> Nerd Nite No. 60: Microbes, Political Campaign Memorabilia, Star Wars Collecting

Nerd Nite No. 60: Microbes, Political Campaign Memorabilia, Star Wars Collecting

It’s time for another Nerd Nite! Here’s what we have lined up for May:

“Governing Our Guts: On Food And Policing Microbes” by Nicole Welk-Joerger

Current research has suggested we need to think more about the microscopic creatures living inside of us, since they are the ones ultimately determining our weight, and health.  We’ll touch a bit upon this and take one step further – looking at how farmers are worried about the food of our food to better feed *their* microbes.  Get ready for some new meta-relations and meta-language to talk about our food system, and may the fork be with you.
Bio: Nicole Welk-Joerger is currently pursuing her PhD degree in the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania.  She looks historically and ethnographically at developments in animal nutrition science, spending a lot of time with veterinarians, farmers, and cows.

“A Chicken in Every Pot, and Campaign Memorabilia in Every Garage: The Eerily Relevant History of Presidential Campaigns” by Ben Leach

Presidential campaigns are known for a trail of broken promises and nasty mudslinging, but in the aftermath of our electoral process, centuries worth of souvenirs commemorating the eventual winners and losers of the country’s most important popularity contest have accumulated in the homes of our ancestors. It may not be fun to watch endless coverage of an election today, but for many collectors, these pinback buttons, ribbons, posters, and other artifacts tell a colorful tale about the kind of marketing required to get someone elected to the highest office in the country. Ben Leach, the Ralph Nader of Nerd Nite Philly, takes you through the truly outrageous presidential campaigns of yore and tells their story through images of 100 percent authentic artifacts that may help put the insanity that is the 2016 presidential race into proper historical context.

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)


“A Star Wars Collecting Overview At Lightspeed” by Paul Harrison

May the Fourth Be With You today with this special presentation in which Star Wars expert Paul Harrison discusses collecting all things related to a galaxy far, far away.

Bio: Paul Harrison is the co-owner of JediTempleArchives.com and the co-author of Steven Sansweet’s The Ultimate Action Figure Collection.

Plus! Music by They Might Be Giants cover act James K. Folk.

The details:

Wednesday, April 4th.

Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue in the heart of Fishtown.


7:30pm/doors open at 4pm. We recommend you get there early to ensure that you snag a seat.


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