Posts Tagged ‘Nerd Nite’

The Top 7 Women in Science Who’ve Made History That You May Not Know but You Should

March is Women’s History Month– but today also happens to be International Women’s Day. With that said, we feel extra obligated to educate you about a few remarkable people in a piece called, The Top 7 Women in Science Who’ve Made History That You May Not Know but You Should


Tiera Guinn Fletcher (age 24) is an African American engineer who graduated from MIT in 2017 and works for Boeing. She is one of the designers and structural analysts building the Space Launch System for NASA which is set to send people to Mars. On November 8, 2018, Fletcher won the Most Promising Engineer – Industry Award at the 2019 Black Engineer of the Year Awards.

Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) was a British biophysicist and X-ray crystallographer who made contributions to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were largely recognised posthumously.

Mae C. Jemison (b. 1956) is the first African-American female astronaut. In 1992, she became the first black woman in space. Before entering the space program, she was a medical doctor who served with the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and Liberia. She has also appeared as an actress in an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. She is a dancer and holds nine honorary doctorates in science, engineering, letters, and the humanities.

Maria Goeppert Mayer (1906-1972) was a German-born American theoretical physicist. She was the second woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics, the first being Marie Curie. She studied at Johns Hopkins during the Great Depression and persisted in her studies even when no university would employ her. Of her most famous contribution to modern physics is the discovery of the nuclear shell of the atomic nucleus, for which she won the Nobel Prize in 1963.

Austrian-Swedish physicist Lise Meitner (1878-1968) finished school at age 14, but she was barred from higher education, as were all girls in Austria. But she was determined to study radioactivity and when she turned 21, women were finally allowed into Austrian universities. Meitner, Otto Hahn and Otto Robert Frisch led the small group of scientists who first discovered nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron. The discovery, which eventually led to the atomic bomb, won Otto Hahn the Nobel Prize in 1944. Meitner and Otto Frisch, did not share in the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for nuclear fission as it was awarded exclusively to Hahn. Though she was overlooked by the Nobel committee, Meitner continued her atomic research in Stockholm into her 80s.

Vera Rubin (1928-2016) proved that dark matter existed in the universe by concluding that invisible gravity sources were pulling planets and stars in certain directions. She was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1993 by President Clinton. The New York Times wrote after her death, “Dr. Rubin, cheerful and plain-spoken, had a lifelong love of the stars, championed women in science and was blunt about the limits of humankind’s vaunted knowledge of nature.”

Sau Lan Wu (b. 1940?) is a Chinese American particle physicist and the Enrico Fermi Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She warmed up her theatrical career by discovering charm quarks and gluons, and then really changed the entire course of scientific history by helping to discover the Higgs boson particle, which is still the subject of cutting-edge science today.

Red Bull Amaphiko brought Amanda Brinkman to Speak at Nerd Nite!


We did it! After 5 years, we finally hosted Nerd Nite at the Orlando Public Library– and we brought a few remarkable people with us!

IMG_0799We’d like to give a special thank you to our supporting sponsor Red Bull Amaphiko for bringing Amanda Brinkman to Orlando and joining our line-up of remarkable speakers at Nerd Nite.

Red Bull Amaphiko is a global program that champions social entrepreneurs driving positive change.

Amanda is the creator of the original Nasty Woman shirt that went viral in 2016.

We hope you got a chance to meet this incredible woman and hear her story. Be sure to follow her work at Shrill Society.

Click here to learn more about Red Bull Amaphiko

Top 7 Reasons Why Aunt Linda Is Not Going With Elon Musk to Mars [VIDEO]

Thanks to the many advancements in technology and an abundance of exciting science fiction, let’s face it – everybody loves space… except Ricardo William’s Aunt Linda. She wants to significantly keep her distance. Click here to watch the video and find out why.


Watch new Nerd Nite videos here:

Nerd Nite Orlando Announces Production of Documentary Film


Nerd Nite Orlando recently celebrated its 5-year anniversary and announced production of a documentary film.

This documentary will explore the decentralized structure of Nerd Nite, its infectious spreading to new cities all around the world and how it has helped people gain confidence, discover their identity, and build meaningful relationships.

The modest budget will help to cover production costs; including equipment rentals, staff hires, travel, and festival submissions.

Production of the project will begin June 2018 with an expected completion by September 2018.

Click here to chip in to our campaign:

Thank You Orlando for 5 Years


When I ponder on the last five years, so many incredible memories come to mind. From hearing Amy Selikoff nerd out about flags to Jonathan Pamplin in full costume discussing the very peculiar history of “Emperor Norton” to an 8-month pregnant Tairi Perez tell an audience full of people how gross pregnancy can be and how humans should evolve to lay eggs. All of this and more are what make Nerd Nite so special. A community of remarkable people getting on stage and sharing their passions in a place where they can be themselves, be accepted and be celebrated.

Thank you all for the last five years. This milestone is as much our achievement as it is yours and with your continued participation we’ll keep it going for five more years and beyond!

-Ricardo Williams


An extra special thank you to the Orlando Science Center for giving us a home for our 5-year anniversary event and our vendors who joined us for the reception:
Amy & Nathan Selikoff
Deli Fresh Threads
Evan & Christie Miga
the Hammered Lamb
Maker FX Makerspace
Orange County Library System
To A Certain Degree

“Organizing Events Is Scary…Excited for 2018 Plans” by Ricardo Williams

Organizing events is scary and last week one of my worst fears became a reality. Through some miscommunication and user-error, we lost our venue for this month’s Nerd Nite. As we scrambled to find a replacement for the event, the options were looking very slim. Then just 8 hours before showtime, I called Henao Contemporary Center and they were not only available but were happy to accommodate us.

IMG_6427The hours leading up to Nerd Nite were very scary. Scarier than usual. With a last minute venue change nearly hours before our program was set to start, I was terrified that everything that could go wrong would absolutely go wrong. And then something crazy happened… all the tech worked, all the speakers showed up, the drinks were cold, and PEOPLE ACTUALLY SHOWED UP!

For those that couldn’t make it due to the venue change, I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. And to those who were able to make the trip thank you for the commitment; we appreciate you and all those who have showed up, turned out, and supported us over the years.

25189050_1277822658989816_5257357077680039218_oThe lineup for the night included one of our all-star speakers Max Jackson, who returned to the stage and gave a talk called “Information on the Brain”, David Moran followed by nerding out about the history of Dolly Parton’s amazing catalog of music, and my new co-boss Ida Eskamani closed us out breaking down “the art of moshing”.

With so much learned and so much fun had, I was reminded why so many of us have worked hard to keep Nerd Nite going over the years and I am incredibly excited for our plans for 2018, including the continuation of our monthly events, the second season of our show, our new documentary film, the 5-year anniversary, the cosplay prom, and so much more!

Be there and be square.

-Ricardo Williams

Ida Eskamani Announced As New Co-Boss of Nerd Nite Orlando

For Immediate Release (September 15, 2017)

ORLANDO, FL — Activist and organizer Ida Eskamani is announced as the new Co-Boss of Nerd Nite Orlando.

Nerd Nite, a monthly event that features educational and entertaining presentations in a casual atmosphere, operates in over a hundred cities around the world, including Tokyo, Seattle, New York City, London, Fort Lauderdale, Des Moines and Austin.

Nerd Nite launched in Orlando on Thursday, March 14, 2013 by founding organizers Valerie Cepero, Josh Manning, and Ricardo Williams. 21764115_10212417867096623_283112847_o For the past two years, Williams has solely organized and hosted Nerd Nite Orlando. Eskamani, who nerds out about astronomy, music and nature, will work side by side with Williams to organize monthly events as well as special programming and share hosting duties on certain evenings.

The announcement was made on Thursday, September 14th at “Nerd Nite Orlando LV: Neural Networks, Autonomous Vehicles, & The Procrastination Paradox” where Eskamani took the stage at the end of the evening to emphasize big plans for 2018 including a Nerd Nite Prom and how they’re going to “triple everything in size and Nerd Nite this whole damn town!”


Ricardo Williams
Host, Nerd Nite Orlando

Ida Eskamani is a first generation Iranian-American and a native of Orlando, Florida. She earned dual degrees in Political Science and Sociology and has served on top political campaigns, advocacy organizations, and institutions including the Obama White House, Sen. Bill Nelson’s re-election campaign, and Equality Florida. Following the tragedy at Pulse, Ms. Eskamani launched the Pulse Victims Fund, raising $10 million dollars for Pulse families and survivors and played a key role in victim service and advocacy efforts following the tragedy, with a focus on intersectionality and empowerment. She has organized large-scale demonstrations in support of the black lives matter movement, LGBTQ+ equality, common sense gun safety measures, and in resistance to Trump’s travel ban. Ms. Eskamani earned her Masters in Public Administration from UCF in 2016, and currently serves as Chief of Staff to Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, as well as on the Board of Directors of Organize Florida, a community-based, nonprofit member organization of low and moderate income people dedicated to the principles of social, racial, and economic justice. She also serves on Equality Florida’s Greater Orlando Steering Committee.

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“Nerd Nite Spotlight” to Premiere on WUCF-TV on June 29th



ORLANDO, FL – WUCF-TV is set to premiere the new television program, “Nerd Nite Spotlight.”

Produced by Tricia Connelly and hosted by Ricardo Williams, the production is a collaboration between WUCF-TV and Nerd Nite Orlando. Guests on the show are former speakers of Nerd Nite Orlando’s monthly event series which features some of Central Florida’s best and brightest. Premiering on Thursday, June 29th at 8:20pm, the show’s first season will air weekly through Central Florida’s public broadcasting. “Spotlight” will also be available for streaming online.

Nerd Nite Spotlight, Thursdays at 8:20pm on WUCF-TV.



WUCF-TV is Central Florida’s PBS station, licensed to the University of Central Florida, serving nearly 4 million viewers across nine counties with award-winning and acclaimed national programming for all ages and local productions that explore our community. More at

About Nerd Nite Orlando

Nerd Nite Orlando is an evening of entertaining yet thought-provoking presentations– all while the audience drinks along in a casual atmosphere. Speakers present for 15-20 minutes each on a fascinating subject, often in an uncanny and unconventional way. Nerd Nite has been established in over a hundred cities around the world and has organized special programing for Comic-Con International, The Future is Here Festival, and Maker Faire Orlando, among others.

Ricardo Williams
Host, Nerd Nite

Nerd Nite to Launch in Fort Lauderdale on July 25th


From the Nerd Nite Fort Lauderdale team:
“Join us at the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park on Tuesday, July 25 for an evening of fun talks by passionate presenters while the rest of us drink along!

We kick off with an icebreaker at 7, and the first of our three presentations starts at 7:30. The Buddha’s famous $10 “burger and a beer” special runs from 5-10, and happy hour is 4-8.

This month’s speakers and topics include:

1) When the Moon Photobombs the Sun: Your Guide to the 2017 Total Eclipse presented by Derek Demeter

Throughout the United States on August 21, 2017 for around two minutes the Moon will completely cover the Sun in a astronomical spectacle known as a total solar eclipse. Join the director of the Emil Buehler Planetarium Derek Demeter as we explore what all this eclipse hype is about and what to do in order to view it.

Derek is the director of the Emil Buehler Planetarium at Seminole State College in Sanford, Florida. Derek also enjoys promoting science beyond the planetarium with his work as an astrophotographer, which earned him pictures seen in NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day website, Universe Today, Astronomy Magazine, and Sky and Telescope.

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2) The Science and Psychology of Beauty: An Evolutionary Perspective presented by Melissa Blundell Osorio

Why are we attracted to what we’re attracted to? What leads us to find certain features physically beautiful, and others less so? Are these beauty standards created solely by the media? Take a look into the science of beauty, seen in the context of a Darwinian struggle for survival.

Melissa has been a Nerd Nite Miami Boss since co-founding it in 2014. During the day, she creates educational programming at the World Erotic Art Museum. Her nerdy interests are in human behavior, psychology, and anthropology, particularly when it comes to sex and beauty.

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3) Why Whale Poop Matters: Keeping the Oceans Dirty & Healthy presented by Laura Eldredge

Learn about ecosystem services provided by whales around the world and how, through pooping and other natural processes, they stimulate world-wide ocean productivity.

Laura currently works in natural resource management of Biscayne Bay and is a volunteer Stranding Coordinator for the Marine Animal Rescue Society which earned her the “Blue Ambassador of the Year Award”. Having immersed herself in the marine animal world, she has worked with whales, dolphins, otters, manatees, penguins, fish, sea turtles, corals, and the occasional wanna-be mermaids.

Follow them on social media here:

New Segment Debuted at April Nerd Nite: “Top 7 Nerdy Things in the News”


At Nerd Nite on April 13, 2017, we discussed human waste in space, stereotypes in black men, and reptiles in science fiction– but during the introduction we had to address all the terrible news in the media. In order to balance the bad news we’re overwhelmed with everyday, we decided to list some nerdy things in the news in our all-new segment: Top 7 Nerdy Things in the News.

Here are they below as presented at Nerd Nite:

7.) As if we needed another reason to bitch about Jurassic World, new research reveals that early dinosaur relatives may have walked on all fours like crocodiles.

6.) Jude Law successfully squashed all those gay rumors by getting cast to play young Dumbledore.

5.) MARVEL refused to make another lame Thor movie, so they added the Hulk, Jeff Goldblum, Cate Blanchett’s cheek bones, and almost everything we loved about Guardians of the Galaxy.

4.) While studying their excrement, scientists discover incredible history of a penguin colony on a small Antarctic island said to be a “Penguin Pompeii”. Puns and memes about penguins being “Romans” said to follow.

3.) DC got tired of screwing up the Superman character on the big screen so they released a trailer to the Justice League movie without him. Yet plans are still underway for him to be in the movie- and this is why we can’t have nice things.

2.) Following Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, MARVEL’s television division got tired of winning, so they made Iron Fist.

1.) Star Wars Celebration comes to Orlando and will be showing footage from its first clickbait-titled movie: The Last Jedi.

What is Nerd Nite???

Nerd Nite is an evening of entertaining and educational presentations. Speakers present for 15 minutes, followed by a brief Q&A with the audience.

Nerd Nite operates in over a hundred cities around the world and launched in Orlando on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Nerd Nite is a great way to connect with an engaged audience. Contact Ricardo, for 2019 sponsorship details and special event opportunities.

If you are interested in being a speaker at a Nerd Nite Orlando event, please be so kind as to fill out this form.

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