Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Poem: Toasting The Aughts by Matt Wasowski

Try to find all 40 references to the 2000’s

Toasting the Aughts by Matt Wasowski

We toasted. To Y2K and looked to the new millennium,
to our family and our friends and to their smiles
and to the skies, and when
no computers failed and no planes fell like promised,
we lived, partied, on
like it was 1999. And even when
the internet bubble burst our sights still towered,
well, for another 16 months.
Then they fell.
Leaving the rest of us hanging (like chads)
and we looked again
to our family and our friends
but their smiles,
now cringes of fury and confusion,
matching narrowed eyes of our new leader
narrowly focused on his family and His friends
as we searched, Googled, for answers
for a new reality in which we became survivors
hoping the amazing race toward the simple life
would end like a lamb, like friends,
but big brother did materialize
-though the mission was not accomplished-
yet a new leader could not c(ke)rry us.
“W, you’re fired,”
to never be played on YouTube or an iPod,
while even a college dropout knew the levees would break.
Yet while another bubble burst
audacity carried a nation forward
– yes he did! –
for a few months, anyway,
until our current coverage could no longer care for an ill 7-year conflict that
would crash the party, the hope,
and the blue states sunk into a blue state
as they found out we’ll surge ahead.  The Thrill(er) is gone.
R U OK? No WMDs? C U, MJ. OMG.  I M
toasted.

Tickets and Line-Up for January 15 Nerd Nite NYC and Gay Speed Dating Thurs January 7

We have two January events on the docket:
Nerd Nite 2010 comes bearing trivia!  Yes, after lying dormant since the summer, join us for Nerd Nite Quizo at 7pm on Friday January 15 and then stick around for regular Nerd Nite starting at 8:15pm with a line-up that might even rival the amazing December lectures.  This month we have the ins-and-outs of the world’s first open-source nuclear reactor, Art and Neuroscience (complete with everyone’s favorite optical illusions), and a follow-up presentation about sexual robotics. Hee!  Oh, and did I mention that there’ll be a lot of prizes for you trivia players?  So assemble a team now!

And we’re trying something a bit different too based on feedback we’ve heard.  Since our hetero Nerd Nite speed dating has been going so well, and because our fellas-only gay speed dating went off so lovily in July, we’re bringing back gay speed dating on Thursday January 7 …but with a twist.  Instead of following-up the speed dating event with a Nerd Nite program, we’re instead following it with a dance party.  Yep, nerds like to dance too – even if it’s not always graceful dancing.  So gay fellas and ladies, come on down!

Tickets for Quizo and Nerd Nite on Friday January 15 at 7pm ($13): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER51

Tickets for Nerd Nite Only on Friday January 15 at 8:15pm ($10): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER47

Tickets for Gay Fellas Speed Dating on Thurs January 7 (with post-dating dance party at 7pm – $15): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER48

Tickets for Gay Lasses Speed Dating on Thurs January 7 (with post-dating dance party at 7pm – $15): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER49

Tickets for Dance Party-Only on Thurs January 7 (open to public at 9pm – $5):  https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER50

Nerd Nite NYC
Galapagos Art Space DUMBO
16 Main Street in DUMBO Brooklyn (F train to York St. or A/C train to High St.)
Friday January 15, 2009 at 7pm (Quizo) and 8:15pm (regular Nerd Nite)

Back to the lectures at hand:
*Presentation 1
Fusing the Atom and Living to Tell
by Famulus

Description: We have built an open source nuclear fusion reactor and fused the atom. This is the story of a remarkable fusion device called the Farnsworth Fusor and its successor, the Bussard Reactor (aka. Polywell). The Bussard Reactor holds the promise of clean cheap abundant energy from fusion. This is a story of research on the edge.

Bio: Famulus is an entrepreneur, hacker, and rails developer. In 2008 he learned of the Bussard fusion reactor and left the software world to try and build a working Bussard Reactor.

*Presentation #2
Eyeballs: A User’s Manual for the Artistically Inclined
by Lauren Sefton

Description: Seeing stuff is complicated.  In this step-by-step approach, we’ll use pictures to understand how your eyes and brain fit together, why optical illusions look so trippy, and how drilling a hole in just the right spot on your brain could make you an artistic genius. Join the generations of artists and scientists who’ve shaken their fists at the heavens while attempting to understand the marvelous complexities of human vision.

Bio: Lauren is a medical student and an aspiring neurologist.  She once spent 2 hours looking at a Rothko painting and later claimed that she “got it.”

Presentation #3
Sexual Robotics II: The Singularity and Sperm Bots – The Future of Sex and Technology
by Laura G. Duncan

Description: Bringing sex robots to Nerd Nite for the second time, this sequel will explore how sexuality and technology are primed to become even more intimately connected in the coming decade. From computer-interfaced sex toys to sperm-powered nanobots, our sexual future often seems like something out of speculative fiction. Even so, examples like user-generated pornography and open source sexual robotics projects are already flourishing and providing some with channels to personally influence the changing nature of sex tech. Using cases from science fiction, the medical sciences and actual sexual robotics projects, we’ll explore the future of sex and technology, and its implications for social and individual assumptions about human sexuality.

Bio: Laura G. Duncan recently graduated from NYU-Gallatin with a degree in Medical Anthropology and Human Sexuality Studies. She has worked as a sexuality educator at various sites, in addition to her current job in clinical breast cancer research. Her research deals with issues of sexuality within medical education and primary care, focusing on health literacy and accessibility among underserved populations.

Gay Nerd Nite Speed Dating Thurs Jan 7 & Regular Nerd Nite Fri Jan 15

Dearest Nerds & Friends of Nerds,

Gay Nerd Nite Speed Dating is back!  Thursday January 7, 2010.   20 men and 20 lasses.  Tickets on sales soon.

Regular Nerd Nite on Friday January 15, 2010 to keep you warm.  Tickets and descriptions coming very soon too.

Stay tuned…

Matt

Full Line-up for Nerd Nite NYC Thurs December 17

Dearest Nerds & Friends of Nerds,

First, since November’s speed dating created so many matches, we’re doing it again in December.  20 guys, 20 gals, 3-minute chats.  And better yet, the dating blogger at Marie Claire wrote two super long entries about the experience (read them here & here).

Second, December’s Nerd Nite features World War II codebreaking, the evolution of X-Men’s Wolverine and his influence on young men and pop culture, and the census in New York City (what’s it good for, how to interpret the data, and the weird quirks among various groups in NYC).  This is going to be a really good one!

Gals tickets for speed dating – ($25 – 6:30pm): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER45

Fellas tickets for speed dating – ($25 – 6:30pm): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER46

And as we’ve learned, I strongly recommend you buy tickets in advance. Tickets for Nerd Nite – $10 (9pm): http://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?EID=&showCode=NER44

Nerd Nite NYC
Galapagos Art Space DUMBO
16 Main Street in DUMBO Brooklyn (F train to York St. or A/C train to High St.)
Thursday December 17, 2009 at 9pm
$10
http://nyc.nerdnite.com

Back To The Lecture(s) At-Hand:

*Presentation #1
Steckering for Dummies: A Short History of the Enigma Machine (i.e. Code Breaking in WWII)

by Michael Love

Description: World War II is widely considered to be the golden age of cryptography, and the German Enigma machine is its best-known product. It was something akin to the iPhone of encryption systems, a perfect combination of simplicity, portability, user-friendliness, and security… until it was broken. We’ll look at how Enigma evolved, how it worked, how it compared to other machines of the time, how it was eventually deciphered, and what that meant for the Allied war effort.

Bio: Michael Love has been making and breaking codes since he was a kid, including such wacky monstrosities as a code based on coffee order customizations at Starbucks. He also designs copy-protection systems as (part of) his day job, and wrote the only significant paper of his not-particularly-writing-intensive college career on the Japanese PURPLE cipher. And his Rock Band band name is “Setec Astronomy.”

*Presentation #2
Wolverine
by Matthew Perpetua

Description: Learn how The X-Men’s Wolverine has evolved over the course of the past four decades and what each version of him says about both the people working with the character and the way audiences respond to variations of the same masculine fantasy.  More so than most other superheroes, Wolverine has a particular appeal to insecure young men as demonstrated in overcompensation involved with the character, to subtle aspect such as how large people draw his claws…

Bio:  Coming soon…but Matthew does work at Pitchfork.  Chew on that.

*Presentation #3
Census or NonSense-us?

by Moses Gates

Description: We all learn in Civics class that the United States Census is done every 10 years in order to enumerate the population and apportion representation in Congress.  But the census does a whole lot more than just count people – it asks 53 questions ranging from where you were born, to how you got to work last week, to whether or not your house has a flush toilet.   It divides people up by age, sex, income and education and puts them into 7 races, 28 ethnicities, 63 sub-racial categories, 216 ancestries and 578 sub-ancestries.   And it makes this demographic data available on every level from the entire country to individual city blocks – of which New York City has almost 37,000.  It’s a wealth of information that – with a little creativity – we can use to answer some everyday questions about New York City.   Which is more diverse – Brooklyn or Queens?   Where is the most “typical New York” neighborhood?”    And of course that enduring question – just how many hipsters are there in Williamsburg?

Bio: Moses Gates is an Urban Planner, part-time Tour Guide, and full-time Gothamphile.   Three of his ongoing projects in New York City are to walk through all 2,217 census tracts, visit every abandoned subway station, and climb every bridge in New York  – he is 51%, 63%, and 41% done respectively.   He is cautiously optimistic about the American Community Survey’s ability to replace the Census long form as an acceptable source of micro-demographic data.   If anyone could help him get to Brooklyn Tract 164, Queens Tract 171, or Bronx Tract 1 it would be much appreciated.  http://www.allcitynewyork.com

Next Nerd Nite NYC will be Thurs December 17

Our next Nerd Nite will be Thursday, December 17, 2009  at 8pm @ Galapagos Art Space  (16 Main Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn).

This last nite in 2009 will feature presentations about code breaking in WWII, unusual New York City census data, and Wolverine!  Tickets and full presentation descriptions coming soon…so save the date!

And I think our science acrobats are back and healthy!  Car accidents be damned; they’re recovered are ready for Nerd Nite. Yay!

Only 2 fellas Nerd Nite NYC speed dating tickets left (as of Monday November 9)

Yes, the subject line gave it all away.   There are only 2 fellas Nerd Nite NYC speed dating tickets left (as of Monday November 9).  Get ’em while they’re, well, still available:
https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER41

Nerd Nite NYC
Galapagos Art Space DUMBO
16 Main Street in DUMBO Brooklyn (F train to York St. or A/C train to High St.)
Wednesday November 11, 2009
Speed Dating at 7:00pm (get there at 6:30 to check in)
Regular Nerd Nite at 9:00pm
$25 for Speed Dating (includes admission to regular Nerd Nite)
$10 cover charge for regular Nerd Nite only (Nerd Nite-only tickets here: https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER42)

Speed Dating & Full Line-up for Nerd Nite NYC November 11

Dearest Nerds & Friends of Nerds,

First, back by popular demand, I give thee another dose of hetero Nerd Nite speed dating!  Yes, 25 gals and 25 fellas united by 3-minute conversations. Anyone is welcome, though we hope you have some nerdy tendencies.  Apparently several matches from the spring are still going strong!  Admission for speed dating also includes admission to the regular Nerd Nite program which will follow the dating festivities.  Which brings me to…the regular Nerd Nite program features our humanitarian – and spooky – side.  In separate presentations, Shana Dressler and Amanda Judge share practical ways you can help alleviate poverty and improve the lives of underprivileged communities both internationally and locally, even you’re real real lazy or completely entrenched in consumerism.  And then Julia Galef rounds things out by exploring how our brains fool us into believing in things that aren’t real, even though the majority of humans believe in demons, witches, ESP, astrology, telekinesis, dowsing rods, homeopathy, alien abductions, and spirit planes (and true love, aw snap!…I made that last one up).

Second, our science acrobats are back and healthy!  Car accidents be damned; they’re recovered and ready for Nerd Nite.  Yay!

Gals, buy tickets for Speed Dating: https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER40

Gents, buy tickets for Speed Dating: https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER41
Nerd Nite-only tickets here: https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER42

Nerd Nite NYC
Galapagos Art Space DUMBO
16 Main Street in DUMBO Brooklyn (F train to York St. or A/C train to High St.)
Wednesday November 11, 2009
Speed Dating at 7:00pm (get there at 6:30 to check in)
Regular Nerd Nite at 9:00pm
$25 for Speed Dating (includes admission to regular Nerd Nite)
$10 cover charge for regular Nerd Nite only
http://nyc.nerdnite.com
Back To The Lecture(s) At-Hand:

*Presentation #1
Best Philanthropic Holiday Buys and Where to Find Them: 25 Ways to Change the World for Under $100
by Shana Dressler

Description:  So your celebrity status hasn’t been secured and you haven’t made your millions…. nevertheless, you long to make a difference. For as little as foregoing a haircut, a cocktail, manicure and/or a dinner and movie, this presentation will share the best kept secrets about how to save the world for under $100. The journey will begin in Africa and take you far beyond. We’ll tell you about the incredible women and men and their brilliant alternative thinking in the field of humanitarian problem solving. We’ll give you 25 ways to get in on the giving game….again, at bargain basement prices. We’ll even save you from your imminent anxiety ridden holiday shopping spree by offering you a list of “Gifts That Matter” that won’t break the bank!

Bio: Shana Dressler is the founder of the Global Giving Circle (GGC), a network of professionals who come together to support creative and innovative solutions to alleviate poverty through tangible grassroots initiatives both nationally and internationally. The GGC launched in February and has funded five projects to date in the areas of human rights, global warming, youth education and leadership with a focus on female empowerment and social entrepreneurship. Some of her favorite things besides international travel include chocolate, orangutans, the color turquoise, surprising people and the liberating feeling of throwing Magnolia cupcakes out of her window with friends. www.globalgivingcircle.org

*Presentation #2
Poverty Can Be Eradicated
by Amanda Judge

Description: How can you help eradicate poverty?  This lecture will cover simple ways that you can help eradicate poverty, without substantially changing your behavior, even if you are real real lazy or completely entrenched in consumerism.  It will follow my adventures through Latin America and explain the economics behind how what we do in the United States impacts poor rural communities in Latin America.

Bio: Amanda Judge has a masters in international relations with a focus on poverty reduction strategies from The Fletcher School at Tufts University and Bachelors degree in Finance.  After traveling and working on and off 4 years after college, she decided to go back to school in order to find a way to actually get paid for aimlessly traveling the world. This led her to start up The Andean Collection (www.theandeancollection.com), a organization that designs & imports jewelry from disadvantaged communities in Latin America.  Little did she know, her travels would never be aimless again.

*Presentation #3
Aliens, Psychics and Ghosts, Oh My!  Or, How Our Brains Fool Us Into Believing Strange Things
by Julia Galef

Description: Do you believe in ghosts? What about demons, witches, ESP, astrology, telekinesis, dowsing rods, homeopathy, alien abductions, or spirit planes? If you said ‘none of the above,’ you’re in the minority. Journalist Julia Galef draws upon probability theory, evolutionary biology, and neuroscience to explain why so many people believe in superstitions and the supernatural.  She admits that this talk may involve a teensy-weensy bit of math, but hastens to add that there will also be demonic sex, and possibly an impression of a crazed pigeon.

Bio: A writer and editor with a degree in statistics from Columbia, Julia Galef is frequently consumed with a messianic urge to explain to people why their beliefs are irrational. To keep from annoying everyone, she usually just stuffs another cookie in her mouth. In 10 years she will either be the fearless leader of a rationality cult, or obese.

Next Nerd Nite NYC Wed November 11 with Speed Dating

Full line-up coming soon..   But I can tell you that we’re bringing back Nerd Nite Speed Dating (hetero) before the presentations begin.  25 guys.  25 gals. 3-minute conversations.

Tickets on sale soon…

Remdiner for NYC Nerd Nite on Friday October 16

This is a quick reminder that we’re resuming our regularly scheduled Nerd Nite programming on Friday October 16, 2009 at 7pm.   Yes, it will actually start at 7pm.  This edition features New York luminary Gideon Levy discussing the history of Jewish gangsters, finally another presentation about real-life zombies, and our seemingly regular sexuality-based presentation (I don’t know why there are so many of these) that takes a serious look at the history and cultural impact of swingers.  So bring a friend!

I strongly recommend you buy tickets in advance.  Buy them here ($10): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER39

Next NYC Nerd Nite Friday October 16

Nerd Nite Nerdtacular – Friday October 16, 2009 at 7:30pm at Galapagos DUMBO

16 Main Street in DUMBO Brooklyn (F train to York St. or A/C train to High St.)

Fresh off the heals of the 2nd annual Nerd Nite Nerdtacular, we’re resuming our regularly scheduled Nerd Nite programming on Friday October 16, 2009 at 7pm.  This edition features New York luminary Gideon Levy discussing the history of Jewish gangsters, finally another presentation about real-life zombies, and our seemingly regular sexuality-based presentation (I don’t know why there are so many of these) that takes a serious look at the history and cultural impact of swingers.  So bring a friend!

As we’ve learned, I strongly recommend you buy tickets in advance.  Buy them here ($10): https://www.smarttix.com/show.aspx?showcode=NER39

Nerd Nite NYC
Galapagos Art Space DUMBO
16 Main Street in DUMBO Brooklyn (F train to York St. or A/C train to High St.)
Friday October 16, 2009
Nerd Nite at 7:00pm (sorry about the early start time)
$10 cover charge
http://www.nerdnite.com

Back To The Lecture(s) At-Hand:

*Presentation #1
Biologically Deconstructing The Modern Zombie: Questioning The Synthesis Of A Potential Bioweapon
by Ginn Choe

Description: Zombies. They have become iconic monsters of the 21st century and are seen in pop-culture movies, music, and literature. The cultural relevance of zombies in world cultures is a topic most nerds are familiar with, which could be talked about for days–nay–weeks. But what is it about this monster that seems so essentially real that it is capable of capturing the imagination of biologists? This talk will explore the scientific inconsistencies of the more traditional, rise from-the-dead zombies and will propose biological and epidemiological models for what are otherwise known as Danny Boyle’s “rage” zombies. Could they exist?  And if they did, would they really be like we saw them the movie 28 Days Later? Would they really pose a threat? And what would you have to do to survive?

Bio: Ginn Choe is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a BA in Anthropology-Zoology, and currently works as a pathology researcher at Columbia University Medical Center to help fight the battle against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She has reviously studied and worked in a neurology/psychiatry medical laboratory for depression and anxiety studies. She plans on starting her schooling for a degree in veterinary medicine in 2011. Beyond picking her brain about the pathology of zombies, her hobbies include springboard diving, playing banjo, taking care of animals, drinking teas, and blogging about her personal life.

*Presentation #2
Jewish Gangsters of New York City
by Gideon Levy

Description: How did a group of enterprising nogoodniks from the slums of the Lower East Side establish the most successful crime empire in America? Learn all about the cultural similarities and differences between the Jewish gangsters and the more familiar Irish and Italian gangsters of the early 20th century. What made these Jewish criminals so successful? What legacies were left by the Jews upon Mafia culture? And why did the Jewish Mafia only seem to last for a single generation before being affectively forgotten by popular culture?

Bio: Gideon Levy is a Jewish New York native and New York City Tour Guide with his family tour company The Levy’s Unique New York as well as a number of other tour companies. He is a rising expert in the history of organized crime in downtown New York City and likes to dress the role. In collaboration with his group Kinky Jews (www.kinkyjews.com), Gideon will be hosting a series of walking tours on this very topic on October 26.


*Presentation #3

Swingers: A Socio-bio-evolu-theo-histor-ical-logical Look at Today’s Partner Swappers
by Lynsey Griswold

Description: Oh my god, swinging? Gross! Aren’t swingers all old and hairy and saggy and morally degenerate? Not really. Learn about the nature of “ethical nonmonogamy” in New York and America today, and where it came from. Lynsey offers a lesson on the evolution, biology, history, and social background of swinging and open promiscuity, as well as a look at why the knee-jerk response for most “vanilla” people is usually contempt rather than interest. If we’re lucky, she might even give us a few tips on overcoming our inhibitions to try partner swapping ourselves, gleaned from her two years of experience as an undercover researcher at Manhattan sex parties and clubs.

Bio: Lynsey set out to be a writer and ended up as a sex writer, accidentally.  Oh well, it’s good to have a niche! On top of researching swinging in New York City for the past two years for an upcoming book on the subject (she’s looking for an agent and publisher, if anyone’s interested!), Lynsey also writes DVD reviews and set copy for several “adult” magazines which will remain nameless; reviews, commentary, interviews, and more for Whack! Magazine (http://www.whackmagazine.com); a twice-monthly column for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency (http://www.mcsweeneys.net/); and co-produces the webisode “Pornocracy” for Incommunicado Films (http://www.incommunicadofilms.com).

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