#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 – bears in Alaska, earthworms in your garden, and a maths-tastic new app.
BBC One, Sun 23, Wed 26 & Sun 30 July, various times
We’re going on a bear hunt… in the wilds of Alaska. Over three nights, Steve Backshall, Matt Baker and Liz Bonnin broadcast live from North America’s last frontier, where the annual salmon run promises to kick off a feeding frenzy. Also joining in the feast will be eagles, beavers, wolves and whales and, in a TV first, Steve will attempt to land a helicopter on a glacier and then abseil down into its icy heart.
BBC Radio 4, Tue 25 July, 11:00-11:30am
Earthworms: love them or loathe them, these slimy burrowers play a crucial role in our ecosystems, aerating our soils, clearing up pollutants, and producing natural fertilisers. Brett Westwood explores how these “intestines of the Earth” have wormed their way into our literature, culture and language.
Ralph Steadman & Ceri Levy, Bloomsbury, £35
From the garden bumblebee to the Mongolian beaver, Critical Critters features more than 100 illustrations of critically endangered animals, alongside fact files, a diary of the authors’ creative process, and a few cheeky nonsense beasts. The illustrator is ‘gonzo’ artist Ralph Steadman, and his wonderfully idiosyncratic style captures the animals in a way no camera could.
Nationwide, Fri 28 July – Sun 30 July
Nature spotting during the day is all well and good, but there’s a lot happening at night, too. This weekend event is your chance to discover our nocturnal denizens, with events happening around the country. If you prefer to nature hunt at home, visit the RSPB's website for downloadable activity sheets, outdoor eating recipes, and tips on how to make your garden a natural paradise. And don’t forget to enter our competition for a chance to win a sleepout kit worth nearly £600.
iOS/Android, Simple Machine, free with in-app purchases
If the numbers round was always your favourite part of Countdown, this is the game for you. The aim is to get to the 'goal number' by manipulating digits within a certain number of moves. This might involve adding, subtracting, deleting, reversing or even sending the numbers through portals – we've not got that far yet!