Virtual Nerd Nites Every Sunday Evening in September

As the saying goes, we’ll see you in September… Well, in this case it’s more accurate to say that we’ll stream you in September. Enjoy four virtual presentations every Sunday evening (North America time) in September, with the bulk of them focused on the skies above. Watch live online (and view the recordings) at

Sunday September 20, 2020
8pm EDT / 5pm PDT: Nerd Nite Greenville, NC
Are Martians Real?
by Chequita Brooks

Description: The red planet, Mars, has long been the focus for our hopes to encounter life outside of earth’s atmosphere. Let’s learn about some of the history of the science that has gone into looking for the real Martians, and what life might look like on the rusty planet.

Bio: PhD Student and Professional Nerd, Chequita Brooks, studies bacteria loves folklore

8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite Miami
Did You Try Turning It Off and On Again?
by Morgan Van Arsdall

Description: How has the Hubble Space Telescope managed to keep operating for the last 30 years? What happens when there’s a problem? Nerd out with a Hubble engineer and learn all about their operations and anomaly response! (Spoiler alert: they have definitely tried turning it off and on again!!)

Bio: Morgan Van Arsdall is the Systems Manager and an Anomaly Response Manager for the Hubble Space Telescope program. She has been part of the Hubble Mission Operations and Systems Engineering team since 2001, participating in the last two Hubble Servicing Mission and working to make sure Hubble keeps observing the universe. Morgan lives in Maryland with her husband, who is also an aerospace engineer, their two awesome kids, and a dog.

9pm EDT / 6pm PDT: Nerd Nite Orlando
Planetpalooza: Cruising the Solar System with Captain D
by Derek Demeter

Description: For the next few months stargazers will be delighted to see four of the Solar Systems coolest planets: Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Join Derek Demeter, director of the Emil Buehler Planetarium as we take an interplanetary tour across the solar system and explore these worlds close up. Derek will then show you how to find these planets in the sky for your stargazing pleasure.

Bio: Derek Demeter is the director of the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida. Derek also enjoys promoting science beyond the planetarium with his work as an astrophotographer, which earned him pictures seen in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day website, Universe Today, Astronomy Magazine, and Sky and Telescope.

9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite DC
The Science of Science Comedy
by Kasha Patel

Description: NASA science writer Kasha Patel loves science and comedy, so she decided to combine the two to create a unique stand-up act. And it turns out audiences love science stand-up comedy as much as she does. Join Kasha as she shares funny stories and surprising insights from more than seven years of spouting science in comedy clubs. She will share her favorite jokes and dissect why they make her laugh. You may even learn how to write your own joke by the end of the talk. Follow her for daily jokes on Twitter and Instagram @KashaPatel.

Sunday September 27, 2020
8pm EDT / 5pm PDT: Nerd Nite Philadelphia
Cosmic Comics: A Tribute to Out of this World Funnybooks
by Chris Cummins

Description: Join writer and Nerd Nite Philly boss Chris Cummins as he presents an overview of the greatest science fiction humor comics ever made. Space is the place for laughs!

Bio: TBD

8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite Baltimore
Shadows in Space!
by Joel Green

Description: What does depth in space mean? We looked at the play between light and shadow in the most iconic images taken by the Hubble telescope and discovered a unique phemenon, flapping” shadow in Serpens cloud, an indication of early planet formation.

Bio: Joel Green is an Instrument Scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, working on the Hubble Space Telescope. He studies the birth and occasionally violent death of planets and planetary systems, in the hopes of uncovering our own Solar System’s past history. Previously, Joel was the Project Scientist in the Office of Public Outreach, helping bring the science of the Hubble, Webb, and Roman telescopes to the general public, and has appeared on National Geographic and PBS Nova programs related to Hubble and Webb. Prior to joining STScI in 2015, he was a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin. A New Yorker who spent twelve years in upstate NY, six years in Austin, and now a resident of scenic Baltimore (and co-boss of Nerd Nite Baltimore), he has acquired a fondness for crab and barbecue, cowboy boots and hats, sunshine and Civil War battlefields.

9pm EDT / 6pm PDT: Nerd Nite Calgary
A Conceptual Exploration of Living in Space and its Supporting Infrastructure
by Bryan Versteeg

Description: As humanity expands to live beyond the gravity well of Earth, we’ll need supporting infrastructure, resources and settlements. I’ll show you how that may look, and why I think we might like it.

Bio: Bryan Versteeg is a conceptual designer and artist within the space exploration industry. His focus is on human exploration and settlement, and what life may look like when we get there. Although his passions are the “home” aspects of living, he also works with numerous private space companies on concepts like asteroid mining, orbital refueling, remote sensing, and ISS replacements or additions. His images and animations have been widely used in scientific publications and documentaries to communicate the potential of life beyond Earth, from the current applications, to long term vision.

9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT / 10:30am JST Monday: Nerd Nite Tokyo
Fast Radio Bursts: A Cosmic Mystery
by Don Warren

Description: Every day, thousands of times a day, Earth is hit by small blasts of radio waves from outer space. These bursts are only milliseconds long, and seem to be coming from far beyond the Solar System. What are these “fast radio bursts”? What do we know about them, or their origins? Are they produced by aliens in a galaxy far, far away? And what role do impatient Australians play in this cosmic mystery?

Bio: Don Warren is a research scientist at RIKEN in Japan. He earned his Ph.D. at NC State University in 2015, and has worked in theoretical astrophysics ever since. His primary research focus is high-energy phenomena, such as cosmic rays, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts (though he is branching out into virtual reality and virophysics). He lives in Tokyo with his wife, his daughter, and their collection of more than a hundred board games. He is also very passionate about American food, like novelty burritos and Goldfish crackers.

Sunday September 6, 2020
8pm EDT / 5pm PDT: Nerd Nite San Diego
The Hell up There
by Gideon Marcus

Description: Before Sputnik, astronomers thought they knew what outer space would be like. But then the very first
satellites were launched — and it was clear that something very strange was going on up there. Something that threatened to stop space travel right from the start…

Bio: It’s hard to distill Gideon Marcus to just a few words. A professional space historian, an award-winning science fiction author, and a sought after presenter, Gideon’s always got a thousand plates in the air. But, in brief, Gideon is probably best known as the founder of Galactic Journey a portal to 55 years ago that won the Serling Award in 2016 and has been nominated for the Hugo three times since then. He 2019, he edited Rediscovery: Science Fiction by Women (1958-1963) a seminal anthology of some of the best works science fiction’s Silver Age. His Space Race novelette, Andy and Tina, was the lead story in 2018’s Sidewise Nominee, Tales from Alternate Earths 2, and his most recent work, Kitra, is a YA space adventure featuring themes of isolation, teamwork, and hope, featuring a queer protagonist of color. Gideon lives in San Diego County with his writer/editor wife, Janice, and their polymath artist daughter, Lorelei…along with two cats, a snake, and an immense library. He is currently hard at work on Sirena, the sequel to Kitra. It and Clairvoyages, a collection of his short stories, are due out next year.

8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite Boca Raton
The Family Tree: How does the Moon Relate to the Earth
by Judy E. Wilks

Description: Let’s unravel the mysteries surrounding the Earth’s moon. Scientists have debated several theorems that would support the Lunar body’s existence. Still, three schools of thought have dominated the discussions: 1) The Giant impact hypothesis, 2) The Co-formation theory, and 3) the Capture Theory. As the first theory is widely accepted, and yet met with skepticism, the other two methods have gained some momentum based on research focused on the two planet’s densities and dynamic composition. With the call to return to the lunar surface, human exploration will delve more profoundly into resolving the mysteries that lie beneath the surface.

Bio: Judy E. Wilks holds a Master of Science in Aviation/Aerospace Operations from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Science in Airway Science Management with a Minor in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. Currently, Judy is a Project Manager providing consulting services in transmission interconnection with National Grid. She has also served as a program manager, project manager, and project administrator on various aircraft manufacturing and avionics design related projects with Bombardier and CAE. She participated as a project engineering consultant on the launch team of the CanadArm-2 and on the preliminary design team of the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) [aka Dextre] with the Canadian Space Agency on the International Space Station Project. With the continuous desire to expand her aviation/aerospace knowledge and career, Judy joined NSBE in early 2016 and is a current member of the NSBE Aerospace SIG.

9pm EDT / 6pm PDT / 11am AEST Monday: Nerd Nite Melbourne
The Second Law of Thermodynamics, and Other Civilization-Ending Cataclysms
by Mark B Richardson

Description: Mark talks about the most likely scenarios for the end of human civilization.

9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm: PDT: Nerd Nite North Vancouver
What Do You Do When Your Childhood Dream Literally Flies Away?
by Matthew Cimone

Description: Embark on a journey of one man’s childhood dream of becoming an astronaut and how he made space a part of his life again after seeing the final flight of Shuttle Atlantis

Bio: Matthew Cimone is a science communicator who grew up watching Star Trek learning that life is about exploring and forging a family as you do. He believes exploration should be an act of empathy toward others, the universe, and ultimately yourself. He also makes decent pasta sauce.

Sunday September 13, 2020
8pm EDT / 5pm PDT: Nerd Nite New York
Welcome To Action Park: The World’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park
by Seth Porges

Description: Lying somewhere between Lord of the Flies and a Saw movie, New Jersey’s Action Park was a lawless land, ruled by drunk teenage employees and frequented by even drunker teenage guests. The rides were experimental and illogical and seemed to ignore even the most basic notions of physics or common sense—not to mention safety. But despite—or perhaps because—of its safety record and notoriety, Action Park is remembered fondly by a generation who cut their teeth (and their skin) on the park’s treacherous attractions. To many, the scars left by the park are viewed as badges of honor. Surviving a day at Action Park was far from a sure thing—but if you did it, you left feeling like a changed person.

Bio: Seth Porges is the co-director and producer of Class Action Park, a feature documentary about Action Park coming to HBO Max in August. He has appeared in roughly 50 episodes of Travel’s Mysteries at the Museum, and is a regular on Discovery, History, and Nat Geo. Previously, he worked as editor at Maxim and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds the world record for the most Nerd Nite talks ever given.

8:30pm EDT / 5:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite Orlando
Coming Soon
by Ricardo Williams

Bio: Ricardo Williams is a program director, event organizer, digital influencer, and filmmaker. Since studying communications at Pace University in New York City, he’s appeared in commercials and independent films, composed soundtracks and produced albums, organized educational programming, and advised on political campaigns. He’s also guest lectured on film theory and video production at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Since 2013, Ricardo has organized and hosted Nerd Nite in Orlando, Florida. Ricardo is also the founder of Orlando For Revolution and currently writes on culture, history, and politics.

9pm EDT / 6pm PDT: Nerd Nite San Diego
The First Spacefarers
by Francis French

Description: French worked with all four of the original “Right Stuff” Mercury astronauts who made orbital flights, when writing his bestselling books about the early days of the Space Race. In this talk, he’ll recount the stories of what these characters were like, and the dangerous missions they flew.

Bio: Frances French is a Space Historian and Science Educator known for his frequent television and documentary appearances, as well as his space history books. More here:

9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite DC
Murder and Merlot: The WILD Story Of The Gallos, The Franzias, and The Wine Empires Built During Prohibition
by Rachel Pendergrass

Description: You’re late for a party, so you swing by the grocery store and grab a bottle of Apothic, a box of Franzia, or maybe a little André or Barefoot Bubbly for your mimosas. Turns out, there’s an HBO-level dark and seedy history behind the budget wines we all love.

Bio: Rachel Pendergrass has been called a “biological entity” who “tells pretty good jokes” by the Washington Post, “the f*ing best” by NPR host Peter Sagal, and “standing around waiting eagerly to be offended” by John Cleese. She’s the producer of the internationally touring Solve for X Variety Show, one of the co-producers of Nerd Nite DC, and a regular guest speaker on the science track of multiple science fiction conventions. She’s also done creative stuff professionally for everyone from National Lampoon to How Stuff Works. In her free time, Rachel enjoys imagining what it’s like to have free time.

3rd Virtual North America Nerd Nite Wednesday July 8

Our next virtual North America Nerd Nite will be Wednesday July 8, 2020 at 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT featuring presentations from Toronto, Memphis, Calgary, and LA. With a twist. We are encouraging (but not requiring) donations to attend our virtual Nite. To donate, simply make a payment for any amount you so choose via PayPal to (don’t worry…that’s the Nerd Nite account; Matt won’t take that wad of cash and buy a RV to go camping all summer..or will he???). Then, the 12 folks who made the largest donations can stick around for a bonus 30 minutes after the presentations to not only join Chris and Matt for a private ask-us-anything session, but to also look inside Matt’s refrigerator to make him eat and/or make cocktails from whatever’s in there. Mmm…gross fun!
Watch the presentations live at

Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
8pm-8:30pm EDT / 5pm-5:30pm PDT: Nerd Nite Toronto: Adventures in Human Powered Flight by David Donaldson

Description: Human flight is now commonplace. We think nothing of hopping on a jumbo and jetting halfway around the world. When humans stopped trying to mimic flapping birds and adopted fixed wing flight we made great progress. When we invented an engine with a power to weight ratio suitable, we bolted that to our airframes and the modern airplane was born. The race was on, go higher, faster, push the limits. After hundreds of years of development, we got this! Or do we? What about human powered flight? Oh, wait, that was done in the early 60?s. So, what is left? Join us for insights into two aviation firsts, the Human Powered Ornithopter and Human Powered Helicopter.

Bio: David is a professional facilitator and amateur nerd. When not earning a living training folks how to better lead change in the corporate world, he can be found teaching fledgling pilots to get their wings. With a passion for building he is currently working on his second amateur build motor-glider project. David has been a pilot for 35 years, a facilitator for 27 years, and a flight instructor for 18 years. Proudly a nerd all his life.

8:30pm-9pm EDT / 5:30pm-6pm PDT: Nerd Nite Memphis: Twitch Sample Challenge by Nick Black

Description: For the past 40 Days (and counting), I’ve been acquiring samples from musicians who are all over the country, even some outside of the country. For 30 days, I vowed to take one of those samples and create a song inspired by it, and I would do it all completely LIVE on, a website usually dedicated to streaming video game lets plays. The samples could be anything from vocals to keyboards, to guitar, and the rest. The goal at the end of each stream is to have a nearly completed song.

Bio: Nick Black is a fun, optimistic, and authentic young artist from Memphis, TN. Influenced by the feel-good music of Justin Timberlake and Bruno Mars, and the musicality of legacy acts such as Al Green and Sting, Nick has created his music to sound modern and unique, yet familiar and nostalgic. He strives to bring his optimistic life-vision to his music, imbuing his beliefs in human nature and the Universe, that are true, honest, perceptive and passionate. Craving stardom since a child, multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Nick Black is determined now more than ever to reach and exceed his goals. Since his first album in 2012, The Soul Diaries, his authenticity and passion has been the foundation of his identity, both as a person and as an artist. Venturing into new territory with his recently released “IRL”, Nick is excited to pursue his curiosity in electronic music, adding dance beats to his extremely versatile sound. Nick is now touring nationally, following recent sold out shows at Springboard West Music Festival in San Diego, The Mint in Los Angeles, B-Side in Hollywood and at Anaheim’s 2020 NAMM Show.

9pm-9:30pm EDT / 6pm-6;30pm PDT: Nerd Nite Calgary: COVID-19: Anatomy of a Pandemic by Franco Rizzuti

Description: A guided peak under the covers of the COVID-19 response. From early 2020 until present day, a look as to what is the status of the pandemic in Alberta. Franco will discuss what goes into pandemic planning, and the Alberta response, from testing, contact tracing, treatment, and preparations for future waves.

Bio: Franco A. Rizzuti BSc MD (he/him/his). Co-Chief Public Health & Preventive Medicine Resident Physician (PGY-4) | Cumming School of Medicine, UCalgary | Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone. President, Professional Association of Resident Physicians of Alberta (PARA)
President, Canadian Association of Physicians with Disabilities (CAPD)
Board Director, Accreditation Liaison & Resiliency Trainer, Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC). Board Director, Canadian Resident Matching Service (CaRMS). @fa_rizzuti.

9:30pm-10pm EDT / 6:30pm-7pm PDT: Nerd Nite Los Angeles: Science of the Acme Product Catalogue by Daniel J. Glenn, Dr. Michael Dennin, & Ben Siepser

Description: Wile E. Coyote is either remarkably rich or buried under crippling debt. Either way, he has amassed an impressive collection of gadgets, gizmos, and gear-based technologies in his relentless pursuit of the roadrunner. Listen as Daniel J. Glenn, Dr. Michael Dennin, and Ben Siepser from the podcast FGGGbT show you what is possible in the world of cartoon physics, including, giant magnets, rocket shoes, and spring-loaded boxing gloves.

Bio: Daniel J. Glenn is an independent digital producer and podcast host. He has created several shows that exist at the intersection of pop culture and science including the podcast Fascinating Gadgets, Gizmos, and Gear-Based Technologies (FGGGbT). He also hosts an interview style podcast, where he has interviewed myriad experts in various fields including world renowned scientists, elite athletes, best selling authors, and Guinness World Record holders.
Bio: Professor Dennin has been Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCI since 1997, and is now the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning and Dean, Division of Undergraduate Education. His research focuses on the dynamics of foams and modeling of ice mélange in fjords. He is passionate about public outreach in the area of science – appearing on numerous television programs. Recently, he published a science outreach book on the intersection between science and faith: Divine Science: Finding Reason at the Heart of Faith, from Franciscan Media.
Bio: Ben Siepser is an electrical and computer engineer specializing in the design of microchips and sensors. Thousands of microchips that he has developed have flown into space on nearly 100 different missions. He has parts that have been installed on the International Space Station and others that will be in space forever. After ten years of working in aerospace Ben turned his sights inward to the human mind. He is now working on devices that are capable of studying the brain in incredible detail and that will soon unlock amazing new insights into ourselves.

10pm-10:30pm EDT / 7pm-7:30pm PDT: Ask Chris and Matt Anything
What do you want to know about Nerd Nite? Or ourselves? And why do you want to make Matt barf on Zoom? You’re so mean! Dr. Chris Balakrishnan is Nerd Zero, the founder and godfather of Nerd Nite. Matt Wasowski is definitely not a doctor and leads all the Nerd Nite nerds around the globe. We are encouraging (but definitely not requiring) donations to attend this particular virtual Nite. To donate, simply make a payment for any amount you so choose via PayPal to (don’t worry…that’s the Nerd Nite account; Matt won’t take that wad of cash and buy a RV to go camping all summer..or will he???). Then, the 12 folks who made the largest donations will stick around for a bonus 30 minutes after the presentations to not only join Chris and Matt for a private ask-us-anything session, but to also look inside Matt’s refrigerator to make him eat and/or make cocktails from whatever’s in there. Mmm…gross fun!

2nd Nerd Nite-A-Thon (Virtual) Tuesday April 14, 2020

Our second Nerd Nite-A-Thon (Virtual) will be Tuesday April 14, 2020 starting at 7pm EDT / 4pm PDT. Watch/view at
Enjoy seven of our favorite presentations from across North America and one from our pals in Melbourne (it’ll be Wednesday afternoon for them…the International Date Line is weird). Enjoy drinking and learning from the comfort of your PJs. We’ll toast you while online. The in-progress line-up:

7pm-7:30pm EDT (Nerd Nite St. Petersburg, FL): Loose Lips Sink Ships (And Try not to Get Syphilis): When Altruism Meets Artillery by Linsey Grove

Description: We explore the historic role propaganda played in public health communication and ask if the ends justify the means. What happens when public health messaging goes from lithograph to meme?

Bio: Linsey Grove, DrPH, CPH, CHES is a sex education researcher working at the University of South Florida St Petersburg as a visiting instructor and program coordinator for the Health Sciences degree. She is also the president of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area and co-host of the public health podcast, Viral. Dr. Grove co-chairs the Empowering Pinellas Youth Collaborative, a community-driven initiative that supports comprehensive sex education in Pinellas Schools.

7:30pm-8pm EDT (Nerd Nite Orlando): TBD about Space by Derek Demeter

8pm-8:30pm EDT / 7pm CDT (Nerd Nite Madison): Magnificent Mangroves: Adaptations, Biodiversity, and Outlook by Tyler Wintermute

Description: From their unique adaptations to their benefits to biodiversity, mangroves are marvels of estuarine ecosystems. With a global distribution, these plants are ubiquitous in the tropics, but unfortunately, they face many threats that should be concerning to the denizens of the 43rd parallel north (and the rest of the world). So bundle (your vascular tissues) up, prop (root) yourself in a chair, and join us as we absorb the waves of mangrove knowledge!

Presenter Bio: A native of Northern Virginia, Tyler is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Botany at UW-Madison, and while his true passion are the trees of the people (Populus species, a.k.a. cottonwoods, aspens, and poplars) and their chemical ecology, he is fascinated and inspired by the life history of mangroves and their benefits to other biota. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring swamps, watching sports, and playing board-games. And taking care of plants. Lots of plants.

8:30pm-9pm EDT / 7:30pm CDT (Nerd Nite Lawrence)

9pm-9:30pm EDT / 8pm CDT (Nerd Nite Austin): Marvel Underground: What Disney Doesn’t Know it Owns by Kevin Garcia

Description: The Marvel Cinematic Universe has brought superheroes into the mainstream, but few (even few at Disney) know how many strange and obscure properties were part of Marvel. Did you know Marvel made stag magazines? Or drug-fueled underground comix? Or that they bought companies that bought companies that bought companies meaning Disney technically owns the Men in Black?

Bio: Kevin Garcia is a certified educator and professional writer whose work has appeared in the Associated Press and Marvel Comics. He gives a variety of workshops, moderates panels, and teaches journalism and graphic design at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy in Austin. His work can be found at or

9:30pm-10pm EDT / 7:30pm MDT (Nerd Nite Calgary)

10pm-10:30pm EDT / 7pm PDT (Nerd Nite North Vancouver) TBD by Kurtis Baute

10:30pm-11pm EDT / 1:30pm-2pm AEDT on April 15 (Nerd Nite Melbourne, AUS): Holy Forking Shirtballs: The Philosophy of the Good Place by Aaron Grinter @PhilosophyGrin

Description: Around 14 billion years ago, the universe began. Sometime later, the television show ‘The Good Place’ came into being. The premise is simple: Eleanor Shellstrop wakes up in non-denominational heaven after a tragic accident involving margarita mix and a truck full of Viagra. The problem is, there was a mixup, she doesn’t belong in heaven and she is actually a horrible person, who lived a life of alcoholism and scamming the elderly. In order to not get kicked out of heaven, she vows to become a good person. How does she plan to do it? With the power of philosophy. We explore some of the key philosophical ideas that The Good Place taught you without you realising it. I can’t promise that I can get you into heaven, but I can promise you that you will understand more about deontology than you did before.

Bio: Aaron is (mercifully) about to complete his PhD and teaches at Swinburne University. His field is philosophy and the aim of his research is prove to his parents that getting a degree in philosophy wasn’t a complete waste of time. His thesis synthesises ecology, economics, and social theory to construct an epistemology of sustainability. In his spare time, he enjoys growing houseplants and worrying about his PhD. I know what you’re thinking, and the answer is yes, his dog features prominently throughout his thesis.

North American Nerd Nite-A-Thon (Virtual) Tuesday March 31, 2020

Nerd Nite-A-Thon (Virtual): March 31, 2020. Watch/view at
We’re putting on our first North American Nerd Nite-A-Thon so you can enjoy eight of our favorite presentations from across North America. Enjoy drinking and learning from the comfort of your PJs. We’ll toast you while online. The line-up:

7pm-7:30pm EDT (Nerd Nite Baltimore): The Power of Breakfast Sandwiches by Dr. Neil Bardhan

Need more be said? Neil is a returning Nerd Nite speaker from the very first Nerd Nite Baltimore in January 2016 (on the effect of your nasal cavity on vowel pronunciation)! We’re happy to have him return every 3 years. Neil is a native of Corning, NY (of glass fame), has a Ph.D in cognitive science and psycholinguistics, and is currently Executive Director at Broad Street Review and Manager for Applied Storytelling at First Person Arts in Philadelphia.

7:30pm-8pm EDT (Nerd Nite Philly): The Greatest Sci-Fi Songs You’ve Never Heard by Chris Cummins

Description: Join Chris Cummins as he takes you on a cosmic journey deep into the world of weirdo science fiction spin-off songs. From disco versions of the Star Wars theme to cash-in records from actors from Star Trek and Doctor Who to creepy tunes about E.T. and Max Headroom and beyond, this will be an A/V exploration of how science fiction has not only impacted our lives but our music as well. And yeah, Chris will be playing some favorites from his personal collection. VIRTUAL DANCE PARTY YO!

Bio: Chris Cummins is the boss of Nerd Nite Philadelphia and the host of Sci-Fi Explosion, a cosmic cabaret of craziness that celebrates the strangest aspects of science fiction. You can follow him on social media at @scifiexplosion!

8pm-8:30pm EDT (Nerd Nite Miami): Oh Hell No: The Cultural Impact of SharkNado by David Shiffman, Ph.D.

Description: Sharks: so hot right now! Sharks are in, and one of the best examples of this is a whole genre of bad shark movies. In this genre, the SharkNado franchise stands head and pectoral fins above competitors like Sharktopus, avalanche sharks (“snow is just frozen water,”) and six-headed shark attack. In this talk, Dr. David Shiffman will discuss the history of bad shark movies, with a focus on SharkNado and the incredible impact it had on pop culture and even public discourse.

Bio: Dr. David Shiffman is a marine conservation biologist who studies sharks. His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Scientific American, Slate, Gizmodo, and a monthly column in SCUBA diving magazine. David is an award-winning public science communicator who invites you to follow him on twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @ WhysharksMatter, where he’s always happy to answer any questions anyone has about sharks. In the interest of full disclosure, David has asked us to inform you that SharkNado 2 is thanked in his Ph.D. dissertation because it funded some of his research. He has presented at Nerd Nite Miami, Nerd Nite Vancouver, and Nerd Nite DC.

8:30pm-9pm EDT (Nerd Nite Pittsburgh): Bullshit in Space! An Astronomical Adventure Through Cosmic Misinformation by Ralph Crewe

Description: The night sky and the cosmos beyond have been a source of wonder, awe, and curiosity for people across the centuries. Today, we are in a golden age of astronomy and one of the best places to explore the cutting edge of our understanding of the universe is your local planetarium. Unfortunately, along with the sea of celestial knowledge comes an ocean of bullshit and misconception. Join planetarium program coordinator Ralph Crewe as he plumbs the depths of Bullshit in Space!

Bio: Ralph Crewe: Ralph is a professional science nerd, and until the COVID-19 shutdown, he was working as program development coordinator for the Buhl Planetarium and Observatory at Carnegie Science Center. He has coordinated astronomical programming like SkyWatch, hosted the Café Scientifique science lecture series, created and hosted the SNaQ podcast, and more. In his spare time, he plays music (bass and piano), rides his bicycle, and competes in birdwatching competitions.

9pm-9:30pm EDT (Nerd Nite NYC): The Law of Star Wars Strikes Back by Major Thomas Harper

Description: Star Wars may be full of lightsabers, space battles, and one very awkward brother/sister crush, but it’s also brimming with legal issues. Are Ewoks a bunch of furry war criminals? Can Kylo Ren claim the insanity defense? Join Army JAG attorney Major Thomas Harper as he returns to Nerd Nite NYC to break down these issues and more from the galaxy far far away.

Bio: Major Tom Harper served on active duty as an Army JAG officer for over seven years before switching to the Army Reserves and private practice.  As a JAG attorney, Tom has served in a variety of positions, including as a prosecutor, a defense counsel, and as an operational law attorney advising on combat operations in Afghanistan.  He is also obsessed with Star Wars and still proudly carries a Darth Vader lunchbox.  Tom blogs and podcasts for The Legal Geeks, using Star Wars to teach about a wide variety of legal topics.  He regularly shares his love of Star Wars on the national stage, and has presented at San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, WonderCon, and DragonCon. You can follow his Star Wars ramblings on Twitter at @thomasLharper.

9:30pm-10pm EDT / 7:30pm-8pm MDT (Nerd Nite Denver): Debunk in the Trunk: Setting Some Historical Myths Straight by Dr. Francesca Tronchin

Description: Dr. Francesca Tronchin will examine some old myths and assumptions about the history of the ancient Mediterranean in this talk. Was Cleopatra really Egyptian and also really beautiful? Were the Spartans truly the greatest fighting force of the ancient world? What did Greek and Roman temples and statues really look like? If you behave, she might bust some bonus myths about Hitler and Napoleon!

10pm-10:30pm EDT / 7pm-7:30pm PDT (Nerd Nite Vancouver): Spider Butts and Spit Glands: Adventures in Working with Galleria Mellonella Silk by Mary Glasper

Description: Remember those plastic-eating worms in the news last year? I work with those! One summer, while working in an entomology lab, my supervisor asked, “Have you ever looked at Galleria silk? It’s really strong and they produce a TON of it.” Suddenly, a master’s thesis was born, where I investigated the properties of Galleria silk for its use in textiles. Galleria mellonella, a.k.a. the greater wax moth, is a pest of beehives and is also a popular model organism for the study of medically significant mammalian pathogens. In this presentation, I’ll show you how to collect, process, and characterize this silk as a textile fibre. Could it be a viable alternative to spider silk? Come and find out! Spoiler: I don’t feed them plastic.

Bio: Mary Glasper has been a fan of our many-legged friends and of fibres for as long as she can remember, and has professional experience in both Entomology and Textile Science. It’s only natural that she would combine both of her interests by studying how insects create fibres! She has a BSc in Biological Sciences & Human Ecology from the University of Alberta, and finished her MSc in Textile Science. Mary is now a Materials Developer at Arc’teryx Equipment.

10:30pm-11pm EDT / 7:30pm-8pm PDT (Nerd Nite LA): “That’s not a @&$#ing dinosaur!”: Misconceptions about Paleontology by Trevor Valle

Description: Ross Gellar. Jurassic Park. Dinobots. Barney. Pop culture has this on again/off again love affair with the reality of paleontology, but refuses to take it out to dinner and really listen. Let’s get them talking (and drinking)!

Bio: Trevor Valle has looked for old, dead things in some really screwed up places… from artichoke fields in northern California, to the permafrost and tundra of north-eastern Siberia. Formerly the Lab Supervisor of the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits, he can now be found making sure construction crews don’t accidentally dig up mammoths, or occasionally on TV talking about dead stuff.


Nerd Nite NYC Going Virtual

Nerd Nite NYC is on-hold like all other live events, but we’ll hold another live virtual Nite on Tuesday April 7, 2020 at 8pm EDT / 5pm PDT with Adrienne Raphel discussing the history and strategy of crossword puzzles and Dawson Smith sharing his thoughts on Commedia Del’Arte & Michael Schur. Holy forking shirt! To login live, click here

Nerd Nite NYC at Brooklyn Historical Society on Sept 24, 2015

Brooklyn history and speed dating, together again! Join Nerd Nite for a special evening at the venerable Brooklyn Historical Society. 20 smart, single fellas and 20 smart, single lasses get a shot at finding their fall love during speed dating while also learning about our rich and sometimes dubious local history.  With drinks, of course.

September 24, 2015
Doors and check-in for speed dating open at 7pm / speed dating starts at 7:30pm
Presentations-only:  Doors at 9pm
Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Buy tickets here

Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
*Presentation #1

When Brooklyn Lost its Swagger: The Consolidation of 1898
by Michael Miscione

Description: Brooklyn was a large, proud, and independent city until 1898, when it was consolidated into the newly conceived five-borough NYC that exists today. Ever since, generations of bitter Brooklynites have grumbled about living in Manhattan’s shadow, but Brooklyn’s downgrade from city to borough was welcomed by many 19th century Brooklynites who saw is as a way to save their hometown from bankruptcy and irrelevance. Manhattan Borough Historian Michael Miscione will reveal all the dirty details behind what some Brooklynites still call “the mistake of ’98

*Presentation #2
Murder, Scandal, Love Nests and Child Brides: The Sensational Heyday of New York City Tabloids

by Mike Liss

Description: The birth of New York City’s tabloids was the dot-com boom of the Jazz Age. Egotistical millionaires engaged in big-money circulation battles, testing boundaries while chasing a new mass (and not completely literate) audience. Scandalous divorce proceedings, sensationalist crime stories and faked photographs filled their pages alongside the original celebrity gossip columns. While their spirit lives on in many an Internet site, today’s remaining tabloids bear little resemblance to what rolled off the presses in the 1920s.

Bio: Michael Liss is the Director of Project Management for the New York Post Digital Network and has contributed content to the Post, Heeb, NME and Decider, among others. In 2009, he presented at Nerd Nite on his adventures getting in and out of Chinese prison. He met his wife at Nerd Nite.

Nerd Nite Houston Debuts at Notsuoh

After making you drive to Austin the last four years, Houston, you no longer have to trek north to go to Nerd Nite.  We’re proud to announce that Nerd Nite Houston premieres on January 30, 2014 at Notsuoh downtown.  Enjoy two funny-yet-smart presentations while the audience drinks along!

Nerd Nite Houston
Thursday January 30, 2014 at 8pm (doors at 7:30pm)
314 Main St,
Houston, TX 77002

Back to the Lectures At-Hand:
*Presentation #1
Presenting Science to the Public:  “It’s late; we’re all tired; why should any of us care about anything you’re saying?”
by Douglas Natelson, Professor of Physics, Astronomy, and Electrical and Computer Engineering and Quantum Institute Fellow at Rice University

*Presentation #2
Why Voting Mechanisms Can’t Work
by Andy Boyd, Professor of Industrial Engineering at the University of Houston and Host of Engines of Our Ingenuity on NPR

*Presentation #3
Why I Hate Ellipsoids and How Superspace Saved Me
by Amado Guloy, Co-Boss of Nerd Nite Houston

Nerd Nite Brings Movies & Music to Brooklyn Winery on December 3, 2013

Nerd Nite prides itself on bringing its audience fun-yet-informative presentations about countless subjects and disciplines.  But on December 3, 2013, Nerd Nite NYC shines the spotlight specifically on music and movies.  Join us for a special weekday Nite at the lovely Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg that will feature presentations about D-movies, math feuds, and choose-your-own music videos.  Enjoy laughing at awful movies, listening to Paco rap about math, and watching a music video get customized before your eyes.  Space is limited and the venue is lovely, so act fast. Fun! Buy tickets here.

Tuesday December 3, 2013
$10 (sorry, there’s a pretty ridiculous $4 service fee)
213 N 8th St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Take L train to Bedford stop

*Presentation #1
Crappy Cinema Council: Nerds!
by Jim Van Blaricum and Jim Crocamo

Description: Comedians Jim Crocamo and Jim VanBlaricum will be presenting a special Nerd Nite-exclusive version of Crappy Cinema Council, their monthly celebration of sub-par films. They’ll show hilarious, undiscovered clips from the weirdest, worst movies that they watched so you don’t have to. This is your chance to see the show that Time Out New York described as “comedy” and “in Brooklyn”!

Bio: Jim and Jim are two dudes who watch bad movies and make fun of them in front of people. After subjecting friends and family to screenings of terrible films throughout their lives, they combined forces in 2010 to add “total strangers” to the list of those they’ve forced to watch weird garbage. Sometimes they post stuff on They are much better at comedy than they are at writing summaries and bios.

*Presentation #2
XELLE presents Hologram: the first truly interactive, choose-your-own-adventure music video
by JC Cassis

Description: In pop group XELLE’s interactive music video for their single, Hologram, Janeane Garofalo stars as Holly Graham, the “Charlie” to XELLE’s “Angels.” Legendary singer Martha Wash (“It’s Raining Men”) has been captured by Meanie Mo (played by Reno 911′s Kerri Kenney-Silver), and it’s up to you to help XELLE save her. Hologram is the longest music video of all time, consisting of 37 possible video segments to choose from and over 90 minutes of footage, and only you can choose the storyline that will lead to Martha’s rescue. In this presentation, XELLE will guide you through the video as you choose where to go, what to do, and how to escape sudden death at any wrong turn. This fully interactive video was created by utilizing YouTube’s existing features to create a never-before-seen web 2.0 experience.

Bio: You’ve heard of XELLE. They’re that girl group that threw an illegal dance party on a moving NYC subway train for their debut video, Party Girl. They’re the indie band whose songs and videos are lighting up TV shows, radio stations and dance floors around the world. They’re those sexy girls with huge voices who rocked the stage at your favorite club last night. They are XELLE, and you’ve been waiting for them to come along.

Presentation #3
Mathematicians: Behind the Music
by Paco Adam Hanlon

Description: Back by popular demand! Take a tour of the dank, trash-strewn alleys of the mathematical world. This portal into the seedy underbelly of math promises to be full of cheating scoundrels, meth-addiction, vagrancy, and no less than four cold-blooded murders. All this and more in the pursuit of inventing your iPhone, sewer system, and all those lovely ballistic missiles! Plus, you’ll finally be able to say you can name more than one important mathematician!

Bio: Paco Adam Hanlon is a math teacher and curriculum designer at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School for a Sustainable City. He is a Math for America fellow, has a BS in Actuarial Mathematics from University of Michigan and a Masters in Secondary Mathematics Teaching from Bard (where he also published a paper on stochastic cellular automata). He also records and performs hip-hop music under the name Dopest Nerd (album on iTunes and new mixtape coming soon).

Spooks and Kooks! – Nerd Nite Detroit

The nerds are alive and are gathering for 2013's smartest Halloween after party! Don your costumes one more time on Wednesday, November 6 at Tangent

Bay Area Science Festival kicks off with 50 events

Nerd Nite at Sea II, 6-10 p.m. Oct. 30 on the USS Hornet, docked at Alameda, will feature Nerd Nite East Bay, 7-10 p.m. Monday in Oakland, will explore

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