Hey Kansas City Nerds!
Please join us Wednesday, January 21 for Nerd Nite Kansas City! We’re again meeting at Minibar, our usual spot (3810 Broadway, KCMO), and the evening will begin with a toast at 7:00 p.m. After the toast, enjoy the following brief episodes of knowledge-dropping:
Casey Claps will talk about the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea, also known as the “Juche-oriented socialist state which embodies the idea and leadership of Comrade Kim Il Sung, founder of the Republic and the father of socialist Korea.” For some, North Korea is a shimmering beacon of prosperity and self-sufficiency. For others, North Korea more closely resembles a concrete landscape of despotism and uncomfortable-looking shoes. And probably other, more nuanced views as well. Which is right? You’ll have to come to find out.
Then Maggie Priesmeyer will teach us about biking in the winter. As we learned from NNKC presentations past, bicycling in Kansas City presents challenges under the best of conditions. But what about under the worst of conditions—like ice storms, snow, or polar vortices? How does one not get frostbitten? Might these challenges actually lend a charm to biking in the winter? Who knows? As luck would have it, Maggie knows, and she’s going to tell us all about it.
Finally, NNKC’s own John Helling will teach us a bit about conic sections. As you may know, when you intersect a plane with cones, you end up with a conic section. But what you may not know is a bundle of other really interesting facts having to do with the geometric principles and history of the conic section. It’s always fun to take a look at math concepts bathed in the warm glow of a neon beer sign.
All that plus another round of Get to Know Your Bartender! We hope to see you out this month.
Please join Nerd Nite Kansas City on December 17 at MiniBar KC (3810 Broadway, KCMO) for a night of research, cocktails, and nerdy community. We’ll start the evening at 7:00, and after we kick things off with a toast, you can expect the following presentations (not necessarily in this order):
Don Crawley, an accomplished author, software nerd, and Seattle native will talk about the world’s loudest non-amplified musical instrument: the pipe organ. In this talk, titled “Coon Huntin’, Pipe Organs, and a Cigar Flute: a passion for music pipes,” Don will reveal the inner secrets of the King of Instruments and (we promise) explain its connection to coon huntin’. Don recently shared this presentation with Nerd Nite Seattle, and we’re pleased to give him a warm Nerd Nite Kansas City welcome.
Then Josh Hyde is going to teach us about religion in public schools. Public schools have always been a cultural battleground, and Josh comes toting a well-researched presentation that will reveal some of the lingering influences of religion in our schools. While this presentation centers on legal and political aspects of this issue, we’re optimistic he’ll also offer us some concrete steps our schools can take to bolster our national War on Christmas effort. Either way, we’re super excited to welcome Josh to the NNKC mic.
And if that weren’t enough, Paula Roy is coming to talk about Sex, Flies and Audiotape: drosophila courtship revealed. You may not immediately connect drosophila fly mating with what passes for “courtship” in polite society. If you’re like us, you probably imagine that fruit flies engage in anonymous and perfunctory trysts in the fruit bowl or on the lip of a beer can—sowing seed, laying egg, that sort of thing. But that’s because we don’t know shit about fruit flies. Paula Roy, on the other hand, does know shit about drosophila—lots of shit, in fact. She studies them. And she’s going to reveal for us some fascinating details of research on courtship of these tiny diptera. This will be an awesome presentation!
All that PLUS another round of Get to Know Your Bartender. Plus all the great Q&A. As always, you can get updates at our Facebook group. Hope to see you December 17.
Greetings and happy November Kansas City nerds!
We’re excited to announce Nerd Nite #30, Wednesday, November 19 at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KCMO). Doors open at 6:30, and we’ll start of the evening at 7:00. Bring your friends. Bring your neighbors. After the opening toast, you can expect the following (not necessarily in this order):
Leighton Gibbs will share the thrilling story of Jamaica, the greatest of the Greater Antilles. Filled with pirates and sinking cities, this tale will have you on the edge of your stool. Will there be violence? Music? A malevolent colonizing force? You’ll have to come to find out. Leighton is himself a card-carrying Jamaican dude, he’s passionate about Jamaican history, and he’s been thinking about this presentation for a very long time. So we’re glad he’s finally decided to give it, and we can’t wait to hear a few chapters in Jamaica’s story. This presentation pairs well with a rum drink.
Then we’ll fight back against corporate rule. Just about five years ago the Supreme Court decided, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that corporations are persons, entitled to all the same privileges we enjoy (such as happy hour drink specials and sorry passes at the movies). But Mike Dean from Move to Amend takes up where Justice Stevens left off when he wrote, “corporations have no consciences, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires…they are not themselves members of the ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.” This will be a timely presentation about the power of corporations in public policy. This presentation pairs well with a shot of Old Crow, preferably straight from the bottle
Everyone loves a good sex talk, right? Nerd Nite KC has you covered: Ailea Stites is going to talk about everything you need to know about the sociopolitical history of female sexuality. That sounds interesting, right? She’s calling her talk “Cliteracy,” a title she came up with on the spot, as she signed the NNKC clipboard a few months ago. True story. Ailea last graced the NNKC stage when she discussed the history of sex education, and we’re glad to welcome her back. This presentation will be terrific, and it pairs well with a gin negroni, which, as luck would have it, is a MiniBar house speciality.
All that PLUS another thrilling round of Get to Know Your Bartender, when we’ll learn even more about our good friends Clarence and Tony. Hope you can make it! As always, you can get more info on our Facebook group, where you can also like things and make friends.
Kansas City nerds,
Greetings and September salutations from your NNKC crew. Please join your fellow nerds next week, September 17 for Nerd Nite 28. We’ll start at 7:00, and we’ll meet at our usual spot: MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KCMO). After the toast, expect the following excitement (in no particular order):
- NNKC pal Marc Robinson will explain how the phone system works and why it’s the most complicated man-made object on the planet. Is is the most complicated object? This is a hefty claim, given that we live in a world with large hadron colliders, Michael Bay films, and Roombas. But Marc is a good persuader, so he will likely leave us convinced, and also charmed us with his nerdy wit and his experience working inside the phone company. Can’t wait for this one!
- Second, and just in time for autumn camping season, Adrienne and Daniel Lalli Hills will tell us how to properly shit in the woods. You may not realize it, but there are right ways to shit in the woods, wrong ways to shit in the woods, and deeply wrong ways to shit in the woods. Be prepared: know the difference! These are MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, folks, and they come bringing the facts about feces—dropping knowledge about dropping deuces, if you will. This will be an awesome presentation for certain.
- And last, filling in after we had a last-minute (unfortunate) cancellation, NNKC’s own Charlie Huette will talk about the lives of ticks. Charlie is a child of the Ozark forest, and in reflective moments he describes his youth as “parasite-y,” so he has a lifetime of special connections to family Ixodes and their fascinating mouthparts. He has been encouraged by Shelly to keep it not-gross, and he’ll do his best to do just that, but he also understands that sometimes gross equals awesome.
All that plus another round of Get to Know Your Bartender with FABULOUS PRIZES! As always, for more regular info and for official event invites, please see our Facebook group: Facebook.com/groups/nerdnitekc
We hope you can make it out. See you next week!
Hey KC Nerds,
We’re back next Wednesday, August 20, 7 pm at MiniBar (3810 Broadway, KCMO) We’ll toast the evening at 7:00 sharp, and then we’ll head into the night’s events.
This month, we’re taking a break from regular programming to mix things up a bit and celebrate summer’s end with a Nerds-Only Social Club. Here’s what we’re doing: Instead of three presentations, we’re going to have a few short games (interactive trivia, group challenges, prizes, and excitement) with longer breaks in between for drinking and socializing and talking about all your ideas for making Nerd Nite KC even better. We won’t have to tell you to be quiet all the time! And we’ll be awarding a passel of super-sweet prizes! Exclamation points!
We’re looking forward to seeing you all out next week!
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
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).
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.
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!
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.
Your Nerd Nite KC Crew