SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite #15

We’re back for our first show of the 2014-2015 season and we couldn’t be more jubilant. Our three speakers are going to launch our season with charm, wit, and knowledge bombs aplenty. So pull up a chair, grab a drink from the bar, and get ready for our third year of Nerd Nite Edmonton!

When: September 18, 2014 (doors @ 7:30pm, show @ 8pm)
Where: The Club (Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Avenue Edmonton)
$15 in advance (Tickets Available Here SOLD OUT)
$18 at the door
[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]


Government Information: [subtitle redacted]
Amanda Wakaruk

Like democracy? You know… the fundamental freedoms, respect for human rights, separation of powers and all that? If so, then you should probably learn to work with it so we can keep it. Governments have been producing (and sometimes forgetting/ceasing to produce) and disseminating (and sometimes losing/retracting) the record of what they do for about 2,500 years. Knowing what this stuff is (like what your MP said in the House of Commons last week) and how to find it (no, it’s not all on Google) might just help us avoid a dystopian political hellscape. For reals.

Bio: Amanda Wakaruk holds a couple of master’s degrees, including one in Library and Information Studies. She has been working with government information since it was still being produced in paper (1998 to be exact) and returned to this province in 2009 to accept the position of Government Information Librarian at the University of Alberta. She has served on and chaired a number of related (and impressive) professional committees at home and stateside and has talked about her craft at conferences around the world. For reasons she can’t always explain, Amanda believes that her quest to help others find and use the output of their governments might inspire them to live fuller, more meaningful lives. Well, on a good day anyway.

Con Amore- A Nerdy Love Story
Tammy Bearht

The first question I always get when I say I’m going to a Comic Convention is “What do you dress up as?” While cosplay is now a foundational part of the Comic Con lifestyle, there is so much more to an event! From meeting your favorite television and movie stars, to the artists that literally drew your childhood memories via comics and books, to speed dating or gaming tournaments there is truly something for everyone. What was once a phenomenon for the socially inept that lived in their parent’s basement into their thirties, has now become a socially celebrated event across the globe. This life does not know racial or political divides, and the word “family” significantly describe this Community.

Bio: I have been a geek for as long as she can remember. Being five years old and zooming around my backyard to get to planet X with the neighbourhood kids on my spaceship set the tone for the years to come. Bank Manager by day to support the habit of convention geek by night. I have spent the last 10 years devoting my enthusiasm and energy to volunteering at Comic Conventions all over North America. In 2013 I spent every single one of my vacation days on Conventions and have had the privilege of meeting many other geek-like souls that have become an international family. The nerd community is a home like no other.

Real Life on Fake Mars
Ross Lockwood

Mars seems tantalizingly close these days. With projects attempting to send humans to the Red Planet as early as 2023, public interest is growing daily. While Mars offers the promise of a second home for humanity, the technical challenges of getting there and back again are on a scale humanity hasn’t seen since humans first set foot on the moon. To solve these challenges, analog missions are being conducted around the world, replicating different environments and testing various aspects that will be critical to future missions. The Hawaii Space Exploration Analog & Simulation (HI-SEAS) is one such study. Situated on the desolate lava fields of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii, I am among the few who have lived through a simulated 120-day surface mission.

Bio: Ross Lockwood gave Nerd Nite Edmonton’s inaugural presentation back in October 2012 on the subject of Warp Drives, and has been a Nerd Nite addict ever since. As a PhD Candidate in Physics at the University of Alberta, Ross has been a fixture at science related events around Edmonton, especially involving the University of Alberta’s Observatory. With a background in experimental physics, MacGuyver-like skills, and a vast knowledge of how a single molecular defect in silicon works, Ross applied and accepted the position of Cheif Technologist and Systems Specialist with the HI-SEAS Mission 2A. After the completion of his PhD, he will direct his attention to sending cool stuff into space and building human-machine interfaces for future astronauts.

Cancelled: Nerd [Game] Nite

SADLY, WE HAD TO CANCEL. Refunds have been provided.

We love nerdy games, so dust off your copy of Cones of Dunshire, grab a Yellowhead beer, glass of wine, and/or cup of joe and settle in for a night of nerdy competition during our first Nerd [Game] Nite.  

We’ll provide the tables (first come first serve) and a beverage on the house. You bring a game and perhaps a friend or two.

There will be door prizes and, perhaps most exciting of all, we’ll crown the champion of our inaugural Nerd Nite: Jenga Master of the Worldverse tournament (signup also first come etc.).

So get your gaming pants/dress/skirt/skort/shorts/kilt/lederhosen on, pack your 72 sided die, and prepare for a gametastic night, because learning is not the only thing that is more fun while drinking.

Date: August 21st
Time: 6:00pm-11:0pm
Fee: $10
Location: Iconoclast Koffiehuis – 11807b 105 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta

6:00 – Doors
7:00 – GAMES!

SOLD OUT: Nerd Nite #14

It’s been a sensational year of nerdy talks paired with moderate indulgence. Join us as we toast a year of nerdery with our final Nerd Nite of the 13/14 season. As always, three speakers will delight and titillate your brain pieces, plus, there’s booze.

When: June 12, 2014 (doors @ 7:30pm, show @ 8pm)
Where: The Club (Citadel Theatre, 9828-101A Avenue Edmonton)
$15 in advance (Tickets Available Here SOLD OUT)
$18 at the door
[Children 17 & Under Will Not Be Admitted]

Music and mythology, Einstein and Astrology
Philip Paschke

Now, this is the story all about how Nerd Nite got flipped-turned upside down and I’d like to take twenty minutes – just sit right there – I’ll tell you how I came up with a theme that’s so square. In a presentation that’s half music history, half music theory, and half pop culture revelry (and one third math), I’ll show you how the Nerd Nite Edmonton Theme Song might just be one of the nerdiest tunes out there. From Dr. Who to Doogie Howser, M.D., learn about the subtle and not-so-subtle geek-references in this piece through an exploration of TV Themes that have been stuck in your head since the 80s.

Bio: Phil Paschke has a Bachelor of Music in Theory and Composition from the U of A and once took a two-week film scoring course from the guy who scored Robin Hood: Men in Tights. While his day job as Communications Manager for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Winspear Centre keeps him busy, he sets aside a bit of time each year to scoring Team Awesome Video Club’s annual entry in the 24/One short film contest, and a lot of time to watching TV.

Where Dead Things Go
Jeffrey Newton

Considering the number of creatures that die every day, why aren’t we swimming in a sea of cadavers? When asked to conjure up an image of “nature,” most will imagine a lush forest or maybe a lion stalking a wildebeest in the Serengeti. However, there’s a darker side, one that we, as a society, prefer to leave in obscurity; the decomposition of dead things. Not only is it smelly, there are usually lots of maggots too. None the less, decomposition occurs through the gratuitous services of an army of volunteers. Meet the decomposers!

Bio: Jeffrey’s biologist impulses were nurtured growing up on St. Maarten (Caribbean). To the chagrin of his parents, siblings, and anyone in smelling distance, he insisted on picking up (and keeping) any dead insects, frogs, lizards, birds, or mongoose he could find. This set the stage for later in life when he decided to do a study on cadaver decomposition during his MSc at the Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Since then he has come to Canada where he completed his PhD in Soil Ecology/Zoology. Today he runs the Edmonton branch of the Alberta Science Network and spends his time either doing science outreach or getting other academics and engineers into K-12 classrooms.

The Anatomy of Unexpected Political Results
Chris Henderson

What motivates people to vote for a particularly candidate or party? What motivates them to vote at all? In the 20th century, hundreds of billions of dollars have been directed to trying to understand voters, trying to shape their opinions and creating the conditions to make particular voters vote. However, elections often end with a wholly unexpected result that few could predict. We’ll look at a handful of elections that ended in a way that still surprise us and haunt campaign teams.

Bio: Chris Henderson is a public relations consultant at Calder Bateman Communications, and has been an advisor for a variety of municipal, provincial and national campaigns over the last 10 years.