Everything you need to know about black holes – and the number two - Susan Morrison

All fringe I've been the host of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. We have brilliant academics who come out and have fantastic conversations about their fascinating research with the public. It’s great fun, because we encourage the presenters to unleash their inner child and be a little silly.
A star (bright orange dot on right) flying across the galaxy after being ejected from an intermediate-mass black hole (small ring on left).A star (bright orange dot on right) flying across the galaxy after being ejected from an intermediate-mass black hole (small ring on left).
A star (bright orange dot on right) flying across the galaxy after being ejected from an intermediate-mass black hole (small ring on left).

Their dangerous ideas are thought provoking and stimulating. Audiences are encouraged to take part by asking questions and putting points of view. It's the conversation element I love the best, because no-one can predict what the public will say and even the academics can be left speechless.

At a recent show, a charming team of mildly mad space scientists told us what would happen if you fell into a black hole. Answer: nothing good, believe me. In fact, you could get ‘spaghettified’.

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Questions from the audience were, naturally, mainly along the lines of ‘how do I avoid falling into a black hole?’ until one young woman asked, thoughtfully, 'and what snacks would you take to journey through a black hole?’

The brainy boys lads looked at each other and for a second I thought they were mortally offended, but it was merely to confer and to answer ‘Pringles, of course’

You've got the chance to catch the Black Hole Gang when they reappear like a comet tomorrow at the New Town Theatre.

We’ve had two fantastic specialists, Dr Gwo-Tzer Ho and Dr Rebecca Hall, talking about bowels. Dr Hall proudly displayed one of their prize possessions, a Bristol stool chart. For those of you who do not know, the consistency of our poo has been thoughtfully categorised, 1-7. Someone figured this all out. Bet it was a man.

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At the top at Number 1, it's hard, round little balls. Think Maltesers. At the bottom, Number 7, it's slurry. Hot chocolate. We should all be aiming for a nice Number 4. I’m sure you get the idea.

Immediate hand from the audience. These categories. Surely they should all be Number Two? Now that joke does deserve an award.

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