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Nerd Nite November: Playing with Perception

Sometime what you see and what you get don’t quite match up.  Like, Aunt Edna – she seems so sweet, but get a few glasses of wine in her and the Thanksgiving table becomes a scene from a John Waters’ film. Equally entertaining, for November, we’ve got a bunch of talks that will play with your perception.

Date: Saturday November 8th
Time: Doors 6:00PM, Show 6:30PM
Where: DC9, 1940 9th St NW

And the talks are…

Synesthesia: The Sound of Yellow
by Heather Dean and Jamie Jean Schneider

DoHeather you see sound? Taste colors? Understand the personalities and colors of letters? Welcome to the world of synesthesia – a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation
of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Learn about the science underlying synesthesia and get an insider’s perspective of the colors of music.

Bios: Heather is a neuroscientist who enjoys all types of art and is disappointed to not be a synesthete able to enjoy the colors of a concert. She is moving from bench science to policy in Washington, D.C. When not at work, she loves new experiences, even if they are gained one sense at a time.

1381430_10102130393556088_845393675_nJamie is a professional musician and marketing expert for the Smithsonian Associates, as well as a free-spirited Bohemian who happily travels the world with only her suitcase and her oboe. Surprised to learn that not everyone sees colors with music, she’s eager to share her experiences with you, and further spread appreciation for artists’ bizarre talents.


(Re)making History
by Mills Kelly

nerdForever, history has been taught by professors standing in front a room lecturing at students. Digital tools are now doing their part to end that mode of transmission of information, letting students begin to play with the past in new and interesting ways. See how this is unfurling with a few ways that the maker movement is helping end the tyranny of the lecture and making history fun again.

Bio: Mills is a professor of history at George Mason University in Virginia. A known trouble-maker in the world of teaching and learning, his experiments with what is possible in history education have earned him plaudits and threats. Among his favorite is an email that accused him of being “sociopathic pond scum,” all because he encouraged his students to tell lies online.


Twisted Tongues: The Biology of Taste
by Jennifer Shieh

JShiehPeter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. And then he went to a flavor tripping party and drank all the pickle juice. It was delicious & sweet. Find out why! And along the way, gallivant around the grand gustatory gate to your gullet that gives such gluttonous gratification – your tongue. Learn why some people think cilantro tastes like soap, why you may have a legitimate excuse for not eating your vegetables, and WTF is umami. This is an experiential talk, so bring your (taste) buds.

Bio: Jennifer is a neuroscientist and author of “Guide to Research Techniques in Neuroscience” but spends her days helping biotech startup dreams turn into reality. She also spends her days eating and thinking about her next meal. She has no problem taking your garlic fries.

Nerd Nite DC: Be There and Be Square!