Sep 06 2013

Bat travel in three bat weeks!

Tomorrow I’m heading off to Washington DC to talk happily atheistically, but later this month on the 28th I’ll be in Austin, Texas for their world-renowned bat cruise (will it be on a bat-boat with bat-beer and bat-people? Will we also fight crime? I hope so). I’m also doing a talk on Bat Evolution for the Atheist Community of Austin before we go observe the bats. It’s going to be a real Bat Weekend! You should come. Just go register now.

My wife loves bats, too. I think she’s jealous that she’s not going.


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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    When you return, you’ll be on the same bat-time, same bat-channel, right?

  2. 2

    Well it didn’t take you long to go batty.

  3. 3
    PZ Myers

    I just hope I’m not a Bat-chelor for abandoning my wife at home.

  4. 4

    I think you’re batting up the wrong tree.

  5. 5

    The Italian word for bat is one of the nicest word I know: Pipistrello.

  6. 6

    Stay at home and send Mary instead. Problem solved.

  7. 7

    I saw the austin bats a few months ago during a training trip to Texass. I was blown away. Watched ‘em from atop a bridge though, no tour… and yet it was still awesome.

    If you are ever interested in seeing what 1.5 million bats look like, head on out to congress bridge in Austin around dusk…

  8. 8

    If you get a chance to go to Bracken Cave while you’re here, take it.

  9. 9

    Oh man, I saw something about that bat cruise on da TV once. I am so jealous. I even have a cape. Well, a cloak, but it would work!

  10. 10
    theophontes (恶六六六缓步动物)

    @ jcsscj


    i>How about the French: chauve souris (Translation = “bald mouse”) ?

  11. 11

    I like the Croatian word, šišmiš. Fun to say.

  12. 12

    Also, the Lakota, which is Hupaki Glake.

  13. 13
    Rutee Katreya

    I just hope I’m not a Bat-chelor for abandoning my wife at home.

    Would it matter? You’re still a bat person for leaving her behind.

  14. 14

    One advantage of our awful drought is that it’s unlikely to rain that day. I took an out-of-town guest to see them once, but it had rained earlier in the day so they never came out. (Even if it does rain, hanging around on the cruise will be much more fun than hanging around on the bridge. And so I am off to buy a ticket.)

  15. 15

    I’m already signed up for the bat cruise, but now that I see this post, I’m going to end my weapons-grade procrastination and join the ACA.

  16. 16
    David Eriksen

    Just got tickets for the Bat Cruise. I’m not a member of the ACA (I live about an hour south of Austin) so I’m going to have to call and ask if I can attend the talk.

  17. 17

    If you are doing stuff on bats, look up the work of Dr. Emma Teeling from UCD, her group does extensive work on bats and longevity

  18. 18

    Write a poem about your trip after you get back, and go from Bats to Verse.

  19. 19

    The bat cruises for seeing the bats under the South Congress bridge are not the best way to see the bats. The bats head East from the bridge, so you are both craning your neck to look upwards and also facing into the setting sun. Very uncomfortable, esp. for the 30-45 minutes of bat flight. Much better is to simply watch the bats from the bridge railing looking West, where you can move to the places of highest bat density, and they are just 10 feet below you. Its generally not too crowded on the bridge. Also a good spot is the grassy area at the South end of the bridge on the West side, where you can see the bats pouring out of the bridge understructure. Great place for a picnic, and if you go down closer to the water’s edge you can get mostly underneath the flights (though as the bats come out you may feel a few droplets). Seen the bats every August when I’m there for an annual convention. Sometimes they come out before sunset, sometimes after. Oh and the live music scene in Austin rules.

  20. 20

    Film it and post a video, please!

  21. 21

    PZ, as long as you are going to TX, please consider finding out about and giving a plug to Bat World Sanctuary in Mineral Wells, TX. They do great work locally and in cooperation with others worldwide.


    or on facebook.

  22. 22

    P.S. Re Bat World Sanctuary, they now have several locations in TX. Check out their fascinating videos…

  23. 23
    Nick Gotts

    Be careful – I saw something recently about bats being one of the main potential sources of dangerous diseases – because they congregate in large numbers in enclosed spaces, where they produce huge amounts of toxic waste. Hmm – which species does that remind me of? :-p

  24. 24

    Hmm – which species does that remind me of? :-p

    Batman may never have mastered the WC, look out below his perch!

  25. 25

    Bats are awesome. I second Roger–please share your talk on bat evolution with us!

    In English, bats used to be called flittermice. (Cognate with the German Fledermaus.)

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