I found out about the Big Rock Brewery lectures series during the course of researching the company for an article, and was immediately intrigued by the concept - an evening spent at the brewery being fed, watered, and educated, with all the proceeds from the evening going toward University of Calgary scholarships. Big Rock holds four of these lectures per semester, with two semesters per winter, and the topics can range from the Rwandan genocide to knee pain to military intelligence to cricket sex, and anywhere in between.
It didn't take too much coercion to convince the Spousal Unit to accompany me to the lecture by a military historian last week on the failure of intelligence and the success of deception at Pearl Harbour, being a very manly sort of topic and all. Actually, had my brother's flight not left a few hours too early, he would have been very keen to attend as well.
The room was heavily populated with retired sorts, who seemed to have their set places and who obviously knew the ropes well, but the Spousal Unit got us adopted by a nice youngish retired couple who took us under their wing and filled us in on the finer points of buffet line strategy and post-dinner chair placement.
It was a great evening and I am keen to go back, perhaps to take in the Department of Chemistry professor's lecture on the new battle for historical shipwrecks or (and this one looks awesome) the Environmental Design professor's presentation on negotiated space and other trajectories. The beer is free, the meal is outstanding, and, because the audience is heavily skewed toward the retired set, the evening ends on time and clears out promptly.
The Spousal Unit even took home some military deception strategies which he intends to incorporate into marketing plans at work. And you thought the free beer was the only bad influence.