Even if though I’m finished with college, September brings a feeling that I should be buckling down and kicking some ass in my classes. Admittedly, I miss the intellectual discourse of higher education, but I don’t miss the knots my stomach developed every finals week. Sure, you can read to learn on your own, but sometimes being forced to wear real pants to go learn something from other people is pretty great. In New York, Nerd Nite and Secret Science Club come to the rescue. Both groups put on events that are like the fun parts of a college lecture, plus booze and comfier chairs.
Tonight is Nerd Nite’s Nerdtacular at Galapagos Art Space. For way less than you’d pay for a community college class, you can hear lectures about foraging in the NYC wilderness for mushrooms, a time when pinball machines were as illegal as bathtub gin and varying views of women during the early days of the Chinese empire. There’s also a guy performing “science acrobatics,” which is the closest you’ll ever get to seeing Mr. Wizard in person. The night ends with a band that dresses up in giant bear costumes, which is slightly less creepy than seeing grown men do puppet shows on subway platforms. But only slightly. Can’t make it to the Nerdtacular tonight? Nerd Nite does lectures about godzilla, harps, Korean pop music, etc, around the city on a fairly regular basis.
Nerd Nite Nerdtactular
Galapagos Art Space
16 Main Street, at Water Street
Friday, September 18, 8pm, $12
Lately, the Secret Science Club has been so secretive that they took the month of September off. In the past, the club has sponsored taxidermy contests and informal lectures with big name scientists, like the guy who discovered Lucy. You may never be able to travel to space, but next month you can go to their lecture by an astrophysicist talking about recording the sounds of outer space. The club is also having an event for the Science Film Festival, where they’re showing short films about the woman who named Pluto (remember when it was a planet?), scientists drawing about dealing with scientists, and measuring life’s meaning with actual units. The best part is their meetings at the Bell House are completely FREE, so you just have to bring your geeky self and a few bucks for beer
Secret Science Club
The Bell House
149 7th Street, between 2nd and 3rd aves.
Resumes October 13