Archive for December, 2007

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December 19th, 2007 | filed in News

Holy crap, they're going to kill Fermilab.

From my friend Bill:

The budget that’s just passed the Senate is basically going to kill Fermilab:

Lab fiscal ‘disaster’ feared – U.S. cuts would hit Fermilab’s research

Federal budget so far not good for Fermilab

Fermi layoffs possible

Fermi faces funding crisis

A Budget Too Small

US Budget Spells New Troubles For Next-Gen Particle Accelerator

They’re facing closing the lab for at least two months in the new year (sending everyone home with no pay), and killing off the two project proposals that might keep the lab alive after the Tevatron shuts down in 2010.

This is a terrible day for science in this country.

December 13th, 2007 | filed in News

New York, New York!

Wow, we got back from our whirlwind trip to New York Anime Fest on Monday, and only now am I recovering. It was a weekend of incredible highs and frustrating lows, but overall I’m very glad I went.

First of all, traveling with Spike & Matt is always a real joy. There’s always this great mix of shop talk and geekery that does my heart good. Matt and I especially enjoy talking about tabletop gaming. It’s inspiring. We scheduled the extra day of travel so we could stop off there and take in the Mutter Museum at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, a truly wondrous place full of mutants, wax representations of diseases, specimens, and general medical horrors. It was awesome.

However, it wasn’t without its problems.

The weekend got off to a slow start. Once at the convention center we discovered that Spike wasn’t on the list for a table. After some squabbling with the organizers, we ended up both at my table, which ended up being a blessing in the end — Friday ended up being incredibly slow. I was thankful to the folks who did stop by and pick up books (thank you, kind souls!), but overall the experience was humbling. After doing so many conventions this year, this was the first time I didn’t make 3 figures on the first day. Yikes! Saturday was better, but wasn’t enough to make up for the shortfall. Sunday was no better. I had expected such a big show in the largest city in the country to be a little busier. I was wrong.

Thankfully, there were plenty of friendly faces to commiserate with. Right off the bat, we ran into Dave and Raina along with John and Marion at The Comics Bakery and Zack and Steph of LifeMeter. We also bumped into Jaime of In His Likeness , Jim Z, Josh Elder, Jon Lung, Morgan, Hightower, and new friends Juno, and Mookie. Good meals were eaten, gossip shared, industry talk had, and general hangouts enjoyed. I had a blast catching up with everyone and learned a tremendous amount, too.

On the last day we were planning to do a 12+ hour marathon back home only to discover that an ICE STORM was barreling in on us between Chicago and New York. Thankfully, some friends in Pittsburgh were able to let us stay over, so all five us caravanned back to the ‘Burgh that night, and we were able arrive home safely on Monday afternoon.

All in all, I’m very glad I went. And although the travel frustrations were exacerbated by the slow sales, the time spent with friends and colleagues more than made up for it in the end.