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