Date: Wednesday December 5, 2012
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Field Notes from a Catastrophic Outburst Megaflood

Summary: Towards the end of the last glacial period, rapid (natural) climate warming led to increased melting of ice sheets, forming large glacial outwash lakes. Many of these lakes were held back by precarious ice dams that often failed due to various reasons I won’t go into here or why would you bother coming to the talk? Evidence of these large floods are found throughout the world, with most having left large, impressive land surface features. Consequently, this groundbreaking research has since led most civil engineers to agree that ice is an unsuitable building material for dams.

Presenter bio: Laura Hayes is a geomorphology graduate student at the University of Wisconsin. Her research interests include Quaternary dating methods, glacial geology, and late Pleistocene megafloods. To the people of Siberia, she is known as картофель идиот, which, she thinks, means ‘highly esteemed, beautiful lady scientist.’ It actually means ‘potato idiot,’ due to her inability to peel potatoes to the high standard of the 85th Motor Rifle Leningrad-Pavlovskaya Red Banner Division.


“L’art de la bise” or “Why do the French kiss so much?”

Summary: If you have ever been to France, you probably had to go through this awkward moment when French people will try to kiss you to say “Hi!” Audrey, a REAL French person, will share with you why French people kiss and how it is done. Be ready for some potential demos! Super-special guests will also demonstrate some common ways people from other countries greet each other.

Presenter bio: Audrey grew up in Strasbourg, France. Moved to Lyon, France when she was 8 and pursued a degree in Chemistry at CPE Lyon. As she was completing her Master Degree in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, she had the opportunity to start her PhD in Materials Chemistry at the UW – Madison. Grad School in the US is just so bad ass! She enjoys playing with as many instruments as she is allowed to and hopes to graduate by 2015 while spreading her French Touch.


Selected Badasses of French Literature

Summary: The author may be dead, but in this selection of some of French literature’s wildest and weirdest writers, their life stories live on with their work. This talk will discuss anecdotes about writers from the middle ages to the present day. Come for the literary history, stay for the crime sprees, fortune hunting, sex, death, and plentiful chest hair!

Presenter bio: Rachel Tapley is getting her PhD in French literature at UW-Madison. She has never been successfully convicted of murder.