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Series 2, Episode 03: GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY

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In this episode, Matt finds out how a runaway algorithm created the world’s most expensive book, Helen searches for the most singable fruit fly genes and Steve considers whether donating a kidney is easier than buying a house.

  • 00:46 – Steve’s bit
  • 11:05 – Helen’s bit
  • 37:30 – Matt’s bit

This series is sponsored by Brilliant.org, the place to learn maths and science through interactive online lessons. Start your free trial at Brilliant.org/apoud, and the first 200 Unnecessary Detail listeners who sign up for annual membership will get 20% off on the same link.

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If you’d like inbox updates about this podcast and our plans for future live shows, join our mailing list. If you’re into merch, DVDs, downloads or books check out the Spoken Nerd Shop. If songs are your thing, Helen has created a free album on Bandcamp with all the tracks from Series 1 and 2.

Corrections and clarifications:

  • Regular listener Annika emailed us with a somewhat disturbing picture of Spätzle, a local delicacy in Southwest Germany that are some kind of extremely maggoty-looking dumpling. Which clears up why there is a fruit fly gene named after them. Thanks Annika! We think…
  • Many other listeners on twitter have confirmed that Clootie Dumplings are indeed a “thing” and that they have eaten – but never enjoyed – them at some point in the past.

And here’s a heap of Unnecessary Detail from this episode:

Matt Parker holding a copy of "The Making of a Fly" textbook

Matt with his second hand steal

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