I'll be on programming at Boskone again this year, and got my preliminary schedule over the weekend:
Satur 10am Tunguska at 100
Guy Consolmagno, Jeff Hecht, Chad Orzel
On June 30, 1908, an exploding asteroid leveled 2000 square kilometers of Siberian forest, producing a fireball from the sky which knocked pine trees over like matchsticks near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia. Such an explosion today over more populated areas could lay waste an entire city. What was it? (Do we know, yet?) What are some of the older theories, and why were they discredited? How likely is a repeat? How common are events like this? Are there any other historical records? Would we expect there to be?
Satur 2pm Who'd'a Thunk It? Unexpected Uses of Technology
Tobias Buckell, Chad Orzel, Karl Schroeder, Charles Stross
Numerous technologies wind up getting used for quite different purposes than their originators expected. Consider dynamite, bubble wrap, speed trap radar, screensavers, the Internet's massive if not main use as a conduit for pornography, and laser pointer cat toys. What other example suggest themselves? Does this phenomenon make basic research more desirable, or less? Is it ever discussed in SF? Consider some of the great SFnal inventions (the hyperdrive, AIs, cyperspace, anti-gravity, boosterspice, positronic robots, personal force fields). Can you extrapolate some unexpected uses for them?
Sunda 10am Quantum Teleportation
Looks like a fun slate of topics. That last will be an hour-long talk about quantum teleportation. I'm not sure yet whether it will include reading the relevant dialogue from Chapter 8 of the book-- I don't know if I'm willing to do the dog voice in public...
Well, you could recruit somebody else to do the dog voice...
I was actually hoping to do Boskone this year, believe it or not, but the whole laid-off/new-job-doesn't-give-me-time-off-yet thing kind of got in the way.
Seems like real fun! Both of these items would be marked in my con program if I was there. (I haven't been to a convention for over a year, I miss it.)