Escape the Winter without leaving Canberra

Winter in Canberra is an excellent time to catch up on reading and watching Science Fiction. However, there are also two events at Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) over the next month may tempt a Canberra fan out of the house and the cinema.

Wintercon, the Canberra Games Society’s Winter games event, is being held Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July in the Fitzroy Pavilion. This event is Cancon’s little sibling. Like Cancon, you can visit the event for free just to see the trading tables and watch the gaming. Or you can pay $10 per day to play the board games in the game library.

GammaCon is Canberra’s pop culture festival and the largest of it’s type in the ACT and Southern NSW region. GammaCon is being held on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August in the Budawang Conference Centre and Coorong Pavilions. The event is aimed at fans of cosplay, comics, computer gaming, tv, anime and collectables.

Tickets can be bought online, at the door, or at various shops around Canberra. This is an affordable convention with an adult ticket for the weekend costing $43.84 online.

GammaCon also has a competitions for creative fans. Both of the competitions below have $150 prizes in two categories, under 16 and over 16 years of age.

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy short story competition. Only one story per person, maximum 1,500 words, family friendly, and must be received by GammaCon by 5 August.
  • Art competition. Submitted as an image via email by 2 August, or in person on the first day of the convention.

Further details on the competitions are on the events page on the GammaCon site.

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Superman’s birthday

The superhero Superman is celebrating a milestone birthday in 2018.

The ACT Library service is celebrating with Superman 80 years of the Man of Steel family event on Monday 25 June, 5.30 pm at Woden Library. Families are encouraged to come along dressed as their favourite super heroes or super villains.

The event is free but bookings are essential.

Canberra celebrates Star Wars with bells on

May the 4th (be with you) is Star Wars day and one of Canberra’s institutions is celebrating loudly.

At 12.30pm on May the 4th, the National Carillion is hosting a Star Wars concert – with arrangements of new and original Star Wars themes composed by John Williams ringing out across Lake Burley Griffin until 1.30pm.

This is a free event and a rare chance for Star Wars fans to hear the themes played on the Carillion’s 55 bronze bells.

The full program is:

  • Main Theme (played by Peter Bray and Harrison Whalan, arranged by T Laue, P Bray and K Mahajan)
  • Imperial March (played by Lyn Fuller, arranged by A Bowler)
  • Princess Leia’s Theme (played by Lyn Fuller, arranged by A Bowler)
  • Cantina Theme (arranged & played by Julie Wright & Peter Bray)
  • Yoda’s theme (arranged & played by Anna Wong)
  • Throne Room (arranged & played by Leonard Weiss)
  • Finn’s Confession (arranged & played by Leonard Weiss)
  • Jedi Steps (arranged & played by Leonard Weiss)
  • Luke and Leia (arranged & played by Harrison Whalan)
  • Across the Stars (arranged & played by Peter Bray)
  • Rey’s Theme (arranged & played by Peter Bray)

ABC returns to the stars

Stargazing Live, the combined television and stargazing event, which will be on the ABC again this year from 22 – 24 May. As a part of this event…

Budding astronomers and space explorers – on Wednesday 23 May, the Australian National University and the ABC will be attempting a Guinness World Record for the ‘most people stargazing – multiple venues’. The current record was set by the ANU at 7,960 people across 37 locations. During this time, we will be hosting a number of events both here in Canberra and up at Siding Spring.

The ABC and ANU are putting out the call to schools, astronomy societies, community groups, and all budding galactic explorers across Australia to join the world record attempt by hosting a Stargazing Live Star Party on Wednesday 23 May.

Yes, you can party with the stars and not starlets!

ABC Stargazing Live site

Details and how to register your party on the ABC’s website. 

 

February Fortune dining

The Canberra Science Fiction Club usually meets twice each month.  The first Thursday is a General Meeting and on the third Thursday members, friends, family or guests can gather together to talk and eat at a restaurant.  Each person pays for their own choice of meal.  Everyone is welcome.  You don’t have to belong to the club to join in.  The only requirement is that you notify the Secretary at least two days before attending the dinner.

The Secretary has pre-selected the restaurants for this year and the cuisines are varied – Chinese, Ethiopian, Indian, Malaysian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Nepalese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese, just to name a few.  Most restaurants have a banquet as well as a normal menu.

February’s choice was Chinese – we gathered at the Fortune Cookie at the Melba shops.  Many attendees had dined at the there last year and were looking forward to an excellent meal again.  We were not disappointed.

This restaurant is amazing.  The staff is friendly and willing to alter dishes if needed. (One of us had a pork allergy and they were happy to substitute chicken for pork in the San Choi Bow.)

Their menu has seventeen classifications for the food – Signature dishes, Entrees, Soups, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Duck, Chicken, Seafood, Prawns, Squid, Scallops, Omelettes, Tofu, Vegetables, Noodles and Rice.  They also have a Banquet for 2-5 people or for 6+ diners. And a separate Dessert menu.

The Banquet was chosen (just $40. per head ).  I will just describe the dishes we had.  Three entrees:- Spring Rolls, Prawn Toast and a Dim Sim type ball.   It did not take too long before these were heartily attacked and enjoyed by all.

Then the main dishes were served:-

– San Choi Bow (the meat and spices served in a lettuce leaf),

– Peking Shredded Beef,

– Pepper Fillet Steak Hotpot,

– King Prawns with Ginger and Shallot,

– Stir Fried Seasonal Vegetables with Tofu,

– Boneless Chicken with Lemon Sauce,

– Mongolian Lamb,

– Yeong Chow Rice (a fried rice) and plain Jasmine Rice.

This provided a pleasantly balanced meal with no chillies.  Strangely most conversations ceased as everyone tucked in.  I think the most popular dish was the Hotpot.

And to finish off – a Dessert of the day.

Two of the diners elected to order separately – a single entree and main, but also followed up with a dessert.  They were not disappointed in their choices either.

Drinks available included the usual selection of water, wines, soft drinks, tea and coffee.

Everybody had a excellent time and very much enjoyed the food.  We will definitely be back there again.

-SH

Star Wars flying into Canberra first

Usually Canberra doesn’t get to see visiting science fiction exhibitions and models. However, that changes this week with an Australian first for ‘Star Wars’ fans.

A full scale model ‘Star Wars’ x-wing will be “flying” into the Tuggeranong Hyperdome from this Monday, 19 February, for a week, on its first stop around the country.

The x-wing exhibit has set opening hours – 11am to 4pm Monday 19th to Friday 23rd, and 10am to 3pm Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th.

The businesses in the Hyperdome are joining in with Limelight Cinemas showing ‘The Last Jedi’ at $6 sessions daily, and discounts on ‘Star Wars’ merchandise at various stores.

Perhaps the best thing for ‘Star Wars’ fans will simply being able to enjoy a celebration of the universe you love.

Hungry Buddha

The Canberra Science Fiction Club usually meets twice each month. The first Thursday is a General Meeting and on the third Thursday members, friends, family or guests can gather together to talk and eat at a restaurant. Each person pays for their own choice of meal. Everyone is welcome. You don’t have to belong to the club to join in. The only requirement is that you notify the Secretary at least two days before attending the dinner.

The Secretary has pre-selected the restaurants for this year and the cuisines are varied – Chinese, Ethiopian, Indian, Malaysian, Mediterranean, Mexican, Nepalese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese, just to name a few. Most restaurants have a banquet as well as a normal menu.

January’s choice was Nepalese – we gathered at the Hungry Buddha in Belconnen. Many attendees had dined at the Hungry Buddha in Curtin (before they moved to Belconnen) and were looking forward to an excellent meal. The Banquet menu was chosen (just $35. per head). I won’t go into the Nepalese name for each dish, just describe the dishes.

Four entrees were provided:-
– Steamed chicken dumpling with homemade tomato pickle,
– Corn kernels sautéed with authentic Nepalese spices,
– Spicy peanut salad with lime, tomato and onion sauce, and
– Tender chicken fillets sautéed with chilli flakes, diced capsicum and onion.
It did not take too long before these were heartily attacked and enjoyed by all.

Then four main dishes were served. These were accompanied by Rice, Naan bread, Raita and Pickles:-
– Lentils flambé with cumin, coriander, a touch of chilli and cooked with Himalayan spices and tossed with herb jimmu (or jimbu),
– Nepalese style vegetable (mild) curry of cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, peas, potatoes, bamboo shoots and other seasonal vegetables,
– Boneless chicken cooked in exotic Himalayan spices, and
– Village style bone-in goat with flavours of fenugreek, cinnamon, tomatoes, bay leaves, ginger and garlic.

Drinks available included the usual selection of red or white wines. soft drinks and Lassis.

Strangely enough by the time all this was eaten, nobody seemed interested in a dessert.

Everybody had a excellent feed and very much enjoyed the food. We will definitely go back there again.
-SH

Star Wars battles for Gungahlin

The Gungahlin Library is hosting a Star Wars Reads Day.

The day, for kids aged 7 to 16, is Saturday 14 October from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

Come and decide if the Empire or the Rebels are the victors in the Battle for Gungahlin Library.

Bookings are essential

The event includes a costume contest, Star Wars themed crafts, Star Wars story readings, and photo opportunities with Jedi and Storm Troopers.

Euroscience

For anyone interested in science…

Over six days this week, Questacon is hostingEuroscience which is a programme of activities telling the story of the past, present and future of European science and technology.

The presentations at Questacon cover the CERN Large Hadron Collider, Marie Curie, the future of energy technology, European astronomy, European dinosaurs and guest scientists in the Qlab.

New horizons voyage to Pluto and Beyond

PLUTO – New Horizon’s Voyage to Pluto and Beyond – Canberra
by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics – Sydney Section

Launched January 19, 2006, the New Horizons mission had one goal as it ventured into the solar system – answer questions about Pluto, its moons and Kuiper Belt objects. Fast forward 9.5 years and over 5 billion kilometres, on July 14, 2015, New Horizons flew 12,500 km above the surface of Pluto, making it the first spacecraft to explore the dwarf planet. From mountains to moons and flowing ices on Pluto, the discoveries so far have been amazing.

You can learn more about these discoveries at a free ANU event open to the public. Tuesday 1 August 2017 at 6:15 pm. Bookings required