Series I, Episode 7 - Incomprehensible
- The panel are played a recording of a prairie dog squeaking and are asked what it is saying. According to Prof. Con Slobodchikoff of Northern Arizona University who has studied them for 30 years, it is saying that, "there is a human approaching wearing a yellow shirt." They can tell the difference between different types of predator, humans, badgers, geometric shapes and coloured shirts that humans are wearing. They can determine different heights of humans, but not different genders.
- When the Pope's librarian, Leo Allatius, first saw the rings on Saturn he said that it was possible that after Christ's ascension into Heaven that the rings could be Christ's foreskin. Allatius wrote about his theory in a paper called "De Praeputio Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Diatriba", which in English roughly translates as "A Discussion on the Foreskin of Our Lord Jesus Christ". Jesus was Jewish and would have been circumcised on the eighth day of his birth. There are 18 places in the world which claim to have the real foreskin of Christ. One is claimed to be used as an invisible wedding ring on the hand of St. Catherine of Siena. She was an anorexic and sort out degrading experiences, such as drinking a cup full of cancerous pus from a woman who had abused her.
- Nobody Knows: Nobody knows how the rings of Saturn formed. There are two main theories. One is that they are the remains of a moon that was destroyed, but as the rings are made of ice and moons are made out of rock this seems unlikely. The other theory is that it is something to do with the formation of the planet itself and something may have spun off it in some way. The structure of the rings is held by the moons, some of which are inside the rings and are known as shepherds. Brian gets the bonus.
- XL: Spacemen follow penguins around by looking at their trails of poo. This is done to keep an eye on penguin colonies. Originally scientists used bands around the wings, but there was a 44% increase in the mortality rate of penguins that had these on. Then a German scientist discovered that penguins squeeze to defecate four times harder than humans, so they leave a streak of faeces 30cm away from their bodies, which can be tracked up in space.
- The main use for the second commonest gas in the universe is for MRI scanners. The gas is helium and is used in refrigeration. However, there is so little naturally occurring helium on Earth that the planet may run out of it by 2035. MRI scanners came about due to particle physics. Helium is also used to cool the Large Hadron Collider, where it runs at 1.9 degrees above absolute zero. (Forfeit: Making your voice go funny)
- According to archaeologists the present is 1st January 1950. It was decided that due to the atmosphere being messed up with due to nuclear testing no carbon dating after the point would be reliable. The abbreviation BP is used by archaeologists to mean anything "Before Present". However, according to Einstein's theories, which are our best theories at the moment, there is no present moment.
- Stephen performs an experiment. He takes a box containing candles and lights them. He then takes a jug and puts in it some powder and some liquid. This produces a certain gas. Stephen puts his hand over the jug to prevent it escaping, then "pours" the gas into the box. The gas "flows" in and puts the candles out. Stephen asks what is going on. What happened is that Stephen mixed sodium bicarbonate and vinegar, which produces carbon dioxide. As the carbon dioxide is poured in it pushes out the lighter air which is needed to burn, and thus puts out the flames.
- Nobody Knows: We do not know what variety of lettuce was served upon the Titanic. There were 7,000 heads of lettuce saved from the ship. No-one gets the bonus. (Forfeit: Iceberg)
- XL: If you were on the bridge of the Titanic and see the iceberg to your right the command you should give to the helmsman to avoid it is: "Hard starboard". Until 1933 you gave to opposite command because at the time there many ways of steering the ship, the wheel being just one. For tillers, in order to go to starboard they would push towards starboard. (Forfeit: Port)
- The panel are asked to fill in the gaps in the following slogans.
- Nobody Knows: There is no absolutely official definition of a galaxy. There are scientists trying to come up with one. Amongst them are Duncan Forbes of Swinburne University in Australia and Pavel Kroupa of Bonn University in Germany. They launched an online survey to which QI was the first organisation to be allowed to read the results so far. Based on the results there is already one new galaxy which fits their definition, which is a globular cluster, Omega Centauri. Sue gets the bonus.
- XL: Insects that spin webs include moths and web spinners. Spiders are not insects, but arachnids. Goats can also be made to webs by implanting a spider web spinning gene into them, causing the milk to contain silk. (Forfeit: Spider)
- Friday 21st October 2011
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Stephen Fry||Host / Presenter|
|Alan Davies||Regular Panellist|
|Brian Cox (as Prof Brian Cox, University of Manchester)||Guest|
|John Mitchinson||Question Writer|
|Justin Pollard||Question Writer|
|James Harkin||Question Writer|
|Molly Oldfield||Question Writer|
|Andrew Hunter Murray||Question Writer|
|David Morley (as Dave Morley)||Executive Producer|
|Ruby Kuraishe||Executive Producer|
|Jonathan Paul Green||Production Designer|