Following his sold-out talk last May on Oratory, David Crystal is back with an unmissable talk on how language works. Focusing on the most simple, unassuming, innocent-looking verb – to be, he will show how it is jam-packed with more different meanings, forms, and uses than any other English word. In The Story Of Be, David Crystal will takes us through 26 of the verb’s incarnations, and in doing so, show us how our flexible and changing language works. Bringing the story to life will be a host of examples from sources as varied as Beowulf, Jane Austen, pantomime, Hamlet (of course), and Star Wars, plus twenty cartoons from Ed McLachlan and Punch. Read more.
James Rubin & Jonathan Freedland in debate with Melanie Phillips & James Delingpole. Moderated by Emily Maitlis.
For those who voted Donald Trump into power, the 2016 election was the rejection of a political system which has misgoverned since 9/11, whose cure for the financial crisis it caused has doubled two centuries of accumulated national debt in seven years and lost 15 million workers in the process. A period during which America made friends with its enemies, accommodated militant Islam, and lost its global standing by embracing globalisation. Trump’s mandate was to declare war on all of this. Putting America First even if this means disdaining the elites, bypassing due process, and turning the mainstream media – so accustomed to sustaining the consensus of the post-Reagan era – into the real ‘opposition party’. For those who voted against Trump, the chaotic rollout of executive orders has exceeded their worst fears, as he reverses domestic policy, attempts to shut the nation’s doors to refugees and immigrants, escalates tensions with Mexico, flouts diplomacy with Australia or Iran, and reshapes perceptions of America from one day to the next. European leaders have gone so far as to describe the United States today as a ‘threat’, by turns interfering and isolationist, turning its back on 70 years of foreign policy. The immediate future looks unscriptable, what will it look like on May 16th? Arguing for Trump will be Melanie Phillips and James Delingpole. Arguing against will be James Rubin and Jonathan Freedland. And moderating the debate will be Emily Maitlis. Book now to avoid disappointment… Read more.
Renowned neuroscientist Beau Lotto whose TED talk has had nearly 5m views presents a groundbreaking guide to understanding perception, which will transform the way we see, and unlock our ability to create, innovate and effect change. In the aftermath of 2016, many feel weighed down by uncertainty. But, what you may not know is that while the brain hates uncertainty, it also holds the key to adapting to, and even thriving in, uncertain times. In this talk based on his ground breaking new book DEVIATE: The Science of Seeing Differently, world-renowned neuroscientist Beau Lotto will draw on over two decades of research to reveal startling truths about the brain and how it perceives the world and show how understanding the science behind our perceptions and our reactions to that understanding can allow us to literally change our brains and improve how we function in every aspect of life. PRAISE FOR DEVIATE ‘If someone else told me that reality is something we create in our heads – I’d up my medication. This brilliantly written book shows us that this is actually the road to liberation. We have the ability to change our internal landscapes. Making our lives a masterpiece rather than a ‘been there done that’ cliché.‘ – Ruby Wax OBE ‘‘ is a neuroscience book that, while explaining what we know about the brain’s functioning, explores the deeply personal issue of perception. Beau Lotto’s insights constitute a real breakthrough in our understanding of how we perceive (and react to, and imagine ourselves within) reality. And his capacity to make complex scientific concepts and research results easy to understand, and to explain their relevance to our life, makes this an utterly readable book.‘ – Bruno Giussani, European director of TED and curator of TEDGlobal Read more.
In this unmissable talk, Dean Buonomano, a leading neuroscientist and professor at UCLA will investigate the relationship between the brain and time: What is time? Why does time seem to speed up or slow down? Is our sense that time flows an illusion? Dean will also present his own influential theory of how the brain tells time, and in the process illuminate such concepts as free will, consciousness, spacetime and relativity from the perspective of a neuroscientist. Drawing on physics, evolutionary biology and philosophy, he will show that the brain’s ultimate purpose may be to predict the future—and thus that your brain is a time machine. Read more.
How to… Stand Up. Always wanted to try stand-up comedy but too scared to give it a go? Looking for the ultimate confidence boost? Have a go at stand-up in a relaxed, no-pressure environment. Learn the tricks of the trade which can be applied in any public speaking situation. And unlock your natural funniness. (We all have some. No, really, we do.) A fun, joyful workshop taught by comedian and writer, Viv Groskop, winner of Maestro Improv 2012 and Funny Women Finalist 2012. Until a few years ago Viv had never done stand-up so she knows exactly what it’s like to be terrified – and overcome that feeling. Her book, I Laughed, I Cried about doing 100 gigs in 100 nights (“heroic” – The Times) is all about sticking two fingers up to the things in life you’re scared of. And that’s the true spirit of stand-up. Viv has performed alongside Michael McIntyre, Sandi Toksvig, Lucy Porter and Jenny Eclair and her 2013 Edinburgh show got a five-star review. “Viv is brilliant” – Jo Brand. Who is this for? Anyone who wants to have a go at stand-up with no pressure in a relaxed, happy environment – learn the basics of joke writing and find out what’s funny about you personally – learn some tricks of the trade from stand-up comedy which can be applied in work situations – people who want to put a flavour of stand-up comedy into their public speaking- if you can do a minute of stand-up, you can do anything. (This is not suitable for people who know that they actually want to become stand-up comedians) Read more.