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Liz Gorinsky
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A little raven tells me that Darkness will walk tonight...
Psst ... hey buddy ...

Goth Court is in session Friday at midnight, the Morris room, Metatopia. You didn't hear it from me but bring your black lipstick.

(Goth Court is the tricked-out goth version of Ghost Court, written by +Jess Zimmerman and +Liz Gorinsky)

Some of the many lovely people I met (or talked to properly for the first time) at Dreamation '15: +Jackson Tegu +Dana Fried +Alex Roberts +Adam Dray +Kelley Vanda +Elsa S. Henry  +Melissa Spangenberg +Jenn Martin +Grant Howitt +E.T. Smith +George Austin +Tam Myaing, plus James S-something-who-I-played-like-four-games-with-but-never-really-read-his-last-name, Simon Steen Hansen, Anders Frost Bertlesen, and probably some other very nice people who I can't retrieve at this moment. This post is here primarily to make me feel like an idiot for still not having not-business business cards to help people remember how to spell my name. You are all pretty fantastic humans.

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Alice and the Mid-Winter Mad Hatter Party
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Japan 2014
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Hey, folks! +James Stuart and I are hosting a dinner for queer-identified gamers at Maelstrom. Please share with anyone you think might be interested.
(Co-hosted by +James Stuart. Reshares okay.)

Hello! We would like YOU to join us for dinner at 5:30PM on the Saturday evening of Maelstrom, a Double Exposure convention from April 4-6 in Morristown, NJ.

In concert with Maelstrom's aims of activism and inclusivity, we thought it would be nice to have an event where queer-identified gamers can get to know one another outside of the timed constraints of a game. Conversation may range from gaming to QUILTBAG issues to whatever else seems fun at the time.

We'll be be dining at Mendhi, an Indian restaurant accessible from inside the convention center: http://www.mehndimorristown.com/ . Veg dishes range from $12-16, meat slightly more. Meet us at the waterfall wall at 5:30, or at the restaurant shortly after that.

NB: We're not interested in policing anyone's sexuality--if you identify as queer in any fashion, you're welcome to join us. Please share with any of your friends who fit the bill.

Thanks for inspiring this dinner go to Tempest Bradford and others who created and promoted the PoC dinner at WisCon, a feminist SF convention. For more information on that event, see http://wiscon.info/, https://www.facebook.com/events/124619680951015/, or http://tempest.fluidartist.com/wiscon-poc-meetups/

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Now that I'm entering a bizarre new age of actually reading and occasionally responding to people's content on Google+ (since that's where all you wonderful gaming folk seem to cluster), it's starting to feel a little weird that I haven't posted any content here for over a year. Nor am I likely to, as I have a historically poor track record of infinite delay when I try to write about my life or thoughts for an audience. I am a bit more competent at generating shorter chunks of text, so if you're wondering what I've been up to lately, you'll get a better sense at https://twitter.com/2muchexposition . Other than that, I will see you in the comment box.

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This past weekend, Miki and I went on a whirlwind tour of Lexington, KY, Nashville, TN, Louisville, KY, Cincinnati, OH, and Petersburg, KY. Petersburg is a tiny place with not much going on, but it was in some sense the prime justification for our trip since it contained the +Creation Museum. I mostly agree with Miki's account of the experience below: it was oddly enjoyable, since so much of the content is so absurd on its face that it could function as anti-creationist comedy if you were viewing it in a different context. (And it was reasonably easy to forget the true context, since we were pretty much the only people we encountered while walking through the museum section.) I'm slightly less sanguine about the museum's existence since I couldn't help but occasionally bounce back to contemplating the disturbing undercurrent of there being any demand for such a place at all, but from a pure professionalism and quality of presentation perspective, I'd say they actually did pretty well. I was also pretty amused by some of their rhetorical tricks, like dutifully representing alternate viewpoints and then just trumping them all with the notion that any science or history is simply wrong if it contradicts scripture--because clearly there's no need to examine anything beyond that! I'm not sure it's quite worth the price of admission just to get that jolt, but if you happen to be passing by, just visiting the gift shop and the gardens (which I believe are both free) are really half of the fun right there. Or, for a highlights reel, check out "Dinosaurs & Dragon Legends," which was probably my favorite of the video presentations: http://www.answersingenesis.org/media/video/ondemand/creation-museum/dino-dragon-legends
Our visit to the +Creation Museum turned out rather anti-climactically. It's entirely pleasant, the staff are charming, the dinosaurs are great and the park grounds are lovely. There's even a petting zoo.

It isn't precisely what comes to mind when thinking of a museum, of course. The layout is less Smithsonian and more Ikea, an unguided single-track path winding through the building, with shortcuts between sections to be found behind discreet doors. There's stern warnings about behaving respectfully and not wearing inappropriate clothing. And the maximum age for straddling the photo-staged triceratops is 12. But it was still a lot of fun (and they definitely earn extra credit for giving the displayed human figures a reasonable tan).

There's a fabulous section on Noah's ark (this started as a parenthetical reference here, but I got all enthusiastic). There's all the necessary explanations of biblical kinds, including that all modern and fossil canines (for example) could be produced from only one breeding pair of pups. My favourite part was how all dinosaurs were saved from the Flood by Noah's bringing only a pair of eggs aboard the ark, thereby needing much less space than you might naively expect (I presume that reptilian parthenogenesis is seen as somewhat scandalous, for all that it could have saved even more space).

Surprised that there were dinosaurs aboard the ark? So was I! But it turns out to be necessary in order to correctly interpret not only the references to Behemoth and Leviathan in the Book of Job (post-flood, y'see), but also human myths and tales of dragons, as all being depictions of dinosaurs living concurrently with humans (sadly, they didn't go into the details of which dinosaurs might have inspired the fire-breathing bits of legend).

Possibly my favourite section of all came soon thereafter, which was all about the downfall of society being brought about by scientific relativism. The general thesis, IIRC, is that science and human reason are arbitrary, and therefore lead to social ills like violence, gossip, drug use, teen pregnancy, fidgeting in church and street art. Some of the street art was awesome. I wish they sold posters.

The exhibits themselves don't merely attempt to explain the biblical creation myth, but rather are pitched directly in opposition to the scientific story. They run the gamut: from the science-based paleontologists working with reasonable bible-based paleontologists who see the same "facts" but have a different "approach"; to the eruption of Mt St Helens carving deep canyons in both soft and hard rock in a matter of hours or months, therefore showing that all weathering on Earth could have happened in the last 6,000 years (ooh, also Pangaea broke up under the weight of the Flood's waters!); through to some other eruption (?) documented to deposit thick stratified layers of stuff within days or years that radio-carbon date to 350k years old, therefore disproving radiation dating; through to Darwin was racist, therefore evolution is evil.

And this, in summary, was what I found most interesting about the Creation Museum. It isn't really a museum about the Bible, nor about Christianity, nor even the biblical creation story. It's a museum of creationist rhetoric. And the particularly interesting thing about that is that a lot of it is based on techniques that come from fast-paced, aggressive, personality-driven, oral forms. When you see them in printed form on posters or stelae, with the freedom to disassemble the syllogisms, and back-reference claims to arguments, you have a rather different experience. And this experience is, ultimately, really quite educational.

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Claws Up (steampunk dino costume, 12/4/11) (11 photos)
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Claws Up! (Steampunk dino costume, 12/4/11)
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November 23, 2011 (20 photos)
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