“That’s Not a Fucking Dinosaur! Misconceptions about Paleontology”

Ross Gellar. Jurassic Park/World. Dinobots. Barney. The idiocy of creationist museums. Pop culture has this on again/off again love affair with the reality of paleontology, but refuses to take it out to dinner and really listen. Let’s bust one of the most basic misconceptions: what the fuck makes a dinosaur a dinosaur.

Trevor Valle is a field paleontologist and Cicerone Certified Beer Server. Previously a biologist, Trevor stumbled into a job as Assistant Lab Supervisor at the Page Museum (at the La Brea Tar Pits) and ended up becoming a paleontologist. In 2013, National Geographic sent him on expedition to Siberia for 6 weeks searching for frozen woolly mammoths for the documentary “Mammoths Unearthed”. He has presented 6 times at Nerd Nites in LA, ComicCon, and Orlando.

Our second speaker was UCSD postdoctoral fellow Heather Bell! Heather has a PhD in Neuroscience and specializes in bee communication.

“Hive Mind: What Bees Have to Say”

Honey bee colonies are considered by many researchers to be “superorganisms.” That is, even though they are made up of many autonomous individuals, each colony is capable of remarkably cohesive, sophisticated, and intelligent behavior – like foraging efficiently for food, waging war on neighbors, and finding new homes. What’s even more amazing is that they do this without any “leader” directing their behavior (the queen’s job is to lay eggs, not to give orders). Heather discussed some of the fascinating ways that bees have evolved to talk to each other and get things done!

“Bugs: Their Greatest Hits”

Rockabilly cicadas, calypso fleas, indie mayflies, and jam band ants. Insects inspire and create music. The ever-popular Michael Wall, entomological nerd, journeyed into the six-legged music scene in this final installment of the buggiest of trilogies: Sex, Drugs, & Rock-n-Roll!