And I’m Off Again!

Alright, I’ve put in the four honest hours of work that I promised my boss when I said I’d “work from home” this morning. I’m pretty proud of this acheivement because sometimes working from home involves more “home” than “work”, amiright?

And now I’m headed out the door for another trip! I barely unpacked my suitcase, you guys. This weekend’s destination is closer to home than the Reason Rally. I’ll be zipping up about 3-4 hours into the wild, untamed hinterlands of Northwest Minnesota* for the University of Minnesota-Morris’s Midwest Science of Origins Conference. It should be a good time. The speaker list is pretty impressive, and I’m excited to learn new things about the origins of the universe, the earth, life, humans and all of that good stuff.

Hope to see some of you up there!


*When you live in the Twin Cities, pretty much any part of Minnesota outside of the 494/694 is considered to be wild, untamed hinterlands.


Presented for your lunchtime consideration: Walnut Brains in Chocolate Skulls. Genius use of walnut!

From Street Anatomy:

These chocolate skulls with walnut/candy brains are genius and so well executed for such a small piece of chocolate!  They are hand-crafted by twin sisters from Spain, Ruth and Sira García Trigueros who also happen to run their own little design and illustration shop, Sparganum.


Washington D.C. Day 1 – Tidal Basin

Blog material has been light over the past week because I’ve been having awesome touristy times in Washington D.C. I would have liked to do my travel blogging during vacation, but we wore ourselves out right good every day, and we fell into bed every night almost immediately after getting back to the hotel. So travel blogging starts now! I also expect to start following current events again so we’ll be returning to our regularly scheduled “Holy crap, look at the freaking awesomeness and dinkusness that’s going on in the world today!!!1!” posts.

Washington D.C Day 1 – Tidal Basin

Our vacation started at 5:45am last Friday morning. We arrived in Washington DC and made our way to the hotel. On the drive over we saw this bus – the Hubby and I wondered if like us they were going to the Reason Rally on Saturday. [Read more…]

Cross-Country Connections: Spring

Cross-Country Connections is a Biodork weekly blog entry dedicated to telling stories in pictures of three family members – me, my sister and Mom – living in very different locations across the country. Every week we choose a different theme and then take or contribute a personal photo that fits the theme. This week’s theme is Spring.

Note: Mom couldn’t join us for CCC this week, Erin and Mom are together in Carbondale and I am vacationing in Washington D.C., so this week’s CCC is a little wonky.

From Erin who is usually in Bellingham, Washington, but who is in Carbondale, Illinois with Mom this week:

Spring is here, as evidence by the fact that I am at my Grandpa’s farm in Southern Illinois.  Every spring break, through my whole grade school and into college education, my dad, sister, and I would drive down I-57 to Carbondale to visit my aunt, uncle and grandmother before heading through Vienna, IL to ‘the farm.’ We swam in this pond where the blue gill would nibble our toes! Its an amazing feeling to be back here at the right time of year once again.

From me who is usually in Minneapolis, Minnesota, but who is in Washington D.C. this week:

What says “spring” more than the Washington DC tidal basin cherry blossoms in full bloom? Nothing, that’s what.

Reason Rally, Here We Come!

Wowza – We’re on our way to Reason Rally!

The Hubby and I got to bed waaaaay too late last night. Like, 12:45am this morning – that too late last night. 12:45am wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t needed to be  out of bed at 3:30am to get ready for our flight. We were freaked out that we would sleep through our alarm, so we set three.

Thank FSM for the sweet nectars that are coffee and hot showers.

[Read more…]

Scientology Books Banned in Russia

Russian courts don’t like Scientology. From The Moscow Times:

Works by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard will be added to the country’s list of extremist literature for “undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said Wednesday.

Individuals in possession of extremist materials can be jailed for up to 15 days or fined 3,000 rubles ($100). The law also allows for harsher punishment of suspects convicted of other crimes.

[Read more…]

A Call for Your Stories

I’m partnering with a new group to increase visibility of reproductive health care rights and access to abortion. The group is called Voice of Choice.

Voice of Choice came to be when a father on the periphery of the abortion debate was dragged into the fray by an organized virtual – and then physical – mob of protesters calling him, emailing him and finally showing up at his daughter’s school. The protestors’ actions could only be called bullying.

I wrote about this incident back in September. The father organized supporters to politely engage the harassers via phone calls and email, thanking them for their concern, but  letting them know that they were acting on erroneous information. Each harasser received similar calls from multiple people and mounds of email. Soon after this counter-protest started, the rude, angry phone calls and emails that the father had been receiving stopped.

[Read more…]

George Hrab at House on the Rock!

I originally posted this at Minnesota Skeptics

 Skeptical musician/humorist George Hrab will be performing at House on the Rock Resort March 31st. The Chicago Skeptics have set up this special concert, and skeptics from all over the midwest are invited. Earlier in the day a lot of people are going to tour the nearby amazingly cool House on the Rock. I cannot do justice to how incredibly bizarre, eclectic and fascinating the House on the Rock is. I visited this past summer for the first time and cannot wait to go back.

Jennifer Newport from Chicago Skeptics has this to say about the George Hrab concert: “While the ticket price is $20, if this seems out of your range, feel free to contact me…sliding scale/grants available. This is all about trying to get a bunch of midwestern skeptics together for a fun event!” More details about the concert, HOTR visitor information and lodging options can be found at (this is also where you buy concert tickets) or at the Facebook event page.

Please note: The HOTR tour and the concert are separate events. If you head down that way you can do one or the other or both (or neither).

One of the (IMHO awesomest!!!!) rooms at HOTR.

So start planning your car pools, load up your mp3 players with skeptical podcasting and music, and get ready to rock at the Rock! (I apologize for that. It’s been a long day and it’s late).