Date: Wednesday May 23, 2012
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Eine Kleine Nachtnerd: What Are You Made Of?: A Brief History of Microscopes and What They Are Good For: I Love Colons: Ha Ha

Summary: Most thinking people and even some politicians accept that living things are made of cells, cells are made of molecules, molecules are made of atoms…and the list goes on. But how do we know all this? In one form or another, the family of instruments we call microscopes have informed most of what we know about the world of the small, the tiny, and the truly itty-bitty. Together, we will explore the 400-plus-year history of the microscope (skipping a bit here and there) and see what the most cutting-edge microscopes of today can show us about what the universe is made of. During the course of the talk, there will be forty-one images, twelve facts previously unknown to you, and two jokes.

Presenter bio: Joe Yeager is a graduate student in chemistry at UW-Madison where he is attempting to complete the first half of as many projects as possible. He was born, raised, and schooled in Kentucky, and it was also there where he met his wife, Rachel, whom you may remember from that talk with all the historic porn. He has the head of a man, the body of a lion, the arms of a starfish, and the voice of an angel with bronchitis.


Animals and alcohol: the evolution of intoxication

Summary: Boozing beasts give us insight into the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems!

Presenter bio: Zach Throckmorton is a PhD candidate with UW-Madison’s Anthropology Department whose research includes the lighter side of biological interactions.


It’s the Clothes That Make the (Pac) Man: Masculinity and Early Videogame Characters

Summary: With the early limitations of videogame design, it was necessary to use overly emphasized features to underscore, enhance, and display the masculinity of characters like Pac-Man, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Ryu.  With no clear genitalia, how do we know these four are male? How do heteronormative features such as a bow tie, a bushy mustache, or bulging muscles, overtly masculine names, and cliched male-female relationships gender these characters?  This talk seeks to understand how and why we recognize Pac-Man, Mario, Donkey Kong, and Ryu as men, and what this means about our understanding of masculinity.

Presenter bio: Alexandra Newman is a second year Master’s student in the Department of Art History, working on her thesis entitled “The Trope of the Boy Adventurer: Tintin and Jonny Quest.”  She studies French and American cartoons and comics, and American pop music ephemera.  She spends her spare time watching reality tv and cartoons, trying to convince her boyfriend it’s “art historical research.”