Thursday, July 12 — TAM 2012 in Las Vegas



This was the first day of the conference, which featured mostly “workshops” (not easily distinguished from talks) that were so-so and of varying interest. “Science and Skepticism 101” was very basic, and didn’t teach us much we didn’t already know about distinguishing valid scientific research and claims from pseudoscience. One of the workshops, on Astronomy, was so poorly organized that we actually walked out, but a panel on investigations of the paranormal by “non-believers” in such things was fun to listen to. We did try out the pool and had lunch at one of the hotel delis, and then walked in half-way through a live recording of “Penn’s Sunday School,” the podcast that Penn Gillette of Penn & Teller, the magicians, puts together. It was a long ramble but a lot of fun. He’s a good storyteller. Things kicked up a bit after dinner (we went to the buffet downstairs and chatted with two other TAM participants), with a welcome reception and then the evening show, a parody of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” with very silly stuff. I was too tired for finding out what the late night showing of Penn’s film about an off-broadway show he is doing, but Mark went for about an hour and looked at it.

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