Monthly Archives: August 2010

Fringe stuff


This could possibly be my last year here during the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe! In all likelihood I’ll still be here working on my PhD next year, but you never know. 😉 Some years I have let it pass me by; this year I have been to quite a few events spanning some of the things that go on – dance, music, literature, skeptics talks, and comedy. A lot of the shows are expensive but there are quite a lot of events that are actually free. The atmosphere in the city is always so much fun anyway. Here are some photos and highlights of the month for me. I’m all Fringed-out now!

Brazil Brazil – music, dancing (including capoeira), singing and story-telling from Brazil. Very impressive stuff, the performances were so full of energy and the performers seemed to be absolutely loving what they’re doing.

Americana – an amateur American choir of an amazing standard, doing mostly American songs including some Afro-American spirituals. It was just so heart-warming!

Readings of imprisoned Burmese writers’ work (Book Festival) – very moving; it is shocking what ordeals some people go through for the sake of speaking their mind. Really humbling and definitely put my own worries into perspective.

Mental Shortcuts (At The Fringe Of Reason) – An interesting talk illustrating the evolutionary advantages of various ways that we make mental shortcuts and how this can backfire too. I wrote about it on my other blog.

Shazia Mirza: Multiple Choice – the brave British-Pakistani comedienne who used to perform in hijab and opened a show 3 weeks after 9/11 with, “I’m Shazia Mirza. At least that’s what it says on my pilot’s license”! She was great… lots of very honest cross-cultural humour.

Why We Believe The Bizarre (At The Fringe Of Reason) – explaining that we are programmed to identify faces and other aspects of people; in just a few dots on a screen moving in a particular way, our brains can hardly avoid seeing a person walking. This could account for why so many people see ghosts. Never thought about that before.

Yianni Agisilaou: The Universe. A User’s Guide – Very funny guy, made me laugh to the point of tears! I wish I could remember all the jokes, the only one I remember right now is him using hamster-hours as a unit of distance!

The Aspidistras – an old flatmate of mine is one half of this duo, so I may be a little biased but I thought they were brilliant – they did lots of comedy sketches and songs with a huge amount of talent and wit.