A general record of my ongoing battle with all forms of nonsense.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Letters to the Gideons

I did my Skeptical Activism & The Quacklash talk at Westminster Skeptics in the pub last night. My opening gag for the talk is related to a letter I wrote some years ago.

Several years ago I was inspired by the hilarious Timewaster letters and went through a period of writing daft letters to various organisations for no other reason than my own personal amusement. Last night, someone suggested I should publish these letters on my blog. While I don't want to ruin my opening gag by publishing the one I refer to in the talk, here's a series of letters I wrote to The Gideons, the people that leave Bibles in hotel rooms.


Danny said...

Hello Simon.

I was at your talk last night at Westminster Skeptics, thank you for an entertaining time!

I'm currently trying to find a way to scrape the information on Members of the House of Lords from the Parliament website in to a database (probably an Excel spreadsheet for ease of use).


I'm looking at Web Harvest (http://web-harvest.sourceforge.net/index.php) but it looks a bit daunting to use, could you recommend any software/techniques to use?

Thanks for your help,


Simon said...

Hi Danny,

Can you contact with your email address via here: http://leicester.skepticsinthepub.org/Default.aspx/5/Contact-Us



Andrew Gilbey said...

Looks like great fun. Reminds me of a book that was knocking around a few years ago called something like "the Root letters", by Henry Root.

Danny said...

Hey Simon,

I got no reply, but don't worry, I used Screen-scraper in the end:


With a bit of cajoling (the free Basic version doesn't make it easy) I got all of the information (names, emails, telephones, career info etc) in to a useful format (a .CSV file).

Cheers anyway,


Dozer said...

I don't understand this one.
1) You write to Gideons heavily implying that you're running a charitable brothel and asking for bibles.
2) Gideons say "sure, where would you like them delivered?"
3) You say you're disturbed by the laws given to the Israelites
4) They offer New Testament-only bibles that don't have Israelite law
5) You don't reply.

This is an Adventure in Nonsense but not in the same sense as your other entries.

If you'd like ideas for pointing out Christian nonsense, try the Christian organisations that wouldn't support a charity that helps prostitutes without condemning them. Such behaviour would be nonsensical from a self-titled 'follower of Christ' given the behaviour of Jesus recorded in the gospels - he was widely criticised by the respectable people of society for his habit of spending time with prostitutes and the despised!