Also at the Barns in 2021

Nerd Nite #60


Home Edition Vol. 5

The Importance of Capturing Stories

by Helen Scarlett

When we think about how we record human history, we often think of rows and rows of dusty boxes and filing cabinets, sitting in a dark warehouse or basement – but what we consider academic forms of documentation have an often overlooked but integral counterpart: Oral Histories. Capturing personal stories can offer invaluable insight into the inner thoughts, feelings and connections built around events, places and people. In addition to our traditional archives, our Oral History project has captured more than 300 such stories since 2005 and continues to be a valued resource to our operations.

Helen is a graduate of the University of Alberta (History & Classics) and has been the division archives coordinator and chief archivist for Edmonton Catholic Schools since 2007. She has a passion for stories, history, historiography and fostering human connection. In her free time, Helen is a sci-fi and film enthusiast and an avid home cook & baker.

Waste not, want not: valourizing mineral wastes from mines as a resource for critical metal recovery and carbon sequestration

By Sasha Wilson

The finely pulverized mineral wastes (tailings) from some mines naturally react with carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere, trapping and storing this greenhouse gas in newly formed minerals. The reactions that trap carbon dioxide in mine tailings can also be used to concentrate and recover critical metals, such as nickel and cobalt, that are needed for green energy production and storage. This talk will highlight laboratory, synchrotron and field experiments that show how rethinking mine tailings as a resource can help fight climate change. It will also describe field experiments involving moonsuits, bacteria, a 24-megatonne pile of asbestos and a lot of sulphuric acid.

Sasha Wilson is an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta and the Canada Research Chair in Biogeochemistry of Sustainable Resources. Sasha’s research focuses on environmental aspects of economic geology, carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, and the behaviour of low temperature minerals in chemical sediments.

Why your hopes are stupid, your dreams are dead and the change you want to make is impossible

By Troy Pavlek

Anyone who has the basest level of political engagement will have, at one point or another, heard a well meaning friend, colleague or public official say those five words: “You should run for office!”. Those well meaning five words which have the intention of congratulating you for being smart, encouraging your drive, and hoping that you can make the world a better place. But what those five little words don’t carry is the incredible investmen in terms of time, finances and internalized emotional trauma that run, which you will definitely lose, will cost you. Join Troy, in the role of trusted Nerd Nite advisor, as he breaks down precisely why your hopes are stupid, your dreams are dead and the change you want to make is impossible.

Troy is a software developer, podcast host and acclaimed Twitter shitposter from Edmonton, Alberta. In 2017 he ran in the Edmonton municipal election as councillor for Ward 11. He finished fifth of six. The effects of his loss are long lasting and include a deeply-instilled bitter cynicism that makes doing even simple, earnest things like writing a Nerd Nite bio without including biting sarcasm nigh impossible. He is a broken person.


This event will be held on Zoom. Please ensure you have downloaded Zoom and are familiar with Zoom's features. Support for Zoom can be found at their help centre. You will receive an an email the same day of the event with information on how to join.

Feel free to join the Zoom meeting here: https://fringetheatre-ca.zoom.us/j/92320535189
but if you'd like to support Nerd Nite, purchase a ticket below.

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