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Tuesday, October 06, 2009

This is Why We're Called Hugs and Science. Fringe events: Sunday Funday!

The following is the reason we're called hugs and science. I'll happily admit that the thought of the gimmick of having to hug people for our blog pleased me very much.

Bendik and I arrived friday evening, too late to join the informal start of TAM London, represented by a show with George Hrab. However, we did meet plenty of wonderful people Sunday and Monday nights, and in between talks. Also, we joined two fringe events on Monday, a trip to the Natural History Museum behind the scenes, and "The Amaz!ng Panel"(separate post).

As Bendik mentioned in his recap of Saturday, we had trouble finding an open pub after the Robin Ince and friends show, but we still managed to meet some fine young skeptics. After lunch, George Hrab joined us in the audience, and he even shared his performer TAM jelly beans with us!

We were both kind of swooning any time we saw some of the great speakers in the hallway, and we managed to meet and greet Simon Singh and Adam Savage in between punches. The line for meeting Adam Savage was longer than the cue for the lunch table, and confused conference center employees were desperately trying to make us line up for other food-filled tables than the one Adam was standing close to.

Before Adam Savages talk, Richard Wiseman was introducing someone on stage, and Adam sneaked in to have a seat in front. All eyes wandered to his charismatic character, and Richard said "Don't worry, you'll all get to see Jamie speaking really soon." Whups! and haha!

We were A LOT of Norwegians at TAM, and we managed to gather quite a few of us after the last talk on Sunday. We caught up with Phil for a nice group photo, before we all went to the Black Friar. Also, I got a hug!

The Black Friar also happened to be the same bar as all the stars had gone to: Phil Plait, Rebecca Watson, Brian Cox, Simon Singh, George Hrab, Richard Wiseman, Chris Cox, Chris French, and some less famous, but just as fabulous people.

It was great just to be in the same place as these superhumans. It's not that we worship them or anything(Ok, maybe a little), but one inevitably gets a bit excited when meeting talented people that we respect for their stances and the work they do. Also, who doesn't enjoy talking to smart, funny, people that you know share your stance on several important issues?

I talked to Phil about the photos he took of George Hrab and me in New York in April, and Rebecca about her forthcoming trip to Norway (early next year, probably! Hooray!), and when I ran into Brian Cox we talked about science funding, and we got him to join us for a group photo with the Norwegians at the bar.

After the picture, we chatted a bit, before all the guys got all starry-eyed and pretty much just stared and smiled at Brian Cox. I leaned over and whispered that the guys had gotten a bit shy, seeing as how he's pretty much everyone's mancrush, and he quietly receded to the bar and smiled.

We all continued to another bar, since Phil's lovely wife Marcella had a craving for a certain pie. (Whaddaya know, superhumans have families and need food too!) When we got there, things started to get more rowdy, and the following series of pictures is representative of the fun we had!

Hugging Richard Wiseman

Richard Wiseman, Tim Minchin, and me!

George Hrab and I

Milton Mermikides and I

Milton and George

Phil is looking skeptical!

Rebecca Watson with skepchick.


  1. Flattered that you called me a star! I didn't know there were so many people from Norway in at TAM.

    Chris Cox

  2. Less famous people... with lots of famous people in the background and me in the foreground? You can't possibly be talking about me, can you? Because I'm HUGE at the office I work in.... and my family even recognizes me on the street and wants hugs... how dare you! :P

    It was a pleasure meeting you and Bendik and I hope I'll be able to catch some Skeptics in the Pub in Oslo some time.

  3. Glad the group pic on stage with Phil Plait came out OK, I was a bit worried I'd messed it up


  4. Sigh. Why did my plane have to leave so friggin early... Would love to be a part of the Huge Norwegian Band Of Skeptics at the next TAM London!