Secular Sunday #39 – This and That

Time for Secular Sunday? Yes, yes it is.
In this issue:
  • News
  • Upcoming Events
  • This and That

  • On Monday 1 October, Atheist Ireland’s Chairman Michael Nugent and Education Officer Jane Donnelly will be in Warsaw, attending a session of the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2012, Europe’s largest annual human rights and democracy conference. The session is on Freedom of Conscience, and Michael and Jane should have a few minutes to address the delegates on how Irish law affects the non-religious in this respect. As well as attending the main event, they will be hosting a side event on “Blasphemy laws, religious oaths and secular education”. We’ll have a report on this event in a few weeks’ time.
Upcoming Events
  • Monday 24 September, 8:30 pm, McSwiggans Bar and Restaurant, Woodquay, Galway (map)
    Galway Skeptics in the Pub: “The Brain Depository”. The usual mix of skeptical discussion and drinking. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 26 September, 7:00 pm, Geoff’s Bar, Waterford (map)
    The first ever meeting of Waterford Skeptics in the Pub. All are welcome. Facebook event page
  • Wednesday 26 September, 7:30 pm, McHugh’s Bar, Queen’s Square, Belfast (map)
    Belfast Skeptics in the Pub are back after a hiatus with a social event and discussion of relevant current affairs. Facebook event page
  • Sunday 30 September, Galway Tennis Club, Salthill, Galway (map)
    The monthly meeting of Humanists West, Galway. Anyone interested in humanism is welcome. Facebook event page
  • 13-14 April 2013, Mercure Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester, England
    QED (Question, Explore, Discover), a two-day science and skepticism convention. Tickets are on sale now at £99 and going fast. Read more.

This and That

Some facts, opinions and news from the Irish atheist, skeptic and science-oriented online population:

  • After attending a mixed-sex primary school, I went to a Christian Brothers secondary school for boys. Thankfully, the black-clad sadists who held sway during my uncles’ schooldays were long gone except for a rat-faced principal and a handful of doddery old Brothers – and, save a prayer at the beginning of every lesson, religion didn’t get in the way of education too often. Ian Winick tells us why he is an atheist. Our Dublin event coordinator Harry Guinness has been providing a home for “Why I’m an atheist” posts and has recently done a round-up in case you’ve missed any. If you want to tell your own story and are looking for somewhere to do it, email Harry.
  • In general, it’s a good rule of thumb that any treatment that would have to violate the laws of physics to be viable is probably unlikely to be biologically effective. There is simply no way around the fact that homeopathic medicines are quite simply just water and sugar.David Robert Grimes gives the low-down on homeopathy to readers of The Irish Times. Make your head explode by reading the comments.
  • Inspired by a recent Irish Times article on ’20 women to follow on Twitter’, I asked some of my favourite Irish science tweeps to put their thinking hats on. Akin to a desert island challenge, what four (science) people would they recommend?20 Science tweeps to follow, courtesy of Maria Delaney and friends.
  • Crush Earth’s history into the 6000 year Creationist scale, & Henry VIII becomes the last king of the DevonianThe Frog Blog rounds up some of the week’s best tweets.
  • A massive fireball was seen right across Ireland last night which may be “one of the best ever seen” in Europe and was a “huge event”, according to Astronomy Ireland.Report in the Irish Times. If you saw it (the fireball, not the report), contact Astronomy Ireland so they can do some science and figure out where it might have landed.

That’s your lot for this week. For all the latest news and views, visit our website, forum, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or just wait till next Sunday and I’ll tell you what happened.

Derek Walsh
Editor, Secular Sunday
Atheist Ireland

Secular Sunday