The Female Villains of Batman: Ethics, Sexuality, and Identity

Batman has caught catwoman from behind, black and white with colored background courtesy of Pascal Bernardon

October Nerd Nite on the Rocks

by Jamie Jensen

What’s green, red, and black all over? It’s Batman’s feminine adversaries, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Cat Woman. These lovely ladies, and several others like them, have a lot more in common than their sexy figures. Join Jamie as she takes us for a deep dive into the history of the female villains of the Batman comics. Learn the circumstances surrounding their origin stories and their creation as addendums for their male counterparts. Find out how they add complexity to comics by introducing moral gray areas and serving as foils to the more straightforward “good versus evil” of male villains.

The Firefighter’s Workplace

Fire fighter silhouette in front of orange flames image courtesy of Paul Chambers

October 6th Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Matt Love, Fire Chief

Firefighting has changed a little since the days of “Johnny and Roy”! Specifically, “what is burning”, “what’s it burning in”, and the science-based strategies and tactics employed by fire professionals have come a long way. Using real-life depictions and video from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, St. Cloud Fire Chief Matthew Love will identify key change aspects, fire dynamics involved in this change, and flow path considerations for the modern firefighter.

Hero to Zero: Super Hero Scandals

September Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Jade Harveland

We’ve put them on pedestals and looked to them in our time of need. But when they’re not in their capes, they are still people with emotions and faults. But when those character flaws shine through the cracks of corruption, the statement, “Never meet your heroes,” never hit so hard!

This Ain’t Your Momma’s Library: Sharing Information For All

laptop sits on a desk. on the laptop screen is an image of books on bookshelves.

September Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Mary Jordan

If all you know about libraries is that they have crabby old ladies who shush people, they charge tons of money in fines, they all work with kids, and they only have dusty paper books – then you need an update! Today’s libraries are keeping up with the times. They serve a vast spectrum of people with different needs, provide all sorts of materials, and offer a wide variety of services. But, like any good story, there are a few villains. Publishers, ebook vendors, book banners – all of them work in different ways to get between the service mission of libraries and their patrons. Join us to hear about all the different ways that libraries have adapted to serve your information needs!

Taking a Closer Look Back in Time:

Person stands looking at the night sky.

Meet the James Webb Space Telescope

August 4th St. Cloud Nerd Nite with John Mielke

He’s not an expert, but he IS a self-proclaimed “space case”. Our very own emcee, John, will tell us what all the hubbub is about. John will describe the differences between the Hubble and Webb space craft and their capabilities, their distinctive positions in space, and their missions. He’ll also show lots of images of heavenly bodies…and if we’re lucky, some pictures of stars and galaxies too!

W Boson Particle: What Is It & Why Did It Make the News?

artist's rendition of boson yellow ellipses around center starburst

June Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Steven Dorsher

Several weeks ago, the W Boson made the news when CERN, a world-famous particle physics laboratory, replicated an experiment at Fermi Lab, but with better data. The results showed that the W Boson’s mass was much different than theoretically expected. Steven will explain in greater detail what the W Boson is, the significance of the finding in the context of the field, the relationship to the Higgs Boson, and the more speculative and exciting implications of the result for other areas of physics such as supersymmetry or dark matter.

Raising the Bar: The Evolution of the Pole Vault

Pole vaulter clears bar, head down to finish the jump - black and white image

June Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Kevin Hanson

Pole jumping originated long ago as a way for people to navigate natural barriers. Pole vaulting developed as an athletic event to challenge gravity and see who could jump the highest using sticks of various materials. In his presentation, Kevin will discuss modern techniques and the science that now allows men to jump over 20 feet and women almost 17 feet in perhaps the most difficult single event in athletics.

What Happens When Our Soul Leaves Our Body

May 2022 Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Mark Becker

This question has intrigued us for centuries. Join Mark as he shares what he has learned on the topic from his study of world religions, psychic phenomenon, hypnosis, and science. He’ll discuss near death experiences, what we do in the afterlife, and what our purpose is for our time on earth.

Cats 101: or Everything You Need to Know About Nature’s Most Adorable Super Hunters

May 2022 Nerd Nite on the Rocks

Rose Hegerle & Kate Kompas

Man’s best friend? Pfft. Cats have been steadily gaining on dogs in the competition for America’s most popular pet. But they’re still a little on the wild side. Members of the Tricounty Human Society will tell us why AND the reasons Central Minnesota’s cat population is so huge. (And how YOU can help!)

What Do Robots See? Well, the Google-Bot Anyway…

Binary 1's and 0's

April 2022 Nerd Nite on the Rocks

by Michelle Henderson

Ever wonder how a website gets ‘chosen’ for the top spot on Google search? The answer is more complicated, and more simple, than you think. Michelle Henderson, owner of BadCat Digital and 12-year Search Engine Optimization junkie, will walk us through how Google sees websites and why they like the ones they like. No need to be able to read binary!