Alan Davies asked How Long Is A Piece of String in BBC Two's Horizon... and we get a swirling vortex of confusing joy

It seems like I’ve got this thing called Dyscalculia. It means that numbers are a complete nonsense to me. Even writing a phone number down becomes a task that makes me want to stab myself in the throat with a pen.

So, as you can imagine, maths is not really something that I get a kick out of.

However, the BBC have shown some number heavy shows over the past few years and they’ve made me swoon in utter delight. Brian Cox’s theories on fourth dimensions and time blew my brain wide open. E from the band, The Eels, followed his mathematician dad’s work and showed, effectively, teleportation.

The numbers still make my shit hang sideways, but the theories are ace!

With that, Horizon have been sending Alan Davies to check out loads of bonkers pure maths and quantum physics ideas, last night, looking at something (as seemingly simple) as measurement, which left me flailing around on the floor and cackling into the night sky.

While these shows did nothing for the thinking that all maths and science professors are oddballs, they did show them in a light which made me admire them endlessly.

Last night, we were asked the old question of How Long Is A Piece Of String? From thirty-odd centimetres, we went into black holes, photons being in two places at once, alternate universes, dead cats, fractals and a whole lot more.

Davies played the normal guy lost in a world of brains (much like he does every week on QI), and as such, gave us a nice, accessible route into some of the weirdest ideas in human history… played out through some of the weirdest people in human history (I’m looking at you maths man with the ponytail and cackling murderer laugh).

To try and pull the show apart and relay it here would be a task so blindingly idiotic that I may as well try to kick wind. All I can advise is that, if you like mental ideas and thinking that reprogrammes the way you look at the world for at least an hour, then catch the show on iPlayer.

It was a great little show that could have been very boring indeed.

About the author

I'm Mof Gimmers.

I've been writing about TV for a long time. I love it and loathe it in equal measures. I'm pretty sure the TV feels the same away about me too.
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