Nerd Nite 36: Medicine Cabinets, Thomas Jefferson and Foreign Movie Posters

Yo Nerds!

Spring has sprung and the nerds are out in abundance! So revel in the fact that winter is finally a cold, bleak memory and head inside at Frankford Hall to celebrate the season of renewal with these three awesomely diverse talks:

Gigi Naglak: “Not Your History Teacher’s Thomas Jefferson”
Thomas Jefferson is known the world over as a polymath, founding father of the United States, brilliant statesman and scientist, and deep Enlightenment-era thinker whose ruminations on democracy shook up an entire world order. He was a complex man whose commitment to the “inalienable rights” of human equality was belied by the hundreds of slaves he owned in his lifetime. This talk is about none of that serious stuff.

Bio: Gigi Naglak is the new curator of museum education at the American Philosophical Society. When not investigating the 18th and 19th centuries with visitors from around the world, she is often dancing with fans and making dick jokes as one half of Chlamydia dell’Arte: A Sex-Ed Burlesque.


Deanna Day: “A Short Biography of the Medicine Cabinet”
Although the bathroom medicine cabinet is ubiquitous today in the American home, this architectural innovation has only existed for less than a century.  In this talk, I will share the medicine cabinet’s strange biography, including how it has created gender conflicts, what it tells us about changing healthcare politics, and why it became a lightning rod for snooping neighbors and friends.

Bio: Deanna Day is a historian and writer living in Philadelphia.  She is currently finishing her doctorate in the History & Sociology of Science Department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she works in the areas of medical technology and women’s health.  More of her work can be found at


Ben Leach: “Poster Child: How Other Countries Created a New Spin on Classic Movie Poster Designs”
For generations, movie posters served as our first impressions of what might have become life-changing experiences, and many posters are considered works of art in their own right. However, when it came time to market these films to other countries, certain countries decided to take it upon themselves to create something different and so far removed from the original design to reflect their own culture and tastes in film. Without leaving Frankford Hall, Ben will take you to Thailand, Ghana, and Poland, where the art of movie posters is quite different than anything you ever saw at the Ritz or AMC. From the emphasis on horror in Thailand to the folk art nature of advertising in Ghana to the insanity of a modern art movement in Poland, you may find yourself demanding that theaters display their movie posters’ foreign counterparts!


Bio: Ben Leach is a New Jersey-based science and medical writer. However, he is also a collector of the eclectic and unusual, especially if it’s something that relates to his childhood from the 1980s and 1990s, and it’s a rare weekend when he hasn’t checked a flea market or yard sale. He has been a published author on collectibles since he was 19, with work appearing in a bunch of once well-received magazines that don’t exist anymore because PRINT IS DYING. Currently, he operates a website dedicated to antiques and collectibles with his family called The Collector Gene. Last year, he spent 20 minutes at Nerd Nite talking about Mr. T.


Plus: Music by Beta Test!


The particulars:

Wednesday, April 9th
Frankford Hall
1210 Frankford Ave.
Show starts at 7:30pm
$5 cover gets you admission and happy hour specials all evening

P.S.: Be sure to join us at Frankford Hall on Sunday, April 27th at noon as we team up with the Philadelphia Science Festival for our Nerd Nite Brunch: Body vs. Booze event!


Nerd Nite 35: Pompeiian Society, Bio-archaeology, and Volcanoes off the Jersey Coast

Yo Nerds,

Are you ready for a special edition Nerd Nite? On Wednesday, March 12, we’re teaming up with the Franklin Institute to bring you some special talks highlighting life and death in that storied ancient city of Pompeii PLUS a talk by a local geologist who will talk about current volcanic research to tie everything into the 21st century. To shake things up a little bit, we’ll be trying out some nerdy quizzo in between speakers with special prizes from the Franklin and Frankford Hall. Without further ado, the talks at hand:


Dr. Brian Rose: Dining and Lovemaking in Pompeii

The destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 CE allows us to reconstruct extensively the nature of daily life in an Early Imperial Roman town, especially the residents’ attitudes toward food and sex. Dr. Rose presents an overview of those attitudes by examining the archaeological discoveries in both cities, including the wall paintings, mosaics, dining rooms, and food remains. The discussion also includes cookbooks and dinner parties as well as prostitution and same-sex relationships.

Bio: Brian Rose is the James B. Pritchard Professor of Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania and Deputy Director of the University’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He has been excavating at Troy since 1988, where he has been Head of Post-Bronze Age Excavations at the site for nearly two decades, and is also co-director of the Gordion Excavations in central Turkey. He excavated at Aphrodisias for five years, and his survey project in the Granicus River Valley focused on recording and mapping the Greco-Persian tombs that dominate the area.


Dr. Janet Monge: Herculaneum: The Archaeology of Catastrophe—Life and Death in a Roman Resort Town

On a hot summer day in the bustling Bay of Naples, Mt. Vesuvius explodes and rains down superheated gas and lava onto the nearby towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Some inhabitants of Herculaneum escaped into beach caves used to store boats for the heavy marine traffic into the cove. Their deaths by heat shock, which instantly killed its victims by vaporizing their soft tissues while preserving their hard bony skeletons under layers of volcanic ash, affords a unique opportunity to study life and death among the ancient Romans in ways that are truly unique in the study of the bioarchaeology of the ancient world.

Bio: Janet Monge has done fieldwork in many locations in Europe, Kenya and Australia. Her primary interest is in the development of methodologies to preserve and broadcast datasets to the physical anthropology community using Computed Tomography, traditional radiology, and human dental micro-anatomy as well as in the distribution of the highest quality castings of human fossils to Universities and Museums all over the world. She teaches courses in Forensic Anthropology and has been engaged in many forensic case studies involving skeletal, burned, mutilated and mummified human remain.



Laura Guertin: How Volcanoes Make Our Lives Exciting – Even on the East Coast

Come hear about the latest volcanic activity in Hawaii and Iceland, the volcanic threat of Yellowstone and the Canary Islands, and the future models of volcanoes forming along the Jersey Shore, and see how well you sleep tonight…

Bio: Laura Guertin, or “Dr. G” as her students refer to her, is a marine geologist and teaches at Penn State Brandywine. She is a passionate educator that cares deeply about increasing the scientific and geographic literacy of students pursuing non-science degrees. Dr. G loves the outdoors, visiting natural National Parks, geocaching/Earthcaching, and is a #NASASocial alum. Find her on Twitter @guertin and on the web


Plus! Quizzo with prizes from Frankford Hall, the Franklin Institute, the Penn Museum, and the Philadelphia Science Festival



The details:

Wednesday, March 12

Doors at 7:00PM, show starts at 7:30pm

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

Nerd Nite No. 34: Gamer Romance, Sirius in the Sky, and Victorian Love & Death

Hey Friends, are you ready for a fantastic Nerd Nite? We know we’ve been missing all of you plus the fine beers at Frankford Hall during our hiatus. So we’re back and better than ever. The ever important logistical details:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

doors at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm

Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard

$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy edutainment, plus food and drink specials.

The talks at hand are as follows:


“Love, Pixels, & Exploring Romance in Video Games” by Eric Smith

If someone were to ask you what the Greatest Love Story of All Time was, and what it was that made said story so great, what would be your answer? Chances are, you might not bring up Shadow of the Colossus or Final Fantasy VII. Which is ridiculous, because come on. In this talk, we’ll explore the oft forgotten romantic genre… of video games.

Bio: Eric Smith is the co-founder of Geekadelphia and the Philly Geek Awards, and the social media manager at Quirk Books. He’s the author of The Geek’s Guide to Dating, and his debut YA novel, Inked, is due out this Fall with Bloomsbury Spark. He’s written for The Huffington Post, Boing Boing, BuzzFeed, BookRiot, The Bygone Bureau, Geekosystem, and more. He enjoys bad movies, good books, and old fashioned cocktails. Hi Nena! <3


“When the Stars Align – The Convergence of Art & Science” by John Caperton

The Print Center’s Demetrius Oliver exhibition, Canicular, is conceived in direct response to the curator’s request for the artist to think as expansively as possible about what constitutes a print (printed work being the core of The Print Center’s mission), and reflects the artist’s longtime desire to create an installation requiring a radical shift in the typical functions of an organization and its gallery spaces. In this case, the artist essentially converted the gallery spaces into an observatory which will only be open for one hour each night (Tuesday-Saturday 7:00pm-8:00pm, weather permitting) to coincide with the rising of Sirius in the night sky. Canicular is a new video installation that will consist of a projected, live-feed from a high-power telescope focused on Sirius (the brightest star in the night sky). The video, a live-feed from a telescope mounted on the roof of the Franklin Institute, will be projected in a round structure, built within one of The Print Center’s galleries to resemble a small observatory.

Bio: John Caperton, Jensen Bryan Curator of The Print Center, curated a solo exhibition by New York City artist Demetrius Oliver entitled Canicular on view through March 22 at The Print Center. Oliver is known for creating elegant, improvisatory, site-specific installations using photography, sculpture and video to record the act of sidereal observation itself. His work draws heavily on a variety of disparate intellectual interests related to interpreting phenomena, including American transcendentalism, music of the spheres, and the history of cosmology, weaving them into spectacular, cohesive works of self-exploration and expression.


“True Love Never Dies: Victorians, Burials and the State of Amour” by Alexis Jeffcoat

The woman who left behind her heart, the ashes that were pulverized to make room for two souls; the pomp and circumstance of arctic explorer’s burial with the sad state of his lover in a pauper’s grave. These are love stories. And hate stories, too. Lust, loathing, passion, devotion; all of it follows us to the grave. Be it all-consuming, romantic or even scandalous; love does not end with death and no one was surer of that than our Victorian predecessors. Sit back, grab a drink, and snuggle up: we’re about to gossip like its 1872. The dresses were long, the love was torrid and the burials? Dramatic.

Bio: Alexis received her undergraduate degree in Psychology and European History from Temple University and her Masters in Arts & Humanities from Arcadia University. She manages marketing and programming for the Friends of Laurel Hill Cemetery, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Laurel Hill Cemetery as a historic site. As a fan of history, Alexis enjoys sharing the stories of the cemetery’s varied “residents” and no, she has not yet seen a ghost.


Plus Joey Sweeney with some sweet acoustic sounds.


See you fine Nerds there!


Nerd Nite No. 34: February 12, 2014

Hey Nerds!

The first Nerd Nite of 2014 is right around the corner–Wednesday, February 12. So that you can plan to be there and be square, the details on the evening in question:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

doors at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm

Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard

$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials, and a chance to hear from the following folks:

  • Eric Smith: “Love, Pixels, & Exploring Romance in Video Games”
  • John Caperton: “When the Stars Align – The Convergence of Art & Science”
  • Alexis Jeffcoat: “True Love Never Dies: Victorians, Burials and the State of Amour”

Plus music by Joey Sweeney!

Nerd Nite No. 33: December 4, 2013. Self-Optimization, Space Launches, and Dinosaur Extinction!

Hey Nerds! We’re just a week away from the last Nerd Nite of 2013. We have a great line up, two anniversaries, a farewell, and a terrific line up to boot.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp 

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue


This is an extra special evening for the Philly Nerd Nite team.

  • For one, we are celebrating the 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the first ever Nerd Nite in Boston.
  • ALSO!  This is the 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the first ever Philly Nerd Nite!
  • More locally important, our long time Nerd boss Michelle is leaving for bigger and better nerdy things. Michelle, who we are sure will return as a spectator when she can, will be departing Philadelphia for the warmer climes on the campus of UVA where she has taken a job as assistant professor of Pharmacology. PLEASE consider stopping by to wish her well, thank her for growing NN Philly into today’s success AND hear her give a talk about something near and dear to her nerdy heart.

The talks at hand:
“Quantified Self – how to be a better nerd” by Russel Walters

All the Nerds are doing it – well they will be soon.  Quantified Self – self knowledge through numbers. From the Nike+ Fuelband, fitbit, body media, Zeo or just your iPhone there are many tools available to monitor yourself. Nerds everywhere are tracking their steps, heart variability, sleep, movement, posture, mood, diet, weight, their life. People have been self-tracking forever, but now the tools are easier, the hardware is smaller and more versatile, data is in the cloud and the user interface is nicer.  They promise to change health care, make us health and more productive… to optimize our lives.  Is all this self study really useful?

Bio: Russ earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. During graduate school, Russ co-founded the nanotechnology start-up Ocular Technologies. Ocular commercialized a patterned SAM coating for beer glasses, when water was applied to these patterned surfaces an image was produced with the water.  Now at Johnson & Johnson, Russ mostly studies the skin and how skin care products interact with the skin.  His current beer-related research mostly consists of quality control testing in various taverns throughout the Philadelphia region.

“Anatomy of a Space Shuttle Launch” by Joshua Moskowitz

Successfully launching any spacecraft, especially one as complex as the Space Shuttle, is the result of thousands of carefully planned and executed events.  It requires years of preparation, training, and hard work by thousands of people.   Anatomy of a Space Shuttle Launch will explore some of the events that take place before and after lift-off, when and why they must occur, and what can happen if they don’t.  Strap yourselves in and get ready, because what goes up doesn’t always have to come down.

Bio: From 2004 – 2010 Joshua Moskowitz worked as a Mechanical Systems Flight Control Officer in NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  He supported 19 space shuttle missions from the MCC while performing a variety of functions.  He also drank beer with astronauts and once made a paper clip chain nearly 3 feet long.

“K-T and the Iridium Band” by Michelle Bland

65 million years ago, three-quarters of Earth’s species went extinct.  It was a bad time for dinosaurs and a good time for mammals.  This extinction event is preserved in the rock layers that mark the end of the Cretaceous and the beginning of the Paleogene (formerly called the Tertiary). That dividing line in time, space and biodiversity – the K-T boundary – is one centimeter thick, and it contains multitudes.  Among the topics for discussion are: neutron activation analysis, iridium, disaster taxa, and Eugene Shoemaker’s greatness as a human being.

Bio: Michelle Bland is a biologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies insulin signaling by making fruit flies diabetic.  She is the co-founder and a boss of Philly Nerd Nite.  She likes dive bars and soul music.

Music by Nerd Nite alums Los Festingos
A Festingo: One whom expands the musical universe through creative, humorous, and often outrageous feats of harmonious excellence.

The price: $5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials.

Nerd Nite No. 32, November 6, 2013

Hey Nerds!

First – a big thanks to everyone who came to our Halloween party.  We had a blast, and we hope you guys did too.  And you certainly did not disappoint in the costume contests.  From some extreme nerds to Mary Poppins to Bunnicula to Doc, Marty, and a Flux Capacitor, we were amazed by your talents all evening long.  Mad props.

We now return to our regularly scheduled programming with a smorgasbord of nerd goodness.  Details:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013
doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard, 2 blocks from the Girard St blue line stop
$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials


The lectures at hand:

“How the Universe is Trying to Kill You” by John Bochanski

While the night sky looks peaceful and serene, it is anything but. Near and far, the universe is full of hazards that pose a threat to all life on Earth.  We’ll take a look at a few, and look at some ways that astronomers are trying to identify the most eminent threats. While I can’t tell you when and where the next threat might strike, I can tell you that Bruce Willis and nuclear bomb is not the way to go.

Bio: John Bochanski is an astronomer and visiting professor at Haverford College.  John is also a blogger for Sky and Telescope magazine and volunteers for the Philadelphia Science Festival.  Hailing from South Jersey, John graduated from Villanova and got his Ph.D. in Seattle from the University of Washington.  After that, he worked at MIT and Penn State, before coming back to Philly.  When not contemplating the mysteries of the Universe, John can be found watching the game, or out on a run around town.

“Jeffro Kilpatrick: Bury My Bones in Ink” by Jeffro Kilpatrick

Kilpatrick will discuss how he uses art and cartooning in all ends of his life, from his career to charity to social circles to wooing the love of his life. He will show examples of his work referencing geeky pop culture, his fascination with Philly and Fishtown, and his obsession with the world’s maudlin, rambling, nocturnal creatures.

Bio: Jeffro Kilpatrick is a Philly cartoonist, born and raised in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia. He is a co-founder of the Philadelphia Cartoonist Society ( and a proud member of the Meathaus Comics Collective ( He spends his days and weekends teaching art to Philly middle school students, and his nights hunched over the same drawing table he had when he was a kid.

“From 76ers Cheerleader to Science Cheerleader” by Darlene Cavalier
Cavalier will guide us through her unlikely journey from the sidelines of the 76ers to center stage of the citizen science movement where she and her team at SciStarter (a popular online citizen science community) connect thousands of people to hundreds of crowdsourcing projects. Now you, too, can classify galaxies, track migration patterns, build $10 spectrometers, and even collect microbes during an upcoming 76ers game! And, yes, she’ll also talk about the rise of the Science Cheerleaders (250 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers) who catalyze citizen science projects across the country.
Bio: Darlene Cavalier is the founder of, a one-stop-shop for citizen scientists and a share space where researchers recruit participants.  She is also the founder of ScienceCheerleader, an organization that creates mechanisms for public engagement in scientific research and policy discussions, but is far better known for giving rise to the “Science Cheerleaders” comprised of more than 250 current and former NFL and NBA cheerleaders who are also scientists and engineers. Cavalier herself was a cheerleader for the Philadelphia 76ers. These so-called Science Cheerleaders playfully challenge stereotypes, inspire young women to consider science careers, and involve people from all walks of life in citizen science.  She has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, NPR, ESPN, Discover, the Washington Post, Fox National Headline News and more, and is a frequent public speaker on all things related to public engagement in science.  Cavalier is the Director of Special Projects at Discover Magazine. She holds a MLA from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia where she resides with her husband and four children.AND!!!
SKELETOR is the host of popular Karaoke Gong Show for more than six years at the Trocadero. It is the most evil and FUN Karaoke show you will ever attend. Carmen Martella III portrays a parody of Skeletor, the overlord of evil, from the 80′s cartoon “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.” The next Karaoke Gong Show is Friday November 15th!

Nerd Nite No. 31, October 31, 2013 – HALLOWEEN PARTY!


Get out your needle and thread, your hot glue guns, your stage makeup and your nerd glasses, because we are having a Nerd Nite Halloween Party!  It will be a horrifying yet delightful mash-up of a regular Halloween party and a regular Nerd Nite.  To wit: we’ll have a costume contest with rad prizes brought to you by Quirk Books, Frankford Hall and the Nerd Nite Philly team.  See details in the flyer below for costume contest categories.  We’ll have candy, we’ll have beer (with happy hour specials all night long) and we’ll also have speakers.

Thursday, October 31, 8 pm onward

Frankford Hall


In particular, we’re excited to bring you the 2013 Geek Award-winning Scientist of the Year and great friend of Nerd Nite Kimberlee Moran who will spook you with “Tales from the Crypt”.  Nerd Nite co-boss Michelle Bland will scare you silly with “Horrors of Invertebrate Genetics”.  Blurbs below:

“Tales from the Crypt” by Kimberlee Moran
Ghosts, vampires, and zombies…oh my!  This Halloween learn the science behind death and some of our favorite ghouls.  We’ll learn about what happens to the body as it decomposes along with the facts behind vampires.  Finally, you’ll sleep easy tonight after learning why you’re safe from a zombie apocalypse.

“Horrors of Invertebrate Genetics” by Michelle Bland
Biologists love making and finding new mutations to get a handle on how life works.  Sometimes, though, nature turns out to be made up of the stuff of nightmares.  Witness the dreadful spectacle of Drosophila development gone awry!  Sit transfixed in terror at the menace of zombified insects!  And learn the horrifying meaning of “bag of worms”.

NN & FH halloween

Nerd Nite No. 30! October 9, 2013

Dear Nerds,

What card-carrying nerd doesn’t love transportation in any or all of its varied forms?  Can it only be us Nerd Nite bosses who wonder how your suitcase moves from the check in counter to the guts of your plane?  Do you ever ponder the vastness of the SEPTA system and wonder about the nitty gritty details of its operation?  Do you long for the day when Philadelphians can share bikes freely like those silly Manhattanites up in New York?  Well, if you don’t, start now!  This Nerd Nite is all about planes, trains and bicycles!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
doors at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard, 2 blocks from the Girard St. blue line stop
$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials

The lectures at hand:

“A Bag’s Life:  A behind the scene’s view of your luggage’s journey through the airport“ by Renee Tufts

An airport’s operation involves more than just the movement of planes and passengers. There are many behind the scenes activities in this tiny “City within the City” that orchestrate the movement of you and your belongings to your destination as safely, securely and efficiently as possible. This presentation will review the typical (or in some cases…not so typical) voyage your luggage takes through the airport.

Bio: Renee Tufts has more than 13 years of aviation experience and has been the Airport Security Manager for the Philadelphia International Airport for the past eight years.  Renee studied at the University of North Dakota earning a degree in Airport Management and holds a Private Pilot’s license. She started her aviation career at Philadelphia International Airport as an Airport Administrative Trainee in the Security Department in 2000.  Over the next 5 years she rose through the ranks to become the Security Manager of one of the busiest International Airports in the United States.

“SEPTA’s Wayside Energy Storage Project: How The Train That Brought You Here is Changing the Transit Industry” by Erik Johanson and Andrew Gillespie

For nearly 100 years, SEPTA’s Letterly Substation in Kensington has been powering a portion of the Market-Frankford Line. Last summer, SEPTA officially unveiled a new device that turned the facility into a cutting edge home of an emerging power technology. That technology is called “wayside energy storage,” and it has the potential to transform energy-consuming trains into rolling power generators for years to come. Made possible by a $900,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA), SEPTA partnered with Philadelphia-based smart grid firm Viridity Energy to design and implement a storage system to capture, store, and reuse “regenerative energy” created by braking trains. This game-changing innovation has received global recognition for its use of smart grid platforms to improve the cost effectiveness of this energy-saving technology. SEPTA’s second storage device, at Griscom Substation in Northeast Philadelphia, is on the way.

Erik Johanson is the Manager of Strategic Business Planning for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In this position, Mr. Johanson is primarily responsible for managing SEPTA’s Strategic Planning agenda, including its Sustainability Program and public reporting of associated performance metrics. Mr. Johanson is the co-chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Sustainability Commitment Subcommittee and Sustainability Metrics Working Group. A native and resident of Philadelphia, Mr. Johanson holds a Masters Degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Tufts University.

Andrew Gillespie is the Chief Engineer of Engineering, Maintenance and Construction for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In this position, Mr. Gillespie’s oversees all aspects of the authorities Power, Buildings, Bridges, Track, Signal and Communications infrastructure.  An alumnus of Northeastern University in Boston, Mr. Gillespie has worked in the transportation business for over 23 years.  Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Mr. Gillespie’s was SEPTA’s Chief Engineering Officer – Power and was responsible for the implementation of several of SEPTA’s sustainability projects, including SEPTA’s Wayside Energy Storage Project.

“How bike share will alter space, time and maybe even your body” by Andrew Stober

In Fall of 2014 Philadelphia will launch the first phase of a world class bike share system. Andrew Stober, Chief of Staff of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), will provide a sneak preview of what the City is planning. More importantly, he will explain how bike share is the love child of the Concorde and Richard Simmons.

Bio: Andrew is proud that his work touches the daily life of every Philadelphian – from the least resourced to the most privileged. Since 2008, he and the MOTU team have secured tens of millions of dollars in grants for City transportation projects, reestablished the City’s energy office, and led key bicycle, pedestrian, transit and traffic safety initiatives.  Andrew pretty much remembers every train trip and flight he has ever taken and would love to tell you about them at the end of the program – if you’re ready to close Frankford Hall down with him.

And! Entertainment by Mr. F. Omar Telan

F. Omar Telan has directed at La Mama ETC; performed at the Dodge Poetry Festival, PS122, the Philippine Embassy; published in “A Gathering of the Tribes”, “Apiary Magazine”, 225 Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind; and modeled in Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body.

Be there and be square!


Nerd Nite No. 29, September 18, 2013

Hey Nerds! September Nerd Nite is a little later this month, but no less awesome. We have a *jam-packed* evening ready for you and we’re doing it with the help of our friends at the Green Philly Blog and Clean Air Council. Our line up includes a little sustainability, some folksy music, and the inside scoop on the new beer that Yards Brewing Company has cooked up. So are you folks ready to welcome in the school year with some Nerd Nite?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013
doors at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard
$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials

“Recycle-full-cycle in Philadelphia” by Phil Bresee

Recycling has come a long way in Philadelphia during the past few years. The City’s new-ish recycling chief and self-proclaimed ‘garbage geek’ will chart progress, future challenges, and share some of his perspectives on managing solid waste in the City of Neighborhoods.

About Phil: As the recycling director for the City of Philadelphia, Phil Bresee guides and supports a number of solid waste and recycling program and planning initiatives, including the update to the city’s solid waste management plan, public outreach efforts, the recyclables processing contract, and the Philly Recycling Rewards incentives program. Bresee is also spearheading improvements to the City’s commercial recycling efforts. He came to Philadelphia in July 2012 from Broward County Florida, where he guided the county’s recycling programs including the county’s innovative project that studied the feasibility of using pulverized recycled glass for beach erosion control.

“A year behind bars and 5 more in the public sector” by Kristin Sullivan

Ostensibly “boring” information about how the City manages its use of electricity, natural gas, and steam will be presented. To Kristin, however it is anything but boring. The City uses over 3.5 Million MMBtus a year in just about 800 facilities. Kristin will dazzle you with dizzying facts and made up units of measure. We’ll bore into figures about the City’s work and our plan to manage that usage down and thus reduce its costs to taxpayers. Maybe you couldn’t care less about the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt-hour. Perhaps you think an MMBtu is just an extreme bra size. No matter. Kristin will pepper in some details about a 14,000 mile bicycle trip she took from Alaska to Argentina over the course of a year to get people to think a little bit more about their impact on the earth.

About Kristin: Kristin Sullivan is the Energy Manager for the City of Philadelphia. Her work in utility conservation and distributed energy generation straddles both the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities. Kristin began her career as an energy analyst with an international energy consulting firm and then as a development manager for Iberdrola Renewables, a large scale wind energy company. In 2004, she created, an environmental education and toured and lectured throughout North and South America on a bicycle trip from Fairbanks, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. The 14,055 mile trip was supported by individual, environmental non-profit, and corporate sponsors, and took 355 days to complete. Kristin Sullivan graduated from Gettysburg College, Majoring in Environmental Studies and Biology, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Natural Resources sector in Honduras from 1998 to 2000.

“The Art & Science of Landscape Architecture” by Eric Wahl

Long before the profession was named, Landscape Architecture played a significant role in our everyday lives. From agrarian and rural landscapes to private gardens, towns, and neighborhoods, people lived in, borrowed from, and captured views of their surroundings. The threads of Art and Science of these special places are woven through our history, which we should learn from, and indeed improve upon for a sustainable and healthy future. In this presentation, we’ll go from historical contributions to the landscape, to contemporary design patterns that evolved over time that all help to create the Landscape of Man.

About Eric: Eric holds a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Temple University, and is a registered Landscape Architect in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and was recently appointed President of the Delaware Board of Landscape Architecture. Eric is also the current Vice-President of the Delaware Native Plant Society, and an adjunct professor on Sustainable Sites and Landscaping at Delaware Technical & Community College in Georgetown, Delaware. Eric strives for a balance between the built and the natural environments. With an eye towards ecological awareness, his designs lean toward sustainability and foster an ecological stewardship.


Between lectures and to entertain you wonderful nerds is Midwestern Exposure. A Philadelphia based roots rock trio consisting of Cam Clark, Jeff Goldman and Forrest Wright, Midwestern Exposure combines Blues, Folk and Rock into a great original sound.

But, wait! There’s more! As a prelude to this special evening, we will have Franklin Winslow, former research microbiologist and current Director of Quality Assurance at Yards Brewing Company, talk about a new German Pale Ale recently brewed up, applying the Reinheitsgebot to Burton-on-Trent.


Nerd Nite No. 28, August 7, 2013

Hey Nerds!

August – so much good in August!

1) the Nerd Nite Global Fest up in Brooklyn from August 16-18 featuring our own Rocky Parker talking about serpent scents and sex and Trevor McElroy talking about Dolley Madison and beer brewing in Revolutionary times. We are so excited to have two Philly reps!

2) Heck yeah!! We’ve been nominated for a Philly Geek Award in the category of Event of the Year! Thanks so much to everyone that wrote in to nominate us. The awards ceremony is on August 17th, and we’ll be there.

3) The August Philly Nerd Nite is Wednesday the 7th, and we have a great show planned. Details:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013
doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard
$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials

The lectures at hand:

“The Industrial Uses of Fungus” by Samuel Bledsoe

When people hear “Mushroom research” their automatic response is either drugs or the black mold that grows in the shower. However, people have been using it to help make things for centuries, such as food and beer. I’ll be focusing on 6 species – Aspergillus niger and oryzae, Trichoderma Reesei and harzianum, Rhizopus stolonifer, and Pencillium chrysogenum. They are used for bio-control, bio-chemistry, medicine, and food, and play an important part in our daily lives.

“The Psychology of a Cosplayer” by Jo Pincushion

You’ve seen them at comic shows, Star Trek conventions and pretty much everywhere else nerds gather: cosplayers. But what inspires men and women of all ages and backgrounds to dress up like their favorite pop culture characters? In this speech, Jo Pincushion — a cosplayer herself — explores the mindset of those who enjoy transforming their appearance into that of their comic book and celluloid heroes.

Bio: Jo Pincushion is a Philadelphia area writer/performer who regularly contributes to Geekadelphia, The Real Stan Lee, Things Women Want, Quirk Books and Rock on Philly. She is also the host of the Pincushion Podcast, and will be teaching night courses on Tim Burton and horror films at Main Line School Night in the fall. For more information on all of her endeavors, visit

“My Life, My Digital Memory, In Over 11,000 Tweets” by Thomas Dixon
Just over one year ago, the Nerd Nite audience bore witness to my talk, “Traumatic Brain Injury? Technologically Beyond It!”, in which I shared both how I had developed episodic memory loss in light of having been hit by a car while I was on a run AND my extensive use of technology to replace my episodic memory function. Essentially, I have used my iPhone’s calendar as a prospective memory aid and my private Twitter feed as a retrospective memory aid, tweeting my life’s events as I see fit. These strategies provide so much information about one’s own life, particularly as there are now ~11.5k tweets over the span of two years, seven months, and eleven days (or 954 days, but who’s counting?), that it felt fitting to dig into the details of my “digital memory” to present what’s in it. Also, the question arises: Will we all make the switch to digital memory someday?

Bio: He’s back! Thomas Dixon returns to Nerd Nite with this talk, just over a year since his last NN appearance. He has since kept himself occupied with his Masters of Education program in educational psychology at Temple University (and it’s over half-way done now! He can see the light!), resuming his New Year’s Eve trips by being in Amsterdam for NYE 2013, and joining an archaeological survey team in Belize for the excavation of Mayan ruins for two weeks this past month. While all of that is exciting, it’s for returning to Nerd Nite that this nerd is excited!

And! Featuring Chiptunes by Storm Blooper aka Chris De Pew
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