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.

/ / / /

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.

/ / / /

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.

~ ~ ~

“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.

~ ~ ~

“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.
~ ~ ~
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.
~ ~ ~
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!

January 13th: Frontyard Theater; Redistricting; Ron Magill!

Nerd Nite Miami at Home (virtual)

Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 7:30pm

Nerd Nite is a monthly event during which several folks give fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along.

Grab a beer from the fridge, put on your comfy pants, have a laugh, and learn something new. Make sure to tell your out of town friends they too can enjoy Nerd Nite Miami virtually this month!

This month’s speakers and topics:

1) “If You Build It They Will Come”
by Gabriela Fernandez Sanchez

The story of Front Yard Theatre Collective: how one woman decided to stop waiting around for an opportunity, and started her own theater company in a front yard.

Gabriela Fernandez Sanchez is half Venezuelan, half Spanish, but a Miamian at heart. She studied theater in Madrid, in one of the cities’ most important schools: Laboratorio de Teatro William Layton. Once graduated, migrated to Miami out of love. She is the proud founder, director and producer of the Front Yard Theatre Collective, the official MC of the Moth in Miami and works as a freelance producer in TV, Film and live events.

2) “Redistricting”
by Yanelis Valdes

Redistricting is a process that happens every 10 years, based on Census data. The process can entrench power for politicians. Or it can fairly represent our communities—allowing us to have power over the decisions made about our everyday lives and having elected officials who truly represent our needs. Miami-Dade is in the process of redrawing district maps at this very moment. We need to protect our communities and demand fair representation. It starts with education and awareness about the process and how to advocate for our futures.

Yanelis Valdes is the director of organizing and advocacy at Engage Miami.

3) “Okavango – Survival of the Fittest!”
by Ron Magill

Having traveled to Africa over 50 times, Ron Magill has been privileged to see many unforgettable wildlife moments. This presentation will cover the events of the most unforgettable evening he ever experienced there. It is a visual journey into nature in its rawest and most intense form!

Ron Magill is a wildlife expert and photographer. He is the host of HITN’s national wildlife documentary program, “Mundo Salvaje con Ron Magill.” As Zoo Miami’s “Goodwill Ambassador”, he has made frequent television appearances on many programs including, “National Geographic Explorer”, the Discovery Networks, the “Today Show”, “Good Morning America”, “The Late Show ”, “CBS’ This Morning”, “Dateline” and “CNN” as well as on Spanish networks Univision and Telemundo, all to promote animal and conservation causes.

Join us via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/91483935134
or Facebook live: facebook.com/nerdnitemiami