Series H, Episode 9 - House And Home
- The panel are shown a picture of a typical family with children, a car, a dog and a house. If they want to reduce their ecological footprint (the amount of land needed to replace consumed resources and deal with the resulting waste) as much as they can legally, the best thing they could do is get rid of the dog. Keeping a dog has the same environmental impact as owning two Toyota Land Cursers (including both the making and using of the car), or even more if it is a large dog like a German shepherd, because they eat so much meat. Meat needs more land to be used to make it than plant crops. It takes 43 square metres of land to generate 1kg of chicken, much more for other meats, but only 13 square metres for a 1kg of cereal. Other pets also do damage. For example, a cat has the same impact as a Volkswagen Golf and two hamsters have the same impact as a plasma screen TV. According to the UN, we are using 1.4 times more land than the planet can restore. If you want to reduce your ecological footprint even more, do not have children, as people use more land than animals. (Forfeit: Get rid of a car)
- In the USA the value of a house can be instantly reduced by a third if it is reported to be haunted. Of course there are no such things as ghosts, but even if it is just suspected, the value will be reduced.
- When moving house on South America's fourth largest island it is custom to literally move the house from one place to another. On the Chilean island of Chiloé, they get a heard of cattle to drag the house which is put on logs. This is usually done to get rid of spirits and ghosts, who they believe do not move when the house does. The ceremony is called a "minga" and a feast called a "curanto" with dancing is held afterwards.
- XL: The panel are shown a house which has several levels of decreasing size and are asked who would live in a house like this. The answer is a spiteful person as it is a "spite house" which is designed to deliberately annoy people. The house was built in Gaylordsville, Connecticut in 1964 by a Polish immigrant who was annoyed by the state took away a young girl he had adopted. There is a plaque on it saying: "This is an eyesore in the idyllic countryside to remind the world the little girl. She was kidnapped away from freedom to the godless of Hitlerism." Other spite houses include the Alameda spite house in California, where a shallow house was built right up to the wall of another house to block out its light. It was built by Charles Froling who was angry when the city took away his land to build a road, so he built a house right next to that of a neighbour who supported the building of the road. In Boston there is the skinny house which was built when a plot of land was given to two brothers. One went away and the other built a huge house on the land leaving only a small strip for his brother. To annoy his brother, the one who was away built a skinny house on the remaining land. (Forfeit: Wedding cake maker)
- XL: When an amoeba splits up the house goes to the original amoeba. Amoebas build their own houses with spikes to protect them, which are about the size of a full stop. It is built using sand which the amoeba has absorbed. When the amoeba splits, the original takes the house and the new one takes some remaining sand to build a new house.
- The kind of person who builds their house out of straw is very clever, because despite the story of the Three Little Pigs, straw is actually a very good material to build houses out of. It is more fire resistant than conventional building materials because it is so compacted it will not burn due to a lack of air; it is structurally sound and strong; resistant to earthquakes; inhospitable to insects; clean straw has no allergy issues; relatively cheap; has a below zero carbon rating; can be locally grown; works very well as insulation and sound proofing; biodegradable at the end of the building's life; is versatile and is easy to work with. The straw is not left exposed and is covered with clay or plaster. Straw was first used in 19th century Nebraska, although earlier settlers used tumbleweed. A Nebraska schoolhouse was once built with hay, but it was eaten by a heard of cows. (Forfeit: Pig)
- If the Queen is coming for tea you do not need to do anything with your lavatory seat (although it is best to clean it). There is an urban myth that if the Queen comes you need to get a new toilet seat, but there is no truth to this. There is also a myth that the Queen carried her own calfskin seat, but is also false. Prince Charles did have his own lavatory seat which he was given as a present and he carried around with him as a joke.
- Slavery became a criminal offence in Britain on 6th April, 2010. The slave trade was ended in 1807. In 1834 it was illegal to keep a slave anywhere in the British Empire. However, it was not until 2010 when it was made illegal to own a slave in Britain as stated in Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009. It was never criminalised before hand because it was not recognised as a state of being. There were other laws against kidnapping, abduction, false imprisonment, sexual trafficking, and other things associated with slavery, but it was not illegal for one person to own another. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world, which is more than there was when slavery was illegal.
- The people who live in the smallest houses in Europe are those in the UK. On average the British have 76 square metres.
- No bleaches claim to kill 100% of all household germs because there are some germs that are so small that it is almost impossible to know if they have been killed, so we do not know if they have killed 100%, although it is true that they kill 99.999%. (Forfeit: So they don't get sued)
- Friday 12th November 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|
|Arron Ferster||Question Writer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|