> Nerd Nite, February 10, 2011

Nerd Nite, February 10, 2011

Hey Nerds!

Nerd Nite Presents
The Streets of Philadelphia!”

This Thursday, February 10th at the Field House, upstairs.  Doors at 7:30, the show starts at 8:00.   Come learn some new stories about the City of Brotherly Love.  We’ve got history, trees and a mystery!  The $5 cover gets you cheap drinks and two hours of excellent nerdosity.


“A photographic tour of Gray’s Ferry and its environs: 1700 – 1950” by Josh Nims, Operations Manager, Schuylkill River Development Corporation

A short review of the changes wrought on the Gray’s Ferry segment of the tidal Schuylkill River by the cruellest and filthiest beasts of Industry: railroads, road builders, paint factories, and animal slaughterhouses. Find yourself aghast at the serenity and verdure of 18th Century Gray’s Ferry trounced immeasurably by the pollution of greed. A relatively happy ending will also be provided.

Bio:  Hailing from the Deep South, Josh moved to Philadelphia in 1997 to attend Temple Law School.  He is now the Operations Manager for Schuylkill River Development Corporation, a public-private partnership that is implementing economic, recreational, environmental and cultural improvements on the lower (tidal) Schuylkill River between the Fairmount Dam and the Delaware River.  Josh manages the maintenance, volunteer, and individual giving programs for the trail and greenway along the tidal Schuylkill.  His job is a daily mix of city and community politics, science and architecture, basic custodial services, people management, and historical analysis.  Josh is also the founder and board chair of Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund, Inc., which is developing the Paine’s Park project on Schuylkill Banks near the Philadelphia Museum of Art and is creating smaller facilities across the City pursuant to a Master Plan for Philadelphia Skateboarding.  Josh is married to fellow nerd, Noelle Dames, who currently manages a low-income CSA program (LIFE) and the Kensington Community Kitchen for Greensgrow Farm.  They have an awesome daughter, Juniper, and reside in NW Philadelphia.

The Urban Tree Canopy Assessment: Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is so much cooler than you thought” by Sarah Low, Division of Urban Forestry and Ecosystem Management

The City of Philadelphia has taken on an ambitious goal to increase the tree canopy to 30% city wide by 2025. In order to reach that goal, we need to plant 200,000 to 300,000 trees in the next five years. But where? Using remote sensing technology and some fancy modeling, we have been able to figure out where in the city are the best opportunities and the greatest need, so that we can prioritize our efforts.

Bio:  Sarah Low holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Conservation, with an emphasis on Watershed Science and Management, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As the Director of Spatial Analysis and Conservation Planning for the Urban Forest and Ecosystem Management Division of the Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, she facilitates ecosystem planning. These days Sarah is developing an Urban Forest and Ecosystem Management Plan and helping determine through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) how to best prioritize tree plantings to meet a goal of 300,000 trees planted by 2015.

“Asphalt mosaic tiles of the Toynbee variety and beyond – what they are, and how to make your own” by Justin Duerr, Toynbee Tile Expert

“Toynbee tiles” have been spotted in Philadephia, the eastern seaboard of the US, and several locations in South America since the 1980’s. They are linoleum tile mosaics which are embedded into the asphalt in pedestrian crosswalks. For decades, hundreds of them have cropped up mysteriously, almost all of them bearing the cryptic message “Toynbee Idea/In Kubrick’s ‘2001/Resurrect Dead/On Planet Jupiter.” Despite being investigated in depth and receiving a fair amount of coverage in print media and on the internet, their origin and meaning have remained a mystery. Recently, the medium and technique of making these asphalt mosaics has caught on among street artists, and rashes of new tiles with wildly varying design and messages have begun appearing. Regardless of the identity and motivations of the originator of this street-art technique, it is undeniably an ingenious creative innovation which is only now beginning to spread widely. This talk will focus on both the history of these tiles, the future of the art-form, and will touch briefly on how you can make one of your own. As the original tiles often implored, YOU MUST MAKE AND GLUE TILES!!! YOU!!!

Bio:  Justin Duerr is a Toynbee tile scientist and researcher who has studied the Toynbee tile humanities and sciences since 1994. He is also a visual artist and musician, who has created hundreds of pictures and been part of dozens of musical ensembles, many of which have received small amounts of acclaim in isolated pockets of nearly-unknown subcultural niches. Justin was recently featured as lead Toynbee tile scientist in the award-winning feature documentary film “Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles.”

Featuring: Tragi-comic songs by Charles Latham and comedic storytelling by Will Dean.

February 10, 2011
The Field House
Doors at 7:30, the fun starts at 8
$5 cover gets you food and drink specials

see you there!

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