November 2, 2010

B-Roll From Whitestock 2010

September 8, 2010

I love the blog Joe.My.God. You should read it.

He posted this follow up to the video I really liked featuring the tea-bagging crazies. He said:

Here’s more from Whitestock 2010, courtesy of intrepid New Left Media reporter Chase Whiteside, who released this clip in response to Tea Party claims that his first clip was “selectively edited” to show that teabaggers are idiots.

Take a look:

Traveling Dingleberries

August 19, 2010

We’re in the car on our way back from Carbondale.

A sheriff pulled Michael for speeding right after lunch. That put a damper on the mood.

But we’re all generally happy and enjoying the ride.

We just passed the big bad cross that “decorates” the side of the highway (below).

We atheists were featured on the front cover of the local paper while we were there. There is a controversy regarding a 10 commandment monument on city property.

The way the headline was written it was one atheist fighting against the entire town to prevent the monument. We joked that the population of atheists doubled when I came to town.

That wasn’t entirely true. Jason’s parents are nonbelievers. Michael and Jason don’t find it necessary to label themselves but they aren’t believers either.

Conversations at Jason’s Ps are often science-y or academic related. Either that or bodily functions.


His parents are highly educated and they are active in the artistic community. Jason’s dad retired as a professor of psychology at the state university there. He often strikes up interesting conversations based on something he’s read or researched.

Overall we had a great time. I wished you were all there. We could have tippled an adult beverage and played games light into the night after night swimming.

Walk this way

June 30, 2010

One of my favorite things to do when shooting event candids  – like this weekend at the Gay Pride Parade — is to grab someone walking toward the camera. Some of my favorite shots are when I can get a complete stranger to look at the lens. I feel it adds a human dimension to the photograph. It’s photographic pathos, if you will.

At the same time, I find that when I’m at events in which I’m a welcome party shots are often better if the subjects are not looking at the lens. I have no idea why I do this.

I mean, I can shoot the shots where everyone is huddled up and smiling shit-eating grins. But I don’t want every shot I take to be like that. Who cares if you can look into the camera and smile. I want you to look at each other and smile.

To get strangers to look at the camera, I find there are three ways to do it. 1) Stand in front of them and make them look at me. 2) Stand in an obvious location and hope someone looks toward the camera and fire. 3) Blow a vuvuzela, wait for a glance and then hit the shutter.

When I grab some stranger’s eye contact toward the lens, when you see it later, you connect with them on some level.

In public, I tend to pine for connections with people. I love shared moments of laughter. I tend to be the guy in the elevator that cracks a joke. I get that element of person-to-person flirtation from my old man. My Dad can talk to almost anyone. Since I can remember, he always “flirted” a little with old ladies and little girls. Now don’t take that the wrong way. He seriously had a way of getting strangers’ attentions.

Perhaps the camera is my way hiding behind an insecurity in order to be more gregarious. Maybe when I have a nice lens between someone else and me, I feel more confident. Who knows.

Here are a series of shots I took of people walking toward camera from last Sunday at the Gay Pride Parade.

There’s a couple more below the fold.

Read the rest of this entry »

“See what I ate this morning!”

June 29, 2010

I’m looking for a better caption than the one I wrote. Any takers? Photo will enlarge when clicked.

How do respond to bigots

June 28, 2010

I grabbed this on Sunday at the Gay Pride Parade. The idiots who preach at events like this need to stop embarrassing themselves. What morons. If their message were so great, it would stand on its own merits. They should revel in their “superiority” and leave the rest of the world alone.

Or they can keep giving us ammunition against them. Seems like the message of turning the other cheek was very lost on these idiots.

Via me


June 28, 2010

Click to view larger

I was looking through my images from yesterday’s Gay Pride Parade in Chicago to find something that defined the spirit of the day. I thought this one stood out the best.

Happy Pride Day!

June 27, 2010

I’m getting ready to go to the Chicago Gay Pride Parade. I enjoy the event every year. It’s loaded with great photo opportunities. And to see the sheer amount of support is amazing.

I remember the first year I experienced the parade. I was freshly picked from the Yeshua Fogged south. I thought it was odd that so many heterosexual families were cheering and waving the rainbow flags.

Now, it’s the way it is. It’s “normal”, and I feel a little guilty if I miss it.

For a little history on the day, go check out this post from Joe My God. Just a snippet:

It was June 27th, 1969.

The day that the fags, dykes, and queens of New York City finally said “Enough!” For some historical perspective, I’m posting the story that the New York Daily News ran about the Stonewall Riots. Note how the story drips with condescension and ridicule. We’ve come a long, long way in 41 years and we’ve still got some distance to cover, but today we should all offer up a shout, a snap, and a moment of thanks to the people who started us down this road.

Collection of Anti-Vax Rally Articles

May 28, 2010

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The response to the anti-vaccination rally has been great. Here’s a collection of them:

  • Jamie Bernstein posted her thoughts via the Friendly Atheist.
  • Orec pulled together a variety of links and posted one concise post, “Is the Anti-vaccine movement fizzling?” (including quotes from here. Thanks!)
  • PZ Myers responded with a yawnish, “How the hell does this movement have any legs?” tone. Maybe that’s not what he meant, but that’s how I read it. It’s here. He also linked here. Thanks!
  • The Skeptical Teacher posted here and here.
  • Photos from Skeptic Dave.
  • Autism News Beat declares the rally a fizzle.
  • A Brit calls it a damp squib.
  • Almost didn’t include my posts: Here. Here. Here.

If I’m missing some links, please drop them in the comments and I’ll update this post accordingly.

Anti-Vaccination Rally — May 26, 2010

May 27, 2010

Many of you know that I dropped by the American Rally for Personal Rights yesterday. It was a rally demonizing the pharmaceutical industry, vaccinations and science for causing the illnesses like autism and a variety of other issues.

Let’s be sure about one thing: I’m not a parent. Although I can say I would be completely devastated if my wife and I had a child who was stricken with a disease or physiological affliction. If something were to happen to my child, I would want answers. We all want answers.

I went because I support science, and I want to expose information like this.

At the rally, I estimated under 200 people in attendance, including some news agencies and a documentary film crew. There was a small group of pro-science folks organized by Elyse at Skepchick blog and encouraged by PZ Myers and Orac (I’m sure there were more involved).

I want to be perfectly clear about how small “under 200″ is. I have gone to some of the most esoteric events in Chicago, ones with far less funding than the anti-vax event had yesterday, and they were far more supported than this pathetic excuse for a rally. If something is popular enough to have a following, Chicago has never disappointed me with a small crowd … until yesterday.

In general, the crowd was a pleasant little group of parents and concerned citizens.

When you meet a so-called enemy face to face, you find out one thing, “These people could be my friends.”

Like I said in a previous post, I wanted to like these people. They all seemed kind and decent. They seemed to truly want justice and peace for their lives and the lives of their loved ones. And like all disputes, they think they have correct information, or at least more correct than the information that has been presented to them.

Everyone who spoke yesterday exhibited a general ignorance for science on a basic level. Yes, there was a doctor named Boyd Haley, Ph.D who spoke and showed somewhat more scientific knowledge than other people who took the stage. But he took the same stage as Michael Belkin (included in clip below), who said outright that they should be able to make ONE flu vaccine and be done with it. By taking the stage, Dr. Haley tacitly agreed that evolution doesn’t happen.

This alone could have been the most appalling portion of the day, but it wasn’t.

There were many themes during yesterday’s rally. Many were told that their children were casualties of a type of war. They were told that the bigger picture requires some people to be pushed out of the gene pool. Many people think that the pharmaceutical industry is too greedy. Many think there is not enough research.

There was a teenager who stood up and made a speech explaining that his parents believed he had been diagnosed with autism because of vaccinations, and he had been cured because of alternative therapies. Throughout the speech, he kept repeating his parents believed this and his parents believed that. Parents often believe lots of things that they pass along to their children; it doesn’t make it true.

This group claims all it wants is the freedom to decide what’s best for their children. Parents, without any professional experience, should be able to recommend what happens to their children and what is put into their children’s bodies.

And despite having a de-licensed, known-fraud as a Jesus figure (Andrew Wakefield), they still hope to organize and augment membership to their little club of ignorance. Of course, we can agree that knowing your leader is a fraud doesn’t hurt the Mormon Church. It doesn’t hurt the Catholic church. It has maimed some protestant churches, I guess.

Ignorance is bliss?

In fact, when Wakefield took to the stage, the crowd leapt to their feet, clapping and cheering. The critics were right, Wakefield has been martyred, canonized and deified. Frankly — and you can see from the clip — he’s kind of a dick.

I want to go ahead and post these thoughts and a couple videos of the day that I uploaded to YouTube so that I can send it out to the science junkies who want to know about what happened yesterday. If you want to learn more about what these people are debating, I recommend watching this full episode of Frontline called “The Vaccination War.” There’s much more information out there that I’m sure will be helpfully posted in the comments.

This footage isn’t meant to be anything other than something for those who weren’t there to get a feeling of what it was like. I didn’t take the time to edit it too much. I did include the names of the speakers in lower thirds.

You can watch all of Andrew Wakefield’s speech here thanks to Bruce at Zenosarrow.

Here’s Michael Belkin showing his ignorance of simple science.


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