Summer is a busy time for nerds. We’ve got nerdy drinks to make, nerdy books to read, and nerdy things to see. We are adding to that Nerd list by giving you one more event to jot into your schedule. Get ready to get your nerd on!

Where: Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive)

When: Wednesday, July 16th 2014 @ 8pm (Doors @ 7:30pm)

Tickets: $5 dollars at the door


#1 Stop looking at me. I told you to stop looking at me. Why are you still looking at me?

George Wallace

Why do you look at stuff? What stuff do you look at? What exactly is this ‘stuff’ anyway? Most of us give little to no thought about the constant stream of energy bombarding us. Electromagnetic energy, in the form of visible light, pouring forth from the sun. Some wavelengths absorbed, some reflected, others refracted, most never seen. It is only when we have our big stupid faces pointed in the general direction of the oncoming barrage do we even have the chance of really seeing something. Sadly, even then most of that information will go unattended. Lost forever in the sea of radiation. The talk I will give will deal with three questions. First ‘What exactly is this stuff anyway?’ An explanation of what our visual experience is made of and how electromagnetic energy from the sun becomes our visual experience will follow. Second and third ‘What stuff do you look at? and Why do you look at stuff?’. There are visual elements or features that attract the eye (more accurately the attentional system). There are things we can’t help but look at. You can be tricked into looking at something without knowing why you are looking. This talk will draw from my formal studies in human cognition, human vision, human attention and thesis work I completed on human attention

Bio: George is kind of a spaz. In pre-school he sneezed, covering his upper lip in snot, which he then promptly ate. When he was in grade three a grade six girl asked him to a dance but then she ignored him most of the night. They danced once; it was awkward. He then daydreamed his way through high-school, barely graduating and impressing no one.  He went to university because there was the promise of cute girls; he didn’t meet any, but he did develop an interest in human attention, neuroscience, cognition and perception, which he studied in grad school. Now he’s an on again, off again lecturer. So if you know about any positions let him know.

#2 The secret sex lives of fishes

Holly Kindsvater

In the animal kingdom, the invertebrates are the true celebrities of kinky sex, from black widow spiders (females eat males after sex) to bedbugs (males fertilize females by stabbing them in the abdomen). By contrast the diversity of mating techniques in our fishy vertebrate cousins has been sorely overlooked. This talk will shed some light on the secret sex lives of fishes, particularly in wrasses, a cosmopolitan fish family that has evolved an amazing array of methods for getting the job done. We’ll cover how wrasses use tactics like sex change, female mate choice copying, male sneaking, and cooperation among dominant males in the hopes of winning the battle of the sexes – the fallout isn’t always pretty, but it sure is fun to study!

Bio: Holly Kindsvater grew up in the Mojave Desert where it rained one or two days each year. She became a fish nerd during her undergraduate days in order to ensure she was never that dry again. Since then she has been lucky enough to study fish in rivers and oceans around the world, including Mexico, the south Pacific, and the Mediterranean. She moved to Vancouver in 2012 where her postdoctoral research at Simon Fraser mostly involves a lot of computer time.


#3 Screw the Ramen Noodles! How to have an actual career in art and not starve… or at least, not all of the time

Pia Guerra

Art is a hard gig, but it doesn’t have to be THAT hard. Pia Guerra, award winning comic book artist with over 20 years of freelance illustration experience will guide you through the perils of choosing art as a career path. How do you keep a roof over your head while developing a portfolio? How do you balance necessities vs luxuries in a world where credit can get you anything… and a whole mess of bill hurt? How to live with instability and still thrive? Should you take that phone sex line job on the side? Pia will bring in her own life experience and that of colleagues to help narrow down what you need to know to become a lean, mean, art producing machine. (There may even be a ramen noodle recipe in there if you’re good).

Bio: Pia Guerra is best known for her work as lead artist and co-creator of the Vertigo series Y – The Last Man. She has been drawing professionally since the early 90s, often taking whatever illustration work she could find, from storyboarding for Microsoft to illustrating Star Trek RPG manuals, to painting a mural in a rich lady’s bathroom, all the while doing a wide variety of “real jobs” to make up the difference.