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QI mistakes--"Don't swim 20 min after eating"

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793792.  Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:27 pm Reply with quote

Greetings from the other side of the pond,

I stumbled across QI's season 5 episode 7 ("espionage") and have fallen even more in love with this show. Unfortunately, I must jump 7 time zones in order to see an intelligent program! How frustrating! Anyway, I noticed a little "boo-boo" that the QI team may have overlooked, and my kinesiology background kicked in and I felt an unrelenting urge to post. Hopefully my fellow nerds will look fondly on my musings...

Stephen rightly mentions that one does not, in fact, have digestive problems/cramps/etc. 20 minutes after eating. Indeed, that is true--sort of.

If I were to venture an educated guess, I would suggest that the aforementioned is actually *NOT* why the old adage exists. A more simple explanation would be: glycogenesis. While engaging in physical activity, the blood is allocated to muscles and skin to aid in glycolisis (the breakdown of sugar into ATP, the body's energy source, largely with the help of hormone "glucagon"). Vasoconstriction restricts blood flow to the gut because that system isn't immediately employed. However, because postprandial levels of blood glucose increase, it triggers the release of insulin (among other hormones) that begins to store glycogen in muscle and fat tissue. So basically, the body is both using and storing its energy sources simultaneously, causing a dip in blood glucose levels about 20 minutes postprandial (after eating). The person's available energy sources diminishes slightly, s/he will feel fatigued, and performance will decrease.

(We have surely all experienced the "food coma" after a holiday dinner--now imagine the food coma onset while running a marathon!)

I suspect that may be why the "20 minute" rule exists--not because of stomach discomfort, but rather because of bioenergetics. This scenario may be particularly dangerous for children expending quite a lot of energy trying to stay afloat in water.

It's not to say that QI got it wrong, but I think the less obvious explanation was overlooked; that information would be found in an exercise physiology rather than medical journal.

So I'm curious--has anyone else spotted any mistakes in the QI research?


793793.  Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:31 pm Reply with quote

So I'm curious--has anyone else spotted any mistakes in the QI research?

Frequently ;) And welcome aboard

793800.  Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:02 am Reply with quote

G'day VeritasLuxMea. Welcome :)

Spud McLaren
793944.  Mon Mar 07, 2011 2:44 pm Reply with quote

Welcome, VLM.

And (a belated?) welcome back, monz!

794247.  Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:40 am Reply with quote

Hiya, VLM. Welcome!

794308.  Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:45 am Reply with quote

Ainee waves hello to VLM!

950256.  Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:56 am Reply with quote

This sounds like a good thread to make this post in. On season 5 episode 6 'Everything', Clive Anderson makes the comment about Lumberjacks in America being called "Treefellows" that he heard from Oregon.

They were completely pulling his legs here I believe. We actually do call them Lumberjacks or we call them Loggers. I'd never even heard this Treefellows name before this episode and I live in the area.

950257.  Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:11 am Reply with quote

Treefellers, perhaps?

950263.  Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:01 am Reply with quote

'yorz wrote:
Treefellers, perhaps?

It wouldn't really matter how the thing is spelled lol. It just isn't used here.

950320.  Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:27 am Reply with quote

Tree fellers, as in people who fell trees rather than tree fellows as in men who work with trees, I think.

My household Mainers inform me that in our part of New England at any rate 'tree fellers' is a known expression for lumberjacks or loggers, though considered to be slightly archaic these days.

Welcome to the QI forums, LancelotLoire :-)

Alfred E Neuman
950617.  Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:29 am Reply with quote

Around here tree fellers would normally refer to people who cut down trees in suburban gardens. For some strange reason people who cut down trees in commercial plantations seem to be called chainsaw operators.

950621.  Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:46 am Reply with quote

Reminds me of a drunken conversation with a chap in a pub one night in Glasgow, when asked what he did for a living he replied "I'm a cow puncher", to which my mate immediately responded,"That must hurt your knuckles.".

970162.  Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:23 pm Reply with quote

As I'm just catching up on QI, this post might be incredibly late. This seems to be a good thread to post in about a mistake Stephen Fry makes in season 5 episode 5.

At the beginning of the episode David Mitchell is asked to explain the enclave of Baarle Hertog. When he doesn't succeed Fry starts his explanation that it's a problem between "Dutch Belgium" and "Frenchie Belgium Belgium".
I don't know whether the mistake lies with the elves or just with Fry when explaining. He either meant that it's a problem between Flanders (the northern part of Belgium where people speak dutch) and Wallonia (the southern part of Belgium where they speak French) which is incorrect. Or, like he correctly said in the rest of his explanation, the problem exist between the Dutch and the Belgians. His earlier statement is then just a little slip of the tongue or someone really thinks "Dutch Belgians" are Dutch and "French Belgians" are the real Belgians. As a "Dutch Belgian" that would break my heart.

970192.  Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:01 pm Reply with quote

I think we blamed that one on Stephen!


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