Date: Wednesday April 17, 2013
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Astrophysics on Ice: Shaken, not Stirred

Summary: Physics can take you many places, including the bottom of the world. Two of the largest particle detectors ever built are in the ice at the South Pole with construction managed and conducted by local Madison folks. We’ll look at why these projects are in Antarctica, what’s it’s like to live and work at 90 degrees south, and a little bit about neutrino astrophysics. We’ll also give away some t-shirts!

Presenter bio: Mike DuVernois has bowled on all seven continents. He’s interested in most everything as any visitor to his home could verify. He’s a senior scientist with the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center and a research professor in the Department of Physics.


Do You Hear What I Hear?: Numbers Stations, Mystery, and Meaning.

Summary: Although the era of ham and shortwave radio operation has waned with the advent of the internet, the ears of men and women through the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were tuned to the mysterious and eerie transmissions of so-called “numbers stations.” These stations were located all over the world, and communicated through simple signals of beeps, static, or recorded voices that only listed numbers or nonsensical words. Although their popularity has only grown through the internet and popular culture, the true purpose and origin of these stations has remained a mystery for decades. In this presentation, I will discuss a brief history of the various number stations, as well as their worldwide (yet elusive) presence. I will then explore the meaning behind the number stations, including scientific evidence, potential conspiracy theories, and educated guesses from the men and women who have dedicated their lives to uncovering their secrets.

Presenter bio: Nick Knittel was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and completed his undergraduate in Film & Video Production at Ohio University. He came to Wisconsin following the completion of his masters degree in Creative Writing from Fairfield University in 2011. His first book of short stories entitled “Good Things” was published in October 2012. Nick spends the majority of his time telling people to watch The Wire, reading whatever he can get his hands on, and dreaming about nice things during work.


Roller Derby 101: Will you be my lead jammer?

Summary: By now, you may have been exposed to one of the fastest growing sports in the country – Roller Derby. Chances are, you’ve attended a bout, know someone who plays, seen in on TV, or have at least seen posters at the coffee shop! The first time you watch derby, you may be confused by the action and wonder what the heck is going on (other than girls skating around in circles knocking each other out of the way). Understanding the basic derby rules can be as easy as wading through quicksand; we will try to shed at least a little light on the game! Come take a trip with us through the history of derby past and present, get to know what it takes to be a derby girl, and be able to impress your friends at the next bout!

Presenter bios: 

SuggahPony (Nikki McGreevey) came to Madison from Colorado by way of Florida to work at the UW veterinary school as a resident in Large Animal Internal Medicine. She grew up around the Midwest and Western U.S. with a background living on dairy farms and riding horses. This background turned into ump-teen years of schooling, a few diplomas, and a chance to be part of the Wisconsin cheese culture. She began her roller skating career during elementary school at the (now non-existent) rink in Ames, Iowa. On those epic evenings, she participated in fun, gossip, candy eating, and nightly features such as the spin skate, the backwards skate, and, the always classic, limbo. Putting skates on again last fall was not like ‘riding a bike’ as she could barely stand up without falling over. Since then, she is able to stand and roll and is learning to become proficient at hitting bitches (derby rule #1 – bitch is a term of endearment in derby!). The best part about derby, according to SuggahPony, is the great community of amazing women involved in the sport. Outside derby and work, she likes to hang out in the sun with her two dogs and husband, John, who is now enjoying all that alone time he has always wanted due to her newfound hobby!

Aphrosmite: The Goddess of Shove (Liz Barkowski) moved to Madison last summer from Austin, Texas to work at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at UW. Living in Austin, the re-birth place of roller derby, she frequently attended bouts and always had dreams of becoming a derby girl. After years and years…and more years… of higher education, she finally has time play roller derby! According to Aphrosmite, derby is a great way to be active and challenge yourself, make amazing friends, and develop an obsession with tights and booty shorts. Outside of research and roller skating, she loves cooking, taking long walks with her dog Chad, and trying to figure out how the hell to pronounce the names of Wisconsin cities.