Category: Events

Form vs Function – see it again!

For those of you who were not able to make nerdnite nine (or are still on the fence about ever attending), here’s some footage of one of the talks that you missed. It’s split into three parts:

n^3 (nerdnite nite) – so square it was cubed


Thanks again for a fantastic nerdnite. In particular, thanks to Michael, Everett and Jeff for their entertaining and informative talks. Bands, Beauty and Beer… what a combination.

For those of you wracked with concern at the fate of the laptop, after liberal application of damp paper towel and hair dryers, the laptop did, indeed, boot (and, you might say, rally) this morning. A faint aroma of beer from the keyboard is the only reminder.

Thanks to you all for making nerdnite rock its way through 2009. Looking forward to even greater height in 2010

nerdnite nine flyers

Howdy nerdlings,

nerdnite nine is just around the corner and we know that you want to help spread the joy. As a result, we’ve uploaded our flyer for you to download, print and plaster upon every spare inch of wall space that you own… you know you want to!

nerdnite nine flyer

nerdnite nine

It’s hip to be square – nerdnite nine is the squarest nerdnite in months… you really shouldn’t miss it! As ever, it’s the first Thursday of the month: December 3rd

Don’t forget to vote us up at

You can attend the event at:

Here’s what we’ve got for you:

Why Form Doesn’t Follow Function, Function is Form’s Bitch
Everett Hiller

100 years ago Frank Loyd Wright said the phrase “form follows function.” Soon after he changed his mind and said “form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union,” but it was too late, and besides, the first phrase sounded way better, and less like a lame poem. So the damage was done. Many a poor product has made it to market under the guise that after function, there simply wasn’t enough time or money to create a proper form. I will attempt to show that in today’s world of iPhones and Tivo’s, function now follows form, or at least shows up a minute or two later.

Everett Hiller is a graphic and interactive designer with more than 13 years experience in visual communication.  He enjoys talking about typefaces (fancy word for fonts), poorly designed products, star trek, and scotch.

Marching Bands and Drum Corps in America
Michael Drapkin

Marching music in America has come a long way since the days of John Phillip Sousa.  Today’s competitive bands and corps are some of the largest competitive groups, achieving excellence in youth.  This lecture will trace the evolution of marching music, from the early days of parade competition, to today’s intracate and ultra competitive bands and drum corp field shows, and the changes that have occurred.

Michael Drapkin is a marching band music judge for the United States Scholastic Band Association, and has judged marching band contests in New York, Texas, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Virginia and has adjudicated over 400 marching band performances.

Chemical Flavor Analysis of Beer
Jeff Young

Beer is made up of thousands of flavor compounds.  From buttery vicinal diketones to smokey 4-vinyl guaiacol, you don’t have to be a chemist to taste a beer, but it doesn’t hurt!
Jeff Young is a professionally trained brewer by night and a pharmaceutical analytical chemist by day.  Working to open up the world’s first co-operatively owned brewpub, Black Star Co-op Pub & Brewery, Jeff will design and brew beers for the Austin community.  An affinity to Lewis-dot diagrams and metabolic pathways has led Jeff to assess and construct his beers on the molecular level.

nerdnite rides again

Thank you, once again, to our speakers at this month’s nerdnite. Dan, Steve, Lewis and Dan did us proud.

Thanks, also, to all the great suggestions from the audience for future presentations; we’ll be going through those and sending out some emails to get you nerds and nerdettes scheduled for 2010 (we have our December line-up close to completion).

It was great to see so many of you hanging out after the event to chat with the speakers and get to know some of your fellow nerdniters. We’re looking forward to seeing more of that at future events.

Have a great Thanksgiving, and we’ll see you in December!

Nerd Nite 8ight

Nerd Nite 8ight! That means “eight,” but you’re perfectly within your rights to pronounce it “A’ight?!”

Come down from your Halloween sugar high next Thursday by sampling the bitter fruit of knowledge with fellow obsessives:

A Revisionist Look at Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose
Dan White
Dan White has lived in Austin a lot longer than he ever figured he would. He reads a lot more than most people and a whole lot more than we are all supposed to. He has a handle on more blue-collar trades than most people and now mostly wants to get away from them, at least as far as making a living at them.

How Directing Plays Taught Me the Ease of Manipulating People
Steve Moulds
Steve Moulds is a playwriting graduate student & director studying at the UT Michener Center. After directing a number of plays with inexperienced actors, Steve Moulds discovered that there are simple, time-honored techniques that almost always work for getting what you want out of an actor. He is convinced that these can be applied to most workplace interactions. So even if you’re not a theatre person, you might benefit from simple tips such as “Ricochet Feedback” and “The Jury Should Disregard That.”

PLUS!!! A special nerd-off to determine the final speaker of the night! Two Iron Nerds will face off on our stage for bragging rights and a grand prize of, well, standing on the stage again.

“It’s like the Discovery Channel…with Beer.” A’ight?

FREE entry, 21+

Vote us up at:

Another fine nerdnite

Well, it was another fine nerdnite, last night. Our thanks go to John, Rachel, Liz and Ginnie for their fantastic talks. Thanks too, as ever, to the attendees for their great questions and general awesomeness.

You may be interested to know that we also made the press at austin360.

As ever, if you’d care to present, contact or

Also, if you’re on Facebook, you may want to become a Fan of nerdnite Austin. Just click on the button in the sidebar.

See you next month!

Nerd Nite 7 – Plant Sex! Nintendo Hacks! Hitler Wins!

Mix one-part slacker lecture with two parts over-educated stand-up comedy…and you know what happens.
You can attend the Facebook event here.

This month’s mind-bending production includes…


“The Flora’s Guide to Getting It On” by Liz Milano & Ginnie Morrison

This isn’t your typical “birds-and-the-bees” lecture. Morrison & Milano will describe the crazy systems that plants use to reproduce – cheating, deception and self-replication are all fair game.

Liz Milano and Ginnie Morrison are both plant biology students at UT and study various facets of the wonderful world of botany including evolution, pollination and germination.


“Playing with Power!: The Nintendo Entertainment System” by Rachel Wooley

In the early 1980s, a little video game console known as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was born. For nearly a decade, the NES dominated the home video game market with titles like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend of Zelda. “Playing with Power!” will take you on a nostalgic, pixelated tour of the console’s history, game catalog, legal battles, wacky accessories, and the hardware that gives NES games their signature look and sound. You’ll also learn about how hobbyists and programmers are keeping the NES alive 25 years after its debut.

Rachel Wooley earned her degree in chemistry and now works as an editor. In her spare time, Rachel collects, plays, takes apart, and programs NES games.


“The Tropes of Allohistory: Anxiety and Imagining History the Way it Wasn’t” by John McKenzie

What is it about Western culture that inspires questions like “What if Hitler had won the Second World War?” or “What if the South had won the American Civil War?” Alternate history is a genre of fiction that considers such counterfactual scenarios. McKenzie will describe the various tropes used by authors to construct their tales of high allohistorical fancy and what these stories tell us about our cultural anxieties and ideologies. And there are lots of funny pictures.

John McKenzie is a fourth year Ph.D. student at the University of Texas in Communication Studies. His work primarily is about the intersections between popular culture and the formation of cultural ideologies.

WHERE: Buffalo Billiards (upstairs), 201 E 6th St

WHEN: Thursday, Oct 1, 7-9PM

HOW MUCH: Free (21+)

Look Before You Flush

Phyllis’s husband recorded her talk “Look Before You Flush” this September and uploaded it to Vimeo. Check it out here!

September’s nerdnite

Who knew talking crap could be so entertaining?!

Thanks to Christina, Brian and Phyllis for their great talks last night at nerdnite Austin. Thanks also to all of those who braved the broken A/C and asked such great questions!

We have our line-up for October, but we’re always looking for new nerds to talk at future events. Contact or if you would like to present.

See you next month!