Arrival and The Story Of Your Life

November 24, 2016
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Arrival and the Ted Chiang short story The Story of Your Life join forces for this episode of the Cosmic Shed.

Just as the story in both film and book focus on Louise Banks (Amy Adams), a linguistics expert who has her worldview changed by experiencing the language and culture of an alien race, we're joined by Professor Dan Everett, a linguistics expert who has his worldview changed by experiencing the language and culture of an alien tribe. You can read Dan's book "Don't Sleep, There are Snakes" for the whole story.

We're also delighted to be joined by SETI astronomer Seth Shostak to discuss life in the universe and much more...including what makes him throw up all night long.

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Joining Andrew, Steve and Ti in the shed is Antony Poveda of I'm a Scientist Get Me Out Of Here.

In the episode, Ti mentions the Q&A podcast which we highly recommend and Andrew mentions these episodes of the Reasonable Doubts podcast on Determinism and Free Will. Again, we highly recommend them and all other episodes of the Reasonable Doubts podcast but don't wish to waste any more of our lives worrying if we have free will or not.

Ti has an event coming up called Cancel The Trumpocalypse where you can join him in a pub in Bristol to watch 24 hours of monster movies to raise money for charity.

Antony mentions his event when you get to meet a real Artificial Intelligence and we all do our best to say how much we love both the film and the short story...which we erroneously call a "book" throughout.

The Stormtrooper who banged his head

November 23, 2016
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Andrew catches up with Laurie Goode, a stormtrooper in the original Star Wars film.

Laurie claims to be the stormtrooper who banged his head. If you don't know what that means, you can see the clip here.

Laurie also appeared in many other wonderful films and shows including The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Doctor Who.


Laurie in Doctor Who

Andrew and Laurie were chatting after a screening of Elstree 1976 a documentary film which features Laurie and other extras and actors from the original Star Wars film.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Klaatu barada nikto!

October 27, 2016

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December 13th 2016
. 7pm in At Bristol Planetarium. Doors 6.45pm.

BUY TICKETS Sorry. The event is SOLD OUT


A warning about mankind's self-destructive nature? A Christ metaphor? Or simply a sci-fi classic?


After the success of our 50th anniversary Star Trek screenings, Bristol Sunset Cinema and The Cosmic Shed podcast are teaming up again for another sci-fi spectacular at At-Bristol's Bristol Planetarium, which will include a special HD screening of The Day the Earth Stood Still.

After the film, there will be a special live recording of the Cosmic Shed podcast. Obviously, we'll release that audio afterwards.

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On the panel
 will be special guest Bruce Hood, Professor of Development Psychology in Society at Bristol University who will be discussing the psychology of supernatural belief. Professor Hood first joined us for our episode on Inside Out

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Update: We're delighted to announce a second special guest. 
Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou will be joining us for this special event. Professor Stavrakopoulou is Professor of Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at the University of Exeter. You may have seen her on a number of television series including the BBC series The Bible's Buried Secrets.

There will also be an audience Q&A and several surprises!

Get your tickets here now Sorry. The event is SOLD OUT
Adult: £9
Student: £7
Children: £5

All profits from the night will be going to Age UK


Furry Logic - The Physics of Animal Life

October 13, 2016
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Matin Durrani and Liz Kalaugher join Andrew in the Cosmic Shed to talk about the way animals use Physics and their new book Furry Logic - The Physics of Animal Life

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We hear about turtles using the magnetic field to navigate the world and find their way back to the very beach they were born on, why an octopus will change its colour in the dark depths of the oceans and how a grown man can never have seen Star Wars...No, seriously!

show notes

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

October 12, 2016
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Close Encounters in the Cosmic Shed as we consider what turns out to be one of Ti  and Andrew's favourite films of all time...and left SteveMaddy and Ben a bit less enthralled.


We are delighted to be joined by NASA's Lynn Rothschild, an evolutionary biologist and astrobiologist. Lynn spoke to Andrew about astrobiology, synthetic biology and life in the universe...and at NASA.


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Ben pops in for a poem, Steve brings us news of the new Space Race and Maddy find parallels between the work she is doing on proto-life and the work taking place at NASA.


In other words, it's our first full, not live, proper Cosmic Shed episode since June. We're back!

show notes


In the show we chat about Yuri Milner, having misheard Lynn Rothschild when she was talking about Urey-Miller experiments. Fortunately, over on our Facebook page, one of our listeners pointed out our error. Thanks Rusty.

Gravity Fields

September 27, 2016
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Andrew reports back from the Gravity Fields Festival 2016 where he spoke with Simon Singh about maths in the SimpsonsMarek Kukula and Simon Guerrier about the Scientific Secrets of Doctor WhoDallas Campbell about conspiracy theories and a host of other people about topics as varied as storytelling, illustration and how the LHC at CERN is searching for Dark Matter.


Mara Menzies joined Andrew for breakfast and a chat about the other side Isaac Newton while Marcus du Sautoy tells us what we can't know.

Andrew was at the festival with Tom Adams for their show The Apollo 11 Campervan




Tom and Andrew got to float around in the Anti Gravity Box...well, Tom did. He is an astronaut, after all.



show notes

Gravity Fields Festival takes place in Grantham in the UK and celebrates local lad, Isaac Newton.



First Contact - The Cosmic Shed Live

September 22, 2016
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It's First Contact for our second contact episode and our second Cosmic Shed Live podcast.

We were again delighted to join forces with Bristol Sunset Cinema to screen First Contact in the wonderful At Bristol Planetarium and were then joined by the audience for a live version of the Cosmic Shed podcast.


Our panel was Andrew, as always, and Steve BullockMaddy Nichols and Timon Singh. Joining the shed for the second time was Tushna Commissariat of Physics World.


Also joining us for a second time was Dr Erik Stengler, an astrophysicist who specialises in Time Travel. You may remember Erik from our first episode about Interstellar


We cover exoplanets, life on other planets and, of course, time travel.


We were also beyond excited to be joined by Jim Moray who performed his new song The Sounds of Earth from his album Upcetera




Erik refers to this Minute Physics video in the podcast. 





Show notes

The Cosmic Shed live was recorded live in At Bristol Planetarium and raised over £1200 for LGBT Bristol and SARI. Thank you so much to all of you who joined us.


We joined forces with Bristol Sunset Cinema and plan to do so many times again in future. We hope to have some very exciting news for you soon about Christmas...but don't stand still...


The Wrath of Khan - The Cosmic Shed Live

September 19, 2016
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In this episode we boldly go where we've never gone before...our first ever live episode.

We were delighted to join forces with Bristol Sunset Cinema to screen The Wrath of Khan in the wonderful At Bristol Planetarium and were then joined by the audience for a live version of the Cosmic Shed podcast.


Our panel was Andrew, as always and Steve BullockMaddy Nichols and Timon Singh. Joining the shed for the first time was Tushna Commissariat of Physics World.


Joining us for a very special demonstration, the world's first in fact, of the Sonic Tractor Beam was friend of the shed, Professor Bruce Drinkwater. You may remember him from our Doctor Who episode.


Here's a video of the good professor's demonstration recorded live as part of the Cosmic Shed Live in At Bristol Planetarium.



Show notes

The Cosmic Shed live was recorded live in At Bristol Planetarium and raised over £1200 for LGBT Bristol and SARI. Thank you so much to all of you who joined us.


We joined forces with Bristol Sunset Cinema and plan to do so many times again in future.

What’s the Matter?

September 6, 2016
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In this positively charged episode, Andrew is joined in the shed by Sidney Robb and Tristan Green of The Last Baguette theatre company to talk about their latest play What's the Matter?

What's the Matter? is a theatre show described as "A quantum comedy about love in the subatomic world". In July of 2016, Tristan and Sidney performed the show at The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol and joined Andrew in the Cosmic Shed beforehand to talk about science and storytelling.

You'll also hear from Alasdair Price and Euan Allen from the University of Bristol as they spoke to the audience after the theatre show about how quantum mechanics is involved a real word computing system right now.


Support

Visit our Patreon page to see a video of us in the Shed, and think about supporting us. Many thanks to everyone who is already supporting us. Goodies coming soon!

Go to audibletrial.com/thecosmicshed for a month's free trial of Audible, and a free audiobook of your choice. 


Share and subscribe

You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed if you would like to automatically receive new episodes.

You can also subscribe using iTunes or Feedburner.

If you would find out more about The Cosmic Shed, and get some tips on listening to podcasts, have a look at An Introduction to The Cosmic Shed.


Connect

To continue the conversation or to suggest topics for future episodes, join us on Facebook, or follow @thecosmicshed on Twitter.

Blue Dot Festival

July 25, 2016
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Andrew reports back from the first ever Blue Dot Festival at Jodrell Bank.



We hear from Professor Danielle George on the eve of her Robot Orchestra taking to the stage, Professor Angela Taylor and Ben Shaw about the SKA and radio astronomy, Dr Beth Healey about her trip to Antarctica to learn about long duration space travel and plenty more.

Andrew also got to have an Apollo love-in with Moondust author Andrew Smith and cosmonaut geek out with Sky at Night producer and film maker Michael Lachmann.

Somehow Dr Rebecca Cunningham also manages to make ylang ylang smell like floods...
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As Andrew mentioned in the episode, we are delighted to announce The Cosmic Shed Live in At Bristol Planetarium. 

We're celebrating 50 years of Star Trek with two special screenings at Bristol Planetarium. We're teaming up with Bristol Sunset Cinema to put on two special screenings at the Bristol Planetarium. 

As Star Trek famously supports Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations, profits from the two screenings will be going to two charities that fight prejudice – LGBT Bristol and SARI.


Inside Out

June 21, 2016
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In this animated episode, Andrew is joined in the shed by 5 people who, at times, seem to be driving the show as we discuss the 2015 Pixar film Inside Out.

Joining Andrew are Maddy and Ti (as will hopefully become usual) as well as Andrew Knight of At Bristol, Bristol's Science Centre and Rachael Baker, studying for a PhD in neuroscience at Bristol University.

Andrew was also fortunate enough to meet up with Prof Bruce Hood, Professor of Developmental Psychology in Society whose specialism is Cognitive Development. Bruce is planning his own podcast soon but joins Andrew to discuss the science of the brilliant Inside Out, a film about the brain and emotional life of an 11 year old girl.

In the episode, we share our emotional response to the film and Rachael and Bruce delve deep into the science of what we know about the brain. 

We also find out whether it is normal to cry at the end of Terminator 2.

Ben even pops in for a poem. Thanks Ben.

Dinosaur Park

June 15, 2016
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Dinosaur Park is a theatre show which Sam Neill (of Jurassic Park) says is “Brilliant! Hilarious, poignant, spot on, great”. We happen to agree.

Andrew and Ti met up with Frode Gjerløw and Simon Maeder of Superbolt theatre after their performance at the Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol to talk about the show and where, for them, science fiction and storytelling collide.

The Kraken Wakes

June 3, 2016
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Andrew speaks to Professor Alan Williams about his work on the new BBC radio adaptation of John Wyndham's classic novel The Kraken Wakes

Alan is composer and writer on contemporary music and culture, and fills Andrew in on the process of creating the music for the production, and talks about some of his his favourite science fiction scores.

Listen to the first episode of The Kraken Wakes on BBC iPlayer Radio.

Watch a 360 companion experience to the drama on Youtube.

Contact

March 26, 2016
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In this long-overdue episode, Andrew is joined in the shed by Steve and Maddy to talk about the 1997 film Contact, and the novel that came before it.


The book was written by Andrew's favourite astronomer and science communicator, Carl Sagan, who based its main character on Jill Tarter, radio astronomer and former director of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Andrew was lucky enough to talk to Jill for this episode, and she tells us about searching space for signals and why its so important, her experiences as a woman in science, and time spent advising Jodie Foster for her role in the film.


Joining us for the first (and hopefully not last) time is Timon Singh of Bristol Bad Film Club, who enthuses about other first contact stories and gives us some background on the film. We also hear from geneticist, author, and broadcaster Adam Rutherford on why he loves Contact and the way it portrays scientists as real people.


In the rest of the episode, Ben pops in briefly to share a prime number-based poem, and we discuss some of the science surrounding the search for alien messages, including the Drake Equation and the Fermi Paradox.




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As Andrew mentions in the episode, the Cosmic Shed was recently damaged in a storm. 




Support

Visit our Patreon page to see a video of us in the Shed, and think about supporting us. Many thanks to everyone who is already supporting us. Goodies coming soon!


Go to audibletrial.com/thecosmicshed for a month's free trial of Audible, and a free audiobook of your choice. 



Share and subscribe

You can subscribe to The Cosmic Shed if you would like to automatically receive new episodes.

You can also subscribe using iTunes or Feedburner.

If you would find out more about The Cosmic Shed, and get some tips on listening to podcasts, have a look at An Introduction to The Cosmic Shed.


Connect

To continue the conversation or to suggest topics for future episodes, join us on Facebook, or follow @thecosmicshed on Twitter.


Show Notes

Bristol Bad Film Club organises charity screenings of "films that are so-bad-they’re-great, cult classics that are rarely shown, movies with notorious reputations and classics from our childhood that no-one else seems to have heard of."


This Nature article has more on the University of California Berkeley sexual harassment case that Jill mentions.

The Martian (film)

November 10, 2015
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In this return-to-Mars episode, Andrew welcomes Steve Bullock and Maddy Nichols to the Shed to talk about the film of the book that we loved back in episode seven


Read the rest of this entry »