Who will be crowned Geek of the Year?

Tim Quirino of Geekadelphia (second from left) will join the city's geekiest at the Philadelphia Geek Awards. Credit: Jackie Sauer/ Clever Girl Photography
Tim Quirino of Geekadelphia (second from left) will join the city’s most innovative geeks on the red carpet this weekend.
Credit: Jackie Sauer/Clever Girl Photography

With more than 40 nominees in 14 categories, this year’s Philadelphia Geek Awards honor a wide range of local scientists, artists, teachers and entrepreneurs — united not by any particular interest but by the intensity of their particular interests.

“The term ‘geek’ doesn’t necessarily refer specifically to technological innovation,” says Tim Quirino, co-founder of local blog Geekadelphia, which presents the Geek Awards in conjunction with the Academy of Natural Sciences. “It’s more about having a hobby or a side project that you feel really passionate about, that you care so much about that you pour yourself into it.”

This year’s nominees include an archeology professor working with Dogfish Head Brewery to revive ancient beer recipes; giant “Pong” games played on the Cira Centre; a startup helping to teach adolescents with autism to use digital and social media; a visual artist creating work inspired by hot dogs; and a card game involving mutant dinosaurs. For the first time this year, those nominees were discovered with the help of Philly’s larger geek community, who were encouraged to submit suggestions and ideas through the Geekadelphia website.

“Informed as I and the rest of the team try to be, we all have normal jobs that keep us really busy,” says Geekadelphia co-founder Eric Smith. “So something incredible could slip under the radar. In the end, we received over 600 emails and had this gigantic pool of resources to pull from that we didn’t have the past two years. I think it really helped us to find things that we might not have come across otherwise.”

The black-tie, red carpet awards show takes place at the Academy of Natural Sciences, where the pre-show cocktail hour will feature science demonstrations and live animals. The ceremony itself will include presentations by local “celebrigeeks” like “Mystery Science Theater 3000” creator Joel Hodgson, cartoonist Brad Guigar, and photographer Kyle Cassidy.

The evening’s most coveted award, of course, is Geek of the Year. This year’s headline nominees are molecular biologist, game designer, and comedian Matthew Akana; Drexel engineering prof (and Cira Centre Pong mastermind) Dr. Frank Lee; and Central High robotics team leader Dan Ueda.

“That’s like our Best Picture,” Smith says of the award. “We look for people who have done outstanding things in the community that isn’t just about themselves or about making a product, but that’s inspiring others or that gives back in a really big way. When you look at the nominees, they’re really inspiring people that I think the community should look up to.”

Philadelphia Geek Awards
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
1900 Ben Franklin Pkwy.
$25, 215-299-1000
www.phillygeekawards.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…

International

British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…

Local

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

NFL

Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.

MLB

Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."