Things to do this week: 7 – 13 January 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.

6th January 2017
Spy in the Wild © John Downer Productions/BBC/Steve Downer

#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: Spy in the Wild, human hibernation, and the joys of mathematics.


Mathematics: The Winton Gallery © Nick Guttridge
© Nick Guttridge

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

Science Museum, London, now open, free

This new gallery at London's Science Museum aims to banish those memories of chalky blackboards for good. The focus here is on the tangible, real-world applications of maths, with objects in the beautifully designed space including a Handley Page aircraft from 1929, a National Lottery ball machine, a 17th Century Islamic astrolabe, and an early example of the Enigma cryptography device.


Human Hibernation: The Big Sleep © BBC

Human Hibernation: The Big Sleep

BBC Radio 4, Mon 9 Jan, 9:00-9:30pm (or listen online now)

On a cold, January morning, the idea of hibernation can seem quite appealing. Kevin Fong explores the possibilities of human hibernation, an ability that could help us slow down our metabolism, recover from serious injury or survive long-distance spaceflight.


The Glass Universe © 4th Estate
© 4th Estate

The Glass Universe

Dava Sobel, 4th Estate, £16.99

Author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, Dava Sobel has become well known for her books combining science history and elegant storytelling. In The Glass Universe, she turns her attentions to the women who worked as ‘human computers’ at Harvard College Observatory in the 19th Century, revealing how they made crucial discoveries and transformed our understanding of the stars.


Spy in the Wild © John Downer Productions/BBC/Steve Downer
© John Downer Productions/BBC/Steve Downer

Spy in the Wild

BBC One, Thurs 12 Jan, 8:00-9:00pm

Over 30 animatronic creatures infiltrate the animal world, allowing us a glimpse of nature’s most intimate moments. This week, Spy Pup makes friends with a wild dog pack, Baby Spy Croc takes a ride inside the mouth of a mother crocodile, and Spy Tortoise is adopted by a chimpanzee.


All-in-One Calculator © MindBox Apps
© MindBox Apps

All-in-One Calculator

Android, MindBox Apps, free with in-app purchases

We love a good calculator here at BBC Focus, and this lovely looking Android app promises to fulfil all our mathematical needs. It features over 50 different calculators and unit converters, ranging from algebra and geometry to health and finance.

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


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