Things to do this week: 11 – 17 February 2017

Looking for the best things to do this week? Don’t waste away being bored on the sofa… here’s our pick of ways to exercise your grey matter and nourish your neurons.

10th February 2017
Bloom © Megalearn

#BrainFood brings you the best shows on TV and radio, science apps and books to activate your mind, and fun events to visit. This week: Andrew Marr on the brain, science at the seaside, and how plants spread their seeds.


Andrew Marr: My Brain And Me © BBC/Icon Films/Darren Rees
© BBC/Icon Films/Darren Rees

Andrew Marr: My Brain And Me

BBC Two, Tue 14 Feb, 9:00-10:00pm

Four years ago, the broadcaster and political journalist Andrew Marr suffered a life-threatening stroke. He was able to recover and return to work, but is still frustrated by a lack of movement in his left-hand side. This intimate film follows Andrew as he continues his recovery, meeting fellow stroke survivors and asking whether we'll ever see a miracle cure. 


The Infinite Monkey Cage © BBC/Richard Ansett
© BBC/Richard Ansett

The Infinite Monkey Cage

BBC Radio 4, Mon 13 Feb, 4:30-5:00pm

How did we get here? Brian Cox and Robin Ince are joined by comedian Ross Noble, Prof Danielle Schreve and Prof Chris Stringer to piece together the history of modern humans. How did we go from more than five species of human some 200,000 years ago to just one today? And what can the latest DNA technology reveal about our ancient ancestors?


Wonderland © Macmillan
© Macmillan

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

Steven Johnson, Macmillan, £16.99

From games and magic shows to pubs and casinos, humans have a long history of having fun. But might our attempts to amuse ourselves be even more important than we think? In Wonderland, Steven Johnson argues that our pursuit of merriment has been a powerful driver of technological change, and that popular entertainment plays an important role in shaping our modern world. In his words, “you will find the future where people are having the most fun.”


Brighton Science Festival © Fran Moore
© Fran Moore

Brighton Science Festival

Various venues, 11 – 25 Feb

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside, especially when there’s science involved too. Brighton Science Festival returns over the next couple weeks for a feast of shows and activities on the East Sussex coast. Highlights include Bright Sparks – a family-friendly weekender designed to get parents and children doing science together – and a Festival of the Spoken Nerd event that sees the comedy trio teaming up with ‘anarchist cook’ George Egg. Check out the full programme here.


Bloom © Megalearn
© Megalearn


iOS, Megalearn, £4.99

This educational app from Swedish startup Megalearn is a beautiful introduction to the world of plants. It aims to teach kids how plants spread their seeds, via quizzes and elegant, interactive animations. There are three featured plants – coconuts, dandelions and raspberries – giving plenty of opportunity to explore different environments and discover nature's diverse techniques for dispersing seeds.

For more fabulous apps, check out our list of the top 10 science apps for Android and iOS.


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