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Weekend Picks (from emails)

T Bear and Friends
Photo by PoPville flickr user hohandy

“The highly anticipated Downtown Holiday Market opens on December 4, 2009 with an abundance of local merchants selling eco-friendly goods, artisanal crafts, funky art, holiday accents, tasty treats and much more.  See the full list online for specific dates and booth location.

The market runs from noon to 8:00pm through December 23, 2009, and has live daily entertainment to keep shoppers entertained as they peruse the vendors for that special gift.  It is produced by the Downtown DC Business Improvement District in partnership with Diverse Markets Management.”


Ed. Note: Past Tense is a PoP advertiser. If you have events you’d like listed please email princeofpetworth (at) gmail (dot) com.


Who: Just in time for the holidays, Past Tense yoga studio brings residents The Gift of Fab, a spectacular holiday sale featuring unique gifts from local vendors.

What: The Mt. Pleasant yoga studio will be set up with booths featuring great holiday gifts made by local artists. In addition to Past Tense’s booth where interested yogis can buy mats, T-shirts and gift certificates for yoga classes, the sale will also showcase the following local vendors:

* Stacey Vaeth Photography, an Adams Morgan based photographic company specializing in lifestyle profiles, food photography, weddings and family portraiture, will showcase their fine art and nature photography. Stacey will also have gift cards, albums, ornaments and other holiday products for sale.

* Skincando a local green/organic skincare company will be selling their handmade combat-ready balm, lip balm and soap as well as holiday gift bags.

* For sweet stocking stuffers, local pastry chef Josh Short will be offering homemade granola, jams and baked goods. A few gluten-free goodies will also be available for purchase.

* Yinibini, the “pop-art chic” clothing and jewelry line for women, will showcase their sterling silver and gemstone jewelry, screen-printed clothing, baby clothing and accessories.

* Other items will include hand-lettered note and holiday cards from Michele Hatty Fritz of Meant To Be Calligraphy, handmade gifts like woven hammock and wool bags made by artisan designers at Calamarie: Traditional Art Reinterpreted, photography, notecards and magnets by local photographer Jill Golden and one-of-a-kind jewelry from Dina Vatcha.

When: Saturday, December 5, 2009 from 1-5 pm.

Why: Past Tense is committed to supporting local artists and designers and looks forward to introducing the local Mt. Pleasant community to these talented young vendors.

Where: The Past Tense studio, located three blocks from the Columbia Heights Metro, at 3253 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, NW in Washington DC. For more information, please call (202-462-YOGA) or visit the website at


Event: Portrait 2.0 Closing Reception
“Curated by Michael Pollack and as part of FOTOWEEK DC. Artists – Chan Chao, Matt Dunn, Victoria F. Gaitán, Nicholas Pye & Sheila Pye, Paul Vinet and Josh Yospyn.”
What: Exhibit
Start Time: Tomorrow, December 5 at 6:30pm
End Time: Tomorrow, December 5 at 8:30pm
Where: Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Main Gallery, 8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910-4511



When: Saturday Dec. 5th 2009

Where: DC9, 1940 9th Street, NW (between T and U Street)

Washington DC, 20001

Upstairs room

Time: 6pm – 9pm

Cover: $10 at the door

What has become a wildly successful event in New York City and Boston is now taking DC by storm. If you love Judd Apatow movies, Freakonomics and all things random, you MUST attend Nerd Nite DC.

What exactly is Nerd Nite? Nerds and non-nerds alike gather to meet, drink and learn something new. It’s an informal gathering at which people get together to hear presentations that will blow your mind. Armed with a microphone and their trusty PowerPoint slides, some of the smartest people in DC will prove to be the most interesting. The only requirement is that presentations must be random and absurdly entertaining.

What else would you possibly want to do on a Saturday evening rather than learn about bugs getting it on, Scrabble players duking it out for the title of freakiest Word Freak, and shrimp that are powerful enough to split an unsuspecting human’s thumb. All this and a musical serenade by the Daycare Swindlers.

It’s like the Discovery Channel with beer. Continues after the jump.

Tickets are available for $10 at the door. For more information on Nerd Nite DC join our facebook group at

December 5th Presentations and Sensations include:

Talk #1
Doing it Buggy Style: The fascinating and brutal sex lives of insects
By Jenna Jadin

Description: Sex. Who doesn’t like it…except for maybe female insects? Sex, sexual displays, and fertilization patterns show an amazing degree of diversity across the animal kingdom, but especially within the insects. Some insects mate following traditional pattern of sexual selection where females choose males with the best displays–i.e., the “frat party” approach. However others use more “innovative” and often violent sexual techniques like nearly drowning their mates, or eating their shoulders during fertilization. Jenna will be discussing the evolution of these strange mating techniques, hopefully making you appreciate how your sex life, even if “vanilla,” is better than that of an insect.

Bio: Jenna is currently a public policy associate and small time lobbyist who spends her time advocating on behalf of biological science research. But, she is also a recent graduate from the University of Maryland, where she studied the evolution and sexual behavior of Hawaiian crickets for her PhD. This meant that for many years, she spent her days reading about mate competition, ejaculates, and genitalia. Hot. It also meant that she traveled to Hawaii every year to do field work–but unfortunately the crickets live in muddy forests, not on sunny beaches.

Talk #2
Word Freaks: The history, culture and secrets of Scrabble
By Stefan Fatsis

Description: Stefan has delved into the competitive world of Scrabble and has emerged relatively unscathed. He has since written a nationally bestselling book called “Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players”. Stefan will elucidate this subculture and perhaps even pique your interest into following him into this shadowy wordy world.

Bio: Stefan has a way with words — and not just combinations of letters painted on little pieces of wood — or, as we’ll hear, on little pieces of plastic. He talks about sports every Friday on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and he’s a panelist on Slate’s sports podcast, “Hang Up and Listen.” He covered sports for many years for the Wall Street Journal and now writes for Sports Illustrated, the New York Times and other old and new media. Stefan’s latest book took him into a slightly different subculture than Scrabble. He spent a summer as a placekicker with the Denver Broncos. That book is titled “A Few Seconds of Panic: A Sportswriter Plays in the NFL”.

Talk #3
Stomatopods — what’s up with those eyes and why is my thumb bleeding?
By Pete Thompson

Description: So many organisms in the world and so many cool adaptations! Come, meet one of the coolest: the lowly mantid shrimp, commonly referred to as the “thumb-splitter.” A denizen of the colorful world of coral reefs, this crustacean sees the world through the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom and has an attack strike with the force of a .22 caliber bullet. Yowza! Come discover what these stomatopods can see, and learn about the biomechanics behind the generation of extreme power in a liquid environment. You too may come to believe that marine ecosystems are where it’s at.

Bio: Pete is a graduate student at the University of Maryland where he studies the genetics of a single-celled parasite that infects oysters along the east coast of the United States. This parasite is a major concern for those wishing to restore oyster populations–because the parasite breaks down oyster body tissues turning them into the texture of snot (yes, undergrads were used extensively for all the animal prep work). He is ABD (all-but-dissertation) which means that he spends most of his time surfing the internet looking for other things to do instead of write…like doing research on killer shrimp and stomatopod biology…

For more information:

Check out the nerdnite website which features upcoming events.

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