M is for Math – Wes Maciejewski: How many shapes are there? The answer is two.
What makes one shape different than another? For elementary shapes like triangles and squares, the answer is simple: how many sides do they have? But what about shapes like that of the earth and of the universe? This idea of understanding the essence of “shape” spurred a great deal of philosophical thought for millennia. It took a 19th century polymath to give us the right way of thinking about this: does the shape have a hole in it or not? This led to one of the biggest unsolved problems known to humankind…and to this presentation.
Wes is a mathematician. This is odd because he, growing up, never knew this is something people do. He became mathematician because he found math to be the most wonderful playground of ideas created by humans. He finished his undergrad sometime ago at the UofA, went on to a Master’s at the UofC, then a PhD at Queen’s. Since then, he’s held academic positions in Vancouver, Auckland, and California, presented at conferences all around the world, and is happy to now be back in his home province as a faculty member at Red Deer Polytechnic.
M is for Mastodon – Chad Ohman: The Accidental Community: Reimagining Social Media
Curiosity kills the cat, and if it doesn’t it makes it stronger. How an experiment grew to a community of over 35,000 members in the span of a month and how it’s managed to reshape how we interact with each other online.
Chad runs the massively popular Mastodon instance mstdn.ca.
M is for Misdirection – Heather Hutchinson & Elyse Colville: No One is an Island: The Misdirection of the Individual Climate Impact Narrative
Though personal choice is always important, the idea that individuals can make any substantial changes in regards to the climate crisis is not only misguided, but a purposeful tactic used by corporations to distract from their role in the coming calamity. Our paper explores how corporations use rhetoric to shape public perception about climate change responsibility, and have done so for decades.
Heather Hutchinson is creeping ever closer to completing her Bachelor of Communication Studies at MacEwan University. In her spare time, she likes to play the ukulele, watch documentaries, and yell at people on Twitter.
Elyse Colville is a Bachelor of Communication Studies student at MacEwan University. When she’s not squinting at a computer screen, Elyse spends her time gardening, sewing, and cuddling her cats.
Themes are hard to come up with, especially when our nerdy community is so diverse, so we’re going for a generic title. However, there is nothing generic about our nerds this month. We intend the blandness of the title to act as an ironic indicator of how non-generic our speakers are. Did it work?
When: February 23, 2023, at 7:30 pm
(Doors & bar open at 7:00pm and the Fringe Grounds Cafe is open until 8:00!)
Ron Byers: Capturing and Sharing Edmonton’s Queer History
Founder and Co-Director of Rainbow Story Hub Ron Byers will share the journey of capturing our 2SLGBTQ+ communities’ history in Edmonton and the people, projects and organizations who have brought this to life over the years. He will also give some insights into some new projects and the future work of bringing our rich history to life in ways that the public can access, understand and celebrate. It is important that our challenges and achievements in becoming an equal and respected part of society be recorded for the youth of today and the future.
Ron Byers is a community leader, storyteller and Queer historian. Decades of work in Edmonton’s non-profit sector have given him an extensive resume of community service and a unique viewpoint on our city and its history. With a professional background in Customer Service Management he has shared his skills in several City festivals and organizations. Ron has been actively involved in the 2SLGBTQ+ community for over 50 years. He has seen our Queer community evolve from congregating behind closed doors to dancing and parading in the streets. And has celebrated as we grow closer to being treated as equal under the laws yet acknowledging the inequities we must still overcome. Ron is the founder of the Rainbow Story Hub Foundation which has allowed him to share stories on Edmonton’s queer history with insight and passion.
“In 1980 a friend showed me a dog-eared copy of The New Conquest of Central Asia written by the explorer Roy Chapman Andrews. The official narrative of the Central Asiatic Expeditions, a hefty 678-page volume, was exciting to hold. The exquisite foldout photo-panoramas of Mongolian scenery excited my imagination, and I enjoyed his unpretentious, quick-paced style. I wanted to know more – what else did he write? Searching and collecting ever since, the answer grew from twenty-two books and more than 200 magazine articles to original photographs, letters and artifacts. I have built the world’s largest private collection related to Roy Chapman Andrews, his expeditions and contemporaries, and have worked at many of the places Andrews pioneered. It has been observed: put enough similar books and related materials together in one place, and they take on a life of their own. What began as simple accumulation, became meaningful beyond the sum of its parts. Now, it’s time to consider – what do I do with my collection when I too inevitably shuffle off this mortal coil? This is the first public sharing and airing of my passion [mania?] where I will endeavour to give a sense of why I did it, how I did it, how much fun it has been, and reflections on lessons learned along the way.
A founding member of the team that built the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Clive has been a professional dinosaur hunter for 43 years, and now runs Dino Lab at the University of Alberta. His work has taken him through Asia, Europe and South America. When not in the field or laboratory, Clive is most often found in antiquarian bookstores or art supply shops pursuing his other deep passions.
Crista Gamage: Farts in Space
Why did NASA once try to stop astronauts from farting? Why does staying healthy become so difficult in space? What does the microbiota of astronauts tell us about our future in the stars? Come find out more at my talk on “Farts in Space.”
Crista is 39 trillion microbes in a trench coat. She’s a card-carrying member of the Alberta Mycological society, a huge microbiology nerd and an advocate for the importance of public health. She is currently a student at MacEwan University working towards becoming a science communicator.
Sixty-eight Nerd Nite Edmonton shows have come and gone, and to wrap our 2022 season, NNYEG #69 (Nice) has a sexy, sexy theme. What are the Nerd-Bosses’ sexy credentials? Well, we have 1.25 kids each, so we must know something.
When: November 24, 2022, at 7:30 pm
(Doors & bar open at 7:00pm and the Fringe Grounds Cafe is open until 8:00!)
Where: Studio Theatre at Fringe Theatre Adventures
Dana is a lab technician in the biology department of MacEwan University. On the side he builds custom skeleton articulations and other oddities, and will frequently tell people more than they’d ever care to know about animal genitals.
Everyone knows that “boner” is just a fun euphemism, and that penises don’t actually have bones, right? Wrong! Well, at least for some orders of mammals. This talk explores the weird world of baculums, so you too can learn some fun facts and be “that guy” at your next social gathering.
Holly Von Sinn: Burlesque or The Art of Getting Naked for Fun and Profit
Holly Von Sinn(they/them) has been a professional burlesque arts for almost 15 years. Having travelled across Canada, the US, and Europe, they have seen it all and then some. They have trained and performed with some of the biggest names in burlesque and have spent the last 10 years teaching the next generation of performers. Needless to say, they have a thing or two to say about this often overlooked art form.
This talk will center on what makes burlesque a unique and exciting art form, touching on its past and looking to the future.
Kinky, Nerdy & Queer: Current research has some interesting findings as to the intersection between gender, sexuality and neurodivergence-including alternative lifestyles, asexuality and more! Join Angel for a look at some of the research trends and findings.
Angel is a queer, neurodivergent sex educator with ASPECC (Advocating for Sex Positive Education and Consent Culture). With a passion for all things consent-minded, Angel is one of the original founders of the organization and has a master’s in counselling psychology.