Sunday, March 21, 2010

4 is the New 7: Lunacon 2010

I'm home again from my annual trek to Lunacon, the science-fiction fantasy convention held at the Rye Town Hilton for most of the past 20 years or so. I have no problem bringing this up in an educationally-themed blog for a couple of reasons: first, there are a number of science panels held over the three days, and the number of combined degrees held by the panelists would likely fill a circle, if not a decagon. Second, many youngsters have had their knowledge of mathematics broadened simply by asking, "Why is this hotel called the Escher Hilton?", followed by "Why is it called the Mobius Hilton?"

Following the floor plans -- or attempting to -- answers that question quickly, but only if you are aware of the works of M. C. Escher and Mobius strips. But that only adds to the charm. Regular con-goers are used to this, as well as knowing the location of the trans-dimensional corridor that manages to link the 4th and 7th floors.

Until this year.

Someone at Hilton, lacking a sense of humor, has renumbered the floors of the wing which formerly housed the fifth through eight floors. (Floors 1 through 4 are in the other wing.) Now, they are the second through fifth floors, and the two fourth floors are connected by the long hallway. That's all fine and well, but it results in the fact that the second wing has no first floor and the second floor is mostly underground. (The newly redesignated third floor has access to the parking lot where you can walk around to the lobby.) And let's not get started on the walking distance between rooms 410 and 4010.

Now you might wonder why I might carp on this so much. Well, three reasons:
- Because it's fun.
- Because I can.
- Because they lost my reservation.

(The last was resolved with only two followup visits to the main desk, which prevented this from being a real Rant.)

A good time was had, and a con report may follow in a couple days. Or not.


Unknown said...

That's too bad about re-numbering the floors.

On a slightly related note, I am at an unfamiliar computer today and found that your comic is the first link if you google "x, why?" (including the quotes). Just thought that might boost your ego (if you didn't already know it).

And speaking of ego boosts, I graduated from college in 1984, and I am now applying to a masters degree program. Monday 3/22 I took a GRE. I barely prepared for it, briefly looking through a few sample questions I found for free on the web. My verbal score was 650 and my analytical score was 730! Considering the scale tops out at 800, I guess I still know a thing or two.

(x, why?) said...

Congrats on the GRE. I remember those. Took those and the GMATs many years ago -- and many years before I actually went to grad school.

The floor re-numbering wasn't too bad. Most of us still refered to it as the "seventh floor".