> Nerd Nite SF #25: Death-Proof Cities, Video Games’ Urban Design, and the Science of Futurama!

Nerd Nite SF #25: Death-Proof Cities, Video Games’ Urban Design, and the Science of Futurama!

Cap off the longest day of the year with a night’s worth of bacchic nerdery! Our speakers will set their laser pointers on “stun” as they teach us about disaster-proof megalopolises, the urban planning of video games, and the real science of Futurama. Be there and be square!

Wednesday, 6/20
Doors at 7:30, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @ Van Ness
$8
All ages

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“How to Build a Death-Proof City” by Annalee Newitz
More than half of humanity lives in cities, and that number is only going to grow over the next century. In a sense, the future of our species is tied to the future of urban life. But historically, cities have been deadly hives of disease and famine — not to mention death-traps in natural disasters. How can we change our cities to protect them from destruction? Using science, of course! In this talk, learn how surveillance, simulated earthquakes, and synthetic biology will keep the Grim Reaper at bay in tomorrow’s megalopolis!

Annalee Newitz is a journalist, author, and editor-in-chief of io9.com. She has a book coming out from Doubleday next year, tentatively titled “Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive the Next Mass Extinction”.

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“An Open World: Playing in the Intersection of Video Games and Urban Design” by Lou Huang

Grand Theft Auto: Car chases, prostitution, shootings… and urban design? Yes! Artists have always been fascinated with recreating the city, but the advent of video games has allowed people to create virtual environments experienced in much the same way as real life: through your own eyes, as you walk through a space. Some game designers strive to model real-world spaces in excruciating detail (L.A. Noire), others pay homage to them in facsimile (GTA), while still others invent entirely new cities. Yet they all share a goal with modern urban designers: improving the pedestrian experience. After everything video games have done to mimic the real world, what can the real world learn from video games?

Lou Huang is a 21st-century digital boy and urban designer. He knows way too much about video games. You can follow his work at louhuang.com and other shenanigans with the art collective Human Fiction at humanfiction.com.

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“Science in Futurama” by Kishore Hari
Good news, everyone! We’re going to explore some of the real science in Futurama, including splanchnic ganglion, bonitis, alcohol-fueled robots, and my personal favorite: hardcore MATH. Come enjoy 6 great seasons, 2 cancellations, and a forgettable 7th season’s worth of legitimate science–and with none of that razzle-dazzle hippie Globetrotter science. Your primitive 21st-century brains will be overflowing with grey goo in the first 5 minutes. Oh my, yes.

Kishore Hari is the Director of the Bay Area Science Festival, led by UCSF. In a former life, he was an environmental chemist, but currently spends a majority of his time researching the combined impact of late-night cartoons and beer on the human brain and his marriage.

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Music by the esteemed DJ Alpha Bravo, curated especially for our speakers’ topics!

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