Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Secret Science Club Presents "IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERE!" on Wednesday, May 7 @ 8 pm

One of the most important contributors to our understanding of climate change, Earth scientist Wallace Broecker lectures on our increasingly hot planet—and what we can do about it.

“The Earth’s climate system is an angry beast,” says Dr. Broecker. “And we’re poking it by adding greenhouse gases.” Every day, 60 to 70 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are dumped into the atmosphere. And even if a well-meaning fairy godmother were to turn all the world’s citizens into energy-saving paragons overnight, the resulting reduction in CO2 emissions could not stop the great warming tide headed our way.

The Newberry Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, a longtime researcher at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and author of the just-released book Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Change Reveals about the Current Threat—And How to Counter It, Dr. Broecker has been investigating the link between ocean chemistry and global warming for more than 40 years.

So how can—and should—we deal with the high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere? Dr. Broecker proposes some radical technological solutions. . . .

Before and After
--Pick up a signed(!!) copy of Dr. Broecker's new book: Fixing Climate. It's HOT off the presses.

--Groove to sultry sounds and too-hot-to-handle video

--Sample the eco-cocktail of the night, the fiery Heat Miser. (It will sizzle your swizzle . . .)

The “Secret Science Club” meets May 7 at 8 pm in the basement @ Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, p: 718.638.4400 Web: Subway: R to Union St.; F to 4th Ave.; Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave.

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self.

Doors open at 7:30. LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Kinda spooky, kinda wow...Thursday, April 28, Secret Science Club Goes to the Opera

The Secret Science Club is teaming up with the L Magazine to host a cocktail party following Thursday evening’s performance of Séance on a Wet Afternoon at City Opera. Everyone with tickets to the opera is invited, and when the Séance is over, Secret Science Club will materialize with ghost-busting grooves and haunting experimentation.

Special guests at the post-opera “sci- éance” include:
--Neuroscientist and composer Dave Sulzer, creating wraithlike music from brainwaves
--Physics presenter David Maiullo, combating the supernatural with a sledgehammer and pipettes

Scary! Grab your opera glasses and get over to the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Thursday, April 28. Séance on a Wet Afternoon starts at 8 pm, and the free cocktails start flowing afterwards in the Fourth Ring. Opera tickets can be snagged for as low as $12. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, The Secret Science Club Presents "Aural Reports: Frogs That Rap and Glass That Sings"

Birds do it, bees do it—even frogs with claws in South Africa do it! Take a wild tour of brain science with Columbia University neurobiologist Darcy Kelley as she probes the courtship songs of Xenopus frogs—including “rapping.”

Have you ever wondered how male and female animals find each other, and what pick-up lines they use? Kelley’s research examines sexual strategies and the fascinating (and feisty!) world of animal communication.

Composer and improviser Katie Down creates a sight-and-sound sensation. Echoing, ringing, buzzing, and tinkling, her silica-based instruments include a crystallophone made of wine goblets, glass tubes and bells, fish bowls, and an all-glass glockenspiel. Katie Down will be joined by artists Caleb Burhans on viola and voice, Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet, and dancer Rachel Bernsen.

--Before: Groove to tunes inspired by bullfrogs and peepers!

Imbibe the Libation of the Night, the Croak-a-rita, a little green cocktail that will have you contacting your mate via frog song …

The “Secret Science Club” meets May 2nd at 8 p.m. (and the first Wednesday night of every month) in the basement @ Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, p: 718.638.4400
Subway: R to Union St.; F to 4th Ave.; Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Secret Science Club Blasts Off to the Far Side of the Moon, Monday, April 25, 8 pm @ the Bell House, $5

Begin countdown and prepare for zero gravity . . . The Secret Science Club presents a special screening of Moon, one of the trippiest indie sci-fi films of the past decade. PLUS lunar scientist Arlin Crotts of Columbia University gets this cinema party started with a mini-lecture on Earth’s beloved satellite.

Directed by Duncan Jones (Source Code), Moon stars Sam Rockwell as an engineer in charge of a mining station on the far side of the moon. He’s all alone on this lunar outpost—or is he? Set in the near future and full of psychological chills, Moon is mind-bending, cerebral sci-fi at its best.

With stunning new maps and images of the moon, Dr. Crotts takes the Secret Science Club on a pre-film tour of the latest lunar discoveries and visions of future exploration.

Before & After
--Groove to gravity-defying tunes
--Try a rocket-fueled cocktail in our Space Lounge!
--Enter the lunar trivia contest to score cosmic prizes

Viva la luna! See you at the launch site . . .

This special “Manic Moonday” edition of the Secret Science Club meets Monday, April 25 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510. Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th.

Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. $5. Advance tix are available here. 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Brain and Memory: The Secret Science Club presents Neuroscientist Ottavio Arancio at the Bell House on Tuesday, May 12 @ 7:30 pm

The arithmetic of the brain is staggering. In just 3 lbs. of gray matter, there are 100 billion brain cells—each with branches connecting at 100 trillion synapses. Dozens of chemical neurotransmitters travel through this neural network, creating, storing, and accessing memories—the sum total of our sensations, thoughts, experiences, and knowledge. Currently, the brain’s total capacity for memory-making is beyond calculation.

But what happens when the brain loses its ability to remember new things? In his lab at Columbia University, neuroscientist Ottavio Arancio explores the molecular mechanisms of memory formation. He asks:

--Why do some people stop remembering?
--How does disruption of the brain’s pathways affect our ability to learn?
--Can new drugs slow, stop, or even reverse the process of memory-impairing diseases such as Alzheimer’s?
--What can we learn from forgetful lab mice?
--Can memory be enhanced? Will future medications act as brain boosters?

Dr. Arancio is a cellular neurobiologist at Columbia University’s Department of Pathology and Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer’s Disease and the Aging Brain.

Don’t miss this dopamine-spiked evening . . .

Before & After
-- Groove to brain-bending tunes and video

--Enjoy the Cocktail of the Night—the “Brain Scan”

--Stick around for the mind-altering Q&A

The “Secret Science Club” meets Tuesday, May 12 at 7:30 p.m. @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn, p: 718.643.6510 Subway: F to 4th Ave; R to 9th St; F or G to Smith/9th

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self! Please bring ID: 21+.


Thursday, April 5, 2012

Think again! The Secret Science Club presents Leonard Mlodinow and SUBLIMINAL, Thursday, April 26, 8 PM @ the Bell House, FREE!

A large portion of your brain is devoted to unconscious activity. Bombarded as you are by 11 million bits of sensory information per second, it’s just more efficient for many neural processes to take place automatically. For example, you don’t decide something looks green or tastes sour—you just get the message that it is. However, as scientists continue to learn about the brain, they are discovering that hidden mental processes may be far more influential than previously suspected.

In his latest book, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, physicist and best-selling author Leonard Mlodinow probes the brain’s most mysterious territory. 
Dr. Mlodinow asks:
--What types of (tricky) new experiments and technologies are neuroscientists and psychologists using to explore unconscious processes?
--How accurately do you perceive yourself and your motives? What really influences your choices? Does your order-loving conscious mind ever create cover stories to explain unconscious decisions?
--What are emotional illusions? How reliable and malleable are your memories? Do you ever unconsciously confabulate?

Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California at Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and now teaches at the California Institute of Technology. He wrote The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, co-wrote The Grand Design with Stephen Hawking, and was once a staff writer for Star Trek: The Next Generation. (Beam us up, Dr. Mlodinow!)

Before & After
--Try our dopamine-spiked cocktail, the Mind Meld
--Groove to synapse-stimulating sounds
--Snag a signed copy of Leonard Mlodinow’s awesome new book
--Stick around for the thought-provoking Q&A

This cerebral edition of the Secret Science Club meets Thursday, April 26 at 8 pm @ the Bell House, 149 7th St. (between 2nd and 3rd avenues) in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Subway: F or G to 4th Ave; R to 9th St. Doors open at 7:30 pm. Please bring ID: 21+. No cover. Just bring your smart self!

Curujey, Air Plant - Tillandsia Flexuosa


Scientific Name: Tillandsia Flexuosa
Spanish Name: Curujey
English Name: Twisted Air Plant
Lucumi Name: Ewé Afoma

Orisha: Eleguá, Agayu

Odù: Ogunda Tura, Osa Ogunda, Otrupon Yekun, Oche Meji, Oche Paure, Ofun Ogunda
Uses: Inche Osaín, Ebọ and Obras.
Medicinal: None


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

** Secret Science Club Goes BAM! on Saturday, April 21 **

Union Hall’s Secret Science Club is
Blasting off to the Brooklyn Academy of Music [BAM] for a science soirée and concert
of INTERGALACTIC dimensions.

Saturday, April 21
Union Hall’s “Secret Science Club,” the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and The Onion present:

A Night of Cosmic Delights

A performance of Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” — accompanied by the New York premiere of exclusive NASA footage—is launched in BAM’s mothership of an opera house by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The Secret Science Club is onboard with a pre-concert soirée, featuring free cosmic brew and a chance to “Ask the Astrophysicist.” Price: $25. Call (718) 488-5913 for tickets--and don't forget to use the "Secret Science Club" password!

Pre-concert astronomy soirée, sponsored by The Onion, at 7 p.m.
Grab yourself a rocket-fueled libation, and ask our resident astrophysicist questions like “What is dark matter?” and “Why is Pluto no longer a planet.” Impress your friends and rub elbows with the stars.. Free "Moonshot" and "Edison" beers, courtesy of The Onion and New Century Brewing! Spacey door prizes will be awarded . . .

Ride into Symphonic Space with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at 8 p.m.
Strap on your jetpack and head into orbit with Gustav Holst’s symphonic suite “The Planets”—accompanied by exclusive, big-screen images of space provided by NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. An astronomer narrates your celestial trip. The inter-planetary itinerary includes: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and beyond!

Also on the bill: the Kronos Quartet joins the Brooklyn Philharmonic for the New York premiere of Julia Wolfe’s My Beautiful Scream. And the philharmonic lifts Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis into the celestial realm! Don’t miss this ultrasonic ride to the edge . . .

Post-Concert Discussion
Brooklyn Philharmonic guest conductor Stefan Asbury, composer Julia Wolfe, and members of the Kronos Quartet join forces to discuss the concert—and take on questions from the audience.

Price: $25, includes a ticket to the concert in the opera house’s best available seats, entrance to the Secret Science Club pre-concert soiree with FREE rocket-fueled brew, and the opportunity to display your “geek chic” badge of honor. LIMITED AVAILABILITY. Don’t let the mothership leave without you.

How to get tickets: Just call the BP Patrons Services line at
(718) 488-5913 and identify yourself as a secret science intergalactic party creature!

Where: This special edition of the Secret Science Club meets at 7 p.m. at the BAMCafe in the Peter J. Sharp Building, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. The concert starts at 8 p.m. in the Howard Gilman Opera House in the Peter J. Sharp Building.

Getting to BAM: By Subway: 2,3,4,5, B, D, M, N, R, Q to Atlantic/Pacific; or the G to Fulton.
for a neighborhood map, driving directions, parking information, and other ways to get to BAM.

For information: contact BP Patrons Services at (718) 488-5913

The Union Hall Secret Science Club is a free monthly series featuring science lectures and musical guests, held on the first Wednesday of every month at Union Hall—“Brooklyn’s Best Nerd Bar”—at 702 Union St. This special event on April 21 takes the Secret Science Club “up the road and down Flatbush Avenue” to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. For more information about the Secret Science Club, check out our new Myspace page at

One of the nation's premier music ensembles, The Brooklyn Philharmonic continues to celebrate its vital presence in the cultural life of the New York metropolitan area. The Philharmonic is devoted to serving Brooklyn's cultural and educational communities through partnerships with New York City's Department of Education, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn Public Library and Brooklyn Academy of Music, among other organizations. For the past five decades, the Brooklyn Philharmonic has played a leading role in presenting innovative and thematic programming, receiving 21 ASCAP Awards over the last 25 years for "Adventurous Programming of Contemporary Music." Since its 1954 inception, audiences have embraced the Brooklyn Philharmonic's commitment to the concept of the orchestra as a contemporary performance ensemble, emphasizing important present-day music, as in the decades of Beethoven and Brahms. The Philharmonic has premiered over 350 works, including 61 commissions.