And by this time, already, the convention was racing to its last hours. The next event in the boardroom was the Avians SIG and we would stick around for that. One of bunny_hugger's old muck characters was a raven, after all, and I was happy to point out the evidence of partnerships formed between coatis and crows or ravens in the wild. (It's the same kind ravens form with wolves: the coatis are pretty good at finding and ripping open food sources, while the birds are good lookouts and scouts warning of danger, and can sometimes spot food ready to be exploited. These not being stupid birds there's probably similar partnerships formed with any faintly-social mammal.) There was a smaller and less-lively crowd at the Avians SIG. I had the feeling the person running it wasn't quite sure what to do, and did my best to be supportive and teaching without undermining. (``Well, what's one of your favorite movies or TV shows with birds?'') I'm not sure we were quite successful although the fellow running it did thank us for our interest. But then if my notes are right he also pronounced SIG ``sij'' which I just ... I don't even know.
And from there we entered the slow little hammock of time between the last panel we meant to attend and closing ceremonies. It gave us the chance to stop and talk with some people, like xolo (who'd popped in during the Raccoons SIG), or to wonder about other people we'd seen in passing who were suddenly nowhere to be found (like Dingo, whom we'd run across a couple times over the weekend). It was the chance still for some wandering around, some time to walk through the Dealers' Den, some chance for me to fiddle around with my guinea pig puppet without having to also hold the trash can and collect votes. The trash can and a voting concept is definitely a good one; I'll have to use it for future years. But it interferes with walking around with the puppet. I didn't get into any good conversations with people who ever had guinea pigs and were inspired by seeing Latham Shoales here but he wasn't shown off to best advantage either.
And before we really knew it came the Closing Ceremonies. They had the bins for the different guilds up front, and I remembered I still had the one coin that I hadn't done anything with. But I didn't think I had time to get back to our room and return to the ballroom before Closing Ceremonies started. I was wrong about that, but, so what. Our guild --- the University of Fowl-osophy --- won handily, with something over a hundred coins compared to everyone else piddling along in the 70s and 80s. Still, at the open-comments part I owned up to having had no idea what you did to earn coins, and got the sense I'd offended the person I think organized the activity. I also shared the results of the Trash Panda vote, for people who missed the results or who hadn't heard there was a Raccoons and Procyonids SIG but might remember it for next year.
And then the announcements for next year. They started speaking about the con's growth and changes and the theme of The Future --- oh, now, wouldn't our Tri Zone make a fantastic addition if it were possible to transport it to Columbus? --- and then I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Were they planning to move the con? The Holiday Inn in Worthington is a great spot, a really fun hotel, and it feels almost like home. Morphicon had been happy with the spot; even though there wasn't room to grow, there also wasn't any desire to grow. Anthrohio does desire to grow, and now that the ballroom has been taken over by the con there isn't much more space for events. There's still some under-used times for panels, but there are isn't much to go.
No, though. They were just announcing moving the date of the convention, to early in June.
That's disruptive enough, and maybe a harbinger of moving other things. Name change one year, date change another, venue change the next would be a plausible way to completely change a con over without ever having a specific moment where die-hards can say ``no, the old con's ended, I'm not going to the new''. (Supporting this boiling-frog-revolution hypothesis is the themes of the first Anthrohios: The Renaissance. The Future.) And early in June offers some big advantages. It wouldn't run up against the last week of classes or finals. And the Columbus Zoo has some amusement park rides that don't open before late May; we've long wanted to get to them and not had the chance before. Now we would. Of all the announcements that could shake us to our core, this was the least of them.
Then came the punch to our guts.
Trivia: 29 protesters in front of New York City's City Hall were arrested on 15 June 1955 for refusing to take shelter during the Operation Alert simulated atomic attack. Source: The Culture of Calamity: Disaster and the Making of Modern America, Kevin Rozario. Also, so wait, The Mouse That Roared could have actually happened? The heck, reality?
Currently Reading: Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America, John M Barry.
PS: What's The Shortest Proof I've Done? I'm not sure, but I think I name it. Also talk about some other really short proofs.