Nerd Nite Fargo


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

Millenium Microbe Coal- NNNovember

Hey there nerds,

This is it- we’ve come to the last Nerd Nite of 2018.  And, in a totally unprecedented event, we have all our shit together way ahead of time and I can ALREADY share event details with you!  Hold your applause, please. xD

The Millenium Falcon: A Really Bad Freighter.  We all love the Millenium Falcon, but have we ever really looked at why it was even considered a freighter?

Brian Glaeske is a mild Star Wars nerd by night, pixel pusher by day.

The Microbiome: 40 Trillion Bacteria and You.  The human microbiome consists of 40 trillion bacteria who call our body home. In comparison, our body is made up of an average of 30 trillion cells. Most people perceive bacteria as dangerous pathogens that cause disease, but without our microbiome we wouldn’t survive. They train our immune system, help us break down foods that we can’t digest ourselves and prevent dangerous pathogens from making a foothold in our body.

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, Qdoba lunches, and LinkedIn.

Clean Coal: Resolution or Ruse? In this presentation, the main methods proposed for clean coal are presented along with an analysis of their technical end economic merits. It is the contention of the speaker that clean coal does not exist and that the proposed methods are little more than a ruse to confuse politicians and the public – similar to methods used by the tobacco industry.

Jacob Glower is an Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Dakota State University with 27 years of experience in higher education and industry.

There you have it! See you on Wednesday November 14th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  There is no December Nerd Nite planned, however we will likely do a game night or a dinner or summat, so keep an eye on the social medias or subscribe to our email list for updates.

FNN will formally return at our usual timeslot on the third Wednesday of every month in January of 2019. We are booking speakers for then on out, so we want to know: WHAT DO YOU NERD OUT ABOUT?!  Contact us to snag your timeslot for speaking at NN2019.  It’s easy and there’re free drinks.  You’ll love it.

🙂 T

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Happy Halloween y’all!  Our present to us is getting a write up in the Inforum today- you can check it out here.  Thanks so much Austin for probably the best article anyone has ever written on FNN. 🙂 If there are any Nerd Nite n00bs here looking for ways to follow us, you can find us at:

H o w e v e r, the best way to make sure you get updates about our events (since FB and Twitter get all weird with their algorithms about what you see in your feed) is to subscribe to our email list: text NERDNITE to 345345, or since you’re already at our website, subscribe using the option in the sidebar to the right.  Don’t worry- the only thing we send is updates when details for the latest event are posted.  No bullshit newsletters or ads. 🙂

As a reminder, we usually run on the third Wednesday of each month, 7PM, at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  November’s show is bumped up to the 14th (so we’re not too close to Thanksgiving), and then we’ll take a holiday break (although be on the lookout for a game night or a dinner), with our return planned for January 2019.

Deets for the November show will be up soon.  You all have a fantastic, safe Halloween, and we’ll see you on the 14th.  Easy last minute costume suggestions below.

🙂 T


Virgin Satan Swamp Gas- October NN

Hold on to your butts, nerds- October is here!  Details for our almost serendipitously creepy show:

The Virgin Lives!  The Slasher genre has been going strong for nearly 50 years with long-running franchises like Halloween, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street. The most well known trope is that of the “final girl.” Looking back through decades of slasher films, we’ll examine this trope along with other recurring themes in the genre. What can these movies tell us about ourselves and the society we live in?

With a movie collection that exceeds 1300 titles, Clare Sojourner Harris Palmer considers herself quite the movie nerd. During her time studying sociology at Minnesota State University Moorhead, she took every opportunity she had to use film to examine the culture we live in. She’s incredibly excited to return for her fourth (?!) appearance at Nerd Nite Fargo!

Devil Inside: A Tour of Satan through Time.  Throughout history, the devil has been prevalent in many if not all cultural belief systems. often used as a fear tactic to push the masses to obeying a prescribed morality. But what if we shifted perspective and looked at the character of Satan through a different lens? This NN talk is going to explore different perspectives of Satan through history up to the current modern day. Soul selling paperwork will be made available to all those interested.

Kyle T Strand is physicist and weirdo currently residing in the Red River Valley. He has a penchant for darkness, but also believes in a strong positive morality. Kyle is known for his love of mathematics, the avant obscure, and his shy sense of self. He is in not currently affiliated with the Prince of Darkness, but he also doesn’t believe in absolutism.

Swamp Gas from a Weather Balloon was Trapped in a Thermal Pocket and Refracted the Light from Venus.  The flash of light you saw in the sky is not a UFO…until it chases you through a field. A history of UFOs in Fargo, including a first hand account of a strange night in the country and possible explanations for what exactly was experienced and witnessed.

Dusty O Schultz was born and raised right here in Fargo, ND. Hobbies include using an axe to split wood the old fashion way, fixing anything that does not contain a computer, constantly looking for another classic car to buy, and rocking out to his favorite jams.  When not doing any of that, Dusty maintains his status as the self-proclaimed roller coaster champion of the world.

…Plus booze, candy (because what’s Halloween without candy?), and general excellent nerdery, all at our beloved Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  October 17th, 7PM (doors at 6:30).  Be there and be square.

🙂 T

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Sept NN: Chimera Cahokia Apocalypse Now

Good morning Nerds- I hope you are all having a stellar weekend.  I am recovering from a night of epic DND play at Paradox Comics- they had a special event to raise money for 4Luv of Dog here in Fargo.  Since it was a charity event, we were allowed to buy unlimited re-rolls for $1 each.  Did you know a table of six nerds can spend $66 in three hours trying to save their pathetic L1 assess from running out of hit points?  Now you do. 😀

Anyway, Sept details are here!  Check it:

Meet Me in St. Louis: Cahokia, Medieval America’s great city.  Remember sitting in your favorite class, history, and being in awe of the beautifully complex Medieval city near St. Louis? No? Well, no worries- after this talk, you will be. 🙂  Along the floodplains of the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri, the great city of Cahokia dominated the Medieval world of America.  Learn about sacred sacrifices, America’s first pastime, and something called Black Drink…we’ll even try the last one with a little help from Proof.

Amanda Butler is an archaeologist and geoarchaeologist specializing in North American Archaeology. She is currently finishing her dissertation and teaching at Minnesota State University Moorhead

Channel Your Inner Survivalist and Know When and How to GTFO What does BOB have to do with SHTF and a possible TEOTWAWKI.  A journey though acronyms and apocalypses.

Dan Novacek is a benefits extraordinar by day, apprentice prepper by night, and a legend in his own mind. Hope Novacek is an Accountant by trade but lives the Pug Mom Life.

Chimera embryos: No longer science fiction!  What are these chimera embryos that you’ve heard about? Tiny pigs growing inside humans? Tiny humans growing inside pigs?! Tiny human organs growing inside tiny pigs growing inside mother pigs?!? Is your head exploding yet? Once we figure out what they really are, let’s talk about the ethical and social implications of our current scientific technology. Some discussions to look forward to: human consciousness in a pig, or two pigs mating to form a human fetus!

 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.

That’s what I know!  See your beautiful faces on Sept 19th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), at the Gastropub.  Space is getting scarce lately, so get there early to get your favorite spot.  OR roll the dice, show up late, and sit down next to a stranger who may become your new BFF.  (See what I did there?  DND callback joke?  Dice?  Heh?)

Stay nerdy, my friends.

🙂 T

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August NN: Sexy Fat Music

Happy Monday, Nerds.  Sorry for the delay in getting these deets posted- if you’re ever impatient to hear this month’s topics, they are often posted earlier on our Facebook Group, because Hope is far more studious than I am. 🙂  BUT, I digress.  Here for your entertainment, I am pleased to present AUGUST NERD NITE!!

Comically Sexy. Comic books captured our imaginations with tales of sole survivors of a alien races or wall crawling mutants who fight crime, stop the villains, and even save the world from almost certain destruction. One uber important and obvious question remains unasked and unanswered: “Are they good in bed?”Jade Harveland, a sex educator and trainer at Enchantasys intimate boutique, is certified by the American college of sexologists. When not preoccupied helping improve sex lives or playing D&D, he breaks down which characters from comic books are or aren’t sexy, and sometimes has a toy sperm hanging off of his glasses.

The Physics of Music. What is a soundwave? Why does a guitar sound like a guitar? Why does classical music sound different than jazz? We’ll look into these ideas and explore how physics ties into the sound of music! –Eric Horn graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a double- major in music and marketing. He currently attends the Berklee College of Music Online for Composition for film, TV, and Games.

The Ketogenic Diet: How to Lose Fat by Eating Fat. In this talk, we’ll learn what ketosis is, how to deal with the Atkins flu, and study 30 days of eating, body composition analysis, and results. –Christian Buhler, who you may recognize from previous Nerd Nites as the guy continually delivering gin-sodas to the drunken MC, has finally decided to take a night off from serving to speak at NN.  His interests include healthy eating, bitcoin mining, and not writing his own biographies.

…plus prizes, general nerdery, and ofc…BOOZE.  See you this Wednesday, August 15th, 7PM (doors at 6:30), at Fargo Billiards and Gastropub.  Be there and be square.

🙂 T


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