Nerd Nite: PowerPoint. Beer. Science. A winning combination!
If you've never been to a Nerd Nite before, here's how it goes down. Take a college PowerPoint seminar on bird migration or muscular dystrophy or nuclear fusion or what have you, and hold it late at night in a hip bar in DUMBO. Allow anyone to present on any scientific subject, regardless of obscurity, social appropriateness, or sobriety. Yes. It is exactly as crazy and surreal as you imagine. And it is great.
Tonight's lectures were on open source Bussard reactors, the neuroscience of visual perception in the context of art, the anti-ergonomic effects of running shoes, and teledildonics. I think you can probably imagine how each of those went.
Perhaps most notably, this is the first large social event I've been to in NYC in which I've actually succeeded in getting to meet and hang out with random strangers in my general age cohort. Maybe I don't completely suck at making new friends after all.
I missed nerds so much.
(edit) NHK, I HATE YOU.
Just kidding, NHK, this documentary on Nerd Nite is actually pretty endearing. Although vaguely condescending in a "look, America-jin can be otaku too! Aww, look how kawaii the America-jin otaku are! Don't you want to visit New York so you can speed-date a kawaii gaijin otaku?" kind of way.