Nerd Nite Chicago lives!

Fellow nerds, nerd-fans, and adherents of nerdery,

We’re just so proud to be here.

We’re also proud to be opening Thursday, June 3rd, 8pm at the California Clipper, just south of beautiful, vast Humboldt Park.

We’ve got three talks from Boston nerd nite veterans who just so happen to also be the organizing committee bringing Nerd Nite to Chicago:

Parasitic Birds, Shakers, and World-Ending Nerdery: Nerd Nite comes to Chicago

“Parasitic Birds, Sex, Lies, and Dinosaurs” – Chris Balakrishnan

From Chris: When people hear that I study birds, they are often intrigued by the adventures, trials, and tribulations that occur while conducting field research in exotic places. Before long, however, they get to the questions they are REALLY curious about… 1) What on earth is a parasitic bird? (no, it doesn’t suck your blood) 2) What do you think about the idea that birds are dinosaurs? and the big one… 3) How do birds have sex? I will use these questions as themes around which to discuss the evolution of birds, and more generally, the process of evolution.

After spending all of his life in the Northeast, Chris has been transplanted to corn-filled Central Illinois. Chris is an evolutionary biologist/ornithologist. He is constantly surprised by how many people know what an ornithologist is and by how many people are deathly afraid of birds. It’s all Alfred Hitchcock’s fault. Or maybe it’s because birds are dinosaurs. Chris is nothing if not dedicated, and because of his dedication to drinking at the Midway Café in Boston, nerdnite was born.

“Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture, Millenarian Style” – Rebecca Anderson

In the surprisingly frequent event that the Shakers get mentioned at a party, someone usually says, “Weren’t they celibate?  No wonder they died out; what did they think would happen?”  And I have say, “Are you really asking me?  Because I have an answer.  And it involves the Industrial Revolution” — a real conversation-ender.

But the truth is that for the first 50 years, people joined this utopian movement in droves — in order to dance and sing together.  I’ll try to make the case that giving up everything they owned and living as brother as sister with former spouses and children was worth it.

Rebecca is 20 pages away from a Masters in Divinity at the University of Chicago.  But those might be the 20 pages that keep it from happening.

“Science Will (not actually) Kill Us All: The Large Hadron Collider, the Rest of the Universe, and You.” – Jason St. John

Jason St. John is a graduate student in mad science at the Large Hadron Collider. Besides generating the same bawdy typographical error over and over, the LHC is built to generate never-before-seen particle physics events. Jason will show a few of the ones already seen, and address the pressing issue raised by a prominent former nuclear safety officer who lives in Hawaii: that we will all die because of some frivolous, 14 billion dollar multinational lark. Along the way, he might maybe mention a few things about what a particle collider really does, and why you would want such a thing.

Nerd Nite Chicago at the Clipper!

Start Time:
Thursday, June 3, 2010 at 8:00pm
End Time:
Friday, June 4, 2010 at 12:00am
The California Clipper (Augusta & California)
1002 N. California Ave.
Chicago, IL