Posts Tagged ‘Penn Museum’

Nerd Nite No. 24, April 24, 2013 – The Philadelphia Science Festival!


We are thrilled to be a part of the Philadelphia Science Festival again!  This year, it’s time to put your Sherlock Holmes hat on, grab a pipe, or rather, a pint, and join us in the big outdoor beer garden at Frankford Hall for a treatise on forensics.  We’ll be hearing about how to solve crimes when the trail goes cold, how forensic toxicologists detect designer drugs, and how forensic anthropologists can find out what really happened at crime scenes from history.  Plus, we’ll have Prohibition-era jazz to turn Frankford Hall into a speakeasy.  It’s Nerd Nite: CSI.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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

Tickets can be purchased in advance here, but we will also be selling them at the door.


Let the crime-solving commence:

“The Vidocq Society: warm people solving cold cases.” by William Fleisher

Bio: William L. Fleisher is the Director of Keystone Intelligence Network, Inc., a Philadelphia private investigation firm and the co-founder and first Commissioner of the Vidocq Society, an organization of forensic experts that assists law enforcement and victims’ families in solving unsolved homicides.  He retired from the U.S. Customs Service in 1996 as Deputy Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia office.  Mr. Fleisher is a former special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and rose to the rank of corporal with the Philadelphia Police Department.  He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of lie detection and behavior analysis.  Mr. Fleisher is the recipient of the Customs Service Distinguished Service Medal and Award for his efforts in developing interviewing techniques for customs inspectors.  Mr. Fleisher is a father and grandfather and resides in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, with his wife Michelle.


“Forensic Toxicology – A “higher” level of thinking . . .” by Jill Yeakel

Forensic Toxicology involves the investigation of drugs and poisons in biological matrices. The evolution of forensic toxicology as it relates to human performance has rapidly changed in recent years as a wide variety of chemical analogs advertised as legal highs comparable to marijuana have become available in smoke shops and over the internet. These chemical analogs are commonly referred to as synthetic cannabinoids and their danger and prevalence across the country is apparent as seen in the increase in poison control center calls since 2009. This presentation will discuss the effects of the synthetic cannabinoids and the challenges their detection in blood and urine pose to forensic toxicologists.


Bio: Jill Yeakel achieved her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry from Lock Haven University. She then attended Arcadia University where she earned a Master of Science in Forensic Science. She is currently the program director at the Center for Forensic Science and Education where she organizes and operates the G. John DiGregorio Summer Science Program along with being the Course Director for the Research Methods in Forensic Science, Pattern Evidence Analysis, Forensic Toxicology II and  Forensic Science Symposium courses for the Arcadia University’s Master of Forensic Science Program and completes research in herbal incense products and designer drugs.


“Hemlock, Cholera and Marijuana:  Getting it all Wrong in Forensic Anthropology.” by Janet Monge

Case studies of prehistoric, historic and modern errors in the reconstruction of events surrounding death of 11 people.  From the ancient Middle East to the suburbs of Philadelphia, history has painted a very different picture of the very real events of human violence against other humans.  Forensic anthropologists get it right (and wrong sometimes) telling the stories from the very real bones left behind.


Bio: Janet Monge has done fieldwork in many locations in Europe, Kenya and Australia. Her primary interest is in the development of methodologies to preserve and broadcast datasets to the physical anthropology community using Computed Tomography, traditional radiology, and human dental micro-anatomy as well as in the distribution of the highest quality castings of human fossils to Universities and Museums all over the world.  She teaches courses in Forensic Anthropology and has been engaged in many forensic case studies involving skeletal, burned, mutilated and mummified human remains.


And, featuring jazz from Philly’s own The Cornbread Five.




Nerd Nite No. 13, April 26, 2012: Philadelphia Science Festival edition

Dear Nerds,

The next Philly Nerd Nite is part of the Philadelphia Science Festival, a city-wide celebration of science.  We are thrilled to be a part of it, and we’re even more thrilled to offer you a scholarly ode to 2012 apocalypse mania.   Should you like, you may buy tickets online, but we will also be selling them at the door as always.

Note that Nerd Nite is on a Thursday this month and that the talks will start at 8:00 instead of 7:30.  Right before Nerd Nite will be “Meet and Geek“.  Admission to that gets you admission to Nerd Nite.  So many nerdly possibilities . . .

The haps:

Philly Science Festival Nerd Nite

Thursday, April 26th

Doors at 7:30 / Show at 8:00

Frankford Hall / $5 cover

We have three great talks and two performances by the West Philadelphia Orchestra lined up for you:

“The End is Not Nigh: Fact and Fantasy in the Maya 2012 Phenomenon” by Simon Martin

We’ve all heard that the world is going to end in a fiery cataclysm, or that a galactic alignment is going to herald a new world order, or perhaps that they’ll be a rain of pink elephants come 21st, or 23rd, December 2012. Moreover, whatever it is that’s going to happen, the Ancient Maya predicted it because their calendar comes to shattering conclusion on that date. We can dismiss the ideas of self-declared experts of this “ends of days”–even though they can be fun to listen to–but the science questions in this are: How did we get to this?  What did the Ancient Maya actually believe? Using hieroglyphic texts–including some only recently unraveled–we can form a real picture of ancient Maya beliefs about time-reckoning and the cosmos, and the 2012 phenomenon they have inspired.

Bio: Simon Martin, Co-Curator of MAYA 2012: Lords of Time and Penn Museum American Section Associate Curator, is an expert on Maya writing and specializes in Classic Maya history and politics. His work has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic Magazine, Science, and Archaeology Magazine. He appeared in the Nova television program “Cracking the Maya Code” in 2008 and has collaborated on shows for Discovery and the History Channel.

“Apocalyptic Soul: Seeing Through Image in the Age of End Times” by Li Sumpter
From the History Channel’s Armageddon Week and Nat Geo’sDoomsday Preppers to AMC’s The Walking Dead, images and ideas of an impending apocalypse are virtually inescapable. If we are, in fact, what we eat, mindless consumption of fear-based media  could have harmful effects on the individual and global mind. Through an aesthetic approach to contemporary myth and media, this talk examines archetypal patterns of apocalypse and the metaphyiscal relationship between image and reality that shapes our collective vision of the future.Bio: Li Sumpter is a doctoral student in Mythological Studies and Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. She believes our future trajectory through the multi-verse is shaped by collective participation in a mythic paradigm that supports a corresponding reality. In her dissertation, Apocalyptic Soul: Seeing through Image in the Age of End Time Sumpter examines the impact of apocalyptic media on psyche, collective destiny and the phenomenological world.

“How to Survive the Apocalypse” by Scott Gabriel Knowles

In the winter of 1951 Philadelphia was leveled by two atomic bombs.  Fortunately, the city’s civil defense experts had planned for the worst, and the citizens of Philadelphia raised their city from the rubble back to its full industrial might in time to beat the Soviets and win the war.  (This did not happen–but it was planned for by top defense experts.)  The Cold War was an era full of apocalyptic nuclear fantasies–luckily we no longer imagine fantastical scenarios of disaster and recovery; or do we?Bio: Scott Knowles is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Great Works Symposium at Drexel University. He is a historian of modern cities, technology, and public policy–with a particular focus on risk and disaster and his most recent book is The Disaster Experts: Mastering Risk in Modern America.

And dance like it’s the end of the world to the mighty sounds of the West Philadelphia Orchestra!