I am sitting in the Tampa Airport today, on my way home after a wonderful scientific conference with the Organization of Biological Field Stations. (Also, why has no one told Tampa their logo really looks like a vulva? I mean, you would think someone would have noticed that well before the signs were printed.)
It was pretty much 4 days of very little sleep, very much alcohol, and lots of mental overstimulation. Loved. It.
I also learned some new words, and seemed to constantly be overhearing bits of other conversations that were hilarious out of context. My new word for the week was “charrette“:
“A charrette is an intensive planning session where citizens, designers and others collaborate on a vision for development. It provides a forum for ideas and offers the unique advantage of giving immediate feedback to the designers. More importantly, it allows everyone who participates to be a mutual author of the plan.”
Charrette was used in the context of someone from the National Science Foundation describing a possible new program to combine several data initiatives. It’s neat that they want to get community input on how to develop the program and choose what to pursue. I am a serious word nerd, so I’m excited to have a new one to play with.
I also kept coming in on the end of conversations and not quite getting what the discussion was about. You know what I mean–one of my all time favorites was hearing someone say “And then PZ comes in wearing a leotard!” I still don’t know what that was about, actually.
My two favorites from this conference were:
“It’s not the chaps that make them ass-less, it’s the lack of pants.”
“I broke my dongle on the plane. But I was still able to do it manually last night.”
What odd things have you overheard lately? What new words have you learned?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.