Posted by: gillarbuthnott | August 23, 2016

Oops… How I almost broke the Book Festival.

Those of you who follow this blog will know that I have form when it comes to Book Festival mishaps (getting the time wrong for my own event and having to get ready and get across town in 14 minutes; and of course, last year’s ‘follow that bus’ extravaganza).

Nearly went one better this year…

Nick Armstrong and I are doing a schools event this Thursday on our book  A Beginner’s Guide to Electricity and Magnetism. We went in on Sunday to have a look at the venue and decide where to put our numerous bits of experimental equipment. One of them was going to be a Van der Graaf generator – the thing in the picture, that makes your hair stand on end if you touch it…. and also has the potential to fry nearby electronics. Fortunately, Nick knows these things, so checked with the venue manager if the place we were going to put it was far enough away from… everything, really.

Turns out the answer was ‘Aaargh! No!, as behind the tent wall at that point is the wifi hub for the entire site…

So we’ve decided we can do without the Van der Graaf… just in the interests of being allowed back into Charlotte Square ever again.




  1. What a shame about the Van de Graaf…my daughter Ruby Smith is coming all the way from Oban today with Park Primary for your workshop and in her excitement put her alarm clock on for 4am (instead of 6am) hereby waking the whole house up (we have a guest house…..). So I was going to ask you to fry her on the Van de Graaf as pay back. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Don’t worry… We’ll find something to wire her up to (Evil laugh). All the way from Oban – wow! Now that’s proper dedication to science. See you there, Ruby!

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