Posts Tagged ‘water’

Nerd Nite #101: Transportation Engineering, Local Ads and More!

Hello friends! We’re back on Wednesday, November 3rd at Frankford Hall with a brand new Nerd Nite for you. Here’s what you can expect:

“Intelligent Transportation Engineering and Philly’s Future for Mobility and Access”

Everyone has gotten stuck at a red light that ruins the continuity of traffic flow down a corridor. Many of us have waited on the corner for a bus to come – only for three to show up. Why are there seven potholes on my block? Who designs this inefficient garbage?

This presentation aims to elucidate the reasons for these phenomena – the complex systems that transportation engineers study, the data that’s changing our decisions, what information we hope for in the future, and how urban mobility and our streetscape will change in the next few decades.

Come and join in a candid discussion of the trade, our perceived shortcomings and the real pitfalls that shape our transportation policy and overall mobility outcomes. Transportation is truly a shared experience – everyone has questions and anecdotes and we’ll welcome all of them.

BIO: Justin Ferri is an intelligent transportation consultant from South Philly that works for both public and private sector clients up and down the east coast. He cut his teeth a decade ago doing (surprisingly dangerous) 11-hour traffic counts on the mainline and doing (surprisingly wholesome) ADA curb ramp inspections outside of trap houses in Kenzo. He’s now mostly doing boring things like writing policy for intersection control evaluation for the feds, working with big data, cursing map conflation, and considering far-fetched implications for autonomous vehicles. His napkin math estimates that he’s walked about 65% of Philly’s 2,500 street miles on foot.

“The 10 Greatest Philly Local Ads Ever Made”

Do you have a passion for fashion? Have you ever seen what people who believe in the power of each other can do? What Philadelphia museum claimed that you can feel the fun? All of these confusing questions will be answered when Chris presents an audio/video overview of his picks for the ten greatest Philly commercials of all time in a presentation that will be certain to spawn debate…and leave you with endless jingles stuck in your head.

BIO: Along with being a Nerd Nite Philly co-boss, Chris Cummins is a writer for Den of Geek and the producer/host of Sci-Fi Explosion. You can follow all of his nonsense on Twitter @bionicbigfoot and tune into his free 24 hour live Halloween Spooptacular from 8pm 10/29 to 8pm 10/30 (bringing you hilarious vintage clips, short films and features, music videos, cartoons, comedy and so much more at

It Came from Below: Spooky Science Stories from (Down)stream

From scurvy on the seven seas to dynamite and cannons meant to control the rains, water plays a starring role in some of our strangest and most compelling true stories. But what about the myths, legends, and superstitions that bring us dangerous creatures and angry waves? Is that winding river really full of secrets? Is the salty ocean truly as mysterious as it seems?

Join Distillations podcast cohosts Lisa Berry Drago and Alexis Pedrick as they spin a few yarns, talk about the weird water stories they can’t get out of their heads, and why this shared resource is such a big part of our folklore.


Alexis Pedrick is one of the cohosts of the Distillations podcast and the Director of Public Engagement at the Science History Institute. She is a D&D-playing, science-loving, history nerd.

Elisabeth (Lisa) Berry Drago is the other cohost of the Distillations podcast. She is also a research curator and museum experience strategist at the Science History Institute and a huge, self-professed nerd.

Wed 11/3. 7:30pm.
Frankford Hall,
1210 Frankford Avenue.
$10. (There’s an ATM on site, a Wells Fargo up the street and we also accept Venmo).


Nerd Nite No. 18, September 19, 2012

Hey guys!

Oktoberfest is here!  We at Nerd Nite are amped up to celebrate it with you in as nerdy a way as possible.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
doors at 7:00, show at 7:30
Frankford Hall at Frankford & Girard
$5 cover

On tap:

“Becoming German: Redefining “Pennsylvania Dutch” in the 19th Century” by Zachary Langley

The so called “Pennsylvania Dutch”, a German ethnic group, began arriving in Pennsylvania in the 17thcentury. Over the course of nearly 200 years, they created a unique folk culture in the colony, and then state, of Pennsylvania. Sharing a common langauge, agricultural background, and often from similar regions of the German states, this group became a uniquely American culture, that is until the arrival of so called “New German” in the middle of the 1800’s. The noticable differences between these groups would spark a curiosity for many Pennsylvania Dutch to understand their place in a new German ethnic diaspora. The result was what has been termed the “Germanization” movement focused largely in the city of Philadelphia among urban Pennsylvania Dutch during the late 19th century. This presentation will explore the history of these two immigration movements, their differences and commonalities, and the attempts by the Pennsylvania Dutch to redefine their culture by rediscovering their European roots.Bio: Zach Langley is a Ph. D. candidate in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg, focusing on Folk Life and American History.  He is a emerging expert on Pennsylvania Dutch culture and Pennsylvania History.  His pending dissertation is focused on the effects of the rise of industrialized culture and modern class structures during the Victorian Era on Pennsylvania Dutch identity. He is also the Director of Education for The Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation in Media, Pennsylvania.

“How Dolley Madison Helped Bring German Beer to America…  Connecting historic beer technology with other facets of American food history.” by Trevor McElroy

Pennsylvania has the country’s oldest brewery and ice cream company, but have you ever wondered how people were able to enjoy ice cream or a cold lager before refrigerators?  Or did you know cider, olive oil, and wine were produced using pretty similar methods throughout colonial America?  This talk will discuss the connections between historic American beer, cider, and food technologies and how you can see the remains now.

Bio: Trevor McElroy is a Philly tour guide and “free lance historian”.  He gives all types of tours in and around Philly, and has been a guide at Bartram’s Garden for a several years.  He is also an Association of Phila. Tour Guides (APT) certified guide and board member.

“Water in America: What we can do to save our freshwater and what Great Lakes Brewing Co does to help.”  by Mark Weinmann

Bio: 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 lives in Philly with his wife and daughter, and he knows a lot about water and isn’t afraid to admit it.

With accordion music in between speakers!
Don Bitterlich began playing the accordion at age seven and has hooked ever since. During his college years Don balanced his love of accordion and playing on Temple University’s soccer and football teams. He went on to play professionally for the Seattle Seahawks before returning to the Philadelphia region, performing accordion sets as often as he can.