Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Nerd Nite No. 49 and 49.5: June 10 and June 18

Yo Nerds!

Please note we have some changes in June to our regularly scheduled program. First up, due to Philly Beer Week, we have pushed back our June Nerd Nite to Wednesday, June 10. We’re still working out the fine details, but you can expect to hear more about the Academy of Natural Sciences’ *new* Grossology exhibit, enjoy a discussion with local artist Blair Campbell, learn about why mushrooms should be considered superfoods, and and hear some beats from local 8-bit musician Pixel8ter. All the talk info is below. Remember, the show will start at 7:30 sharp at Frankford Hall with a $5 cover!


Michael Kalaras: “Mushroom Nutrition: Shining a light on the magical world of mushrooms”

Edible mushrooms, often relegated to lowly side dish fare, are a complex package of nutrients better suited to superfood status. This talk will focus on how a fungus grown in the dark can become a rich source of the important “sunshine” vitamin, the significance of a unique antioxidant and the role mushrooms may have in human health.

About Michael:

Dr. Michael Kalaras is a Research Assistant for the Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health in the Department of Food Science at Penn State University. He received his B.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science at Penn State where his interest in the nutritive properties of mushrooms began. He has worked to develop a rapid method of vitamin D2 enrichment of mushrooms using UV light and recently taught a course devoted to the science of mushrooms.

Blair Campbell: “Pop Culture Pixels”

Blair will talk about his journey and process behind his career in making his digital geeky art.

About Blair:

Blair J. Campbell is a South Jersey native that has always been a geeky and an artist. Recently he’s found a way to mash both together and make a living off of it. He can be found most days messing around online, sipping coffee, and playing with his pug.

Mary Bailey: Animal Grossology: Putting the “Fun” in “Funky”

Stinky, slimy, puky, grimy; animals have some NASTY habits. From coprophagy to cannibalism, the creatures of the world can definitely make you say, “Ew, gross!” But never fear…Mother Nature has her reasons! Find out about the often disgusting, always fascinating, adaptations that give some animals the evolutionary edge, and explore the science behind why it makes us humans feel all icky.

About Mary:

Mary is a consummate conservationist, avid traveler, and slightly above average birdwatcher with slightly below average binoculars. Her finest accomplishment to date is making Sir David Attenborough laugh out loud when she told him she saw 137 species of birds during her Big Year.


Music by Pixel8ter between talks!


Also, because we can’t say no to evenings that mix beer and education–especially ones that involve visits from NASA and the International Space Station(!!)–we’ll be hosting Nerd Nite No. 49.5 on Thursday, June 18 also at Frankford Hall. This pay-what-you-wish edition will give Philly Nerds a chance to learn more about NASA’s involvement in the space station, via a NASA scientist and astronaut! We promise we’ll fill you in on the specific talk details when we hear more!


June18 Special Edition



Team Nerd Nite Philly

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,