Frivolous Friday: Smokin’ Hot Funeral Sculpture

Content note: marble nipple.

I’ve been going through various free stock photo sites, looking for pictures to illustrate my memes. (I’ve been making a series of memes to promote my book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life.) I was looking for images of cemetery sculptures to illustrate the quotes about death, and came across this:

cemetery sculpture half naked woman reclining

Damn. DAY-um.

I guess I don’t know for sure that this is a funeral sculpture: I have only the stock photographer’s word for it. But damn. This almost makes me want to be buried in a conventional cemetery, so I can have a sculpture like this on my grave. And I love that she’s reclining on a stack of books. Reading is sexy.

Alas, I never did find a good quote from the book to illustrate with this. But it was just too good not to share anyway.

(Image description: cemetery sculpture of a reclining half naked woman, her bottom half draped in fabric, her elbows resting on a stack of books.)

UPDATE: I’m informed by commenters (thanks, Dauphni and anon) that this is, in fact, a funerary sculpture. The figure is Urania, the muse of astronomy, sculpted by Giovanni Duprè, from the tomb of Italian-Argentine physicist Ottaviano-Fabrizio Mossotti. That makes it even more awesome. Sexy science funerary sculpture FTW!

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Check out what some of the other Orbiters are doing!

Frivolous Friday: Smokin’ Hot Funeral Sculpture

“The price of justice”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. The price of justice is permanent struggle."

“The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. The price of justice is permanent struggle.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 27, “Permanent Struggle”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to image of Statue of Liberty on foggy day with shipping container cranes in background.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“The price of justice”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Reproductive Rights

Hillary Clinton

I’d been working on a piece about reasons to vote for Clinton, but it was becoming huge and unmanageable. So I’m breaking it down into bite-sized morsels.

Here’s a reason to vote for Clinton: reproductive rights. Clinton isn’t just more pro-choice than Trump. She’s more pro-choice than any major-party Presidential nominee in decades. She’s pushing to stop Republicans from defunding Planned Parenthood. She’s said she wants Planned Parenthood to get more funding. She understands the role that income and poverty play in this issue, saying that “low-income women deserve health care” and “a right without the opportunity to exercise it isn’t a right.” Very importantly, she’s pushing for repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for abortions — something she did without being prompted, and something no other major-party Presidential nominee has done since the amendment was enacted.

And she hasn’t been shy about any of this. Her record on reproductive rights has been well-established for years, it’s full-throated, and it’s front and center in her campaign. Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards even spoke at the Democratic National Convention. (Here’s a run-down of Clinton’s positions and record on reproductive rights.) Continue reading “A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Reproductive Rights”

A Reason to Vote for Clinton: Reproductive Rights

Steven Universe Episode 14: Lars and the Cool Kids

steven universe lars and the cool kids screen shot lars steven sour cream jenny and buck
Left to right: Lars, Steven, Sour Cream, Jenny, and Buck

Ingrid and I are re-watching Steven Universe, and I’m blogging some of my observations and reactions, about individual episodes and the show as a whole. These posts will probably make more sense if you’ve seen the show, but I hope they inspire the rest of you to check it out, as it’s one of the richest and most emotionally intense things I’ve seen on TV. This post contains spoilers about Steven Universe: the show as a whole, and/or about Episode 14: Lars and the Cool Kids.

“Gettin’ me a P. Gettin’ me a za. Gettin’ me a P-P-P-P-pizza!”

Lots of Steven Universe episodes are about kids’ relationships with adults. This one is unusual, in that it’s mostly about young people’s relationships with each other.

I have this vivid memory from middle school. I was sitting near a group of cool kids and one girl who was cool-kid adjacent: she wasn’t in the inner circle, but she hung out with them sometimes and clearly wanted them to accept her. The adjacent girl said she liked Olivia Newton-John; one of the cool kids said something like “Ew, I hate her so much, with that high squeaky voice” — and the adjacent girl got flustered and quickly said, “Oh, yeah, I hate her too.” I remember it to this day. It was so sad, and so transparent. If I noticed it, surely the girls she was talking to must have noticed it as well. Like, were they not going to remember what she said literally fifteen seconds ago? Were they not going to remember how the topic of Olivia Newton-John came up?

I have more sympathy for her now than I did at the time. At the time, I was kind of contemptuous: I have a bit more insight now into human frailty in general and my own in particular, and can recognize all the times I’ve done the same thing or similar. I can’t remember openly reversing myself like that (although I probably have), but I’ve certainly expressed opinions and then kept my mouth shut when others around me scoffed. Being a social human being is hard. It’s especially hard for kids and teenagers, when you’re just starting to form a social identity and social life separate from your family. It’s easy to say “Just be yourself” — but what if your natural self is awkward, self-conscious, and bad at talking with people you don’t know well? Continue reading “Steven Universe Episode 14: Lars and the Cool Kids”

Steven Universe Episode 14: Lars and the Cool Kids

“The fact that religion is unverifiable”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"The fact that religion is unverifiable is one of the most devastating arguments against it."

“The fact that religion is unverifiable is one of the most devastating arguments against it.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 38, “Is It Okay to Persuade Believers Out of Religion?”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to image of magnifying glass.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“The fact that religion is unverifiable”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

Hillary Clinton Nominated

Hillary Clinton

This has been a difficult primary, with inspiring things and shitty things on both sides. But I’m going to take a moment and be weepy and proud at the historic nomination of Hillary Clinton, the first woman to be nominated as a major party Presidential candidate.

(Hillary haters: please, don’t post it here. There’s plenty of other places, and there will be lots of other times. Thanks.)

Hillary Clinton Nominated

“I have to deal with it as best I can”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"When I look at the idea that life sucks and I have to deal with it as best I can, and compare it with the idea that an immensely powerful being is fucking with me on purpose and won't tell me why, I find the first idea far more comforting."

“When I look at the idea that life sucks and I have to deal with it as best I can, and compare it with the idea that an immensely powerful being is fucking with me on purpose and won’t tell me why, I find the first idea far more comforting.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 32, “Atheism in a Shitstorm”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to image of silhouetted tree at sunset.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“I have to deal with it as best I can”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

Clinton and Trump are Not the Same

Fascism in dictionary

If you think Clinton and Trump are basically the same, I urge you: Please, PLEASE, read this. It’s an extensive summary documenting large numbers of ways in which Trump is a literal fascist. That’s not hyperbole.

And if you think Trump could never be elected: People said he’d never be nominated, either. This is a close election — much, much closer than it should be, given that one of the candidates is a literal fascist.

If you have problems with Clinton — say so. I would urge you to take some time and fact-check your opinions about her: there’s been a decades-long right-wing smear campaign against her, much of which is being repeated by people on the left. I would also urge you to look at some of the ways many attacks on her, including attacks from the left, are sexist. If you’ve checked the negative things you think about her and they turn out to be true and fair and not a sexist-double-standard, say so.

But if you think there’s no difference between the candidates, that’s just flatly mistaken. Clinton is a moderate-to-liberal Democrat with some troubling things in her history. Trump is a literal fascist.

Clinton and Trump are Not the Same

“I don’t want to live this day as if it were my last”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

"I don't want to live this day as if it were my last. I want to live this life as if it were my last."

“I don’t want to live this day as if it were my last. I want to live this life as if it were my last.”
-Greta Christina, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life
(from Chapter 8: “Living Each Day As If It Were Your Last”)

(Image description: above text, juxtaposed next to image of two silhouetted people, one pointing, looking at ocean horizon.)

I’m making a series of memes/ inspirational poster thingies with my favorite quotes from my new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. Please feel free to share this on social media, or print it and hang it on your wall if you like. (The image above is pretty big: you can click on it to get a bigger size if you like.)

Way of the Heathen cover
The Way of the Heathen is available in ebook on Amazon/Kindle and on Smashwords for $7.99. The audiobook is at Audible. The print edition is at Amazon and Powell’s Books, and can be ordered or carried by pretty much any bookstore: it’s being wholesaled by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, IPG, and bookstores can buy it directly from the publisher, Pitchstone Publishing. Check it out, and tell your friends!

“I don’t want to live this day as if it were my last”: Meme from The Way of the Heathen

Frivolous Friday: Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters 2016 Leslie Jones Melissa McCarthy KristenWiig Kate McKinnon

We saw Ghostbusters last weekend, and we’re seeing it for the second time this weekend. Because it was so freaking entertaining.

Because I missed a bunch of stuff the first time I saw it, from all the laughing.

Because fuck the racist haters, ‪#‎iloveleslie‬.

Because fuck the sexist haters.

Because I want the movie to do well, so studios will know that an action sci-fi comedy with a mostly female cast can do well and will make more.

Because Kate McKinnon as Holtzmann, HOLY MACKEREL. (Aoife O’Riordan has a great piece on the awesomely queer awesomeness that is Holtzmann)

Because it was such big fun.

Frivolous Fridays are the Orbit bloggers’ excuse to post about fun things we care about that may not have serious implications for atheism or social justice. Any day is a good day to write about whatever the heck we’re interested in (hey, we put “culture” in our tagline for a reason), but we sometimes have a hard time giving ourselves permission to do that. This is our way of encouraging each other to take a break from serious topics and have some fun. Check out what some of the other Orbiters are doing!

Frivolous Friday: Ghostbusters