Sass that hoopy Nerd Nite attendee! There’s some froods who really know where their towels are!  Welcome to the 42nd Nerd Nite Edmonton. We might not have all the answers, but at least we know 42 is the answer to the ultimate question… Whatever that question is. Maybe it gets answered in our final Nerd Nite of our sixth season! Nevermind this lengthy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reference. Join us for drinks and learning!

Be there AND be square!

Our line-up of talks includes:

Why it’s good to be dirty: how bacteria keep you healthy
Monica Davis

We live at a time when we have nearly forgotten what it was like when vaccine-preventable illnesses killed off large portions of the population. A time when waste management, indoor plumbing, and water purification have removed so many of the risks inherent in interacting with our environment. And a time when disinfectants, antimicrobials, and hand sanitizers are more common than a stranger holding a door open for us. Infectious disease rates have plummeted and life expectancy has risen, but are there consequences to living in our sanitized world? Autoimmune diseases are on the rise while bacterial diversity in the human natural flora is on the decline. Research has shown that the bacterial species in our gut influence the development of autoimmune disorders. Learn how your microbiome effects your health and why you should be dirty, stay dirty, and let your kids eat dirt.

Monica Davis is a Science Lab Instructor at MacEwan University. During her PhD studies in Molecular Biology and Genetics and then her post-doctoral fellowship, she worked on the regulation of immunity in fruit flies. Motherhood threw her into the crazy world of social media mom groups and the interesting “science” that floats around them. This led to a lot of independent reading on all sorts of science-y things that applied to parenthood. Largely to justify not having to give a nightly bath to four children, she attempted to understand the research about normal flora and its effect on health. To her great relief, she found that having dirty kids not only made parenting easier, but was good for them too!

Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now
Scott Lundell

Have you ever donated to a charity? You and about 85% of Canadians. Ever wonder what happens with your money? Probably, briefly. Then your brain releases enough serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin to fill a wheelbarrow, you pat yourself on the back, and you carry on with your charitable afterglow. But when we, as Canadians, donate $12.8 billion to charities every year, should we be a little more discerning about where we fling our spare change? I won’t tell you where to hand your wad of bills. But I’ll give you some legit questions to ask your favourite cause.

Scott Lundell has spent his life watching smarter people than him build community. He’s read a lot of studies and research around volunteerism and charitable giving. He is currently on the Community Engagement team at Servus Credit Union. He is a former Executive Director of the Volunteer Centre in Sherwood Park and held leadership roles with Volunteer Canada and Volunteer Alberta.

Maple Flavoured Recoil: Firearms Law and Ownership in Canada
Jason Arnold

Our system seems to have a firm handle on control of the licensing, transport, sale and acquisition of firearm across the country. This has done a fair job of letting Canadians have access to arguably one of the most potentially dangerous tools ever created, and yet, we have an incredibly low percentage of gun violence in comparison to other developed nations that allow their citizens the same privilege. Some of our laws critically influence this in a positive way, others have been put in place based on ideas that have no real basis in fact or logic or were copied from ideas used in other countries. In Canada the restrictions come and go, classifications change, licenses change, or have been eliminated altogether.

So what is it exactly that makes the Canadian system better or worse? What are the standards that we have that give the perception that it is way safer in Canada? Let’s look at the myths, misconceptions, facts and logics that make up firearm control in Canada.

Vancouver Island born, parts technician by trade. Firearm enthusiast, hunter, and recreational sport shooter since the age of 12. I have been fascinated by firearms, sport shooting, and hunting since a very young age; with any hobby, if you are to partake, being legally allowed to do so is always a plus. I love to learn, am a perpetual student and have a knack to retain way more facts and movie quotes than the average person. In my down time you can find me in my workshop tinkering, hanging out with my cat Kevin, puppy Allie and my beautiful wife Krista.