March is always a weird and tough month (gotta love smarch weather and Daylight Savings Time!), but this one is particularly notable: we have a full year of the pandemic behind us. But, not everything is terrible! Look forward to Nerd Nite on March 25th and celebrate a little with two great talks!

Talk # 1: A fearful risk of explosion: Technology and failure in the British Empire by Dr. Ryan Patterson

The British Empire was not as universally competent as we tend to remember it (or fans of empire tend to claim). In this talk, historian Ryan Patterson will introduce you to the 1873 Anglo-Asante War, Britain’s first big push into West Africa, without discussing any fighting at all. The British forces brought an impressive array of cutting-edge technology on the expedition, believing that it would give them the edge over their non-industrial African enemies. Yet, one-by-one, each marvel of technology failed to work in the jungle.

About Ryan:

Dr. Ryan Patterson is a lecturer in history and research associate in disability studies at Carleton University. He studies race, environment, and technology in the British Empire, particularly the central roles that Victorian climate science and exhibition culture played in Britain’s conquest of African states. His publications include The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, the open access Carleton University exhibit Transnational Representation, and the forthcoming book Queen Victoria’s Wars.

Talk # 2: Star Trek vs Star Wars: Modern Perspectives on Past Future and Future Future Technologies by Shyaporn Theerakulstit

Fan fave Shy is back!

As the Singularity approaches, it is important to examine the technological and socio-economic patterns bringing it about. From Empire to Federation, we will compare the scientific advances of far away civilizations from a long time ago, with those exploring the final frontier. Pew pew

About Shy:

Shyaporn Theerakulstit is an actor, writer, YouTuber, cosplayer and general “nerd about town.” He has given talks on subjects such as Godzilla biology and how to become Batman at Nerd Nite, TEDx and the Smithsonian Institution. He has written and produced for Dark Horse Comics and is also the host of the science lecture series “Real/Fake Science.” His YouTube channel has over 5 million views.