Category: Uncategorized

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.”

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.

Nerd Nite 072

Date: Wednesday, Jan 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.

How is Brett Kavanaugh Still a Lawyer? Or, Legal Ethics and Discipline are Bullshit

Summary: Sure, we all think lawyers are terrible people, but where is the evidence? Come learn: how lawyers (and judges) are regulated, some bizarre applications of legal ethics code, why you should never cross a pig farmer, and what you can do about it… lawyer regulation, not the pigs.

John Lightfield

Presenter Bio: Exhibited the 2002 Walworth County Fair Reserve Champion Carcass Steer. On-again off-again: figure model, pizza chef, and bro pair. Definitely not an expert legal ethics. Likely practicing administrative law for the next six months.msterdam export product – tries to produce his own techno music.

Magnificent Mangroves: Adaptations, Biodiversity, and Outlook

Summary: From their unique adaptations to their benefits to biodiversity, mangroves are marvels of estuarine ecosystems. With a global distribution, these plants are ubiquitous in the tropics, but unfortunately, they face many threats that should be concerning to the denizens of the 43rd parallel north. So bundle (your vascular tissues) up, prop (root) yourself in a chair, and join us as we absorb the waves of mangrove knowledge!

Tyler Wintermute

Presenter Bio: A native of Northern Virginia, Tyler is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Botany at UW-Madison, and while his true passion are the trees of the people (Populus species, a.k.a. cottonwoods, aspens, and poplars) and their chemical ecology, he is fascinated and inspired by the life history of mangroves and their benefits to other biota. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring swamps, watching sports, and playing board-games. And taking care of plants. Lots of plants.

An Unlikely Peace: The facts, myths, and story of the Christmas Truce of 1914

Summary: The first winter of WW1 saw the realities of modern trench warfare fully realized, but the true horrors of the war were still months or years away. In a historical, one time only event, troops along the Western Front struck up an impromptu cease fire on December 25, 1914. We’ll take a look at how it started, what occurred between bitter enemies during the truce, and why it was never able to be repeated on the scale again.

Ben Cisler

Presenter Bio: Ben is a union electrician keeping the lights on here in the Madison area. A self-proclaimed history buff, he can often be found on the couch with his wife and husky mix (4 year old) puppy. He’s a Gemini who enjoys live music and long walks on the beach. In another life, he is a PHD history professor.

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 🙁
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!