November 12, 2020: Lightning. Natty Light. Change.

Virtual Nerd Nite Miami: Thinking and Drinking at Home!

Nerd Nite is a monthly event during which several folks give fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along. It’s like the Discovery Channel… with beer! Now from the comfort of your own home!

This Month’s Speakers & Topics:

The Shocking Truth About Lightning and Thunderstorms
by Eric Cramer

Although lightning is one of the most commonly known and destructive natural phenomena on Earth, it remains poorly understood. Eric will discuss the theoretical and experimental aspects of lightning research, present the biggest questions in the field, and show the connection between the atmospheric science of thunderstorms on Earth and the astrophysics used to describe high energy bursts of distant galaxies.

Bio: Eric has a Ph.D. in Physics from Florida Institute of Technology. His dissertation work involved the simulation and modeling of energetic particles inside thunderstorms. After a postdoctoral assignment at the University of Alabama and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, he became a systems engineer at Northrop Grumman.

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Change and the Effects on our Brian
by Elizabeth Davis

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A Modest [Beer] Proposal
by Tracy Kurtz

Nerd Nite Fargo Boss Tracy Kurtz will discuss the science of beer, share first hand observational research, and attempt to convince us that Natural Lite is immune to staling. You do not want to miss this special guest appearance!

Watch the video of this event from November 12, 2020:

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October 8, 2020: Banned books. Genever. Electoral College.

The Nerd Nite Miami 6 year anniversary!

Speakers and topics:

1) Banned Books: What’s your number?
by Madhuri Nagaraj

The power of language has always had the ability to influence people; the United States of America has been built on the concept of free speech since 1791. And yet throughout history, many books have been banned or challenged from the shelves of libraries. Come find our which books are frequent offenders, which books are classics, which books surprise you and how much of a rebellious reader you are!

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2) Discover the World of Genever
by Anthony Espinosa

A mainstay in the European Low Countries since the Middle Ages, genever arrived in the U.S. in the 1800’s and became the spirit of choice. Although the World Wars and Prohibition drove it into obscurity, mixologists have revived it in recent years, inspired by demand for both vintage recipes and even-more-creative-cocktails.

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3) Graduating from the Electoral College
by Kristofer Hernandez

You think you know how the U.S. elects its Presidents. But what really is the electoral college? Where is it? Why do we even have it? Come learn about the complicated reasons why the leader of the free world is chosen by only 538 people, and how that affects our democracy.

Watch the replay:

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September 10, 2020: Suffrage. Play. Everglades.

Speakers and topics:

1) Girls Gone Wild: Women Protecting South Florida’s National Parks
by Gary Bremen

Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’s activism on behalf of the Everglades and other ecosystems is legendary, but she is far from the only woman who played a significant role in creating and protecting national parks in our area. Celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage by meeting May Mann Jennings, Juanita Greene, Polly Redford and others who fought, and continue to fight, to create an environmental legacy here in South Florida.

Gary Bremen is a national park enthusiast, informal environmental educator, and a veteran Nerd Nite speaker.

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2) What’s Your Play Personality?
by Amy Baez

Is it possible to believe in science and Facebook quizzes? What if knowing your play personality could help you live your best life? Learn how to avoid the consequences of play deprivation, and discover how some Miami locals let their inner brilliance shine through play in unexpected ways.

Amy Baez is an award-winning author, pediatric occupational therapist, and founder of Playapy. Her mission is to transform the lives of women and children through storytelling, play, and educational resources. She has spent the last six months on her computer playing with her young patients through a teletherapy platform and creating videos on YouTube to help parents worldwide generate new ideas for play at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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3) Alligators, Advocacy, and Aliens and in the Everglades
by Ruscena Wiederholt & Keely Phillpotts

Do you like mosquitoes, snakes, dangerous predators, clean water, snorkeling, and birdwatching? Are you curious about the giant wetland in our backyard, the Everglades? The Everglades is one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in the world and the home for thousands of species. Learn about some of its more famous residents and what The Everglades Foundation is doing to protect and restore it.

Ruscena Wiederholt Ph.D. is a Quantitative Ecologist at The Everglades Foundation and Keely Phillpotts is a Program Coordinator at The Everglades Foundation.

Watch the replay:

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August 13, 2020: Haunted Mansion. Hubble. Porn.

  1. Haunted Mansion Spoiler Special
    by Lizzie Bracken

    Welcome foolish mortals to a special edition of Lizzie Bracken’s famous Haunted Mansion Spoiler Special – a glimpse into how some of our favorite ghosts appear throughout this beloved ride.

    Lizzie is a designer, artist, and architect living in Chicago. She is currently an Architectural Designer at Jonathan Splitt Architects, Ltd. She is an award winning theatrical designer and former Assistant Professor of Theatrical Design and Technology at North Central College, and is also a company member with The Ruffians and Playmakers Laboratory (formerly Barrel of Monkeys) in Chicago. Lizzie has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame, and a MFA in Theatrical Design from the University of Texas at Austin.
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  2. Have you tried turning it off and on again?
    By Morgan Van Arsdall

    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!!)

    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.
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  3. The (Not So) Hard Truth of Porn Star Sex: What I Learned About the Industry and How It Can Impact Your Sex Life
    by Justin Dubin, MD

    Pornography has changed many people’s expectations and perceptions of sex. Sex sells, and when it comes to sex, everyone talks about wanting to perform like a porn star. But upon closer look, is that really what we want? Dr. Justin Dubin from the University of Miami is one of the first physicians to investigate the sexual health of pornstars and will provide you with insight into the (not so) hard truth of the sexual health of adult entertainers and how other interactions during sex may affect your love life. Make sure to join us on August 13 th for the titillating answers to all your questions.

    Dr. Justin Dubin is a Chief Resident in the Department of Urology at the University of Miami. Justin grew up in Wayne, NJ before getting his BA in Biology at Johns Hopkins and later on getting his MD at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson. Justin plans on focusing his practice on Men’s Health, including Sexual Medicine, Andrology, and Male Infertility.

Watch the recap: