Series G, Episode 9 - Gallimaufrey
- This is one of the "General" shows in Series G, covering a wide range of different topics beginning with "G".
- XL: At the start of the show, Stephen introduces the panel using 18th century Georgian slang. Examples include "gravy-eyed" which means "runny eyes", "glimflashy" which means "an angry person" and "whiddle my scrap" which means "to see what someone else is up to". The panel then play a Georgian version of Call My Bluff called "Whiddle my scrap", which involves the panel trying to guess other examples of Georgian slang.
- A question on "Gaffs": Captain Karl-Adolph Schlitt's number two sunk his own U-Boat because he did not work the flush properly. Lavatory flushes on submersible vessels are very complex to prevent water getting into the craft and therefore making the craft sink. As a result, you had to have special training to use the flush on a U-Boat. In Captain Schlitt's U-Boat, U-1206, on 14th April 1945 (just before the end of the war), Schlitt used the lavatory. He claimed it was faulty and the flush did not work, although others claim he did a very big poo and was too embarrassed to ask for help. Whatever happened, the result was that Schlitt filled the U-Boat with sewage and water because he got the flush wrong. The water leaked into the acid batteries powering the U-Boat, creating toxic chlorine gas. As a result, the U-Boat had to surface. When they were visible, the navy spotted them and blew them out if the water.
- XL: There are lots of different ways of getting up in the morning. Apart from your bog-standard alarm clock, one method practiced in public schools is to bang your head on the pillow a few times. For example, if you bang you head on the pillow six times, you would wake up at six. Sleep researches say it does not work however, because you are actually not sleeping, but looking at your watch so you know what time it is. Other methods involving using a cockeral or drinking a lot of water the night before (this was used by the Native Americans). There are also a range of more unusual alarm clocks. Examples include one by MIT which runs of and hides when you press the "Snooze" button. Another alarm clock is in the shape of a dumbbell which will not stop until you do 30 reps with it, so it wakes you and gets you fit. Another alarm clock has a function by which every time you hit the "Snooze" button you donate money to a political cause you hate.
- The panel are shown examples of each others handwriting and are asked to find out whose it is. Stephen then reads out statements about what their style of writing means about them. This is an example of "Graphology", the study of reading character traits through handwriting. This study has since been debunked as nonsense. It cannot be used in court (even in America). However, forensic graphology is allowed, in which you show that someone wrote something. According to a graphologist:
- XL: The Goldilocks effect is a way of getting people to pay more for things by making people think the price is just right. For example, out of three objects, one pieced a lot, one very cheap, and one in the middle, most people go with the mid-priced object. A good example is aeroplane tickets. People think business class is a bargain compared to first class, but compared to economy class it is about seven times more expensive.
- The Irish Police - The Garda - once attempted to arrest a Polish driving licence. The Garda gave over 50 tickets for motoring offences to Prawo Jazdy across different arts of Ireland, making him the most wanted motorist in the country. He had different licences for different parts of the country, making him a brilliant master criminal. Then one of the Garda pointed out that "Prawo Jazdy" is Polish for "Driving Licence".
- The thing that travels from Land's End to John O'Groats every year at about one-third of a mile per hour (but slower uphill, two days slower for every 100 miles of elevation) is the season of spring. Spring takes eight weeks to get from the bottom of the country to the top.
- XL: The snail telegraph was a unworkable method of sending messages, based on the idea that snails were telepathic. A Frenchman called Benoit had a theory that when two snails (male and female) mated, they were forever after telepathic, and no matter how far away they were they could communicate thoughts to each other. He managed to raise money (somehow) to develop a system involving gluing 24 snails to a dish, each snail representing a letter (Q and X were left off), he did the same on another dish, sent one of the dishes to New York, and then you could send messages. This was done by wibbling the snail representing the letter you wanted to type, and the other snail in New York copying the movement. This system was called the Pasilalinic-Sympathetic Compass.
- The panel are shown a selection of machines which are attempts to create perpetual motion machines, which are machines in which there is no input of energy. This is impossible because they break the first and second laws of thermodynamics. This is referenced in an episode of The Simpsons in which Lisa builds a perpetual motion machine and Homer says, "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" Leonardo da Vinci did some drawings of possible perpetual motion machines, but later said that such a machine was impossible to create.
- Nothing happens if you give your child a really sugary drink. There is no scientific evidence to prove that children go hyperactive. Parents just perceive it to be true. When this was asked on the QI website, no mothers believed the QI elves.
- Nothing happens if you leave teeth in a glass of cola overnight. A doctor called Clive McKay appeared in front of the House of Representatives special committee in 1951 claiming teeth left in cola would dissolve in two days. If it is true, no-one sensible would leave teeth in a glass of cola overnight. Cola does not stay on teeth long enough to have an effect, unlike potato starch which causes the most damage. Cola is however good for cleaning metal, like HP sauce and vinegar. (Forfeit: They dissolve)
- The type of ape which walks on two legs and is not human is a gibbon. According to evolutionists, walking on two legs is a more primitive way of walking. (Forfeit: Orangutan, Baboon)
- The panel are asked to sort four different natural phenomena in chronological order (oldest first): The Himalayas, the triceratops, spiders and cockroaches. The correct order is spiders, cockroaches, the triceratops and the Himalayas. The Himalayas are 25 million years younger than any dinosaur.
- Friday 22nd January 2010
- BBC One
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Katie Taylor||Executive Producer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|