NERD NITE SF #42: Genomes, Vibrators, and Your Brain!
Welcome back to dry land after the splendors of the ship-bound edutainment of Nerd Nite at Sea! It turns out there IS such a thing as the opposite of sea legs: mal de débarquement. But the dizziness will be swiftly allayed if you follow our Rx: alcoholic beverages by the Rickshaw Stop; music by Alpha Bravo; and a consultation with our three PhDs on the power of genomes, the saga of the vibrator, and the history of the original personal computer, your brain. Be there and be square!
"Unleashing the Power of Genomes" by Moisés Bernal
Love, God, end, universe, genome--these words have something in common: Their definitions can be unclear, and discussions on these matters can quickly spin off into knotty philosophical debates. What is a genome, anyway? And why is its study so important in evolutionary biology? This talk will address these questions, describe the main techniques that scientists use to unleash the genome's power, and reveal some exciting findings of the past couple of years. Unfortunately, this talk will not alleviate your existential and spiritual fuzziness, but, hey, that's what beer is for!
Moisés is a PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin currently conducting his research from the California Academy of Sciences. He is also a mediocre bassist; terrible guitarist; and bike-riding, beer-imbibing, and live-music enthusiast.
"Hysterical Paroxysms: The Amazing History of the Vibrator" by Carol Queen, PhD
Learn the history of our favorite "socially camouflaged" technology: the vibrator! From doctor's office implement, where it was used starting in the 1880s to treat the "female trouble" called hysteria, to common household appliance promising "health, vigor, and beauty"--not to mention star turns in early-20th-century stag movies and the late-20th-century women's sex toy revolution--the vibrator has had one of the most fascinating careers of any consumer product.
Carol is Good Vibrations' staff sexologist, curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum, and runs the Center for Sex & Culture.
"The History of Your Brain" by Erica Warp, PhD
Congratulations! You made it from one fertilized cell to trillions of cells that work together to make a body that breathes, digests, and goes to lectures in bars. If you're not already amazed by this, I hope you will be by the end of this talk, especially when it comes to the development of your super-complicated brain. How the heck did you build a computer inside your head?! Learn the steps your brain made, the roles genes and non-genes played, and how you are still developing today.
Erica is a developmental neuroscientist and artist turned educator and entrepreneur. She is the founder of the brain education company Kizoom and mom to Ned the Neuron.
NNSF t-shirts are still here! $20. Designed by our über-talented DJ, poster artist, and now t-shirt maker, Alpha Bravo. He'll also be spinning tunes specially selected for the presenters' themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.