August 4th, 2012


I've Got Panels

WorldCon in Chicago

Since all the cool kids seem to be doing it, I just got my WorldCon panels the other day.

Fri Aug 31 4:30-6:00:pm Scale and Space: Seeing Neil Armstrong's Footprints
Columbus EF What can we see from space? Popular TV shows suggest we can infinitely enlarge any image without any loss, but the real world is both much more complicated and much more interesting. We know Neil Armstrong's footprints are still on the Moon - but can we see them? And from how far away? And what else can we see? The Internet is full of fascinating images. (This is an updated version of a Science presentation I made at ConFusion 2011)

Sat Sep 1 3:00-3:30:pm Reading: Dr. Phil
(I suppose I'll have to figure out what something suitably short I can read here... grin.)

Sun Sep 2 12:00-1:30:pm The Role of SF for Teachng Critical Thinking
Comiskey A discussion of science fiction's role in the academic world, and how using science fiction in the classroom promotes literacy and encourages students to think critically.
Chris Mirell, Dr. Phil, Erica Neely, Jonathan Vos Post, Val Ontell

You might notice that only one of the three involves compatriots -- but that's not because I don't play well with others! It's just the nature of the panels/readings. (grin) Science, Applied Science Fiction and literature. The trifecta FTW.

Oh, and my ChiCon 7 hat came today. Stylin'.

Dr. Phil

Model Trains Snuck Into Town When I Wasn't Looking

I Did Not Know This

NMRA -- the National Model Railroad Association -- is holding its 77th National Convention here in downtown Grand Rapids MI Right Now! It's been going on all week, 29 July - 4 August 2012.

Why did I not know about this? Well, I haven't done any active model railroading in years, though I occasionally buy some N-scale Canadian Pacific and Canadian National rolling stock. Haven't been in Ryder's or other local hobby shops in years. Been a long time since I bought an issue of Model Railroader, never was a member of the NMRA and Bob Scherzer retired from the Physics Dept. at WMU, so my local connection is gone.

And then there's the damned Grand Rapids Press. Ever since they went to three days a week home delivery, they've gotten bad about keeping up with things. The article on their daily email feed about the event showed up today, with only a day and a half left.

Sigh. Not that I had time this week to go. But it would have been fun.

Dr. Phil