Author Archive

Nerd Nite for May 9, 2020

Online: https://smithsonian.zoom.us/j/95599572800?pwd=RVNJWWY5d0hBS1I4SVE1QXRlTEV2QT09
Meeting ID: 955 9957 2800
Password: 939397
6:30 PM
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Last month’s Virtual Nerd Nite TOTALLY RULED, so we’re bringing it back to your Zoompage on May 9th with a brand new talk, an all-time favorite, and a very special presentation by Co-Boss Kali Holder. DO NOT MISS IT. Just do your optics a favor and scope this lineup:

“The Stickiest of the Icky: Collecting Animal Semen for Fun and Profit” by Ian Booth

Summary: The common wisdom holds that it is wrong to jack off a pet or cock-tease a farm animal. But one person’s bestiality is another person’s treasure, and animal semen is a major player in the global economy and conservation efforts.  I’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of the human relationship with animal sperm, ranging from the profitable (more than $200 million in exports of bull semen last year) to the environmental (the peregrine falcon, saved by a sex hat), with stop offs at the just plain weird.  If you’ve ever enjoyed a pork chop, cheese, or a trip to the zoo, you’ve benefited from this sticky business.

Bio: Ian’s experience with sperm goes all the way back to mid-1984, when he was one.  He eventually got much bigger, lost the tail, and left North Carolina for the Peace Corps.  He would go on to become a Jeopardy! champion and the only person ever chased out of not one, but two 19th century naval fiction fan clubs.

“On Nipple Toothed Pachyderms: American degeneracy and the fossil record of elephants” by Advait Jukar

Summary: What do fossils have to do with the spirit of America? Were the French right about a degenerate fauna in the west? What the heck are nipple teeth? I will be answering these questions and will take you on a journey through the fascinating fossil history of elephants and their kin.

Bio: Advait is a Deep Time Fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and studied the structure of ancient ecosystems, megafaunal extinctions, and the evolution of elephants and horses. Before Advait studied fossils, he studied mildly toxic frogs on a mountain in Korea.

PLUS: A Very Special Presentation by Nerd Nite Co-Boss Kali Holder!

Welcome to Nerd Nite DC!

Nerd Nite is a monthly-ish informal gathering at which nerds get together for nerdery of all sorts (well, mostly presentations and drinking). Nerds and non-nerds alike gather to meet, drink and learn something new.

Shows take place at the DC9 Nightclub the 2nd Saturday of every month. We do special events from time to time with local institutions.

If you would like to be notified of upcoming events, follow our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or sign up for our mailing list.

Interested in giving a Nerd Nite talk?!

Almost any nerdy topic is fair game. The only real requirement is enthusiasm! To get the ball rolling, send us a message with a brief description of your idea for a talk.

Next Nerd Nite:

Date: Saturday, March 14
Time: 6:30pm
Location: DC9 Nightclub
Tickets: HERE
Topics:

  • “Dammed Commies: How Singing, Roller-Skating Beavers Destroyed the Federal Theater” by Alan Katz
  • “Nearly Extinct Frogs and How to Stalk Them” by Blake Klocke
  • “How to Win a War With Balloon Animals: The Ghost Army of World War II” by Taylor Winkleman, sometimes called The Dogtor

Learn more>

Nerd Nite for March 14, 2020

DC9 Nightclub
DOORS: 6:00PM
$10 – TICKETS HERE
21+

NERRRRRRDS! It’s goddamn Pi Day, and we’re celebrating with what is perhaps our most eclectic Nerd Nite lineup of all times. JUST CHECK IT OUT PLEASE AND THANK YOU:


“Dammed Commies: How Singing, Roller-Skating Beavers Destroyed the Federal Theater” by Alan Katz

Summary: Once upon a time, the federal government directly produced theater, and it was some of the best around. A revolutionary children’s musical and a misguided invitation changed all that, leading to the foundations of McCarthyism, the demise of federally-funded theater, and some sick, sick burns. And I will tell you who’s to blame.

Bio: Alan is a theater producer, director, and performer for The Arcanists and Shakespeare in the Pub. He’s a critic for DC Theater Scene and a punk ass book jockey for the world’s largest museum. He’s @dcdramaturg most places. Fun fact: when he was 16, he was offered a position to stay in Mexico indefinitely as a Pentecostal prophet. He refused, but only because he liked school too much.

“Nearly Extinct Frogs and How to Stalk Them” by Blake Klocke

Summary: A sperm-looking fungus has wiggled its flagella towards driving amphibians (frogs & toads, salamanders, and caecilians <- google it) towards extinction around the globe.  At least 501 species have experienced declines due to the amphibian chytrid fungus.  Harlequin frogs of Central and South America have been amongst the hardest hit, 30 species of Harlequin frogs are feared to be extinct.  The Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project was formed to prevent the extinction of Harlequin frogs in Panama by establishing populations in captivity through captive breeding.  I’ll share with you the stories (miracles, heart wrenching moments, and optimism for the future) of reintroducing and radio tracking critically endangered half-dollar sized frogs in the rainforests of Panama for more than 100 field days.

Bio: Blake is an animal nerd, cyclist, podcast enthusiast, and PhD student.  His future goals are conserve species on the edge of existence, disseminate knowledge of the natural world and the crisis it faces, and to assist people from disadvantaged backgrounds to enter the field of conservation biology.  One time he was on the beltway with a sloth in the car.

“How to Win a War With Balloon Animals: The Ghost Army of World War II” by Taylor Winkleman, sometimes called The Dogtor

Summary: Nerd Nite alum and perennial weirdo Taylor Winkleman is at it again, bringing you history that is fun, strange, and interactive. There are a lot of unsung heroes in the world, and while it seems strange to say it, some members of The Greatest Generation(TM) are unsung as well. Come learn why the United States Army went to Parsons to recruit for a Top Secret WWII unit, their connection to the worst movie of 2019, and what any of this has to do with balloon animals.

Bio: Taylor is a California native with a doctorate in veterinary medicine, a masters in public health policy, and a never-ending quest to learn the weirdest bits of history. Last time she appeared on this stage, she talked about epidemiology in 18th-century Crimea and set the stage on literal fire, so it makes perfect sense that we’re talking about balloon animals in world war 2 today. When she’s not learning weird history, you can find her spending her leisure time training at the trapeze school as an amateur circus artist and aerialist- and be sure to check out her show, Friday March 20th at 8pm, tickets available on the TSNY website.