Nerd Nite prides itself on bringing its audience fun-yet-informative presentations about countless subjects and disciplines. But on December 2, 2013, Nerd Nite NYC shines the spotlight specifically on music and movies. Join us for a special weekday Nite at the lovely Brooklyn Winery in Williamsburg that will feature presentations about NYC pinball controversy, math feuds, and choose-your-own music videos. Enjoy learning about the greatest pinball maneuver ever played, listening to Paco rap about math, and watching a music video get customized before your eyes. Space is limited and the venue is lovely, so act fast. Fun! Buy tickets here.
The Bizarre War Against Pinball
by Seth Porges
Description: Today, pinball seems like an innocent and all-American pastime. But for three decades, the game was a crime in most of America’s major cities–including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. In NYC, just weeks after Pearl Harbor, Mayor LaGuardia enforced Prohibition-style raids, in which thousands of machines were rounded up and destroyed. On the verge of extinction, the game survived behind closed doors in seedy joints in Harlem and the Village. This talk will explore the bizarre history of this quintessentially American game, from its Depression-era origins and its suspected links with the Mob, to the present state (today, just one company in the entire world still makes pinball machines). The goal is to answer a single question: Why have so many people found pinball to be so scary?
Bio: Seth Porges is a technology journalist, entrepreneur, TV commentator, and co-founder of Cloth for iOS [http://clothapp.com]. A former editor (and current contributor) at Maxim and Popular Mechanics, he also contributes to InStyle, Fast Company, Self, Men’s Journal, Mashable, and Forbes. In addition to making regular appearances on cable news as a science and technology analyst, he appears on four series currently in rotation on History, Discovery, and National Geographic. His recently produced documentary series “The Most Insane Amusement Park Ever” [http://mashable.com/2013/08/28/action-park/] was based on a prior Nerd Nite talk. You can follow him on Twitter at @sethporges [http://twitter.com/sethporges], or Facebook [http://facebook.com/sethporges].
XELLE presents Hologram: the first truly interactive, choose-your-own-adventure music video
by JC Cassis
Description: In pop group XELLE’s interactive music video for their single, Hologram, Janeane Garofalo stars as Holly Graham, the “Charlie” to XELLE’s “Angels.” Legendary singer Martha Wash (“It’s Raining Men”) has been captured by Meanie Mo (played by Reno 911’s Kerri Kenney-Silver), and it’s up to you to help XELLE save her. Hologram is the longest music video of all time, consisting of 37 possible video segments to choose from and over 90 minutes of footage, and only you can choose the storyline that will lead to Martha’s rescue. In this presentation, XELLE will guide you through the video as you choose where to go, what to do, and how to escape sudden death at any wrong turn. This fully interactive video was created by utilizing YouTube’s existing features to create a never-before-seen web 2.0 experience.
Bio: You’ve heard of XELLE. They’re that girl group that threw an illegal dance party on a moving NYC subway train for their debut video, Party Girl. They’re the indie band whose songs and videos are lighting up TV shows, radio stations and dance floors around the world. They’re those sexy girls with huge voices who rocked the stage at your favorite club last night. They are XELLE, and you’ve been waiting for them to come along.
Mathematicians: Behind the Music
by Paco Adam Hanlon
Description: Back by popular demand! Take a tour of the dank, trash-strewn alleys of the mathematical world. This portal into the seedy underbelly of math promises to be full of cheating scoundrels, meth-addiction, vagrancy, and no less than four cold-blooded murders. All this and more in the pursuit of inventing your iPhone, sewer system, and all those lovely ballistic missiles! Plus, you’ll finally be able to say you can name more than one important mathematician!
Bio: Paco Adam Hanlon is a math teacher and curriculum designer at the Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School for a Sustainable City. He is a Math for America fellow, has a BS in Actuarial Mathematics from University of Michigan and a Masters in Secondary Mathematics Teaching from Bard (where he also published a paper on stochastic cellular automata). He also records and performs hip-hop music under the name Dopest Nerd (album on iTunes and new mixtape coming soon).