At a private screening hosted at the Mall of America theater last week, Mark Mathis, producer of a new documentary starring comedian Ben Stein that targets critics of intelligent design, resorted to drastic measures to keep critics of the film away: He enlisted mall security.
And it worked—sort of.
"I'm blogging this from the Apple Store at the Mall of America, because I'm too amused to wait," wrote University of Minnesota biology professor PZ Myers, a notorious and outspoken enemy of creationists everywhere. Myers appears in Mathis's film, and is thanked in the credits—but he was ejected at the theater door.
According to Myers, he was waiting in line with family and colleagues, having registered to attend the screening, when a security guard pulled him from the line and informed him that Mathis had instructed the theater not to allow Myers in.
The popular blogger and defender of evolutionary theory obliged, and headed straight for the nearest internet connection where he got right to blogging. It was not enough that he had been booted from a film he appeared in (and which is called...wait for it...Expelled), there was also this: "They didn't notice my guest. They let him go in escorted by my wife and daughter. I guess they didn't recognize him."
The guest was perhaps the world's best-known living evolutionary biologist: Richard Dawkins.
"He's in the theater right now, watching their movie," Myers wrote. "Tell me, are you laughing as hard as I am?" —Jeff Severns Guntzel
They got the "combative" right
Ladies and gentleman, let's have a nice round of applause for the Minnesota Combative Sports Commission!
Doesn't exactly roll of the tongue. But that's likely to be the new moniker for the outdated Minnesota Boxing Commission if a Senate bill passes. The new name is intended to better reflect the regulatory body's purview, which includes mixed martial arts bouts and "tough man" competitions.
"I don't think it's controversial," says Sen. David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm), a co-sponsor of the bill. "I think it's just something we needed to do to allow the commission to have control and regulate the sports that are under its commission."
Indeed, the bill implementing the name change has so far rolled through committees in the House and Senate.
The legislation is also an attempt to make the commission economically self-sufficient. Since the Legislature revived it in 2006, the boxing authority has been allocated $100,000. But with the dearth of boxing matches currently taking place in Minnesota, the commission has continued to struggle financially. The state now hopes to tap into the burgeoning market for mixed martial arts and other combat sports.
No word on when the first "tough man" competition will be staged at the Capitol. But we're putting our money on Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau. —Paul Demko
Your name no longer here
Remember our harebrained idea to rename the 225 South Sixth skyscraper? How we solicited name suggestions from readers? And how, just last week, we unveiled the best submissions to be voted for online?
Funny story. On Thursday, two days after we unveiled our contest, we got an announcement that Capella Education Company will expand and extend its lease and, in doing so, has bought the naming rights. The building will henceforth be called—say it with me— "the Capella Tower."
"As the most literate city in America, and a leading center of knowledge and creative economy, Minneapolis welcomes Capella University's continued growth and success with open arms," Mayor R.T. Rybak said in a press release.
Capella University is a for-profit online university. Founded in 1991, the regionally accredited learning center is where your 42-year-old brother-in-law in Richfield has been pursuing his master's in business for the past five years.
As for us, we've decided to forge ahead with our renaming scheme anyway. Why? Because we are spiteful human beings. Also, we'd hate to see our art directors' work go for naught. Go to citypages.com and cast your vote. —Matt Snyders