> Nerd Nite #37: Octoberween

Nerd Nite #37: Octoberween

It’s October, and that means a time to give thanks for nerds and to nerds, and probably to dress up as something we’re not at some point. Will your nerd bosses come in costume? Will there be a giant roasted turkey with all the fixins? Almost certainly no! But there will be three fantastic speakers the likes of which you have probably never seen drunk.

Be there AND be square.

When: Wednesday, Oct 11, 2017 (show @ 8pm)
Where: The Needle Vinyl Tavern (10524 Jasper Avenue)
Tickets: on sale NOW at YegLive.ca
$20 in advance
$10 peanut gallery tickets
[Must be 18 years or older]

Our line-up of talks includes:

Pineapples: The most interesting fruit in the world
Andrew Williams

Of all the fruit, pineapples have the most bizarre, fascinating, and shocking history and biology. For just a taste of how bizarre, can you name another fruit that can dissolve your fingerprints, was used as a status symbol at Victorian parties, and was grown in England in the 1700s under piles of manure? This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the weird world of pineapples. In my talk, I’ll take you on a journey around the world and through history, stopping off at royal palaces, wild jungles, and 70s TV sitcoms to break down the how the humble pineapple has influenced human culture over the years. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, your sex life may even be improved by the end of it. There’s only one way to find out!

Bio: I’m not a biologist. I’m not a historian (though I do have a history degree). I’m actually a marketing strategist and music producer by trade. But for the last 10 years or so, facts about pineapples seem to find their way to me. What started as a set of humorous facts that I’d tell at parties to get a laugh, slowly built up into a part time obsession. Over the years I’ve read books, done research, and amassed a horde of useless, but interesting, information about pineapples. My friends now send me pictures of pineapples wherever they come across them and whenever I’m given gifts, they are usually pineapple themed. It’s a fun life, and I want to share it with you.

Spider butts and spit glands: Adventures in working with Galleria mellonella silk
Mary Glasper

Have you heard about those plastic-eating worms in the news? I work with those! One summer, while working in an entomology lab, my supervisor asked, “Have you ever looked at Galleria silk? It’s really strong and they produce a TON of it.” Suddenly, a master’s thesis was born. Galleria mellonella, a.k.a. the greater wax moth, is a pest of beehives and is also a popular model organism for the study of medically significant mammalian pathogens. In this talk, I’ll share with you how to collect, process, and characterize this silk as a textile fibre. Could it be a viable alternative to spider silk? Come and find out! Spoiler: I don’t feed them plastic.

Bio: Mary Glasper has been a fan of our many-legged friends and of fibres for as long as she can remember, and has professional experience in both Entomology and Textile Science. She earned her BSc in Biological Sciences & Human Ecology from the University of Alberta, and is currently completing her MSc in Textile Science. It’s only natural that she would combine both of her interests by studying how bugs create fibres! When she’s not working on her thesis, Mary volunteers her time for student groups and outreach initiatives, is doing some kind of odd job on campus (lighting fabric on fire or feeding bugs), or is at home creating her latest embroidery project.

Cat pee, baby vomit & bottle bombs and other ways you can seriously screw up beer
Kirk Zembal & Shane Groendahl

We hope you didn’t come to learn how to home-brew your own beer. You’ll be sent down a very, very wrong path. Instead, we’re going to turn our brewing brains upside down and show you exactly—in more detail than you’d ever want—what happens when beer goes horribly wrong. And just think—every example we’ll give comes from somebody’s personal experience. Maybe it will dissuade you from signing up for brewing school to learn the particulars of adjectives like “goat-y”, “sewer-ish”, “nail polish”, “roadkill” or “blood-like”. Getting paid to drink beer isn’t always the best job in the world, we swear!

Kirk Zembal & Shane Groendahl met over beers some years ago—or they assume they did because they can’t really remember. (It was probably an Edmonton Beer Geeks Anonymous—a group Shane started—event). Together with a few other beer geeks they started Blindman Brewing out of Lacombe. They’ve drank some of the best beer in the world together and some of the absolute worst. They prefer the former.

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