I’m no believer. Anyone who’s ever had more than a five second chat with me is able to figure that out. I’m a big fan of anything skeptical, be it Skeptic Magazine, an episode of Mythbusters or a book by the legendary Carl Sagan. I’ve worked in laboratories and find the scientific process to be a thing of (relatively) simple beauty.
So, it’s hardly surprising that my collection of poetry, Regulator, contains a few pieces that deal with issues of skepticism. There’s one about the (understandably) secret attempt by an Apollo astronaut to transmit psychic thoughts from space*, and another, called Two Books, about my take on the absurdity of Christian religion.
I’m very excited to say that a reading of the latter poem will be included in tomorrow’s 60th episode of the absolutely brilliant skeptic/atheist podcast, The Herd Mentality. The podcast is the baby of Adam Reakes, a fantastic guy who dedicates much of his time to the admirable endeavour of promoting critical thinking. I’d like to thank Adam and urge you to subscribe to The Herd Mentality Podcast.
*I decide to end my poem just short of his inevitable disappointment, despite the fact that he actually claims the experiment was somewhat successful.
A great passion or mine—some might say obsession—is Disney animation. Our family VCR was a true work horse, playing and replaying cassette after cassette when my siblings and I came home from school and all weekend, every one a Disney feature film.
As an adult, that excitement has never gone away. Some people find this strange (I’m thinking of you, head-shaking mother in the matinee screening of Frozen), but it’s a natural progression of the sheer enjoyment these wonderful movies provided as a child. Acquaintances are usually either impressed or shocked to hear that I’ve visited eight separate Disney theme parks around the world.
I now rightly view these films as more than entertainment. They’re true works of art. The mind-blowing amount of work that goes into each of these films is utterly astounding, and delving behind the scenes through books and blogs is a daily source of interest.
Recently (as a form of procrastination), I started to write down some thoughts about a particular design feature I’d noticed in a significantly large amount of Disney animated films, something I’d never heard anyone discuss before. It was purely a fun, throw-away exercise in writing, but I ended up sending it to a great Disney blog that sometimes accepts article submissions. They’ve just posted it today.
The article has been quite heavily edited—the playful introduction has been removed, the spelling Americanised, and there’s half a paragraph in there that I didn’t even write—but I still think it reads fairly well and draws attention to an interesting Disney design feature. It was fun to write something other than poetry for a change, too! Nowhere near as intense or slow.
Here is my article, Rising Above It: Disney’s Use of the ‘Rocky Platform’ at The Mickey Mindset.