January 2020 Nerd Nite

Join us for the first Toronto Nerd Nite of the new decade! We’ve got two awesome talks & trivia!

Talk # 1: Time Travel in Fact and Fiction

By Dan Falk

Time travel has been a staple of science fiction for more than a century, from H.G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine to the Back to the Future trilogy to innumerable episodes of Star Trek.  But, could time travel actually happen in the real world?  Trying to answer that question involves both philosophy and physics, as we ponder everything from the “grandfather paradox” to the nature of time itself.  In this illustrated talk, award-winning science journalist Dan Falk explores the idea of time travel in both fact and fiction.

About Dan:

Dan Falk is an award-winning science journalist based in Toronto. His writing credits include Smithsonian, Scientific American, New Scientist, The Walrus, Quanta, Slate, NBCnews.com, and many other publications. He’s written three popular science books, most recently The Science of Shakespeare. Dan has appeared regularly on several CBC Radio programs and has contributed more than a dozen documentaries to CBC’s Ideas.

He also co-hosts BookLab, a podcast that reviews popular science books. In 2011 he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT, and last winter he was a Science Communicator in Residence at York University.  Last fall, Dan was awarded the Fleming Medal for Excellence in Science Communication from the Royal Canadian Institute for Science.


painting: Henry Fuseli's "The Nightmare"

Henry Fuseli’s “The Nightmare” may have been inspired by the chest-crushing sensation and hallucinations of sleep paralysis.
(Image: © Henry Fuseli (1781))

Talk # 2: Tired on the streets, demons in the sheets

Have you ever gone to sleep only to awaken pinned down in bed, unable to move with the weight of a demon upon your chest? Were you afraid, certain that the demon would take your life? Congratulation, you’re one of 60% of people who have experienced sleep paralysis with hallucinations!

Sleep paralysis is a well-known phenomenon, with cultures across the world having different stories to explain the experience. But why does it happen? What are the most common folkloric tales? And, are there ways to bring yourself out of an episode of sleep paralysis? Join Nerd Nite boss Sam to find out!


About Sam: Sam isn’t a scientist or anthropologist, but she’s really good at sleeping! Trains, planes, automobiles, and floors can all put Sam to sleep. So, who better to talk about sleep issues than someone really good at sleeping?!

Sam has been a Nerd Nite Toronto boss since 2017. In her day job, she runs a small charitable nonprofit. She is a proud cat mom of 4 and spends her free time binge-watching Netflix, running, and lifting heavy stuff for fun. And, sleeping.


Thursday, January 16th at Tranzac Club. Doors at 7pm, talks start at 7:30pm.

Admission: $10 (cash only). Includes 1 door-prize raffle ticket.


Questions? Want to speak at Nerd Nite? Email us at toronto@nerdnite.com

More details on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NerdNiteToronto