What to do at the con after eating? How about eating? One of the panel events was ``Canadian snack foods''. It surely wouldn't live up to the ideal, which would be buckets of Wonderbars tossed out to a grateful world. But what would it be? ... Well, the hosts showed off some Canadian-grade snacks, maple cookies and Caramilk bars and chicken-flavored potato chips and the like, and exotic-to-Detroit flavors of Crush soda and the like. Everyone got modest but reasonable samples. The attempt to talk about the candies kind of flopped because you really need a specialist vocabulary and grammar to say anything past ``that's chocolatey but on a wafer''. Also they brought in Oh! Henry bars as Canadian candy which, no. I'd have liked a little more discussion of how the Canadian snack industry differs from the United States. But as someone who's read up on candy history I know that it's very easy to learn about the United States candy industry, and it's easy to learn about the United Kingdom's candy industry. Everybody else is a couple casual mentions in the margins. Also, the Mars family be whacked. My Netflix prestige series is going to be a dramatization of their story as best as anyone can figure it out and it's going to make Game of Thrones seem tame.
After that: 80s/90s Trivia. And it wasn't a game show, although several panels were game show formatted. Instead the hosts tossed out questions about stuff they remembered from the 80s and 90s, and tossed candy back to people who had the answers. bunny_hugger was confident I'd rule on this, not suspecting how much I never watched or picked up anything at all about the NickToons. I recovered some as things moved over to Freakazoid!. I believe the pinnacle of this (get what I did there? DO YOU?) came when the question was, ``in the episode where Lord Bravery has to change his name to avoid a trademark complaint, what does the trademark office guy suggest he change it to?'' And I shouted back, ``I hate myself that I know this one.'' ``Ah, but what was it?''
I said, feebly, ``Smoked Meat and Fishes.'' As bunny_hugger looked at me with mild alarm that even I would say something like this, I fixed my answer. ``Lord Smoked Meat and Fishes.'' I got a mini Kit Kat or something. And to explain the Lord Bravery premise to bunny_hugger.
I felt less bad about myself for admitting that I had absolutely no idea their next question, about what doubly-registered name would ``be a lawsuit, there'' when it came up in the episode. See, in the story the trademark office guy comes across a nice-looking name, but then it's snapped right up, and then snapped up again, so, ``there'll be a lawsuit there''. The correct answer was ``Dreamworks'', and the reason this is a correctly formed joke is that when Dreamworks organized there was a lawsuit as besides the famous filmmakers there was some other company with the name. I'm tired writing that. Also a moment to feel less bad about: ``Which Freakazoid villain would come and carry you away if you said his name?'' I answered, ``We're not falling for that!'' ... Part of the episode is how people can't stop foolishly saying his name, to the point that the villain concedes he's going to need more rope to haul them all off. Gads why is this on my brain's high-priority circuits instead of, like, the Gibbs Free Energy?
Then bunny_hugger and I did something we almost never do at a convention: we went our separate ways. I mean, we're not one of those couples that thinks we have to do everything together. But we each find the other the most interesting person to have around, so, why would we not want to so stuff with them? But here was a special case. In the game room they were starting a round of Arkham Horror, a Cthulhu-mythos-based board game that has long fascinated bunny_hugger but that's complicated enough to intimidate someone learning it themselves. She's wanted for years to get into a convention's game room when they were playing it with that mix of experienced and new players. Usually these conflict with something we just have to get to. Not so much this time; they promised a three-hour game that didn't conflict with anything we found interesting on the schedule.
Why didn't I join in too? Well, the game's big and complicated, and there's only so many new players who can be initiated at one time. I figured someone more keenly interested than me should have the chance to play. I could learn a bit about the game from bunny_hugger and maybe play it properly at another convention or a local area game night, with her as a more-experienced person guiding me in.
She would have a great time, she reported, when the three-hour game ended after five hours and a sudden-death round where the gamemaster explained how things would resolve if everybody played perfectly from then on. This included bunny_hugger's character solving the big problem of badnasty jumpjumps ripping holes in space or something. She didn't feel confident in her understanding of the game's rules. But she fell back on generally good principles, running around and buffing up her character, getting some lucky rolls including beating a monster everyone thought way above her level, and by setting her character up to be not-too-specialized ended up with one that could handle what did happen.
Meantime I went back to 80s/90s Trivia, which was running long but had finally got to 1980s Nickelodeon, more confident territory and one bunny_hugger regretted missing. ``Which child star of You Can't Do That On Television would go on to worldwide renown as a pop star?'' ``How do we know any of them might not yet?,'' I offered, earning acclaim for an optimistic inspirational-poster message for the world.
Trivia: Brazil's primary agricultural exports are soybeans, beef, sugar, and coffee; none are species native to the Americas. Source: 1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, Charmes C Mann.
Currently Reading: Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet, Robert G Strom, Ann L Sprague. So the light reflecting off the moon is cohered by lunar dust scattering, making the reflections grow brighter as the moon reaches full than you'd get from geometry alone. (a) this is neat, and (b) so how have I not heard this misinterpreted as ``lunar dust is a kind of natural laser''? Am I not reading enough Analog Science Fiction?
PS: Someone Else's Homework: A Probability Question, or, me providing content when I don't have anything to write.
PPS: We're almost into Keansburg! What's there?
Scenic foreground as you enter Keansburg; this one's all about the gargoyles.
bunny_hugger trying out one of the gargoyle faces.
bunny_hugger in one of the other scenic foregrounds, this one all about ... well, monkeys of some kind or possibly lemurs. There's so many kinds of lemur who can tell, really?