How many people have actually made it to space? Less than six hundred of the billions of people on the planet. But there are even fewer master sommeliers (wine stewards) at a measly 149. To train for space travel; astronauts have to go to the remotest spots on earth to brave micro-gravity and plausibly harsh planetary conditions. Sommeliers have to spot every single type of wine. Difficult both in their own right! For our next Nerd Nite, we are going to have speakers who seriously know about the trials and tribulations of space faring and wine pairing. So let’s toast to boldly going where no one has gone before with our favorite glasses of blanc or noir at this month’s Nerd Nite!
And heads up: we’ll have all-new Nerd Nite t-shirts on sale as well as one of your old favorites!
Date: Saturday May 13th,
Time: Doors 6:00PM, Show 6:30PM
Where: DC9, 1940 9th St NW
Tickets: $10 at DC9’s ticket sales site.
This is a 21+ event.
A 1960s commune leader, a Texas oil scion, and eight volunteer scientists walk into a hermetically sealed artificial biosphere… by Kirstin Neff
In 1991, the world was captivated by what Discover Magazine called “the most exciting scientific project to be undertaken in the U.S. since President Kennedy launched us toward the moon.” A stark assemblage of blinding white steel and glass in the desert of southern Arizona, Biosphere 2 was envisioned as a bold experiment to bring humans closer to permanent habitation on Mars. In this story, big, ambitious science yields bizarre results in ways both entertaining and enlightening.
Bio: Kirstin Neff is a native Baja Arizonan in search of good Mexican food in D.C. She studied political science and Russian at Wellesley College, and received her M.S. and Ph.D. in hydrology from the University of Arizona. She has worked as an outdoor science educator and conducted remote sensing research at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. She is currently a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow on Capitol Hill. She also did her first hydrological field work on Lake Baikal in Siberia.
Weird Wine: Strange Stories from the History Of Viticulture and Vinification by Rachel Pendergrass
Wine has a gotten a bit of a bad rep for being one of the snobbiest industries around, but there’s a lot more to the wine than unpronounceable words and bizarre tasting notes. Come hear some of the wackiest, pretension-free true stories about wine and the industry that surrounds it, from mafia connections to your bottomless brunch buzz, to the miraculous day when wine flowed from the taps in Italy.
Rachel is a writer, storyteller, and humorist in Washington, D.C. She
has written about food and beverage for HowStuffWorks, Martha Stewart Living, and Eater. She currently holds a level two certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (which is like the book-nerd version of training to be a sommelier). She only needs to slay two more dragons to become a level 3 and get a +2 bonus against all fortified wines. She also hosts/produces the nationally touring Solve for X Variety show, as well as Scribe Night playwriting workshop show, and Shameless: An Open Mic Variety show, both of which are native to DC.
The Shitty Side of Space Travel by Becca Ressman
Do you ever wonder how astronauts take care of business from low Earth orbit? Did you know that when we first sent a human into space that a school girl from Pennsylvania put more thought into this than NASA? It’s something every aspiring astronaut should worry about, which is why we need to inspire all the budding space-toilet engineers out there with stories of pee icicles and space diapers.
Bio: Becca is currently a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow, working for a member of Congress. She covers space, cybersecurity, and other science and tech issues for her office. She got her PhD in physics/astrophysics from The Ohio State University and earned her Bachelors in physics and statistics from Carnegie Mellon University. She is also a connoisseur of tiny hats.