Uncaged Monkeys; Night of 200 Billion Stars

I attended the above event this week at the Brighton Dome.

As I was quite ill with the flu I was abit apprehensive of a hardcore night of science (I probably would have been regardless of illness). I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of subject matter, personalities and opinions voiced throughout the night.

Most interesting for me was mathematician Simon Singh speaking about the idea of the ‘bible code’, the idea of being able to decifer futuristic events from an ancient Hebrew bible text, and how a professor debunked this idea by showing that you could decifer anything from a long enough text, such as Moby Dick. He also demonstrated an enigma encoding machine, which looks fascinating.

Another interesting, and specifically relevant speak for me was, Adam Rutherford’s homage to the space shuttle programme. He had created a film which incorporated all of the space missions undertaken into one long edited take off. Rutherford described the irony of NASA having such an awful archiving system that all of the footage was still stored on VHS, and as part of his project he helped to digitise the footage.

This was particularly interesting for me as I am currently involved in helping digitise Brighton and Hove Museum’s Oil Painting collections and other collections at the moment. There is something very exciting about knowing you have helped to preserve information from the past in order for it to last longer into the future, and also so that it may reach a wider audience.


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