Nerd Nite #43: the Seventh Deadly Season

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, 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.

Nerd Nite Field Trip: Bees and chickens and vegetables, oh my!

For our 7th season, Nerd Nite Edmonton is excited to launch Nerd Nite Field Trips!

These will be small-group, interactive, behind-the-scenes experiences in addition to our regular shows. We’ll be taking intrepid nerds on field trips to interesting spaces and places for more in-depth exploration. We’ll sprinkle these trips throughout the year, so stay tuned via our mailing list, website, and social media to learn more!

Find out more + get your ticket to An Urban Agriculture Experience!

This field trip will take place the evening of Thursday, August 16, 2018. Only 20 tickets available. This is an 18+ event.

Be there AND be square.

SOLD OUT! Nerd Nite #42: Life, the Universe, Everything

Sass that hoopy Nerd Nite attendee! There’s some froods who really know where their towels are!  Welcome to the 42nd Nerd Nite Edmonton. We might not have all the answers, but at least we know 42 is the answer to the ultimate question… Whatever that question is. Maybe it gets answered in our final Nerd Nite of our sixth season! Nevermind this lengthy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference. Join us for drinks and learning!

Be there AND be square!

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

Our line-up of talks includes:

Why it’s good to be dirty: how bacteria keep you healthy
Monica Davis

We live at a time when we have nearly forgotten what it was like when vaccine-preventable illnesses killed off large portions of the population. A time when waste management, indoor plumbing, and water purification have removed so many of the risks inherent in interacting with our environment. And a time when disinfectants, antimicrobials, and hand sanitizers are more common than a stranger holding a door open for us. Infectious disease rates have plummeted and life expectancy has risen, but are there consequences to living in our sanitized world? Autoimmune diseases are on the rise while bacterial diversity in the human natural flora is on the decline. Research has shown that the bacterial species in our gut influence the development of autoimmune disorders. Learn how your microbiome effects your health and why you should be dirty, stay dirty, and let your kids eat dirt.

Monica Davis is a Science Lab Instructor at MacEwan University. During her PhD studies in Molecular Biology and Genetics and then her post-doctoral fellowship, she worked on the regulation of immunity in fruit flies. Motherhood threw her into the crazy world of social media mom groups and the interesting “science” that floats around them. This led to a lot of independent reading on all sorts of science-y things that applied to parenthood. Largely to justify not having to give a nightly bath to four children, she attempted to understand the research about normal flora and its effect on health. To her great relief, she found that having dirty kids not only made parenting easier, but was good for them too!

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now
Scott Lundell

Have you ever donated to a charity? You and about 85% of Canadians. Ever wonder what happens with your money? Probably, briefly. Then your brain releases enough serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin to fill a wheelbarrow, you pat yourself on the back, and you carry on with your charitable afterglow. But when we, as Canadians, donate $12.8 billion to charities every year, should we be a little more discerning about where we fling our spare change? I won’t tell you where to hand your wad of bills. But I’ll give you some legit questions to ask your favourite cause.

Scott Lundell has spent his life watching smarter people than him build community. He’s read a lot of studies and research around volunteerism and charitable giving. He is currently on the Community Engagement team at Servus Credit Union. He is a former Executive Director of the Volunteer Centre in Sherwood Park and held leadership roles with Volunteer Canada and Volunteer Alberta.

Maple Flavoured Recoil: Firearms Law and Ownership in Canada
Jason Arnold

Our system seems to have a firm handle on control of the licensing, transport, sale and acquisition of firearm across the country. This has done a fair job of letting Canadians have access to arguably one of the most potentially dangerous tools ever created, and yet, we have an incredibly low percentage of gun violence in comparison to other developed nations that allow their citizens the same privilege. Some of our laws critically influence this in a positive way, others have been put in place based on ideas that have no real basis in fact or logic or were copied from ideas used in other countries. In Canada the restrictions come and go, classifications change, licenses change, or have been eliminated altogether.

So what is it exactly that makes the Canadian system better or worse? What are the standards that we have that give the perception that it is way safer in Canada? Let’s look at the myths, misconceptions, facts and logics that make up firearm control in Canada.

Vancouver Island born, parts technician by trade. Firearm enthusiast, hunter, and recreational sport shooter since the age of 12. I have been fascinated by firearms, sport shooting, and hunting since a very young age; with any hobby, if you are to partake, being legally allowed to do so is always a plus. I love to learn, am a perpetual student and have a knack to retain way more facts and movie quotes than the average person. In my down time you can find me in my workshop tinkering, hanging out with my cat Kevin, puppy Allie and my beautiful wife Krista.