Employees at Antarctica's McMurdo Station Are Throwing a Party for Pride Month

iStock
iStock

Employees at Antarctica's McMurdo Station are gearing up to celebrate Pride month in one of the world's harshest environments. On Saturday, June 9, the station will host what Hannah Valian, who deals with the center's recycling efforts, calls "one of the larger parties ever thrown" at the station.

McMurdo Station is an Antarctic research facility owned and operated by the United States. The station is more sparsely populated during Antarctica's colder autumn and winter seasons (which run from March to September), but employees tell us there's still a decent-sized LGBTQ scene to celebrate this June.

About 10 of the 133 people currently at McMurdo identify as LGBTQ, says Rachel Bowens-Rubin, a station laboratory assistant. Valian said the idea for a Pride celebration came up in May at one of the station's regular LGBTQ socials.

"Everyone got really excited about it," she tells Mental Floss via email. "So we ran with it."

Ten individuals are wearing coats while holding a rainbow-colored Pride flag. They are standing in snow with mountains in the distance.
"I hope when people see this photo they'll be reminded that LGBTQ people aren't limited to a place, a culture, or a climate," McMurdo's Evan Townsend tells Mental Floss. "We are important and valuable members of every community, even at the bottom of the world."
Courtesy of Shawn Waldron

Despite reports that this is the continent's first Pride party, none of the event's organizers are convinced this is the first Pride celebration Antarctica has seen. Sous chef Zach Morgan tells us he's been attending LGBTQ socials at McMurdo since 2009.

"The notion is certainly not new here," he says.

To Evan Townsend, a steward at the station, this weekend's Pride event is less a milestone and more a reflection of the history of queer acceptance in Antarctica.

"If anything," Townsend says, "recognition belongs to those who came to Antarctica as open members of the LGBTQ community during much less welcoming times in the recent past."

This week, though, McMurdo's employees only had positive things to say about the station's acceptance of LGBTQ people.

"I have always felt like a valued member of the community here," Morgan tells us in an email. "Most people I've met here have been open and supportive. I've never felt the need to hide myself here, and that's one of the reasons I love working here."

Saturday's celebration will feature a dance floor, photo booth, lip sync battles, live music, and a short skit explaining the history of Pride, Valian says.

"At the very least, I hope the attention our Pride celebration has garnered has inspired someone to go out and explore the world, even if they might feel different or afraid they might not fit in," Morgan says. "'Cause even on the most inhospitable place on Earth, there's still people who will love and respect you no matter who you are."

Dr. Seuss Is Getting a Funko Pop! Doll

Funko
Funko

Several characters from the world of Dr. Seuss have received the Funko Pop! treatment, including The Grinch, Horton, and Sam I Am. Now Comicbook.com reports that the man behind the whimsical stories is being immortalized as his own cute vinyl figure.

Dr. Seuss (real name: Theodor Seuss Geisel) is one of Funko's first new releases of 2019. The children's book author is depicted in his iconic gray suit and bow tie, with a copy of The Cat in the Hat tucked under his arm. He measures 3.75 inches tall—so he'll stand up to any other full-sized Funko Pop! dolls in your collection.

The Dr. Seuss Pop! is set to ship out some time in February. That means fans can get him in plenty of time to celebrate Dr. Seuss Day, a.k.a. National Read Across America Day, on March 2. Dr. Seuss was born on March 2, 1904, and if he were alive today he'd be turning 115 this year.

You can preorder the figure for $11 from Entertainment Earth. And if you're looking for more ways to honor the writer's legacy, check out these 10 stories behind his most famous books.

[h/t Comicbook.com]

Reynolds Wrap Made a Food Harness to Keep Your Favorite Super Bowl Snacks Close

Reynolds
Reynolds

If you plan to watch the big game on Super Bowl Sunday, and also anticipate eating your body weight in food while doing so, then the aluminum foil aficionados at Reynolds Wrap have something they want to show you.

You can now satiate your appetite without moving a muscle or missing a play, thanks to the Reynolds Wrap Hunger Harness. This $5 “wearable snack pack” has plenty of pockets to hold your appetizers, main course, snacks, and beverage, all while keeping your food nice and toasty. Essentially, it’s a mini kitchen you can wear like a front-facing backpack or a baby carrier, because after all, snacks are precious cargo.

A man models the Hunger Harness
Reynolds

Want to nervously eat a dozen buffalo wings while you yell at the referee on your TV screen? Just tuck them into the upper thermal pouch in your Hunger Harness and you’re good to go. Want to make sure you have enough tortilla chips to last through the halftime show? There’s a side pocket for that, too—plus an insulated slot for your queso or dip of choice.

A built-in food tray rests on your lap and “turns you into a human table,” and there’s also a pouch for your can of soda—or more likely, your can of beer.

The Hunger Harness will be sold in waves in limited quantities. (It's currently sold out, but will be restocked again.) Keep checking the Reynolds website for updates, and if you're thinking of ordering one for yourself, please heed this advice from Reynolds: “Use caution when handling hot food and beverages.” Lovers of lava-hot pizza rolls, you've been warned.

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