Saturday Storytime: Significant Figures

I didn’t have much time to read stories just before Christmas. I’m very glad I didn’t miss this one by Rachael Acks in all the rush.

That morning, at great personal risk, Stephen’s waffle iron attempted to tell him something.

Bachelors were not generally known for their possession of specialized kitchen appliances, but Stephen owned a full array of top-of-the-line single use devices, including the aforementioned waffle iron. And perhaps only slightly more bizarre, Stephen’s kitchen gadgets were rather more sentient than any electronic device had a right to be. This was pure self-defense on their part, sheer will to survive actualized by the field of latent unreality that clung to Stephen like a second skin. Only the waffle iron and the blender were old enough to recall the horrifying day when the espresso machine, upon beeping at an inopportune time, had been redefined by a startled Stephen into greasy slag that smelled faintly of French roast.

Thus it was with no small amount of trepidation that the waffle iron sought to draw Stephen’s attention to odd fluctuations of the power grid by flickering its little red light and letting out a strangled beep.

Stephen set his tablet down; he’d been scrolling through the morning’s market reports. The waffle iron dared another plaintive beep as he opened it and levered the waffle free. Stephen frowned, patting at his pocket in search of his pen. “Not going bad, are you?”

Immediately the waffle iron held its light steady. The pen carried with it disturbing implications. Stephen had a degree in theoretical mathematics, which involved solving problems within a closely constrained world where all the rules made sense. But his passion and talent lay in slicing through reality with a sharpened slide rule and redefining the fiddly bits so problems politely solved themselves. In short, Stephen Charlemagne Robins was the rarest sort of person in the universe: a combat mathematician.

A combat mathematician who promptly wandered from the kitchen, plated waffle in hand, tablet forgotten on the counter.

And that, the waffle iron thought with no small amount of bitterness, was the biggest problem with Stephen. The man loved his waffles, but he didn’t blink nearly often enough and was utterly abysmal at asking the right questions.

Keep reading.

Saturday Storytime: Significant Figures

"Daylight Atheism", Adam Lee on Atheists Talk

Adam Lee’s goal is to shine bright light into the dark crevices and shadowy doctrine of organized religions and superstitions. His blog, Daylight Atheism, is focused on giving atheists a voice in our society, as well as highlighting the role that secular humanism must play if we are to progress toward a brighter future for all of us.

Adam Lee is an award-winning writer, and his work has appeared in AlterNet, Salon, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Canadian Freethinker, Freethought Today, Free Inquiry, and Secular Future. He is the author of the fantasy novel, Dark Heart. He is on the speaker’s bureau for the Secular Student Alliance and has given talks at major secular conferences across the country.

We hope you will join us on Atheists Talk this Sunday when we speak with Adam Lee about his most recent book, Daylight Atheism, a summation of many of his views related to religion, atheism and humanism.

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"Daylight Atheism", Adam Lee on Atheists Talk

Is This Life as an Atheist?

There is a post from a former pastor at Huffington Post that’s making the rounds. Ryan Bell was recently asked to resign his position as a Seventh-Day Adventist pastor after being unable to affirm some of the articles of faith of that tradition and for being a generally decent human being.

The commentary I’ve seen has been interesting, particularly the suggestions that he won’t really be living as an atheist. The reasons for this vary. There’s one commenter who says Bell can’t live like an atheist until he tells people he’s an atheist so he can experience anti-atheist prejudice. Of course, not all of us who are openly atheist experience much in the way of prejudice.

More importantly, however, in being removed from his church, Bell has already experienced the kind of dislocating rejection that’s common to preachers turned atheist. Continue reading “Is This Life as an Atheist?”

Is This Life as an Atheist?