Thursday, April 11, 2013

Nerd Nite Party Pics: Cults, Clubs, and Secret Signals

Nerds love secret societies and cults, and last night's Nerd Nite at Pachas was packed! In case you missed it, here are the party pics and recap.

Courtney Shipley, presenter of "No comprende! It's a riddle: The mysterious sounds of numbers stations"

Lots of laptops at Nerd Nite.  Becky Harpstrite checks the tech side of presentations

Chad 'PoFo' O'Bryhim, presenter of "The Not-So-Secret Society of the Hash House Harriers" with Wonder Fair's Meredith Moore

Even school board members go to Nerd Nite

Paige with a friend

KPR interviews Jon Kaleugher II

Discussing what pose to have their picture taken in

Librians checking out self help and other books 

Travis Weller scheming his next Nerd Nite event

Cutest couple award

Abby Oclese

Andreas heard short wave radio number codes as a child in Germany

Meredith from Wonder Fair started the night with a brief presentation about secret societies and the original 18th century Illuminati of Bavaria.

Aubrey, an archivist at the Dole Institute, shocked us with the news that Bob Dole is still alive. She presented documents about growing concern for cults in the 1970's.  Materials were written and collected about the impact of groups such as the Ministry of Reverend Sun Myung Moon who ran covert businesses to support its opperation such as The Rocky Mountain Elf Works(?!)

Samples from Courtney's numbers stations were eerie. Started during World War I and used for cold war spy activity, these codes were ( and may still be) a source of communication and instructions.  Some aired consistently for years.  Long phrases of numbers sometimes started with music.  The simple kit for this secret spy activity is a short wave radio and a one time non-reusable pad.

Beer wins over notes for the last presentation on the secret society of the Hash House Harriers.  As if anyone in Lawrence needed another excuse to drink a PBR, The Harriers is an international running and drinking club started at the turn of the 1900's.  "If you have the right pair of socks and a funny name, you can be a part of this secret society."

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