Live podcasts, writing workshops, and the Arizona Game Fair – February's a busy month in metro Phoenix. This month also brings the Arizona SciTech Festival, which means STEAM events all over town, including lectures at the Pueblo Grande Museum and live demonstrations in downtown Chandler.
Also on the docket? The Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival, a sprawling used book sale, and an appearance from the man himself, Jerry Seinfeld. So suit up and get pumped: February is looking good.
"Artificial Intelligence and the Classification of Ancient Southwestern Pottery"
As part of the seventh annual Arizona SciTech Festival, the Pueblo Grande Museum is hosting a free lecture series called Findings from Fragments: Archaeological Discoveries Through Pottery. The first lecture is "Artificial Intelligence and the Classification of Ancient Southwestern Pottery." Which begs the question: Are computers better than humans when it comes to analyzing digital images of pottery and identifying ceramic types? Chris Downum and Leszek Pawlowicz lead the lecture from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Friday, February 2. See the Arizona SciTech website for more details.
How to Write a Love Letter
It’s the season for sentiment. And if you want to let someone know how you feel, Amy Silverman (New Times' managing editor) and Deborah Sussman (a New Times contributor who's with ASU's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts) would encourage you to ditch the greeting card aisle. Instead, participate in the workshop How to Write a Love Letter hosted at Changing Hands Bookstore. It runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, at the Tempe location, and Tuesday, February 6, at the Phoenix location. Cost is $30 per person. See the Changing Hands website to register and get more information.
Some people know every line in Star Wars, or understand what the hell every character is up to in Star Trek, or could give you a play-by-play of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That’s cool. But our thing is watching and rewatching every single episode of Seinfeld. We know all about cinnamon babka, the Drake, painting Timberlands, how to order a medium turkey chili, and so much more. Jerry Seinfeld is coming to Comerica Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 9. Tickets are steep, and there are only a few left, but hey, it’s Jerr. See the Live Nation website for tickets.
2018 Arizona Game Fair
This year’s Arizona Game Fair will feature everything from a Kingdomino tournament to an escape room by Dare to Escape to Happy Time Dungeon Hour and late-night gaming. There’s also open and scheduled board gaming (and you can BYOG), RPGs, and special guests like Paul Dean from Shut Up and Sit Down. The 2018 AGF runs from Friday, February 9, through Sunday, February 11, at the Mesa Convention Center. Tickets range from $25 for a day badge to $75 for a Library Patron Badge. Visit the Arizona Game Fair website.
Pod Tours America
Touring podcasts are a thing, and in Phoenix, we're lucky to see a lot of our faves come through. This February, Jon Favreau (not that Jon Favreau), Tommy Vietor, and Jon Lovett (not that John Lovett) are on tour and ready to talk politics to what is sure to be a full room. Pod Tours America is coming to Phoenix at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, at Comerica Theatre. Tickets range from $45 to $195. See the Crooked Media website for tickets and more details.
2018 VNSA Used Book Sale
It’s a new year, which means you’ve got a new book goal to get cracking on. Dating back to 1957, the VNSA Book Sale has thrown thousands of books into one room for us to peruse and possibly purchase. The sale also includes DVD box sets and other goods, and they take book donations like you don’t even know. The 2018 VNSA Used Book Sale is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on February 10, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, February 11, to the Arizona State Fairgrounds. See the VNSA website for more details.
Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival
The annual Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival is a two-week film festival spanning Peoria, Scottsdale, and Tempe. This year’s theaters are Harkins Shea 14, Harkins Park West, and Harkins Tempe Marketplace, while films include 1945, Harmonia, Shelter, and multiple showings of Sammy Davis Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me. The GPJFF runs from Sunday, February 11, to Sunday, February 25, and festival passes are $150 for the whole deal. See the GPJFF website for more details.
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Chandler SciTech Festival
The annual Chandler SciTech Festival is a gathering of various companies and organizations showcasing the importance of science through interactive demonstrations and activities throughout downtown Chandler. Check out displays from ASU, UofA, and TechShop at the Chandler Innovation Center during Chandler's Science Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 17. Entry and parking are free. See the Arizona SciTech website for more details.
Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference
Pens at the ready, writers. The Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference is a way for writers of all levels to network, make friends, and sharpen skills. Hosted by Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at ASU, the conference offers 50 sessions from over 25 faculty members in literary fields like young adult, science fiction, fantasy, crime fiction, translation, and graphic novels. The conference is Thursday, February 22, through Saturday, February 24, and standard registration is $400. See the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writers Conference website for more information.
The NoSleep Podcast
February can be spooky, too. See for yourself during the live taping of The NoSleep Podcast – the podcast and anthology series of original horror stories. The 21-and-over show is held at Rebel Lounge so you can grab a drink before getting the hell scared out of you. Doors are at 7, and show starts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27. Tickets are $20 to $25, and can be purchased at Stinkweeds, by calling 877-987-6487, or online at the Rebel Lounge website.