Nerd Nite for October 12, 2019

DC9 Nightclub

“Beyond Horoscopes: How Astrology Can Lead to Interesting Life Insights” by Rowena Winkler

Summary: Many of you may know your zodiac sign, but more recently, astrological concepts such as Mercury in Retrograde, Rising Signs, and Synastry (AKA compatibility) have started coming into the mainstream via online articles and popular apps such as Co-Star and The Pattern. In this presentation, learn from Rowena’s experiences getting more involved in the study of astrology, and how this knowledge has impacted several areas of her life — and potentially yours as well.

Bio: Rowena Winkler is a former Communications professor now Communications manager at a software company who balances writing about technology with exploring her co-worker’s astrology charts. Other than being way too involved in other people’s lives, she is a community theater performer, choreographer, and director in the DMV area, an avid foodie, and the mother of three adorable cats. She and her husband Derek are expecting their first child and will be adding a human to the Winkler clan in March 2020

“An Idiot’s Guide to Being a Guide” by Blake Lindsey

Summary: Taking tours of the U.S. Capitol has been a tradition in DCsince it opened in 1800. Which means the Capitol Guide Service has seen some things over the years. Come hear some of them and next time your out of town friends/family want a “tour” of DC, you might be a little more prepared…

Bio: Blake is a local historian, author, and U.S. Capitol Guide. Don’t tell my bosses I’m here…haha just kidding they wouldn’t mind but maybe to be safe don’t mention it to them.

“If loose lips sink ships, what might her other parts do?: Policing women’s talk in wartime” by Rebecca Adelman

Summary: During World War II, the “loose lips” blamed for “sinking ships” frequently belonged to women, and posters reminded amorous GIs not to share sensitive information in an attempt to impress the ladies. Today, OPSEC (Operational Security) materials for military families warn wives to scrub their social media and keep their husbands’ deployments secret. While men telling women to be quiet is hardly novel, in these cases, talkative women are portrayed as not just irritating but lethally dangerous. These chatterboxes will be our guides through a history of the U.S. military’s approach to the problems of its men liking women, and those women liking to have contact with the outside world.

Bio: Rebecca Adelman is an Associate Professor of Media and Communication Studies at UMBC, where she teaches and writes about things like militarized violence, surveillance, and media theory. Her newest book is Figuring Violence: Affective Investments in Perpetual War, and everyone should buy it. Rebecca is currently 11.8% done with her life ambition to run a marathon in every state + DC. Turns out, there are a lot of states.

Nerd Nite for September 14, 2019

DC9 Nightclub

“Sharks in Your Backyard: Ocean Predators in the Bay, the River, and Other Places You Wouldn’t Expect Them” by Chuck Bangley

Summary: Sharks (and their close relatives, the rays) are expected to be creatures of the open ocean, or even the shallow water right off the beach. However, you don’t need to live by the sea to find sharks close to home. You’ll be introduced to some of the sharks and rays that live inside the Chesapeake Bay, up the Potomac River, and other unexpected places around the world, including some that can spend time outside the water entirely. We’ll figure out which species might even be in the waters of DC itself, why it’s actually a good thing if they’re there, and what you can do to coexist peacefully with the sharks in your backyard.

Bio: Chuck Bangley has been fascinated by sharks and the ocean in general for as long as he can remember. He grew up and developed an appreciation for calamari in Rhode Island, earned his graduate degrees and developed an appreciation for craft beer in North Carolina, and currently works at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and is developing a borderline addiction to oysters in Maryland. His current research is focused on migratory behavior and habitat use in Atlantic coast sharks and rays. When given a guitar Chuck can play a mean cover of the theme song from “Sharknado 4,” among other things.

“I Don’t Always Wear A Shirt, but… Actually, I Never Wear A Shirt: The Story of Smokey, the Most Interesting Bear in the World.” by Ashley Warriner

Summary: You might not be able to tell from looking at him, but Smokey Bear just turned 75 years young. And what a wild ride those 75 years have been! I’ll take you down memory lane with Smokey Bear, sharing some little-known trivia along the way (he almost wasn’t a bear!), and talk about why his message is still so important today.

Bio: Ashley hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has called DC home since 2008. She is an enthusiastic nature nerd and proud U.S. Forest Service employee. Her friends all agree that her uniform with the green high-waisted mom jeans is Sex Walking.

“A Nice and Accurate explanation On How taking a shit is a matter of National Security” by James Gallagher

Summary: You read the title. Come for a brief overview of where the poopy goes, and what we do with it, an overview of the number of cyber (and physical) attacks sanitation plants experience each year and why they happen, a quick plug to stop flushing sanitary products “flushable” products, and drugs/grease, and demonstration of poop water drinking on stage. Don’t pretend that you weren’t already sold just from the title.

Bio: James is a huge book nerd, single dad of three,and lives in a log cabin in the woods with a beat up pickup and a hound dog. He owns more old shit than anyone my age has a right to, three degrees, 13 years in the Marines, and he “still don’t know a fucking thing.”

Nerd Nite for June 8, 2019

DC9 Nightclub

We’re taking July and August off, so come check out your LAST CHANCE to hardcore Nerd Nite before summer break! And with a lineup this stone-cold fantastic, there’s no cooler place to park your brain than DC9 on June 8. Just check out these speakers:

“I’m Not Crazy, I’m Just Not You: The Good and Evil of Personality Assessments” by Margarita Rozenfeld

Summary: From OKCupid to Cosmo to Myers Briggs, there are countless contenders for the most winning personality test, but who can actually help you know thyself (and others)? In this social science nerd talk we’ll investigate why personality tests are so popular, how valid they are, what’s the best way to use them for good vs. evil and dive into one assessment that can actually help you figure out how people tick (but only if you promise to use that information for good!)

Bio: Margarita Rozenfeld is an organization and leadership development consultant who is fascinated by what makes humans tick. She has made it into a career and helps all kinds of organizations, teams and leaders – from non-profit to corporate to government – do good in the world and well by their employees. When she’s not doing that, Margarita is likely on some awesome travel (mis)adventure in a remote part of the world (or telling a story about it.)

“Don’t Read the Comments: Edgar Allan Poe Spilling Tea and Throwing Shade in a Pre-Internet World” by Colleen Parker

Summary: If Edgar Allan Poe was alive today, he would be the Twitter Troll Diva Supreme. He wrote an extensive amount of essays and reviews for the various newspapers he either worked for or owned. His works included shade posts of his peers, spilling the tea on [alleged] plagiarism, negging female authors, and straight up trolling the literati of Boston. In this presentation, we will explore the best and the worst of Poe’s literary criticism, the historical context, and how strikingly similar some of Poe’s most scathing reviews are to the internet trolls of today.

Bio: Colleen Parker is a performance artist with Super Art Fight, a costume and prop maker for TBD Immersive, and she makes soap in her free time. Mostly she listens to audiobooks. All day, every day. Like it’s her job. Because it is her job. She is the Director of Quality Assurance with a contractor for the Library of Congress’s National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Her greatest achievement in her audiobook career was to say, in all seriousness, it’s leviOsa not levioSA.

“Elf Lobbyists, Harald Bluetooth and Stubby the Yule Lad: Contemporary and Ancient Folklore of Iceland” by Jules Coney Revere

Summary: What if the Silver Line woes could be solved by an elf whisperer? Would you give someone new clothes to prevent them from being stolen by a giant black cat? Using elf experts to smooth along construction projects and warding off the Christmas Cat are some of the folkloric traditions held by Iceland. Considering Icelanders lived in almost impossibly harsh conditions, under colonial rule, and next to a volcano that killed almost 6 million people and helped cause the French Revolution, maybe it’s not so weird. Come hear some of the tales of Icelandic Hidden Folk, trolls, and how to create a tilberi that’ll save you a fortune on milk and butter.

Bio: Jules has been nerding out on folklore and mythology roughly since she could read. Her fascination with Icelandic folklore began in 2012 as she prepared for her first visit and learned about the elves. She obtained her first MA at Concordia in Montreal where her thesis explored the use of dance and movement in organizational development and innovation. She is considering a second MA in Icelandic Studies (or simply moving to Iceland). She currently works at Republic Restoratives Distillery and East City Bookshop where she has probably tried to sell you a book set in Iceland.