Nerd Nite 071

Date: Wednesday, Dec 4
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.

Black Holes and Revelations

Summary: Let’s say that one day you are feeling adventurous and decide to travel towards the black hole at the center of our galaxy. The less daring among us might think that nothing good can come from such a journey and that would be almost correct. Come to close to the black hole and your fate is sealed: you will die when you reach its center. Nonetheless, moments before your impending death you will be able to answer a question that continues to puzzle theoretical physicists: what exactly happens inside a black hole? In this talk, Lars will discuss the current understanding of this question and reveal some of the fascinating properties of black holes.

Lars Aalsma

Presenter Bio: Lars is a postdoctoral researcher in theoretical physics at UW Madison where he studies black holes, cosmology and string theory. After he obtained his PhD from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands he decided to move to a place above sea level and arrived in Madison in the summer of 2019. When he’s not thinking about physics, Lars enjoys running, watching improv shows and – as a true Amsterdam export product – tries to produce his own techno music.

Big Hits, Fast Whips, and Isaac Newton: The Physics of Roller Derby

Summary: You can’t be good at roller derby unless you’re also an excellent physicist. Okay, that’s not actually true, but every aspect of this full-contact sport on wheels is pretty much a perfect physics demonstration. How does a derby skater go from tottering around like Bambi on ice to sprinting around the track, smashing into opponents and sending them flying into the laps of audience members? Newton’s Laws explain it all. Remember them from your high school physics class? No? Well, you’ll remember them after this live, hard-hitting demonstration.

Liz Holden

Presenter Bio: Liz teaches physics at UW-Platteville. She is co-captain of the Reservoir Dolls roller derby team here in Madison. Though she has happily allowed roller derby to eat basically her entire life, she still finds time to obsess about her dogs–retired racing greyhounds–and drink fantastic tea (shout-out to Macha here in Madison!). Her derby name is Auntie Matter. She and her husband also run tours to Europe on a variety of cool topics. Want to find out which body part of Galileo’s she’s seen, or what Julius Caesar has to do with hundreds of cats? Want to hunt vampires in London and Paris? Come talk to her.

Trains that Passed in the Night: The Steam Railroad Photos of O. Winston Link

Summary: More than 60 years ago O. Winston Link, a New York industrial photographer, created a remarkable document of the last years of steam powered railroading in monumental cinematic photographs, many of them taken at night in the rugged Appalachian coal country of western Virginia and West Virginia. Link wanted to create as complete a record of this vanishing technology (and a way of life), and he enhanced his imagery with an equally impressive archive of long gone steam railroad sounds, (originally issued as five vinyl records, now transferred to CD).

This unique visionary record took more than five years to create, but has brought the photographer international recognition. Three best selling books reproduce much of this project, and Link’s photos are also on view in the O. Winston Link Museum, located in the former Norfolk and Western Railway station in Roanoke, Virginia. which also includes exhibits of his equipment and darkroom. It is the only museum in the United States devoted to the work of a single photographer.

Tom Garver

Presenter Bio: Tom is a retired art historian and is the last person living who assisted Link in the creation of this record in the 1950s, working with him in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina. Tom later wrote the text for one of Link’s photo books, and was the organizing curator of the O. Winston Link Museum. Be prepared to be blown away, in both sight and sound, by those ‘trains that passed in the night!.’

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