I've gone from not posting for YEARS to two posts in a day - but I wanted to get this out in time:
Tonight is Nerd Nite Halifax night at the Propeller Arcade on Gottingen!
Nerd Nite is a regular event that takes place in over a hundred cities worldwide. It's usually monthly, but in Halifax it's every two months. It's a chance to hear people talk about their particular interests or areas of study. Halifax is a natural place for a Nerd Nite, as we have so many academics and researchers in town. They had gotten some serious momentum through to early 2020 and then everything shut down with the pandemic lockdowns. They started again about a year ago and there's always more people there every time I go.
I always enjoy learning about random topics, especially from people passionate about them. Some things I've learned over the last few sessions:
People in the 19th and early 20th centuries were primed to believe in ghosts and the supernatural, since those weren't all that much weirder than other things being mainstreamed at the time, like electricity and radio.
Lobsters can technically live forever as they lack the molecular "countdown clocks" that most life forms have in their genes. They just get bigger and slower and eventually wear out or get eaten.
We can't just put extra warning klaxons or whatever on big ships so that whales will avoid them because, being usually the largest things in the sea, "get out of the way" is not part of most whales' repertoire.
There is such a thing as stop-action Lego porn. It's not particularly sexy, but it does provide fascinating insights into genre tropes.
English speakers tell their kids to "be good" while the French tell them to "be wise" - and that leads to surprising cultural differences.
I've even presented at Nerd Nite myself, sharing excerpts from my "Four Weird Things About Time" talk.
The talks are almost all fascinating - and even if they aren't, they're each only about 20 minutes, and there are beverages! Tonight's event covers species identification via poop, eelgrass beer, and a peek at the Nova Scotia Museum's Zoology collections.