Nerd Nite SF #95: Parallel Worlds, Elderly Sex, Privacy!

Nerd Nite SF #95: Parallel Worlds, Elderly Sex, Privacy!In an infinite universe there are infinite speaker lineups, but in this one we like to think you’re getting the best of them all. An astrophysicist will collapse the many-worlds theory of Hugh Everett down to a single tale, a geriatrician talks about our grayer and flappier but hopefully awesome future sex lives, and a computational psychologist shares what our digital footprints reveal about ourselves. All this plus DJ Alpha Bravo, drinks, bao, and lots of friendly nerds. Be there and be square!

Wednesday, 4/18/2018
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here ->

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“It Came from a Parallel World!” by Adam Becker

In 1957, the drunken prankster physicist Hugh Everett found good evidence for parallel universes buried in the mathematics of quantum physics. Learn the real science behind this bizarre idea — and the real history of how Everett’s idea was developed in the 1950s, almost immediately forgotten, and revived again over a decade later.

Adam is an astrophysicist, science writer, public speaker, and author of the book What is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics (http://whatisre.al, and we’ll have copies available at Nerd Nite). He’s also a visiting scholar in the Office for the History of Science and Technology at UC Berkeley. Adam once fought off a horde of feral geocentrists, but he still sometimes forgets that not everything revolves around him.

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“Granny Still Gets It On: Aging and Sexual Health” by Laura Perry

Why are we as Americans so terrified and grossed out by the idea of older adults having sexual lives? We’re just being prejudiced against our future selves. Dr. Laura Perry, a double board-certified geriatrician and primary care doctor, will talk about the many ways in which sexual lives change as time marches on. The good news: it’s not all bad news! The even better news: no one’s going to ask you to think about your grandparents going at it.

Dr. Perry is a clinical associate professor at UC San Francisco in the division of geriatrics and the associate medical director of adult primary care at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

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“The End of Privacy” by Michal Kosinski

A growing proportion of human activities such as social interactions, entertainment, shopping, and gathering information are now mediated by digital devices and services. Such digitally mediated activities produce an unprecedented amount of digital footprints that can be used to reveal our intimate traits, emotions, and predict future behavior. Given the progress in Artificial Intelligence and computing, we should get ready for the future where privacy is a privilege reserved for the few.

Dr. Kosinski is the Assistant Professor in Organizational Behavior at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. He is a psychologist and data scientist. His research focuses on studying humans through the lenses of digital footprints left behind while using digital platforms and devices. Previously, Michal was the Deputy Director of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre, a researcher at Microsoft Research, and a post-doc at Stanford’s Computer Science Department.

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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.

Nerd Nite #94: Missing Neutrons, Saving Corals, & the EM Spectrum!

Nerd Nite SF #94: Missing Neutrons, Saving Corals, & the EM Spectrum!With nuclear physicist and comedian Kevin Peter Hickerson, Cal Academy of Sciences reef expert Rebecca Albright, and telecommunications policy lawyer Preston Thomas. Food by Alicia’s Tamales Los Mayas and music by DJ Alpha Bravo. Be there and be square!

Nerd Nite SF #94: Saving Corals, Missing Neutrons, and more!
Wednesday, 3/21/2018
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

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“Who the Hell Stole My Frozen Neutrons?” by Kevin Peter Hickerson

Neutrons are normally stowed safely in the dense nuclei of atoms. But when we knock a neutron loose like a break in billiards, it is unstable and only hangs around for about 15 minutes before turning into just another boring hydrogen atom. Measuring this exact length of time, however, is very tricky. One new way is to freeze them to insanely low temperatures, but these ultracold neutrons disappear faster than expected! Did we count wrong? Do they become dark matter or enter the mirror world? Where the hell do they go?

Kevin is a nuclear physicist, inventor and comedian. He has worked with ultracold neutrons for over a decade. He hosts the science and comedy podcast Surely You’re Joking.

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“Can We Save the Corals?!” by Rebecca Albright

Driven by urgency, scientists are trying increasingly bold and creative ways to conserve and restore reef ecosystems. They’re rapidly transplanting, fertilizing, and enhancing corals to help them adapt to warmer oceans, and they’re searching for techniques that are scalable and won’t break the bank. Rebecca will introduce us to some of the main challenges facing reefs today and the innovative ways scientists are trying to address these threats head-on. Join us for a peek into the future of coral reefs, and discover how you can be part of the solution.

Rebecca is a coral biologist, curator, and co-leader of the Hope for Reefs initiative at the California Academy of Sciences. She focuses on understanding how coral reef ecosystems cope with changing environmental conditions.

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“Running Out of Light” by Preston Thomas

Yes, Dorothy, there is an end to the rainbow, and we’re getting there far faster than we realize. When every wireless device needs a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum and seven–no, eight, no, nine–billion people want a wireless device (or two), we find ourselves in the middle of a most unusual land rush. From satphones to SETI, pirate radio to thermonuclear war, we’ll trip the light fantastic as we examine how spectrum gets used and used up, and discover the clever engineering and policy that goes into squeezing the most out of this strange intangible natural resource.

Preston is a lawyer, lockpicker, and amateur radio operator. He has worked in telecommunications policy for a decade.

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

Food: Tantalizing tamales from Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas.

Nerd Nite SF #93: Lost Venues, Folkpocalypse, and Hybrid Instruments!

Nerd Nite SF #93: Lost Venues, Folkpocalypse, and Hybrid Instruments!Nerd Nite goes musical this month, with toe-tapping talks on missing music venues, a performance about the apocalypse, and making a Faustian bargain for a golden iFiddle! Plus cocktails, grilled cheese sandwiches, and DJ’d tunes to keep things humming. Be there and be square!

Wednesday, 2/21/2018
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

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“Bring The Noise, Bring Defunct: A Personal History of SF’s Deceased Music Venues” by Dan Strachota

You’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: The San Francisco music scene is dead! All the cool venues are getting shut down! Everything used to be so much better here! Is it all really true? Dan will attempt to answer these questions by taking a walk down memory lane, uncovering the amazing and wild music venues of the past – and finding out just what happened to them.

Dan has written about music for SF Weekly, San Francisco magazine, SPIN.com, and the East Bay Express. He’s also the Talent Buyer at Rickshaw Stop and Phono Del Sol.

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“The End of The World As We Know It” by The Ten Thousand Ways

The Ten Thousand Ways, AKA Trisha Stan, Ph.D. and Gregory Bentsen, Up.G.* explore the probability of the world ending in various disasters, including death by asteroid, death by black hole, and various other apocalyptically delightful scenarios. We can’t promise that this will be a particularly uplifting presentation but we CAN promise you a super mario-themed explanation of black hole physics and GIFs of Justin Timberlake in space.

The Ten Thousand Ways is an americana-folk duo with a not-so-secret nerdy side. Trisha Stan and Gregory Bentsen met on the science podcast Goggles Optional, for which they regularly improved the lyrics to popular songs by making them about science.

*[Under-paid Graduate Student]

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“The Hybrid Mobile Instrument: Shredding on Smart-Devices” by Romain Michon

Digital music modules (controllers, synthesizers, etc.), smartphone-based instruments, and “traditional” acoustic instruments all have strengths and trade-offs. By blending these platforms into a hybrid instrument based on mobile devices and augmented with sensors and 3D-printed acoustic elements, we can create new instruments that go to eleven.

Romain Michon is a Ph.D. candidate at the Stanford Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. His research focuses on physical modeling, 3D printing, musical interfaces development and the programming language FAUST (Functional AUdio STream).

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

Food: Glorious grilled cheese from the master of the sammie, Grilled Cheese Guy, who now has his own physical restaurant at 529 Stevenson St. in SF!

Nerd Nite SF #92: Trans Sanfrisco, Math Mysteries, and Slow Science!

Wednesday, 1/17/2018
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

A gender scholar, a mathematician, and a physicist walk into a bar… that can mean only one thing: It’s a new year of Nerd Nite! That bar is the Rickshaw Stop–located at the intersection of trans history, surreal math, and “artisanal” physics–and we have three stable geniuses ready to guide you. Add some music and cocktails and pork belly bao, and presto! You’re there and you’re square!

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“Trans Sanfrisco” by Susan Stryker

A renowned gender scholar looks at the history behind the city’s recent designation of parts of the Tenderloin neighborhood as the “Compton’s Transgender Cultural District.”

Susan is a theorist, filmmaker, author of several books about LGBT history and culture, and professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, director of the Institute for LGBT Studies, and founder of the Transgender Studies Initiative at the University of Arizona.

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“20 Mathematical Mysteries in 20 Minutes” by Roger Antonsen

We explore that world of strange, quirky, and beautiful mathematics you never learned about in school: paradoxes, puzzles, games, infinities, chaos, fractals, surreals, automata, art, and more.

Roger is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Oslo, Norway, and currently a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, California. He enjoys all things at the intersection of mathematics, philosophy, and computer science.

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“Slow Atoms, Slow Science” by Eric Copenhaver

Each morning, Eric saunters into a lab brimming with lasers enrobed in a bramble of criss-crossed cables and optical fibers. His lasers slow atoms from their supersonic, room-temperature speeds and turn them into an exotic sensor. He flips some switches to illuminate the lasers. Fiat lux. Even still, he’s in the dark. Something that worked yesterday doesn’t work today. This exposé will shed light on why science can move so slowly.

Eric was born on the day the Hubble Space Telescope was launched, but dreamed of being a rockstar. After a freshman year at Ohio’s University of Akron as a jazz guitar major, he hung up the axe and switched to physics. Now, as a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley, he shoots lasers at atoms to exploit their quantum properties.

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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.

Nerd Nite SF #91: Brainhacking, Holiday Comics, and WWII Botany!

Nerd Nite SF #91: Brainhacking, Holiday Comics, and WWII Botany!Wednesday, 12/20/2017
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

Screw stockings–stuff your brain instead! An artist-hacker will teach us how to build our way to brain manipulation (great gift ideas), comics experts from the Cartoon Art Museum will bring a sleigh-full of holiday classics and clunkers, and our own co-boss Bart will transport us to an obscure battle fought on the plant science front of World War II. Tamales, tunes, and toddies of the hot variety round out the nite. Be there and be square!

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“Cyborg Your Mind” by Alex Glow

Explore electronics projects that you can build to manipulate your brain in strange, new, debatably useful ways!

Alex creates projects, tutorials, and video content for Hackster.io. She has been a FIRST Robotics kid, a director of the AHA and Noisebridge hackerspaces, and an artist-in-residence at Autodesk’s Pier 9. See also: music, language, bikes.

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“O Holy Night, Batman! The Cartoon Art Museum’s Best and Worst Holiday Comics” by Nina Taylor Kester and Andrew Farago

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Jack Frost nipping at…Iron Man? Join San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum for a festive look at a century’s worth of holiday cartoons and comics, from timeless favorites like Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts and How the Grinch Stole Christmas to forgotten classics including Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol and a stocking full of bizarre holiday comics starring everyone from ALF to Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. Cartoon Art Museum staff will share the secret stories behind some of the best–and worst–children’s books, comics, and animation the holidays have to offer.

With comic book colorist and Cartoon Art Museum Program Coordinator Nina Taylor Kester and award-winning author and Cartoon Art Museum Curator Andrew Farago.

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“The Botanists’ War” by Bart Bernhardt

Commando raids, political intrigue, heroic sacrifice and… plant science? This is the tale of two scientists on opposing sides–one Nazi, one Soviet–whose lives and research became strangely intertwined during World War II.

Bart is a co-organizer of Nerd Nite SF and is fascinated by great assholes in science history.

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

Food: Tantalizing tamales from Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas.

Nerd Nite SF #90: Neurogenesis, Snakebites, & Scurvy!

Nerd Nite SF #90: Scurvy, Neurogenesis, and Snakebites!Feelings of malaise? Lethargy? Whether it’s scurvy or just boredom, we have the cure for you! Have your mind blown with a tale of atomic testing and neuroscience, recoil at the scope of the snakebite epidemic, and add a slice of lemon to your beer for the convoluted saga of scurvy. All this plus the musical stylings of DJ Alpha Bravo, grilled cheese sammies, and awesome people like you.

Wednesday, 11/15/2017
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

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“Nuclear Testing and Other Things That May or May Not Damage Your Brain” by Whitney Heavner

Prior to the 1960’s, scientists believed that the adult brain has no capacity for regeneration. A few classical experiments in 1965 changed everything. Yet, the Partnership for a Drug-Free America continues to link drugs, your brain, and fried eggs. Just how resilient is the human brain? Learn how above-ground nuclear arms testing helped us answer this question through carbon dating, and see how radioactive tracers in rodents show when a baby neuron has sealed its fate.

Whitney Heavner is a postdoctoral fellow in the Stanford biology department deciphering the genome’s blueprint for building the 100 billion neurons that make up your brain.

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“The Snakebite Epidemic” by Dr. Matthew Lewin

Worldwide, there are more than 5 million snakebites each year, killing as many as 100,000 people. An additional 400,000 suffer snakebite-related disability and disfigurement. This year, the WHO listed snakebite as one of the most significant—and neglected—medical crises facing the globe. Dr. Lewin has identified sPLA2 inhibitors as a potential treatment for a broad spectrum of snake venoms. His group has demonstrated potency against 28 snake venom sPLA2s from six continents and has conducted pre-clinical studies showing excellent survival prospects, which were recently published in the peer-reviewed journal, Toxins.

An emergency physician, neuroscientist, expedition doctor, and California Academy of Sciences Fellow, Dr. Matthew Lewin co-founded Ophirex, Inc. (“Ophi” is Greek for “snake”) with Mr. Jerry Harrison (of the Talking Heads) to focus on developing field treatments for snakebite. Ophirex (www.ophirex.com) is committed to providing sustainably-priced antidotes so that treatment for any snakebite can begin anywhere, anytime, by anyone.

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“Scurvy: Lost and Found. And Found. And… Found (Again)” by Laura Lanford

Do you think pirate talk was all “Avast, ye miserable scallywags!” and “Shiver me timbers!”? Likely you’d also hear mutters along the lines of “Ow, me teeth hurt!” and “Argh, me aching bones!” Life on the sea was more scurvy than it was swagger, in no small part because we kept losing the ubiquitous yet elusive cure for this dreaded vitamin deficiency. From the Cape of Good Hope to Cape Horn, from Greenland to Antarctica, come and hear tell of the convoluted tale of the Scourge of the Seas!

Laura Lanford is on loan from Nerd Nite Chicago. She talks a lot about a lot of things, mostly Extinction Level Events but sometimes medical esoterica as well.

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

Food: Delicious grilled cheese from the master of the sammie, Grilled Cheese Guy.