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Brain Candy Live!

brain candy stage
What if you put together MythBusters’ Adam Savage with Vsauce’s Michael Stevens and allowed them to play onstage in a darkened room? It would be like candy! Brain candy! Wait a just a minute….

Adam and Michael onstage
Everything about the show was a nerdgasm! From the lights, and the music, to the 3D printers in the lobby printing out what looked like Galactic stormtroopers.

3D printer of stormtrooper
This is exactly what we got to watch tonight downtown at the Majestic Theatre. Adam and Michael brought along some of their toys and tools and let their curious brains unleash some mind-blowing demonstrations as they discussed how to make the invisible visible.

molecule dance
Namely, how can we explore the air around us? Far from boring, their sense of wonder reminded me of a cross between that crazy uncle everyone barely tolerates and that really cool science teacher you remember from middle school. For example, instead of simply describing molecular vibrations as stretching (symmetrical or asymmetrical) and bending (in-plane or out-of-plane), Adam and Michael called on audience volunteers to scissor, wag, twist, and rock their way through the movements. An interpretive dance of chemistry!

ping pong cannon
The grand finale was awesome! Adam and Michael were blasting hundreds of ping pong balls right into the audience!

Happy Towel Day 2016!

Today is Towel Day. Happy Towel Day!

The Galactic Hitchhikers have tallied the contest votes and have declared a winner!

You sass that hoopy Lisa Orozco? Our very own Lisa has been chosen to represent Earth as our new and shiny Towel Day Ambassador! Lisa will be assisted by Stefan Gemzell, representing Sweden and Norway, and Andrew Pithie, representing the UK and the Commonwealth.

Congratulations, you froods! Don’t Panic!

As Douglas Adams reminds us in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a miniraft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you — daft as a brush, but very very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost.” What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

Love and Chemistry

This ad spot is from the German chemical company BASF (Badische Anilin- und Soda-Fabrik or “Baden Aniline and Soda Factory”).

Love and Chemistry

My Guide To The Doctors

I made this for my wife

I made this tongue-in-cheek guide for my wife’s amusement.

When I was a new fan of the British science fiction television show Doctor Who, I had a lot of trouble keeping straight all of the incarnations of the Doctor. This was because the Doctor had the annoying habit of regenerating into a different actor every so often as the series progressed over the course of 50 years. So I started giving each one of the incarnations a nickname just for my own personal use.

My conversations with my wife, Tamara, who is far more knowledgeable about all things Whovian than me, would then go something like this:

“Doesn’t the First Doctor look like Franz Liszt?”
“You mean William Hartnell?”
“I guess so. Which doctor is “Patches”?”
“What?”
“You know, the one that dresses like Patches the Clown.”
“You mean the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker? And he does not!”

Eventually, like most things that I do in our marriage, her exasperation turned into amusement:

“So “Celery Man’s” daughter actually married “Lord Business” in real life?”
“Ha. Yes, the daughter of Peter Davison, who played the Fifth Doctor, married David Tennant, who played the Tenth Doctor. Her name is Georgia Moffett. You need to write this stuff down.”

She has been bugging me to make an image guide listing all of my nicknames for her Doctor Who Fans Unite fan club, so here it is. Feel free to copy it and share it. My fan-made guide is under a Creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license, so feel free to copy, modify, and share it so long as you give credit and it’s not for commercial gain. After all, I do not own the images and I am using them for fun as a fan.

Whether you are a fan of the older series or of the new, check out the Doctor Who Fans Unite meetup if you want to be a part of a local group who love the Doctor in all of his various forms.

50th Anniversary Of Doctor Who

doctor who 50th

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the British science fiction television show Doctor Who.

The show was first broadcast on BBC1 at 5:16 PM GMT on Saturday, November 23, 1963. The show ran for 26 seasons on BBC1 until it was suspended in 1989. In 1996, a single television movie was broadcast on the Fox Network. In 2005, Doctor Who finally returned and is currently being broadcast once more on BBC television as a direct continuation of the 1963–1989 series and the 1996 television movie. This makes it the longest running science fiction televison series.

The BBC is celebrating the 50th anniversary by broadcasting simultaneously in 94 countries The Day Of The Doctor, a special episode written by Steven Moffat.

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Whether you are a fan of the older series or of the new, check out Doctor Who Fans Unite if you want to be a part of a local group who love the Doctor in all of his various forms.

tardis

While you are at it, download and build your very own paper TARDIS and join in on the celebration!