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

han-and-leia

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

17951970_10212224458783450_7886620321658780869_n

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.

Has Marvel Finally Made a Good Thor Movie?

by Ricardo Williams

I know what you’re thinking “everything Marvel does is great, they can do no wrong”– well, except for Agents of SHIELD. And Iron Fist. Those shows are dumb but they’re on TV, so they don’t really count and they clearly haven’t (and won’t) hurt Marvel’s movie domination. With 14 films released and 12 more in various stages of production, the Marvel Studios series has collectively grossed over $10.9 billion at the global box office, making it the highest-grossing film franchise of all-time. That’s right, a film franchise based off comic book characters (many of whom previously unknown to the general public) has done to almost everyone what they’ve been doing to me and my friends our entire lives: normalizing fringe fandom and mainstreaming superhero obsession.

And they have been overwhelming successful with what few have dared to consider, try, or fail and that is… the shared movie universe. A set of smaller film franchises and universes that are deeply interconnected and weave into a larger ensemble. These movies act more as necessary companion films to each other, rather than traditional sequels… or even spin-offs. Now everyone wants to do it- I’m looking at you DC Extended Universe. (somehow that just doesn’t have the same ring to it)

robert-downey-jr-iron-manThey’ve completely changed the industry and inspired so many current standards that all of this seems familiar, like its always been done this way- but it hasn’t. It may feel like a long time ago but remember, their first film only came out in 2008. That’s right, just 9 years ago the world fell in love with Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, reminding us that despite his rocky past he is truly one of the greatest actors of our time.

Since then, its been pretty much good reviews and bags of money for Marvel. Even at their worst, they are somehow still more entertaining and more successful than all other franchises. Though some would argue that is because the universe is filled with so many Easter eggs and connected plot points that fans are encouraged to see even the weaker films just so they understand the bigger picture. While others would say the deeply connected movie universe hinders the creativity and freedom of some of the filmmakers and has led to creating those weaker films. Which brings us to Thor… and its slightly more exciting sequel. Although the Thor franchise has given us the beautiful Chris Hemsworth, the legendary Anthony Hopkins, and easily Marvel’s best on-screen villain (Loki, not Malekith), it hasn’t really quite delivered in the masterpiece department like the first Iron Man or Captain America: Winter Solider or Guardians of the Galaxy— but I think that’s about to change.

Thor_Ragnarok_posterToday, Marvel dropped the teaser trailer for the third entry in the franchise: Thor: Ragnarok. Dare I say it, but the trailer itself has more suspense, excitement, and humor in 2-minutes than the previous films combined. I’ve said this for years and I truly mean it: THOR SHOULD BE ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING ELEMENTS OF THE MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE… but it hasn’t been. They have all the ingredients of a great movie experience, but somehow have fallen short. They’ve got space, aliens, Gods (who are really just aliens), warriors, inter-dimensional travel, Anthony Hopkins’ voice, a badass theme by Brian Tyler, and a handsome lead actor. From the looks of the Ragnarok trailer, most of the ingredients are still in play- so what’s different now?

1.) The incredibly versatile (and now gothic) Cate Blanchett
2.) The destruction of Mjolnir and Asgard
3.) The quirkiness of Jeff Goldblum
4.) Some GOTG inspiration aka retro graphics and a retro song (LED ZEPPELIN!!!!)

and lastly….

5.) THE INCREDIBLE HULK

thor-ragnarok-gladiator-hulk-header

Watch the trailer below. I honestly think this is the Thor movie that we’ve all been waiting for- third time’s a charm, right?
YouTube Preview Image

5 Takeaways From the New Justice League Trailer

by Ricardo Williams

When I heard the news that the Justice League trailer was finally released, all I could think to myself was: “Please God don’t let them screw this up.” And although fans like me have fallen for this trap countless times before- dare I say it, the trailer actually looks very promising.

Here are a few of my reactions to the footage.

1.) Batman and Wonder Woman Are In Charge, Rightfully So.

When you look at the long history of the League and their very popular and powerful roster, the Last Son of Krypton is clearly at the top of the list and would by most guesses be the leader of the team. But the first live action outing of DC’s mightiest heroes presents a different scenario. It is not Superman, but Batman leading the team and taking on the very large responsibility of assembling everyone and by his side- the team’s most famous female member and (arguably) second most powerful, Wonder Woman. This makes perfect sense. Batman and Wonder Woman are trained fighters with actual experience in combat and strategy, Superman is not.

2.) Marvel’s Cinematic Formula is Front and Center

Marvel’s The Avengers in 2012 featured Nick Fury and SHIELD assembling Iron Man, Captain America, and other heroes in their cinematic universe to stop an unknown threat that “no single hero could handle alone”. The film’s huge box office return made all the other studios in the world hungry for their own billion dollar comic book movie team-up and its looking like DC and Warner Brothers are using the exact same story formula (aka we need to assemble a team of the most powerful people to stop a mysterious threat and they all just happen to have conflicting personalities and don’t necessary want to work together or even like each other but eventually realize they need to work together to stop this… threat- or whatever it is).

With that said, the first Avengers was the ultimate nerdgasm, some of the best comic book characters done right and brought together in a fun movie-going experience, but I don’t think its a good idea that Justice League is going that same route. One of my favorite comics ever is Geoff Johns’ “Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin (The New 52)”. Released a few years ago, it was a modern retelling of the formation of the Justice League. A fun and exciting character-driven issue with the famously skeptical Batman at the center struggling to trust these 6 super-powered people. There was no master plan of assembling a team, but rather a group of powerful people who met as the threat was happening and had to do some serious on-the-job training on working together. Johns is one of the best comic writers of all time and I’m hoping that through his involvement in the DC Extended Universe, some of his genius reaches the big screen.

17492514_1336268296466981_8754987025428519793_o3.) Aquaman Won’t Be Lame

One of the truly great achievements of the Justice League trailer is that Snyder and Co. have successfully made Aquaman not suck. The character in the comics is cool. He’s tough, powerful, and has a vast diverse universe (under the water)– but that hasn’t always translated into the public perception of him (aka non-fanboy world). When people think Aquaman, the first thing that comes to mind is a blonde, blue-eyed white guy in an orange and green suit, riding a whale and talking to fish… which is actually accurate. Casting Jason Momoa literally erases all the things that make him lame and judging by the trailer he’s heavy drinking and adventurous; and will most likely have a very fun relationship with Batman.

4.) Justice League is Just as Dark as Dawn of Justice… But More Fun.

Man of Steel, the Superman origin story that kicked off the DC Extended Universe, received mixed reviews. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, although making over 800 million bucks, received generally negative reviews. And Suicide Squad… that movie was just dumb- be honest. The first 3 films of DC’s movie world have had a rocky start but one thing is consistent among their critiques: the movies are just so dark– not just in tone, but literally dark. Its like the sun never comes out. Its like no one is happy. And its like no one tells a joke- or at least a joke that’s actually funny. Enter Ezra Miller’s portrayal of the Flash. A character that has thrived on television with its campy, yet very entertaining tone. This is a character that was made to be fun (and funny) and it looks like he plans to deliver on screen. One of the highlights of the trailer is Miller’s character sitting beside Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne and he condescendingly asks “What are your superpowers again?” to which Affleck responds: “I’m rich”. And with that one exchange the humor Gods have parted the clouds and allowed some light to peak its way into this dark world.

Justice-League

5.) The Justice League Doesn’t Need The Most Famous Character in Comic Book History.

If you’ve seen the trailer for the Justice League, you noticed that a certain someone doesn’t seem to be around- and if you saw Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, you understand why. Now obviously Henry Cavill is confirmed to be in the film and they are most certainly saving any footage of him for a later release as part of some marketing roll out– but lets be honest, its a really fucking bold move to introduce the first ever live action version of the Justice League WITHOUT the most famous character in comic book history.

With that said, something very strange occurs when you watch this trailer. After digesting the 2-minute spectacle of Wonder Woman kicking ass, Batman being a grumpy old man, the Flash being cute, Cyborg being a… cyborg (thats all I’ve got for now), and Aquaman making your girlfriend swoon (and your boyfriend jealous), you realize something… the Justice League doesn’t really need Superman- at least they don’t need him to make the movie look awesome. Superman may be the most famous character in comic book history, but he hasn’t always been the most popular on the big screen– and as the fans always say, “the books are better”

Watch the trailer below.

YouTube Preview Image

Oh yeah, Junkie XL and Gary Clark Jr.’s version of “Come Together” by the Beatles is a brilliant addition.

Nerd Nite Returns to the Geek Easy for April 13th Event

NNO_4-year_poster_congrats

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

RSVP: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-april-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 include: Brendan Byrne, Jason Reynolds, and Clayton Ferrara

Hosted by Ricardo Williams

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

—–

PRESENTATION #1:
“Poop, Pee & Puke: Dealing with the Gross Stuff When Exploring Space” By Brendan Byrne

DESCRIPTION: As humans start to travel farther and spend more time in space, there’s going to be a lot of crap we have to deal with. From recycling pee to wiping away space-poo, scientists are trying to figure out what to do with waste in space.

BIO: Brendan Byrne is WMFE’s Space Reporter. He regularly produces radio stories looking at the developments from Florida’s Space Coast and contributes to NPR’s nationally broadcasted shows. He host the podcast ‘Are We There Yet?’ which explores human space exploration.

PRESENTATION #2:
“Yes, I’m Black: Debunking Stereotypes About Black Men” by Jason Reynolds

DESCRIPTION: Jason is on a mission to debunk the stereotypes associated with black men. He will engage the audience in a discussion about being a black man, their stereotypes of black men, how to adjust their stereotypes, and why this is important to him.

BIO: Jason is an urban planner focused on engaging and redeveloping communities. He enjoys playing and watching soccer, living a downtown lifestyle, and reinvesting in the community through volunteering and serving on advisory boards.

PRESENTATION #3:
“Do You Think He Saurus Rex?: The Scaly Truth Behind Sci-Fi Reptiles” by Clayton Louis Ferrara

DESCRIPTION: Reptiles are all over pop-culture – from Jurassic dinosaurs, to radioactive teenage mutant ninja turtles, or reptilian politicians – but what’s the real deal on our scale brothers and sisters? Join biologist Clayton Louis Ferrara and find out!

BIO: Clayton Louis Ferrara is a biologist, a Darwin Fellow, and Executive Director of IDEAS For Us.

—–

National Geographic Channel Presents Nerd Nite at SXSW [PHOTOS]

On Saturday, March 11, 2017, Ricardo Williams hosted a special version of Nerd Nite at SXSW in Austin, Texas with National Geographic Channel. Speakers included MIT researcher Adam Haar Horowitz, science and tech journalist Seth Porges, and submarine pilot Erika Bergman.

17200674_10107062622604715_918356069_o

17230165_10107062622609705_1096619675_o

17269617_10107062622714495_207235829_o

17269855_10107062622719485_2072938153_o

17273932_10107062622474975_1447391251_o

IMG_9654

IMG_9666

IMG_9678

IMG_9679

IMG_9686

IMG_9690

IMG_9697

IMG_9702

IMG_9729

IMG_9730

IMG_9742

IMG_9747

IMG_9759

IMG_9760

IMG_9779

Nerd Nite Orlando’s 4-Year Anniversary [PHOTOS]

Click here to see the full album of photos from Nerd Nite Orlando’s 4-Year Anniversary on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Abbey.

IMG_6371

IMG_6406

IMG_6320

IMG_6357

IMG_6341

Nerd Nite Orlando to Talk Politics, Pop Culture, and Robots at 4-Year Anniversary

16991793_1031217593650325_3929794007547631818_o
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (March 1, 2017)
Contact: Ricardo Williams
Organization: Nerd Nite Orlando
813-464-1712
ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

Nerd Nite Orlando to Talk Politics, Pop Culture, and Robots at 4-Year Anniversary

Orlando, FL – On Thursday, March 9th, Nerd Nite Orlando will celebrate the fourth anniversary of its monthly event series. Held on every second Thursday, Nerd Nite was first launched in Orlando at Stardust Video & Coffee on March 14, 2013 by Josh Manning.

The concept of Nerd Nite, first formed in 2003 in Boston, is very simple; a monthly event featuring entertaining yet thought-provoking presentations in a casual bar 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. In the last 14 years, Nerd Nite has spread to 6 continents and currently operates in over 106 cities around the world.

Manning attended Nerd Nite in Washington DC and was inspired to bring the event to Orlando and recruited Valerie Cepero and Ricardo Williams to join the organizing team at the first event in 2013.

Williams, who now solely organizes and hosts the event, has brought Nerd Nite to various venues around town, including the Church Street Exchange building, Purple Rock Scissors’ office, Ferg’s Depot, the Geek Easy, Stardust Video & Coffee, and The Abbey.

In the years since its inception, Nerd Nite Orlando has expanded to include special events at Comic Con, SXSW, Maker Faire, and added programming, such as speed dating, trivia, walking tours, movie and game nights, and the dry t-shirt contest which will make its return on March 9th. The contest features contestants from the audience who are invited on stage to compete against each other on who is wearing the nerdiest t-shirt.

At the 4-Year Anniversary, veteran Nerd Nite speakers Max Jackson, Amy Selikoff, and Joshua Walker will each return to give all new presentations. The evening’s topics will range from relevant issues of automation, robots, politics, pop culture, and more.

###

Nerd Nite Orlando’s 4-Year Anniversary
When: March 9, 2017. Doors open at 6pm, Program starts at 7:00pm
Where: the Abbey, 100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32801
Suggested Donation: $10
Guest speakers: Max Jackson, Amy Selikoff, and Joshua Walker

RSVP for 4-Year Anniversary: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-s-4-year-anniversary

Nerd Nite Orlando to Kick Off Busy Month with 4-Year Anniversary on March 9th

nno_title_square_6-1FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (February 16, 2017)
Contact: Ricardo Williams
Organization: Nerd Nite Orlando
813-464-1712
ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

Nerd Nite Orlando to Kick Off Busy Month with 4-Year Anniversary on March 9th

Orlando, FL – Nerd Nite Orlando is set to celebrate its four year anniversary on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Abbey. The event, which is held on the second Thursday of every month, was first launched in Orlando at Stardust Video & Coffee on March 14, 2013 by Josh Manning.

The concept of Nerd Nite, first formed in 2003 in Boston, is very simple; a monthly event featuring entertaining yet thought-provoking presentations in a casual bar 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. In the last 13 years, Nerd Nite has spread to 6 continents and currently operates in over 106 cities around the world.

Manning attended Nerd Nite in Washington DC and was inspired to bring the event to Orlando and recruited Valerie Cepero and Ricardo Williams to join the organizing team at the first event in 2013.

Williams, who now solely organizes and hosts the event, has brought Nerd Nite to various venues around town, including the Church Street Exchange building, Ferg’s Depot, the Geek Easy, Stardust Video & Coffee, and The Abbey.

In the years since its inception, Nerd Nite Orlando has expanded to include special events at Comic Con, SXSW, and added programming, such as speed dating, walking tours, movie and game nights, and dry t-shirt contests, among others.

Following the four-year anniversary on March 9th, Williams will fly to Austin, Texas to host a special version of Nerd Nite at SXSW with National Geographic on March 11th.

The following week, Orlando will be home to the second-ever “Nerd Nite Bosses Retreat” where Nerd Nite organizers and hosts from across the country will fly-in to discuss the direction of the global event as well as share best practices from their experiences.

###

Nerd Nite Orlando’s 4-Year Anniversary
When: March 9, 2017. Doors open at 6pm, Program starts at 7:00pm
Where: the Abbey, 100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32801
Suggested Donation: $10
Guest speakers: Max Jackson, Amy Selikoff, and Joshua Walker

RSVP for 4-Year Anniversary: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-s-4-year-anniversary

Nerd Nite to Celebrate FOUR-YEAR ANNIVERSARY at the Abbey on March 9th

nno_4-year_poster_1_resize

Join us on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the Abbey as we celebrate FOUR YEARS of thinking and drinking. The evening will feature new talks, games**, prizes, and everything you love about Nerd Nite Orlando.

RSVP here: http://www.ticketbase.com/events/nerd-nite-orlando-s-4-year-anniversary

Nerd Nite, formed in 2003, 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.

Nerd Nite was brought to Orlando on March 13, 2013 by Josh Manning and monthly events are organized and hosted by Ricardo Williams. Live Nerd Nite presentations in Orlando are always the second Thursday of every month.

WHERE: the Abbey, 100 S Eola Dr #100, Orlando, FL 32801
WHEN: Thursday, March 9, 2017. Doors open at 6pm. Program begins at 7pm.

Guest speakers: Max Jackson, Amy Selikoff, and Joshua Walker

For questions, contact Ricardo at ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

PRESENTATION #1:
“Amazon Web Services Explained Through Politics and Shitty Pop Culture” by Joshua “TechDev” Walker

DESCRIPTION: Some people still think the Amazon is just a beautiful forest and the cloud is how Goku gets to his fights. Josh will push past the Silicon Valley Bullshit and explain Amazon’s prized ecosystem Amazon Web Services through a combination of Politics and mind numbing Pop Culture.

BIO: Joshua “TechDev” Walker is an Honorable Vet Turned Tech, Passionate About AWS, Programming, Data Science and People

PRESENTATION #2:
“Amendments: Using the Constitution to Fight the Apocalypse” by Amy Selikoff

DESCRIPTION: Amendments? What are they? Is that something for smart people to know? Will this help you survive the zombie apocalypse? Possibly. Get ready for this crash course into all 27 amendments and the process for creating more in the face of the impending implosion of our democracy.

BIO: Amy Selikoff has taught social studies to 7th graders for 12 years. Her life goal is to learn everything there is to learn about anything there is to learn about. And travel the world.

PRESENTATION #3:
“Automatic Robot Scientists” by Max Jackson

DESCRIPTION: Are the jobs of scientists safe from being replaced by automation? Can robots design experiments, work around errors, and interpret data? What will we do if we can outsource our ability to make sense of the world? All of these questions will be explored and more, from the beginnings of human inquiry to today, concluding with what the future will likely hold for all of us.

BIO: Max Jackson is a research associate at the Hybrid Systems Lab at the UCF Nanoscience Center. He is also a tech journalist covering major events and trends in the Orlando area. His hobbies include reading, writing, and democratic-socialist organizing.

** We will also be hosting a dry t-shirt contest. All you need to compete is wear your nerdiest shirt.

Nerd Nite Cities
map
What is Nerd Nite???

Nerd Nite, formed in 2003, 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.

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

Nerd Nite was brought to Orlando in 2013 by Josh Manning

Nerd Nite Orlando is organized and hosted by Ricardo Williams

If you have questions, concerns or are interested in speaking at Nerd Nite Orlando, email Ricardo [at] ricardo.williams@nerdnite.com

Get Connected