100 Things To Do This Summer #1: Jazz and Improvised Music

Though summer, and July especially, are quite slow for live music in Trondheim, there are still some places you can hear live music ranging from jazz and improvisation to Americana and rock stuff. These are mostly small venues that provide a more intimate atmosphere. Here are a few tips if you want to hear live music during the holidays. Starting with my personal favorite Moskus – an excellent bar in addition to being super nice, small place to hear live music. Still hungry for music? Visit Antikvariatet, Ila Brainnstasjon, or Kafé Skuret.

Welcome to the 100 Things to do this summer

 

A summer spent in Trondheim can be one of the most rewarding Norwegian experiences, especially if you know how to get the most out of this rich and varied landscape. Much like a fine wine, a Trøndelag summer takes time to mature. All those months of cleaning away the winter grit and tidying up your garden, will be repaid in the form of long, work-free evenings, spent with friends at one of the region’s many events, or perhaps alone on a bike or a mountain in the midnight dusk.

There is a tranquility about spending summer in Trondheim, which is punctuated by festivals and activities, spellbinding enough to stimulate even the most lazy of hammock-dwellers. The List asked 100 of its readers, writers, partners and advertisers what they are looking forward to this summer. Here we share their tips, secrets, insights and advice: your definitive guide to a season of fun!

Starmus IV, Day Five: No more facts or reports needed.

So I am going to be really honest: I think my brain is about to revolt. My brain is just so overstimulated at this point. My problem is that this is a mental sprint and a marathon at once, and I hadn’t seen that coming. I don’t think I would ask Starmus to be less than it is despite the overload.

Let´s go to where I started off the day because for me it was a brilliant start and ended with the other session I loved. It´s an interesting thing to sit and hear a premier scientist say no more facts and no more reports are needed to change the tide of those who stand in opposition to climate change…or really any science. Frankly, the same can be said for how we argue politics and religion at current. It isn’t to say she was saying stop publishing, more to stop using reports and studies to bash people over the head as a way to get them to see the light. Or, if not bashing them, assuming their brains are empty of these fact, like a bowl, and then trying to being helpful, pouring facts in like cereal for them to snack on. The thing is, apparently, is there is already cereal in the bowl and we just didn´t recognize it because it doesn’t look like what we think it should. Short and sweet: Stop with the frontal assault.

Katharine Hayhoe´s talk is one I have been waiting for. Having committed the sin of being a liberal pourer of facts into the atmosphere of various social medias (and friend’s heads), I feel like I was combating the issue of ignorance and flat out refusal to learn more. It´s not that people aren´t learning. They are. It just is a different set of facts, figures, or if the same, changed by belief. But how could those beliefs be so different from my own? Because of one thing that I didn’t consider; they are not denying science, they are denying based off of paying a price for changing which they don’t want to pay. It´s about perceived cost; financial, emotional, loss of community and so forth. Another person’s values changing their perception I have always understood, but not in the context that the cost influencing their ability to stand behind that which is true, rational and general consensus.. This isn’t to say that I don’t recognize the politicians saying one thing while knowing better, because of agendas from those paying into their PACs and the like. That has never been an unclear motive for their actions. It´s more the average person I didn’t think of it in that context.

Photo: Kai T. Dragland / NTNU

The idea we need to give value propositions instead of looking as though we are “costing them” something, and assuage fears with what they will gain seemed so logical when explained by Katherine. I don’t if anyone else found themselves thinking “duh!”, but I certainly was. Her proposals of how to laterally communicate were exactly what I have been looking. They are learnable ideas for those who I know mean well but, like myself, are contributing to the overall communication breakdown between believers and deniers. I thanked her most wholeheartedly for the talk. I cannot wait to look up more of her talks online.

There was a rather abrupt change in direction to how little we know of the oceans and how much we know about space with Nancy Knowlton´s talk. It did make me realize that for someone who loves the ocean as much as I do, I don’t think about what is happening to it as much as a I should.  And then it changed directions once more with Emmanuelle Charpentier´s talk on CRISPR. Admittedly this is the point I couldn’t focus and ended up having some conversations with others about how they felt the festival was going.

Photo: Julie Gloppe Solem / NTNU

The attendees are more than thrilled with this whole week´s programming and how amazed they are by the breadth of information, disciplines and all out fun they are having. A few of the staff members from different areas had nice things to say about working with such a diverse group of volunteers and organizations to make this happen. The potential for Starmus from here, as it´s still growing, is completely understood and there are going to be some really sharp minds working on making it an even better experience.

The panel that ended the day was marvelous. A truly fascinating and fantastic conversation. Outreach and education to encourage a more well rounded and deep fundamental understanding of science from a young age is something we cannot talk about enough. Moreover, the idea that we need to critically think about how we allow skeptics and deniers to have equal weight because of “playing fair” in journalism was something I was overjoyed to hear Alex Witze say out loud. Her unapologetic knock-that-off was refreshing and something that is worth repeating everywhere by all of us. We don’t need to give those peddling a bunch of bull their 15 minutes of fame because they think that  freedom of speech or political correctness should dictate it to be so. Applause for her statement was thunderous.

Photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU

I enjoyed the way the panel discussed using play more, using things that can be taken apart and put back together to encourage curiosity, and as a mean to teach critical thinking without shoving it down as a lecture. Having been a child of the pre-internet age and one who had parents who did not allow cable tv or super commercial toys, I am grateful now for the art supplies, microscopes, real tools, heaps of books and time allowed to be spent dissecting the world. I can enthusiastically and emphatically say the recipe they concocted was entirely the right one, and a childhood all children should get to live.

 

I did find myself wanting to shout out one thing at the end. When David Eicher, the moderator, asked what the six panelist would tell a 10 year old girl to keep her engaged in STEM subjects no one, despite their rich and encouraging messages, said the one thing I desperately wanted to hear. This applies to both girls and boys looking at going into career fields that are seen as gender biased. The statement is this: Whatever is or isn’t between your legs indicating your physical birth gender, does not affect the quality of, intelligence of, or integrity of what is between your ears.

I have to say though, especially in a world that often says study that which will earn you the most, May-Britt Moser saying follow your passion made me really happy. Norwegians know better than anyone else that following your passion, making that passion what you do and then doing it to its utmost potential is a way to create a well-rounded successful life. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one of the best lessons we can give the small humans heading into their futures.

Photo: Thor Nielsen / NTNU

Starmus IV, Day Four: Trump sacked by Sachs, a King and a Prince doing a little bit of arson. 

Jeffrey Sachs - How we can survive Trump, Climate Change and other Global Crisis? Starmus IV
Jeffrey Sachs – How we can survive Trump, Climate Change and other Global Crisis?

“This is about money and greed. This not about science and denial.” Jeffrey Sachs came out swinging hard, unapologetically, and you could tell that his heart is angry. I know exactly what he is speaking to as a fellow American. My blood boiled, my emotions tumbled and, as always, I am left with the crushing question of how can there be humans who so deliberately chose such abhorrent behaviour? To me this talk was the hardest to hear, because those I love are living with the omnipresent and harsh realities created by the monsters parading as men.

Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey Sachs

What left the biggest lump in my throat was his appeal to not give up on the American people because we do know this is all wrong. Very wrong. We need those in this audience and in audiences similar to keep fighting back with innovation, solid facts and sound logic. It isn’t just a battle of economics, or science, or technology being developed to change the world. Not by a long shot. It is a war to save lives and help repair broken spirits.

Larry King - The Era of Post-truth and fake news
Larry King – The Era of Post-truth and fake news
Larry King - The Era of Post-truth and fake news
Larry King – The Era of Post-truth and fake news

Larry King, thankfully, brought us all to balance with his hilarious “interview” conducted by Garik Israelian. Poor Garek though. Larry is certainly one to talk and steer a conversation, and I think that his insights into good conversation were very much needed. The call for curiosity, honesty and building solid lines of communication has been a theme repeated by most of the speakers. The call to remember that we need to laugh more and use humour to help carry the human spirit was demonstrated in its effectiveness to do just that. His points of can we have too much information? Is there a danger of having everything at our fingers? Is it okay for everyone one to put information out there as fact? Have been topics that I would wager most of us have talked about with some friend over coffee at least once. Having accessible information has been enriching lives globally, but what is the cost to this? It was the questions within the questions and between the lines of banter that I found myself drifting on.

He said at dinner the other night that we need not only ask the big questions. We can just ask why and go from there. “Simple questions often get the most shockingly honesty answers because it surprises people and they forget answering grandiosely,” he said after I had asked what he felt the best type of questions to ask are. For a man who has interviewed 60,000 people, I am certain that advice is some of the wisest.

Starmus in the City - photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City – photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City - photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City – photo by Torleif Kvinnesland

The City Programme, on the other hand, unfortunately plagued by our wet weather, has soldiered on providing some fun for those who are not attending the Main Programme events. So, while those of us at the Spektrum headed into a break to see a moon rock, eat a donut and then pile back in for the last panel discussion, the City Programme was well… on fire, literally, as the Crown Prince set our city’s resident and aspiring Bill Nye, Forsker-Frederic on fire.

“There was an immense amount of bending the rules,” Frederic said about having the Prince set him on fire. Which came about because, as it seems, a certain Princess is rather happy for her Prince to set someone on fire. A few well placed elbows from Mette-Marit and Haakon was on the stage being Forsker-Haakon, setting Frederic on fire after he asked for a volunteer. All in a day of royally-awesome science.

For the main programme tomorrow I want a really good seat for Martin Rees talk Living Beyond 2100: On Earth and Beyond.  I am also very curious about how marine biology, twitter, DNA and crochet all fit together, because I’ve crocheted for 30 years and I am really not coming to any conclusions on my own. I am certain Nancy Knowlton will clear it up for me. And although I am rather lame with my early bedtime, I am going to try to keep my eyes open long enough to go to the concert tomorrow evening.

Oh, one last thing…. If you want to set Frederic on fire (tell him I sent you), be at the Torvet at 11:00 for a front row seat (it worked for Haakon).

 

Finn Kydland - Innovation, Capital Formation, and Economic Policy
Finn Kydland – Innovation, Capital Formation, and Economic Policy

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0359_lowres

Oliver Stone - Decoding truth in films
Oliver Stone – Decoding truth in films
Oliver Stone - Decoding truth in films
Oliver Stone – Decoding truth in films

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0324_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0308_lowres

Larry King.- The Era of Post-truth and fake news
Larry King.- The Era of Post-truth and fake news

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0478_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0479_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0481_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0484_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0492_lowres

Starmus in the City - photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City – photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City - photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City – photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City - photo by Torleif Kvinnesland
Starmus in the City – photo by Torleif Kvinnesland

Words by Jennifer Wold, Photography by Wil Lee-Wright

Starmus IV, Day Three: Light, heavy, thrilling and humbling

Stephen Hawking, via live feed Starmus IV
Stephen Hawking, via live feed

Judging by the queues starting an hour before the session with Stephen Hawking, I could tell the auditorium would be full and the halls would be more than empty today. I did not have any desire to check my hypothesis on the matter first hand, however.

I got to enter the theatre before the doors officially opened, which I recognise is an exceptional thing to be able to do at a conference such as Starmus. I was perched at the top of the bleacher seats, watching the crew test the link to Buzz Aldrin, and it really hit me how in less than 30 minutes I would be hearing from Hawking firsthand. Last night I also had a rare opportunity fall into my lap which, in hindsight, has further entrenched my opinion that Starmus is a very, very important thing to have landed in Trondheim indeed.

I sat enjoying a few more quiet minutes, when the call “Let them in” rang out to break my thoughts. In an instant the room seemed to be tumbling in people. Norwegians, by all accounts, are typically rather orderly. Peels of laughter, a bit of running in the isles, and people making seat choices with haste, made me smile as it was refreshingly unfamiliar to other occasions I’ve been in primarily Norwegian crowds. It wasn’t just the young scooting around enthusiastically either. The impending talk by Professor Hawking was clearly fuelling activity across the room.

Stephen Hawking has been said to be funny, and he is. Jokes and his heartwarming, but mischievous smile, peppered his rather serious talk about the need to colonise other Goldilock-zone planets. The talk has roosted rather heavily on me though. I have been contemplating why that is and I think it is a two fold reason. For one, seeing him talk was on my bucket list and I got to check that off. It is an odd feeling to have something you never saw happening, happen.
Two would be that he was seriously imploring those in the audience to work hard to make our ability to survive beyond the capabilities of our planet, because of our mishandling of it, a priority.  A third did cross my mind and, although morbid, it stems from that he didn’t attend in person for health reasons (he spoke via feed) and I feel rather certain a world without Professor Hawking isn’t something I am comfortable with.

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0014_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0533_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0039_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0059_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0064_lowres

Neil DeGrasse Tyson took over the stage to moderate the Moonwalker Panel. Buzz Aldrin joined in on a flawless feed to poke a little fun at his friends, Charlie Duke and Harrison ‘Jack’ Schmitt, and remind us how sunny it is in Florida before things got more serious and technical. Astronauts are fascinating people. They are very humble despite doing work only a few get to do. Sandra Magnus, who was stationed to the International Space Station, sat with me for an interview and the feeling I got was very similar to those of Charlie and Jack when I met them yesterday. I want to say it is a beautiful humility and rich perspective they have all gained by their time orbiting our blue marble that I am not sure can be attained any other way.

The presentation of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication (say that three times fast) was joyful and a clear reminder of how we have to celebrate those working hard at making a difference in the post-fact/denier age. Hawking said that scientists are being held in decreasing esteem in his talk, and I see the individuals awarded today as the those fighting to put science and those who do it at the cool kids table.

I was in the extremely fortunate position to have dinner with two speakers last night; Larry King and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. We had pizza, very American of us, and really good conversation. I mentioned earlier that it was clear to me Starmus is a very important event to have happen here (truthfully anywhere and everywhere) because it brings in a person like me, who would otherwise maybe not go to a science conference, to a science conference because it isn’t elitist. I feel like I belong here despite my lacking a strong science background. Dinner with these two men made clear I might know their faces from TV, but as people they are much like myself and that fact was brought to me because Starmus is in my backyard. It’s easy to think science is only for “them”, but the “them” is another human trying to figure out the world like I am. In that sense we are the same. Sharing a meal is always a great equaliser in my opinion.

I got a chance to interview Neil (look for the article in the upcoming issue of Tech List) and then had a short, but insightful, conversation with Garik Israelian. I thanked him for the opportunity that he has provided our community. I thanked him for the the forward thinking and for the radically creative idea of putting music and science together with Brian May to make everything more accessible for all. He smiled and said “It makes me feel alive to do this. It energises my blood to help people hear directly the words from these people,” and I get it. It takes a courageous person to do something so radically different than the norm and to bring that which could confuse or alienate a person down to such an accessible level.

In thinking about tomorrow I am super focused on hearing Jeffrey Sachs talk about surviving global crises and Trump, Larry King on Post-Truth media, and Jaan Tallinn discussing artificial intelligence. I am hoping to get to the pollution pods at Festningsparken as I did an interview with one of the primary faces behind the project and have been fascinated since. I also highly encourage those with kids at home to go to the Torvet to see all the activities there. A few friends took their kids today and said the kids were very focused on what they were learning, chatting all the way through dinner about it afterwards.

All in all this has been a radically different day to yesterday and I am still just as excited for tomorrow as I was for today.

Words by Jennifer Wold/Photography by Wil Lee-Wright

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0576_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0556_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0161_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0117_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0100_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0083_lowres Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0017_lowres

Starmus IV, Day Two: Gobsmacked and then some

Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion

In the span of a few hours today I learned that while chemistry has always escaped me, string theory (apparently) does not, and I shook the hand of two moonwalkers. Both things are wildly mind-blowing. I have been sitting for the better part of a couple of hours trying to, or even come close to, sorting out exactly what just happened to me today. Gobsmacked is the singular word that keeps coming to mind. I was there, and yet the whole experience is hovering over being put in the ´pictures or it didn’t happen` bin. Except I have pictures, a bag, a book, a conference pass all indicating that I did indeed have the wildest day.

I was never strong at maths or science, but I am a deeply curious person. Insomuch so I’ve always believed that continued self-learning in either discipline isn’t just for those with degrees or serious aptitude for them. I am often swept up in the livestreams from space missions with the type of wide-eyed awe that a five year old shows at a new bike. However, because I hold no education in the spheres of the Starmus speakers, the idea of being in the same room as many of these very people still feels preposterous and highly unlikely.

I have known about Starmus for the last two years. I thought I ´got it` before I even got in the doors (I mean I did write about it for the Starmus issue of The List), but the atmosphere nearly bowled me over; the excitement was far more than tangible, the focus of the auditorium was like a laser and the faces were illuminated with curiosity, awe and profound respect for those doling knowledge out from the stage.

It occurred to me when the eleven Nobel Laureates took the stage and Carlos Moedas began his keynote, that despite my lack of an engineer’s ring or a single class of physics, I was in a room of people who hold similar beliefs as I. “Democracy needs science, ”Moedas said and that, in this age of post-fact and flat out deniers, is something which I cling to as a deeply held belief. Terry Virts aptly added, during the following panel session, “if you´re not standing on the truth it’s all over,” and it is all too clear that those fighting the good fight for science number in the many and they are not giving up soon. I have been watching terrified at the voracity at which alternative-facts are taking over my country of origin, and in the hours I sat amongst the other attendees the sense that all is lost has abated.

I laughed along as Adam Smith tried to wrangle the Nobel Laureate panel, I was mulling over the possibilities for how nanocoatings could prevent the regolith from embedding in space suits and how I want to know where to sign up for classes on string theory and quantum mechanics. I am also looking forward to replaying the hours of audio I recorded.

If one day could leave me as inspired as I feel right now, I cannot imagine what I am going to feel like by the end of the week.

Tips for tomorrow: I am excitedly looking forward to seeing the presentation of the Stephen Hawking Medal of Science tomorrow and to hear the panel discussion by the moonwalkers. It is a shame Buzz cannot be here in person, however joining by video is still very fitting considering the use of technology and space.

The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast
Garik Israelian
Garik Israelian
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0393_lowres

Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion
Nobel Prize winners/Panel discussion

 

Words by Jennifer Wold, Photos by Wil Lee-Wright

Starmus IV, Day One: We Have Take Off

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0554 copy

What a gloriously confusing day I have just experienced. After many months of heightened anticipation, Starmus IV, hosted by NTNU, finally launched in Trondheim. And it is already confounding my expectations.

Sandra Magnus on stage at Starmus IV, Trondheim Spektrum
Sandra Magnus on stage at Starmus IV, Trondheim Spektrum

Today was somewhat of a soft launch, with the official opening ceremony scheduled for tomorrow. Torrential rain, several high-profile speaker cancellations and an odd Sunday start. I feared today would turn into somewhat of a damp squib, as I entered the cavernous Trondheim Spektrum venue to be greeted by eerily empty hallways.

I was surprised to discover, some seconds later, that this was because the auditorium was packed. Starmus is no place for class-cutters, especially when you consider that, in the words of speaker David Zambuka, the average IQ at this festival is “in the millions”. What Spektrum lacks in personality on the outside, it makes up for in an epic conference arena: minimal, dark and sleek, with those strong Starmus colours locking all eyes on stage.

Full house on day one Starmus IV
Full house on day one

But it was not the stage layout that attracted thousands of delegates out on a wet Sunday. It was the quality of the speaker line-up and so far the festival programme has delivered on its promise. There was next to nobody with their phone out, scrolling emails and social media, the modern-day affliction of these types of events. Instead, all eyes and ears were pinned to the stage. It was a refreshing departure from the norm.

Alle eyes on stage
Alle eyes on stage

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0228 copy

Perspectives from Space, Sandra Magnus Starmus IV
Perspectives from Space, Sandra Magnus

Alle eyes on stage Sarmus IV

The theme today surrounded the existence of life beyond our planet and there were some challenging thoughts put to the audience. These ranged from the existential (“if you don’t know what an alien looks like, how do you know what to look for?” Lynn Rothschild), to the mind-boggling (Exoplanets? Biosignatures? Thank you Michel Mayor and Sara Seager). But the organisers of Starmus, now in its fourth year, understand the diversity of their audience.

The Most Extreme Environments Where the Alien Life Could be Found - Lynn Rothschild Starmus IV
The Most Extreme Environments Where the Alien Life Could be Found – Lynn Rothschild
Origins and Aliens: The Search for Biosignatures on Exoplanets - Sara Seager Starmus IV
Origins and Aliens: The Search for Biosignatures on Exoplanets – Sara Seager

After the break the speeches broadened their appeal and lifted the whole experience to another level. Steve Vai brought fame, culture and whimsy to the proceedings, sat on a lone stool in the middle of the vast stage, like a philosopher, wandering in space. It was broad, expansive, evasive, like one of his guitar solos, riffing on ‘egoic perspectives’ and the limitations of these types of thoughts. One aspect really struck a chord with me; “truth and reality has no belief in it… truth has no opinion. It just is, and you have access to it through your intense attention, without thought… even if you can only do this for seconds at a time, it’s vital. This is the only place you can find the one thing every human being on the planet really wants. Peace.”

Creative Manifestation - Steve Vai Starmus IV
Creative Manifestation – Steve Vai
"Truth and reality has no belief in it… truth has no opinion" Steve Vai Starmus IV
“Truth and reality has no belief in it… truth has no opinion” Steve Vai
Steve Vat on "egoic perspectives" and the limitations of these types of thoughts Starmus IV
Steve Vat on “egoic perspectives” and the limitations of these types of thoughts

It reminded me of a Neil deGrasse youtube video I saw in the run up to Starmus, where he discusses how science is a fundamental part of society, yet people in the 21st century (America) have chosen to debate what to believe in, and to stand in denial of scientific fact:

This is one of the ideas that excites me about Starmus and science in general: the exercise in finding out what is true. With that in mind my top tip for today’s programme is Brian Cox and BBC Radio 4’s live broadcast: The Infinite Monkey Cage, at 10:30am.

Harrison Schmitt, photo credit NASA Starmus IV
Harrison Schmitt, photo credit NASA

I will also be interested to see how Harrison Schmitt steps into Buzz Aldrin’s shoes (not for the first time!), after the latter’s unfortunate withdrawal from the conference for health reasons. Buzz Aldrin will however join the discussion with fellow moonwalkers, Harrison Schmitt and Charlie Duke, via Skype at the scheduled time on Tuesday 20 June at 14:10.

Pollution Pods Starmus IV
Pollution Pods

On the city programme I will be visiting the highly anticipated installation Pollution Pods, up at Kristiansten Festning, by British climate artist Michael Pinsky:

This is a bit of a walk uphill from the centre (I don’t know if Starmus provide buses?) but it is one of those things which you put off and off until you are on the flight home, pinching yourself for not having visited.

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0540 copy

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0427 copy
David Zambuka

Wil_Lee-Wright_Starmus2017_93A0551 copy

Everyday during Starmus, my colleagues from The List and I will be blogging what we see, and what other attendees are looking forward to. We will bring you photos, interviews, advice, stories and feedback from this pop-up community. Our focus is on increasing engagement in the event, especially amongst those of us with non-scientific backgrounds. If you are at the conference we will try to cut through the festival programme to highlight the elements which are vital for all of us, and if you are not here we hope to bring you some valuable lessons, along with advice about how everyone can get involved in the form of the City Programme (which has a mixture of free and ticketed events).

Words and photos: Wil Lee-Wright, Editor-in-Chief, The List Media

Juba Juba seen with Zane’s eyes

Words and photos by Zane Datava

Despite a grey sky over the Festningen fortress on Saturday afternoon, Juba Juba children’s festival is humming with voices of small participants, artists, clowns and all kinds of activities.
DSC_1426We head towards the Adressaavisen tent where everybody can get on the front page of issue special issue of the newspaper and take it home! My one year old son is eager to try drawing on the textile tote bag. A memory that one can use after the festival has finished. Various tents offer all kinds of creative workshops – final products stay in hands of little participants who can take them home and use!

There is a buttons workshop at art museum tent, an apocalyptic workshop lets kids’ fantasy fly free. Chilfren can make objects of recycled everyday objects and materials, and many more.DSC_1424Now we head to literature tent to hear the readings, and end up at music tent listening to “9 grader nord”. Bubbles, balloons and music all fit well together!DSC_1444We will definitely come back next year, when the little one will have more skills to fully participate in the festival.Fortunately, there are many activities for the smallest ones, too, including the toddler tent. And, of course, a fun of experiencing an event!

Lost Teen in a New Place

The current issue of The List has been taken over by the youth. You better hurry up to read it as we’ve already started working on the next one! In the meantime, enjoy Magalie and Klaudia’s article on communication and cultural differences. Magalie and Klaudia are 15-years old students at Rosenborg School.

Words by Magalie Baardsen and Klaudia Ciszewska

Howdy! Cześć! Bonjour! Agent Magalie Baardsen and Klaudia Ciszewska speakin’.
Today we’re on a mission to share our thoughts on communication, the experiences we’ve had, and how different from our homelands things are for us in Trondheim.people-23733_1280Being from Poland and Cameroon we have certainly noticed some differences. Trondheim welcomes students and immigrants from many places, but you can notice some differences. Especially when you are from another country.
First and foremost, there is not much racism or hate towards different people – different as in Ethnic groups – among the folks of Trondheim. Despite the contrasts in skin color everyone is treated equally. Diversity is very important to everyone living in Trondheim and makes the population richer.

Of course it was never said that there is no racism or hate in Trondheim; one can see that discrimination does exist here, but then again, there is no place in the world that doesn’t have hate. Hate is an easy feeling to get after all.

We were brought up in our homelands with very different morals and thoughts than our Norwegian classmates. For example, Magalie’s country of Cameroon is well known in Africa for being welcoming towards other Africans. They have a different concept of “foreigner” and in their view anyone that starts a life there is a Cameroonian; even without the papers to show it. However it becomes a little more complicated if you look a bit different (different as in white). They tend to judge one’s financial situation and personality by the skin color. Nevertheless, Indians, Chinese and Middle Eastern people aren’t rare sights if you go to certain cities.

In Poland however, Klaudia’s country, it is very different. People are brought up with a very different disposition. There is a rather high level of discrimination; there is no acceptance for immigrants most of the time, but it doesn’t mean that Polish people aren’t welcoming. It is like that because there are few immigrants in Poland, unlike in Norway wher seeing a person of another race isn’t something strange. It doesn’t mean that there’s no discrimination. Poland and Norway are two different countries. When Klaudia moved to Norway she could feel it and, it was something new to her.

In Norway teenagers and children grow up with people from different skin color and cultures. Therefore, one can see the different mindset of a teen from Cameroon, a teen from Poland and a teen from Norway. The first difficulty you meet when coming in Trondheim, is naturally the language. We all understand that we cannot just live in Norway without speaking Norwegian. We immigrated here knowing that. We must learn it one way or another, even though it is hard and takes time!hands-565604_1280Communication is extremely important for humans. Without the capacity to communicate relationships cannot be built. Without relationships isolation is inevitable. Isolation can lead to loneliness, but what is certain is that the humankind is not a lone race. It lives in big groups called communities and needs interaction. Communication is so important that humans cannot live without it (I am not human btw. I am a Unicorn). Not speaking Norwegian creates the language barrier that prevents people from communicating, in other word, interacting, in better words, building relations: be it of friendship, love, or hate.

It is human nature to want to communicate. It is the easiest way to express feelings and send a message across. It is with communication that we share knowledge. And people often feel the urge to interact and share. That is easier to do by speaking. Although when someone really wants to say something, he will always find ways to get rid of the language barrier. Talking is not the only tool of communication. When Klaudia first came to Norway, her friend could speak neither English nor Norwegian. Thus they had to find other ways to send messages across. She had to try to make her understand what she was trying to say by showing her signs with her hands or make strange movements. They interacted this way for a month and stayed friends until they finally learned a common language to communicate easier.

Many people don’t have the capacity to talk. Sometimes it is physically, sometimes it is mentally. Yet, they found ways to communicate: sign language, writing or even through art. On the other hand, when you know how to talk, you may sometimes find these other forms of communication quite hard to use. And in the end, most of the time, it crashes. Everything depends on the environment one has grew up in, the environment one lives in and the types of adaptation one has to make: states of mind, ways of seeing things, thoughts on things, lifestyles, capacity of adaptation, ability to express feelings with words and ability to express feelings with the body, etc, etc…