Morton Fox (mortonfox) wrote,
Morton Fox

Philcon Day 3

I didn't have the room for tonight so, after breakfast, most of the morning was spent packing and loading the luggage. Then I went to "Can You Trust Your Own Brain?", the panel on cognitive psychology. This is easily the most fascinating panel of the weekend because they talked about quite a number of experiments showing how grad student volunteers can be bamboozled. Also went to a panel on pandemics and another panel on long-term projects that last for millennia.

Then it was time for the feedback session. There, I found out the reason for all the hotel reservation and con space problems this year. The American Public Health Association was supposed to have their annual meeting in New Orleans. Well, they couldn't do that for an obvious reason, so they relocated to Philadelphia. Their attendance is around 13,000 so they pretty much took up every hotel in the area, which explains why the Mariott was fully booked as early as September. It was odd sharing convention space with the APHA. Philcon was split up across several floors in the hotel and some panels/events were moved to the convention center. Fortunately, the APHA folks didn't seem to mind that we kept crossing their function area. In fact, someone from APHA joined in the pandemic panel and contributed information on some flu epidemics.

The final attendance figures weren't available at the time of the feedback session, but the estimate was around 800. Attendance was affected by the snowstorm on Friday, which reduced the number of walk-in registrations on Saturday and Sunday.

After dinner, I picked two geocaches that I thought would be doable at night and with snow on the ground. Both of them turned out to be rather easy. The Descent is in a back alley in East Philadelphia. Paper Cache is at Penn's Landing, where there isn't any free parking, even on Sunday night.

Then I remembered that I needed to stock up on a few items, so I got all of those at a Wawa store in the improbably-named town of Andalusia, also on my way home if my route involves taking US-13 to the Turnpike Extension.

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