Monday, 11 February 2013

I Could Lose Myself In Dishonesty

First of all, this:

Our Humanist Wedding ceremony.

To contact the British Humanist Association, which helped us have our wedding, go here:

As mentioned in the video, they also help with other rites of passage such as funerals and naming ceremonies and in fact our children were also named in humanist ceremonies, although one of them was presided over by a vicar!

We are of course Christian ourselves, but the baggage organised religion carried for us at the time, and to some extent still does, led to us deciding to have a humanist wedding.  This was also inclusive, as without it, many people would have had to deal with their disquiet at religion.  It was at Leicester Friends' Meeting House on 12th June, 1993, and was presided over by our friend Alice, who has some acting and public speaking appearance.  Much of the wording was written by us and we also included 'Sentinel' by Mike Oldfield and the John Donne poem 'The Good Morrow' as well as the silence, which Liz's dad (who was a vicar) used to pray for blessing our wedding.

This generally indicates the remarkable intermediate position we hold with respect to religion in our lives, where we generally feel sympathy on both sides of the approach - with secularism and humanism on one side as well as with Christianity on the other.  It's a difficult position to maintain, but the only one which makes sense to us.

Yes, absurd though it may seem, we are both Christian and had a humanist wedding ceremony.  This is partly due to our history, and in fact one of the things which brought us together was our negative experiences of fundamentalist religion.  I can't really comment too much on Liz's.  Mine was associated with various groups, notably the Navigators.  I should point out that several groups share that name and that they've undergone something of a transformation since the mid-'eighties, apparently in a positive direction.  At the time, some people held that they were cult-like.  The trouble is that their members were associated with my conversion to Christianity, and that has stuck.

Big Friendly Sciant is apparently not happening today but i'm still making an "accompanying" video, this time on the transition metals.  I'll probably point people in this direction, so here are some diagrams:

There you go.  Now for the actual video, which will have a low-bandwidth version:
The transition metals, or transition series, are in the middle of the periodic table and have the following characteristics with some exceptions.  They are hard, malleable or ductile, have high melting points (with the exception of mercury), produce coloured compounds, conduct electricity and heat well, corrode only slowly and react slowly with acids.  I show a few examples of transition metals around the neighbourhood and house, and also, on a whim, demonstrate rather sloppily the Archimedes Principle to determine the density of brass.

Low-bandwidth/quota version here: