Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nerd Nite 8: "Quad-Copters are all the rage among Makers." / Weekend Picks: Robots, Elvis Parades, and Shark Attacks

We scored a seat at Nerd Nite 8 and here's what happened:

Prelude: Co-boss Dave delivered a video welcome from Estonia prior to the "origin story."

Lecture 1:  Emily Pabst enlightened us on various interconnections between scientific discoveries and art, with an interlude where nerds in the audience tried (not so successfully) to recall Newton's laws of motion.   After the presentation, B-Suit and Nick Ray posed absolutely baffling questions about everything from God Particles to Lindsey Lohan.

Biggest round of applause:  a shout-out to the Hadron Collider!  (nerds fucking love that Collider).

Lecture 2:  After a brief history of the evolution of tools ("Stone tools were really cool for a long time,"),  Derick Schweppe's presentation focused largely on 3-D printers, complete with a working "MakerBot!"  All of us nerds were riveted, and vowed to save our money to buy ourselves one of these gizmos and produce an army of cute little Lego Men (prices range from $500 to $250,000).

Biggest round of applause:  shout-out to NASA!

Our favorite quote:  "Quad-copters are all the rage with Makers."

Lecture 3: Karen Matheis ended the evening with 8 tips on maintaining our "creative flow," such as #6: "Self-deception is a good thing" and #8 "Be happy with your work--no regrets," which was accompanied by an unexpected cameo from a picture of BARRR (which earned the biggest round of applause, at least at our table!).  Find all 8 tips over at Karen's Larryville Artists blog.

Now, bow down to your bearded artist overlord!!

Sad moment:  Nerd Nite co-boss Nick Ray stepped down from his duties.
Happy moment:  Nerd Nite-bad ass and graphic designer Becky Harpstrite assumed that co-boss position.

Nerd Nite co-boss Travis asked us to pass along a link to a survey being conducted by the Nerd Nite gang, so please go here and take a few seconds to either praise the nerdery or rant and rave because it's sometimes hard to get a seat (or both).

Looking ahead:   September's Nerd Nite will be a specially-themed evening to coincide with this year's Read Across Lawrence selection:  Daniel Woodrell's Winter's Bone.  We understand that there will be presentations on meth (free samples??), Southern folklore, and "grit-lit"  (Woodrell, Tom Franklin, Larry Brown, Donald Ray Pollock).  We're kicking ourselves for not thinking of the "grit-lit" topic ourselves, since we love all those gritty sumbitches!


A few advance picks for the weekend:

Thirteen-year old musician/record label exec Drew's been getting a lot of press lately, both here at the LC and more recently at, and he's taking his own skills to the clubs for the first time this Friday at the Jackpot. Drew's project, Theo's Mystic Robot Orchestra, will open up for Sneaky Creeps and Many Moods of Dad.  When we interviewed Cameron recently about the Lawrence Field Day Fest, he had this to say about Many Moods:

"Many Moods of Dad is made up of former members of my old band Podstar, and we play music that some have described as a mix of Weezer and They Might Be Giants... we are finishing up work on our first album, which features a 15-minute mini rock opera (that I like to think of as a mini-Zen Arcade)."   [Reread the full interview here].

Apparently, someone decided that LFK didn't have enough ridiculous parades (even though we already have an art-car parade and a faux Mardi Gras parade).  So Saturday morning brings the first-ever "Elvis Parade" to downtown as part of the Hot Rod Hullabaloo at South Park.  The parade kicks off at 10:30 at 7th and N.H and apparently anyone dressed in "50's style attire" is welcome to join in. Chip's polishing up his pompadour and practicing his King-ly hip thrusts as we speak.  Find more details here via LJ-World.

Find info about the rest of the Hullabaloo at the FB event page here and drop by the Granada for the after-party with rockabilly favorites Rumble Jetts.

After Show Dance Party

And the Sandbar's Fourth Annual Block Party is on tap for Saturday night as well, which means the pirate ship will dock, Buffet tunes will be played, Shark Attacks will be guzzled, and (if all goes well) the bar will create one of their patented hurricanes...outdoors!  Info from their blog:

"This year's extravaganza will be held on Saturday, Aug. 11. The fun starts at 7 p.m. with live bands, a beer garden and tropical drinks.

Around 9 p.m. we'll have a special surprise: the unveiling of a brand new Sandbar hurricane video! We're also attempting to create the first outdoor hurricane in Lawrence. Mark Valentine and his band will play afterwards, starting around 9:45.

We're also putting together a slide show of Sandbar pictures from the past year. If you have pictures you'd like to have included, email them to us at We'll do our best to include all the photos we receive!

There's a $5 cover charge for the beer garden, and you must be 21 to enter the beer garden and/or the bar. Alcohol must be kept within the beer garden. Otherwise, everyone young and old is welcome to join the party!"

Chip: "PLEASE include the drunken picture of me trying to 'noodle' a fish out of your aquarium."

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