No Such Thing As A Fish - 519: No Such Thing As A Noice Computer

Episode Date: February 22, 2024

Dan, James, Andy and Olga Koch discuss Joni Mitchell, Joey Chestnut, Dawn Supercomputer and Archi Conjugation. Visit for news about live shows, merchandise and more episodes. ... Join Club Fish for ad-free episodes and exclusive bonus content at or

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Starting point is 00:00:00 Hey everyone, welcome to this week's episode of Fish. Before we get going I just want to let you know we have a very exciting comedian joining us on the show today. So Anna's away for this ep, but in her place we are joined by the brilliant Olga Koch. Olga is the perfect fish guest. Not only is she incredibly funny, but she's also an absolute thunder dork. She studied computer sciences, she speaks three different languages, she has a very confused and unplaceable accent like I do, and she is absolutely blitzing the comedy scene at the moment. You will have seen her no doubt on shows like Live at the Apollo, she's done pointless celebrities and of course she's been on QI, but the best place, the absolutely best place to see Olga is Live in person at one of her stand-up shows and she is currently on tour with her new show which is called Prawn Cocktail, she's traveling the UK and then for any Aussie listeners out there she's heading down under. So Aussies go and see her she's absolutely brilliant live and if you want to get
Starting point is 00:00:55 a taste of what a full show by Olga is like she's actually got a few specials up online so if you go to YouTube you're going to be able to see her 2022 show Just Friends. The full show is there check it out. And then on Amazon Prime, she has another special called Homecoming. Go to her website generally, It has a list of all the things that she's done from podcasts to other bits and pieces. But for now, here she is on No Such Thing as a Fish. On with the show. Hello and welcome to another episode of No Such Thing as a Fish, a weekly podcast coming
Starting point is 00:01:40 to you from the QI offices in Hovern. My name is Dan Schreiber, I'm sitting here with Andrew Hunter Murray, James Harkin and Olga Koch. And once again, we have gathered around the microphones with our four favorite facts from the last seven days. And in a particular order, here we go. Starting with fact number one, and that is Olga. The world's best prom cocktail eater practices his technique
Starting point is 00:02:02 with budget meatballs. Wow. I would say that a prawn is different to a meatball. Different enough that I wouldn't think it was useful for my training montage. I accept what you just said and I challenge you to a better replacement to a prawn. A better budget replacement to a prawn. Yeah. Can I give you a better replacement to a prawn?
Starting point is 00:02:24 Please. There was a guy called Stefan Gates who wrote a book about eating insects. I don't find it replacement to a prawn. Yeah. Can I give you a better replacement to a prawn? Please. There was a guy called Stefan Gates who wrote a book about eating insects. And he said, if you don't have any prawns, let's say you don't live near the sea, then a woodlouse is a good replacement. Oh, lovely. It'll taste about the same.
Starting point is 00:02:37 And budget too. I mean, all over the garden. Yeah, yeah. Exactly. OK. I don't think I can even picture a woodlouse. Is that a caterpillar? It's like a pill bug? No. I want, asked. So, in Insect Armadillo, so they're the little
Starting point is 00:02:49 grey guys with the... Okay, so then if you de-shell it, it is still soft on the inside. Yeah, yeah. It'd be very fiddly to de-shell, wouldn't it? Imagine. For the number that you need as well, for the challenge. No, I think maybe I'm going back and saying Meatball's fine, as in that probably is the best. Maybe crab stick? Yeah, this guy probably knows what he's, do we know his name? Yes, his name is Jeff Esper. Okay, okay. Also, a very interesting thing about his technique is that he tries to mimic a prawn
Starting point is 00:03:15 cocktail as much as he can, so he does eat them cold and he eats them tossed in cocktail sauce as opposed to like marinara or whatever you'd have your meatballs with. There's this amazing video of him online where you see the practice run where he uses the meatballs and it's so weird. He's just on his own in his laundry with a camera running and he's about to eat eight minutes worth of like meatball in his face. He says things like so exactly, I'm going to use the same sauce. He's going 90% the video. So I'm going 100%. He's given it 90%. No, not just for YouTube. Exactly.
Starting point is 00:03:46 So he's going 90. And then he says, really, I should be doing this outside, because I think the competition is outside, and I need to acclimatize. Sorry. Which geographical location is this happening in? If it's not the equator or the Antarctic, I don't think he needs to acclimatize.
Starting point is 00:04:00 Well, that's the thing. So it was too cold for him to do it that day, so he didn't. But that factors into it. I guess it messes with your capacity to swallow, your speed. Yeah. Can I explain one more reason why the meatballs were fine as a substitute? It's because the sauce is the most important part of this particular competition, because it is a seafood sauce, but it's really spicy.
Starting point is 00:04:21 It's supposed to be the spiciest seafood sauce you can get. Someone who had it said it's like being electrocuted when you eat it. And so really he's more about getting through all this spicy sauce than it is about getting through the problems. Oh, his face almost melted right at the end of the video. I watched all eight minutes and the final mouthful, he's on the brink of vomiting and you watch for about 30 seconds. Which way is going to go? Yeah, yeah, it's really close. Can I give you a few of his records?
Starting point is 00:04:46 Is that the record? Because Jeff Esper is a big, big player in what is known as the MLE, the major league of eating. It's an official body, like you'd have the Baseball League or the NBA. The MLE exists. So he's the record holder at certain points. He may have been broken since he set them for spam, eating 9.75 pounds of spam, chicken wings, Fortune Bay Indian tacos, pretzels, pizzas, Jack's donut holes.
Starting point is 00:05:14 Donut holes. Yeah. Oh, those are a thing, aren't they? Sorry. Yeah. All right. I was thinking. It's the bit that used to be in the donut.
Starting point is 00:05:22 It's not just the... He's eating them all. That's why they're not there. Yeah, Texas sausage. For me, it seems like, you know, in Olympic swimming, how people get loads of medals because you get a medal for 100 meters, for 50 meters, for 200 meters, is all basically the same thing. It feels to me like once you can eat a load of shrimp,
Starting point is 00:05:39 then you could probably a load of donuts and you could probably a load of everything. It's like he's only got one skill and he's getting all these records. I think it's all to do with training, right? Well, I think in Major League Eating, if you are some plucky kid out of nowhere, the best things to go for are things where you can innovate. Because there are some which are volume based, where you just have to drink as much honey as you can into whatever.
Starting point is 00:06:00 And that depends on how big your stomach is. Exactly. That is just about slowly. You do have to do that competition in just a top-notepan But if you're If you're some some like, you know upstart You might be able to develop a new technique. I see so before we started today You just had a cheese and what was it celery sandwich? Yeah, you might come up with a new way of eating that like taking the celery out first.
Starting point is 00:06:25 Exactly. Improving the sandwich by taking out the celery. I've already had a lot of slacking off about this sandwich, okay? But you might have exactly a new way to eat corn on the cob faster. You could attach it to like a black and decker so it spins round.
Starting point is 00:06:40 So those are the ones where if you're trying to get into this game and why would you? That's the piece of cake. Arriving in New York City on a great ham bus, So those are the ones where if you're trying to get into this game and why would you? Arriving in New York City on a great bus with just a corn in your bag. And do you think that you start by going to like breakfast restaurants that have those like breakfast challenges that put you on the Put your photo on the wall and then there's like a Tom Hanks in Elvis, like Agent in a Corner, watch us weasel smoking as a guy, thinking you've got promise kid. I went to a breakfast place the other day
Starting point is 00:07:08 that had a breakfast challenge. You had to eat this entire, this huge list of like 40 sausages, 20 eggs. It wasn't as big as that, but it was, it looked doable. You had 20 minutes to do it. And if you managed it, you got the meal for free or you had to pay for the whole thing. And there's a leaderboard, right,
Starting point is 00:07:21 that had the current champion, Pete Docherty of the Libertines. No. What? Yeah, yeah. Is that the breakfast that was in the newspapers when you had that big breakfast, wasn't it? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So no one's beat it since? No one's beat it since, no.
Starting point is 00:07:33 Wow, I once went to one of these restaurants for like burgers and stuff, and my sister ordered the huge sort of challenge thing. She's quite small, my sister, and she was really getting through it and their waiters are all looking at her going bloody hell, she's doing good. And I just ordered one hamburger and it was really small and I ate it really quickly and I was like, I'm going to get another hamburger. And then I got my sister to order it. So she's wolfing down all this thing and she went, I have another hamburger please. I read an interview with Jeff Esper. Oh yeah. His favorite movie is Cool Hand Luke. Oh, I haven't seen that. Well, in it, there's a guy who has to eat 50 eggs in an hour.
Starting point is 00:08:12 And that's, I think, why he likes it. Paul Newman. Paul Newman, yeah. No, hang on. Paul Newman then opened a very successful line of mayonnaise. Salad dressing. Was that to eat with the eggs? What was that?
Starting point is 00:08:23 It was the film viral marketing for Paul Newman Ranch. First ever. Because the fastest way to eat 50 eggs is actually to whip them up on the mayo, emuls them. Oh really? He doesn't do that in the movie. He just numbs on them. But in the TV ads he would be walking saying, I like my 50 eggs. 50 eggs per bottle.
Starting point is 00:08:41 Come on, that would be amazing. Anyway, this interview then asked Jeff Esper what a movie of his life would be called, and he said, cool hand, Jeff. So, he's quite a witty guy as well. Maybe he was full. We love it, Jeff. But then in 2023, the second and third place in this shrimp eating competition were Miki, Sudo and Nick Wary, and they're married to each other.
Starting point is 00:09:04 Cool. Did they meet? Oh, did they're married to each other. Cool. And did they meet? Oh, did they meet doing the lady in the tramp? But it's like an 18-foot-long sausage, and they're both slowly eating towards each other. I think they met in the compasitivating sphere. That's adorable. We locked eyes as we were both throwing up 100,000 marshmallows in your bucket.
Starting point is 00:09:23 And they said they have a child, the two of them, and they said the child can do anything they want when they grow up, except become a competitor Vita. Why? I think they're just in it and they don't feel like it's a good job to have. Feels like you're worried it's gonna be a Darth Vader situation, but the child's gonna knock him off. What I will want to say about Mickey Pseudo is that she is, I believe the reigning champion of the Nathan's hot dog eating competition's what Miki Sudo is that she is, I believe the reigning champion of the Nathan's hot dog eating competition's women's category. And Nathan's, the Nathan's Coney Island hot dog eating competition is really the biggest competition in the competitive eating league and the one that put competitive eating on
Starting point is 00:09:55 the map. Major league eating. It was born out of Nathan's. There you go. But it's only been split by gender, I believe, since 2011 before that woman used to compete with men together and they used to place in the top three routinely. And then they split them, and I know all this from a book called Raw Dog by Jamie Loftus. It's an incredible book, I recommend it to everybody.
Starting point is 00:10:14 And basically they were like, it's going to be the same, it's going to be the same, but the men's one is televised and the woman isn't. And women get less prize money. What? Oh, that's actually quite true. The men's is televised and the woman isn't. That surprises me. You think it would be the other way round?
Starting point is 00:10:27 I think a lot of perverts would be like nothing more than the woman eating 75 pot buns. It's either televised or televised on ESPN3 as opposed to ESPN1. Like it's something like that. It sucks. And it is the only competitive eating which is gender split, sausage eating.
Starting point is 00:10:40 It's the only one. Oh, really? All the others are mixed. Oh, I was like, is that an innuender? You're like, no. No, I agree. That's up to the audience to. Really? Yeah, yeah. All the others are mixed. Oh, I was like, is that an innuendo? You're like, no. No, I agree. That's up to the audience to make the innuendo there. I'm just trying to picture you pitching why it should be back on TV.
Starting point is 00:10:52 And really, I'm really isolating the pervert market here. I was thinking. I got big bucks. I would do an incredibly subtle pitch, which made it very, very clear. Who's tuning in? Joey Chestnut. Yeah. So he's managed 76
Starting point is 00:11:05 Hot dogs in one go and I think I think we may have even mentioned before the thing to do is to dip the bun in the water So it gets slides down slides down, but I love this the 1984 competition I think this was Nathan's I'm not sure it might have been a different league one It was one by someone she was a 17 year old West German judo What do you do judo artisto artist? Judoke. Judoke. And she had never had a hot dog before the competition. No. But then that's the...
Starting point is 00:11:31 And you're like, oh my God, this stuff is incredible. I could eat a million. Yeah. And that was her... Yeah. That's incredible. That was awesome. Was it like she looked at it and she'd never seen one.
Starting point is 00:11:40 So she didn't know how to eat it. And she was like, maybe I just shove 10 of them in my mouth. She innovated. Where did they find a German who's never had a sausage? Yeah. Apparently, Chessnuts, Joey Chessnut was saying, once you have that many hot dogs, you immediately need the toilet.
Starting point is 00:12:00 And the problem, they don't really digest fully. So you kind of shit hot dogs in here. No, I don't know. Clean out, clean out. That's what he said. How can you tell the difference, realistically? I think when you feel a solid hot dog coming out your butt 75 times.
Starting point is 00:12:15 Because the fun also comes out. This shit is inside the bun. Let me tell you a little something about corn. Also, basically, the Nathan's hot dog eating contest was put on the map in the mid 2000s by a Japanese competitive eater called Tekeru Kobayashi, Tekeru Tsunami Kobayashi. And then he basically made it super popular in America
Starting point is 00:12:39 and then Joey Chestnut was introduced to him as like the American down home alternative. And so again, Nathan's hot dog eating competition is a story of sexism and racism and hot dogs. We advertise and they mostly stress the hot dog part of it, don't they? Fine print, fine print. If only we could get perverts into that fantastic strap line. Oh dear.
Starting point is 00:13:00 Do you know what chipmunking is? You might have seen this in your journey. So I would think it's like, oh, you know I hadn't thought about it and then Dan just did an action. I did an action. Yeah. It's storing in your cheats. That's it.
Starting point is 00:13:13 That's it. Now. Were you going to say it was like getting naked at a dance scene? I was just thinking speaking in a very high pitch voice. As you might expect, given what we're talking about, it's absolutely a dance thing. It's, um... The press conferences would be great though in the lead-up one. You're going down! No, it has to be in your mouth, right, the food, before the count ends, right?
Starting point is 00:13:34 So if you're counting down, you know, you've got ten minutes to eat this many, whatever's. The food has to be in your mouth, and then you get a thirty seconds to swallow it. So often the photo finish bit is just, right, just get all of this in your mouth. As long as you get 30 seconds after the clock stops. There used to be, all you had to do was swallow it in a timely manner, that's all it said. And they didn't say it was exactly 30 seconds and then there was a guy called Crazy Legs Conti who lost a competition because he couldn't eat it in a timely manner and they thought we're gonna have to make it a proper time.
Starting point is 00:14:04 I think that's right. It's like I've started so I'll finish or the bell, the quiz bell goes. This makes sense of the final few seconds of Jeff Esper's practice for the prawn cocktail because he goes over eight minutes he stops the clock and he has a mouth that is absolutely and I'm gonna spit it out and he's so that's what it is. He's using his 30 seconds. Chipmunking. Clever. Very clever. Crazy legs. Just while you mentioned him, James. He, I read an article, it's his legal name, Crazy Legs Conti. He compares, I'm quoting here from the article, compares professional
Starting point is 00:14:35 eaters to musicians. He says, the way eaters move and shake is an effort to get breath out of the esophagus, stomach and lower intestine as trumpeters would with their instrument. That's interesting. You know, circular breathing where you can play like a didgeridoo without breathing because you breathe through your nose and out of your mouth. Do you reckon they try that? That could be a new innovation. It's the breath sausage in this. I mean you shove as much sausage in your mouth while breathing through your nose is what I would say.
Starting point is 00:15:00 Oh, maybe. Yeah, yeah. Right. But like maybe the sausage in the nose is the Fosbury flop moment that no hero has managed to achieve yet. Oh, right. You found two more entry points. Yeah. Right. Interesting. The perverts. They're tuning in. Stop the podcast. Stop the podcast.
Starting point is 00:15:22 Hi, everybody. Just want to let you know we are sponsored this week by LinkedIn Jobs. Stop the podcast. Hi, everybody. Just want to let you know we are sponsored this week by LinkedIn Jobs. That is right. So if you're someone who's looking for candidates, for instance, if you have a small business, you want to find really great professional employees that perfectly suit your role, you have to find them on LinkedIn Jobs because it has a network of more than 8 billion professionals on it. That is more than a seventh of the world's population.
Starting point is 00:15:46 It's the best place to find the right person for your company. It really is. It gives you access to professionals that you can't find anywhere else. You could sure guard into the street and shout your requirements, but if you're hiring quite specific people for your small business and you need to get the right person, LinkedIn Jobs is probably the better way to go. In fact, 86% of small businesses get a qualified candidate within 24 hours. That really does make hiring quite easy. That's right. So ditch the town crier approach and post your job for free at
Starting point is 00:16:18 slash fish. So if you go to linkedin.slashfish, you can post your job for free. That's right. Post your job for free. Terms and conditions apply. On with the show. On with the podcast. OK, it is time for fact number two and that is James.
Starting point is 00:16:42 OK, my fact this week is in the Archie language of southern Russia a single verb can have 1,502,839 possible forms. Is that normal for most languages? Or it is not normal. I would say it's false. So if you think that it in English, like to podcast, right? So you podcast, she podcasts. Yeah. I was podcasting. I podcasted and there's not much else because they're all just... I would have been podcasting. Yeah, I guess.
Starting point is 00:17:13 But then that's kind of the same ending. No, this is Tenses as well. OK, OK. So in Russian, obviously you would have I, you, she, they, all that kind of stuff. But also you have the past tense, which would be different for masculine and feminine. You would have the future tense. You have gerenz, you have participle, you have all sorts of stuff in Russian. But it's manageable because I've studied it and it's manageable.
Starting point is 00:17:34 But in archie, it just goes crazy. You have, as well as masculine and feminine, you have different terms for domestic animals, for wild animals, for young animals, old animals. So if you say the pig podcasted, you would need to know if it was a wild pig or a domestic pig to know how to say. Which is always my number one. You have a different, if it's insects, it's a different ending.
Starting point is 00:17:59 If it's mythical beings, musical instruments, serials, abstract concepts, they all have different endings. Everybody's got a podcast. How does anyone learn it or get anything done? I think you just, mostly you just naturally pick up these kind of things if you live in it. Because before you get to that word, you'd have to stop and investigate.
Starting point is 00:18:23 All right, wild or domesticated. Alive or dead. But also like the number of things. So if it's one thing or two things or many things, it's different like similar in Russian. Imagine solving a crime based on a phone call because you know that the verb was referring to a thing and you couldn't investigate what that thing was.
Starting point is 00:18:42 We know that they have a wild insect. Who has a podcast. Oh, that's nice. And also it's different depending on how you know it's being done. So if you know it's happened, it's different. If you're speculating it's happened, it's different. If you're admiring something that's happening, it's different. If something's forbidden, it's different.
Starting point is 00:19:01 And you can mix and match all of these different things to get to 1.5 million. I admired the forbidden tame young Locust podcast. You're forecasting whatever. But you think about that. You had to use so many words to say that, right? But they would be able to say it in one word because they would know all of the endings. They'd be like, well, that's implied by the way you say it.
Starting point is 00:19:20 Locust stays the same, like all of that stuff. You could just say the Locust podcast is, so you just a verb and aust stays the same. Like all of that stuff. You could just say the Locust podcast is so you just a verb and a noun and you would get all of that information by all the different endings. It's like anti-German. It's the most efficient. Yeah, yeah. As a result, has this language become hugely popular and spoken by tens of millions? It's spoken by very, very few people in Dagestan, in Russia, and it's about 20 kilometres away
Starting point is 00:19:42 from the village of Sovkra, who do you remember? It was the place where everyone knows how to tightrope. Oh, no way! Yeah, there's a village in Russia where everyone knows how to tightrope and it's just over the mountain from there. What an amazing pocket of the planet. This is incredible. And I should also say that Andy, once you've learned all of these one million different forms of standard verbs, that helps you with about 170 of the most common verbs, but there are more than a thousand exceptions.
Starting point is 00:20:11 Which you then have to learn on top of that. Oh, and the language can be written in lattice scripts or in Cyrillic. And in either way, the language has got 74 letters. So you need to learn 148 letters. Well, I was going to learn 148 letters. What I was going to ask, how many letters can there be for there to be this many endings? Because you would just run out of letters for even combination. Yeah, this is why I failed my Archie GCSE Aural.
Starting point is 00:20:33 That's why. I'm so annoyed. So yeah, it's just a very, very complicated language and it exists. Have you heard of the Foreign Service Institute? I think they're an American alphabet. Basically, they sort of rate languages on how are they able to learn. Oh yeah. So like for English speakers, sorry, native English speakers. So like French is category one, you know, like romance languages because they're like English borrows a lot from there. We derive from that. Yeah. And you already know
Starting point is 00:20:59 how to learn. That's easy for English people to learn. And then category three is Indian, various Indian languages in Swahili. Category four, it takes 44 weeks to learn. It's sort of going up in the number of weeks. So Russian, Hindi, Tamil, the English. How many weeks is it supposed to have taken me to learn Russian? Don't worry about it. Well, it's taken me five years and I'm intermediate.
Starting point is 00:21:18 Yeah, that's about right. Category five is Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic. Category two only contains German. It's completely English. English is a Germanic language. I know. I think they decided it's a bit harder than French, but it's the only one, it's just there on its own in their categories. Actually, German does have quite a lot of conjugations, doesn't it?
Starting point is 00:21:41 Because you speak German a little bit. It's got four basic cases. Like, it's not. It's not four basic cases. Yeah. Like it's not. It's all right. It's a bit, it's a bit, because like French and Spanish and Italian, they're all kind of debased Latin, if you like, because they just cut out all the complicated endings and, you know, and it's because as Latin spread.
Starting point is 00:21:56 I want, yeah, I guess it's like they're like how to speak it correctly, because I speak fluent German, but I can't counter get shit. I'm just, I'm all, I'm'm always like you know what I'm saying. But do you get it right? Like sometimes I'll be like I'll know a noun but I won't remember its article so I'll like gender it just I'm on a guess alone and I'm sure that I'm sure whoever I'm speaking to will kind of guess. But I always get worried about that because if I get the gender of a noun wrong they won't know I'm if I'm say das table or whatever I know know it's not table. I can't remember if table either.
Starting point is 00:22:25 But like I think people- The dish and you're just like das dish? Das dish, der dish. It's not doing changes, but if I get it's a dish. So it's fun. Relax. It is, isn't it? Because I read an article where they interviewed 56 native French speakers and they asked them
Starting point is 00:22:40 to assign the gender of 93 masculine words and they agreed on only 17 of them. And they asked to assign the gender of 50 feminine words and they agreed on only one. Wow. It's just vibes. I love that. This is, you fixed German basically for anyone struggling. I think that's a good thing in all languages really
Starting point is 00:23:01 is that if you just try, people will accept it. Yeah, that's true. Yeah, the Russian language has three genders for any noun, but if you get it wrong, I'll still know what you're talking about. Right, okay. Sorry, maybe I'm making a lot of German and Russian people really. Where is Archie on the list? Archie is not on this list.
Starting point is 00:23:19 I think there's a secret category in a lot of parts. But Russian is difficult because the stress can matter, right, in words. And that can make a big difference. So you can see it written down and you wouldn't know necessarily the difference between say, Muka and Muka. Right. Where one of them means flower and the other one means torture. Yeah. Oh.
Starting point is 00:23:39 So if you just see that written down and they don't have the stress. Well, if you have celiac. That kind of flower. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was thinking of that kind of flower. Again. Oh my God. Sorry. Oh, flower, stress. Well, if you have celiac. That kind of flower. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I was thinking that kind of flower.
Starting point is 00:23:47 Again, oh my God. Sorry. Oh, flower, flower. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't think, is there any way of telling verbally flower? No, context only, I think. Flower. Maybe Irish accent?
Starting point is 00:23:56 I always say floor. People mistake it for the thing we walk on. Valentine's Day is always very disappointing though, for your wife, isn't it? It's a lovely floor. There was some woman, I wish I could remember this now. people mistake it for the thing we walk on. Valentine's Day is always very disappointing though, for your wife, isn't it? It's a lovely form. There was a woman, I wish I could remember this now. Oh, God. There was a woman in America who was arrested for throwing a pancake
Starting point is 00:24:14 at an American president. And I can't remember which president it was, but when she was arrested, they asked her about it and she said she couldn't find any flowers, but this contained flower and she thought it would be just to say, was it really? Was this the reverse video? 100 years ago.
Starting point is 00:24:28 100 years ago. Easy. Do you remember when I made a karate magazine news article for spitting on someone? And that was a misunderstanding of where it was. Yeah. I don't remember this. This is in Hong Kong. I was in karate monthly.
Starting point is 00:24:40 I think it's called. Story rather than. As like one of those little. That's where I know you. What? Is this real? Yeah, I was studying Kempo at the time, which is a former martial art, and I was sparring with a kid, and the guy who's training me, he's called me Danny, and he had a bit of a lisp, and he was yelling, spin on him, Danny, spin on him to spin kick him, but I heard
Starting point is 00:25:02 spit on him, Danny, and literally just spat on his face. No. Yeah, they paused the fight and they were like, what was that? Is this true? Yeah, yeah. How old were you? 10, 11. I have a leap, like honestly, Dan, I've known you for 20 years every week. Amazing, isn't it?
Starting point is 00:25:19 Same thing. It was, yeah, it was in Hong Kong and it was... You were in a karate based newspaper. In magazine. was, yeah, it was in Hong Kong. You were in a karate-based newspaper. In magazine. Sorry, it was in magazine. I guess it's one of those, like, the funny stories kind of bit of a bit. It wasn't like international karate news.
Starting point is 00:25:34 It wasn't heavy. No, I like it. What was the easiest word on the planet? The easiest word. So is it the most universal? Not bad. Hey. Hey.
Starting point is 00:25:44 Nearly, closer. Ogre. Bingo. I knew hey. Nearly closer. Bingo. Sorry. It'd be incredible if you would just, you genuinely haven't heard the question because you weren't listening. Yeah, we can edit it, fix it in post. Yeah. Every language has a version for, can you please quickly clarify? And in every language it's, Huh? Because it would be very annoying if you had to say a sentence to say, can you quickly clarify? So that's it. And it means that, you know, it can de-escalate tension between you and someone else, even if you don't speak the same language.
Starting point is 00:26:15 But also, does that also mean that the inflection of a question is the same in every language? No, I didn't. Because it's not really a sound much, it's much more, it's literally, in my mind, it's just the sound of a question is the same in every language. No, I didn't. Because it's not really a sound much, it's much more, it's literally, in my mind, it's just the sound of a question mark. I think actually that's not true because some languages have question words, don't they? Like English and Russian do, like who, what, when,
Starting point is 00:26:35 all that kind of stuff. But some languages, it depends on the inflection about whether it's a question or not a question. But English has that a bit, dude, doesn't it, you can say, I live here. And that's a question. Yeah. Whereas... Yeah, yeah. Well, that's an Aussie inflection as well. That's true. I live here in Australia.
Starting point is 00:26:53 We had that thing, David Crystal, the linguist said that the Aussie inflection at the end was a useful thing because it was both a, I understand the statement, but I also am asking you, it's up to you. You don't need to pick it up as a question, but it works as a question. You can if you like. Yeah, with the inflection. That feels like a mind game you'd play in like a corporate interview. Yeah, exactly.
Starting point is 00:27:12 You got the job? Just as they're walking out of the dark. We find them guilty? I need to get something off my chest. So the closest so far, so far I've ever been to getting canceled is thanks to a joke that I wrote about the word empathy in Russian. And so the setup of the joke is the Russian language
Starting point is 00:27:37 doesn't have the word for empathy. Can you imagine what that feels like? I couldn't. And so I posted this joke online in the avalanche of Russian people going to correct me, just saying that there is actually a word in Russian for empathy and you're actually stupid and dumb and not a patriot.
Starting point is 00:27:54 But I would say 90% of the corrections were the word for sympathy, obviously, that is very easily checked through Google Translate. So basically the word that they keep suggesting is sympathy, which is sympathy, obviously, that is very easily checked through Google Translate. So basically the word that they keep suggesting is sympathy, which is sympathy, which is close to empathy, but not quite. Then they'd say, which is compassion, which again is close, but not quite. And then very rarely they will say, which is essentially the same sort of like, I guess, Greek root for it, empathy, whichatia, which is a word that has not been widely used
Starting point is 00:28:26 in Russia up until I want to say two years ago. And I know this because there's loads of articles in Russia that are essentially titled, what is this word, empatia? And what does it mean? And so the setup of the joke, I feel like I'm in court right now. The setup of the joke is that I do-
Starting point is 00:28:41 Why do you think this is funny? I don't even know where I'm going with this, but I just think that it's really funny, because they think that I'm sort of trying to smite the Russian people, or say that Russians don't understand what empathy is, and surely that's something that you can explain in more than just one word. And to sort of, I guess, make right with the Russians. I'll share a Russian word that we have that you don't in English. Oh, OK. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:29:06 And that's listapad, which is the word for falling leaves. So it's like rainfall. We have leaf fall. Oh, that's good. And you don't say the word. You're stupid. Yeah, but we can actually have some feelings about it when we see it. If you're speaking to a Russian,
Starting point is 00:29:24 you can tell whether they're a virologist or not, by the way they talk. And that is because in Russian, you have animat and inanimate nouns, right? The endings can change up whether something's alive. And so virus, virus in Russian, is most people would say it's inanimate, but virologists always think it's alive a virus. Because virus, is it alive? Is it not alive? Actually, nobody really knows. But virologists think it's alive and normal people tend to not say it's alive. So if you say, um, on Dalmenier coronavirus, then that would mean he gave me coronavirus, but that would be a person who's
Starting point is 00:30:05 not a virologist saying it. But if you said on Delmeniere coronavirus, that would be animate, and it would be a virologist saying it because they think viruses are alive. And how useful have you found this change in your luck? Again, I think that you can use that to solve a crime. Who was the murderer? It was the virologist in the library with a candle stick. Probably with the anthrax. Yeah. Do you want to know a fun fact? Yeah.
Starting point is 00:30:35 So you know, hold up. Not on this show. You've come to the wrong place, lady. So do you know how like French kiss is making out? Oh yeah. Or like Irish goodbye is leaving without saying goodbye. Or French exit as well. But in Russian, a buffet is a Swedish table.
Starting point is 00:30:50 And a family of three, which is like two women and a man or whatever combination of genders in a thruplet is a Swedish family. Get away. Yeah. So, manage-en-tois, which is what we would call it. I don't know, cause like three people living together. It's not a threesome. It is like like it is a relationship of three. I throw up
Starting point is 00:31:09 I'm the only native Russian speaker. But you love dirty words. And that's true. Yeah. I've never heard of that. I went on a site where it was sort of like weird rude words from Russia and... Can you say it in Russian? This bottom, have you ever heard of that word before?
Starting point is 00:31:38 I have never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I've never heard of that word. I went on a site where it was sort of like weird rude words from Russia and Can you say it in Russian? This bottom, have you ever heard of that word before? I have never seen this in my life.
Starting point is 00:31:50 I did move from Russian when I was 14, so maybe like it's a sort of high school word. That word is a 15 certificate, so you wouldn't have known about it. See, I don't think it's a real word, but it was on a site. What does it mean, sorry? It kind of doesn't really mean anything. It's just a beautiful word for when the pollen falls to the trees. I can't believe we don't have this word in English. I'm a bad caller.
Starting point is 00:32:16 Do you know the Bicol language of the Philippines doesn't have, it has swear words, but people don't really use them because it has a complete other vocabulary if you're angry. So you speak normal, big call, blah, blah, blah, blah, but as soon as you're angry, you just change all the words that you use so that people can tell you're angry. Oh, that's great. I think it is good. So you're saying the same stuff, but it's different using different words for it.
Starting point is 00:32:40 Using different words, yeah. So it's a bit like with my daughter when she does something bad. I normally call her jelly, but if she does something bad, I go, angel. Yeah. So it's a bit like with my daughter when she does something bad. I normally call her jelly, but if she does something bad, I go, Angel. Like, I just, you know, I'm angry. But it's a completely different vocabulary, Ethan. Yeah. I hate to bring it up, but again, such beautiful evidence in a court case. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's like, was it a crime of passion? I don't know. So good. Okay, it is time for fact number three.
Starting point is 00:33:09 That is Andy. My fact is, if cars had improved at the same rate as computers since 1971, they would now be able to travel at nearly the speed of light. Wouldn't that be cool? And if my grandmother had wheels. She would also be traveling with a wheel. They would also be smaller. The carts, right? Yes, she would also be traveling this week. They would also be smaller. The carts, right? Yes, they would be about half an inch long, unfortunately. And this is based on something that Gordon Moore, who was the co-founder
Starting point is 00:33:36 of Intel, huge computer company said in 1965, he noticed that the number of transistors you can fit on a chip, a computer chip, had been roughly doubling every year for the previous 10 years. And he said, this is amazing. And he thought it would keep going. He thought the principle would apply. Maybe it would be every two years the number you could fit on a chip doubled. But he said, I think it's good for at least 10 more years. And it actually has stayed true for about 50 years at least since you wrote that. And it's slowing down a bit now, but cars would be able to travel at the speed of light because the number of transistors you can fit on a computer at now is so huge. The numbers are just mind-boggling of how much things have improved.
Starting point is 00:34:15 I suppose the thing was that we got to a speed with cars where we thought there's no point going much faster. Is that right? Because of safety reasons and stuff like that? I suppose so, yeah. Obviously if we moved to a speed of light, then we'd also go infinite mass and... Oh, that would slow you down. No, it wouldn't slow you down. No, it wouldn't. Yes, it would. You'd break through the car door, you'd...
Starting point is 00:34:36 Well, no, because that's a thought. I saw an interview with Lewis Hamilton the other day and he was talking about how when you're driving a Formula 1 car, everything about your structure of your body needs to be as strong as possible. Because when you're driving a Formula One car, everything about the structure of your body needs to be as strong as possible. Because when you take a turn at 180 miles an hour, your body does not go with the car. They have strong necks, don't they? Yeah.
Starting point is 00:34:54 But yeah, I mean, like, there's no point getting faster than, you know, you get cars that can go 200 miles an hour or faster, but there's no point having them because you can't go faster than that. No, you're right. Spaceships are useful, though. Yeah, again, it's really just about transistors. I feel like I was completely...
Starting point is 00:35:08 But am I correct in understanding that, like, I remember this distinctly as an example in a textbook that at some point it becomes imperceptible to humans. So, like, they tried doubling the amount of pixels in, like, computer graphics. But at some point, once you're doubling it, a human eye can't see that it's double. That's really good.
Starting point is 00:35:26 Oh, true. Yeah. I think a computer screen now can show more colors than the human eye can perceive. Yeah, so who's that for? Like a really good one. Yeah. If you were traveling at near speed of light,
Starting point is 00:35:36 this is kind of a physics question, really. And you had to take a left, right? Yeah. You're in space. If you needed an exit sign, but I'm travelling at close to the speed of light, how would you do that? As in you won't be able to see it.
Starting point is 00:35:48 Yeah. At what point? How big and how far away would it have to be? That's a really good point. Leave it with me. All right. All right to Randall Monroe. Oh, yeah. He is way more qualified than me to do that. All right. You want to hear something about transistors? Sure. This is, no, genuinely, to hear something about transistors? Sure. This is, no, genuinely.
Starting point is 00:36:07 Yeah. They're unbelievably interesting, transistors. Yeah, yeah. OK. And the light would still come to you. Oh, god. Yeah, sorry. Sorry, Andy.
Starting point is 00:36:13 Because you're going in the opposite direction to the sign, right? So you're going towards the sign. Going towards the sign. So the light will still get to you just as quickly. Ah, so just as fast? Faster, if anything? Well, to the point where you're at at any moment,
Starting point is 00:36:26 it would just get you at the same speed. I think it still needs to be a big sign from that distance. Yeah. Being left here. I think it's always got to be a big sign in space. So it's always got to be a big sign in space. Happy with that, Dan? Yeah, yeah.
Starting point is 00:36:39 That was great. Back to your transistors. Oh, thank you. OK, I just, here's the thing. Right, 1971, here's the thing. Right, 1971 Intel released their first ever microprocessor. All right? I know absolutely not.
Starting point is 00:36:51 The chip was 12 square millimeters, right? Picture that. 12 square millimeters. Okay, so three millimeters, two is four millimeters. They had 2,300 transistors fitted onto that space. It's pretty good, right? The gap between each transistor was 10,000 nanometers, which is the size of a red blood cell Just to give you an idea of what okay. Yeah today the most advanced chips can fit into that space not 2300 transistors, but 130 million
Starting point is 00:37:21 What does it mean? It's insane the gap is 14 nanometers between them. Very, very, very, so I think the transistors are so, they're so tiny. They're so sort of impossibly small. Basically, and the transistors we should say, they're like the taps. As in like they're either on or they're off.
Starting point is 00:37:40 They make up the ones and zeros. They're little switches which change their state depending on whether an electric current is flowing through them or not. And your phone has millions of them in it. Your phone will have so many millions. And it's quite, it's obviously really hard to get your head around because the numbers are just so mind-boggling. Like in 2015, I mean nearly a decade ago, the world created 13 trillion transistors every second.
Starting point is 00:38:00 Wow. What? We're more, this is basically a transistor planet now, isn't it? Like pretty much. Wow. What? We're more trans- this is basically a transistor planet now, isn't it? Like, pretty much. There's so many of them. Yeah. And they're now kind of printed directly onto the chips. It's not like there's a big pile of- Yeah, someone's shot.
Starting point is 00:38:13 No, Schuller trying for the sound. I've dropped it. Nobody move. Nobody move. Just one old man in a cave in Turkey who's just putting each one together. Yeah. It's just mind-blowing. And this stuff is what the entire world is made of.
Starting point is 00:38:27 Everything you're listening to this podcast through is transistor-based. It's all based on this stuff. And it's so far beyond most people's comprehension. Unless you spend years on it, you know, it's insane. And one of the things that's so big, aren't they? It's just hard to really get your head around any of the numbers.
Starting point is 00:38:43 Like for instance, the new Google computer, the quantum one that they're supposed to have made and no one's sure if they've made it or not. If they have, then... That's so funny for a quantum computer. Yeah, it exists and it doesn't exist at the same time. It can do as many calculations in two seconds as if you've got the entire population of India to do a sum every second since the beginning of the universe. That would be the same as this computer can do in two seconds.
Starting point is 00:39:10 And again, that's it's so hard to understand. It's amazing. Wow. And the reason the transistors have been getting somewhat smaller is partly is a really good thing. Partly because when they get smaller you get less electricity wasted and less heat wastage. Obviously the process generates a lot of heat so actually making them smaller means you save huge amounts of energy which is part of the reason they can do it and that it's a good thing. Because I think Moor said at the very start he said one of the problems is going to be we're going to get more and more transistors but everything's just going to get hotter and hotter and
Starting point is 00:39:40 hotter. Yes. And if you've got a million transistors in your phone you just won't be able to pick it up it'll just set fire to the table as soon as you put it on the table. But then they found that ways to counteract that. Yeah. But now they are so small. Again, this is mad that quantum effects are starting to come into play. And the gates are no longer functioning properly, because they're so small that you get some electrons leaking through, even when it's supposed to be off, because they're now down to kind of electron size, the barrier in the gap. So they're having to work out new shapes of transistor to re exert some control over this gate because it's too leaky for individual electrons.
Starting point is 00:40:15 I mean, I've got a question for Dan. Oh yeah. You're traveling on an electron. There's a neutron on your left hand side. How big would the sign have to be in order for you to see? For me to, well, I'm glad you brought that up. Because I did have a additional question I wanted to ask earlier, which is how, if you saw the sign saying take a left, you're traveling near to the speed of light, you're going to have to slow down. How far away does the sign need to be for you to decelerate? Decelerate.
Starting point is 00:40:41 Decelerate. Where you go slow enough that you can take a left. I mean, it depends how fast you're going, because you said close to the speed of light. Is it 99% the speed of light? Is it 98%? Is it 97%? That's a classic follow-up question of a person who does not know the answer. I just suddenly remembered this is to do with cars, but also to do with transistors. And I remember that there was a guy, the co-creator of the transistor, won a Nobel Prize for it.
Starting point is 00:41:09 I'm going off the top of my head here. But he's one of the only few people to win two Nobel Prizes. So the second time that he got announced as the Nobel Prize winner, there was a party that was going to, because they know that something's coming up, was being thrown for him. And he almost didn't make it to the party
Starting point is 00:41:24 because he couldn't open his electric garage because the transistor had broken that allowed for it to switch over. And so someone had to come and pick him up and take him to the party. More, Gordon Moore, he was a very cool guy, very interesting guy, co-founded Intel. He became incredibly rich obviously
Starting point is 00:41:41 and gave loads and loads of his money away to protect the Amazon, protecting salmon rivers because of Fred Keem fishermen But he founded Intel with Robert Noyce was his colleague And they wanted to call their invented Brooklyn 99. They wanted to call the company more noise This is more noise than anything else and they certainly they thought it wouldn't be right for an electronics company would be appropriate So they called it noise computers in town. And certainly they thought it wouldn't be right for an electronics company, it wouldn't be appropriate or something. So they called it. Really? Noise computers?
Starting point is 00:42:06 I know, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I also love that his sort of contribution to managing is just coming to the steam every year and saying, double it. There's actually quite a lot of it with Mars law became like a self fulfilling prophecy They knew that it was going to have to double in a year or in two years. And so that's what they did They could have gone faster, but they were like, oh no, it has to do this right It's still holding up. I think I just depend to you speak to people have been predicting that it's kind of we can't possibly keep on Doubling it every two and maybe it's now close to every three or something But it's it's uh, have you heard of Bremen's Limit?
Starting point is 00:42:45 No. Bremen's Limit. So there was a guy called Hans Bremen, and he said that there was a limit on the maximum rate of computation that could be achieved in a self-contained system in the material universe. So we would get to a limit of how much could be, and he used, I don't understand the mathematics of it, but he uses Einstein's equations in order to make sense of it. So Bremenin, who was born in Bremen in Germany.
Starting point is 00:43:08 Yeah, to Bernard Bremenin and Bertha Bremenin. So cool. Do you know what the fastest supercomputer in England is called? In England? Oh, so is it a classic English name, Nigel? Yeah, it is. I think less patriarchal. Betty. Betty is the 457th most powerful computer in the world. Have you got a list that goes up to the 457? It goes up to 500. I'll say Elizabeth. No. Oh, okay. I mean, it's almost impossible to guess. Oh, no. Okay. Well, but it's a woman's name. It's a woman's name. It's quite an old-fashioned
Starting point is 00:43:48 woman's name. Apologies to any of the people with this name. Oh, Margaret. Aggy. Agatha. Dotty? Dotty. No, it's Dawn. Dawn. Dawn is the fastest supercomputer in England. the Supercomputer in England and other Supercomputers. Robert is the 103rd, Alex is the 187th, Gene is the 288th, and Henry is the 293rd. So it's almost uninspiring names. It feels that way, doesn't it? Well, because Dawn is really good because you guys are the dawn of a new age,
Starting point is 00:44:18 for as you can't say, this is the Robert of a new age. Yeah, yeah, yeah. When do Supercomputers stop being super? Surely supercomputers from 20 years ago are no longer super. Great point. It's all the number of calculations per second, isn't it? Yeah. And surely the bar keeps rising.
Starting point is 00:44:34 We had using old computers a very big problem a couple of years ago, four years ago. So while the pandemic was breaking out, one thing that went a bit unnoticed is that hundreds of places got hit by the Millennium Bug Y2K. In 2020? In 2020, yeah. Why? Because what happened was at the time, so Y2K was a big problem, right? The problem was is that when we hit 2000, the computer thought it was 1900.
Starting point is 00:44:56 Yeah. So it was jumping backwards and that was going to cause a chaos. So you would go 1997, 1998, 1999, 1900. Yeah, exactly. And that was going to mess up like this system. And that was going to mess up like this. And I was going to mess up everything. That's the best setup for a rom-com I have ever heard in my life. A singleton in 1999 at a New Year's party travels back in time and falls in love with
Starting point is 00:45:13 someone from 1900. That's great. That's very nice. With a computer that glitches to get some, yes. But yeah, so what ended up happening was in that period where everyone was desperately trying to fix the Y2K bug, they changed the coding so that was 2020. And they thought what would happen is so 2.0 became the number, right? And they thought in the 20 years subsequent, they're going to become obsolete.
Starting point is 00:45:35 We'll have new computers. This is not going to be an issue. I see. So computers thought it was 2.0, 2.0, but actually it was 2,000. Oh. Yeah, exactly. So then we got to 2020 and everyone went, like Brexit, we've been kicking it down the road. We kicked it down the road.
Starting point is 00:45:52 Now a lot of places had changed their systems, but a bunch hadn't. So there was, and it was weird things like there was a version of the game of WWF, which crashed because it was an online download. Oh my God. So they had to agree. What did we do? Because I thought like planes were going to fall from the sky and stuff. Not people won't be able to play WWF on the PlayStation. We now work out how Dad knows about this problem.
Starting point is 00:46:15 His plans for lockdown were completely wrecked. This is a huge issue. We could download WWF, also other things, I imagine. Oh yeah, and 5,000 players fell out this guy. No, and it was like things like grocery stores that had till systems that were automated. Suddenly those were crashing. So you couldn't buy the game in the first place. Exactly.
Starting point is 00:46:37 It was a nightmare. It was horrible. There was a website called Splunk, which suffered from it. Not Splunk! Splunk is a website that looks for errors in computing. How did you accidentally end up on that website? There's only one more thing. Okay, this is about how your phone CPU is made.
Starting point is 00:46:57 Sort of, what is that, central processing unit? This is from an interview with a guy called Chris Miller, who's written a book called Chip War. I'm quoting him directly. This is what gets into your modern phones, right? A ball of tin falls at a rate of several hundred miles an hour through a vacuum. It's only about 30 millionths of a meter across. Okay? Small ball of tin. It is pulverized by two shots from one of the most powerful lasers ever deployed and explodes into a plasma measuring several times hotter than the surface of the
Starting point is 00:47:25 sun. This plasma emits extreme ultraviolet light at exactly the right wavelength of 13.5 nanometers, which is then collected via a dozen mirrors, which are themselves the flattest mirrors humans have ever produced. The mirrors reflect the light at just the right angle so it hits the silicon wafer and carves the circuits onto the chips that make your iPhone possible. What? And that's so that Dan can play WWF games on his phone. It's the biggest step down for this system. Isn't that nuts?
Starting point is 00:47:54 That's how you... I don't think I understood any of that, I'll be honest. I'm clinging on. I mean, it's incredible. Oh, we should say Kenny Stoltz, a listener sent that in a little while ago, that interview with Chris Miller. It's just, hey, it's nuts, isn't it? And these machines, they're so accurate that it's like shooting a laser from the moon and
Starting point is 00:48:10 hitting an individual coin on Earth. Apple, Apple deserve every penny they get, don't they? Especially the podcasting team. OK, it is time for our final fact of the show, and that is my fact. My fact this week is that on the same day that Joni Mitchell released the greatest hits album, she also released a greatest Mrs album. Brilliant. Yeah. So good. I know. And what is it? Is it terrible? Is it absolutely awful, bad songs? A case of you is on it.
Starting point is 00:48:47 What's that? So good. It's one of the most popular songs. Okay. But I mean, it's a collection from other albums, right? Yeah, exactly. It's her favorite ones that weren't commercially successful. Exactly, that's right.
Starting point is 00:48:57 And she was so happy with it, she tried to release Mrs. Two, but the record label rejected that. The only reason it came out, the record label didn't want to do it, but it was like a compromise, it was a bargaining. She said, you can do the greatest hits if I can do the greatest misses. Right.
Starting point is 00:49:11 Yeah. I don't know much about Joni Mitchell. She's an incredible artist. I mean, she had a really nice moment a few weeks ago at the Grammys. She performed for the first time. She's 80 years old. She sang a song. Not for the first time.
Starting point is 00:49:24 Yeah, for the first time ever. How's she ever... Yes, she's never, she's won, I think, 10 Grammys, but she's never performed at the Grammys. Oh, at the Grammys? Yeah. Sorry, you said she performed for the first time. I think I said where she performed the first time. Right, right, right.
Starting point is 00:49:35 Okay, okay. Regardless, she's 80 and she sits, you know, in a chair, she sings this beautiful song. She wins a Grammy for best folk album, for a live album that she did, which is a bit annoying, I think for the other folk artists, I would say. Controversial, okay. And yeah, she's someone who was a part of the whole scene with Dylan, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen and all that for listeners that don't know her. You won't find much of her stuff on Spotify. She's one of those artists
Starting point is 00:50:02 where you probably have to go to YouTube or She took it off because of Joe Rogan, right? Did she? Yeah. Really? I think yeah, Joe Rogan was Spotify, yeah, exclusive, right? And he was saying some things that people Didn't agree with. I've got to say I'm a big fan of Spotify as I am with Apple and all podcast profiles And to that sentence wasn't Joe Roe. I had to say I'm a big fan. Yeah, but a load of people took their stuff off Spotify because of that. She was one of them.
Starting point is 00:50:30 I mean, do we know it wasn't because of us? Because we are on Spotify. Yeah, but we're not an exclusive Spotify. Maybe it was Parenting Hell with Josh Wickelman. Yeah. Wow. OK, she's amazing. She's pretty cool.
Starting point is 00:50:44 She had polio when she was nine years old. Yeah. Wow. But yeah, she's amazing. She's pretty cool. She had polio when she was nine years old. Yeah. And interesting thing about that is I was reading about other people who had polio around the time. Mia Farrow had polio when she was nine. Really? And she wrote that she was taken to an isolation unit because it's catching polio, obviously. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:51:01 And she was taken away from all of her family for months and all of her belongings were burned. Is this Mia Farrow? Right, Blimey. It's not amazing. Like you basically at nine years old, you got this disease, they take you away and they burn everything that you own. And is that the case with polio that if your toy had, if you touch your toy, you could get it from that? Or was that a, we weren't sure what it was? No, it can. It can go through bodily fluids and stuff like that.
Starting point is 00:51:24 Obviously we have vaccines for it now. Joe Rogan told me to say that they don't want. No, we have vaccines for it now. So it's not as much of a problem, obviously. But yeah, it can go through feces, through spit, through some blood. Speed with which we went from Joni Mitchell to feces. Yeah! Well, that's our pipeline, I'm afraid.
Starting point is 00:51:47 That's how we roll. It comes to our pipeline, yeah. No, Ian Dury of Ian Dury and the Blockets had polio as a child. Did he? Yeah, so a lot of musicians. Yeah. Yeah. How interesting.
Starting point is 00:51:58 Supposedly gave her an edge to how she tuned her guitar at her polio because Joni did it. Yeah, so she got into guitaring a bit about 15 years old at school and she was recovering from polio and it just meant that it must have been harder to tune a guitar for her. Yeah, it kind of changes the way that your bone structure works and stuff like that. There was a footballer called Grinch who had polio as a child and it made his legs bandy but it meant that he kind of
Starting point is 00:52:20 ran in a way that no one else ran and it kind of helped him to play football supposedly. Right. She started smoking at the age of nine and she started singing because she wanted to get smoking money. So she was in a cafe in Calgary in Canada and she was the resident artist and she was drawing people and pictures would go up on the walls and then she needed a bit more money so she started singing and everyone said, you're a pretty good singer. And so she went home and asked her mum if her mum would buy her a ukulele. And her mum said, who do you think you are? Kitty Wells? A good one!
Starting point is 00:52:58 I think it was a different time. At the time, that was probably a really sick burn. Kitty Wells, she was the first female country singer to get to the top of the US charts with her song. It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels. This is the kind of song I'd like to listen to actually. Yeah. So was it that she started singing at the age of nine and then people thought, you know, what would make this nine year old's voice even better? Twenty benton at home just a day and then she got into it that way.
Starting point is 00:53:26 It wasn't that. She started smoking at the age of nine and then at the age of like 14 or 15, she was like, I need money for cigarettes. So let me write a masterpiece. Calgary, Alberta, Canada, that's where Bret the Hitman Hard is from, as you would know if you had the WWE wrestling game. Oh, you would also know that if you spent any time with Dan over the last 20 years. And then she started dating David Crosby from Crosby Stills and Nash. And Crosby sort of invited Eric Clapton over to kind of check out this Joni Mitchell. And he said that Clapton sat mesmerized by her playing and her different tunings of her guitar, although he also said that it might have been slightly due to the fact of
Starting point is 00:54:10 all the weed that he'd smoked at the time. Off-road he said, I mean she's no kitty wells. She is, I mean to watch footage of her in that period is spectacular. Her music is extraordinary. The songwriting is incredible and And Blue is just consistently voted as one of the greatest albums. Yeah, it's one of her albums which is always, you know, very near the top of greatest albums of all time. If you're a millennial, you know,
Starting point is 00:54:34 Joni Mitchell from the heartbreaking scene in the film Love Actually, where Emma Thompson receives a gift from her husband, Alan Rickman. And she thinks it's a necklace, but it's really just a Joni Mitchell CD. Oh, yes. And then she's playing it.
Starting point is 00:54:50 And are you saying that actually that's quite a good present to give because she's an incredible shantos. Better than a necklace. Yeah. But then it turns out he gave the necklace to his mistress. That's the thing, but if you're going to find out that your husband's taken on a mistress, that's a good present to receive in the moment, isn't it? receive. Oh yeah, Joni Mitchell is a great soundtrack for a great... Right.
Starting point is 00:55:08 And did they split up because of that moment? I don't remember. I don't think they don't. No, he takes her back. Basically, he very generously takes her back. She takes him back. She says, oh, he's just been a bit silly until now. It's all fine.
Starting point is 00:55:23 She doesn't quite do it like that. Well, it's not far off. Joni Mitchell split up with David Crosby by singing him a song at a party. I really? So he had been cheating on her. And she wrote this song, which based, I don't, I haven't heard the song by imagining the middle.
Starting point is 00:55:37 It goes, you're fucking dumps, mate. Yeah. Whatever. But she played it once. And then he was like, oh, that's really good. And she went and played it again because he didn't get it. Oh, is it, do you know, do we know what it's called? Do we have lyrics?
Starting point is 00:55:50 It's called the song about the midway. But I haven't seen the lyrics. I would have called it something like Nick is on the backseat or something. Something that really, you know, makes him worried even as you're starting to hear the song. Oh, I see. When you overdo it on the metaphor so much, people can't quite... The midway. Sorry.
Starting point is 00:56:07 Is that the rift that goes through Jilling, doesn't it? You talk about the battle of medway. People who've never done a Greatest Tets album. Okay. ACDC. You know the reason why? Because they're all Greatest Tets albums. Yeah.
Starting point is 00:56:23 Thank you. Is that what they said, or are you saying that? I think we agree greatest hits albums. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Is that what they said or are you saying? I think we agree. I and ACTC are very honest. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, I think a lot of artists fear the slight kind of creative death of, you know, here are your best songs and that's it.
Starting point is 00:56:37 Yeah. But you can just do another. You know, Aaron Carter, his most requested hit. Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter. Yeah. From like the American Backstreet Boys. Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter. Aaron Carter.
Starting point is 00:56:46 Yeah. From like the American Backstreet Boys. He was the younger brother. He passed away very sadly not too long ago. Did he? Yeah. I didn't know that. But his, because most, I was looking up huge lists of greatest hits albums.
Starting point is 00:56:56 Yeah. Long list, they're almost all called greatest hits, which I think is quite dull. You were looking at this list and then you stopped at A.A. run. Yes. Anything about ZZ Top, huh? That's why you keep coming up with crime things. It's like I've been busted by the alphabet, the English alphabet. I'm gutted. But his was called Most Requested Hits, which I think is a nice slight twist on the formula.
Starting point is 00:57:23 And then the second one is called Come Get It, the very best of Aaron Carter, which must be one of his songs or something, followed by Too Good, Too Be True. So I just think he's good for... Oh, so they're all greatest hits, every single one of them. He's got three albums of greatest hits, so I think that is... Wow. According to Reddit, and it does seem to be true when I checked it, Kiss have had more greatest hit compilations than they have studio albums. Okay.
Starting point is 00:57:45 That's very good. They've had 20 studio albums and as far as I could see, they've either had 21 or I counted 23 greatest hits albums. They did a farewell tour in 2000 and 2001 and since then they've done 13 tours. Hell yeah. Isn't that amazing? Yeah. Do you know the biggest selling album in America of all time greatest hits. I'm gonna guess
Starting point is 00:58:07 Abba gold well, that's cuz you've only got to a be at the other It's the Eagles isn't it that's correct It's the Eagles now. So this is the greatest hits album who here can name a song by the That's not on the greatest album. No! Isn't that incredible? This is from a period where they hadn't yet written that song. They must have felt like chumps coming up with that song
Starting point is 00:58:34 after they've done it. We've already done a greatest hit album. Oh, man. So this is now not, Canon, this is not a greatest hit. And honestly, let's do a few Eagles albums. It's their greatest hit. And honestly, I've listened to a few Eagles albums, it's their greatest hit. The best selling album in the UK is Greatest Hits.
Starting point is 00:58:50 Oh, Queen. Queen, you got it. At the same time, they released Greatest Flicks, which was a video of all their best songs. Oh, very cool. And Greatest Picks, which was photographs. That's really clever. Oh, who here owns Queen Queens Greatest Hits?
Starting point is 00:59:07 Yeah. I've got my hand up. Oh my God, on Cassettes and then CD and then yeah. So I own it and Dan owns it. And that is, it makes sense because one in four British households owns Queens Greatest Hits. Really?
Starting point is 00:59:17 It's still, really. I think probably still. There probably is some generational churn happening. But in 2021, Abergold, which is the other huge greatest hits album after the Queens, it got to a thousand weeks in the top 100 chart. That's an excellent week. It's a perfect, perfect album. Yeah. Perfect band. Well, it's no highway to hell, but it's
Starting point is 00:59:46 By the way, AA, AB, and then ACDC. Anything about Adam and the Ant? There was an album that was released in 1977 by the BBC called Death and Horror. Basically you know how you can just buy incidental sounds, right? Like a door creaking. Yeah, door creaking. Sorry, the BBC would have like an archive of incidental sounds. So this was all the sounds of horrific things. Tracks included head chopped off, assorted creepy creaks,
Starting point is 01:00:13 red hot poker in the eye. That was it. And it was a top 100 charting album. Goss went crazy. Exactly. Team Goss. And then this is this is the one I'd love to get, but I don't think it necessarily would have charted
Starting point is 01:00:25 But there was an album called recorded delivery by a guy called Yannick Schaefer So basically what he did was he put a dictaphone inside a package and he put it through the Royal Mail and he recorded the entire Journey that this dictaphone went on as it was traveling through the parcel going through through the mailbox being picked up, put in the van. And so what you hear is whistling postmen just sort of walking along, you get sliding van doors, there's lots of clunks, you get early morning male workers talking about their dirty sex lives.
Starting point is 01:00:55 There's a sudden unexpected shout of, Anus. And that's it. And 500 of them were printed. Brian Eno said he wished he thought of it first. It was a... It's very Eno, isn't it? It is very, very Eno. Yeah.
Starting point is 01:01:14 The first greatest hits album ever. Johnny Mathis. Johnny Mathis. In fact, if you look in the Oxford English Dictionary, it's the first use of the phrase, Gracious Tets. He wrote a single song called Chances Are, which was in Mad Men. Well.
Starting point is 01:01:29 Chances Are, he did, if you remember it. Yeah. He was late 50s, wasn't he? So it's perfect timing for Mad Men. Yes, he was. I looked him up. He's still alive, Johnny Mathis. Yeah.
Starting point is 01:01:38 He's sort of mid 90s, I think. Cool. He's old, but he's still kicking around. Yeah. He was a high jumper for the US Olympic team before he became a singer, but he was kind of singing in the clubs and stuff. And the head of popular music at Columbia was on holiday in San Francisco and heard him singing and sent a telegram to the company saying,
Starting point is 01:02:00 have found phenomenal 19 year old boy who could go all the way send blank contracts. Oh, that's great. And he was an Olympian at that time? He'd been trying out. He kind of, he got the call to go to the trials. This is a cool thing. In 1956, he got the call to go to the Olympic trials, but he had just got his recording contract. He said to his dad, should I become a high jumper or should I become a musician?
Starting point is 01:02:22 It's annoying, isn't it, when people are real, world-class, not one thing, when people are really like world class? It's not one thing, but two. You could do both vanilla ice as a rapper and a real estate agent. You could do both. Will Cody Simpson, the Australian singer-actor, also swim for their Olympic team? Oh yeah.
Starting point is 01:02:39 And also is a Gina Davis who almost qualified for archery for US. That's right. Get away. There you go. You could do both. Yeah. Okay. You can do both.
Starting point is 01:02:45 And it's fine that I've done neither. Johnny Mathis. It wasn't actually any greatest hits. It was just something they rushed out because he was about to go on tour in the UK. He didn't have time to record any new tracks. So they just bundled together his first four recordings. Oh, is that right?
Starting point is 01:03:00 Record them Johnny's greatest hits. It was in the charts for nine years. So they manifested it. Pretty much. They're like the greatest hits. It was in the charts for nine years. So they manifested it? Pretty much. Yeah. The greatest hits, Australian and Flugger. And there's a reason why you'd love him, James. He used to play golf 300 times a year. Oh, he sounds great. He's a great guy. And he has a cookbook library. He loves cookbooks so much. He bought thousands of them. He had Office Kitchen kitchen his own library of cookbooks and he in 1982 he wrote his own cookbook called cooking for you alone which is all about meals for one and how you can make them delicious and
Starting point is 01:03:32 lovely oh he's I just think he seems like a really nice sweet guy sweet that does sound nice but if you think that you're gonna get a necklace for Valentine's Day and you get the meals for one buck. That's a real sign. That's how Jodie Mitchell dumped her next boyfriend. OK, that's it. That is all of our facts. Thank you so much for listening.
Starting point is 01:03:59 If you'd like to get in contact with any of us about the things that we've said over the course of this podcast, we can be found on our various social media accounts. I'm on Instagram using the name Shriverland, Andy. I'm at Andrew Hunter M on Twitter. James. My Twitter is at James Harkin. Yep, and Olga. I'm at Colga 300 on Instagram. Nice. And also do make sure to go and see Olga live. Prawn cocktail. You're on tour. Prawn cocktail is the name of my show. Go on to that. You just be eating it. Don't stop. and see Olga live, prawn cocktail, you're on tour. Phron cocktail is the name of my show. Call it a gentleman. You just be eating it, don't stop.
Starting point is 01:04:26 And I promise it's gonna be 100% high quality prawns and never a cheap meatball. Yeah, or if you wanna get in contact with us as a group, by the way, you can go to at no such thing on Twitter. You can email us on podcast at or you can just go to our website, no such thing as a fish. If you wanna check out all the previous episodes cause they're all up there to do that. Otherwise, just come back next week
Starting point is 01:04:47 We'll be back with another episode and we'll see you then. Goodbye Hey, Ness! Lovely Easter egg

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