SUMMER SHORTS : NN51

Summer Shorts

WEDNESDAY, JULY 13
Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire St.
Door at 7:00 pm Presentations at 8:00 pm
$1.00 Cover
Drinks and a mini-menu available.  

NN51:

Summer Shorts

A Nerd Nite Lawrence original, Summer Shorts, returns in July! Join us for these numerous short presentations in the same nerdy atmosphere you’ve grown to love.

A lightning round-type format this month, with newcomers and several popular Nerd Nite alumni.

Wear your shorts and get a sticker!

 Some of the topics and presenters:

Owens Lane, a brief history of the 1st midcentury cul-de-sac in Lawrence,” by Tom Harper. Harper is the Founder of Lawrence Modern, a Realtor with Stephens Real Estate & happens to live on Owens Lane.

“Yankee Doodle Came to Town Upon a Naval Convoy: The “American Invasion” and Perceptions of the New Zealand Mainstream, Abridged,” by Eric Sader. Eric is an attorney-social worker, presently serving Lawrence-Douglas County as a director at the Housing Authority. He also teaches through Johnson County Community College when not occupied by Sader Advocacy, Sader Mediation, and SaderWedding and Funeral. Present Board memberships include the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas, Hilltop Child Development Center, and the Kansas Statewide Homeless Coalition.

“Paronomasia: Pun Intended,” by Jason Keezer. Keezer is a lifelong resident of Kansas and has been using language most of his life. He is a licensed clinical social worker and member of the Lawrence Improv Guild.

“How to Make Ugly Maps,” by Andrea Repinsky. Repinsky lives in Brook Creek with a Korean anxiety hound and three chickens. Andrea is an urban planner and prairie enthusiast. She makes a lot of maps, and sometimes forgets to make them ugly.

“Dancing Democracy,” by Kelly Kluthe. Kelly is a high school science teacher and amateur beekeeper.

“1>3>4>2: A Controversial View of the Indiana Jones Quadrilogy,” by Michael Pope. Michael is a local comedian, man-about-town and amateur film buff. He’s a Renaissance man who enjoyed the movie “Renaissance Man.” His opinions are his own, but that doesn’t stop him from sharing them with everyone. Full disclosure: His fiancée, Sally, has given a few Nerd Night talks herself and is much better at this sort of thing.

Dirty Jane Austen,” by Jon Kaleugher. Jon Fitzgerald Kaleugher II is a longtime member of LFK’s famed PBR Book Club (Shteyngart wrote about us in the New Yorker) and has recently become himself on Twitter (@jfkaleug). He just finished the first year of an MFA in Fiction at UMKC. He is currently revising a novella,Brunch at Hermes, an updating of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, if you wanna read, let him know.

“Vote with your fork? Speak with your mouth! A call to all for food systems planning,” by Helen Schnoes. Schnoes spends way too much time thinking about food, talking about, and reading about food. As Food Systems Coordinator for Douglas County, she wants you to help craft the future vision of our local food system.

“What In Carnation?!” or “Leaf Me Alone: Romance, Friendship, Animosity, and Everything in Between Through the Victorian Language of Flowers,” by Grace D. Chin. Grace Dallae Chin is a printmaker, paper sculptor, and longtime flower enthusiast. Her Korean name is clever wordplay that translates to “azalea,” which in the Victorian language of flowers means “take care of yourself for me” or “fragile passion” and was a staple in break-up bouquets, or, if sent in a black vase, could be a death threat. That’s probably not why her parents named her after azaleas.

“The Six Amendments That Didn’t,” by Steven x Davis. Steven x Davis is a writer and editor with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. He is currently running for the Kansas House of Representatives in the 44th District, and constitutional law is one of his many nerdy interests.

“Inside the Con Artist’s Playbook,” by Marie Taylor. After living in 15 cities in 8 states, Marie Taylor finally settled down in Lawrence, Kansas. When not doing her lawyer day job, Marie spends her time tending to her awesome kids, working on her movement practice, knitting socks, and getting in touch with her inner nerd. Her interest in scammers was spurred after falling for a scam or two – okay, maybe three.

“What’s the Matter with Kansas’s Flag?” by Pat Trouba. Trouba voted in the 2015 flag referendum for his favorite podcast, Hello Internet. It remains the only postcard-based British election he’s ever voted in.

“Take a Dip into Wet Specimens” – by Krys Arkeketa

“The Unknown Cultural Significance of the cartoon The Real Ghostbusters” – by Sean Passmore


And more!!!

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

Nerd Nite 50: Buck, Blow, Bump

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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 8
Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire St.
Door at 7:00 pm Presentations at 8:00 pm
$1.00 Cover
Drinks and a mini-menu available.  

NN50:

Buck, Blow, Bump

 

Get ready to get down, get funky, and bust a move at Nerd Nite 50! On this historic evening, we’ll bring you three talks about the esoteric histories of commonplace things.

Dance, Dollars and Glass – you won’t want to miss this one!

 

Dance Crazes through the Ages

by Katie Sparks

A Concise History of Glass, or why a poor Okie kid winds up blowing glass in his garage

by Bob Gent

If I Had a Million Dollar Coins

by Pat Trouba


Descriptions of Discussions:

Dance Crazes through the Ages

by Katie Sparks

This talk will waltz you (figuratively) through some key dance forms in the history of the United States, with a focus on how these iconic styles became popular. It will also touch on fashion and culture, and will include some actual dancing! You will be doing a lot of the dancing, audience. Thank you in advance for your enthusiastic participation.

Biography

Katie Sparks has two Master’s degrees, but they have nothing to do with dance, or history, so other than conveying a vague nerd-cred, they’re not important here. Katie got into dance while attending a hippy liberal arts college, and has been taking classes ever since. Through dance, she has learned that you don’t have to be good at something to do it with abandon.

A Concise History of Glass, or why a poor Okie kid winds up blowing glass in his garage

by Bob Gent

Bob will explain the development of glass, and look into the way that glass began to be made in individual studios rather than just large factories, and how this change opened new artistic and technical possibilities.

Biography

Bob Gent has been a studio glass artist since the mid eighties. He learned the craft of glassblowing, and more importantly, studio building, at the university of Tulsa, where his parents thought he was going to learn something that would put him on the path to employment.

He worked almost full time at glass from the late nineties through to the crash of ’08, and has been treating it as a supplemental, and fun means of income since then. He sells in galleries in Lawrence and Kansas City, though an occasional check sometimes arrives from a gallery he had completely forgotten.
As to whether he’d encourage you to pick up a blowpipe, that’s complicated. The learning curve is steep, practice time is expensive and hard to come by, and setting up a studio requires another skill set, plus some capital outlay. Learn design first, he’ll tell you, though he wonders if he’s ever taken such advice himself.
As to whether you could own an artifact of the studio glass movement, that answer is simple. Bob’s work can be found at Phoenix Gallery, or you may contact him by looking in the phone book or at his eponymous web site, bobgent.com

If I Had a Million Dollar Coins

by Pat Trouba

Remember the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea dollar coins? And weren’t there some with presidents? What’s the deal with those? This presentation discusses the history of recent U.S. dollar coins, over a billion of which are waiting for use, yet few people know about them.

Biography

Pat first encountered dollar coins when the change machine at his workplace spit them out. Soon, he was spending them in everyday purchases. He splits his time between video games, tabletop games, and swing dancing.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

NN49: GOLDEN GASTRONOMY

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 11
Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire St.
Door at 7:00 pm Presentations at 8:00 pm
$1.00 Cover
Drinks and a mini-menu available.  

NN49:

GOLDEN GASTRONOMY

 

Join us for salty talks about fermenting things that aren’t beer, purview the biology of said beer, and raise a beer to the 50th anniversary of Lawrence Nerd Nite!

You might ask “Wait, I’m confused, if it’s NN49 why are you celebrating 50?” Because we’re geeky and freaky and started counting at our favorite smallest non-negative integer, zero (o)!

The Evolutionary Biology of Beer

by Sally Chang

Teach a Man to Ferment

by Savannah Noyes and Sarah Salzman

Salty Talk

by Kim Brook


Descriptions of Discussions, Brewed Fresh and Salty

The Evolutionary Biology of Beer

by Sally Chang

In my talk, I will teach you a bit about the truly strange natural histories of two key beer ingredients: hops and yeast, and how this history relates to their deliciousness. Additionally, I will cover a bit about the future of these organisms including how climate change may affect them.

Biography

Sally Chang is a Ph.D. candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas who studies the genomes of jellyfish and their relatives. In her pretty limited time away from research, she dabbles in home-brewing, as it is pretty much the best biology-related hobby.

Teach a Man to Ferment

by Savannah Noyes and Sarah Salzman

Ready to take your dinner plate to a whole new level? Come learn how easy it is to make nutrient-dense, probiotic-rich, and palate enticing fermented foods. Fermented foods are cheap, easy, and full of beneficial bacteria that make your belly happy!

Biographies

Savannah Noyes, KU alum and professional volleyball player is owner/chef at Wild Alive Ferments,owner/community health director of CrossFit Lawrence, blogger at vannacatwellness.blogspot.com, author, wife and new mom!!

Sarah Salzman, KU alum, masters in Occupational Therapy, owner/chef at Wild Alive Ferments, and momma to be!

Salty Talk

by Kim Brook

“Salty Talk” will explore the history of salt and its importance in cultures of past and present. From salt as currency to salt as a seasoning, salt has inspired religious sayings, recipes, and popular culture. Other aspects of salt such as: salt trends, health and salt, and a surprise salty treat will be provided.

Biography

Kim Brook comes to Lawrence via South Korea and New Jersey. During the summers in New Jersey, Kim and her father would make tomato sandwiches. Kim insisted putting salt on the tomatoes and her father disagreed and would put sugar on the tomatoes. Thus began a lifelong interest with salt. When Kim isn’t salting her food, she works at the ECM, teaches ceramics, and makes ceramic art.

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

 

Nerd Nite 48: It’s Grow Time

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Wednesday, APRIL 13
Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire St.
Door: 7:00 pm Presentations start at 8:00 pm
$1.00 Cover
Drinks and a mini-menu available.  

NN48
It’s Grow Time

In April we turn our attention back to life. This rebirth takes the form of three presentations concerning our favorite photosynthesizing friends – plants.

In Praise of Plants  🙌🌱 

by Emily Ryan

From Crisis to Cornucopia: Cuba’s Transition to Sustainable Agriculture

by Ali Brox

The Importance of Being Native

by Courtney Masterson


Descriptions of Discussions in Full Bloom

In Praise of Plants  🙌🌱 

by Emily Ryan

We can learn a lot from plants–especially if we have specific hopes for them. Within the framework of agriculture, we’ll look at some of the crazy things plants do, consider ways to work with them, and scratch the surface of the sociopolitical outgrowth of it all. Bonus: Tips for how to apply this info in LFK.
If required re-reading were a thing, you’d want to return to Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree as a preface to this presentation.

Biography

Emily formed her perspective of the world somewhere between the branches of sugar maple trees in eastern Ohio. (She really likes the topography there.) By day, she works at The Commons bringing people together across campus and the community. The rest of the time, she’s covered in dirt, either micro-farming in north Lawrence or playing softball.

From Crisis to Cornucopia: Cuba’s Transition to Sustainable Agriculture

by Ali Brox

Recent developments in U.S./Cuba relations raise questions about the future of agriculture in Cuba. This presentation describes the methods and practices of sustainable agriculture in Cuba since 1989, and posits some ideas about what can be learned from Cuba’s transition away from industrial agriculture. It concludes by considering possible outcomes for Cuban agriculture when/if the U.S. embargo is lifted.

Biography

Ali Brox lives in Lawrence and teaches Environmental Studies at KU. Her interest in Cuba was spurred after a trip there in December.

The Importance of Being Native

by Courtney Masterson

What IS a native plant, anyway? There are plants everywhere. How are natives different? Join us as we explore the definition of “native plant,” their infamy, their value, and their beauty.

Biography

Courtney is defending her Master’s Thesis this month (so, be patient with her!). Her research focuses on the effects of deer populations on tallgrass prairie plant communities. She manages the Monarch and Native Plant Programs at Bridging The Gap, which are providing hundreds of free monarch gardens to the citizens of Kansas City. She also runs her own business managing prairies and designing native gardens. Finally, Courtney is also a member of the leadership teams for the Kansas Women’s Environmental Network, the Kaw Valley Native Plant Coalition, and the Kansas City WildLands Seed Team. She’s a plant lunatic. 

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

Nerd Nite 47: Abra Macabre

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Wednesday, MARCH 9
Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire St.
Door: 7:00 pm Presentations start at 8:00 pm
$1.00 Cover
Drinks and a mini-menu available.

In March we are back at our regular location Maceli’s and humbly present to you, dear audience, a night of mortific magnificence. Our shuddersome theme for the evening is Death, or more precisely our topics will take a look at where our social norms come from concerning funeral rites, dress and exequies . Never fear, sweet friends, this night will be more anthropological than ghoulish. So put pallid hand in hand and take a grim walk with us to Marble Town.  

NN47
Abra Macabre

TOPICS:

“Dead Man’s Party”

by Krys Arkeketa

“Grieving, the Right Way (?)”

by Abby Young

“The Mourning After: Death and Victorian Dress”

by Annette Becker


The Deathly Details:

“Dead Man’s Party”

by Krys Arkeketa

Death is inevitable; every single one of us will die one day. Are you prepared? Fear not if you are unsure! We will be exploring the taboo topic of death and what your options are. Topics that will be covered are:

1. A brief history of embalming and American death culture.

2. What are my options besides burial?

3. “Why can’t I have a viking funeral?” and other myths about death.

Biography

Krys Arkeketa is a mortuary student from the Lawrence, KS area. She began her mortuary journey in 2013 when she realized nursing school was not for her. Involved in oddities and rarities sale and trade, she preserves fetal animals, organs and wet specimens as her hobby and felt becoming a mortician was the next big step. She is Native American and her goal is to specialize in Native American funerals and post-mortem ceremonies.

“Grieving, the Right Way (?)”

by Abby Young

Societal treatment of grief is often one-size-fits all;  sometimes conjuring feelings of shame in the bereaved where sympathy is intended.  In this talk, we’ll be exploring the notion of what it means to grieve “normally” in the western world and the pressures society can put on us: “Shouldn’t I be over it?” “Why am I still sad they died?”  Often the pressure “to get over it” can become overwhelming. With these questions in mind, we will look to see if there truly is a “right” way to grieve. Some of the research will surprise you.

Biography

Abby Young found herself working as a photojournalist in her 20s to only discover that therapy was her main calling. Abby received her masters of social work from the University of Kansas and opened her own practice, Tillery Time Counseling, in Lawrence. She has done work with people in many walks of life including those impacted by cancer, grieving, and surviving domestic violence to mention a few. She brings in an understanding of the mind, brain and body connection in working with people.

“The Mourning After: Death and Victorian Dress”

by Annette Becker

Are you from the nineteenth century? Has your spouse, second cousin, employer, or a beloved politician passed away recently? Well, look no further! Together we’ll explore a century of mourning etiquette and dress and the impact of those traditions on twenty-first century culture.

Biography

Annette Becker is a fashion historian who specializes in nineteenth and twentieth-century British and American dress.  She has lectured and published on clothing’s relationship to the body, political and health reform dress, and first lady fashion.  She has worked at Historic Deerfield, the Speed Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Texas Fashion Collection, and is currently at the Spencer Museum of Art.  The highlight of her career thus far has been touching George Bernard Shaw’s woolen underwear a few weeks ago.

 

 

Doors open at 7:00 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

Nerd Nite 46: Mars and Other Curiosities | Location: The Cider Gallery

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Wednesday, February 10
The Cider Gallery  (810 Pennsylvania St)
Doors at 7:00 PM, presentations at 8:00 PM
$1.00 Cover
Drinks will be available for purchase
Wilma’s food truck will be on-site

Please join us for a very special edition of Nerd Nite as we partner with the Lawrence Public Library and KU Libraries to bring you “Mars and Other Curiosities.”

We are presenting three Mars related talks in in conjunction with the Read Across Lawrence selection for 2016, Andy Weir’s book, “The Martian”.

Please note the location for this month will be the Cider Gallery!  

Mars and Other Curiosities

TOPICS:

“The Spiders on Mars and Other Space Oddities”

by Alison Olcott Marshall

“Autonomous Mobile Robots”

by Arvin Agah

“An Explorer’s Guide to Mars (Fiction)”

by the LPL book squad


About the Topics:

“The Spiders on Mars and Other Space Oddities”

by Alison Olcott Marshall

On July 15, 1965, Mariner IV provided the world with the first close-up view of Mars. Just fifty years later an amazing array of flybys, orbiters, landers and rovers has provided us with enough images of the red planet that it is now possible to leisurely tour the planet on Google Mars. These images are not only beautiful and (quite literally!) otherworldly, but they have allowed us to learn so much about our nearest neighbor, a planet that is so similar to and yet so different from Earth. In this talk we will explore what we know about Mars, how we know it, and indulge in some speculation about what we could still learn.

Biography
Alison Olcott Marshall is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology, where she uses chemistry to explore fossils of all types, sizes, and ages and tries to apply those lessons to the search for life on other planets. She has a 2 year old and a 4 year old, so she has forgotten what “free time” is, but she is pretty sure she used to enjoy doing things in it.

“Autonomous Mobile Robots”

by Arvin Agah

Description
The only known Martians at this point in time are Curiosity and Opportunity, two Mars rovers by NASA. Mars rovers, Drones, driverless cars, and robotic vacuum cleaners are a few examples of autonomous mobile robots—robots that move on their own. This presentation will cover the history, applications, competitions, trends, and challenges (technical and philosophical) of autonomous mobile robots.

Biography
Dr. Arvin Agah is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the School of Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas, which he joined in 1997, after spending two years in Japan as a researcher in the Bio-Robotics Division of Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. He has edited two books and published over 170 refereed articles in the areas of robotics and artificial intelligence. He has degrees from University of Texas at Austin (Computer Science BA), Purdue University (Computer Science MS), and University of Southern California (Biomedical Engineering MS and Computer Science PhD).

“An Explorer’s Guide to Mars (Fiction)”

by the Lawrence Public Library book squad

This short, spoiler free presentation will cover everything you need to know about Mars related fiction.

Doors open at 7:30 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

Nerd Nite 45: “Bugs”!

Wednesday, January 13
Maceli’s (1031 New Hampshire)
Doors at 7:30 PM, presentations at 8:00 PM $1.00 Cover

BUGS!

Bees. There’s more to them than you might think. It’s complicated. And what’s the most common infection in the world? Here’s a hint: it lives inside the cells of half the known insect species of the world. Then, carmine dye is derived from the cochineal insect and is commonly used as a coloring for food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Learn how this small insect played a big role in history and was at one point Mexico’s second most sought-after export after silver.

Join us in January as we explore the tiny world of insects and three examples of their significant impact on global events.

TOPICS:

Cochineal, Colonialism, and Cartels -one little bug, one big commodity.  by Kristin Soper

The Most Common Infection in the World by Chris Hamm

Beyond Honeybees: The Unseen World of Wild Bees by Daphne Mayes

 


About the Topics:

“Cochineal, Colonialism, and Cartels

by Kristin Soper

One little bug, one big commodity.

Biography
Kristin is a librarian at Lawrence Public Library and loves stories, art, and history. She came across the story of cochineal and the history of red dye at the folk art museum in Santa Fe. She mostly retweets things about feminism and libraries, but, if you’d like to, you can follow her @soperific

The Most Common Infection in the World

by Chris Hamm

Description
The bacterium Wolbachia lives inside the cells of half of all insect species and many parasitic worms, making it the most common infection in the world. Wolbachia is often considered a reproductive parasite that can manipulate its host’s reproduction to promote the growth of more Wolbachia. This bacterium has been living with insects and worms for millions of years, and scientists are now using this bacterium to combat diseases from heartworm to Dengue fever and Malaria. I will talk about the biology of this bacterium, some of the fascinating things it can do, and what researchers around the world are doing to trick bacteria into helping humans.

Biography
Biologist, Insufferable geek, way too into butterflies, Dodgers, lover of delicious beer and pizza.

 

Beyond Honeybees: The Unseen World of Wild Bees

by Daphne Mayes

Description

Native bees make important contributions to our environment and the economy via their role in pollination. Concerns regarding the status of many bee species have urged greater attention and awareness. This presentation aims to open your eyes to the world of our wild bees—a remarkable unseen world.

Biography

Daphne Mayes is a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology department and is studying how changes in land use impact wild bee communities. She earned a M.S. degree in Natural Resources from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, where she studied as a Master’s International Student in the U.S. Peace Corps in Zambia, Africa from 2009-2011. She earned her B.S. in Biology from Emporia State University.

 

 

Doors open at 7:30 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

Nerd Nite XLIV: A Nerd Awakens

Wednesday, Dec. 9
Maceli’s (1031 New Hampshire)
Doors at 7:30, presentations at 8:00

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No spoilers. No midi-cholorians. Nerd Nite is calling to you. Just let it in.

Our Program for the Evening:

Expanding the Universe: Kitbashing as Three-Dimensional Fan Fiction by Matt Jacobson

‘You Don’t Know the Power of the Dark Side’: The Mysterious 24% of the Universe We Call Dark Matter by Alex Ford

‘I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing’: Science Fiction vs. Star Wars by Adam Mills


FULL DESCRIPTIONS


 

“Expanding the Universe: Kitbashing as Three-Dimensional Fan Fiction”

by Matt Jacobson

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (well, actually in Van Nuys, CA, in 1976), modelmakers from Industrial Light and Magic pushed the envelope of model design and construction to create the groundbreaking mechanical details of the worlds of STAR WARS. Their work set the standard for movie FX for years to come, and their designs became the basis for commercial plastic models, built by generations of STAR WARS fans. Today, some of those fans “bash” their own models into new designs that expand on the ideas presented in the Star Wars Universe. This presentation covers one fan’s creation of “kitbashed” designs, and how “kitbashing” can become a kind of storytelling in its own right.

Biography
When he’s not down in the Cavern of Awesomeness (a/k/a the model-building room in the basement), Matt Jacobson works as a professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies at the University of Kansas, teaching cinematography and film and media production. For the last sixteen years, he has worked as director Kevin Willmott’s cinematographer, filming projects like CSA: CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, THE ONLY GOOD INDIAN, and JAYHAWKERS. Previous to that, Matt worked in the film industry in Los Angeles, including working as an FX-unit technician on ED WOOD and MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS: THE MOVIE. He has three children, and two-and-a-half Corgis.

“‘You Don’t Know the Power of the Dark Side’: The Mysterious 24% of the Universe We Call Dark Matter” by Alex Ford

Description
Alex Ford will discuss how we first discovered something was amiss with our understanding of galaxy dynamics, the differences between modified gravity and dark matter, and finally what the current understanding of dark matter is.

Biography
Alex Ford is working on a phd in astrophysics from KU. His primary research focus is plasma production in the magnetosphere around spinning black holes and its implications to astrophysical jets, but he is excited to take a break from the brightest objects in the universe to talk about the darkest.

“‘I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing’: Science Fiction vs. Star Wars”

by Adam Mills

Description

It would seem uncontroversial to say that Star Wars is regarded as a high-water mark in the history of science fiction film and storytelling – and yet, since the initial release of A New Hope back in 1977, there has been significant argument not only over whether Star Wars is in fact science fiction, but also whether or not it “ruined” science fiction to some extent in the public imagination. This presentation hopes to profile the controversy within the fan community upon precisely these questions, and then go further to ask why these questions are so important in the first place. In other words: why does it matter whether or not we think of Star Wars as science fiction? Why does it matter that we call anything science fiction?

Biography

Adam Mills is a PhD student in Creative Writing at KU. He is also volunteer coordinator of AboutSF, the educational outreach branch of the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. He has previously served as Fiction Editor for Beecher’s Magazine and Managing Editor for the webzine Weird Fiction Review. To this day, Mills credits The Empire Strikes Back for first stoking his affection for wild twist endings. You know, the one where Boba Fett takes his helmet off to reveal that he’s actually Lando Calrissian. Yeah, that one.

Doors open at 7:30 PM. Presentations begin at 8:00. $1 Cover.

 

May the Force be with You

NN 43: Body Movin’

Wednesday, Nov. 11
Maceli’s (1031 New Hampshire)
Doors at 7:30, presentations at 8:00

Nerd Nite 43: Body Movin'

featuring:
Special aerial performances from The Last Carnival throughout the night!
https://www.facebook.com/circusschoolkansas/?fref=ts

That’s a Wrap: Unraveling the intrinsic code of aerial silks body wraps by Dagney Velazquez

Aerial silks, a relative newcomer to the circus world, combines acrobatics, dance, and daredevil courage into an art form that seems to defy gravity. Aerialists are held aloft using not only sheer strength but also by wrapping the fabric around their bodies intricately. These combinations of wraps have been passed along from one aerialist to another, and each unique wrap has been given a common, though not universal, name.

As an amateur aerialist who was initially thoroughly confused by the body wraps, I decided to use my math skills to create a code that could adequately detail and communicate the various wrap combinations. I will present the early stages of this work.

Dagney J. Velazquez is a math professor at Kansas City Kansas Community College where she regularly annoys her students with exclamations of joy over the beauty and mystery of mathematics. She holds an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, a Masters of Divinity, and is one class away from her Masters of Mathematics. During her downtime, she enjoys hiking, bicycling, aerial silks, acroyoga, and annoying her daughter with exclamations of joy over the beauty and mystery of mathematics.

The Speed of Weightlessness by Crystal Shepherd

Weightlifting and how body movements like pull ups and kettle bell swings use power and speed to lift objects, not just brute strength.

Crystal Shepherd is a coach and personal trainer, with over 13 years of experience in the industry. She has Master’s level education in the area of mental health counseling and enjoys the study of human behavior and movement.

She is engaged to her best friend, Zach Sherman, and together they have owned and operated a training facility. They have 4 kids, and 2 dogs, and a lot of laundry.

Nerd Nite 42: CTRL, ALT, TWEET

Wednesday, Oct. 14
Maceli’s (1031 New Hampshire)
Doors at 7:30, presentations at 8:00
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featuring:

Scheherazade’s Clothes: Harem Fashion and Politics in Sudan by Marie Brown

A strict culture of seclusion and limited access to formal education have long given scholars the impression that for much of the twentieth century Sudanese women were politically uninformed and isolated in their homes. But what if we’ve been looking for women’s voices in the wrong places? Why are historians so obsessed with (male-dominated) written documents? When we abandon texts for textiles, we find Sudanese women to be eager storytellers: weaving together tales of local celebrities, global revolution, Broadway plays, and space exploration in their clothes.

Marie Brown is an Assistant Professor of Middle East History at KU. Her book, Khartoum at Night: The Politics and Pleasures of Fashion in Imperial Sudan, argues that northern Sudanese women’s experiences of imperialism were expressed on and through their bodies. Her work on fashion means that she has a reputation to uphold and must always appear smartly dressed at work, parties, the farmers’ market, and even on errands to Cottin’s Hardware. When not buried under books, archival notes, or old photographs, Marie can be found knitting…or kickboxing.

“Another thing that got forgotten was the fact that against all probability movies were once recorded on vinyl discs” by Sean Passmore

The CED movie format from the 1980s was movies recorded on large vinyl discs. This format lost badly to other, better and more popular formats such as VHS & Laserdiscs.

Sean Passmore claims Lawrence as his hometown, despite growing up on a farm in Western Kansas and living in New York City throughout most of the ’00s. Sean was formerly a late night radio personality, under a pseudonym, at 105.9 the Lazer throughout the mid ‘90s, and is currently a car salesperson, collector of obscure information, Downtown Lawrence enthusiast and is good at jokes sometimes.

Of poets and robots. Twitter bots as everyday literature. By Élika Ortega

Twitter, like other social media, have a reputation of being the dark, superfluous doom of culture. Though crucial activist uses of Twitter have been common in social movements like the various versions of Occupy around the world, the microblogging platform still has to be seen as a place where arts ocurr. In this talk, I will talk about of Twitter bots in order to propose them as a radically contemporary literary phenomena that floods our everyday use of the platform.

Don’t know what a Twitter bot is? This talk is for you!

élika ortega

Élika is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Kansas. Before coming to Lawrence, she spent almost a decade in Canada, and before that, she grew up in Mexico City. She is nerdy about literature, computers, and weird books, both old and new.
A self-declared dog person, when she’s not working in the mysterious and wondrous field of Digital Humanities (don’t forget to ask her what that is) she likes to bind books, ride bikes, and run. You can find her on Twitter as @elikaortega