“Christmas time is here, by golly,
Disapproval would be folly,
Deck the halls with hunks of holly,
Fill the cup and don’t say ‘when.’
Kill the turkeys, ducks and chickens,
Mix the punch, drag out the Dickens,
Even though the prospect sickens,
Brother, here we go again…”
Which must mean it’s also time for another seasonal tradition: the Royal Institution Christmas lectures. This year they are being given by the materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik with the title “Size Matters“. After nearly a decade in the wilderness of More4 and Channel 5 and elsewhere, this year the lectures will be back with the BBC broadcast on the 28th, 29th and 30th December at 8.00pm (also subsequently on iPlayer). Topics this year include:
- Why elephants can’t dance (but hamsters can skydive) see “crash test pets” video below.
- Why chocolate melts and jet planes don’t – chocolate is “one of the most sophisticated and highly engineered materials on the planet”!
- Why mountains are so small (Yes, small) – how rocks behave like liquid.
Mark has a reputation for being an entertaining and passionate  speaker, who unlike some previous lecturers – likes to improvise without a script which will probably make for lively and educational viewing.
Where ever you are this winterval, have a happy holiday.
- Mark Miodownik (2005). Facts not opinions? Developing both the physical and aesthetic properties of materials Nature Materials, 4 (7), 506-508 DOI: 10.1038/nmat1416