Nerd Nite 5: goats, gardens and growing coffee

a special green themed Nerd Nite – Lawrence for April!

we are in the Star Bar, so seating is about 60 people, get there early.

doors at 7:30 (or whenever all the speakers have practiced) and presentations at 8:00

featuring:

“Politics of Community Gardens” by Aimee Polson

As one of the most successful government sponsored grassroots movements in the country, community or allotment gardens have been promoted in the United States since before the Industrial Revolution.  We will talk about the historical and cultural shifts in community gardens in the US and the different ways that community gardens and gardening can be used as a political tool for social action and change. We’ll also talk about how nothing ever changes.

Since graduating from K-State with a degree in community planning/horticultural therapy, Aimee has   embarked on a slow as molasses effort to spread the gospel of human/plant interaction.  Michael Ableman made her do it.

“More than a Hill of Beans: Coffee and Why it’s a BIG Deal” by Katy Wade

Before that coffee was in your cup it was on a tiny bush.  Then someone grew it, picked it, washed it, dried it, packaged it, shipped it and roasted it. It was a lot of work. Every year, 17 billion pounds of coffee are grown in almost 80 countries around the world, making coffee the second most traded commodity in the world. We will explore behind the scenes of the massive coffee industry from a first hand account of life on a coffee farm, and why coffee farmers drink NesCafe.

Katy Wade was raised in Abilene, Kansas by honest, Folger’s-drinking Americans. She has a B.A. from KU in Latin American Studies and Anthropology, which she uses only to fuel her life-long delusion that she is Indiana Jones. In 2009, after 6 years of making coffee behind counters, she packed her bag, bought a machete and headed to Guatemala, where she spent 7 months living in coffee-growing communities harvesting and processing coffee. She makes cocktails for a living, which she likes very much. Other things she likes are riding bikes, reading blogs, cooking dinner and adventuring. She takes her coffee black.

“Sheep go to Heaven, Goats Go to Hell” by Jen Humphrey

One of the earliest animals to be domesticated, goats have occupied a continual presence in the arts, mythology, religion, agriculture, sex, and science. They also have a mistaken reputation for eating cans and embodying the spirit of the devil. But look beyond, and you’ll discover an animal that is an alternative to herbicides, a lawn mowing machine, and the number-one source of meat in the world (just not in Kansas — at least, not yet). In this presentation, Jen will demystify a few aspects of goats: the difference between goats and sheep, why a dairy goat is not a meat goat, and random goat trivia, from bellweathers to bock beer.

Four years ago, Jen Humphrey and her partner, Jessica Pierson, gave up what they called they called the latte life to move to the country and start raising goats and vegetables. Forty-some goats, 90 chickens and an acre or two later, Jen continues to strive to keep the goats out of the vegetable plots while balancing work as the communications director at the KU Natural History Museum.

 

Nerd Nite 4: raw fish, wooden rockets, and brackets

Nerd Nite – Lawrence will be March 13 at Pachamama’s Star Bar (8th and New Hampshire).

Doors at 7:30, Speakers at 8:00

Room capacity is 60 people!

featuring:

Notes from the Native American Space Agency (NASA):  Building the Fastest Wooden Rocket in the World

by Lucas Miller

Students at Haskell Indian Nations University are currently building the world’s fastest wooden rocket for entry into the First Nations Tribal College High Power Rocketry contest in Milwaukee, WI.  We are utilizing traditional techniques to create state-of-the-art technology.  The rocket will be made from vertical grain Sitka spruce and animal glue, making it one of the most eco-friendly rockets ever made, and possibly the fastest all-wooden aircraft ever constructed.  Simulations indicate that the “Arrow of Knowledge” will go from zero to near Mach 1 in a matter of seconds and travel over a mile into the sky.  This project is funded by the National Science Foundation as part of a Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) workforce development initiative.

Lucas Miller serves as the Co-PI/Co-PD on the NSF-TCUP grant at Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU), where he developed the High Power Rocketry progam.  He has been a grant sponsored faculty member at HINU for nine years.  He received a B.S. in Physics and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Kansas.  Lucas has been launching rockets since the 6th grade, has worked with data from nearly every interplanetary satellite in and out of the solar system, and has an interest in all things space

Sushi in America: Mostly Misconceptions, Some Out-right Lies

by Elwood Schaad

An examination of the American Sushi industry: it’s history, the cuisine itself, and the tricks it plays to get Americans to eat raw fish.

Elwood is a nerd about many things, but professionally he is a nerd about food. Starting at Wa Restaurant, he has spent over ten years in fine dining, with five of those spent working in sushi restaurants. When not serving tables at Pachamama’s, he enjoys playing any kind of game and daydreaming about food.

I Feel The Need, The Need for Seeds: An Exploration of “The Bracket”

by Laura Watkins and Kevin Baker

True statement: March Madness is the absolute best sporting event known to man. However, in recent years the actual games have been overshadowed by the rising popularity of “The Bracket.” We will discuss a brief history of the immense hype of Bracketology, an overview of the Selection Committee’s seeding process, and lots of “insider tips” on how you can win your NCAA tournament office pool*.
*IF YOU DON’T WIN, IT IS NOT OUR FAULT.
Laura works at an ad agency in Kansas City. Kevin is getting his Masters at UMKC in German History. Laura and Kevin live in Mission with two dogs (Lennie Briscoe and Hazel) and a cat (Wink). They share a love for Game of Thrones, beer and Toni Braxton. And, like many fellow KU graduates, they are both obsessed with Kansas basketball.

Nerd Nite 3: lights, camera, nerds.

Nerd Nite 3: lights, camera, nerds will take place on Feb. 15 at the Star Bar at Pachamama’s.

Doors at 7:30, Speakers at 8:00

Room capacity is 50 people!

featuring:

A Century of Film or: We’ve Spent One Hundred Years Collectively Sitting in Front of Screens Getting Stupider (And Smarter, and Stranger, and Inspired)

by Justin Runge

If black and white movies seem strange to a majority of Millenials, the films of the silent era might as well be the work of sentient, self-aware robo-dinosaurs. Thing is, entertainment hasn’t changed much since the advent of the moving image: before millions tuned in to watch a Kardashian get a pedicure, people crowded into dark rooms to watch French people walk home from work, and Thomas Edison was charging a nickel for twenty seconds of cockfighting before anyone ever uploaded a cute cat video to YouTube—even Eadweard Muybridge’s Horse in Motion could be considered the prototypical animated GIF. And while pre-Talkies share much with modern flicks, they also have identities all their own—weird, racy, trashy, lavish, outlandish, and dreamlike ones. Silent film and its orbiting incarnations deserve to be enjoyed, appreciated, and nerdily obsessed over because they exactly are—and totally aren’t—like anything else playing at your multiplex or on your iPad.

Justin Runge holds a bachelor’s in English and theatre from Nebraska Wesleyan University, and a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Alabama, where he augmented his education with courses in film and work in video production. A lifelong film fan, he saw his first silent, Erich von Stroheim’s Greed, at ten years old, and his passion hasn’t ebbed: last March, he proposed to his girlfriend during a screening of Frank Borzage’s 7th Heaven at the Topeka Silent Film Festival.

Dressing for Debauchery:  The Costumes and Masks of Mardi Gras

by Alison Heryer

Mardi Gras has long been an opportunity for people to let loose and costumes and masks often provide revelers with the perfect disguise.  Learn the history behind some of this eccentric attire and get tips on what to wear for your upcoming Fat Tuesday festivities.

Alison Heryer teaches at Kansas City Art Institute and designs costumes for theatre, film, and print.  Her interests include masks, spectacle, site-specific performance and making fancy doughnuts with her husband, Jason.

There and Back Again: The Adaptive History of Cabaret

by Adam Lott

Adam will discussing Cabaret, in all it’s many iterations and all the contradictions and similarities therein.

Adam Lott was born in Nebraska, but has lived in Kansas his whole life. He hardly ever drinks, and he never lies.  You can trust him implicitly, love him unconditionally and let him into your life without fear or reservation.  He also owns a cat.

Nerd Nite 2: truck stops, scotch and spirits

Nerd Nite 2: truck stops, scotch and spirits is coming up on January 10 at Pachamama’s.

featuring!

Caffeine, Public Showers, and Howling Wolf T-Shirts: Exploring America’s Truck Stops by Stephanie Day

Truck stops have captivated the imagination of casual motorists since their inception during the early 20th century in the US. However, these 24-hour dens of diesel fuel and stale coffee play a much more tangible role in the lives of long-haul truck drivers. This presentation explores the attitudes, perceptions, and relationships these truckers have in regards to the American truck stop.

Bio: Hailing from Youngstown, Ohio, Stephanie Day is a PhD student in the Department of Geography at KU, as well as a daughter of a former trucker. Her interests include American cities, particularly in the Rust Belt, perceptions of place, and snuggling up with her dog, Penny.

 An Introduction to Scotch Whisky by Kevin Freese

A Scotch whisky enthusiast will explain the basics; how its made, what it is and other nerdy Scotch facts.

Bio: Kevin is currently a credit analyst at US Bank on Mass St. Originally from upstate New York, he lives in Lawrence with his wife Emily who currently attends KU. Kevin has been exposed to the world of scotch for over a decade and has been sharing his passion since college when he gave a presentation on scotch and religion.

Let’s Get (meta)Physical!: How to dip your toes in the Neoarchaic Revival without getting wet by Nick Ray

2012 has been touted as the end of times by zealots; and it is, of sorts.  Moreover it is a marked beginning: a collective resurgence and embrace of ancient understanding. Learn how to effectively balance self, spirit and pseudo-science without being “Neu Age” and safely explore the nuances of your humanity.

Bio: Nick Ray is by profession an optician who facilitates clarity in people’s lives by the way of fashion and function.  He also seeks clarity on the Great Mystery through his fervent consumption of literature and media relating to the occult, consciousness studies, and the current paradigm shift.  Besides practicing kundalini yoga Nick fills his spare time traipsing alongside the Kaw with his canine companion, Sonny Boy.

 

Nerd Nite 1: We Three Nerds

Nerd Nite – Lawrence had its successful beta test with Nerd Nite 0 in November.

We are ready to go live!

Nerd Nite 1 will be Dec. 14, 7:30pm at Pachamama’s (8th and New Hampshire)

Speakers will be:

Paphiopedilum Dreams: Confessions of an Orchid Freak by Brian Donovoan
Brian will discuss the joy of orchid shows, the agony of orchid death, and why there’s no such thing as a “green thumb.”
Brian Donovan is an Associate Professor of Sociology at KU, Co-Editor of The Sociological Quarterly, and author of White Slave Crusades: Race, Gender, and Anti-Vice Activism, 1887-1917. Brian is an active member of the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City and the MidAmerica Orchid Congress, and he’s the creator of the orchid blog Cats and Catts.

 

Attunement- 4 Steps Toward Making A Connection by Sam Bunnyfield

Have you ever wondered how to better tune in to how others are feeling? The holidays are coming up and with that comes the joys and terrors of interacting with our families! Your children, your partner, your siblings, your family, and your co-workers all need attention, especially during these stressful holiday times! Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to interact with your family and friends in a positive and loving way? I am going to teach you four easy steps to help you better connect with the people in your life.

Sam was a preschool teacher and now she is a graduate student at KU getting a Masters in Social Welfare. When she is not studying or working with kids, she is usually playing kickball or dodgeball or spending time with friends and her partner Nate. She is a nerd for cross stitching, the Joss Whedenverse, Lost, and Torchwood. She lives in Lawrence with Nate and their cat and bunny.

Superheroes as Symbols of Justice by Blake Wilson
If I were to say “Batman justice,” what image pops up in your head? Does it differ than Superman’s justice? How do these concepts of justice translate in the real world? Find out in our next issue! Excelsior!

Bio: A law librarian and an all-around geek, Blake has been a fan of comics since he first started getting an allowance. Blake holds a BA in Philosophy, a Masters in Information Science and a Juris Doctorate.

 

Nerd Nite 0: nerd space

The inaugural Nerd Nite – Lawrence event will be on Tuesday, November 8 with doors at 7:30 at Pachamama’s (8th and New Hampshire).

The theme is Nerd Space. We’ll be exploring how the space around us influences us and how influence it. Yes, that does sound nerdy, doesn’t it?

Presentations:

“Animals and Zombies! Africa and the Media” by Emily Fekete

Bio: Emily is a PhD student at KU in the department of Geography and a self-proclaimed nerd. She loves anything to do with theoretical geography and enjoys spending time drinking and philosophizing. When not being an academic nerd, Emily can be found watching movies and television shows, playing video games, and creating a virtual identity on practically every social networking site available. Born and raised in Rochester, NY, she has moved around the country from New Hampshire to Ohio, Washington, D.C. and finally Lawrence for her scholarly pursuits and has enjoyed every second of it.

Presentation: “Animals and Zombies! Africa and the Media”

The perceptions that people have about places across the globe are based on a variety of factors including education, tourism, marketing, and the media. Often times, our understanding of place comes from news sources such as newspapers or television news. However, the way that people are aware of specific places can also stem from cultural media such as movies, television shows, and video games. Content presented in all forms of the media have a powerful impact on our understanding of place. Misrepresentation of places in these mediums influence the way we think about these places. To illustrate this point, I will discuss traditional news media in relation to the continent of Africa. I will then use specific examples from the video games Resident Evil 5 and Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2010 to reiterate the fact that all images, whether real or not, have the power to shape interpretations of place.

“How I Learned to Start Worrying and Make a Map . . . of Bike Accidents” by Germaine Halegoua

Bio:  Germaine is an Assistant Professor researching the relationships between people, place, and new media technologies in the Department of Film & Media Studies at the University of Kansas. In addition to her academic research and more professional projects she can add: backup vocalist, graphic novel protagonist, and being featured in a video on MTV to her list of media-related accomplishments. (Although she would never list those on her CV. . .)

Presentation: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Make a Map . . . of Bike Accidents

Sometimes a series of unfortunate events can lead to a greater understanding of how public records, municipal government, and transportation infrastructures work (or don’t work) in a particular city. At least that’s what happened in this case. This presentation focuses on a collaborative mapping project (currently in progress) that incorporates official and vernacular knowledge of bike accidents taking place in Madison, WI from 2008-2011. While the maps presented depict information about bike accidents, they also illustrate how the average person can use new media technologies and DIY platforms to effect change in their local communities and augment citizen knowledge of their city.

“Walden Pond, Speakeasies, and Revenge of the Nerds: Temporary Autonomous Zones and Poetic Terrorism in American Life.“ by Michael Black
Entry is free, but limited to the first 50 people.