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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

My Dragon*Con 2013 Schedule

By Phil Plait

From Aug. 29 â Sep. 2, 2013, Iâll be in Atlanta Georgia attending the annual Dragon*Con convention! This is one of my favorite events of the year: A vast, sprawling meeting of fans of every kind of fiction genre around. But that means lots of folks interested in space and astronomy are there, too, so thereâs a solid variety of fact and fiction represented. Itâs always a fantastic time. Exhausting, but wonderful.

Iâm doing several panels and shows, and even giving a talk this year. My schedule is below. If youâre going to D*C, drop by one of these events and say hi! Reminder: Thereâs a handy online app to find panels, panelists, and events; you can find me there. There are also PDFs of the program and scheduling grid, too.

Atlanta Star Party

Every year, I participate in the Atlanta Star Party, which has talks by astronomers and star gazing (weather permitted). It's a lot of fun, and this year we're raising money for Cosmoquest. It's currently sold out, but there's a waiting list.

Logistics: Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Emory Math & Science Center, 400 Dowman Dr., Atlanta, GA 30322.

But I Play One on TV

Iâll be on a panel with My Close Personal Friend⢠and Mythbuster Adam Savage, where weâll be swapping stories about communicating science to the public. Itâs moderated by Veronica Belmont, who also is awesome.

Logistics: Friday at 2:30 p.m. in the Marriott Atrium Ballroom

Incoming! There's an Asteroid With Earth's Name on It

Asteroids are one of my favorite topics, and Iâll be on a panel with geophysicist (and âStargate: Universeâ science advisor) Mika McKinnon talking impacts and how to prevent them.

Logistics: Friday at 5:30 p.m. in Hilton 309-310

Quiz-O-Tron 2000

Every year, Skepchick Rebecca Watson hosts a raucous and, um, adult-themed science quiz show. This is always very funny and a great time. Other scheduled panelists are Jon David Hotchkiss, Drew Curtis, Joseph Scrimshaw, and Ken Plume.

Logistics: Friday at 10:00 p.m. in Hilton 204-207

CosmoQuest Booth

I'll be loitering at the CosmoQuest booth with Dr. Nicole Gugliucci and Dr. Pamela Gay, chatting with folks and available to sign things if you have them (I won't have books with me). Stop by and say hi!

Logistics: Saturday at 2:00 p.m. at the CosmosQuest booth in the Hilton, near the Grand Ballroom (where the Walk of Fame used to be). 

Gonzaroo II

This is Ken Plumeâs ridiculously fun variety show, which features comedy, music, and overall goofiness. Last year I did a short comedy bit with Joseph Scrimshaw, and this year, well, who knows? Iâll be there for the first part, since I have another panel that overlaps the second half of the show.

Logistics: Saturday at 8:30 p.m. in the Marriott Main Atrium Ballroom.

The Kevin & Phil Show

Astronomer Dr. Kevin Grazier (science advisor for âBattlestar Galacticaâ, âDefianceâ, and the upcoming flick âGravityâ) and I chat informally (and usually quite snarkily) about stuff. This yearâs topic is âSpace in the Time of Sequesterâ, but we generally go way off topic in this discussion. Weâve done this every year now for several years, and itâs turned into something of a fan-favorite, to our delight.

Logistics: Saturday at 10:00 p.m. in the Hilton Grand Ballroom West

10 (or so) Amazing Facts About Our Solar System

My first ever stand-up talk at Dragon*Con! Iâll go over the objects in our solar system, picking out one thing about each that amazes me personally. They probably will you, too. This is aimed at the general audience, and as usual, Iâll show pretty pictures, talk cool science, and make several dumb jokes and brilliant puns.

Logistics: Sunday at 11:30 a.m. in Hilton 309-310

Gonzo Game Show IV: The Quest for Quiz

Another Ken Plume extravaganza, where well-known panelists are asked silly questions, try to figure out if other panelists are lying, and are forced to sing (I had âRocket Manâ as my song last year, which I botched gloriously). Rumor has it there will be an improv competition this year. This is a great way to wrap up the conâs last official night, unless enjoying yourself is something you donât enjoy.

Thatâs it! As usual Iâll be everywhere during my off-panel times, wandering the floor, fanboying over science fiction doyens and doyennes, and generally having a terrific time. 

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