Posts Tagged ‘neuroscience’

Nerd Nite No. 16, July 11, 2012

Dearest Nerds,

Please do join us for the next Nerd Nite:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
doors at 7:00, show at 7:30
Frankford Hall at Frankford & Girard
$5 cover

“BEER MYTHS DEBUNKED!” by Suzanne Woods of Allagash Brewing Co. and Mark Weinman of Great Lakes Brewing Co.
Let’s debunk some beer myths.  Why are triples lighter than dubbels?  Why the fancy schmancy chalice for the aforementioned beers?  Who put sugar in my beer?  Why the skunk?  I’m bloated and it’s all beer’s fault!  Dark beer = strong beer.  Suzanne will debunk some age-old myths and hopes to help people to become better beer lovers, tasters and activists.  Mark will share his brewery’s story – What makes Great Lakes so, well . . . GREAT.   He will execute a tutored tasting of the Wright Pils and Dortmunder Gold which Frankford Hall runs regularly.

Bios: Suzanne Woods has been slinging and singing about beer in Philly since 2001. She founded In Pursuit of Ale, a lady-centric beer clubs in June of 2005. She judged the World Beer Awards in 2007 and won the 2009 Memphis Taproom “Mystery Beer weekend challenge” by identifying 27 out of 30 beers. In other words, she drinks A LOT. She spends her days cruising I-95 as the Mid-Atlantic market manager for Allagash Brewing Co.  Mark Weinman is the regional sales manager for Great Lakes Brewery.  People appreciate him for his love of beer and soccer but resent him for graduating from St. Joes.  He knows a lot about water and isn’t afraid to admit it.

“What is Float Glass?” by Jill Betters
Listen people, the stuff in your doors and windows just didn’t appear out of thin air. Come on down for a brief introduction to the materials and manufacturing processes of float glass, the sexiest building product out there today. There’s enough material to fill at least three hours, so bring tomatoes for the 20 minute mark.

Bio: Jill Betters spent five years working in the glass industry not using her Chemistry degree. She knows entirely too much about the insulating properties of spacer systems and fenestration heat transfer. Most of her nerding is now done via articles in Scientific American and beer “research”. Jill lives in Fishtown and spends a lot of her free time wreaking havoc in the neighborhood association.

“Traumatic Brain Injury? Technologically Beyond It!” by Thomas Dixon
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) has been labeled the “signature injury” of the Iraq war because of the concussive forces at hand in explosions, which soldiers are surviving through in greater numbers due to improvements in body armor. Apparently, being hit by a car can lead to a similar presentation of symptoms, as had happened in my case. I ended up with an episodic memory deficit (i.e. difficulty with being able to keep track of my life’s events), while all other areas of functioning remained intact. In this talk, I aim to show how certain strategies, in light of currently available technology, have allowed me to both compensate for and go far beyond what is possible in organic episodic memory function.

Bio: One of Philly’s nerdy native sons, Thomas Dixon kept himself busy during college with mood disorder research in child and adolescent psychiatry at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and teaching ESL to immigrants. After coming back from teaching middle school students in S. Korea, and while preparing to enter medical school, his life changed drastically on a run on 11/22/10…

Music by Beta Test, a small ensemble playing contemporary classical music, video game/geek soundtracks, and rock music.

Nerd Nite No. 14, May 9th, 2012

Dearest Nerds,

Fast on the heels of the nerdtasticness that was the Apcocalypse 2012 Nerd Nite, we bring you the next edition, sure to delight:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

doors at 7:00, show at 7:30

Frankford Hall at Frankford & Girard

$5 cover


The lectures at hand:
“Social Networking at the Synapse: how complex protein interactions provide insight into psychiatric disease” by Matthew MacDonaldThe brain’s capacity for storing memories and learning new skills depends heavily on its ability to forge and maintain synaptic connections between neurons. This “neuroplasticity” emerges from the complex interactions between hundreds of proteins within these neurons. Every biology teacher he’s ever had has warned against anthropomorphizing these proteins. Disregarding that advice, Matt chooses to view the synapse as a really small party filled with social protein all striving to get along have a good time.  When the party is good the brain functions well. But, when the beer runs out and there are too many dudes, shit gets ugly.

Bio: Matthew MacDonald is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, Department Of Psychiatry.  His doctoral work focused on developing new approaches to investigate protein complexity at the synapse. He currently spends his days trying to understand the biological basis of schizophrenia and human consciousness.  In retrospect this may have been a poor career choice. As it turns out the human brain is really complicated; he wishes someone had warned him.

“Every Joyful Conspiracy” by Elizabeth-Jane Cole

How do we create irresistibility for ideas whose time has come? The point at which we begin to see the unknown and believe in an infinity of possibilities is the point of genesis of all possible worlds. We can achieve boundless things if we see challenges as opportunites to imagine the world we want, instead of hurling metaphorical rocks at the things we don’t like.  This talk contains previews of the upcoming book Quantum Monkeywrenching, will include examples of how to create transformational experiences with a little creativity and intentionality, and not a few high spirited shenanigans.

Bio: Elizabeth-Jane Cole is an author, Enabler of Joyful Conspiracies, and radio producer. She is also the cofounder of the Evil Twin Booking Agency (with Artist Scott Beibin), organizing tours for people who think and act. In a past life, she contributed to WIRED magazine, produced a long-form interview with a balloon porn fetish model for Third Coast Award-winning podcast series Love + Radio, and wrote instructionals on DIY film distribution techniques.

“The Sounds of the Systems: exploring 8-bit/16-bit video game music” by Steve Lakawicz

Join Steve Lakawicz as he explores how video game programmers overcame the limitations of 8bit sound to create aural masterpieces.  Steve’s presentation will highlight the hardware inside the systems and use specific examples to illustrate the types of obstacles that early game music composers would have confronted.  His presentation will feature music from the Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, and Sega Genesis.

Bio: Steve Lakawicz holds a BM in Tuba Performance from Rutgers University as well as an MM in Tuba Performance from Temple University. His love of video game music has lead him to form a blog, Classical Gaming (, to promote discussion both casual and academic about the music of video games. He is also the co-founder of the video game/nerd music chamber ensemble, Beta Test Music ( He currently resides in Philadelphia where he teaches statistics at Temple University.

Plus: juggling by David Darwin and tunes by Matt Young,