Nerd Nite Fargo


July NN: It’s hot outside, but it’s HAWT at Nerd Nite

Happy hump day, Nerds.  I hope you haven’t all melted in this crazy heat- clearly someone forgot to tell the weather that we North Dakotans prefer temps that don’t heat up a beer to undrinkable degrees in nanoseconds.

Anyway, July NN deets are here!  Mrs.  Dani Harveland of Enchantasys Adult Boutique is teaching us all about a topic that should be near and dear to our nether-regions: the wonderous Kegel exercise.  And yours truly finally gets to gush about a [perhaps not so] well kept secret: horses are dicks, but it’s okay.  Read on:

What the F*** are Kegels? Ever heard the buzzwords “kegels”, “ben-wa balls”, “fifty shades”? You’re about to find out what they actually are and how they benefit you. A hands on (without using hands) approach to exercising an area you didn’t think you needed.  Named after some old guy because of course it was. Dani Harveland: Sex geek, geek geek, all around cool chick. Aspiring sexologist. Enchantasys resident sexpert. NOT A DOCTOR.

Bonus!  If you’re a little shy to raise your hand and ask a question about kegels, you can go to SLIDO.COM and enter code NNF72018 to post your question anonymously.  We’ll answer them at Nerd Nite and no one will ever know it was you!  BUT, anonymous doesn’t give you the right to be a pervert or a jerk, so let’s keep those questions respectful, please. 🙂  Anyway, next topic:

Horses are Assholes & Other Fun Facts About Our Equus caballus Friends.  By human standards of behavior, horses can be straight up dicks. They push you around, they kick, they bite, they get in your space, etc. HOWEVER, by horse standards of communication, these assholey methods actually lead to relatively peaceful life within the herd. In this talk, learn to embrace the way horses communicate to make a similarly peaceful relationship between you and your equine pals. Tracy Kurtz: fluent in horses, sarcasm, beer, and exactly four other things.

PLUS Dani is bringing some bitchin’ adult, possibly battery-powered prizes courtesy of EAB, we’ll play some trivia to cover for the fact that our third speaker had to drop out, and we’ll drink some beer in the AC, because GD it is freaking hot outside.  All of this on Wednesday, July 18th, 7PM (doors at 6:30) at Fargo Billiards and Gastropuband all for free, because we love you guys. <3 See you there.

🙂 T

PS- here’s a flyer to share.

July 2018 NN Flyer


Story time.

At the end of last summer, I was lucky enough to attend Unglued’s annual summer camp, which is just like the summer camp from when you were a kid with workshops and crafts, and playing in the lake, and camp battles…

…but now it’s even BETTER, because there is BOOZE because we’re adults.  Naturally, some of the workshops they offered involved booze, because Drekker Brewing and Proof Artisan Distillers were two of the camp’s sponsors.  I took two classes from Proof that weekend: one about distillation and the making of gin, and how it doesn’t always have to taste like angry pine trees and how you can make a bitchin’ Old Fashioned with it, and another class on how to make your very own best- if unorthodox- bloody mary (add a splash of pineapple juice.  It’s frickin’ amazing.  Seriously).  The Bloody Mary class was Sunday morning and I figured I had nothing to lose since it was the last day, so I got so shitfaced that I don’t even remember the Camp closing ceremony and slept the whole way home.

And now, Fargo Nerd Nite would like to offer that same experience  to YOU, dear nerds (if somewhat abbreviated and slightly less ham-blasted, because it’s a school night), with our



Ms. Andrea Anderson (winner of the 2015 HPR Cocktail Showdown, Bartender’s Battle, and Area’s Best Mixologist award, now Proof’s Cocktail Development Ambassador and person who taught me that only heathens shake their bloody mary) and her trusty sidekick Mr. Jeremy Meldinger (distiller extraordinaire, self-described service industry lifer) will present three beautiful talks about the history of booze in America, the making of botanical spirits (AKA flavored vodka waaay before UV ever poisoned the waters with that blue lemonade bullshit), and the building of cocktails and flavor balancing, so you never have to be let down by an Old Fashioned ever again.  SUPER BONUS: they are bringing SAMPLES TO TRY so you can wet the ol’ whistle and LEARN at the SAME TIME.

Because this is Nerd Nite, baby, and that’s how we do.

So JOIN US Wednesday June 20th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub for a heavy dose of think and drink.

And maybe arrange a ride home.

🙂 T

May NN: A Logical Chitin Hololens.

Wow, it’s been a hot minute, nerds.  I apologize for the delay, but at last I am posting the fine details of our May Nerd Nite.  We are going to PLAY WITH EXPENSIVE TOYS, learn HOW TO WIN ARGUMENTS, and find out what a hippo farting in the fog actually sounds like. 😂Read on.

Chitin: From Crunchy Insects to Lobster Plastics, a Tale of a simple Biopolymer.  Of course, on hearing the word chitin, everyone’s immediate thought is, “Wow, isn’t that one of the most abundant polysaccharides in nature with an awesome structure comprising of long-chain polymers of N-Acetylglucosamine?” …Assuming that’s the case, there’s no need to write much more here since we’ll all just get together and extol the virtues of this extremely versatile biomolecule and its important role in things like making lobsters insoluble and bugs crunchy. One of the most important structural components of a large number of animals, we’ll discuss how chitin is also at the heart of a great many directions in current research in both biomedical and bioplastics studies.

Perhaps recognizable as the hairy nutter in the tie-dye lab coat and possessing a Scottish accent most kindly described akin to a hippo farting in the fog, Graeme Wyllie can be found either teaching chemistry at Concordia College or terrifying small children with science as part of the outreach organization Concordia Science Academy. After many years at the University of Notre Dame, failing to convince people he wasn’t Irish, he took his PhD and headed north in search of adventure, spending 3 years as a postdoc at NDSU before attempting to escape the area and making it maybe 3 miles to Concordia.  With a goal of making science accessible to all, Graeme continues to fulfill his role as Fargo’s Scottish Science Guy (and under the terms of the Highlander Exclusion Principle, there can be only one!!).

Intro to Logic in 20 Short Minutes.  Learn the fundamental vocabulary and skills you need to master argumentation in a reasonless time. Deduction, induction, validity, soundness, fallacies and more. A whole college-level course in just the time it takes to drink a pint.

Dr. Randy Cagle is Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at Minnesota State University Moorhead. He received his Ph. D. from the University of Memphis, has taught at Northern Illinois University and Humboldt State University, and got roped into this by volunteering on the wrong trivia team on Friday nights.

Living Your Future Life in Mixed Reality.  Mixed reality is the blending of physical and digital worlds. Mixed reality empowers us to break free beyond boundaries and unleash the creativity of every person, forever changing the way we collaborate, create, learn, and play. Come to this talk to learn about Mixed Reality and experience it first hand by using a Microsoft device called the Hololens.

Kevin Honeyman is a long time Design Manager at Microsoft. His focus is designing business software that people use to do their job. While that may sound boring to you, it is his passion and what makes him a nerd. Kevin is not an expert on Mixed Reality, but simply an enthusiast that enjoys demoing Hololens to people who haven’t experienced it before.

Kevin will also have assistants demoing the Hololens technology so we can all try it out.  See you all at 7PM (doors at 6:30) at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub, Wednesday May 16th.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

Inbound: May Nerd Nite

Happy Hump Day, Nerds.  We’re still gathering details for our May show, but it promises to be awesome.  Concordia’s Dr. Graeme Wiley is returning with the breakdown on chitin, one of the baddest biopolymers in the animal kingdom.  Mr. Kevin Honeyman is stepping in for Matthew Chaussee of Be More Colorful, with a demonstration of Holographic Augmented Reality, with toys for us to try!  And Dr. Randy Cagle of MSUM will present Logic 101: fundamental vocabulary and skills you need to master argumentation in a reasonless time. Deduction, induction, validity, soundness, fallacies and more. A whole college-level course in just the time it takes to drink a pint.  Or several pints.  We don’t judge.

Anyway, mark your calendars for Wednesday May 16th, 7PM, at the Fargo Billiards and Gastropub, and I’ll have more details soon.  Y’all have a great night.

🙂 T

April NN: Artificial Morals

Happy Thursday, Nerds!  AT LAST I can present to you the details of our April show.  However, since one of this month’s topics may hit a little close to home for some people, I urge you to consider the very important content of this video:



With that out of the way, for your consideration, I present, APRIL NERD NITE:

What is Artificial Intelligence?  Well before the birth of the first computer, the concept of a thinking machine has captivated the human imagination. Through the 20th century, pop-culture has been flooded with futuristic depictions of a new intelligent race: machines that drive cars, interpret medical scans, advise hedge funds, compose music…when days of machine learning can eclipse a decade’s worth of human experience, we start to wonder what our future looks like. Will AI increase unemployment? Become sentient?  Surpass human authority? We’ll tackle these questions by dispelling the misconceptions that pop-culture portrayal has fostered around AI. –Jed Shanley

Jed: short for Jedi Knight, because he delivered himself from the womb through a lightsaber cesarean section. By day, he is a writing consultant for the University of Minnesota, and in his free time, enjoys researching a variety of topics such as minimalism, ethics, linguistics, skepticism, and of course, artificial intelligence.

Diverging Perceptions of Personal Moral Values and the Values of One’s Religious Group.  There’s a stereotype that atheists are less moral than religious people. Psychologists (including me) have recently tested the truth of the matter. The answer, it turns out, can be yes or no—depending on how you define morality. -Travis Clark

Travis Clark is an assistant professor at Valley City State University. His research interests include moral psychology and ethics.  His favorite color is purple.

Our scheduled third speaker had to drop out because life happened (don’t worry- Kyle and his talk about Satanism will return this summer).  We’ll make it up to you in cake form, because it’s our third birthday, and your happiness means a lot to us- so much so that we’re willing to buy it with desserts.  See you beautiful nerds on Wednesday April 18th, 7PM, at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

Where the fuck is spring?

Happy Saturday, nerds.  I hope you aren’t as salty about this BS weather as I am.  Take solace in knowing that even if it’s cold and snowy outside, it’s always good weather for thinking and drinking!  Nerd Nite returns on Wednesday April 18th, with a distinctly ethical focus- we’re still gathering details, but topics include:

  • Moral perceptions among various religions: a recent study asked people of various religions how they perceived their morals compared to those of other religious affiliations. Ready to get judgy? Maybe you shouldn’t be.
  • The positive aspects of Satanism: no, they don’t worship Satan or sacrifice goats over pentagrams, and they’re actually super nice people. Get to know the followers of maybe the most misunderstood religion ever.
  • Ethical implications surrounding Artificial Intelligence.  Does Sophia the Robot freak you out?  Is SkyNet coming for us?  AI is taking off like a shot, but just because we can, does it mean that we should?

Neat, right?  PLUS it’s Fargo NN’s third birthday, so we’re bringing cake!  See you at the Gastropub, 7PM.  Until then, stay warm, drive safe, and keep dreaming of temps in the 50s.

🙂 T

NN April Banner

March NN: Diversion Unglued

Happy Sunday, nerds.  Unfortunately, our AI speaker Jed had to drop out this month, but don’t worry, because:

  1. He’s rescheduled for April
  2. We still have two fab speakers for you!  Details:

The FM Diversion – How did we get here and what is next?  The Fargo Diversion – if built – will be one of the largest projects done in the region in the last 40 years. The diversion is designed to reduce the chances of a devastating flood in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Because of its size, the process for planning and then implementing the diversion is complex. We will explore the complexity of such a large project and how that process has gotten us to this point and what is next.

Drs. Christina Hargiss and Jack Norland are professors in the Natural Resources Management Program at NDSU.  Dr. Hargiss teaches the National Environmental Policy Act class and her research focuses on urban ecosystems, impacts of energy development on natural resources, wetlands, and environmental education. Dr. Norland teaches watershed management and does research on restoration ecology and building resilience in socio-ecological systems. 

DIY or Die:  The world of hot glue burns, adult summer camps, and your health.
From Pinterest to Youtube tutorials to r/DIY there are endless opportunities now to do-it-yourself and even make a living at it.  But you haven’t picked up a hot glue gun in 12 years so should you give a shit?  We’ll cannon ball into a pile of doilies and pom poms, cheers with a custom DIY shot glass, and discover why your future 80-year-old self will thank you for learning to weave at adult summer camp.
Ashley Morken is the owner and chief coffee drinker at Unglued – a modern handmade gift shop with crazy awesome events like an annual adult summer camp, monthly late night craft parties, and weekly workshops for kids and adults.  When she’s not falling behind on emails and small business life you’ll find her traveling, petting dogs, dreaming of another impossible idea, and spilling the next cup of coffee with her husband Justin.

You heard right- we’re making shot glasses. 😱   Plus games, prizes, and ALCOHOL!! See you Wednesday March 21st, 7PM (doors at 6:30), Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

NN Banner March

Coming in hawt: March Nerd Nite

Happy Sunday, Nerds, and thanks so everyone who came out for Feb NN.  We’re still gathering the fine details for March’s event, but in short, we’ll be discussing:

  • The FM Diversion and why people are so pissed off about it.
  • Why exactly Sophia the Robot is GD terrifying, and the ethical implications surrounding artificial intelligence.
  • All the hidden awesomes behind the door of FM’s most badass craft shop, Unglued.

So keep your calendar clear on Wednesday, March 21st, 7PM, and we’ll see you at the Gastropub.  Bring your green hat.

🙂 T

NNM Banner

Teaching creatively sexy terms for fake news: NN February.

Happy Monday Nerds.  I feel like it’s been a long minute since the last FNN, so I’m excited to jump back in!  Check out this Wednesday’s topics and speakers:

Fake News – For Real! “Cat Summoned for Jury Duty”. Really? Every day people are bombarded with headlines that may or may not be real. From our President tweeting “Fake news!” to the National Enquirer claiming that “Bat Boy Lives!”, one must be vigilant in determining what is real. Nerd Nite participants will use the I’M VAIN method to play Two Lies and A Truth as they desperately attempt to get that Carly Simon song out of their head.

Kay and Steve Beckermann are not journalists, however, they do read a lot of news. Kay is pursuing a Ph.D. in communication at NDSU with a focus on media and society. Steve works in IT, whatever that means. Kay and Steve live in Fargo with their two daughters, and a cat that has not been called for jury duty.

Etymology of Sexy Terminology.  When it comes to getting it on, doing the nasty, bumping uglies, making love, having sex, or participating in the act of coitus, we use quite an extensive vocabulary. Where do these words come from? How did they originate and change over time? We’ll look at the fascinating history of some sexy terminology!

Clare Sojourner Harris Palmer studied Sociology at MSUM, focusing on the Sociology of Sexual Behavior. However, prior to that, she’d been an English major. She’s had a lifelong love of language. “Why do we say that?” is a question that pops into her head on an almost daily basis and is typically followed by research until she’s discovered an answer. She couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to merge two of her greatest passions (words and sex) for her third appearance at NNF.

What’s a teaching artist?  Teaching Creativity. Hayden Swenson is a ceramic artist from Valley City, ND who focuses on figurative sculpture, pottery that references cartoon animations, and personal experiences. He is currently a Teaching Artist at the Plains Art Museum teaching K-5th grade, and also teaches “Youth Pottery”, “Clay for Couples”, and the “Clay Sampler”.  He’ll be discussing what a teaching artist does, talking about teaching creativity, and choosing an unconventional path.

Hayden Swenson graduated college at Valley City State University with a B.S. in Fine Arts.  He became a STEM Fellow in sponsorship with the FIPSE Grant in 2013 from the Department of Education as a part of Valley City State University President Steven Shirley’s Undergraduate Research and Artistry program. Through the fellowship he created and designed two projects at the Rhodes Science Center at Valley City State University, including a bike rack in the shape of a double helix.  He has had two solo exhibitions “Kids From The Neighborhood” featured at McCarthy Gallery at Valley City State University, and #MillenialProbs featured at the Sprit Room in Fargo, ND  

There you have it!  As usual, we are running the gamut with topics this month- see you this Wednesday, February 21st, 7PM (doors at 6:30) at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

Fake News which is sad because dinosaurs are awesome

Cheese and Wine and Math…oh my. January NN.

Happy Sunday, nerds, and I hope you are all having a very happy New Year.  We are kicking off our fourth season with some super tasty topics- check it out:

Terroir + Fromage = Complex Flavor, Complex Cheese.  Although cheese is made up of four very basic ingredients, the flavor nuances and differences can be vast. But how? There are many factors that can affect the end-product, from milk type, aging style, and temperature. More interesting though, have you thought about the environment surrounding the animal? From the grass in the pasture, the herbs in the field, or the make-up of the feed, come and see how these factors play a huge role in the end flavor of cheese.

Megan Lewis is true Turophile. To say she loves cheese is a slight understatement. She graduated from culinary school in 2010 and in 2015 she had the opportunity to step behind the cheese counter for the first time and start a cut to order cheese program at a local boutique. Through cheese making and hands on experience she has decided to dedicate her life to the lifestyle of a Cheesemonger. She launched Milk Made, a cheese centric catering company in 2017.

Poetic Mathematics: Exploring the Aesthetics of Math.  In a world where mathematics is completely terrifying to the general populous, one major aspect of math is consistently overlooked: MATH IS BEAUTIFUL! In this talk, we will discuss the bold and slightly insane claim that math is beautiful and possesses a highly pleasing aesthetic nature. From taking com-parisons to high art, to showing the down and dirty tricks physicists use to explain the universe, we will take a journey to really look at the poetic nature of mathematics.

Kyle T. Strand is a doctoral student in theoretical physics at NDSU and is also a self-described (albeit untrained) aestheticist. Kyle enjoys absurd music, true communism, and minimalist art and literature. Oh yeah…he also has a hard-on for math.

Terroir? Terr-what?  Sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.  Chardonnay from California.  What is a Burgundy anyway? Oh, it’s also chardonnay?  We are going to attempt to scratch the surface on the wine world and explore the differences between wines based on where they come from and what the wine making process entails.

Dan Hurder is owner and operator of Boiler Room in Fargo and Wahpeton, Twist in downtown Fargo, The Otter Supper Club in Ottertail, MN and Chef’s Table Catering based out of The Sanctuary in downtown Fargo.  Over the years of building wine lists and working with wine distributors Dan has developed a love of, appreciation for, and fascination with wine and the processes involved in making it.

…And a little bird told me there miiiiiiight be some samples for us to try. 😉 So come think and drink (and nosh some rad cheeses) with us this Wednesday, Jan 17th, 7PM (doors at 6:30) at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  See you there.

🙂 T

Wine + Cheese