Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nerd Night April 8: Kidneys and Captains

54525977_10156113099282057_2083587900573745152_oWorld War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, April  8, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission (cash only)
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

“Curious about Kidney Transplants? Urine Luck!” by Alex Squiers

If you’ve ever heard that a person can live their life with only one kidney, it’s true. Alex will talk about what kidneys do, why they are important, what the process was like of getting screened and tested for donation, what life after transplant is like for donor and recipient, and some extra afterthoughts on what it might mean to everyone involved.

Alex Squiers is from Enfield CT and has been a warehouse worker, pirate, zombie maker, package handler and co-host of a podcast for 7 years. At 26 years old, he gave his brother a kidney and has been enjoying educating others all about it since.

————————
“That’s CAPTAIN to You: The Evolution of Carol Danvers” by Ellie Hillis

Brie Larson rocked the role in the recently released Captain Marvel, but do you know that Carol was a member of the X-Men? And that Rogue stole her powers? And that her cat is actually named Chewie? This discussion will explore the history of Carol Danvers, and look towards the future of the character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe based on the comics, including Monica Rambeau possibly becoming the next Captain Marvel and the introduction of Kamala Khan as Ms. Marvel.

Ellie Hillis is an essayist, game designer, comics historian, and cosplayer. Her work has been featured on sites like Rogue’s Portal, Geek League of America, Planet Zeist and the Geek Initiative. A graduate of Smith College, she wrote her senior thesis, The Surviving Superheroines, with Professor N. C. Christopher Couch. A co-editor at Density Media, and a motivating force behind the Zine Games movement, she has written and created a variety of RPGs. www.elliehillis.com

Nerd Nite March 11: Hiking and Horror

World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, March 11, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission (cash only)
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

the-sightings-begin-1498598026On March 11th, come learn about the beautiful New England hiking trails, but then be too terrified to enter the wilderness. Brett Kelley will present “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Lamp: A Mothman Retrospective” followed by Bridget Likely’s talk “Actually, You Can Get There From Here – Exploring the New England National Scenic Trail”.

“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Lamp: A Mothman Retrospective” by Brett Kelley
Richard Gere, a salesman, and a cryptid walk into Pointe Pleasant West Virginia, stop me if you’ve heard this one before! Local Nerd Nite supporter Brett Kelley will recount the reports and incidents that created the cryptozoological phenomenon now known as The Mothman sightings.

Brett Kelley is a Northampton-Based Creative and Educator whose studies sometime drift into the weird and bizarre. He claims to drink and know things, which he agrees is kind of a cop-out statement to make in a bio.

“Actually, You Can Get There From Here – Exploring the New England National Scenic Trail” by Bridget Likely
The Pioneer Valley is home to the youngest of America’s eleven nationally designated, long-distance hiking trails. Nearly two million people live within ten miles of the aptly named ‘New England Trail’, but too few of them are aware it even exists, and that they’re only a short drive away from an adventure.

Get yourself in the know and come learn the New England Trail’s history, where exactly this 215-mile footpath can take you, and what there is to see and do along the way.

Bridget Likely is the New England National Scenic Trail Coordinator. In this role, she works towards the protection, promotion, and stewardship of the New England National Scenic Trail in Massachusetts.

Nerd Nite February 11: Brutalism and Mushrooms

Deets
World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, February 11, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission (cash only)
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue
————————
First Talk: ‘Et tu Brute? Intuitive User Design Meets Brutalism’

Second Talk: ‘Five Fascinating Fungi Found Fruiting in our Forests’
————————
‘Et tu Brute? Intuitive User Design Meets Brutalism’

Modern principles of web design focus most heavily on the user experience and being able to successfully assume and satisfy the user’s needs. From menu headings to links, skim friendly and hierarchical written copy to clear functionality, web designers make hundreds of decisions to craft a perfectly intuitive web experience so the user doesn’t have to think. Brutalist websites, by contrast, are abrasive and grungy with many rough edge interactions. With no clear discernment for comfort, they seem to throw out the playbook on intuitive design, or do they?

Sage Shea is a digital content strategist at Mount Holyoke College and a freelance marketer and wedding photographer. He has a long time hope of offering accessible education to local businesses in the Pioneer Valley especially to business owners who face considerable intersectional barriers.

————————
‘Five Fascinating Fungi Found Fruiting in our Forests’

They say every mushroom is edible once. Local wild mushroom expert Marty Klein will talk about some of the most interesting local fungus among us. He’ll discuss the diversity of mushrooms growing all around us and the important roles they play in the ecosystem.

Marty is an Easthampton-based artist/naturalist/educator who has been learning and teaching about mushrooms for decades.
He has been foraging and studying wild mushrooms for 40+ years, has eaten over 80 wild varieties, and lives to tell the tale.

————————

$5 entry – cash only. Guests under 21 years are welcome in the banquet room area, but are restricted from the front bar, so please have your ID on you if you’d like to order alcoholic beverages.

January 14: Un-bear-able Technology

Deets
World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, January 14, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

a brown california bear in a kitchen sitting in front of a laptopWhat’s the Hulla-Baloo About Bears?

Stacey Schmeidel spent six weeks this summer volunteering for the National Park Service at Katmai National Park, Alaska — one of the world’s best places to see bears in the wild. She’ll talk about what bears can teach us about motherhood, workplace behavior, resilience, and body image, among other things.

Stacey Schmeidel has a long career as a college public relations professional — but when she grows up, she wants to be a National Park Service ranger. In addition to volunteering with the National Park Service (at Katmai, Yosemite and the Springfield Armory), she also leads hikes for the Wilbraham Hiking Club and serves as a volunteer camera operator for the explore.org, the world’s largest collection of nature Web cams.


Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: Little-Known Ways Everyday Tech is Compromising Our Privacy and Security

We’ve all heard how our mobile apps are spying on us, but this isn’t about that. What you may not know is that our phones, cars, fitness trackers, and even our houses are all conspiring against us in secret, and anyone with some modest technical knowledge a few spare dollars can watch us more closely than we ever suspected.

Michael Barnard is a long time supporter, first time presenter, for Nerd Nite. He is a Systems and Applications Manager at Mount Holyoke College with around 20 years of experience in systems administration and development.

Nerd Nite December 10: Science and Pseudoscience

Deets
World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, December 10, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

First Talk: ‘The Warped Views of Flat Earthers’ by Aaron Wood
Second Talk: ‘How to *Not Explain Things Effectively – Teaching Physics Through Students Doing Things’ by Brokk Toggerson
flat earth‘The Warped Views of Flat Earthers’
The concept of a flat Earth seems to be gaining traction again. Besides simply thinking that we live on a flat object, what are some of the other reasons people actually believe this? Join Aaron Wood for an entertaining peek into the misled minds some flat Earth theorists.

Aaron is a graphic designer currently residing in the state of Massachusetts. When he’s not creating artwork that has a social media or pop culture angle to it, he’s probably trying to cook up a plot to score some lobster.


How to *Not Explain Things Effectively – Teaching Physics Through Students Doing Things’
If you took physics in high-school or college, you probably sat through a lecture and watched your teacher solve problems on the board. Then you went home and tried to solve, potentially impossible-seeming, problems on your own at home. Why do we teach physics this way? Does it actually work? What other options are there and is it possible to try to teach 100-300 people at a time in such a way?

Brokk Toggerson is currently in his fourth year of teaching introductory physics for life-science students at University of Massachusetts – Amherst. While his background is in experimental particle physics at CERN’s ATLAS experiment, he has since his Ph.D. been focusing on physics education. He is a fan of ballet, based in his own years of training and performance, and while not teaching physics enjoys cooking and rock climbing.


$5 entry – cash only. Guests under 21 years are welcome in the banquet room area, but are restricted from the front bar, so please have your ID on you if you’d like to order alcoholic beverages.

Nerd Nite September 10th: I Now Pronounce You Sand and Wife

World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, September 10, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

‘Take it With a Grain: What Can Sand Piles tell us About Traffic and Cancer?’

Granular materials are all around us, yet are still poorly understood, hence an explosion of interest in these systems in the physics community in the last few decades. Granular materials also serve as a model systems for any dense system of interacting “particles,” be it crowded cars on the road or crowded cells migrating in the body. This presentation will explore several examples of where research into granular materials has given insight into more humanly relevant examples, such as traffic and cancer.

About the Speaker, Kerstin Nordstrom: Physics professor at Mount Holyoke College whose lab studies granular materials. I did my PhD and postdoc also in this field.

**************

‘BetterTogether: Relationship Hacks from a Seasoned Divorce Attorney’

Seasoned divorce attorney, mediator and author Gabrielle Hartley explains that by making three important shifts earlier on in their relationship many of her clients may have been able to avoid coming to her office in the first place. This talk explores how by incorporating these simple skills rather than splitting  you may become better together.

About the Speaker, Gabrielle Hartley: A divorce attorney and mediator for over twenty years in both private practice and clerking for a divorce court judge, and author of Better Apart: The Radically Positive Way to Separate (HarperCollins 2019)!

***************
$5 general admission. Drinks available for purchase, and you are welcome to bring a snack or take-out to eat.

Nerd Nite August 13: ‘How the Mafia Came to Springfield’ and ‘Ask Me About My Feminist Comics Agenda’

World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, August 13, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

‘How the Mafia Came to Springfield’

Pasqualina Albano and Carlo Siniscalchi were local royalty on Water Street in Springfield’s Little Italy at the start of Prohibition. But in his first year as the self proclaimed Bootleg King, Carlo was killed, leaving Pasqualina to rule in his stead. She forged a bond with New York’s Genovese crime family, and continued her family’s business, a legacy that endures to this day.

About the Speaker, Justin Cascio: Writer of the award-winning blog, Mafia Genealogy, Justin Cascio’s articles have appeared at The Mob Museum, Gangsters Inc., Informer, The Good Men Project, and elsewhere.

**************

‘Ask Me About My Feminist Comics Agenda’

Women are the future of comics. From the success of Kickstarters like Check, Please! to the fact that women are over 50% of the active floppy comics readership, big publishers may be missing out on the true core demographic of comics.

About the Speaker, Ellie Hillis: Ellie has worked as a comics retailer for 5+ years, while also writing, blogging, and interviewing people in the comics industry. She’s continued writing on comics through an inclusive feminist perspective, and maintaining communication with creators, especially indie and small press creators.

***************
$5 general admission. Drinks available for purchase, and you are welcome to bring a snack or take-out to eat.

Nerd Nite July 9th: Permaculture and The Force

World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, June 11, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission
Guests are welcome to bring their own food or order take-out at the venue

‘Designing a Suburban Permaculture Homestead’

By living simply and in community, you can play a vital role in modeling regenerative land stewardship. In this case study, learn how Broadfork used the permaculture design process to establish a vibrant homestead on one acre in a suburban neighborhood. Learn how they invested in relationships with the community and utilized social capital to make it possible.

Ashley Schenk co-founded Broadfork Permaculture, a co-operative landscape design company in Western Mass. He also builds and enjoys earthen ovens.

**************

‘The Luminiferous Aether and the Force’

The universe of Star Wars does not appear to obey the same natural laws as the one we know. Lightsabers, the Force, even the way spaceships move seem to defy our understanding of the world. But what if they can be explained by a theory we abandoned long ago in an experiment not so far away?

Tim McLaughlin Jr has been studying astrophysics, especially cosmology, most of his life. He has a keen interest in abandoned theories, conspiracies, and other fringe ideas that helped inform this curiosity.

Nerd Nite June 11: Presenting on Presenting and Anarchists in Spain

World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, June 11, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission

‘Bullets are Bad for the Brain: Designing Effective Presentatpresentation vinteions’

Presentation design software wants you to be boring. This presentation about presentations gives the audience a few simple rules that will ensure that the next time they need to present on a topic, no one will die of ennui.

Fred Zinn is Associate Director of the Innovate@ Team at the
University of Massachusetts Amherst. His areas of interest and expertise include: visual communication of complex ideas, teaching people to draw and design their own instructional images, designing useful user interfaces, and advocating for effective (bullet-free) presentations.

**************

‘Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War’

Cooper will give a brief description of anarchism, discuss famous “anarchists” (some non-anarchists included), and provide a short history of anarchism in Spain.

Cooper Wood became interested in the Spanish Civil War in high school after reading “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. He’s currently writing his novel, and recently moved to northern MA from New London.

May 14th: ‘Life in the Earth’s hot, dark crust’ and ‘Let me Google that for you’

World War II club
50 Conz Street, Northampton MA
Monday, May 14, 7:00pm, $5.00 admission

‘Life in the Earth’s hot, dark crust’
It is estimated that 20% of Earth’s microbes live in Earth’s crust. How do these microbes live there? What do they eat? Do they cooperate with one another or compete for resources? What can they teach us about origin of life and life on other planets?

Presenter Begüm Topçuoğlu loves microbes and their impact on Earth, and completed her PhD on this topic.

**************

‘Let me Google that for you’

A look at the more esoteric features of Google search in Google and Google Scholar. Advanced search, search tools and how to get the most relevant results will help you ferret out the good bits and leave behind the chaff.

Lorre Smith has been a librarian and an expert in searching databases and teaching others to search since before Google was invented.

Stay in touch here

Sign up here for updates about Nerd Nite events in your city.

Name
Email
Confirm your email address
Would you like to present, some day?
Add me to the Global Nerd Nite list too:
more info