DEF CON Meetup At The Grave Of James T. Kirk

DEF CON is just around the corner, and that means in just a few days thousands of hardware hackers will be wandering around the casinos in Vegas. Yes, in a mere handful of hours, the tech literati will be accosted by the dead, disaffected eyes of dealers and the crass commercialization of every culture in humanity’s recorded history. The light of god does not penetrate mirrored ceilings. Vegas is terrible, it’ll be 120ºF outside, but at least there’s cool stuff happening Thursday through Sunday.

Hackaday is going to be there, but we really don’t want to spend the entire weekend walking around casinos. That’s why we’re hosting a meetup at the most unlikely place possible: Veridian III, the site of the battle between the Duras sisters and the Enterprise, the crash site of NCC-1701-D, and the final resting place of Admiral James Tiberius Kirk.

We’ll be visiting Veridian III at the Valley of Fire State Park on Wednesday, August 3rd, starting at 1pm. It’s about an hour north of Vegas. As you would expect, hats, sunscreen, good shoes, and a supply of water that could be categorized as “survivalist” are a good idea. Hackaday will be at the visitor center at 1PM, and after a half hour or so, the entire meetup will drive a few miles north to cooler looking rocks.

If you want an FAQ, here you go:

  • What’s this all about, then?
    • Drive out to the desert because cool rocks.
  • No, really, what’s up?
    • Watch Star Trek: Generations. We’re going to the filming location of Soren’s launch site on Veridian III. This is where Kirk died (on a bridge), and where he was buried by Picard.
  • Where and when?
    • Valley of Fire State Park. Here’s the Google Map. 1PM, August 3rd. It’s about an hour north of Vegas. We’re going to meet at the visitor center around 1pm. Around 1:30, we’re going a few miles north to the White Dome trailhead. Look for the Hackaday Flag. It’ll be flying on a PVC pipe taped to a car.
  • Why are you going to the desert, in August, in the middle of the day, with no plan whatsoever?
    • Because Benchoff.
  • Why would extinguishing a star alter its gravity? The mass of the star would still be there, which means the Nexus ribbon wouldn’t be deflected at all. Is this crazy? What’s going on here?
    • Because Rick Berman.
  • Why weren’t there two Picards after Picard and Kirk returned from the Nexus?
    • Rick Berman.
  • Is this really the grave site of James T. Kirk?
    • No, because Kirk was resurrected by the Borg and his katra restored by Romulans.

This meetup will be a continuation of a series of Hackaday meetups in the middle of nowhere. Earlier, we had a gathering at the childhood home of the worst president of the United States of America. That meetup was a roaring success, with people travelling from surprisingly far away. If you’re unlucky enough to be in Vegas for DEF CON a day early, this is one of the weirdest meetups you could possibly attend.

By the way, if enough people attend, it will serve as proof we can do a meetup anywhere. I have my eyes on Spillville, Iowa, Oregon’s House of Mystery, and one of the remaining Blockbuster stores in El Paso. If you support this idea, come on out.

36 thoughts on “DEF CON Meetup At The Grave Of James T. Kirk

  1. “As you would expect, hats, sunscreen, good shoes, and a supply of water that could be categorized as “survivalist” are a good idea”

    Then double the amount of water.

    This is the SW desert in summer…it…will…killl…you. As dead as grabbing a kilovolt line and ground at the same time.

    If you’re used to hot&humid you won’t notice the signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion and possibly heatstroke until it’s too late, because you never notice you’re sweating gallons.

    Take it from a lifelong desert rat, be careful out there, folks! We had four people die in one weekend here in Southern AZ last month because they went hiking without sufficient preparation in 112 degree heat. Three of them were tourists from much more temperate climes; only one member of their group made it out alive.

  2. Came here for the Trek, stayed for the Berman bashing. Did y’all know that the annual Star Trek convention will be in Vegas at the same time? Maybe this would be worth promoting in Trekkie circles. There is most definitely some cross-over in the groups of people who attend DEF CON and Star Trek Vegas con.

    1. At least Berman had Roddenberry’s blessing, and he kept true to Gene’s vision of the Trek universe and it’s characters. This recent “reboot” by JJ Abrams, is an ABOMINATION ! Enterprise “helm” controls that look like they were stolen off a boat (complete with chrome finish), mindless sparks/explosions (reminds me of old Irwin Allen – Lost in Space, or Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea, random equipment failures), almost as bad as Star Trek “Nemesis”!

  3. Other fun cheap stuff I like to do in the Vegas that doesn’t involve melting:

    1) Bowling or bingo at Gold Coast (and excellent dim-sum, and cheap hot dogs at the sports betting). Other off-strip casinos also have decent options that don’t cost much.

    2) Pinball hall of fame (come on, perfect for this crowd; free unless you want to play some games).

    3) Neat architecture, old Pullman train (outside but shaded) and old slot machine exhibit in the Main St. Station on Fremont. (Mob museum is fun too.)

    More melt-likely:

    4) Public/graffiti art and unique shopping in the art district (near Fremont St.)

    5) Springs Preserve

    6) Minor league baseball.

    If you’re out in the desert near sunset, watch for bats. (Flying rats.) If you’re out at night, bring a UV flashlight and watch for scorpions. Mix beer and sugar and apply somewheres to make insect bait. (The last two I’ve wanted to do for years, but never seem to get around to doing.)

    I personally love Vegas, but not for what makes it Vegas.

  4. “Is this really the grave site of James T. Kirk?
    No, because Kirk was resurrected by the Borg and his katra restored by Romulans.”

    What, huh, when, where!!??

    “Earlier, we had a gathering at the childhood home of the worst president of the United States of America.”

    You went to Hawaii? Cool!

        1. That’s open for debate.

          I counter – propose “W” (started two wars, deregulation of banking caused financial crisis) and Nixon (enemies list and Watergate)

    1. We’re going to meet in a parking lot for half an hour (near the visitor center). After that, drive a few miles up a road to another parking lot where there’s a trailhead. Maybe walk the 1 mile trail if it’s not too hot. There’s shade and a bench at the trailhead, as far as I can tell.

  5. Dunno where you folks were – I was at visitor center about 1:10-1:30pm and didn’t see anyone waving a nerd flag (I was wearing a compaq/data center ops logo hat). But I just finished a very nice cruise around all the drivable roads in the park.

    Very pretty rocks!

    Also, this is my first time in the desert since playing a lot of fallout:NV. Nevermind Hubter Thompson’s bats. This is radscorpion country.

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