Nerd Nite 65: Comic Con Origins, Insatiable Alcibiades, Dark Matter Detection

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  • $8 advance tix/$10 at the door
  • Monday June 25, 2018
    • 7PM: Doors and Games
    • 8PM: Talks
  • Club 21, 2111 Franklin St, Oakland
    • 2 blocks from 19th St BART
  • 21+
  • FB event

Mind Over (Dark) Matter: How Scientists Invent New Ways to Detect Dark Matter

Learn why the search for dark matter takes us deep underground to a former gold mine and requires 20% of the world’s entire supply of xenon, and why the “unsuccessful” LUX detector actually taught us a lot about our universe without seeing anything at all. Then follow the path from new hardware to new data to new breakthroughs as the new LZ detector races to identify the elusive dark matter particles that make up 95% of our reality, and why finding them is so important.

Lucie Tvrznikova works on direct dark matter detection at the Berkeley Lab in her PhD studies. Originally from Prague, she is part of the LUX and LZ dark matter collaborations and built a spark-making detector at LBL called XeBrA. She enjoys getting her hands dirty in her work and joined CrossFit so she could tighten all the nuts and bolts.

The Insatiable Alcibiades of Athens

Beautiful geniuses come in many forms, and the legendary Alcibiades of Athens was likely the most absurd. A brilliant tactician in war, a stunning orator, obscenely wealthy, and attractive beyond compare, he carried on with Plato, then heroically led Athens to victory over the Spartans before switching sides and leading Spartan armies back against Athens, all while bedding the King’s wife. Put on your Nerd Nite toga and follow the *quite* circuitous path of one of history’s most ridiculous characters.

Teddy de Groot graduated from the UW Madison’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, but has taken an inexplicable interest in classical studies and the history that was written before all the stories were ruined by Germans and their 19th century socioeconomic explanations for everything.

The Comic Con Origin Story

Delve deep into the prequel-worthy origin stories of sci-fi fandom and Comic Con in America. Find out how Comic Con went from a small gathering of the world’s most passionate comics fans at the Hotel Coronado to the modern behemoth that drove comics, science fiction and cosplay into the cultural mainstream. Plus hear reports from the very first World Science Fiction Convention in 1939, attended by aspiring young writers Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, where the founder of science fiction fandom Forrest J Ackerman introduced the first known cosplay.

Bob Calhoun is the author of Shattering Conventions. He writes the Yesterday’s Crimes feature for SF Weekly, a monthly column and video feature for Meetings Today, the trade magazine covering the conventions industry, and wrote “Blood, Beer and Cornmeal”, chronicling his experiences as a wrestler in San Francisco’s own Incredibly Strange Wrestling League in the 1990s.

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