Association Sunday

Today was Association Sunday. The UUA has encouraged congregations across the continent to set aside this one Sunday to devote to strengthening the association as a whole. This includes giving sermons about being a UU and making donations to help our denomination grow. Being the ragtag crew of radical individualists that UUs are, the concept is a bold and novel one. Today was in large part due to the leadership of our President, Bill Sinkford. I don't think that even five years ago we could have contemplated the idea of doing anything as such a collective identity.

Now is the Time

Part of the reason for Association Sunday was to raise money for the "Now is the Time" campaign, aimed at growing Unitarian Universalism in general and supporting UUs of color in particular. Because, as President Sinkford said in June, "Now is the time to grow our faith."

At Davies Memorial, Rev. Crestwell pointed out (which is great because I completely forgot to do it) that part of the outreach involves an ad campaign in Time magazine. John even had a copy right there that he waved in front of the congregation, clearly stoked about it.

Fred Thompson is the Anti-Christ

Who knew?

Not long ago, someone posted a link to a quiz that supposedly helps you identify the presidential candidate who most closely matches your socio-political views. (I'm not quite sure how they weigh things.)

I dutifully punched in my positions on a range of issues such as abortion rights, the Kyoto protocol, gun control, immigration, marriage-equality, minimum wage, the Patriot Act, and torturing detainees.

According to the quiz, I should vote for Mike Gravel

1. Mike Gravel - 95%
2. Dennis Kucinich - 90%
3. Barack Obama - 85%

Thanks, but I still plan to vote for Barack.

Oh Jim, Please Shut Up!

After Charles Darwin, the two most famous biologists are undoubtably James Watson and Francis Crick for their "discovery" of the structure of DNA (it's a double helix).  

Those of us who are (or were) in the scientific community know that they could not have made that finding without the data that was stolen from Rosalind Franklin.  This didn't come out until after Dr. Franklin had died and the Nobel committee doesn't give prizes post-humously so she remains an obscure name.

Those of us with some familiarity with monsieurs Watson and Crick know that their accomplishment kinda went to their heads, leading them to think they were experts in a wide variety of fields.

Those of us in any community get embarrassed when a prominent member of our community says something incredibly stupid.

Well I Didn't Mean Fire Him

CNN just reported that Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories, the molecular bio research facility that Jim Watson founded, has fired Watson as a result of the highly unfortunate comments that he made.

Now I kinda feel sorry for the guy. Sure, the comments were ridiculously racist, but he's an old man and he apologized without reservation. Do we not give any recognition to people who apologize? 

And it's not that I think he didn't mean it.  Obviously the careless comments reflect his deep-seated biases. Things like that don't just slip out unless it's there inside.   

Dumbledore Outed

J.K. Rowling has just informed us that one of the most beloved fictional characters of our time is gay.  I'm sure that the whackos who already hate the Potter books because they teach tolerance towards witches are having proper conniptions.

Well, Rowling did describe Grindelwald as very handsome and said that their friendship was very close.  As one character put it, they "got on like a caldron on fire."  Perhaps I shoulda seen it. Tongue Out

Water, Water

Looking at the news these days, it feels like we are in the Apocalypse. And I'm not talking about Iraq and Darfur, I'm talking about California and Atlanta.

In Georgia, the governor is suing the Army Corps of Engineers over water. The estimate is that Atlanta has less than three months worth of drinking water left. And they are in competition with power plants and endangered species. The entire SouthEast is gripped in terrible drought of historical proportions. I'm trying to imagine living in a city the size of Atlanta and not having drinking water.

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