Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Attending SpaceUp LA This Weekend

On Twitter, I stumbled onto the SpaceUp Unconference happening this weekend in Los Angeles.  I'm still trying to get my head around the "unconference" idea, but it definitely has my attention.  What's a SpaceUp?  It is a semi-structured, yet spontaneous meet-up of people with at least this one thing in common: A passion to see humanity venture out into space.  Given my recent re-birth as a space enthusiast and wannabe Space Scientist, it seemed obvious that I should attend.  I attempted to recruit a number of family and friends to join me, but it looks like its gonna be a road trip for one.

I'm a fairly outgoing person, but I'm still a bit intimidated by the way the whole thing works.  Apparently it would be entirely normal for me to slap together a 5-minute talk with a pre-made slide show loop and have my say!  I just don't have a topic yet, and the whole thing starts in two days.  I also will have the chance to kick ideas around with other attendees and propose session topics that would then be added to the "board."  I do have a couple of ideas for topics (e.g. "Old Folks in Space", "Let's find another use for the ISS after 2020"), so I'll need to make some notes for myself on these topics and be ready to speak up at the appropriate time.

It looks like a fun weekend.  I'll hit Interstate 10 after work on Friday and stop for the night in Palm Springs (Travelodge, here I come!).  Once I stagger out of my motel room and hit Denny's for coffee and a good Paleo breakfast, I'll have two hours of driving to get to the Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, CA.  The museum sounds great, and we un-conferencees will have full run of the place.  Lunch is provided on both days, and I'll even get a dandy t-shirt.

BTW, it is extra-good timing that my new MacBook Air arrived yesterday-- it is the perfect tool (along with my iPhone for tethering) for note-taking, surfing, and live-blogging during the unconference.

I'll be sure to blog and tweet whenever I can during this exciting two-day event, and maybe snap a photo or two as a bonus.

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