Dragon*Con: Day 1

Posted By Pamela on Aug 30, 2008 | 5 comments


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 curious, and I pinned them. It was fun and it got them talking. And it got people talking astronomy. What made me sad was hearing all the people mention their telescopes sitting at home in closets. That is just wrong. There are amateur astronomy clubs across America waiting to help anyone and everyone get their telescopes working to look at the stars.

There were strange aspects to the day. At one point, walking down the hall surrounded by people is amazingly high heels, the words of the wonderful Adrienne Gauthier and a poster she wants to write echoed through my head saying, “I learned how to walk sexy from my avatar,” As I watched all the chicks around me, I kept seeing them as avatars with “Sexy walk” installed. At another point, in a crowded elevator with too much noise, I had the sudden realization that I can’t l lip read people wearing fangs (lip reading is self defense in crowded loud conferences). And, capping the day off, I hung out with DJ of Point of Inquiry, who lives 30 minutes from me, and decided I need to cross the river to St Louis more often.

And in the midst of all of this, I also gave two talks today, one on the evidence for the Big Bang, and one on stupid things you shouldn’t purchase. Both were recorded and I’m going to try and post them when I can find the audio. One of the talks hit the glorious resonance where the speaker and the audience are just riding the story, dancing to the music of the ideas. It was a great day. I’m exhausted, and my writing now sucks. I need sleep. One of the problems with being active (both at the booth and giving talks) is I don’t have time to think and write. Tomorrow I may try and carry my audio recorder with me and record as I go. We’ll see, I’m giving presentations all day. I don’t know how much of me will be left at the end. But it will be glorius, no matter what happens. Pictures will be coming (check Phil’s blog too).


  1. Don’t worry too much that the telescopes are in the closet, it happens a lot. At least they have telescopes! One thing I have noticed about the “interests” listed on MySpace or Facebook is just how many people list astronomy as an interest. Not many list chemistry or biology, but astronomy is interesting to just about everybody. It’s universal. Astronomical EPO has this groundswell of people’s curiosity helping it out, so ride that wave and have a ball at DC!

  2. They have telescopes in the closet and don’t use them?

    Can’t they just “donate” one to me?

  3. Thanks for the podcasts! Astronomy Cast is maybe the second podcast I started listening to, and I have far more time to listen than I can spare to keep up with blogs…

    Hey, I thought that POI came out of Buffalo? Or is that just the HQ of the CFI?

    Anyway, keep up the good work, and thanks!


  4. I think you tried to stab me with one of those buttons! 😉

    I made some of my friends wear them, too. They rolled their eyes, but I made them wear the buttons.

  5. I have audio AND video of some of your talks! In fact, you mention this photograph of Bobba Fett in my first video I took, when chatting to Swoopy:

    The great many buttons available at the Astronomy table: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jreYOlFn2A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guURv4vgAiM – your ‘review Amazon for selling these things!’ talk.

    Thanks for talking to me at Dragon*Con, it was a little overwhelming at times!

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