logisticslad: (super)
I arrived at the new Philcon hotel in Cherry Hill around 7pm and found the Green Room where they had my registration info. There was a moment of confusion when I was calling myself a Guest and they thought that meant that I was related to an invited pro. I was informed that in their terminology, I am a Program Participant. I wandered around to find where everything was and did a quick tour through the Dealer's Room. It was rather small and filled predominantly with booksellers this year. I bumped into [personal profile] hughcasey who asked if I would be willing to sub for the moderator of an 8pm panel titled, "Tracing the Superman Theme: From Neitzche to Iron Man." Sure, why not? After all, I've been reading comics since 1975. It turned out that the moderator was driving in from Boston and could not quite make it to the panel. There were two other panelists, one who was another scientist/comics geek and the other who had actually read Neitzche. We had a lively discussion about how various heroes from comics, books, and film met the characteristics of the Ubermensch. It turned out much better than I could have hoped.

Then I went to my friend John Ashmead's talk on "How to Build a Time Machine" along with several other members of my SF book club. He covered the time machine in both fact and fiction, including describing several physics papers that have been published on the subject. Very interesting (and he kept his quota of puns to a minimum). Next I wandered through the Art Show (also very small) and the Meet the Pros party, which was held between the art and the gaming tables. I saw the Program Chair, who apologized to me for having been put on 10am panels on both Sat and Sun, when I had requested no panels before noon, and that was unexpectedly nice of him. I saw most of the usual suspects who go to Philcon. I stopped by the Con Suite, where there were only 2 people and at that point decided to head home.

So several of my panels have been moved, but alas not the 10am one. They did tell me that they have found someone to sub for me for the Sat morn panel, so I'm not going to stress about making it (although several of my friends have told me that they were looking forward to seeing me on it). Here's where I'll be as of the last schedule change:

Sat 10am Redrawing the Tree of Life: the New Taxonomy
Sat 3pm Super-Mega-Crossovers and the Fans Who Hate Them
Sat 5pm What Does a Scientist Do, Exactly?

Sun 10am Xtreme Neurology

The Sat 5pm panel is supposed to be part of the Children's programming track, and they asked me to make it interactive, so I've brought a model of a brain (instead of an actual brain). It does seem a bit odd that they scheduled something for children at 5pm, which is well known to be the hour of melt downs, but we'll see how it goes.

Got gas for $1.75 Full Service - the real bonus to having the con in New Jersey!
logisticslad: (Default)
Sat 10:00 AM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)

[Panelists: JJ Brannon (mod), Jed Shumsky, Jay Wile, L Hunter

Study of plants and animals from a genetic, rather than
morphological perspective is resulting in major revisions to
previous ideas about the relationships between species, and their
classifications. Some biologists have suggested a complete overhaul
of the whole Linnaean system, based on the DNA evidence

Sat 3:00 PM in Plaza II (Two) (1 hour)

[Panelists: Andrew C. Murphy (mod), J. Andrew World, Phil Kahn, Jed
Shumsky, Jay Smith]

Civil War. Identity Crisis. Secret Invasion. Final Crisis. World
War Hulk. Crisis on Infinite Earths. What's up with the giant,
multi-issue crossovers that get foisted on us each year, and why do
they seem to generate such BAD reactions among the fans? And why
does DC Comics have to make everything a CRISIS!

Sat 5:00 PM in Plaza VI (Six) (1 hour)

[Panelists: Patricia Boyd (mod), L Hunter Cassells, Jed Shumsky]

Scientists, technicians and doctors explain the ins-and-outs of
their jobs through informal presentation and Q&A

Sun 10:00 AM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)

[Panelists: Jed Shumsky (mod), Alexis Gilliland, Jay Wile, JJ

SF posits almost as many marvels of the mind as of physics --
jacking in to cyberspace, artificial telepathy, electronic brain
enhancements, drugs that increase intelligence or change
personality, just to name a few. Some of these concepts are
beginning to come true today. Others remain fiction for now. What
is plausible and what isn't? Will we someday be transmitting video
directly to our optic nerves, uploading other's memories to our
brains, acquiring new personalities or learning languages overnight
logisticslad: (Default)
After a few years off, I accepted an invitation to return as a panelist at Philcon. This year, the convention was in the Sheraton downtown (they don't have a hotel booked yet for next year). The GoH is Eric Flint, who writes alternate histories. I haven't read anything by him, but I hope to hear his GoH speech tomorrow to find out what he's all about. I was on two panels this evening. One was on the Biology and Public Health Issues around Plagues and the other was on Vampire Detectives. The first was kind of all over the place, since none of the panelists were medical doctors or public health professionals (As a med school professor, I was the closest). The second went very well as we compared the vampires in Forever Knight, Blood Ties, Moonlight, and Angel. We talked about how detective is a common job because of its loner element, its connections with the underworld, its romantic sexuality, and its evening hours. People stayed, so we must have done something right! I listened to an interesting panel on Movie and TV Adaptations of Comics. They talked about how getting the essential themes right was more important than translating the specific details, which I completely agree with. I saw a bit of the Art Show and Dealers Room as they were setting up and bought some books. I found a number of folks I knew from my SF Book Club and other cons, including my old college friend [personal profile] mst3kforall. They had the Meet the Pros party, a Luau party, and the Browncoat ball all at the same time and none of them were well attended. It took them over half an hour for the food and drink to arrive for Meet the Pros, so I had to grab something before dashing off to my next panel. After that, I hung out at the Con Suite and rather than trying to find parties, I decided to come home to rest up for tomorrow. This made the cats happy!


Mar. 28th, 2006 12:21 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
I had a fun weekend attending I-CON, the SF convention in Stony Brook, NY on Long Island. I was invited to be a science track guest by [profile] schnuder and had a lot of fun being on panels. I drove up with my good friend, L. and roomed with him and [personal profile] esprix and [profile] pinoyboytoy, who I finally got to meet. We stayed at a Holiday Inn that was a 20 min drive from the con, which was held all over Stony Brook University's campus. It was an unusal set up given my con experiences and it took some getting used to. There were over 5000 attendees, mostly college age fen. I felt distinctly "older" wearing my sports jacket and presenting in a classroom, but I had fun. I met a number of the media guests - I got to spend a few minutes with George Takei, who wanted to set the record straight (so to speak) that the reason that he had come out when he did was in direct opposition to Arnold not signing the CA Marriage Act, and not because he was starring in a production of Equus. He had spent his childhood in a Japanese interment camp and equated coming out about his sexuality to coming out about that experience. He was delighted to know that queer fandom had fully embraced him before and supported him even more now that he has gone public. Kevin Sorbo did a Q&A and talked about working as a Presidential Advisor on Physical Fitness. If I had gotten up earlier, I could have worked out in the hotel gym with him - on second thought, that would have probably been way too intimidating! Marc Singer, the Beastmaster, was there and seemed delighted that anyone still remembered him. Ron Glass was there getting his first taste of SF fandom for his role is Serenity. He said that this response was way more exciting than his experience on Barney Miller. Other media guests who I saw in passing included Elvira, Richard Hatch, and Marjean Holden from Crusade. Author guests included Terry Brooks, Spider Robinson, and Peter David.

Oops, gotta go work. More later...


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