Happy Nerd Year!

This month Nerd Nite is bringing you two fabulous talks on John Cusack’s dramatic decline to artistic mediocrity and the wild world of homebuilt airplanes. Be there and be square!

Nerd Nite Seattle
Monday, January 19
7:30 (Doors open at 6:30)
Admission: $5

An experimental homebuilt aircraft with no wings

Robert Ingle

What will you do when YOU retire?  How about something wacky like building a homebuilt airplane?  There are lots of homebuilt designs that are conventional, with wings in the middle and control surfaces in the back.  There are some that are backward, with control surfaces in the front, wings in the rear.  And then there is the FMX4, with no true wings, longer than it is wide.

Why would anybody build such a plane?  Why would anybody try to build it with 0.001” accuracy in every dimension?  How would you build it with 0.001” accuracy in every dimension?  Come to Nerd Nite and learn more than you want to know about the FMX4, CNC machining and the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Me:  Mild mannered, retired physician, board certified in Aerospace Medicine, (otherwise known as 1001 ways the aerospace environment can be harmful to your health).

The decline and fall of John Cusack: a case study in quantifying artistic mediocrity
Tola Marts

To paraphrase U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, “I can’t define crappy, boring, failed art; but I know it when I see it.” Can we define a quantitative measure for mediocrity? How do we take into account high and low art? Then how do we test it? We need a control case, a known and agreed upon gold standard of mediocrity. We need someone who, by universal agreement, made great art during a period of time, and then descended into the Stygian depths of basic cable and direct-to-video. Fortunately or unfortunately, the Windy City produced such a reference stick, and his name is John Cusack. We will examine the career of John Cusack, from the brilliant highs of “Better Off Dead” (a movie Cusack hates) to the lows of that one where he’s Hitler’s art dealer. Then we will see if we can come up with a measure that accurately compacts the myriad fateful decisions of a complicated artist into one single snarky, mean little graph.

Tola Hudson Marts, a native Minnesotan, experienced evolution first hand as he went from schlepping software (bad) to building rockets for billionaires (better…) to solving all the world’s problems for an even bigger billionaire (best!) Along the way he met a fine Irish lass who evidently will put up with his nonsense indefinitely, and together they spawned two teenagers who are continuously annoyed and/or embarrassed by everything he does; normal teenagers, in other words. He is a 4/10 Star Wars nerd, a 8/10 Star Trek nerd, a 9/10 Tolkien nerd, and a 7/10 D&D nerd. So, basically, Morgoth > Q > Tiamat > Palpatine.