Festival of the Spoken Nerd II – Just For Graphs

By Ron Bingham
Festival of the Spoken Nerd
This is a blockbuster of a show made by nerds for nerds (and those who enjoy the company of nerds, or even anyone nerd-curious). The three hosts of the evening are geek songstress Helen Arney, stand-up mathematician Matt Parker and experiments maestro Steve Mould. I sadly missed last year’s hit show “Frontal Nerdity”, but luckily there is a booth outside where you can, after the show, buy a copy of the DVD, a special limited edition DVD or a download voucher for a copy of this show.

In this year’s show we get a number of fun experiments involving fire, sound, exciting slide shows and pictures of diagrams (the sight of the seven field Venn diagram on the big screen is worth the price of the ticket alone). We also learned of the differences between Venn and Euler diagrams, how to make magic squares, the joy of ploting ones partner’s birth contractions and making Excel spreadsheets of same, how to make a speaker wire using the audience, Mexican waves and anti-waves, and so much more!

If you are a nerd or you find nerds strangely attractive (I’ll avoid any physics jokes here), then this is a show you must see. There are one or two swear words, but the packed audience of people from ten to ninety were not offended (not as much as hearing those dreaded words “health and safety”) and there were plenty of laughs for all. I do recommend you pay attention to everything, as they are not catering for the slow readers with some of their slides, and there are some very funny jokes that may just flash past you (of course, the subliminal nature may mean you start laughing a couple of days later, but….). Highly recommended for anyone who loves science and comedy.

My only complaint about the show is that we were asked to pick up some stickers for X and Y axes (as well as “can’t plot this” stickers) to plot the world around us, but by the time we had emerged from the theatre, there were no X stickers left. So I can make a line. Sure, it’s a plot in one dimension, but that’ too easy. Maybe next show they need to add Z axes so we can try for three dimension graph…..