2015 Salons, Speakers & Stories


Feb 10, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Jade Hoffman ~ Indistinguishable From Magic: Science in the Middle Ages
  • Amy Widdowson Mains & Miles Traer ~ Science, Spectacle and Transmission: The Krakatoa Sunsets
  • Douglas Worley ~ Connections, Conspiracy & Apophenia
  • Aj Anderson ~ Luminous Balls & Fire from the Sky
  • Patrick House ~ The Illusion of Others: More Than Meets the I
  • Marcelo Pontin ~ The Angel’s Glow of Shiloh: Solving the Mystery of the Civil War’s Glowing Bodies
  • Raven Ebner ~ Hypnogogia & the Art of the Nightmare


Feb 24, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Beth Abdallah ~ The Method to Nellie’s Madness
  • Andrey Tselikov ~ Morphology and Monsters: Formalist Approaches to Folklore
  • Chris Carrico ~ The Haber–Bosch Process: A Story of Nitrogen and Chlorine
  • Daen de Leon ~ A Rose by Any Other Name: The History of Biological Taxonomy
  • (new) Tania Seabock ~ Methods of the Masters: Materials, Mediums & the Chemistry of the Arts
  • (new) Egan Hirvela ~ Here Be Dragons: Charting the Ends of the Earth


March 17, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Steen Comer – Athanasius Kircher: Last of the Red-Hot Renaissance Men
  • Amber Guetebier – The Brains of a Starlet: Hedy Lamarr, Weapons & WiFi
  • Annetta Black – A Mind for Evil: Great Minds, Questionable Morals
  • Aimee Pavey – Defining Genius: Fuzzy Boundaries & Strange Outliers
  • Joule Aguila – Genius & the Madness-Laced Mind
  • Bart Bernhardt – Sex, Drugs & Rocket Science: The Reckless Genius of Jack Parsons


March 24, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Ryan Galiotto ~ The Power of Goat: For Good AND Evil?
  • Janelle Slavik ~ Belief in Pain: It’s All in your Head
  • Laura Rubin ~ “…But You Can Never Leave” – The Truth of the Curse of Santa Cruz
  • Tamar Baskind ~ Of Cussing & Cursing & the Power of Language
  • Kurt Larson ~ Virtue, Sin, Blessing & Curse in Coleridge’s Rime
  • Casey Selden ~ “His heart shall not be content in life” – Real Curses of Ancient Egypt


April 7, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Frederic Lightning Leist ~ Ambergris: The Surprising Origins of a Rare Perfume
  • Kelly Jensen ~ David Attenborough and the Carnivorous Plant of DOOM!
  • Todd Barrett ~ (Opals)
  • Isolde Honore ~ Extraordinary Conservation Measures: How We Almost Lost the California Condor
  • Rachael von Schoik ~ When Colors Taste Like Sounds: The Wonders of Synesthesia
  • Lilia Gutnik ~ Bagels, Lox & the Beastie Boys: Yiddish as We Know It


April 21, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Tre Balchowsky – Diamonds, Diamonds, Everywhere – But Let’s Make More
  • Frederic Lightning Leist ~ Xenophon’s Retreat: The Escape of the 10,000
  • (new) Jeff Scattini – Critters, Creatures & the Human Biome
  • (new) Charles Lyon – Stars Like Dust: Fermi’s Paradox and The Great Silence
  • (new) Leonard Apeltsin – Mysterious Murmurations: The Majestic Aerial Formations of Starlings
  • (new) James Manion ~ And The Sky Went Black: Plagues of Locusts


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Tamar Baskind

  • Marci Bennett ~ The Illusion and Allure of the Magic Kingdom
  • (new) Emory Taylor ~ Fordlandia: The Rational Man’s Utopia
  • Tania Seabock ~ Visualizing Paradise: Using Art to Control Society
  • Rebecca Joseph ~ Microwaves & Other Tools for a Perfect Home
  • AJ Anderson ~ Hope, Health and a Better future! The Vision of Eugenics
  • Arthur Kay ~ The Assassin and the Lily: How a Flower of Peace Bloomed Amid the Crusades


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Kaila Angello ~ Asylum: Building a Benevolent Booby Hatch
  • Amy Mains ~ The Zombie Millennial: Walking Dead in a post-Internet Age
  • (new) Alexander Seitz ~ The Art and Culture of the Black Death
  • Paige Lawrence ~ (Dystopian Fiction: a progression)
  • (new) Stephanie Rosenburg ~ The Iron Heel: Jack London’s Dystopian San Francisco
  • (new) Chris Taylor ~ The Lighter Side of George Orwell’s 1984


June 9, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • John Adams ~ Nearly Lost: How the Secrets of Polynesian Navigation were Saved
  • (new) John Law – (Cacophony shenanigans)
  • Kelly Jensen ~ A Boatload of Tortoises: The Galapagos Expedition of 1905-1906
  • Chris Carrico ~ For Love of Speed: John Stapp, “The Fastest Man on Earth”
  • Casey Selden ~ 1,172 Days on the Ice: The Arctic Travails of Nansen & Johansen
  • Josh Greenwalt ~ Cannonball Run 1907: The Paris to Peking Rally


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Tamar Baskind

  • Beth Abdallah ~ Bunga Bungle Aboard the HMS Dreadnought
  • Marcelo Pontin ~ How to Design an Army of Ghosts: The 23rd HQ Special Troops
  • (new) Michael Brodhead ~ WWII Cryptography: Before Bletchley
  • Tysa Marie Rauch ~ The Women of Bletchley
  • Lilia Gutnik ~ Speaking Easy
  • Stephanie Rosenburg ~ Covert Technologies & Hiding in Plain Sight


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Todd Barrett

  • Andrey Tselikov ~ Infernal Acts & Interpreting Infamy
  • Rheanna Bates ~ La Maupin: Swordwoman, Lover, Adventuress, Opera Star
  • Jade Hoffman ~ Aleister Crowley: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  • Michael Solazzo ~ Sympathy for the Devil
  • Egan Hirvela ~ Ships of Infamy & Cargos of Fear
  • Kelly Jensen ~ Stede Bonnet: the Crummiest, Least Effective Pirate EVER


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Justin Quimby ~ Airship Mishaps: Terror in the Skies
  • Michael Brodhead ~ Space Madness: Trouble on the Mir
  • Arthur Kay ~ Blundering Generals and Crazy Weather: The Screwups that Saved America
  • Matthew Nelson ~ The Worst Disaster in US Maritime History (that you’ve never heard of)
  • Isolde Honore ~ Rubber Duckies & Friends: Lost Cargo & Understanding Ocean Currents
  • Miles Traer ~ The Curse of the Narrows, and the A(ccidental)-Bomb


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Matthew Nelson

  • Claudius Reich ~ Dissecting the Golden Calf
  • Stuart Gripman ~ The Cthulhu Mythos: How an Awkward Nerd Created a Universe
  • Jeff Scattini ~ San Francisco: The Myth, the Legend, the Lost City of Atlantis(?)
  • Nancy Caciola ~ The New Age in the Middle Ages: Guglielma’s Female-centered Church
  • Andrey Tselikov ~ Sex, Sadism, and Sacrilege: Russia’s Dirty Folktales
  • Annetta Black ~ Tales of Caution: Blood, Gore & Stories for Small Children


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Tamar Baskind

  • Kurt Larson ~ The Disturbing Perturbation of Mercury & the Search for Planet Vulcan
  • (new) Besha Grey ~ Misfit Sounds: Bloops, Hums & the Loneliest Whale
  • Marcus Marchesseault ~ Beasts of Paradox: Sailing Serpents, Sea Slugs & Sneaky Spiders
  • Aimee Pavy ~ The Mystery of Bimini Road: Science vs. the People of Atlantis
  • Amber Guetebier ~ Rotten Botany: The Corpse Plant & Other Botanical Oddities
  • Hernan Pelassini & Rebecca Joseph ~ WOW! 72 Seconds of WTF from Space


2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Tre Balchowski

  • Charles Lyon ~ If Lovecraft Only Knew: Monster Squid of the Deep
  • Rachel James –  Mortality of Monsters: The Murders That changed Manchester
  • Jeff Scattini ~ Purity and the Beast: why only the innocent survive
  • Christopher Reeves – Otters: Adorable Antiheroes
  • Daen de Leon ~ Fly on the Wall: Mr and Mrs Morgan’s Monstrous Mutants
  • Amy Widdowson Mains ~ The Hall of Extinct Monsters


Oct 20, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • KC Crowell ~ Impossible Immortality Potions & the Chumps who Sought Them
  • Laura Rubin ~ Not Dead Yet: William Tebb & the London Association for the Prevention of Premature Burial
  • Michael Brodhead ~ John Dee: Peering into the Spirit World
  • Daniel Cohen ~ Walk This Way: Frogs, Frankenstein, and the Flexner Report
  • Steen Comer ~ Revenant: A Short History of the Restless Dead
  • Chris Carrico ~ Future Adventures in Not Dying


Nov 10, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Casey Selden ~ The Big Con: The lingo of grifters, swindlers and con men
  • Leonard Apeltsin ~ Shady Princes and Spanish Prisoners: The Oldest Scam in the Book
  • Besha Grey ~ The Confidence Queen of New York
  • Christian Cagigal ~ “Tossin’ the Broads” – History and Exposé of the Three Card Monte
  • Imogen Speer ~ The Oily Trade Of the Rattlesnake King
  • Eva Galperin ~ The Affair of the Necklace: When Diamonds Were Not the Queen’s Best Friend


Nov 17, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Jade Hoffman

  • Michael Sollazzo ~ Every Blade Has Two Edges: The High Cost of Vengeance
  • Daniel Cohen ~ Attribution and Retribution: Lighthouses, Nazis, and Rabbits
  • Marci Bennett ~  The Unkindness of Ravens: A Corvid’s Cunning
  • Isolde Honore ~ Going Medieval: The Ferocious Vengeance of Jeanne de Clisson
  • Kurt Larson ~ JUSTIFIED: Hollywood-Sanctioned Violence Porn
  • Meeks Baker ~ May You Live In Interesting Times: Tales of the Vexed and Hexed


Dec 15, 2015 at DNA Lounge, San Francisco. Curator: Annetta Black

  • Tamar Baskind ~ The Many Lives of the Claflin Sisters
  • Lilia Gutnik ~ How to Win a Horse Race (with Kidnapping, Sabotage, and Bribes)
  • Frederic Lightning Leist ~ Metamorphosis: A Scientist Comes out of Her Cocoon
  • Christian Cagigal ~ The Spirits of Mary Ellen Pleasant
  • Raven Ebner ~ Object Power: The Art of Magical Items
  • Christopher Reeves ~ Let Slip the Sparkles of War
  • Annetta Black ~ Love Unhinged & the Corpse Queen of Portugal