This is the Technical Difficulties,
we’re playing Citation Needed. Joining me today, he reads books you know,
it’s Chris Joel. [MUFFLED BY COFFEE] Hello. Drinking coffee. I timed that really… Prioritise, prioritise baby. Everybody’s favourite Gary Brannan, Gary Brannan. And so the man says to the lady, “I’ll have another go, but I don’t know if I can fit another bread roll up my ass!” Now, now the question is,
I know Gary was planning to prep lines for this series. And the bounciest man on the Internet, Matt Gray Series five. Welcome! In front of me I’ve got an article from Wikipedia and these folks can’t see it. Every fact they get right is a point and a ding [DING]. And there’s a special prize for a particularly good answers, which is ♫[MYSTERY BISCUITS]♫ If you’ve never watched this before,
you’re in for a treat. Every season we get new people. You… oh my God, the s*** you are about to endure. Let’s face it. Today we are talking about the hydraulic telegraph. Holy moly! That’s a wet telegram. I, erm, well I’ll give you a point.
There is water involved. Well yes, there is f***ing water involved! IT’S HYDRAULIC! I’m a moron, I know nothing about science. It’s all pissing witchcraft, even I know that bit! And you are still getting a point for it. [DING] Well I won’t moan too much then. “Stand in front of the
nozzle to receive your message.” On that point… “Aunt Mildred says hello, but I don’t
want to tell you what she’s been up to.” On that point yesterday, I genuinely,
this is a genuine story. I saw a coach company called Morse Coaches. Right? That’s good. It was reversing, but I couldn’t understand why the beeping noise was just saying ‘S’ repeatedly. It was probably just saying ‘eeeeee’! The thing is, we all pedanted
your Morse code there, in different ways. He’s like, “that’s E”.
I’m like, “no that’s T, that’s a long one”. Surely it could say “Warning! This vehicle is reversing!” in Morse, is what I was what I was thinking. People wouldn’t move out of the way.
They would be too busy trying to read it. W… A… R… N… [THUD] You committed to that hit there. I did. I did, I did, I did, yeah. It wasn’t Morse code. Not any version of it. Flags! Little tin flags or something.
Metal flags that would pop up. So it spells out the message. You’re thinking of the optical telegraph. I’m thinking of an optical telegraph powered by water, thank you very much. Ooh! I’m going to give you a point for that. [DING] – Ooh!
– Fountains? No. No. How would you…
There are flags and there is water. And this is…
First of all, let me clue you in. And there are shoes!
And there are boxes. And there are houses…
And there are doors. And orang-utans. There are also oranges. Today we have the handle on nouns. – There are two versions of this…
– Hello children. Welcome along. Today we are learning about things. Today we are learning about flags. And there is water. And shoes. And there are antelope. Goodbye.
We’ll see you next week. Goodbye. I don’t think we can really explain what Tom is though, without adjectives. Are you done(?) Probably not,
but you know, have another go. That’s the most exasperated look you’ve ever done. “Are you done, children(?)” Anyway. Is it some kind of coastal system for getting
messages out into the water, by sending… different pressures to pop up things,
that would spell out a message? Yeah, I’ll give you the point there [DING]. – I’ll definitely give you the point.
– So it’s Pop Up Pirate, but telegraph? Sounds like it, yeah. When do you think this was? 19th century. Everything was iron and hydraulic then. – Right.
– Ooh, steady. This is not the version we are talking about. There is a 19th century version. Again, I’ll give you a point [DING]. But, I’m going to come to that later. Is this the mid 90s version in Eureka, in Halifax? Ooh! I mean… Northern reference. I get… I went there. Specific northern reference. – We all went.
– We all went as kids, to Eureka It’s still there as far as I know. – It is still there.
– But I didn’t know they had a hydraulic telegraph? Neither do I, but if there was
somewhere that would have one. They had a massive Archimedes screw on the ceiling. Lucky Archimedes. Wait! We are talking about Archimedes,
we are pretty much in the right area. Ah! So Greco-Roman Yeah! Fourth century BC Greece. Yeah! [DING] Point. I’m trying to imagine a fourth century Greece.
I’m just trying to put Greased Lightning into Latin, and I’m failing badly, at the minute. Well if you can’t none of us have got a chance. Hang on, hang on. He’s studied Latin. Classical education. It’s been more than a decade since
I got my GCSE in Latin now. Can you manage, “I’ve got chills, they’re multiplying”? Probably not. – Habeat…
– Yes. Chillea..? Er. – Frig… frig…
– Expandero! Habeat frigits… frigidare-something. Et saeu… erm, multiplicanus. Or something like that. Multiplicanus est. Yeah. Yeah. Corrections in the comments,
for all of you YouTube watchers who know Latin. So. Ancient Greece Yes. There are two signal towers, on two hills.
With two identical tubs of water. How do they get them to
both show the same message? Inscriptions on the side of the tub of water.
How do they get them to synchronise? Gentle and well timed piddling? Oh, I’m so tempted to give you a point. Gentle and well timed horse piddling. No, they’re not putting water in. Gentle Piddling is a village isn’t it? It’s in the Cotswolds. You’re thinking of
Much-Piddling-on-the-Wold, there. They let some out? They let some water
out with a tap or something like that. Yes, a spigot. [DING] Ooh! What else! And did they have a tube from the bottom of one,
to the bottom of the other? So it auto levelled. No. That’s the British system that comes later.
So I’ll give you a point [DING]. But, that’s not how they synchronised
between two far away hills. Men yelling? Mobile phones? No, it can’t be something else,
because the water is the communication method. Or is that storing the message? Hang on, we never actually established that
this water is any method of communication. At the minute we just have two towers
that let some water out occasionally. Yeah, and there’s things inscribed on little bowls. – OK.
– Where the water comes out. So how do you get both sides to time when they’re
taking the plug out and putting it back in again? Lights? Mmm, fourth century BC? Candles? I mean it’s a big candle. Fire! Bonfire! There we go. [DING] – ‘Cos that’s the way they used to communicate anyway.
– Big candle. Big candle! Bonfire. “Big candle!” Why the water? They lit fires anyway. Because a bonfire can only send one signal. “I’m on fire!” “By, it’s warm out t’day!” It can send two signals. “I’m not on fire.” – That’s true.
– On and off. Yeah, well that’s how they did it. [DING] Binary. Unplug. Off. Put it back in. What’s the message?
You both read down your bowls. Bowl says “I’m on fire!” Must be a big bowl. They said an earthenware bowl.
The depth being some three cubits. What the hell is a cubit? — It’s about there…
— There to there, innit? Oh! Yes, absolutely. Have a point. [DING] I was going to look up ‘cubit definition’ there, but that’s roughly right. – Has he got two dancing cubits?
– Those are my cubits, baby! Oh God! So yeah, about… yea big. and presumably draining quite slowly so they can synchronise… “Please send chips”, or whatever…
the Greek equivalent of that is. Pita! Yeah. Half way down, one of them is
just that laughing and crying emoji. Drama! “LOL.” Smiling poo. It’s halfway between ROFL and LOL.
I don’t know where we stand on this? ROL. He’s sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth a bit. No, its not that, it’s like anything where you use LOL You see it reach LOL on the watermark,
you look over, he’s just sat there, doing that. – Slight intake of breath.
– You just see… I don’t know why I had this ancient
Greek man looking at his phone. Cause that’s what they used to communicate, I just said! LOL has fallen out of fashion now
though. It is just emojis now. People don’t type LOL as much. The amount… it’s one of those kind of things, isn’t it, where people who aren’t used to emojis yet,
keep using the laughing and crying one. – For actual crying.
– Yeah! Which changes the tone of a message, like “I’m sorry to hear your aunt’s died.” And then have the crying with laughter emoji on it. Well, it’s like the parents who
thought LOL meant lots of love. Yes! That happened. Yeah, yeah, yeah. “Sorry to hear you broke your ankle, LOL.” But… That’s like MSN messenger was. Remember MSN Messenger, everybody? No they don’t! Some of them are too young for it! It was like Facebook messenger…only s***er. You would wait all night for your
friend to appear, and they may not. So there was an idea. As I think you said, British 19th century. Yes. For two connected tubes. ♫ Tu-u-bes! ♫ I don’t know why I said it like that ♫ Tubes. ♫ Um, and the idea was, you would put in water or take
out water and it would synchronise at the other side. What were some of the problems with that system? Putting the tube in, in the first place? I’ll give you a point. [DING] It was £200 a mile.
Which in 1838 money, is a lot of money. Compared to just sending a messenger. They would have to be made out of
copper or something expensive. – Oh yeah.
– Rather than just PVC tube from Wickes. Yeah. – That’s a hardware store.
– Cast iron was often used for hydraulic tubes. ‘Cos they could take the pressure. What distance are we talking?
Are we talking like over a dock, or over London? Cause London was basically hydraulically
powered up until the 1920s. Oh that’s true. London had a big hydraulic power system. So, if it’s over London… You should explain how that works. Well you just had big accumulators. So big
towers would be used to store the pressure. And it would be used for moving lifts,
for goods lifts, for cranes. It would be powered off a
central hydraulic power system. – Cool.
– With pipes all over London. And they’re still…
I think they’re used as cable runs now. Under London. It was a huge London wide system. Especially using the docks, with dock gates, and cranes and lifts and other things that need…
powering left and hither and yon. Like dumb waiters in hotels. So they just have a massive water tank
at the centre of the system, that created… Well several tanks, yeah. …created the pressure. That gets pumped through. And you can use some pressure if you wanted? Yeah! For the love of God, will somebody Biscuits that man! ♫[MYSTERY BISCUITS]♫ That’s fair. That’s fair, thank you
for reminding me to Biscuit that. First Biscuits of the season. Yes, that was part of the problem. The inventor was a Mr. Francis Whishaw. – Uh-huh.
– Of course. A good Victorian inventor’s name. “No sooner is motion given to one end…” Poo! Eh, readers? than it is communicated through the whole sixty yards to the other end of the column. – F*** a duck!
– So you might as well wave. So when I said distance
was the problem, you could just yell. You could just yell, yeah. When you said hydraulic telegraph,
when I was forgetting hydraulic meant water, but remembered it was tubes of stuff, I was thinking of the, the, the… — Steady!
— Good mime. Good mime. “Tell me about your mother.” The blowy tubes they had. Vacuum tubes. Yes. Sorry, sucky tubes. Pneumatic tubes. Pneumatic is the right word. Yes. They had a whole system of telegraph through… Yeah, you just had… you could, you had one… You had a tube with air going one way and
air going the other and you put a thing and… pfoom! — Still use them.
— All round London. There was atmospheric trains as well. There was a whole, that was like the
Victorian way of powering things was to… Hyperloop? I don’t know what that is. Is that… No, hyperloop is magnetic induction. But it’s inside a vacuum tube. Inside a vacuum. Oh, this was just a vacuum.
It was like a tube carriage, with like, erm… A shield round it in the middle.
That would act as a piston. You would just put them in and… – Shove ’em.
– And foomp! You would basically release air at one end and foomp! And you would be just sucked through in a tube carriage. And then you just appear at the other end. Hoping no one would be there. You would be in a container. You would be in a train here, it’s not people… — Container!
— It’s not the thing from Futurama. Oh. But, at the same time on that, you’d be hoping no one opened the window for a fag. Wouldn’t you, eh? Woosh! Like the end of Goldfinger, only underground. Erm, but they were above ground atmospheric
trains as well. Because you would have a big… pneumatic tube up the middle
of the lines. Again with an, erm… A piston underneath, that would suck
the train along. But the problem was… I’m just loving all these hand actions. What you would have is that they use some kind of coating on the rubber and it was really attractive to rats. So they ate it, and you’d lose the pressure. Ah, you lose your back pressure. And probably the rats would, at some point,
get smeared into the wall by a passing… And the rod and tube would get full
of imploded, er… kerploded rats. And they might even lubricate the system. – Ahh! I’m not so, not so…
– Briefly! Briefly as they disintegrate. So the hydraulic telegraph,
what were the other problems? We have distance not being particularly good. Cost. We have cost. Yep. What’s the other problem if you’ve got water that needs to be kept level, between two… Science! Water always finds its own level. Oh, right. OK. So you need two places that are at the same height, for it to balance out properly. Won’t you? Yes. You couldn’t do it from
the top of a hill to the bottom of a hill. – No, because otherwise…
– It would just flow out. What you invented there, is a fountain. Ohh, I was going to say water slide, actually personally. OK, Yeah, water slide communication would work. – Woohoohoo hoo!
– That’s the best way to transmit a message. “The British are attacking! “What you have to do, Paul Revere,
is you have to start on top of this hill… “Go down the slide once if by land,
and twice if by sea.” “Once! “Hang on, he’s going back up again. “He might just have forgot his towel.” “Have ye done?” “Can’t hear him, have to wait now. If he
comes down again, we’ve no idea, have we?” “He’s gone up four times now! He’s just being greedy.” “His message appears to be ‘Wheeee!'” “Woohoo hooo!” I’m just seeing stuff like the D-Day landing, with
soldiers coming off little slides off the end of boats. “Whee!” Wouldn’t that make war so much more jolly? “Woohoo hooo!” I mean there’s a lot of ways
to make war more jolly. I think… Like not doing it. Yeah! Not killing people, would be a start. “Send in the jesters!” A machine gun that fires out
signal flags that just say “bang”! At the end of the show then,
congratulations, Gary. You win this week! You win an intimate waxing by a legendary six-time Grammy winning American composer… Go on. It’s the Burt Bacharach Back Crack and Sack. So, congratulations. With that
we say thank you to Chris Joel. Bye! To Gary Brannan. And to Matt Gray. Goodbye, YouTube. I’ve been Tom Scott, and we’ll see you next time! [Translating these subtitles? Add your name here!]