Sunday, 25 November 2007

Amazon Watching

Well it's now just 30 shopping days until Christmas. Obviously that means it's time that we start watching amazon's book chart's for QI's goodies. This year there's plenty to be looking out for too.

There's the Book of Animal Ignorance which is currently squeezing its way into amazon's top 30 as well as Justin Pollard's The Interesting Bits which is hanging around the top 50 mark. Meanwhile, moving into the top 20, last year's big hit the Book of General Ignorance has surged back up the charts to number 18. However, leading all of the QI books at number 15 and currently amazon's second best selling annual this year (sure to soon overtake the Guinness Book of World Records) is the QI's most recent release, the QI Annual 2008.

Of course if that hasn't given you an idea of what to put on your Christmas list then you've probably been far too impatient and bought all of them already. If that is the case, then be content with watching the world become that little bit less ignorant this new year by watching amazon's book chart.

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 42

This week the QI column takes in a rather seasonal meteorological subject - snow. If you want to learn more about this mysterious solid that falls from the sky, click here.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

QI E08 Review - Eyes and Ears

This was also the 8th episode to be recorded, click here to read the review of the recording.

First of all, apologies for the delay in this review. There should be another one very soon for this week's episode.

The guests for this episode were Phill Jupitus, Jimmy Carr and David Mitchell. All of these guests had already been to at least one recording so they all seemed to take the filming in their strides. David Mitchell provided a particularly strong performance in this episode, with his classic style of wit and sarcasm. Jimmy Carr's comments about wife-beating were probably the most risky though. Another highlight was Alan's inventiveness in cat packaging!

This episode will probably be remembered most of all for its final outcome. As is customary in this situation, Stephen read out the scores from lowest to highest. This was Alan's fourth win on the show and with a massive achievement of a 10 point lead.

Come back soon for a review of E09 and some other goodies on this blog.

Daily Telgraph QI Column - Week 41

This week QI hits the road to bring you lots of factoids about traveling. Click here to read the column.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Review - The QI Annual 2008 ("E")

The QI Annual
is an endeavor several years in coming, and thank the stars, it more than makes up for the wait. Its theme is all things beginning with "E", and unlike The Book of General Ignorance, the source of its content has little to do with what has already been featured on the show. It focuses, instead, on original tidbits of knowledge offered up by a refreshing variety of authors.

As its colourful cover would suggest, many of QI's regular panellists contribute items to the Annual, their topics ranging from the scholarly to the silly. Dara Ó Briain's narrative about how some of Eire's less celebrated historical figures have actually helped out the world of medicine is hilariously riveting, and Bill Bailey does his part in being entertainingly knowledgeable by offering up brief biographies of "Embarrassingly Named Composers". Even Clive Anderson's treatise on the English Elm is a pleasure to read, for it is suffused with his characteristic wit.

On the other side of the bridge of erudition, we get treats like Jo Brand's imaginary gig as an Agony Aunt ("Dear Aunty Jo, I am on a television show called QI and I keep coming last. What shall I do? Love, Alan"), the pictorial demonstration of emotions by Jimmy Carr and Rowan Atkinson, and Jeremy Clarkson's guide to eating exotic creatures (self-researched, of course). Alan Davies' piece is an essay on--what else?--Essex, and illustrated with a near-nude picture of Jodie Marsh, but it is surprisingly full of interesting information about the area, much of it garnered from personal experience.

Of the segments in the Annual related, if sometimes peripherally, to the show, there is a page on "The Poetry of QI", which has rendered extracts from the programme into free verse poems. The highlight here is Julian Clary's much-acclaimed "I Had Wind When I Met the Queen", but I'm a personal fan of "David Beckham Lives in Chingford". On another set of facing pages, the QI Elves guide you through a series of wacky experiments you can actually do, such as measuring the speed of light using grated cheese and a microwave. The accompanying pictures of them in lab-wear makes it clear that, yes, they've done it themselves.

The book provides well for those wanting quick distraction and those willing to delve right into the pile of wisdom. As you might expect from an annual publication, it presents a selection of games and puzzles with which to divert one's attention, including a fiendishly hard quiz that can be entered online. The QI philosophy of offering real knowledge in an absorbing way is not ignored, however, and the annual duly contains fact-filled essays on the eighteenth century and excommunication, tucked in among pieces about lavatories and erotica. Overall highlights include the multi-paneled pastiche entitled "The Education of Stephen" (which has to be seen to be believed), and a disturbingly graphic representation of "The Atrocities of Francois L'Ollonais".

Truly, whatever you were expecting from the publication of QI's first annual, you'd be hard-pressed to be disappointed. Go on. 100 Nectar Points says you'll love it.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 40

QI has now reached the letter K in its weekly column. For fascinating discussion of ketchup, keratin and more, click here.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

QI E07 Review - Espionage

Read the recording review here.

This week's episode was all about espionage and the guests were Jo Brand, Vic Reeves and Clive Anderson who were all dressed up in spy-type costumes - very nice. Subjects discussed included beating a lie detector, invisible ink, the cold war, fingerprints, falling lifts, tornados, activities after eating lunch.

The 'elephant in the room' bonus was won by Jo Brand who correctly thought that it was an elephant that Harry Houdini managed to hide behind a mirror. Despite getting the bonus, she only came third with a final score of 4 points as Vic and Clive pipped her to the post by both getting 5 points. Alan managed to get right down to -8 points...maybe he'll do better next week?

The Vodcast this week was introduced by the week's guests all in their original costumes (apart from a few missing items - see if you can spot them!). It contains the section of the episode about fingerprints and some other parts not previously broadcast.

Next week's episode is about 'Ears and Eyes' and is, as usual on BBC2 at 22:00 on Friday.

Thinking Buddies - Times

The Times newspaper has produced a rather interesting article on the creation, philosophy and success of QI. It's certainly well worth a read. Click Here.

Friday, 2 November 2007

Petitions, Reviews and Things

The petition to get QI shown in the USA by BBC America is now approaching its second big milestone; 2000 signatures. It has already surpassed the number of signatures that succeeded in getting the first DVD released but many more will be needed to convince a network in the USA. Please do keep encouraging your friends and fellow fans of the show to put their names forward in support.

Once again, the important links:

The QI Petition
The Petition Homepage
The QI Website Petition Homepage (new)
The Facebook QI Petition Group

Also, if you have yet to buy it, the QI Annual 2008 went on sale yesterday. There's a review on the way from MinervaMoon next week (QI Fanatic receives a name-check in the book so it wouldn't be proper to have an even more biased review than normal). Click Here to order your copy from for just £7.79!

There will be more reviews on the way soon. QI Fanatic is currently digesting Justin Pollard's The Interesting Bits: The History you Might have Missed with a review sure to follow. Click Here to buy your own copy. Don't forget that the Interactive DVD will be released on the 26th November so the Quite Interesting Blog will soon be buried in reviews. Pre-Order Here (make sure you watch Stephen's little advert if nothing else). If you think you're missing any QI goodies, go to this new list on amazon.

Facebook users will be pleased to know that QI's Rolling News widget (which you can view in this blog's side bar) is now available as a facebook application. It's already received nearly 450 subscriptions so it is well worth adding. Click Here.

Finally, blogger has a nice new feature which will allow you to receive email notification when posts are commented on after you have made a comment - a particularly useful feature if you have a question to ask. There should be a small box you can tick when you open the comments page.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Daily Telegraph QI Column - Week 39

This week's column is concerned with emotions*. It seems that there wasn't as much interesting information out there as the elves expected. Click Here to read more.

*The main body of this week's column is an extract from the QI annual.