> nerd nite 18: trapdoors, ninjas and getting off the grass

nerd nite 18: trapdoors, ninjas and getting off the grass

Wow, this nerd nite looks to be especially incredible (not that they ever aren’t, of course!).

It’ll be taking place at the Hotel Bristol, from 6pm onwards*. On September 16th.

And now for the lineup: as always, this may not be the actual order on the night ūüôā


Click to enlarge to full, printable size (for your office, school etc)

Click to enlarge to full, printable size (for your office, school etc)

Way of the Ninja: a Nerd’s hack to¬†personality types
Linc Gasking (@DownLinc)

Personality archetypes are thousands of years old. Many different tests are available, with results which are highly variable and therefore typically discounted by nerds.

This talk explains how to hack personality typing into these four ancient categories, renamed soldiers, shamans, pirates and ninjas. You will learn practical skills about reverse engineering these types based on external cues such as clothing and cars; and what it all means.

About the speaker: In April 1999, Linc Gasking was the first person in line at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, where he camped out for six weeks to see Star Wars: Episode One.

He is a co-founder of Chalkle.com and Free Range Farm, a Wellington-based startup network.


Trapdoors into the Periodic Table
Nicola Gaston (@nicgaston)

Our relationship with stuff around us ‚Äď even the stuff we are made of ‚Äď has undergone some pretty profound changes over the course of human history. ¬†Funnily enough though, we are still seeking to manipulate matter into tools that are fit for purpose in the world we live in; these days, this often means worrying about the construction of materials atom by atom.

This talk will provide some examples of computational materials design with particular emphasis on what changes when we are working at the nanoscale.  As we drill right down to the atomic scale, we will explore some of the patterns in the periodic table that have left permanent marks on human society. And like any relationship, this goes both ways…

Nicola Gaston is a Principal Investigator in the MacDiarmid Institute, based at Victoria University of Wellington.  Her favourite element is gallium. At least for now.


Get Off the Grass: Kickstarting New Zealand’s Innovation Economy
Shaun Hendy (@hendysh)

Kiwis work harder but earn less than almost any other people in the developed world. Why is this? What are Kiwis doing wrong? In this talk, Professor Shaun Hendy argues that our poor economic performance can be explained by our struggle to innovate. On a per capita basis, OECD countries on average produce four times as many patents as New Zealand. Why is this? What determines a country’s capacity for innovation?

By showing how economic geography influences productivity and rates of innovation, Hendy and Callaghan argue that if New Zealand is to grow its economy more rapidly it must build nationwide communities of innovators, entrepreneurs and businesses. It must get off the grass and diversify its economy beyond the primary sector. Can New Zealand learn to innovate like a city of four million people? Can New Zealand become a place where talent wants to live? Can we learn to live off knowledge rather than nature?

Shaun is winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication prize, co-author¬†with the late Sir Paul Callaghan of the book Get Off the Grass, and Principal Investigator and also Theme Leader (previously Deputy Director) with the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology at Victoria University of Wellington.


As always, nerd nite is a FREE event, so bring everyone you know!


* Note to new people. Speakers start at about 6:30pm, but the best seating does go fast. It’s not unknown for people to rock up before six to get a good table ūüôā Also, Monday’s are two for one on all dinners, so bring your appetite and a friend!

4 Responses to “nerd nite 18: trapdoors, ninjas and getting off the grass”

  • Laurice Gilbert says:

    Oh how I wish I could attend this one. Alas, I work on the third Monday night every month.

  • aimee whitcroft says:

    Awww ūüôĀ Nerd nites are generally held on the second or, more commonly, third Monday night of every second month ūüôĀ

  • Lisa Taylor says:

    Can’t wait for this one. Heard about Nerd Nite at the NZ Skeptics Conference in the weekend and wanted to join in. Have put it in my diary – see you there!

  • aimee whitcroft says:

    Oh, awesome! You may have heard about it from me, during my talk ūüėõ