The Future is Now … What’s Next?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law captures the world in which we live, often without our awareness of how advanced we are. Or, as Louis CK puts it, “everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.” Yesterday’s super powers are today’s gizmos: The 1960s Enterprise worked off levers and knobs, with a computer that seemed less powerful than an iPad. Now it’s a fully-automated, semi-sentient AI. Iron Man was literally just a guy in a suit of armor – now his “suit” is a series of nanoparticles embedded within his body that he commands with his mind to form armor around him. Could this mean that tomorrow’s gadgets will be AI supercomputers and nanoparticle toys?

In this talk, neuroscientist Dr. Brad Voytek (of zombie brain fame) explores our technological future as predicted by comic books and science fiction. He’ll cover some history of science in science fiction and comics, how those themes reflect, and are reflected by, our current scientific achievements, and how the ideas behind today’s sci-fi and comic book magic may soon be tomorrow’s everyday technology.


InSex in the Undergrowth: Stories of Entomological Kink and Fetish!

The bizarreness of insect sex calls into question the universality of Rule 34. Sure, there are insects that engage in erotic practices with human equivalents: you’ve got your insect sadists and cross-dressers. But some insect kink seems to defy human imagination.  Join entomologist Dr. Michael Wall as he explores the deviance and debauchery of six-legged sex.

Dr. Wall has been looking at insect tallywackers and naughty bits for over two decades. All in the name of science, he swears.


Heterodyne with Scott Paulson!

The purported love child of Vincent Price and Garrison Keillor, Scott is well known for his spooky sound effects, whether for old-school radio drama, experimental theatrical sound design, or live and lively silent film accompaniment. The Theremin is an audience favorite in Scott’s underscoring activities.  Scott uses the Theremin in many settings, from modern chamber music to STEM instructional activities. Many of Scott’s Theremin activities take place in Geisel Library at UC San Diego (the very space-age “Mother Ship” building in the middle of that La Jolla Campus – Halloween silent horror films coming up in the Seuss Room there next month!).

Nerd Nite #1 has Scott Paulson demonstrating the Theremin and celebrating the magic of the “space age” instruments’ swirling radio waves in the ether around us. We’ll here famous examples of Theremin music and explore the kitschy yet classy Theremin in popular culture and beyond – with joys and regrets of the inventor Lev Theremin and his muse Clara Rockmore.

We’ll learn how it works and see a premiere of a short new work for Theremin and other gestural instruments … featuring volunteers from the audience!
Here is an appropriate onomatopoetic representation:   OOOOooooEEEEEeeeeeOOOOooooo!!!!