Posts Tagged ‘sea rotmann’

nerd nite 22: of the weird, wild and wonderful

Another fantastic lineup features for this most recent of the nerdy happiness that is Nerd Nite Wellington.

Venue: Hotel Bristol, downstairs
Date: 19th May 2014
Time: 6 pm, talks starting at 6:30pm (but beware, earlier people get better seats!!)
Cost: FREEEEEE! Because we think it’s important there are no impediments to learning 🙂 Also, there are 2 for 1 specials on some mains, so bring friends!

Without further ado, our lineup (as always, in no particular order, and order may change on the night):


nerd nite wellington 22 poster

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

People believing weirdly
Marc Wilson

We can do rather a lot more to manipulate our world through the ‘magic’ of science than ever before. We can grow ears on animals for transplant into humans, fiddle with the building blocks of life, see into space and time, etc, etc. And at the same time, Sensing Murder is one of the most popular shown on TV when it airs. People believe in conspiracies, and ghosts, and witch craft, and a bunch of things for which, face it, the evidence is not rock solid. So why do we do this? Because he’s just nosy he’s spent a lot of time asking people, finding out who believes what, and in this talk he shall argue that we believe what we believe because it serves a psychological function to do so (that may well be independent of pesky things like ‘evidence’). He shall also speculate as to why Hamiltonians report the highest levels of paranormal belief in New Zealand.

Marc is Associate Professor of Psychology and Head of the School of Psychology at VUW. He justifies his interest in weird beliefs by arguing it’s useful material when teaching about how to do science, but it’s really because he loves the X-Files and wishes the world was really like that.

The Kraken Rises
Sea Rotmann

Are you interested in mythical beasts of yore and legend? There is none more devastatingly frightful – and more real! – than the mighty KRAKEN. Hellbringer sent by the gods, tormenting seafarers over millenia, its existence long speculated upon. Finally it was found, but only dying or as rotting carcasses. Alas! Millions of dollars and years of preparation have recently led to a real, filmed sighting of the living beast. Come and learn about all things Kraken, cephalopods and cryptozoology. You will never view the sea in the same light again…
Dr Sea is a marine biologist by training, a kraken wrangler by passion and a behaviour change expert by vocation. Her pet interest is cryptozoology, particularly sea monsters. The more tentacles the better. In real life, she is a Green Party candidate and travels the world working on a big behaviour change research project with the International Energy Agency.

Who says deep AND beautiful can’t go together? Deep sea invertebrates of New Zealand.
Kareen Schnabel

The deep ocean around New Zealand harbors an incredible amount of diversity with the region considered a biodiversity ‘hot spot’ for many groups. The NIWA Invertebrate Collection captures a large portion of the diversity as we know it today with samples collected around the southwest Pacific region and the Ross Sea, Antarctica, over the last 60 years. Kareen will be delving deep and bring up a few of her favorite stories and specimens.

Kareen is the Collection Manager of the NIWA Invertebrate Collection in Wellington and the mastermind behind the weekly Critter of the Week on the NIC Facebook page. When she doesn’t herd deep-sea specimens and scientists in the collection, she describes deep-sea squat lobsters at her microscope and desk.


See youse there!

nerd nite 21: of books, visuals and beverages

Greetings and whatnots!

Well, it looks like we’re officially adult. This means that we can now drink legally (everywhere, as opposed to only the sensible places), get in Proper Adult Trouble (yikes), and begin thinking about, um, grownup things. Whatever those are.

Nerd nite 21 will be taking place at the usual time (6pm, talks at 6:30pm), and the usual place (Hotel Bristol), on MONDAY, MARCH 24TH. As always, it’s a free event, so bring everyone you know!* Warning, though – seating can sometimes fill up fast, so rocking up at 6:25 is probably not the best of strategies if you want to sit somewhere nice and comfy 🙂

And now, on with the lineup. Speaking on the night (not necessarily in this order):


nerd nite Wellington 21 poster

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

The Glorious Smell Of A New Book
Mike Riversdale, aka Miramar Mike – @MiramarMike /

There are book smellers and those yet to admit it to themselves. With the inevitable, unceasing and inorganic move to electronic books are we going to lose a deeper connection with the words we read and the pictures we marvel at? Mike will, through that aid of smelly books, fancy diagrams and spoken words, remind you of this declining world before painting a picture of the glass and metal empire we may end up serving – hands up who smells their iPad.

Mike, vell, he’s just zis guy, you know.

On Delight
Chris McDowall, @fogonwater

Enthusiastic web folk often talk about creating stuff that elicits “magic and delight“. Of late I’ve been thinking about that last word a lot, trying to unpick the nature of delightful experiences. In this talk I will share a curious selection of books, photographs, data visualisations and assorted whatnot, outlining how and why these things delight us. There will be maps. Lots of maps.

Chris helps preserve and promote cultural heritage as Manager of DigitalNZ Systems at the National Library of New Zealand. In an earlier life he worked as a scientist and cartographer at Landcare Research. He does other stuff too.

Appreciating Beer and Wine – The Beer Geeks vs The Terroiriste
Jules van Cruysen, @xy_eats

Craft Beer and Wine do essentially the same thing. Yet where they come from, how they are made, sold and enjoyed and most importantly the philosophies behind them are very different. The craft beer and wine industries and communities are often dismissive and derisive of the other, portraying the other as either elitist, less relevant or less serious. Playing an active role in both communities, Jules will discuss what makes beer and wine appreciation different and most importantly how beer and wine lovers can work together to defeat the evil forces of the RTD industry.

Jules is a sales representative for Macvine International, selling wine and Spiegleau glassware in Wellington and the lower North Island. He is also a freelance wine and drinks writer and writes regularly in Homestyle magazine and several online publications.

[Note: Sea Rotmann, our original speaker for this slot, will instead be speaking at nerd nite 22]


* It’s also two for one on mains, so bring a friend (or archenemy, we’re not fussy).