THIS GIG HAS SADLY BEEN CANCELLED. Do come and see Science Showoff on May 15th instead.
Hooray! Hot Cross Buns for everyone!
Hot Cross Buns and chocolate eggs and creme eggs and mini eggs and chocolate bunnies and tiny chocolate teddies and sugar mice and I think I might feel a little sick now and I think I might need Easter to stop so that we can get on with science.
Science Showoff is BACK at the Wilmington Arms on Tuesday 2nd April to SHAKE you all out of your holiday slumbers. And what a cracking lineup we have for you.
There’s Steve Cross, compere, lactose-intolerant Easter-refusenik and satirist (he would like to think) of science.
Joining him are:
Elaine Chew – “If you are the sort of person who regularly despairs at other people’s stupidity, this one’s for you. I will be exploring whether there are limits to the brain function of the young and the old (probably badly because I know nothing about brains).”
Alisa Anokhina – “Morbid poetry inspired by the dark, twisting pathways of the human mind; absolutely no discussion of statistical analyses. Well, maybe a little bit.”
Amy Birch will be talking about Pint of Science, an exciting new science festival in May coming to a pub near you. If you like science and pubs (who doesn’t?) then you won’t want to miss it.
Kathryn Harkup – “Some early experiments with electricity are stranger than fiction. I’ll be looking at how resurrectionists and frog torturers may have influenced Mary Shelley when she wrote the first science fiction book – Frankenstein.”
Katie Alcock – “When you’re a new parent, you’re bombarded with information and advice, but is any of it based on actual scientific evidence? I’m going to sift the wheat from the chaff, with the help of Maggie Simpson.”
Chris Douce – “Do you have those days all your electronic devices seem to conspire together to make your life difficult? Chris Douce is going to be talking about interaction design, the process of trying to make stuff easy to use. The thing is, making stuff that is easy is actually pretty difficult.”
Tiphaine Bardon – “Learn more about what is “heritage science” through an (almost) realistic case study: something terrible happened to the Mona Lisa and the experts from the CSH (Centre for Sustainable Heritage) will investigate the case…”
Ronald Stewart – “I am offering a slightly biased answer to the question: “What is statistics?”, or how best to count German tanks.”
AND Suze Kundu
AND Lewis Dean
The gig is at the Wilmington Arms (that’s EC1R 4RL for fans of Google Maps), with the doors opening at 7pm. The gig is free to get in, but we will be collecting on the door for our charity of the month, which is the Islington Arts Factory (amazing new website alert!) who make dance and other artforms accessible to a really wide range of people. As ever we suggest you donate £5 (or more if you like the show).
Sometimes it’s good to talk about something other than science. It’s good to pack away psychology and cosmology and geology for a while and dig into some other things.
Geek* Showoff 2 will help you do exactly that. We’ve taken the Showoff format, and tweaked it to let loads of minds share something other than science, and to fill your heads up with incredibly entertaining trivia. On Tuesday 26th March we’ll take over the venue upstairs at the Black Heart in Camden (home of comedy nerdout Specialist Subject and here) for a night of hilarious thinking in aid of the VERY IMPORTANT CHARITY Arts Emergency (we suggest that you donate £5 or more on the door to this very good cause).
The acts keeping you on the edge of your seat will be:
Compere Steve Cross, who will be revealing that even stunningly attractive, erudite, refined, intelligent, cosmopolitan, self-effacing guys enjoy a terrible George Lucas spinoff once in a while.
Cat Rogers will explain why her favourite Opera is the best opera and anyone who doesn’t agree is WRONG.
Lauren Geisler - Why I Love William Morris So Much And Why He Was So Brilliant And Why I Am Exactly But Not Quite Like Him
Marc Burrows - It’s a family drama, an action epic, a comedy, a treatise on the nature of the Divine in a Godless universe, and It’s got a fan-dance strip-tease scene. IN SPACE. The most insane, far reaching, sexually charged, and moving film of 1989,’ Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’ is fully dissected, celebrated and debunked as 107 minutes of prime rib Sci-Fi is packed into just 9 minutes of geeky showing off.
Vanessa Pelz-Sharpe - Ever looked at a pair of shoes and felt a wave of lust wash over you? Welcome to the strange world of paraphilias, where people fall in love with anything from a bannister to the Eiffel Tower.
Dawn Foster - Dawn misread the name of the show as “Greek Showoff”, so will be talking about Greece, politics, the fallibility of humans and why we should instead be ruled by robots
Stephen Thomas - As a 25 year old male who owns every single Animated Classic, I’d be looking to dissect what makes a ‘classic’ Disney film. I’d also throw in the age old questions of whether every major character in Beauty and the Beast is gay, and if the Lion King films are the greatest Shakespearean trilogy known to man.
Eva Amsen will show you how (and why) she turned a Dr Who sonic screwdriver into an iPad stylus.
James W Smith likes to walk. Occasionally those walks can be boring. How does he jazz some of them up? Why, with saliva, of course!
Sally Evans - Let me introduce you to The Church of Henson. Featuring the gospel according to Beaker, why Kermit is the Messiah and the battle against Evil* they face. *Ricky Gervais
Helen Zaltzman - Helen Zaltzman is one half of the Sony Award-winning podcast Answer Me This!. She is an ‘internet expert’ on BBC 5 Live and created the world’s first giant inflatable Boggle set.
The doors will open at 7pm. Do come along for acts that will change your life, and donate to a charity that will help change other people’s lives too.
* = “geek” as we all know is not synonymous with “scientist”, “science fan” or “member of the UK science industry” and should not be used as such.
This week we rocked the Wilmington Arms to its very foundations:
BANG! A lineup that made the mouth water and the brain fizz.
POW! An incredibly generous audience who donated £529 to the Coram’s Fields charity and helped a team member recover from CRIME.
ZAP! An atmosphere of fun and excitement that took the breath away.
And on April 2nd it’s time to do it all over again. You want to be a part of it, don’t you? 9 minutes to perform in any style about any kind of science on our stage. If you’d like some ideas, or to find out how the gig works, look here:
But if you want to crack on and sign up to be part of the action, sign up here:
There are 4 sets and 2 reserve slots currently up for grabs. Go for it!
Like brains? Well you’re in luck, as the people behind Science Showoff have decided that it is time to get BRAINY!
Join us at the Barbican Centre at midday on the 2nd and 3rd of March for our first Brains Showoff as part of the Barbican Weekender: Brain Waves! We will be doing two shows over the Weekender; one on Saturday 2nd March and one on Sunday 3rd March, both at midday, both on the FreeStage at the Barbican, both of which are going to be EXCELLENT!
Both shows will be compered by Suze Kundu, who will be joining you on your journey of brain-based discovery. As she is no expert on brains herself, she will luckily be joined by some amazing performers across the two days that are brainy about brains!
On Saturday 2nd March our performers are:
Martin Coath – Have ever wondered what you would see if you looked at a thought through a microscope? We are going to turn the magnification up, and up, and up, until … Well OK, we don’t have a brain, or a microscope, but we do have people, and together we can devise a 9 minute piece of performance art entitled “I Think, Therefore I Make a Mess With Confetti”.
Ginny Smith – Are you paying attention? Ginny Smith will show you that you may not
notice as much of what goes on around you as you think you do.
Matt Wall – I will be talking about the very early history of studying brain activity in humans, and comparing it with modern techniques. I will also be attempting to measure the brain activity of a volunteer live on stage, using items you can probably find in your kitchen.
Nicole Slavin - How do you solve a problem like aphasia? Find out what Robbie Coltrane, Whoopie Goldberg, Julie Andrews and stroke patients from Essex have in common and why learning from brain damage can still trump high tech.
And on Sunday 3rd March we are joined by:
Keir Shiels – I’ll be talking about hardwiring / softwiring of the visual system, including the neuropsychology of Stroop, Thatcher and synaesthesia.
Liam Hogan – If American politicians could predict the future of scientific research into brains, what would the mice talk about? A short, and admittedly not particular scientific, story.
Lizzie Crouch – I’ll be talking about the hidden maps in your brain, and demonstrating these using some very lucky audience members!
Oliver Meech – Magic meets Neuropsychology, aka The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Top Hat. I’ll illustrate bizarre neurological conditions using cunningly concealed magical methods.
Entry to the gig is free, and the shows will last an hour each. There are lots of other events going on over the weekend at the Barbican, so come along, bring your friends and families, learn some interesting facts, see some amazing demonstrations, and definitely come and say hello!
SEE YOU AT THE WEEKEND!
Ah, spring. Spring spring spring. Springy old spring. It’s here again.
The coats are getting shorter and the grass is getting longer and Science Showoff have ten amazing acts to share with you. Our next gig is Tuesday March 5th 2013 at the Wilmington Arms (that’s EC1R 4RL, GPS fans!). Doors are 7pm, and entry is free BUT we do much prefer it if you make a donation (we suggest £5) on the door to our charity of the month, which is Coram’s Fields, who help children and young people just around the corner from the Wilmington Arms.
Those providing the science meets cabaret meets open mic meets mixed media madness are:
Steve Cross – MC and pain in the arse.
Catherine Loveday – Why is it that music has the power to make us cry, make us dance or lure us into a warm embrace? I will be talking about what rock n roll and Mozart have in common with chocolate cake and sex, as well as explaining why chickens like listening to Pink Floyd.
Helen Keen – I will ask whether alien intelligences have been watching us throughout history – and talk about some of the evidence for this (but not in a David Icke-y way).
Leun Otten – I can read your mind! I will show how brain activity can predict someone’s next move – and thoughts to boot. You’ll never lose a game of Slaps again.
Sophie Meekings – I’ll be demonstrating how I can use the arcane powers of language science to control your mind and your voice.
Holly Rogers – Why don’t superheroes lead double lives as researchers, and why are all scientists evil? I will be talking about why the comic book world needs more STEM outreach.
Bryony Frost – I’ll be trying to recreate the beginning of our Universe with LEGO, showing how the particles created in the Big Bang combined to create everything around us today.
Laura Emson – ‘So Are You A ‘Slut’ or a ‘Saint’?’. Non-gender specific, non-judgemental look at whether the number of people you’ve slept with is a basis for being labelled whether positively or negatively. You’ll be given a chance to work out your slut coefficient in a live action calculation without having to reveal your ‘number’
Theo Blossom – How to immortalise yourself in the scientific scriptures of the Natural History Museum – if you can’t get published you can always worm your way in somehow…
Matt Pritchard – I’ll be demonstrating how a magician can exploit and deceive the human mind. From simple science stunts to Jedi mind tricks.
Karl Byrne – Although he no longer spends his days in a virus lab, he still loves the little horrors and he’s going to share some of that love with you (not as messy as it sounds…)
A new departure from the Showoff network, Green Showoff is a new anarchic variety night for people with something to say about green issues: activists, scientists, policy wonks, students, hippies, green businesspeople, journalists, comedians, artists and general grumpypants.
It’s happening at The Star of Kings on York Way in London (just a couple of doors up from Kings Place) on February 21st at 7pm.
Join compere Steve Cross and ten fantastic communicators for a night of cheering up about being green.
Doors are 7pm, and the gig is free to get in. We’ll be collecting for Camley Street Nature Reserve (the nearest bit of green to the venue) though, and we suggest donations of £5 each.
Alice Bell – “Who remembers the Blue Peter Green Book? What about Captain Planet? He’s a hero, going to bring pollution down to zero… Or, more recently, Micheal Recycle, “super scientist” Max Axiom or the Eden Project’s “George” (who “Saves the World by Lunchtime”)? Dive into my collection of kids eco literature, from the early 1990s to the late 00s, and wonder why we keep putting superheroes in the stories we tell young people about the environment.”
Martin Zaltz Austwick is “the most brilliant acoustic performer no money can buy”, and has written a lovely song from the point of view of the oldest tree in the world, as well as awesome tunes about snails, horses and an album about plankton from the ocean floor which works like herbal viagra. You can hear his music at http://thesoundoftheladies.com/
Anne Schulthess – “This is not a rant, it’s a confession. Rambling musings on the trials, tribulations and guilt of being a “do-good-aholic” from a life-long greenie, eco, bleeding heart liberal.”
Joe Flatman – “The words ‘Climate Change’ conjour up images of polar bears stranded on icefloes – an emotive but ultimately distant problem. But there is a climate change impact that is much closer to home and which is happening now. Using ten examples from around the world, Joe Flatman will show how the historic environment is the ‘canary in the coal mine’ of climate change, and that the climate clock has been ticking for a long while in this effect.”
Andrew Tobert – “I was arrested at Southend airport, and subsequently put on the domestic extremist list.” A (humorous) presentation about activism, the consequences of it, but why it’s so important.”
Sarah Bell – “The great green leap forward we have all been waiting for is happening now in our gutters. I will be talking about drainage and why every good citizen should pay more attention to where their water comes from and goes to. The revolution is just a green roof away”
Matthew Winning – “This Environmental Economist will take a hilarious, light-hearted look at the science and policy of climate change.”
Lucy Gilliam – “Having crossed the Atlantic and back, trading goods via sail and connecting slow food communities, the New Dawn Traders are spearheading a revival of shipping under sail and telling the story of sustainable shipping. “
David Benque – “The New Weathermen is a speculative design project looking at the environmental movement’s relationship with science and technology, and more specifically biology. The project is currently in development, and uses a fictional group of activists to trigger discussions about techno-progressivism gone rogue.”
Kate Jones – Bats, people, citizen science and taking part.