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

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WUCF-TV TO PREMIERE NEW SHOW, “NERD NITE SPOTLIGHT” IN COLLABORATION WITH NERD NITE ORLANDO

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 8:30pm, 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, Thursday at 8:30pm on WUCF-TV.

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About 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 http://wucftv.org/

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. http://orlando.nerdnite.com/

Contact:
Ricardo Williams
Host, Nerd Nite
813-464-1712
ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

Nerd Nite to Launch in Fort Lauderdale on July 25th

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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.

We’ll be announcing our speakers soon, so save the date, be there and be square!”

Nerd Nite Returns in July With All-Female Lineup in 4th Edition of “Ladies Nite”

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Join us on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at the Geek Easy for another evening of thinking and drinking.

Sign up: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-ladies-nite-v4

Nerd Nite 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. Following each presentation is a brief Q&A with the audience.

Guest speakers: Sarah Elbadri, Anna Eskamani, & Anne Meier

Hosted by Ricardo Williams
For any questions, contact Ricardo at ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

WHERE: The Geek Easy, 114 S Semoran Blvd #6, Winter Park, FL 32792
WHEN: Thursday, July 13, 2017 Doors open at 6pm. Program starts at 7pm.

PRESENTATION #1 by Sarah Elbadri

Sarah Abuobaida Elbadri is an urban planner, community leader, and a passionate resident of Orlando. Sarah came to Orlando to pursue a Masters degree in urban planning from Rollins College. As a graduate student used to riding her bike for transportation, she began working with a fellow student to bring bike share to Orlando. Together, they launched the Juice Bike Share program in the City of Orlando. Sarah has also served as the first Campus Director for The Iron Yard, a “coding bootcamp” moving students into web development careers and was also the Executive Director for the SoDo Main Street program. For the past six years, Sarah has helped plan ReThinking the City, a monthly program that builds dialogue within our community about the forces that shape cities.

PRESENTATION #2 by Annie Meier

Meier has participated in transforming trash into vital gases like methane, oxygen and water. Trash-to-gas technology can be used to recycle mission waste such as food packaging, dinner scraps, clothing (and even poo!) into gases that can be used elsewhere and reduce trash pile up on long duration missions. Meier was chief engineer on the HI-SEAS 2 mission, a simulated Martian base-camp on the slopes of a volcano in Hawaii. She spends her days doing research at Kennedy Space Center, trying to make sustainable fuel sources for deep space missions to Mars.

PRESENTATION #3 by Anna Eskamani

A Central Florida native and first generation Iranian-American, Anna currently serves as the Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. She is also a PhD student and adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida (UCF). A feminist and millennial, Anna is committed to building collective power to dismantle oppressive systems and lift community efficacy. She has been recognized by the Orlando Sentinel has one of the most 100 influential people in the region has recently been awarded as one of UCF’s “30 under 30” awardees.

Nominate Your Local Faves in the “Best of Orlando 2017 Readers Poll”

From the Orlando Weekly:

“It’s time for you to tell us about 2017’s best people, places and things in our annual Best of Orlando Readers Poll. We close this nomination round at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 2, and open the final voting round at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 12. After the second round of voting, winners will be announced in our Best of Orlando issue published Wednesday, Aug. 23.”

Click here to cast your votes.

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Wonder Woman NEEDS to be a Critical (and Commercial) Success. Here’s Why.

by Ricardo Williams

AllStarComics8_01Its finally happening. 76 years after her first appearance in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941, the most famous female superhero in comic book history is finally getting her first solo live-action film. This is certainly a big deal for fanboys (and girls) who’ve waited a long time for this- but there is something more important at stake here. The Wonder Woman movie must be a critical and commercial success, here are two reasons why…

First off, lets be honest. Since Christopher Nolan said farewell to Batman, responses to DC films have been mixed at best. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were bloated, expensive, overhyped, predictable and an utter waste of so much talent. Out of the three films currently released in the DC Extended Universe, the best would likely be Man of Steel– and even fans and critics agreed that it was too sad with a muted color scheme not symbolic of Superman’s commanding sense of hope and optimism.

Four years and three films in and DC has yet to release their version of Marvel’s 2008 Iron Man or 2012’s Avengers or 2014’s Captain America: Winter Soldier or 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy or 2016’s Captain America: Civil War or 2016’s Doctor Strange…. you see where I’m going with this. Marvel has released hit after hit after hit and though they’re bloated, expensive, maybe overhyped, arguably predictable and sometimes even a waste of talent- people actually like them. Critics and fans agree that Marvel movies are fun and at certain times even thought-provoking, but most importantly they are getting people of all ages excited to actually go to the movies. And they’re not only dominating the ever expanding superhero genre but the entire movie industry. With 15 films produced in the last 9 years (and 11 more in various stages of production), Marvel Studios has collectively grossed over $11.7 billion at the global box office, making it the highest-grossing film franchise of all-time. Thats right, bigger than Harry Potter, bigger than James Bond, bigger than Lord of the Rings, and even bigger than Star Wars! At this point, Marvel could probably start hosting their own annual convention.

wonder-woman-2017-4My point is, with Marvel getting bigger with every release, can DC survive a fourth consecutive film with a lackluster response? The good news is that many critics around the world have already seen Wonder Woman prior to its June 2nd release and the responses are pouring in; the word is that its good- VERY good. But I hate to rain on their parade, but that isn’t enough.

Which leads me to my second point. Wonder Woman can’t just please critics and comic book fans, it needs to translate to big numbers at the box office- like REALLY big.

1984’s Supergirl was the first superhero film ever to feature a female in the lead role. Since then I can count on one hand how many films have done the same (Tank Girl, Catwoman, Elektra) and every single one of them bored critics, angered fans, and ultimately bombed at the box office. Those films are excuses that studio executives use when they debate whether to have a female front and center in a superhero film. Wonder Woman is clearly a more popular character riding a wave of superhero excitement on the big screen, so its chances of success are far greater than that of its predecessors, but it also means that if it fails to meet financial expectations it will sting harder and have a greater negative impact.

Lets not forget there’s not only a female leading the cast, but there’s also a female leading the crew. Director Patty Jenkins is only the second female director in history to be given a budget over $100 million; and with over a hundred plus superhero films ever made, she’s one of only a couple women who’ve ever been given the opportunity to make one.

Women are already struggling for opportunities on-screen and behind the camera and Wonder Woman is a bold risk for the doubting patriarchal leaders in Hollywood. The only thing that will calm their doubts is commercial success. Wonder Woman’s iconic status and good reviews must translate to lots of money so that those studio executives in Hollywood think twice about ever questioning whether female(s) could make a big budget superhero movie.

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MegaCon 2017 [PHOTOS]

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Nerd Nite to Talk Going Viral, Dead Animals, and Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone on June 8th

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Join us on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at the Geek Easy for another evening of thinking and drinking.

RSVP: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-june-2017

Nerd Nite 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. Following each presentation is a brief Q&A with the audience. Nerd Nite currently operates in over 106 cities around the world.

**We’ll be giving away a few free passes to RESIDENT EVIL: VENDETTA and we’ll also have giveaways for TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT.**

Guest speakers: Adam Heath Avitable, Ashley Mason-Burns, & Sterling Scott

Hosted by Ricardo Williams
For any questions, contact Ricardo at ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

WHERE: The Geek Easy, 114 S Semoran Blvd #6, Winter Park, FL 32792
WHEN: Thursday, June 8, 2017 @ 7pm

PRESENTATION #1:
“Cornelius and me: Overcoming my self sabotaging ego and finding freedom.” By Sterling Scott

Sterling Scott’s primary passion is helping people get out of their comfort zones. His goal is to help people tame their noisy inner critic and achieve greater levels of freedom and effectiveness in their lives.

His training is in the areas of social dynamics, mindfulness , human sexuality, and psychology. He has done counseling for couples and individuals seeking to expand their social and sexual horizons. He is currently working on a one man show about sexuality,rejection and all things awkward . This talk will touch on these subjects and much more.

PRESENTATION #2:
“ALL OF MY COWORKERS ARE DEAD” by Ashley Mason-Burns

ALL OF MY COWORKERS ARE DEAD: A presentation on how SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology processes dead animals to create beautifully-articulated skeletons for the museum. Includes a time-lapse of flesh-eating beetles at work.

Ashley Mason-Burns, M.S., is the Education Director at SKELETONS: Museum of Osteology, America’s largest skeleton museum. Ashley began self-teaching skeletal processing and articulation in 2012 and today she maintains and breeds colonies of flesh eating beetles for processing ethically-sourced specimens.

PRESENTATION #3:
“Being Naked on the Internet: Shamelessness and the Art of Going Viral” by Adam Heath Avitable

He’s hairy, crude, and shameless, but you’ll be as surprised why comedian Adam Heath Avitable went viral as he was.

An internationally touring comedian who became a viral sensation across the globe, Adam Heath Avitable demonstrates to audiences everywhere why The Chive calls him one of the Top 25 Comics to Watch, and why he was called “Perhaps the Funniest Man in Orlando” by the Orlando Business Journal. From George Takei to Ashton Kutcher, everyone’s talking about Avitable. The author of the best selling humor book “Interviews with Dead Celebrities”, he has earned a reputation as a “wickedly sharp writer, dark and funny, twisted in all the right ways.”

Nerd Nite to Talk About Biology, Feminism, and Computers on May 11th

Join us on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Geek Easy for another evening of thinking and drinking.

RSVP here: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-may-2017

Nerd Nite 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. Following each presentation is a brief Q&A with the audience. Nerd Nite currently operates in over 106 cities around the world.

Guest speakers: Jeff Endriss, Nick Teague, and Cassandra Wilcox

Hosted by Ricardo Williams
For any questions, contact Ricardo at ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

WHERE: The Geek Easy, 114 S Semoran Blvd #6, Winter Park, FL 32792
WHEN: Thursday, May 11, 2017. 7pm.

PRESENTATION #1:
“Macroinvertebrate Biology: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bug” by Jeff Endriss

DESCRIPTION: Aquatic Macroinvertebrate monitoring is a very important but lesser known field of biology and it’s happening right under Disney goer’s noses. After properly introducing the science, Jeff will assist the audience in identifying a bug that most Florida residents have encountered (and probably killed).

SPEAKER BIO: Jeff Endriss is an Orlando native and UCF graduate. He currently works as a biologist for Disney’s government, Reedy Creek Improvement District. No, he can’t get you Disney tickets, and yes, he still thinks bugs are gross.

PRESENTATION #2:
“Feminism & Functional Programming: Facts, Opinions, and Controversies” by Cassandra Wilcox

DESCRIPTION: The word “Feminism” means different things to different people. And although you’d expect Computers Science to be rigid and exact, there are quite a lot of opinions responsible for how we build software today. In this talk Cassandra will explore the overlap between these two seemingly-unrelated topics, and explain why it is so important that women be involved in the advancement of technology.

SPEAKER BIO: Cassandra Wilcox is a Web Application Developer and founder of Orlando-based web development company, Code Hangar Inc. She shares her passion for building software as a Girls Who Code Instructor, Organizer of the Orlando Lady Developers Group, and JavaScript Instructor at Skillcrush. When she’s not making or teaching tech, she likes to write songs and collaborate on various musical projects with friends.

PRESENTATION #3:
“The Quantum Computer Revolution” by Nick Teague

DESCRIPTION: Moore’s law has taken us quite far over the last 50 years, but the limits of nanoscale fabrication are within view. Quantum computers are a new paradigm of computing utilizing the strange properties of quantum dynamics that when realized will take us outside of Moore’s Law for at least some specific applications. This talk will serve as a firehose introduction to the burgeoning field using the “Feynman technique” for learning e.g. explaining in clear language as could be understood by a toddler – including foundational topics such as what exactly we mean by “qubits” and their superposition, architectures, algorithms, and applications. Because learning is fun!

SPEAKER BIO: Nick Teague is an amateur blogger for fun, a mechanical engineer by training, and a marketer by profession. He has a professional background in renewable energy and HVAC; extracurricular interests in quantum computing, machine learning, and complexity theory; and occasionally bangs out a few notes on the keyboard. He is currently seeking work so if you enjoy the talk let him know he would be happy to share a resume. He can also be found on twitter at @_NicT_.

Nerd Nite Speed Dating Returns with Star Wars-theme on May the 4th

The smart-yet-fun folks of Nerd Nite are bringing back Speed Dating with a special Star Wars-themed edition for May the 4th.

Register here for one of our 15 three-minute date sessions so you’ll no longer have to look for love in a galaxy far far away. Choose from our hetero session at 7pm or the LGBT session at 8:15. If the Rebels can blow up the Death Star in 11 minutes, let’s see if you can make a love connection in only three.

Advanced online registration is required (walk-ups will be based on availability). Costumes welcome. Must be 18 years of age or older.

Limit one per person.

WHEN: Thursday, May 4, 2017. 7pm
WHERE: the Geek Easy, 114 S Semoran Blvd #6, Winter Park, FL 32792

Hetero session is at 7:00pm
LGBT session is at 8:15pm

REGISTER FOR A SESSION HERE: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-speed-dating-star-wars-edition

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

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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.

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What is Nerd Nite???

Nerd Nite 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. Following each presentation is a brief Q&A with the audience.

Nerd Nite was first established in 2003, by Chris Balakrishnan in Boston, Massachusetts. Through the leadership of Matt Wasowski, Nerd Nite spread to New York City in 2006 and since then has been established in over a hundred cities around the world, including Tokyo, Seattle, London, Los Angeles, Des Moines, Austin, and many more.

Nerd Nite launched in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, March 14, 2013 by Josh Manning. Since then, Nerd Nite Orlando has held monthly events on every second Thursday, as well as organized special programing for Comic-Con International, The Future is Here Festival, and Maker Faire Orlando, among others.

Nerd Nite Orlando is organized and hosted by Ricardo Williams.

If you have questions or concerns, email Ricardo [at] ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

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