Archive for the ‘Conventions’ Category

[This article was originally written for publication on the Needless Things website in August of 2018. Unfortunately, it was a part of the archives lost in the September 2018 migration of the site to a new platform. In the case of this and the other ‘Around Dragon Con’ articles being published this month, the things covered here are still as contemporary and relevant as they were when these articles were originally on Needless Things. Enjoy this one and the others, and, hopefully, you’ll find something in the ‘Around Dragon Con’ articles that will make your time in Atlanta better than it’s been before.]

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Located in downtown Atlanta by Centennial Olympic Park- just a few blocks diagonal from the Dragon Con host hotels -is the Georgia Aquarium. Officially opened to the public in 2005, it was the largest aquarium in the world until the 2012 opening of the Marine Life Park in Singapore. Someone else coming along and beating it out for sheer size was no small feat. The Georgia Aquarium is home to several thousand species of saltwater and freshwater life from around the world living and swimming in over 10 million gallons of water. Just a little over 6 million gallons of that water can be found in the aquarium’s primary exhibit, allowing it to be one of only two institutions in the world to house whale sharks. You’ll also see swimming alongside the whale sharks some of the largest manta rays you’re likely to ever see, as well as more fish and more varieties of fish than you can likely count in one single day’s trip to the Georgia Aquarium.

What’s sometimes still a surprise to me when at Dragon Con is talking to my fellow con-goers and discovering how many of them have never been to the Georgia Aquarium. It’s even more surprising when they seem to not even know there is a Georgia Aquarium. Why? Well…

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[This article was originally written for publication on the Needless Things website in August of 2018. Unfortunately, it was a part of the archives lost in the September 2018 migration of the site to a new platform. In the case of this and the other ‘Around Dragon Con’ articles being published this month, the things covered here are still as contemporary and relevant as they were when these articles were originally on Needless Things. Enjoy this one and the others, and, hopefully, you’ll find something in the ‘Around Dragon Con’ articles that will make your time in Atlanta better than it’s been before.]

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Preparation, you ask? What, you ask, is this another article about getting ready for Dragon Con going over all that well-worn advice about how it’s important to have quality snacks to nibble during the day, vital to hydrate, the importance of getting sleep, begging you to shower and use deodorant, reminding you to eat a few proper meals every day, etc. that gets written about and talked about every single year as Dragon Con draws closer? Well, outside of that sentence, no, not really.

This year I’ll be writing several articles talking about what’s out there around Dragon Con and not actually inside the official Dragon Con footprint. So, no, no talk about how it’s important to have snacks, hydrate, get rest, shower, use deodorant, etc. while at the con or even about getting in some exercise before heading down to Dragon Con so that the (now five day) weekend doesn’t kick your butt. However, we will be covering some of the same concepts as well as a few others that, while perhaps too late to make them useful this year, may make future Dragon Con weekends a bit more fun.

Take one more look at that photo of just one small portion of Atlanta. That’s a photo taken from a high spot over by The Georgia Aquarium (which we’ll be getting into a lot of detail about later in the month) and Centennial Olympic Park. That’s an area that a lot of people who I’ve spoken to who attend Dragon Con never seem to get around to visiting. This is somewhat surprising given the opportunity the layout offers for cosplay photoshoots and, of course, this little thing called the Dragon Con Night at The Aquarium.

This is one of the things I’d like to see more people change about their annual visits to Atlanta. Why? Because there’s a lot of stuff in Downtown Atlanta that are absolutely awesome to see and experience. How awesome? Since my family changed how we set up our Dragon Con vacation and started seeing more of the area, I’ve seriously considered relocating. Of course, I then somewhat more seriously consider the fact that I’ve got seven more years to go before I can retire from my department with a full retirement intact, and, well, Atlanta does seem to frequently get its summer weather on loan from Hell and I absolutely hate heat. So, for now, it’s just staying my favorite vacation spot.

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Welcome to Dragon Con Soon

This year has flown by so far, July is dissolving in the mists of time, and August is almost upon us. That’s a somewhat relevant fact for those of us going to Dragon Con as the official kickoff date of the festivities this year is Thursday, August 29. I won’t mention the rather sizable few of you who have adjusted to the new first day by making Wednesday the new Thursday and are claiming the 28th as the first day of con as, if I did that, several people I know might rip out all of their hair.

Nevertheless, the important (thing no matter the precise start date) is that Dragon Con is now less than 50 days away.

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For those coming into the story late…

Stuff happened in 2018. It wasn’t particularly good stuff. It was noisy and it was occasionally ugly and nothing particularly good spun out of it. I didn’t discuss it in any great detail back when it was happening and I have no desire to dredge it all up here now. But the fallout from the not particularly good stuff that happened in 2018 is more than just a tad somewhat relevant to what and where the convention found itself this year. So, know that stuff happened, some somewhat not particularly good stuff, and it put into question more than a few matters about the convention’s immediate and long-range future. There was also apparently a lot more on the line going into con this year than I knew going into it, and it created a vastly different experience at this convention this year than I expected to have.

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ConCarolinas Short Film Festival

The lineup for films in the ConCarolinas Short Film Festival. Actual times will be posted soon.

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The Dragon Con Khan Report is, to me, one of the two best podcasts out there to get you ready for Dragon Con- and it’s the only one of those two that runs throughout the year and not just 50 days before con.

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Stan Lee at Dragon Con

Early in the day on November 12, 2018, the horrible news we all sadly knew was coming finally came. Stan Lee had passed away. 

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