Nerdy Thirty Birthday

posted on 5/31/13

So. You’re turning thirty. It was bound to happen but stepping into that third decade of life often brings uncertain feelings. Think about it this way: gone are the days of Mom and Dad unofficially telling you what to do with your life. Your thirties will bring you a little more freedom, a little more responsibility, and a lot more wisdom. So there’s really no better way to ring in your third decade than by throwing a nerdy thirty birthday party. If you’re still not convinced, here is one awesome reason why your thirtieth birthday should be nerd themed:

1-bobak-ferdowsi

Bobak Ferdowsi went to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, got a job with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, shaved himself a mohawk, and then landed the rover ON MARS. All before the age of 33. Still not convinced? Try this one on for size:

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Rhonda Freeman went to Drexel University, earned her PhD in psychology (specializing in nerupsychology–mind you), and currently evaluates cognitive and emotional status of patients with psychiatric conditions in a neurology practice in Florida. Oh, she was also a cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. So there’s that.

Since we have established that nerds are awesome and we should all strive to be one, let’s get real about your party. The hardest part about this party will be putting the decoration together. Lucky for you, not only do we have a ton of 30th birthday supplies, we also have nerd-specific cutouts that will impress your guests. All you need is a printer, some good cardstock, and the ability to explain Einstein’s Theory of Relativity–you can do that, right?

Let’s start with food. The main course is easy: pizza. Every high school study party revolved around pizza, so going back to your nerd roots is an easy and inexpensive option. But since you’re thirty now, you’re going to need to provide guests with some nutrition as well. Enter: watermelon robot. With a few tools and some patience, the watermelon robot is the nerdiest way you can serve up some nutrition to guests. Plus, watermelon is loaded with the B6 vitamin which helps to synthesize brain chemicals.

Robot

What you need:
1 oblong watermelon
Big and small knives
Cutting board
Dry Erase marker
Spoon
Large bowl
Toothpicks and skewers
Any fruit you and your guests would like to eat.
Pliers

You’re going to have to go to the hardware store or dig around your garage to get the parts to finish off your robot. The National Watermelon Promotion Board recommends the following pieces of hardware:

Two 11/16 inch hitch pin clips for the antennae
Two 3/8 inch cap nuts and two 1/2 inch lock washers attached for a 3/8 inch hex bolt for eyes.
Two 7 inch pieces of metal conduit for arms, hold one end and pull other end with pliers to make flexible
One 5/8 inch hitch pin clip for the mouth
Four 3/16 X 2 inch cotter pins – loop two pins together to make each leg
Two 1/2 inch hex bolts with 1/2 inch wing nuts for hands, to make insert bolt into stretched conduit thread side out. Thread in wing nut and tighten.
Two 1/4 inch spring nuts (with springs removed) for feet. Place through cotter pin and bend the end of the pin to keep the spring in place.
One 3/16 inch X 2 inch cotter pin
Three or more 5/16 inch tee nuts for front of robot

If you are challenged in the art of carpentry and this information makes no sense to you, fear not! Your friendly Lowes employees will understand fully.

What you do:
Read this paragraph all the way through before you start anything. Did you do it? Great. Let’s get started. Drain the cut watermelon and all the other fruit you’re going to add to it before puting them in the carving. Wash all the hardware and pliers. If you have a dishwasher, use that. Otherwise, thoroughly clean the hardware with hot soapy water. Wash the watermelon and pat it dry. Stand it on its end and run the knife around the inside rim of rind, removing flesh in large chunks. Save that watermelon. Place the watermelon on its side and cut it in half. Take the top half with the widest opening and trim about 1/2 inch off the end. Don’t cut too deep into the white part of the rind (it might make the bottom of the carving leak). Take the remaining half and stand it on the cut side. Trim away the rind from the top and side. Cut a large rectangular shape with angled side (will be used for the head). Save the remaining watermelon to cut into chunks. Add the antennae, eyes, and mouth piece to the head. Attach the head to the back of the body, using your skewers. Add the arms to the side by screwing conduit into the rind. Add the legs and hardware to the front. All systems go. You have a watermelon robot to fill with fruit for your guests.

Scientific Cupcakes
Someone famous once said that baking is a science. It’s true. Luckily for the baking-challenged folk out there, every grocery store has handfuls of instant cake mixes that require almost no work. Your grocery store might even have a gluten-free cake mix! So next time you’re out, grab a few boxes along with the necessary ingredients. Whip up a few batches of cupcakes and top them with the most delicious frosting. I’m voting for funfetti frosting, but do your thing. Now, just about everyone loves cupcakes, so this isn’t a nerd-specific dessert. With our printable cake toppers, your average cupcakes will instantly go from sweet treat to nerdy delight.

nerdy 30's cupcake toppers

Load up your printer with some durable cardstock and print out a few batches of our DNA, insect, rocket, and robot cake toppers. Just click the picture above and press print. Cut out the images and tape them to toothpicks or popsicle sticks. Pop these free toppers in your cupcakes and your guests will be impressed with your nerdtastic enthusiasm. If you’re feeling extra scientific, look up some facts on each field. Write them on the back of the card and give your guests a little extra knowledge with their cupcake. This could make a great icebreaker for anyone who wants to approach someone they don’t know.

Decorations
Let’s not forget that you are turning thirty and that’s a big birthday. You’re going to need to decorate your party with not just nerd supplies but plenty of 30th birthday-themed products. To cut down on clean up, stock up on some paper cups, napkins, and plates. Hang a birthday banner. Buy the best birthday candle in the world. Find every last book in your house and stack them around your party. Put books next to the robot, near the pizza, on the tables. Every great nerd is a lover of books at heart, so this passion should be heartily represented at your party. Bonus nerd points if you have any of the following books: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, or A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Another simple party trick is to raid your DVD cabinet for the nerdiest movies you own. I’m talking Lord of the Rings, Revenge of the Nerds, The Goonies–nerd movies that have stood the test of time. Putting any of your favorite nerd movies on in the background of your party will serve as a good conversation starter for your guests. Just don’t dim the lights and make everyone sit down for marathon viewings.

Setting up a makeshift photo booth is a fun option, too. If you can drape a sheet in the corner of a room, attach a camera (or even an iphone) to a tripod and set the timer. Providing guests with a prop table near the camera will make for some hilarious photographs. And you don’t need too many supplies, either. Simply stock up on a few inexpensive suspenders, bow ties, and thick-framed glasses. You could even get some lab coats and clipboards! Don’t take yourself too seriously. The point of your 30th birthday party is to have good fun with good friends.


And, of course, do not forget the balloons.

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