> Philly Nerd Nite No. 4, March 10, 2011

Philly Nerd Nite No. 4, March 10, 2011

The next Nerd Nite is Thursday March 10th, 2011.  Doors at 7:30, Show at 8:00. The $5 cover gets you drink specials and a whole lot of lore in the areas of ancient wine-consumption habits, Philadelphia’s centennial exhibition in 1876, and the many uses of yeast, beloved organism of beer drinkers, bread bakers and geneticists!

Nerd Nite will be held at our *new venue*, MarBar at 200 S. 40th St. (at Walnut).

The new venue is wheelchair accessible, easily reachable by public transportation (including the blue line which makes a stop at 40th and Market), and features drink specials ($3 beers, $4 well drinks, $5 wine).  Most importantly, Nerd Nite doesn’t share the MarBar space with any other event, so no more competition with sports games or downstairs bands!  Plus, there’s a lot of seating.  So come check out the new space!

We’re excited to bring a group of great speakers to our first night at the new location:

“Drunk like a Scythian! Ancient attitudes towards wine.” by Jill Weber, archeologist and owner of Jet Wine Bar

Do you drink like a Scythian?  I do!  These accomplished horsemen drank their wine undiluted with water, a fact that chagrined the Greeks.  Of course, like the Mongols, they also drank fermented mare’s milk.  But it was the wine that led to bawdiness and madness, and a enhanced their reputation for uncouth incivility.   Attitudes toward alcohol and inebriation are integrally tied to attitudes about social roles and values, and differentiating one’s (highly sophisticated, of course) culture from another’s barbarian existence.

Bio:  Jill Weber received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2006.  This has allowed her to continue her travels to Syria, Turkey and Armenia – making many other stops and drinking lots of wine along the way.  She opened Jet Wine Bar in Philadelphia in November of 2010, and continues to drink lots of wine!

“The Whole World Revolves Around Philadelphia: The Great Centennial Exhibition of 1876” by Rob Armstrong, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation Department

In 1876, Philadelphia was the center of the world as it hosted the first major World’s Fair in the United States. The great Centennial Exhibition, officially known as the International Exhibition of Arts, Manufactures and Products of the Soil and Mine, took place in Fairmount Park. It was a grand, sprawling Victorian marvel to behold, attracting roughly 10 million visitors between May and November of 1876.  Sadly, almost all of the structures were demolished after the Fair with only the Catholic Total Abstinence Fountain, Memorial Hall and the Ohio House remaining in the Park’s landscape. This talk will highlight Victorian Philadelphia and the wonders of the Fair’s architecture and inventions introduced such as Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone and the Corliss Steam Engine.  In addition, we will view many of the sites of the Fair through stereoscopic images produced as souvenirs.

Bio:  Rob Armstrong is a Ph.D. candidate at Lehigh University studying the history and development of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park system from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. By day, he works for the Planning, Preservation and Property Management Division of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation managing a variety of projects, including: trail construction, canal dredging, historic preservation and storm water management. In his spare time, he enjoys home brewing, bicycling around the City and collecting and listening to LP records.

“The Joys of Fermentation” by Phillip Seitz, master beer brewer

Yeast is just like us—it eats, reproduces, pees and farts.  While we also enjoy these things, yeasts raise them to an art form.  As a result we get hundred of kinds of beer—especially all those delicious Belgians!—breads of many varieties—sourdough!—and even disgusting brewers’ yeast products for those who can’t leave well enough alone.  This talk will provide an overview of the brewing and breadmaking processes, and explain how yeasts are used differently to provide the many different flavors we know, love and detest.

Bio:  Phillip Seitz is a Certified Beer Judge, an accomplished home brewer and an artisan bread baker. Until recently he was Curator of History and Fermentation at Cliveden, Philadelphia’s National Historic Landmark and Battleground. He has also worked at the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress and as an historian for the Smithsonian Institution, documenting Soviet space medicine, the Manhattan Project, the development of automated DNA sequencing and cell sorting equipment, and the full body CT scanner.

Featuring: the return of Bill Pierce for some juggling redemption!

See you Thursday March 10 at MarBar!

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