We’re not gonna lie: September’s Nerd Nite East Bay lineup allows a pretty awesome opportunity for you to grab a drink and learn about some pretty fascinating topics. Audience-favorite Patrick House will review the neuroscience basis…and legal consequences…of lies; Sarah Gold McBride will discuss the science…and historical pseudoscience…of hair; and Eric Cheng will discuss flying…and landing…drones on active volcanoes.
Rick, Rebecca, and the Oakland Public Library will be hanging from telephone wires.
NOTE: October’s Nerd Nite East Bay will be a week early, on 10/24, in honor of both the Bay Area Science Festival and Halloween.
Be there and be square.
This event is 21+.
Monday 9/26/2016 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. Your CC statement will denote these come from Drinkified Learning, LLC. We will strive to allow some purchases at the door for $10 (cash or card), but we sometimes sell out. tix fb
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Everything But the Truth: The Legal and Scientific Implications of a Lie by Patrick House
People must constantly create, separate, manage, and keep track of fictional and non-fictional worlds, partly to avoid collisions between the two. A famous psychology study—“What Does Batman Think About Spongebob?”—revealed that kids only slowly understand that fictional worlds are branches of non-fictional ones. But the rules of how to create fictional worlds, even for adults, are messy and complicated. Why are we so bad at counterfactuals? What happens when the legal system is put in charge of telling non-fiction from fiction? (I.e. The totally bizarre legal complications when memoirs are found to be false.) What does it mean that many bookstores around the world don’t even have different categories for fiction and non-fiction? Does it, ultimately, matter?
Patrick House has a Ph.D. in neuroscience and a postdoc in genetics from Stanford. He studied that one cat parasite—you know the one—that makes mice less afraid of cats. He writes for The New Yorker and Slate and hopes, one day, to remake the 1982 horror film “Cat People”, on which he based all of his graduate research.
“Of A Perfect Hair”: A Cultural History of Science, Race, and Human Hair by Sarah Gold McBride
In the nineteenth century, Americans from different regions, racial groups, class backgrounds, and political inclinations shared a surprising belief: that hair exposed the truth about the person from whose body it grew. A careful examination of the color, texture, length, or shape of a person’s hair had the power to reliably reveal character and identity—whether, for example, that person was ambitious, courageous, or criminally inclined. One important way that Americans elaborated the meaning of hair was through scientific investigations of its structure and function. Yet the science of hair was never purely academic or objective. Like other contemporary pseudosciences, hair science had a social motive: to naturalize social hierarchies and power differentials. And in no realm of nineteenth-century life were the stakes higher than when it came to race, where the shape of a single strand of hair might mean the difference between enslavement and freedom.
Sarah Gold McBride is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department at UC Berkeley. She specializes in the social and cultural history of the United States. Her dissertation examines the meaning of hair in nineteenth century America, and its relationship to science, popular culture, identity, and power.
Flying Drones into Volcanoes by Eric Cheng
A couple years ago on a whim, Eric organized an exploratory trip to capture low-altitude drone footage of a volcano eruption in Iceland. Less than half a year later, the technology had improved so much that he and his team were able to live stream from the volcano on Good Morning America. In this talk, Eric will share how drones have unlocked a totally new perspective for everyday creators. Once the domain of innovators and makers, drone photography has become mainstream. Eric will share how to take advantage of the rapid pace of technological advances and show how these days anyone can live broadcast from a drone.
Eric Cheng is an award-winning photographer, technologist, drone expert, and author. He publishes Wetpixel.com, the leading underwater-photography community on the web, and writes about his aerial-imaging pursuits at skypixel.org. In October 2015, Peachpit published Eric’s first book, Aerial Photography and Videography Using Drones. He is currently at Facebook as Head of Immersive Media.