Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Holy Toledo! Snag a ticket for this month’s Nerd Nite East Bay so that you can hear past speaker Mitch Anstey glow about our Oakland A’s, savor Zak Wardle’s treatise on cured meats, and learn about the history of dynamite in the bay area from NNSF alum Robin Marks. DJ Ion the Prize, Rick, Rebecca, and the Oakland Public Library will throw out the first pitch.

Monday 3/30/2015
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)
All Ages

The Little Team That Does by Mitch Anstey

You’ve seen the movie. It stars Brad Pitt. He makes baseball sexy. You want to know what else makes baseball sexy? Data! No, not Star Trek… Statistics! But in this post-BradPittMoneyball era, every team uses statistics in one form or another drive decisions in the front office and on the field. Come see how our hometown Oakland A’s have kept pace with the big money juggernauts to give us the most exciting* team in baseball!

Mitch is not a baseball analyst, statistician, or insider. He is only a fan! But fans are irrational and do what they want. Boo a famous player! Call balls and strikes from 400 feet away! As such, he has no authority to talk about the “Moneyball” tactics that have made his hometown team famous, but he will anyway! His analytical science mind has been attracted to the A’s because they embraced statistics as a way to stay competitive with a limited budget. It’s the great underdog story that science helped to write!

* Your results may vary.↩

Salt: the Cure for the Common Meat! by Zak Wardle

Have you ever eaten Prosciutto? Landjaeger? Saucisson Sec? Salami? Pate? Sujuk? or Carne de Sol? These are examples of cured meat foods where the meat has been treated with salts in order to preserve it and to develop flavor. Cured meats of one form or another are a wonderful culinary tradition across many parts of the world and the ability to preserve and store a reliable source of protein was a vital technology for life within burgeoning human civilizations before the advent of refrigeration.

Zak Wardle is an Oakland cook, butcher, ‘charcuteer’ and independent academic currently working at Clove and Hoof restaurant. He is passionate about sharing his meat with the world. He is fascinated by the history and science of food and the role it has played in human ecology.

More Bang for the Buck: Dynamite’s Explosive Impact on the Bay Area

In 1868, Alfred Nobel plopped the world’s first dynamite plant right smack in the middle of SF’s Glen Canyon. Others followed, first in SF, then in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. The Bay Area became a global hotspot for TNT. Local miners celebrated. Local residents lived in fear. The SF Chronicle reported on what it called the “semi-annual explosions” that, over time, killed hundreds of people and blew out countless Bay Area windows. Eventually, the Knights of Nitro got the hang of the safety idea. Learn about where you can go to see the artifacts of a whole different kind of Bay Area economic explosion.

Robin Marks is a professional nerd who writes high school curricula and runs Discovery Street Tours, which offers walking tours that explore science and history. She is fond of obscure factoids about the Bay Area.