Archive for November, 2010

What I have been up to this week 2010-11-28

November 28th, 2010 No comments
  • Well fuck me premier league. Almost 40 goals today. #
  • Doom is on tv tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!! #
  • Wow or alien vs predator on film 4?? Choices choices. #
  • House to myself all weekend :-) plus more sport on than I can watch! Gonna be awesome. #
  • Finally leaving Slough. Going to go back via M40 as M1 and M25 gonna be a nightmare now. Prob not gonna be home til gone 11 at this rate :-(#
  • I'm really liking the way this Ford Focus drives :-) tho the stereo doesn't support mp3 cd's :-( ( @chrisworfolk ) #
  • Just had a Scotch egg with no egg in it :-(#
  • RT @gibfootballshow: Here's my Rangers v Man United: Tactical Preview RT's welcome #
  • RT @rioferdy5: prize is lux hol at Fortina Spa Resort, Malta! 3nite wkend for 2, 5* Spa Room, HB basis, flts courtesy of Malta Tourism Auth! #
  • I can't make it, but everyone should go and see tonight's @leedsatheistsoc talk on whether life began on earth. #
  • RT @gibfootballshow: I wrote this today about the amount of English strikers in the EPL #
  • RT @BHAnews: RT @CensusCampaign: For god's sake! Now the BBC are at it with their "What is your faith?" map of Britain! #
  • RT @NatSecSoc: Tonight’s Panorama investigates extremism in Muslim ‘faith schools’ BBC1 8.30pm #


November 21st, 2010 No comments

Linkin Park

I have been lucky enough to get to a number of gigs over the last month or so and I thought I would put a quick post up about them.

November started with Linkin Park at the MEN Arena in Manchester. I used to love Linkin Park back when I was a youngish teenager but I have to admit that I had kind of drifted away from their music over the last few years, bar the odd scream-along at Wendy House when one of their singles came on. This meant I surprised myself as much as anyone else when I suggested to Chris that I tagged along with him to go and see them play.

The gig was pretty good all round, despite the fact we were sat at the back of the arena on the upper tier (about as far away from the stage as possible). Their new material from the album A Thousand Suns is really good, but not necessarily designed for arena tours. I felt that they blended the new stuff in pretty well with their older material. Chris posts his views on the gig here, where he disagrees with my view on this.

I had a really good time at the concert and it was fun to relive some of my angsty youth.

The second gig of the month was a freebie from work in recognition of some of the work I have been doing over the last few months. I got an email on a Thursday to say that I had been awarded two tickets to see a concert at the MEN on the Friday (as in the next day!) This was quite a shock and meant that I would have to arrange travel etc to Manchester and find someone to go with. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but for some reason whenever I get tickets to stuff from work there never seems to be anyone that wants to go.


Luckily for me, the tickets were to see Gorillaz, which is an awesome band, so I didn’t mind the last minute running around trying to sort everything out. The other lucky break was that another girl from my ofice had also won tickets, so meant that it didn’t matter if I found someone to go with I could always tag along with her and her partner. Little did I know at this stage that the running around trying to find someone to come would prove to be the least stressful thing of the whole occasion!

I left work on the Friday at three-thirty and headed back to my colleague’s house to grab a quick drink and then catch a train from Dewsbury to Manchester. This journey normally takes a little over an hour, however on this occasion it took nearly 4 hours, including having to change at Rochdale due to the train being too late to carry on!

Anyway, we eventually made it to the gig about 2 hours later than expected and got into the arena just in time to see that last couple of songs by the support act, De La Soul, who were really rather good. Chris showed up just as Gorillaz started (see his story here) and we enjoyed a fantastic show. The event was made even sweeter by the realisation that all our drinks and food were on expenses.

The Gorillaz themselves were really good. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect as I struggled to work out how an animated band would translate to real life performance, but Damon Albarn really pulled it off with his high energy style and fantastic animation of the band on the giant screen on stage.

I am not a huge Gorillaz fan beyond a few of their singles, but the concert was really good (the free beer helped no doubt) and I would recommend them to anyone who wants a really fun, live band who don’t take themselves too seriously!

Kevin Bridges

The final gig of November saw me head to York’s Theatre Royal to see comedian Kevin Bridges perform. I have come across Kevin Bridges a few times, mainly on TV shows like Mock The Week and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, and I have always found him to be really funny. He is a Glaswegian and proud of it and has some fantastic material covering crazy people, nostalgia and self-image issues.

I went with some friends from work and we enjoyed a few beverages on the train and then in York, which is always a nice palce to go drinking, before heading to the theatre. The support act was a young Scot whose name escapes me now, but he was funny enough and a good warm-up act using plenty of crowd interaction to get us in the mood. Kevin’s set was fairly long and had me in stitches quite a few times. The funniest part of the night was when he learned (from a member of the audience) that suit pockets are really pockets and if he undid the temporary stitching he could use them. They say everyday’s a school day!

Again, an act I would recommend to those that like some not too mainstream comedy but also not too alternative. A good laugh.

Breaking news….

November 21st, 2010 No comments

This post is just a quick update to tease visitors to my site with a glimpse at a project I am currently working on. I will be releasing more information over the next couple of weeks, but it is big news and represents quite a shift for me.

At the moment, all I can say is that The No Man will be making a comeback, but not in the guise many will expect!

For those that don’t know what I’m talking about all will become clear soon enough. The No Man is a moniker that was given to me when I decided that there wasn’t enough democracy at the student union at the University of Leeds as every referendum motion and other political action was left unopposed.

Keep your eyes on the site as I will be posting updates on this until we go for the big announcement!

What I have been up to this week 2010-11-21

November 21st, 2010 No comments
  • Can't believe the Arsenal v Tottenham game ended like that! Why can't Arsenal ever close anything out? #
  • How the hell Tottenham have got back into this is anyone's guess!!! Dead and buried 15mins ago. #
  • Had a ridiculously productive day today :-) amazing how much work I can do when om the only one in the office!! #
  • They let these people read our news!! #
  • Ah, chilli and rugby. Is there a better way to spend a Friday? #
  • Got to work tomorrow, but still looking forward to weekend :-)#
  • My new ergo chair arrived today. Its pretty sweet. Wish I could take it home :-(#
  • Had fun in York watching @kbridges1986 with @gibshow and @amydavies1987 :-)#
  • RT @wilw: I say this with kindness: Anyone who tells you that wearing this is a good idea is lying to you. #
  • Warm up for Kevin Bridges was pretty good. In longest bar queue ever atm. #
  • In york for some beer and comedy :-)#
  • Off to see @Kbridges1986 tonight in York with @gibshow and @amydavies1987 #
  • Re PA advert earlier. Would need 4-5hrs max a week, needs to be Leeds based and it wouldn't be a real/legal job!! #
  • RT @bengoldacre: Do you want to do a tiny bit of a kind of mini-intern thing? I feel a bit weird suggesting it. #
  • Anyone want a job as my PA? #
  • I though ashley young looked lively and micah richards looked better at RB than Johnson has been doing. Carrol and bothroyd did ok ish. #
  • Hmm, sometimes I wonder if capello thinks in english and therefore doesn't understand his own thoughts. 1 or 2 positives for england tho. #
  • At the German market in Leeds. Fun times. #
  • Chairing a debate at @leedsatheistsoc on whether the society should support a public ban of the burkha. #
  • In other news I'm now going to @BHAnews #GRAM as rep of @leedsatheistsoc and @wyhumanists . Will also be observing for @ahsstudents #
  • Had a frustrating day at work today. Productive day, but my to do list has grown massively. Got 2 trips to slough coming up too :-(#
  • Woo hoo. Should have dishwasher back soon :-) tho electricians have basically said we have too much stuff :-(#
  • First full season of career with #fm2011 is now over. Took over Reading mid season and steered them clear of relegation :-)#
  • Plan to enjoy my Sunday off :-) tho pretty skint so will have to do free stuff for rest of month… #

Building the Brand

November 16th, 2010 No comments

Ever since I wrote this article about building an atheist brand back in 2009, and especially following Dan Bye’s comments on the piece, there has been a nagging thought at the back of mind that I have been trying desperately to work out. Namely, what is it that atheist can actually offer under some sort of brand? Is there a service or product that exists that can be commercialised and marketed? These two questions have gone unanswered for the last year and this has obviously weakened my position on this subject. A subject that I still fundamentally see as being central to the progression of a non-religious world view into the popular psyche.

In October of this year, I had the pleasure of being able to attend an audience with the Harvard University humanist chaplain, Greg Epstein, hosted by the British Humanist Association at the Bishopsgate Institute in London. Greg delivered a short lecture on his career to date, focusing primarily on how he became the humanist chaplain at Harvard and then what his ambition was for the humanist brand in the coming years. His views were very similar to mine in that we both feel very strongly that there is a product that non-religious people can market and that product is humanism. Greg felt that there was enough contained within a humanist world view to be able to successfully market its ideas and, ultimately its services, to a very wide audience.

Admittedly, Greg’s idea of humanism is a modern one. It centres around the need to develop a firm and widely accepted philosophy of humanism that can be used to build a formal world view, accepted in general (if not every aspect) by the majority of humanists. Whilst many self-confessed humanists may say that this philosophy exists, it is evident from the relatively wide cross section of humanists I have spoken to about this that actually this is not the case. There is a certain aversion, particularly amongst traditional humanists, to the development of a central philosophy, and what that means practically. This can probably be put down to the route to humanism that many of these traditionalists took, i.e. they chose humanism as an antidote to religion for whatever reason. However, in order to market the idea of humanism and grow its market share, this aversion needs to be overcome.

How do we do this? How do we help make sure that over the next ten years we can really build up the brand of humanism and make sure that those that are not religious say so, and even go as far as unifying the non-religious under one brand umbrella? The current campaign to get non-religious to be made into an answer on the next UK census is one way. The work of young, trendy, rock stars of humanism such as Greg Epstein and Brian Cox is another. A third option is the work and campaigning by organisations such as the BHA in building the profile of humanism. Personally, I would like to see a combination of those factors being used to really market humanism and its world view at young people. This may sound controversial, similar to the practices of some religions in targeting children. However, I mean young people, those in their late teens and early twenties that are naturally looking for world views to subscribe to and who have the tools to be able to rationally choose which one best fits their outlook, ambitions and personality. Work is currently being done in the UK to try and achieve this, organisations such as the AHS are trying to unite and encourage student groups to discuss and debate the very issues I am writing about here. The Chris Worfolk Foundation is another organisation that is trying to engage with young people. The CWF has more practical activities as its main focus, mainly involving volunteering and community work.

The final question is what can we do about this? Personally, I think the answer is a relatively simple one. Contribute. Contribute by calling yourself a humanist. Contribute by acting like a humanist. Contribute by supporting your local and national groups – whichever one best fills your needs. The more people do the following, the more obvious the link between humanists as people and humanism the world view will become. I strongly feel that this organic development will lead to the singularity that will allow a humanist brand to be launched more formally.


November 14th, 2010 No comments

I will dispense with the normal “sorry I haven’t posted in ages, I was busy” excuses because even though I have been busy, I have had free time enough to blog but I just have not done so. The main reason has been due to the fact that thinking up articles and getting them posted has not been top of my priority list for the last couple of months and with my Twitter feed syndicating up here every week, it hardly felt worth it to re-hash the mundane activities I partake in on a day to day basis.

Having said all that, I do have a couple of articles I want to put up as soon as I have finished them inspired by the Harvard University humanist chaplain, Greg Epstein (author of Good Without God) whom I got to go and see courtesy of the BHA last month. The focus of these articles are similar to a couple of articles I have published in the past on marketing the humanist brand and developing the non-religious “product”.

I also have the article series I promised back in January to post which was delayed for a number of reasons, not least some issues over the leaking of my blog’s existence to the powers that be as well as the break-up of my relationship.

What I have been up to this week 2010-11-14

November 14th, 2010 No comments
  • When feeling a little down I like to watch a keanu reeves film. at least no part of my life is as bad as his acting!! #
  • Lol at those that paid for the fight tonight. 3rd round tko. #
  • Mmm. Chocolate muffins are good for hangovers :-)#
  • A little hungover this morning. Not the best start to a full Saturday of overtime. At least there's plenty of sport to keep me entertained #
  • So all in all a fun enough evening. Gig was pretty good and almost made up for the 5hrs I've spent on trains today. #
  • So anyone fancy giving us a lift from Manchester? Train is now running almost an hour late. #
  • Gig was pretty good but the trains are pissing me off. Already 25mins late. #
  • At Gorillaz gig in Manchester with @chrisworfolk and @amydavies1987 was well worth the 3hr train journey for the free bar! #
  • Apparently we are now listening to the national Syrian orchestra for Arabic music. Weird. #
  • So girls that play the double bass are hot #
  • Just found out tonight is on expenses!! #
  • De la soul are actually quite good. Need to go to more rap gigs. Organised fun. #
  • RT Police won't say if they will arrest #iamspartacus 1000s who threaten to blow up airport (via @mePadraigReidy ) #
  • So anyone know the nearest pub/off licence to Rochdale train station? #
  • So the train we were on was cancelled. Now have to wait for a new train at rochdale. Not due into manc now til 8.30. #
  • RT @daraobriain: Robin Hood! All your base are belong to us! Somebody set up us the Bomb! #iamspartacus #butimalsoanerd #
  • RT @charltonbrooker: Once you lot take care of the airport, I'll silence any witnesses with my bare, strangling hands #IAmSpartacus #
  • Love that #twitterjoketrial and #iamspartacus are top trends for the day. Hopefully we can sort thus ridiculous situation out! #
  • Wow, literally just made the bus for work.. Luckily finishing at 3.30 today then going for 1st nosy round @amydavies1987 place. #
  • I love Shrek. Such an awesome film. 'That'll do donkey. That'll do.' #
  • RT @stephenfry: @pauljchambers My offer still stands. Whatever they fine you, I'll pay x #twitterjoketrial #
  • RT @davidallengreen: If you are in London, and care about free expression and #TwitterJokeTrial Sekforde Arms 9pm tonight. #
  • RT @DrEvanHarris: Free speech is not in a good state today with #libelreform cases #twitterjoketrial verdict & even #comptonbadjoke arrest. #
  • RT @davidallengreen: Please give so to give Paul the option of appealing. TwJokeTrialFund #
  • Really bad news about #twitterjoketrial gutted for all concerned. Law on this is clearly ridiculous. #
  • On a brighter note, my new mouse came today. The hand grip is vertical!! #
  • So, this is the 3rd time I've had a spare ticket to a gig and its the 3rd time no one has wanted it. Seriously people. #
  • I have a spare ticket for Gorillaz tomorrow night at the MEN. If you wanna come let me know. #
  • Seriously, what sort of fool thinks 30,000 is too much for a degree. No outlay up front and a sensible loan agreement following graduation. #
  • I really hope the police tear gas the stupid students who are protesting the tuition fee rise. In fact just shoot the buggers. #
  • Nothing quite like an all day breakfast (even in sandwich form) to brighten a day. Also, cheesecake ftw. #
  • I'm like a Tweetaholic! Can't stop tweeting! #
  • Which DVD should I put on to fall asleep to? School of Rock? Coach Carter? Something else? #middleclassnightmares #
  • Missed @leedsatheistsoc interfaith panel :-( sounds awesome from the tweets #lettingthesidedown #
  • Crap. Fell asleep. #
  • RT @StuartJRitchie: The pick I use for my guitar is really ugly. Should've gone to Plecsavers. #
  • Old skool dance on ipod. Darude sandstom #nowplaying #
  • I do love mocking stuff up on giant whiteboards. Wonder if they'll let me use the Long Room one whilst I'm at uni later?? #
  • If you're free tonight then head to Leeds Uni for an Interfaith Panel run by @leedsatheistsoc starting at 7pm. Scientology is represented! #
  • I've decided I need more graphic novels in my life. Also need huge bookshelf to keep them all on… #middleclassnightmares #
  • Reliving @chrisworfolk dropping the bombshell at asoc committee in March 07 when he said 'in 6 weeks we're going to do rationalist week' #
  • Its on at same time as Kung Fu Hustle. That's not fair :-(#
  • Oooh, Se7en is on tonight :-) that is a film that is full of all sorts of win. #
  • Speccing up a new PC :-)#
  • Baseketball is such an awesome move :-)#
  • Anyone else think that Ceilidh is an awesome word to read out loud? #
  • Woo hoo. Going home at 11.30 :-) shame that I had to go in at all on my day off :-(#
  • Just for @gibshow RT @marcusbrig: #slightlywrongfilmquotes 'That's just what this country needs, a cock in a sock on a rock' – Priscilla #
  • Bloody typical! 2nd 6day week in a row and I can't sleep on my day off. #
  • Tidy room. 2 more boxes in the bin. In bed with a movie. Win. #
  • Having a massive re-org. Already got 3 binbags and 2 boxes to throw out. @chrisworfolk will be happy about getting the balcony back tho. #

What I have been up to this week 2010-11-07

November 7th, 2010 No comments
  • RT @lauraaisthorpe: Only 4 months to go til me and @gibshow are off to get married!!! :)#
  • It never fails to surprise me how many people are doing the walk of shame at 8.30am in Leeds on a Saturday morning. #
  • Seriously guys, science is sooo awesome. Just seen an x-ray microscope see inside a 550 million year old worm!!! #
  • #firstlife on bbc2 is awesome. Take that creationists. #
  • Installing #fm2011 as we speak i:-) #
  • RT @leedsatheistsoc: Tonight's One Life is on Science & Critical Thinking. Join us at 7pm for that, along with free food as usual. #
  • Finally got the Train album :-) really good so far!! #
  • Loving this eric prydz remix of duran duran's Nice :-)#
  • Just come across a real, genuine person called maximillian power. #win #
  • RT @gibfootballshow: NEW PODCAST – Join @gibfootballshow @LucianoSays @ChrisMayerv1 and iTunes #
  • Love the fact that me @BinaryMage and @chrisworfolk spent our 1st catch up of week discussing tax liabilities. #
  • The gig was excellent. Happy to be back in Leeds tho. Not sure I can cope with 2 late nights in a week. #
  • Not long til back in Leeds. @chrisworfolk just managed to fare dodge on train :-s #
  • Better than muse and the coral but not as good as avril or marilyn manson. #
  • I reckon that @linkinpark gig was a good 7 out of 10. Lost a point due to our location. #
  • The stuff off the new album is pretty good live. Wasn't sure about it pre-gig. @linkinpark #
  • Just swung by the D. Heading into the gig now. #
  • The kids on this train are slagging off 90s music. Uncalled for. #backintheday #
  • So, I'm in @BinaryMage hometown. #
  • RT @NatSecSoc: Keith's looking forward to talking to @LSE_Atheist_Soc tonight about our opposition to publicly-funded faith schools #
  • Bugger. Not got out of work on time :-( gonna be tight to get to train station on time. #
  • So, let's see if I can make it through tonight's champ league game before I fall asleep. #
  • Feel better now I've had lunch :-)#
  • Seeing as I shaved my beard off, might as well raise some cash for prostate cancer. #movember #
  • Feeling the pace this morning :-( on 2nd starbucks of the day! #
  • Out with @Aislinfrancis and her bro #
  • So it appears that @Aislinfrancis loves Fountains of Wayne #backintheday #
  • RT @NathanFillion: #
  • In Bourbon for 1st time in ages. Crazy times '09 #
  • RT @gibfootballshow: Have a read of my latest @STVSport piece. Tactical Preview of Valencia v Rangers #
  • RT @MegaBreakfast: I hereby announce the invetion of the burkha smiley ([:] ) #
  • Noooooo just found a dead pixel on my monitor :'-( #
  • Anyone know of any project/programme delivery jobs out there, ideally in telco or tech industries? Need a new job I think. #
  • So my 5hrs in work today turned into 8 :-(#