Before the holiday times set in, join a room full of your fellow nerds with a thirst for knowledge (and beer!). We’ve lined up three interesting—maybe even unusual—topics, and three outstanding speakers!

Learn from them! Ask them questions! Kick back and enjoy an evening of fun. It’s like Christmas come early!

Science demo starts at 7:30pm. Trivia starts at 7:45pm. Main show kicks off at 8pm.

When: Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Where: Backstage Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave NW)
Tickets: $20 in advance (plus fees + GST)
No minors.

Get your tickets NOW!

Our line-up of talks includes:

Ch-ch-changes: Lives Online, Then and Now
Eric Forcier

This is the story of Sleepless Whispers, a community of Ender’s Game fans and young writers that formed in the late ’90s. It is the story of #FakeWesteros, a present-day community of live-tweeting and role-playing Game of Thrones fans. One became the site of a virtual coming-of-age in the wild digital landscape of web forums pre-Web 2.0. The other faces an existential crisis as HBO’s Game of Thrones ends, living online in tweets. While exploring the technological and social changes that have taken place in the last 20 years, I will share with you one aspect of online community that remains the same. [Disclaimer: While David Bowie fandom would make for a super fascinating nerd nite talk, he sadly doesn’t feature in this one. Sorry!

I love science-fiction and fantasy. I am a fan. But I’m also a fan of fans: I think fans can teach us a lot about how entertainment, media technologies and information are profoundly intertwingled in contemporary life. That’s why, as a researcher, I study fandom. I am a PhD candidate and member of the Centre for Transformative Media Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. My research explores the information-related activities of transmedia fans in postdigital everyday life. I hold advanced degrees in library and information studies and humanities computing, which isn’t as great an icebreaker at parties as you might think.

What’s in a name? Wait, for real though, how do Edmonton streets get their names?
Alyssa Lefebvre and Erin McDonald

Ever drive down a street and wonder how it got its name? Who came up with that? And what does it signify? Well, we have some answers. The Edmonton Naming Committee, with help from City of Edmonton Development Services, is responsible for approving official names around Edmonton. Still confused about what that really means and how it happens? Alyssa Lefebvre and Erin McDonald, Chair and Vice-Chair of the Edmonton Naming Committee, will reveal what goes on with the Committee, recent initiatives, and the process used to name City facilities including streets, parks, buildings, funiculars, lookouts, neighbourhoods, and more! While we can’t promise to know where all the names around the City came from and who or what they represent (versions of the Committee have been around since 1956, and we aren’t that old) we will focus on how historical and cultural recognition and transportation planning are important aspects in selecting future names around our City.

Born and raised in the Edmonton area, Alyssa watched Edmonton grow and has always been eager to be a part of the City’s future. Growing up in a family of engineers she was destined for the nerdy life of math, science, and problem-solving. Most of her days consisted of learning how things work, building anything and everything with her Dad, and coming up with ways to make life easier around the house. After graduating from the University of Calgary with a degree in Civil Engineering, Alyssa returned to Edmonton to begin her career as a transportation engineer. Being an avid cyclist and bicycle commuter, Alyssa’s passion for transportation planning and engineering grew into developing transportation networks that integrate all modes of travel in a safe, efficient, and sustainable manner. Her curiosity for learning about Edmonton’s civic process led her to apply to the Edmonton Naming Committee and contribute her transportation planning knowledge to the Naming Committee. Now in her third year, Alyssa currently sits as the Committee’s chair.

Erin has been curious since she was young: while digging for dinosaur bones in the ravine behind her childhood home in Toronto, she instead stumbled upon the remnants of 13 post-war era cottages the community of Highland Creek, washed-out entirely by Hurricane Hazel in October 1954. Childhood visits to many museums, a steady stream of war documentaries and decades of issues of National Geographic at home resulted in a bona fide history nerd. After graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in English, History and Classical Studies, Erin pursued an advanced degree in Museum Studies, resulting in an internship that brought her to Alberta in 2005 as a graduate student. Ultimately deciding to make Edmonton her home in 2011, she was drawn here by the heritage, culture, and many layers of history in the River Valley. As a sitting past-Chair of the Edmonton Historical Board, Erin was appointed to the Naming Committee. An advocate for unpacking both the celebrations and challenges of historical narratives and the Committee’s vice-chair, Erin currently is in her fourth year as a member.

An Interesting Thing Your Poo Can Do
Chelsea McDougall

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are becoming more prevalent and Clostridium difficile is one of them. People in hospitals or taking multiple antibiotics are the most susceptible to infections and recurrence. The standard treatment for many years has been more antibiotics but a lot of the time this doesn’t prevent recurrence. That’s where Fecal transplant (FMT) comes in. After this presentation I hope you leave informed, a bit grossed out and maybe wanting to help patients with C. diff.

Growing up, I wanted to be like Scully from X-Files which made me interested in pursuing a career in science and have been in the field since 2002. In 2017, I was approached and asked if I would like to work for the Fecal Transplant (FMT) group at the U of A. I didn’t think I could handle working with the “product.” As it turns out, I got over it fairly quickly and have been the lab manager ever since. When I am not nerding out on science, I like to nerd out on pop culture, pinball, comics and strange vinyl toys (i.e. Bacon smoking a cigarette).