HughE Dillon: Philadelphia Geek Awards

Brains and style at the Academy of Natural Sciences.

Philly’s geeks turned out Friday night in their fanciest outfits and walked the red carpet at the second annual Philadelphia Geek Awards at the Academy of Natural Sciences. Looking very dapper were one of the event’s co-founders, Eric Smith, and his girlfriend, Nena Boling. Eric told me there would be lots of cool special effects during the presentation, and this year they did something special with the awards.

Below: Producer, actress and Philadelphia native Leah Ann Cevoli flew in to present the award for Viral Project of the Year. The winner was Random Acts of Culture: Ikea from the Opera Company of Philadelphia. You have to check out that video on Youtube.

Below: Dresden, and Cecily Kellogg, best known for her popular blog Uppercase Woman and 60,000 Twitter followers who love her tell-it-like-it-is commentary. Cecily and Gloria Bell handed out the Social Media Campaign award to the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the Zoe Strauss Exhibit Foursquare Campaign.

Below: Sandra Chu super-scored because not only did she attend with her bestie, Philly photographer, hip hopper, geek and adventurer Vincent Brown, but she was one of the first 100 arrivals and got a great Geek Awards gift bag full of fun stuff.

Below: Doug Gausepohl, sports writer, with sassy Shannon Caulfield, associate editor at Elauwit Media.

Below: Varun Bhandari and Leah Kauffman, executive producer at and founder and editor of Phrequency. Leah was honored to be nominated for the Viral Project of the Year Award for her Firewall: Leah R. Kauffman, a video that helped rile opponents against SOPA and PIPA. Thankfully, those acts never became the law of the land.

Below: Matt Conant and Stephanie Yuhas. The filmmaker is sporting the whole solar system on her head, sans Pluto—not because it’s no longer an official planet, but because it fell off earlier in the night.

Below: Roger Richardson, head of marketing at LevelUp Philadelphia, and Jenna Flateman, Philadelphia city manager at SCVNGR/LevelUp. Our household has been using LevelUp for a few months now. It’s a payment system where your phone has a LevelUp bar code that is linked to your credit card, for purchases of goods and services. Pretty geeky and convenient I’d say.

Below: Brady Russell, Anna Goldfarb and Melissa Weigel. Weigel tweeted that the robots on the award trophy resembled the robots on Brady Russell‘s shower curtain? Goldfarb tells me she has a book coming out soon called Clearly, I Didn’t Think This Through (Fall 2012, Berkley Trade). It’s based on how much she stinks at being an adult. No doubt it will be as clever and funny as her blog Shmitten Kitten, which is a lot about men, dating and life.

Below: Philadelphia Film Society’s development director, J. Lansing Sylvia, and Andrew Panebianco‘s outfits were inspired by Mrs. Pac-Man and Pac-Man.

Below: Linda Pitts, Derrick H. Pitts, chief astronomer and Planetarium director for the Franklin Institute, with Mr. Philadelphia, Albert Lee, the Independence Visitor Center’s experience marketing coordinator.

Below: The shy and unassuming Pincushion Podcast crew with Jo Pincushion, Michelle Provencher, Allie Harcharek and Jackie Chipotle.

Below: Eric Smith wasn’t kidding when he said things were changed up this year. That has to be the coolest podium used in any awards ceremony in history. Throughout the night, the graphics changed, sometimes depicting a half dancing body that would pop up; the speaker didn’t know it was there, and the audience would begin to laugh. This year, the award trophy was lit and robot-shaped. Many of the winners said they were excited not only to be honored with the award, but to have a new night-light.

Below: Youngmoo E. Kim, with his robot award for Scientist of the Year, and with his wife, Charlene Bierl. During his acceptance speech, Kim said he’s married to the sexiest gal of all, proclaiming, “My wife has two doctorate degrees!”

Below: Yis “NoseGo” Goodwin won Visual Artist of the Year for his Vitamin Water Uncapped. What Philly brain drain? There’s no reason to go anywhere else. Things are happening in Philadelphia, and it seems to be starting with the city’s geeks, who are making a difference globally with their innovative thinking, ideas and creations. I think they need to have a Paparazzo Geek award. Check out this year’s full list of nominees and winners here.