> Nerd Nite No. 25, May 15, 2013

Nerd Nite No. 25, May 15, 2013

Yo Nerds!

Fast on the heels of the Philadelphia Science Festival, we bring you an eclectic mix of nerdosity.  Be prepared to hear about the following hot topics: 1) earwax (for realz), 2) an ancient and defunct Philly landmark, and 3) Mr. T.

Sadly, this Nerd Nite is the last one for Nerd Nite boss Matt Young.  Lucky us though, because he’s agreed to play guitar and sing some songs –  he’s a boss on guitar too.  Please come out and wish him well before he moves down south!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard
$5 cover gets you nerdiness and food and drink specials

We pity the fool that doesn’t attend this Nerd Nite.

“Stink, Stank, Stunk . . . The Science of Human Earwax and Body Odor” by Kate PriggeEarwax isn’t something that most people think about on a daily basis; in fact most people do their best to get rid of it. Did you know that earwax exists in two genetically determined types: wet (sticky, yellow-colored), and dry (flaky, white)? Interestingly, earwax actually plays an important role in protecting your inner ear canal from physical damage and infection. Although earwax and body odor generally get a bad rap, both are necessary to your overall well-being. In this talk you’ll learn about the origin of human body odor and the role your genes play in earwax and body odor production.

Bio: Kate is a postdoctoral researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. She recently obtained her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. Her current research focuses on human body odors. Kate applies organic-analytical chemistry techniques along with molecular genetics and sensory evaluation methodologies to examine human odor production.

“An Indian Pole on the Edge of Town.” by Harry KyriakodisThe “Indian Pole” was an ancient Philly landmark, once located at 4th and Vine, that no longer exists. Learn about this 85 foot high pole that was capped by a 9 foot tall Native American figure, holding a bow and quiver with one arm outstretched. More importantly, what happened to this crazy (though once revered) thing? Maybe you can help shed some light on this mystery, which the speaker has been investigating–in vain–for years.

Bio: A historian and writer about Philadelphia, Harry Kyriakodis has collected what is likely the largest private collection of books about the City of Brotherly Love—more than 2500 titles, new and old. Harry is the author of Philadelphia’s Lost Waterfront andNorthern Liberties: The Story of a Philadelphia River Ward, both published by The History Press. In addition, he gives walking tours and presentations on unique yet unappreciated parts of the city.

“Mr. T: Three Decades of Fool-Pitying Merchandise” by Ben Leach

If you grew up in the 1980s, Mr. T was a ubiquitous presence who preached wholesome values to kids while making a career out of punching and throwing people. All these years later, Mr. T has remained relevant in popular culture thanks in large part to serving as a spokesman for a wide variety of companies. Why do companies still seek out an action star who hit his career peak before the 1980s were even halfway over? It’s thanks in large part to Mr. T’s role as an unassuming merchandising mogul. In this presentation, you will be taken through Mr. T’s career as told entirely through merchandise, artifacts, readings, and clips related to the “man with the gold” from the 1980s until the present day from all over the world. From his own cereal and motivational tapes to some interesting choices in roles in the 1990s to selling out to shill your product, the influence of Mr. T on your life is practically inescapable.

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. He has been a published author on collectibles since he was 19, with work appearing in Lee’s Toy Review, Toyfare, and about.com. Currently, he operates a website dedicated to antiques and collectibles with his family called The Collector Gene (www.collectorgene.com) and is launching another website, Retro Play Time (www.retroplaytime.com), later this year.

And music by Matt Young!

Be there and be square.

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