This month we traverse the depths of the ocean; journey to supernovae far, far away; and land back down in the gadgets and games that fascinate us in the here and now–all in a nite’s work at NNSF headquarters! So grab a friend and a drink and settle in for talks on diversity under the sea, the wild success of a global video game jam, and how heavy metals from long-dead stars help power the computers in your pockets. Be there and be square!

Wednesday, 8/15
Doors at 7pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
All ages
NEW-ish! Buy your tickets in advance here!


“Smells Like Fish Species: Evolution in the Marine Realm” by Moises Bernal

Sure, there’s plenty of fish in the sea–but did you ever wonder how they got there? Join us for some coral reef-er madness as we examine how these cute, cuddly, coldblooded vertebrates–from the slippery dick to the not-so-hilarious clownfish–diversify. What processes make for such a staggeringly sundry array of fishies (with an emphasis on reef-dwellers) and how do scientists tackle these piscine questions? Dive in with us!

Moises Bernal is a PhD candidate at the University of Texas at Austin and conducting research at the California Academy of Sciences. He is a great cook, decent salsa dancer, mediocre bass player–and hates long walks on the beach.


“Molyjam: How a Twitter Joke Can Save Video Games” by Anna Kipnis

Famed game designer Peter Molyneux is as well known for his games as for his fantastically ambitious ideas that rarely see the light of code. A fake Twitter account, @PeterMolydeux, has been lovingly parodying him by tweeting ludicrous game ideas. But some Bay Area fans decided these ridiculous concepts were too excellent NOT to turn into actual games, and planned a fun get-together for local game developers to do just that. This local game jam quickly exploded into an international event, with at least 1,000 people participating in over 30 cities worldwide. We’ll see how Molyjam came to be–and go viral–and how the bizarre new games it birthed may help reinvigorate an industry.

Anna Kipnis is a senior gameplay programmer at Double Fine Productions; has been lucky enough to have worked on Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Costume Quest, Once Upon a Monster, and The Cave; and is currently working on the successful Kickstarter project, Double Fine Adventure. It is her ardent belief that video games have a lot more potential than what we’ve seen up until now, if only more people would get involved in game development.


“Stellar Evolution and Your iPhone” by Daniel Kocevski

Dude, did you know that without heavy metal, we wouldn’t have, like, iPhones and stuff? Dude!! Rock on!! Wait, ohhhh, not THAT heavy metal? Bummer. [Ahem.] Ever wonder how what we now use to build hardware–like silicon, gold, and lead–were created and deposited here on Earth? In this head-banging talk, we’ll explore the physics of stellar nucleosynthesis, and how stellar evolution creates heavier elements through the fusion of lighter elements in the fiery cores of stars. We’ll also look at how the death of these stars, in the form of supernovae explosions, create the heavy metals that we have become increasingly dependent on in our tech-driven world.

Daniel Kocevski is an astrophysicist at Stanford studying supernovae and other cosmic explosions with NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Like most nerds at Nerd Nite, he has become utterly dependent on the tech gadgetry that relies on the elements created in the cosmic explosions he studies.


Alpha Bravo will be on hand, as per usual, spinning real-live records and live-tweeting his trademark sets of musique chosen to complement the themes of this evening’s particular nerdery.