* Nerd Nite Miami XXIV

Nerd Nite Miami XXIV 10.13.16
"The Miami Dance Index: Dance, Cities, and the Future of Miami-Dade" by citizen kevin

As you travel through cities across the globe, as a citizen fluent in dance, you'll likely notice that some cities dance far more than others. Why is this? And how does Miami compare? And what is the future of dance in Miami-Dade country? To answer these questions, we'll first need to answer a more basic question, what is dance anyway?

citizen kevin is a dancer. In the past two years, he has danced in 17+ cities. At various times in his dance career, he has found himself doing strange dances such as the "entrepreneur dance", "the engineering dance," "the independent consultant dance" in addition to more commonly held dances such as hip hop and ballet. He is currently working on his fluency in latin rhythms in preparation for a pilot tv episode on Cali, Colombia. You can find him at citizenkevin.com.
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"Can Harry Potter Fans Change the World?" by Anna Dilernia

The magical world of Harry Potter has brought many things to real life including butterbeer and the addition of the word muggle into dictionaries but did it also spur a new form of activism? During this talk, we'll explore the emerging practice of fan activism and it's effect on civic engagement
Anna Dilernia is a self-described “Data Diva” with a love for community information and open data sets. By day, she supports the The Children's Trust's work in grant evaluation, research, and impact measurement. By night, she’s lurks on Harry Potter forums to correct inaccuracies and actively reads scholarly research related to Harry Potter content. In her free time, she actively supports social change by volunteering with the United Way, League of Women Voters, The Cat Network Miami and the Harry Potter Alliance. She can be found on Twitter @annadilernia

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"FUTURLAWMA! 21st Century Solutions to 31st Century Problems" by Justin Wales

Cryogenic Freezing! Cloning! Robosexuality! Exploring futuristic issues under soon-to-be antiquated and out-of-date modern legal theory.

* Nerd Nite Miami XXIII

Nerd Nite Miami XXIII 9.8.16

“Adventures and Misadventures in Marine Biology” by Ian Enochs

So you want to be a marine biologist…. are you sure?? A career in marine science can take you to remote uninhabited islands, sunken volcanoes, and beautiful coral reefs. Sometimes these places lead to new discoveries that teach us about the impacts of climate change. Sometimes they lead to a hospital with a chunk bitten out of your arm and a gentleman handcuffed to the gurney next to you.

Ian Enochs is an Associate Research Scientist at the University of Miami’s Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies and NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory. He received a PhD from UM’s Rosenstiel School in 2010. He has published 23 peer-reviewed publication and 4 book chapters on coral reefs and reef-associated animals. Some of this research has been featured in the Miami Herald, Gizmodo, IFLScience, and PBS Changing Seas, among others. Most importantly, he has been hurt a lot of times in the field.

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“Have you tried turning it off and on again? – The Infrastructure of the Internet” by Brian LeBlanc

From the humble beginnings of ARPANET, the internet has grown into a vast network of global infrastructure that you use every day and probably never think about.  We took a brief tour of the internet, including networking protocols, DNS, the interaction of server and browser software, cloud computing, Google indexing and the dark web.  We learned the basics of web technology with everything that makes the internet great: Grumpy Cat, sunglasses, explosions, fun!

Brian LeBlanc is a web developer at the University of Miami, a citizen of the internet since the days of Netscape Navigator, and a recovering World of Warcraft addict.  When offline, he is an active local stage musician, avid snowboarder and a world traveler.  He has visited all 7 continents, climbed the great wall of China, swam in the Antarctic ocean, jumped off the Auckland Skytower, toured the Lord of the Rings filming locations in New Zealand, and competed in the Broadway Bomb, an un-sanctioned 8 mile skateboard race through New York City traffic.

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“Graphic Classes: Why Graphic Novels should be a Literature Teacher’s Best Friends” by Adam Schachner
From Batman to Bukowski, or from The Far Side to Foucault, graphic novels are among the most effective tools for teaching readership, analysis, and inference, but many veteran teachers and old-school curriculums dismiss them as just base “comic books”. There’s a case to be made for graphic narratives and their ability to expand minds, not limit interpretation or reduce the canon to childishness. Open your mind, read between the panels, and get ready for some graphic action!
Adam Schachner has taught high school literature for 13 years, and in the process has developed curriculum dedicated to incorporating graphic novels in the classroom. Using them as tools for interdisciplinary topics and to create classes that foster collaboration and creativity across a range of learning types, he is always thrilled to share these methods or just to geek out on his passions. Demonstrating that creating a curriculum is maybe just a little self-indulgent for a teacher, he is excited to share his love of teaching graphic novels to fellow nerds eager to have their brains popped.

* Nerd Nite Miami XXII

Nerd Nite Miami XXII

Despite the Zika epidemic, we held Nerd Nite in August and rolled with the theme.

  • Infectious disease spelling me
  • Infectious disease trivia

1) Black Dreams Matter: Understanding the Black Sci-Fi Movement
by Jeff Carroll

2) Namesake: How Some of the More Ridiculous Places in Florida Got Their Names
by Laura Chaibongsai

3) Mosquitoes = Bad
by Tanjim Hossain

We all learned a little bit about conspiracy theories and opening up our minds to look at things in a few way.  Great nite!

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* Nerd Nite Miami XXI

Nerd Nite XXI 7.14.16
1) A Brief History of Non-Monogamy
by David Ghenassia

A quick look at non-monogamous relationships, past and present. Includes open relationships, polyamory, polygamy, polyandry, and swinging.

David Ghenassia is a dual national Franco-American, rare South Florida native, and educator. He loves hiking, biking, snorkeling, and kayaking the great outdoors. When forced indoors he likes reading, watching documentaries, and taking naps. He is a core member of a South Florida polyamory group on MeetUp.com.

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2) "Sex, Drugs, and Happiness" 
by Nerd Nite Boss Melissa Blundell Osorio 

A look at the science of happiness and how drugs, money, sex, and having kids may or may not makes us happier. 

Melissa Blundell Osorio is one of the Nerd Nite Miami Bosses. During the day, she's a positive psychology-based teacher and strategist and the founder of Positive Psychology Miami. 
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3) Through Galadriel’s Looking-Glass: J.R.R. Tolkien’s Role in Fantasy Through Past, Present, & Future 
by Nathan Laxague 

It is difficult to imagine modern fantasy in the absence of a series of books written 60 years ago by an eccentric professor of English at Oxford. But what drove Tolkien? And how does his work still impact the state of fantasy today? 

Former Nerd Nite Miami boss and forever Tolkien enthusiast (obsessor…) Nathan Laxague hopes that you’ll enjoy the nerdy details of this several hundred-year journey from oral tradition to video games. No knowledge of Old English or Finnish required. Interest in fantasy literature a plus. Nathan Laxague is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Marine Physics at the University of Miami. This has absolutely nothing to do with his talk.