It’s official, Nerds of Chicago: We have a home at the Chicago Clipper (“Home of the Purple Martin”) every 3rd Thursday of the month. That makes our next Nerd Nite August 19th (so soon!).

Here’s the lineup (possibly one more talk in the offing):
“Battle of the Millennia : Renaissance Faire vs. Renaissance” by Katie Chenoweth

From Katie: “Whenever I tell people I’m attending a conference for Renaissance scholars, I know without asking what image is forming in their head: puffy shirts, pointy hats, massive cleavage—maybe even a Hobbit or two. They think I’m going to a Renaissance Faire. The Ren Faire is the bête noire of academics who study the Renaissance, threatening to undermine our seriousness at every turn. That’s probably why I resisted going until this July, when I headed toward the Wisconsin border, determined to find out once and for all what draws non-academics by the thousands to play Renaissance for a day.

“So, what does the Renaissance Faire—with its fairies, wenches, and WWF-style jousting matches—actually have in common with the Renaissance? Are playtrons this century’s neo-Latinists? You’ll have to wait for Nerd Nite to find out what that last question even means.”

Katie Chenoweth is a very serious Renaissance scholar, and currently a faculty member at the University of Chicago. She will not be wearing a puffy shirt (but that doesn’t mean you can’t).

“US High Speed Rail: The New Interstate Expressway?” by Maurice Ball

From Maurice: “Since the 1950’s, passenger railroad in the US has been a joke, taking a back seat to the airplane and America’s #1 love, the automobile. Now with the cost of fossil fuels threatening, on a daily basis, to hold the average American citizen hostage for future years to come, the modern concept of passenger railroad is being given second look…………in the form of High Speed Rail. What does this mean to the average American citizen? And do they even care? Giving up their cars is not an overnight relinquishment. But with the help of the federal government, high speed rail could become the next great ‘Interstate Expressway’.”

Maurice Ball, a transplant from Houston, Texas, is a Mechanical Engineer, having obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Maurice currently works at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL and is a member of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association, based in Chicago, IL.

And our concluding talk of the evening:
“Joggling: The Future of Running” by Perry Romanowski

From Perry: “Running is an excellent way to maintain health and weight.
Unfortunately, it can be incredibly dull. Joggling, or juggling while
running, represents the future of running. No longer do your hands
need to idly pump away while your legs do all the work. Joggling
engages your brain and make running an exercise for thinkers. This
talk will introduce you to the world of joggling, it’s history and a
demonstration on how to do it.”

Perry Romanowski is a world-class joggler who has been running while
juggling since 1996. His now very tired, as you might imagine. Along the
way, he has completed numerous joggling races including 30 marathons,
and currently holds the world record for the fastest 50 miles run while
juggling. Additionally, he has joggled over 630 consecutive days and is a
member of the United States Running Streak Association. Ever since the
accident, however, he does it without the flaming chainsaws.

Can’t wait to see you at the Clipper! We just found out they have grape soda on the gun. This is stoke-worthy.

Nerdily yours,
-Jason St. John