Nerd Nite 073


Date: Wednesday, Feb 26
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.

Fecal Shields: When Poop is your Protection

Summary: Some insect larvae are pretty defenseless when it comes to body armor or hiding places, so what better way to ward off predators than by a decorative poop hat? Join us to find out why this unusual strategy works!

Jacki Whisenant

Presenter Bio: Jacki Whisenant is a scientific illustrator with a fondness for bats, bones, and anything with six legs. Most of her time is currently spent working towards a Master’s in Entomology at UW-Madison, but she also works at the UW Zoological Museum and is a teaching assistant for comparative anatomy and physiology courses.

Why (teaching) chemistry is hard

Summary: Your chemistry teacher put in a lot of effort to make you understand the intricacies of their subject. Often, you will have spent the time they tried to teach you bored, talking to your friends, or not understanding anything that’s going on. Maybe you even thought the class a complete waste of time (except when making things explode in the lab). In this talk, I will discuss what makes chemistry a tricky subject to learn, what your teacher tried to get across, and whether there is even a point in learning about chemistry in high school.

Jolijn Nagelkerke

Presenter Bio: Jolijn is a chemistry high school teacher from the Netherlands, who is currently working as an academic advisor at UW Madison. She moved to Madison to be with her theoretical physicist husband and consequently spends most of her dinner pretending to understand what he’s saying. Meanwhile, she thinks of more interesting topics, such as ultimate frisbee, or the fantasy novel she’s reading.

Forget Robinson Crusoe: How a Real-Life Japanese Castaway Changed the World

Summary: For one 19th-century Japanese man, shipwreck was but the first in a series of extraordinary tribulations in a life worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. Stranded along with his shipmates after a storm on an uninhabited Pacific island, a teenager named Manjirō was eventually rescued by a passing ship, subsequently took up residence in Massachusetts, and later mined for gold in the California gold rush. Then, a decade after his ill-fated voyage, he embarked on a daring attempt to return home to Japan, despite impossibly long odds–and a potential death sentence–hanging over him.

Adam Stanley

Presenter Bio: Adam is a professor of history at UW-Platteville and the co-founder of Leaping Hound Travel tour company. Both of these professional endeavors afford him the opportunity to do what he really enjoys: telling strange-but-true stories from history. On most weekends this time of year, you can find him skating as a roller derby referee at bouts here in Madison and beyond.

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