> Nerd Nite No. 8, November 9, 2011

Nerd Nite No. 8, November 9, 2011

What’s up Nerds.

The next Nerd Nite is drawing near:

Wednesday, November 9th

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue

doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 pm

Free Nerdiness: NO COVER!

Food and drink specials include: $6 beer + pretzel and $8 beer + sausage to enjoy in a veritable sea of tables and chairs.

The lectures at hand:

“Art, deception and image processing” by Jay Parrish
We normally use image processing to look at the Earth (essentially the reflectance spectra of plants and rocks). But the same technology can be used to examine pieces of art. When we do so we need to keep in mind how we can deceive ourselves or  how we can be deceived.  We’ll look at how magic is done, and how knowing neuroscience can be helpful in image interpretation. When we’re done you should have a better idea of how to forge a masterpiece. 

Bio: Jay Parrish is Professor of Practice in the Penn State University Dutton e-Education Institute, teaching remote sensing. He has previously been State Geologist of Pennsylvania, Director of GIS for Lancaster County, Director of RE Wright’s Forensic image analysis, a volunteer with the Mennonites, a college professor (BGSU), Ball Aerospace employee at JPL (radar geobotany), and a geophysicist at Mobil Oil and Geospectra Corporations. He cannot hold a job.

“Demystifying Acupuncture” by Caroline Grace Ashurst

Caroline Grace Ashurst, L.Ac., M.Ac., a practicing Acupuncturist in Philadelphia, intends to shed light on the practice of acupuncture by offering information to enlighten, inform, and inspire.  She plans on challenging preconceived notions and engaging curiosity while delivering the principles of this complementary modality.

“Sexy Serpent Smells: a Sense of Snake Scents” by Rocky Parker

Imagine sitting on the barely-thawed ground of a field, surrounded by flattened yellow grass and bare trees. Then you hear a rustle, some thrashing, more rustling… then out from the grass pop one, two, ten, twenty little brown and yellow heads staring blankly into the spring air. They delicately flick their glossy black tongues and tick their heads in random directions before indulgently returning to the scents of sex saturating the ground. Every spring, garter snakes emerge in the tens of thousands from limestone sinkholes on the midwest plains in search of one thing: sex. After 8 months of life at 0.5 degrees, they are willing and able to seek out mating opportunities… and as many as possible in the tumultuous four week scramble of spring. The one cue males need to locate and choose between mates is the female sex pheromone. But sometimes, things are not always what they seem. Sometimes, there are males that smell like females. I will discuss different aspects of the garter snake mating system, with special focus on how pheromones are used to coordinate reproduction in this (and maybe all?) snake species.

Bio: Rocky Parker is a physiologist who specializes in endocrinology and molecular biology. He is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. His previous research centered on snake reproductive physiology and chemical ecology. He is now studying the physiology and molecular biology of taste cells… and he can slay Bohemian Rhapsody… a cappella.

Entertainment by: The Philadelphia String Quartet

To Frankford Hall via public transport: from the Market Frankford Line, get off at Girard Station and go east on Girard Avenue (toward Johnny Brenda’s, away from the Piazza).  Make a left on Frankford Avenue, and Frankford Hall will be on your left side.

See you there!

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