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Next week is Spring Break for me!

Yay! Taking it easy, lolling about on a sunny beach somewhere, sipping pina coladas and forgetting about classes and responsibilities…oh, wait. I booked trips to South Dakota and Alberta? WHAT WAS I THINKING??!?

I shall try to make do. Monday evening, on 12 March, I’ll be in Brookings, SD to talk about creationism. It’s only 3 hours away, I don’t know why I haven’t popped in there before.

On Thursday, 15 March, I’ll be in Calgary to talk about aliens to astronomers. This is a revamp of the talk I gave at TAM last summer; I’ve added some new stuff, though, which apparently requires a warning that the lecture is recommend for people over 14 years old. (I think that means Brownian may not be able to attend.)

Also…it’s my birthday on Friday. Due to the apparently quantal nature of human aging, I will be abruptly Old. Or Older. Something, anyway.

And yet another also…Mary and I have an anniversary next week! We’ll be celebrating separately in Calgary and Morris, but we can still party on the weekend when I get back.

Comments

  1. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    Damn it all! Why do you have to be here in Calgary the week I have to be in Ontario for family crap? You did it on purpose didn’t ya! What did I ever do to you?

  2. IslandBrewer says

    Wait, I think they already know about Creationism in South Dakota.

    Unless you’re going to talk to them about why it’s wrong or something weird and liberal like that.

  3. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    With that one sentence PZ, you paid more attention to me than my family has in the last 6 months. So, who do I love more? I prolly shouldn’t answer that.

    My family are hardcore fundamentalists, they really don’t like me much since I ditched the faith they indoctrinated me with.

  4. says

    PZ, I’m interested in your take on how alien we should expect aliens to be – I’ve been doing some work on SETI, but I’m trained as a radio astronomer, not as a biologist. Will your talk in Calgary be archived anywhere online?

  5. jefferylanam says

    While you’re in Calgary, will you have time to get up to Drumheller to see the Royal Tyrrell Museum? Have you been there before? It’s pretty awesome.

  6. ritchieannand says

    The Telus Spark is our brand-spanking-new science center up here. I’ll miss the planetarium and laser light shows of the old downtown location, but it was getting embarrassing how small the exhibit space was compared to OSC, Vancouver’s Olympic golf ball (whatever that’s called) and Edmonton’s Odysseum (which I swear was designed by the same designer as a number of stateside ones).

    So excuse the rough edges :) I hope all the A/V stuff has been sorted out; I haven’t been to any lectures up there yet, just general mayhem with the kids and the exhibits.

    (Side note: if you go upstairs and play with one of the stop-motion camera stations, you can get it to e-mail you the final video)

    It feels like this talk was on really short notice, though; I thought it would have showed up prominently here or via the Telus Spark newsletter. How quickly did this all get put together? Were you looking for a way of tormenting yourself with travel and lecturing in every spare day this year? :)

    Ha, ha – just got a note back from my wife: “Register! Register now! You want to go, you *know* you do! :-D” Okay, my dear, my rubber arm has officially been crafted into a subtle helix.

    Fair warning: I’m going to want to know if antennae, no noses, underarm gonads and males developing from females either with age or with a dearth of males are a kosher alien design.

    You know who’d probably appreciate this stuff as well? The Calgary Comic Expo folks. They (or at least their predecessor) had a lighter talk along those lines a few years back; it would have been nice to have some more teeth on the panel :)

    If you see someone in the audience very interested but half-asleep, my apologies, it’s the last day of the Prairie Developer’s Conference that day.

    Side question: did you get married close to your birthday so that it would be easier to remember? :)

  7. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    Drumheller is a trip to see. If you come at it from Calgary, all you see is miles of gently rolling prairie, then you go around a corner and a crack opens up in the earth and swallows you whole. Seconds later you’re driving in a steep walled canyon (hoodoo) and you can’t see anything else. One last corner and a city appears in front of you.

    AFAIC, that alone is worth the trip out there. The museum is a bonus. The giant t-rex is pretty sweet too.

  8. rickschauer says

    Too bad, Brownie. You can come over if you want and we can share a few juice boxes.

  9. NitricAcid says

    You’re going down to Cowtown….and I no longer live anywhere near there. Figures.

    Dave- the canyon is a coulee; a hoodoo is a hill with a stone on top.

  10. ritchieannand says

    If the age limit is just a recommendation, then what’s the issue? :)

  11. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    NitricAcid, really? Hunh, damnable Albertans lied to me when I got here. Meh, hoodoo is more fun to say. Hooooodoooooo!

  12. Dave, the Kwisatz Haderach says

    Oy! I’m no tourist. I came here to steal your jobs, not to see the sights.

  13. quidam says

    I’ll be there in Calgary – if you fancy a trip to the Tyrell museum, I’d be happy to drive you there.

  14. ambassadorfromverdammt says

    Also…it’s my birthday on Friday. Due to the apparently quantal nature of human aging, I will be abruptly Old. Or Older. Something, anyway.

    It just means you’ll have enough experience points to level up. More HP, and probably a new skill or ability . . .

  15. says

    Woo hoo!

    Anniversary and Happy Birthday in one month.

    Congratulations on the first (my wife and I also celebrate our 22nd this month) and remember you are only as old as you feel.

  16. jasonnishiyama says

    PZ, if it helps, the snow should be mostly melted by next week here in Calgary… :)

  17. David Marjanović says

    Fair warning: I’m going to want to know if antennae, no noses, underarm gonads and males developing from females either with age or with a dearth of males are a kosher alien design.

    And otherwise a human shape? Be more creative than that! :-)

    There are fishes that do what you propose sex-wise, BTW.

  18. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

    It just means you’ll have enough experience points to level up.

    I wish they’d stop raising the level cap, though.

  19. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Happy birthday in advance, PZ!

    Cool, I share a birthday with our squidly overlord :-)

    I wonder if that gets me an extra tankard of grog over on TET …

  20. ritchieannand says

    And otherwise a human shape? Be more creative than that! :-)

    There are fishes that do what you propose sex-wise, BTW.

    There is a question of how much more creative than that you can get.

    Trek’s hoomans-with-funny-foreheads-and-noses always bug me, but when you’re talking sentient beings… or even just social beings, how optional is bipedality? Is there a lower size limit on a sentient being in the presence of predators? (We know island inhabitants tend over time towards Homo fiorensis size) Two eyes more or less in the front of a face? (Eyes on stalks are a fun idea but are they practical at sentient being size?) How about tongues?

    I know invertebrates lack them (do they have an equivalent?) but vertebrates have rarely-to-never done away with them – what sort of tongueless communication would be appropriate, or would such a creature evolve something like a tongue anyhow? There would have to be eyes; those have separately evolved so many freaking times on Earth – signalling the same but lots of details different – but they do seem to reduce down to two in number the larger the creature gets (know of any good exceptions?).

    I’ll perhaps have to track down the fish in question. I know sex is a lot more fluid in fish and amphibians (well, in a grade-not-clade manner :)

    I had in mind that in such a setup, as civilization progressed, it would be the ‘norm’ for there to be younger females and older males, and young males and older females would be the ‘outcasts’. Young males in particular would come from isolated areas under this scheme – in urban areas, the changes would be hormonally suppressed – and be derided in some manner as country bumpkins… or worse wherever there was, naturally, some untrue religious tale to account for what they were.

    Gonads under the armpits would also make hugging a potentially gloriously rude or amorous gesture :)

  21. ritchieannand says

    I wish they’d stop raising the level cap, though.

    Are you kidding me? That’s the real reason we live longer these days!

  22. says

    Seriously? Seriously? I move away from Calgary and this is what happens?

    Delurking just to voice my displeasure. I propose you come to Ottawa just to appease me…

  23. Sili says

    Who do you love more, your family or me?

    My wallet.

    –o–

    Only the inner Brownian is 12 years old.

    This puts rather a spanner in the works for all that ghey sex.

  24. cicely ("Intriguingly Odd") says

    Spring Break is something that happens to other people.
    :(

    Happy Pending Birthday and Anniversary!

    Only the inner Brownian is 12 years old.

    This puts rather a spanner in the works for all that ghey sex.

    It does explain why the line doesn’t seem to be moving, though. Gotta wait for the little tyke to arrive at Age of Consent, before the festivities can even begin.
    -

  25. pbrooks says

    Let’s not forget that a few miles north of Drumheller is good ol’ Big Valley, Alberta…home not only to a kickass music jamboree but also the Big Valley Creation Science Museum.

    http://www.bvcsm.com/

    I wonder if any of those post-positivists are going to protest PZ’s presentation next week.

  26. ritchieannand says

    If it were a bigger venue and more controversial talk, heck, we might have even gotten Mr. “I’m An Atheist And I Have A PhD” to show up.

    I don’t recall if anyone figured out who he was, but it was a bit of a stupid-funny trumped up hissyfit he had :)

  27. DLC says

    South Dakota ? Man, you gotta remember — the goal of speaking engagements is to go to fun and interesting places!