Welcome to Nerd Nite Edmonton’s 7th season! There’s a lot to say about the number seven: it’s a number you want to roll in Craps (according to every casino movie out there); there are deadly sins numbering seven; and, it’s also one of the most common self-reported lucky numbers in western culture.

We’re kicking off Season Seven with three of our own deadly presenters. Join us for an evening of edutainment, adult drinks, and a terrific community of nerds.

Nerd Nite: It’s like the Discovery Channel, but with beer!

When: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 (doors @ 7:30pm | show @ 8pm)
Where: Westbury Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave NW)
Tickets: $20 in advance — AVAILABLE NOW!

Our line-up of talks includes:

The Court Jesters: How late-night comedians became the most trusted voices in news
Lauren Sergy

Does the term “Fake News” make you want to scream? The feeling is entirely mutual, and not just because Big Orange down south trots it out every few minutes. News media — particularly American news media — seems shriller and more partisan than ever. As trust in traditional news dwindles, late-night comedians and satire shows have, for many, become the new “trusted source.” But how did Stephen Colbert become this generation’s Walter Kronkite? Is the rise of the comedian-cum-news-anchor such an unexpected twist? And why hasn’t Canada’s news and satire landscape had the same degree of toxicity? Join Lauren Sergy — public speaking pro, rhetoric wonk, and satire enthusiast — on a fast-paced look at how we got to today’s mind-bogglingly bizarre news and satire landscape.

Rhetoric wonk Lauren Sergy is a professional speaker and trainer in public speaking and communication skills. She spends entirely too much time picking apart speeches and obsessing over presentations while stress eating chocolate chips. Lauren grew up on political satire and hopes to teach her audiences how to use the power rhetoric for good. She holds a Masters of Library and Information Studies, and a BA in English. Lauren is the author of The Handy Communication Answer Book, which was featured on the Best Reference 2017 list by Library Journal (which probably doesn’t excite you unless you’re lucky to be a librarian). You can find her online at laurensergy.com, as well as on Twitter and YouTube. Be sure to check out her YouTube series “Pop Up Rhetoric”!

Engineering fuck-ups and why they happen
Lisa White

Engineering disasters happen every day across the globe. Think of Lac Megantic, BP Deepwater Horizon, Algo Mall in Elliot Lake, and Walkerton, among many, many others. As far back as we’ve been engineering things, we’ve been fucking some of them up. In 1919, a 2.3 million gallon tank of molasses in Boston failed and the ensuing flood killed 21 people. How would you like to drown in a sea of molasses? Who screwed up? What went wrong? How can we prevent similar incidents in the future? Welcome to the fascinating world of root cause analysis and risk management elements! No really, it IS fascinating! Join me on a journey through engineering safety and risk management to discover why we don’t always get it right.

Dr. Lisa White is an Industrial Professor at the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta. Founded in 2016, the School is the only one of its kind in Canada designed to provide organizations with leaders in engineering safety and risk management through exceptional teaching, research, and advocacy. This 2017-18 academic year, upwards of 1,000 U of A engineering students will graduate with the skills and knowledge to prevent engineering incidents in the workplace.

Freaks and Geeks Athletic Club: Aerial Circus Arts
Erik Luber

Have you ever thought about running away and joining the circus? Well, it turns out you can (and you don’t even need to quit your day job)! After seeing a Cirque du Soleil show a reasonable human may conclude aerial circus is only for the adrenaline-junkie, bat-shit-crazy, risk-taking, elite athletes. It turns out it’s actually accessible to most everyone, but takes a pile of hard work, dedication, problem-solving and an intimate relationship with pain. I’ll introduce you to the most popular apparatuses, what a typical training session looks like and discuss what makes aerial circus so rewarding. And, of course, I won’t just talk about circus; we’ll finish the presentation with a live aerial straps performance.

By day Erik is a research scientist at the University of Alberta, working on green energy technologies such as solar-driven water splitting, batteries and photovoltaics; by night he is an aerial straps coach at Circofit and runs an open-access website for learning straps. He started doing aerial circus seven years ago and discovered it was an ideal playground for creativity, weirdness, suffering and community for a nerdy athlete.