Series P, Episode 10 - Pain & Punishment
- There are nine circles of Hell, according to Dante's Inferno from The Divine Comedy. Although people talk about the seventh circle a lot, there is nothing that special about it. It is where murderers are sent. Fraudsters are punished in the eighth circle - to the annoyance of Jimmy. Also punished there are pimps, hypocrites, coin forgers and flatterers, the latter of whom are punished by being immersed in dung. Quacks are punished by having to suffer from the ailments they caused in life. People who try to predict the future have to walk with their head on backwards, so they can't see what's ahead. The first circle of hell is Limbo, which is whom to virtuous non-Christians. The second circle (the first of the circles of incontinence) is where the lust are punished, and is home to Cleopatra and Helen of Troy. The third circle is gluttony, where victims are trapped in a vile slush and pounded by icy rain. The fourth circle is greed, where the punishment is to push rocks around pointlessly. The fifth circle is anger, and is also where the sullen are sent. The sixth circle is for heresy and the seven for violence. The final, ninth circle are four circles inside itself, and worst is named after Judas Iscariot. (Forfeit: Seven)
- XL: Many people used to believe the Purgatory was in an Irish cave. Purgatory is the place where you suffered for your earthly sins before you enter Heaven, and that it was a physical place on Earth. Some peopled believed it was under Mount Etna, but then a popular 12th century text called The Treatise of St. Patrick's Purgatory persuaded a lot of Catholics that Purgatory was in a cave on Station Island in Lough Derg, County Donegal. Purgatory thus was added on lots of medieval maps. 15,000 people a year still go on pilgrimages to the cave. The traditional belief is that only saints went straight to Heaven, so for most people Purgatory is the best place to go. Hell is where unrepentant sinners went to. In Purgatory, your soul burns in flames until it was clean enough to enter Heaven. (Forfeit: Milton Keynes)
- Out of the penalty of the sack, a parking fine in Assyria, and a drunkard's cloak, the punishment you would most likely want to undergo is the cloak. In 700 BC, the Assyrian king Sennacherib passed a series of restrictions on the kingdom's Royal Road, forbidding people to build anything on it or parking chariots on it. The punishment for breaking the law was to be impaled on a stake and planted in your own garden. There were signs on the road in Akkadian cuneiform reading: "Royal Road, let no man decrease it". The penalty of the sack, also known as "Poena cullei", was the Roman punishment for parricide (killing your parents). It involved being whipped, stitched into a leather sack and thrown into the sea. Emperor Hadrian changed the law by adding animals in the sack, like a dog, cockerel, snake or monkey. No-one knows if animals were used or if it was just a deterrent in Roman times, but the punished lasted until 18th century Germany. However, as monkeys and snakes were hard to find, in 1715 one man was "sacked" with a dog, a cockerel, a cat and a picture of a snake. The drunkard's cloak was a 1640s punishment in Newcastle-upon-Tyne targeted to stop drunkenness in the streets. After the offender was put in the stocks, the offender was paraded around town while being forced to wear a barrel with the bottom removed and holes for the hands and head to stick out off.
- The best punishment to keep people punctual is guilt. Two Israeli economists did a study where they discovered that punctuality gets worse if you fine people for being late. Ten daycare centres were studied, some of which had rules where if the parents were late picking up their children the parents just had to make peace with the teacher. They then changed the system and the late parents were punished with a small fine of around £2. Punctuality immediately got worse when they swapped to the fine, because people are happier to pay it than having to apologise to someone in person. (Forfeit: Impale them on a stake)
- Parrots, in particular Puerto Rican parrots, would think that the Dead Parrot sketch is a way of educating them on the dangers of predators. Puerto Rican parrots are endangered, so the authorities raise some in captivity before releasing them into the wild, but they have to be trained to watch out for predators like hawks. They are trained by flying hawk-shaped cut-outs over the aviary, playing hawk calls, allowing a live hawk to attack the cage with the parrots safely inside, and finally staging a parrot murder scene which the trainee parrots have to watch. The learner parrot faces another parrot wearing a small leather vest, a hawk is released to attack the leather parrot, the protection means the leather parrot survives, and the trainee learns to avoid the hawk.
- XL: Cats hate Hitler because people mistakenly killed their pet cats in a panic during World War II. In the first four days of the war, 400,000 cats and dogs were put down, which was a quarter of all the pets in London. This was all due to a terrible mistake. The government body which made provision for British animals, the National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee (NARPAC), issued advice just before the war to pet owners about what to do in an immediate emergency, and said: "If you can't get your animals to the countryside, then the kindest thing to do would be to have them destroyed". This led to a massive overreaction, because people wrongly thought it meant they should kill the animals immediately, rather than wait until things got very bad, and rumours got out of hand. People worried about their pets starving to death and panicking during bombing raids.
- XL: A question about punishing perverts. The panel are shown a photo of an Edwardian woman and are asked where her concealed weapon is. It is in her hat, in the form of her hatpins. These 10-inch long pins were needed to fasten ornate decorations to their increasingly large hats. One San Francisco publication said the pins could: "pick a lock, open an ink bottle, or furtively spear a pickle." However, they could also be used to defend yourself from lecherous men known as "mashers", who took advantage of the fact that women were increasingly travelling unchaperoned. There were newspaper reports across Europe and America of women foiling robbers and muggers using hatpins. Self-defence manuals recommended combining the hatpins with jujitsu and using umbrellas to beat men off. One music hall song at the time was Never Go Walking Out Without Your Hatpin.
- The panel are shown four prizes and are asked which of them they would prefer to win:
- The most volcanic country on Earth is the USA as they have 173 volcanoes. After the USA, the countries with the most volcanoes are Russia, Indonesia and Japan. Indonesia has the most active volcanoes, followed by the Philippines and Japan. The Pacific Ring of Fire has 452 volcanoes. The densest region of volcanoes is in Western Antarctica, where in 2017 researchers at Edinburgh University discovered 91 new volcanoes under the ice sheet, a ratio of one volcano every 4,800 square miles, but it is expected that more will be discovered. Some of these volcanoes are as tall as the Eiger. This is a major issue because if one of these volcanoes erupts, it could melt the ice from below and cause sea levels to rise. (Forfeit: Indonesia)
- After Great Britain and Ireland, the third most populous island in the British Isles is Portsea Island, the island which Portsmouth is on. It has the highest population density of any of the UK's islands, and Portsmouth is the only island city in the country. It was also one of the most heavily defended cities in the world during the Napoleonic wars. The island was home to the first mass production line, where pully blocks were made by Marc Isambard Brunel, the father of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The island also pioneered free venereal disease clinics. The Isle of Wight is the fourth most populous island. (Forfeit: Isle of Man; Isle of Dogs)
- The panel are shown two landscape paintings by Turner and are asked where it is located. The paintings were called Festive Lagoon Scene, Venice and Procession of Boats with Distance Smoke, Venice, but both are actually paintings of Portsmouth. They were both wrongly titled in the 1960s when they were exhibited in New York, but in 2003 a curator at the Tate declared that they were not of Venice at all. The paintings have since been renamed The Arrival of Louis-Philippe at Portsmouth, 8th of October, 1844 and The Disembarkation of Louis-Philippe, 8th of October, 1844. This is not the first time this happened to one of Turner's paintings. Another work, which was originally identified as a view of Monte Rose in Italy for over a century, turned out to be depicting a pier in Scotland. (Forfeit: Indonesia; Venice)
- Friday 11th January 2019
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Sandi Toksvig||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|