Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Nerd Nite 22- NSFW

We’re back!!! And sexxxay.
Nerd Nite returns to US Art Authority with a lineup guaranteed to get you all hot and bothered right for Valentine’s Day.
Also, note new date – hump day! How appropos.
This month’s scintillating talks:
“Steers & Queers: Sex Toy Laws in Texas,” by Julie Sunday
Right before Valentine’s Day 2008, the state of Texas struck down its ban on sex toys, making it legal to actually refer to our bedroom teammates as vibrators and dildos instead of “personal massagers” and “educational models.” While now legal, the world of sex toys is still a Wild West without government oversight. Sex toy expert Julie Sunday will explain the difference between latex, silicone, rubber, jelly, steel, and glass toys and hopefully inspire you to trade up from that nasty toy you bought in college to something that causes orgasms, not cancer.
Julie Sunday is a sex educator, writer and tireless advocate for people’s inalienable right to get down. She writes How to Have Sex in Texas, which won the award for Best New Blog in Austin in 2010.
“The Mathematics of Dating,” By Sheena Madan
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we explore what a 1950s matchmaking algorithm can teach us about dating and finding our optimal mate today.  “Field researcher” Sheena Madan describes the Traditional Marriage Algorithm and shares some of her observations from real-life dating applications.
Sheena Madan is a computer scientist who finds debugging people almost as interesting.
“An Introduction to Erotic Fan Fiction For Aspiring Writers,” by F*Bomb
Ever wonder what the sex was like when Jim and Pam finally hooked up? Have you been curious about what a magical orgy at Hogwarts Academy would look like? In this introductory overview to erotic fan fiction, F*Bomb breaks down the simple style guidelines and writing processes that amateur authors use to create the steamiest pop culture hook ups they can imagine. It’s time to quit hogging that hot John McClane/Jack Bauer anti-terrorism jerk off fantasy and turn it into a written reality we can all enjoy!
Equal parts Pomo and homo, F*Bomb is the hyper-gendered bastard child of a thousand bad ideas. Born out of the worst sort of Internet porn addiction and years of nitrous oxide abuse, F*Bomb tickles your fancy just the way you like.
My heteronormative loins are tingling already!
As always Nerd Nite is FREE and ALL AGES. Though you might not want to bring the kids to this one…

Nerd Nite News

Good news everyone. Nerd Nite is moving to the first Wednesday of the month. So the next nite will be Wednesday February 2nd. We are returning to the US Art Authority. We are also doing our first gay male Nerd Speed Dating. It is going to be a good nite. More announcements soon. But if you remember last February you have an idea of what is in store for you.

Nerd Nite is moving!


Due to some last minute double-booking, we got shunted out by US Art Authority for tomorrow.

However, our old home, Buffalo Billiards have welcomed us back and we’re going to be back there tomorrow. Thanks for your patience with us and we hope to see you there!

Nerd Nite 21- Fashion, Gaming and a Judge named Barefoot

Like Forever 21, only…unfashionable.

Nerd Nite has reached the age of legal intoxication! Let’s celebrate with some beer and PowerPoint.



“Pseudo-Rebellion and the Tyranny of Cool,” by Claire James

Don’t wear that! Claire James will lay bare the mechanisms of haute couture and offer us a backstage pass to the trend-adoption process in the fashion world, demonstrating how the same processes operate through human behavior in a scope far beyond clothing. For audience members who actually look at themselves in the mirror, she may sprinkle in some actual trendspotting from NYC.

Claire James unpicks the seams of the fashion system on her blog She thinks you shouldn’t automatically cringe at the mention of aesthetics.


“Motivation and Games Through the Looking Glass,” by Kain Shin

The science of “fun” has evolved over the last 5,000 years to incorporate society’s understandings of various fields ranging from brain chemistry to sociology and everything in between. What do games do to your brain? What techniques are involved in the science of getting people to do things? And how can I use my powers of motivational science to achieve world domination? This 20 minute presentation marks the beginning of the world’s end… as foretold by prophecy.

Kain has been working in the Austin games industry for over 10 years and cares about things a lot.


“Civil Rights, White Flight, and a Judge named Barefoot: How Brown Vs The Board of Education created Nerd High,” by Lisa McAnally-Maddox

The Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs The Board of Education changed the face of the public school system in America. In Dallas, Texas many families fled to the suburbs in order to avoid integration creating a movement known as white flight. To help insure that the desegregation decision was upheld, Judge Barefoot Sanders developed a magnet school system that has caused years of controversy, tax issues, and accusations of being racist and elitist, while creating the number #1 high school in America.

Unable to function in the real world, Lisa McAnally-Maddox entered the Dallas public school magnet system. She currently works in the medical field where she spends large amounts of time ranting about the evils of anti-bacterial hand sanitizer.


PLUS: Spots are still open for Nerd Nite Speed Dating! Find someone to huddle up with and listen to “Merry Christmas from the Family”:

As always, Nerd Nite is FREE and ALL-AGES

“It’s like the Discovery Channel…with beer!

Nerd Nite 20: San Antonio Invades Nerd Nite!

Wait, there’s a GIANT city an hour south of Austin? And they have nerds there?

YES! Break out of your ATX hipster bubble this Thursday with presentations by our nerdy South Texan brethren…

Heavy Metal: A brief introduction to the carillon, the world’s largest and most hidden instrument
Sarah Donaldson

Weighing in at 43-tons, the carillon is the largest musical instrument in the world.

A one-time carillonneur, Sarah Donaldson will walk us through the bowels and history of this gigantic temple to clanging and ringing sounds.

Anchor Babies & H1Bs : The Many Myths of Immigration Law
Alexandra Minnaar

Immigrating legally to America is so easy, right? Umm, no. Immigration Attorney Alex Minnaar will dive deep into the byzantine experience of applying for residency and citizenship in the U.S., the reality of which is daunting for even the most well-resourced applicant. Nerd Nite boss and current visa holder Dan Rumney may be asked to produce his papers.

Getting Jiggy With the Nuts and Bolts of Traditional Irish Music
Justin Tullius

Learn the difference between a light jig, slip jig, single jig, and treble jig with Justin Tullius, an experienced irish fiddler who is also an immigration attorney (huh, what are the odds?). This presentation is best experienced with a few shots of Jameson.


ALSO – A special preview from our friends at Science Channel of their smashing new documentary, ‘Pumpkin Chunkin’:

“Pumpkins. Good for carving, making pies, baking seeds and a flurry of other fall favorites. But a catapulting pumpkin competition? Now that’s an unusual use for this orange gourd-like squash! For 25 years, the World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition has been launching pumpkins high into the skies above Delaware. Science Channel will be there again this year to catch every far-flingin, high-flyin moment. The show will air on Science Channel Thanksgiving Night at 8pm.”

ALSO ALSO ALSO – Registration for Nerd Nite Speed Dating is still open!

Find that warm body to snuggle with while watching Science Channel! OMG, perfect!


21+ to drink, and FREE as always.

“It’s like the Discovery Channel…with beer.”

Nerd Nite 19: Martinis, Butterflies, Eyeball-Mario!

Like the disappearing castle in Krull, Nerd Nite has magically changed locations!

And if I didn’t blow your mind with THAT reference, consider this month’s outstanding speakers:

The History of Martinis- From the Martinez to Bond to the Classic Cocktail Revival
David Alan

David Alan, AKA the Tipsy Texan will walk us through the history and intricacies of the drink that has been called the King of Cocktails.

David has spent his entire working life in the food & beverage business, though began training at an early age by carrying beverages from the kitchen to the living room, as the adults played Trivial Pursuit. David spent many years in the service of local, independent coffee roasters before being born again as the Tipsy Texan, an advocate for all types of artisanal beverages, caffeinated or otherwise.

Play Nintendo with YOUR EYES. And other OMG-DIY magic
Hunter S. of Waterloo Labs

The Eye Mario system uses biomedical technology combined with 8-bit gaming glory. This system allows you to play any NES game using just your eye movments and a singleboarRIO computer. From polarized eyeballs to FPGA interface code, this presentation will cover the science behind the demo and design of the system. We will include all the information you would need to build a system like this yourself.

Hunter Smith is one of the four founders and leaders of the Waterloo Labs Team. By day he works as an Applications Engineer for National Instruments, an Austin based measurement and control company, but after the phone calls have been answered, he and the Waterloo Labs Team spend time dreaming up wild and crazy applications for common technology. From driving a car with an iPhone to playing Half-Life with a real silenced pistol, the Waterloo Labs Team is always trying to inject a little awesome into science and engineering.

Butterflies and Climate Change
Nichole Bennett – for realz this time!

Nichole Bennett is a PhD student at UT focusing on the impacts of climate change on a specific species of butterfly. She has a radio show on Mondays called “They Blinded Me with Science” and a free monthly biology lecture series in Austin (free) that occurs on the Wednesday *after* Nerd Nite.

Note new location! Totally better! Totally more parking! Totally!

Tickets are still available for Nerd Nite Speed Dating before the main event!

Sign up here, hot stuff:

Be a mensch and like/pimp/promote/laud us at:

FREE, Open to all ages – bring your ID

Nerd Nite: “It’s like the Discovery Channel…with beer!”

Sounds and Visions

Last week’s Nerd Nite was one for the books.

In spite of some technical hitches with the projector, we had an audio visual extravaganza with sounds from Dr. Bleep and glorious Tintype photogrpaphy from Heather Curiel.

Thanks also to Nichole Bennett for coming to present; in the absence of a projector, we postponed her talk to next month.

This was also our final Nerd Nite at Buffalo Billiards. We want to thank them for all of their support over the past 18 months. We’ve grown from 40 people crammed in a room at Opal Divines to our record attendance of 133 last week! It’s Goodbye Buffalo Billiards, Hello US Art Authority… we hope to see you all there in October!

Nerd Nite 18: Butterflies, Bleeps and Burnt Emulsion

Make the dog days nerdy! Cool off your overheated brainpans with a chilled beverage and the cool breeze of knowledge …

This month’s presentations:

Butterflies and Climate Change
Nichole Bennett
Nichole Bennett is a PhD student at UT focusing on the impacts of climate change on a specific species of butterfly. She has a radio show on Mondays called “They Blinded Me with Science” and a free monthly biology lecture series in Austin that occurs on the Wednesday *after* Nerd Nite.

Making Beautiful Noise with Analog Electronics
Dr. Bleep
Bleep Labs is the worlds foremost producer of analog synthesizer friends. Dr. Bleep and company have been hand making Thingamagoops in Austin, TX since 2006.

Tintype Photography
Heather Curiel
Heather Curiel is a professional wedding photographer with a passion for tintypes – old-fashioned photos burnt onto iron sheets via collodion photographic emulsion. Maybe she’ll take your picture?

Once again, Nerd Nite will start at 7:30 following Nerd Speed Dating at 6:30!

Nerdy singles can STILL sign up:

FREE admission (21+)
FREE billiards and shuffleboard for all attendees

“It’s like the Discovery Channel…with Beer!”

What we learned about you

A few weeks ago, we sent out a link to a survey so we could learn a little bit more about you. We got 92 responses which, given that we get around 100-150 people at a Nerd Nite, is pretty good going.

It seems only fair to give you an idea of what we learned. So here goes:
A third of you are 21-30… another third are 31-40… the final third are over 40. This makes us very happy. You’re never to young or old to be a Nerd… just too young to get into a bar.

47 respondents were ladies; the rest were gents… i.e. we’re perfectly balanced. Again, this makes us very happy. You only have to look at our speaker history to see that Nerdiness is not a gender issue… now we have the stats to prove it!

In terms of education, we cover the whole spectrum of education from high school graduates to PhD and professional degree holders. There’s certainly a bias towards college graduates, but I think we remain accessible to all comers.

Over 83% of respondents consider themselves nerds. We wonder if the other 20% are in supportive friends and spouses or are just in denial :o). Of course, everyone is welcome, but we know, in our heart of hearts, *everyone* is a nerd about something and Nerd Nite is the place to let that nerd out… you know you want to!

Interestingly, the majority of people heard about Nerd Nite from a friend which is great. If you’ve been to a Nerd Nite and enjoyed it, bring a friend next time… the more the merrier.

In this era of social media, we were surprised to discover that 60% of respondents use the mailing list to keep track of our activities. Facebook and Twitter are used heavily too, of course, but mailing list rules supreme!

We had some other demographics that are more interesting to us than you. However, the more open questions revealed some interesting things:

  • Beer is important – it should be available
  • Nerd Nite being free is a big plus – we have no plans to change this
  • Sound and Noise were popular topics – Sound could be improved and Noise is unwelcome. This is something we’re acutely aware of and we’re working to improve both of these
  • Generally… keep it up – Not to blow our own trumpets too much, but most respondents were pretty happy with how things are going

We’re very grateful to all those who responded. Our goal is that Nerd Nite fosters a sense of community. Although the talks are curated and the venue is dictated by us, your feedback is crucial to ensure that this is an event that you want to keep coming to.

If you have any comments, please feel free to post them here, or email them to us at

Meetings, Mutinies, Matrices and Malbecs

Last week’s Nerd Nite was a big one!

We introduced Speed Dating for the first time and it was a roaring success. We already have 4 people signed up for next month’s!
We also had free Saltwater Taffy from our Mutiny presenter and free wine from our Wine presenter. All that and a super slick presentation on QR codes.

We’re working on next month’s Nerd Nite… the bar was set high this month, but we think we can top it! Hope to see you there.

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