Series L, Episode 10 - Lying
- Lab Lark Experiment: Adam and Sara block out of their vision one of their hands using a screen and cloth. What they can see is clearly a fake rubber hand. Jack and Alan stroke both the real and fake hands of Adam and Sara respectively. Eventually the brain is tricked into thinking that their fake hand is the real one. To test this Jack and Alan get out rubber mallets and hit the fake hands, which results in Adam and Sara feeling pain and shock. This experiment proves that the brain has a map of the human body at birth and can be tricked into thinking that something that is not there actually is. This is what occurs with people who have missing limbs who claim that they can still feel their limb itching.
- XL: The point of pink is that it is not really part of the normal colour spectrum. Pink, or to be more precise magenta, is in-between red and violet, which are at both opposite ends of the visible colour spectrum, so it is a sort of trick.
- Spending-a-Penny Bonus: The panel are shown what look like a pile of books on a small table and are asked where you would keep them. The answer is in the bathroom because it is a sculpted French commode. The books are meant to be English ones, so the French are meant to be defecating on English literature. (Forfeit: Library)
- XL: The noseless lemur is so badly named because it is a fish. The fossil of Scalabrini's noseless lemur was found by Italian-born Argentinian naturalist Pedro Scalabrini. In 1898 Scalabrini gave a fossil fragment to palaeontologist Florentino Ameghino, who was angry at Charles Darwin for suggesting that humans descended from primates in Africa. Ameghino wanted to prove that they came from his native South America, suggesting that they had evolved from lemurs which in turn evolved in South America before the time of Columbus. However, in 2012 it was proved that the fossil was that of a fish.
- The panel are played a piece of rap music and are asked what the singer is on about. The song, dating from 1972 and sung by Italian comedian Adriano Celentano is called "Prisencolinensinainciusol". The lyrics in the song are gibberish which are meant to sound like English. This song went to No. 1 in Italy, and reached the Top Ten in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. In 2011 another piece of English-sounding gibberish was made. London-based filmmakers Brian Fairburn and Karl Eccleston made a film called Skwerl which has had over 7million viewers on YouTube. Brian and Karl are in the studio and talk to Stephen.
- The panel eat some carrot lollipops, except Alan who has a whole carrot on a stick. The reason they taste nice is because carrots do have a bit of sugar in them and so were used as dessert ingredients during World War II, such as carrot ice cream. During the war the government told people that carrots helped you see in the dark. This was partly to encourage people to eat more carrots and also to disguise the fact that we had airborne radar so we could bomb cities at night. (Forfeit: Seeing in the dark)
- The "What the Hell" effect works in various ways. One is when you are on a diet for example, then you decide to break the diet one, and as a result you think "what the hell" and just gorge because you have broken the diet. The other effect is when you are taking exams. When the examiner's back is turned, you see someone cheating, and as a result you think "what the hell" and everyone else begins to cheat. Dan Ariley of Duke University in North Carolina observed this effect, but testing it on maths students who were solving problems for money. He found that the scores inflated not by a few students cheating a lot, but lots of students cheating a little. People who scored higher on psychological tests for creativity are more likely to behave dishonestly.
- XL: Just about everyone overrates their own ability to drive, generosity and their ability to conduct an adult relationship (except Jack, who cannot drive at all). Another example is housework. Couples were once asked what percentage of the house work they do, and when they add the total up it came to around 130%. Things we overestimate include donating to charity, voting, maintaining a successful relationship and volunteering for unpleasant lab experiments. However, according to the Institute of Child Study at Toronto University toddlers who tell lies early on are more likely to do well in later life.
- Deserts are mostly made from lots of things. Most deserts are around just 20% sand, and some in North America have only 2%. Deserts can also be made out of rock, shingle, salt or snow. The driest deserts are the Atacama in South America and the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. (Forfeit: Sand)
- The Vikings buried their dead in the ground. The burning longboat idea dates to the 19th century. There is a story of one of the Norse gods, Baldur, who was buried like that, but no real cases. (Forfeit: On a burning boat)
- The part of a whale used to make a whalebone corset was the baleen, which is used to sieve food. They used the baleen of the baleen whale, the toothed whale and the blue whale. Mr J. A. Sevey trading out of Boston had 54 different whalebone products including whips, parasols, umbrellas, fishing rods, canes, hats, divining rods, riding crops, ferrules, brushes, mattress stuffing, back-supporters, suspenders, billiard cushion springs, pen-holders, shoehorns, tongue scrapers and policeman's clubs. Real whalebone was used as a substitute for ivory and used by sailors for scrimshaw, including an entire scrimshaw desk. (Forfeit: The ribs)
- Examples of blue sea creatures really do include the blue whale. They also include the blue marlin and blue starfish.
- Friday 12th December 2014
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|Anne Miller||Question Writer|
|Stevyn Colgan||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Suzanne McManus||Executive Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|