Science, Science and Society, Technology

nerd nite 10: Of the Strange, the Alien and the Device

Well, I know have a full linup and details for nerd nite Wellington #10, which is happening this Monday, 23rd April, from 6pm at Hotel Bristol.

nerd nite 10 poster
Click to enlarge, and feel free to print out and spread around (it's made at 72dpi, A2 dimensions)

Details are already available on the nerd nite Wellington website, Facebook page etc, but I figured I’d share them here, too :)

I’ve changed the format a little and will only be having three speakers from now on, but this one promises to be a good’un, covering quantum mechanics (from a Sciblogger!), Mars (from a Sciblogger!), and the journey from ‘respectable engineer to broke artist’.

And we’ve also got previous speaker Andrew Stephen, who will be bringing along his ZX Spectrum, since Monday is its 30th birthday, and giving a brief commemorative speech.  Which may include games he/other nerd nite attendees wrote for it back in the day :)

And thanks to Brett Wilkins for this edition’s new and improved title!


What is Existence? The following is a scientific answer.
Roger Hanson

The early 20th century view of existence as described by Newton and Einstein, is merely the front-stage show in this Universe. Underpinning this is a more fundamental physics, quantum physics, operating back-stage, where the seemingly impossible becomes possible. Without quantum physics, living organisms, for example, could not exist. Dr Hanson will raise the curtain and reveal what is going on.

Dr Roger Hanson has a PhD from Cambridge University. In 2011 he delivered a presentation on The Evolution of Universes to the Flamsteed Society at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich London. He is author of a book, The Cosmic Engine and writes a weekly science article for The Taranaki Daily News and The Marlborough Express. He is currently writing a less academic version of the The Cosmic Engine for the non-scientist.


Kiwimars: NZ’s space race
Elf Eldridge

Welcome to NZ’s burgeoning space industry! Well maybe ‘burgeoning’ is too strong a word…perhaps ‘non-existant’ is a better phrase! Nonetheless, during the last 2 weeks of April, 6 Kiwis are winging their way to Mars. For two weeks, these intrepid Kiwi-naughts will east, sleep, exercise and communicate as if they were marooned on the red planet, whilst inhabiting the most Martian place on Earth: the deserts of Utah. Kiwimars is the latest in a series of NASA experiments to test the habitability of the Martian surface. Mission controller Elf Eldridge will tell how and why the mission came into being, relay messages from the crew and provide a brief insight into Kiwimars living conditions. Elf will look at the science behind the experiments they’re doing, the implications for the the future colonization of Mars, the possibility of a New Zealand with an active part in space research, and wil digress breifly into talking about Ice caves under Austria.

Elf is a Physics PhD student with the MacDiarmid Institute with a keen interest in all things sciency. He’s been interested in space ever since wanting to sell ice-creams on the moon as a child, and now works at Carter Observatory, which is as close as he can currently get.

See you on Mars….


Zen and the Art of DIY Electronics
Richard Dennis Bartlett (aka Rich Decibels)

Rich tells the story of how his love of weird noises took him from respectable engineer to broke artist, and shares some of the lessons he learnt along the way.

Rich Decibels is an electronics nerd with a passion for open source, DIY, and teaching people how they can make anything.


As always: it’s a free event, so bring everyone you know who likes to know more! Just bring money for beer and food :) Talks start at 6:30pm, but seating fills fast, so the closer to 6pm you get there, the better your seats.

See you there!