As you can probably guess, I didn't get much sleep between sunrise and 8:00, but I did show up for Ben Radford's talk, Doomsdays and 2012 Mayan Prophecy.
` Apparently, not only did the Mayans not think that this year would be the last, and not only were there other calendars which 'end' in different years, but they actually referred to dates that were decades and even centuries after the year 2012.
` But who cares what they thought, anyway? It's not as though anyone would be able to predict the end of the world -- plus, everyone who's tried so far has failed, as no one seems to have noticed the world ending!
He also showed a video where this guy talks about exploring consciousness and quantum physics, and is "literally not making any sense." I would say that exact same thing because even though I used to be into that stuff, I sure as hell couldn't understand it!
` By the end, I think, George came out to explain something, like why the computer thinks it's the end of the world, or something like that -- don't quite recall.
` I've also found that she does have this very interesting website, which contains a neat video introduction to her work to boot.
Due to lack of sleep, I was having so much trouble staying awake that by 9:00 Panel -- Skepticism and the Humanities -- I found myself getting extremely bored.
` Despite the fact that the panel is composed of awesome podcaster Brian Thompson, as moderator, with Amy Davis Roth (a.k.a. Surly Amy, maker of Surlyramics), Mezzo-Soprano Hai-Ting Chinn of the Scopes Monkey Choir podcast (about the science of music), Miranda Celeste Hale, Professor Eve Siebert (because learning is fun) and Dr. Robert Blaskiewicz, I still kept falling asleep.
` Let's just say, this is all the more hardcore that I get:
He actually didn't seem to really know or care when this was until I told him and he was all saying that he didn't have a script and didn't know what he was going to do beforehand and OH NOES!!!
` Apparently, he just says makes stuff up like this, just as he makes stuff up when he teases me, which I probably shouldn't repeat here, but was nevertheless too naive to wrap my brain around his bizarrity fast enough.
All I can say is OMG I need to learn how to tease him back and operate on his own level! HE IS SUCH A TRIP! And 100% kosher. Yum!
[Edit: I just remember that someone had asked me why Joshie is always wearing wifebeaters, and I didn't know, so I asked and got this answer: No sleeves is not only most comfortable, but also as a rebellion against the Orthodox community.]
During this time of making up for lost sleep, I had missed Jamy Ian Swiss, who's good at screwing with people's heads, Dierdre Barrett, who screws with people's heads in a therapeutic way, SGU's Steven Novella, who fixes people's brains, and Astronomy Cast's astronomer, Pamela Gay.
` While Joshie was going off to poker, I stepped into the Grand Ballroom to see visual neurologist Susana Martinez-Conde talking about how our brains see faces in practically anything, such as the "Ow, My Balls!" ultrasound of a testicle, and other face-related illusions.
After some chocolate cake, it was back to the Grand Ballroom for the second recording of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, to be melded together with the one featuring Richard Saunders on the previous day.
` It's funny how one can do that with a podcast, since you can't tell when Richard Saunders is or isn't there without some sort of photographic evidence:
See? He's not there! It's just Evan, Jay, Steve and Bob!Without a fifth person, however, Geo got to do this bit where he kept injecting himself and being rebuffed by the SGU crew.
` Whitaker claimed that by 2040, everyone will be autistic (or even more than 100%, by looking at his graph) -- unless that's supposed to be a graph of Steve's sex life. Another graph that he had showed demonstrates modern medicine's ability to treat measles, but he claimed that it was the number of incidences of measles -- two very different things!
Geo says he has a song about one of these graphs, but instead winds up walking off the stage looking dejected (but not blurry in real life):
At the debate, the stuff coming out of Whitaker's mouth was so crazy that Michael Shermer stood up in the audience and started to shout at him! Steve had to say, "Sit down, Michael, I got it!"
` Steve says he handled it well enough that other audience folks came up to him later and said that it was obvious that Whitaker was full of hot air.
Next, they showed their SGU interview with Dr. Rachie Dunlop on such anti-vaccine nonsense -- and look who pops out from under the table to give his two cents!
Although pre-recorded and still onscreen, Steve says that Geo can be on the show if he really, really wants, and Geo goes back to the unnerving realm from whence he came, and shortly thereafter appeared on stage to be part of the show. Yay!
` Also, on SGU, they showed a crazy photo from when Steve's colleague David Gorski smacked down Whitaker after the debate, but unfortunately that was not recorded.
Also, I should mention that Bob still can't use microphones, which has been hilarious: Steve had to move Bob's mic over to his mouth as he's talking about the radioactive waste warning for future archeologists. Ha!
And now it's time for Occ the Skeptical Caveman! He's an intellectual sort who makes spears...
` Also, Perry is featured in one of the cave paintings -- awwww, Perry!!! It's sad that I never got to meet him....
[Edit: Now you can watch Occ, too, and see how awesome it is! I can barely even tell that's Jay!
Anyway, thanks, Greg!]
Now they're showing some of the SGU gag reel! W00t! And drawing the raffle ticket for a seat onstage... the winner is none other than Dr. Sexy Time himself! And he gets to sit next to Geo -- jealous!
At last we get to Science or Fiction! Don't read the following paragraph if you want to play along with the game on the podcast -- there's a link in the paragraph after that.
For your own listening enjoyment, you can hear the finished podcast right here, which is edited to make it seem as though Richard Saunders and Geo are both sitting at the table at the same time. It's also considerably less funny than what I was privy to, but that's how it goes.
` It also lacks Occ the Skeptical Caveman, but you should be able to view that on YouTube whenever they upload it for all to see.
After SGU was astrophysicist Sean Carroll's presentation, 'From Particles to People: The Laws of Physics and the Meaning of Life'. After that was Elisabeth Cornwell, the woman who smartly whisked Dawkins from my clutches, with 'Social Networks: Civilizing the Future'.
` But, never mind them, as I was out in the hallway meeting Brian Dalton, who is perhaps best known as the eternally-hilarious and satirical Mr Deity -- and yes, that's Jamy Ian Swiss and Aron-Ra. I even thought of something clever-ish to say in my video:
` I showed him the drawing and he said, "Oh, check me out!" Also, by then he was almost finished solving it, too!
` Also noticed Aron Ra in front of some camera being interviewed, as many people have been, and then caught another nap back up in my room.
After that was this video that was apparently just made down the street, thanks to Susan Gerbic, about how some skeptics were handing out cards about Sylvia Browne (Convicted Felon) in protest of her show, and explaining her secrets of how she tells people things they already know.
[Edit: I found it -- check it out!]
What's funny is that when Teller tried to talk, his mic didn't work -- a cruel joke? Luckily, he found a handheld mic very quickly:
` On their show, Bullshit, they avoided lawsuits by using the word 'dipshit' or 'asshole' in place of 'liar' or 'quack'. One creative way of getting around this was in the chiropractic episode, Penn used the phrase 'baby-twisting motherfuckers' while surrounded by quacking ducks.
` Ah yes, I remember that!
` It just so happens that I was sitting next to Margaret, who was in the Boy Scout episode, so we were talking about it back and forth a bit.
` Now Lawrence Krauss wants to know when Penn got his implant, and Penn says, "From your mother."
And, as if assuring everyone, Penn says that atheism is part of skepticism, and that skepticism cannot be used to support libertarianism.
` And then Randi comes out, all emotional, and talks about how they're his giants -- one more than the other -- and presents them with this award that's a small, slowly rotating globe that one can remove from its stand. It was sitting on the table there, but it's blocked by someone's head.
Someone else also told me that a Quine is a program that reproduces the source code as output -- like this:
((lambda (x) (list x (list (quote quote) x))) (quote (lambda (x) (list x (list (quote quote) x)))))
I didn't know that, but now I have something to relate my pen name to!
Also at some point, I heard that there was a Legion of Sarahs. Since Sarah is my real name, I decided to join Mowgli 3 and Ologies, which I did after getting home, so now their numbers have grown... by the one they call Spoony!
Enough of this chatter -- the very impressive rest of this day is here, in my next post!