Nerd Nite East Bay #1: Evolution, East Bay, and Electrochromism

Your favorite lecture-in-a-bar series launches in Oakland during the Bay Area Science Festival. Be there and be square!

DJ Citizen Zain and your hosts Ian Davis and Rick Karnesky will keep you entertained as you drink your Sunday away.

Sunday 10/28
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Stork Club, 2330 Telegraph
(less than half-a-mile from the 19th St BART)
$8
21+
FB event

CONTROLLING THE SUN WITH NANOCRYSTALS: CLEARLY SMARTER SMART WINDOWS by Memo Garcia

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Electrochromic “smart” windows, as most of us know them, consist of layered materials on glass, which change color or opacity when energized by an electrical current. Effective and energy saving. Sure, in a tinted-sunglasses kind of way, but imperfect for those of us who like looking out of such windows. Cutting-edge research in nanoscience has advanced the field beyond “does it seem darker in here?” however. By creating semiconductor nanocrystal coatings like those used in flat-screen TVs, a team of scientists at the Molecular Foundry at Lawrence Berkeley Labs have engineered even smarter smart windows, capable of controlling the amount of heat allowed to pass through from the sun while remaining completely transparent.

Memo Garcia is a grad student at the Molecular Foundry. If I’m any good at facebook stalking, it seems he does crossfit training when he’s not maximizing our personal comfort and defending our view of the world outside. But from my impression, crossfit training involves giving piggyback rides to people. I may not be a very good facebook stalker.

GLAMOUR AND CRIME IN THE FIVE AND DIME by Vivienne Pustell

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Once seen as an exciting destination to visit or a great place to settle down and live, Oakland is now seen as the punchline of jokes at its best, and A Scary, Bad Place at its worst. We’re all familiar with most of the problems Oakland faces, but how did it get this way? A city that once outshone San Francisco is now affectionately referred to as San Francisco’s Jan Brady. How did it happen, what are we still doing to perpetuate the problems, and how can we fight back?

Vivienne Pustell is a high school teacher in the Oakland Unified School District. An east coast transplant, she fell in love with the quirky history of the Bay Area and has spent a downright silly amount of time learning about it. Her other passions are reading anything that isn’t bolted down, finding every possible educational event in the Bay Area that also involves cocktails, and terrorizing her students with her unforgiving red pen.

INFIDELS, MAILMEN & BARNACLES: BUILDING CHARLES DARWIN’S UNIVERSE by Alex Lee

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Charles Darwin is famous today for his theory of evolution by natural selection, a discovery enabled by his insatiable curiosity, attention to detail, and obsessing more than most about the finches he found near South America. His voyage to South America on the HMS Beagle is what many of us are told about Darwin, but his journey to evolution was, of course, far more complicated. It starts centuries before Darwin, when the few who dared talked about evolution were labeled as infidels, and innovations in the postal system enabled decades of Darwin’s important research. Some of the stories sound like curious footnotes in the history of evolution, but they are part of the foundation of Charles Darwin’s life and discoveries. You’ll discover that the history of evolution and Darwin is far more than the voyage of the Beagle.

Alex Lee discovered his love of evolution and Charles Darwin at UC Davis where he got his B.S. in evolution and ecology. Even after leaving school he couldn’t stop reading about Darwin’s life. He’s now a docent at the California Academy of Sciences, where you can find him obsessing about invertebrates.

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