Recap: Dark Matters Nerdgasm

It’s been more than a year since Mack and I attended Dark Matters, a series of adult-only evenings at the Telus World of Science. Billed as an event where “science is served on the rocks & the adults come out to play,” Dark Matters provides a relaxed environment for learning and the opportunity to connect with an Edmonton attraction in a different way.

Dark Matters

Thespian robot

The Dark Matters that we attended last July was centered around food, while the theme of Thursday’s event was “Nerdgasm”. Top-secret Nerd Nite Edmonton lectures were the feature of the evening.

What brought us out to this particular Dark Matters was actually the Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibit. We’d recently visited Jurassic Forest in Gibbons, and learned that similar animatronic dinosaurs were on display closer to home.

Dark Matters

Mack with a juvenile t-rex

As one of our biggest complaints about Jurassic Forest was the distance between the viewing platform and the dinosaurs themselves, Dinosaurs Unearthed did deliver. The exhibition is, as expected, much more compact, with a combination of animatronic and fossil specimens on display.

Dark Matters

Dinosaurs Unearthed

The figures also featured the most up-to-date renderings of dinosaurs, feathers and all. Though we have to say, after learning that a velociraptor was between the size of a turkey and Great Dane, that classic raptor/kitchen scene in Jurassic Park just wouldn’t be the same if based on current scientific knowledge.

Dark Matters

I couldn’t help myself

While we enjoyed our visit with the dinosaurs, the highlight of Dark Matters did end up being the Nerd Nite lecture. Megan Evans, who plays the French horn for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, demystified the instrument for us. It was an enlightening and engaging 45 minutes, full of humour and fun facts. It was a great primer on what we could expect at a regular Nerd Nite event, which starts up again in September.

Dark Matters

Megan Evans on the French horn

Mack and I both agreed that this Dark Matters seemed to involve more elements than the previous one we’d attended. They made the most of the space, including outside the facility, where staff were launching rockets.

Dark Matters

Rocket launching isn’t just for kids

We ended our evening with a tour of TWOSE with long-time staff member (and now volunteer) Trevor Prentice. He is an enthusiastic ambassador of the centre, and introduced us to his favourite exhibit – an actual piece of the moon!

Dark Matters

Trevor with the moon rock exhibit

We were granted a behind-the-scenes look at the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre (did you know that the laser shows are not pre-programmed and are controlled by the technician?). Trevor also showed us Sophie, the star projection machine used before the transition to a digital system.

Dark Matters

Sophie

It was a great way to spend an evening reacquainting ourselves with the Telus World of Science. The next Dark Matters is taking place on October 15, 2015, with a rock & roll theme – it should be fun!

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