Nerd Nite East Bay #49: Asteroid Law, Dragonflies, and Cognitive Dissonance

Poster by Rebecca Cohen

Poster by Rebecca Cohen.

Join Nerd Nite East Bay’s Expert Speakers on Monday Jan 30th for

Buying Your Own Moon Base!
Dragonfly Nymphs!
Your Brain on Calories and Cognitive Dissonance!

Mingle from 7-8PM with games of New Year’s Resolution Bingo for prizes, have savory pies from The Pie Shop and macaroons from Shades of Sugar while KALX’s own Rubberband Girl plays tunes, and grab a drink to enjoy as the talks begin at 8PM.

Experience your own cognitive dissonance by being there and being square. Early bird tickets just $8, tickets $10 at the door.

Club 21, Oakland
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So You’d Like to Buy an Asteroid
Property Law in Outer Space

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Businesses are already selling plots of land on the Moon and Mars, and some very rich people have invested in asteroid-mining companies. But—assuming you could actually get to these places—is it even legal to own extraterrestrial property? How would you stake a claim and navigate the Outer Space Treaty? And should you really buy moon rocks from mysterious Honduran military officers?

Kevin Underhill writes Lowering the Bar, the leading legal-humor site on the web. He has a J.D. from Georgetown University and is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon. Most of his work you’d find pretty dull, but he did once represent a guy who had a moon rock that his dad got from Richard Nixon. Kevin is also the author of The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance (2013), a book about weird laws.

Enter the Dragon
The Weird, Wild, Wonderful Life of Dragonfly Nymphs

While dragonflies are known as big, loud, colorful creatures, the winged adult represents only a short period of a dragonfly’s life. Dragonfly nymphs live underwater, with a unique morphology and physiology highly adapted to their sometimes dangerous environment. Learn how dragonflies live, thrive and survive before they take to the air.

Chris Beatty is an evolutionary ecologist with interests in adaptation, speciation and biogeography. He is currently the president of the Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity section of the Entomological Society of America, which allows him to hang out with lots of fellow bug geeks. When he’s not in the field, he balances his time between his research and being a first-time father.

Your Zombie Ate Those Cookies
How the Brain Adapts to Cognitive Dissonance

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We have all felt the mental conflict that comes with eating a dozen cookies or not exercising enough. To rid ourselves of the mental discomfort that comes with unhealthy habits, our minds come up with justifications like “I’m too busy, too stressed out…” The brain’s ability to reframe a subject is just one way cognitive dissonance can turn you into a calorie-consuming zombie. Learn the brain mechanisms behind cognitive dissonance and what you can do to game your brain into making more rational decisions.

Maren Connary is a Senior Innovation Consultant on Kaiser Permanente’s Innovation & Advanced Technology team. She works on large-scale innovation projects that facilitate behavior change, optimize user experience, and promote the use of emerging technologies.

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