The Brights' Bulletin


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Issue #10
February 10, 2004

(Note that links in archived Bulletin issues may no longer be valid.)


 Hello, Brights!

 1. COMPUTER PROBLEMS SINCE LATE DECEMBER

 2. BIG DEAL--WEB UPGRADE PROJECT

 3. OH-SO NON-ADJECTIVALLY BRIGHT ARTICLE

 4. FORUM GOING STRONG

 5. POLITICAL ACTION -D.C. LOBBYIST ( USA)

 6. "TURNING UP THE BRIGHTNESS" - CHALLENGE 2004

 7. FAMILIES - OFF TO SUMMER CAMP?

 8. ICONS, ROUND #2 (ANNOUNCEMENT)

 9. FRENCH LANGUAGE TRANSLATION PROJECT

10. NO VIRUSES FROM THE BRIGHTS'S NET

11. COMPUTER MISERY - IN DETAIL

12. TAILINGS

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1. COMPUTER PROBLEMS SINCE LATE DECEMBER

Apologies to all. This Bulletin--like the last--is long overdue!! In short, there have been serious disruptions of our Web page functioning and e-mail service, and some Brights did not receive the early January Bulletin. The problem seems to be resolved. (If you want the gory details, see the end of this Bulletin.)

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2. BIG DEAL--WEB UPGRADE PROJECT

The BIG news this month is that a Web upgrade is getting under way, led by Kevin Schultz, our Webmaster, with volunteers who have expressed interest in helping us on this MAJOR project. If you have skills you want to offer but have not previously volunteered, please e-mail promptly to the-brights@the-brights.net and put VOLUNTEER FOR WEB UPGRADE in the subject line to be included in the communications regarding this project.

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3. OH-SO NON-ADJECTIVALLY BRIGHT

One of the most enjoyable recent articles spreading the news about the Brights was in the January 31 Sydney Morning Herald ( Australia). Author Ruth Wajnryb, in a bit of a twist on last summer's Richard Dawkins essay, "The Future is Bright," wrote conversationally and accurately (always appreciated!) in "The Future is Oh-So Non-adjectivally Bright." She has a cheery style and tongue-in-cheek way of incorporating a language lesson into her discussion.

[link]

Note: this link may change if the Morning Herald moves it to a new location

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4. FORUM GOING STRONG

The last Bulletin reported that the Forum had 600 members registered and 6500 posted messages. Current numbers are 804 members and 12,559 messages.

www.the-brights.net/forums

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5. A BRIGHT POLITICAL ACTION - GETTING A D.C. LOBBYIST ( USA)

A current effort by the Secular Coalition for American (SCA) offers individual Brights an opportunity to help "magnify the voice of naturalism" in Washington, D.C. The SCA is initiating a national campaign for funds to hire a lobbyist specifically dedicated to influencing the federal legislative process on behalf of persons who hold nontheistic worldviews. The individual hired will research legislative initiatives, expose legislators to secular perspectives on impending legislation, form strategic alliances with other lobbying interests for specific proposals, and so on. The SCA campaign to place a lobbyist for the naturalistic worldview in Washington, D.C. has just begun. Check out the details at www.secular.org. The SCA is a 501(c)(4) lobbying organization. Therefore, any donations to that organization are NOT deductible as Federal tax-exempt contributions.

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6. "TURNING UP THE BRIGHTNESS" - CHALLENGE 2004

This Brights' project is an opportunity for everyone! In the main, it is a yearlong "Letters to the Editor" campaign to get the naturalistic worldview in front of mainstream English language newspaper and magazine readers. Details are at www.the-brights.net/ltrs_editors.htm

Briefly, to participate, and perhaps be acknowledged at year's end, you write a letter on any pertinent topic and use the "bright concept" as appropriate. When your item is published, notify the Brights' Net by e-mailing a copy of the text with the subject line: MY PUBLISHED ITEM.

At year's end all Brights will be able to vote on the best item from the screened collection. Three Brights having the most votes will receive a 2004 Brights' Net "Turning Up the Brightness" plaque.

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7. FAMILIES - OFF TO SUMMER CAMP?

Are you on the lookout for a worthwhile summer experience for your children? Many parents who are Brights are not aware that a number of summer camps exist to welcome the child who is growing up in a household where parents have a naturalistic worldview. Several such camps have sprung up recently in the United States and Canada.

Various " Camp Quests" (as most are called) sustain and nourish a naturalistic worldview through programs and activities. Co-Director Mynga spent a summer as a counselor at "Camp Quest Classic," which is a good starting place for information. www.camp-quest.com

Some religious camps go by the name, Camp Quest, and so one must be discerning when you Google for a naturalistic Camp Quest. Typically a week in length, most accept self-reliant children from other nations, as long as the youngsters speak conversational English.

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8. ICONS, ROUND #2 (ANNOUNCEMENT, ROUND #2)

The last newsletter stated that the icon submissions had been screened and that, before the next bulletin, they would probably be posted to the Web site for review and comment. Shortly thereafter, the server problems prevented making any changes at all to the Web site, most especially graphics. They will go up as soon as we are more convinced of our server functioning. We apologize profusely for the unfortunate delay.

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9. FRENCH LANGUAGE TRANSLATION PROJECT

A project to translate basic Web site information into French and accept new sign-ups in French is underway. Once tested out, it will be a straightforward task to translate into additional languages.

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10. NO VIRUSES FROM THE BRIGHTS'S NET

You may have received e-mail messages saying you have received a virus from the-brights@the-brights.net. These messages did NOT come from the Net. All of our incoming/outgoing messages are scanned for viruses. Recent "computer worms" are the villains. (Actually, the persons who create them are the real scoundrels!). These worms send our address out of the computers of individual Brights who hold our e-mail address in their personal e-address book.

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11. COMPUTER MISERY

Since late December, The Brights' Net has been plagued with computer server problems. Our host, the Institute of Humanist Studies, moved our site to a new server, which caused serious problems with the following three functions.

A) About 10% of the Bulletin 9 e-mails sent were not delivered. If you did not get that early January Bulletin, you can review it in the archive at http://the-brights.net/broadcastarchive2004.htm

B) Our e-mail has not worked reliably since the change! Therefore, we were limited to sending out our e-mail from thebrightsnet@aol.com, a laborious task. The service suspension (effectively three weeks long!) has put us way behind in answering e-mail inquiries.

C) The icons cannot be put on the Web; neither can we restore some of the prior graphics since the site stability is tenuous. The site has exhibited problems that you may have noticed, and we can't risk more changes until we are more confident.

Sending out this Bulletin 10 will be our personal "test" of a situation we hope is now mostly resolved. It looks like IHS has worked out the major problems.

Thanks to all who have pitched in to restore our capabilities, including Kevin and the Institute of Humanist Studies staff, August, Maryellen, and Justin.

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12. TAILINGS

You can read all prior and current Bulletins and "Brighten Ops" in the archive at www.the-brights.net/broadcastarchive.htm

If you prefer to read the Bulletin on line at the above link, or not to receive future Bulletins, please reply to this e-mail by placing in the SUBJECT line the word UNSUBSCRIBE.

Why does the Bulletin use simple text? Many Brights around the world do not have the capability to receive e-mail in any other form. When the Web site is redone in the spring (our goal), it will have html capabilities as well as simple text.

Co-Directors: Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert

Webmaster: Kevin Schultz


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