As many of you who listen to the podcast may already know I suffer from eczema and have done all of my life. Like many children I had dry itchy eczema as a child that was exasperated by hot baths, biological detergents and highly perfumed soaps. In time, as with many babies and toddlers who suffer from this form of eczema, I grew out of it. I would only have recurrences if I came in contact with strong soaps or slept in sheets washed in biological detergents for several nights. As with many sufferers, my triggers can be different from others and no two sufferers are the same.
Cromwell as viewed by Ireland
Oliver Cromwell, like so many figures in Irish history, is very difficult to get an objective opinion on. The man is seen as a devil in human form by many even now, centuries after the events attributed to him took place. It is fair to say that no other English individual has become the poster-boy for Anglo-Irish division and hatred as much as the 17th century Parliamentarian leader.
Last November I became for the first time, without parental supervision, a pet caretaker.
My partner and I took in Ling a six year old cat who was no longer able to be cared for where she was living. The first month was a whirl of vet’s appointments for checkups, vaccinations, worming, flea tablets, nutritional advice and catnip. Since then things have calmed down and she has integrated into family life. This has given me the time to think about her long term care and this is when I came across homeopathy for pets.
As inevitable as a new year rolling around is the rash of products, articles, DVDs, “pull out and keep cards”, posters and deals to help us all with one of the most common New Year’s resolutions – losing weight. All media is a-glow with the latest diet, supplement or fitness regime, and with the promise of this is the one that will work.
I recently had a discussion on Twitter around the way in which skepticism can be applied to the world. The conversation was kicked off by a tweet of mine in which I linked to some blog posts about feminism, following on from this a very good blogger of Three Men make a Tiger fame posited that discussions about sexism, feminism or gender don’t necessarily belong within skeptical discourse.
Note: To be honest, there is a slight feeling of unease writing about feminism when you’re… well, how can I put this delicately… Male? However, if I were stopped on the street and asked “do you label yourself a feminist?” I’d say yes, so I’d hardly be true to my views if I shirked away from writing about these things just because I’m one X chromosome short of a better set of hips.
I have to admit during the last week I could find no inspiration for a new post. Nothing sparked my imagination but today something sparked my ire. So the wonderful fan-tabulous QEDcon are hosting this year’s Skeptic Awards in which skeptics of the world can vote for their favourite podcasters, blogs etc.
As I have written about in the past I have not always identified as a feminist. However as I worked through a Masters, which led me to read a lot of scholarly works about feminist theory, and by talked to more people about it my understanding and acceptance of the term has grown. It has also become clear to me that a lot of people fundamentally misunderstand what feminism is.
Anyone who gets to know me figures out pretty quickly one of my main passions (other than the skeptical movement of course) – museums. I love museums, the way they smell, sound, feel, the odd micro climate they often harbour and even the varying forms of museum worker you find lurking within. Some of those workers are like me – the strange morlock people squirreled away in dimly lit back rooms caring for objects that the public rarely see.
As a main stay of skeptical interviews the “What made you become a ‘Skeptic’?” is a very relevant question and never really seems to become boring. As has been discussed by many in the community, skepticism is not a natural state of mind. The way in which our brain works is not always rational and I often find myself having to think myself ‘down’ when my mind jumps to easier but more irrational conclusions – be a bump in the night or serendipity. For me it was a journey in which not only was religion an accepted part of life but so were alternative practises around health and general well being.
We have been lucky enough to be included in the tour that James Onen is doing of the UK and Ireland.
So at 6pm on Sunday 9th October he will giving a talk about “The Rise of Skepticism In Uganda”. He is an author on the blog Free Thought Kampala if you would like some further reading!
Any and all donations to the cost of bringing James in Ireland are greatly welcomed, as well as donations to our wonderful hosts, Exchange Dublin.
As usual in the Exchange there shall be cake and refreshments – feel free to bring along some treats!