> Nerd Nite SF #40: Science Rapping, Renaissance Handwriting, and Sharks!

Nerd Nite SF #40: Science Rapping, Renaissance Handwriting, and Sharks!

Carcharodon carcharias courtesy David McGuire

Carcharodon carcharias courtesy David McGuire

Got Nerd Nite tees / get ya clothes on / a bigger deal than / the Higgs boson. OK, enough of that–we suck at rapping–but we’ll have someone on stage who doesn’t, dropping science in rhyme. Then we’ll pore over the surprising world of English Renaissance handwriting textbooks. And finally, we’ll learn about sharks and how their bad rep is more than a little unfair. Be there and be square! Oh, hey! That rhymed!

Wednesday, 9/18/2013
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets on sale now!


“Science Rapping from Auckland to Oakland” by Tom McFadden

What is the Holy Grail of science rap? Science history battles–written and performed by middle-schoolers–that explore the nature and ethics of science over Kanye beats. Picture Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick over “Clique.” Tom’s traveled the world dropping science rhymes, but kids deliver the best combination of quality, authenticity, catchiness, and educational value. And while the students are the MC VIPs, this teacher may spit hot fire between stories of his roving and rhyming.

Raised on Bill Nye and Wu-Tang, Tom started science rapping in 7th grade, then at Stanford, then with kids around the world. He got a Masters in Science Rapping on a Fulbright Scholarship in New Zealand. He’s now teaching 8th-grade science at The Nueva School in Hillsborough. www.youtube.com/tomcfad


“Calligraphotechnia: Learning to Write in the English Renaissance” by Simran Thadani

To meet the surge in demand for literacy skills, early English writing teachers turned to mass-production and illustration to expand the reach of their supposedly proprietary yet easy-to-learn techniques. What made for faire writinge in ye olde Engelond? Studying the tiny archive of surviving textbooks reveals over-the-top authorial self-promotion, solid tips for cutting quills, ubiquitous marginal doodles, and a secondhand market in stolen–uhh, anonymized–content. Whose hand is it, anyway?

Simran earned her Ph.D. in English at Penn, with a focus on the history of books as objects/artifacts/commodities. She’s only now realizing she’s unemployable. Oh well. At least her handwriting is good.


“Anatomy of a Shark Bite: What We Don’t Know About Sharks Might Be Really Dangerous” by David McGuire

Sink your teeth into this discussion of sharks, shark bites and shark attacks. We will investigate three separate species of local sharks–the Cookie Cutter, the Sevengill, and the Great White–and discuss how their unique anatomy and behavior impacts humans they encounter.

A marine biologist, shark conservationist, ocean voyager, award-winning filmmaker, and educator, David is the founder of Shark Stewards, dedicated to conserving the San Francisco Bay and world oceans by protecting sharks and other marine life.


NNSF t-shirts return! $20. Designed by our ├╝ber-talented DJ, poster artist, and now t-shirt maker, Alpha Bravo. He’ll also be spinning tunes specially selected for the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo

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