One-Year Anniversary Party! 10/25 @ The Deuce.

Nerd Niters! This is shaping up to be our biggest event yet. Come celebrate ONE YEAR of Nerd Nite in the 413 with an amazing party featuring live music, prizes, and one fun talk:

Saturday, October 25th, 8PM, 21+, $10
WWII Club (The Deuce, where it all began), 50 Conz St., Northampton

featuring: The Gaslight Tinkers!

Trivia with amazing prizes:
Platinum Pony gift certificate for a private movie night for 20 people!
Sip Coffee & Tea gift certificate!


one special Nerd Nite talk by French Lit Ph.D. candidate Rachel Tapley
Smut & Sluts: How Reading Novels Leads to Ruin

You are not going to want to miss this event. The Gaslight Tinkers are an amazing Celtic-world-rock-funk band that will make you dance–they are worth the price of admission by themselves. Please come and invite all your friends!

Special Event: Amherst Poetry Festival, 9/20

Hello Nerd Nite fans! We are very excited to partner with the Emily Dickinson Museum on a special poetry-themed edition of Nerd Nite, happening Saturday, September 20th at 7:30PM on the lawn of the museum. The event is part of the Amherst Poetry Festival, occurring from the 19th to the 21st. It’s all free! And we’ll be under a tent, so don’t worry about the weather.

Here are the talks:

Are You’re Sure Emily Dickinson Was a Poet?
How do notes scribbled on a chocolate wrapper become famous lyric poems? Let’s reflect on just what it means to be a poet by taking a look at some of Emily Dickinson’s manuscripts.

Sean Gordon is a PhD student and an instructor in the English Department at UMass-Amherst. He’s also a serious lover of Emily Dickinson’s … poetry?


How to Stop Worrying and Love Poetry
People often say they’re afraid of poetry, but this fear arises from focusing on meaning, as if the poem is a complicated envelope we have to extract some nugget from. But what if the poem is a playground instead? What if we enter it looking for the pleasure instead of worrying about getting it wrong?

Michael Thurston teaches courses on modern poetry (the hard stuff) at Smith College. He has also published several books and a dozen articles on twentieth-century poetry.

Hope to see you there!

Next Nerd Nite, September 8th @ Eastworks!

Hello my nerds,

We are back at Eastworks on 9/8 for our tenth Nerd Nite! We are excited to get in the swing of the academic year and welcome back all the students (and students of life). 7PM, 21+, $5. We have two awesome talks lined up (talks are not necessarily listed in order of presentation):

The Boeing 787: Innovation in the Sky
The carbon-fiber 787 is changing air travel with its improved fuel efficiency and customer experience. Learn what makes this plane, and today’s aerospace industry, so exciting.

Molly Sackett Pasquale has worked design and aftermarket programs for 12 years at United Technologies Aerospace Systems, the 787’s biggest supplier.


‘They’ Lives: A Linguist’s Defense of the Singular ‘They’
Using ‘they’ to refer to an individual rather than a group challenges grammatical convention, but sneaks into the speech of many. We’ll draw on the history of English and the mechanics of language change to examine the particular niche this use of ‘they’ fills and why it might just be the best word for the job.

Grace Mrowicki has a degree in linguistics from Haverford College, and wrote her undergrad thesis on the ways in which colonialism can affect pronoun systems.


Spread the word, and mark your calendars for 9/20 as well: we will be doing a special event as part of the Amherst Poetry Festival!

Next Nerd Nite: August 4th at Eastworks

Come join us in the usual spot, suite 160 at Eastworks on Monday, August 4th at 7PM for the next Nerd Nite! We have two talks that will cover some new territory for Nerd Nite and we’re really looking forward to them. $3 21+

How to Walk Through Hell with a Smile on Your Face
This is the story of how a community transformed a troubled drug addict into a philanthropic entrepreneur. Investing in people pays dividends; you’ll learn just how much.

Thom Fox is a business advisor and award-winning philanthropist. He was introduced to drugs at the age of nine; stabbed, shot at, and left for dead on a handful of occasions; and ultimately turned his life around with the support of caring mentors.


Talking in Tunes: Why Do We Do it, and How Do Kids Learn it?
“Don’t take that tone with me!” Humans use pitch and melody to convey different types of information in speech. Just what kind of information do kids understand through those tunes?

Meghan E. Armstrong is Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at UMass-Amherst. Her research deals with intonational meaning and intonational development in young children.


Spread the word! See you on the 4th…

Next Nerd Nite: July 7th @ Eastworks!

Hello everyone! I’m getting really stoked for our next Nerd Nite (and OK, partially because I’m giving one of the talks). We’ll be back at Eastworks in our usual spot near Rif’s with food and drink available, as always. Monday, July 7th, 7PM, $3. Please spread the word! And now, the talks:

Communes, Communications, and Community
How the Counterculture and Commune movements of the early 1970′s influenced the internet age, computers, social media and other aspects of life in the 21st century.

Craig Issod was a early member of The Farm, the most successful commune in the USA. He and his cohorts went on to create many of the guidelines, inventions, and innovations which drive modern media and society.


In a World of “In a World”: The Voice-Over Industry, Revealed
Encountering voice-overs is one of the most ubiquitous experiences you never think about. Go behind the mic with a 20-year veteran.

Mo Lotman is a voice talent with two decades of credits in commercials, narrations, e-learning, games and radio.

Nerd Nite Picnic on Sunday, June 8th!

We had an amazing time at Brick Coworkshop for NN7. One of our presenters, Richard Richardson, shared with us his creation of the beautiful Three Sisters Sanctuary in Goshen. Now we have an opportunity to go there together on Sunday! Swing by anytime between 1 and 4, bring a picnic lunch, a blanket, and even a bottle of wine if you are so inclined. Explore the sanctuary and socialize with your fellow Nerd Niters. Open to all (except dogs, alas). I hope to see you all there. Directions and more info at

Mo, your Nerd Nite host and organizer.


Next Nerd Nite: June 2nd @ Brick Coworkshop in Holyoke!

We’re very happy to expose Nerd Niters to the cool Brick Coworkshop in Holyoke. This is an old industrial-turned-maker space right on the canal with a great vibe. Drink and food will be available! Come check it out on 6/2, 7PM, $3. 420 Dwight St., Holyoke. A view of the lot and entrance is here.

Please tell your Holyoke friends so we can get a nice crowd for our two talks:

Tin Men, Dragons, and Fairies…Oh My!: Goshen’s Three Sisters Sanctuary
Part sacred space, part found-object sculpture garden, Three Sisters Sanctuary is a one-of-a-kind created landscape of stone, iron, grass, and glass. Peek behind the magical curtain of this inspiring work of environmental art with its creator.

Richard M. Richardson is a visionary folk artist, stone engineer, and dragon builder. His art connects healing energy, inspiration and creativity in nature’s sanctum.


From Weirdo to Wanted: How to Find Your Tribe
Being in the wrong place with the wrong people is stifling and can make you feel all sorts of crazy. This is the story of how one person found her tribe and how you can too.

Angela Lussier is a speaker, consultant, and author of The Anti-Resume Revolution. She helps others create a conscious, confident, courageous life.


Also! Not only will you hear about Three Sister Sanctuary, you can go there with Nerd Nite! On Sunday, June 8th, we will be having a purely social Nerd Nite picnic at the Sanctuary. Put it in your calendar, more details soon.


Nerd Nite 6, 5/5 at the High Horse in Amherst

Hey folks, we’re mixing it up and bringing the fun to the upstairs at the High Horse on Monday, May 5th at 7PM. $3, 21+. Really looking forward to having Nerd Nite in such a great space with great food and drink. Tell your Amherst friends. And now, the talks:

Cluster Facts: A Down-to-Earth History of Cluster Ballooning
Trying to get airborne under a cluster of gas-filled balloons is reckless, irresponsible, and sometimes fatal…unless it’s done right. Follow sky-struck amateurs, glory-seekers, and scientists through eighty years of audacious adventures.

Mark Karpel takes breaks from his psychology practice to write about people who think big and get carried away. He drove the chase van for the first cluster balloon flight across the English Channel.


An Artist’s Alchemy: The Process of Inquiry
How does art grow from concept to reality? Learn how one artist’s generative research propels ideas forward, incorporating such disparate elements as Filipino tribal tattoos, bullfighting costumes, and Pokemon.

Donnabelle Casis is a painter with an MFA from the University of Washington. Her work has appeared in Seattle’s CoCA, The Tacoma Art Museum, and most recently at UMASS’s Hampden Gallery.


Thanks to all for a great NN5!

We had a fantastic crowd for Nerd Nite on 3/24–a few people called it the best Nerd Nite yet! Thanks to our presenters Greg Saulmon and Ian Cheney. Stay tuned for info on the next Nerd Nite!

Nerd Nite 5: Eastworks 3/24

Hey everyone, we had such a good time at Eastworks that we’re going back there for our next Nerd Nite! In addition to the wine and beer I’ve been told there will be someone from Riff’s who will be running food back and forth so this will make it easier for you to relax and enjoy our two amazing talks:

Monday, March 24th, 7PM, $3
Eastworks, Suite 160
Easthampton, MA

The End of Darkness: light pollution and the disappearing night
What do we lose, when we lose the night? With time-lapse imagery, animation, and excerpts from his Emmy-nominated documentary, filmmaker Ian Cheney reveals the surprising effects of excess illumination on human health, wildlife, and the human relationship to the stars.

Ian Cheney is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who runs Wicked Delicate Films, based in Northampton, MA and Brooklyn, NY. His films include King CornThe Greening of SouthieTruck FarmThe City Dark, and the forthcoming The Search for General Tso.


The Birds Downtown
Many people see Holyoke and Springfield as cities racked by poverty, crime and drugs — but, their neighborhoods also offer some of the most unique birding opportunities you’ll find. Can that help change the conversation about our urban centers?

Greg Saulmon is a Holyoke resident, an avid birder, and an accomplished photographer whose work has been shown in galleries and museums in Holyoke, Northampton, and Brattleboro. He maintains the website


Please spread the word! See you there…