Give to the Max: Atheists Talk Radio

I have been volunteering as a host, interviewer, producer and social media hyper for Atheists Talk Radio since 2011. The first show that I was part of was as a host with Carl Hancock. He was speaking with David Eller about his book Cruel Creeds, Virtuous Violence. Since then I had participated in some truly memorable interviews with guests such as Shelly Segal,  Neil deGrasse Tyson, Katherine Stewart, Rebecca Stott, Howard Bloom, Seth Andrews, Dale McGowan, Victor Stenger, Greta Christina, Adam Lee, Keith Lowell Jensen, Amanda Knief and Baba Brinkman – to name a few 😉

A recording studio - carpeted walls, microphones, and a table filed with electronics. Me and Scott Lohman are sitting in two of the chairs.

Me and fellow interviewer, Scott Lohman, in the recording studio at KTNF AM950.

Atheists Talk touches a lot of lives -mine  and those of our listeners. It’s a pretty amazing, well-established project. We have:

  • A seven-year history. Our first show was Richard Dawkins in January 2008.
  • 335 shows and counting available on our website, iTunes and SoundCloud
  • 932 likes on our Facebook page (there shall be much hip-hip-hooraying when we hit 1000!)
  • Twitter account that allows us to promote guests and increases our visibility
  • People behind the scenes doing web support, fundraising, amd promotion, and supporters giving recurring donations to help us fund our not inexpensive air time.

It’s a pretty awesome project, is what I’m saying. So I shall join in the chorus of voices asking you to consider using Give to the Max Day to financially support our project if you find it worthy of support. You can learn more by clicking the image below (it redirects to the Give to the Max website)



Vertigo sucks

As a mostly neurotypical, healthy adult, I’m not used to being in situations where my body betrays me. But vertigo has laid my ass out. The diagnosis from the PT is Unilateral vestibular hypofunction, and she says it usually resolves in 3-14 days (that’s a wide range, innit?) as long as I regularly practice these focusing exercises  that she gave me (which I’m supposed to do for about two minutes OR until I feel slightly horrid – nauseous, off-balance or out-of-focus)

photo is of a Popsicle stick with a smiley face drawn at one end. At least my PT equipment is low-tech, and thus, cheap. I’m supposed to hold it in front of me, keep my eyes trained on the smiley face and move my head back and forth, then up and down, for two minutes or until I feel like I’m going to hurl. Good times. I’m already done with that smiley face.

The most debilitating part is not the loss of balance, but the associated nausea and the extreme concentration that’s needed to do almost everything (typing this blog post is ending me).It hasn’t affected my desire to get work done, and has increased my anxiousness about everything that’s not getting done, but it has made everything extremely difficult and tiring.

Big shout out to those of you who routinely deal with these kind of symptoms. Imma go lay down now.

Remember Savita Halappanavar

Today marks three years since the death of Savita Halappanavar. Savita suffered health complications from a miscarriage at 17 weeks, presented to University Hospital Galway in Ireland for care, and was denied what would have been a life-saving abortion. Savita did not have to die. She was murdered by medical ineptitude, deadly and outdated abortion laws and moral outrage.


A Rally In Dublin In Memory Of Savita Halappanavar (2012) – William Murphy on Flickr

The New Republic published an article today called Let’s Just Say It: Women Matter More Than Fetuses Do. In the article Rebecca Traister talks about her own awareness of abortion as a crucial medical option during her two wanted pregnancies. She puts abortion alongside nuchal screening, amnio, and early Cesarean – that is, one of many tools that may need to come into play during a routine pregnancy. The article did not focus solely on “abortion as medical necessity” – this was simply the opening salvo. [Read more…]

I don’t want to be Elfstar anymore!

Oh my FSM – the Hubby and I just finished Dark Dungeons and I think I tore some nasal tissue from all of that snorting. I wish I would have had a chance to contribute to the Kickstarter for this film. By playing it straight, the director and cast highlight the delightful, hilarious absurdity of the claims intimated by the original Chick tract. They even managed to get a book burning in. Good on ’em!

Front of a DVD case showing the Dark Dungeons artwork - a shrouded figure holds a dagger and one hand held up to the view, moving through a cloud of smoke.

Like Debbie and Marcie, I didn’t have any experience with RPGs until college. And the RPGers were definitely thought of as the most popular kids at school (hahahaha!). And like Debbie I did unwittingly chant spells from the Necronomicon…oh no, wait. That didn’t happen. What happened is I spent way too much of my meager college money on source books and costume pieces (LARP is so waaaaay cooler than pencil and paper nerdery), devoted untold hours to studying fictional lore, and spent six hours every Saturday night running around Winona State’s empty English hall brandishing index cards filled out with handwritten weapon names and stats and throwing rock paper scissors. And then going out to Perkins at midnight to devour french fries and bottomless carafes of coffee.

It was awesome. No calling Cthulhu from the depths as far as I recall. Although I did have this one Gangrel character that was decent at Animalism until…goddamned Setites.

After Tiller after nearly three years

Last night I watched After Tiller for the first time ever. I know, I know…I just haven’t been in the right mindset to watch it before now. I was pretty sure that what I was going to see was compassionate doctors and heartbreaking stories of fetal anomalies and clinic/provider harassment. Hard to choose that over Parks and Rec, Lost Girl and rewatching Buffy and…

Anyway, that’s pretty much what After Tiller was, so for someone who’s familiar with abortion care there weren’t a lot of surprises. WE KNOW why people seek third trimester abortions. WE KNOW that doctors and clinics are subjects of harassment. WE KNOW that the doctors who do this work are caring and compassionate human beings.

But there were a couple of takeaways for me, someone who is familiar with the previous facts:

[Read more…]

International Literacy Day

Today is International Literacy Day. International Literacy Day is an effort of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and every year it seeks to highlight to the international community the importance of literacy.

I grew up in a culture that rewards education and I was raised in a home environment that supported learning. I can’t imagine a world where I can’t read. I can’t imagine not being able to read a road sign, follow instructions for taking medicine, confidently sign a rental contract, fill out a job application, pick out canned products from a grocery store, get important news by text or handwritten message, vote, learn to drive, research my rights in papers or on the internet, fact check things that other people told me. [Read more…]


I live in a neighborhood called Powderhorn Park in south Minneapolis. The neighborhood runs a project called Powderhorn365, the point of which is to gather stories in the form of photographs and captions of people and places that can be found in Powderhorn. I volunteered to be a photographer, and on Friday my first picture went up! Click the thumbnail below to go to the Powderhorn365 website to see other stories from my new neighborhood (and the full image of my first evar P365 photo!).

Photo shows a a Latina carrying a pink shoulder bag, a white purse. She's wearing a red-white plaid button up blouse. He hair is straight, dark brown, shoulder length, parted down the middle. Shes looking directly at the camera and giving a small, closed-lip smile. Behind her in the background, a building with the words "Pillsbury House" is visible.

I believe that photography can be a way to remind us that we do all have unique situations and circumstances, and also that there are shared experiences that we can understand, and through those better connect with each other. Shared stories have the potential to build stronger, more supportive and diverse communities.


Tire Deflation Devices

Law enforcement tech isn’t something that I follow very closely (that is to say, at all), but I came across a piece of equipment that I know about, but to which I”ve never given much thought. So purely in the vein of “that’s kind of neat” let’s talk about tire deflation devices.

Say police are chasing a fleeing suspect by car. One of the fastest ways to stop or slow the car is to pop the suspect’s tires with a strip of spikes that gets manually rolled out across the road in the path of the vehicle. But what about the cars behind the suspects? The officer who deployed the device has to get whatever popped the suspect’s tires out of the way of oncoming traffic – namely the police vehicles in pursuit – without compromising her own safety. She has to pull the strips back quickly, and officers have died while attempting to remove them. Think about coordination of communication between the pursuing officers and the officer running the spike strips. And the stress for the pursuing officer about whether the strips will be off the road in time for them to safely pass. [Read more…]