My Dragon*Con 2010 Experience

Let’s see. At Dragon*Con I’ve led a thousand people in a sing-along to “Re: Your Brains”. I’ve had a naked man tell me, “Hey I saw you on TV!” I’ve even been cosplayed. Really, what can top all of that?

I know. Let’s talk about Scott Adsit.

Scott Adsit, who is best known for his role on 30 Rock

He’s best known for his work on the TV show 30 Rock, but he’s also a gifted improv artist and has done work with Adult Swim. One afternoon, as Misty and I were waiting for an elevator to our room, I saw him waiting as well.

I am a cool, suave man. I did not rush up to him and say “I LOVE YOUR WORK YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!” because then we would have had to wait for an elevator in strained silence. He was giving off a “please ignore me” vibe, so I gave him his space.

Of course, then we all got on an elevator with some three hundred of our closest friends and began the slow trek up to the 16th floor.

The elevator stopped at every floor to let people out. At the third stop, when the woman who got off the elevator turned around and looked back in the elevator, her eyes widened. “You’re on DCTV, aren’t you?” she said to me.

“Er, yes.”

As the elevator doors closed, the guy to my right said, “Awright, man, DCTV! You’re famous!”

I could not look in Scott Adsit’s direction. “Thanks, but I’m really not that famous.”

“No, man, you are! You’re famous in these five hotels.”

If, on my deathbed, you ask me my greatest regret, it will be this: I did not say, “Thanks, but it’s not like I’m on a national TV show like 30 Rock or something.” It would have been a moment of me saying, yeah, Scott, I know who you are, and I know you’re the one with the talent and actual fame outside the convention, but I’m not going to call you out over it. Just so you know.

Instead, I said something lame about my con fame being like internet fame and then staggered off the elevator on the 16th floor, right in front of Scott Adsit. When we got to our room I told Misty who he was and we giggled over the weirdness of the convention, where I can be more famous than a guy who is on a TV show, even if it’s only on a semi-major network like NBC.

My panels went well, and the “There Ain’t No Stealth In Space!” talk was standing room only. It turns out that if you tell a bunch of geeks that something’s impossible, they’ll come and argue with you! My talk on metamaterials was also well-attended, thank goodness. I’ve got my scripts and my slides from both talks, if you want to play “STEPHEN LECTURES ME ABOUT PHYSICS: THE HOME GAME”. Every time you see a # in the script, go to the next slide.

(Grab the script | Download the presentation)

(Grab the script | Download the presentation)

I got to geek out about the science of the Whedonverse with Jason Schneiderman, a neuroscientist who had a lot of smart things to say about Dollhouse, and Jennifer Ouellette, author of The Physics of the Buffyverse and the just-now-out The Calculus Diaries. That was a lot of fun, as was our now-annual live taping of WhatTheCast?. I also talked some about my day job on a robotics panel and argued with a guy who wanted every car equipped with a military radar unit to guide it.

I know I’m forgetting something. What could it be?

Oh, right, Dragoncon TV! Above is the mock trailer I did for a spoof version of 2012. Below is what happens when I have both a long line to navigate and a portal gun. Many thanks to my good friend Alex White for the fine special effects in both.

That, of course, just scratches the surface of the weird and wild time I had at the convention. But it’s all you’re getting from me. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME TALK.

(Of course, my five panels plus numerous DCTV appearances would argue otherwise, but hey, this is my blog, so I’m allowed to make any crazy claims I want.)

8 thoughts on “My Dragon*Con 2010 Experience

  1. Thanks for posting those – I was sad I didn’t get to see your “make yourself invisible!” talk, so it was fun reading the transcript with the slides and hearing your voice in my head for the corny joke sections 😛

  2. 1) Instead of working on my review forms this afternoon (whine), I read highlights of your presentations to my co-worker. We would like you to explain magnets to us next. Yes, Juggalos, yes, I know…. but I’m not entirely kidding.

    2) You make cons seem fun even though I think I would lose my mind if I actually went to one, because even small crowds of people make me crazy. So thanks for the DCTV highlights!

    3) 12/22/2012 will be my 40th birthday. So frankly, I have mixed feelings about the apocalypse.

  3. 1. There’s actually a good explanation of magnets over at HowStuffWorks. They also cover magnetism. (Yes, I’m lazy today.)

    2. Yay! Dragon*Con, being one of the large crowd cons, is not great if you don’t like People Everywhere Up In Your Space. I’m one of those people who like being around people, but I also have the ability to go hide in one of the back rooms where our volunteer staff gather.

    3. Whoa. This coincidence must MEAN SOMETHING.

    (P.S. Geof: from your mouth to, er, someone at the Discovery Channel’s ears.)

  4. Maybe next year, you can post Con Costume Tips, like:
    1) Mixed mythoi are sometimes OK (Highland Stormtrooper), if somewhat confusing (Green Lantern Hobbit). However, some mashups are just plain stupid. If you want to be Severus Snape, you may *not* wield a lightsaber.
    2) If you’re going to march as the Periodic Table in the parade, for heavens’ sake, march in order, and please respect the orbitals. Gold has no business holding hands with Helium.
    3) One word for female superheroes, ladies: Spanx. Fortunately for y’all, it’s made right here in Atlanta.

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