DragonCon: made of awesome

By Phil Plait | August 31, 2008 3:32 pm

I finally have an intertoob connection here at DragonCon, but not a whole lot of time. In fact, that seems to be a theme here: get up early, do tons of stuff, go to a party until 3:00 a.m., rinse lather repeat.

I can’t complain; I’m having a tremendous time. I’ve been hanging with friends (including Skepchicks, woohoo!), listening to great panel discussions on space and skepticism, been on a few myself, and generally soaking up the geeky goodness.

But of all of this, my fave part is the fans. And the costumes! DC is known for having more people in costumes per cubic meter than any other con, and I’m loving it. I ran into these guys last night, and over the past coupla days I’ve seen a half dozen more Doctors. And demons, cosplayers, vinyl-clad posers, giant thingamabobs (actually, several of them), and even a Cylon. I don’t have time to post any pix now, but I will when I get home (Tuesday).

But there’s still lots to do; I’m going to see a preliminary test for Randi’s Million Dollar Challenge in a few minutes, and later tonight my bud Kevin Grazier and I are on a panel about British Sci Fi (I can talk Doctor Who and people will listen and ask for more! Heaven!). Also, my friend Mykal brought me Blenheim’s ginger ale, which I am drinking as I write this. I simply cannot ask for anything more.

Well, that’s not true… I’m hoping to get James Hong to sign my David Lo Pan t-shirt. Indeed!


Comments (42)

  1. Just plain awesome. ūüėÄ

  2. Dave Hall

    So there you are! You never call, you never write! After all we have done for you . . .

    Seriously, it sounds like you’re having a lot of fun.

    Enjoy yourself! We’ll wait. Don’t worry about us–we’ll be fine. We’ll just sit here and wait.

  3. did

    I want a picture of you with John Scalzi.


  4. Nashville Guy

    You’ve got BLENHEIM’s? Which one — Old No. 9?

    I grew up on it in my SC childhood and miss it terribly. Enjoy a cold (and hot!) one for me —

  5. RL

    Is Phil Plait a Big Trouble in Little China fan? If so, cool! That’s one of my all time favorites.

  6. *Sigh*

    I live in Atlanta. Every year I tell myself to save up and plan ahead for Dragon Con, and every year it just doesn’t happen.


  7. Say, who is the person that’s applying for the million dollar challenge?

  8. Gary Ansorge

    Applying for the million dollar challenge may be the only way to meet Randi,,,

    ,,,ah, I guess that’s just sour grapes,,,

    Enjoy, Phil.

    GAry 7

  9. Sounds fantastic! Can’t wait for your pics. BTW, my science students have been tasked with watching the Mythbusters Moon Hoax episode and writing a report on it (with writing prompts provided by me.) I’ll let you know if they learn something about what constitutes a proper test.

    In the meantime, try to get some rest between events and make time to at least sit in on a D&D game. It would be a sin to attend DC and not partake of that which created it.

    Also, who did *you* dress as? C’mon! Stop going to these things and being a wallflower!


  10. OMG! I just read through the guest list for the first time and noticed a lot of REALLY cool people. But I will give you real money if you can manage to get a snapshot of you with Gigi Edgley! Oh yes… that was a challenge!

  11. Andy

    I’m feeling like my geek cred will be ruined… but who’s the girl supposed to be?

  12. Andy

    Oh… N/M clicked through to the flickr page.

    His is awesome. Hers, not so much.

  13. Sam

    I know you are a very busy person . But increasing numbers of people are falling for this .


    They claim to refute everything thats thrown at them . Maybe an expert like you can clear this up .

  14. Please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar on it, post a Cylon picture… I’m in Battlestar withdrawal and that just may give me a much needed Galactigasm…

  15. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!! I just looked at your flikr pics…. It’s Baltar, not Balthar… Oh, my day is ruined… Nice pic tho’ Didn’t see Tricia Helfer by any chance did you (6)?

  16. JRice

    Wait, they make David Lo Pan T-Shirts?!?


  17. Never mind… those were from 2006. I just saw the date. It’s okay folks. Nothing to see here. Move along.

  18. Quiet Desperation


    I spent my day hacking back a hibiscus bush to sticks that has been totally invaded by white fly. Throw away most of the bush, and surround the remaining sticks with sheets of yellow posterboard sprayed with glue. For some reason, they are attracted to the color yellow. I suspect it is because they are *EVIL* and in league with Sinestro.

    Oh, and a large bottle of the most apocalyptic pesticide I have the nerve to use. You Greens can bite on this one. This is war. WAR, I tell you!

  19. Nathan Myers

    I can agree about Blenheim’s.

  20. @ Quiet Desperation:

    Would that be napalm?

  21. Quiet Desperation

    I’d use DDT if I could find some.

    White fly is a perfect example of how evolution can be REALLY ANNOYING sometimes.

    They cluster *under* the leaf, so they are hard to just hose off. They have a sticky fluffy reside that holds them there even if you can spray them. It also protects them from most poisons. And they have a symbiotic relationship with ants, who protect the larvae in exchange for some sort of sugary goo.

    So, throw away most of the bush, use a hose spray bottle filled with Ivory liquid soap to dissolve their protective fluff, a protracted chemwar once their shields are down, and then the irresistible sticky yellow menace to pick off the stragglers. And those turncoat ants get it as well.

    THEN I have to fertilize the bush with a giant bag of, oh goody, earthworm casings. Yes, I have a five pound bag of WORM CASINGS in my garage. At some point this week I will need to open it. Whee!

  22. Naomi

    Aww, I wish I was there. Also, I’m pretty sure I recognise those two XD I think they were at Gallifrey One? (Now THAT is a convention!) Fun ^_^

    “Oh‚Ķ N/M clicked through to the flickr page.
    His is awesome. Hers, not so much.”

    What’re you talking about? I don’t even like Rose, and I still think that’s an awesome costume! Instantly recognisable, too, but I love the episode that costume’s from.

  23. Andrew

    Battlestar fans who didn’t attend will never know what they missed.

    Uhm, just sayin’, Phil >.>

  24. Wayne

    It was great to finally meet you this weekend, too bad I had to leave early to get home ahead of the hurricane. Hope you have a great last day and an uneventful flight home. I’ll be sure to send you a syllabus if I ever make a course based on your books.

    PS. If any blog readers have used “Bad Astronomy” in a gen-ed science course at the college level, please share your experience. Thanks.

    PPS. The costumes totally rocked, and they had a full sized Dalek!

    PPPS. Driving all night tends to make my writing disorganized.

  25. Dathan Syers

    Of course there’s not a speck of gas anywhere in that picture.

  26. How can you tell? That look on his face says there might be.

  27. For those who like Battlestar, Firefly, and Eureka, go to my FLickr page and check out the Comic Con pix. :-) D*C pix will be posted soon, but probably not until Tuesday night.

  28. Well gosh Phil they’re pretty good. Was that VIP only access or could any mug get that close to take pictures? Either way top job.

  29. Radwaste

    Aaaannnd greetings from this direction. Delighted to discover that no, PhD does NOT mean Permanent Humor Deficit!

    Best regards to the rest of the BA crew!


  30. Phil et al:
    I was just catching up on some old episodes of “Skepticality” and Swoopy had Tim Farley on the show. They talked about the HTML rel=tag nofollow and how folks usually forget to use it to keep Google from counting links to things like Sam above (see August 31st, 2008 at 10:31 pm) and I thought I’d check on its use here. I did “View Source” and did a search for rel= occurrences. There it was! Sam’s simple posting of the URL of the woo site had the proper nofollow tag added automatically!

    How frakkin’ cool is that?

    This way Google won’t count the link from here as an implicit support of the woo site’s importance. The woo sites we link to from here get no Google credit for the link! W00t!

    @ The Amazing Phil:
    Give Tim Farley and my compliments to the webmaster!

  31. IVAN3MAN


    I know you are a very busy person . But increasing numbers of people are falling for this…

    They claim to refute everything thats thrown at them . Maybe an expert like you can clear this up.


  32. IVAN3MAN

    Michael L:

    Please, pretty please, pretty please with sugar on it, post a Cylon picture… I’m in Battlestar withdrawal and that just may give me a much needed Galactigasm…

    I can oblige:

    Cylon Centurion

  33. IVAN3MAN


  34. I had just typed an entire little thing here about me attending D*Con, and I guess it was completely lost…. Phil, I really enjoyed the frack out of your talks this weekend. It was extremely inspirational. I will be going back to school in January for Earth Science/Astronomy Education, and the Skeptrack panels were all the inspiration I needed to get me pumped about being a Science teacher. I love you, I am now a huge fan. Thank you. I will spread the word.

  35. Quiet Desperation

    I’ve been watching Eureka and the new Doctor Who via DVD. Man, is that *the* way to watch a series or what?

    I only started with Eureka because I saw the ads for season 4, and thought, well, if it went 4 seasons, there must be something there. Turns out I *really* like it. Nice, silly skiffy show that does not take itself seriously, but with some underlying serious plots, story arcs and (*gasp*) some really fine continuity maintenance by the writers. And it has Matt Frewer, which is always a plus.

  36. IVAN:

    You are the man! Nice!

  37. IVAN3MAN

    Thanks, Michael L! However, I had originally intended to post an actual picture of a Cylon Centurion (modern), but some bloody jobsworth at the other end cut the link!

    Still, you can pore over their web-site to your heart’s content. Enjoy!

  38. Gemini

    The guy dressed as the Doctor actually does bear a striking resemblance to to Tennant.

  39. It was nice meeting you at the Con, Dr. Phil – but I have to say your advice about where to position my satellites in the Lagrangian points was of no assistance to my marriage.

    I’m just saying. ūüėČ

  40. New teeth…that’s weird.


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