Dr Philip Ball in Christchurch – Invisibility: a Cultural History

Dr Philip Ball is coming to New Zealand for the Auckland Writers Festival – luckily for us, he will also be talking about Invisibility: a Cultural History in Christchurch.

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The event takes place on Friday 22 May 2015 at 6pm, Charles Luney Auditorium, St Margaret’s College, 12 Winchester Street, Merivale.

Scientists have today worked out how to manipulate the path of light rays so as to render objects invisible. This is sometimes said to be the realization of an old dream; but the stories that we have told about invisibility are not stories of a technical capability but of power, desire, concealment, morality and corruption. What are these old tales of invisibility really saying, and how has the scientific understanding of light influenced them? From a history of invisibility that encompasses Plato, magic, spiritualism and Victorian physics, H. G. Wells, cinematography and the emerging new science of metamaterials, it can be seen that ideas of invisibility are, like all ideas rooted in legend, ultimately parables about our own hopes and fears.

Listen to Philip talk to Kim Hill on Invisibility and Curiosity, Saturday 9 May, Saturday Morning, Radio New Zealand National.

Search our catalogue for books by Philip Ball.

Gangsta Mum, Dad, & Kid go David Walliams

Me and my whanau are very excited about seeing David Walliams at his WORD Christchurch event tonight. I’d tell you to buy tickets – but he blooming well sold out in 24 hours.

That’s not surprising. I’ve been reading Gangsta Granny to my six-year-old. When Ben discovers his granny’s biscuit tin filled with jewels, my daughter’s eyes went round. I didn’t think that actually happened in real life, but David Walliams did it.

Plus we watched Mr Stink in the weekend. Twice.

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Cover of Awful AuntieDavid Walliams