Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Universally Amazing.

I take a course, as part of my degree, called "The Universe as an Art". It's intended to be a sort of hit-list of all that's exciting in the world of Science. Oh it's as exciting as it sounds.

The first term was about space; and with modules such as "Exotic Bodies" and "Hot Young Stars", I had a feeling I'd enjoy it. I'd also assumed the pictures on the lecturer's Powerpoint would be a little more exciting than they turned out to be..shame.

Then came modules on "General Relativity" and now "The Atomic World". They are hard. So, slowly, as the course progresses, the original look of polite bewilderment that was pinned to my face has turned into one of boredom, and occasional confusion. It's interesting, yes, but ridiculously hard to understand: "Imagine rolling spacetime into a tube."

Then, in the seminars, came our first assignment. "You can do a board game, a sculpture, a piece of art, or some kind of performance to explain one of these scientific phenomena."

This was more like it, and with a collective gasp of excitement, the class got brainstorming. Our seminar tutor (an affable man named Dave) wandered around the groups, listening to their ideas. Others had come up with ideas for posters and dance routines to explain Neutrinos, but when the tutor reached our table, we had far more elaborate plans.

Dave leant in closer to listen properly, as we argued over the practicalities of our plan:
"Do you think the zoo would let us do that though?"
Dave looked concerned.
"And even if they did, who's to say the elephant would stay still that long?"

And so, some hours later, it was decided. I won't reveal quite what the plan is yet, but when filming is complete (sometime at the beginning of March) I'll post it for all to see. We're very excited. Dave is not.