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!

The Art of the Yo-Yo

April 2022 Nerd Nite on the Rocks

by Ricky Rentz

Rick started Yo-Yoing as a teenager at the age of 36! As you can imagine he’s never really grown up. Yes, Rick is able to Walk the Service Dog and Rock the Wild Baby, and if Nerd Nite attendees’ life insurance policies are up to date, maybe even do Around the World. He will share the ups and downs of the history of the yo-yo, as well as some of the more creative skills like off String and free hand. Feel free to applaud at the completion of each trick, as he is ever so shy!

Synesthesia: Hearing Colors & Tasting Sounds

by Rebecca Woods

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to literally see music? Some people have this ability. To them, hearing music is accompanied by a brilliant and beautiful experience of flowing or sparkling colors. This experience of two senses being activated when only one of them should be is known as synesthesia. Synesthesia can occur as a merging of any two senses and it’s more common than you might expect. Many synesthetes don’t even realize that others aren’t experiencing the world the way they do. Is it possible that you have synesthesia and don’t even know it? In her presentation, Rebecca will discuss the different types of known synesthesia, how prevalent synesthesia is in the population, and how scientists think it occurs.

Whiskey 101

by Jeremy Blankenship

Stearns American comes to Nerd Nite! Join us as Jeremy takes us on a deep dive into whiskey making. He’ll give us a “tour” of the different types of whiskey and explain how they go from grains to our glasses. Learn about brewing and fermentation, distilling, and the barrel aging process. And find out how you can find the newest whiskey in the county. Bottoms up!

The Art of Cars

by John Mielke

What is this obsession with cars?! Why do some people see an A to B transport and others see artistic metal ships? See through the eyes of someone who looks at an old car as a canvas to express color and shape…and also to make growling sounds while smelling up the environment with burned fossil fuels. In his presentation, John will provide some history on his favorite cars, Volvos. Come learn how the merging of visual appeal with safety and fun made these cars so much more than just “Boxy but Nice”.

Get the Point: Weapons & Armor of the Viking Age

by Andrew & Melissa Grosberg

Join Andrew Grosberg (Iver Erlandssen) and Melissa Grosberg (Æssa Stefánsdatter) as they present on typical armaments from the Viking Age. They’ll discuss what a Viking warrior might have carried into battle, and also why they did not have horns on their helmets. Skål!

The Experiences of You: Workplace Challenges and Opportunities

by Tyler Carlson

As of November 2021, 129.32 million Americans hold a full-time job. 2021 has also been described as “The Great Recession” due to millions of employees quitting their jobs, changing jobs, or simply taking time to rethink life’s priorities. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (IO) is a field determined to use psychological principles to create a workplace that gives each of those employees a chance to be happy at work, earn a livable wage and make an impact on others. Join Tyler he takes you through principles in IO Psychology that help to create a desirable place to work while offering people a place to make an impact.

HO, HO, HOooold Up! Who’s a Mutant?! Marvel’s Secret Santa

Jade Harveland

Children around the world have wondered how Santa can deliver all those presents in a single night! The answer is actually quite simple. Santa is a mutant! Not just any mutant…an Omega-level mutant. Santa has made numerous appearances throughout the Marvel Universe and was finally ID’d as a mutant by one of Marvel fans’ favorite professors, Charles Xavier.

Speak of the Devil: Christian Symbolism in Tarot

by Aria Harveland

The mystic tarot has been used for centuries by fortune tellers for divination. Many believe that the use of these cards is “the work of the devil”. However, contrary to this belief, the tarot is infused with Christian themes and symbolism. In her presentation, Aria will explain the origins and history of the tarot and how it became what it is today.