No Such Thing As A Fish - 515: No Such Thing As A Reindeer Stockbroker

Episode Date: January 25, 2024

Anna, Andy, James and Leying discuss Bletchley teas, Thirsk MPs and sailing ships on stormy seas. Visit for news about live shows, merchandise and more episodes. Join Club for ad-free episodes and exclusive bonus content at or

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Starting point is 00:00:00 Hi everyone, welcome to this week's episode of No Such Thing as a Fish. Dan Shriver is not with us today unfortunately, he is off doing community service, by which I mean he's doing jury duty which means he won't be here this week or next, but in his place we are joined by our colleague and very very good friend, Leigh Li. Now, some of you, the Super Duper Fish fans will already know who Liying is. She has appeared on our Meet the Elves feature in Club Fish. She was so good on that that we decided to ask her
Starting point is 00:00:36 onto the main podcast. I'm sure you're gonna really enjoy it. She's absolutely brilliant. If you want to know more about all the other elves, then go to forward slash to forward slash apple and forward slash patreon and if you go there you can hear all the other episodes of meet the elves as well as drop us a line which is our mailbag show, compilations and much, much more. Anyway there's not much more to say today apart from really hope you enjoy the show with Liam and on with the podcast!
Starting point is 00:01:21 Hello and welcome to Know Such Things as a Fish, a weekly podcast coming to you from the QI offices in Hoban. My name is Anna Tyshinski and I'm sitting here with James Harkin, Andrew Hunter Murray and Lee-ing Lee and we are gathered here today with our four favourite facts from the last seven days. So in no particular order, here we go. Lee-ing, what's your fact? My fact this week is that during World War II, Bletchley Park was forced to have a teacup amnesty. So it was an amnesty like where you have to go and turn your teacup in.
Starting point is 00:01:52 Yeah. And you won't be arrested. You won't be arrested. And you won't be arrested. There was a memo that was sent out that said, it is regretted that owing to losses, it is no longer possible to provide service crockery for morning and afternoon teas. Wow. And that was all they did at Bletchley. That's all, yeah, they only drank tea.
Starting point is 00:02:08 They didn't do any important work at all. No longer providing service crockery for morning and afternoon teas. I feel like that's the point of which England really started to decline. Yeah. The start of England's decline was the middle of World War Two. Is that what we're saying? Pounder point. was the middle of World War II, is that what we're saying? Yes. Yeah. Counterpoint. Yeah. Wasn't the famous thing about Bletchley was that Alan Turing, who worked there, used
Starting point is 00:02:30 to chain his mug to the radiator. Yeah. That's the story. And then poor Alan would be teased by people picking the lock on the chain and making his tea cup just to annoy him. If he can't set a code on his lock that's not possible to break by the others, then I don't know if I trust this guy to win our war. The thing about sharing is I read an interview with someone else who worked at Bletchley
Starting point is 00:02:55 and apparently when he wasn't in his office he used to tie his mug to his hand. So if they go outside, there's a big lake at Bletchley and they'd often have like a picnic out there and he would be there with it tied by rope to his hand so no one could steal it. Fantastic. Wasn't there a room that they threw crockery into the lake? Do we think that was just a room? Well, yeah, that's an interesting question.
Starting point is 00:03:16 So I found quite a lot of sources, kind of diary entries and things like that. My sources, all sources. Brilliant. Very good, very good. I went to Bletchley myself and dredged the lake and found sources. And I found some sources that people like Josh Cooper, who was the really kind of eccentric head of the air section, he would go around the lake, finish his coffee and then throw
Starting point is 00:03:39 his cup into the lake. And also there's a good reason for Alan Turing to chain his mug up because apparently his deputy, Hugh Alexander, would also be known to throw his teacups into the lake. But why? Was there a reason for it? Was it like a celebration or was it, oh, we've cracked today's code? They were all Greek. Right. So is it? They would just smash the plates and throw the teacups away. Yeah, it feels like that, doesn't it? Yeah. And well, it wasn't just lakes as well.
Starting point is 00:04:05 There was another memo that said that they ended up finding loads of cups and sources in the shrubs. It feels like there was some kind of weird Easter egg hunt game going on that we don't know about. If we know anything is that they were good at keeping secrets at Bletchley. And I think this one is still official secrets act. Yeah, because Leigh and you emailed them and asked them if it was true right? Yeah, well, the thing that was mostly interesting checking was something that said that after the war,
Starting point is 00:04:31 the administrators at Bletchley dredged the lake, hoping to find kind of discarded equipment that was used to kind of crack the enigma code and really fascinating kind of historical artifacts. And instead all they found was giant heaps of cutlery and crockery and tea sauces and stuff, which would have been fantastic. So I emailed them just a double check and I talked to this amazing woman called Heather, hi Heather if you're listening, and she said that. She's always listening. She's actually translating what we're saying into three languages simultaneously. Yeah, it's being encrypted right now, but she said, unfortunately, they think it's a myth or certainly a bit of an exaggeration.
Starting point is 00:05:12 But they do know that certainly Josh Cooper may have thrown a cup in once. Was he exactly? What a find-out. I'm flustered. That's so interesting. That's a smoke screen. They're drawing us away from the real story, I think. Well, that's it. That's it.
Starting point is 00:05:25 As Anna said, maybe actually it's something very secret to do with the way that we cracked codes or fought the war, and they just don't want people to know. Fair enough. Should we say, for maybe for international listeners? I think we should. Like, what actually was. I think I know we've been speaking to tenants. Right.
Starting point is 00:05:39 So, early 40s, Britain on the ropes. There's a war going on. There's a war going on. We're about to go downhill. The... The tea services declined dramatically. 1940s Britain on the ropes. There's a war going on. There's a war going on. Where bats go downhill. The tea services declined dramatically. The Nazis have overrun Europe and they are communicating using enigma machines. They look like typewriters and they allow you very easily to to encrypt what you're saying.
Starting point is 00:06:00 It divides it into blocks of letters. It looks like complete rubbish. And the Germans are so confident about the security of Enigma because there are 364 billion possible codes and there's a new code every day. They're so confident they just transmit the messages, they don't try and jam the signal or anything. So these messages are out there and they're undecyparable. There's a nightmare, you know, completely impossible. Cocky, and that was their mistake.
Starting point is 00:06:23 Because Polish intelligence had just cracked Enigma just before the war and handed part of the secret a big part of it to British intelligence So at Bletchley Park, which is this country estate in England the British government gathers together Hundreds and hundreds of code crackers and administrators and people who set to work including famously Alan Turing But Variety of stuff right famous chess players or people who agree that solving Crosswalk is an odd collection. Like everyone sort of piles into Bletchley Park and starts solving codes and cracking codes, and it goes on until the war ends, and it's amazingly successful.
Starting point is 00:06:55 It is. And also the thing about Bletchley, again, that it's famous for here, is the fact that it was mostly women. So it was a women outnumbered men at Bletchley by about eight to one, I think, and they were there doing that mechanical work of every day taking down all the clothes that were coming through. Rinding through, yeah. Yeah. In fact, I hadn't realised that Baroness Trumpington, who was a real character in British politics until she died a few years ago, was at Bletchley. I swear there was a period where sort of any elderly posh woman in sort of the 90s when I was growing up had actually been at Bletchley at some point.
Starting point is 00:07:27 Because also they weren't allowed to say anything were they? Yeah, exactly. So it was like national secrets for so long, so long, so long. And then the 90s came along and everything got declassified and everyone went, oh yeah, I was there. Yeah, so was I. Oh yeah, I was. Well, they had a whole thing where they were trying to recruit what they called boffins
Starting point is 00:07:43 and devs. Boffins being kind of clever people and devs being debutants as in high society, socialite women. Oh, why? Because they felt that, you know, they had that kind of level of education. And they were often not bilingual. Exactly. They often, they could speak French or they could speak German or they'd had a university education.
Starting point is 00:08:03 And so as you say, it turns out that a lot of the people there came from quite high society. And then they found themselves, you know, bunking with all of these random people in Bletchley. Because they were posh, they were often like quite eccentric and prone to misbehaviour because they could get away with it. So a lot of the women would bunk off constantly and go and shag their boyfriends. For instance, there was one woman who was in charge called Pamela Rose, who she was actually an actress. She wanted to be in the West End.
Starting point is 00:08:29 And she was in charge of overseeing 50 women in one of the huts. And one of them was actually Baroness Trumpington, who was called Jean Campbell Harris at the time. And at one point she had to stuff Baroness Trumpington into a laundry basket and rolled her down the corridor into an officer's room, I think. It was quite annoyed who was trying to do serious work. Was that to make her escape?
Starting point is 00:08:48 I think it might have been a bit of japery. I'm not sure if it was a genuine punishment or having a half. Bad news. Bad news. We've lost another 30,000 troops at sea. One of the convoys has been sunk by the U-boats, which was due to us not cracking a vital message. Good news. We all had a great team building exercise that we got in laundry basket. It was amazing. When they turned up, they would be asked two questions. One, do you like crossword puzzles? Two, are you engaged to be married? That was your first two questions. And then if you said, yes, I like crosswords and no, I'm not engaged, they go,
Starting point is 00:09:18 okay, now you can have an interview. Oh, you're through. And also the thing, the amazing thing about the secrecy is just how secret it was, as in you don't know what the person in the next heart is doing. You don't know what the people in the same room as you are doing. So often you don't know what you're doing. Like you're, I've been in some jobs where I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really know what anyone else was doing. Is it possible you've worked at GCHQ without knowing it? That could be true. I thought I was an accountant because it's just numbers. Oh my, you've done some significant stuff, I bet, without realising.
Starting point is 00:09:49 But a hoon! Because you're just like crashing these cut and you're grinding through huge numbers of huge amounts of information. And you know Churchill wrote a six volume history of the Second World War, never mentioned Bletchley because it was still super, super secret because they had to hide the fact that towards the end of the war Hitler was an open book, as in Bletchley because it was still super super secret because they had to hide the fact that towards the end of the war Hitler was an open book as in Bletchley Park were getting and translating and deciphering his messages before that Rommel or Gery or whatever that's incredible and they
Starting point is 00:10:14 didn't know they haven't yeah and the fact that the secrecy lasted for so long as well there are so many veterans who you know took the secret to their graves or the amazing stories of, you know, husband and wives who met at Bletchley but didn't actually know what the other person was doing and then they had kids and they couldn't tell their kids what they were doing during the war as well. And so it was just decades and decades and decades of secrecy and what's really fascinating to me is that the first person to kind of publish a book about what happened at Bletchley was treated as such a traitor by a lot of the veterans who were there. It was quite self-aggrandising, it was,
Starting point is 00:10:51 you know, kind of like, oh, I did this and I did this. That was vital to the war effort and all of this. So that was probably another reason he sounded like a bit of an arrogant prick. But for a lot of the veterans at Bletchley, it was one of those things where it was, you know, it's secret and we're going to take these eucanas to our graves. Have you guys been there? Yeah, I've been. A while ago, actually I can't remember much about it, but that's okay. I was there for a public speaking competition as a teenager.
Starting point is 00:11:15 Unfortunately, you were engaged to be married, so you could get a job there. Hey, crosswords. Yeah, right, That's cool. Do you know if you were interviewed there, another question you might be asked was if you interviewed by Dilly Knox, who was one of the most important people at Bletchley and he was a real eccentric. And he would ask people the question, which way round the hands of a clock go? Brilliant. What would you say for that?
Starting point is 00:11:42 Markwise. You're out. You put the minute hand on first and then the hour hand. And then the second hand? Building a clock. Oh, I see. You've interpreted it that way. The second one goes right at the bottom, I think. You've thought outside the box, but no,
Starting point is 00:11:56 the correct answer according to him is it depends whether you're looking at the clock or whether you are the clock. Brilliant. That's interesting because I imagine no one got that right. How on earth did we going to get anyone into it? No one's going to drop Britain off the wall. It sounds a lot like the kind of questions that you think get asked at Oxbridge interviews and things like that.
Starting point is 00:12:15 And considering that so many people that were from Oxbridge, maybe they did kind of think outside the box in that way. I think it was that sort of thing. What was the name of the person that you said wanted to be a West End actress? That was Pamela Rose. Pamela Rose. So I wonder when Pamela Rose was at Bletchley, whether or not she joined the Bletchley Park Dramatic Club.
Starting point is 00:12:34 She did, she loved it. Did she? Yeah, I'm sure she did. I love reading about this. So at Bletchley, it turns out that there was quite a campus-like feel there. A lot of people, you know, their university was interrupted by the war and they got recruited by
Starting point is 00:12:49 Bletchley. And so one particular veteran described it as being like their university. So there was all the other kind of stuff that you'd associate with uni. There was like social clubs. They had Christmas pantos that they put on. And's like, I don't remember any of this at uni. I remember being debagged a lot. You were the one in the laundry basket with me. But one person that I found that I thought was so interesting is that Olivia Newton-John's dad, Bryn Newton-John, he was an officer at Bletchley
Starting point is 00:13:23 and he was a member of the drama club. No way, really! He finds his name, Bryn Newton John, in all of the programmes for all the things that they'd put on. Just on the results they got, because it is quite abstract and it's very sort of, you know, there's people like posh shows in the countryside and actually lots of them weren't posh, lots of them were Rennes, women's Royal Naval Service who were getting on with the like basic work every single day. But some of the things they did, for example, they worked out the location of every milk cow in the Atlantic Ocean. And that's pretty easy. I reckon I could do that now. Not the one on the bottom.
Starting point is 00:14:00 So the milk cows were the tankers that were in the Atlantic and they were to refuel German U-boats. Oh really? And there were, you know, a couple of dozen maximum and they obviously were the most significant thing for the entire U-boat operation. They were all located thanks to Enigma and they were all sunk, so the U-boat. That was a big part of winning the war against the U-boats. I really like one of the ways that they worked. Like you say, the Germans had improved the Enigma, so we did know how they worked, but it was still hard to crack the codes every day. And so what you needed was some
Starting point is 00:14:30 information that you knew. So when they sent the information, you know what you're looking for. And so what they did was they would drop bombs in very obvious places. And they drop in a place where you know exactly where it is. And so the Germans then would send a message saying, there's been a bomb in, you know, 25 miles north of Dresden or something. And you know what 25 miles north of Dresden is. And you know, probably might even by then know
Starting point is 00:14:54 that you're looking for the word, Minen, which is German for a mine or a bomb. So you would know what you're looking for. I was called gardening. I think this is the kind of thing where we're like, that's so clever. And if you were one of the actual code breakers listening, of thing where we're like, that's so clever. And if you were one of the actual code breakers listening, you'd be like, God, that's the most basic thing.
Starting point is 00:15:09 Wow. Can I give you something on crockery and throwing crockery around? So this fact was perhaps about people throwing crockery. So I thought I'd look at plate smashing in Greece. I've seen various articles about where it comes from, and some people say, oh, it's an ancient Greek thing that they would do in funerals. I'm not really so sure. I think it might be quite a modern thing that came in the 1960s and 70s. But actually, in 1969, it was banned by the military dictator, Georgeus Papadopoulos.
Starting point is 00:15:43 He banned any plate smashing in the streets because it was so dangerous. Oh, not because we didn't have enough crockery for our tea anymore. No, because they set up these factories where you would make fake crockery. Amazing. So it was like, it was real crockery. It was made of china and stuff, but it was like really low quality. There was no patterns on it, anything like that. It was just something that was made deliberately so you could then smash it.
Starting point is 00:16:09 And there were 53 manufacturers of these fake plates in Thessaloniki alone. Stop it! Yeah, honestly. That's so good. How many plates were being smashed? There was in the 60s up to 100,000 per month, it's estimated. Wait, why? At the end of your meal, if you've got a great restaurant, There was in the 60s up to 100,000 per month, it's estimated. Why?
Starting point is 00:16:31 At the end of your meal, if you've got a great restaurant, they'll smash the plates for you. It's just like a tradition. They'll smash it for you. You don't even actually smash it. Well, you used to do it yourself and then like health and safety came in and you would get like some waiters would, you know, put on their glasses so that they don't get any peace in their eyes and do it in the car. They'd actually take them away for the controlled explosion. And today there's only one manufacturer of fake plates
Starting point is 00:16:52 in the whole of Veseluniki. That was actually what we remember when Greece had that terrible recession around the time of the credit crunch. That was mostly caused by the fake plate industry, wasn't it? Yeah. But like what is a fake plate? Is in what's a fake plate?
Starting point is 00:17:04 It's interesting, because you could still use them as a plate. Absolutely. But they're much cheaper to manufacture. They're not bothered if there's cracks in there or anything like that. There's no patterns on there. They're just white China plates. Not as fun to smash though. I bet there were proper hardcore smashers who still went for the sort of
Starting point is 00:17:20 100 pound proper set. You still go to the museum in Athens. Is this why we're not giving the Parthenon marbles back? Do you think they're going to be used? So there's a little smash orgy. I don't know if you've seen the algae marbles, but they are quite smashed orgy. Why do you think they got like that in the first place?
Starting point is 00:17:49 Stop the podcast. Stop the podcast! Hey everyone, this week's episode of Fish is sponsored by HelloFresh. Yes, HelloFresh, just one O in case Dan's pronunciation confused you, is the service that delivers really delicious meals to your door in the form of perfectly portioned ingredients and recipe cards that you follow to convince yourself you're a gourmet chef. That's right, hello, Fresh. Make sure that you can save time. I have three kids.
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Starting point is 00:19:00 That's right, so head to slash newfish and you're going to get access to super quick recipes, there's healthy choices, there's veggie options, there's lots of variations including just healthy snacks and if you use that link you're going to get 60% off your first order and 25% off the next two months. So keep your marriage safe and your kids alive and on with the show. On with the podcast. safe and your kids alive and on with the show. On with the podcast. Okay, it's time for fact number two and that's my fact. My fact is that 18th century sea captains sometimes used their sailors as sails.
Starting point is 00:19:39 This is actually in a book called See People by a woman called Christina Thompson and it's such a good book. It's so fantastically written. And this is a practice called Manning the Four Shrouds. And it was used throughout kind of the great age of sail, which I suppose was 15th century to 19th century, a long period. And basically, if the wind is too high,
Starting point is 00:19:58 if there's a big gale, if there's a storm, then it's very dangerous to put your sails up because they could be completely shredded, the mast could be toppled, the boat's gonna be there. Oh yeah, you don't want to get any of your sails shredded, instead put one of your men up there. We've got 400 sailors and only one big sail. No, that makes sense. Send up Stanley Big Shirt. Is that a reference to my friend?
Starting point is 00:20:22 Yeah. That's very good, because we've never mentioned him on here. Probably. No, I don't think so. You used to have a friend whose nickname was Stanley Big Shirt. Big Shirt, yeah. That's so good, because it worked for the listener, and then it worked even better for James on a higher level.
Starting point is 00:20:34 Thank you. So this is where the captain of a ship would say to Stanley Big Shirt and Co, could you please climb up onto the four shrouds? So the shrouds of a ship are, if you see a big sailing ship, there's what look like, you know, like a salt coarse rope ladders and climbing frames. Yeah, like rigging frames kind of thing. Yeah, exactly. That rigging is what the shrouds are and they're what support the mast and you can climb up
Starting point is 00:20:57 them really easily. So the sailors will all climb up and they'd spread out their hands and legs and they'd literally just face up against the wind. Just sounds like utter nonsense, doesn't it? They'd need a density of sailors such that it was the solid wall of sailors. Yeah, that's a lot of sailors. So it's kind of holding, can't they? And still be pretty functional. Like you get most of the effect.
Starting point is 00:21:19 I think that was because you didn't want it to be too strong. That was the thing. They're not going to be as strong as a sail. But there was one. There was a ship captain by Sir Hyde Parker in the 1700s, where 200 sailors were sent up into the rigging. The one that Christina Thompson in her book refers to is Commodore George Anson, who was involved in the War of Jenkins Ear, which I think we must have mentioned. I don't think we have.
Starting point is 00:21:39 And again, for international listeners, this was a huge deal for Britain, the War of Jenkins Ear. I actually think for British listeners, that War of Jenkins Ear is, I don't think it's GCSE syllabus. It was about 70, no, I'm thinking of the Seven Years War. Sorry, no, just regard that. That was a bigger deal. Well, you say it goes World War II, World War I, War of Jenkins Ear, the three main things on the syllabus in English schools, certainly. And basically, there's the War of Jenkins Ear in 1740, which was named after a humorous
Starting point is 00:22:05 slam in Parliament, where someone waved an ear around, Google it. I thought it was someone's ear, but it got cut off in a naval fracar. I thought I did, and then didn't the cut off ear get waved around? I think I might have made up that bit. I've embellished it in my head. Yeah. I don't think you allow props in the house of Parliament. And that's so rural. You're right. And that's why they've had to remove the official rubber in their house. That's so rural. You're right.
Starting point is 00:22:26 That's why they've had to remove the official rubber chicken from Parliament. It's really said they're an out-of-the-sector, and that's the one prop they have. Anyway, this captain recorded in Asari in 1740 that we did not venture any sail abroad, so instead we had to put the helm of weather, as in I think face the helm, towards the wind and man the fore shrouds. And in kind of classic 1700s understatement, he recorded it, proof successful for the end intended, although one of our best men did go overboard. Wow.
Starting point is 00:22:53 Um, so yeah, good trick. Feels like a rare move. Yeah, must have been. They must have been doing it often. I would say it was what we might call a life hack. It came up a bit, I was reading in a, um... In Captain's Weekly. These 12 weird tricks. You are believed number eight.
Starting point is 00:23:12 Salus. I hate him. But like, was that the only thing they use the sailors for? Could you have used one as an author? It's lovely. Like your tallest, straightest soldier. Biggest Tony. Like your tallest, straightest soldier. Bigster Tony. Yeah, exactly.
Starting point is 00:23:27 I didn't really, you could look into that because they did sometimes. I read one thing in an 1810 book of Sailing Instructions that said, if you're in a gale, you either man the fore shrouds, or if you've got some spare canvas or hammocks, which I guess the sailors are desperately struggling for hammocks at this point, to get up there instead. If you've got some hammocks, you put them up there instead. Well, that did actually happen once with the hammocks, but in the 1920s, so that was a good, what, 200 years after they were still using random
Starting point is 00:23:54 hammocks and blankets and things. So why were they doing that? Yeah, so there was a US submarine that ran out of fuel and lost communications. A sail not very useful in the submarine, I would say. What? You would think, you would think. There should be a milk cow around here somewhere. Yeah. Well, we'll actually take them all out at that point. They thought, how are we going to get home? And so the commanding officer basically commanded his men
Starting point is 00:24:18 to grab the hammocks and grab the blankets and grab the bunk bed frames. And they built masts and sails and put them on their submarine and sailed their submarine home. That is so cool. Because submarines weren't mostly surface vessels, weren't they, in the tens and twenties? Well, they just called Marines then. Well, they couldn't go down for long, could they?
Starting point is 00:24:40 They could, like, early proto-submarines. Did everyone on BARD have to hold their breath when they put death threats? Yeah, yeah. Age of sale stuff is so cool. I really, really like all of it. So I got some nautical slang for you. Oh yeah. Manning the foreshadow thing I thought we could price more. So this is to a guide to nautical slang from John Hard.
Starting point is 00:24:58 And it was published only about 30 years ago, so it's got some more modern stuff. Bronzey, bronzey. It's where you conferred in a battle. That's right. Really bad result. You're golden silver. And you're like, oh, bad news.
Starting point is 00:25:13 We got bronzy, bronzy this time. You didn't even lose. No, that's suntanned. If you're suntanned. Bunch of bastards. The French. Always correct. But it's also some tangled rope.
Starting point is 00:25:27 Bunghole. Ah, no. Is it the newest recruit always happened? It was part of the initiation ceremony was it? Bunghole. Yeah. No, that's just some cheese. Oh, what? Cheese. Is it do they use the cheese sometimes to bung up holes? Maybe so it's just bunghole is cheese. Do you know what a nip cheese was?
Starting point is 00:25:46 Oh, no. This was in a book called The Sailor's Word book, an alphabetical digest of nautical terms, which is a very, very old. Nip cheese. Nip cheese. So I'm imagining it's not a kind of cheese. Is it just mice on boats?
Starting point is 00:26:00 Oh, that's a great one. No, it's not quite that. We ain't got any ideas. Oh, I mean, yes, but don't think that you should come up high then. Is it nipple thing? No, it's not a Andy. Well, quite, I said, you guys are parents, you've heard of like neck cheese, right? Oh, as in they get stuck in the folds. Yeah, you know, like, you know, kind of when a baby's breastfeeding and then the breast milk kind of dribbles down and then kind of get stuck in the foals of their neck.
Starting point is 00:26:27 Yeah, yeah. It's never got to a cheese like status, I have to say, in my experience. I've never been able to ferment it properly. But despite your best efforts, is it? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I love any cheese. No, it's not the same as that, but on the nipples.
Starting point is 00:26:40 It's the name for a purse's steward. So the person who looks after the money, if you imagine like cutting bits of cheese to guys, kind of share the money. He's like cheese pairing. He's a bit stingy. Yeah, yeah. Do you know why we call a poop deck a poop deck? No, we don't know. Everyone's shouts on it. That's what they did with it. Yeah. What's a poop deck?
Starting point is 00:27:03 Well, a particular deck on the ship. Yeah. Not the main deck. The back. Well, there's the fore deck, there's the main deck and that. I don't know where the poop deck is actually. Well, if you knew that, it might give you a clue. Is it at the back?
Starting point is 00:27:14 It's on the stern and it comes from the French la-poop, which means the stern. Love it. That's great. And for that reason, you have some other things. You have the pooping sea. Oh. And that is where you're going down the sea and the current is going at the same speed as your sterns. So your rudder can't really get any purchase because you're going at the same speed as the water.
Starting point is 00:27:37 That's great. Do you know what a bunting tosser is? That's it. Someone from the Jubilee. That's it. That's right. Actually, you're dead on. Oh, am I?
Starting point is 00:27:48 Well, it kind of, it is flag related. It's a radio operator, and that would traditionally have been a signalman who is raising the signal flags. So, Buntingtosser. That's exactly what I said. Snorkers. Just sausages, guys. Just sausages. And the beach master. The beach master. He was someone who stood on the beach and said, this way, guys. This
Starting point is 00:28:15 way. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Oh, too far. Too far. Oh, shit. Do you know what? I'm going to give you that. Yes. Well, again, it's going to be something completely different. Did he have those kind of like ping pong bats? That's it. Yeah. It's a superior officer who is appointed to lead the Storming Party, the Beachmaster. So yeah. Do you remember we talked a few weeks ago about elephant seals? They're Beachmasters. Arebes of junior. Has there ever been a situation where an elephant seal beach master and the British naval beach
Starting point is 00:28:48 master have been mixed up with hilarious consequences? I bet it doesn't. Oh no! We've got the storming party is just one elephant seal with this harem of a hundred females. That's great. I mean, you would run away, wouldn't you? Yeah. Scary.
Starting point is 00:29:03 This is sort of relates back to the Bletchley fact, but there was a Cornish pirate called Robert Culliford, and he once loaded their cannons with China Croquery in the hope that it would tear the sails of the opposition ships. That's a great idea. How'd that work? It did not work well. They actually exploded into a fine powder by the time they had met the enemy sales. So just rained down the problem. Nice bit of rain. Yes. I think they also, they did that in the Trojan War, didn't they?
Starting point is 00:29:32 And that's why Greek people to this day, smash plates at the end of a meal. Have you heard of the Pine Tree Riot? This is a thing that pretty much prompted the American War of Independence and was directly related to the Navy. Okay, well, was it tax related? Yes. Just getting it all right. I mean, that actually, I've got right here.
Starting point is 00:29:54 So basically, Britain and France both wanted the build chips and to build a ship with a big mast, you need a big tree. I got this, by the way, from a brilliant book called the Age of Wood, which is such a good book. You thought it was something different. Britain had very little forest at this time, partly because it turned it all into ships, and had to get them from America. Because in America there are these gorgeous massive pine trees that will make a cracking mast. And they had all sorts of trouble. They basically decreed, right, all trees over 24 inches across, which is what you need for a ship to mast, they belong to the crown. And we mark them with a little arrow and their hours, and you can't have them, you colonists.
Starting point is 00:30:34 And in fact, having wide floorboards was a sign that you were a patriotic American colonist that you were just cocking a snook at the British, because you had used these wide trees rather than going to the British at the British because you had used these wide trees rather than grab your rebel you with your wide floorboards. And this all led to this confrontation where the British sent the authorities to try and say, look, these really are our trees. And the Americans kind of sent them away with their tail between their legs and embarrassed them and humiliated them. And this was a thing called the pine tree riot. And that was 1772. And that much led on to the Boston Tea Party 1773 and from there you know everything went downhill. Yeah but that was like that was mostly mast related.
Starting point is 00:31:17 The age of wood by the way just count the rigs that'll do it. Fantastic. James we did sign a 300 paid contract. James, we did sign a 300 paid contract. I was looking a bit into what sales are made out of. And nowadays, they can be all sorts from natural fibers like cotton and flax to synthetic fibers like nylon polyester, all of that. But one thing I found that was quite interesting to me was that hemp was used basically throughout the ship for everything. So hemp oil was used in the lamps, the sailors would wear clothing made out of hemp, the ship's logs would be written on hemp paper, but it turns out that some of these massive sailing ships,
Starting point is 00:31:58 they would actually carry hemp seeds with them so that if they ended up in a shipwreck or they had damage they could plant the seeds to grow hemp. Grow your stick! And then mend their rope or their canvas because hemp is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. That's fantastic. That's fantastic. That's really cool.
Starting point is 00:32:18 And they would use hemp to make the canvas for the sails and the ropes And the word canvas actually comes from the word cannabis. Oh, it's good. Yeah, it's how kind of... It's the same plant as hemp. Which is, yeah. For any squareslessly. LAUGHTER Sorry, just quick mention of the old wacky-backy
Starting point is 00:32:41 from all the time I've been in there. MUSIC of the old wacky backie. Right. Okay, we should move on to fact number three, and that is Andy. My fact is that reindeer can chew in their sleep. Oh, that's useful. It's so cool. Gavaskorn must do a good business in the reindeer community, wasn't it? So, it's really clever. It's all to do with where they live, because they live in the
Starting point is 00:33:05 very high regions of the earth. Not necessarily higher, I would say. You mean further north? Not like on top of Everest. Okay, we're being squares about it. This is why you never travelled north of Watford. You're like, oh, I'm so high up here. I can't get the oxygen. Okay, they live in the Arctic Circle. We're being like, do we be? Yeah, sure.
Starting point is 00:33:27 And they, the, obviously the light there changes a lot, doesn't it? So some of the year it's always light. Some of the year it's never light. It's dark for ages. And they have a very, very weak body clock. So in summer, they have to eat a great deal all the time to gain weight to survive the winter. And they're ruminants. So they bring food back up from one of their stomachs and they keep chewing it. And because they're having to do a lot of this during the summer,
Starting point is 00:33:53 they will regurgitate food and they will keep chewing it while they're asleep. We weren't sure before what they were doing, they just look a bit dazed and a bit dozy. And the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research have measured their brainwaves while they're doing this, standing around chewing. And it sounds out they are in a light stage of sleep while they're eating. That's really nice. Wait, we couldn't tell if they were asleep
Starting point is 00:34:14 to then have their eyes closed. I think brain activity is a better guide, isn't it, than whether you've got your eyes closed. It's not like every time you close your eyes, you're asleep. No, I know. I just feel like I'd know if I just looked at the reindeer, you'd be like, well, they're obviously asleep. You've just fell asleep for a second there.
Starting point is 00:34:31 That thing is really interesting about the body clocks, because it means they don't get jet-lagged, right? So our body clock is 24 hours. We deal with the light, the dark, we're on a 24 hour clock. If we go through some time zones, then we're not on 24 hours anymore and we're all over the place. But if reindeer would do regular flights to Australia, like they might do once a year to deliver presents, for instance, they wouldn't get jet lagged. And the interesting thing about that is, you know, there are gene variants that cause this, and maybe we can turn those genes on and off in humans one day to stop humans from getting jet-lagged.
Starting point is 00:35:10 That feels like a drastic intervention. Yeah, we would also grow homes. Yeah, reindeer. Reindeer are cool, aren't they? Most of my facts are about the Sami people who are obsessed with reindeer. But, well, I say obsessed. Obsessed with. Usually reliant on them for their survival.
Starting point is 00:35:28 Guys, get over there. Obsessed with oxygen and water. No, I love the Sami people. They are the people who live up in the Arctic Circle, really, in the northern parts of Norway and Sweden and Finland. The high places of the earth. The high places, yes. So, they paid their taxes in live reindeer for a long time. They have special designations sort of in the equivalent of the Magna Carta of that region. So it's called the Lapkodasil and it was a clause added to the 1751 treaty which designated the borders of all those countries. And it said
Starting point is 00:36:00 that they are allowed to move totally freely across borders because the reindeer need to move across borders and they need to herd them. Although herding reindeer is basically just following them, I think. The reindeer go where they want to find food and to get sustenance to go to better climates and the salmon people just follow them to make sure they keep water there. That is mostly true. You can get them to go in the direction you want and the way you do that is you piss in a bottle and you carry it around with you. And if they start going in the direction you don't want them to go in,
Starting point is 00:36:28 you pour a little bit in this direction and they all go, oh, piss lovely, and they all walk towards where the piss smell is. Because it's like got salt and minerals and stuff like that. Just a life hack, we call that. Good to know. Anyway, they have over a thousand words for reindeer. Do they? They really do. Because reindeer are so important, so they have like a liami, which means a short fat
Starting point is 00:36:51 female reindeer. They have a snari, a reindeer whose antlers are short and branched. A nijiru is an unmanageable female. And you've been sexist these names, haven't they? Yeah. There's no room for your woke political niceties in the unforgiving tundra, James. Well, there's a lot of snowflakes up there, I have heard. That's cool.
Starting point is 00:37:16 They do have a word for a bull with one testicle. So maybe the feminist reindeer are getting upset and cutting off the testicles of the males. They have night vision goggles, effectively, inside their eyes. Reindeer. Reindeer. Nice. Not with that many people. No.
Starting point is 00:37:33 So, reindeer's eyes change colour over the season. So they're golden in summer and then they're blue in the winter. And the reason that's helpful is that in winter they can see a lot more UV light. And the reason that UV light is helpful is that their favourite they can see a lot more UV light and the reason that UV light is helpful is that their favorite food is this thing called reindeer moss. Disappointingly it's a kind of lichen but it's really yummy and it's very nutritious and there's a lot of it about in the Arctic so reindeer love it and they like to find it and it's impossible for a human to find it because
Starting point is 00:38:03 it's pale but to a reindeer it's incredibly obvious where the patches of reindeer moss are because it looks a completely different colour to them. Because I think snow gives off UV light, doesn't it? Whereas it doesn't, so it looks like dark. Because they have this ability to see the UV light, they can see where the moss is. So it's very, very cool. They're very well adapted for their environment. What's interesting is that they're not actually 100% sure how the eyeball actually changes from golden to blue. And we should say as well actually that the color changes not in your iris. No, because otherwise it sounds insane that they've discovered this in like 2030. It's like, wait a minute, we've domesticated these guys for how long? We've not looked at
Starting point is 00:38:39 their eyes. So yeah, it's not that you're looking at them on the outside and their eye color changes. It's the inside. Oh! It's the thing called the tappatum lucidum, I think I'm saying that correctly, which is kind of on the back of the eye and it does all of the reflecting of the light around your eye. Well, you would see that, I reckon, is if you were taking a photo of a load of reindeer and one of them looked directly at the flash, I reckon you would see the change over there. You do? Is that right? Yeah, that's why if you photograph animals in the dark, yeah, that's their tappatum lucidum. of reindeer and one of them looked directly at the flash. I reckon you would see the change over there.
Starting point is 00:39:05 You do? Is that right? Yeah, that's why if you photograph animals in the dark, yeah, that's their tapitum. Because that's why we get red eyes is because the back of our eyes is red because it's got a lot of blood in there. And so when the flash goes, you see the light, the light goes into the back of your eye where all the blood vessels are and that's why you get red eye. Is that why you get red eye? Yeah, yeah. In old, like mostly in old, is it from film photos? Do you get that on digital photos now? I've seen newer photos, yeah. Do you?
Starting point is 00:39:30 Yeah, yeah. I've never done. So that doesn't point that no one would ever taken a photo of them in Reindeer. Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I've never taken it with flash at least. I think it's quite hard to take a photo of Reindeer with flash. Well, they have a very shiny nose.
Starting point is 00:39:44 So brilliant. Oh, your nose has come out red in this one and this one. I didn't know the UK has reindeer. I was incredibly excited to find that out. Like in the wild? Yeah. There's one wild herd of reindeer and they're at the Cairngorm reindeer centre but they are wild. It's not a zoo or an enclosure. They're not penned. High up. Very high up, near Inverness. I mean, probably in the top of the mountains, because it's the Cairngorms I was thinking as opposed to. Well, that too.
Starting point is 00:40:12 And they were introduced by this great couple, Mikkel Utsi and his wife, Dr Ethel Lindgren, in 1952. Probably overshadowed by the change of monarchy and the Everest expedition, but still. And they gave them all these furious reasons of why we could, because it's basically early rewilding, you know, just by any other name. And the reasons they gave these two scientists, they said, well, great source of meat, great source of fur, useful for military transport in case of the Cold War turning hot. Sure. I saw that. And I, I couldn't work out what, did they imagine that they would be bringing the reindeer to the Soviet Union and using them to transport stuff like military equipment? Or maybe like...
Starting point is 00:40:49 Or are we being invaded? Nuclear winter, maybe, and so we get a load of snow. They might be useful. There was a story in the Russian press in the... When was this? It was in the 2000s that criminals like gangs were using reindeer to do their crimes. And the reason being that they were in Siberia, so the police are coming to get them
Starting point is 00:41:09 and the police had snowmobiles, but the reindeer were quicker than the snowmobiles. And so the criminals realized that and they would use them to. Is there like getaway vehicle? Yeah, getaway, reindeer. Cool. Would they ride them?
Starting point is 00:41:23 No, they'd be pulled on sle Rosie. Cool. Would they ride them? No, they wouldn't ride them. They'd be pulled on sleighs. Yeah, yeah. That sounds weird, these got-nick-russian criminals being pulled by children running to them going, They're going to be pulled on sleighs! Well, if you've just robbed a bank, though, you've probably got sacks of money waiting on the back of the sleigh. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:41:41 And one will fall off. Maybe that's the origin of the Santa Claus myth. The Kangor reindeer-centered staff, very excitingly, they did a naked calendar just a few years ago. Naked humans? Or naked reindeer? Naked... The reindeer, I think, were mostly in harnesses and things.
Starting point is 00:41:56 They didn't save them all. They all died of cold. No, but there were 17 herders, and they were all posing in the hall together to raise money for the Kangor mountain rescue team. Do we approve of this? I mean, like, I don't mind that group of what would they women's institute people doing it the first time. But you've repeatedly turned down my idea, James, for a fish nude calendar where we're
Starting point is 00:42:19 all hiding behind facts. This trend of people doing this. Well, I'll just give you a line from the photographer who said... Who said, it's very cold in the car and guards. Taking pictures of my naked friends and colleagues, not to mention my girlfriend's mum was certainly a surreal experience. I can't believe they fell for it, to be said. She goes from town to town posing naked calendars.
Starting point is 00:42:50 It's a really nice day for a perfect scam, isn't it? Just come to another office. Hello! I'm just not knowing if you like a naked calendar. I'm a dark film, Canada Girls, but can't put that lens on it. Oh, dear. Good gracious. Most stuff on reindeer, this guy.
Starting point is 00:43:16 They are very fast. The rubbers are right. And they're fast and very young. They can outrun an Olympic sprinter when they're only a day old. Stop it. That's so cool. What? Newborns can stand and walk almost straight away.
Starting point is 00:43:31 And then within an hour, they can run. That is absolutely. Which is good. And makes you wonder if they sort of do that competition, like within 15 minutes, some parents are like, mine's actually running already. You should get Santa's reindeer to be your financial advisors. Because they're not employed for the rest of the year. Very nice. Although free in January for the tax deadline.
Starting point is 00:43:55 Exactly. They're twiddling their hooves otherwise. So what it is is that a team of researchers at Dartmouth College bearing in mind this is an Ivy League University, right? They did a very, very serious study where they got a bunch of Santa's reindeer at a local kind of Christmas theme park. They were Dasha, dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donna, Blitzen, Rudolph and Boris. Boris was a trainee. Can I just ask, are these real reindeer and are they really Santa's reindeer? They are real reindeer and Santa is real. Okay, cool. So they're living reindeer. It wasn't like mod IK. And what they did was they laid out copies of the Wall Street Journal stock pages on the floor of their barn
Starting point is 00:44:41 and they got them to select stocks that they wanted them to buy. So they made a print on the newspaper pages and then they went and purchased these stocks to create a reindeer portfolio. And they found that it outdid the S&P 500, which is the kind of top 500 companies in the US. It outdid the growth of those companies by 5%. And apparently that's statistically significant. What? Is it? Is it? Apparently so. It says the Ivy League researchers. But the thing that they did... Sorry, just to say that is significant. If you could make 5% more than the average on the
Starting point is 00:45:19 stock market and you could consistently do that, then you'd be very rich. Yeah, you'd be doing well. That's the consistently thing, isn't it? Well, all we have is evidence that they are. No, over six months. But the reason why they did this was kind of to prove that senators and congressmen, who are often in America, accused of using their inside knowledge to play the stock market, that what they did was they compared the portfolios of the senators to the reindeer portfolio and found that the reindeer was still better than the senators and the congressmen
Starting point is 00:45:51 who had inside knowledge. And one of the researchers actually said that it turns out that these politicians are as feckless as the rest of us at stock picking. Well, it could be that they're scrupulously honest and they don't use any of their internal knowledge. Very, very good point. Very good point. And maybe they prove that with the reindeer popper. Or it could be, Reindeer's are absolutely massive inside of them.
Starting point is 00:46:13 They're going round the country once a year. Like while Santa's delivering the presents, they're hecking into emails. So, going through the filing cabinet. That's why, yeah. They always take a bite out of the apple, drink the sherry and go through all of your books too. Why are there hoof prints left inside the house after he's been? It doesn't make any
Starting point is 00:46:29 sense. No, you're so right. Do they fall down the chimney? They should be on the roof. Yeah. Hoof on the roof. That's a good title for a children's book. Lovely. Don't give your reindeer's, currets. Why not?
Starting point is 00:46:39 I don't know any reindeers. Next question. No, I'm listening. I do. Yeah, well, just because we were saying about, you know, Sherry and Midspise, I mean, don't give them them either. But yeah, they can't digest them. But what am I going to cover my penis with in the naked calendar? Maybe there's some other baby vegetables that they make. I don't know. I'll see if I can find a runner bean. I'll see if I can find a runner bean. Great stuff.
Starting point is 00:47:11 Okay. All right, it's time. I quite need a pee. Do you want to go now? A pee's not going to be big enough. That's all right. Brilliant. Okay, it is time for our final fact this week, and that is James. Okay, my fact this week is that from 1841 to 1851, the MP for Thursk thought he was a
Starting point is 00:47:40 bird. He was then replaced by a man who was later killed by a turnip. Was he killed by an actual turnip or another MP who thought he was a turnip? He was killed by an actual turnip. Did it get into the campaign literature? Vote for me. The other guy thinks he's a bird. I'm safer on turnips. There wasn't much in the way of campaigning in these days, especially in Fersk, where all of these people all got in without any opponents. Who do you want to hear about first? The bird man, I think.
Starting point is 00:48:13 Okay, the bird man of Fersk was a guy called John Bell. Basically in this area, they had to have an MP. They had a railway and there were a few people living there. They had to have an MP. And there wasn't really anyone to do it. A few people from outside of the town came in, they might want to do it, but no one in the town wanted to vote for them. So they all voted for this guy called John Bell because his family owned half of the houses in the town and everyone liked them. And, you know, he was the right man for the job really. So they voted for him, but after he'd been in there for a little while,
Starting point is 00:48:48 it turned out that he was of unsound mind. And they did an inquiry as to his unsoundness of mind, which took place at the Three Tons Hotel in Thursk, which is now a Weatherspoons. And in this inquiry, they said that he sometimes fancied himself to be an eagle and made motions with his arms as if endeavoring to raise himself from the grounds to fly. He was also convinced that someone was trying to poison him with iodine in his tea. A bit of a callback to the last episode. And then on other occasions, when in company, he would forget that he was at the dinner
Starting point is 00:49:22 table and start to undress himself. Okay. But in those days, there was no way to get rid of someone. If they were an MP and there wasn't an election, and even if there was an election and people there wanted to send back the same guy, there's no way to get rid of them if they were of unsound mind. Oh. I guess I don't even know how you would now, because in fact, then legislation was introduced and then there were various upgrades to it, but I think it was all repealed in about 2012 or 13. So, you know...
Starting point is 00:49:49 I can't imagine any of our politicians would be of unsalm night. Yeah, right. It's just not relevant anymore. And anyway, he unfortunately died. Was he an honest MP, by the way, or was he feathering his own nest? Very good. Thank you. Any more of that? No, no, no. I just had that one stored up and I didn't want, I didn't want it to sit around inside me. I can't wait for your turnip plunge coming. Because he was replaced by a guy called Sir William Payne Galway, and he was out shooting in the parish and he walked across the turnip field and he fell with his body onto a turnip. I'm quoting from
Starting point is 00:50:26 the York Herald here. He fell with his body onto a turnip, sustaining severe internal injuries. No, that's a fake excuse when you talk to the hospital, isn't it? And in the Hoover, I just kicked him and the vacuum was on. He was nakedly shooting in a field and he fell and the turnip went up his arse. No, he fell on the turnip and injured himself and the next day he failed to recover. And turnips are not funny things to fall on to. They're big serious. They're big hard things, you know. I mean, turnips are inherently funny, I think. Sorry. I don't know why I said that, but they're not funny. He wasn't the only MP who died in a turnip-related incident. I don't know if you
Starting point is 00:51:07 guys found the story of Lewis Fenton, the wig MP for Huddersfield. No, okay, okay. So he died a little earlier than this. This was 1833, about 50 years before, and he fell out of a window at home. Very sad. He died of his injuries, you know, tragic, and his widow explained that he was in the habit of going up to the attic to look out of the window at a piece of ground where his turnips were growing. Oh yeah. To make sure that the cows had not, also his cows, have not got into the turnip enclosure and were not, you know, yeah. So when he'd disappear for hours at a time he'd be like, no darling, I'm watching the turnips, I promise I'm watching the turnips. That's strange noises, come on, attic.
Starting point is 00:51:45 No, no, that's my turnip watching. I don't think we can imply anything unsavoury about each other. That's dead, we should be, you know. And he probably just was looking so much that he overbalanced and tipped out of the window. Must have been, must have been, yeah. I was just, just the word for the mental disorder that you have when you think you are, let's say,
Starting point is 00:52:04 a bird is clinical lycanthropy, which I just looked up and I was wondering whether it was a thing. A big werewolf. I think lycanthropy must be a werewolf. It comes from the idea of exactly being like a wolf, but it applies to thinking you're like any animal. I guess they couldn't be asked to come up with a different word for thinking you're like. You were thinking it would be zotropy or something. Yeah, I get it.
Starting point is 00:52:22 It must be more common to think you're a wolf. But I just, I like the Wikipedia page on clinical life anthropology just because it used the case history of a 25 year old man who was sent for treatment during a period of excessive hand washing, irritable behavior, decreased sleep and acting like a buffalo. Buffalo's famously obsessively washed their hands.
Starting point is 00:52:44 They do. No, that's a bison. Brilliant. There you go. Brilliant. That's a bucket list joke. That was one. I got that from a Christmas cracker 25 years ago and I've been trying to chew on it in.
Starting point is 00:53:03 The MP's page on Wikipedia for notable MPs with records in various directions is unbelievably good. I don't know who's written it, but it's... What do you mean records in directions? So here's one. The youngest MP ever in the House of Commons in England. Oh yeah. Christopher Monk, who was elected MP for Devon aged 13. How old did he become a monk? That's the question. Brilliant. You know, the interesting thing about Christopher Monk, I haven't seen that page,
Starting point is 00:53:29 but I do have him in my notes. Fantastic. He, in 1681, arranged a boxing match between his butler and his butcher, which is the first recorded boxing match in England. That's really good. Yeah, 1681. He's a real man of the people as well, wasn't he? And the butcher one, we know. But we don't know much more about that. He had a big right hook, didn't he? Yeah, I like it. They're all coming out tonight. Oh yeah. Wow. But the oldest don't Pete, Samuel Young, ironically. That's brilliant. Served until he was 96 years old. Really impressive.
Starting point is 00:54:08 I mean, yeah. I mean, how old was Baroness Trumpington when she died? She was really old. She was in the Lords, and I think most people in the Lords are at least 90, aren't they? But, you know, Parliament wasn't, for a long time, it was very unofficial, but, you know, it was local landowners, and then it was Barons, and then as they gradually extended the right to vote to more people, they gradually thought,
Starting point is 00:54:27 probably can't be only Baronettes. We've got to have whatever. You know, it was very, yeah, yeah. I liked George Sitwell, who's actually Edith Sitwell, the poet's dad, but he was an MP in the 1880s and 90s, MP for Scarborough. And he was just a fun guy. He spent his time writing books. He wrote books on pig keeping in the 13th century, lepers squints, acorns as an article of medieval diet and the history of the fork.
Starting point is 00:54:53 Lepers squints. Yeah, wrote a book. I don't think he got these books published. He sounds very much like a QI researcher. Yeah, he really does. He was just researching random topics of his own interest. He does, and actually very creative as well, as we all have to be, because he invented a musical toothbrush that played a song while you cleaned your teeth. That is good. That's good. This one in the 1880s.
Starting point is 00:55:15 Yeah. He also invented a mini gun for shooting wasps and the sit well egg. It was nothing. You didn't stick on it. It wasn't a Gwyneth Paltrow kind of freak. You're sitting well. Shall we go there? No, it was made of smoked meat, which was the yolk. And then it was wrapped in the white, which was rice and then a synthetic shell around it.
Starting point is 00:55:43 And he tried to sell it into the self-ridges. So he was trying to have a new Scotch egg basically. But we've got rice, did you say? With rice, exactly. Well, that's like an umu subi, like the kind of Japanese one. Yes, I was actually going to say sushi, but it sounds like you've said the proper thing that it is. Apparently when he went to Selfridges, he walked into the front door and said,
Starting point is 00:56:03 I am Sir George Sitwell and I brought my egg with me. Hello dragons. I love Ignatius Timothy Trebich Lincoln. So do I. Another man of the people judging by his name, clearly. But he had the most insane CV of anybody I have ever heard of. So he was born in Hungary to an Orthodox Jewish family. He was a student rabbi, but then he became wanted for petty theft.
Starting point is 00:56:36 So he fled to London. He became a Christian. And then he went to Canada as a Presbyterian missionary. And then he went back to England as an Anglican curate. And then he was an MP for Darlington in 1910 right he ran out of money So he stopped being an MP he became a speculator in Romanian oil a German Continental spy in World War one and then a munition merchant in China
Starting point is 00:56:58 And then he converted to Buddhism became a monk and then tried to become a Nazi collaborator. Can't say that all sounds very tiring. He could have just been a liar. And then you could do all that stuff. That's true, but the absolute cherry on the cake for me is that he made contact with the Nazis, right? Because he said to him, listen, I have declared myself the Dalai Lama. Very powerful move.
Starting point is 00:57:26 And I am backed by the Japanese. The Tibetans were less keen on this idea. But the Japanese were like, yeah, this random Hungarian Jewish Christian MP guy, he can be our Dalai Lama. And he said, I can help you lead a Buddhist uprising in the East for the Nazis. Wow. That's a great alternative history of the war. Right.
Starting point is 00:57:46 Did they go for it? Unfortunately, they didn't. Sadly, sadly. Sadly, sadly the Nazis did. But how amazing would history would have been if the Hungarian died, I love her. Good grief. The names are incredible.
Starting point is 00:58:00 What was he called? Ignatius? Ignatius Timothy Trebich Lincoln. They do have just good names I think... I don't know whether it's like minor aristocracy, who are the kind of people who wear MPs in the 17th century, but... Sir Freshville Hollers. Lovely. Grimsby. I was looking at MPs who'd been injured in the line of... Not the line of duty, actually, just in their lives in general, because there were lots who'd lost arms in sea battles, as Sir Freshville did. Sackville Tufton was wounded in the battle of Scoonerveld. Brooke Watson lost his right leg to a shark in Havana in 1749. I mean, these guys had really interesting careers.
Starting point is 00:58:33 What's he doing there? Sailing around. He was being used as an awe, wasn't he? Yeah. John Stubbs, I love this. This is a really interesting one. He was the MP for Great Yarmouth. He lost a hand for distributing a pamphlet in 1579.
Starting point is 00:58:48 What, to a lion? Oh, to a pamphlet. Paper cut. Bad paper cut. His pamphlet was titled, The discovery of a gaping gulf where unto England is like to be swallowed by another French marriage if the Lord forbid not the bands. And it was arguing that Queen Elizabeth was too old to have children
Starting point is 00:59:05 and she should therefore not marry the Duke of Anjou, who was a French prince, and he was sentenced to death. And then that was commuted to losing a hand. And then just before it happened, he said, pray for me now, my calamity is at hand. Oh, my puny. It should have had a podcast. Oh yeah. It's just my thought of a punt to go before. He should have had a podcast. He would have loved my bison gel, Gaby. Speaking of excellent names, just a very quick one here for you. The Labour MP for Brock Stowe from 1929 to 1953 was called Seymour Cox. Brilliant. Wow. Brilliant.
Starting point is 00:59:40 I can't believe I've never heard of him. I mean, as if you're not gonna cross next to his name. You don't need to come in for so long. Seymour Cox. Yeah. That was his name, it was also his campaign slogan. But that's like a name that Bart would ring up most bar with. Seymour Cox.
Starting point is 00:59:59 I don't know what X-rated Simpson's you've been watching. Oh dear. Wow. Seen more cocks. Just one more Sidney MP, X or X-Hectic MP. Yeah. God, it's so hard to choose. There have been so many, but I do like John Mitten, who was a Tory MP in 1819.
Starting point is 01:00:22 Not very long, because he found it really boring, but he just did lots of fun stuff. He once rode a horse into a hotel in Lemington Spa and rode it up the grand staircase in the middle onto a balcony and then jumped it down from the balcony over the diners in the restaurant below and out through the window. If you're rich and a man of middle class, you could be a cuck. I don't even think it was middle class to be honest. He was very, very, very. He would hunt a lot and like to do it naked. Sometimes he'd start to hunt clothes and then apparently get so excited mid-hunt that he'd strip off all his clothes and then arrive back naked. And in winter as well, so quite hardy, then he hunted ducks on a frozen lake
Starting point is 01:01:00 naked as well. He liked animals, I don't know if that ingrates you. It doesn't sound like he did, because he was hunting all the time. He liked very specific animals. I love animals. I love shooting them. I love hunting them. Much like a lot of people who like hunting and killing certain animals. He loved other animals like his horse, who he used to nap with by the fireplace and who lived inside his house with him. He's one of these people who, the stories are incredible and you think he would have
Starting point is 01:01:27 been a nightmare to have in your extended family because it's always mad Jack Mittens turned up and done something wacky again. Yeah. And I think he died in poverty, in debt, in prison at the age of about 30. Oh did he? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Am I allowed to say good? Well, yeah, you could tell what you like. Yeah, yeah, yeah, he was a very eccentric dude. He was, he loved being naked. That's not eccentric.
Starting point is 01:01:48 No, it's illegal. It's not illegal. It's actually only illegal if you're causing hard-walled stress or intending to. Sorry, you don't need to justify yourself to me only. And that very well-positioned baby carrot saves your blushes anyway. My calendar is not a company one. This is actually legal calendar 2024. I'm not intending a larval distress. If you feel it, that's on you.
Starting point is 01:02:14 Well, I apologise if. Sorry about the way you feel calendar. Okay, that's all of our facts and thank you so much for listening. We'll be back again next week with another episode. In the meantime, you can get in touch with any of us on various social media accounts. James. I'm on Twitter at James Harkin. Andy. At Andrew Hunter M. Liam. I'm not on anything.
Starting point is 01:02:43 Good on you, me neither. But if you want to get in touch with a lot of us, you can email or you can tweet at no such thing. Or feel free to go to our website, where you can get all our episodes and links to various other things that we do. That's no such thing as a That will also give you a link to Club Fish,
Starting point is 01:03:03 which is our special secret society, subscriber society, where we put all of our good content. I think it's where you can buy Andy's new calendar, isn't it? It certainly is. You actually get someone whether you want to or not. You have to pay extra not to get the calendar. And other than that, please join us again next week for another episode. Thank you so much for listening.
Starting point is 01:03:27 We'll see you again. Goodbye.

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