Nerd Niters: We are excited to bring the next Nerd Nite to Northampton’s beautifully renovated Union Station for our April event! In addition to being right on the bike path downtown, it has ample parking. There will be a dedicated bar and even table service with all the food options from their sister-bar Platform. So come on over and bring your appetite. You’re also not going to want to miss these two scintillating talks (the first one, quite literally). For those using Facebook, the event page is here. See you on April 6th!
Nerd Nite 16
Monday, April 6th, 7PM
125A Pleasant Street, Northampton
Lasers: They’re not just for death stars anymore
The general public’s understanding of lasers is usually via icons of pop culture like the light saber or a laser light show. When you delve a little deeper into what lasers actually are, a world emerges of a technology that makes modern civilization possible.
Joseph Roy is a graduate of the Laser Electro Optics Technology program at Springfield Technical Community College. He works in the laser industry at Nufern Fiber Optics and the International Photonics Group.
Does the language we speak change the way we think?
It’s often said that the language we speak changes the way that we perceive the world around us. It’s an intuitive idea, but is it actually true?
Brian Dillon is an Assistant Professor in Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He specializes in language comprehension and reading.
Hello peoples! Assuming there are no blizzards, tsunamis, hurricanes, or earthquakes, the next Nerd Nite is on its way. Hope to see you all there!
Nerd Nite 15
Monday, March 2nd, 7PM
Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton
Information Revolution: Progress Incomplete
The Information Age is connecting all of us. Or, is it? With only a privileged subset of the population making up its workforce, this revolution could gridlock before its ideals are achieved. Come hear about what can fix it.
Kelly Albrecht is the CEO of Last Call Media Inc., as well as, CEO of left-click Corporation. He’s been working on community involvement in the IT Industry since 2009.
I Just Had The Strangest Dream: Why We Dream and What Dreams Mean
Some people turn to their dreams for wisdom or guidance, while others dismiss their dreams as random events void of meaning. In this talk we will explore dreams from scientific, psychological, and mystical perspectives in order to help unlock the mysteries of the dreaming mind.
Tzivia Gover is a certified dream therapist and a member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams. She founded 350 Dreamers, a network of people around the world who practice collective dreaming for global healing.
With much chagrin, we are once again postponing Nerd Nite. We’re hoping future winter storms will be scheduled for other days of the week. Thanks to Kris Curro and Josh Yearsley–we will have them back at a future date. Stay tuned for info about the next Nerd Nite, which will be on March 2nd at Eastworks. Thanks everyone, and enjoy the snow.
Your puppy-dog-eyed host, Mo
Happy New Year, my Nerd Niters. We’ve got several months of talks already lined up and we’re excited to get back to it. So, without further ado…
Nerd Nite 15
Monday, Feb 9th, 7PM [note: this was originally scheduled for 2/2 and postponed due to snow]
Eastworks, 116 Pleasant St., Easthampton
FB event page
Welcome to Your Brain: Reality is a Biologically Constrained Illusion
Do you think that reality is shared among humans? What is perception and how does it work? In this talk we will briefly examine the neuroanatomy behind the senses, how we can use illusions to trick the system into revealing itself, and, in the process, learn about how our brains construct a shared reality (in theory, at least).
Kristina Curro is a Ph.D. candidate at UMass Amherst, speech-language pathologist, and lifelong cognition junkie whose mind was blown in 7th grade when her biopsychology teacher showed her a Necker Cube.
Profound Games: Empathy, Community, and Teamwork at the Table
Games are fun—they let us unwind, escape, and even feel powerful—but can they be more? Come hear about just a few of the games that are redefining the medium, helping us connect with others, foster new perspectives, and become better people.
Joshua Yearsley is a freelance editor specializing in tabletop games, as well as a member of Owl and Raven, a non-profit game development cooperative in Northampton.
Also, if you or someone you know is interested in presenting at Nerd Nite or helping out (possibly for pay) please be in touch. Nerd Nite can use help posting flyers, with social media, documenting stuff, etc.
See you 2/2!
Your Nerd Nite host and organizer
Nerd Nite is taking a month off. Enjoy your holiday season and we’ll see you in February!
Mo, your Nerd Nite host and organizer
Hey there everyone, join us on December 1st for NN14 as we send you off to sleep with the fishes. Or at least, to learn about sleeping AND fishes. This is definitely going to be an interesting evening…
Nerd Nite 14
Monday, 12/1, 7PM, 21+ $5
Eastworks suite 160
116 Pleasant St., Easthampton
Why do We Sleep?
We spend a quarter of our lives asleep. But why? Myths abound in answer to this question; we’ll discuss which ones bear out when viewed through the new science of sleep.
Rebecca Spencer is an Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at UMass Amherst and an expert in the cognitive neuroscience of sleep and cognition.
Get to Know Your Backyard Gladiator: The Broadbill Swordfish
Never thought you could love a fish? Then you’ve obviously never met a swordfish, whose latin name—xiphias gladius—means “the gladiator”. Come learn what makes these creatures—which are found in New England waters—such phenomenal examples of evolution.
Matt Rigney is a nonfiction author and novelist. His book, “In Pursuit of Giants: One Man’s Global Search for the Last of the Great Fish,” was published in 2012 by Viking.
Hello Nerd Niters,
We are back at Eastworks on November 3rd for the start of our 2nd year of bringing nerdliness to the Valley. Hope you can make it!
Nerd Nite 13
Monday, November 3rd, 7PM. 21+ $5
Suite 160 @ Eastworks
116 Pleasant St., Easthampton
Here are the talks:
Funding Your Startup: Sharks, Suits, and Thanksgiving Dinners
Entrepreneurs need funding to launch and grow their dreams. Hear stories illuminating the good, the bad, and the ugly of raising funding from family, banks, angels, big donors, and bootstrapping.
Paul Silva helps entrepreneurs via his leadership roles at Valley Venture Mentors, River Valley Investors, and Lean Launchpad: Pioneer Valley.
Painting with Science: Color Mastery for Thinking Artists
If you ever had an art teacher talk to you about color, they were probably wrong about most of it, and that probably made things hard for you. The truth of it is much more fascinating than the myths. Let’s figure out why painting with color is so needlessly difficult.
Steve Linberg is a lifelong IT nerd who finally picked up the paintbrush again 10 years ago, and can’t keep his brain away from it. He collaborates with realist painter Graydon Parrish and studies and teaches color theory and practice to artists around the country.
Spread the word, and see you there!
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!
one special Nerd Nite talk by French Lit Ph.D. candidate Rachel Tapley
Smut & Sluts: How Reading Novels Leads to Ruin
In eighteenth-century France, moralists predicted that scandalous novels falling into women’s hands would have dire consequences. Discover the dangers of fiction before it’s too late!
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!
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!
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!