• DragonCon – The Paper Blog part 2

    by  • 9/7/2008 • skeptic, travel • 0 Comments

    Continuing on Friday…


    Dr. Pamela Gay’s talk on “Selling The Impossible” was one of the talks that I attended that hadn’t been on my original list; amazing how things sneak in like that. She gave a talk about critical thinking when buying things.


    • Magic detoxifying footpads that turn colour as they “draw toxins” out from your body. Well, plain water causes them to change colour too; even distilled water with no toxins.

    • Airbourne – Invented by a School Teacher. Thanks, but I’d rather use something invented by a person with understanding of chemistry, biology, and infectious diseases.

    • Magnetic bracelets. Magnets attract blood? Better not get that MRI, then.

    • 5 hour energy drink – small shot of sucrose and caffeine, that claims to keep you going for 5 hours with no crash. Does even coffee do that?

    • Orgasmix cream. Just rub in for ten minutes. Hmm…

    • Book “Free Energy and Antigravity Propulsion” is what’s to thank for me not having to pay for a flight back from Atlanta… just sort of floated back for free

    All the items came from Amazon; she encouraged us to find and review similar products in order to help.


    Late night, after watching the live riffing to the Claude Rains movie courtesy of Cult of UHF, I stuck around as a number of other people entered the room; there was nothing scheduled in the Podcasting track for 1 AM, but this looked interesting. Sure enough, I was able to sit in on a dress rehearsal of the live cast of Dr. Horrible’s Sing a Long. They were also going to do a run-through of the Buffy musical episode Once More With Feeling but I had to get some sleep. Considering how busy the Dr. Horrible shows were in the next couple days, with lines longer than the badge pickup lines, I’m happy to have seen them Bad Horse around informally.


    Saturday had a talk by Dr. Steve Novella (Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe), where he discussed how science-based medicine differs from so-called alternative medicine. He mentioned Enzyte, and how founder and CEO, Steve Warshak, and his mother Harriett Warshak, convicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. Big Pharma is evil, but these guys are the alternative?


    Basically, if something is required by law to state “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” then you should NOT BE USING IT to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. There’s a reason that they don’t submit for testing; they can’t show results.


    1600 Saturday – Astronomy Cast Live show.


    On my way into the Hilton for the Science Based Medicine talk, I stopped to get a sandwish and while waiting for them to het it up, I’m pretty sure I witnessed a completely unmolested Hero – specifically, The Cheerleader. It’s a bit surprising that in such a geek filled space, with poor social skills, and she’s not bothered while she stands in line and buys a coffee. This becomes even more surprising the next day when I hear stories of line-ups and a special room setup to keep the people lining up to see her from making the other celebrities on the Walk of Fame cry. Apparently they move Hayden to another room to cut some of the traffic. People were also complaining about the costs of autographs; I’ve never really understood autographs, so I’m of the ‘then don’t get one’ camp.


    The Astronomy Cast recording had a surprise, unannounced guest in Phil Plait. This is good, as I missed his earlier panel on how the world will end. Apparently Phil does semi-regular appearances on Coast To Coast AM, as well. I’d check that out, but Coast To Coast is painful at best to listen to when True Believers are on, and it’s even harder to subscribe to as a podcast.


    Spoke with Reed Esau about the Denver Airport Conspiracy. It seems that some believe that there’s a third level basement that houses elements of the New World Order, Reptilians, and Free Masons. Conspiracy theories about murals depicting aliens and such… Requires some investigation.


    George Hrab performed a song by Rush (meh), and something by King Crimson and “Any Kind Of Pain” by Frank Zappa (off Broadway the Hard Way). I think George made it less goofy and more touching, possibly because he was singing it at a girl in the front row. Okay, okay, I take back all the cynicism I had about their relationship being some sort of act for their respective podcasts.


    After his show, I had to tell him that I was the one person who knew who Klaus Nomi was and was able to identify his impact on Geo’s Occasional Songs for the Periodic Table, element Einstienium. He’d offered up a CD to anyone who could ID the influence; the CD I received was inscribed to say that I was the coolest person in Nova Scotia. Nice, but it’s a rather low bar. I also mentioned that I’d setup the Facebook page for Donna. I did this a while after I bought his Non-coloring Book, but had I done so earlier, I might have been able to save the $20… When I mentioned it, he looked fully shocked and blown away, and his words were along the lines of “Wow! Thanks! I suppose I should blow you!” He then told the assembled masses all about German performance artist Klaus Nomi; though many of the people there are too young to remember when Saturday Night Live was good, let alone back before OUR time when Klaus was on with Bowie.


    Also on Saturday, the sales in the dealer room picked up as people were finally done that initial rough budget first run-through of the show, and could start committing to buying.


    URLs mentioned in the Astronomy Cast and elsewhere; http://www.secular.org, http://www.radfordbooks.com, http://www.bad-language.com

    Foot pads: http://www.devicewatch.org/reports/kinoki.shtml

    Enzyte: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enzyte

    Periodic Table: http://georgehrab.blogspot.com/2008/07/occasional-songs-for-periodic-table.html


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