The insanity begins

The first day of classes is on Wednesday.

<insert long despairing wail here>

I have to get ready now, so life is going to be a bit frantic for a few days. This term I'll be teaching Developmental Biology, a fun class and not a problem right now, and I'll also be teaching our intro course, Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development. That's going to be a bit more work; it was taught for the first time last year, and it still needs some fine-tuning.

Then, just because my semester isn't crazy enough, there are travel plans. I'm losing a lot of weekends this term. Here's the rough schedule for the year, which will probably expand as time goes by:

7 September: Minneapolis, Minnesota
12 September: Denver, Colorado
19 September: Madison, Wisconsin
25 September: Long Beach, California
31 October: Toronto, Ontario
13 November: Kearney, Nebraska
20 November: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
30 January: Edmonton, Alberta
mid-February: Greencastle, Indiana (tentative)
22 April: Ashland, Oregon

If I'm not in your area sometime, don't fault me, I'm trying. Now, where are all the invitations to speak in Australia and Hawaii? Why isn't the deep South asking me to come on down?


More like this

I've squeezed one more talk into my fall schedule, but that's it — if you want me to come talk to your university or organization, it'll have to be in January or later — I'm not accepting any more invitations. Here's my complete and final long distance travel schedule for the next few months.…
Since people have been asking about my travel schedule lately, here's how I'm going to be spending my weekends: Friday, 31 Oct-2 Nov: Toronto, ON Friday, 7-9 Nov: Washington, DC Thursday, 13-15 Nov: Kearney, NE Wednesday, 19-22 Nov: Philadelphia, PA Friday, 5-6 Dec: Orlando, FL I'm hoping the visit…
My life isn't easing up just yet as we wend our way to the imminent end of the term. I'm going to be flitting about over the next few days. I'm chauffeuring #1 son to a job interview in Minneapolis today, and then returning him home to St Cloud again sometime this evening. I'm planning to be in St…
According to the latest issue of The Scientist. Rankings for American institutions: 1 The J. David Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, CA 2 National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, CO 3 Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 4 Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA…

That's a darn good question - Florida would love to host you for a bit, and after November or so you'd probably like it quite a lot.

Edmonton? Awesome! I'll be looking forward to more details on that. :)

By Tabby Lavalamp (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Why isn't the deep South asking me to come on down?

You were in Atlanta. That is part of the Deep South. (I attended.)

I would love for you to visit my university. We are having another debate on religion in October. I do not know who is sponsoring it, the specific topic(s), nor who the debaters will be. Sadly, I have poor expectations as the Dawkins debate was a farce. The pro-religion person was given all the question in advance whereas Dawkins was not. He noted this in the debate. Also he was not allowed a rebuttal as the pro-religion person was. He also noted that during the debate after which he was allowed a rebuttal period.

Perhaps we could convince you to come to Vermont. Ben Stein came here last year and we really need a good speaker to counter-act the stain he left.

The Aussie Skeptics had Michael Shermer here in Melbourne the other week,I had to work and missed it unfortunately.
But Im sure they'd love to have ya down for a series of talks,PZ !

G'day PZ, We'd love to see you in Oz! The Great Barrier Reef awaits. Maybe you should pencil-in the celebrations in Darwin in 2009!

By Ian Brazier (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Who needs Australia and Hawaii, PZ, when you could swing on up to Ottawa. I see you have 2 Canadian dates planned already, but you really can't just skip our capital. :)

When are we gonna get a visit in Miami, FL? There are plenty of crazy people here to pick on!

Actually, Australia and Hawaii would probably be bad ideas during the school year. So far, I've managed to schedule all my travel (except for one case) so that I don't miss any classes -- that probably wouldn't be possible with longer trips.

Figures that the second I head out of Nebraska for school you would show up there and that I have GA obligations that prevent me from heading back that way.

mid-February: Greencastle, Indiana (tentative)

Bitte? I'd come. Us Hoosier Pharyngulites have demonstrated our existence, after all.


By NeuroTrumpet (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

You've got a lot of fans among the Sydney Skeptics and the Sydney Atheists meetup groups. We'd love to have you here any time you'd like :)

That's a lot of travel, PZ.

Seems like a good place to say: the Minions did a more than excellent job while you were away. Yay, Minions!

Wait, better than Okinawa, you should pencil Reno in for November (my R&R). Plenty of godless there! Btw, perhaps you should move Denver up to this week...the Christian panderers are needing you right about now!

I like the pun of PZ going to Darwin for an evolution talk. Tehe.

PZ; Aussies don't much go in for formal invitations. Just rock up whenever you fell like it.

I'm disappointed that you're not coming back to beautiful Salt Lake City, PZ!!

Greencastle IN? What's in Greencastle?

Regardless, if there's some sort of Pharyngulafest within a couple hours drive of West Lafayette, I'll get there.

Thanks Bee!

Why isn't the deep South asking me to come on down?

Perhaps it's because you don't go by three names. like John Wayne Gacy or Lee Harvey Oswald. Isn't it odd how many serial killers have "Wayne" as a middle name; not too many "Harveys" though. Perhaps you would be more accepted among us Southerners if you went by PZ Wayne Myers or PZ Billybob Myers since "Zachary" doesn't sound Bubba-esque enough.
You should also consider a new coif which utilizes a lot of "product". Nothing says authority like "evangelist hair".

By Sui Generis (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

"Greencastle IN? What's in Greencastle?"

Depauw University, silly. :)
(Oh, and ME, if PZ does come to Greencastle.)

PZ, come to Chicago!

Come to Houston! You could really help build the excitement leading up to our Darwin Day celebrations in 2009, and you know Texas is getting more than enough outside agitation against evolution, some balancing sanity would help.

Austin, Texas. You co-host The Atheist Experience. I buy you a beer at Gingerman. Good times had by all.

I'm in the deep south and I would invite you down, but heck if I got the money to pay you. Still, if you get a hankerin' for some down-home cookin', drop on by and I'll fry something up for ya.

Of course, you'll wanna keep your visit secret; when Donald Johanson came to VSU there were picketers and protests and all sorts of a mess.

By Jimmy Groove (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Mine start today. Am I ready? Not really. This weekend was filled with rationalizations such as "meh, they don't need the midterm study guide now - no one will look at it for weeks anyway." There's a certain amount of "TBA" in my syllabi. Which will make lecture even shorter today, given that all I'm really ready to do is talk about the syllabus. To think, I actually get paid for this!

Come speak at the University of North Texas! I would totally buy a ticket, maybe two. The problem is drawing the rest of the student body into action. I wonder if you could get a decent sized crowd speaking on any atheism-related topics here? Kind of doubtful. Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke here last year and she sold plenty of tickets. However, she was speaking on women's rights. Maybe you should do that? :P

Ooo, or homosexuality! It'd be great to have someone lay out what science currently can and cannot say about what homosexuality is and how and why it occurs. That grab plenty of young men and women around here. UNT is fairly pro-gay for a Texas university.

Anyways, you have a Southie supporter here.

Come down to Knoxville! We had Eugenie Scott this year for UT's Darwin Day and she filled the auditorium. We could use a little godless inspiration.

PZ, I start undergrad classes today as a Freshman. (ummm.... yay?)

Please come down to Fresno. We had Michael Behe and Dinesh D'Souza speak on campus last year. We need a smart person. Please, help us.

insert long despairing wail here

Oh you *poor* baboochka. (rolls eyes) You just got back from a dobby Galapagos trip. You lookin' for sympathy, bratchny? You thinken to filly your droogs here, or was you sarky? Hoist up yer yarbles, PZ, and gets to the rabbiting.

By Quiet Desperation (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Hey, Long Beach! You going to be at CSULB, me undergrad alma matter? Go Beach!

By Quiet Desperation (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Alma mater, even. Damn Mondays.

By Quiet Desperation (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Paco #30

I could get PZ some not very good meth, and a place to sleep next to a dog on a plaid couch in a double wide trailer, and his favorite, Bud Light Beer, all you can piss till the septic tank fills up, and uncle Slayton got no time for God, but he's got some of that full case ammo tracers for his old B.A.R. and when the sun goes down, we'll have us a time.

I just arrived in Madison, WI to start my PhD (albeit, not in any natural science). Where exactly will you be on the 19th, and what are you talking about?

By Pyrrhonic (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

You know while your in Edmonton you always could stop off in Calgary just for a beer we need as many skeptics down here as we can get.

An open invitation stands for you here in FL. :-)

We are super polite here - don't you know that about the South?

We will work around your schedule!

Hey, what about visiting Asia or Europe some time?
Phil already beat you to Europe, you know...

Well, I have to admit that Sapolsky has a more impressive beard than you and Randi put together.

He'd make an excellent crystallographer.

Oh sure PZ, off you go to Ashland. Home of the hippies, Shakespeareans, wiccans, freaks and druids. Right, fly on over me, the Google Borg cube, porno protesters, gay haters and fundies. See how you are. *snort*

I'll see you at the AAI in Long Beach.

By Alan Chapman (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

The people might know, but the people don't care,
That a gurl can be as poor as me.
Take a look at poor Patricia, she's lying in pain,
Now let's come run and see, run and see,

PZ, your trip to Long Beach came up when you were overseas. If you'd like a PharyngulaFest (and have the time) when you're here, I'd be honored to host one. I have e-mails from about a half-dozen people who want to come to the P-Fest.

I sent you an e-mail, but you never wrote back (**sniff**).


flogan at

Hey, Ashland is within spittin' distance. I may come on up and, er, meetchya.

By piratehat (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Yes come to Australia, just make sure you swing into ANU or Canberra so I don't miss out like I just did with Shermer.

By Trevor Murray (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Edmonton in January? Bundle up. Feh, you live in Minnesota so you may be used to that sort of blast of cold, never mind...
(I second the Chicago request @29.)

when in Kearney, do try to get time to visit the 'Arch' museum, quite informative, about the 'evolution' of I-80 from a buffalo game trail, to the Oregon trail, to the Lincoln highway to I-80. Not much else in Kearney really.

Screw the Deep South, we need you in DC.

I'm putting in a third plea from Florida. Hopefully in the bay area (as in Tampa Bay). The University of South Florida is a big time school now.

By Die Anyway (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Never mind the South. Come north - way north in Manitoba. We have a population under 15,000 and 14 churches plus some fly-by-night ones that hold their revivals, seminars and gatherings at a drop of a hat. We need you, too. If you drive due north and a bit west you can't miss us. But come quick or we'll be buried in snow before the natural laws say it's winter. Which could be next week. :(

Greencastle? Awesome! I'm willing to come to a Pharyngula-fest if you have it there or in Indy.

By Iason Ouabache (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Hey, If you come to Santa Cruz CA, I'll brew you your own Pharengula Atheist's Ale, I'm thinking a licorice or espresso stout... High gravity, of course

What does the Edmonton visitation involve, if I may ask? There is a hell of a lot of noise on a 'pz myers edmonton' search, even if I add in the year :)

If the road conditions on the number 2 are good (the biggest uncertainty in the whole equation at the end of January, really), a three-hour drive up there would be worth it, unless they have posted guards to keep Calgarians away or the more likely scenario of Google maps crashing when asked to provide directions to the venue.

(There, I got the city rivalry and a dig at Edmonton's road and signage planning in at the same time. I lived there for four years, though, and I swear that it gives me the right :)

Well, while a speaking stop in Alabama wouldn't garner as many atheists to hear you speak, it would have its advantages.
The minute people heard the dreaded PZ was coming to speak here the shit would hit the fan at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light.
You have to admit, the vast majority of a state protesting your very presence would put you in the national news.
The KKK would rapidly deploy to shout and burn crosses and generally act like asshats, immediately putting the rest of the world on your side. ;)

By JThompson (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Denver again?

Who suckered you into coming here this time? Couldn't have been that JREF hack and bad astronomer Phil Plait, could it?? :-)

By minusRusty (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

You should totally delete the "tentative" next to Greencastle... Or just come to Bloomington so I don't hafta drive 45 minutes to see you.
Give Indiana some love.

By stewy.cvl (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Add one to the group of people excited for the Edmonton date.

By DouglasJinks (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Where are you going to speak in Denver? I want to come hear you.

I hope you'll post more details about these later. I'd love to come see you when you're in Kearney.

I have some sway with the University of Hawaii, and I'll see what I can do to get PZ to come out here. I'm still trying to convince them to invite Phil Plait to come when his new book's out, sometime early next year I hope. Maybe PZ could beat him to the punch (figuratively of course) and come out here first during the winter break.

By Helioprogenus (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

That's not me.

By Alan Chapman (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

What good is going on in Philly?

PLEASE come to Greencastle, Indiana! We can use as much rational thinking in the Hoosier state as we can get...

By Christopher (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Well, I'm sure your Mother loves you.


By ThirtyFiveUp (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Sacramento, please?


Awesome - I'll definitely try to make that one

Come to Baltimore, Hon.

Philly? Do tell...

By NoAstronomer (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Oh no! You're coming to Edm and not Calgary!? Ah well... it'll be worth the drive. You should know though that you're going to the second best city of Alberta, just as an FYI for future travel plans ;)

Yes, I echo the calls for you to provide more details around your Philly visit. I would like to attend your talk and/or a Pharyngulite meet-up somewhere.

We Hoosier fans need to figure out how to make this less tentative

PZ, don't forget to get your Shakespeare on in Ashland.

What are you talking about, the deep South isn't asking you over? Have you forgotten Atlanta already? For shame PZ, for shame. Come on back now, bless your heart!

Having escaped my childhood home of Indiana, I wish for your health and safety while you're there. Greenfield used to be a big bastion on the KKK many years ago.

Now when you go to Ashland Oregon next year, that should be a much better trip. My eldest attended one year of college at the University there, before transferring out (a little too much party atmosphere I was led to believe). And we've been going to the Shakespeare festival there for years. So I'd advise seeing a play while you're there.

After having been born, raised, and graduated college in Indiana, I escaped my childhood home. Speaking as a knowledgeable emigrant I wish for your health and safety while you're there. Greenfield used to be a big bastion on the KKK many years ago.

Now when you go to Ashland Oregon, that should be a much better trip. My eldest attended one year of college at the University there, before transferring out (a little too much party atmosphere I was led to believe). And we've been going to the Shakespeare festival there for years. So I'd advise seeing a play while you're there.


I would love for you to give a lecture/ come have a drink/ god bash the amazing amounts of loonies (or something else, it's your choice) here at the University of South Carolina.

We aren't all whack jobs around here, though I can't and don't fault everyone for thinking so. I mean, there's a prominently displayed rebel flag right across the street, AND there's an actual Nazi political party (however, they don't go by that name).

Tony Sidaway: Does that count as an invitation?

On second thought, maybe it's a KKK political party thing.

I always get the rednecks mixed up.


Also, this is the first year since I was, like, 5 that I'm NOT going back to school. That said, I'm actually visiting my alma mater right now, as my friends start classes, as I need to get things out of storage and figure out what degree I got with the aid of summer transfer credits (my school doesn't accept C-minuses, only C or above, and I eked out a C- in Diff Eq to stay an engineer....).

I feel.... odd.

It never dawned on me before how awesome it would be to have a class taught by PZ. It's the closest thing to a celebrity that I actually care about teaching my class.

Don't get me wrong, I've had some prestigious and important professors, but none that I really knew of before I took their class.

Heh, I've already started. Feel glad you don't live in Mexico. Although it'd be great for me if you did. No chance of you coming down here and teaching in our liberal, atheist-ridden school I'm guessing, but one can always dream...

By Mike Lara (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Well, if you do get to Australia, do you think you could find time to make your way across the ditch to New Zealand? Lots of cephalopods here! Not to mention all our weird terrestrial fauna, like tuataras, kiwis, wetas, Peripatus, leiopelmid frogs - surely that would tempt you? And if you could be here in late September in time for the NZ Skeptics annual conference that would be best of all!

By Number8Dave (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Come to Virginia!! Although I don't consider Charlottesville the deep south... we did have Dawkins a few years ago and that was packed.

Greencastle eh? Could you have picked any more of a conservative place in Indiana to go? I won't protest though, that's pretty close to West Lafayette. If you're doing something nearby I'm sure a lot of people in our club would want to go. Or if Greencastle falls through, you're more than welcome to come to Purdue.

Here is your invitation - please come to Australia, we'd all love to meet you!

That's all it takes, right? See you soon!

I am glad to see Morris has a general intro class for evolution and genetics. At my alma mater we had general biology courses for freshmen that encompassed pretty much everything but with a special emphasis on cell biology. All of the bio courses include evolution to varying degrees but the in-depth course in evolution is designed for seniors only. Some good arguments can be made for this arrangement but I still think it is a poor idea to give such little explanation of evolution early on.

And P.S. I agree that we would love to see you in Florida.

Another vote for/from Florida! Actually, voting is not something that we're very good at down here. Major budget cuts at the state universities--you will probably have to pay your own way and call it vacation.

Unfortunately, on the 12th in Denver, I won't be able to attend -- unless you bring the crowd to the Denver Roller Dolls roller derby bout, which I'll be announcing! But while it'll be a fun time, it'll hardly be conducive to nice quiet discussions...

By Squiddhartha (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Cut it out Scooter! I'm trying for some major sympathy points here.
Ashland is all the way across the state from me. My damned ol' shovelhead would break down at least three times to get that far. Not to mention how painful my superb leather butt would be. ;)

The Deep South has asked you to come down, but alas...

Here's a formal invitation. I've emailed you (and you've replied) my address should be among the thousands in your database.

Hope to see you soon!

Hey PZ, you have a standing invitation from the University of Melbourne Secular Society. We had Shermer in last week but I'd really rather hear you speak.

By ayeung213 (not verified) on 25 Aug 2008 #permalink

Come to Toronto PZ! You'll love it here at the center of the universe and... oh... sorry, habit.


Want to know what hell really feels like? Think about being locked in a cave with a crop of crazy evangelicals, for all eternity.

Now picture that in real life. That's where I live, and that's why you need to visit Atlanta.

ayeung213, I'm a fellow Melbournian Atheist and I'd like to hook up with you guys, can you please shoot me an email with some/any information?


You're only too welcome to come to Wellington in New Zealand later this year and see the colossal squid when it finally goes on display at Te Papa. I missed Richard Stallman's series of lectures recently, but I would happily take time off to come to your talk. The main venues to look at would probably be the City Hall, Massey University, Victoria University, or even Te Papa itself, take your pick.

By Daniel C. (not verified) on 26 Aug 2008 #permalink

Hey PZ consider this an invitation to come to Jonesboro Arkansas. Please, please, please... we need you here desperately... here on buckle of the bible belt.

Friday Sept, 12????
nice! ^_^ same bat-time, same-bat channel ???? or would you prefer that we accost, er; I mean host, you in some other bar here in Denver????
I'm kind of partial to going to the Roller Derby but Squidd does make a valid point of it not really being conducive to conversation.
Either way, I'll keep a beer cold for you and we'll see you when you get here.
Safe travels!

Posted Squiddhartha (99)

Unfortunately, on the 12th in Denver, I won't be able to attend -- unless you bring the crowd to the Denver Roller Dolls roller derby bout, which I'll be announcing! But while it'll be a fun time, it'll hardly be conducive to nice quiet discussions...

But... but.... aren't nice, quiet discussions rather .... boring?!? ;-)

By minusRusty (not verified) on 26 Aug 2008 #permalink

Here's another vote for Houston. There's a very nice professor, Dan Graur, at UofH that I met at a recent atheist dinner.

Honestly, if you go anywhere in Texas I'll make the roadtrip.

I'm president of the Athens Freethinkers at the University of Georgia. Yep, about as deep south as you get. And shucks, we'll do just about anything to convince you to come for a visit.

Hell, I'll personally recreate Wafergate for publicity if need be.