Date: Wednesday Feb 5, 2014
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Founder of Nerd Nite – talking about anything he damn well pleases – (official title TBA)

Summary: He started Nerd Nite over 10 years ago in Boston, and will be gracing Nerd Nite Madison’s stage.  Christopher Balakrishnan is in town! (Official summary TBA)

Bio: Christopher Balakrishnan! The indigo bird dude! OMG! (Official bio TBA)


Pogonotrophy: Facial Hair through the Ages

Summary: No longer just for Revolutionaries, Bikers, or 70’s pornstars; facial hair is seeing a resurgence of popularity in the U.S. and abroad. Some beards are big and bushy, others not so much. Some beards inspire love and trust, while others distinguish you from your evil twin. Regardless of any single beard, beards as a whole have had an impact throughout the ages.

Let’s take a look at the long and tangled history of facial hair and at its current manifestation in the competitive world of Bearding.

Presenter bio: Nathan S. Wilson is a proud member of the Madison Beard Wearer’s Union. His mustache has won the following awards…

* First at the final Beardcon Competition in Columbus, OH
* Second at the inaugural Chicago Beard and Mustache Competition
* Third (two years running) at the Mid Atlantic Championships
* Third in his category at the 2013 National Beard and Mustache Championships

In addition those awards, his mustache is also a sports icon, having appeared on the pages of ESPN magazine. Nathan’s mustache will be accompanied by the rest of his body for this presentation.


Recovering the Wisdom of a Hobbit’s Heart

Summary: Pity, Mercy, and Forgiveness. Look, I don’t want this to sound like the latest post on or .net or whatever, but these are the three things that The Lord of the Rings is really about. We discover the value of pity, mercy, and forgiveness through interaction with the radical other, Gollum. But, when Peter Jackson made his movies he completely stripped pity, mercy, and forgiveness out of the story, and we just missed it because we were drooling over seeing a Balrog. I’ll show you how he did this, with the assistance of a few friends I’ll bring to the stage: a Polish Samwise Gamgee, a Frodo Baggins who is over 6 feet tall, and a Gollum with a deep abiding love of bees. Come with me on this adventure to recover the radical wisdom of the heart.

Presenter bio: Brendon Panke is currently staying around home to take care of his tiny son. Once a month Brendon still gets out there to tell stories with the Madison Storytellers. Before that he would perform science for his meal tickets and improvise with Atlas Improv Co to keep clothes on his back. He has also spent a lot of time discussing The Lord of the Rings with philosophers and has thrown down in some wicked LOTR street battles. He’ll deliver this talk in a cape.