> SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite #24

SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite #24

Some people want to get noticed, and others want to avoid any kind of notice at all. And still others are thrust into the spotlight because it’s their destiny. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in hearing more about, then you don’t want to miss the first Nerd Nite Edmonton event of 2016! It combines all of those ideas and more. Think sex and ageing, magic and cloaking devices. NOW we’re getting somewhere!

Be there AND be square.

When: Thursday, January 14, 2016 (doors @ 7:30pm, show @ 8pm)
Where: The Club (Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Avenue Edmonton)
$20 in advance, includes fees & GST (Tickets available December 14 at 9:30am)
$25 at the door, includes fees & GST
$15 for balcony tickets (Only available on Monday, January 11 at 9:30am phone or in-person only)

[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]

Here’s our line-up of speakers:

Harry Potter and the Prisoners of Narrative: On Reading and the Virtues of Constant Vigilance
Hannah McGregor & Marcelle Kosman

Writers are taught to kill their darlings, but literary critics have to do the same thing — take something you really like, and rip it open to see how it ticks. But what happens when a couple of feminist literary scholars turn their gimlet gazes on the beloved Harry Potter series?

Marcelle Kosman and Hannah McGregor are the hosts of Witch, Please, a fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world. Both lady-scholars in the U of A’s Department of English and Film Studies (Marcelle is a doctoral candidate and Hannah is a full-time Instructor), they’re big fans of talking about Harry Potter to anyone who will listen.

Going nuts over girls: how chasing tail influences ageing
Jessica Haines

Animals (humans included) do crazy things when they’re trying to get the attention of a prospective partner. They sprout bones from their heads, grow impractical teeth, go into battle with each other, have elaborate penises, and even dance. And all that prancing around and growing odd bits has attracted the attention of lots of scientists. This is great, because it means we can dive into the weird and wonderful world of animal sex and their attempts to get it. Besides becoming the focus of a bunch of nosy scientists (and a Nerd Nite audience), this showing off can have other side effects. Showing off can be risky: at the very least you can end up as someone’s meal, but it can have other long-term effects such as changing how fast you age. I study red squirrels in the Yukon, and I’m going to use them and other species as examples of what happens when you spend a lot of time chasing prospective mates.

Jess was born in New Brunswick and spent her childhood swimming after fish, kayaking with seals and porpoises, skating by starlight, and hiking coastal forests with her Dad. This sparked a lifelong passion for wildlife and wild places, which came in handy when she started her PhD at the University of Alberta and she lived in the Yukon for months at a time to study red squirrels. She fell in love with their northern world and their spunky personalities. Her time in the north might have made her a bit crazy: when she’s back in Edmonton she gets excited when the temperatures drop, the snow falls, and she can head out cross-country skiing in the cold.

Smoke and Mirrors: Unveiling Invisibility
Brad Hauer

As demonstrated by numerous references in mythology and modern literature, humans have long sought after the power of invisibility. But at what point do we crossover from fantasy to reality? How close are we really to being able to develop a Harry Potteresque invisibility cloak? Closer than some may think. In my presentation, I will discuss present technologies, ranging from simple lenses to advanced metamaterials, that are being used to cloak objects, as well as look at what the future holds as far as real life invisibility goes.

Brad developed a passion for physics while attending high school in his hometown of Leduc, Alberta (it’s by the airport). He received his Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Alberta, spending his summers searching for dark matter with PICASSO, a particle physics experiment located 2 km underground in Sudbury’s nickel mine. Brad is currently pursuing his PhD at the U of A in Prof. John Davis’s lab where he makes his living playing with nanotechnology and lasers in liquid helium. He also enjoys playing basketball and eating pizza.

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