September 2009


From Tampa Bay Online:

It’s time to start thinking.

Tampa’s Center for Inquiry joined supporters worldwide today for International Blasphemy Day.

Organizers say the day is not to offend the religious.

It’s to call attention to the threats against free expression posed by blasphemy laws, said Rick O’Keefe, executive director of Center for Inquiry Tampa Bay.

“We’re not interested in offending anyone,” O’Keefe said. “We are interested in saying open up your eyes; you will be happily surprised with the results.”

The center will host a “tasteful” discussion on the meaning of blasphemy and the playing of the board game, “‘Playing Gods,” in which gods fight for world domination.

Also in honor of Blasphemy Day students at the University of South Tampa hosted “Read a Banned Book!” in front of the campus bookstore which featured banned books throughout American history.

The event ran in conjunction with “Banned Books Week” that ends Saturday.

Books on display included “Brave New World, “Lord of The Flies” and “Their Eyes Were Watching God.” The event was to raise awareness for freedom of speech and promote the student’s group, said event organizer Molly Martin, president of Freethinkers@USF.

“The information should still be out there,” Martin said. “Whether you like the book or not, it should be anyone’s right to read these books.”

In addition to the events in Tampa, the Center for Inquiry scheduled events in Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, Montréal, Indianapolis, Washington, D.C., Tucson, Austin, Grand Rapids, and Amherst, N.Y.

Tonight’s blasphemy discussion and board game begins at 6 p.m. at the Center for Inquiry of Tampa, 5201 W. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 124. Admission is $5 for non-members, pizza will be served. Space is limited, to RSVP call (813) 849-7571.

The 4th annual Freethought Day at Disney is scheduled for Saturday Oct 17th 2009 at the Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando. This is a great opportunity to have fun with other Freethinkers around the state. Meet up schedule for the day will be posted at: http://freethoughtdayatdisney.org/ People participating are encouraged to wear the official t-shirt or an alternate lime green t-shirt so that other freethinkers inside the park can recognize you. T-shirts can be bought through the official website above.

Remember when Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue prayed for rain back in 2007? Well it finally worked…..

From the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Flood warning posted, rescues underway in metro Atlanta

A foot or more of rain Sunday and overnight forced schools to shut down Monday in several north Georgia counties, including Gwinnett, Douglas, Paulding and Carroll counties in metro Atlanta. Carrollton City schools were also closed for the day.

Roads were closed by high water throughout the metro area, and in Douglas County, flooding washed out the main line of the Norfolk Southern railroad washed out near Villa Rica.

Emergency personnel in at least two metro counties were busy rescuing residents from high water before daybreak Monday.

While the flood warning was posted after midnight for Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, eastern Cobb, Forsyth and Gwinnett counties, the worst flooding appeared to be in Douglas and Paulding counties, which had been under a flood warning since earlier in the evening.

There, National Weather Service radar estimated that as much as 15 inches of rain had fallen since Friday, much of it beginning on Sunday afternoon, when a series of strong storms began training, or following one another, northward through the area.

Those storms were still dumping rain across the western suburbs at 4 a.m.

The Weather Service said 3 to 7 inches had fallen just since 9 p.m. Sunday from Franklin in west Georgia through Carrollton and Douglasville to Dallas.

In addition to the flood warnings, a flood watch was in effect through Tuesday morning for all of north and central Georgia, as streams such as Sweetwater Creek in the western suburbs and Big Creek to the north continued to rise. Forecasters said that storms still west of Georgia could bring metro Atlanta another 1 to 5 inches of rain.

Neil deGrasse Tyson’s response to the question about belief in UFOs is both accurate and comical.

From telegraph.co.uk:

A British film about Charles Darwin has failed to find a US distributor because his theory of evolution is too controversial for American audiences, according to its producer.

From tennessean.com:

CLARKSVILLE — Mayor Johnny Piper is being criticized by local and national Muslims for forwarding an anti-Islamic e-mail Friday morning.

The e-mail urges “patriotic Americans” to protest a U.S. Postal Service stamp commemorating two Islamic holidays.

Piper did not make any comments in his e-mail, the body of which has been circulating nationally.

The e-mail asks readers to remember a series of what it calls “Muslim” terrorist attacks. For example, “Remember the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!”

After a series of similar comments, the e-mail concludes: “To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors.

“REMEMBER: Pass this along to every Patriotic AMERICAN that you know and let’s get the word out!!!”

According to the USPS, the stamp “commemorates the two most important festivals — or eids — in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. On these days, Muslims wish each other ‘Eid mubarak,’ the phrase featured in Islamic calligraphy on the stamp. ‘Eid mubarak’ translates literally as ‘blessed festival,’ and can be paraphrased as ‘May your religious holiday be blessed.'”

The e-mail falsely claims that the stamp is new, and that its creation was ordered by President Barack Obama. In fact, the stamp was first issued in 2001, and was reissued in 2002, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Back to School Event

Science Cafe “Hey, It’s Just a Theory” Evolution 101

The theory of evolution is the basis for our understanding of biology, and has been the focus of social debate for over a century. Join Jeff Rodgers, Director of Education at the South Florida Museum for an overview of what the theory has to say about life on Earth, and a discussion about the current state of the debate.

When:
September 16, 2009
Wednesday 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where:
South Florida Museum
201 10th St. West
Bradenton, FL 34205

Contact:
941-746-4131

Event Website

Think + Drink (science) Schedule

Summary of this event