Date: Wednesday September 30, 2015
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Doin’ It Like They Do On the Discovery Channel: A Guide to Zoo Animals Gettin’ It On

Summary: Unlike their counterparts in the wild, most species living in zoos need a little assistance to reproduce. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) works to ensure that animals in zoos are able to procreate to keep the circle of life going now and for the next 500 years. Surprisingly, most of this work takes place real close to Madison is more complicated than just letting two animals going at it. With a lot of data, science, and research behind it all, the AZA keeps zoos full of baby animals for people like us to coo over.

Presenter bio: Although she worked for a zoo, Tomissa Porath never worked directly with the animals or their reproductive behaviors. Tomissa currently works for the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association as a Prospect Research Analyst. In her spare time, she enjoys craft beer, travels the country in search of the best fast food burger, and drinks a whole lotta coffee.


Lovecraft and the Superfan: A Not-Quite Inspirational Tale of the Evolution of Modern Horror

Summary: Ever play the Dark Descent or Batman: Arkham Asylum? Watch the Evil Dead? Get disappointed by the second season of True Detective because it was nowhere near as good as the first? Modern horror and suspense would be completely unrecognizable without the influence of H.P. Lovecraft, but his influence would have been gone unnoticed if not for the tireless work of one man. This is an improbable story of friendship, horror, and tireless devotion that would forever change what we think is scary.

Bio: By day, Laura Felley is an MD/PhD student who spends her days drawing blood, begging cells to grow, and telling people to get HIV tests and flu shots. But by night, she is The Cultist: An unrepentant horror nerd and blogger ( from whom no weird fiction or Lovecraft-inspired story is safe.


Booze Hacking

Summary: Making booze is easy. Long before hoppy craft beers, Stone Age humans made primitive cocktails from grains and raisins. Animals regularly get wasted off rotten fruit. Huge clouds of alcohol even occur naturally in space! This presentation covers the history and science behind booze production, then shows how a trip to Woodman’s and some simple tricks are all you need need to start making your own DIY hooch.

Presenter bio: Mark Coatsworth is a graduate student at UW Computer Science. He moved to Madison from Toronto in 2014 and indulges his spare time in hockey, old time banjo, fast bicycles and whitewater canoeing. He is an alumnus of Nerd Nite Toronto, and is super excited to bring his science experiments to an international audience.