Tag Archives: xkcd

Humanist weddings

Atheism: A Non-Prophet OrganisationAlthough I am an atheist, I’ve never ticked the humanist box. I am an atheist because there is no god: humanists seem to want to reify that into a belief.

I don’t have a problem with that. I don’t understand people who do. What matters is not what you believe in, but how you behave towards yourself, other people, and the world in consequence of your beliefs.

Humanist weddings, on the other hand, I completely see the point of. Wanting ceremony and ritual to mark the important moments in your life is a natural human process. Civil registrars provide a ceremony if you want it, of course – within very specific bounds set by the fact that a civil registrar is a civil servant, paid to provide the legal process of marriage, and the small fee paid for a registry office marriage is not intended to allow for any very elaborate ceremony.

If you’re not religious, and many people aren’t (“no religion” was one of the largest categories in Scotland in the 2001 census, so large that the Churches lobbied to have that question removed from the 2011 census) then it’s useful to be able to have a ceremony to mark your marriage that isn’t restricted to a civil registrar’s obligations and that isn’t tied to a God of some description.
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Lego: Sexism Trumps Capitalism

If you’re interested in Lego, you can skip the first 10 minutes of this promotional video, which is a rather dull little film about a Danish family of carpenters and toymakers.

In or about 1980, Lego stopped trying to market itself as a toy suitable for both girls and boys to build with, and started to aim itself purely at boys.

Twenty years later:

“The biggest issue we had was in early 2000 where we were actually losing money, coming out of 30 years of constant growth and constant profit growth,” [Poul Schou, senior vice president of Lego product group 2] said. “Then suddenly in 2000 to 2003 we were faced with a number of difficult years. And I think the biggest mistake, the biggest challenge we had at that time was that we actually lost our interest in boys in our core group.”

Pure capitalism would say “Gosh, we used to sell Lego to girls and boys. Now we’ve been trying to cut out our sales to girls for 20 years – just long enough for a whole generation of children to grow up knowing that Lego is for boys – and our sales are down! Maybe we should stop trying to cut our market by 50% and sell to all children, just like we used to!”
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Filed under Childhood, Children, Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff

How to make a book a bestseller

Sister Margaret Farley is a Sister of Mercy (nuns, not a rock-and-roll band, unless they’re nuns who also do rock-and-roll music). She’s also professor emerita of Yale Divinity School. She’s not the kind of person who would write a bestseller that hit the top ten in Amazon six years after publication.

But she did.

The Vatican’s “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” (the Holy Office, aka the Inquisition) took six years to consider Just Love:A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, which on Monday 4th June was at 142,982 on Amazon’s bestseller list. They announced to the world, very sternly, that this nun had written a book showed: “defective understanding of the objective nature of natural moral law” and pose “grave harm to the faithful.”

Twenty-four hours later, Just Love was in the top ten list on Amazon.

To give you an idea of the kind of awful thing Sister Margaret Farley is saying Continue reading


Filed under Books, Religion

The Day After The Count

My new rules for a better election system.

I think the STV system used in Scotland is good even if it does require a computer to do the count, but here’s the next set of thoughts:

If you don't vote, you don't get to complain

One: The local authority in which you live is legally obliged to make sure that everyone who is entitled to vote is registered to vote, and special arrangements must be made for all those who would find it difficult to have a polling card delivered or to get to a polling station. Non-registration of those eligible makes the local authority subject to prosecution.

Two: Everyone is legally required to vote in the first election for which they are eligible.
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Filed under Elections, Feng Shui Kitten Fixes Stuff

Feminist Schools Day in Edinburgh

Yesterday in the Chrystal MacMillan building in George Square, Scottish Women’s Aid hosted a day school for feminists. First session started at 10:30, so as a direct result, I was heading up Castle Terrace towards the farmer’s market by 9:30.

Castle Terrace, Edinburgh, morning
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Filed under About Food, of Edinburgh, Photographs, Scottish Politics, Women

This Food Is Not On Masterchef

XKCD recipes
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Filed under About Food, Unanswerable Questions

XKCD deconstructed

I just realised: this is my 100th post since my very first post on 13th August 2011. Happy blogday! But however entrancing it is to wander unchecked through a garden of bright images, am I not enticing your mind from another subject of almost equal importance?
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Filed under Unanswerable Questions