> nerd nite 24: lost in translation(al neuroscience)

nerd nite 24: lost in translation(al neuroscience)

Well, we’re on for the twenty-fourth edition of Nerd Nite Wellington, and the awesome continueth 🙂

As always, we have a superb lineup of speakers who’ve stepped forward to share their Nerd, and it’ll all be taking place at:

  • Hotel Bristol (home of Nerd Nite Wellington)
  • 6pm (speakers starting at 6:30pm, but you’ll want to get there early to get good seats!)
  • Monday 22nd September, 2014

[Use our useful calendar to make sure you never forget again]

And yes, Nerd Nite Wellington IS STILL FREE! Because we love y’all. And there are 2 for 1 specials on some mains, too, so bring an eating buddy or many 🙂

Without further ado, then, the lineup (not necessarily in this order):



Nerd Nite Wellington #24 poster

Poster! Click to enlarge and print out for your school/workplace/laboratory/lair.

Thinking matter
Andrew Jackson

We all have 100 billions neurons in our brains.  Scientists have been slowly unravelling what they do.  What can science tell us about – why we forget what we were looking for, why we always want more and how to design the perfect date?  I will explore these questions and other issues such as – are there drugs which will enhance the performance of my brain and if so what are they?

Andrew is currently the Deputy Chief Executive in the Ministry of transport.  Originally from England, he moved to Wellington in 2007 and has fallen in love with kayaking and scuba diving in and around Wellington.  He dreams of finally making the trip to the Islands to enjoy those sports in sunnier climes.   He studied science and the philosophy of religion at University, then did a post graduate diploma in economics and law while working in the civil service in the UK.  He had a dream job before coming here, when he worked with the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser.  His role was to explore big issues like the future of drugs, the challenges of obesity and cyber trust, by tapping in to the leading science experts on these issues.  This has given him a thirst for knowledge and solving stuff and an appreciation that there is always someone who knows heaps more than he.

F*** the duck till exploded” –  Linguistic and cultural pitfalls of translation
Marco Sonzogni (@SonzogniMarco) 

Whether it’s a menu or a film, a poem or a manual, translation is never – as many still think – a mere exchange of words. Every form of translation involves a very complex process of cross-cultural negotiation which requires ethical as well as linguistic and aesthetic skills.

In this short presentation, Macro will highlight the challenges and the rewards of translating.

Marco Sonzogni is a widely published academic and an award-winning poet, literary translator and editor. He firmly believes everything can be translated – how is another story altogether.

If Tanizaki only knew: the festish and fashion of women’s shoes in modern day Tokyo
Emerald King, @emeraldlking

In 1999 young Japanese girls’ habit of wearing 20cm+ platform shoes made headlines as high-heel and shoe related injuries climbed to the point where the Japan Consumer Information Center (now the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan) issued warnings alerting the public of the dangers of platform shoes. Even now the site of young Japanese women falling from their sky-high heels is a common, if disturbing, sight on the streets and underground malls of Tokyo.

These fashions (one part strip dancer, two parts Hello Kitty cute) have spread onto the global stage following in the wake of popular anime and games. Gwen Stefani and her ‘Harajuku Girls’ helped to popularise the look with lyrics that proclaimed a love of all things Japanese street fashion. While the reptilian monster shoes featured in the late Alexander McQueen’s 2010 spring/summer collectionPlato’s Atlantis were described by one commentator as being ‘reminiscent of Japanese foot binding.’ Orientalist inconsistencies aside, the statement illustrates how pervasive the image of exotic/errotic Japan remains.

The question that needs to be answered though is what do the Japanese think of these shoes? Or more to the point, what would Tanizaki Jun’ichirou think?

Emerald is a lecturer in Japanese at VUW. Her Facebook page insists that she’s an ‘Academic – Cosplayer – Kimono Enthusiast’but really she just enjoys slipping literary references into talks about fashion and fetishism.

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