SEPA wrap-up

4 07 2010

Heh.  So check me out.  I didn’t exactly blog every day like intended, but I wore myself out while I was there!  And then I dove straight into two weeks of professional development which, along with my garden and other chores, completely occupied my time.  Now I’m just finding it hard to get back into writing.  But, here we go…

The con was pretty wonderful.  Lots to eat.  Good people.  Some new things to see.  But what set this year’s trip apart from the others was the inclusion of my good friend, Jeremy Lusk, attending with me.  Jeremy has accepted a fellowship in another state in a doctorate program in physics, specializing in astronomy.  He’s very interested in education, so a trip to SEPA just seemed logical.  He made some solid contacts and by now should be blighted with the attraction to attend each year after this as well.

Some friends didn’t make it since this is an IPS year. IPS was in Egypt just last week, and since most folks can’t afford attending two cons in a single year, many opted to make that incredible trip and see Egypt through the eyes of an astronomer.  IPS occurs every other year, and 2012 brings it to Baton Rouge to a place I think many of you guys have visited before.  Cool, huh?  Jon Elvert & Mike Smail are regular attendees of SEPA (in fact, Jon is the past president), but only Jon attended SEPA this year (on account that he was the president).  I noticed a picture of Mike online attending IPS in Egypt.  Guess you should probably make an appearance if the next one is at your dome!

My probably favorite moment was getting to play play with a Theremin.  Not a very easy instrument to handle, even though it can only play one note at a time!  I feel so much joy even now when I think about getting to use my own hands (and Jeremy might tell you — most of my body) to wrangle something that resembled a tune from that beast.  I wish I had some video of my two minutes of glory for you, but alas, the people looking on were much more into pointing and laughing than trying to hold their video recorders steady.  You will simply have to imagine how totally hard core I looked in coaxing that last, deep, low note from the machine.  Think about how Luke Skywalker looked in that epic Star Wars poster with his saber lofted on high, and his hot sister hanging on his leg.  Wait, what?

I got to see two new programs made by some friends of mine in their entirety — SpacePark360 by Matt, Jason, and Michael of Dome3D and Natural Selection by Robin Sip of Mirage3D.  Both were excellent.  In fact, I lost my preliminary copy of Natural Selection and was quite upset because I wanted my family to watch it so bad.  After a week went by I decided it was just gone and I’d grab another copy next year.  However, I stumbled across it between my truck seats yesterday as I was headed out to Jeremy’s wedding.  Hoo-zah!  I excitedly showed it to them last night, but I’ve discovered it’s just not the same without that immersive dome around you.  Thhhbbbt!  And I wouldn’t even try to show SpacePark360 on anything other than a dome.  It’s all about effect, baby!

And the rest of the details are simply that — details.  The day-to-day excitement seemed continuous and most of my memories now consist of the moments I got to spend with my friends and colleagues rather than any specific event.   With my post-SEPA workshops out of the way I now turn my full attention to my summer break, which has now officially been going for a week.  Hope your summer outlook is as good as mine.

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7 responses

7 07 2010
Smail

I was sad to miss SEPA, especially after seeing that a theremin was going to be present, but you can only make so many trips. And, as you pointed out, it’s kind of important to get your name and face out there in advance, when you’re hosting.

We’re looking forward to hosting a mini-SEPA in conjunction with IPS, and finding ways to integrate familiar SEPA events into the greater conference. An event not to be missed, for sure!

7 07 2010
Infinitewell

Glad you dropped in, Mike. I hope everything was wonderful in Egypt. You *know* I wanted to be there.

Hey, ask me sometime about something hilarious Jon did during SEPA. It isn’t for public consumption, so you’ll have to wait a whole year to hear it! I laugh even now everytime I think about it…

So you’re going to attempt to plan not only a massive IPS convention, but a mini-SEPA as well? Are you insane??? You’re not going to have time to sleep for weeks. Sounds like fun for us though!

9 07 2010
Smail

Yep, completely insane. But it’s for the greater good ;)

13 07 2010
epiblitikos

This made my heart sad…
But it was so funny that I thought you should read it.

http://failbook.com/2010/07/10/funny-facebook-fails-lmgtfy-shooting-star/

21 07 2010
Infinitewell

The falling-star question didn’t surprise me in the least. The *comments* afterwards were crazy scary! Which is why I normally skip all the following comments. Except for this time, for which I am now truly sorry.

:P

[Thanks for the link!]

22 07 2010
Máire of the Lilies

Did you eat all the Zeiss chocolate yet? ;-)

Have a great break!

24 07 2010
Infinitewell

Hehe! That chocolate was phenomenal! Who knew it was so much trouble transporting some candy from Germany to the US?

I had enough little things like that in my bag to satisfy each of my kids. They really enjoyed me coming home this time!

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