These are some of the things C. Flynt has been up to, some of our personal lives, some reviews of things we've read, some stuff we've learned.

The blogs are organized by date.

Comments will appear when we've had time to check them. Apology for the inconvenience, but it's a way to keep phishers and spammers off the page.

I hit a few panels on Saturday and spent more time chatting with folks and finally hitting the huckster's room, artist alley, filk, and eating a couple meals.

  • Celtic Guitar
    Phil Cooper, Susan Urban

    Celtic Guitar is (per Phil) a catch-all term for non-standard folk tuning and clever fingerpicking. This includes solo guitar players like John Fahey, Leo Kotke, Martin Carthy and Stephen Grossman and groups like Pentangle. Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.

    Phil and Susan gave nice introduction to DADGAB tuning and provided chording diagrams and tabs for a few simple tunes.

    I'm afraid this didn't convince me to abandon standard folk tuning, but I may play with some of the ornamentation styles a bit more.

  • Writing about Forensics.
    Adam Shannon, Addie J. King, Bryon Quertermous, Jen Haeger

    A great panel with an EMT/First Responder talking about what he sees of a crime scene, a Lab-Tech discussing what can (and might soon) be done in the lab, and a Lawyer explaining what can and can't be done legally.

    The EMT sees blood and bodies and people who need help. They don't try to destroy evidence, but their priority is saving a life. If that means scuffing up the footprints, kicking an unused cartridge into a corner, or just getting in the way, that's not their problem.

    The lab tech sees collected samples. They don't necessarily know where they came from or how they were treated.

    The lawyer (and presumably detective) worry a lot about provenance. Was there any chance that the spent casing came from the cops in a shootout instead of the perp's weapon.

    The panel spent a lot of time discussing DNA testing, since that's our current technology hot-spot. At the physical end, it takes a long time to do an identity test with DNA. There are lots of "markers" to check. The test a hospital does on newborns to see if there are known genetic issues, or the ones Ancestry does to tell you where your ancestors came from are much faster and easier, but won't give you enough data to fix an identity. (OTOH, you might use one of these to prove not an identity. If the fast Ancestry type test determines that the villain was of northern european descent, that will rule out our middle-eastern terrorist suspects.)

    Also, the military doesn't share DNA samples with civilian authorities, and a hospital that does a DNA paternity test might not share that info with the police either. There are a bunch of privacy protections in place. (At least, today. Your future may vary.)

  • Improv Flash Fiction
    Jackie (Literary Escapism), Ken Schrader, Lee Harris, Sarah Gailey, Suzanne Church

    This was *very* improv. Each speaker would riff on a theme and then pass the responsibility for resolving their complications to someone else, who would add more implausible complications and pass it on again.

    It was a lot of fun. I came in near the end. By then, the narrative was way over the top and going further and getting sillier by the minute.

  • The Science of Beekeeping
    Jen Haeger

    Jen did a great job of introducing the history of beekeeping, the current state of the art, and the issues with colony collapse and controlling varoa.

    She presented a lot of material. I don't intend to run out and start a hive, but I've got a good idea of how much work it would be to do so.

    The big takeaway was that if you do want to keep bees, you need to be very pro-active on varoa control, or you'll be breeding a hive-killing bomb of tiny bee-lice.