Nerd Nite 97: A Rock and a Hard Place

Nerd Nite Lawrence will be here, like clockwork, on the second Wednesday of the month (June 14th). We will be at Maceli’s (1031 New Hampshire St). So come on down to grab a drink and hang out starting at 7:30 PM, with talks starting promptly at 8 and going until 10. As usual, there will be a $1 cover at the door. We will also play a game of trivia and be giving out thematic raffle prizes.

Our presentations:
“The Grand Canyon: A Hole Lot of Fun, or Rocks, Water and Backpacking”: an adventure by Jacqueline Grunau

“The Pennsic Wars” by Larry Brow
“Anyone who has heard of The Society for Creative Anachronism may have also heard of the Pennsic Wars. Held annually in August an hour north of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, this event hosts ten to sixteen thousand medieval enthusiasts who gather to party and teach and fight in a wildly diverse, historically themed way. An entire sub-culture has been nurtured over the decades and our speaker, Larry Brow, aka Sir Lars Vilhjalmsson, has been part of it since 1974. Bring your questions. If he doesn’t have the answers, he’ll make some up.”

“Julius Caesar gets Kidnapped by Pirates”: by Alex Haskins. A young Julius Caesar gets kidnapped by pirates and demands a higher ransom. Hijinks ensue.

Nerd Nite 96: Nerd Soup!

$1 at the door! Raffle tickets, trivia and good times included! Doors open at 7:30 and presentations begin at 8pm.

Our speakers for the evening are:

local legend Richard Renner talking all about the comedy luminaries “The Marx Brothers”

Nerd Nite alum Dan Krull will be regaling us with: “First, Do Nothing: Reducing Naïve Interventions Through Regenerative Farming.”

The rumors are true. We took a one month break after our most recent Nerd Nite to recruit a couple of new co-bosses. If you attended our previous event, you already know who they are. Skyler and Will have both officially earned co-boss status, and will be joining Jason and Elliot to bring Nerd Nite to you! This is going to make putting together these events a lot easier for us, and we will be resuming our typical schedule of hosting one Nerd Nite event every month (except for August), with July being reserved for our annual Summer Shorts event.

Our Presentations:
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard” – the story of how the Marx Brothers became the legends of comedy in America
Richard Renner learned every line from every Marx Brothers movie as a young actor and found the genius of their performances inspiring and iconic. In this speech he dives deep into their creation, evolution through stage, film and television into the influential icons that they are now. Be prepared for fast paced puns, genuine silent genius, and 100 year old humor that has never died.

“First, Do Nothing: Reducing Naïve Interventions Through Regenerative Farming.”
One of Mankind’s greatest gifts is problem solving, and one of our greatest blindspots is our strong tendency toward naïve intervention.
Dan will discuss several examples of human problem solving that make things worse, and how to avoid falling in to that trap.

Our Presenters:

Richard Renner has been a theater nerd ever since his first production in 1972 and getting his first laugh in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He was so hooked that he pursued that feeling of fulfillment into college at KU and afterwards as a professional entertainer. His has performed his own one man show, the Slapstick Circus since 1986 across North America. His influences are Dick Van Dyke, Jerry Lewis, Red Skelton and Groucho Marx. In 2008 he produced the Lawrence Busker Festival as a celebration of the same kind of surprise and zaniness he loves. It is now in its 15th year and is still keeping people happy, laughing and distracted.

Dan Krull is Co-Founder of Good Oak LLC, a regenerative farming consulting and implementation company.
Dan is the Co-Creator of the Robinson/Krull Agroforestry System, he designed and operates a 100+ hive regenerative bee keeping operation, and is proud to be part of a regional regenerative ag movement in the Kansas City Area. Learn more at

Nerd Nite #95 – Return of the Nerd!

Please note that there is a change to our schedule and our two presenters this evening will be Will Averill and Skyler Rehm. Thanks and we are looking forward to seeing all you Nerds!

Mark your calendars, because Nerd Nite Lawrence is excited to be back large, in charge and IN PERSON with our monthly nerd-genda! Our first live event in almost 3 years will take place on March 8, 2023! We will feature live presentations from Will Averill, Skyler Rehm and Joann F, our ever popular raffle, trivia and who the heck knows what else!
Presentations start at 8:00pm and if you want to grab a drink and chill with friends, we’re opening the doors at 7:30. $1 cover at the door.
Join us at Maceli’s Banquet Hall in downtown Lawrence for a nerdy good time!

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

Our Presentations:

“Richard III was an Inside Job: The Truth Behind the Worst Uncle Ever.”

Will’s talk will focus on Shakespeare’s most famous villain, Richard III. Accused of murdering his nephews to steal the throne, Richard is portrayed as an evil, disfigured menace. But apart from the obvious ableism, why has Richard earned that reputation, does he deserve it, and what if The Bard’s propaganda obscures the truth? We’ll explore who Richard III was, what he was accused of, and who might have committed the most dastardly regicide in English history.

“Little Ladies of Liberty”

Did you know there are 25 Statue of Liberty replicas in Kansas alone? 

In 1950, the Boy Scouts of America commissioned approximately 200 miniature replicas of the Statue of Liberty and donated them across the country to celebrate their 40th anniversary. The project started in Kansas City and is spread across 30 states. Skyler has mapped out over 150 statues that he has found record of and has visited 38 of them since discovering their existence in 2021. 

Join us for the triumphant return of Nerd Nite Lawrence to hear the history of these statues, how he found them, why he cares, and why you should too!

Polio — Interesting Facts and Unintended Consequences.

We all know people who lived through the terrifying polio epidemic, but few understand the fascinating picture of its history and science. Did human interventions contribute to turning what had been a widespread, usually benign infection into epidemics of paralysis?

Our Presenters:

  • Will Averill is a writer, producer, director, puppeteer, and proud Communications guy behind Community Children’s Center. Will co-founded Card Table Theatre in 1998, is the founder of Sh*tty Deal Puppet Theatre, a Massholes comedy quiz show producer, and author of several published children’s plays through Playscripts, Inc. A proud member of the Richard III society, Will DOES believe Richard III was an inside job.
  • Skyler Rehm has lived in Lawrence since 2010 and is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma. Professionally, he is a Data Analyst who is passionate about visualizing the stories hidden in the numbers. Outside of work, he is a LEGO enthusiast, cat dad, and long-time Nerd Nite attendee cursed with never winning the raffle. He is known among his friends for making spreadsheets and graphs for fun, collecting tacky knick knacks, and loving road trips but only when he’s the one driving. While he is admittedly terrible at remembering to post on social media, Skyler did remake his Twitter @vanteaux specifically for Nerd Nite’s return. You can also find him at the Lawrence Public Library’s first-ever LPL Con (March 10-11) where he will be displaying some of his LEGO builds and at Planet Comicon in Kansas City (March 17-19) where he will be volunteering with the 501st Legion. 
  • JoAnn Farb is a former microbiologist with a global pharmaceutical company, and currently a nutrition educator. She has spent the past twenty years reading a lot of published science while discovering that the story of polio is more nuanced than it’s typically portrayed.

Nerd Nite #94: "Here Be Dragons" Nerd Nite #94: “Here Be Dragons!”

This event will be Live Streaming from our Facebook Page

June 16, 2021 at 8pm

Nerd Nite Lawrence is tapping into our imaginations! Join us June 16th at 8pm CST for our free event: Nerd Nite 94: “Here Be Dragons”! Free flights of fantasy only at #NNLFK

Our Presentation:

Spencer Brown: Kids at the Table: Giving kids agency through D&D Children do not have an opportunity to make many decisions or understand the consequences of the choices they make. What they do, how they do it, and when they can do it is almost entirely decided by the adults in their lives. Dungeons and Dragons can provide a safe environment where children can practice their agency, make different decisions, experiment with different types of personalities, and socialize with friends. Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) provides a structured environment with rules regardless of who runs the game.

Our Presenter:

Spencer Brown: Hello! My name is Spencer Brown and I formerly taught fourth grade. I grew up in Las Vegas, NV where I got a black belt in Shaolin Kempo, a martial art originally from China. I love cooking, playing video games, and watching animation. I’ve been playing various versions of D&D for 9 years. I love playing D&D because it allows me to experience playing different characters, improv hilarious or dangerous situations, and play a fun game with friends!

And our ever present: “Elliot’s Diabolical Trivia!”

Nerd Nite 93: Making a Kiln-ing

Nerd Nite Lawrence is on FIRE and we are INVESTED in giving you a great evening of online presentations! Join us April 14 at 8pm for our free event: Nerd Nite 93: “Making a Kiln-ing”! Get stoked!

Our Presentations:

Larry M. Brow: “Wood Fire Kilns: Methods and Mindsets”

David Hollond: “A Discussion of Stock Investing using Price Momentum and Acceleration”

Our Presenters:
Larry M. Brow has presented a few times before at Nerd Nite on subjects as wide-ranging as “Heraldic Design Principles for Better Protest Signs,” and why “Grading Art Students is Different than Science or Humanities Students.” A Lawrence resident, off and on, since 1975, he has run PLEASE TOUCH POTTERY since 1989. A YouTube channel by that name has just recently started in which he offers daily short videos on a wide variety of topics relevant to Art and the life of artists. His blog, "> offers similar insights in essay form, four of which have been published in the international magazine, Ceramics Monthly.

David Hollond is an institutional investor with nearly 30 years of investing experience. He worked for nearly 20 years for a large money manager in Kansas City where he managed over $9 billion in assets as the portfolio manager for a mid cap growth strategy and an all cap growth strategy. He currently runs a small investment company here in Lawrence with two partners. He really got hooked on stock investing after reading Peter Lynch’s book “One Up On Wall Street” in the early 1990s and after hitting it big after buying Yahoo! shortly after it went public. David’s investment philosophy focuses on investing in companies whose stocks are exhibiting strong price momentum and whose businesses are experiencing fundamental acceleration.
In addition to investing, David loves to travel and to explore nature. He also founded and sometimes hosts the Free State Story Slam at the Lawrence Arts Center. David lives with his family on a century old 40 acre farmstead east of Lawrence.

Nerd Nite 92: We’re Back!

After a pandemic-related hiatus WE’RE BACK! We have two very interesting speakers discussing the themes important to Black History Month

Presentations start at 8:00 on our Facebook page (you’ll see a streaming link).

Ask us questions in the Zoom Chat!

The Presentations:

Dana Snipes feels Now more than ever, America and maybe the world sits at a crossroads created by individualism, separatism, and racism. It is easy to see the things that divide us; including gender, political views, and racial identification to name a few.February is Black History Month. It is the annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. The focus and discussions over this month often lean toward serious and formally structured academic and political discussions. Don’t get me wrong, these are important…But tonight I ask you to open your ears and heart to a new approach around learning through the universal language of music. We’ll scat and riff our way through a “jazzy” discussion!

Ithar Hassaballa will share “Engaging Black Communities in the Decision-Making Process Related to their Health Needs”. Ithar will discuss strategies for engaging Black communities in addressing their health needs in various communities across the U.S. We have a notion that “if we build it, they will come” which is a top-down approach that is ineffective. It is important to meet communities where they are, engage them in the decision-making process, and respect/incorporate their culture and identity to into community programs.Let’s kick this off!About the speakers: Dana Snipes is a bonafide Experientialist and humble yet passionate seeker of all things which sit at the precarious intersection of the Emotional & Rational; Left-Brain/Right-Brain, Science & Spiritual and self proclaimed Extroverted-Introvert. A Kansas City native, Dana is a “Double-Dukie” having focused her studies on psychology and biology during undergraduate study at Duke University in Durham North Carolina. She continued the trend during her studies at the Fuqua School of Business through her focus on marketing and the health care sector. Focused studies of Epidemiology at the University of Chapel Hill, and Marketing at the University of Otago, in New Zealand round out her passionate focus on Marketing within the Health Sector as a powerful force to help influence awareness and access to tools and products that improve the life of people and pets. Dana has focused over 25 years in the healthcare industry. Initially supporting the development of new drugs via clinical trials research with major pharmaceutical companies, and most recently over a decade marketing in pet health. After spending time in North Carolina, Texas, and Illinois, Dana found her way back home to the Kansas City area. Currently, she is proud to lead an incredibly talented marketing team at Hill’s Pet Nutrition as Global Marketing Director of Innovation.Most importantly, Dana is a mother of two daughters, a wife, and a lover of the arts. She enjoys cooking, music, and dance. It is through this rich tapestry of experience and expression that she sees the world, and works to give the best to her family and community.

Ithar Hassaballa’s purpose in life is to contribute to improving conditions for the health and well-being of populations. Ithar obtained a doctoral degree in behavioral psychology [Community Health & Development] from the University of Kansas, and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Kansas Medical Center in Spring 2017. Experienced in community health project management, evaluation, quantitative and qualitative interdisciplinary research, and university teaching, Ithar aims to improve the social and built environments to promote healthy behaviors and reduce the burden of non-communicable and communicable diseases within communities.With eight years of experience in monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of community interventions, she provided consultation, training, and evaluation to more than ten organizations and universities through a nation-wide type 2 diabetes initiative directed towards vulnerable populations.Furthermore, Ithar provided more than seven years of consultations, training, and evaluation services to the World Health Organization’s African Regional Office in Brazzaville, Congo, including evaluation of the 2014 Ebola response effort in Liberia. Ithar taught at the American University in Cairo and addressed youth violence prevention in Kansas City, Kansas.Recently, Ithar joined the Center for Public Partnerships and Research and her goal is to address mental health in Kansas and globally.

Nerd Nite #91: “March MADness!”

This March, order has given way to chaos and madness has descended. We’ve invited speakers to nerd out about a mish-mash of topics, as the universe tends to entropy. March 11, 2020 at Maceli’s

March 11, 2020, 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 Banquet Hall, 1031 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 66044

The Presentations:

Jacob Canyon will expound on color theory in “Color Out of Space”

Joseph Tennent will drop some knowledge on something exciting <its a chaotic surprise and we’ll let you know soon>

Satya N’s talk on Holi – the Indian Festival of Colors should brighten up your evening.

Join the MADness!

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.