Our local atheist meetup group has adopted a highway. More specifically, 2.6 miles of highway just outside of Cohoes, New York.
That’s me on the left there. (Many more photos here.) We just wrapped up our first highway cleanup event. Eight people showed up, and over the course of half the full route, we went through over a dozen trash bags. Lots of litter… mostly plastic cups, cigarette packs and butts, beer cans, energy drinks, and random bits of paper and foam packaging.
Things we learned today, as said on Facebook by Rick, the event’s organizer:
- Apparently, high proportions of the nation’s dwindling number of smokers are drawn, irresistibly, to Cohoes, NY, much in the way that visionaries flocked to Devil’s Tower in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- Litterers exhibit a strong preference for Budweiser, Red Bull, Five Hour Energy and Newports.
- Unlike love, Styrofoam is forever.
I got a nice sunburn, and I’m looking forward to doing this again – with a bigger group so we can split up and do the whole route.
Just recently, I spoke over twitter with Jen McCreight (she of ‘Boobquake‘ fame). With minimal effort, she talked me into buying a copy of The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas, a compilation of factual and fictional writings on the Christmas holiday and its trappings by a wide variety of atheists (well-known and little-known) from around the world. I got in the mail yesterday, just in time to share it with my fellow heathens from my local atheist meetup at our happy hour. It sparked a lovely discussion about our own experiences with Christmas, how we first realized that there was no Santa Claus, what Christmas can be like as an atheist in a house full of Christians, and so on.
Now I just have to read the book…
I also picked up a copy of Sam Harris’ new book, The Moral Landscape. Our group is setting up a book club-style event with this book (probably… we’ve yet to decide) as the subject, and I’ve heard it’s really quite a dense read, so it’ll be … interesting … trying to balance the sweet lightheartedness of the first book with the meaty, intellectually challenging richness of this one. I think I’m up for the challenge, though.