The Infinite Monkey Cage And General Relativity

If you are British, you probably already know where this is going. For the rest of you, it might help to know that The Infinite Monkey Cage is an odd little show on BBC  Radio 4 (and they’ve been on tour, too). It is the show that asks a question you probably never asked: “What would happen if a physicist and a comedian had a radio show?”

The answer, it turns out, is some science information that is anything but dry. If you are prone to listening to radio programs or podcasts, you might find some interesting tidbits in the Cage. A two-part episode on general relativity was especially interesting although it isn’t exactly like their regular program.

The physicist in question is [Brian Cox] who is an Advanced Fellow of particle physics at the University of Manchester. The comic, [Robin Ince] is not only a comedian, but also a writer, an impressionist, and has an honorary doctorate from Royal Holloway, University of London.

If you poke around the BBC’s site, you can find plenty of episodes to stream or download. General relativity is just one of the topics. You might also enjoy episodes on artificial intelligence or the science of sound.

If you need more comedy connections, consider that [Eric Idle] is responsible for the theme song. Of course, we cover relativity (and other topics) in a hopefully amusing style. Americans typically get British humor, or they don’t.  There’s no in between. The good part about these is that if you don’t get the humor, there’s still the science content. Contrast this to the very funny (if you get it) Look Around You series that is probably not the best place to get scientific information (see the video below).

17 thoughts on “The Infinite Monkey Cage And General Relativity

    1. Heh, I really genuinely thought I was going to be the first person to talk about dead strawberries. :-)

      Brilliant show, recommend it to everyone. Actually I just love radio 4 in general :-)

  1. That video is a bit outdated, we no longer have calcium deposit boxes on our streets. Due to calcium shortages, we put our unwanted teeth into an envelope and post it off to “Cash for Calcium”, their rates are a bit lower than the high street calcium brokers, but they aren’t that fussy about whose teeth they are.

  2. Great show, I listen every week on my drive home from work, just such a shame brian cox is on it. There are millions of better more interesting physicists than him. Every physicists I know dislikes him. I studied physics so know quite a few :)

    1. I guess the better, more interesting physicists are doing physics somewhere? They did an episode about scientists who depart from scientific endeavour in order to present science to the populace in general, it’s certainly an important role to play, but those scientists are often derided by those who are still in research positions.
      Anyway, I like many things about Brian Cox :-)

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