Nerd Nite 045

Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)
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Transcription Factors: the Pianists Playing the Music of our Cells

Summary: Every cell in our body has the same genetic information; a blueprint necessary for the fabrication of all types of cells in our body. Your eye cells have the same genes as your heart cells, but the function and the appearance of these cells are completely different. Have you ever wondered why? Of course you haven’t, who in their right mind would? Well biological scientists, like José, do. José hopes to convince you why it’s important to spend money and time in this type of basic research, but first you will learn what makes heart cells and eye cells distinct despite their identical genomic information.

José Rodríguez-Molina

Presenter bio: José is a PhD student at UW-Madison studying the nervous system. He grew up and lived for 23 years in Puerto Rico and ironically learned to sail in Lake Mendota. In the summer he loves to garden fruits, vegetables and flowers, and in the winters he waits for summer to come back.

A Brief History of Disco: from Dionysus to the Disco Duck

Summary: What was the first disco song (around 1972) and why did it come to flames in Chicago’s Disco Demolition Night (in 1979)? We’ll examine how established elements of Jazz, Funk, Latin & Soul cultures came together to worship “four-on-the-floor” & “the hustle.” Ritualistic dance fads will be surveyed as we travel sonically through known episodes of ecstatic dance music in history culminating in NYC nightclubs of the early 70s and the mainstream disco explosion years later.

John Feith

Presenter Bio: John has been the guitarist for VO5 (the Madison disco band) for 11 years and recently recorded and produced VO5’s debut album “Dance Originality,” winner of the MAMA’s 2015 “Unique Album of the Year” award. He is also the author and nature recordist of the “Bird Song Ear Training Guide” CD used by thousands of birdwatchers in the Midwest. Mr Feith has an Electrical Engineering degree from UW-Madison, where he once made an Ultrasound Theremin MIDI Controller. Other nerdy accomplishments include developing Noise Reduction and Acoustic Modeling algorithms for Sonic Foundry and building a near-anechoic chamber in his basement.

Facets of Steven Universe

Summary: How a show about gay space rocks shows us how to be humans.

Liz Davison

Presenter bio: Liz is a School Counselor at Madison Country Day School, a former library assistant/English teacher, and is out to get your children (to be better people). She’s probably wearing a costume right now.

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