Wednesday, 8/17
Doors at 7:30, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
All ages

Facebook event

Chocolate, wine, and white blood cells: three wondrous substances that make life worth living–or possible at all! Lucky for us there are serious nerds out there who have pledged themselves to exploring how to make them better, or better understood. And Nerd Nite SF will have these nerds live, onstage, for you to marvel at, cross-examine, and play drinking games with! A technology designer demos a cross-reality chocolate factory; a winery architect plunges us into high-tech booze bunkers; and a cell migration researcher takes us on safari with the ruthless, yet elegant, microbe hunters: neutrophils. Be there and be square!


“Serious Games: FXPAL and the Virtual Chocolate Factory” by Maribeth Back

Willy Wonka has nothing on this! The Virtual Chocolate Factory is a research project at the FX Palo Alto Laboratory (FXPAL) that uses high-end game engines to investigate practical uses of virtual, mobile, and mixed-reality systems in industrial settings. FXPAL is building mirror-world representations of TCHO–a real-world chocolate-maker start-up in San Francisco–by importing real-time sensor data into a cross-reality environment for simulation, visualization, and collaboration. An FXPAL senior research scientist will demo the Virtual Chocolate Factory 3D world and its iPhone app. Oompa Loompas not included.

Maribeth is a technology researcher/designer who builds real-world, socially informed, exploratory applications for new technologies. Her research areas include smart environments, applied ubiquitous computing, mixed reality interfaces, and sound design and audio engineering. She completed her doctorate at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, and spent more than five years in ubiquitous computing research at Xerox PARC.


“Calibrating Fermentation in Dr. No’s Lair” by Matt Hollis

Secret complexes buried beneath an innocent-seeming hillside. Stainless steel cauldrons containing one of the world’s most treasured commodities. High-tech laboratories in search of the perfect formula for wealth and fame. What is this, a James Bond movie? Some kind of mad science? No! This is the unknown world of winery architecture! Architect Matt Hollis will give you a crash course on the surprisingly complex, and occasionally odd, province of winery-building.

Matt is an avid surfer and San Francisco native from a family of artistic wine devotees. As principal of MH Architects and consultant to other architects, he has contributed to the design and construction of over 20 different wineries in the last 10 years. When he’s not designing wineries or drinking their output, he watches old James Bond movies with his family.


“Neutrophils: Microbe Hunters That Make Waves” by Sheel Dandekar

Neutrophils are one of the first immune cells to reach sites of infection in the body, where they pursue and quickly engulf foreign invaders like bacteria. With only the tiniest whiff of scent, they are able to dodge obstacles while relentlessly tracking down their prey. We’ll watch a National Geographic-style chase scene, and discuss a protein that displays beautiful patterns inside these cells that a UCSF lab believes is the key to understanding how they hunt.

Sheel is a biophysics grad student in the Weiner Lab at UCSF, where he works on developing new tools for studying cell migration. He spends most of his days taking movies of cells eating things, and most of his nights looking for good things to eat.


Plus: DJ Alpha Bravo wielding slabs of vinyl and tweeting a real-time playlist. 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.