Blog

This is an April fool

We are delighted to announce that next week sees the launch Action Science TV. This joint venture between ourselves and Sky will bring an air of disappointing excitement to the Saturday evening schedules. And the rest of the time too.

Highlights of the Spring / Summer season include:

  • Semi-Pro Wrestling – with scientists from history (dead scientists parts played by actual wrestlers)
  • The Professor Brian Cox Minute
  • Punch, Punch, Kick, Kick – Neil Degrasse Tyson painstakingly describes his favourite action films, moment by moment
  • In Space No One can Hear you Bream – Science Brian examines the popularity of fishing in space
  • First Degree CERNs – Hilarious footage (sent in by viewers) of people using particle accelerators to open cans and bottles (£200 paid per clip, no means no)

You’ll be able to catch ASTV on Sky channel 3.1415926535897932, maths fans.

Talking about talking

Let’s talk about talking, shall we?

Many scientists and experts believe that to win over the public – to make them feel the same way they do towards their work – is to impart more facts to the public.

Let’s say you want to convince people that your research into genetic engineering should be funded, but people are uncomfortable about the possible applications. So, you painstakingly explain the science behind what you’re doing, pointing out at length how many safeguards you have in place to stop the genetically modified murder-pigeons from escaping the lab. The public, you think, just need to be better informed, and all will be well. Environmental science, biotechnology, nuclear physics,  murder pigeons – all the public needs to do is understand, and they’ll agree with us. There’ll be no more controversy.

This is a very tempting argument, and it sort of feels like it should be true. But the problem is that it’s not even slightly how things work.

Editing Episode 19 - Looping the Loop

The thing with Action Dan and Science Brian, is that they don’t half go on. And on. But the thing with sound effects is that they don’t necessarily go on long enough to cope with ol’ Blather and Blarney over there. So when a sound effect falls short or runs out midway through a scene, it needs to be strung out somehow. And this is where looping comes in.

Box lid from the Loopin' Louie board game

In this game, the players must protect their chickens from the wild meanderings of a maniac in a monoplane. Editing AST is exactly like this in every way.

What's long and hard and full of...

So, I thought I’d give Science Brian a break from doing the science post for our latest episode, and I’m going to take on this particular one. Handily, I know a lot about submarines. Really I do.

Let’s start at the beginning.

The submarine is named after Sir John Submarine, who at one time was proprietor of the largest chain of funeral directors in the British Empire. His company, ‘Submarine’s Emporium of Loved One Despatch’, buried some of the Empire’s most well-known colonial expansionists.

Playing with a very tiny fire

cannonCracker

Ah, Christmas. That time of year where we exchange presents, eat too much, watch television programmes that we would never watch under any other circumstances, politely listen to relatives we avoid during the rest of the year, and have a nice time playing with gunpowder.

Wait, what?

Seeing the invisible

Astounding Stories of Super-science

From pulpcovers.com

Did you ever think about how you’re able to see glass? I mean, the light just passes straight through glass, right? So how come I can see the edges, and the glasses I wash-up don’t just disappear from view? Why aren’t glasses invisible?

Well, it’s all to do with how light doesn’t just travel in straight lines.

Outrunning a decimal point

By Nicholas_T on Flickr

Now, we’re all polite people here. So let’s be polite and talk about the weather. No wait! Don’t go! I mean, let’s really talk about the weather.

Now, aside from the extremes, most weather can be dealt with. Rain? Raincoat. Sun? T-shirt. Snow? Stay inside, what are you even thinking about, jeez.

What’s difficult to deal with is the unpredictability. It’s sunny now, but next week? That’s tricky. And you know what the kicker is? You can’t know the weather that far in advance. There is a theoretical limit to that of about a month. Anything beyond a week is tricky, but no matter what you do, how good our computers get, however many weather stations we have, how much we shake our fists at the clouds, we can’t get past a month.