If you’ve ever wanted to watch someone brew hard cider live on stage while explaining the chemistry behind it, hear how videogames are going to save the world, or learn about the origins of writing, this is your month! Nerd Nite is back September 12th, and we can’t wait to learn a bunch of awesome crap and have a few beers with you! Oh, we almost forgot to mention… we’ll be ending this fantastic lineup with a full-on nerf war. That’s right; bring your own nerf gun and plenty of ammo and get ready to learn, drink, and engage in rubber-tipped combat! The pre-war lineup:

four_square_talk_advert_700x700Ed Trager – Origins of Writing

Written language is such a ubiquitous part of our modern lives that we take it completely for granted.  But it has not always been this way.  There was a     time when humans lived without writing. So how did we get here?  How did we get to this place where the written word is everywhere? We have to go back in time to find out.

About Ed:
At his day job, Ed is a bioinformatics software engineer at the Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan Health System. Outside of his day job, he pursues many different interests, and one of his interests is languages and scripts. Ed spent a couple of years in China and three years in Thailand, and he speaks Mandarin Chinese and Thai. He has worked on projects related to Unicode, software internationalization, and font technology on the Free Linux Desktop and on the web.  He is the author of Key Curry (http://unifont.org/keycurry) and he is currently working on a Tai Tham font as part of Google’s Web Fonts initiative.




Master Chief as Uncle SamJim Stanhope – Why Video Games Will Save the World

Video games, despite their popularity, are an often derided and misunderstood part of our society.  Recently, there has been a large push to wrap our collective heads around the issue of gaming and its ever growing popularity.  This talk will differ from others that you may have come across that claim one of the following:

1. That we must make use of the “gaming craze” to engage people in games designed to be both educational and immersive

2.  That we need to “gamify” our world in order to keep the attention of this new generation of gamers.

Instead, if we promote a change in the way that people interface with the games that are already being played by tens of millions globally, then we may just save the world.  However, it all starts with how each and every one of us view video games as an endeavor.  We need ya out there, soldier.

About Jim:
Jim is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Education.  As an experienced gamer he has come to understand the importance of taking play seriously.  In the near future he will be taking his show on the road to Los Angeles in an attempt to establish a foundation for educational curricula based on teamwork-oriented video games.




Kevin Davis – Boozecookery: Drunk Science for Fun and Profit 

Kevin will explain the various processes of S. cerevisiae, not least of which producing Ethanol. Following that, a live demo of the homebrewing process, making a brown sugar hard cider ON STAGE. Discussion of homebrewing recipe sites, local homebrewing supply stores, various “schools” of brewing, and beer nerdship at large.

About Kevin:
IT Storage Geek by day, booze chemist by night, Kevin Davis has dabbled in the art of using saccharomyces cerevisiae’s combo of anaerobic respiration and self-defending byproduct production, namely our good friend Ethanol (YAY!) to produce tasty beverages such as beer, mead, hard cider, and some eclectic varieties of tipple.


When: September 12th, 2013, doors at 630pm, talks at 7pm!
Where: LIVE, 102 S First St, Ann Arbor
Moola: $5
Tickets: At the door or Eventbrite - Origins of Writing, Video Game Saviors, and Boozecookery!