Nerd Nite North Bay Wrapping Up

Hello to all Nerd Nite North Bayers! After two full and fun years of shows, we’ve decided to step back from monthly presentations. We had a great time doing this! Huge thanks to our awesome and amazing speakers, you were *very* appreciated!

We’re working on some things for the future with area organizers, and hope to launch a series of North Bay field trips to keep discovering and sharing new, exciting and nerdy things in our area. Details to come at

You can keep getting your nerdy fix with the amazing shows put on by Nerd Nite San Francisco and Nerd Nite East Bay, plus the Bay Area Science Festival.

Thanks for being a terrific audience, and we hope to see you again soon!

Nerd Nite 19: Presidential Trivia, The Real Internet, and Novato History!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday June 7th Show on Delivering the Internet, Novato History, and PLAY NERD NITE PRESIDENTIAL TRIVIA for prizes!

Two Nerdy Talks. Trivia with Prizes. Fresh Beer. Just $5!
Doors at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food and seating IS available at the venue.

$5 tix available HERE!

RSVP to the event HERE!

NerdNite NB Poster - June Lineup

World Wide WHOA:
How The Internet Actually Gets To Your Door

Learn about the history of telecommunication from the original string-on-a-can to today’s modern internet and not so modern internet.

How do Internet Service Providers (ISPs) really work?

Behold the fast moving consequences of high fiber for your internet life!

Nathan Patrick is Chief Technical Officer at Sonic, with a focus on revolutionary Internet products including building the first Gigabit Fiber infrastructure in the US. He graduated from UC-Santa Barbara, lives in Santa Rosa, and his father is a proud numismatist.

A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings In Novato
Historical Events That Shaped Modern Novato

Learn how Novato changed from America’s largest apple orchard into a modern 50,000 person community.

See how obscure historical events can leave permanent traces on a modern city with excellent before and after pictures of Novato architecture.

Think about the broad lessons that the evolution of cities from formerly small towns can provide, and how best to manage that transition.

Susan Magnone is the President of the Novato Historical Guild. Her work with the Guild includes overseeing the volunteer staff and maintaining over 2,300 important historical objects at the Novato History Museum and Hamilton Air Field History Museum.

Play Presidential Trivia with Nerd Nite
All the Presidents, Man! History of the Presidency in 44 Questions.

With forty four fast paced and occasionally ridiculous trivia questions, learn about the complete history of the American Presidency!

Answer questions about the heaviest President and the skinniest (list of accomplishments), about the shortest (term) and the longest (election), and impress friends with your knowledge of the obscure and the most Mount Rushmore-ian.

Valuable prizes, valuable knowledge, and zero political fliers in your mailbox. Play Presidential Trivia with Nerd Nite North Bay on Tuesday night!

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NNNB 18: Deep Sea Critters, Indie Baseball and Einstein’s Relativity

Join Nerd Nite North Bay‘s expert speakers for our Tuesday May 3rd Show on Deep Sea Critters, Indie Baseball, and Relativity!

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Just $5!
Doors at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food and seating IS available at the venue.

Buy $5 tickets at:

RSVP at:
NerdNite NB - May

The Island of Independent Baseball
Hustle and Fun Running an Indie Sports Team

Learn about the challenges and exciting advantages of Independent Baseball!
How do independent teams find players and keep fans?
How many behind the scenes jobs happen before and during game day?
Hear about good, bad, and outside the box promotions

Vinnie Longo is the Assistant General Manager, Radio Play by Play Broadcaster, and Director of Media Relations for the San Rafael Pacifics Baseball Club. In 2015, he organized the “Robo Ump” games where a computerized strike zone called balls and strikes for the first time in professional baseball history.

The Big Bang Query
Understanding Reality and Einstein’s Relativity

Answer the complex question of fast you are moving RIGHT NOW!
Learn about the critical differences between the Galileo and Einstein Theories of Relativity.
How fast does a light beam move, and why is that question hard?
See video demonstrations and walk through thought experiments that address the fundamental questions at the heart of Relativity

Tucker Hiatt is the Executive Director of Wonderfest. He won the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence, built exhibits for the Exploratorium, wrote a guide book, and worked with UC Berkeley’s Space Astrophysics Group on the SETI@home software. He is a Board member of the Bay Area Skeptics and held the position of Visiting Scholar in the Stanford Chemistry Department.

Hooray For Hydrowood
Sunken Wood and the Critters Who Call It Home

Learn how deep-sea animals survive without sunlight!
How do dead whales create complex islands of life on the ocean floor?
Why do different species of wood sinking to the bottom of the ocean create diverse deep sea communities?

Jenna Judge earned her PhD from UC Berkeley studying patterns of diversity in the deep sea. She taught the Invertebrate Zoology course at UC Berkeley and is starting a fellowship that aims to make the SF Bay and outer coast resilient to sea-level rise and coastal inundation. Jenna has been known to write haikus about deep-sea worms and perform interpretive dances about copepod feeding to reach students with a range of learning styles.

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Nerd Nite #17: Curve Balls, Cursive and The Eccentricity Curve

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday April 5th Show on Curve Balls, Cursive and The Eccentricity Curve

Tickets just $5, AVAILABLE HERE.

RSVP to the event HERE

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Just $5!
Doors at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food and seating IS available at the venue.

NerdNite NB Poster - April LineupPassion Fish
Firetruck, Fish and South Pole Stories of Obsession

Nerd Nite goes part biology, part philosophy and part Moby Dick with lessons on cultivating your own unique obsession and eccentricity. From the firetruck-chasing (and possibly insane) star athlete who become a huge media sensation in the early 1900s, to the navigator who dragged himself to the brink of death searching for the magnetic South Pole, to California’s own expert on the obscure elongate benthic fishes, stories of living life at the edge of the Eccentricity Curve abound. Starting with his famous fish-centric walking tours that forage seafood in San Francisco Bay to books and a television series, Kirk Lombard has navigated his obsession with mudsuckers, blennies and toadfish into a full career. Learn about the fish, several famous eccentrics of the last century, and hear the (true!) story of the largest monkeyface eel every caught.

Kirk Lombard is the founder of Sea Forager Seafood and the creator of the fish-centric walking/foraging tour voted best walking tour by SF Weekly. His upcoming book The Sea Forager’s Guide to the Northern California Coast will be published by Hey Day Books in August. Kirk is also a founding member of the SF based band Rube Waddell, writer of The Monkeyface News, a former fisheries observer and star of Pivot television’s The Curious Adventures of Kirk Lombard. He lives in Moss Beach with his wife and business partner-accordionist Camilla and their two children.

The Handwriting Is On The Wall
Job Loss, The Printing Press and Bringing Cursive to the Masses

The invention of the printing press in 1450s Europe led to an explosion in the number of available books, and also destroyed a lot of jobs. For centuries professional scribes had been the only reliable way to reproduce books, but no human hand could keep up with the new technology. However, the mass availability of the printed word also meant ordinary people no longer saw literacy as a class-based skill available only to the elite, but rather a new and necessary part of business, trade, and everyday record-keeping. Learn how scribes recast themselves as literacy teachers when we examine the small and intriguing archive of beautifully illustrated handwriting textbooks that have survived through the centuries. These books, complete with self-promotion and stolen (excuse me, “anonymized”) content show how handwriting evolved from a unique and elite skill to second grade homework lesson. Plus, check out margin doodles from the 15th century!

Simran Thadani earned her Ph.D. in English at UPenn with a dissertation that explored handwriting textbooks in 16th-18th century England. She somehow managed to parlay this into the perfect job heading up a library of lettering. And yes, she has excellent handwriting.

You Spin Me Right Round
Physics in Baseball (and Crazy Physics in Wiffleball)

Here’s our pitch: Come to Nerd Nite this month and learn how to make a curve ball curve, and make a wiffleball completely unhittable. Curve balls in baseball are a serious weapon (and super fun to watch in slow motion). All thrown objects fall–even baseballs thrown at 100 mph. But spin a baseball’s laces and use the mystical Magnus Force to push the ball up, the conservation of momentum to push the ball down, and watch the curvy chaos that ensues. See the live demo that uses a blend of science and skill to create your own ultimate curve ball! ($126 million, seven year contract not guaranteed)

Zeke Kossover is the co-director of the Leadership Program at the Exploratorium and learned to throw a split finger fastball from Cy Young winner Mike Scott. At Rice University he was the only physics major and non-scholarship athlete taking Coaching Baseball. Zeke was an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation and has worked as a science advisor for NBC Learn and Discovery Online.

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Nerd Nite #16: Bay Area Mysteries, Science in Magic and The Novato Space Station Museum

Join Nerd Nite North Bay for our March 1st show on Bay Area Mysteries, How Science Makes Magic Work and The Novato Space Station Museum!

Tickets just $5 available HERE!

RSVP to the event HERE!

NerdNite NB Picture for Ticket Page - March Lineup

Mysteries of the Bay Area

Shipwrecks, Strange Stones and Secret Graves

From sunken treasure and spaceships to mass graves and massive walls, Nerd Nite brings you more Bay Area unsolved mysteries than Unsolved Mysteries. Get a history of UFO sightings in the Bay Area, hear the grisly details of Evergreen Cemetery’s mass burial, learn about the Drake’s Bay disaster that sunk a huge (and still undiscovered) trove of gold just off the Golden State, and follow the baffling Tomales Bay stone walls that lead into the Great Unknown.

Robin Marks runs Discovery Street Tours, a local business offering science-themed walking tours of the city. She is also a science writer and tutor, curriculum developer, and enthusiastic urban explorer. She previously reported for various NPR stations and did development for the Exploratorium. Her favorite element is sodium, because it’s tasty and explodes in water.

Got Your Knows
How Neuroscience Makes Magic Work

Real magic fools the brain and the mind, with science exploiting the gap between what we know about the world and how we feel it works. The subjective experience of perception and attention is an illusion, with our brains filling in the gaps. For magic to work, the hand doesn’t need to be quicker than the eye, just quicker than our ability to interpret what we’re perceiving. Learn how neuroscience and magic intersect to blur the boundaries between the probable and the impossible.

Luigi Anzivino is the Scientific Content Developer for the Tinkering Studio at the Exploratorium. He earned a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at UCLA with his studies on how the brain is able to to pay attention to its surroundings, an excellent background for performing sleight of hand magic. Luigi enjoys designing experiences that create uncertainty, the urge to explore, and suggest that the world is not always as it seems.

Marin’s Space Station Museum

To Infinity and Be-… back in time for dinner! Discover one of the world’s largest private collections of space exploration artifacts at Novato’s Space Station Museum. From a full size Gemini boiler to items from the moon and Apollo missions, see how a local “moon room” of U.S., Russian and Soviet space memorabilia became a fully operational space museum and supplied many of the permanent displays at The Chabot Space & Science Center.

Ken and Debbie Winans founded and curate The Space Station Museum in Novato. They also founded The W Foundation, an award winning non-profit organization dedicated to the public education of the history and future benefits of space exploration.

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Nerd Nite North Bay #15: Sex Trivia, Mite Sex, Dragonflies

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday February 2nd Show on The Sex Lives of Mites, Dragonfly Evolution and Play Nerd Nite Sex Trivia!

Two Nerdy Talks. Trivia and Prizes. Fresh Beer. Tickets just $5!

RSVP to the event at

Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note seating and food ARE available at the venue.

NerdNite NB Poster - February Lineup

Play Nerd Nite Sex Trivia
Satisfaction Guaranteed

Pregame Valentine’s Day with hot questions on everyone’s favorite topic! Warm up the cold winter night and come out for Nerd Nite, where we guarantee multiples! (Prizes)

Mite-y Sexy

The Scandalous Sex Lives of Mites

There are more species of mites than anything else on earth, and almost as many weird ways that they have sex. Some male mites carry immature females until they grown up and are ready to mate, while certain females mate once and carry the sperm for their whole lives, impregnating themselves at any time. Hear these and more Barely Safe For Nerd Nite sex stories about the mighty mite!

Jane Ishka is the author of The Year of the Mite and a biotechnology professional living in Berkeley. Her technical writing supports approval of new medical products. Her first book The Year of the Mite chronicles a year-long infestation of her home and skin by the parasite Dermanyssus gallinae. Visit Jane at

Tough the Magic Dragon

Sex and the Amazing Survival of Earth’s Oldest Insect

From Peru to Fiji to California, Chris Beatty has explored the past and present of dragonflies. Get a quick paced review (guaranteed not to drag on) of the 325 million year long fossil record of dragonflies and find out what has made this extraordinarily persistent species so successful. Also learn about a dragonfly native to California that may be one of the oldest species still in existence.

Chris Beatty is an Evolutionary Ecologist who works on dragonflies throughout the world. When not slogging through streams and bogs with an insect net he calls the Bay Area home, where he lives with his wonderful wife Katie, a fellow insect nerd.


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Nerd Nite North Bay #14: CA’s Roadside Attractions, History Of LEGOs, Star Wars ’77 Stories AND TRIVIA!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday December 1st Show on California’s Weird Roadside Attractions, The Secret History of LEGOs, and Play STAR WARS TRIVIA!

Two Nerdy Talks. Star Wars Stories and Trivia. Fresh Beer. Tickets just $5!

Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food and seating IS available at the venue.


NerdNite NB Picture for Ticket Page - December Lineup

Off Ramp Oddballs
An A-Z Road Map of California’s Quirks

Come explore California’s own eccentric attractions, unnatural ironic wonders and mom and pop monster museums! Follow Doug Kirby’s (literal) map from courteous cults, unsung inventors and scorpion shops to tiny tourist traps and rousing regional roadside oddities, all a short, sometimes harrowing exit off the state freeway.

Doug Kirby is the co-curator of the Roadside America website and iPhone app, author of New Roadside America, an artist, and can entertain you without the 1,600 mile drive to The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.

LEGO Your Ego
The Secret History and Adult Future of the Iconic Block

Learn the century-old history of the beloved Danish block and the compelling qualities that make a tiny piece of plastic a true LEGO brick. Also discover the surprisingly adult fun you can have well beyond the toy’s suggested age range and how can you expertly nerd out with LEGOs, bare feet highly discouraged.

Brendan Mauro is Head of Design / Master Builder in Residence for and moonlights as a video game artist. He started playing with LEGOs as a child and never really stopped except for that period in college when he was trying to act cool. He vaguely knows how to play the accordion and steer a hot-air balloon, though not simultaneously.

Star Wars ’77 Stories and TRIVIA!
Play For Prizes!

Nerd Nite North Bay brings you stories and pictures from the debut of Star Wars ’77 in Northern California, followed by a battle to the Death (Star) round of movie and history trivia with a Marin (but not Midichlorian) edge. Play Solo or form an Alliance, Rebel against a boring Tuesday night, and Don’t Let the Wookie Win!

Sarah Houghton and Scott Weitze, Nerd Nite North Bay

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Nerd Nite North Bay #13: Fish Schooling, Weird Genitals, Mini Satellites

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday November 3rd show on Weird Animal Genitals, Fish Schooling and Imaging Planet Earth with Minisatellites!

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Tickets just $5!

Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food IS available at the venue.

NerdNite NB Poster - November Lineup

Finding Your Shoal-mate

Fishy Experiments Figuring Out Human Behavior

Nearly everything we do as humans is some form of social behavior (even talking to ourselves in the mirror or playing Neko Atsume), but ethics prevent the coolest experiments from being done. Learn how fish model systems are taking us to school and answering surprisingly complex questions about our own human social systems.

Ray Engeszer is a high school science teacher and has worked as a field biologist in behavioral ecology and the evolution of social behavior. His nerd cred beyond research includes decades of D&D, comics, and Sandman, with a dash of Jane Austen and a deep seated belief that life would be better with elves and unicorns.


Beasts, Y’all A Tease
Weird Sex and Strange Genitals in the Animal Kingdom

Freaky animal species educate and titillate! Learn how sexual reproduction first evolved and about the wild correlations between unique genital shapes and the different ways animals have sex. Also discover which animals have sex simply for reproduction and which are, like, totally into it. Plus, pornos! (Of insects.)

Becky Jaffe is a photographer, naturalist and educator. Her photography fuses an artist’s sensibility with a biologist’s curiosity to communicate reverence for the natural world. Her qualifications as an animal reproduction lecturer include watching endless hours of kangaroo masturbation videos on YouTube.


Pics In Spaaaace!

Imaging The Entire Earth Every Day

The way we design for outer space experiments is changing, taking advantage of improvements in miniaturization, off-the-shelf components, and agile practices in manufacturing, design and deployment. Picture a gargantuan Dalek-like fleet of imaging satellites designed from the ground up as an agile response to space access, and now picture the pictures these satellites provide: fresh daily images of the Earth transforming science and markets that rely on observational data. Learn how miniature satellites went from an idea in a garage to a flock of Doves in the skies in only two short years.

Ben Haldeman works on rockets, launching large numbers of Planet Labs’ “Dove” satellites to space. He led the design of Planet’s instrument payload to image the Earth daily and has flown over a hundred satellites in space. Ben specializes in bringing an agile approach to hardware and space and believes this approach will be the catalyst to humanity becoming a spacefaring species.


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Nerd Nite North Bay #12: Cheese Rind, New Environmentalism and Immortality!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday October 6th (ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!) show on Cowgirl Cheese Rind, Immortality Legends in Research and The New Environmental Movement!

Facebook Event:

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Tickets just $5!

Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food IS available at the venue.

NerdNite NB Ticket Page - October Lineup

Like a Rind-stone Cowgirl
How Rind Creates and Controls the Cheese Below

Eat all the cheeses AND know what you’ll find even before you cut the rind! The Bay Area’s own Cowgirl Creamery sends their expert cheesemaker to share secret knowledge about how different rinds affect cheese flavors as they grow. Learn from one of California’s premier cheesemakers what cheese eating maniacs should look for to make sure you’re getting the good stuff!
Eric Patterson makes cheese for Cowgirl Creamery. After finishing the Agroecology program at UC Santa Cruz, Eric became an organic vegetable farmer, started milking dairy goats as a hobby, and taught himself to make cheese. When dairy trumped vegetables he joined Cowgirl Creamery in 2002 to pursue his cheese-making passion and expand his knowledge. He has done nearly every job in the Creamery from fixing broken equipment to developing new cheeses to troubleshooting cheese issues.

Methusel Ah Ha!
Ancient Legends Guiding New Immortality Research

At first glance mythology and science would seem contradictory, but the themes of ancient stories are often recycled into breakthrough scientific research. Immortal organisms like the hydra seem to span the biological and mythological worlds, and Tennyson’s Lesson of Tithonus once defined the problem of lifespan vs. healthspan. Horror stories about the healing powers of young blood terrified previous generations but now have mainstream acceptance as potential cures. Learn how modern scien continues to use old stories to create new medical marvels at the lab bench in the eternal quest for immortality.
Christopher Wiley researches the cellular mechanisms of aging at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. He has a doctorate in Biological Chemistry from UC Irvine, and a Bachelors in Genetics and Cell Biology from the University of Minnesota, where he also minored in Classics. His interests in the biology of aging as well as classical mythology have led him to note that much of aging research has roots in folklore and legend.

Blueprint for a Green Earth
Riding The Next Big Wave of Environmentalism

From the local Bolinas Lagoon to Maui’s Seven Sacred Pools, the modern environmental movement has saved numerous natural wonders from destruction. Former Nature Conservancy President Huey Johnson will talk about the tactics used at the beginning of the movement, including the creation of public land trusts and the bankrupting of development, and what New Zealand and the Netherlands are getting right in the new environmentalism. Also learn how you can join the next generation of advocates to preserve and protect land in the challenging modern age.
Huey Johnson was California Secretary of Resources in the Brown Administration and President of The Nature Conservancy before founding the Resource Renewal Institute. His “Investing for Prosperity” policy was one of the first comprehensive and long-term environmental plans in existence and his book Green Plans: Blueprint for Sustainable Earth is in its third edition.

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Nerd Nite North Bay #11: Indie Baseball, Free Law and Hamilton Airfield

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our September 1st show on running an independent baseball team, becoming your own lawyer and the history of Hamilton Air Field!

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Just $5. Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM. Note food IS available at the venue!

Tickets at:
NerdNite NB September Ticket Page

Experiments and Business in Independent Baseball

Hear how the local Sonoma Stompers ended up on NPR, fulfill (and crush) baseball dreams, and learn about the day to day work reality needed to juggle business ops with OPS and squeeze out success in the wildly misnamed “Business of Baseball”. While even Billy Beane’s Moneyball A’s spent fifty three million dollars, discover how the freedom to experiment on a shoestring budget makes independent baseball in America’s small towns the new, true laboratory of baseball.

Theo Fightmaster oversees baseball and business operations for the Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, a job that includes ticket sales, merchandising, public relations, front office management, corporate partnerships and a dozen other hats.

Legal Justice League
Free Law in The Age of Ultr-a Expensive Lawyers

Getting a divorce, writing a will, wrangling with a landlord, or filing another lawsuit against Barack Obama for implanting spy devices in your brain is expensive! Public law libraries and lawyer-librarians are your free one-stop-shop for all legal problems. Find out about the huge financial (and no so large legal) differences between paid and free legal services, and find out what the free legal library can do to make your legal shenanigans look a lot less shenanigan-y.

Coral Henning is the Director of the Sacramento County Public Law Library and has worked in County law libraries for 30 years. She has a J.D. from GGU School of Law and a MLIS from San Jose State University. Recently she went to Pickle, Kraut, and Fermentation school and is starting an artisan pickle business.

Planes, Brains and Aviation Ordeals
History and Invention at Novato’s Hamilton Air Field

Travel back to a time when Marin’s skies were filled with B-12s and hear how Novato’s own Hamilton Air Field accidentally sent the first mainland planes into battle in World War II. Hamilton Field evolved from an Air Force Base to an Army Base to a critical component of NORAD and today ranks as TripAdvisor’s #1 Novato attraction. Learn about the history of Hamilton Air Field, the classic California architecture located on the base, and how the closure of a massive military installation can lead to new opportunities.

Ray Dwelly is the Director of Operations at the Hamilton Field History Museum, which he helped build and curate. His interest in aviation began as a Naval Flight Engineer on P2V-5F Neptune Patrol Planes.


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