06 June 2010
I hope everyone's enjoying their weekend. It's a bit gloomy here in London but at least it's not raining and I can type this update sitting in my back garden. Just a couple quick items today..
1) After receiving quite a few requests, I've started a new round of pre-orders for Flat Earth Society t-shirts and sweatshirts. It will work exactly the same as the last two rounds. I'll be accepting orders for 2 weeks (until 20th June). After that, the order will be sent off to the printer and I should receive them within a week or so. Once I get the shirts, they'll be sent out and people should receive them around the end of June or beginning of July depending on how quick the post is running.
2) I've finally made the bold leap into 2008/2009 and set up a Twitter account at twitter.com/danielshenton. This isn't intended in any way to be replacement for Lord Wilmore's excellent twitter.com/flatearthtoday. Mine will be a combination of updates about the Society, shipments of membership materials and t-shirts and the occasional update about non-FES topics such as the progress of the cilantro and basil seeds I just planted.
01 June 2010
Sorry I've been a bit absentee for the past couple of months. Things have been very hectic lately. I fell behind on some of the membership packs, but were all sent out a week or two ago and it seems like everyone has received theirs. If you've joined in the past 2 weeks or so, I'm getting your packs sorted out now. Just bear with me and I should have everything sent out by early next week.
Also, in case anyone's interested, I started a Twitter account. I haven't really used it yet but I'm going to start soon. I'm "danielshenton" on there. Or twitter.com/danielshenton if you're using a browser. I'll probably update that a lot more often than the blog because 1) I have a twitter app on my phone and 2) very short updates are much easier to type!
Oh, also, I'll be starting another batch of t-shirt/sweatshirt pre-orders in the next couple of days. I've had a lot of emails asking about that. If you've emailed me in the past about shirts, you'll get an email confirming that pre-orders have started. If not, feel free to email me and I'll add you to the list!
27 March 2010
London's cold and dreary Winter is slowly giving way to a warm and dreary Spring. This means the end of the Flat Earth Society Winter Charity Drive. Thanks to everyone who contributed. We raised £80 for the Society for Abandoned Animals. Well done!
20 March 2010
Wow, there's a lot to report! I'm very sorry I haven't updated this blog in a while, but I've been in the process of moving into a new house and that's taken up just about all of my free time for the past month. It's just a matter of time until I start dreaming about painting, drilling holes and assembling Ikea furniture.
Since my last update, we've had some very high-profile newspaper articles published about the Society. David Adam from The Guardian (one of the UK's most respected newspapers) interviewed me about the Society and the resulting article was published on 24th February in the print and online editions. Additionally, the Society was a topic on The Guardian's weekly science podcast. There's even a short segment from my interview on the podcast. It's very strange hearing myself like that. The Guardian article and Science Weekly podcast are both available online for anyone interested.
I was also recently interviewed by a journalist from El Pais, Spain's largest national newspaper. I speak practically no Spanish but I ran the article through Google's translator and it seems fairly accurate apart from a few dodgy translations. I was very amused by Google listing Samuel Rowbotham's seminal work as, "The Earth Is A Globe". Perhaps the conspiracy has reached Google itself! :) The El Pais article is available online. If you'd prefer the Englishy version, here's a link to the Google translation.
I think there may be more news in the near future, so keep an eye out!
23 January 2010
My copy of Adrian Galilio arrived today! It's in much better condition than I was expecting based on the seller's description. I'm quite pleased. I'll hopefully start scanning it tomorrow and have the full book online in a week or so. It's only about 130 pages, so this should be a manageable task even with my regular desktop scanner/printer/copier.
Also, I'll be sending out the latest batch of membership materials this week. So keep an eye out if you're a recently-joined member! I'll notify everyone by email the day I actually send them.
21 January 2010
I ordered a copy of Lady Blount's Adrian Galilio; or, a Song Writer's Story a couple days ago and it was sent out today. I'm very much looking forward to reading it all the way through. The only copy I'd ever seen was at the British Library and I only had time to read a small portion the last time I visited. It will also be nice to own something so old. The book was published in 1898! I'll be scanning and uploading it to the Flat Earth Library as soon as possible so that everyone can enjoy it. It's a really unique book -- the story is told as a mix of prose, poetry, song lyrics, theater (portions are written as a play) and sheet music. I've never seen anything like it. If Lady Blount was alive today, I'm sure she'd include video, audio and an interactive computer interface as well.
30 December 2009
Happy Holidays to all! I hope everyone's enjoying the holiday season so far. We had a white Christmas here in London, which apparently is quite a rare event. Snow in London isn't terribly convenient if you want to go anywhere, but it definitely looks nice.
Anyway, I have a few things to report:
1) Apologies to everyone who has joined as a Friend of the Flat Earth. I ran into some technical difficulties with some of the membership materials. It's all sorted now and all of the membership packs will be sent out on Saturday 2nd January. I'll email everyone that day to confirm. Again, sorry for the delay on this but I wanted to make sure everything was done properly!
2) I was quoted this week in the Sunday Times! I was contacted by by Times journalist Roland White via email regarding a comment British PM Gordon Brown had made referring to "behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate change sceptics." He asked how I felt about the comparison and what I thought about climate change in general. Here's a link to the article on the Times website.
3) Thanks to everyone who's donated to the Flat Earth Society Winter Charity Drive so far! We've raised £52 for the Society for Abandoned Animals so far. If you've got a bit of extra Christmas cash laying around, please consider donating to this good cause. It's all handled through JustGiving.org, a site which specializes in fundraising. If you're a UK resident, you're also eligible for Gift Aid, a government-aided scheme which will partially match your donation.
4) T-shirt orders have been sent off and people seem to be receiving them beginning about 7-10 days ago. Everyone seems very happy with the shirts so far. And so am I! The quality of the shirts and printing seems top-notch. I'll be starting another round of pre-orders in the next week or so, as I've had quite a few people express an interest in email. So if you missed out the first time, there's another chance soon!
23 November 2009
There were a few last-minute changes to the shirt order which delayed me a couple days. It's all sent off now and should be ready within 7-10 days. So if you've ordered, the wheels are in motion. Friends of the Flat Earth stuff is also nearly finished. I hope to get that all sent out by the end of this week. In any event, I'll update everyone by email when it happens.
18 November 2009
T-shirt pre-orders will end in an hour or two and the order will be sent off to the printer tomorrow. I hope to have them back in about a week! If you've ordered one, I'll keep you updated about their status by email.
I've been in contact with a group called the Kippax Flat Earth Society. Apparently they've been around since 1982! I've been emailing back and forth with Gary from the KFES. He described the KFES as "a bit tongue in cheek of course but we're deadly serious!" He seems very nice and he's kindly sending me some of their past newsletters and giving me permission to add them to the Flat Earth Library. Thanks, Gary!
14 November 2009
Everything is going really well since we launched a couple weeks ago. As a result of the press release I sent out a couple weeks ago, I've been contacted by Coast to Coast AM. It's nothing definite, but I'm hoping we'll have a member of the Society on there in the near future. I'll keep everyone updated if I find out anything for sure.
Pre-orders on t-shirts are ending tomorrow and I'll be sending the order off to the printers early next week. All of the membership medallions are cast and I've been making some other little Flat Earth trinkets to include with the medallions and certificates. Hopefully people will like everything!
01 November 2009
Have a look at the Flat Earth Society's online membership list.
I didn't want to mention anything ahead of time in case he wasn't on board with the whole thing, but I had a quick chat with him in email and he's ok with being listed, so here goes: Yes, 00001 is the Thomas Dolby -- 80's synthesizer legend best known for the pop hit "She Blinded Me With Science". But he's had many other albums as well and also started a company called Headspace which designed, among other things, some synthesizer technology which may very well be floating around in your mobile phone if it's a Nokia. And if my brief conversation in email is any indication, he's an all-around nice guy to boot.
But I digress.
By now, you're probably wondering why I offered Thomas Dolby FotFE status and why he's sitting at 00001 on the membership list. I'm sure he didn't plan it this way, but Thomas Dolby is responsible for the Society's existence now. In 1984, he released an album called "The Flat Earth" which contained a song of the same name. This album wasn't as big a hit in the US as his previous one and the first time I actually listened to it was during university in the late 90's after I'd found a copy on vinyl at a used record store and figured, "hey, I liked that big song of his.. so why not?". At that time, I had some vague idea that there was (or had been) something called the Flat Earth Society but I didn't really know anything about it. But I loved the album (particularly the title track) and listened to it often.. and it got me thinking.
I started doing research and learning more about the Society and Flat Earth theory and gradually I came around to the Society's way of thinking. In 2001, I was saddened to learn that Charles K. Johnson, then president, had passed away and the Society had essentially died with him. I decided then that I would resurrect the Society. And here we are today. I still regret that I never contacted Charles when he was alive, but the new Society is my tribute to him and all of the other Flat Earther leaders who came before him. And, strange as it may sound, it wouldn't have happened without Thomas Dolby.
30 October 2009
I'm very excited to launch the site today. There have been a lot of delays (some external events, some my fault) but everything seems to be running smoothly at the moment and we're ready to go. I'm sending out our press release to lots of media outlets on Monday. Originally, I was going to do it today, but I'm told that sending press releases out on a Friday isn't a good idea. So Monday it is. Hopefully we'll get some positive coverage! If you're reading this and you happen to know anyone at a newspaper/magazine/website that might be interested, please feel free to send it in their direction. Every little bit helps!