Date: Wednesday April 29, 2015
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

The Swayze Theory: An explanation for everything

Summary: Some scientists believe in a hypothetical theory that would be a coherent framework to explain all physical aspects of the universe. The recently-developed Swayze Theory posits that crux of this “theory of everything” has been in our minds and hearts for years: Patrick Swayze. This talk will delve into some of the history and present day discussion about the elusive ultimate theory, and explain why this tough guy and romantic heart throb holds the key to it all. Nerd Nite is the first time the Swayze Theory will be presented to the world. 

Presenter bio: Jamie is not what most would refer to as an “expert” in advanced theoretical physics or Patrick Swayze, but he does think Road House is just as interesting as the Higgs boson. This is his second time presenting at Nerd Nite, the first time he talked about Wikipedia (which assisted in some of the research for this talk).


Golden Orb-Weavers!

Summary: When asked, most people can name a few benefits that spiders have bestowed upon man-kind: maybe some people recognize that most of our food supply would be gone if spider-soldiers weren’t marching around eating up pest species, or some people appreciate the decrease in man-eating insect populations. However, did you know that one special group of spiders -the Golden Orb-Weavers- have contributed to the development of transgenic spider silk producing goats? Or that they were the first spiders to visit the international space station? The Golden Orb-Weavers do all of the above and more! Learn a little about what it takes to become a spider-naut, why on Earth anyone would want goatsilk, plus other amazing spiderfacts that will morph you into a superspidernerd.  

Bio: Meghan Fitzgerald is a graduate student in her last year of a Zoology PhD at UW Madison. She studies (non-) social interactions of Nephila spiders in Costa Rica and spends most of her time wishing it was acceptable to hire a dissertation ghost-writer. In her non-nerd time (ha!) she plays the ukulele, listens to storytelling podcasts and dreams of tiny-house building.


Monday Night Wars: When Professional Wrestling Ruled Cable TV

Summary: In the 90s, Ted Turner started World Championship Wrestling (WCW) and went head to head against Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Foundation (WWF). For six glorious years, these two shows battled over TV ratings. I’ll talk (and show video clips) about some of the major events in this era and how reality influenced the scripted world of professional wrestling. Prepare to learn about Hulk Hogan, the nWo, Bret “The Hitman” Heart, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Presenter bio:  Rob Lumley is a Digital Solutions Manager at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association. He has zero experience as a professional wrestler, but he was able to get through his adolescence by watching wrestling every Monday night. Shockingly, he is now married with a kid.