Nerd Nite East Bay kicked off during the 2012 BASF – and we’re excited to celebrate it’s 5th birthday with a night of science and horror (in celebration of Halloween). Join Nerd Nite East Bay in Oakland for a very special fifth Anniversary show, with alcohol, music, a free Nerd Nite-brand multi-tool (yes, it opens beers) and lots of fun, horrifying and strange science with How the Monster Squid Lost Its Shell, Using CRISPR DNA Editing to Make Life Weird, and Cthulhu, Horror Writing’s Most Terrifying Monster!
The Cult of Cthulhu: A Century of Cosmic Horror Writing
H.P. Lovecraft created the weird fiction genre and revealed Cthulhu, a strange alien god that dwells on the very periphery of human perception and one of the most foreboding and unsettling monsters in all of literature. Consider Cosmicism, a philosophy based on the utter insignificance of the human race within a vast, carnivorous cosmos, and discover the cult of authors who have added to Lovecraft’s terrifying creations over the last century.
Ross E. Lockhart is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Word Horde and edited the acclaimed Lovecraftian anthologies The Book of Cthulhu I and II and Cthulhu Fhtagn!. Recent horror books from Word Horde include John Langan’s Bram Stoker Award-winning novel “The Fisherman” and the new Ouija-themed “Tales from the Talking Board”. Lockhart lives in Petaluma with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and Elinor Phantom, his Shih Tzu/editorial assistant.
CRISPR DNA Editing Gets Weird
CRISPR has revolutionized our ability to easily alter genomic DNA, and has quickly created opportunities to change life in important, strange, superfluous and weird ways. Learn how CRISPR has manipulated myostatin to emulate muscular superheroes, manufactured mesmerizing micropigs, manhandled malaria in mosquitos, and might make TB-free cows, modern mammoths and magnificent marijuana.
Megan Hochstrasser and Kevin Doxzen studied CRISPR in the Doudna lab in the PhD program at UC Berkeley and work in science communication at the Innovative Genomics Institute. Kevin spends his free time watching the Warriors and eating strawberry Pop-Tarts, while Megan adores Clue (both the board game and the movie) and everything about Fiona Apple.
How the Monster Squid Lost Its Shell
Ancient cephalopods were the original sea monsters, as these gigantic and bizarre predators moved slowly through the oceans and ate everything in their path. But the evolution of fast-swimming, shell-crunching fish turned these once fearsome hunters into the hunted. Learn how cephalopods survived by changing from tentacle terrors into shell-less modern masters of speed, camouflage, and brainpower.
Danna Staaf is the author of Squid Empire: The Rise and Fall of the Cephalopods, which chronicles the 500-million-year evolutionary journey of cephalopods from masters of the primordial sea to calamari on your dinner plate. She earned her PhD in “Squid Sex and Babies” from Stanford University, works as a freelance science writer and lives in San Jose with her husband, kids, cats, and an astounding array of plush cephalopods.