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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Thanks for coming to IQ.
Tonight, we're in opposite world,
where everything you thought was right
is either wrong or left, and vice versa.
Or it might be the other way round.
Anyway, up in reverse order,
these are not my guests.
On the contrary, Sara Pascoe.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
No way, it's Jimmy Carr.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
It definitely can't be Colin Lane.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
And I can't believe it's not Davies Alan, but it is.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
So, because we're doing opposites tonight,
every time you get something wrong, you get a bonus.
-That's good, isn't it?
Alan's big night.
Let's listen to the buzzers. Sara goes...
# Night and day... #
-That's nice. Fits with our theme.
That's very nice, isn't it? Colin goes...
# Ebony and ivory... #
Aah, I want a drink now.
# Love and marriage, love and marriage... #
They're not really opposites, are they?
-What, love and marriage?
-If you're doing it right.
And Alan goes...
# In, out, in, out
# In, out, in, out
# In, out, in, out Shake it all about... #
Very base level Kama Sutra there.
"In, out, in, out, in, out, shake it all about," you'll be fine.
Anyway, rather than getting to business,
-we should do the opposite and have some fun...
..so I've got some alcopops, like this.
I've got some... Look at these.
-There's your balloons.
And I've got fun chocolates.
There's another balloon for you.
OK. So, here's the thing...
-Sorry, I've dropped mine.
-..it's party time...
Oh, you've dropped your balloon.
-Hang on a minute.
-Jimmy's going to be a silly billy.
I'll do it.
OK, thanks, Colin.
-If you just...
Could you hold up the red balloon for a second there?
Cos it'll look like a Banksy.
There you go.
That took the... Party time, OK?
Oh, yeah, here we go.
You are driving home from the shops, you are so excited.
-That's good, isn't it, Colin?
-Oh, that's me!
You're so excited that, unfortunately,
-you crash into a tree.
-And that's why you used my face?
In Australia, they drive right-hand drive, right, Col?
-Yes, they do.
-So it's technically wrong?
-And in that photo, I probably miss the tree,
if you see the perspective.
-Let us imagine, you've crashed into a tree...
..I want to know what happens to the helium balloons?
-Well, I'm more worried about him!
Yeah. What about me? What about me?
-Yeah, that's quite heartless.
If the helium balloons pop and then you ring the ambulance,
they won't believe you, they'll think you're doing a prank call...
-..because you'll sound like a silly boy.
Alan, what were you going to say?
-They're going to keep going.
Is it something to do with the air bag?
Cos the airbag's going to get released
and then there's another gas in the car.
So, do they fall in love...
..and run away together?
You look like a snooker player on a night out.
No, but you're on the right... No, it's nothing to do with the air bag.
-So, helium less dense than air.
So, everything else is going to get thrown forward,
the alcopops and chocolates are going to get thrown forward.
-They stay still.
This is a stupid show!
-They go down, they go down.
-They go backwards.
-They go down. They go down.
-They go backwards!
-They go backwards, they go backwards.
# Ivory... #
They go backwards.
Then, when you accelerate,
what's going to happen to the helium balloon?
-Cos the helium balloon's gone backwards.
-They'll go sideways.
-They're going to go...
-..the same, they're going to go forwards.
Yes, they're going to go forwards. Exactly.
OK, so enough party time, let's put things away.
Cos there's a limit to the amount of fun you're allowed. There you go.
Where do you want to put it? Oh, under there.
Then the set will gradually levitate.
-It's going well so far.
You just look, like, a bit washed up, things aren't so good.
"I used to be someone, now I just play for cash in pubs."
I'll be happy.
I thought you looked like a really ambitious porn star.
Like I would know!
OK, so we're doing opposites, what's the opposite of monopoly?
-The danger of thinking it's fun.
-Yeah. Extra point.
OK, the actual word "monopoly"?
Panoply is what you think it's going to be.
That's like a display of pineapple, is it?
So what does a monopoly mean?
-It's what we long for in the railways again.
So, monopoly, a single supplier holding consumers to ransom.
So, what we're looking for is a single consumer
who can hold suppliers to ransom. It's called a monopsony.
It is the opposite of monopoly, it's possibly...
I love the way you kept going with that question
and that, never in a million years, were we going to get it.
I did economics A-level for a year and that's what it felt like.
So, what's an example?
So, the BBC, for example, has a monopsony on radio drama, right?
Lots of people want to write it, lots of people want to be in it,
but, pretty much, the BBC are the only people who produce it.
So, there are lots and lots of suppliers,
-but there's only one consumer.
-And one listener.
She's very lonely.
-She's very lonely.
-She's doing the washing-up, she's fine.
She can't afford a telly. She just can't afford one.
She won't be seeing this.
So, a single passenger, say, disembarking from a train,
and there's lots of taxis waiting,
that would be another example. There's only one consumer
and everybody is vying for their custom, so it's a monopsony.
So, monopsony is the opposite of monopoly, but nobody ever uses it.
And there are lots of words called orphaned negatives.
So, these are words that have the opposites,
but nobody uses them, they are now obsolete.
So, what would be the opposite of ineffable?
-Effable, but nobody ever uses it,
-it's a perfectly good word, isn't it?
-I've heard people say that.
-Effable? It's not effable?
-"Oh, he's got nice trousers on today.
He's totally eff-able.
In that sense.
In polite company.
Yeah, well, funny and...
I really appreciate it.
They're very roomy.
But there are a lot of good ones.
Incessant, so cessant.
Nobody talks about cessant any more.
There's a weird thing about this word, OK?
What it tells you in the dictionary
is that "cessant" hasn't been used since 1701.
What happened that year?
They thought, "Do you know? I'm done with that word."
What about, for you, what about disdain?
Oh, yes, the opposite of being a good Dane, yes, a disdain.
ALAN AND COLIN: Dis Dane, dat Dane.
The opposite of insipid?
It is just sipid.
-Sipid used to mean savoury.
So people would say something was sipid.
Does anyone ever say beknownst?
-Unbeknownst to me.
Beknownst to me.
-Innocent, so a nocent... Yeah, a nocent
-was a criminal.
-Until about the 17th century,
so nocentem, Latin meaning "to harm".
-Chalant. I suppose...
-Yes. I'm going to refer to you as chalant, I like that.
-I think that sounds rather good.
Yeah, chalant and effable.
Stop it, you.
To be fair, Jimmy, I had to have it pointed out to me.
You know, the only downside to that with Jimmy is,
he does have to keep one foot on the floor at all times.
Well, someone has to keep one foot on the floor or everyone falls over.
Take that away with you as a thought.
-Oh, I hate... Inflammable and flammable?
It is exactly the same thing, it's not an orphaned negative at all.
In fact, the opposite of flammable is non-flammable.
-I beg your pardon?
-Just... Just reading.
It used to be inflammable cos it comes from the Latin inflammare.
But they adopted flammable deliberately in the 20th century,
because, honestly, inflammable seemed ambiguous,
so that is one of the reasons why we now say flammable
-and then non-flammable.
Anybody know what a contronym is?
Oh, so it's like synonym?
Somebody who's constantly contrary.
So, it's a word that is also its own opposite.
So, screen, which means to show - like screen a film -
and screen also means to hide.
-Yeah, hide. That's nice.
-Another example, bound.
So fastened to the spot and also heading somewhere.
Oh, that's good, isn't it?
-That's really nice.
-They're good, aren't they?
Fast, so moving quickly, and stuck and unable to move. It's the two...
And also, I always with fast food, to fast is not to eat.
-And then also to eat loads really cheaply.
-Yeah, there you go.
-Contronyms... I think we may need marijuana for this.
It appears to me like this should be a conversation that happens like,
-"Yeah, man, fast."
-"Cos it's like..."
"But, no, man, fast food."
I love that your impression of someone on drugs
means you've never taken them.
-You can have stoned...
-..as in stoned.
And stoned as in what happens to you in some places if you're stoned.
-Do you see?
-See my meaning?
Anybody know what an antigram is?
It is the opposite of a gram.
So, these are words where, if you do an anagram,
the anagram itself has the opposite meaning to the original word.
Yeah. Dormitories, tidier rooms, is one, there's one.
Customers, I like this one,
the anagram is store scum.
There's a few people out there work in retail.
Here's another one, an antigram.
A volunteer fireman -
I never run to a flame.
And forty-five is an anagram
of over fifty.
That's just a woman lying, basically.
Now, you need to sort the sheep from the goats.
So, let's play...
This has really dumbed down, hasn't it?
I like it, I like it.
This show used to be something. I mean...
What is the difference between a sheep and a goat?
I think it's something that they do, rather than what they look like.
-OK. What do you think it is that they do?
I think... I love that clip so much when people are doing yoga...
-..and the goats are jumping on them.
And I've never seen a sheep...
-You've not seen this?
Basically, there's all these people and they're doing downward dogs,
-and then tiny goats...
-I'm going to stop you right there.
-They're doing yoga poses...
-Oh, I see.
-..with their bums in the air...
..and goats are just jumping on them, like they're hillocks,
from person to person. It went crazy.
What kind of a class is that?!
But the problem is...
-So, you're supposed to be so focused on your yoga...
-..you ignore the goats...
-Don't notice the goats.
..and the goats are just, like, having a crazy great time.
This is everything I hate about yoga.
There's goats jumping on your arse
and you don't go, "Ha-ha."
You can, but then you're bad at yoga.
-Can I just say...?
-Whereas the sheep...
Yeah, don't go to yoga.
-They're much more pilates people, the sheep.
I've never seen a sheep jump. That's my point.
-I think goats are very agile.
-Sheep can jump.
-They can jump.
-Yeah, they jump over...
-In your dreams!
Because sometimes they jump for no reason at all.
Can I just say, my game has not gone where I was expecting, all right?
The simplest way to tell them apart
is that goats' tails point upwards.
That is the easiest way.
It's almost like they're asking for it.
-Don't listen to him, he's a bad man!
-That is a kind of...
That's why they have the horns, right?
-That's the whole point of the horns.
-Don't listen to him either!
They're both terrible men.
You've ruined the yoga class.
So, another clear distinction is kind of a martial arts style.
So, rams back up and charge in order to butt heads,
whereas billies will rear up.
Look at that, that's fantastic.
-They'll rear up on their hind legs and try and nut their opponent.
And when the two species fight each other,
the ram's style gives an advantage,
cos he hits the billy in the middle, amidships there.
But also, another difference between them is...
...they look different.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, slow down, Alan, slow down.
What are you talking about?
One's a sheep and one's a goat.
-They have different names.
Let's find out whether you're right,
whether it is in fact cos they look different,
as we play...
..Sorting The Sheep From The Goats!
I'm telling you, Jimmy, you're going to be hosting this before long,
this quiz show.
OK, here we go, first picture.
In your face!
You had it, it's a sheep.
The giveaway is the long, floppy ears there.
-That's definitely a sheep. OK.
-And the fact that it's a sheep.
All right. Next one.
Colin, say the opposite of what it looks like, I think that's the game.
-Say the opposite.
It's an angora goat. Next one.
What are we going for?
I'm saying sheep cos it looks like a goat.
OK, the main reason we know it's a sheep is cos the tail is down.
OK, next one.
What do we reckon about this one?
-It is a pig.
It's a curly-coated Mangalica from Austria or the borders of Hungary.
The really extraordinary thing was, I talked about sheep's tails
hanging down, so about a quarter of the world's sheep
are what they call "fat-tailed" varieties,
-so they store fat in their tails.
-They've got booties.
Yeah, just like a camel stores fat.
Can we show that?
I'm not sure... That feels like...
I'm not sure how our researchers come up with this stuff.
That feels like it was quite a specialist search
and they went, "You know what? That could be in the show."
So, they store fat in their tails,
-rather like the camel stores it in their hump...
..and there are various sources, so Pliny the Elder,
-right up to Bruce Chatwin.
They state that some of these sheep were actually fitted
with a wheeled trolley to carry their tails around behind them...
-..because there was so much fat in them.
The Kardashian sheep, yes.
I am familiar.
It's a picturesque motion. OK, now that we've all become experts
in animal identification, can you tell me what this is?
Has someone drawn a face on my testicle?
I love that you're not sure.
I hope they haven't drawn a paw on your testicle as well.
The paw's always there.
The paw's on one of my testicles, the other to don't have one.
It feels like it's a hedgehog without his spikes.
You're absolutely right. That is exactly what it is.
-It didn't grow them from birth.
This is so sweet. Presumably from some kind of trauma.
We don't know. It was taken...
Oh, you've really got this one bad, haven't you?
One spineless hedgehog and you all lose it.
Sums of this country up, if you ask me.
Let's check out the next one.
This one's an "Aww!"
What is this part of the show?
Kill the vegan.
He looks quite cross, though, doesn't he? He's like,
-"What did you say? What did you say?"
-Are all birds doing that the whole time?
And we've just seen what they're really like.
Cos you look at birds and go, "Oh, he's adorable,"
but they're actually going, "Come on, then!"
"I can't get my hands on my head!
"Damn you, evolution!"
What happened there? Was he allergic to piri piri sauce?
Is he essentially upset because somebody's prodding him in the back
with a bendy sausage?
Yeah, that's not good.
That's the weirdest part of that photo, in my opinion.
That is a cockatoo, a Moluccan cockatoo who has lost his feathers.
He is... He is... I would describe him as plucked.
Now, what's the opposite
of a plant-eating sheep?
-A plant that grows sheep.
-It's a sheep.
See, just when I think what I said is really clear...
You now sound like a vegan who's really hungry.
-The opposite of a plant-eating sheep would be a...?
-A sheep-eating plant.
Well done, Colin.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Colin, I'm just going to remind you, I said at the beginning...
-..the more you get wrong, the more points you get.
I don't know if that's going to affect you in any way.
I've been on this show about six or seven times
and I still don't know what the rules are.
I have no idea.
So, there is said to be a sheep-eating plant.
It is called the Puya chilensis. There it is.
Same family as the pineapple.
-And what it does...
-It sounds like...
This is someone that's stolen a sheep
and his friend's gone, "Where's my sheep?"
And he's gone, "What, your sheep?
"It was the bloody plant, mate."
"Bloody... Oh, you should have been here."
"Don't take your eyes off that pineapple."
So what happens is, the sheep gets entangled in its spiny leaves
and then the sheep starves to death.
Then the animal decays and it takes the nutrients,
as it decays, into the soil.
It's described as a proto-carnivorous system,
so it's unnaturalistic cos that suggests the plant
is on the evolutionary path towards being a carnivore
and other people don't think that's right at all in terms of evolution.
There is one in Surrey, the Royal Horticultural Society in Wisley.
In 2013, it bloomed for the very first time in 15 years.
The spokesman said,
"We keep it well fed with liquid fertiliser,
"as feeding it on its natural diet might prove a bit problematic."
I like the idea of those smart women
going to the Royal Horticultural Society in Wisley going,
"My God, that plant's got a sheep."
So there's nearly 600 species of carnivorous plants.
So anybody know what this one is?
It's the Venus flytrap, surely?
Let's just see if we can get it to think that I'm flying in.
Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz.
I mean, I'm not the toughest person on the planet,
but it is quite strong.
So nearly 600 species of carnivorous plants,
about 300 more proto-carnivorous
and they have a different range of approaches, so the Venus flytrap
obviously it actively traps insects but there are others
which might trap an insect and then feed on the faeces left
-by other bugs which come to eat the trapped insect.
So the one on the right there is a South African plant
called a Roridula and it does just that.
Isn't that odd, though, that we're all familiar with the Venus flytrap,
so when we were sit here and watch a plant go, "Schoof!" like that,
we'll just shrug that off but that's actually really frightening.
It is slightly terrifying, isn't it?
If that was massive, it would do it to us, it's only a matter of time.
-Well, it could...
-Especially view, Sandi, let's face it.
I'm just going to give you that.
You can just keep it away from me and that will be lovely.
There's also a story of a man-eating tree in Madagascar.
1874, New York World wrote about this,
supposedly a woman had been eaten alive.
In fact it was a hoax, but it became a sort of enduring myth
and as late as 1925, there was a book called
Madagascar, Land Of The Man-eating Tree.
It was written by a curious man called Chase Osborn.
He was an ex-governor of Michigan.
He did genuinely search for the tree, but it's a myth...
..or is it?
Now, this is a human optogram.
What does it prove?
I always thought optograms
was that thing where they could look in your eye
and see who had murdered you.
-This was, like, before, like, DNA and stuff.
And they were like, "Oh, no..."
I think we always had DNA, it's really...
Yeah, but it's not...
-More like before we knew about it.
-We could test it, yeah.
So, it was like, "Oh, I'm a Victorian policeman,
"this woman's died.
"I know, we'll get her eyes out,
"have a look on the retina,
"the last thing she's seen, that'll be the killer."
Was that, like, a commonly held belief?
Well, it began in the 17th century.
So, there was a priest called Christoph Scheiner,
and he'd claimed he had seen the image of a flame
on the retina of a frog that he had been dissecting.
So, then you get the development of photography, so that's about 1840s,
and that seemed to provide a sort of theoretical basis for this notion.
There was a German physiologist called Wilhelm Kuhne.
1878, he immobilised a rabbit
and forced it to look at a window for three minutes.
Then he decapitated it,
cut open the eye and, the next day,
he said that the retina dried and revealed an image of the window.
That was the last thing that the rabbit had been staring at.
-Right, so he was able... So, he was...
He was able to reveal that he killed the rabbit?
-That's a bit of luck. I could have saved him a bit of time there.
1880, he decided to repeat this experiment
with the head of a guillotined murderer,
a man called Erhard Gustav Reif,
and his left eye was dissected
ten minutes after he died,
and the resulting optogram is that picture that we saw
-at the very beginning...
-Oh, so it's the guillotine.
Yes, so it's been suggested it's the blade of the guillotine.
It seems very unlikely, he was blindfolded at the time.
The last bit of toast he had.
Unfortunately, all we have is that sketch.
We don't have the actual image.
So, this idea about optograms was taken up by fictional writers,
so Jules Verne and some of the popular press,
and it appears, because this was widely believed,
that some killers took the precaution
of taking their victims' eyes with them,
-to make sure there was no photo.
-They seem really, principally,
-to be concerned with her hat in that picture.
"Where's her hat?" "I think it's over there."
"I can't reach it!"
"Take a step nearer."
There's been research into this idea, optography,
as recently as 1975.
Evangelos Alexandridis of the University of Heidelberg,
he produced a number of images from...
-It's always the eyes of dead rabbits.
-It's not nice.
-They've got such big eyes maybe?
Bright eyes, famously bright eyes.
They eat a lot of carrots.
-Did you know that carrots are not...
-OK. Not dead when you eat them.
-Carrots are not what?
They die in your stomach, they don't die when you bite into them.
-They only die in your stomach.
-That's why they're so delicious.
But, no, it's worse than you think,
because I've been eating baby carrots.
I'm a monster!
I'm surprised this guy from the University of Heidelberg did manage
to produce some images, so there may be some underlying scientific basis
for this notion but we're not really sure.
Do you know where Albert Einstein's eyeballs are?
-They weren't buried with him?
1955, they were removed during his autopsy
and they were given as a gift
to his personal physician Henry Abrams.
Oh, and they made the first one of those desk toys.
Oh, my God!
As far as we know, they're in a safe deposit box in New York City
but there's quite a thing of it.
Do you know where Napoleon's penis is?
Is it Wellington's house?
Again, we're not entirely sure.
We think it's in a special box in New Jersey.
In a special box? What are you like? I'll do the filth.
It was taken off at the autopsy
and then it was sort of displayed around the world,
and much mocked for its size. POP!
And in the end,
a urologist in New Jersey, called Dr John Lattimer,
he bought it and he was so upset
at people teasing Napoleon's penis - I mean, weird -
he had a special box made
and it's in the family home in New Jersey, as far as we know.
-There's a penis for sale in London.
-I was looking into it.
Thought I might get an upgrade.
I was in a very strange store in the East End of London,
and the last man that was hanged in Britain,
they have his penis for sale.
-Do they? How much is it?
-How much? Yes.
Yeah. And was he hung?
-Anyway, an optigram won't prove
you're guilty or innocent, for that matter.
Here is a simple one.
Who's the opposite of Tarzan?
-Yes, OK, I'll have a crack.
-So, it's going to be a wild...
Like, an ape raised in a city.
So, Wayne Rooney, Liam Gallagher?
They shave and they walk upright, but it's not good, is it?
-They should be with their own kind.
-Well, in a...
In a way, you're right.
The opposite is an ape brought up as an English gentlemen,
and there was such a thing. It was a lowland gorilla, who was...
Oh, my God, he looks so human!
It was a lowland gorilla orphaned by hunters in the Gabon.
He was put up for sale in the Derry & Toms department store.
He was known as John Daniel. He was bought, in 1918, for £300.
So, that's about £20,000 today.
He was bought by Major Rupert Penny
and entrusted to his sister, Alyce Cunningham.
And he lived in a country house in Gloucestershire. Why not?
And he was brought up as a boy, not as a gorilla.
Although, I say a boy fond of drinking whisky and port.
He was fed on children.
-No, went to the village school.
-How did he do?
Well, this is the thing,
he was quite good at making his own bed,
he was quite good at doing the washing-up.
He could use light switches and the lavatory.
-Oh, was it one of those Montessori schools?
He preferred the company of women.
When there was a group of men,
-he would urinate on them, which is not...
And he would walk into people's houses and help himself to cider.
It's actually kind of a sad story
because, eventually, he grew too big and Alyce couldn't manage him,
and she sold him to an American for 1,000 guineas,
and she thought he was going to have a wonderful life in Florida.
But, in fact, he was made to join the Barnum & Bailey circus
-and was displayed in a zoo in Madison...
-Hey, hey, hey.
-Let's try and focus on the positive - show business.
He got into show business.
And his health deteriorated,
and Alyce was sent a telegram to say that John Daniel was pining for her.
She set sail for America
but, very sadly, he died of pneumonia before she arrived,
-aged just four and...
-Yes, it's a really sad story.
And he was given to the American Natural History Museum,
where you can still see his body displayed.
But he did...
For that brief period of time, he was a boy in Gloucestershire
-Living as a boy.
-Living as a boy, yeah.
But a chimpanzee is all right
until they get to about a year old, and then they'll rip your arm off.
-Well, here is the thing...
-That's the trouble.
And tigers are like that. We had a tiger on Jonathan Creek, right?
And they brought this tiger in with a chain, and about three handlers.
And they said, "Will Alan do a photo with the tiger?"
So, I was a bit apprehensive, and I said, "Are you sure?
-"I mean, it doesn't know me."
-They said, "Oh, no, it's fine.
"They're not really a danger until they're about 12 months old."
I said, "Oh, good, good. How old is this one?"
And he goes, "It's 11 months."
Now, we're going into orbit, so here's a thought, right?
We have all this nuclear waste stinking the place up,
instead of keeping it underground, why don't we do the opposite
and just fire it into the sun and forget about it?
I've only just started recycling.
If you fired it all at the sun, wouldn't Rupert Murdoch be upset?
Suddenly it seems like a good idea, doesn't it?
Presumably because it would be very dangerous
and the sun would explode and we'd all die?
No, I think the sun could cope.
Would it make a more powerful and send it back?
-The first thing is, it's unbelievably dangerous to put
nuclear waste in a rocket, right, because if the rocket explodes,
then you'd have the world's biggest dirty bomb.
But the major objection to this superficially attractive idea
is that, counterintuitively, it is extremely difficult to get something
to fall into the sun. So you think it would be easy, all right, yes?
-So imagine that this is the sun and we are travelling round,
but we are constantly drawn, aren't we, towards the sun?
But we're also travelling really fast around the sun,
so we're travelling at 30 kilometres per second,
-so that's 67,000 miles per hour.
-Hold on to something!
So we might miss the sun and hit ourselves again?
Well, no, we wouldn't hit ourselves, but in order to get something to go
into the sun, what we actually have to do is get it to slow it down
until it's not going sideways any more.
Cos with a tiny bit of sideways speed, you would miss the sun
and it would just whip around and in order to get our object to fall into
the sun, you'd need to get the speed down to zero,
so that means thrusting the rocket backwards
about 67,000 miles per hour.
Have you seen the documentary about this where it actually happens?
-It is possible to do it.
-I'll refer you to Superman 4.
Because he took all the bombs
-and he threw them at the sun and it was fine.
-Well, he had the power.
The trouble is we don't have a rocket that's powerful enough.
Nasa's new Horizon craft can go at 36,000 miles per hour -
that's 53% of the power that we actually need
to get the rocket to fall into the sun. It's called a sun dive.
So weirdly, rather perversely, it would actually be easier
to send our cargo of nuclear waste out into deep space
than it would be to drop it into the sun,
because we actually need less power
to get out of the solar system altogether.
OK. Here for the audience, ready?
By a cheer,
who's fed up with austerity?
Me too. So, time to take the opposite tack, I reckon.
Let's have a bit of ostentatious consumption.
So, I've got some menus here, for you, from a Chinese restaurant.
-Chinese takeaway, Col?
-There you go.
-Now, the Kangxi Emperor,
who ruled China around 1700,
was THE most ostentatious eater of all time.
So, here is my question,
which of his eight mountain delicacies do you fancy?
And this... And these are... These are...
The vegan can't talk any more, she's having a panic attack!
I don't think there's anything here for me.
-Well, apart from the...
-Are we not having a seaweed?
Well, there is vegetarian stuff here, there's the boar's testicles.
You don't necessarily have to kill the boar for those.
-That isn't how veganism works.
It is an actual menu from the birthday of the Kangxi Emperor,
who was on the throne from 1661 to 1722.
Oh, you'd be so thrilled to get an invite to the Emperor's party.
"What are we having? Is there going to be cake?"
"No, better than that, monkey brain."
He called it the Manchu Han Imperial Feast,
so it's kind of like a fusion-style blowout, really.
Because he was trying to reconcile rival factions
so he was showcasing both the Manchu and the Han cuisine.
The meal lasted for three days,
there were six successive banquets,
124 starters and 196 main courses.
Look, that's that hedgehog.
That looks like the brain of something in that one -
is that the brain of something?
-Yes, that is a brain.
-I wonder what it's thinking?
The seafood platter included
sea slug, fish tripe, swallow's nest, shark's fin and fish bones.
But it was the mountain delicacies that really pushed the boat out,
that was your leopard foetus and your camel's hump and so on.
But that kind of opulence is extraordinary.
There's a marvellous story about the first Earl Spencer,
so that's Princess Diana's great-great-great-great-grandfather.
In the 1750s, he had the finest house in London.
He was especially proud of an innovation - carpets -
but he could only afford three of them so he had this system
whereby as the guests moved through the house, the doors would close
behind them and they would roll up the carpet
and they would run round and lay it out.
And there was a guy called Henry Paget,
who was the fifth Marquess of Anglesey, so 1875 till 1905,
he modified his car so that the exhaust pipe sprayed perfume.
-That's like those new pants You can get. Have you seen them?
There's these new pants. It's true.
You and I live on a parallel universe.
There's these pants that if you fart, it smells of mint.
Well, actually, that sounds very sensible.
Now, what is this guy's problem?
He couldn't find any.
I think I know this.
He was asleep and he's farted.
He's farted with quite some force, so much force he's lifted himself up
and his cock's fallen off.
He does appear to have no genitals at all.
Sometimes from a distance, Sandi, it looks like that.
Sometimes they're moving so fast they become a blur.
See, I wouldn't know whether that's true or not.
They're both lying.
Colin, what do you reckon?
He's doing an upward dog.
So I do have a theory,
so in the olden days they thought that people used to be...
You know, like, The Exorcist, cos they thought the devil was in you
and they now think it's a kind of encephalitis...
Well, it is a medical thing.
It is a depiction of the effects of tetanus.
It is quite a famous painting, 1809, of a condition called opisthotonus,
by Sir Charles Bell.
The interesting thing about it is
when you get the fossils of dinosaurs,
particularly Archaeopteryx, so things with long necks,
they are often found in the same death pose.
You often see them with the head thrown back and the tail extended,
the mouth wide open and nobody really knew why.
So there were lots and lots of theories about this
and in the end they began to decide,
"Well, actually, most of them must have died of tetanus,"
because the pose is exactly the same.
So rusty nails were around in those days?
But then Achim Reisdorf and Michael Wuttke of the University of Basel
in 2012, they did a really practical experiment
to see whether it really was tetanus.
Did they give birds with long necks tetanus?
No, no, what they did was, they bought
a load of chicken necks from the butcher.
Nobody wants those, really, but it's fine.
And they dropped them in water.
And immediately the necks all bent backwards by 90 degrees.
And then three months later after they had rotted some more
they had twisted further backwards to 140 degrees
and what they concluded was that the neck ligaments,
they're normally weighed down by the chicken's head, were freed
by the buoyancy of water to assume their default position.
Their default position was slightly upwards.
-That's such a good experiment. So clever.
-And so simple.
So, that is your consignment of general knowledge for this week.
Now it's time for the opposite, General Ignorance,
-fingers on buzzers, please.
-Ah, too easy, come on.
This is a telescope called Amanda.
She's at the South Pole.
So, first of all, what constellation must she be pointing at?
# Ivory... #
Amanda is the Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array,
is what Amanda stands for.
So, what might Amanda be pointing at?
Is someone getting changed nearby?
Or is she checking out her ex boyfriend?
So, we're playing Opposites, right, it wasn't Southern Cross.
-North... The North Pole.
Yes, she is pointing towards the northern sky,
so she's pointing towards, what would we have?
Ursa Major. Polaris.
The same is true of an even bigger one,
the Ice Cube Cosmic Neutrino Detector.
So, the thing about this is, although she's at the South Pole,
she's actually pointing down into the ground.
So, she is pointing towards the northern skies.
Why didn't they just put it at the North Pole?
Because she's designed to detect neutrinos.
-These are really, really small, sub-atomic particles.
They don't interact with matter.
So, they normally pass straight through the planet.
Me neither, to be honest.
They're teeny, tiny particles
that travel at near-light speeds.
They are really an important part of the universe's essential ingredients.
Whoop! I think I've got one.
-In your dreams!
..if you held your hand up to the sun,
a billion neutrinos would pass through your hand
as you held it up to the sun.
-I have a question that's...
-It's related to this.
-The constellation on the right there...
Is that called the Rat Slowing Down?
"I've gone way too quick!"
I think he's gone out of that spin in the middle,
-and gone, "Whoa!"
So, these have almost no mass and no electric charge,
and they're incredibly difficult to detect.
Basically, we need to know. It's one of the great building blocks of the universe.
Why do we need to know?
Because it's one of the fundamental questions in physics -
how are things made?
That's the thing with science, Jimmy.
"We don't know what we're looking for but we have to look.
-Also, once we get to time travel...
It's really for better episodes of Doctor Who. That's why we're here.
Now, there are cat lovers and there are cat haters,
but whose lap will the cat sit on?
# Day... #
Cats always go to the people who don't like them or who are allergic.
Um, yes, they do.
Well, the only scientific study that we found,
in fact, finds the opposite. So...
They've only done one?
What are they spending their money on?!
You know the cat on the right there,
the cat on the right that's being kissed by the lady is...
-I think that cat's married.
Just from the expression of,
"Oh, my God! Don't take a picture, how am I going to explain this?"
So, people who believe the perverse cat theory,
-there are various explanations.
Well, first, cats don't like being stared at
is one of the reasons that they give.
They perceive it as aggression, so they prefer people who ignore them.
Cats pick up hostile body language
-and they act to try and placate it, that's one of the things.
In fact, there's only one small study has been done
by the Anthro-zoological Institute at the University of Southampton,
and they were unable, really, to find much effect at all.
They had eight cat-lovers, eight cat-haters
and the cats didn't seem to be bothered who they went to.
-Not exactly a wide study.
It's not a massive study, Colin. LAUGHTER
-Felines don't make beelines
towards people who hate cats.
This painting, have a quick look at this painting, what is it?
Yes, The Scream by Edvard Munch.
What does it depict?
Anyone...looking at London house prices.
-It's a... Now, I know this.
But it's someone who is hearing screams
from a hospital or something.
You're nearly there. So, it is actually not somebody screaming,
-it is somebody...
-Somebody hearing screams.
..hearing a scream of nature, is what Edvard Munch said.
So, it's a figure of indeterminate gender,
she or he, they're not screaming, they're hearing a scream.
So, it's the opposite of what we might think it is.
The scream of nature in German, Der Schrei der Natur.
So, his account of the inspiration for this painting
further bears this out.
"I stopped and looked out over the fjord,
"the sun was setting and the clouds turning blood red.
"I sensed a scream passing through nature.
"It seemed to me that I heard the scream.
"I painted this picture, I painted the clouds as actual blood.
"The colour shrieked. This became The Scream."
He sounds like a bloody great laugh, doesn't he?
The scream in Munch's The Scream is heard and not seen.
And that's your lot for tonight.
Let's have a look at the scores.
Well, with a rather magnificent minus 47...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Sara, with minus 14.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
I'm happy with that. I'm happy with third.
With a very, very creditable minus six...
Alan. CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Thank you very much.
With a full 8 points, it's Jimmy.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
That means, Colin, that you are the winner
-and as you would expect...
-Oh, I thought I'd won!
Tonight's prize is the very opposite of an objectionable object,
it's this extremely tasteful QI mug.
There you are, congratulations.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
It only remains for me to thank Sara, Jimmy, Colin and Alan.
I leave you with this quote
that is definitely apposite, or maybe just the opposite of opposite,
from the economist, JK Galbraith.
"Under capitalism, man exploits man.
"Under communism, it's just the opposite."
Thank you and goodnight.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Sandi Toksvig looks at opposites. Find out how to sort the sheep from the goats, discover the opposite of Tarzan and meet the telescope that points straight through the Earth. With Sara Pascoe, Colin Lane, Jimmy Carr and Alan Davies.