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Your Suggested Blizzard Names? We Hate Them All.

Plus more conversion therapy B.S., historic snow facts, and help out Maria Bamford in today's Flyover.

National Weather Service|

The National Weather Service simply named this file “Kid.” It holds the photo you see of a lad digging out from the 1991 Halloween blizzard, the last acceptable blizzard name this town has seen since.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

What If We Just DIDN’T Give the Snowstorm a Goofy Name?

Hey, have you heard about the snow? Apparently there’s going to be 1) a lot of it 2) falling from the sky and 3) remaining on the ground. This event, unprecedented in the Upper Midwest in February, is really riling up fans of Naming Every Last Fuckin’ Thing That Happens (aka TV weather forecasters). But here’s the problem: We’ve foolishly squandered so many -maggeddons and -pocalypes on lesser storms in the past that we’ve run out of ways to express the true, absolute, soul-numbing terror of SNOW. 

So what will we call the upcoming storm? The frontrunner, which MPR seems especially to be gunning for, is “The Presidents' Week Blizzard,” which is a terrible, boring, dumb Toyotathon-ass name, especially since there’s no such thing as Presidents' Week. We’ve also heard “The Mardi Gras Storm,” which is far less descriptive than it sounds: Mardi Gras can come anytime between February 3 and March 9. 

Jana Shortal asked folks on Twitter to come up with a name, and even after seeing how bad people are at naming snowplows, we were not prepared responses were almost uniformly piss-poor. (We say “almost” because we're sure some Racket readers chimed in and their contributions were no doubt brilliant.) Not to single anyone out but whoever tweeted "Halloween Blizzard? Hold My Beer." is a particularly egregious offender.

Redditors are struggling, too.

Anyway, here’s the thing: The 1991 storm gets called the Halloween blizzard because we don’t usually get blizzards on Halloween. In olden times, before every storm needed a wacky #brand, we just named them after the year they happened. And you know what? The Blizzard of ’23 works fine. 

No Conversion Therapy for Minors at Medical Practices, Church Still A-OK

Studies have shown that conversion therapy is bullshit. The (very discredited!) practice attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity to conform with societal norms, and it’s been found to increase depression and anxiety, in addition to increasing risk for homelessness and suicide. Last Monday, the Minnesota House voted 81-47 on a bill banning folks under 18 from receiving this bunk treatment from doctors, therapists, and medical institutions. If it makes its way through the Senate, the bill would also ban insurance coverage for this type of thing. 

But not so fast! The bill still allows room for conversion therapy to thrive. The GOP, which really likes getting votes from its pro-conversion constituents, made sure that the language allows religious orgs to keep pushing it. "This will ensure that the bill does not apply to clergy working with members of their congregation," Rep. Anne Neu Brindley (R-North Branch) ominously said of the amendment she penned. Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria) also went on a rant against gender affirming care for minors during talks, but was shut down. "You want to ban gender-affirming care for minors,” said trans lawmaker Rep. Leigh Finke (DFL-St. Paul). “What you want to do is you want to make sure minors never grow up to be me."

Give Me the Cold, Fluffy Historical Facts! 

As you heard in Keith's rant above, it’s about to snow. A lot. If the latest National Weather Service forecast holds true, between 17 and 23 inches of snow will be dumped on the Twin Cities metro from Tuesday afternoon through Thursday evening. We can already hear our geekier readers clamoring: Pweeeeease Racket, give me some historic snow context! No, we refuse. But we will defer to MinnPost’s Greta Kaul, who just authored this helpful, chart-tastic explainer to contextualize the incoming blizzard.

In terms of single snowfall events, we’re on course to crack the all-time top five; only the under-discussed Halloween blizzard of '91 seems out of reach at 28.4 inches, though we’ve got an outside chance at unseating No. 2—a fall of ‘85 storm that brought 21.1 inches. In terms of winter-long snow totals, the Twin Cities metro has currently received 57.3 inches of snow. Should we get blasted by another 20-ish this week, we’d crack the all-time top 10, which contains just one other winter from the past decade. And, as Prince famously wouldn’t shut up about, sometimes the flakes keep flying well into April, so we’re not nearly done for 2022-’23. Returning to our stormy present: Click here for parking deets, and here for school closure ones. The Boller household is well stocked with chili supplies and beer—we recommend you take similar, if not identical, precautions. 

Help Bankroll Maria Bamford's New Special

Comedian Maria Bamford is a national treasure, one who happens to be from Duluth. (Click here to read about her favorite place in the state.) The singular comedic talent has never been shy about her struggles with mental illness, and her latest planned special dives right into the deep end. Noooo-CD will be a three-part series about Bamford's battles with Intrusive Thoughts OCD, a condition she has experienced since age 10. Now, at 52, she's asking for fans to help crowd-fund $72,300 to mine laughs from it through a project that, if well-received, might balloon by an additional nine episodes. "I don't want to try to convince a corporate entity (or even Bruce, my manager) to make a comedy series about having very scary, very funny Intrusive Thoughts OCD. Will you help me?" she asks via Kickstarter. The just-launched campaign has already received $57,105 in pledges; click here for way, way more details from Maria plus a sneak-peek at the pilot ep.

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