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Nerd Nite Chicago with Special Guest Emily Graslie

When and where

Date and time


American Junkie 15 West Illinois Street Chicago, IL 60654

Map and directions

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Refund Policy

Contact the organizer to request a refund.


We'll have about 25 tickets available at the door. Note that this event will feature a mix of seats (~100) and standing options. We'll make sure everyone can see the presentations!

Nerd Nite Chicago is back for our first show of 2014! This special sized Nerd Nite will be downtown as the kickoff for IPSEC (International Public Science Event Conference). We'll be welcoming Nerd Nite Madison Boss, Lee Bishop, and Nerd Nite NYC Boss Matt Wasowski alongside our amazing lineup of speakers. This month, Laura Lanford takes us in the land of paranoia, Kathryn Jepsen teaches us homemade sign language, and special guest Emily Graslie takes us behind-the-scenes at the Field Museum.

When: Tuesday 2/11, Doors at 7 pm, show at 730PM

Where: American Junkie

Cost: $5, 21+ only

Dry Tshirt Contest!

Wear your nerdiest shirt and compete against other nerds and their shirts for the audience's favor. Win fabulous prizes!

Christ on a Cracker! by Laura Lanford

(Apophenia, Pareidolia and Conspiracy Paranoia)

The human brain has a remarkable ability to attribute consequence to non-meaningful data patterns. While Nerd Niters are generally a skeptical bunch and not prone to over-attribution bias, understanding apophenia -- the brain phenomenon that finds these patterns -- is valuable information for understanding our survival as a species and, quite possibly, our individual quality of life.

Laura Lanford is a preparedness hobbyist highly skilled in making Type I errors. Ask her about the Post-Apocalyptic World after her second drink!


Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language by Kathryn Jepsen

In the south of Israel, in the small village of Al-Sayyid, it doesn’t matter if you can hear; you’d better know how to sign. That’s because Al-Sayyid has the highest concentration of hereditary deafness of any community in the world. The sign language there is homemade, from scratch, with a different grammatical structure from the spoken language, Arabic. As far as languages go, ABSL is just a baby—about 80 years old. But its story has helped illuminate how languages form and change over time.

Nerd Nite presenter Katie Jepsen is a lover of linguistics. She knows at least the basic curse words in a variety of tongues.


What Lies Beneath: The Secrets of the Field Museum by Emily Graslie

In the short time Emily has been at the Field Museum, she's found secret doors, fossils hidden in the floor, and curious figures in dioramas. Emily will take you on a virtual Easter Egg hunt through the museum to showcase the special objects without tags or plaques, hiding in plain sight within exhibits and beneath your feet.

Emily Graslie is Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum, host/writer of The Brain Scoop (an educational YouTube series that explores the behind-the-scenes world of natural history museums), and has the most awesome beetle earrings you have ever seen.