Nerd Nite #90: “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”

Look no further if you want to feed your wanderlust! Three speakers will share their interesting travel stories and journeys, maybe inspire you to take that trip you’ve been planning forever!

Presentations start at 8:00 but if you want to grab a drink and chill with friends, we’re opening the doors at 7:30. $1 cover at the door.

Maceli’s is located at 1031 New Hampshire St, Lawrence, KS 66044

The Wanderful Presentations:

Walk This Way: Seven Days on Scotland’s West Highland Way. (Will Averill)

“I’ll be presenting about that time I walked The West Highland Way, 95 miles from Glasgow to Fort William. Was I ready? Did I have a spiritual revelation? And how much Scotch does it take to wake up with 2 German metalheads named Uli? Find out!”

Islands are for Introverts! (Aaron Stockwell)

It can be draining living as an introvert, but what about traveling as one? Traveling as an introvert to a foreign country where they might not speak English can seem daunting, but Aaron will share some tips he picked up from his trip to Iceland and the Faroe Islands in 2018. 

Namibia: Adventure, Solitude, and Three Tires (Sean Metzinger and Jamie Bone) 

We’ll take you on a journey to a country of extreme landscapes. From the oldest desert in the world to the river-lined Caprivi Strip, Namibia has many sights for the adventurous soul. And being the second least densely-populated country in the world, Namibia has almost no light pollution, very few paved roads, and plenty of stories to tell. 

About our Presenters:

Will Averill is a writer, director, actor, townie, father, husband, puppeteer, rancatour, friend, hiker, occasional poet, whiskey drinker, Burns fan, malcontent, producer and domestic violence advocate.  In 2008 he walked the West Highland Way, the 95-mile Scottish trail between Millengavie and Fort William in search of a spiritual experience. He is still trying to figure out if that happened. This is part of that story.

Aaron Stockwell has lived in Lawrence, KS since September 2018 and will sadly be leaving in July 2020 for a destination yet to be determined. Born in Massachusetts, he has also lived in Texas and yes there was a culture shock. He has loved his time in Lawrence, especially Letterpress classes at the Lawrence Arts Center and wandering around the Farmers Market. Professionally, Aaron is a Unitarian Universalist minister and enjoys that this profession gives him an opportunity to nerd out while he researches and writes sermons.

Sean Metzinger is a road-worn traveler with roots in the Midwest but dust on his shoes from the opposite side of the world. He grew up in Oklahoma, but each summer his father would take him and his siblings on road trips around the United States. The call of the road never stopped and soon the streets of other countries started to call to him. Sean now ventures forth into places he has never seen before for the thrill of the experience and another road conquered. 

He has degrees in hotel and restaurant management from Oklahoma State University and information technology from the University of Kansas. His current hobbies include painting, music, photography, automotive, camping and hiking.

Once described as having a “twinkle of light at the edge of [her] fingers”, Jamie Bone has performed in venues all over the world including Italy, Germany, France, Austria, Japan and Brazil. She received her BM in Piano Performance from Oklahoma State University. Afterwards, she received her MM in Piano Performance from the University of Kansas. Jamie has received many honors and awards from numerous piano competitions and the universities mentioned above. 

Jamie currently maintains a private piano studio in Lawrence, KS. She is the full-time accompanist for the Lawrence Free State High School Choir Program as well. Jamie is also the creator of the annual event Playing for Paws where local music students provide music for the downtown Lawrence community and accepts donations for the Lawrence Humane Society.

Jamie’s current interests include travel, hiking, photography, origami, and composition. In her spare time, she also manages her and her husband’s travel blog “The Hikist”.

Nerd Nite #89: Animals Schmanimals

We’re kicking of the new year in BEAST MODE! Three speakers will unleash their animal knowledge in Nerd Nite #89. Come howl at the moon together!

Presentations start at 8:00 but if you want to grab a drink and chill with friends, we’re opening the doors at 7:00. $1 cover at the door.

Our PAWSOME presentations are (in no particular order):

The Polar Bear Capital of the World (Amanda Floerchinger):
A journey to Churchill, Canada in the province of Manatoba, otherwise known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. An educational and visual experience of the town, tundra, and the magnificent beasts that live there.

Fostering Animals (Kim Brook):
Learn the process and benefits of animal fostering programs. If you have ever considered fostering, and even if you didn’t know you could do it, this talk is for you! Kim will talk about how to get started, the responsibilities, and the benefits of fostering. Hope to see you there!

Bringing Working Animals Back to the Farm (Dan Krull):
Animals have a long history of working in agriculture. This presentation will explore the benefits of revisiting these practices.

Our PAWSOME presenters (also in the same non-particular order):

Amanda Floerchinger is a wanderlust wide-eyed adventurer who never misses the next opportunity to see someplace new. An animal lover since birth, she’s a veterinarian by trade. She is an avid reader and an admirer of the arts. In her spare time she can be found globe-trotting, practicing digital photography, attempting creative writing, watching award-worthy shows, or spending quality time with family, friends, and her two cats, Draco and Hermes.

Kim Brook has lived in Lawrence over 15 years, first coming to Lawrence to attend KU. Even though Kim started at KU as a linguistics major, she found her inner artist while taking a ceramics class at the Lawrence Arts Center. Kim has continued on the art path by teaching visual arts classes, leading workshops, doing outreach programs, selling her ceramics, and most recently receiving a “Rebuilding East Ninth Street” grant for a community yarn project. Besides making art in her studio, Kim can be found cooking for friends, fostering animals, or visiting relatives in New Jersey. Afterall, you can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take Jersey out of the girl!

Dan Krull is a man of diverse interests and many expertise, including Citizen Science, Herpetology and Urban Agriculture. He spends much of his time managing Cultivate KC Cultivate Kansas City’s Westport Commons garden. He might be familiar to those who attend Nerd Nite Kansas City as he is a frequent contributor to their events.

Nerd Nite #88: Express Yo’ Self!

Ever tried Expressing Yo’ Self? Nerd Nite 88 is here for it! Our speakers have very interesting things to say about self-expression. Bonus ideas for 2020 New Year’s resolutions!

Presentations start at 8:00 but if you want to grab a drink and chill with friends, we’re opening the doors at 7:00. $1 cover at the door, which includes a raffle ticket for a chance at fabulous prizes!

Our Spectacular Presentations:

  • Cultural Psychology: How Culture Shapes Us – Joseph Tennant
  • Drag Performances (Starting with *drumroll* a drag performance) – Valerie Metzler
  • A Puzzling Talk from a Puzzler about Puzzles — Elliot Pollack

Our Fantastic Presenters:

  • Dr. Joseph Tennant is a Cultural Psychologist specializing in religion and morality. He has previously worked on differences moral judgement, mystical experience in epilepsy, and creationist thought. He also performs stand-up comedy, and was one of three founders of the Cambridge Fringe Festival.
  • Valerie Metzler, aka Marie Queerie, has lived in Lawrence off and on for 15 years. She graduated from KU with a BA in Anthropology and a BFA in Metal Smithing. She spent 5 years working as an archaeologist in Cultural Resource Management and now currently works at the Merc Co-op as a butcher.
    Valerie’s love affair with Drag began at the tender age of 8, when she saw “To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything. Julie Newmar.” She has been obsessed with Drag and other forms dramatic costuming ever since. After years of dreaming, she finally started working on her Drag persona, Marie Queerie. Though still new as a performer, Marie Queerie delights her audience at open Mic Nights at the Jazzhaus.
  • Elliot Elliot is a happy-go-lucky kid from sunny Southern California. After graduating from college–as
    a directionless 21 year old–he threw a dart at a map to determine where he would head for his
    next adventure. Apparently, he has fantastic aim, because he hit the bull’s eye: somewhere in the
    middle of a fly-over state. While originally skeptical of moving away from the coastal metropolis
    of his childhood (and of the method he uses to make important life decisions), he decided to
    apply for and ultimately accept a job at KU. The subsequent 1500 mile solo road trip to
    Lawrence proved to be an exhilarating expedition. He has since changed jobs a couple of times,
    and in the midst of myriad other misadventures, found a home in this middle America paradise.

Nerd Nite 87: Tree Talks!



Nerd Nite #87 we’re talking about TREES!!! Our awesome speakers are:

Doors at 7, presentations start at 8. $1 cover at the door.

Grab a drink at the bar or get a slice of pizza for $2.50.
Allison Puderbaugh: Suburban Trees

And from the Lawrence Arborists:

Ryan P. Rastok: Insects, tree defenses, and tree mortality
Ryan P. Rastok hails from Lawrence and is an ISA Certified Arborist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualified Arborist, KAA certified arborist, has a M.S. in Forest Entomology and is currently researching bark beetles part time at K-State in pursuit of a PhD. He works for the Kansas Forest Service as their Forest Entomologist and as a Forester. He owns Lawrence Arborists LLC (voted Best Tree Service in Lawrence for 2019) and is the founder of Tree Talks. With over a decade working as an arborist, Ryan has experience as a production arborist, municipal arborist, utility line clearance, competitive tree climber, and research in arboriculture. He currently serves on the KAA Board of Directors and the KFA Board of Directors. Hobbies include: reading, tree things, insects and tree things, writing about tree things, climbing trees, and talking about tree things. Daddy to an awesome daughter and married to his best friend and amazing lady!

Dan Parker Tims: A Tree Story
Dan Parker-Timms developed a love for trees as a boy working with his father amongst them in California. Traveling across the country finding work, Dan eventually wound up in Lawrence and began Shamrock Tree Service, a small company of just Dan and his father. 25 years later, Dan is still climbing those Lawrence trees and enjoying every minute of it.

Wayne White: Trees and Climate change
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised primarily in the Kansas City metropolitan area, Wayne has lived on small farms most of his adult life. He lives with his wife Sandra on an 80-acre farm in Jefferson County, Kansas, where they raise apples, pears, berries, firewood, timber, hay and a variety of vegetables and herbs. Forestland health, high-diversity native grassland mixtures and land management practices that protect and enhance carbon sequestration and ecological diversity are central interests.
Wayne has a PhD in sociology from Kansas State University and has taught sociology, political science and worked as a legislative lobbyist, grant writer and program administrator. He owns and cares for forest and grassland in Kansas and Ontario, Canada. In 2013 his book, Biosequestration and Ecological Diversity: Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change and Environmental Degradation, was published by CRC Press.

Levi Parkin: Compartmentalization of decay in trees
Levi Parkin, hailing from the massive metropolis of Pomona, KS, graduated from Kansas State with a Bachelors of Science in Ornamental Horticulture. He has 11 years experience as a production arborist. Currently filling the role of Forestry Supervisor for the City of Lawrence, Levi boasts a deep passion for the urban forest. A Board Certified Master Arborist, Certified Treecare Safety Professional, father to a wonderful son, husband to a better wife than he deserves. In his free time, Levi enjoys fly tying, leatherwork, and relief-print making.

Nerd Nite #86: “Creep It Real”

70961058_2377191675682805_1324532390411894784_nWe’re Creeping it Real for Lawrence Nerd Nite #86 on October 9, 2019.

Doors open at 7pm so you can mingle with fellow Nerds before the presentations start at 8pm.

This October, our speakers have topics that will make you shift uncomfortably in your seat, your heart quicken, and send chills down your spine.

Paul Thomas: Haunted Lawrence

Paul Thomas was born in Lawrence. He later attended the University of Kansas (where he earned his bachelor’s degree in classics and anthropology) and the University of Chicago (where he earned a master’s degree in social science, with an emphasis in anthropology). He currently works as a library specialist at KU. Ever since he was a young child, Paul has been interested in the folklore of the Sunflower State and, in particular, the haunted history of northeastern Kansas. While an undergraduate at KU, he helped co-found the Stephenson Hall Paranormal Investigation Team (SHPIT), which investigated purportedly haunted locations in and around the Lawrence area. It was during this time that he developed the idea for this book. Paul lives with his wife, Trina, in Overland Park, Kansas.

Eric Havens: Horror as an Allegory: When Culture Goes Bump in the Night

Eric Havens is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist whose work includes, ‘Call Girl’, “The Stylist”, “A Message of Hope From the Terminally Depressed”, and “The Devil and Me”. He has won several ‘Best Screenplay’ awards from an array of film festivals as well as placing in the quarterfinals of the prestigious Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting. His novels have been praised as “the right blend of brains, heart and pulp”, “captivating from the first page”, and “apocalyptic and hard-boiled”. An internet commenter once claimed that, “Havens is truly, truly terrible.”
Havens is also a longtime critic and journalist for several film sites such as Downright Creepy and Boom Howdy.

Satya N: Invisible Women

Satya N. loves helping brands tell their stories and currently works at Hill’s Pet Nutrition where she is lucky to do what she loves with the added bonus of contributing to pets living long and healthy lives!

She grew up in India and made her way to Lawrence via St. Louis, a city she took for granted while getting her MBA, but now, she waxes nostalgic about it.

When she isn’t busy professing her love for Doctor Who, listening to podcasts, or trying to learn the guitar she has had for 4 years, she loves playing board games and as an extrovert, lives her best life surrounding herself with friends and family.

Doors at 7, presentations start at 8. $1 cover at the door. Costume? That’s fine.

Grab a drink at the bar or get a slice of pizza for $2.50.

Nerd Nite 85: No Reservations


Join us on September 11, 2019 for Lawrence Nerd Nite #85 where our presenters will take you on a mouthwatering, delectable journey of gastronomic delights. Since we’re food nerds, does that make us taste buds?

Doors at 7, presentations start at 8. $1 cover at the door.

If the talks make you peckish, it’s beer-y lucky that there’s a bar where you can grab a drink or get a pizza that action for $2.50.

Our presenters want to taco ’bout the things we like to eat/drink! Meat Them!

Matthew Cramer: Flavor building and cooking science

Matthew Cramer is a personal chef out of Lawrence, KS. He owns and operates The Restorative Chef and is a graduate of the JCCC culinary apprenticeship program. His passion for food started with an interest in health and wellness and food’s functionality in athletic performance. Matthew specializes in specialty diets such as vegan, vegetarian and gluten free cooking and is a constant student of his trade. Because why sacrifice flavor for health or health for flavor? There is no need.

Leah Shinkle: Coffee?

Leah Shinkle has spent over 10 years working in, around and with the specialty coffee industry which has led to a life of being a food, flavor and beverage experience fanatic. She has competed, judged and coached in the US Barista Championships all while working as the head of training and education for a specialty coffee roaster. Food and beverage continues to fuel her love for life and connection when traveling and always seeking out new and unique experiences. She believes life happens most over food and beverage.

Nerd Nite 84: “Summer Shorts!”

Summer Shorts is coming…
Join us July 10 for our annual frenzy of short presentations!

Doors open at 7pm and 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!

There are so many great presentations that we can barely contain our excitement! Will they keep it to 3 minutes?! Will they Michael Pope it?! Catch these fascinating presentations by these equally fascinating folks:

“Platonic solids: geometry, cosmos, and origami” – Laura Jiménez

“Epigenetics: Establishing Cell Identity” – Chad Pope

“Dungeons & Dragons & Diversity” – Skyler Rehm

“From Silicon to Ceramics: Blending Science and Art” – Julian R. Silverman, PhD

“Theta Eruption and how it ruined society” – Allison Puderbaugh

“The History of Physics, in only 5 minutes” – Ben Gross

“Digital Idols in a Digital Age: a Crash Course on Vocaloid” – Bree Shaffar

“The Superhero Theory of Transit Ridership Decline” – Pat Trouba

“Transformers” – Shawn Franklin

“The Importance of Sound: Radio Drama and the art of Foley” – Tim Burns

“The Art of Ventriloquism” – Bonita Yoder

“A Nerd-Nite Investigation Supporting This One Neuron”- Jason Keezer

“Breakfast with Strangers” – Jenny O’Brien

Nerd Nite 83: “Connections”

Nerd Nite 83

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!
Join us for Lawrence Nerd Nite #83 as our presenters connect the dots between this, that and everything else!
The Presentations:
“I Got Loyalty & Algebra Inside My DNA” – Shakiyya Bland
What do you wonder? What do you notice? Mathematics is interactive, creative, cultural, music, art, language, relationships, beauty, and ever evolving. We will explore the humanity of mathematics in spoken word and visual arts with respect to #HipHopEd.
“Rubik’s Cube and Six Degrees of Separation” – Federico Castillo
We will explore all configurations of the Rubik cube and see how close they are to one another. In parallel we will see how connected we are all (7+ Billion) humans in the world.
“Albums, Theme and Structure” – Zach Koehn
The often hidden and always fascinating themes and structure found within your favorite artists albums.
The Presenters:
Federico Castillo – “My Name is Federico Castillo. I’m from Colombia. I was born in a city called Bucaramanga, went to Bogota as a math undergrad and then came to USA to complete my math PhD in UC Davis in 2017. Since Spring 2018 I’m a Visiting Professor in KU in the math department. I research on discrete mathematics.”
Shakiyya Bland – Shakiyya Bland is an instructional learning coach and culturally responsive mathematics curriculum consultant. She strives to design curriculum with students to achieve educational equity. She is researching the use of guided inquiry in mathematics. In her spare time, she travels, writes poetry, enjoys car karaoke, and reviews articles for the Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12.
Zach Koehn – Zach T. Koehn has dropped out of college three times. When he’s not managing Breakout, he’s attempting and subsequently giving up on countless creative endeavors. You can find him listening to music and thinking about it way too hard.

Nerd Nite 82: “Nerds Find a Way”

NERD NITE 82Doors 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!

The Presentations:

“Being the doctor of our Earth – how do I diagnose?” – Chi Zhang
What do you know about what is going on underground? How do you know? And how do scientists know? Chi will tell you how geophysicists use different tools to figure out the structure, the components, and the movement of Earth’s interior, especially when things go wrong in the shallow underground zone that is critical to all life on Earth.

“Jurassic Park and the Ethics of Adaptation” – Clara Cobb
I’m going to be talking about the Ethics of Adaptation; the main questions I want to ask and answer is “why do we make what we love, why do we make what we don’t, and what gets lost in translation along the way?”
Jurassic Park is an apex point because of how it both does and doesn’t fit into the “adaptation” descriptor. I’ll be examining correlations between literature and film versions of stories, and discussing the reasons those stories change.

“Artificial Intelligence” – David Menager
Many intelligent agents available today are not able to remember their past interactions with users and cannot explain their decision-making processes. As a remedy to these issues, we propose a novel theory of event memory that can provide an infrastructure for such capacities. The psychologically plausible theory enables the agent to store both individual instances and probabilistic schemas of personal events. Using the contents of this memory, intelligent agents can interact with their users in a contextually relevant manner and provide explanations and justifications for their decisions. In this talk, we describe representation and processes of this framework and discuss its implications to intelligent agency.

Our Esteemed Presenters:
Chi Zhang – Chi is an Assistant Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Geology at the University of Kansas. Growing up in the Gobi desert, Chi is now studying the water-rock interactions using geophysical tools. Chi is interested in sharing the beauty and facts of our Earth with others. Chi travels the world to talk about geophysics and to do research, sometimes with her outdoor enthusiast husband and their strong-minded young child.

Clara Cobb – Clara Cobb is an expert on nothing at all, but she once considered getting an English degree. She loves dinosaurs, sketch comedy, her family and Jurassic Park. All that compounded love has turned into a passion for researching connections, big and small, between the things she cares for. A Lawrence native, she was thrilled at the chance to speak at Nerd Nite, and although she could, never stopped to think if she should.

David Menager – David Menager is a PhD student at the University of Kansas. His research uses computational models of event memory as a core technology for answering research questions about artificial intelligence. His current interest is to understand the role of event memory for explainable AI in single-agent and multi-agent domains. David spent last summer as an intern at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works researching machine learning. In his free time, David likes to produce music and go running.

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.