THE INFINITE MONKEY CAGE: EPISODE 6 The Science of Christmas on BBC RADIO 4 iPLAYER
The Infinite Monkeys Robin Ince and Brian Cox are in a festive mood as they discuss the science of Christmas with special guests biologist Richard Dawkins, actor and writer Mark Gatiss and science journalist Roger Highfield.
Bugs in the Christmas Tree
According to insect expert Associate Professor Bjarte Jordal at the University Museum of Bergen, your beautiful Christmas tree could house up to 25,000 insects, mites, and spiders. Read More Here……
Scientists have attempted to answer the age old question – why is Rudolph’s nose so bright?
This is a great article which answers scientific questions like, how heavy is Santa’s Sleigh? How fast does he travel? Can Reindeer Fly? Why do we get gifts at all?
Why don’t you try the following quizzes.
Below are Christmas themed activities, you can try these at home or at Science Club.
THE KIND OF CHRISTMAS TREE YOU NEED IN A LAB!!!
CHRISTMAS SCIENCE ART
Microbes are different shapes and colours. Because Scientists know which colours certain fungus are, the can make pretty pictures with them. DO YOU KNOW? The first person to do this was Alexander Fleming the inventor of the first antibiotic Penicillin.
Fungal Christmas tree. Top: Talaromyces stipitatus; Tree: Aspergillus nidulans; Ornaments: Penicillium marneffei; Trunk: Aspergillus terreus.
Fungal snowman. Hat, Eyes, Mouth, Buttons: Aspergillus niger; Arms: Aspergillus nidulans; Nose: Aspergillus terreus with Penicillium marneffei; Body: Neosartorya fischeri.
Track Santa (Try this from the 1st of December).
In past years Norad (North American Aerospace Defence Command ) have tracked Santa Claus , a tradition started in 1955 after a Sears Roebuck & Co. advertisement for children to call Santa misprinted the telephone number and put them through to the Commander-in-Chief’s operations “hotline.” It is now possible to follow it on google earth and google maps.
No. 10 A customised Lab Coat Who said Scientists were plain and white??
No. 9 Shower Squids! Tired of losing your soap? Well this handy contraption keeps then all within arms reach (excuse the pun)!
No. 8 Periodic Table Refrigerator magnets! Now who wouldn’t want to geekify the kitchen! Fun for all ages, Nurture your inner geek, and grow it in your children!
No. 7 NERD Pajamas! Actually i already have some, but i love them… if i was super cool like those girls that go to the supermarket in their pajamas, this is what i would wear!
No. 6 Mug with a Twist. Now what scientist doesn’t love Coffee (or tea in my case)? Well now you can drink out of your Cool Colour Changing Weather Mug! Oo Yes! And if your feeling generous why not get the matching magnets!
No. 3 Periodic Table Chocolate bar Yummy!
No. 2 Mini Planeterium with accurate Northern Hemisphere Constellations! Fulfilling a childhood dream of having the night sky within my own four walls! Something you thought only the children of celebrities could achieve!
No. 1 The EcoSphere! Self Contained Life, Self Regulating and Lives Forever!! Therefore doesn’t die when im on 6 months expedition! Do you know how hard it is to keep plants alive when neglected for long periods? I tried to get ‘Plant Babysitters’ but it’s actually a lot to ask of someone. So This Tops my List!!
And those all important Stocking fillers
Giant Plush Microbes Hell Yes! A completely useless desk companion!
A Pizza Pi Cutter Ultimate Geek Chic! Pull this out at your next party and prepare to be impressed!