Where else but NNSF do you get the sexiest, freakiest, most explosively drunken lectures around? We’ll have a chemist talking about blowing things up, a biologist who lives to help sea creatures get it on, and a physician/scientist taking us beyond the sideshow and deep into the science of the mutants of old-timey circuses. Be there and be square!
“Explosives: Why Things Go Boom!” by Zach Demko
Explosives are the most powerful chemical reactions possible. They are used for destruction and creation, propulsion, intimidation, and art. But what makes a good explosive? In this talk you will learn how terrorists blow up hummers, NASA gets astronauts into space, and the Nazis tried to make invincible flamethrowers–and what happens when the boom goes bust. Wear your nattiest Kevlar suits, everyone!
Zach managed to escape his childhood with all fingers intact and without burning down anything major, at least unintentionally. He got his Ph.D. in chemistry with a Nobel laureate. Over time, his focus has shifted to making drugs–but that’s another talk altogether. Now he works at a start-up that helps people make designer babies. Well, not quite. At least, not yet.
“Coral Sex Therapy: Helping Coral Make Sweet, Sweet Love” by Richard Ross
Don’t get out much? Feeling like you may never meet that special someone to make babies with? Oh, and are you a tad endangered, too? Welcome to the sex life of a sessile animal. In August, biologists met in the Florida Keys to better understand how spawning is triggered, collect and fertilize gametes in the lab, and then use those juvenile corals to colonize public aquariums, as well as repopulate the area around the Keys with healthy, genetically diverse coral. In this talk we’ll discuss why the corals are endangered, advances in the practicality of their sexual reproduction, and how people are helping protect and repopulate the corals that have been disappearing.
Rich is a biologist at the California Academy of Sciences, where he cares for a variety of animals, including corals, octopuses, cuttles, vine snakes, archer fish, and even an albino alligator. At home he does the same thing, but for his fantastic wife, 9-year-old daughter, naked cats, and chickens.
“Peerless Prodigies of Physical Phenomena: Circus Sideshow Acts and the Science Behind Them” by Anne Deucher
Come one, come all! Step right up and take a journey back in time to the circus sideshow of 1910! REVEL in the incredible, persevering, resourceful, and marvelous human beings behind this curtain! The Elephant Man! Lion-Faced Boy! Lobster Boy! The Human Unicorn! The Bearded Lady! Cyclops! General Tom Thumb! All the “freaks” are here! SEE their inspirational stories of triumph over nature, fate, and the judgment of man! LEARN how modern science explains their unique existences! NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!
Anne is a physician/scientist at UCSF with specialty training in hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology. After countless years of failed explanations of her career to her mother, she has learned that the best way to describe what she does is to say, “like on CSI.”
DJ Alpha Bravo mans the decks, spinning vinyl and tweeting along to the presentations’ themes. Find out what you’re listening to by following @djalphabravo.