Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category
You didn’t think we were going to forget about April did you? Well we had a little issue with some plumbing at the Fox, so we’re having a special beginning of the month Nerd Nite! We have an amazing lineup once again including some fun prizes and special appearances! Limited early nerd tickets are available, so get on it!
Featuring special appearance by:Carson Kivari, winner of March edition of Science Slam!
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: Tuesday, May 2nd; Doors @ 7
Poster image by: Armin Mortazavi
#1. Big stuff from small stuff: Nanomaterials and their applications
Bio: Dr. Bonnie Gray Ph.D, is a Professor at the School of Engineering Science at Simon Fraser University.
Bio: Burgundy Brixx (aka Kyrst Hogan) is a professional singer, dancer, actress, comedienne and neo-burlesque artist. She practices these skills both individually and merged to create neo-cabaret performance art. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre with a Minor in Dance.
#3. I love dead things… and you can too!
Natural history museums are stuffed to the gills with strange creatures, crumbling papers, dark corners, and of course, dead things. Why do we have buildings full of this stuff, and where do they come from? Together, we will embrace the macabre mystique of cabinets of curiosities, and even get to touch real museum objects, so that the amazing stories of science can unfold, right under your fingertips.”
Bio: Nicole Balsdon is the Education & Outreach Coordinator at UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum. She is passionate about science communication, museums, program evaluations, and lifelong learning!
The Earth is equalizing. We all know March marks the Equinox, this year it is March 20th, but perhaps you were one of those geeks that loved staring at sunrise and sunset tables, and realized that the equinox doesn’t correlate with a day of equal day and equal night. Do you remember the day that you figured this out, that it was your latitude on Earth that determined which day brought equal day and night, which we now call Equilux (for Vancouverites it’s March 17th)? If you do remember, or perhaps you remember when someone shared that information with you, or maybe you just learned it now. Do you remember that feeling when you did? That excitement, and giddy shake you get when you learn something cool? There is a place where you can go and nerd out with weird, wonderful, nerdy tidbits to share, learn and help you feel that feeling which we call “The Nerdering”. That place is called Nerd Nite.
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: Wednesday, March 29th; Doors @ 7
This month’s speakers:
Jared Stang -“Modern Physics and Past Regrets: Practical Time Travel Tips
The seasons change, years pass by, and time pushes us inexorably forward. Wouldn’t it be nice to slow it all down and take a break from the constant march toward the future—or even go back? Take a minute to find out how Einstein showed that the reality of time may be more personal than you think.
Bio: Jared Stang is a researcher and instructor at UBC and an instructor at Langara College. He spent years solving equations on his computer as a student at UBC, and eventually received his PhD in theoretical physics. Now, Jared spends his time teaching, studying how people learn physics, and wondering how we can help people overcome their acute fear of what he believes is a friendly and interesting subject. Also, he likes learning new things, and can sort of pretty much juggle.
Paige Frewer – “Gender Peformance”
Paige “Ponyboy” Frewer is a gender fluid glam king and the producer-host of Man Up, a drag show and queer dance party that is celebrating its 9th anniversary this month. Paige studied Environmental Science and Dialogue at SFU.
Scott Pownall – “CRISPR Bacon and Fun Things with Genome Editing”
Hailed as the biggest biotech breakthrough of the century, scientists have co-opted the CRISPR microbial immunity system for use in genome editing. Sixty four years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, CRISPR gene editing is causing a major upheaval in biomedical research and it’s discovery has lead to a gargantuan patent war at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Let’s explore CRISPR, what it is and where are we going with it.
Bio: Scott Pownall is a scientist, biohacker and entrepreneur who is passionate about breaking down the barriers people face when trying to engage with DNA technologies. In June of 2015, with the help of an awesome bunch of citizen scientists, he co-founded Open Science Network; a BC incorporated non-profit society, and established Vancouver’s first community biolab. He has a lifelong passion and curiosity for the world around him particularly in the areas of biology. In the early 1980s he switched focus from electronics engineering to studying biotechnology after reading an article in the Melbourne Age on the then new Gene Machines. This lead him to complete his doctoral research in Genetics from the University of British Columbia. His academic research focus was on (old-school) genome editing in mice. Scott received numerous awards and scholarships including from the Australian Society of Microbiologists, the Canadian Arthritis Society, the Medical Research Council of Canada and the National Cancer Institute of Canada. He participated in the first human genome jamboree at Celera – the company that sequenced the human genome.
What do Jules Verne, Charles Darwin, Ray Kurzweil, Chuck Yeager, Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Steve Jobs all have in common? They’re all famous white male scientists that have birthdays in February. But for every famous male scientist there’s a female scientist that deserves just as much recognition like Lydia DeWitt, Elizabeth Blackwell, Mary Douglas Leakey, Ruth Sager, Aletta Henriette Jacobs, Agnes Mary Clerke, Margaret Knight, Margaret Warner Morley, Agnes Arber, or Ida Noddack. If you don’t know who any of those ladies are, look them up, and come with a nerdy tidbit about one of them and share it with us!
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: Wednesday, February 22nd; Doors @ 7
1. People and Pollinators: Opportunity in the Inner City
In the hustle of daily city life people and activity surround us, and yet isolation is pervasive. Disconnected from land, food and community, penned in by consumption and convenience, our culture is fractured. Our ecosystems and communities are falling into crises. With diminishing populations of pollinators, increasing poverty, marginalization and disparity, hope for our future can be difficult to find and maintain. Think Blade Runner.
But there is hope, for people and pollinators alike: together we can turn the cultural tides. After all, revolutions are built on hope. By building inclusive green spaces in the heart of a city, you build communities. Here, a diversity of plants, pollinators and people will thrive, regardless of perceived worth, capacity, or socio-economic capital.
The bees have sweet little knees; they have specific but simple needs. This talk will give you tools to build your relationship with them. And then you won’t be that person at the party staring blankly into space thinking “the bees are dying at an alarming rate.”
Bio: Sarah is the co-founder, CEO and Chief Community Officer, Hives for Humanity Society She is a support worker, beekeeper and gardener in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver (DTES). She is passionate about fostering vibrant and healthy community through empowerment and education, and believes in the profound impact of connecting individuals and communities to their land, food and spirit.
2. Looking at rocks with physics
What killed the dinosaurs? Where is the billion-dollar gold deposit that will make me rich!? What these questions have in common is that we need to examine the rock-record beneath the surface. Similar to non-invasive medical imaging, where an MRI is used to generate images of your brain, in geophysics, we use gravity, seismic and electromagnetics, to make images of subsurface geology.
Bio: Lindsey Heagy is a PhD student in the Geophysical Inversion Facility at UBC studying numerical geophysics and the application of electromagnetics for monitoring subsurface injections: eg. carbon capture and storage, and hydraulic fracturing. She is a project-lead on GeoSci.xyz (http://geosci.xyz), an effort to build collaborative, interactive, web-based textbooks.
3. Chasing Atlantis: A Documentary About Not Going to Space
Inspired by the final flight of the space shuttle – Shuttle Atlantis – Matthew Cimone, joined by director Paul Muzzin, embarks on a journey to reconnect with a lost childhood dream of being an astronaut. During his travels, Matthew interviews current and retired astronauts, scientists, science fiction writers, actors, and other space enthusiasts to discover why – as Carl Sagan said – the Sky Calls to Us.
Bio: Matthew Cimone, inspired by Star Trek, grew up believing that life is about exploring the universe and doing good. Having studied International Development at the University of Toronto, Matthew spent 2004-2005 working in Sierra Leone, and in 2006 was named a UN Youth Ambassador. Over 70,000 people have heard Matthew’s speeches where he often combines his passions for social justice and space. His TEDx talk “Why Diamonds in Space Inspire Me to Support a School in West Africa” challenges audiences to consider the value of life from a cosmic perspective and to see the world as we do from space; without borders. In 2012 Matthew became Co-Founder and CEO of Esther’s Echo, a non-profit that supports a school for vulnerable girls and women in Sierra Leone. He currently lives in Vancouver as a Residence Life Coordinator at Simon Fraser University and a volunteer at the Trottier Observatory and Science Courtyard.
2017 is here, and Nerd Nite is kicking off our third year in style with being part of the nationwide travelling celebration Innovation 150. Here at Nerd Nite we pride ourselves with providing a forum for not only presenters to share their innovative ideas, but also attendees. This month we got three awesome nerds!
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: Wednesday, January 25th; Doors @ 7
1. The Relatives You Can Never Meet: Learning more about ourselves via multidisciplinary approaches to archaeology
Who are we, where did we come from, and what does it mean to be us? As humans, we are members of a big family with a complex history. However, our ancient ancestors’ stories are difficult to read, because they were recorded in the earth and not with pen and paper. Thus, the only way to learn their stories is by examining the bones, teeth, and artifacts they left behind. Interpreting the meaning of such objects is an archaeologist’s task. The physical evidence of our ancestors is a finite resource, so archaeologists are challenged to minimally alter and not destroy the materials they study. This raises an important question: how can we obtain as much information as possible from bones, teeth, and artifacts while simultaneously preserving them? In this talk, I will investigate the range of techniques available to researchers for reading the stories of our ancestors and highlight some interesting case studies that bring us a little closer to the relatives you can never meet.
Bio: Rhy is a PhD Candidate in Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research at the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC. Rhy’s research involves developing quasi-non-destructive methods for collecting data from archaeological materials with techniques adapted from earth science. Rhy study how bones and teeth deteriorate post-mortem, what the geochemical signatures in animals and humans can tell us about an individual’s life and death, and how linking artifacts to their geologic sources can elucidate the complexities of past human migration and trade. With ever-improving analytical capabilities and interdisciplinary collaboration, researchers are answering questions about our past more accurately and with less impact on the archaeological record than ever before.
2. Improv and the Pursuit of Controlled Chao
Amy will share with you her passion for theatrical improvisation, and discuss the balancing act that makes some improv shows more extraordinary than others.
Bio: Amy started improvising with Edmonton’s Rapid Fire Theatre in 2002, and she served as Artistic Director of that company for six years. Amy now lives in Vancouver, where she is involved with Instant Theatre, Vancouver Theatresports League, and Blind Tiger Comedy. She is a skilled instructor of both short and long form improvisation, and has traveled to many festivals around the globe. When not improvising, Amy performs sketch comedy with her duo Gossamer Obsessions. She is passionate about civic engagement, nachos and heavy metal. Twitter: @shostakattack
3. Quantum Matter
Andrew MacDonald and Ellen Schelewr
Bio: Andrew MacDonald and Ellen Schelew are both PhD candidate in Physics at UBC, and work out of the Stewart Blusson Quantum Matter Institute.
2016 is coming to a close, and we’re kicking off our final Nerd Nite of the year with an amazing lineup! We’ve met so many amazing friends this year , let’s celebrate the holidays together over science and drinks!
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: Tuesday, November 22nd; Doors @ 7
#1. The Future of Money
Adjunct Professor, Marketing and Behavioural Science Division
#2. Volcanoes – What Makes them so Super Anyway?
When volcanoes erupt the raw power of nature is unleashed, the earth shakes as magma surges to the surface and new land is born. Let us take you on a global volcanic adventure as we discover where all that magma comes from and why some volcanoes are much more explosive than others.
Bio: Lucy is a Researcher, volcanologist, economic geologist and UBC lecturer
#3. Mission to Asteroid Bennu
Professor planetary geophysics – UBC
Photos by: Lindsays Diet
Is October a nerd’s favourite month? It’s the month when you can finally break out your Harry Potter or Dr. Who scarf. It’s also the the month when you don’t feel guilty about staying indoors and playing Heartstone or binge watch Silicon Valley. It’s also happens to be the month that has two Nerd Nite Vancouver events! We’re celebrating our second show this month by celebrating our city by looking at it through an archeolgist’s eyes, we take a look at spooky ailement called Aphantasia, and finally we’ll learn about the Agile Manifesto and the lessons that can be applied to science communication.
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: Wednesday, October 26th; Doors @ 7
#1. What It’s Like to Instantly Forget What Friends and Lovers Look Like
Most of us take our memory for granted, or at least the visual part of it. Imagine for a moment what it would be like to instantly forget the faces of loves ones, how to get around your neighbourhood, or how to draw a simple concept. Furthermore, imagine what it’s like to not possess the ability to even imagine. This talk will dive into the fairly recent probes into what’s known as “Aphantasia” or the condition of being blind in one’s “mind’s eye”.
Bio: Trevor Risk is a DJ, writer, and a frontman. He’s a punishingly unstoppable bon vivant who’s living out loud.
#2 An Artsy Science-y Guide to Working with People Outside of Your Field
As Armin recounts his tales of hustling as a science cartoonist, he dissects his lessons learned into a step-by-step guide on how to work and communicate with people who have different professional backgrounds. Even those suit-wearing business types.
Bio: Armin Mortazavi is a cartoonist and scientist. He has spent the past year drawing comics to teach kids about their health. He currently works at Science World and sometimes spends too much money at Wendy’s. Armin is passionate about science communication and its power to shape society.
#3 Indiana Joanna and the City You Thought You Knew
How much do you know about the history of Vancouver? Sure you know about Captain Vancouver and the gold rush and all that jazz but let’s go back, back back. Back to the city before the city. Vancouver is home to a rich archaeological history, thousands upon thousands of years of use and occupation happened here and most of us have no idea about the real life archaeological history of Vancouver. This talk will take you on a tour of your city like you’ve never seen it before. Let an archaeologist give you the dirt on what really lies beneath your beaches and streets, your buildings and parks. At the same time find out what a professional archaeologist does. Aside from all of the whip cracking, tomb raiding, and Nazi killing of course….
Bio: Aviva Finkelstein is a professional consulting archaeologist. She has worked in the wilds of BC as an archaeologist for the past six years. During this time she has lived in logging camps and on reserves, has commuted to work in helicopters, has been stalked by cougars and bears, and has seen a side of this Province that most people don’t get to see. She has also worked in Arizona for the White Mountain Apache, in Spain on a Roman burial ground, and in Israel on a biblical village. Her research interest include Northwest Coast history and prehistory, perishable artifacts, the collaborative and consultative process of archaeology in BC, and the dynamics of working in a male-dominated industry as a queer woman.
Nerd Nite is going on a field trip once again! October is going to be a big month with our regular night still at the Fox Cabaret on Oct.26th, but Oct. 5th we’re giving you a second chance to nerd out, this time at Science World! To celebrate the opening of the new exhibit “Zoom into Nano”, we’ll have three talks on different perspectives on nano technology, but best of all, IT’S FREE.
We’ll have drinks for sale, and time to peruse the gallery, but you’ll need to reserve a ticket, and they’ll be in high demand with limited capacity, so don’t miss out!
Where: Science World
When: October 5th, 2016
Tickets: Free – reserve online
#1 Invisibly Small Items: Hand-Turned Nano-scale Art
Bio: Maarten is a rocket scientist and space engineer by day, designing satellites, space missions, and rocket trajectories, and editing space textbooks. He is a member of the Greater Vancouver Woodturners Guild, and he has published articles about innovative woodworking and nanoturning: his work has been covered on CTV News and CBC radio, and in the Surrey Now, Ottawa Citizen and Vancouver Sun newspapers. He is a regular exhibitor at the annual Positively Petite art show in Coquitlam, BC, and he is in demand to demonstrate and teach microminiature skills on his nanolathe in the US and Canada.
#2 Reaching the Nearby Stars
Carl Sagan once said ‘It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars. It will be a species very like us, but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses’. This talk will explain how we in fact will be that species by sending nano robotic spacecrafts to our nearest star system to take pictures and send them back to Earth.
Bio: Kat is a Physics and Astronomy student at The Open University and full time Science facilitator at Science World.
#3 Medically Minute
A medical lab inside a pill? Cancer sensing nanowires? Arrays of injection needles too small to feel? All of this and more could become part of a routine doctor’s visit through advancements in nanotechnology and nanomedicine. This talk will give an overview of the current state of nanomedicine from a nanoscientist’s perspective.
Bio: Sarah Simon is a masters graduate of Chemistry at UBC, specializing in dye-sensitized solar cells. She currently works as a science facilitator at Science World, BC.
You like science? You like drinking while sciencing? In Vancouver there are many options to get educated and inspired through science, art, and culture in a casual bar setting outside of universities. There’s Nerd Nite which focuses on nerdy lectures in the Fox Cabaret, Anecdotal Evidence a science based storytelling show, Curiosity Collider which creates events that bring together artists and scientists, as well as Cafe Scientifique the long running series which focuses on one single speaker to engage in discussions while at the bar.
September 20th at the Fox Cabaret, all four institutions will team for the ultimate bar science night, Et al. This show is one night only, and not to be missed, and plus it’s Science Literacy Week to boot!
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: September 20th, 2016
Tickets: $10 online
Jennifer Gardy: Senior Scientist at the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control and occasional host of CBC’s The Nature of Things.
Cheryl Wellington: Professor, Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia; Bellydancer. Performer for Neural Constellations – Exploring Connectivity.
Sarah Louadi: Graduate Student, Experimental Medicine at the University of British Columbia; Dancer. Performer for Neural Constellations – Exploring Connectivity.
Stacey Hrushowey: Graduate Student at Simon Fraser University, Salmon Researcher.
More speakers soon to be announced!
- Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)
- Fox Cabaret – 2321 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5T – View Map
This is our last Nerd Nite before we take time off for the summer to have fun in the sun and enjoy all of the other amazing events in our city. Check out a sneak peak below.
Where: The Fox Cabaret
When: June 21st 2016; Doors @ 7:00, Talks @ 7:30
Tickets: $7 online
Photos by: www.lindsaysdiet.com
#1 Brains Beware: The Ethics of Online Resources About Neuroscience
Julie M. Robillard, PhD
Did you know that eating cheese triggers the same part of your brain as heroin does? That’s just one of the many fascinating brain-related “facts” you might come across online. As more and more nerds people turn to the Internet and social media for science and health information, the accurate reporting of scientific findings is increasingly important but often compromised. Join us as we explore how brain research is both hilariously and tragically represented on online platforms and how online brain health resources can be helpful but also harmful. We will also discuss whether you should eat that piece of cheese.
Bio: Dr. Julie Robillard is Assistant Professor of Neurology at UBC and faculty at the National Core for Neuroethics and the Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health. She did a PhD in neuroscience during which she poked at the brains of old mice to study memory and aging. She now probes the minds of older adults in the context of dementia research. Julie is an avid science communicator and advocates for fact over fiction when it comes to brain health.
#2 Seeing Helen: Imagining the Face that Launched 1000 Ships
Today’s Hollywood effects make the portrayal of Helen of Troy – known as the most beautiful woman in the world for nearly 3000 years – seem simple. Throw together a skimpy outfit and tanned skin, and suddenly the fact that one woman’s beauty caused a decade long war seems plausible. But how did the Greeks see Helen? How did tragedians in the Golden Age of Athens depict the most beautiful woman in the world while sticking to rigid theatrical convention, including the use of tragic masks and a strict adherence to a male-only cast? This talk will examine the use and clever manipulation of Athenian dramatic convention in envisioning “The Face that Launched 1000 Ships” in effort to puzzle out what it means to look at the most beautiful woman in the world – both for the ancient Greeks, and for a contemporary audience.
Bio: Courtney Ewan is a Classicist by day, and a musician by night – or perhaps it’s the other way around… Since graduating from McGill University with a Masters of Art degree in Classics in the spring of 2016, you can find Courtney accidentally borrowing lines from Euripidean tragedy as lyrics for her band, Twin River. In September, Courtney will be moving to New York to pursue a PhD at NYU.
#3 INKIN’ Identity: Traditional to Modern
After reaching the village of Kalinga, I assumed the role of protege and learned the ways of tattoo skin tapping and poking techniques used by the last Kalinga tattoo artist in the world. These methods are deeply steeped in history and are passed down through the generations. Through this experience I internalized a deeper and profound understanding of the significance and meaning conferred upon the patterns that were particular to tribal tattooing in that region. In my talk I will give a brief history of Tattoo, my journey to reconnect to my roots, and the role of Tattoo in cultural identity and preserving tradition.
Bio: Mayo Landicho is the owner of Birthmark Tattoos where he works and specialized in modern and traditional tattoos styles. Mayo is known for his use of the hand-tapping technique still used in some areas of the Philippines. Mayo has won a number of awards for his work, including the top prize at the Westcoast Tattoo Show in 2012 and 1st and 2nd Place awards for “Best Tribal” tattoos at the 2015 Urban Tattoo Convention in New York.
The Blob – Sci-fi or Sci-fact?
This month we’re teaming up with the Vancouver Aquarium to bring you special “themed” Nerd Nite! Our talks are all about “The Blob”, both in cinema and in the ocean. Our last Nerd Nite at the Vancouver Aquarium sold out quick so be sure to get your tickets ASAP!
Where: The Vancouver Aquarium
When: May 24th 2016; Doors @ 6:00, Talks @ 7:00
Tickets: $8 for Aquarium Members, $10 for non-members – tickets here
Photos by: www.lindsaysdiet.com
FILM SCREENING! On Sunday, May 22 at 1:00pm, we are partnering with The Cinematheque for an all-ages screening of THE BLOB (1958) in conjunction with the Vancouver Aquarium. The Cinematheque is located at 1131 Howe St. Information and tickets available here.
About our Speakers:
Dr. Philippe Tortell
Dr. Philippe Tortell is a biological/chemical oceanographer with broad interests in ocean-climate interactions. He received his B.Sc. in biology from McGill University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University. He has been a faculty member at UBC since 2002, with a cross appointment in the departments of Botany and Earth, Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences. His research employs a variety of laboratory and field-based measurements to examine the interactions between marine micro-organisms and ‘climate-active’ trace gases including carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and dimethylsulfide.
Dr. Richard Dewey
Dr. Richard Dewey holds a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Victoria and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of British Columbia. His research interests are coastal and ocean dynamics, mixing processes, turbulence, waves, and tides. Richard has conducted research throughout the Pacific from Japan to California, and along the B.C., Alaskan, and Arctic coastal margins. He is the Associate Director, Science Services with Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria.
Michael van den Bos
Michael van den Bos is a Vancouver-based film scholar, film history teacher and critic. For 17 years, Michael taught film theory at the Vancouver Film School. For five years, Michael taught motion picture history at the Pacific Audio Visual Institute, including a course in the history of 20th Century pop music. Michael currently teaches animation history at Capilano University in North Vancouver. Through the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, Michael worked in the Vancouver animation industry as a producer of animated films and TV programming. Michael is a popular live speaker and commentator about classic movies, appearing frequently at a variety of special film events and festivals. He is the Program Consultant and host of the Cinema Sunday series at The Cinematheque, Vancouver’s home of essential cinema, where he introduces classic family films. For the Vancity Theatre, Michael has introduced and lectured about classic cinema, moderated film panels, and curates-hosts special movie clip show presentations, such as his popular Dancing in the Dark series, Reel Jazz, Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration and Singin’ in the Dark programs.
The Warm Blob
The Warm Blob itself will also be joining us this evening, follow@TheWarmBlob on twitter for live tweets! Please use hashtag #TheBlobVA to engage with this event on social media.