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JacobFortin.com – – Page 4

August 13th – International Left Handers Day


As some of you may already know, I’m a Sinistral: that is to say, I prefer the use of my left hand to my right one. The word comes from the Latin ‘sinister’ (meaning ‘left’), and as you might have guessed, it’s come to mean something a little bit different than the preference for which hand we like to flush the toilet with. Hatred for left-handed people hasn’t only been limited to the Romans. In French, the word is also synonymous with clumsy (‘gauche’), so as you can see, we poor left handed people have been demonized for quite some time. So, what better way to celebrate being marginalized by society than by celebrating our own holiday!

In case you might be wondering why there are left handed people in the first place, you might be intrigued with a theory that suggests it’s because we’ve evolved to be mostly co-operative, but with some room for being independent jerks who refuse to play ball. ┬áThe problem, of course, is that we tend to live fewer years due mostly to the stress of living in a right-handers world, as much as a whole decade! Now you know why we need a day to celebrate our shortened lives!

Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law

I could spend all day describing what’s awesome about this short series: could it be the incredible voice-work of Steven Colbert, Gary Cole, Peter McNichol, John Michael Higgins, and other illustrious alumni? What about the fact that the series pokes fun at all the cheap Hannah-Barbera cartoons you used to watch? Is it perhaps the amazing intro song that sets the tone? Regardless, if you haven’t watched this entire series on repeat, I don’t want to know you.

Jesus Saves Artwork


This t-shirt design wasn’t especially popular; mostly because fans felt that it wasn’t “hard-core” enough.

Book progressing along nicely.

I can’t believe it. I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. To be sure, there is still tons of work left to do, but for the first time, I feel like I can actually get through writing Bible Stories and not go insane. Keep in mind that I’m rewriting the Bible, which is not exactly the most entertaining book in the world, and it’s my job to make it something worth reading…no easy task.

I’ve started working on the second draft, although I haven’t finished every single chapter quite yet (I’m not sure if some of them will be included, like Chronicles or Psalms). Almost all of my time is being absorbed by the project, so I haven’t had time to devote to anything else. I hope all of you are excited and looking forward to my first book, and that you’ll enjoy it. With all the work I’m putting into this damn thing, you better like it!

Welcome to the forums, people

If you’ve recently received an email with your new login information and have no idea what it’s all about, allow me to introduce you to the new home for everything Jacob Fortin related, including my small army of loyal fans. If you’re a current supporter, or have made significant contributions over the years, you’ve been added to this site to encourage you to engage with other members. With a working forum and more goodies coming, my hope is this will serve as a cool new place for people to engage with me and other people who like what I do.

So, why not start by introducing yourself in the forums? If you don’t have a number yet and want one, be sure to make a note of it in the forum and I’ll set you right up!

Exciting changes afoot

Hey gang. Now, I know some of you may be wondering what the heck we’re going to do with me hanging up my podcast hat, but this new change isn’t retiring The Good Atheist: just my role as primary content producer. In a sense, I want to separate what I do professionally for money from the ‘activist’ side of what I do. The reason is that I think the work/pressure of keeping things rolling was just too much, and I’ve been finding myself with itchy legs for a little while. When I started TGA in April of 2007, the idea had been to simply attract an audience to sell a book I hoped to one day write. It was a simple idea with many strange, fascinating, and unique life experiences. Through it all, I learned it’s my passion which makes me the human being I am. My interests are huge and varied, and I want to share them all. The difference now is I want to make real money with these other loves, without losing my passion. But slowly, I’m figuring it all out.

I know all of this may be vague. I’ve produced a podcast that’s ‘on demand only’ covering some of these basics, but even without going into specifics the podcast is an hour and a half long. As you can imagine, the task of actually laying out my insanely elaborate plan is a task, but I intend on tackling it with as much passion and vigor as anything I’ve done. I trust this prospect excites you, and being a ‘300’ is something that now seems like a more exciting future.

For those of you who want to listen to the podcast, leave a comment or email me at jake@thegoodatheist.net. I’ll be outlining more details in the weeks to come as I iron them out.

Getting my ass kicked in Toronto

I’ve recently arrived in Toronto (I arrived on Sunday night), and on my first day down here, my personal trainer and friend Kui Wu has already put me through the wringer. We began by weighing me (I was around 170 lbs), and then we did some Ju jitsu to warm up. This was followed by some boxing, finally culminating in a short cross fitness routine involving push-ups, sit-ups, and shoulder exercises.

Today wasn’t super hard core, since much of it involved simply going over some fundamentals, but I’m nevertheless still tired. He’s putting me on a 4 times a week routine, so it’ll be interesting to see how well I do with that kind of training regimen.

Otherwise, things are good. The DVD completed, I’ve been focusing my efforts on the book again, which is going well. I’m writing about 1.5-2K words a day, and I’m hoping to increase that to 3K for the next few weeks. I really want to get the first draft completed as soon as possible to allow me a bit of a breather. In any case, despite still feeling sad and a little downtrodden, I’m remaining positive and doing my best to be strong and healthy.

I’ll be posting some ‘before’ pictures shortly, and when the routine is down, I hope to even film some of it for you guys and girls!

Achievement / Badges ideas

One of the latest projects to make it down the pipe is all about coming up with fun categories for ‘achievements’. If you aren’t a gamer (who isn’t these days?), it’s the equivalent of Boy Scout badges, except the categories aren’t building a tent, or starting a fire with some twigs (although I don’t deny the possibility that showing that level of ‘bad-assitude’ doesn’t merit one eventually). Instead, ideas range from making it an achievement for arguing with me to having passed a fun ‘TGA trivia’ quiz.

So, if you’ve got any ideas of your own, be sure to drop by the forum and participate.

Who wants an email address?

One of the features I want to offer to the hard-core fanbase currently known as “the 300” is the ability to send emails using the @thegoodatheist.net address. This will be especially important for members who are volunteering and helping to recruit new hard-cores while we’re busy trying to expand. Obviously I don’t want to overload anyone with a useless email client if they are already happy with theirs, but I thought this might also be a fun way for patrons to feel part of the group. So, anyone who wants to have their own email address, just let me know and I’ll set it up for you pronto!

Phase one: Growth

After only a few days and a half-assed attempt on my part to actually sell the idea of “The 300”, I’m happy to say we’ve already reached almost 30 confirmed members in a little over a week. If we manage to keep this pace, we will be turning down members after 6 months.

Now, I realize in order to keep this momentum, we need to start making progress, and this is where many of you come in. We need volunteers to start reaching out to existing members and potential new ones in a personal, one to one kind of way. I don’t want this to be spam. Besides, I’m sure many people will have loads of questions, and we will need to address every one of them.

As for me, I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the DVD, fighting off a mild case of exhaustion from trying to adjust to a slightly chaotic new life of couch surfing and trying to not overstay my welcome in any one place.

Where to Start:

I think our goal in the next month is to reach 100 confirmed members. Once we reach the official 1/3 mark, we’ll be able to shift our focus to creating the organization. Keep in mind that roughly 80% of members are funders only (and have expressed a desire to continue to do so). Trust me, that’s a vital part of this plan, but that means until we get to 100, we won’t have enough of a pool of potential volunteers to get anything really rolling off the ground. Small groups can be devastated by the departure of any one member if they have failed to create adequate redundancy.

We already have these numbers in terms of hard-core subscribers, but my fear is a few of them might not like this bold new idea. That’s OK; in fact, it’s important to encourage anyone who isn’t enthusiastic with the idea to unsubscribe, leaving room for more excited and energetic new members. As I’ve mentioned on the show many times, some listeners tend to be transitional, as they struggle with the conflict non-belief often creates in the outside world. Sometimes these factors go away (like moving to a place not filled with religious nutjobs), and their interest in TGA may wane. The entire purpose of the show is to help non-believers gain confidence, so if I do a good job, they should eventually get over their need to listen. In a way, doing my job right means steadily losing my older audience.

Of course, that’s a gloomy way to look at things. A positive way would be to keep in mind how many atheists out there desperately need a bit of a confidence boost, and a series of powerful and easy to understand arguments they can arm themselves with. The DVD will be an easy way to compensate for member attrition, and keep the flow of new blood steady. It too, will be a part of TGA’s marketing future.

Which is why I must go back and finish slaying this beast while it still breathes. In my spare time, I’ll be continuing to craft out the idea of “The 300” and creating a FAQ that can be used to help answer member questions. If anyone else has a few ideas or criticisms, don’t feel shy!