A date for your TV diary: next Tuesday, the 31st of March 2009, at 9pm, BBC2 will screen the Horizon programme Alan and Marcus go forth and multiply, in which actor and comedian Alan Davies explores his fear of maths with mathematician and author Marcus du Sautoy. Together they will visit the fourth dimension, cross the universe and
explore infinity, and along the way Alan does battle with some of the toughest maths questions of our age. Let's hope he's done some swotting with Plus first!
This is your final reminder of the Plus new writers award, our writing competition which gives you the chance to become a Plus author, and win an iPod and signed books by some of the best popular science writers around. The deadline is March 31, so get writing now — we're looking forward to reading your entries!
If you enjoy the Plus podcasts, then you might also like a maths podcast published by Peter Rowlett, the University Liaison Officer of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. On his travels he records short interviews with interesting mathematicians talking about their
career and work. There are also episodes on the history of mathematics and on mathematical news, and the webpage also contains a blog.
This is the 50th issue of Plus and to celebrate, we've made it especially big. We explore the incredibly life-like images generated by computers and fragile medieval frescoes, find chaos in fluid flows and prime numbers in a sieve, meet the "English Galileo" and a man who's into geeky pop, and learn about the dangers of bacon sandwiches. Plus the usual regular features including book reviews,
puzzle and podcasts.
The Geek Pop '09 virtual festival site opens its gates today to music fans and science geeks from all over the world. Geek Pop showcases the talents of up-and-coming artists playing music inspired by science.
In the second year of running, festival goers will be treated to 15 acts playing four virtual stages. The festival, which kicks off during National Science and Engineering Week (6th-15th March), is free to enter and festival goers can take away a free festival highlights podcast. All performances will be available on Geek Pop catch-up for the
entire year following the event.
Headlining on Geek Pop's main stage, the Tetrahedron, will be doctors Adam Kay and Suman Biswas, otherwise known as Amateur Transplants. Other artists include an engineering professor, an astronomy-inspired electro outfit and renowned science writer Stuart Clark playing rock guitar.
As well as music downloads from artists playing at the event, the first 1,500 visitors to the Tesla Tent will be entitled to three free music downloads of their choice, courtesy of sponsors 7digital.
"We've really got some fantastic acts lined up and what's great is that all of them are very committed to their music as well as their science," says festival organiser Hayley Birch. "But there's a serious message in Geek Pop, which is that science and creativity aren't so very far apart. Of course, there's also a not so serious message, which is that it's okay to be a geek."
And if you're into your geek pop, watch out for an exclusive interview with one of the artists playing at the festival, soon to be published on Plus.
The mathematical work of Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll
Writing, mathematics, photography — Charles Dodgson had many talents, and if he hadn't become famous for his Alice books, he would almost certainly have become famous for something else. In this podcast we talk to Robin Wilson, Professor of Pure Mathematics at the Open University and a prolific author himself, about Dodgson's mathematical work, which included an influential theory of elections and a play on Euclid's
Elements. Robin Wilson is the author of the book Lewis Carroll in numberland, which has been reviewed in Plus.