Well, the Scienceblogs Million Comment Party, Minneapolis Installment, has happened. I’d love to hear from others, but as far as I can tell it went pretty well.

The Black Forest turns out to have been a perfect venue. The food was filling, the beer inexpensive, the room just the right size, the atmosphere rich in history and a bit dark. The maximum number of people who came may have reached about 40, with a little over 30 being there at any one moment.

Prior to the party, a few of us met up at Azia, the restaurant, not the country, where we enjoyed an excellent dinner, including the obligatory squid:


… but we were also surprised, and PZ utterly shocked…

to find that creationists are everywhere …


(Note: Azia is not a creationist restaurant. It is OK to eat there.)

The Black Forest, as I said, was an excellent venue…

“I’m not sure if this was a good idea, Greg. The commenters. They’re everywhere.”

“I noticed that. Let’s just back away slowly. Very slowly.”


I know this looks like a poker game, but it really wasn’t.




More mingling…


Bjorn the Button Man came through with a couple of gems:



Mrs. and Mrs. Almost Diamonds (Stephanie and Ben)


Amanda Laden (on the left) and Tangled up in Blue Guy and talk radio host Mike Haubrich.


More later when I process the movies.


  1. #1 Greg Peterson
    September 19, 2008

    I had a great time. Maybe someday there will be more of a “salon” movement. People who seldom get together with groups of bright, lively, articulate conversers over beer have no idea what they’re missing. I always learn a lot around you guys and your groupies. Thanks so much for organizing it. (It actually seemed more like an emergent property than an intelligent design, but you know–setting boundary conditions for the shindig.)

  2. #2 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 19, 2008

    From this picture it is easy to see why I am on radio and not TV.

    I had a great time, too.

  3. #3 Stephanie Z
    September 19, 2008

    Tell me about it, Mike. At least you weren’t in the middle of saying something. Now no one’s going to believe me when I say I’m much quieter in person than I am around here.

    I had a great time too and an illustrative chat with Amanda. I am disappointed, though, that some of the people who suggested they’d be there didn’t make it. (Ahem, ladies.)

  4. #4 Romeo Vitelli
    September 19, 2008

    Damn, I wish I could have been there. I didn’t dare go since telling the guards at the border that I wanted to enter the States to hang out with a bunch of atheists and godless squid lovers might have gotten me banned from the US for life.

  5. #5 Ben Zvan
    September 19, 2008

    Mmm, squid…

  6. #6 Monica
    September 19, 2008

    The party looked pretty fab. I was sorry to miss the dark beer and heathenish science-related chit chat. Unfortunately, work, then a kindergartner, had all my attention last night. Maybe there will be more opportunities for beer and BS on NOT a school night?

  7. #7 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 19, 2008

    Yes, Monica, we will make it so. Do you have a facebook account? Friend me and Greg, and Steph and Ben, and Bjorn and Jeannette, and we will find the time so that you can join a shindig.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    September 19, 2008

    Monica: Jim made it!

    Anyway, yes, we can and should have more such events.

  9. #9 Stephanie Z
    September 19, 2008

    For those who were disappointed that they weren’t able to meet Isis the Scientist (i.e., everyone who had a hint she might show up), she had bronchitis, which “prevented me from leaving [Major Research University] to make the long trip to Minneapolis.” Like any good omniscient goddess, however, she heard that nice things were said about her, and she hopes to be recovered in time for the 2M comment party.

  10. #10 Bjorn Watland
    September 19, 2008

    If anyone wants a limited edition button from last night’s brew-ha-ha, arrrrhhhhh ya need t’do is email yar addarrrress to bjorn dot watland at gmail.org and they’ll be mailed out promptly, ye scurvy heathens.

  11. #11 bug_girl
    September 19, 2008

    Those buttons are pretty awesome!

    Um… Avast!

  12. #12 Sili
    September 20, 2008

    Who’s the James Randi lookalike?

    Didn’t PeeZed promise the presence of the pink ‘pus? Or did she not arrive until after a suitable number of units of alcohol?

  13. #13 greg laden
    September 20, 2008

    Sili: What, are you kidding? It was James Randi!

    Youknow, I’m getting close to my 15,000 comment. We could have a party for that.

    I think PZ must have left the pink thing in the car.

  14. #14 flo
    September 20, 2008

    Since when is asia a continent?

  15. #15 flo
    September 20, 2008

    Well, obviously that should have been: “Since when is asia a country?” Because, you know, it is a continent.

  16. #16 greg laden
    September 20, 2008

    Flo. Asia is a continent. I was talking about Azia.

  17. #17 sara
    September 20, 2008

    So that is what happened to cephalopod Friday . . . that fried dish will have to do.

  18. #18 Isis the Scientist
    September 20, 2008

    Dr. Isis has a fan?!? Stephanie, I hope you kissed that woman on both cheeks for me. I would have done it but I wouldn’t want to pass on this horrid case of bronchitis.

  19. #19 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    September 20, 2008

    Sure, Greg, we could combine parties for your 10,000th and my 10th. It’s gonna happen soon, I am sure of it.

  20. #20 Monado in Toronto
    September 21, 2008

    PZ at “More mingling…” looks as if he’s saying, “Aaarrrr!”

    If you want me to show up, you’ll have to schedule one after the 2010 Wisconsin Ironman, say 2nd Sunday after Labor day.