Preludes recommends: Brian Cox and the Wonders of the Universe

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Merry December!

'Tis the special season where we stuff ourselves with turkey and chocolate and attempt to relax while being perhaps the busiest that we are all year. Also, the blog will be 2 years old on December 14th!

To celebrate the holiday season I have conscripted in the help of another curious individual - TinyAstronaut - who will be popping up here and on my instagram account over December. 
Yes, TinyAstronaut is both small and plastic, but it's fitting given the tradition for playing with daft action figures this time of year. Plus, I do like to maintain on the blog that anyone  - even tiny inanimate objects - has the right to be curious.

So, what is TinyAstronaut taking a look at this week?

TinyAstronaut certainly enjoys full page
glossy photos of space.

Brian Cox and the Wonders of the Universe

Well, I will admit it, I'm rather a fangirl of Professor Brian Cox. Both the legends of David Attenborough and Patrick Moore have said that they would enthusiastically pass the torch to him as a main figure of the BBC's scientific programming and it's easy to see why. He blends a genuine curiosity and wonder with a detailed knowledge of physics (spawned from his education in high energy particle physics), and when this is supported by a hefty BBC budget that takes him all over the world a whole range of fascinating scientific ideas are able to spring to life. I'm no scientist, but it's framed in a way that is understandable without being too dumbed down. It's intricate but also fundamentally friendly.

If you're looking for christmas gifts for a curious friend or family member then the Wonders series on DVD (covering the solar system, the universe and nature) is a great places to start and will keep you entertained for hours. There was also a tie in book series that I have sitting cheerily on my shelf and is well worth checking out, especially if you're looking for something sophisticated to stick on your coffee table. 

Wonders of the Universe especially is a fascinating read and has plenty of gorgeous pictures to enoy. While of course based on the Tv series it nevertheless stands on its own two feet as a detailed yet approachable journey through the stars and astrophysics. It carried the same spirit of explaining complicated ideas like quantum theory, entropy, thermodynamics and more in enthusiastic and approachable languages, and mixed stunning photography alongside informative scientific graphs. You can't help but feel equal parts inspired and humbled by the sheer vastness of the universe that it describes.

I obviously love it. If you find you do then you can even see Prof. Cox live next year giving talks on all the same scientific goodness.

If you find you're not a fan? Well, you can enjoy this gif of him getting run over by Stephen Hawking.

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