Saturday, November 28, 2009

Handmade Holidays 1 - NyBlaque

I first met Andrea of NyBlaque back in October of 2008. I immediately fell in love with her beautiful jewelry and wonderful personality. Andrea is a true gem of an Etsian, always friendly and helpful and very creative. She just celebrated her 500th sale on Etsy. Now that is something to cheer about! Yay Andrea!
Right now, Andrea has a wonderful promotion going on in her shop. She will donate 25% of her sales proceeds on ALL items to The American Cancer Society. In addition, to thank her customers for their support of this worthy cause, she has the following offer:
$5 off + Free Shipping w/total purchase of $25-$49
$5 off + Free Shipping + Your Choice of Necklace or earrings as a Free Contributor Gift. Mention "Fundraiser" in your notes to seller to receive a revised invoice or refund via Paypal.

I encourage all of my readers to pop by and visit Andrea at NyBlaque and do a little holiday shopping. Her prices are low, but the quality and service is top notch.

Have a Handmade Holiday (and help out a great charity too!).

A couple of my NyBlaque favorites:

Rainbow yarn sterling silver hoops

Dyed man-made peacock feather earrings

Friday, November 27, 2009


On my November 24 blog post, I wrote up a quick blurb about the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s book On Origin Of Species. It was an innocent-enough post (or so I thought) which gave a nod to the occasion while respecting the fact that this is still a controversial issue.

Today I read a comment from reader Anna (no blog profile shown) who expressed dismay at my post. I know there are probably many others who feel the same way but did not comment.

For this reason, I would like to take this opportunity to clear up a few matters which may or may not be of some concern to my readers.

I am an Atheist.

Please, before you condemn me as a worshipper of Satan and click away, finish reading this piece.

It would seem that Atheism is the new homosexuality. As we slowly “come out of the closet” we face harsh criticism for our beliefs – or lack thereof.

I love visiting the many blogs in this little digital world. Many of the bloggers proclaim to be “good” Christians, or Jews, or Mormons, or Muslims, or Pagans. I am sure they are. I am not here to “convert” anybody. I am not here to judge anybody either.

I would never DREAM of making a derogatory comment on a blog post where someone thanked God or Jesus for something wonderful in their life.

When I say I am Atheist, people gasp and make all kinds of assumptions about me and my morality.

I am here to say that I am a “good Atheist”.

I would like to dispel a few myths about Atheists:

1: Atheists hate God.

No, we do not bear any ill will towards your God. We simply to not believe that God exists. This applies to the all gods – Jesus, Holy Father, Thor, Zeus, Vishnu, the Triple Goddess, and yes, even Satan. All monotheists are quick to discount the other gods as false. I just believe in one less god than they do.

I actually truly enjoy reading about various religions, especially Greek mythology. I do not believe that Dionysus was born from the thigh of Zeus up on Mount Olympus any more than I believe that a 600 year old man constructed an ark to house all of the animal species of the planet for 40 days and nights. They do make for an entertaining read.

2: Atheists hate believers.

Certainly not! I believe that everyone has a right to their faith (or lack thereof). There ARE militant Atheists out there who are out to argue against faith with anybody who will give them the time of day. The same can be said for theists who will argue FOR their faith. I do hate intolerance from either side.

3: Atheists are know-it-alls.

Quite the contrary, we don’t know it all. Most Atheists are rather passive. We are accustomed to living in a theist world. I accept that science has yet to fully explain how the universe began, and I doubt it ever will. I do not worry myself over something that happened billions of years ago. I do not think that not knowing the answers means that I have to insert a deity into the equation to explain what science is not yet capable of. Atheism is not a religious belief system nor a philosophy, but rather the absence of such.

Most religions seem to be primarily concerned with 2 things: how we began, and what happens after we die. Everything in between is basically morality lessons.

Which brings me to…

4: Atheists are immoral.

I do not think that morality is dependent upon belief in a supernatural power. We all have brains to use logic to make decisions about right and wrong. I do not believe in “sin” or absolute good or evil. I do believe that nature (brain chemistry) and nuture (upbringing) are the 2 factors which work in combination to form our social behavior.

In conclusion, I just want to thank you for taking the time to read this post. I know I will probably lose a few readers, and that is unfortunate. I love all of my readers, of all faiths. I respect you and your right to believe.

Don’t hate me because I’m Atheist.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy 150th Birthday!

Today Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" celebrates its 150th birthday. November 24th, 1859 this incredible work of scientific research saw its first publication.
Intense debate still surrounds this publication, both in the scientific and religious communities. On the Origin of Species is not the be-all and end-all of evolutionary study. There is still so much we do not know, and still more that we likely never will. It remains a fantastic building block for evolutionary theory.
I want to give Mr. Darwin some posthumous thanks for his bravery and brilliance.