I have compiled a list of 23 things I learned from attending the recent Festival of Tomorrow in Swindon.

Nothing grabs the attention of kids more than toilet arrangements on spacecraft.

Apart from farts.

You don’t need to have school-age kids or grandkids to attend a science festival.

They will still let you in, even if (as in my case) your highest scientific qualification is CSE Grade 4 in chemistry.

They even let you chat to a Professor of Solar Physics (Robert Walsh), and he doesn’t laugh when you ask daft questions.

You might think the earth is big, but it’s weeny compared with the sun, which is quite small, itself, when compared with other stars.

Because of increased magnetic activity on the sun over the next couple of years, now would be a good time to book that Northern Lights cruise that you have been thinking about.

The Rubik’s Cube can be solved from any position in 20 moves or less (the bad news: there are 43 quintillion permutations).

There is such a thing as a quintillion.

I may have to put a 3D printer on my Christmas list – or sign up to use one at Swindon Makerspace (www.swindon-makerspace.org) if Santa isn’t feeling generous.

Science can inspire art, as demonstrated by local artist Harrie Dearing’s immersive experience at the Health Hydro, one of the most original artworks I have seen in a long while.

You can go on a guided tour of the wind turbines at Westmill (www.weset.org). You are also free to walk on the land underneath them (and take your dog).

“By the end of next year” the Science Museum will be offering tours of its new storage facility at Wroughton, which will house more than 300,000 items.

When do percentages not add up to a hundred? On food packaging – because of a serious flaw (or loophole) in the system.

If you Google the ‘Monty Hall problem’, it will probably blow your mind.

If that doesn’t, ‘checker shadow illusion’ will.

Contrary to common belief, lightning does strike the same place twice. Eg, the Empire State Building, which is hit about 25 times each year.

Insects could soon be on our menus. For two billion people in 130 countries, they already are.

Not all ‘E numbers’ are bad (E300 is vitamin C).

It is impossible to visit Swindon’s Museum of Computing or their stand at a festival, and not utter the words “I had one of those.”

According to eminent astronomer Dr Colin Stuart (who did a talk at the festival), the first man or woman to walk on Mars is probably at junior school today.

Science education has come a very long way since my day, when the only excitement was using the Bunsen burner (if you were lucky).

And finally…

When Swindon folk decide to organise a festival, boy are they good at recruiting volunteers and putting on a show.