> Nerd Nite Special Edition: The Philadelphia Science Festival!

Nerd Nite Special Edition: The Philadelphia Science Festival!

The April edition of Nerd Nite takes place during the Philadelphia Science Festival, a two week event where Philadelphia’s schools, universities, cultural institutions, and research centers will come together as a single, united voice to put science in the spotlight.  Check out http://www.philasciencefestival.org/ for a complete schedule of events.

Also – note that we are lowering the cover to three dollars!  That’s right.  Bring some one dollar bills and help us out with the change making.

Nerd Nite Special Edition: The Philadelphia Science Festival!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

MarBar at 40th and Walnut

Doors at 7:30, show starts at 8, $3 cover


“Are Males the More Interesting Sex?” by Faye Flam

Males have been called the secondary sex, the mutant sex, a biological afterthought. Some have even called them unnecessary. According to my book on the evolution of males, this is not only mean but wrong. I’ll explain not only why males are important – even essential – to many organisms we know and love, but also how males evolved and what they brought to the table. In the process we’ll explore whether monogamy is part of human nature, why men have nipples, what’s happening to the Y chromosome, what that business with the G-spot is all about, and why some male bees explode after having sex. We’ll also explore what we can learn about ourselves from transgender fish, gay sheep and the sex life of the giant squid.

Bio: Faye Flam will go anywhere in search of a good story – from the research station at the South Pole, to NASA’s nausea-inducing zero-g plane, to Iceland’s shocking “penis museum.” She holds a degree in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology. She’s written for Science News, New Scientist, and the Economist. In the early 1990s, she was a staff writer at Science, covering high energy particle physics and cosmology.  She came to the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1995 because it seemed like a good idea at the time. She’s known for creating an unholy marriage of science and sex in her column, Carnal Knowledge, and more recently for launching an even more unholy column called Planet of the Apes.  Her new book is The Score: How The Quest For Sex Has Shaped The Modern Man.

“The Marcellus shale, life after death after life.” by George Love

The Marcellus shale, a fine-grained sedimentary horizon of Devonian age, is rapidly becoming a significant target for exploration in Pennsylvania. Projections of its value have pushed it into position as a world class suppository of nature gas. This talk will examine how such an event came to happen, how its formation has transformed organic-rich digestive leavings and associated body parts into a much sought after commodity, and the heroic efforts employed by capitalist organizations to clothe themselves in this sweet smell of success.

Bio: George Love is just a geologist with few redeeming qualities.  He has done time in a variety of geotechnical and mining endeavors, most recently serving time as PA State Geologist.

“Habitable Zones: Astrobiology and the Search for Life Beyond Earth” by Marc S Kaufman

Since the beginning of humankind, people have imagined life in the skies — angels, gods, heavens filled with the eternally rewarded, djinns and, more recently, little green men, UFOs and ETs of all kinds.  Now, for the first time in human history, we have the scientific knowledge and technology to actually learn what might really be out there.  The red-hot field of astrobiology has brought us to this point, with its discoveries of a universe of exoplanets (and potentially billions in habitable zones), with breakthroughs that prove the chemical building blocks for life exist throughout the cosmos, with new understandings about how and where extreme life exists on Earth, and with a growing consensus that Mars was once wet, warm, and potentially hospitable for life.

Bio: Marc Kaufman is a science writer at the Washington Post, after more than three decades of being a foreign correspondent, beat reporter, magazine writer and more primarily for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Post.  His first book, “First Contact: Scientific Breakthroughs in the Hunt for Life Beyond Earth”, was released by Simon & Schuster this month.  He has traveled the world for two years reporting on the science and scientists of astrobiology.


Musical Entertainment by: West Philadelphia Orchestra

An eclectic ensemble made up of Philly’s finest and wildest musicians performing trumpets, clarinet, drums, saxophones and sousaphone, the West Philadelphia Orchestra will get you moving with the poignant melodies and the frenetic, propulsive rhythms of Eastern Europe. Enjoy a unique mix of Balkan and klezmer sounds, the powerful rhythms of samba and dancehall, the growling energy of punk rock, the spontaneity of jazz, and, of course, the soul and grit of Philadelphia.


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