Mark Gilbert's Blog

Science and technology, served light and fluffy.

Kalamazoo X Conference 2011 – Light-Hearted Recap

I’m still on the mental buzz from yesterday’s Kalamazoo X Conference.  Here is a rough agenda for the last four months, from the perspective of an organizer:


1/1/2011, Midnight – 4/30/2011, 8:49 am: 

  • Issues
  • Headaches
  • Worries
  • Scrambling

4/30/2011, 8:50 am – 4/30/2011, 5:10 pm:

  • The Zen of Awesome
  • Adrenaline High

4/30/2011, 5:11 pm – 4/30/2011, 8:10 pm:

  • The after-event conversations
  • Adrenaline high redux

4/30/2011, 8:11 pm

  • Adrenaline high ends
  • Extreme weariness sets in


I’m sure I’m not the only conference organizer in history to follow this basic agenda.  I was simply amused by how clearly the boundaries were defined this year.

The speakers did an outstanding job, and like last year, there was a lot of humor throughout the day.  I tried to capture some of those gems:

  • "I want [to hire] someone with [a degree in] English Lit because if they could send out an email without a grammatical error, that would be so great.” – Joe O’Brien
  • “The graph shows minus 30 degrees.  It doesn’t say Fahrenheit or Celsius, but at 30 below it doesn’t matter.”  – David Giard
  • One time I wore a sport coat!” – Leon Gersing
  • “You can’t erase the internet.” – Jeff Blankenburg
  • “’Great teams’ don’t mean you can set them free and let them go and spend all your time on XBox.” – Jim Holmes
  • “Buy your teams foodstuffs.  Be careful about food allergies.  Don’t kill ‘em.  That would be bad.” – Jim Holmes
  • “If you could give an Oscar to a puppet, you should have!” – Leon Gersing, about Yoda.
  • “And I thought following lunch would suck!” – Dan Neumann, on following Leon’s session
  • “You do not want your conscious brain to make those life or death decisions, because you will die.” – Laura Bergells, on the value provided by the amygdala

Thank you to all of our speakers and to all of our attendees.  Without you, it would just be me and a few guys in a room all day with a ton of caffeine but no XBox.  Thank you for saving us from that fate.

May 1, 2011 Posted by | General, Kalamazoo X Conference | Comments Off on Kalamazoo X Conference 2011 – Light-Hearted Recap