148 Views

Nerd Nite Review: February 2015

This month, hosted at Komedia, a larger and rather upgraded venue than the usual gathering area, Nerd Nite featured a SciFest Special. Nerd Nite, featuring nerdy science, laughter and quizzes, fascinates nerd all over Brighton. This months passionate speakers were appearances from Professor Jonathan Bacon, Dr John Wood and The Science Museum’s resident comedy team, Science Punk.

Kicking things off was a brief light hearted introduction – What is it to be a nerd? One definition states that a nerd is a foolish or contemptible person who lacks social skills. But if you ask me, that’s incorrect. A true nerd is a single-minded expert in a particular technical field, which led nicely on to this months science speakers.

Animal Disease

We all know about diseases such as SARS, HIV/AIDS, Avian Influenza as just a  few examples. But did you know that these are all diseases that have been transferred from animals to humans? These are called Zoonoses.
Dr John Wood, previous influenza virologist at the World Health Organisation (WHO) laboratory in Hertfordshire discussed what fruit bats and civets have in common, and how some virus can jump from animal to human at alarming rates causing mass panic.

South American social spiders, Darwin and Game Theory

Prof Jonathan Bacon, a Professor of Neuroscience in the School of Life Sciences at The University of Sussex, gave a captivating talk on South American social spiders, Darwin and Game Theory.

If you are like me and suffer from Arachnophobia, this was not the presentation for you.

With videos featuring thousands of spiders in rugby balls sized nests and spiders hanging from overhead power-lines to catch their next victim- it certainly made my skin crawl. Bringing back memories of only the night before when a huge spider (in reality, probably the size of a 2p coin!), went running across my bedroom floor.

Moving away from my hatred of spiders; Bacon went on to apply John Maynard Smith’s research of Game Theory onto these little creepy crawlies’ activities. This concept states that for a set of behaviours to be conserved over evolutionary time, they must be the most profitable avenue of action when common, so that no alternative behaviour can invade.
  

Thus, the spiders have a set of behaviours that they abide to when they form webs and ‘hunt’ for food.

Science Punk

At this point in the night, a little bit of science silliness begins. And this month was no exception was Science Punk’s science – faction (fiction and fact) quiz. Through intensive selection, four members of the audience were chosen to take part on stage. And would you have guessed… I was one of them (chosen purely on the fact I had never seen Star Wars… or was it Star Trek – I’ve never seen either! Yes, okay…. I can hear you all judging me, much like the whole audience as I was presented on stage!)

As the quiz got underway, we were all given a ‘team’ name of a famous sci-fi film and presented with a cup of water with a wire in, that would work as our nerdy buzzer. After several rounds, I was knocked out and the remaining contestants went into the final stage. Taking a strange twist, it involved dried bug eating and I was very glad that I was safely back in my seat!

Having witnessed some very large and creepy bugs be consumed the winners got their prices – more dried bugs – and the night was over.

Much to say, apart from being terrified by spiders and diseases, February’s Nerd Nite certainly lived up to expectations! Fun, laughter, nerdy conversation and lots of science passion – I know I’m going to be heading back to Nerd Nite in March.

Keep an eye out for The Badger’s next preview of the Nerd Nite: March in the coming weeks.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
505 views1
Campus News
505 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
41 views
Arts
41 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
85 views
Arts
85 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
88 views
Arts
88 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
112 views
Arts
112 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
132 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
145 views
Arts
145 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
138 views
Arts
138 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
218 views
Campus News
218 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
102 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
204 views
Arts
204 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
134 views
Arts
134 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
210 views
Artist Focus
210 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
144 views
Interview
144 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
212 views
Arts
212 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
235 views
Arts
235 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
273 views
Arts
273 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
189 views
Artist Focus
189 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
196 views
Books
196 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
250 views
Science
250 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
260 views
News
260 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…