Nerd Nite East Bay #35: Dams, Tiki, and Weed Botany

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

Poster designed by Cindy Wang.

October’s Nerd Nite East Bay is one week early. We’re taking over Alcatraz as part of the Bay Area Science Festival, but we wanted to ring in our third anniversary with a regular event at Club 21. See how dams burst, enjoy a tour through Tiki Culture, and learn about how cannabis is grown.

There will be a contest for the best Aloha shirt and for the best Tiki mug. All participants will get a discount code to use at our November event. The winners will get prizes from Otto von Stroheim.

Doors will open promptly at 7. The bar opens then and we’ll have eats for sale from the Grilled Cheese Guy.

Rick, Rebecca, DJ Citizen Zain, and the Oakland Public Library will be lighting the Jack-O-Lanterns.

Be there and be square.

This event is 21+. Any door tickets will be $10.

Monday 10/19/2015
Doors (+food,drink) at 7 pm, show starts at 8 pm and ends at 10:30 pm
Club 21, 2111 Franklin St, Oakland
(two blocks from the 19th St BART)
Advance tickets are $8 and are available until 3PM the day of the show or until they sell out.
Your CC statement will denote these come from Drinkified Learning, LLC.
Any door tickets will be $10 (cash or card).
21+
tickets
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Dam-nation: The fascinating end life of dams by Ann-Marie Benz

We have all seen pictures of mighty dams, the symbols of America’s (and its engineers’) great prowess and progress. The photos show big walls holding back huge amounts of water, supplying the arid West, generating power, and providing irrigation for farmers. Dams play an important part in our history, and the development of America, especially the West. However, it’s not just the stuff of pretty postcards. What eventually happens to dams? How do they end their life cycle? Usually it’s dramatic. Let’s talk about the exciting parts of this dam life.
Ann-Marie is a river-person who attended a hippie, liberal-art college where she studied “Watershed Management and Sustainable Community Development” (where else would have such a degree?). She then spent a decade in riparian restoration in Arizona, where the rivers don’t have water and the national forests don’t have trees. She moved to Northern California to work in drought, and now runs a local environmental non-profit that may, or may not, want to be associated with this talk. Although not an expert in dams as much as rivers, she enjoys most anything that falls down or blows up, and dams can fit that description.

American Tiki: A lost and found art movement by Otto von Stroheim

Once a mainstream vernacular for everything from Soap-on-a-rope to the corner bar or liquor store, Tiki Style’s sudden disappearance from America’s landscape was a mystery akin to the demise of an ancient culture in a faraway land. Tiki Style’s fall from grace left scattered matchbooks and menus to be discovered later and pieced back together like pottery shards. Once sacred soundtracks and signature souvenir drinking vessels collected dust on thrift shop shelves.

Learn how this once-grand and pervasive, American art movement was resurrected as a subculture and then became popular again!

Author/Disc Jockey/Publisher/Promoter Otto von Stroheim got his Exotica start when struck on the head with a coconut in 1994 during one of his annual backyard luaus in Venice, CA. The blow made him determined to publish his tiki (bar) travel memoirs resulting in the award­winning ‘zine Tiki News. After launching Tiki News Otto set out to publicize it by DJing and hosting Exotica­-related events. Since arriving in San Francisco Otto has curated and published catalogs for three “Tiki Art Now” group shows, booked live­music shows for a few years, made over 500 DJ appearances, hosted film nights, penned magazine articles, appeared on TV, MCed for events, and (with his wife Baby Doe) produced and hosted the first and largest Tiki convention­ “Tiki Oasis.”

Everything I leaned about botany, I learned from growing cannabis by Julie Soller

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A non-scientist nerds out on botany from the point of view of a backyard cannabis grower. Now that the state of California considers growing and using cannabis to be legal with a medical marijuana recommendation, any adult can try it. But misinformation and bad advice abound. In this funny and insightful presentation, Julie Soller will tell how she went from a “Just Say No” kid in the 80’s to a medical cannabis advocate and backyard grower today. She’ll share what she’s learned about botany and caring for the amazing and hardy plant in our unique Oakland microclimate. From soil to sun to nutrients to pests, challenges abound. Growing cannabis is akin to caring for exotic pets or playing a really slow video game: to succeed all the way through harvest, you need the right information, plenty of careful attention, practice, and a little luck. If you are someone who regularly kills houseplants, this talk is for you. (Legal limits vary by jurisdiction, check local laws before growing.)

Julie Soller is not a scientist. But she is no stranger to the joys of nerding out on diverse passions, from flamenco guitar to weight loss to cannabis horticulture. A Bay Area native, Julie is the creator of StorySlam Oaklanda live, monthly open-mic and curated storytelling show. She also produces the popular Spontaneous Storytelling event at the Layover lounge in Oakland. Previously a filmmaker, she has directed dozens of short films and TV segments, and sports a Masters in Film Directing from UCLA’s School of Film, TV and Digital Media. She’s currently a video consultant with Red Clip Video.

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