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i've started obsessing with the show Qi, a british quiz/factoid comedy show that took me a couple of episodes to get into but now i think is brilliant.

in the episode i'm watching right now, the host Stephen Fry has explained this regarding why the banning of smoking on airplanes has caused more health issues:

"...because when smoking was allowed, the cabin air was completely replaced with fresh air every three minutes, and now the airlines save money - they save up to 6% of their fuel bills - by using a mixture of fresh and recycled air using under half the amount of fresh air needed for comfort increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the cabin causing dizziness, nausea, and allowing viruses to thrive. Passengers just think that because they can't smell the smoke, the air is fresher. This is not so; apart from everything else, it has dramatically increased the number of 'air-rage' incidents. One of the earliest reported incidents of 'air-rage' involved a passenger in first class probably trying to take his mind off cigarettes by drinking too much and when he was refused another drink, he decided to lodge his displeasure and shat on top of the food trolley."


( read spoken (11) — speak )
Apr. 23rd, 2009 06:57 am (UTC)
That's.... a bit of a stretch.

No smoking -> stale air -> passenger nic fit -> passenger drunk -> passenger shitting angrily?

Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:04 am (UTC)
it's extremely ridiculous, but it was passed off as being true. the show has gone on record to correct itself when it gets some of its facts wrong, this episode aired in 2003 and as far as i know wasn't corrected.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:06 am (UTC)
I meant to add

"therefore no smoking -> passenger shitting angrily?"

but LJ is retarded and doesn't let you edit things.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:11 am (UTC)
oh, and the air rage part isn't supposed to be connected to the stale air.

it was more like:

no smoking -> more stale air -> more sickness.

no smoking -> angry passenger -> drunk to compensate -> shit on trolley.

two side by side things, not one long string of cause and effect. the shit story was just supposed to by a funny but true anecdote.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:14 am (UTC)
Well just draw a diagram next time and save me the trouble.

Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:17 am (UTC)
Apr. 23rd, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
Yeahhhh.... I don't know about that. I'd still prefer recycled air over smelling smoke, which makes me dizzy and nauseated anyway.
Apr. 23rd, 2009 04:33 pm (UTC)
I'd be happier if they spent the money for the better air. Of course having a spate of heavy travel, I have no particular love of the airlines industry in any way shape or form.

Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
The banning of smoking wasn't the chief reason for going to partially recycled air in the cabins; turbofan engines were. Pressurized cabin air is bled from the engine intakes, and the performance penalty there for a turbofan is much greater than that for a turbojet. And of course with fuel costs going up and increased environmental awareness, there came plenty of pressure to extract more performance from the engines.

I'd also claim that it's too hard to pin the increase in air rage incidents on any one thing. Airlines have been packing people more tightly into planes, schedules have gotten more complicated and more fragile, security now demands you yank your laptops out and take your shoes off all without delaying the people behind you, and the list probably goes on substantially further than that.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure it's QI (cue-eye), not Qi (Pinyin spelling of "chi"). :)
Apr. 23rd, 2009 07:42 pm (UTC)
it is QI because it stands for "quite interesting", but they still spell it on the show like Qi for some reason.

And yeah, i know that it has its flaws, but it's still fun. :)
Apr. 23rd, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Stephen's delivery of that is so delightful.
( read spoken (11) — speak )


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