Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Spooks and Kooks!


The nerds are alive and are gathering for 2013’s smartest Halloween after party! Don your costumes one more time on Wednesday, November 6 at Tangent Gallery. Tickets are available in advance and at the door. Eat, drink, and be scary.

Special guest emcee:

SRImageScott “Spook” Drebus

Scott is a professional speaker and performer specializing in delivering educational business keynotes as well as entertaining presentations. He also happens to be an expert on ghosts, metaphysics, and the paranormal. As our special spectral guest emcee, not only will he be our ghost host for the evening, he promises to entertain and mystify with unique spooky magic and haunted illusions.




Here’s a sneak peek of our spooks and kooks (and just you wait, there’s more magic to come):

Maggie McGuire, Decoding the Dead: A Zombie’s Guide to Postmodern Analysis



What connects flesh-eating zombies, academic theory and those creepy drawings your little brother drew when you were young? Postmodernism! In this talk, we’ll talk about the evolving meaning of zombies on film and, on the way, clarify just what postmodernism is and how it can help you can justify watching trashy horror films for the rest of your life.





Stage Frights: Blood-Soaked Special Effects for the StageNotLD

Ever wondered how your favorite gruesome stage shows get their gore? Join Jen and Ted Hansen as they discuss and demonstrate some of their favorite techniques for gunshots, zombie bites, chainsaw hits, fake guts and more.


Tyrell J. Simkins, The Neuroscience of Fear: Where, Why, and Why Do We Love It?Scared Homer Brain

Where does fear come from?  Why are we programmed to fear certain things?  Why do most of us crave a good scare once in a while? These topics will be explored through the lens of modern neuroscience to try and understand not only where we are, but where we have been.


Detroit Fire collective


Jadey bug is a local fire dancer. Her passion for the art of fire has lead her down an exciting road filled with community and rich with experience.  In this discussion Jadey will introduce you to the unique world of fire dancing! During our talk she will get into how props are made and used, the community, live fire demonstrations, and fire safety! At the end she will finish with a beautiful performance capturing the art in fire dancing!

Get Booked!


At long last, Nerd Nite Detroit returns! Fall’s here, and that means it’s time to go back to school! Or better yet, it’s time to get booked with Nerd Nite Detroit. This month, we’re celebrating book culture. We’ll have talks on banned books, the role of books in the digital age, and more! Also, we’re having a book exchange where you can give books and take books..come join the adventure! This month we’re changing it up a bit by hosting our festivities on a Wednesday – Wednesday, September 25th to be exact. But we’ll be back at Tangent Gallery with awesome food and drinks, and cover will be $5.

Date: Wednesday, September 25

Time: Doors at 6 Event at 7

Location: Tangent Gallery

Tickets: $5 in advance or at the door


Josh Diskin: Banned Books


Sara Hanlon, John King Books: A Day in the Life of a Rare Book Buyer


Bonnie Russell, Wayne State Press: Attack of the E-Book – The Rise of the Geeks 


An overview of the ways in which digital publishing and the rise of e-books has impacted the publishing industry. E-books have affected more than just publishers’ product lines – they have brought with them a vast array of programs, technology, and marketing. Technology is transforming the way we look at publishing and the very definition of “a book.”




Nerd it. Build it. Make it. Wire it. Smash it. Glue it. Hacknologic.

nn313-july-shareableMaker Faire is coming to The Henry Ford, but the Nerds at Nerd Nite have a chance to start the Making early. Join us July 25th for a special Nerd Nite 313 + Maker Faire mashup. See world famous death defying makers Ted Hansen, John Ackley, and Will Brick tinker/hack/invent/make/talk on the Nerd Nite stage, with special Maker Faire fun going down in the mezzanine. Avoid certain doom while thrilling to the spectacle of the knife fighting robot automatons! Enjoy tasty dinner and treats from our friends at Sidecar! Find us at the Tangent Gallery for a hacktackular Nerd Nite 313 in July.

When: July 25th, 2013, doors at 6pm, talks at 7pm!
Where: Tangent Gallery, 715 E Milwaukee St, Detroit
Moola: $5
Tickets: At the door or
Eventbrite - Nerd it. Build it. Make it. Wire it. Smash it. Glue it. Hacknologic.



Here are this month’s presentation topics! Speak it. Preach it. 



Image Source

John Ackley: Bicycles, the Great Mobilizer – Simple, but not easy, Machines 

John will focus on design, fabrication and production of bicycle frames in various materials as well as structure, design and building of traditional spoked bicycle wheels. John is currently the Production Manager for Bicycles at Shinola Detroit.

IMG_20120329_222648-300x225Image Source 

Ted Hansen & Matt Switlik: Robot Knife Fight 


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Matt is a web application developer, a founding member of i3 Detroit, and a perennial Maker Faire Detroit exhibitor. Ted Hansen is another founding member of i3 Detroit and its current CEO, and he makes robots both big and small.
Will Brick: The Flying Aces
Old model airplane guys of a very arcane and eccentric order; The Flying Aces.  The are some of the most inventive, creative, excited, whimsical and silly people I have ever met.  Their hobby blurs engineering, art, story telling, screwed up aesthetics and a healthy dose of self inflicted hardship and punishment!  They build intricately detailed models of antique aircraft in miniature using traditional methods and wacky invention.  The discipline is known as “free flight” after the fact that once completed, these model are trimmed to fly free (without remote control).  Imagine tossing hundreds of hours worth of work into the air often to never be seen again! Will is the manager of TechShop Detroit.



Motor City Super Nerds!


Nerds Assemble!

Come join us for some superhero shenanigans as we’ve got Scott vertical Superman, David Moan talking Batman, and Ben Criger talking Robocop. The Michigan Science Center will be bringing some super toys for you to harness your powers with, too. And there may also be paint. Also, we’re having our first ever costume contest! Dress up as your favorite superbeing (or create your own!) and there will be prizes.


When: Thursday, June 27. Doors at 6. Event at 7.

Where: The Old Miami, 3930 Cass Ave. Detroit

Tickets: $5 either in advance or at the door.

Scott Vertical – Krypton: Superman’s Forgotten Past


Prior to 1986, DC Comics told many stories about Superman’s home planet, Krypton. Those stories have since been abandoned, replaced by a more “realistic” version of an alien planet. Krypton used to be a fun place to live. Find out why.

Scott Vertical is a former Detroit radio DJ (WDVD, 89X). He owns every Superman comic book published from 1984-2012, including such titles as Action, Supergirl, Superboy and The Legion of Superheroes. Scott also owns many reprints and collections from Superman’s past, having read a couple of thousand stories starring the Man of Steel and his friends. He was a nerd way before being a nerd was cool. He is also an avid movie buff and lapsed Star Wars aficionado (thanks for nothing, prequels). Mr. Vertical currently runs a website which has won multiple awards for “Least Frequently Updated” and “Most Unfinished Ideas”. He lives in Royal Oak with his daughter, who is a Doctor Who fan and future nerd.

David Moan, Not the Hero We Need: Chronology of the Caped Crusader and Philosophical Musings on a Masked Vigilante


Would our real world problems be solved by a Dark Knight or should Bruce leave his cape and cowl in the Batcave? This talk begins with a survey of the evolution of Batman mythology as a reflection of an ever-changing American culture throughout the 20th and 21st century. It then moves to examine the repercussions of recent adaptations of the World’s Greatest Detective that attempt to reconcile The Batman and our modern society.

David Moan has been obsessed with Batman since he was a child.  Having accepted the fact that he cannot actually become Batman, Moan instead devotes himself to studying the evolving Batman mythology with the goal of developing a college-level lecture series.  (It also serves as justification for purchasing so many comics, movies, and video games.) Originally from Pittsburgh, Moan earned a BA in Music: Vocal Performance with studies in history and theatre from Manchester University in Indiana. He sings for the Michigan Opera Theatre, teaches diction courses for his alma mater, and works as a lead presenter at the Michigan Science Center. He currently lives with his wife and two bats cats in Detroit.

Ben Criger, RoboCop: Why You Should Like It, and Why You Don’t


In this talk, Ben will address the subtle genius behind the 80s schlock film RoboCop. The talk begins with a brief summary of the main plot of RoboCop, for those that don’t know, and continues with an analysis of RoboCop’s influences, and why RoboCop is a hero for our era.

Ben is from Canada, and has talked about RoboCop several times at Nerd Nite Kitchener Waterloo. He wouldn’t say that he’s an expert on RoboCop, he’s more of an enthusiast. The word ‘expert’ would imply that he has some useful knowledge, but really, he just likes RoboCop a lot. He has has probably seen RoboCop over 100 times, though. You can go down a bit of a rabbit hole when it comes to RoboCop, too, since there have been so many sequels and spin-offs. Some of it’s pretty good (Frank Miller’s RoboCop, based on the original script for RoboCop 2), but it can get really bad.

Detroit Nerd City

Join us for an evening of songs in Nerd Major!


Nerd Nite 313 is celebrating the Motor City’s rich musical heritage with its first ever music-themed nerd nite! We’ll have a super-sized nite with check it – FOUR presenters talking Motown, scratching, freestyle rap, and musical improv. The Michigan Science Center will be bringing a sound-themed pop-up science exhibit, too! So get down and boogie with us….who knows, we just might have a dance party after.

When: Thursday, May 30

Where: Tangent Gallery / Hastings Street Ballroom, 715 E. Milwaukee Detroit, MI

Time: Doors at 6 Event at 6:30 (this is different than before!)

Cover: $5 in advance or at the door (cash/credit)
Eventbrite - Detroit Nerd City

What will we be talking about? 

Justin Fitins – A Brief History of Scratching

Justin Fitins is a DJ and musician. He has been performing as a DJ since 1996. Since then, he has DJed for KRS-One, various members of the extended Wu-Tang Clan collective, and had a reoccuring slot on the Vans Warped Tour as a DJ and with his musical counterpart Michigan rapper Dante. Justin has taught DJ classes as part of free after school programs for high school students, as well as elective class for the University of Michigan’s School of Music.

Ian McGill – The Same Old Song: What Modern Startups Can Learn from Motown Records

Ian was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Roeper City and Country School in Oakland County and a small boarding school near Mt. Pleasant.  He then worked and studied in nearly twenty countries before returning to Michigan to continue his education at Andrews University and later Wayne State. He has helped a number businesses and non-profit organizations  discover new tools to help to them reach their goals more quickly. For the last five years, his responsibilities have included the coordination and development of Social Media strategies for Motown Museum.


Teddy Abrams – Generating Music: What is the creative process that allows the abstract language of Western music to be meaningful and cohesive?

Teddy Abrams conducts, composes, and performs as a clarinetist and pianist. Currently, Abrams is the Resident Conductor of the MAV Symphony of Budapest, and serves as the Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He was the Conducting Fellow of the New World Symphony from 2008-2011; recent and upcoming performances include conducting engagements with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Florida Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony, and the Marin Symphony.


Erik Torenberg – Anyone Can Freestyle Rap

Erik Torenberg likes to write, read, rap, think, and host events that bring people together. He hails from New Jersey, studied economics at University of Michigan, and founded We believe rap has the positive benefits of any other art or instrument and, just like any other art or instrument, with enough practice anyone can learn how to do it to a certain extent. Unfortunately, people feel too uncomfortable rapping although they wish they knew how. We aim to break those barriers and encourage people to have fun freestyle rapping — regardless of skill level, or lack there of.


And….we’ve got a special treat!

Pop-Up Science from the Michigan Science Center: The Science of Sound

Mi-Sci’s sound activities and demonstrations will break music down to its elements. Waves and vibrations can be experienced in a simple yet fascinating way. We’ll use tuning forks, singing aluminum rods, dancing oobleck, boomwhackers,and other tools to demonstrate the science of sound.

Nerd Nite 313: Level Up!

nn313 - 1 nerds313nerds, Let’sa go! Nerd Nite is back for more and, trust us, you don’t want to miss out. For those of you who are new to the fold, Nerd Nite is a monthly social event where nerds of all disciplines talk about their passions while the audience drinks and learns along. Your mission objectives:
ROUND 1: Explore beyond the grickle grass , where the Truffula trees used to grow…
ROUND 2:  Evolve.  Locate medical facility and supplies.
ROUND 3:  Locked. Unlock rounds 1 & 2 to proceed.
Quest Unlocked. Come to Nerd Nite. Earn an achievement.
Day: Thursday, April 25
Time: Doors 6:15 w/ advance ticket, start selling day-of at 6:30, event at 7 
LocationTangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee Detroit, MI 48202 
Cover: $5 – Buy Online or at the door (cash/credit)
ContactFacebook // Twitter // Website // E-mail

 See what people are saying…

nn313 - charlie

Dr. Seuss, MBA, Charlie Curve

You can learn a helluva lot more from studying Star Bellied Sneetches, Brown Barbaloots and South-Going Zax from the Prairie of Pax instead of studying how to recontextualize and reintermediate paradigm shifting synergistic architectures in a traditional business school program. Also, the Seuss books have much better infographics.

Charlie Curve opened the doors at Curve Detroit Marketing Strategy & Creative Design after being thrown out of several well respected ad agencies. Along with a bunch of cool friends, he produces the annual TEDxDetroit conference and runs a professional network for area business peeps called Motor City Connect. He loves big ideas, big mountains and big sandwiches. He hates poorly designed billboards, speed limits and people who flick cigarette butts out the window. Charlie craves bacon and chocolate, but not chocolate covered bacon. Last year, he was named the second best PowerPoint Karaoke presenter in the world. This year, he hopes to win something that people have actually heard of.

nn313 - helen

“So, you have the pelvis of a hominin…”: What human birth was long ago, what it is now, and how it might be in the future., Helen Stockton

When humans evolved a lot changed for us. Our pelvises changed as we learned to walk up right. Eventually the size of our heads changed too. This had a tremendous impact on the way we give birth. It was not long before we realized that giving birth went better with a little help from a friend. The practices and people that helped us give birth remained largely the same for over a million of years, but then over the last hundred and fifty years or so they began to change  drastically. What happened to our bodies, our society, and our beliefs that caused us to take birth out of the hands of mothers and midwives in the home, and bring it into the world of doctors and hospitals? This talk will cover the basic mechanics and physiology of human birth, and tell the story of how birth left the home and entered the hospital while also asking the question, “Is there anything we can  learn from the past that would help us provide the best birth outcomes today?”

Helen Stockton is a Certified Professional Midwife specializing in homebirth and natural pregnancy care.  She cares for woman and babies with patience, cooperation and respect.

nn313 - pj

ROUND 3, Locked.

Unlock round 3 Thursday, April 25th at the Tangent Gallery. Level up!

Thanks for your support, Detroit!

Nerd Nite 313 Debut Crowd Shot

Photo by Jeff Wegner


It seems Nerd Nite is in Detroit to stay! As you can see from the photo above, we got a great response from the community. The debut sold out by 6:45!!

All of this, of course, is only possible thanks to you – thanks for coming out to Great Lakes Coffee, meeting a new nerdy friend or two and learning something new with us. Rumor is you all may have set the record for most audience tweets at a Nerd Nite anywhere! If you missed the twitter feed follow us @nerdnite313 and be sure to watch #nn313 to tweet along at the next Nerd Nite Detroit, April 25th. More details to come soon.


#nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter#nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter #nn313 Twitter


We know there are a lot of nerds out there who heard about us in the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, on Michigan Radio and the Craig Fahle show who didn’t get a chance to catch this month’s Nerd Nite. Not to worry, we will be back next month and already have tickets available on presale! Catch more nerdery April 25, 7 pm – we recommend getting to the venue by 6:30 pm to buy tickets at the door. We will start admitting pre-sale ticket holders at 6:15 pm.

A video and more pictures to come soon! See you in April 😉

Nerd Nite is coming…

Nerd Nite is Coming - March


Nerd Nite is coming, Detroit! Get ready!

We all know that learning is more fun when you’re drinking with friends and colleagues. Thus, Nerd Nite is a monthly event held in more than 50 cities across the globe during which several folks give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative presentations across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along.  And there are often bands, acrobats, trivia, and other shenanigans as well.  Imagine learning about everything from math feuds or the science of the Simpsons, to the genealogy of Godzilla or debunking beer myths.  Fun, right?  As nerds and non-nerds like to say, “Nerd Nite Is Like the Discovery Channel™…with Beer!” We’ve finally brought this fun event to Detroit, and we would love to have you come or present. Here are some details for our first event:

The very first Nerd Nite in the 313 will be March 28th! Join us for drinks and awesome presentations! We hope that you come and bring your friends!


Date: Thursday, March 28th
Time: Doors at 6:30, event at 7
Location: Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, 3965 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48201
Fees: $5 Cover, Buttons for a recommended donation, whatever drinks you decide to buy

Get Tickets:

Questions? Send us a message on Facebook or e-mail " target="_blank">.


The Line-Up:

NN313 Detroit Flyhouse


Life’s a Circus, Micha Adams & Matt Buss

Micha Adams and Matt Buss have been teaching and performing circus arts together for over five years.  They have trained at circus schools all over the country and perform a variety of circus acts including partner acrobatics and duo trapeze.  In addition to performing Micha and Matt run a highly successful circus school in Eastern Market Detroit called The Detroit Flyhouse.  They train students from all walks of life and consistently sell out every class they offer.  Their performance troupe, Detroit Circus, has performed at countless venues throughout metro Detroit and Michigan.

Micha and Matt will discuss what it takes to run a successful circus school and performance troupe, behind the scenes and on stage.



Nerd Nite Detroit - Michigan Science Center Spiders


Arachnoholics Anonymous, Charles Gibson

Charles was always afraid of spiders growing up but had a strong fascination with the natural world. It wasn’t until about 2 years ago he became interested in these 8-legged critters. After purchasing his first tarantula, Charles’ addiction ran rampant. He now has over 20 live specimens.

The behavior, biology, beautiful coloration, and patterns of arachnids is mesmerizing. Studying arachnids by reading journals and textbooks has become a bit of a hobby for Charles and has allowed him to make a whole network of friends with this similar interest. Professionally, Charles is the Outreach Coordinator at the Michigan Science Center where he gets to share science programming with students from all over the state. Charles is also a regular volunteer at the Belle Isle Aquarium.



Nerd Nite 313 - Detroit Drunken Historical Society

Detroit under Prohibition: 1855 – 1875, Amy Elliott Bragg

Before there was the Purple Gang, there was the Carson League. Before there were basement speakeasies, there were illegal taverns — one for every 13 people in the city. Before there was bootleg hooch, there was booze for “medicinal and scientific” purposes. We’ll talk about Detroit’s long-forgotten first Prohibition: why it happened, how it failed, and what it spawned (the Police Department, for one). Drink up.

Detroit history lover Amy Elliott Bragg writes, talks, and drinks about the Motor City before the motor. She’s the author of Hidden History of Detroit, blogs about pre-automotive Detroit history at, and is the co-founder of the Detroit Drunken Historical Society. She hosts irreverent tours of early Detroit with the Detroit Bus Company and spoke about Detroit in the 1890s at TEDxDetroit 2012. Fondnesses include old history books, French pony carts, lost cemeteries, eccentric millionaires, and drinking through the ages.

Photo from