Die Laughing – An Interview with Tim Wick

This weekend a very special, very weird event will take place at the DoubleTree in Bloomington, Minnesota: Die Laughing 2: Laugh Harder, a 50 hour comedy marathon fundraiser for Fearless Comedy Productions.

The Hubby and I attended last year’s Die Laughing fundraiser and had a pretty darn good time. The highlight was getting a noseharp from MST3K’s Kevin Murphy, and hearing him play noseharp, play ukelele and sing a lyrical version of the Game of Thrones intro song. But then there were all of the local comedians, the improv, the sweet silent auctions, the sleep deprivation. It was a heck of a weekend.

And this weekend they’re coming coming back for more. This Friday at 7pm the intrepid members of Fearless Comedy and their guests will kick off the 3000-minute event. This year I’m volunteering at the box office; I’m excited to support a group that has provided me with many laughs and entertainment over the past year.  [Read more…]

Cons and Cons and Cons, Oh My!

Whew – It has been a month for conventions!

First and most exciting: The Secular Women Work Kickstarter was fully funded on the 19th. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this A Thing That Is Going To Happen! I am ready to work and be inspired. And I guess this means that I get to add one more thing to my 2014 con schedule. Yipee!

Also in February I attended SuperCon and Con of the North. I played a lot of board games at those two. I taught some, and learned some, and a few were added to my ever-growing need-to-own list, including Templar, Downfall of Pompeii and Machi Koro. [Read more…]

Secular Women Work Conference – 3 Days Left!

I am an activist. I believe that change is possible, and that the way to make change happen is to get involved. The manifestation of “involvement” looks different for every person, but I believe that everyone has something to contribute: a story to share, a financial contribution, a vote, time, a helping hand. When we choose to become involved, we become activists.

While everyone can be an activist, a lot of us wonder how to get there, or if what we’re doing is really “activism.” It helps to have a community of people who share our goals, who we can seek out when we have questions, a desire to share resources, or if we’re looking to get our foot in the door to discover how we want to contribute and where we want to focus our efforts. [Read more…]

Local Lefty Liberal Progressive Hippie Things

I have two reading recommendations and one restaurant review for you from the land of spoon and cherry.

Robin Marty – Joining the Other Side

Robin Marty is an independent journalist, well-known for her articles on reproductive justice. She is based in Minnesota, the author of Crow After Roe, and she has recently published an article on Contributoria called Joining the Other Side. The article is about the week she spent in Washington D.C. this January observing the annual March for Life…ugh…celebration. She speaks about watching die-ins, clinic protests, panels and sharing drinks with anti-abortion activists like Jill Stanek and Troy Newman at after parties.  [Read more…]

The Central Dogma of Biology

Here’s a neat video that I found on YouTube. It’s from the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (posted back in 2012, but who’s keeping track?) Somebody clever  – probably several somebodies – has created and narrated a 3D animation of how DNA leads to proteins. In fact, there are a whole series of these animations from the DNA Learning Center, so there goes my evening. These kind of videos make me excited to go back and read my old biology textbooks (but not really, because they are absolutely ancient at 12 years since publication)!

Jazz Jennings has a book out!

Teen transgender activist Jazz Jennings has a book out! She co-authored this illustrated children’s book about her experience growing up as a transgender kid. Reviewers are calling it inspirational, touching and affirming. There are a few comments that call out an emphasis on stereotypical gendered behavior, so that’s something to know, but overall it is getting rave reviews. Click on the image below to visit the Amazon page for I Am Jazz, and click here to watch a YouTube video of Jazz talking about her book.

An illustrated children's book cover - a  smiling girl takes up the front center with the title "I Am Jazz" above, and drawings of family photos in the background.

 

Republicans Think Republicans Are Clueless

Earlier this week on TRMS, Rachel Maddow did a segment on how a few Republican politicians have been caught catering to the anti-science anti-vaccination position. Chris Christie and Rand Paul were the main offenders of this piece, but Rachel also drew a parallel between their anti-vax attitude and Michelle Bachmann’s 2012 post-Republican debate debacle in which MB shared an anecdote about a woman who said that her daughter developed mental retardation after getting the HPV vaccine. She got smacked down by everyone for that – even Rush Limbaugh! If you’re a right week nut and you can’t even get Rush Limbaugh on board, then maybe you should rethink your life position. [Read more…]