2nd Nerd Nite-A-Thon (Virtual) Tuesday April 14, 2020

Our second Nerd Nite-A-Thon (Virtual) will be Tuesday April 14, 2020 starting at 7pm EDT / 4pm PDT. Watch/view at http://www.facebook.com/nerdnite
Enjoy seven of our favorite presentations from across North America and one from our pals in Melbourne (it’ll be Wednesday afternoon for them…the International Date Line is weird). Enjoy drinking and learning from the comfort of your PJs. We’ll toast you while online. The in-progress line-up:

7pm-7:30pm EDT (Nerd Nite St. Petersburg, FL): Loose Lips Sink Ships (And Try not to Get Syphilis): When Altruism Meets Artillery by Linsey Grove

Description: We explore the historic role propaganda played in public health communication and ask if the ends justify the means. What happens when public health messaging goes from lithograph to meme?

Bio: Linsey Grove, DrPH, CPH, CHES is a sex education researcher working at the University of South Florida St Petersburg as a visiting instructor and program coordinator for the Health Sciences degree. She is also the president of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and co-host of the public health podcast, Viral. Dr. Grove co-chairs the Empowering Pinellas Youth Collaborative, a community-driven initiative that supports comprehensive sex education in Pinellas Schools.

7:30pm-8pm EDT (Nerd Nite Orlando): So…You Want To Get The Gell Off This Planet? by Derek Demeter

Description: Climate change, pandemics, war, a horrible president. All good reasons to blast off into space and find a new home to live on. But is it really that simple? Join the Emil Buehler Planetarium director Derek Demeter as we take a look at the reality of finding a new home in the cosmos.

Bio: Derek Demeter began working at the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College of Florida in 2003. In 2007, Mr. Demeter became the Planetarium Director and immediately began the process of writing and producing shows for the Planetarium. Since then, his passion for teaching people about the wonders of the universe has earned him many accolades and world-wide recognition. Derek recently served as president of the Southeastern Planetarium Association. Derek enjoys promoting science beyond the Planetarium with his work as an astrophotographer and has been featured in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day, Astronomy Magazine, and other publications.

8pm-8:30pm EDT / 7pm CDT (Nerd Nite Madison): Magnificent Mangroves: Adaptations, Biodiversity, and Outlook by Tyler Wintermute

Description: From their unique adaptations to their benefits to biodiversity, mangroves are marvels of estuarine ecosystems. With a global distribution, these plants are ubiquitous in the tropics, but unfortunately, they face many threats that should be concerning to the denizens of the 43rd parallel north (and the rest of the world). So bundle (your vascular tissues) up, prop (root) yourself in a chair, and join us as we absorb the waves of mangrove knowledge!

Presenter Bio: A native of Northern Virginia, Tyler is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Botany at UW-Madison, and while his true passion are the trees of the people (Populus species, a.k.a. cottonwoods, aspens, and poplars) and their chemical ecology, he is fascinated and inspired by the life history of mangroves and their benefits to other biota. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring swamps, watching sports, and playing board-games. And taking care of plants. Lots of plants.

8:30pm-9pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT (Nerd Nite Lawrence): Cult Cinema by Andy Farkas

Description: Since the term “cult” is used to define movies as diverse as Fight Club and Plan 9 From Outer Space, Apocalypse Now! and The Breakfast Club, Reefer Madness and Citizen Kane, there are obviously myriad definitions for what a “cult” film actually is. In this talk, I’ll go through a few different definitions and give some examples.

Bio: Andrew Farkas is the author of a novel, The Big Red Herring (KERNPUNKT Press 2019), and two collections of short fiction: Self-Titled Debut (Subito Press 2009) and Sunsphere (BlazeVOX [books] 2019). He is the fiction editor for The Rupture and an Assistant Professor of English at Washburn University.

9pm-9:30pm EDT / 8pm CDT (Nerd Nite Austin): Marvel Underground: What Disney Doesn’t Know it Owns by Kevin Garcia

Description: The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought superheroes into the mainstream, but few (even few at Disney) know how many strange and obscure properties were part of Marvel. Did you know Marvel made stag magazines? Or drug-fueled underground comix? Or that they bought companies that bought companies that bought companies meaning Disney technically owns the Men in Black?

Bio: Kevin Garcia is a certified educator and professional writer whose work has appeared in the Associated Press and Marvel Comics. He gives a variety of workshops, moderates panels, and teaches journalism and graphic design at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin. His work can be found at www.KevinGarcia.com or www.Monomythic.com.

9:30pm-10pm EDT / 7:30pm MDT (Nerd Nite Greenville, NC): Your DNA & the Snacks You Eat by Chris Balakrishnan

Description: Twenty years at a cost of about 3 billion dollars, scientists described the sequence of the whole human genome. At the time, there were some misguided notions that knowledge of the genome would allow us to perfectly predict nearly everything about ourselves. For totally predictable reasons, this has not quite panned out. At the same time we HAVE started to learn some truly fascinating things about how humans differ from each other and from other species. This presentation focuses your genome and its relationship with your diet. Why are so many people lactose intolerant? Is basing our diet on your blood type a reasonable thing to do? Why does asparagus make your pee smell weird? (I’m not actually going to talk about that.) What about those omega3 fatty acids?

Bio: Despite this presentation being about humans, Chris actually studies birds for a living. Chris is a professor at East Carolina University, though he is currently on leave from that job doing a temporary stint at the National Science Foundation. Despite these things, his real claim to fame is being the founder of Nerd Nite. Don’t let that fact raise your expectations at all, but do join in for what is sure to be a trainwreck of a presentation.

10pm-10:30pm EDT / 7pm PDT (Nerd Nite North Vancouver): Teaching Science Virtually (Taught Virtually) by Kurtis Baute

Description: Kurtis will talk about some of the his bigger projects, including the time he spent 24 hours not touching plastic. This talk is intended to be a full-on crash course in making fun and engaging science videos!

Bio: Kurtis is an Inventor, Scientist and YouTuber, who makes videos about science and the environment and he thinks that in order to take on big issues like climate change, the world needs to be more science literate, so he does things like seal himself in a DIY bio-dome to talk about how we interact with the atmosphere, measure the earth with just his bike and two sticks, or goes zero waste in just 90 days!  Kurtis recently decided to move from Youtube videos to making documentary films.

10:30pm-11pm EDT / 1:30pm-2pm AEDT on April 15 (Nerd Nite Melbourne, AUS): Holy Forking Shirtballs: The Philosophy of the Good Place by Aaron Grinter @PhilosophyGrin

Description: Around 14 billion years ago, the universe began. Sometime later, the television show ‘The Good Place’ came into being. The premise is simple: Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in non-denominational heaven after a tragic accident involving margarita mix and a truck full of Viagra. The problem is, there was a mixup, she doesn’t belong in heaven and she is actually a horrible person, who lived a life of alcoholism and scamming the elderly. In order to not get kicked out of heaven, she vows to become a good person. How does she plan to do it? With the power of philosophy. We explore some of the key philosophical ideas that The Good Place taught you without you realising it. I can’t promise that I can get you into heaven, but I can promise you that you will understand more about deontology than you did before.

Bio: Aaron is (mercifully) about to complete his PhD and teaches at Swinburne University. His field is philosophy and the aim of his research is prove to his parents that getting a degree in philosophy wasn’t a complete waste of time. His thesis synthesises ecology, economics, and social theory to construct an epistemology of sustainability. In his spare time, he enjoys growing houseplants and worrying about his PhD. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, his dog features prominently throughout his thesis.

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