We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 100 cities across the globe during which several folks give 20-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. It’s like the Discovery Channel…with beer.
Doors open @ 7
Presentations @ 8
PRESENTATION #1: From Earth to Europa: Hunting for Hydrothermal Vents
by Andrew Branch
There are thought to be 8 bodies in our solar system with liquid oceans. Submersible craft with advanced artificial intelligence would be required to explore these worlds. In this talk, we will discuss some of the potential challenges with such a mission and the work that is currently being done in Earth’s oceans towards this goal.
Bio: Andrew Branch is a software engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In his time at JPL, he has focused on artificial intelligence for underwater vehicles. He has participated in multiple vehicle deployments, including a scientific cruise to the High Arctic in search of hydrothermal venting at Karasik Seamount.
PRESENTATION #2: The Dramatic Life of Garden Insects
by Rick Perillo
The vegetable gardener is never alone. There are over 100,000 insect species in North America, many of them at home in our edible gardens. In this presentation, we will pull back the plants to reveal a world where aphids have virgin births, wasps lay their eggs on the backs of caterpillars and ladybugs wage war with ants. We will learn how to invite this life into our gardens and why we want to.
Bio: Rick Perillo is an avid gardener who is continually exploring sustainable farming techniques. He has taught edible gardening for over 10 years at schools, non-profits, Pierce College, and currently at MUSE School. Rick is continually distracted from his work by the sight of pincher bugs and bees. You can learn more about his work at his website, The Carrot Revolution.
PRESENTATION #3: The Beauty of Death: Baroque Jeweled Skeletons
by Paul Koudounaris
Starting in the late sixteenth century, hundreds of skeletons unearthed in Rome and suspected of being Christian martyrs were sent to Northern Europe. Completely decorated in jewels and precious metal, they were set in Catholic churches as the ultimate display of Heavenly Glory. As tastes changed and questions arose about their provenance, they were hidden away and forgotten. Rediscovered, they remain magnificent as the greatest works of art ever created from the human body.
Bio: Paul Koudounaris has a PhD in Art History and specializes in the visual culture of death. His research has taken him to over 70 countries, and he is the author of three books about the ritual use of human remains in art. He lives in Los Angeles, and his cat, Baba, is a supermodel.