That’s right. It’s July, which means it’s the perfect time to learn something new and drink with nerds. You know, like all the months. This particular month, we’re learning about the National Poetry Slam scene, Fecal Transplants, and Knife Making! If you haven’t been before, 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. Our nerdy overlords for the evening:
Poetry slam is conventionally defined as the art of competitive performance poetry. Created in Chicago by a construction worker named Marc Smith(so what?), it brought performance poetry out of academia and into pop culture, finally reaching the level of established art form. Almost since its beginning in the late 1980s, nerd culture has been an integral part of the poetry slam community. Erik Daniel, Tournament Director for the National Poetry Slam and 20 year slam veteran, will talk about poetry, competition, and what nerds do with spoken word.
Erik Daniel is a father, husband, software engineer, and general purpose ninja. He used to write poetry. It was not good. Rather that continue writing bad poetry, he volunteered to help run the largest spoken word competition in the world, the National Poetry Slam. Now its tournament director, Erik has donated most of his vacation time to helping poets share their craft with audiences around the US and the world.
Cris Hoogerhyde – Fundamentals of Knife Making
Focus will be on outlining the process, principles, science and art of how hand made knives are made. This will include profiling, the role of edge geometry, the alchemy of heat treatment, and the way different finishes are accomplished.
Cris Hoogerhyde has been a knife nerd for 25 years. It began as collecting- but after failing to collect all the cool knives, He decided to make his own. In 2011, he set up shop as Oxblood knives, and now makes several styles of handmade knives from scratch. Other tidbits of relevance include a hobby of throwing knives and tomahawks, and after several years as a classic cocktail bartender, he now works in the mental health field to be able to devote more time to knife making. He would love to talk to you about knives and/or whiskey anytime.
Anna Seekatz – Fecal Matters: The Ins and Outs of Fecal Transplants
For Nerd Nite, I will be talking about the importance of maintaining “healthy” gut bacteria and how fecal transplantation aids in repopulating this bacterial community. Although disgusting in general, fecal transplantation has actually saved the lives of many patients suffering from recurrent antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a growing problem in the health sector. I hope that by the end of this short talk, you will at least be familiar with why these “good” bacteria are important, and appreciate the miracle of fecal transplants.
Since reading about Ebola in The Hot Zone as a child, I’ve been interested in infectious diseases. This interest morphed into a BS in biology at Western Washington University, followed by a PhD in microbiology at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. As a graduate student, my studies concentrated on changes in the gut microbiota (the “good” bacteria that live on and in us) after infection with Shigella, a bacteria that causes diarrhea. Now, as a postdoc in Dr. Vincent Young’s lab at the University of Michigan, I study Clostridium difficile infection, an antibiotic-associated pathogen of the GI tract, and its relationship with gut microbes. In the future, I hope to continue my research on these complex bacterial communities and their impact in human health and disease.
When: July 18th, 2013, doors at 630pm, talks at 7pm!
See you nerds July 18th!