July 25th, 2014


And The Results Are In...

At http://detcon1.org/ I noticed that they gave last weekend's attendance:


The North American Science Fiction Convention Rocked Detroit!

Thank you to everyone who came out and contributed to a fabulous NASFiC.
The total number of attending memberships was 1628, with a warm body count
of 1450, making Detcon1 the largest Science Fiction convention in Michigan – so far!

As far as two other Michigan cons: I don't recall the attendance numbers for the 2013 ConFusion, the last I attended, but I want to say is was around 800?

Penguicon Attendance, 1,377 (2014)

The last two Worldcons were North American -- hence no NASFiC needed -- and attendance was pushing 5000. One expects Loncon 3 in London next month to be lower?

70th Worldcon - Chicon 7 - 30 Aug-3 Sep 2012 - Chicago, IL
4,743 attending/6,197 supporting

71st Worldcon - LoneStarCon 3 - 29 Aug-2 Sep 2013 - San Antonio, TX

By contrast, the results from Detroit 55 years ago:

17th Worldcon - Detention - 4-7 Sep 1959 - Detroit MI
371 attending

Data from the Long List of Worldcons.

The last two NASFiCs with attendance data were:

8th NASFiC - CascadiaCon - 1-5 Sep 2005 - Seattle, Washington

10th NASFiC - Reconstruction - 5-8 Aug 2010 - Raleigh, NC

Data from the Long List of NASFiCs.

So, the 11th NASFiC - Detcon1 - Detroit MI was a clearly a success for the participants and a success by any other measure as well.

Well done, Detcon1 !

Dr. Phil

Charter -- You Aren't Even Trying

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...
--John F. Kennedy ****
So this week our beloved cable company converted us to 100% digital in the interests of giving us monumentally better service and oh-by-the-way-can-we-suck-more-money-out-of-you to get even more channels you don't want, Internet service infested with giant Kick Me signs and abandon the perfectly reliable telephone landline.

But we're not getting what we used to.

When we first got our HDTV and kept our old service, we could access the local channels:
CBS: 3, 3.1 (HD), 3.2 (CW HD)
ABC-Battle Creek: 4, 41.1 (HD), 41.2 (WOOD-TV8 Weather HD)
NBC: 8, 8.1 (HD), 8.2 (WOOD-TV8 Weather HD)
ABC: 13, 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 (WZZM-TV13 Weather HD)

plus extended HD channels for FOX and PBS.

Well, we may have 100% HD service, but we've lost all the extended local channels --or at least I haven't found them and they're not listed in the channel guide.

This afternoon I tuned into The Weather Channel HD (NEW!) to get the Local on the 8's forecast. Nope. It's set in the generic national mode.

Isn't that wonderful? Isn't that peachy? I've got four or five new HD shopping channels and I can't get a weather map or a forecast unless a network affiliate is giving one -- or I can go online or turn on the weather radio at the other end of the house. Thank you so fucking much, Charter. It's only summer severe weather season. On a Great Lake.

EDITED TO ADD: Oh, and a cable box that starts on some Charter Channel every damn time? It can't remember what channel it's on like every TV and VCR I've ever had? Takes fifteen or more minutes to download an entire TV guide database and can't spare one damn memory location to store one lousy three digit number? How do you think I feel having to remember fifty-odd unnecessarily three-digit numbers? What do you think my living room is, some damned hotel room? This will be SO much fun when the power flickers and the cable box loses its mind Every Single Power Twitch. -- Epic fail, Charter. And all just so can blitz people who already hate you see more Charter Communication commercials.

The lips keep miming "improved service" but the words come out "we don't do these things because they are hard."

Dr. Phil

**** If you've never read the full text of JFK's speech at Rice University, 12 September 1962, one which is quoted extensively from just one or two sound bites, I urge you to.