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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  13:48:04  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay so here it is. I will be flying out tomorrow morning and should arrive at the Southpoint Hotel and Casino sometime before noon, if all goes well. Hard to believe how much I have to do today. Clothes to clean, shoes to buy, some banking and a whole lot of this and that.

I will be taking the Macbook for the purpose of posting in this thread, as the event goes on. I have a new camera (I didn't know the camera I took last year was broken until I saw how few usable photo's there were when I got back) and will bring back pictures to share with you.

I am still trying to decide on whether to take the computer to the event itself, or just do a recap at the end of each day, up in my room. The thing is, I hate using the laptop keyboard and I prefer using a mouse, so it wouldn't just be a matter of schlepping the book around.
I'm bringing a keyboard and a mouse with me too.

I plan to go the the Skepchick party, which is being held at a secret location this year, away from the hotel. They rented a house this time! I won't know the address until I get to Vegas, and perform a series of secret hand gestures to prove that I am who I say I am. (I could tell you what they are, but then I would have to kill you.) This will be the year that the party won't be shut down by hotel security! The police maybe, but not hotel security.

There are several people who post on facebook that I would like to meet. We'll see how that goes. Derek (but not Swoopy) and sailingsoul who is often at chat will be there too. Hopefully I will not be dinning alone at night. So far, I have been lucky. (Lucked into a dinner with PZ Myers last year. And really, it was just luck!)

So there it is. Thanks to the generosity of the JREF for throwing a scholarship my way, I will be going to my 4th consecutive TAM event.

News as it happens, or maybe a bit later...


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project

filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2009 :  16:37:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Would that i could go, but I must content myself with hogwash and hope to get righteous, skeptical conversation from PZ's crowd.

Enjoy!




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

Edited by - filthy on 07/08/2009 16:39:59
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2009 :  12:27:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Okay, I am here at the Southpoint. The morning went smoothly, and I was here before noon. Just checked into my hotel room, which has everything. Nice. Interestingly everyone on the shuttle from the airport to the hotel were going to TAM.

Now that I have this intertube thing sorted out, I will make my way to the registration area and also see about my duties as a volunteer. It does look like another year of long walks. But then, I guess I could use them. Anyhow, so far so good. Only thing is this stinking access will cost me 12.95 a day, which seems a bit high. But oh well.

This room is huge my most hotel standards. Hell, I could spend my time here if I were so inclined. Perfect weather inside. I like that there is an HD TV, a coffee maker, an ironing board and a reasonably nice view of the pool area. Hmmmm...

I'm going over to the TAM area now, and getmyself sorted out, if I can find it!

More later.




Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2009 :  16:43:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm up here getting ready for the reception.

I ran into Derek who was going the other way as usual. Hopefully we will have some time to talk, later. I also talked a bit with Daniel Loxton of Jr Skeptic about our favorite cause which is that the skeptical community should not align itself with one political party, or even try to. Also had a short chat with Harriet Hall about TAM4. More on that later.

Oh, and very cool was a rather long talk with Joe Nickell. And the reception hasn't even begun!!!
Again, I will elaborate later. I have only 15 minutes to get to the reception.

Dave, feel free to correct any miss spelled names...

Cya later.


Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Simon
SFN Regular

USA
1992 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2009 :  17:26:46   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Simon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you are having fun already!

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
Carl Sagan - 1996
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  01:41:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I need to be quick because it's late and I must wake up early for my volunteer work. The food was way better than it has been at past receptions. I mean way better. No cold cuts. Had a few beers.

Met Tim Farely and few other people. Met Shermer in fact. Hmmmm...

Found sailingsoul and we hung out. The room for the reception was bigger than last year but there seemed to be way more people there. I do think they will break 1000 this year, if they haven't already.

Had too much to drink, came back to my room to write this and promptly fell asleep. Michelle called because a boyfriends of a friend of her's is here and alone and she wanted me to go meet up with him and kinda show him the ropes. He didn't really need my help. Smart guy, editing a screenplay. He teaches screenwriting too. We had a nice long talk about skepticism, atheism, and just shot the shit over another few beers and smokes until about 10 minutes ago. He, along with SS will be a fun to hang with.

Back in my room and it's 1:30 and I have a six AM wake up call. I will try to elaborate more later. I must sleep now.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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froydnslp
New Member

22 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  22:01:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send froydnslp a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And you never call home? You don't have time for even a minute to call home? That's ok, I'll just sit here, alone, in the dark...OH WAIT! There's the light switch! Have fun Sweets and call when you have some time!
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/10/2009 :  22:29:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have lots of notes about the days events. Got some good pictures too. I need more.

After about three hours of sleep I did the volunteer thing. In my case that meant helping to set up the merchandise tables at the back of the hall. I kept staking out my seat but people kept moving my bag further and further back until there was no way I was going to sit where I wanted to. But even that worked out because sailingsoul found a couple of seats near the front. It was another heavy coffee day because I really didn't get enough sleep, and I didn't want to nod off while the speakers were speaking. I have a list of who spoke and will go into that more tomorrow as time permits.

I introduced sailingsoul to Derek, and we got a small group shot. I did get to meet a few people that I have been wanting to meet and got a very special picture of Penn and his little girls.

Also got one with Phil Plait and Jeff Wagg just because.

The food this year, including breakfast is good. There were actually choices for breakfast.

Robert Lancaster is doing great. The rate of his recovery is amazing.

Hey, I'm tired. I will finish this in the morning. Sorry about that but I do need more than three hours sleep to function...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  15:18:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, it.s almost three PM. There is a panel discussion going on now that I am not particularly interested in. The second of the day. I did enjoy the first one on magic and how it is perceived which included Penn & Teller, Ray Hyman, Jaimy Ian Swiss and Randi.

But hey, the one going on now is the third of the panels. You start to get the idea that they just didn't have a full enough roster of speakers, which may be the case.

I will have some time tomorrow to go into more detail about who spoke and so on, while waiting for my flight. That is, if I have a place to set this up. (Check out is at noon and my flight isn't until 4:24.) Otherwise, I will do it from home.

I overslept this morning. I didn't miss anything, but I wanted to take some time to do what I am doing now.

After the wrap up for todays events, I must do my volunteer thing again and also before the talent show. (My job will be to look at tickets, but not take them because they are keep sakes.)

After the talent show is the skepchick party.

I should probably mention that they day opened with a surprise. Top Skepchic, Rebecca Watson and her long time boyfriend got married on the TAM stage. No, really. They were married. All this had been kept very hush hush. Somehow it seemed so fitting. A Vegas marriage with over a thousand skeptics in attendance!!! Good on them!

I have a few goals to fulfill. I can say this much. Aside from being a great event, in a great venue, this particular TAM has not measured up to past TAM's that I have attended. But hey, even a mediocre TAM, speaker wise, is pretty darned awesome.

I should probably make my way back now. I mostly stepped out for coffee, and made some here in my room. Hopefully the loudest sound wont be my head hitting the table for the rest of the afternoon.

(Note to self: Get more fucking sleep!!!)

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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knightmare
New Member

USA
42 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  15:52:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send knightmare a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did get to meet a few people that I have been wanting to meet and got a very special picture of Penn and his little girls.


You lucky guy! Penn and Teller are two of my (and my wife's) favorite skeptics. My wife found a copy of "Bullshit" season 1 at a library in OH where we lived. Niether one of us had heard of it at the time. Since watching the fisrt season, we've seen them all, bought seasons 3-5, subscribed to Skeptic and the Skeptical Inquirer, etc., etc. I hope to go to TAM one day and thank them for helping me on my way to a better quality of life.
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  16:31:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The food was way better than it has been at past receptions. I mean way better. No cold cuts.


Wait a minute, who doesn't like cold cuts? That's one of the first things I look for in a buffet...

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
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the_ignored
SFN Addict

2557 Posts

Posted - 07/11/2009 :  16:35:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send the_ignored a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Matt Dilahunty from the Non-Prophets is also reporting on TAM 7.


>From: enuffenuff@fastmail.fm
(excerpt follows):
> I'm looking to teach these two bastards a lesson they'll never forget.
> Personal visit by mates of mine. No violence, just a wee little chat.
>
> **** has also committed more crimes than you can count with his
> incitement of hatred against a religion. That law came in about 2007
> much to ****'s ignorance. That is fact and his writing will become well
> know as well as him becoming a publicly known icon of hatred.
>
> Good luck with that fuckwit. And Reynold, fucking run, and don't stop.
> Disappear would be best as it was you who dared to attack me on my
> illness knowing nothing of the cause. You disgust me and you are top of
> the list boy. Again, no violence. Just regular reminders of who's there
> and visits to see you are behaving. Nothing scary in reality. But I'd
> still disappear if I was you.

What brought that on? this. Original posting here.

Another example of this guy's lunacy here.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  02:52:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just came back from the skepchick party. I had fun for the most part. Problem is it's almost three and I have a 7:am wake up call.

One thing about the_ignored's link. While I would agree that Shermer had libertarianism as the subtext for what he talked about, it was much more toned down than in previous outings and what he has posted on his blogs. More to the point, he was the only one who even broached the subject. There were no libertarian materials in our folders this year, and there seems to be a general agreement that no political ideology should be the default ideology for skeptics. At least in that area, there was a marked improvement over previous TAM's that I have attended.

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  06:03:37   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Kil

There were no libertarian materials in our folders this year, and there seems to be a general agreement that no political ideology should be the default ideology for skeptics. At least in that area, there was a marked improvement over previous TAM's that I have attended.
Good to hear that this is becoming an accepted principle. Skeptics can be any kind of politicos that they want to be, but skepticism isn't political. I wouldn't want my left/liberal leanings to be a "default" any more than I'd like Shermer's Libertarianism, or Hitchens' semi-neoconservatism/whatever, to be.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13462 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  11:32:36   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm at the Sunday morning session now. There has been a live feed from TAM7. I don't know the url, but I suspect a short search should find it. That also means that there is probably a lot on youtube already.

Sorry I didn't bring this book down with me for all the sessions. It's working fine...

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/12/2009 :  12:36:01   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Live feed

I'm fairly certain I just heard some guy shout out the passcode to a lock...

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 07/12/2009 12:37:31
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