Series Q, Episode 2 - Quintessential
- This is a "General" show in Series Q, covering a wide range of different topics beginning with "Q".
- The buzzers all contain parts of the QI theme tune, except Alan's which contain a range of quintessential noises from the show, including the klaxon. (Forfeit: Wrong)
- The panel are shown a portrait from the 18th century Qing dynasty of 60-year-old Prince Zhu, uncle of the then-emperor, and his 14-year-old wife Lady Jiun Tse, and are asked why Jiun Tse is so made up. The reason is that it was traditional for the wives and concubines of the Emperor and his family to be hidden from public view, which meant that painters were unable to show what the women actually looked like, so the pictures were often based on sketchbooks, and we have no idea what Jiun Tse really looked like.
- Bacteria talk about other bacteria who are not in the room. "Quorum sensing" occurs when bacteria emit and detect each other's chemical signals. In other words, it is a head count to see how many bacteria there are, and their activity is based on how many bacteria there are around them. Bacteria that cause cholera, pneumonia and staph infections use quorum sensing, by waiting harmlessly inside the body, and only once they know there is enough of them they then all attack. It is akin to social media where one person posts a message out, then it gets repeated a lot and goes viral. It was first observed in the 1970s in the bacteria Vibrio fischeri, which lives in the bodies of the Hawaiian bobtail squid. The squid gives the bacteria accommodation, sugar and amino acid for food, and the bacteria in return work together to make the squid glow blue as a defence mechanism by tricking predators below that they are really looking at the moon. This is known as "counter-illumination", and the squid can also dim the lights by using it's ink.
- While a rollercoaster might make you feel queasy, it might also cure your kidney stones. Kidney stones are said to be even more painful than childbirth. In 2018, an Ig Nobel Prize was given to two urologists, who discovered that a quick way to quash kidney stones was going on a rollercoaster. Having heard from several patients that going on such a ride helped them, they made a silicon cast of a kidney, filled it with urine, added three artificial kidney stones and took it on Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain. They learned that riding at the back was most effective, with a passage rate of 64%, compared to 17% at the front.
- Philip the Missionary's position appears to move very quickly. According to the Bible, in Acts, Philip the Missionary, aka Philip the Evangelist, toured the Middle East performing miracles. He once baptised a eunuch, and when the eunuch lifted his head, Philip had disappeared. The eunuch never saw him again, but went away rejoicing, while Philip found himself further north at the town of Azotus. This is the only example of teleportation in the Bible.
- The panel are all given bowls of Quavers, and are asked how they can squeeze the maximum number of Quavers into the smallest possible space. The word "quaver" comes from Middle English to mean: "shaken". It then came to mean singing in a tremulous voice, and then the name of a musical note, namely an eighth of a note. After this you get semiquavers which are one 16th of a note, demisemiquavers which are one 32nd, hemidemisemiquavers which are one 64th, and quasihemidemisemiquavers which are one 128th. These last notes are very rare because they are so fast. In 4/4 time with a tempo of 100 beats per minute, a quasihemidemisemiquaver would last just 0.02 seconds, which is too short for the human ear to distinguish, but these notes appear in the works of Beethoven and Mozart. The shortest note in any published work is a 1024th note, which should be called a quasihemidemisemihemidemisemiquaver. This appears in Anthony Philip Heinrich's Toccata Grande Cromatica from around 1820. However, in the very first manuscript an extra bar was wrongly added to this note, making it a 2048th note, which would be a demisemihemidemisemihemidemisemiquaver.
- The sort of business for which you would use a queer plunger for is for faking rescuing people. "Queer plungers" were con men who took advantage of the rules of the Society for the Recovery of Persons Apparently Drowned. This body was set up in 1774 by two London doctors who were worried that too many victims were being wrongly pronounced dead and sometimes people were buried alive. These doctors developed new resuscitation techniques and offered a reward of four guineas (over £500 in today's money) to anyone who successfully brought a drowned man back to life. As a result of this, swindlers paired up, so one would throw themselves into a river and pretend to drown and other would "save" them. These swindlers became known as queer plungers.
- The tallest building in Europe is the Lakhta Centre in St. Petersburg, at 463 metres. The four tallest buildings in Europe are all in Russia. The Shard is fifth, but it is the tallest building in the EU at the time of recording. (Forfeit: The Shard)
- The activity that causes carpal tunnel syndrome is long-term working with vibrating hand tools. The syndrome is when the tendons in the canal that connects the arm and the hand swell up and they press on the nerves inside the channel. The syndrome is idiopathic - an unknown cause - but the chances of getting it rise when you are obese, pregnant, smoke, have arthritis or diabetes. (Forfeit: Not that [when Alan says""masturbation", and when Sandi implies when talking about vibrating hand tools]; Typing)
- Friday 13th September 2019
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Sandi Toksvig||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|James Harkin||Script Editor|
|Sandi Toksvig||Script Editor|
|Anna Ptaszynski||Question Writer|
|John Lloyd (as John Lloyd CBE)||Series Producer|
|Justin Pollard||Associate Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|
|Nick Collier||Lighting Designer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Researcher|
|Sarah Clay||Commissioning Editor|