Holy. Frakkin. Wow.
So, I attended, no, experienced my very first Dragon*Con. It was on a scale of something that I have never seen before. Tens of thousands of freaks and geeks, many in costume, descended upon downtown Atlanta to laugh, squee, drink, and just be themselves (or whoever they want to be) for a while.
Crowd partying at the Marriott bar
Some classic superheroes, at least one with a new spin! Lots more pictures, including some of Tim and me in costume, are on Picasa and Facebook.
I actually spent a lot of my time at Skeptrack. I finally got to meet many wonderful people that I had only know of through their writing or podcasts or through Twitter. We had SUCH a blast! These intelligent, creative people are each in their own right a force of nature, so the congregation of them in one place was simply spectacular. Conversations started early in the day with the first panels, and stretched well into the next AM. I don't think I can do justice to each and every person that I met there so I'll just say, thank you! And a special thanks to Derek and Swoopy of Skepticality for all of us even being there.
The closing Skeptrack panel
I've come away with a lot of great ideas and inspiration for various things I'd like to write and do. As usual, it will take time for any one to come to fruition in my "spare time" (hahaha). But as a number of the panelists stressed at various points, each one of us can do something, even something little, to advance skeptical thinking in the culture around us.
Some other highlights from the Con:
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast won the "Best Infotainment" Parsec Award! Congrats to the whole team who work tirelessly to put this project together, and each and every one of the contributors to the cast.
George Hrab accepted this little gem on behalf of the cast.
The world record attempt at the most people dancing "Thriller" was attempted! I was not present, but the video is fantastic.
The pre-Dragon*Con Star Party was a success! The event was sold out, and then some, while guests mingled, chatted, and honored the late Jeff Medkeff. Kudos to Maria Walters and the Atlanta Skeptics for organizing (and driving us around, and just for everything!), Pamela Gay and Phil Plait for giving kick-ass talks to a tipsy, rowdy crowd, and the Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott for hosting and for letting Pamela and I talk to their students during the day. Despite the clouds, we got some good views of the Moon and Jupiter. I have to say, the Galileoscope is a really neat tool for introducing astronomy. I would recommend a tripod, however, though sitting on the concrete in your new dress to balance it on the back of a chair is also perfectly acceptable. Except maybe to my dress.
Randomly walking past celebrities in the hallway and in the bathroom was so weird. I did a double take for both Michael Trucco and Felicia Day. I also got to enjoy Felicia Day's Guild Q&A and a really fun BSG panel with Michael Hogan and Mary McDonnell. So it wasn't all Skeptrack all the time, I got out and geeked out a bit, too.
I got pissed with the FDO. Really. A lot of us did... I'm surprised the bar ever let us back. That was one of at least four* (maybe five if Geologic gets posted!) live podcasts I got to attend, the others being Skeptic Zone, SGU, and a hilarious, hilarious Amateur Scientist. And we finally got to hear Christian Walters on that latter podcast! Special thanks to him for driving my ass around Atlanta and helping us find a hotel and for even getting me to come down there in the first place.
So, check out my pictures, and look forward to some new skeptical thoughts to come! If I met you and haven't friended you on Facebook or Twitter yet, go ahead and say hi!