You’ve had a long day at work, and now you’ve rewarded yourself with a stiff drink at your favourite watering hole. Your buddies join you. The game is on the tube. The music is loud.
And, of course, you begin the evening with the question: “Do you really think Einstein was right when he suggested that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light, which is just a hair over 186,000 miles per second in the vacuum of space?”
If that doesn’t sound ridiculous, or you are simply looking for bar chats that are a little more stimulating than the norm, you’ll be happy to hear that the Nerd Nite phenomenon is coming to Edmonton.
On Oct. 10, GoGo Lounge will host Edmonton’s first-ever Nerd Nite. Three experts will speak for 20 minutes each about their favourite geeky topics — and then hold quick Q and A sessions. The whole event is scheduled to take no longer than 90 minutes. And who will be speaking? University of Alberta PhD candidate Ross Lockwood will talk about the future of light-speed travel. Juno-nominated composer John Estacio will tell the audience what goes into writing an opera. And Rachelle Saunders, coordinator of Edmonton’s LogiCON, will talk about how a layperson can keep up with all the goings-on in the world of science.
“There will be a lot of drinks to be had, and intelligent things to be said,” said Wade Kelly, one of the coordinators of Edmonton’s Nerd Nite. “I call it Discovery Channel with beer.”
Kelly, who works to develop e-learning tools for the U of A’s Faculty of Nursing, and social-media strategist Adam Rozenhart came up with the plan to bring Nerd Nite to Edmonton. And, the GoGo Lounge event is already sold out. The pair are already looking to secure speakers and a venue for a November event.
The origins of Nerd Nite can be traced back to Boston in 2003. A biologist had returned from the Galapagos Islands and, for many consecutive nights, met with friends at the same bar to discuss his trip. Exasperated from hearing the same stories over and over, the staff suggested he simply rent the space, seat all of his friends down, and get the stories over with in one night.
It was a smash success. And now the Nerd Nite concept has gone worldwide, just like Pecha Kucha emerged out of Japan and is now conducted in cities around the world, including Edmonton. In New York, Ticketmaster sells ducats for Nerd Nite and the events attract some of the biggest speakers from their various fields.
Kelly can’t see Edmonton’s version ever getting to that point — but he’s enthused by the speakers who will be on hand next week.
“We wanted to represent a nice range of general nerdiness.”