The Museum of Curiosity

May 12, 2010

One of my favourite radio programs returned on Monday night.

The Museum of Curiosity invites three guests to suggest an artefact to be exhibited in an imaginary museum.  It has a good record of inviting scientists to make a contribution, and the first episode continues in this vein, featuring the cosmologist Marcus Chown.

Popular science is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment on the BBC, which is a good thing considering how successful successive governments’ attempts to kill it off in schools has been, so I’m all in favour of any program that gives air time to scientists amongst the endless stream of artists, politicians and journalists.  Saying that, and an added bonus for SFF fans, Terry Pratchett was also one of the guests on the first episode.

I like this program.  The humour reflects the pleasure in the fact of learning something new rather than taking the more fashionable route of being sarcastic and dismissive.

If you haven’t heard it, you can listen to the episode on BBC iPlayer up until Monday 17th May 2010 by following this link http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00s92p7/The_Museum_of_Curiosity_Series_3_Episode_1/

The program’s website is here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00k3wvk


Truth is Stranger than Science Fiction 2

June 18, 2009

Two things

1) My wife won a prize in a raffle this weekend.  The raffle was for a local brass band, and we were expecting the usual bottle of wine, or maybe a box of after dinner mints that was three months past its sell by date having done the rounds of bring and buy sales and church fetes for the past four years.  Instead she won…

… a 1Gb USB flash drive.  I remember handing one of these round at a meeting about five years ago and having to explain what it was.  It’s astonishing how quickly new devices go mainstream nowadays.  Think how long it took VCR to catch on.

The most amazing thing is, of course, the fact that she won something useful at a raffle.

2) A friend of mine has just returned from Australia.  He’s telling me all about it, not by phone, not by email, but via the game messaging system in between turns on Facebook Scrabble.

No SF author ever predicted that.