May 10th, 2016

krazy koati

Cause the point of a gun was the only law that Liberty understood

After closing ceremonies was about an hour of poking around, looking at the common areas, and confirming that the game room and video game room were closed, ready to be packed up. So we drifted around. We noticed the hotel's front lobby doors had set up the automatic doors so that they were staggered. That is, there were two sets of doors in the inside and outside of the vestibule and with the cold weather and steady winds that weekend it had been producing blasts of freezing air in the lobby every time someone walked into or out of the lobby. The desk clerk had mentioned how there wasn't anything to do about it when we were checking in Friday. But by Saturday one of the two doors on each side was marked out of order, so you could enter only by using the left and the right door. And this ... tamped down, at least, the cold winds, even if it didn't resolve things altogether. But on a high-traffic weekend like this every bit must help.

The next con event after closing was the Last Laugh. From the title it sounded like maybe an open-mike improv event. No: it was a gripe session. Well, not so much griping really, but it was a session of talking about what worked and what didn't work about the con. One of the con's problems is that while it's got a great hotel and apparently great rapport with the hotel, it hasn't got space that's all that well-laid-out for it. The Dealers Den is cramped, the Artist's Alley can't ever quite find the right spot to be, and there's not ever quite enough meeting rooms in sensible places. The con folks had to defend arrangements a lot, pointing out that they know extremely well how much space there is in the hotel and what they need and there's just not a really clear way to relieve, particularly, the Dealers Den crowding.

Something I hadn't thought about but which might explain why I always get assigned to do panels on Sundays (at Morphicon/AnthroOhio, anyway), was that there's a chronic shortage of people willing to do panels on Sundays. They also explained they couldn't run a panel on safe sex, much as that might be a good idea, because they didn't have qualified medical personnel there to give advice. Similarly they couldn't run a panel on depression or other common psychological problems because they didn't have qualified psychologists to do it. They take their vetting of panel runners very seriously. We took this as a warning that our concerns about Animal Magic might receive a defensive reply if raised then and there without a much stronger dossier. Also bunny_hugger, whose specialization in philosophy is ethics, wondered about the screening of panels in which she's heard ethical implications being discussed, or often dismissed, by people who haven't got any obvious credentials in the field. (Having a physical sciences degree is not, in fact, qualification to speak about the ethics of a science-related outcome.)

Still, I did get something out of the talk about what kinds of panels they look for and what ones they can't use. And how to pitch ones that might be more accepted in the future.

Trivia: In four years of Basel, Switzerland,'s campaign against feeding pigeons the local population dropped from an estimated 24,000 to about 8,000. Feeding pigeons was never made illegal, merely shameful. Source: Superdove: How the Pigeon Took Manhattan ... And The World, Courtney Humphries.

Currently Reading: Tiger Balm Gardens: A Chinese Billionaire's Fantasy Environments, Judith Brandel, Tina Turbeville. I am sorry not to have read this book when I was in Singapore and could see those Tiger Balm Gardens easily. It explains some of what had previously baffled me. It also admits at least once that the moral of some of these dioramas is unclear.

PS: Reading the Comics, May 6, 2016: Mistakes Edition, since we all make them, don't we?