It has been a cool week for Internet activism. John Oliver turned the public's attention to net neutrality (finally!) Geek girls got vocal about Star Wars, so Princess Leia toys will be introduced by Disney (finally!) Before this week, Solar Roadways got funded. Reading Rainbow got funded. Never before has it been so easy for individuals to use technology for the purpose of being heard. Get passionate about something, geeks!
As I've spent so much time on the Internet myself, I have a large batch of GEEKend happenings to share. Get out over the next couple of days! Meet your geeky brethren! Maybe one of these events will inspire you, gentle reader, to create the next big campaign for public good. ...At the very least, you'll have a fun time:
SATURDAY, JUNE 7th:
Joliet Public Library Star Wars Day - This annual party never lands on May the 4th, but that doesn't stop fans from pouring in. This will be the 5th Star Wars Day at Joliet Public Library. The crowds are sure to be bigger than ever. This year, a kickoff parade is opening the festivities. Stormtroopers are gonna fill the streets! Then, attendees will enjoy artists, exhibitors, and entertainment, including several friends of GGC: Jimmy Hasse, Tara Schile, il Troubadore... wait, il Troubadore is a group of Klingons. I hope a battle doesn't ensue! (Saturday, June 7th, 2014, 11AM-4PM. Joliet Public Library, 150 N. Ottawa, Joliet. FREE. Official Site * Facebook)
Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Global Viewing - Thirty years ago this weekend, one of my favorite movies premiered. Disclaimer: I wasn't alive in 1984. In 2014, though, Ghostbusters is eternally on my Netflix instant watch list. On Saturday, I will be participating in a simultaneous global viewing of the film. Imagine it- all at once, thousands and thousands of people are going to press "play" and enjoy the same movie together. Gather your friends. Grab a drink. LiveTweet if you want to. For us in Chicago, go time will be 2PM. Who ya gonna call?? (Saturday, June 7th, 2PM. Your Central Timezone home. Facebook)
Night Magic Designs presents: Press Start - At first, I had this event confused with "Press Start to Drink," a similarly-named event. Nope- this is something different. Late Saturday, a local fire dance group is throwing an all-out geek party. It's an outdoor gig, which I find rad. Numerous entertainment acts will be about- musicians, burlesque dancers, and DJ Aaron Ackerson. Local artists will be on-hand to sell their wares. There's also talk of a raffle that includes Blackhawks items, if sports geekery is your jam. I work Sundays, so a Saturday-til-3AM party isn't in the cards for me. If you go, tell me about it! (Saturday, June 7th, 7:30PM-3AM. The Backyard Theatre, 3031 N. Honore. $10, +$5 for unlimited beer, $5 discount for costumes. Official Site * Facebook)
DucKon - My goodness, I adore decades-old, small-ish, family-environment cons. DucKon is one of these, celebrating its 23rd year. This convention has the usual goods- art show, dealers, filk... but DucKon sets itself apart with a few special twists. Masters of Lightning, a musical Tesla coil band, will be performing. I host Tesla shows at my day job, so I LOVE this group. Critter Crunch is the name of a robotics battling competition. DucKon guests will be able to build their own wearable "Blinkies," too. There's even a live tortoise a guest of honor! Whatttt...?! Way to go, DucKon, for being unique. :) (Friday, June 6th thru Sunday, June 8th. Westin Chicago North Shore, 601 N. Milwaukee, Wheeling. $25-$45. Official Site.)
Creation's Star Trek Chicago - I don't normally write about Creation's conventions because so many days sell out before I publish. However, the second I originally put up this article, a reader scolded me for skipping this one. OK, Eric S, OK. ;) Trekkers, your weekend has arrived. Creation attendees will witness makeup workshops, music video competitions, and a dealer's room completely dominated by Star Trek goods. The true highlight of this event is its guests. William Shatner, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, and Nichelle Nichols will all be in The Windy City. I have to admit- if you have autograph money lying around, this opportunity is a big one. (Friday, June 6th thru Sunday, June 8th. The Westin O'Hare, 6100 N. River Rd., Rosemont. $25 and up. Official Site)
Chicago Japan Festival - I was an anime JUNKIE in high school. I'm thrilled that young people are still discovering Japanese culture. At the 2014 Japan Festival, attendees can experience Eastern customs, innovations, food, even pop music. Cosplay is encouraged. Live demos will include martial arts, tea ceremony, taiko drums, and more. There will even be a Pac-Man tournament, and a shop of "kawaii" goods! Eeeek, a Lauren that was alive 10 years ago is FREAKING OUT right now. (Saturday and Sunday, June 7th and 8th, 2014, 10AM-5PM. Forest View Educational Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Rd., Arlington Heights. $5 adults, kids under 18 FREE. Official Site * Facebook)
Thanks for reading. I think I have to go whirlwind clean my apartment, now. My husband is out of town, and I suddenly have the strong urge for a Saturday Ghostbusters viewing party...?! Aw man, he's gonna be so jealous that he's missing it.
I may not be able to invite all of my readers to party at my place, but I CAN invite ya'll to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. E-mail subscription is also an option so you don't miss a GEEKend! Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
Tags: Arlington Heights, burlesque, Chicago Japan Festival, Chicago Japan Festival 2014, cosplay, Creation Entertainment, DucKon, DucKon 23, fire spinning, Ghostbusters, Japan, Japan Fest, Japanese culture, Joliet, Joliet Public Library, music, Night Magic Designs, Press Start, Roscoe Village, Rosemont, Star Trek, Star Wars, Westin Chicago North Shore, Westin O'Hare, Wheeling