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Nerd Nite at Sea II: We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

Nerd Nite Bay Area

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)

Nerd Nite at Sea II: We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat

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Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Nerd Pass Ended $27.50 $2.37

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Event Details

SOLD OUT! Limited tickets will be available at the event. Thanks for making this such a successful event!

Nerd Nite at Sea returns! And this year we've got a bigger boat: an aircraft carrier! The USS Hornet is an incredible museum of space and military history and technology that we'll pack from bow to stern with lectures, science demos and activities, and beer! 

Note: this event is for 21+ only!

No Cancellations/Refunds after 10/23.

The ship will stay docked. Firing up the 1940s engines for a cruise under the new Bay Bridge just didn't sound like the best idea. 


"The Smell of a Sound, the Taste of a Color" by Bryan Alvarez

How does violin music smell? What does the reflection of trees in a lake sound like? What color is Thursday? To most people, these questions might seem completely nonsensical, but to people with synesthesia they sound perfectly reasonable. Synesthesia is a perceptual condition in which there is an involuntary blending of one or more of the senses. The most common form is chromagraphemia, the associating of colors with numbers and letters — but the sense–mingling can get a lot weirder. A synesthete might see moving blobs of color when tasting foods, or taste specific flavors upon hearing certain words.

Once dismissed as a product of an overly active imagination, artistic fancy, drug use or even just craziness, synesthesia is finally being recognized as having a biological basis. PhD candidate Bryan Alvarez will show us his research on this condition and also share his life as a person living with this condition.

Bryan Alvarez is a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Berkeley, researching brain-based and cognitive mechanisms of a unique form of sensory-blending called synesthesia. Synesthesia is an involuntary joining in which the real information of one sense is accompanied by a perception in another sense. Bryan discusses types of synesthesia and what might be happening in the brain.

"An Asteroid for All Seasons" by Rusty Schweickart

February 15, 2013 was a “once in a hundred year” day, asteroid-wise.  On that morning the good people of Chelyabinsk, Russia were greeted on their way to work by a shockingly brilliant surprise visitor from outer space.  While no one was killed about 1500 people required medical treatment, mainly due to glass cuts from the tens of thousands of windows that were shattered as a result of the blast from the shock wave the asteroid generated.  Over 7000 buildings were damaged in a matter of seconds on that bright clear morning.

While the threat of asteroid impacts, and what might be done to address this cosmic natural hazard, has gotten increasing attention in recent years, they are in fact of multi-dimensional interest. Stepping stones to Mars, Rosetta stones to human life, and rich, cosmic ore bodies are additional facets of these primitive denizens of space.  Each of these aspects will be addressed while the main focus of the presentation will deal with terminating impacts before they terminate us.

Russell "Rusty" Schweickart is a true space pioneer: He was the Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 9 mission, performed the first EVA (extravehicular activity) for Apollo, and watched the Earth stream by on the first untethered space walk. During that mission, he conducted the first in-space test of the Portable Life Support System used by the Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon. Rusty was awarded both NASA's Distinguished Service Medal and Exceptional Service Medal. Today, Rusty is a leading advocate of developing planetary defense strategies against asteroid impacts. He co-founded and served as Chairman of B612 Foundation, a Silicon Valley based nonprofit that aims to defend Earth from asteroid impacts, and now serves as Chair Emeritus on the company's Board of Directors.

"From the Electron to the Solar System: A Journey through Art and Science" by Megan Prelinger

The transition from early electronics to the Apollo-era space age was hand-drawn, at every step, by artists. This history talk explores the gorgeous graphic art of mid-20th century business advertisements created by artists for the electronics and space industries. It is a tour through over seventy artworks, tracing the artist's journey, and the scientist's journey, from understanding the electron to building spacecraft and reaching the stars in the Apollo era. Its tour stops include the history of computers and a few points where engineers played the role of artist and where artists played the role of engineer.

Megan Prelinger is a writer on art and technology, and on local history. Her most recent book about space is Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race (Blast Books, 2010). She is co-founder of the Prelinger Library, an independent, experimental library that is a publicly accessible creative workshop and research space in San Francisco. She is an artist-in-residence at the Exploratorium where she co-created the Observatory Library, an exhibit composed of a browsable research library and a series of five new historical atlases, all on Bay Area history. She is also a naturalist and leads public birding walks for San Francisco Nature Education. As a space enthusiast, she was part of NASA’s social media team for the launch of STS-135 in July, 2011. She has presented her space history talks around the country at NASA centers, at the National Air & Space Museum, and at Griffith Observatory, among many other locations. Her research has been profiled in Harper's, the New York Times, and Make magazine. She is currently at work on a book about the synergy between art and engineering.



Food Trucks:

About Nerd Nite at Sea:

Nerd Nite at Sea is a joint venture of Nerd Nite SF, Nerd Nite East Bay, and the Bay Area Science Festival aboard the historic USS Hornet. The USS Hornet is an aircraft carrier and museum in Alameda that was also the recovery vessel for the Apollo 11 mission. Along with many other partners, we are joining forces for a gigantic night of science spectacle for grown-ups.

Nerd Nite is a monthly lecture-in-a-bar series where scientists, technologists, historians, and other "nerds" give short talks in exchange for free beer. Nerd Nite strives to be funny, inebriated, and entertaining, yet always deeply educational. 

The Bay Area Science Festival is a weeklong celebration (10/24-11/2) of the unique science and technology of the Bay Area. Scientists from our local universities, companies, and museums will share their stories, passion and science at over 50 events. Programs will feature hundreds of hands-on-activities, provocative conversations, electrifying performances, and tours of cutting-edge facilities. Are you ready to unleash your inner scientist?


Produced by:








Chabot Space & Science Center Kernerworks Swissnex

Have questions about Nerd Nite at Sea II: We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat? Contact Nerd Nite Bay Area

When & Where

USS Hornet
3 West Hornet Avenue
Alameda, CA 94501

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (PDT)

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