Nerd Nite #45 - Also at the Barns in 2018
November 13, 2018
ATB Financial Arts Barns - Westbury Theatre
Nerd Nite #44: Exercise your brain!
It's time for one last hurrah... before the holiday season verily takes over our lives. Oh, don't worry, we'll be back for more nerdy nites in the New Year (alliteration!). But you'll want to get your fill now. Because who know what can happen between now and the turning over of that annual clock.
Nerd Nite: It’s like the Discovery Channel, but with beer!
Our line-up of talks includes:
The State of Wireless in Canada...aka Why Is My Cell Phone Bill So
Smartphones are great. They let you keep in touch with family and friends, help you stay organized, and allow you to take amazing photos wherever you are. It’s just too bad that you have to remortgage your house every time the bill comes due. Ever wonder why Canadians pay such high rates for our wireless devices? Think the only explanation is greedy cell phone companies? Think again! Join us for a deep-dive (or at least a shallow dip) into the wireless industry in Canada. What decisions brought us here? Why does this seem like such a difficult problem to solve? We’ll answer these questions and more as we peer into the fascinating world of wireless regulation, MVNOs, spectrum auctions, and why it really pays to live in Saskatchewan or Quebec.
An engineer by education and a nerd by birthright, Aaron has been fascinated by science and technology since he was a wee lad taking magnets to his parents’ computer screen to see what would happen. For the last decade, he’s been obsessed with the fast-paced and ever-changing world of smartphones and wireless technology and how they intersect with our day-to-day lives. As a former corporate trainer, Aaron gets his jollies distilling complex technical topics into something interesting and accessible. When he's not staring into a tiny screen, you'll find Aaron listening to podcasts, playing video games, consuming news and political commentary or hating himself at the local gym.
Moss: the BIG life of tiny plants
Moss might be the saddest plant on earth; it’s terribly misunderstood and underappreciated. In fact, many people consider it a nuisance. But if you purchase an expensive hand lens, and dedicate thousands of hours to infuriating plant identification, you too can begin to see the beauty of these tiny plants. You’ve likely seen moss growing on trees and sidewalks, but you might be surprised to know that there are entire ecosystems dominated by moss, and that those ecosystems have a tremendous impact on our planet. In fact, the restoration of one moss-dominated ecosystem is becoming recognized as immensely important towards the fight against climate change!
Mallory Hazell is Vegetation and Wetland Ecologist with an eccentric passion for moss! She is a professional biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, and recently completed a Master’s degree in wetland reclamation from the University of Alberta. She conducted research on how to design and construct a peatland (a moss-dominated wetland) on a former oil sands mine. While her love for mosses started several years before graduate school, it was during graduate school that she started to appreciate the impact some moss-dominated ecosystems have on our planet. She is a member of the Western Canada Bryophyte and Lichen Interest Group, but insists that she is still an absolute bryology beginner.
All the stats you never wanted about women in YEG politics
Only about a quarter of our politicians in Canada are women. There's been some improvement from the time (some) women won the right to vote, but the progress has been slow. Today, new challenges have popped up, like the public square that is Twitter and how it impacts women in politics. Then there's #metoo and how that movement plays into this issue. We need to do better. But where are we at, exactly, and what do the numbers show? And why should we care? Why is this important? And most importantly, how can we make it better? There is a way—and it involves you.
Lana Cuthbertson is the Chair of ParityYEG, an Edmonton-based organization dedicated to getting more women into politics and public office. She also works in ATB Financial's Transformation department, where she listens to other people who work at ATB and shares their stories throughout the company. She loves storytelling, innovating, and promoting women in leadership. She has degrees in journalism and English literature and sings in a choir.