Tag Archives: skepchickcon

Jeremy Messersmith is a nerd… and a skeptic!

12 Jul
Photo of Jeremy Messersmith

Jeremy Messersmith. Photo by Carlos Gonzalez for vita.mn: http://www.vita.mn/story.php?id=124739893

by David Naughton aka nihiliad

One of the unexpected highlights of volunteering to work the Skepchick parties at SkepchickCON (or as some weirdos insist on calling it, CONvergence) was meeting Jeremy Messersmith, a local musician who is a rising star beyond Minnesota. NPR named his album The Reluctant Graveyard one of the Top 10 Albums of 2010, and Paste Magazine named Tatooine one of the Best 25 Music Videos of 2010. If the title of that song didn’t give it away already, the lyrics and video reveal that there’s something different, something special, about Jeremy. He’s a total nerd.

Photo of Jeremy Messersmith

Jeremy Messersmith. Photo by Carols Gonzalez for vita.mn: http://www.vita.mn/story.php?id=124739583

Messersmith further reveals his geekery in a couple of recent articles for vita.mn, Jeremey Messersmith: The Dungeon Master and NERD Q & A: Jeremy Messersmith, Musician/Dungeon Master.

When I met Messersmith, he was wearing a Rebel Alliance pilot costume, much like the one in the accompanying photos, but with the addition of a very impressive helmet. Wish I had a photo of that! I had become familiar with Messersmith’s music within the past year, via an episode of the local PBS show mn original. I was immediately intrigued by his musical sophistication and unusual, thoughtful lyrical themes. I became unreasonably excited when Jeremy walked through the Skepchick party door. One of my favorite musicians was also a sci-fi nerd! I pounced. He seemed to want to talk about skepticism, but, having been a one-time music major, all I wanted to talk about was music. The next morning, I wondered if my sleep-deprived, inebriated ramblings had made any sense at all. If not, Jeremy never let on, perfectly gracious.

Turns out this wasn’t the first time Jeremy had attended CONvergence and the Skepchick parties. Here are some of his observations from 2010:

For a group of people dressed as comic book superheroes, there is a strong emphasis on reason and skepticism. Later that evening, I downed a concoction of tang and vodka at the Skepchicks party room. With test tubes raised high, we saluted with a toast appropriate to the occasion- “To science!”

So You’re a Nerd After All: Jeremy Messersmith delves into geek culture at the CONvergence Convention

Messersmith went further, sharing his opinions about skepticism and related issues, in these tweets during this year’s CONvergence:

All respect to philosophers, but I love the boots on the ground, no nonsense @skepchicks and their search for truth and fact. #cvg2011

https://twitter.com/#!/jmessersmith/status/87245871284105217

@rebeccawatson Elevatorgate reminds me of the time a strange girl hit the emergency stop and tried dancing with me. Still creeps me out.

https://twitter.com/#!/jmessersmith/status/89052315818008577

Drinking Buzz Aldrins (vodka and tang, served in a test tube) at the @skepchicks room at #cvg2011. In unrelated news, I can’t feel my face.

https://twitter.com/#!/jmessersmith/status/87344751862493186

Way to sacrifice for science, Jeremy. Proud to have you.

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Volunteering at SkepchickCON

2 Jul
Melissa Lee (a.k.a. LilaMae)

by Melissa Lee (a.k.a. LilaMae)

So I was volunteering for the Skepchicks at SkepchickCON this Thursday and Friday (CONvergence 2011). Wow. What a time I had. I got to serve drinks to awesome people in super sweet costumes. I got to meet & chat with the Skepchicks: Rebecca, Bug Girl, Amanda, Elyse, Amy, Maria…plus Sadie Crabtree from the JREF & Ashley Paramore of the Secular Student Alliance. And I got a free SurlyRamic from Surly Amy herself! She gave me the necklace right off her neck as a thank you for volunteering. Sweat & all. W00t W00t!

I also got to talk to PZ Myers. Well by “talk” I mean I got to say “Hi PZ” and “Thank you, please enjoy.” Not sure if I blew him away with a lasting impression.

Everyone was so friendly and I had a great time both nights. There was only one “incident” to speak of. There was a drunk gentleman (I don’t know why we call douchebags “gentlemen”) who thought it would be a good idea to come behind the bar and show me how he would like to tip me. (he meant “tip” literally…physically. Har har, right?) No sooner did Mr.Grabbyhands lay paws on me then Bug Girl [& Matt Lowry] whisked his ass out of there. Nice job, Bug Girl [and Matt]! What was kinda funny to me was that rumors of the “incident” became wildly exaggerated and spread like wildfire. After the fifth Skepchick came up to me and asked me if I was ok I had to say, “Why does everyone keep asking me that?” I guess some had heard I was the victim of a savage boob-groping. Ha! I found it somewhat amusing but I was nonetheless grateful for everyone’s concern for my safety. It was incredibly sweet.

Oh and I was also in costume which was fun. Sorry I don’t have any pics but I know lots of pics were taken so if I spot some on the intertubes, I’ll update this post with some silver lame & labcoat action for ya’ll. 🙂

Also…Kammy, you’re the best. Thanks hun!