Monday, 26 September 2011

Don't try this at home!

We got the chance to grill the BBC Bang Goes the Theory team and we've been putting their questions and answers up on our blog. This week, it's Dallas' turn... don't try this at home!

What's your favourite science fact?
Space is big. Really big…

What's the most dangerous experiment you've ever done?
Typing this in the bath.

What's the most dangerour / extreme / exciting thing you've ever done?
I went diving in raw sewage in Mexico City. Human waste, animal waste, it was truly grim. Unblocking your own loo is bad enough, but unblocking a loo that 20 million people have been using is truly awful. For a day I was a human sink plunger.

How did you become a science TV presenter?
A strange combination of circumstances, chance encounters, a favourable alignment of the planets, hard work, and luck. There is no official career path to becoming a TV Presenter. The short story is that I devised a TV science series in America which I ended up presenting. From that I went on to present The Gadget Show on Channel Five and then on to the BBC to do Bang and my other BBC projects. That’s the abridged version at least. The upshot is, I have the best job in the world, and I’m incredibly lucky.

What do you think will be the next big discovery in science?
From what I understand, physics is on the brink of some exciting conclusions: The nature of dark matter (the missing matter of the Universe); confirmation of the existence of the elusive Higgs boson which will help complete the Standard Model of particle physics; perhaps a theory that will unify quantum mechanics (the strange physics of the subatomic world) and relativity (physics of really big stuff like galaxies). Not only will these things reveal more about the nature of reality, but no doubt throw up new, exciting questions and mysteries. That’s the really exciting bit of science – the stuff we don’t yet know. Exciting times.

What's the best thing about your job?
When people ask me what my favourite food is.

What's your favourite food?
All of it.

Questions from the fans

What is the most you've ever eaten in one sitting and what is the most that one person can actually eat?
I recently went to Amarillo in Texas. There’s a restaurant there where they serve a 72 oz steak – just over 2 kilograms of meat. Terrifying. If you eat it it’s free. But not only do you have to eat the steak, you have to eat the baked potato, the bread roll, the coleslaw and all the other stuff that it comes with. When I was there, there was an interstate BBQ rib eating contest going on. I’ve never seen more meat being consumed in my life. A truly awesome display. I had the salad. Followed by a 72 oz steak.

Do aliens exist?
Sometimes I think we’re alone. Sometimes I think we’re not. Either way the implications are staggering.” That’s a quotation sometimes credited to Arthur C. Clarke, and sometimes to Buckminster Fuller, but it nicely sums up my daily ruminations on the subject. The short answer is, of course, we don’t know for sure, but you’d have to be a brave person to bet that the only life in the Universe is here.

BBC Bang Goes the Theory LIVE experience will be at Campfield Market Hall, near MOSI on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October. Get your tickets booked now!

Bang Goes the Theory is on BBC One on Monday evenings at 7.30pm.

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