Wednesday, 1/19
Doors at 7:30pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @ Van Ness

Facebook Event

Another year, another 12 Nerd Nites to eagerly anticipate, and another 12 chances to fulfill your new year’s resolution to get smarter! This month: an engineer leads an open-source race to the moon, a neuroscientist cracks open the zombie brain to see what oozes out, and a modern-day Mad Man illuminates the advertising biz. Be there and be square!

“Space for Everyone: Open-Sourcing Our Way to the Google Lunar X Prize” by Fred Bourgeois

Google’s Lunar X Prize has thrown down the space-suit gauntlet: win $30 million in prizes by privately funding, building, and landing a robot on the surface of the Moon, where it must travel 500 meters over the surface and send images and data back to Earth. Team FREDNET has taken up the challenge, combining the talents of 600 scientists, technologists, and engineers from 63 countries as the only 100% open-source competitor. With the goal of making space exploration open, accessible, and usable to everyone (not just the government), Team FREDNET’s leader will take us through their process of creating a timely, elegant, and (hopefully) victorious solution.

Fred J. Bourgeois, III, has been dreaming and making plans to pursue space exploration since he was two. Growing up in a “NASA family” probably had a lot to do with that. After teaching computer science, working on classified programs at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and starting his own software development and consulting business, Bourgeois founded Team FREDNET, which recently won a NASA Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data contract for over $10 million.


“Scanning the Zombie Brain” by Bradley Voytek

What makes a zombie a zombie rather than a human? What makes their brains tick and animate those rotting body parts (and lust for human flesh)? Taking a theoretical neuroscience approach, Dr. Bradley Voytek will present a hypothetical picture of the zombie brain, based on research he performed with co-conspirator Dr. Timothy Verstynen. 50% academic “what-if?” exercise and 50% tongue-in-cheek critique of the methods of modern neuroscience, this talk is 100% getting us ready for the coming undead plague.

Dr. Bradley Voytek (@bradleyvoytek & is one of the world’s foremost leaders in necro-neuroscience. He is an advisory board member of the Zombie Research Society, along with movie legend George Romero, and he also does some real science at UC Berkeley. He’s spoken at Google’s TechTalks and TEDxBerkeley, and was also co-named Time Magazine’s 2006 Person of the Year.


“Modern Advertising: The Product Is You” by Q

From “Just Do It” to Foursquare Mayor, a modern-day Mad Man will outline the evolution of one of the most intriguing, maligned and insane industries of our time: advertising. Along with a brief overview of modern advertising’s history, Q—the mastermind behind campaigns for Apple, Cisco, Dell, Sun, Symantec, Heineken and Happy Cat, to name just a few—will talk about its future and why (and how) the product is YOU.

Q is a co-founder and partner of Godfrey Q and Partners. He started working in advertising when TV commercials were 60 seconds long, type was set by hand, and radio commercials were edited with razor blades and scotch tape. His first computer was a 64K Apple II. He survived the great DRAM drought of 1985. Today, 90% of his company’s output is pure digital. And he is always, always looking for developers.


DJ Alpha Bravo will be spinning nerdy tunage at 33 1/3 and 45 RPMs. Alpha Bravo is VP of left-field pop label, Radio Khartoum, and was one of the forces behind legendary SF pop-club nights, Anisette and Schokolade.


Zombie illustration courtesy Rob Sacchetto —