> Nerd Nite #41: Beware the Ideas in March (see what we did there?)

Nerd Nite #41: Beware the Ideas in March (see what we did there?)

Oh sure, it’s been about 2,062 years since Caesar was assassinated… But if he were alive today, you can bet your bottom dollar he’d be one of the first people buying a ticket to Nerd Nite Edmonton’s March show. Where else can you hear about goats, first-response superheroes and delicious lab-grown meats? Certainly not in ancient Rome!

Be there AND be square!

When: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 (show @ 8pm)
Where: Westbury Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave NW)
Tickets: On sale Tuesday, February 20 at 10pm at the Fringe Box Office (and online)!

Our line-up of talks includes:

Cities are Going Green with Weed-Whacking Goats
Michael Glazier

Some plants are good and some are BAAAAHHHHD. Why are cities turning to ruminants to manage undesirable plant life? It turns out goats aren’t just en vogue for online videos, they are damn good at munchin’ weeds! Learn about the innovative strategy of using goats to combat the issue of noxious weed infestations in cities.

Michael was part of the project team that led the weed-eating goat program this summer in Rundle Park. Since that magical experience, he now considers himself a professional scientist and goatherd. He is an Education Coordinator for the City of Edmonton and was named Top 30 under 30 by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation in 2016.

The Fort McMurray Wildfire: One firefighter’s story
Andrew Pearson

We all watched the Fort McMurray wildfire live on TV but what actually went on up there? This is one firefighter’s behind the scenes story about his time fighting the Fort McMurray Wildfire of 2016 over 8 days. As people evacuated thousands headed up to battle “The Beast”, a fire that grew to 1.5 million acres, destroyed 2,400 buildings and cost $10 billion. From sleep deprivation, carbon monoxide poisoning and running from bears, this is a behind the scenes look into the crazy life of a first responder during the worst disaster in Canadian History.

Andrew has been playing in the world of emergency response for almost 20 years. He has worked from the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains to the wilder parts of downtown Edmonton as a firefighter/primary care paramedic. From rescuing ducklings out of sewers (yes, it’s true) to pulling people out of house explosions, Andrew has enjoyed the challenges and excitement of his career. Currently employed as a firefighter with the City of St Albert, he has finally settled into the job he has dreamed of ever since he was a kid. Over his career, Andrew has been awarded the Bronze Medal for Gallantry, a St. John’s Ambulance Lifesaving Award and the prestigious Mountbatten Medal for the most courageous water rescue in the Commonwealth. When he isn’t being a firefighter Andrew likes to run ultra marathons in the mountains and serves as a Reservist with the Loyal Edmonton Regiment in the Canadian Army. Andrew likes dogs more than people and calls his Mom every Sunday.

Cellular Agriculture: ‘Frankenmeat’ and the Future of Food
Matt Anderson-Baron

Cellular agriculture envisions a post-animal bio-economy in which animal products are harvested from cells, rather than whole animals. Scientists believe this may hold the key to feeding a growing global population more affordably and sustainably. This presentation focuses on a particular product of cellular agriculture: cultured meat, which is created in a bioreactor (like a beer-brewing tank) using the muscle cells of an animal. A small muscle biopsy is taken from the animal, from which stem cells can be isolated and replicated. Under the appropriate conditions, these cells can be induced to form muscle cells and shaped into three-dimensional structures. Muscle cells can then be “exercised” until they are large enough for a piece of tissue (e.g tasty chicken nuggets) to be extracted. In this talk, we will explore exciting advances in technology and science that are changing the way we think about food production in the future.

Matt is a cell biologist and PhD student at the University of Alberta. While his PhD research focuses on peroxisome biology and lipid metabolism, his real passion is cellular agriculture. Matt stumbled into the field by way of his love for science and cute baby animals. He is a co-founder of Future Fields, an Edmonton-based biotechnology company that hopes to bring cultured meat to the Canadian market.

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