The 10 weirdest events at SXSW

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Photo Credit: Alyssa Creagh | Daily Texan Staff

The Interactive portion of SXSW isn’t all Chelsea Clinton and Mindy Kaling. Every year, SXSW brings some interesting characters and events into town with it.

Here are some of the alternative options for this year’s festival.

1. How Douchebags Ruined Dating

This session presents the argument that “douchebags” have ruined the online dating platform for nice guys. This is apparently an epidemic which the presenter, Elissa Shevinsky, is hoping to solve.

Day: Monday, March 10

Time: 9:30-10:30 a.m. 

Where: Sheraton Austin

Badge: Interactive

2. I Measure Everything My Kid Does

Amy Webb, mom and CEO of Webmedia Group, explains how she has logged everything her child has done — including eating, burping and pooping — since she was born. According to Webb, she realized she could “quantify and study [her child] in attempt to optimize all of her development.” If that wasn’t enough Webb will teach you why doing this makes you a better parent. 

Day: Sunday, March 9

Time: 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

Where: Austin Convention Center Ballroom F

Badge: Interactive

3. Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

This panel, which features Kevin Bacon himself and many “surprise” guests, explores the 20th anniversary of the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon phenomenon. Plus, it’s Kevin Bacon.

Day: Sunday, March 8

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Where: Austin Convention Center Ballroom D

Bage: Interactive

4. Font Nerds Meet Up

Are you a font enthusiast? Good news, SXSW is offering a chance to meet others just like you. Here attendees can discuss the terrible Comic Sans, the classic Times New Roman and the
popular Helvetica.

Day: Friday, March 7

Time: 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Where: Long Center

Badge: Interactive and Film

5. Alternative Healing Meet Up

Attendees can join in on sharing their stories of using alternative ways to get through hard times. The session will focus on things like “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction” and how social media connects people practicing these methods. 

Day: Monday, March 10

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Where: Proof Annex

Badge: Interactive

6. A Conversation with Nicholas Cage

Nicholas Cage in front of a full audience. Need I say more?

Day: Monday, March 10

Time: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Where: Austin Convention Center Room 18ABCD

Badge: Interactive and Film

7. Four Caffeinated Strangers Launch a Product, Live

One coder, one designer, one statistics expert and one moderator will create an online product that will be available on the market in just an hour. They will assess everything about the product in this short time — the product itself, logos and industry trends. 

Day: Saturday, March 8

Time: 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Where: Four Seasons San Jacinto Ballroom

Badge: Interactive

8. Live From Space! Talk with Astronauts in Orbit

Attendees will be able to talk with astronauts in orbit 240 miles from Earth’s surface. The audience will also be allowed to ask these astronauts questions about the work they’re doing in space and about the technology it takes to communicate back down to Earth. 

Day: Saturday, March 8

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: Omni Downtown Capital Ballroom

Badge: Interactive

9. International Space Orchestra

Yeah, this exists. The International Space Orchestra (ISO) was founded two years ago. Space scientists from NASA, the Search for Extraterrestrial Institute, Singularity University and the International Space University got together to perform on Apollo 11’s mission control. Attendees can hear from ISO’s founder about the creation and journey of the orchestra.

Day: Tuesday, March 11

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Where: Omni Downtown Lone Star

Badge: Interactive

10. Life Lessons from a Professional Dominatrix

Professional Dominatrix Kali Williams will explain how her experience with latex catsuits, cages full of willing submissives and the exotic underworld can be applied to every day relationships. Those in attendance can gain advice from Williams on how to ‘whip’ their lives into shape.

Day: Saturday, March 8

Time: 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Where: Austin Convention Center Ballroom F

Badge: Interactive