Date: Wednesday August 27, 2014
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Parasitic and Allelopathic Plants

Summary: Plants seem helpless to their environment, lacking the means to manipulate their surroundings or leave. However, some clever plants have figured out how to disadvantage a neighbor for personal gain. Sound familiar? While not quite as effective as M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, plants can seriously mess with other plants through chemical and cultural warfare. Learn about plants that kill (or try to kill) other plants in order to survive. 

Presenter bio: Christy Marsden is a Horticulture Educator for UW-Extension, a job that surprisingly makes use of both her bachelor’s in Human Development and Masters in Horticulture in Agronomy from the University of California, Davis. She attempted to deny her plant nerdiness for many years, but finally realized that when put to good use by connecting people to plants, it didn’t seem so bad.


Pokemon and Capitalism

Summary: Pokémon has become the second-most successful and video game-based media franchise in the world. The franchise has also expanded into multiple realms of media entertainment including movies, tv-shows, trading cards, and merchandise. In this presentation, I use the capitalist theory to argue for the success of the Pokémon and how the Pokémon franchise has thrived in capitalist economies. 

Bio: Bio Haiku:

Minh from Milwaukee.
Mega rad Pokémon dreams.
In grad school, bitches.

Minhtuyen (Minh) Mai is back for her second Nerd Nite presentation. She is now a third year graduate student in Educational Policy Studies at UW-Madison. She studies food insecurity among low-income students, and social media for scholarly professional development– all of which have nothing to do with her presentation.


The Chemistry of Brewing Beer

Summary: Have you ever wondered how chemistry is intertwined with the beautiful orgy of water, malt, hops, and yeast that produces that most glorious lovechild we intimately know as beer? If your answer is yes, you should come to this talk. If your answer is no, you should come to this talk. Why? Because imbibing will be riding shotgun on this magic carpet ride! This talk will guide you through the brewing process, from alpha acid to zymurgy, with an eye on the chemistry that leads to the huge variety of aromas and flavors we know and love.

Presenter bio: Eric Melby, like many of you, is a lover of beer. He exercises this love as a homebrewer and consumer of most beers he can get his hands on. Eric is currently working towards his PhD in Environmental Chemistry and Technology, where he does research on the chemical principles that guide nanoparticle-biological membrane interaction. In a previous life he taught many flavors of high school chemistry in Fountain, Colorado. What would he really like to do with his life? Ride into the sunset (on a mountain bike) with his wife, dog, and chickens (apparently a very large mountain bike), and operate a small brewery and hobby farm that both focus on environmentally sustainable practices.