> Nerdnite August 30: Elves and orcs…and laser mind control

Nerdnite August 30: Elves and orcs…and laser mind control

O Nerds of Boston (and environs),

The latest exciting edition of Nerdnite is on tap for Monday August 30, at the Middlesex (details below). Those of you making your way back to town for the start of the fall semester — or possibly showing up for the first time — are going to arrive just in time for a fantastic night of nerdery. I can’t tell you how eager I am to hear both of these presentations…. One of our speakers has written a book that is so perfect for a Nerdnite talk that it really should have been the first title from Nerdnite Press…if only there were such a thing. Even though there isn’t, we’re doing the second-best thing: We’re celebrating the release of the paperback version of Ethan Gilsdorf’s “Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks” by having him come in to tell us his story.

And the other speaker — how could he top that? Well, he’ll be explaining how he can control your brain with lasers. Trust me folks – this one is not to be missed. As always, DJ Claude Money will provide the nerd-appropriate tunes.

The talks:
1. “Mind Control and Optogenetics: How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Virus”
by Azriel Ghadooshahy

Azriel is a graduate student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT. His current work aims to elucidate neural primitives of how the brain’s executive control system copes with environmental uncertainty and unpredictability. These studies employ optogenetics, a revolutionary technology that enables selective manipulations of neural circuits with light. Ostensibly, his goal is advancing scientific progress and discovering new therapies for incurable diseases of the brain. However, his other motivations may or may not include mind control and world domination.

2. “Tolkien, D&D, RPGs, MMOs and me: one geek’s personal journey there
and back again through fantasy and gaming subcultures.”
by Ethan Gilsdorf

Back in the Reagan Administration, Ethan Gilsdorf played Dungeons &
Dragons every Friday night from 8th grade to senior year in high
school, read a crapload of science fiction and fantasy, and wasted his
allowance playing Galaga and Robotron 2084 at his local arcade. Now
he’s all growed up (mostly) and felt compelled to explore his geeky
past and present in his travel memoir / pop culture investigation
“Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks: An Epic Quest for Reality Among Role
Players, Online Gamers, and Other Dwellers of Imaginary Realms.”
Gilsdorf lives in Somerville, where he writes on arts, travel and pop
culture for the New York Times, Boston Globe, Christian Science
Monitor, Washington Post, and Psychology Today, and trawls the
Internet for rumors of the movie adaption of “The Hobbit.” More info:

Be There and Be Square!
Monday August 30, 8pm
Middlesex Lounge
315 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA

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