Friday, 18 December 2015

“Bicycle face”, blushing turkeys, Albert Einstein’s eyeballs and an official yeti hunter



The brainy BBC quiz QI, hosted (at least for the moment) by the eternally droll Stephen Fry, is a staple of our viewing here at Dolores Delargo Towers. Now, just in time for Xmas, the "QI Elves" (the nickname for the programme's tireless researchers) have compiled a new book - 1,234 QI Facts to Leave You Speechless.

From (of all unlikely places to find facts) the Daily Mirror, here are 60 of the most bizarre...
  • The Big Bang was quieter than a Motörhead concert.
  • The scientist who analysed the plutonium for the first atomic bomb was called Mr Doom.
  • The president of the World Chess Federation believes that, unless we play more chess, the world will be destroyed by aliens.
  • The world champion of French Scrabble doesn’t speak French.
  • The ancient Greek cure for cataracts was to pour hot broken glass into the eyes.
  • There are at least 17 types of ice, but only one exists outside the laboratory.
  • Magic mushrooms grow in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
  • Table tennis was banned in the USSR from 1930 to 1950 on the grounds that it was harmful to people’s eyes.
  • Wearing white at Wimbledon began as a way of hiding the fact that women sweat.
  • In 19th century London, fake ice cream was made from mashed turnip.
  • Kim Jong-un is the only person in North Korea called Kim Jong-un.
  • The four most common first names among New York cabbies are Mohammad, Mohammed, Muhammad and Mohamed.
  • Not a single car was sold by Buzz Aldrin in the six months he worked as a car salesman on his return from the Moon.
  • More people monitor the internet for the Chinese government than serve in its armed forces.
  • Four million songs on Spotify have never been played.
  • Kaiser Wilhelm II loved riding so much he sat at his desk astride a saddle. He said it helped him think more clearly.
  • Albert Einstein’s eyeballs are in a safety deposit box in New York.
  • Dolphin’s milk is as thick as toothpaste.
  • In the late 19th century, women cyclists were warned they might get “bicycle face”, giving them a jutting chin and bulging eyes.
  • In 1900, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle caught fire during a cricket match at Lord’s. The ball hit a box of matches in his pocket.
  • In 2011, two Iranian football players were suspended for celebratory bottom-patting.
  • Mini golf was invented for women not allowed to play real golf.
  • The Pope cannot be an organ donor because his body “belongs to the whole Church”.
  • Baths kill more people than terrorists.
  • In 2014, more bets were placed on who killed Lucy Beale in EastEnders than on the Champions League football final.
  • 15,000 years ago, cannibalism was practised in Somerset.
  • Immediately after the Wright brothers’ first flight, a gust of wind flipped their plane over and broke it.
  • When male turkeys see female turkeys, they blush.
  • A live chicken strapped to the body was thought to cure plague In the Middle Ages.
  • Mary Shelley kept Percy Shelley’s heart wrapped in a poem for 30 years after he died.
  • Abraham Lincoln was a licensed bartender.
  • Rod Stewart lost his job as a wallpaper designer because he was colour-blind.
  • Vladimir Putin’s grandfather was a chef for Stalin, Lenin and Rasputin.
  • The Ancient Greek translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the longest text in that language since 3AD.
  • Agatha Christie talked to imaginary friends well into her 70s.
  • Afghanistan is the world’s most accurately mapped country.
  • The first cow to fly in a plane was Elm Farm Ollie in 1930. Cartons of her milk were parachuted down to spectators.
  • Jingle Bells was the first song played in space.
  • Americans eat 350 slices of pizza every second.
  • After six months monitoring two suspected Chinese spy drones invading their airspace in 2013, the Indian army discovered they were Jupiter and Venus.
  • The Tlatelcomila cannibals of ancient Mexico ate human flesh with chilli sauce.
  • Ninjas sent secret messages using coloured grains of rice.
  • Every hour, one US war veteran commits suicide.
  • Bhutan has an official yeti hunter. (Found any? Not yeti).
  • US chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer was at school with Barbra Streisand. She had a crush on him.
  • Teddy bears are named after US President Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.
  • Roosevelt’s sons Theodore and Kermit were the first Westerners to shoot a giant panda.
  • The Hodges Meteorite is the only meteorite known to have hit a person: it slightly injured Mrs Ann Hodges in Alabama in 1954.
  • Walt Disney put his testicles in ice to boost his sperm count.
  • Under medieval Welsh law women could divorce their husbands if they had bad breath.
  • Aztec mothers who died in childbirth were regarded as highly as warriors who died in battle.
  • One of the world’s biggest lift firms is called Schindler’s Lifts.
  • Misbehaving policemen in Thailand have to wear Hello Kitty armbands as a punishment.
  • In 1952, the Great Smog of London was so bad that blind people led sighted people home from the train stations.
  • Due to heavy snow in 1891, the 3pm train from Paddington to Plymouth left on 9th March and arrived on 13th March.
  • Bees can fly higher than Mount Everest.
  • Eating chocolate improves your memory, but only if you eat so much it’s bad for you.
  • There is a village in Russia where every single person knows how to tightrope walk.
  • You can smell a flock of Macaroni penguins from six miles away.
  • Actor Basil Rathbone led covert First World War missions disguised as a tree.
QI (Quite Interesting) website

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. 'Tis amazing what one learns... Jx

      Delete
  2. I watch "QI" here in Canuckistan from time to time.

    Also watching Stephen Fry's "Gadget Man."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The man's a marvel. Quite possibly homosexual, too. Jx

      Delete

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