Category: Uncategorized

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.”

Nerd Nite 061

Date: Wednesday, Oct 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.

Ghost Particles and other ~Tales from the Ice~

Summary: Learn about the elusive neutrino and the ambitious project decades in the making that made capturing one a reality: IceCube, a cubic kilometer detector frozen under the ice at the South Pole. Neutrinos can escape from the most violent astrophysical sources in distant corners of the universe and reach us here on Earth. These sources could include exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and highly energetic blazars. Harnessing the power of the neutrino can provide answers to some of the most pressing questions facing astrophysics today. What’s a blazar? What does it take to do science in one of the harshest climates on Earth? What antediluvian horrors did we unearth during construction? Come find out.

Zach Griffith

Presenter Bio: Zach is a PhD Candidate in astroparticle physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While Zach mainly uses IceCube to look for very high energy photons, he hasn’t been very successful, and will focus on the cool stuff tonight. Outside of research, he enjoys contributing to open-source software, good coffee, good coffee stouts, and afternoons of galactic conquest playing Twilight Imperium.

How a Microscope Will Save The World… and perhaps ruin a person

Summary: Rob will show you what a very special microscope can do to improve the world and recount his travel around the world promoting the technology that will make him a better person (if it doesn’t ruin him).

Rob Ulfrig

Presenter Bio: Rob has been working with Atom Probe Microscopes at CAMECA in Madison since 2001 improving the hardware and software for the Local Electrode Atom Probe Microscope. He now works as a Product Manager – integrating the activities and requests from internal and external customers into the latest and greatest of CAMECA’s software and hardware. Rob graduated from The University of Wisconsin-Madison with Materials Science, Nuclear Engineering, and Engineering Physics degrees.

The Irregulars: How Women Soldiers Found Their Own Freedom in the American Civil War

Summary: Viewed at the time (and even still) largely as rare curiosities at best and disgraced deviants at worst, hundreds of women were documented to have passed as men and joined up, North and South, to participate in the American Civil War. How did they do it? Why did they do it? From spies, drummers, soldiers, scouts, nurses, and more, women joined and served for a wide variety of reasons, and with varying degrees of success. One was only discovered once she gave birth in camp. Another immediately gave it away by trying to put on trousers like a dress. Still more served with distinction, died of wounds and illness, or even lived out the rest of their lives in their male identities before being discovered by the doctor at their veteran’s home.

Learn a few of their stories (including some of the tricks of the trade, as told/lived by the younger, Civil War reenactor self of your presenter), and why their very lives and legacies helped pave the way for women’s rights–without waiting for anyone’s permission.

Emily Mills

Presenter Bio: Emily is a lifelong queer nerd, history geek, and former Civil War reenactor. She’s currently the Editor of Our Lives, the LGBTQ magazine out of Madison, as well as General Manager of Madison Roller Derby (formerly known as Mad Rollin’ Dolls). You may know her from such queer feminist trash rock duos as Damsel Trash, for which she plays the drums and screams.

Emily is about to finish (and hopes to publish in some form) a novel that’s a fictionalized account of a young woman who dressed as a man to serve with the Union Army during the Civil War. Yeah, she’s kinda super into this shit.

You can find her on Twitter and elsewhere @millbot, or at

Nerd Nite 060

Date: Wednesday, Sep 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.

Fanfiction! Give her a chance

Summary: Fanfiction is weird, wild and wonderful. Like most things considered “feminine,” it’s been deeply maligned—but give her another shot! The delightful world created by fiction and fandoms is worth your time, so let go, jump in, and get ready to read.

Megan Costello

Presenter Bio: Megan spends too much time gardening, riding her bicycle and renovating a 93-year-old old bungalow (#asbestosisthebestos) with her husband Nick who never stops watching all the sports games.

Exploration and Production of Oil: Oilfield technology and engineering

Summary: Finding and extracting oil that is miles underground is no easy task. Companies must use increasingly advanced technology to discover and produce remaining oil reserves. Giant microphones, supercomputers, radioactive material, and plenty of explosives are all used to get black gold out of the ground and on it’s way to the refinery.

Clay Monahan

Presenter bio: Clay worked as an open hole wireline field engineer for an oilfield services company in Bakersfield, CA. He managed a truck and crew that performed onsite oil well data collection and analysis (more on that in the presentation). He has since moved back to the Midwest and now works as an energy efficiency engineer here in Madison, so he’s on his way to making up for his time spent plundering the earth’s natural resources.

Metal For Mettle: The French Narrative Medal

Summary: What do syphilis, fork swallowing, coal mining, tapping rubber trees and redeeming yourself in prison have in common? Why, these topics, and many more, were all subjects for a freewheeling, fifty year run of the French Narrative Medal. If you showed your mettle as doctor, scientist or man of business, chances are that you might have metal struck for you, as the subject of a commemorative medal during the period 1870-1920.

In France the kings were gone and the country was at the forefront of medicine, science, technology during a period in art that was intensely romantic and emotional. All of this come together in the commemorative medal. It was tiny, but it was the world in the palm of your hand.

Tom Garver

Presenter bio: Tom is a retired art historian. He says that, he doesn’t know if he was ever a ‘young Turk’ or not, but he’s definitely turned into an old fart. He used to love contemporary art but now collects little bits of old metal that really tell some great stories. He’s written a couple of books, worked in art museums around the country, helped build a nice art collection for Rayovac Corporation, when they still existed, and created a museum of railroad photos in Roanoke, Virginia.

He adds: “Hearing my talk, Metal for Mettle: The French Narrative Medal, along with some beer, will make you the person you want to be!”

Nerd Nite 059

Date: Wednesday, Aug 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.

The secret history of women and nonbinary folks in tech

Summary: More than 50 years ago, a Catholic nun received one of the first ever PhDs in computer science, and she did so right here in Madison. Forget Steve Jobs and Alan Turing – the interesting stories are often the ones we’ve left behind. Spanning tree protocol (which led to cat memes!), inverse document frequency (hello, Google) and asynchronous software (NASA like what) all were pioneered by women you’ve probably never heard of. Let’s talk about them!

Hilary Stohs-Krause

Presenter Bio: Hilary is a lieutenant software developer at Ten Forward Consulting in Madison, WI (yes, we’re named for the bar on the Enterprise). She first started programming at age 12, when she built a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fansite with with twin sister. She speaks around the country and internationally on the intersection of tech and social impact, UX / design and the stories of nontraditional programmers. Ask her about her majestically fluffy cats.

Parking in cities: Never enough or way too much?

Summary: Since around the 1950s, American cities have built massive amounts of parking and required developers to do the same, often without knowing how any of it is being used. But as hard as parking can sometimes seem, most spots actually sit empty most of the time. Some cities are now rethinking their parking priorities—hoping to save money, cut traffic, and become more attractive places overall.

Chris McCahill

Presenter bio: Trained in engineering, Chris works at UW-Madison on transportation policy issues around the country. He’s studied parking for more than a decade and written chapters for two books on the subject. He moved to Madison in 2013, lives on the east side with his partner and two cats, and rides a bike everywhere he goes.

Medical imaging of non-medical objects

Summary: Medical imaging offers incredible insight into the inner workings of the body, enabling physicians and medical researchers to make highly detailed images of a living, breathing human. Imaging has revolutionized the practice of modern medicine, allowing doctors to quickly diagnose and treat conditions without the need for guesswork or gruesome and ineffective exploratory surgery.

So what is the first thing a new imaging researcher does when she or he gets to use the scanner for the first time on her own? Throw in a pineapple, or a piece of fruit. Or take a CT scan of your laptop. Come on a journey exploring all of the cool, crazy, and downright weird things that have been scanned with medical imaging devices that are not patients, and in the process learn a thing or two about how these images are made.

Sam Hurley

Presenter bio: Sam is an assistant scientist in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) physics at the University of Wisconsin, Department of Radiology. He received his Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the University of Wisconsin, and worked in Clinical Neurosciences as a postdoctoral MRI physicist at the University of Oxford in the UK. His work is focused on developing new ways to measure the structure and function of the brain with MRI, specifically how brain regions are connected to one another. In his free time, he enjoys attending concerts, playing bass guitar, travel, scuba diving, and working on electronics and software projects. He also has a strong interest in general aviation, and is currently working on his FAA private pilot’s license.

Nerd Nite 058

Date: Wednesday, May 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.

May the Law be With You: Legal issues from a galaxy far, far away

Summary: There are a lot of Star Wars movies and even more legal issues in the Star Wars universe. From product liability questions related to the design of the Death Star to hazardous work conditions for Jabba’s employees to the rights of droids to be served at the Cantina, we discuss some of the legal issues that are raised in the Star Wars movies. We can all come out of this ready to sue the Empire in civil court!

Jessica Mederson

Presenter Bio: Jessica Mederson joined Hansen Reynolds LLC in 2011 and serves as the Managing Partner of Hansen Reynolds’ Madison office. Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Mederson was an attorney with Vinson & Elkins LLP in Austin, TX. Ms. Mederson litigates business and IP matters in state and federal courts across the nation. Licensed in four states, she focuses on construction defect litigation, management and director/officer disputes, employer-side employment litigation, contract disputes, and patent infringement litigation. She is a graduate of The George Washington University and the University of Texas School of Law. She is also a founder of The Legal Geeks and blogs on the intersection of law and geek culture at She has presented at San Diego Comic Con every year since 2015.!

Biomimicry: Learning from Nature’s Wisdom

Summary: Nature thinks “inside the box” by creating amazing innovations despite working within the bounds of heavy constraints. Biomimicry is the study of these natural strategies, and the resulting lessons are turned into abstractions that can help us solve our problems while ensuring balance within the world around us. This talk will provide a brief introduction to this amazing toolset!

Benjamin St John

Presenter bio: Ben is a designer and innovation manager currently about to start work in the software industry. He completed his undergrad at Arizona State University in a hybrid program between the engineering and business schools in 2015, followed by a Masters of Science in Biomimicry (also at Arizona State University) in 2017, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018. His mother, a horticulturist, taught him about the the value of nature and its ecosystems and these lessons stayed with him throughout his career and personal life. An avid hiker and camper, Ben is most at home taking in the awesome power of nature with its ability to maintain incredibly delicate and balanced ecosystems.

We Can All be a World Champion: How an every-man won the World Series of Poker

Summary: Celebrate the 15th anniversary of Chris Moneymaker (that is his real name) vaulting poker into popular culture and spawning a new world of poker players. On May 23, 2003, Chris won $2.5 Million after spending $86 on an online satellite entry. This tournament was full of amazing characters and unlikely winners and losers. Chris’s story and what he did to the poker world resonates today. I will discuss how parts of popular culture, technology, and luck led to Chris’s unlikely win.

Brad Green

Presenter bio: Brad is a professional fundraiser for the University of Wisconsin. He is average (maybe) at poker but loves it. He spends his free time playing guitar and hanging out with his 5 year old daughter and his old dog.

Nerd Nite 057

Date: Wednesday, April 25
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.

♬ I Feel the Mars… Move… Under My Feet ♬

Summary: Nerds, get excited! A rocket will soon launch to Mars carrying a robotic lander that will undertake one of the greatest studies in planetary science history. While it may not be as sexy as sending humans to the red planet, we’ll dive into NASA’s upcoming InSight mission and learn about how checking a planet’s ‘vital signs’ will help uncover the secrets of the early solar system (including Earth) and the implications this has for humanity’s future in space. At the very least, you’ll walk away with a much greater appreciation for MARSQUAKES!

Tristan Mentz

Presenter Bio: Tristan Mentz is a DJ, event planner, and volunteer astronomy nerd with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Solar System Ambassador program. When he’s not laying down beats he likes to contemplate life’s mysteries under a sky of stars and orbiting satellites. Tristan hopes to someday travel to the moon, see the stars from the far side, and gaze back on our planet suspended in the vastness of the cosmos. GO SCIENCE!

Tinder, Twitter, and Trump: How Social Media Creates Societal Silos

Summary: Social media has supplanted broadcast media. Technology has made the world ‘smaller.’z The exchange and distribution of information faster and easier but it’s more than just fast… it’s different. We have more ways of connecting, sharing, and creating yet news and social networks feel more divisive than ever before. That’s because we’re being ‘siloed’ by the very thing that is supposed to bring us closer: Social Media. We’re going to talk about what social media really is, what it’s not, and its effect on individuals and groups through the lens of the social media bubble. We’re striving to better understand how social media funnels us into silos, affecting our relationships, shapes our opinions, and changes our perspective.

Joel Ondercin

Presenter bio: Joel is a self-described ‘over-enthusiast’- he tends to get very excited and ‘nerd out’ about things that he likes. Joel likes a lot of things but is good at very few; Social media, photography, and drinking are some of the few. He spends his work weeks as the social media manager for an education technology company, Renaissance, doing everything from analytics, corporate policy, publishing, and strategy. When not at the office he’s usually drinking, gaming, bingeing content or spending time on his latest [short-lived] hobby or trend. Since he spends most of his waking life on social media he has a pretty dim view of humanity which can be confusing considering his enthusiastic personality.

The Ben Franklin Bodyslam: Wrestling Virtue in a Modern World.

Summary: When the life you thought you were building falls apart, how do you build yourself back up? Using a system devised by Benjamin Franklin in 1726, I set about rebuilding myself one character trait at a time. Seems that some of those revolutionaries really had their stuff together.

Will Ringland

Presenter bio: Will is an all purpose nerd. He graduated from Beloit College in 2004 with a BA in English and Psychology. His primary day job is managing accessibility process for a local healthcare company. In his spare time he writes about building character, productivity, and being a better person in a world growing less virtuous.

Nerd Nite 056

Date: Wednesday, March 21
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.

Your voice got the moves (like Jagger)

Summary: Your speaking voice conveys a lot about your personality, and it’s set, right? Like your fingerprints, it comes with you and you go with it? This is real life, so you know it’s not that simple. Let’s make some weird noises together and play around with your sound.

Amber Nicole Dilger

Presenter Bio: Amber Nicole is a voice teacher and performance anxiety coach who is endlessly fascinated by both the physiology and psychology of the human vocal instrument. Based in Madison, she has taught and performed across the country and is happiest when her travels bring her to the ocean + trees + warmth. Find out more at

Children of the Corn: Americans’ Obsession with an Overgrown Grass

Summary: Americans love corn. We guzzle corn syrup, shovel in spoonfuls of cornflakes, and cut into prime steaks from corn-fed cows. We drive our cars with corn gasoline down highways lined with endless fields of corn. We’ll learn how the roots (ha!) of our obsession go back more than 8,000 years to a bushy grass in central Mexico and continue into the bowels of our most hated biotech companies — and show that corn is, in many ways, the most American plant.

Eric Hamilton

Presenter bio: Eric is a science writer with a particular obsession with plants, which probably explains why he used to be a plant scientist. He’s also a lifelong Midwesterner, which probably explains why he thinks so much about corn. And he’s a recently transplanted Madisonian, which probably explains why he loves pull-tabs so much.

Is this a Cult? And Other Better Questions about Intentional Communities

Summary: Didn’t intentional communities all die out in the 70’s? Are people really living off the land? What’s the difference between a commune, an ecovillage and a cohousing community? What kind of environmental and social impacts are communities making? Do people have to share toothbrushes? Answers to these and other burning questions brought you by intentional community hopper and analyst, Rachel Huber.

Rachel Huber

Presenter bio: Rachel studied Environmental Science at Purdue University and then unintentionally spent the next 7 years visiting/living in intentional communities across the U.S. Her eye for efficient systems, vision for a sustainable future and heart for human happiness has led her to believe that she has a thing or two to report to muggles public.

Nerd Nite 055

Date: Wednesday, February 21
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.

Sex Ed Update: Misconceptions about Conception and Other Useful Facts

Summary: Most Americans have sexual intercourse, however they define it, for the first time as teenagers and, for years, attempt to avoid getting themselves or another person pregnant. This presentation will be a contemporary look at Sex Ed, including why it is the way it is, as well as some practical tips on reproduction (how to, as well as how not to) that it would have been helpful to have learned in school.

Meredith A and Gina W

Presenter Bio: Meredith and Gina are local sex-perts whose expertise stems from mandatory sex ed training in middle school and high school, along with hundreds or perhaps thousands of logged hours having The Sex, with a focus on enjoyment and avoiding reproduction. Their backgrounds include educational policy, journalism, and improv, all of which will be incorporated into their first Nerd Nite presentation together.

Exposed! — Subliminal Messaging in Movies & Advertising

Summary: Michael is a director for hire, and it’s his job to communicate to you through film and ads without ever actually saying anything. In this talk, he’ll reveal the two ways that specific ideas are communicated through images alone. From the Soviet film theorists in 1917 to the Michelin Baby, creatives have hidden their messages in one of two places: the cut (the negative space between two images) or within a single image itself. You will never see the visual arts the same way again.

Michael Neelsen

Presenter bio: As a child, Michael wanted to become a lawyer. Because that career would bring him too much comfort and money, he became a documentary filmmaker and commercial director instead. His current project is “Beyond Human Nature,” an oral history of the Tom Monfils “pulp vat murder” investigation from 1992-1995. His previous feature film, “Last Day at Lambeau”, was a documentary on the divorce of Brett Favre from the Green Bay Packers. It was broadcast on PBS in 2016.

His favorite beer at the moment is New Glarus “Cabin Fever” and he will move heaven and earth to see Tom Waits perform live if he ever goes on tour again.

Naked Mole-Rats, a.k.a. Penises with Teeth

Summary: Prepare your mind to be repeatedly blown as Frank comically covers just some of the many incredibly odd characteristics of naked mole-rats, small rodents that live in underground colonies with a queen and are very different from both moles and rats!

Frank Castelli

Presenter bio: Frank is a freshly minted Ph.D. of Behavioral Evolutionary Neuroscience from Cornell University where he studied naked mole-rats and hamsters. He is currently a Research Specialist at UW-Madison studying California mice. In the past he has also studied prairie dogs, voles, tailless whip-scorpions, cichlid fish, ants, howler monkeys, and fossilized bird regurgitations.