Mr. Paul Aints vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes

This past Saturday evening, the Hubby and I went to see a baseball game at the new CHS Field in Saint Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood. We’re not really sports people, but this Saturday was a special event – it was the third annual Mr. Paul Aints game!

Photo of the CHS Field Jumbotron. Advertising is on the borders, the main central portion shows the Aints logo - beginning with a large red capital "A."

The Saint Paul Saints is the minor league baseball team in the Twin Cities, but on Saturday the team donned special jerseys and hats and became the Mr. Paul Aints. Minnesota Atheists and Foundation Beyond Belief came together to sponsor the annual atheism visibility event. Soles4Souls partnered with us to collect gently used shoes from attendees; the promotion was called “Leave Your Soles at the Gate.” We had our boxes filled by the start of the game! Continue reading “Mr. Paul Aints vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes”

Mr. Paul Aints vs. Winnipeg Goldeyes
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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.”

 

Thank you for your not belief!

The Weekend of Unbelievable Fun: The Second Coming

Hey…guess what’s coming up fast? It’s The Weekend of Unbelievable Fun: The Second Coming!

mna-conf-aints-1

Image is an advertisement showing the Mr. Paul Aints logo with information about the baseball game and conference (detailed in text below), and a photo of the Minneapolis Skyline.

This will be the second year that I attend. Last year’s baseball game was a blast, and the conference had inspiring speakers presenting novel and timely information about atheism and the secular movement.

This year the Mr. Paul Aints will take the field again on Friday August 9th to play the Sioux City Explorers at Midway Stadium in Saint Paul. The party starts at 5pm with tailgating in the parking lot and the game begins at 7pm. The meetup description for the event promises between-inning atheist-themed antics (hmmm…devil worshiping in the infield and baby tastings, perhaps?), and there will be an auction of Mr. Paul Aints jerseys with proceeds to go to a local charity.

The next day – Saturday – Minnesota Atheists and American Atheists will hold their second consecutive Twin Cities-based regional conference. The conference takes place at the Ramada Plaza in NE Minneapolis, and the lineup is exciting (I’ve taken out the breaks in the list below – for the full schedule, visit mnatheists.org):

9:15-10:15 Hector Avalos: “How Archaeology Killed Biblical History”
10:30-12:00pm Breakout Sessions & Workshops
1:45-2:45 Greta Christina: “Coming Out: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why?”
2:45-3:45 Amanda Knief: “Ten Legal Issues Atheists Need to Know”
4:00-5:30 Annie Laurie Gaylor: “The Religious War on Women”
7:30-9:00 All-Star Panel Discussion: Atheism and Religion: Confrontation or Accommodation – Annie Laurie Gaylor, Hector Avalos, Greta Christina, Amanda Knief, PZ Myers, and Kelli Clement. Moderated by Stephanie Zvan (Author of Almost Diamonds blog on Freethought Blogs).

The conference organizers did a good job of packing in a wide variety of topics in a few short hours – one day conferences are hard! I’m especially excited by the 10:30-noon workshops, which are being led by local atheists. Topics include science, family and raising kids in atheist households, treatment of (nonhuman) animals, mental health, addiction, and shame. For descriptions of the panels press the big red button on the frontpage of the Minnesota Atheists website.

If you’re interested in joining us, the information for signing up for the baseball game and/or the conference can be found at the MN Atheists website. The cost for the game starts at $10 and the conference starts at $30 (if you’re 25 years old or younger AND a student, you can buy a discounted conference ticket for $10). These are early bird prices, and early bird sign up ends on July 31st – in just three days! After that prices for the conference goes up to $40 (student admission stays $10).

And if there is any doubt that you’re going to have a good – and occasionally goofy – time, check out these lyrics that Paul Heffron and Jerry Rauser wrote for the Mr. Paul Aints game:

To the tune of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game

(Verse 1)
Let’s all go to the Aints game.
Let’s all show who we are.
The big red A says a lot about us.
We’re here for fun, so please don’t make a fuss.
So we’ll root for the Mister Paul Aints team.
For they accept us by name.
So it’s hip, hip, hip, hip hooray
At the Aints ball game.

(Verse 2)
Let’s have fun at the Aints game,
Tail-gate party supreme.
Hamburgers, hot dogs, and drinks for all.
Under our banner we’ll all have a ball.
We will root, root, root for the pigs’ race.
In Pig’s Eye town there’s no shame.
For it’s one, two, pick up the pace
At the Aints Ball Game!

The Weekend of Unbelievable Fun: The Second Coming

Student Atheists on the Radio

On Sunday I had the pleasure of interviewing two members of the University of Minnesota’s Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists (CASH), Bryan Carver and Joshua Brose. The interview was a live, in-studio chat for Atheists Talk on KTNF (AM950). Carver and Joshua were good sports and agreed to take a photo with me, even though it was before 9am on a Sunday morning.

From the left: Joshua Brose, me, Bryan Carver

During the interview we discussed Joshua and Carver’s background, how they as students found CASH, and what their involvement in the group is. We chatted about the role that CASH plays on campus and in its members’ lives. We discussed some of the events that they’ve already held this year including the Brother Jed counterprotest and Everyone Draw Mohammed Day. They shared information about upcoming CASH events (which are usually open to the public), including a mentalist in November and SkepTech, a conference that they’re hosting next spring which will feature some pretty big names in the secular community (whoever is first on the list is the coolest speaker ever. Truth.). And to close the interview, they each shared what they believe is the one of the most important issues affecting young atheists today.

I had a very good time doing this interview, and I love working with Atheists Talk radio as a host and interviewer. I like knowing that there is a weekly atheist radio in my area that not only delivers awesome interviews (In the past couple of months alone we’ve have Alex Bezerow, Howard Bloom, Chris Rodda, Rebecca Stott, Guy P. Harrison, Matt McCormick, Herb Silverman, Teresa MacBain, David Niose, Jessica Ahlquist…well, I could go on, but now we’re all the way back to July), but also information about local atheist events and activities individuals and families.

You, uh, know we primarily fund this radio show with donations from listeners and supporters, right? *cough* Anyone, any donation amount, anytime. Go ahead, click the link. You know you want to. We have the best tagline ever: “Atheists Talk: It’s good radio without the Good Book.” That’s worth a few bucks just for sheer awesomeness, right?

You can listen to the CASH interview with Joshua, Carver and me in several places: the Minnesota Atheists radio page, in the KTNF archives, or you can search on iTunes for the podcast “Minnesota Atheists Atheists Talk”. Or maybe even here if the player embeds correctly:

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Student Atheists on the Radio

Look Who’s In The News!

Stephanie Zvan from Almost Diamonds and a handful of my fellow Minnesota Atheists participated in an extensive interview with Canadian media La Presse. The article is in French, but the page seems to translate pretty well on Google Chrome. The interview is mostly in English with French subtitles, although there are a few moments of French narration (mock outrage: French!? I thought this was about ‘Murica!). The piece was done for an ongoing project called “Sur La Route Du Mississippi”, which is described this way by the site:

On the eve of the U.S. elections, journalist Isabelle Audet and cameraman Frédéric Guiro roam the Mississippi Valley from north to south, to meet the Americans.

I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so click on the link to be taken to the source. Way to represent, y’all!

 

Look Who’s In The News!

Look Who's In The News!

Stephanie Zvan from Almost Diamonds and a handful of my fellow Minnesota Atheists participated in an extensive interview with Canadian media La Presse. The article is in French, but the page seems to translate pretty well on Google Chrome. The interview is mostly in English with French subtitles, although there are a few moments of French narration (mock outrage: French!? I thought this was about ‘Murica!). The piece was done for an ongoing project called “Sur La Route Du Mississippi”, which is described this way by the site:

On the eve of the U.S. elections, journalist Isabelle Audet and cameraman Frédéric Guiro roam the Mississippi Valley from north to south, to meet the Americans.

I can’t figure out how to embed the video, so click on the link to be taken to the source. Way to represent, y’all!

 

Look Who's In The News!

Weekend Report

I was hoping to get a lot of writing done this weekend because there is SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT! I got exactly zero writing done, but looking back on my weekend, it turns out I did some pretty cool stuff.

Friday night was supposed to be a night of relaxing and hanging out with the Virtual Drinking Skeptically (VDS) gang. Unfortunately, work setbacks trashed that idea. I didn’t have all my ducks in a row and ended up working until midnight 🙁  Long story short, I grabbed some material (calibrators) for a study and forgot to check the expiration date. After doing all of the set-up on Friday morning, I went to use the calibrators and discovered that they were expired. No problem, I’ll just go grab a new lot, right? Ohhhh…so sad for me: there are no unexpired lots left in the freezer. Luckily, my company makes the darned things on site, so I’ll just go over to manufacturing and pick some up. Three hours later…

At some point during the morning’s series of fiascoes I noted with that sort of inappropriate hilarity that often precludes a mental breakdown that I was going through various stages of grief as my Friday night went up in flames.

  • Shock/Denial: WHAT? How the hell are the calibrators expired? What do you mean we don’t have any extra calibrators in the building? How is that possible? I am NOT letting this get in the way of Virtual Drinking Skeptically tonight.
  • Pain/Guilt: How could I be so stupid as to not check the expiration date before I started!? How could I have everything in place and forget that? I haven’t been to a VDS in months and I feel horrible for not showing up and supporting it because it’s awesome and I can’t believe I’ve ruined my evening like this!
  • Anger/Bargaining: How did NO ONE stock calibrators? Why did this have to happen tonight!? Maybe I could use the expired cals and write some sort of justification. No? Okay, if I can just get the study started, I can sneak away and come in over the weekend to finish things up.
  • Depression/Loneliness: This sucks. I hate working late on Friday nights. Everyone goes home to relax and start their weekend and I’m going to be stuck here pipetting samples until kingdom come. Which isn’t coming, so that means FOREVER. I’m not making it to VDS.
  • Upward Turn: Okay… I have new calibrators. The instruments are all ready to go. Let’s calibrate and see if the controls pass. Samples are thawed, time to start pipetting. If I can load 20 samples per hour and I’ve got 149 samples to load… awwww, man. Wait, calm…I can do this.
  • Acceptance/Hope: Okay, there’s no way I’m getting out of here in time for VDS, but I’ll just have to plan to make the next one. And hey, everything’s running well and I’m going to make it through at least half of these samples today. I’ll come back on Sunday and finish ’em up. And I’ll still have all of Saturday. Every little thing… is gonna be alright.

That’s a whole lot of emotion to go through over the course of a day! Like I said earlier, I left at midnight, but I did get to come home to a sympathetic partner and a whiskey nightcap. So that was nice.

Continue reading “Weekend Report”

Weekend Report

How’s this for better photos?

I’ve come home from the Mr. Paul Aints baseball game. It was a wonderful time! I had a chance to see some of my favorite local and visiting atheists, everyone was smiling, eating crappy ballpark food, and cheering on our Aints.

I had an odd moment while I was in the line for the women’s bathroom. The woman in front of me started chit-chatting, and I mentioned that this was my first time attending a Saint Paul Saints game. She asked where I was sitting, and after a quick glance at the gold cross around her neck I said “Over in the Left Field section with the Minnesota Atheists.” Her eyes widened a little and I imagined her later going back to her friends saying “Guess what – I met one of them!” But she was nice enough. She asked how big our group was (“How big is your invading army?”), what kind of activities we did and what brought me to atheism (can you tell that this was a reaaaaallly long line for the bathroom?) I gave short, simple answers that I hope reflected well on Minnesota Atheists since this was a visibility event for us, and especially since I noticed that the line had gone very quiet; the women around us were listening to our exchange.

Continue reading “How’s this for better photos?”

How’s this for better photos?

How's this for better photos?

I’ve come home from the Mr. Paul Aints baseball game. It was a wonderful time! I had a chance to see some of my favorite local and visiting atheists, everyone was smiling, eating crappy ballpark food, and cheering on our Aints.

I had an odd moment while I was in the line for the women’s bathroom. The woman in front of me started chit-chatting, and I mentioned that this was my first time attending a Saint Paul Saints game. She asked where I was sitting, and after a quick glance at the gold cross around her neck I said “Over in the Left Field section with the Minnesota Atheists.” Her eyes widened a little and I imagined her later going back to her friends saying “Guess what – I met one of them!” But she was nice enough. She asked how big our group was (“How big is your invading army?”), what kind of activities we did and what brought me to atheism (can you tell that this was a reaaaaallly long line for the bathroom?) I gave short, simple answers that I hope reflected well on Minnesota Atheists since this was a visibility event for us, and especially since I noticed that the line had gone very quiet; the women around us were listening to our exchange.

Continue reading “How's this for better photos?”

How's this for better photos?

6 O'Clock BS: Dave Silverman Throws the First Pitch!

This evening I’m hanging out with over 170 of my fellow atheists, secularists and freethinkers at the Midway Stadium in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Tonight Minnesota Atheists and American Atheists are hosting “An Night of Unbelievable Fun” with the Saint Paul Saints. Or rather…the Mr. Paul Aints!

Here’s a really crappy, zoomed in photo of Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, leaving the mound after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch of the game:

image

I’ll have more (and better) photos of the event up later this weekend!

6 O'Clock BS: Dave Silverman Throws the First Pitch!