NNB VII – February 21, 2016

It’s all about animals and love this February at Baltimore Nerd Nite! Join us for drinks and you might just learn something about the history of human professional wrestling and weird sex practices of the animal kingdom (including hyenas and humans.)

Welcome, nerds of all kinds, to Nerd Nite Baltimore! Nerd Nite (in over 90 cities around the world!) combines imbibing and learning. Anyone with a passion can be a Nerd Nite speaker!

Join us for a night of educational drinking! Nerd Nite Baltimore is a bi-monthly event held at a local bar where information combines with fun. Talks at Nerd Nite are typically 20 minutes with a rollicking Q&A afterward.

The barkeeps at De Kleine Duivel will keep your glasses full of delightful Belgian beer & spirits. (This is a 21 and over venue.)

This February we have three AWESOME speakers lined up for your entertainment which may or may not be delivered in this order:

Topic #1:

Hey Nerd, Put Down Your Space Telescope and Watch Professional Wrestling
Brian Bittner

This talk will introduce some of the history and key concepts of professional wrestling, discuss the value of professional wrestling as a drama and a pop culture phenomenon, discuss problems with the business model and cultural insensitivity of professional wrestling, and introduce ways for viewers to participate in wrestling culture and learn more.

“How did the world’s oldest sport become ‘the cutting edge of internet television’ and a global competition for bodybuilders, acrobats, fitness models, and MBAs? What does modern professional wrestling tell us about morality, technology, and storytelling? Is it too violent, racist, and sexist for mainstream entertainment? And most important of all, you know it’s fake, right?”

About Brian:
One of Brian Bittner’s first memories was crying after seeing Hulk Hogan lose to Andre the Giant in their mid-eighties feud. Today he weeps for so-called “nerds” who aren’t watching the new golden age of professional wrestling. He is an awe-inspiring 5’9″. He weighs in at an earthshaking 180 pounds. He hails from Baltimore, Maryland. And he is leaving Nerd Nite 7 as the new Nerd Nite Heavyweight Champion of the World..

Topic #2:

From the Brothel to the Block
Jayme Harget

Prostitution is often referred to as the “oldest profession”. But in America, contemporary ideas about Prostitution are rooted in the Progressive Era. Some argued that prostitutes benefited society by protecting virtuous women from being corrupted by males believed to have little control over their sexual urges and desires. In the early twentieth century progressive reformers articulated the belief that prostitution was not a practical solution to male sexuality; instead they believed prostitution victimized vulnerable females. But let’s focus on Baltimore: what led some women into prostitution? How did it get become illegal? And what’s happening now?

About Jayme:
Jayme was born in Baltimore City, and lived most of her life in the area. A social studies teacher in Harford and currently Baltimore Counties for the past 15 years, Jayme has been described as the “foremost historian of prostitution in Baltimore.” She is intrigued to see how this topic combines with beer.

Topic #3:

Penis Fencing & Genitalia Arms Races: Animals are kinky and the ocean is about as hetero normative as tumblr
Rachel Pendergrass

Ever wondered what hyenas do with their pseudophalluses? Learn about some of mother nature’s extreme examples of reproduction in the animal kingdom, particularly marine animals.

About Rachel:
Rachel is a science communicator and humorist in Washington, D.C. She also hosts/produces the nationally touring Solve for X Variety show, which combines her three loves of art, science, and comedy (and- periodically -really bad puns). In addition to comedy and performance, Rachel has written for McSweeneys, Redbook, HowStuffWorks, and more. She’s talked about science at Dragon Con, Geek Girl Con, Nerd Nite, The Atlanta Science Festival, and has told stories on Story Collider and Risk! Live Show. She’s touched many sharks and has been embarrassingly drunk with many esteemed scientists. Find RK, her puns, and her RTs of science articles about flatworm dicks on twitter at @Sharkspearean. To see more, head over to www.rkpendergrass.com

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