Nerd Nite East Bay 57: Animal Maps, Industrial Zone Art, Daddy Long-legs

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 in Uptown Oakland on Monday Sept 25 for

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Mapping Nature’s Elusive Animals

Art of the Emeryville Mud Flats

Animal Myths and Daddy Long-Legs

Online tix just $8, $10 at the door: bit.ly/NNEB-57

RSVP on Facebook

Start your night when the doors open at 7PM with pre-show games, beats by Citizen Zain, info from the Oakland Public Library, and Liberation Foods will sell sandwiches/nachos with pulled pork, pulled chicken, or brisket. Then grab a drink and a seat as talks begin at 8PM.

 

Where the Wild Things Go
Using Modern Technology to Map Nature’s Elusive Animals

For thousands of years tracking animals meant following footprints, but now satellites, drones, cameras and cellular networks reveal the natural world in beautiful detail. See data-driven portraits of the surprising ways ants, owls, otters, turtles, and sharks navigate the world, and stunning representations of how elephants adapted to elevated railways, what drives baboon troop decisions, and how genetic islands of animals can be rescued with modern data.

Oliver Uberti is the co-author of Where the Animals Go (http://wheretheanimalsgo.com/), which uses dataviz techniques to reveal the lives of individual animals. He was previously Senior Design Editor at National Geographic and once articulated a skeleton in his living room by combining bones from a spider monkey, gorilla, kudu, fruit bat, manatee, and sabertooth tiger.

Driftwood Dragons and Mudflat Monuments in the Emeryville Industrial Wasteland

From the turbulent 1970s and the contaminated mud of the East Bay off of Emeryville rose massive, whimsical and overtly political statues and sculptures made by renegade artists from driftwood and repurposed “junk”, the remnants of which can still be seen in the bay during the I-80 commute. Hear about the origin of the mudflat sculptures during the Free Speech Movement, and how this swamp of public art and radical expression became a critical flash point during the Bay Area’s destabilizing transition from an industrial hub to a tech and real estate capital of the modern world.

Liam O’Donoghue is the creator and host of the East Bay Yesterday podcast, which was recently awarded “Best of the Bay” by East Bay Express. He started the local history podcast because he enjoys talking to old people and was running out of abandoned buildings to sneak into.

Joey Enos is an artist, historian and works as a collections manager for The National Pastime Museum. His family operated the Michel & Pelton Company from 1929-1982 and has been in the East Bay for five generations, back when Emeryville was known as “The Rotten City.” Follow Joey’s curated collection of Mudflat Art pics on Instagram @emeryville_mudflats

Tall Tales of Daddy Long-Legs
How Animal Myths Begin and Endure

All children know that daddy long-legs are actually the most poisonous spiders, but their deadly fangs are just too short to bite you. Except daddy long-legs aren’t spiders, aren’t poisonous, and don’t have fangs. Learn about the origins and propagation of famous animal myths, and discover behavioral, morphological and physiological data that makes nature more interesting, (usually) less scary, and led to changes in robotic and prosthetic design.

Ignacio Escalante is a Costa Rican Field Biologist pursuing his PhD in biomechanics and the evolution of leg loss as a defensive strategy at UC-Berkeley. When not analyzing videos he is focused on avoiding venomous pit vipers at his field site.

Online tix just $8, $10 at the door: bit.ly/NNEB-57

Nerd Nite East Bay 8/25 and 8/28: Chabot Space, Pinball, Coney Island, 80s Arcades, Spice, SETI and More

Nerd Nite East Bay has two shows for you in August!

Fri Aug 25th at Oakland’s Chabot Space Center:  

Get Tickets    RSVP and talk details

Mon Aug 28th at Club 21 in Uptown: 

Get Tickets    RVSP and talk details

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at the Chabot Space and Science Center on Friday night 8/25 from 6-10PM for unlimited pinball, the museum with no kids, music, drinks, a showing of Tommy under the stars and three excellent talks!

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Improving Your Pinball Skills with Science by Pacific Pinball Museum Founder and Executive Director Michael Schiess.

The Human Drive to Automate the World by Camie Bontaites of the Chabot Center’s Open Science Lab.

The Forgotten Coney Island of the West (right in the East Bay!) by Historians Dennis Evanosky and Eric J Kos.

Get Tickets for Aug 25th   

Aug 25th RSVP and talk details on Facebook

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Then on Monday Aug 28th join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 for pre-show trivia, DJ Rubberband girl, Grilled Cheese guy, drinks, the Oakland Public Library and three excellent talks!

Using Modern Technology to Maintain the Great Arcade Games of the 1980s and 90s by Shawn and Meg Livernoche of High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum.

Earth’s Largest Search for Life with SETI’s massive new Breakthrough Listen Project by Emilio Enriquez of UC-Berkeley’s Breakthrough Listen.

Cellular Spice Receptors and Why Spicy Food Hurts Your Butt by Trace Dominguez of Seeker Science

 

Get Tickets for Aug 28th 

Aug 28 RVSP and Talk Details on Facebook

 

 

Nerd Nite Aug 28: Vintage Arcades, SETI, Spice Receptors

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 in Uptown Oakland  on Monday August 28th for:

80s and 90s Arcades!
Spice Receptors!
SETI’s Breakthrough Listen Project!

plus pre-show Trivia!

Early bird tix just $8, $10 at the door (get them before they sell out!):
http://bit.ly/NNEB-56

RSVP to the event on Facebook

Start your night when the doors open at 7PM with games, beats by Rubberband Girl AKA Small Wonder, gooey eats by Grilled Cheese Guy, and info from the Oakland Public Library, then grab a drink and a seat as the talks begin at 8PM.2017-8 poster draft 2 resize1

Citizen Kanes of the Arcade
Maintaining the Great Arcade Games of the 1980s and 1990s

Reminisce about the great and groundbreaking arcade games of the 1980s and 1990s and learn about the essential qualities that make these machines resonate today. As spare parts become scarce, the effort to find and maintain games with modern solutions that won’t compromise nostalgia becomes more important and more sophisticated. Discover how the best private and public vintage arcade game collections were built, and how the Citizen Kanes of the Arcade are being preserved for future generations.

Shawn and Meg Livernoche are the owners and curators of High Scores Interactive Arcade Museum in Alameda and Hayward They are game builders and preservationists heavily focused on the “golden age” of arcade gaming with a meticulously curated collection of over 150 titles. Shawn once drove a Donkey Kong Jr home in a two door Volkswagen Golf and Meg’s thumbnail was permanently disfigured under a Karate Champ cabinet in the middle of a bustling public sidewalk.

Surveying the Sky with SETI
Earth’s Largest Search for Alien Life

UC Berkeley’s Breakthrough Listen project is best described as SETI on steroids. Hear about the unique challenges that come with using our world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescopes to cover 10X more sky and 5X more radio spectrum than all previous efforts. Learn how this program is using more speed and data than astronomy has ever had available before to answer humanity’s biggest question: are we alone in the vast universe?

Emilio Enriquez conducts research in the Breakthrough Listen Lab at UC Berkeley. His work focuses on SETI, stellar flares and other astrophysical radio transient phenomena. He is originally from Mexico and is finishing his PhD in radioastronomy from Radboud University Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

Srir-ouch-a
Why Spicy Food Hurts Your Butt

The mild heat of Frank’s Red Hot, the complex burn of Sriracha and the punch in the face pain of Mad Dog 357 all come from the activity of the receptor protein TPRV-1 in your mouth. But the same molecules that cause delicious pain in the human mouth also cause pain when… exiting the premises, even at vanishingly small concentrations. Find out why your body has complicated physiological reactions to eating and digesting spicy molecules, how your body dulls itself to the pain of spice, and why your butt evolved to feel the hot sauce mistakes you made the night before.

Trace Dominguez is the producer of the Seeker Science YouTube channel with over 1,000 videos on topics ranging from quantum mechanics to agriculture, materials to engineering, and yes, human poop. He has a background in science journalism, an affinity for spicy foods, and an unfortunately sensitive butt.

You can also join Nerd Nite East Bay in August for more excellent talks and unlimited pinball at our special event at Chabot Space & Science Center!

Facebook.com/events/114262395844291

Chabot III: Return of Nerd Nite

nneb-chabotWe’re hosting alcohol-fueled educational talks at Chabot again on Friday August 25 . They have a pinball exhibit up with 30 machines you can play, courtesy our friends at the Pacific Pinball Museum [they’re awesome; you should also help them fund a permanent home!]

  • Tickets are $15.  We’ve sold out every time we’ve done this.
  • Friday, August 25th
    • 6PM – Doors
    • 7PM – Talks in Megadome
    • 8:30PM – Screening of Tommy in outdoor ampitheater
  • Beer and wine!
  • Food from Canasta Kitchen Food Truck
  • Amazing Talks!!!
    • The Science of Pinball by Michael Schiess, Pacific Pinball Museum
    • Why Humans Automate the World by Camie Bontaites, Chabot Center OpenScienceLab
    • History of Chabot and Neptune Beach by Dennis Evanosky and Eric J. Kos, East Bay Then & Now and OaklandHistory.com
  • FB event

Nerd Nite East Bay 55: Black Panthers, Meat from Math, Regional Wonders with 99pi

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 on Monday July 31st for:

Manufacturing Meat with Math!
Women and the Black Panther Party!
Regional Design Wonders with 99% Invisible and WebUrbanist!

Early bird tix just $8, $10 at the door: https://nerdniteeb.yapsody.com/event/index/115711

July 2017 B smaller

RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/140853823159938 

Start your night when the doors open at 7PM with games by Ann-Marie Benz, beats by Rubberband Girl and eats by Miss Arepita, then grab a drink and a seat as talks begin at 8PM.

Women and the Black Panther Party

Oakland shaped the evolution of the Black Panther Party, and the city served as the launching point for the BPP’s nationwide expansion and critical social programs for communities of color. Learn about the history of strong women in the Bay Area Black Panther Party, the fight against the FBI’s counterintelligence program, and the sometimes forgotten stories of Panthers’ progressive political alliances, alternative community schooling and focus on LGBTQ rights that continue to shape California’s culture today.

Robyn C. Spencer is the author of The Revolution Has Come: Black Power, Gender and the Black Panther Party and a historian at Lehman College in the Bronx (robyncspencer.com). She teaches courses on gender, Black radicalism and social protest after WWII. She continues to bring the Sixties back to life in her next book on the anti-Vietnam War movement in the Black community.

Regional Design Wonders of the World

Learn how 99% Invisible creates episodes and discover region-specific design solutions from around the world. From German’s tilt-and-turn windows and heated Japanese kotatsu tables to Calgary street signs, Finnish dish-drying cabinets and rotary clotheslines in Australia, see how objects designed in response to a region’s unique cultural and physical conditions can teach us about a place and the people who live there. Also peek behind the curtain at how 99% Invisible finds topics and creates their famous podcast episodes and multimedia articles about design.

Kurt Kohlstedt is a producer at 99% Invisible (99pi.org) and founder of WebUrbanist (weburbanist.com). He has been writing about urban art, architecture and design for over a decade. A recent transplant to the East Bay, he can regularly be seen photographing things like manhole covers and utility location tags on the streets of beautiful downtown Oakland, California.

Manufacturing Meat with Math

Science and math are turning plants directly into meat in Oakland, with no cows as highly inefficient meat machine middle men required. Learn how predictive models of olfactory perception can analyze plant-derived molecules and match them to chemical structures to create the flavor profiles of meats and dairy, and how statistical techniques can screen large libraries of small molecules for protein binding to generate the identical sensation of taste. Discover how combinatorial chemistry, gas chromatography, algorithms and veggies can create the next great burger and sustainably feed the world’s growing population.

Oliver Zahn is the Head of Data Science at Impossible Foods in Oakland. He was the Director of UC Berkeley’s Center for Cosmological Physics before deciding to use his experience with vast and complex real world data to unlock the world’s abundant plant-based protein stores and contribute to the survival of our planet and species.

 Tix: https://nerdniteeb.yapsody.com/event/index/115711

RSVP to the event at facebook.com/events/140853823159938

Join the Nerd Nite East Bay page!

#54: eSports, Argentine Ants, Early East Bay Baseball

NNEB Jun 2017

Poster by Rebecca Cohen.


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Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 in Oakland on June 26th for:

Argentine Ants
eSports Explosion
East Bay Baseball before MLB

Start your night at 7PM playing Gigantic Jenga with Ann-Marie Benz, hear beats by DJ Citizen Zain and enjoy eats by Grilled Cheese Guy. Talks begin at 8PM.

Early bird tix just $8, $10 at the door: https://nerdniteeb.yapsody.com/event/book/105426/432851

RSVP at facebook.com/events/133142073913556

How eSports Powered Up

Get UP UP, not DOWN DOWN for Nerd Nite this month and don’t be LEFT out as we learn what’s gone so RIGHT to make eSports a billion dollar industry, and what’s LEFT to take this sport RIGHT into the mainstream. While Twitch and Blizzard have led to suddenly famous teenagers playing for millions of dollars in sold out arenas, there is also a dark side as the maturing industry struggles with stability, diversity and the ten hour practice days needed to B A success. Think you’re ready for huge money from your own pentakill on Summoner’s Rift with the eSports arena opening in Jack London Square? Come to the show to get your START!

Roland Li is the author of Good Luck Have Fun: The Rise of eSports and covers real estate for the San Francisco Business Times. He grew up in New York and moved to the Bay Area in 2015, where his life was changed with his first Mission burrito.

Argentine Ants, the Gateway Bug

A single ant colony from Argentina has now filled almost six hundred miles of California’s coastline, and brought with it an equally huge opportunity for education outreach. Learn about the surprisingly similarities in social behavior between this and other insect groups when compared to human populations, and what this can teach us about the future of humans’ own worldwide supercolony. Also discover the unseen world of insects right below your feet using ongoing citizen science projects and learn why ants are the perfect “gateway bug” to get the public interested in science.

Jenna Florio is a Research Assistant at the California Academy of Sciences where she develops projects for the public and scientists to work together on backyard insect populations. She has studied the social behavior of spiders in the jungles of Costa Rica, the migrating behavior of malaria mosquitos, and loves both insects and humans enough to inspire her current work on keeping ants out of your kitchen.

East Bay Baseball Before MLB

The Oakland A’s are now #RootedInOakland, but the roots of professional baseball in the Bay Area stretch back over 150 years. Starting with the Live Oaks Base Ball Club in 1866, Oakland became a hub for professional baseball outside of the Major Leagues. Oakland was also one of the pioneering locations for racial integration with the first African-American to play in organized white baseball a half century before Jackie Robinson, and the East Bay also featured an early integrated league. Discover the locations of long lost stadiums scattered throughout the Bay Area, get an old timey base ball demonstration by Bay Area Vintage Base Ball and learn about the significant history of baseball in the East Bay before the arrival of the A’s and Giants.

Cyrus [suh-ROOS] Farivar is the Senior Business Editor at Ars Technica, and is also an author and radio producer. A fourth-generation Californian, Cyrus grew up with the Los Angeles Dodgers but frequently can be found at the Oakland Coliseum when the tickets are only $5.

Get more resources on each topic at the Oakland Public Library.

Tix: https://nerdniteeb.yapsody.com/event/book/105426/432851

Club 21, Oakland

Facebook Event

Nerd Nite East Bay 53: Crawdads, Swingin’ 70s A’s, Greenhouse History

NNEB May 2017

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 in Oakland on Monday May 29th for

The Swingin’ 70s A’s
Crawfish History and Cooking
The Scientists of Global Warming

Start your night with trivia games by Ann-Marie Benz and tasty food from The Lumpia Company, hear good tunes from Rubberband Girl AKA Small Wonder, support Swords to Plowshares and catch up with the Oakland Public Library, then grab a drink and a seat as the talks begin at 8PM.

Early bird tickets just $8, tickets $10 at the door.
nerdniteeb.yapsody.com/event/book/98356/403151

RSVP at facebook.com/events/1397684323621550

Who’s Your Daddy?
The Unique (and Tasty) History of Crawfish

Lobsters are Red, Crabs can be Blue, Learn to Catch and Cook Crawfish, They’re Good Eatin’ Too! Discover the unique natural history of “the lobster’s ugly cousin” and its revered place in the culture of New Orleans. Break away from the industrial catch and learn how to capture your own crawfish, plus expert instruction on crawfish cooking and the critical “pinch, suck and moltin boil” that will help you crush your next crustacean meal.

Lawrence McKendell is an expert on the history and culinary delights of crawdads. Raised in Orinda with roots from New Orleans, he’s also the owner and creative director of the web and graphic design firm McKendell Design and appears in the local weekly video podcasts “Scooberlicious Ultimate” and “The 510”.

Charlie and the Championship Factory
The Swingin’ A’s of the Swingin’ ‘70s

Facial hair, neon clothes and so much swinging: the Oakland A’s WERE the 1970s. Led by charismatic and perhaps crazy owner Charlie O. Finley, the Athletics won titles, introduced ball girls, hot pants and MC Hammer to the world, filled newspapers with stories of clubhouse fights, and brought hippie hair and handlebar mustaches back to baseball for the first time in fifty years. Check out vintage video of Oakland, hear how 1970s Oakland pride once centered on the A’s, and see how it all suddenly came crashing down.

Jason Turbow is the best-selling author of the book Dynastic, Bombastic, Fantastic, about the bawdy, brawling Oakland A’s of the 1970s that utterly transformed baseball. His books can be found wherever fine books are sold and jasonturbow.com.

Greenhouse Classes
The Scientists Who Discovered Global Warming

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In retrospect, hints about the effects of fossil fuel combustion on earth’s climate have been scattered throughout physics textbooks for over four hundred years. See the “debate” about global warming and the greenhouse effect from a different perspective as we travel through history and see what Sir Isaac Newton’s constituent colors of light, Herschel’s work on sun spots, Tyndall’s study of gases and Svante Arrhenius’s first calculations on planetary CO2 teach us about the modern warming world.

Avi Flamholz studies the origins and engineering of photosynthesis in the Graduate Program in Biology at the University of California at Berkeley.

Doors at 7PM, Talks at 8PM.

Nerd Nite East Bay 52: Bug Life Lessons, Best Ways to Die, Political Ad Art

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Poster by Rebecca Cohen.

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 in Oakland on Monday April 24th for

Life Lessons From Bugs
Science’s Best Ways to Die
Art of Political TV Spots

Mingle as the doors open at 7PM, have tasty food from Grilled Cheese Guy, good tunes from Citizen Zain, and catch up with the Oakland Public Library. Then grab a drink and a seat as the talks begin at 8PM.

Early bird tickets just $8, tickets $10 at the door.

RSVP at facebook.com/events/1860765644163104

Tickets Available HERE: nerdniteeb.yapsody.com/event/book/84106/364306

Insights From Insects
Be Better By Anthropomorphizing Arthropods

Follow the blinking bug butt-lights into a better understanding of being human. Insects display some of the very best traits humans hope for in our own species, and offer value lessons on self-improvement. See from the perspective of rain beetles, learn how cockroaches teach us the consequences of stereotypes, discover what dung beetles display about the importance of persistence, admire the adorable optimism of baby spiders, and catch caterpillars getting comfortable with uncertainty.

Ralph Washington Jr. is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow and two-time National Champion of insect natural history trivia. He is President of the UC Student Association (UCSA) and has studied insects since he was eight years old. Ralph believes many problems can benefit from an entomological solution, even if that solution is a prey-subduing toxic fart.

Carpe Die-em
The World’s Most Interesting Ways To Die

You love science and will die eventually anyway, so get a serious answer to the ultimate question: what’s the most interesting way to die, scientifically-speaking? Are you totally boned if you get eaten by the bone eating snot flower, or should you be Jonah-sing to get swallowed by a whale? Should you stick your head into a nuclear particle accelerator, jump into an interstellar black hole, or take a dip outside a deep-sea submarine in Speedos? Learn how science can make the most boring life turn into one hell of an obituary.

Paul Doherty is the author And Then You’re Dead: The World’s Most Interesting Ways to Die. He received his PhD in physics from MIT and develops workshops with the Exploratorium Teacher Institute and publishes them on his webpage. Paul was given the Faraday Science Communicator award by the NSTA and is the author of many books, including The Exploratorium Science Snackbook, The Klutz Book of Magnetic Magic and Traces of Time. He plays music on the whirly and has climbed the face of El Capitan.

It’s Morning in America Again and Again and Again
Using Cinematic Art to Sell Presidential Candidates

Television and the modern Presidency have evolved together, with great art and dirty tricks a part of the most sophisticated, cynical and successful campaigns. See the most cinematically superior campaign spots drawn from the history of presidential campaign ads, and learn how the segments reflect the changes in televisual styles and election ecology. Go back to a more HOPEful time, when It’s The Economy, Stupid stimulated the American electorate.

Kathleen Maguire is a film programmer at the Exploratorium and an expert in the visual ad campaigns of previous presidential elections. She draws from her background as a moving image archivist to celebrate underappreciated genres and underseen works from archives and obscure collections.

NNEB 51: NorCal Neon, Sailor Moon, Stem Cell Trials

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Poster by Rebecca Cohen.

Join Nerd Nite East Bay at Club 21 in Oakland on Monday March 27th for

NorCal Neon!
Stem Cell Clinical Trials!
Legacy of Sailor Moon!

Early bird tickets just $8, tickets $10 at the door. GET TICKETS HERE.

RSVP at: facebook.com/events/1386003228130408/

Mingle from 7-8PM with tasty food from The Lumpia Co. and good tunes from Rubberband Girl AKA Small Wonder, make LEDs accessories with Ann-Marie Benz, catch up with the Oakland Public Library, then grab a drink and a seat as the talks begin at 8PM.

From Advertising to Art
Survivors and Lost Icons of Neon in NorCal

See beautiful pictures of neon survivors, mourn famous lost icons of the neon world, and get a visual tour of the best gas, glass and electricity that the East Bay and SF has to offer. Learn about the science underlying neon and discover what decades of evolution in California’s neon art and advertising illuminates about our Neon Cities.

Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan are the authors and photographers of the book San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons. They also give four different walking tours in San Francisco featuring the city’s fabulous collection of historic neon signs, with back alleys and back stories included. Details and pictures at http://neonbook.xyz/

Super Senshi Sorority
How Sailor Moon Brought Girl Power to the Western World

Sailor Moon’s impact on American women and popular culture continues decades after its debut, in resilient and often surprising ways. Learn how a Japanese series about magical girls changed real lives in North America, and delve into the larger conclusions that Sailor Moon’s legacy reveals about women and popular culture.

Steven Savage wrote “Her Eternal Moonlight” with co-author Bonnie Walling, an exploration of why Sailor Moon endures so powerfully among women in North America. He is a Software Manager, Elder Geek, Wrangler of Engineers, and author of books on geek careers, culture, and creativity. He’s responsible for the infamous www.SeventhSanctum.com, blogs at www.StevenSavage.com, and has books available at www.InformoTron.com.

Out of the Mouths of Babes
Treating Autism with Baby Teeth and Blindness with Stem Cells

The first stem cell treatments are entering clinical trials, and California is leading the way. Learn about a breakthrough therapy that is helping retinitis pigmentosa patients regrow critical connections and see shapes, colors and even faces. Plus bring your mental floss for complicated experiments that drill down into the causes of autism using baby teeth as a surprising (and adorable) data set.

Karen Ring and Kevin McCormack represent California’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Karen communicates science to the masses as CIRM’s Website and Social Media manager after eight years of graduate and postdoctoral research. When not thinking about how awesome stem cells are, Karen likes to eat amazing food, reference Game of Thrones and climb tall walls. Kevin McCormack is CIRM’s Communications Director and believes in the importance of starting every conversation with “what does that mean?” Kevin got interested in the regenerative power of stem cells after heading a soccer ball too many times in his youth, which may also explain some of his recent music and fashion choices.

#50: Dongs, Derby, and Rocks

NNEB Feb 2017

Poster by Rebecca Cohen.

Join Nerd Nite East Bay‘s 50th (!) show on Monday Feb 27th for

  • The Personality of the Pet Rock!
  • Roller Derby!
  • The Evolution of the Penis!

Mingle from 7-8PM with games, tasty food from Grilled Cheese Guy and tunes from Citizen Zain, then grab a drink and a seat as the talks begin at 8PM.

Early bird tickets just $8, tickets $10 at the door.

Club 21, Oakland
Facebook
Tix

The Dong of Man
Hard Facts and Little Lies About The Human Penis

This month’s swell talk on the human penis has us pumped! Learn how pensises evolved, why sexual selection advanced this absurd appendage, and why it’s pretty great to not be a great ape. Get straight up phallus facts, and find out how little science knows about the female vagina compared to men’s mono-log.

Benji Kessler studies courtship behavior and the sensory systems of jumping spiders in the PhD program at UC-Berkeley. His work includes Googling things like “comparison between human and chimpanzee vaginas”, and he’ll happily write a limerick about your research.

Stone. Cold. Steve Austin?
The Surprising Personality of Pet Rocks

Find out why our brains see faces everywhere, and how this Anthropocene perspective actually gave personality to pet rocks. Learn how personification goes into the collection, presentation and disposal of rocks, and get flattened by morbid tales of people who disrespected “rocks as people” and ended up between a rock and a… bigger, harder rock.

Andrew Alden runs the Oakland Geology blog and is a former U.S. Geological Survey staffer. He has been writing and speaking about the geology of the solar system, Earth, California and Oakland for 20 years, was the founding geology expert at About.com, appeared in KQED Science and Bay Nature, and is writing a book on the geology and landscape of Oakland.

Skate or Die
Physics, Physicality and Survival in Roller Derby

Discover the hard hitting history of roller derby, and how Bay Area Derby has brought the skirmish on skates into the modern era. Learn how derby is also science on skates, where Newton’s laws, malicious math and a little change in body posture can be the difference between smashing and getting smashed!

Chewie, Moxxxie and Pie of Bay Area Derby bring flat track roller derby to arenas throughout the Bay. Emily “Chewie” Chu, Ph.D. is a Professor of Chemistry at CCSF, officiated roller derby with BAD and volunteers as a math and science instructor for Prison University Project at San Quentin. Melissa “Miss Moxxxie” Chamberlain co-founded BAD in 2004, skated and coached the SF ShEvil Dead, is the BAD Head Announcer and Editor in Chief of the legendary roller derby fanzine HELLARAD. Sherryann “Pie” Danna-Vandervort first laced up her skates with Gotham Girls Roller Derby in 2005. She is the head of BAD marketing and coach of the ShEvil Dead. Her time is spent thinking about how to break down derby drills, throwing kettlebells about, and long-winded rants about ‘the good ole days’.