Texas Freethought Convention!

The word of the day is AWESOME.

Friday night, before I drove down to Dallas, I got to see Muse in concert. I think its funny that several years ago, when I went to see David Bowie, they wouldnt even let us have disposable cameras in the theater. Now that cell phones with cameras are ubiquitous, everyone records the concert and uploads it onto YouTube. All I gotta say is, if you have an opportunity to see Muse in concert, DO IT. DO IIIIIIIIIT! THEY WERE SO AWESOME AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

After the show, I drove down to Dallas for the Texas Freethought Convention. I cruised in about 3 am. Yeah, that was awesome. LOL! So I got a few hours of sleep before I gave my talk Saturday morning.

I give talks all the time for a ‘scientific’ audience. Those are no big whoop. But this time not only was it a big group of people, but it was a big group of excited intelligent laymen. Normal people who are really excited about science and want to learn more. You people are TERRIFYING, LOL! I didnt want to mess up so badly… I think I did okay 🙂

Though at one point, I got into a ‘disagreement’ with Michael Newdow about epigenetics. Which was AWESOME! (he was right, I said something offhand that I either need to be more precise about or just not mention).

I met a ton of AWESOME people! And the other speakers were really great to listen to, really encouraging, and really fun. These folks might not be as famous as other speakers at other conferences hehe, but they were all AWESOME!

The charity for the weekend, Straydog? AWESOME! They brought a yellow lab named Zeus– he and I bonded over goodies.

And then I finally got to see George Hrabs show!!! It was AWESOME!!! Got to hear a funny Michael Behe story!

… But why, exactly, did no one warn me that he has a song about when he had to put his dog to sleep? It is touching and wonderful… but ABBIE CANT HANDLE THAT SHIT. He didnt even start singing yet, just the story, and Im in the back of the conference room BAAAAAAWWWWWING. Inconsolable sobbing for about 45 minutes. I was bothering those around me. :-/

It took the entirety of Brother Sams show for me to compose myself enough to go up to George to give him shit about it. He gave me a hug. I think I scared him. LOL!!!!

But a big THANK YOU to all the organizers– I know you all put in an insane amount of work, but the conference turned out great. It really was a pleasure to attend and to speak (the sound system? AWESOME! scientists are total spazzes when it comes to microphones, and a great sound system helps us relax a bit).



  1. #1 The Curmudgeon
    October 11, 2010

    Only nine “AWESOME!!!” interjections? If only Casey had been there. Now that would really be AWESOME!!!

  2. #2 Sili
    October 11, 2010

    Hey! PeeZed is awesome, too.

    And he suffered a heartattack from hanging out with us in Copenhagen. (Sez the guy who went home early every night …)

    Re sobbing: I guess you’d better not read my recent comments on Why Evolution Is True

  3. #3 Jon
    October 11, 2010

    Never watch “I am Legend”.

  4. #4 Science Avenger
    October 11, 2010

    It was great to have you Abbie. I had been very much looking forward to meeting you and hearing you speak. You didn’t disappoint in either case, even in the most “accidentliest” way. It was nice to have a scientist speak who is so energetic and excited about her subject, and is able to bounce back and forth so easily from technical language to Gen-X-speak. In other words…awesome!

  5. #5 Alex
    October 11, 2010

    So, what did they play? My favorite Muse tracks are “Time is Running Out”, “Exopolitics”, “Hoodoo”, “I belong to you”, and “Neutron Star Collision” (and no, I don’t like Twilight, I just like the song). I also like “Exogenesis”.

  6. #6 ERV
    October 11, 2010

    The Curmudgeon– I was disappointed Billy D didnt make an appearance. I mean, I went to his presentation when he was in Norman! How rude! I also mentioned to the organizers that Billy D got in the neighborhood of $10K to make that 3 hour Dallas–>OKC drive, and that I would be expecting the same. They loled at me 🙁

    Jon– I pretty much universally will refuse to go to a movie that features a dog. My response to ‘Marley and Me’: “WHY WOULD ANYONE GO SEE THAT?? YOU KNOW WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN! WHY WOULD YOU PAY TO SEE THAT?????”

    Science Avenger– YAY! Us OKC folks need to hang out with you TX folks more. With our powers combined… BWAHAHAHA!

    1. Uprising
    2. Map of the Problematique
    3. Unnatural Selection
    4. Supermassive Black Hole
    5. Resistance
    6. Hysteria
    7. Nishe
    8. United States Of Eurasia
    9. Ruled by Secrecy
    10. MK Jam
    11. Undisclosed Desires
    12. Time Is Running Out
    13. House of the Rising Sun
    14. Starlight
    15. Plug In Baby
    16. Exogenesis: Symphony, Part 1: Overture
    17. Stockholm Syndrome
    18. Knights of Cydonia

    I love ‘Knights’, and I was going to tear the stadium apart if they didnt play it, but they did, so, **WHEW!!** hehe! And apparently ‘Ruled by Secrecy’ is a performance rarity, so, YAY!! They basically played all of my favorite songs, so I was on cloud nine 🙂

  7. #7 DevelopingGeneticist
    October 12, 2010

    Muse are AMAZING live! I saw them in January… I was blown away by how epic their show is. I had a massive argument with someone the other day about their drummer… someone was said “oh but Dom’s a crap drummer” and I was like “seriously? I’d like to see YOU play Assassin. Dick.”

  8. #8 Alex
    October 12, 2010

    “House of the Rising Sun”? Awesome! I can only imagine what their cover version must be like.

  9. #9 stogoe
    October 12, 2010

    Jon– I pretty much universally will refuse to go to a movie that features a dog. My response to ‘Marley and Me’: “WHY WOULD ANYONE GO SEE THAT?? YOU KNOW WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN! WHY WOULD YOU PAY TO SEE THAT?????”

    I hear that Marmaduke survives to the end credits… Of course, it’s Marmaduke, so there are other reasons to run screaming.

  10. #10 jaranath
    October 12, 2010

    Sorry about that, Abbie, but you’re not alone. I tend to sing along with most music I like (alone in the car, anyway) and I can’t get through “Small Comfort” (Geo’s song about Oscar). It’s just…yeah.

    But you hadn’t heard it? Are you not a Geologic Podcast listener?! Did you know buying George’s CDs, downloads and books help make his show possible?!? 🙂

    Oh, and as a geek Bowie and dog fan, if you haven’t heard Jonathan Coulton’s “Space Doggity”, you should. Yeah, it’s another tear-jerker, but the song is about Laika fighting back a bit:

  11. #11 steve
    October 13, 2010

    You might want to remove the Newdow URL — it’s actually not his site but a Christian site that seems hostile to the separation of church and state. It seems like a fairly sleazy tactic on their part to have used his name to espouse a cause with which he disagrees.

  12. #12 ERV
    October 13, 2010

    DANG IT!

    Thanks, steve!

  13. #13 Gregg
    October 16, 2010

    I think everyone I talked to agreed that you gave a great talk at the Texas Freethought Convention. It was great to hear more about erv’s and ask you questions about the current virology issues of the day.

    People don’t realize what you have to go through to do what you do and the courage it takes to stand up for science in 2010 CE. Thanks for all your hard work!

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