* 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 Exploring futuristic issues under soon-to-be antiquated and out-of-date modern legal theory.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. 

* 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. 

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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.

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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

* Nerd Nite Miami XVII

Nerd Nite XVII 3.10.16

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1) The Impacts of Climate Change You May Not Know About
by Ta-Shana Taylor

The conversation around climate change has been dominated by melting ice caps, bleaching coral, and reducing carbon. But what about the everyday impacts of climate change? How will people’s lives change? How have people’s lives already changed? We’ll be discussing this and more.

Ta-Shana Taylor is a lecturer at University of Miami’s Department of Geological Sciences.
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2) Why You Suck At Learning Languages
by Jeff Peterson

“I’m not good with languages. It’s too late for me, children learn languages better. Maybe if I had time to live in another country I could learn…” If you’ve thought any of these things then this talk is for you. Jeff Peterson will dispell all of these language learning myths and show you research on what linguists say are the ways we REALLY acquire those 2nd and 3rd languages. And of course, he’ll give you some proven methods that you can use the jump start this language learning process yourself. ¡Hasta pronto! Até logo! Bis bald! Na wé pita!

Jeff Peterson is an engineer turned traveling vagabond turned MD/PhD student at University of Miami who is addicted to learning languages to distract him from learning about diseases. He is obsessed with meta-learning and making “mastery” an inevitability. He learned to speak Spanish and Portuguese in 2.5 years and is now working on his Haitian Creole and German.

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3) Natural History of the Asshole
by Steven Whitfield

Butts are great, right? But where do butts come from, and how did they evolve? Do all animals have butts, and can butts be used for more than pooping? In this lecture, biologist Dr. Steven Whitfield will provide a detailed account of the evolution, anatomy, and biodiversity of assholes.

Dr. Steven Whitfield is a conservation biologist at Zoo Miami, where he conducts field research with endangered species (figuratively, saving their butts).

 

For those of you who were not present, here is an update on the bosses.  Boss Laura is back from having a baby (YAY!) but Boss Nathan has stepped down (BOO!).

 

* Nerd Nite Miami XIV

Nerd Nite XIV 12.10.15

Nerd Nite Miami – Year in Review

Happy Hour & Holiday Bingo  6-7pm
Presentations begin  7:30pm sharp

  • Bringing back your favorite speakers to share more of their nerdiness:
    • Gary Bremen (ocean animal sex guy) -“Why National Parks?”
      • Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and the Statue of Liberty are national parks most folks have heard about, but national parks are much, much more than spectacular scenery. Gary has been to nearly half of America’s 409 national parks, and he shared some of his reasons…funny, touching and insightful…for why national parks matter.
    • Alan Goldman (password guy) -“Is It Ok to Use Public WiFi – Encryption Demystified”
      • You’ve always heard the old saying, don’t access your bank account over public WiFi. But why is this the case, and is there any truth to it?  The short answer is yes.  Alan shared lots of tips and info on how to protect yourself.
    • John Gulla (board game guy) -“The Narrative Revolution WILL Be Televised: How video games are changing the way we tell stories”
      • Human Beings have been telling stories since the dawn of history. Just a handful of years ago, however, something interesting and unique in the history of storytelling began to take shape: video games became a viable medium for storytelling and, perhaps even more remarkably, people began using them as a platform to tell stories differently than we have ever been able to tell them before. John shared the various ways that video games have developed over time to tell us stories, how they have explored their medium to produce fascinating and distinctive results exclusive to their platform, how we as the audience have been affected as a result, and why it all matters to both gamers and non-gamers alike.

 

* Special Event: Saltwater Science

Nerd Nite Miami, Saltwater Brewery, and The Wetlab teamed up to bring you a fun, educational night entitled “Saltwater Chemistry.”

– Tours of the saltwater labs at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
– Presentation on the science of bring beer by Saltwater Brewery’s head brewer
– Lots of tasty beverages like Screamin’ Reels IPA, Wheat Wave, Sea Cow Stout, Raspberry Reef and special releases including Tides Pale Ale and Mayday Chocolate Cream Porter!
– All while overlooking Biscayne Bay and hanging out with the nicest people around!

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