Aaron Burr after Hamilton: Conspiracy and Treason in the pre-America West
Nerd Nite brings you a live performance of Hamilton 2! (But sorry, no singing). After Aaron Burr was indicted for the murder of Alexander Hamilton, he left the Vice Presidency and made his way to the wild Western frontier, where he joined with the Governor of the Louisiana Territory in a conspiracy to gain control over land and begin their own new country west of the United States. With thrilling cameos from Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson, and the highest ranking officer in the U.S. Army, follow this true Trial of the Century as Burr is tried for treason against the United States of America, and see how this moment in history established how our society still thinks about treason, executive power, and the role of the U.S. judiciary in the modern world.
Pooja Nair presented at Nerd Nite LA and is a Los Angeles-based litigator and partner at TroyGould. In her spare time, she dives into her passion for U.S. legal history and has spoken about Alexander Hamilton’s legal career at venues including Hamilton Grange, Federal Hall, the Alexander Hamilton US Customs House, Morris-Jumel Mansion, and the Museum of American Finance. She’s the California Chapter President of the Alexander Hamilton Awareness Society and a graduate of Harvard Law School and UC San Diego.
————————————— How Tropical Tectonic Collisions Create Catastrophic Ice Ages
Could wet rocks in Indonesia save us from global warming? Earth’s current hospitable climate is defined by a mix of large temperate land areas and some parts of earth covered by ice sheets. But earth’s history has also had periods with no substantial land ice, contrasting with other periods known as “Snowball Earth” when our entire planet was covered in ice! Learn how the geological carbon cycle regulates Earth’s climate, see why a plate tectonic collision in the balmy tropics can lead to weird wet chemistry and planet-wide cooling, and learn how lucky we are to live on a self-regulating planet that has remained habitable by life in some form for over 3 billion years.
Nick Swanson-Hysell studies Earth’s past climate and reconstructs the ancient positions of the continents as an Assistant Professor of Earth and Planetary Science at UC Berkeley. His geological field work has had him studying rocks on all seven continents, while his office work has him moving entire continents (on a computer, which is a bit of a power trip).
————————————— How Toys Became (Too) Safe: Burned Fingers, Atomic Water, Exploding Sweaters and the FDA
With the holidays ho ho holmost here, get a brief and occasionally frightening history of American toy safety law from 1902 to 1973, with an emphasis on the sudden shift from the 1960s, when it was perfectly acceptable for companies to sell toys that sometimes injured children, to the 1970s, when Americans began to think about children and danger in a much different way. Learn how the inventor of the Erector Set irradiated a generation of children, see how popular deadly exploding sweaters were in the 1950s, discover how moms briefly triumphed over toy guys, and learn how the erratic progression of regulation by the FDA shows the evolving concept of childhood in America– and how it all went too far.
Danny Horn is a Product Director at the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization behind Wikipedia. He started the Muppet fansite Tough Pigs, followed by Muppet Wiki after receiving his Masters in sexuality education and spending ten years in non-profit education at an LGBT health center. Danny started working with the Wikimedia Foundation in 2014 and writes the blog Dark Shadows Every Day, about the vampire soap opera Dark Shadows. Danny thinks none of this adds up to any expertise about toy safety, except that he has a history of writing smart things about dumb things.
With music from DJ Rubberband Girl, drinks from Club 21, eats available for purchase from Grilled Cheese Guy, and info from the great Oakland Public Library.