Nerd Nite East Bay #26: Urban Farming, Pipe Organs, and Use-Based Taxes

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.


Grab a beer! We’ll blast the tunes from the farms-to-the-roads in January’s installment of Nerd Nite East Bay.  Pilar Reber shares how she is growing the urban farming community, Don Crawley (an alumni from Nerd Nites Seattle, Vancouver, and Kansas City) will pull out all the stops in describing pipe organs, and Amber Crabbe will drive us through how Oregon and California plan to charge you per mile that you drive.

With those puns out of the way, hosts Rick and Rebecca, DJ Ion the Prize and the Oakland Public Library will be celebrating the joint birthday of Douglas MacArthur and Paul the Octopus.

Monday 1/26/2015
Doors at 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm, show ends at 10:30 pm
The New Parkway, 474 24th St, Oakland
(less than half-a-mile from the 19th St BART)
$8
All Ages
Tickets
FB
g+

Farming.biz: On the Frontlines of the Urban Farming Movement by Pilar Reber

Pilar Reber was a teenage pesticide applicator. Hear her contrast this experience with conventional farming with her current approach to urban farming, where growing and nurturing a community is just as important as planting broccoli.
A first-generation farmer, Vernay ‘Pilar’ Reber took her first formal job in agriculture at the age of 19, in Florida, where, in a full hazmat suit, she spent all day spraying toxic chemicals on plants. She graduated from the UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems program and founded Sunnyside Organic Seedlings, a seven-acre organic farm in Richmond. Yes, a farm in Richmond. Today, Sunnyside supplies all-organic vegetable, fruit, flower and herb starts to many Bay Area nurseries. Pilar’s menagerie also includes dogs, chickens, geese, sheep, the fish that feed the gorgeous lettuces grown in the farm’s aquaponic system, and her husband, Rick Wesson, an internet security expert.

Coon Huntin’, Pipe Organs, and a Cigar Flute: A Passion for Musical Pipes by Don Crawley

How can “coon huntin'” be used in the same sentence with “pipe organ”? And, what on earth is a cigarflute? What could be more nerdy than the world’s loudest, non-amplified musical instrument controlled by hundreds of keys, buttons, drawknobs, pedals, and toe-studs? In this talk, you’ll be introduced to the instrument Mozart called “The Kind of Instruments” and go behind the scenes of a giant pipe organ to discover its inner secrets from bellows, to 64 foot long pipes, to giant fan blowers, a cigarflute, and more.

Don R. Crawley is a lifetime geek, plus speaker and author of six books ranging in subject from Cisco to Linux to Compassionate Communication. His focus is on helping IT and other technical staff to master the arts of customer service and communication. In addition to being an author, he has spoken before audiences in all 50 states and Canada, plus the United Kingdom, Australia, and Oman. In his spare time, he plays the pipe organ, watches the ships on Puget Sound, and laughs with his family.

Welcoming Government Into Your Backseat: Say Hello to the Tesla Tax by Amber Crabbe

State and federal gasoline taxes continue to tank as the dollar declines and vehicles become more fuel efficient.  Raising the gas tax is about as popular as a turd on the BART escalator, but people still need roads and transit — what are the bean counters to do?  One possible solution is to charge drivers directly for their use of the road, similar to water, electricity, or lap dances.  A road usage charge, or “Tesla Tax”, represents a new way of thinking about how we pay for our transportation infrastructure, but many questions still remain.  Like: how do you convince the public to let Big Brother into their ride?
Amber Crabbe has been a transportation nerd since she spent her teenage years hanging out in airports just for fun.  After receiving degrees in civil engineering, transportation engineering, and city planning she worked in the advocacy world before switching to the public sector nearly a decade ago.  She currently serves as Assistant Deputy Director for Policy and Programming at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority when the toxoplasmosis isn’t making her dote on her cats.

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