Series N, Episode 7 - Naked Truth
- Alan is weird and not normal. In fact, no-one is normal. This is due to the jaggedness principle, where if you collect lots of information about the averages of various people, you will find that there is no-one who fits all the averages perfectly. For example, in the 1940s the US Air Force tried to design a cockpit based on ten average body measurements of 4,000 pilots, but found that no-one could fit into the cockpit, so they had to create adjustable seats. The Australian Bureau of Statistics tried to use their statistics to find the average Australian and concluded that she is a 37-year-old woman, who had a six-year-old son and a nine-year-old daughter, the woman is 5'4", weighs 11 stone, has a three-bedroom house with about £200,000 left on the mortgage, and the family originally came from the UK. Then the Bureau found that no-one in Australia fitted that average. In 2014, a dating website surveyed 2,000 London men to find the ideal London woman. Their research concluded that she is 5'6", nine stone, 34C bust, drinks white wine, has no tattoos, supports Tottenham Hotspur (to the annoyance of Arsenal fan Alan), has brown hair, drives an Audi TT, works as either a nurse or a teacher, liked roast dinners, has an exotic foreign accent, loves the movie Dirty Dancing, and her favourite TV show is Friends. Again, no-one in London matches those criteria. Alan, and indeed all of the panel are WEIRD, which is an acronym meaning "Western educated from industrialised rich democratic" countries. This is a problem when doing sociological research, because 96% of the people who take part in these studies are normally WEIRD students, even though they only represent 12% of the world's population. (Forfeit: Normal)
- Neanderthals took nothing when they went clubbing, because no evidence has been discovered that they ever used clubs. There are no cave paintings of clubs, no club artefacts, and wooden clubs would have rotted in the ground. (Forfeit: A club)
- The panel are shown large caves and are asked who lived there. The answer is the giant ground sloth, a now extinct animal that lived between 2.8 million and 10,000 years ago, and were the size of adult elephants. These were made in Brazil and could be up to 70 feet deep with multiple chambers. The largest giant ground sloth, the megatherium, weighed up to four tonnes and was 20 feet long from nose to tail. Their living relatives today are the tree sloths. As a size comparison Richard would need to be 50 feet tall.
- The panel are given a tray of things and will score 20 points if they can use any of those things to start a fire. The tray has sticks, a lemon, some wiring, stones, wire wool, a magnifying glass, some pins and a can of fizzy pop. The answer is the can, because you can highly polish the concave base of the can it could reflect enough sunlight to cause a fire. This is demonstrated on a larger scale the comedy trio the Festival of the Spoken Nerd using the perfect shape, which is a natural paraboloid. 200 years ago, these paraboloids were used to make party tricks, where super-hot cannonball in one paraboloid and gunpowder in another. The Nerds instead use a heat lamp and flash cotton.
- XL: According to the British public, the top five bare necessities of life today are (in order of most to least important) an internet connection, a TV, a cuddle, a trustworthy best friend and a daily shower. A cup of tea was 7th, having someone say, "I've love you" was 8th, and a mobile phone came 19th, which was beaten by coffee, wine, chocolate and a night on the sofa.
- The panel are shown a picture of a man and are asked what he does faster than anyone else in the world. The answer is running a mile downhill. Craig Wheeler's record is faster than the flat mile world record. In 1996 he ran the Meltham Maniac Mile in 3:24, which is a one mile down a hugely steep hill just outside Huddersfield, starting at the cattle grid on Tinker Lane. The course that drops 400 feet and the race has since been banned for health and safety reasons. The race was also run uphill and was known as the "Murder Mile". Footage of Wheeler on Record Breakers a year later shows him completing the course in 3:26, which meant that he didn't break his own record, but that he does hold the first and second top spots for the distance.
- XL: Sandi ask if the panel would like to see a very small lady completely naked. This small lady is a microscopic artwork or "nano-sculpture" by South African artist Jonty Hurwitz, measuring 100 microns tall, and stands in the middle of an eye of a needle. The statue is made using multi-photon lithography (a form of laser printing) and photogrammetry (taking measurements using photos). One nanometre is one billionth of a metre, and is the amount of length a fingernail grows per second. Hurwitz said: "The nano works that I present to here represent more than just a feature of science. They represent the moment of history that we ourselves are able to create a full human from on the same scale as the sperm that creates us in order to facilitate the creation."
- The best thing that has even been done in the nude is win the Second World War. Winston Churchill has a keen nudist and like taking meetings while in the bath. His minister and staff officers were nicknamed: "companions of the bath". The Chief Usher at the White House, J.B. West, wrote that Churchill was: "In his room, Mr. Churchill wore no clothes at all most of the time during the day." One story tells that while Churchill was staying at the White House, Franklin D. Roosevelt called on him when Churchill was naked. Roosevelt apologised and Churchill said: "The Prime Minister of Great Britain has nothing to conceal from the President of the United States." Roosevelt then said to his secretary: "You know, Grace, he's pink and white all over."
- The thing that you can't do to a naked Osman in Kyrgyzstan is fish for it. The naked osman is a trout-like fish that was the most populous fish in Lake Issyk-Kul in North-Earth Kyrgyzstan. However, it was overfished and by 1986 it was almost entirely wiped out. Thus there is now a total ban on fishing them. Lake Issyk-Kul is the second largest mountain lake in the world, after Lake Titicaca, and has no outlets apart from evaporation. Thus, it is much deeper than it was in medieval times. It was popular on the Silk Road, and there is a 2,500 year old city at the bottom of the lake.
- There are 104 shades of grey, according to the Pantone colour chart. It also lists 71 shades of white, and 110 of nude or naked - but all of those shades depict white skin.
- XL: When fishing, the fish that you should throw back in the water are the big ones. This is because the population of larger, older fish is much more stable. If there is a lack of food then a few big fish will eat less and they will survive. The older fish also provide stability to the population, because they provide more and better quality offspring. (Forfeit: The small ones)
- There are no extinct animals that had teeth-like sabres. There is no such animal as a sabre-toothed tiger or a sabre-toothed lion. The sabre-toothed animals are not related to them, and are not even technically cats, being more bear-like. They ranged in size from a large pet cat to the size of a horse. There was a sabre-toothed trout that was 6'6" long. (Forfeit: Sabre-toothed tiger)
- The panel are played the sound of rumbling and are asked what it is. It is the sound of the small intestine cleaning itself in preparation for food, which people commonly mistake for a tummy rumbling. The noise is called: "borborygmus".
- 100 points are on offer to anyone who can pat their head while rubbing their stomach. The panel fail to do so because we all tend to rub far too low down the body. The stomach is just under your pecs. Stomach lining blushes when you blush. (Forfeit: Not there)
- Friday 9th December 2016
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Sandi Toksvig||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Steve Mould (as Festival Of The Spoken Nerd)||Self|
|Helen Arney (as Festival Of The Spoken Nerd)||Self|
|Matt Parker (as Festival Of The Spoken Nerd)||Self|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|Stevyn Colgan||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Sohail Shah||Executive Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|Nick Collier||Lighting Designer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Researcher|