Archive for January, 2010

What I have been up to this week 2010-01-31

January 31st, 2010 No comments
  • Seriously? All my friends are pro web developers and yet the one time I need advice I can't get hold of any of them, lol. #
  • Got the house to myself all weekend with @lizziemoogle in Manchester. #
  • Glad to hear about Andrew Wakefield getting his comeuppance. Hopefully parents will stop being idiots and refusing the mmr jab. #
  • Just discovered a friends line in lingerie. Epic lols. #
  • Today is dragging. Still, only 2.5hrs left… #
  • What an awful day so far. Grey outside, slow at work and no signs of improvement. @leedsatheistsoc tonight looks good #

10:23 Overdose Project

January 30th, 2010 No comments

Below is the press release regarding the national anti-homeopathy campaign organised by The 10:23 Campaign:

Consumers in Leeds to take part in nationwide homeopathic ‘overdose’ protest against Boots’ continued endorsement and sale of homeopathic products, despite the company admitting they have no evidence the ‘treatments’ work.

Leeds-based Consumer rights activists will be taking part in the protests on January 30th, culminating in a mass homeopathic ‘overdose’ taking place in towns across Britain. The intention is to demonstrate to the public that the homeopathic remedies sold by Boots are nothing but sugar pills, and put pressure on Britain’s leading pharmacist to live up to its responsibilities and ensure that the products it sells to customers are genuine.

The protest, organized by Leeds Skeptics as part of the 10:23 Campaign, comes after a Boots representative, Paul Bennett, attracted ridicule from the national press after admitting to a parliamentary select committee last November that Boots sells homeopathic remedies to the public even though they have no evidence the ‘treatments’ work. The Science and Technology Select Committee are due to release their report on homeopathy around the time of the protest, at the end of January.

The 10:23 Campaign is a national movement headed by the Merseyside Skeptics Society, which aims to raise awareness of homeopathy, a multi-million pound industry based on a long-discredited 18th century ritual, selling remedies to the public which have no scientific basis and no credible evidence for their efficacy beyond the placebo effect. While dispensing sugar pills may seem harmless, in reality the endorsement of homeopathic potions by leading health providers can have grave consequences. As well as potentially undermining trust in medicine and medical advice, customers may be misled into believing that they are treating their illness – for example a 2006 Newsnight investigation revealed that homeopaths were advising customers to take ineffective ‘preparations’ in place of antimalarial drugs. In extreme cases, such as the ‘healing therapist’ Russell Jenkins, deaths have occurred.

The Boots brand is synonymous with health care in the United Kingdom, and they speak proudly their role as a health care provider and their commitment to deliver exceptional patient care. Michael Marshall, a spokesman for the 10:23 Campaign, said the following:

“We do not expect the nation’s leading pharmacist to sell us remedies that do not work. The sale of homeopathic remedies is defended on the basis of allowing customer choice, but choice relies on clear information, and misleading customers by endorsing homeopathic brands restricts their ability to make good health choices.”

Ahead of the protests, an open letter to Boots has been published online and signed by thousands of unhappy customers from across the UK and beyond.

Letter to David Cameron

January 28th, 2010 1 comment

When Chris posted his open letter to David Cameron on his blog earlier this week it got me thinking about whether any of the main political parties took humanism and the non-religious community seriously, or whether they just saw them as an unimportant fringe sectio of society that would basically not care about the religious aspects of their party’s policies.

I have tended to vote for a Conservative candidate in general eelctions, although how much this has to do with modern Conservative policies over my liking of the candidate and the fact I believed his promises to me more than his competitors is still under consideration, and for a variety of individuals in local elections. This means that although I am broadly conservative in my political leanings (I believe in a small government, privatisation, free market economy and the need for aspiration to be rewarded not punished) I have voted Lib Dem, Labour and independent a number of times. The basis of these decisions usually revolved around what the individual stance was in secularism and supporting local initiative and enterprise.

Whilst David Cameron may not feel that charitable action is something the non-religious excell at, I dn’t think this is the view amongst all Conservative MP’s. The Rt Hon Michael Jack MP has always shown a passion and understanding for local charitable initiatives regardless of their religious (or lack of) denomination.

The Labour party has similar divisions. Tony Blair founded the Tony Blair Faith Foundation yet there are many Labour MP’s that sit on the Parliamentary Humanist Group.

I have stolen Chris’s concept and written to my MP and a number of high profile members of the governemnt and the opposition to ask for a clarification on their party’s views on this subject. I will post their responses (If I get them) on this site.

What I have been up to this week 2010-01-24

January 24th, 2010 No comments
  • Today is panning out quite badly all things considered. Not as bad a day as @gib2504 is probably having tho. #
  • Gotta love student parties. Cocktails and skips! #
  • Mmmm. Lists. Tasty. #
  • Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet. Yep. #
  • Feel really let down today. The last 6 months gone completely unrecognised. Time to move on I think. #

Living as an Atheist

January 18th, 2010 No comments

I have been “out” as an atheist for about eight years now and have lived with the associated consequences through the cut throat environment of high school, the holier than thou (excuse the pun) world on university and the politically correct arena of real life employment. Out of all those experiences it was the time at university that I found the need to explain and defend my position almost inescapable. Maybe it was the inquisitive and argumentative nature of students, but at school and at work the topic of religious belief has never really been an issue.

It was this thought that has inspired a series of articles that I am going to be releasing over the next few weeks. There are five in all, but I think that the final two will probably get posted as a single piece as I feel that the flow is better suited that way. So, for those of you that have been ignoring my posts recently due to the lack of real or meaningful content should start refreshing those RSS feeds and rechecking those bookmarks!

The article series is called Living as an Atheist and will hopefully highlight some of the issues that are faced by atheists when trying to apply the principles and ideas that tend to be associated with an atheistic world view to real life situations.

The first piece will be on what it means to be a young atheist in sixth form/college and then university. The main thesis is that the 16-25 age bracket is the key defining period in how an atheist will develop their wolrdview and what features of that worldview persist into life beyond education.

The second article is about university atheist societies and it is aimed to coincide with the anniversary of the official press launch of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies. The focus of this article will be on sustainability and leadership within the student community of an atheist society. This is a subject which I have been invited to speak on at the AHS Conference in Oxford att he end of February.

The third part of the series is an essay on working in a multi-ethnic environment and the clash of British capitalism and religious imperatives. The key points under exploration will include the compatability of the market system with Islamic ideas on trade and finance as well as the human element of actually working alongside adherants to a number of religions and how “office banter” can lead to difficult situations and damaging misunderstandings.

The fourth and fifth articles will be a short history of my own journey to atheism and then an in depth analysis into the development of my world view and how that is implemented both in my student world and my professional world.

So, keep your eyes peeled as I am unsure yet as to which day will be ebst for publication but will probably depend on when I need to kill the msot time at work over the next week.

What I have been up to this week 2010-01-17

January 17th, 2010 No comments
  • 5 new blog posts to go up once a week for next month :-) finally got round to finishing them all. #
  • So, working for 26 of the next 36hrs. #
  • Having a pretty crap day so far :-( at least I'm getting paid overtime rate for the last 1.5hrs. #

New article series on the horizon

January 15th, 2010 No comments

It has been the best part of two months since my last meaningful post. This has been down to a number of factors but mainly down to the fact I started to write a post on sustainability of small atheist social groups which grew into a five part essay on atheist communities. I will be posting this essay in its five parts once a week starting this weekend. Watch this space!

What I have been up to this week 2010-01-10

January 10th, 2010 No comments
  • Star trek movie, pizza and beer = win! #
  • Lol. Internet is down at work. What are the managers going to do now? They may have to do some actual work! #
  • Right, bed time. Been up for 33 of the last 36 hrs. #
  • RT @suziperry: RT @woodside69: @suziperry rude snowman Thought you might like it :) ..good grief! MELT !! #
  • Sometimes wish I could work from home. A VPN connection and a phone is all I need. #
  • Really should have gone to bed earlier last night rather than staying up for a film! #
  • Mean Girls, my guilty pleasure. #
  • I think it might just be bedtime. #
  • Free domino's! Win. #
  • Just sorted myself a day off tomorrow. That's a day of tv, internet and heating! #

What I have been up to this week 2010-01-03

January 3rd, 2010 No comments
  • I love the fact that TweetDeck "recommends" ais really struggling to find people to recommend. #
  • So, that's the end of the first day of 2010. Much like the last day of 2009. Will never understand the fascination with New Year. #
  • Recovery steak 1 – hangover 0 #
  • Mmm @o2 branded wine… #
  • Happy 2010 peeps. Also check out @realnickgriffin #
  • RT @lizziemoogle: So, @thenoman is pretty bad at singstar … YEAH I am! #
  • RT @RealBillBailey: …those rascals at More4 are showing Tinselworm again at some undawkinsy hour.. Love the use of undawkinsy here! #
  • So, is this the last day of the decade or not? #
  • Solid morning's work so far. Just stopped for my first break. #
  • Yeah, taxi home cost less than a fiver! #
  • A few pints of real ale quaffed, ready for home now. Work in morning :-(#
  • Off out for @lizziemoogle 's birthday. Dinner at Little Tokyo then drinks in town. #
  • W00t. Work done for the day. Best part of >>400 earned ;-)#
  • 7.5hrs to go today. Not too bad to be honest, especially at nearly >>30/hr. #