lurks the weekend, full and turgid with things

It’s been one of those weeks.

Timing, cc by-nc-nd image from hdeb89 on Flickr
Timing, cc by-nc-nd image from hdeb89 on Flickr

Yeah, pretty much like that.

It so happens that this weekend is brimming with things to do, and I’ll be hitting up each of the below events at some point to be festive and decompress. If you happen to be in the Baltimore area, I heartily suggest you join in as well:

  • The Family Game Store‘s Fifth Birthday Extravaganza – Our FLGS is the best on the planet, and is celebrating its fifth year, and we were among the first of its customers, and our presence is therefore mandated, so we will be participating in the revels with them on Saturday evening, October 23. There will be games and cake. It shall be a brilliant time.
  • The USA Science and Engineering Festival Grand Finale Expo – The “largest science festival in the nation” concludes this weekend with a massive free event on Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 5:30pm on the National Mall in DC. Laura will be helping out with space-related activities at Discovering the Universe (booth 435) on Sunday, while I will be pondering what mad mischief I can get into with the American Society of Microbiology (booths 1141 and 1143, also MWA HA HA HA).

  • Capclave 2010 – The regional science-fiction literary convention Capclave is this weekend in Rockville, MD. Laura and I have been twice before, and have found the experience somewhat underwhelming – both times it felt a bit like showing up to the meeting of a club you don’t belong to, rather than a welcoming fan community. That noted, this year’s guest of honor are the awesome Connie Willis and the VanderMeers, which makes it worth finding out if the third time is a charm. That, and hunting down a fanzine panel to attend. Heh.

making the rounds, la familia edition

soon to be well-armed with a Healing Blade

A few months back, I learned of the in-production game Healing Blade. This is a card game designed by two gamer-physicians to be both deeply strategic, as well as an instructional experience for students and doctors to teach appropriately selecting antibiotics to fight specific bacterial infections. Today, it was finally launched on Amazon and through game stores.

So, let’s see – gamer? Check. Physician? Check. Specialty, nay, nigh-obsession with infectious diseases? Check. Trains medical students and residents? Check.

I am, it seems, in the target audience.

A bit of background from the website:

Developed by two physician/gamers, Francis Kong and Arun Mathews, Healing Blade plunges the player into a world of sorcery and creatures, where real-world knowledge of infectious diseases and therapeutics play a pivotal role in the winning strategy.

Choose one of two sides:

-The Apothecaries, Champions of the Healing Blade whose namesakes hearken from real world antibiotics.

-The Lords of Pestilence, Creatures of Disease and manifestations of actual bacterial agents.

As you and your opponent seek domination through corruption and conquest, you must vie not only with brute force, but also with planning, strategy, and most importantly, an astute understanding of microbiology and medical therapeutics.

Early reviews seem to report that it’s a solid game, but I’ve ordered a couple of copies to check it out for myself. I’ll be sure to drop a review here once I’ve played a few rounds. However, I do have high hopes. Why? SYPHILIS. I mean, just look at her

*swoon* Uh, I mean, hand me the bastard sword +3 of penicillin! Yeah. That’s it. Yup.

The Drabblecast #182: Trifecta XIV

A flash story I read for the Parsec Award-winning Drabblecast, Character Flu by Robert Reed, is now up for your auditory delight. It contains both a plague and the potential for death on a massive scale, a combo that makes me exceedingly happy.

Also in the episode are readings of Mary Robinette Kowal’s Evil Robot Monkey, and Toaster of the Gods by Randall Coots, which makes for a true trifecta of good times.

making the rounds

  • It’s flu season, and I suspect you know the drill by now – wash your damn hands, cover that cough, stay home if you’re contagious, and just go get your flu shot already. Your contribution to herd immunity saves lives, people.

in which i was not eaten by flying polyps


The Miskatonic University 2010 Australian Expedition has returned. I was not mind-jacked by Yithians. I did have a scare in which I was sure I was being attacked by flying polyps, but they were merely birds – friendly, if a bit aggressive:

more birds, image via jvsquare on Flickr
more birds, image via jvsquare on Flickr

The trip was a blast, while the post trip jetlag was less so. Autopsy reports, of course, will be forthcoming.

How was your September?