Nerd Nite SF #47: Emergency Management, Native Oysters, and the Placebo Effect!Wednesday, 4/16/2014
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets SOLD OUT, but a few may be available at the door…

Worrying about The Big One? Wondering about native bivalves? Wary of the battle between mind & body? Well, quake no more, ’cause we have three disaster experts ready for any catastrophe, an aw-shucks oyster authority dropping some pearls of wisdom, and a physician assistant first doing no harm and then playing with our heads a little. Tip your barkeep, grab a tamale, don’t hang the DJ. Oh, and be there and be square!


“Emergency Management, or WWTLJD? (What Would Tommy Lee Jones Do?)” by Alicia Johnson, Sean O’Mara, and Tom Chin

Shit happens. But what might happen when said shit–say, an earthquake like the tsunami-spawning, magnitude 9-er of 2011–happens to a city like ours? Unlike in the 1997 Tommy Lee Jones classic Volcano (the quintessential emergency management film), it won’t include a K-Rail and red-hot lava. Come hang out with three of SF’s Emergency Management staff to get a taste of our city’s incident command and disaster preparedness, and learn how YOU’d respond under the pressure of a cataclysm. We promise you won’t need a helmet…for now!

Alicia, Sean, and Tom have seen their share of emergency ops centers. As staffers at SF Emergency Management, they and their colleagues prepare and protect the people and places we love.


“More Than Just a $1 Happy-Hour Special: The Olympia Oyster in SF Bay” by Christopher Lim

The Olympia oyster is a Bay Area native and yet it is not as well known as its larger, faster-growing cousin, the typical $1-happy-hour oyster. But oh man, does it taste better! The Watershed Project is working to restore Olympia oysters to SF Bay–but please, don’t eat our science experiment! Not every creature in the water should be first thought of as “food.” That’s old-school. We’re doing it because oysters are part of a healthy ecosystem. And that’s good for me, you, water, fish, and birds–oh my! Find out why.

Christopher is the Living Shoreline program manager at The Watershed Project. He’s always impressed by the inherent connection people have to an animal that most closely resembles a rock and lacks fur, feathers, or flukes.


“The Doctor Will Fool You Now: Placebos and Nocebos” by Lisa Spitalewitz

Most people think of a placebo as a sugar pill used in studies as the inactive alternative to a drug, but the placebo effect–when the dummy pill actually works–is also a part of routine health care. And in an age of informed consent, the unwelcome nocebo effect shows up every time you read that long list of side effects and you suddenly start itching. Hear about some surprising studies on these powerful effects and the ways they can change our lives–and probably already have.

Lisa is a physician assistant practicing in urgent care and occupational medicine. She won’t write that antibiotics Rx for your cold symptoms, even if that makes you like her a little less.


With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.

And: Get yer fill of tamales from Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas!