Nerd Nite #61 – Pyrospectacular, Aiding First Responders, Coral McLovin’

4 September 201

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Boom! Science: a crash course on Pyrotechnics

Andrew Osberg

This presentation will take you behind the scenes of a firework display, including its organized set up to its chaotic launch.  It will briefly discuss the different types of fireworks used in typical shows and how to identify them. We will also go into the anatomy, construction, and artistic essence of the traditional aerial shell.  The overall objective of this presentation is to provide you a new perspective on fireworks shows, through the eyes of pyrotechnician.

Andrew is originally from Los Angeles, CA, and currently studying sponge ecology at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.  He is also a licensed pyrotechnician and novice producer that has been firing shows across the United States for 5 years.  He has fired shows in a variety of conditions and environments ranging from firing off the Brooklyn Bridge in New York to barges riding 6 ft. swells in front of Waikiki.


Peer Support for First Responders: Helping the Helpers

James Duggins

First responders spend their day answering the public’s call for help when they are having their worst day, day in and day out.  That takes a toll.  Let’s talk about it.

James is made of meat, has learned a few things here and there, and doles out bear hugs on the daily.  He is a firefighter, CrossFit coach, Hawaii Task Force Leader for Sons of the Flag (a non-profit for burn survivors), improvisor, and a member of his fire department’s Peer Support program.


Lessons about the Birds and the Bees from the Corals in the Seas

Beth Lenz

Corals are fascinating creatures that continue to bewilder scientists. These deceptively complex animals have been around for hundreds of millions of years, thriving against most odds. Like Madonna, they have withstood the test of time, withstood enormous trials and tribulations. “How?” you may ask yourself … through the power of sexuality!

It’s time to get funky.

Beth is a PhD Candidate in the Marine Biology Graduate Program at UH Mānoa, based at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology. Her research focuses on how well corals are able to sexually reproduce after major disturbances, primarily the recent global bleaching events. In addition to her research, she is Nerd Nite Honolulu’s Co-Boss, an improv performer and instructor with Improv in Paradise, currently playing in her first D&D campaign (her class is a Paladin, nbd), and hanging out with her dog Charlie, who is also a Nerd Nite regular.

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