Dragon*Con: Day 2

The PodSci panel just finished, and now Phil Plait is giving a talk based on his new book “Death from the Skies” (coming in October – it rocks, I read an pre-print). The room is utterly packed – people are lining the rows and James Randi is sitting in the front row taking it all in. If humans could be described using thermodynamics, I’d say this is a degenerate gas of people. This talk is being given in the Skeptics track (because Phil is a Skeptic) but it is really astronomy, and I love the fact that there are enough people here interested in learning science that two talks can be given at one time, both on Astronomy. There is a small child with her dad behind me, and she is now utterly terrified of comets and her dad is trying to...

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Dragon*Con: Day 1

Dragon*Con: Day 1

OMG That is sufficient to describe the day I had. I just left the Podcaster’s party where I got to meet, greet, and unfortunately drink too much (again). I met Michael Shermer for the first time, and the Evil Genius, who was one of the first podcasters I listened to regularly. At one point the Evil Genius, Evo, and I stood there, looking over a room of podcasters, realizing we were the “oldest” podcasters in the room. The technology has come a long way, and as a community we have raised a generation of wonderful voices who are giving their all to the world. It is beautiful. Today was a long day. I spent the first half of the day sitting at the IYA booth reaching out to hand people buttons. People would pause to look at our booth, clearly...

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Dragon*Con, Day 0

I’m debating posting my adventures to Astronomy Cast Live. I haven’t decided yet. What I have decided is it’s going to be a great convention. I get to spend 4 days talking sciene to science fiction, fantasy fiction and science geeks. This is a fun audience, and I get to talk on fun topics like the Big Bang and Citizen Science. For now though… It’s 1am Eastern and I’ve been up since 6am Central (and I believe my first sentence of the day, as I contemplated a telecon with Brits, was “Stupid Planetary Rotation”). I spent my evening hanging out with the Bad Astronomer and a bunch of Skeptics. It was fun, and I find it highly amusing that Skeptics are far more accepting of me than a group of Christains would be of Phil....

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Dragon*Con, T minus Two Days and Counting!

Dragon*Con is descending and I need to go pack so this will be brief. I get in late Thursday night and am looking forward to hanging with the Bad Astronomer and the Skepticallity crew. There will also be a table just for the International Year of Astronomy! Check us out over in the Marriot. Want to find me and talk astronomy, cosmology or anything else? Here’s how you can find me: Friday, 10:00am-1pm IYA Table in Marriot Friday, 7:00pm Forsythe room where I’ll talk about the Big Bang Friday, 8:30pm Dunwoody room where I’ll be judgeing the Star Wars prop contest Friday, 10:00pm Fayette/Newton room where I’ll talk about not getting scammed Saturday, 10:00am-11:30am IYA Table in Marriot Saturday, 11:30am Rockdale in a PodSci Panel Saturday,...

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GLAST = Fermi, Another Chicago Prof becomes a Space Telescope

As you may have heard by now, the Gamma-ray Large Area Synoptic Telescope has been renamed from GLAST to Fermi, as in Enrico Fermi (1938 Nobel Prize Winner). This simple act appears to have brought both the NASA and Sonoma websites to all but a halt, but as of 10:30pm Tuesday, they both still say GLAST. Information clearly moves faster than web designers. This amuses me, but it’s not why I write. While my heart belongs to Boston, my body currently resides in Illinois, which made me note, “Hey, Fermi’s from Chicago, IL.” This will be noted in class tomorrow. This reminded me that Chandra X-Ray observatory was named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1983 Nobel Prize), another University of Chicago scholar. (Furthering amusing me is the...

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