High Voltage Theatre of Science

1. High Voltage Theatre of Science
2. Big Bang World Tour & Fame Lab
3. Flatland
4. Darwin Dub Reggae
5. Puzzle Competition
6. Competition Winner

1. High Voltage Theatre of Science

It’s been three years since Richard Wiseman and I performed our show ‘Theatre of Science’, but now we are back with a new show, bigger and better than ever before. In an effort to push the boundaries of what can be done in a theatre, we will be submitting ourselves to million volt sparks. Also, we will be joined on stage by one of the world’s most talented theremin players and an incredibly bendy contortionist. The show will be at the Soho Theatre in London from July 4 onwards. There are details of the new and old Theatre of Science at the sites below:

http://www.sohotheatre.com/comedy/
https://www.simonsingh.net/Theatre_of_Science.html

2. Big Bang World Tour & FameLab

I have just returned from three weeks in New Zealand and Australia, where ‘Big Bang’ has just been published in paperback. I had a great time, and now I am back in the UK for the release of the British paperback. I will be giving various talks, including this Saturday morning at the brilliant Cheltenham Science Festival. I will also be a judge for the final of ‘Fame Lab’, which is ‘Pop Idol’ for boffins. Details of this and other events at the sites below:

http://www.cheltenhamfestivals.co.uk/frame_festindex.cfm?FEST=SCIENCE
http://www.famelab.org/
https://www.simonsingh.net/Simon_Lectures.html

‘Big Bang’ is already available in Italian, and later this year I will be visiting Germany and Sweden for the release of these translations. I also have plans to give lectures in Ireland, America, Canada and India before the end of the year. More details in future newsletters.

3. Flatland

When asked about string theory and higher dimensions, I often refer people to a wonderful novella entitled ‘Flatland’, written over a century ago by Edwin A. Abbott. Subtitled ‘A Romance of Many Dimensions’, it tells the story of a community of people who live in two dimensions and who are, therefore, unable to conceive of a third dimension. The entire text is now available online, and it is certainly worth a read if you are curious about the possibility of eleven or more dimensions.

http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Abbott/Abbott_contents.html

4. Darwin Dub Reggae

The Genomic Dub Collective website below is my favourite piece of quirky art-science. It contains dub reggae songs about Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution. The songs are absolutely wonderful, and they written and performed by Professor Mark Pallen and his PhD student Dom White.

www.infection.bham.ac.uk/BPAG/Dub/origin.html

5. Puzzle Competition

How many shaving strokes did I make this morning? I will accept an answer that is accurate to within 30 per cent. As far as I know, I am a fairly typical shaver.

The best way to get the answer to my question is to count the number of strokes you make yourself, or ask a brother or father or son if you are too young or too female to shave. I am defining a stroke as a single downward or a single upward motion of the blade such that the blade does not leave the skin.

There will be 5 winners, who can receive a copy of ‘Fermat’s Last Theorem’ in English, Serbian, German or Italian.

Email your answer to puzzle@simonsingh.net – the email should be empty, but your subject line should contain your estimate, the book you want and the language.

6. Competition Winner

In the last newsletter, I asked you to come up with a name for the first planet ever to be observed orbiting another star. It is currently known as 2M1207b, but I preferred Paul Lyden’s suggestion: ‘The name has to be “Snow White”. It was found near a brown dwarf!’ He will receive a copy of “The Genius of Science: A Portrait Gallery of 20th Century Physicists” by Abraham Pais.

Happy Shaving,

Simon.

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