TAM London: the clock is ticking!

By Phil Plait | March 10, 2009 1:17 pm

[Update II: The link now works Yay!]

[Update: Evidently the rush of people to look at the site borked the TAM London server. It’s been moved to a new one, but as sometimes happens the global domain name servers take a while to catch up. Please be patient! Thanks.]

As you must know by now, The Amaz!ng Meeting is the premier critical thinking conference in the US. It’s held every year in Las Vegas, and registration is open for TAM 7, which will be held July 9 – 12, 2009.

But what if you’re in London? Well, first, consider yourself lucky to see Doctor Who on the night it airs!

But that doesn’t help much if you want to go to Las Vegas, which is a third of the world away, and your TARDIS is on the fritz. What’s a Brit to do?

TAM London logo

How about attend TAM London? Yes, we’re holding a TAM across the pond, on 3 – 4 October, 2009. If you’re wondering just how long a wait that is, then you can visit the official TAM London website, which has a countdown clock download for both Mac and PCs which you can install and use to breathlessly anticipate the very first international TAM.

Soon, the site will have more specifics, like our list of brilliant speakers. For now, though, download the clocks and use them to pace yourself. You have plenty of time to start saving your shillings, or pence, or farthings, or whatever it is you use for currency over there. And don’t forget to join the TAM London Facebook group!


Comments (31)

  1. Jim

    Thank Atheismo – hope I can afford/register when it opens up!

  2. Elmar_M

    Phil, I just saw this and I dont know whether you did.
    I am totally panicking here!


    Sorry for posting this OT here, but I think this needs some awareness.
    The World:
    Is all I say!


    Phil Plait:

    You have plenty of time to start saving your shillings, or pence, or farthings, or whatever it is you use for currency over there.

    If it wasn’t for Euro-sceptics, we in the UK would be in the Euro (€) zone already.

  4. Can someone enlighten me as to how to install the gadget onto my sidebar as I am new to vista, I downloaded the zip file, have unpacked it but now what?

  5. OK, scratch that request, figured it out in the end.

  6. Davidlpf

    I can not get to a TAM but Sylvia Browne can com to the Maritimes. Something is very wrong.

  7. tamlondon.org: Dead (farked) link :(

  8. Nyarrgh! Aargh! Using Firefox on Linux, I get: “Address Not Found. Firefox can’t find the server at http://www.februarymarketing.com.” Even with NoScript and Adblock Plus turned off. I say again: Nyarrgh! Aargh!

    I guess I will have to grit my teeth and log in from work (ooh, naughty).

    As for currency, Terry Pratchett explained it best in Good Omens:

    “Two farthings = One Ha’penny. Two ha’pennies = One Penny. Three pennies = A Thrupenny Bit. Two Thrupences = A Sixpence. Two Sixpences = One Shilling, or Bob. Two Bob = A Florin. One Florin and one Sixpence = Half a Crown. Four Half Crowns = Ten Bob Note. Two Ten Bob Notes = One Pound (or 240 pennies). One Pound and One Shilling = One Guinea.

    The British resisted decimalized currency for a long time because they thought it was too complicated.”

  9. TamLondon.org is switching servers, and should be back online soon.

  10. Erik Jeppsson

    I wonder if that astrologer and skeptican Philip Plait will be there to sign my book.

  11. Jon D

    Oh, man I so cant wait for this!

  12. I know this isn’t really too relevant, but that is a *beautiful* logo graphic!

  13. @elmar_m as far as I know this is submitted to the assembly every year, two years or so (not sure what is exactly the time you’d have to wait to have a vote on a previously rejected resolution) but it has failed several times (in slightly different versions maybe), but I’ll tell you, this has nochance of passing…

  14. Elmar_M

    Ok,lets hope so…
    I thought that it had passed already, but just as non binding…

  15. Kristin C

    “What’s a brit to do”? Heck, I’m from Norway, and I am SO going.


  16. James

    tamlondon.org is a Dead link, You can visit this site For Big Ben clock http://www.travelpluto.com/london.htm hehehe!

  17. Matt

    YAY. Been listening to SGU for the past few podcasts and wishing I had the dosh to go to TAM. No wuckin’ furries anymore though.

  18. Nigel Depledge

    I hope to see you all there.

    BTW, Phil, what is this “money” of which you speak? Surely all USAians know that we Europeans are still operating a barter trade system…?

  19. George

    Alright, London will be a step into the right direction already! Now TAM needs to come to continental Europe, too. The UK is kind of an island a bit off the coast of the USA :) What I mean is that a UK-TAM stays in the same anglo-american cultural sphere without really spreading the news to countries like, say, Germany, which are pestered by Uri Geller again. People on the continent are in need of your help, Phil!

  20. Todd W.

    @Sean Ellis

    Reminds me of a song from The Mystery of Edwin Drood:

    Ha’penny, one penny, tupenny, thrupenny
    Twelve to a shilling, twice that to a florin
    To find the same face on both sides of the coin?
    Bob is your uncle from pennies to guineas…

  21. Joe

    TAM is cool! Wish I could go. I’m working diligently at becoming a better skeptic and BA Blog is helping tremendously… that being said… what’s with the logo??? LOL … if “The Amazing Meeting” wasn’t written right next to it I never would have made the connection… sorry to be a critic… just sayin’.

  22. Todd W.

    Hmm…a line got omitted, there… after florin it should be “And would you not fancy the currency foreign”.

  23. Wow. Nice new TAM logo. Very classy.

  24. Todd W.

    @Derek Bartholomaus

    Wow. Nice new TAM logo. Very classy.

    It’s obviously some sort of alien script. This just proves that the JREF is populated by extraterrestrial intelligences. How else can you explain that they are so far above the average human in critical thinking skills.

    Phil, I’m on to you. The conspiracy will crumble!

  25. Adam Kennedy

    Slightly off topic, but I had to share, Ijust ran across an old Amazing Randi poster at an auction site:


  26. First off, I totally *lurve* the BadAstronomy blog, and read it every day. I find it to be a source of amusement as well as hard, useful information.

    One of the reasons I enjoy it so much is that you are a stickler for accuracy, so I figured I’d pass along a clue, maybe update your understanding on a minor topic. (Every crank has his Cause, eh? Well, this crank is no different!)

    In your article about TAM London, you said, “a countdown clock download for both Mac and PCs”. Well, almost. First, “PC” is an overly generic term which means “personal computer”, and which actually includes Apple’s Macintosh family. Fifteen years ago, the distinction “Mac and/or PC” would have been more descriptive, since Macintosh computers had very different hardware than MS-Windows computers, and never the twain did meet–a Mac, based on a Motorola CPU, ran Mac software, and a “PC” meant an Intel CPU and Microsoft software, period. (Even that’s not *entirely* true, but that’s verging into true arcana.)

    Nowadays, though, with the flourishing of both alternative operating systems and hardware platforms, “Mac and/or PC” is rather imprecise and even a bit misleading. Macs are based on Intel CPUs now, more’s the pity, and one can run Linux or one of the free Berkeley Unix clones on either Apple or non-Apple hardware. Adding to the muddle is the fact that a lot of the new sub-notebooks (aka “netbooks”) use non-Intel CPUs, like ARM or MIPS, and neither Apple’s OS/X nor Microsoft’s Windows will run on them. Using the older terminology, they’re clearly not “Macs”, but neither are they “PCs”, even though they are definitely personal computers!

    Now to the crux of the matter. As long as you keep writing a blog that’s accessible to rank amateur astronomers such as me, I won’t start expecting you know esoteric computer crap like I talked about above. Nowadays, the safe thing to do is to refer to the *software platform*, not the hardware-yoked-to-software that was useful in yesteryear. So what the TAM London site *really* has is apps that run under Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Vista. But that’s pretty verbose, and requires a bit more computer wonkery than either readers or writers need to have; I’d suggest the best thing to say, to avoid getting emails from cranks and fanboys such as myself, is “Mac or Windows”.

    I’ll let that pass, since Apple has tried mightily to keep their hardware and software yoked, so “Mac” still mostly means “Apple hardware *and* software”. And Microsoft has mostly succeeded in co-opting the common everyday word “windows” to mean their suite of bloated unreliable systems and applications. (They’ve done it to other words too, like “word” and “office”. I fight back in my own impotent way by always writing “MS-Windows” and “MS-Word” and the like, but I haven’t seen any evidence that it’s helping anybody but my inner crackpot. Damn you, Bill Gates!)

    Nevertheless, it’s your blog, and you can write whatever you bloody well please on it. And almost surely, everybody reading “Mac and PCs” knew what you meant. Knowing you through your writings, though, I figured you’d want to hear the whole awful truth.

  27. Nigel Depledge

    Caracal said:

    . . . So what the TAM London site *really* has is apps that run under Apple’s OS X and Microsoft’s Vista.

    Aw, they don’t have one that’ll work on XP?


  28. @Nigel: Not sure if it will work on XP. It says (or said last time I was out there, site seems to be gone again) “for Vista”. No mention of XP, which of course is Microsoft’s way–kill the old to make way for the new, however much the new might suck. To give MS their due, however, it’s entirely possible it’ll work just fine on XP. The only way to tell would be to try it. I can’t, because I don’t use MS products. 😉

  29. Nigel Depledge

    Caracal said:

    No mention of XP, which of course is Microsoft’s way–kill the old to make way for the new, however much the new might suck. To give MS their due, however, it’s entirely possible it’ll work just fine on XP

    And, IMO, Vista sucks bigtime.

    There is a clearly identifiable trend in MS OSs over the last 10 years or so. Remove downward compatability (e.g. Windows 98 would still run DOS programs, but XP won’t even though it is still fundamentally DOS-like). Remove control from the user. Give control to the software companies. And don’t ever bother to fix the inefficient memory-management. But use more memory.

  30. Nigel Depledge

    George said:

    The UK is kind of an island a bit off the coast of the USA

    You remind me of a joke from the mid-80s:

    Q: What’s the largest aircraft carrier in the US fleet?
    A: Britain.

    (This gained much circulation shortly after the US bombed targets in Libya using jets launched from bases in the UK.)

  31. Kristin Carlsson

    I am officially goiiiing *singsong*

    (Also, officially broke. :p)


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