Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Edinburgh Science Festival - First Few Days

So the annual Edinburgh Science Festival is up and running, and it's even bigger and better than previous years. For my sins I'm spending some very late evenings running the bookshop at the Big Ideas venue, and it's going really well. People are snapping the books up left right and centre, and it's not just the ones written by the speakers. Psychology and cosmology seem to be the big topics.  Tthe current leaderboard is:

  1. Marcus Chown (The Universe Next Door, Quantum Theory Cannot Hurt You, We Need To Talk About Kelvin, The Never Ending Days Of Being Dead)
  2. Brian Cox & Jeff Foreshaw (Why Does E=mc^2?)
  3. Frank Close (Antimatter, Nothing: A Very Short Introduction, Particle Physics: A Very Short Introduction)

There's still some very big events to come too....the Bang Goes The Theory folk will be in town tomorrow, probably doing something Heath Robinson would be proud of, the Filmhouse has a special screening of Wonders of the Solar System plus a Q&A with Prof Brian Cox, and Richard Dawkins will be continuing tradition and packing out George Square Lecture Theatre. 

The one event I'm desperate to get to is Carl Sagan is my God, oh and Richard Feynman Too, with Robin Ince presenting an evening of comedy and physics.  Yes, they do go very well together don't they. 

All in all, lots of fun!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Dear Steven Moffat, Matt Smith, Karen Gillen, et al...

I'm sorry for ever doubting you, even for a second. I'm sorry for thinking that there was even a chance that you'd mess it up in any way.

The new Doctor Who is brilliant, so far at least. The script was funny and clever, the acting was pretty good, the storyline was a superb bit of stand-alone sci fi in its own right. There was even a Geoff in it who saved the world with a laptop that looked suspiciously like it was running linux.

My original point, rambling aside, is it was an intelligent and well thought out piece of modern sci fi. It didn't rely on the brand, or the "sexiness" of the new actor (New chin? Blimey....) or even the special effects, which were clearly on a lower budget. It just stuck to canon, played with it a little to comic effect, and produced a story that Clarke or Asimov would've been proud of.

I like, and you can't take that away from day since I didn't die in a Cairngorm whiteout.

I liked the new look TARDIS too, very steampunk inspired :)