The mathematician discovers how the ancient Babylonians used their bodies to count to 60 (which gave us 60 minutes in the hour), how the number zero was only discovered in the seventh century by Indian mathematicians contemplating the void, why in China going into the red meant your numbers had gone negative, and why numbers might be our best language for communicating with alien life. But for millennia, contemplating infinity has sent even the greatest minds into a spin. Then at the end of the 19th century mathematicians discovered a way to think about infinity that revealed it is a number that we can count. They also found that there are an infinite number of infinities, some bigger than others…
Mahfouz introduces her vibrant anthology with two of her star contributors. Hear from users of Islamic Tinder, a disenchanted Maulana working as a TV chat show host and a plastic surgeon blackmailed by MI6. Follow the career of an actress with Middle Eastern heritage whose dreams of playing a ghostbuster spiral into repeat castings as a jihadi bride. Among stories of honour killings and ill-fated love in besieged locations, we also find heart-warming connections and powerful challenges to the status quo.
Hamid follows The Reluctant Fundamentalist with How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia – a vivid and emotionally absorbing tale of a man’s journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon. It steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by youths all over ‘rising Asia’. Martell’s new novel is set in New York, June 1961. The Bill Evans Trio, featuring twenty-five year old Scott LaFaro on bass, play a series of concerts at the Village Vanguard that will go down in musical history. Shortly afterwards, LaFaro is killed in a car accident and Evans disappears. Intermission tells the story of what happens next.
Earlier this year a group of senior business leaders, third sector innovators and participants from government came together in Cardiff to launch a major new opportunity for Wales. Find out how this combines Natural Capital and Social Value to create a step change in both thinking and delivery for all sectors in Wales and join in the discussions in this open event.
Free but ticketed
Economics, A User’s Guide
What is economics? How does the global economy work? Many economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, have their strengths, weaknesses and blind spots. By ignoring received wisdom and exposing the myriad forces that shape our financial fate, Chang provides the tools that every responsible citizen needs to understand – and address – our current economic woes.
An introspective and revealing look at the nature of the creative process. This is not a ‘how to’ book in any sense: Peter Korn wants to get at the ‘why’ of craft in particular and the satisfactions of creative work in general to understand their essential nature. Korn is a furniture-maker and is founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship.
What was it like to be ill in medieval Wales? What remedies did people use and to whom did they turn for treatment? Chaired by Jasper Rees.
Jasper Rees is author of Bred Of Heaven.
In this sumptuously illustrated lecture the historian asks: were the Vikings, as contemporary description had it, a ‘valiant, wrathful and purely pagan people’ who swept in from the sea to plunder and slaughter? Or, in the words of a Manx folksong, ‘ware-wolves keen in hungry quest’, who lived and died by the sea and the sword? Or were they unusually successful merchants, extortionists and pioneer explorers?
Grand Designs icon Ben Law discusses a more sustainable approach to buildings with Passivhaus expert Janet Cotterell and Green Consumer guru, Julia Hailes. Chaired by Hay-on-Earth Director Andy Fryers.
This year’s lecture is given by the editor of the best-selling and fabulous anthology Poems That Make Grown Men Cry. 100 men – distinguished in literature and film, science and architecture, theatre and human rights – confess to being moved to tears by poems that haunt them. Representing twenty nationalities and ranging in age from their early 20s to their late 80s they admit to breaking down when ambushed by great art, often in words as powerful as the poems themselves.
The new Director of the V&A explores the role of culture and curation in a world turning on a new axis, where intelligence is artificial and some pots are still priceless; where a common wealth of resources and makers can fashion global treasures.
What really goes on in the long grass? Lewis-Stempel offers a hymn to pastoral beauty with an intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December. He records the passage of the seasons from cowslips in spring to the hay-making of summer and grazing in autumn, and the lives of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath: the badger clan, the fox family, the rabbit warren, the skylark brood and the curlew pair.