Protip for Calling Out -ists

In the wake of the Zimmerman trial verdict, I’ve seen a lot people throw the term “racist” around in social media. In the weeks before, the social upheaval of choice surrounded “fake geek girls” (again), and the term “sexist” got tossed around a lot. Many other terms of prejudice get bandied …

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Decorating with the Olympics

At the Day Job, I work at a standing desk, in a cube that only has walls that go up to my chest. As I face my computer screen, I face the opposite side of a hallway, which goes past my cube. In all these months at this desk, this …

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My Own Personal Hellmouth

If you’ve been watching the news, you may be aware that the Twin Cities metro area of Minnesota has been walloped with storms over the last week. Xcel Energy reported a record-breaking 505,000 power outages over the weekend, and an astonishing amount of people are still without power. I’ve seen …

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Offline and Online

I have been remiss on my blogging duties for the last couple weeks. While I’m pretty sure humanity can live without my daily online presence for a while, I keep feeling like I’ve been slacking on the job. Last year, I made an effort to post each weekday (which I …

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Tales from the Workplace, Episode 3

Since I’m on a roll with telling stories about places I’ve worked, I have a doozy for you today. Once upon a time, I worked at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. I worked there in various capacities for a whopping eleven years, taking jobs that involved helping children throw sandbags, managing …

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More Tales from the Fish Store

My previous post about working at the fish store received a lot of comments to effect of, “More!” So here you go. Aquariums that contain saltwater reef creatures, such as corals and sponges, require a lot of light. In fact, they require the sort of broad-spectrum light that you usually …

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Limit to Be Free

A few months ago, Jeff Wagg asked me to speak at the upcoming College of Curiosity Conference. When I asked what he wanted me to speak upon, he said, “Anything.” And I was stumped. I had no idea what to do. When I lamented about my problem on Twitter, my …

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A Few More Moments from Ebertfest

I’ve been sick all week, so I’ve been remiss in my blogging duties. However, I solemnly swear to deliver full reports about the films at Ebertfest in the upcoming days. For now, here are some images from the non-movie-watching moments of this year’s Ebertfest adventure.

Best Funeral Ever

Documentary filmmaker Les Blank passed away last Sunday at age 77. He was perhaps best known for his association with a crazy German named Werner Herzog. Personally, my favorite Les Blank piece is Burden of Dreams, which captured the grueling four-year ordeal that was the production of Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. The …

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Tales from the Fish Store

Once upon a time, I worked at a fish store. Specifically, I was once a manager-on-duty and African cichlid expert for a shop that bred and sold pet fish. The shop wasn’t a run-of-the-mill mall-based pet shop. It was a place for aquarium super-nerds. We had about 30 employees on staff, …

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