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…]

Godless Gamers Game Night

Tonight I left work and headed over to the Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville for Godless Gamers Game Night,  a recurring Meetup hosted by Minnesota Atheists. A fair number of people showed up – maybe 15-20. We took up four or five tables and played for about three hours. I ran two board games, Tokaido and Lords of Waterdeep. There were a few deck builders at another table, and a series of Avalon that lasted for ages.

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Lords of Waterdeep in progress.

Two good friends stopped by, which made my night even better, plus we decided that we have to have another game date on Sunday to play the new Doctor Who game that they picked up this evening.

The FFG Game Center is just gorgeous. They have a kitchen, a beer and wine license, plenty of parking, and a very well-stocked games library that anyone can use. The space has high ceilings,  is well-lit and has huge SF/F-themed murals and artwork throught. Cthulhu in the ladies bathroom y’all.

If you’re local or get a chance to visit, I’d recommend a stop. Or join Minnesota Atheists for our next Godless Gamers FFGC night!

Today in Pro-Lifers Annoy Me News

Did you hear about Oklahoma abortion doctor Naresh Patel who did some illegal, horrible things and was consequently investigated, arrested and had his medical license pulled? Yeah, so did every anti-abortion supporter and organization in the country. And boy are they gloating about that and using it as an excuse to rally the troops. They’re trying to paint Patel’s arrest as the turning of the tide, as a sign that Americans are starting to see that abortion is an arrest-worthy crime. [Read more…]

Thank you for your not belief!

Well, how lovely is this?

Minnesota Atheists, my local atheist organization, sponsor of Atheists Talk, receiver of my annual membership dues, promoter of volunteer opportunities, supporter of awesome conferences like the upcoming Secular Women Work, received a thank you note from Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for our recent holiday donation. I like to imagine that the letter-writer had a good laugh at our dedication. Their reply certainly had me smiling.

A rote form thank you note from Children's Hospital to Minnesota Atheists. Relevant text is typed below this image.

Image shared with permission from Eric Jayne, Minnesota Atheists

Relevant portion of the text reads: “Please accept our heartfelt appreciation for your generous gift given in memory of not believing in Jesus to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. Your support ensures that every child who comes through our doors receives excellent medical care in our family-centered environment.”

“We are grateful for donors like you who believe in our mission. Your dedication means that we can offer the best possible care to children and families in our region and across the country. On behalf of the Children’s community and the patients and families you have supported, thank you for your generosity.”