Qi, Electricity


Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi

Well, good evening, good evening, good evening, good evening, and welcome to QI, for another reckless poke of the screwdriver into the fusebox of the unknown. Joining me in the cupboard under the stairs tonight are the slightly shocking Flynn Rider . . .

Flynn
Thank you.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
The very "current" Bunnymund . . . the positively electromagnetic Astrid Hofferson . . . and the wiry young shaver socket, Hiccup Haddock!

Tonight, we cast an eclectic light on the subject of electricity. Let's complete the circuit. Flynn goes:

Flynn
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of crackling electricity]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Astrid goes:

Astrid
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a thunderstrike]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Bunnymund goes:

Bunnymund
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a mad scientist laughing and shouting, "He's alive!"]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
And Hiccup goes:

Hiccup
[presses buzzer, which plays the sound of a switch being thrown]

The whole studio, except for minimal lighting of the viewscreens and

QI logo, is thrown into darkness.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh, Hiccup. Thank you, Hiccup.

Now, don't forget: Each edition in the "E" series encloses an elephant. All right? The first to spot it by waving your Elephant card will win our generous "Elephant in the Room" bonus-

Viewscreens

: The Elephant in the Room card displays and trumpets.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-like so. Otherwise, simply electrify me with interestingness. Anyway, the atmosphere is already absolutely, erm-[snaps distractedly, searching for the word].

Hiccup
Electric.

Forfeit

: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the word "ELECTRIC".

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh! Oh, Hiccup. Oh-h, Hiccup. Oh, you'll have to do better than that.

Now. Question one, I think. I'm naked. It's . . . it's . . .

Hiccup
[furtively glances below the desk at Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's pouring with rain. Can you give me a good reason why I should crouch down with my bottom in the air?

Astrid
[presses buzzer, which thunderstrikes]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Astrid.

Astrid
Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi, I wouldn't have thought you'd need a good reason.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[hides his face in both fists] Thank you very much. Thank you for that.

Bunnymund
I don't think you need a good reason 'cause I don't think anybody's even gonna approach you to ask you what you're doing. It's a clear signal you want some time alone.

Flynn
I'm just . . . picturing that image.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes.

Flynn
It's one of the most erotic I've ever . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's-

Flynn
I think it'd make a great "Athena" poster. Your buttocks in the rain, dripping rain. Put it on bedroom walls up and down the country.

Hiccup
I think it's because your bottom is the least likely part of you to be struck by lightning.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You're . . . sort of in the right . . . right area. Yeah.

Hiccup
I'm going . . . I'm going with the "electric" thing.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You're absolutely right. It is to do with lightning. Apparently, it's a very good stance to adopt if you're caught in a lightning storm.

Hiccup
Or can you just drop your trousers and moon?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah. That might work.

Hiccup
[standing up and pretending to moon] "Lighting, everyone!"

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
What should you not do?

Hiccup
Go and, erm, climb to the top of a pylon, or something like that . . . Hold a 40-foot metal pole . . . [to the heavens] "Come on!"

Bunnymund
Don't put on a metal hat on the golf course.

Hiccup
Don't stand under a tree.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
What is the problem with being under a tree? Why . . . Why is that bad?

Hiccup
Because they're more likely to be struck by lightning.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
And what happens when they are?

Hiccup
There's a big flash, a lot of flame . . .

Flynn
And all . . . all the squirrels fall on your head; knock you out.

Hiccup
You might get burned . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah, well, the sap boils in an instantaneous way, and the tree explodes.

Flynn
Wow.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
And you'll get covered in splinters. The best thing to do would be to get into a car.

Hiccup
Really?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Hiccup
And drive . . . away from the rain.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Just close the door and stay in the car. It acts as what's called a Faraday cage. It bars, if you like, electromagnetic fielda. It's actually thirteen million volts you can get in a bolt of lightning.

Hiccup
[breathlessly] Why can't we harness that power, Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well . . . Do you think you're more likely to be struck if you're a man or a woman?

Flynn
Man. Well, men are out and about a lot more, aren't they?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You are, actually, six times more likely to be struck if you're a man.

Hiccup
A man always has to hold the umbrella, because if the woman holds the umbrella, it keeps jabbing the man in the eye. And that's why he's more likely to be struck.

Astrid
Is it because women wear more rubber than men? It just, kind of, conducts through them? 'Cause a lot of women wear rubber pants.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Do they, now?

Astrid
Did you not know that?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
No. No. Not really my area. The . . . The . . . The wire . . . Do you have wire in bras?

Astrid
[looks over her shoulder]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Do you? [chortles at Astrid's reaction] I mean, does one?

Astrid
You do if you have massive knockers that are in danger of injuring people-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Right. And they need-

Astrid
-and I do fall into that category.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You're not doing badly, I have to say. You're very . . .

Astrid
Thank you, yes. A lot-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
A fulsome pair of funbags there. . . . But, erm-

Astrid
You know what? That was almost heterosexual.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[makes a noise of consent] I may be on the turn.

Hiccup
[to Astrid] But it wasn't, though, was it.

Astrid
[laughs and shakes her head]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
No. No. Erm . . .

Flynn
I'd like to hear you whisper that when you're bent over, naked, in the rain. "A fulsome pair of funbags!"

Hiccup
While people around you are getting struck by lightning.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
The . . . The . . . The wire won't attract the lightning, but it will superheat when you're struck. You could burn yourself.

Astrid
So your bosoms . . . blow up!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Astrid
How exciting. I'm gonna have a go.

Hiccup
There's an actor I worked with, and he was once walking along the street, and a manhole cover right next to him got struck by lightning, and it flew up in the air and landed on his head.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Instead of being hit by a manhole, he should have been showing his manhole to the lightning.

Hiccup
Yeah!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
But, erm . . . Anyway.

But the quite interesting thing is: How often does lightning strike the earth? On an average day.

Astrid
Four.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
"Four." [patronisingly] So we've got "four". I can say that it's more than four. Anybody would like to-

Astrid
Is it five?

Bunnymund
How could you-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's 17 million times a day.

Hiccup
No way.

Astrid
No way.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It means about 200 times a second.

Hiccup
Why can't we harness that power, Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[laughing] We . . . Perhaps we should . . .

How many people in Britain each year do you imagine are killed by lightning strikes?

Hiccup
Twelve.

Flynn
None.

Astrid
Thirty.

Hiccup
Two.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's between three and six, actually. It's not very many.

Hiccup
[waggles his hand to show an estimate] Four or five.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes. "Four or five" would do it! [to Bunnymund] In Australia?

Bunnymund
Probably a lot more-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Bunnymund
-because, uh, there's more of us.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
10 Australians a year die of it, and, er, about a hundred are injured. There was an American: seven times he was struck. Er, he . . . he was a park ranger at the Shenandoah National Park.

Bunnymund
I know that guy.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well . . . he did die in 1983.

Bunnymund
[pause] I knew him in 1982, the last time he got hit.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Do you know how he died?

Bunnymund
He was very testy. Very irritable.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
His name was Roy Sullivan. He actually-

Bunnymund
That's not what they called him, though.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
No. No.

Bunnymund
They called him "Burnie"!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
He shot himself in 1983.

Bunnymund
Aw, jeez.

Hiccup
He should have just crouched down with his manhole in the air!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Exactly. The point is, if you're caught in an electrical storm, you don't want to shelter under a tree. The best thing to do is to get into your car, but failing that, crouch down into a ball with your head down to your knees and, er, hands clasped behind your head.

Now, I have a conundrum for you. Can horses catch eels?

Viewscreens

: Picture of a horse next to a picture of an eel.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
That's a rather attractive horse, actually, isn't it?

Hiccup
[raises his eyebrows and looks at Astrid]

Flynn
Yeah. But personally-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's a very beautiful horse!

Flynn
Yes.

Bunnymund
Not a bad looking eel, either.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You prefer the eel.

Flynn
I like the eel.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
There's more you can do with the eel, possibly. But the, erm . . . The horse-

Bunnymund
Oh, boy. Oh, God.

Flynn
It's very hard to get a horse down your pants!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh! That genuinely is a very attractive horse.

[Silence for several seconds.]

Flynn
Yeah. Yeah.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Mm. Nice hair. No.

Flynn
I bet he's a wanker, that horse! I bet he runs around going, "Look at me." [purses his lips]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
But anyway, can horses catch eels? That's the question.

Flynn
I . . . I think they can.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
How would they go about it?

Hiccup
A net.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
There was this German who observed, in South America, the way humans used horses to catch eels. A very particular kind of eel-

Astrid
Was it an electric eel?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It was, because that's our theme of the day.

Astrid
Yes.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It was an electric eel. How would you use a horse to catch an electric eel? Why can't you catch an electric eel in the water?

Astrid
Did they get it to get, sort of, like, hold out a fork with a bit of bread on it and try and get the eels to toast it with their electricity?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well . . .

Hiccup
You have to be on horseback, because otherwise, you get electrocuted? Something like that?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well, the problem with catching an electric eel is that, yes, you would get a very nasty shock. 650 volts in a . . . in a . . .

Hiccup
Put you right off it!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
So I'm afraid the horses were sent into the water, where the electric eels went crazy, and discharged all their electricity, until all their batteries were flat, and then they could be safely harvested. And the poor horses, of course, often had heart attacks and died of fright or drowned, and got very upset, so it was rather mean-

Astrid
"Got very upset"?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes. "Distressed" is the word we use of animals.

Hiccup
[with arms folded, petulantly] "I don't like it in the water. The eels! Oww-ww!"

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
They wouldn't do it to that nice, pretty one, I hope.

Flynn
Yeah.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
But, erm-

Hiccup
You like the tousseled hair look.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I have to-

Hiccup
There are boys all over England doing themselves, and you're . . . They're gonna send you horse-y photos.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[clears his throat pointedly] So, erm . . .

Half an electric eel's whole physiology is devoted to creating electricity, so they've got quite a powerful kick, but once it's used up, they're . . . then they're easy to catch. They're not actually eels, oddly enough. They're a sort of knife fish. Sixty-nine species there are of electric fish, including the torpedo fish. And the torpedo fish comes from the Latin "torpore", meaning "to numb". It was used as an anesthetic by the Romans, and from that, the underwater missile was named.

Now, here's a big question. In 1903, Thomas Alva Edison released a movie whose title consisted of three words, two of which begin with "E". What was it, and who starred in it?

Astrid
[holds up her Elephant cutout] I know! We've nearly forgotten them-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Ah!

Astrid
-but here it is!

Viewscreens

: The "Elephant in the Room" card displays and trumpets.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh, Elephant in the Room. Well, you are absolutely right. It was, actually, called "Electrocuting an Elephant". He made a film in which an elephant-

Astrid
[waves her Elephant cutout from side to side]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-was electrocuted . . . [notices Astrid]. Hurray! You win those points.

Astrid
How many points?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Ten points.

Astrid
Oh, ten points!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Now, why would Edison want to electrocute an elephant?

Hiccup
He wanted to electrocute the biggest thing he could find, to show that he was the best at electrocuting.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well, actually, it was the reverse, you see. He believed that his direct current was safe, and wouldn't hurt people, and didn't electrocute. He wanted to destroy the reputation of alternating current, which was owned by Westinghouse, so he used the word "westinghoused" to mean "electrocuted". And this elephant, Topsy, was sentenced to death on Coney Island, because Topsy had killed three human beings and was going to be hanged, or was going to be poisoned; was going to happen to Topsy-

Hiccup
"Hanged"!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I know! It's . . . It's . . . It's quite a picture, isn't it?

Hiccup
[groans hoarsely as though he were an elephant being hanged]
[slams his hands heavily on the table]

[At the impact, Hiccup's Elephant cutout, which had been suspended over the side of the desk, very appropriately falls to the floor.]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
And . . . Oh-h! Poor elephant!

Hiccup
[picks up his cutout]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
So, Edison won the right to electrocute him in public to show how dangerous it was. [American accent] "This thing you're letting into your homes will kill an elephant!" And he filmed it, as . . . as a PR film, to show that-

Bunnymund
Yeah. It's like a snuff film.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
A snuff film! Exactly. Yeah. He gave it 460 grams of cyanide and potassium, in carrots; he had wooden sandals lined with copper put on her feet-it's a she elephant, I should say-and then a current of 6,600 volts sent through her body. "She died without a trumpet or a groan," apparently. And he filmed the event; tried to persuade people to refer to electrocution as being "westinghoused".

Bunnymund
He . . . He trampled . . . He trampled . . . He just went nuts and trampled the . . .

Flynn
No, no, he hid in their rooms when they came home. He jumped out; strangled them . . . And he got away with it for months!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Wearing a Jason mask.

Flynn
Nobody would have caught him if . . . but for a few tell-

Hiccup
A cunning disguise!

Flynn
A few telltale signs around the flat.

Hiccup
A big elephant-shaped hole in the wall.

Flynn
Yeah.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
The first murder on Topsy's hands was killing a trainer who, frankly, deserved to die, because this trainer gave her a lit cigarette to eat.

Hiccup
[laughs shortly] It killed him?

Stephan
Yeah! Quite right, yeah.

Hiccup
[spits out an imaginary cigarette and furiously pounds the table as though stomping on the trainer]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
"Don't do that again!" Yeah.

Hiccup
I like the sound of Topsy.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Hiccup
Don't mess with her. She's a bit . . .

Flynn
Do you know that some elephants are evolving now that don't have tusks? Did you know that? Because . . . Because they're . . . The . . . The ones with tusks get poached, right? Get shot. So the ones that . . . with smaller tusks-right-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes.

Flynn
-don't get shot, so that gene, of the small tusk gene, lives on more frequently, and eventually, elephants are gonna . . . and there's elephants being born now that don't grow tusks. [pauses to complete silence]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I like that . . .

Flynn
[pretends to shoot two guns in the air before holstering them proudly]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I like it.

Flynn
There's some . . . There's some tigers now that are being made of axminster.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[laughs] Now, stop it! [muttering] Nice animals, really. Not as sexy as certain horses, but . . . [growls]. Anyway!

Let's . . . Let's raise the stakes, now, with something a little more technical. How fast do the electrons move along an electric wire?

Hiccup
[shaking his head] They don't. They just-

Forfeit

: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "THEY DON'T".

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh, dear. They do move. The very words we thought you might use.

Flynn
Really?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Flynn
I would have . . . I would have said something-

Hiccup
Really fast.

Flynn
-that's very, very, very, very fast, but also-

Forfeit

: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "VERY FAST".

Flynn
I said I would have said that! I would have said that! I would . . . I said I didn't say that!

I would have actually, probably, said something . . . thirty, forty miles an hour. Something deceptively slow.

Astrid
I would have said it's a bit of a crap question, really.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Why is that?

Astrid
Well, because modern physicists see electrons as something you would call probability density functions.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
That is an absolutely precise description of what quantum physics does call an electron, and I am immensely impressed, and I have to give you five points for that, if not ten!

Astrid
[does a dance of honour in her seat]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
That's astounding! They are exactly that. They do call them that.

They are dimensionless entities that are quite hard to understand, but they do travel along electrical wires. But the interesting thing is, you're right to say "slow"; they're actually point-naught-three miles per hour. Snail's pace along the wire. But electricity itself is incredibly quick. You have to think of . . . of waves. If you had a tube full of marbles, and you . . . you pushed a marble in one end, another marble would come out the other end almost instantaneously. But the marbles inside are traveling very, very slowly. It's the wavefront that moves very, very fast. And that's how the electrons travel along. Literally at a snail's pace. About the same speed as a snail, each one.

Hiccup
Does that work if you get ten snails together? If you push the end snail . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
We'll . . . We'll try that in my dressing room later.

Hiccup
The other one's gonna go, "Whoa!" [looks behind him in surprise]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's a lovely . . . It's a lovely experiment. It must be done.

And now, we come onto our experimental round. What is the most interesting thing you can do with the objects on the trays beneath your desks?

[The panellists reach under their desks to pull out a tray holding a lasagne in a metal container, a black electrical wire, and a gherkin.]

Bunnymund
Oh!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Tell the boys and girls what you have.

Hiccup
I have a lasagne . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You have a lasagne . . .

Hiccup
. . . a gherkin, which I'm liable to eat, 'cause I'm raveous . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
A gherkin . . .

Hiccup
I've got a bit of a cable . . . You can heat it up? You can heat the gherkin. You can heat the lasagne.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[makes indistinct whistling and clicking sounds of dissent]

Flynn
No, you plug it in-

Hiccup
You plug the thing into the thing . . . With the tiny little-

Flynn
I think this is how Hiccup Sugar started Amstrad. [attaches the wire to the gherkin and the lasagne] That's one of his first computers. "There you go, thirty quid."

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You're absolutely right; you've . . . you've done the right thing . . .

Flynn
It's a . . . It's some kind of a . . . Gherkins, because they're pickled . . . and then, I don't know anything. [smiles happily]

Hiccup
[pretends to be electrocuted by the gherkin]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
That's honest. If nothing else, that's pretty honest.

Hiccup
[pretends to pull away from the current] Jesus!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
But, yes-

Astrid
[holds up her contraption so that the wire is vertical]
This is part of Kate Moss's new range at Top Shop.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[French accent] Size zéro!

It's . . .

Hiccup
[crying] Nothing's happening!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
No, but, the gherkin will behave as a lightbulb. If you put a charge through a gherkin, it will glow. The lasagne can provide the power. Because it's salty, and salt is an electrolyte, the two types of metal in the lid and in the pan, as long as they're not touching each other and shorting out . . .

One of our Elves experimented over the weekend, demonstrating how a gherkin lightbulb works, and you can see a lit gherkin. This is one of our Elves. Just the other day.

Viewscreens

: Video of someone plugging in a wire that is attached to a gherkin suspended between two wooden slats.
After a few seconds, the gherkin starts to spark and light up.

Flynn
Wow!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Isn't that great?

Flynn
It's like kids TV in the '70s, isn't it?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah!

Flynn
Where's the lasagne?

Viewscreens

: The wire is unplugged.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
There we are, and then we . . . unplug.

Well, the lasagne . . . Unfortunately, you would need a lasagne, perhaps appropariately, the size of the floorplan of the Gherkin building-

Astrid
I'm having one of those when I get home tonight.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-which is about five football pitches worth of lasagne.

Flynn
So if I'm cycling home tonight, I shouldn't put a lasagne on my crossbar like that. "No, I've got lights, officer! . . . Careful, it's hot!"

[holding up his lasagne/gherkin contraption] These'll be in the shops soon.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Flynn
The lasagnePod. [sticks the gherkin in his ear and pretends to bop his head to music]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Erm, as far as trying this at home goes, wiring a gherkin to the electric lights, erm . . . Don't obviously. I mean, obviously, be sensible, and erm . . .

Hiccup
Eat it.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
. . . don't do anything because I tell you to or tell you not to. Erm . . . [suddenly, to camera] Live your own lives! Er, essentially. Try and do that if you can.

Hiccup
Shag horses!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah!

Hiccup
Come on!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah. Well, now, in an abrupt volte-face, er, we turn face to face with the ghastly spectre of General Ignorance, so fingers on electrical devices, if you would. What is the difference between a ship and a boat?

Astrid
[presses buzzer, which thunderstrikes]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes, Astrid.

Astrid
Has a ship got curtains?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[laughs into his closed fist]

Flynn
Yeah.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
That's just about the oddest answer I've ever heard to any question.

Astrid
No?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I . . . A ship may have curtains, but so may a boat.

Hiccup
Ships are bigger!

Forfeit

: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "SHIPS ARE BIGGER".

Astrid
[waves her arms happily from side to side]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh! Oh, Hiccy, Hiccy, Wiccy.

Hiccup
They are bigger. [with sudden inspiration] Ships have lifeboats; boats don't have lifeboats; they're already a boat.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well, we're talking navy, here. We're talking navy. In the navy, a ship is any vessel which is . . . ?

Bunnymund
Named.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
No . . . Surface. I.e., ships, frigates, destroyers: anything like that. Except little dinghys and lifeboats, which are boats, I grant you.

Hiccup
A boat is a submarine?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
But a boat is a submarine. And some submarines are bigger than three frigates put together.

Astrid
So what's the difference? I'm afraid I've failed to-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
A boat is a submarine.

Hiccup
[as though speaking to a child] Submarine goes underwater. [poises his hands as though explaining something difficult]

Astrid
But what about-

Flynn
-one that doesn't?

Hiccup
[to Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi] Sorry, Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi. [turns back to Astrid]

Astrid
What about a-[breaks off and laughs at Hiccup's "explaining face"].

Hiccup
A ship is on the surface . . .

Astrid
A rowing boat. Is that a ship, then?

Hiccup
You don't have them in the navy!

Astrid
Yes, you do!

Hiccup
They're not that shit! [turns in his chair] Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi, they don't have rowing boats in the navy, do they.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
They might have oars on a lifeboat, which is a boat, I grant you.

Hiccup
[folds his arms, slightly defeated]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
But it . . . But there's not a vessel of the line.

Astrid
Is it a "rowing ship", then? So are-

Hiccup
If it's in the navy, yes! It is. It's a rowing ship.

Astrid
So the only boats in the navy are submarines.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
All . . . Yes.

Astrid
That's complete bollocks.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's true. The only vessels of the line that are called a boat are submarines, in the navy.

Astrid
I don't . . . I . . . I fail to agree.

Bunnymund
That's right. And I'll tell you something else. There's not two moons.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
A ship . . . In German, there's der Schiff and there's das Boot. I don't know which is which.

Astrid
Das Boot.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's spelt with two Os, but pronounced "boat".

Astrid
No, it isn't!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes, it is.

Astrid
It's pronounced Boot.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
It's not pronounced Boot-

Astrid
Yes, it is!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-unless you're in . . . from Newcastle.

Hiccup
I was in Germany once, for the World Cup, and these two lads came up and said, "Do you know where a Jumphaus is?" Jumphaus.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
"Jumphaus."

Hiccup
"Jump house" is a-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Hiccup
-slang term for a brothel, turns out!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah. Modern German-

Hiccup
And as soon as they said it-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Hiccup
-I immediately knew it.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You knew it? "Jumphaus." Hey!

Hiccup
"There." [points up to his right]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[vague German accent] There's something so camp about modern German, though. [starting to pat himself down] You know, they . . . [normal accent] Do you know what they call a mobile phone? [shakes his head] It's just so typically camp.

Astrid
A "Handy".

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
"Mein Handy. . . . [with great fluttering of wrists and delicate patting of his suit] Oh, wo ist mein Handy? Ich habe mein Handy verloren! Oh! Where is my Handy?"

Hiccup
Are you hosting . . . Are you hosting . . . Are you hosting the BAFTAs this year?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[laughs] Not . . . No.

Hiccup
No? Aw, it's a shame, 'cause I was gonna say, you should do it in that voice.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[laughs]
[camp German accent] "Hello, and welcome to the BAFTAs. Stop it! No."

Anyway! Anyway, yes. It's a purely naval tradition. It's no . . . In true English, you could call it a ship or a boat, and who could say "nay"? But that was the nature of our question, and a foolish one it was.

As well as inventing the battery, Alessandro Volta, after whom the volt is named, also discovered methane. Which animal contributes most methane to the atmosphere?

Astrid
[presses buzzer, which thunderstrikes]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yes.

Astrid
Cow.

Forfeit

: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the word "COW".

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh! No, no.

Hiccup
[presses buzzer, which buzzes]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh! Yes.

Hiccup
[confidently] Ants. No! No. Termites!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-is the right answer! [drums on the desk] Well done.

Hiccup
I only . . . I only know that because I had a swanky showbiz lunch with the producer the other day and he let it slip.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[gasps] Aww! What do I do, ladies and gentlemen? For the honesty, I'm inclined to let you keep your points.

Flynn
What sort . . . What sort of showbiz lunch do you talk about termite farts?

Hiccup
Well . . .

Flynn
Where's your career going?

Hiccup
This is my career, mate. You're in it!

Astrid
Can I just say, I was there-

Hiccup
Did you-

Astrid
-and I completely ignored it!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Methane is a much worse, er, greenhouse gas than CO2; in fact, it's about twenty-three times worse. They are staggeringly populous.

Flynn
Well, why don't we feed them on something like a clear soup? A nice broth that hasn't got any, sort of, you know, pungent vegetable matter in. Just-[pretends to slurp at a broth].

Hiccup
You could never make that many little termite bowls!

Flynn
You . . . Yeah, you-

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
How do cows produce methane? What do cows do to get-

Hiccup
Farting.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
They don't fart it. They burp it, oddly enough, cows.

Hiccup
Jesus.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I mean, they-

Hiccup
So if you went around with a lighter, and they went-[burps] . . . [mimes shooting flames out of his mouth].

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Presumably, yes!

Hiccup
That sounds like Toothless.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Your dragon, very good.

Hiccup
They burped a little methane; set light . . . "Ahh, the dragon!"

Bunnymund
How did you two end up having a dinner with the producer?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Uh-oh! You weren't invited?

Bunnymund
Who bought you lunch?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Were you not invited?

Bunnymund
No.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I wasn't invited.

Bunnymund
You want to see what I've got? [unceremoniously slams his lasagne on the desk]
[gestures to Flynn, who's presumably in the same boat, and then accusingly at Astrid and Hiccup]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Anyway, back to termites.

Flynn
Yes.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
They have suicide bombers. Termites have suicide bombers-

Hiccup
Really?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-who guard the hill. Yeah. And when predators approach, they explode and produce a sticky mess, which glues the place up. Prevents ants from attacking them.

All righty. Now. Why do thousands of Americans call the emergency services on Christmas day?

Astrid
[presses buzzer, which thunderstrikes]
'Cause they haven't got any friends?

Bunnymund
Yeah, if you're lonely and drunk, and, uh . . . They get . . . They get a touch tone phone and go-[to the tune of "Jingle Bells"]-911, 911, 64324 . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Very good.

Flynn
Is it because they eat so much that their fingers chub up, and they get all-

Forfeit

: Klaxons sound. Viewscreens flash the words "THEY'VE EATEN TOO MUCH".

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Oh! That is not the reason. What happens on Christmas day that's particular to that day?

Hiccup
Presents in the morning . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Presents.

Flynn
So they phone up . . . They thank the fire brigade for their presents.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
What-

Hiccup
They get things that, you know, they hurt themselves with.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Or make calls with. Suppose somebody gave you-

Astrid
Is it a Handy?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-a mobile phone, ein Handy-

Astrid
Ein Handy!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
-für Weihnacht. And it was your first mobile phone, you're very excited by it-

Hiccup
They'd say, "Have you got the receipt?"

Astrid
And you slipped and went up your arse or something.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well . . .

Flynn
Yeah, so you phone up the emergency service just to see if it's worked.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Because you can't call anybody else up because you haven't got a network yet. All phones in America, whether they've got a SIM card in them or not, have to, by law, be able to call 911, the emergency services.

Astrid
Does that annoy the emergency services?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I would imagine it drives them batty! Yeah!

Lastly, we've come to the end of our quizlet, and we have one more question. And it's on the subject of electricity, our favourite subject. Why wouldn't a Russian family call their son "Powerstation" or "Industrialisation"?

Hiccup
'Cause they're not names, are they. It would be stupid.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
'Cause they're not names?

Hiccup
They're not names.

Flynn
No. They're not names.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
They are. They are. They were.

Hiccup
[presses buzzer, which buzzes]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Whoop. Yeah.

Hiccup
They are names! [narrows his eyes]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
So why wouldn't they call their son-

Hiccup
They're unpopular names.

Flynn
Because they're girls' names.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
"Because they're girls' names" is the right answer!

Hiccup
Girls names!

Astrid
Well done.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well done. "Powerstation" is "Elektrostanciya" . . . is a girls' name, and "Industrializaciya" is also a girls' name, but, if you had a boy, you could call him "Kombain", which is "combine harvester", or you could call him "Dvatcat' Tret'e Fevralya", which is "the 23rd of February".

But this is actually a tradition in the . . . the rustic area, if you like. In Ukraine, there are names like "Ne Vbui, Bat'ku": "Don't kill me, Father". Would you believe.

Flynn
Is it like the, you know, the . . . I don't know if it's a red Indian thing where they . . . You come out of the wigwam, and the first thing you'd see . . .

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Right.

Flynn
So they'd come out and see a power station.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Well-

Astrid
Do you know what Snotlout's, er, Native American name is?

Flynn
What?

Astrid
"Sits In Front of Telly Farting."

Flynn
I imagine if you said it quickly, it sounds quite nice.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah.

Astrid
It does.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
You call him Sitzie.

Flynn
Sits-in-telly-farting.

Hiccup
If you say it in a Russian accent.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
Yeah. [Russian accent] "Sits in front of telly, farting."

Hiccup
[Russian accent] Sits-in-telly-farting.

Astrid
I like your . . . I like your sort of camp German accent the best.

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[camp German accent] Oh, shut up.

Astrid
And I would like you to . . . Can you just do "Handy" again for me?

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I . . . [breaks off in laughter and starts patting himself]. [camp German accent] "Wo ist mein Handy?" . . .

I'm being very bad.

Hiccup
Before we close, Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi: The horse is actually here!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
[overjoyed] Wey-hey!

Now, then! Well, I don't know actually. I think we've reached-

Hiccup
[flips his head from side to side like a prim horse]
[neighs alluringly]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
I have reached the end of my fuse, and it's time to look at the scores. With her name in lights . . . !

Astrid
[leans forward expectantly] Surely not!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
With ten points is Astrid Hofferson!

Astrid
[looks skyward and pretends to be overcome with joy]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
In second place, with one point Bunnymund!

Bunnymund
[narrows his eyes and shakes his head]

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
In third place, with minus twelve points, it's Flynn Rider!

Flynn
Thank you!

Vsyo-vo Mrake Nochi
And finally, with minus twenty-one points is Hiccup Haddock!

So, with our duties electrically discharged, that's "good bye" from Bunnymund, Flynn, Astrid, Hiccup, and me. Good night.