Anime Mid-Atlantic, in Review

Anime Mid-Atlantic is one of my favorite conventions to attend.  It was the first anime convention I attended as a guest, shortly after beginning my convention-speaking career.  Since then, I’ve gotten to know many of the regulars and staffers at the con.  It’s the perfect size of convention, where it’s big enough to always have something fun going on but small enough to still feel casual and not get overwhelmed.

AMA was at a new hotel this year, the Norfolk Waterside Marriott.  I was a little dubious about the hotel at first, since downtown hotels tend to be problematic for conventions.  To my surprise and delight, it proved to be an excellent locale, both in terms of accessibility of the convention events and to local amenities (like meal options).

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Social Activism and Goal-Setting

“These times are sent to try men’s souls” – Metallica

Yes, I know the quote is actually from Thomas Paine’s American Crisis, but that’s actually “These are the times that try men’s souls”, so nyah.


It feels like a dark time, doesn’t it?  Maybe it always has and we’re just now more aware of it.  Maybe it feels this way to some of us, and it felt this way to others, and it will feel this way to still others in the future.  I don’t care to speculate on the swings of the sociopolitical pendulum at this time.  What I want to talk about is burnout, compassion fatigue, and weight lifting.

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Straight Shooter

It’s interesting to study where expressions come from.  I heard the term ‘straight shooter’ a lot recently (people tend to use the same expressions and so in long conversations, you’ll hear phrases repeated).  It stuck in my mind and I was curious where it originates from.

Turns out, like many expressions and idioms, there is more than one theory.

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Science’s Antithesis

When did science become the antithesis of religion?

I know the schism in thinking goes back millennia…sort of.  Religion has allegedly hated science for ages but that isn’t really the case.  Religion and science have largely been at worst indifferent to each other, if not closely related.  Remember, many of the greatest scientists were religious people, either personally (like al-Khwarizmi) or professionally (like Mendel).  The idea that there is some diametric opposition between the two is a very new construct, only a few centuries old (if even then).  And the modern scientific community certainly doesn’t have any issues with religion.  Many modern day scientists are still every bit as religious as their predecessors.  So why does so much of the religious world not care for science these days?

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