Stephen Fry asks some intelligent questions. With Jo Brand, David Mitchell, Phill Jupitus and Alan Davies.
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THIS PROGRAMME CONTAINS SOME STRONG LANGUAGE
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening.
And welcome to an idiot-proof episode of QI for a quite interesting look at intelligence.
Joining us tonight are some of the biggest brains of Britain.
The discerning David Mitchell.
The judicious Jo Brand.
The perspicacious Phill Jupitus!
And the...Alan Davies.
And they're absolutely buzzing with intelligence. David goes...
-BEGINNING OF MASTERMIND THEME
NEXT BIT OF MASTERMIND THEME
-LAST BIT OF MASTERMIND THEME
-And Alan goes...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
There we are.
Don't forget your "Nobody knows" jokers. Would you dream of forgetting them?
Yes, in this series there is one question to which nobody knows the answer.
Question one is pretty challenging and very much what is discussed by academics in the finest universities
so you may want to make notes. How do you get a goose interested in volleyball?
I'd like to reply with a question. How do you get ANYONE interested in volleyball?
I believe the removal of clothes is part of the...
That's beach volleyball.
Well, when I say "in volleyball", I should use an indefinite article.
-There's being interested in volleyball and in A volleyball.
-Ah! Make one out of goose food.
Oddly enough, you don't need to do that. Their natural egg is light blue and flecked with grey.
Scientists have found that you can make the eggs bigger and bigger and really bright blue
with great big black polka dots and they'll sit on those instead.
-There's no upper limit...
-It's about the shape and the colour.
It's like us. We should eat enough food to keep ourselves alive, but we have no upper limit.
-We'll eat another bar of chocolate and end up looking like me.
-Is that why you wear the Cadbury's livery?
Hoping for a freebie as always.
It is, evolutionarily speaking, the bigger the egg, the more likely it is to want to sit on it
-because it's more likely to be a healthy, larger chick.
-"This will be the most amazing goose ever!"
And so they'll sit on a volleyball. That's a kind of flaw in nature, if you like.
We have to include ourselves in this. There are certain things we don't need in excess,
like sugar and fat and sex, but we spend lots of time eating chocolate and doing things on the internet.
Sounds like my perfect holiday. Sugar, fat and sex. Yes, please!
-But we've got the awareness that we do that.
-The goose on the volleyball isn't thinking,
"This is a bit much. The world doesn't need giant geese."
You're right. We have the extra curse of consciousness
that we are fools. They're fools without knowing it. It's called
supernormal stimuli and it seems to exist in a lot of species, actually.
Anyway, geese like their eggs the bigger the better.
They don't know when to stop, which seems stupid, but name an intelligent bird.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
I was going to say Shirley Williams.
-She is much more intelligent than I am.
I've got to big myself up. I've got a very low IQ. No-one else will.
I don't believe that for a second.
-Oh, my God! You're barely human.
I don't think there are any intelligent birds. Their brains are so incredibly tiny.
-Like an owl. I know this as a thing.
-65% of the skull is the eyes. The brain is virtually nothing.
It's very hard to judge intelligence in a bird.
Can they count, is one. There are birds that can count.
Cormorants can count to eight.
You may say, "No, hang on..." but they are used by Chinese fishermen.
-They catch a fish and drop it on the boat...
-And the eighth one they keep for themselves.
But the generally smartest group is not smart because they count, but because they solve problems.
-These are the corvids.
-The crows, the ravens, the jackdaws,
the magpies. What's interesting is they can look at a problem.
I've seen experiments where they've had a gate that's pulled up on a string
which goes round a sort of pulley system and they will look at it
and then go straight to pull the right piece of string to raise the door.
We've got film here, for example, of a crow. There. It hasn't seen this hook at all.
Ever. It's its first time.
It's working it out. It's seen that it has a bent end.
-And now it's pulling that out.
And now it's got its food.
-They do seem like the most evil birds.
-They're often considered creatures of ill omen.
In Shakespeare, they're often used as such.
But you're just seeing them with Carmina Burana playing.
-Imagine a crow...
-I should get something else for my iPod?
-Tijuana Taxi by Herb Alpert.
That's a nice crow. Put a sombrero on it, take the edge off it.
-But if you had Carmina Burana and a robin, you wouldn't think it was evil.
Dirty bastard robin!
Anyway, there are intelligent birds, and the crow family display intelligence aplenty.
Who first cracked the Enigma code?
Was it the Poles?
Top man! Absolutely right.
You're a good soul.
There's a general feeling that we did all the work, but in fact,
it was a Pole in 1932, as early as that,
who first cracked how an Enigma machine worked.
But in the late 1930s, the Germans changed the way they worked,
I think it was something like 364 billion possible settings
each day to the daily code. That's not something you could guess.
But the first one to crack it in the beginning
was a young Polish mathematician called Marian Rejewski.
And if you ever go to Bletchley Park,
and I do urge you to do so, there is a splendid statue to him...
-Have they got a good shop?
-They have a very nice shop. They also
have a museum of computing, which I know would excite you.
Oh, indeed(!) I'm already moist.
It is well established.
The work on Enigma did do a great deal to hasten
the end of the war. Eisenhower estimated that a shortened
the war by two years, which is hundreds of thousands of lives.
So it was an extraordinary important thing that these boffins got together.
But how were they first brought together at Bletchley Park?
What was the first move the Government made to assemble the boffins?
-It was almost that.
It was a Telegraph crossword competition.
Specially fiendish crossword, and the winners were sent letters
saying, "You might be our kind of chap."
Anyway, they then soon became aware that having people
who knew that "carthorse" was an anagram of "orchestra"
was not going to win them the war.
They needed really great mathematical minds.
It was when the world changed.
"It will be fascinating conundrums that the Nazis will set us!
"We will have to find clues and follow them!"
No, you just need a supercomputer.
Fortunately, there was a man ready for it.
It just happened to be that history had thrown up
a brilliant mathematician called Alan Turing
who was at Cambridge at the time.
He's considered the father of computing,
one of the truly great men of his time.
You may remember Gordon Brown making an impassioned but far too late apology
on behalf of the British Government for his terrible death.
He was persecuted for his homosexuality
and chemically castrated and then committed suicide
by eating a poisoned apple.
There are many to this day who believe that Apple computers
named their apple with the bite out of it in honour of Alan Turing,
the father of computing.
I was in a position to ask one of the founders, Steve Jobs,
and he said, "It isn't true, but God, we wish it were."
It is just a coincidence, but they're very proud that people think it might be,
because he was an extraordinary man.
But the real fiendish thing was not Enigma. It was called Lorenz.
Lorenz was used by German High Command and Hitler himself, basically.
Lorenz was unbelievably difficult,
and for that, Turing and his team built what really was
the world's first computer. It was called Colossus.
It was way ahead of its time, it was quite extraordinary.
It was all a complete national secret until very recently, wasn't it?
Or quite recently.
Absolutely. There is Bletchley Park. It is open to the public.
I'm a big advocate for it. I make no apology for banging its drum.
It's a great place.
It's an interesting choice that we took as a nation, though,
during the Second World War, which was an expensive experience for us
and left us bankrupt, but out of it we had, basically,
invented the computer, and we decided to make it a secret.
-Without in any sense attempting to monetise it.
Actually, we gave the secret of Colossus to the CIA.
What an excellent move. No-one will be needing that(!)
There were a lot of people in British Government who thought,
"What are these people in damp tweed with pipes and glasses doing
"writing on bits of paper?"
It was quite a big budget. "What are they doing?"
Churchill had a look round and the fellow explained what they were doing,
and there's a famous memo in Churchill's hand that just says "Give them what they want."
Fantastic, that, isn't it?
Can I just ask, and you may not be able to answer this,
but what was the nature of the Enigma code?
-Was it mathematical?
-Yes. Don't ask me to give you precise details.
I'm really no expert, but it was purely physical, mechanical device,
but it had so many different rotors that had so many different angles
and positions that there were hundreds of billions of permutations.
It was our job to intercept or work out what the codeword
of the day was and then we could translate the messages.
But they were very lazy.
The Germans made mistakes by using the names of their dogs and things.
A lot of intelligence was gathered about people in Naval Intelligence,
in particular about their dogs, their girlfriends.
It's a bit like passwords.
I'm beginning to think that
people might be able to hack into my John Lewis account.
Not named after your dog, surely?
It's ironic, though, that they invented a computer which finished the war early,
but the cyber war being waged by China will be the death of all of us.
Yes. There is some... The worry about it is, I was speaking to
a man at Los Alamos, which is where they developed the nuclear bomb.
They said they had something like one million attacks an hour
on their cyber front-end security. I said, "What, hackers?"
And they said, "No. Nations. Well, let's be honest, one nation."
And I was interviewing him on camera, and I said,
"Would it rhyme with 'bina'?"
He said, "It might well do." I said, "That's how many times
"they're battering on the doors of your security?"
They've got thousands of computers trying to work it out
24 hours a day.
Presumably, we're attempting in our own befuddled way to do the same.
We've got a ZX80 on it 24/7!
Except when Wimbledon's on!
Yes, we've got a crow that can get a tiny bucket out of a Perspex tube!
Take that, China!
How long does the perfect job interview last?
How long does a blowjob take?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
The extraordinary thing is the answer is exactly what I've got on my card -
it's 12 seconds!
-You're absolutely right!
Wow. Very good. It does seem that 12 seconds is enough.
And, bizarrely, you don't even have to hear. You can see video of someone and most people will agree
to give him or her the job. After 12 seconds, the mind has been made up, it seems.
Something about the attitude, the confidence, whatever it is,
if it hasn't come across in 12 seconds, it won't.
-Or so it would seem. Have you ever had to apply for a job?
-Never got any of them.
-You're here, aren't you?
-But I slept with you, as you well know.
-One of the best 12 seconds of my life!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
But I have applied for loads of jobs and not got a lot of them,
but so much is to do with appearance, isn't it?
As a fat person, you are pretty swiftly written off if there's a thin person in the offing.
-That sort of thing makes a really big difference.
-And they would never dare admit it.
Well, they told me a few times.
"We'd love to employ you, but we've got a thin person."
-Outrageous! How about you, Alan? What have you done before you went into comedy?
-I never wanted to have a job.
-In the event of an interview, wear flip-flops.
You will never be employed. Go in, put your feet up on the desk.
-And they'll get the next person in!
We have here a list of job interview questions you shouldn't ask, if we're the interviewing panel.
You're not to ask, "Are you a smoker?" "Are you originally from the OK?" The UK!
But if you're interviewing for a cowboy, it's a good question.
I was going to say it's not OK to say, "Are you originally from the UK?" I screwed it up.
-"Do you have children who need to be looked after?"
-"In the event of a fire, will you stop working?"
"Do you plan to have children in future?" And then, "What are your weaknesses?" is a common one.
The temptation, of course, is to attempt to subvert it by naming a weakness that is a strength.
"Oh, my trouble is I'm just a terrible perfectionist. I can't stop until it's perfect."
-"I'm so punctual!"
-"My problem is I'm really nice. I'm too nice."
That is transparent. Don't do that. Say one that is not terrible,
like, "I tend to get bogged down in details, but I'm making an effort."
-"I'm a terrible thief."
-"I love other people's stuff."
-"I can't concentr... Oh, look! A squirrel!"
"What are your weaknesses?" "Heroin and masturbating, not necessarily in that order."
-"What are your strengths?" Here's another one.
-"My odour. I've got a powerful odour.
"It only gets stronger as the day goes on."
-You're still wearing your "I don't want a bloody job" hat!
-"These feet stink by four o'clock."
Don't say, "I work well without supervision,"
which may seem good, but it sounds, "I resent management," is what you're saying.
So say, "I work equally well with or without supervision."
"I relish working in a team."
Yes! Eugh! Vomit-worthy, isn't it?
Don't say, "I'm confident, outgoing and a natural leader." That suggests a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.
Say, "I have good interpersonal skills."
If I met someone who said who said they had good interpersonal skills,
I'd get a rusty knife and do that in their stomach.
-Until they bled to death!
-"I've got good interpersonal skills" is proof that you don't!
You immediately annoy the person you're talking to.
"I'm comfortable taking instructions from idiots like you."
There are weird things like the person interviewing you might just fall asleep.
Apparently, the smart thing to do
-is leave a note saying, "I enjoyed meeting you."
-I'd say that's an incredibly unassertive thing to do.
"Wake up, you lazy sod! This is my life we're talking about!"
So you mustn't lick their face?
-Now, that would be good.
Imagine them waking up and you're there with your tongue on their nose.
I had a job in the Civil Service - loved that(!) - for six months and they asked me the wrong question.
If they'd said to me, "Are you likely in three months' time to get pissed in the club bar,
"go back to your desk, fall asleep and then fall off your chair?"
I could have said yes and they could have not given me the job, but that is what happened and I got sacked.
-They stupidly didn't have a question for that.
-The wrong question.
-No-one but themselves to blame.
They also ask, "How many piano tuners are there in the UK?"
-It tests your initiative or your wit when you give an answer.
"Will you take advantage of Bring Your Kestrel To Work Thursday?"
The whole thing sounds horrible, the world of job interviews.
The thing that seems unfair to me is people expected to pretend to care about jobs they don't care about.
You should be allowed to say, "You can't put in my contract that I have to seem like I give a shit."
-That's expecting too much.
I really like living in a country with such poor customer service.
I've got respect for that.
"This is a horrible train, you're tearing tickets. Of course you're in an awful mood."
Now that you've put it like that I shall feel better about it.
Why have a cheesy grin on your face if you work in an awful supermarket?
It's the sign either of a liar or a moron.
-It's funny when people are rude in shops, isn't it? It still takes you by surprise.
My wife went to a shop today to buy an ironing basket. "I've never heard of such a thing.
-"I have no idea where you would find something like that."
-"You've just put two words next to each other
-"in a mad way!"
-Me and my mates would deliberately go to a Chinese restaurant
in Wardour Street because they were so foul to you.
The best ever time we went there, we were actually moved mid-meal to a different floor.
"You go upstair now!"
"Excuse me?" "You go upstair now. This table booked."
"I'm in the middle of my dinner!" "You go upstair!"
An army of waiters moved our meal. I was pissing myself!
Job interviews only need to last 12 seconds, it seems.
Of course, it helps to believe in yourself as well.
How do you know if you're incompetent?
Is it because you did very badly at your last job which
involved organising a piss-up in a brewery?
You'd think that would be hint wouldn't you?
No, there is a thing called the Dunning-Kruger effect
which is that if you're incompetent, you don't know it because the thing
that makes you incompetent means you don't realise what the competent thing is.
So lets imagine you've got a rather mediocre doctor who hasn't
diagnosed something that a smarter doctor would have done.
The incompetent doctor doesn't know he's incompetent because he doesn't
know what it is that he hasn't done. Do you see what I mean?
-Doesn't he realise that when the patient dies?
-Patients die anyway.
Only if some really smart doctor goes, didn't you realise this? Then they go, "Oops!"
But the fact is they don't know they're incompetent
They don't know they're incompetent,
that's sort of what makes you incompetent. The fact is, we don't know...what we don't know.
Are you saying you can tell if you're incompetent if you're happy?
Basically! There are incompetent people who you feel, must know they're incompetent.
There were a couple of thieves in America, you'll be surprised to know,
who surprised themselves thus, using Magic Markers.
They thought the could get away with that! That was in Iowa.
There's a look of realisation in their eyes.
Yes, we now realise this wouldn't have been sufficient.
in 1994 a 30-year-old plumber and part time terrorist
in sunny Al Jahaleen entered the cinema in Al Zarqa in Jordan with a bomb.
It was showing x-rated films which he disapproved
so he planted his bomb under a seat but then got carried away
watching the film and it exploded and too away both his legs!
Isn't that excellent news?
Um, anyway... Very strange!
Now, would you like to see an ingenious interlude?
-I've been trying to get better at these chemistry experiments.
-These are my favourite bits.
They are fun. This is a speaker, as you can see.
This is cornflour mixed with water, as you would buy in any high street cornflour shop or supermarket.
-It's used as a thickening agent.
-It's not green, though.
-We've made i green to make it stand out more.
It has a particular property. It's a non-Newtonian fluid. It's very peculiar.
I'm going to pour it here. Gloopy, I think, is the word.
And unlike most liquids which change their viscosity according to their temperature,
these change according to pressure
and we hope that a bit of sound played by Ben, our sound man...
-LOW VIBRATING SOUND Hello!
-It's beginning to vibrate.
As it gets louder, the effect will get more extraordinary... It's a wonderful feeling.
-I might be able to give it a tickle with a spoon. There we go.
There you are.
If I keep... Oops!
And you start to get basically little Morphs making love with each other.
-It's so weird.
-Isn't it? There you go.
You have just screwed every stereo of every QI viewer.
Isn't that creepy?
-Margaret, get the cornflour!
-It's like little wavy, green people.
And they're all rising and making love.
-That's what you say!
-You're adding that.
-It looks like it.
-I think they're being burned alive.
-Some of them are waving.
-"Help me, I'm drowning!"
Isn't it extraordinary?
And all that is is water and cornflour. It's quite amazing.
-It's the actual vibrations, the physical effect that changes the viscosity.
Let's all gather round.
-They climb out... They look as if they're trying to climb out.
-It's rather beautiful.
-That is fantastic.
It's like a glimpse into hell, isn't it?
-All the souls writhing around, trying to escape.
-That's just what it looks like.
-Maybe it is.
-Yes, souls in agony.
And then it goes quiet again and settles back into liquid form.
-Isn't that amazing?
Well, I've got, um...
I've got clingfilm, but they've not furnished me with a wet wipe.
Oh, look at the muck on 'ere!
-Would you like a tissue?
-"I was at work tonight and I got green gunk all over me purple suit!
-"Eeh, I look like Jack Nicholson!"
-Oh, there we are.
There are various non-Newtonian fluids. They are working on a liquid armour,
which is weird, but the higher the pressure of the bullet, the more solid the liquid will become.
-How am I only seeing this for the first time tonight?
Every time I go round someone's house, why aren't they playing dub reggae and getting the cornflour out.
You know what to do next time. Now, what is this robot designed to do?
To overthrow the puny humans?
That's what most robots are designed to do.
-It's for hanging a jacket on.
-This is actually an iron-shirt robot.
It irons your shirt. You put on a shirt and it puffs up and irons it, gets rid of its creases.
I think it might be a replacement husband because it's just sitting there doing fuck-all.
That would be a good job. The fact is, there was so much promise for robots
and a lot of artificial intelligence research.
Sorry, is it just this atmosphere? Are you thirsty?
Can we have a drink? Thank you.
-I've got a friend here who's going to give me a drink.
-It's not like Yo! Sushi, is it?
-No. Here we are.
'This is for you.'
That's very kind of you. Welcome to QI, Asimo.
'Thank you, Stephen. It is great to be here.'
Isn't he marvellous?
"Here I am, brain the size of a planet, opening doors..."
-You're the most advanced humanoid robot on the planet? Is that right?
-'That is what they tell me.'
Why don't you show us what you can do?
'I would love to.'
-Is he going to kill me?
-Honestly, I promise you you are going to be impressed.
I mean, this is... This movement that is so simple to us...
They can do calculations we could never dream of doing, any computer, but this movement he's doing...
He's going to go down a step, right?
-Give him time.
-If he falls over, that's 20 million quid up the Swanee!
Now he'll do something that I think no-one in this room will ever have seen, which is truly miraculous.
"Studio audience killed by runaway robot!"
No, he's going to run. I'd like you to run, Asimo. This takes him a bit of time.
Both feet will leave the ground and he will run.
There he goes.
Isn't that amazing?
-Isn't that incredible?
Well done, Asimo. I think it's only fair that you get some points.
'Thanks, but what I would really like is a dance with Jo.'
-Oh, my word!
-I think that can be arranged.
He wouldn't say that if he'd met me.
Hi, Asimo. I'm married. Sorry.
Well done, everybody.
-CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-And he's bowing!
-Thank you very much, Asimo.
-What's the battery like on one of these?
There he goes.
-Round the corner.
-I can't help feeling he's heavily weaponised.
-Should be in the movies.
-Why do you think he's called Asimo?
It's bloody depressing that even a robot can dance better than I can!
I presume it's an acronym, is it?
-Is it a tribute to Isaac Asimov?
-No, that's what a lot of people assume.
It's a coincidence. It's from the Japanese. "Asi" means "feet" and "mo" is short for "movement".
They're most proud, you can see why, of his extraordinary ability.
The amount of technology that goes into a machine that can walk bipedally like that and run!
We're at that stage now, which is amazing, but how far are we
-Ah, that's what we need.
That's a great big tall one, bigger than buildings, running round Tokyo.
-Breathing fire as well, doesn't it?
-I don't know that mechagodzilla breathed fire
-as much as had missiles in his fists.
-Oh yes! Got to be one of the other, surely.
I'm not absolutely sure about the voice. It sounds a bit like Michael Jackson which is a bit chilling.
Yeah, it would be more reassuring if it was a mechanical voice.
What, like a more sort of...
GRUFF VOICE: "Hello, Jo, do you want to dance?"
Or maybe Bernard Manning?
-Or Ste-phen Haw-king, it could talk to you like him.
-That's very good.
I think it would have been more reassuring if its dancing was like robotic dancing,
rather than trying to be human.
I find its attempts to be human tragic.
Well, aren't you easily pleased(?)
I'd like for it to be like Jerry Springer. The robot runs on and goes "Who are you cal-ling rub-bish?"
Then big blokes in QI black T-shirts have to pull it off... LAUGHTER
ROBOTIC VOICE: "Get off me, you slags! Get off me, you slags!
"He was asking for it."
"I want a DNA test!"
At the moment, he can recognise people, objects and gestures.
He has cameras in there.
He can calculate distances and the direction of movement and create flexible routes to a destination.
He can hear and speak to an extent.
He can understand about 50 different calls and greetings,
as well as 30 different commands and react to them accordingly.
There's a long way to go, but I was bloody impressed. Thank you very much to Asimo and his handlers.
That brings us to the all-too human world of general ignorance. Fingers on buzzers, if you please.
How many piano tuners are there in the UK?
Is the right answer!
-Yes, get in there...
Yes, it's a very strange thing,
but even the British Association of Piano Tuners has no idea how many piano tuners there are.
Somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 is their guess.
-That's a very wide gap.
-It is a very wide gap. They just don't know.
You could try and work it out.
You could look in the Yellow Pages and count them.
Don't people have to put what their job is in the Census?
A piano tuner is often a moonlighting job, not necessarily a full-time one.
I like the idea that the part-time masturbating terrorist was also a piano tuner as well.
-One of his many other jobs.
-and a dental technician.
-Also delivered the Baghdad exchange and mark.
On a clock face, how many times a day do the two hands overlap?
This is definitely one to avoid answering at all costs.
I mean... Isn't it every hour, surely? So 24, 12 times?
Well you'd think it would be 24,
you'd think it would until you reason thusly -
that the first time it overlaps is at 12 o'clock.
And then at five past one, and ten past two and quarter past three.
Yes but you lose an hour, you lose one in 12.
In fact we can show it speeded up and you can count.
It starts with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...
I feel like I'm getting older.
22 is the answer, yeah, and you can do the math!
In as much as the hour hand moves forward to the one it takes a minute
and a little more than 65 minutes to catch up with it, not 60.
There are 1,440 minutes in the day,
divided by 65 equals 22 and a tiny bit.
So that's 22 overlaps a day. You look pleased.
Can I just say, I used to think I was intelligent but I'm not.
Oh, you are. It's one of those things, you can make up for it
by telling us where the biggest clock face in Britain is.
Is it going to be in a public place like a railway station?
-Is it one of those, like, garden ones? Is it a floral?
-No, it's not.
-It's not far from here.
-Palace of Westminster?
-Oh, no, I'm afraid it's not, no.
It's not what is commonly called Big Ben or St Stephen's tower,
it's not that one, though that is a jolly big one, that's 23ft in diameter.
The one we're after is opposite it.
-Is it the wheel, the Millennium Wheel?
-No, that doesn't count,
it's opposite the Millennium Wheel, virtually.
-Oh, the Shell building?
-The Shell Mex building on The Strand, absolutely right.
It's now the headquarters of Penguin, the publishers,
there it is. Rather splendid -
it's the biggest clock face in Britain. The second biggest after that
is the Royal Liver Building clock which is also slightly bigger
than what we'll call Big Ben.
-That's it, the Liver Building now, like, eh?
So, the hands on a clock overlap 22 times a day.
Now, when was time immemorial?
# The Simpsons! #
HUMS "THE SIMPSONS" THEME TUNE
-The time before The Simpsons started?
-That would count.
-I don't understand what "time immemorial" means.
-If you say, for example...
If you can prove in a court of law that you've been grazing your sheep on some land since time immemorial,
you don't have to re-justify your right to do it.
-It's an established practice that has been done since time immemorial.
-It doesn't mean "for ever"?
It specifically, originally meant the 6th of July, 1189.
There must have been a lot of excitement in the run-up to that. "It's time immemorial tomorrow!"
-And there'd be...
-"At last we can get things sorted.
"Whatever's happening tomorrow, we stick to."
It was the day of the coronation of a particular sovereign in our country.
-You read History and that's damn good. It wasn't a wasted education. It was indeed Richard I
who was crowned in 1189.
It was decided then that the first Statute of Westminster,
which was a few years after his reign, it defined his reign as the limit of legal memory.
Did they have to raise such an army just to catch those two seagulls?
"There they are!
"After them, men!
"They've been flying since time immemorial!"
The one on the right is saying, "I can't believe we're doing all this for those two poxy seagulls!"
Do you think the French, when they saw them, thought, "Oh, my God, it's the Red Cross people!
"Try and not meet their eye. Sorry, mate, I've got to go. I can't stop."
What is the brakeman's job during a bobsleigh race?
Oh, he puts the brakes on.
-Oh, Jo, no, no, no.
I was just trying to move us on!
He's the last one to jump on. He's the one who gives it the biggest push, he's the biggest, usually,
he's the one who gets it really accelerating.
You're not allowed to brake during the race cos you'd ruin the smooth surface of the ice.
Um, there are other versions that are done on bobsleigh courses, such as luging, what does luging involve?
-Going down on a tea tray.
that's right. In which direction, as it were?
Feet-first is luging, and what's the other one where you're head-first?
-Yeah, you'd think!
The Cresta Run is a skeleton which is where you're head-first
and you slide down at incredible speed.
There was a time in the late 19th century when the fastest people on the planet were the people
who did the Cresta Run, until the invention of the aeroplane.
-I've got a supplementary question which might help you get some points.
-Can you remember
which Caribbean country surprisingly came 29th in the 88th...
"MASTERMIND" THEME Jamaica.
No, no, I'm afraid Jamaica came 30th. The surprising thing is
there was another Caribbean country about which they didn't make a film.
The film, as you see, there's John Candy, was Cool Runnings, a fine film.
But for some reason they decided the heroic achievement
of the Dutch Lesser Antilles team was not worthy of a film.
-Just wasn't as cool as Jamaica, they don't have a Bob Marley figure I suppose.
-But also, they've not got a catchy name for their country.
It's confusing because it's got the nationality
-of a different country in it.
-And it's lesser.
-Dutch Lesser Antilles.
Bizarre you should say that because it not longer exists -
The Netherlands and Antilles went their separate ways
and it ceased to exist in 2010
and its national anthem when it did exist was called Anthem Without a Title.
Because the title of our country is so poor we can't trust ourselves
to think of another one. We'll call it French Song or something!
It's terribly sad. Anyway, so that was the story of the Dutch Lesser Antilles
and their famous bobsleigh team
who came 29th in the '88 winter Olympics.
It brings us to the end of this QI IQ test,
so hand in your papers and I'll tally up the scores and oh, my goodness me!
Well, it's very exciting, actually.
Top of the class
with four points
is David Mitchell!
In second place with minus four is Phill Jupitus.
And in third place with minus eight is Jo Brand.
In clear last place with minus 16 is Alan Davies.
the clear, clear winner this week with an extraordinary 32 points
is the magnificent Asimo!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So it's good night from David, Phill, Jo, Alan and not forgetting Asimo and me.
And I just want to share with you the cover story of a recent National Geographic magazine,
which is about the recreation by archaeologists at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey.
It's the oldest temple in the world. Some people think it's the oldest building in the world.
It's 11,600 years old and what excites me is that it looks like this.
Does it remind you of anything?
Good night. On that bombshell, good night.
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