DragonCon 2016 –Day 2

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Saturdays at DragonCon are probably viewed by many as the peak of convention.  Thousands descend from the metro area to watch the DragonCon parade, and those who are interested in costuming seem to prioritize Saturday to show off.  And with a gazillion people there, it’s the perfect day to be seen.

The parade starts at 10:00 a.m., and a quarter of that sum arrive early enough, by 8:30 a.m., to grab VIP sidewalk curbing space to enjoy an unblemished and unblocked parade.  Another quarter gazillion arrive over the following hour and 20 minutes, with the remainder  arriving within 10 minutes of the start of the parade, often disappointed/incensed that they and their three year olds cannot see the parade from 8 deep on the sidewalk.  I have sympathy for them, but not enough to negotiate my VIP placement.  After several years of skipping the parade, I decided to go ahead and… it was worth it.  There were the usual great costumes and a number of surprises, such as these two from Dire Strait’s “Money for Nothing” music video.

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I’ll give those who desire to show off another few years to adapt to new shows/movies or otherwise be creative.  After all, after you’ve seen one Stormtrooper, you’ve seen them all.  Well, except this zombie one.   In any case, you can see all my DragonCon pictures here.

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After scrounging a lunch, I went to a panel in the Armory track called “My Sword is Better than Your Sword.”   Oops.  I arrived too late.  But never fear, they decided they could shorten the content to two half hour sections if people would wait.  So, sure.  From that came a history of sword styles and their evolution through history with a “show and tell” for each step along the way.  An interesting point was that Japanese katanas, which seem to enjoy a reputation for perfect swords, do not compare with the blades made by German blacksmiths whose  excellent quality blades were not only made for a thousand years prior to the Japanese, but exported around the world.  Essentially, central Europe made the blades, and a purchaser would go to their local armorer who attached the blade to the local hilt du jour.  It was more interesting than you might think, and… hey, I’ll take a shortcut.

 

After that we were off to stand in line for about 40 minutes for the iZombie panel, not an unusual length for a wait for “celebrity” panels, but the only panel I attended where we had to wait more than 10 minutes.  iZombie is a favorite show, where our heroine inherits the personality and occasional memories of the recently deceased, sufficient for enough clues to solve a murder mystery and have a few laughs along the way.  Curiously, this works better on an episodic basis rather than the background arc of the company who caused the zombiepocalypse.  In any case, the panel was interesting, fun, and like so many others, instantly gratifying and forgettable.  Short of it is that when you go to these panels, you want to like the actors as much as you like their characters and comparing them them absent a script.

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They also had many other subjects on this track, one apparently including the impact of an 18 kiloton plutonium surface detonation outside the Hyatt lobby.  Perhaps a map will help to understand how far you need to run to experience less immediate lethal effects.

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My last panel for the day was one that I “sold out” the year before.  There are apparently many who wish to learn “How to Get Away with Murder,” a session led by several scientists, including a chemist and neuropsychologist.  This was not quite as technically detailed as one might hope(?), but it was interesting nevertheless.  Covered were polonium mixed with a drink, an unsolved mystery from Australia, and Jack the Ripper (DNA has suggested ancestors of a 23 year old Polish citizen).  More to the point, how to dispose of a body.  Hagfish, leaving a body for a bear if the body is ripe, hydrochloric acid (if the body is processed through a wood chipper first – surface area matters), and disposing a body using an animal crematorium at a vet or a pound.  There you go.  Remember to remove identifying parts of a body as well, such as fingerprints, teeth replaced joints, piercings, etc.  And, if dropping a body into a glacier river isn’t convenient, remember, “Lye is your friend.”   Oh, and if all else fails, just contaminate the crime scene with DNA from a crime scene Tech.   How many were curious?

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Ah, Saturdays at DragonCon!

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