A Guide to QI. Series I, Episode 12 'Illumination'

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The International Cloud Symbols look very odd to the uninitiated, rather like various body-parts, as our panelists so subtly pointed out:


And here is a full history of Blackpool Illuminations, should you want to learn more:


On the 19th September 1879 Dr Siemens' 8 dynamo-electric machines powered by 16 Robey engines were used to power 8 arc lamps on the promenade spaced 320 yards apart, emitting the equivalent of 48,000 candles of light in total. The event had been advertised nationally and between 70,000 and 100,000 visitors travelled from all over Britain to witness the event.

Our fact about Pancho Villa only fighting in the Daytime came from the Socialist newspaper The Morning Star:


for whom one of our elves, Mat Coward, writes a gardening column.  We had mentioned old Pancho before, of course, when we incorrectly signed off Series C, Episode 7:

Here's a news article about the invisibility cloak:

And here is Susumu Tachi's official website:


And here's another video - explaining how the amazing bobtail squid uses bioluminesnce to hide its shadow:

The idea of ninjas clad in black costumes (shinobi shōzoku) is likely rooted in artistic convention - it's a fact that we got from Stephen Turnbull's book and here's evidence that the original geishas were men.


The Earth is 3,110,000 km closer to the Sun in January than in July. Therefore, in the northern hemisphere the Earth is closest to the Sun in winter and furthest away in the summer.


And here's more about the wonderful Elizabethan scientist George Best:


Many people think that people have one leg longer than the other, or that maybe one set of muscles are stronger than the other, and so we walk in circles, but a recent study showed that people sometimes spin clockwise and other times spin anticlockwise:


If you have any other theories, then why not e-mail us at elves@qi.com

The Indigenous Australian Pormpuraaw people, who speak Kuuk Thaayorre, and would say, for instance, that "the salad forks have been placed southeast of the dinner forks" were written about in Scientific American 01/02/2011

Here are some great shots of the Australian Morning Glory cloud:

And here's the Indian Granny Cloud - what a great idea!

The difference between a black body in astronomy, and what you or I might consider a black body can be read here:


and here is NASA on how long it takes for the light to leave the centre of the sun:


Cornell say:

Indeed, it is true that light which is generated by nuclear fusion reactions in the center of the Sun takes a very long time to escape and reach Earth. A million years is towards the high end of the estimates I have seen, but it certainly takes many thousands of years.


And finally this week, here is a site that tells you that a no-eyed big-eyed wolf spider has no eyes, not big eyes:


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by eggshaped published on November 28, 2011 2:40 PM.

A Guide to QI. Series I, Episode 11 'Infantile' was the previous entry in this blog.

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