Tag Archives: Moon Ranger Laura

Balticon goings-on

Physician v. Admiral
Physician v. Admiral from Balticon 2005, CC BY-NC-SA image by docoperon via Flickr

Memorial Day is nigh, which means another Balticon approaches, which means SCIENCE and other tomfoolery on my part as a guest of that august event. My schedule for the con is as follows:

  • Friday, May 22, 4:00 PM ~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Medical Studies: A Skeptical Journal Club ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ One of the most important aspects of being a healthy skeptic is knowing: just because a certain topic is studied and an article published, does not mean the study was conducted scientifically, nor that the authors reached a conclusion supported by the data. So, when someone states that a study ‘has major flaws’ or ‘was well-done,’ precisely what does that mean? Join us as we analyze two different journal articles in detail, focusing on the good, the bad, and the ugly of how studies are done and interpreted.
  • Saturday, May 23, 12:00 PM ~ Blood, Sweat, and Fears: Infectious Outbreaks Among Us ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ Infectious outbreaks have swept through the human population throughout the existence of our species. Despite technological improvements and medical advances, pandemics continue to create illness and fear. We’ll look at how three different infectious outbreaks are trying to kill us, and how we are fighting back — Ebola, Chikungunya, and Enterovirus D68.
  • Monday, May 25, 10:00 AM ~ Allergies on Alien Planets? What would REALLY kill you? ~ Salon A ~ Sam Scheiner PhD (M), John Cmar MD, Perrianne Lurie MD, Thomas Talbot MD (50 minutes) ~ So your space ship has landed on that Gem of a New Planet, you’ve established a colony. YEAH! Then folks start getting ill …
  • Otherwise I will be lurking about the Science, Skeptical Thinking, and New Media tracks, as well as doing my fair share of gaming, specifically committing vast amounts of dragon-murder in D&D Attack Wing. Or so I hope. It’s the little things, you see.

As always, I will be accompanied by the beautiful and crafty Moon Ranger Laura, who’s schedule is as below:

  • Saturday, May 23, 9:00 AM ~ Women of Science: A History ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ A look at the influential women of SCIENCE past.
  • Saturday, May 23, 6:00 PM ~ Parsec Awards 10 Year Anniversary ~ Tack ~ Laura A Burns (M), Christiana Ellis, Tee Morris (50 minutes) ~ A Parsec Award Winning Podcaster, Parsec Judge, and Steering Committee Member discuss what it takes to craft an Award winning entry. The panel will cover a review of this year’s rules, submission criteria and tips from the experts.
  • Sunday, May 24, 10:00 AM ~ In Search of New Podcasts ~ Tack ~ Laura A Burns (M), Christiana Ellis, Tim Dodge, Patrick Scaffido (50 minutes) ~ This is the age of Serial and Welcome to Night Vale. Podcasts are bigger than ever. But what are the podcasts in the margins, the ones that haven’t hit it big? Panelists will share their top recommendations. Bring your notebooks and your podcatchers, and prepare for new audio pleasures.
  • Sunday, May 24, 6:00 PM ~ International Space University: The Update! ~ Salon A (50 minutes) ~ A discussion about the International Space University, it’s programs and how you can participate, even if you aren’t a student.

Balticon 2015 is May 22-25, 2015, at the Hunt Valley Inn, 245 Shawan Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21031. Follow me by my trail of Twitter-droppings, and if you happen to be there, please say hallo!

Balticon goings-on

Laura and I will be attending Balticon this weekend, as we do. Also, for the first time ever, all of the core staff of The Secret Lair will be present together there as well! Our official stuff includes:

  • Friday 6:00 pmHuman Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Vaccines – What is HPV beyond “that virus that can cause cervical cancer”? What is the latest on the HPV vaccines and the controversy that surrounds them? (M): John Cmar
  • Saturday, 1:00 pmGames for The “Non-Gamer” – Did you ever want to play a game that is fun but does not require too much thinking? Come learn about games that take little or no skill but will make you laugh and have a great time. (M): Ann Rudolph, (S): John Cmar
  • Sunday, 6:00 pmSecret Lair Design For Minions 101 – In this highly informative educational session, the staff of the Secret Lair will work with the audience to design and implement traps and countermeasures to keep those meddling heroes out of The Secret Lair. Special Guest Star Jared Axelrod will play the part of The Hero, describing how he would attempt to break into The Lair. The audience (minions) will have to assist the Lair staff in designing traps to foil the hero. (M): Chris Miller, (S): John Cmar, Jared Axelrod
  • Sunday, 8:00 pmThe Secret Lair Live! – Join Overlord Chris Miller and Doctor John Cmar for a live recording of The Secret Lair. Surprise guests! Games! Shetland-Bonobo Pony rides! Fun for all ages! (M): Chris Miller, John Cmar
  • Monday, 10:00amInternational Space University: 25 years of fostering cooperation in space – The International Space University is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Learn from a graduate about this interdisciplinary, international, and intercultural space educational program. (M): Laura Burns
  • Monday, 1:00 pmThe Zombie Apocalypse Survival Panel – Stay Alive, Our panel of experts will tell you how they plan to make it through the impending zombie apocalypse. (M): Paul Elard Cooley, (S): Gary L. Lester, Doc Coleman, Brennan Taylor, John Cmar

Please say hello if you happen by, and as always, you may track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Ravencon goings-on

CC BY-NC-ND image by David Abbet via Flickr
CC BY-NC-ND image by David Abbet via Flickr

As is our want, Laura and I will be heading to Ravencon in Richmond, VA, this evening for SCIENCE, podcasting, and self-amusement. We will both be on the following session tomorrow:

  • Saturday, 10:00Parsec Awards: Awarding Excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting – Learn about the Parsec Awards from members of the Steering Committee and the help they need from you to find the most deserving podcasts.

My other official stuff includes:

  • Saturday, 12:00pmMacroblogging in the Microblogging Era – Be it for promoting one’s novel or other creative work, or just for fun, blogging seems a necessity in the online world. But when more people are communicating via Tweets and Facebook status updates, are the days of the long blog post falling behind us?
  • Saturday, 1:00pmMr. Adventure live podcast – Amazing Pulp Adventures, starring Mr. Adventure! A campy, comedy/drama reminiscent of early superhero comic books, performed in the style of 1940s radio plays.
  • Saturday, 8:00pmPublish and Perish: Avian Flu – The avian H5N1 influenza virus has nearly 60% death rate in humans, but cannot easily be transmitted from person to person. Recent research has tried to change the virus to see if it could become more transmissible, but attempts to publish that research have created controversy. Should such mad science be done, and should the results be freely published?

Laura’s other official stuff consists of:

  • Saturday, 11:00amInternational Space University: 25 years of fostering cooperation in space – The International Space University is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Learn from a graduate about this interdisciplinary, international, and intercultural space educational program.
  • Sunday, 1:00pmLandsat Data Continuity Mission: Building on 40 years of Earth Observations – Learn about the history of the Landsat observations, the science they do and how the mission will continue with LDCM.

Please say hello if you happen by, and as always, you may track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Farpoint goings-on

Black Hole specialty cocktail from Farpoint 2011, CC BY-NC-SA image from DocOperon via Flickr
"Black Hole" specialty cocktail from Farpoint 2011, CC BY-NC-SA image from DocOperon via Flickr

This weekend, Laura and I will be swinging by that tiny little con that could, Farpoint. Sunday at 1:00pm, I’ll be giving the State of the Flu address for 2012, where I’ll look at what’s going on with this year’s influenza season (hint – it’s starting now). I’ll also be addressing other recent bits of news, such as the ethical debate behind the attempted publication of the genome for an influenza virus that could be very lethal to humans, and a recent contention in the media that based on scientific evidence, the influenza vaccines don’t work.

Laura will be talking today at 11:00am about the International Space University, and tomorrow at noon on her current project, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. We’re also both listed as participating in the podcasting roundtable at 3:00pm Sunday. As always, please say hello if you are in attendance, and otherwise I may be sharing pithy comments here.

Dragon*Con goings-on

The Moon Ranger and I will be headed shortly to Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA. We will both be attending the Charity Star Party at the Emory University Math & Science Center tomorrow night, and we will both be participating in the Parsec Awards ceremony late Saturday afternoon. In addition, my schedule includes:

  • Title: These are the ways the world will end…
    Time: Sat 11:30 am Location: 207 / 206 / 205 – Hilton (Length: 1)
    Description: Our panel tears apart the asteroid apocalypse theory, rips into the latest “world enders”, and answers questions. We’re probably safe (for now).
  • Title: XMRV, CFS, and the Internet: How Patient Communities Are Changing Medicine
    Time: Sun 11:30 am Location: 201 – Hilton (Length: 1)
    Description: How the Internet and patient advocacy is changing research and medicine, using the XMRV and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome controversy as a case study.
  • Title: KILLER STAPH OF DEADLY DOOM!!!
    Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: 202 – Hilton (Length: 1)
    Moderator / MC for panel
    Description: Terrifying developments! New strains jumping from livestock to humans! Antibiotics that don’t work! But don’t panic – yet.

Laura will be involved in:

  • Title: LandSat – The Origins of Earth Imaging
    Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: 203 – Hilton (Length: 1)
    Description: Before Google Earth or Mapquest , the LandSat program was delivering images of Earth & it continues to be a valuable scientific resource.
  • Title: I Work in the Space Industry, But NOT for NASA!
    Time: Sun 08:30 pm Location: 203 – Hilton (Length: 1)
    Description: You’ve always dreamed of working in the space industry but NASA’s not your thing. We’ve got the people to tell you how.
  • Additionally, Laura is assembling a so-fresh-it’s-not-on-the-schedule panel on Friday at 4pm that will spotlight the James Webb Space Telescope, which will focus on the importance of the mission as well as the plethora of reasons why a loss of funding for the project would be both an epic loss to science and an incredibly bad idea. Co-panelists will include Dr. Pamela Gay, and possibly another special guest.

Apart from these, I will be otherwise hanging about the science and podcasting tracks, and possibly be doing some Bad Doctoring for The Secret Lair. As usual, I will be posting occasional pithy observations, and if you are going, I look forward to seeing you there!