Nerd Nite #52: Gamification, Bankruptcy Law, and Healthy Living

As we watch the world crumble before our very eyes, we have to remember how important it is to keep on learning. That’s what Nerd Nite is all about, and #52 is no different. Learn about some subjects familiar to you… and maybe even some you never thought you’d be interested in. Above all: be there AND be square, delightful nerds!

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

When: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
Where: Westbury 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:

Gamification, Education, Motivation, Oh My!
Scott Hebert

Children, and adults for that matter, have never been more engaged by games than they are now. Why is that though? What draws people so deeply into games? What brings them back and what drives them to keep trying to improve in the face of great adversity? In an education system designed where students start with 100% and lose as they go, “Gamification” flips this concept on its head focusing on the individual’s progression while increasing both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation exponentially. Scott has successfully turned his Grade 8 science course into a live-action role-playing game. You will walk out of this session inspired and driven to make changes to your teaching. Will you press start?

I am a passionate and dedicated teacher who currently teaches Grade 8 Sciences, and has done so for the past 10 years. My professional motto is “Would you want to be in your classroom?” and it is reflected in my daily teaching. I believe in innovation in the classroom where I am constantly challenging myself to put new practices into play—especially the concept of “Gamification”. I’m a big video game nerd and I bring my love of video games and their mechanics into my classroom and classrooms around the world. School can be incredibly boring I’m here to change that s*it up!

Pensions, the environment and an extended metaphor about carrot cake: a primer on corporate bankruptcy law
Anna Lund

Whether it’s pensions, the environment or an upcoming holiday, corporate bankruptcies can affect many aspects of your everyday life. Yet, if you’re like most Canadians, you’ve probably never given much thought to corporate bankruptcy law. Until now! After this presentation, you’ll understand how corporate bankruptcy law can impact your life because it decides who gets paid when there isn’t enough money to go around. And you’ll appreciate why it’s important for everyday Canadians to have a say in how bankruptcy law works.

I am an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. I practiced law in Edmonton for a few years before I went to graduate school at UC Berkeley (Masters in law) and the University of British Columbia (PhD in law). I have a book coming out this November on bankruptcy law. In my spare time, I practice law at the Edmonton Community Legal Centre, which serves low-income Edmontonians, and I read books (some of them are about lawyers). I really like the law.

Change Health
Doug Klein

What if healthcare actually promoted or protected health? Rather than a healthcare system we have an excellent and expensive disease-care system. It is time for CHANGE.
Many Canadians are leading unhealthy lives. Whether this is because our busy lifestyles require more time sitting in cars and in front of screens, or a lack of knowledge about how to purchase and prepare healthy foods, the situation is serious. Despite abundant evidence for lifestyle interventions and support, we still focus on treating disease after it happens.

CHANGE Health is dedicated to ensuring that all children and families have opportunities to build critical life skills that promote health. These include meal preparation, physical activity, mental wellbeing and positive social connections. Focusing on families CHANGE Health works with several community partners to deliver unique programming that encourages families to work together, build skills for life, connect with nature and most importantly have fun. Our ambition is to develop CHANGE Health as a community solution to some of society’s most pressing problems, that can be scaled across Canada and exported around the world to help address the global physical and mental health crisis.

Born and raised in Regina Saskatchewan, Dr. Klein completed his Medical School training in Ottawa in 1998 and his Residency training in Family Medicine at the University of Alberta in 2000. He completed his Masters in public Health Sciences in 2004. He is a Full Professor in the Department of Family medicine and Director of the CHANGE Alberta Research Team. Dr. Klein’s practice interests include nutrition, physical activity, health promotion and community engagement. Dr. Klein is passionate about health promotion and the health benefits of nature, he can often be found outdoors with his wife and three children.

Nerd Nite #51: Punks, parlour games, and psychology

A global phenomenon with local flavour: welcome to Nerd Nite Edmonton’s eighth season! Our summer off has our batteries recharged, our thinking caps and nerd glasses donned, and a series of shows that will leave you feeling informed, inspired, and entertained.

We’ve changed our format a bit this season: we’ll do a little pre-show (science demos + trivia) from doors until 8pm, when we’ll start our main show. Be there AND be square!

When: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 (doors and pre-show @ 7:30pm | main event @ 8pm)
Where: Westbury Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave NW)
Tickets: $20 in advance (plus fees + GST)
No minors.

Buy your tickets NOW!

Our line-up of talks includes:

The Science of Rock, Paper, Scissors
Ben Dyson

Rock, Paper, Scissors is an excellent way of resolving deadlock when there are dishes to be done, hedges to be trimmed, taxes to be filed. The game is also interesting from a psychological point-of-view, as it can help us to understand how impulses from our evolutionary past conflict with optimal strategies during competition. I’ll talk about the origins of the game, what research tells us about changes in the quality of decision-making under pressure, and give you a fool-proof way to win every game (not really).

Ben Dyson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alberta. He moved to Edmonton and the U of A in the summer of 2018 from previous positions in Brighton (UK) and Toronto. Working at a University makes you nerdy by osmosis.

The blackest sheep: stigma and Borderline Personality Disorder
Zanne Cunningham

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often one of the most stigmatized mental health diagnosis, not just with the general public but also health care professional. What the heck is BPD? How might it manifest? How does it affect the individual? And why is it so stigmatized? These questions and more will be answered to help promote an understanding of how an individual with BPD navigates the world. Interwoven with the educational material, Zanne will also speak candidly about her own lived experience with a diagnosis of BPD.

Since discovering a path to wellness, Zanne has become a passionate mental health advocate. Never shying away from opportunities to question conventional thinking about mental illness and sharing her own lived experience, Zanne is part of the systemic change in health care as a Peer Support Worker with Alberta Health Services. After doing a lot of heavy lifting and donating most of her spoons at work, Zanne supports her wellness by engaging her nerd girl. She surrounds herself with graphic novels, watches Star Trek daily, and one day hopes Chewbacca will become her zombie space boyfriend.

Kick out the jams: how punk changed (and still changes) the world
Dylan Richards

What is Punk? Is it Mohawks and leather jackets? Three-chord songs and greasy hair? Or is it something more? Punk was (and continues to be) more than just a musical genre; it’s about doing your own thing, making something out of nothing, and in the words of Frank Turner, “not sitting ’round waiting for the light to go green.” Grab your Doc Martins and your favourite old T-shirt, because tonight we’re going to take a look at how Punk music changed—and keeps on changing—the world as we know it.

Storyteller, activist, sex educator, and all around nerdiholic, Dylan Richards has brought his passion for helping people discover what makes them shine to classrooms, boardrooms, and gatherings all around the globe. Dylan loves to bring his stories and experience to every topic he tackles, from sexuality to songs to spaghetti (well, cooking in general but then it wouldn’t be as poetic).

SOLD OUT! A special Edition of Nerd Nite: Our 50th Show!

We made it to 50, everyone! 50 shows, and 150 presentations. So we’re celebrating the only way we know how: more nerdy content, with a few twists thrown in just for you!

Ticket-holders get to join us for:

  • An exclusive pre-show reception with music, drinks, and fiery science demos.
  • Some Nerd Nite trivia hosted by Edmonton comedienne Elisia Snyder. We’re sourcing fabulous prizes for this one, so make sure you bring a fully-charged mobile device so you can play along.
  • Elisia Snyder’s signature style of stand-up comedy, maybe with a nerdy twist!.
  • And then: the main event. A homegrown Nerd Nite presenter we’re thrilled to have on our stage, and the host of A User’s Guide to Cheating Death on Netflix, Timothy Caulfield. Details below. Be there AND be square!

When: Tuesday, May 28, 2019 (doors @ 7:00pm | show @ 7:45pm)
Where: Westbury Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns (10330 84 Ave NW)
Tickets: $20 in advance (plus fees + GST)
No minors.

Tickets on sale NOW SOLD OUT!

Check out the details on our guest presenters:

Scienceploitation and the Rise of Science-y Unproven Therapies
Timothy Caulfield

Timothy_Caulfield-cropThese are exciting times in biomedicine. Research areas like stem cells, personalized medicine, and the microbiome are leading to promising new developments. But too often the language of real science is used to market unproven therapies and health concepts. In this presentation, Timothy Caulfield will argue that “scienceploitation” has emerged as a significant health policy issues, one that is having an adverse impact on both individuals and healthcare systems throughout the world.

Professor Timothy Caulfield is an unrivalled communicator who debunks myths and assumptions about innovation in the health sector — from research on stem cells to diets to alternative medicine — for the benefit of the public and decision-makers. He is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and a Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

Professor Caulfield also writes frequently for the popular press on a range of health and science policy issues and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin, 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin, 2015). His most recent book is The Vaccination Picture (Penguin, 2017). He is also the host and co-producer of the award-winning, hit documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which has been shown in over 60 countries and is currently streaming on Netflix.

Nerd Nite Trivia + Comedy
Elisia Snyder

Elisia-Snyder-cropElisia Snyder is one of the fastest rising stars coming out of the Edmonton comedy scene. Her comedy brings a fresh take on modern issues ranging from the mundane to the outright absurd. She has performed in such exotic locales as: Fort MacMurray, Saskatoon, Meadow Lake, Red Deer, Onoway, Edmonton, and North Edmonton. Last year, she advanced to the finals in Edmonton’s Funniest Person with a Day Job, was the darling of the Okanagan Comedy Festival, and founded a British-panel-style game show right here in the City of Champions. Elisia brings dark, clever, and deeply personal stories to the stage with a unique voice and an unforgettable stage-presence.