Recent activity

I’ve been up to a number of things since I first started this blog and promptly neglected it. 

I’ve moved Carl Sagan’s Dance Party from a standard wordpress(like this blog) to

I’ve started a podcast on freethought group organization with the help of the Skepchick events team.

I was recently a guest on the ACA’s podcast, The Non-Prophets.

I’m putting the finishing touches on my second book, a best of collection for CSDP. My goal is to have it read to sell for Skepticon.

I’ve also legally changed my name to Steven Sagan Olsen (“Foster” wasn’t my choice for a middle name. And my son Marcus was born. 

I am sure I’ve missed something, but those are the big bits.


Using Privilege For Good

Those words are pretty dissonance generating, no?

But that’s how my actions today were described by a friend. Here’s what happened:

This guy came up to me when I was doing laundry asking about one of my neighbors. Apparently they had dated and he wanted to get back together. That wouldn’t have been disconcerting, but then he started asking if she was seeing other people. I do not know my neighbors really, but even if I did, there was no way I was gonna tell this guy.

So I resolved to tell her about this if I saw her. Well, that was 2pm. And as of 730, he was still hanging out around her apartment. Maybe he went home in the intervening time, who knows. But I called the cops.

I guess it’s the diplomatic streak in me, but I really do relate to the people who want to avoid confrontation. But sometimes avoiding confrontation can have worse consequences. I had no idea what this guy was gonna do.

My friend Kassiane told me, “Good call. You did the right thing (and you used your privilege for good, they don’t take it seriously if women express concerns about that behavior).”

The thing about privilege, is you’ll always learn new things about how the unprivileged live. And this is something I’d never considered. Have you ever experienced a situation where you had to get over your fear of conflict to do the right thing?

Christopher Hitchens has died

And that sucks. I can’t say anything meaningful about the man that hasn’t already been said. Instead, I’ll share the chapter of Unbelievable History that was inspired by him.

By Helen Spencer, Syllogistorian

James Madison was the 4th President of the United States and the main architect of the Constitution. One little known thing about Madison was his staunch atheism. In his time he was famous for writing The Federalist Delusion, God Is Not Greateth, and his philosophical thought experiment involving some kind of invisble pottery or pasta or something. After getting elected, he outlawed Christianity. This is why no one elects atheists to public office in America anymore. Once, they tried to elect an atheist to the Senate, but a mob of Christian historians stormed one of the would-be Senator’s rallies. Then, using abalone shells, they flayed the skin from her bones.

Madison famously disapproved of the Treaty of Tripoli because it didn’t go far enough. It wasn’t enough that it simply declared that the U.S. was not a Christian nation. He thought it should’ve had two more paragraphs proclaiming a devout anti-theism message.

Instead of debating his opponents when he ran for President, he would have widely-publicized debates with creationists. However, since he lived before the theory of evolution–everyone was a creationist. These debates were mostly just Madison uninformedly rolling his eyes at all of the arguments about a divine watchmaker.

After being elected, the first thing Madison did was single-handedly provoke the British to invade America by sending King George III desecrated Eucharists. King George might not have minded this so much, but one of the ways Madison desecrated the Eucharist was by placing them inside the exhumed corpse of the King’s dead mother. Initially the King just asked for an apology and the rehuming of his mother, but Madison wanted none of this. Instead he went to war with England in a mad crusade to convert them to atheism. Contemporary critics called this, “Mr. Madison’s Jihad.” Clearly Madison was right to do this against those Anglicofascists.

In general, the populous complained about him being “shrill” and “strident.” They were right. If you don’t know what those words mean, they are both defined as being “of or like Richard Dawkins.”

Unbelievable Fact! After Madison created the U.S. Constitution, he went ahead and wrote on the back of it his famous “Spirit of the Constitution.” Whenever crises would happen in the U.S. economy, politicians could capitalize on this by flipping to the “The Spirit of the Constitution” side. The Spirit of the Constitution was used by future Congresses and future Presidents to bailout corporations and give handouts. It also helped in nationalizing automakers.

Not buying this book is a form of child abuse.

My time machine is broken

I have to issue an apology. My time machine has been on the fritz. If it simply stopped working altogether, that wouldn’t be such a big deal. But unfortunately, it only appears to be operating on isolated pockets of the planet. For example, last month my time machine inadvertently sent a gelato shop back to the 1930s. They shop was only misplaced in time for a short period, but it did end up violating a modern law when it interacted with other 2011ers.

And last week it sent a church back to the 1950s. Luckily, none of these malfunctions have sent anyone to the dark ages just yet. I promise I will try to get the machine repaired soon, and I apologize for any inconvenience.