What, pray tell, is Agnostica?
Agnostica is the only truly secular winter
celebration. It is a celebration for the scientist in all of us, celebrating
not some contrived story written thousands of years ago and translated
seventeen times over until the Hebrew word for "rope" gets turned into "camel,"
and then inexplicably the whole deal is replaced by consumer-frenzy dictated to
us by a fat child-labor mogul in a fur-lined red suit,
but rather of ourselves, the perfect self-defining nature of the universe,
and of being proud of the human intellect.
Agnostica starts on December 14 ("QM Day") and has a half life of ten days.
You can read about the
Origin of Agnostica
by the stately King Luca, or follow King Luca's
progress as he explains the
Traditions and Decorations
associated with Agnostica. Or, you might enjoy a typical
Finally, you can read a heartwarming Agnostica
story, entitled, "Danny's First Annual Agnostica Miracle", which is
one of nine stories by some of the internet's most popular cartoonists in the
Plan 9 Christmas 2000 Annual (I will likely post that story here in
the near future since Plan 9 doesn't seem to list it on their pages anymore
despite not having anywhere near sold out as far as I've heard).
Also, Melannen was kind enough to compile all
the Agnostica information she could find into one page. It's now a bit out of date, though.
|Happy Agnostica 2013!
This is the TENTH anniversary of the
Global Random Bag of Fun! Thanks to a very generous donation from Jasmine Strong last year, all
shipping charges are covered this year!
How do you participate?
Simple. Just send a cool, groovy, hopefully educational unwrapped gift to:
RANDOM BAG OF FUN
c/o Dr. Darren Bleuel
P.O. Box 4735
Berkeley, CA 94704-4735
Do this before December 21 and it will be added to the Bag. You
will then in late December or early January receive one random selection from
the Bag! Send it in
as early as possible, as I will send out two waves of gifts: One for
contributions received before December 21 and one after.
Optionally, the exceedingly lazy among you can also receive a gift from
the Random Bag with a
$20 donation via PAYPAL to:
Paypal cash (or from your bank account) is preferred over credit card donations, so that all of
your donation will go towards better gifts for the bag and not to Paypal fees.
I'll go shopping
for you and find nifty
gifts myself to add to the bag. Be sure to tell me your shipping address
and phone number (for FedEx if I choose to use them). All money
received will go towards buying items for the bag. None ends up in my pocket.
IMPORTANT: If you send me something directly from an online company like
Amazon.com, BE SURE YOUR ADDRESS IS INCLUDED IN THE SHIPMENT!!!
Amazon.com does not include your return address in its shipments. I
cannot stress this enough. You can add your name/address
to a "Gift message" at places
In years past, people have sent presents for the bag directly from Amazon and
and I've not known who to send a return gift to. DO NOT EMAIL ME YOUR
ADDRESS INSTEAD! It's too complicated to coordinate and never works.
|Happy Agnostica 2011!
As usual, I coodinated a Global Random Bag of Fun with a small
change over previous years.
Because of increased gift-participation (and decreasing cash-participation),
I asked everyone who sent in a gift to also include $3-$5 to help pay for
shipping costs depending on their personal financial situation (either cash/check with the gift or separately through Paypal).
[WAIVED IN 2013!]
In the past couple years, I've had to pony up about $50-$100 in shipping costs
myself. Note that this payment was optional and if it's a bit too much
to swing along with the gift, please don't let that stop you from participating.
Just send in your gift anyway. Any excess money will be used to make the cash-participants' gifts even cooler. International participants without Paypal
shouldn't worry too much about it either. Unless your currency is awesome.
|Happy Agnostica 2009!
Still nothing new this year, unless you count the current Nukees storyline. But as always, you can participate in the RANDOM BAG OF FUN, now in its SIXTH YEAR!! That's right, I've been doing it longer than most webcomics have even lasted.
Participation is the same as years past, with a few differences:
[Instructions moved up to current year's update]
|Happy Agnostica 2008!
There was absolutely nothing new added in 2008. But we celebrated all the old traditions as normal. Otherwise, they wouldn't be very good traditions, would
|Happy Agnostica 2007!
In 2007, I added this
animation (based on the Nukees comic from this year's QM Day) detailing schematically how you can make your own construction-paper atomic orbitals. I hope in the future to create a more organized list of Agnostica decorations.
Of course, these are stylized orbitals. To make real orbitals, you would probably be better off just crumpling up the paper, setting fire to it, then not observing it.
|Happy Agnostica 2007!
In 2005, there were no new changes to the Agnostica website. We continued that trend in 2006, which I suppose made it officially a tradition. The establishment of an Agnostica tradition, then, was a signficant change. Chew on that paradox for a while.