The temperatures here in Morris are dropping into the single digits °F, snow is on the ground and probably not going away until the spring, and the lakes are all frozen over — we spotted our first icehouse on Lake Minnewaska last weekend. So what does that mean? I’m flying south this weekend, to Orlando, Florida!

I’ll be speaking at the University of Central Florida on Friday, 5 December, at 7pm in Communications Building 101. Afterwards, we tentatively plan to adjourn to the Lazy Moon for refreshments — we can’t be certain because it’s a pizza place in a college town, so we may not be able to squeeze in, depending on how many show up. I’ll post an update if we have to move elsewhere.

On Saturday, 6 December, I’ll be speaking at Rollins College, at 6:30pm in Crummer Hall. I don’t have specific post-babbling plans there, yet, so perhaps someone can suggest something.

I fly away, mission accomplished, on Pearl Harbor day, that Sunday. I have to be a little concerned, though, that the shock of traveling from Florida to frigid Minnesota might be a bit dangerous. I’ll step off the plane in my flip-flops and bermudas and Hawaiian shirt and shatter from the shock. That means this might be the last time anyone gets to see me, so you better show up.


  1. Nerd of Redhead says

    PZ, you can easily step off the plane in tropical garb. You just need to change into winter garb before you traipse out to the car for the drive home. The UP airports didn’t have walkways to the terminal, so you had to be already in your winterwear when you stepped out of the plane and walked across the tarmac to the terminal.

  2. says

    Yeah, take a jacket and a pair of sox. I’ve frozen my butt off in Orlando at least once. Go down Orange Blossom Trail almost to Kissimmee and visit Gatorland, the anti-Disney. There’s a nice boardwalk/path through the cypress swamp next door; good way to get a feel for the biotope. And enjoy the place and the beer, wherever you get it!

  3. Rey Fox says

    You should dress for the cold before you get on the plane, because those planes are cold too.

  4. says

    You should hit up Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (my alma mater, in Daytona Beach) while you’re in the area. It’s a super red campus (saw a Bush rally there in 2000) so it could be fun!

  5. Feynmaniac says

    You gonna meet up with Webster Cook? I’d like to see Bill Donahue’s reaction to that!

  6. Sydney S. says

    ..and to think, if I had gone to UCF like everyone else in my family, I could have gotten to go to this…

    I’d send my uncle to go watch it for me, but him and everyone else living there in my family were in the group calling for the crackergate kid’s head, so I don’t think they would do anything but be disruptive.

  7. Screechy Monkey says

    I’ll be speaking at the University of Central Florida on Friday, 5 December, at 7pm in Communications Building 101.

    By Egnor logic, this must be a talk about communications! PZ has embraced framing!

    (And yes, I realize that “Egnor logic” is an oxymoron.)

  8. the bug guy says

    Ah man, you’ll be at my old school and I won’t have a chance to be there.

    If you have a chance, go to the Morse Museum in Winter Park. Well worth the trip.

  9. dreikin says

    I was wondering when you were going to mention this! (having gotten the CFA announcement already..) Looking forward to it.

    (and Lazy Moon, eh? That’s where the rugby teams meets up before the Sat games)

  10. Benjamin Geiger says

    Right now it’s 61°F at the Heathen Bunker (aka my apartment), approximately midway between Orlando and Tampa. It was as low as 37°F this morning, though that’s likely balmy for someone used to Minnesota weather. I’ve been wearing a light sweatjacket in the mornings.

    I’m going to attempt to be at the Friday presentation; it shouldn’t be too difficult to get there from work. I may or may not be at Rollins on Saturday, depending on how long the Code Camp runs; if my coworkers and I don’t carpool I’ll likely leave early just to make sure.

    I’ll try not to squeal or giggle like a schoolgirl (but no promises).

  11. K says

    Oh crap. Seriously 5 miles from my house and we’re just too busy on Friday! NO!
    Cracker Christmas is also this weekend, got people coming to visit…crap.

  12. Jenny says

    As an Orlando resident, I can vouch for Gatorland as a must-see, although it may be too cold. Alternatively, if you really want to see some alligators, take an airboat ride on Lake Jessup near UCF. It’s the most alligator-infested lake in the world. Looking forward to the talk on Friday!

    When you’re in Winter Park, check out the Wine Room (http://www.thewineroomonline.com/). Good cheese plates, but more impressively, wine vending machines! You put in a prepaid card, press a button, and voila! Glass of wine! It’s provided me hours of entertainment.

  13. says

    I’ll be there – I’m excited! I’ve never been to the Lazy Moon, but I’m willing to look it up for this. It looks like they now serve beer (with the tagline, “We have always served beer!” Yuengling on tap – sounds alright to me.

  14. says

    Have a good time and don’t let the bible thumpers get you down.

    That said, you can keep the single digit temps and snow in MN. It’s been sunny, around 50F daytime and just a little dusting of snow almost a week ago here in RI.

  15. Patricia says

    Before you buzz off PZ will you buy a couple of decent trolls? The ones you picked up at The Dollar Store are really stale and squishy.

  16. David says

    Holy crapola !!!
    My favorite blogger is to speak at the very college where my parents met each other. They didn’t marry til they graduated a few years later (1936). Heard way too many Rollins stories thru the years, but never been there.
    Without it, no me !!!!

  17. God Retardant says

    I will be attending to swat away the bible thumpers from PZ and to get “shit faced” afterwards.

  18. Dave Wiley says

    Flying again, PZ. Still don’t believe in Global Warming or just believe it doesn’t apply to you?

  19. Rat Bastard says

    Yes, do go to Gatorland. I went in ’01 with my family. Walking through that gator’s mouth, I was thinking, “How cheesy is this?”, but I’ll tell you what, I was entertained by a quite informative show and little walkaround. I haven’t been back since- is that 13+ foot long pet dog eating leviathan gator still alive? You should see the cage- “chain link fence” made from what looked to be 1/4 steel “wire”. I think that thing could have used that metal for floss. Good times…

  20. Jenny Ashford says

    Huzzah! I’m going to try my damndest to be at the Saturday deal; Rollins is only about an hour from me. And like #9 says, you should come to Daytona Beach and see us poor godless folks stranded on the Redneck Riviera. I’ll buy you a frappuccino if you do!

  21. Benjamin Geiger says

    Rat Bastard @ #26:

    Actually, the gift shop burnt down a couple of years ago; they rebuilt it, complete with a new gator’s mouth entryway.

  22. Jenny Ashford says

    Oh, and I’ve never been to Gatorland, even though I’ve only lived in Florida for my entire life. I don’t see how it could be awesomer than the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. You walk through a giant alligator mouth there too.

  23. Benjamin Geiger says

    Odd. I’d never heard the term “Redneck Riviera” used to refer to anything other than the River Ranch area of Polk County, FL (mostly due to this book).

  24. says

    I’m not sure where to suggest for Saturday night post-talk festivities – I have heard good things about the Habana Grill on SR436. There’s also the Mellow Mushroom on Aloma…

    I don’t suppose your flight is late enough that I could convince you to join me/us for Dim Sum on Saturday morning? We have an *excellent* Dim Sum (chinese tapas, basically) restaurant pretty close to UCF, but it’s much better on Sundays than any other day. I think they open at 10:30, it takes about an hour to do it right, longer if the company is particularly good. You’ve got the email if you’re interested. =)

  25. Mark says

    So I’ll try to show up pretty much regardless — but for the purpose of convincing others to come along, what is the subject of your talks, PZ?

  26. GatorFan51 says

    PZ finally coming down to Florida? Kickass, too bad you’re not visiting UF though, if you wanna see real gators this is where its at. But I’ll be at UCF wearin orange and blue for sure, repping UF’s atheists.


    PLEASE visit UF? you have no idea how many crazy preachers they allow in the school to harass us EVERY DAMN DAY.

  27. Diego says

    Oh no, I forgot PZ was coming! I may have to shuffle my birthday plans (Pearl Harbor Day) so I can come down from Tallahassee. It’s a heck of a drive, but I might be able to pull it off.

    And yes, it has been cold in Florida this whole past month, even down in Orlando.

  28. Jenny Ashford says

    #31, yes, that is odd. I’d never heard the term until a few years ago, referring to Daytona Beach, and that’s after being born here and living here for 36 years. I always assumed it was because of the proximity of the “World’s Most Famous Beach”/Daytona International Speedway one-two punch.

  29. Benjamin Geiger says

    Jenny Ashford @ #39:

    My dad grew up in Holly Hill, my mom grew up in Orlando, and due to a weird twist of fate, I didn’t move to FL until I was 18.

    Apparently, the term “Redneck Riviera” actually refers to the Emerald Coast. Not sure why.

  30. JOhn says

    I’m in Tampa, and I’ll have you know I actually scraped ICE off my windshield this morning. I still can’t believe it! It’s only December for Christ’s sake.

    Oh…and I vote we all meetup at the Holy Land Theme park for a few laughs. I hear they kill Jesus there EVERY DAY. The sick f*cks.

    The Holy Land Experience is located in Orlando, off Interstate 4, at Exit 78, at the corner of Conroy and Vineland Roads. To use an online mapping/direction service, enter the following physical address for The Holy Land Experience:

    4655 Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32811

  31. JOhn says

    Maybe PZ can show up on a day early for the Audutions at Holy Land…does anyone know if PZ can sing? In baritone?!
    Maybe he can sing the new Atheist Christmas Song.
    I’d skip work and buy a HD videocam for that!
    …that made me giggle..

    From the website:

    The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida is holding auditions for “Century” and “Teachmosphere” casts.


    We are specifically looking for male singers/actors (baritone, bass) for “Century” cast and male and female actors for “Teachmosphere” cast. All applicants must have strong acting and movement abilites. Please bring one headshot and resume. For the audition process, male singers should prepare two songs, Broadway/musical theatre style, post 1975 and a praise and worship song, as well as a one-minute monologue. Bring sheet music for the accompanist; vocal tracks will not be accommodated. Male and female actors should prepare two monologues: one that is scripture based and one that is comedic or dramatic. To receive an initial phone interview and schedule an audition appointment, please contact Makia at 407-872-2272.

    Date: Thursday, December 4, 2008

    Time: Auditions begin at 6:30 pm by appointment only

    Location: Bay Colony Office Park

    4501 Vineland Road, Suite 107 Orlando, FL 32811

    “A day at The Holy Land Experience will satisfy your spiritual appetite, but there’s no need to ignore your physical hunger! “

  32. Ragutis says

    Are you crazy? It’s freezing down here! In the Tampa area, it’s around 56F right now. The highs today were only in the mid 60s. Brrrrrrr.

    [insert winking smilie here]

    Actually, the weekend looks pretty nice. Sunny and highs in the low 70s. Can’t get to Orlando to see you, but enjoy your time here in our state. You should really try to get down for a shuttle launch too. There’s not that many left.

    Maybe you’ll be able to make some time this weekend to visit The Holy Land Experience? I’d love to see your review of this lesser known Orlando theme park.

    [insert devil smilie here]

    Safe travels, PZ!

  33. Die Anyway says

    Dang, I’ve been looking forward to a meet-up but this weekend is booked solid. Hope you have a good time.
    Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.

  34. JOhn says

    Here is a map of the Rollins Campus.
    Crummer Hall will be rocking.


  35. Benjamin Geiger says

    John @ #41:

    I go past that place often; I go to the Mall at Millenia and Ikea which are both at that intersection. I’ve been tempted to go, but somehow I doubt they’d look kindly on someone rolling on the floor laughing. Besides, why give them money, when fundies provide entertainment online for free?

  36. Ashley says

    I might just come to the Rollins College talk. I live not a mile away from campus, in Winter Park. :)

    There’s an Irish restaurant just around the corner from the college that’s always hopping. Might be a good place to go afterwards.

    Just a note of caution: there’s a ton of construction going on in the area. Just be aware. :)

  37. BobC says

    Central Florida? What about South Florida where I live?

    If only I had a car and/or some money. I’d go up there Friday to listen to the most prominent atheist in America.

    Your timing is good. It’s been cold here lately. It only got up to 72 degrees Wednesday, and it was probably even colder in Central Florida. Fortunately Friday will be back to normal, at 79 degrees in South Florida.

  38. Jenny Ashford says

    Benjamin Geiger at #40…

    Hey, I live in Holly Hill right now. It’s kind of a shithole. :-)

  39. Autumn says

    As to shock at the Florida to Minnesota transition in winter, I had the reverse shock of spending a few days in Portland, Oregon one summer and flying back into Tampa.
    Went from thinking that the 80 degree temp in Portland was as hot as everyone said it was, to walking out of the airport in Tampa at 1:00 AM into 85 degree heat and 90% humidity.
    Really, everyone who thinks living in a desert is hot, you have no idea.

  40. Malkara says

    It’s not that warm here in Florida. Though, admittedly, it’s no doubt a shitload colder then where you are. :( But still. When it goes from 70 one day to low 50s the next… IT IS SHOCKING.

  41. says

    Benjamin Geiger @ #32 to David @ #23:
    I thought Rollins was still an all-girls school at that point?

    Maybe Dad was spending his junior year a broad.

    Good that others are endorsing Gatorland; I knew this was a smart group. Yeah, they had a fire and rebuilt, with volunteer help from their neighbors. Huh, I wonder if they restored the GatorCam. It’s a birders’ paradise; Wild egrets and herons, five species at least, and woodstorks drop in to shop for fish. I’ve stood maybe eight feet from a wild woodstork there. Impressive. Nice snakes on display too. I don’t know if their snack shop has changed much; the gator nuggets weren’t the best I’ve ever had but they were OK, and if you like shark you’ll like gator.

    I bet someone can find a Cuban restaurant or sandwich shop for you. Have a Cuban sandwich. Good stuff.

  42. Samuel says

    I left Minnesota for Florida, I didn’t think I’d see my breath again, but I stepped outside just a few minutes ago and there it is again. Keep FSU in mind for your next Florida tour!

  43. Mark Powell says

    Sorry Old Man but, if you fail to adapt before arriving back in Minnesota, you deserve to flip-flop into extinction. Cruel world eh? Anyway, wearing flip-flops at any time should be a capital offence.

  44. Jonas E says

    “The temperatures here in Morris are dropping into the single digits °F”

    I thought scientists used Celsius ;-)

  45. RickrOll says

    “Cruel world eh? Anyway, wearing flip-flops at any time should be a capital offence.”

    Only with socks ;)

  46. says

    Orlando has been waiing for you. Thanks for making time for us. I’ll be there on Friday night after spending the day indoor wall-climbing with my hubbie at UCF. My parking pass will get double use!

  47. Spiv says

    Sweet, my alma mater, and I’m not far away. As long as the traffic isn’t too bad I should be able to make it there from work before 7.

  48. JJR says

    I know I would crack up to read the headline “PZ Myers EXPELLED from The Holy Land Experience”…I used to work in the travel insurance industry and would sometimes spot advertisements for this place.

    I wonder if the performers also have to sign any kind of “testament of faith” or anything…I bet some of their former employees who were so inclined could write some interesting memoirs. I wonder if there have been previously out-of-work actors who landed a job there because, “well, it’s work, helps pad my resume, etc, and hey, religious fantasy can’t be any different from other fantasy roles I’ve played…it’s all pretend anyway, so…”
    Such good, potential fodder for This American Life or a tell-all cynical memoir in the tradition of Sedaris’ SANTALAND DIARIES.

  49. Jerry H. Jeffery says

    I have had the privilege of working to get PZ to come down this weekend. And thanks to Max Jackson and Shakirra Meghjee, leaders of the Campus Freethought Alliance at UCF and Rollins respectively.

    We are looking for a good turnout at UCF but Rollins has been a little iffy. IF you are coming or know someone who is, you might suggest Rollins as more accessible and a little less chaotic.

    PZ, enjoy your flight. I will see you soon after you get here.

    Jerry H. Jeffery

  50. windy says

    IF you are coming or know someone who is, you might suggest Rollins as more accessible and a little less chaotic.

    Is it accessible without a car?

  51. sinned34 says

    So close! I’m going to be in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, getting ready to board a giant cattle ship for what many people consider a pleasant “cruise” around the Caribbean. Unfortunately, I doubt my wife would let me take a drive up to Orlando to have a visit. I’ll just have to consider myself fortunate to be in the same state/province as PZ for once!

  52. Chris says

    Pre-emptive welcome! I’m from Orlando, though living in gainesville currently, and I’m planning to make the drive this weekend (among other things) to hopefully see one of these speeches.

    As far as post-babbling saturday night, I’d suggest tatame, right next to Rollins campus, or any of the trendy places on park avenue, which leads into the campus.

    And if you find yourself with a spare few hours, I’d recommend the Serpetarium in St. Cloud. Its like Gatorland, but with a wider array of reptiles.

  53. dreikin says

    Dangit! If you see some guy in the room at UCF trying to avoid people – that’ll be me trying not to infect y’all. >.< Stupid strep...

  54. dreikin says

    Ok, doesn’t like that smiley..
    Rest of sentence:

    “Stupid strep…”

    (and yes, I’ll depart if it looks like I can’t reasonably attend AND not infect someone)

  55. Don Smith, FCD says

    I second the nomination for Habana Grill. Very good Cuban food. And Mojitos! Curiously, no Winter Park location on their main site, but the last time I went down Aloma, it was there. This Irish bar is Fiddler’s Green and is much closing to Rollins. Being Saturday night however, it will be crowded.