Christmas lectures, festive science, and bubble lights

While you’re settling down in front of the fire (or here in Australia, on the beach) this Christmas Eve, enjoy this article from The Guardian (UK) about festive science in Victorian England. Science was all the rage during this time, so Christmastime celebrations were often combined with science-themed shows and entertainment. One tradition that still exists today is the Christmas Lectures at Oxford University, where scientists entertain children with cool displays of raw scientific power. Check out the podcasts here.

One childhood Christmas memory I have that is vaguely science-related is that my grandparents had something called “bubble lights” on their Christmas tree every year. Pictured here, they worked on the power of heat from the small light, so after you had them on for awhile, the coloured water in the vial above the light would begin to boil, or “bubble”. It was honestly one of the most exciting things about Christmas for me.

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