On May 21st 2005, the world’s tallest roller coaster – Kingda Ka – was opened at Six Flags in New Jersey. Buckle up for a ride that will be equally thrilling, but won’t make you want to reconsider eating hotdogs beforehand. (Note – prior consumption of hotdogs is encouraged).

Where: Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive)

When: Wednesday, May 21st 2014 @ 8pm (Doors @ 7:30pm)

Tickets: $5 dollars at the door


#1 Cyborgs Eat Cities

Ryan Betts

Technology doesn’t change cities, cities change technology. No matter how much we wish we could wave the wand of technology to fix civic and social issues, it never happens quickly. People are stubborn assholes – often times rightly so – and tend to ruin techno-optimists’ good times. This is how it has been for all of human history, right back to that first jerk that started lighting fires everywhere to keep people warm and places well lit. In our modern age of cyborgs, drones, and adding 2.0 to the end of things the dynamic is no different. Cyborgs rush to cities, and the cities eat them alive.

Bio: Ryan is a drummer, interaction designer, coder, and urban design enthusiast. He is Director of User Experience and Chief Drinking Officer at bazinga! and moonlights as a stage level in local bands The New Values and Dirty Spells. He firmly believes that the future is here, it’s just not terribly well thought out.


#2 Has the Field of Neuroscience been Hijacked?

Neal Melvin

Popularity can be a double-edged sword. Many news stories, TED talks, and commercial products related to neuroscience attest to its popularity among the public, but this popularity can also foster a false sense of confidence in the relevant findings. I will discuss several examples of this phenomenon as well as the evidence, which may or may not support their conclusions. I will also discuss the responsibility of people who give the public information about findings in the field, suggesting that the role of “responsible interpreter” is often not taken seriously enough.

Bio: Neal conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Lethbridge, where he first became interested in cellular, molecular, and behavioural neuroscience. After finishing his Masters in Neuroscience at the University of Calgary, he returned to Lethbridge to complete his Ph.D. As part of his doctoral work, Neal discovered a novel area of the rat hippocampus, a structure critically involved in learning and memory, which constitutively lacks the ability to produce new brain cells. Neal then completed an Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research-funded fellowship in Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, studying the molecular basis of psychiatric disorders like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. He is now a faculty member at Quest University in Squamish, and an Adjunct Professor in Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge. At Quest, he teaches courses in neuroscience and molecular biology.


#3 Kathy Bates is my Spirit Animal: The Journey of Becoming a (Somewhat Chubby) Actor

Natalie Semotiuk

“So while I’m in the middle of my porn-jokes set we realize the only members in the audience are the Christian Coalition on Campus.” What is it like to shed your skin and step into another person’s shoes? To completely construct an individual, fight for their wants and desires and share their story? Unlike any other profession, many people assume “Hey, I can be an actor!” but what does it really involve to create an emotionally-truthful character and share their story with integrity? Now back to the porn jokes. Join us as we explore the constant struggle to be a compelling actor, going through classical training, “Wait. She was his mother?” and what it was like during a brief flirtation doing stand up comedy on the historic stages in Los Angeles, CA.

Bio: Natalie Semotiuk is a Masters student currently studying for her MFA in theatre at York University. After growing up in Edmonton, AB, she ditched the prairies for flip-flops and moved to Los Angeles, CA where she at first pursued acting at the New York Film Academy, and then her Undergraduate degree in 20th Century history. After working for controversial non-profit Invisible Children for a year and then the Toronto International Film Festival she decided to go back to her first love: Theatre. Over the years she as been on stage many times as an actor, a few less as the director and some even as the writer. After concluding her first year of studies of her MFA, Natalie has studied the classics, and continues to learn what it means to be a compelling actor.