Monday, October 22, 2012

The War on Women

I've been hearing quite frequently from right wing pundits that the "war on women" is a fabrication of the left, that it's a distraction from real issues. However, the Republican party's own record makes it very clear that it's not a side issue; it's one that they have been very focused on. So I've put together a list of recent attacks on women from the Republican party.

Keep in mind I'm limiting this list to just instances by official party members serving in the government. Not their advisers, not radio hosts, not congressional aides. If I did, this list would be much, much longer.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Archon 36 Recap

Archon has now come and gone for yet another year, although I'm still feeling it. My body's still angry at me from the lack of sleep.

I think all my panels went very well this year. Friday evening was my "Anime Mythbusters" panel which is always a fun time. I haven't changed it any since Naka-Kon this year, but I rarely look over it again once it's been put together. I glanced over the slides to remind myself what topics I'd included, but beyond that, did absolutely no preparation. Yet giving the talk, I felt perfectly comfortable and never missed a beat. One of my goals is to always know the talk well enough that I can say things before putting that information on the slide, so I don't have people trying to read the same thing I'm saying.

This is especially true for things where I'm doing math, where I want to walk people through what I'm doing, such as in segments like this one in which I'm deriving the geometry necessary to figure out how close the comet came to hitting the planet.

My intention was to be that well prepared for my new Quantum Mechanics talk I delivered Saturday morning. The challenge is even harder in this case since there's so much technical information that builds on itself. If I forget even a single sentence, often times, it will come back to haunt me since I rely on that information having been passed on later.

Unfortunately, that was too large of a challenge for me this time. Friday, as the con started, I think I only had the first 50% of the talk memorized perfectly, and about another quarter memorized in rough format. So I cheated more than normal and had my outline on notecards, as well as the full script downloaded on my Kindle. I had to pause a few times to figure out where I was again, but after the talk, people told me they didn't even remember me doing so. I'll take that as a sign that the rest of the material was of sufficient quality that it distracted them.

I'd meant to get a video of this talk, but left my camera sitting at home. I know a few segments were recorded, but I'll wait until I have the full thing before posting anything.

My last talk Saturday was the "Sexism in Anime" panel. For whatever reason, I feel like I prepare a lot less for this panel. Even the first time presenting it, I knew what I wanted to say, but I allowed myself to deviate far more than I usually do. Perhaps it has something to do with still being relatively new to this field. I have a lot of information still kicking around in my head that's all still shuffling around, trying to find a good and appropriate home in the talk. Until it does, sometimes it just jumps out at odd moments.

Archon is well known for its parties and this year was no exception. Since I just live across the river, I went home nightly, but I didn't make it to bed until Sunday morning at 4:30am. I did go back Sunday, but had no panels and was just saying goodbye to friends. I did meet a nice woman named Jackie, whose company I enjoyed greatly, and hope to work with in the future since she runs a skeptical radio show in Columbia, MO.

In the meantime, Go Cardinals!