Talk 1 – “Books Made Out Of Science!” by Nellie McKesson
Talk 2 – “Comics and Healthcare” by Cathy Leamy
Let’s be honest, health care materials can be boring, confusing, and alienating: Dull handouts, complicated instructions for your meds, and walls and walls of scary text when what you really need is a friendly face.
You know what would help? COMICS!
Comics provide an amazing communication format that can engage and entertain readers, simplify complex topics, cater to different learning styles, and even foster a sense of empathy and community. And thanks to technology, just about anyone can make and distribute them.
The best part is, there are people in the medical world who already know about this! Clinicians, educators, and patients are all contributing to a “graphic medicine” movement, producing material ranging from illness memoirs and instructional books to new techniques of training future doctors.
Cathy Leamy is a web application developer at Massachusetts General Hospital by day and an indie cartoonist by night. She is a member of the local comics collective Boston Comics Roundtable, and her work includes the humor/autobio series *Geraniums & Bacon* and the health awareness minicomic *Diabetes is After Your Dick!*
It’s Memorial Day! Head to the beach, take a hike, play hooky from work during the day, then join your fellow nerds in the evening to compare sunburns. This month is all about public health and potentially fatal diseases, which is totally fun! As ever, we’re at the Middlesex Lounge on Mass Ave in Cambridge. 8 PM, $5. DJ Claude Money spins the illest 45s from his collection of rare and hard-to-finds, guaranteed to infect your subconscious.
Talk 1 – “Poopfrastructure, or Why You Should Start Your Own Poovolution” by Lauren Burgunder
POOP! We all think poop is gross (or hilarious for the mature of us). We tend to excrete it and flush it, never to think of it again. But maybe it deserves a little more love. Lauren will discuss some of the wonders of poop (because there are many) but mostly look at the evolution of our want to forget about it and the many forms “forgetting about it” have taken. We will discuss the infrastructure (or poopfrastructure if you will (EDIT: Oh, we totally will)) that has allowed us to forget and the global impacts of that decision.
Lauren became a poop enthusiast while completing her Masters in Public Health. She wrote many papers on diarrheal diseases and went to Guatemala to complete a sanitation needs assessment. She asked lots of women what they liked about their toilet and you should come prepared to answer the same question. Last year she returned to Guatemala for six months to start preventative health programs at a woman’s cooperative in Guatemala City. She is happy to report that she is headed to medical school in the fall!
Talk 2 – “Triple E & Me” by Asim A. Ahmed, M.D.
Asim is an instructor at Children’s Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. After medical training at Baylor College of Medicine and UCSF, he completed a pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia followed by subspecialty training in pediatric infectious diseases here in Boston at Children’s/HMS. Asim will use these credentials to scare the crap out of us by telling the story of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a highly pathogenic, often fatal, mosquito-borne virus in New England.
Be there and be square!
Calling all design nerds! This month’s nite of nerdery is especially for you. We teamed with the BSLA‘s Emerging Professionals Committee to bring you two design-focused talks. Meet us on Monday night to learn how that beautiful digital fabrication device got to your desktop and discuss the impact and scale of the design process.
Talk 1 – “Impact and Scale” by Lee Moreau
There was a time when the impact of a particular design was directly correlated to the specificity of the brief, the scope of the project, and the size of the intervention? (Kind of quaint, right?) This talk will use some recent projects to begin a conversation about how the impact of design (project, process, ambition) has continued its separation from the scale of design and of the design process.
As an architect, Lee combines a unique capacity for complex systems thinking with a deeply empathic perspective, which he uses to critically engage and re-imagine the contemporary world. Lee has worked on service design projects for a diverse group of clients that blur the boundaries between content and experience. Lee is a principal at Continuum and a founding partner of the architectural research office Project_.
Talk 2 – “Innovation in Digital Fabrication: Creating the 1st Affordable 3D Printer” by Maxim Lobovsky
3D printing has been around for three decades, but has largely remained too expensive and complex for wider adoption. Formlabs, a Cambridge based company focused on innovation in digital fabrication, is disrupting the industry with a high resolution, low-cost desktop 3D printer for professional designers, engineers, and makers. Maxim will give a broader overview on 3D print technology and speak about the work that went into designing an affordable desktop printer.
Maxim, along with his two co-founders (Natan and David), started Formlabs in 2011 after meeting as graduate students at the MIT Media Lab. With strong roots in the Fab@Home and Fab Lab movements, Maxim has led the technical development of the Form 1.
Be there and be square.
Join the Museum of Science, Cambridge Science Festival, and Nerd Nite Boston in welcoming Emily Anthes to the next Science Author Salon! This series of events occurs at a variety of venues around town and features bright minds from around the world who’ve recently put their ideas on paper. The evening kicks off with a social hour, allowing nerds to socialize with the author and one another. Immediately following are a few words from the guest of honor. Emily will read from and/or talk about her new book, Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts. Q+A and conversation with Emily will take place after her remarks.
Please join us on Wednesday, April 17, at Zuzu in Central Square! Our gracious venue encourages you select from a menu of unique animal alterations and vegetarian delights. Enjoy classic cocktails cloned from old favorites. Bring a friend and meet some extraordinary new beasts. Explore science’s new tool box for tinkering with life and snag a signed copy of Frankenstein’s Cat.
Who: Museum of Science, Cambridge Science Festival & Nerd Nite Boston
What: Science Author Salon featuring Emily Anthes, journalist and author specializing in telling the stories of science
For centuries, we’ve toyed with our creature companions, breeding dogs that herd and hunt, housecats that look just like tigers, and teacup pigs that fit snugly in our handbags. But what happens when we take animal alteration a step further, engineering a cat that glows green under ultraviolet light or cloning the beloved family Labrador? In Frankenstein’s Cat, journalist Emily Anthes takes us from petri dish to pet store as she explores how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends.
Where: Zuzu, 474 Massachusetts Avenue, Central Square, Cambridge
When: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 @ 6PM
RSVP and purchase tickets here.
Be there and be square!
Join us at the Middlesex for a Nerd Nite Boston three years in the making!
It all started one night at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, New York. A beautiful woman goes to Nerd Nite NYC to support a friend giving a talk on sex robots. A handsome man behind the bar serves her a drink. At the end of the night they exchange phone numbers. Three years go by. Between now and then, the pair falls madly in love, moves to Boston, makes significant career advances, parents an adorable dog, and hosts lavish Settlers of Catan parties. Oh, and now they’re our Nerd Nite Boston speakers for March.
Talk 1 – “Protecting Superman or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Intellectual Property” by Anderson Duff
After giving a brief history of copyright and trademark protection in the United States, Anderson will explore the creation of Superman, the little sex shop that could, and the how the Betamax opened the door for online file-sharing. While recent discussions of intellectual property often appear polarized between the tech community and vested interests, the truth is more nuanced. If you plan on arguing with anyone over intellectual property at some point in the future, this talk should provide you with plenty of fodder.
Anderson is an associate at a Boston-based law firm specializing in intellectual property. Before moving to Boston, he worked at NBC for a year, spending every lunch break in search of the bunk beds that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi installed at 30 Rock.
Talk 2 – “In Case You Didn’t Pay Attention in High School: Honest Sex Ed for Grown Ups” by Claudia Lux
For a lot of people, comprehensive and accurate sex education in high school was either scarring, boring or entirely non-existent. But now that we’re all grown up, there’s a lot of misinformation and confusion out there and not a lot of reliable forums to talk about it. At this Nerd Nite, Claudia plans on changing that. She will be discussing the most popular methods of birth control and how to use them–everything from the pill to pulling out–dispelling myths and answering any of your questions. And yes, she’s heard them all. From a room full of men in prison. While holding an anatomically correct penis model. So, bring it on.
Claudia Kilbourne Lux is a sexuality educator and reproductive health activist who has worked for many sexual health organizations in the U.S. and Amsterdam. She is very happy to be going second at Nerd Nite so everyone can get the liquid courage to ask questions. Otherwise she will be forced to spend the end of her time making condom balloon animals, which is admittedly not a strength.
Be there and be square.
Way more than love is in the air this month, folks. This February brings talk of the FUTURE. Join us for two delightfully informative presentations on space and robots. (Does it get any nerdier?)
Talk 1 – “The Future Prospects of Human Space Settlement” by Andrew Rader
Talk 2 – “Creative Robots & Law” by Rocky Acosta
Artificial intelligence is, simply put, “the science and engineering of making intelligent machines.” Quintessential examples of artificially intelligent machines include Hal from 2001 Space Odyssey or the robots from Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot series of short stories. Many of the things we think of when we think of applied artificial intelligence — such as understanding nuanced language, solving novel problems, or learning through experience — are just starting to be real phenomena. Machines have no intention of creating novel works, nor do they consider incentives as such. It remains an open question as to whom, if anyone, would get the rights if all the innovative or novel contributions were the work of a machine.
While self-aware killer robots remain within the realm of fiction, developments in the field of artificial intelligence are advancing our understanding of what computers are and what they are capable of being.
Rocky Acosta studies at Harvard Law School, is an avid technophile, and is big into media-tech & the experimental arts. Rocky blogs at Art Tech L@w, and is looking to represent SkyNet after the singularity frees our robot overlords.
Happy 2013, everyone! We’re back in action with two great talks lined up for your learning pleasure. First, Allison delivers a first-hand account of feminist geeks in the nerd world. Then Josh explains why he subjects children to fart spray. Good times! Come over!
Talk 1: “Gender & Nerd Culture: A Year in Review” by Allison Wilhelm
Allison is a recent graduate of Northeastern University, where she studied political science, law, sociology, and women’s studies. She was also involved in her school’s anime club and feminist student organization, making significant contributions to both clubs. Allison has been immersed in nerd culture since 2007 when she attended Anime Boston for the first time; she has been presenting panels on the intersection of feminism and all things nerdy since April of last year and hopes to present many more in the future. Allison’s favorite superheroes are Captain America and Wonder Woman; her favorite video game is Bioshock; her favorite anime changes frequently but she is a big fan of Blue Drop and Hell Girl. She also adores musical theater, Disney movies, shiny objects, ballet, and old-fashioned swing music.
Talk 2: “Aliens Behaving Badly: Children’s Acquisition of Novel Purity-Based Morals” by Josh Rottman
Moral development has long been heralded as a rational process through which children are increasingly able to reason logically about what is right and wrong in accordance with their cognitive maturity. Josh thinks this is mostly flat-out wrong. Instead, he argues that emotion (in addition to norm learning) is responsible for the childhood acquisition of moral beliefs. In order to gather evidence for this claim, Josh subjected dozens of seven-year-olds to the horrendous smell of Liquid ASS (TM) and asked them to make moral judgments about the unfamiliar behaviors of extraterrestrials.
After failing to attain his childhood career goals of becoming a magician/marine biologist/rabbi, Josh has become a professional question-asker to children. He hails from a small town in Colorado known for a chicken (Mike) that lived for 18 months without a head, and he is now a 20th grader in Psychology at Boston University.
Join us for a Nerd Nite party like no other! Your curators of cool, masters of merriment, arbiters of awesome, purveyors of puns, and teaching fellows of funk are throwing what promises to be the most festive of festive evenings. We’re trading in the Venn diagrams and PowerPoint presentations for nerdy holiday programming full of cheer.
Nerd Nite Yankee Swap! Make many friends and perhaps a few enemies during our regionally-appropriate gift-giving game. This is going to be great! To participate, RSVP here. (No cover charge for swappers. Limited to a maximum of 20 players. The nerdier the gift the better! For more details, click here.)
Funkin’ A, folks! We couldn’t be happier to host this band of singing nerds. An irreverent 7-part vocal band covering an eclectic mix of pop tunes and deep cuts from the 50s to the present, Funkin’ A! will delight. They will entertain.
Wear your festive best! Monday, December 17, 2012 | Middlesex Lounge | 9PM | $5
It’s time for Nerd Nite November! Meet us at the Middlesex for two enlightening talks on technology of different types and in different times. Deb Nicholson speculates on technology’s role in our dystopian future. Sam Shupe takes us on a ride down memory lane, sharing his knowledge of New England’s rich cycling history.
Talk 1 -”Technology and Dystopia: Do you dream of angry android sheep? by Deb Nicholson
Humor will be employed to explore the possible enslavement or eradication of humanity in our future. Deb will discuss several popular fictional dystopias set in humanity’s future and what technologies are in play that could help or hinder each scenario. John Gaventa’s framework for social power will be used to discuss the political and economic factors that will shape the human race’s destiny. Lastly, she’ll identify some of the underlying freedoms and educational efforts that she believes can help us avoid (or at least ameliorate) a dystopic future. During Q&A, the audience is invited to share or comment on technologies that keep them up at night worrying about the fate of the world.
Deb Nicholson works at the intersection of technology and social justice. She has been a free speech advocate, economic justice organizer, and civil liberties defender. After working in Massachusetts politics for fifteen years, she became involved in the free software movement. She is the Community Outreach Director at the Open Invention Network and the Community Manager at Media Goblin, a GNU project dedicated to building decentralized media hosting. She also serves on the board at Open Hatch, a non-profit dedicated to matching prospective free software contributors with communities, tools, and education. You can find her on identi.ca at @eximious or on freenode as freedeb. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Talk 2 – “Bicycle History and Culture in Maine and New England 1880-1900″ by Sam Shupe
I am excited to announce our first collaboration with the Museum of Science! They’re starting a brand new program for adults called the Science Author Salon. This series of events occurs at a variety of venues around town and features bright minds from around the world who’ve recently put their ideas on paper. The evening kicks off with a social hour, allowing nerds to mix and mingle with one another. Immediately following are a few words from the guest of honor. Tuesday the 13th’s author, George Church, will read from and/or talk about his latest book, “Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves.” There will be time for Q+A with George after his talk.
Please join us on Tuesday, November 13, at Ole in Inman Square! Our gracious venue encourages you to snack on genetically perfected Mexican bites and sip a mutating margarita. The Museum of Science and Nerd Nite encourage you to stick around for revolutionary conversation and snag a signed copy of “Regenesis.”
Who: Museum of Science & Nerd Nite Boston
What: Science Author Salon featuring George Church, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director of PersonalGenomes.org
Inside the laboratories of biotechnology, the science of synthetic biology is literally coming to life. When humans can control the genetic makeup of organisms, nature will no longer be the exclusive arbiter of life, death, and evolution. Join the conversation about how synthetic biology may hold the keys to improved health, increased longevity, halting global warming, and boosting genetic diversity.
Where: Ole Mexican Grill, 11 Springfield Street, Inman Square, Cambridge
When: Tuesday, November 13, 2012 @ 6PM $5
Be there and be square!