getting the word from Monroe County and municipal officials that visitors can return to the Florida Keys Oct. 1 following initial recovery from Hurricane Irma, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council has begun awareness and marketing efforts. The Weekly is chiming in with some important points for locals to digest before this happens.

1. Take down business signs that read, “looters will be shot on sight.”

2. Put on pants.

3. Turn off the car’s flashing hazard lights and stop pretending that you are some type of important official/first responder. Alternatively, find your car. (Hint: it’s probably where you parked it on high ground before the storm.)

4. Return ALL food, supplies and propane tanks that you borrowed from your evacuee neighbor.

5. Grab a bite to eat or a quick drink from your favorite spot without waiting in line.

6. Take one of those loose kayaks for a paddle and then put that back where you found it, or so help me.

7. Crack a cold one with “the boys” and hear all the hurricane stories again — including the one about the guy who sneaked back in to the Keys on a Porta-Potty truck. True story, bro.

8. Hug a cop, firefighter, or utility worker.

—Weekly Staff

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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04-10-2017, 07:38 PM
RE: What's happening in your neck of the woods?
(02-10-2017 04:41 PM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  I live in Salem MA. and it's October so it is Halloween central. Along with throngs of tourists and traffic I get the added benefit of listening to people talk about how great the psychic they went to was. So yeah, I got that. Drinking Beverage

My instinct is to scream "Dude that is so cool!" but I guess if you are a local it is all a big headache with all the commercialism and the tourists and the bullshit...still...

As a history buff in Texas, it's hard not to envy people who live closer to actual old stuff up in the Northeast. Down here we don't get far into the 1800s, much less the 1690s.

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