1) Wooden Rocket presentation:
If there's one thing nerds love, it's rockets. If there are two things, it's Star Wars sound effects: Darth Vader breathing, R2-D2 beeping, light sabers being engaged. Lucas Miller's presentation (perhaps the nerdiest of the event so far?) gave us both of those things in the context of a touching tale about Haskell University's plucky wooden rocket builders, whose "Space Eagle" rocket took 2nd place in a competition last year and who are currently hard at work on a rocket made of "sitka spruce" that might reach 2/3 the speed of sound. Why isn't someone making a documentary film about these guys, as it's exactly the kind of inspirational material that Harvey Weinstein could purchase and engineer to win an Oscar.
Sadly, no rockets were fired during the presentation.
2) Sushi presentation
Elwood Schaad's presentation about the "lies" and "bullshit" of American sushi was a delightful expose that surely rattled the nerves of many sushi-loving nerds in attendance. It was full of quotable pronouncements such as:
"No one in this room has ever tasted real wasabi."
"Tilapia is a horrible garbage-fish."
"NOTHING in a sushi restaurant is vegetarian."
If there's a sauce on top, that's American sushi."
The speech strengthened Chip's long-running vow to never try sushi.
3) Bracketology presentation
Laura Watkins professed a bad case of stage fright, but it didn't show. Her nerdy passion for college basketball (and all-consuming hatred of Missouri) made for a fun presentation which contained the most extraneous uses of profanity we've seen at Nerd Nite since the Sam Bunnyfield presentation several months back. Any lecture that calls Missouri a "bunch of assholes" within the first minute is aces in our book. And her co-presenter Kevin closed things out with some tips that damn well better win us some money in our bracket contest this year, such as: statistically it's always a smart bet to pick a #12 seed over a #5 seed (a good one this year: Long Beach State over New Mexico).