Friday, 10 February 2012

so. many. tabs.

The problem is that there is a lot of interesting stuff out there. So, quickly:

1. As I keep saying these days, I've written a book called The Dazzle. I've discussed dazzle camouflage before, but here are some other great sites:

- This one has people planning and painting dazzle ships.
- This one links to (not recently updated but good) Dazzle Blog which was attached to a dazzle exhibition.
- This one might be the best collection of Dazzle pics, including the fantastic car above, some WW1 German infantry dazzle gloves and, as a bonus, a ship camouflaged as an island. (Yes, a dazzle car would literally be dangerous.)

2. Did you read this article about atheism in America? Did you know that there are currently six openly gay Congressmen and women, but there has only ever been one open atheist? Ever. And he calls himself 'non-theist'. There's also a great bit about people who would let a woman babysit knowing she was on crack but not when they knew she was an atheist. (Americans: if this article is a load of old foreign ignorance, do tell me. It's FT, which I quite trust, and linked to from Slate, which I also quite trust.)

3. Name an English sportsman who can perform well in an advert. Name one. Gary Linekar isn't utterly terrible, but he's not-bad-for-a-footballer. And that's as good as it gets over here. Now, Britishers, watch Peyton Manning, whose one of the best American footballers ever:


Jess said...

In terms of American atheists, I think that article is perhaps true in letter but not necessarily in spirit. I grew up in Texas, and there were no prayers at school. I was taught evolution. It seems like the author has cherry-picked some anecdotes in order to create an interesting story. He even says, "Still, I found that even some New Yorkers, Bostonians and Washingtonians didn’t think there was much problem with being an atheist in their country. Until, that is, I told them a few stories." So, a significant portion of his sample didn't agree with his thesis until he started telling them horror stories? The way he dismisses those opinions I find really grating - as if he's decided that New York and Washington don't count as real America.

That's a problem that happens a lot, when anyone is talking about this country. There are very few things that the country as a whole agrees on, and so in order to make statements about What America Is Like, you have to handwave away a lot of people whose experiences don't agree with your thesis.

Basically, I'm not saying the things in the article don't happen. The problem with elected officials having to pretend to be religious is a real one. But in the day to day life of the country, I'm not convinced the situation is as dramatic as the article makes it out to be.

Robert Hudson said...

Sorry I'm so slow to reply to this. Thank you - it's really interesting. It's sort of what I thought must be the case.

I really don't like recent nonsense from religious people here in the UK about 'totalitarian' atheists. This seems utterly, utterly wrong.