Nerd Nite for November 11, 2017

Nerd Nite DC is partnering with the DC Podfest to bring you the best of nerdy audio entertainment, including two live shows and a brain-warping exploration of foreign accents. It’s Nerd Nite LIVE, a very special audio-visual podcast-tastic experience, with special host Ben Taylor, formerly Nerd Nite’s Madison, Wisconsin boss and now one of our rocking DC guest hosts!

Where: DC9 Nightclub at 1940 9th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
When: Saturday, November 11th – Doors at 6PM, Show Starts at 6:30 PM
Tickets: $10 – Buy them here!

America is adapting: Stories from the front lines of climate change by Doug Parsons

Doug Parsons

 

America Adapts – The Climate Change Podcast will host a panel to discuss what adaptation means for society and some useful examples of what’s happening today, including how our very own home town is adapting to climate change!

Doug Parsons has been working on climate adaptation for many years, starting in Queensland, Australia. Later, he worked at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where he developed a first-of-its-kind climate change course that’s used by California and federal agencies. He carried on his adaptation work at the National Park Service and the Society for Conservation Biology and nowadays, he’s running his podcast as a fully fledged non-profit, reporting on climate adaptation in Africa and the United States and hosting interesting – and provocative – conversations around our future climate.

 

 

 

Don’t trust your brain: why foreign accents are all in your head by Mari Sakai

IMG_5693 - Mari Sakai

 

We all have the same lips, tongue, throat, and larynx…so why is it really difficult to hear and pronounce some sounds in a foreign language? Our brains are masters at statistically tracking every linguistic sound we hear, but usually only for our own native language. When we try to add a new or foreign sound in, ours brain may or may not open the door. Instead, they dump acoustic information that seems unimportant, and – here’s the cool part! – our brains will warp what we hear. This talk will focus on how the brain really rules what we hear and how we pronounce it. And we’ll get some tips on how we can train ourselves to learn difficult foreign language sounds.

Mari Sakai has a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University and is currently a Fellow at Georgetown Law, working with international lawyers on their English pronunciation and oral communication skills. Mari loves watching standup, sewing, her fifteen houseplants, and hiking.

 

 

 

How to be a space advocate: the Ad Astra Guide to Aiming for the Stars by Jack Kiraly and Newton Campbell 

Screen Shot 2017-10-20 at 10.47.23 AMNewton Campbell

Space…it’s awesome. But getting there can be a hell of a job, both for NASA and the private companies that run launches. There are plenty of people who want us to go back to the Moon and Mars and beyond. The Ad Astra podcast team will talk to us about what space advocates are up to and what they think the future holds in store for space exploration.

Jack Kiraly is a Michigander, living and working in the nation’s capital. He has a Master’s in Space Policy, and currently works in and around advocacy for science and space policy issues. Alongside hosting the Ad Astra podcast, Jack is an aspiring amateur musician and has recorded a number of to-be-released songs.

 

Nerd Nite for October 14, 2017

Nerd Nite is Going Electric!

Can you hear that buzzing in the air? It’s almost electric! For October Nerd Nite, we are going to see what’s vibrating in the air – from music to electricity to good ol’ radio waves. So tune into Nerd Nite at 6:30pm EST to hear Nathan West get nitty gritty about Telsa vs. Edison, Lavanya Ramanathan wax about how the Beatles rocked DC and we will interrupt our regularly scheduled program to geek out about radios with Tom Rondeau. Be sure to tune in to be there and be square.

Where: DC9 Nightclub at 1940 9th St NW, just south of U St.
When: October 14th, 2017. Doors at 6PM. Show starts at 6:30 and ends around 8:30.
Tickets: Get your tickets here. $10 each.

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 2.32.35 PMTesla & Edison to Marconi & a Magician: Early problems of wireless communications and why they still haven’t been solved by Nathan West

Tesla revolutionized high frequency used in wireless communications. The Marconi telegraph company quickly capitalized on his discoveries to transmit wireless telegraph signals; their marketing, however, took several liberties in technical speak only to be “found out” by a magician. Telsa was further foiled by Edison persuading the US Navy to adopt his methods about the needed infrastructure for communication. These old feuds still pervade the wireless landscape we see today.

Bio: Nathan works at a small company designing wireless modems and formerly worked at the Naval Research Laboratory. He is currently slogging through a PhD applying machine learning to wireless communications and can’t get enough of the surprisingly colorful characters that shaped the communication revolution. He also thinks Edison wasn’t such a bad guy.

 

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 2.31.17 PMBeatlemania began in a hockey arena in Northeast D.C.: The strange tale of the first American Beatles concert By Lavanya Ramanathan

Two nights after their landmark “Ed Sullivan” appearance, four slightly overwhelmed young men boarded a train for Washington D.C. for their first live performance stateside; a show that would take place in, of all places, a hockey arena in Northeast Washington. Al Gore was in the audience. The concert was almost derailed by a major snowstorm. Tickets were less than $5. Hear the whole story of how Beatlemania in America kicked off with a very loud, very short concert right here in Washington.

Bio: Lavanya has been a reporter for The Washington Post for 13 years, and a music-head since birth. She’s covered everything from police stories to food and dining and now, what a reader has described to her as “the American mood.” She’s actually agnostic about the Beatles’ music, preferring the Stones. But she loves a good story.

Tom RondeauHow an actress and composer laid the foundation for the future of wireless communications by Tom Rondeau
Within the field of wireless communications, Hedy Lamarr’s story is one of the most well-known. But it’s worth telling again and making sure her story is known by many. This is a story of art, culture, and technology and how it created one of the most important inventions in wireless communications. We’ll explore why the technology is still relevant, and why this story is an inspiration for DARPA’s upcoming Bay Area SDR Hackfest.
Bio: Tom is a Program Manager for DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office where he continues to work on software radio — the intersection of connectivity and computing. Formerly, Tom was the lead programmer and project maintainer of GNU Radio, a Free and Open Source software radio framework and ecosystem. He received his PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech in 2007 for his work in artificial intelligence and wireless communications (ask him about the award he won for it, we’re sure he’ll be happy to tell you). And second only to Popeye, Tom’s forearms may actually be more famous than he is. I’m sure he’s going to have his sleeves rolled up for everyone to see why.