Archive for the ‘Nerd Nite Lawrence Events’ Category

Nerd Nite 81: “Chaos Theories”


Doors at 7pm, talks begin at 8pm, $1.00 cover at Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire

Grab a drink at the bar and enjoy $2.50 slices of pizza as you get your nerd on!

“Ludwig Boltzmann, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Entropy” presented by Chris Fischer

“Mathematicians, Algorithms, and Love: Making Optimal Choices” presented by Jonathan Lane

“Crazy Shirts” presented by Anne Patterson

Our presenters:

Chris Fischer
Chris has been a Lawrence citizen since 2004 and a nerd since the early 80s. He is currently corrupting the youth at KU as a professor of physics and astronomy. He sometimes finds time to teach courses in-between meetings.

Jon Lane
Jon explains that usually, algorithms are limited in discussion to computers and technology, however, people use many of the same processes that computers do when making decisions. Human decisions like picking a parking spot or hiring an employee often have a set of logic that can be distilled into an algorithm and optimized. Even finding love and the perfect partner be modeled by an algorithm.
Learn about mathematicians, algorithms and the best strategy for true love.

Anne Patterson
Illustrator, educator, maker of things
Although born in rural Warwickshire in England, and educated at Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland, Anne has lived in Lawrence for 29 years and has been teaching Architecture foundations design studio and freehand drawing electives at KU for 23 of those years. She loves her job: opening minds and unlocking the creative potential of students.

We won’t bore you with the details of her recent awards because that’s not why you’re here. Suffice it to say that an English eccentric has always been interesting to Americans and Anne is a woman with many creative interests which include Architectural drawing, Theater Design, Parade floats, Hats, Cake decorating, Watercolors, Gardening, Piano, Cooking, Indoor soccer, Paper sculpture, Costume Design, Meat pies, Pop-up models, Hybrid drawing, and Sewing whose most recent manifestation is a plethora of crazy-shirts.

When not building or making shit, Anne is either asleep, singing hymns, or drinking dark beer.

Nerd Nite 80: “Games People Play”

53664142_2034594663275843_6552484003214000128_oThis Nerd Nite is all about games! Join us at Maceli’s Banquet Hall (1031 New Hamshire Street, Lawrencem KS) for a fun night of nerdery!Doors at 7pm, talks begin at 8pm. $1.00 cover.

The talks:
“The History of the Kaw Valley Kickball League” by Jacki Becker

“The Rise of Table Top Gaming” by Nate Morsches and Matt Pool of Trader’s Cache

“All Made Up, Improv Games” by John Robison of The Guild Theater

The presenters:
Jacki Becker, Kaw Valley Kickball League

I am a 16 year player in the KVKL, who has played on 5 teams, been on the board, been a commissioner but never been a captain. When I am not thinking about kickball I am an independent concert promoter with Eleven Productions and Mammoth Inc. I am the mom to three cats (Sparkles, Eddie Money and Toasty) and one twenty two years old tarantula named Shania and I love to grow and cook my own food.

John Robison, The Guild Theater of Lawrence

John Robison has been making things up in front of audiences for nearly 35 years. From his first starring role as an evil child mayor to improv shows in Chicago and New York to his upcoming project as Jeff Goldblum in a live version of Jurassic Park, there’s never been a role he didn’t like. As artistic director of Lawrence’s non-profit Guild Theater, it’s his mission to spread the love of and teach performance art and comedy to as many people as possible. He’s pleased to bring some love to you tonight as he talks about how learning improv will straight up make you a better person. And please head to Facebook and “Like” the page called “Guild Theater – Lawrence.”

Nate Morsches and Matt Pool, Trader’s Cache

Nate Morsches and Matt Pool have been best friends for almost 10 years. They’ve done almost everything side-by-side, from starting families, leading in the community and even starting businesses together. Board Games have been a major part of our lives, as well, over the many years filled with great memories.

A new season of Nerd Nite Lawrence begins now!

Wednesday, Sepember 12 Doors open at 7:00, presentations start at 8. Cost is one dollar.
1031 New Hampshire St, Lawrence

nerdnite74 logo


We’re bringing you 3 intriguing talks covering lesser-known history that you might not be aware of and are sure to leave you thinking a little differently.

Maceli’s will have drinks and light food available. We’ll be bringing back our popular raffle prize drawing, and you’ll see old friends, maybe make new friends, and enjoy an evening of learning!

Keeping Legends Alive
by Jancita Warrington

In October 1926, the dedication ceremony of the Haskell Stadium and Memorial Arch took place. This dedication was important for many reasons – it still stands as the largest event in the history of Lawrence, KS, the archway is the first WWI memorial in history, the fancy dance we know at powwows today originated at Haskell in 1926, the stadium was the first lighted stadium in the Midwest bringing night games to this portion of the country, the only stadium of its kind at the time fully paid for, and KU’s first night game in the school’s history was made as Phog Allen borrowed the lights from the Haskell field and temporarily installed them for the game against Haskell in 1930. This ceremony in 1926 reminded dominant society that Tribal peoples no longer represented the “Indian” that once aroused fear and animosity among mainstream society.

Little-Known Slave Rebellions in the Americas
by William Garcia

We’ll be covering a few moments in history where groups of enslaved people risked it all to obtain their freedom We’ll examine slave insurrections in Latin America and the Caribbean such as Sebastian Lemba, Benkos Bioho, Carlota, Gaspar Yanga, Jose Leonardo Chirino, and Jose Antonio Aponte among others.

German Spies In Kansas, 1935 
by George Laughead

In June 1935, a group of Germans traveling on the German ship “Berlin” landed in New York and started on a tour of the USA, from Maine through Illinois, and Kansas, and back to Virginia. They took hundreds of photographs and made a movie. The reason for the trip to see “every Hanover in the world” — as stated by the Landeshauptmann (President) of the state of Hannover, Germany. They said they were from the Institute of Civic Development of Hannover, and that three of them were “a historian, a geographer, and a photographer.” The trip took them within miles of virtually every important US army base, army airfield, and navy port that existed in 1935. Eighty years ago, the Germans sent back a leather-covered book of photographs. The album was sent to the mayor of Hanover, Kansas, in July 1936, as a “thank you” for their visit in August 1935. They include photographs of German Navy uniformed men and a party flag over their car hood, outside of Hanover, Kansas.


Jancita Warrington (Potawatomi/Ho-Chunk) is a graduate of Haskell Indian Nations University and currently serves as the director and curator of the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum

William García is an Afro-Puerto Rican raised between New York and Puerto Rico. William has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s in History from the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras where he focused on Caribbean music and transnational migration between the United States and the circum-Caribbean. While completing this project, he worked as an educator in Austin, Texas, which later prompted him to move to New York City and complete a Master’s in Curriculum and Teaching from Teachers College-Columbia University. William’s Action Research Project focused on the lack of historical literacies in elementary schools.
As a PhD student in American Studies at KU, William’s research is aimed at re-narrating black diasporic historiography in the United States through an afro-diasporic lens in order to explore how Afro-Americanness—as a homogenized identity that has been mediated through the nation—invisibilizes diasporic blackness such as black migrant creolizations, resulting in a U.S. black-white bifurcated re-coloniality of racial discourse and citizenship. He believes that uncovering the reasons why Afro-Americans have more representation in the media and institutions than other marginalized groups at the expense of diasporic blackness and other narratives from people of color will foster more unity and inclusive narratives among marginalized groups.

George Laughead was a student of the late Dr. Lynn H. Nelson, University of Kansas History Professor Emeritus, the author of the first history sites on the web. George has been a museum volunteer for decades and was on the board of the Mountain Plains Museums Association and Kansas Museums Association. He is retired from magazine publishing.

Nerd Nite Summer Shorts



JULY 11, 2018

Doors open at 7:00 pm. Presentations start at 8:00 pm.  $1 to get in

Maceli’s – 1031 New Hampshire LFK

We’re closing out the 2017-2018 series of Nerd Nite Lawrence events with Summer Shorts! Instead of three twenty-minute presentations we will have fifteen* three-minute* presentations. Get ready for some fast-paced nerdery. We’ll let you in starting at 7 so you can grab a chair and an icy beverage before presentations start at 8. Dollar cover.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Three minutes? I could talk about anything for that long!” then you should sign up to present! We will continue to take volunteers until July 1st. Just email us at with your name, an oh-so-brief concept for your presentation, and an assurance that yes, you really can keep it to three minutes.


Thank you and we’ll see you there!!!


Lights! Camera! Nerds! Our theme this June is the movies, from appreciation to analysis to criticism. In addition to our night of cinematic adventure, our beloved hosts at Maceli’s are offering a Beer Blowout! Tank 7 will be $4, Free State Wheat and 3 Blind Mice will be $3, and Bud Light will be $2. That’s of course in addition to our usual $1 cover. Doors open at 7 and the featured attraction starts at 8.



“How to watch movies like a film critic (the basics),” by Abby Olcese.

What separates a great movie from a terrible one? What elements go together to create an enduring classic? How do you describe your favorite movie to a friend, family member or spouse beyond the words “awesome,” “beautiful” or “Keanu Reeves?” In this talk, you’ll learn what the people who write about movies for a living think about when they watch a film, and how to use that knowledge to deepen your own understanding of your favorite flicks.

“A Movie That Knows It Is A Movie,” by Ghiyong Patrick Moon.

This presentation explores the theoretical concept of self-reflexivity, addressing movies from Godard’s French New Wave films to Deadpool and Hot Fuzz. A few philosophical ideas in film theory regarding this topic will be explained in easy and friendly terms.

“The Art of Being an Old Movie Weirdo,” by Kellee Pratt.

Kellee will discuss classic film, and its sub genres, then discuss the culture of classic film fandom.

Our speakers:

Abby Olcese is a film critic who contributes to Kansas Public Radio and Sojourners, as well as She’s also a member of the esteemed PBR Book Club, and hopes they’ll still think she’s cool enough to come to meetings after this presentation. You can follow her adventures on Twitter @indieabby88 if you’re into that kind of thing.

Ghiyong Patrick Moon graduated Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea in 2016 with a Master of Arts degree majoring in cinema. His current research interest as a graduate student in the University of Kansas lies in the relationship between cinema and politics, which is also related to the topic of this presentation.

When not performing marketing and social media for where she also discusses classic comedy on her ‘The Funny Papers’ column, Kellee Pratt writes for her own classic film blog, Outspoken & Freckled ( Kellee teaches classic film study for Lawrence Parks & Rec Adult Ed (next courses: Film Noir 2 and Ray Harryhausen). Unapologetic social butterfly, she’s an active tweetaholic, Social Producer for Turner Classic Movies (2015, 2016), and busy mom of four kids and 3 fur babies. You can follow Kellee on twitter at @IrishJayhawk66.


In May we are bringing you video games, videodiscs, and The Boss. It’s Video Killed the Radio Star. Come meet in our abandoned studio (well, Maceli’s) for presentations that will begin at 8. Doors open at 7. Dollar cover.

Our presentations:

“Exploring Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town,'” by Conor Taft
A crash course on one of the rock icon’s greatest and most under-appreciated albums.

“StarCraft: The Last Bonjwa,” by Jon Lane
Jon will explore the ways in which media has shaped StarCraft from a video game into an entire subculture that has revolutionized the way video games were perceived and played.

“Movies Are Better on Vinyl: A Brief History of the RCA VideoDisc,” by Ben Gross
For most of the 20th century, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was synonymous with consumer electronics. RCA established the first radio network and pioneered the development of both black-and-white and color television. But not all of the company’s innovations were commercially successful. This presentation will consider RCA’s short-lived campaign to dominate the 1980s home video market with a system that allowed consumers to watch movies encoded in the grooves of vinyl records.

Our presenters:

Born and raised in the Chicago area, Conor Taft came to LFK for school and loved it so much that he stuck around. Aside from his day job at KU Endowment, he enjoys going to concerts, reading, running, and occasionally competing in air guitar competitions under his stage name “Rockward Silence.” Yes, he IS related to President Taft, and no, we aren’t forgetting an “n” in his name.

Collegiate StarCraft competition and high school computer science teacher, Jon Lane founded KU’s StarCraft 2 team and competed against some of the best college StarCraft players during the height of StarCraft 2.

Ben Gross is the Vice President for Research and Scholarship at the Linda Hall Library, the world’s foremost independent research library devoted to science, engineering, and technology. He moved to the Midwest in 2016 and regularly attends Nerd Nites in Lawrence and Kansas City. His first book, “The TVs of Tomorrow: How RCA’s Flat-Screen Dreams Led to the First LCDs,” was published in March by the University of Chicago Press.

NERD NITE 70: Creature Feature II



Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire
Doors open at 7, Presentations start at 8
Cost is one US dollar or coin.


Because you can’t get enough eukaryotes from Kingdom Animalia, we’re back with Creature Feature 2! If you are wondering whether Nerd Nite is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, our speakers may have answers for you.

Our presentations:

“Tale of a Jellyfish Sting: Untold stories of the oldest venomous animals,” by Anna Klompen
The oldest venomous animals, the Cnidarians (jellyfish, hydras, sea anemones, etc) are some of the most poorly understood in terms of venom content, structure, and evolution. Anna’s talk will be exploring the amazing jellyfish venoms we do understand, like how box jellyfish induce a heart attack in adult humans or how sea anemone venoms are currently being used as medicines.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: How animal ecology influences body plans,” by Matt Jones
Saber-tooths that aren’t cats. Lemurs that look like ground sloths. Crocodile-like amphibians. We see the same body plans show up repeatedly throughout time, but what does that tell us about evolution and habitat? Matt will discuss the concept of ecomorphology and how it can help paleontologists piece together ancient ecosystems.

“Performing for aliens: What can animal intelligence tests actually tell us?” by Ryan Ridder
Ryan is going to talk to us about different ways “intelligence” can be defined, various ways we’ve tried to measure it in other animals, and how some of our methods hold up to scrutiny.

Presenter biographies:

Anna is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department with Dr. Paulyn Cartwright. She declared her lifelong passion for marine science at a well-matured age of 8, and studied biology and chemistry in her bachelors. Her love for jellyfish started in high school, and she currently studies how venom has diversified and evolved within jellyfish and their relatives.

Matt Jones is a PhD student studying paleontology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas under Dr. K. Christopher Beard. His primary research interest is in the origin and evolution of bats and he spends most of his days staring at tiny, fossilized bat teeth through a microscope.

Ryan is an Earth mammal that can talk, but do his gibberings *truly* reflect intentionality or a biographical sense of self? Can he truly take the perspective of others or plan for the future, and is he really using these traits to solve complex problems or mediate social disputes? Does he really have an inner life? Glyxor, lead investigator of the animal behavior research unit for the Kodosian Federation, Wolf 359 Beta, argues we should be skeptical. After all, those traits have always been What Makes Us Kodosian.



It’s going to be an IRRATIONALLY good time at Nerd Nite 69.

In celebration of Pi day 3/14 (3.14) it’s PI TIME!

We’ll be making math puns, raffling pie, and we’ll be learning about Mathematician Emilie du Chatelet with Dr. Cynthia Huffman and the chemistry and science of Pie with Meghan Heriford from Ladybird Diner!


7:30 PM  – Free State Brewery – Science on Tap presents Terry Soo with the KU Department of Mathematics explores the mathematical ideas behind secure communication systems and cryptocurrencies.

8:30 PM (door at 7:30) – Maceli’s – Nerd Nite 69: PI TIME –  Can math, science, an irrational number, and a delectable dough cased filling prepared in a pastry pan co-exist in one night of learning, friendship, and math puns?


FREE STATE BREWERY – 636 Massachusetts     MACELIS – 1031 New Hampshire

NERD NITE Itenerary

On 3/14, bring us 1 dollar and we’ll bring you two outstanding and very special guest presenters!

PLUS (see what we did there +) a short talk on Pi by a mystery guest.

It’s   π   Time!

Dr. Cynthia Huffman –
“Mathematical Passion – A Look at Emilie du Chatelet”

Émilie du Châtelet lived in France in the 18th century and wrote on the “new” invention of calculus. The mistress of Voltaire, she had love affairs and experienced intrigue, gambling, and even sword fights. In this presentation, we will take a look at the life and mathematical contributions of this passionate woman.

Meghan Heriford –
“The Secret Life of Pie”
Meghan talks about her journey to creating the perfect pie, tips learned along the way, the hits and misses, and a little bit about the chemistry of crust.


Meghan Heriford – Mother of four and owner/operator/head pie lady at Ladybird Diner. Honorary Texan and natural blonde.

Dr. Cynthia Huffman is a University Professor of Mathematics at Pittsburg State University. She is interested in sharing the beauty of mathematics with others, especially through the use of the history of math. She has also been a Research Fellow at the Linda Hall Library, studying mathematics books in the LHL History of Science Collection.

NERD NITE 68: A Most Wonderful Read Across Lawrence


This February we are proud to partner with our friends at the Lawrence Public Library to celebrate Read Across Lawrence.

Read Across Lawrence 2018 highlights “Wonder,” by R.J. Palacio. Haven’t finished the book yet? No worries! Our presentations will explore topics and themes pertinent to “Wonder” but won’t spoil the book for you. The doors at Maceli’s will be open at 7 and your bosses will be there to take your dollar cover charge. We’ll start at 8. It’s going to be Wonderful!

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 7  at Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire
Doors open at 7, Presentations start at 8
Cost is one US dollar or coin.


Learn about the Lawrence Public Library Read Across Lawrence events here

Learn about the Lawrence Public Library Read Across Lawrence events here


The Nerd Nite Presentations:

“The Future is Now: Clinical Genetics as the Forerunner of Precision Medicine,”

by Eric Rush
Discoveries in genetics that impact the health of humans are in the news daily. While these advances are exciting, did you ever wonder who actually uses them to improve patient care? Enter Clinical Geneticists. We are clinicians who use our eyes, our brains, and ever-expanding cytogenetic and molecular testing to diagnose patients with genetic conditions. We use this knowledge to treat our patients either symptomatically or with targeted molecular therapies. The paradigm of giving a patient the correct treatment, at the correct dose, and at the correct time is the essence of what has come to be called Precision Medicine. We in Genetics have been approaching our patients in this fashion for the past fifty years. We will discuss the history of Clinical Genetics and how this relates to our current medical practice.

“The Creative Outsider, or Why Marginalized People Make the Best Innovators,”

by Barbara Kerr
Kerr will talk about her research on creative, eminent women for her book “Smart Girls” and eminent men for her book “Smart Boys” — and show how long periods of aloneness, rejection by popular peers, and distance from privilege can stir the imagination. The importance of one good friend and a family that provides both challenge and refuge also helps in the development of the creative person.

“‘The Wonderful[?] World of Disney’: Film Adaptations of Popular Children’s Narratives,”

by Giselle Anatol
Anatol will explore several popular Disney films from the 1930s to the present and juxtapose them with the stories on which they are based. She will consider changes to the original tales and how those provide clues to the historical and cultural contexts in which both versions were created. She will also consider the messages both versions send to viewers about a variety of ideas, such as gender roles, romantic love, and beauty ideals.

About the Presenters

Dr. Eric Rush is a Clinical Geneticist at Children’s Mercy Hospital and the University of Kansas Hospital and is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. As a high school student, he became interested in genetics when learning of the cause of his own color-blindness. He graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in biochemistry and genetics in 2001, and graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in 2005. Between 2005 and 2017, Eric took his show on the road, completing his training in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Clinical Genetics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center and staying on the faculty for five years after training. His research interests include treatment of rare genetic bone conditions and discovery of new syndromes.

Barbara Kerr is Distinguished Professor of Counseling Psychology and Co-Director of the new Center for Creativity and Entrepreneurship in Education at KU. She is also co-founder of the Lawrence Creates Makerspace. Her life’s mission is to make the world safe for creative people, but she worries it is becoming less, rather than more so. She studies how creative talent develops and the conditions that encourage it in the family, school, work, and cultures. She is author of the “Smart Girls in the Twenty-first Century: The Development of Talent in Women;” “Smart Boys: Talent, Manhood, the Search for Meaning,” seven other books and over a hundred articles. Her most recent is “Creativity and Innovation in Iceland: Individual and Cultural Variables.”

Giselle Anatol is a Professor of English at KU. Anatol’s primary fields of interest are Caribbean and Caribbean Diaspora Literature, especially 20th- and 21st-century women’s writing, African American Literature, and Children’s and Young Adult Literature, particularly representations of race, ethnicity, and gender in narratives for young people.

NERD NITE 67: Rock and Bowl Relics


It’s a new year and Nerd Nite is back with three fresh talks for you! We’ll have presentations with an art and design flavor for you this evening, from prehistoric rock art to renaissance reliquaries to design considerations for bowl makers. We will be ready to welcome you and take your dollar at 7 and presentations will start at 8. See you then!

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 10 – Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire
Doors open at 7, Presentations start at 8
Cost is one US dollar or coin.

Our presentations:

“Buxom Women, Men in Kilts and Dogs with Curly Tails – Arabian Rock Art Captures a Glimpse of Ancient Life,” by Sandra Olson

“Hallowed Bones and Holy Foreskin: Relics and Reliquaries in Early Modern Europe” by Ashley Offill
Relics – pieces of bone, remnants of blood, entire bodies, and other odd objects believed to hold the essence of the holy – possessed religious and cultural power beyond their often unsettling origins. Whether hidden away in glorious golden reliquary statues or proudly displayed behind rock crystal, relics inspired grandiose displays, dastardly deeds, and miraculous happenings. This talk will explore some of the wonderful weirdness of early modern relics and reliquaries.

“Simple as a Bowl: Why Some Bowls Aren’t Ice Cream Bowls,” by Larry Brow
A bowl’s form should reflect its function. Ceramicist Larry Brow will discuss the design challenges of making bowls with emphasis on handmade bowls such as those you (yes you!) could acquire if you attend the upcoming Souper Bowl fundraiser at the Lawrence Arts Center.

About the Presenters:

Dr. Sandra Olsen is a zooarchaeologist who has focused much of her career on the investigation of horse domestication, directing excavations of Copper Age sites and doing research in Kazakhstan. In recent years, she has turned to advanced imaging of petroglyphs in Saudi Arabia, with particular interest in the impact of climate change on the Arabian Peninsula.

Ashley Offill is a Ph.D. candidate in History of Art at KU who is writing her dissertation on the relic cult of St. Andrea Corsini in Florence. Her research interests include issues of early modern art and culture such as commemoration, celebration, viewership, reception, and theatricality, and getting way too excited about how people decorate dead bodies.

Larry Brow is a graduate of Lawrence High School, Grinnell College, the University of Iowa, and KU, with degrees in History, Ceramics, and Museum Studies. He is a lifelong member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and a former Lawrence Arts Center Ceramics Instructor. He currently works at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at KU and is a Certified Archivist.