Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Nerd Nite No 46: Plasma! Monopoly! Antarctica! Plus comedic intermissions!

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

Nerd Nite No. 27, July 10, 2013

Nerds! The July Nerd Nite will seek to resolve the following questions: 1) what is the difference between a nerd and a geek?  2) does symmetry matter?  3) what shenanigans did astronomer Tycho Brahe get up to? The details:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp

Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard

$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials

  And – don’t forget the July 11th fundraiser to send Rocky Parker up to the Nerd Nite Global Fest this August!   The lectures at hand:

“Nerd vs. Geek Movie Night” by Stephanie Yuhas Stephanie will present some clips from her work, including an episode of, Nerd vs. Geek, a comedy where a MENSA chapter, a gaming circle, and a drama club collide when their leaders become Craigslist roommates. She will answer questions about her work, as well as briefly discuss her experience as a filmmaker in Philadelphia, and work with Project Twenty1 to help aspiring artists get their first break.

Bio: Stephanie Yuhas is a writer and producer at Cinevore Studios, a Philadelphia-area production company that specializes in off-beat narrative fiction content. Her current projects include Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie,American Goulash, Nerd vs. Geek, and a series of gamer-genre shorts for the creators of the FireFall. Stephanie is also the co-founder of Project Twenty1, a 501(c)3 non-profit that runs the 21-Day Filmmaking Competition (Aug. 3-24) and the annual Philadelphia Film & Animation Festival (Sept 27-29).

“Why Symmetry Matters” by Dave GoldbergDespite appearances to the contrary, the universe is a very orderly, and surprisingly elegant place. But at some level, the order of the universe is a broken one.  Why does time run one way and not the other? Why are you made of matter and not antimatter? Why is Spiderman such an ill-conceived premise?  Symmetry (and symmetry breaking) lie at the heart of it all.
Bio: Dave Goldberg is a theoretical cosmologist and professor of Physics at Drexel University.  He is the author of “A User’s Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty” and the forthcoming “The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality.”  Dr. Goldberg is very interested in the interface between science and pop culture and is especially prone to nerdly excess of sci-fi references.  He writes an “Ask a Physicist” column for, has been featured on NPR’s Studio 360, and has contributed to and the L.A. Times.
“Tycho Brahe: The Science of Gossip” by Alex PearlmanTycho Brahe is one of the top 5 Astronomers in the history of the western world, but so few know anything about him.  Comedian Alex Pearlman wants the American public to learn more about this great man.  How is he going to do this you might ask?  Surely he’ll just recite all of Tycho Brahe’s great discoveries, inventions and the historical implications of his work. NOPE!  Americans don’t care about scientific accomplishment, they want personal stories, rumors and wild accusations about a rockstars lifestyle.  So that is the details of Tycho Brahe’s life that Alex Pearlman drags before people’s eyes for all to see. Astronomy, Dueling, Wild Parties, dead elks, harlots, gambling and more! Once an audience learns of the Life and Death of Tycho Brahe, they run to the internet to learn about his work!  One audience member named his dog Tycho, after hearing this story and then reading Tycho Brahe’s wikipedia entry. So grab your best gold nose, and run head first into history to learn about a Dutchman. Bio: Alex Pearlman is an 11 yr veteran of the Philadelphia Comedy Scene, and an avid fan of history. Host of the Pearlmania Podcast, and Something Witty at The Dive Bar, former mall security guard, highschool library aide, assistant Karate Instructor, and occasional panel guest on the Anime convention circuit.
And featuring music by songster Carol Cleveland Sings!

Nerd Nite No. 26, June 12, 2013

Greetings nerds!

Be prepared for another informative Nerd Nite next Wednesday, June 12, a night promising to be better than your typical summer school– happy hour priced beer and big German pretzels are involved!

The details:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

doors at 7:00, show at 7:30 sharp

Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard

$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials

Importantly, our line up of distinguished speakers and their prepared talks:

Bibotorium: Dreamboats for Nightmares by Camp Little Hope

Camp Little Hope directs a project called Bibotorium in an abandoned swimming pool as part of the Hidden City Philadelphia Festival. Bibotorium is an educational saloon and public think-tank for imagining the future of water in Philadelphia. Through conversation and complimentary beverage service, Camp Little Hope designs and builds boats to illustrate future water environments.

Bio: Camp Little Hope is an international research collective that works in proprioceptive museum installations, free algorithmic restaurants, sustainable impossibilities, alternative institutional forms, speculative sciences, and matching jumpsuits.

Analytical Improv: Patterns and Intuition by Matt Akana

Professional nerd Matt Akana explains an analytical approach to improv comedy that involves pattern recognition and developing a sense of play.  He explains how to push through the initial obstacles to truly enjoy being in the moment, with no safety net, in front of others.  He will demonstrate how to fail with momentum!

Bio: Matthew Akana is a San Francisco-born, Philadelphia-residing improv comedy performer, game designer, and molecular biologist.  During the day he does high throughput pharmaceutical assay development and by night he performs live with ZaoGao at the Philly Improv Theater and with the N Crowd.

The Weird World of Archie Comics by Chris Cummins

Throughout the 1970s, strange things were afoot in the seemingly peaceful town of Riverdale. In an effort to make their books more competitive with their edgier rivals at DC and Marvel, Archie Comics started focusing on telling grittier tales in some of their titles that involved such story elements as murderous crooks, high school scandals and even Satanic teddy bears. As you can probably guess, they were amazing. Around the same time, Archie artist Al Hartley convinced his bosses to allow him to create religious versions of Archie books to be sold at Christian bookstores. These oddities are a head-scratching bunch that come complete with Betty Cooper trying to convert her heathen pals and a cameo appearance by Jesus as a surfer dude. Subsequent decades have seen such head-scratching developments in the Archieverse as Jughead travelling through time with one of Archie’s female descendents from the 29th century, as well as a monthly title that gave the staff of Riverdale High super powers. This talk will present a look at the oddest moments from Archie’s storied history, offering up a compelling glimpse at how easily the middle of the road can swerve into Weirdsville.

Bio: Chris Cummins is a Philadelphia-based writer who regularly contributes to Geekadelphia and Topless Robot. He also runs the blogs Hibernation Sickness, What’s Dave Kendall Wearing? and Songs of 1992, and co-hosts a monthly quizzo night at The Dive. When not writing about pop culture, he can usually be found obsessing over everything from Star Wars figures to forgotten shoegaze bands. You can follow him on Twitter at @bionicbigfoot.

Music by Los Festingos!

A Festingo: One whom expands the musical universe through creative, humorous, and often outrageous feats of harmonious excellence.


Be there and be square!

Nerd Nite Philly Crew