Week In Geek: 31 October-6 November 2011

Ali Pali celebrates a milestone of TV history with a big open day (Sat, Sun).

London events for people with curious minds.

Monday 31 October
INTERNET: How to live in the age of super-fast technologies and instant communications? Lifestyle tips are tonight dispensed by a selection of wired-in philosophers and technologists at Waterstones Gower Street. £8/£5, 7pm

SCI-ART: A new exhibition opens in the Royal Institution’s atrium space today. Called Autocatalysis, Cooperativity and Compression, the work is an intriguing collaboration by a physicist, and two artists (who will be on hand this evening to talk about their work). Whoever wrote the jargon-intense blurb, though, deserves to be spanked until their ‘individual aesthetic’ turns pink. FREE, until 2 December

GROTESQUE ANIMALS: Is there any museum creepier than the Grant, with its bottled moles and submerged foetal kittens? Spend Halloween among the specimens and learn about the history of animals in scary stories. £4, 5.30pm

Tuesday 1 November
ROBOT OVERLORDS: ‘Machine understanding of human behaviour‘ is the slightly worrying topic of a talk by Imperial’s Maja Pantic at the Royal Society this evening. Just don’t tell your fridge. FREE, 7pm

FIRE! (AND BOOZE): This month’s Science in the Pub features a topical (Bonfire night) look at fire and explosion. Scientist Claire Benson ‘Burner’ leads proceedings upstairs at the Brixton Ritzy. FREE, 7.30pm

STRING THEORY: To the Dana Centre, and a heady combo of science, music and multimedia art aims to put the ‘cultural’ back into ‘string theory’ (that latter bit of wordplay only works if you can read in 11 dimensions). FREE, 7pm

TRANSPORT: BBC London Radio’s Robert Elms brings his boundless enthusiasm to London Transport Museum, where he converses with artist John Burningham about Underground poster art. £8/£6, 6.30pm

Wednesday 2 November
RISK: Just how risky are nuclear reactors? Is the small chance of disaster worth the perceived benefits, who decides and how? Imperial’s Gudela Grote grapples with the stats behind the technologies underpinning society. FREE, 5.30pm

SATURN: The Cassini mission to the ringed planet will surely rank among the finest feats of exploration when our robot overlords recount the history of their kind 200 years from now. Head to the Barbican Centre to hear astronomer Carolin Crawford give a Gresham lecture on the plucky probe. FREE, 1pm

Thursday 3 November
SENSES: A trio of tasty talks over at the Westbourne Grove Salon, all themed around the senses. Expect a chocolate tasting, a dummy’s guide to collecting art and a crash course in heightening your senses. £10, from 7pm

TECH-FAIL: Tech can save you time, but it can also make you look like a bit of a tit. Ever sent a personal email to the wrong person? Course you have. Ever pointed your GPS to Stratford-Upon-Avon when you meant to go to Stratford? Probably for the best. Set up a free talk about such things ‘to mark usability day on 10 November’, but actually ran it on 3 November? UCL has. FREE, 1.15pm

RESOURCES: If the whole planet catches up to Western standards of living, how will the Earth cope? Martin Wolf speaks at Imperial College. FREE, 6.30pm

Friday 4 November
ART: Why do some works of art (Mona Lisa, we’re looking at you) achieve phenomenal fame, while others are dainty footnotes? Martin Kemp (no, not that one) is at the Royal Institution to explain. £10/£7, 7pm

COMMUNICATIONS: The Royal Society begs your ear for a lunchtime lecture about science on the radio. Who were/are the great communicators in the medium? FREE, 1pm

WEB: The Mozilla Festival, starting today and running until Sunday, brings together anyone who likes to play with the web – developers, designers, educators, game makers… – into one big jamboree of creativity. The event takes place at Ravensbourne College, North Greenwich. £60/£30

Saturday 5 November
GEOLOGY: Never mind the fireworks, keep your eyes firmly on the ground for UCL’s Festival of Geology. Wander among the universities cloisters to learn more about the minerals, gems and fossils of the earth. FREE, all day

TV: Head up to Alexandra Palace and celebrate the 75th anniversary of television broadcasts. Take a tour of the hulking Ali Pali, try some 1930’s inspired food, see the latest developments in 3-D TV and much more. Sounds awesome. FREE, all today and tomorrow

Sunday 6 November
BOOKS: Hear from some of the shortlisted authors in the Wellcome Trust’s Book Prize, celebrating medicine in fiction and non-fiction. FREE, 3pm

Booking Ahead
CREATIVITY: A mini-conference will look at the heady equation Technology + Humanity = Evolution. Get Together from The Next Bigger Better Society will be held on 18 November at  Wellcome Collection. Speakers include Wired’s Ben Hammersley and Google’s omnipresent Tom Uglow. £50, 8.30am-1pm [NOTE: THIS HAS BEEN CANCELLED]

What did we miss? Do pipe up in the comments. Also, if you’ve got wind (parp) of any upcoming events that might be worth listing, drop your friendly editor Matt an email at matt@londonist.com

 

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    are there really enough geeks for all these activities?