Archive for March, 2011

What I have been up to this week 2011-03-27

March 27th, 2011 No comments

What I have been up to this week 2011-03-20

March 20th, 2011 No comments


March 17th, 2011 No comments

I am migrating the test bed part of my site to a different host over the next few weeks, so if you notice anything out of the ordinary on the site then contact me and let me know.

Blackwing Descent, Magmaw.

March 17th, 2011 No comments

There are essentially 3 parts to this boss and each one is all about positioning. Part one is the phase where Magmaw casts pillar of flame. The second part is the adds phase. The final part is the bit where Magmaw eats the tank. The fight cycles through these phases until wipe or win.

This is the starting phase on the pull and the transition phase between adds and mangle.

Starting positions
MT – stand in front and slightly to right of Magmaw
DPS – Stand at minimum range in front and to the left of Magmaw, except for Hunter who will stand at maximum range (staying in range of healers)
Healers – Stack on DPS

Raid will take occasional raid wide damage, healers just need to keep up with AoE heals and spam healing. Magmaw will cast “Pillar of Flame” on a random target who is more than 15 yards from him. If positioning is right this will always be the Hunter. Hunter needs to move out of flame and lay an ice trap.

This is the adds phase and will start as soon as Magmaw casts pillar of flame and is basically a CC and AoE dps race.

Starting positions
MT – as phase 1
DPS – as phase 1 but Hunter now joins main dps stack
Heals – as phase 1

Ranged DPS will target all slowing, CC, knockbacks and stuns at the adds whilst nuking them down. It is important that the adds not be allowed to come into melee range of anybody, so if dps is not enough then the adds will need kiting until dead. Melee DPS continue to hit the boss and should feel free to use any ranged dps abilities to help on the adds if needed. Healers should continue to manage raid damage and keep tank up.

This is the phase where the tank gets swallowed and max dps needs to be put out on boss. All adds need to be down by this stage.

Starting positions
MT – inside Magmaw’s mouth
DPS – Ranged DPS need to step back slightly from boss so they are out of melee range and go all out nuke. 2x melee DPS need to jump on Magmaw’s back, rest should nuke boss
Healers – Stack on ranged

Tank will get mangled and then swallowed by Magmaw and will have a 50% armour reduction buff applied. Healers will need to focus heal tank as intial damage at this stage is 100k over 5 seconds. Once inside the mouth the tank should go full dps as they will do 100% extra damage. As soon as tank is swallowed, 2 melee dpes will need to jump on Magmaw’s back and apply the chain ability so that Magmaw is chained to spikes. Once chained, rest of dps need to go all out on the boss and healers should regen mana – pop divine plea, mana tide totem etc as there should be no raid damage throughout the majority of this phase. Any self heals etc should be used by raid to allow healers full restoration time. Magmaw will case AoE fire on half of the room, dps and healers shoould move to other side of room when this happens. At end of this phase Magmaw will do damage to a random raid member in melee range, so make sure all except tank are out of range.

The fight then resets and repeats.

AHS Success

March 15th, 2011 No comments

The AHS National Convention 2011 took place this past weekend in London. Split over two days, the first a speaker based event at the iconic Conway Hall and a second, workshop focussed day, housed at University College, London’s ironically shaped Cruciform Building, the event was remarkably well attended and a resounding success.

Over 250 people from all across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland gathered to listen to the likes of BHA Chief Exec Andrew Copson, Lord Warner of Brockley, Robin Ince, Johann Hari and Professor AC Grayling speak on a variety of subjects themed around the importance of student involvement in atheist, humanist and secularist societes on their campus.

There were over fifty students in attendence at the workshops the follwoing day too. Covering areas such as media and publicity, running awareness weeks and finance and sustainability, I am sure that the current geenration of student society leaders will be better armed to deal with the many battles they face running their groups.

All in all the Convention was a fantastic success, both from an attendence and engagement point of view. You can see some of the photos from the event on the AHS’s Facebook page (account required) and read more about what went on via their official web site.

What I have been up to this week 2011-03-13

March 13th, 2011 No comments
  • Student day of #ahscon is about to start. Various workshops on student societies given by some experts in their fields, oh and me. #
  • RT @BHAnews Photos from @AHSStudents convention yesterday with @johannhari101, @BHANews, @robinince and more! #AHSCon #
  • Wonder if @BinaryMage is taking advantage of the flat seeing as me and @chrisworfolk are out of town. #
  • Also staying in world's smallest hotel room with @chrisworfolk and Elina. It's like munich all over again, but a heterosexual version. #
  • Just met a guy at #ahscon who went out with an old school friend of mine. It's a small world sometimes. #
  • Good times had by all at #ahscon . Good to see some old faces like @willwybrow too. #
  • Bha choir playing us out at #ahscon 2011. #
  • Not only has today been packed with great speakers, it has also meant I get to see @MR_OJR :-)#
  • Prof AC Grayling is the headline and final speaker of the publc part of #ahscon 2011. Grayling was a speaker in my 1st @ahsstudents event. #
  • RT @poddelusion: So I just plugged the @PodDelusion in front of something like 300 people. That was bloody scary. #
  • Apparently the Dalai Lama called @johannhari101 fat. #ahscon #
  • The inimitable @johannhari101 is on next at #ahscon . One of the few speakers that could follow @robinince :-)#
  • Loving the @robinince speech at #ahscon Jokes at Stephen Green's expense are always welcome. #
  • RT @ahsstudents: @robinince doing a brand new speech at #ahscon – just written but still brilliant :)#
  • Comedy from @robinince now at @ahsstudents #ahscon #
  • Up next at #ahscon is @BHAnews Chief Exec Andrew Copson. #
  • 2nd speaker of #ahscon is Gerard Philips of the @NatSecSoc . Just used Wikipedia as a source. #
  • Opening speaker of @ahsstudents #ahscon is Lord Warner of Brockley on the difficulties of being a humanist minister in government. #
  • RT @poddelusion: #AHSCon is starting NOW! Listen live: – First up, Lord Warner of Brockley #
  • Big @leedsatheistsoc contingent at @ahsstudents #ahscon . Not biggest group but proud of those that made it. #
  • At Conway Hall in London for the @ahsstudents convention. Stalls by @BHAnews @NatSecSoc @poddelusion @LondonHumanists etc. #ahscon #
  • Viki would be so proud of @willwybrow beating up kids in #pokemon @Viki_Chan #
  • RT @RichardWiseman: Pray for japan if you want. But also remember to contribute money to aid organisations, just in case Plan A doesn't work #
  • Just had a munich flashback. Woke up to @chriswofolk 's ass in my face. #
  • On train to London for @ahsstudents #ahscon #
  • RT @leedsatheistsoc: All night debate is still going strong! Join us outside the union for coffee and discussions. #reasonweek #
  • Got 40 quid eVouchers for Travelodge screwing up my booking. #
  • Not sure if its good or bad that I'm finishing soon. Got to go write some inspiring and engagement presentations for @ahsstudents #ahscon #
  • You know what? I might actually finish on time (ish) today. #
  • Traffic issues caused by overturned truck due to wind just outside bridgewater place. Neville steet and surrounding roads closed. #
  • Hmm, traffic chaos in Leeds city centre. Gonna miss my appointment at this rate! #
  • Going to be doing some live blogging from @ahsstudents #ahscon this weekend :-)#
  • Had a really good time at @leedsatheistsoc event on #humanist ethics by @BHAnews top dog Andrew Copson. #
  • Ooh census arrived today. #
  • RT @uclashs AHS convention is happening THIS SAT! Join us for AC Grayling, Johann Hari, Robin Ince, Andrew Copson+more! #
  • It it wrong that I rush to look at Twitter each morning to see what escapades @willwybrow and @fratheist have gotten into. #shouldbeasitcom #
  • If you are in Leeds you should check out @leedsatheistsoc and their #reasonweek every day this week. For event listings #
  • The @ahsstudents #ahscon features @robinince @johannhari101 @BHAnews 's Andrew Copson + loads more. #
  • Not long now til the @ahsstudents 3rd convention in London. Check out the line-up and ticket info at #
  • Argh can't sleep :( put season 1 of Spooks on to help£ #
  • interesting to ponder how such low entropy was possible at the origin of the universe. #
  • Also spent 5 years studying thermodynamics and what I didn't learn at A-Level then degree I just got in 10 mins of @ProfBrianCox #wonders #
  • (2/2) surely the brief window of possible existence is all the more reason to live the best we can right now! I found #wonders uplifting. #
  • I don't understand why everyone thinks @ProfBrianCox explanation of the end of universe in #wonders was depresssing (1/2) #
  • Last tram journey of the weekend :-( was a pretty good weekend all told. Crazy night out, but most of the good stuff was done sober! #
  • Good win for England this morning. Managed to catch the end of the game whilst eating my Krispy Kremes :-)#

What I have been up to this week 2011-03-06

March 6th, 2011 No comments
  • Is there a better way to deal with a hangover that with tea and Krispy Kremes :-)#
  • All the best to @lauraaisthorpe and @andrew_gibney as they set off for Jamaica to get married :-)#
  • Partying with Greg James off the radio apparently. #
  • So only a week until the @ahsstudents Convention #ahscon get your ticket from @BHAnews #
  • Roll on the free champagne #
  • Getting drunk now :-) fun times. #
  • Hauntingly familiar territory now. Not a happy year of my life was spent in this neck of the woods. #
  • RT @gibfootballshow Super podcast with @LucianoSays @GlobalFoot2Day and @SurrealFootball get listening and tell friends #
  • RT @SecularStudents: Made it to 1337! Thanks everyone! Btw @ahsstudents, we're already up to 261 affiliates… #
  • Arrived in Manchester. Now to use MetroLink for first time in 5 years. #
  • Will be in Manchester/Eccles for some party based fun in a little over 3 hours. Not seen some of this lot in 8years! #
  • RT @chrismayerV1: Time to listen to the @gibfootballshow sans Mr Gibney. So far, @LucianoSays is a superb host. #
  • Looks like @BinaryMage is keen this morning. Don't normally see him this side of lunchtime on a Saturday. #
  • I think I'm getting to that age where I can wake up with what feels like a hangover despite not touching a drop last night ;-( #
  • RT @krypto: Stations refuse @BHAnews' 'For God's sake' Census adverts, but permit unpleasant Bible verses. Way to prove a point, guys. #
  • RT @BHAnews Can we get this trending? Is blasphemy back? Here are the banned posters deemed 2 offensive #censuscampaign #
  • So my website is now 4 years old!! #
  • Tickets to salford booked :-)#
  • The end of a long day comes to a close. Can't believe I made it to bed for midnight. Didn't look likely an hour ago!! #
  • Do love coming home to letters from the houses of parliament. #
  • Check out my blogvert for the upcoming @ahsstudents convention in March at #
  • RT @andyjameshicks: 3 more followers needed for 300!!! #
  • Me and @BinaryMage didn't coordinate our payday dominos so both got 2 pizzas each… #
  • Twitter seems very quiet these days. Where is all the controversy and intrigue? #
  • RT @CampQuestUK: Please visit our website to find out information on the 2011 camps and make your booking now! #
  • Well I'm back at the coalface today after a short break. Can't decide if I'm refreshed and energised or still tired and jaded. #
  • RT @leedsatheistsoc: Join us for a Think and Drink tonight at 7pm, Stick or Twist, including our all new "Spot that Logical Fallacy." #
  • RT @leedsatheistsoc: Leeds Reason Week 2011 timetable is now available on our website: #

Happy Birthday To Me

March 3rd, 2011 1 comment

The site is now 4 years old! Well officially the anniversary of my first post is on the 26th March but today is the 4th anniversary of the launch of all the back end gubbins.

There have been plenty of ups and downs over the years but my relationship with you, the readers of this site, is now longer than any real life relationship I’ve had so far. Many would say that was a little sad, but I am quite proud. When I kicked off in 2007 I never envisaged I would still be writing stuff on here.

Here is to another 4 years of happy posting. One day I will work out exactly what sort of content fits the site best.

AHS Convention

March 2nd, 2011 No comments

It hardly seems any time at all since the AHS launched itself into the public eye at it’s press launch and convention in 2009. Next weekend, March 12th -13th, sees the AHS hold its third annual convention at Conway Hall in London.

For those that don’t know, the AHS (or to give it its full name, the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies) is a national umbrella organisation catering for non-religious societies within higher education in the UK.

The AHS has enjoyed high profile support during it’s relatively short history with patrons including author and academic Professor Richard Dawkins and journalist and writer Polly Toynbee. Dawkins said this of the AHS:

Public statements of non-belief are treated as threatening, an affront to the religious, while the reverse is not true. More concerning is the enduring assumption that religious belief does not have to earn respect like any other view, an approach that has caused politicians and public figures across the UK to withdraw from asking the vital question: why is religion given such special status in government, culture and the media? Why is belief in a higher power an indication of greater moral fortitude, character and acumen? The AHS says publicly that it isn’t; on the contrary, beliefs that are unsupported, bigoted or demand special privileges should always be challenged. No opinion should be protected from criticism simply by virtue of being religiously held.

With over thirty members covering the length and breadth of Britain and Ireland, the AHS is one of the fastest growing organisations of its ilk and the 2011 convention will be its biggest event to date.

Speaking about the convention, the British Humanist Association’s Chief Executive, Andrew Copson, who is speaking at the event said:

It is impressive to see how the AHS has grown over the last six months, more than doubling in size. It’ll be very exciting to see this reflected in the numbers that come to the AHS Convention, and I am very excited to be taking part in it.

The line up for the convention is a veritable who’s who with speakers including the philosopher, author and long-term supporter of the AHS Professor AC Grayling. Grayling spoke at the AHS’s first convention in 2009, saying:

As well as making the case for reason and science, it is great to know that the AHS will be standing up against religious privilege and discrimination. All people are entitled to their beliefs but we secularists (whether religious or humanist) are right in arguing that the state must be entirely neutral in these matters. A situation where the religious beliefs of a few may dictate the personal choices of everyone in abortion, for example, or assisted suicide is quite wrong. Yet some religious groups defend and even aim to expand their considerable privileges – public money for their “faith-based” schools, seats in the House of Lords, exemption from laws inconvenient to their prejudices. The AHS shows that increasing numbers of young people are unwilling to put up with it.

Other headliners include journalist and activist Johann Hari, comedian Robin Ince and politician Lord Warner. National Secular Society executive director Kieth Porteous Wood and the BHA Choir round off the set list.

All of the speakers are set to take to stage between 12pm and 6pm on the Saturday of the convention. Fringe events will be taking palce throughout the day, including exhibitions by a variety of local and national organisations. The day is also being broadcast live via the popular science and religion podcast The Pod Delusion.

The Sunday of the convention will be aimed primarily at the AHS’s member societies, with workshops running on sustainability, finances, debating and an awards ceremony.

AHS President, Richy Thompson, summed up the convention:

We’re very excited about this convention, which promises to far and away be the AHS’s biggest gathering yet. The line-up of speakers looks really great, and the events on the committee-centric day should help stimulate a new year of leaders for non-religious societies.

Tickets for the convention are avaialble from the BHA website for the Saturday, or both days. Tickets are priced at £6 (£3 students).

Enquiry 2011

March 1st, 2011 No comments

Following on from the success of the Chris Worfolk Foundation’s Enquiry 2010 conference, where I was a speaker, the organisation will be running another weekend conference this year.

The event will be running over the weekend of 16th and 17th April 2011 in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. Enquiry 2011 will feature headline speakers such as Professor Paul Braterman, author of 59 Seconds Professor Richard Wiseman, journalist Jon Ronson, comedian Robin Ince and Dr Gijsbert Stoet. The event will also feature live music from Carmen De Cruz and a magic show presented by Declan Dineen. Further acts and speakers are due to be announced over the next few weeks.

Tickets are available direct from the foundation’s website and will cost £45 (£35 concessions).