Look in the sky: it’s a plane, it’s a tree, it’s a spider!

Date: Wednesday, Feb 16
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.

Pop(ulus)-Culture of Dane County and surrounding areas

There are many seasons and reasons to appreciate the plant genus Populus. Poplars, cottonwoods, and aspens were the first trees to have their genome sequenced, are some of the largest single organisms in the world, and have been used by humans for millennia. However, you don’t need to be a walking encyclopedia of modern Pop-culture to appreciate what are ultimately just a group of honkin’ good trees! The Popurazzi have been at it this past year, snapping photos of ramets, genets, and all-around great trees of the genus you can find in southern Wisconsin. While we’re sure there are plenty of ortets keeping a low-profile, you won’t want to miss this salicaceous tour highlighting the best that Populus has to offer in our area.

Tyler Wintermute

Presenter bio: Tyler is a PhD student in the Department of Botany at UW-Madison, studying the chemical ecology of the genus Populus, a surprise to no one. While using complicated instruments to analyze small metabolites that have broad impacts on ecosystem processes really gets him going, he recognizes a need for digestible, translational ecology and general science communication to larger audiences who might not care how many 1-hydroxy-6-oxocyclohex-2-en-1-carboxylic acid units are attached to a glucose molecule. Plus, his favorite Populus species was extirpated from Wisconsin by the Pabst Brewing Company in 1889, so he’s had to make do with more resilient trees. When not botanizing, Tyler enjoys sports, and has recently started cross-country skiing, a mythical activity in his native Northern Virginia.

What’s So Great About Flying Small Planes?

If you have a friend or acquaintance who is a pilot, you may have heard (many times) about how great flying is, or even been offered a ride in a small plane. If not, you have probably seen or heard planes flying around the local airports – Dane County Regional Airport in Madison or Morey Field in Middleton. In this talk, I’m going to give an overview of what flying general aviation (GA) planes is all about: Why do people love to fly (and love to talk about it)? How does one go about learning to fly? How safe is it to say yes to a ride in a small plane? What are the advantages and disadvantages of flying yourself somewhere vs. buying an airline ticket?

Sam Hurley

Presenter bio: Sam a Scientist in Radiology at the University of Wisconsin, and an MRI Physicist for UW Health. He received a PhD in Medical Physics, also from Wisconsin. In his professional life, he works on methods to make medical imaging using MRI and PET/MR more quantitatively accurate and less sensitive to patient motion. In his free time, he enjoys attending concerts, playing bass guitar, travel, scuba diving, and working on electronics and software projects. Sam has been flying for about three years, holds an FAA private pilot’s license (aka an “airmen’s certificate”), and owns a partnership in a single-engine four-seat Cessna 172.

Spiders and Friends: When it Comes to Legs- Eight is Great!

Explore the world wide web of arachnids! Learn about some fascinating eight-legged animals from all over the world-and your back yard. Be able to answer questions such as: is the Daddy-Long-Legs a spider? Do spiders breathe? Are arachnids hell-bent on forever terrorizing humans, or are they just misunderstood, or both? Hardcore arachnophobes should sit this one out, but if you’re just creeped, experience the benefits of “knowing thy enemy.”

Danielle Ellen

Presenter Bio: A self-proclaimed “Renaissance Person,” Danielle doesn’t just pursue her interests – she chases them and tackles them to the ground! Some of those interests include: music (she fronts two bands), painting and fiber arts, psychology, religion, philosophy, entomology, and memes. She has been a teacher, a clothes-folder, a nursing home activities assistant, a project manager, and for three years ran a wacky-wild-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man costume company with two-time Nerd Nite favorite, Bob Baddeley. She currently works as an actuarial analyst and is learning embroidery in her spare time.

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