The Brights' Bulletin


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Issue #23
March 30, 2005

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


YOU GOT THIS - AMAZING!

A lot has changed since we sent out the previous Bulletin. Here at the Brights' hub, we are holding our breath to see if all is well in the e-mailing and website departments. We've had many challenges in the past 30 days!

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NEW E-MAIL SERVICE BY NECESSITY

The Brights' Net's website has long been hosted free by the Institute for Humanist Studies. (Thank you, IHS.) IHS also supported our sending of the Bulletin - up until three weeks ago, that is. After the e-mailing of our last issue (#22), the Institute quite unceremoniously withdrew that service. It seems our list had grown so large that it had crashed their system (at least we got the blame, although IHS has been aware of our growth rate all along). Co-Directors regret the italicized remarks and apologize in Bulletin 24.

Absent prior notice, our volunteer Webmaster Kevin has had to scramble to find a viable alternative. This Bulletin is the first emailing with SalsaLabs. We have incurred an upfront charge and monthly fees, so the loss of IHS truly hurts.

Did the shift to DIA from IHS create any problems with your email? Please inform Kevin (webmaster@the-brights.net) and put NEW PROBLEM in upper case letters in your subject line.

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WHAT POSTPONED THE EQUINOX?

March 20 came and went without a word from The Brights' Net hub. You deserve an explanation if you are among the Brights who, anticipating arrival of the semi-annual "equinox fundraising" letter, took note of its absence. The explanation rests in the previous Bulletin segment. We postponed the Equinox Bulletin to see how the e-mailing of this Bulletin by DIA works out. We are not yet "running on empty," but please consider reserving for the Brights' endeavor any spare change you may have in your pockets!

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SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE - THE NEW WEBSITE IS UP

Not all changes this month have been problematic. We are overjoyed to pass along items from the "good news department" too!

Have you examined the website recently? A whole array of delightful changes took place on March 23. That was the day Enthusiastic Bright Theo Skye Welch launched a revamped Brights' website. Be sure to check out the results of our "Phase 1" overhaul. The URL is the same - http://www.the-brights.net

We wish you to understand that your fellow Brights actually contributed the time to create the new site. The Brights' Net did not pay "a company" to do the work. This site was one hundred percent a volunteer effort! Theo himself is a Web architect by profession, and he donated an enormous number of hours outside of paying work to guide and complete this task. All others' contributions, including those taking place at The Brights' Net hub, pale by comparison.

In his e-mail announcing the launch (with, we should note, the subject line of "Whew!"), Theo stated how it is "...personally rewarding for me to be able to contribute in such a direct way to something that I identify with so closely." Well, we thank you, Theo, for sustaining and guiding this project to its conclusion, and for giving us all such a professional product, both in appearance and function! We hope other constituents are as personally grateful as we are. If you have your own comments for Theo, send to skyeflye@skyeflye.com

There remains a bit of work to do to redirect some links, pick up a few stray pieces, and so forth. The testing prior to launch was extensive, so display problems should be minimal. However, feel free to describe any operational dilemmas you face. The Co-Directors, who need to learn DreamWeaver, are open to doing so with your suggestions for small text refinements. E-mail suggestions (with NEW SITE in upper case) to the-brights@the-brights.net

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MORE TO CELEBRATE - AN ICON

Something else beside the website revision is well worth celebrating this month. Another product of a long process has reached fruition - the new Brights' icon. It is being revealed its basic presentation, with some additional work forthcoming. This icon springs mainly from three Brights' creative suggestions: Billy (the "sun illusion"), Larry (the "viewing from space"), and Theo (the refinements). To view the image and read an interpretation, go to:
http://the-brights.net/vision/symbolism.html

When the dust settles from the recent website and e-mailing changes, we will at long last be able to look ahead to T-shirts, buttons, and so on. Hold your preferences. There will be a poll on that topic in the near future.

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FORWARD TO A FRIEND?

Perhaps you have an acquaintance who would like to receive a copy of this newsletter. Click your forward command and possibly create a new Bright.

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LOST SHEEP GONE ASTRAY

Each month we lose contact with some Brights who, when they change their email address, forget to also change it with The Brights' Net. Making the address change is now very easy to do. Go to the home page to click on "Subscription Settings" in the right column.

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TWO NEW SITES IN COMMUNITY OF BRIGHTS

We welcome the:
Dutch language: http://www.brights.nl/
Japanese language: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/brights/

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VOLUNTEERS - PAST AND PRESENT

To all of you who have volunteered to help with some project, Brights Central wants you to know we have not forgotten your offers. The simple fact is that the amount of time and effort it is taking BC to develop the new website, prepare and send the Bulletin, respond daily to numerous emails, institute a Coordinator of the Brights' Local Constituencies, etc. simply leaves all too little time to properly handle volunteer activities. We found that some of our original volunteer Task Teams floundered on the rocks of inattention, so we have scaled back to the tasks that we can successfully pursue. You are in a folder; thanks for being there; your enthusiasm to help is appreciated and we do expect to contact you...(but a bit later).

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REALITY ABOUT MORALITY ACTION ARENA

A BrightenOp on the "Reality about Morality" project soon will appear in your email in-box.

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DROPPING IN ON THE BRIGHTS' FORUM

The Brights' Forum is open to all. It is amenable to discussion of both general and Brights-related topics. It has a resilient band of friendly facilitators and administrators. Reach the Forum home page at http://www.the-brights.net/forums

How is the Brights' Forum working? Can it be made more "workable"? Would a blog-hybrid be helpful? Does the Forum function as envisioned? Recent discussion by regular participants focuses on how well the Forum process is serving both participants and the broader movement. If you have interest or expertise, check in to the discussion thread in the "Action Forums - Critical Brainstorming" at:
http://www.the-brights.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=1089&view=findpost&p=40718

Background: The Forum, particularly its "Action" segment, was intended as something different from typical discussion forums. Its team of originators pictured a "place" where Brights would individually propose ideas for enhancing the movement or where such ideas might just bubble up in discussions of current topics. Discussants evaluate idea feasibility, hammer out options, and perhaps turn concepts into serious and sound proposals for implementation.

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POLL ON ANTONYM FOR "BRIGHT"

Thanks for your submissions. Due to the time spend getting a new mailing server, the poll will be postponed until Bulletin 24.

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BRIGHTS LOCAL CONSITUTENCIES

Tammy (BLC Coordinator) is conducting a survey of the current status of the BLCs. The management of the BLCs, slighted for too long, has been revived with her help. Perhaps we can see rejuvenation in BLC activity. BLC leaders who have not already contacted her should email Tammy at:
selfhelpjunky@telus.net

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CALLING ALL "ATHEISTS IN FOXHOLES" (USA)

American Atheists, along with co-sponsoring organizations, is conducting a Veteran's Day rally on the Mall in Washington, D.C. on November 11, 2005. This "tribute and recompense" to acknowledge and honor atheists with military experience welcomes not only those individuals and their families and friends, but everyone who recognizes and appreciates the extra challenges faced by religion-free persons who serve in the military. You can get more information at http://www.atheistfoxholes.org/

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IHS ONLINE COURSES IN HUMANISM

The Institute for Humanist Studies is supportive of a broad spectrum of freethought activities. Among them is its humanists.net which, as you will see from a glance at the bottom of our home page, is The Brights' Net's server. We insert in this Bulletin a goodwill announcement to show our gratitude to IHS for its free hosting of the Brights' website.

Announcement: The IHS offers a number of on-line courses. Its Continuum of Humanist Education has these themes: Science and Humanism; Psychology and Humanism; Law and Politics; Religion and Spirituality; Ethics; and Humanist Activism and Organization. For information on the courses: http://www.humanisteducation.com/

Two of the "COHE courses" have been developed by enthusiastic Brights.

For Matt Cherry's free introductory course:
http://humanisteducation.com/demo.html

For Massimo Pigliucci's course on Evolution, Creationism and the Nature of Science:
http://www.humanisteducation.com/area.html?area_id=2

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TAILINGS

The Brights' Net Forum, open 24hrs a day -- http://www.the-brights.net/forums

If you have a problem receiving this Bulletin, please email the Webmaster Kevin (webmaster@the-brights.net) and indicate NEW PROBLEM in the subject line.

The archive of all prior Bulletins is at
http://www.the-brights.net/movement/bulletin/archive.html

If you need to change your registered email address to a new one or suspend (or re-institute) emailing of Bulletins, you can change status at:
http://the-brights.net/movement/bulletin/settings.html

Do you have a question for the Coordinator of Brights' Local Constituencies? Send to the Brights email the-brights@the-brights.net and put BLC COORDINATOR in the subject line.

Do you have comments for the Co-Directors? Send to the-brights@the-brights.net and put DIRECTORS in the subject line.

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Co-Directors: Mynga Futrell and Paul Geisert
Webmaster: Kevin Schultz
BLC Coordinator: Tammy Richard
Web Architect: Theo Skye


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