Unique/Unusual Meetings

November 2018

Every turn down every aisle at the San Jose Super Toy Show fills me with an inescapable sense of product lust. I understand why I want the 19 1/2-inch Shogun Warriors Godzilla doll. Sure, it’s going for $600, but it has a spring-loaded fist that can launch across the room. What I don’t get is why I want the Star Wars Early Bird Certificate, a symbol of childhood disappointment.

October 2018

Just in time for Halloween, our list of haunted hotels extends from coast to coast, each one teeming with stories of spirits to keep guests company while meeting there with a group. Whether guests are fans of fright or modern-day ghost hunters, we advise entering at their own risk when it comes to making a reservation with any of our picks below.

September 2018

At the Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge kooky inventors and their booze-slinging bots compete for $1,000 in prizes, but the whole thing starts with a mechanized cocktail party. Can these robotic bartenders keep up with their human counterparts? Bob Calhoun investigates.

August 2018

When I first agreed to speak at Nerd Nite East Bay in Oakland, California, I thought I could get away with reading an especially gnarly passage from the book version of Shattering Conventions, crack a couple of jokes and answer a question or two. I was totally wrong about this.

July 2018

You have to keep your eyes on the ground while walking through the halls of California’s San Mateo Events Center during the Maker Faire. There are robots down there. You look up at the towering Godzilla woven entirely from wool and then you’re almost tripped up by a small moving platform trimmed with aqua blue lights. The platform scoots around the floor, weaving in and out of peoples’ footfalls

June 2018

It’s hard to tell what the llamas are thinking as they are mobbed by students on Memorial Glade at UC Berkeley for the event that is now called Llamapalooza. These Peruvian pack animals have been coming to this grassy field on campus ringed by three of the university’s imposing libraries for four years now.

May 2018

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Or at least that was the take from famed rebel journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Speaker KiKi L’Italien, president and CEO of Amplified Growth and host of Association Chat, is taking this life lesson to heart.

April 2018

“Hey Robert, great to have you back. What’ll you have?” Lawrence says as I grab a seat at the bar while I take a break from shooting video at BABSCon, the Bay Area Brony Spectacular, a three-day gathering of people of all gender identifications who are obsessed with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

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