Friday, April 27, 2012

Penguicon Convention 2012 Mixes Science Fiction, Linux, And DIY Exploration

From Huffpost Detroit: Penguicon Convention 2012 Mixes Science Fiction, Linux, And DIY Exploration

Penguicon, an open-source software and science fiction gathering that expects to draw more than 1,200 fans to the Regency Hyatt hotel in Dearborn this weekend, is a great example of a convention that breaks with convention.

After all, there's no rule stating science fiction conventions must be restricted to middle-aged men prancing around in alien costumes while discussing Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics."

The decade-old Peguicon (named for Tux, the Linux penguin mascot) started out as a gathering of fans with crossover interests in computer programming and speculative fiction, but in recent years it's opened up its umbrella to include foodies, costumers, musicians, gamers, microbrewers and others.

The weekend's events will offer presentations of all kinds, from an introduction to 3D printers to a lecture on "How Not To Get Arrested For Your Alternative Lifestyle."

Conference-goers will also have the opportunity to join a zombie walk through the hotel, to go gothic belly dancing, to make liquid nitrogen ice cream, to engineer a customizable marble roller-coaster, to parade around in a drag show and even to take a quick trip to the shooting range with a group called Geeks with Guns.

Penguicon participants make liquid nitrogen ice cream (Photo courtesy of Jer Lance).

Considering that Penguicon is a celebration of open-source software, it's not surprising that the event has branched out to include other DIY fields, nor that it's run by a not-for-profit team of collaborators.

"I think first and foremost, 'open source' means run by the fans," said Christine Bender, head of operations for Penguicon 2012. "Every person that works on Penguicon is a volunteer. We all do it because we love it."

This year's guest speakers include the Hugo award-winning science fiction writer John Scalzi, esteemed software developer Jim Gettys, and MadHatter from the open source record label Scrub Club.

Bender said the convention is an opportunity to meet with inspiring creators. "When are you going to get a chance to hang out with them for a whole weekend? You might play a board game with them or have a beer at the bar," she said. "It's an interaction you might not have with them any other way."

Penguicon begins Friday at noon and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday. The gathering takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel at 600 Town Center Drive (at the Fairlane Town Center) in Dearborn, Michigan. Hotel Registration is now closed, but admission can be purchased at the door. For more information see www.penguicon.org.‎

Monday, April 23, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Catching up with the universe

From The Tech: BOOK REVIEW: Catching up with the universe
By Roberto Perez-Franco

How it Began
By Chris Impey
W.W. Norton
March 2012

I grew up in the Panamanian countryside, under pristine skies bursting with stars. Defenseless against the nightly spectacle, I had no choice but to become a backyard astronomer. A Spanish translation of Isaac Asimov’s The Universe (1966) transformed a romantic interest in constellations into a healthy scientific understanding of the cosmos. Asimov’s tome, although dated, satisfied my thirst for cosmological knowledge long enough for me to shift my attention to more mundane things. Two decades went by until I discovered — with a mix of delight and trepidation — that while I was not looking, a third revolution in cosmology, by no means smaller than those triggered by Copernicus and Hubble, was taking place right under my nose, during my lifetime.

Obscure and puzzling terms, such as dark matter and dark energy, were now ubiquitous in a discussion that I no longer recognized as familiar and that — much to my dismay — I was no longer able to follow with confidence. The good old Big Bang I was familiar with had now been revised and expanded to include exotic concepts such as an inflationary stage, an accelerating rate of expansion, and the possibility that our whole universe may be only a tiny part of a bubbling multiverse, explainable by means of microscopic vibrating strings. Ouch! Eager to catch up with the fantastic new questions and findings of the ongoing third cosmological revolution, I searched again for an instructive and entertaining book that could do for me now what Asimov’s book had done 20 years earlier.

Alas! A pilgrimage through the pages of a dozen books, each with diverse strength and shortcomings, was necessary for me to catch up with our current understanding of the universe. After the effort, I do feel confident, again, that — while still a layman — I am no longer an ignoramus in regard to current cosmological questions. Interestingly, the process of educating myself in these matters left in me the impression that the whole exercise had been terribly inefficient. The common person deserved — I thought — to have an up-to-date summary of the current understanding of the universe, presented in accessible language, and in a single comprehensive book.

Chris Impey’s latest work may be that book. If it is not, at least it comes closer to that ideal than any other volume I have seen in a long while. Let me put it in these terms: if I had to recommend a single book today to a friend wanting to learn the basics of what’s out there, Impey’s How It Began would be my first choice. Ambitious in its scope, up-to-date in its content, accessible in its exposition and pleasantly poetic in its execution, the book is an imaginative yet scientifically grounded promenade through the cosmos, which starts next door with a fact-packed (and fascinating!) look at the Moon and ends up, past the beginning of time and space, with speculation about the Multiverse.

But How It Began is more than a crash-course on modern cosmology: it is a sort of epic narrative about the human quest to understand the universe, to bring it within reach, and to find our place in it. It includes not only concepts from astronomy and cosmology, but also nuggets of knowledge from other fields that help put them in an interesting context. The whole volume seems designed to blow you out of the water. And it delivers. Some passages - like the description of the space race — read like a thriller, while others (such as the description of a desolate moonscape in Europa) read like a poem. Every page packs a punch, every paragraph presents a surprising fact, a memorable analogy, or an interesting anecdote. A sense of awe and marvel seems to permeate it all, as if Brian Greene’s The Elegant Universe had been rewritten in the style of Richard Dawkins’s The Magic of Reality.

Impey’s work is a far cry from the formulaic books on popular science that present findings in a chronological fashion, mere recollections of whose ideas replaced whose. Instead it is thoroughly original. It feels like a conversation in a cafe with an old and dear friend, who happens to be brilliant and engaging, versed in all things related to space and time. Refreshingly, Impey is unafraid to employ wildly diverse cultural, historical, even mythical references — as well as personal anecdotes — where they are less expected as long as they help convey the ‘wow’ factor of an explanation. Some visualizations that border on science fiction, as well as abundant quotations from thinkers of all epochs, have been used to good effect throughout the text. Undoubtedly an expert in his field, Impey is also a bit of a dreamer, a bit of a poet, and a lot of fun. This book, which takes strongly after its author, is — in my opinion — an entertaining and illuminating tour de force, which deserves to be read and savored slowly. For it is clearly a work of love.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

When Robots Attack: UM Conference Prepares For Mechanical Rebellion

From Miami News Times Blog: When Robots Attack: UM Conference Prepares For Mechanical Rebellion
The year: a not-too-distant future. The place: a dark Miami-Dade alley. The crime: A police robot, built and programed to recognize wanted criminals, mistakes an innocent teenager for a fugitive. As the teen flees in terror, the machine shoots to kill. Who's responsible? The cops who deployed the killer device? The company that built it? The programmers who messed up the facial-recognition software?

It might sound like the plot of a third-rate Isaac Asimov knockoff, but to University of Miami law professor A. Michael Froomkin, the prospect of killer robots terrorizing society is all too real. Froomkin is so worried, in fact, he has organized a world-class group of robot experts to descend on Coral Gables this weekend to answer some terrifying questions.

(Such as this one, straight from the "We Robot 2012" brochure: "When is killing by a robot a war crime?")

"Robotics today is like the Internet was 25 years ago," Froomkin says. "The difference is that robots can hurt people directly."

Froomkin, a Cambridge- and Yale-educated attorney who favors bow ties, has been at the cutting edge of Internet law. The problem with the web then and robotics today, he says, is that engineers are blind to problems that can happen when their inventions hit the real world.

Just as the Internet has jumbled copyright law and dismantled the music biz, robots will drastically reshape society within a few decades, he says.

Example: Scientists create a mechanical leg for war vets that's powered by thought alone. War vet talks to a really annoying person. Vet thinks, This guy needs a foot up his ass. Suddenly, the leg kicks the guy in the balls.

"Who's to blame?" Froomkin asks. "Right now, we have no legal framework for that situation."

As the Obama administration announces national robotics initiatives, and police forces -- including Miami-Dade's -- adopt unmanned aerial drones, it's not difficult to imagine robots infiltrating society, from the hospital to the jailhouse. Froomkin's conference brings together experts from around the globe to tackle panels such as "Sex Robots and the Roboticization of Consent" and "Confronting Automated Law Enforcement."

"We aren't going to emerge with any answers. It's far too early for that," Froomkin says. "But hopefully we can get a broad spectrum of the community to at least think about these questions."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Isaac Asimov Rips Ronald Reagan from Beyond the Grave

From YahooNews.com: Isaac Asimov Rips Ronald Reagan from Beyond the Grave
Never underestimate the ability of an author to get in the last word. Famed science fiction author Isaac Asimov feuded with former President Ronald Reagan over the Star Wars program in the late 1980s. Though both men have since passed on, Asimov found a way to make his opinion known 25 years later.

In 1987, the organizers of the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest asked 20 of the biggest names in science fiction to write predictions for the year 2012. The predictions, sealed in a silver time capsule for 25 years, were unveiled at Sunday's 28th Annual L. Ron Hubbard Achievement Awards. Asimov's read: "Assuming we haven't destroyed ourselves in a nuclear war, there will be 8-10 billion of us on this planet -- and widespread hunger. These troubles can be traced back to President Ronald Reagan who smiled and waved too much."

Asimov was a vocal critic of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, the missile shield program known as Star Wars in the popular press. Asimov decried the program as too expensive and short-sighted, telling fellow writer Robert J. Sawyer, "They're talking about spending $33 billion on research related to Star Wars. We're going to withdraw money from needed aspects of developing knowledge in order to set up something that probably won't work and even if it does work, won't do us any good." And if the program did work, Asimov feared that rendering Soviet missiles obsolete would give the U.S. a bully pulpit from which to enforce Reagan's Republican ideals.

Asimov, who abhorred violence as the last refuge of the incompetent, believed that good leaders could achieve their goals peacefully, a theme he wrote into "Robots and Empire," the novel that bridged his popular Robots, Galactic Empire and Foundation series.

Asimov wasn't the only sci-fi author to have strong opinions on Star Wars. Author Arthur C. Clarke was against the program, while writers Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven were pro-Star Wars Reagan advisers. Norman Spinrad suggested in 1999 that Pournelle had written part of Reagan's famous Star Wars speech, an allegation Pournelle denies.

Unlike Asimov, Pournelle's time capsule prediction aimed for whimsy, rather than controversy, with its assertion that a computer virus would win all three of science fiction's literary awards. Niven's predictions bemoan the demise of the U.S. space program while rejoicing that at least it ensured that World War III could never happen on Earth's surface.

The predictions by Asimov, Pournelle, Niven and 16 others can be read at The Writers and Illustrators of the Future Facebook page (login required).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Great Scott! Author Turow rips Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit over e-book prices

From Chicago Tribune: Great Scott! Author Turow rips Department of Justice's antitrust lawsuit over e-book prices
Hoverboards and flying cars? An expedited justice system without lawyers? A Cubs World Series victory? We have a lot of work to do in three years if we're to live in the 2015 promised us in the late 1980s by "Back to the Future II."

The middle episode of Michael J. Fox's comedy trilogy got some things right. There are big flat-screen TVs showing several channels at once, video conferencing and hands-free video gaming. But it also presents a world with telephone booths, a Pontiac dealership and a print edition of USA Today that boasts "3 Billion Readers Every Day."

And, oh yeah, a time machine fueled by garbage.

Trying to predict our increasingly digital future through the old prism of analog business, there inevitably will be things you get exactly backward. It's a little like trying to read a message in a mirror. These are disruptive times. It's never been tougher to know which precedents will hold and which should be ignored.

Some see this cross-eyed myopia in the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust suit filed the other day against Apple and major publishers. The suit alleged they conspired to raise the price of e-books, which Amazon was selling for just $9.99, helping its proprietary Kindle system.

But setting aside whether the feds can make their collusion case, critics suggest the government effort might actually strengthen a more dangerous digital monopoly in Amazon than it could possibly break up with the others.

"The proposed settlement is a shocking trip through the looking-glass," Chicago attorney and best-selling novelist Scott Turow, the president of the Authors Guild, argued on the group's website. "By allowing Amazon to resume selling most titles at a loss, the Department of Justice will basically prevent traditional bookstores from trying to enter the e-book market, at the same time it drives trade out of those stores and into the proprietary world of the Kindle."

Amazon's prices will rise once Amazon has regained its monopoly, Turow observed. "It is hard to believe that the Justice Department has somehow persuaded itself that this solution fosters competition or is good for readers in the long run."

That's one vision of the future. An alternative ending might have Apple, not Amazon, as the club-wielding behemoth. A great old saying is that those who live by the crystal ball must learn to eat broken glass. A better one comes from computer scientist Alan Kay, whose famous observation is that the best way to predict the future is to invent it.

"It's connecting the dots," explained Dag Kittlaus, the Chicago-area visionary who co-founded the company that created the game-changing voice app Siri then sold it to Apple. "It's the ability to see things out there and understand what they make all together, how to look at the pieces to build the puzzle. … You have to understand the relationship between those things if you're going to get at the bigger story."

Author Isaac Asimov correctly anticipated people consuming only the news they wanted ("the saving on paper will be enormous") and TV home shopping in a brief essay published in 1977's "TV Book." Asimov even foresaw something approximating the Internet, adding that, "Working out the royalty problem will be difficult."

No kidding.

Here and now, 35 years later, Hachette, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins have settled with the Justice Department reluctantly, a development Amazon called "a big win for Kindle owners" and a harbinger of "lower prices on more Kindle books." Macmillan and Penguin will fight on, as will Apple, which disputes the accusations.

Paul Aiken, executive director of the Authors Guild, said one of the big concerns is an endgame that eliminates the physical bookstore, which he said plays a vital role in the publishing ecosystem for how it enables readers to better accept certain kinds of new writers.

"It turns out the online stuff doesn't work very well … except for certain categories of writers," Aiken said. "It's books that cross lines and are in some ways innovative that you really need to look at and hold before you're likely to pay for."

Kittlaus said there's a transformative era ahead, fueled by the growth of information technology, and most of us are "not ready for what's about to happen."

Don't hold your breath waiting for the state visit to Washington by Queen Diana heralded by the Oct. 22, 2015, edition of USA Today delivered "via compu-fax satellite," as Doc Brown and Marty McFly foretold.

The time-space continuum is clearly in flux. The only future you can know is the one you create.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Trivial Pursuit of Medicine

From ChicagoNow: The Trivial Pursuit of Medicine
I love trivia. What the New York Times calls--- in a series of books--- "useless information" has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. For example, did you know a caterpillar has four thousand muscles? Don't ask me how many abs or delts. That would be above my pay grade.

The iconic science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov, who wrote "I, Robot" and hundreds of other books on just about any topic, shared my enthusiasm for trivia. He included in a book with the eponymic title "Isaac Asimov's Book of Facts" 3000 "of the most unbelievable, unusual, funny, fascinating, interesting ,entertaining, and fantastic facts about almost everything imaginable and unimaginable!" Not one for understatement was Mr. Asimov. But trivia does that to its zealots.

Let me delve into Asimov's compendium of 'useless facts' and present ten on a topic most of us seem to be intrigued with: medicine.

1. The first contraceptive diaphragms---centuries ago---were citrus rinds---half an orange rind, for example. ( Foster Friess' s aspirin came much later.)

2. Not until 1779 and the experiments of the priest-biologist Lazzaro Spallanzani was it shown that semen is necessary for fertilization. Six years later, Spallanzani carried through the artificial insemination of a dog. (This has nothing to do with the Non-Intercourse Act in American History.)

3. Tobacco was once considered a cure for many ailments, including headache, toothache, arthritis, stomach aches, wounds, and bad breath. It was rolled into pills in order to serve as a medicinal herb. A Spanish doctor, Nicholas Monardes, first described its medicinal potential in a 1577 book called "Joyful News out of the New Found World", and his views were accepted for more than two centuries. (Thank God for truth in advertising!)

4. When Columbus returned to Europe, he brought with him not only news of a new world, but a new plague as well. His sailors carried a virulent, deadly variety of syphilis that caused the Barcelona epidemic of 1493, and proceeded to ravage most of Europe. (Today we only infect Europe with pop culture and credit default swaps.)

5. Twenty thousand plants are listed by the World Health Orgainzation as being used for therapeutic purposes. (With the exception of tobacco, of course.)

6. Physicians in ancient India were skilled in a form of plastic surgery. They created new noses for people whose real noses had been mutilated---a punishment often applied for offenses such as adultery. The physicians cut triangular pieces of skin from the patient's forehead and sewed the graft in place. The patient breathed through reeds placed in his nostrils. (Which accounts for the beginning of snorkeling in the Indian Ocean)

7. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, ritualized responses to the plague began to emerge in some societies. In Germany, the Flagellants arose. They attempted to appease the wrath of God by beating one another and themselves profusely. (The sadist words of tongue and pen?)

8. In 1777, George Washington had the entire Continental army---then 4,000 men---vaccinated. This action, considered controversial at the time because few American doctors believed in vaccination, may have saved the army as a fighting force. (Be a patriot. Get your flu shot.)

9. In England, from about the 15th to the 17th centuries, the color red was thought to be helpful to the sick. To bring down the fever, patients were dressed in red nightgowns and surrounded by as many red objects as possible. (Better red than dead?)

10. Dr. Rene Laennec (1781-1826) rolled a sheet of paper into a tube and placed one end on the chest of a plump female patient whose heart he couldn't listen to by ear in the usual fashion. He listened at the other end of the roll. This workable 'stethoscope' was the inspiration for Laennec's invention of the stethoscope while he was with Necker Hospital in Paris. (Modesty is the mother of invention?)

Friday, April 13, 2012

April 6, 2012: 20 Years Ago Today Isaac Asimov Died

April 6, 2012: 20 Years Ago Today Isaac Asimov Died
Isaac Asimov died 20 years ago today. I thought I'd throw up this interview he did on Fresh Air with Terri Gross (she sounds so young!) back in 1987.

You might know him as the most famous nerd of all time, but he was also a writer/editor of some 500 books. That's right: 500. And where did he find the time to write 500 books? Well, if you've ever read any of them I'm sure you noticed they're a bit... dry. Let's just say there are aspects of storytelling that he just didn't bother himself with. Such as character, dialog, pacing, style. Well, actually 'no style' was his style. Still, he had wonder and insight. Come on, you know it's true. He even admits as much in the interview below. Little known fact: Asimov died of AIDS. (Contracted from a bad blood transfusion during his triple bypass surgery.)

So much of the industry has changed, and yet, so much of it is the same. The biggest difference is that people aren't as receptive to boiled down pulp. Nowadays all the editors are looking for character, depth, emotional center. This is a good thing. But they haven't raised the pay! They want more for the same price they've been paying for 20 years +. And with inflation that's really more for less. Anyhow, this is about Asimov, not the industry.

It's hard to really encapsulate how much we lost with his death from AIDS. Not just a genius humanist, but also an opportunity to look at the human cost of the AIDS epidemic and the embarrassment over the public reaction to Arthur Ashe and Anti-AIDS prejudice. Back then AIDS=Gay and Gay=Evil, when in reality AIDS=Human and Human=all us mortals.

Go to the link above, to hear the interview mentioned in this blog entry from heuristiks.blogspot.com.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quote of the Day: Isaac Asimov

From LA Screenwriter: http://la-screenwriter.com/2012/04/11/quote-of-the-day-isaac-asimov/

You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success – but only if you persist.

Monday, April 9, 2012

It never ends redux

Now my computer monitor is going on the fritz...shorts out every few seconds and then comes back on...

I'll buy a new one tomorrow, and will get my posts started then!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter Pause

So sorry to have missed so many days of posting - unexpected family matters cropped up.



And now it's Easter, so more family matters.



Will get back on track Monday.



Thanks for your patience.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Kickstarter Campaign: Help preserve and share the Locus Magazine archives

I checked out the Kickstarter link and they have already met their goal of $9,500. Nevertheless, the more money they accumulate, the more easily it will be for them to distribute the Locus material once it's been digitized.

From I09: Help preserve and share the Locus Magazine archives
Over the past 60 years, Charles N. Brown and Locus Magazine haven't just chronicled the evolution of science fiction — they've also documented the history of the genre. Brown accumulated a huge treasure trove of materials, including items from authors like Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein and Octavia E. Butler.

Now the Locus Foundation is asking for $9,500 on Kickstarter to digitize, preserve and share this wealth of material, and it's an excellent chance for fans and readers to give something back.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2040521099/locus-photo-and-ephemera-archive-project

Locus writes:

Our goal is to fund the preservation of a historic and irreplaceable collection of materials covering the science fiction, fantasy, and horror fields, including author and convention photos, correspondence, and other ephemera, accumulated by Charles N. Brown and Locus magazine over the past 60 years. Help us stabilize the archive, digitize the photos and letters, and make available to fans, writers, scholars, and resarchers the almost 40,000 of pieces of SF/F history we have in this collection.

About Locus: Charles N. Brown (1937-2009) was active as a collector, fan, editor, and publisher in the SF/F field since the late 1940s, beginning with editing fanzines and chairing conventions while still a teenager. In 1968, he co-founded Locus, which grew from a fanzine into the news magazine of the science fiction community. It was expanded to include interviews, reviews, articles, convention reports, book listings, etc. and stands as the journal of record for the field. Brown spent his entire life collecting SF books, magazines, photos, and ephemera, and in his will gifted his estate, including the magazine and his collection, to the Locus SF Foundation.

About the collection: The Locus Collection (the Charles N. Brown Memorial Collection) comprises an impressive array of genre holdings. This includes a collection of historic photographs, ephemera, and correspondence — the Photo and Ephemera Collection — as well as over 30,000 volumes (roughly 20,000 book titles and 10,000 periodical titles) with many rare and first editions, manuscripts, and extensive runs of pulp magazines, audio interviews, slides, and more.

The Photo and Ephemera Collection encompasses a historically significant archive of photographs from Brown's over five decades working in the science fiction and fantasy fields, as well as letters from authors and publications from conventions, conferences, and more. The archive, amounting to roughly 44 linear feet of materials, is currently housed in filing cabinets, and provides records for approximately 4,000 individuals, including virtually every author of note in the science fiction and fantasy field for the last 60 years, such as Isaac Asimov, Octavia E. Butler, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert, Ursula K. Le Guin, Anne McCaffrey, etc., as well as editors, publishers, book agents, and convention organizers.

Our goal is to preserve these historic and irreplaceable materials, by stabilizing the archive and at the same time digitizing the photos, letters, etc., and creating a viewable gallery of as many of the materials as possible. The funding that we are seeking for this project will cover the cost of archival and preservation supplies such as acid-free tissue for interleaving documents, plastic sleeves for preserving significant photographs, acid-free folders for organization, acid-free labels and pens, a mid-range document and film scanner, long-term archival storage boxes, and finally, the cost of website construction to create a viewable gallery of the Photo and Ephemera Collection.

And there are some pretty neat rewards, including author photo postcards and framable author photos. [Kickstarter]

EWH3 #706: The Isaac Asimov Memorial Trail, Thursday, April 5, 2012

From Every Day is Wednesday: EWH3 #706: The Isaac Asimov Memorial Trail, Thursday, April 5, 2012
Where: Silver Spring Metro – Take the Red Line train waaaay up there and follow the marks to the start

When: 6:45 PM, Thursday, April 5, 2012. Pack away at 7:15ish.

Hares: Brokeback Mama, Coxxx-on-Demand, Cum of a Preachers Hand, and Chip ‘n’ Failz

Misc: A to A’, Headlamps are never a bad idea (just like HIV/AIDS tests) and a change of clothes will help (your game at least) too – there’ll be a bit of shiggy, but your oxen probably will all live (aka no of fording rivers…hopefully). Dogs are awesome…and can join on the trail, cats can come too, but they may get lost or not be able to keep up. Strollers are probably ok, but let’s be honest, EWH3 isn’t really the best place for a baby anyway. Oh and bring a mug or for only 3 dollahz you can buy your very own EWH3 mug!

Special Note from the Hares on the Theme: This will be the Isaac Asimov Memorial Trail celebrating the 100th anniversary of his birth. You might expect that to commemorate such an illustrious occasion, we would ask you to dress up as your favorite Foundation character or maybe a robot, but that would be silly and gay – looking at you gay robots. Frankly, Isaac Asimov is better than all of you wankers and we will not besmirch his memory with such shenanigans. Instead we will honor his genius with quiet contemplation, reflection, a delightful trail, and lots of beer and drunkenness.

On on on:
McGinty’s Public House – Silver Spring
911 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910

http://mcgintyspublichouse.com/silverspring/

Specials: None as of yet, but it’s Holy Thursday so we should all be praying and watching each other’s feet instead of drinking anyway #catholicjoke (sorry to the rest of you who don’t get that one)