Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nerd Nite North Bay #10: Sexy Copyright, Aikido, and Open Data

Join Nerd Nite North Bay‘s expert speakers for our August 4th show on explaining copyright using sexy times films, the art of Aikido, and the open data revolution!

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Just $5.

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

$5 Tickets available HERE! 

Corrected NerdNite NB Poster - August Lineup

The C Word: Copyright and Sex in Public (Domain)

Come one, come all to Nerd Nite’s NSFW explanation of copyright! Learn about the purpose of fair use in copyright law, enjoy a five-some of naughty and sexy cases that explain how fair use works in the real world, and clear your browser history.
Lila Bailey is an Internet law attorney whose practice supports clients who democratize access to information, community, and creativity by harnessing technology. Her mission is to help institutions and innovators resolve unique challenges at the forefront of technology law and policy, and to be an advocate for end-users. Lila also teaches The Fundamentals of Internet Law at Berkeley Law.

Giving In to Get Your Way: The Art of Aikido

You want to come at me bro? WHOOSH! Face meets floor! Aikido, the Japanese martial art synthesizing martial studies and philosophy, is unique in its redirection of an opponent’s attack–turning an attacker’s own aggression against him. A fourth degree black belt Dojo Cho talks about the five principles of Aikido, reaching for enlightenment, the sword and the spirit, and learning by falling down. Extra bonus points for a live sword demonstration!
Brian Scott sensei has been a practitioner of the martial art of Aikido for 25 years, and holds a rank of Yan dan (4th degree black belt). Additionally he holds black belts in Koei Kan karate do, and the instructor rank of Jiho in Japanese swordsmanship thru the International Shinkendo Federation. Brian is Dojo Cho (President) of Aikido of Tamalpais in Corte Madera. Brian sensei teaches weekly classes and travels to teach at seminars, including teaching annually in Kumamoto Japan.

All Your Data Are Belong to Us: The Open Government Data Revolution

The open data movement has found firm footing in the Bay Area as local governments have opened their data stores and hungry activists create apps and tools to help their local communities. Learn how Code for America’s local Brigades tackle the challenge of using public data for the public good and remix information about hiking trails, parking spots, crime statistics, and more to make your community a better place.
Ivan Silva is a Brigade Captain in Code for Marin and a public librarian in Tiburon. Originally from the Cape Verde Islands, he’s interested in makerspaces, web development, water sports and whodunnit books.

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Nerd Nite North Bay #9: Sea Lion Strandings, Plant Inventions and Making Monster Movie Makeup Movies

Note this month’s show is on the SECOND Tuesday of the month!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our special July 14th SECOND TUESDAY OF THE MONTH show on using science to save stranded marine mammals, the Santa Rosa scientist who invented 800 plant species, and how documentary films actually get made!

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

NerdNite NB Ticket Page Picture - July Lineup
Sea Lion Tsunami

Sausalito’s Marine Mammal Center is investigating the alarming increase in local whale and sea lion strandings to help prevent the next disaster. Learn how marine veterinarians are able to determine the exact cause of death of a multi-ton cetacean and what studies of mass strandings, biotoxins and epilepsy in marine mammals can tell us about the health of our Bay.

Dr. Claire Simeone is the Conservation Medicine Veterinarian at The Marine Mammal Center and National Marine Fisheries Service. In addition to providing clinical care to the patients at TMMC’s hospital, she investigates marine mammal unusual mortality events, trains international stranding responders, and provides veterinary support for field projects all over the United States. She fondly remembers traveling to Alaska to respond to a very whale-shaped log.

Dr. Franken-screen

Learn how the one man production company that contributed to documentaries on The Cliff House, Tower Records, Playland at the Beach and a soon to be released film on Frankenstein’s movie makeup artist practices his craft and stitches together a new movie. From digging up long lost archival material to using the latest video techniques, find out how November Fire turned passion for obscure history and the macabre into hit film productions and used it to pay the rent… sometimes!

Strephon Taylor put his unique twist on spooky Bay Area History as the character “Slob” on Creepy KOFY Movie Time. He is an artist and the owner of November Fire, a business based on a love of Halloween and horror movies. What started as a t-shirt company has evolved to support his creative efforts and now includes a recording company with eleven in-house movies and six CDs. His next project is a documentary about Jack Pierce, the man who created the famous make-up on Frankenstein’s monster.

Burbank of America

Luther Burbank’s agricultural inventions saved Ireland, created McDonald’s French fries, and took the spines out of cacti. Using Darwin’s new theories of variation and inheritance, Burbank’s experimental farm in Santa Rosa produced over eight hundred novel plant cultivars that spread throughout California and the rest of the nation, including the plumcot, the white blackberry, and the famous Flaming Gold Nectarine. Learn how the man once known as the world’s most famous horticulturist inspired a yearly parade, became friends with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison, and changed the way America eats.

Erin Sheffield is the Chair of the Luther Burbank Experiment Farm Committee of volunteers. She received a BA in Ornamental Horticulture and investigated marketing, live television production, psychology, parenthood and Buddhism before returning in retirement to her first love: plants. As well as keeping tabs on what the volunteers are up to, she writes grants, does books tours, publicizes, photographs, and fills in with chores that no one else wants to do at the Farm.


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Nerd Nite North Bay #8: Craft Beer’s History and Future, 1950s Computer Ads and Biotech’s Samurai Sake Origins

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday June 2nd show on the history and future of craft beer, computer ads in the 1950s, and how ancient sake and whisky led to modern biotechnology.

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. Just $5!

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

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THIS ONE NerdNite NB picture for email - June Lineup


Looking Before and Beyond The Golden Age of Brewing

Fill your brain cup with the history and future of craft beer and leave Nerd Nite as a highly qualified quaffer. From “magical brewing sticks” to industrial vats, the styles of beer say as much about being human as they do about taste. Learn how the current Golden Age of Brewing is in many ways a tour of countries, traditions, yeast strains and techniques resurrected after hundreds of years, and ponder how the digital era of beer ratings and analysis can protect and potentially endanger the (thankfully) still-divergent value systems of beer and wine.

Ken Weaver is an award-winning beer writer and editor based in Petaluma. He’s the author of The Northern California Craft Beer Guide and serves as beer editor on the staff of All About Beer Magazine. Once upon a time he earned his M.S. in physics from Cornell University, and he’s since forgotten all of it and drinks beer for a living.


Advertising America’s First Computers

What was the killer computer feature of 1957, and how do you sell it? While computers emerged from the familiar fields of data processing and mathematical computation, the first commercial art for computers needed to demystify something that was still new and bizarre to most people. Learn how modernist language, graphic design and concrete poetry were used to sell and explain what would once have been considering terrifying, a simple machine that could read and calculate as well as any human.

Megan Prelinger is the co-founder of the Prelinger Library in San Francisco and the Internet Archive and a cultural historian of technology and graphic design. Her forthcoming book is Inside the Machine: Art and Invention in the Age of Electronics.

For Peat’s Sake

Biotech’s Samurai, Whisky and Sake-Soaked Origins

B.C. doesn’t stand for Before Cocktails. Pieces of 10,000 year old Chinese pottery show humans deliberately (desperately?) fermented mixtures of fruit, rice, and honey to produce alcohol, and centuries of improving sake production set the stage for a lone Samurai Chemist to revolutionize the production of whisky in the 19th century. Learn about the journey hard, delicious alcohol takes to arrive in your glass, and how ancient sake and whisky practices directly led to the miracles of modern biochemistry.

Adam Rogers is the author of Proof: The Science of Booze and an editor at Wired, specializing in science and geekery. Rogers was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at MIT and a reporter for Newsweek and has written about whisky-eating fungi, comic books, Cirque du Soleil and black holes in science fiction.

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Nerd Nite North Bay #7: Ships, Eggs, and Trivia

May 5th at the Hopmonk Tavern Novato!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday May 5th show on resurrecting Chinese shipwrecks from SF Bay, how Petaluma became the Egg Capital of the World, and NEW Nerd Nite Trivia for fun and prizes!

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

Tickets available at

Nerd Nite North Bay #7

Junky Dory
Sail your way through the discovery and resurrection of early 1900s Chinese junksy shrimp boats that worked in San Francisco Bay. From archaeological excavation of wrecks in China Camp State Park to research in the shipyards of Southern China to the accurate reconstruction and sailing of the resurrected vessel itself, relive the odyssey to bring the remarkable junks back to life in the Bay Area.

John Muir is the Curator of Small Craft at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. John works out of the Boat Shop on the Hyde St. Pier with the Park’s collection of over 100 historic boats. Over the span of his twenty year tenure, John has researched and reconstructed vessels from numerous traditions, including Chinese sampans and junks, Italian feluccas, and Native American reed boats. John received his Masters in Cultural Resource Management from Sonoma State University, for which he excavated the remains of a 1900 Chinese shrimp junk.

Chicken City USA
Boiling an egg is simple, but how Petaluma became the Egg Capital of the World is a much more complicated story. With cameos by Jack London, the Great Earthquake, and a Mayor obsessed with fried chicken, find out how eleven million cartons of eggs once crossed the roads of Sonoma County every year, and how it was all quite suddenly over, easy.

Skip Sommer has emceed Petaluma’s famous Butter and Eggs Parade and is an Honorary Live Member of the Petaluma Historic Museum. He is a recipient of Petaluma’s Good Egg of the Year Award and worked to revitalize Petaluma’s historic downtown with an acclaimed restoration of The River House and The Great Petaluma Mill. Skip likes eggs but will work for free beer.

PLUS Nerd Nite Trivia! Twenty Nerdy Questions! With Prizes! And Beer!

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Nerd Nite North Bay #6: Sketch Science, Marin Macroseism and Parol-wheeee!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday April 7th show on criminal sketch science, building better ankle bracelets, and the Great Earthquake in Marin!

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. $5 Tickets Available Here. Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM.  Seating and Food Service ARE available at the venue!

NerdNite NB Poster - April Lineup

The Thief Looked Like My Grandma
The Science of Forensic Art

Black and white WANTED posters are supported by SCIENCE. Find out how forensic artists use intricate knowledge of facial anatomy, witness interview techniques, and tricks for overcoming fallible human memory to identify suspects, and see how it can go horribly, horribly wrong.

Ralph Pata is the North Bay’s forensic artist and Lieutenant in the San Rafael Police Department. He has been drawing people since childhood, sometimes on bathroom walls. He is the resident sketch artist for over a dozen North Bay police departments. He graduated from the FBI Composite Art School at the Academy in Quantico and in March graduated from the FBI National Academy. The only thing he appreciates more than a fine wine is a killer espresso.

Breaking the Bracelet
How Electronic Monitoring of Offenders Has Gone Astray

Ankle bracelets aren’t just this season’s most sought after accessory, they are also a long-standing criminal monitoring tool with an interesting history. The original monitoring of parolees used rewards and was based on solid behavioral science, while the current programs have become solely punitive in nature and are less effective. Hear how the current system is failing and how GPS and physiological gamification may return electronic monitoring to its original goals.

Bob Gable is the father of electronic monitoring, based on his work with “juvenile delinquents” in the late 1960s and classes he took from B.F. Skinner. Implementation of the idea was primarily the work of Bob’s twin brother, a graduate student with Timothy Leary. While teaching at UCLA and the Claremont Graduate University, Bob has been repeatedly unsuccessful in convincing probation officers that rehabilitation should involve a certain degree of fun.

San Andreas’ Fault
The Great San Francisco Earthquake & Fire of 1906…In Marin!

Famous San Francisco earthquakes don’t get stuck in traffic. While the devastating April 18, 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed much of the city, there were also far-reaching effects to the north, particularly in Tomales and San Rafael. See rare photos and first-hand accounts from North Bay quake survivors and get inspired to finally put together your home earthquake kit for the next Big One!

Carol Acquaviva is the digital archivist at the Anne T. Kent California Room of the Marin County Free Library where she has been a librarian for the past thirteen years. Carol also serves on the Town of San Anselmo Historical Commission and nerds up with her own private collection of 16,000 historical postcards.

$5 Tickets Available Here!

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Nerd Nite North Bay #5: Gaming the Gamers, Elevating Elephants and Brewing Big Beers!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our Tuesday March 3rd show on the dirty secrets of video game design, saving the last elephants in Thailand, and the biology of beer brewing evolving from small scale to delicious commercial quantity!

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. $5 tickets available here!
Note seating and food service WILL be available in the Session Room during this event.

Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM.

NerdNite NB Poster - March Lineup USE THIS ONE



Scaling up from home brew and experimental beers to the full throttle industrial scale needed to satisfy America’s inexhaustible thirst for good craft beer presents unique biological challenges. Over the last nine years the lab at Lagunitas has evolved with new technologies to shorten testing time and maintain superior quality even as the brewery expands beyond California. Lagunitas Quality Manager Jon Mangee will discuss all the lab work necessary to ensure a consistent taste for millions of gallons of beer.

Jon Mangee is the Quality Manager at Lagunitas Brewery. After graduating from Indiana University, Bloomington with a BS in Environmental Science and promptly deciding he liked beer far more than wastewater he obtained a certificate in brewing science from Chicago’s Siebel Institute. He moved to the North Bay nine years ago to take the job of Quality Manager at Lagunitas.

GAME DESIGN CONFIDENTIAL: An Insider’s Dirty Secrets

Computer games are a giant business, but how do those games get made? How do psychology and current gamer behavior play a role in the decisions made by the multitude of people involved in the million details of each and every game? Is an army of monkeys REALLY controlling all of the NPCs? Prepare to be titillated by the ins and outs and ups and downs of the video game industry from a long-time game designer’s point of view.

Michael McCormick has been in the game design business since before the Internets, way back in the 20th century, and has made games for kids, guys, middle-aged ladies, and everything in between for Lucas, Sony, Zynga, DreamWorks, and Electronic Arts.

Elephant Orchestra: The Elephant Refuges of Thailand

Asian elephants are in a quandary: part of a working ecosystem side-by-side with humans, while their dwindling population makes them endangered and their exploitation continues unchecked. Thailand is one of the few refuges in the world for elephants, but even their supporters can’t agree how to save them. This is the next chapter in Douglas Adams’ Last Chance to See.

Pol Stafford is a Refuge Volunteer, a technologist, aikido sensei, poet and Civilization geek.

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Nerd Nite North Bay #4: Crime Scene Evidence, the Magic of Stem Cells, and Biology… in… Spaaaaace!

Join Nerd Nite North Bay’s expert speakers for our February show on Crime Scene Evidence, the Magic of Stem Cells, and Biology… in… Spaaaaace!  

Three Nerdy Talks. Fresh Beer. $5 tickets can be purchased HERE!  

Door at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM.

NerdNite NB Poster - General

CSI SVU TV (Can’t Science Instantly, Still Very Unsure: Television!)

Find a blood spot.  Make a wisecrack. Go to the lab. Conclusively confirm the culprit. Prison! If you’ve ever watched Forensic Files or the three dozen CSI shows, you probably wondered if the DNA analysis presented on TV is accurate.  Find out the truth as we take a trip into a forensic lab, find out how analysis of crime scene DNA evidence works, and see if it really all fits into a tidy 42 minutes every. single. week.

Brian Harmon has more than a decade of experience in forensic DNA analysis in his work for private labs, human rights projects and the government. He also provides training to forensic scientists from around the world.  Ask him for a Tiki Bar recommendation near you.


Payloads, Poop, Sex and Beer: The Challenges of Life in Space

Understanding how life exists and functions in the space environment has been a necessity since the beginning of space travel.   Biology in space remains a frontier to be conquered by scientists, medical doctors, and science fiction writers alike. Learn about exciting current projects by The Space Biosciences Division at NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) that strive to bring life into space and apply what is learned to life here on Earth.

Sarah D. Mitchell works on space flight payload projects as part of the Space Biosciences Division at ARC in Mountain View, CA. She is currently working on the Bioculture System, a cell incubator system that will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule in late 2015. She “hails” from Michigan and is really looking forward to watching Jim Harbaugh take the Wolverines to the top next season.


A Walk Through the Stem Cellar: Sampling the Many Different Flavors and Vintages of Stem Cells.

Take a tour of the Stem Cellar with the Buck Institute for Research on Aging as your guide!  Stem cell breakthroughs lead to a better understanding of cancer and to the development of therapies for Parkinson’s disease.  Julie will take you through an exploration of the different types of stem cells, along with the myths and misconceptions of stem cell research.

Dr. Julie Mangada is the Education Outreach Coordinator for the Buck Institute and a local girl originally from Petaluma.  The stress of medical school and motherhood drove Julie to an addiction with roller derby, and her involvement with local leagues taught her the importance of role models for our youth.   Happy to finally be back home in Northern CA, Julie is passionate about bringing research out of the lab and into the communities where she grew up, usually while wearing skates and elbow pads.


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Nerd Nite North Bay #3: Comics Make Students Really Quite Smart, Faces For Votes Is A Really Good Start, Musty Books In Libraries Are Just A Small Part

Tuesday, December 2 – 7pm

Hopmonk Tavern (224 Vintage Way, Novato)

Get a bigger brain and drink beer with smart people at Nerd Nite North Bay!

Just $5 for tickets at

Nerd Nite North Bay’s third event looks at different forms of art and information in the modern world. From political fliers that grab your attention with a finely calibrated mix of faces to the use of modern technology in libraries to comics that push an agenda beyond BIFF and BAM, the science and POWer of well-made art can be more Wonderful than any Woman and more Super than any Man. It’s a Marvel!

Get info on all the Nerd Nite North Bay events at Hopmonk Novato by getting on the FREE BEER mailing list at and joining the group at

Three Nerdy Talks, Fresh Beer, just $5. Doors at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM.


The Secret Truth About Modern Libraries by NNNB co-boss Sarah Houghton

So secret we’re afraid the Feds might shut us down.  All I can say is modern libr[POST REDACTED BY ORDER OF US GOVERNMENT]

Sarah Houghton is the Director of the San Rafael Public Library, co-boss of Nerd Nite North Bay, Author of and is probably kidding about being silenced by the US Government UNLESS THAT’S WHAT THEY WANT YOU TO THINK.


“Why College Students Need to Read More Comics” by John Bultena

Academic studies of comics is nothing new, but the usage of them for pedagogical purposes at the university is still emerging. In an increasingly visual society, find out how a freshman composition writing class that emphasizes comics can help students in computer science, engineering, psychology, and many other fields of study by taking time to understand visual argumentation. Look at what it means to be an academic while amidst a rapidly changing fan base. Because basically comics is still largely an old boys club and can be dumb.

John Bultena is a lecturer in the Merritt Writing Program at the University of California, Merced. His background includes Masters degrees in Philosophy and Literature and Library and Information Sciences. He has played Dungeons & Dragons religiously since he was nine and listens to a lot of heavy metal.


“Vote for ME: How Political Ads Use Faces to Grab your $$ and Votes (and have been for a very long time)” by Candice Dayoan

Modern campaigns use science! We’ll explore the history and evolution of the political ad, how new technology has changed political art, and how and why very specific faces will always be used in this niche art form that pummels your mailbox every even year.

Candice Dayoan is the Creative Director at 50+1 Strategies, a San Francisco-based political consulting firm working to support (who she thinks are) the right people for the job. Her campaign logos can be seen all over California, and her company has a 100% win-rate for elections in San Francisco. Candice taught Political Graphic Design at Netroots and might be the only person to have the exact same fangirl reaction when she met President Obama and George Lucas.

Nerd Nite North Bay #2: Cats, Costumes, and Horrors

Tuesday, November 4 – 7pm
Hopmonk Tavern (224 Vintage Way, Novato) Nerd Nite North Bay’s second event might be happening several days after Halloween, but it’s never too late for some sweet, spooky goodness! Learn about using science and behavior to tame the world’s most untameable beast (pet cats), the inspiration behind an entire century of horror writing, and how to be an amazing mascot. It’s autumn, nerds, and it’s time to snuggle up, dig in, and learn some stuff while you drink beer with smart people.

Three Nerdy Talks, Fresh Beer, just $5. Doors at 7PM, Show at 7:30PM.


Surrender Yourself to Your Cat: The Art and Science of Feline-Human Relationships 
by Daniel Quagliozzi

What is your cat saying to you? Understanding and interpreting feline body language is complex, but if you pay close attention to the subtle body cues that cats give you can change your relationship with them. Hear about the differences in feline and human consciousness and how being a cat can clear true cobwebs from the human mind. Surrender yourselves instead of your cats.

Daniel “DQ- Quagliozzi is the Behavior Consultant behind Go, Cat, Go, a San Francisco in-home resource for cat behavior advice. DQ has over a decade of experience working for the San Francisco SPCA as a specialist in cat behavior, intake, and adoption. DQ is currently a cast member on the new reality TV series “Animal House,- an extreme makeover project for struggling animal shelters.


The Cult of Cthulhu: A Century of Cosmic Horror Writing Inspiration for the Modern Age  by Ross E. Lockhart

Learn about H. P. Lovecraft, the weird fiction author who has inspired works ranging from The Haunted Palace and Die, Monster, Die! to Alien, Re-Animator, and True Detective. Find out about the cult of authors who added to Lovecraft’s creations in his lifetime’ and continue to do so decades after his death. Discover Cosmicism, a philosophy based on the utter insignificance of the human race within a vast, carnivorous cosmos, and about the strange alien god-things dwelling on the periphery of human perception, ready to reveal themselves when the stars are right.’

Ross E. Lockhart is an author, anthologist, and editor. A lifelong fan of supernatural, fantastic, speculative, and weird fiction, Lockhart edited the acclaimed Lovecraftian anthologies The Book of Cthulhu and The Book of Cthulhu II. Recent books from Word Horde include Giallo Fantastique (coming in 2015), The Children of Old Leech: A Tribute to the Carnivorous Cosmos of Laird Barron, and Tales of Jack the Ripper. His rock-and-roll novel,Chick Bassist, was published by Lazy Fascist Press. Lockhart lives in an old church in Petaluma, California, with his wife Jennifer, hundreds of books, and Elinor Phantom, a Shih Tzu moonlighting as his editorial assistant.


The Secret, Sweaty, Awesome Life of a Professional Mascot  by Brian Hagen 

Have thousands of people cheer for you and still walk down the street without being bothered: be a professional mascot! From giant fuzzy feet to rubber masks to desperate water breaks, learn about all the planning and fun that goes into being a mascot, adored by millions, known by none.

Brian Hagen has been a mascot for local sports teams, starred in seven seasons of Creepy KOFY Movie Time in San Francisco, and gets pretty good seats at comic conventions. In his spare time he is an author and a lover of facts.


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Nerd Nite North Bay #1: Sustainable Brewing, Andean Culture, and The Dead

Tuesday, October 7 – 7pm
Hopmonk Tavern (224 Vintage Way, Novato)

Tickets available here:



Join us for the first ever Nerd Nite North Bay! Drink beer and learn about ancient Andean culture, sustainable beermaking, and Deadheads! How do they all connect? Sustainability! The ancient Moche civilization farmed with very little water, you can in fact brew beer in a sustainable way with very little waste, and the Deadheads were all about loving mother earth (especially earth’s ample production of mind-altering substances). Hang out with smart people and learn some stuff while drinking beer at the North Bay’s premier nerdy event.


“From Suds to Buds and The Power of Poo: Imaginative Reuse of Water, Energy and (yes) Human Biomass in the Brewing Cycle” by Jonathan Robertson and Nico Chiarito

The perfect brew is fragrant, crisp, and slightly chilled. Achieving this requires exacting processes and quality ingredients — both of which are energy and resource intensive. Jonathan and Nico explore how progressive breweries are using technology (and just plain common sense) to reduce their environmental impact and to turn what would normally go to a landfill into a valuable commodity. “Waste” biomass (both organic and man-made) is nutrient rich material that is in large part an untapped resource in the United States and contains enough energy to power most of our basic needs and enough nutrients to restore our farmland. By breaking what we normally think of as the traditional waste stream linear process and realizing that waste and reuse are a cycle, the impact of civilization can be reduced and lead to a more sustainable world.

Jonathan Robertson is a licensed mechanical engineer and certified BBQ judge.

Nico Chiarito is a LEED accredited professional and award winning micro brewer.


“Not Yo’(Pacha)Mama’s Agriculture: Low Water Innovation in Ancient Andean South America” by Vanessa Christman

If the last terrible Indiana Jones movie is your only exposure to South American “archaeology”, come learn much more interesting (and accurate!) things about the Ancient Andean societies which stretched from Columbia to Bolivia. Despite living in some of the Earth’s most inhospitable climates, there is no evidence of starvation among members of the Ancient Incan Civilization. And did you know that the members of the Moche Civilization often depicted themselves tripping balls and having sex in pottery designs? Put down your quinoa salad and come feed your brain with fascinating facts about the most ingenious, adaptable, and under-appreciated societies of all time.

Vanessa Christman is the Assistant Director of the San Rafael Public Library. She was an undergraduate TA for the UC San Diego Anthropology Department and worked in the USCD South American Archaeology lab. She is not an archaeologist, but she owns a really cool fedora and may or may not have a whip at home.


“Deadheads: A Business Model for Nerd-dom” by David Dodd

The Grateful Dead bookshelf spans many different sections of the beloved Dewey Decimal System, from straight-ahead philosophy to business theory, musicology, sociology and technology. From The Dead’s early experiments in telepathic communication, attempts to capture the perfect sound inside the Great Pyramid’s inner chamber and a prescient prototype of a recording medium readable by laser, the Grateful Dead (and their fans) have fearlessly explored a wide range of human endeavors. Alongside every adventure they were supported by a ragtag army of what could only be called Grateful Dead nerds, famously known as Deadheads. Learn about the utter nerdery that is the Grateful Dead’s music.

David Dodd is a librarian, amateur musician, and author, editor, and compiler of three books about the Grateful Dead. He lives in Petaluma, and finds time to indulge his nerdish tendencies with a weekly blog about the Dead’s songs on the official Grateful Dead website,