Unfortunately, due to a SOLIDLY green radar and a (YIPES) 90% chance of heavy thunderstorms at the EXACT TIME our outdoor event is scheduled to start, we’re cancelling tonight’s Nerd Nite. Stay tuned and see these wonderful speakers at future months, and stay dry and safe tonight!

It’s patio season!! Time to sit relax outside with a cool beverage, enjoy the company of fellow nerds, and maybe even learn something new at the same time! That’s right, it’s time for the lo-tech “Summer Vacation” edition at Nerd Nite on the Patio at York (1928 Packard). Join us there at 7pm on Wed. July 12!

We’ll kick things off learning about Changing the World and Why ‘Island’ is the Best Card in Magic the Gathering with State Senator Jeff Irwin (MI-15). Sen. Irwin will share his experience and knowledge of the local politics that impact us, his policy priorities, and why “Island” is the best card in Magic the Gathering. Sen. Irwin was raised in Sault Ste. Marie, but his family made Washtenaw County their home. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Kathryn, and their two children, Sylvia and Mackinac. Prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2018, he served 11 years on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners and 6 years in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Surabhi Balachander will take us on a journey of Reading the 50 states in 2023. Surabhi is intentionally reading a book about or set in each U.S. state, one book a week, going through the states in alphabetical order—as of now, she’s up to Nebraska! Surabhi will incorporate insights from her background as a scholar of multiethnic and rural American literature to discuss the goals of this project and focus on some of her favorites.  

Surabhi is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan, where she studies rurality, race, and environment in American literature from 1920-2020. In her spare time, she reviews books and talks about how much she loves AADL on Instagram @surabhi.reading.

Things take a turn to the macabre (or will they?!) when Sexton Leif Laufeyarsen takes us through The Evolution of the Cemetery. Learn about the difference between a cemetery and the graveyard (did you even know there was one?) as Sexton takes us through the shift from graveyard to cemetery and some surprising activities that took place in those early cemeteries. He promises it won’t get (too) gross!

Leif is a volunteer docent and master chef at Cobblestone Farms.