A double twist
Fifty years since Watson and Crick were shown
The butterfly brush of deoxyribonucleic acid on Rosalind’s
And saw in a flash how the whole thing hangs together.
The birthday party, oblique and elliptical,
curls like smoke around anonymous corridors.
So I walk home beside the black, strong-sliding Thames
And there in the dark, with urgent indignity, body clings
Two people hot on the panic mission of that orderly
Then I smile to know that my mind, filled with the clean,
dry patterns of mathematics,
And this pair, burning only for scent and taste and touch,
Are the two strands that twist in each of us.
Of course it’s a double spiral tells us what we are.
Hard to imagine there was ever doubt – it seems so right
That running through us all, that spiral strand
Spins into gold pure thought and the flaxen animal stuff.
And love, too, surely a double twisted thread.
The chemical endlessly, blindly driving,
An engine pounding along its parallel rails,
To copy itself in toddling, laughing, chubby-fingered
And the soul, lifting its mortal gaze from the void,
Setting a trusting foot on the ladder’s first link
Climbing the spiral, upwards, into the light.
Timandra Harkness, 24th June, 2003
I'm still running around the UK with FameLab
and a few other projects, so you may catch me in Edinburgh, Cardiff, Cambridge.... (still time to enter by video)
On December 10th I'm trying something new - Science Burlesque
, a cabaret designed to take science out of its white coat and into the dark.
And meanwhile - it's time for Motorcycle Live
Full steam ahead with our new show for Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2012 - Humans V Nature; engineering FTW
! We have a few previews if you want to see it at very early prototype stage: July 9
& July 16
in London, and (under various previous names) at Cardiff
and Winchester Science festival
In other news, I'm in Dublin on Tuesday 10 July to host the FameLab Olympics
(no sport involved, I trust).
It was straight from touring the old show to writing the new one, which previews at Cheltenham Science Festival
on June 17th. "early prototype" might be a more accurate description as Humans V Nature: engineering FTW
will be all about how Nature, as the adversary of human aspiration, tries to set limits over which we humans triumph through technology. Thanks to the RAEng
for supporting us.
I think I'm the only comedian currently touring the UK who has an article in The Journal of the Royal Statistical Society
. It's about being Seduced by Stats. So it's relevant to the show I'm doing - Your Days Are Numbered: the maths of death
. I also have a piece on Spiked
about the new UK government anti-drinking campaign.
Shows are going well so far, most have been sold out. In March we'll be in Australia with the show at the Adelaide Fringe
and Melbourne International Comedy Festival
, but the UK tour resumes in April.
In 2012 we're touring Your Days Are Numbered: the maths of death
in the UK and taking it to the Adelaide Fringe
and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia. The first show sold out on a wet Sunday night in Salford, which is a good sign. If we're not booked to come near you, there's still time to contact your local venue and urge them to book the show.