This past weekend was Archon 35. Archon is a sci-fi/fantasy convention, as opposed to my more typical anime convention and although I like sci-fi/fantasy, I'm not generally up to date on much of it, and certainly don't know much of the older portions of the genre that many of the attendees adore.
Despite this, I had a blast this year. Friday I gave my Astronomy in Japan presentation to a small audience, but we suspect this was partially due to us closing the door to keep the hall sounds out and them locking to the outside thus stemming the audience population. Oops.
Regardless, one of the people that came in was Elonka Dunin, who was running a 2012 panel later that evening and asked me to join it. I hesitantly agreed, not knowing whether it was going to be debunking or crazy conspiracy theory hour but it turned out to be the former and was a bunch of fun.
My last panel I was on was Friday night and looking at bad science in movies. While this was fun, since it wasn't something I had much time to prepare (I only found out I was on panels when I looked at the schedule 2 days before and my name was on it), so it tended to be more ranting than prepared deconstructions. But what was more fun was at the end, we tied it back to the role of the media in the larger picture of science literacy and how we do at it as a country. This was the last panel in the room for the day, and as such, we abused it, going over time by an hour with a good 80% of the audience staying to discuss science education in the larger scheme of things.
Whenever I wasn't at panels, I'd grabbed my telescope from my car and, with a solar filter, aimed it at the Sun out front which had several large sunspots. I'd meant to get it back out at night, but the panel went so far over time, not many people were still around.
Saturday I didn't host or attend any panels and sat out again with the telescope. That night, I did get the telescope out again and pointed it at Jupiter with a few hundred people stopping by. After resting for awhile and socializing with one of the people that viewed Jupiter, I got the telescope back out (at 3am) and we ended up in the courtyard of the hotel (where there was a good number of people) for another viewing and astronomy lesson. Ended up staying out till the Sun came up before finally turning in.
Sunday I was pretty sleep deprived and left early so I could sleep the rest of the day.
Overall, this is probably the most fun I've had at Archon and I can't wait for next year.