Secular Blogging / Ingersoll Oratory Contest First Place Video

I’ve been invited to blog over at Secular Perspectives, a regional blog for “secular humanists, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, brights and others”. I’m a couple of those, and I’ve submitted my first post the other day. I haven’t decided what kind of stuff I’ll be writing, but keep yer good eye open.

The video for my winning Robert G. Ingersoll speech was uploaded to YouTube this morning. I’m going to start a video page at the top to collect that kind of stuff in one place. Damn my hair looked good that day.

Suzanne Perry wrote the following in November. I think it was supposed to be for print, but I’m not sure. It’s available at the Contest Website.

PRIZES AWARDED IN SECOND ANNUAL ROBERT G. INGERSOLL ORATORY CONTEST
Washington, DC, November 2010 – Kevin Slaughter, of Essex, Md., won first prize in the second annual Robert G. Ingersoll Oratory Contest for his rendition of an Ingersoll lecture about blasphemy, “How the Gods Grow.”
Slaughter, competing for the second time, took top honors at the October event in Washington, D.C.’,s Dupont Circle, which was designed to bring to life the words of the 19th-century orator known as the “Great Agnostic.”
A graphic designer, publisher and sign maker who has emceed burlesque shows and hosts a podcast, Slaughter says he has been an atheist since high school and started reading Ingersoll seriously after hearing about last year’s oratory contest. “In the Venn diagram of things I’m interested in, Ingersoll finds himself at the intersection of my fascination with forgotten/intentionally neglected icons of the early 20th century, lost art forms and entertainments, godlessness and anti-theism,” he says.
Slaughter won $150; a rare original period poster including a color gravure photo of Ingersoll with his grandchildren, a quote from “Love,” and a facsimile signature; and the biography Robert G. Ingersoll: A Life, by Frank Smith.
The contest was sponsored by the Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH), the Center for Inquiry DC, the American Humanist Association, and the Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum as a way to revive interest in Ingersoll–a Civil War veteran, successful lawyer and political speaker who has been neglected by history.
The seven contestants entertained the audience with Ingersoll’s critiques of religion, defense of reason and liberty, and homages to Charles Darwin and Walt Whitman. The contest, held outdoors to draw attention of the public, attracted numerous passersby who stopped to watch, take fliers about the event, or sign up for e-mail notices.
The other winners were:
Second place: Donald Ardell, of St. Petersburg, Fla., a writer, speaker, and blogger on REAL (reason, exuberance, athleticism, and liberty) wellness. Speaking from memory, he presented selections from three Ingersoll works: “A Reply to the Rev. Henry M. Field, D.D.,” “About the Holy Bible,” and a speech at the Lotus Club’s 20th anniversary dinner. He won $100, a mounted photo of Ingersoll and his two granddaughters, and the Smith biography of Ingersoll.
Third Place: Tony Toledo , of Beverly, Mass., a professional storyteller. He presented selections from four Ingersoll works: “Reply to Rev. Drs. Thomas and Lorimer,” “The Ghosts,” “The Gods,” and “What is Religion?” He won $75 and a book, The Best of Robert Ingersoll, by Roger E. Greeley.
Fourth Place: Wendy Shore, of Ashton, Md., a triathlete and academic researcher. She read an excerpt from an Ingersoll letter, “How to Edit a Liberal Paper.” She won $50 and a book, Reason, Tolerance and Christianity: The Ingersoll Debates.

Each contestant also won one of two DVDs: about the Ingersoll museum in Dresden (see http://www.rgimuseum.org) or about D.M. Bennett, founder of Truth Seeker magazine (see http://vimeo.com/10514808 .
The prizes were awarded by a panel of three judges: Margaret Downey, founder of Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia; Tom Flynn, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism and Director of the Ingersoll Birthplace Museum; and Monifa (Mo) Hamilton of Washington, a Distinguished Toastmaster and Lieutenant Governor of the world’s 10th largest Toastmasters District.
Ms. Downey helped to open the event by performing in period costume as Ingersoll’s wife, Eva, known as “a woman without superstition”. Robert and Eva Ingersoll lived in Washington, DC, on Lafayette Square from 1878-1883 and were most surely seen in Dupont Circle.
Steve Lowe, founder of the Ingersoll Oratory Contest, thanks the coordinating committee, judges, sponsors and especially the contestants for their contributions in making one of his favorite Ingersoll sayings come true: “The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.”
In addition to Steve, the coordinating committee included Lindsay Gemberling, Beth Kingsley, Suzanne Perry, and Jeff Randall.
The other contestants were Joseph Ben-David, of New York City; Craig Howell, of Washington, D.C.; and Steven E. Jones, of Herndon, Va.
For more information about the contest, including videos of the presentations, go to http://www.ingersollcontest.wordpress.com. Write to Ingersoll@wash.com with questions or comments.
–Suzanne Perry

Death on Chipman Street: The Channon Christian and Chris Newsom murders

The January 2007 carjacking, torture, rape and slayings of Channon Christian, 21, and Christopher Newsom, 23, have left an impact on the lives of the victims’ families. But these crimes also have changed the Knoxville community. People have become more vigilant about their safety, more wary of unfamiliar places and more protective of their families. The slayings of Christian and Newsom represent the typical “not in my town” crime. As a result, Knoxvillians have rallied together to show support for the families and, in that way, heal themselves. The online team at knoxnews.com has produced a video documentary exploring the impact on our community.

YouTube :: Stephen Kasner on Objective Measures of Art

The most recent of the YouTube series…

In case the above video doesn’t show up in whatever feed your reading this on, here is a direct link to the video.

Stephen Kasner talks about art and objective measures of talent with host Kevin I. Slaughter. Interviewed by phone shortly before the opening of the Germophilia gallery show, curated by the host and residing in the Jennifer Bates Memorial Gallery in Philadelphia, PA. Stephen was one of the nine artists featured in the show. Germophilia was open from 8-7-09 until 9-20-09.
Kasner studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art, earning a BFA in 1993 with a major in Illustration, and double minors in Drawing and Photography. His interest in marrying art to music blossomed very early on, and has continually surfaced throughout his career. He has contributed visuals to many eclectic musicians and albums, including Martin Grech, SUNN 0))), darsombra, Khlyst, Integrity, Lotus Eaters, Justin Broadrick/Final, Skullflower, Runhild Gammelsæter, and many others. Kasner pursues his own personal exploration and experimentation in music under the moniker, Blood Fountains, and is currently collaborating with Dwid Hellion and Jacob Bannon as a trio, Irons.
Stephen Kasners work has been exhibited worldwide, with exhibitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and Berlin, and throughout Australia. His work has been featured in dozens of newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, SECONDS Magazine, Parable Visions, NY Arts, Descent, and most recently, Coilhouse.
His first solo exhibition in New York City was held at Last Rites Gallery in February 2009.
This is an excerpt from the Underworld Amusements Variety Hour podcast.

First of the YouTube series: Peter H. Gilmore on Art and Discrimination

My goal with these is to reuse material I already have in a new venue to try to pull a wider audience for my work, obviously…  I don’t expect the podcast and my books to be wildly popular, but I think there’s a larger audience than what I currently have.

Set up a few photoshop templates for text and images, and change the elements out for each interview subject. Excerpt a 3-5 minute audio segment and then adjust timing of template elements to match the time of the audio. Upload and fill in all the information.

I thought it was necessary for a lead-in and lead-out audio that could stay the same from one video to another to go along with the visuals before and after the . I don’t like that I use the word “excerpt” twice in the audio portion of the lead-in, and “favorite” twice in the lead out. The latter is less annoying than the former. I will probably rerecord the lead-in audio.

KevinISlaughter.com serves as a testing ground for things I may or may not do on the UA site. I install plug-ins, etc. here before using them on UnderworldAmusements.com.

I’m also getting frustrated with Facebook not displaying content in my posts correctly, from the podcast players to flickr photo stuff, but I don’t know if there’s anything I can do about it besides putting notes like “This ___ may not show up properly in some feeds, please view the original post”.