Nerd Nite Portland #17 – Thinky and the Brain: Mental Processes in Humans and Animals

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet soundly academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Tuesday, July 1, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Cost: $8.00 advance tickets available online, $10.00* suggested cover at the door
Where: Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton Street, Portland
Food & Drink: Beer, wine, popcorn, and snacks available at the theater. There are several restaurants in the neighborhood, and you’re welcome to bring food into the theater with you.

This Nerd Nite will feature two speakers.


Hedonists vs. Puritans: The Balance in Your Brain

Our brains are a complex interworking of systems that drive and regulate our bodily functions and behaviors. The limbic system is responsible for our appetites — for food, flight, and…uh…fornication — and the frontal cortex helps regulate those urges so we can make rational decisions. The frontal cortex is what keep our basic desires in check so we can function in society without getting arrested or in trouble. But what happens when the balance between the limbic system and the frontal cortex gets disturbed, such as with traumatic brain injury? Come hear from Dr. Courtney Takahashi, neurologist at OHSU, how the parts of our brains work together to make us act the way we do.

 

Does Your Dog Feel Guilt? Thinking Realistically About Animal Emotions
Do monkeys have a sense of fairness? Do dogs feel guilt? Common sense and intuition tells us that yes, they do. Animals are normally viewed as variations on our kind – feathered, scaled, or furry versions of people – and their mental lives in relation to how they measure up to us. However, is that actually true? Current thinking in the field of comparative cognition departs from this kind of human-centered approach, and instead seeks to understand other animals on their own terms, rather than on ours. Come hear Dr. Tim Hackenberg, psychology professor at Reed College, talk about what we can learn from other animals by keeping our human biases in check.

 

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $10 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Vancouver #5 – This Is Your Brain…This Is Your Brain on Parasites

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Wednesday, June 11, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Cost: $8.00 advance tickets available online, $10.00* suggested cover at the door
Where: Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Food & Drink: Beer, wine, pizza slices, popcorn, and snacks available at the theatre

This Nerd Nite will feature one talk:

You know how sometimes when you’re having sex and your partner gets stung by a parasite and you both get dragged away to an underground lair and buried alive? Or the time you had a bunch of alien larvae gnaw their way out through your skin and force you to protect them until you starve to death? How about that louse that ate your tongue and then took your tongue’s place? Dr. Lisa Sardinia, associate professor of biology at Pacific University will tell us all about zombie cockroaches and suicidal crickets—how parasites alter the behavior of their hosts.

 

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $10 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Vancouver #4 – Cataclysms on the Columbia: The Great Missoula Floods

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Wednesday, May 14, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Kiggins Theatre, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Cost: $10.00* suggested cover at the door, buy tickets online

This Nerd Nite will feature just one speaker, the unforgettable Scott Burns!

One of the greatest sets of geological events to ever have occurred in North America was the Missoula Floods. Occurring as many as 40 times during the last ice age, the floods were caused by waters released from ancient Lake Missoula that scoured the Columbia River basin, carved out the Columbia River Gorge, and swept across at least 16,000 square miles of the Pacific Northwest. At this Nerd Nite, Scott Burns, PhD, professor of geology and past chair of the Department of Geology at PSU, will focus on the incredible story of discovery and development of the idea of the floods by J Harlen Bretz and will discuss the effect of the floods on the landscape of the Willamette Valley and the area around us.

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $10 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Portland #15 – I Will Revive: Using Naloxone to Reverse Overdoses

When: Tuesday, May 6, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland

Oregon has one of the highest rates in the country for illicit use of prescription opiates. Overdose deaths rose 400 percent from 2000 to 2011. But since last July, naloxone – a drug long used by emergency medical personnel to reverse an opiate overdose – has been made available to trained lay people and more than 600 people have been trained in how to use the drug. Meet the men and women from the Multnomah County Health Department and Outside In as they discuss what naloxone is, what it does, and how it has already saved more than 200 lives.

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New Home for Nerd Nite Portland!

We are happy to announce that Nerd Nite Portland has a new home! Starting on the Nerd Nite on June 3, 2014, we will be moving to the Clinton Street Theater located at 2522 SE Clinton Street, Portland, OR.

Beer, wine, popcorn, and snacks available for purchase at the theater. There are several restaurants in the neighborhood, and you’re welcome to bring food into the theater with you.

Thanks to all of you who filled out our online survey and helped us find our new venue!

 

About the Clinton Theater

A landmark of Portland cinema history, The Clinton Street Theater is one of the oldest operating moviehouses in the United States. Famous for its long-standing exhibition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, the theater is currently a magnet for independent / revival films.

In April of 2012, the Clinton Street Theater was purchased by Roger and Lani Jo Leigh (who are super nice!). It has a revolving cast of volunteers and film freaks who enjoy helping support its existence.

 

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The Clinton Street Theater during a recent live performance of The Vagina Monologues

Nerd Nite Portland #14 – Waterborne Wonders: Aquatic Insects and Amphibians of the Pacific Northwest

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet soundly academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door
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This Nerd Nite will feature two talks:

The Secret Lives of Stream Bugs
When you see a colorful dragonfly flitting through the air, do you realize you’re looking at a voracious killing machine? Did you know that some insects thrive in rushing mountain streams for months or years as aquatic larvae, and then live for only a day after they leave the water as adults? Join us as Dr. Laura E. McMullen reveals some of the hidden marvels of aquatic insects in Oregon. Dr. McMullen has studied stream-dwelling bugs in the deserts of Arizona, the redwoods of California, and the mountains of Oregon. She now co-owns a local nature tour business, Volcano Lands.

Some Like it Cool and Damp: Amphibians of the Northwest
The prodigious rains of Oregon and Washington are what keep this region so delightfully green and mossy. All that water also creates some prime habitat for our secretive amphibian friends. Numerous frogs and salamanders go about their business in streams and wetlands in our valleys, forests, and mountains. Amphibians may not get as much press as mammals or birds, but they are truly fascinating creatures, with many weird and wonderful traits. Dr. Ivan Phillipsen will introduce you to the amphibians that lurk in your backyard and beyond. Dr. Phillipsen studied the population genetics of several frog species while in graduate school in California and at Oregon State University.

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Vancouver #2 – Dark Wings: The Nightlife of Bats and Birds

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet soundly academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Wednesday, March 12, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door
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This Nerd Nite will feature two talks:

Owls and Other Night Birds
Owls are the first type of birds that come to mind when we think of feathered night fliers, but many other species of birds are also active after dark. Jonathan Plissner, PhD, is a senior scientist with ABR, Inc. Environmental Research and Services and has been studying bird populations and behaviors for 30 years. His presentation will focus on nocturnal activities and adaptations of various groups of birds, as well as the risks these birds face in navigating landscapes altered by human beings.

The Biology, Behavior & Benefits of Bats
Bats are essential to the health of our natural world. They help control pests and are vital pollinators and seed-dispersers for countless plants. Yet these wonderfully diverse and beneficial creatures are among the least studied and most misunderstood of animals. Cris Hein, PhD, is a biologist with Bat Conservation International and has been studying bat behavior and ecology for 14 years. Cris will discuss the amazing adaptations of these nocturnal animals and their importance to humans and the environment.

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Portland #13 – The Mystique of Terroir: Geology, Soils, Climate and Wines in the Northern Willamette Valley

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Tuesday, March 4, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door

ter·roir/tɛrˈwɑr;
noun

Definition: the environmental conditions, especially soil and climate, in which grapes are grown and that give a wine its unique flavor and aroma.

The Willamette Valley has a certain je ne sais quoi, no? What special quality of the region’s terroir yields such exceptional wines? How do the soil, climate, and conditions lend themselves to lovely Pinot Noirs, but not Cabernets or Merlots? How does the region’s geologic past affect where and how to grow grapes? How does Oregon compare to other wine-growing regions in the United States and other countries around the world? Join us as Dr. Scott Burns, professor of geology and past chair of the Department of Geology at PSU, and wine enthusiast, tells us about all this and more about what makes a vineyard successful.

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Vancouver #1 – Lust, Chocolate, and Prairie Voles: The Neuroscience of Pleasure and Love

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Wednesday, February 12, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door

Is the brain chemistry behind our love for chocolate equivalent to that which drives infatuation with a new lover, the love of a particular song, or addiction? How does the brain sort out pleasure and discomfort? What drives our decisions to stay with one person for life or go from one lover to another, never settling down? This Nerd Nite will focus on these and other questions that reveal much about how neurochemical changes can have major effects on our behaviors—how we love, what we love, and who we love.

Dr. Larry Sherman is a Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology and Neuroscience at OHSU. He was identified as someone who is “Changing our World” by Portland Monthly Magazine and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and he was awarded OHSU Teacher of the Year in 2012.

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Portland #12 – Then and Now: The Transformation of Portland Landscapes

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Tuesday, February 4, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door

This Nerd Nite will feature two excellent talks:

The Willamette River: A History of Sediment and Change

The Willamette River is one of the most important geological features of this area. With no river, no port. And with no port, no Portland. The river has undergone huge changes since the arrival of settlers and cities. Yet throughout the taming the river by building sea walls, the dredging and channeling to facilitate shipping, and the 100+ years of dumping toxins and waste, the Willamette is still a living river with birds and fish and people who dependent on it. Keith Johnson, Manager of the DEQ Northwest Region Cleanup Program, and Kevin Parrett, NWR Cleanup Section Manager at the DEQ, will give us a visual history of the Willamette and how the river and the city have changed each other.

 

The Subsurface History of Portland

People have been moving the earth around in the Portland Metro area to suit our needs since the earliest days of urban habitation, and this history of cutting and filling impacts many aspects of living and working in the city. Engineer Stuart Albright from Apex Companies will present historic maps and photos of Portland that he uses to evaluate the location and extent of the earthwork and landfilling that has shaped this area. He will also share the history of the locations of some of the largest historic fills, such as Asylum Creek, Guilds Lake, Tanner Creek, and Marquam Gulch, and how those landscapes affect us today.
 
 
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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Nerd Nite Vancouver #3 – I Dig Your Bones: Adventures in Forensic Anthropology

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Wednesday, April 9, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door
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This Nerd Nite will feature one talk:

A forensic anthropologist is on the front lines of speaking for those who can no longer speak for themselves. At this event, Dr. Veronica “Nici” Vance from the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory will talk about how skeletal remains are found, how bones are analyzed, and how victims can be identified. Discover how the differences and similarities in our bodies are reflected in our bones and tissues, and how they can tell a story of how someone lived…and died. Hear about new technologies being used to solve cold cases and identify missing persons throughout the nation, and what you can do to help.

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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.

Science Behind the Scenes: Oregon Zoo

The zoo after hours is a lively place! Get a backstage tour of the Oregon Zoo in Portland on the evening of Saturday, April 19, 2014. This adults-only event will allow you to explore the exhibits, interact with animals, and get a peek at what happens at the zoo after dark.

When: Saturday, April 19, 2014
– Saturday at 4:45pm: Arrive at Gate E in the Oregon Zoo parking lot
– Event ends at 10:00 pm

Where:
Oregon Zoo in Portland, OR, http://www.oregonzoo.org/

Cost: $40 – Register online

What you get:
– Access to the Oregon Zoo after hours
– Hospital behind-the-scenes tour
– Animal kitchen tour
– Predators of the Serengeti Exhibit Design tour
– Big cats tour and/or elephant tour (there were just lions born so the big cats area may be off limits, but the baby elephant is old enough to have that area back on the schedule)
– Bats activity
– Contact experience with reptiles

General Info:
– Adults only, ages 21 and over please.
– EAT DINNER BEFORE YOU ARRIVE! There will be a small snack with hot cocoa partway through the evening, but there will be no dinner served.
– There is no smoking or alcohol allowed anywhere on the Oregon Zoo property.
– There is limited availability for this trip with a maximum of 75 people.
– Transportation to or from the Oregon Zoo is not included.

Payment Information:
Payment of $40 per person is due upon registration, first come, first served. Registration and payment can be made online through Constant Contact, or in person by cash, check, or credit card. Contact us for details.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: 1:00pm on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Cancelation/Refund information:
– Participants who have to cancel are highly encouraged to find a replacement
– The $40 per person payment is fully refundable if canceled at least 30 calendar days in advance
– If canceled between 15-30 calendar days in advance, 50% of the payment will be refunded
– If canceled 1-15 calendar days in advance, no payment will be refunded
– No amount will be refunded on account of weather and/or circumstances outside of the organizer’s control

To Bring:
– Warm and/or waterproof clothes for walking around outside at night

 

*Photo credit: A female Amur tiger refreshes herself while on exhibit at the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Kevin Brown.

Nerd Nite Portland #11 – Water, Water, Everywhere

Nerd Nite is a monthly event that strives for an inebriated, salacious, yet deeply academic vibe. We aim to entertain, educate, elucidate, enlighten, and other things that start with “e.” Be there and be square.

When: Tuesday, January 7, 2014, doors at 6:00pm, event at 7:00pm
Where: Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland
Cost: $8.00* suggested cover at the door

This Nerd Nite will feature two speakers on one topic:

Ocean Acidification: From Shellfish to Science, Salmon to Solutions

If you’ve heard of the term ocean acidification, it’s likely been in the context of some future threat. Corals disappearing, fish populations harmed, island nations that depend on fish suffering. But ocean acidification is already impacting people and places today – particularly in the Pacific Northwest. Julia Roberson, director of Ocean Conservancy’s ocean acidification program, and George Waldbusser from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU, will take us on a journey of those already experiencing this problem – including local oyster growers, clownfish (yes, Nemo!) and what the future might look like for our beloved salmon. But while ocean acidification is a major challenge for those of us that rely on and love the ocean, there are reasons for optimism. This is not a story of despair, but a story of action, collaboration and ultimately, hope.

Julia Roberson directs Ocean Conservancy’s ocean acidification program. Her passion is taking complex issues that affect our ocean and figuring out how to make them real and relevant to people. Her favorite sea creatures? On any given day it could be oysters, fishermen or manta rays. Follow her on Twitter @juliaroberson.

George Waldbusser, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU, and he studies Ocean Ecology and Biogeochemistry.
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*A note on the suggested cover: Nerd Nite is completely supported by money collected at the door. We are committed to offering education opportunities to adults who want to learn, so if $8 is a hardship for you, please come anyway and donate what you can.