Archive for the ‘Event’ Category

Look in the sky: it’s a plane, it’s a tree, it’s a spider!

Date: Wednesday, Feb 16
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

The order of the night’s line-up will be announced on the Facebook event the day of the show.

Pop(ulus)-Culture of Dane County and surrounding areas

There are many seasons and reasons to appreciate the plant genus Populus. Poplars, cottonwoods, and aspens were the first trees to have their genome sequenced, are some of the largest single organisms in the world, and have been used by humans for millennia. However, you don’t need to be a walking encyclopedia of modern Pop-culture to appreciate what are ultimately just a group of honkin’ good trees! The Popurazzi have been at it this past year, snapping photos of ramets, genets, and all-around great trees of the genus you can find in southern Wisconsin. While we’re sure there are plenty of ortets keeping a low-profile, you won’t want to miss this salicaceous tour highlighting the best that Populus has to offer in our area.

Tyler Wintermute

Presenter bio: Tyler is a PhD student in the Department of Botany at UW-Madison, studying the chemical ecology of the genus Populus, a surprise to no one. While using complicated instruments to analyze small metabolites that have broad impacts on ecosystem processes really gets him going, he recognizes a need for digestible, translational ecology and general science communication to larger audiences who might not care how many 1-hydroxy-6-oxocyclohex-2-en-1-carboxylic acid units are attached to a glucose molecule. Plus, his favorite Populus species was extirpated from Wisconsin by the Pabst Brewing Company in 1889, so he’s had to make do with more resilient trees. When not botanizing, Tyler enjoys sports, and has recently started cross-country skiing, a mythical activity in his native Northern Virginia.

What’s So Great About Flying Small Planes?

If you have a friend or acquaintance who is a pilot, you may have heard (many times) about how great flying is, or even been offered a ride in a small plane. If not, you have probably seen or heard planes flying around the local airports – Dane County Regional Airport in Madison or Morey Field in Middleton. In this talk, I’m going to give an overview of what flying general aviation (GA) planes is all about: Why do people love to fly (and love to talk about it)? How does one go about learning to fly? How safe is it to say yes to a ride in a small plane? What are the advantages and disadvantages of flying yourself somewhere vs. buying an airline ticket?

Sam Hurley

Presenter bio: Sam a Scientist in Radiology at the University of Wisconsin, and an MRI Physicist for UW Health. He received a PhD in Medical Physics, also from Wisconsin. In his professional life, he works on methods to make medical imaging using MRI and PET/MR more quantitatively accurate and less sensitive to patient motion. In his free time, he enjoys attending concerts, playing bass guitar, travel, scuba diving, and working on electronics and software projects. Sam has been flying for about three years, holds an FAA private pilot’s license (aka an “airmen’s certificate”), and owns a partnership in a single-engine four-seat Cessna 172.

Spiders and Friends: When it Comes to Legs- Eight is Great!

Explore the world wide web of arachnids! Learn about some fascinating eight-legged animals from all over the world-and your back yard. Be able to answer questions such as: is the Daddy-Long-Legs a spider? Do spiders breathe? Are arachnids hell-bent on forever terrorizing humans, or are they just misunderstood, or both? Hardcore arachnophobes should sit this one out, but if you’re just creeped, experience the benefits of “knowing thy enemy.”

Danielle Ellen

Presenter Bio: A self-proclaimed “Renaissance Person,” Danielle doesn’t just pursue her interests – she chases them and tackles them to the ground! Some of those interests include: music (she fronts two bands), painting and fiber arts, psychology, religion, philosophy, entomology, and memes. She has been a teacher, a clothes-folder, a nursing home activities assistant, a project manager, and for three years ran a wacky-wild-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man costume company with two-time Nerd Nite favorite, Bob Baddeley. She currently works as an actuarial analyst and is learning embroidery in her spare time.

Nerd Nite 075

Date: Wednesday, Dec 1
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

The order of the night’s line-up will be announced on the Facebook event the day of the show.

Ribbing you the wrong way: Why so many museum mounts of whales & dinosaurs are wrong, and why you might care

Have you ever wandered around a natural history museum, gazing in awe at the skeletons of impossibly large whales or enjoying the site of prehistoric monsters? What if I told you almost every museum display (and most textbook illustrations) have gotten the rib cage completely wrong due to mammal-chauvinism? Join me for a look at how fossils, developmental anatomy and correcting our own preconceptions can provide insight on how torso bones work, and why it matters to more than just museum visitors and 5 year old dinosaur enthusiasts.

Scott Hartman

Presenter bio: Scott got his PhD at UW-Madison in paleobiology, studying (among other things) rib cage anatomy. After graduating he fooled UW-Madison into hiring him so he could stay on to warp the next generation of nerds and biologists. When not teaching or sciencing, he also likes to draw, watch movies with his daughter, cheer on Wisconsin sportsball teams (also with his daughter), and sometimes squeezes in time for a PC game. In addition to human progeny he is the proud father of an adorable dog and cat, who are far too spoiled for their own good.

What If Finding Nemo Were Real?

We certainly don’t expect a movie about talking fish and literate pelicans to be biologically accurate, but what if Finding Nemo were? Come learn about the mighty morphin’ sex change powers of clownfish and how they would change the story of Pixar’s award-winning classic.

Sasha Rosser

Presenter bio: Sasha Rosser is a data scientist at the UW-Madison Department of Surgery by day and nationally touring stand-up comedian by night. She also co-founded the local production company Madison Indie Comedy and collects R2-D2s and mustard.

Azucar!: Cuba’s rise and fall in the world stage

Everyone loves sugar. In fact, humans are evolutionarily predisposed to want and crave sugar. Although it’s striking, it’s no surprise that the yearly global sugar production today is approximately 180 million metric tons per year and most citizens acquire between 300 and 600 Calories DAILY from sugar or sugar products. Today’s sugar economy is vastly different from what it was 100 years ago. Pre-1940, Cuba led the world in sugar-cane production, providing upwards of one-third of the world’s supply, a lot of which ended up in the United States. Mauriel is fascinated by how Cuba’s history was shaped by sugar and how Cuba’s story fit into the world stage at the time.

Mauriel Rodriguez Curras

Presenter Bio: Mauriel a PhD student in Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research focuses on how carnivore communities are structured, particularly in the Anthropocene. He is currently doing research in Isle Royale National Park to understand how red foxes and American martens are responding to the recent wolf reintroduction. Outside of the academic setting, he loves biking, climbing, hiking, and playing board games.