Today is the first day of SkepchickCON at CONvergence. CONvergence is the largest fan run fantasy and science fiction convention in the US and or World and possibly Universe, depending. It is held in a suburb of Minneapolis. One gazillion people are in attendance. There are many activities and events, and a double-decker parallelogram of “party rooms” operated by various organizations including but not limited to the Skepchicks, whom you know from the web site Skepchick.
Among the activities are panels where interesting people sit in front of a room of interested people and conversations and stuff happen. The Skepchicks have for four or five years now run a series of back to back panels that is informally named “SkepchickCON” and I’ve been a panelist for this event for the past couple of years.
The first panel, today, was run by a core group of Skepchicks including my dear friend and esteemed colleague Rebecca Watson. But the fun actually started before the panel at lunch when several Skepchicks, my BFF Desree Schell and some guests met up. The first thing we needed to so was to rendezvous. Desiree and I arrived at TGI Fridays thinking that Rebecca and her people were already there. A quick glance did not produce results. La Matron came over to help. “We’re looking for a party,” Desree said. “Blue hair.”
La Matron, “Oh, blue hair. Because of CONvergence?” (referring to the Science Fiction and Fantasy convention next door which has a lot of blue hair and stuff).
“Well, that too,” responded Desiree.
Anyway, eventually every one arrived and we had an excellent lunch although the thing I remember most clearly about the food was Desiree’s plate full of meat. Many topics were covered during the ensuing conversation. I don’t know why I kept track, but I noticed that on six separate occasions said something like “Man I want to kick his/her ass” or “… made me want to kill him..” and that sort of thing. All metaphorically speaking, of course. No one at the table needed instructions on basic rhetoric. Adults all.
The panel was called “Skepchicks save the day and your money.” This is a regular panel, IIRC, in which each of several Skepchicks covers a particular current instance or example of woo, or category of woo. Chocolate that makes you live longer, power bracelets, and numerous “health and beauty” scams were covered, and covered brilliantly. Oh, and vagaina coloring substance.
Tomorrow we will do the first of two panels on climate change, a panel on internet trolls (I’ll be the troll) and at 10:00 PM PZ Myers and I will go head to head on the topic of female orgasms. He’s against, I’m for. Figures.
There will be much more on the following day. If you are at Convergence and you see the schedule, don’t assume I’ll be at all the panels I’m listed for … I think there was supposed to be some culling after the mass sign ups during early planning and I probably shouldn’t be on all the ones I’m on. But, since I’m on the program, if I’m listed I’ll at least be in the room in case there was a particular question you had in mind that only I could address to your satisfaction.
The event goes through Sunday.
UPDATE: They are not letting me out of doing any of the panels. Oh well. See you there!