Canadian Pagan!

So, Pagan is now available direct from Amazon.ca (clickety click here) and it's actually a direct buy, rather than through 3rd party sellers, which is more than can be said for Amazon.co.uk (here). The Kindle version on the UK site is now down to a silly 69p (here).

I'm available in France (here), Germany (here), and Japan (here) believe it or not, and based upon my limited international language skills, all three appear to be places where you can buy it direct. Everywhere apart from good ol' Blighty.

So... yeah.


Is There A Doctor In The House?

So, Matt Smith, huh? If you're not a Whovian you probably don't know who he is. In fact, if you're not a Whovian you probably don't know what a Whovian is.

Matt Smith replaced David Tennant as the Doctor on the longest running, and best, science fiction show in the world, Doctor Who.

Tennant, who is ranked by most as the greatest Doctor of them all, grew on me but slowly. Smith, a virtual unknown, I loved from the get-go. The very first episode was incredible. From fish fingers and custard to the most terrifying threat ever--"Basically... run"--it was all gold. And the sheer genius of an actor who is the youngest ever to play the part--28--who manages, more than most, to project those nine centuries of life out of the screen is just breathtaking.

And now I've seen the entirety of Smith's first season I have to say it just got better. Karen Gillan as Amy Pond is equal parts gorgeous, heroic and sympathetic. The stories are as deep and convoluted and satisfying as ever. Even the new TARDIS interior is pretty good. Okay, now I need to go buy another prop replica sonic screwdriver, but that's a small price to pay, I feel.

Two thumbs up.


Faith In Fashion

Remember, not so long ago, that it was the done thing to be all new-age-y and talk about 'homeopathy' and 'alternative' medicines? It was fashionable to pretend to be a vegetarian, buy anything with the word 'herbal' on the bottle, and eschew leather shoes for sandals made out of hemp.

Of course, after that came Kabbalah, which consisted of pretending to know what 'kabbalah' was and trying bits of red string around your wrist.

And now, it seems, we're on the downswing of Wicca. Modern Wiccans (generally referred to as 'fluffwiccans' or 'wikkans' in print) have little in common with traditional Wicca. Modern Wicca consists mainly of buying books by someone with an incredibly pretentious and excitingly dark name*, dressing like an escapee from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, telling people that you're a Wiccan as loudly and as often as possible, and pretending to understand what 'harmony' and 'balance' mean in respect of your hastily adopted religion. Once in a while you might want to light a pre-dribbled candle and place it on a fake skull, just to maintain proper witch-cred.

No, I didn't write this post to bash Wiccans (but then, what would they do about it if I had? Cast a spell at me?) nor to talk about those who select their religion from the pages of a fashion magazine. No, I wanted to share with you a nightmare.

See, sooner or later the people who treat religion as a fashion accessory are going to find their eyes caught by atheism. Yeah, atheism's not a religion. I know that and, I hope, you're smart enough to know that, but bear with me.

Atheism has many of the features that the religion-as-fashion-statement crowd look for:

It's likely to annoy the heck out of your parents, coworkers, friends and generally anyone you meet, which means you can think of yourself as dark and edgy.

It's not liked by the establishment nor the religious right.

It's not actually necessary to truly believe in anything.

There's no church (or equivalent) to attend when you'd rather be having a lay-in.

There's many books on the subject you can buy and fill your bookshelves with.

It's quite easy to be loud and in-your-face about it, with t-shirts, bumper stickers and jewelry.

There's money to be made from the t-shirts, bumper stickers and jewelry.

There's no required clothing, jewelry, or dietary prejudices, yet you may freely adopt any you wish and you don't have to give up a single thing you don't want to.

The list goes on. The point is, fellow atheists, they will find us sooner or later. Sooner or later a Hollywood starlet will opine "I believe in God, but I'm an atheist" and, at that point, there's not much left to do but head for the treeline. Our cries of dismay and challenge will fall on deaf ears.

But forewarned is forearmed, so maybe we can prepare. The children and our slower members might be able to find sanctuary in some religion until they leave. I hear that Unitarians are pretty open, and there's always Buddhism. For the rest of us, though, there's little hope. We'll have to endure the eyerolls and smirks, the sighs and knowing nods, as people judge us as trendy atheists.

Here's hoping that the religion-fashion victims find something else and miss us this time.

*For both first and last name, randomly select at least two words from the following list: dark, claw, silver, night, wolf, storm, child, moon, raven, crow, paw, tail, star, mage, spell.


A Cleaner Future

A Cleaner Future is a website dedicated to, well, a cleaner future. From the site:

"A Cleaner Future aims to provoke, inspire, and provide information about alternative and renewable energy sources. We're not experts on what should be done, we're just concerned citizens that want there to be an earth for our children and many future generations to come."

It's a thought-provoking site, full of interesting information and informative videos. I, however, spent much time playing with the "create an oil spill" programme. Basically you can take any website and add an oil spill to it. Type "http://instantoilspill.com/?url=" into your browser, then add the website you want to despoil.

Like http://instantoilspill.com/?url=http://www.imalegalalien.blogspot.com/

Yes, you can treat the entire internet the way the oil companies treat the real world. And, of course, inevitably...


Moving again

So, we're packing for a move. That's, what, the fourth time since I started this blog? Well, we learned our lesson this time. Last time, I may have mentioned, I had to do most of the move myself, between Mrs. D's infirmity and our legions of friends utterly (with scant exception) failing to appear. It took me almost three days, I kid you not.

This time we're paying a company to do it for us. We pack, then sit back and watch them do all the actual lifting. As someone who has moved more times than I've eaten curry (again, I kid you not) this seems a bit wimpy. But then I remember struggling to lift Mrs. D's antique china hutch in and out of the Uhaul and I think "you can take wimpy and shove it".

See you on the other side, possibly.

Oh, and for those waiting, CRUSADER is squeakingly close to finished. Proofreading and then it'll be out. Keep it here.


Spinal Beeb

I'm keeping up with Election coverage by watching BBC.com (because BBC America is showing Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares instead) and I just noticed something with dear old Auntie Beeb's media player...

It goes up to eleven. That's one louder, isn't it? You see, most news outlets, you know, will be playing at ten. You're on ten there, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your news. Where can you go from there? Nowhere. Exactly.


New facebook phishing email

I've had this one twice in the the last few days:

Dear user of facebook,

Because of the measures taken to provide safety to our clients, your password has been changed.
You can find your new password in attached document.

Your Facebook.

It comes with an attached document called "facebook_", and the "to" field is, somehow, someone else's email. I'm guessing it's a virus and it shouldn't be opened.

Be careful out there.