Nerd Nite East Bay #40: Hashashin, The 1st Amendment, and Addicted to Love

NNEB-2016-03

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.


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This month, we’re running early nerd specials. Get your tickets early.

March’s Nerd Nite East Bay features three tales of madness with no basketball involved. First, learn about early assassins from Arthur Kay, then look into the first amendment with James Wheaton, and finally: the neuroscience of love by the Exploratorium‘s Alex Pinigis.

Doors will open promptly at 7. Ann-Marie Benz may run Nerd Nite Detention again (more details to come).

The bar also opens at 7 and Plate Craft Catering will sell food.

Rick, Rebecca, DJ Citizen Zain, and the Oakland Public Library put the Madness in March.

Be there and be square.

This event is 21+.

Monday 3/28/2016
Doors (+food,drink,"Detention" preshow) at 7 pm, talks start at 8 pm and end by 10:30 pm
Club 21, 2111 Franklin St, Oakland
(two blocks from the 19th St BART)

Advance tickets are $8 (or less with Early Nerd discounts) and are available until 3PM the day of the show or until they sell out.
Your CC statement will denote these come from Drinkified Learning, LLC.
Any door tickets will be $10 (cash or card).

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Kill Smarter Not Harder: The Story of the Hashashin by Arthur Kay

At the height of the Crusades, from roughly 1100 to 1250, a small but devoted group of weirdos was able to carve out an area of relative peace in the Middle East. It was not a perfect peace, but for a hundred and fifty years they encouraged scholarship and agriculture, and held their own against both the Christian crusaders and Saladin. History knows them as the Hashashin, the original assassins. They were feared and hated, and much maligned, and this is their story.

Arthur has a Master’s degree in research psychology, a JD, and is a fellow with Odd Salon, which is how he comes to be giving nerdy talks in the first place. He knows where the Black Dahlia is buried, here in Oakland, just about five minutes away from where a Romanoff princess and Dr. Blood are buried. He has a lifelong passion for outré history, which is basically an endless ocean that we get to sail in tonight for a little while.

Why is the 1st Amendment First? by James Wheaton

The First Amendment to the US Constitution is probably the best known amendment. Free Speech. Religious Freedom. Freedom of the Press. Right to Assemble. Right to Petition. There a lot packed in there. But why is it there at all — why was it added so soon after the Constitution was written (and why was it left out of the original)? And of the first ten amendments that we call the “Bill of Rights” why is the First, well, the first? Encomiums have been written and spoken about its primacy of place, but it’s all hooey. Let’s find out why it was added, and why it is first.

James Wheaton is a lawyer and a kayaker and a Burner and a professor, plus he owns a piece of NNEB’s former location — The New Parkway Theater. He runs two non-profits in Oakland, including The First Amendment Project, a public interest law firm for activists, journalists, artists and other trouble makers. He comes by his Nerd cred for realz: he is adjunct faculty at the Graduate Schools of Journalism at Stanford and Berkeley where he teaches the Journalism Law seminars (when the Big Game is played he always roots for the home team). He is also a proud member of Burning Nerds. He’s been named Lawyer of the Year three times by California Lawyer and was recently named one of “California’s Top 100 Lawyers”; his gf already knew he was a top but was glad to see it confirmed in print.

Addicted to Love: The Neuroscience of Love and Addiction by Alex Pinigis

Most are familiar with the thrill of new romance, but probably fewer of us have felt the rush of cocaine or amphetamines. Joins us for a quick-and-dirty tour of the brain and the neural networks involved in these and related sensations. Learn how they are similar, how they are different, and whether Robert Palmer is full of shit when he tells you you’re addicted to love!

Alex Pinigis can’t say exactly when he got his first hit of science, but they certainly got him early. He’s been jonesing for his next fix since at least middle school. In high school, he started getting it free by working as a High School Explainer at the Exploratorium, a local supplier. He got his BS (Big Score) in Neuroscience at Cal, and after working as a producer at a retinal neuroscience lab on the Berkeley Campus for a year, eventually made his way back to the Exploratorium. Alex currently works there as a biologist, making sure we get the next generation hooked early.

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