Category: Event

Madison Nerd Nite #90 Madison Nerd Nite #90

Date: Wednesday, October 4th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon

First up, we have Leslie Schroeder and Karen Kendrick-Hands tag teaming to teach us about textiles! “The current plastic-based textile industry harms our health and our climate. Growing the ancient fiber plant, flax for linen in the Midwest is a solution. Learn about our plan to support farmers in profitably growing flax, a low-input, soil-friendly crop!”

Next is FORMER NERD NITE CO-HOST EXTRAORDINAIRE Julie Collins with cat genetics! “Let’s genotype my cats! As a proud cat mom of 4 with some knowledge of genetics, I assumed that figuring out the inheritance patterns of my bebe’s markings would be pretty easy. I thought wrong. Come for the cute cat pics, stay for the bonkers biology.”

Last but not least, we have researcher/comedian Sasha Rosser to teach us about brains and music: “The left-brain vs. right-brain debate comes to a head when it comes to music processing. After hundreds of millions of years of evolution, humans have developed unique dispositions with regards to the informational and emotional content of music — in turn influencing culture, religion, language acquisition, and more.”

Madison Nerd Nite #85 Madison Nerd Nite #89

Date: Wednesday, September 13th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon

Join us for an extra exciting Nerd Nite this month! We are THRILLED to invite some new speakers to the High Noon stage!

First, get ready to leap from the top rope with Jason Werner and women’s wrestling! “From the circus to Wrestlemania, we will explore women’s origins in professional wrestling, how they got started, and their struggle to be accepted at the same levels as their male counterparts.”

Next we have Nick Hein to tell us about a strange and awesome form of transportation: the velomobile! “Private autos are the world’s single largest source of air pollution, mainly because they are inappropriate for the short, single-occupant trips where we use them most. What if I told you that there’s a vehicle that could eliminate most of those trips that is healthy and fun, affordable to buy and maintain, and available. It’s called a velomobile, and you’ll learn more about them in this talk.”

Last we have WORLD RECORD HOLDER Gabriella Gerhardt to talk about her passion: hunting for 4 leaf clovers! “4 leaf clovers are a mutation of the white clover plant, generally considered to be lucky charms. Gabriella has 145,000 4+ leaf clovers and 5 related world records. She will share her love for these mutants and give some tips on how you can find your own.”

Madison Nerd Nite #88: Madison Nerd Nite #88 – Wayfarer’s Takeover

Date: Wednesday, August 9th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon

Nerd Nite is back for the fall season, but with a twist! We are collaborating with the Natural Resources Foundation’s Wayfarers Group to do a conservation themed night! The same shenanigans you’ve come to love at Nerd Nite, but this time we’re sharing the love!

Lisa Kitchel will be presenting “The Weird and Wonderful World of Our Native Mussels”. Our native mussels have a surprisingly complex life history for animals that pretend they are rocks on the riverbed. We will discuss why a mussel would want to have a fish on its posterior and other such oddities!

Ben Lam brings us “The Whooping Crane Story: The Power of Hard Work, Costumes, and Dance!” Whooping cranes are one of North America’s most endangered bird species with only about 830 remaining. We’ll take a look at the history of this species and some of the techniques used in bringing whooping cranes back from the brink of extinction.

Finally, Micah Kloppenberg will share “Dung Beetles: The Coffee Snobs of the Coprophagous World?” While pollinators get the press for filling our grocery aisles, dung beetles help break it down on (from?) the other end. We’ll find our what drives a dung beetle’s dietary attraction!

Madison Nerd Nite #87

Date: Wednesday, May 31st
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon

Join us for another magical, nerdy evening! We have three excellent talks planned:
Lexy Spry with “Flax to the Future: Everything I know about Linen”
Alex Demers discussing the social perception of gender through vocal presentation (how are we biased around voices, and how to change your own!)
Emilee Martell will finish out the evening with prescribed fires! Is it good to set prairies on fire, and how do you do it?

(Note: this is a “rain date” for the cancelled February nite!) 

Madison Nerd Nite #86

Date: Wednesday, April 26th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon

It’s time for another wacky and wild Nerd Nite! Up this month:
Welcome a visiting Nerd all the way from the University of Alabama, Jacelyn Peabody-Lever, for some ferret talk! How is a human like a ferret? The surprising similarities are in our lungs! Learn about what these similarities mean for scientists studying lung disease.
We will also have the pleasure of returning Nerd Nite presenter Tyler Wintermute with “Super MariWOAH! Way too much about Super Mario Bros (1993)”. He will be doing a deep dive into the bizarre cult classic film of the 90s just in time for you to check out the new one.
Our third speaker, Lisa Luczak, will be debunking diets: “Low carb high fat? Vegan? Paleo? Keto? High carb low fat? We’ll debunk popular diets, counter misinformation, and discuss nutrition hot topics with a Registered Dietitian.”

Madison Nerd Nite #85

Date: Wednesday, March 22nd
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

“Not too cold to croak: frogsicles and other things”, presented by Larry Werner! He will be discussing how frogs and other vertebrates cope with the winter months– an appropriate topic as temperatures refuse to increase this spring!

Next is “There is a voice in your head? Surprising hidden differences in our inner experiences” with Gary Lupyan. Have you ever wondered why some people have an inner monologue, or why some people can smell ants? Gary will share some interesting insights about how this relates to evolution, culture, and how we do science.

Finally, Scott Olsen will be presenting “Furniture making as a hobby and social activity! (or, how to get compliments by making things)”. Scott says: “After witnessing other craft people, I decided to keep myself busy designing and building furniture for life. I work out of my garage making tables, desks, lamps, shelving units, beds, picture frames and more. In addition to the occasional compliment, I get usable high-quality items that I could not otherwise afford. If you’re interested in learning more about furniture, tools and woodworking skills and perhaps starting something like this yourself come see the presentation!”

Madison Nerd Nite #85 Nerd Nite # 85 – Canceled due to weather

Date: Wednesday, February 22nd
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Stay safe and warm! Look for future information regarding Lexy, Alex, and Emilee’s presentations!

Nerd Nite: #84

Date: Wednesday, January 18th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Have you ever wondered what a cat is hearing, seeing, smelling, or feeling? Local veterinary professional Elycia Degenhardt will help you get a cat’s view of the world with her talk on Cat Senses. Learn about the meowvelous abilities and unique purrception of our feline friends while looking at a lot of cute cat pictures on a big screen.
Want the perfect gift for the cat in your life? The music Elycia discussed is available here.

Up next: Learn the salty facts!
All the salt applied to roads and sidewalks ends up in our lakes, streams, and drinking water. How salty is our water, what impacts does salt have, and what’s being done to protect freshwater resources.
Check out Wisconsin Salt Wise to stay in touch with what Allison is working on!

Nerd Nite #83

Date: Wednesday, December 14th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

Join us for the last Nerd Nite of 2022!

Our first speaker is experienced Nerd Niter Bob Baddeley: “Bob Baddeley will expose the mind-boggling world of “Intermodal Transport and Supply Chain Logistics.” As we all have consumerism heavily on our minds this season, we’ll take a look at all the things that have to happen to get your presents to you. We’ll blow your mind with a glimpse of the hundreds of steps it takes to get a simple product from raw materials to underneath your tree, and how everyone can coordinate across borders and trust each other to move billions of dollars worth of stuff around the globe every day.”

Next up is Nicholas Rogall with “Cult of the Classics: The Greco-Roman Mysteries”. He describes it thusly: “That’s right, the Greeks have been drinking the Koolaid since ancient times! Greco-Roman mystery cults were a personalized and secretive way to worship the gods & goddesses we know and love. We’ll dive into members-only revelries, raw meat feasts, and the mythical equivalent of Civil War reenactments.”

Finishing the evening is Emmy Hill. Emmy says: “I will briefly describe the geological and biological/paleontological history of the earth from the Big Bang to the present. We’ll discuss global climate change, dinosaurs, all the really weird animals we have had over the years, and all the weird rocks we have as a result.”

Nerd Nite #82

Date: Wednesday, November 30th
Time: 8pm
Location: High Noon Saloon (map)

We will start with Gigi Melone and a group of “Insect Ambassadors” from UW-Madison’s Entomology department. It’s about time we gave bugs some love!

Shawn Steffan and Jacki Whisenant are our two Insect Ambassadors. Shawn will be discussing the power of insect-microbe symbioses through deep evolutionary time, using bees, leaf-cutter ants, and bark beetles as examples! Jacki Whisenant will be taking us behind the scenes at the UW Zoology Museum and their flesh-eating beetle colony!

Next up is Whitney Thompson, giving a talk about the “Taylor Swift” of the 1800s: Under the nom de plume of Claribel, Charlotte Alington Barnard (1830-1869) published over 100 songs between 1859 and 1869, mostly in the sentimental- or drawing-room-ballad genre. Despite the domesticity suggested by the genre’s name, her songs were so popular that they escaped the drawing room and became staples not just of amateur music societies, but also of large public concerts. However, with her success came a fierce backlash from the trade press. Publications like The Orchestra and The Athenaeum decried the profusion of “Claribel-ware,” occasionally outright calling the music “trash” and particularly protesting the nascent royalty system in which Claribel took part. Her career may have only lasted a decade, but Claribel was nonetheless at the forefront of some massive changes in both the business and culture of music, and it’s that impact that I’ll attempt to sketch out here.

Last up is Kevin Bachhuber, who has a different angle on insect appreciation: food! He founded the US’s first FDA inspected human food grade insect farm, and continues to work in the industry today.

Check out our facebook page for more information referenced in tonight’s Nerd Nite including Kevin’s favorite cricket recipe and Whitney’s Claribel research site!