> Nerd Nite No. 33: December 4, 2013. Self-Optimization, Space Launches, and Dinosaur Extinction!

Nerd Nite No. 33: December 4, 2013. Self-Optimization, Space Launches, and Dinosaur Extinction!

Hey Nerds! We’re just a week away from the last Nerd Nite of 2013. We have a great line up, two anniversaries, a farewell, and a terrific line up to boot.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp 

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue

 

This is an extra special evening for the Philly Nerd Nite team.

  • For one, we are celebrating the 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the first ever Nerd Nite in Boston.
  • ALSO!  This is the 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the first ever Philly Nerd Nite!
  • More locally important, our long time Nerd boss Michelle is leaving for bigger and better nerdy things. Michelle, who we are sure will return as a spectator when she can, will be departing Philadelphia for the warmer climes on the campus of UVA where she has taken a job as assistant professor of Pharmacology. PLEASE consider stopping by to wish her well, thank her for growing NN Philly into today’s success AND hear her give a talk about something near and dear to her nerdy heart.

The talks at hand:
“Quantified Self – how to be a better nerd” by Russel Walters

All the Nerds are doing it – well they will be soon.  Quantified Self – self knowledge through numbers. From the Nike+ Fuelband, fitbit, body media, Zeo or just your iPhone there are many tools available to monitor yourself. Nerds everywhere are tracking their steps, heart variability, sleep, movement, posture, mood, diet, weight, their life. People have been self-tracking forever, but now the tools are easier, the hardware is smaller and more versatile, data is in the cloud and the user interface is nicer.  They promise to change health care, make us health and more productive… to optimize our lives.  Is all this self study really useful?

Bio: Russ earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. During graduate school, Russ co-founded the nanotechnology start-up Ocular Technologies. Ocular commercialized a patterned SAM coating for beer glasses, when water was applied to these patterned surfaces an image was produced with the water.  Now at Johnson & Johnson, Russ mostly studies the skin and how skin care products interact with the skin.  His current beer-related research mostly consists of quality control testing in various taverns throughout the Philadelphia region.

“Anatomy of a Space Shuttle Launch” by Joshua Moskowitz

Successfully launching any spacecraft, especially one as complex as the Space Shuttle, is the result of thousands of carefully planned and executed events.  It requires years of preparation, training, and hard work by thousands of people.   Anatomy of a Space Shuttle Launch will explore some of the events that take place before and after lift-off, when and why they must occur, and what can happen if they don’t.  Strap yourselves in and get ready, because what goes up doesn’t always have to come down.

Bio: From 2004 – 2010 Joshua Moskowitz worked as a Mechanical Systems Flight Control Officer in NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  He supported 19 space shuttle missions from the MCC while performing a variety of functions.  He also drank beer with astronauts and once made a paper clip chain nearly 3 feet long.

“K-T and the Iridium Band” by Michelle Bland

65 million years ago, three-quarters of Earth’s species went extinct.  It was a bad time for dinosaurs and a good time for mammals.  This extinction event is preserved in the rock layers that mark the end of the Cretaceous and the beginning of the Paleogene (formerly called the Tertiary). That dividing line in time, space and biodiversity – the K-T boundary – is one centimeter thick, and it contains multitudes.  Among the topics for discussion are: neutron activation analysis, iridium, disaster taxa, and Eugene Shoemaker’s greatness as a human being.

Bio: Michelle Bland is a biologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies insulin signaling by making fruit flies diabetic.  She is the co-founder and a boss of Philly Nerd Nite.  She likes dive bars and soul music.

Music by Nerd Nite alums Los Festingos
A Festingo: One whom expands the musical universe through creative, humorous, and often outrageous feats of harmonious excellence.

The price: $5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials.

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