The first ever Nerd Nite wedding

When two nerds meet and fall in love, there are many things you can attribute that to: chemistry, biology, pheromones, and maybe even physics. For Nerd Nite Edmonton Alumnerds, Amanda Kelley and Scott Persons, the explanation may not be that simple, nor that scientific.

Regardless of why, we’re so very pleased to help these two lovebirds get married at the first ever Nerd Nite Wedding! This special event will feature two world-renowned dinosaur experts and a talk from the happy couple.

Be there AND be square!

When: Monday, July 25, 2016 (doors @ 7pm, show @ 7:30pm)
Where: The Old Timers Cabin (9430 Scona Road)
$20 in advance (includes fees and GST) — on sale Monday, June 27 at 9:30am
Cash bar (CASH ONLY)
Dress code: Semi-formal; hey, it’s a wedding, after all!
[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]

Following the formal program, Nerd Niters will be invited to join nerd bosses Lauren and Adam at the Empress Ale House (just up the road) for drinks, while the happy couple enjoys time with their close friends and family.

Our line-up of speakers includes:

A Romantic World View of Dinosaurs
Phil Currie

The lives of T. rex and Triceratops were more than violent monster-on-monster clashes. Darwinian success means not just survival but the prosperous passing of genes from one generation to the next. Enduring for over 160 million years, dinosaurs evolved a lot of tricks to get the job done. From seductive crests to flamboyant feathers, many of the strangest dinosaur adaptations only make sense through the eyes of a romantic. Professor Philp J. Currie is a world renowned paleontologist, who has spent a lifetime traveling the globe and uncovering the secrets to a softer and sweeter side of dinosaurs. Join him as he shares the stories and the science from expeditions to the frozen mountains of Antarctica, the Flaming Cliffs of Mongolia, and the dragon-filled islands of Komodo..

Dr. Philip J. Currie is a professor at the University of Alberta, where he holds the Canadian Research Chair in Dinosaur Palaeobiology. His primordial love affair began when, as a child, he excavated his first prehistoric beast . . . from a cereal box. Since then, he has written numerous books, dug for dinosaurs on every continent, starred in documentaries, helped to found the Royal Tyrell Museum, discovered new dinosaur species, and had several new species named in his honor. He is also an avid science-fiction fan and likes to measure skeletons and write papers while listening to Rush and ACDC.

Nerds United: courtship ritual and pair bonding in fledgling biologists
Amanda Kelley & Scott Persons

Science Fact: nerding is more fun with company. Although the cold objectivity of Science seems at odds with the emotional vagaries of Love, the two often go hand in hand. Nerd Nite Edmonton ‘alumnerds’ Amanda and Scott are two biologists in love. Together, they consider the science of romance, while recounting their explorations across Canada and beyond, from photographing African wildlife, to wrangling squirrels in the frozen forests of the Yukon, to discovering the horned skull and skeleton of a new dinosaur in the badlands of Alberta. Join the pair as they analyse their own courtship and embark together on their newest adventure.

Beginning their nerdy romance as grad students at the University of Alberta, Amanda and Scott discovered a shared passion for exploring the natural world. Amanda is a behavioural ecologist who is nuts about squirrels, and Scott is a paleontologist studying dinosaur tails. However, as partners in love and science, they find ways to bring their interests together. They’re crazy about their two dogs, and enjoy binging on sci-fi and home-baked pizza.

Stegos in Tutus & Jurassic Murder Victims
Robert Bakker

Clad in boney armour and wilding lance-tipped tails, the stegosaurs have been described as “dino knights”. Join the legendary Dr. Robert Bakker as works to solve a 145 million-year-old murder mystery and pieces together the clues to a titanic showdown between one Stegosaurs and the Jurassic’s apex predator. In the science of “Dinosaur CSI” shed teeth tell the tale of dinosaur dinner parties and scarred bones reveal epic battles won and lost. But this ancient record of death and carnage also exposes surprising signs of parental love.

Dr. Robert T. Bakker easily ranks as one of the most influential paleontologists of the last century. A one man scientific revolution, his theories and research brought on the “Dinosaur Renaissance” and forever morphed our view of dinosaurs from slow-moving swamp-bound reptiles into agile warm-blooded birdy ancestors. Bakker holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale and a PhD from Harvard. Currently, he is the Curator of Paleontology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. His other notable life accomplishments include: designing dinosaur toys for Tyco, consulting on the film Jurassic Park, and staring in SEGA videogame commercials.

SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite #27: Another season finale

It’s the last Nerd Nite of the 2015/16 season, and we’re wrapping things up in typical Nerd Nite fashion: with amazing speakers, and fine adult beverages. We have three incredible speakers on topics ranging from opening a crowd-funded restaurant, to urogynecological health, and even building a satellite right here in Edmonton.

So put on your beer goggles and get ready to engage your brain before we take a break for the summer!

Be there AND be square!

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 (doors @ 7:30pm, show @ 8pm)
Where: The Club at the Citadel Theatre (9828 101A Avenue)
$20 in advance (includes fees and GST) — on sale Monday, March 28 at 9:30am
$25 at the door (depending on advance sales)
$15 peanut gallery seating (released on Monday, April 11, and only available in person or by phone)
[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]

Our line-up of speakers includes:

Thinking outside the box: Advances in developing and measuring strength/relaxation in the levator ani
Julia-lin Ding

This presentation will focus on pelvic anatomy and assessing your pelvic floor health. New data (and opinion!) on emerging pelvic floor strengthening technologies will be discussed with the hope that Nerd Nite participants will be empowered to “squeeze and relax” themselves into better pelvic health. All participants are encouraged to come prepared to get their blood flowing.

Julia-lin Ding is a Nurse Practitioner in women’s health.  She rostered as a Nurse Practitioner in 2009, finished her Master’s in Nursing with a specialization in Aging in 2011, and did the Nurse Continence Advisor certification through McMaster University in 2013. Her four children and husband have repeatedly asked her to refrain from discussing clinic findings around the dinner table, so she is always excited to share what she’s learned with new audiences.

Racing for Space: AlbertaSat, the Ex-Alta 1 Satellite and the Birth of Alberta’s Space Industry
Chris Robson

The space industry affects us daily through satellite services, economic growth or technological/scientific development and yet it’s something we don’t think about often. Why would you? After all, space is far away, it’s the realm of Star Trek, NASA and a handful of billion dollar corporations who can afford to put up satellites. However, the space industry is rapidly growing, changing and expanding to all corners of the world, including the last place you would expect, Alberta. Join me tonight, as I show you the dawn of Alberta’s space industry. During this presentation, I will introduce you to AlbertaSat (a student group at the University of Alberta), we will discuss the need for space in Alberta, I will introduce you to Alberta’s first satellite launching this July, the Experimental Albertan #1 (Ex-Alta 1) Satellite (and it’s juicy, totally nerdy technical details). Finally, I will give you a glimpse of the future of space in Alberta and the world.

Chris Robson is a 5th year Mechanical Engineering Co-Op student at the University of Alberta, was the Project Manager of the Ex-Alta 1 Satellite project (designed and created by the AlbertaSat Student Group) for two years and is currently the Mechanical Lead for the Ex-Alta 1 Satellite. Chris enjoys boating in BC, fishing for salmon, throwing around the word swanky, anything related to space and rum (or cider, or beer, or… etc). Chris’s future plans include Graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on spacecraft technology and creating a space industry start-up company for Earth observation from a CubeSat platform.

Your Kickstarter was Funded, Now What? The Chartier Story
Darren Cheverie

A Kickstarter campaign was launched in March 2015 with the goal of raising $95,000 to use as a down payment for Beaumont’s first rustic French-Canadian restaurant in the heart of downtown Beaumont, called Chartier. At the end of the 60 day campaign, just over $107,000 was contributed by 600 community members, friends, and family – the most successful restaurant Kickstarter in Canada and the first in Alberta. But that was just the beginning. A lot has happened in just 1 year to ensure that Chartier’s doors opened in March 2016.

After finding each other, falling madly in love, and supporting each other through the early years of their careers, Darren & Sylvia Cheverie moved back to Beaumont for the birth of their daughter. With a growing family, they began to think about how they could contribute to life in Beaumont. With entrepreneurial passion and experience as both a restaurant manager and marketing consultant, Darren & Sylvia embarked on the crazy adventure of opening a restaurant.

SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite #26: Feast for the senses edition

Taste, sight and sound — those are the senses you’re going to need to use, or at least understand, at Nerd Nite #26. Chocolate, film and vinyl records will be the story of the evening, and it’s not a story you want to miss. From old media, to ancient baking to the era of digital filmmaking, this Nerd Nite will be a feast for the senses.

Be there AND be square!

When: Thursday, March 24, 2016 (doors @ 7:30pm, show @ 8pm)
Where: The Club at the Citadel Theatre (9828 101A Avenue)
$20 in advance (includes fees and GST) — on sale Friday, March 11 at 9:30am! SOLD OUT!
$25 at the door (depending on advance sales)
$15 peanut gallery seating (released on Monday, March 21, and only available in person or by phone)
[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]

Here’s our line-up of speakers:

My O.C.D is A.O.K. – vinyl collecting as art form
Yuri Wuensch

Records are dead. Long live records! The unflappable format has experienced a massive resurgence of popularity in recent years. But why? In this presentation, digger Yuri Wuensch will discuss the reasons for vinyl’s comeback, its dominance as *the* music format of the 20th century and how we’ve barely ‘scratched’ the surface of its cultural and historical significance. He’ll also explore the psychology of digging, the various types of collectors, and the fragile balance between collecting, curating and hoarding.

Yuri Wuensch is a communications professional, part-time DJ and graduate of MacEwan University’s Journalism program. When he isn’t working at Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, where he helps support the province’s tech sector entrepreneurs, movers and shakers, he is usually on the hunt for new (old) records. Yuri is the co-founder Dead Vinyl Society, which celebrates vinyl culture by hosting fun events for collectors, selectors, diggers and deejays. This includes the monthly Bring Out Your Dead swap meets and the annual Super Mega Records Garage Sale. His other undead infatuation is Vote Zombie Wall!, an award-winning public information campaign that ran in conjunction with Edmonton’s 2013 municipal election. The cheeky campaign sought to make building a zombie-proof perimeter wall around the city a ballot issue and succeeded in helping make sustainable urban development, or “smart growth,” part of Edmonton’s election conversation.”

Chocolate: Sweet truths, bitter myths and tantalizing wonders.
Jacqueline Jacek

Chocolate is goodness that is often associated to decadence, love and cravings. However, thought is rarely given to what truths and myths might surround this ‘Food of the Gods.’Have you ever thought about when the best time of the day might be to eat chocolate? Is all dark chocolate bitter? Is chocolate a ‘new food?’ The presentation will be a brief exposition of what chocolate is (and isn’t!) and will hopefully elevate your experience of this fine substance the next time you indulge.

A passion for all that is tasty and beautiful is what drove Jacqueline Jacek to learn the art of becoming an artisan chocolatier. Since 2003, she has been studying the physiology of chocolate, working on new techniques and developing recipes for her edible creations. The fusion of her love for couture and food has resulted in a unique collections that are launched seasonally, emulating the fashion industry. She officially launched the JACEK Chocolate Couture brand on 1 December, 2009 from a home-based chocolate studio in Sherwood Park, and has since been committed to spreading joy through fine chocolate. Since then, she has opened a production studio, two retail boutiques and partnered with like-minded business to help build the best Edmonton possible. Jacqueline has been chosen at one of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional Magazine in NYC (2011), Don Neil Young Entrepreneur Award (2012), Sherwood Park Business of the Year (2014), Global Woman of Vision (2015), Leaders Award by Business in Edmonton Magazine (2015), and last month JACEK Chocolate was chosen ‘Best Chocolatier’ by Avenue Magazine (2016).”

Losing the Light: The Unintentional Consequences of Digital Film-making
Robin Taylor

Film-making as an art form has existed for over 100 years, and while technology changes, film-making stays the same… or does it? In the past 20 years, tools and techniques of film-making have transitioned to digital (from acting to editing and everything in between). In the face of rapidly advancing technology, are we losing authenticity as scope and scale grow? Join me as I tell kids to get off my lawn while we discuss sets, locations and green screen over a century of epic films.

Robin Taylor is a classically trained animator who spent 10 years working in and around the Canadian Film industry as a storyboard artist, director, producer & editor. He is currently on “hiatus” but spends most of his time thinking and talking about film to anyone, including himself.”