The tenth series of QI, all of its episodes involve a topic beginning with J. [1]

Episodes Edit

  1. Jargon
  2. Jam, Jelly and Juice
  3. Journeys
  4. Jack and Jill
  5. J-Places
  6. Joints
  7. Journalism
  8. Jumble
  9. Jeopardy
  10. Jungles
  11. Jumpers
  12. Justice
  13. Jobs
  14. Jingle Bells (Christmas Special)
  15. Jolly
  16. Just The Job

Episode breakdownsEdit

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Guests making their first appearance in this series are Katy BrandSusan CalmanThe Rev. Richard ColesVictoria CorenRhys DarbyShappi KhorsandiJason ManfordDavid O'DohertyGreg ProopsTim VineJack WhitehallCal Wilson and Julia Zemiro. Wilson and Zemiro had previously taken part in a stage edition of QI during the production team's live tour of Australia in the autumn of 2011. This is also the first series without either Rich Hall or Sean Lock as guests. The General Ignorance round has been removed from this series; the trick questions are now spread throughout the recording.

Episode 1 "Jargon"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 14 September 2012
Recording date
  • 6 June 2012
  • Panelists are given a series of unusual J-words. Jankers is an army punishment, jollop is a turkey's wattle, or strong liquor, and jentacular means "pertaining to breakfast".
  • The word jigger has 28 different meanings: a "measuring device", "handcar", "sail", "small weight", "snooker rest", "flea", "prison cell", "boot-sole polisher", "odd-looking person", "distillery", "penis", "cooper's knife", "potter's wheel", "back passage", "lathe", "woman's coat", "sieve", "dancer", "pulley", "door", "thingummy", "golf club", "ouija board", "policeman" and "vagina".
  • Unlike Adolf HitlerJoseph Stalin and Francisco FrancoBenito Mussolini liked jazz. He listened to jazz in private, and his son Romano played with Dizzy GillespieDuke Ellington and Chet BakerMaxim Gorky, when referring to jazz, wrote "the dry knock of an idiotic hammer penetrates the outer stillness. One, two, three, ten, twenty strikes and afterwards a wild whistling and squeaking as if a ball of mud was falling into clear water, then follows a rattling, howling and screaming like the clamour of a metal pig, the cry of a donkey or the amorous croaking of a monstrous frog. The offensive chaos of this insanity combines into a compulsive, pulsing rhythm. Listen to this screaming for only a few minutes and one involuntarily pictures an orchestra of sexually wound-up madmen conducted by a stallion-like creature who is swinging his giant genitals."
  • In ornithology, a jizz refers to the "general impression, size and shape" of a bird (in other words, the indefinable "feeling" that allows for bird identification). It is believed that it was a military term that applied to aircraft recognition, but there is no evidence for it. There is another type of jizz, a contraction of the word "jizzum", which means a "spirit or energy", and can also refer to semen. One single human sperm contains 37.5 megabytes of information, and one normal human ejaculation is equivalent to 15,875 gigabytes.
  • The panelists guess four birds that begin with "J": the Juan Fernández tit-tyrant, the Jackson's widowbird, the jabiru, and the Japanese waxwing.
  • The thing that Watson did four times as much as Holmes was ejaculate. In the time of Arthur Conan Doyle, "to ejaculate" meant "to exclaim".
  • The first person to use the expression OMG (to mean "oh my god") was thought to be Lord Fisher when he was in communication with Winston Churchill in 1917. He was, at the time, referring to his opinion that the admiralty should be "showered with knighthoods". Eric Partridge's books contain records of dozens of abbreviations that are thought to be associated with modern SMS language, and the known use of the word "unfriend" dates back to Thomas Fuller in 1659.
  • Many European languages use the Latin alphabet and Arabic numerals, even though numerals used in Arabia have very little in common with those used in Europe today, and the Arabs refer to European numbers as "Hindu".
  • The only number which, when written out in English is in alphabetical order, is forty.
  • Fry asks the question "Why was the March Hare so important to the Aztecs?" (forfeit: worship it). This proves significant as Coren in an earlier part of the episode told a story about an anxiety dream she had about coming on QI which involved her getting asked exactly the same question and being forfeited for suggesting that they worshipped it. She contends that the question is similar to "Why is a raven like a writing desk?", in that people may debate for extensive periods of time why march hares were significant to the Aztecs without there being a solid answer to the question. However, Fry notes that Coren may have possibility known in some part of her brain that they worshipped rabbits as symbols of fertility, and that many believe that the rabbits Aztecs worshipped were jackrabbits which, whilst also being a J-word, are also types of hare. The members of the show's research team, the "QI Elves", admit on their website that they added this question "on the fly" by quickly researching whether Aztecs were connected somehow to rabbits, and that they "didn't know at such short notice" whether the creatures the Aztecs worshipped were in fact hares, so they had Stephen say something along the lines of "some people think they could be jackrabbits". The rabbits in question were the Centzon Totochtin.
XL Extras
  • Samuel Johnson was infected with many different diseases around at the time: he was half-blind, and suffered from scrofulapalsydropsy, and gout, along other ailments such OCD and Tourette's. This meant he was prone to seizures and outbursts. As such, he gave Hester Thrale, whom he was in love with, and gave her a padlock and chain him up when he seemed to be out of control. There was also evidence the Johnson was a masochist.
  • The people who "speak intones, harangue and declaim in long, meandering cascade of sounds, syllables, stresses and intonations that might at first seem to be full of sense and meaning, but soon reveal itself to be an empty, vain, hollow and completely meaningless stream of gibberish" are babies (forfeit: You do, Stephen). This is known as "toddler jargon", and would sound similar, but not exactly the same, as the language of the people who speak around them because the babies have the same cadences and rhythms as human speech. The things they say sound like whole sentences, but aren't actually thought to mean anything at all.
  • Simulations of hangman, accumulating in 15 million games, have shown that the word that is hardest to guess is "jazz", with "hajj", "lynx", "buzz" and "fuzz" also proving difficult.
  • Jolly Jape: Fry unveils a "Jigger device", which is used by Inuit for fishing. It is able to connect two holes in the ice in such a way that a fishing net can be laid underneath.

Episode 2 "Jam, Jelly and Juice"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 21 September 2012
Recording date
  • 26 June 2012

First panel with three female guests.

  • Jelly (forfeit: Jeremy ClarksonJedward) appears to be alive, but is not. When placed on an electroencephalograph, jelly gives off a reading that if emitted by the brain, would not qualify as sufficiently dead as to have its life support removed.
  • Pigs' bodies have multiple uses. Pig skin can be used in safety glovescosmetic surgery (collagen), energy barsbutterchewing gumX-ray filmdrug capsules, bread flour improver, tattoo practice and ballistic gelatin. Pigs' internal organs are used for pet food and tambourine skins. Pig bones are used for wine corks, stabilizing propellant in bullet-making, ink-jet paper, concretematch heads, bone chinatrain brakesyoghurtfabric softenerbeerwine and ice cream. Pig fat is used for biodieselsoapshampoo and crayons. Pig blood is used for cigarette filters and toothpaste. Other uses are paintbrushes and chemical weapons testing. The only economic use for live pigs is as truffle hogs.
  • Having jumbo wrists and being covered in tit juice are occupational hazards of fishing. One gets jumbo wrists from excessive gutting while tit juice, which is a liquid produced from fish called tits (or duffs) can result in acute swelling of the eyes. "Dogger Bank itch" and "haddock rash" are other injuries that can result from fishing.
  • Marie Antoinette's breast cups were, under the order of Louis XVI used as models for various porcelain cups and saucers. This during a phase in her life when she liked to pretend to be a milkmaid, like Madame de Pompadour, and had such things as gold churns which were considered to be incredibly insulting. There is another story that coupes were modeled on Marie Antoinette's breasts, but this is almost certainly false.
  • The smallest thing that one can milk is a tsetse fly. The female of the species made intrauterine milk whilst keeping their developing offspring their uterus, and then give birth to live larvae which have been genuinely suckled by the mother. They also are host to a symboitic bacterium called Wigglesworthia, which has the smallest genome of any living thing, and can cause Chagas Disease.
  • Synsepalum dulcificum, also known as the miracle berry, has the distinctive ability to take away the tongue's ability to detect sour and bitter. There were parties using the fruit where rainbows of flavours were on offer, but only the sweetness could be tasted.
  • The international institution that had, among others, one man and his dog as members was the Women's Institute. Richard Stapleton-Cotton and his dog Tinker were the only males ever to be members of WI and pay their annual fees. The WI started in Canada and has recognised for their enormous charity work: they donate 24 million hours of their time to community service every year in the UK. They are sometimes known as Jam & Jerusalem, because Jerusalem is their anthem, and they are commonly associated with jam making. During the war effort, their slogan was Turning bunnies into bombs because they bred rabbits for food.
  • toby jug is a jug made in a shape of a whole person, while a character jug is made simply in the image of a head. A puzzle jug, on the other hand, is a container has the challenge of drinking its contents without any spillages. The panel are given a puzzle jug to try, which has holes throughout the lip, and a hollow handle under which there is a hidden hole. Tarbuck was the first to successfully work out the puzzle.
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Episode 3 "Journeys"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 28 September 2012
Recording date
  • 22 May 2012
  • According to the University of Wisconsin, if someone loses something, a way to locate its position again is to repeat the name of the thing repeatedly. The act does something to the brain which allows the eyes to pick it up more effectively.
  • The travel arrangements of the Japanese Flying Snail are involuntary. They get eaten by birds on the island of Haha-jima, such as the Japanese White-eye and the Brown-eyed bulbul, but about seventeen percent of them survive the process and get excreted out to allow them to spread their genes to a wider area.
  • The "Women and children first" cry, also known as the Birkenhead drill, has only be cried twice in British naval history. On the first occasion, on HMS Birkenhead, the captain pointed a gun at the crew whilst he said it. The second occasion famously happened on the RMS Titanic, when men were told to stand back due to the insufficient number of lifeboats aboard, but prior there had been no such rule. Women on board a continental boat had a higher chance of surviving than those on a British one. Obviously, however, if there were no crewmen in the lifeboat who could navigate by the stars, then there would be little hope of escaping safely anyway. (Forfeit: Women and children first[clarification needed])
  • The northernmost point of Great Britain is Dunnet Head (forfeit: John o' Groats). The distance there from Land's End is 603 miles as the crow flies, but 800 miles by road. The record for running the distance is nine days and two hours, while the record for going there by motorcycle was set in 1911. Given it was only 29 hours and 12 minutes, which proved he was breaking the speed limit, the record was banned thereafter. A golfer called David Sullivan spent seven weeks hitting a golf ball over the distance.
  • Puffins are not always colourful; the bright colours around the beak and head only exist during the mating season. After copulation has taken place, they don't need to appear bright anymore, so the coloured beak falls off and the feathers go all dull. A baby puffin is called a puffling.
  • The official naturalist on board HMS Beagle was Robert McCormick (forfeit: Charles Darwin)Charles Darwin was the official geologist, who was only really picked on the voyage because Robert FitzRoy wanted a "gentleman companion" and Darwin fitted the bill. McCormick and Darwin shared a mutual dislike for each other. The Beagle landed at Tierra del Fuego on Christmas Day in 1835 and the crew observed that during famine, the local people began to cannibalise elderly women.
  • There has been no religion in the world (forfeit: Egypt) discovered to have jackal-headed gods. Anubis of Ancient Egypt was wolf-headed, since no jackals, from a zoological point of view, properly existed in Egypt during the time of the Ancient Egyptians according to research that has been conducted on canid DNA. Anubis was the Ancient Egyptian psychopomp.
  • The travel organisation that requires a mandatory fee for the repatriation of your corpse is that which coordinates the Marathon des Sables, an extremely difficult event taking place over six days in the Sahara. Although there are drink stops, competitors have to carry their own food. Mauro Prosperi did the Marathon des Sables in 1994, and got caught in a dust storm. He ignored the official instructions to wait until it passed, and continued running before he ultimately got lost. After nine days of drinking his own urinedew and the blood of animals that he managed to kill and eat, he encountered nomads who got him to safety. He was 130 miles off course in Algeria when he was rescued, but he did the endurance race again for the next six years.
  • There is no evidence that Napoleon said anything to Joséphine on his way back from a journey (forfeit: Don't wash). The earliest source of the quote "Don't wash" is 1981, while the phrase "Pas ce soir, Joséphine" appears in a W. G. Wills play called The Royal Divorce which came out in 1891. Other quotes that have been attributed to him include "An army marches on its stomach" and "I prefer a lucky general to a skilled one".
XL Extras
  • Richard Francis Burton had a friend called Mrs Prodgers, who knew the standards of the cabbies so well that she designed a personal vendetta against them where she would make them go to within feet the minimum amount for a small payment, and make them wait just below a few seconds the time at which they could charge waiting time. In this way, she gloried off the cabbies trying to get more money out of her, and even taking her to court, but being unable to do so. The cabbies then hated her to the point where they would organise to never serve her, and they burned an effigy of her at one Bonfire Night.
  • Jubious Theory: The Phantom time hypothesis states that the years between 614 and 911 did not exist, meaning there was no such person as Charlemagne and the year 2012 was actually 1715; Otto III conspired alongside his chroniclers to fake these years so he could be ruler on the year 1000. Heribert Illig was the founder of this idea and his evidence is the apparent stagnation in discovery over the course of this time, and the lack of archaeology that can be reliability dated to the period. More information can be found at
  • Coconuts in Hawaii can be used as postcardsrehydration drips (which the Japanese and Americans did during World War II), and coconut water can be used to keep teeth that have knocked out viable for reinsertion. John F. Kennedy kept a coconut on his desk as memento for when he was stranded on the Solomon Islands after his torpedo boat was sunk during the war. He carved a message on it and gave it to the natives to take to Rendova, and he was eventually rescued.

Episode 4 "Jack and Jill"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 5 October 2012
Recording date
  • 29 May 2012
  • Jills die if they do not have sex for a year (forfeit: Russell Brand). In mid-summer they become oestrous, and produce so much oestrogen that if they remain celibate throughout the year they get aplastic anaemia and die. Hobs have hooked penises and bite the back of the females during intercourse.
  • "Mad Jack" is a term that has been applied to many people back many centuries regardless of their name, and no one really knows who the first "Mad Jack" was. There was Mad Jack Mytton who bribed £10 (£750,000 in today's money) to 10,000 people of the constituency of Shrewsbury for their vote in 1819 and he was elected. However, he hating debating, attended only one session of parliament for half an hour and stood down the next year. He once set fire to his nightshirt to cure his hiccups, shot ducks whilst naked in the middle of the night and ended up in a debtors' prison having lost all his money. Charles Howard, 20th Earl of Suffolk rescued a stack of industrial diamonds worth $10 million and over 50 nuclear scientists from Nazi-occupied France, before training as a bomb disposal expert with his secretary and his chauffeur where he eventually died trying his defuse his 35th bomb. There was also Mad Jack Churchill who was the only soldier who went into battle armed with a bow and arrow and a sword, and believed smiling at the enemy made them less likely to shoot you. He was taken prisoner to Sachsenhausen because the Germans mistakenly believed he was related to Winston Churchill.
  • Nzinga of Ndongo and Matamba arranged her harem to a very brutal coordination (forfeit: one on top of the other). She killed her brother, Ngola (after whom Angola is named), and her nephew and ate their hearts. She also liked men to fight to death with the reward being that the winner would sleep with her and then be killed in the morning.
  • Jenga the game is named after the Swahili word for "build" and was invented in the 1970s by Leslie Scott. There are 54 blocks in all.
  • The best ever game of Royal hide-and-seek involved James II of England, who was so good at hide-and-seek when he was a child that servants would spend hours looking for him. When he was imprisoned at St James's Palace when he was 12 years old, he managed to escape with the Gardener's Key, met up with Joseph Bampfield and escaped to HollandLiu Wei, whilst playing hide-and-seek, was electrocuted so badly that he lost both of his arms. Nevertheless, he managed to learn to play the piano with his toes and won the first series of China's Got Talent
  • If Jamie Oliver were to be crowned the next King of the United Kingdom, he was be given the title of James VIII (forfeit: James III). Upon Elizabeth II's coronation, there was an outcry in Scotland because she wasn't the second Queen Elizabeth of that country. Therefore, to settle the matter, Churchill laid down a convention whereby UK monarchs would be numbered uniformly according to whichever English or Scottish reckoning was higher. There is also unresolved controversy over the naming of the QE2 because while it is thought to be simply the second ship named Queen Elizabeth, Elizabeth II when launching it referred to it as Queen Elizabeth The Second, meaning Cunard had to change the name.
  • "I thought it would be ten times as exciting as a swing boat at the fair, but it wasn't. There was no sensation, just a lot of noise and wind. My hair was blown into a tangled mess which couldn't be combed out for days." is a quote by Amy Johnson when referring to her first plane fight. Although she later flew from Britain to Australia, she nearly gave it up on her first try because she despised it so much. When she landed at Croydon Airport after coming back, there were 200,000 people there to meet her and she had a 12-mile parade through London.
  • Jolly Jape: The panelists all make paper planes. The paper plane that flies the furthest was invented by Mark Forti, and is actually shaped like a bracelet, with the added technique of throwing it like an American football. The world record is 200 yards.
  • The writer of the first dictionary is disputed (forfeit: Dr Johnson)Richard Mulcaster wrote a book called Elementary in the 16th century, which just listed words without giving definitions. Robert Cawdrey, on the other hand, wrote Table Alphabeticall in 1604 which gave definitions alongside 3,000 "hard" words, and therefore can be considered the first proper dictionary. A Dictionary of the English Language contains 42,773 words, some of which have since gone out of use and others which were defined by Johnson in a rather questionable manner.
XL Extras
  • The Siberian Jay uses saliva to stick nuts to the trees. The European Jay takes part in the germination of 90% of all the oaks in Britain, by collecting over a billion a year and burying them in the ground.
  • It is difficult to determine how people with colour-blindness will determine that they are colour-blind, but John Dalton, who did extensive research on the subject, gave his mother red stockings (the colour for whores) while thinking that she was giving her blue stockings. He noted that his brother couldn't tell the difference either, so he made the genetic connection, and designed the hypothesis that it had something to do with the liquid in the eye. In fact, while the genetic connection of colour-blindness is true, it is a problem with the cone cellsIshihara plates are tests which screen people for abnormalities in colour vision, and can also be designed to determine if people are lying about the effectiveness of their vision. Colour-blind people are less likely to be fooled by camouflage.
  • John Fairfax, the first person to row across the Atlantic, attempted suicide by jaguar. He waited in the jungle in South America, keeping a gun by his side in case he changed his mind, and when he was attacked he did change his mind and shot it dead, selling its skin afterwards.

Episode 5 "J-Places"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 12 October 2012
Recording date
  • 19 June 2012
  • The phrase "Chariots of Fire", strictly speaking, comes from a William Blake poem called And did those feet in ancient time (forfeit: Jerusalem). It is based on the legend that Jesus came to England and went to Glastonbury Tor with his uncle Joseph of Arimathea. It is also said that Jesus went to Penzance and Falmouth during his time in England.
  • One's pockets might smell of fish because they have been to a Medieval Japanese banquet. There was a time when it was considered polite in Japan to drink what you liquor you were given, but not eat anything. Instead, one was supposed to bring the fish up to one's mouth and then place it into their pocket. Similarly, it was considered proper to dangle food in front of baby's faces but not let them eat it.
  • The difference between sushi and sashimi is that sashimi is fish sliced at an angle, but sushi is served with rice and other kinds of things. Skills in slicing were considered very important in Japan, as there were, for example, 47 different ways of slicing carp each of which represented different types of human activity.
  • Sake is a kind of beer (forfeit: rice wine).
  • Krakatoa is west of Java. The film Krakatoa, East of Java was one of the first Cinerama movies, but the title is actually completely false. The 1883 eruption was the loudest sound ever within human reckoning, thirteen times the strength of Little Boy, and could be heard 3,000 miles away. It killed over 36,000 people, leaving one living creature: a spider. It is now considered to be the first ever worldwide news event.
  • The most hurtful thing that Rimbaud's boyfriend did to him was shoot him in the wrist in a jealous rage. He was a child prodigy, composing his greatest poetry between 17 and 21, and managing to win a regional poetry competition despite sleeping through the first three hours of the exam. He was also homosexual, and shared a passionate affair with Verlaine, another great poet. They lived in Camden for a short while, and there is a blue plaque referring to their life there which is the first to celebrate a gay couple. Verlaine wrote Chanson d'automne, which was a code to the resistance of the beginning of D-Day.
  • Mannish water is a Jamaican soup made using the male parts of a buck that is supposed to work as an aphrodisiac. It is also sometimes termed goats head soup, which became famous a Rolling Stones album.
  • There are two towns in the world that begin with J and are painted blue. One, Júzcar, was painted blue to celebrate the opening of The Smurfs and had since remained that way because of the substantial increase in tourism since while the other, Jodhpur, is by tradition because indigo is the colour of BrahminJaipur, on the other hand, was painted pink to celebrate the arrival of Prince Albert Edward.
  • The capital of Alaska is Juneau, which is unique in that it is not accessible by road. A famous practical joke that came from Alaska involved Mount Edgecumbe. Porky Bickar used kerosene and tyres to make it look like the volcano was erupting on one April 1.
XL Extras
  • The Jerusalem artichoke is not from Israel and nor it is an artichoke. The word "Jerusalem" is a corruption of "Girasole", the Italian for "sunflower". It is actually the only original endemic vegetable to come from North America. In a similar way, the Jerusalem cherry is not a cherry, the Jerusalem cricket is not a cricket and the Jerusalem sage is not a sage. In addition, none of the those things come from Jerusalem.
  • The people of Java would not use coffee as a pick me up because it is not a pick me up. If it is drunk regularly enough, it can induce withdrawal and drinking the beverage will simply return the person to the usual state. Instead, the Javanese lay on railway lines, thinking that the electricity is good for curing illnesses, whilst in fact the power comes from overhead lines. Train surfing is also common in Indonesia, so authorities became suspending balls of concrete from the overhead lines to deter people from doing it.
  • The place where fathers can be only a day older than their sons is Japan. It is very traditional in that country to adopt a young intelligent male between 25 and 30 to marry your daughter and then run a family business. These are called mukoyōshi, and four so far have chaired Suzuki.
  • No one knows what someone would keep in a 14-tonne jar with no lid. Jars such as this exist in Laos and are made from granite.

Episode 6 "Joints"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 19 October 2012
Recording date
  • 23 May 2012
  • There are many sphincters throughout the human body, meaning lowering the lights would result a relaxation of such a muscle, namely that which would result in pupil dilation.
  • Elephants only have two knees, which can be found in their back legs. The joints of its front two limbs classify as elbows, and have, just like human arms, an ulna and a radius.
  • Elephants drink by sucking up water through their trunks and blowing it into their mouth (forfeit: through its trunk). Since their trunk is effectively a nose, they would drown if they drank through their trunk.
  • Elephants and humans are the only animals discovered to have chins. It is unknown why this is the case.
  • Flamingo knees do not bend backwards; the joint that can be seen in the middle of the leg are classified as ankles. The actual knees are found just below the feathers.
  • In the 19th century, it was a traditional practice for married men to be given, as a sort of dowry, their bride's teeth. It is considered good fortune and could save a lot of money on dentistry bills. False teeth in those days were made of wood, or teeth from poor people or dead soldiers from Waterloo.
  • The Popemobile has bullet-resistant glass, because there is no such thing as (forfeit) bulletproof glass. It is generally four inches thick and absorbs the shock of the bullet, as well as in some special cases allowing for the ability of shots to be fired out but not in.
  • The way aeroplanes are constructed means that they can survive if the center is severely damaged, but not if the front and back are hit. This means that extra armouring should be spent on those areas even if the center is quite flimsy.
  • Jolly Jape: Theo Jansen invented the Strandbeest, which has the ability of walking on sand without any form of artificial intelligence. Fry unveils a model of the Strandbeest which had been assembled through 3D printing.
XL Extras
  • The panel are shown a picture of a legless lizard (forfeit: snake). Lizards do not necessarily have to have legs, but key differences between snakes and lizards is the structure of their jaws and their eyes. A slow worm is an example of a legless lizard.
  • In butcherysheep only have two legs (forfeit: four). The front two legs are referred to as shoulder. The front two legs of pig are called hands.
  • The thing that the Ancient Greeks used for earacheChristopher Columbus took eighty tons of to America and Henry VIII made compulsory is cannabis (hemp). This plant itself is also used for making hemp, which was used plentifully on Columbus' ship. It was made compulsory for the colonials to grow the plant since hemp in those times had so many uses and was recommended as a sort of panacea, as were many drugs when they came out. The only condition under which it is legal to sell cannabis seeds in America now is for bird seed.
  • The thing with noisy knees and a urine-soaked hairbrush is an eland. Both the act of soaking its hair in urine and snapping its knees are considered acts of mate attraction.
  • Dr. Seuss' name is pronounced /ˈsɔɪs/ (to rhyme with "voice") (forfeit: Dr. Syooce). There was Eduard Suess, a geologist who proposed the idea of Gondwana, who did pronounce his name /ˈs[invalid input: '(j)'uːs/] (to rhyme with "moose"). Note "eu" versus "ue".

Episode 7 "Journalism"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 26 October 2012
Recording date
  • 13 June 2012
  • The Daily Mail Model Village was a publicity stunt sponsored for by the Daily Mail which was intended to be a place that returned servicemen could go after World War II, when housing was in short supply. The Daily Mail was involved in all sorts of publicity stunts throughout its lifetime; it sponsored Amy Johnson's flight to Australia, for example. The plans eventually failed, and those who owned the land at the time took over the project and named it Welwyn Garden City.
  • The Daily Mail was founded by Alfred Harmsworth, whose family still owns the newspaper. He tended to make his readership believe they owned the newspaper by continually asking for advice on improvement. Such advice includes perforation of the articles, and perfuming each page so they smelt differently. He also wrote a book with answers to questions such as "What the queen eats", "How to cure freckles" and "Why Jews don't ride bicycles", and guaranteed that the house of anyone owning the book would receive £200.
  • In obituaries, there is a lot of code that is used to describe people who had character flaws. Some of these include "tireless raconteur", which means the person was crashing bore, "affable and hospitable at every hour" or simply "convivial", describing a drunkard, "uncompromisingly direct ladies' man", a serial groper, "gave colourful accounts of his exploits", a liar, "did not uphold the highest ethical standards of the city", a fraudster, and "did not suffer fools gladly", which describes someone who is intolerant. The longest obituary to ever appear in The Times was sixty thousand words long, and described Queen Victoria.
  • There are stories of people who have read their own premature obituaries. The most famous of these is probably Alfred Nobel, who was so shocked to discover himself being described as "the merchant of death" because of his invention of dynamite, that he instituted the Nobel PrizesMarcus Garvey also read his premature obituary, which described him as "broke, alone and unpopular", and was so distraught that he died as a result.
  • The most expensive piece of coprolite ever to come from a British bank came from a Lloyds Bank in York, and was 23 centimeters long, 5 centimeters wide and that of a Viking. It was discovered in 1972 by Andrew Bones Jones.
  • The Famous Five had lashings of hard-boiled eggs, according to the books. The line "lashings of ginger beer" comes from the parody Five Go Mad in Dorset(forfeit: ginger beer) Enid Blyton wrote, on average, 37 books per year.
  • Harriet Quimby is now considered unknown because her flight to become the first woman to fly across the English Channel occurred the day after the Titanic sank. Other major events that have been overshadowed by greater news stories include the death of Mother Teresa, which occurred around the time of the funeral of Princess Diana, the death of Farrah Fawcett, which occurred the same day as the death of Michael Jackson, and the deaths of C. S. Lewis and Aldous Huxley, which happened the same day as John F. Kennedy's assassination.
  • Those living in the Wild West tended to wear bowler hats (forfeits: 10-gallon hatstetson), which are called derbys in America.
  • Jolly Jape: Vortex cannons can be made out of carton and, when filled with smoke are shown to expel vortex rings. A large one can be made out of a dustbin.
XL Extras

Episode 8 "Jumble"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 2 November 2012
Recording date
  • 20 June 2012

This marks the first and only time that the host has won albeit with an obscene score.

  • Jockeys do not use their whips to make the horses run faster, and there have been studies conducted by the RSPCA that using them does not increase speed. The main purposes of using the whip are safety, maintaining the horse's direction, and encouragement. The latter purpose has been criticised by proponents of animal rights, who say it is just a euphemism for coercion. Racing authorities, however, say that the whip is designed to not cause pain to the animals.
  • Robot jockeys are used in camel racing to prevent sheikhs from using children, usually forcibly taken from India or Sri Lanka, to partake in racing. They are designed in Switzerland and are made to look like humans to keep the camels relaxed. They are also only about $500 each, and are far lighter than any children. Dromedary camels are used in camel racing; Bactrian camels are incredibly rare and are only found in Mongolia and China. Another sport involving camels is camel wrestling, which is performed in Turkey.
  • Female hares are able to get pregnant even when they already are. Aristotle was the first person to suggest this, and while he was scoffed by scientists for centuries, it was recently discovered that he was right, and that many other mammals, such as cats and humans, can also have this happen; there were twins born in 2009 in Arkansas who were conceived two months apart.[1] This process is known as superfecundation.
  • Pregnant mothers should eat no more than they normally eat, despite changes in appetite. Even in the third trimester, the foetus does not require very much nourishment.
  • The reason why you should avoid going to bed with a jactitator is because they are generally always agitated. It is also known as Restless legs syndrome. Another type of jactitation involves maintaining that one is married to someone when they aren't.
  • The "wee dance" is actually counterintuitive; the best thing to do when one needs to urinate is to keep as still as possible. It happens because a full bladder creates a sense of urgency in the mind.
  • Jacobson's organ is a patch of specialised skin on the roof of the mouth that enables various animals to detect other creatures, such as prey, predators, and those of the opposite sex. Many vertebrates have it, including humans, though humans have lost the use for it.
  • The thing that cockroaches find revolting is humans. The run away as soon as they see one and once touch by one, they wash themselves as soon as they can.
  • Jewel wasps implant a stinger into the brain of cockroaches which turn them into zombies. It then uses one of the cockroach's antenna to lead it to its nest, where it is then barricaded in with the wasps' eggs. The larvae of the wasp then, when hatched, eat the cockroach alive in a specific order to keep the insect alive because cockroach meat goes off and loses its warmth very quickly.
  • The reason why humans are all such assholes is because they are deuterostomes, who begin their growth at the bottom.
  • Whenever playing cards have been shuffled they are, in all mathematical certainty, in an order which has never existed before since the beginning of time. The order of cards is defined as 52!, which is a number so large that if each star in the Milky Way had a trillion planets, each with a trillion people who had been shuffling a trillion packs of cards non-stop 1,000 times a second since the Big Bang, they would only be repeating shuffles around the beginning of 21st century.
XL Extras
  • Joe Camel, the mascot for Camel cigarettes, liked Nosmo King, even though he was a symbol of the tobacco control movement, because it made him more popular. No smoking signs have been proven to make people crave cigarettes because they make people feel rebellious and draw attention to the desire in their minds.
  • The javelin has been altered many times throughout the history of the Summer Olympics because people have throwing so far that they are in danger of hitting those competing in events of the other side of the stadium. After Miguel de la Quadra-Salcedo threw a javelin 112m meters using a special technique called the "Spanish technique", which involved a spin akin to that used by discus throwers, his method of throwing was outlawed. Certain improvements to the aerodynamic nature of the javelin have also been banned to restrict the distance at which it can be thrown. By far the majority of javelin medals have been awarded to competitors from Nordic countries.
  • Eight hours of sitting on the lavatory uses the same calories as one hour of jogging, although it is not efficient in terms of cardiovascular healthJim Fixx made jogging popular in America, although he died of a heart attack while jogging aged 52. Arthur Lydiard was also a man who popularised running as a sport, and is sometimes credited with being the first person to start encouraging people to jog as a hobby. Jogging has been found to good for the memory as it leads to the growth of brain cells in the areas of the brain that are used for that process. Those benefits can, however, can also be gained by lying on a mechanised table that shakes the body several times a second.
  • The father of utilitarianism was Jeremy Bentham, who was stuffed at the University College London. He invented a kind of trotting jog which he called ante-prandial circumgyration.

Episode 9 "Jeopardy"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 9 November 2012
Recording date
  • 30 May 2012
  • On average, it is only possible to go up to eleven steps whilst holding a cup of coffee before it is spilled. This study was performed with the science of fluid dynamics by the University of California, Santa Barbara. Other applications of this science include advising soldiers to break step before marching across a bridge for fear that they could cause a harmonic oscillation which could cause it to collapse.
  • The thing that is smaller than the Moon and keeps moving the sea around is jellyfish, who also account for 40% of the biomass of the ocean. Scientists at Caltech have discovered that they transport oxygen-rich water from the surface of the ocean down to the bottom and bring nutrient-rich water from below to the top, keeping the marine systems healthy. When Mnemiopsis leidyi first reached the Black Sea, the population reached a biomass of one billion tons, which is ten times the weight of all fish caught every year, within a decade. It was only after another carnivorous jellyfish arrived in the area that the biosystem's balance was relatively restored.
  • Portuguese man o' war is made up of a colony of animals that operate together (forfeit: one animal). The structure on top is a bladder, which in itself is one creature, that acts as a buoyant sail. The tentacles are also separate, and can explode in several hundred billionths of a second making it the fastest known animal mechanism on Earth. Other zooids in the colony perform digestion and reproduction. Ten thousand people in Australia each year receive a sting from the Portuguese man o' war, which has venom that, while is not deadly, can be incredibly painful.
  • The most deadly animal in Australia is the horse (forfeit: spider, jellyfish, shark), who kill twice more people each year than anything else, mainly because of road accidents. The cow is the second deadliest animal, while the dog is the third.
  • The way to deal with the dinosaur Fruitadens would be to squash it because it was only four inches tall, about the size of a small chihuahua. It lived in the Late Jurassic, eating plants, worms and perhaps frogs, as well as acting as a scavenger.
  • Of the Wall of DeathWheel of DeathDeath Slide and Euthanasia Coaster, the latter is the most dangerous as it is intended to kill its passengers. It was a project of a PhD candidate, Julijonas Urbonas, involving a two-minute ascent to the 1,600 foot top when participants can pull out, before a one-minute 223 mph plunge to six loops which kill the riders through cerebral hypoxia as a result of 10g of centrifugal force. The idea is to give people a humane, euphoric and meaningful death.
  • The thing that isn't a blue whale but that floats around in the sea and weighs as much as one is within the blue whale itself, in that despite not being able to swallow anything larger than a grapefruit, the animals can frequently swallow 90 tons of water.
  • The reason why you shouldn't mess with the Maxillofacial death pyramid is because it controls blood flow to the brain. So if there are bacteria in the area, resulting from the picking of pimples or such, blood can be forced back up resulting in diseases such as meningitis.
  • Jolly Jape: Mixing hydrochloric acid with zinc will produce pure hydrogen, which can then be extracted as it rises in bubbles from dishwashing liquid. Fry proves this by placing some of the bubbles on his hand and sets them alight.
XL Extras
  • Blind King John of Bohemia found his way around the battlefield by having two riders either side of him who would direct him around while he would flail madly with his sword. Despite suffering from ophthalmia when he was 39 or 40, he loved fighting to the point that he continued to serve in battles a decade later. He did as such at the Battle of Crécy, where he died amid a decisive loss for the Bohemians that resulted from the English using a strategy involving plenty of longbowmen and cannon. As a result, the battle is sometimes regarded as the end of chivalry. Despite dying, the motto of King John, Ich dien, remains to this day the motto of the Prince of WalesKing John's son fled from the battle and ended up becoming a very successful Holy Roman Emperor.
  • The biggest dead body is the Black Sea (forfeit: a dead blue whale, the Dead Sea), which contains about 90% of matter that has been dead for millennia as a result of bacteria that use up all the oxygen and create hydrogen sulfide. It is the largest reservoir of hydrogen sulfide on the planet, and some scientists have devised using it as a poison.

Episode 10 "Jungles"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 23 November 2012
Recording date
  • 12 June 2012
  • Lions do not sleep in the jungle because they live in the savannah. They also tend to sleep during the day and spend most of their waking hours at night. The song "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is the most popular song ever to come out of Africa. It was written by Solomon Linda, who was only ever paid £1 for it. Many bands, such as The Weavers and Tight Fit made hits out of it, and Disney used it in The Lion King musical. It was estimated that if Linda were to be paid standard composer royalties just from the song being used in the musical alone, he would be paid $5,000,000 in five years. Rian Malan finally brought the case to international notice in 2000, many years after Linda's death, and his descendants have now benefited.
  • Tarzan gets around the jungle unaided (forfeit: swinging on vines). Vines grow from roots in the ground, meaning that any attempts to swing on them would just result in falling straight down. Moreover, vines do not tend to grow in jungles.
  • Ginger ants don't use soap because they need to remain afloat during extreme downpours. To sail across water, they make a raft out of themselves which remains above the surface because of the plastron layer of air between their bodies and the water. They can stay for many days in that position, even carrying their eggs. Soap would break the surface tension of the water, leading to all the ants drowning.
  • Jolly Jape: Fry places a powder in the water, which causes his finger to remain completely dry even when it is submerged. He then places another powder into the same water which immediately sinks to the bottom in a slimy texture but, when fished out with a spoon, returns to a powdery form and is, like his finger before, utterly dry. Fry then reveals after that the powder had been coated with Scotchgard, or as Stephen calls it "a brand of spray that you are encouraged when you buy suede shoes to use to protect your suede shoes that might be called something that rhymed with Gotch Scard."
  • The thing that goes 40 mph and smells of curry is the Western grey kangaroo. It is unknown why it smells of curry because there appears to be no reason for it to and it doesn't live anywhere near India.
  • The world's most hideous lunch is an Epomis larva that attracts prey towards it and wills animals to eat it. When consumed by a frog, will either latch on its back with its horn and eat it from the inside out or, if it is regurgitated, just eat it normally.
  • Some frogs, such as the Panamanian golden frog, communicate by sign language because they live near waterfalls where conventional croaking won't be heard. Similarly, some spiders place their ejaculate onto their antennae, which they then wave around to attract females.
  • Crickets chirp by scraping the top of one wing over the bottom of another (forfeit: by rubbing their legs together). There is no animal that makes noises by rubbing their legs, and it has been known for thousands of years that crickets don't make chirps that way. Female crickets don't chirp at all. Amos Dolbear discovered that if he counted the amount of chirps made by a snowy tree cricket within 14 seconds and added 40, he could determine the temperature in Fahrenheit.
  • The thing that lives underwater and is the loudest animal in the world for its size is the water boatman (forfeit: blue whale). It measures 2 millimetres and can produce a noise of over 99 decibels by rubbing their penises against their bellies.
XL Extras
  • The panel guess two monkeys: the proboscis monkey, identifiable by their long noses which are used by males for attraction, and the uakari, which has a clear red face. Natives know the uakari as the English monkey because they remind them of tourists.
  • Other unusually smelling animals include the binturong, which smells of freshly baked popcorn, and the common blue butterfly, which smells of chocolate.
  • Jubious Theory: At least 10% of the Amazon Rainforest is thought to be deliberately planted by human activity over the course of 1,500 years as a giant orchard of a size larger than that of France. There are many fruit-bearing plants in a large part of it, and a massive amount of anthropogenic soil called Terra preta, containing charcoalbonemanure and pottery. More information can be found at
  • Humans are striped animals. It was discovered in 1901 that humans have regular stripes called Blaschko's lines all over the body that don't show under usual conditions. Humans were also discovered in 2009 to be bioluminescent, albeit only giving off light that is 1,000 times weaker than human eyes can detect.
  • Zebras are white with black stripes.

Episode 11 "Jumpers"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 30 November 2012
Recording date
  • 13 June 2012
  • Mexican jumping beans are not beans, they are seeds. They contain the larva of a mothCydia deshaisiana. However, they can jump are from Mexico, particularly the Sonoran Desert.
  • The Bailey's pocket mouse was thought, for a long time, to be the only animal who would tolerate jojoba oil, as it is considered repulsive to nearly all creatures. However, three other animals have been discovered to also be able to eat it.
  • The people who put jolly jumpers on skyscrapers were shipwrights. Before large buildings were erected, skyscrapers were a word for the topmost sail. Above that was another sail called the jolly jumper which was the highest sail on a ship.
  • Bungee jumping originated in Polynesia, and was first used with vines in land divingDavid Attenborough brought it to the world's attention in one of his documentaries, and A. J. Hackett popularised it. Since then, bungee cords, which are normally made of latex, have been made from rope (in an event that won a Darwin Award) and condoms.
  • Halteres allow one to gain an extra six and a half inches advantage at the long jump if they were to be swung back and forth. Originally, it was thought they were a handicap(Forfeit: Hang them from your cock)
  • Other sports involving jumping include the standing long jump, in which the record was twelve feet, two inches, and fierljeppen, which is done in East AngliaFrisia and the Netherlands, and involves using poles to jump over dykes.
  • In Yemen, camels jumping is a sport which simply involves competitors leaping over camels. The record is six.
  • Camels produce 45 kilograms of methane per year, an environmental equivalent to a metric tonne of carbon dioxide, due to their numerous populations such as in Australia where there are more camels than anywhere else in the world. They are exported to Arabia for meat and racing. There is a company that, for a payment, will shoot camels to customers looking to offset their carbon emissions.
  • Sainsbury's has released an initiative whereby they have reduced the size of the toilet roll from 123 millimetres to 112 millimetres. This has allowed more rolls to be fitted into the same lorry, and therefore five hundred fewer lorry trips per year.
  • The infants involved in the Baby jumping festival of Castrillo de Murcia have nothing to fear because they have purged of their original sin, and therefore it is thought that when they die they will not go to Hell. Similarly, in Okayama there is the Hadaka Matsuri in which 9,000 men in fundoshi wrestle in mud. The winner of the festival is thrown two sticks by a Shinto priest, which is thrust into a box of rice and he is granted a year of happiness.
  • Jolly Jape: By placing a cubic metal frame in some soapy liquid and blowing air into it, it is possible to create a square bubble.
XL Extras
  • It is possible to catch a catfish using a telephone as they can lured using electricity from a magneto. This was so successful in America that it became illegal due to overfishing. The technique was literally termed "telephoning fish". Another unusual hunting technique involving inflation deer using an air pump inserted into their rectum, causing them to float once placed in a river so they could be collected downstream.
  • Despite having a fiftieth of the world's water supply, forty percent of Yemen's water is used cultivating khat, which is an addictive stimulant. It accounts for a third of their economic activities.
  • If one is to wear a parachute upside down during skydiving it would not work (forfeit: you fall upwards). Early parachutes were very unstable, so a watercolourist called Robert Cocking tried using a V-shaped parachute. It proved unsuccessful, and he was the first person to be killed in a parachuting accident. Other parachuting firsts include the first person to propose the idea, Leonardo da Vinci in 1485 who never tested it, and the first person to jump from a parachute, Louis-Sebastien Lenormand in 1783 who did it from a height of four metres.
  • Jubious Theory: According to researchers from the Czech Republicfoxes prefer to pounce on their prey from a north-easterly direction. When they do this, they are successful 73% of the time, in contrast to only an 18% success rate from any other direction. Therefore, it is thought that they must be able to use the Earth's magnetic field in some way that is yet to be understood. More information can be found at
  • While there are many things one should not do (forfeit: shout) when there is a risk of an avalanche, making a loud noise is relatively risk-free.

Episode 12 "Justice"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 7 December 2012
Recording date
  • 26 June 2012
  • The rules on a pirate ship were governed more by the quartermaster than they were by the captain. The quartermaster could veto the captain on all fronts except during engagement. In addition, the captain did not have any special quarters and was not allowed a substantial share of takings. In essence, pirate ships operated democratically with strict rules such as restrictions on gambling, sexual misconduct, negligence of religious observance, and nighttime activity.
  • There are many cases in which defamation can be done without breaking the law in the UK. For example, slandering can be achieved through suggesting things that the person being slandered will never admit to. Peter James did this by inventing a character based on Martin Amis whose "manhood was compared to a stubby pencil". Parliamentary privilege and absence of malice can also allow slander in certain situations, as in academic journals. "Good faith", "opinion", "public interest", "consent", and "vulgar abuse" are also defenses such in the cases of defamation.
  • The reality television format introduced by Charlemagne's father was Touch the Truck. In the days of trial by ordeal, there was one kind of ordeal which was called Judicium crucis, and involved suspects remaining in the position of a crucifix for as long as possible, with the first one withdrawing being declared guilty. Similarly, Touch the Truck was a game show in which contestants had to keep their hand on a car, with the last one to take their hand off or fall asleep being declared the victor.
  • The sentence recommended in Jedward Justice is to be lynched. The town of Jedburgh was originally called Jeddart/Jethart (which phonetically resembles the name "Jedward"), and during the days of conflict on the Anglo-Scottish border many people were either killed without trial or tried afterwards.
  • The thing that happened when the biggest miser in the land forgot his reading glasses was that he could not sign his will. This was the case of Jennens v Jennens, which began in 1798 and ended in 1915, only because the estate had run out of money. The case was the inspiration for Jarndyce v Jarndyce in the Charles Dickens novel, Bleak House.
  • The phrases "precocious toddler", "fertile octogenarian" and "moron and a hurry" are used in law as illustrations of particular people. "A moron in a hurry" is used with passing off and trademark infringement to determine if people can tell the difference between particular products. "Precocious toddler" and "fertile octogenarian" are illustrations used when dealing with perpetuities.
  • The reason why someone would encourage a psychopath to eyeball their crotch would be because it would, according to theoretical psychology, relieve psychopathy. Nude psychotherapy, pioneered by Paul Bindrim, stated that by examining others' genitals while lying naked in the air and disclosing the sexual experiences that they felt least comfortable with could lead to psychopaths being relieved. However, it has been shown not to work as recidivism has increased by those who experienced it.
XL Extras
  • The similarity between a California prison and a Medieval dungeon is that prisoners have to pay for their food, manacles, and other expenses. In Medieval times, those that could not pay to be in prison were placed in Debtors' prison, while in Riverside, a similar law has been introduced to induce revenue. Although while prisoners in England still had to pay even if they were innocent, mistakenly convicted innocents in California have payments returned.
  • The reason why no-one should leave a judge in a room on their own is because it is illegal; the last barrister is not allowed to leave before the judge. This system is known as "dressing the judge". The actual court dress for a judge amounts to nearly £15,000 for a year, and includes two pairs of stockings because Queen Victoria was offended by the sight of men's leg hair. Judges, by law, are also obliged to refuse to hear or see barristers that are improperly dressed.
  • People have been conducting in sexual intercourse on the Moon, or at least parts. Thad Roberts and Tiffany Fowler, interns, stole rocks from NASA and spread them out on a bed. It is not known whether the story is true, but Roberts himself claims it to be so.

Episode 13 "Jobs"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 14 December 2012
Recording date
  • 20 June 2012
  • The panel are shown a selection of jobs and are asked to identify what they might involve. A "ripper" is someone who sells by riverbanks, a "burgrailler" is someone who removed burs from the teeth of combs, a "willyer" is someone who operates a willying machine in a loom, a "wharfinger" is someone who owns a wharf, and a "flong maker" made flongs. No-one is quite sure what a "macaroni loper" did, or does, but it is an occupation that is found 19th century censuses.
  • An inspector of nuisances was appointed by local health authorities to enforce sanitation and peace. They were also responsible for night soil collectors.
  • The thing about software engineers that drove people to violence was that many of their inventions, such as the Jacquard loom, rendered many people's occupations obsolete. Luddites were comparatively peaceful compared to the saboteurs of France (from where the word "sabotage" originates).
  • Famous fictional butlers include Angus Hudson and Mr. E. Blackadder (forfeit: Jeeves). A butler is head of a household, whereas a valet is more of a personal attendant.
  • sheep in a gold rush can be very useful, as the fleece can be used to filter gold from dirt. This process is considered by some, such as Tim Severin, to be much better than panning.
  • The best planet in the Solar System to spend one's annual holiday would be Earth, simply because it is the one that is habitable. However, in terms of time the answer would be Venus, since a fortnight's break would be equivalent to fifteen Earth years. However, the atmosphere of the planet is mostly composed of carbon dioxide and the surface is hot enough to melt aluminum. Nevertheless, Jupiter, despite being gaseous and having comparatively short days, possesses neon rain that appears bright red and has locations where there are diamonds the size of hotels, meaning sightseeing opportunities are numerous.
  • Jolly Jape: Fry uses a green laser to burst three black balloons, but is unable to burst a white one until Davies draws a black dot onto it in marker pen. This is because white objects are much better at reflecting light and heat than black objects.
XL Extras
  • Snake farming works by ensuring that all those who undertake the profession develop an immunity to the venomBill Haast was one such person who made a fortune out of snake farming and got bitten so often that he no longer responded to it. His blood was so rich in antibodies that he donated to people who were dying of snake bites. Mithridates was the first known person to make himself immune to several poisons, as he was convinced that people were planning to kill him.
  • The Swiss are making attempts to clean up space debris, and spending exorbitant amounts of money in doing so. The current level of space debris is getting so high that it is destroying current satellite communication. The operation, Clean Space 1, involves sending out janitor satellites which will grapple pieces of debris and send them into the atmosphere to burn up.
  • Jubious Theory: The story Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll, is thought by some, such as scholar Melanie Bayley, to be a satirical attack on Victorian mathematics. Carroll was educated in mathematics at Oxford University, and delighted in conservative and classical systems such as symbolic logic. Thus he detested the new pure mathematics that would be adopted by people such as David Hilbert and Bertrand Russell. Events in the book such as Alice meeting the Cheshire Cat are therefore thought to represent the futility of abstraction (how can a grin remain when the cat has disappeared, for example). Most of Carroll's other works are relatively dull by the standards of AliceQueen Victoria loved the book so much that she requested Carroll dedicate his next book to her, and was horrified to find that the book in question was devoted to symbolic logic. More information can be found at

Episode 14 "Jingle Bells (Christmas Special)"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 21 December 2012
Recording date
  • 25 June 2012
  • When Beethoven created his famous Ninth Symphony, he placed within his orchestra a Jingling Johnny - a percussion instrument, that was used by Ottoman Janissaries during marches. The design consists of a wooden pole, adorned with jingle bells on a brass crosspiece and other places, topped with a brass ornament, and played with an up-down motion. Other composers used it, including Hector Berlioz who was very fond of using them, claiming it added "brilliancy" to marching music. A modern Australian version, called a "lagerphone", uses bottle tops in place of bells, with the song "Seaside Shuffle" using a version of it called a "zob stick".
  • The first advertising jingles to be sung were by members of the public between the 1870s-80s. Companies placed music within newspapers, alongside the words in their advertising, so that the public could sing these themselves. The first radio jingles started around the 1920s to get round an NBC rule that prohibited advertising directly, but not if the sponsor's name was sung in a song; in some cases, a show could be named after the sponsor.
  • The "Jesus Christ Dinosaur Hypothesis" is a theory that the dinosaur ancestors of modern birds, the Archaeopteryx, ran on water to be able to take off, much like swans do today. This is because all the fossils of the dinosaur that were discovered were found to come from a region 150 million years ago that was devoid of trees and had a sea. In the modern animal world, the common basilisk is sometimes called the "Jesus lizard", because it runs on water, along with the Jacana, which is known as the "Jesus bird".
  • The chances of a British citizen recalling that a "White Christmas" happened during their childhood, is more likely greater in the north than in the south-east, with only four recorded to have happened in London during the 20th Century. Charles Dickens always had it snowing in his scenes of Christmas, because from his birth in 1812, it snowed during his first eight Christmases. A little "Ice-Age" also occurred during his life, in which at times the River Thames froze over with quite thick ice, making it possible to have a "Frost Fair" upon it, though the last one was held between 1813-14.
  • Zoos in Germany are regularly sent old Christmas trees after the seasonal holiday, because elephants love to eat them; they love to eat five of these. Any zoo may be given an old tree from the holidays for their animals to eat (giraffes, rhinos, and deer for example), as long as it is real, and you phone up the zoo to see if they want it.
  • A series of quick-fire questions are given, involving Jesus Christ:
    • His mother is more likely to have called him by either his Hebrew name of Yeshua, or Joshua. The English pronunciation of his name comes from the Greek rendition of Joshua.
    • The tallest statue of Jesus can be found in Świebodzin, western Poland (forfeit: Rio de Janeiro), and is 33 metres tall, with each metre representing a year of his life, and is topped with a three metre tall crown. If the crown was not there, a statue in Bolivia would be the tallest.
    • The bible makes it unsure of how many were fed at the feeding of the 5000, because it claims Jesus fed 5000 men besides women and children, while the feeding of the 4000 has a similar problem.
    • In Luke's Gospel, Jesus had 72 disciples (forfeit: 12); his 12 famous disciples were actually apostles. The 72 disciples he recruited were sent ahead, two by two, to the towns and places he was about to go visit.
  • Rather than a question, the panellists are asked to determine what the joke is to a punchline hidden in their crackers. For example, the punchline in one cracker, "The Trifle Tower" is preceded by the joke, "What is tall and wobbly, and lives in Paris?" Some come up with their own joke, Danny makes a limerick of one, while Fry reads out a few more.
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  • Other versions of a Jingling Johnny, can be found in places such as in the Netherlands, where the Dutch have versions called a "Kuttepiel" and the "Monkey Stick", whilst in Newfoundland they have one called the "Ugly Stick". There are even some versions which have string on them which can be plucked.
  • The Minute Waltz, created by Chopin, lasts much longer than a minute (forfeit: 60 seconds, about a minute), as the name, pronounced "Mi-nute" waltz, actually means the "tiny" waltz; originally it was called the Little Dog Waltz, inspired by Chopin watching a little dog chasing its own tail. It is possible to play the piece within a minute, but whilst it would be an act of great virtuoso to do so, it would also make it almost inaudible. Chopin did not believe in releasing his "precious" fluids as he felt it weakened his creativity, yet in his last days while dying from TB, he coughed blood over his piano keys.
  • The first person to come up with a Jingle, was the arguable Arius. He was a heretic against the Catholic Church, who didn't believe in the Trinity, so one of his jingles, made around 324 AD, was about the Logos Doctrine, in which Logos meant "the word" and it professed the belief that Christ did not exist until his Father gave birth to him.
  • The uncle of the great banker, J. Pierpoint Morgan, originally wrote the song Jingle Bells to celebrate Thanksgiving (forfeit: Christmas), but also under the title of "One Horse Open Sleigh", despite it now being associated to the seasonal holidays. It was the first song to be played in space, by two astronauts of Gemini 6Tom Stafford and Wally Schirra, as part of a practical joke. The pair smuggled onto their spacecraft a harmonica and sleigh bells, and whilst they were re-entering the Earth's atmosphere on December 16, they transmitted a message to Houston, saying they had seen a command module piloted by a man with a red suit (Santa), before playing the song.
  • Snowflakes are not typically hexagonal and symmetrical, because these are misconceptions. Photographers found that people were drawn to beautiful, hexagonal ones, and hence wrongly tell children in school that these are how they are like. In reality, they can be needle-shaped, or be more blockish.
  • Jolly Jape: For the festive special, Fry decides to create artificial snow, by pouring a small jug of water into a glass containing a dry powder, called sodium polyacrylate, which puffs up as a result and becomes cold to the touch, yet remains dry. The powder is capable of absorbing 200-300 times its mass in water, and is commonly used in nappies for absorbing fluids. A company in Britain is well known for making artificial snow for use in movies, and is called "Snow Business", which provides a wide range of snows.
  • Real Christmas trees, in general, are considered today to be better for the environment than an artificial tree, because they can be mulched, or replanted if the roots are alive. If replanted, they can help the ecosystem by supporting bird-life and improving the soil - some conifers have a fungi that grows on their roots which can support the soil. In contrast, the only thing some artificial trees can give, is emitting chemicals.

Episode 15 "Jolly"Edit

Broadcast date
  • 11 January 2013
Recording date
  • 30 May 2012
  • Hapi was an Egyptian god who was portrayed as being slightly hermaphroditic and possessed a harem of frogs. He was considered responsible for the Flooding of the Nile, which was a cause of much celebration in Ancient Egypt.
  • The most dangerous thing that one can buy in a joke shop is sneezing powder. Most of the items sold at joke shops were all invented by Soren Sorensen Adams, who made a huge success after making sneezing powder and selling it with his Cachoo Sneezing Powder Company, but it was banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on suspicion of being toxic.
  • The thing that happens when someone's hand is placed in a bowl of water while they are sleeping is that they get a wet hand (forfeit: They wet themselves). Otherwise, there has never been a case of anything involuntary occurring despite myths placed about by schoolchildren and practical jokers.
  • The best flavour for an exploding sandwich is cucumberEcballium elaterium is a plant in the cucumber family that can propel its seed within a sticky mucus up to 30 feet.
  • The worst place to be licked by a goat would be the feet. It was a form of torture used in the Middle Ages whereby people would be tied up and have their feet with honey, which would result in goats licking the feet to the point where it would tear off layers of skin. There have been reports of people being driven to insanity and death as a result of severe tickling.
  • The largest mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji, which is an overdue stratovolcano.
  • Caribbean island group beginning with "B" is the British Virgin Islands (forfeit: Bahamas). The Bahamas are part of the Atlantic Ocean rather than the Caribbean Sea, while Barbados is a single island.
  • The country that crosses the most time zones is France (forfeit: Canada), at twelve, as it continues to count all its former possessions as part of it. The United Kingdom, despite having claimed more possessions than France, does not continue to include them.
  • The longest thing about the jerboa is its tail (forfeit: ears). It has very long ears which it uses for cooling as it lives in hot deserts such as the Gobi Desert, but they are dwarfed by its tail which is required for balance.
  • The reason why the King of France would like a naive salad would be because it is an anagram for Alan Davies. The monarchs of France enjoyed an anagrammateur royale, who acted as a court jester and came up with amusing or flattering anagrams.
  • The panelists all read out self-composed limericks. No-one knows the connection between the poetry and the Irish city. Stephen Fry read out a limerick about a pedophile chaplain, which attracted viewer complaints but was found by the BBC Trust to have not contravened standards.[2]
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Episode 16 "Just The Job"Edit

Broadcast date
Recording date
  • 23 May 2012
  • The chainsaw was originally invented, in 1783, as a medical instrument to assist with childbirth. Two Scottish doctors, John Aitken and James Jeffray, devised the object to perform symphysiotomy which was a procedure involving slicing the pelvis if the baby's head was too large to pass through. The chainsaw developed then was not dissimilar to the chainsaw used now for timber harvesting, although it used a watch chain and later also used for excision of diseased bone. Modern day equivalents of the device are still used and are called osteotomes. By the 1920s, and after the invention of the internal combustion engine, they were used by lumberjacks.
  • An electric jockstrap was a 19th-century mail order galvanic pseudo-medical instrument which had the same essential characteristics of a sex toy. During the Victorian age, there was an idea that electricity could work as a panacea, and so the Heidelberg electric belt was invented partly as a method of curing impotence, but also partly for sexual pleasure. It cost $18 and was available on a ten-day trial with a money back guarantee, as well as the advice to "not wantonly jettison any nervous substance".
  • A great grandmother down the back of a sofa would be assisting their child in having their photograph taken. However, exposure times were quite long when photography was just being introduced and therefore, if a child's picture was being taken, relatives would be hidden, for example, under sheets, in images known as "hidden mother photographs". The first ever known photograph of a human being involved a French boot boy and a customer, photographed by Louis Daguerre in 1838. Other human beings appeared as blurs, but these two stood still long enough to be captured.
  • The panelists are shown an old photograph of a man and asked to identify him. It was, in fact, a very early portrait photograph of an elderly Duke of Wellington.
  • Something interesting you can do with a slinky, apart from use it as it usually is with a staircase, is hold it up stretched and then drop it. If this action is recorded, one can notice that after it is let go, the bottom appears to defy gravityRichard T. James in the 1940s invented the structure after he knocked over a spring and noticed that it went for a sort of walk. His wife afterwards thought that it would make a good toy. More than 300 million have been sold since, although they are infamous for the ease in which they tangle up.
  • Jerries are better than flimsies because they were incredibly more efficient. The jerry can is a well-designed petrol container used in World War II, initially by the Axis but later by the Allies because their version, the flimsy, was awful in comparison. According to Claude Auchinleck, they leaked 30% of their fuel, causing many losses of life and overall equipment. Jerry cans were stolen so much that the Germans began booby trapping them. They are designed so they can contain water or petrol, expand when they are heated due to their indentation, float so they could be transported across water, and have two handles so two can be carried at once or one being passed can be taken immediately. Franklin D. Roosevelt said that had the jerry cans not been stolen by the Allies, their assault across France would not have been nearly as successful: the use of vehicles, and therefore movement of petrol, in modern warfare is absolutely essential.
  • There have been several candidates for "least promising invention in history":
    • The shopping trolley was invented by Sylvan Goldman in 1938, and was originally thought effeminate by men and insulting of their ability to carry a basket by women. He originally paid people to use to get people familiar with the usage of them, and eventually died in 1984 worth $400 million.
    • Bubble gum was invented by Frank H. Fleer in 1906, originally called Blibber-Blubber. His recipe meant that one the bubble had burst, turpentine had be used to get it off one's skin. Turpentine is in itself toxic.
    • Mary Anderson invented windscreen wipers in 1903, when there were hardly any cars to apply it to. By the time it became useful, her patent had elapsed and thus made no money from them.
    • In a similar case to Anderson, Dorothy Levitt invented the rear-view mirror when there was very little demand for it, and thus also made no money out of it.
    • The dry-ear ear drier is a machine that advertises itself as being a way of simply and effectively drying your ears, by blowing hot air into them. The instructions recommend drying them with a towel first.
  • The problem with the first sound recording device was that it could not play the sound back. Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented the first phonautograph, which burnt soot to register sound waves in 1860. In 2008, it was reverse engineered to play the sound back of Martinville singing Au clair de la lune. It was famously announced by Charlotte Green when she was reading the news on BBC Radio 4: the next story she covered was the death of Abby Mann, but she found the recording so hilarious that she was unable to prevent herself laughing to the point where she could not finish the story.
  • Jolly Jape: Galileo Galilei invented a pendulum swing where the pendulums follow a very specific and predictable cycle forever. Because of the nature of the lengths of the pendulums (The pendulum at one end swings at a rate of one swing per second behind the one at the other end), it takes the cradle a minute to repeat the cycle.
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  • If you turn a pair of Y-fronts inside-out, the fly remains on the same side, so there is no way to turn a pair designed for right-handedness so left-handed people can easily use it. Arthur Kneibler developed them from X-fronts, which were reasonably popular before, and they were instantly successful, remaining popular ever since.
  • Jubious Theory: Urotherapists believe that drinking one's own urine can cure everything from cancer to the common cold, as well as improving libido and acting as a general pick-me-up. Sarah MilesJ. D. Salinger and Morarji Desai were such "urinobibes", who drank their own urine. A woman called Martha Christy wrote in her book, Your Own Perfect Medicine that the first "toilet visit of the day" is the most beneficial, with five drops of fresh morning urine under the tongue, before gradually increasing the dosage to as much as a cupful morning and night. Health professionals dispute all such belief, saying that one drunk, it would come out more concentrated and affect the ability of one's kidneys. Victorian women used to take "warm boys' urine" as a way to remove freckles.
  • Other, more macabre and perhaps disturbing forms of baby photographs, involve dead babies being taken with their family and being made to look as if they were asleep.
  • An everyday product invented in gaol is the toothbrush, which invented by William Addis, who was imprisoned for civil disorder, in 1780. Instead of using the convention tooth-cleaning mechanism given to prisoners in those times, he used a bone acquired from his food, drilled some holes in it, and then placed horsehair he blagged from a warder. After his release, he marketed it the same time sugar was arriving from the West Indies, so tooth decay was becoming a major problem.
  • Dame Ethel Smyth, who was also imprisoned for civil disorder, used a toothbrush as a baton when her supporters sang her song, The March of the Women outside her window.
  • There was never (forfeit: yes) a case when men with flags walked in front of cars. The Red Flag Act of 1865 originally covered traction engines and steam buses and required men with flags called "stalkers" to walk sixty yards in front of the vehicle. By 1878, it was made an option, and by 1896 it was abolished at a time when there were only eighty cars in the UK.



  1. Some listings refer to this as the eleventh series
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