Dragon*Con Day 3  

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Original Source

Well, last night I didn't make it to the horror film festival. I fell asleep during the Colbert report. I did wake up off and on through the night, of course, just got to a regular sleep around 5 am.

Today was fabulous.

The first panel was Get a Life! Keeping a Sense of Fun in Non-Theist Politics with Lori Lipman Brown once again. She brought up several ways that non-theists have pointed out the absurdity of religious claims including the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Teach the Stork Controversy, and the Three Year Marriage Limitation. The Three Year Marriage Limitation (a term I coined myself) came about from the state supreme court ruling in Washington state that marriage could only between heterosexual couples since the purpose of marriage is to procreate. So a non-theist group came up with a ballot item to annul marriages where the couple did not have children wihtin three years. Of course it ended up offending people because they didn't understand the absurdity of it, but I think it's a pretty interesting idea. Anything to make people think, right?

The next panel was supposed to be a live taping of Point of Inquiry, but instead it ended up being a panel on science podcasting including Steven Novella of SGU, Derek Colanduno of Skepticality, Pamela Gay of Astronomy Cast, DJ Grothe of Point of Inquiry, Richard Saunders of TANK (soon to be renamed something with skeptic (or probably sceptic) in the title), and VirginiaGinger Campbell of The Brain Science Podcast. Swoopy from Skepticality hosted the discussion. It was an interesting discussion about what makes a quality podcast and the different ways they each have gone about making their podcasts successful.

Then Phil Plait gave a talk about his new book Death from the Skies. It was a pretty interersting discussion and different enough from Death by Black Hole to have some new ideas. He played clips from Armageddon and Deep Impact as well to illustrate his points.

I ran down to the skeptic booth in the meantime and met Evan from SGU and picked up a t-shirt. I just have to say, Evan is awesome. He was completely humble about having a fan and was really, really nice. (He kept telling me where Steve was, so I had to tell him I came down to see him because he's my favorite on the podcast.)

Then I actually had to get some food and paid an outrageous $7 for a Sam Adams. But, damn, was it a goddamn good beer! I made it back a little late for Science Based Medicine with Steve Novella, but it was a fun talk. At one point the lady and I standing in the back were shushed after she asked me for the name of the speaker and the website he was talking about. You have to be having a good time if you're shushed, right?

I left during questions so that I could make it to the 2nd Annual Skeptics vs Believers Debate, which was pretty good. I recorded the debate and I'll try to post something on it when I get back if I can figure out how to merge audio with stills in MM.

Then I sat through a live session of American Freethought. I wasn't familiar with the podcast at all, but I wanted to see how they stacked up against AGP. I think AGP is better, personally, but they were pretty funny and intersting, just a lot more scripted than we are.

Finally I sat in for the Issues in Education panel with Lori Lipman Brown, Derek Colanduno, Phil Plait, Karen Stollznow, and Kylie Sturgess (podblack). Yes, Sean, I told Kylie you said hello. She was totally excited that people read her blog. They talked a lot about the known issues around creation/intelligent design, but also about the lack of fostering critical thinking, issues with history texts. Kylie was very enthusiastic about the discussion as an educator.

It was after 8 pm then so I was long past hungry. I headed down to the hotel restaurant and made a reservation for one. However, Evan caught me as I was heading back from the restroom and invited me to come along with him and some of the other panelists. I met James Randi, Steven Novella, Bob Novella, several of the skepchicks, and several of the Aussies. Randi complimented me on my name (Ordinary Girl) in the sea of people trying to be different. Although the food was way too expensive and the service was poor, it was a good dinner.

And now I'm back in my room and the internet is still not working. I guess that's it for tonight.*

Written last night when my internet was not working.

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