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  • Nerd Nite NYC: Naked Exercise, Sexy Nuns, and the Worst Puzzle Ever Created in the History of Mankind

    Friday, April 8, 2011 | 6:30 PM - 11:00 PM
    Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main St., Brooklyn

    Spring is (basically) here and we’re all trying to get ourselves both mentally and physically worthy of summer.  Join Nerd Nite NYC on Friday April 8 for an evening of presentations about fitness, puzzles, and video game iconograrphy. You'' hear tales of naked exercising, sexy nuns, and the worst puzzle ever created in the history of mankind. That's right, this one has it all. 

    After a two-month hiatus, trivia is back, too! So assemble a team, win some prizes, and try to beat the newest record of 47 points (out of a possible 50!).  You can do it.

    Doors open at 6:30 PM; trivia starts at 7:00; Nerd Nite presentations at 9:00.

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    Presentation #1: Fitness Fads, Facts, and Phases
    by Elizabeth Pongo and Charles Star

    We all know what it feels like to be out of shape. And let's face it, it's pretty challenging to get in shape. Not only does the fitness world present a strange sub-culture in society, we also engage in bizarre behavior when we visit workout places. Walking on treadmills like gerbils, it's easy to wonder how we do or don’t end up there. After all, walking along, while staying in the same place can be exhausting!

    The history of the gym dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. The word "gymnasium" , whose meaning is "to train naked,"hails back to these days and has since been shortened (and thankfully no one is training naked these days).  But what happened in between? Learn about the gadgets, gizmos, fads, and crazy trends that have--and have not--worked to get people into shape through the course of time. You'll get a chance to throw out any of your burning muscular questions too, like what does work?

    About the presenters:
    Elizabeth Pongo is the owner of Pongo Power Inc, a private fitness studio in Park Slope.  Her philosophy of mocking all that is fitness related has been featured in The New York Times article, "Laughing Off the Pounds."  She hosts Pongo Power’s Funny Fitness Comedy Show with Charles Star.  She also writes for USA Today’s Own It blog.

    Charles Star is an attorney without portfolio and a comedian without recognition. He hosts the monthly lecture series "Adult Education" at Union Hall in Park Slope. Charles lives in Brooklyn with his wife, son and cat, all of whom are more attractive than he is.

    Presentation #2: God of the Game: Iconography, History, and Sexy Nuns in Modern Video Games
    by Mike Kelly

    Ever wonder about how real-life religions have influenced your favorite video games of all time? No? Then take a journey through 30 years of video game history as we discover people who long to become God, crucified sentient stuffed animals, and clergymen who fire shotguns for the Lord. Find out how modern game developers put in religious cues to play on your preconceptions, and even (gasp!) teach you new things about faith.

    About the presenter:
    Mike Kelly is a game designer and writer living in Brooklyn who is desperately trying to make use of his Religious Studies degree. He is available for children’s parties and bar mitzvahs. Please inquire about rates after the presentation.

    Presentation #3: How To Design a Great Puzzle (And Why Microsoft Sucks At It)
    by Shaun Salzberg

    Good puzzle making these days seems to have become a lost art. In this presentation, you’ll be reminded why puzzles are cool and what the most important design principles are behind good puzzle-making. Along the way, you’ll see examples of some great puzzles, some sucky puzzles, and one really, really sucky puzzle.

    About the presenter:
    During the day, Shaun Salzberg is a web developer in the NYC tech start-up scene. He used to work at a start-up called drop.io until it was eaten up by Facebook a few months ago, and now he works at a betaworks-style pseudo-incubator thing called QLabs. By night, however, Salzberg is an avid puzzler, and in addition to participating in as many puzzle hunts as he can find, he’s also the lead developer for a members-only society of puzzle solvers called The Master Theorem.

    For more information on Nerd Nite NYC, email Matt Wasowski.