erd Nite No. 65: ALS, Accents, and Astrology!

Take advantage of the BONUS Nerd Nite at tonight's PHS Pop-Up Garden South Street! Topics include:
Corey McMillan with "Turning Down the Volume on ALS"
 Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or “Lou Gerhig’s Disease”, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that impacts an individuals' ability to move and results in a 2-5 year survival from disease onset. In the past decade a considerable amount of knowledge has been gained about the pathology and genetics that causes ALS. However, there still is not treatment for ALA and little is known about the factors that influence heterogeneity in survival time and disease severity. In this talk, Corey will introduce the idea of “epigenetics” — a fancy word that involves turning down the volume on bad genes — and talk about the evidence suggesting that epigenetics may provide a candidate treatment for ALS.
Dr. Corey McMillan is a Research Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a member of the Neuroscience Graduate Group and Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania.  
Josh Raclaw with "Language attitudes: How accents can be sexy, impressive, or literally the worst"
 We all place different values on the ways that we, and others, use language. A Southern accent might make us weak in the knees, or we may think we know a lot about a person just from the way they say the word "water'. But why? In this talk we’ll look at the science behind language attitudes, the term that linguists use to describe our common understanding of different accents and other features of a language. Come prepared to look at the language of wartime cartoons, learn the truth about our perception of "foreign accents," and raise a glass to the diversity of English dialects.
Joshua Raclaw is a linguist and assistant professor of English at West Chester University. His current research examines how scientists use language and gesture in their evaluation of high-stakes grant applications. 
Alexis Jeffcoat with "When M.A.S.H. Meets 17th Century Astrology"
 Will you marry a handsome drunk? Will you be rich as Croesus or have twelve kids? Fortune telling games were not just the staple of many a 90's childhood. Find out what happens when silly fortunes get mixed up with Greek mythology, 17th century astrology, and early programming to give you the strangest version of M.A.S.H you've ever seen.
Alexis manages public programming for the Chemical Heritage Foundation. An active part of the geek community, Alexis can be found collaborating on projects like Science on Tap and the Philadelphia Science Festival.
PLUS! Be sure to wear your nerdiest T-shirt so that you can participate in the Nerd Nite Philadelphia Dry T-Shirt Contest.
DATE: Tuesday, August 23rd, 7:30 pm.
LOCATION: PHS Pop Up Garden on South Street, 1438 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19146
COST: $5


SEPTA is hosting a “Sustainability Open House” on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 from 12:00
PM – 2:30 PM at SEPTA Headquarters, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia to discuss ideas for the Authority’s second-generation sustainability plan, SEP-TAINABLE 2020.

SEPTA’s first-generation Sustainability Program Plan was formally adopted by the SEPTA Board in January 2011.  The plan focused on 12 targets to be reached by 2015, and served as the framework for initiatives to advance the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the system and region.  It has become a model for collaborative sustainability planning and implementation in the transit industry.  

It is now time to develop the second-generation plan to set targets for the year 2020. During the open house, riders, residents and other stakeholders will be briefed on the results from the 2015 plan and the proposed planning framework for the 2020 plan.  SEPTA will then seek input to further develop environmental, social and economic sustainability targets and supporting initiatives.

We hope you are able to attend encourage you to share the details about the Open House with your residents, members, stakeholders and social media followers:

DATE: Tuesday, August 30, 2016, from12:00 PM – 2:30 PM
LOCATION: SEPTA Board Room, 1234 Market Street, Mezzanine Level, Philadelphia, PA  19107


Come join Net Impact Philadelphia on August 25th at 6pm as they celebrate their 2nd consecutive year of achieving status as a Gold Professional Chapter. They're partnering with the Philadelphia Horticultural Society (PHS) to learn the story behind the PHS pop-up gardens that have been a runaway success with park loving, beer drinking Philadelphians. Attendance is FREE at the door; drinks and food are pay as you go. Please RSVP. 

DATE: August 25, 2016, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
LOCATION: PHS Popup Beer Garden, 500 North 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
COST: FREE - pay as you go

Planet's Largest Wind Farm To Be Built Off the UK's Coast

The British Government has approved Phase 2 of a wind farm project off the eastern coast
of the UK in the North Sea. The project will employ 300 turbines installed over more than 480 square kilometers (185 square miles), making it the world’s biggest offshore wind farm. The turbine array and is expected to provide enough power for 1.6 million homes, on course to meet 10% of the UK's electricity demand by 2020.
To read the full article, go to IFLScience at:
Thanks to Dr. Kerry Brinkman for letting us know about this incredible advance in sustainable energy. 


There's an interesting article on that points to an interesting new
direction in pest management for crops. 

The world’s leading mycologist, Paul Stamets, filed a patent in 2001 based on natural processes. The sporulation of naturally occurring fungi (mushrooms) both kills pests and eventually steers the insects away from the crops, with the added benefit of eliminating the need for harmful pesticides and GMO-based crops in our food cycle. This pesticide-free practice would also reverse the impact of bee colony collapse and unhealthy soil on the natural cycle. 

Read more at:


Don't have a cow, man! Head out to the Sustainable Everyday Edibles and Drinkables (S.E.E.D.) 
festival on Sunday, August 14th, the first-ever completely vegan food and beer festival in Philadelphia. Taking over SugarHouse Casino’s new event space, the food festival, a collaboration between Home Brewed Events and Eat Your PHL, showcases anywhere from 75 to 90 food, beer and marketplace vendors, with everything offered being completely vegan. The goal of the festival is really to highlight the growing vegan food scene in Philly and to provide a festival where there’s something for everyone to eat. 

Vendors include Vegan Chef Lenka of Plough and the Stars, Shakti Catering, ChocAmo Cookie Cup and Dashing Rogue, while features breweries include our own St. Benjamin’s, Two Roads Brewing, Weyerbacher and Broken Goblet Brewing. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Humane League of Philadelphia, working toward reducing animal suffering by inspiring change at all levels.

DATE: August 14, 2016
TIME: General Admission 3:00pm - 6:00pm  |  VIP  2:00pm - 6:00pm
LOCATION: SugarHouse Casino Event Center, 1001 N Delaware Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19125


Tonight's topics include:

"Mapping the Arctic" - NASA’s Operation IceBridge uses remote sensing methods from aboard an airborne laboratory to collect data on the thickness, depth, and movement of ice features in the Arctic and Antarctica.  Fly along with PolarTREC teacher Kelly McCarthy on the largest airborne survey of Earth’s polar ice ever conducted to learn about how this critical data is collected, life in the field during an airborne Arctic campaign, and the implications of the data acquired from this extensive operation.

"Smoking Grass for the Environment" - Each spring land managers across the country set prescribed burns to grassland environments. These fires maintain the health of habitats. Katie Bohri talks about the how and whys of prescribed burns. 

"The Secret Life of Beanie Babies" - The Beanie Baby craze was one of the most talked about trends of the 1990's, with Ty Warner being hailed as one of the decade's most brilliant businessmen. But was Ty Inc.'s success really the result of a well-run company with a genius marketing strategy? Explore how Chicago soccer moms, the rise of a secondary investment market, and the dawn of the Dot Com, all puppeteered by a mad man, turned $5 under-stuffed plush dolls into one of the strangest market bubbles of the 20th century.

DATE: Wednesday, August 3rd  | Doors open at 4:00pm, show starts at 7:00pm
LOCATION: Frankford Hall, 1210 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia PA
COST: $5.00/door