Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002


Dr Michael J Porter presenting at BettaKultcha

Last night Christine and I went to BettaKultcha, a series of short presentations by interesting people that happens roughly monthly around Yorkshire. This time it was in Bradford, at Hand Made in Bradford, a craft shop and art space which occupies the old Zavvi/Virgin Megastore shop on Tyrrel Street while it awaits a new permanent tenant.

This was the second BettaKulcha that we’ve attended – the previous one was in April, at the National Media Museum, and held to coincide with the opening of its new Life Online gallery. The star speaker at this event was Tom Scott, currently known for being a co-presenter of Gadget Geeks on Sky 1 but who has also previously run for parliament as pirate and got into trouble for his parody Preparing for Emergencies site. Here’s a video of his talk:

So, back to last night. Again, we went primarily to see a particular person – this time Dr Michael J Porter, one of my colleagues at work. He gave a talk about ‘Science vs Pseudoscience’ (pictured at the top of this post), but we were also there to see the other interesting presentations.

The rules of BettaKultcha are simple – you get five minutes, and a maximum of 20 PowerPoint slides which automatically change every 15 seconds, and there’s no sales pitching. The content is up to you – it can be serious (like Michael’s presentation), humorous, or just plain silly – as long as it’s interesting. To give you an idea, last night we had talks about what a ‘Professional Northerner’ is, how to use Twitter at work, how to cure meat, how monkeys eat bananas and what it’s like to come out as a lesbian, amongst others. After the scheduled presentations, there’s then a chance for members of the audience to do a presentation based on 10 slides that they have never seen before, which is always amusing but does require some imagination.

The next BettaKultcha event is at The Magic Loungeabout festival near Skipton at the end of July – see here for more details. It’s a bit far for us to go, but hopefully it’ll return to Bradford soon. I may even give a presentation myself.

Comments are closed.