Baba Brinkman and Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara will be appearing at the 2011 World Science Festival (WSF), June 1 – 5, 2011, in New York City. Brinkman, a Vancouver-based rapper (he has a performance tonight, May 5, 2011, in Vancouver and more about that later), will be part of the ‘Cool Jobs’ presentation (from the presentation webpage),
Imagine hanging out with some of the world’s kookiest critters in the jungle’s tallest trees, building a robot that does stand-up comedy, inventing a device that propels you into the air like Batman, or traveling back in a DNA time machine to study ancient animals! Meet the scientists who make it possible. They include ecologist and explorer Mark Moffett, aka “Dr. Bugs,” roboticist Heather Knight, mechanical engineer and daredevil Nathan Ball, and evolutionary biologist Beth Shapiro. Find out what they do, how they do it, and how they got the coolest and weirdest jobs on the planet. Together, we’ll step into a world that will feed your imagination.
I’m not sure why Baba’s not mentioned in the description but he does get this biographical note on the same page,
Canadian rap artist, writer, and former tree-planter Baba Brinkman has worked in the Rocky Mountains every summer for over ten years, personally planting more than one million trees. A scholar with a M.A. in comparative literature, he began his career as a rap troubadour after graduating in 2003.
To date, Brinkman has released seven solo albums and written or co-written five hip-hop theatre shows—winning three awards and entertaining thousands of people during his six seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
His lyrical masterpiece, The Rap Guide to Evolution, won the prestigious Scotsman Fringe First Award in Edinburgh in 2009. It has been performed on tour in the USA, Australia, and the UK, as well as showcased in two appearances at regional TEDx conferences and on The Rachel Maddow Show on U.S. national television. When he is not touring, Baba Brinkman resides in his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.
As I mentioned earlier, Baba will be retelling Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Chaucer’s Merchant’s Tale in a performance spiced with music tonight in Vancouver at the Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway, nr. Commercial Drive) at 9:30 pm. Tickets for $8 can be purchased here.
(Baba was supposed to be opening an off Broadway show featuring his ‘Rap Guide to Evolution’ in New York around this time but had a snowboarding accident [a broken bone or two] and has had to recuperate in Vancouver. Thankfully, he’s been able to fit it in this show before he leaves. You can check Baba’s website for more information about his work and performances.)
I may have exaggerated by calling Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara a Canuck. A founding member of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Canada, where she has worked for some years, I don’t think she’d mind the designation too much. She will be participating in the ‘Rebooting the Cosmos: Is the Universe the Ultimate Computer?’ presentation. From the presentation webpage,
As computers become progressively faster and more powerful, they’ve gained the impressive capacity to simulate increasingly realistic environments. Which raises a question familiar to aficionados of The Matrix—might life and the world as we know it be a simulation on a super advanced computer? “Digital physicists” have developed this idea well beyond the sci-fi possibilities, suggesting a new scientific paradigm in which computation is not just a tool for approximating reality, but is also the basis of reality itself. In place of elementary particles, think bits; in place of fundamental laws of physics, think computer algorithms. But is this a viable approach? Is the universe the ultimate computer running some grand cosmic code? Join a discussion among the brightest minds in digital physics to explore math, computer science, theories of consciousness, the origin of life, and free will—and delve into a world of information that may underlie everything.
Here’s the biographical note for Dr. Markopoulou-Kalamara,
A founding member and faculty at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Canada, a research institute devoted to foundational issues in theoretical physics, Fotini Markopoulou-Kalamara is a leading researcher in the problem of quantum gravity. Her investigations include the microscopic structure of space-time and the role of causality at very high energies.
Born in Athens, Greece, she received her Ph.D. in theoretical physics from London’s Imperial College, and has held postdoctoral positions at Pennsylvania State University, Imperial College, and the Albert Einstein/Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Berlin.
This is the third year for the World Science Festival.