Incomprehensible QI


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Incomprehensible

Stephen Fry considers some incomprehensible questions with Sue Perkins, Ross Noble, Professor Brian Cox and Alan Davies.


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APPLAUSE

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CHEERS AND WHISTLING

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Good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening

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and welcome to QI, where tonight's show is completely and utterly

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incomprehensible.

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Venturing into the unknown with me tonight are what's his name...

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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And oh, you know...

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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And, oh, wait, now, don't tell me...

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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And finally...

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No, I've never seen him before in my life.

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APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

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Now...

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Our buzzers tonight are no less perplexing than our questions.

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Sue goes...

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BABY: Doo-di-doo da-da

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That's eleven types of wrong just there.

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-Brian goes...

-ELECTRONIC SWOOSH

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Rrrross goes...

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ELECTRONIC TWITTERING

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Alan goes...

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ALAN'S VOICE OVERLAPPING ITSELF

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'..dirty old bag.'

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-Wow.

-Is that your internal dialogue?

-I think so.

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I don't know how they got that.

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Now, don't forget, in this series we have the Nobody Knows joker

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FANFARE 'Nobody knows!'

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There are some questions to which no-one knows the answer

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and if you think the question I ask as no known, authoritative answer,

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then play your Nobody Knows joker for extra points.

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Now, let's start with something that's not even in the same language.

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Listen to this and tell me what it means.

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SQUEAKING

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-SUE LAUGHS That's a rodent.

-That's a rodent, good.

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-Can you narrow it down?

-Is that the squeaky door to his little house?

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-No.

-He's asking for some oil.

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The astonishing thing is we do know what that means, in fact.

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I can vouch for this. There are people who study this.

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My director on one of my documentaries got a PhD from Oxford

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studying frog communication

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-and he sat...

-Is that French?

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Hey, no. Stop it. Sorry.

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He sat there for three years in the Outback somewhere

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-and he discerned about three words...

-Yeah.

-..which I think were...

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-Ribbit!

-Yeah...

-You are absolutely right, Brian.

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There are zoologists who try to understand the communication of various species.

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-Do you know what this species is?

-The gopher.

-It is a gopher.

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-A prairie dog.

-A prairie dog, yeah.

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It's also known as a ground squirrel. It's a type of squirrel.

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Isn't ground squirrel a condiment?

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A little ground squirrel, madam?

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-Erm... Is it...

-I tell you what, he's only making that face

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because he's got Phillip Schofield's hand up his bum.

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Oh, that takes me back a bit.

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-Is that what the squeaking noise is?

-Oh!

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-No, when I say that takes me back a bit...

-Not you as well?

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-I don't mean there was a time...

-APPLAUSE

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It's all gone wrong.

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OK, anyway, there is a scientist, Professor Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University,

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who spent 30 years studying the language of these prairie dogs.

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-Do they warn one another of predators?

-Yes.

-Is that one of their words?

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He's used computer analysis and they are able to distinguish between different types of predator,

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humans, badgers, various other animals.

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Not only that, different geometric shapes, right?

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-And...

-And they have a different sound?

-..different coloured shirts.

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-Badger! Badger!

-And the noise we heard...

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-Human!

-Yes. The noise we heard in prairie dog was,

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"There is a human approaching wearing a yellow shirt."

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I know that sounds almost inconceivable.

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They can't distinguish between different genders of human

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but they can do different heights.

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So if a tall human approaches in a yellow shirt,

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the leader who's on the look-out will make a series of squeaks

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and under computer analysis, you can differentiate

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between a tall human approaching in a red shirt

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and a short human in a red shirt...

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-How wide is their colour palette?

-..a tall human in a yellow shirt and so on.

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-If a transvestite in tartan approaches, they explode.

-Yes!

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They appear not to be able to determine gender with humans.

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It doesn't seem to matter to them.

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And now it's time for some interplanetary incomprehension.

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What did the Pope's librarian say

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when he first saw the rings around the planet Saturn?

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-They initially thought the planet had ears...

-Ah, yes.

-..but that was Galileo.

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I don't think he actually thought it had ears

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because Galileo was a genius.

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-Ears in the sense of a jug's ears, wasn't it?

-Yes.

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So that's Galileo, who was sensible.

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We're talking about the librarian of the Pope.

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He genuinely believed that it was possible that after Christ's ascension into heaven,

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the rings of Saturn were where he put his foreskin.

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Ah, yes!

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Now, you may think, oh, I'm trying to mock the church, this is all nonsense.

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But Christ, of course, was a Jewish boy

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and like all Jewish boys, he was circumcised.

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It's 50,000 miles across. Imagine the size...

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-They weren't aware of that.

-I need a peg to hang this massive foreskin on.

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-That's some girth.

-Yeah.

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His name was Leo Allatius and his essay was called

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De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba,

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a diatribe, a discussion, concerning the prepuce, the foreskin,

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of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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This is how to interest teenagers in astronomy.

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This is how to do it.

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Is it out there as a relic?

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Like all the relics, that are 18 places

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who claim to have the one true holy foreskin.

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Are they really?

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Catherine of Siena was one of the weirder of the saints.

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She... She believed that Christ gave her his foreskin

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-as a wedding ring in their mystical marriage.

-Wow, what a gift.

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After her death, her hand was cut off and became a relic

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with its invisible foreskin on it as a ring.

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She was an extreme anorexic, a peculiar woman

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and she also actively sought out degrading experiences.

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She once drank a cup full of cancerous pus

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from a woman who had abused her, so naturally...

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But has she appeared on Mock The Week?

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APPLAUSE

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But now, more importantly, more significantly,

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how were the rings around Saturn actually formed?

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I'm going to play the card, there.

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-You are right!

-FANFARE 'Nobody knows!'

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-You're a true scientist. Nobody does really know.

-Ahem, Miss?

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There are two major...

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-Well done.

-Thank you.

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-Well done!

-APPLAUSE

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Well done. Good.

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-I didn't copy, I wasn't copying.

-Yeah.

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There's a Socratic acceptance of the limits of one's own knowledge

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and there's ignorance.

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I'm not saying which is which.

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No, no. Quite right. There are two major theories.

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There are two major theories. Is that right?

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It's thought there could have been a moon that was disrupted,

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so something hit it and fragmented it,

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although they are almost pure water ice,

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which, come to think of it, sat here, makes the moon theory a bit unlikely, doesn't it?

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Moons are made of rock, so actually...

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The other theory is that it could be something to do with the formation of the planet itself,

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that something spun off it in some way

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and achieved a stable orbit and formed these...

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-God spilled his drink.

-The structures are held by the other moons.

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There are over 60 moons of Saturn.

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Are they part of the rings or separate?

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Some of them are inside - small moons called shepherd moons,

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which go round and you get rings in between those moons.

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Then it's got moons outside the rings,

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which affect the structure of the rings as they orbit outside.

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-So it's a very complex...

-Any life-carrying moons?

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There's a moon called Enceladus, which is about as big as Britain, a small moon,

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but it has fountains of ice rising up out of the surface

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and that means there may well be liquid water beneath the surface in pockets.

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Everywhere on earth that you find water, you find life.

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Of all these moons - this is the one thing I wanted to ask -

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of all these moons, which one's most likely

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to be the home to Ewoks?

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-That would be Titan.

-Titan, yeah?

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It's got a thicker atmosphere than the earth,

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so you'd need to be furry.

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Good answer!

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APPLAUSE

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You'd have to destroy the one that has Jar Jar Binks on it, though.

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It's very important when you're studying

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-to know which notes to take, not just to take any old notes.

-I saw that. Intelligence at work.

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Now, while we're up in space,

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what's the main use for the second commonest gas in the universe?

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-Oh... Er, the second commonest?

-Yes.

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What is the second most abundant gas?

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-Hydrogen.

-Hydrogen, I think, is the most common,

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-I believe, is the most abundant.

-Nitrogen.

-No.

-Helium.

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-Argon?

-Helium is the right answer.

-Helium balloons!

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-I was going to say filling balloons.

-Making squeaky voices.

-That's not the reason.

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-Squeaky voices, squeaky voices.

-No, the reason is...

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-HOOTER AND ALARM SOUND

-No, the question is....

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The point is, there is a shortage on earth, not in the universe, of helium.

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The demand for it has gone up in the last ten, 15 years

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-and it's not...

-The balloons are getting bigger.

-..because of party entertainment.

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-It's actually for something else.

-We use it for refrigeration.

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Refrigeration and there's a diagnostic device,

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an expensive but effective diagnostic device that needs cooling.

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-The MRI?

-MRI, yes.

-MRI is the right answer.

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The superconducting coils of these...

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They have to be that heavy, otherwise they just float off.

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-That's it.

-Absolute nightmare.

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-They came from particle physics technology.

-Ah, yeah.

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You often get criticised

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because exploring the universe is not seen as a useful thing to do, for some reason, in our society.

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But the offshoots are unpredictable

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and one of the offshoots of exploring particle physics,

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the world of the atom and quantum mechanics, was the MRI scanner.

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-In fact, we use helium to cool down the LHC.

-Oh, do you?

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It's 27km in circumference.

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What was unfortunately misprinted as the Large Hard-on Collider.

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My spellchecker does that. Large Hard-on Colluder it says.

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-You colluded in a large hard-on.

-Yes!

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-It runs at minus 271 degrees, 1.9 degrees above absolute zero.

-Wow.

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And that's because you need these magnets, the superconducting magnets that you mentioned.

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They're made of wire that has no electrical resistance,

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so you can put big currents through and have a massive magnetic field.

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But helium is the only substance that is liquid at that temperature.

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Our information is, I don't know what you guys at CERN have,

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but it's possible that on earth we will run out of helium by 2035.

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-Yeah.

-That's not that far away.

-How will we make funny voices then?

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And with the collider, there, with all those magnets in a circle underground,

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under the hills and everything,

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those Swiss cowbells on the cows, when you turn it on,

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do they all run in a big circle?

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Moo! Moo! Getting dragged around?

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We're at 99.99999% of the speed of light around the...

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So they go round the 27km 11,000 times a second

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and the cows would weigh, if we did that,

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-7,000 times more than they do when they're stood still.

-Oh, my brain.

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-Well, it's giving me an erection as we speak.

-What, the LHC?

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LAUGHTER

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-It's become a Large Hard-on Colluder.

-Exactly.

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That's it. Exploration. That's the value of exploration.

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It's exploration at a human level and at a cosmic level

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and at a minute particle level. That's the beauty of it, it's...

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Oh, gosh, anyway, I'm going to beat it down and we must carry on.

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So...

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-APPLAUSE

-So... I'm glad you're all excited because it is good.

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Now, this sounds very existential. When is the present?

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Oh, I'm not going to fall into that trap.

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-Who's going to say it?

-Well, it's not really a trap.

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I mean, there are different ways of trying to describe what the present might be.

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Let's talk about the present in terms of archaeology.

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Archaeologists actually have an acronym, BP, which means "before present"

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and they can date the present to an exact date, January 1st 1950.

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-That's the present?

-For archaeologists

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-and there's a reason for this and if you can work it out...

-I'd have thought...

-..I'll be impressed.

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-Is it plastics?

-Not quite that.

-Bakelite?

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-No, when archaeologists...

-Is it...?

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Archaeologists are interested in the distant past

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and recently, in the last 100 or so years,

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certain techniques have enabled us to discover - I say us...

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-Carbon dating.

-Carbon dating has allowed us to discover how old things are.

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Now, in the 1950s...

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Basically, they decided by January 1st 1950

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we had so screwed up the atmosphere with nuclear testing

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that no carbon dating could be trusted after January 1st 1950,

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so that is known as the present.

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These archaeologists need to learn a bit of physics, then.

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According to Einstein's theory of space and time, which is our best theory,

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there's no such thing as a present moment

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which spans the universe or indeed even the earth

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or in fact two people moving relative to each other.

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-They're...

-It is absurd to think

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of an event that might be happening now in a galaxy and me doing this as being simultaneous.

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That has no meaning, cosmically, does it?

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-You can swap the order of them...

-Yes.

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..as long as they're not causally connected.

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We don't know how time works, at a very fundamental level.

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But Time's Arrow, I actually got my head around that a bit.

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You don't need maths

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if everything is going forward and as it does, it decays,

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so then you understand entropy,

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I look for... All you need is analogy that's pertinent to you,

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so in my case, all relationships, and then you realise...

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Of course. You get that perfect 18 months and then they're dead.

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-The second law of thermo... The second law of sexual dynamics.

-Yeah.

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That's how I - according to me - that's how I extrapolate.

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But to make it statistically significant

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-you have to have a lot of relationships.

-Oh, I do.

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And they really do all suffer from the law of entropy.

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Now, who fancies an ingenious interlude?

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I have some props that I'm really thrilled about. I love doing this.

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Here - candles, see? Candles.

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I'm going to light these candles here.

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-Red, white and blue.

-Is that from the Ikea Black Mass kit?

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-Right.

-Is this the point where we all have to kneel down

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and pray to Jesus' foreskin?

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No! I promise you.

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I'm going to extinguish these candles, right?

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I've a jug, here.

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I'm going to extinguish them using an invisible gas.

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Not by liquid but using an invisible gas.

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I want you to tell me... I'm going to let Brian off.

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This to him is like book 1, page 1 of Boy's Wonder Book Of Science

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but that's the level I'm at, I'm afraid.

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I'm going to put this powder in first.

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-Do we know what the powder is?

-Then this liquid.

-Custard.

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-It's not custard, no.

-Oh, look.

-I'm going to cover it up.

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Now, watch. I'm not going to pour the liquid onto it, I'm just going to pour the gas

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onto here.

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-And out go the candles.

-Ooh!

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Oh, I like that!

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APPLAUSE

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-I've got a feeling...

-Do another one. Do something else.

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I should be presenting the Royal Institution Christmas lectures.

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You should.

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So can one of you, who isn't a professor at Manchester,

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and a Fellow of the Royal Society, tell me what was going on there?

0:17:280:17:32

-Is it magic?

-It's not... Well...

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-I think it's carbon dioxide... going in.

-Yes.

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I took sodium bicarbonate, a very common household thing

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you use for indigestion or for cleaning purposes, and vinegar.

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And I put them together and they precipitated CO2,

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-which is...?

-Heavier than air.

-Heavier than air.

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And simply pouring it there snuffed out the candles.

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I've never seen anyone pour a gas before.

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I know. You don't think of gas as being a pourable thing.

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I can't tell you how relieved I am that it worked.

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Thank you, anyway.

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Well done, everybody, especially me.

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Thank you.

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If you're ever tempted to carry liquid nitrogen in a lift,

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-which in physics departments you are...

-Liquid nitrogen is very cold.

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It is but they don't let you carry it in lifts

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because if you spill it, you get nitrogen gas and that's heavier than air

0:18:210:18:25

-and it pushes all the oxygen to the top.

-You suffocate?

-Yes.

0:18:250:18:29

Even though it's nitrogen, which the air is mainly made of.

0:18:290:18:33

Every al-Qaeda cell watching this tonight are going,

0:18:330:18:37

-"Where's the nearest tower block?"

-Running around with ewers of nitrogen.

0:18:370:18:41

I remember a chemistry lesson, one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen,

0:18:410:18:45

The master came in. Someone had prepared some liquid nitrogen -

0:18:450:18:50

we didn't know what it was - and he came in with a rose he'd just picked

0:18:500:18:54

and he dipped the rose in for a second

0:18:540:18:57

and then smashed it on the table

0:18:570:18:59

and it shattered like glass into 1,000 pieces.

0:18:590:19:02

You may say, "How destructive," but it was staggeringly beautiful,

0:19:020:19:06

the idea that you could alter the state of something at such speed

0:19:060:19:10

that it could suddenly become, from being the softest, most malleable thing.

0:19:100:19:14

-Isn't that lovely?

-Beautiful.

-It is.

0:19:140:19:17

-I think you're humouring me.

-No!

-You want me to go back to foreskins.

0:19:180:19:23

No. I think it's a hilarious Valentine's Day prank.

0:19:230:19:26

There you go. Wah! Not for you!

0:19:270:19:30

Can you imagine the surface of Saturn's moon, Titan.

0:19:310:19:34

-That's so cold that's got liquid methane.

-I know Titan.

0:19:340:19:38

Titan's the one where the Ewoks live. Titan is the Ewok planet.

0:19:380:19:42

-Yeah!

-That's the place.

0:19:420:19:44

-APPLAUSE

-You see?

-Hang on, I've got it.

0:19:440:19:47

I've got it. So basically, you're saying you can shatter an Ewok?

0:19:470:19:51

-Yes. Because it's got lakes of liquid methane.

-Oh, wow.

0:19:510:19:55

Methane behaves exactly like water on earth,

0:19:550:19:58

so you get methane rain, you get methane snow, methane ice

0:19:580:20:02

and lakes of methane.

0:20:020:20:03

There's a lake there which is as large as Lake Superior.

0:20:030:20:07

-Methane is essentially a fart. Liquid fart.

-Exactly, yes.

0:20:070:20:11

I don't want to go there. Strike it off.

0:20:110:20:13

If I could stand on a planet and throw an Ewok into a lake of farts,

0:20:130:20:18

that would just be... That would be like...

0:20:180:20:22

-Smash it into a fart.

-You couldn't, because it would shatter.

0:20:220:20:25

Even better.

0:20:250:20:28

Right. So I could be tossing Ewoks into a lake of farts.

0:20:280:20:32

Ah!

0:20:320:20:33

-Your heaven. Everyone has their own heaven, that's yours.

-That is...

0:20:330:20:37

When you say tossing Ewoks into a lake of farts...

0:20:370:20:41

-Yeah, yeah!

-Steady!

-No, that's exactly what I meant.

0:20:410:20:44

Oh!

0:20:440:20:46

You know what, after this show finishes, I'm off.

0:20:460:20:49

I don't care. You'll never see me again.

0:20:490:20:52

"Where is he?" "He's off tossing Ewoks again.

0:20:520:20:55

"Into his lake of farts on a pedalo make of smoke."

0:20:550:20:59

-MAKES EWOK NOISE

-Is liquid methane flammable...

0:21:000:21:05

-in the same way that methane gas...?

-This could be a great question for this show.

0:21:050:21:10

No but why? On Titan.

0:21:100:21:13

-Because the lakes...

-Because there's no oxygen or...?

0:21:130:21:17

-Ah! No oxygen.

-No oxygen.

-There's no oxygen.

0:21:170:21:20

-If there was oxygen...

-Yes.

-..it would be?

0:21:200:21:24

All you're thinking of is things to do in the pub.

0:21:240:21:26

That's ruined it. It's not the image of him, tossing an Ewok.

0:21:260:21:31

So you don't want to go there because you can't light your farts.

0:21:310:21:35

The great Sydney Smith said heaven was eating foie gras to the sound of trumpets.

0:21:380:21:43

You have redefined it. Tossing Ewoks into lakes of methane.

0:21:430:21:48

It's nothing to do with heaven, it's just things to do on Titan.

0:21:480:21:52

That's in the guide book, Things To Do On Titan.

0:21:520:21:56

It's on the front of the guide book.

0:21:560:21:58

"If only have access to a Wookiee, you will need a bigger lake."

0:21:580:22:02

That's just basic science. I could tell you that.

0:22:040:22:07

-A test now of your nautical knowledge.

-Oh!

0:22:090:22:12

What variety of lettuce did they serve on board the Titanic?

0:22:120:22:16

Iceberg.

0:22:160:22:18

-Oh, dear.

-ALARM AND HOOTER

0:22:180:22:21

APPLAUSE

0:22:210:22:22

-Well, bless you.

-I took one for the team, as it were.

0:22:250:22:28

You did take one for the team.

0:22:280:22:30

The iceberg lettuce had been developed in Pennsylvania

0:22:300:22:33

-but it was not available in Europe.

-Was it rocket? Lollo rosso?

0:22:330:22:37

-The answer is we don't know.

-Oh.

0:22:370:22:39

We do know there were 700 heads of lettuce on board...

0:22:390:22:42

-You make them sound like heads of state.

-Doesn't it?

0:22:420:22:45

Most grand of all the lettuce, the head of lettuce.

0:22:450:22:48

Why did they only have 700 lettuce? How many people were on board?

0:22:480:22:51

Either they'd already eaten that much and that much was saved

0:22:510:22:55

or they didn't order that much.

0:22:550:22:57

They saved the lettuce but not the people?

0:22:570:22:59

1,500 people died on that ship.

0:22:590:23:01

"Get the lettuce, for crying out loud."

0:23:010:23:04

Oh dear, I misread my card.

0:23:040:23:06

It was - hold the front page - 7,000 heads of lettuce.

0:23:060:23:10

No wonder the bloody thing sank. It was full of lettuce.

0:23:100:23:14

Before they even start...

0:23:140:23:16

-Lettuces float.

-Well, why did it sink, then?

0:23:160:23:19

What is wrong with these people?

0:23:210:23:23

-Where do you think the most valuable icebergs are?

-Valuable?

-Valuable.

0:23:240:23:28

-Lettuce icebergs or icebergs?

-Iceberg icebergs.

0:23:280:23:31

-Not necessarily on earth but in our solar system.

-Oh.

0:23:310:23:34

I'm thinking of Neptune or Uranus.

0:23:340:23:37

No, no, no, no.

0:23:370:23:41

It's thought the crushing pressure might create lakes of liquid diamond

0:23:410:23:45

-filled with solid diamond icebergs.

-Mm.

-Ooh.

0:23:450:23:48

-I don't know who thinks this.

-Mariah Carey.

0:23:480:23:52

She was... She was the one that thought of that.

0:23:530:23:56

"How heavy are they? I'll be there."

0:23:580:24:00

-Does it seem to you to have any value?

-Yes, it could, in principle.

0:24:010:24:07

-There is a lot of pressure.

-Huge pressures deep down, yeah.

0:24:070:24:11

Now, I'd like you to fill in the gaps in these slogans

0:24:110:24:15

for various places or institutions.

0:24:150:24:18

We start with County Donegal's slogan, OK?

0:24:180:24:22

-IRISH ACCENT

-"Up here it's..."

0:24:220:24:23

-Windy.

-Green.

-It really is windy there.

0:24:230:24:26

-Different.

-It's different.

-"Up here it's different."

0:24:260:24:29

That's Donegal's slogan, you'll be pleased to know.

0:24:290:24:33

Northumbria police, however, "Total..."

0:24:330:24:37

-Night.

-Gobshites.

-Total arrest.

0:24:380:24:41

-"Total policing," I'm sorry to say.

-Total brutality.

0:24:410:24:47

-GEORDIE ACCENT:

-Total policing.

0:24:470:24:49

"Welcome to Northamptonshire. Let yourself..."

0:24:490:24:52

Down.

0:24:520:24:54

Let yourself out.

0:24:570:24:59

The nearest exit. Poor Northamptonshire.

0:25:010:25:05

-Charming place. Let yourself...

-Breathe.

-Relax.

0:25:050:25:08

-Breathe is good, relax is...

-Let's yourself go.

-Not bad.

0:25:080:25:11

-Grow.

-Grow.

-Grow.

-That is disgusting.

0:25:110:25:15

-Let yourself go, yeah.

-Let yourself grow into a larger person.

0:25:150:25:20

This is an optimistic one.

0:25:200:25:22

"Welcome to Tower Hamlets. Let's make it..."

0:25:220:25:25

-ASBO week.

-Out alive.

0:25:250:25:27

Let's make it out alive.

0:25:290:25:31

-Let's make it happen.

-Let's make it happen.

0:25:370:25:40

There's no H on happen there. Let's make it 'appen.

0:25:400:25:43

There was another slogan that said, "It did happen on Friday 17th.

0:25:430:25:47

"If you witnessed it, please ring this number."

0:25:470:25:50

APPLAUSE

0:25:510:25:53

Oh, dear.

0:25:540:25:56

We could go on like this forever but we're simply not going to.

0:25:560:26:01

So we stumble now into the gaping maw of General Ignorance.

0:26:010:26:05

Fingers on buzzers, quick as you can.

0:26:050:26:06

What's the definition of a galaxy?

0:26:060:26:08

-I'm going to make a...

-BABY GURGLES

0:26:080:26:11

-FANFARE 'Nobody knows!'

-Yes! You're right.

0:26:110:26:14

Essentially, there is no absolutely official decision

0:26:140:26:17

but there are scientists trying to work out precisely what a galaxy might be.

0:26:170:26:22

It's Duncan Forbes of Swinburne University in Australia

0:26:220:26:26

and Pavel Kroupa, the University of Bonn in Germany.

0:26:260:26:29

They launched an on-line survey and we have been allowed at QI

0:26:290:26:33

to be the first people to see the results of the poll so far.

0:26:330:26:36

Based on that, there is already one new galaxy that fits.

0:26:360:26:39

A globular cluster, Omega Centauri, seems to qualify,

0:26:390:26:43

according to those criteria, as a galaxy.

0:26:430:26:46

In that image, the Hubble Deep Field image,

0:26:460:26:48

this year, the most distant galaxy ever discovered was found in that photograph

0:26:480:26:52

and it's 13.2 billion light years away.

0:26:520:26:57

So the earth's been here for, what, 5 billion years,

0:26:570:27:00

so for most of the journey of the light from those galaxies you can see in that image

0:27:000:27:04

the earth wasn't even here. It wasn't formed.

0:27:040:27:07

It was formed when they were almost halfway...

0:27:070:27:10

The further away you look, the further towards the birth of the universe you're looking.

0:27:100:27:15

How do you know which direction to look? Did it begin here or there?

0:27:150:27:18

-Are we on the surface of a balloon?

-It began here.

0:27:180:27:20

The Big Bang happened here, at every point in space.

0:27:200:27:24

The picture is that space and time began at that point

0:27:240:27:27

and it's been stretching ever since,

0:27:270:27:29

so all of space and all of time, in some sense,

0:27:290:27:33

were there at the Big Bang, so the Big Bang happened everywhere.

0:27:330:27:36

-There's no centre.

-You can't see it because black's a very slimming colour.

0:27:360:27:42

That's true. I just think it's all beautiful and wonderful.

0:27:420:27:45

And finally, the scores, which are as baffling as always.

0:27:450:27:50

It's fascinating, it's remarkable, it's wonderful, it's exciting.

0:27:500:27:54

In last place, it's Sue Perkins with minus 17.

0:27:540:27:57

APPLAUSE

0:27:570:27:58

A highly creditable third place with minus 6 - Ross Noble.

0:28:010:28:05

APPLAUSE

0:28:050:28:06

But surely putting himself in contention for a Nobel Prize

0:28:100:28:13

some time in the next few years, on plus 2,

0:28:130:28:16

-Alan Davies.

-Thank you very much.

0:28:160:28:18

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:28:180:28:19

And it can come as no surprise

0:28:200:28:24

that the mop-top from Oldham is our winner.

0:28:240:28:27

On plus five, it's Professor Brian Cox.

0:28:270:28:30

APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:28:300:28:32

So, it only remains for me to thank Brian, Sue, Ross and Alan

0:28:350:28:41

and to leave you with an observation from Will Rogers.

0:28:410:28:44

"An ignorant person is one who doesn't know

0:28:440:28:48

"what you have only just found out."

0:28:480:28:50

-Goodnight.

-APPLAUSE AND CHEERING

0:28:500:28:53

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:29:110:29:13

E-mail subtitling@bbc.co.uk

0:29:130:29:15