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Nerd Nite #10

THE LONG WAIT IS OVER. Nerd Nite Wagga returns.

New Nerd Nite boss Peter has finally figured out how to use the website, and will place himself at the crowd’s mercy with the night’s first presentation. Then, meet rock-star meteorologist and storm chaser Dean Narramore, looking windswept and interesting after his journey through tornado alley in the United States. Lastly, Scott Howie shares his research into the story of the ‘hermit’ of Scenic Hill in Griffith, and the thorny issue of who, if anyone, owns that story.

Fun, games, three interesting talks, and of course, beer.

Be there and be square.

*18+ event, no minors


I Listened to Every Song That Entered the Australian Top 40 from 1990 – 2009. Here’s What I Learned.
Peter Casey

Everyone knows that popular music declined drastically in quality at roughly the point you turned seventeen. But did it really? What if, after you decamped to JJJ, or took refuge in vinyl, or discovered Icelandic alt-funk, you missed something great on the pop charts? But how would you ever know, without going back and checking out every song from, say, two decades worth of music?

Wonder no longer, because Peter did it for you: hundreds of hours of music, much of it very bad. Learn about his shaky methodology and surprising conclusions, and which category of song has the greatest chance of being a Number One hit.

BIO: Peter Casey has been, variously, an award-winning performer/musician in music theatre and cabaret, a secondary school teacher, an award-winning radio presenter, a librarian, an award-winning composer/lyricist, and is the new Nerd Nite Boss for Wagga Wagga. But you don’t care about any of that: all you need to know is that he played piano for ABC-TV’s Play School.

Storm Chasing in Tornado Alley
Dean Narramore

Take a journey with extreme meteorologist Dean Narramore, as he drives across tornado alley in the heart of the United States, on the hunt for some of the world’s most extreme weather. What on earth possesses a sensible meteorologist to head where the weather is most extreme? Is it merely for the adrenaline rush, or is there something to be gained? And does the future hold more extreme weather for us all?

BIO: Ever since he can remember, Dean has had a keen interest and fascination with all things weather and especially severe weather. The importance of rain was a vital part of life as he grew up in Mildura, and this only helped increase his passion for weather and meteorology as he grew older. Dean’s studies led him to both Monash University and the University of Oklahoma in the United states to study meteorology, where he was lucky enough to chase tornadoes and has returned almost every tornado season since, to further his knowledge of severe weather. Dean began working at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology in 2011 and has been a severe weather forecaster in the Brisbane office from 2012 until last month, when he moved south to work at the Extreme Weather Desk in Melbourne.

Valerio Ricetti – The Hermit (?) of Scenic Hill
Scott Howie

“… there is a hermit’s cave with a pretty crazy story attached to it…” a throwaway line from a Janauary 2004 blog post of Scott’s where he mentioned a few things he had learnt about Griffith, the town he was just about to move to.
A year later an elderly Italian gentleman is sitting in Scott’s office demanding he take a photo down and replace it with another. And then he started to tell Scott his story.
What followed was a journey through archives, PhD theses, old newspaper and town legends, and ongoing battle with the numerous holders of the ‘true’ story of the Hermit of Scenic Hill

BIO: Scott Howie has been contributing to the cultural landscape of the Riverina over 18 years as an artist, arts educator and arts manager.  Currently the Executive Officer of Eastern Riverina Arts, Howie also maintains a practice in durational performance, installation and theatre. Previously he was a theatre design lecturer at CSU, the creative producer and manager at Griffith Regional Theatre, the artistic director of Riverina Young People’s Theatre and his own company Jibshot.