Posts Tagged ‘colour’

nerd nite 25: of colours, censors and cycles

Ladies and gentlenerds, we’ve reached A QUARTER CENTURY. Gosh 🙂

Our 25th Nerd Nite will take place on Monday November 17th, 2014.

Venue: Hotel Bristol

Time: 6pm, with speakers starting at 6:30pm. Get there in good time if you want a decent seat!

But enough nattering. Instead – our lineup!


Nerd Nite Wellington #25 poster

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

Is Periwinkle Blue? – Defining and Quantifying Colour
Jessica Mills, BFA

The world is full of colour, but we do not all see or describe colour in the same way. This indvidual initial classification is based on genetics, environmental factors, personal perceptions and experiences. So then, how can there be a single definition of colour and how is this definition measured in order to ensure repetition and reproduction in the controlled manner necessary for industrial, commercial, and artistic applications. In this talk we will explore these questions of Definition and Quantification, and you will hopefully come away with a deeper understanding of your visual perception of the world around you and seeing colour in a brand new way.

Jessica is a graduate of the Visual Media program of Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, she has a Bacholor of Fine Arts in Photographic Arts and Sciences focusing on Colour Management and Digital Print Workflow. Prior to NZ Colour Management, Jessica has worked as an Applications Specialist for large international companies helping them and their external clients to create viable digital workflows based on software and hardware training and the principles of Colour Management.

What the **** – a brief tour through New Zealand’s censorship history.
Michelle Baker, @mshel

The effects on the audience, positive or negative, of media which our society produces and consumes has always been cause for debate.  From the influence of the written word on perceptions of religion and politics, to the concerns over films chipping away at society’s moral fibre, to the debates over whether video games make people violent – the media, who accesses it and who stops them has been a constantly evolving and ongoing story both in New Zealand and around the world.

What our society deems to be okay – and not – is reflected in the way films, books and other publications are classified. New Zealand has had film censorship legislation since 1916, and there have been some interesting (and occasionally odd) decisions assigned to various things over the last nine or so decades. Do you know about the unusual (and unique) decision assigned to the 1967 film Ulysses? Why was a book of rugby songs banned? Just how many drink cans have been classified in New Zealand? Come on a brief tour of some of the highlights (or lowpoints?) of New Zealand’s censorship history.

Michelle is an Advisor at Office of Film and Literature Classification, where she runs the Office’s websites, social media, and handles all manner of inquiries from people. Movies and dinosaurs are a few of her favourite things, and she has strong opinions about what makes a good karaoke song.

Two hundred and fifty thousand revolutions
Paul Smith

Why would I choose to ride a bicycle with one gear and pedals that don’t stop turning, for seven days and 1200 kilometres around the back roads and trails of the South Island?

At the turn of the 20th century the hard men of a fledgling sport were racing the Tour de France along dirt roads over mountains on fixed gear bikes. But no more – gear and freewheel technology quickly resigned fixed gear bikes to mainstream obsolescence. But a fixed gear bicycle retains an enduring appeal – to a small subset of cyclists at least.

I’m going to attempt to describe the appeal of 100 year old bicycle technology with a rambling exploration of fixed gear bicycles, some dodgy psychological self-diagnosis, and the design philosophy of Dieter Rams. In the process I might leave myself wondering why I ride one.

Paul’s first cycling memory was screaming down Brickyard Hill on his 12” wheel Raleigh Striker. It didn’t end well – with a bloody chin and elbows, the bike dumped on the gravel road, and a small boy running home crying for mum. The experience didn’t put him off the two-wheeled life though, and he would be very proud if one of his kids came running to him with bleeding elbows. Professionally-speaking, Paul is a Design Engineer – by day he manages product testing at Consumer New Zealand, where he can indulge his love for good product design and engineering detail. By night he tries to encourage others to discover cycling adventures by documenting his experiences on


As always, Nerd Nite is a FREE event open to anyone. There are some great 2 for 1 deals on mains as awell, so bring your peeps!

nerd nite 14: braaaaaainz

UPDATE: The prezis from the talks are available here.

As some of you may know, this Saturday (Jan 12th) is the day on which Hal turns 21! We tried to organise a screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey to commemorate this auspicious date, but the rights are incredibly locked down. Sigh.  No matter, though!  You can all still watch it at home with your friends and loved ones, and we encourage that most strongly 🙂

Our first nerd nite of the year looks like it’s going to be a corker, and has been set for January 21st, 6pm, at Hotel Bristol.

Yes, it’s a public holiday, but the Hotel Bristol is open (and NOT charging a surcharge, yay!).

Without further ado, our speakers:


Electrifying Brains
Gina Grimshaw

Blurb – Humans have been zapping their brains for centuries. Gina Grimshaw will show us how, and explain why we would ever want to do such a thing.

Gina is a cognitive neuroscientist in the School of Psychology at Victoria University. She thinks brains are cool.

UPDATE: to be a test monkey for Gina, contact her.


Look Blue Go Purple
David Bimler

David Bimler is a physicist who went over to the dark side and became a perceptual psychologist. He will not use his talk about Pigments of the imagination as a way of recruiting experimental subjects from the audience.

The present story really goes back 150 million years, when colour vision in mammals turned weird. Things took another strange turn 30 or 40 million years ago: tropical plants started selectively breeding our primate ancestors to serve
as their seed-dispersal devices, and the primates used a clever biological hack to re-invent three-colour vision. Much later, colour perception was hijacked when we discovered language.

However, I will be concentrating on more recent aspects of colour research.
These include:
— the Russian Blues
— the world’s largest survey of colour language, conducted by missionaries in the 1970s
— the field-work used by Estonian linguists as an excuse to stay in Florence.

There will be colour swatches and words like ‘taupe’.

UPDATE: to be a test monkey for David, contact him.


As always, do get in touch with with me if you or someone you know would like to give a talk 🙂
See you all there!