What Should I Talk About at Dragon*Con?

Hey, look who’s a confirmed guest at Dragon*Con. Now I guess I should come up with things to talk about.

Actually, that’s not my problem. My real problem is that I have too much I’d like to talk about. I’m going to be doing a live WhatTheCast episode (right, Brian?) and be on the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow panel (note to self: come up with a new funny way to take over the world), so I only have two or three more slots I can fill lest I fall over dead some time around Sunday morning.

So, dear readers, tell me what I should talk about! I’ve got several options already, though I’m always open to more.

Quantum Encryption. Did you know you can encrypt information using simple quantum tools like superposition and entanglement? Sadly it won’t be useful any time soon, but it’s a swifty thing to talk about.

Dark Matter, aka “dude, where’s my mass?” There hasn’t been a lot of new solid data on this, but there are a lot of interesting bits of speculation, and this is something I’ve wanted to learn more about. That’s how I choose my science talks anyway — pick something I’m interested in but don’t know a lot about. Good thing I have an advanced degree in faking the funk.

The Pioneer Anomaly. Pioneer 10 and 11 are headed out of the solar system after slingshot maneuvers around Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. The sun’s gravity is slowing them down. However, they’re slowing down more than they should. Why are they doing this? Who knows!

The Physics of Better Gas Mileage. This would be an expansion of the rough calculations I did last year. This was really timely when I first started thinking about it last year!

13 thoughts on “What Should I Talk About at Dragon*Con?

  1. So yeah, does your hectic schedule mean I get to fill in more for you this year Boss?? I don’t mind and I am in fact looking forward to Con already *face-palm*

    So anyway I vote for Quantum Encryption. Thanks to Ploki I have been learning more about entanglement than I ever thought I wanted to know, and Damn! it’s very interesting stuff. So there you go Boss, my two cents worth.

  2. Yes, we will be doing a WhatTheCast panel, according to Swoopy (time & date TBD). I’m also working on another DCTV panel and a few of my own video items for the podcasting panel. Now go and do SCIENCE so you have something to talk about at con 🙂

  3. If you do the whole Quantum-thing, please point out that Entanglement doesn’t mean that you have an Ansible and why (as you had to explain to me a few years back when I was doing book research).

    Shame really… it’s such a great plot device. Overdone, maybe, but still cool.

  4. What about about discussing shuttle replacement options? Perhaps a discussion on NASA programs that have been merged into the military or vice versa. How about hypersonic research vehicles and their applications? Maybe go entirely in a different direction and discuss how to hack a Roomba. Talk about the black hole generator and how the knowledge learned from it can apply to everyday life? Perchance talk about whatever is “next” after blu-ray for home theater systems? A panel on writing DCTV bumpers, and the madness behind the mayhem? hahahaha

  5. Tombstone: yeah, I definitely will have to go through the “here is what entanglement is and isn’t” dance if I do that topic, which I’m very much leaning to.

    John: The Roomba idea sounds cool, but I’d have to get one to hack. The state of Shuttle replacement options could be interesting, but talk about a moving target!

  6. We actually have a Roomba, and we’re not currently using it. Dunno how C would feel about giving it up, though. Suppose I could ask her.

  7. Transformation optics (invisibility cloaks! superlenses!).
    [“You got general relativity in my optics.”
    “No, you got optics in my general relativity”]

    I may be biased because I’m running a seminar on the topic this semester…

  8. I’m a space nerd, so I’d love to hear about Pioneer.

    Also, I have a Roomba Discovery that has the dreaded “circle dance”, so iRobot sent me a new one (+5 for customer service!). I’m only using the old one as a charger (I have two batteries), although it doesn’t have a dust bin.

  9. I could always loan you all my Harry Potter stuff so that you could talk about invisibility and cloaking! 😉


  10. The state of Shuttle replacement options could be interesting, but talk about a moving target!

    And Stephen really doesn’t want my head to explode, either. 😉

  11. I’m thinking you should devote the entire panel (perhaps two?) to talking about how awesome your ‘con roommates are, complete with charts comparing snoring patterns.

    Yeah, you can smack me for this in a couple of days. 🙂

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