The Matinee of Pain starts in about an hour and a half

At 1pm Central time, I’ll be watching … The Giant Spider Invasion. It’s good, right? It’s one of the ones you guys recommended, so I’m sure it’ll be terrific. The description says,

A black hole hits North Wisconsin and opens a door to other dimensions. Giant 15 meter spiders emerge from it, who have an appetite for human flesh! Dr. Jenny Langer and Dr. Vance from the NASA try to save the world.

Totally scientifically plausible, sure.

Rural Minnesota is problematic

Minnesota was trying to carry out a COVID-19 testing survey — a smart move, because what we desperately need is more information, and doing good sampling and determining what the frequency of infection in the state is will help us design good, evidence-based policy. I say was, though, because the state just called it all off.

A door-to-door COVID-19 testing survey has been halted due to multiple incidents in outstate Minnesota of residents intimidating and shouting racial and ethnic slurs at state and federal public health survey teams.

The CDC pulled its federal surveyors out of Minnesota this week following reports of verbal abuse and intimidation, including an incident in the Iowa border town of Eitzen, Minn., in which a survey team walking to a house was blocked by two cars and threatened by three men, including one who had a gun.

Jesus christ but I despise that kind of ignorant yahoo. They were being offered free testing, and they react with guns and blockades, and then they’ll probably go off to a Trump rally and will vote Republican. We are so fucked by our fellow citizens.

In other news, Minnesota’s pandemic status has been downgraded to “uncontrolled”.

Minnesota has dropped into the “uncontrolled spread” category of the COVID-19 Exit Strategy website, joining neighbors Wisconsin, Iowa and the Dakotas that had been at that lowest rating of pandemic progress for weeks due to rising novel coronavirus infections.

I wonder if these two stories are somehow related?

Well, not ever gonna play Fall Guys now

Fall Guys is a popular video game. I’m not much into video games, so I probably wasn’t going to play it anyway, but now this illustration of the hypothetical anatomy of the creatures in it has totally turned me off.

What is the jaw connected to?

I understand some of you are repelled by spiders, but they at least have a logical structure. This is the kind of content that sends my brain screaming into the void.

Big busy day today!

I just finished dumping a load of stuff on my cell biology students — the answer keys for a previous quiz and a set of practice problems, and most horrendous of all, another take-home exam that will be due Sunday night. Yes, I have just ruined their weekend. Class today is a review session, and an opportunity for them to get me to clarify anything on the exam they’re finding difficult to understand. That’s my struggle today, and theirs for the next few days.

My weekend is going to be spent wrangling our grand fundraiser, the Carnival of Curiosity, which starts this evening. I’m still quarantined for another week, so it’s not like I have anything else I can do. Take a look at the schedule!

Tonight, 5pm PT-8pm ET, 1am BST, we’re doing introductions of people on the West side of the Atlantic. Meet some of our bloggers! Ask questions!

Because that’s a ridiculous hour for everyone East of the Atlantic, we’ll resume at 7am PT-10am ET, 3pm BST. Same thing! Meet the bloggers and socialize!

This is a fundraiser, so please do donate to our various buckets we’re putting out on the sidewalk.

It is an optional donation, though, so please do stop by even if your pockets are empty (no one can blame you in this particular moment in history). We’re also hoping to expose you to the breadth of cool authors here on FtB, so just having any audience at all is a win for us.

Halloween cancelled!

Bad news, everyone: Minnesota has cancelled Halloween.

Like many things in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Halloween might have to be virtual this year — or at least celebrated at a safe distance.

That’s the recommendation from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What’s out? Trick-or-treating, Halloween parties and haunted houses are all considered high risk by health officials.

This virus is ruining everything.

Arguing with evangelicals is like wrestling with a bollard

I hope you all have some fun with this conversation between the Knechtle evangelical group and some radical materialist named “Meyers” or “Meyer”.*

They were congenial enough, but I kept slamming up hard against their presumptions about what an atheist must think. No headway was made. I’m pretty sure that they’ll continue to assume that every atheist they meet is an amoral robot or is secretly imbued with the spirit of Jesus.

*I surrender. I have totally given up on correcting people misspelling or mispronouncing a name that is only 5 letters long.