SciBlogs

Archive July 2011

nerdnite wellington #6: seriously awesome aimee whitcroft Jul 19

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UPDATE: Videos from nerdnite 6 are available here

Last night was the sixth, _sixth_, nerdnite Wellington.

nerdnite-logo-trueIf you remember*, I started nerdnite about a year ago. The event takes place in a bar/pub, and consists of lots of interesting (and interested) people, drinking copious quantities of beer**, and 4 speakers speaking on whatever floats their boat.

So far, there’s been a huge range of topics, from witchcraft to bioengineering, from electronic music to cryptic crosswords, from scrabble to arduino.

And last night was the biggest yet – I estimate we had over 100 people there! Our speakers spoke on the subjects of beer, cryptic crosswords***, the use of video editing in propoganda, and 3d printing/rapid protoyping****.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in previous talks (and vids therefrom), might I direct you to the website.  Forthcoming talks will cover everything from mentalism to chemistry (and alchemy!), neuroscience to physics, cartography in video games to counting fish using acoustics.  And, if I can find anyone to talk about taxidermy, that, too :)  Also, there are going to be increasing numbers of working scientists talking. Beware…

Cheers to everyone who turned up, the great staff at Bodega, and my awesome, awesome friends for helping me out with it!  Massive shoutouts this time around to @chelfyn and @dene.

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There’s also a twitter stream and a facebook page, of course

* Shameless self-plug.

** Or wine.  Or, y’know, other beverages.

*** I might actually start doing these now.  Turns out, it’s all about the tricks and clues given by the clues themselves.  Also, David’s made a cheat sheet, available on his website :)

**** The events are recorded, and videos from last night will be up shortly.  Also, there are some photos floating around I’ll upload, too.

Robots and tentacles aimee whitcroft Jul 11

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For the last year or two, Matthew Dentith has organised twecon.

kraken

And this year, I decided to take part. Heaven only knows why. After asking people for suggestions about a topic, a number of things kinda melded into one and I decided on ‘Robots and tentacles: the Singularity as Kraken’.

Yes.

And today, it was necessary to _submit_ said tweetage. After thashing my braincells a little, plus a couple of iterations and the advice of a mate, I spat something out.

Which follows:

1. Robots and tentacles: the Singularity as Kraken #twecon

2. Latter fires heat the deep, the future rises and swarms, its waveforms opening to engulf us. Tentacles… #twecon
3. … of possibility, the curves of an unceasing end and unremitting remaking, a multitude of attachments… #twecon
4. nodes, hooks, hyperlinks, lines. The merging of man and machine, of mind and manufacture… #twecon
4. … an event horizon, the sinuous sines of Singularity. Harbinger of Apocalypse…
5. … an end to _our_ world, _our_ understanding, _our structures_. A beginning. #twecon
6. The Kraken beckons, Singularity awaits. #twecon

References and readings: http://bit.ly/nk5sHL http://bit.ly/rrt2Au http://gizmo.do/geMWBF http://bit.ly/p93p4O http://bit.ly/ofAMMH #twecon

So there it is. It was certainly interesting to put out there, especially once my hands had stopped shaking :)

AND, for the rest of the awesome content supplied by the various contributors, you can follow #twecon here. Do it. You know you want to…

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Other posts of mine mentioning the singularity are here and here

Also, it’s probably worth mentioning I’m wading (hurhur) through China Mieville’s Kraken :)

She blinded me with science aimee whitcroft Jul 07

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I’m in a good, if whimsical, mood today.

YouTube Preview Image

And so, and in the hope of spreading it around (like the weird zombie head cold that’s going around, but better), I thought I’d share a song and accompanying music video.

She Blinded Me With Science was released in 1982 by British New Wave musician Thomas Dolby.  It did pretty well in the States, and was #1 for a coupla weeks in Canadia* (huzzah!), but not so much in the UK.

Anyhoo, it’s great fun, and makes me want to dance in a cheesy 80s way.  Which can only be a good thing, right?

UPDATE: And, of course, there are the _ways_ in which she could have blinded me with science.  Mad props and HTs to/at @droneale for this one.  Also, we heart McSweeney’s :)

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* Yes, I’m aware that’s not how it’s generally spelled :)

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