Nerd Nite SF #77: Fast Passes, Reality Capture, and the Corpse BrideWednesday, 10/19/16
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @ Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

Remember the good old days, when people flashed their Muni Fast Passes, took selfies with collodion wet plates, and, um, dug up their dead mistresses and crowned them queen? No? Well, come refresh your memories, slake your thirst, and sate your hunger with talks, booze, and bao, respectively. Add the usual aural (DJ Alpha Bravo) and biblio (SFPL) support and you have Nerd Nite in a nutshell. Be there and be square!


“The Muni Fast Pass: A Tale of Transportation, Innovation, and Obsession” by Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

Long before The City was a home of digital doo-dads, that new technology was a simple slip of colored paper: the Muni Fast Pass. It may be old hat to San Franciscans now, but at one time, offering a monthly ticket for infinite bus and train rides was a novel idea. Catch an express ride through the history of the Fast Pass, from its early champions in the 1970s, including Harvey Milk, through its technological innovations and creative presentation over the decades, and come to a stop at its boring terminus: the Clipper Card.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Joe was a staff writer at the SF Bay Guardian and now writes the Examiner’s political column “On Guard.” He is also a transportation beat reporter covering pedestrians, Muni, BART, bikes, and anything with wheels.


“Through the New Looking Glass: Reality Capture from the Camera Obscura to 3D Scanning, VR and AR” by Scott Page

Prior to 1839, one had to be both keen observer and careful listener to get things right. Mechanical recording devices of light and sound simply did not exist. After this watershed year, the brain got a brief reprieve as an explosion of ingenious memory aids came to the marketplace. With the invention of the photographic process, a “mirror with a memory” emerged, able to permanently capture reality onto light sensitive materials, filling an insatiable human need for storytelling, novelty, and wonder. It took the combined efforts of artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs to usher in a revolution in imaging that continues to this day.

Scott, M.Arch, is a designer in Berkeley who thinks we need wonder as much as good cheese, chocolate and sex.


“Love Unhinged: King Pedro & the Corpse Bride of Portugal” by Annetta Black

True love may undo us all… but in the mid-14th century one extraordinary, forbidden love affair threatened to tear apart an entire kingdom. The passion of King Pedro of Portugal for his mistress, Inês de Castro, began with the usual medieval mix of political intrigue, illicit affairs, and fair ladies walled in towers, moved on to murder and open rebellion, and culminated in corpses exhumed, bloody revenge exacted, and an eternal love that extended beyond the grave. And it’s mostly true.

Annetta is a Bay Area-based writer and salonist, ferreting out stories of overlooked history, strange science, doomed expeditions, and marvels of the natural world. She’s co-founder and curator of Odd Salon, the Bay Area’s other nerdy cocktail lecture series.


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

Food: Delicious pork-belly bao and other bun goodness from Cross Hatch Eatery.

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