This weekend, in Ottawa

It’s my last conference of the year: I’ve got a break of over a month after this, in which I get to stay home and write and relax and get prepped for the Spring semester. But before all that, it’s Eschaton 2012, where just to go out with a surge, I’m giving two talks, so that everyone will feel like it really is the end of the world.

It’s not too late to register. You can skip my talks and just go listen to Eugenie Scott, instead, or all those other speakers — this is a big one and there’s no shortage of interesting stuff going on.


  1. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    And why Ottawa? Ugh. Can’t anyone (and yes, I’m complaining from the centre of the Universe here) host a major Sceptical or Atheist event in Toronto?

    Have fun PZ. You can skate on the canal, I guess …

  2. leftwingfox says

    I’m sorry I’ll have to miss it. Money and vacation time are all going to my christmas trip back to Alberta.

    Have a great time!

  3. quiet heretic says

    The canal won’t be open for at least another month. We only have a few inches of snow right now and it’s chilly but not bitterly cold.

    We’ll keep PZ busy, though. The conference starts Friday night and runs through Sunday including a trip to the Museum of Nature on Saturday night (no riding the dinosaurs, PZ). In addition to his two talks, he’ll be on two panels or Q&A sessions. It should be a fun conference.

  4. says

    … Ottawa at the end of November… what were they thinking?

    That at least it should be somewhat less lethally cold than would be late January?

    … Seriously, as reported at #4, it’s cool, maybe cold, depending on where you start calling it that, but hardly painfully so. Just below freezing right now, should still be roughly that on Friday, Saturday. There will probably be rain on Sunday, even.

    And good to hear you’re coming. It really should be fun.

  5. Richard Smith says

    As I don’t have to pay for travel to the hosting city, or for a hotel, I’m definitely attending. Looking forward to seeing in the flesh people I’ve only read or heard before.

    As for weather, it’s only recently been getting cold enough for anything warmer than a fleece coat, and I’ve just started wearing a touque. For this weekend, I’ll definitely be wearing my 10^23 one.

  6. Dick the Damned says

    It’s too bad I can’t attend. I’m just twenty minutes away from the venue, (if the traffic is okay). Unfortunately, i’m waiting for a call any day now that will urgently require me to get on a plane to cross the pond.

    I wanted to buy PZ a beer, as my way of saying “thank you” for the sterling work he’s doing for atheism & human rights. But i guess there’ll be no shortage of folk wanting to ply him with beer.

  7. says

    @Thomathy #2 – Toronto would have been nice. No having to change planes for me, and that place sounds more exciting than “The city that fun forgot.” (I read that about Ottawa on the intertubes, so it must be true.)

    @AJ Milne #5 – September would have been fun. Maybe even October. I live in Seattle, after all, so I’m familiar with chilly weather; I’m more worried about a blizzard coming through and me getting stuck at the airport for three days. But yeah, I suppose the end of November is better than the middle of January.

    In any case, the line up of talks looks great, and it will be fun to meet so many of the FtB bloggers.

  8. says

    Is @12 what they call #FTBullying? ‘Cuz I’m dying to see an example in the wild — it seems to be a very rare species.

    (Now if we here can just manage to not spend all week stressing out, we’ll enjoy welcoming everyone. Oh, and we got the hotel to lay in a supply of Maudite and Fin Du Monde [of course!])

  9. says

    No, FTBullying happens when you try to object to something I say during my presentation, so I have my mindless fem-washed goons hold you down and forcibly duct-tape your mouth shut so that you can’t exercise your right to free speech.

    And then PZ rewards me with gold.

  10. says

    I live in Seattle, after all, so I’m familiar with chilly weather

    Hahahahahahahaha – that’s so funny. Seattle! Seattle is so temperate in winter compared to places that are actually cold.

  11. says

    “The city that fun forgot”… (I read that about Ottawa on the intertubes, so it must be true.)

    Well, it is, sure. Ottawa is a very serious city. And we’re very serious people.

    We even eat Peek Freans.

    … in only semirelated, one of the minor perks of this conference for me has been the name.

    It’s a little thing. But y’know, there’s all these little logistical hurdles I have to deal with to make it to something even like this, and never mind it’s actually walking distance, this time. There are still complications.

    So on the to do list on my phone, I’ve had this ‘Arrange Eschaton’ item for some months, now. With various minor subtasks, at different times.

    I like this, having this on my phone. ‘Arrange Eschaton’. Just because: it seems to me it’s the sort of thing you might find on a Bond villain’s to do list.

    (/And even that phrasing is so perfect. It’s like: this is no drama. It’s just one more thing on the list, one more thing to be arranged. Presumably during a lunch meeting. Wash car. Pick up dry cleaning. Arrange eschaton.)

  12. canabob says

    quiet heretic: “no riding the dinosaurs, PZ”

    Awwww… It would be so totally cool to see a picture of that in one of the IDiots’ museums, labeled, “Proof that dinosaurs co-existed with Jedi knights.”

    Say hello to Stevie Harper for me… our very own variant on the northern Bush tit.

  13. says

    @Ophelia Benson #17 – I did said “chilly” rather than “(name of gender related sticky-outy bits) freezingly cold.” There is a reason why I prefer to live on the west coast and not the midwest.

  14. eschaton2012 says

    @Gregory #22 – I’m surprised at how long it took for that one to come out.

    My favourite wordplay at the start of the end of the world was to talk about our feline mascot, a francophone kitten named “Es”. (Yes I know I risk the wrath of Squididity by mentioning those mammals here, but it’s worth it for the tri-lingual pun.)

  15. Richard Smith says

    @eschaton2012 (#23):

    our feline mascot, a francophone kitten named “Es”

    So, at least en anglais, is it the end of the world for anything the kitten might happen to have pooped on?