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May 28 2013

Come on out to SkepChickCon

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I have barely stepped off the plane and I’m getting reminders that I’ve got more conferences ahead of me — including SkepChickCon. OK, I can handle that, it’s not until July, and it’s local, in Bloomington, Minnesota, but then I read this bit:

This year, we’ll have panels on everything from food science and mythology, science vs. religion, and penises of the animal kingdom to a live riffing on Prometheus with Rebecca, PZ, and MST3K’s Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett.

Uh-oh. The MST3K guys and Rebecca Watson, queen of snark? I’ll be the sad old pedant in their midst, and they might just take a few sarcastic swipes at the tiresome geezer bringing their show down. Should I drink lots of coffee first to compensate? Or lots of alcohol to disinhibit? Or both? Recommendations will be needed.

At least I’m confident that I can handle the science vs. religion and penises. Wait, did that come out right?

P.S. Be warned: this is not your usual staid ol’ skeptic/atheist conference. This is a strand of critical thinking in the riot of weirdness that is CONvergence.

28 comments

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  1. 1
    kevinv

    I recommend both. Three shots vodka + 1 shot Black Blood of the Earth. Repeat.

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    Repeat? How many times? 10, 20, 30?

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    Irish coffee! Problem solved!

  4. 4
    Moggie

    I don’t think all that drinking is advisable when you’re in snark-infested waters.
    “Sorry, folks, PZ needs to pee again. No, don’t laugh, you’ll be old too, one day.”

  5. 5
    Nick Gotts

    No, don’t laugh, you’ll be old too, one day

    If you’re lucky!

  6. 6
    Samuel Erkison

    Repeat? How many times? 10, 20, 30?

    Serious answer: You really shouldn’t have more than 100ml of Black Blood of the Earth per day. The stuff is delicious*, but it’s really easy to over do the caffeine. http://www.funraniumlabs.com/the-black-blood-of-the-earth/bbote-faq/

    *With the exception of the Death Wish variety. Bleh.

  7. 7
    Kagato

    + 1 shot Black Blood of the Earth.

    Do you mean oil?

  8. 8
    David Marjanović

    *whine* *flail* PZ! July 4–7!?! Couldn’t you have told me a few months in advance? The conferences I go to are announced more than half a year in advance! How am I supposed to plan a trip to the US on such short notice… *howl*

  9. 9
    Samuel Erkison

    @Kagato

    Do you mean oil?

    Behold, the story of Black Blood of the Earth: http://www.funraniumlabs.com/the-black-blood-of-the-earth/

  10. 10
    Gregory in Seattle

    I’m curious to know how SkepChickCon works in the larger context of CONvergence. Is it a subcon, run by the same people who put on the larger one? Is it a separate event run in the same host hotel? A nearby hotel?

    I’m curious because I’d like to see something similar at another SF convention I’m involved with.

  11. 11
    Gregory in Seattle

    I went to their website and — oddly enough! — my questions were answered. Skepchickcon is “the science and skepticism” track for CONvergence, which I think is a pretty cool way of doing it.

  12. 12
    Jackie, all dressed in black

    I think you’ll hold your own without any chemical enhancement at all.

  13. 13
    sisu

    *whine* *flail* PZ! July 4–7!?! Couldn’t you have told me a few months in advance? The conferences I go to are announced more than half a year in advance! How am I supposed to plan a trip to the US on such short notice… *howl*

    David – it’s always the first full weekend in July. You can start planning now for July 3-6, 2014. :)

  14. 14
    frog

    Fortunately there are many coffee + alcohol beverages in this world, and I’m sure as a scientist you’ll be willing to experiment.

  15. 15
    PZ Myers

    Yes, it’s a fully integrated part of the larger SF con. No special tickets, not set apart in any way from the other events, so you can bounce from a filk session to a costume parade to a panel on the zombie apocalypse to a Skepchick-sponsored panel on global climate change. It’s a nice mix; it also means the sciencey stuff I’d talk about has to include more pop-culture/SF relevance.

    We’re all partnering with the CONvergence staff — we advertise and bring in a segment of the audience and add a little science twist to the usual con fare.

    We also do standard party rooms — last year we were cheek-by-jowl with the Tardis Society, for instance.

    Come on out! Tell yourself you’re doing “research”.

  16. 16
    PZ Myers

    Yeah, David, I mentioned this last year, right after the 2012 CONvergence, when they announced that the theme for 2013 was the British Invasion. NO EXCUSES!

  17. 17
    Kagato

    I guess it wasn’t as obvious as I thought.

    I dont suppose there’s any chance the Prometheus riff will be recorded and made available afterward? I imagine it would be hard to isolate the panel’s banter from the movie soundtrack in a live setting, which might preclude distribution…

    Pity, it will probably be hilarious.

  18. 18
    Moggie

    We also do standard party rooms — last year we were cheek-by-jowl with the Tardis Society, for instance.

    I bet the Tardis Society had plenty of room.

  19. 19
    smhll

    Uh-oh. The MST3K guys and Rebecca Watson, queen of snark? I’ll be the sad old pedant in their midst, and they might just take a few sarcastic swipes at the tiresome geezer bringing their show down.

    In the event that you can’t get a witticism in edge-wise, perhaps people will give you credit for being a very good listener and a fine example to the youth of America proving that good conversation can continue even if one person is mostly listening. (See, this problem has a shiny silver lining.)

  20. 20
    Gregory in Seattle

    @PZ #15 – I actually had plans to go — I had gone so far as to book a room — but then that bastage, Reality, stole my cash reserves and forced me to change plans. And next year I will be in Boston for Independence Day weekend, so I can’t go then.

    However, I may be in a position to do something similar at Norwescon next year. It would be interesting to have a mini-convention, with every track lead contributing a skeptic-oriented panel.

  21. 21
    Aratina Cage

    a live riffing on Prometheus

    That film deserves that so much. Wish I could see it happen. Scott let his confused belief in deities turn a great film series he started into crap.

  22. 22
    ChasCPeterson

    I am so square that I had to g**gle ‘filk session’.

    My initial prurient suspicions were, it turns out, unfounded.

  23. 23
    Sili

    I thought you’d cut out caffeine from your diet.

  24. 24
    Flewellyn

    PZed and Rebecca Watson join forces with the MST guys? This can only end in beers.

    Well, for others. I’ll have a lemonade.

  25. 25
    Rich Woods

    @Chas #22

    I am so square that I had to g**gle ‘filk session’.

    Me too. Unfortunately Google appears to have been trained to bring back links to the local folk music scene. Which appears to be mostly harmless.

  26. 26
    PZ Myers

    Caffeine is mostly gone now — I get a bit in my tea. But you know, I also don’t drink much hard liquor, either…so I’m just pointing out how worried I should be about this performance!

    How can nerds not know about filking? Were you raised in a middle class suburban tract home on a diet of macaroni and cheese or something?

  27. 27
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Should I drink lots of coffee first to compensate? Or lots of alcohol to disinhibit? Or both?

    Vodka and Redbull. All the effects of coffee, all the effects of vodka. Or, for a slightly classier but more expensive (the distinction is probably superfluous) method of achieving the same effect, Espresso Martinis. They are also much tastier.

    You’re welcome.

  28. 28
    David Wilford

    “How can nerds not know about filking? Were you raised in a middle class suburban tract home on a diet of macaroni and cheese or something?”

    Not every nerd goes to science fiction conventions, and even in fandom filk can be hard to find sometimes.

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