Another Nerd Nite came and went. The theme was "Earth, Wind, and Fire." The band was not present, though it seems like they'd be fairly cheap to hire these days. Here's a rundown of the proceedings:
After the obligatory origin tale and a new installment of "Things We're Nerdy About Right Now" involving women who dig computers, Jake Hodson kicked off the presentations with a discussion of the components of outdoor space, considering well-designed spaces ranging from LFK's Mass Street to New York's Central Park (designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, lovingly dubbed "FLO" in this presentation). He also dipped into poorly designed spaces, considering LFK's lame options for cyclists.
Next up, and our pick for the evening's highlight, was Dr. Jay Antle's stormchasing presentation, cleverly beginning with a shout-out to legendary fear-inducing weatherlady Katie Horner, better known in these parts as "Katie Tornadie": note the photo below for a sense of her tactics. We grew up in rural Arkansas alongside numerous small towns absolutely decimated by tornadoes, so we tend to think of stormchasers as lunatics (at best), but Antle's informative and entertaining presentation helped sell us on the allure and value without downplaying the risk, ending with a nice tribute to the three chasers who recently died in Oklahoma. Along the way, we learned that weather terminology such as "moist tongue" is just as giggle-inducing as the terminology from Beth Beavers' now-classic presentation on farm equipment ("gang plows"). We also loved the digression into diner food and Antle's quest for the best club sandwich and fries as he stormchases his way around the country. Best of luck!
Afterward, we once again failed to win the raffle, and we REALLY wanted those sodas from Mass Street Sodas. But we quickly got over the pain of loss as Michael Harry launched into the "fire" component of the evening with the question "What the fuck IS a foundry?" For sheer volume of profanity, this presentation may have even rivaled Jai Nitz's swearing from Nerd Nite 17, not an easy task, as Harry led us through the perils and pleasure of DIY foundries. Sadly, there was no actual fire to be seen in this presentation: no nerds were burned. But we'd love to visit Harry's foundry and watch him work and burn shit and curse!
Next up: a collaborative Nerd Nite with the Free State Film Festival in June (date to be announced, but not on the usual Wednesday). Then: another edition of Summer Shorts, possibly featuring Chip's long-awaited presentation on literary erections.
Folks, the show of the day in LFK is Bobby Bare Jr. at the Replay. He's the son of Nashville's legendary Bobby Bare, he can tell you some tales about George Jones, he's about to head out on tour with Guided by Voices, his new album Undefeated is out on Bloodshot Records, and he's the subject of a documentary called "Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost)". And, yes, you can see him at the damn Replay tonight with CS Luxem (and again at the Granada in June with GBV, for a higher price tag). Having once spent a raucous drunken evening at a Bare Jr. and Lucero show at the Bottleneck, we can tell you from experience that you need to be on hand tonight!