Nerd Nite SF #112: Parasites, Octopuses, and Superheroes!Wednesday, 9/18/2019
Doors at 7pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$10, all ages
Tickets here!

Grab a drink, feast with Miss Arepita, enjoy vinyl spun by DJAB, and see the wonders of the world. Be there and be square!


“Mindsuckers: Tales of the Most Badass Bugs on the Planet” by Anand Varma

The stuff of nightmares: Parasites that hijack their host bodies. They control their minds. Force them to become their bodyguards, steer them into their burrows where the will be devoured alive, or compel them into the mouths of predators. How can they do this? Why? These parasites will change how you think about the evolution of life on Earth.

Anand started photographing natural history subjects while studying biology at the University of California, Berkeley.  He uses photography to reveal the invisible details around us with the goal of sparking a sense of wonder about our world.  He is a regular contributor to National Geographic Magazine.


“The Bigfoot of Octopuses” by Richard Ross

In the 1980s, accounts emerged of an octopus that behaved so unlike anything previously observed of octopuses—beak-to-beak mating, food sharing by mates, den sharing, strategic hunting, and the ability to stay alive through multiple spawns. The cephalopod research community deemed these early observations unbelievable, and attempts to publish a behavioral study by Panamanian marine biologist Arcadio Rodaniche were not successful, except for two tantalizing paragraphs that appeared in a notes section of a journal. For decades, these two paragraphs fascinated octopus enthusiasts but were largely still thought to be fantasy.

In 2012, Richard Ross of the California Academy of Sciences and Roy Caldwell of the University of California, Berkeley, were able to obtain live specimens and verify those early observations, and then publish their findings with Rodaniche as co-author. This talk will cover the unique behaviors of the larger Pacific striped octopus and the story of the rediscovery of this amazing animal—plus how it felt to finally get the bigfoot of octopus in the lab for study!


“The Carbon Footprint of Superheroes” by Miles Traer

Our noble heroes are always ready to take action to save the world. But holy polluters, Batman! Those superpowers and super-gadgets can have super-carbon footprints! Geologist Miles Traer does the math on just how much CO2 our favorite so-called heroes produce. Avengers, disassemble?

Miles is a geologist and educator at Stanford University and creator of the award-winning Generation Anthropocene ( podcast. He studies landscape evolution on Earth, Mars, and Saturn’s largest moon, Titan. Explore Miles’s research and pop-sci articles at


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

Food: Amazing arepas from Miss Arepita!