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Hello, and welcome to the QI Quibble blog.

This is the place where the elves will address all your questions and queries from the television show, the books, the Daily Telegraph Column, and everything else QI related.

Keep checking back for updates, but in the meantime, if you find anything that you don't agree with, or have anything to add, please e-mail the research team at:

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31 Comments

"Didnt have time to find the right aircraft picture."
On the 16th of Jan .Poor Mr Fry will have been scripted to say about the Sea Harriers on deck and taking off.Firstly I think they were Skyhawks,and secondly Harriers dont use steam catapults to be launched off ship.oh also the royal navy doesnt have an aircraft carrier with steam catapult. thanks chris

Has Mr Fry invented an anti-gravity machine? If so spill the beans.
ROCKETS accelerate most rapidly with the help of gravity, as does every moving body. They do not have maximal acceleration horizontally, that is an urban myth, a howler really.

From the front page of this site...

"QI is hosted by Stephen Fry, with Alan Davies the only other permanent guest. Other guests have included:"

Steven Fry is both host and guest, therefore?
Bisocial, perhaps ;-)

Hi Chris.

I believe that the "Sea Harrier" referred to by Stephen was shown as the question was being asked. The image then changed to what I am reliably informed was an Etendard VI taking off from a French aircraft carrier.

Occasionally, due to editing reasons, or because the image has moved on without Stephen's knowledge, it can seem that he is referring to a later picture.

In the F Annual, it states "In his first twenty seven films, David Niven only ever played Mexicans."

Whilst it's true that his first role as an extra was playing a Mexican, a quick search on IMDB shows that his 5th role was 'Cockney sailor', his 7th was in Mutiny on the Bounty and his 12th role was spent playing Bertie Wooster, not Bertie Sanchez.

(http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000057/ )

Raffles, a Captain in Charge of the Light Brigade and role in Wuthering Heights are also in his first 27 parts.

Seems bizarre that an incorrect fact so easily verifiable made it into the book. Still a great read, mind you.

In episode 2 on FRANCE, Phil Jupitus claimed that Richard Burton saying, 'Broadsword calling Danny Boy' was a quotation from 'The Wild Geese'. It was in fact from 'Where Eagles Dare'.
Sorry to be such a nerd.

my quibble- the set seems to have been designed with the golden retion in mind and behind Mr Fry there is a lot of what looks like algebra(not that maths ever makes an appearnce in the show!).
In that area what looks like (1-root5)/2 can be but phi has a plus sign in the calculation.
Were they meaning to put in phi?
Am I blind?
Or sad.

Or both?!

SALT WATER TAFFY
In one of last night's shows (July 6, 2009), Steven Fry said that Salt Water Taffy contained no salt water - well in my copy of June Roth's book "Old-Fashioned Candymaking" published in 1974 by Henery Regnery Company of Chicago, Illinois, there is a chapter on Taffies. Two recipes include salt and water. The one for Salt Water Taffy is 2 cups sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 cup light corn syrup, 2 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup water and 1 teaspoon salt.

Hi i just wanted to correct stephen fry, in the danger episode with Sean Lock, Jimmy Carr, Jo Brand and Alan Davies. Stepehen Fry claims that three American presidents have been assassinated, in fact it is four that have been killed, the ratio is every three up until George Bush Jr.

Those presidents that have been assassinated are;
* Abraham Lincoln
* James Garfield
* William McKinley
* John F. Kennedy.

just wanted to point out that when Mr. Fry mentioned the penis museum in Iceland he said it was in Reykjavik (the capital, located in the southwestern area). The museum is in fact in a small town in the northern part of Iceland called Husavik (Housebay).

With reference to the QI fact of the day today (21 August 2009) - I don't care how sharply one closes a pair of scissors, no part of them will exceed the speed of light.

The QI "Fact" of the day about scissors is a mis-quote of a well known thought experiment which suggests that the location of the intersection may move at greater that the speed of light, even if no part of the actual scissors does so.
- However this only works when dealing with an imaginary totally rigid pair of scissors when the blades are of the order of a light year in length.
It doesn't even come close to being true for real scissors.

I have just got around to reading the 'F' Annual and I have a quibble about the a fact on the pages about islands beginning with F.

It states that Foula in Shetland is the most northerly inhabited island in the UK. This is far from the truth, being located quite southerly within the Shetland group of islands.

The most northerly inhabited island is in fact Unst - I know, I have been there.

In the book of general ignorance, bananas are described as being a berry. They aren't - they are a type of "false berry".

Also, in the book of General Ignorance, the Romans are credited with inventing ice-cream by combining fruit juices with ice from mountains. If we really are to be treading down pedantry lane, what the Romans appear to have invented is the slushy, or the snow-cone. Since ice-cream requires churning and needs to be made with dairy products, it hardly seems sensible to suggest that the Roman version is a legitimate form of ice-cream.....

I would like to point out that in the previous episode of QI Mr. Fry said just 5 places in America have apostrophes in their names, while he may have meant possessive apostrophes, there is another that is not possessive: the state of Hawai'i

I am not sure what episode it was but in one recently repeated episode of QI it was stated that the colour of eggs laid by hens depended on their earlobes. Red earlobes resulting in brown eggs and white earlobes resulting in white eggs. Whilst like many things in this life this does have a grain of truth to it, it is a rough guide only and is by no means a set thing.

Like any rule there are exceptions, and breeds like the Penedesenca from Spain have lovely white earlobes and lay a dark brown egg. Some breeds with red earlobes lay white eggs, and other breeds such as the silkie have pretty turquoise blue earlobes but lay tinted eggs.

Just to confuse matters further the Araucana has red earlobes but lays a blue egg not brown and the Cream Crested Legbar has white or cream earlobes and lays a blue egg...

Confused yet?

The colour of eggs is laid down by the genetics of the hen and if you decided to cross a blue egg laying Araucana with a dark brown egg laying Penedsenca you get a bird that lays Khaki coloured eggs, (and toss a coin to guess the colour of the earlobes!)

Now here is a Quite Interesting fact for you.

The Araucana chicken is the only breed to lay eggs where the colour goes right the way through the shell. In all other breeds that lay coloured( brown tinted etc) eggs the egg colour is just a top-dressing as it were.

In the rumpless form which lacks a caudal appendage(parsons nose) unlike any other poultry breed it has ear "tufts" made of feathers that grow from fleshy lobes called peduncles on either side of the birds' face. Now these ear-tufts carry a genetically lethal trait. Two copies of the ear tuft gene will result in the chick dying in the shell before hatching and only those with one copy or no copies will hatch.


Regards
Eris ( the chicken geek )

In the 'Games' episode, Stephen mentioned the book of Revelations. There is no such book. The last book of the New Testament is called 'Revelation,' or 'The Revelation to John,' to give it its full title.

In tonight's episode, Stephen says, "on the 14th April 1945, just before the end of the war." In an earlier episode, we learned that WWII didn't end until 1990 (no Germany to make peace with until then, you see).

In "Gallimaufrey", Stephen says that a tooth placed in a fizzy cola drink does not dissolve. My own anecdotal evidence - from when I was 8 - is that a tooth does dissolve.

On the inside cover of the QI Annual 'F' it states on the fourth line that Pharaoh Akhenaten was the first known individual human being - surely we know the name of the preceding Pharaoh? We also know the name of his wife - Nefertiti - how are you sure which name became known first?

Stephen claims Francis Galton as the inventor of fingerprinting. Has he not heard of Henry Faulds?

In tonight's episode entitled "Income Tax" Stephen quite clearly made the comment that the mute swan is the heaviest flying bird in the world. At 20 to 25lbs, try telling that to the South American Condor which weighs in at 24 to 33lbs. Only one way to settle it, "FIGHT"...........

I was just relaxing and watching episode eight from series eight (Hypothetical) and came upon the hypothetical question about how you would describe left and right, by use of words alone, to an alien over just a radio transmission.

I was semi satisfied with all the arguments but the definitive answer given by Stephen was that there was no actual way, without having a spacial reference point that we could both use.

I disagree on this and this is the simple and small amount of words I would use.

"Take both your hands. Raise them in the air in front of you, palms out. Bend the pinkie to middle fingers downwards and straighten the thumbs.

The hand that makes the shape of an 'L' is the left one"

Easy enough to describe with words alone I think.

Keep up the wonderful quality programming and Merry Christmas one and all.

I was just relaxing and watching episode eight from series eight (Hypothetical) and came upon the hypothetical question about how you would describe left and right, by use of words alone, to an alien over just a radio transmission.

I was semi satisfied with all the arguments but the definitive answer given by Stephen was that there was no actual way, without having a spacial reference point that we could both use.

I disagree on this and this is the simple and small amount of words I would use.

"Take both your hands. Raise them in the air in front of you, palms out. Bend the pinkie to middle fingers downwards and straighten the thumbs.

The hand that makes the shape of an 'L' is the left one"

Easy enough to describe with words alone I think.

Keep up the wonderful quality programming and Merry Christmas one and all.

I was just relaxing and watching episode eight from series eight (Hypothetical) and came upon the hypothetical question about how you would describe left and right, by use of words alone, to an alien over just a radio transmission.

I disagree on this and this is the simple and small amount of words I would use.

"Take both your hands. Raise them in the air in front of you, palms out. Bend the pinkie to middle fingers downwards and straighten the thumbs.

The hand that makes the shape of an 'L' is the left one"

Easy enough to describe with words alone I think.

Keep up the wonderful quality programming and Merry Christmas one and all.

Crimminy, this seems old.

I just saw Kitchen Sink (Ser 12, Ep 13) and was a little shocked by "Steam" question. The programme was correct in stating that steam is invisible, but incorrect in stating that the visible "steam" that one sees when a kettle boils is water vapour. Steam and water vapour are synonymous. The "steam" one sees is actually water condensing out of its vapour phase.

True, gravity odes assist acceleration, so rockets could accelerate faster downwards than upwards. BUT that somewhat defeats the purpose of firing a rocket is to get it upwards! The 'horizontal' firing helps the rocket, not by giving it a better acceleration but giving it an extra push due to the Earth's rotation. So rockets fired near the equator in an easterly direction need less fuel to get into space.

True no physical part of the scissors would reach the speed of light. The theory is the the POINT of intersection of the blades could go much faster than the speed of light. As the angle of the two blades becomes increasing small the point of their intersection moves more quickly.
Our Science teacher, Jack Fisher, told us about this at Cessnock High School in the early 60s

That is assuming that scissors are perfectly rigid. This is impossible, as the scissors can't move bodily, but only by the travelling of a wave, whose speed can't exceed c according to Einstein's theory of relativity. Consequently, the point of intersection moves slower than c.

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This page contains a single entry by eggshaped published on January 9, 2009 4:39 PM.

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