Posts Tagged ‘Rationalist Week’

Reason Week 2010

April 9th, 2010 No comments

That’s right folks, it is that time of year again. The name might have changed and the tent might be in a different place to previous years, but Reason Week 2010 is going to be as epic as its predecessors!

Reason Week 2010 is going to focus its theme on science and ethics with talks on homeopathy (given by yours truly), freedom of expression and whether vitamin supplements do more harm than good. As usual there will be a plethora of debates, with the CU and new for this year AbSoc (a sect of Islam).

RW2010 kicks off in just over a week (17th April) and if you want more info then drop me a line or leave a comment. Alternatively, visit the Leeds Atheist Society’s web site for details.

The countdown continues…

March 28th, 2009 1 comment

Who would have thought it? It is now three weeks to Rationalist Week 2009!

Thi year we will be running the biggest, most jam packed week ever. We are open for business 24/7 for the first time ever, starting Sunday 19th and finishing Saturday 25th April outside Leeds University Union.

There will be plenty of news and posts to come over the next few weeks as we finalise the arrangements and then there will be posts live from the evnts themselves.

For all the up-to-date news and announcements, keep checking the Leeds A-Soc website!

A bit of a catch up.

February 25th, 2009 1 comment

Regular readers will have noticed a common theme running through my posts recently, namely that of the AHS. Posts on the press launch and the general publicity surrounding the build up have dominated my blog. This is for the veyr good reason that it has been pretty much all I have been thinking about. Sure, I have been involved in a lot of A-Soc stuff like Galileo Day and starting up Perspective but most of my work has been focussed on the AHS.

I have no doubt that the time spent was worth it, you only have to read the coverage the launch got to see how successful everything is proving to be. Check out a few of the pieces here, here and here. The upcoming xchallenge is to ensure that my work with the AHS doesn’t detract too much from my current commitments. I mean I am currently a student, hold down a (not so) part-time job, am president of Leeds Atheist Society and president of the AHS. All of these commitments could and maybe should be full time commitments, but I am sharing my time between them. Thankfully, I have the support of friends and family (big thanks to Liz et al) and a wonderful team working with me both at A-Soc and the AHS.

In other news, it is now only 7 weeks until Rationalist Week 2009!

2008: A Year in Review

January 4th, 2009 No comments

There is a saying that goes “another day, another dollar” and it seems only fitting that I begin my review of 2008 with a quote regarding time and money. 2008 has been a mixed bag of a year, like most years it cam with its ups and downs. The news stories of the year reflect this, with Team GB performing heroics in Beijing and then the economic issues of the last quarter. I hope the rest of this post reflects this theme.

Exams were the order of the day at the opening of 2008. never a good start. Although this particular bunch of exams went pretty well and helped set up a relatively successful second semester on my new course. A-Soc kicked off its second full year with its first event of 2008, the low turnout not indicating the successes to follow. January aslo saw Chris finally lose his virginity at Wendy House.

Darwin Day 2008 was supposed to be the highlight of February, but it got somewhat overshadowed by Sarann’s secret affair! The planning of Rationalist Week seems to get earlier and earlier and we officially kicked off the organisation of A-Soc’s flagship event on the 13th February. Somehow, I also managed to fit in a well deserved few days away with Liz in the lake District – you cannot beat walking, relaxing and real ale by the fire to wash away exam and coursework stress! The Union’s political machinations also culminated with me being dubbed “Norman the No! Man” due to my inability to sit back and watch debates go undebated, regardless of my actual view points.

One of the coups of 2008 came when Si finally succumbed to peer pressure and started blogging! In another blow for democracy, my decision to stand for Faith and Culture rep for the Union was rebuked as I was effectively blocked from standing (or voting). My main memory of March, however, was the setting up of Secular Portal, which would ultimately turn into my current project, the AHS.

Rationalist Week 2008. Need I say much more about how awesome April was? Except for everything that went wrong it was a great success! The icing on the cake was being elected president of A-Soc at the AGM. We managed to recruit a decent sized committee and really was the icing on the cake as far as the success of A-Soc in the first half of 2008.

it seems I didn’t blog about very much in May. Probably down to the exams etc that I was taking, along with recovering from April!

I started work with O2 at the beginning of June and spent most of the month training for my new role. I did manage to squeeze in a few social activities too, brewing my own ale for the SoC graduation reception was a particular highlight. I also went to see Avril Lavigne perform in Manchester, which was also pretty awesome. I also moved out of the house I had lived in for three of my four years at university.

Work and parties seemed to be the order of the day this month in 2008.

I’m going to stop splitting up the months for the second half of 2008 as I didn’t actually spend much time bloggine. Really, I worked near enough all summer – managing a day off for V Festival – either at O2 or putting together Intro Week for A-Soc.

Part of me thinks I should write here what happened in the couple of months I wasn’t blogging, but I feel that it wouldn’t do it justice. It wasn’t until December that I began blogging again, inspired by the relaunch of the site and our end of year festivities.

Hopefully, I will continue this new found blogging activity into 2009.

My marks out of ten for 2008 as a year, a good 7.

Because a pithy title is escaping me!

August 7th, 2008 No comments

The summer time blues, of Eddie Cochrane fame, have been something that many people I know have experienced and is a phenomenen that I am personally familiar with. I have always found it bizarre that so many people, especially in Britain, suffer from this highly oxymoronic state of mind. Most British people spend all year waiting for the sun to come out and as soon as it does they all get depressed! How silly is that?

On a totally different note I am currently experiencing a massive increase in workload. Planning for the upcoming Atheist Society events in fresher’s week is now in full swing. Membership cards and committee hoodies are in the pipeline, events are being nailed down, room bookings being made and equipment sourced. It is quite scary that we are only six weeks away! Then there is paid work, O2 is going swimmingly. I have just completing my second week in ‘grad bay’ so should be fully live soon enough. I am hoping that I impress enough over the next few months to get up the ladder a bit. The biggest news is the fact that I have just been given my first freelance software development contract! Designing and implementing a user interface for a university research department. More on that as I get into it.

I am quite enjoying this new found level of activity. I have been busy before, of course, but it was usually the hectic kind of busy where you don’t get chance to breathe or sleep or eat. This is the kind of busy that keeps you occupied ten hours of the day solidly, but that doesn’t feel that much like hard work. Whether I am still saying this when A-Soc gets into full swing and Rationalist Week is upon us again I don’t know. In the meantime though, I am going to enjoy it and hopefully see my bank balance rise into the positive numbers for the first time in several years too!

Lets Get Rational!

April 26th, 2008 1 comment

This post could be a long one if I included everything that happened at Atheist Society’s Rationalist Week 2008. A pretty good run down of everything that went wrong for us can be found here so I won’t include them in this account. I want to focus on the positive sides and more of the human interest aspects of the week.

Chris, the retiring president, wrote this account of the week, well worth checking out. My version of the week follows here.

The week got off to a bad start, the tent was late and the generator needed fetching, and we were late starting. There were hiccups during the rest of the week, not least of them me being ill, but in general the week got better. A lot better.

We signed up a lot of people, didn’t lose too much money and our events ran smoothly for an A-Soc event but the ultimate success came from within the society. We finally got people involved, found leaders from within our ranks, something we have been sorely lacking the past two years.

We reached a lot of people during the week, I would estimate that we probably developed our brand to over a thousand staff, students and members of the public during the week and that we physically spoke to well over a hundred (excluding all night debate) and signed up a quarter of those that came into the tent. The membership numbers now rival our competitors and should hopefully mean we can start playing with the big boys in terms of politics and campaigning as well as securing some decent funding for the year!

The highlights for me included the CU debate, where again we out argued the opposition and should have come away with the victory had the crowd not been partisan, and the internal debate on the Flying Spaghetti Monster where the key flaws in religious argument were highlighted and exposed. In fact, most of the events went well – especially the evening ones. Once again Mike Lake was excellent and converted some fence sitters.

My personal highlight however, was the friends and friendships that I forged and strengthened during the week. The improved ties we developed with the CU and other societies. The fact that I think our message got across. Atheist Society is not about religion bashing or telling people they are wrong, but to offer an alternative that wasn’t available.

It was a success that didn’t kill us financially.

We finally pulled off an event that was worthy of the work that went into it.

Well done all!

Rationalist Week 2008

April 20th, 2008 4 comments

Well. It’s over. It worked and we haven’t gone too bankrupt…

A full post will follow just as soon as I have shaken off this horrendous bout of tonsillitis!

One week of holiday left

April 7th, 2008 1 comment

The title says it all really, there are seven days of the Easter break left and the start of the final term of this year. This means three things.

1) Rationalist Week is fast approaching. If we pull this off then it would definitely count as one of the greatest achievements of the 21st century following an unprecedented level of set backs and foul ups. I won’t go into the details here as I feel it would lead to incredibly strong language and graphic violence and, after all, this is a family blog!

2) Exams. Enough said.

3) Summer! I really enjoy summer in Leeds. In fact it is one of the few places that I actually enjoy sunshine. This may sound bizarre but the reasons are twofold; first I burn, baby, burn – even in winter, and secondly I hate being hot. I enjoy the barbeques, the bikinis and the laid back atmosphere everyone seems to adopt. I really hope that the council doesn’t enforce its no drinking policy on Hyde Park as having a beer and a BBQ whilst watching the world go past is one of the few pure pleasures of city living.


March 28th, 2008 No comments

Well, to be honest, I think the title says it all….

It has been an incredibly frustrating week this week, all I seem to have done is chased my tail round and around. Rationalist Week is two weeks away and I am still fighting with our sponsor to get everything sorted out in time. Not to mention the fact that I am really starting to lose sleep and hair over the budget for the event too!

Liz and I are starting to fight more because I am so wound up, which is leading to even greater frustration and heartache. It seems I am constantly on edge and fighting the frustration. I think I need to take a break from a few things but I just don’t have the time at the moment.


Rationalist Week 2008

February 13th, 2008 No comments

Yes, it’s that time of year again – A-Soc started planning this year’s Rationalist Week in Earnest yesterday, getting a provisional timetable together and starting to look at the budget. The event is likely to cost in the region of £1500, of which the Union’s grant will cover maybe £200-300, which means we will have to raise the rest ourselves. Yesterday’s cake sale was a good start but we need a lot more money.

A-Soc is looking into running a Rocky Horror Picture Show Night and a couple of club nights to break the back of the fundraising. We are also looking for sponsors, both private and corporate who might be interested in getting involved. So if anybody has any ideas or would like to contribute let me know!

It is a great event, check out the posts about it from last April.