NNKC 26!

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We hope you can join us for Nerd Nite KC on Wednesday, July 16, at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KCMO), where the drinks and A/C will be COLD. Doors at 6:30, and we’ll start the evening with a toast to the night’s Patron Nerd at 7:00. After the toast, we’ll answer the BIG FUCKING QUESTIONS:

What is religious freedom in the eyes of the Supreme Court? On the heels of the  Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, and the resulting explosions of public opinion on nearly every side, Nick Kraly is going to give us a little background into how the Supreme Court has historically negotiated issues of religious freedom and their intersection with our civil society. This will be a good talk. We are already excited about the Q&A for this one, because nerds love asking questions and having a discussion, especially after three of Clarence’s special bomb pop martinis.

Is Kansas City the Baltimore of the Midwest? The best thing about this question is its mystery: according to what criteria are we comparing them? Charm? Humidity? Density of shaved ice vendors? Proximity to filthy water? In any case, wonder no more! Brian Czarski is going to finally answer this question. Brian is a former Baltimore resident, police officer, and all-around knowledgeable dude about all things Baltimore. He recently moved with his family to KC, and he has probably been taking measurements of our great city with a special device. He will report his findings and they will blow your mind.

Is Kevin Bacon the true center of the universe? We all know about Kevin Bacon numbers, the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game, and the fact that a Google search can reveal a person’s “Bacon Number.” But is it that simple? Is it just a game, or is Kevin Bacon a more fundamental part of our universe? Nerd Nite veteran Mike Van Til has spent months researching Kevin Bacon’s centrality in the universe of fame and he’s going to offer us some perspective to help us understand this phenomenon and make smarter decisions about where to turn to verify our Bacon number research (spoiler alert: not Google). We’re excited to welcome Mike back to the stage!

All this plus another thrilling round of Get To Know Your Bartender (with prizes and a free drink for the winner!). We hope to see you out. If you want more regular updates, don’t forget about our FB group: Facebook.com/groups/nerdnitekc

Join us June 18 for NNKC #25

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Happy summer, nerds!

We hope you can join us June 18 at MiniBar KC (3810 Broadway, KCMO) for Nerd Nite #25. Doors will open and drinks will start flowing at 6:30, and we’ll get started at 7:00. After the toast, we’ll have the following presentations:

NNKC regular Katie Greer will teach us a bit about Kansas City History. We don’t know exactly what aspects of KC’s storied past Katie will discuss, but we do know this: nerds love history. Perhaps she’ll recount the story of how our city was founded by extra-terrestrial explorers. Or maybe we’ll learn why the Plaza has been haunted for a thousand years by a demonic overlord. Who knows? We do know that Katie is a bona-fide KC enthusiast and urbanist who Tweets regularly (@KC_k8e) her bite-sized morsels of KC history using the hashtag #quickKChistory. This will be a great presentation, and we’re excited to have Katie on the mic.

We’ll also have Paula Rose presenting on Unicorn Art: Medieval Symbolism to Contemporary Kitsch. We’re excited about this presentation for a couple of reasons. First, unicorns are not real. (Or are they?) Second, despite this fact, unicorns are everywhere—in myth and folklore, heraldic seals, but also more recently on Trapper Keepers, in the figure of Rapidash the Pokémon, and obviously in Robot Unicorn Attack, which is definitely the best mobile game in the history of the world. So why do we love unicorns so much? Where and when did this love emerge? We can’t wait for this presentation.

And if those weren’t enough, Kerry McRae will tell us about Key Fuckups in the Pickup Artist Community, which is about as badass as presentation titles come. As YouTube proves every day, the world loves a good fuckup, so we’re excited about that. But this presentation already raises so many questions: How does one learn the art of the pickup? Are there masters of this art? How long has this community been identified as a legit “community?” And if pickup artists constitute a community, do they also have a community center? Is it located in Power and Light? See? There is SO MUCH TO KNOW. And that’s why we’re excited about this presentation.

We’ll also have another round of Get To Know Your Bartender, when we’ll learn more about Clarence and Tony (because those guys are awesome). As always, no cover, which means that you can drink more. For more frequent information and updates, please check (and join) our Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/nerdnitekc).

Nerd Nite #24

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Please join us next Wednesday, May 21 for another Nerd Nite KC! We’ll again be at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KCMO). Doors at 6:30, Nerds at 7:00. 

After the toast, we’ll help you learn about the following life events:

Getting Born (at home). Happy belated Mother’s Day, and we’re going to talk about birth—HOMEbirth, in particular. We’ve got you covered if you’re curious about homebirth. What’s involved? Why would anyone want to have a baby at home? Obviously, that’s where the gaming console is, but there are certainly other reasons as well. And we’re going to learn them.

Getting Paid (from Bitcoin). Whence Bitcoin? Wherefore Bitcoin? Who doesn’t have lots of questions about Bitcoin? For example: Can you get paid in Bitcoin? Can you flip a Bitcoin? Is Bitcoin a count or noncount noun? (Good questions, right?) We’re very excited to take a stroll down the history of Bitcoin.

Getting Dead (in an environmentally-friendly way). After you’re dead, what happens to your body? For some of us, it’s placed into a pill-like coffin and jettisoned to an awakening planet, where an experimental terraforming device reanimates us as a blank slate until we can be reunited with our Katra, or living spirit, which is stored in the mind of Dr. McCoy. But others of us will be lowered into a hole, burned, or donated to science. What’s the most environmentally-friendly way to be buried? Let’s find out!

So please join us. We’d love to see you! The night will include another thrilling round of Get to Know Your Bartender, because Clarence and Tony and Phil (if he’s there) are the best. Plus conversation with all of our favorite people. Hope you can make it out.

 

NNKC 23

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Please join us this Wednesday for NNKC. Hooray! Spring! Beer! More beer!

Wednesday, April 16th we will once again come together to celebrate our two favorite intoxicants: booze and learning. Please join us for the party at MiniBar KC. Doors will open at 6:30, and we will warmly toast the start of NNKC at 7:00.

After the toast:

SEX AND THE BRAIN

THE STOCK MARKET

RELATIVITY FOR THE LAY PERSON

We will also enjoy another thrilling edition of Get to Know Your Bartender, the game where nerds WIN FABULOUS PRIZES in a somewhat arbitrary fashion!

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This poster doesn't even begin to suggest how awesome Nerd Nite is in person.

This poster doesn’t even begin to suggest how awesome Nerd Nite is in person.

Hey Nerds: Happy March!

We’re back March 19 with Planes, Trains, and Crane Style. You should come! We’ll again be joining our good friends at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KC MO). The evening starts with our traditional toast at 7:00. After the toast, here’s what you’ll experience:

PLANES. Josh Steinmetz is going to help us all become better and more savvy travelers. Among other things, he’ll teach us to maximize our travel rewards and give us some tips to stretch our budgets further than we ever imagined. We are excited about this presentation, because we dislike spending money on airline travel that we’d otherwise spend on beer and fireworks at our final destination.

TRAINS. David Jonhson is going to give us the straight dope on Kansas City’s efforts to build a streetcar system. David works very closely with the KC Streetcar Authority, which means he knows his shit. We have lots of questions about streetcars in KC, and we’re sure you do as well. For example: What are the primary arguments for and against streetcars in KC? Can we expect this system to expand? And to what extent will streetcars compete with the teleportation tubes that are definitely also on the horizon? We’ll probably think of even more questions after our fifth Irish Ale, and David will be there to answer those as well.

CRANE STYLE. Phil Ledgerwood is going to talk about Martial Arts. We will not tell you much about this presentation, because it doesn’t matter: martial arts kick ass. Period. They are pretty much the ideal nerd discipline, because they demand sustained focus and attention, allow you to commune with a rich, centuries-old tradition, and make you 1000% more of a badass than anyone else. Also pressure points. Nerds love pressure points, am I right?

In addition to these, we’ll host another thrilling round of Get to Know Your Bartender (with prizes!), and of course conversation with some of the smartest and most interesting people in the entire city. That, my friends, is a fact. You all are great, and we can’t wait to see you soon. Hope you can make it out. Invite your friends!

If you haven’t already, you can join our Facebook group to get in on regular(ish) nerd-type discussions, and to see the official event invitation. You can also follow us on Twitter (@NerdNiteKC) for occasional nerd news updates.

Onward,

Your Nerd Nite KC Crew

NNKC #21

Join us February 19 for Nerd Nite #21, at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KCMO). You should come! Doors at 6:30, and we’ll start the night at 7:00. 

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After the opening toast, you can expect to have your mind melted with the following presentations:

 Marc Robinson will talk about the death of languages, which he calls “the other great extinction.” He’s going to talk about all the languages that are dying out, and help us see why they’re interesting and why we should be sad to see them disappear forever. It’s already sad, and his presentation hasn’t even begun. But also fascinating! Nerds can entertain two thoughts simultaneously like that: sadness and intrigue. Marc is a long-time friend of Nerd Night KC, and we’re thrilled to welcome him to the mic for this talk. Maybe we can learn some swear words in Eyak, Chemehuevi, or Bo [note: those are actual languages].

Did you know there were trends in sex education? Yes! Because sex is SO CONTROVERSIAL. Ailea Stites will give us a glimpse into the world of sex education trends that we never knew existed. Not to get all heavy here, but sex education is serious shit, and this is an interesting time for these issues: lots of new laws and regulations in all parts of the country related to sex education and reproductive health. This is going to be a very good presentation because it is about two of the most important things in existence: sex and education.

And we’ll also have McKinzey Manes and Brigg Killips presenting on evil laughter, of the ‘mwa-ha-ha’ type. This will be a presentation about evil laughs as an “undead horse trope.” If you don’t know what that is, I’m sure you can either Google it, or (if you can delay your gratification for just little bit) you can hear all about it firsthand from McKinzey. She’ll also discuss the psychology of the evil laugh, and you’ll get a quick how-to. That’s right: you’ll gain a new skill for your LinkedIn Profile. We’ll even endorse you if you want. We are excited about this presentation because we’ll all be drinking, and nothing goes with a cold beer like a good, hearty, from-the-gut evil laugh.

All of that plus another exciting edition of Get To Know Your Bartender (with FABULOUS PRIZES)! Again, our good friends at MiniBar will host the festivities. They are nice people, and they will serve you delicious drinks and pizza. We hope you can make it out. See you soon. Onward nerds!

 

Nerd Nite KC #20

Happy New Year!

NNKC Moby Dick

Please join us next week, January 15 for Nerd Nite #20. As usual, we’ll convene at 7:00 p.m. at MiniBar(3810 Broadway, KCMO), where we’ll share our two favorite intoxicants: alcohol and learning. Did you hear that we’re doing a theme night? Yes! It’s Moby Dick! This month we’ve got three great presentations, all related to that monster of a book:

Jennifer Fenton will share the literary, historical, and contemporary reasons why Moby Dick remains the Great American Novel. She had done a LOT of research and writing and thinking about Moby Dick, so she’s probably going to deliver a spirited defense of her position. If you disagree (because Battlefield Earth, duh), come on down for the Q&A and make your case. We love a good literary grudge match.

Cassie Cole recently finished reading Moby Dick for the very first time, and she’s going to share her experiences and reactions. She’s not going to hold back, we can tell you that much. Maybe she liked it. Maybe she thought it was way too fucking long. You’ll have to be there to find out.

And Jason Smajda will talk about the culture of readers (and non-readers) onto which that book fell like a seven-hundred-ton spermaceti bomb. What were those people like who didn’t buy Moby Dick? What did they watch on TV? Did they know how to dance? Did they run 5K races? Maybe Jason will tell us. He is a teacher by trade, and a good one, so this will be a badass presentation!

Each presenter will have 20-ish minutes, followed by a brief Q&A and a break for drinks and conversation. If you get hungry, MiniBar serves little pizzas from behind the bar. We hope to see you out!

You can find more regular (ish) updates on our Facebook group, and you can also follow us on Twitter @nerdnitekc

See you soon,

Your Nerd Nite Kansas City team.

NNKC #19

You should come!

Nerd Nite KC #19

Announcing Nerd Nite 19! Hooray! Beer! Nerds! Holiday Cheer! More beer! As you can tell, enthusiasm abounds. Wednesday, December 18th we will once again drink and talk and drink and learn and drink and ask questions. Please join us for the party at MiniBar KC. Doors will open at 6:30, and we will warmly toast the start of NNKC 19 at 7:00.

After the toast, these experiences:

Cree Zepeda will help us understand some principles of natural building, which is building stuff from natural and sustainable materials like corn cobs and straw bales. From our correspondence with Cree, we learned that these homes are also called “Earthships.” (For a treat, search that term with Google Images.) Cree comes by her knowledge of Eathship construction first-hand: she built cob and straw houses in Oregon, and in New Mexico, she learned to build houses using timbers. All we can say to that is damn that’s cool.

Tyler Watts will teach us a little about computer programming. Tyler makes his living teaching and programming, and his talk will not only help us see the importance of learning a little programming ourselves, but also of computational thinking generally. He says that because we live our lives in digital environments of all sorts, it’s nice to learn things that can help us navigate them. Yes please to this conversation! And here’s another cool thing: Tyler considers programming to be a form of personal expression, which is a beautiful and humane way to think about it.

If those two weren’t enough, we’ll also have a presentation tentatively (and evocatively) titled, “How to Catch a Foreign Spy: Based on Declassified KGB Materials.” We will not reveal anything about this presentation except that it is going to be awesome. And that there is an entire section devoted to Soviet Illustrations! And that there are actual images of documents with handwritten checkmarks and annotations! We can’t wait to hear what they mean!

Wow. All that plus drinks plus Get to Know Your Bartender plus Q&A! (Seriously though: you ask good questions.) Hope to see you out on the 18th.

Affectionately,

Your NNKC team.

NNKC #18

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Happy November from NNKC HQ. We’re camped out and bundled up in anticipation of this month’s Nerd Nite KC event. Mark your calendars for November 20 at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KC MO).

This month will be the 18th Nerd Nite Kansas City. Can you believe it? Eighteen! To celebrate, we’ll have smokes, ammo, and lotto scratchers for everyone! (Full disclosure: we won’t actually have those things.) But we will have three terrific presentations. The order will probably change, but here are the goods:

  • We’ll have Jenifer Boles talking about Tribal Sovereignty–an overview of history and powers of the tribes as independent nations. I’ve already got questions!
  •  Nicholas Naughton will share his insights into things printmaking-, lithography-, and letterpress-related. Please don’t ask him any leading questions. See what I did there? That’s for the typography nerds. And the homograph/heteronym nerds. (We are legion.)
  •  And Jess Anthony and her brother Ben from Wood and Salt will have a seasonal discussion about the first Thanksgiving at Jamestown–whether it was a cured meat cornucopia or…wait for it…cannibalism. As I write, I’m trying to decide if it’s in bad taste to make a cannibalism joke on a public website. I’m leaning toward probably. But who knows: by the time the 20th arrives, I may have changed my mind.

So join us for a bit of pre-holiday revelry. We’ll have a few holiday-inspired special treats for everyone, and another exciting round of Get to Know Your Bartender, the game that affords every player a 50/50 shot of winning a super-cool prize. Hope you can come out.

 

NNKC #17

And we’re back. Join us Wednesday, October 16 for Nerd Nite Kansas City #17.

I’m not sure this is the most important thing to know about 17, but Wikipedia’s entry on the number begins with the following hard-hitting factoid: “In spoken English, the numbers 17 and 70 are sometimes confused because they sound similar.” So there you go. Mind = blown. Am I right?

So join us as we again celebrate humanity’s two favorite intoxicants: alcohol and learning.

Our good friends at MiniBar KC are once again hosting the festivities, and they’ll open the doors to us at 6:30. Nerds hit the stage at 7:00. Broad details are included on the poster below, check the Nerd Nite KC Facebook group for up-to-date information and some pretty good saxophone music recommendations.

 

Nerd Nite KC #17 info flyer.

Nerd Nite KC #17 info flyer.

 

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