Sunday 16 November 2008

Space Station Dana

An event of Coney's, at the Dana Centre on Thursday night. I had little to do with its construction beyond an insight into the teams but pleased to attend it as an observer. It did well to support the indisputable main attraction of the evening - a panel of experts including a real-life astronaut, the animating Jean-Francois Clervoy.

And a startlingly good game presented by space psychologist Iya Whiteley. This is really part of the ESA recruitment programme for astronauts, based on the fact that normal conversation between Earth and astronaut is tricky because of the lag in transmission, 22 minutes if we ever get to Mars. As played on Thursday... three teams of strangers each gather round a table on which are post-its and paperclips. The winning team will have built the highest freestanding tower from those materials in 10 minutes. With a catch. For the first 5 minutes, teams can talk but not touch the materials. For the second 5 minutes, they can start building but must work in complete silence. It's probably already in corporate training programmes all over the shop but I loved it.

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