Nerd Nite June [53]: Fascinating!

High Dive Seattle
Tuesday, June 21st
Doors open at 6:30, talks start at 7:30
$5 at the door
21+

RSVP


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Water manager John Chandler investigates drought in Washington State, Outdoor Trek brings us the science of Star Trek, and the original co-boss Julia Maddox will give her first (and final) talk!

For accessibility accommodations, please message us on Facebook or at seattle@nerdnite.com.

Nerd Nite May [52]: Genomes and Honeycombs

High Dive Seattle
Tuesday, May 17th
Doors open at 6:30 (get there early for seats!), talks start at 7:30
$5
21+
RSVP: http://bit.ly/NNsea516


~Kathy Cox: Honeybees are the Canary in the Coal Mine~

Hear about ways to help without getting stung! Find out where the boy bees hang out. Get the scoop on the Queen’s sex life. Discover that bee stings are good for you. Bees are changing medicine. Did you know that bees brains defy time? They have personalities. Their architecture is perfectly strong. They help find serial killers! BEES are a fascinating super organism. Come learn about the art and science to beekeeping.

A Journeyman beekeeper, Kathy has kept bees for 14 years and bought her first 6 hives at a garage sale! She was previously a side-liner and commercial Beekeeper and is now a retired backyard Beek. Her style of beekeeping is chemical free and survival of the fittest! Bees are her passion and she loves sharing her knowledge with others. Kathy is a 2015-2016 Trustee for Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, a member of Washington State Beekeepers Association, American Federation of Beekeepers and is the Master Beekeeper Education/Certification Coordinator for PSBA. She is currently teaching newbees and is a Master Beekeeper candidate.

~Jake Herman: Gene Editing: Natural Origins, Complex Future~
GMO, retrovirus, frankenfood, CRISPR, transgenic, designer babies, disease cures – altering genetic material is a complex technology and an even more complex ethical discussion. As with most biological technologies, nature did it first. Genetic engineers have learned tricks from sexual reproduction, bacteria, and viruses to create technologies such as TALENs, homing endonucleases, CRISPR, embryonic microinjections, and viral gene transfer. With a drink in hand, we’ll start by exploring the science behind genetic engineering, then look at current uses for gene editing outside the lab, including cancer therapies, agriculture, and bioreactors.

Jake always wanted to be a physicist, but it constantly made him feel insignificant and bad at math. Those challenges paired with a Jurassic Park obsession landed him in the field of molecular biology. He is currently working at Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center to develop therapeutics that inhibit mitosis in brain and other cancers.

Nerd Nite April [51] – Brains and Bots!

High Dive Seattle
Tuesday, April 19th
Doors open at 6:30 (get there early for seats!), talks start at 7:30
$5
21+

RSVP

 

~Christina Durbin: Paradoxes & Complexities: The Science of Creativity~
Archimedes in the bathtub, Newton and the apple, Einstein’s theory of special relativity — Eureka! moments are what happens when hours of work come together in a single “creative”” flash. For most of human history, creativity was something otherworldly, a gift from the muses, only to be bestowed upon a select few. Today, cognitive science has shown this to be false. The real story of creativity is more difficult and strange than one can imagine, but one thing is certain: We are all creative. This talk will tell the story of the brain that gave the world such revolutionary ideas as E=mc² and the Theory of General Relativity, and cover simple techniques you can use to foster your own creativity.

Chris Durbin is a “creative”” currently working as a user experience designer in the tech industry. Outside of work, Chris exercises her passion for books, beer & lifelong learning by way of UX Book Club, a monthly meet up with author Q & As that cover a smattering of topics related to experience design.

~Brian Douglas: Synthetic Psychology and Braitenberg Vehicles: Explorers, Cowards and Lovers~
Not all robots require complex computing power and complicated engineering! Brian will talk about the world of Braitenberg Vehicles, simple robots with simple sensors that can exhibit complex behaviors based on how you connect them. These robots are a concept from the Italian-American cyberneticist Valentino Braitenberg, a pioneer in the field of synthetic psychology. Brian will show us how by selecting simple sensory inputs, and modifying their connectivity to simple actuators, the resultant robot may exhibit complex, intelligent seeming behavior in response to stimuli — some may be lovers, some might be cowards and others might even act like eager explorers!

Brian Douglas is the principal engineer for attitude determination and control at Planetary Resources, and author/producer/director/everything for the popular ‘Control Systems Lectures’ YouTube video channel. His current extra-curricular project is writing a free textbook on control theory released under Creative Commons that emphasis reader interactivity and incorporating feedback. You can follow him on Twitter at @BrianBDouglas.

Nerd Nite March [50]: Out of this Worm!

High Dive Seattle
Tuesday, March 15th
Doors open at 6:30 (get there early for seats!), talks start at 7:30
$5
21+

Laura Taylor: Worms with Dementia!
Laura’s talk will give a brief overview of neurodegenerative diseases and the molecular mechanisms that lead to their progression, followed by an explanation of how her lab uses a transgenic worm model of dementia to better understand how neurodegenerative diseases occur and discover therapies to prevent them.

Laura Taylor is currently a third year PhD candidate in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Washington. Laura works at the VA hospital of Puget Sound in the Kraemer laboratory, which studies dementia. Her specific focus is on understanding what early molecular changes drive neurodegeneration during aging. When she’s not studying disease progression, Laura enjoys volunteering with the Pacific Science Center as a Science Communication fellow and speaking at informal science talks around King County. She is interested in promoting scientific education and wants to pursue a career in science policy. Aside from science, Laura enjoys dancing ballet, taking short walks on the beach with her dog Lucky, and trying to play Harry Potter theme music on her piano.

David Gould: Rovers were on Luna, Landers were on Venus — Unique Achievements of Soviet-era Robotic Planetary Exploration
Many of the Soviet Union’s greatest accomplishments and most interesting failed attempts in robotic planetary exploration have been sadly shrouded in obscurity. Their scientists pioneered planetary landers, rovers, & sample return missions, and accomplished groundbreaking explorations of the moon, Mars, and Venus, setting records and using unique technology. This talk will range over little-known “firsts” of the past and a little into the present, looking at where things stand today (both figuratively and literally). We’ll explore shooting lasers at the Moon to find misplaced rovers, a crowd-sourced search of images for crashed landers on of the surface of Mars, floating balloons in the clouds of Venus, the cleanup of radioactive debris, and a very unfortunately placed lens cap.

David is a serial Nerd Nite attendee and computer geek by trade. He’s a fervent aviation nerd and casual space exploration enthusiast by dint of having grown up in NASA’s back yard.

Nerd Nite February [49]: Share the Love Fundraiser

The High Dive – Fremont
Tuesday, February 16th
Doors 6:30, talks start at 7
$5 (or more if you can!)
21+

RSVP here

Invite your friends and hot Tinder dates to an extra special Nerd Nite. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll learn something rad!

100% of all proceeds for this month’s event will be donated to the Virginia Tech research team that was critical in exposing the drinking water crisis currently affecting Flint, MI. Bring your extra dollars to support this worthy cause!

See the Virginia Tech fundraising breakdown here:
https://www.gofundme.com/flintstudyvt

More info:
http://flintwaterstudy.org/

~Speakers~

Nicholas Hunt-Walker: Holding the Souls of Black Folk: Candomble, Vodou, and Santeria in the Western Hemisphere

As we move through Black History Month, we reflect on the many and varied events which forged that history and honor the strugglers and the struggle. There is, however, no black history in the Western Hemisphere without slavery and black spirituality. These days when we consider the latter, we focus mostly on black christian and muslim communities, the first growing out of America’s slave society, and the second growing out of black resistance. However, those people who first saw the New World from slave ships had gods before gods were given to them. Some of those gods were inevitably shaped by the circumstances of the western hemisphere and became Brazilian Candomble, Hispanic Santeria, and Haitian Vodou (amongst others). We’ll delve into some facts behind these faiths, finding their common threads and dispelling some of the devilish propaganda that’s built up over the centuries. Then, from trickster gods to mothers of the ocean, we’ll discover gods whose faces are undeniably and eternally black.

Nick, a lover of stars and data, is a Ph.D. student in Astronomy at the University of Washington. When he’s not trying to teach about the cosmos to undergrads trying to get a credit, he researches the structure of our galaxy, practices the magnificent martial art of Capoeira, and delves into the data of our world. Check out his Twitter feed, @nhuntwalker, and his blog, rationalwhimsy.com.

~~

Anthony Poponi: Control Your Inner Caveman and Laugh More!

Stress is Killing You! Exercise? Sure, it helps. How about getting the benefits of running without having to run. Meditation? It’s wonderful. How about getting the benefits of meditation without having to meditate. It’s the American way to want a pill to cure everything but there’s a solution to the stress in your life and it’s free. It’s laughter and it’s available to each of us. Need help finding more laughter in your life? We’ll show you how.

Anthony is a little “off” – but in a good way (and a regular speaker at Nerd Nite Honolulu). Anthony has a passion for laughter, life, community and philanthropy and it shows in his actions, words – and yes, antics. In our hectic personal lives and business schedules we sometime fail to pause, to take a moment to stop and reflect on life’s gifts, our own accomplishments and our ultimate goals. Anthony loves to inspire people to recognize their fortunes, to give thanks, to be persistent and to most importantly share a laugh while on this journeying up with me!

~

Be there and be square ♥

Nerd Nite January [48]: Turing and Turrets

High Dive
Tuesday, January 19th
Doors open at 6:30, talks start at 7:30
$5
21+

2016 is off to a strong start! This month features a talk about castles by Nerd Nite veteran Sasha Myerson and Nick Vaidyanathan’s review of educational theory and artificial intelligence. Be there and be square. 


Sasha Myer: The History of Castles
Castles are fascinating! They’re beautiful and imposing and (perhaps inaccurately) nostalgic. By design and function, a castle had to be both warm welcoming home and deadly war machine. My talk will journey back to “once upon a time” time and introduce the history and architecture of western European medieval castles. I’ll start from timber ringworks and move on through the Norman invasion, Edward Longshanks, the Reconquista, the Crusades, and discuss all the crazy killer (literally, killer) ways that castles evolved to be safer against siege.

Bio: Sasha got her BA in Medieval History with an Art History concentration. But since she would rather gaze lovingly at armor and triptychs and stained glass then write a paper on them, she works in hotel management. Yesterday she googled “beautiful castles” while looking for images to include in her powerpoint. The MSN slideshow that she found included Universal Studios’ Hogwarts and Euro Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. She is really not okay with that.

Nick Vaidyanathan: Intelligence: Man, Machine, and Beyond
What is it? How is it different in humans and machines? How does it differ between experts and novices? In this talk, we’ll discuss findings from the National Research Council and other publications around the differences in thinking between experts and novices and man and machine. By the end of tonight you might just be an amateur cognitive or data scientist…or at least know enough to recognize bad ones on TV!

Bio: Originally hailing from The City of Angels, Nick Vaidyanathan decided to go to school to become a Devil of the Sun and along the way picked up merit badges in Computer Science, Business, and Computer Systems Engineering. He devotes his research energies to bringing science to the Art of Computer Programming and engineering better programmers. As a general irascible malcontent, he decided the best way to gain expertise in this would be through field experience, and can now be found swabbing the decks on the Dread Pirate’s Ship and striving very hard not to break the internet…or most only once a year. If you don’t learn anything about learning tonight, be sure to teach him a lesson!

Nerd Nite December [47]: Meow-llennium Falcon Edition

We are ending 2015 with two AMAZING speakers!

High Dive
Tuesday, December 15th
Doors open at 6:30, talks start at 7:30
$5
21+

William McKeithen: “Crazy Cat Ladies”: Sexist Stereotypes and Queering Human-Animal Relationships

Are you or someone you know a “crazy cat lady”? The Seattle Times just named our city the nation’s second capital for these woman-feline companionships! But what exactly makes someone a “crazy cat lady”? For this Nerd Nite, cultural geographer Will McKeithen will talk about the “crazy cat lady” stereotype, its history, its meaning, how it impacts women with cats, and how they also resist its norms. Drawing on feminist and queer theory, this talk will explore how heteronormativity and human-animal hierarchies combine to make women with cats who live on the edges of polite society seem like freaks. The talk will also explore the recent popularizing of the “cat lady” (it’s cool now, right?!) and what this might mean for the future of people and pets. **Possible “cat lady” special guests to be announced!**

Will McKeithen is a doctoral student in Geography at the University of Washington. When he’s not talking about “crazy cat ladies,” he’s researching the effects of heteronormativity on the environment, parasitic worms and their use in illicit medicine, STIs and sexual governance, or gay penguins. Read his work at: http://willmckeithen.wix.com/scholar

Tomas Lafferriere: The New Star Wars Canon: What we lost and what we’re happy to see go.

Episode VII is released in less than 48 hours! (After this talk…). Learn about all the stuff that used to be in the Star Wars Canon, what Disney threw out and what they kept.

 

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/481712458674810/

Nerd Nite November [46]: Same Nerds, New Digs

Nerd Nite Seattle is so excited start back up! Come for the usual nerdy talks, cool people and delicious drinks at our new home, High Dive.

Remember that Nerd Nite will now be on the third **TUESDAY** of the month!

Nerd Nite
Tuesday, November 17
7:30 (Doors open at 6:30)
Admission: $5
21+

Speaker #1: Jenny Haaland

Title: COMMON CORE used CONFUSION. It’s super effective!

Desc: Confused by Common Core? You and everyone else on Facebook. What is Common Core, and is it right for our students? Come see what all the commotion is about with Jenny Haaland, M.Ed., as she guides you through the conundrum of curricula

Bio: Jenny has taught in low-income schools in LA county and Burien for 11 years as an elementary school teacher and interventionist. Having served in five school districts, all with their own curricula and standards to master, Jenny has weathered the tides of change and will explain the current educational trends affecting our students today.

Speaker #2: Nell Byler

Title: Rings in a tree stump: what stars can tell us about the life of a galaxy

Desc: Nell will discuss the history of star formation in our nearest neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, using Hubble Space Telescope data from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey.

Bio: Nell Byler is a 5th year graduate student in astronomy at the University of Washington. She studies nearby galaxies, using the individual stars within a galaxy to understand its evolution as a whole. She is also one of the co-organizers of the local Astronomy on Tap events, held at Bad Jimmy’s in Ballard.

NerdNite[45]: Race to 100!

Nerd Nite Seattle
LUCID
Monday, September 21
7:30 (Doors open at 6:30)
Admission: $5

Nerd Nite is only eight talks away from hitting the big 1-0-0. Join us for a *Very Special Nerd Nite* where eight fan favorite speakers will give snappy five minute talks as we race towards our centennial!

Why the rush? Well, this will be our final Nerd Nite at LUCID. David Pierre-Louis, LUCID’s owner and Nerd Nite’s strongest supporter and friend, has plans that will take him on to new, exciting enterprises.

But never fear! Nerd Nite 2.0 will be back with a vengeance in November. Not only will it be at a brand new location (announcement forthcoming) but it will be under new leadership.

Julia and Ross started Nerd Nite exactly four years ago. After almost 100 talks and countless nerdy friendships, it’s time to hand it over to new bosses who will help Nerd Nite Seattle thrive and evolve.

So, join us in raising a glass to LUCID and to Krunal and Marielle, Nerd Nite Seattle’s new co-bosses!

And now, on to the speakers (stay tuned for their topics):

Talk 93 | Jennifer McCreight
Talk 94 | Semih Tareen
Talk 95 | Mihwa Kim
Talk 96 | Casey McNerthney
Talk 97 | Sasha Myerson
Talk 98 | Tim Lloyd
Talk 99 | David Pierre-Louis
Talk 100 | Ross Maddox

NerdNite[44]: Car Hacking and Banana Snacking!

Nerd Nite Seattle
LUCID
Monday, July 20
7:30 (Doors open at 6:30)
Admission: $5

Talk #1: Banana Bonanza! A Brief History of the Bizarre Berry
Marielle Saums

One of the world’s most consumed fruits, the banana is bland but far from boring. The Cavendish variety found in grocery stores today bears little resemblance to the bananas first cultivated in Papua New Guinea 10,000 years ago. From banana republics to clone wars, learn how the economy and ecology of this freakish fruit changed the world at this month’s Nerd Nite!

Marielle Saums previously gave a Nerd Nite talk about botanical explorers. Her favorite banana dish is the Elvis sandwich.

Talk #2: Vroom, vroom, crash — why it’s so hard to fix your own car (and so easy to hack into it)
Krunal Desai

Why does it cost $400 to change a headlight sometimes? What happened to the good old days of being able to fix your car with duct tape and WD-40? Vehicles are now filled to the brim with computers that are black boxes to the user — but not to hackers! Learn about the details of modern vehicle electronics, why you can’t really fix stuff yourself anymore, and why it’s easy for folks to send you careening of the road if they so choose!

Krunal is an electrical engineer who bailed on the auto industry to work on spacecraft. As a German car owner, the realities of simple repairs turning into multi-day, very expensive jobs are sadly all too familiar.

Next Nerd Nite
Nerd Nite Seattle is every 3rd Tuesday of the Month

6:30 doors, 7:30 talks
Happy Hour From 6:30-7:30!
$5 cover
High Dive Seattle
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