…stands for Benoit B Mandelbrot.

Tonight, dizzykj and I attended the Air Accordion Society, which turns out to be a delightfully intimate comedy gig in what has to be the nicest pub I didn’t know existed. We established up front that although largely lacking science degrees, the audience differentiated between geeks and nerds, predominantly self-selected as being both, and were more interested in working out an equation to determine how much energy a roomful of accordion-players could generate in an hour than setting an accordion on fire.

We went on to discover the delights of sulphur hexafluoride as an alternative to helium (if you can get your hands on it), and that one of us can be fooled into hearing things that aren’t there (leading to an urge to google “missing fundamental”, if the phrase didn’t make me snigger so much). We admired harmonics in a plate of metal as demonstrated by sand movement, but were forced to admit that it’s unlikely string theory will be solved through interpretative dance.

Combined with Mongolian overtoning, a song about the sexual habits of anglerfish (corrosive), and an entertaining deus ex projector moment, I can cheerfully say tonight’s Festival of the Spoken Nerd was a roaring success. More comedy nights should include a stand-up mathematician.