Nerd Nite Fargo


Happy Halloween, MFers! October Nerd Nite.

What’s up, Nerds?  I hope your Halloween costumes are coming along nicely.  I haven’t even started on mine yet- my coworkers and I are all going to dress up like VSCO girls, so step one…find out what the fuck a VSCO girl is.  Anyway, first things first: DEETS FOR OCTOBER NERD NITE ARE HERE!!

The Red Goo that Fuels You. In celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, this talk will discuss the importance of blood; the amazing 5 liters of fluid that powers you. This hemoglobin carrying liquid does more than just carry oxygen and nutrients. We’ll discuss the human history of blood, cool facts about it, gain a better understanding of why blood is important and learn about its purpose in our daily lives.

Manpreet Bains graduated with a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathogenesis where his research focused on the interactions of the neuropeptide, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, and the body. His research involved understanding how VIP impacted eosinophils and T-cells in the immune system, altered metabolism, and modified the microbiome. Likes include big words, Qdoba lunches, and blogging nerdy science articles on FB @SciencEvolved.

DON’T PANIC. Hitchhiker’s Guide to Cosmic Horrors.  Dive with us into the possibility of the universe suddenly ceasing to exist, and how it could already be failing. A presentation about cosmic horror and the danger of the infinitely massive to quantumly small.

Jade Harveland is returning after uncovering Atlantis and has talked on everything from sex toys to comics. He’s now here to terrify us with how the world could end.

Definitely Ancient and Totally Mysterious: an Intro to Tarot Cards.

Dani Harveland has been a practicing pagan for over a decade, and she is definitely using this presentation as an excuse to buy more Tarot decks because enough is never enough. (Just don’t tell her partner ;). If you can convince her to part with one of her precious babies you could even win your very own themed Tarot complete with custom pouch.

Plus free candy, beer that I wish was free, and maybe crazy people in costumes.  Idk.  It’s Halloween.  Let’s get weird.  See your spooky asses on Wednesday October 16th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), Fargo Billiards and Gastropub. 

🙂 T

Banner October 2019

Atlantian Fire Tips: Sept 2019

Greetings from Chicago, Nerds!  It is the time of year when NN bosses from all over the country gather in a chosen city to share tips, fun stories, and ideas about how to make NN the best it can be.  Also they watch me get brick-faced and marvel at the liver powers of North Dakotans. 🙂 ANYWAY, topics for September Nerd Nite are here!

Five Tips on Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth. Learn how to best support the LGBTQ+ youth you come across in your life without sprinkling rainbow glitter everywhere you go (although glitter will be available upon request). Included topics are pronouns, expressing oneself, coming out, the alphabet of LGBTQIIAA plus, and dealing with mean people.

Adrienne MacDonald (they/them) is an activist for the LGBTQ+ community. Their most important role as an activist is to facilitate Kaleidoscope, the LGBTQ+ youth support group at The Pride Collective and Community Center.  Adrienne has a B.S. degree from NDSU in Psychology, and attends graduate school at MSUM, writing their thesis on LGBTQ+ youth, adult support, and mental health. Their work with at-risk youth won’t stop any time soon.

I get paid to light fires. What is a prescribed fire?  Have you ever heard of the term “good fire”? How can there be such a thing? Come learn the benefits of using fire as an ecological/management tool in the northern tall-grass prairie. Fire is a natural process in this ecosystem and many species require it for their survival. Learn the anatomy of a prescribed fire and how this practice can be applied safely in natural areas.

Matt Mecklenburg has been in working in the natural resources field for 20 years, the last 15 of which have been with The Nature Conservancy (TNC). He has been involved with prescribed fire during that entire time, the last 11 serving as a burn boss for TNC. He holds a B.S. in Natural resources from NDSU and an A.A.S. in Natural Resources from Central Lakes College. He enjoys spending time with his wife Candace and silver Labrador retriever Otus. He also enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking and paddling.

The Lost City of Atlantis.  Let’s dive into a mystery as old history itself, in time before the first of the ancient wonders of the world. A mysterious lost land where we must ask ourselves what is even possible as we pull back the curtains on our own history in search for answers. Answers to where the lost city of Atlantis is, what happened to it, its people, and if it even existed in the first place.

Jade Harveland is four time speaking veteran of Fargo Nerd Nite.  When he’s not nerding with FNN, he works as a sex educator and trainer at Enchantasy’s intimate boutique.  His favorite hobby is sneaking dicks into his presentations.

There you have it!  Join us for some story telling, some tips for being a good human, and and some sweet-ass conservation this Wednesday, September 18th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Get your think and drink on.  See you there.

🙂 T

Banner Sept 2019


Nuclear Trail Hat: August Nerd Nite

Happy Sunday, my nerds.  I feel like it’s been FOR-E-VER since the last NN.  Did HBO’s “Chernobyl” leave you both scared and fascinated?  Do you dig hiking, nature, and history?  Are you into neurological malfunctions?  Or do you just like beer and learning cool shit?  Well friend, this month’s NN is for you.

“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat”: A Book Review. Dr. Oliver Sacks’s “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” is a fascinating—if occasionally unnerving—journey into the human mind, and the strange feelings and situations that befall individuals who suffer from neurological disorders. A collection of short stories, each relating an encounter with a different patient, Dr. Sacks combines medical writing and storytelling to show us the stranger side of human psychology. Three of these stories will be presented and discussed.

Erin Nyren earned her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from NDSU in 2013. She spent the next five years as the CEO and lead teacher of Discovery Express Kids in Fargo providing science education classes and materials to elementary students and teachers, as well as serving as a freelance editor of scientific journal articles at Enago/Crimson Interactive Ltd. She now works at Aldevron as a Technical Writer.

Nuclear Weapons: How to Let Roaches Rule.  Information you probably didn’t know and now wish you didn’t.

Rick Reichenbach : An Army brat for the first part of childhood who finally settled down in ND. He programs computers for fun, and likes to camp, fish, hunt, and play computer games.  And also scare the shit out of unsuspecting nerds with terrifying conjecture. 

The North Country National Scenic Trail and the Dakota Challenge.  You may have heard of the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest trail, but the longest of the eleven National Scenic Trails in fact starts only 20 minutes from Fargo. One of 11 NSTs in the country,  the North Country Trail ends at Lake Sakakawea State Park in ND after passing through eight states on a 4660 mile trek from Vermont.  The members of the Dakota Challenge aim to hike all 438 miles in ND, but why?

Rennae Gruchalla is a charter member of the North Country Trail Association, serving as Vice President and Hike Leader of the Dakota Prairie Chapter. The purpose of the DPC is to build new trail, maintain existing trail, and to do outreach which includes sponsoring hikes, and tabling at events.

And there you have it!  We’ll be scared.  We’ll be intrigued.  We’ll be inspired.  It’s Fargo Nerd Nite, baby.  August 21st, 7PM (doors at 6:30), Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

Banner Aug 2019

We’re BACK!! July NN: Babies and Piggies and Studies OH MY!

Well hello there nerds.  I hope you didn’t fry up in this soupy muggy weekend.  Sorry we had to bail on you in June- speakers backing out, personal lives with stuff to do, actual work to pay the bills…you know.  BUT if you can withstand melting until Wednesday, we’re BACK with studies into human nature and metabolism:

Food, Physiology, and Eating Like a Pig.  Would it surprise you to know that we know more about how to feed a pig than we know how to feed humans?  We can learn a lot from pigs because pig physiology, growth, and development are very similar to humans. We can utilize the pig as a model for humans to study impact of food and food combinations on skin, muscle, respiratory, and cardiovascular diseases.  Pigs are omnivores with a simple stomach similar to humans, so food impacts hormone release, metabolism, and subsequent disease progression (or not).

Eric Berg is an over-educated butcher.  He received his PhD from Purdue University in Meat Science in 1996, took a post-doctoral fellowship at Texas A&M University conducting research in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical School at Houston, spent 8 years in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Missouri, and has been a Professor at NDSU for the past 13 years.  His research focus involves using swine as a biomedical model for humans to study how food combinations impact obesity-related metabolic disorders.

Nature or Nurture? Why do girls like dolls and boys like trucks?  There is evidence to suggest that the types of gender-typical toys children prefer can be explained by biological factors, such as hormones, that predispose children to prefer those types of toys. However, countless studies demonstrate that many of the differences between the sexes once thought to be biologically determined originate from societally-constructed environmental differences. Can the same be said about toy preferences? Studies investigating the emergence of these preferences in infancy and toddlerhood can help answer this question.

Rebecca Woods, Babyologist.  Rebecca has spent nearly 20 years studying what babies know, and how they learn about toys and other objects in their environment. Although her own three babies are all grown up, she’s still fascinated by the rapid changes that occur in infancy and how parents influence babies’ attention and learning. There is a lot more to babies than bottles, diapers, and drool.

AND, since there are only two speakers, as you know, we make up the time with TRIVIA!!  Binge if you gotta to make sure you’re up to date on our favorite underage nerds fighting evil, because this month it’s all about STRANGER THINGS.

That’s what I know!  See you this Wednesday July 17th, 7PM, (doors at 6:30) at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

NN Banner July 2019

May Nerd Nite: Enter the Gene Pole

Greetings Nerds!  ARE YOU READY FOR SOME NERDING?!  Topics this month have nothing to do with eachother, as per usual. 🙂 Hawt deets:

Gene Therapy: Medicine’s New Frontier.  Gene therapies are one of the frontiers of modern medicine. This group of techniques focuses on delivering genes into patient cells or replacing mutated ones. Current gene therapy approaches include AAV-mediated gene therapy, liposome delivery, and CRIPSR-Cas9 gene editing. A number of these therapies are already commercially available, with additional disease targets currently undergoing late stage clinical trials.

Manpreet Bains (AKA Matt, AKA Bainsy) recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathogenesis where his research focused on the interactions of the neuropeptide, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, and the body. His research involved understanding how VIP impacted eosinophils and T-cells in the immune system, altered metabolism, and modified the microbiome.  This will be his third FNN presentation.  Likes include big words, LinkedIn, and reusing biographies.

Not Your Mama’s Workout: The Evolution of Pole Fitness.  Join the owners of Fargo’s >>Zero Gravity Alternative Fitness<< as they discuss the origin of pole dance and its subsequent evolution as a form of entertainment, sport, and alternative exercise. Learn the benefits of pole fitness, challenges facing the pole community, and the truth about about dancing in 9-inch platform stilettos.

Gina Bushey is a Fargo native with a background in performance and public speaking. She earned a BS in Speech Communication from NDSU, with a minor in Anthropology. Gina found her way to pole fitness in 2011. Misty found pole in 2012. Her background includes education and coaching, with a BS in Chemistry and MEd in Science Education from NDSU, and a Masters in Forensic Psychology from UND, where she is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Foundations & Research. Together, they launched Zero Gravity Alternative Fitness in 2016. Both have performed and judged in multiple showcases and competitions since that time, and teach all levels of pole at Zero Gravity.

Plus GAME OF THRONES SUPER NERD TRIVIA.  We’ve waited SO EFFING LONG for the last season, and now it’s finally here- let’s celebrate it!  Think you know your ASOIAF facts?  Prove it!  Prizes to the winners, door prizes for others, booze for everyone!  You can’t lose!  See your beautiful faces on Wednesday, May 15th, 7PM (doors at 6:30- get there early because we’ve been running out of seats lately), at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Free and open to the public.  Bring your mom- it’s what she wants.

🙂 T

NN Banner May 2019

FNN Turns 4 with a Fiery Sexy River!

Good morning Nerds!  This week is shaping up to be just brilliant-  between the upcoming GoT premier and Fargo Nerd Nite’s 4th birthday show, I can barely contain my excitement!  Speakers and topics:

Sex, Gender, and Rock n Roll: Does a gender-queer pansexual sound like a DnD character to you? Bring your label-maker and learn about all the new-fangled terminology. You might even find out where you fit within all this PC stuff as we examine biological sex, gender, sexuality, and attraction and how they relate to you and others. -Ari Harveland

First time presenter Ari- who’s presented before- is coming out and coming back nerdier than ever! If she’s not explaining how she is sometimes a he, she’s crafting, cuddling with cats, or playing board games. (You might know her as Dani the Sex Nerd, but now she’s talking about the ooooother meaning of the term.)

A Night of Ice and Fire: Game of Thrones in the Real World Let’s talk about kings, assassinations, wars, and curses. We may even discuss Game of Thrones, but there is plenty of scandal and conspiracy right from the pages of history. It’s Nerd Nite’s very own Drunk History and how events from long ago continue to influence our world and George RR Martin’s story in Game of Thrones. Potential spoilers but probably way off target. – Ben Jagim

Ben earned a Bachelor’s from UND and a Master’s from Texas A&M. He operates his own insurance agency and enjoys community projects. His nerd focus includes A Song of Ice and Fire, superhero movies, Star Trek: TNG, and history. Basically, he drinks and he knows things.

Learn, Sustain and Enjoy the Red River. River Keepers was established in 1990 after a large community-wide assessment said that the Red River is underutilized, under-appreciated and in some cases mistreated.  To someday meet our vision that “All people value the Red River as a vital part of our community”, our work includes water education, water quality monitoring, river safety, riparian restoration, and river recreation. This is done so that the community understands the value and importance of the Red River, properly maintains it and safely enjoys it. – Christine Holland

Christine Holland has worked at River Keepers promoting the Red River since 1993 in various capacities including intern, administrative assistant, project coordinator, first mate, captain, purser, trip leader, and is now the executive director.  In her non-work time Christine likes to have fun dates with her nieces and nephews, read, travel, kayak, walk her dog, knit/crochet and quilt.

Plus we’ll give you prizes and cake, because we celebrate our birthday hobbit style, like any good nerd does. 🙂  See your beautiful faces Wednesday, April 17th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.

🙂 T

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March NN: Sneakerhead Technomancy

Happy Monday, Nerds!  I feel like March is a month of waiting this year.  We’re waiting for this flood, we’re waiting for Game of Thrones to come back, we’re waiting for Avengers End Game…BUT thank the Zombie Jesus we only have to wait a couple more days for the next Nerd Nite. 🙂 Topics:

Technomancy: Bending Electronics to Your Will.  Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Here, we’ll peek behind the wizard’s curtain and learn a little about the magic of modern electronics. Armed with a few basic principles, you’ll know just enough to make wild-ass guesses about how things work. Using tools made for both art majors and children, you will unlock a whole new world of possibilities and blinking lights. Bemuse your friends. Annoy your enemies. Make something genuinely useful. The possibilities are endless!

Dustin Kerber is a maker and open-source enthusiast from Fargo, ND. He can often be found with a tool in hand, whether a wrench, a saw, a soldering iron, or a keyboard. Dustin got his start fixing farm equipment and continued to skill grind his way from one tool to the next. With a degree in Computer Science and a decade of industry experience, the toolbox has only grown deeper. By day, he builds tools for a team of software developers; by night he can be found pacing his workshop, looking for the next problem in need of an over-engineered solution.

Life of a Sneakerhead.  If you think women were the only ones who had shoe addictions, you are highly mistaken.

Jay Halvorson started as a sneakerhead when he was 10.  His aunt bought him his first pair of Air Jordan 1 6’s called Carmine for Christmas.  As a kid, his mom always bought his Js, or he busted his ass on paper routes to get others. His solid addiction came for at his birthday in Sept. 2003 with his Air Jordan 7 Raptors, and it’s been non-stop ever since.

AND, since it’s International Women’s Month, we had a speaker lined up to present on a very lady topic, but unfortunately that busy woman had a work conflict so she had to drop out.  Instead, we’ll have a short presentation on the far famed Bechdel Test and play a little game to test your knowledge.

SO get your beautiful faces to Fargo Billiards and Gastropub on Wednesday March 20th by 7PM (doors at 6:30) for nerds, beer, games, prizes, and LEARNING.  See you there.

🙂 T

Mar 2019 Banner

Comic CRISPR Vaccines- February Nerd Nite

Valentines This

Happy Saturday, Nerds.  I hope you all survived Valentine’s Day with sufficient quantities of chocolate and booze.  FNN is very happy to supplement your February with some hot topics to combat this cold weather:

CRISPR: The tool, the myth, the legend.  CRISPR – the Taylor Swift of science – just knowing it exists makes you “cool.” It’s the gene editing technology that is meant to serve you, but you are often not included in the conversation. Let’s talk about how CRISPR works, what CRISPR can (and can’t) do for you, among some other ethical discussions. Was that Chinese scientist that used CRISPR on human embryos for the very first time out of line? Is CRISPR going to lead to “superhumans?” What are the long-term societal implications of using CRISPR?

Kimberly Booth is an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Biological Sciences at NDSU. She teaches biology for non-science majors, in which she focuses on two major goals: 1) providing a scientific lens by which to evaluate societal issues and 2) fostering curious and scientifically literate citizens. Her research interests include how teaching techniques used in the classroom affect student learning.

Comically Un-Sexy.  In the first installment of Sex and Comics, we covered (with a great suspended disbelief) how many characters that have been labeled as unattractive have several things going for them that would make them great in the bedroom. This time we take a different route to look at Aliens, Mutants, and Psychopaths to romanticize these characters. We will blaze a trail through the pages of comic books to learn everything from why you might not want that upside down kiss from Spider-Man to why you’d be better off admiring PowerGirl’s…outfit from afar.

Jade harveland is a three-time veteran Nerd Nite speaker and resident sexpert at Enchantasy’s. When he’s not preoccupied helping improve sex lives or playing D&D, he breaks down which characters from comic books are or aren’t sexy.

I Didn’t Vaccinate My Kids, and the One Who Lived Turned Out Just Fine.  Vaccines have been around for more than two centuries. During this time, they have been used to eradicate smallpox and even protect us from the common cold. Billions of lives have been saved through this advancement in medicine, but today we find ourselves in a time when more and more people are not getting vaccinated. This talk is to give background on how vaccines work and discuss the myths that surround them.

Manpreet Bains recently graduated with a Ph.D. in Molecular Pathogenesis where his research focused on the interactions of the neuropeptide, Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide, and the body. His research involved understanding how VIP impacted eosinophils and T-cells in the immune system, altered metabolism, and modified the microbiome. Likes include big words, flaking out on lunch dates, and sticking needles into children.

Since the last topic is somewhat polarizing, I must remind you that it is okay to disagree with people at Nerd Nite, but it is not okay to be a dick.  Synopsis :

See all your beautiful faces this Wednesday, February 20th, 7PM (doors at 6:30) at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Until then, I’ll leave you with something to combat all this VD Pressure.

🙂 T

February 2019 Banner

Drugs, Torture, and Stan Lee: Jan FNN

Hey there nerds.  You would think with a two month break since the last NN we’d have our shit together a little better, but that just wouldn’t be our style. 🙂 Help us kick of our fifth season with topics sure to make you grimace, smile, and maybe even shed a nostalgic tear:

Drugs and Where to Find Them: Background, cultural influence, and geographical information on useful chemicals found in nature, including a brief explanation of flora and fauna that are utilized in making both recreational and prescription drugs. There will be tasteful pictures as well as information on practical application.  Definitely not an endorsement for consumption of illicit substances.

Christian Buhler: Server, nerd, keto expert.  When he’s not slinging drinks at the Gastropub and putting up with all our shit, Christian enjoys hiding all the information on his social media profiles and not writing his own biographies.

Torture in Time: An undeniable part of human history that often goes unmentioned, torture played a significant role in shaping the world today. Done for many different reasons, and in many different ways.

Darby Miller is being piped in from the RTP area of North Carolina, where she ran away to not run Fargo Nerd Nite anymore.  Darby enjoys breakfast wine, hairless cats, glitter, and Mitt Romney.

Stan Lee, Imagining Heroes: From his early life growing up in the Bronx, we follow a kid who just wanted to write the great American novel as he built a universe for all of the “True Believers!” Hear how Stan Lee’s family avoided the holocaust and made it through the great depression, how a merger assistant became an publisher, and how a fly on a wall changed the world with a little imagination. Excelsior!

Jade Harveland is a two-time veteran Nerd Nite speaker, and for once won’t be talking about dicks…or will he?  Jade is a resident sexpert at Enchantasy’s; when he’s not preoccupied helping improve sex lives or playing D&D, he breaks down which characters from comic books are or aren’t sexy.

See all of y’all tomorrow: Wednesday, January 16th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), at our beloved Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Until then, stay warm, stay classy, and stay nerdy.

🙂 T

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#thingsilearnatnerdnite 2018

HNY, Nerds.  2018 has been a wild ride and I hope you’ve all come out okay on the other side.  We’re gearing up for our fifth season, currently booking speakers for March and beyond, but I’d like to take a moment to recognize all the weird shit I learned at 2018 Nerd Nites:

  • E. coli were discovered in the mid 1880s by Theodore Escherich, who was trying to discover the cause of diarrhea in children.
  • The only surefire way to survive a horror movie is to not smoke cigarettes.
  • Crocodiles have a permanently erect penis.
  • Waveshapes determine timbre; how those waves hit our ears lets us know if we’re listening to a guitar, a piano, or a saxophone.
  • Bodybuilders benefit immensely from kegel exercises because they prevent prolapsing.
  • “Glen” is an English word for ‘glacially formed valley’. Proof Distillery almost got sued for naming their whiskey Glen Fargo, even though the Red River Valley is the biggest Glen in the world.
  • Stir your drinks that are spirit forward. Shake when you need to force lots of different flavors into the spirit itself.
  • Holograms. Snapchat. Pokémon Go. All are examples of mixed reality technology.
  • Albert Hoffman did his thesis on the structure of chitin. He also discovered LSD.
  • “Intelligence is a force that maximizes the future freedom action. “-Alex Wissner-Gross
  • Science has confirmed that people of different belief structures have stereotypes regarding other religions.
  • Science also confirmed that arts and crafts can increase your happiness.
  • The guy who wrote the environmental impact statement for FM Diversion won an award because he wrote it so quickly.
  • Penises are referred to as Dicks due to a man named Derrick, who was a very famous hangman in old timey London, when executions were public events and widely attended.  His name became slang for the erections his “clients” got due to asphyxiation- eventually “Derrick” was shortened to “Dick”.
  • Fish bladders and egg whites are often used to filter wines.
  • Vantablack works on a microscopic level by bouncing photons off multiple angles on the surface of an object, until almost all the photons are absorbed & only 0.05% are reflected back as visible light.

This list both cracks me up and makes me immensely proud- thank you to everyone that attended, spoke at, or otherwise supported FNN in 2018, and I can’t wait to do it all again this year.  See you at our 2019 kickoff on Wednesday, January 16th, at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub– details will be along soon.  Until then, y’all keep warm and stay classy.

Yours in Nerdery,

Hope, Karen, and Tracy

2019 NN Dates