Wednesday, 20 October 2010

TAM London

Team Geek Calendar were up at the crack of dawn last weekend to sell our hot-off-the-press calendar at the The Amazing Meeting London (TAM London).

TAM is a conference for critical thinkers that raises money for the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF), founded by magician and skeptic James Randi (that’s the Amazing Randi to you and me). With speakers such as Richard Dawkins, PZ Myers, Susan Blackmore and Graham Linehan, we figured there would be quite a few geeks in the audience wanting to buy the calendar. We weren’t wrong.

This was the first time the calendar had been seen by the public, and we made our first sale at the painfully early hour of 8.15am. I manned the stall in my geek chic Geek Calendar tee-shirt and handed out button badges we had made especially for TAM and our official launch party.

Button badge

Our TAM London stall

It was great to meet people who had been following the progress of our nerdy little project on Twitter -- we even gave out some copies to people who had pre-ordered. For those of you who have pre-ordered and haven't received it yet, it is in the post and should arrive soon!

Taking turns to man the stand, and with help from our stall neighbours, The British Humanist Association and The Pod Delusion, Mun-Keat and I did manage to sneak away from playing shop to hear some of the conference talks.

Richard Dawkins presented a reading list to illustrate why evolution is the new Classics, and Cory Doctorow talked about copyright in a jacket that looked like a barcode. But the highlight was Geek Calendar’s Mr January, Adam Rutherford, and his hilarious account of attending the Alpha Course.

Adam Rutherford - TAM London 2010

Credit: Pewari Naan

Most of what he said was spot on, though he lost a few geek points by claiming the Lord of the Rings films are boring. Shame on him!

Besides Adam, many of our other geeks were also in attendance. Gia Milinovich, Evan Harris and Simon Singh all spoke at TAM, and all stopped by to say hi. Evan even signed a copy for one lucky geek. Also present in the audience were Jonathan Ross and family with Mrs Ross, Jane Goldman, purchasing one for the family wall.

Louise and Gia

Louise and Evan

Mun-Keat and Simon

Apart from selling our wares, we also did a few press interviews. Mun-Keat did a piece for the Righteous Indignation podcast and I was interviewed for JREF TV and the Naked Scientists podcast – keep your ears peeled in case I make the cut.

To pass the time in between sales, hilarity and the media, I also did a spot of knitting, and I’m very pleased to introduce you all to the Geek Calendar’s new mascot, Pete the Pterodactyl:

Comic artist Alan Moore concluded the conference talks... and he signed a calendar! We’ll be auctioning this off to raise even more money for Libel Reform soon.

Signed by Alan Moore!

If you haven’t yet, buy your copy now – in the words of TAM host, Professor Richard Wiseman:

"It’s a porn calendar for brainy people... it's even printed on glossy paper."