#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 – Expedition Volcano, mind-melting Japanese puzzles, and steampunks in space.
National Space Centre, Leicester, Sat 25 – Sun 26 November
The Steampunks are taking over the National Space Centre this weekend for two days of steam-powered sci-fi. There’ll be a vintage mobile cinema, craft workshops, appearances from artists, authors and makers, a fashion show for those with the most splendid outfits, and an international ‘tea duelling’ championship. Colour us intrigued.
New episode every Sunday, listen online
You’ve seen the show, now listen to the podcast. Presented by Emily Knight and Becky Ripley, it provides an irreverent look at each week’s episode, diving deeper into the science of the seas, and going behind-the-scenes of the programme itself. This week, they’ll be discussing the ‘green seas’ – the forests of kelp, mangroves and sea grass that teem with exotic life.
Alex Bellos, Guardian Faber, £14.99
There’s something immensely satisfying about solving a puzzle, especially when they’re as fiendish as those in Alex Bellos’ new book. Pit your wits against over 200 challenges from the puzzle masters of Japan, with the 20+ different formats including the fabulously named Shakashaka and the mind-melting Ren-Katsu. What’s more, there’s not a Sudoku in sight.
BBC Two, Sun 26 November, 9:00-10:00pm
You might not have heard of Nyiragongo, but this volcano deep in the Congo is one of the most spectacular – and dangerous – on Earth. This two-part series follows a team of scientists as they launch a daring mission into the fiery crater. It’s hoped that their work will help to predict the volcano’s next eruption, potentially saving lives in the nearby city of Goma. Read our interview with former Royal Marine and expedition leader Aldo Kane here.
iOS/Android, Avokiddo, £3.99/£3.19
As with all good pirate stories, Avokiddo’s latest app sees Captain Rose and his motley crew searching for treasure on a tropical island. Across eight scenes, the player will solve puzzles, battle with mythical sea monsters and navigate a maze of caves. It looks wonderful, and any crew which includes a rolling-pin-wielding granny is good by us.