DESERT BUS 2017 GUESTS
The Bad Astronomer

Phil Plait, also known as The Bad Astronomer, is an American astronomer, skeptic, writer and popular science blogger. Plait has worked as part of the Hubble Space Telescope team, images and spectra of astronomical objects, as well as engaging in public outreach advocacy for NASA missions. He has written two books, Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies. He has also appeared in several science documentaries, including Phil Plait's Bad Universe on the Discovery Channel. From August 2008 through 2009, he served as President of the James Randi Educational Foundation. Additionally, he wrote and hosted episodes of Crash Course Astronomy, which aired its last episode in 2016. He has a regular column at Slate.com and just wrapped production of the new series Bill Nye Saves the World as the head science writer.

Calling in:
10:15am PST, Nov. 18th
Screenwriter, Author, Game Designer, and Journalist

Gary Whitta is a screenwriter and author best known for "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "The Book of Eli". He is also former Editor-in-Chief of PC Gamer and Next Generation magazines and is currently a co-host of Kinda Funny Games Daily.

Calling in:
4:00pm PST, Nov. 18th

James Portnow is an active member of the indie games community, a lecturer on on game design and game culture, and writer of hit web series Extra Credits. The over 300-episode video series takes a deep dive look at games: how they are made, what they mean, and how we can make them better.

Visiting:
12:00am PST, Nov. 19th
of Cards Against Humanity and Friendshipping

Jenn and Trin work at Cards Against Humanity and host Friendshipping, a weekly podcast where they answer tricky questions about friendship and etiquette surrounding relationships. They recently raised 314% of their initial goal on a Kickstarter campaign for Friendship Postcards, which are estimated to release in September 2017.

Calling in:
10:15am PST, Nov. 19th
Director of R&D for Magic: The Gathering

Aaron Forsythe is the Director of R&D for Magic: The Gathering and a former pro-tour player. As a member of R&D over the past 10 years, Aaron has been both a designer and developer for Magic: The Gathering and his design credits include Magic 2010 through Magic 2013 and Planechase. As a developer, his work can be seen on many Magic releases including the original Ravnica block, Zendikar, and the Modern Masters set.

Calling in:
4:00pm PST, Nov. 19th
Musicians

Paul and Storm (Paul Sabourin and Greg "Storm" DiCostanzo) are known internationally and across the Internet for their original comedy music (often with a "nerd-ish" bent). In addition to their own live performances, they are co-founders of the geek-oriented variety show w00tstock, along with Wil Wheaton and Adam Savage, and co-produce JoCo Cruise. The duo's original webseries musical, LearningTown, debuted on YouTube"s Geek & Sundry channel in January 2013. Also in 2013, their song "Another Irish Drinking Song" was featured in the hit movie Despicable Me 2, and in July had their guitar smashed on stage by George R. R. Martin (and deserved it). Their fifth full-length CD, Ball Pit, came out in 2014, and was the central item of the duo's wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.

Calling in:
1:00pm PST, Nov. 20th
Comic Book Writer/Artist

Known around Desert Bus as Ken "Value Added" Steacy thanks to his legacy of creating some of the most exciting live auctions we've seen, Ken decided at age eleven to become a professional comic book writer/artist, a dream he realized in 1974. Since then, he has chronicled the exploits of Spider-Man, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars gang, to name but a few. In addition to creating his own intellectual property, he has collaborated with Harlan Ellison, Dean Motter, and Douglas Coupland. The recipient of an Eisner and an Inkpot award, Ken was inducted into the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, a lifetime achievement award honouring Canadian comic book creators for their contributions to the industry. Alongside his wonderful wife, graphic novelist Joan Steacy, Ken is currently teaching Comics & Graphic Novels in a program they created at Camosun College here in Victoria.

Visiting:
7:00pm PST, Nov. 20th
Podcasters

Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy are the creators of My Brother, My Brother, and Me, a weekly comedy advice podcast. This podcast is one of many the brothers do, often including their friends, family, and other special guests into the adventure. See the full list of shows at mcelroyshows.com.

Calling in:
10:15am PST, Nov. 21st
Musicians, Songwriters

The Doubleclicks are a nationally-touring, Billboard charting nerd band with a cello, a meowing cat keyboard, and songs about dinosaurs, Cats & Netflix, space and Dungeons and Dragons. Their YouTube videos boast over 2 million views and have been featured on BoingBoing, Kotaku, the Huffington Post, and on NPR shows "Live Wire" "All Things Acoustic" and "State of Wonder."

Calling in:
5:00pm PST, Nov. 21st

Mikey Neumann is a writer, voice actor, and content producer known for his work on the Brothers in Arms and Borderlands series. Currently, you can find him on the FilmJoy Youtube channel, a series of videos meant to celebrate films rather than trash them. He hosts the popular web series Movies with Mikey, where he provides insightful yet comedic commentary on popular films.

Calling in:
7:00pm PST, Nov. 21st
Child's Play Community Project Manager

Erick Blandin is the Community Projects Manager for Child's Play Charity. Erick started attending Child's Play events in 2008, and started volunteering for them a few years later for golf events and the Child's Play Charity Dinner Auction. He also co-organized Minecraft Marathon for 2 years raising over $40k for the charity. He joined the CP team in November 2014 to help with a lot of the behind the scenes tasks and has been working with them ever since. Erick organizes the Child's Play booths at PAX and various conventions, coordinates merch and promotional items, and visits hospitals across North America. Child's Play visited 40 hospitals this year and they plan to visit 35 more in 2018. Erick also runs the VR Freeplay department at PAX which lets him keep up on VR options and how they might work in hospitals.

Visiting:
10:00pm PST, Nov. 21st
Director of Child Life

Carla is the Director of Child Life, at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she has led the department since 2009. Prior to coming to Colorado, Carla was a child life specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital for three years. From there, she moved on to find her clinical passion of serving patients and families who have been impacted by a serious burn injury at Shriner’s Hospital in Galveston. She was the primary child life specialist for 7 years before becoming the manager of the child life program there for 5 years.

Calling in:
11:00am PST, Nov. 22nd

Molly Lewis writes songs and plays the ukulele. She is a regular performer at W00tstock, participated in Jonathan Coulton's January 2011 JoCo Cruise Crazy, and has toured multiple times with The Doubleclicks. In 2014 Molly wrote and performed an original musical, Thanksgiving vs. Christmas. She co-hosts a podcast titled "The Peanuts Gallery" with Thanksgiving vs. Christmas co-writer Josh A Cagan, and runs a successful song-based Patreon. She can be found on her own blog, twitter, and youtube.

As for Ben,
He was brought across in 1228.
Preyed on humans for their blood.
Now he wants to be mortal again.
To repay society for his sins.
To emerge from his world of darkness.
From his endless forever night.

Calling in:
5:00pm PST, Nov. 22nd
Writer

Jerry Holkins is the primary writer of the webcomic Penny Arcade along with its artist Mike Krahulik. Holkins sometimes uses the pseudonym "Tycho Brahe", the name of his Penny Arcade character.

Together with Krahulik, Holkins created the Penny Arcade Expo beginning in 2004, a series of gaming festivals held in Seattle, Boston, Australia, and San Antonio. He is also a co-founder of Child's Play, a multimillion-dollar charity which supports a network of hospitals worldwide and US domestic violence support facilities through donations of toys and games.

Calling in:
2:00pm PST, Nov. 23rd

Jer and Tally are a couple of ordinary folks living in Vancouver, doing app development and administrative work respectively, fussing about the rising cost of avocados and yelling at all the (other) crazy drivers on the road. They were previously part of the Desert Bus crew and are thus calling in to reminisce about the good old days and pester the current crew.

Jer is a former member of LoadingReadyRun, and the infamous writer and DM of the Temple of the Lava Bears D&D campaign that LRR live streamed in 2015. He was a Desert Bus for Hope founder and designed the DB app. He now does iOS development full time.

Tally wrote a crafting blog for several years and created a metric bus-ton of geeky plushies for various occasions, from Craterhoof Behemoths (Behemi?) to fuzzy kobolds and majestic dimetrodons. She acted for many years as the Desert Bus Prize Mistress.

Jer and Tally have recently become parents and now spend most of their time obsessing about sleep and snapping cell phone pics of the goofy faces their baby makes. If you’ve got any questions about baby poo, they can probably answer them.

Calling in:
5:30pm PST, Nov. 23rd