These listings appear every Wednesday. If you want to let us know about any upcoming science or technology events, you can contact us on LondonistSciTech@Gmail.com. This week’s summary was brought to you with the help of Inky Circus ….thanks Inky!
Event of the week
Pixar: 20 Years of Animation opens at the Science Museum this Saturday. Prebooking is strongly recommended cause, us inkettes dunno, it’s Pixar and they are easily the coolest geekiest most-badass bunch of tech enabled film buffs ever. That’s right. The same people that brought you The Incredibles, Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and the fab short For the Birds, are baring their sketchbooks for all to see in South Ken for the next while. Quick sum up: Pixar are the folks who swept up where Disney left off in the early 90s with the two-tiered approach to kiddy films (low down for the kids to reach and up high for the adults – the comic formula the Muppets got down pat). But lo and behold, Disney’s buying them up as we speak, for $7.4 billion. So there’s obviously gold in them pictures; go see for yourself.
Also. Hats off to those of you who watched David Attenborough’s Planet Earth on Sunday night, and discovered that a snotite is a stalactite made of bacteria. Ew. The next installment is on Sunday on BBC1 at 9pm and it’s all about deserts. Expect nasty scaly things like scorpions to feature this weekend, alongside more aesthetically pleasing desert foxes and gazelles. Derren Brown is still doing his psychological Tricks of the Mind on Channel 4 but it’s up against Planet Earth so you’ll have to set your video. Unless he does some serious Jedi mind tricks on us all.
The ever cool ICA is dishing up the last in its four part film series exploring the psychology of confused identities this Sunday with Screening Conditions: The Truman Show plus. The plus refers to psychoanalyist Andrea Sabbadini who introduces the film as well as guest speaker Michael Brearley putting in his two precious cents.
The Natural History Museum offering just a quickie lecture about Climate Change on Thursday, and a glimpse at Life Under the Antarctic Ice on Friday. The Royal Institution takes up some of the afternoon slack with an Out and About session of lectures and debates focusing on nanotechnology, the magic of prime numbers, and the brain in sickness and in health.
It’s been said that the best things in life are free. This week, the Dana Centre are showing us how we can get our hands on the free stuff by having a Takeaway Festival. That doesn’t mean a bhaji and a bhuna, it means software and stuff, teaching you how to make the most of free downloads and programmes. There are three installments – today it’s all about pods and blogs and publishing yourself online, Thursday will teach you about free software for editing audio and how to avoid copyright traps, and then Friday has a session on open source computing. Great stuff. For the crazy inventors among you, eccentric science TV bod Adam Hart Davies and inventor Trevor Baylis (the man behind the wind up radio) are poised to take you through a trip down memory lane in their Reinventing Technology lecture.
In another break from tradition, two sciency films this week. First up is the Deep Sea IMAX movie at the Science Museum. We over here at inkycircus do love a good IMAX. And if it’s all about fishes and sharks and stuff, double bonus. The other film is more Indiana Jones and less octopi, it’s called Firewall. Think internet security meets tech geeks meets blackmail meets ransom meets Harrison Ford. It’s probably not terribly intellectual but it promises fun. Reviews have been a bit shaky, but if you think Mr Ford’s still got it, Firewall will be playing at a multiplex near you.
For those of you who saw the article in February’s WIRED magazine about those intriguing robotic fish you can catch them for yourself at the London Aquarium. They took three years to build and are real pretty. The first is fast like a tuna, second can accelerate like a pike and the last can navigate like an eel.
As spring blossoms, the London Zoo is advertising how great their animals are for explaining, how, you know, the birds and the bees, ahem, do, cough, it. It’s an attempt to use the flushes of their cavorting critters to avoid those of parents trying to explain sex to their kids. And what better way than sharing the delights of the Jackass penguins, Banggai cardinal fish and gidgee skinks sex lives. Worth a laugh at worst. Some decent sex ed at best. The birds and the bees at London Zoo!
Finally, there’s plenty of stuff to keep you entertained on the net, like the many cool science radio shows out there. They’re all on at odd times so it’s worth tracking down internet radio players if you want to have a listen. BBC World Service & BBC Radio 4 have Digital Planet (the newly restyled Go Digital), The Material World, Science in Action, and Leading Edge. ABC news has the truly fantastic Dr Karl, and CBC in Canada has its Quirks & Quarks.
When and Where?
Pixar: 20 Years of Animation – Opens Saturday April 1st through to June 10th 2006, Science Museum, £9 adults, £7 children
Screening Conditions: The Truman Show – movie and discussion – Sunday April 2nd, ICA, £20 full price, £16 concession
Takeaway Festival – Free Software – Free Culture, 11.00 – 10.30pm, Wednesday March 29th, Dana Centre, FREE
Takeaway Festival – Free Audio Culture, 11.00 – 10.30pm, Thursday March 30th, Dana Centre, FREE
Takeaway Festival – Creative Computing – Open Source Culture, 11.00 – 10.30pm, Friday March 31st, Dana Centre, FREE
Reinventing Technology, 7 – 8.30pm, Tuesday April 4th, Dana Centre, FREE
Out and About, 1.30 – 5.30pm, Tuesday April 4th, Royal Institution, £13.
Robotic Fish – London Aquarium – in the freshwater tanks next to the Atlantic tanks. £11.75 – £8.25 depending on your age and time of visit.
All Natural History Museum lunchtime lectures take place at 2.30pm with additional slots at the weekend, last an hour, and are FREE.
CSI: Las Vegas 9pm Tuesday, Miami 10pm Tuesday, New York 9.10pm Saturday, all C5. David Attenborough’s Planet Earth: 9pm Sunday, BBC1. Derren Brown’ Trick of the Mind: 9pm Sunday, C4.
Go Digital: 2.05am Wednesday, BBC World Service.
Science in Action: 10.05am Friday, BBC World Service.
The Material World: 4.30pm Wednesday, BBC Radio 4.
The Leading Edge: 9.30pm Thursday, BBC Radio 4.