Are you nerds ready for another Nerd Nite? We’ve got a fun one lined up for you filled with laughs, weirdness, scandal, and mysteries of the universe. Want to learn more? Join us Wednesday, March 4 @ Frankford Hall (as always).
Mike Bair, “Antarctica, It’s Weirder than You”
A brief exploration of Antarctica and the people who work there…. No need to listen. I’m bringing pictures.
About Mike: Mike Bair became a member of the United States Antarctic Program after serving six years as a sonar technician in the navy. He is one of 3000 people to have ever wintered-over in Antarctica.
Mary Pilon, “The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World’s Favorite Board Game”
For years, the story of Monopoly’s origins was that the game was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression and lived happily–and richly–ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord’s Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game–underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today–was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt’s famed Brain Trust.
David Schaffner, “It’s 2015: Where is My Mr. Fusion? (and other burning plasma physics questions…)”
It’s not shocking that Hollywood doesn’t always get science right. It might have been a little presumptuous for the Back to the Future writers to expect fusion power plants on our flying cars by 2015, but, really, how far off were they? And how much do we really know about this stuff called plasma that is often blithely identified as the 4th state of matter? Even though 99% of the visible universe is known to consist of plasma, there is still so much we do not understand. From the enormous, dangerous plumes of plasma ejected by the sun into the solar wind, to the sterile glow of a fluorescent light bulb, you may be surprised to learn just how much plasma affects us in our daily lives. As part of a series of Nerd Nite talks across the country in conjunction with Global Plasma Month, I’ll try to navigate you through this sea of hot charged particles, hopefully without getting zapped.
About David: David Schaffner is a postdoctoral researcher at Swarthmore College where he spends his time blowing magnetic bubbles of plasma in a vacuum chamber and studying their turbulent properties. He is interested in a broad array of plasma physics topics including the quest for controlled fusion power, but is particularly focused on recreating astrophysical turbulence in a laboratory setting.
Plus! Stand up by Stephanie Yuhas!
Wednesday, February 4
Doors open at 4pm. Show starts at 7:30pm
$5 cover gets you admission plus happy hour specials all night
Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
Be there and be square!
Nerd Nite Philly