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SFFZ Talk About Things Conference - Featured Talks


What Are Birds?

Carly Ho

Birds are a hugely varied and fascinating part of our world's ecosystem, from common sparrows to parrots to eagles to cranes to weird muppet-looking birds like the potoo. In this talk, I'll showcase a few of my favorite birds and their interesting qualities, and discuss some ways we can help make the world a better place for our feathered friends.

"This Mountain Is a Complicated Metaphor for Nationalism": The Eurovision Song Contest for Beginners

Cat Cefalu, Benjamin Dionysus

The Eurovision Song Contest--part Battle of the Bands, part sporting event, and part international intrigue-- is largely unknown to Americans. Full of its own tropes, running jokes, and age-old grudges, it's an amazing annual experience that needs more love. Cat and Benjamin have hosted ESC-watching parties for several years running and are excited to share this fandom with their friends.

Baking: A practical and intuitive approach

Esa Sclafani

Baking is a skill that we often see as being esoteric and scientific in nature. The concept of precise proportions and measurements is intimidating to most people, even those who are otherwise comfortable in the kitchen. I, as a professional baker, wish to detail how baking doesn't need to be scary, or as precise as we've been led to believe. If possible, I would love to talk for five minutes and answer questions for five minutes, in case people have specific queries.

word? word. | Emojis & Communication

Kara Carrell

This talk will go over what Emojis really are, and talk through their effects on communication today, positive and negative. Folks should take away a heightened awareness about using emojis, a curiosity for Unicode, and a visceral desire to request a new Churros emoji IMMEDIATELY!


Lillie Franks

My talk will be a short summary of interesting facts and biological peculiarities of various butterflies. Butterflies are a special interest for me and I like learning about them and the talk will probably also include some discussion of having a special interest. No familiarity is assumed other than knowing the basic concept of what a butterfly is.

Everything I Know About Web Design I Learned from Geocities

Stephanie Slattery

WIn this talk, I discuss brutalist web design in the era of Geocities, and what lessons we can take from hit counters, “under construction” banners, and Comic Sans.

Introduction to Merperson Swimming

Quinn D

Have you ever imagined slipping into a tail and swimming around as a merperson? This talk will introduce what it is, what it is like, the basics of tails and swimming with one. Learn the quick and easy steps to get started. No prior knowledge is necessary for this talk, which should be interesting to anyone curious about this unique and fanciful way to swim.

How to learn things

Susan Weiner

This will briefly address the research on teaching and learning in lay terms. There will be hands on experience with learning methodology. Attendees should leave better able to make the most of learning situations, formal or informal

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