As you can see by Itzl's concerned look, this group is for us to check in at to let people know we are alive, doing OK, and not affected by such things as heat, blizzards, floods, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages, or other such things that could keep us off DKos. It's also so we can find other Kossacks nearby for in-person checks when other methods of communication fail - a buddy system. Members come here to check in. If you're not here, or anywhere else on DKos, and there are adverse conditions in your area (floods, heatwaves, hurricanes, etc.), we and your buddy are going to check up on you. If you are going to be away from your computer for a day or a week, let us know here. We care!
If you'd like to be part of the Itzl Alert Network, please leave a comment asking to join, or send us a message asking to join. We'd love to have you. The bigger our network, the less likely someone will be stranded all alone.
(This is a placeholder diary)
I'm slowly hearing from members of the Octopodicon concom (convention committee) on Facebook, so I expect we'll hear from Noddy soon. Itzl was his usual professional self, keeping everyone on task, surveying the hotel alertly, and making sure that all his friends had their faces washed often.
The attendees had a lot of fun, and more importantly this is sort of a "paradigm breaker." At many conventions you wander around and socialize, and go to panels -- but if you're new, it's a very lonely experience. The "makeshops" where attendees went and worked on a short project were very powerful events and the idea of creating groups that included everyone was interesting and startling. We saw interesting and unusual behaviors (and there I go sounding like a scientist.)
Also ground-breaking was that one of the PhD's (who was a "professor" (the Octopodicon term for "guest") showed up in full academic regalia as a costume, leading others to vow to do the same. Since the concept was built around the idea of "classes", seeing Jean Stuntz sweeping through in full PhD togs was sort of a "Hogwarts" moment.
Conventions always spark new ideas and new projects for me, and I'm delighted to say that I just "clicked" with the delightful John DeLaughter. Since we're both scientists, the weekend was full of glorious banter and concept swapping -- the funniest of which was getting into an argument over Feynman's "spaghetti snapping" discovery. This so amused the supervisor of the "green room" that she bought us a package of spaghetti to break, and we spent a good quarter hour breaking the stuff and bantering about the results.
I hope Itzl and Noddy are both still resting. They and the rest of the concom deserve some sleep!