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Edinburgh International Science Festival

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The world’s largest event devoted to celebration of sci- ence continues, and listed below are highlights of the talks and tours in the Popular Science programme. Highlights of workshops and activities for families and children are listed in the Kids section. For more information or to book tickets, call 0131 473 2070.

Thursday 12

Synaesthesia: The Strangest Thing Royal \llht'lllll. I ("hamben Street. 4‘3 JV“. (r "pm. L51L3r,l)r .lolm llarrixon ill\t'll\\c\ hrx neyy book on \_\ll;lt‘\lllt'\l;t. \yheiehy people we colourx \yhcn they hear \oundx. and tll\t'll\\t‘\ itx genetic and learning potential\.

The Net Generation lhc Hui. (lixtleliill. Royal Milo-17% 3070.

(r. 30pm. L5 tL3i. lli.\l\ Dr Jim Schnit/ talkx ahout the need lor lamiliex to pre pare and be ayyare ol the cyberyyorld ol the luturc.

Strong Imagination: Madness, Creativity and Human Nature Royal \luxeum. 3 ('hamherx Street. 473 307”. S ‘lpm. L51L3l. ll human madnexx IS genetically linked. then through eyolu tion. the gene \Iiould become e\tinct. lloyyeyer. Dr Daniel \cttlc ol' l illl\L‘l'\ll.\ ('ollege london argucx tor a connection betyyecn madnexx and artixtic geniux.

The Magic Of India l)a\id llumc ltm er. (ieorgc Squarc. 4S3 Zilfill.

(‘ Fil‘ln. L51L3t, l’cter l.aniont detailx aitd in wine llt\l;tltct'\ demonxtratcx. the unuxual phenomena ;t\\itt‘l;llt‘tl with India. \uch a\ human ley itation. \\\ol‘tl- \yyalloyy ing and yyalking on hot coalx. SL‘C [H'L‘y iv“.

A Window On The World: NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise (icot'gc Square 'I‘heatre. l'niyerxity ()t' lidinburgh. (ieorge Square. (fit) S40]. "pm. l'rec. but ticket--

L'tl. l)l~ \lttl'} (leayc. \.'\.S.-\-\ lk'l‘lllt‘ ,\\\ociate .\dmim\trator ol lzarth Science. ‘L'll-L'S a talk. Science And The Developing World - Mixed Blessings? Royal \itixcutn. 3 ('hamberx Street. 4‘3 21W). S 30pm. L5 t‘c3l. 'lechnological adyanctw haye met with a mi\ed recep— tion in the deyeloping \yorld and a panel til c\pet'l\ \lL'l‘illL' lllL' pith and with Hi the application ot modern \cience to the [Hex oi people In It“ tlcyclopctl areax.

Saturday 14

Ghosts, Ghouls And Gadgets liannerman'x. 212 (‘oyygatc. 4‘3 2H7”. | lam. noon. lpm. 2pm. 3pm & 4pm. L3. .lom a team ol prolewional ghoxthunteix on a \cientilic e\ploration led by Dr Richard \Vixeman. 'l'he teatn \\ ill record gltoxlly goingxeon in the city \ hidden underground \ault\ tixing \cientilic in\trument\ in area\ “here you'ye e\pcrienced llllll\ll;ll \upernatur- al acti\ ity.

Sir Arthur C Clarke George Square 'l‘heati'c. l'niyerxity ()l lidinburgh. (ieorge Square. 473 3t)7t). l 3pm. to tL-l t. :\ \crecning ol a \ ideo intery icyy

\\ lllt lllL' ;tL'L‘l;tllllL‘tl \L‘iL‘llL‘L‘ llL‘llttll author ol JUN/5 .\ .S/mu' (My \\('\. lol- lo\\ ed by a liye \oice link to hix home in Sri l.anka. the prophetic \yriter yyill anxyy er qttcxlionx t'rom memberx ot' the public on hix lite and thouth lor the luture.

Fire Walking \Vext l’rincex Street (iardenx. llcloyy ('axtle Rock. 473 2070. 3pm. l-‘ree. 'lcxt out the theory that the l'eeling that you hurt ix greater than the hurt that you led by yyalking oyer 3m oi. red hot coalx. Science l"L‘\li\;tl |)irector Simon (Sage and Peter Lamont will be on hand to dixpel the mythx and otter enciiuragement. Sec prey ieyy. The Changing Face Of Terrorism l)a\ id llutne 'l‘oyy er. (ieorge Square. 473 2070, (i 7pm. L5 (L3 l. the \uccexx ol terrorixm ax a polit- ical tool tttttl tl\ liker pl'L‘\L‘ltL‘L‘ ill lltc‘ luture ix dixeuxxed by l’rolcxxor l’aul \Vilkinxon ot' the (’entre lor the Study ol 'l'errorixm and Political Violence. Torchlight Tours Of The Museum Of Flight .\lll\L‘lllll ()l' l‘liillit. l:a\t l’ortunc .r\irlie|d. 473 3070. .S’ lllpm. l'rce. but ticketed. :\d\ancc booking required. lake an tllittthpltc‘l'lc tour ot' the darkened hangars ol Scotland\ national lllth‘lllll of aviation.

EXTREME MACHINES The Hub, Castlehill, Royal Mile, 473 2070. Mon 16 Apr, 8pm. £5 (£3). A talk from John Getty, the man behind the extreme machines such as the supersonic car and the Virgin Global challenger



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‘lt’s quite straight-forward to pierce your body with a sharp object. The question is whether it hurts or not and whether you do any permanent damage; that depends on where it goes.’ Okay, so that quote should probably carry a government health warning, or at least a ‘don’t try this at home, kids’, but Peter Lamont insists that this demonstration is safe, or at least it will be as soon as they get the insurance sorted.

The Edinburgh University Research Associate specialises in parapsychology and more specifically the psychology of magic and its history, and, as a trained magician, Lamont has recently become interested in the mythical aspects of India. In his talk on The Magic Of India Lamont will highlight various magical phenomena including levitation, sword swallowing and lying on a bed of nails. Witnesses reporting these unusual feats are common, but Lamont is sceptical about claims of miracles: ‘I haven’t seen anything that was inexplicable. There’s Indian magic which is a traditional entertainment and is different to Western magic. so some people might have seen it and thought it was genuine.’

If all goes to plan, members of the public will have the opportunity to try out one of these exotic tests of pain resistance: firewalking. Lamont will present his theories in a public demonstration in Princes Street Gardens, and Science Festival Director Simon Gage promises to toast his tootsies testing out the red hot coals. ‘Firewalking is like a number of things; there's a certain way to do it. There’s nothing paranormal going on but you’ve got to work at it; you could easily hurt yourself and it has to be done very carefully.’ Dangerous? Nah, just a walk in the park. (Maureen Ellis)

I The Magic Of Ind/(i. Dawd Hume Tower. Edm/mrg/i, F77 13 Mm; F//'(?L‘./{1//<//)_(}. West pl'lllCQS Street Gardens. Edmbt/rg/i. Sat M Apr.

Ghosts, Ghouls And Gadgets Bannerman‘s. 212 (‘oyy'gate. 473 2070. l lam. noon. lpm. 2pm. 3pm & 4pm. £3. See Sat 14.

Handling The Human Genome Royal Museum. 2 (‘hamberx Street. 473 2070. 34pm. £5153). Dr Tim Hubbard ot' the Sanger ('entre Lli\L‘lt\\- Cx my role in the linal mapping ot' the human genome and the llltpllL‘itlitmx that the information has for the future. Big And Beautiful: The Latest And Greatest Hits Of The Hubble Space Telescope Royal .\iu.xeum. 2 (‘hamberx Street. 473 207i). 8—9pm. £5 (£3). Look back almost ten billion y‘earx in time as Professor Donald Kurt/ demonstratex the amazing recent images of the uni- y'erse captured by the Hubble tele- scope. The pictures include “1121ng of \ltlt'x being created and dying. black holes and crashing galaxiex. Flowers By Night Royal Botanic (iarden. lny'erleith Royy. 248 297‘). 8.3()~l()pm. £5 (£4). Ages oy'er l2. As dtisk turns to darkness. experience a dil‘t‘erent side to the gardens with night stories. exotic \CClth and more than a few surprises.

Monday 1 6 -

Extreme Machines The Hub. (‘axtlchilL Royal Mile. 473 307i), Spin. L5 19.3). See photo caption. Visualizations Royal \ltiseum. 3 ('hamberx Street. 473 M70. H 9pm. L5 1L3i. l’t'olcxwt' \lartin Kemp e\plore\ the underlying linkx betyyeen art and \cience. entphaxixing the \tructural lllSlllllllUlh \liared by artixtx and \cientixthee photo caption.

Flowers By Night Royal Botanic (iarden. lnyerleith Row. :43 397‘).

3.30 lltpm. L5 tL'4t. See Sun 15.

Accelarating Ourselves To Death? Royal .\lll\c'llllt. 3 ('liambeh Street. 473 207i). (3 7pm. L5 113:. Professor l)a\ id l’ullinger and l’rotexxor John Adamx debate yy hether taxtei' liL’CCx- \arily equates yy ith better.

The Science Of Ghosthunting Royal Miixetitn. 2 ('hambers Street. 473 307i). 8 9pm. £5 tL'3i. lidinburgh ('axtle. the city \ underground yaultx and Mary King’x ('lose haye all been the xubject ol \cientitic texting by Dr Richard \Viseman. Here he yyill dixc‘ltxx hix llndtttgx and try to explain their gltoxtly connection»

100 THE LIST .f'fi -\("