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:
Erik Daniel – Poetry Slam +10, Putting the Nerd in Spoken Word
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!
Where: LIVE, 102 S First St, Ann Arbor Moola: $5 Tickets: At the door or Why: Because why wouldn’t you want to have a few drinks and learn something new with a bunch of other awesome nerds?!
It’s June, and that means another Nerd Nite!! 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. The supernerds of the evening:
Charlie Taylor – Action Potential: The Basic Information Unit of the Brain
I collaborate a bit with “Backyard Brains,” a small garage-style company in Ann Arbor founded by Greg Gage and Tim Marzulo that manufactures ultra-cheap but very useable instruments for recording action potentials and displaying them on an oscilloscope (iPhone) and loudspeaker. Their main customers are teachers.
BA, Univ. Texas 1975; PhD, Univ. Calif. Berkeley 1980
25 years drug discovery biology with Parke-Davis Ann Arbor & Pfizer
Retired since 2007, with consulting & teaching Neuroscience to undergrads (part-time lecturer) at U of M Ann Arbor
John Seamans – Superman Ain’t Got Nothing on us: Medical Imaging in 2013
What can modern medical imaging do for you? More than Supermans’s x-ray vision … it can detect vulnerable plaque in coronary arteries, map brain activity while lying/dreaming/googling, image metastatic cancer, show what’s going on during coitus, and visualize early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
Biomedical engineer and MacGyver-wannabe; harmonica player, gardener, kite-boarder in training. I’ve spent the last 10 years working on the design of medical imaging systems, finding ways to make better pictures of the bad things that sometimes go on inside the body; my current focus is cardiovascular imaging. Also, I like turtles.
Kristen Smith – Humanity is a Plague upon the Face of the Earth
Srsly, guise: Humanity is a Plague upon the Face of the Earth. Guise. Srsly.
My passions include developing software, making art, growing plants, eating food — in particular fruits, vegetables, and carbs, — SCIENCE, and learning. If I could choose one super power it would be invisibility.
When: June 20th, 2013, doors at 630pm, talks at 7pm!
Where: LIVE, 102 S First St, Ann Arbor Moola: $5 Tickets: At the door or Why: Because why wouldn’t you want to have a few drinks and learn something new with a bunch of other awesome nerds?!
Nerd Nite is back for May, and ready for you to have a drink and learn things in it! 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.
The line-up this month:
Adventures in Programming: Lessons from a Computer on How to Be Human, Erika Carlson
“Technology catalyzes changes not only in what we do, but in how we think.” -Sherry Turkle
Why learn to program if you don’t want to become a professional software developer?
Programming teaches a set of skills that are invaluable for much more than the building of software (although that’s pretty cool, too). Programming is about logic and problem-solving, but it’s also about creativity, play, curiosity, possibility, thinking outside the box, learning to see things differently, and –if you’re doing it right– joy. It’s a little bit magical, and a lot of fun.
Erika accidentally became a programmer in 2011 and has been learning software development ever since. With a background in psychology, she’s interested in people and problem-solving, and is passionate about the potential of technology to create positive change in the world. Erika is a software developer and president of the enthusiasm committee at Pillar Technology, and co-founded the Detroit chapter of Girl Develop It in 2012. She also gives introductory programming presentations at elementary and middle schools, and is working to create more opportunities for technology education in Detroit.
SCUBA Diving, Brian Bondy
The joys, misconceptions, worlds best diving destinations, shipwrecks and sharks! All condensed of course 🙂
Brian started his career in a skilled trade, not knowing what he wanted to be when he grew up. Brian realized early in his career that he wasn’t wired to work for someone else and needed to find a way to get out on my own. Huron Scuba presented an opportunity to move towards his goal of working for himself. Brian bought Huron Scuba in July 2010 and has owned and operated a PADI 5 Star dive operation since. He also managed a successful Handicap Scuba Association program built in 2012 and made it available to all who may benefit with a focus on the men and women who have served in the armed forces.
A New Kind of (Citizen) Science, Greg Austic
This talk comes in 2 parts: Part 1 (5 minutes) – all about the local non-profit A2Geeks, what we do, what we’d like to do, and how we can help you! Part 2 (15 minutes) Citizen Science isn’t just a fun way to educate people about science, or even a just cool way to get people to do some of science’s dirty work (like identifying planetary wobbles, decoding ancient Greek papyrus, or identifying protein structures. It’s going to change the scientific questions we can answer, the methods we use for answering them, and the structure and motivations of the lives of professional researchers. This will give a brief background of citizen science, what’s happening in the field now, and painting a picture of where we could end up.
After 2 years in the Peace Corps in Moldova, Greg worked his way through a small biodiesel startup from collecting grease to running a research and development department. After becoming frustrated with the limitations of the traditional patent/profit/protect model, he left biodiesel all together and spent a year working on mozilla open badges and creating an open source board game called The City. Now Greg works at Michigan State University, where he’s developing a low-cost handheld device for taking non-destructive photosynthesis measurements. In the long term, Greg is interested in how we can develop sustainable organizations and business models for open commercialization (no IP, patents, etc.) of a wider range of products and services.
When: Thursday, May 16
Where: LIVE 102 S. First St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
When: Doors at 6:30 Event at 7
Fee: $5 cover, drinks as you like
Stuff: T-Shirts $15 , Buttons for a recommended donation
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.
Join us for an evening of complete madness and tasty drinks!
Grab your friends by the straightjackets and come get wild with us at The Last Word! From the influenza epidemic of 1918 to self deception and sports, we’ve got about as much madness as you can handle- and maybe a little more! Be there. Be MAD.
Date: Thursday, March 21st
Time: Doors at 6:30, event at 7
Location: The Last Word, 301 W Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Fees: $5 Cover
We’ll have buttons and T-shirts, and they’ll be as many drinks as you want to buy at the bar!
Questions? Send us an e-mail at nerdnitea2[at]gmail.com
Want more info? Check out this month’s presentation highlights:
Self-Deception, or: I’m Pretty Sure This is the Best Nerd Nite Talk You’ll Ever Hear, Alex D Jakle
Athletes, as a matter of practice, often tell themselves they can win a race or a game even when all the evidence suggests otherwise. But self-deception is hardly limited to athletes; we all lie to ourselves. All the time. About everything. We fit everything around us into pre-fabricated narratives\ whether true or not (and whether they fit well or not). Many – if not most – of the things we hold dear are founded at least in part on the exaggerations, half-truths, and lies we tell ourselves. But don’t despair! Because the dirty little secret? It may not be such a bad thing…
Alex is a law student and a Ph.D candidate in Political Science at UM. His research explores how the culture of amateur baseball encourages NCAA rule violations, for which he had to spend two grueling summers doing fieldwork in the Cape Cod Baseball League. He’s worried somethin’ awful that he’s lying to himself about the quality and progress of his dissertation.
Influenza Madness: The Pandemic of 1918 and the Flu Today, Joshua Stoolman
Pandemics seem to be a great topic for horror stories. 28 Days Later, Resident Evil, Contagion are a few that come to mind right off the bat. The best one I have heard just happens to be real. The 1918 flu pandemic was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic which infected 500 million people across the world and killed 50 to 100 million of them — 1 to 3 percent of the world’s population at the time — making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history. This virus’ progeny are still around today and cause about 1 billion infections world wide each year. The H1N1 scare in 2009 illustrates how real of an issue this still is today.
Joshua was born and raised in Ann Arbor, went to Kalamazoo College where he majored in biology and came back to Ann Arbor do work as a technician in an immunology lab. Joshua is now a graduate student in the Program in Immunology at the University of Michigan where he study immune cell migration to the central nervous system in a mouse model of Multiple Sclerosis.
H. H. Holmes: A Devil Born in his Soul, James T Mann
Serial killer, con artist. Born Herman Webster Mudgett in 1861 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Sometimes referred as the Beast of Chicago, H. H. Holmes’ life of crime started out with various frauds and scams as a medical student at the University of Michigan…
Here’s a peek at what we’ve got lined up for February:
Kill It with Fire: Building Giant Art for Fun And Absolutely No Profit, Jane Davis
Photo by Tristan Savatier
Jane Davis, a member of Flaming Lotus, will share how to make kinetic, mechanical fire art. Flaming Lotus work stands at the intersection of sculpture, kinetics, robotics, pyrotechnics, and electronic technology. They create interactive large-scale fire installations, incorporating innovative designs in welded metal, interactive fire effects and responsive electronics, that engage viewers and invite them to become part of the art. Sculptures are made of steel, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, glass and wood – and sizes range from small to the very large, with fire blazing from 2“ to 150’.
Jane Davis has been making big stupid things since 2009, when she wandered into a metal shop in San Francisco and refused to leave. At the moment she lives in Ann Arbor, where she makes little stupid things and is getting her master’s degree in information science. Her favorite tool is an impact driver, but only because no one will let her near a boom lift. She knows four chords on the ukulele and thinks you look very nice today.
Coitus and Curry: Divine Sexy Times with Lord Krishna, Becky Bloom
Lord Krishna, perhaps India’s most beloved god, is best known for his boyish (if bluish) good looks, sexy flute-playing, and springtime canoodling with all the milkmaids in town. The divine activities of Krishna are more than erotic myth, however, as they represent the intimate relationship possible between god and devotee. In her presentation, Becky Bloom will explore the romantic complexities of divine love and devotion as expressed through the art and poetry of India.
Becky Bloom is a PhD student in the department of Asian Languages and Cultures, specializing in Tibetan Buddhism and Himalayan Art. Before coming to Michigan, Becky worked for the Rubin Museum of Art in New York, which highlights the art of Tibet, India, the Himalayas, and beyond.
Cupid Wasn’t Aiming For Your Heart: The Neuroscience of Love, Dr. Tiffany Love
What is love? This question tops Google’s most searched list and has been pondered throughout history by poets, scholars and, of course, 90’s pop artists. Where does love come from? What brings on those butterflies in your stomach when your beloved is near? Scientists are closer to understanding that thing called love and in her talk, Tiffany Love will present some of the recent research that reveals the host of brain chemicals that are tweaked following a bite from the love bug.
Dr. Tiffany Love is a faculty member in the Substance Abuse Section within the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan and her BS in Biology and Psychology from the University of New Mexico.
We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Niteis a monthly event held in more than 50 cities across the globe during which several folks give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. And there are often bands, acrobats, trivia, and other shenanigans as well. Imagine learning about everything from math feuds or the science of the Simpsons, to the genealogy of Godzilla or debunking beer myths. Fun, right? As nerds and non-nerds like to say, “Nerd Nite Is Like the Discovery Channel™…with Beer!” We’ve finally brought this fun event to Ann Arbor, and we would love to have you come or present. Here are some details for our first event:
Date: Thursday, January 24
Location: Bar @ Braun Court – 327 Braun Court Ann Arbor, MI 48104 (Kerrytown)
Time: Doors at 6:30, Event 7-9
Price: $5 at the door, drinks + t-shirt if you want