Things to do this week: the extraordinary science of venom

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 November 2017
Venom: Killer and Cure © Natural History Museum

#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 – venom at the Natural History Museum, Alan Shearer on dementia, and why swearing is good for you.


Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football And Me © BBC/Studio Lambert

Alan Shearer: Dementia, Football And Me

BBC One, Sun 12 November, 10:30-11:30pm

Former England international Alan Shearer investigates the link between football and dementia. A worrying number of the England 1966 team suffer from dementia, and recent research has suggested a link between neurodegenerative brain disease and headers. A prolific header of the ball during his playing days, should Shearer be worried?


Tweet of the Day © BBC

Tweet of the Day

BBC Radio 4, weekday mornings, 5:58-6:00am

Wake up to birdsong and the dulcet tones of Dermot O'Leary as he takes over presenting duties on this week’s Tweet of the Day. He’ll be searching for sea eagles in the Highlands, watching coal tits in his garden, and admiring the understated beauty of the dunnock. And if you’re not an early bird, don’t worry – all episodes will be available online.


Swearing Is Good For You © Profile Books
© Profile Books

Swearing Is Good For You

Emma Byrne, Profile Books, £12.99

Swearing is found in every language, but why do we do it? In her bloody fantastic new book, Emma Byrne explores the surprising ways in which a well-timed swear word can benefit us, from relieving pain to helping us bond, and reveals what cursing chimps can tell us about why swearing evolved in the first place.


Venom: Killer and Cure © Trustees of the NHM, London
© Trustees of the NHM, London

Venom: Killer and Cure

Natural History Museum, London, until 13 May 2018, £10.50 / £6.50

The Natural History Museum's latest exhibition showcases both the life-destroying and life-giving properties of one of nature’s most extraordinary inventions. We’ll meet some of the world’s most venomous creatures, including the lethal stonefish (pictured) and the gaboon viper with its 5cm-long fangs, and we’ll hear about the latest uses of venom in medicine.


Spyglass © Happymagenta
© Happymagenta


iOS/Android, Happymagenta

Now available on Android as well as iOS, this navigation app should put an end to confused countryside rambles. Making use of all your phone’s sensors, it’s a digital compass, GPS receiver, speedometer, altimeter, and much more besides. It uses augmented reality to overlay info and directions onto your phone’s camera, so you’ll really have no excuse for ending up down a dead end.

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


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