May 12th: Drugs – Micronations – Pelicans

Join us May 12, 2022 *in person* at Gramps Bar, Wynwood.
Be there AND be square.

Check out this line up!
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Caribbean Micronationalism: A Look Into Brazen Failures of the Past & Future
by Jason Katz

Recently, a group of investors purchased a small island off of the coast of Belize and declared it a country called the Principality of Islandia. Your presenter, Jason Katz---the publisher of a periodical called Islandia Journal---clearly took interest. They joke their efforts are tongue-in-cheek but the President of Belize thinks this is no laughing matter. Will they succeed? History says no. Join Jason Katz on a journey to other dubious, hair-brained nationalist schemes. It goes back to a fellow named Gregor Macgregor and even includes a member of the Hemingway family who - drumroll please - lived in Miami. 

Bio: Jason Katz was born and raised in Miami. He's the publisher of Islandia Journal, a quarterly (sub)tropical periodical of myth, folklore, history, ecology, cryptozoology, and the paranormal. He is a contributing editor for Burnaway Magazine. 
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Pelicans, Pesticides and You
by Samantha Martinez

A discussion about the most prevalent chemicals present in Miami’s Biscayne Bay, how they affect the birds in surrounding ecosystem and how we can help mitigate these effects.

Samantha was raised in the Redlands of South Dade and always wondered about the root of the illnesses she saw infecting wildlife in the area. Samantha went on to study Environmental Toxicology and Zoology to hopefully help with the continuing problem. She now helps teach others about the dangers that not only face the local environment but also ourselves as the Environmental Educator with Pelican Harbor Seabird Station.

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by Leiona Noah, Shaun Lenihan, and Ashley Lago

Three passionate law students will discuss US drug policies and the different legal areas involved.  Drug-related policies touch on many legal considerations (healthcare, constitutional, patents, land use, product liability, labor, etc.) and shouldn't just be about criminal laws.   Join us as they discuss a comprehensive perspective of effective regulation.

About the speakers:
Leiona Noah, Shaun Lenihan, and Ashley Lago are all second-year law students with various professional backgrounds.  Leiona has worked in the business development aspects of clinical research.  Shaun's experience includes working as a paralegal, with a focus in labor and employment law.  Ashley's experience includes marketing, event planning, and hospitality.   

April 14th: Invasive Species – Equal Rights – Poetry

Join us April 14, 2022 *in person* at Gramps Bar, Wynwood.
Be there AND be square.

Check out this line up!

Crawling and Sprawling: The Future of Florida’s Soil Macrofauna
by Ben Machado

Ben is currently working on 2 research projects tracking the expansion of global invasive species into Florida. iNaturalist, a free and awesome online tool, is an integral part of his research, allowing him to access large data sets from around the world. It also allows the general public to contribute to the scientific community and learn from them as well. So, sit back and be amazed at how scientists and nerds like you are teaming up to solve some major global issues. Then, use iNaturalist for yourself at this year’s City Nature Challenge, between April 29 and May 2.

Bio: Ben is the Programs and Finance Coordinator for Citizens For A Better South Florida, an environmental education nonprofit based in Little Havana. He also does freelance work for nature documentaries, volunteers for field work with UM students and for outreach events like City Nature Challenge. He works to bring educational opportunities to disadvantaged communities across South Florida.

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The Zombie Amendment: A look at how the Equal Rights Amendment could rise from the dead!
by Kristofer Fernandez

The Equal Right Amendment expired over 30 years ago. Or did it? This presentation looks at the ways the ERA could be brought back to life.

Bio: Kristofer B. Hernandez is a graduate of the University of Chicago with a focus on Electoral Politics and self-proclaimed civics nerd. Kristofer is also an attorney, a member of the Board of the ACLU of Greater Miami, a member of the Voter Services Committee of the League of Women Voters of Miami-Date, and the co-founder of the Miami Film Club.

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Poetry 101
by Lissa Batista

Be there AND be square!

March 10: Pokemon Evolution; Eagle Cam; Floriduh Solar Drama

Join us March 10, 2022 *in person* at Gramps Bar, Wynwood.
Be there AND be square.

Check out this line up!

“The Bald Eagle Cam” by Lloyd Brown

Wildlife Rescue of Dade County, in collaboration with Zoo Miami, is giving us all something we didn’t know we needed – the Bald Eagle Cam. Hear from co-creator (and Nerd Nite veteran) Lloyd Brown as he shares the successes and challenges of creating this up-close look at wildlife.

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“The difficult path to a just transition in the Sunshine State” by Natalia Brown

As the 2022 Florida legislative session comes to a close, we’ll dive into one of the most contentious stories about a power company, our political voice, and dirty corporate money. Investor-owned utilities are among the largest contributors to Florida elections, which pressure elected officials to prioritize corporate interests over the constituents that they are supposed to serve. This presentation will cover the money trail between key players obstructing a just transition as well as opportunities to work towards a more sustainable and restorative energy system.

Natalia Brown prioritizes deep democracy for transformation of the energy system in her role as Climate Justice Program Manager at Catalyst Miami. She serves on the Miami Climate Alliance Steering Committee and as a Policy Advisor for the Sunrise Movement and Gulf South for a Green New Deal Regional Assembly.

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“Pokemon: An Imperfect Looking Glass into Evolution” by Damian Popovic

Define evolution. Hard, right? It’s tempting to use analogies or pop culture references to interpret broad-reaching, amorphous concepts like the origin of species. Yet for many of us, our first non-academic exploration into biological evolution began with a holographic Gengar. Though Pokemon introduced a generation of GameBoy playing, Tamagotchi toting, Blockbuster card carrying 90s kids to the term “evolution”, it failed miserably at providing a faithful representation of the consequential theory itself. While science communicators the world over have beat this dead horse into quarks, recent generations of Pokemon however have introduced a newly rejuvenated evolutionary inquiry first investigated a century ago by Swedish botanist Göte Turesson: local adaptation. Come, join me as we explore the ways our favorite pocket monsters might actually be teaching a new generation difficult evolutionary concepts and its relation to real world science.

A trained plant biologist turned science interpreter, Damian’s passion for evolutionary biology and the communication thereof was first sparked by an early introduction to the works of Stephen Jay Gould and Carl Sagan. However, it was a love for the exceptionally diverse wildflower displays of his native California that led him to study the mechanisms behind adaptation and speciation as a graduate student at Michigan State University. Today, freed of his academic bonds, Damian enjoys everyday pursuits including romps among Western subalpine blooms, discussions on the evolution of bird song, and identifying every cactus species he happens upon despite a lack of solicitation.

Feb 10: Eating Sensually, Painting While Drowning, Hotpants

Back in person at Gramps, join us for 3 awesome talks:

1) Painting While Drowning
by John Bailly
John Bailly is a French–American artist born in the UK. He received his MFA in painting and printmaking from Yale University, and has been a Faculty Fellow of the Honors College at Florida International University since 2004. His work explores the random nature of information and the manner in which we process it.
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2) Eating Sensually
by Carlos C. Olaechea
Eating Sensually is Carlos’s mission to get everyone to be more present when they partake in food. Through approaching the meals we eat the same way we approach art, music, theater, film, fashion and even sex, we can learn to better appreciate the food we have, be present within our bodies, eat more healthfully, help reduce waste and even become a better lover.
Carlos is a South Florida based food writer who has been writing about food since he was 11 years old. He holds a Master’s Degree in Food Studies from Boston University and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Anthropology from Florida International University. He has been featured in The Boston Globe, Food52, Saveur, Eater, and The Infatuation and has been a guest presenter at the Museum of Food and Drink in New York City, The Boston Public Market, and elsewhere.
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3) The History of Hottpants
by Daniel Blair / DJ Hotpants
Born and bred in Miami, Daniel Blair (aka DJ Hottpants) has brought guilty pleasure pop to his hometown since 2003. Spinning the best and worst of his favorite music, DJ Hottpants does it all while dancing about in short shorts and legwarmers. He is delighted to share his love of hotpants with Nerd Nite Miami!