So I'm back in Sydney now after a weekend away in Melbourne for Skepticamp Melbourne 2011. And what a marvellous day it was. The unOrganisers have to be handed massive props for putting on an excellent day. Held in the storied halls of Melbourne University, in a venue almost designed for a 150-person Skepticamp, the day was filled with insight, jollity, dicks* and, unusually for a skepticamp, arses. Thanks, Jo Benhamu.
I arrived a bit late at the venue, since I had flown in the night before and only managed to sleep at about 3am, but from the moment I arrived it was clear that the event was going swimmingly. Having run Sydney Skepticamp, I expect that swimmingly to be kinda the way a duck or swan swims - calm and serene on the surface, all frenzied activity beneath. Usually while speakers are speaking and delegates are asking pointed questions, unorganisers are running at least one session ahead, smoothing out A/V issues, organising lunch, wrangling speakers and generally being highly focused 'camp machines. Melbourne's organisation was clearly top notch.
Aside from the little hiccup with the afternoon schedule, but since that got us all to the pub a little earlier, who can complain?
An Adelaide Skepticamp looks like it's possibly on the cards, following some discussion at the Clyde Hotel after Skepticamp, and our next event is on the 21st January, on the Great Ocean Road, and is entitled "Summer Surfcoast Skepticamp". I like this, since I've never been to that part of Australia, and the Great Ocean Road has a reputation as a wonderful piece of tarmac. Hence I'll be attempting to hire a sportscar for the drive down, the better to enjoy the corners. Oh, and there'll be the skepticism, of course.
Additionally to Skepticamp, I was also in Melbourne to have a bit of a weekend away for my birthday. I turned... [insert number here] on Monday, and as a birthday present I took possession a new Cordoba Tenor Ukulele to complement the Sanchez Soprano Uke and aNueNue Concert Banjulele already on stands in my studio. There's already one rough cut video on Youtube. I also spent some time in Australia's first and so far only Ukulele-only music store (though, technically, selling harmonicas and kazoos really ought to invalidate the title, speaking as a purist). It really was a fantastic weekend in Melbourne.
So, at this point, I raise a glass in priase of Skepticamp Melbourne, drain it of beer and nod meaningfully at the Great Ocean Road Skeptics, as though demanding a refill. MORE!
* Peter Bowditch: Do Be A Dick
posted @ Thursday, October 27, 2011 6:50 PM