The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Posts Tagged ‘art’

Help Raise Funds to Send People to SkepchickCON 2014

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 2, 2014

One of my skeptical colleagues, Surly Amy, is once again launching a worthwhile effort to spread the message of skepticism: she is using her art to raise money to help buy passes to help people go to science and secular events. This will be her 5th year doing this fundraiser project to help people attend the science track at Convergence in Bloomington, Minnesota (a.k.a. SkepchickCON.) This year’s track is jam packed full of educational science programming, led by scientists with activities for children and adults!

You can also help by donating (there is a donate link in the post) or just passing along the word.  The process is quite simple:  If you want help buying your ticket just put your name in the comments here:
And if you want to help pay for people by buying a necklace go here:
Also, if you are someone in need of help paying for their ticket and want to learn more about the sciences by attending this event, then simply “add your name to the hat” in the comment section on the blog post.

Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Where Art Meets Science & Skepticism: Surly-Ramics by Amy Davis Roth

Posted by mattusmaximus on August 13, 2012

Sometimes those of us who call ourselves skeptics or science-nerds are pigeon-holed in the sense that we are thought of as non-artistic or appreciative of the arts.  Not so, I say!  There are a number of ways in which skepticism and science are expressed artistically, and I can think of no better way to illustrate that fact than by referring you to my skeptical colleague, Amy Davis Roth a.k.a. “Surly Amy”.

Amy is the brains behind Surly-Ramics, a small company which fuses science, skepticism, art, and fashion all into a neat and innovative package.  She makes and sells science and skeptically-oriented jewelry in the form of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and cufflinks.  Her work is of very high quality as well as reasonably priced, and I am proud to say that I’ve purchased a number of pieces for both myself and my wife over the years.  Check it out:

If you have a science or skeptic nerd among your circle of family or friends (or if you happen to be one yourself), Amy’s work makes the perfect gift! 🙂

Posted in skeptical community | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

They Might Be Giants: Science Is Real!

Posted by mattusmaximus on March 9, 2011

I just had to share this in a quick post: one of my favorite musical groups from the 1990s – They Might Be Giants – has a neat video about science out on Youtube.  It’s called “Science Is Real” – check it out 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Draw Muhammad Day: A Defense of Free Inquiry & Expression

Posted by mattusmaximus on May 3, 2010

Lately the news of threats against Matt Stone & Trey Parker, the creators of South Park, for displaying a likeness of the Muslim prophet Muhammad have gotten a lot of press.  And I’ve decided to post my views on the matter.  Usually, mostly because I am surrounded by it, when I talk about religious woo & stupidity I am referring to Christian fundamentalism. But this post is going to be dedicated to taking on what is becoming increasingly obvious to me – the creeping influence of politically-correct arguments made on behalf of fundamentalist Islam with the intention of shutting down any & all criticism and/or free inquiry regarding that religion.  I have a pithy two word response to this notion: F%@k that!

Bottom line: when dealing with fundamentalist religion, especially when faced with a brand of fundamentalism so whacked out that it preaches violence against critics (such as the modern-day radical “Islamists”), in my view you have but one of two choices:

1. Cater to the fundamentalists and watch your liberty slowly slip away, or

2. embrace your fundamental freedoms – such as the freedom of inquiry & expression.  This means you’re going to have a fight on your hands.

Guess which one I choose?

I won’t go into a long screed on how I think the South Park guys are just totally badass for having the guts to take on, well, everyone’s goofy beliefs and poke fun at them (even hardcore atheists such as Richard Dawkins).  I also won’t waste time pillorying the weak-kneed panzies over at Comedy Central for capitulating to a bunch of idiotic radical Muslims who should be, if anything, basically ignored.  I won’t even take more than this line to point out the obvious: if you cannot handle your religious beliefs being questioned and, sometimes, being ridiculed by non-believers, then you have deeper issues that need to be addressed and should go live on an island in the middle of nowhere.

In the spirit of fighting back against this creeping notion that “we cannot criticize the religious beliefs or take a chance on ‘offending’ anyone who holds such belief”, specifically regarding Islam, I want to pass along a really great idea I stumbled upon a few days back: Draw Muhammad Day (DMD).

May 20th, 2010, will mark the first DMD – despite the fact that the cartoonist who originally came up with the idea decided to back out.  It’ll happen regardless, because now the whole idea of DMD has gone completely viral on the Internet.  No doubt that some people will take this opportunity to draw the prophet Muhammad in a less-than-glamorous light, such as outlined by this image…

… and I’m sure that some jerks will come up with many much more offensive images than that which are specifically designed to offend.  Fine by me – being a jerk is well within the bounds of free speech; but, in my view, being a jerk isn’t what DMD should be about… it should be about promoting free inquiry/expression.  What is bothersome to me, more than anything, is the notion among some of these radical Muslims that any depiction of Muhammad is somehow offensive, and that to spare them from “offense” everyone else (including many moderate Muslims) should cater to their whims.  It is also worth noting that the image of Muhammad has been depicted countless times over the course of history, even by various Muslim cultures – this is an important detail the radicals would rather have you not know!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in free inquiry, religion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

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