I admit it. I was unable to find a cheeky pun to describe this Nerd Nite. There is no common thread this month, no uniting theme. Our three presenters fit no box other than nerdery. Their talks will follow no rule other than sheer nerdy awesomeness.

BUT HEY! The neat folks from Google Places will be joining us this month. Visit their on-site Chromebook station to review your favorite nerdy places, and receive free drink tickets and Google swag!

AND! Prepare yourself for two exciting announcements about the future of the Nerd Nite global empire.

The deets:


“Cambodian Shadow Puppetry,” by Abra Chusid

Inspired by her work with the Sovanna Phum Art Association in Phnom Penh, Abra will share a bit of shadow puppet history, contemporary practice, and some kick ass puppets.

Abra Chusid is a Fulbright Scholar, currently working on her MFA in drama education at UT. She likes kids, cats, and theatre, and will gladly travel to another far off locale to study any of the above if you will pay her way.



“Clues Within the Clues: Solving the New York Times Crossword Puzzle,” by Abigail Mahnke

Tell people you can finish the New York Times Crossword Puzzle and they think you’re a genius. The secret is that the clues themselves tell you a lot about the answer they’re looking for. Once you know the tips and tricks, the puzzle is yours to solve, too.

Abigail Mahnke was a hopeless crossword puzzler until a very nice boyfriend shared his puzzles and showed her the ropes. (Unlike him, she will not share puzzles.) She’s also the host of Inner Views, a weekly program on KOOP 91.7 FM Austin, where she interviews everyday people with extraordinary stories.



“Super weapons of the near future: It’s about power,” by Blake Freeburg

How will we keep the peace (or kill ourselves) in the decades to come? Armed androids, free electron lasers, fuel-air bombs and rail guns designed right here at UT! The only thing holding us back is the sending and delivery of energy. That, and treaties.

Blake Freeburg followed a degree in physics with a career as a serial startup engineer, working in over 7 companies in the last 15 years across a wide space of technologies. Blake is currently exploring “technological wildcatting”, founding several efforts and building solutions on a case by case basis.


Single? Test out your newest love potion at nerd speed-dating!

$10 gets you a beer and the attention of more nerdy guys and nerdy lasses than you can probably handle.

Speed-dating tickets here: http://austin.nerdn.it/q01lqK (starts at 6:30 sharp)


Nerd Nite is FREE, cuz we do it for the love. And beer.