21 September meeting: The ups and downs of ‘doing good’ – lessons from Bwindi, Uganda

The story of Omushana, Sunshine for Children – a small charity based in Shrewsbury and helping children in southwest Uganda. This illustrated talk will include observations and anecdotes (serious and amusing) on the pluses and minuses of charity and Fair Trade projects in the area. The talk will be given by Gillian Castle, who is a Shrewsbury resident and runs the charity.

Thursday 21 September at 7.30 pm, University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury SY3 8HQ.

Hmmm Squad meeting, Thursday 27 July

Humanists may be interested in the meetings of the Hmmm Squad, which is Shrewsbury’s premier science and philosophy discussion group (…believed to be Shrewsbury’s ONLY science and philosophy discussion group).

Each month a group member or invited guest gives a topical presentation. Questions and discussions are encouraged at the end of the presentation and members of the group are invited to continue those discussions over a drink or two after the event.

This month, desktop support analyst Mike Smith gives a brief history of computer viruses, spyware and scams. Despite a growing culture of fear, worry and paranoia, Mike hopes to convince members that computer viruses are in fact nothing to be frightened about and do not cause computer problems. Mike will explain how to laugh at suspicious emails and how to patronise friendly callers from India who offer to work miracles on your computer and credit card.

No computers will be harmed during the course of this presentation and any fraudulent payment transactions will be fully refunded.*

Everyone is welcome at Hmmm Squad but a voluntary donation towards refreshments and room hire is much appreciated.
Thursday 27 July 2017 at University Centre Shrewsbury, Guildhall, Frankwell, SY3 8HQ at 7.30pm.

The Final Countdown – 3 Weeks To Go

Three weeks to go until construction starts on the Humanist Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

Fun with fabrics v frustration with fencing!

Firstly, my apologies for being a bit late with this blog. Whilst all is going well with the plants ( this warm weather has sent them into overdrive, producing an abundance of fruit ), the same cannot be said of the hard landscaping. During the past week, 250 metres of 2” x 1” timber has been crisscrossing the county with me in hot pursuit. The timber has finally come to rest in a temporary location where I can transform it into fencing and screening for the garden. However, before construction begins I have had to paint it! If you find it hard to imagine 250 metres of wood, believe me, it is a lot! Two days of painting, and I’m nearly finished.

Construction, I am reliably informed, should only take half a day!

On a brighter note, do you remember printing with potatoes at primary school?

Well 50 years on, I decided to revive this noble craft and try some fabric printing.week3-3

As a first attempt, I was quite pleased with the result.
Celebrating creativity is an important part of the garden. Textiles, displaying different colours, textures, patterns and techniques, draw inspiration from cultures around the world.
Below is a sample of a variety of textiles that will be used in the garden.

Have a good week (end)!

Carol

Humanists UK: Pro-choice coalition challenges EHRC Commissioner over anti-choice bill

Lord Shinkwin. Photo credit: House of Lords.

Voice for Choice, the UK’s national coalition of pro-choice campaigning organisations – of which Humanists UK is a member – has lodged a formal complaint to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over the conduct of its Commissioner, Lord Shinkwin, who was appointed by the Government Equalities Office earlier this year. The complaint focuses on two areas where Lord Shinkwin’s actions have contravened the EHRC’s codes of conduct and undermined its integrity. In the light of Voice for Choice’s complaint, Humanists UK believes that it is no longer appropriate for Lord Shinkwin to remain in his role as a Commissioner.

The first area of complaint is Lord Shinkwin’s introduction of the Abortion (Disability Equality) Bill in the House of Lords. If this bill becomes law, it would amend the 1967 Abortion Act to prevent women from accessing an abortion after 24 weeks when faced with a serious antenatal diagnosis. This would include cases where the pregnancy would result in a stillbirth or the baby would not survive long after birth. Women faced with this diagnosis would be forced to carry such a pregnancy to full term.

By denying women abortions in the case of fatal foetal abnormality, this bill would violate their human rights. The United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has already established this precedent in two rulings on the denial of abortion on these grounds in the Republic of Ireland. The UNHRC found in both cases such a prohibition constitutes cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment. With this bill, Lord Shinkwin undermines the very rights that as a Commissioner he is entrusted to uphold.

Read more on Humanists UK web site…

SHG at Cultural Diversity Day in Shrewsbury, 22 July

Shropshire Humanist Group will have a stall at Cultural Diversity Day in The Square, Shrewsbury, from 12 to 4 pm on Saturday 22 July.

We are doing this to show that we welcome diversity, support human rights, and stand against discrimination.

Although we live without religion, we support cultural and religious freedom, as well as the freedom to live without religion.

The Final Countdown – 4 Weeks To Go

4 weeks to go until construction starts on the Humanist Garden at the Shrewsbury Flower Show.

Fun with pallets!

Furniture making with pallets is rather on trend at the moment. Sofas, beds, tables, fences, decking, planters and much more can be created easily and for minimal expense from a few salvaged pallets – or so we are led to believe. The reality is somewhat different. This week I have learned more than I ever really wanted to about the humble pallet. So if you are contemplating a project of your own I will share a few pearls of wisdom which may save you a bit of angst and wasted time. 

Unless you are very lucky, finding pallets for free, of the right size, weight and uniformity for your projectis not a walk in the park. Another option is to buy secondhand/reconditioned ones, but you need to know your pallets. Let me explain… Pallets come in different sizes, different weights, different depths. The planks on each pallet also differ in depth, number and spacing. Of the eight second hand pallets I acquired, no two were alike. From these I needed to create five close boarded platforms of equal dimensions, capable of being transported and assembled on site to form the decking. 

reciprocating saw is recommended as the best tool for taking apart pallets. Not having one, I borrowed a claw hammer, jemmy and a blue wedge shaped thingy. Eventually I triumphedThe pallets were reduced to a pile of wood and nails, it was time to put them together again!

Following are some images of work in progress – there is still some way to go – and a lot more painting to be done.

Week4-3 Week4-2
Week4-4 Week4-1

I am now the proud owner of a pair of ox blood red cowboy boots. These will definitely be a feature in the garden, but not as you might expect!

Have a great week.

Carol

SHG news, 6 July

CULTURAL DIVERSITY DAY, SHREWSBURY, SATURDAY 22 JULY

We were part of this last year and have been asked to come again. We shall be manning a Humanist stall in the Square, Shrewsbury. Help from members is welcome.

OSWESTRY CULTURE FEST, SATURDAY 19 AUGUST

We have been invited to have a stall at this event, and help for this will also be welcome.

MULTI-CULTURAL FUN DAY, SHREWSBURY, SATURDAY 9 SEPTEMBER

We were part of this Shrewsbury Interfaith Forum (SIF) initiative last year and it was great fun. We shall need members to run the Humanist stall in the Square, Shrewsbury.

HUMANIST GARDEN AT THE SHREWSBURY FLOWER SHOW

Preparations are going well – please follow the weekly reports on our web site! Volunteers welcome to help set it up, and donations can be made through the Treasurer.

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