Wednesday, 11/14
Doors at 7pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$8 (advance tix here!)
All ages

FB event page

We’re coming atcha a week earlier than usual to make sure you have lots of factoids for Thanksgiving table conversation fodder. You’re welcome! So come get your degree from the College of Lockpicking, grow a new liver with bioengineering or, if that doesn’t work, get one transplanted! Be there and be square!


“Going Off-Key: An Introduction to Lock Picking” by Eric Michaud

You can pick your friends. You can pick your nose. But can you pick a lock? College of Lockpicking’s esteemed professor/founder leads us through Locksport 101: Discover the inner workings of locks from the 2nd century BCE to the present day; examine a modern pin-tumbler, and find out what makes picking them possible; and, finally, learn to pick a better lock! In the process, join CoL in publicly challenging the traditionally guild-protected secrecy of locksmithing, and open locks and minds in the service of ourselves and our communities.

This talk is the distillation of a touring workshop founded by Eric Michaud and Jamie Schwettmann inspired by a Nerd Nite Austin talk they gave. College of Lockpicking donates over 10% of the project’s gross revenues to hackerspaces, community workshops, and other educational charities.


“Bioengineering: Building Humans Better or Building Better Humans?” by Kyle Kurpinski and Terry D. Johnson

If you’d like to perceive colors that other people can’t see while enjoying an effortlessly muscular physique covered by a robot exoskeleton that you control with your mind, we’ll talk about how to do that. After giving a brief overview of the history of human repair and enhancement, we’ll discuss where the current research is headed–and where it isn’t. And along the way, we’ll conduct a field test of our alcohol dehydrogenases, demonstrating our optimism for the future of liver tissue engineering.

Kyle holds a Ph.D. in bioengineering, having traded dreams of breakdancing and neurosurgery to move small amounts of liquid back and forth from adorable little tubes. He’s now the executive director for a Master’s program in bioengineering, consults, and is co-author, with Terry, of How to Defeat Your Own Clone (and other tips for surviving the biotech revolution).

Terry has a Master’s degree in chemical engineering from MIT and is currently teaching bioengineering at UC Berkeley. He hopes that by doing so, he will be giving students the tools that they will need to repair him when he gets older.


“A Modern Day Frankenstein: A Look at the Magic and Strangeness of Organ Transplantation” by Leeza Pachepsky

The probability of me being alive right now is about 1 in 2.5 billion. Why? I almost died twice and survived two liver transplants. In this talk, I will lead you into the awe-inspiring, fascinating and disturbing world of organ transplantation. I will tell you how my life depended on a linear regression, describe how your liver runs your world, and show how Steve Jobs and I think alike. Am I still “me” with two other people’s DNA inside me? Would you still be you if most of your organs were replaced? I will describe advances in organ transplantation that will allow most organs be replaced and possibly enhanced in the not-so-far future. Would you want to replace your body organs, Neuromancer-style, if that was possible?

Leeza Pachepsky was a computational ecologist and created virtual ecosystems of plants and animals. Recently she became much more interested in human behavior. After a foray into the world of marketing analytics, she is on a sabbatical working on her own projects.


DJ Alpha Bravo mans the decks, spinning vinyl and tweeting along to the presentations’ themes. Find out what you’re listening to by following @djalphabravo.