10 Nerdy Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This October

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The nerd scene in Phoenix is alive and well, and is strongly reflected in this month's events. Whether you're a geek, a nerd, a dork, or a Trekkie, there's plenty to keep you busy this October. We've got literary examinations, comic expos, zombie walks, Jason Segel, and so much more.

Why Shakespeare?
Nearly 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare’s legacy can still be found in almost many aspects of our daily lives. Join ASU professor Margaret Knapp and the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies on Wednesday, October 7, for a free discussion on the lasting impression the great Bard Avon has had on pop culture throughout the years. The economic, literary, and political panel talk will take place at Changing Hands in Tempe, and will begin at 7 p.m. sharp. Anyone is welcome, but you can reserve a seat and find more information at Changing Hands’ website, ACMRS.org, or on the Eventbrite page

Science Fiction TV Dinner — Star Trek: The Orignial Series
True fans know that Star Trek was ahead of its time in more ways than one. The Enterprise and its commanding staff offered valuable insight into technology and cultural understanding that make it a timeless show. ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination and NewSpace Initiative is celebrating that timelessness by hosting a TV dinner on Thursday, October 8. There will be a special screening of the “Trouble with Tribbles” episodes, a complimentary dinner, and a special discussion led by former NASA astronaut, Mount Everest climber and ASU University Explorer Scott Parazynski. There will be a small reception with refreshments at 4:30 p.m., but the doors open at 5:15 p.m. and the show starts at 5:30 p.m. The showing will be in the Interdisciplinary Science & Technology Building IV on the Tempe campus at 781 E. Terrace Road. Entrance is free for all, but only the first 150 will get the free dinner. Seating is first-come, first-served. You can find more information at the Eventbrite page.

Spelling Bee for Adults
If you’re searching for redemption after that travesty known as the sixth-grade spelling bee, or just need to brush up on your orthography, now is your chance. The Asian American Journalists Association of Arizona is holding their annual Spelling Bee for Adults fundraiser on Wednesday, October 14, at First Draft in Phoenix. Tickets are $10, and all guests have access to happy hour drink deals. There are prizes for the best spellers and raffle opportunities for everyone else. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the spelling begins at 7. For more information or to buy your ticket, visit the event’s Eventbrite page.

Birds n’ Beer: What’s Happening with Honeybees?
Unless you're an apiologist, or one who studies honeybees, it can be hard to empathize for an insect that's capable of causing us sheer terror and physical pain. But, as it happens, they are pretty vital to our ecosystem. ASU biologist Jonathan Bobek will be the guest speaker at this month's Birds n' Beer meeting and will bring some serious enlightenment to all in attendance. His recent book, Facts, Fallacies, and the Mysteries of our Imported Pollinators, focuses on the drop in number of beehives, and what it means for the environment, among other things. The group will meet at Audubon in Phoenix from on Thursday, October 15, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and welcomes anyone to join. You can visit the event's Facebook page for more information.

Comic and Media Expo
We know you're eagerly counting down the days until the next Comic Con — roughly 295 — but luckily, the Comic and Media Expo is just around the corner. Dust off those costumes and study up on your graphic novels, because the Mesa Convention Center is hosting the expo from October 16 to 18. Karl Yune of Arrow, Bill Salyers of Regular Show, and Kiba the Cosplay Corgi are just a few of the special guests who will be at the expo. Guests will also be able to attend panels. Visit the Comic and Media Expo's website for more details and information on how to purchase a pass.

Singer and Krauss: An Origins Project Dialogue
Moral philosopher Peter Singer and theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss will be joining forces this month to candidly speak about modern ethics. Topics will include animal liberation, dying with dignity, and global poverty, among other ethical dilemmas. Singer, a Princeton bioethics professor, has published numerous books on animal rights and the evolution of ethics. Krauss is a professor at ASU and often speaks about the importance of empirical data and skepticism in science. He is also the director of the Origins Project. Students  may attend the talk for free, but must get their tickets by emailing or calling the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. If you're not a student, you can purchase tickets for either $18 or $45 by visiting the Center's website. The panel will start at 7 p.m., but tickets must be picked up before 6:15 p.m. There will be a student reception with vegan pizza — obviously — at 5:30. 

Zombie Walk 7
On Saturday, October 24, downtown Phoenix will transform into the undead’s playground as throngs of zombies limp their way through the streets. It’s a family-friendly invasion, though, so go ahead and bring your mini minions along as well. Beginning in Heritage and Science Park, the group will walk 1.5-miles. If walking/limping isn’t your thing, there will also be a beer garden and live music. No registration is required for the free walk, but you can visit dtphx.org/zombie for more information. Though zombies may not have use for canned and non-perishable foods, organizers will be accepting donations for St. Mary’s Food Bank. Bring a few cans; nobody likes a selfish zombie.

Participatory Architecture
Arizona can claim some pretty sweet architectural anomalies. We have Arcosanti, Biosphere II, Kitt Peak Observatory, and now we have a new exhibition by Chris Fraser that combines structure, shadow, and light. Fraser will join historian Larry Busbea and critic Jonathon Keats on Thursday, October 29, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to discuss experimental architecture in Arizona and its impressions on Fraser’s work. Busbea and Keats will also talk about their latest books. The event is free and begins at 7 p.m. See SMoCA’s website for more details.

Jason Segel: Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic
Jason Segel and Kristin Miller have released their second installment to the Nightmare! series just in time for Halloween. In The Sleepwalker Tonic, our protagonist Charlie Laird must save his city from an invasion of zombies — which totally sounds like something Marshall Eriksen would write. Segel will be here on Thursday, October 29, at 7 p.m. The venue hasn't been announced yet, but check in with Changing Hands' website for updates. Purchase of Nightmares! The Sleepwalker Tonic at Changing Hands will earn you and a friend admission. 

Italian Master of Fashion Symposium
Fashion enthusiasts and neophytes alike can spend the day learning about the Italian greats at the Phoenix Art Museum on Saturday, October 31. For $60 — or $20 for students — attendants will have access to a panel of experts on Italian style, particularly concerning the "architect of fashion" Gianfranco Ferré and his staple: the white shirt. Other speakers will include models, designers, curators, and more. For more information and to register, visit the Arizona Costume Institute's website or call (602) 271-2151.

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