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Mar 13 2012

Weekend Report

Sometimes life gets in the way of blogging. And that’s a good thing :) Here’s a couple of highlights from late last week:

Because Santorum jokes never get old, here’s what I saw while walking the dog last week:

Also, Street Smarts.

On Thursday I went to Drinking Skeptically with the Minnesota Skeptics at Be’wiched Deli. That’s always a good time. This month we chatted woo TV (Ghost Hunters, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness episode of Penn & Teller). And one of our members, Kim, brought party favors:

Kim has a 3D printer, and she made a bunch of FSM, Humanist logo and little gray, green, red, white and yellow alien men to give away. Even the white bowl in the photo was made with her 3D printer! She was raving about a website called Thingiverse where she was able to find and design templates for the printer. Thanks, Kim!

On Friday night and Saturday I went to MarsCon in Bloomington. It was a pretty laid-back con for me this year. I missed most of Friday’s programming because of work. Stupid sassafrassin’ instruments. But Friday night was all room parties, which is awesome! I spent the majority of my time at the Seamstress Guild Discworld party. When I first arrived my friend who was running the room saw me coming down the hall  in my beige khakis and polo shirt, rolled her eyes and said “You. Corset and skirt. My room. Go!” I spent the night as a hallway barker, inviting con-goers to visit our room for refreshments, and to watch Discworld videos (The Color of Magic, Going Postal, Wyrd Sisters). I like working the door at con parties because I get to watch all of the costumes go by and I have a chance to chat with random people. I chatted quite a bit with the Babylon 5 barker across the hall from us, and we ended up sending our visitors back and forth for punch and pie in the Seamstress Guild room and Jovian Sunspots in Babylon 5.

I finally headed home about 1am. I had to get up at 7am to go down to the women’s clinic to escort, and afterwards I ran a few errands, one of which was picking up 12 gallons of Hawaiian punch for the Saturday night Seamstress Guild room party. Let me tell you, when you get up to the register with 12 1-gallon jugs of Hawaiian punch, that earns you some raised eyebrows. I made my way back to the hotel around 1pm, and I hit three con presentations during the afternoon.

The first was a riot. It was supposed to be a hard science panel about physics and the universe. It got off to a good start, but then the presenter took a sharp right into government conspiracy land. I think it took most of us by surprise. This guy believes in the Philadelphia Experiment and the Montauk Project conspiracies. He mentioned Project Rainbow (which from a quick internet search I can only infer was wrapped up with the Philadelphia and Montauk conspiracies. Wikipedia says it’s a confirmed CIA project, but that may be different from what this guy was talking about?), and claimed some really wacky stuff about the people who worked on it. Well, not that wacky. Only that people who had worked on Project Rainbow later were able to walk through walls. He says he worked on some of these projects, and told us that he could recreate the technology that made this stuff happen if only he had the money and if the NSA wasn’t watching his every move.

The next panel was much more reality-based, and was about a very exciting film project called L5. The presenter was dynamic. He told us what he wanted from this project, where he was going with it, how it was going to get there, and how we were going to help him. Charisma was flowing out of every pore of this guy’s body, I’m telling you. The team who put L5 together weren’t just looking to make a film when they started, they want to revolutionize film production. They want to make sure that what happened to Firefly never happens again. They’re 100% about fan-supported film production, and the pilot episode that they’ve produced looks amazing and makes me want to see more. Want a peek? L5 is available on Vodo as a torrent.

The next panel was extremely meh. Three female authors sat together at the front of the room and chatted with each other about their favorite female characters in the genre of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic stories. Interesting topic, right? But it was really informal, and while they did engage the audience a few times, the panel was lackluster, without direction. It felt like observing someone else’s coffee house chit chat. But I did get a few reading references, so it was worthwhile.

Afterwards was Chinese food delivery and MST3K’s version of Thor in the not-yet-open Seamstress Guild room. The room opened up at 6pm and then repeat all of what I said about Friday. Oh! Except I remembered to take a few pictures on Saturday:

This is the front room of the Seamstress Guild party.

I left MarsCon fairly early on Saturday night because I was hosting Atheists Talk on Sunday morning at 9am. It was a very good show. Michelle Los and Carl Hancock interviewed Freethought M.C. He was a very good interview – one of those guests who, as Michelle put it, you put a quarter in him and watch him go. You can download the interview from iTunes (Atheists Talk Radio Show) or from our website.

And then I spent the next 10 hours back at work. Weeeee! Nothing like working on a Sunday that you normally have off. Ah well, things went smoothly and we got a free lunch out of it, so there’s that.

Another successful weekend!

2 comments

  1. 1
    Elipson

    When buying the punch, you could just say it’s for your Seamstress group! Possibly even packing the punch in discrete brown paper bags! ;)

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Yay! Minbari costume from Babylon-5! Cheers.

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