Hacking Reality Through Storytelling
by Alex De Carvalho
From the origins of language, stories helped us make sense of a challenging, complex, and dangerous world. Stories string together facts and events in memorable ways and filter our view of the world. Quantum mechanics suggests that we are the protagonists in the reality we observe. We'll look at how stories shape our perception of the world ... and how we can shape reality by the stories we tell. Only humans tell stories. What's yours?
A Brazilian-Finn born in France, Alex has navigated through multiple cultures and realities. He is at the origin of some local tech associations, including Social Media Club South Florida and RefreshMiami, as well as recurring tech events like BarCamp, Ignite, Social Media Day, and Startup Weekend. Most recently, he co-founded the Visual Storytelling Institute and taught a Master's course in "Global Marketing & Advertising" at FIU - Miami Ad School.
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How To Tell A Story Through Film Editing
by Stephan Rich
From the cold, dark editing room...Where the real story is told.
A Cleveland native, Stephan Rich always considered himself a storyteller. Starting at Full Sail University, he latched onto the role of First Assistant Director, organizing every facet of the storytelling experience. He has worked in New York, Miami, and Hollywood building an impressive cross-disciplinary resume in film, television, and commercials. That same driven vision led him to his last award winning film, Acaso. today, Stephan has several documentaries in various stages of development.
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How To Nicely Manipulate People: Get What You Want From Everyone and Still Be Liked
by Maryan Firpo
Few jobs provide the exact set of skills necessary for you to be well-liked. Behavior therapy not only teaches you how to be well-liked, but also how to get others to comply with your requests without changing how much they like you.
Maryan works at a private school with special curricula for children with autism. When she's not working, she likes to be involved in the community.
Nerd Nite XIX 5.12.16
The Science of Friendship by Annik Babinski
We all know how great it is to have friends, but there are documented biological and psychological benefits to surrounding yourself with people who have your back. Learn about the effects of friendship and loneliness on people, and how science suggests you get out of your shell and meet new people!
Annik Adey-Babinski moved to Miami in 2012 to pursue a Masters of Creative Writing in Poetry at FIU. She graduated in 2015 and works as an assistant editor at a magazine about welding. In her spare time, Annik runs Lady Crush, a friend-making service for women in South Florida.
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TB Or Not TB - Arose By Many Other Names by Shaka Brown
A breathtaking history of tuberculosis 5000 BC to present.
World traveler, writer and teacher, Shaka Brown has rubbed elbows with the finest people that money can’t buy. He’s quite tickled to be alive in an era of antibiotics, electricity, and the Internet. He’s currently either packing, or on his way to the airport.
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Snake Oil: The $27 Billion Bullshit Industry by George Tucker
Starting with the first patent medicine created in 1712, we briefly survey the history of questionable medicine. Then we'll explore the state of the modern snake oil industry: how products are created, who sells them, who buys them, and why is this allowed? What role does the FDA play? How can we protect ourselves from the hype hurricane that surrounds Oprah, Dr. Oz, and the ocean of affiliate marketers online?
George Tucker grew up in the Arkansas Ozarks where he learned how to dowse for water and hide from ghosts. After earning his Master's of Fine Arts in fiction writing from Florida International University, he used his master's level bullshitting skills to pilfer over $50 million from the naive by magically promising to make their dicks bigger.
April 14, 2016
Nerd Nite Miami XVIII
1) “Boogie Nights: How to Dance Your A** Off and Your Brain On” by Carolyn Margolin
Dancing has been called “a vertical expression of a horizontal desire,” but it can be much, much more. Come hear a dancing fool talk about how a cha cha or waltz can benefit you- body, mind, and spirit.
Originally from New York, Dr. Carolyn Margolin began her long-term love affair with ballroom dance while she earned her Ph.D. in Marine Biology and Fisheries at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Before that, it had just been flings with swing dance and ballet. She now works as a grant coordinator at Miami Dade College and credits her time on the dance floor with preserving at least a portion of the sanity that was threatened on a regular basis during her graduate studies.
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2) “Talk Nauti To Me” by Joshua L. Marano M.A., RPA
A humorous discussion of the history of many of the nautical terms and phrases commonly in use today, including many insights into the stereotypical drunken, swearing swashbucklers throughout history.
Marano is a professional maritime (underwater) archaeologist working at Biscayne National Park where he specializes in shipwrecks and all things nautical.
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3) “The Art of Revealing Art” by Silvia Manrique
Are there real secrets hiding beneath a painting’s surface? Is it possible to discover repaints, forgeries, damages, or images that are invisible to the naked eye? Can we extract an amulet from an Egyptian mummy without ever touching it? New advances in digital imaging make it possible for scientists and art conservators to reveal the secrets that lie just beneath an artwork’s surface. Come to see how these technologies can provide new and fascinating details about artist’s techniques, the long and sometimes tortuous history of artworks, their internal structures, or hidden damages.
Art conservator Silvia Manrique Tamayo is the Project Conservation Advisor for The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum.
Nerd Nite XVII 3.10.16
1) The Impacts of Climate Change You May Not Know About
by Ta-Shana Taylor
The conversation around climate change has been dominated by melting ice caps, bleaching coral, and reducing carbon. But what about the everyday impacts of climate change? How will people’s lives change? How have people’s lives already changed? We’ll be discussing this and more.
Ta-Shana Taylor is a lecturer at University of Miami’s Department of Geological Sciences.
2) Why You Suck At Learning Languages
by Jeff Peterson
“I’m not good with languages. It’s too late for me, children learn languages better. Maybe if I had time to live in another country I could learn…” If you’ve thought any of these things then this talk is for you. Jeff Peterson will dispell all of these language learning myths and show you research on what linguists say are the ways we REALLY acquire those 2nd and 3rd languages. And of course, he’ll give you some proven methods that you can use the jump start this language learning process yourself. ¡Hasta pronto! Até logo! Bis bald! Na wé pita!
Jeff Peterson is an engineer turned traveling vagabond turned MD/PhD student at University of Miami who is addicted to learning languages to distract him from learning about diseases. He is obsessed with meta-learning and making “mastery” an inevitability. He learned to speak Spanish and Portuguese in 2.5 years and is now working on his Haitian Creole and German.
3) Natural History of the Asshole
by Steven Whitfield
Butts are great, right? But where do butts come from, and how did they evolve? Do all animals have butts, and can butts be used for more than pooping? In this lecture, biologist Dr. Steven Whitfield will provide a detailed account of the evolution, anatomy, and biodiversity of assholes.
Dr. Steven Whitfield is a conservation biologist at Zoo Miami, where he conducts field research with endangered species (figuratively, saving their butts).
For those of you who were not present, here is an update on the bosses. Boss Laura is back from having a baby (YAY!) but Boss Nathan has stepped down (BOO!).
Nerd Nite XIV 12.10.15
Nerd Nite Miami – Year in Review
Happy Hour & Holiday Bingo 6-7pm
Presentations begin 7:30pm sharp
- Bringing back your favorite speakers to share more of their nerdiness:
- Gary Bremen (ocean animal sex guy) -“Why National Parks?”
- Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty are national parks most folks have heard about, but national parks are much, much more than spectacular scenery. Gary has been to nearly half of America’s 409 national parks, and he shared some of his reasons…funny, touching and insightful…for why national parks matter.
- Alan Goldman (password guy) -“Is It Ok to Use Public WiFi – Encryption Demystified”
- You’ve always heard the old saying, don’t access your bank account over public WiFi. But why is this the case, and is there any truth to it? The short answer is yes. Alan shared lots of tips and info on how to protect yourself.
- John Gulla (board game guy) -“The Narrative Revolution WILL Be Televised: How video games are changing the way we tell stories”
- Human Beings have been telling stories since the dawn of history. Just a handful of years ago, however, something interesting and unique in the history of storytelling began to take shape: video games became a viable medium for storytelling and, perhaps even more remarkably, people began using them as a platform to tell stories differently than we have ever been able to tell them before. John shared the various ways that video games have developed over time to tell us stories, how they have explored their medium to produce fascinating and distinctive results exclusive to their platform, how we as the audience have been affected as a result, and why it all matters to both gamers and non-gamers alike.
Nerd Nite Miami, Saltwater Brewery, and The Wetlab teamed up to bring you a fun, educational night entitled “Saltwater Chemistry.”
– Tours of the saltwater labs at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
– Presentation on the science of bring beer by Saltwater Brewery’s head brewer
– Lots of tasty beverages like Screamin’ Reels IPA, Wheat Wave, Sea Cow Stout, Raspberry Reef and special releases including Tides Pale Ale and Mayday Chocolate Cream Porter!
– All while overlooking Biscayne Bay and hanging out with the nicest people around!
Nerd Nite XIII 11.12.15
Our speakers for Nerd Nite Miami’s November nite were the 6 amazing finalists for the CappSci Inventors prize at the Frost Science Museum. The scientists/inventors were competing for a $100,000 grant to support a 12-18 month installation at Frost Science, as part of the inventors-in-residence initiative. One for the best invention to restore coral reefs, and one for the best invention to help people reduce their exposure to carcinogens.
Our nerds heard from these talented inventors and helped decide which two should win. Thanks, nerds!
The winners are:
Coral Prize: Rivah Winter & Andrew Baker, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science – Stress hardening corals
Carcinogen Prize: Prasoon Diwakar, Purdue University – Cost effective carcinogen detector
Nerd Nite XII 10.8.15
Nerd Nite Miami turns 1 so we celebrated with birthday cake and party games!
“Invasive Species: What You Don’t Want To Know” by Tom Jackson
Tom Jackson is a UM Rosenstiel School alumnus, a marine scientist, and an invasive species expert. He will share the horrifying stories about the various invasive animals that live in South Florida…. It’s not good…it’s actually really bad.
“The Power of Body Language in Dating” by Virginia Jimenez
Body language trainer and coach Virginia Jimenez will present the body language cues that, when applied, result in a better understanding of your prospective date. She will present how (A)vailability + (C)onfidence = the X factor and the information available from behavior researchers on why these methods work.
“Everything I Need To Know In Life I Learned From Sharks” by David Shiffman
Marine biologist and science writer David Shiffman will share a series of life lessons learned from his studies of shark behavior, ecology and conservation. He has seen or interacted with thousands of sharks of more than 50 species on five continents. (Video of presentation available here)
Nerd Nite XI 9.10.15
The bosses led a fascinating game of Cards Against Humanity during our 6-7pm nerdy gaming session and set the mood for one of our most eclectic speaker line ups yet.
“Art, Craft, Beauty, Mingei and Malcolm Galdwell’s 10,000 hours” by James Herring
How skilled work, the creative process, the importance of beauty and intimacy with materials has evolved within this one persons practice. How learning through making can inform design, art, engineering, and a host of other fields while engendering a sense of satisfaction. James, a ceramic artist and past president of the Ceramic League of Miami, spun pottery on his wheel while giving the history of pottery and sharing his personal experiences.
“Why do passwords suck, and what you can do about it” by Alan Goldman
Alan is a computer programmer who thinks it is important for everyone to understand how security works as our lives become increasingly digital. Alan shared lots of tips and tricks for taking control of your own virtual safety.
“Sex Underwater: A Slightly Inappropriate Musical Revue” by Gary Bremen
Sex has a purpose. Sex can be violent. Sex can be a solo experience. Sex can be kinky. The really cool, nerdy connection is that all of these are happening RIGHT NOW in the waters off Miami. Marine science educator Gary Bremen shared a humorous (and maybe even inspirational) look at everyone’s favorite “hobby,” with a soundtrack to match. Amazing!
Nerd Nite X 8.13.15
Pre-Nerd Nite Periodic Table BINGO!
Amazing success and lots of fun! We played 3 rounds and each of our 3 winners received $15 Gramps gift certificates! Yum! Join us at 6pm in September for more nerdy games with the Nerd bosses.
A Look at the Uncanny Valley by Dean Lyon
A term coined in 1970 by the Japanese scientist who was involved in creating humanoid robots to describe the eerie sensation one gets when experiencing a “not quite right” representation of a human being. It turns out that it may stem from our basic primitive instincts of “fight or flight”, but it is unproven speculation. Hollywood visual effects and computer graphics filmmakers & highend computer game creators have made amazing headway in achieving onscreen digital “humans” but have consistently bumped into the “Uncanny Valley” thwarting them from the ultimate goal of believability.
The future of IVF: flirting with the limits by Amanda Butler
Butler took us on a mind-blowing journey that transforms a female skin cell into a functional, mature sperm. Science is closer than we realize to giving homosexual couples the possibility of having their own genetic offspring.
How Playing Board Games Can Save Your Life by John Gulla
Over the past two decades, board games have been enjoying a significant and steady increase in overall popularity worldwide, as well as a large rise in the amount of new and different games being created and played. Gulla discussed some of the reasons behind the phenomenon, introduced us to some excellent examples of modern board games that you should try, and finally, examined why board games may be more important to humanity now than ever before. One of our best presentations so far!