You know what they say (and what's perfectly true) about New Year's resolutions: They're easy to make and even easier to break. Getting to the gym ends up a pain in the ass, going hiking gets overshadowed by that teeming Netflix queue, and saving more money will continually fall by the wayside as long as local boutiques keep stocking their racks and shelves with "want it"-worthy goods.
So how about something a little easier? While evolving into a nerdier being isn't the most common of resolutions, it's less daunting than dropping those pesky extra pounds. And it helps that the greater Phoenix area is home to a bevy of brainiacs who constantly present new ideas, research, and findings in the fields of literature, science, and math.
All you have to do? Show up.
Whether you're looking to become an expert on a subject or just want to have something to wow your pals with over drinks, here are five lectures for aspiring poindexters during January.
5. Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live
Jeff Jarvis makes the argument that social media can, and will, better the world and spur innovation in business. See the Entertainment Weekly founder, professor, and fervent Twitter commentator on Wednesday, January 4, at 5:30 p.m. at ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Admission to the talk is free. The book costs $26.99.
4. Domestic Animals: A Treasure Trove for Exploring Genetic Mechanisms Underlying Phenotypic Evolution
Puppies and kittens are the topic of this less-than-cuddly exploration of evolution in household pets. This hefty, heavy dose of biology and genetics will be presented by Dr. Leif Andersson of the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala University and the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Get schooled at ASU's Bioscience Institute Auditorium on Tuesday, January 10, at 4 p.m. Admission is free.
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3. Gypset Style
New York Times, Elle, and Vogue contributor Julia Chaplin discusses her book Gypset Style, a historic background on the melding of international jetsetting and gypsy style in the '60s and '70s and how the cultural movement related to the innovative, colorful designs of Giorgio di Sant' Angelo. The Arizona Costume Institute will present this fashion lecture in conjunction with the di Sant' Angelo retrospective at 8:30 p.m.Wednesday, January 18 at Phoenix Art Museum. Admission is free, and Chaplin will sign her book after the talk.
2. What's in our skincare?
Part of the Science Cafe Series at Arizona Science Center, this lecture delves into the goopy, supposedly miraculous, and mysterious stuff we slough all over our skin. Find out how companies balance the evolution of beauty products with safety and effectiveness when ASU Assistant Professor and Arbonne Skincare exec Jameson Wetmore gives a 15 to 20 minute lecture on the topic. The remainder of the hour will be open for attendees to ask questions. Get the skinny on Friday, January 20, at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
1. Quincy Tahoma: The Life and Art of a Navajo Artist
Explore the life and times of Native artist Quincy Tacoma when author Vera Marie Badertscher discuses her book about the extremely talented but largely unknown painter at the Heard Museum in the Encanto Room on Monday, January 30, at 1:30 p.m. The lecture is free, and a book signing will follow.