Nerd Nite No. 49 and 49.5: June 10 and June 18

Yo Nerds!

Please note we have some changes in June to our regularly scheduled program. First up, due to Philly Beer Week, we have pushed back our June Nerd Nite to Wednesday, June 10. We’re still working out the fine details, but you can expect to hear more about the Academy of Natural Sciences’ *new* Grossology exhibit, enjoy a discussion with local artist Blair Campbell , and hear some beats from local 8-bit musician Pixel8ter. More info to come soon, but as always, the show will start at 7:30 sharp at Frankford Hall with a $5 cover!

 

Also, because we can’t say know to evenings that mix beer and education–especially ones that involve visits from NASA and the International Space Station(!!)–we’ll be hosting Nerd Nite No. 49.5 on Thursday, June 18 also at Frankford Hall. This pay-what-you-wish edition will give Philly Nerds a chance to learn more about NASA’s involvement in the space station, via a NASA scientist and astronaut! We promise we’ll fill you in on the specific talk details when we hear more!

 

XOXO,

Team Nerd Nite Philly

Nerd Nite No. 48: The Dangers of Democratization, Dirty MRFs, and Jedi Junk! Plus, Music by the Black Mariah!

Oh hey, Philly Nerds. We’re on a roll celebrating all that is nerdy in our great city. We had a great PSF-edition of Nerd Nite on the 29th, but now, back to our regularly scheduled program: May Nerd Nite.

 

What do we have planned? Well let’s get right down to business:

 

First up is “The Dangers of Democratization: The Story of Cote d’Ivoire” by Anne Frugé

In 1990, multiparty-democracy was introduced to Ivory Coast with strongman Houphouet Boigny at the helm. By 1993 Houphouet was dead, a power vacuum loomed, and the country was torn apart by political feuds. Ultimately the question of which Ivoirians should be considered citizens led to a civil war that lasted from 2002 to 2008 and La Crise of 2010. Based on recent field research, this Nerd Nite talk explains what happens when a country tries to democratize before important milestones in political and economic development have been reached.

About Anne: Anne Frugé is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland researching (and teaching) politics of the developing world and ethnic violence. She has conducted field work in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Her husband, Phillip Gray, is so supportive of her work that he travelled to West Africa with her in 2014.

Next we have Michelle Feldman presenting “The Science of Recycling: Wait, What’s a Dirty MRF?”

What happens after your recyclables are picked up? Join your plastic bottles and milk cartons as they head to a Materials Recovery Facility, get crushed and melted, and then end up as a park bench or a jacket. This Nerd Nite talk will explore how various recyclables are broken down and re-made in to every day objects.

About Michelle: Michelle is the Executive Director of Keep Philadelphia Beautiful, a nonprofit organization dedicated to litter abatement and recycling education and promotion. She is not a scientist, but she is nerdy (just ask anyone, really!). Before her time at KPB, she was the Commercial Corridor Manager for the Frankford Community Development Corporation, where she gained a new love for Philadelphia and its neighborhoods. She holds a BA in Political Science from Brandeis University, and a Masters in Public Policy from Drexel (see, told you she’s not a scientist).  
Lastly, Nerd Nite regular Ben Leach will discuss “Jedi Junk: Oddball Merchandise from a Galaxy Far, Far Away”

Have you guys heard of this movie series called Star Wars? It’s pretty popular. And it survives thanks to merchandise. The total amount of money all of the Star Wars films have made at the global box office totals over $4 billion, but the total sales of toys for the franchise totals $12 billion. However, you don’t make and sell that much merchandise without a few missteps along the way. Nerd Nite utility player Ben Leach lets you ride shotgun in his T-16 Skyhopper as he discusses some of the stranger characters that were immortalized as action figures, the even stranger choices that were made when it came to merchandising popular characters, and some items that were clearly thought of after a rough bout of hibernation sickness and thus were never, ever sold, probably for the best.

About Ben: Ben Leach is a medical writer based in Southern New Jersey. He was dragged to his first flea market when he was a month old, and ever since then, he’s been on the hunt for weird and eclectic items that remind him of what it was like to be a kid in the 1980s and 1990s. He sometimes provides updates on his family’s website collectorgene.com. Previously, he’s spoken at Nerd Nite about brainy supervillains, foreign movie posters, his Mr. T collection, and he hosted a game show based on the 1984 Sears Wishbook.

 
Cover is $5, which gets you admission to learn from some local nerds as well as hear some new music from local band the Black Mariah, all while enjoying happy hour prices at the always accommodating Frankford Hall.

 

When: Wednesday, May 6

What time: Doors open at 4pm. Show starts at 7:30pm

How much: $5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night

Where: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

Be there and be square!

Nerd Nite Philly

Nerd Nite PSF-Edition: Busting Science Myths Left and Right!

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Yo Nerds!

Happy Science Festival! We’ve got a great edition of Nerd Nite brought to you in conjunction with the Philadelphia Science Festival. We’ll be busting myths for you fine folks and entertaining you with one of our favorite nerdy bands, Los Festingos!

So what’s in store? We’re taking cryptozoology, gluten free diets, and forensic science to task– what’s truth, what’s fiction, what is still unknown? Intrigued? Join us! Note that the pre-sale tickets for this event  are *sold out* but we’re still selling tickets at the door! Get there early because we do expect a crowd!

Cryptozoology: Hidden Animals or Figments of Imagination  by Ned Gilmore
By definition, cryptozoology is the study of hidden animal species. Many  however call this a pseudoscience focusing on animal species conjured up by human imaginations. But, are there unknown species not yet revealed? Are there animals thought to be lost to time still secretly living on the Earth? Myths, facts, and recent scientific discoveries will be discussed!

Gluten Free, the craze that’s sweeping the nation by Stephanie Moleski
Dr. Stephanie Moleski is Assistant professor of Medicine at Jefferson Hospital in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Her clinical and research interest include celiac disease and gluten related disorders. She will discuss the differences between gluten intolerance and celiac disease and help explore some truths and myths regarding these disorders No fear – gluten containing beer will be served.

And last but not least will be  No Sh*t Sherlock: Forensic Fiction and Fallacies by Kimberlee Moran

TV and crime novels would have us believe that a DNA profile takes a matter of minute and a CSI crew can fingerprint your front lawn.  Learn some truth behind popular depictions of forensic science as well as some forensic facts that are stranger than fiction.

 

When: Wednesday, April 29

What time: Doors open at 4pm. Show starts at 7:30pm

How much: $5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night

Where: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

 

Be there and be square!

XOXO,

Your friendly Nerd Nite Philly Team

Nerd Nite No. 47: Star Formation! Aircraft Safety! And Improv

Greetings Nerds!

Are you ready for one of TWO Nerd Nites happening in April? On April 1, join us for our usual nite of nerdy, featuring the below cast of characters. And then mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 29, when we’ll be teaming up with the Philadelphia Science Festival  for an evening of mythbusting, science, and, of course, beer.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s talk April 1. What can you plan on learning about over the course of this find evening?

 

“Living Off the Cuff: Freestyle as a Philosophy” by Jonathan Iwry

Most people regard improvisation as something just out of reach: impressive to watch, but terrifying to attempt. But when we take a closer look, we realize that combining creative thought with living in the moment is less a talent than a way of life—that we can harness it to find success and meaning in what we do.

 

“Baby Stars or: How I Learned to Observe Them and Came to Love Dust” by Nicholas Galitzki

This talk will describe how stars form from large clouds of dust and gas in our galaxy and one of the central mysteries of this elaborate process. Nichaols will also give a quick guide on how to build a balloon-borne telescope designed to gather clues about star birth.

About Nicholas: He is a 5th year graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UPenn. He works with an experimental astronomy group there which means building telescopes before getting to observe with them. Nick has been interested in astronomy since grade school after being inspired by the fantastic night sky visible from his home in a rural part of Washington State.

 

“Crash and Learn: How Past Aviation Mishaps Have Shaped Airplane Safety Today” by Michael Ceriello

You’ve always heard that airplanes are the safest form of travel. Indeed, the drive to the airport actually is statistically more dangerous than the flight itself. But has this always been the case? Commercial aviation started out as a bumpy ride and went through significant growing pains before it could earn the safety title is holds today. This Nerd Nite, we’ll explore the data and engineering behind a few accidents which helped to shape and define the rules and regulations which govern the fastest and safest method of travel the world has ever seen.

About Mike : He works as a Structural Engineer for Boeing in Philadelphia and holds a degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he studied Aeronautical Engineering with a focus in fixed wing aircraft aerodynamics. During his career at Boeing, he has been involved in various programs such as the 787 Dreamliner, NASA’s Space Launch System, and, most recently, the 737NG. His discussion topic stems from his lifelong love engineering, airplanes, and Michael Bay-style explosions.

 

When: Wednesday, April 1

What time: Doors open at 4pm. Show starts at 7:30pm

How much: $5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night

Where: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125

 

Be there and be square!

Nerd Nite Philly

Nerd Nite No 46: Plasma! Monopoly! Antarctica! Plus comedic intermissions!

Are you nerds ready for another Nerd Nite? We’ve got a fun one lined up for you filled with laughs, weirdness, scandal, and mysteries of the universe. Want to learn more? Join us Wednesday, March 4 @ Frankford Hall (as always).

 

Mike Bair, “Antarctica, It’s Weirder than You”
A brief exploration of Antarctica and the people who work there…. No need to listen. I’m bringing pictures.

 
About Mike: Mike Bair became a member of the United States Antarctic Program after serving six years as a sonar technician in the navy. He is one of 3000 people to have ever wintered-over in Antarctica.

 

Mary Pilon, “The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game”
For years, the story of Monopoly’s origins was that the game was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression and lived happily–and richly–ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord’s Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game–underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today–was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt’s famed Brain Trust.

 

David Schaffner, “It’s 2015: Where is My Mr. Fusion? (and other burning plasma physics questions…)”
It’s not shocking that Hollywood doesn’t always get science right. It might have been a little presumptuous for the Back to the Future writers to expect fusion power plants on our flying cars by 2015, but, really, how far off were they? And how much do we really know about this stuff called plasma that is often blithely identified as the 4th state of matter? Even though 99% of the visible universe is known to consist of plasma, there is still so much we do not understand. From the enormous, dangerous plumes of plasma ejected by the sun into the solar wind, to the sterile glow of a fluorescent light bulb, you may be surprised to learn just how much plasma affects us in our daily lives. As part of a series of Nerd Nite talks across the country in conjunction with Global Plasma Month, I’ll try to navigate you through this sea of hot charged particles, hopefully without getting zapped.

 
About David: David Schaffner is a postdoctoral researcher at Swarthmore College where he spends his time blowing magnetic bubbles of plasma in a vacuum chamber and studying their turbulent properties. He is interested in a broad array of plasma physics topics including the quest for controlled fusion power, but is particularly focused on recreating astrophysical turbulence in a laboratory setting.

 

Plus! Stand up by Stephanie Yuhas!

Wednesday, February 4

Doors open at 4pm. Show starts at 7:30pm

$5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave.

Philadelphia, PA 19125

Be there and be square!

Nerd Nite Philly