After spending several days in Des Moines, IA, for the 2011 American Atheists Convention, I am trying to re-familiarize myself with an unscheduled life lacking excitement. Also, the obligations of having to keep the weekly articles coming. Though I will miss the city and spring air (believe it or not, I saw tulips in bloom) at least I will be able to retrace my steps and conversations as I organize the 30+ pages of handwritten notes I took during the presentations. If anyone is interested in reading them, I will likely post scans on my personal blog Philologos in the coming days.
Overall, I was able to get a wide array of giraffes including some by Matthew Chapman (great-great grandson of Charles Darwin), Paul Provenza (writer and comedian), Lawrence Krauss (theoretical physicist) and more. Unfortunately I was unable to get a giraffe drawn by David Silverman, the
Pope President of the American Atheists, because he was “busy” doing more important things like “running a convention” and “talking to the police.” Such disappointment only stacks on top of “The story of Robert Bly, how I offended History and why beat poet Gary Snyder broke my heart.”
So be sure to subscribe to the blog (on the homepage) so you can catch all of the great stuff coming down the pipeline!
In other news:
- I’d like to say thank you to Manny Laureano, trumpeter for the Minnesota Orchestra, for being such a good sport about his article. As an GDBPWSNBDG administrator I have the ability to view the pages, “referrers,” that direct individuals to this website and was pleasantly surprised to see this forum on TrumpetHerald.com, which was interesting because I was ignorant of the fact that there were entire communities dedicated to trumpet players. Thanks again, Manny!
- I finally got my hands on the US Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) giraffe, which means that I’ll try to get it up as soon as possible. Perhaps on the same day as US Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN)?
- One of the faculty here at the University of Minnesota-Morris has entered a contest that, if she wins, would take her to New York City to do the audio book for one of Neil Gaiman‘s (author of The Sandman and a lot of awesome Batman comics) latest releases. Were she to win, there would be a pretty good chance we would be able to get a Gaiman giraffe – can you imagine? – but she’s not going to win unless she gets more votes. So please go vote for her and help us out!
Normally we like to try our best to post a new giraffe every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but unfortunately we dropped the ball yesterday. Instead of scheduling a new giraffe I found myself bumming around the Twin Cities visiting friends, writing, walking DinkyTown and giving Michio Kaku‘s powerpoint presentation to a crowd of 500+ at the University of Minnesota Bookstore as he calmly stood beside me with laryngitis (podcast and giraffe to come).
Needless to say: I was busy.
Also, I made my way over to see the always funny Sam Lipsyte at Magers and Quinn booksellers. Lipsyte is a satirist/black humorist/terrible artist whose latest book The Ask (2010) is a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (Slate did a nice review here).
Though your Friday was likely an empty one filled simply with decisions of whether or not you should kick it in the front seat or sit in the back seat, I will make it up to you by making this Monday (4/11/11) extra awful with a double post – I just have to decide which giraffes to use.
In other news:
- Many thanks to Dillon McBrady for not only obtaining a giraffe from U.S. Senator Al Franken, which will make its way online in the near future. Also, thank you Dillon for bringing to light U.S. Congressman Collin Peterson‘s refusal to help his constituents in their entrepreneurial undertakings.
- PrettyAwfulGiraffes.com would like to publicly apologize to U.S. Congressman Tim Walz for causing a recent controversy that has the potential to overshadow Nixon’s Watergate. Our bad, dude.
- A friend of a friend was able to get a giraffe drawn by Philip Glass, who according to Wikipedia is ”considered to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public.” Pretty sweet, huh?
- It’s very likely that we’ll have buttons and stickers ready in the next two weeks. Be sure to join the Street Team and tell all of your friends to do the same.
- I’m not sure what to do with the giraffes that have been finding their way to my inbox lately. Should I just throw them up online and let the people decide? Help!
Every movement can look back to a given day in its history when everything changed for a people: February 22, 1632, July 4, 1776, August 28, 1963, November 4, 2008. Frankly, the list could go on and on – and it will as April 1, 2011, marks a paradigm shift in not only our understanding of the natural world and our place in it, the role of the individual in society, the very nature of existence, i.e. the very questions many a philosopher has failed to answer. There’s a storm on the horizon and we can feel the first trickles of rain upon our skin; let us get on our rain gear (and bring our loved ones to the torrent).
As the Pretty Awful Giraffes online presence begins to grow, we are going to need all the help we can get in spreading the word. Please tell all of your friends about the website, encourage them to follow our Twitter account at @AwfulGiraffes and to like our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/prettyawfulgiraffes.
Again, the website goes fully live on April 1, 2011, so be sure to come and check out the maiden voyage with giraffes drawn by U.S. Congressmen Tim Walz and Keith Ellison, Senator Al Franken, the National Park Ranger at Mt. Rushmore, blogger PZ Myers, Eboo Patel, the Secretary of the Nobel Prize Committee, and MORE.