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Hold a status update in your hand

Image by Flughafen3D printing is well in its way to becoming commonplace, perhaps even ubiquitous. It is becoming cheaper and more accessible and it's inspiring great creativity. As people discover/develop more applications for 3D printing, it will soon join smart phones, flat screen TVs and antibiotics as a technology that is taken for granted – at least in the western world. In fact it will not be long before we start to depend upon 3D printing, so now is as good a time as any to take a quick look at where things are heading. From lamps to livers to lunch, it’s already amazing. More . . .

Sensational soundscape

Photo by Mark Knoth.Every now and then I like to sit very quietly and listen. With things to do and places to go, we tune out of most sounds most of the time, but the world is rarely – if ever – silent. Taking a few moments to listen and try to identify as many different sounds as possible is a very peaceful thing to do. It’s also fascinating and the other day it got me thinking. The animal kingdom is rich with sound, a glorious spectrum of tones and timbres. The range of animal sounds almost defies imagination, and the various techniques employed to produce these sounds is equally impressive. More . . . 


In 2003 my colleagues Darren Vogrig and Luke Fitzgerald and I hatched a performance called Great Big Science Gig (GBSG). The show included demonstrations and original songs inspired by a very wide range of science, technology and research. The breadth of content really has been striking, including fluid dynamics, entomology, nutrition, astronomy, energy technology, new materials, medical imaging and natural disasters, not to mention sheep, ants, showers, potatoes, bats, bones, termites, rats, robots, fleas, chocolate and lingerie.

Originally planned as a science cabaret, GBSG evolved into a science rock show and in 2007 (when Luke moved to New Zealand) we were joined by guitarist Marty Lubran. Over the years we have been fortunate to perform in a diverse array of venues right across Australia. This has included pubs, theatres, schools, tents, concert halls and the back of a truck.

Late last year were thrilled to receive an Inspiring Australia grant for a new incarnation of the show. “Great Big Science Gig” was only ever intended to be a working title, so we are now very pleased to announce “Ologism”. The basic principles of Ologism remain true to the traditions of GBSG, namely to use quality music and live demonstrations to engage people in science and technology. We are also planning to craft even better performances and a much improved online presence. At this stage the Ologism website is still a work in progress, but it’s progressing well and we have established the Ologism Facebook site (if you want to Like the page, we’d be very grateful). We have big visions and there are fun times ahead, so we hope you can join us. 

Words on words

A paper fortune teller, aka chatterbox, whirlybird or cootie catcher.It seems to me that the relationship between thought and expression has changed. Like most significant changes in human history, the change is born of technology, but its implications are far more profound. I believe we are experiencing a critical shift in how we communicate and thereby the way we develop and maintain relationships. The rise of cyber bulling, the cult of celebrity and the 24-hour news cycle are all symptoms of this revolution.

First though, let’s go back a bit, perhaps about 6 million years back. 

More . . .

Brains on parade

I maintain a keen interest in science-inspired art and collaborations between science and art in all its forms. Most of my own efforts at the science/art interface have been developing and performing science inspired theatre, but occasionally there is the opportunity to delve into another medium. This Friday night 'Market of the Mind’ (MoM) is back in Melbourne’s City Square. MoM includes circus performers, magicians and burlesque artists, and I will be doing some wonderfully odd performance with my friend Marty Lubran. I have also been working with my colleague Carly Siebentritt on the ‘Suburban Brain Garden’, an installation featuring a rainbow of coloured brains.

Brains on their way to 'Market of the Mind'. Photo by Chris KPWhat is the collective noun for brains – a “concept” perhaps? Anyway it’s been lots of fun and I will try to post or tweet a photo of the final piece, but in the meantime, here are some of the brains roaming outside, enjoying the sun.