SEASON FINALE! Thursday, May 17, 2018 – Tranzac-292 Brunswick Avenue


Season finale: A flight of fancy magic
Thursday May 17, 2018
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$10 at the door

Join us for the last Nite of the season! In additional to two great talks, we’ll have trivia and a raffle of wonderful nerdy things!


Presentation 1: Adventures in Human Powered Flight

By David Donaldson

Human flight is now commonplace.  We think nothing of hopping on a jumbo and jetting halfway around the world.  When humans stopped trying to mimic flapping birds and adopted fixed wing flight we made great progress.  When we invented an engine with a power to weight ratio suitable, we bolted that to our airframes and the modern airplane was born.  The race was on, go higher, faster, push the limits.  After hundreds of years of development, we got this!  Or do we?  What about human powered flight?  Oh, wait, that was done in the early 60’s.  So, what is left? Join us for an evening of insights into two aviation firsts, the Human Powered Ornithopter and Human Powered Helicopter.

About David: David is a professional facilitator and amateur nerd.  When not earning a living training folks how to better lead change in the corporate world, he can be found teaching fledgling pilots to get their wings.  With a passion for building he is currently working on his second amateur build motor-glider project.  David has been a pilot for 35 years, a facilitator for 27 years, and a flight instructor for 18 years. Proudly a nerd all his life.

Presentation 2: A Nerd Nite Magic Show… and Tell!

By Ben Train
For thousands of years human beings have practiced magic, and over time those practices have changed dramatically; from religious ceremonies to big stage shows in Vegas. What hasn’t changed though is the fundamental reliance on secrecy that’s used to hide the principles and methodology that make the illusions possible. In this special Nerd Nite talk professional magician Ben Train is going to give you a peek behind the curtain and discuss EXACTLY how a magician takes something from an impossible idea and turns it into a real life miracle!

About Ben: Ben Train is an award winning magician and mentalist who has lectured and performed hundreds of shows across North America and Europe. Combining humor, psychology, and mind-blowing sleight of hand, Ben creates an experience that will have you gasping in disbelief.

When he isn’t on stage Ben is busy behind the scenes, producing live shows as the founder of The Toronto Magic Company and leading workshops all over the world. Ben has written two books and produced two best-selling DVDs of original magic, including the 2015 hit A Series of Unfortunate Effects.

Plus trivia and a nerdy raffle!

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


April Nerd Nite! Weird and stormy
Thursday April 19, 2018
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$5 at the door

Join us for another great Nerd Nite! We have a mix of science and pop culture lined up, plus, as always trivia!


Presentation 1: The Ridiculously Talented “Weird” Al Yankovic

By David Miller

Take a nerdy musical journey into the music of “Weird” Al Yankovic, from early appearances on the Dr. Demento radio show, to food-based parody hits, AL TV, a cult film (read: box office failure), to the #1 charting musician. Infinitely entertaining, surprisingly catchy, sometimes disgusting, Weird Al has beaten all expectations, shown us that being nerdy can be great, and taught us the importance of proper grammar. This bullet-point free presentation promises lots of ridiculous music, videos, and pictures from the most ridiculously talented parody artist of all time.

About the speaker: 

David Miller is glad that extensive knowledge of Weird Al, ownership of all his albums, and going to his concerts is socially acceptable as an adult, because it certainly wasn’t acceptable in high school. David has two beautiful children, Nathaniel and SuperFly.

Presentation 2: Chasing the Planet’s Extremes for Fun and Profit! 

By Mark Robinson

Ever wanted to know it’s like to travel through the heart of the greatest storms on Earth? Or chase the whirlwind? You’ve come to the right place! Being a meteorologist and and stormchaser, I have a unique perspective. Not only do I understand what’s going on in the sky, I’ve seen it all up close and personal. I bring the adventure of weather with me!

About the speaker:

Mark Robinson is a severe weather expert, educator and stormchaser based out of Toronto, Canada.

Mark has been documenting and investigating severe weather throughout North America for almost 10 years. Currently completing a degree in meterology at the York University, Mark is a frequent contributor and guest on The Weather Network, the Toronto Star, CBC Radio and CityTV news.

Plus trivia!

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


March 2018 Nerd Nite

Nerd Nite Toronto –  Pi(e) day!
Thursday March 22, 2018
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$5 at the door

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Join us for a belated celebration of Pi Day! Come early to grab a slice of pie (or two!) for $2 each. Plus, two great presentations and fantastic trivia.


Presentation 1: Why Solar Eclipses are Totally Awesome 
By Dan Falk

A total solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles, a truly spellbinding event.  In ancient times, eclipses were terrifying; today, we can predict them years (in fact centuries) in advance – but they continue to inspire awe. In this illustrated talk, science journalist and eclipse chaser Dan Falk will talk about how he got hooked on chasing the moon’s shadow, the surprising role that eclipses have played in history, and everything you need to know about the next total eclipse visible from Canada, on April 8, 2024!

Dan Falk’s bio

Dan Falk is a journalist and author as well as an amateur astronomer and eclipse enthusiast.  He saw his first total solar eclipse in 1991, and caught his fifth last August in Oregon.  He’s written three popular science books, The Science of ShakespeareIn Search of Time and Universe on a T-Shirt.  He’s also a regular contributor to CBC Radio, especially the program “Ideas.”  Dan also hosts a podcast called BookLab, which reviews popular science books.  He lives in Toronto, and is a regular Nerd Nite attendee and a past presenter.

Presentation 2: The N Number of Ways I’ve Tried to Explain Digital Photography
By Craig Fay

In this light hearted talk Craig Fay presents examples of the many ways he has attempted to explain the technology behind digital photography to his girlfriend, who still insists it is “magic.” Using this experience he explores how scientific concepts can be presented in a variety of ways and why, ultimately, it’s okay not to know everything. Also, his girlfriend knows he’s giving this talk.

Craig Fay’s Bio: 

Craig Fay is an engineer turned stand-up comedian with a passion for talking about science. He has appeared at the world famous Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, was featured on CBCs Laugh Out Loud, and has written about the frustrations of being scientifically literate for Scientific American.

His debut stand-up album “Helicopter Rich” is available now iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Spotify. You can follow him on Twitter (@CraigFayComedy) or visit his website CraigFay.com

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/0iSKtnM77KOKgXKwXAg5RY

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

Nerd Nite Toronto –  All’s fair in love
Thursday February 22, 2018
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$5 at the door

Join us to celebrate nerdy love!


Presentation 1: Reptiles … Do they Love?
By Nerd Nite Toronto’s very own Erez Bowers!
Have you ever wondered if these cold-blooded creatures are capable of some emotional heat?  Join us as we explore mating habits, social behavior’s, maternal instincts, and human interactions with our heat deficient friends.
Presentation 2: Characters we love to hate!
By Mike Ellis
From antihero protagonists to villains we just can help but cheer for, let’s take a deep look into why certain characters in media fill our hearts with an overwhelming sense of lustful loathing!
 Plus trivia!

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Nerd Nite Toronto – January 2018
Thursday January 18, 2018
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$5 at the door

Join us for the first Nerd Nite of 2018! Only $5 at the door gets you two stellar talks plus trivia by former NN TO boss, Virve!


Presentation 1: How I fell in love with monkeys: A primatologist’s journey 

By Lauren Saville, MA in Evolutionary Anthropology, owner of Primate Tales.
Did you ever imagine being Jane Goodall, in the forests surrounded by primates? Have you ever wondered how one goes about doing field work in Africa?  Well Lauren got to experience that, doing research in Kenya and Tanzania with vervet monkeys and olive baboons.  Sharing her own experiences, fieldwork wins and fails, what she learned about the monkeys she studied and how she ended up starting her own primate-themed science education business.    It is bound to be as fun as a barrel of monkeys.

Presentation 2: Frankenstein: 200 Years of Terror

By Allison O’Toole

2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. From a controversial novel to the highest-grossing Hollywood film of 1931, from Young Frankenstein to I, Frankenstein, we keep returning to this morality tale. Our fascination with this story, much like the Monster himself, refuses to die. What is it about Frankenstein that keeps it so enduringly in the popular imagination? Join us as we examine the genesis of the novel and its legacy, both in pop culture and in science.

Allison O’Toole is a freelance writer, comics editor, and monster aficionado. She has written about literature and spooky stuff for The Toast, Women Write About Comics, Rogues Portal, and other pop culture sites. She’s also the editor of Wayward Sisters, a comics anthology featuring women and non-binary creators telling stories about women and non-binary monsters.

Plus: trivia by NN TO former boss, Virve!

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

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Holiday Nerdtacular!

Thursday November 23, 2017
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$10 at the door

We’re celebrating the holidays this year with all of our favourite holiday things: the Nerdtacular raffle, ugly sweater contest, talking about cold water, and learning more about hitting each other with sticks.

Join us for our for the Nerd Nite Toronto Holiday Nerdtacular!

$10 at the door gets you an evening with amazing presentations, super fun raffle, and always amazing ugly sweater contest!


Presentation 1: The cold facts of cold water

By Ted Rankine, Playsafe Productions.

Research has shown that most people who die as a result of a cold water immersion die within 6 meters of safety; a boat, the shore or a dock….and many are good swimmers! How can that possibly happen? Is it hypothermia, or something worse?  Just as interesting are those that manage to survive a long time in cold water. They can be at risk of dying at the good intentioned hands of their rescuers. In a country like Canada, where most of the water is cold (or hard) most of the time, understanding what actually happens when a body is immersed in cold water, how to deal with it and how to deal with others who are severely hypothermic, may one day save yours or another person’s life.  This Nerd Nite presentation will teach the cold facts about cold water!

About Ted Rankine:

As the original creator, producer and host of Power Boat Television and a past chair of the Canadian Safe Boating Council, Ted Rankine loves all water; cold, tepid or hot (which he has been in many, many times… first as a poorly behaved child).  His latest, (and apparently lasting) post career retirement gig is working in the safety and prevention communication business. Ted’s company, Playsafe Productions has created a number projects about surviving in the cold and cold water.

Presentation 2: Jugger: A Brief History of People Gently Hitting Each Other with Sticks

By Evan and Valkyrie Savage.

Jugger is a fast-paced team field sport akin to Capture the Flag with big foam swords. The sport comes from a post-apocalyptic film written and directed by David Webb Peoples (screenwriter for Blade Runner and 12 Monkeys, yes he collaborated on 2049!). Depicted therein as a ruthless bloodsport, it was later adapted for real-world play at two separate times: once in Germany by Berlin’s post-wall punks, once here in North America by existing LARP and boffer sports communities. We’ll explain Jugger through images and live game footage, dive into these parallel evolutions of the sport, and speculate wildly about how it rose to popularity in Germany while languishing in obscurity in North America…until now.

About Evan and Valkyrie Savage:

Evan and Valkyrie Savage founded their first jugger club in California in 2014 after a serendipitous brush with the sport abroad several years earlier. They taught hundreds to play Jugger at Bay Area festivals, birthday parties, and club practices; and competed in the first international tournament held on American soil. After a move to Toronto around a year ago, they realized they couldn’t live without jugger and co-founded another club locally in 2017. By day, Evan and Valkyrie develop low-tech educational games.

Plus: don’t forget to bring your ugly sweater and plan to participate in the Nerdtacular raffle! More details, and raffle spoilers, on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/NerdNiteToronto

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Nerd Nite Toronto – Bats AND Zombies!
Thursday October 19, 2017
Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave, Toronto
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$5 at the door

Join us for our Nerd Nite Toronto Halloween special, Bats AND Zombies!

$5 at the door gets you an evening with amazing presentations and trivia! Plus, we’ll have special Halloween treats for you!


Presentation 1: I Don’t Really Want to Suck Your Blood: Exploring the World of Bats

By Cylita Guy, PhD student in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.

Have you ever heard that all bats want to suck your blood? Or that they’re blind, flying rats that get stuck in your hair? These myths are far from true, but continue to give bats a bad rep. As one of the most species rich group of mammals, bats are truly fascinating creatures. From species that can use the calls of their prey to tell if it’s toxic, to moms that carry babies 20% of their body weight, the diversity of ways bats live their lives is absolutely mind blowing. Join us as we discuss the wonderful world of bats, dispelling myths and sharing how their biology not only makes them unique, but a benefit to humans.

Presentation 2: Should You Fear the Walking Dead: A Microbiologists Guide to Zombies.

By Amanda Veri, PhD Candidate, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto.

Zombies seem to be popping up everywhere in tv shows, movies, video games and more, begging the question: are zombies all Sci-Fi hype or should we all be making zombie apocalypse plans? Join us as we investigate the potential for zombie attack by exploring the science behind zombies: the microbes! We’ll discuss what makes a zombie, examples of microbes that cause zombie-ism in nature, and whether these microbes could evolve to cause the walking dead in humans. We’ll also explore the best ways to protect yourself from zombie apocalypse (spoiler alert: the movies get it all wrong!).

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Nerd Nite Toronto – Spaced and Confused: A Hypnotic Journey!
Thursday September 14, 2017
Tranzac
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00pm
$5 at the door

Sam and Erez are thrilled to present their first Nerd Nite, Spaced and Confused: A Hypnotic Journey! Join us for the Nerd Nite Toronto Season Premiere!

$5 at the door gets you an evening with amazing presentations and trivia!


Presentation 1: “Mind Games: Hypnosis & Subconscious Success”

By Brandon Dean, Certified Consulting Hypnotist & Hypnotherapist, Certified Smoking Cessation Specialist, Subconscious Success Coach, Certified Professional Stage Hypnotist

Influenced by TV and hollywood movies and stage show antics, most of what people believe about hypnosis is factually, if not wildly, incorrect. Each of us passes through states of hypnosis daily. We all experience or use hypnosis in our daily lives — without ever realizing it. It’s a myth that you have to believe in hypnosis to be hypnotized; hypnosis is science, it has nothing to do with beliefs. During this fast-paced hypnotic demonstration audience members will learn about hypnosis and have a direct experience with their own subconscious mind without leaving their chairs. You’ll also discover how your own subconscious self-image affects everything you do and is responsible for your success in life, career and whether you achieve your goals. Brandon Dean is a Las Vegas-trained Certified Professional Stage Hypnotist, a Certified Consulting Hypnotist, and a Certified Professional Coach specializing in Subconscious Success. Brandon is the founder of Red Chair Hypnosis, a hypnotherapy practice in Yorkville, and performs stage shows regularly in the GTA.

Red Chair Hypnosis
Client-centred hypnotherapy programs
www.RedChairHypnosis.com

Quit Smoking 4 Life Toronto
Lifetime Service Guarantee
www.QuitSmoking4LifeToronto.com

Comedy Stage Hypnosis
Facebook.com/BrandonHypnosis
Twitter.com/BrandonHypnosis
InstaGram.com/BrandonTheHypnotist
www.BrandonTheHypnotist.com

Personal Success Coaching
Customized solution-focused coaching programs
for personal life and career success
www.RedChairHypnosis.com/personal-coaching

Presentation 2: The Dark Cosmos

By Michael Reid

More than 95% of the universe is missing–hidden away as dark matter and dark energy. Together, these two substances determine the future of the cosmos, yet we know next to nothing about what they actually are. What’s the evidence that they exist and why is it taking so long to figure out what they are? Get ready to hear some of the latest facts and tantalizing theories with Associate Professor Michael Reid.
Michael Reid
Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics & Public Outreach Coordinator, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

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Nerd Nite Toronto – Season Finale!
Thursday May 18, 2017
Tranzac
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00
$10 at the door

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Join us for the Nerd Nite Toronto Season Finale! $10 at the door gets you an evening with two returning audience favourite presenters with new talks, live science from Science Everywhere, raffle, and trivia from our favourite hecklers, Tom and Monty!

Doors at 7pm, start at 7:30ish

Presentation 1: “Infinite Energy: Windmills on Cars”
by Craig Fay

Exploring some of the basics of air resistance and how we actually generate power from wind, you’ll learn how putting windmills on your car may (or may not) solve the worlds energy crisis.

Craig Fay is an engineer by day and stand up comedian by night. Comparisons to superheros are welcome and encouraged at this point. As a comedian with a passion for talking about science he’s appeared at the world famous Just For Laughs Festival, has been featured on CBC’s Laugh Out Loud and has written about the frustrations of being scientifically literate for Scientific American.
He recently released his debut comedy album “Helicopter Rich” which is availble now on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and Spotify.
You can follow him on Twitter (@CraigFayComedy) or visit his website CraigFay.com

Website: CraigFay.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/craigfaycomedy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CraigFayComedy/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/helicopter-rich/id1097672821

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Presentation 2: “How to Become the Batman: Origins and Training Secrets of the Dark Knight Detective.”
by Shayporn Theerakulstit

In a world of super-powered aliens, ancient magics and mutant menaces, what are mere mortals to do in order to survive? One man has shown us a way – the Batman. In this lecture, we will explore the training secrets of the Caped Crusader to learn how to reach the pinnacles of human achievement; both to better ourselves.. and stand up to gods and monsters.

Shyaporn Theerakulstit is an actor, writer, YouTuber and “nerd about town,” specializing in comedic sketches, social commentary and the occasional fake science lecture. He has given talks on such subjects as Godzilla biology and Star Trek vs Star Wars at Nerd Nite, TEDx, C2E2 and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. He is also the host of Atlas Obscura’s “Real/Fake Science” series in NYC.

http://www.shyaporn.com/
http://www.youtube.com/shyaporn
http://www.scienceofnerds.com/


Nerd Nite Toronto – Belated Pi Da
Thursday March 23, 2017
Tranzac
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00
$5 at the door

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Join us for a belated celebration of Pi Day! Come early to grab a slice of pie (or two!) for $2 each. Plus, two great presentations and mind-bending trivia.

$5 at the door, doors open at 7, we get started at 7:30.

Presentation One:
“Spatial Skills vs Serial Killers” by Hendrik Nommik

It’s GIS meets CSI! What are spatial skills, how do they relate to GIS, and how could they be used to catch a killer? Hendrik Nommik talks about GIS (Georgraphical Information Systems), spatial skills, and how they’re used in ways you might not even be aware of, and how geographic profiling is more complicated than CSI makes it seem.

Hendrik has a B.SC in Geography from the University of Calgary, where his studies focused on GIS and the environment. He has spent over a dozen years providing GIS support and solutions to provincial, regional, and municipal governments, as well as NGOs and private companies, on projects ranging from property mapping, forestry, utilities (hydro and fibre optics) to historical and conservation mapping.

Presentation Two: 
“Superhero Movies and Television: A State of the Industry” by Andrew Ivimey and Diana McCallum

Superhero movies keep getting bigger budgets and higher box office grosses, and every television channel wants to have a superhero tentpole show leaving some to wonder, are we reaching critical mass, and will the superhero bubble burst or simply continue to grow? How has the art of comic book adaptations evolved and devolved, and where will it all go. Andrew Ivimey and Diana McCallum, the creators of superhero comedy website FromSuperheroes.com and hosts of The Talk From Superheroes Podcast break it all down.

Andrew Ivimey and Diana McCallum are the creators of the web phenomena Texts From Superheroes which has been featured on Cracked.com, BuzzFeed and Time.com, to name a few. Since its inception in 2012 Texts From Superheroes has expanded to the From Superheroes network, including the YouTube series Sketch From Superheroes and the podcast Talk From Superheroes.

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Nerd Nite Toronto – Explorers
January 12, 2017
Tranzac
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Park Bagger: Discovering my country and myself through the national parks of Canada” by Marlis Butcher

Marlis Butcher is trying to visit all the national parks of Canada, and has to date visited 37 out of 47. She will be presenting the National Parks of Canada, and what it is like to travel to and in the parks of the Arctic.

Marlis is an environmental conservationist. She is a member of the Explorers Club and a board member of the Bruce Trail Conservancy. In 2016, Marlis was one of the first people to visit Canada’s newest national park, Qausuittuq, in the high Arctic.

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Presentation 2: “Marvels of Madagascar” by Travis Steffens

It’s been called the Red Island, the Eighth Continent, the Island of Lemurs. No matter what you call it, Madagascar is the most singular place in the world. From leaping lemurs, leaf-tailed geckos and web throwing spiders, this island nation is an evolutionary experiment on steroids. Travis Steffens talks about what makes Madagascar so cool and what’s happening this unique extremely biodiverse country.

Travis is a PhD Candidate, founding Director of Planet Madagascar, and International Fellow of the Explorers Club. He has dedicated his life and research to community development efforts, environmental education, conservation, and international awareness in Madagascar.

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Trivia!


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Nerd Nite Toronto – Holiday Nerdtacular

November 24, 2016, Tranzac

7:00 p.m. – Doors open at 6:30

Tickets $15, available at www.holidaynerdtacular.eventbrite.ca

We’re celebrating the magic of the holidays early this year with three of our favourite things: chocolate, beer and magic! Don’t miss the raffle, ugly sweater contest and trivia.

$15 gets you admission, samples of beer and chocolate pairings and one raffle ticket.

Presentation 1: “Beyond Lindt, Nestle and Cadbury: A Brief History of Chocolate” by Julia Miller

Chocolate is a beloved confection worldwide. Most people recognize names like Lindt, Nestle, Cadbury, and Hershey, but it’s history goes far deeper than that. In fact, it reaches back about 4000 years ago, long before Switzerland and Belgium were even recognized as states. This presentation dives into lesser-known chocolate history, covering everything from the French court’s use of chocolate as an aphrodisiac to it’s part in the Great Wars.

Julia Miller is a student at U of T majoring in History and Environmental Studies. She fell into chocolatiering by chance and has worked with the company Chocolate Tales for the past two and a half years. She apprenticed in Hamilton and teaches classes weekly in Toronto, from truffle making and wine paring, to chocolate-themed bachelorette parties. Is she sick of chocolate? No. Never.

Performance: “The Trick That Almost Killed Me” by Keith Brown

After a decade of performing this death defying feat – it finally went horribly wrong! This trick put world-class magician and speaker Keith Brown in the hospital. He survived to share this epic tale. See it to believe it. It’s Absolute Magic!

Keith Brown is a world-class speaker and entertainer. He performed at a Stanley Cup party before he could even drive a drive. Keith has inspired wonder in over 16 countries and counting. He recently played the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. The CBC claims he’s “Hotter Than Potter!” He was chosen Toronto’s Best Magician and he’s not even from Toronto!

Presentation 2: “Beer & Chocolate – A Bittersweet Love Story” by Doug Appledoorn

What better way to spend an evening than sampling beer and chocolate! Find out why beer and chocolate are a match made in heaven. We’ll explore several different kinds of chocolate and why they pair so well with a variety of beer styles.

Doug Appledoorn is a Prud’homme® Master Beer Sommelier, craft brewer, and beer educator. He conducts tastings and teaches Prud’Homme Beer Certification classes, and is a spirited advocate of all things beer. Doug is also one of the co-founders of the People’s Pint Brewing Collective, an organization dedicated to the promotion and sale of Small Batch Artisanal Beers and soon to be a brewery and tap room in Toronto’s West End.

Trivia from the Nerd Nite Toronto Bosses

FAQs

Are there ID requirements or an age limit to enter the event?
–This is 19+ event

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
–Email toronto@nerdnite.com, or message us on Facebook or Twitter.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
–No, we’ll have lists at the door.

What is the refund policy?
–Sorry, no refunds. Feel free to sell your ticket to a friend (or total stranger. Up to you)

October 27th, 2016
Field Trip – “Ghosts of U of T” Tour with Muddy York Walking Tours

If you are interested in going on a Ghost Tour, you can do so directly through Haunted walks or Muddy York Walking Tours. Happy Halloween!

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Our October event is a Field Trip, joining our favourite Toronto Historian/Know-it-all Richard Fiennes-Clinton of Muddy York Walking Tours! He’s spinning the tales of the Ghosts of U of T! The tour is 90 minutes long. Following the tour we will head to a local pub to warm up!

Ghosts of the University of Toronto

Is Canada’s largest university also its most haunted? The grand architecture and tree-lined paths of the University of Toronto downtown campus is filled with dark history and ghostly tales. Hear about secret chambers, restless spirits trapped among the stars, haunting love stories and more.

http://muddyyorktours.com/?page_id=284


September 22, 2016

Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue, 7:00 p.m.

This event is part of national Science Literacy Week and so we’re Sciencing the hell out of it.

Doors open at 6:30, starts at about 7:00 p.m.
Tickets available at Eventbrite HERE.
Tickets are NON-Refundable, no tickets sold at the door.



Presentation 1: “Convergent Evolution and the Guy with a Botfly in his Scrotum” By Dan Riskin

One of the first things that Darwin realized about evolution was that when animals from separate branches on the tree of life evolve under similar selective pressures, they tend to start looking like one another. Dolphins have evolved a dorsal fin in the very same spot that sharks have them. Bats have evolved membranous wings that look an awful lot like those of the pterosaurs that came before them. Dan will introduce you to his favourite example of convergent evolution – two lineages of bats on opposite sides of the Earth that use bizarre adhesive organs on their wrists and ankles to hold on to the smooth surfaces of leaves. Then he’ll explore the broader implications of convergence. Do these recurring themes imply limits to the kinds of problems evolution can solve? What would that mean for limits on human potential? And most importantly, what would all of this mean for the guy who got a maggot in his scrotum?

Dan Riskin, PhD, is a television personality, scientist, author, and podcaster. He is best known in Canada as the co-host of Discovery’s flagship science program, Daily Planet. In the US and elsewhere, he is recognized as the host of Animal Planet’s show about parasites, Monsters Inside Me. Dan has talked science as a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, The Dr. Oz Show, and on several news outlets, including CTV, CNN, and CBS. Dan’s first popular book, Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You was a Canadian bestseller, and his weekly podcast, Recent Paper Decent Puzzle is out now. You should probably subscribe. No seriously. You should.

Presentation 2: “The Stray Shopping Cart Identification System” by Julian Montague

The major obstacle that has historically prevented people from thinking critically about stray shopping carts has been the lack of a formalized language to discuss them. Julian has removed this obstacle by creating an elaborately accurate system of identifying stray shopping carts by defining the various states and situations in which they are found.

Julian Montague is an artist, graphic designer, author and raconteur living in Buffalo, New York. He is currently fabricating an intellectual history of pest control. Julian presented at the inaugural Nerd Nite Toronto event in 2010. Join over 14k followers on his Instagram account @montagueprojects.

Trivia from Lauren and Virve, on Science. ALL the science! Prizes generously provided by Indigo!


 

NNTO Season Finale: The ROM Is Coming!

2016_finale_romMay 12, 2016
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
$5 at the door

School’s out for Summer! We’re thrilled to cap the season with guest speakers from the Royal Ontario Museum!

Trivia is based on the ROM’s collections and we have some delightfully nerdy things for the raffle. You might also get some goodies on the way in.

DOORS at 7:00, START at 7:30

Presentation 1: “Asteroids: Friend or Foe?” by Dr. Kim Tait

Asteroid impacts throughout Earth’s history have influenced the evolution of life as we know it. Samples from these objects can help answer questions that are central to the human experience: where did we come from? Looking to the future, should we fear a catastrophic impact event here on Earth? How often have large (and small) impact events happened over time? Large asteroids are currently tracked by space agencies. How can we protect ourselves from potential destruction? What is our destiny?

Dr. Kim Tait is Curator of Mineralogy at the Royal Ontario Museum and is a participating scientist in NASA’s upcoming sample-return mission to the asteroid Bennu. She’ll talk about the significance of this asteroid and Canada’s contribution to the mission.

Kim’s “I am a Scientist” video here: https://youtu.be/LqMoyMwJNJc?list=PLDUS_TWMHn82ZPh9_IwWnWSKeobPzHY8I

Presentation 2: “Trilobites – Everyone’s OTHER Favourite Fossils” by Dave Rudkin

From cryptic origins during the Cambrian Explosion over half-a-billion years ago, trilobites rose rapidly to prominence in the seas of the Earth. For the next 250 million years this dynamic array of three-lobed, armoured arthropods evolved an astounding array of shapes, sizes, and lifestyles. Their fortunes waxed and waned through two global mass extinction events, until their ultimate demise in the “Great Dying” at the close of the Paleozoic Era. So, what do we know about trilobites? HOW do we know about them? Why should we care?

Dave Rudkin, Assistant Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology at the Royal Ontario Museum and self-professed trilobitophile, will be your guide on an exploration of these long-extinct denizens of the depths.

Check out Dave’s “I am a Scientist” video here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z7D_DtjgDU

Trivia and Raffle!


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Matters of the Heart (and the Head)
February 18, 2016
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
$5 at the door

DOORS at 7:00, START at 7:30

Presentation #1: “Open Your Heart to Me: Techniques in Heart Transplantation” by Shubham Shan

When it comes to heart failure, transplants are the final option. With an aging population, decreased availability of viable donor hearts and poor preservation methods, cardiac transplants are difficult to perform. Shubham will talk about his work with Ex-vivo heart perfusion — constantly supplying blood to the heart outside the donor — and what this technique could mean for transplantations in the future.

Shubham Shan is a medical student at U of T, who moved recently from Alberta. He is a research fanatic who has done lots of work in different areas ranging from zebrafish neurophysiology, pig cardiac surgery to surgical education. His likes include mountains, traveling, highlighters, sticky notes and passive-aggressive grandmothers. His dislikes include arthropods, expensive board game cafes and pipetting.

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Presentation #2: “How to Use a Babel Fish for Making Love” by Allison Reeves and Matthew Ridley

This Valentine’s Day-ish presentation takes you through the nuts and bolts of couple’s therapy through the therapist’s lens, and proposes <wink> that in order to optimize your love connection(s), you need to attune your ear to the heart’s subtext.

Allison Reeves is a clinical psychologist and Matthew Ridley is a couple and family therapist. When not competing over who has more empathy, this dedicated Toronto couple turns their attention toward supporting the trauma recovery of their cat, Harry.

—–

PLUS: “Love”ly trivia, Valentine’s puns…what more could your heart desire?!


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Nerd Nite Toronto BOOK SWAP
March 13, 2016
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
$2 at the door

Noon – 5:00 p.m.

Time to purge those shelves to make room for more! Bring your used books and take home someone else’s treasures.

All books of reasonable condition are welcome, including children’s books and graphic novels/comic books. Please loosely pre-sort your books by category so that they can be placed in the appropriate piles.

Bring a bag or a box to take home your own finds.

Your $2 admission helps us pay for the room rental. Any extra books will be donated to the Toronto Public Library. Information on donating to the Library directly can be found here:

http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/support-us/donate-books.jsp


 

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That Buzz in Your Ear – Quack Cures for Deafness and Creepy Crawly Parasites
January 21, 2016
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
$10 at the door

Presentation 1: “Can Airplane Dives Cure Deafness? and Other Miraculous Cures for Hearing Loss” by Jai Virdi-Dhesi

What’s the difference between a quack with a scheme and a visionary with a theory? A finger in the ear. No, seriously. Finger surgery was one of many unregulated services promising a miraculous cure for hearing loss, as were airplane dives in the 1930s. Learn about the colorful history of deafness cures and how audacious charlatans thrived by selling worthless treatments and hearing devices, because any cure was better than none.

Jai is a historian of medicine based in Toronto who spends nearly all her free time on Twitter sharing images of weird and wacky medical histories.

Presentation 2: “Outstaying the Welcome: Parasites, Parasitoids, and Hosts” by Lauren Shorser

The relationships between parasites and parasitoids and their hosts can be complex, bizarre, or disturbing—if you’re lucky, all three at once! Learn how the rules of hospitality change when there’s more at stake than just dinner.

Lauren Shorser is an editor, writer, and co-boss of Nerd Nite Toronto often found lurking at the back of Tranzac’s main hall during Nerd Nites. She finds it unsettling to write about herself in the third person.

Trivia from Virve


 

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Nerd Nite Toronto HOLIDAY NERDTACULAR!
December 17, 2015
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
$10 at the door

DOORS at 6:00, START at 6:30
$10 Admission gets you:
Two talks! (with possibly more to come)
Trivia!A slice of pizza (you can buy more)
A raffle ticket (you can buy more)
Goodie bag
Visit the impromptu mini nerdy-artisan fair in the Tiki Room!

Presentation 1 – “Nerds in Toyland” by Virve Aljas

Some of the most enduring and popular toys are reflections of their eras, and some came about purely by accident or marketing genius. Come play with us, Danny. For ever and ever…

Virve Aljas is that girl who posts the tweets, sometimes hosts the nite or takes your cash at the door. Sometimes she presents. This is one of those times.

Presentation 2: “Johnny Appleseed: Devout Christian Ascetic or the Original Boozehound?” by Jason Allen
It’s a journey of Apple Cider’s History, Science, and How-To! Jason explores questions like, “What’s the most Canadian way ever to distil hard liquor?” and, “How do I brew my own hard cider?” (Yes, Virginia there will be a demonstration).

Jason Allen lives in downtown Hamilton, and has way too many hobbies: growing veggies, leatherwork, knitting scarves, and setting off minor kitchen explosions with home brewing activities. He’s accompanied on his adventures by a bloodthirsty cat, two boys, and his staggeringly patient wife who should be sainted.


Trivia and Ugly Sweaters are on! Bring your best game!

Join the following artisans in the Tiki Room starting at 5:30 for some last-minute holiday shopping for the nerds on your list!

Slashpile Designs

slashpile

First Edition Tea Co.

first edition tea co

Lizustration

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Veelightful – Geeky Little Luxuries

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Nerd Nite Toronto XLII
November 19, 2015
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00
$5 at the door

Presentation 1 – “Minor Chords, Monsters and Arnold Schwarzenegger” by Murray Foster

Murray is fumbling his way toward a new theory that will (he hopes) demonstratethe common principle underlying every piece of art ever made in human history.Or something like that.

Murray Foster is (in no particular order) the bass player for Great Big Sea, aformer member of Moxy Fruvous, a songwriting prof at Seneca College, thewriter/director of “The Cocksure Lads Movie” and Executive Director of a non­profit organization called Our Place Initiative. He’s hoping to diversify his resume by presenting at Nerd Nite.

Presentation 2: “Comedy” by Craig FayHaving previously presented at Nerd Nite on “What is Fire?” and “What is Humidity”, Craig is returning for a third time to present on “Comedy”. It’s only logical. Since it’s “A and B therefore Potato” it’s obviously “Fire and Humidity therefore Comedy”. Try and keep up Nerd Nite. Not only will Craig explain some of the basics of stand up comedy he’ll also delve into deeper questions like “what is a joke?” and “why do we laugh?” He may even provide a definitive answer to the age old question of “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

Craig Fay is an engineer by day and comedian by night. Comparisons to superheros are welcome and encouraged at this point. As a comedian with a passion for talking about science he’s appeared at the world famous Just For Laughs Festival, has been featured on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and has written about the frustrations of being scientifically literate for Scientific American. You can follow him on Twitter (@CraigFayComedy) or visit his website CraigFay.com


Trivia with Tom and Monty!

 


 

Wednesday, Sept. 30 from 3–5 p.m. and 7–10 p.m. in the Glenn Gould Studio at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre, 250 Front Street West in downtown Toronto SCHEDULE 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.: CBC staff talking about digital CBC initiatives including interactives, Vote Compass, and more. 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.: Meet and mingle with makers, ROM staff, and all sorts of cool folks in the Glenn Gould lobby. 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.: Best of Nerd Nite Toronto, with presentations by Lauren Shorser, Dr. Julielynn Wong, and special CBC guest David Common.
Part 1: CBC – Afternoon Presentations“CBC Opens the Door to Innovative Content Delivery” by Sam Lightowler, Product Owner
CBC is rethinking the presentation of all digital short-form content. Hear about our approach, our challenges, and our successes as we transform the CBC website into The Feed using elements of agile and lean startup.
Sam Lightowler is a product owner at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, currently working on an agile team to deliver a new web presentation for CBC’s short form digital content. Her passion has always been digital products, social media and team fulfillment.
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“Time To Go Lean” by Richard Loa, Senior User Interface Architect Have you ever done some work for someone only to realize that it’s not what they wanted at all? This is a universal problem which happens in everyday life; as well as the work place. At CBC the culture is changing. Changing in a way that can minimize the pains that can surface from such a universal problem. Richard will show you how CBC is shifting its culture into building data driven websites.
Richard Loa enjoys working on websites of large scale and has in recent years been the CBC.ca technical lead for big events like the FIFA world cup and Olympics. In recent months he and his team have been challenged with rolling out CBC Arts. He enjoys photography, snowboarding and basketball.
“Involving Canadians in the Design Process at CBC” by Hira Javed and Beth Robins, Usability Specialists
How do you design for a nation as diverse as ours? Simple. You ask, create, ask again, and depending on what you learn, you refine it, or scrap it and start again. It requires connecting with our audience, sharing our work, and challenging our assumptions. This talk will highlight how we involve Canadians when designing our digital products, and the impact of their valuable feedback.
Hira Javed is a Usability Specialist at the CBC, where she conducts user experience research to inform product decisions from conception to post-launch. She also teaches at the University of Waterloo, where she created the curriculum for a required UX course as part of the Global Business and Digital Arts program
Beth Robins has been a Usability Specialist at CBC since the beginning of time. She has spent 12 years in the usability trenches trying (and for the most part succeeding) to involve Canadians in the CBC user experience process.
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“How API changed the way the App Team works and what it can do for you” by Mathew Martin, Miloš Jovanović, and Chris Brelski – Android, iOS, API
Hear from the App Team members and a back end architect about the new CBC Sports app and how a move away from baked files to a new, generic content aggregator simplified client development and interaction with the content areas. Includes a special preview of the development plan for the API and how it might help your team. Mathew Martin is an Android dev on the Apps Team at CBC snacking on Marshmallows.
Miloš Jovanović is an iOS dev also on the Apps Team with a passion for code and diacritics. Chris Brelski is an API Team architect working on scalable back-end services ever since his childhood escape over the Berlin Wall.
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“React-ing to the Changing Web” by Robert Medeiros, Senior Product Architect
In a bid to delight our audience with a snappier, shinier web experience we are building a prototype UI interface on top of the cutting-edge React framework. Robert will discuss a bit of the thinking going into that initiative.
Robert Medeiros is a full stack developer with an abiding fondness for parentheses and an outright obsession with automation.
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“Not So Random! Rethinking Sampling Methodology for Big Data Applications” by Clifton van der Linden, PhD Candidate
Vote Compass is an interactive civic engagement application developed by Vox Pop Labs in association with CBC Radio-Canada. Used by millions of Canadians over nearly a dozen election campaigns, it has served to foster democratic participation whilst promoting transparency and accountability with respect to the public policy positions of the candidates for election. In addition, it has generated some of the largest, most richly profiled datasets of Canadian public opinion ever collected during an election campaign. The potential of such data to prompt more responsive government is hindered only by a resistance to research which relies on non-random sample. However, new methods for treating Big Data demonstrate a remarkable propensity for generating accurate estimates, as is evidenced by the unique insights Vote Compass data offer about the Canadian psyche.
Clifton van der Linden is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He is the founder and director of Vox Pop Labs and creator of Vote Compass.
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“Designing and Building Storytelling Solutions for Modern Devices and Platforms” by the CBC News Interactives Team
Modular tools and templates? Or solutions designed and built to explain and enhance a specific topic, data set, or concept? Are there existing sources of information and data? What is known, and how might the story change? Publishing now, tomorrow, or next week? These are some of the questions we ask every day. We’re not looking for definitive answers. We’re practicing asking questions that lead to more extensible and repurposable solutions. We’ll show examples of interactives, tools and templates, and share what we’ve learned in 2015.
The CBC News Interactives team is dedicated to creating meaningful and engaging storytelling experiences. The group of developers and designers collaborate with journalists across the country to produce best-in-class tools and award-winning special features. The team includes expert data wranglers, mobile-first innovators, and creative thinkers who excel at creating bold and buzz-worthy content.
Part 2: Nerd Nite Toronto Fifth Anniversary – Evening Presentations“Alien Minds” by Lauren Shorser
Though most people will only encounter them on a dinner plate, cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) are much more than exotic and chewy seafood. These short-lived, anti-social, and occasionally cannibalistic invertebrates are making a name for themselves as highly intelligent beings, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what they can do.
Lauren Shorser is a writer and co-boss of Nerd Nite Toronto. She is also a scuba diver with a deep love of cephalopods. She finds it unsettling to write about herself in the third person.
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“What Would Dr. McCoy Make With a Star Trek Replicator?” by Dr. Julielynn Wong
Need medical supplies on a long space mission? If you can’t take everything with you, then you’ll have to print on demand. With this in mind, Dr. Julielynn Wong 3D printed medical supplies using solar energy at the Mars Desert Research Station. Miss Wong has designed an ultra-portable solar-powered 3D printer that can be transported in a carry-on suitcase so doctors visiting remote villages can bring this with them to create medical supplies on-site.
Dr. Julielynn Wong is a Harvard-educated, award-winning public health physician, innovator and educator. Miss Wong founded 3D4MD (www.3d4md.com), which creates 3D printable medical supplies to deliver healthcare in the most challenging places to those who need it the most.
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CBC Special Guest Speaker David Common! “That Time The Sailor Pointing The Gun at the Pirates Told Me About the Shark Eyeing My Foot: A Journalist’s Stories From The Road” : CBC Television and Radio Host David CCommon shares some of his more bizarre stories from the road, and explains how much gear has changed and how content gets back to Canada from some of the most difficult places on Earth.
David Common‘s bio can be found here: www.cbc.ca/mediacentre/david-common.html


Nerd Nite Toronto Season Finale: LEGO, Magic and a hint of Spice!
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 7:30 p.m.
Tranzac – 292 Brunswick Avenue
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00

$10 – Buy tickets now through Eventbrite

Presentation 1 – “Portrait of a Brick Artist as a Young Man” by Graeme Dymond

Is there such thing as one ideal job for one person? How do you move forward from your dream job? Graeme shares his message that even when you think you finally have it together, it’s okay to take the bricks of your life apart and build them into something even more awesome. This is an interactive session, so get ready to build and discover your inner-LEGO Master!

Graeme Dymond was a corporate trainer working for a top financial institution when his world turned upside down. After winning a LEGO building competition, Graeme traded his cubicle for bricks and began a career as a Master Model Builder. Now, as an independent LEGO consultant, brick artist, and model builder, Graeme continues to innovate new and exciting ways of engaging with people across Toronto, the GTA, and beyond! www.brickmangraeme.com

Presentation 2 – More Magic for the Nerds by Ben Train

Ben Train is a performer, a creator, an international lecturer, and a collector of magic-themed Beanie Babies.

When Ben isn’t on stage he’s working behind the scenes, creating new magic for other performers and producing shows across Ontario. Ben’s material has been featured in every major magic publication and the books and DVDs his company FiveAcademyMagic produce can be found for sale all over the world. Most importantly though, Ben Train loves chocolate chip cookies and hugs- so feel free to give him either next time you see him.

Presentation 3 – “Hot Stuff: Spice Extracts for Bears, Birds and People” by David Soknacki

Located in a non-descript building just north of Toronto is a facility that produces flavours, colours and antioxidants from spices. Instead of considering spices as suitable just for seasonings, think of spice extracts as a part of pharmaceuticals, in so many foods, and in applications as unusual as marking lumber and insect repellent. We’ll take you through how these products are made, where they’re used, and bring some samples along.

David Soknacki never planned to be in the spice extract business. When Yuri Gargarin and John Glenn blasted off, he wanted to be an astronaut. Later, when it came time to sign up for university, he saw himself as an archeologist. Fortunately David enrolled in business courses instead, and graduated with a B Comm and MBA. But he was fired so many times he decided to go into business for himself.  That was almost 30 years ago, when he entered the spice business…


 

Nerd Nite Toronto XXXVIII
April 9, 2015
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “All the Libraries of Toronto” by Daniel Rotsztain

Last summer, Daniel Rotsztain visited and illustrated every branch – all 100 of them – of the Toronto Public Library. The journey took him up river valleys, over highways, through neighbourhoods, and along the lakeshore to every corner of the city. The quest gave him the opportunity to examine the geographic breadth and cultural/architectural diversity of our library system up close. Daniel learnt, drew, photographed – and inhaled? – lots along the way, and he’d like to share some of those stories, and the thoughts and ideas that his project inspired.

Daniel Rotsztain is the Urban Geographer: an artist, writer and cartographer based in Toronto. He studied Urban Geography in Montreal, and has since lived and worked in Halifax and Amsterdam. Sometimes writing for Spacing Toronto and Now Magazine, his multi-media art practice encourages Torontonians to explore their city. Daniel’s current projects include hosting the Learnt Wisdom Lecture Series, illustrating various maps, and writing a book to accompany his illustrations of the branches of the Toronto Public Library.

Presentation 2: “Please Don’t Ask Me About 3D Printed Guns” by Derek Quenneville

Used for decades in industrial prototyping, 3D printing has emerged as a medium for art, fashion, construction, and lots of silly toys. Derek will discuss the exciting, weird, and life-affirming things that can be done with 3D printing… And what he hates being asked most.

Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing expert and digital fabrication artist in Toronto, Canada. He is currently Lead Maker at MakeLab, occasionally teaching at Toronto Public Library and giving talks around the city. Derek has introduced and demoed 3D printing to literally thousands of people at local events since 2009.

Trivia!


 

Nerd Nite Toronto XXXVI
February 12
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Thanks for the Memory”

We use multiple computing devices to communicate, work and stay connected. All of those devices need memory to deliver a user experience that people have come to expect. In addition, there are a plethora of applications that help process the data — supported by memory that’s not even in the devices themselves. Memory is everywhere. Learn all about the different types of memory technologies and how they affect you.

Gary Hilson is a journalist and has been writing about technology for nearly 20 years. Currently he is a freelance writer contributing regularly to EE Times, a publication that has been connecting the global electronics community for more than 40 years. Gary’s focus is on memory and data storage technologies and how they apply to devices like smartphones, computers, data centers and the Internet of Things, like wearables.

Presentation 2: “Do you Believe in Magic?” by Keith Brown

Keith will tell the story of how performing casually on a train in the Czech Republic landed him the biggest gig of his life! What began as a friendly wager while on vacation with his family earned him a performance at the private Stanley Cup Party for Ken Holland (GM, Detroit Red Wings). All of this before he could even drive a car!

Keith Brown is a professional magician & public speaker from London, Ontario. He toured his show ‘Exchange’ across North America last summer to rave reviews, including 5 stars from the CBC. Keith has performed with audiences in over 16 countries and is a recent TEDx speaker. In 2013 he was awarded Toronto’s Best Magician!

Nerdy Valentine-filled goodie bags for the first 100 through the door, and trivia!


Speakers, Raffle, Prizes, goodie bags, merriment, joy, Holiday nerdery! Money from the raffle will go to the Red Door Family Shelter in Toronto.

We’re starting at 7:30 for a fun challenge, then speakers will get rolling after 8:00 p.m.

Presentation 1: “Digging Dinosaurs: Fact and Fiction in Jurassic Park”

In 1993, the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park presented more realistic dinosaurs than any film before. From a scientific point of view, the dinosaurs were largely accurate (at least for their time), with some notable embellishments for cinematic effect. But palaeontologists will point to the way digging dinosaurs was portrayed as the most unrealistic part of the film. Learn how scientists actually find and excavate dinosaur skeletons in the field and bring them back to the museum.

Dr. David Evans is a Curator in Vertebrate Palaeontology and oversees dinosaur research at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. He has conducted fieldwork all over the globe, including the Sahara Desert and South Africa, Mongolia, Alberta, and the Canadian arctic. His research focuses on the evolution and ecology of dinosaurs, and their relationship to environmental changes leading up to the end Cretaceous mass extinction event.

Magic!!

Since finishing sixth in a “Ben Train” look-alike contest, Ben Train has devoted over ten years to lecturing and performing across North America. Combining sophisticated sleight-of-hand, unique philosophical insight, and a wikipedic knowledge of the arts, Ben talks the talk, walks the walk, and rocks the flock.

Presentation 2: “Beer & Cheese; Yup, that’s a thing now”

So I think we can all agree that beer is pretty awesome. It’s a well known scientific fact. And I don’t think that I’d be giving into hyperbole if I said that cheese is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of man kind. But beer and cheese together? Are humans allowed to have that much awesome in their mouths at one time? Yes. Yes we are. Exploring the diverse and varied world of beer and cheese pairings, Sam Corbeil will bring you a brave new world of flavour and fun.

Co-Founder and Brewmaster of the Sawdust City Brewing Co., Sam Corbeil has spent the better part of the last four years working with a great team of like minded beer folk to get the doors open on their showpiece brewery in Gravenhurst, ON. With the doors open and beer finally flowing, Sam is now focusing on bringing the craft beer drinking public the fun, eccentric and award winning beer Sawdust City has come to be known for.


Upcoming Dates:

December 11 – Holiday Nerdtacular!!
January 15
February 12


Nerd Nite Toronto XXXIII

November 20
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Stupid Questions: Humidity – How can it be 28 degrees if it FEELS like 32?”

You know what stupid questions are. Those questions that make your eyes roll. Questions that show complete misunderstanding of the subject matter. Questions that EVERYONE knows the answer to… except, you can’t quite explain right now. Craig Fay returns to Nerd Nite to explore all the interesting facts, theories, and ideas that not only answer these stupid questions but explain a whole lot more about the world.

Craig Fay is an engineer by day and comedian by night. Comparisons to superheros are welcome and encouraged at this point. As a comedian with a passion for talking about science he’s appeared at the world famous Just For Laughs Festival, has been featured on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and has written about the frustrations of being scientifically literate for Scientific American. You can follow him on Twitter (@CraigFayComedy) or visit his website CraigFay.com.

Presentation 2: “Peter the Great and the Building of St. Petersburg”

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. If you’re Peter the Great and you’ve conquered some land that’s freezing, prone to flooding and difficult to reach, you build a capital city. They said it wouldn’t last, he had to prove them wrong. Learn how St. Petersburg turned from backwater marshland to the “window on the west.

Dr. Carolyn Harris teaches history at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, including a course on Peter the Great and the Building of St. Petersburg. She writes extensively on the history of the monarchy for newspapers,magazines and websites and contributes royal commentary to TV&radio. Her first book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada will be published by Dundurn Press in 2015.

Trivia!


Nerd Nite Toronto XXXII

October 2
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Increasing the Awesome: NASA’s Next Huge Space Telescope” by Dr. Amber Straughn

Just when you thought that we couldn’t get any better than Hubble, NASA goes and builds a telescope 100 times more powerful. Amber will tell us about building the amazing James Webb Space Telescope here on earth and the science we’ll do with it once it’s in space (2018!). Some highlights: the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang and atmospheres of alien planets.

Amber Straughn is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. When she’s not gazing longingly at the heavens (or throwing things at her computer in attempts to get code to run), Amber enjoys cooking, yoga, and flying airplanes….though not all three at once.

Presentation 2: “The Science of Shakespeare” by Dan Falk

Sure, William Shakespeare knew how to write plays – but what did he know about science? Shakespeare and Galileo were born in the same year, and we now look back on that time as the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. And yet the words “Shakespeare” and “science” are rarely uttered in the same breath. But journalist Dan Falk says it might be time for a re-think. His book The Science of Shakespeare was published this spring.

Dan Falk is an award-winning science journalist whose writing credits include Smithsonian, New Scientist, The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, and many other publications; he’s also been a regular contributor to the program “Ideas” on CBC Radio. Dan is also the author of two previous popular science books, In Search of Time and Universe on a T-Shirt, and in 2011 he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.—Trivia!


Nerd Nite Toronto Turns FOUR

September 4 TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00
$5 at the door

We’re celebrating four years with the perfect mix: Science, Toronto, Beer and Bloore. Be There and Be Square.

Special Performance from Mad Science!!

Mad Science is the world’s leading science enrichment provider, with a mission to spark the imagination and curiosity of children. Mad Science has been introducing children to the wonders of science for over 20 years in the GTA and we are excited to bring our Fire & Ice show to Nerd Nite Toronto!

Fire & Ice: The properties of our amazing dry ice will be demonstrated with a foggy dry ice storm, a shivering coin dance, screaming sizzling scissors, and the BIG BURP. We will heat things up with indoor fireworks, disappearing fire, and a thrilling finale that will leave you wanting more!

Presentation 1: “The Streets of Hogtown” by Richard Fiennes-Clinton

This talk highlights historical gems from Muddy York Walking Tours—including Toronto’s street names and a look back on brewing and entertainment in the city’s past. We’ll start with infamous Yorkville brewer (and Nerd Nite favourite) Joseph Bloore, and saunter through amusing bits of Hogtown history.

Richard Fiennes-Clinton founded Muddy York Walking Tours (muddyyorktours.com) in 1997. When not visiting sites related to the history of crime, theatres, food and the ghosts of Toronto, you can find him giving presentations on arcane parts of Toronto’s past. He also contributes to media sources, daily periodicals and the CBC.

Presentation 2: “A Brewery in The Big Smoke” by Greg Taylor

If only all Career Days were like this. Steam Whistle Brewing was an idea that turned from campfire musings into an independent, award-winning reality through the work of its Founders, the self-proclaimed “Three Fired Guys.”

Greg Taylor will talk about his journey in founding Steam Whistle Brewing after many formative lessons learned along the way. He’ll share the founding principles of the brewery and what makes it a unique work culture today. (steamwhistle.ca)

***Our new organ donor registration goal is 400 – register or check your status at beadonor.ca/nerdnitetoronto!***


 

Nerd Nite Toronto Season Finale: LEGO, Magic and a hint of Spice!
WEDNESDAY, May 20, 7:30 p.m.
Tranzac – 292 Brunswick Avenue
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00

$10 – Buy tickets now through Eventbrite

Presentation 1 – “Portrait of a Brick Artist as a Young Man” by Graeme Dymond

Is there such thing as one ideal job for one person? How do you move forward from your dream job? Graeme shares his message that even when you think you finally have it together, it’s okay to take the bricks of your life apart and build them into something even more awesome. This is an interactive session, so get ready to build and discover your inner-LEGO Master!

Graeme Dymond was a corporate trainer working for a top financial institution when his world turned upside down. After winning a LEGO building competition, Graeme traded his cubicle for bricks and began a career as a Master Model Builder. Now, as an independent LEGO consultant, brick artist, and model builder, Graeme continues to innovate new and exciting ways of engaging with people across Toronto, the GTA, and beyond! www.brickmangraeme.com

Presentation 2 – More Magic for the Nerds by Ben Train

Ben Train is a performer, a creator, an international lecturer, and a collector of magic-themed Beanie Babies.

When Ben isn’t on stage he’s working behind the scenes, creating new magic for other performers and producing shows across Ontario. Ben’s material has been featured in every major magic publication and the books and DVDs his company FiveAcademyMagic produce can be found for sale all over the world. Most importantly though, Ben Train loves chocolate chip cookies and hugs- so feel free to give him either next time you see him.

Presentation 3 – “Hot Stuff: Spice Extracts for Bears, Birds and People” by David Soknacki

Located in a non-descript building just north of Toronto is a facility that produces flavours, colours and antioxidants from spices. Instead of considering spices as suitable just for seasonings, think of spice extracts as a part of pharmaceuticals, in so many foods, and in applications as unusual as marking lumber and insect repellent. We’ll take you through how these products are made, where they’re used, and bring some samples along.

David Soknacki never planned to be in the spice extract business. When Yuri Gargarin and John Glenn blasted off, he wanted to be an astronaut. Later, when it came time to sign up for university, he saw himself as an archeologist. Fortunately David enrolled in business courses instead, and graduated with a B Comm and MBA. But he was fired so many times he decided to go into business for himself.  That was almost 30 years ago, when he entered the spice business…


Nerd Nite Toronto XXXVIII
April 9, 2015
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “All the Libraries of Toronto” by Daniel Rotsztain

Last summer, Daniel Rotsztain visited and illustrated every branch – all 100 of them – of the Toronto Public Library. The journey took him up river valleys, over highways, through neighbourhoods, and along the lakeshore to every corner of the city. The quest gave him the opportunity to examine the geographic breadth and cultural/architectural diversity of our library system up close. Daniel learnt, drew, photographed – and inhaled? – lots along the way, and he’d like to share some of those stories, and the thoughts and ideas that his project inspired.

Daniel Rotsztain is the Urban Geographer: an artist, writer and cartographer based in Toronto. He studied Urban Geography in Montreal, and has since lived and worked in Halifax and Amsterdam. Sometimes writing for Spacing Toronto and Now Magazine, his multi-media art practice encourages Torontonians to explore their city. Daniel’s current projects include hosting the Learnt Wisdom Lecture Series, illustrating various maps, and writing a book to accompany his illustrations of the branches of the Toronto Public Library.

Presentation 2: “Please Don’t Ask Me About 3D Printed Guns” by Derek Quenneville

Used for decades in industrial prototyping, 3D printing has emerged as a medium for art, fashion, construction, and lots of silly toys. Derek will discuss the exciting, weird, and life-affirming things that can be done with 3D printing… And what he hates being asked most.

Derek Quenneville is a 3D printing expert and digital fabrication artist in Toronto, Canada. He is currently Lead Maker at MakeLab, occasionally teaching at Toronto Public Library and giving talks around the city. Derek has introduced and demoed 3D printing to literally thousands of people at local events since 2009.

Trivia!


Nerd Nite Toronto XXXVI
February 12
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Thanks for the Memory”

We use multiple computing devices to communicate, work and stay connected. All of those devices need memory to deliver a user experience that people have come to expect. In addition, there are a plethora of applications that help process the data — supported by memory that’s not even in the devices themselves. Memory is everywhere. Learn all about the different types of memory technologies and how they affect you.

Gary Hilson is a journalist and has been writing about technology for nearly 20 years. Currently he is a freelance writer contributing regularly to EE Times, a publication that has been connecting the global electronics community for more than 40 years. Gary’s focus is on memory and data storage technologies and how they apply to devices like smartphones, computers, data centers and the Internet of Things, like wearables.

Presentation 2: “Do you Believe in Magic?” by Keith Brown

Keith will tell the story of how performing casually on a train in the Czech Republic landed him the biggest gig of his life! What began as a friendly wager while on vacation with his family earned him a performance at the private Stanley Cup Party for Ken Holland (GM, Detroit Red Wings). All of this before he could even drive a car!

Keith Brown is a professional magician & public speaker from London, Ontario. He toured his show ‘Exchange’ across North America last summer to rave reviews, including 5 stars from the CBC. Keith has performed with audiences in over 16 countries and is a recent TEDx speaker. In 2013 he was awarded Toronto’s Best Magician!

Nerdy Valentine-filled goodie bags for the first 100 through the door, and trivia!


Speakers, Raffle, Prizes, goodie bags, merriment, joy, Holiday nerdery! Money from the raffle will go to the Red Door Family Shelter in Toronto.

We’re starting at 7:30 for a fun challenge, then speakers will get rolling after 8:00 p.m.

Presentation 1: “Digging Dinosaurs: Fact and Fiction in Jurassic Park”

In 1993, the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park presented more realistic dinosaurs than any film before. From a scientific point of view, the dinosaurs were largely accurate (at least for their time), with some notable embellishments for cinematic effect. But palaeontologists will point to the way digging dinosaurs was portrayed as the most unrealistic part of the film. Learn how scientists actually find and excavate dinosaur skeletons in the field and bring them back to the museum.

Dr. David Evans is a Curator in Vertebrate Palaeontology and oversees dinosaur research at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto. He has conducted fieldwork all over the globe, including the Sahara Desert and South Africa, Mongolia, Alberta, and the Canadian arctic. His research focuses on the evolution and ecology of dinosaurs, and their relationship to environmental changes leading up to the end Cretaceous mass extinction event.

Magic!!

Since finishing sixth in a “Ben Train” look-alike contest, Ben Train has devoted over ten years to lecturing and performing across North America. Combining sophisticated sleight-of-hand, unique philosophical insight, and a wikipedic knowledge of the arts, Ben talks the talk, walks the walk, and rocks the flock.

Presentation 2: “Beer & Cheese; Yup, that’s a thing now”

So I think we can all agree that beer is pretty awesome. It’s a well known scientific fact. And I don’t think that I’d be giving into hyperbole if I said that cheese is one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of man kind. But beer and cheese together? Are humans allowed to have that much awesome in their mouths at one time? Yes. Yes we are. Exploring the diverse and varied world of beer and cheese pairings, Sam Corbeil will bring you a brave new world of flavour and fun.

Co-Founder and Brewmaster of the Sawdust City Brewing Co., Sam Corbeil has spent the better part of the last four years working with a great team of like minded beer folk to get the doors open on their showpiece brewery in Gravenhurst, ON. With the doors open and beer finally flowing, Sam is now focusing on bringing the craft beer drinking public the fun, eccentric and award winning beer Sawdust City has come to be known for.


Nerd Nite Toronto XXXIII

November 20
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Stupid Questions: Humidity – How can it be 28 degrees if it FEELS like 32?”

You know what stupid questions are. Those questions that make your eyes roll. Questions that show complete misunderstanding of the subject matter. Questions that EVERYONE knows the answer to… except, you can’t quite explain right now. Craig Fay returns to Nerd Nite to explore all the interesting facts, theories, and ideas that not only answer these stupid questions but explain a whole lot more about the world.

Craig Fay is an engineer by day and comedian by night. Comparisons to superheros are welcome and encouraged at this point. As a comedian with a passion for talking about science he’s appeared at the world famous Just For Laughs Festival, has been featured on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud and has written about the frustrations of being scientifically literate for Scientific American. You can follow him on Twitter (@CraigFayComedy) or visit his website CraigFay.com.

Presentation 2: “Peter the Great and the Building of St. Petersburg”

When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. If you’re Peter the Great and you’ve conquered some land that’s freezing, prone to flooding and difficult to reach, you build a capital city. They said it wouldn’t last, he had to prove them wrong. Learn how St. Petersburg turned from backwater marshland to the “window on the west.

Dr. Carolyn Harris teaches history at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies, including a course on Peter the Great and the Building of St. Petersburg. She writes extensively on the history of the monarchy for newspapers,magazines and websites and contributes royal commentary to TV&radio. Her first book, Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada will be published by Dundurn Press in 2015.

Trivia!


Nerd Nite Toronto XXXII

October 2
TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
8:00 pm, doors open at 7:30
$5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Increasing the Awesome: NASA’s Next Huge Space Telescope” by Dr. Amber Straughn

Just when you thought that we couldn’t get any better than Hubble, NASA goes and builds a telescope 100 times more powerful. Amber will tell us about building the amazing James Webb Space Telescope here on earth and the science we’ll do with it once it’s in space (2018!). Some highlights: the first galaxies to form after the Big Bang and atmospheres of alien planets.

Amber Straughn is an astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. When she’s not gazing longingly at the heavens (or throwing things at her computer in attempts to get code to run), Amber enjoys cooking, yoga, and flying airplanes….though not all three at once.

Presentation 2: “The Science of Shakespeare” by Dan Falk

Sure, William Shakespeare knew how to write plays – but what did he know about science? Shakespeare and Galileo were born in the same year, and we now look back on that time as the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. And yet the words “Shakespeare” and “science” are rarely uttered in the same breath. But journalist Dan Falk says it might be time for a re-think. His book The Science of Shakespeare was published this spring.

Dan Falk is an award-winning science journalist whose writing credits include Smithsonian, New Scientist, The Walrus, the Globe and Mail, and many other publications; he’s also been a regular contributor to the program “Ideas” on CBC Radio. Dan is also the author of two previous popular science books, In Search of Time and Universe on a T-Shirt, and in 2011 he was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT.—Trivia!


Nerd Nite Toronto Turns FOUR

September 4 TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue
7:30 pm, doors open at 7:00
$5 at the door

We’re celebrating four years with the perfect mix: Science, Toronto, Beer and Bloore. Be There and Be Square.

Special Performance from Mad Science!!

Mad Science is the world’s leading science enrichment provider, with a mission to spark the imagination and curiosity of children. Mad Science has been introducing children to the wonders of science for over 20 years in the GTA and we are excited to bring our Fire & Ice show to Nerd Nite Toronto!

Fire & Ice: The properties of our amazing dry ice will be demonstrated with a foggy dry ice storm, a shivering coin dance, screaming sizzling scissors, and the BIG BURP. We will heat things up with indoor fireworks, disappearing fire, and a thrilling finale that will leave you wanting more!



Presentation 1: “The Streets of Hogtown” by Richard Fiennes-Clinton

This talk highlights historical gems from Muddy York Walking Tours—including Toronto’s street names and a look back on brewing and entertainment in the city’s past. We’ll start with infamous Yorkville brewer (and Nerd Nite favourite) Joseph Bloore, and saunter through amusing bits of Hogtown history.

Richard Fiennes-Clinton founded Muddy York Walking Tours (muddyyorktours.com) in 1997. When not visiting sites related to the history of crime, theatres, food and the ghosts of Toronto, you can find him giving presentations on arcane parts of Toronto’s past. He also contributes to media sources, daily periodicals and the CBC.



Presentation 2: “A Brewery in The Big Smoke” by Greg Taylor

If only all Career Days were like this. Steam Whistle Brewing was an idea that turned from campfire musings into an independent, award-winning reality through the work of its Founders, the self-proclaimed “Three Fired Guys.”

Greg Taylor will talk about his journey in founding Steam Whistle Brewing after many formative lessons learned along the way. He’ll share the founding principles of the brewery and what makes it a unique work culture today. (steamwhistle.ca)



***Our new organ donor registration goal is 400 – register or check your status at beadonor.ca/nerdnitetoronto!***

 

Upcoming Nerd Nites:

September 4

October 2

November 20

December 11


 

Season Finale cover 2

May 29 Nerd Nite Season Finale TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30 $10 at the door

This is our last regular event before the summer, not to be missed! Chock full of presentations, trivia and tons of great raffle prizes to be won!

Presentation 1: “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot!” by Julielynn WongStar Trek Replicators, in the form of 3D printers, are here! NASA is planning on launching the first 3D printer in space this year. The European Space Agency’s AMAZE Project aims to develop the first metal 3D printer for space missions. Unleash your inner designer and discover how 3D printers are revolutionizing space travel and life here on Earth.
Julielynn Wong, MD, MPH, is a Harvard-educated, award-winning physician, innovator, and educator. Dr. Wong trained in space medicine at NASA Johnson Space Center and has created ten 3D printable designs of surgical instruments for long duration space missions. Miss Wong founded the Center for Innovative Technologies and Public Health, whose mission is to educate leaders on applying technologies to address the greatest challenges in healthcare.
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Presentation 2: “BODYSNATCHERS! Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” by Carly Naismith Bodysnatchers sold the dead to early medical schools in the nineteenth century. Through anatomy acts to combat them, it was thought that the bodysnatcher had been eliminated. But in recent years, historians discovered that governments struggled to keep knowledge of the continuing illegal body trade secret. While tales of the British and American bodysnatchers are well documented, the antics of Canadian snatchers has not been tackled. Enter Carly Naismith.
Carly Naismith has been a history nerd for years now, but only recently turned her attention to morbid Canadiana when she was working on her masters in history at Western. Despite her fascination in the resurrectionists, her official historical interest tagline is ‘the history of public policy’. She currently works at Google making the building ‘googley’.
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Presentation 3: “Godzilla: History, Biology and Behavior of Hyper-Evolved Theropod Kaiju” by Shyaporn Theerakulstit Tsunami, earthquake, hurricane and typhoon all rolled in one, Godzilla, “King of the Monsters,” has both plagued and benefited humanity for over half a century. By examining the origins and zoology of this force of nature, people and nations will be better equipped to deal with the awesome destructive power of our radioactive visitor from the Cretaceous.
Shyaporn Theerakulstit is an actor, writer, director and D-List YouTuber, where he posts videos about drug-addicted Easter bunnies, unemployed Superfriends and flying kittens. You can see examples of his internet hackery at http://www.youtube.com/shyaporn
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Raffles! Trivia from your Co-Bosses, Lauren Shorser and Virve Aljas.

 

April 17 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “The Universe in a Computer” From smartphones and tablets to FuelBands and Google Glass, computers have revolutionized our everyday life. But did you know that computers also allow us to learn about the Big Bang and black holes? In this talk I will discuss how the largest supercomputers in the world allow astrophysicists to gain insights into the workings of the universe around us.

JD Emberson is an Astrophysics PhD student at the University of Toronto. His work involves using supercomputers to study the structure of the universe on large scales and at early times in its history.

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Presentation 2:”So long, and thanks for all the pink”

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus, or so they say – but are we really so different? We will explore sex and gender, and how our conceptions of the differences between boys and girls have changed over the past 3000 years (or so). We’ll look at how societal expectations and marketing have shaped our views on what is and isn’t appropriate for boys and girls – including, but certainly not limited to, which colours they should wear!

Dr. Jenn Neilson has a PhD in philosophy specializing in gender norms, from the University of Texas at Austin. She is the founder of Jill and Jack Kids, a clothing company that’s inspiring the next generation of leaders to think beyond pink and blue. She is also co-organizer of Versatile PhD Toronto, a networking community for recovering academics.

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Presentation 3: “I want to do EVERYTHING (Life as a Polymath)”

When you meet new people for the first time and they ask you what you do, do you have a dozen different answers? If so, you’re not alone. A confluence of different personality traits and learning and thinking styles can lead people to become “scanners”. Because choosing is hard, but learning is fun!

Adam Emanon is a man of a million hobbies (yes, he has a day job too) with an unrelenting desire to keep learning. He takes pride in being a diverse “non-expert” and sharing as much of what he finds (information and resources) as possible, with others. Adam runs a blog at www.curiositycrossroads.com

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Trivia!


 

March 13 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “We’ll Never Be Royals: The Relationship Between Royalty and the Media” by Carolyn Harris

Since the invention of the tabloid press in the early 19th century, the media has been on Royalty like white on rice. The first news event to be captured on film was Czar Nicholas II’s coronation parade, and the current Queen’s coronation kick-started the Television industry. Media attention changed how royalty connected to the public and the public’s expectations of royalty.

Dr. Carolyn Harris teaches history at University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies. She provides royal commentary for CBC radio and the CTV news channel. Her articles about history and the monarchy have been published in the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, BBC News Magazine and Smithsonian Magazine. She blogs about royalty at www.royalhistorian.com.

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Presentation 2: “Stupid Questions: Is Fire a Solid, Liquid or Gas?” by Craig Fay

You’ve heard it said “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” Whats more likely is you’ve actually heard a stupid question. Questions that make you grimace, make your brain hurt. Questions that show no understanding of the subject whatsoever! And it’s for that reason that stupid questions are so great. They allow us to explore all the cool and interesting facts, theories and ideas behind the misconceptions and explain so much more about the world then the original question ever intended. In this presentation Craig answers the stupid question “Is fire a solid, liquid or gas?”

Craig Fay is a Toronto based stand up comedian with a mechanical engineering degree and a passion for talking about science. As a comedian he’s appeared at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, was named Toronto.com’s Funniest Torontonian, and has appeared on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud. Twitter: @CraigFayComedy FB: Facebook.com/CraigFayComedy URL: craigfay.com

March Trivia brought to you by our favourite know-it-alls, the guys you hear heckling from the back of the room, Monty Bertin and Tom Aylward-Nally. — In honour of Pi Day, there will be Pie. Oh yes, there will be pie.


 

February 13 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Medical Marvels 2” The heart is the internal organ most linked with Valentine’s Day, but that’s not the one we’re talking about. Find out which organs you can live without and–related–what Virve has been up to the past four months.

Virve Aljas is the founder and co-Boss of Nerd Nite Toronto

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Presentation 2: “The Myth of ‘The One'”

True love. We spend so much time on our quest for “the one” that we can accidentally overlook many wonderful people that don’t fit our ideal of “perfection”. The goal of finding a soulmate is placed on us almost from birth, and it can feel impossible – especially when single – to escape it. Why is it so important that we “settle down” with only one person? Samantha will examine the myth of “the one” from a polyamory perspective just in time for the holiday that turns love into a commercial cash grab guilt-trip for all. An open mind required.

Samantha Fraser is a life coach, polyamory advocate, consultant, producer, and author of Not Your Mother’s Playground: a realistic guide to honest, happy, and healthy, open relationships. She loves discussing taboo subjects openly, and has spoken about non-monogamy at conferences including Momentum, Playground, Atlanta Poly Weekend, and PolyCon. Samantha has appeared on shows such as CBC DocZone’s “Thoroughly Modern Marriage”, and SexMatters TV, and has also been in publications like InnerSPACE, The Grid, and Toronto Life. She is the founder and executive producer of Playground sexuality conference, and currently splits her time between video game project management and selling sex toys.

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Presentation 3: “How to Enjoy Porn… Even More”

Porn is easier to access than ever before, but that doesn’t mean we understand it any better than we did when it came in brown paper bags. There’s a constant stream of moral panic about porn’s potential to damage sexuality, both personally and within relationships, but is it justified?  This presentation explores how a toolkit of honesty, open-mindedness, communication skills and proper critical thinking abilities can transform porn from a dirty little secret to a thoroughly enjoyable way to learn about sex and sexuality.  We’ll also show you how to find ethically-made porn, navigate fantasy vs. reality and discuss and include porn in your sex life.

Sophie Delancey is the vice president and jack-of-all-trades for a group of “beautiful porn” websites devoted to spreading the message that porn can be both aesthetically pleasing and ethically viable. She writes blogs, interviews and reviews for numerous sites including Fleshbot, PolicyMic and Playboy, has appeared on many radio shows/podcasts, and has spoken at many events, including the first ever Feminist Porn Conference at the University of Toronto. She focuses on using real couples in porn, creating high-quality content from a DIY perspective, responsibility in transparency and outreach to pornographic audiences.

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Trivia! Goodie bags, to show our love for you (in a mostly non-creepy manner)! Pre-Valentine’s fun!!

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January 9 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Sex and the Sick Bee”

Using the beloved and timeless characters of the HBO comedy series as our guide, we will explore the beautiful evolutionary journey from single egg-laying sawflies to honey bee orgies. But it’s not all sex and nectar drinking in our honeycomb city, and just as Samantha had her breast cancer (SPOILER!), so too must the honey bee deal with her Colony Collapse Disorder. It’s a story of sex, drugs, deception, exploding males, and zombies. Just like any other episode of Sex and the City, only with three times the shoes.

Ben Taylor is the Assistant Director of Education for the UW Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, but, even more so than jamming words into his job title, his real passion is for bees. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in entomology from the UW-Madison, Ben worked on a nine-month research project focusing on native bee pollination in Wisconsin’s apple orchards. Yes, he has been stung in the face. No, it was not a pleasant experience.

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Presentation 2: “The Art and Science of Songwriting”

Songwriting is a black art – completely unteachable. Or is it? When Murray Foster was (accidentally) hired to teach songwriting at Trebas a year ago, he had to figure out how to teach it. Murray talks about that journey, and spells out a few tools that every songwriter should have in their “toolbox.” He may even sing you a song.

Murray Foster plays bass for Great Big Sea, and was a founding member of Moxy Fruvous. In 2012 he wrote and recorded 30 songs in 30 days as part of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s “DARE” campaign. He’s also one of the lead singers of the fake British band The Cocksure Lads.

—- Trivia! Be prepared.

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December 19 – Nerd Nite Holiday Nerdtacular TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 7:30pm, doors open at 7 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Slinging Drinks” by Michael Webster  Learn about the brass tacks of cocktails, from the basic underlying principles of what it takes to make a great cocktail to what to look for from a bar/bartender when ordering a cocktail in a restaurant. Michael Webster is a 34 year old Barman who has been slinging drinks from behind the stick since 1998. In addition to creating several cocktail lists and assisting with opening many popular restaurants in the city (Weslodge, Momofuku, Bar Isabel) he is also a writer/comedian/actor.

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Presentation 2: “Making Magic: Surprisingly not a talk about sex*” by Ben Train 

*It’s about the design and engineering of a magic illusion. Since finishing sixth in a “Ben Train” look-alike contest, Ben Train has devoted over ten years to lecturing and performing across North America. Combining sophisticated sleight-of-hand, unique philosophical insight, and a wikipedic knowledge of the arts, Ben talks the talk, walks the walk, and rocks the flock.

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Comedy with Craig Fay. Craig Fay is a Toronto based stand up comedian quickly winning over audiences with his unique ability of making accessible material smart and smart material accessible. Craig has performed at the world famous Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, was voted Toronto.com’s Funniest Torontonian and has appeared on CBC Radio’s Laugh Out Loud. You can follow him on Twitter @CraigFayComedy, like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/CraigFayComedy and visit his website at craigfay.com

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Challenge! Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest! Trivia! Of all your holiday parties, this will be the best.

__________________________________

We’re getting closer to our goal of 200 organ and tissue donor registrations! Our donor drive is inspired by a fellow Nerd Niter.

Check your status or register at beadonor.ca/nerdnitetoronto and pass it along!

**

For you advance planners, here are upcoming Nerd Nite dates!

Thursday December 19 – Annual Holiday Nerdtacular!

Thursday January 9

Thursday February 13

Thursday March 13

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November 21 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8pm, doors open at 7 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “Questioning Chemophobia” by Tyler Irving

Literally everything is made of chemicals, so it’s understandable that chemists are often exasperated by consumer products that are advertised as ‘chemical-free.’ Some even use the word ‘chemophobia,’ to describe what they see as general ignorance about chemistry among consumers. But we really misinformed, or simply being cautious? This talk will look at what we know – and don’t know – about the chemicals in our daily lives.

Tyler Irving is a media officer at the Science Media Centre of Canada. Previously, he spent three years as the staff writer and news editor for a magazine called ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News, a role he describes as that of ‘Canada’s only chemistry journalist.’

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Presentation 2: “Panel and Frame: Comic Books on Film” by Martha Hunter

Over the last few years, comic book movies have taken over the industry in a way that would make any supervillain jealous. I’ll be talking about the historical development of comic book movies and some distinguishing characteristics of the genre, like whether “art” comics adaptations should count, the sociology and materiality of the (source) text, and how much Green Lantern really, really sucked. Excelsior!

Martha Hunter works in academic publishing, but clearly misses being a cultural studies student. She wishes it was easier to feed her comic book addiction while also making rent.

—- TRIVIA! It’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), so be prepared for a literary theme!

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October 17 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8pm, doors open at 7 $5 at the door

Presentation 1: “WTF Evolution” Sometimes when you look at the beauty of nature you just have to wonder “Seriously? Who thought THAT was a good idea?”. Some animals are too cool and others just too weird. Learn how evolution works, both natural selection, and the kinky sexual stuff your science teacher was too freaked out to cover.

Laura Wodlinger is a high school science teacher by day, who loves to test out new (and more fire-generating) science demonstrations by night. When not teaching science, Laura loves to travel to exotic places, sing karaoke, and rewrite lyrics of pop songs to be about science.

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Presentation 2: “A Recorder Builder’s Odyssey”

Bach, Vivaldi, Händel; the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin: they all wrote music for the recorder. What is it about this deceptively simple instrument that has inspired composers and songwriters — and beguiled listeners — for over 800 years? Last year I traveled to England to learn the dying art of recorder building, and came home with a reproduction of an early 18th century recorder from the instrument’s golden age.

Alan Cantor began playing recorder as a 20-year-old university student. Over the years, he has been a bread baker, puppeteer, educator, and technology consultant. In his current life, he works at the University of Toronto, hangs with his family, grows heirloom tomatoes, and takes recorder lessons.

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TRIVIA & COSTUME CONTEST! Come in costume (geeky, nerdy, or just plain scary) and enter our costume contest! A great place to take your costume for a dry run to make sure it works. Be creative!

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September 12 Nerd Nite TRANZAC – 292 Brunswick Avenue 8pm – doors open at 7 $5 at the door

Good things come in threes. We’re kicking off the new season with a Birthday Party! Nerd Nite Toronto is turning three! The usual lineup of great presentations, trivia, and some goodie bag delights.

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Presentation 1 – “The Game of Operation: True Stories of Medical Marvels” by Heili Orav

Western science can do amazing things for the human body, but Eastern medicine has also played a key role. We’ll hear about some of the unbelievable and completely bizarre stories, myths and truths surrounding transplantation and the game of operation. This presentation is chock full of graphic images and emotionally sensitive content, so viewer discretion is advised (eh, nothing you can’t handle).

Heili Orav works in finance at a credit union in Toronto and is not a doctor. Her recent interest in transplants in part stems from her brother’s generous donation of one of his kidneys. He’s doing just fine these days.

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Presentation 2 – “He’s a Pinball Wizard…” by Joe Ciaravino

Decades before Nintendo or Atari, Pinball was the #1 amusement game for North America’s youth. In its heyday, pinball was both a distinctly American icon and a worldwide phenomenon, but with the “death of the American arcade”, today pinball is all but extinct… or is it? Joe will take us through the fascinating history of Pinball, which much like the silver ball itself, has seen many ups and downs over the last hundred years.

Joe Ciaravino is a self-confessed movie geek, boardgame hoarder, cat-cuddler and pinhead (the preferred nomenclature of a pinball enthusiast). He works in the Canadian television industry and is a part-time film blogger. Twitter: @totalfilmgeek

—- TRIVIA!

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May 30 Nerd Nite Revival Bar – 783 College Street 8pm – doors open at 7 $15 online, $20 at the door

NNPoster_newPresentation 1: “The Limits of the Human Body” by Jake Ward

Our bodies are incredibly fragile. They burst, burn, and break, and yet we constantly travel to dangerous places, dive under the ocean, fly, drive, drink alcohol, and otherwise do crazy things that our bodies are wholly unqualified to handle. Tonight we’ll be looking at the science of human limitation, and what fundamental technologies make it possible for us not to suffocate, freeze, catch on fire, or otherwise die the thousand deaths that our unbelievably dangerous lives whisk us past each day.

Jake Ward is editor-in-chief of Popular Science, the world’s largest science and technology magazine. He’s written for The New Yorker and Wired, and has hosted television shows for Discovery, PBS and National Geographic. He splits his time between New York and California.

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Presentation 2: “The Music Geek Quiz” by Alan Cross

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan Cross has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters.  He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music and The Secret History of Rock.  He’s also written four reference books on alt-rock, recorded four audio books (all top-sellers on iTunes), written liner notes for dozens of CDs and contributed to magazines and other publications in Canada and the US.  He’s also a sought-after college and university lecturer, writes a weekly national music column for Metro and travels to music festivals all over the world. His new radio show is The Secret History of Rock, which runs across Canada and in the US.  Alan has been deeply involved exploring the present and future relationships between music, technology and social networking.  More information (along with plenty of daily updates) can be found at www.alancross.ca

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Live Music from The Cocksure Lads

A band dreamed up by Murray Foster and Mike Ford, both former members of Moxy Fruvous. Both of them had (and have) a passion for early-60’s British pop, and in the early 90’s, just for fun, they began writing songs that were loving send-ups of that genre. By 2010 they had written 25 Cocksure Lads songs, so that summer they went into the studio and recorded “The Greatest Hits of the Cocksure Lads, 1963-1968”. They’ve turned that CD into a live, 3D experience, with the help of notable Toronto musicians Tim Bovaconti (Ron Sexsmith, Burton Cummings) on guitar and Blake Manning (The Heartbroken) on drums. Their sound is classic 1960’s Britpop – super-catchy tunes to go along with twitty, naïve, funny lyrics. It’s a high-energy, melodic show with witty banter between songs, vintage suits and – of course – fake British accents. A full-length feature film about the band called “You Gotta Stay Cocksure!” is in the works, written and directed by Foster. Filming starts November 2013.

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April 18 Nerd Nite

Presentation 1: “Energy and Resource Limits: Mad Max vs. Leave it to Beaver” by Jason Allen

We live on a planet with finite resources, and yet we think we can grow our economy forever. The truth is, we are running low on almost every non-renewable resource, especially oil. Don’t worry, though. We’ll explore a future that is more Leave it to Beaver than Mad Max; but with iPads and Twitter.

Jason Allen is a corporate trainer who has been thinking about, blogging about, and reorganizing his life around energy and resource limits for the past 5 years. An avid transit user, pedestrian and civic activist, he lives on a 1/8th acre Urban Homestead in downtown Hamilton with his wife, two kids, and a bloodthirsty cat.

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Presentation 2: “Archaeology in Pop Culture: Exaggerations and Excavations” by Bill Lucas

Archaeology has been the backbone for many of our favourite stories. Pop culture references have been known for making grand exaggerations, because of this there are misunderstandings about what it is archaeologists actually do. This presentation discusses how archaeology is the basis of many tall tales while giving a more realistic approach to what they do and how it affect our larger community.

Bill Lucas is an archaeologist. He specializes in North American archaeology, Aboriginal rights and digital media. He is currently enrolled at the University of Waterloo in the graduated program. Bill has done excavations across south Ontario and is thrilled with anything archaeology related!

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Nerd Nite Trivia with Irith Mcconnachie!

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March 14 Nerd Nite

Presentation 1: “Kaboom” by Sunny Hope

Fireworks can be anything from old-school dried bamboo to modern displays worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Tonight we’ll take a look at how history, chemistry, and computers all explode the world of fireworks.

Sunny M. Hope can’t remember her first fireworks show, but can still stun friends by remembering the names of commercially available crackers. She has spent inordinate amounts of time ‘designing’ displays for friends’ cottages.

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Presentation 2: “A Walk in the Park: Women and Baseball” by Danielle Van Wagner

Major league baseball, like most professional sports, is played only by men. Yet a quick look at its history and in the stands of stadiums reveals a surprising amount of women. From old ladies keeping score, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, scantily clad blondes dancing on the field, and all types of women in between, I will explore the history of women and baseball and look into the expectations and perceptions of female fans in baseball culture.

Danielle Van Wagner is a historical researcher by trade, and a baseball nerd by hobby. She enjoys assorted activities of a nerdy persuasion, including photography, cat watching, used book store browsing and museum visiting.

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Nerd Nite Trivia with Jonathan and Daniel Moneta!

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Lauren Shorser’s first night as co-boss of Nerd Nite Toronto. Lauren has been described by friends and colleagues as “the bee’s knees”, “the cat’s pyjamas”, and “the weirdo in the penguin suit”. She is very excited at becoming more involved with Nerd Nite. _______________________

Happy New Year!

You can find us at TRANZAC, 292 Brunswick Ave. We’re in the Main Hall. Doors at 7:30, things get rolling at 8pm.

Our first Nerd Nite of 2013 is January 17. For you planners, the next Nerd Nite Toronto dates are:

Thursday, March 14

Thursday, April 18

If you or someone you know is interested in presenting, drop us a line at virve@nerdnite.com. The surest way for us to keep you updated is through the Facebook group (Nerd Nite Toronto) or the Twitter feed @nerdnitetoronto.

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January 17: Something a Little Different

Live Recording – Dork Forest Podcast by Jackie Kashian, featuring Debra DiGiovanni and Sean Cullen!  The Epic Nerd Show is helping us take a break from the usual presentations – This month’s event is a live recording of The Dork Forest Podcast with special guests Debra DiGiovanni & Sean Cullen! We’ll have a little Nerd Nite content before and after the Podcast, with some interesting projects coming up and trivia to follow. Tickets are $10, available here:http://empirecomedylive.com/jackie-kashian-toronto-2013/

Bio: LA Comedian Jackie Kashian has been a national touring comic for over 15 years, and is the host of the long running Dork Forest Podcast. She has her own half hour special on Comedy Central, was a semi-finalist on Last Comic Standing, has appeared on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, and performed at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal. In 2013, Jackie will be part of the inaugural NY Pod Fest in January, and later in the spring will be part of Gilda’s LaughFest in Detroit, as well as Bumbershoot in Seattle. Her latest CD, “It is Never Going to Be Bread” was one of the top ten comedy albums on Amazon in 2010.

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Nerd Nite Toronto Holiday Nerdtacular December 13 8pm

Presentation 1: Sarah Reeves Aljas returns with one of Nerd Nite’s most popular talks, to answer the burning question “Why Does Elmer Fudd Talk Like That?”

Ever wonder what’s really going on with Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Tweety’s speech impediments? The ins and outs of how we produce sounds (a.k.a. talk) and the difficulties some have doing so.

Sarah Reeves Aljas has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for over 10 years, helping toddlers and school-aged children learn to talk and improving the way they talk. She has provided treatment for people locally as well as in NWT, Nunavut and Northern Ontario, both directly and through videoconferencing.

Presentation 2: “I Build LEGO for a Living”

This presentation will bring us LEGOLAND Discovery Centre’s brand new Master Model Builder, selected from contestants to turn a childhood pastime into a dream career. We’ll hear all about their passion for LEGO, the competition and what to expect from Toronto’s soon-to-come LEGOLAND Discovery Center. legolanddiscoverycentre.ca

Live Music by Pavlov’s Dogs Handbell Ensemble: Not your typical Holiday fare. Pavlov’s Dogs are Toronto’s hottest handbell ringers, dedicated to rocking out. They ring the bells, and you’ll be salivating. pavlovsdogs.ca

Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest: Last year’s winner killed with a sentimental backstory. This year we’re looking for extreme knitting, pyrotechnics, or bedazllers gone wild.

Building Challenge: Everyone knows an Engineer, now’s the time to bring out the ringers.

Trivia: You didn’t think we’d let you get away without thinking, did you? Thanks to Discovery for some great giveaway prizes!

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November 22 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1:  “The Invisible Biosphere — How Microbes Rule the World” by Tyler Irving

Invisible to the naked eye, microorganisms like bacteria, yeast and algae were almost unknown to science until surprisingly recently. Yet these tiny organisms represent the bulk of all known life; we macroscopic creatures are the exception rather than the rule. This presentation covers the key discoveries that reveal how microbes have influenced the course of human history, the earth’s climate, and even the human body itself. You will be convinced that this is really their planet; we’re merely living on it.

Tyler Irving became fascinated with the world of the very small while designing microalgal bioreactors as part of his master’s thesis at the University of Toronto. Today he is a science journalist who interprets new discoveries for non-specialist audiences, particularly Canadian ones. His blog can be found at tylerirving.ca.

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Presentation 2:  “The Decadent Fork” by Lauren Shorser
Food and its consumption play a central role in all of our lives, but the unsung heroes of the table are the utensils with which we eat. Although cutlery is often overlooked in our daily lives, its history is a rich and fascinating one in which politics and patriotism, industrialization and class, societies and individuals, all play a part.
Lauren Shorser is a writer and scuba diver. She finds it unsettling to write about herself in the third person.
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TRIVIA as usual. Use your noodle.

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October 25 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1:  “…the cemeteries are full of men this world could not get along without…” by Virve Aljas

It’s a shame that some of Toronto’s most interesting people are the dead ones. This presentation will explore Toronto’s historic cemeteries and the colourful residents within them. Virve Aljas is the host of Nerd Nite Toronto and sometimes moonlights as a presenter.

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Presentation 2:  “Cognitive Bias—Your Brain is a Big Fat Liar” by Ryan Consell
Ryan will talk about some of the ways that your perceptions of the world are filtered and distorted by your brain, how magicians and casinos take advantage of that, and how you can work to circumvent the effects.
Ryan Consell is mountain bicycle researcher at U of W, fantasy author, blogger for madartlab.com, creator of the Creative Dissonance web series and avid science enthusiast. In his free time, he is asleep.
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TRIVIA and JACK O LANTERN CONTEST: Bring your already-carved nerdy/geeky/generally fantastic pumpkin to be judged by the audience. Remember, this is a discerning crowd so be creative!

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September 13 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1:  Internal Conflicts — The Biology of Selfish Genetic Elements

Genes and cells are the building block of living organisms, and usually genes cooperate with each other pretty well. But, like in a communal kitchen, the genome is sensitive to free-loading cheaters. Arvid will discuss what prevents selfish genetic elements from completely taking over.

Arvid Ågren is an aspiring evolutionary biologist at U of T, a Junior Fellow at Massey College, and a Swede abroad. He also has an obsession with British politics and a hugely underperforming soccer team.

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Presentation 2:  Say You, Say Meme — From Email Forwards to Cultural Phenomena

Sara will be exploring the meaning behind LOLCats and the history of internet memes. Why are they significant? Why are so many people watching videos of cats on the internet? I can has answer???

Sara Law is a Toronto-based web designer and developer. She is a member of DevTO and Girl Geeks Toronto, is an avid knitter and painter, and can often be found cuddling up with a good book and a huge cup of tea.

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Plus Trivia and giveaways and all that jazz. Maybe cake if you’re good.  

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May 9 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1: We’re Movin’ on Up (to Mars) by Andrew Rader

Earth’s housing bubble is about to burst. Andrew Rader will talk about future prospects for Space settlement, with emphasis on why Mars makes a good candidate for human exploration and colonization. Andrew will also discuss Mars-related research on Earth and how we can prepare to visit the red planet.

Andrew Rader is a Spacecraft Systems Engineer at COM DEV in Cambridge, Ontario. He earned his Ph.D. from MIT in Aerospace engineering, where he conducted experiments on human subjects investigating the long-term effects of spaceflight on the human body. Andrew was president of the MIT Chapter of the Mars Society and is an advocate of both human and robotic spaceflight.

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Presentation 2: Eye Patches are the New Black–The Golden Age of Piracy by Laura Thipphawong

The Golden Age of Piracy: they were the true pirates of the Caribbean, ruling the islands from 1650-1700. They were as dirty, depraved and heinously violent as the legends and folklore depict. We’ll touch on what influenced these fringe societies, including politics, monarchy, government spending, gender issues and pure sadism, as well as recounting some of the most notorious plunders of the golden age.

Laura Thipphawong is an avid researcher of criminal psychology and historical case studies. Her academic pursuit of personality disorders, neuroses and deviant behavior has taken her through highschool to U of T, where she audits courses on abnormal psychology and criminology. The rich history, psychological and sociological aspects of 17th century piracy makes the topic of particular personal interest.

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Trivia trivia trivia

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March 29 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1: The Canadian Golden Age of comic books by Hope Nicholson

The Canadian Golden Age of comic books: a time when Canada created the world’s first superheroine, Nelvana of the Northern Lights protected the Inuit from Russian invaders, and Johnny Canuck crossed the seas to punch out Hitler–for Canada.

Hope Nicholson is the Associate Producer of Lost Heroes, a documentary airing next year on Super Channel about the history of Canadian superheroes. In her day job she’s a researcher for post-production in film.

Presentation 2: “Popcorn in the Urban Garden” by Beny Spensieri Jr.

In an urban garden, tomatoes are nice and lettuce barely earns a backward glance–but corn always impresses. Nothing cranks the WTF-factor like announcing that you’re not just growing corn, but actually growing popcorn. It’s not as difficult as you might think.

Beny Spensieri Jr. is a chemical engineer, who works at a lab in Scarborough and sets things on fire for a living. When he’s not (almost) blowing himself to kingdom come, he impresses his friends with random projects from oddball botany experiments to building TV antennas and hammocks.

Trivia this month will be brought to you by the lovely and talented Catharine Benzie. She works in news and covered the census. Be afraid.

PLUS: Free copies of the second issue of Nerd Nite Magazine…don’t get too used to this, it’s the last batch 🙂  

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February 23 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1: “Alien Minds” by Lauren Shorser

Though most people will only encounter them on a dinner plate, cephalopods (octopus, squid, and cuttlefish) are much more than exotic and chewy seafood. These short-lived, anti-social, and occasionally cannibalistic invertebrates are making a name for themselves as highly intelligent beings, and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what they can do.

Lauren Shorser is a writer and scuba diver with a deep love of cephalopods. She finds it unsettling to write about herself in the third person.

 

Presentation 2: “The Science Behind Your Movie Preferences” by Charlotte Armstrong

You love Star Wars, I love Star Trek. Science (and Charlotte) can explain why. Factors like technological advances in film and the viewers’ ability to access facts about the movies can affect their emotional response and attachment to the films.

Charlotte Armstrong has over 10 years experience reviewing and discussing movies in a variety of public forums including television. She is the founder and coordinator of the Southern Ontario Science Fiction and Science festivals, and is also the boss of Nerd Nite Kitchener Waterloo.

Trivia to follow!

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January 19 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1: “Microchips Ahoy!: The weird and wonderful ways we use computer chips” By Justin Besant

Everyone expects to find microchips in computers, cell phones, and cyborgs. Justin will talk about surprising ways that integrated circuits are infiltrating our society including disease diagnosis, modern art, and beer tasting.

Justin Besant is a PhD student in biomedical engineering at U of T developing new strategies to detect bacterial infections. When he’s not in the lab you might be able to find him goofing around on a piano or churning out hip hop beats.

Presentation 2: “It Started in a Bar” by Christine Sismondo

Sometimes it seems like everything that ever happened in America happened (or at least started) in a bar — from the American Revolution to the Stonewall Riots. Christine Sismondo argues that the role this powerful institution has played in history has been shamefully neglected when, in fact, America was born in a bar.

Christine Sismondo is a writer and barfly who spends, what some might say is too much time thinking about and drinking in bars. With her new book, America Walks into a Bar: A Spirited History of Taverns and Saloons, Speakeasies and Grog Shops (Oxford University Press), she hopes to change the way the world looks at their local. For more information and to purchase the book, click here.

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Nerd Nite Toronto Holiday Nerdtacular! December 8, 2011 TRANZAC (The Toronto Australia New Zealand Club)In the Main Hall 292 Brunswick Avenue A handy map to guide your way

We’ll be hearing about 2011 highlights, how to survive  the coming apocalypse, Toronto history with a holiday  spin…. and special guests The Cowgirl Choir! Bring forth your ugliest Christmas sweaters, practice  your dreidel spinning and start training for your Festivus  feats of strength. There’s a $5 cover, kids. See you there!

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November 3 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1: “Dark Energy.” That is all.

Dark energy is driving everything in the universe away from everything else at a faster and faster rate. This year a Nobel Prize was awarded to three astrophysicists who showed that the universe was not only expanding, but accelerating in its expansion. Liam will talk about dark energy’s discovery, its possible explanations, and its dismal implications for the fate of the universe.

Liam Connor is an aspiring cosmologist and actor. He’s starting his Ph.D. in Astrophysics at U of T and will be appearing in the upcoming Bollywood film Agent Vinod as an extra.

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Presentation 2: “I Was a High School DJ:  A twenty-year journey through music, technology, and crowd control”

DJ by night – Government employee by day, MontyB started his journey on a frosty Sudbury Saturday night with stops in Detroit Rock City, Miami to Ibiza and eventually T Dot Oh, with a few unlikely stops along the way.

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September 8 Nerd Nite:Mini Presentation: A look at more of your favourite Heritage Minutes: “A Lot of $#!? Went Down in Manitoba.” by Virve Aljas

Presentation 1: Fuel Hacking (Return of the Loblaws Homebrewer)

Homemade booze is fun and easy to make. You can brew it in your kitchen with basic groceries. However bathtub hooch has more applications than just getting drunk — with a few extra steps it can be processed into fuel that will run in your car. “Fuel Hacking” demonstrates a lo-fi process for homemade biofuel, and examines the pros and cons of ethanol as an industrial alternative to petrol.

Mark Coatsworth is a computer engineer, tech entrepreneur, electronics hacker and aspiring alchemist. He has been subjecting his family, friends (and himself!) to various DIY science experiments since 2002.

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Presentation 2: That Drug Does What?  ***UPDATE*** Due to unforeseen circumstances, Michael’s presentation has to be postponed to another date. Trivia and other nerdy goodness to take its place, never fear.

The lighter side of drug side effects? Well only if they’re not happening to you. Michael Plastina, chemist and pharmaceutical veteran, walks you through the fine print of drug labels. Warning: May cause nausea, vomiting, lower back pain, receding hairline, liver spots, blood clots, uneven tire wear, pyorrhoea, gonorrhoea, diarrhoea, halitosis, scoliosis, loss of bladder control, athlete’s foot, head lice, split ends, haemorrhoids, dry heaving, sexual dysfunction, and the condition known as ‘hot dog fingers.’

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August 5 Nerd Nite: We’re keeping the trivia train rolling with a mid-nite trivia break. Get your 80’s pop culture hat on. Woo! Trivia!

Presentation 1: Sarah Reeves Aljas answers the burning question–why does Elmer Fudd talk like that?

Ever wonder what’s really going on with Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Sylvester and Tweety’s speech impediments? The ins and outs of how we produce sounds (a.k.a. talk) and the difficulties some have doing so.

Sarah Reeves Aljas has been a Speech-Language Pathologist for 10 years, helping toddlers and school-aged children learn to talk and improving the way they talk. She has provided treatment for people in NWT, Nunavut and Northern Ontario, both directly and through videoconferencing.

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Presentation 2: Todd Van Allen and Ian Atlas talk about Comedy Above the Pub and the finer points of podcasting:

Launched in 2007, the Comedy Above The Pub podcast has risen to prominence in Toronto, and in 2010 was named Toronto’s Best Comedy Podcast by Now Magazine. Hosted by comedian Todd Van Allen, recent guests have included Henry Rollins, Paul F Tompkins, former Mayor David Miller, Michael Showalter, Anthony Jeselnik, and many more. Todd will be joined by producer Ian Atlas, and they will discuss the finer points of podcastery and the nerdery therein, including a brief history, technical setup, formatting, and distribution. At the time of August’s Nerd Nite, Todd and Ian will have just returned from Montreal’s Just For Laughs comedy festival.

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June 10 Nerd Nite: We’re back at Tranzac for Nerd Nite V, kids. A later start time of 8pm so you can grab a bite beforehand. Doors open at 7:30… arrive early to snag a seat. We’re mixing it up a bit with some trivia to start the night off. Woo! Trivia!

Presentation 1: Rick Roos talks about the science of home building:

Humanity’s need for the comfort of conditioned interior spaces are in conflict with Mother Nature’s socialist agenda. Insisting on “universal laws” such as equilibrium to rob thermally-conditioned spaces from honestly earned heat and moisture, Mother Nature not only participates in wholesale damage to the built environment, but also in global warming.

Rick Roos, ex-organic farmer, occasional musician and full-time hottie, is finishing up his MASc in Building Science. Expects to join Mother Nature’s barbarous thievery cartel in the fall, undertaking book-keeping responsibilities.

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Presentation 2: D.T. Cochrane, on how diamonds are a war’s best friend:

Why did the Allied countries win WWII? Because we had the diamonds. From the bullets, to the radars and radios, from the airplane engines to the nuclear bombs, industrial diamonds were there.

D.T. Cochrane is a lowly social scientist who has somehow found himself reading academic articles in geochemistry. How else can one understand the complicated social life of diamonds and their 20th century master, DeBeers?

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April 7 Nerd Nite:Presentation 1:

“Welcome to the Nanoworld” by Kristin Cederquist

Did you know that gold can appear bright red, depending on its size? Nanoparticles are too small for the eye to see, but they’ve been used for over a thousand years as stains and dyes. This presentation will give a brief history of nanoparticles and why they can exhibit such bright colors–and what they’re doing in many of today’s products, from cosmetics to pregnancy tests.

Kristin has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Penn State University and is now a postdoctoral researcher at U of T. She synthesized way too many nanoparticles in her time at Penn State, but is still fascinated by the nanoworld and other advances in science and tech. She also does a killer Sarah Palin impression.

Presentation 2: “Rocket Science Invades Your Living Room!” by Kevin Andrews

Inertial navigation is a branch of rocket science finding its way into your every day.  From Wernher von Braun’s Nazi V-2 rocket to the Nintendo Wii, explore how this pervasive technology keeps you safe, informed, and even entertained.

Kevin is a nerd of all trades, dungeon master of none.  Professionally in the business of fitting lasers onto things, typically for the purposes of navigation or mapping, he is always looking for an opportunity to work with sharks.

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Presentation 3: “Don’t dig that kinda croonin’, chum!: When Music Genres Collide by Alan Stanbridge

Even Bing and Frankie couldn’t quite get along, style-wise. But what happens when Jazz meets Classical? Or when Opera meets Popular Music? Or when Frankie meets Elvis, for heaven’s sake? The 20th Century was littered with debris from the collisions between musical styles and genres, and this presentation takes you on a whirlwind tour of the most spectacular pile-ups. Who needs Monster Truck Madness when there’s Music Genre Madness? And without the fumes.

Alan is a full-time professor and procrastinator, although he does a pretty good job of the procrastination thing on a part-time basis too. He’s a bit of a jazz guy, but only the good jazz, not the boring stuff with the funny hats. He also likes other music. He was very flattered to be considered worthy of Nerd Nite, and briefly contemplated calling his presentation “Music: Friend or Foe?”

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February 17 Nerd Nite:

Mini Presentation “The Sun: friend … or foe?”by Adam Evans

Sure, our nearest star provides us with some minor comforts (habitable climates, photosynthesis, a light source for shadow puppets), but what does the Sun have to hide? In this short presentation, we’ll explore how the star works, debunk some sunny myths, and learn how it secretly plans to kill us all.

Presentation 1: “On the Nerdiness of Type” by Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett will share his obsession for the history, technology, and culture of typographic design. He’ll discuss some unfamiliar characteristics of some familiar characters.

Colin is a full-time cubicle dweller, amateur bookbinder, and avid type enthusiast. He is grateful for the privilege to practice his public speaking skills at Nerd Nite and for the abundance of liquid courage available on tap at its venue.

Presentation 2: “The Art of Geocaching: Hiding Loot is not Just for Pirates…” by Tarmo Remmel and Raja Raudsepp

It has been said that geocaching utilizes billions of dollars of high tech military equipment orbiting in space to find Tupperware in the woods. Bottom-line: It is an international treasure hunt!  With GPS unit in hand, over 600,000 people have taken to the streets, forests, mountains, oceans, and even space (there is a geocache on the international space station), to find many of the over one million caches hidden worldwide.  This presentation will enlighten you to what it is, how to do it, and how to know when you’re addicted.

Tarmo Remmel, or “kurat”, as he’s known in geocaching circles is a geographer and a geocaching addict.  While not as severely addicted as some, he has been known to bolt out of the house at midnight to be the first to find a newly published geocache or to climb through sewers or up trees to make coveted finds.  Having cached in 7 countries, he takes his love of geography to this extra dimension.

Raja Raudsepp always enjoyed a good scavenger hunt as a kid.  Now, as an amateur geocacher, she’s already suckered in a number of friends and colleagues.  Her goal: to get more of her friends into caching so she’ll have people to go with. _______________________

November 23 Nerd Nite:Mini Presentation: The story behind “I Smell Burnt Toast” and your other favourite Heritage Minutes by Virve Aljas

Presentation 1: “The Loblaws Homebrewer” by Mark Coatsworth

Humans were producing booze before we had writing. Fermentation is a fundamental process that occurs in nature and can be easily reproduced. This presentation covers a basic process for producing alcohol with nothing more than Loblaws groceries, hoping to simplify the science of alcohol production and give you some tasty recipes too!

Mark Coatsworth is a computer engineer, tech entrepreneur, old time banjo picker and aspiring alchemist. He has been subjecting his family, friends (and himself!) to various DIY science experiments since 2002. He is also fascinated by entomology and pest control and is working on a control solution to the bedbug pandemic.

Presentation 2: “There Is No Noise” by garbageface AKA Karol Orzechowski \

“There Is No Noise” is part seminar, part how-to guide on the presence and function of sound in our daily lives. Whether it’s the sound of the highway outside your door, the dripping tap that keeps you awake at night, or the the swishing of your spinal fluid back and forth, sound is virtually impossible to escape from. Toronto sound artist garbageface will present a very brief genealogy of “noise,” followed by a demonstration of how the “noises” of our daily lives can be rethought and reimagined into more pleasing configurations.

garbageface AKA Karol Orzechowski maintains the dubious title the world’s first and only ambient occult rapper. He has been studying noise and its effect on people since the third grade, when his friend’s older brother made him a mix tape that included Slayer.

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Sept. 19 Nerd Nite:

Urban Astrophotography: Taking Photos of Deep Space from the City
Let’s admit it, nerds love space.  But urban light pollution can turn your plans of a romantic night under the Milky Way into a very short star-counting session.  Fortunately, thanks to cameras and telescopes, it’s now possible for industrious amateurs to take photos of galaxies, nebulae and other obscure nerdy objects even from within the city.
Adam Evans is an amateur astrophotographer.  He spends clear nights freezing his ass off in the dark, taking astro-photos from his home-built backyard observatory in Toronto.  This presentation will feature some of Adam’s astroporn, and explore how he copes with the earth’s rotation, glowing skies, curious raccoons, and other uniquely urban threats to astronomy.
Your Memory Sucks. (At Least the Courts Think So) Witness identification has been proven to be one of the most unreliable forms of evidence in court cases. Also, remember that time you spilled punch all over someone at a wedding when you were a kid? It never happened!
Virve Aljas isn’t an expert on memory, but her time on a Grand Jury in New York led her to find out some really cool stuff about it on the Internet.
The Stray Shopping Cart Identification System The major obstacle that has historically prevented people from thinking critically about stray shopping carts has been the lack of a formalized language to discuss them. Montague has removed this obstacle by creating an elaborately accurate system of identifying stray shopping carts by defining the various states and situations in which they are found.
Julian Montague is an artist, graphic designer, author and raconteur living in Buffalo, New York. He is currently fabricating an intellectual history of pest control.

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