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Teacher in Aberdeen. New beginnings happening very soon. Watch this space.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

QI : Learning at its best

Hi everyone,

How are you all? Hope you are fabulous and are enjoying the well deserved spring break (those of you lucky enough to have a few weeks off). I had such a nice day yesterday. Firstly, I woke up to the sun beaming through my bedroom window. Secondly, I went downstairs to be handed a traditional irish breakfast with massive mug of tea and thirdly, I spent the day in town shopping with my mum. This may sound like your average, not so special day to a lot of people, but once you hit university (if you happen to move away) the little things help make you smile from ear to ear.

Once I got back from town, I made some coffee, accompanied with some lemon cake and lazed on the sofa for the rest of the evening. As I was browsing through the channels, I came across a repeat episode of QI : Quite Interesting. The episodes of QI, no matter how many times you've viewed them never get boring. Seriously. I only started watching QI at the beginning of last year and I wondered why the hell I hadn't started watching it when it was first aired on tv in 2003. I loved it and I still do. Basically this blog is about QI... believe it or not. My aim?... to tell you lot just how awesome this programme is and hopefully convert you non-QI viewers into QI fanatics! Stephen Fry's voice is just like a lullaby ; relaxing and soothing. I could listen to him all day and night.

Okay, so there a few things you need to know before I rant on ; Mount Everest is not the tallest mountain on Earth, Kilts are NOT Scottish and QI is not a quiz show. In fact, it is an anti-quiz show which entails asking impossible questions, where points are only awarded for the most 'interesting' answers. Get it? Trust me, this is a great idea for show and is entertainment and learning at its best. QI is hosted by the absolutely fantastic Stephen Fry. It is a perfect blend of intellect and comedy. What more could you ask for? Oh yes... Alan Davies of course. (best recognised from the series 'Jonathan Creek'). Alan is on the panel in every episode and brings an immense amount of humour to the show... particularly because he doesn't mind getting the piss completely taken out of him every 2 minutes! Other guest to appear on the show are Bill Bailey, Jo Brand, Jimmy Carr, Phill Jupitus, Sean Lock and many, many more.

So, you think you know your stuff? We'll just wait and see. I guarantee you will learn something new... if you read on.

Contrary to what people believe, females DO have adam's apples. I don't remember learning that in biology class. Do you? They are a lot smaller and less noticeable than the adam's apples guys possess, simply because of the high levels of testosterone males have. I know a lot of people will be aware of this fact, but you would be surprised just how many people still believe it's abnormal for a woman to have one. Instead, they believe it's a tumour... Silly people.

Anyone been to visit the Eiffel Tower in their lives? If yes, then I take it you noticed the 72 names engraved on the sides of the Eiffel Tower just beneath the 1st balcony... Right? No? Me either. Unless you know the names are there in the first place then you will not notice the names. Gustav Eiffel incorporated these names onto his infamous sculpture, which honour French engineers, scientists and astronomers that many people have never heard of. Look out for these the next time!

Now some interesting facts on animals and insects ; Enjoy!

A centipede (horrible looking thing) has between 30 and 382 legs. Nobody has ever found a 100-legged centipede. Anyone think they should rename this creature?

An African animal which kills more humans than any other is the hippopotamus, other than other humans. A hippo's skin weighs a ton, is an inch-and-a-half thick and is bulletproof. The whole hippo weighs 4 tons. (Holy crap)

Bees are smart little things (even though I'm not their biggest fan). They have the ability to recognise human faces. Now this is quite something, when taking into consideration that humans struggle with this once they reach a certain age. Also, bees have a brain the size of a pinhead so this is more than impressive.

Now onto catfish. These badboys are literally like swimming tongues (not the nicest thought, I know). The reason for this is beacuse they have more taste buds than any other creature on the planet. Their entire bodies are covered with the things. A six-inch catfish has over a quarter of a million taste buds, found on the mouth, gills, whiskers, fins, back, belly, sides and tail. A channel catfish is even more awesome. It has the best sense of taste of any vertebrate and can detect less than a hundredth of a teaspoonful of a particular substance in an olympic sized swimming pool of water.

Did you know that a rat can swim for 72 hours, non-stop? I sure as hell didn't. Well there's a lot of things I didn't know about these sewer creatures. They can jump down 50 feet without injuring themselves, they can squeeze through a half-inch gap, walk along ropes and climb vertical surfaces. Rats can survive longer than camels without water and they eat edible and non-edible things such a soft concrete, aluminium, bricks and wood.

When a flea jumps, its rate of acceleration is twenty times that of a space shuttle during launch.


The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.

The well known expression "paying though the nose" comes from an Irish tradition in the 9th century AD of cutting open the noses of people who failed to pay their taxes... Lovely :/ I'm glad times have changed.

During the year 1994, almost 35,000 Americans insured themselves against... wait for it... alien abduction. *rolls eyes*

Ever been in the predicament of composing a poem and thinking "Crap, nothing rhymes with purple." Well I have. But what some don't know is that purple rhymes with 'hirple' and 'curple'. Yes, they are real words. Hirple means to hobble along ; a mix between a walk and a crawl. A curple if a strap that is placed under the tail of a horse, which is attached to the saddle to stop riders from slipping foward.

Soldier ants were used as stitches after operation in Ancient India.

In Thailand, red ants are poured into open wounds because they secrete an acid which acts as a painkiller and an antiseptic. (Don't get injured in Thailand...)

Not once in the Bible does it mention what fruit was eaten in the Garden of Eden. It was merely assumed to be an apple.

The largest living thing on the Earth is the honey mushroom (not the Blue whale as many people believe).

The first man to make the claim that the Earth revolves around the sun was Aristarchus, not Copernicus.

The telephone was invented by Antonio Meucci, not Alexander Graham Bell. Bell actually only patented the telephone.

(I couldn't find a decent picture of Meucci with the telephone, so Bell will have to do).

Anyway, there are soooooooo many more 'quite interesting' facts out there. I suggest you watch QI. I've only told you some things I've learned. QI is comedy genious. You won't be disappointed. There are still many more series of QI to come, so watch out and embrace your learning, in a new and different way.

Now I have one final question ; Did you learn something new?

From the gang of QI and myself, I bid you farewell. Until next time :)



  1. "The largest single organism (of the species Armillaria ostoyae) covers more than 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²) and is thousands of years old" Wikipedia on Honey mushrooms.

    Interesting one, but no doubt there are other plant species which cover large areas like that. I'm guessing the blue whale still takes the trophy as the largest animal on earth.

  2. I think that's my old pet rattie on there! His name was little blue jr. I miss him and his poppa. :( He was a blue colored, dumbo eared, baby pet rat. He was awesome.