Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

Nerd Nite No. 30! October 9, 2013

Dear Nerds,

What card-carrying nerd doesn’t love transportation in any or all of its varied forms?  Can it only be us Nerd Nite bosses who wonder how your suitcase moves from the check in counter to the guts of your plane?  Do you ever ponder the vastness of the SEPTA system and wonder about the nitty gritty details of its operation?  Do you long for the day when Philadelphians can share bikes freely like those silly Manhattanites up in New York?  Well, if you don’t, start now!  This Nerd Nite is all about planes, trains and bicycles!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013
doors at 7pm, show starts at 7:30pm
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard, 2 blocks from the Girard St. blue line stop
$5 cover gets you a night of nerdy fun, plus food and drink specials

The lectures at hand:

“A Bag’s Life:  A behind the scene’s view of your luggage’s journey through the airport“ by Renee TuftsAn airport’s operation involves more than just the movement of planes and passengers. There are many behind the scenes activities in this tiny “City within the City” that orchestrate the movement of you and your belongings to your destination as safely, securely and efficiently as possible. This presentation will review the typical (or in some cases…not so typical) voyage your luggage takes through the airport.

Bio: Renee Tufts has more than 13 years of aviation experience and has been the Airport Security Manager for the Philadelphia International Airport for the past eight years.  Renee studied at the University of North Dakota earning a degree in Airport Management and holds a Private Pilot’s license. She started her aviation career at Philadelphia International Airport as an Airport Administrative Trainee in the Security Department in 2000.  Over the next 5 years she rose through the ranks to become the Security Manager of one of the busiest International Airports in the United States.

“SEPTA’s Wayside Energy Storage Project: How The Train That Brought You Here is Changing the Transit Industry” by Erik Johanson and Andrew Gillespie

For nearly 100 years, SEPTA’s Letterly Substation in Kensington has been powering a portion of the Market-Frankford Line. Last summer, SEPTA officially unveiled a new device that turned the facility into a cutting edge home of an emerging power technology. That technology is called “wayside energy storage,” and it has the potential to transform energy-consuming trains into rolling power generators for years to come. Made possible by a $900,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA), SEPTA partnered with Philadelphia-based smart grid firm Viridity Energy to design and implement a storage system to capture, store, and reuse “regenerative energy” created by braking trains. This game-changing innovation has received global recognition for its use of smart grid platforms to improve the cost effectiveness of this energy-saving technology. SEPTA’s second storage device, at Griscom Substation in Northeast Philadelphia, is on the way.

Erik Johanson is the Manager of Strategic Business Planning for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In this position, Mr. Johanson is primarily responsible for managing SEPTA’s Strategic Planning agenda, including its Sustainability Program and public reporting of associated performance metrics. Mr. Johanson is the co-chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Sustainability Commitment Subcommittee and Sustainability Metrics Working Group. A native and resident of Philadelphia, Mr. Johanson holds a Masters Degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government and a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from Tufts University.

Andrew Gillespie is the Chief Engineer of Engineering, Maintenance and Construction for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). In this position, Mr. Gillespie’s oversees all aspects of the authorities Power, Buildings, Bridges, Track, Signal and Communications infrastructure.  An alumnus of Northeastern University in Boston, Mr. Gillespie has worked in the transportation business for over 23 years.  Prior to assuming his current responsibilities, Mr. Gillespie’s was SEPTA’s Chief Engineering Officer – Power and was responsible for the implementation of several of SEPTA’s sustainability projects, including SEPTA’s Wayside Energy Storage Project.

“How bike share will alter space, time and maybe even your body” by Andrew Stober

In Fall of 2014 Philadelphia will launch the first phase of a world class bike share system. Andrew Stober, Chief of Staff of the Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities (MOTU), will provide a sneak preview of what the City is planning. More importantly, he will explain how bike share is the love child of the Concorde and Richard Simmons.

Bio: Andrew is proud that his work touches the daily life of every Philadelphian – from the least resourced to the most privileged. Since 2008, he and the MOTU team have secured tens of millions of dollars in grants for City transportation projects, reestablished the City’s energy office, and led key bicycle, pedestrian, transit and traffic safety initiatives.  Andrew pretty much remembers every train trip and flight he has ever taken and would love to tell you about them at the end of the program – if you’re ready to close Frankford Hall down with him.

And! Entertainment by Mr. F. Omar Telan

F. Omar Telan has directed at La Mama ETC; performed at the Dodge Poetry Festival, PS122, the Philippine Embassy; published in “A Gathering of the Tribes”, “Apiary Magazine”, 225 Plays from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind; and modeled in Dress Your Best: The Complete Guide to Finding the Style That’s Right for Your Body.

Be there and be square!


Nerd Nite No. 21! February 6, 2013

Guys:  Philly Nerd Nite is turning 21 in February!   We are celebrating with three nerdacious talks and one phenomenal juggler.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

doors at 6:30, show at 7:30
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard
$5 cover

For our twenty-first Nerd Nite, and the first one of 2013, we present for you:

“What’s Love Got to Do With It? – An inside look at avian amore!” by Carrie Ashley

Did you ever wonder how a penguin proposes or why a cowbird prefers to hit it and quit it? If so, you may want to get a hobby, but we also have the answers for you! Come explore the flamboyant, deadly, and neurotic world of bird love.

Bio: Carrie Ashley, Education Manager for PA Audubon, has spent her adult life contemplating the birds and the bees and decided to cut her losses and just focus on the birds.  PA Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity in Pennsylvania.

“NextGen: Humans, Automation, and the Future of Air Traffic Control” by Kenneth Allendorfer

Advances in information, communication, and navigation technology are driving major changes to the air transportation system in the US and around the world.  These changes are intended to improve safety and efficiency, to reduce delays caused by bad weather and congestion, and to reduce the impact of aviation on the environment.  The talk will discuss research examining at how these changes affect the humans in the system–the pilots and air traffic controllers–and how to create technological systems that improve rather than interfere with their performance.

Bio: Kenneth Allendoerfer is an engineering research psychologist with the Federal Aviation Administration, located at the William J. Hughes Technical Center in Atlantic City.  He studies air traffic control, expertise and decision making, human error, and the design of technology for safety-critical domains.

“Dispatches from the Planet Enz” by Chris Cummins

In this talk, pop culture writer Chris Cummins will take you inside the weird and wonderful world of movie novelizations. From discussing the strange extraterrestrial origins of Gremlins featured in that film’s tie-in book to presenting readings from a few of the craziest film spin-off books, Cummins will open up your eyes to the bizarre literary offshoots of some of your favorite movies.

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.

And: Juggling by David Darwin!


Be there, be square and buy us a shot.

Nerd Nite No. 20! November 7, 2012


It’s going to get seriously cosmic in here.  For our *twentieth* Philly Nerd Nite, we bring you the universe *and* a grammar maven.  Don’t you dare split infinitives while pondering the infinite.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
doors at 6:30, show at 7:30
Frankford Hall at Frankford and Girard
$5 cover

The lectures at hand:

Derrick Pitts on Astronomy

Bio: Derrick Pitts is the Chief Astronomer at the Franklin Institute.  Helping audiences all over the world better understand the mysteries of the universe since 1978, Pitts is a nationally recognized media commentator on issues in astronomy and space science.  He is a NASA Solar System Ambassador and in 2010, he was one of the lead astronomers at the first-ever star party on the White House lawn.

“The Big Bang With Big Beers” by Sara Stanchfield

Cosmologists study the origin, evolution, and ultimate fate of our Universe. In order to do this we make use of an arsenal of tools that allow us to study the Universe from its very infancy through today, and even allow us to make predictions about the future. This presentation will explore some of these tools and the leading cosmological theories we aim to test, such as the Big Bang theory and the existence of dark energy.

Bio: Sara Stanchfield is a PhD student in physics at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research is in observational cosmology, where she is especially interested in the Cosmic Microwave Background and trying every beer Philadelphia has to offer at least once before she finishes her thesis.

“Words, Grammar Nerds, and the Riotous Joy of Language Evolution” by Sarah Grey

Grammar nerds all over the English-speaking world have read and loved Lynne Truss’s bestselling punctuation rant Eats Shoots & Leaves. But is there more to being a grammar nerd than just snottily correcting  apostrophes at the grocery store?  Freelance editor Sarah Grey, who punctuates for a living, thinks there is. She’ll take you on a whirlwind tour of the evolution of language from “me Tarzan” to LOLcats, celebrating the sheer sexy joy and the liberatory power of humanity’s greatest invention.

Bio: Sarah Grey is a freelance writer and editor with a small business, Grey Editing LLC (, where she applies her red pen to everything from history to erotica to Marxist theory. She lives in Fishtown with her husband Joe and almost-three-year-old daughter Lucia.

And featuring: Christopher Davis-Shannon playing blues and ragtime guitar.  Dance music for the old at heart.

Be there and be square!