What up, A2nerds? We’re mixing things up a bit this month by bringing the nerdery to Wednesday. For those of you that are new to the fold, Nerd Nite is a monthly social event where nerds of all disciplines give 18-21 minute funny and informative talks while the audience drinks along and asks questions. We’ve heard good things about this shindig. So, what will we be learning about this time?

W is for Water: David Trossman will channel his inner Steve Zissou and guide us through Voyages of the Neo-Voyeurs: How They Observe Motion in the Ocean.

W is for Writing: Amy Wilson would Do Anything for Love and she’ll explain to us Why, in fact, Good Pop Music is Good Writing.

W is for Whiskey: Michelle Kydd, in Eau Whiskey, will help us see that whiskey isn’t just for drinking, but for smelling, too.


When: Wednesday, April 17 Doors at 6:30 Event at 7
Where: The Last Word, 301 W. Huron St.
Wage: $5 Buy online! or at the door (cash/credit)


Voyages of the Neo-Voyeurs: How They Observe Motion in the Ocean, David Trossman

If all of the oceans were to suddenly evaporate, we probably wouldn’t survive the ensuing greenhouse-like heat.  While there is essentially zero risk of this happening any time soon, the ocean serves as a temperature buffer for much of the planet and is a sink for between one-fourth and one-third of our carbon dioxide emissions, further buffering us from changes in climate more rapid than those we’ve seen over the course of history.  The oceans also are teeming with microscopic lifeforms, which supply about half of our oxygen, and macroscopic lifeforms, which oceanographers have utilized for data collection purposes.  Other oceanographers have taken advantage of the fact that we’ve developed nuclear capabilities and leaked tons of radioactive chemicals into the ocean to figure out things about the ocean.  This talk will provide a biased overview of how oceanographers know anything at all about the oceans and the extremes tactics they’ve needed to use to arrive at their current understanding of the oceans.  Arguably, what oceanographers know today can be used to protect the oceans, and indirectly ourselves, from irreversible damage on timescales relevant to us or our grandchildren. As the children’s book I read as a youngster said, we’d better protect the oceans so that we can reap their resources, right?…

David had no choice about his excessive consumption of M&M’s in the womb, was born in Evanston (Illinois), and played bass in over a dozen bands before ending being one of those people who ended up getting a BA in math and BA/MA in physics from Washington University in St. Louis, MA in policy from the University of Chicago, and PhD in physical oceanography (studying ocean-atmosphere interaction by using statistics to combine information from observations and numerical models) from the University of Washington.  David is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, where he is studying how bottom topography-flow interactions ultimately mix up the ocean and he is getting his life back.

I Would Do Anything For Love: Why Good Pop Music is Good Writing, Amy Wilson

Good writing is vigorous.

“Vigorous writing is concise.”

A good pop song is, also, concise. Therefore it is good writing.

Confused? Intrigued? Learn how Amy came to these conclusions and enjoy examples!

Amy Wilson is an aspiring cultural critic, a generalist, and a huge fan of microwave popcorn and music videos on OnDemand. She blogs at In Bed With Amy Wilson about pop music philosophy, and hosts Turn it Up with Amy Wilson on WCBN. She works at local nonprofit 826michigan (www.826michigan.org) and, in her spare time, writes Tweets at @howeverbal and insane text messages to her friends.


Eau Whiskey: A Smell and Tell, Michelle Krell Kydd

What do whiskey and perfume have in common? The answers may surprise you. The sense of smell has been transformed from “the bastard stepchild of the senses” to the next big thing in science. What does whiskey have to do with it? Well, it’s not part of the research process, but you might want to have a glass in hand as Michelle shares precious extracts and scents related to the aromas found in whiskey and teaches fellow scientualists how to get their smell nerd on.

Michelle Krell Kydd is the editor of Glass Petal Smoke, an award-winning blog that explores the world of scent and taste. She is a trained “nose” in flavors and fragrance and uses her talent to create olfactory writing workshops for 826Michigan and the Ann Arbor District Library. She’s sniffed the good, the bad and the downright smellacious. Michelle was recently interviewed in the winter 2012 edition of the Whisky Advocate on the subject of smoke notes in perfume and whisky. When she’s not evangelizing olfaction she can be found at the University of Michigan where she works as a Communications Specialist for The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru). Contact Michelle on Twitter @glasspetalsmoke.