Is your brain feeling as slow as molasses in January? Then come to the Rickshaw and get your juices flowing! This month we’ll be following the wake of the tenacious mola mola, the trails of sophisticated ants, and the ghostly tracks of streetcars past with a marine biologist, an entomologist, and a transit-obsessed designer, respectively. Brave the rain, grab a drink or three, be there and be square.
“Holy Mola: Tales of a Divine Giant” by Tierney Thys
Some say our ocean is transforming into a soup of slime, garnished with dead zones and a generous dollop of stingy jellies. Mmmm - want some sake with that? While it seems as if much ocean life is under siege from pollution and overfishing, some unlikely marine creatures may be poised to rise to the challenge. Come meet the giant ocean sunfishes, bizarre behemoths with no tail but a tale to tell and weird talents that may secure their survival.
Dr. Tierney is a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, a National Geographic Explorer, and a filmmaker.
“The Sinister and Spectacular Societies of Ants” by Neil Tsutsui
Legions of ants dominate nearly all terrestrial habitats, including many kitchen counters. The secret to their success is their sophisticated social structure, which has allowed them to evolve behaviors that include sophisticated agriculture, farming, bizarre rituals, and manipulative parasitism. Dr. Tsutsui will talk about his recent research on Californian kidnapper ants, who steal babies and brainwash them into lives of complete servitude.
Dr. Neil is Professor and Michelbacher Chair of Systematic Entomology in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley.
“How We Got Here: Mapping the History of Public Transit in San Francisco” by Chris Arvin
One hundred and ten years ago, San Francisco became the first city in the US to have a publicly run transit system. Today, our transit network holds artifacts from decades of history: Most of the bus routes we ride were once served by electric streetcars, and rail lines built in the 1910s and 1920s are the foundation for the MUNI Metro system. Through digital maps, historical photos, and old newspaper clippings, we’ll step back in time and discover the stories of the transit system we love - and sometimes love to hate.
Chris is the author of “Where the Streetcars Used to Go,” an interactive website that has been featured in the SF Chronicle and the SF Examiner.
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