“Full on out and proud Nerd” – Festival of The Spoken Nerd
The Old Market
February 22nd 2014
A talented trio of scientists turned comedians put on a witty performance at Brighton’s The Old Market on Saturday night. Festival of the Spoken Nerd certainly did not disappoint in living up to its namesake: Reader, I warn you, this wasn’t just nerdy, this was full on out and proud nerd. The show was so nerdy it bordered on nerd fetishism, top-rack-of-the-newsagent nerd.
The Old Market was packed to the rafters as this is a very popular show. The audience was varied but on this particular night it seemed to be dominated by a large proportion of young trendy science teachers (maybe because it was the end of half term) who guffawed throughout the show.
Stand-up mathematician Matt Parker taught us that digital photographs are actually just spreadsheets. When you take a photo, your camera measures the amount of red, green and blue light hitting each pixel, ranks them on a scale from 0 to 255 and then records those values as a spreadsheet. Steve Mould , master of experiments, set fire to a pickle to show us how brightly the salty snack could emit its own light (who knew?!) and songstress Helen Arney attempted to shatter a glass by singing at it, in the perfect pitch. Helen performed funny songs and witty ditties throughout the performance which meant the show kept up a good pace and a perfect mix of dry science and intelligent wit.
With over a million views on YouTube for their experiments, being able to see the performance live was a privilege, highly recommended.