Things to do this week: 17 – 23 June 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.

16th June 2017
Curious Creatures © BBC/Mighty Productions

#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 – Curious Creatures, unsolved ciphers, and the magic of the hare.


Natural Histories © Smudge 9000 / Flickr
© Smudge 9000 / Flickr

Natural Histories

BBC Radio 4, Tue 20 June, 11:00-11:30am

There’s something magical about the hare: these enigmatic animals have inspired everyone from ancient artists to writers such as Aesop and Lewis Carroll. In this week’s Natural Histories, Brett Westwood goes in search of the truth about the elusive Mad March Hare, and has a hare-raising encounter on a Norfolk farm.



Unsolved! © Princeton University Press
© Princeton University Press


Craig P. Bauer, Princeton University Press, £27.95

The field of cryptology is more advanced and high-tech than ever, but there remain plenty of ciphers yet to be cracked. This book provides an in-depth guide to history’s greatest unsolved conundrums, taking us from Viking runestones and buried treasure to serial killers and messages from Mars. You can even try to crack some of the codes for yourself – will you succeed where countless others have failed?



Curious Creatures © BBC/Mighty Productions
© BBC/Mighty Productions

Curious Creatures

BBC Two, Mon 19 – Fri 23 June, 6:30-7:00pm

Take a walk on the wild side with Kate Humble in this new quiz show, airing every day this week on BBC Two. She’ll be testing the animal knowledge of team captains Chris Packham and Lucy Cooke, alongside a host of expert guests. In each round, a correct answer will give the teams a body part from a mysterious animal. To win the quiz, the teams must correctly identify the various parts of their bespoke beast.



A museum of modern nature © Wellcome Collection
© Wellcome Collection

A museum of modern nature

Wellcome Collection, London, 22 June – 8 October 2017, free

This crowd-sourced exhibition explores our 21st Century relationship with the natural world. On display will be objects donated by members of the public, telling personal stories of our connections with the plants, animals, and environment that surround us. Meanwhile, the Sharing Nature project is an opportunity for anyone to submit their own themed images, with a selection appearing in the exhibition itself.



Collins Bird Guide © NatureGuides
© NatureGuides

Collins Bird Guide

iOS/Android, NatureGuides, £17.99/£12.99

The ultimate companion for any serious birder, this digital version of Collins’ bird bible covers over 700 European species, with 3,500+ illustrations helping you to tell your ruddy shelduck from your red-crested pochard. Once you’ve identified the bird, learn about its habitat and range, and record your sighting using the listing tool. Bill Oddie, eat your heart out.

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


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