Sunday, July 10, 2011

talk nerdy to me

Nerd is a term that refers to an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit. Nerds are generally considered to be awkward, shy and/or unattractive by most, although this is not always true. Thus, a nerd is often excluded from physical activity and considered a loner by others, or will tend to associate with a small group of like-minded people, although again, this is not always the case.

Geek is a slang term, with different meanings ranging from "a computer expert or enthusiast" to "a carnival performer who performs sensationally morbid or disgusting acts", with a general pejorative meaning of "a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, esp[ecially] one who is perceived to be overly intellectual".

Which am I? Not sure...


I am in awe of the particular individual passions on display this weekend at Shore Leave 33, a fan-based Star Ttrek convention, which has now branched out into the other realms, or universes, of science fiction. There was something for everybody - Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Star Gate, Firefly (love this one!),  steam punk, and even Honorverse (Dad, you like this series)--just to name a few.

The best part was getting to listen to experts from NASA, Johns-Hopkins and other institutions talk about REAL science. My friend TS and I really enjoyed learning about these projects and at one point I leaned over to her and said, "We really must find jobs at NASA." She summarized the science perfectly on her blog:
There was one by a NASA scientist who worked on the Hayabusa project, and it was absolutely fascinating. Another about the history of NASA human flight, presented by a guy who works at Kennedy, was also great. Another awesome presentation was about Zooniverse, where you can volunteer to help out with various science projects (click the link, pick a project, and volunteer!). There was also another great one about upcoming solar system exploration. He talked a lot about the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission. Click this link to watch an animation of how they plan to land the thing on Mars (the video goes beyond the landing, but the speaker was focused on how they were landing). 
It was fascinating stuff and makes me want to learn and do more.

NASA dude explaining science stuff about the Hayabusa project.
There were actors from several different shows who took questions from us, the fans. The actors genuinely loved being there to talk about their work and share in their fans' enthusiasm for the shows and the characters. I was impressed with their sincerity as they met fans and shared a few moments with them. My favorites were these two guys:

John de Lancie who played Q
on Star Trek : The Next Generation

Christopher Judge who played Teal'c
on Stargate: SG-1
And he's a fan of Big Bang Theory!

Gary Lockwood and Sally Kellerman from
Star Trek: TOS pilot episode

The people at the convention were all really nice and cool. They definitely had their own groups and ideas going, because very few actually reached out to talk to anyone new, so I didn't leave with a new group of friends. I did meet some cool people from West Virginia with whom I hung out for a while, but that was it.

B from WVa made her hairpiece over one week.
The Masquerade or costume contest was really neat. I loved seeing all the costumes and how the contestants presented themselves. There were some really amazingly talented people who made some gorgeous costumes. I wish I had been able to get some close-up photos of more costumes, because they were some really cool ones there.

The Royal Manticoran Navy in uniform.

This dress was amazing. The velvet was hand imprinted.
21 hours on the dragon and 36 hours on the dress.

A steam punk engineer. Awesome leather work
and creative use of a caulking gun.
Steam Punk Crypto-Zoologists. Very authentic and Victorian-esque.
So all in all a very good weekend. Lots of fun and learning. I'm glad I went and I'll probably head back again next year for some more fun.

More photos here. Some more photos here. Soon to be photos here. Enjoy!


sylvia/ticklethepear said...

I'm so sorry I missed this!

deb sorensen said...

I LOVE the hooker boots!

Ed Wandall said...

Great blog! Are you going to Shore Leave again this year? It starts tomorrow night!