Alas, I have gone over a month without posting, which is more than twice as long a gap as I ever wanted to leave. However I have still been busy since I started talking about my creative endeavours on this blog, so here’s description of what I’ve been up to, as well as a poem…
“Fake Science” Comedy
I performed at BAHFest London: Big Science – a show in which people present clearly wrong ideas in as “scientific” a manner as possible. I talked about a way to use quantum physics to keep old films as good as you remember them, and you can watch my set on this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKmz47MFq8c&t=107m6s . I didn’t win, but I feel I put in a good showing (despite not playing up the similarities between Star Wars films enough). I also got a comment from Zach Weinersmith that my talk was probably the nerdiest they’d ever had at a BAHFest. I feel I should add that to future applications.
That led quite nicely into February’s edition of Sci Cam (my online show) as one of the BAHFest competitors, Matt Allinson, volunteered to take part. He talked about the James Webb Telescope, my regular co-host Robin Lamboll talked about the history of science poetry, and I gave a brief description of how gravitational wave detectors actually detect the change in lengths of their arms due to the gravitational waves. You can catch that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf8p5QYVKUU and find previous episodes here: https://www.youtube.com/user/SciCamVideos
On Saturday last weekend I hosted the usual live edition of Sci Cam for the Cambridge Science Festival, during which I talked about “Einstein’s Greatest Hits and Misses”. The audience were younger than I expected; we ask for 12+ as the next age category up is 15+ and we don’t want to put off enthusiastic 13/14 year-olds who would hopefully understand our talks, but what we weren’t expecting was to have several children in the audience who were clearly still of primary school age. I tried to adjust my talk on the fly, resulting in a lack of fluency, but it still seemed to go alright despite going over a few people’s heads. I think more practice beforehand would have helped with that, but I also had to do a longer talk than usual as we had a few people with shorter talks this year. I’m unsure what to do about the audience age, or about the fact that around half the people who had booked tickets didn’t turn up, and some arrived late.
Over the past few weeks I’ve submitted a few things to Newsjack, which is an open submission satire show on BBC Radio 4 Extra. Apparently one of my jokes made its way into the script but sadly not the final edit. I’ve submitted again this week, which is the final episode of the series, so hopefully I’ll manage to do that little bit better and make it into the show.
Bubbling in the Background
My comedic play script is still bumbling along – not as quickly as I’d like but it’s nearly there. The climax is done, just got the denouement (the bit after the big dramatic bit where everything is tied up neatly, for those not familiar with the term) to finish off. Then to go back and fix all the problems. So not nearly finished then. Oh.
It’s time for my 1 hour science comedy show for the Cambridge science festival – “How is the Universe Like a Lightbulb?” Tickets are still available if you’re in the area! Go to http://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/how-universe-lightbulb for more detials. I’ve been brushing up on it this weekend, and I’ve added some more jokes in; it’s strange going over something that I wrote a year ago and spotting jokes which seem obvious now that I somehow missed first time round. Strange, but good – it’s really nice to see the progress!
And I think that’s “all” (*phew*). Hopefully I won’t have such a big gap next time. In the meantime, do share your own projects in the comments, and enjoy (and possibly critique if you feel so inclined) this poem I wrote the other week:
Sometimes I feel like I have wings.
That I could make a flight of fancy,
And everyone would stare.
My twist and turns would amaze them,
And pull them through the air.
That I could make them feel alive,
And laugh, and dance, and cry.
And maybe not feel so alone,
That they can come and fly.
But then I sit down to write,
To let the story out.
And the wings are gone.
But the memory of the feeling stays,
And day by day instead
I try to build myself new wings
That match those in my head
It’s not easy building wings
When they start as thoughts
Shaping them upon my screen
All cast from ones and noughts
But I know,
If I get it right,
Even ones and noughts,
Can support a flight.