Science, fiction, and science fiction pack a nerdtacular "Geektember"
Post by Christie Taylor on 8/27/2012 12:30pm
Every now and then there’s a confluence of supremely nerdy events. Often this happens in a month where we can append the word “geek” to the month’s name and make it sound clever and even preordained.
In this case, cons, festivals, and geeky naked people (plus at least one geek’s birthday) will combine next month to create Geektember, the Megazord of geek happenings and a truly exciting time for Madison dweebs.
Schedule of events:
Sept. 4: School starts. (Basically everywhere)
Geeks love school. School loves geeks. Along with the resumption of classes, the fall brings the return of several perennial geek-friendly events, including:
* Discovery! Thursdays, which bring approachable discussion of science to a different public library each week, resume Thursday, September 6, with topics that range from lake midges to super gonorrhea. Talks are aimed at a general adult audience, and usually start at 7:30 p.m. (free)
* Wednesday Nite at the Lab, a weekly evening seminar introducing some research topic to the general public, never actually took a summer break, and runs every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the UW Biotechnology Center, 425 Henry Mall. (free)
* Chaos and Complex Systems seminars, lunch hour discussions with faculty about scientific topics, are aimed at a more science-y crowd than Wednesday Nite at the Lab, but are open to anyone, and kick off on Sept. 4 with “The Myths of Mathematics.” 12:05 p.m. Tuesdays, 4274 Chamberlain Hall. (free)
* Astronomy shows at the Madison Metropolitan School District Planetarium. (Okay, technically these resume in Geektober). Shows run on the third Wednesday of the month, October - May, with two shows starting at 6:30 and 7:45 p.m. The next show is Oct. 17, topic TBD. ($2.50 per person)
Sept. 7-9: Geek.Kon
Do you like anime, science fiction, or gaming? How about all three? With a number of high-profile geek guests and events that include karaoke, a talent show, games, costume contests and panels, Geek.Kon will let you spend an entire weekend living and breathing nerd-enriched air. Geek.Kon is a young event, home-grown by UW students in 2007, and has outgrown its original campus location to now reside at the Madison Marriott West. Registration costs $30 for the full weekend, with day pass options available for less.
Sept. 9: Naked Girls Reading
This month’s theme is travel and adventure, and the notoriously nerdy naked girls of Madison will be reading some good things: the Time Machine, and Where the Wild Things Are, for example, plus at least one Choose Your Own Adventure book (audience participation encouraged). 7 p.m., Inferno Nightclub. Cost: $12 in advance (ticket site not available yet), $15 at the door.
Sept. 12: Iron Sky screening
Not so much science as campy science fiction, “Iron Sky” is the story of what might happen if Nazis had been hiding out on the moon since the end of World War II and then decided to try again in 2013. The point being: Moon Nazis. Brought to Madison by a Kickstarter-esque effort called Tugg and Dane101, the movie plays at Star Cinema at 7:30 p.m. If you haven’t already reserved tickets, you can do so at the Tugg website for $10 (the only way to get tickets). Seats are capped at 139, so don’t delay.
Sept. 21: Geekesque Burlesque
There are a lot of jokes that geeks may not know what a naked woman looks like. We’re actually pretty sure they do. But Geekesque Burlesque is so much more than the (near) nudity: if you didn’t see last year’s inaugural show, brace yourself for every imaginable pop culture homage, from video games to movies, in acts that include local darlings the Peach Pies and visitors from Milwaukee and Chicago as well. Details: 9:30 p.m. at the High Noon Saloon. Tickets: $10 at the High Noon website.
Sept. 27-30: Wisconsin Science Festival
The culmination of Geektember, the Wisconsin Science Festival invites you to run wild on the UW-Madison campus for a four-day learning spree. It’s not just lab tours, demonstrations, or lectures about the scientific aspects of popular “real life” substances like beer and chocolate or (this is debatable) football: you’ll also see poetry readings, film screenings, dance and plays. What’s your passion? Reptiles, organic farming, homing pigeons, radio, genetics, evolution--take your pick, or pick them all. Either way, all events are free.
Christie Taylor (@ctaylsaurus) covers science, environment, and, depending on the season, state politics for dane101. She verbs a lot of nouns, including rollerskates, radio, and Kurt Vonnegut. A Madison native, she's not sure she'll ever quite manage to leave Wisconsin, and that's just fine by her. Contact her at email@example.com.