Nerd Nite Ottawa, KS

Ottawa, KS

Nerd Nite 6: Flint Hills, Domestic Violence, and Beer

Nerd Nite #6 Presentations include:
Dave Leiker: “Capturing the Back Roads of the Flint Hills"
Beginning 50 years ago with a Brownie Hawkeye until the present time, Dave Leiker has kept a camera close by. His styles are strongly influenced by a love of the common snapshot. He strives for a natural, spontaneous feel and simplicity of content & composition.. In addition to the graphic arts Mr. Leiker has been involved in web and electronic media technologies throughout the last two decades. A portfolio of photo essays, landscape and environmental portraits can be found at Mr. Leiker's current projects are studies of the Flint Hills people and landscape, a "dissolving" series which documents the dissolution of objects and places over time, and also "Faces", a collection of natural portrait studies. Dave lives in Emporia, Kansas and often be found wandering the back roads of Kansas.
Cassie Thompson-Myers: "Rural Domestic Violence"
Domestic Violence is not an easy subject to discuss. It can even be more difficult to discuss in a rural setting. There are some unique components to rural Domestic Violence situations. We will discuss what Domestic Violence is, the uniqueness of rural Domestic Violence and Lack of Available Services and Barriers that happen in small communities. We will talk about why one abuses and the services that The Willow offers.
Cassie Thompson-Myers is the new Franklin County Program Coordinator for The Willow Domestic Violence Center and has worked in the field of Human Services for ten years. Her first experience was with Cedars Home for Children in Lincoln, NE where she worked with teen who were homeless, abused, self-harming, pregnant or parenting as teens, involved in gangs, truant from school and much more. She has also worked with the ECKAN Early Head Start Program and most recently with Communities In Schools, working with teens at Ottawa High School. She is extremely passionate about empowering people to make positive changes in their lives.
Courtney Servaes & Jenalea Myers: "Brew Your Own: The Art of Homebrewing and the Craft Beer Movement"
Everyone has tasted craft beer, right? No, not crap beer – that’s those big beer commercials you saw during the Super Bowl. We’re talking about craft beer – beer made to communicate the passion, authenticity and love that goes into brewing. Most professional craft beer brewers got their start with a 5-gallon bucket in their kitchen. Anyone can learn how to brew beer, but we’re warning you: This is an addictive hobby that can quickly become a lifestyle. Find out what it takes to be a homebrewer, what craft beer is and why you should never drink crap beer again.
Courtney Servaes and Jenalea Myers live in Ottawa, have been friends for nine years and brewing together for three years. They’ve been members of the Lawrence Brewers Guild since 2012, and Jenalea currently serves as the club’s president. On any given day, you can find Courtney crafting a beer recipe or working on her brewing equipment. They’ve won several awards at homebrew competitions in Kansas City and Topeka. When they’re not hanging out together brewing, they’re traveling to craft breweries. They’ve visited more than 100 breweries in 10 states and tasted nearly 2,500 different beers.

Nerd Nite 4: Haunted Houses, Charcuterie, and Fire (Safety)

Nerd Nite #4 Presentations include:
Diana Staresinic-Deane: “So You Think Your House Is Haunted: Researching the History of Your Home and the People Who’ve Lived There "
So-You-Think-Your-House-is-Haunted-Handout / Link to the Prezi presentation
Many of our homes have witnessed generations of people and pets and moments of happiness, drama, and tragedy. By researching the history of our homes, we can discover how the former residents have shaped our residences and vice versa. Using examples from some of the local buildings she’s researched, Old Depot Museum Manager and writer Diana Staresinic-Deane will walk you through the research tools available to anyone living in Franklin County. Whether you’re trying to identify your resident ghost or just want to discover the story of your home and land, you’ll learn how to build your property’s history using local and online resources.
Diana Staresinic-Deane is a Kansan-gone-Californian-gone-Kansan. Fascinated by little Kansas towns and their histories, she's happiest when she's digging through old newspapers and exploring old cemeteries. She is the manager of the Old Depot Museum in Ottawa, Kansas, and is the author of Shadow On the Hill: The True Story of a 1925 Kansas Murder. She is currently researching a series of old murders in 1909 and 1910 Kansas and is working on a novel set in Kansas. You can follow Diana’s Kansas adventures at
Dale Wheeler: "Bacon Cured My Hunger: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing"
Recommended resources and links from presentation: Book: Charcuterie: The craft of salting, smoking and curing. Michael Ruhlman

Chronic entrepreneur. Charcuterie enthusiast. Homebrewer. Hates following rules.

Capt. Tim Matthias: "The Science of Fire and how to keep yourself safe from it"

Nerd Nite 3 – Beatles, Screenplays, and Football (Analytics)

Nerd Nite #3 Presentations include:
Dr. Steven McDonald: “The Beatles at 54: What's up with that?”
Dr. Mark Eldridge: "Where Stories Come From: Creating a Screenplay"
David Potter: "An Introduction to: College Football Analytics

Nerd Nite 2: Futbol, Flowers, and Second Line Parades

Nerd Nite #2 Presentations include:
Marlo Angell: “From Football to Futbol”
The rise of the 2003 Garden City High School soccer team reflected demographic shifts in western Kansas. Join filmmaker Marlo Angell in a screening of her documentary, From Football to Futbol, followed by a discussion about the many ways immigration is changing sports and communities in Kansas today. Film running time: 15:42, with discussion to follow.
Marlo has a B.A. degree in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California. Her short film, Cigar By Car, was screened in festivals across the country including the AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival. She wrote and directed the feature film Waiting For The Son, starring Lupe Ontiveros and Brian Aldiss and produced and edited the documentaries Mariachi Estrella and From Football to Futbol. Her short play, Bloodwork, was produced at the 2014 KC Fringe Festival by the Fishtank Theatre. Marlo is a founding member of WOLF (Women of Lawrence Film) and has just completed a short film entitled Replay for the anthology, Threads. Marlo teaches film and screenwriting, provides digital media services for the Lawrence Arts Center and curates film for the Free State Festival.
Shawn Turner: "Snip, Snip!: Perceptions of Flowers & Food"
Who would have guessed the exciting similarities between the care of cut lilies and the castration of cattle? Why do we do it, anyway...and what should we know about the hype between GMO, non-GMO, organic, all-natural, free range, grass fed, gluten free, and all of the other monikers showing up on our food labels? Hear the farmer-florist's perspective on flowers and food, along with the industry information that the big boys don't want you to know!
Shawn Turner is a third generation farmer-florist who owns and operates Turner Flowers in downtown Ottawa. After graduating from Ottawa high school, Shawn attended Kansas State University and served as the state president of the Kansas FFA Assocation. He taught high school agricultural education and served as an FFA advisor in both Girard and Spring Hill. In addition to serving on the executive board of the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, Shawn is active in Kansas Farm Bureau and serves on the board of Smith Scholarship House at Kansas State University. He enjoys working on the farm, woodworking, and restoring antique tractors.
Todd Wilkinson: “Second Line Parades and New Orleans Brass Band Tradition” 
Sponsored in part by Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission.
In anticipation of the Funky Butt Brass Band at the 2015 SWAN Arts Festival, OU professor Todd Wilkinson will enlighten us on the history of second-line parades and the New Orleans brass band tradition.
Todd Wilkinson is the Instructor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. He is a native of Kansas City, a devoted husband and father of three, and a free-lance musician/composer living in Overland Park, Kansas. For more than thirty years, Wilkinson has dedicated himself to the promotion and development of music and young musicians. He has a passion for all styles of saxophone performance and is a respected member of the Kansas City musical community.

Nerd Nite 1: Coffee, Comics, and Rejection (Letters)

Nerd Nite #1 Presentations include:
Louis Wigen-Toccalino: “Dancing Goats to Double Gibraltars: the discovery and spread of the coffee bean”
Louis learned how to cook from his grandmother, drinks 205 quarts of coffee a year, and views tea with disdain. He is a pedant, an optimist, a risotto master; he can often be found waxing philosophic at a local watering hole.
He opened Decade in LFK to share the gospel of caffeine, with anyone who will listen.
Joe Sutliff Sanders: "The Arch-Nemesis of Comic Books Is...Comic Books?"
Comics in their current form were invented in the United States, but for a long time, the only great literary comics were published in Europe and Japan. What happened? We had a head start...why didn't we make great comics first? This presentation glances briefly at great comics from the US and around the world and then explains how and why in the 1950s, the American comics industry decided to restrict itself to morally and aesthetically puerile stories while the rest of the world started producing lasting masterpieces. We’ll look at the continuing impact of this decision, both on the comics we read today and Americans’ perception of comics, which is so different from the perception held by people around the world.
Joe Sutliff Sanders is an associate professor in the English Department at Kansas State University. He is the author of a book about classic girls’ fiction and the editor of a book about the Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He has been publishing and teaching about comics since 2002, and during that time he has lectured about comics in Belgium, Glasgow, London, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, New York, Spain, and even Kansas.
Dave Burns: “Thanks, But No Thanks: A Rejection Letter to the Traditional Publishing World”
A brief presentation and discussion about the recent shift toward independent/self-publishing, its previously (and still currently at times) unrecognized legitimacy, and the publishing options that actually exist for those not interesting in going the traditional route.
Dave is the author of 7 self-published/independently published books including 4 paperbacks, 7 ebooks, 4 audiobooks professionally produced and narrated by Alan Caudle. He is the founder of The Ottawa Writers’ Guild, which has 20+ members in first year and founding editor of 'Uncarved: The Literature and Arts Magazine,' a magazine featuring local authors, artists, musicians, etc. When he isn't writing, he is a Creative Writing instructor at the Ottawa Community Arts Council, Ottawa Herald, and Lumberyard Arts Center. And by the way, he tutored Duke of Edinburgh Award student in Ottawa, Ontario, CA via Skype for 26 weeks...just saying. You can find out more about Dave at | |

Coming Soon! 1st Nerd Nite: April 9th, 2015

Info on the 1st Nerd Nite – Ottawa KS coming soon!