UnCon 2006

MrRING

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Oh - more pix ya'll!

One day I will have to make it up there and join the fun!
 

Anome

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Congrats Gordon and Min. Sorry I skipped out on the panel now. (Then again, I find public proposals to be a bit awkward for all concerned. What if she'd said "No"? Or worse, she wanted to, but couldn't in front of everyone, so she's trapped into it now?)
 

gordonrutter

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There are of course risks in proposing at any time let alone in such a public way, but knowing how good we are together I was pretty sure I was on to a good thing and I am confident she gave a genuine answer.

Mind Peter Brookesmith did say if he had know what was about to happen he would have spoken to her beforehand to either get her to say "no" or "I'll think about it" just to make me sweat.

Gordon
 

Min Bannister

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Haha, yes he must have a bit of a mean streak. ;)

No fear of my answer not being genuine, I am very much looking forward to being "trapped" with Gordon for the rest of our lives. :)
 

gordonrutter

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min_bannister said:
No fear of my answer not being genuine, I am very much looking forward to being "trapped" with Gordon for the rest of our lives. :)
Bwahahahaha - now you belong to me...

Gordon
 

Electric_Monk

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That's us just back from our mini holiday which centred on Uncon...not much to add (I think I lost at Battleships on Sunday but won last night) but I did enjoy it overall.

And it sounds like it was a mistake to miss the panel at the end, congratulations to Gordon and Min. I'll no doubt see you both next week anyway :p
 

Ravenstone

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Aw! Congrats to Min and Gordon! And I missed all the excitement!

Damn house moving! :cry:
 

Ravenstone

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Would a B flat be acceptable? :D

Well, I had the Friday and Tuesday booked off ages ago, and I kept them just in case I had a last minute change of heart and finances. But I just couldn't justify it to myself. It's not just the ticket price - it's the hotel rooms, the food, the drink, and the all-important book buying. I reckoned I needed about £300-£400 to make it worth going. And I didn't have it.

Although I am thinking of a new motorbike :oops: Which is considerably more than £400.

I washed the carpets. It was great fun :roll:
 

gordonrutter

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Ravenstone said:
it's the hotel rooms, the food, the drink, and the all-important book buying.
Well you could have saved a bit of money on that front - about half the number of dealers as normal so the number of potential book purchases would have been down.

Gordon
 

Ravenstone

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You can probably thank me for that :lol: Last Uncon, I bought about 17 books. And that wasn't including the Infamous Un-Piss Up Book Swap.

Crikey. Just think of how many book stalls saw a 50% reduction in sales, just because I wasn't there? :lol: Maybe they should pay me to come next time.

Now there's an idea.

I'm saving for Weird Weekend, which is just up the road this year. May have to persuade 'Imself to do some driving, so I actually may get the chance to actually drink this time.
 
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An UnCon reivew from the Edinburgh Fortean perspective - although I am starting to suspect that they are just stalking Gordon:

Thu 11 May 2006

Anomalies, forbidden science and a Fortean love story

DIANE MACLEAN

THIS YEAR'S shindig for lovers of all things weird, the annual general meeting of the Fortean Times took place in London recently. The Unconvention (Uncon) meets once a year so that the motley gang of people interested in unusual and anomalous phenomena can gather together and share theories and ideas.

Fortean Times, which has been recording all things weird and mysterious since 1973, was set up to continue the work of Charles Fort. At the turn of the century this American researcher and writer spent his time collating and debating curious things. The magazine still does, and its yearly Uncon allows like-minded people to come together and wallow in all things weird.
A man in a Darth Vader mask sits outside the entrance way to the Uncon.

The gathered crowd - or Forteans as they are known - are a mixed bag of people. They are predominantly male and there are a lot of men in hats – enough to keep an army of milliners busy for weeks. There are trilbies, cowboy hats, baseball hats, berets and even one top hat. There are also a lot of walking sticks.

Fortean interests are as diverse as their headgear, with Ufologists - whose interest is, of course, UFOs and cryptozoologists - those interested in as yet undiscovered animals. (The Loch Ness monster is perhaps the most famous example "living" in our midst.) There are also a smattering of conspiracy theorists, alternative historians and people interested in the occult and the paranormal.

Colin Munro and his girlfriend Gayle Probert make up part of the Edinburgh contingent who travelled down for the meeting. Munro lists Fortean interests with relish:

"Forteans are interest in UFO's ghosts, history, forbidden science. Stuff scientists are scared to touch in case they look like loonies." And Colin himself? "I'm interested in all these subjects and keen to keep an open mind."

His girlfriend Gayle is here because of Colin. She doesn't go to the monthly Edinburgh meetings, but she has enjoyed the weekend as it gives her a chance to meet up with other people who have had paranormal experiences.

"I've seen a ghost, my gran, and it helps coming here," says Probert. "People are interested and it's nice to talk to someone who doesn't think you're mental."

Stewart Smith, another Edinburgh Fortean is here because he questions everything:

"There was an old t-shirt that Forteans used to wear that said: 'As a Fortean I have no opinion'. It's a certain kind of not being sure about anything. Some people here have their own pet theories – I don't – I don't accept anything unless there's evidence."

The weekend is jam-packed with fellow questors and seekers. At the moment no conference could possible go off without discussion of The Da Vinci Code and Uncon is no exception. Saturday kicks off with a talk from Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, who spent an hour telling the audience that their book inspired "Dan" and because, unlike other authors, they haven't sued, they'd landed a walk-on part in their friend "Dan's" film along with their new best friend "Tom". Well, hurrah for them…

But beyond the Code subjects ranged from magic lanterns, a Canadian sociologist who thought cryptozoology was a load of nonsense, angels, fairies and a cryptozoologist who thought sociology was a load of nonsense.

The hot topic for the weekend was creationism and intelligent design – a theory coming out of America's fundamentalist bible-belt that rejects the theory of evolution and suggests an alternative God-inspired version of how we all got to be where we are today.

These talks proved the most hotly debated and had Stewart Smith puzzling over what stand to take:

"I sometimes don't want to champion evolution because that's a dogmatic theory and I am against dogma," he says. "I'm keen on pastafarianism – where an American academic said it's OK to teach the alternatives, so long as you acknowledge that the alternatives can include a flying spaghetti monster creating the universe."

As the weekend draws to a close it is deemed a success. It's all been very good-natured, and judging by the Edinburgh lot, being a Fortean is not only fun, but also a great way to meet members of the opposite sex.

There's Colin and Gayle, Stuart and Christine, who along with Uncon organiser and Edinburgh teacher Gordon Rutter and his girlfriend spent Saturday afternoon at a Fortean pagan wedding in Greenwich where they all jumped over a broomstick during a handfasting ceremony.

And the love theme didn't stop there. After the final speaker Gordon Rutter took to the stage to ask his girlfriend to marry him. (A very Fortean way of proposing). She said yes, which must mean that for one couple at least this year's Uncon was even more memorable than usual.
http://heritage.scotsman.com/myths.cfm?id=701752006
 
A

Anonymous

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While not rude, the subtext of the article above firmly (according to one of my non fortean friends) puts us in the weirdo bracket. We are not saucer folk!
 

gordonrutter

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GadaffiDuck said:
While not rude, the subtext of the article above firmly (according to one of my non fortean friends) puts us in the weirdo bracket. We are not saucer folk!
To be fair some of the people who attend UnCon are and they are the ones that the press do focus on - I am thinking specifically here of the person with the Darth Vader mask.

To be honest the journalist is interested in this sort of thing as well, it could have been a hell of a lot worse, it really could have been. I was asked to give a few thoughts to the article but I declined as I felt it would have changed our engagement to being more of a publicity stunt. Amongst Forteans it's ok - you are our extended 'family' but to then throw it into the arena of The Scotsman moved it to a different area where I did not want to go.

Gordon
 
A

Anonymous

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Firstly, please accept my warmest congratuations. Also, 'respect', 'word' or 'props' (whichever youth phrase is current) for your bottle :D
I agree entirely with your view; it is mine as well. It's just that once in a while it would be nice for the mainstream to realise that Fortean most often means interested benign sceptism. You'd have thunk dat wiv all de intrest in Dan Brown and da da vinchy code, dat sum1 mite re rlize dat fokes is intrested in dis. :lol:
 

Stormkhan

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GadaffiDuck said:
While not rude, the subtext of the article above firmly (according to one of my non fortean friends) puts us in the weirdo bracket. We are not saucer folk!
You get that at Sci-fi and RPG conventions. To appeal to the mundane market there has to be a "fingerpointing/oooh, aren't they loonys?" subtext. This, primarily, ignores any sensible elements, 'cause it would mean taking summat seriously. Hence on every (and I mean EVERY) morning news programme that discussed the recent Government/UFO release, they each used the theme tune from the X Files!

Anyhow, it wasn't me in the top hat this year. So, it wasn't my fault!
 
A

Anonymous

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My hat collection died in the 80's. The way I look, it would be arrestible if carried a walking stick (sort of like going to war). Fine, I may have an awful lot of black t shirts. Damn. I am not a number....
 

Ravenstone

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Stormkhan said:
Anyhow, it wasn't me in the top hat this year. So, it wasn't my fault!
Damn! And I was just thinking to myself, "Top hat, eh? Bet I know who that was!"

Turns out I didn't! :shock:

Must change the batteries in this crystal ball.
 

Bilderberger

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Just thought I'd share my personal highlight from Uncon....

Jan Bondeson asking Clive Prince if he had considered using craniofacial anthropometrics to scientifically assess the similarity of the face on the Turin Shroud to the Leonardo painting. A very helpful and sensible suggestion I thought...

Clive looked like a rabbit in the headlights and seemed to be suggesting that the morphing of the photos was enough evidence... Jan tried to help - but it was falling on deaf ears...

Unfortunately, I am not sure how many people caught this exchange as everyone seemed to be shuffling around towards the toilets at the time.
 

James_H

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yes, that was great. He really just wasn't having it. He looked scared.
 

Stormkhan

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Ravenstone said:
Stormkhan said:
Anyhow, it wasn't me in the top hat this year. So, it wasn't my fault!
Damn! And I was just thinking to myself, "Top hat, eh? Bet I know who that was!"

Turns out I didn't! :shock:

Must change the batteries in this crystal ball.
Hur! Hur! Hur!
That'll learn you!

They seek him here, they seek him there ... They'll seek Stormkhan everywhere (until they track him down in a pub when they try to kill him deader than Grigor Rasputin - with as much sucess!)
 

Ravenstone

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Stormkhan said:
They seek him here, they seek him there ... They'll seek Stormkhan everywhere (until they track him down in a pub when they try to kill him deader than Grigor Rasputin - with as much sucess!)
Tsk, tsk, tsk! Everyone knows that, in order to capture Stormkhan, one must bait the trap with Real Ale... :roll:
 
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Anonymous

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And a cunningly made pork pie; sliced to reveal the glistening inner promise...Nah mate, that's a friggin' gingsters steak slice....oh well...back to the board... :lol:
 

zarathustraspake

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Bilderberger said:
Just thought I'd share my personal highlight from Uncon....

Jan Bondeson asking Clive Prince if he had considered using craniofacial anthropometrics to scientifically assess the similarity of the face on the Turin Shroud to the Leonardo painting. A very helpful and sensible suggestion I thought...

Clive looked like a rabbit in the headlights and seemed to be suggesting that the morphing of the photos was enough evidence... Jan tried to help - but it was falling on deaf ears...

Unfortunately, I am not sure how many people caught this exchange as everyone seemed to be shuffling around towards the toilets at the time.
Heh. I missed that. Must have been while I nipped out to get a cup of tea. That sounds quite funny.
 

taras

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I saw that exchange, but I don't think it fell on deaf ears. There's only so many times you can repeat the same thing before there's nothing left to say about the matter... what was he meant to reply? "OK, we'll try that right now, get your measuring kit out!"
 
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