The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Curator Year In Review 2012: Beck in Brisbane — December 9, 2012

Curator Year In Review 2012: Beck in Brisbane

As the end of 2012 approaches, we thought it’d be nice to have an update from our beloved city curators.  This time Rebekah Waite in Brisbane highlights some of her most appreciated events, spaces and top moments of 2012.

bris

Picture by @saboskirt

Best event for meeting people?

The crowd at Cafe Scientifique, hosted by as part of National Science Week, was my pick for meeting people in 2012. Hardly your typical professional event, the 200 or so people clasping cocktails at the Queensland Museum were all there to learn something new. Attracting scientists from every conceivable background, the forum was ripe with potential collaborators and professionals more than ready to find a new challenge to apply their skills to.

Best event for content shared and learnings?

The ArtWrite series, hosted by QUT Art Museum and Eyeline magazine was a generous forum for emerging practitioners. Full of media professionals this monthly event was a perfect opportunity to ask all those questions everyone has always assumed you know the answers to. It was also a rare opportunity to take advantage of decades of experience (wins and loses) to be found in the panellists. I’d be keeping an eye on what’s happening in the 2013 calendar.

Personal event stye preference (breakfast/conference/workshop/etc/etc)?

As a morning person (yes, they do exist), I love a good breakfast event. Best way to get a head start on the day!

Favourite source of local community news?

For a glimpse into the nerd side, Stuff and Things (locally produced podcast) is about as good as it gets. For your creative curiousities, The Native Press is a one stop shop. But I have to say, nothing beats a carefully curated Facebook feed (this Brisbane list by Amy Grey is a pretty great start).

Favourite coworking space?

The Edge* (*yes, I am more than a little biased here, but, come on, the city views alone are to die for!).

Favourite cafe with wifi?

Hands down Lady Marmalade in Stones Corner, where the haloumi slices are thicker than the bread and the wifi is free. Only challenge here is to concentrate on the task at hand with some much good food to be had…

What’s been a personal highlight and not so high moment of the year?

It’s been fantastic to have such varied and challenging things to look forward to in my calendar throughout the whole year, from starting a Masters and getting to know The Fetch community, through to the wonders of my day job (I’m still trying to understand how someone considers it ‘work’ to be involved with mad scientist tea parties and zombie apocalypses). The downside of all of that? I didn’t quite get as much sleep as I had become accustom to!

What have you enjoyed about being involved with The Fetch in 2012?

It’s been a privilege getting to know more of the good folks in Brisbane, from the ambassador team (and our delicious fortnightly catch-ups), to the curious minds who attend events throughout town and the amazing, dedicated people who run them.

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

More adventures.

Event Review: Cafe Scientifique — August 20, 2012

Event Review: Cafe Scientifique

When: Saturday, 18 August 2012
Where: The Collectors Café, Queensland Museum
Organised by: Inspire Australia as part of National Science Week

While the drinks were served in test tubes, the only lab coats around Café Scientifique were ironic. Scientists certainly know how to put on an event.

Café Scientifique is a concept that sees scientists of all disciplines gather over a coffee (or a cocktail!) to explore the latest thinking in science and technology outside of an academic context. Queensland’s Chief Scientist, Dr Geoff Garrett, was on hand to open Brisbane’s first Café Scientique at Queensland Museum, and to celebrate the ‘closing ceremony’ of National Science Week.

I am by no means a scientist, so I took comfort in the fact that cocktail demonstrations held centre stage at this event. The evening’s liquid delights were designed and prepared by self-described mixologist (and molecular and microbiologist), Andrew Cameron. I’d first met Andrew when he prepared liquid nitrogen sorbets for a Science Fair we were running, and I was keen to sample more of his creations.

First on the menu was Death In The Afternoon, described as a fusion of absinthe, effervescence and Hemingway. Andrew gave us a brief snapshot into the history of absinthe, hinted at how author Hemingway was connected (as alluded to in the name of the cocktail) and then let us sample the subject. Unfortunately, he forgot to mention to the waitstaff that the absinthe samples needed to be topped up with champagne. Everyone in my group shot straight absinthe with a dash of sugar syrup. Ah well, we were all ready to start chatting after that.

When the second cocktail for the evening, Stirred Not Shaken, was presented, I have to admit I was somewhat distracted. By now I had managed to meet two of Griffith University’s faculty staff and was deeply engrossed in a passionate discussion about 3D printing and the possibilities presented by community fabrication labs.

It is at this point in the recap that I wish to implore you – do not be scared by science!! The discussions that I had at this event were as good, if not better than discussions I would have at any other business or creative event on the calendar. I truly believe that anyone in Brisbane’s vibrant and creative professional community could have walked into Café Scientifique on Saturday night and found at least one person from the science community that they could collaborate with, do business with or at the very least have a passionate discussion with.

In between discussions I managed to catch the canapé tray on a couple of its rounds and sampled suitably sciency (yes, that’s a word…) morsels like juniper soused air dried venison with fried carrot chips. Delicious. The evening ended with a breakfast martini, topped with marmalade, that was enhanced by the aromas of infused liquid poured over dry ice and passed around in conical flasks (very Alice in Wonderland!).

So, summing up, what did you miss? The chance to examine life from another point of view, connect with some talented potential collaborators and gather a few fancy facts to whip out at your next dinner party about the science of cocktails.

Cafe Scientifique will be happening again, but dates are yet to be announced.

Event Review: The Fame Algorithm —

Event Review: The Fame Algorithm

When: Thursday 16 August 2012
Where: The Guild Bar, QUT Gardens Point
Organised by: QUT as part of National Science Week

I made the rookie error of mentioning to my colleagues that I was heading to a comedy show about maths. That’s when the calculator jokes started (rDrr).

Once the laughter had subsided I was able to grab my maths buddy (who would also serve as interpreter at this particular event) and make my way across the river to QUT’s Guild Bar.

Within two minutes of comedian Simon Pampena taking the stage, it was obvious the composition of this particular audience. The opening question was ‘who loves maths the most?’, which quickly led into a chant of ‘Aussie Aussie Aussie – maths, maths maths!’. Yes, as a marketing and media major, I was going to feel pretty out of place on campus tonight.

But I quickly settling into an enjoyable routine of being amused, impressed, and baffled (possibly not in a 1:1:1 ratio). Pampena managed to rewrite this classic (think, I like big sums…), recite π to about 40 decimal places, justify why Australia actually topped the Olympic medal tally in Beijing (hint: it had to do with Jamaica and murder statistics) and pitch an entirely plausible episode of Neighbours around Pythagoras’ theorem.

When it came to the Fame Algorithm itself, Pampena presented a case evidenced through 80s rock music (looking at the ratio of sex : drugs : rock’n’roll), and then examined elements such as talent, money and sex to prove that all fame isn’t the result of the former.

So, summing up, what did you miss? The opportunity to discover who mathematicians pay out (physicists) and the chance to have a good nerdy chuckle over a nice cold beer.

For Simon’s upcoming performances, keep an eye on his website or Twitter account, @mathemaniac.

%d bloggers like this: