June 12, 2014
Doors open at 7:00 pm – Event starts at 7:30 pm


Beta software is usually buggy and not ready for public consumption.
Nerd Nite Beta contains no bugs and consumption is encouraged.

At Nerd Nite Alpha I learned that there are more nerds in Calgary than I expected!   So for Nerd Nite Beta I have moved us to a new location – the National Music Centre.  A cool venue that should have lots of room for all the nerds out there that want to attend.

I have 3 speakers lined up that will again educate us on 3 very different topics.  So bring out your friends and enjoy some nerdness.

When: June 12, 2014 – Doors open at 7:00 pm, event starts at 7:30 pm.
Where: National Music Centre – 134 11 Avenue SE
$15 in advance only – includes one drink (available here)
No tickets sold at the door.
This is an 18+ event.

Notes about the new venue:  One change is that at the new venue we have to run our own bar so due to liquor license rules there will be no entry tickets sold at the door.  Tickets will be $15 online only but do include one drink.  There will be no kitchen also but our caterer will have baked goods and one food dish available (Cashew Chicken Curry with basmati rice).  There is a large parking lot on the other side of 11th Ave.

As we require a liquor license for this event, please note the event is private and only open to Nerd Nite Calgary members and invited guests.  To become a member please email to be placed on the groups mailing list.


Bitcoin From Scratch
Matt Lonsdale

Between the wild fluctuations in value, the FBI raids, the bankruptcies of high-profile firms and the botched attempts at investigative journalism, Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies get a lot of press these days. Unfortunately, these news stories rarely spend much time on one basic question: how does Bitcoin actually work? This talk will attempt to answer that question, progressing from the basic concepts of a decentralized currency to the technology which makes it possible and the attempts by government to regulate the whole thing.

Matt Lonsdale is a lawyer and unapologetic geek. Before getting into law, he earned undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Pure Mathematics from the University of Calgary. He spent six years working as a Linux/UNIX system administrator and interned with the the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic.He is currently the Copyright Advisor at Mount Royal University, where he also teaches a course on Intellectual Property law in the Continuing Education department. He spends more time than is probably healthy thinking about the intersection of law and technology and wishes he’d bought more bitcoins years ago.


Bigger on the Inside: Fandom, Materiality and the Limits of Participation
Benjamin Woo

In Batman (1989), the Joker famously asks, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?” A better question – and one painfully familiar to the film’s fannish audiences – might be where he keeps them. Growing collections of toys, books, DVDs, and other mementoes are an almost intrinsic part of participating in geek culture, but when they have to be stored, managed, and maintained they also become a limit on participation.

In this presentation, I’ll discuss geek culture from a material culture perspective. Material culture studies is a perspective in the social sciences that attempts to understand human behaviour through the physical artefacts that we use. For instance, although we often talk about fandom in terms of emotional states like “interest,” “enthusiasm,” or “passion,” fandom is also intimately involved with material objects, objects that enable certain actions but also become problems we have to deal with.

Benjamin Woo (@wooesque) is a currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of English at the University of Calgary where he has been conducting a study on working conditions in the comic-book industry. He did his graduate work at SFU’s School of Communication, writing an award-winning dissertation on one city’s “nerd-culture scene,” and will begin teaching in Carleton University’s Communication Studies program this fall. With all this moving around, he’s had to make some tough decisions about his own collections.


The Breathtaking Effects of Obesity on Breathing During Exercise
M@ … aka: Matthew David Spencer

Some obese individuals experience shortness of breath during exercise, whereas others do not. This talk will outline some of the potentially damning effects of this breathlessness, and will also provide a glimpse into what may lead some to feel the discomfort, while others do not. 100% truth… no hot air!

Matt is currently working as an Eyes High Postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. He previously spent time in some research capacity at the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine (Dallas, TX), Kobe University (Kobe, JP), and earned his doctorate from the University of Western Ontario (London, ON). On his own time, Matt thoroughly enjoys coaching basketball; after spending 12 seasons as an assistant coach with the high school girls’ team in his hometown of Antigonish, NS, he then spent two years with the UWO Mustangs women’s team, and a month as a guest coach with the Kobe University Seagulls while in Japan. Matt joined the University of Calgary Dinos coaching staff as an assistant last year, and lately has donated loads of his “nerdiness” to the program by conducting an advanced statistical analysis of the team’s performance. After the Nerd Night experience is over, Matt plans on focusing his attention toward his next failed comeback to distance running!