Black Cat Superstions

This is my black cat Dexter, and we are wishing you a …

Some superstitious people don’t like cats like Dexter.

I have actually seen my uncle stand up and then sit right back down because Dexter chose to walk by him. !!

But Dexter has never given me anything but love, cuddles, serenades, slaughtered bugs, and a few hair balls. There is nothing unlucky about him, just like there is nothing unlucky about Friday the 13th.

So have a wonderful Friday, an amazing weekend, and remember to kiss-attack your cats … or dogs, or bunnies, or child, or mom, or whatever. Kiss-attack something, for good luck ;)

A Phenomenal Hoax

Do you ever get those forwarded e-mails that include a crazy story about something so obviously important to public knowledge that it seems suspiciously strange that neither you nor anyone you know has ever heard of it before? I do all the time. I don’t send them on. I don’t ignore them. I write back, I write back to everyone who was included in the forward. Here is one I got recently:

Lets chose to ignore the ridiculous premise that electronic mail has the supernatural ability to distribute wealth. Lets also ignore the fact that Feng Shui has more to say about where you place your couch than which internet user gets an extra pay-day -although those are absolutely clues to the fishiness of this e-mail.

This is June. July is just days away. It took me all of 1 second to flip my calendar over one page and see that the month was wrong. BIG RED FLAG! It took another 3 minuets to type in the subject line into Google and read up on how other sites have already debunked this email, namely here.

This doesn’t even apply to this year! It’s a calendar for last year July 2011. For a hoax it is a very very lazy one. And yet it was sent to me and about 50 other people yesterday!

This is how I responded to those 50ish people:

click to enlarge

I’ve responded to a lot of these e-mails over the years; everything from poisonous margarine to why you should throw eggs at people on fire (seriously). Oddly enough I am yet to receive  so much as a”thanks for setting the record straight” in reply. Maybe people like the ‘magic’ behind chain e-mails like this? Personally I find the phenomenon of reality (you should watch the Venus video here. It is epic. ) far more bewitching than a poorly thrown-together superstitious note in my in-box.

Secular Caroling

Last year, I composed a list of non-religious songs to listen to around the Holidays. This year I had to dig a little deeper, but I found some great music. Here’s what’s on my playlist this year, and you can listen to them all on my You Tube channel.

Atheist Christmas Songs 

White Wine in the Sun -Tim Minchin

The Atheist Christmas Carol -Vienna Teng

Winter Songs

Winter Song -Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson

It’s a Marshmallow World -Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra

Strawberry Snow -Brenda Lee

Song’s for a Winter’s Night -Gordon Lightfood

Winter Alibi -Shannon Rose

Secular Christmas

Wintersong -Sarah McLachlan

The Christmas Rush -Mike Tompkins

Boogie Woogie Santa Claus -Dianne Strong

I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas -Gayla Peevey

Mele Kilikimaka – Bing Crosby

Christmas Without You -Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

Christmas to Remember -Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers

Silver & Gold -Burl Ives

We Need a Little Christmas -Johnny Mathis

Atheist Representations Friday

So I found out that turning atheist quotes into pretty pictures for the ever increasingly visual e-world is pretty addictive. It kind of got in the way of important stuff, like work; so I’m introducing Atheist Representations Friday‘s! Enjoy the first of many , once weekly visual displays of logic and reason against religion.

God is Love

Good News!

Religion

Where are we going?

Atheist Representations

So there a lot of great atheist quotes out there, and by that I mean logical rational facts, but I don’t see any unless I look for them. On the other hand I somehow come across religious quotes, e-mails, and pictures everyday.  The internet is becoming increasingly visual with sites like Tumblur and Pintrest and I want to start contributing some visuals to ensure the equal representation of  the secular humanist point of view.

Myth vs Religion?

Think Don't Pray

Chirst(less)mas Music

**UPDATE**

I heard this the evening after I blogged this post and it NEEDs to be included in the non-religious list. Don’t be a Jerk – It’s Christmas just needs to be covered by someone other than Sponge Bob and I think we have an instant classic.

Rethink Carols

I LOVE Christmas songs! They are beautiful, and you only get to sing them or listen to them for a month out of the year, so that makes them even more special. They aren’t all about Jesus either. Here is a list of some secular … or at least non-religious songs I can think of off the top of my head;

Winter Songs

Non-Religious Christmas Songs

All of these songs are awesome, and I will make an effort to learn more of them. It should be noted that there is nothing wrong in singing Silent Night or Away in Manger either. The same way I don’t believe Rihanna loves the way Eminem lies; I don’t have to believe a virgin teenager gave birth to a god-king in a stable in Bethlehem to listen to either of those songs; the imagery  and melodies are beautiful. I just think that there is a strong need for more secular holiday songs, and hopefully the music industry will recognize this soon.

Christ(less)mas

Let’s face it, Christmas is almost an entirely secular holiday these days, and as a secular humanist, I think it’s a great thing. But growing up Catholic has left me a bit confused as to how to celebrate the holidays without all the very religious traditions of my childhood. It’s very hard to shake what has been ingrained in you since birth, and I find it easier to discard with the theological aspects or Christianity than I do the material execution of beliefs I no longer hold. How do I leave Christ and keep Christmas?

Rethink “the meaning of ”

There is a lot of hullabaloo about how Christmas has been commercialised, and people no longer know the ‘true meaning of Christmas”, but I never really bought that the whole thing was a big birthday party anyway. It’s important to reflect on what the holidays mean, and to me it’s the collection of friends and family, and the idea of giving. If Thanksgiving is when you are grateful for everything you have received, then Christmas is when you do some giving; that should be the focus. This is where that commercialization comes into ruin things, but I’m not the first to say the ‘giving’ doesn’t have to equate to ipods and Xboxes. Give a party, give some home baked cookies, or volunteer your time somewhere. The act of giving is very powerful, it means that you thought of someone, weighted what you knew about their character, likes and dislikes, considered their needs, went to the trouble of acquiring something for them, you probably wrapped it and maybe even scrawled out a thoughtful card, all with out them knowing about it! That’s pretty exciting, and it’s a part of the human connection.

Rethink the 25th

There isn’t even a good Christian reason why December the 25th is celebrated with such distinction. It was chosen to coincide with some pagan festivals in worship of the Sun. Jesus or no Jesus, most of us get some time off so why the heck not take it? If you need more of a reason then this, the Sun is actually a great idea; consider the Winter Solstice. Also known as midwinter, this is the shortest day and longest night of the year (in the Northern hemisphere, reverse in the Southern) and falls around the 20th-23rd of December. Scientifically it’s a pretty cool day; due to the Earth’s 23.5º tilt, the North Pole is engulfed in 24 hour darkness, while the South Pole will experience a Midnight Sun. This day marks the return of the Sun, the Earth will begin tilting towards the Sun and the days will start getting longer and longer, trough the Equinox in March (a great Easter replacement), until the Summer Solstice in June when we head back to winter. Astronomical events that govern the seasons, and therefore the harvests, migrations, and all life on Earth, are certainly import of times of the year for celebrating the Season of Giving.

More re-thinking Christmas to come!