Nerd Nite 067

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

The order of the night’s line-up will be announced on the Facebook event the day of the show.

Got Wood? The Importance of Bio-Renewables and the Challenges that Remain

Summary: We are all pining to soak up some sun while enjoying the breeze, but will solar and wind be enough? Many scientific questions still loom around the idea of sprouting our own fuels and plastics, yet we don’t have the luxury of indefinitely asking questions in this realm. It can be hard to know if we are barking up the wrong tree or just missing an obvious branch in sustainability. So if you’re feeling a little green on understanding the role of plants in energy production, listen to some insights that may sway you one way or another.

Manar Alherech

Presenter Bio: Manar, having no good rationale for how he got here from New York, has found himself working on a chemistry PhD at the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he figures out how to break wood down into substances to replace crude oil. Although he has tried many hobbies in life, he ultimately relies on board games, live music, dining out at a frequency his graduate student stipend can’t support, and spending way too much time going down YouTube/Wikipedia holes while cuddled up in bed with his cats and girlfriend.

The Invisible Flood: Corruption, Secret Tunnels, and 250 Million Gallons of Water in the Windy City

Summary: On April 13, 1992, while America was busy watching Wayne’s World and jamming to Nirvana, thousands of Chicagoans were forced to evacuate their offices due to a most unusual flood. As they took buses and walked down the streets, there was no water to be found. However, if they glanced down into the river, they could see a massive whirlpool as if the plug had been pulled from a hidden drain. Known today as the Great Chicago Flood, this bizarre event has it all: drama, history, and some good old fashioned government negligence. Learn how human engineering and nature don’t always play nice, and what the implications are for a nation where flooding is becoming a new normal.

Haley Briel

Presenter Bio: Haley got her masters degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Water Resources Management from the UW-Madison last May, and now works in town as a flood researcher for the Association of State Floodplain Managers. In addition to biking, trying new recipes, and buying potentially haunted items from antique stores, Haley spends her time being dramatically cynical about the environment and consequently ruining every party she attends. She also owns a furry cat goddess named Cricket.

Marvel-ous Motion: A Brief History of Marvel Comics in Film

Summary: By now we’ve all heard about the entertainment juggernaut that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Iron Man, Captain America, and the rest of the Avengers have been taking over every movie theater, website, and lunchbox for the past 11 years. But how did we end up with this particular group of Marvel superheroes? Why aren’t the X-Men involved? And what do you mean they almost made an Avengers movie starring Cher?! Come out to Nerd Nite to hear all about business deals, politics, and lucky breaks that have brought Marvel characters to the big screen over the past 75 years!

Joel Derig

Presenter Bio: Joel grew up in Boise, Idaho, before graduating with a degree in physics from Arizona State University. He moved out to Madison in 2014 to work for Epic, and somehow the brisk winters have yet to chase him away. When he’s not rambling on about the Marvel movies, Joel enjoys singing aggressively mediocre karaoke, reading too much, and telling people weird Idaho facts.

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