Posts Tagged ‘Women & Pro-Choice’

Planned Parenthood on Good Friday

April 22, 2011

Good Friday protesting is a tradition at the Highland Park Planned Parenthood in St. Paul, MN. Every year on this day a prayer vigil is held and hundreds of anti-choice supporters gather to pray to God for an end to abortion. In response, hundreds of pro-choice supporters gather to walk and cheer their support for the services that Planned Parenthood provides and a woman’s right to reproductive choice.

This is the first year that I’ve participated in the solidarity event, and the first time I have visited the Highland Park Planned Parenthood. I arrived at 7:30am and found a parking spot not too far from the clinic. Everything was very well-organized with cones, mobile fencing and plenty of uniformed police. An area for protesters was set up on one side of the clinic’s driveway, PPFA (Planned Parenthood Federation of America) supporters were on the other. There was a division between the two groups of about the length of the clinic itself, and the only people who were allowed to stop in this neutral zone were police and on-duty Highland Park clinic escorts.

The police and escorts were very good about keeping people from both groups off of the sidewalks and property unless they were walking through (that’s my way of saying I was wrist-slapped twice during the day for standing on the sidewalk while I took photos).  

Both groups were setting up when I arrived. I signed in at the pro-choice supporter’s booth, grabbed a sign (“Women’s Health Matters”) and joined a small group which had started walking clockwise around our “pen”.

The PPFA supporter sign-in area was in the clinic parking lot, but escorts did a great job of keeping the driveway entry clear for patients and staff.

At around 7:30am, the walk begins!

One of the first things I noticed as I was getting in line was a nearby run-down white building with a sign out front that said “Highland LifeCare Center”. I walked down to take a look.

Ugh. Yup – Crisis Pregnancy Center. CPCs usually position themselves close to clinics that provide abortions. This isn’t a medical clinic, but a “counseling” center. CPCs exist to try to keep women from getting abortions, and they have been known to use some pretty sneaky and underhanded tactics to achieve that goal. Bummer that this one is here.

8:00am and the crowds grow larger:

As time went on, more and more people showed up for both sides. There was no drama that I saw; both sides kept to themselves. The protesters chanted bible verses, sang hymns and church leaders showed up to give sermons and lead prayers. There were a few anti-choice signs, but nothing graphic, no bloody fetus replicas or yelling or screaming. I think that for most of them this was a pretty solemn occasion.

Okay, I swear that the appearance of the DQ Chicken Strip sign is purely coincidental and was not an attempt at humor. But it does kinda look like one of the marchers could be carrying it, doesn’t it? Pro-lifers for Chicken Strips!

There was little to do except chat, walk and cheer – which was a blast! I had a chance to meet some interesting people, including a lovely, charming woman who has been involved in the pro-choice movement since 1991. She told me about the illegal abortion she obtained back in the day, and how years she later she tracked down the doctor who had provided her abortion in order to thank him. I spoke with a gentleman who is interning with the MN National Organization for Women, and who I had met at the much chillier Walk4Choice back in February. And then I ran into some friends who I hadn’t even known were pro-choice supporters!


Walking at PPFA solidarity events is a great way to make new friends…


…and a good place to have surprise meet ups with current friends!

We were walking on Ford Parkway and there was a lot of passing traffic, a lot of supportive horn honking, and very little heckling. I did see one woman make a cross with her fingers (what are we – vampires? And get your hands back on the steering wheel, lady!), and I heard another walker exclaim, “I think that woman just hissed at us!” and start giggling. The supporters who drove by were very vocal and wildly waved out of their car windows or gave thumbs up. For those who didn’t agree with our message, well…Minnesota Nice kept them most of them politely disdainful and quiet.

Around 10am some of the PPFA supporters held a non-denominational service and sing-along.

And that was about it for me. There was a little drizzle, and the weather was cool, but not not horribly uncomfortable. I ended up leaving at around 11:30am when the crowds swelled so much that we could hardly move around our allotted space. I ran off to have lunch with the Hubby, and on the way back to his office we drove by and added some of our own honking and waving to the mix.

All in all, it was a really good experience and I’m glad I participated.

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Social Science and Stuff

March 30, 2011

Omigosh, I’m so excited to be going tonight to Party with the Pharaohs, the Science Museum of Minnesota’s first Social Science event for adults. I set up a page on Eventbrite to organize all of my fabulous science-minded friends for this evening, and some of y’all even accepted! I’m giddy. It’s going to be a blast, what with the mummies and the movies and the food and the cash bar and the live animal exhibition and the omnitheater and wheee!

So until tomorrow when I can tell you about how all of that went, here are some articles that caught my interest today:

  • Verbal and physical attacks on students are encourged by extremist animal rights group, Negotiation is Over. Reported on by Pharyngula, Respectful Insolence and Speaking of Research.
  • SlutWalk – A Toronto event that is speaking out against the idea that women who dress like “sluts” get what is coming to them. Covered by Almost Diamonds.
  • Abortion Crackers – What happened when a pro-choice store owner in a small town encountered an anti-choice consumer. Written by Liberal House on the Prairie.

Taking Maternity Leave Doesn’t Make You Worthless

January 28, 2011

I haven’t had a Dinkus of the Day in a while, but somehow I always find more.

Okla. official questions hiring pregnant woman

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A member of Oklahoma’s Board of Education drew heated reaction Thursday after saying a newly hired administrator would be “worthless” as a legislative liaison if she took immediate maternity leave.

Shortly after the board voted to hire Jessica Russell, who is due to give birth in April, former state Sen. Herb Rozell noted that she was pregnant and questioned whether she would be around for key days of the upcoming legislative session.

Russell was hired to represent the state Department of Education’s interests at the Capitol. The Oklahoma Legislature reconvenes Feb. 7 and must end its business by May 27.

“If she has that baby in April and takes off six weeks, she’s worthless to us,” Rozell said.

While there was some laughter in the room, state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi rebuked Rozell and ordered a 10-minute recess. Russell left the room in tears.

“Your comment is inappropriate and not worthy of this board and this department,” Barresi said.

After the meeting, Rozell said his words came out wrong.

“I didn’t mean to interfere. I was just hoping we could have her in April and May, because that’s when everything gets tied up,” he said.

Gov. Mary Fallin called Rozell’s remark “demeaning” and “disgusting,” while Sen. Clark Jolley and Sen. John Ford called for Rozell to resign. Jolley said Rozell’s comment was “archaic, misogynistic and deplorable.”

Rozell didn’t immediately return a phone message seeking comment about calls for his resignation.

Oklahoma has about 660,000 students in its public education system.

I’ve never had to take maternity leave, but I’ve worked with women who have. I’ve spoken with a few of them and asked if they ever had to worry about this kind of reaction. What sucks is that all of them expressed having some level of anxiety about notifying their boss that they were pregnant and would be taking leave, even at places that have track records of treating women and families with respect when it comes to maternity and paternity leave. Sen. Roznell’s attitude is why – women still don’t know if they’re going to run into this Dinkus in the workplace. Even if the boss gives you a perfectly PC response and congratulates you, is her or she really thinking “Great…now what am I going to do? How can she get pregnant now when I need her here? Should I put off promoting her if she’s planning to have a lot of kids?”

As if being pregnant isn’t challenging enough. 

Found on twitter via @miriamzperez

Would you lie?

October 15, 2010

Seen on Nothing to Do With Abroath

Original article: NZHerald

New Zealand museum bans pregnant women from attending exhibit

A clash of cultures over a rule forbidding pregnant or menstruating women to attend a Te Papa exhibit has been criticised by feminists. An invitation for regional museums to go on a behind-the-scenes tour of some of Te Papa’s collections included the condition that “wahine who are either hapu [pregnant] or mate wahine [menstruating]” were unable to attend.

Jane Keig, Te Papa spokeswoman, said the policy was in place because of Maori beliefs surrounding the Taonga Maori collection included in the tour. She said the rule was one of the terms Te Papa agreed to when they took the collection.

“If a woman is pregnant or menstruating, they are tapu. Some of these taonga have been used in battle and to kill people. Pregnant women are sacred and the policy is in place to protect women from these objects.”

If an object is tapu it is “forbidden” and in Maori culture it is believed that if that tapu is not observed, something bad will happen. Women who plan to attend the tour on November 5 are expected to be honest about whether they are pregnant or menstruating as a sign of respect to Maori beliefs.

So the argument for keeping certain women out of the special tour is because the women are sacred, forbidden, and need to be protected.  And if they do go on the tour, tapu will be violated and something bad will happen. 

I have nothing to lose in this debate, so I don’t know if I would lie or not to get in.  But if I was affected by this ban, I might.  Or I might try to organize a boycott or protest.  The group imposing the restrictions doesn’t have the right to insist that I respect their beliefs. They have a right to not let me see their private stuff, but do they have the right to open their collection to the public except for the people they don’t want to see it? This particular museum is a public institution that accepts public funding.

Does the owner of a private collection have a right to place restrictions on who gets to see it, even if they allow it to be displayed at a public institution?

If only I had a seestor with a concentration in museum studies…

Nice ad, Macy’s!

September 10, 2010

Yay, Macy’s!  I was flipping through a Macy’s advertisement this morning – which I usually don’t do, but I was waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, plus they had a kick-butt $10 off coupon on the front cover of the ad, so why not?

A few pages in I ran into a page dedicated to the clothing and accessories and saw this:

No, not the shoes – the beautiful, curvy, plus-size model in lingerie.  I thought, “Oh, I must have found the “women’s” section (read: the plus size clothes), but no!  There are no other lingerie or clothing ads in the pamphlet.  Macy’s chose to use a plus-size model as the only lingerie model in the entire ad, which is pretty awesome.

Maybe people are starting to figure out that not only can curves be sexy, but that it’s even okay to admit it!

Men have fragile egos too?

September 8, 2010

Have you heard of vanity sizing?  It’s the gradual increase over time in how we define our clothing sizes.  Vanity sizing is a trick that clothing manufacturers play on consumers to make us feel better about the clothes we’re buying from them.  For example, they might make a size 10 skirt, but label it as size 8.

You’ve heard that Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14?  She was gorgeous and a size 14, so why should today’s size 14 gal worry about her waist?  A blog called True Life covered this topic in 2007:

Marilyn was a size 14…back in 1950.  Kate Dillon is still smokin’ hot (and I like the red hair, so I’d say hotter than Marilyn…and how can you not love that green swimsuit???) but her 14 is not Marilyn’s 14.

Vanity sizing is the reason why you may prefer Old Navy jeans to Gap jeans or Target jeans, or vice versa.  It’s the reason why you may have to buy boutique-style clothing two sizes “bigger” than ready-to-wear off-the rack clothes.

It’s sneaky, and we let them do it, because we’re vain.

And I’ll be honest – I thought it was something they only did to women.

Let’s look at women’s clothing sizes: 00, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28 and so on.  Those “sizes” don’t mean anything – a size 10 jean doesn’t mean one has a 10-inch waist.  Then there’s the ridiculous S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL size chart – pretty subjective.  Some plus size clothing manufacturers  have even tried to eliminate the standard prejudices associated with the previous two systems and use vague 1, 2, 3, 4 designations for clothing – especially clothing that would normally fall into the XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL system like shirts and dresses, or other other clothes that can adjust via belts, ties, adjustable straps, or *shudder* elastic.

Since the scales (hehehe) are subjective, I can understand how there’s some fudge factor room in creating women’s clothing in one size and calling it a smaller size.  You convince a woman that your store’s size 14 fits here, and if she goes to another store (that doesn’t vanity size as much) she’ll have to buy a size 16.  Ugh!  I would rather wear the 14 if given the choice!

Men’s clothing is more standardized.  A 32″ waist means the waist measures 32″ around.  There’s not a lot a room to maneuver here.

Unless they just…lie.

Esquire Magazine’s “The Style Blog” published an article by Adam Sauer yesterday about vanity sizing – or “down-waisting” – of men’s clothing.  On a recent shopping trip he carried along a tailor’s measuring tape and got the skinny (yes! pun-ilicious) on some big (ooops, I did it again! mwah ha ha!) names:

Sorry guys.

Thank you, Ladies.

August 10, 2010

This is making its way around the interwebs right now.  I thought it would make a nice addition to today’s Minnesota primary races.  Did you vote?  Thanks to Mary B for sending this my way.

Admin Notes: There is definitely an appeal to emotion in the writing below, but the history appears solid from the little bit of fact-checking I’ve done this evening.  Also, with all the references to HBO’s Iron-Jawed Angels, I’m not promising that this isn’t a cleverly disguised advert.  And knowing all this, you should give it a read.

Aside from a little formatting to fit the blog, everything below this point is unedited and not my words.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the story of our Mothers and Grandmothers who lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.  And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.  Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden’s blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of ‘obstructing sidewalk traffic.’

(Lucy Burns)

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Lewis)

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.  Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the ‘Night of Terror’ on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson’s White House for the right to vote.  For weeks, the women’s only water came from an open pail. Their food–all of it colorless slop–was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won’t vote this year because…why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work?  Our vote doesn’t matter? It’s raining?

(Mrs. Pauline Adams in the prison garb she wore while serving a sixty-day sentence.)

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO’s new movie ‘Iron Jawed Angels.’ It is a graphic depiction of the battle
these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.

(Miss Edith Ainge, of Jamestown , New York )

All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote.  Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.  Sometimes it was inconvenient.

(Berthe Arnold, CSU graduate)

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women’s history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was–with herself. ‘One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,’ she said.  ‘What would those women think of the way I use, or don’t use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.’ The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her ‘all over again.’

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn’t our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

(Conferring over ratification [of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution] at [National Woman’s Party] headquarters, Jackson Pl [ace] [ Washington , D.C. ]. L-R Mrs. Lawrence Lewis, Mrs. Abby Scott Baker, Anita Pollitzer, Alice Paul, Florence Boeckel, Mabel Vernon (standing, right))

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn’t make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: ‘Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.’

Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.  We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party – remember to vote.

(‘Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.’)

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Hey, I’m back.  I also found this related “Ken Burns-esque” video on youtube.  There are a several pictures in this video that aren’t in the story above.

CONvergence 2010: Day 3

July 6, 2010

CONvergence Day 3 – Saturday

First, the outfits!  I pulled out a bunch of things that I don’t get to wear very often – my snazzy cocktail dress, glass bead necklaces, and a black/blue bob wig that I bought for a Halloween costume years ago.  The hubby had a much more deliberate dieselpunk costume – barnstormer cap, goggles, and beige military-style dress including fancy brown army boots.

 

Saturday was chock-full of panels!

11:00 am – Losing My Religion
This was a huge panel, and had about 25 attendees.  Panelists included Jen M, Ted Meissner, David Walbridge, Maria Walters, PZ Myers, Carrie Iwan, Debbie Goddard, Jennifer Ouellete, Lyra Lynx and Bug Girl.  Panelists shared where they were coming from (where they were raised along the range of a heavily religious upbringing to not exposed to religion in their youth or life), and how they dealt with “outing” themselves as atheists or agnostics to family, friends and coworkers, if they chose to do so. 

It was interesting to hear the different perspectives of how “safe” people felt about identifying as atheistic at work.   On the one hand you have someone like PZ Myers – a tenured professor with the ability to be as vocal as he wants to be about his atheism.  Then you have someone like Jen M.  who has a very real fear that she might lose her job if her boss were to find out that she’s an atheist.  Some of the panelists were in the middle – it wouldn’t be the end of the world if their coworkers found out, but they treat their atheism as personal and don’t share their beliefs casually.  One audience member commented that while he didn’t personally care if he was outed, he did worry about the financial ramifications being an out atheist might have on his small-town business. 

Best lines from this session:  
From Debbie Goddard, about not being true to yourself – “It eats at your soul that doesn’t exist.”

From PZ Myers: “We have to stop sacrificing our integrity on the altar of ‘let’s get along’.”

12:30 pm – Profanity as a Fraking Function of Language
Panelists included Kelly Murphy, M.K.Melin, Hilary Moon Murphy, Rebecca Marjesdatter.  This was a somewhat academic discussion about the types, definitions, where, when and whys of profanity.  The moderator could easily have split the slides into a full semester class!  The “Whys”  of using profanity included catharsis, abuse, social bonding and intensification.  She presented a section called “English Profanity Classification”, which was split into religion-related, scatalogical, sexual referents, animal names, euphemisms, foreign language words as swears, and starting a swear but finishing with a non-swear (shhhhhh….ugar!).

The tie-in to the SciFi group came in during the second half of the talk.  We came up with a few books, shows and movies that used cursing or swearing:

Firefly – Gorram and chinese language cursing.  Gorram being a “replacement” for “Goddamn”?
Harry Potter – the kids swear in a very kid-like manner – “Damn” sounds just shocking coming from Harry Potter!  At least the first time…
Battlestar Galactica – “Frak, frakin” – Classic replacement word.
Star Trek –  Data saying “shit”
Pirates of Darkwater – “Noishatot!” – Made-up curse words.
Warner Brothers – Yosemite Sam “rashafrashin…”, Donald Duck “Sufferin’ succotash!”
DC Comics – “Bastich” – combination of “bastard” and “bitch”
Red Dwarf – “Smeg”
Frostflower and Thorn – “You don’t have the tits for that” and “Fathermilker” (A very matriarchal, female-dominated society) By the way, “fathermilker” was the one that caught the greatest number of people in the audience unaware during the entire panel. It was unexpected and could be a universal insult, a corollary to motherf****r. Before you read too much into the astrick-ing – I’m just trying to keep this entry out of the NSFW category.

The moderator said that one of her main disappointments with swearing/cursing in scifi fantasy is when authors don’t use imagination, logic or art when employing profanity.  She asked the writers in the audience to consider these factors when writing profanity into a story:

Offensiveness vs. Offendedness – who’s sending the message and who’s receiving it?  For whom is the profferred profanity intended? And how do these factors affect offensiveness and offendedness: Setting, Gender, Age, Race, Culture, Personality, Power, Class, Occupation, Religion, Sexual Orientation, Relationship.

2 pm – Women as Skeptical Activists
Panelists: Rebecca Watson, Maria Walters, Jennifer Newport, Debbie Goddard, Carrie Iwan, Pamela Gay

The main theme that came out of this panel was Role Models, Role Models, Role Models!  One of the speakers offered up the idea that while being a woman in the fields of science and skepticism may not necessarily put one at a disadvantage for hiring or promotion (although there is still a wage gap in many parts of the US), women are still in the minority. 

The panel discussed studies which have shown that when women are seen as role models in positions of power and respect, more girls and women do better on tests, decide to go into male-dominated professions and excel in those professions.  Also presented was the importance of introducing a woman’s perspective to help minimize “male priviledge”.  Gender bias still exists – just because we got the “big” wins – namely, the right to vote and the perception that women can do as well in business, academics and politics as men, doesn’t mean that all gender bias issues have been solved (brought up were breast-feeding in public, maternity leave, wage, employment in the “upper echeleons”).

Advice for women in the audience trying to distinguish themselves in the skeptical movement and blogging community: Find your niche!  Avoid being a generalist, be the go-to person for a certain topic. 

Pseudoscience targeted at women (pregnany, childrearing, weight loss, fertility) was briefly discussed.

3:30 pm – Evolution Mythbusters
Panelists: Ted Meissner (mod), PZ Myers, Bug Girl, Gred Laden

Favorite misconceptions:

Bug Girl – The false idea that bumblebees shouldn’t be able to fly.

Greg Laden – Greg was rather winding in his answer, but I believe this was the crux of his statements:  The false idea that animal behaviors are genetic and thus subject to evolutionary forces and anything outside of this is a violation of evolutionary theory, and thus evolution is false. 

PZ Myers – The idea that all features of humaness are a product of selection, when in fact, very few are.  Again, I hope I summarized this correctly.  This led into a discussion of the human immune system, the “broken” Vitamin C gene and lactose-intolerance.

Most fascinating part of evolution:

Bug Girl – Sex!  Separation of species.

Greg Laden – The emergence of complicated systems from simple beginnings.

PZ Myers – Development, how evolution affects form by affecting development.

My favorite statements from the panel:

  • “Nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution”.  An oldie, but goodie.
  • Science is more than just memorizing facts; it’s a way of thinking.
  • Regarding willful ignorance: When a creationist studen tries to disrupt the teaching of evolution, that’s not honest inquiry.
  • The “theory” of evolution is to intelligent design as the “theory” of gravity is to intelligent pushing.  This one came from an audience member sitting near me. 
  • Biggest challenges to the teaching of evolution?  Media, culture, religion.
  • ~~~~~

    Phew!  So I was pretty much done with panels after these four machine-gun style sessions.  I stopped briefly by the Seamstress Guild cabana, checked my email, facebook and blog at the hotel computers, and then went to the Dealer’s Room where I bought my first Surly-Ramics jewelry!  I found a “Science” necklace and a “Geek” hairclip for myself, and a yellow hairclip for my sister that has Darwin’s first “tree of life” diagram on the button. 

      

    The hubby and I went to the Masquerade at 7pm and saw all sorts of fantastic and horrific (i.e., fantasy and horror, not well-done and poorly-made!) costumes.  I like the way CONvergence does Masquerade – it’s a runway-style show and a costume competition, but there are three levels or categories: Novice, Journeyman and Master.  This way, the professional costumers can compete among themselves but present alongside the noob who gets up in a cloak and wig.  My favorite costume set was a Master-level group who presented as the entire cast of The Guild.

    Afterwards the Hubby and I had dinner at TGIFridays across the parking lot and then bummed around some of the party rooms, cabanas and CONsuite until 12pm when we went to see The Dregs – fun!  They played the classic Zombies in the Shire AND the Zombie Chicken song!  The performance was very casual and silly.  There may or may not have been a bottle containing some brown liquid that passed back and forth between band members and the audience, one of the lead singers was taking pics and posting to facebook between songs, and there was a lot of verbal bashing back and forth between the performers.  So a fantastic time was had by all. 

    Afterwards – exhaustion and home.  This ended up being our last day of CONvergence.  There was only one panel that I wanted to see on Sunday, and we decided that we didn’t care too much about closing ceremonies, so we decided to get a head start on con drop before going back to work.  It was a beautiful day, so we ended up renting a “deuce coup” at Minnehaha Falls, going to the Mall of America for some people watching and lunch, and a spending a quiet night at home with a movie (Paul Giamatti’s Cold Souls). 

    Thus endeth CONvergence 2010.

    Nerdy AND Sexy!

    June 17, 2010

    These are my favorite pin up models EVER! Thanks to Le Cafe Witteveen for bringing the beautiful…but skinny, don’t you think?…ladies of EIZO Medical Imaging High Precision Displays to my attention.  Follow this link for the full calendar!

    Ms. EIZO March:

    Meet Dr. Hawa Abdi

    May 13, 2010

    The Daily Beast via Skepchick:

    Terrorists Kidnapp a Hero: Militants are holding the Mother Teresa of Somalia hostage, and as a result, dozens of children have already died. Eliza Griswold talks to Dr. Hawa Abdi from the home where she is being held captive.

    This story has it all – subjugation of women, religious extremism, needless deaths of innocents, and one bad-ass female doctor.  For pete’s sake!  If you need your daily dose of indignation, I highly recommend this article.

    Dr. Abdi is awesome: She’s a 60 year-old Somali gynecologist who built up a one-room clinic into a 400-bed hospital, she shelters refugees on the hospital grounds, and she gives everything she has to feeding the hungry and to obtain staff and medicine from international aid groups.  And now she’s back-sassing the militant extremists who are holding her and her staff under house arrest.

     -

    photo source

    Somalia Online has more information on Dr. Hawa Abdi and her accomplishments in Somalia.