Saint Nickanuck of the Tundra


Loncon 3 goings-on

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the August 10th, 2014

I am in London, England, for Loncon 3, the 72nd Annual World Science Fiction Convention. While here, I will be participating in discussions of all manner of SCIENCE, namely:

Communicating Risk and UncertaintyThursday 20:00 – 21:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL) – The risks of crossing the road are much higher than the risks that the LHC will make a black hole, or that your plane will crash. But we don’t worry about crossing the road. How can we improve our ways of thinking about and analysing risk?

Allergies on Alien PlanetsFriday 19:00 – 20:00, London Suite 1 (ExCeL) – Planets that have aliens with big teeth, volcanos and poisonous atmospheres present obvious hazards, but what other trouble might be lying in wait for those visiting alien planets. Will the local microbes lunch on us and our food, pollute our water supply, ignore us or give us allergies? Diseases killed more colonists on Earth than animals or the colonised, but will this work elsewhere? Just why are our planets so safe?

Podcasting ScienceSaturday 10:00 – 11:00, London Suite 2 (ExCeL) – What makes a good science podcast? Who is making them, how are they made, what’s out there that our panel can recommend? What are the advantdages and disadvantages of having them done by professional scientists and by people acting more as journalists?

The Bugs Are Coming BackMonday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL) – Will we soon look back on the 20th century as a golden age of disease free living? How did we get to this state of affairs and what can be done about it?

Please feel free to say hello if you happen by, or track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Monsters versus Aliens, from Balticon

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the August 3rd, 2014

Balticon was a rather enjoyable time, as always. Here’s the Monsters versus Aliens panel, which saw me leading into the final question, but ultimately lose because 1. I was a fool and didn’t prep correctly, and 2. no one defeats Scott Sigler in a movie reviews contest when Matt Wallace isn’t in the room:

Balticon goings-on

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the May 23rd, 2014

I will be at Balticon this weekend at the Hunt Valley Inn in, uh, Hunt Valley, MD, talking all manner of science-y things. My official stuff includes:

  • Friday, 5:00pmMonsters Versus Aliens – The indefatigable Bruce Press shall lead a panel comprised of A. Kovacs, Scott Sigler, and yours truly on an @Midnight-style competition based off science and skeptical topics recently in the news.
  • Saturday, 5pmIn The Hot Seat – Possibly the most random panel ever, in which a motley collection of authors and science-types are assembled to attempt to answer any question posed to us.
  • Monday, 9amSYPHILIS~!, Or, I Know What You Did Last Night – At long last, I will be giving a solo talk on my all-time favorite infectious disease.
  • Monday, 11amMedicine In Science Fiction – A group of us shall rant/discuss/enumerate on the right and the wrong of incorporating medical science into speculative fiction.
  • Monday, 2pmDealing With Drug Addiction In Science Fiction – A panel of us will chat about the good, bad, and the ugly of dealing with the topic of drug addiction in speculative fiction.

Please feel free to say hello if you happen by, or to track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Right. Website. Yes. One of these.

Posted in Blogs by Cmaaarrr on the May 21st, 2014

Man, two years, cobwebs everywhere, and in that corner- oh. Oh, my. It’s sticky and green and I don’t want to know but it must be cleaned.

*scrub* *scrub* *scrub*

This will take awhile. That noted, hello! I am back in this space. Things to come.

Dragon*Con goings-on

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the August 31st, 2012

I’ll be at Dragon*Con for the next couple of days, where I will be participating in several panels on the Science and Apocalypse Rising tracks, as is my want:

Title: Cough and Sneeze: The Science of Epidemiology
Time: Fri 02:30 pm
Description: From “con crud” to zombie viruses, come discuss the science – and likelihood – of a world ending plague.

Title: I (Do Not) Want My HPV
Time: Fri 08:30 pm
Description: An update on the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV): the virus, cervical cancer & other diseases it causes (with pictures!), & the vaccines that prevent it.

Title: Read All About it: Zombies in the Media
Time: Sat 11:30 am
Description: From New Jersey to Miami and beyond… zombies are not just a thing of fiction and fantasy anymore, or so it would seem.

Also, on Saturday at 04:00pm, I will be helping out Laura with the Parsec Awards ceremony. Early Sunday morning, we’re flying to Chicago to catch the Hugo Awards ceremony and the last half of Worldcon because, well, why not.

If you happen to be in Atlanta or Chicago this weekend, feel free to track us down!

The Drabblecast #250: Trifecta XXII

Posted in Podcasts by Cmaaarrr on the July 26th, 2012

A flash story I read for the Parsec Award-winning Drabblecast, Selfless by Kenneth Kao, is now up for your auditory delight. It contains both flesh-eating bacteria and clone social politics, a combo that makes me exceedingly happy.

Also in the episode are readings of Rich Matrunick’s Prophecy Negotiations, and The Faithful Servant by Joel Shulkin, which makes for a true trifecta of good times.

Balticon goings-on

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the May 25th, 2012

Laura and I will be attending Balticon this weekend, as we do. Also, for the first time ever, all of the core staff of The Secret Lair will be present together there as well! Our official stuff includes:

  • Friday 6:00 pmHuman Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Vaccines – What is HPV beyond “that virus that can cause cervical cancer”? What is the latest on the HPV vaccines and the controversy that surrounds them? (M): John Cmar
  • Saturday, 1:00 pmGames for The “Non-Gamer” – Did you ever want to play a game that is fun but does not require too much thinking? Come learn about games that take little or no skill but will make you laugh and have a great time. (M): Ann Rudolph, (S): John Cmar
  • Sunday, 6:00 pmSecret Lair Design For Minions 101 – In this highly informative educational session, the staff of the Secret Lair will work with the audience to design and implement traps and countermeasures to keep those meddling heroes out of The Secret Lair. Special Guest Star Jared Axelrod will play the part of The Hero, describing how he would attempt to break into The Lair. The audience (minions) will have to assist the Lair staff in designing traps to foil the hero. (M): Chris Miller, (S): John Cmar, Jared Axelrod
  • Sunday, 8:00 pmThe Secret Lair Live! – Join Overlord Chris Miller and Doctor John Cmar for a live recording of The Secret Lair. Surprise guests! Games! Shetland-Bonobo Pony rides! Fun for all ages! (M): Chris Miller, John Cmar
  • Monday, 10:00amInternational Space University: 25 years of fostering cooperation in space – The International Space University is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Learn from a graduate about this interdisciplinary, international, and intercultural space educational program. (M): Laura Burns
  • Monday, 1:00 pmThe Zombie Apocalypse Survival Panel – Stay Alive, Our panel of experts will tell you how they plan to make it through the impending zombie apocalypse. (M): Paul Elard Cooley, (S): Gary L. Lester, Doc Coleman, Brennan Taylor, John Cmar

Please say hello if you happen by, and as always, you may track me by my pithy comments and observations.

The Secret Lair #50: Interview With An Overlord

Posted in Podcasts by Cmaaarrr on the April 30th, 2012

The Secret Lair

At long last, the latest episode of The Secret Lair is up, in which I host Overlord Miller in the interrogation chamber to complete a mandatory psychological profile in my role as Chief Medical Officer. Our conversation goes deep into Mr. Miller’s passions for storytelling and creativity, as well as recent life changes that have been a positive part of his own personal story. It is a rather different, but exceedingly enjoyable, show.

Go here and listen, else when the Overlords’ time comes, you will be the first into servitude.

Ravencon goings-on

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the April 13th, 2012
CC BY-NC-ND image by David Abbet via Flickr

CC BY-NC-ND image by David Abbet via Flickr

As is our want, Laura and I will be heading to Ravencon in Richmond, VA, this evening for SCIENCE, podcasting, and self-amusement. We will both be on the following session tomorrow:

  • Saturday, 10:00Parsec Awards: Awarding Excellence in Speculative Fiction Podcasting – Learn about the Parsec Awards from members of the Steering Committee and the help they need from you to find the most deserving podcasts.

My other official stuff includes:

  • Saturday, 12:00pmMacroblogging in the Microblogging Era – Be it for promoting one’s novel or other creative work, or just for fun, blogging seems a necessity in the online world. But when more people are communicating via Tweets and Facebook status updates, are the days of the long blog post falling behind us?
  • Saturday, 1:00pmMr. Adventure live podcast – Amazing Pulp Adventures, starring Mr. Adventure! A campy, comedy/drama reminiscent of early superhero comic books, performed in the style of 1940s radio plays.
  • Saturday, 8:00pmPublish and Perish: Avian Flu – The avian H5N1 influenza virus has nearly 60% death rate in humans, but cannot easily be transmitted from person to person. Recent research has tried to change the virus to see if it could become more transmissible, but attempts to publish that research have created controversy. Should such mad science be done, and should the results be freely published?

Laura’s other official stuff consists of:

  • Saturday, 11:00amInternational Space University: 25 years of fostering cooperation in space – The International Space University is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Learn from a graduate about this interdisciplinary, international, and intercultural space educational program.
  • Sunday, 1:00pmLandsat Data Continuity Mission: Building on 40 years of Earth Observations – Learn about the history of the Landsat observations, the science they do and how the mission will continue with LDCM.

Please say hello if you happen by, and as always, you may track me by my pithy comments and observations.

Farpoint goings-on

Posted in Conventions by Cmaaarrr on the February 18th, 2012
Black Hole specialty cocktail from Farpoint 2011, CC BY-NC-SA image from DocOperon via Flickr

"Black Hole" specialty cocktail from Farpoint 2011, CC BY-NC-SA image from DocOperon via Flickr

This weekend, Laura and I will be swinging by that tiny little con that could, Farpoint. Sunday at 1:00pm, I’ll be giving the State of the Flu address for 2012, where I’ll look at what’s going on with this year’s influenza season (hint – it’s starting now). I’ll also be addressing other recent bits of news, such as the ethical debate behind the attempted publication of the genome for an influenza virus that could be very lethal to humans, and a recent contention in the media that based on scientific evidence, the influenza vaccines don’t work.

Laura will be talking today at 11:00am about the International Space University, and tomorrow at noon on her current project, the Landsat Data Continuity Mission. We’re also both listed as participating in the podcasting roundtable at 3:00pm Sunday. As always, please say hello if you are in attendance, and otherwise I may be sharing pithy comments here.

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