Nerd Nite SF #82: ET Eavesdropping, Cyborg Senses, and Aging!Wednesday, 3/15/17
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @ Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

This month we have a feast for your super-senses! First, we’ll turn our mightiest eyes and ears skyward in search of alien communications. Then we’ll learn how close we all are to becoming cyborgs, although it’s taken a lot more than six million dollars to get there. Lastly, we’ll zoom in on our cells, and what tells our bodies to age. Tantalize your tastebuds with tamales and cocktails, delight your eyes with library goodness, and please your ears with DJ Alpha Bravo. Be there and square!


“Listening for Extraterrestrial Civilizations” by Danny Price

Breakthrough Listen eavesdrops on the universe, searching for radio signals and optical laser transmissions. While there have been previous searches for alien communications, this is by far the most comprehensive: Covering 10x the sky and 5x the radio spectrum, at 100x the speed. All this data presents an extraordinary software and data analysis challenge. We’ll hear from Danny Price, whose focus is on processing this data in real-time.

Danny Price is a research fellow working in Berkeley’s Breakthrough Listen lab on instrumentation and data analysis. Originally from Western Australia, Danny received his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Oxford in 2013, after which he moved to Harvard to work on digital signal processing (DSP) for a 21-cm cosmology experiment called LEDA, before joining the Breakthrough Listen lab.


“Perception Hacking for Cyborgs (That Means You)” by Kara Platoni

Humanity has never been closer to machine than we are now — and it’s only about to get weirder as we increasingly bring technologies onto, and into, our bodies in our eternal quest to alter our perceptual experiences, give ourselves superpowers and (maybe) hack ourselves a sixth sense. From the bionic eye to the thought-controlled robotic limb; from augmented and virtual reality gadgets to biohacker implants, it’s time to consider what comes next in human evolution, and whether we can do it ourselves.

Kara is a science reporter who works the Nancy Drew beat, going anywhere there is a possibility of a weird adventure involving pirates, old clocks or (ideally) ghosts. For her book, We Have the Technology, she sofa-surfed through four countries and eight US states, visiting any lab, military base or biohacker basement that would let her get in on an experiment on the cutting edge of sensory science. She teaches narrative writing at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.


“Dispatches from the Mitochondria: Mutations, Aging, and Death” by Gregory Tranah, PhD

Dr. Tranah studies the genetics of aging and age-related traits, and is attempting to identify the genes associated with longevity. He’s also examining the role of mitochondrial DNA mutations in both pancreatic cancer and human energetics.


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

Food: Delicious eats from Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas.

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