Nerd Nite SF #67: Video Preservation, Ants, and Brain Stimulation!Wednesday, 12/16/15
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets available here

Video art, ants, and brain stimulation while under the influence of alcohol sounds like a crazy new modified Ludovico technique, but no, it’s just another Wednesday at Nerd Nite SF! Come out for these three fascinating talks, plus music, drinks, food, librarians, and your fellow nerds. Be there and be square!


“Headswitch and the Angry Half-Inch: The History, Technology, Art, and Preservation of ½” Open Reel Video” by Kelly Haydon

The first widely popular video format, ½” open reel video was introduced in the late 60s and quickly adopted by artists looking for a new medium and activists looking to hijack TV airwaves. Obsolete for over 40 years and rapidly deteriorating, works on ½” open reel are rarely seen today, though efforts to digitize and preserve the material are ongoing. Learn the short and electric history of ½” open reel video – the technology, the major players, and how preservationists are battling “sticky shed syndrome” and the extinction of deck repair guys. Bonus: a mini-screening of ½” open reel video art.

Kelly Haydon is a video preservationist at Bay Area Video Coalition with a couple of schmancy degrees. She occasionally goes to TRX classes.


“Ants: The Invisible Majority” by Brian Fisher

Shakespeare once wrote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.” What they lack in size, ants more than make up for in numbers, and they offer countless behaviors to explore. Ants are Earth’s first farmers and shepherds, they engineer floating pontoons and enslave other ants, and their combined weight actually equals humanity’s. Yet despite all these intriguing facts, we mostly ignore this global community of ants beneath our feet… except when they enter our kitchens uninvited.

Brian Fisher is an ant specialist and Curator of Entomology at the California Academy of Sciences. He discovers and documents global ant diversity for conservation action. Founder of and discoverer of 1000+ new species (including the vampire, trap jaw, and “cliff-jumping” ant), you can follow his pheromone on Twitter at @ant_explorer!


“Using Electromagnetic Fields to Overclock Your Brain” by Ted Zanto

Your brain sucks and it’s only getting worse with age. You’re getting pwned by n00bs. You want to crank up your awesome but adderall and cocaine isn’t cutting it anymore. Isn’t there something else you can do? Maybe! Recent years have seen an exponential increase in the use of electromagnetic fields trying to enhance brain function, but should you really zap your brain? This talk will give you the low-down on non-invasive brain stimulation techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS). Armed with this information, you can decide for yourself!

Ted Zanto is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCSF. It is his professional opinion that using electromagnetic fields to overclock your brain is nowhere near as fun as using alcohol to underclock your brain.


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

Food: Delicious hot goop between crispy slices of bread, brought to you by the scientist of the sammie, Grilled Cheese Guy.

Plus: The San Francisco Public Library will be on hand to dole out library cards, reading lists, and the hottest branch gossip.