Oct 15 2012

Travel madness continues!

Life? What life? I’m too busy flitting about. Last week it was Duluth and a long stint in Washington DC; today I’m in Murray, Kentucky; next week I’ll be in Austin, Texas, and the week after that, in Nashville for CSICon. And then I get a little break. After that, though, I wanted to plug Eschaton 2012, because it’ll be your last chance to see me before the end of the world.

Oh, wait. I’ve just been informed by the conference organizers that the world probably isn’t ending, so I guess you don’t have to go.


Come to Ottawa for a weekend gathering of scientists, philosophers, authors, academics, skeptics, rationalists, humanists, atheists, and freethinkers, where you can see presentations and join discussions on science, skepticism, gender issues, theocracy vs secularism, godless ethics, parenting beyond belief. Featured speakers include blogger PZ Myers, author Ophelia Benson, philosopher Chris DiCarlo, science education activist Eugenie Scott, and many others. You can even participate in a live recording of Canada’s skeptical podcast, “The Reality Check” (trcpodcast.com).

Saturday evening we present our gala “Night at the Musuem” (held at the Canadian Museum of Nature), which includes a reception, talk by PZ Myers, and late night special events, with exclusive access to the Fossil Gallery and Earth Gallery.

The price of $275 ($225 for CFI members) includes access to the Friday night plenary session, a choice of 2 daytime tracks on Saturday and Sunday, lunches and snacks, plus the Saturday evening gala. (A limited number of volunteer discounts are available – email [email protected] for more information.)

November 30-December 2
Ottawa, Canada

website: eschaton2012.ca
twitter: @eschaton2012
facebook: facebook.com/Eschaton2012

Oh my gosh, I’m part of a gala! I’m going to be doing a science talk on chance and coalescence theory and the failures of prominent creationists to grasp essential concepts, which sounds a bit somber for a gala. Maybe it will help if I dress all in motley?


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  1. 1

    I’m hyperskeptical of the conference organizers’ claims that the world probably* isn’t going to end according to Mayan predictions that don’t exist. Do they have photos of this future non-event?

    *Probably. Don’t even get me started on THAT weasel word!

  2. 2

    Initially read this as “time travel madness continues.” Had an interesting few minutes wondering if PZ was traveling by police box, de Lorean, or maybe the Dirk Gentlyesque living room method.

  3. 3

    Hey, I found God. Turns out he lives in San Mateo, CA. In my spam box today …

    Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2012 19:00:02 -0500
    From: “Allah”
    Subject: Where? Emergency Message

    This planet is in danger. I need to know where to go to help these people. You were suggested as someone who may have heard of God (Allah) and it was suggested I email you, personally. I am God the Father, Allah, and looking for a place to get started for purposes previously explained in the Holy Bible or Qur’an. If you have a suggestion for how you want Me to help, get in touch. If not, there could be spiritual repercussions for your failure to comply.
    NOTE: This could be your only opportunity to interact with God Allah.
    Thank you for your prayers and review.
    Emergency Message,
    Lord of the Worlds
    Author, Holy Qur’an / Bible
    god @llah .US (Unsubscribe)
    P.O. Box 701
    San Mateo, CA 94401
    +1-650-458-7524 SMS/VM ; no international callbacks… email only… English Only
    In the event of subscribe error at LLAH.US, you may post to https:// allah. zendesk. com or email god @llah .US (unsubscribe).

    He also has a phone (for texts only) and speaks English only.

  4. 4
    chigau (違う)

    $275 forsooth!
    You’d better wear the motley, with bells.
    and post the pictures ’cause

  5. 5

    Now now, PZ, you’ll be in Canada. You have to be sombre.

    No, I have no legitimate point to make, why do you ask?

  6. 6

    Being local to Ottawa I should probably go but I’ve been feeling so burnt out I’m finding it hard to actually sign up for it…

  7. 7
    Dick the Damned

    We’d like to attend the Saturday evening session in Ottawa. Right now we’re living just a few blocks away from the museum, but by the time of the conference, we’ll be in Kanata.

    It’s been a very long time since i last drove in the Canadian winter, so if the weather’s bad, i might just chicken out.

  8. 8
    Eamon Knight

    @7: Don’t be a wimp — the #97 goes right downtown! (No, I don’t recall what bus goes south to the Museum area from there).

  9. 9

    Dick the Damned and Eamon Knight:

    You can take the 97 downtown and then take the #5 down Elgin St. Which stops close to the museum.
    Also if you come to the rest of the conference, the Museum is pretty close to the conference center itself.

    We are hoping to have a couple of the museum rooms open to our attendees as well.

  10. 10


    Confirmed – the Dinosaur Gallery and Earth Gallery at the Museum will be open that evening for private viewing.

  11. 11

    #10 open that evening for private viewing.
    You mean ‘Closed’ really.

  12. 12

    @11 – Well that depends on what side of the barrier you are standing on doesn’t it. xD.

    Also, in addition to PZ, it looks like Crommunist, Natalie Reed, Ophelia Benson, Chris DiCarlo, Larry Moran, Sarah Mayhew and more are going to be there.

    It should be a really fun conference. Also, I am actually raising money to give students a bit of a price break on the conference. If you are a student who is interested let me know.

  13. 13

    Thanks for working Duluth into your busy schedule, and apologies for unleashing the crazy animal rights lady on you. I really just wanted to hear your stance on the issue, I didn’t realize she was going to follow me with, “So why don’t we just experiment on people?” thing.

  14. 14

    #11 I think I do mean open, since the entire rest of the museum is closed at that time, with the exception of these 2 galleries and the reception area for the Night at the Museum party.

    But whatever the pedantic semantics, I hope to see lots of Pharyngulites at the conference and party.

  15. 15

    Dammit why must you hold that conference in my hometown just 2 weeks before I come home for break? Now its just teasing me.

  16. 16

    @5 Have you seen this:

    Still think Canada is Sombre :P

  17. 17

    Ok well the title off the link was supposed to be Taste the Doom of Fire, but I think you get the picture xD

  18. 18

    #14 – Yup, “open.” You have to pay a fee to get in, but that’s the same as during regular Museum hours, so it definitely still counts.

  19. 19
    Dick the Damned

    Thanks for the us info. I haven’t used OC Transpo, so this might be an opportunity. My recalcitrance regarding taking the car is partly due to it being brand new, & i don’t want to crumple it.

  20. 20

    #18 But definitely not open in the normal sense where I could quietly browse the exhibits and not expect to find PZ galloping around on a triceratops trying to convince me that evolution was the only possible interpretation of the facts while someone else is is offering me canapés which prove the opposite.

  21. 21
  22. 22

    #20 – I dunno, that’s pretty much what happened at the Kentucky Kreation “Museum” (minus the canapés)

  23. 23

    #22 – Do we know for a fact that no canapés were involved in Kentucky?

  24. 24

    Must have been peanut butter canapés; “the evolutionist’s nightmare”.

  25. 25

    Woohoo! Just seen PZ on BBC3. Only had 15 seconds, though; where did the rest go?

  26. 26

    #22 are you asking “Was. I. There?”

  27. 27
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Am I reading correctly that PZ is coming within 5 hours of me?

    And I have a good passport…

    *plots evil*

  28. 28
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    And by “evil plots,” I mean “knitted octopus hats.”

    Of course, I must ask PZ a question: of symmetry, wearability, and biological accuracy, which do you value the highest (and which the lowest) in terms of headgear?

  29. 29

    #28 – I really hope you’re planning on bringing enough to share with the whole class!

    (By which I mean me.)

  30. 30
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Googlemess, I’d be making these by hand. Which means supplies are limited by how fast I can purl.


  31. 31

    In Austin, eh? What for? Are you speaking somewhere? I attempted to use the calendar link on the front page, but it leads to a dead end.

  32. 32
    spamamander, internet amphibian

    Will it be a Grand Galloping Gala?

  33. 33

    No longer Immanentising the Eschaton? That’s just what the Illuminati want you to think.

  34. 34

    spamamander @32: Heh. Was wondering if I’d be the first to make a GGG ref. :^)

  35. 35
    AJ Milne

    Well, of course there a gala. It’s Ottawa. There’s a rule. Galas even break out–frequently without warning–at the hockey games. And in the biker bars. True story.

    And I’m going. Can’t pass that up. As if. Galas and godlessness. Gotta be in on that.

  36. 36

    I would love to go to Eschaton and see PZ and everything else. I have never had that opportunity but sadly I am very, very poor at the moment:-/

  37. 37

    @justawriter – Send Allah the web address of 350.org.

  38. 38

    Regarding costs:

    Unfortunately, conferences are expensive – venue rentals, transportation and accommodation for speakers, food – it all adds up very quickly. (It’s worth noting that the cost for Eschaton2012 does include meals.) Also, as mentioned, there are discounts available for volunteers; send an email to [email protected] for more information.

  39. 39

    I found out about this about a month ago, got my pass and bought a couple for my friends who couldn’t afford it.

    I am so excited about this!

    I found the price to be reasonable considerring the various speakers and location and if you only want to go to the Gala 50$ is pretty awesome considering you get a meal and PZ.

    I can’t wait!!!

  40. 40

    I was JUST going to send you an email about this conference.

    I created an ad for it. Maybe you could embed it into your blog?


    Yours truly,

  41. 41

    For the benefit of Mr. Kite and the ones that couldn’t make it, I uploaded two hours of goodness. The first hour is the presentation and an additional hour of questions and answers. It was an awesome presentation. Thank you for coming to KY and thank you to the MSU Student Organization for Reason and Science and MSU Freethinkers for sponsoring the event. Check it out: http://www.ateorizar.com/2012/10/pz-myers-inescapable-conflict-between.html

  42. 42

    Wear knickerbockers, with yellow stockings and cross garters. Women love that.

  43. 43
    John Morales

    Gracias, manolomatos.

  44. 44


    You could volunteer! There is a discount for that.

  45. 45

    John, check out our podcast. Tomorrow we will interview Greta Christina.

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