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!.’

Nerd Nite 070

Date: Wednesday, Oct 30
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.

Fractured Fairy Tales – The Gruesome Backstories to Beloved Favorites

Summary: From “Once upon a time” to “Happily ever after…” many of today’s fairy tales follow a familiar outline. However, the original fables and fairy tales that inspired these modern favorites don’t always end quite as happily. What happens when the prince doesn’t fall in love or the poison apple gets stuck in the princess’s throat? We’ll find out!

Ally Herro

Presenter Bio: Ally is a current HR Generalist and former Disney Cast Member. When not playing tabletop games or trying to find the best ramen restaurant, she can be found watching videos of derpy dogs (especially boxers) or planning her next trip to far away lands.

The Abbreviated History of Speedrunning in Video Games: The Origins of Getting Games Done Quick

Summary:At the end of the day, the point of any video game is to beat it. But some gamers began to ask themselves: how can we do this as fast as possible? From that question spawned an ever expanding subculture that would be labelled as “speedrunning”. The speedrunning community has exploded in the last few years, gaining more popularity and even hosting several national events. But where did this all start and what conditions led to its recent rise in popularity? We will have to go to hell and back (almost literally) to find the humble origins of this community of speed-obsessed gamers.

Will Ramsey

Presenter Bio: Will may have been born in Illinois (please don’t hold it against him too much), but he has remained a Wisconsin resident for the past 11 years. He graduated from UW Madison as a chemical engineer and took up a job with a small chemical plant in the area. He enjoys telling dad jokes, geocaching, and adding more archaic jargon to his already esoteric lexicon.

Castigate the Customer or Silently Seethe: You Decide! (Simulation-based Assessment and the Future of eLearning)

Summary: “The customer is always right.” LOL…lol…lol…we all know this is false, but for many people, part of their jobs is to be polite and helpful to customers who, well, aren’t. In this talk I will provide the ~*educational psychological*~ philosophy behind simulation-based assessments and why they’re way better than multiple choice tests for adult professionals.

Will you:

  1. Attend this talk, which is the best ending route!
  2. Not attend 🙁
  3. SAY THAT YOU WILL ATTEND AND THEN DON’T WHICH GETS YOU THE WORST ENDING: MY SCORN
Jenny Saucerman

Presenter Bio: Jenny is an instructional designer with a master’s degree in educational psychology from UW-Madison who creates educational games and simulations. Like, people pay me to make games. It’s pretty rad. My career started in 1994 when I got a SEGA Genesis for Christmas. If you’re playing Fire Emblem Three Houses, talk to me after my talk so we can debate which is the best house *coughblackeaglesobviouslycough*

Nerd Nite 069

Date: Wednesday, Oct 2
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.

The Virtues of Eating Shit

Summary: This talk will focus on the anatomical and physiological features that force animals to consume their own excrement. I will focus on some fun examples and attempt to answer the age-old question, “why does my dog keep eating shit?”

Jeremiah Yahn

Presenter Bio: I was born at a very young age and have continued ever since. While some maintain that my best feature is my cat, I would also agree. I enjoy houseplants, thunder, wedding DJ’s, and discussing whether or not he/she who smelt it did, in fact, delt it.

Truth, Lies and Slander: A Wikipedia Hackathon

Summary:Wikipedia is a top-10 most visited site on the internet. It’s also community edited: but how is content created, moderated, fact-checked and governed? In this live demo, I’ll inject Wikipedia with a wide variety of truth, lies, and everything in between. We can watch the internet respond in real time 🙂

Mark Coatsworth

Presenter Bio: Mark is a research staffer at the Center for High Throughput Computing at UW-Madison. He moved to Madison from Toronto in 2014 and indulges his spare time in photography, old time banjo, fast bicycles and editing Wikipedia. He’s an alumnus of Nerd Nite Toronto and super excited to bring his science experiments to an international audience

There are no trashy orangutans: towards conservation and coexistence in the Anthropocene

Summary: Orangutans are cute, fuzzy icons of threatened nature, frequently featured in documentaries and TV shows and trotted out by conservation organizations during funding campaigns. Despite all this attention, populations of these intelligent apes continue to decline. At the same time, new research indicates that orangutans may be more resilient than previously thought- for example, orangutans and humans have shared space for over 60,000 years, and now some orangutans are even living in industrial palm oil and forestry plantations! How does this complicate our dominant ideas and assumptions about who orangutans are, and what their relationships to humans is and should be? How should this change what we do to conserve them? These are questions that are relevant to conservation generally as we enter a new epoch of our own creation, the Anthropocene. Orangutans have a lot to teach us about human-wildlife coexistence, and how to accept certain realities of a human-dominated world while still fighting the good fight for nature.

Stephanie Spehar

Presenter Bio: Stephanie is a primatologist and biological anthropologist and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at UW Oshkosh. She has chased monkeys (and apes! Which are similar to but different from monkeys! We primatologists are sticklers about taxonomy) across many continents, but currently focuses on orangutans in Indonesian Borneo. Her research attempts to understand how primates respond to different ecological conditions and to human impacts, with the goal of promoting human-wildlife coexistence. In her spare time (ha) she is also heavily involved in sustainability education and research on her campus, and in climate activism with Extinction Rebellion Madison. She is married and has two young daughters (and yes, her experience with primates and human evolution definitely informs her ideas about parenting. She is happy to talk your ear off about this if you’re into it).

Nerd Nite 068

Date: Wednesday, Aug 28
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.

Climate Change is the Grinch: Using winter ecophysiology to predict the fate of our favorite Christmas tree species

Summary: Our summers are getting hotter, but what about the often-forgotten winter? The Christmas tree farming industry depends on the survival of wild tree populations, which live through extreme winters that dictate success in the growing season and beyond. When those soul-sucking subzero temperatures come calling, these overwintering trees must act creatively to survive. But will creativity be enough in a future of warm, unpredictable winters? Learn why winter is Russian roulette for trees, what polar vortices and midwinter heat waves can do, and how climate change is turning some species against themselves. Most importantly, come find out why Christmas trees deserve way more clout for the hard work they do all winter- and what the future might look like for our boys in green.

Rachel Jordan

Presenter Bio: Rachel is from the southern Appalachian region and refuses to leave its trees alone. Realizing that she hadn’t suffered enough during the winter in North Carolina, she moved to Wisconsin last year to start a PhD in Botany, where she continues to study the physiology of her beloved conifers. When not proselytizing about trees to innocent passersby, she enjoys backpacking, fighting people about the pronunciation of “Appalachia,” and disappointing her mother.

Of Possums and Primates: Digitally Reconstructing a Phalangeroid Masticatory Apparatus to Shed Light on the Trophic Structure of the First Primate During a Period of Diffuse Co-Evolution of the Early Tertiary

Summary:Ever wonder about the parallel evolution of phalangeroid marsupials of Australia and the Strepsirrhine primates of Madagascar and how we could use the former species to understand the ecological context surrounding the appearance of the first primate approximately 66 million years ago?

Of course you didn’t!

But despite this extremely esoteric topic, you’ll come away with a little insight as to how our understanding of primate evolution, and hence, we humans, is revealed through two taxa separated by over 160 million years of divergence.

Nicholas Reback

Presenter Bio: Nick is a medical illustrator, animator, and designer currently working for the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in downtown Chicago, IL. There he creates visual media to educate patients, research scientists and other medical practitioners on contemporary topics in clinical medical research and discovery. He also owns and operates a freelance medical illustration company, Reback Biomedical Media.

Nicholas received his BFA in product design from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2002. He left his career in design in 2013 to follow his true passion, medical illustration, and received his Master of Arts in Medical and Biological Illustration from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 2017. Through his work he seeks to improve the understanding of medical and biological science for a wide range of audiences.

Tycho Brahe: He lived like a sage and died like a fool

Summary: Tycho Brahe was a Danish nobleman. Unlike super rich people today he was an astronomer and actually contributed to our understanding of the universe. He’s got a story that involves SCIENCE!, a fake nose, scandal and intrigue, and a drunken moose.

Jamie Holzhuter

Presenter Bio: Jamie’s one of Madison’s cobosses. He’s talked about a lot of things on this stage before, including the movie Serendipity and vexilollogy. This will be his first time drinking a White Claw on stage.

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.

Nerd Nite 066

Date: Wednesday, April 24
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.

How a fish could fix your broken heart, and other tales from the weird world of model organisms

Summary: It’s not uncommon to stumble on a headline about a politician mocking research on flies or worms. You might agree — what could we learn about our brains from a worm that only has a handful of brain cells? Have you ever wondered why scientists spend so much time studying weird, wiggly critters? Good news! It’s time to learn about the superpowers of the often slimy, tiny, and always wonderful animals we call “model organisms,” and what they can teach us about ourselves.

Liz Haynes

Presenter Bio: Liz is a North Carolina transplant who journeyed northwards be a postdoctoral fellow at UW Madison’s department of Integrative Biology. She is studying how zebrafish sensory neurons search tremendous distances in complex landscapes to find their targets and wire the nervous system. Since winning the Nikon Small World in Motion competition in 2018, her work has been profiled in the LA Times, as well as in videos from Mashable and IFLScience. When she’s not doing science, she enjoys running/hiking questionable distances, gardening, and curating eventual hearing loss through attending too many concerts. You can hear her spout opinions on science, academic culture, and stupid memes on Twitter @actin_crazy or on Instagram @zebrafish_get_lit.

From Terrible Lizards to Giant Birds: A History of the Discovery and Science of Dinosaurs, and their Depictions in Films, TV, and Other Media

Summary: Since the coining of the word “Dinosauria” in 1841, this group of extinct animals has captured the imagination of the public and have become a cornerstone in fantastical media since then. However, since they’re all dead, and we only have their fossils to go off of, their exact depiction has been something of a mystery, often left to the creativity of artists or the budgetary restraints of film makers, rather than the leading theories of scientists. Occasionally, the media hits the mark for paleontological accuracy, and sometimes it doesn’t even try, but do the latest movies and games even get it right?

Nicholas Holston

Presenter Bio: Nicholas Holston graduated from UW-Oshkosh in 2008 with a Communications – Radio/TV/Film Emphasis major and a Geology minor, and now works as a substitute teacher for the Madison Metropolitan School District. He’s had a lifelong fascination with dinosaurs, despite being scared out of his mind by the raptor kitchen scene when watching Jurassic Park in the theater at the way too young age of seven. When he’s not receiving abuse from middle schoolers, you can find Nick at team trivia events, binging film critics on Youtube like Red Letter Media, or playing Ark: Survival Evolved (a 100% scientifically accurate dinosaur simulator).

Memoirs of Madness: Creative Genius and Bipolar Disorder in American Culture

Summary: “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, desirous of everything at the same time…” Who are Kerouac’s “shooting stars”? Is “mad genius” a misnomer? Do mercurial moods beget brilliance? Do some savants inevitably suffer? In the 90s, Kay Jamison wrote that “…poetic or artistic genius, infused with fitful and inconstant moods, is a powerful crucible for imagination and experience.” But Jamison’s artists are only part of the picture.

The inspirational and the innovative. The soaring and the sagacious. Florence Nightingale. Emily Dickinson. Frank Sinatra. Catherine Zeta-Jones. Francis Ford Coppola. Virginia Woolf. Ted Turner. Steve Jobs? And more. Does the generative energy of people with mood disorders have a common flavor, or have society’s conceptualizations led us to indulge in an array of stereotypes? What does research say about creativity and bipolar disorder, and what do biographical accounts of some of popular culture’s most beloved geniuses beg us to ask about mental illness and creativity?

Emily Erwin-Frank

Presenter Bio: Emily Erwin-Frank, MSW is a Madison East-sider who loves to cultivate community around making social change. Her passion project is UpStage Stigma, an organization and annual show that invites artists to share stories of mental illness and emotional struggle on stage in the form of song, dance, poetry, storytelling and more. (Heads up, it’s May 17 at 8 p.m. at the High Noon!) When she’s not shamelessly plugging, she sings, pseudo-dances, learns everything she can about psychotherapy, loses personal items and befriends kind and marvelous oddballs. When she does enough yoga, she even befriends the oddball that is herself.

Nerd Nite 065

Date: Wednesday, Mar 27
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.

Is this real life? The mysterious mind altering power of psilocybin (magic) mushrooms

Summary: These are not your regular portabella, shitake or even hen of the woods mushrooms. These special fungi contain a powerful psychoactive chemical called psilocybin, which can produce powerful experiences of altered states of consciousness in users. In this talk, we’ll explore the history of pre-Columbian use of magic mushrooms in South America, the neuroscience behind how psilocybin acts in the brain to induce psychedelic experiences, and what are the latest consensus in science/policy on these magic mushrooms. Sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip.

Sisi Li

Presenter Bio: Sisi Li received her Ph.D. in neuroscience from UW Madison and now works as a research scientist at your local prostate cancer diagnostics startup. She has previously given a Nerd Nite talk on Bitcoin. When she’s not talking to nerds, you can find her doing improv comedy with her all female indie team The Sirens, training her dog to become the next agility champion, or preaching the importance of mental health awareness.

Hippie Christmas On The Beach – How Hermit Crabs Find Homes

Summary: Picture a tropical beach. Beautiful ocean waves, swaying palm trees. Maybe someone left a Corona wedged in the sand. But guess what, you’re the size of its bottle cap – puny, mushy, and naked. What next? Time to upcycle some dead snail’s vacant crib, that’s what. Come learn how our most underrated childhood pets survive by claiming other critters’ old homes. You may have seen them in little tanks with fake plants and hot pink gravel. It’s time to meet them in the wild. They’re feisty, they’re choosy, and they’ve perfected move-in day. You’ll want to take notes for next August.

Julie Collins

Presenter Bio: Julie is a course coordinator at UW-Madison where she helps undergraduates learn biology. She has been told she’s pleasant to work with under hellish circumstances, which probably makes her the most qualified employee in academia. She spends her spare time taking cat pictures, watching Game of Thrones re-runs, and trying to learn Welsh for fun.

Water & Rice & Everything Nice

Summary: A brief dive into the production and categorization of saké intended to equip you with the tools to impress your boring, California-roll friends.

Jeff Spear

Presenter Bio: Jeff is a Minnesota transplant. He graduated from UW-Madison with a BA in History in 2012 and later that year began bartending to pay the rent. In 2014, he became the bar manager at an Asian-inspired restaurant with a full cocktail/bar program by the name of Sujeo. He’s still there to this day. Two and a half years ago he married my lovely wife, Katya, and this upcoming June we’re expecting our first child–a baby boy!

Nerd Nite 064

Date: Wednesday, Feb 27
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.

Fluorescence microscopy: looking into the microcosmos with lasers

Summary: When people think about biological research, they think about test tubes, pipette and unholy dissection (or what we call microsurgery). However, modern microscopy technology is stirring up a new revolution in biology. Instead of inferring biological phenomenon from abstract data (like genetic sequences and protein mass specs data), we microscopists look at the biological structure directly using lasers and fluorescence protein. From developmental biology, neurobiology to behavioral studies, Henry will take you through a microcosmos you have never seen before!

Henry He

Presenter Bio: Henry is a (hopefully last year) PhD student studying microscopy and bioimage analysis at Max Planck Institute for Cell biology and genetics. Henry works at the Morgridge Institute for Research (in the basement, with no windows). When he’s not pulling his hair in front of a microscope, he enjoys volunteering, watching movies, traveling and taking photos of random things.

What if they don’t pay in 30 days? Factoring, Accounts Receivable Financing, and filling the cash cycle gap

Summary: Invoicing for products or services is, technically, a type of short-term credit that the supplier or seller extends to the purchaser. But because the supplier is giving their client extra time to pay, it could make things tough when the supplier’s bills come due. How does the supplier fill that gap if traditional financing – from a bank or credit union – won’t work for them?

Catherine Killam

Presenter Bio: Catherine is currently working as a software product specialist for Jack Henry and Associates. She previously worked as a classical singer, a tour guide, and a skin care “consultant”, none of which stuck. Tonight’s topic is inspired entirely by her new job, as her company took a total flyer on someone who knew nothing about commercial lending products when they hired her.

Drum Corps: Creating Towards Perfection

Summary: Drum corps may be something that you once witnessed as a child. Perhaps you saw it on PBS, or maybe you attended a show on a summer evening. Regardless of how familiar you are with it, I’ll show you what it is that makes drum corps so special and unique. I’ll also discuss how any fan of theatre, cinema, dance, math, athletics, visual arts and design, and (obviously) music can find a way to appreciate something about this sport.

Christopher Adams

Presenter Bio: Christopher holds no advanced degrees, and probably hasn’t spoken on a stage since…2001-ish? He also hasn’t drummed on a stage since around 2005 and it shows. That is, if you don’t count a handful of remarkable karaoke renditions of Beck’s “Sexx Laws”. If you weren’t there, you missed out on something amazing.

Nerd Nite 063

Date: Wednesday, Jan 23
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.

Spongebob and drugs: Finding new medical compounds in sponges to fight disease

Summary: Many modern medicines are derived from molecules originally found in nature. As humanity faces an increase in antibiotic-resistant infections and aggressive cancers, we must now turn to our oceans in search of new drugs. This talk will briefly outline how new and exciting compounds are identified in marine sponges (and other invertebrates) and how we plan on exploiting natural processes to make loads of new medicines without destroying the incredible diversity that our oceans have to offer.

Sam Waterworth

Presenter Bio: Sam is a postdoctoral research associate at School of Pharmacy at the UW. Sam comes standard with a silly accent, as she’s recently moved here from sunny South Africa, where she completed her PhD at Rhodes University. If she’s not in the lab playing with squishy gross things and fighting with computers, Sam likes to spend her time going on adventures with her better half, drinking wine with her friends and generally talking too much.

Other Side of the Buy Box: Selling on Amazon

Summary: You click the buy now button and two days later you get a package. Let’s see behind the scenes and get an in-depth view of what happens in the warehouses and from the perspective of a small business making and selling their product on Amazon. Your shopping experience will make a lot more sense after this.

Bob Baddeley

Presenter Bio: Bob is a computer engineer and develops Internet-connected sensors that help people with asthma and COPD for Madison startup Propeller Health. He’s also a member at Sector67, the local makerspace, and in his spare time he sews costumes to sell on Amazon.

Music at a subconscious level: Your ears might not hear it, but your brain does!

Summary: We all know music can affect the brain in weird ways. It makes us feel different emotions. We naturally want to move to it. But did you ever think about how it can be reaching our subconscious? Using several pop songs as examples, we will explore how the brain is able to recognize subtle changes in music that we typically do not perceive at a conscious level.

Dave Alcorn

Presenter Bio: Dave has an undergraduate and masters degree in music performance. He’s toured the United States as a soloist, chamber and orchestra musician. While playing mostly classical music, Dave has a soft spot for pop music and will rock out to Britney Spears any day of the week. Now a retired drummer, Dave switched career paths and works in digital marketing and freelances as a videographer. He is an avid fan of hockey and Disney movies.

Nerd Nite 062

Date: Wednesday, Nov 28
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.

Shedding light on Neon; The craft of Neon Glass Blowing

Summary: A brief overview of the process in creating a neon light.

Thomas Zickuhr

Presenter Bio: For the past 20 years Tom has been a working neon glass artist. Working in fine art, commercial neon, and in education. Tom owns and operates Neon Lab, a Madison based neon sign shop as well as being an instructor for Neon: Light as Sculpture at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Lemurs and Recreation

Summary: Did you know that there are over 110 different species of lemur ranging in size from approximately 3 inches to almost 3 feet? If not, no need to panic. This talk will hopefully teach you about the diversity of lemurs in Madagascar, some interesting facts about them, and help you to remember by associating different lemur species with your favorite Parks and Recreation characters. That’s right, grab a waffle, a calzone, or some Lagavulin and get ready to Treat Yo Self to some new lemur knowledge!

Mary Dinsmore

Presenter Bio: Mary is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, (hopefully) in her final year. She studies how natural and human disturbances impact the behavior and habitat of a critically endangered lemur in Madagascar. When not traveling and learning about animals, she loves watching television (including, as you guessed it, Parks and Rec, as well as Frasier), listening to podcasts, hanging with her curvaceous cat Franklin, and searching for the best happy hour in town.

Germs and Nation Building

Summary: Take a look at food production and livestock cultivation and how it led to the eventual rise of the European powers. And how agriculture and bacteria influenced Western military invasion of the Americas.

Liam Walsh

Presenter Bio: From Liam: “I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing bricks. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently.
I woo women with my sensuous and god-like trombone playing. I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in 20 minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. I have made extraordinary four-course meals using only a citrus and a toaster oven. I breed prize-winning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.”