Nerd Nite SF #57: Viking Gender, Induced Quakes, and Bioinspired Tech!Change! – changing gender norms, changing landscapes, and changing lineups (as soon as we finalize the details of our third talk) – is the accidental theme at this month’s Nerd Nite SF. So change up your Weds routine to come down to the Rickshaw Stop, order a different beer than you usually do, and learn something new!

Wednesday, 2/18/2015
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets available here (recommended!)


“Odin in Drag: Gender Performance in the Viking Age” by Molly A. Jacobs

Everyone knows the story about Loki giving birth to a horse, right? But did you know that gender-bending behavior really wasn’t that unusual among the Norse gods? The mythology and literature of medieval Scandinavia are full of stories of gods and people cross-dressing, shape-shifting, and playing creatively with concepts of gender, from shield maidens to Odin himself. Come learn what Vikings thought about gender, whether half of all Viking warriors really were women, and what happened when Christianity arrived.

Molly has a PhD in Scandinavian and Medieval Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where she currently teaches courses on Vikings, writing, and medieval literature.


“Can People Really Cause Earthquakes?” by Justin Rubinstein

In 2014, Oklahoma experienced more magnitude 3 and larger earthquakes than California. Many people believe that hydraulic fracturing is to blame. But can we really cause big enough changes in the earth to trigger earthquakes? The short answer is yes. In fact, humans have been inducing earthquakes for well over a century!

We’ll explore how human activities can cause earthquakes and try to answer some important questions. Do we need to worry about these earthquakes? How big can they get? Now that hydraulic fracturing is coming to California, do we need to be worried?

Justin is a seismologist with the US Geological Survey. Studying earthquakes has taken Justin all across the world, but these days he finds himself in glamorous locations like Kansas and Oklahoma.


“Science Fiction’s Body Shop: designing robots, prosthetics, and tissues” by Terry D. Johnson

Nature has a lot to tell us about how bodies – and the parts they’re made of – ought to work. If you want to design a robot, prosthetic, or implant, you’ll find solutions to many of your problems courtesy of evolution. We’ll see how new technologies in repair and replacement are inspiring science fictions – or making them less fictional.

Terry is currently teaching bioengineering at UC Berkeley. He is also (with Kyle Kurpinski) co-author of the popular science book How to Defeat Your Own Clone (and other tips for surviving the biotech revolution).


DJ Alpha Bravo spins tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.

Tasty tamales from Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas will be available.

And the San Francisco Public Library will be doling out library cards, reading lists, and the hottest branch gossip.

Be there and be square!