No Such Thing As A Fish - 508: No Such Thing As A Dragon Walk

Episode Date: December 7, 2023

Dan, James, Anna and Alex Bell discuss Goya, wire, dead bacteria and fax hysteria. Visit for news about live shows, merchandise and more episodes. Join Club Fish for ad-free... episodes and exclusive bonus content at or

Discussion (0)
Starting point is 00:00:00 Hi everybody, just before we start the show, we want to say a big hi to new listeners coming to us from BBC Sounds where the podcast now exists. Welcome to the fold. We are known such things as fish. I'm Anna. I'm here with Dan. Hi Dan. Hello. What do we do? Yeah, yeah, so there's four of us. We are QI Elves. We are the people who are involved in the TV series QI. And if you enjoy that, if you enjoy all the weird facts, this is a real kind of concentrated distilled version of it where we just sit around and share the best, most wonderful, most odd things that we've discovered over the last seven days.
Starting point is 00:00:37 Yes, and also if you enjoy the occasional incredibly immature sense of humour on QI, then you'll get that by the bucket load here. And with a little bit of a warning that there's the occasional bit of adult content. So there is swearing, there's the odd adult theme, a little bit of animal sex, sometimes makes it in, sometimes a little bit of human sex facts, make it in. But it's all for the purpose of learning
Starting point is 00:00:59 weird, interesting, amazing facts. And you'll notice we've got 10 episodes up there right now on BBC Sounds, and from now now on every episode will be published there. That's right. Now we also just want to quickly address the members, the existing listeners of our show and particularly the members of Club Fish. We know that many of you might have joined Club Fish because you get an ad-free version of our show. Well, if you head over to BBC Sounds you are going to get the ad-free version of the show, but I wouldn't leave Clubfish.
Starting point is 00:01:26 You know what's there, the amazing Discord, the behind-the-scenes bonus content, like the compilations and drop us a line. You want to miss out on Andy saying, bye! At random moments? No, you don't! Absolutely not! So, if you do want to go in just for the ad-free stuff, absolutely head over to BBC Sounds. Otherwise, stay with us in Club Fish and enjoy all the background
Starting point is 00:01:45 content. So huge, huge welcome to the BBC Sounds listeners. Thanks for joining us. This is a weekly show and we're going to keep going for the next 400 years. So enjoy and on with the show. On with the show. Hello and welcome to another episode of No Such Thing as a Fish, a weekly podcast coming to you from the QI offices in Hobern. My name is Dan Schreiber, I'm sitting here with James Harkin, Anna Toshinsky, and Alex Bell. And once again, we have gathered
Starting point is 00:02:29 around the microphones with our four favorite facts from the last seven days and in a particular order here we go. Starting with fact number one, that is James. Okay, my fact this week is the artist Goya, who was famously a deaf man, lived in a house called the House of the Death Man. It was actually named after a different deaf man who lived in that house. So first of all, what is Goya's full name? Because I think you were practicing... Oh, I thought you were calling back something that had happened before then. I was.
Starting point is 00:03:01 Yeah. And his full name was Francisco Jose Degoya Iluciente. Lovely. Nice. And that is a lot less Spanish than I went in the pre-show. And he is a very famous artist. He was around the me early 19th century. And he's kind of the link between the old masters like Rembrandt and whoever.
Starting point is 00:03:22 And the modern artists, because he was doing lots of satires and lots of incredible stuff. He is an absolutely incredible artist. He's probably my favorite artist. Hey, yeah, I can actually see why. I can connect those two things. Oh yeah, go on. Yeah, we'll get into it.
Starting point is 00:03:36 Some of it's like dark, disturbed, lots of paintings. But can you please tell us about this? Okay, I want to know, did this deaf man name the house after himself, the deaf man? No, it was named by locals as that because this deaf man had lived there and then later Goya moved in there. And did he move in there because he was only looking for houses called House for a Deaf?
Starting point is 00:03:57 Yeah, he actually Googled House for a deaf man and this is what came up. Yeah, but there was nothing special about the house that made it like accessible for people. No, it was a really nice house. Right. And he was a former court artist. So he had money and had a pension from the monarchy and stuff like that. It was also sort of away from the politics. He sort of wanted a place to retreat and sort of get away. Because he was heavily involved. His art would often, you know, either do satire or make political statements. Yeah. Exactly. He thought if he hangs around where the Spanish Inquisition are,
Starting point is 00:04:26 then there's a decent chance he might get. So he wanted to get away. But one interesting thing about this building is his most famous work for people at home, perhaps, is called Saturn Devouring His Son. You might know it. It's like a real devilish face, and he seems to be biting the head off
Starting point is 00:04:46 what could be a chicken or could be his son or something like that. It's a really dark painting. It's harrowing, it's like really quite fantastic. Yeah, if you do glit, you'll probably recognize it from memes and stuff. But that was... What is what he would have wanted? But it was on his wall in this house and actually he painted a load of these kind of satirical paintings on the wall of his house. And actually, they ended up being chipped off because he didn't intend to sell them or anything. They were just murals in his house.
Starting point is 00:05:14 They're known as the black paintings now. Precisely. And he had a whole, his whole first period of his life was much more involved in politics, like you say, painting on commission for royal courts. And there was a lot more, like a positive vibe to his painting. And then he got really sick and he went deaf as a result of one of his illnesses. And then he became very like depressed and obsessed with illness and obsessed with like
Starting point is 00:05:34 death and kind of neurotic. And these paintings we think reflect this dark state that he was in. Yeah, but they're all really weird and mysterious as well. We don't actually know that the painting is called satin devouring itself. We don't know anything about it. We know nothing about them. We don't know. Because like you say, they were all painted on the walls and then the wallpaper had to kind of be chipped away from the wall and then put on to canvas. But like a lot of art historians think that like they had to be very significantly altered when that happened. A lot of painting restoration. You can spot little bits of it that really they think, again, it's almost theory. Is that damage or is that what he intended?
Starting point is 00:06:05 There's one called the dog. It's basically a landscape where you see a dog's head sticking up at the bottom of the painting. And, you know, is he coming over a sort of horizon? Is he coming over a bump in a hill? Is he drowning in quicksand? A lot of people say he's drowning. I looked at him and thought, oh, it's like, it's like, sort of begging. Like, you get a dog at a table begging, but a lot of people have been attempting to drown in it. Yeah, but we have no idea. It's like, we're going never until they didn't want to see these. These were private things that he did on his wall at home. You know, if a kid draws on the wall,
Starting point is 00:06:32 they get in trouble, don't they? And yeah, kind of example, is that setting? You've got to own your own house in order to then make those decisions right? God, imagine if he was renting our pistol for everything. You're not getting your deposit back. Yeah, so he gave the house to his grandson and then his grandson sold it to, I don't know, a Baron.
Starting point is 00:06:50 And then that's the guy who went, let's take this off, put this on canvas, donate it to the museums. The dog in particular, in the museum where it is, the curator of that museum says that there's not a single contemporary painter in the world who does not pray in front of the dog. It's that important to you.
Starting point is 00:07:06 I've got to say, the dog doesn't impress me as the guy, like I think some of the others are better. Really? The dog doesn't impress me. Part of what you think, Al, it's a massive portrait shape vertical painting in the dogs right in the bottom and most of it's just brown. I love it.
Starting point is 00:07:19 95% of it's just brown. What you learn about Malie Averitch, by the way, who's painting is just black. It's like literally just a black square. Right. If you don't like something that's 90% brown, you're not going to like that. I think the only reason people like the dog is because you've filed through these witches and decapitated, bloody people, tearing each other's shreds and then you've got,
Starting point is 00:07:36 oh, a little black dog. People loving animals. Yeah, people loving animals. He knew the TikTok generation was coming out. Yeah. He knew memes were on the way. It's so clever. It's actually Doge, isn't it?
Starting point is 00:07:45 So, there's so much written about his art and the interpretations of it, but what do we know about Goia the Man? Who's a few things? Who's a few things we know? Are you presenting a documentary? I thought you were on the Southback shelf or something. I really felt like I was milking Braggle,
Starting point is 00:08:00 I was on it. The smell of orange. Love the smell of orange. Oh yeah. Yeah. The smell of a girl's armpit. Loved it. As long as the smell of orange. Love the smell of orange. Oh yeah. Yeah. The smell of a girl's armpit. Loved it. As long as it had an orange.
Starting point is 00:08:08 Did you get this from like a dating profile? Yeah, these are the width of tobacco, the aftertaste of wine, and the twanging rhythms of a street dance. This is all according to a biography that was written about him. Is it according to him himself? Because it feels like, okay. I mean, he wrote this down somewhere. It wasn't someone going.
Starting point is 00:08:27 He seems like the kind of guy who loves sniffing girls armpits. Let's put that in. Yeah, I love the smell of an orange. Like, of course, it doesn't. Like, orange is generally pleasant. Why would you like note that down? Well, maybe he chucked the orange thing in there to make up for the weirdness of the girls armpits
Starting point is 00:08:40 so that there was done. Yeah, I'm not totally creative. I like normal things too. He was the first major artist to paint a woman entirely nude in a profane style. This was the one that he got summoned by the Inquisition for, right? So profane means not religious. And this was the naked Maha. Yes. Who was deemed, I think, indecent and prejudicial to the common good. So yeah, I didn't know what a Maha was, but machos and machas were, according to the New Yorker,
Starting point is 00:09:09 this is a New Yorker described them, flamboyantly cheeky, lower-class dandies. And... That's what I've got on my dating profile. Lower-class, please, we have the way you talk, Alex. But yeah, I've got someone by the Inquisition, and I just find his tangles with the Inquisition Cali. But yeah, got some of the inquisition, and I just find his tangles with the inquisition quite bizarre. Yeah, it's not weird. Well, who knew the inquisition?
Starting point is 00:09:30 We're still bloody happening the stop of the 19th century. Are they lasted for ages, do they? They lasted ridiculously long. It's practically going since late medieval times, and still they're struggling on clinging on. I think they were quite toothless by then. Python sketch was topical. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:09:44 But he did. He got away with it with the naked painting. I believe by saying, well, if you think this was gross, then you're condemning your former king, because he said he was emulating a Velazquez painting at that Philip IV of Spain had loved. So he was going, well, your king loved this, basically. Your dead king.
Starting point is 00:10:02 So what are you going to do? Well, the interesting thing I think about the naked Mahat is that he gave it or sold it, I should say, to Godoy who was the Prime Minister of Spain at the time. And the story goes that we know that Goya made two versions, the naked Mahat and the not naked Mahat, the clothed Mahat, you might call it. And the Prime Minister supposedly kept the clothed one on display.
Starting point is 00:10:26 And whenever his friends would come round, after a few whiskeys, he would say, look at this. And he would pull like a secret lever, and the wall would spin round, and then, that's right. That's like one of those pens where you turn outside down. It's actually so tacky. Well, that's the story, and that's supposedly what happened.
Starting point is 00:10:44 But for sure, the reason that he got brought in front of the Inquisition Goya is because Goya was actually really controversial because he was the Prime Minister and this was one of the really controversial things that he did having this terrible painting. Wow. And it was Goya kind of got pulled into the Inquisition because they were going after Goya. Really? Yeah. That's amazing. It's a painting that has caused controversy for not just his period, but well long after his death. The 155 years. Well long.
Starting point is 00:11:10 Well long, well long, man. Well long. He used to say that people used to go to Godot's house and go, that is a bad good painting. Because you think this is bad? That is bad. So many, many years later, it's issued in Spain as a stamp. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad.
Starting point is 00:11:26 This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad.
Starting point is 00:11:34 This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad.
Starting point is 00:11:42 This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. This is bad. forward them on. There were a few cases where at the post office they would actually just, you know, they'd scroll up the screen, scroll it over and stuff like that and then send it on. But it was a huge, huge problem. That's amazing. You would have the letters returned. Yeah. Because, yeah. It's a time magazine wrote, and in decent pictures, bad enough, but a postage stamp whose backside must be licked millions of innocent children collect stamps. And so, yeah, and there were certain places that kind of allowed it, but eventually they did back in. But it didn't have a picture of her button
Starting point is 00:12:08 on the back that you could lick. No. So we don't know who the woman is in that painting, but there's a pretty good chance that it's at least partly based on the Duchess of Alba, who was supposedly Guy as mistress. They were definitely very good friends. We're not sure if they were
Starting point is 00:12:27 but they were definitely good mates. That sounded like it. Seesi filled the whistle. They looked after a small bird. It sounded like an actual sensor on our show that you said it's where we're and it's now in whistle-dove. I thought now that we're possibly going on BBC sounds that I should not be saying fucking. Yeah, true. Anyway, the Duchess of Albers, a full name actually, was Donia Maria del Pilar Theresa,
Starting point is 00:12:50 Cayetana de Silva, Alvarez de Toledo, Ysilva Bazar, De Simote, Serra de Cuesa de Alba, de Thomas, De Simote, Primiera de Cuesa de Chosca, Sexta de Cuesa de Monteiro Octavio, Candesa de Jose de Alvares, decimal primero, Marqués de Del Carrio, decimal texera, Marqués de De Korea, none of that, no, I won't do them all. It's 754 letters in total, her full name. Oh my god. So either we have to say this fact, or we have to say all the other fact. I'm not quite the person to answer. So yeah, and her descendant who died in 2014, who was actually quite famous, Duchess
Starting point is 00:13:29 of Albert, the one who was in the painting was a 13th, and the one who died in 2014 was in the Guinness World Records as the aristocrat with most titles. She was a bit of an eccentric, yeah. And the Duchess of Albert, who's in the painting, there's interesting thing about her, is she was one of the most powerful people, because she was also supposedly the mistress of Godot, the Prime Minister. But she had a bit of a beef with Maria Luisa,
Starting point is 00:13:55 who was the Queen Consort, who was married to Charles IV. These were the two most powerful women, and they really, really hated each other. And one day, the Queen Consort was going to go to a party and the Duchess of Alba found out what she was going to wear and got all of her maids to wear exactly the same clothes as the Countess and go to the party. So suddenly, there were like 20 women
Starting point is 00:14:17 all wearing exactly the same clothes. That could be seen as flattery. It wasn't, it was seen as... Famously women hate that. It was seen as a massive, massive slam. Did they? Women, you say? They don't like that.
Starting point is 00:14:30 You are. It was seen as a massive, massive slam. So much so that we think that the Queen Concert had the Dutch S-Avalda murdered. Oh wow. Wow, for wearing the crown. For getting her maize to wear the same clothes. That is a practical joke on her own. So I'm not terrified, because sometimes me and Anne
Starting point is 00:14:46 come into the office wearing the same jumper with a cuddly animal featured on the front. Do you think she's plotting my demise? I feel like she might be. Actually, they assumed her body in 1945. They think she probably died. Who else? Yeah, and she probably died of meningitis,
Starting point is 00:15:01 we think, because they murdered. But that was the story for hundreds of years. That's what happened. That's amazing. The number of paintings by Goya is going down and down by the day. Right? It's a real... I'd be most surprised if it was going up.
Starting point is 00:15:13 That's just ten. Yeah, that's such a good fight. I suppose sometimes you find paint, no. No, that is so you do discover lots of paintings. You lost paintings, that was true. You might have had another shed or something that he painted all over that we haven't just gone. Absolutely. You might have had a second home that you rented out as an Airbnb, but then it turns out that it had paintings on it.
Starting point is 00:15:32 But none of these things are true. What we're saying is... I think what we're saying is we don't know. We just don't know. If you're staying in an Airbnb with disturbing paintings on the wall, get it. That's every Airbnb. I mean, I was staying in a tastefully decorated heavy in the evening. You need to up your budget very slightly.
Starting point is 00:15:48 It's a lower-class dubby, huh? So this is because basically lots of paintings that we thought would buy him turn out not to be by him. Oh really? And when modern analysis is done, it looks very closely at brush strokes and the type of materials that were used and they make certain deductions. I'm always sketch cool, you know, so there's actually one of his most famous paintings, Colossus, they now think was not painted by him and there's
Starting point is 00:16:15 one next book called Manuela Mena and she says that the brush strokes were inferior to what he would have done. You can tell that the confidence with which they were made is not an expert. And you think he could just be having a bad day. Yeah, come on. I just say, if people in the like 200 years, they listened to episode 183 of the podcast. They were very funny in that one, so I don't think it was them.
Starting point is 00:16:36 Yeah. That's that AI thing, time to get my voices. MUSIC Stop the podcast. Stop the podcast! Hi everybody, we just wanted to let you know that we're sponsored this week by Squarespace. That's right, Squarespace. It's the all-in-one website platform that is used by entrepreneurs throughout the globe to help them make sure that their website stands out and has all the tools to run their
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Starting point is 00:19:58 Okay, it is time for fact number two and that is my fact. My fact this week is that before governments experience cyber attacks They had to deal with fax attacks. Oh Great name. Ultimately this podcast fax attack That's true. Yeah, so this is a thing that's called a black fax and people would do this as pranks But they would do it to companies that they hated they would do it to companies that they hated, they would do it to governments, where they would basically send over black paper from their side, and often they would loop it around, so their fax machine was just sort of eternally
Starting point is 00:20:32 sending a fully black page. Like a conveyor belt, right? Like a conveyor belt, exactly. And so the people receiving it, if they were not near their fax machine, suddenly they would be using all the ink up, or they might even heat the machine up so much because so much of it was processing the loadages, it would overload and it would
Starting point is 00:20:50 sort of just... I suppose also means you can't use the facts while that's happening. Exactly. We should say because people write in probably not ink so much as thermal paper. Yes, sorry. Yes. But I love already the people who would have written in to complain about that. I'm sorry we corrected ourselves because I want to know you better. Send your
Starting point is 00:21:08 facts to podcast at PY. So yeah, it's a method that was done and it was done, you know, put forth cybercrime if we're being sort of talking about it loosely because there are always examples of like the 1700s, a version of cyber. Yeah, they say the version was like 181834. Yeah, they say the first one was like 1834, especially the first cyber. What was that then? Well, it was in France and it was obviously before the internet was invented and it was eight away.
Starting point is 00:21:32 Thank you. Sorry. Kisses, don't say, might not know. And in those days, financial market data was, like, trading was happening, but it was sort of done via like, letter. So if you were in a different town, like the information would travel quite slowly. And people always trying to find a way to beat that information
Starting point is 00:21:51 and people tried like, carry opinions and all sorts of stuff like this. But one way it wasn't communicated was the telegraph system, which was used for other things. But these two brothers, the Blanc brothers, they set up a ruse with some of the telegraph operas is where they smuggled little information indicators in other messages. But the way the hack worked was that the information would be like
Starting point is 00:22:10 single character, like I suppose you for up or deep or down or something like that, to indicate something to do with the stock market. But then if you followed that with a backspace character, it meant that it wouldn't get written down because it would be regarded as a mistake. But the telegraph operator would see it all. So if they were in on it, they could write down and be like, yeah, it's just a set over in the state, we're not writing it down, but this is the information. And the idea being that you know if the price of gold has gone down, you can sort of look for it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, yeah. It was clever. Do you think, obviously, if we were the modern artist, we mentioned early, was it Roscoe who did all the black paintings? Oh, Maliiewicz. There's Maliiewicz. Or when he tries to fax the photos of his new artworks too.
Starting point is 00:22:47 I keep trying to send it to you. What is it? Stop pranking us. It's wise words so much. It's just the ink. No, it's not. It's not black. It's the Duchess of Albus name in very small parts of the house.
Starting point is 00:22:58 That's right. Do you know who, as of 2017, so I don't know if it's changed, but the last report that I saw 2017 was the biggest purchases of facts machines in the UK. NHS? Yeah, it's the NHS. Yeah, so interesting. They've really phased it out since then. I think, there was a big scandal.
Starting point is 00:23:19 Yeah, it was controversial. We've got to stop. And pages as well, wasn't it? I think they decided they wanted to get rid of them all. Also, the NHS still have a big, Dictaphone tradition, where a lot of the older doctors still, instead of... Why don't they just use their fingers?
Starting point is 00:23:33 Oh, yeah. That's what my favourite joke is. It's really a joke. It's a great joke. It's great. Sorry, as you were saying. No, just that loads of doctors still will be able to log in to the you and it's just counting when you go to the doctor. They'll make your medical notes and just put them into the system.
Starting point is 00:23:49 A lot of older doctors still prefer to use dictaphones. I manual dictaphones with like actual tape cassette tapes inside, dictate the notes, and then they're sent away to a third party transcription service, and then the notes are set back, and then the doctors then check them, like the written notes, and then they're in put into the system where someone else, and it's an insanely inefficient system. You've got a bad about that, and then the notes set back and then the doctors then check them like the written notes and then they're in put it in system
Starting point is 00:24:05 where someone else and it's an insanely inefficient system. You got a little bad about that. Yeah, it's ridiculous. Miley Sarah uses fax machines. Is this for communicating? Everything, really. No, only with one person. She uses them to communicate with her godmother, Dolly Parton, because Dolly Parton actually does use them for everything. Wow. She refuses to use text messaging,
Starting point is 00:24:29 and instead uses a fax machine for everything. Really? You really buried the lead there, but you're trying to get the kids in my tank. My least iris uses a sometimes just fax machine for Dolly Parton, that's amazing. Yeah, Dolly said, I don't want to talk to everyone that wants to talk to me.
Starting point is 00:24:42 I don't text, because I don't want to have to answer. I don't text because I don't want to have to answer. So she thinks if people text her, she'd have to reply all the time. But with a fax machine, she can just get the messages in there. Yeah, it's very indirect. You can't do the three dots thing or you don't get seen on a fax. Yeah, no. But then it's still indirect this way, because Miley Cyrus says that she doesn't really fax.
Starting point is 00:25:02 She has a phone. What happens is, Dolly Parton sends a fax, then somebody in the other end scans the fax to see what it says, and then writes it in a text message that gets sent to my site. Actually, the real leader of this fax is that somebody's job is
Starting point is 00:25:17 sort of communication between my and Sarah's and Dolly Parton exclusively. Are you telling me you don't want that job? Of course I want that job. It must have been a lot. I mentioned years ago on the podcast that that's how Brian Blessed would do his tweets. So yeah, it's the exact same thing. You would, he would be sent the tweets to reply to, to his agent, fax it to him.
Starting point is 00:25:35 He would fax back. There was a whole fact that I was just... He didn't write it, write out the replies by hand, which were then faxed back, and then they would be typed out from him. I can't remember. It went through like eight different modes of communication. There was a lot, but maybe that's more, you can't just be Dolly and Brock Blasser.
Starting point is 00:25:48 Brian Blessed wants to eat Miley Cyrus' saying, can you tell Dolly Parton to answer her phone? I think it's going to be a DNHS in there. Have you heard of the facts number of the beast? Okay, 666-something. It's 667. Oh. And it's quite just a little nice nugget for phone numbers or faxes.
Starting point is 00:26:08 Oh, because of course your fax number used to be your phone number, but with one digit at the end gone one up. Yeah. Oh, exactly. Yeah, yeah. So 667 is the fax number of the beast. I'm sorry, according to people who... I think it's a joke, right?
Starting point is 00:26:21 It's a joke, it's a joke. Yeah, it's a joke, yeah. Yeah, no, nice. I like, sorry, I. Yeah, no, nice. I like, sorry, I like jokes. I think it's a joke, guy. Before we had cyber, let's say urban legends being sent through email and Facebook and stuff like that.
Starting point is 00:26:39 They were all done on fax machines. And in 1993, there was a big scare in Memphis,, because there was a lot of faxes going around about gangs would drive around with the lights off in their cars, and if anyone flashed them to tell them their lights were off, then they would chase them, stop them, and kill them. And I thought, was this not true? Because I had this real car, isn't it? It's just got to Anna's fax.
Starting point is 00:27:03 That still goes around that room, right? But, you know, it is in his fate. But it was called fax law, the culture of sending faxes around it. It was the old meme culture, I think. Yeah, exactly. And when emails came along, it just went from fax to email directly from there to there.
Starting point is 00:27:18 So fax law was the name for the rumours, the lies that were started. Yeah, like folklore. Oh, wow. Ice, thank you. Again, I now get that that, Sir Joke facts law. It's a play on words. She likes jokes.
Starting point is 00:27:28 She loves jokes. I'm joking. I'm joking. Oh, for long time, I came with this podcast. Do you know who else? You used to facts each other in the 80s, well, low people. Give us a call.
Starting point is 00:27:41 I'm always. I framed that question badly. I've got a better way of framing it. What was the... And pretend that I didn't ask that previous question, because otherwise it'll give it away. What was the hotline between the White House and the Kremlin? Was it a fact, Bishin?
Starting point is 00:27:56 I knew you cheated there. I'm not using previous dimensions. I always thought it was a red telephone. It wasn't a phone. That's Batman you're thinking of. Yeah. I think that was part of where the rumor came from that the hotline was a phone, because I think it was in one
Starting point is 00:28:12 of the Batman films who speaks to the White House on the phone. Anyway, the hotline between the White House and the Cremlin famously started by Kennedy and Krustrov in the 60s was never a telephone between them, but it was in the 80s a fax machine. So it started with type, so it was tele-typed, so it was basically like an old version of text, where you'd type a message if you're in the White House,
Starting point is 00:28:34 or in fact in the Pentagon, where it was, you'd type a message it would be encrypted by people, sent to the Kremlin, and then translated by someone at the other end into Russian. And it was quite sweet. The start of the Cold War, they swapped machines for this teletyping. So the Kremlin posted to the US four of their teletyped machines
Starting point is 00:28:52 that could print stuff out in Cyrillic and the US posted back to the Kremlin four of their machines. And they upgraded to Fax machines in the 80s. So in the 1980s, if there was an emergency between Reagan and Gorbachev, then they faxed each other. There's many ways that people have to protect themselves against cyber attacks these days. What do you reckon, this is now turning just into a quiz, the answer is not fax machine. What do you reckon, so like for the Navy, how they get by, if they get cyber attacked for,
Starting point is 00:29:22 let's say, their GPS system is hit with malware from an unknown enemy in this underground. So you need to know which way to go. But your GPS is broken because you've been hit by cyber. Yeah. Pop up and look at the stars in your periscope. That's what it is. Oh, shit, sorry.
Starting point is 00:29:36 It's a lestial navigation. They're all taught. It's a lestial navigation, yeah. Which is a very, such a great submarine captain. That was my first thought. I mean, I wouldn't have to do it, but like... I got to get it. Somebody used to say that's doing that again.
Starting point is 00:29:48 Thanks Alex. That's why I was captain. I'm in charge. I'm like, I should do it when you're telling me what to do, right? I'm like, I think like how like quickly I made that decision on who's right what. Uh, gone. No, no, it wasn't funny.
Starting point is 00:30:00 Oh. I do. And she knows swabby. LAUGHTER Oh, as she knows, Fanny. So, we mentioned the number of the beast earlier on. Yes. I've got a little quiz for you. Oh, great.
Starting point is 00:30:12 Are the following things, the names of cyber attacks, or the names of bands who have opened for Iron Maiden? LAUGHTER Let's go for Shady Rat. Shady Rat's a band, surely. Yeah, cyber attack. I'm going to go cyber attack. It's a cyber Shady Rat. Shady Rat's a band, surely. Cyber Attack. I'm going to go Cyber Attack. It's a Cyber Attack.
Starting point is 00:30:27 In fact, it was a series of cyber attacks in the late 2000s, originated from China. Night Dragon. Cyber Attack. Band. Cyber Attack. Oh, I'd tell you, suck at this, so. Cyber Attack.
Starting point is 00:30:40 Around the same time as Shady Rat, these were attacks on energy companies. Nitro's use. Cyber attack. I'm going to go banned this time. Bed. Cyber attack. I don't know. I don't know.
Starting point is 00:30:53 I don't know. Everyone knows I am made in having a policy. If never, having a supporting house. These were attacks on around by the US that were planned if nuclear talks failed. Let's go for Vinny Vincent invasion. I'm going to say ban sure. Yeah. I'm going to say cyber attack. Oh, I don't you've lost it. I actually run out of cyber attacks now. I did the bomb with the top. I actually run out of cyber attacks now I did the ball with the top. I was looking at other like kind of non digital ways of hacking things and if you had of token suckers.
Starting point is 00:31:32 So this was for many years the New York subway ran on tokens. It was you would buy tokens which would go into the slots to let you do the barriers and it was because I think the denominations of coins never always matched up with the fairs. And there were people called token suckers who would steal tokens by jamming up the slot in the machine with a bit of paper so that when people put their token in, they'd lose it but it wouldn't go away in. And then they would come back
Starting point is 00:31:52 and they would scratch down and suck the token out. With them out. With them out. Really? Yeah. There's a hell of a vacuum you've got on your mouth if you can suck a coin out of a slot. Yeah, I think of this just inside.
Starting point is 00:32:02 You can kind of try to get it. So it may be used to your tongue to just suck wiggle it. Yeah. You could take a Hoover, take a vacuum cleaner to the station. Like a nice one. I think that has its tension. But they used to, some of the subway station attendants would put chili powder in the slots as a deterrent.
Starting point is 00:32:17 Oh, yeah, that's nice. If you get half a tennis ball and stick it on, and then one that creates a vacuum and then when you pull it off it would suck it. Really? Yeah, that's good. Probably any plunger I guess. Plunger would do the same job.
Starting point is 00:32:30 That was made to my side. Okay, it is time for fact number three and that is Anna. My fact this week is that for 200 years, humans made wire by soaking steel in urine before realising that water works just as well. We're so stupid. I love it. How recent was this in the last year we worked this out? Someone squashing down to urinate on the steel again saying, we definitely not just put
Starting point is 00:33:03 it under the table. What was the thought behind it? Well, I read this in a great book actually called How to Invent Everything. And the thought I think was that urine was used in various things, historically wasn't it? You know, the tanning industry springs to mind, but go through the podcast archive,
Starting point is 00:33:20 it was used for millions of other things. And so this was in Altena in Germany and it was in 1650 and at that point to make wire out of steel, you had to pull a steel rod, so like a thicker rod of steel, through a funnel of decreasing diameter. So you know like when you did filtration in science, you had those funnels and so you'd put steel in the wide end, and you drag it through until it gets thinner and thinner, and then you get a thin wire coming out of the other end. And to stop there being too much friction, because you're putting it through really hard, you use grease or oil, and then in this place called Altena in Germany,
Starting point is 00:33:56 someone, according to reports from the time accidentally, sort of urinated all over it, and then tried it, and found that it works just as well as the grease and oil. And so it must be something special about the we. I believe I found something from quite near the time that said that this guy who's called your handgared garris, so he had, he had been so annoyed that he couldn't draw it well enough that he'd thrown his material, Voyeidemen, Cienvasa Abschlaj, which is where everyone casts the water. So he didn't urinate on it, he got annoyed and threw it in the corner into the toilet.
Starting point is 00:34:34 That's why. Yeah, exactly. So he tossed it into the loop, and then he thought, I know, that was, I threw a strap there. That was silly, wasn't I? But I'll go and get it back. And so then he went,
Starting point is 00:34:43 I was sort of going, go and elbow me. Dizzy metal back, yeah. back. And so then he went and got me elbowed. And then he went, I'm going elbowed. And then he just went, I'm going to go and get it back. And so then he went and got it back. And then he went, I'm going elbowed. And then he went, I'm going elbowed. And then he went, I'm going elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed.
Starting point is 00:34:52 And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed.
Starting point is 00:35:00 And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. And then he went, I'm elbowed. the metal which reduces the friction when you pull it through. Now we now do know that water also does that, but for 200 years people who worked in this factory would provide urine to it, and actually their wives and children would also donate their urine to this factory. I like the fact that they in between the wheat and the water, they worked out the beer worked. They did it with the wheat
Starting point is 00:35:22 for ages, and then after about 100 years someone tried someone tried beer they went oh this works just as well Trying try like a hundred different thing. Yeah, I can't want what else would work that we haven't thought of yet Yeah, better than water. I think once you've got to water It's like okay good. This is the simplest trick I'd so love to have been there on the day that the person who came into town and said you know you can just use water So can you or, dicks in hands, do you? What? Starting in, dicking in.
Starting point is 00:35:54 You've been so embarrassed. How long you been doing this? 200 years. Two-word, doesn't matter. Yeah. Oh, wow. I think it's also interesting that you make why you make spaghetti. You just squeeze it in a, I mean, it pisses on my spaghetti. I mean, squeezing it through my face. Like if you could get a water, it's even.
Starting point is 00:36:14 I didn't do it. You know that smell that I and then steel has like door knobs and stuff. You know that smell. Yeah, yeah. The metal smell. So you actually don't because it turns out that it doesn't smell. And you know, what it actually is is the oils and chemicals excreted by you reacting with the surface of the metal.
Starting point is 00:36:34 Very similarly, and every kitchen should have this. I don't have this, but you can get stainless steel soap. And I've never heard of that before. Oh, yeah. What? Yeah. Because stainless steel is like antibacterial, right? Which is why a lot of dawn herbs are made out of it, and especially when you go to public toilets and stuff,
Starting point is 00:36:48 everything's metal. Yeah. Because bacteria can't last very long on it. Well, the suits. So you don't need to wash your hands when you're leaving the loo. You just turn the metal dawn off, right? You say, as long as you don't have both hands. You're not made of metal, right?
Starting point is 00:37:00 Now, this is specifically for, if you're cutting up onions, or you're cutting up garlic, and the smell gets stuck to your fingers fingers and you're like, oh, you've got to smell of this. Rubbing your hands against stainless steel creates a reaction that knocks out the smell from it. I've tried this before. I don't think it's scientifically proven at all, but they do sell as it were bars of stainless steel. I actually think it is scientifically proven.
Starting point is 00:37:22 What? But it doesn't really work. That's exactly it. It's not as if it's actually trick. But it's like, no, I've definitely run my garlicky fingers up and down stainless steel stuff to know about it. And just real soap not work at all for garlic? No, I don't think it, I don't think anything works for it except using garlic in a jar which I've resorted to now in order to sustain my marriage. I think just being happy with smells of garlic. All that. James, I wish life with that simple.
Starting point is 00:37:47 Yeah. What a weird cryptic sentence about your marriage that just slipped in there. Like, is it husband is a vampire? That's just it. Can I give you a QI question, but you've got to pretend you're in ancient Rome, and then it works.
Starting point is 00:38:02 Sure, do we have to do it in Latin? Yes, that's OK. I'm sure the listeners at home are fluent. So... So... So... No, I'll explain, we can't do this. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, version of steel as far back as then invented in India about 400 BC but it wasn't able to be mass-produced until the 19th century but they did have it made it to ancient Rome. The Latin word for steel is chalebe and it was named after that chalebe's people who lived on the black sea. Okay so you're in
Starting point is 00:38:37 Latin qi. What did the chalebe's people invent Chalibay people, they made metal. I mean, the lasting for steel is Chalibay. I'm just going to say that. Oh, okay. Is it the word caliber? Um, ex-caliber swords. Dan, can I get, I feel like you're the one who gives them more obvious stupid answer. Can you? Sorry, I'm still busy trying to picture myself, what character I am, what do I know, what do I not know.
Starting point is 00:39:04 Chalibay, and what, there do I know, what do I not know. Charlie Bay, and what there's supposed to be an obvious answer to this. They invented steel. Oh, they invented steel. Did they invent steel? And then you get a claxon. What?
Starting point is 00:39:14 It's very interesting. So what? What did you want to say? I was going on. I think God-Anaddon-Pitch-Q-I-S-W-E-C-E-N-S-L. Script-Sector. I don't understand how she's made such a mess of this. I've really been on the scripted last year.
Starting point is 00:39:24 It's so awkward. I'm saying to a Latin audience, what did the Chalibas people invent? You know, speaking Latin, that Chalibay is Latin for steers. We say steers. Steers, steers. Steers, steers. Yeah, they just invented another kind of hybrid iron.
Starting point is 00:39:40 They have steers. Yeah. Do you want to hear about the Barbed Wire was? Yes. OK, so Barbed Wire invented in 1873 in America by Joseph Glidden and used by farmers to protect their farms. Who was not happy about it? The Blunt Wire Manufacturers.
Starting point is 00:40:00 Well, yeah, fence makers. Yeah, yeah, that's true. Ramblers. Ramblers's true. Ramblers. Ramblers. Lots of ramblers. Yeah, golfers. Yeah, these are all great answers. But all wrong. I actually feel like ramblers,
Starting point is 00:40:14 because I think I may know the answer, but ramblers might be a vaguely correct-ish. People who wanted to rambl, right? I think it's true. I mean, not many people like Bob Dwyerty, but... The answer is Calboise, because if you had a farm and you didn't have fences, your cows and sheep could run anywhere, but you'd kept them in the right place by employing cowboys, but as soon as you had bad wire, you didn't need to employ cowboys anymore.
Starting point is 00:40:39 This is first name. Who ramble, who ramble freely, which is why I've given Alex half a coin. Ramble. They're on horses. Who rambles, who rambles freely, which is why I've given Alex half a coin. Rambles. They're on horses. They, yeah, I think if rambling is just sort of roaming free, but you think it has to be on foot. I think what we're doing now is rambling. But the other thing, the other people didn't like it were small ranches because if you
Starting point is 00:40:58 had a big ranch and you could afford loads of bab wire, you could put loads of bab wire around your farm. But actually in those days people weren't really sure where one farm stopped and another farm started. So if you were a small rancher you would often find that you would turn up to your ranch and there's a load of Babwaya, you couldn't get to your stuff anymore. And so there was a huge amount of violence and tension between these kind of small ranchers and the big ranchers and there were wire cutting groups that would go out and cut all the wires and actually grow the Cleveland the President had to send
Starting point is 00:41:28 in the army to remove any unlawful barbed wire fences. Didn't they have, they formed sort of gangs, didn't they, with really fun names, they were like the blue devils, the owls. They supported I made them, didn't they? Sorry, you're right. Native Americans as well didn't like it because it stopped Buffalo's rambling. I'm going to make rambles happen. And they depended so much on their livelihood for Buffalo's. It's one of the reasons that Buffalo's basically one extinct by the end of the century
Starting point is 00:42:01 is that they couldn't roam for any more. They were fenced in. Right. And it was all kind of Lincoln's fault, wasn't it? Because he signed this act which said everyone can have a bunch of free land in the Wild West if you agree to farm it. So all these farmers moved there. And then we're like, how do we, how do we stop these buffalo from trampling all over our crops? Yeah. Let me talk about an electric wire, right? After the borrifier. Yeah. I've just trying trying to think I wonder how many people died in that small town who were having an nostalgic piss on a bit of wire I think that's
Starting point is 00:42:34 Myth is never if you piss on electric fans you get electric who said don't try it at home Electric Get out my room, man! I didn't warn you! I think the myth that I remember, and again, I'm not sure that this is true, so people shouldn't try it at someone else's home. But your urine stream isn't usually a complete stream, it's usually got gaps in it enough that the electricity can't travel up it. Did anyone come across this Guardian Notes and Query section? So you know the Guardian notes and queries and someone asks a question,
Starting point is 00:43:08 lots of often people who have inside knowledge, answer underneath. Yes. And there's one that's when was wire invented. OK. Because any of you see this? No. It's just very confusing. So there's when was wire invented
Starting point is 00:43:20 and then various people underneath give their answers. And one of the answers is fierce controversy surrounded the invention of wire. And it goes on to explain that Thomas Malum said he invented wire in 1830 at his foundry in Sheffield. But a Frenchman, Jean-François Marta also said he'd invented wire at the same time. There was this legal action contesting the rights of the patent. It was never resolved because Thomas Malum died of an inflamed liver. And then it's extraordinary facts.
Starting point is 00:43:49 Thomas Malum's memorial is an Abney Park cemetery, very near where I used to live, which has lots of amazing gravestones on it. And it's now rusted away, but it used to be constructed entirely of wire in the shape of an anvil topped with a falcon. And the source was a book called Wire, It's History and Application by Dr A Stone.
Starting point is 00:44:08 And... Sorry. It's different material. Well, it is a different material. But there's nothing obvious in this to give away that it's completely made up. It's completely made up. Oh, it's completely made up.
Starting point is 00:44:22 Oh, okay, fine. This person gives this extraordinary story of the history of the founding of Wion. I was like brilliant, something fascinating. God, there's Abney Parker. I can't live, I never saw that. Completely false. So this is the story of you reading a comment section, finding the information ought to be true. It's a comment section. It's Guardian Notes and queries, okay. You get high-brow experts for applying to people about and then- But the joke is can slip in, that's the problem. Yeah, it's not a very good joke though, is it? I don't know, A-Stone.
Starting point is 00:44:48 A-Stone? I did love, I did love really art, that's a big one. That's not a joke, I know jokes, guys. That's a big one. Just on other things you can use urine for, Virgin Boy Eggs? Oh yeah. Do you remember this?
Starting point is 00:45:03 And boy. So they are a traditional dish from China, from Dongyang. And basically, it is exactly what it sounds like. They boil eggs in the urine of young boys. So like 10 or younger. That's not what Virgin boy eggs sounds like. That's gonna be when you see it. It translate with boy eggs, fine.
Starting point is 00:45:19 Like again, urine boy eggs, you're absolutely right. You're in boy eggs, got it. You're trying to, sorry. It translates as Virgin boy eggs, Virgin boy absolutely right. You're in boy eggs, got it. You're trying to, sorry, they translate this version of boy eggs, version of boy being like small boy. Thanks. And yeah, they all through the town, the kids are encouraged to, when they go to the Lewin schools, they either can go to the normal toilet
Starting point is 00:45:34 or they can go and pee in like a collection bucket in the corridor. And then all of this, all of this urine gets taken and then eggs are boiled in them. And it's a whole process where like they're double boiled in this urine are boiled in them and it's a whole process well like they're double boiled in this urine and people eat them and it's like a delicacy and you're just like that for a lot. It's just interesting.
Starting point is 00:45:52 There is definitely like a legit egg factor there where I'm like it's somebody else's urine that this has been cooked in. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's very interesting. I had 100 years eggs. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:46:03 They're like supposed to be 100 years old. They're not really 100 years old, but they are quite old. They're old, yeah. And they just taste really sulfurous. But they haven't been bathed in year and a half, they're just. No, they're just. They're different kind of weird eggs.
Starting point is 00:46:13 It's the year and a half, yeah. I don't like, yeah. I can talk about weird eggs that I've eaten. I had that ballot, you know, that has the baby chickens, the embryo of the chicken, isn't it? Oh, right, so maybe if you're spin off weird eggs, I'm eating podcasts. We'll run forever and ever. It's they've actually poached me.
Starting point is 00:46:30 Hey! The rest is weird eggs. It's a view of going back to podcasts. It's me and Deelia Smith just talking about weird eggs. Weird eggs. Weird eggs. Weird eggs. Stop the podcast. Stop the broadcast.
Starting point is 00:46:51 Hey everyone, this week's episode of Fish is sponsored by Aura Frames. Yes, Aura Frames is the ideal gift to give this Christmas to family or friends. Basically you send someone a digital Aura frame and by downloading the app at your end, you can always project into that frame whatever picture you want to. It can be a picture of you opening the Christmas present they sent you that day. It can be an incredibly embarrassing photo that they forgot you took years ago. It can be whatever you want them to see. That's right. And you can upload a zillion photos. There is no limit on the aura frame. The space is wide open. You can get as many photos up there. So every day, as you're walking around your house,
Starting point is 00:47:34 this photo frame can just show you a new, amazing memory that you haven't seen in years and make you just smile. It's a whole point of it. It's a big old smile frame. It's a smile frame. And not only that, it's the best one according to the strategist, wired, wire cutter, all these sites have named that the best digital frame. And if you go to aura frames, that's a you are a slash fish, you can get $30 off their best selling frames. That's right. So head to, that's slashfish, use the promo code Fish and get
Starting point is 00:48:12 $30 off their best selling frames, terms and conditions apply. Oh, and with the bookers! Oh, and with the show! Okay, it's time for our final fact of the show and that is Alex. My fact this week is that dragonfly wings are equipped with tiny knives that physically rip bacteria apart. What? It's amazing. It's just a it's a property they have that keep their wings clean. So can I ask a question? Yeah, Alex straight off the bat.
Starting point is 00:48:45 I've currently got a chest infection, and I'm on antibiotics. Could I instead chuck some drag off my wings? That's such a great question. I don't want to answer that in case you die. I think you can say, should I strap a series of knives to my arms and flap them around? Yes.
Starting point is 00:49:04 Also an option? I think probably not. I think Drank Fies are amazing and humans use them as inspiration for scientific innovations so much. But one of the things that we are doing is trying to emulate this, what's called nanopillars, these tiny, tiny, blunt pillars that are so, so small. They're 100,000th of the width of a human hair. I mean, so, so tiny. So bacteria literally lands on them, gets caught between two and gets ripped apart. I mean, it's absolutely astonishing, how small is this?
Starting point is 00:49:30 There's more than 10 billion of them per wing, basically, on each one. It's really mad. And they're really, really good at destroying almost all bacteria that lands on them. So it's a university in Melbourne, Australia, who have successfully made a sort of plastic version. So that could be the new stainless steel. Wow. Next time you go into your public bathroom, there'll be a plastic
Starting point is 00:49:49 handle. Could it switch so scientists have managed to make stuff that small? Yeah. Well done. I didn't need to do novels on rice now. Yeah. You know that's quite different to having something that's there's 10 billion of them. I don't think they've been manually sharpening each one with a tiny, tiny set of carving that I was anything. I once pushed an electron with a scanning tunneling microscope. Wow, right. And it took me about an hour and a half.
Starting point is 00:50:17 Really? Where did it just go? It was quite a long time ago. No, just like to slightly other place to where it already was. Like, I just moved it. Can you just blown it? No, because it's an electron. It's so small So you have this little sort of it's like a needle, but it says some kind of quantum effect
Starting point is 00:50:32 I don't know I did study it like I don't really understand it But I had the machine and then it was like a computer game thing and you would kind of push this one electron and the idea They meant you to yeah, it wasn't like OCD you't just, it's like walking in and seeing a painting slightly as cute. You're like, oh, I'm really uncomfortable with that. I really just princess the P.E.T. I'm just curious. This place is such a mess.
Starting point is 00:50:51 Oh. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. But, yeah, dragonflies are actually astonishing. They're incredible. Yeah. They are amazing. Every fact I learn about them, just that you are the most
Starting point is 00:51:02 metal insane. They are the most efficient killers in nature. They are the most efficient predators. They kill over 95% of the prey that they chase, which is like that's unbelievable. It's so lucky they're so small when they don't eat us. Yeah, I love you caught them the most metal. They've opened for Iron Maiden.
Starting point is 00:51:17 Yeah. When they're lava, so like little worm things, they kind of live underwater. And then they shed the lava skin and start to become a dragonfly. When they're lava, so like little worm things, they kind of live underwater. And then they shed the lava skin and start to become a dragonfly. And they create these wings, but the wings are like made of jelly. They're not like the wings that they have when they're older, so they need to dry them out. And so they produce sodium bicarbonate in the rectum. And they fart it out and it reacts with the water and it creates CO2 and it dries out their wings.
Starting point is 00:51:49 Wow. Means that they become proper wings. They are their own hair dryer. That's amazing. But also when their lava they eat through their anus as well. And they also spend most of their lives as lava. So they can some species live up to five years but they spend nearly all of it as a lava. And then they become a dragonfly just a couple of months and flying around.
Starting point is 00:52:06 I always think it's weird, it's not weird at all, but it's some firt of these animals that we think of them as dragonflies, when actually for almost all their life, they're not dragonflies at all. I think they want to be thought of as dragonflies rather than these weird undue, like, a little bit creepy, yeah. It must be, I watched a great, I watched a couple of great documentaries actually about them. One of them was talking about the extraordinary moment when they're climbing up a blade of sort of grass, which they would do when they're emerging from nymphase into dragonfly
Starting point is 00:52:32 face, climb a blade of grass out of the water. And that first time that you feel the weight of gravity on you, they've been floating in water all of their lives. And suddenly, they slow down massively because it's suddenly having to wrench their body way up. And then if you watch videos of them emerging from the exoske massively because it's suddenly having to wrench their body weight up. And then if you watch videos of them emerging from the exoskeleton, it's very cool. So the abdomen as a dragonfly is concertinoured
Starting point is 00:52:54 just like a telescope inside of their larval self. So when they burst out suddenly, it's like pulling a telescope out to its full extension. And when they climb up, they can retreat at any point, so they're not drag and fly yet, until their massive goggly eyes, you know, they've got this big eyes, until their eyes turn cloudy and white. And then once the eyes have gone milky, there's no going back. Oh my god, that's incredible.
Starting point is 00:53:17 That's awesome. That's how you can tell. Wow. Did you know they can't walk? They've got six legs, and they can climb with them, but they can't walk on them But they mostly use them to like grab their prey in mid-air and like stab it and like they're not called dragon walks I saw it's weird having to like as in most most flies and insects land that can also walk on there that they use it to like stand and walk whereas dragonfly specifically use it to grab and hunt them all like Pinses, they're so awesome that the US decided to create walk where as dragonfly specifically use it to grab and hunt them, or like pinces. That's great.
Starting point is 00:53:45 They're so awesome that the US decided to create a spying dragonfly drone, which was based on all these amazing things that dragonflies could do. So it had tiny beads that could reflect the light and could check for oscillations, so you could work out what someone was saying from a massive distance away. It could flap its wings, 1800 times per minute using lithium nitrate crystals, control by lasers. It cost about two million dollars for each one, but they only ever tested it in lab conditions, and then when they took it out they realised it couldn't cope with wind.
Starting point is 00:54:17 I found a documentary by David Dassenbrough, which was called Dragons and Damsals. It was made in 2019, it was a TV special, and I really wanted to watch it. And so I was googling dragons and damsals to see where you could get it. Yeah. Sadly, the closest I could get was a documentary of similar length, about 45 minutes, called Dragons and Damsals,
Starting point is 00:54:39 released on YouTube by Bucks and Civic Association during the pandemic, and hosted by a chap called Richard Nicely Marple, which was really good as well. And so I'm telling you some things I've learned from the about dragons and damns, the production quality slightly lower. There were interruptions like, can you see my cursor as I'm moving it out there? Can everyone see me on the screen or can you see the thing I'm showing you? But um... Never get... I had some redding that flying out the art, be like, why can't I see them?
Starting point is 00:55:10 But I would love to see Atombo doing a new narration about this, talking about tree. Here we see the human attempt... Yes. The thumbnails have confused the Jesus out of them. It was a good bell. It was really good. So he said, sweetly, he said, the southern hawk could drag and fly. They're the only dragonflies that will fly up to you and look you straight in the eye. That's so scary.
Starting point is 00:55:34 He said it's quite frightening. Yep. Sounds like a US drug, doesn't it really? Maybe that's what they are. They always happen. He said, the way to tell the difference between damselflies and dragonflies, where there are many ways, but one of them is, and you have to look quite closely,
Starting point is 00:55:48 but during mating, they both grab the female from behind, but dragonflies grab the female on the back of the head, but as damsels grab the female on the back of the neck. So you do have to be quite visible. Oh, wow. And also, I really enjoyed a metaphor he used, which actually referenced a fact that we mentioned before, which is that ancient dragonflies, millions of years ago,
Starting point is 00:56:10 were up to a meter wide. And as he said, you can imagine what sort of a mess that would make if it hit your windscreen. Yeah. That actually laughed out loud at that. And I've never laughed out loud at David Attenborough. Or any of our jokes on this one. She does jokes.
Starting point is 00:56:24 She does. Anyone those jokes. She does anyone does jokes. And the female Dragonflies also, they fake their deaths to avoid having sex sometimes. Yes, they do do that, don't they? And the other thing I know about Dragonflies X is the males have spoon-shaped penises so that they can scoop out sperm of the previous guy if he finds any inside.
Starting point is 00:56:40 Oh, that is clever. Big roast. But yeah. Well, no, but necessary, right? Well yeah, it's both so. Arguably humans have that as well. Really? Yeah.
Starting point is 00:56:50 The idea is that the bell and shape at the top of a penis could possibly be used to scrape out on the people's semen. Yeah, or, or just get a half cut tennis ball. And you can pl Clench that out. I'm actually starting to question your fact now, Alex, having just looked at my notes, because Anna previously gave us a fake fact from A Stone. And your fact about an insect comes from someone called A Wolf. It's Dr. Anna Lena Wolf. She does make this, this amazing point that's made inside this article, which
Starting point is 00:57:26 you touched on earlier, which is basically all the things that we're looking for from modern invention, evolution has worked out somewhere on our planet, which we need to look around for four billion years' worth of evolution, and you eventually find something that can be then taken into the lab to try and mimic, which is pretty awesome. It's the mimicking that's art, I think, sometimes. We actually don't have four billion years to make it. We've got about a week before the funding dries up. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:57:53 But they've been around 300 million years. Dinosaurs were walking the planet. I mean, that's always because in my head, the romanticism of the dinosaurs being just because of how old they were in alive, and we forget all these animals. The dragonflies were there. It's true. It's a different version. In fairness to people who make cartoons and dinosaur movies, they do often have dragonflies
Starting point is 00:58:12 flying around. Yeah, that's true. That's true. Yeah, that's so true. That is true. One other incredible thing about them you wouldn't expect is how far they can fly and that's another thing that scientists are looking into. Can we replicate it?
Starting point is 00:58:25 Because the globe skimmer dragonfly has the record for the longest insect migration, and it does a round trip of 18,000 kilometers. That's insane. It's always one of these things, where I think, does it count if it's multi-generational? Yeah. Because it eats.
Starting point is 00:58:40 What do you know? It is one of these things. It's where the dragonfly, this particular particular dragonfly lays its eggs and lives and mates in shallow pools, because the pools are warmer, it's their shallow, and so it can grow faster. So it follows the rain, so it can follow shallow pools. So it flies from India to Africa, and then the next generation flies back.
Starting point is 00:58:59 If I went on a gap here and then like came back and it was my son, you wouldn't be like, how was Africa? Like, you can't be like, how was Africa? Like, you're dead. I like to sew world travels. Alex and Alex Jr. together. Okay, that is it. That is all of our facts.
Starting point is 00:59:19 Thank you so much for listening. If you'd like to get in contact with any of us about the things that we have said over the course of this podcast We can be found at various places on the internet. I'm on Instagram on at Shriberland James My Instagram is no such thing as James Harkin Alex. I don't have any socials at the moment. Yeah Copycat My life and Anna. How can they get in touch with all of us? And you can get in touch with all of us
Starting point is 00:59:45 by emailing podcast or by tweeting at no such thing. That's right. Or you can go to our website, no such thing as a All of the previous episodes are up there. Do check them out. Also check out Club Fish, which is our behind the scenes special fun place
Starting point is 01:00:01 where we have lots of bonus material, little fun extra shows like drop us a lines. Lots of great stuff there. But otherwise just come back next week for another episode and we'll see you then, goodbye. you

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