Nerd Nite Miami

Miami

February 2017 – Archaeoastronomy, Everglades, Forensic Anthropology

Ancient Aliens and Crystal Skulls: The Stellar Truth About Archaeoastronomy
by Mallory Fenn

Let’s set the record straight: archaeologists have never actually uncovered alien skulls, ancient spacecraft, or found evidence for any extraterrestrial species’ involvement in the construction of monuments or pyramids. However, some archaeologists do study the way human beings interacted with space thousands of years ago. While light pollution has changed the way we see the sky today, celestial bodies were of vast importance to ancient humans. The movement of the sun, moon, stars and planets are thought to have affected architecture, landscaping, and the way people living all over the planet understood the universe. We’ll be talking about real archaeoastronomy, and how scientists figure out what the sky meant to human beings before light pollution.

/ / /

Snakes in the (saw)Grass
by Dawn Shirreffs

Pulling back the curtain on the world’s largest ecosystem restoration program reveals conflicts lurking in the shadows of Miami which threaten to derail the worlds largest ecosystem restoration project . Although so much of it seems suitable for a telenovela – the problems and pythons are a very real threat to our lifestyles and livelihoods. Can America’s Everglades survive a landscape of invasive snakes, politics and radical environmentalists?

/ / /

I See Dead People and So Can You!: An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology
by Tony Morales

This presentation will introduce forensic anthropology with a focus on biological profiling. We’ll talk methods, look at some gory images, and discuss the types of information that can be ascertained through analysis of the human skeleton. By the end of the presentation, attendees will each have had a chance to sex (yes, sex) dead people. Expect to leave feeling disgusted, amused, or both!

Best of @ PAMM

Nerd Nite Miami @ PAMM 2.2.17

“Best of Nerd Nite Miami”
A special event at the Perez Art Museum of Miami 

“Everything I Need To Know In Life I Learned From Sharks” by David Shiffman
Marine biologist and science writer David Shiffman shared 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. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpYdBQy_GlU
IMG_6738 copy

“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 amongthe 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 go get some graphic action!

IMG_6767 copy

“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 gave our audience a humorous (and maybe even inspirational) look at everyone’s favorite “hobby,” with a soundtrack to match.

IMG_4604

* Nerd Nite Miami XXV

Nerd Nite Miami XXV 11.10.16

“The Good Old Days: Growing Up On Biscayne Bay” by Captain Dan Kipnis

A history lesson leading up to the critical environmental problems that have recently surfaced to degrade the health of the Bay.

/ / / / / / /

“#BayDrift: Using nerds like you to find the solution to pollution.” by Laura Bracken Chaibongsai

Picture this – you’re enjoying a long walk on the beach, the sun is setting over the Miami skyline, warm breeze in your hair…. until you stumble upon a lone flip flop, a bottle, or maybe a diaper?!?! Gross! Where the hell did that come from?!?! With the help of citizen scientists, researchers are working to understand how ocean currents in Biscayne Bay are transporting trash and other pollutants. The #BayDrift study is a collaborative community research project led by CARTHE (research team based at University of Miami RSMAS), Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, and Frost Science. The nerds learned about our Bay and ocean currents, and how we are trying to solve the marine debris mysteries. Bonus: painting drift cards for the upcoming drift card release.

/ / / / / / /

“A Dredgeful Situation: PortMiami, corals, and the endangered species act.” by Rachel Silverstein

In a race to expand U.S. ports to accommodate larger, next-generation shipping vessels, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is targeting ports along the eastern seaboard for expansion and dredging. The Port of Miami was first on the list, where the shipping channel bisects a once-thriving coral reef and critical habitat for threatened staghorn corals. Our reefs have been smothered by sediment from the dredging but the Army Corps and its contractors have still not been held accountable for the damage. In response, Miami Waterkeeper, along with three other co-plaintiffs, filed a citizen suit in October 2014 to enforce legally-mandated protections for these imperiled corals through the Endangered Species Act.

* 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.
/  /  /  /  /  /

"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

/  /  /  /  /  /

"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.

/  /  /  /  /  /

“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.

/  /  /  /  /  /

 

“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!

Slide1

* 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.

/ / / / /

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. 
/ / / / /
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. 

* Nerd Nite Miami XX

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. 

/ / / / /

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.

/ / / / /

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 Miami XIX

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.
/ / / / /
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.
/ / / / /
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.

* Nerd Nite Miami XVIII

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.

/ / / / /

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.

/ / / / /

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.