Vegas, baby!

As you read this, I’m on an airplane winging off to Las Vegas for The Amazing Meeting (Amazing Schedule here). I understand that I am expected to be Amazing, but usually all I can manage is a low-key Interesting, so it will be quite the challenge.

Anyway, I am told that I should arrange a Pharyngulation of some sort. Who else is going? What fits into our schedule? One thing we could do is look for the Bad Astronomers to arrange something, and then we crash it, elbow aside all the starry-eyed geeks, and take over. But maybe you have a better idea … share it here.


  1. NoAstronomer says

    I suggest that you commandeer a jet and fly the whole meeting out to Atlantic City so I can attend. I’ll book the room.

  2. Slaughter says

    Dang, I wish I could go this year, but with daughter’s graduation and a long-planned trip to Italy, I can’t make it. Had a blast at TAM 5 and hope to be at TAM 6. The drive from Phoenix is not that bad.

  3. Sven DiMilo says

    Should you wish a break from the high-intensity planet-killing fakeness that is Las Vegas (i.e., should you be sane, IMO), I recommend a half-day trip out to Red Rock Canyon. Beautiful piece of desert.

  4. Elin says

    I’m going! I’m going! So damn excited. I’m flying out there at an absurdly early hour tomorrow morning. There are several Denver Skeptics who are already out there.

    Maybe we should arrange a Pharyngulation for sometime on Sunday morning (since I presume not too many of us will be attending church). Although the Gospel Sunday at the House of Blues is supposed to be cool. Or maybe Saturday night although there’s a JREF Forum party that night.

    Going to Penn & Teller Saturday night…I’ll be the short chick in the (probably very out of fashion) hot pink dress. Eeeek!

  5. Serena says

    Is there going to be a recording of this meeting? It looks like an awes…er..amazing schedule!

    Have fun Elin #11!!

  6. Hank Fox says

    Red Rock Canyon?? What part of “Las Vegas” don’t you understand?

    I want PZ to bring back pictures of pole dancers, and triumphant grannies at slot machines!

    Las Vegas is also home to the “world’s largest mechanical neon sign,” the cowboy Vegas Vic on Fremont Street. There’s a definite photo op there, for … something. A place in the Kitsch Museum, maybe.

  7. says

    I’ll be there. Looks like lunches and dinners are mostly open on the schedule, as are evenings for those who aren’t attending the optional events.

  8. says

    The CineVegas film festival is also going on… unfortunately, “Gonzo: The Life and Work of Hunter S. Thompson” is at 1 p.m. Saturday, overlapping with Phil Plait and Adam Savage. “Your Name Here” looks like it might have been entertaining, but showed last weekend.

    “Them!” (the giant ant movie with an uncredited very young Leonard Nimoy) is showing tonight at 9 p.m. on a big outdoor screen on Fremont St.

  9. James F says


    You know what you are? You’re like a big bear with claws and with fangs…

  10. Patricia says

    So, what is the topic of your amazing-ness?
    Just showing some of your emails would probably be hilarious.

  11. says

    I’m already here, but I have to warn you, PZ! This heat isn’t for Northerns! Take plenty of water! (Oh, and we do expect you to be Amazing :-)

  12. says

    South King County will be representin’ at TAM!! Look for the wilted, pale folk near the back clutching their Starbuck’s cups and that will be my husband & I fresh from very near PZ’s old squiddin’ grounds.

    Seriously, though, my JREF forum name is the same as my name here and will be on my nametag…we’ll find you and say hi!

  13. Epikt says

    Make sure to get a picture of yourself arm-in-arm with an animatronic Elvis. I mean, it’s Las Vegas, there must be at least one of those around.

  14. SC says

    Whoever put that program together wasn’t exactly going for gender balance :(. But have fun, all!

  15. Jacques says

    Damn damn damn damn. I hate working. i want to go to meetings like this. In vegas.

  16. Holbach says

    Hey, watch out for the creotards crashers! You can bet they know you’re coming to bad mouth them. Makes us all proud here at Pharyngula! And watch out for those humungus great all-you-can-eat pig outs!

  17. David Brown says

    I’m already here, ready to go to the workshops today. We made the drive out from San Diego yesterday. It was 111 deg F in Baker

    Gotta love Vegas, where the parking is free, but internet service in the room is $12.99/day. I have no idea if there’ll be wireless coverage available at the meeting itself.

    I hear that Teller doesn’t really sound like James Earl Jones.

  18. Elin says

    David #26—Sadly, no, he does not. Google “teller zombie” and be enlightened.

  19. Holbach says

    I just checked the schedule and the line up of speakers for that Amazing Meeting: Wow, that should have been stretch to at least a month! The assemblage of brain power will be enough to levitate Nevada!

  20. says

    Damn I wish I knew about this earlier, I have some vac days saved up. I’d love to return to the scene of the crime. I got married there, and a freaky chemist cooked up some 2CB as a wedding present, so we managed to replicate the HST experience.

    WO HOOOO!!

    cool lights, and plenty of giant lizards

    I DO, and still married!!!

  21. says

    You better be amazing! I am skipping out on a cabana filled with beautiful women in bikinis at Ditch Fridays to hear you speak (Local Vegas folk know what I am talking about). ;)


  22. Sven DiMilo says

    What part of “Las Vegas” don’t you understand?

    The “vegas” part–ain’t no meadows there whatsoever.
    They should change the name of that town to “Los Asesinos De Las Tortugas.”

  23. Benny the Icepick says

    I’m tempted to go just to see Erin wiggling around in a hot-pink dress. Maybe it’ll match PZ’s plushy?

    PaulZach > Balzac.

  24. says

    Holy crap! Look at that lineup! Neil DeGrasse Tyson, PZ, Adam Savage, Penn & Teller? Why didn’t I know such an awesome meeting exists!

  25. uknesvuinng says

    OT, but I missed out on the Spore fun initially. And even though I suspect a few hundred people have already done this, I present to you: Crocoduck, Ray Comfort’s worst nightmare!

  26. YetAnotherKevin says

    Red Rock Canyon is great, but the thermal hammer has come down already, so I would suggest Mt. Charleston instead. You can see a variety of chipmunk (or ground squirrel) that exists nowhere else, owing to genetic isolation since the last glacial period.

    Also, try the mango sorbet in the sandwich shop in the Wynn.

    Also also, go to Hedary’s and / or the Samosa Factory, both on Sahara, west of the strip. You’ll thank me.

    And the nuclear test museum.

  27. Slaughter says

    Folks, you can read all about TAM at, James Randi’s site. I’ve been reading it faithfully for years, and the PZ crowd would certainly be welcome there.
    Best thing about TAM 5 for me? I asked Phil Plait to take a photo of me with Adam Savage, and HE asked ME if I could get a photo of him with Adam. When I asked Adam, HE asked ME if I could get a picture of him with Phil! Such brain power married with humility is awesome to experience. Everybody was very approachable. I couldn’t get to the South Park guys only because there was such a huge crowd around them. And after hearing Teller speak, I wish he’d do it more often. He’s got a great voice, and he’s thoughtful and well-spoken.

  28. tyaddow says

    Happy Birthday, Brownian! Your birthday is my birthday too! We have the same star sign- we must have many things in common! That almost guarantees me a Molly!

  29. says

    Happy Birthday to you too, tyaddow!

    Keep in mind that we both share our birthday with Nicole Kidman; I hope this doesn’t doom us each to marry and divorce a Scientologist.

  30. David says

    Vegas? I live in Vegas! Why do I never hear about these things till too late???!!!

    And yeah, I’ll second the recommend for Hedary’s.

  31. BMS says

    Dine at Rosemary’s Restaurant. Lunch or dinner. It is my favorite affordable fine dining place in Vegas.

    8125 W. Sahara
    Las Vegas, NV 89117

    Outstanding food, outstanding service, not in a casino.

    Their awards and accolades are too numerous to mention. I highly recommend the Chef’s tasting menu for dinner, along with the sommelier’s tasting recommendations.

    If you are feeling spanking rich w/ your slots winnings, by all means put on your finest suit and have dinner at Picasso, located in the Bellagio. It is my favorite UNaffordable fine dining place, and it will be the best several hundred dollars you ever spent. I’m not kidding. Bellagio’s other restaurants are fine, but Picasso is just a stunning experience. Request a table near the windows – you’ll have an enviable view of the Fountains of Bellagio (I used to work on that show).

    Email me if you want good seats for Cirque shows – I also used to work at “O” and KA and my partner (soon to be wife) works at “O” and has access to the best seats in the house (unfortunately, not at a discount).

  32. says

    It’s a weird situation to be walking down a hallway and have all these strangers say, “Hi, PZ!”

    I can’t do anything Sunday. Sunday I have to be at that meeting Greg Laden just yelled at me about (I’m catching a 12:50 AM flight, and will be showing up at Evolution 2008 with a rumpled suit and red-rimmed eyes. And a buxom showgirl on each arm.)

  33. Biff the Bartender says

    PZ… If you’re out and about tonight, drop by my bar (shameless plug), Fat Tuesday, at the Planet Hollywood. I’ll treat you to a daiquiri that is guaranteed to make your liver quiver, sir! I’m in after 7pm.

    Thanks for reading!
    Biff the Bartender

  34. BMS says

    “buxom showgirl”


    Any “buxom” on a real showgirl is mere external padding. Those women dance their asses (and other body parts) off. Takes a lot of calories to do shows 5 (or more) days a week.

    I worked with ’em. Real close-like.


  35. Kseniya says

    So, what you’re saying is, there are two kinds:

    “Buxom” showgirls, and buxom “showgirls”. Am I right?

    Seriously, though, I played a lot of basketball all through H.S. and into college. Hoop is a damn good workout, but… well, let’s just say I was never mistaken for a boy.

  36. Kseniya says

    Geez, Brownian, we’ve both Gems. My b-day was this week too. No wonder we speak the same language!

  37. BMS says

    Kseniya, hah! Yes, you are right.

    Certainly not all women work ’em off. It seems a peculiar to dancers, the brand of showgirls I worked with. ;)

    And then I graduated to swimmers and gymnasts.

  38. Mystyk says

    Damn, damn, damn!

    I live in Vegas. I was born in Vegas. Hell, my wife and son are still in Vegas, right now!

    But me? No. I’m stuck in the f**king middle-east for a year, on the one time one of my cultural heroes decides to swing by!

    Crap! Maybe you can swing by Camp Arifjan, Kuwait on the way.

  39. says

    will be showing up at Evolution 2008 with a rumpled suit and red-rimmed eyes. And a buxom showgirl on each arm.)

    In other words, as per usual, except your hair is usually nicely combed.

  40. says

    Geez, Brownian, we’ve both Gems. My b-day was this week too. No wonder we speak the same language!

    I thought that was because we’re both of Eastern European extraction.

    Happy Belated Birthday!

  41. Kseniya says

    Butbutbut… but you’re a Southern Slav, I’m an Eastern Slav. Shouldn’t we be at war, or something?

  42. Longtime Lurker says

    “And a buxom showgirl on each arm”

    You’ve just made millions of cephalopods extremely jealous!

  43. Kseniya says

    You’ve posted the same inane bullshit on every thread now. Mission accomplished. Go away.

  44. Kseniya says

    My comment (#59) is now irrelevent following the deletion of all of Mabus’s comments.