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Good evening, and welcome to QI,
where tonight we're up in the attic rootling through the tea chests
and old suitcases in search of Quite Interesting Odds And Ends.
And joining me on my rummage are an absolute treasure,
..a collector's item, Liza Tarbuck...
-..a guest of rare antiquity, Matt Lucas.
And look who else we've managed to dig up - Alan Davies.
Right, their buzzers are an O-ssortment of odds and sods.
# Bits and pieces, bits and pieces. #
# I said I've had too much of this and that. #
Oh, I like that. Matt goes...
# Needles and pins. #
-These are jolly, aren't they? LIZA:
-Ha. And Alan goes.
# Sex and drugs and rock and roll is very cool indeed. #
OK, how's this for openers - what would you open with these?
So, let's have a quick look.
I've got number one here. Do you want to have a look?
A door? A lock or something like that?
Well, it's going to certainly open something that's difficult to open.
A safe, a suitcase.
That would be a story, I tell you.
-Is it a device for...
..opening two unexploded party poppers?
-Oh, I want it to be that.
I see that you're wearing a very fine watch there, Romesh.
-What do you think that it might be?
-It's for a watch.
That's why we have you on this show,
it's the sharpness of the mind that is so fantastic.
Is it...? No.
It's the back case cover opener.
Yeah, so for a lady's...
With a simple action, you can get the things closer together,
or indeed further apart.
Yeah. So it could do a lady's watch or a gentleman's watch.
And, also, you can measure the girth of your penis with it.
Maybe YOU can, mate.
You could measure the length of yours with that.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
How did we get there so quickly!
I just don't understand the applause of recognition
from members of the audience.
-What...? Do you actually know? What do you do?
I'm not sure your watch is worth opening.
Thank you, Sandi. I was thinking to myself, I feel a bit victimised,
-Sorry, I'm sorry.
-But I don't mind, I don't mind
people talking about my penis, but my watch.
-That's a step too far.
-OK. Let's have a look at this one.
You guys can have a look at that one
and see what you think of that. That's number two.
Well, it's gynaecological, isn't it? If we're opening something.
It is opening something, but you may be at the wrong end.
Is that for, when you do a heart transplant, keeping the chest open?
-So this thing here is also used in the same area.
-So this is another...
-Oh, now you're talking.
-Is it mouthy?
-It is mouthy, darling, yes.
-It's on the mouth side,
do you want to try that? So it's something to do with the mouth.
-So it's keeping the mouth...
So, if you see, Matt, the thing that it's got, it ratchets open,
-but you would...
-Is that right?
So what is that for?
Turning the mouth into a...into a letterbox or something?
They can edit that out.
But the thing is, you can't get it out, Sandi, so...
It's a cheap retractor. That's exactly how it works.
-And so is that.
-No, so don't put that bit in your mouth, darling.
I sound like a school teacher. Don't put that bit in your mouth, darling.
Put the black bit into your mouth, so...
Yes, so the middle bit, you put that in.
Well, how? My mouth isn't that big.
Well, you've got to close it first. The thing.
Oh. What, so put that in?
No, put it around the other way, I think.
-I've been handling that.
-The other way?
I usually have someone who looks after me.
And they help me out with things like this,
-I'm a little overwhelmed at this time.
-You were heading
-in the right direction.
-What, in there?
-Yes, put that in like that.
-And then open it up.
-Yes. And it... Yeah.
That's exactly, it holds the patient's mouth open
while they're heaving dental treatment.
-It's the stuff of dreams, isn't it?
-What about this one? Anybody got any thoughts what that is?
So it's all about openings.
-If I was drunk, I'd say something that I won't say it now.
-No, go on, treat yourself.
-Er, no, I can't possibly.
-Are you thinking about a butt plug?
Hold on, what are you, you're trying to get into the butt?
Well, it's a drill, isn't it?
Why do you want to plug your butt?
Isn't it to do with re-educating the muscle to tighten again?
-"Re-educating" your arse!
"Mum, Mum, I've got a lovely new job, I'm in education."
Do you want to have a look? You can have a look. No?
-Is it anything to do with wine?
-No, no, it isn't anything
to do with wine. We're still in the human body. In fact, weirdly,
we're in exactly the same place as we were before with the mouth thing.
-In the mouth?
-And, so, what it is, it's an emergency mouth-opener.
So, say somebody had got lockjaw or there was some reason why they
couldn't open their mouth, it is an emergency way of opening the mouth.
Can I advise that you use it as that before you use it as a butt plug?
-Have you got number four there?
OK. What do you think that might be?
Be very careful. I do not want you to hurt yourself.
I believe that is used for injuring panel show contestants.
It's all the straps, it feels like it's something to do with a horse.
-It is exactly something to do with a horse. LIZA:
-Yeah. It is an equine mouth-opener. ALAN:
It is used by vets to hold the horse's mouth open.
Sometimes their teeth need rasping, because they get a sort of
sharp point with their teeth and it hurts them with the bit.
And so you need to open their mouth and just file it down.
So, dental work for horses.
Yeah, so it's quite a... It is quite a sharp...
Let's try the next one. Any thoughts about that?
-It's a piercing for something. What shape is it going into?
Ah, well that's to put a hole into your bottom
if you don't already have one.
Do you know, it looks like a chipolata torturing device,
-is what it looks like.
-Why would you want to torture a chipolata?
If you're, like, a militant vegan, or something, I don't know.
-Yeah, yeah. It isn't that.
-This looks quite kitcheny.
-It is kitcheny.
-Is it for an egg?
No, it isn't. It is an oyster opener, an oyster shucker.
So, rather than inserting a knife, where you can actually hurt
yourself, you do it with one of those. The other thing to do
is go to a nice restaurant, and somebody will do it for you,
which I think is even easier.
On the food front, I have one of these which I...
-..it seems slightly pointless.
-Is it an egg?
It's an egg opener. Want to try it, anybody?
-No, I'm fine thank you.
-Come on, I'll have a go.
OK, the boys will do this, there we go.
-So you put it round the egg and squeeze it?
Well, I think you have to squeeze and then twist it off,
like a sort of beheading. OK.
Is this going to be a trick egg?
No, darling, honestly, it's just boiled.
Give it a turn at the same time. EGGSHELL CRACKS
-Ah, that is good, it makes the egg look hideous.
So, that closes openers. And now an odourless question.
Where can you find the largest collection
of things that don't smell?
# ..pins. #
-Is it in the sea?
Oh, right. Why do you think that?
Because, I mean there's salt,
but salt doesn't have a very strong smell.
No. And neither do fish, famously.
No. But I, what I am proposing...
-..and I'm clever, is...
..is that once you are under the water...
-..you can't smell.
Have you tried to smell under the water, anybody?
That doesn't mean it doesn't smell.
Well, if a tree falls in the forest...
-..and it doesn't smell...
-We are in the town where I was born.
Copenhagen, we're in wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.
What are the things that old statues might lose as they get
transported about, or over the years? What might they lose?
OK, yes, I was going to, again, go higher,
but you've just gone with that side of the thing.
Noses, they lose their noses,
and, so, there is THE most glorious art museum in Copenhagen,
it's called the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
and it contains a Nasothek. It is a collection of noses.
In the 19th century, museums used to repair them,
so there used to be a collection of noses used to repair statues.
This was a thing that we don't do any more
because now we think we should leave the statue exactly as it is.
Have we got any photos from the penis museum?
Yes, is the truth of it.
Lots of statues lost their penises - that is entirely true.
-But that was on purpose, wasn't it?
-Due to prudery, yeah.
-So about 80% of the male nude statues
-in the Vatican Gardens are missing their members.
cos I just thought I was average.
-Are you saying they've been taken off?
-They've been taken off
and they say there's a secret room
in the Vatican that has all of them in it.
If your statue has no nose, it might be found in a museum in Copenhagen.
So, here's a collection of odd-sounding O words
and I'd like you to pick one and use it in a sentence, please.
A cum-spliff, what the f...?
-IN VAGUELY DUTCH ACCENT:
-"Oh, ja, a cum-spliff.
-"Ja, cum-spliff, ja."
-It doesn't take long,
-it doesn't take long at all.
Are you doing, are you doing "oojah-cum-spliff?"
-Is that your one?
-Doing a cum-spliff.
-What is your sentence, please, Alan?
-"Oh ja, a cum-spliff."
It's a Dutchman having a joint in a brothel.
-I don't want it, I don't want it.
Get it away from me, man.
You'd be no fun in a brothel, would you?
"Oh, look at Rom, he doesn't want the cum-spliff, what a prude!"
-Oojah-cum-spliff means all fine and dandy.
-Yeah, I bet it does.
-Earliest use found in PG Wodehouse.
-I've got one.
-Yeah, go on, then, Matt.
-Tottenham had their best season for years,
they came first in the league... Ohnosecond.
Oh, very good. OK. Ohnosecond. So it's sort of right, actually,
-because in computing...
-Well, it is right, they didn't win
-anything at all.
-They've won nothing for years.
-But actually, your definition for it
is not too far off, because in computing what it is,
it's the moment you realise you've made a mistake.
So it is a computing, you go, "Ohnosecond."
-Oh, right. OK.
-I don't think yours was too far off.
-Come on Liza, let's have one from you.
-I'm drawn to "obsolagnium."
OK. It's not a good word, it's waning sexual desire due to age.
And I was drawn to it.
-You're surrounded by it at the moment.
Oppenchops, Lancastrian slang for a gossip.
-OK, that is probably the strangest, I think.
It's the 100th anniversary of when your octopus's penis fell off.
It is...it is a really specific thing.
It's something that lasts 592 years.
It arose in connection with a particular calendar, the lunar solar
calendar, devised by a 17th-century mathematician called Thomas Lydiat.
-And he thought of the word?
-And he thought of the word.
-It is a very specific word for 592.
-I'd have loved him.
Not with your waning sexual desire.
Now, brace, brace, brace!
I don't, I don't think that's funny.
-I don't think that's funny.
-That hit me on the nose.
-That is awful.
-Well, we know where we can get another one.
Fortunately, we can get oxygen for you and a new nose, you're absolutely right, Liza.
I'll take you to Copenhagen, we'll sort your nose out.
So, my question is, what's in the canister
on the other end of the pipe that you've got?
-He said it.
-No, he said it.
-You said it.
-He said it.
-Don't put the blame on me.
-He said it, 100% he said it.
No, it's a mix of chemicals that make oxygen.
It's something called an oxygen candle.
So, there's a very fine white powder, and a spark is generated
and it sets off a chemical reaction which releases oxygen.
But these canisters, there are oxides and they basically
take up a whole lot less room than a whole tank of oxygen.
I think you both look absolutely fantastic!
Typically, an oxygen candle will last 20 minutes.
But it's enough time for the plane to get down to where you can
breathe the air.
Right, let's give a really hard pull on the pipe and it will...
We can get rid of it, there we go.
Wonderful. Now, from planes to trains.
On which train did the Murder On The Orient Express take place?
The Orient Express.
-You're a good sport, Alan.
-You're a very good sport.
-Thank you so much.
Well, sometimes, you know, they go, yes, that's correct.
-"Yes, that is correct."
-But never when I say it.
The murder took place on AN Orient Express,
but not the one that you are thinking of. So...
Well, no, we're thinking of the one that the murder took place on.
Yeah, exactly, that's right.
I'm sorry, I didn't know you lived inside my brain.
Well, there were several train services in the 1930s which
included the words "Orient Express" in the name. And...
Yeah, and those are the ones we were thinking of.
Well, what is the full name
of the one where the murder took place, then?
We were thinking of the one where it took place.
We don't have to say the name of it.
We just... All of us demand the points.
Sorry. There were lots of different Orient Expresses.
Agatha Christie's took place on the Simplon...
Simplon Orient Express, yes. Yes.
-Yes. Named after?
-It's Peter Express.
-I don't know.
The Simplon Orient Express, named after the Alpine tunnel,
and that linked Calais and Paris and Istanbul every day.
There is a different train service,
commonly known as THE Orient Express,
and that only carried Paris/Istanbul cars three times a week.
-I didn't even know that one existed.
-Have you been on it?
-Oh, it's the most marvellous experience.
-It's absolutely fantastic.
Yeah, it really is worth it. It's eye-wateringly expensive,
but you get a butler of your own. And I took my mother, it was
for her birthday, and the butler came along and he said,
"Good evening, madam, my name is Tybalt," and you just think, wow,
it's... The guy from Romeo and Juliet is going to service me.
Was there Wi-Fi or 3G on the Orient Express?
-Because that for me is generally the...
That's what they meant,
there's no Wi-Fi, it is murder on the Orient Express.
Here's a list of organs.
You all own one of them, but which is it?
-Well, I would have thought a sperm stomach...
..would have been for a whale.
Oh, OK. It is for an animal.
It is, strictly speaking, called a bursa copulatrix.
It's not for a whale. Where might you find such a thing?
It's tiny, a tiny little, tiny.
-So it's a bird?
-Then why were you doing that?
-No, but it is...
But, no, in fairness, it is clearly an animal that flies...
-Yes. No, he got it. Butterfly.
-It is a butterfly.
-Oh. Sandi did a mime that, what else could it be?
It's the reproductive system for the butterfly,
and it digests nutrients from the male's sperm package.
All female butterflies will have a sperm stomach.
Right, let's try some more. Let's see.
So we're looking for the organ that we have.
We do not have a sperm stomach.
Have you got a smart vagina?
I... It's terribly tidy. Um...
I have a woman in twice a week.
No, I do not, but some animals do. Grevy's zebra, for example.
And they can co-ordinate the muscular contractions in order
to flush out semen if a male fails to live up to expectations.
And here's the depressing thing for the boy - the sperm dumping
can happen even before the underperforming male has dismounted.
She just goes, "Boof, not having it. No."
So, genetically, she knows that this guy isn't the best she could do?
-That's exactly right, she has decided.
-babies and stuff.
-Yeah, he's not the best gene pool.
Better to do that than shake him off.
-You don't want to cause trouble, do you?
-Don't want to make a scene.
-You might then put off the other zebras. They'll think,
-"Well, she looks tricky. She's just thrown him over a fence."
"I'll tell you what, mate, I wouldn't bother with her,
"she's got one of them new-fangled smart vaginas."
-So, that's probably got Wi-Fi too, hasn't it?
-Yeah, I would say.
So, we're still looking for the thing that we have.
We don't have a sperm stomach, we don't have a smart vagina.
-What might we have? One of those.
-Have we got a mesentery?
-We absolutely do,
that is the very thing that we were looking for. We do have a mesentery.
And it, basically, it's a fairly recent thing,
it connects the intestine to the stomach,
and we did not know that it was actually an organ in its own right.
So there's a chap called Professor J Calvin Coffey,
from the University of Limerick.
And he says, "Without it, you can't live. There are no reported
"incidents of a Homo sapiens living without a mesentery."
And nobody entirely knows what it does.
"We've established anatomy and structure
"and the next step is function."
Let's have a quick look at the other ones. Paddywhack, anybody?
Well, it makes me think of a dog chew.
-That is exactly right. Give the dog a bone, right.
Yeah. So dried paddywhack is sometimes sold as a dog treat,
which is where we get the saying from.
Is it something from a pig, then?
It's the load-bearing ligament in the neck of sheep or cattle.
It connects the head to the spine.
And the other one, mental glands, it's a pheromone delivery system
found in the male salamander's chin.
As part of the courtship, the male sprays his scent
right into the female's nostrils
and then he deposits a pack of sperm on the ground.
And if the female detects his scent with her mental glands,
and she wants to mate, then she'll pick it up. So she picks it up.
-Oh, that's nice.
-Yes, it's rather sweet.
-That's like a sort of
-Edwardian courtship, isn't it?
-Yes. Yes. "Madam, my sperm."
Now, what animals begin with O
and are rescued more often by the Fire Brigade than cats?
-# ..pins. #
Is it ostriches, because they keep burying their...
..burying their heads... Burying their heads in the sand.
-So, two things are wrong with that.
-One is they don't bury their heads in the sand, that is a...
-Well, I...I...I am not wrong.
-I think it is an opossum.
-The audience said owls, did we hear them?
-Owls, did we have owls?
You lose points!
Is it, is it ocelot?
-Is it the... Is it... let's try this one on them.
Is it the four-legged onion? Ah-ha! You didn't get in there, did you?
-No, it is not the four-legged onion.
-It's a human animal, it's an obese person.
-They now rescue...
-Oh, an obese person.
-But they're still, hold on, they are still people.
Once they get to a certain weight, they're no longer human,
as far as we're concerned.
But we're all part of the animal kingdom.
There were more than 900 such cases from January to September in 2016.
Up from around 30 cases ten years ago.
Well done for getting up the trees, though.
-No, it's people not being able to leave their home.
-Suddenly you go,
-I just saw there were loads of apples.
"How did you get up there?"
"Trampoline, it was a trampoline.
"But they've moved it now.
"Now it looks like a miracle, but it was a trampolining incident."
I think the most famous, possibly, an American man called
Walter Hudson, he was rescued by the American Fire Department,
1987, after he got wedged in his bathroom door.
It is estimated that he weighed 1,400lbs, but it's only
an estimate because the industrial scale that he was being weighed on
broke after a 1,000lbs so we don't know exactly.
-Wait a minute, that's 100st.
-Yes. Yes. 1,400lbs.
-Oh, that, yeah, that's 100st, yeah.
-It's 100st, yeah.
He held the Guinness World Record for the world's largest waist.
If you hold that end and you hold that.
That would have been the size of his belt.
I've got a description of his average daily diet.
Two boxes of sausages, 1lb of bacon, 12 eggs,
a loaf of bread, four hamburgers, four double cheeseburgers,
five large portions of fries, three ham steaks or two chickens.
Four baked potatoes, four sweet potatoes,
most of a large cake and additional snacks.
And an average of 6.5 litres of soda every single day.
Well, at least he didn't finish the cake.
-It's good to look on the bright side of things.
Now we crash through the floorboards and land in the mess of plaster
and insulation that is General Ignorance.
Fingers on buzzers, please.
Where are your fattest fat cells?
Well, I suppose you want us to say on your stomach?
-Yes, and you'd be right.
-Yes, of course.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
-So you're absolutely right.
As people get obese, what happens is the fat cells in our midriff,
they don't proliferate, they just get fatter.
So, the fat cells in our thighs can multiply,
but the ones that we have round our midriff, they just get fatter.
Now, you don't really want to have belly fat, because what we now
know about it is that it's actually biologically active, belly fat.
It is releasing hormones into your system,
and that could increase your risk of heart disease and so on.
So you don't want to get more of them,
because they're incredibly bad for you.
So, they did a study, the NHS, 91% of mothers
and 80% of fathers of overweight children
mistakenly think that their children are a healthy weight.
Well, I'm the exception, because all my mum does is say,
"Well, you need to shift some of that." She says it to me a lot.
-And then she just keeps trying to make me eat more food.
My mum used to give me so much food when I was going to school,
like she'd give me, like, jam sandwiches, not for lunch,
-for break time, right.
And the school became concerned, and phoned my mum and said,
"Look, we're a bit worried about it." And you know what she did?
She told me to hide when I was eating my jam sandwiches.
-That's good parenting.
-That is really good parenting.
From the fattest to the flattest.
What's the most featureless place on earth?
-So where were you when you talked about things
that don't smell? Where did you go when you talked about...
-# Under the sea. #
-So, that is where we're going to go,
we're going to go under the sea.
It is something called the Abyssal Plains. And it's undersea areas
of sediment, and their slopes can be really shallow,
I mean unbelievably shallow, like one foot per thousand.
And what happens is the sediments wash off the land,
and over time they spread out to form a smooth and level surface.
And it's home to the world's deepest fish that you get
right down at the bottom there.
Are those the really freaky...? Oh, yeah.
-Oh, yeah. Now you're talking.
I mean these are angler fish you can see there.
-I think they are astonishing.
-God, that one in the middle
-just looking through your window.
-And we're there.
And they're really deep, so you can really,
like, talk to them about, like, real issues.
Have a quick look at this, which is my favourite fact about the Pacific.
So I've got my globe here,
so you can see how large the Pacific is, it covers this enormous area.
There is a point in the Pacific where,
if you drilled down through the centre of the earth,
so that is off the coast of Vietnam near Hai Phong, and you came back
out exactly on the other side, you would still arrive in the Pacific,
you'd be off the coast of South America at the Chile/Peru border.
That just gives you some idea, that is exactly halfway,
right through the whole planet, that the Pacific is that big.
Oh, I love it. I love it when a fact is pointed out to you
and you don't have to have this whole mass of stuff.
-But this is rather fine, isn't it?
-Rather an astonishing one.
Well, no, I don't think it is, I think you're going to get
very little for that on eBay, because you've completely ruined it.
The most featureless place on earth is underwater.
Who invented this and what does it say?
I'm going to have to say Morse, aren't I?
Yeah, you are going to have to say Morse, I think.
Get it out of the way.
It's probably the most famous Morse code signal ever sent.
SOS? Is it three dots and three dashes?
No. It's CQD that is being sent,
it's the Marconi distress message that was sent from the Titanic.
People now say it means "Come quick drowning,"
but that's what you call a backronym.
In fact, CQ was for the French "securite"
and then Marconi added the D for Distress.
And so, "We have a distressing security issue."
But the issue about Morse code is that it isn't really a code
and that Morse didn't really invent it. It involved transmitting
numbers, Morse code, which you, then looked up in a special dictionary
to see what word they represented.
And it was Morse's colleague, this man here, Alfred Vail,
who came up with the idea of using
letters and assigning dots and dashes to each one.
So, probably Morse code should be called Vail's code.
But, actually, it should be Vail's cipher.
So, we had a letter from a QI viewer, Phil Boyd,
and he pointed out that a code replaces whole words with symbols
and a cipher replaces individual letters.
So, strictly speaking, Morse code ought to be called Vail's cipher.
Anyway, moving on, how many moons did the Earth have?
AUDIENCE GIGGLES NERVOUSLY
So, we've covered how many moons Earth has many times on QI.
We're looking at the past here.
There is new research which suggests that our current moon is
the result of about 20 separate moons that have
coalesced into one over millions of years.
So, since the moon and the Earth are made of rather similar materials,
it is thought that the moon formed
when an object hit the Earth and it sent debris up into space.
And they've run thousands of simulations
and they concluded there were lots of moons, at least 20,
each one formed from a different collision.
So it is possible that we originally had 20 moons.
So, where have all the moons gone, then?
-They've coalesced into one, so...
-Oh, they're all one big moon.
They've been drawn together, yeah.
The Earth had 20 moons, but now has only approximately one.
All of which shines a silvery light on to the darkness
which is the scores. Oh, this is tragic.
In last place, with -52, Alan.
Thank you so much.
-Also a quite phenomenal -36, Liza.
-Hey! Get in!
And -29, Romesh!
You've done it Matt, you've done it, with a magnificent -7,
-you are the winner.
So, Matt takes home our objectionable object of the week,
and it's this weird device for holding a horse's mouth open
while you fix its teeth.
There you are Matt, that's for you. Wow, it's heavy.
-Wow, thanks very much.
-You're most welcome.
-Wow, thank you.
It only remains for me to thank Liza, Matt, Romesh and Alan.
And I leave you with this,
from a Randy Scandi Norwegian Nobel Prize winner, Knut Hamsun.
When returning from his first trip to Paris, a friend asked,
"At the beginning, didn't you have trouble with your French?
"No," replied Hamsun, "but the French did."
Merci bien, et bonne nuit.
Sandi Toksvig considers various odds and ends. Ever wondered how to tell a schnauzerorgan from a paddywhack? Sandi has the answers. With Romesh Ranganathan, Matt Lucas, Liza Tarbuck and Alan Davies.