No Such Thing As A Fish - 518: No Such Thing As Andrew Marvell's Cinematic Universe

Episode Date: February 15, 2024

Dan, James, Anna and Andy discuss Trollope, tantra, chameleon die-offs and Crimean send-offs.  Visit for news about live shows, merchandise and more episodes.  Join Club Fis...h for ad-free episodes and exclusive bonus content at or

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Starting point is 00:00:00 Hello and welcome to another episode of No Such Thing as a Fish, a weekly podcast coming to you from the QI offices in Hoburn. My name is Dan Shriver, I am sitting here with Andrew Hunter Murray, James Harkin and Anna Tyshinski. And once again, we have gathered around the microphones with our four favorite facts from the last seven days. And in no particular order, here we go. Starting with fact number one, and that is Anna.
Starting point is 00:00:38 My fact this week is that shortly after writing an essay on why writers shouldn't publish anonymously, Anthony Trollope published a book anonymously. Oh, it's called out a mere 130 years from later. Not a moment too soon. So, I've just sort of inherited from a friend who decided he was never going to read them the complete works of Anthony Trollope. And he's giving them to me in bits and he seems to have given me the three least known Anthony Trollope. Oh, great. And he's giving them to me in bits, and he seems to have given me the three least known
Starting point is 00:01:05 Anthony Trollope. So this is an introduction to Nina Bellatka, which was... If you want to get into Trollope, I would say probably don't start with that one. It's not an entry level. No, no. Anyway, this fact, Nina Bellatka in the introduction, it just mentioned that he wrote an essay in 1865, and he said, a man should always dare to be responsible for the work which he does and should be ready to accept the shame, rebuffs, ridicule or the indifference which will attend bad work. And
Starting point is 00:01:34 it's all about how, you know, put your name to something and then he didn't put his name to Niener-Balakar. And... I do have some sympathy, but if your name is A Trollup that you don't want to put it on everything Who here's read problem I've read the start of barchester towers. Okay. Did you read it in preparation for this book? Read the first 50 pages I've done quite a lot of books over the years just because of this podcast Yeah, just kind of started reading got an idea and gone. Well, I think I got an idea of this guy's entire earth red now. How are you getting? How do you know about the robots in it? What? So Anna's read some Trollope. Andy, you must have done. I'm actually a Trollope virgin.
Starting point is 00:02:14 Honestly, I said to my wife last night that if anyone likes Anthony Trollope, Andy would like Anthony Trollope. Is it because he writes about ecclesiastical matters in the 19th century? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think I will. It's right up your street. I don't know if it is. I think that's a missed call on Andy. You think?
Starting point is 00:02:32 Yeah, I do. I think I slightly prefer that kind of literature. It feels like it's in between what you would like. It feels to me like it's halfway between Dickens and Jane Austen. It is, but the thing about Cancel the Trollope, he's not as widely read as I think he should be. He's frowned on in lot of circles because he was just a machine of output. Wasn't he?
Starting point is 00:02:51 47 novels, loads of stories. His routine was getting up every morning, 5.30 writing for three solid hours. He put a watch in front of him, made himself write 250 words every 15 minutes, and he didn't have word counts that time. So I don't, he must have incorporated counting the words. He must have counted the pages because he just had so much stuff. I love it. I think that's exactly how I would write if I was writing novels. I actually thought reading about him and this is not a negative thing at all.
Starting point is 00:03:18 I thought there's quite a lot of you in him. He's quite annoying. As we all write books, as someone who, you know, footles around a bit, toys with the margins. And you just see, like, in the time you've spent foodling around with the margins, Anthony Trollup will have written 16 pages. And he had a portable deskmaid. I love this, so he could write on trains. And if he was going on board a ship, he would meet up with the ship's carpenter to arrange proper writing conditions.
Starting point is 00:03:46 Really? That's pretty ritzy. Wow. But the reason he had to do it was because he was, and I'm simplifying here, postman. You are simplifying. But he wrote in the morning because he had a full-time job at the post office for about what, how long was it? Decades. Yeah, he was quite 60s. He was really senior. He was really senior in the post office. Yeah, what if you work there that long?
Starting point is 00:04:06 And it's a really cool fact, which is the only thing I knew about him, which is that he's basically responsible for the reason that we have post boxes all over the UK. Possibly he's spotted it in France. I don't think he ever claimed that he invented it, but he certainly recommended it to the government. And they used to be green, but now they're red. That's the thing though. Like he is responsible for that, I suppose, but they did exist in France. They did exist in Belgium. The stamp had been invented about 30 or 40 years earlier. It feels like we might have got there anyway, even without him.
Starting point is 00:04:34 Totally, but he's the one who did. Yeah. Hey, here's a cool quote just to sort of really hammer home what a workaholic he was. He said, there is no human bliss equal to 12 hours of work with only six hours in which to do it. He was a bit like Bankers in 1990s in the UK because his motto was no day without a line. Can we talk a little about Fanny Trollope? Sure. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:05:02 His mum. Yeah. Yes, please. So his parents were very interesting people. Just briefly, his dad was a complete failure in life. Sounds harsh, but it is true. Gosh. Imagine someone in a podcast in 200 years saying that.
Starting point is 00:05:13 I know, I know. And they will. I dream of them doing that, you know. But his father had law work which had failed and a farm which had failed. And he decided finally to write a thing called the Encyclopedia Ecclesiastica, which would define all the ecclesiastical terms that had ever existed. And by the time he died, he was still only on the letter D. To be honest, church is quite a long one. Yeah, there's R-men, there's another biggy, we're at the top, Chassable. I mean, you
Starting point is 00:05:42 can see why he struggled. Christian, Catholic. Baby Jesus, starting with David. Yeah. Anyway, that was his dad. Yeah. Tricky time. But his mum was a successful author and mega successful. And she made her name by writing a book called
Starting point is 00:06:00 The Domestic Manners of the Americans. Because she'd gone to America, set up this business venture, which had completely collapsed and been a disaster. But then she wrote this book, which was basically just incredibly rude about everyone in the USA. It was very, very, very snobbish. And it became a massive success. She said of people living in New York, that they were bullying, struggling, crafty, enterprising, industrious, swaggering, drinking, boasting, and money getting. But then enemy of the podcast, Mark Twain.
Starting point is 00:06:28 Thank you. He really loved her. And he was basically saying, well, you know, she's telling the truth. That's what we're like. Fair enough. Fair play. So he liked her, so I now don't like her.
Starting point is 00:06:40 Great. OK, thank you for keeping my beef going throughout the century. One thing I noticed from reading the first 50 pages by Chester Towers is how hackish he is with names. Oh really? I don't know if you notice this, I don't know if you've read it before. I've only read the way we live now. Well, like the first two, a couple of the first characters are, I think, the policemen and they're called Landon Muneau and Omicron Pie, where he's basically just taken Greek letters and turned them into names.
Starting point is 00:07:09 Right. But what he used to do quite a lot is do that thing where I suppose Dickens did it a bit, where you just take whatever attribute your character has and just call them that. Oh yeah, Dickens is, yeah. Right, yeah. So in his novel Miss Mackenzie,
Starting point is 00:07:24 it's about a young woman who's pursued by three men who are called Handcock, Rub and Ball What? And there was another man. Handcock? Handcock? And there's another man in it where he's not a suitable suitor for this woman and he's called Mr. Frigidae They're so on the note. It takes a bit of the suspense out of it, doesn't it? Yeah, I think so. I wonder if I can give you some names of characters
Starting point is 00:07:51 and you can tell me what they did in the novel. Oh, OK, yeah, great. So Dick Rabbit. Ended up in prison. So I can rabbit holes. I had lots of kids, Breedid a lot. No, he was Rabbit, obviously. Yeah. Had lots of kids, breed it a lot. No, he was the leader of a hunt. Oh, OK.
Starting point is 00:08:08 Yeah, good. Samuel Nickham. Policeman. Police, yeah, yeah. Kind of. He wasn't a policeman, but he found evidence against some people who've been poisoning animals. OK.
Starting point is 00:08:17 I was going to say shoplifter, and I've only just realized that nicking him is something that shoplifters do. And policemen do. I nick him. No, I nick him, no I nick him. Or an opposite side, how confusing. Gosh yeah, food for thought. So Oliver Crumblewit.
Starting point is 00:08:32 Stand up, stand up comedian. Yeah, someone who thinks they're funny. So like a dad joke to call back to the previous episode, character. No, he was a phrenologist. Crumble. So just like witless person, I guess. He was slug was a phrenologist. Crumble. So just like, whittless person. I guess he was slugging off phrenology.
Starting point is 00:08:48 And Joe Thurabung. Thurabung? Proctologist. No, he was a brewer. Oh, very nice. I was going to say the bunghole in the sherry, that's right. Did you, sorry, just while we're quickly on Barchester Towers, have you ever got to a bit in the book where he injects himself as a narrator,
Starting point is 00:09:10 because that's something he apparently loves to do. So he does it twice. He pops in. He pops in. So for example, there's a sentence that comes in that book where it says, how easily she would have forgiven and forgotten the Archdeacon's suspicions had she heard the whole truth from Mr. Arabin, but then where would have been my novel? So he sort of just says...
Starting point is 00:09:26 I've written notes of stuff. I love it. And then right at the end, he says, the end of a novel, like the end of a children's dinner party, must be filled with sweet meats and sugar plums. Obviously alluding maybe to a nice happy ending. Yes, followed by tears, someone being sick, people being dragged home screaming, nits being spread.
Starting point is 00:09:45 Yeah, he does do that self-consciously a little bit. Yeah, sometimes we'll be like, she's my favourite actually, she's lovely. I mean, Jane Austen does that all the time, just sort of pops her head around the curtain and says, hello, and then pops back. I like it. Have you heard of his novel, The Fixed Period? No.
Starting point is 00:10:01 This is very weird. So this was his, I think, only venture into sci-fi where it's set in 1980 on a fictional island in the southern hemisphere called Britannula. And the main point of the story is that it has compulsory euthanasia for anyone between the age of 67 and 68. That's the idea. It also features a futuristic cricket match. Bit harsh. You can't get to the best age. Right. Yeah. Maybe he was sick of all the innuendo. Right. There's a steam tricycle which can go at 25 miles an hour.
Starting point is 00:10:32 So it's still rooted in the 19th century. But get this, Trollope died at the age of 67 and a half. He didn't do much on the sci-fi, but basically I think his novels were essentially a Marvell Marvel. Marvel? Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun Is that him? Yeah, very good. Had they, then they would have written a Marvel comic because he basically did that. He created a universe. So lovely. Yeah. And I think this kind of explains why he was able to churn things out so much, as well as the fact that when you read them, there are a lot of extra words. But like the passage of chronicles.
Starting point is 00:11:17 You can lose a lot. Have you ever read? Sorry to this is a digression, but have you ever read the Womble books? No, I was reading the Wumble books to my daughter. And all the way through it's like, and then the Wumble went to the park and picked up some litter. They picked up an umbrella, a bag of crisps,
Starting point is 00:11:34 and they just fill up all the sentences with just lists of nonsense. That's your word count for the day. That's Trollup thinking, right, I put in 16 adjectives to describe this table. That's fine, I can knock off for the next five minutes Can't believe you're reading the Wombl books. I thought it was just a TV show you're the guy who's like You know the books are actually
Starting point is 00:11:52 The novelizations of the Wombl are actually really yeah I think the books came before the TV show Oh sure they did yeah Anyway, so the Trollope cinematic universe. The cinematic universe. So it embosses shit It's really fun So I've only read one and actually it's the Trollope cinematic universe. The cinematic universe. So it embosses shit. It's really fun. So I've only read one, and actually it's the way we live now, which isn't the universe. But my husband happens to have read quite a few more.
Starting point is 00:12:10 And he says it's fun because characters pop in from other places. Lovely. And that matured quite a lot. So that Vick who was quite annoying when he was 25 is now 40. And he's a bit wiser. I reckon that he had hyper-fantasia. Oh yeah. Which is, so I have a-fantasia, which means I can't imagine things. But some people have hyper-fantasia, which is so I have a fantasia, which means I can't imagine things.
Starting point is 00:12:27 But some people have hyper-fantasia where you really can imagine anything. It's like just an incredible story going on in your head. And sometimes you don't even realize that it's in your head. And he used to say that his main work that he did was when he was daydreaming. So, you know, he would churn out these words. But actually the rest of the day, he just be thinking, oh, I wonder what my characters would be doing now. When he came to write them down, it was pretty easy for him because he was just, this is
Starting point is 00:12:50 what I remember them doing. I think he almost says that the plot is kind of not even really important. It's just, it's about the characters exactly as you say. I want to know what his legs were like, because I think you might have had a fantastic pair of legs. Okay, go on. Well, he was all over the UK for his work for the post office. It was sent to Ireland, first of all, which is where he started writing. And basically, he had to work out the routes for
Starting point is 00:13:14 postmen. And he rode across the countryside. He did about 40 miles a day riding across the countryside. It feels like the horse would have a good leg. No, you're right. Sorry, he'd have a great bum. But he was a member of a thing called the Tramp Society, which was a rambler's club across Southeast England. They just walked huge distances every time they met up. Yeah. So I think, I think his lower half might have been incredibly fit. Well, in support, I think of that.
Starting point is 00:13:36 Do you know what the hardest day's work he ever did in his life was? And that's a high bar for Triller. Oh, no. It was walking. And it was when he was posted to Glasgow and he wanted to review Postman's jobs basically. And Postman and Glasgow were having to go up and down tenement blocks,
Starting point is 00:13:51 sometimes to just post a letter to one person. And he walked the full Glasgow Postman's route up and downstairs on his beat and came back to the post office and none of them was like, hey, those guys have it really rough. We need to sort it out. Yes. His second ever novel sort of 140 copies. Okay, those guys have it really rough. We need to sort it out. Yes. His second ever novel sold 140 copies.
Starting point is 00:14:06 Okay. Yeah, it did not sell. And the, they were both set in Ireland, his first two. I think he saw it in Publisher Novel. And Publisher Novel, oh, I don't know. But the publisher had a resort to advert saying, do you know who this guy's mum is? This guy's mum is Fanny Trollen.
Starting point is 00:14:20 Can you, that was the, which is so embarrassing as a young debut novelist, you know. What a quote for the front of the book. I don't know who his mom is. Stop the podcast! Stop the podcast! Hi, everybody. We want to let you know we are sponsored today by Squarespace. Squarespace. Even when said in the style of a magician like Andy did. I mean, it is magic Squarespace. Squarespace. Even when said in the style of a magician like Andy did. I mean, it is magic Squarespace. It seems to me. Because I always think it's going to be impossible
Starting point is 00:14:53 to make my own website. Probably I need to be able to code stuff. Probably I need to understand how computers work. Well, that is not the case. Because if you go to Squarespace it makes making a website so so easy. That is true. It really is. It's all in one. If you are starting out a business, for example, you want to create a beautiful website, you want to engage with the audience, there are all these things that Squarespace allows you to do. It's really fantastic. So you might want custom merch, you might want to run your own online store. There are all these different flexible templates. So every single kind of website you could want to make, Squarespace has an option for you.
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Starting point is 00:15:59 Okay, on with the podcast! On with the show! Okay, it is time for fact number two, and that is My Fact. My Fact this week is that in 2008, a TV channel spent the day rescheduling shows so that millions of people in India could continue to watch a live broadcast of a man trying to kill another man using nothing but his mind. Okay. And it took longer than expected.
Starting point is 00:16:24 Is it like when a football match goes into extra time and you have to cancel the news afterwards? It's like that tennis, do you remember it was it Mahu- Mahu-isn't it? Which went on, it was a Wimbledon several, like 10 years ago now and it went on, they played like 70 games each. Yeah, it was something like that.
Starting point is 00:16:39 It was something like crackers. Yeah, it was kind of that. So basically- And Mahu and Isn't I imagine got closer to death than the person that was trying to kill him. Well, not quite actually. So, okay, at that time, there was a politician who said out loud that she thought that someone was attacking her mentally using Tantric powers, which is, you know, when we talk about Tantric sex and all that, there's a side of it which is to do with
Starting point is 00:16:58 the mind, and you can supposedly attack people if you're using the dark practices of it, right? So, as a result, there was a TV show where skeptics and Tantra practitioners were brought together. On the show it was called Tantric Power vs Science. And while on the show, this guy who was called Pandit Srintheshama claimed that he could kill someone within minutes using nothing but his mind. Now the person who was sitting on the panel with him was a guy called Senal Edamaruq. Is he representing science in this? He is the president of the Rational International
Starting point is 00:17:30 Group. Okay. Yeah. He says, you can't do that. You think you can do that? Do it to me now. And the guy says, okay, fine, I'll do it to you now. That's annoying when they call your bluff like that, isn't it? Exactly. So, he says, do it now. So, they say, all right, let's do this. The host of the show is going, all right, let's do this.
Starting point is 00:17:46 Legally very tricky water for the channel and the program to be in. Exactly. Because I'm thinking about all the forms we have to fill in on QI if you just, you know, strike a match. You very rarely use dark tantrum on QI. So basically what happens is, is this guy, Sharma gets up and he starts focusing his mind on him. It's clearly not working. The rational guy is sort of giving laps and so on.
Starting point is 00:18:11 So Sharma comes over, he starts sprinkling water on him as an intimidation tactic. He starts ruffling his hair like, oh, the big guns are coming out now. He covers his eyes. It was all that stuff. But then, and this is where it gets a bit desperate, he suddenly presses his fingers down onto his forehead and steadily really pushes and pushes. And he has to be called out because basically,
Starting point is 00:18:36 you will kill me because you're trying to crush my skull basically. So he has to go back to his seat and he has to do it with his mind. Now at this point, the show's meant to be ending. But they say it's not done yet. So the show continues and the next show is cancelled. And at this point word is getting around.
Starting point is 00:18:51 So people are tuning in and tuning in. After a couple of hours the guy's exhausted, Sharma's exhausted and he says, but I'm not done yet. Let's meet again this evening. And this evening I will do the ultimate destruction ceremony and kill you. What is going through his mind?
Starting point is 00:19:04 He's saying I'm going to do that. I'm sure I can think of the ultimate destruction ceremony and kill you. What is going through his mind when he's saying I'm going to do that? I'm sure I can think of an ultimate destruction ceremony in the two hours between the broadcast. Like, what is it? What is his plan? But then I think his plan probably is to not turn up and then go, oh, sorry, I was killing some other person. They go to another school. You wouldn't know that. Yeah. So they do it at night. There's it's performed under an altar in an open night sky.
Starting point is 00:19:24 They've got all the cameras there and he tries and tries and tries. So they do it at night. It's performed under an altar in an open night sky. They've got all the cameras there and he tries and tries and tries. And obviously the guy who's the rational guy is laughing his ass off the whole time. So it didn't work out. But this, you know, just to remind you is 2008 and this was broadcast live. And according to many reports, some say hundreds of millions, obviously a huge population in India, but you know, millions tuned in to see a man killed live on TV, probably
Starting point is 00:19:46 knowing he wasn't going to be, but wanted to see what happened. I have a question for you guys. If you were on that TV show, and you were next to a tantric master, and they said, I could kill someone with my mind, would you have the courage to say, no, you can't do it to me? Yeah, you definitely would. Yeah, there wouldn't be a tiny bit of doubt that like, I'm pretty sure you can't. Once he started, I'd shit my pants, but yeah, I would probably... I would feel fairly confident that that wouldn't happen.
Starting point is 00:20:11 No, but you can't be fairly confident. Okay, I would be 100% certain that that wouldn't happen. You'd be up for it, okay. I would be pretty confident, but I would think to myself, I'd be so annoyed if I have a heart attack and die unrelatedly. When I went to, I was in Bhutan and I went to the Tiger's Nest Monastery and there's a little bit where you have to jump from one bit to the other and you're going over a sheer drop of thousands of feet and the step is basically just a step, you know, it's a step that you do every single day and it's no problem but all all the way through, I was thinking, if I fall now, what a fucking idiot.
Starting point is 00:20:50 Yeah. You know, what an idiot I am doing that. Yeah. And I suppose it's that kind of. Exactly. Yeah. And the pressure of the TV cameras will make you think, you know, this is a very public forum. I can understand. I'm very impressed by the skeptic. You feel embarrassed for him. You'd start wanting to die. Yeah, yeah. I hope you're trying to have a look. Do you think you'd fake it, Danny? Fake it. You'd clap.
Starting point is 00:21:09 Well, it would be really fun to draw the death Tantra dude out by pretending to die and then like, ah! That would be great. That's a good point. No, I've never heard of this, I think of Tantra as primarily a sexual thing. No, I'm thinking about Sting.
Starting point is 00:21:26 Yes. Who, for claim, I think in the 90s that he could have sex for five hours because of Tantra, his Tantric skills. He says he never said that. I don't know if he does now, but that's... Right. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:21:40 So it's Bob Geldoff spread that rumor. Right. Yeah. And then he said, oh, I said five hours, but that includes dinner and a movie followed by some begging. You know, he's got some very funny jokes about it. Yeah. But that was a movie is a lot of the rings. No, but that's I don't know anything about Tantra really, although the idea of time, I gather it's more of a philosophy or a set of philosophies. And it's from lots of different
Starting point is 00:22:01 religions have elements of Tantra or definitely, yeah. So it's sort of spread across all these different schools of thoughts. There's no one thing. And you know, when I say, you know, the dark side or whatever, you know, that's so rare. It's like a, it's not really even a thing. We'll get letters, people saying, that's not a thing. Right, right, right. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:22:18 Well, the space in Hinduism, yeah, I mean, say lots of different religions and it's not its own belief system within Hinduism. As far as I can tell, it's like a series of practices which seem to exist in lots of strands of Hinduism. Yeah, it's almost like non-Orphodox Hinduism, isn't it? In fact, I did read things saying the whole point of it was to subvert Hinduism and encourage lots of things that Hinduism does not.
Starting point is 00:22:38 Like, I think there's one where you're encouraged to have the special tantric five-some, which is like eating meat, drinking wine. Right, so. Oh. We ever had a five-some? Yeah, we had a bit of meat and a drink of little wine, yeah. Coming to the party to make it go wine.
Starting point is 00:22:54 It's everyone in the shed. God, that looks delicious. I've had a foursome. I didn't have the sherry at the end, which would have been, you know. To be fair, sex is the last one. Oh, OK. Oh, OK. So it's like a date.
Starting point is 00:23:07 Without describing a date. Without describing a date. What are the previous four? Is there an order? Netflix. Sorry. It's drinking, eating, movie, begging. So the five are alcohol, meat, fish, grain and sex.
Starting point is 00:23:25 You're very full at that point, so it's not very pleasant. We do that five are alcohol, meat, fish, grain and sex. Okay. You're very full at that point, so it's not very pleasant. We do that five at home, but the fifth one is always headache. It's really annoying. But the idea is violating all these Hindu taboos. I see. And I think that's called left-handed tantra. So there's left-handed tantra and right-handed tantra,
Starting point is 00:23:43 and left-handed tantra is the sex one. I'm left-handed. Well, that doesn't surprise me, I do. No, no, no. It's all starting to come together. I always do left-handed tantra because it feels like someone else is doing that. There's no thousand-year-old tradition we can be trusted with. Other things that are done in tantra traditions that are non-sexual for the right-handeds, living in cemeteries if you want that,
Starting point is 00:24:12 and smearing cremation ashes on your body. So these are all agori rituals. And do you say agori? Yeah. Because it sounds quite gory. Oh yeah. Agori tradition. Yeah. I was just miss hearing. No that's very good Maybe that it's a fun play on words because it is very dark They smoke a lot of marijuana not too dark They drink a lot of alcohol and they meditate on top of corpses. I got some good news for you Dan. Yeah So the meditating on a corpse there are quite a lot of rules about the kind of corpse that you can meditate on
Starting point is 00:24:44 Ideally it would be someone who died from drowning, lightning strikes, snake bites, something like that. You are allowed to kill the person before you meditate on top of them, but you shouldn't really meditate on top of a man with a beard or on top of a wife guy. Anyone who's head-packed, you shouldn't be doing. Wow. Dan, you're in the clear.
Starting point is 00:25:10 Safe and sound, girls. Wow. But what about a clean shave and bad boy like me, James? Am I in the firing line for getting meditated on? Oh dear. That's amazing. I read an amazing way of if someone, if so, let's say we are on that show and we have said yes, consenting to Sharma trying to kill us with his mind.
Starting point is 00:25:33 One way of getting him out of your mind and shaking off the bad juju that's inside there is something that was practiced by a guy called Victor Kortchinoi, who's a chess player. Yeah. Now we spoke many episodes ago about a very famous chess championship in 1978. And there were two Russian grandmaster chess players, Karpov against Kortchinoi. And basically, Kortchinoi, as he was sitting there, had a guy in the audience who was mentally trying
Starting point is 00:26:03 to ruin his game, get into his head. It was the weirdest chess game ever, right? Courtenay eventually brings in two people who practice the idea of all this mind power stuff, and he genuinely did this during the course of the game, to get rid of all the bad thoughts that are in his head. You do a handstand so that you can shake it out using the gravity that's pulling down to the earth all the bad vibes. So, if ever you're in a space where you think you're being infiltrated in your mind, do a handstand. If you believe though, yeah.
Starting point is 00:26:33 I mean, that's the, we're sort of sketching out the psychosomatic thing. If you believe that someone is in the crowd getting into your head. Which he did. Then they're already in there. Yeah. And he was. It's too late. Like, that's exactly it.
Starting point is 00:26:44 He believed that I was in there. Did he win? He lost. Well, that's just. But when he was down and then he did the handstand thing and he came back for like a few games. And then he lost the final game. It didn't shake that last bit out to me. This just reminded me of another interesting Hindu sect, which I've been fond of for a while, the Naga Sadhus. Okay. Which we've talked about the Naked Sadhus,
Starting point is 00:27:05 which who just naked all the time? Sadhus. Uh, Naked Sadhus, yeah. So a lot of this is about asceticism and renouncing everything. And they have very strict exercise routines. So they're very fit, but they have long beards, but they have no clothes. They also smear themselves in ashes.
Starting point is 00:27:22 I think there seems to be a thing. Yeah. But they were great fighters back in the day. They also smear themselves in ashes. I think there seems to be a thing. But they were great fighters back in the day. So they've been around for many hundreds, for thousands of years. And they were military men. So in 19th century reports,
Starting point is 00:27:33 they wore nothing but a belt and they'd have like ammunition and flints and guns hanging off their belt. Wow, like Batman. Yeah, but nude Batman. Yeah, so is he, because he normally is wearing the full Batman outfit. He's in fact a bit too covered up really.
Starting point is 00:27:46 Yeah, yeah, but I'm just mean like the utility belt. Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. They've got the utility belt. And that's all you need really. And they were great military leaders. And in fact, there was one in the 18th century who commanded over 20,000 men. In fact, quite a few of them commanded that many.
Starting point is 00:28:01 And in the battles that the British East India Company had when they were trying to colonize India, they played a huge role. And bizarrely, they were often mercenaries. So they often fought for different sides, which is weird, given that they renounce all possessions. So I don't know what you're using, all that money you're getting paid. Well, you gotta, you know, there are, there are incidental expenditures and you, you know, you want to have something for a rainy day. You want a really nice belt. That beard oil's very pricey.
Starting point is 00:28:39 Okay it is time for fact number three and that is James. Okay my fact this week is that the last thing that British soldiers going to the Crimean War saw was Queen Victoria throwing a shoe at them. And stay out. No, this is a good luck thing. It's been a good luck thing since the 16th century at least and Queen Victoria, when she got married she had shoes thrown after her. So she obviously had this idea that it was good luck and there is an 1854 sketch from Punch Magazine that shows her throwing a shoe at her soldiers as they go off for
Starting point is 00:29:15 the Crimean War. It's very, I'd never heard this tradition at all, shoe-trucking for luck. I've just never, ever heard it. But she did it a lot, she did it in 1855, she'd chuck shoes into Balmoral Castle again for luck and that was a... And is it she takes one of her own shoes off or does she take an extra shoe in her handbag? Great question. Good question. Don't know.
Starting point is 00:29:33 Yeah, so the first one she's throwing it off from where is she? She's standing on a balcony. So okay, so she's at home. She's probably in slippers anyway, so she could do that with a shoe. And you don't want to chuck a really heavy shoe because it hits someone. Yeah, well that one was... No, someone yeah, well my balcony seems quite risky It'd be my question. Do we know where the shoe is because I couldn't I couldn't find it the shoe yeah the shoe I don't know how many yeah, I would be tourist. Yeah shoes are fine Yeah, but the shoe lots of shoe traditions hiding shoes in the walls of your building that was not the big one wasn't it? Yeah
Starting point is 00:30:01 Is that for good luck or yes, it is rainy day? Yes, it is. It's to ward off evil. Ah, evil hate too. Evil, yes. The Northampton made all, basically all the shoes made in the UK came from Northampton for centuries. Yeah, it was, it was a chew town. That's why the football team is called the Cobblers. Oh, is it?
Starting point is 00:30:17 Oh. I didn't know they were. But they've got a thing called the Hidden Shoe Index at the Northampton Museum. I read it was called the Concealed Shoe Index, which made me wonder what CSI Northampton Museum. I read it was called the Concealed Shoe Index, which made me wonder what CSI Northampton would be like. Very strong.
Starting point is 00:30:29 I don't know which is the true name. It goes back to the 50s though, but the oldest shoe they've got or found in a building dates back to 1308. Wow. Concealed in a building. Yeah. That's not going to be wearable, is it? No.
Starting point is 00:30:42 Is this related to, because we only mentioned cats being found in buildings. That's the thing isn't it? People would bury their dead cats. Yeah, warlock cats. Warlock cats as well. Warlock cats. And frogs, yes. I'm assuming that was for good luck.
Starting point is 00:30:52 I think it's to also attract or distract or deter witches. We're back to the evil thing. Distract. Is that one cat? What was it doing? Maybe one of the most famous shoe throwing incidents is when George Bush had two shoes thrown at him, in fact, in 2008 by an Iraqi reporter. And actually, I was rereading what George Bush said
Starting point is 00:31:15 when he was asked about it afterwards. And I thought, you know, there was a lot of criticism of George Bush at the time, understandably, but he said, I know I wasn't offended, we're in a democracy. This is freedom for you. You're allowed to do this kind of thing, which is very mature of him. Well done. The guy was then imprisoned and I think beaten very badly.
Starting point is 00:31:34 He asked a lot of tea, I think. I think it was by the Iraqi authorities rather than by anyone else. But yes, it was a sentiment. Bang on. They did a massive shoe statue, didn't they? Statue. Yeah, nice. Wait, who's in Iraq? In Iraq, yeah, but it was done, I think it was done at a university or something
Starting point is 00:31:52 and they had to take it down because it was seen as being political. When they tore it down, did they run over and beat it with miniature statues of 7%? I love the museum in America that has as one of its exhibits, a replica of the shoe. Oh really? Not even the shoe?
Starting point is 00:32:09 No, the shoes were destroyed by the CIA. Right. Sorry, I've never sounded more conspiracist when you're not whacked off. Sorry, but they actually were. Because I think they didn't want the shoes to become martyrs. Do the CIA need to be drafted in to destroy shoes? I reckon you get the intern. Maybe it was the FBI.
Starting point is 00:32:24 Or the Secret Service, maybe Maybe it was the secret service. Definitely. It was the secret service. But it became big business as well. All these rival cobalas in the area started claiming, oh yes, that's our shoe. Oh really? Yeah. And the thrower, Munder Al-Zaidi,
Starting point is 00:32:37 he was offered a couple of hands in marriage by various people who said, I'd like you to marry my daughter. And then in 2009, he was doing an event, the year after he did the thing, guess what happened? He got a shoe thrown at him. He got a shoe thrown at him. Yeah, it was a real circle of life thing.
Starting point is 00:32:54 Come up and buy Bush or... Not buy Bush. But Bush has had more shoes thrown at him since. There's a whole, I mean, it became a thing post that event generally. So there's a whole Wikipedia page where, it became a thing post that event generally. So there's a whole Wikipedia page where it's a shoe throwing incident. It's called and gives you a big timeline and it really picks up after
Starting point is 00:33:15 his old mate Bush was, yeah, was attacked. There's a famous incident as well. Queen Elizabeth, the late Queen in Australia. Yeah, she threw a shoe at Philip when they were in Australia. It was one of the only moments where a fight, I think in fact the only incident in which a fight was seen between Philip and the Queen, she threw a tennis racket at him as well. A tennis racket? Yeah. And the Aussies were filming from a distance and they were like, geez, what did we just see? Because we've never seen anything like that before. And so one of the PR people had
Starting point is 00:33:43 to come out for the Queen and say, what are you guys doing with the British accent? And then the Queen came out and she apologised and she said, where do you want me as if to say, please don't use that. I'm here now as an embarrassing apology for you witnessing that. But possibly she was wishing him good luck. Oh, whatever effect. Lucky tennis racket. All of your lucky clothes are out on the lawn.
Starting point is 00:34:07 That's so funny. James, have you ever seen, I'm asking James specifically this for a reason, have you ever seen a panty tree? We know the reason, a panty tree. No, but I think I can guess what it is. Is it a tree where people leave their pants? That's right. Why would I have seen it? Why would you specifically have seen it?
Starting point is 00:34:28 Is it commons in Bolton? It's not a Bolton thing. That's a golf thing. Oh, it's a sporting thing. I thought it was because James makes a habit of visiting all the weird places in the world. And it sounds weird. And is a pervert. Or maybe I'm like Tom Jones and wherever I walk people just throw pants at me
Starting point is 00:34:45 whenever I'm walking in the forest. You are the panty tree actually. No, the reason I asked is because I know James has been on a skiing holiday. But I think probably all of you guys, metropolitan elites, are always skiing. But no, apparently it's a thing for a ski lift because your ski lift goes very high, doesn't it? And it passes over some trees. And in some ski resorts, there are trees where people chuck their panties onto the tree. I've seen that. And I thought it was a Mardi Gras thing. But there were loads. And there was lots of sparkly, bras-y, panty. Oh my God, and that's a thing.
Starting point is 00:35:22 That's a thing. And I think they don't love it, Pantsy. Oh my God. And that's a thing. That's a thing. And it's, I think, um, they don't love it, the skiing authorities. Why do they care? I don't know. I don't know. Sorry, I don't know. What's their problem? It must be hard to get your neck. Littering.
Starting point is 00:35:33 Littering. Yeah, it is. Yeah, yeah. It must be hard to get your knickers off on a ski lift though. Like, that's a tough... I don't think they're doing that, Andy. Because you're wearing like your ski suit. Exactly. And you've got to pull them off and then pull them all over the ski. Exactly. I don't think it's possible.
Starting point is 00:35:46 And your skis as well. You have to take your skis off, they're going to fall. Yeah. No, I reckon there's a spare pair of pants situation in the pocket, isn't it? That probably is it. Very interesting. Occasionally have dropped a ski pole when going up on a ski lift, as I'm sure many people have. And obviously we hire our skis and then we went back
Starting point is 00:36:06 and we said, we dropped our ski pole, can we pay for this ski pole? And we said, oh no, don't worry about it, because at the end of the season, when all the snow melts, someone goes up and collects all of the ski poles off and then they just distribute them between all the shops. So, that's amazing.
Starting point is 00:36:21 That's true. That's what they said. That's amazing. This was in Italy. It was fine, just give us your panties. Give us your panties, mate. No way! That's true. That's what he said. That's true. Wow. It was fine. Just give us your panties. Give us your panties, mate. In 2016, MPs in the Egyptian parliament attacked each other with shoes.
Starting point is 00:36:32 One attacked another with a shoe. Which I think is quite a sorry. It's a big drop down from a mass shoe wall. No, it wasn't. The other one wasn't quick enough off the mark taking his shoe off. He was actually suspended. Which I don't know why I sound surprised. I suppose you probably would be from our parliament as well. Did they run with the headline,
Starting point is 00:36:49 S open brackets, C closed brackets, Andal. Sandal, sandal. Sandal, right. Oh yeah, scandal, sandal. Gosh, that took us all a long time, didn't it? Yeah. No, because I suppose it would have been written in Turkish.
Starting point is 00:37:02 So. But yeah, it sounds like a very exciting moment. Tulfik O'Kasha was the MP who got attacked by a shoe because he'd had the Israeli envoy round and one of his fellow MPs objected to that and got angry and hit him with a shoe and had to be escorted from the house waving a shoe. I just thought that's a fun addition to parliamentary goings on
Starting point is 00:37:21 if we want to try it out. Yeah. There's a bit of an irony about Queen Victoria throwing the shoes at the Crimean War soldiers. Yeah. Which is that they had very bad shoe situations when they got to the war. Wow, I phrase that badly. They should have kept that one shoe.
Starting point is 00:37:34 Well, yeah. They had awful boots and they got trench foot, their feet swelled up in the cold. The clothing was completely awful. Sometimes the sole of their shoe would just stick to the mud as they lifted their foot up. And the rest of the shoe came and the sole was left behind because the mud was so thick and sticky. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Really bad, yeah, yeah.
Starting point is 00:37:53 They had a horrible time. Yeah, it was a tough one. It was a tough war. Many of them are. What were the years, the Crummian War? 1853 to six. Yeah, as Anna said. 1853 to six. Three to six. I'm going to say year threean War? 1853 to six. Yeah, as Anna said. 1853 to six.
Starting point is 00:38:05 Three to six. Three to six. Three to six, yeah. 1853 to six. Sorry. Right. And it was a very complicated war. Yeah, it was basically a plus-à-change
Starting point is 00:38:16 about the West trying to limit Russian expansionism, wasn't it? It's basically the Ottomans coming up to the north, the Russians coming out to the west, Britain and France having colonial things that they didn't want to lose, trying to keep Russia as quiet as possible and decided to get on the side of the Ottomans and then attack the underbelly which is Crimea. Yeah and also there were a lot of Ottomans living in Crimea at the time so it was a bit of a powder keg anyway. It was a very, very complicated situation. Anyway, it started over rights of access to
Starting point is 00:38:47 the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, which I think we talked about. Isn't that the one where they have the disagreement over the ladder? It is, yeah. And this was the same thing, basically. The Ottoman Sultan gave the Catholic priests a key to the church in 1852, and from that point on, you know, it was like, well, we have to have a war over this. Basically, things escalated from from there and then suddenly you have got the charge of the light brigade happening And it's all going disastrous be wrong. Yeah, Florence nightingales having to organize a lot of stuff I mean lots of famous things came from it
Starting point is 00:39:13 I suppose Florence nightingale Mary Seacull charge of the light brigade three items of clothing but the clover the Cardigan cardigan Earl of cardigan very heavily involved in the lyprogate. It's got to be a boot. You're not going to get it. Go on, what is it? The Sebastopol hat. It's the Raglan sleeve shirt. What's that?
Starting point is 00:39:34 It's got a different colour of, the torso is a different colour to the sleeves. It's a baseball jersey. But General Fitzroy Somerset, the first Baron Raglan, was not wearing a baseball jersey, but he did wear Raglan's leach out named after him. And he was the one who was responsible for the charge of the library gate going so badly wrong. Right. He was very old and he was half deaf and he was not really with it. And he said, oh, the Russians are taking some guns over there. Can you go and stop them taking away the guns?
Starting point is 00:39:57 And the order was then carried to someone else, the Earl of Cardigan, who could not see the guns because he was somewhere completely different. And he said, well, those guns, and pointed at this incredibly well-defended gun in placement at the end of a long, narrow valley, just a disastrous place to attack. Yeah, right. And he said, okay, this isn't going to go well, but fine. Don Yacardi's. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Starting point is 00:40:18 Here's the exact words where here goes the last of the Brudenells because he thought he was just riding straight to certain death as a lot of the people in that charge were. Yeah. There's another thing that wasn't invented, but someone tried to invent for the crime area. Oh yeah. Which was a entire city destroying cannon.
Starting point is 00:40:34 This is a massive cannon. It was 10 meters wide. The shot is 10 meters wide. No. And it would weigh 550 tons. And the idea is that once it landed, it would demolish an entire city and it was to be called the Saxo Cannon.
Starting point is 00:40:48 How are they going to transport that anywhere? Yeah, sort of wacky racers, Acme, Roadrunner style cannon they're making. The inventor was a solid inventor. Was not adult sex. It was, the inventor of the saxophone came up with a city destroying cannon, which he really wanted to build.
Starting point is 00:41:04 He was such a weird guy. He would just invent these things and then just call it the sax something. Exactly. So never, it didn't take off. No, didn't get past the planning stages. No. That's what we wanted to do.
Starting point is 00:41:15 Take off, very nice. Something else the Chromium War gave us is, I think the earliest war photography, or some of the earliest war photography, very famous photo of the Valley of the Shadow of Death by Roger Fenton in 1855, I think is one of the earliest pictures of warfare. Basically, there are two photos of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. And they're both of this extremely barren landscape, very near where the Charger of the Library was, gravel, little valley slopes on each side.
Starting point is 00:41:45 One of them has some cannonballs on the floor, one of them doesn't, and the famous one is the one with the cannonballs. And it's the, you know, sort of tragedy of war and the emptiness of the landscape with these war weapons. But there's been so much debate over the last 150 years over whether he faked it. Like, where did the cannonballs come from?
Starting point is 00:42:03 Well, Sax, I think, prototype. He's marbles, weren't they? And we don't know, because it might be that the second photo is from after they'd cleared it up. So then they took another one of it clean. Or he might have deposited. Ooh, tricky. The thing was, because he took a lot of photos, right?
Starting point is 00:42:20 He had a horse and carriage with him, which was like a portable photo developing booth that he had with him. He had lots of glass slides that he had with him, multiple cameras. And everyone's saying, oh, he staged a lot of photos. I think it's more than just the cannonball one. And the problem is, of course, they were staged.
Starting point is 00:42:38 Everything had to be staged. Because you needed a long exposure time. The exposure was like 30 seconds. It's actually why the charge of the labricade was such a disastrous because they had to wait for half a minute for the photo. The team photo at the start. Someone was blinking. Stop the podcast.
Starting point is 00:43:00 Hi everyone, we'd like to let you know that this week we're sponsored by Hello Fresh. Wow, I can't count that, but we are. They're fantastic. Hello Fresh send you delicious, wholesome meals in ingredient form and then you combine them into a delicious meal, you're learning and you're cooking at the same time. Really is incredible. You might have one or two meals that you know how to make that you're kind of quite confident with, but by going with Hello Fresh, you'll just have a whole new batch of meals that you'll be able to make from scratch. It's true. Hello Fresh has actually introduced me to new spices that I was not previously familiar with. I think one of the
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Starting point is 00:44:07 of the next two months. That's right. slash new fish, 60% off the first box, 25% off the next two months. Do it now. Okay, on with the podcast. On with the show. Okay, it is time for our final fact of the show, and that is Andy. My fact is, there is a chameleon in Madagascar, which is effectively extinct for several months every year.
Starting point is 00:44:37 This fact is incredible. It's insane. Yeah, it's really cool. I think it's not true. I think if you're extinct, you come back three months later, you're not extinct. Let's debate the case. And first of all, thanks to Kate Wood, who sent this in, in the email, the fish in the box.
Starting point is 00:44:52 Sorry, Kate, if I knew it was from you, as opposed to Andy, I wouldn't have poo-pooed it. No, no, no. This is the Le Borde's chameleon, and it is crazy. Right, so, in November, the chameleon hatches out in Madagascar, in the forest. Then they grow to sexual maturity very fast. In about two months, they are grown up ready to breed. They breed, the females lay some eggs in the ground.
Starting point is 00:45:16 Then in March, they all die. Not the eggs, the adults. All the adults die. Yeah. There are then, the entire species exists in egg form, basically most of the year in November eggs hatch out on they go It's so weird. It's so weird. They're enough for most of the year Yeah, they're not extinct exactly but for most of the year they are not the species lives in must be weird for the first person to come Out of the egg. Yeah every year. Yeah
Starting point is 00:45:40 They learn nothing from the their elders. I just think these are bizarre. These were discovered in 2008. I think their life cycle was first reported. I think since then they have found that if you keep some in captivity or maybe under very specific conditions, one might make it through a year. But it's really, really rare. So it's- What a year 2008 was. Over in India, you had someone being killed on TV with mind power.
Starting point is 00:46:01 Or not. Or not. In Iraq. You had chameleon being extinct. Or not. In Iraq. You had chameleon being extinct or not. In Iraq, George Bush is getting a tooth run at him. Wow. What? What was Anthony Trollope doing that year?
Starting point is 00:46:12 No, they're amazing. And I think it's because they die to avoid the dry season, which is very harsh and very, very hot. All right. In Madagascar and they just, some species hibernate, they just decide to die. And lots of chameleons on Madagascar, I think they've got about... They've got almost half, haven't they?
Starting point is 00:46:29 They've got about 40 to 45% or something. Yeah, and extraordinary variety of estimates as to the number of chameleon species. Given that it feels like a very small, countable number, I read anywhere, and all from very reputable sources, anywhere between 134 and more than 217 species of comedian. What are the different colors, aren't they? It's very hard to tell.
Starting point is 00:46:48 This was a green one before. They're great. Yeah, they don't change their color to match their background. I actually didn't know that until reading it for this podcast. Right. They match their emotions. Yeah, no, I think that's amazing. An amazing misconception is one of the biggest ones we've debunked on
Starting point is 00:47:05 QI. You know, sometimes we debunk things that you think, yeah, Camel, that's a bit. No, we never do that. No, we never do that. We never do that. It's an amazing thing. If you were watching the UFC of chameleon battles, right? Two competitors enter the ring. If you were betting, you could probably bet in the last few seconds, if that was allowed, on who was going to win. Hmm. Do they change colour based on whether they think they're going to win or lose? When they pass each other in the street, two males were often changed colours to sort of be like, kind of like if you're walking poolside and you tuck your tummy in and walk in that kind of thing.
Starting point is 00:47:39 Yeah. So yeah, so they found when they were studying it that the chameleon that was brighter and changed more rapidly was the one who was going to win, and that they just found that that on average was the way that it happened. Yeah, or above average. So what a useful way, if only we could tell them that, then they never have to fight, right? Exactly. They can always just go up to each other and go, oh, okay.
Starting point is 00:48:00 Throw the towel in. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Wow. If you were a chameleon in a boxing ring or something, because you normally wear a little dressing gown, don't you, into the ring? Yeah. And as soon as you take your dressing gown off, you look down, you were confident until you saw how bright and stripey the other guy is. I should just quickly say it was this was in 2013, it was a guy called Russell Ligon and Kevin McGrew, and they did 45 encounters
Starting point is 00:48:20 that they monitored. And that's what they've discovered from it. Very cool. Yeah. They've got amazing anatomy. I didn't know about the shape of their feet at all. And they are bizarre. They are described often as looking like salad tongs. And they do. So there are two pads opposite each other. And in fact, they're the only animals who aren't birds,
Starting point is 00:48:41 who are zygodactylists, which basically means that they have three fingers opposite two fingers in certain way. And they're not the same kind of zygodactylists really as birds. They're their own special thing. And essentially it's to grip trees. I don't know why more things don't have this. So it looks like a sideways claw that just clamps onto trees. It's very clever. But I did find out that you can also get pamperodactyly, anisodactyly and schizo-dactylies as well, which are in primate schizo-dactylies grasped with their second and third digits. Like doing scissors for a rock paper scissors. Exactly. Does that free you up to hold something? Like food?
Starting point is 00:49:23 Or to give a thumbs up at the same time as holding onto the tree? I think that's the idea, yeah. And you can hold a can of paper between fingers four and five. Yeah, perfect. No, they are, they're great. I know someone who's got a pet comedian. Do you? Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Starting point is 00:49:37 And... Is that the end of the Alec Dope? I think it is. I'm rummaging for more, but that really is about it. It's called Roy. Oh, there was more. No, and that's the end of the end. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:49:51 If you were sitting on a chameleon's tongue when it ate something, food for thought, you would die so badly. No, no, it would just not be able to eat anything, because you're way bigger than a chameleon. If you're sitting on its tongue, it's not going to be eating anything. Sorry, you're right. You have to imagine that you're the size of a borrower or maybe even smaller. Oh, okay. Of an ant. Oh, yes.
Starting point is 00:50:13 Sorry, well, if you sit on a chameleon, it will just crush its tongue because you're human size. No, but like, you know, if something bites you, a bite could have venom and I thought the reveal was going to be the tongue would. Sorry, it wasn't. It was the acceleration of their tongues. I should have made clear that you have you've been shrunken like honey, I thought the kids in this big central bit of that story. It was. Yeah, I know you've clasped this one. Should I? So if you were really, really small, yeah, and you were sitting on a chameleon's tongue and it stuck it out, then you would definitely die.
Starting point is 00:50:40 The acceleration of their tongues are amazing. They're actually the highest acceleration and power output, like amount of power generated for any movement of a reptile, bird or mammal. It is the same. Yeah. The power output is 14,000 watts per kilogram. Incredible.
Starting point is 00:50:56 Now, Yonis Fingard or Tani Pagaccia, who are the best cyclists in the world, in the Tour de France, say, if they're going up a mountain, they can max out at about seven watts per kilogram. And these guys are doing 14,000 watts per kilogram. It's a lot for us. I almost can't compute that. That's amazing. So the G-force is, I think,
Starting point is 00:51:18 the maximum G-force we can survive is maybe nine or 10 for a few seconds by the pilots. And the G-force on their tongue would be 264 G. Oh, okay. Your face is being distorted by that. That is so cool. I read a bit about what's inside their tongue because they have these things called intralingual sheaths, right?
Starting point is 00:51:38 So the tongue has bones running along the core of it, which is weird in itself. I guess they don't, not very big bones, but those are covered by these intra-lingual sheets and those are covered by an accelerator muscle. And what the chameleon does is the chameleon spring loads the sheets and packs them into each other like a telescope. That's like, there was a toy that used to do that, that you flicked it when you were younger and it was telescopic and it expanded out, wasn't there? I've got a real memory of that. I don't remember that.
Starting point is 00:52:03 A telescope. I was just playing with the chame a comedian's tongue when I was younger. You would get like those pointers that teachers had and they would go like that, wouldn't they? Yes. I got one of those last year. For Christmas. For myself at a non-holiday time and god they're good. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:52:17 The pointers. What did you do? You got one of what? Did you just point at stuff? Yeah. Just walked down the street going there's a panty tree. It really gives you a kind of authority that is extraordinary, you know. You never dared use it. No, no, no. But if I'm in the supermarket and I want to put it something on the conveyor belt,
Starting point is 00:52:36 say make sure you apply the discount on that radish, my good man. Bleep this one next. I'm so confused because all of this sounds so plausible. We're just missing the one detail. We're sort of playing what I like you now, aren't we? No, I think it was a couple of years ago. I bought it for a show. But I cannot remember the context in which I have, and I just ended up with a pointer, which I'd love to get out occasionally.
Starting point is 00:53:02 So, Chameleon saliva. This was another fact in the inbox, actually. So, not out occasionally. That's right. So Chameleon's saliva, this was another fact in the inbox actually. So not only did Kate Wood send the original fact, but Robert Harding writes, Chameleon's saliva is the opposite of custard. It's disgusting on Tricolta. Is that because it's non-Newtonian, but in a different way?
Starting point is 00:53:19 Bingo! Yes. So custard, if you run across custard, as you apply force to it, it gets harder. Very good. That's it. It thickens on impact. A chameleon saliva is thick in the mouth, but when the tongue strikes the insect it's
Starting point is 00:53:35 trying to eat or whatever, that blob becomes very malleable for an instant. That's clever. And then hardens right again. Right. So the prey is then glued to the tongue, and then it gets pulled right back into the chameleon's clever. And then hardens right again. Right. So the prey is then glued to the tongue. And then it gets pulled right back into the chameleon's mouth. That's clever. Isn't that amazing?
Starting point is 00:53:50 I found a chameleon who was a chameleon before chameleons were chameleons. What? Keep talking. Keep talking. I got a headache. You know I got a headache and this is not helping. There used to be a philosopher called chameleon. Really?
Starting point is 00:54:02 He was a disciple of Aristotle. Was he the guy who came up with the idea of karma? We don't know anything about him. You're just going to go straight over there. You're ill, you don't know what you're saying. Just helping you out here. Yeah, no, he is a disciple. We know virtually nothing about him, I guess, with us, as with a lot of people then, but
Starting point is 00:54:24 he did write a lot of pieces that we do know of his names attached to, like a piece called On Drunkenness, a piece called On Pleasure, but virtually nothing is known. But so he lived, he would have died in 281 BC, and the word chameleon came about in roughly the 14th century, mid 14th century. Okay, wait, so to century. Okay, interesting. To describe the lizard, presumably. To describe the lizard, and what's interesting is, Aristotle wrote about chameleons,
Starting point is 00:54:50 but we just didn't have the word, and he wasn't writing about his mate. So did he always have to say, you know that thing that kind of changes color, looks a bit like a echo? Looks like my mate, my disciples, yeah. Can I give you some animals that were thought to be extinct, but then aren't?
Starting point is 00:55:04 Yes. The Canterbury, Nobdweevil. Okay. I might just stop there actually. No, more, more. The cloaked bee, the dinosaur ant, the terrace skink, the Batman River Loach, the painted frog and the Machu Picchu arboreal chinchilla, which was found in a tree near Machu Picchu. Right.
Starting point is 00:55:26 When they un-extincted it. Wow. So these just all things, was there one big find, one day out, where they're just all hanging out in the same playing cards for a while? It's some sort of like support group for the extinct who aren't extinct. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:55:42 There's also the Confusing Rocket Frog. That's a great name. And they found it in 2019 and it's called confusing because it looks a lot like other frogs But it's the confusing rocket frog and the interesting thing about this is it was thought to be extinct in 1985 They found it in 2019 But luckily it was in a place where they were about to do loads of mining and logging and stuff like that and it meant that They couldn't do any of it. Brilliant. I think it's in that window.
Starting point is 00:56:06 Well done, little rocket frog. The painted frog? Was that one that you said? Painted frog, yeah. Yeah. Which just sounds like someone forcing chameleonism onto an animal, isn't it? That's very interesting. There's a type of fish that was thought to have gone extinct 66 million years ago, and then it was found in 1938 and it's the
Starting point is 00:56:25 Silicanth and do you know the story of how it was rediscovered? Is it a military 38? Was it found by a submarine? No, just found by a normal fisherman in South Africa, caught a weird fish, got back, gave it to this woman who ran the museum who thought that's weird so she sketched it. Oh no, I remember you. It weird. So she sketched it. Oh, I remember you. It's amazing. So she sketched it and she sent it to Professor Smith, who she knew would be able to tell her what it was.
Starting point is 00:56:51 Professor Smith received her sketch, no straight away. This is the seal account. It's been six, six million years we thought it was gone. And he goes and he visits it, but it's kind of disintegrated by that point. So he can't confirm really that lots about it or where it came from. And he devoted the next 14 years to finding a second specimen.
Starting point is 00:57:10 Wow. He was desperate. And eventually there was a guy on the, one of the Comoros Islands off Mozambique in 1952, who found one. And Smith was managed to convince the South African government to get a military plane to fly him off the coast of Mozambique. He had to have a conversation with the Mozambique authorities saying, hey, we're flying military planes over your airspace. Really sorry.
Starting point is 00:57:34 They were like, why are you doing that? They said, we're just going to pick up a fish. I remember reading that story and I think the woman who found it in the first place and knew there was something up, I think it was either Smith or someone else said it was evidence of women's intuition. The greatest evidence we ever had of women's intuition. Really? Marjorie Courtney LaSmo really? Yeah, yeah. Well, just because she sensed that it was weird.
Starting point is 00:57:56 There was something going on. Yeah. Wow. Wow. That's proving two things with one fish. That's pretty cool. Not only do we have the fish, we now know about women's intuition. I love it if it's paper, which eventually came out, was about women's intuition, not about the fish. OK, that's it. That is all of our facts. Thank you so much for listening.
Starting point is 00:58:25 If you would like to get in contact with any of us about the things that we've said over the course of this podcast, we can all be found on our social media accounts. I'm on Instagram, just use Shribeland. James. I'm on Twitter, just use at James Harkin. Andy.
Starting point is 00:58:40 I'm on X at Andrew Hunter M. Oh. Yeah, sorry. Sorry. And Anna, how can they get through to us as a group? You can just use the email address podcast at or the Twitter handle at no such thing. That's right. Or you can head to our website, which is no such thing
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