QI (2003) s15e01 Episode Script


1 This programme contains some strong language APPLAUSE CHEERING Hello! Welcome to QI where, today, I'm sifting through an oubliette of ologies, ographies and odoxies.
I'm joined on this ontological outing today by an ologist.
It's Bill Bailey.
CHEERING An ographer, it's Phill Jupitus.
CHEERING An osopher, it's Claudia Winkleman.
CHEERING And oggy, oggy, oggy.
AUDIENCE: Oi, oi, oi! It's Alan Davies.
CHEERING And the buzzers are, oh, so logical.
Bill goes Oh, oh, oh, it's magic! PHILL: # You know # And Phill goes Oh, Carol.
You are a mover.
And Claudia goes Oh, what a night.
- This is good.
- And Alan goes - "Oh, no!" - LAUGHTER OK.
Let us start with this.
How might the CIA win the Cold War with this? OK, so I've got one for each of you.
- You should have one sitting there.
- Yes, yes, yes.
It's like the old arcade game.
One of you presses the thing to try and fox the other, that's it, and one of you has to grab.
That's it.
Grab the thing.
Oh, Bill, very good.
Have you got that? CLATTERING That's it.
Harder, harder.
Oh! LAUGHTER - Are you regretting giving us these? - I am now.
It's not like Kazak lottery or something? No, it's not a lottery.
What other bits of the game might you use if it wasn't the balls for the lottery? - The grabber.
- The grabber, yes.
The CIA.
What would they use it for? ALAN: Torture.
Grabbing the balls of a spy.
- Oh! - Torture.
No, it's not that at all.
We're going to head to an "O" area.
- We're going to go to oceanography - Oceanography.
OK? And using Getting submarines.
Shut up! Yes! Yes! Absolutely right.
That is absolutely right! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE The CIA used the biggest claw grab ever constructed to get hold of a Soviet strategic ballistic missile submarine which had sunk in the Pacific.
So, 1968, they began Project Azorian and the aim was to recover the Soviet sub K-129 and they got a ship called the Hughes Glomar Explorer and, from the outside, it looked just like any other ship - but, in the middle, the major portion of the hull could be opened up underwater to reveal a vast ALAN CACKLES - Oh, my God.
- It really is like a movie.
- Look at that.
- Wow.
- To reveal a vast internal They called it a moon pool.
Does the boat not sink at that point? LAUGHTER Apparently not.
They put down the largest Exactly like you've got in the game.
The largest grabbing claw - Like one of these? - Yep.
Nicknamed Clementine.
And they put it right over the wreck, but what always happens in these arcade games - when you grab something? - There's no grip.
Then it's immediately released - and you get the bunny you didn't want.
- Yes.
That is exactly what happened.
They got a bunny? Well an underwater rabbit.
"Oh, thank God! "I thought no-one was going to come!" I thought you were going to say that nobody on the boat had any change.
LAUGHTER - "Oh!" - No, halfway up, they dropped it.
Two thirds of it actually broke away, so they did manage to get a third of it, which, fortunately, had two nuclear torpedoes on it.
Oh! They nearly dropped those, then.
That would have been That would have been bad.
- Where was this, then? - In the North Pacific.
Wait a minute, is this true? Yes, it's absolutely true, happened in 1968.
This is an amazing show.
LAUGHTER And then there was another experiment where they had both nuclear silos and they kept popping They didn't know which missile the silo was going to come out of, so they got a giant hammer and they just tried to LAUGHTER Tried to whack it, and it was called the Whack-A-Nuke.
LAUGHTER Talking about amusement arcades, the claw machines, in March 2017, a three-year-old Irish boy called Jamie Bracken-Murphy, he SO wanted a furry dinosaur that he climbed up the dispensing shoot and into the machine.
" "There's a child there! There's a child!" They'll have to grab him out.
LAUGHTER He wouldn't come out without the dinosaurs.
He'd got two furry dinosaurs.
So, in the end, he was rescued by a passing fireman and he was allowed to keep the dinosaurs, but I think So he should be.
I think they should replace the current adoption system with this.
LAUGHTER The toys are always a little bit rubbish, aren't they? - They're always a little bit cheap.
- Yeah.
Did you know that there are sort of disposable submarines now? 80% of the cocaine which leaves Colombia does so in something called a "narco sub" and it is a cheaply made submarine that's made out of fibreglass.
And what they do is they take the submarine as far as the US coast where they get rid of the cocaine and just dump the submarine.
Apparently the coast is absolutely littered with - No! - Yeah.
- Did you know this? I did know this, yeah.
How do you know this? - I don't know, I just - He owns one.
- I've got one.
- LAUGHTER Bill uses it to smuggle hummus out of Morocco.
I've just I've got an interest in the - In the Mexican drug trade.
- Right.
LAUGHTER - When you say an "interest" - A natural interest.
A lot of cocaine gets put into these pallets and, if the police turn up, they just dump it over the side.
And a massive paletts of cocaine washed up on a beach in North Devon and a local dog walker found it.
- Yeah.
- And the dog, you know, sniffed at it and went, "Oh, there's something up here.
" Dog wanted a 48-mile walk and then LAUGHTER - Right, games away, please.
- CLAUDIA: Sorry! Thank you very much.
So, that was, of course, oceanography, but I have some more ologies here for you.
What do these mean? - Anyone want to pick one? - Enterology.
You want to do enterology? It's the science of going in Indoors.
LAUGHTER I like that.
Enterology, what do we think it is? Entero? Isn't it something up your guts? Absolutely right, it's the study of your intestines, but it's also something else.
So, the guts are sort of twisted, so it's to do with twisting.
It's an actual It's a study of Chubby Checker.
It is a Vaudeville act usually.
- Balloon modelling? - No, I like that, though.
Balloon modelling with your intestines! LAUGHTER Yes, of course! Of course! - Imagine that if you were having your guts operated on.
- Like a giraffe.
Yes, no.
It's making yourself into a balloon animal.
Oh, a contortionist.
A contortionist is exactly right.
It is the act of squeezing yourself into a tiny little space, like a box, that kind of thing.
ALAN: Someone turned it on when they got in it? OK, this is an American enterologist called Rick Maisel and he combines enterology with escapology, so what he does is he climbs into a washing machine wearing five pairs of handcuffs and two pairs of leg irons.
He gets somebody to switch the machine on and then he escapes while being tumbled in soapy water.
And I hope that he cleans the filter out after.
LAUGHTER Apparently contortionists tend to specialise in different things.
So, frontbenders have LAUGHTER Settle down, people.
They've got spines which flex forward, so backbenders have the opposite.
Splitters have got flexible hips, and dislocators can dislocate joints at will.
CLAUDIA SHUDDERS - I've seen a dislocator.
Have you? - Have you? - Don't like it.
- He can get through a tennis racket.
- No! - The head of a racket? - I've seen it.
Yeah, horrible.
Not a One of those big ones, either.
A normal-sized one.
Table tennis.
LAUGHTER - I like oology, whatever that is.
- Oology.
What do we reckon? That is the study of how much nans think you've grown.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE "Ooh!" - "Ooh!" - "I say!" "Come here, I've got a hanky.
" SANDI MIMICS SPITTING It's something to do with stones.
- Is it stones? - No, it's something that comes out of birds' bottoms.
- There we are.
- Is it? - It's the study or collection of eggs.
ALL: Oh! Yeah.
They come out of the anus, the eggs? Yeah.
Don't they have their own tube, eggs? You know about birds.
I don't do that bit of it.
LAUGHTER Disgusting.
I'm the beak end, I'm at the beak end.
- PHILL: "I'm the beak end"? - Plumage.
Worst ornithologist ever! "No, not that nasty business.
" Anyway, oology is the study or collection of eggs.
It's, of course, been illegal to possess a wild bird's egg in the UK since 1954, so it's not a thing, really.
OK, eggs - oology.
Anybody? Agnoiology.
- Top right.
- Sheep, lambs.
Sheep and lambs? - I like that.
- BILL: Study of sheep.
- No.
- Study of - A word that sounds a bit - The study of agnosticism.
- Yes, same route.
- Agnostic? From the Greek agnosis.
So, it's the study of not really knowing one way or the other.
- Yes, it's the study of things we don't know.
- Ah! That's it.
LAUGHTER So, the term was coined by James Fraser, he was a professor of Moral Philosophy at St Andrews, 1808 to 1864, and it's the theory of ignorance.
Basically, he said there is more ignorance than knowledge.
So, he said, "The fact of our extreme ignorance is undeniable.
"It is therefore necessary to examine and fix what ignorance is, "what we are and can be ignorant of.
" - So it's the study of - I love that.
- I like that a lot.
- Yes.
Right, any more? Let's see.
- OK, heterology.
- Heterology.
It's one of a pair, which do you think it goes with? - Autology.
- Autology.
Absolutely right.
Heterology and autology.
It's basically men and motors.
LAUGHTER They go together.
A word is autological if it is self-descriptive.
So, polysyllabic is autological because it is, itself, polysyllabic.
But conversely, heterology is the attribute of a word not being self-descriptive.
So, for example, if you regard "misspelt" with a as British English as opposed to the American English "misspelled" - which is spelt with a D - then "misspelt" with a T would be autological in America because it is misspelt and heterological in the UK - cos it isnot misspelt.
- Right, my head's just exploded.
APPLAUSE OK, let's try Piphilology.
Piphilology All the pies that Phill likes.
LAUGHTER So, the important bit is pi.
- What is that in science? Pi? - The number.
- The number.
Yes, the number.
So, it is the use of mnemonic sentences to record the digits of pi.
So what you do is, you use words with the same number of letters, so this would be a review, for example, of an episode of QI.
"Now I need a think, "knowledge of clever ideas was aptly conveyed, "including General Ignorance.
" If you remember that sentence, you will remember what the very first bits of pi are.
The easiest one to do for the first nine.
"How I wish I could recollect pi easily today.
" Is this a proper thing? - It is a proper thing.
It's how - So, people go and they could do They study This is what they do.
Well, here is the really worrying thing about it, Claudia.
OK, somebody wrote a 10,000 word novel using piphilology.
All right? It's called Not Awake, and I think you aren't by the end.
LAUGHTER It was written by, surprise-surprise, a software engineer called Michael Keith.
- Really? - Is Michael here? - No, sadly.
- I want to mount him.
- Do you know what I love? LAUGHTER I'm proud of him.
So, that's your ologies and here's another - ophthalmology.
What has a U, two Ts and three eyes? And here we are in its habitat.
What I'd like, just before we continue, is some sort of deal that you're not going to make the klaxon noise.
- You don't like that? - I think I'll jump and it will be nerve-racking.
I'll jump and you won't like it.
- None of it's good.
- All right, so what I'll do LAUGHTER KLAXON BLARES LAUGHTER OK, I am looking for something with a U, two Ts and three eyes.
BILL: Is it a creature with three eyes? It is a creature.
There is the beginning.
- A tuatara.
- A tuatara.
Very well done.
APPLAUSE It does have three eyes.
Do you know anything more about it? Have you seen one or? - I have held one, yes.
- At gunpoint.
LAUGHTER It does have a, sort of, a thirdeye.
Yes, it does, at the very top of its head.
It's what's called a parietal eye, or possibly a pineal eye.
But it can't actually see particularly well out of it.
Mostly it can distinguish light, darkness.
There is a red circle around nothing on that lizard.
LAUGHTER - This is a classic - That's his eye.
- .
QI Trump-like ruse.
LAUGHTER - It's there.
- Where? - You can see it there.
- That's a freckle! - No, it's not! - LAUGHTER Fight, fight, fight! If that's an eye, is that its old fella? LAUGHTER It doesn't have six penises, if that's what you're saying.
LAUGHTER - Do you know what the weird thing is? - What? - That's his arse.
LAUGHTER It's got It's got eight arses.
It's going to upset you, Phill, but most lizards have a third eye to a greater or lesser extent.
As do lampreys, a lot of frogs.
Oh, I see! - Can you see? - That is an eye.
- See? There.
That's it there.
There it is.
There is an eye there.
There's another one there.
PHILL: Look, I've got one! LAUGHTER On my arm, there.
Unbelievable! Many animals have a third eye.
Now, oenology.
Blindfolds on, please.
Here we go.
Everybody got blindfolds on? - Yes.
- So, we're going to place something in front of you.
It's nothing dangerous at all.
It's actually rather pleasant.
Is it a kitten? It is even nicer than a kitten.
So, we're just going to put your hands There we go.
Thank you.
Right, so, we're going to do one at a time, please.
So, Bill, I would like you to taste what you have in front of you and tell me what it is.
All right, then.
What do you think that is? Oh, it's a wine.
Yes, what kind of wine? - A red or white? - Yes, please.
- Red.
- You're going to go red, are you? KLAXON BLARES OK, Phill.
Phill, have a glass, have a sip.
It's right in front of you.
What? I'm looking for the cheese.
LAUGHTER - OK, all right.
- What have you got? - Red or white? - That's a red.
Red, OK.
And, Claudia? What do you reckon it is? We've had white and red, what else could it be? - I've given you a clue.
- Rose! - Yes.
What do you reckon yours is? Disgusting.
LAUGHTER It's a low budget.
What do you reckon it is? - Don't look, don't look! - Red.
Red, you're going to go with red.
KLAXON BLARES This is to do with our inability, actually, mostly, to taste what it is.
So, Bill, yours is a room temperature white.
So, most people would think it was red - because it is at room temperature.
- It's confusing.
- Phill, you have a chilled red.
- A chilled red.
Sometimes it's difficult to tell and, I have to say, Claudia, yours is the most difficult because it's a mix of white and red.
So when you said Rose, I actually think you got it the nearest.
And, Alan, yours is a white wine with red food colouring because we thought you might cheat.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE But there was a Californian wine grower called Robert Hodgson and he was upset by how inconsistently his wine fared in competitions and he thought that maybe the experts don't really know what they're doing.
So, he did an experiment in which he served the same wines to the same experts at different times, and the findings, they were absolutely stunning as far as the wine industry was concerned.
Only 10% of the judges were consistent in any given year and none of those were consistently consistent.
So, if you made a good judgment one year, maybe you didn't make a good judgment the next year.
And he found that, in California, all the medals given out for wine were effectively distributed at random - No! - .
because really even the experts weren't sure.
It can even be difficult to tell red from white in a blindfold test.
Now, time for a bit of optology.
Look at this picture of a fire engine, tell me what colour it is.
Oh-oh-oh! Yes, Bill? Red! KLAXON BLARES No.
If you hide the rest of the picture so that only the red bit can be seen, what you'll see is that the whole There's the colour spectrum.
In fact, the whole thing - is actually grey-green.
- No! So it's called retinex effect or the land effect.
It's named after Edwin Land, the man who invented Polaroid cameras and such.
The colour we see isn't just dependent on the wavelength of light entering the eye, it is also to do with all the adjacent areas and the brain takes the information and decides what colour it is.
Basically, it is an optical illusion and the thing we are actually looking at is grey-green.
And there are lots of other optical illusions.
Have a look at this.
I love this.
This is the same effect, the one we've just been having a look at.
It's called the splitting colour illusion.
So, have a look.
We've got two identical flickering coloured stripes.
These are not going to change throughout the demonstration.
You can see that they are identical.
We're going to bring in colours on both the top and bottom, different colours, and as they go across, keep your eye on those flickering stripes and you see that they totally change colour.
What?! So that the colour of something is dependent on its surroundings.
- That's what we learned from that.
- That is brilliant.
- Isn't it? But the fire engine is red.
A real fire engine is red, your brain knows it's red, but the one you were looking at was grey-green.
It's an optical illusion.
Have a look at this, it's also an optical illusion.
The Fraser spiral illusion.
First described by James Fraser in 1908.
He was a British psychologist.
So, the overlapping black arcs appear to form a spiral, but they are, in fact, a series of concentric circles.
So, if we bring in some coloured lines and put them over the top, you can see these are just circles.
You can see that, actually, what we were looking at was just circles, but it became Cor! Our brain made it into a spiral.
It's a famous optical illusion.
PHILL CACKLES - These are good.
- They are good.
Now it's time to go straight over to the wordy shambles that is General Ignorance.
Is this a sardine or a pilchard? Oh-oh-oh! Bill.
Oh, what a night! - Sardine.
- Sardine.
Yes! KLAXON BLARES Oh, Carol! - Yes? - Dolphin! LAUGHTER If it were an optical illusion, it would be red.
It would therefore be a red Snapper! LAUGHTER Easy, easy, easy.
- That is a ringtone.
- "Snapper!" - "Snapper!" Or a text.
LAUGHTER I am aroused.
That is fantastic.
- Wow.
- We need that as a gif.
- Whoa, Nelly! - Snapper! Again, again, again, - but right in my face.
- Can we do it one more time? LAUGHTER Right in my face.
Come on.
- Ready? - I am ready.
Go on.
If it was an optical illusion, it was red, it would be a red - Snapper! - SHE LAUGHS Sorry.
What I was actually looking for was herring.
It would be a red herring.
LAUGHTER That makes more sense.
- Now you've said it.
- Now I've said it.
So, the terms sardine and pilchard do not relate to specific species.
They are describing ways of packing fish.
So, the UN and the World Health Organization cites 21 different species that could be classed as sardines.
Nobody knows for sure how to separate the sardines from the pilchards.
OK, in theory, how fast can this boat sail? OK.
Oh, the jib's broken.
Oh, hang on a minute.
Wait, wait, wait.
- There we are.
- Is it dependent on the wind? Yes, one moment, hold that thought.
I'll do it again.
Nobody knows for sure how to separate the sardines from the pilchards.
In theory, how fast Something about wind! LAUGHTER APPLAUSE Oh, how unusual, a boy who came before I was ready.
LAUGHTER Come on! - Sorry! Sorry! - Sorry! - Sorry! LAUGHTER - Put your glasses on - Sorry, it's happened again.
I'll see you tomorrow, same time.
LAUGHTER I'm going to do it again.
OK, baby! LAUGHTER APPLAUSE You know what to do.
I'm ready, I'm ready, come on.
All right, then.
I'm ready, I'm ready, baby.
- LAUGHTER - Say the words, lady.
Bill, shut the fuck up.
LAUGHTER CHEERING Claudia, I'm going to bring out a yacht I'm excited about it.
and you're going to say, "Is it something to do with the wind?" I'm going to do it! I'm going to do it.
Snapper! - LAUGHTER - Go ahead.
- Shush! Put the wine away.
Put your wine away.
God, it's just like being at school.
LAUGHTER "Put your wine away!" LAUGHTER - "Shut up, put your wine away!" - "Shut up, put your wine away!" - I'll tell you what.
- Happiest days of our lives.
Bloody hell.
Bobbington Gurney Primary was rough! School of Hard Knocks, I'm telling you.
"Here, Bailey, put your wine away and shut the fuck up!" LAUGHTER Right, quiet! LAUGHTER Right, here we go.
Nobody knows for sure how to separate the sardines from the pilchards.
In theory LAUGHTER .
how fast can this boat sail? Claudia, what do you think? - Is it? - # Oh, what a night.
# Has it got something to do with the wind? Yes! LAUGHTER AND CHEERING LAUGHTER We've got wine over here! You've been whining for two hours! Come and sit down.
LAUGHTER - Come and sit down.
- Come on, and I'll say, "Snapper.
" - Yeah, sit.
- Sit down.
LAUGHTER LAUGHTER Stupid game anyway.
Snapper! Oh, what a night! Oh, oh, oh.
- Has it got something to do with wind? - No.
- Stupid game, anyway.
- HE MUMBLES - It is to do with wind.
- Really? - How fast can it sail? Oh! It's difficult because, after a while, the wind will blow you quite fast, but then it'll suddenly going into a spiral and take you up into the sky, so does that count? How many times have you been sailing? LAUGHTER So, there must be a maximum speed.
- What would you say, maximum - 13, 14? - 15, 15 knots.
- Don't have the number.
Is it faster or slower than the wind? Slower than the wind.
Oh KLAXON BLARES You fell right into that.
LAUGHTER OK, so, imagine that the wind is coming from here, so you're sailing directly downwind, - it's known as running.
- Yes.
- So the wind LAUGHTER Sorry.
- The wind - Sorry, Miss! The wind will simply fill the sail and it won't be able to go as fast as the wind because, of course, there's resistance from the water.
However, if you are sailing across the wind, the wind blows across the sail and this generates lift.
So it's a bit like an aeroplane wing.
So, it's sucked along as well as pushed along, and if you add those two forces together, you can sail faster than the wind.
The modern hi-tech racing catamarans have taken things one step further.
They have speeds of up to 2.
79 times the speed of wind.
Unbelievably ALAN BLOWS RASPBERRY LAUGHTER Do you know, people often say to me, "What did Stephen say to you as he left?" And the truth is he shook his head and went, "You have no idea.
" LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE Boats sailing across the wind can go much faster than the wind itself Oh, stop going on about the bloody LAUGHTER LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE It's so awful.
Oh, thank God you're here.
LAUGHTER A boat sailing across the wind can go much faster than the wind itself.
Indeed there is no theoretical limits to its speed.
OK, which of these are there more of? Trees on earth, stars in the Milky Way or neurons in your brain? Yes, Bill? Neurons in your brain! - Ah! - KLAXON BLARES Oh, Carol Stars! KLAXON BLARES Yours has to be really clever! - Wait, wait, wait! - No.
Claudia's go! Oh, what a night! - Is it trees? - Yes! LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE In 2015, a paper by Yale researchers estimate the number of trees on earth is 3.
04 trillion.
That is, rather pleasingly, 7.
5 times more than was previously thought.
So, they used a combination of satellite imagery and forest inventories and super computer programmes, and that's a huge number.
Stars, obviously quite tricky to count.
Nasa do their best.
They don't really know the number of stars in the Milky Way, but probably between 100 and 400 million, but that would be ten times fewer than the trees on planet Earth.
So the wind blows across the sail LAUGHTER Brain cells, estimated number of neurons, and that is your brain cells in the human brain, it varies between 83 and 200 billion.
If you count the number of synapses, so the connections between the brain cells, you're looking at as many as a thousand trillion or one quadrillion - so 300 times as many synapses in your brain as there are trees on Earth.
- Wow.
- That's not every brain.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE And at the end of that onomnasiological obfuscation, we reach the scores and I've never been more pleased in my entire life.
LAUGHTER APPLAUSE In last place, with -35, - it's Bill.
- Yes! CHEERING In third place, with -19, it's Phill.
CHEERING Where's my cheese? I want my cheese.
Second place, with a magnificent -16, it's Alan! APPLAUSE And the winner, with a really breathtaking five full points, it's Claudia.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE It only remains for me to thank Claudia, Phill, Bill and Alan, and I leave you with this.
The great conductor Sir Thomas Beecham described a musicologist as somebody who can read music but can't hear it and a gentleman as someone who can play the bagpipes but doesn't.
LAUGHTER That's all from QI this time.
Thank you very much.