Nerd Nite 71: Almost An Animal

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Nerd Nite 71: Almost An Animal
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Nerd Nite 71: Almost An Animal says
[ASL interpreters will be present]

Austin takes animals seriously. We are the largest no kill city in the US. Even our tigers and bears are rescues. We love our mascotas!

So let's scoot around the science of robot pets, claw at the concept of school pride, and peer adoringly at our weirdo ancestors and the four-legged company they kept. Nerd Nite is ready to go off-leash!

This month's talks:


"Pets in the Ancient World," by Brendan McLeod

A look back at the cutest, most adorable part of the ancient world: pet animals! With a focus on Mediterranean cultures in particular, we'll look back at why humans decided to keep animals around to begin with, what kind of animals a typical household might have kept, and examine some of the most exotic pets kept by ancient animal enthusiasts.

Brendan McLeod is a local game developer raised in the Florida Keys in a house full of animals. His love of wildlife is matched only by his appreciation for learning about classical civilizations - which he got his undergraduate degree in.


"The Robot Petting Zoo: Why can't I just hold a kitten?" by Bon V. Davis II

The Robot Petting Zoo has been developed to provide humans with immersive & simulated interactions with both modified and off-the-shelf, life-like robot animals. Robot animals can be used to provide therapeutic fun for all ages, explore the ""Uncanny Valley"" of just how real fake can be and increase our comfort levels with non-traditional life forms.

Bon V. Davis II, MA has a background in Anthropology, Archeology and the Performing Arts. His research and artwork has been exhibited and published in galleries in Texas, NY and Europe.


"Bald Eagles v. Banana Slugs: What's the deal with college mascots?" by Jen N.

Students, alumni, and fans bleed their school colors, yell their fight songs, and argue that their mascot is the fiercest, toughest, and greatest. Banana slugs, purple cows, or a terp are not necessarily frightening beasts, but as collegiate mascots – look out! Let’s talk about what makes these symbols and characters so compelling in popular culture to the point of influencing behavior and creating lasting bonds across generations.

Jen N. is a school spirit enthusiast, beginning in her youth as a cheerleader and marching in college band. She currently teaches an undergraduate course on college mascots.



Want to get a jump on your nerdery? Form a covalent bond at Nerd Nite Speed-Dating before the show:

-- or meet some new friends through the Nerd Nite Ambassador program:


Doors at 7:30, talks start at 8:00 (note new time!). As always, Nerd Nite is free.

Talks may not be given in the order described. Grab a beer and relax!

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