6 O’Clock BS – First Avenue Rocks Even Harder

A couple of days ago on Facebook I saw a billboard of First Avenue supporting same sex equality. I was so excited that I had the Hubby drive me downtown so that I could see it and snap some photos for myself. The board is located off of Glenwood Avenue by the Minneapolis Farmer’s market:

Isn’t it pretty?

First Avenue is a Minneapolis mainstay – a concert venue that’s been around since 1970 and has hosted some truly remarkable bands. It continues to draw large crowds for touring shows, local acts, dance nights and special events.

As always, First Avenue, you rock. Thanks for supporting marriage equality in Minnesota.

You thought YOU knew how to play with Legos.

Jason Freeny is a muralist and designer. He’s been involved with creating props and design for theater and television, and he acquired a great deal of acclaim for his erotic art, which was has appeared in Heavy Metal, Juxtapoz Erotica, Penthouse and Time Out New York.

But dude knows how to rock some Legos. 

These are small SCULPTURES that Jason Freeny has painstakingly molded, shaped and painted. You can check out the process on his Facebook site; he has photos of how he creates the cut-away effect, the spaces in the ribs, the details in the intestines. It’s amazing and makes the work that much more awe-inspiring.

A google image search for “Jason Freeny” or a visit to his website will reveal that Legos are not the first toy dissection art he’s created, nor that he’s limited to  toy art. I’ve fallen in love with his robots, especially this image of a robot toy escaping from its packaging (click on image to see the full image at Jason Freeny’s website):

Tonka Takes A Holiday

Do want!

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Story first seen over at Street Anatomy, an awesome anatomy+art site that I recommend you visit on a regular basis. And by regular, I mean every five minutes. Or at least once a day. Maybe check in a couple of times a week.

Magic Lube

Chris Pederson over at the Minnesota Skeptics Facebook group posted about Yoni’s Bliss, a “revolutionary homeopathic lubricating gel”.

Hoo-boy. Let’s do this.

According to the website, Yoni’s Bliss is a water-based lubricant. It also contains aloe, which they describe as “the base on which Yoni’s Bliss was created”. Aloe gel is mostly water, so that fits, but I can’t tell what percentage aloe is in the final formulation. Aloe is not an uncommon ingredient in vaginal lubricants, especially those marketed as “natural” – in this case, that seems to usually mean without glycerin, paraben and with a minimal amount of additives. I found a ton of personal anecdotes about the use of raw aloe from fresh plants as lubricant.

The Mayo Clinic describes aloe allergy in some people, but the Yoni website claims that chance of you being allergic to their product (even if you have a history of allergy!) is “minimal to non-existent”. That strikes me as pretty dismissive, but without knowing the concentration of aloe in the formulation or the incidence of aloe allergy in their target audience it’s hard to evaluate this claim.

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6 O’Clock BS: Praying on the Street

Last Thursday night I was approached on the street by four puppy-eager teens. I was getting off of my motorcycle and heading to the 19 Club, a gay bar one block off of Nicollet Avenue and a few blocks from downtown Minneapolis. The four kids were all clean-cut and smiling kindly. One of the girls stepped forward and asked me if they knew of anybody or anything that they could pray for, and if I’d like to pray with them. I asked them to pray for the wall of church-state separation, because it has been weak as of late and it needs all the strength they could lend to it. They looked bemusified as I walked away.

6 O’Clock BS: I’ve Got a Hankering for Cheerios.

Earlier in June, General Mills announced that they are opposed to the Minnesota marriage amendment that will be on the ballot this November. From the General Mills website:

[Ken Powell, General Mills CEO] voiced our company’s opposition to the proposed marriage amendment, an initiative that makes our state less inclusive and reduces our company’s ability to attract and retain talent.

While, General Mills doesn’t normally take positions on ballot measures, this is a business issue that impacts our employees.

I am proud to see our company join the ranks of local and national employers speaking out for inclusion. We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy – and as a Minnesota-based company we oppose it.

We value diversity. We value inclusion. We always have … and we always will.

And my reaction was like:

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Not Lesbians, Murder Victims

From the DallasVoice.com:

Nineteen-year-old Mollie Judith Olgin was found dead, and 18-year-old Mary Christine Chapa was rushed to the hospital, where she underwent emergency surgery and is now stable and able to communicate.

Olgin and Chapa, who had been together for five months, were found by visitors to Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas, at about 9 a.m. Saturday. Their bodies were in tall grass beneath a scenic overlook deck, both with gunshot wounds to the head from a large-caliber handgun.

There is a lot of talk about “hate crime” being thrown around the internet right now. The victims are lesbians, they were shot execution-style. There are no suspects or motives currently known to the public. If this turns out to be a hate crime, then let the perpetrator be tried as having committed a hate-motivated murder and attempted murder.

But before we lose our shit about this potentially being a hate crime, let us grieve that someone has stolen the life of one young woman and irreparably harmed the life of another. It makes me sad and angry to see this crime given more or less weight by the public based on the fact that the women were lesbians. The most grievous offense is that people were murdered; it becomes more horrifying if it turns out that the murder was motivated by homophobia. But first, let’s catch the murderer and not be distracted by ZOMG lesbians.

I hope the murderer is quaking in his or her boots that Chapa is stable and able to communicate.

Cross-Country Connections: Mustache

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 Mustache.

From Mom in Carbondale, Illinois: 

My friend, Becca McCarthy.

From me in Minneapolis, Minnesota: 

Mustache Mode Zombie Wannabe.

From Erin in Bellingham, Washington:

Sir Ivan, photoshopped like a sir.

6 O’Clock BS: What Should We Ask Katherine?

Guess what? This weekend Atheists Talk radio show is interviewing Katherine Stewart! This Katherine Stewart:

So, we’ve got Katherine Stewart, investigative journalist, parent and author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. She’s going to be on the air with us to discuss her personal experiences with The Good News Club, as well as what she has learned about the the tactics of the Child Evangelism Fellowship and other fundamentalist, evangelical campaigns that are targeting kids in public schools across the United States.

You can listen to the show on Sunday morning, 9am Central Standard Time and call in or shoot us an email with questions or comments. You can find information on how to do all of that at the Minnesota Atheists Atheists Talk website.

So what do you think? What should should we ask Katherine on Sunday?

 

6 O’Clock BS: Depressing NPR Stories

Yesterday was a depressing NPR day.

From le awesomely awesome “Teach The Controversy” line of t-shirts from Amorphia Apparel.

I caught part of Talk of the Nation yesterday after lunch. Namely, the part during which Neal Conan gave air time to Don “let the students decide” McLeroy to spout off his nonsense. McLeroy was there because TOTN was doing an interview with the executive producer of the new documentary film The Revisionaries, which is about the adoption (and attempted adoption) of new science and history curriculum standards by the Texas Board of Education. McLeroy is a key figure in the film. Creationism right after lunch gives me heartburn.

And then last night I was driving to Saint Paul for the Minnesota Skeptic’s Newbie Night and I learned about the Fortnight for Freedom. More on the Fortnight for freedom later. It’s…special… and gets it’s own blog post.

I wonder what in store for tonight’s commute. I’m scared!