blinkBL-NK #15

==========
Event Details
==========

Date: Wednesday,  September 21
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Brewerkz Riverside Point (Opposite Clarke Quay)
Cost: $5 donation

=============
Talk Summaries
=============

Talk 1: Cycling for Sustainability, Humanity, and Hope
by Gone Cyclin’

Description: The Gone Cyclin’ team is an international team of nine young professionals based in Singapore that took on a gruelling, adventure based, innovative fundraising challenge. The team cycled 400km over 5 days from Vietnam to Cambodia to raise funds and awareness for a NGO called Carpets for Communities, which aims to empower Cambodian women to break the cycle of poverty. In this talk Gone Cyclin’ will share more about this physically and mentally gruelling adventure and the amazing Carpets for Communities project that it benefitted.

Speakers: The Gone Cyclin’ team members are energetic, passionate, and fun! They are looking forward to share their reflections on an amazing expedition that suggests a hopeful outlook for Cambodia’s future.Psychosis – A Personal and Philosophical Approach

Talk 2: Cross-Culture Shock: Increasing Your Cross-Cultural Quotient (XCQ)
by Benjamin Joffe

Description: What should you think if your Korean friend calls you drunk at 3am on a Tuesday? Are your Japanese guests upset when they leave a second after they said they would go? If a talk is to start at 7pm and the speaker is French, when will it actually start? While situations like those can seem anecdotical, they are deeply rooted in culture; the same words might mean different things for each of us. So come take a chance at raising your cross-cultural awareness, learning about others and sharing your blend of “common sense”.

Speaker: A French native, Benjamin has lived in 6 different countries and visited dozens of others over the past 11 years. He has suffered numerous cultural shocks while trying to avoid cultural faux-pas and connected with locals in each place. As his cultural DNA has mutated beyond recognition he can only hope the rest of the world goes the same way. His favorite question is “What do you mean?”. Benjamin is also our first return speaker, having given a fabulous talk on social deprogramming at blinkBL_NK #9.

Talk 3: The Unseen Singaporeans: Migrant Workers in a Land of Plenty
by Jolovan Wham

Description: Low cost migrant labor is a pillar of the Singaporean development model. Sourced from across Asia, these hundreds of thousands of domestic helpers, constructions workers, and laborers fill a crucial gap in the workforce, keeping labor costs low and quality of life high. But though migrants typically come to Singapore seeking opportunity, their lives are often full of hardship. In this talk, Jolovan Wham will share stories from his work with these communities and reflections on what their experiences tell us about the character of Singaporean civil society.

Speaker: Jolovan is the Executive Director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics aka HOME. A graduate in social work from the National University of Singapore, he works with HOME’s founder and President, Bridget Lew, in spearheading and running its programmes and initiatives.

blinkBL-NK #14

==========
Event Details
==========

Date: Wednesday,  June 15
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Brewerkz Riverside Point (Opposite Clarke Quay)
Cost: $5 donation

=============
Talk Summaries
=============

Walking in Circles: A Memoir of The Shikoku Pilgrimage
by Grace Goh

Description: What’s it like to be a wandering vagabond on a 1200km long Buddhist pilgrimage? The island of Shikoku is home to Japan’s most famous pilgrimage – a path of 88 temples winding through forests, mountains, coasts, countryside and city. Every year thousands of pilgrims travel around the island from temple to temple, to worship, to find themselves, to take a break, and to experience the cultural and religious history of Japan. Most take the bus and train, but a very few walk. In this talk, Grace Goh will share her experience of one such walking journey.

Speaker: Grace likes walking. Especially long-distance walking. She walks somewhere every few years because it keeps her healthy and happy. She’s doing this talk so she can wrap up this walk and move on to the next adventure!

Psychosis – A Personal and Philosophical Approach
by Lishan Chan

Description: We hear a lot about mental illnesses these days, but what is the subjective experience of mental illness actually like? In this talk, Lishan Chan will share with you her personal experience of psychosis. Lishan will also discuss some of her reflections on the nature of mental illness, including the question of whether or not the substance of mental illness is mental or physical.

Speaker: Lishan has been thinking and writing about madness for a couple of years. She has written a book, a memoir of madness, which includes philosophical musings on the nature of mental illness. The book has found a publisher and hopes to emerge in book stores sometime in 2012.

From the Front: Singapore Sex Factoids
by Robin Ann Rheaume

Description: In this talk, Robin Ann Rheaume will present a collection of facts and observations culled from her work in sex education and supporting victims of sexual harassment and assault in Singapore. The presentation will be a random meander through the little known, the misunderstood, the slightly absurd and the true cliches. You will not emerge with a better sex life but it should be no worse. Note that some of the slides and topics may be a bit disturbing to some people.

Speaker
: Robin has lived in Singapore for 20 years and considers it home. Last year she took a break from a career in banking to focus on community work, much of which has been with AWARE. Besides running their website and helping them out in all matters geek, she has acted as a sex education instructor, a trained helpliner (phone crisis support) and has advised on training for awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace.


blinkBL-NK #13

==========
Event Details
==========

Date: Wednesday,  April 20
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Brewerkz Riverside Point (Opposite Clarke Quay)
Cost: $5 donation

==========
Talk Summaries
==========

Talk 1: Motion Comics, The Next Wave in Visual Storytelling**
by Michael Lim

Description: Are you a fan of comic books or animation films? If so, it might be time for you to explore motion comics before thy explode (“POW!”) as the next wave in visual storytelling. In this presentation, Michael Lim will take us beyond just Marvel and DC to challenge our notions about comics and what they might be like in the future. As Stan Lee would say, “Excelsior!”

Speaker: Michael is the founder of the Singapore Visual Effects and Animation Group. He has been an ardent fan of comics and filmmaking since his teens and has been in the industry for over a decade. Among his credits are a Harry Potter film and directing Jackie Chan, but he is most proud of owning a first print of The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller. Motion comics are now his calling and he hopes they will become yours.

Talk 2: Origami, It’s Not Just for Kids
by Ben Ball

Description: Many people know origami as a simple if painstaking children’s craft for churning out cranes and fortune tellers. Far fewer are aware that origami can be combined with sophisticated mathematics to create stunning and complex paper art. In this talk, Ben will provide an insider’s peek into the fascinating sub culture of complex origami, sharing the techniques of mathematical design that underlie it and the methods used by experts to execute their work. In addition to sharing stories, Ben will also show images and examples of amazingly accurate and complex pieces, all folded from just one uncut square of paper.

Speaker: Ben has been studying and folding origami since the age of 6, often to the displeasure of his teachers, who mistrusted (at a number of levels) his habit of constantly fiddling under his desk. While living in Japan and San Francisco he became friends with many at the forefront of complex origami, am avocation he continues to explore to this day.

Talk 3: Don’t Know Much About History
by Ross Dillon

Description: How can we help students get the most out of the dreaded history class? Why do they (and we) prefer watching history on TV? And just what are they supposed to take away from it all? In a nutshell: How should history be taught to meet the needs of today’s students? Answers to all this in more in this talk, as Ross Dillon takes on the question of how to make old stuff seem relevant to people who aren’t that old.

Speaker: Ross teaches international history at a Junior College in Singapore, and has taught world history and humanities in the United States. He has also toiled on an archaeological excavation, worked as a line chef, lived in a Zen monastery, and been a librarian, although not in that order.

blinkBL-Nk #12

After a fabulous first year at Blu Jazz (and other spots), our quest for a new home has begun. The first stop is Brewerkz at Riverside Point (opposite Clarke Quay). It’s a big, comfy space, with great beer and tasty food, and we’ve even lined up some drink specials and giveaways. Our speakers are especially varied this month, so there should be something for everyone. And we’ve also signed up a guest DJ from the Straits Sound System, Singapore’s finest crew of reggae mixologists. So please join us on next Wednesday, March 16 and help us kick off the second year of blinkBL_Nk in style!

==========
Event Details
==========

Date: Wednesday, March 16
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Brewerkz Riverside Point (Opposite Clarke Quay)
Cost: $5 donation

============
Talk Summaries
============

Talk 1 – And the Oscar Goes To. . .
by Mark Kwan

Description: “The Academy Awards are obscene, dirty . . . no better than a beauty contest.” One night every year, for the past 83 years, the world is abuzz with the glitz, glamour and romance of the Academy Awards. In this talk, Mark Kwan will delve deeper into history of Oscar over the years and the inner workings of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) which bestows the awards. Special attention will be given to the most recent Oscars, which saw The King’s Speech run away with the coveted Best Picture award.

Speaker: Mark is the current President of the Screenwriters Association of Singapore. He was the recipient of two merit awards at the 2006 National Scriptwriting Competition, and his short film, “Scenes”, was shown at the Arts House in 2008 and the Substation in 2009. Mark is presently working on a feature-length script, “Lies”, a contemporary drama about the secret lives of two seemingly picture-perfect couples.

Talk 2: Myths and Mr. Darwin
by John van Wyhe

Description: Everybody knows Charles Darwin – he’s the biologist that changed our understanding of the world forever. And yet, everything you think you know about Darwin is probably wrong! In this talk, John van Wyhe will provide the real scoop on this towering figure. As he attempts to set a record for Darwin myths busted per minute, John will also shed some light on how evolution was really discovered.

Speaker: John is a historian at NUS and Director of Darwin Online. He has published six books and numerous other publications and lectures around the world on Darwin and evolution.

Talk 3: Between the Words
by Natasha Golding

Description: How do you articulate the thing that drives you? Having listened to a whole load of leaders, designers, entrepreneurs, artisans, consultants, artists and campaigners, Natasha Golding has collected some insights into how we express the things that bother us. The theory so far: listen to what you say between the words and you will hear the things you need to lead, make, do, change or create in the world.

Speaker: Natasha listens to and writes for various businesses and individuals. She tends to work with people who are out there doing their own thing. Writing for the sake of writing, reading, walking and organizing events where people get to be heard also feature in her every day life.


blinkBL-NK #11

Last month we kicked off the solar year. This month we’re coming at you lunar style.  On top of that, we’ll also be in the general neighborhood of Valentine’s Day, which we’ll celebrate by introducing some mingling experiments courtesy of Chew Lin. As always, the true focus will be on another set of three  great speakers, tunes from Syaheed, and cheap drinks and good food from our hosts at Blu Jazz. So, bring your carrots, your love poems, and your mingling shoes, and come on down to Blu Jazz for another evening of lighthearted mind enhancement and holiday good cheer.

==========
Event Details
==========

Date: Wednesday, February 16
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Blu Jazz , 11 Bali Lane (Entrance on Ophir Road)
Cost: Entry is free, but $5 donation requested

============
Talk Summaries
============

Talk 1 – My Teachers Told Me Not to Doodle. . .
by Cheryl Chung

Description: Every class has one – the dreamy student who gets told off by the teacher for doodling on her notes and not paying attention. In this talk, Cheryl Chung speaks up in defense of doodlers everywhere. Maybe doodles are more than just swirly patterns lazily penned in margins of textbooks and maybe there is more going on in the brains of the doodlers than teachers give them credit for.

Speaker: Cheryl is an economist who draws. Part student and part strategist, she thinks about the future for a living. She doodles on her notes because it helps her to concentrate. Honest.

Talk 2 – The Price is Right: Ticket Pricing and Human Behavior from the Airlines’ Perspective
by Fabian Lua

Description: Ever wonder how air ticket prices could vary so dramatically? How do airlines decide on pricing? In this talk, Fabian Lua won’t quite go so far as to “Break the Airlines Code”, but he will give some insight into airlines’ approaches to figuring out how much consumers are willing to pay to travel. He will also share some anecdotes that reveal the lengths people go to score cheap tickets and find loopholes in the system.

Speaker: Fabian currently analyzes long-term growth and aircraft-related plans at Singapore Airlines (SIA). In his previous position, also at SIA, he was one of the guys who influenced how much the air tickets cost. In part of his free time, he reads compulsively, with special interests in architecture, art and design.

Talk 3 – Bricolage Education: A Theory of Intelligence as Process
by Melissa Lewis

Description: Intelligence and talent are often thought of as inherent traits, rather than as habits of mind and action that can be attained through certain processes. In this talk, Melissa Lewis will examine these opposing conceptions of natural vs. learned ability, presenting research from the genetic to the behavioral that points to a new educational paradigm both in the home and in the classroom.

Speaker: Melissa is a visiting biology student and teacher specializing in neuroscience and euphemisms for failure.

blinkBL_Nk # 10

It’s 2011 and we’re back in action! For our January edition, we’ll be returning to the cozy confines of Blu Jazz for another great night of speakers, music, and good old fashioned socializing. It’s a classic blinkBL-NK grab bag this month, so please come down and enjoy the variety. And remember, do come early so you have time to grab  a good seat and nosh on some tasty Blu Jazz eats before the fun begins.

Also, please note that starting with this event, we will be asking attendees for a donation of $5 to support our New Years resolutions of bringing better photography, video, and web design to blinkBL_NK. The fee will not be compulsory, but for those who can afford it, we very much appreciate your support.

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Wednesday, January 19
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Blu Jazz, 11 Bali Lane (Entrance on Ophir Road)
Cost: Free to enter, $5 suggested donation

TALK SUMMARIES

Talk 1: Street Photography: The Invisible Photographers
Description:  Street photography is a genre within documentary photography that attempts to capture life and the human condition in a manner that is unaltered in any way by the presence of the photographer. Street photographers try to document life as is, and if they’re lucky enough, the quirks that come with it. Amongst street photographers, the purists follow a set of rigorous rules, such as: only black and white pictures, no flash, no setup, and click only on rangefinders. In this talk, Navjot Pawera will introduce the genre of street photography and share some of his pictures and experiences in his quest to capture the essence of the street.

Bio: Nav has been experimenting with photography for almost a decade. Somewhere along the way, his lust for travelling, love for walking around in big cities and intrigue for the quirks of daily life led him to develop a love for street photography. Nav’s new year’s resolution this year is the same as last year (which was the same as the one year before) – “I shall get a smaller camera and click more”. For more pics fro Nav, see: www.flickr.com/djnavv.

Talk 2: Spirituality in the Arts

Description:  One day Kandinsky saw one of his paintings hanging upside down and he was surprised to find out that it still was pleasant to look at. Art history tells us that this hwas the day when he invented abstract art. In front of abstract art, the eye is not busy deciphering a representation of reality. And still, shapes on a painting can trigger emotions. Kandinsky made attempts at rationalizing the power of shapes and colors. He researched correspondances with music scales.  Ultimately he was trying to define a syntax to better represent spirituality. In this talk, Thibaut Camdessus will look at some masterpieces of 20th century abstract art in an attempt to show how they can be a powerfull conduit to meditation.

Speaker Bio: Thibaut is the founder and managing director of UrbanMedia Studio, a boutique digital agency based in Singapore. Prior to setting up UrbanMedia, Thibaut held key positions in publishing companies where he envisioned award-winning and successful new products and online strategies with a focus on consumer technology. Thibaut graduated in Film and Television production from ESRA (Paris) and was awarded the prestigious Citere Grant from the French Government to conduct post-graduate research in international study of new media technologies.

Talk 3 – Tales from the Near Future – Stories from the Frontline of Social Innovation

Description:  In this talk, Stuart Smith, CEO of Innovation Co Wood Holmes (UK and PtE) and JFDI startup mentor, will be sharing experiences of his work in social innovation and in particular his use of ethnographic techniques on social and technological innovation projects. Stuart will be telling stories but will not be using strobe light effects!

Speaker Bio:  Stuart Smith is an expert in Smart Cities, Social Media and Innovation. His experience, spanning consultancy with major private and public-sector clients, allows him to identify opportunities for SMEs to collaborate and innovate new IDM products and services. As CEO of Wood Holmes, Stuart and his team work internationally with large corporate brands and governments in areas of strategy, digital innovation and sustainability consulting. Some clients include ACAS, O2, Bouygues, Deloittes, HSBC, SABIC, BT, Manchester Enterprise BERR and Design Council.

blinkBL_NK #9

Bio. Display Project

It’s our last event of the year, and a holiday to boot, so we’re pulling out all the stops for blinkBL_NK #9. The theme this month is bio art, a topic we’re extremely excited to learn more about. In addition to three bio-themed talks, we also have a fourth bonus speaker who promises to help you all with your mingling skills. Due to some scheduling issues at Blu Jazz, we’re shifting this month’s event to Speakeasy, a wonderful little bar and event space in Outram Park. In addition to great drinks, Speakeasy has a fabulous kitchen, so do come down early for a good seat and some grub before the sessions start.

===============
EVENT DETAILS
===============

Date: Wednesday, November 17
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Speakeasy, 54 Blair Road (MRT – Outram)
==

===============
TALK SUMMARIES
===============

Talk 1: Facebook for Your Genes and other Biosocial Interfaces
by Denisa Kera

Description: What do eugenic style dating over DNA profiles with “GenePartner”, large matriarchal families created by sharing information on donor sperms with “Donor Sibling Registry” , and genealogical “tribes” and biotech enthusiasts discussing their DNA makeup on “23andMe” all have in common? They all represent examples of the emerging trend of social networking via biosocial interfaces. While traditional social networking websites support profiles created by users themselves representing their personal history, cultural, and geographical context, the new type of bionetworking services use biological profiles produced in the science laboratories. DNA sequences, so called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which define variations between members of a same species, databases of donors’ sperms defined by numbers and other biological data are becoming means of interaction that is serendipitous rather than conscious and relies on expert knowledge and laboratory results rather than on the free choice of the individual.

Speaker: Denisa Kera is an Assistant Professor at NUS where she teaches Interactive Media Design and topics in Science, Technology & Society studies. Her current academic research is on consumer genomics, citizen science projects and interaction over biological data. (She would like to build a social networking service for sharing of brain patterns, a “dream hunters network” that connects people over their dreams by updating their brain activity online and looking for similar patterns). She has a PhD in Information Science from Charles University (Prague, Czech Republic), an MA in Philosophy, and extensive experience as a curator of exhibitions related to art, technology and science.

Talk 2: Bio-Gifts: How Will We Accept and Respond to the Materials of Synthetic Biology?
by Tim Merritt

Description: We are in the midst of a biotechnology revolution with amazing new materials and objects being created such as glowing bunnies, petroleum-producing algae, and recently, scientists have even created synthetic life using chemicals and a computer!  Surely, there will be amazing biotech solutions for many of the world’s problems, such as global warming, the search for alternative fuels, and medical problems. Meanwhile, artists and designers have proposed that people will also engage with biology in new ways and will exchange hybrid objects as gifts to enhance intimacy and closeness with one another. In this talk, Tim will discuss some examples of new biological objects that we might exchange as gifts, the advances in science that make them possible, and results from a user study aiming to understand how we might respond to the prospect of bio-gifts.

Speaker: Tim was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA and worked for 12 years as a consultant for Siemens helping companies manage their IT infrastructure until he decided to get back to school. While pursuing a PhD at NUS focused on improving the design of AI team-mates, Tim also finds time for kiteboarding, scuba diving, and hawker center fanaticism. He also maintains a blog about biological art.

Talk 3: The Bio.Display Project
by Ákos Maróy

Description: The original concept of the bio.display project was to create a dynamic display made of genetically modified fluorescent bacteria. The installation, though consisting of millions of living organisms, would act as a display, a screen – something we’re used to see from machines. The first step in this project is less ambitious: a mechanism that enables a user to create an image using genetically modified fluorescent bacteria. The installation allows the participant to enter an image, for which he will receieve a plate of bacteria, that develops this image overnight. A replica of the chemical process of photography done by millions of living creatures in a small plate.

Speaker
: Akos is a member and founder of several non-profit and commercial initiatives, spread between commercial-grade and open source software engineering, artificial life and emergent systems research, media- and bio-art projects, and community radios. His projects and affiliations include Nextlab, Tilos Radio, EU Edge LLC, Scarab Research, double Negatives Architecture group, Budapest New Technology Meetup, and Open Standards Alliance.

Talk 4: Social Deprogramming or How to Talk to Strangers
by Benjamin Joffe

Description: Why is it so difficult to talk to strangers? Our culture and education are part of our social programming but might be getting in the way of new experiences and encounters. Even places branded as social might fall short of expectations. In this talk, Benjamin Joffe will explore attempts at using technology and re-engineering of offline behavior to enable social deprogramming.

Speaker: Benjamin has repeatedly failed at talking to strangers for several decades and decided to try to understand why, and do something about it. While researching how online and offline behaviors relate, he developed some sense on how spaces and social programming frame interactions and will share here his current understanding.

blinkBL_NK #8

Last month, our speakers took on fundamental questions about the nature of our universe. This month’s speakers raise the ante further by engaging with an issue that even space-traveling aliens probably haven’t mastered: LOVE. In true blinkBL_NK fashion, we expect their perspectives on the world’s oldest conundrum to be idiosyncratic, erudite, and of course highly entertaining. So please come down early, grab one of the good chairs, order some chow, and settle in for another night of talks, tunes, drinks, and friends.

=============
EVENT DETAILS
=============

Date: Wednesday, October 20
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Third floor of Blu Jazz, 11 Bali Lane (entrance on Ophir Road)

===============
TALK SUMMARIES
===============

Talk 1 – Love In An Abstract Language: Deciphering the DNA of Love Songs
by Bani Haykal

Description: When the term “love song” is presented as a label representing a piece of music, the understanding, perception, and expectation of hearing a “love song” resolves the listener to an ideal. With so many popular songs interpreting and re-interpreting love, this romanticized ideal of love is narrowed down to “presets”, a shorthand unique and peculiar to love songs. This “language” of love songs, however, is actually two abstract and ambiguous languages working together: the languages of music and love. In this talk/performance, Bani Haykal explores the interplay of words and music in love songs in search of the “DNA” of this ubiquitous yet under-considered artistic format.

Speaker: Bani writes and experiments with text/music compositions, presently researching on new musical vocabulary relative to the listening/social/cultural climate of Singapore. He is published with one book of poetry (Sit Quietly In The Flood) and has read/presented works in several festivals including The Kuala Lumpur International Literary Festival, Singapore Arts Festival and The M1 Fringe Festival.

Talk 2 – Of Insect French-Ticklers and Sex Bombs: The Role of Sexual Selection in Evolution
by Ang Yuchen

Description: The physical differences between men and women are few in number: body hair, breast development, musculature, and of course the primary sexual organs. Not so, however, in the animal kingdom. Take the male black scavenger fly, who has evolved large French tickler-like brushes on its abdomen to stimulate females during courtship. Or consider the male syllid polychaete worm, who fires off autonomous ‘mini-mes’ that find and swarm with other similar projectiles, exploding in a glorious orgy of sperm and eggs. Even the familiar spider is in on the fun, masturbating into a specialized arm and then sneaking up on a female in hopes of delivering his package without getting eaten. These and countless other morphological adaptations are the result of sexual selection pressures. Alongside viability selection, aka survival of the fittest, sexual selection is being realised as an important evolutionary force, one that may drive the majority of speciation. In this talk, Yuchen Ang will introduce us to the science of sexual selection, show some stirring insect pornography, and offer exploratory remarks on the human male fixation with all things weenie-shaped.

Speaker: Yuchen is halfway into his PhD candidature at NUS, in the field of evolutionary biology. His research interest is in sexual selection, particularly how it has influenced the evolution of morphology between sexes. In between trekking into remote areas with a net in search of field samples, he spends the majority of his time staring into the tiny world of entomology via a microscope. Many of the species he works on can be found here.

Talk 3 – The Singapore New Independent Princess

by DazzLing Chong

Description: What do Singaporean women really want from dating? DazzLing Chong shares her thoughts on their unique identity and desires as the Singapore New Independent Princess, or SNIP, a term coined during a debate over local women and dating. DazzLing shows the path to a SNIP’s heart is defined by the four Ds: the Design of a SNIP, the Desires of a SNIP, what a SNIP Deserves and more importantly, the Destiny of a SNIP in the overall scheme of things. While tailored for princesses, the talk is also beneficial for men who wish to solve the sassy mystery of the modern Singaporean woman and win their hearts with integrity.

Speaker: DazzLing shines best when doing her thang. She is the author of the Singapore Dating Guide Book. She is also an inspirational entertainer who uses positive entertainment to inspire individuals and organisations to live out their purpose.

blinkBL_NK #7

Peruvian Shamans

It’s “out of this world” month at blinkBL_NK, with two talks about the spacey stuff and one about earth-based adventures that are decidedly other-worldly. It’s a pretty exciting lineup, vintage blinkBL_NK if we do say so ourselves. So please spread the word and come down to join us at our lovely home on the 3rd Floor of Blu Jazz. We’ve been filling up the last few months, so come early for a good seat and remember Blu Jazz has a full menu so you can grab dinner while you wait for the action to start.

=================================================================

EVENT DETAILS

Date: Wednesday, September 15
Time: Doors at 7:00 PM, first speaker at 7:30 PM
Place: Third floor of Blu Jazz, 11 Bali Lane (entrance on Ophir Road)

TALK SUMMARIES

Talk 1: Preserving Inspiration: Peruvian Shamanism in the Age of Oil
by Harrison Love

Description: Recent oil discoveries in the Peruvian Amazon are drastically altering the peaceful existence of tribes that live there, many of whom have never been exposed to the outside world. In this talk, Harrison Love recounts his adventures in the region, where he spent a year learning about the mythologies, traditions and shamanic practices of the Waorani, Shipibo, and Ashaninca tribes. The talk will include photos from the trip, pictures of Harrison’s own artwork, and a discussion of his project to help preserve the cultural heritage of Amazonian tribes in the face of jarring cultural change.

Bio: A graduate from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Harrison is a visual artist working in a wide range of media, from oil paints and installations to sketches and graffiti. When he is not creating art works or touring solo around the Amazon, Harrison also works as a teacher and art director. For more on Harrison’ work, check out harrisonlove.com.

Talk 2: SETI at 50: Past Trends & Present Bearings
by Sean Thomas Moroney

Description: It has been fifty years since the first formal scientific inquiries into establishing the existence of intelligent species beyond our planet. Since this time, SETI, or the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, has grown into a joint quest shared by governments, private foundations, and academic institutes, and more recently tens of thousands of everyday people around the globe. In this talk, Sean will provide a brief history of SETI, a snapshot of current advances and trends, and with a glimpse of both lighter and darker aspects of the SETI movement, a consideration of possible future developments. Sean will also address the crucial question of “why even bother?” and share salient information about how those interested can help aid the ongoing pursuit of evidence that we on Earth are not alone in the universe.

Bio: An enthusiastic watcher of the sky since childhood, Sean has been learning and teaching about astronomy for over 30 years. He is a member of Astronomers without Borders, a past president of astronomy clubs in North America, and an associate member of several amateur astronomy organizations. Sean has helped pioneer the first Star Parties in Egypt and the PRC, written a monthly astronomy column called Skylights, and taught astronomy internationally in schools, planetariums and even remote villages. A self-described “astrosopher”, as well as observing the sky, Sean also enjoys pondering issues such as SETI that touch on the intersection of philosophy and astronomy.

Talk 3: A Universe Less Ordinary: Searching for Extra Dimensions in the Background
by Dr. Bernard Leong

Description: String theory attempts to unify the four fundamental forces of nature by positing extra-dimensions of space described by complex mathematical formulas. But how can we test these formulas in the real live universe out there? Can we find extra dimensions via the cosmic microwave background radiation left over from the first three minutes in our Universe? Can we reveal them using modern satellite technologies like Planck and WMAP? Starting with reflections from his doctoral thesis and ending with a recently launched satellite, Dr. Bernard Leong takes on a heady trip in search of stuff we can’t see.

Bio: In a past life, Bernard worked was a theoretical physicist in the Cavendish Laboratory; in another, he worked on the Human Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Bernard is now an entrepreneur, an early-stage investor for web-tech companies, and a “scientist-for-hire” to his mates at Hackerspace.SG