Announcing our 2022 return on 2/16/22 + launch of our Kickstarter campaign to bring nerdy goodness to everyone!
Nerd Nite SF is one of many Nerd Nites around the globe, and this month we are fundraising for a new web series and professional video editing. If you have a couple of extra bucks to spare for our nerdy cause, please consider donating to our Kickstarter by February 8. The pandemic hit all of us at Nerd Nite, but you can help us come back better, stronger, and nerdier than ever!
Nerd Nite SF #122: Glass, Ecology, Identity!
Wednesday, February 16 , 2022 Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness $10 advance, $15 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required. Tickets here
(ps Odd Salon members now get 50% off Nerd Nite admission all year!)
We’re back folks! Hope you can join us for our return to 2022 after taking a small holiday/covid break. Our speakers will be:
Nate Watson, Executive Director of Public Glass, San Francisco’s only public glass studio and school. He will be getting nerdy about glass art with us, and sharing how he’s improved access to glass making.
Dr. Suzanne Pierre, Principal Investigator of the Critical Ecology Lab. She will be nerding out about developing the lab’s interdisciplinary framework that considers the social dimensions of global environmental change.
Jason Smith– Founder of Mixed Googlers, one of the first Fortune 100 employee resource groups for multiracial employees. Previously a Nerd Nite Austin fan, he will be taking the SF stage to share his nerdy insights into multiracial identities and rethinking identity paradigms.
Wednesday, October 20 , 2021 Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness $10 online, $15 at the door. Vaccine proof and masks required. Tickets here
Join us as we think and drink together for our last show of 2021. Thanks to all who have come out and supported us through this especially weird time in event planning. Special thanks to the SF Public Library for supplementing each of our shows this year with library swag and reading lists based on speaker topics, and very special thanks to all of our speakers. We <3 the Rickshaw Stop and our nerdy community.
We are having a pumpkin decorating contest because ~why not~. Let’s go out with a bang in the spooky spirit. Theme is “famous pumpkins in literature.” Literature nerds, Halloween nerds, art nerds, and everyone in between unite! Show us what you’ve got in the realm of pumpkin decorating inspired by books: give me your best Frankenpumpkin, your best Cinderella’s carriage pumpkin, your best creative concoction of literary gourds! Get the kids involved! Winner gets an actually useful prize (cash), unlike our other useless (so far as I can tell) gag prizes. Submit your photo here before October 18 to put yourself in the running for $, Nerd Nite tickets for the rest of next year, and the title of reigning pumpkin decorating champ!
Cakewalk: Unsung Creators of Jazz Music by John William Templeton
A decorated historian, author, and businessman, John Templeton is also recognized as the authority on San Francisco’s rich Black history, which is often obscured and little known. He’s set out to tell the stories of how African Americans have contributed to the city’s culture and economic development, going back to the late 19th century. His book Cakewalk explores the key roles African Americans played during the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake and through 1921, the beginning of the jazz age. You can purchase it in advance here and receive the signed copy at the show.
John Templeton has set out to uncover and preserve a key piece of San Francisco (and California) history that is often overlooked: the formative contributions of African Americans. He’s written books, led walking and bay cruise tours, and established the African American Freedom Trail that documents thousands of historical sites, with hundreds of them here in San Francisco.
The Rottenest City on the Whole Pacific Coast by John Bauters
Emeryville is the Bay Area’s original city of vice. Now known as a city of arts and innovation, Emeryville’s history is replete with gambling, brothels, corruption, scandal, and bootlegging. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren once labeled Emeryville “The Rottenest City on the whole Pacific Coast.” Come peek behind Emeryville’s modern facade as the home of Pixar Animation Studios and IKEA to learn about it’s grittier days from one of her former mayors and current council members.
John Bauters is the former mayor of and a current council member for the City of Emeryville. When he is not representing the Rottenest City on the Pacific Coast on regional and state transportation, housing and environmental quality boards, he can be found bicycling or hiking the Bay Trail, usually with his dog, Miss Reyna Roo.
Psychological Mythbusting with Dr. Emily Anhalt
Revisit Psych 101 with Dr. Emily. Learn some popular psych concepts and bust some common psych myths, without having to take a test at the end!
Emily is a clinical psychologist and cofounder of Coa, which is a groundbreaking gym for mental health. She’s given many talks to TED audiences and at conferences, but her Nerd Nite appearance will be the most fun and engaging one yet!
Rounding out the evening will be DJ Alpha Bravo, serving us a topical selection of tunes.
Wednesday, September 15 , 2021 Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness $15. Vaccine proof and masks required. Tickets here
The lineup for all you nerds this month is a doozy! We’ll take a rollercoaster ride through the twists and turns of Mark McCloud’s mind as he tells us stories of his in-home museum of blotter art comprised of over 33,000 LSD sheets collected over the decades. If that’s not fishy enough for you, don’t worry. There will be actual fish featured in a talk about how zebrafish are helping neuroscientists study rare epilepsies. Also, no one knows fog as well as San Francisco in August, unless you’re a redwood tree. We’ll bond over fog and learn how redwoods rely on it.
Also, come partake in the first 2021 Boozy Bee! Sign up here. Pick a number, take a shot of your choice, and spell some words to win a prize! The audience will participate as well to help our contestants out if needed. Think, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire except with less money on the line. (way less).
Finding Danio: Can transparent zebrafish help us see through diseases?by Dr. Prahatha Venkatraman
Small freshwater fish called zebrafish (Danio rerio) help researchers across the world study human diseases and develop treatments for disease. Why is the zebrafish such a powerful research model for human disease? Is it actually more closely related to humans or zebras? Come find out in this talk that will guide you through “Finding Danio”
Dr. Venkatraman is a research scholar at UCSF and currently uses zebrafish as a model system to study rare pediatric epilepsies. Through her research she hopes to advance our understanding of these rare epilepsies and help discover a treatment.
The Institute of Illegal Images by Mark McCloud
Artist and San Francisco staple Mark McCloud will take us on a trip through his personal collection of LSD blotter housed, well, in his house. Born in Detroit, raised in Buenos Aires, but a resident of the Mission since the 80s, he has dedicated his life to making and preserving blotter art in order to pay homage to the substance that he says saved his life.
The California Redwood: Way cooler than you thought (& also cooler than you!) by Ryan Kenneally
Redwoods are cool in both senses of the word. Chilling quietly in cold foggy forests but also unique and interesting, these spectacular trees define a rare and endangered ecosystem that contributes to the amazing biodiversity found in California. Redwoods harness the fog to transform coastal habitats into the most lush forests in the state, working collectively to reach larger sizes than any other tree on Earth. Clear your brain fog with a beer and let’s learn about what makes these trees so special and fascinating!
Ryan Kenneally is a PhD student in Plant Biology at UC Berkeley, and previously worked as a Sustainable Agricultural Systems volunteer with the Peace Corps. He is passionate about all things plants, but especially the California Redwood.
As always, follow DJ Alpha Bravo’s set list of songs chosen to complement our evening’s talks @djalphabravo
No food vendor this month, so get your dinner beforehand and come have a drink for dessert with us!
Wednesday, August 18, 2021 Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness $15. Vaccine proof and masks required. Tickets here
Hello friends. Ever wonder what it’s like to get suffocated by your own skin? Well then do we have the talk for you! Gordon Lau will explain chytrid fungus and make you feel better about not being an amphibian. We’ll also be learning about another animal phenomenon perhaps a bit closer to home: mammal lactation! Rounding out the evening will be a presentation on a clock that will tick independently for 10,000 years in a Texas desert, and never repeat a chime melody, not even once. If that all sounds fun, join us on August 18!
The 10,000 Year Clock by Alexander Rose
Industrial designer Alexander Rose will discuss the design process of building the monument scale 10,000 Year Clock now under construction in Western Texas, as well as some of the precedence from the past that help give us clues as to how artifacts can last for millennia.
Alexander is the executive director of the Long Now Foundation, builds combat and bartending robots, and enjoys mountain biking and mountaineering.
Chytrid-99: The Amphibians’ Covid-19 by Gordon Lau
Humans aren’t the only animals currently going through a global pandemic! Since it was first described in 1999, the deadly pathogen within the chytrid group of fungi called Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, or Bd for short (wouldn’t want to get tongue-tied from that scientific name!) has been implicated in precipitous amphibian die-offs across the world. Learn about what makes this fungus so deadly to our slimy friends of the undergrowth, along with tales of its spread right here in California!
Gordon Lau is a lifelong nature nerd and now a literal master of disease ecology and herpetology, having received his MS degree from SF State studying the relative role of salamander life history traits in Bd infection risk. He currently works as a wildlife biologist surveying protected species and sensitive habitats in the Santa Cruz Mountains and other areas in Northern California affected by the 2020 wildfires. When not working, he can be found posting cool wildlife findings on his IG @accordiongordon and sporadically uploading videos to his ever-nascent Youtube wildlife channel, “Gordon Gone Wild”.
Seeing Milk Through Rose Colored Glasses? by Maddie McNelis
On Wednesdays we… talk about pink milk. More specifically, does it actually exist in the natural world? Join for a highly tangential mythbusting journey through alleged strawberry milk producers and learn about the wonders of lactation on the way!
Maddie is a research specialist at UC Berkeley who studies lactation and mammary glands in a wide variety of mammal species, with a particular emphasis in the evolution of unique strategies and physiologies.
As always, follow DJ Alpha Bravo’s set list of songs chosen to complement our evening’s talks @djalphabravo
Wednesday, July 21, 2021 Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @Van Ness $15 Tickets here
We are back and ready for action, which means presentations and pints for all! There may or may not be a battle of the puns. Come early and get cozy with a drink or two and find out!
ps this may give it away, but submit your puns here to be voted on by an audience of your nerd peers the night of the show.
See you all four Wednesdays from now!
“Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t” with Joey Santore
Botanist Joey Santore will give a short introduction on growing trees and native plants from seed and planting them in neglected spaces in cities in hopes of making them a little less bleak. Topics covered will include seed collecting, mixing soil, installing plants and maintaining neglected urban spaces.
Joey is the creator and producer of the Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t YouTube channel which aims to open people’s eyes to the plants around them and inspire them to learn about the evolutionary and ecological roles of plant life outside of human centered ideals around aesthetic and human-centered use. He enjoys fine taquerias with numerous health code violations, crass humor, an understanding of the geologic time scale and very brief walks on the beach.
“(Ghost) Sign of the Times” with Kasey Smith
Ten years ago, artist and ghost sign extraordinaire Kasey Smith started a project to identify, document, research, and map San Francisco’s remaining historical hand painted signs – colloquially known as “ghost signs.” 430+ ghost signs later, the map has reached maturity, and can help provide a unique lens on the continuing saga of San Francisco’s redevelopment. Where are these old signs found? Where are they being revealed? Where are they being destroyed? Where are they being restored? And what larger trends are driving all this flux on the ghost sign map?
When Kasey is not mapping ghost signs or working on her upcoming book about them, she is creating site specific installations, performances, and art events with a focus on the ephemerality of the cityscape. She lives in Oakland, CA.
“NFTs: Trash or Treasure Chests” with Neranjan Bissoon
Why would people spend so much computer money on a JPEG or a GIF?
You may say probably money laundering or a crypto flex from some Lambo owning tres comma tech founder. The answer is sometimes yes but the potential of NFTs to shape the landscape of art, video games, sex positive communities and more could be immense. Let us journey through the world of blockchain collectibles and discuss some of the current confusion as well as the potential utility behind them. Less how it helps Beeple and more of how things like Play To Earn NFT based games can help people.
Neranjan is a talent agent in the video game industry as well as a blockchain gaming enthusiast, NFT artist, and founder of the blog CatsAndVR. In the past he has been a video game journalist, VR developer, and sex positive filmmaker.
We are also ecstatic that DJ Alpha Bravo will continue to curate and spin tunes specially selected to match our presenters’ themes. Follow the set list on Twitter @djalphabravo
No food offering for this nite, so get your dinner beforehand!
We have some news for you all as we emerge out of covid hibernation. Nerd Nite SF will return on third Wednesdays at Rickshaw Stop beginning next month, on July 21! More details and a ticket link to come, but in the meantime we’d like everyone to know of a sea change in our SF nerd herding team. After an epic decade of organizing one of the best ways to learn something new over a beer or two, Bart and Lucy are passing the baton. They’ve written the message below for all you beautiful people who have supported the program over the past 10 years. Read it and weep :’)
Farewell and Thank You from Bart and Lucy: Remember how our desire for a bigger boat took us from a pleasure cruise around the bay to an aircraft carrier in Alameda to Alcatraz Island? Well, now the jolly tugboat of Nerd Nite SF is getting (drum roll) a new captain — and we are thrilled to hand the wheel to Maricela Abarca!
But before we jump ship, we would like to recognize the people who have made these 10+ years so wonderful. To the Rickshaw Stop: Dan Strachota, Noah Kincade, and all the fine folk who keep the place humming and the booze flowing, you are the best! Literally no other venue in town can match you (yes, because we are nerds, we did extensive research). Here’s to 10 more years (at least) of NNSF on your hallowed stage. THANK YOU.
Alpha Bravo (aka Alexander Bailey), your museum-worthy poster designs and delightfully obscure themed DJ sets (on vinyl no less!) have exceeded all our hopes and dreams. This whole thing wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without you. THANK YOU.
Joe Boyle, Bob Hermes, and Kevin Cressa, our videographers extraordinaire, jugglers of equipment, and capturers of angles, you have helped us document the amazing things that have happened on the NNSF stage and done so for the love of it—well, that and some free drinks. We admire your skill, generosity, enthusiasm, and all-around coolness. THANK YOU.
To our fellow Nerd Herders around the Bay Area and the world, and all those who work to bring fun educational programs to the masses, THANK YOU for your partnership, your ideas, your commiseration, and your inspiration. To our past speakers … what can we say? To continue the nautical theme: We’d have been sunk without you. In fact, you are the precious cargo that the tugboat NNSF pulls around. THANK YOU.
See you at future NNSF shows—we’ll be the ones WOO-ing the loudest. And please stay in touch: and . Love, Bart and Lucy (NNSF co-captains, ret.)