I realize this is probably getting tiresome for those who didn’t attend the conference, but I’ll just add a few thoughts on TAM and then let it drop. Phil Plait chided meÂ on the length of my posts anywayÂ (although hisÂ remark was the basis for a good line from my Australian friend, Michael, who quipped, “How can it be a bad thing for the only male amidÂ so manyÂ women to be too long?”).
At any rate, I’ll try to be as brief as possible, but I’m not making any promises.
First of all, the Skepchicks rock! All of them. I’ve been friends with Rebecca for a number of years, but I’m really just getting to know the other contributors, andÂ each time I’m in their company, I am more impressed by them. I’m so thankful they let me be a part of their group here.
Simply put, a.real.girl is the stuff of which awesome is made. I can’t think of one thing at TAM she didn’t do or influence in some way. And that’s not an exaggeration. From administrative tasks to calendar sales to party and event coordination to just offering a hug or an ear for a dude who probably drank too much whiskey yet again, she did it all. She was everywhere. I joked many times over the weekend, by saying “Skepchick powers activate!”, but she’s the real deal. She is a superhero.
I also got to hang out quite a bit with carr2d2 and her husband for the first time. At one point, I made a comment about the demolition crew working on the Stardust a couple years ago being more foul-mouthed than any sailor I’d ever met, and carr2d2 not onlyÂ confirmed that construction crews are like that in general, she thankfully demonstrated her own expertise in expletives. She is so cool. I have no modifier to quantify her level of coolness.
Masala_Skeptic and her husband were also there, and even though her husband crippled me in the poker tournament only to go out on the bubble himself, I have nothing butÂ love for them both. They organized the tourny, as well as the Saturday night party. Who wouldn’t love such friendly people? I’m surprised Las Vegas officials even let them into the city for fear of blowing the curve, but I’m glad they did.
Stacey made it to TAM as well, and I couldn’t have been more pleased to learn she was coming. I had the pleasure of sitting next to her in the conference room the entire weekend, so we got to discuss the speakers immediately,Â not to mentionÂ pass dirty notes back and forth. AndÂ I’ll add thatÂ Danny DeVito never looked better. (wink)
Of course Rebecca was there. Unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to spend much time with her, but there was not much anyone could do about that. She was spread so thin, IÂ started calling her Homeopathic Skepchick. There was about .0000000000001 parts Rebecca for every attendee.
Likewise, I didn’tÂ getÂ a great deal ofÂ tkingdoll time, because she was busy with papers and world records and stuff like that. But we’ve shared several previous TAMs, and she’s as full of awesome as the other women on this site.
As for the rest, I’ll just say the conference was as stimulating and entertaining as ever. It’s big enough now that a restructuring of the format is definitely in order, but the speakers were perfect.
Dr. Tyson was the man, plain and simple. He ruled the stage and the entire conference hall.
Richard Wiseman kicks ass, even though his British sensibilities would probably prefer I say he’s charming and erudite instead. But fuck British sensibilities. He kicks ass.
The others were amazing as well. I had a chance to speak at length with Ben Goldacre into the wee hours of the morning on Friday. He no doubt thought me a hick for my Texas accent, but he humored me nonetheless, and I appreciated it.
Phil Plait was Phil Plait. Always great to hang out with Phil, no matter the context.
And there are too many more with too many good things for me to say about them to include, but they all rocked. I recommend buying the DVD. It will be well worth the price.
As for me personally, I am sad to be back at work and rolling along at a much slower pace. But for those few days in Vegas, I was surrounded by amazing people and amazing friends.
And I was in flavor country.