Nerd Nite XIII – Scurvy on Antarctic Voyages, Japanese Astrodendrochronolgy, and NerdFest

Monday, January 28

Cole’s Bar
8:30pm


I fucking LOVE nerd nite!


Dear, Dear, Very Dear Nerds,

Two Thousand Thirteen is about to get a lot smarter, more entertaining, and drunker!

Join us this Monday night for drinks at Cole’s. We want to hear how you’ve been, what you did for New Year’s, and whether you have any ideas about an obscure integral we’re try to evaluate, encoded in these Hittite manuscripts which were stuffed in the bottom drawer of a Dutch hutch, filled with the bodies of bees. And then:

Laura Lanford,

veteran nn presenter and experimental sparger, will regale us with the surprisingly variable history of scurvy (with a close look at specific Antarctic voyages).

Scourge of the Seas!

Scurvy is the answer to the riddle: “What do pirates, Antarctic
adventurers, and guinea pigs have in common?”

Invariably fatal if untreated (yet trivially simple to cure), scurvy
has plagued mankind since long before it was first described by
Hippocrates. It’s the reason the British Navy took over Europe and
the subject of the first known scientific clinical trial.

The actual cure was found – and lost – multiple times over the last
500 years while the disease continued to ravage sailors on the seven
seas as well as adventurers to both poles. The theories of its cause and
the recommendations for cures ranged from laughable to downright
disgusting.

Scurvy: so much more interesting* than you’d think! For those joining
us at Cole’s on Monday night, Laura recommends ordering a Sidecar, a
Tom Collins or (her personal favourite) an Aviation.

Alex Radovic,

who is so apologetically English it’s almost in-your-face English, brings the true story of ancient Japanese tree rings, and the amazingly rare astronomical cataclysms they evidentiate.

Few scientists publish a paper in Nature. Fewer still publish one which jointly touches on the fields of astronomy, earth sciences, physics, and archeology.

This is the inspiring cross-discipline story of a group of scientists in Japan who used local fauna to peer into the history of our corner of the cosmos. Using a combination of dendrochronology, C14 dating, detailed models of the Earth’s atmosphere, and a comprehensive understanding of astronomy, they turned a pair of trees in the Japanese Isles into a living telescope. And damn me if that isn’t awesome!

Alex recommends cane and ebel for beer, or a gin and tonic for something light, to accompany his talk.

Then

there’s so very much to tell you about the future. Yes, yes, the spandex wardrobes, but even more thrilling will be this: The Global Nerd Nite Fest 2013, one August weekend in the Brooklyn Lyceum! More details here

.

Be there AND be square,
-jmsj

*For those familiar with Laura’s NN talks, “interesting” often
translates into “disturbing”, but in this case interesting is actually
interesting. Except maybe the bit about raw polar bear meat.

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