ChiCon 8 Day 1

We got here Tuesday afternoon and promptly crashed almost as soon as we got in the hotel room. TSA protocols about volumes of liquid kept us from traveling with the distilled water our CPAP machines required, so we hazarded our lungs with the remains of our bottled drinking water before passing out.

Wednesday was spent setting up the Wife’s art table display and the wall hanging display for her and the Daughter. There were frequent bouts of crowd anxiety battled by retreating to the hotel room to read the souvenir program (which doesn’t contain the actual program for the event. That’s online) and mapping out the events we plan attend once the starting bell is rung at 10 am. Today.

With my loosely planned agenda as a map, I head out onto the convention floor. Wish me luck.

10:24 am. Bumped into the con tour in progress (Dave Howell) outside the art show that I spent all day yesterday setting up. I can tell you all about one artist, at least. If I had been on time for the tour I would have known where to go for the table talk that I wanted to go to later.

The Wife and I bailed out of the first meeting we had on our schedule, a panel discussion of how to create things on the cheap. It was a useful discussion for people who hadn’t done 14 films on the cheap already. As I told her when I suggested going to the event “you should probably be on this panel.” The things you learn when you need a dozen millions to do effects and the producers barely have a few thousand in the bank.

My next event was a table talk with Jill A. Engel-Cox on the subject of renewable energy. She mentioned subjects that I had heard on a recent episode of the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe, the possibility of being able to generate geothermal power pretty much wherever we want to by simply drilling down deep enough to be able to harness the energy gradient between the surface and the deep mantle of the earth. Fascinating subject. It reminded me of the subsurface air conditioning systems that I had encountered in some high-end houses I had worked on back in the day, but with the opposite purpose. It’s always 68 degrees Fahrenheit just under the ground. Very effective cooling if you have the funds to do the drilling it requires.

We also talked about books and movies that involved environmental disasters, a subject that she will be discussing on a panel later this week. Of the many titles mentioned, Station Eleven was the only one that I hadn’t heard of before. I’ll have to check that one out soon.

The last event that I made it to was one that I had missed the signup for, but was allowed to sit in on anyway. Michael Green Jr. talked about effective outlining strategies for stories and debuted his web app Lynit. As the hour progressed I had a flash of insight. It was while he was manipulating the character/plotline linkages on screen that I saw the correlation to design and planning of buildings. An outline is to a novel or short story as the construction documents are to the finished building. An almost exact correlation that I had never realized before. I also see some possibilities in the web app structure that could be applied to online home design software that would allow the people who want to take an active hand in their new home design to be able to show how they want to use spaces and the connections between those spaces.

Valuable insights that I hope to put to good use soon.

The final event of the day was the opening ceremonies (Annalee Newitz, Charlie Jane Anders) I was so tired that I feel asleep before they started. Luckily for me they were available online to watch later:

Chicon 8 Opening Ceremoniesairmeet.com

First day down! On to the next.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

Attacks on arguments offered are appreciated and awaited. Attacks on the author will be deleted.

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