#34 – Amazing.
Here I sit in a room of apparently 1300 skeptics, listening to Micheal Shermer’s opening talk to “The Amazing Meeting” #8 in Las Vegas and doing my best to bring myself back to a normal level of awakeness after an amazing night. Yesterday was an amazing day, and last night was an amazing evening.
If you are reading this, then you’re either at TAM (please make sure to say hi to me and get your VirtualDS button) or you wish you were at TAM. Therefore I don’t think I have to waste words explaining how this is the premier skeptic event of the year – and yes, I’m am incredibly jazzed that I’m here. You also might know that we had a great experiment last night – while I was immersed in a crowd of loud talking (and drinking) and some very notable skeptics, I tried my best, through the use of modern technology to share a bit of that wonderful chaos with people who for various reasons couldn’t be there.
As it turned out, the experiment was a fabulous success! The audio was muted due to the incredible noise, but the video and text chat worked and many of my fellow TAM attendees too a brave chance and took a moment to say hello on the chat.
Adam Bourque stayed up very late to help out by hosting the chat and unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to thank him on the chat, but THANK YOU! Also, thanks a TON to everyone who came to the chat either online or in person.
Here is Adam’s summary of his experience from his Michigan Skeptics blog:
As the duly appointed guest host of VirtualDS #34, it falls upon me to write up the blog post.
First off let state how unbelievably jealous I am of Brian to be able to go to TAM 8 while I was stuck at home! The video chat was fun as usual but there were not as many attendees because of everyone being at TAM and the chat starting at Midnight EDT. The virtual members include: Adam Bourque @a_damn_bourque, Brian Gregory @briandgregory (he was of course enjoying himself at TAM and running the mobile rig, more on that later), Skeptic Cat @skepticcat, Jason Brown @drunkenmadman, Nicole @NoisyAstronomer, Josette Martin popped in and out, Kylie Sturgis @podblack and Steve Thoms, @SomeCndnSkeptic, graced us with a return appearance!
The main topic was of course, TAM. Which was also the reason the chat was held 3 hours later than usual. Everyone was busy getting their drink on in Vegas! Brian had set up a mobile rig and brought it to the hotel lounge where the massive Drinking Skeptically was happening. There were many people that got to say hi on the chat from the lounge. I was quite happy to be there (virtually at least) to be able to say hi to them.
The people we got to say hi to in Vegas are: Massimo Pigliucci, Brian Engler, Barry Karr, Jo Benhamu, Ken Frazier, Jarrett, Richard Saunders, Tim from Minnesota, Curtis Haymore, Phil Plait (who thinks we shouldn’t drink the virtual water) and Patrick from SLC.
The topics we discussed tonight were:
- Some guy just off screen at TAM kept typing “Bewbs” into the chat. I think he was off his meds…
- Steve Thoms’ hilarious photos from Skepchickcon.
- Nicole doing shots with her students for extra credit…
- An explanation as to what a “Kegstand” was for Jason.
- People are taller than Skeptic Cat on Purpose.
- Kylie and Dawkins: From the Global Atheist convention.
- If only there was some way to send pics over the internet…
- Nichole came up with the official symbol for “Type Something Damnit!”
- Don’t ask skeptic cat about pancakes.
- Brian got his “Swarm” badge on 4Square.
- Don’t make Nichole stabby.
- Before Photoshop, faking images was an art. Weekly World News is nothing now.
- The woman in the red top needed to come over and type something…
The next VirtualDS is scheduled for July 16th at 9pm EDT (two days before my birthday) and will have the ultra amazing Heidi Anderson and a special guest. Be sure to mark your calendars, this one should get interesting.