Join us at NNA2 #60 for amazing tales (tails?) from the front lines of animal rescue, battlefields, and plasmadynamics! Staff from the Creature Conservancy will share their mission of animal conservation through education with stories from some of their more unusual permanent residents. Local historian James Mann will take us back to 1918 and the time Michiganders fought the Bolsheviks on their own turf. And then physicist Marcel Georgin shoots his mouth off about the advanced rocket propulsion systems that’ll someday take us to Mars. Kick back with friends, throw back a drink or two, and enjoy Nerd Nite A2!
NNA2 #60: Living With an Alligator, Polar Bears vs. the Russians, and the Physics of Traveling to Mars
NNA2 #59 – Electronic Elixirs, Beauty in Basics and Healing Harmonies
Gather ‘round, nerd friends, for another amazing entry in our NNA2 adventure! Join us as Manorama Kadwani explains ways bioelectronic therapies could solve medical pee-mergencies (and others), artist and author Hannah Burr discusses her work at the intersection of fine art and science, and music therapist Callie Finzel rhapsodizes about the amazing effects music can have on the brain. It’s going to be fun!!!! It’s going to be interesting!!!!! It’s going to be NERD NITE A2!!!!!!!!! So don’t miss out – bring a friend, grab a drink, and grab a seat!
When: Thursday, 10/18/2018
Doors at 6:30/talks at 7 pm
Where: LIVE, 102 S. First St.
Cost: Free, courtesy of the Ann Arbor District Library
Manorama Kadwani – Bioelectronic Medicine: talking with nerves
People with the problem of frequent need to pee want to get back their bladder control. Patients of such a neurological disorder suffer from not only physical problems, but it affects their work performance, social outings and there’s a stigma about others getting to know about it. Conventional therapies like drug prescriptions have side effects and surgeries do not help many bladder dysfunction patients. So what else can help them? There are prosthetic devices in the market, based on a new therapy called Bioelectronic medicine. My research is focused on understanding the mechanism of this therapy by creating computational simulations of neurons and their interaction with these tiny prosthetic devices. So is this the alternative therapy of future? Can it help patients of other neurological disorders?
About Manorama: I am a Master’s student at the University of Michigan. I am pursuing research under Dr. Tim Bruns, focusing on a type of sensory neurons and their interactions with tiny prosthetic devices with the ultimate aim of designing better prosthetic devices for bladder dysfunction. In my free time, I like to explore what Ann Arbor has to offer for art lovers! I have always loved sketching, but to improve my craft I like to attend the drawing classes in AADL. I am also beginning to learn the Ballroom dancing, because dance makes me happy!
Hannah Burr – Art Among the Elements
Burr will describe the slog and float of creating an artists book about the elements: the essential learnings of her creative process, what she’s extracting from the silos of science, and how much weirder reality is than expected.
About Hannah: Hannah Burr is a Boston MA native who has lived in A2 for just over a year. She’s a contemporary artist and author of two books on the intersection of creative and contemplative practice. Her third book, on the naturally occurring elements of the periodic table, will be out this winter. Burr is a Cum Laude graduate of Brown University and tends to create bridges through her projects to subjects too specialized or fleeting for most people to engage with, including practices sometimes called religious or spiritual, and recently, scientific. Burr’s artwork has been exhibited in the contemporary wing of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Currier Museum in NH, and the Drawing Center in New York NY. Follow her on Twitter @good_bonfire.
Callie Finzell – Musical Mentality: A Melodious Monologue on Music and the Mind
Music, like love, is all around. It permeates our everyday lives in both obvious and more obscure ways. This talk will dive into the weird world of musical neuroscience and its applications for therapy. How is music processed in the brain? How can it be used to effect movement, alleviate pain, improve cognition, and facilitate well-being? And what do government-funded LSD research trials have to do with it?
About Callie: Like many who have graced this stage before her, Callie Finzel, MT-BC, has a few letters behind her name and plenty of nerdy interests…that are completely irrelevant to this talk. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, Callie is a music therapist in hospice care who sings and plays piano, guitar, and whatever miscellaneous percussion instruments show up around the house. She is interested in the interaction between music interests and conception of self because, as the Fraggles say, “music makes us real.” When she’s not playing, listening to, or thinking about music, Callie enjoys baking, reading, watching supernatural tv shows with strong female leads, and 100%-ing the Lego Harry Potter video games, with or without the help of her wife and cats.
NNA2 #58: Startup Success, Drug Dregs, and the Unsettling Uncanny
It’s happening again! Nerd Nite A2 is back as entrepreneur Leann Abad guides us through the ecosystem that new businesses need to thrive, pharmaceutical scientist Vernon Lalone reveals the impact of medication accumulation in our bodies, and Kat Johnson creeps us out with an examination of that strange feeling of intimate unfamiliarity – the uncanny. Grab a friend, grab a drink, and a grab a seat for Nerd Nite A2 #58!
When: Thurs. 9/20/2018
Doors at 6:30/talks at 7 pm
Where: LIVE, 102 S. First St.
Cost: Nothing! Sponsored by the Ann Arbor District Library!
Leann Abad – Startup Ecosystems: What Michigan Needs
When you hear the word startup, what do you think about? Do you think tech? Retail? Duo Security? Regardless of what you envision, we know one thing for sure: startups are what drive economic growth and development. This talk goes over what Michigan needs to continue growth as a startup ecosystem.
About Leann – Director of Content, Argonomo; Founder, ASHE Media; Host of the Impact Michigan and Generation [I] podcasts. Passionate about entrepreneurship, digital media, and building the Michigan startup ecosystem. Follow him @leann_abad.
Vernon Lalone – The Search for Drugs Within: A Multi-Scale Journey from Organs to Organelles
Did you know that many FDA-approved drugs accumulate inside organs and tissues of our bodies, sometimes so much so that they actually form crystals inside cells? Have you ever wondered where drugs go when we consume them? Throughout this talk, we will explore routes of administration, the fate of drugs inside our bodies (the ways they distribute throughout different organs and cell organelles), and the use of laser-scanning microscopy for the measurement of drug accumulation inside immune cells.
About Vernon: Vernon is a PhD candidate in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy. He is part of an interdisciplinary research team of scientists, engineers, and medical professionals studying the effects of long-term drug exposure and adverse drug reactions. Vernon was born and raised in Northern Michigan and has lived throughout this glorious state his entire life. When he’s not peering through a microscope, he spends his time pursuing balance in life through socialization, exercise, spirituality, literature, musical/visual art, and other creative avenues.
Kat Johnson – It’s Uncanny! Why Do I Feel So Anxious and Upset and What Does It Mean?
The Uncanny is nothing and nowhere, the feeling of not being at home in a situation that should be familiar. We’ll delve into this psychological and media theory about what it means to be full of not knowing, not full of knowing, and to enter the Twilight Zone at the edge of science and imagination.
About Kat: Kat is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Screen Arts in Cultures. She currently does not know what she is doing in any capacity whatsoever, but she really digs media analysis and holding a microphone, so here she is. You can probably find her hosting bar trivia, hosting the Borderline Insanity with Kat and Alex podcast, or reading anything of any sort. Follow her at @whoiskatreally.
NNA2 #57: Science & Stories: Stories Behind Stories, Crowdsourced Science, and Science Comics
This entry in the Nerd Nite Ann Arbor universe is full of stories! Kayla Coughlin has got amazing behind-the-scenes anecdotes and details of how the beloved books of your childhood were written and illustrated. Justin Schell will make your mad scientist dreams come true by explaining how you – YES, YOU – can pitch in on experiments and data collection and maybe, just maybe, make Bill Nye and Neil DeGrasse Tyson proud. And graphic novelists (and husband-and-wife) will share the story of how they wrote Science Comics: Rockets! as a team, and still like each other today. So gather ’round, kids, because it’s story time at NNA2!!!
When: Thursday, August 16 – doors 6:30 pm/talks 7:00 pm
Where: LIVE (102 S 1st St)
No cover charge – Gee, thanks, AADL!
ABCDWTF: Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Classic Kids’ Books – Kayla Coughlin
Nerd Nite A2 #56 – Race Riots, Pre-fab Pads, & Felines in Film
Here’s a collection of things you have maybe never thought of: an examination of what exactly constitutes a race riot, the secrets of maintaining an all-metal home, and the narrative function of cats in film. Nerd Nite A2 has assembled a brilliant lineup of people who have done the thinking of each of these topics for you – and they’re here to open your eyes. So invite a friend, grab a drink, and prepare to go down a few rabbit holes. See you there!
When: Thursday, July 19 – doors 6:30 pm/talks 7:00 pm
Where: LIVE (102 S 1st St)
No cover charge – AADL is sponsoring!
American Race Riots — Our National Sport? – Sherlonya Turner
The United States has been the site of hundreds of race-based disorderly confrontations that can be described as race riots. By now, most everyone has seen images from riots on TV whether it’s a riot from the 1960s, or from the more recent unrest in Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland. But what is a riot? Why do they happen? What are the trends? Common themes? While one can learn quite a bit from the study of any of these individual events, taking on the topic broadly has different lessons for us. This talk will discuss the overall trajectory of race riots in the United States, exploring the greater context for mass race-based conflict.
About Sherlonya: Sherlonya is a department manager at AADL. When she’s not doing that, she can’t stop starting projects. Right now she is into learning about race riots, but is also into history-based baking, open letter writing, and a variety of sewing and crafts. If any of that interests you, you can find most of it at sherlonya.net or follow her on Twitter @sherlonya.
Lustron: America’s Heavy Metal Housing – John Heider
Lustron homes were factory-made all-metal homes developed after WWII for the booming housing market. Most of their surfaces, inside and out and on their roofs were made of enameled steel. John lives in one, and will be sharing the ins and outs of occupying an all-metal home.
About John: John was a 28 year veteran newspaper photojournalist who was recently retired against his will and is also a ninja school dropout.
The Film Cat-alogue: A Hiss-tory of Felines in Meow-vies – Jen Proctor
This illustrated lecture will provide an overview of the history of cats in movies, including their character types, their narrative functions, the notion of the “feline gaze,” and, of course, cuteness ratings on a scale from 1 to ZOMG KITTEH!!!
About Jen: Jen is a filmmaker and Associate Professor of Journalism and Screen Studies at UM-Dearborn. In her spare time, Jen studies abnormal feline behavior.
NNA2 #55: Scaring Kids, The Ends of the Earth, and Mutants, Cyborgs, and Aliens — Oh My!
After a hiatus in May, up pop TWO Nerd Nites for June — this first one, at Top of the Park, features some marvelous comix nerds, who are in town for the Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival (A2CAF). So we (kindly) kidnapped them for a special Nerd Nite!
Zack Giallongo’s going to tell us why scaring kids can be a GOOD thing, Maris is here to fill us in on adventures in Antarctica, and Hanah Stiverson shows us how comics allow readers to dig into new ways to explore what it means to be human.
Please note the earlier time and different locale than a usual Nerd Nite!
When: Thursday, June 14 – doors 5 pm/talks 5:30 pm
Where: The Annex, Top of the Park, Ann Arbor Summer Festival (915 E Washington St, Ann Arbor, MI 48109)
No cover charge – thanks, AADL!
Zack Giallongo — I’ll Give You Something To Be Scared Of!: Why It’s Good To Be Frightening To Children
A look at the storytelling techniques that use frightening and disturbing imagery for kids, and why those stories stick with us through the relatable heroes that overcome them
Zack is a professional cartoonist and teacher, and a not very professional banjo-player or dresser. You might know him from his work on various Star Wars books, including the Ewok graphic novel, Shadows of Endor, and the series of Doodle books. You might also know him from his NYT bestselling graphic novel, Broxo, about teenage barbarians and zombies. He loves animals, D&D, and writing about himself in the third person.
Find him online here: @zackules
Maris Wicks — Is It Cold In Here or Is It Just Me?
Everything you ever wanted to know about Antarctica, and probably some stuff you didn’t (like that time I pooped in a bucket).
Comic book artist and writer with an insatiable appetite for science. Especially science in strange places
Find her online here: @mariswicks
Hanah Stiverson — The Future Is Non-human: Examples of the Comic Book Mutant, Cyborg, and Alien
American comics have historically been used as a way of imagining other modes of being. Since the creation of Superman humanity has been allowed an imagined space of greater power, ability, and capability. In recent years comics have transformed to include a wider range of experiences and bodies, and to allow for fuller beyond-human experience. In this talk I will be looking at examples of recent comic books that imagine fantastical ways of being, which allow readers to explore their humanity from new perspectives.
Hanah Stiverson is currently a PhD student at the University of Michigan in the department of American Culture. Her current research focuses broadly on comics as a mode through which race, gender, sexuality and power can be articulated. Hanah works primarily with Image Comics texts to consider the ways in which access to a profitable creator-owned market has allowed traditionally marginalized voices new space to create dynamic works. Hanah is the co-coordinator of the Transnational Comics Workshop, which brings together scholars from many fields to encourage an interdisciplinary approach to reading and engaging with comics as a medium.
NNA2 #54 – Biology, Brains, & Behavior
For April, Nerd Nite A2 has teamed up with MSU’s Science Festival to bring you three amazing scientists talking about biology, brains, and behavior! Patsy Delacey will introduce us to the gelada monkey, and the study of the function of its’ “bleeding-heart” chest patch. Rosie Bettle uses chimpanzee behavior to explain why humans cooperate to create complex societies. Caitlin Posillico will explain how getting sick disrupts our capacity to learn, and how discovering why could lead to breakthroughs in diseases like Alzheimer’s. Lots of brilliance on display, so round up some pals and come advance your understanding of brains and behavior!
Patsy Delacey – The primate that wears its heart on its sleeve
Have you ever been curious about animal behavior? Have you wondered how animals communicate with one another? Do you love primates? Come learn about gelada monkeys – Ethiopia’s unique and wonderful highland monkey. Gelada monkeys are nicknamed “bleeding-heart monkeys” because of a patch of exposed red skin on their chests. Adult male gelada chest patches get brighter red when they’re excited, but this doesn’t happen for adult females, young males, or non-breeding males. Could the chest patch be an ornament to attract females, like a peacock’s plumage? Or does it signal to other males to back off? How does the environment influence signaling? I’ll discuss all of this and more about my field research in the Simien Mountains.
Patsy is a biopsychology PhD student at the University of Michigan, studying how its high-altitude environment has shaped gelada monkey physiology and behavior.
Rosie Bettle – Thinking Like a Primate
Humans are a really weird species. In particular, we cooperate a lot, and this helps us build up complex societies. What kinds of mental abilities help us to cooperate, and do other species also use similar mental abilities to help them cooperate? To start answering this question, I will be talking about cooperation in our closest living relatives: chimpanzees.
Rosie is a PhD student at the University of Michigan, who studies how primates think about the world. When she isn’t thinking about the mental lives of monkeys, she is usually exploring Kerrytown, trying to find new nature-y spots, or sampling a different craft beer.
Caitlin Posillico – Brain fog from brain sickness
People get sick all the time, and sometimes it happens with the WORST timing. Maybe you’re supposed to take a big exam, attend an important meeting, leave for a business trip, or even take a vacation, but now all you can think about is how sick you are. What happens to our memory capability when this happens? Is this going to prevent us from being able to learn the new information being presented at the meeting? Is it going to prevent us from recalling the definition of that big term you learned about last week? Importantly, does this affect males and females differently? Caitlin’s research tries to figure out some possible answers to these questions using a viral mimic in male and female mice during different types of learning and memory tasks. If we can figure out how getting sick disrupts our capacity to learn and remember, maybe we can gain some insight as to how neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease or psychological disorders like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cause debilitating memory impairments, and ideally, how we might be able to fix them.
Caitlin is a PhD student at the University of Michigan studying sex differences in the impact of neuroimmune activation on learning and memory. Essentially, she’s interested in what happens to memory when the brain gets sick and whether or not it affects males and females in the same way. She got her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Neuroscience at the University of Delaware (Delawhere? east coast!) where she fell in love with the brain, neuroimmunology, and academia. Originally hailing from Long Island, NY, she has (proudly) lost her accent and is loving the friendliness of Midwestern life. When she’s not locked in the lab or office, you can find her watching Netflix and looking for new ways to incorporate pesto into every meal.
Thurday, March 15 – NNA2 #53 – The Fine Arts of Printmaking, Virus Evolution, and Teaching Physics to Toddlers
Thurs, Feb 15, 2018 – NNA2 #52: Fighting Phragmites, Buying BitCoin, & Celebrating Sitcoms
Welcome back to another round of Nerd Nite Ann Arbor!! This month, Karen Alexander dissects the dangers of the phragmites invasion of the Great Lakes basin, Ryan Brase demystifies BitCoin, and Kat Johnson breaks down sitcom structure in this very special episode of NNA2! Be there and be square, friends!
When: Thursday, February 15 – doors 6:30 pm/talks 7:00 pm
Where: LIVE (102 S 1st St)
Cover charge? No way! AADL’s got this!
Ry4an Brase – Bitcoin: A Bad Idea Annoying People Won’t Shut-Up About
NNA2 #51: Exciting Stories of Asteroids, Oscillation, and, Um, Excrement ????
Kelsey Cornelius — All (Poop-Eating) Creatures Great and Small
Stephanie Hamilton — Ping Pong Balls, Bowling Balls, and What They Have To Do with the Solar System
Everybody poops. But did you know that some creatures eat that poop? And it can be a normal behavior?! Coprophagy, the eating of excrement, is commonly seen with many rodents, lagomorphs, pigs, primates, and even our beloved canines. Dr. Kelsey Cornelius, a laboratory animal veterinarian at the University of Michigan, knows all about rodents and rabbits ravenously dining on the dung. But, she was surprised to learn through her general practitioner classmates how commonly owners report their dogs for this repellent behavior. Come hear about these crap-loving creatures and what you can do if your dog digs the doo-doo.About Kelsey: Kelsey originally became fascinated with poop-eating when she was a young girl in Centerville, Ohio, at a cat-themed birthday party. Her patients now consist of animals that love to eat the guano (I bet you didn’t know all these poop synonyms). Kelsey is a veterinarian in her second year of a laboratory animal residency. Other than studying scat-snacking, Kelsey is passionate about animal welfare, public outreach, and porgs.
What if I told you that the smallest bodies in our solar system (that is, anything that isn’t one of the eight major planets) are actually the most important? Would you believe me? The discovery of the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune in the past 30 years has changed our view of the outer Solar System. Composed of small objects similar to asteroids, this region preserves the effects of past encounters with the gas giant planets, acting as a gravitational fingerprint of the history of the Solar System. Tonight, I’ll talk about the discoveries of Uranus and Neptune. Yes, I’ll even touch on everyone’s favorite Kuiper Belt Object, Pluto, and the revelations leading to its demotion to a dwarf planet. I’ll talk about how astronomers can use properties of the orbits of Kuiper Belt Objects, such as how big or oval-like they are, to learn about the history of our Solar System. Finally, I’ll tell you a little bit about my research using these objects to search for a new super-Earth planet in the very distant Solar System, Planet Nine! I hope that you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for small asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects and how they hold the key to unlocking the history of our Solar System while also pointing the way to new discoveries.
“What do the Mexican Wave, oscillating chemical reactions, and the male orgasm all have in common? Each exhibits the characteristics of an excitable medium! Come learn about this concept, how ubiquitous these systems are in nature, and how insight into how they work can be applied to other, seemingly unrelated problems in biology and medicine.About John: A Ph.D student in immunology at the U-M School of Medicine, John’s research focuses on the ways in which lymphocytes and other cells remodel their cellular membranes to ingest large quantities of extracellular fluid and materials, and the function of this uptake in cancerous and healthy cells. In addition to this work, John is a passionate advocate for scientific literacy and education and contributes to the U-M graduate student blog MiSciWriters.”