> Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Speakers for our 3rd Nerdnite (which went very well despite large numbers of malingerers who felt Radiohead were more important) were:

Cather Simpson.

“How can lasers light up YOUR life?”

Dr Cather Simpson runs the Photon Factory, a facility that provides incredibly fast laser pulses to a variety of researchers as well as the ability to microscopically machine pretty much any material.


Matthew Dentith,

Why we’re all conspiracy theorists now (or, we should be).
Conspiracy theories get a bad rap. They’re considered to be only believed by outsiders, they are irrational beliefs and even though we know conspiracies do occur, most of us don’t think that means we should treat conspiracy theories seriously.


Mike Dickison

Why aren’t birds bigger?

Madagascar used to be home to Elephant Birds, the largest birds in the world. Despite their name, they weighed only a tenth as much as an elephant. Which is curious, as flying birds are bigger on average than flying mammals, and flightless birds bigger than flightless mammals. What determines the maximum size of birds? Some have proposed it’s because they lay eggs; others put it down to them not having tails. Who’s right?

Mike did his PhD at Duke University on the evolution of giant flightless birds (www.giantflightlessbirds.com). He’s also a graphic designer, specialising in the communication of scientific data (http://www.numberpix.com), and the author of a best-selling book on how to play the ukulele (http://www.kiwiukulele.co.nz).
If you would like to speak or want to suggest someone that you think should speak (or something that you want to hear about), let me know, contact details on the contact page. Funny that.

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