August 29, 2012
We went on a quest for some strange wildlife in the wilds of Shambala: subatomic particles, the fundamental bits and pieces of the universe.
Three quarks – two up, one down – joined together in their strange, tri-coloured amorous union to form a proton.
An electron, darting this way and that with boundless energy, joined them to form a hydrogen atom.
Three more quarks joined us, creating a second proton, soon paired with their own electron. Our electrons, repelling and despising each other, spiraled round both our protons in a polyamorous union, forming a covalent bond (considered kinky to some).
We pushed the atoms together to form helium – releasing photons, and creating sunlight!
For the grand finale, we crashed them together in our particle accelerator -
revealing the star of the show, the Higgs boson!
Without daring to let it get away, we snagged it with a net and dragged it back into our tent.
Sponsored by the wonderful STFC, made in partnership with designer Patrick Stevenson-Keating and particle physicist Dr Ben Still.
Check the write up in The Guardian, with a short film edited by Thom Hoffman, after we held the event for the first time at the Secret Garden Party in July.
July 29, 2012
If you had one chance to speak to the stars, what would you say?
We rigged up a radio transmitter at the Secret Garden Party and brought in an engineer from the National Space Centre to give our audience the chance to do just that.
To gather the interstellar chatter, we sent out a film crew, who painstakingly created this video, live on site.
plus gathered everyone else’s messages on a chalkboard. Here’s what everyone had to say:
Come, live, love, prosper, enjoy.
May we please have elvis back? Thank you.
We are all ancient aliens.
My message to you is: please send a message to us and let us know that you’re there and, well, have a fun party.
We want to party with you.
Believe in the church of the flying spaghetti monster. He boiled for your sins.
Can you give me a phone call please? 07932984639. Let’s go for a coffee.
I think its very rare at least in our lifetime to make contact with anyone else, and possibly in the lifetime of our species. But if we do, come and say hello.
What kind of music do you like? Do you like Phil Collins?
Can you stop hiding in water and random places?
We know you’re here so you might as well come out and say “hi”.
Only still cameras can actually capture you.
I want to know what crop circles actually mean.
Hi guys, were waiting for you down here. We’re really looking forward to seeing you. Be good.
We love you. Come and see us whenever you’re ready. We’re very welcoming and we’d love to meet you. See you when you get here.
Get in contact.
It’s a beautiful planet, man. Come visit. You’ll have a really nice time. You can meet dave!
Hello earthlings. This is me and Kyle. Not earthlings, aliens! We want to say hello and come about. Come party. Bring some, like, instruments and well, free style it some bongos.
[Ed's note: Deep stuff.]
Aliens… although it might appear that the cats are in charge. They’re not.
I think the idea of having alien TV shows on earth would be interesting.
Why have you put us here. what exactly is it that were supposed to be doing while were here? Give us a clue. Anything. Just a little thing.
My main advice to aliens is: don’t drink too much. Don’t do drugs. Just live a good life and I’m sure you’ll be fine.
I want to know what pets you have, if you have pets.
We come in peace.
As shamans, we actually like to reach out and invite all aliens to come and see our way of living and our way of being and become one with us and the animals, really.
What do you do with your dead?
Come on down. Come party.
Never trust a londoner.
July 13, 2012
We will be there in full force July 19-22, hosting the explosive, experimental and experiential events that will change forever the way you see science. Get your hands dirty, scream and swear, take your clothes off – and don’t for a microsecond worry about a test at the end.
Discover how truth is unequivocally stranger than fiction with the SGP’s favourite renegade researchers as they mix science with art, music and play. Speak to the stars, become a drug, fire a catapult, master your memory, hunt for the Higgs, touch the moon, cradle a chameleon, dissect a brain, tango with a quark, and come ponder how remarkable it is that you are reading these words at all…
FRIDAY JULY 20th
11:00 The Miniature Zoo: Tim Maynard
Our resident zookeeper introduces chameleon Geoff, Harriet the tarantula, and
Millicent the giant millipede.
11:30 Robo-fish! Keri Collins
Keri builds submarines that look and move like fish. Join us as we delve into a world of biomimicry, espionage and mechanical engineering.
12:00 Mastering Memory: Ed Cooke
Explore the nooks and crannies of your mind and improve your powers of recall at the same time with Grand Master of Memory Ed.
13:00 Particle Zoo Safari: Patrick Stevenson-Keating & James Monk
Come on a quest for the fundamental particles of the universe. Observe the mating rituals of quarks and electrons in their natural habitat.
14:00 Zombie Apocalypse: Frank Swain
Discover how to make your own voodoo slaves using parasitic worms and puffer fish, learn why 40% of the audience may already harbour a mind-bending bug, and remember how to avoid becoming a zombie yourself. P.S. BRAINS.
15:00 Jelly Brain Dissection: Zarinah Agnew
Come dissect, discuss and digest the most complex thing in the known universe: jelly, set in the shape of your marvellous cerebrum.
15:30 Science Pub Quiz: Frank Swain
Bring your grey matter for a workout with a twist. Come learn enough odd facts to Asparkle in pub conversations for years.
SATURDAY JULY 21
11:30 Where Are All The Cyborgs? Sarah Sydney
If Sci-Fi’s anything to go by, bionic people should have been walking among us years ago. Prosthetics expert Sarah goes in search of our transhuman future, by way of Oscar Pistorius, Captain Hook and the latest robotic hands.
12:00 Life On Other Planets: Louisa Preston
Life can survive – and thrive – in the deepest, darkest, hottest, and coldest recesses of our planet. If bacteria can live off arsenic, what else could the universe hold? Featuring actual pieces of a meteorite, the moon and Mars!
13:00 Fear & Loathing In The Garden: Fran Meeten
Join us as we explore the evolution of our primal instincts. From age-old fears to bizarre phobias, come challenge your disgust threshold and meet some of our friendliest creepy crawlies.
14:00 DIY Alien Contact: Jeff Lashley & Zoe Cormier
Engineer Jeff has brought a radio transmitter from the National Space Centre to broadcast messages live from the Garden out into space. If you had one chance to speak to the stars, what would you say? Come join our interstellar chatter.
15:00 Chemical Assault Course: Mike Hughson
Become the drugs as they are made and fight for survival through the obstacle course filtration process: first one to make it to a blister pack wins. Come purify, centrifuge and vacuum pack yourself into a pharmacological treat.
16:00 Visualising Vibrations: Reeps One & Steve Mould
Watch as we transform sound into light as our physics maestro Steve and beatboxer Reeps One turn the auditory into the optical with fire, smoke and mirrors. Magic? Nope. Sublime? You bet.
SUNDAY JULY 22
11:00 The Evolution Of Music: Zoe Cormier
Neuroscience has revealed that music affects the brain like nothing else, creating symphonies of synchronized electrical explosions inside our heads.
12:00 Laughter Clinic: Sophie Scott
There is far more to the act of laughing than we may think. Come for a chuckle lab, featuring brains scans of mirth, and Tickle An Over 40-Year-Old!
13:00 The Illusion of Self: Tom Manly
Are you really you? How can you be sure? Neuroscientist Tom will run a series of live experiments to test the ultimate unknown.
13:30 Small & Beautiful Experiments: Steve Mould
Our physics maestro reveals the extraordinary in the ordinary: gather round for tiny marvels of fire, light, sound and chemistry. Do try this at home.
14:00 Science Pub Quiz: Frank Swain
Bring your grey matter for a workout with a twist. Come learn enough odd facts to sparkle in pub conversations for years.
15:00 Dr Szydlo Blows Things Up
He’ll blast the lids off garbage cans, make rainbow water, and show you the miraculous in the material. Dr Szydlo: chemist extraordinaire.
16:00 Chemistry Vs Maths: Andrea Sella & Steve Mould
Andrea and Steve will make music together – some of it sweet, some of it bitter, most of it smelly, with a few explosions thrown in for good measure.
OUT AND ABOUT
All Weekend: The Mini Zoo, Tim Maynard
Scorpions. Snakes. Tarantulas. Insect racing. Oh yes.
Friday & Saturday: Catapult Building, Buro Happold Engineers
Water balloons and paint. What could go wrong?
Saturday & Sunday: In The Zone, Greg Foot
Half science geek, half adrenaline-junkie.
Saturday Only! Flavour Feast, Rachel Edwards-Stuart & Jess Chambers
Mixing colour, scent and sound for a sensory feast.
Plus we are delighted to bring you the best of the Eat My Sci Shorts Guerilla Science short film competition!
We Didn’t Start The Scanner, by Jake Fairnie/Anna Remington: A potted history of neuroscience.
Unwanting to Stand Still, by Natalie Savva: A poetic look at the formation of stars.
Earthbook, by Bernd Hezel, Ephraim Broschkowski for Climate Media Factory: The history of the earth told through social media.
February 2, 2012
Featuring the Galactic Gourmet, Science Junkie Greg Foot, Marcus du Sautoy, Simon Foster, Blind Robot’s Bluff, Tobin May & The Bionic Ear, Andrea Sella and Physics V Chemistry, the Vaccine Assault Course, and the cornstarch runway. With thanks to the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science and Technologies Facilities Council, who sponsored all our events celebration Invention and the Universe this summer.
Shot and directed by Isis Thompson.