Nerd Nite DC is DC’s original science + nerd + drinking event. See us nerd out!

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October is here, the month when all the fearsome creatures of the night (drunk college freshmen, overstressed campaign staff and Congressional aides trying to get a budget passed) come out to haunt that streets of DC. Escape this terrifying scene and duck into DC9 to stimulate your scary big neurons with three frighteningly entertaining and informative talks…about the science of the dead, the horror, psychology of and ways to fix bad website design, and the mutants and other bad things that happen as a result of trash on our ecosystem. Nerd Nite: Be There and Be Scared…

Date: Saturday October 10th, 2015 A.D.
Time: Doors 6:00PM, Show 6:30PM
Where: DC9, 1940 9th St NW

The Science of the Dead! Everything You Wanted to Know About Skeletons, but Were Afraid to Ask
by Damien Huffer


Vampire, zombies, mummies and shambling skeletons might be the stuff of Halloween nightmares (and cheap costumes), but did you know that, in fact, your skeleton is the most information dense “thing” you will ever leave behind about your life? The field of bioarcheology seeks to understand the past by using a wide variety of cutting edge methods to illuminate the intricacies of past life. This talk will give you a whirlwind tour of how to do this using some shocking examples from around the world, and bring it all home by discussing a pressing contemporary concern; the global online trade in human remains.

Bio: Damien is a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute and department of physical anthropology. His current research uses stable isotope geochemistry to investigate diet and movement over the lifespan, at the community level, and over time; most recently using museum collection from Jordan and Bahrain. He has been involved in excavations around the world, from Vietnam to Arizona, Polynesia to Australia. He also actively researches and tirelessly advocates for the documentation and exposure of the illegal antiquities trade.


The White Screen of Death and Ten Other Ways to Make A Terrible Website
by Kinga Dobolyi


What’s scarier than the ghost-white pallor of a blank screen that is the only thing that loads for your website right before you pitch your new startup to a group of werewolf-like angel investors? At some point soon, someone, possibly the inner voice inside you, will ask you to make a website for your brand/company/Instagram photos of the salad you had for lunch. Find out the best ways to develop a terrible website and never be tasked with such an exercise again. No coding experience required for this talk.

Bio: Kinga is an assistant professor of computer science at George Mason University. Her doctoral thesis focused on web testing and usability, and she teaches introductory programming and web engineering courses. Her interest in web development started in the late 1990s when she made her first embarrassing website, and eventually learned that, like zombies, nothing actually dies on the Internet.


Talking Trash: The Psychology and Ecology of Litter
by Julie Lawson


Why do people litter? Where does it end up? And what does it mean for the health of fish–and us? From city streets to the Chesapeake Bay to the oceans, I’ll cover the latest research on plastic pollution and strategies to eliminate it. The talk will be littered with puns!

Bio: During her formative years in Florida, Julie Lawson’s dad made her pick up other people’s trash at campgrounds. Flash forward 25 years and now her son looks her in the eye and deliberately drops trash when he’s throwing a tantrum. As director of the nonprofit organization Trash Free Maryland, Julie advocates for policies to reduce trash pollution and proudly calls herself a very trashy lady.

Nerd Nite DC: Be There and Be Square!