Meet Adam Ruben, author of Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball , on August 26th from 6:30pm-8:30pm.
Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball
Pinball's history is America's history, from gambling and war-themed machines to the arcade revolution and, ultimalely, the decline of the need to leave your house. Formerly ranked in the top 100 pinball players in the world, humor writer Adam Ruben visits pinball museums, gaming conventions, pinball machine designers, and even pinball factories in his attempt to discover what makes the world's best players, the real wizards, so good. Along the way, Ruben examines the bigger story of pinball's invetion, ascent, near defeat, resurgence, near defeat again, and struggle to find its niche in modren society.
From Adam's website
Adam Ruben is a writer, comedian, storyteller, and molecular biologist. For over a decade, he has performed at clubs, colleges, and private venues across the country, including at some of the best-known storytelling shows and comedy clubs. He is the author of Surviving Your Stupid, Stupid Decision to Go to Grad School (Random House, 2010), a satirical guide to the low points and, well, lower points of post-baccalaureate education. His new book, Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball, was published by Chicago Review Press on November 1, 2017.
For more than a decade, Adam has taught an undergraduate stand-up comedy class that has quickly become one of the most popular January “Intersession” courses at Johns Hopkins University; he currently teaches storytelling with Story District and is one of the Lead Producers for the DC and Baltimore chapters of Mortified. He writes the humor column “Experimental Error” in the otherwise respectable journal Science; he has also been seen and heard on the Food Network’s Food Detectives, the Science Channel’s Head Rush, the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Kremlin, Discovery International’s Superhuman Science, the Weather Channel’s Weather Gone Viral, the Science Channel’s How Do They Do It?, Netflix’s The Mortified Guide, and NPR’s All Things Considered and The Moth Radio Hour. He co-hosts the Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science (airing outside the United States as You Have Been Warned or Loco Lab on Discovery International), with more than 100 episodes aired or in production. Adam also produced and hosted a weird little web video series for the Journal of Visualized Experiments called Ask Adam about Grad School and will soon appear on another web series for Gizmodo.
His one-man show, Please Don’t Beat Me Up: Stories and Artifacts from Adolescence, debuted to rave reviews at the 2011 Capital Fringe Festival; it was followed by the equally well-received Dr. Science’s Science Time Science-va-ganza! in 2012 (including scientist-comedians Chuck Na and Jason Pittman) and I Feel Funny: True Misadventures in Stand-Up Comedy in 2015. In addition to his day job as Associate Director of Vaccine Stabilization & Logistics, developing a malaria vaccine at Sanaria Inc., Adam travels the country, performing his solo show as part of anti-bullying programs, talking about his books to audiences of disaffected grad students or pinball fanatics, and giving lectures on science careers and the public perception of science.
Adam lives with his wife, Marina Koestler Ruben, and their two children, Maya and Benjamin, in Washington, DC.