Today is the last day of SkepchiCON, a skeptic and science track at the Convergence Convention, which in turn is one of those science fiction and fantasy conventions. I've attended a number of panels most of which I participated in, and they have all done well. For the most part, I'm told, the Skepchicon tracks get a larger audience than many other events, suggesting that we-all are doing something right. Skepchick Car2D2 deserves a huge round of applause for her awesome efforts in organizing this event.
I've had a great time visiting with friends and colleagues from in town and out of town, gawking at interesting costumes, and having excellent conversations. Yesterday, while sitting on one of the panels, I was able to point to Commander Willian Riker (sitting five rows back) and say to him, in reference to the person in the front row, "Number one ... did you hear the Klingon in the front just say that 'human beings are doomed?'"
(A guy in a Klingon suit had so lamented in relation to overall human stupidity.)
In a couple of hours, PZ Myers and I will run a panel by ourselves (I think ... perhaps someone has been added one never knows) on "New discoveries in evolution." Overall, the theme of the panels I've been on seems to have been how to figure out good from bad information about evolution and science in general. I think we may end up discussing that in part as we discuss recent evolutionary items of interest.
Two interesting metaphors emerged during the ongoing conversation that will form the seeds of a couple of blog posts ... if you remind me to talk about them. Just ask me about the Big Monkey and the Rain Forest Bouquet. It will all make sense later when I explain.
OK, now it is time to get some coffee and head back down to Bloomington where I will rub elbows with star troopers, zombies and furries. Live long and prosper. Nanu nanu.
Not to nitpick, but Riker was "Number One" (first officer), not number two. Geek out.
(OT) Greg do you have time to do some recreational reading this vacation, and if so, what favourite authors do you have? I ask since I already have sent some stuff to P Z Myers (24 June is the exact opposite date to Xmas and since some consider him to be an anti-christian monster, I found it appropriate to send him some Lovecraftian monster fiction) :)
Steve: I actually said "Number One". Then I wrote "Number One" in this blog. Then I looked at it and said "How can he be number one? He must be number two!" and changed it. Damn.
Birger: That is my birthday, by thew way. Which would make me the Anti-Christ.
Lately I've been reading 19th century African travelers accounts. (And, avoiding beaches)
June 24 is 6 months from Xmas Eve, silly!
That was a great panel, by they way. So was the subsequent panel!
I heart science.
Riker was "First Mate" or "First Officer", which is (in European-derived navies) the second-in-command of any vessel. I believe the etymology stems from the idea that the captain "belongs" to the ship, but the officers and enlisted "belong" to the captain (symbolically, at least). So Riker is first among Picard's officers, while Picard himself stands outside the group. I couldn't find a good citation with a little workplace-filtered googling, so take that with a larger-than-usual grain of salt.
I was at the "Science + Media" panel where the Klingons were commenting, and you guys were great. I'm a little sad that I didn't get to attend "Bulls**t Detection Kit: Why Pseudo-Science Doesnât Deliver". I wanted to raise my hand after ten minutes or so, and ask if I was in the right room for the "Ghost Hunting How-To" panel.