I just got back from the American Atheist Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had a great time, and was completely surrounded by the company of intelligent and enlightening personalities. The convention started with an impassioned speech by Ellen Johnson (president of American Atheist). She reminded those present, that we non-believers comprised 11% of the voting population in 2004. She declared that we should remind politicians of our influence and demand that they cater to our voting block (which is larger than the Hispanic and Jewish block).
(Nicole Smalkowski and myself at the convention)
(Discussing the future)
3 Atheist Musicians (Cello - Piano - Cello)
Eddie Tabash gave a variant of his famous 1stAmendment speech – This speech had the whole of those present standing in ovation to his amazing message.
Here is a link to version of it:
Richard Dawkins was of course a crowd favorite. Richard started his speech with a recounting of the Expelled movie screening, he and fellow biologist PZ Meyers attended the previous night. Dawkins announced that PZ Meyers had been expelled from the screening of Expelled! Apparently the film’s producer threatened to have PZ arrested if he attempted to enter the theater. You can read more about that story here:
A few authors present at the convention were Rene Salm and Lawrence Krauss.
Rene’s new book is called The Myth of Nazareth – The invented Town of Jesus. In the book, Mr. Salm claims that new archeology has conclusively shown the town thought to be where Yeshua was born to not have been in existence at the time of his so called birth. It was a very interesting presentation and peeked my interest enough for me to buy the book.
Lawrence Krauss’s presentation was 2nd only to Mr. Tabash at the convention. Krauss is a world renown cosmologist and has recently been featured in Scientific American for his “End of Cosmology” piece. His new book is titled “ Hiding in the Mirror “ and was highly sought after following his humorous but enlightening presentation on the subject of Cosmology.
(Will Lardinois, Margaret Downey and myself)
Last but not least, I have to say the brightest light at the convention was the ever charming and eternally witty – Margaret Downey. Two minutes with the Goddess of Reason can change any man’s life – She is the most openly friendly, charming and intelligent woman I have ever met. Even though this was my second encounter with her, the Siren was just as enthralling as ever.
(36 Oz Fat Tire - L'chayim!)
Overall, it was a great time and I look forward to the AAI convention in Sept.
P.S. This is what happens when your the first to pass out:
(OJ dreaming of Moroni and his Magic underpants)