By Gareth Edwards

Friday 30 May 2014

The Zombie Scourge and a Very Leggy Python

Welcome to another installment of the blog that attempts to explain everything in the whole universe one question from a member of the public at a time.

Nance asked: I've read that the sandwich was named for its inventor, the Earl of Sandwich. Was he really the first?
The Earl of Sandwich was not, of course, the first person in history to eat a sandwich. He was the first filling. Medicine in Georgian times was primitive, painful and dangerously Latin, and so the wealthy elite sought other ways to alleviate illness. This lead to the flourishing of spas where the affluent indisposed would flock to be cured without the help of a doctor by taking the waters, and thus towns such as Leamington, Cheltenham and Bath grew phenomenally rich. The small seaside town of Sandwich was not so lucky, and its Earl looked on the prosperity of the spa towns with envious eyes. But while his own town had no hot spring it did have a larger than average bakery, and so the lateral-thinking Earl set about luring the peaky but loaded to Sandwich to “take the bread”. A typical treatment involved the patient lying for hours at a time between two giant slices from a white split tin loaf, while for the more seriously-ill the Earl recommended a whole-meal bloomer, with a poultice of mustard or possibly mayonnaise. But at the height of his fame disaster struck when the Earl, attempting to prove the medical benefits of bread and cheese at higher temperatures had himself placed inside an eight-foot wide Welsh Rarebit and put under a giant grill. He became the toastie of the town.

Sarah Pgce Can you get WiFi in Plato's cave?
Classical scholars believe that Plato wrote extensively about wireless broadband and they presume that he would have posited that a paradigm of WiFi existed in a state of perfection forever beyond the reach of direct human experience. Sadly we will never know for certain as he found it impossible to post his blog about this from his cave, where the WiFi coverage was invariably awful.

Stu Beale  How did the first snake to evolve not having legs decide this was a good idea?
And since I may have missed one in my question, do hyphens matter?
The earliest snake ever to be found in the fossil record was a python, but unlike modern pythons this prehistoric specimen was a short, stubby animal with twenty muscular legs. It was known as the Twenty-Foot Python. But a freak mutation in the snake’s DNA lead to it losing the hyphen thus turning it into the long, limbless reptile we know today.

Nick asked Where are you going for your holidays?
Cornwall. It’s possible this wasn’t intended as a question for the blog but sometimes it’s hard to know where having a chat ends and academic inquiry begins.

And now in a new feature that reflects our efforts to keep SKOE at the forefront of cynical populism we've asked a leading British political figure to answer our final question this week: 

Peggy Tryton asked Zombie apocalypse - yes or no?
Well exactly and I’m hearing this on doorsteps up and down the land because in spite of what the liberal elite with their facts and information will tell you zombies are a real and growing problem both in my imagination and in the imagination of the many people I’ve frightened. For instance let me finish please if a group of zombies moved in next door to me I’d be worried and that’s not racist actually because these zombies are white except for the occasional greeny-grey bit and more to the point I’ve researched this anecdotally and on Netflix and it’s is practically a fact that of the human brains feasted on by ghastly blank-eyed abominations 97% are down to zombies and yes certainly the other 3% are Heston Blumenthal but my point is that decent hard working people alive in Britain today never voted for this and that’s why we’re the only party brave enough to ask the question Zombie Apocalypse Yes or No and while we’re at it Climate Change is mainly down to gay marriage.

That’s all for now, but do post a question in the comments below and we’ll get the Universe explained in its entirely before you can say Jack Robinson a billion times incredibly slowly.


  1. A million thanks for alleviating my worries about the zombie apocalypse. I can sleep soundly at least in the daylight hours.

  2. Why don't the Oscars have Best Director and Best Directress awards like they do for actors and actresses?

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  4. Are there any colours unaccounted for in the traditional colours of the rainbow?

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  7. "How did the first snake to evolve not having legs decide this was a good idea?"

    Gee me, that really rolls off the tongue.

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