Hey nerds. Our first nite was a sold out success and Edmonton nerds are clamoring (very calmly and orderly) for more. We’ve almost tripled our capacity for our second iteration, so escape the cold and snow by joining Adam and Wade (your Edmonton Nerd Bosses) at the Haven Social Club for more stimulating presentations and scintillating drink.
When: November 29, 2012
Where: Haven Social Club – 15120 Stony Plain Road
Cost: $10 + service charge (includes a free drink!) Buy a ticket!
#1 – Exo-lent Planets! Abigail Stevens
Travelling to another world has long been a dream of humankind, and recently astronomers have added hundreds of so-called ‘exoplanets’ to the list of possible destinations. We also see representations of these exoplanets in sci-fi and fantasy, but how realistic are they? There are a variety of types of exoplanets, and some of them are even Earth-like. Together we’ll dive into the scientific literature to explore how exoplanets are formed, how scientists discover them, and if we could ever move to one.
Bio: Abigail is an M.Sc. student in astrophysics at the University of Alberta. She studies dead compact star remnants that eat other stars and spin ridiculously fast and emit X-rays. When she’s not dodging interstellar X-rays you can find her TAing at the Campus Observatory. In her “free time”, Abigail enjoys geeking out about interior and graphic design, math, music, social activism, and cute animals. Check out her online nerdery too.
#2 – Political Bias: The Red Pill Rodrigo de la Jara
If you disagree with a story, is it biased? If a story is balanced, is it unbiased? What if a story comes from a partisan–is it automatically biased? At this point you might (understandably) be confused about what bias really is. It’s time to take the Red Pill. We’ll explore, from a scientific perspective, what bias really is, and how to detect it. We’ll also identify how to determine what experts or sources of information are trustworthy and why. Finally, we’ll look at how your decisions as a consumer of information can have life-or-death consequences.
Bio: Rodrigo de la Jara is dedicated to enlightenment values and emphasizing empirical evidence over ideology or dogma. He belongs to the Greater Edmonton Skeptics Society and thinks you should too. Rodrigo has a wide educational background: molecular biology, psychology, microbiological sciences, education, and computer science. He works as a software engineer, likes to do high dynamic range photography, especially when travelling, and he loves having discussions with rational people.
#3 – Sexagogy Lauren Albrecht
What is sexagogy? The perfect combination of education! and titillation! In this presentation I will reconceptualize sexuality education for adults (yes, adults!) outside of the ‘all too familiar’ risk prevention model. I will challenge old-school notions of ‘sex ed’ (think: segregated classes, anatomy charts, and secret question boxes) by sharing my journey and my research on one of the fun, sexy and pleasure-focused spaces of sexuality education – the home sex toy party. So bring your three-ring binder, your list of naughty words, and an open mind – who knows, you might learn a thing or two!
Bio: Lauren Albrecht is an educator and researcher. She recently completed her Master of Education with a thesis that examined sexuality education in the context of home sex toy parties. Currently, she works in research in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Aside from academia, Lauren loves a good glass of wine, documentary films and non-fiction books. If she was rich, she would spend her days travelling with her husband to exotic locations around the globe.
Thank you nerds for a making Edmonton’s first Nerd Nite a huge success. We packed the Gogo Lounge and drank and learned and chatted and had an all-round good time. Thanks again to our great speakers, Ross, John and Rachelle; you did it in style, thanks for setting the bar high on nite one. Check out photos from night one.
Now it’s time to start thinking about Nerd Nite Edmonton #2! We have secured a much larger location for our second iteration and will be releasing details soon. Stay tuned. In the meantime, we’re looking for presenters for both the November edition and subsequent nites. Each nite we’d like to showcase all types of nerdery typically including one art, one science and one out of left-field presentation. There is much diversity in the nerdiverse and we want to sample it all!
If you are someone or know someone that is an expert nerd, we want to hear from you/them. What makes a good Nerd Nite presentation? While most presentations tend to be family-friendly, sober, and very accessible to a general audience, we’re a little different. A good Nerd Nite presentation should violate at least one of those, preferably more. If you need some inspiration check out these videos from various Nerd Nites here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here (quality varies).
If you have ideas, questions, suggestions, or media inquiries don’t be shy, connect with us at . We want to hear from you!
Adam & Wade
P.S. Rachelle Saunders has graciously put together a list of great science resources, many of which were highlighted in her presentation. Thanks Rachelle. Enjoy!
(or sign up to the mail list and it’ll come to you)
Hey nerds. It’s time to congregate over stimulating presentations and scintillating drink. The world wide phenomenon that is Nerd Nite has finally made its way to Edmonton and Adam and Wade (your Nerd Bosses) couldn’t be more excited. Download the poster and help spread the word!
Travelling at, or near the speed of light does a lot of whacky things: time slows down, lengths contract, and generations rise and fall back on your home planet. Will the dream of travelling faster than the speed of light always remain bleak? I’ll explore the challenging concepts that lead us to believe that such a thing may one day enter the realm of possibility.
Bio: Ross is a PhD Candidate in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Alberta where he studies light emission from silicon quantum dots. His research involves deadly chemicals and high-powered lasers, in addition to his teaching assistant duties at the University of Alberta Observatory. In his spare time, Ross enjoys teaching introductary scuba courses and musing about physics on his website spincrisis.net.
#2 – Mind to Stage: How to Write an Opera John Estacio
When people find out I’m a composer they often pose the question, “so how exactly do you what you do?” Let me tell you. Together we’ll trace how a single line of text inspires a musical phrase; how the phrase morphs and changes with new layers and sounds; and finally, what it looks and sounds like on the stage with costumes, lighting, sets, a chorus and a full orchestra. From a few notes teased out on a Korg keyboard in my small studio to a full-blown production center stage in front of thousands.
Bio: JUNO nominated composer John Estacio has been in residence with the Calgary Philharmonic, the Calgary Opera, and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. He has created music for several ensembles and his compositions are frequently recorded, performed and broadcast on international radio and television. His music has been performed at Carnegie Hall by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the ESO. He is the recipient of the NAC Award for Composers which will result in three new commissioned works. His third opera, Lillian Alling was premiered by the Vancouver Opera in 2010. His orchestral works have been performed by all the major orchestras throughout Canada, as well as several orchestras in the USA and Europe. To learn more about John Estacio, please visit him at his website: www.johnestacio.com
#3 – Sciencethusiasm Rachelle Saunders
How does a girl with education in literary analysis and theatre yet an irrepressible affection for all things scientific keep up with the latest and greatest science news? From pop-science books and podcasts to blogs written by researchers and science journalists, there are plenty of ways the enthusiastic layperson can keep up with what’s going on in every corner of the research world. This talk will present a rapid-fire tour through some of the best books, blogs, podcasts, and resources available, and we’ll discuss how to start telling the difference between science… and something that just sounds like science.
Bio: Rachelle is your typical Jack-of-All-Trades personality who reads as much (or more) non-fiction as she does fiction. By day she works in a local Edmonton I.T. shop pushing pixels, and in her off hours she reads an impressive number of science and math books, helps to coordinate Edmonton’s LogiCON science event (now gearing up for our third year), and guest hosting on the local radio show and podcast Skeptically Speaking, where her ability to talk to anyone about anything often comes in handy. She can often be found at local science, skeptic and technology events around town.