Welcome to Nerd Nite SF, 3rd Wed. of every month!

Nerd Nite SF #129 The Comeback: Love Never Dies! Lizards, Supernatural fandom, & a Valentine’s Contest!

Wednesday February 15, 2023
7pm, Rickshaw Stop
$10 online (+fees) / $12 door
Tickets here!

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to commemorate the union of Nerd Nite SF and the Rickshaw Stop once again! We really thought our October event would be our last at the Rickshaw, but thanks to the great turnout from nerds like you, dear reader, the venue is giving us another shot at this nerdy matrimony. No, the whole thing was not a ruse or a tease. You really did love us back from the dead! Join us on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 7pm to celebrate our resurrection and Valentine’s Day (or the end of Valentine’s Day, if you prefer that) with a card-making contest (yes there will be prizes!) and three talks spanning the love lives of lizards and the sexy subtext of Supernatural shipping fandom! Can you feel the nerdy love tonight?? We can!

nerd nite sf. Love never dies! Feb 15, 2023 7pm, Rickshaw Stop.


The Love Lives of Lizards with Chelsea Connor

Chelsea Connor (she/they) is tropical biodiversity biologist and herpetologist from the Commonwealth of Dominica. She studies tropical tree dwelling lizards, their ecology and histories! Although she didn’t end up being a comic book artist, Chelsea is still living the struggling creative life interpreting animals as art. You can follow her on Twitter to keep up with her nerdy endeavors, which include guest speaking on the Pokescience podcast!

I Will Go Down With This Ship: What Shipping in Fandom Can Tell Us About Sexuality and Gender in Popular Culture with Kaela Joseph

“You can’t spell subtext without S-E-X,” at least that’s what they say in the TV series, Supernatural. Psychologist and fandom researcher Kaela Joseph will discuss why media fans, specifically Supernatural fans, practice shipping (creating media or discourse that places characters or real people in relationships), and what this participatory practice within fandom can tell us about broader social and political themes about sex and gender in society. 

Kaela Joseph (they/she) is a queer, nonbinary psychologist and fandom researcher. They work in the San Francisco Bay Area as a clinic director, program manager, and clinical supervisor in settings which specialize in women’s and LGBTQ+ health. They are the co-author of the book Fandom Acts of Kindness: A Heroic Guide to Doing Chaotic Good, available through all major book sellers as of January 3rd of this year. 

Nerd Nite SF #128: Consciousness, Managing Your Manager, & a Spelling Bee!

Wednesday October 19, 2022
7pm, Rickshaw Stop
$10 online (+fees) / $12 door
Tickets here!

Join us at our last show at the Rickshaw Stop after 12 years of drinking and thinking there. Nerd Nite SF will enter its teen years at another venue next year. Let’s go out with a bang and a beer!

Also, back by popular vote at last month’s show: drunken spelling bee! Test your tolerance and spelling abilities to be crowned our second annual Spelling Champian (sic)! Drink tickets, your copy of This Is Ear Hustle, and a very special edition pin provided by our friends at the SF Public Library are all on the line! As usual, our esteemed local librarians will be on hand to fulfill your nerdy need for library swag & programming info as consolation in case you can’t spell. And of course, a great lineup of speakers putting their nerdy spin on their specialties:

Phenomenological Relationship Counseling
With Patrick House

Every good lecture, at the end of the day, is a self-help lecture. Dr. House will take us on a tour through the variety of conscious experiences we know about, speculate about some we don’t yet know about, and elaborate the kinds of conscious experiences we might look forward to in the sci-fi future. All while making the argument that many, if not most, of the inter- and intra-personal global arguments, at all scales—relationships, war—come down to basic perceptual differences underlying preference and imagination. Your brain is much more different than your neighbor’s or partner’s brain than modern science could possibly describe.

Patrick House is a neuroscientist and writer. His scientific research focused on the neuroscience of free will and how mind-control parasites alter their host’s behavior. He writes about science, technology and culture for The New Yorker and Slate and is the author of NINETEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT CONSCIOUSNESS. He has a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Stanford University and lives in Los Angeles, California.

How to realistically manage your manager (or at least complain about them a little bit less)
With Jennifer Tschetter

People run around in fear of the “micro-managing manager”… but have we conflated micro-managing with just “managing?” Is it totally unfair that our managers want to have a line of sight into what we work on? Studies often show that people leave jobs because of poor managers, so why then do so many managers stink? Jennifer will shed some light on how your relationship with your manager goes two ways and you can take back some of the power to influence the relationship.

Jennifer (she/her) is a culture strategist and coach. Jennifer runs her own consulting firm where she coaches and trains teams. Managing people and fostering exceptional teams isn’t easy, so Jennifer gets brought in when managers may need some extra love and support. In her free time, she likes debating the accuracy of various science fiction and spending time with her dog, Neville Longbottom. You can learn more about her & her work here.

Hope to see your nerdy faces there! Let’s pour one out for Nerd Nite at the Rickshaw Stop!

October is our last show at the Rickshaw Stop!

Some sad news, next month will be our last event at the Rickshaw Stop after years of calling them our home. They will continue to host their awesome lineups of emerging artists and dance parties, but Nerd Nite SF will be moving to a new, nerdy (and smaller) space. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, save the date for either October 19 or 20 (hope to nail down the day soon) to come out and celebrate our last Rickshaw show by drinking and thinking with us! Also, the return of our drunken spelling bee.

But some good news: we have officially welcomed David Faulkner, toxicologist comedian extraordinaire, into Nerd Nite cohost nerd-dom. Maybe you met him this month, and if you didn’t then come on out and meet him next month!

Nerd Nite SF #127: Sand Banks, Food Banks & Beakman’s World!

Wednesday September 14, 2022 (yes, 2nd Wed instead of 3rd)
7pm, Rickshaw Stop
$10 online (+fees) / $12 door
Tickets here!

On this special 2nd Wednesday edition of Nerd Nite SF, we will learn about sand and sustenance. Is sand sustenance? Well no, but it is important to life on earth!

We’ve recently added local artist and biographer Richard Bolingbroke to our lineup for this Wednesday! He will be sharing his research on Jok Church, the Bay Area cartoonist extraordinaire who brought us You Can With Beakman & Jax, which later inspired the popular kid’s science show Beakman’s World. Fun fact, our Nerd Nite program titles share the same format as Beakman’s World episode titles! See, e.g. “Cats, Beakmania & Dynamite” or “Sweat, Beakmania & Weighing a Car” which aired on September 14, 1996. Catch us this Wednesday September 14 in our year 2022 for more on the life and times of Jok Church and his popular science legacy! Email us your favorite Beakman’s World episodes, memories, or comics and win tickets for this Wednesday!

Thanks, Sand! The miraculous story of how the sediment cycle enables life on earth
with Jeremy Snyder

Sand is something that most people think of as a homogenous, inert substance that does little more than line our beaches. But the story of how sand goes from bedrock to beach is really the story of why earth’s landscapes look the way they do, and how all living things get the minerals and nutrients that make life possible. In this talk, Jeremy will take you on a photographic journey along the length of the Amazon and Colorado Rivers to illustrate the wonders of sand and why disruptions to this system (such as hydropower dams) pose a threat to us all.

Jeremy (he/him) is a photographer and science communicator with a lifelong passion for river science. After studying biology and geology in college, he embarked on a Thomas J Watson Fellowship around the world to understand and communicate the science of river systems. He currently works at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he helps teach science to students in K-12. You can see more of his work on his website, jeremysnyder.me

In an age of chronic dis-ease, are food banks a nexus for healing?
with Kevin Liu 

Have you volunteered at a food bank and asked yourself if the edible plants, animals, and their derivatives being distributed actually promote physical health? What about mental health? If so, you may be familiar with the concept of food as medicine – we know food is the sustenance that keeps us alive and energized, but it also supports the conditions for health and discourages the conditions for disease. Kevin Liu, a community nutritionist, will share the different paths for food from food banks to folks’ plates, and in doing so, help us realize how food can be an agent for individual and collective wellbeing.

Kevin (he/him) is a community nutritionist and counselor at Project Open Hand, a Tenderloin-based non-profit and community partner of the SF-Marin Food Bank. He is passionate about food and nutrition initiatives in underserved communities. In his free time, he can be found going on bike rides and/or communing with rad friends at concert venues.

As usual, our friends from the SF Public Library will be on hand to fulfill your nerdy need for library swag & programming info!

Be there, be square, and cash in on nerdy facts!

Nerd Nite SF #126: Hey Girl! Bingo + DNA Sequencing + Nuclear Energy!

Wednesday, June 29, 2022
(postponed from 6/15)
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$15 (+fees) online, $20 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required.

All are welcome. If you’d like to come but can’t afford it, just contact us.
Tickets here!

flyer for Nerd Nite SF: A bingo board with event details. June 29 2022, 7pm Rickshaw Stop.

Join us for Nerd Nite SF, the Pride month party edition, where the early nerd gets the worm (or, the free bingo square) and we lift up queer nerdery in SF.

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be partnering with the bearded bingo babe herself, Shelix, for Hey Girl! Bingo before the talks begin. Come early (7:30pm) to kick off the evening with a drink and a bingo card! Nerdy prizes and drink tickets are up for grabs!

The evening will continue with another kind of helix, the DNA kind, and a foray into California’s last nuclear plant and how nuclear energy may provide a path forward in our energy crisis.

How to Sequence a Genome with Jess McLaughlin

Ever wonder exactly how you get DNA from, say, a fruit fly, a lizard, your dog, or even yourself, and actually turn it into something we can read? Would you have guessed it includes weird chemistry, magnets, fluorescent colors, and some very fancy dish soap? Jess McLaughlin, an evolutionary biologist, will explain how DNA sequencing is basically tech-wizardry, turning molecules in your cells into light and then into computer bytes.

Jess (they/them) is a postdoc at UC Berkeley, where they study the evolution of anole lizards in the Caribbean. They also research how new species of birds develop, and they have a passion for telling folks about just how weird biology can be.

Powering the Nerdtropolis: Why we need to save Diablo Canyon, our last nuclear power plant
with Guido D. Núñez-Mujica

California is facing not a only a climate crisis, but an energy crisis. Despite all our talk about renewables, we continue building natural gas plants and asking for emission limits to be increased. Even worse, we plan to close our largest zero emissions power plant in 2 years. In this talk, Guido will tell us what we can do about it and why it needs to stay open.

Guido (he/him) is data scientist working in environmental issues, with a background in computational biology. He’s a TED Fellow, a Cornell Alliance for Science Fellow and does volunteer work about immigration and human rights. On his spare time you might find him on a South of Market Leather bar, coding for fun, working on his documentary project, learning Hindi or trying to change the color of his urine.

Be there, be square, and win a bingo prize!

Nerd Nite SF #125: Explosions, Godzilla, and a 500 Mile Walk!

So Godzilla and a nuclear bomb walk into a bar…

Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness
$12 (+fees) online, $17 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required.

All are welcome. If you’d like to come but can’t afford it, just contact us.
Tickets here!

Exploding Wires & Nuclear Weapons: A Curiously Entwined History with Glenn Carroll
For about 175 years prior to the Trinity test in 1945, exploding wires had been noted but neither understood nor much studied. The success of implosion fission–reliant on exploding wire detonators–kicked off intense research on ex-wires in the US and abroad, as many parties around the world launched their own weapons development programs. In short, exploding wires made the bomb possible, while the success of the bomb drove decades-long efforts to understand exploding wires. This peculiar symbiosis has continued ever since, with exploding wires making regular appearances in the historical record of nuclear weapons R&D. This talk will give a very brief introduction to exploding wire phenomena, and survey the role ex-wires have played in nuclear weapons R&D.

Glenn Carroll is a former Machine Learning researcher with time in both academic and corporate environments. Post-retirement he has kept himself entertained with wide-ranging studies, electromagnetic experiments, and improving the shabby shop skills one might reasonably expect from an ML researcher. Exploding wire experiments have been a favored pastime for close
to a decade.

Godzilla: History, Biology, and Behavior of Hyper-Evolved Theropod Kaiju with Shyaporn Theerakulstit
Tsunami, earthquake, hurricane and typhoon all rolled in one, Godzilla, “King of the Monsters,” has both plagued and benefited humanity for over half a century. By examining the origins and zoology of this force of nature, people and nations will be better equipped to deal with the awesome destructive power of our radioactive visitor from the Cretaceous.

Shyaporn Theerakulstit is an actor, writer, YouTuber, cosplayer and general “nerd about town.” He has given talks at Nerd Nites in a half-dozen cities, as well as C2E2, TEDx and the Smithsonian. He has written and produced for Dark Horse Comics and is also the host of “Real/Fake Science” in NYC. His YouTube channel has been featured on Huffington Post and the Comedy Central blog.

Eat. Sleep. Walk. Repeat with Dwight Asuncion

image of presenter Dwight Asuncion in Antarctica with icebergs in background.
Dwight in Antarctica. Cool level: polar ice cap.

For over a millennium, pilgrims of all ages, genders, races, religions, and nations have walked the Way of St. James / Camino de Santiago (“the Camino”). The most common route is a 500 mile, 30 day journey starting in southern France and ending in northern Spain, in Santiago de Compostela. What is the Camino? Why has it appealed to religious and non-religious alike through the centuries? In recent years, why have so many people gone? (Since 2013, more than 200,000 pilgrims per year!). Why has it made such an imprint on the pilgrims who have walked it? (Paulo Coelho walked the Camino and named his protagonist in The Alchemist Santiago).

Come learn about why you should consider doing the Camino from Dwight Asuncion, world traveler and travel writer. Dwight has traveled to all 7 continents and 25+ countries and considers his Camino experience the best / most important trip of his life.

And remember kids, if you’ve ever given a talk at Nerd Nite then you get free admission to Nerd Nite forever! Just send us your name and the title of the talk you gave (and optionally the name of your guest).

…see you in a couple weeks to see how this ends!