Nerd Nite London – Be there and be square

Discover hidden rivers under your feet, learn why English is so hard to read, and marvel at forgotten Disney propoganda at Nerd Nite London on 17th April 2019.

Nerd Nite London is a monthly event where three speakers give 18-21-minute fun-yet-informative talks across all disciplines – while the audience drinks along.

Address: Nerd Nite, Backyard Comedy Club, 231 Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 0EL
Details: Wednesday 17th April 2019, Starts at 7.30 pm, Tickets £7.50. Early nerd tickets £6 (limited availability).

London’s Hidden Rivers

London’s natural streams and rivers long ago disappeared below ground, though you can still find evidence of them if you know where to look. But London has another man-made river system as well. Part was built 400 years ago by Britain’s first modern business corporation, one of the most profitable companies in history. More was built by rapacious 19th century capitalists. Nick Higham reveals their legacy, from stunning architecture to manhole covers, steam engines to wildlife and nature reserves.

Nick Higham used to be a BBC correspondent. He’s writing a history of London’s water supply: a niche topic, but not as dry as it sounds

Rules of English Orthography: Their Our Know Rules

English: where the sounds are made up and the letters don’t matter! English has a very inconsistent sound-to-letter correspondence making it outrageously difficult to read and spell unfamiliar words (and sometimes familiar ones!). This isn’t an issue in other languages like Spanish or Italian, so why is it in English? This talk will explore the structure the English spelling system and how it came to be so unpredictable. I make no guarantees except to guarantee you will know why guarantee is spelled guarantee by the end of the talk.

Catherine is originally from upstate New York (where there are more cows than people) and she is currently completing a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at Brunel University London. Her work mainly focuses on the cognitive processes of bilingual reading and dyslexia.

The Greatest Disney Movie You’ve Never Seen

Princesses? No. Talking mice? No. Songs? No? A massive octopus devouring Japan? Yes! During World War II Walt Disney released a film unlike any you’ve ever seen. Instead of building on the success of his popular and award-winning children’s films, Uncle Walt put all of his resources into making propaganda to support the war effort. The pinnacle of this patriotic fervour was his entirely self-financed 1943 feature Victory Through Air Power. Find out what inspired Disney to make this bizarre movie and its surprising impact on military history.

Ever since his first trip to the cinema aged 4 (Superman II at the ABC Bournemouth, thanks for asking) Nigel has been watching too many movies. Every Tuesday he co-runs the Tufnell Park Film Club, now enjoying its seventh year, and can’t visit a new city without finding out where its oldest and/or picture palace is located. He previously spoke at Nerd Nite about Helen, Georgia, the small American town that would look more at home in the Alps than the Appalachians. By day Nigel works for the digital education company FutureLearn. You can follow him on Twitter @nigelcsmith

All proceeds from Nerd Nite London go to charity. This year we are partnering with the Shine Trust to help foster a new generation of nerds. More information about Nerd Nite London can be found by following us on Twitter @nerdnitelondon, liking us on Facebook or visiting For more information about the Shine Trust visit