We have another fantastic trio of speakers and an awesomely wide range of topics for Nerd Nite July!
The Facebooks here

Please welcome Darryl Suskin, Nick Gibson, and Seth Harper to the stage!

It's a glowing rod of plutonium.

You know the moves, NiteNerders:
July 1st at the Bottom Lounge
Doors open at 7pm
First speaker at 8pm
Done and drunk by 11pm.

Check out these awesome talks:

DIY Plutonium

Watching the cult classic UHF as a 13-year-old, I found one scene in particular hilarious: making plutonium out of common household items. My interest was rekindled recently by a book about David “The Radioactive Boy Scout” Hahn, who was obsessed with nuclear power, came really close to building a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard from materials around his neighborhood.

Putting these two things together, I thought I would see if I could theoretically make some plutonium for no good reason other than to see if it’s possible — and then tell you all about how that worked out.

[Darryl Suskin is a food scientist who gets obsessed with different science topics unrelated to his job. Right now his wife is just hoping the NSA hasn’t put him on any sort of watch list based on his internet search history. After his presentation, he will probably spend his time figuring out how to beat rigged carny games. His chili is better than yours and he can beat you at Tetris.]


Are you listening to your amazing collection of songs using crappy headphones and fuzzy MP3s? Or are you old school, still listening to physical media like CDs… or vinyl? Hey Grandpa. Get with the program. In this interactive multi-media buzzword-filled presentation, you’ll find out how your music gets digitized to perfection then, with the unlikely help of an 80’s alt-folk singer, compromised with compression through MP3 encoding. You’ll get the chance to hear the difference between “good” and “bad” compression for yourself, all the way to the very limits of human perception. Plus, I’ll tell you which buttons to push next time you use iTunes to convert a CD.

[Nick Gibson is an actual Sound Guy, although he does not have a ponytail. Yes, he knows what all those knobs do. If you’re not careful, he’ll tell you.]


The botanical world is a realm of beauty, wonder, mystery, and giant coconuts that look like butts. Come learn a thing or two about the weird and sometimes amusing ways plants use fruits to distribute their progeny.

[Seth Harper is a Horticulturist at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, with fifteen years in the plant biz. Though his career has taken him from rainforests to prairies, he has spent an inexplicable amount of brainpower on virtually useless plant-based trivia.]

What? Why would you say this looks like anything but a big, succulent coconut?