Posts Tagged ‘smallpox’

Nerd Nite #102: Colors, Smallpox, Toy Companies

We’ve got three great talks lined up for you, including:

AJ Freeman, “What Color Is Our Sky?”

Many of us don’t properly appreciate that color, in human handcraft, is a powerful form of technology…Van Gogh could only dream of using certain shades of Blue, and the secrets of Purple were once so jealously guarded that for most, to wear it was to take one’s life into one’s hands.

The history of humankind is illustrated in color, and in “What Color is Our Sky,” we explore the role of these shades in shaping civilization. What was the first color? Why was the first synthetic fabric dye a medical miracle? Why is Red the most common color used in national flags? Why do the Flyers wear Orange? These answers and even more questions in “What Color is Our Sky?”

BIO: AJ Freeman is one of the region’s foremost chronochromatic experts and author of “64 to Infinity: Love Letters in Crayon. His favorite color is Indigo, because Isaac Newton pretty much made it up.

Dan Sanford, “The Life and Death of Smallpox”

The Life and Death of Smallpox

With Covid-19 still on the move you might wonder has humanity ever actually beaten a disease? It is rare, but sometimes medicine and policy manage to triumph. By 1980 doctors around the world were able to say that smallpox was gone. How did we manage to beat a disease that had spent centuries beating us?

BIO: Daniel Sanford was once seen in the Pine Barrens but nobody has been able to prove he is the Jersey Devil. Today he works in Philadelphia making sure you can access databases to prove the first part of this biography is false.

Ben Leach: “Philly’s Local Toy Companies”

Did you realize that the Philly area has given birth to some of the world’s most beloved playthings? In this talk, Nerd Nite Philly favorite Ben Leach returns to discuss Philly’s surprising toy past!

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 Currently, he operates a website dedicated to antiques and collectibles with his family called The Collector Gene (

It all happens on Wednesday 12/15 at 7:30pm. Doors open at 4, we advise arriving early to get a good seat. $10, there’s an ATM on site and we also accept Venmo.

PLEASE NOTE: Attendees at Frankford Hall are required to be fully vaccinated and provide the restaurant with proof of vaccination. Contact the restaurant at 215-634-3338 for further information on masks and other questions you may have.