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New Meetup: Oliver Sacks, "The Mind's Eye" @ First Parish Church Meetinghouse

From: T.J. M.
Sent on: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 11:43 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Nerd Fun - Boston!

What: Oliver Sacks, "The Mind's Eye" @ First Parish Church Meetinghouse

When: Thursday, October 28,[masked]:30 PM

Where: First Parish Church Meetinghouse
3 Church St
Cambridge, MA 02138

Oliver Sacks -- famed neurologist, professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, author of Awakenings (he was played by Robin Williams in the movie version of his book), and frequent guest on RadioLab -- will be publishing a new book "In the Mind's Eye" on October 26th.

The Harvard Book Store will be sponsoring a talk between Oliver Sacks and Cullen Murphy -- former editor of The Atlantic Monthly and editor of Vanity Fair -- on Thursday, October 28th at the First Parish Church Meetinghouse on the corner of Mass Ave. and Church Street. General Admission tickets are still available for $5.00 each (plus a $1.11 service charge) and can be purchased from Eventbrite , over the phone with a credit card at[masked], or at the Harvard Book Store. The tickets were released for sale on October 4th, so if you want to attend you might want to purchase your tickets now.

Although the talk starts at 7:00 pm, we probably should sit down as a group at 6:30 pm if we want seats near the front. If you can't be at the church by 6:30 pm, let us know and we can try to save seats with the Nerd Fun group.

Where to Meet:

T.J. Maher will be grabbing a bite to eat in Harvard Square at The Garage on JFK Street at the Lower Level food court starting at 5:30 pm. Feel free to drop by! We can commandeer tables as needed, throwing red MEETUP signs on the tables. We should probably leave the food court at 6:25 pm to check-in and grab seats.

If you forget to print out the receipt they email you when you purchase the ticket to the lecture, a photo ID seems to suffice to let you in, according to emailed receipt.

... Anybody feel like going out for drinks to discuss the talk after?

T.J. Maher is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag.

From the Harvard Book Store website:

"Harvard Book Store is very pleased to welcome neurologist and popularizer of the science of the mind, OLIVER SACKS, as he discusses his newest work, The Mind?s Eye, in conversation with writer and editor CULLEN MURPHY.

"In The Mind?s Eye, Oliver Sacks tells the stories of people who are able to navigate the world and communicate with others despite losing what many of us consider indispensable senses and abilities: the power of speech, the capacity to recognize faces, the sense of three-dimensional space, the ability to read, the sense of sight. For all of these people, the challenge is to adapt to a radically new way of being in the world.

"There is Lilian, a concert pianist who becomes unable to read music and is eventually unable even to recognize everyday objects, and Sue, a neurobiologist who has never seen in three dimensions, until she suddenly acquires stereoscopic vision in her fifties.

"There is Pat, who reinvents herself as a loving grandmother and active member of her community, despite the fact that she has aphasia and cannot utter a sentence, and Howard, a prolific novelist who must find a way to continue his life as a writer even after a stroke destroys his ability to read.

"And there is Dr. Sacks himself, who tells the story of his own eye cancer and the bizarre and disconcerting effects of losing vision to one side.

"Sacks explores some very strange paradoxes?people who can see perfectly well but cannot recognize their own children, and blind people who become hyper-visual or who navigate by ?tongue vision.? He also considers more fundamental questions: How do we see? How do we think? How important is internal imagery?or vision, for that matter? Why is it that, although writing is only five thousand years old, humans have a universal, seemingly innate, potential for reading?"

About Dr Sacks, according to his website:

"Oliver Sacks, M.D. is a physician, a best-selling author, and professor of neurology and psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center. In 2007, he was named the first Columbia University Artist, in recognition of his contributions to the arts.

"He is best known for his collections of neurological case histories, including The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat (1985), Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (2007) and The Mind?s Eye (2010). Awakenings (1973), his book about a group of patients who had survived the great encephalitis lethargica epidemic of the early twentieth century, inspired the 1990 Academy Award-nominated feature film starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams. The New York Times has referred to him as 'the poet laureate of medicine.'

"Dr. Sacks is a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

"Read Oliver Sacks?s full biography here. "

Dr. Sack's playlist:

To go with Dr. Sack's book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain he talks about his favorite classical music with Wired Magazine back in Fall of 2007 at

The book, The Mind's Eye, pre-ordered for $17.79:

... Though I am guessing that you can purchase signed copies of the book after the talk by Dr. Sacks.


* Oliver Sacks on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on June 2009, talking about his book Musicophilia which was turned into Nova's "Musical Minds".

* Oliver Sacks talking about "What hallucination reveals about our minds" on Feb. 2009 at TED, which gives talks on Technology, Entertainment, and Design.

* The trailer for "Awakenings": Just wanted to throw it in there:

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