Nerd Culture

Nine Nerdy Things to Do this March in Metro Phoenix

I can haz cat videos?
I can haz cat videos? dougwoods / Flickr
This might be the wrong article for a sports metaphor, but we'll go ahead and say it anyway: The clock is winding down and the first quarter of this game we call 2019 has almost wrapped up. After an unseasonably frigid month here in the valley, temperatures are hovering around that long-awaited springtime sweet spot we all know and love. Now is the time to get out there and take part in all the fun, quirky, and of course nerdy experiences that the month of March has in store for us.

When Al Gore invented the internet nearly three decades ago, he promised that one day nearly every citizen of the planet Earth would have access to thousands upon thousands of what he referred to as "comical feline films." Years later, his dream has been realized, and our world is all the better for it.

Admittedly, these "facts" are not 100 percent accurate. But there is one indisputable fact that we can all agree on: Cat videos are hilarious. Their popularity is so undeniable, in fact, that FilmBar will be showing a compilation of them on Sunday, March 10. CatVideoFest has been entertaining audiences of all ages across the country at theaters, museums, and festivals, and now Phoenix audiences can experience this cinematic masterpiece on the big screen. Plus, a share of the proceeds generated from ticket sales goes to Cat Cavorting, a charity whose main goal is to help communities manage and control feral cat colonies through spaying and neutering.

CatVideoFest screens at FilmBar at 12:30 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Tickets are $12.

click to enlarge Enjoying Russian culture and traditions. - COURTESY OF ARIZONA RUSSIAN FESTIVAL
Enjoying Russian culture and traditions.
Courtesy of Arizona Russian Festival
Arizona Russian Fest
With all the not-so-flattering news about Russia in the American media as of late, it's easy for us to forget that Russian and Eastern European culture is a spectacular example of the beauty of tradition and the importance of mankind's history. That's what makes the Arizona Russian Fest a great setting for your next Sunday Funday.

The immersive experience of all things Russian and Eastern European showcases the vast region's contributions to the world of cuisine, fashion, industry, and beyond. From the infancy of St. Petersburg to the country's Tsarist era to the Soviet Union and the turbulent days that followed its collapse, festival attendees can expect a day packed with informative entertainment and a new sense of cultural appreciation that they can take home with them afterward.

The Arizona Russian fest takes place at Downtown Phoenix's Enchanted Island on Sunday, March 3, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Learn more about what lies beneath the waves at the latest National Geographic Live event. - GEORGE DESPIRIS
Learn more about what lies beneath the waves at the latest National Geographic Live event.
National Geographic Live: Wild Seas, Secret Shores
Nat Geo goes deep once again with Wild Seas, Secret Shores, a photographic presentation of that mysterious and alien world that lies just beneath the surface of our own. Hosted by marine biologist-turned-National Geographic photographer Thomas Peschak, audiences can expect an up-close-and-personal look at the curiosity-inspiring creatures that populate the deep blue sea, all without the use of those troublesome shark cages and oxygen tanks.

Peschak's keen eye and vast knowledge of the briny deep make for an evening that's as educational as it is entertaining, so mark your calendars and get ready to unleash your inner Cousteau.

Wild Seas, Secret Shores takes place at the Mesa Arts Center's Ikeda Theater on Wednesday, March 20, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $27 to $41.

click to enlarge Michael Jackson, Queen, and lasers — what more do you need? - ARIZONA SCIENCE CENTER
Michael Jackson, Queen, and lasers — what more do you need?
Arizona Science Center
Lasers and Liquor: Queen and Michael Jackson
When you mix Mercury and the Moonwalker, it results in an experience that's worth more than the sum of its parts. Add in some space-age special effects and a steady stream of booze and you've got yourself A Night at the Opera that's quite a Thriller.

The Arizona Science Center's self-described signature event is back with another night of awesome tunes, killer cocktails, and of course, lasers. Those who crave a night of drinks and dancing without the long nightclub lines and rhythmic pounding of that ever-present EDM sound are sure to have a blast when one of Phoenix's most entertaining destinations brings Queen and The King of Pop together for an entertaining night of royal proportions.

Lasers and Liquor: Queen and Michael Jackson takes place at the Arizona Science Center on Thursday, March 14. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Queen show and 9 p.m. Michael Jackson show are $10 each.

Bao down.
Michael Stern / Flickr
Arizona Bao Fest
Whether you're a foodie-fundamentalist who can't get enough of this dumpling delicacy or one of the many who never even heard that word prior to reading the above heading, the Arizona Bao Fest is definitely a Sunday well spent.

For the uninitiated, a bao is a steamed bun of Chinese origin that can be filled with a variety of different fillings. Vegetarians and the carnivorous crowd alike are sure to appreciate this complete meal that's conveniently packaged in a delicious bread-like edible wrap. Over a dozen local businesses will be offering up their own takes on the Chinese treat, so festival attendees can expect a bao experience perfect for both first-timers and seasoned vets.

The Arizona Bao Fest takes place at the Unexpected Art Gallery on Sunday, March 24, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with ticket prices ranging from $12 to $15. Tickets can be ordered at Eventbrite.

Jane Goodall will appear at Comerica Theatre this month. - ERIK (HASH) HERSMAN / FLICKR
Jane Goodall will appear at Comerica Theatre this month.
Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr
Jane Goodall at Comerica Theatre
For over five decades, Jane Goodall has been helping humanity better understand the complex nature of its closest relatives. Her legendary research into the behavior of primates has earned her a reputation as the world's ultimate expert on the subject, and audiences here in the Valley now have an opportunity to hear the Queen of the Jungle discuss her groundbreaking scientific achievements live and in living color.

Goodall will share tales from her iconic career and explain the vital importance of animal welfare advocacy at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, March 25, at Comerica Theatre. Tickets are $165.

28 Days Later: Ethics in the Apocalypse
The concept of a "Zombie Uprising" started out as an unlikely hypothetical that was good for a chuckle, but over time it has become a scenario that many have taken quite seriously. Some have contemplated how they'd handle such an event, and a few of those on the fringe have even gone so far as to keep a shotgun and canned food on the ready.

Ridiculous? Maybe. But that doesn't mean we can't have an honest and informative discussion about how the human race could handle such a catastrophic event without losing our collective soul. As part of FilmBar's Ethics in the Apocalypse series, the 2002 horror classic will be screened with a post-show discussion from representatives of ASU’s Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. Audiences can expect an intelligent and enlightening analysis of the film, along with an earnest conversation about how humanity could fight back and survive with their ethics intact, should Z-Day ever become a reality.

FilmBar will be showing 28 Days Later at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. Tickets are $9.95.

Jack Fordyce /
Phoenix Symphony: The Music of Tom Petty
The musical legend who brought us "American Girl" and "Free Fallin'" will be given an orchestral twist this month at the Mesa Amphitheatre. The illustrious Phoenix Symphony takes on selections from the iconic body of work written and performed by the original Heartbreaker himself, which makes for a guaranteed great night out for Petty fans and classical music aficionados alike. Ticketholders can expect not only a fresh take on these American musical masterpieces but a celebration of Petty's life and legacy as well, all in one incredible night.

The Phoenix Symphony will be presenting The Music of Tom Petty at the Mesa Amphitheatre at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 29. Tickets range from $90 to $118.

GH Fantasy Weekend
If you're trying to get your Mother's Day present out of the way two months ahead of schedule, or you're just a devoted fan of dramatic daytime television, the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe has just the thing to add some soap opera magic into an otherwise dull Saturday. GH Fantasy Weekend is essentially Comic-Con for fans of ABC's General Hospital, the daytime series that premiered in 1963 and shows no sign of slowing down all these years later. Former cast members Michael Easton, Wil DeVry, Wes Ramsey, Leslie Charlrain, Tamara Braun, Eden McCoy, and Chad Duell will give GH fans a full day of meet-and-greets and photo ops, complete with a 90 minute show that should enthrall anyone who has relished the drama of the Quartermaine and Spencer family feud over the years.

GH Fantasy Weekend will be held at the Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel Tempe on Saturday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets range from $89 to $245. 
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