Things to do this week: 15 – 21 April 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.

14th April 2017
VR Show © Kevin Mack

#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: enter a virtual world, ponder upon a paradox, and rediscover the science of plants.


Mind Over Marathon © BBC

Mind Over Marathon

BBC One, Thur 20 April, 9:00-10:00pm

In this two-part series, 10 people with different mental health conditions train for this year's London Marathon. Nick Knowles is joined by a team of running experts, nutritionists and psychologists to help get the runners over the finishing line. We hear about their first-hand experiences of illnesses including PTSD, depression and OCD, and explore the link between physical fitness and psychological well-being.


Rob Newman’s Neuropolis © BBC

Rob Newman’s Neuropolis

BBC Radio 4, Tue 18 April, 6:30-7:00pm

Comedian Rob Newman offers his own unique take on the science of the brain. Mixing stand-up and sketches, he gets to grips with our grey matter, taking in everything from love and guilt to robot co-workers and the unlikely importance of prehistoric trousers. Colour us intrigued...


Thought X © Comma Press
© Comma Press

Thought X: Fictions and Hypotheticals

Various authors, Comma Press, £9.99

Science is chock-full of puzzling thought experiments, from Schrödinger's cat (is it alive, dead, or just having a nap?) to the grandfather paradox (a favourite of every budding time traveller). This book collects together 14 short stories inspired by these hypothetical experiments, each one paired with an afterword from a leading scientist. Maybe we’ll finally find out what happened to that cat.  


VR Show © Kevin Mack
© Kevin Mack

Virtual Reality Show

Business Design Centre, London, 20 – 22 April

Take a much-needed break from reality at this inaugural event in London. There’ll be more than 40 experts showcasing the latest products and innovations in virtual reality, as well as plenty of chance to get hands-on. Visitors will be able to feel the adrenaline rush of free-fall with the skydive simulator, try out the latest VR games, and explore a shape-shifting sculpture park called Blortasia. We’ve come a long way since the Virtual Boy.


NAMOO © Crayon Box
© Crayon Box

NAMOO – Wonders of Plant Life

iOS/Android, Crayon Box, £3.99/£2.79

Botany tends to be a harder sell than animal biology. After all, plants don’t growl, gallop or curl up in your hand. But this app is sure to turn kids on to the science of plants. With its 3D simulations, colourful visuals, and interactive experiments, they’ll be able to tell their thylakoids from their taproots in no time.

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


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