> Nerd Nite #28: Nerds in a new lair

Nerd Nite #28: Nerds in a new lair


Nerd Nite Edmonton is back for another season, and we need you to help us break in a new roster of speakers, and our new location. This year, Nerd Nite will be hosted at the Needle Vinyl Tavern. Stories will be shared, beer will flow, and learning will happening. You won’t want to miss our star-studded kick-off to the fifth season!

Be there AND be square!

When: Wednesday, September 21, 2016 (show @ 8pm)
Where: The Needle Vinyl Tavern (10524 Jasper Avenue)
$20 in advance — SOLD OUT
$10 peanut gallery tickets — On sale Monday, Sept 12 at 11am
[Must be 18 years or older)

Our line-up of speakers includes:

Smart polymers & you: better sensors, stronger muscles, and more effective drugs
Dr. Michael Serpe

Wondering what a polymer is? Want to know how polymers will make us better, smarter, and stronger? The work I’m doing focuses on the development of new polymer-based materials for solving environmental and health-related problems. In my work, my team and I focus on “smart/intelligent” polymers that react in defined ways to changes in their local environment. While there are many uses for such materials, this Nerd Nite talk will highlight smart polymers’ ability to detect species of interest, act as muscles that are pound-for-pound stronger than humans, and deliver therapeutics in a controlled and triggered fashion to improve drug efficacy, and maybe even cure your hangover.

Dr. Michael Serpe is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta and the Associate Scientific Director and Theme Lead for the Canadian Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) IC-IMPACTS. He is also Chair of the local section of the Chemical Institute of Canada, and a member of the executive committees for the Analytical and Materials Chemistry Divisions of the Chemical Institute of Canada

Culture, body mods, and the stories we inscribe into our flesh
Dr. Katie Biittner

Attend any festival in Edmonton and you may observe that the tattooed often outnumber those who have not modified their bodies. While most are familiar with the reasons why as individuals we get tattoos or piercings, this presentation will examine more broadly how our bodies serve as cultural texts and how anthropologists “read” these texts. Through a cross-cultural examination and using Margo DeMello’s “bodies of inscription” construct, Dr. Katie Biittner will examine the antiquity of tattooing, the connection between body modification and rites of passage, and the influence of popular culture on how we (re)shape our bodies. She’ll also challenge our ideas of what body modification is and what it may look like in the future.

Dr. Katie Biittner is the Anthropology Lab Instructor at MacEwan University. Katie’s passion for archaeology has led her to excavations in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, Idaho, and Tanzania. Her current research focuses on the African Stone Age, the origins of our species, and Cultural Heritage in Tanzania. When not corrupting undergrads with the anthropological perspective, Katie can be found wrangling her three year old, tweeting about adventures in 3D printing, rolling dice, ranting about movies and comics (why is there no Squirrel Girl movie yet?), and brainstorming ideas for her next tattoo.

‘Don’t be nervous, but the whole country is watching…’ Confessions of an Olympic Broadcaster
Mark Connolly

What happens when the national broadcaster makes your dreams come true and sends you to the Olympic games? They tell you’ll be a reporter and then 5 days in, assign you to do play by play of tennis — a sport you have a very casual interest in and no expertise. Thus begins my Olympic career which has included rye and cokes in the bobsleigh parking lot in Nagano to celebrate Olympic gold, a private concert with the Tragically Hip, getting tear gassed in Athens, and becoming famous in Sochi because of a tweet about coat hangers. Fresh from Rio, this is the behind the scenes story of the Olympic games.

Mark Connolly is the host of Edmonton AM, CBC’s local radio morning show. He has also been a sports commentator for CBC for the last 20 years. That has given him the chance to broadcast at 9 Olympic Games, summer and winter. It might not be the best job in the world but it’s a living.

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