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Saturday 20th December 2014
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The Mystery Hour - Random

James O'BrienThursdays 12-1pm

Every week, James O'Brien enlists the help of LBC listeners to solve the questions you've always wondered the answer to.

It's all about shared human knowledge. Call up with a question and then another listener around the country will know the answer.

But we're strict - no reptition and no dullness (so leave the motoring questions out!). If it's something that most of the audience would say "yes, I've wondered about that", then we want to hear from you.

Browse the archive by subject:
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Random

titanic

Would the Titanic have sunk if it didn't try to avoid the iceberg?

If the Titanic had gone straight into the iceberg instead of trying to go around it, would it still have sunk?
money.jpg

Who gets the money when companies are fined?

When big corporations like banks or insurance companies get hit by corporate fines, where does the money go?
popcorn

What's the mark-up on cinema popcorn?

What is the mark-up on cinema popcorn? Surely it's really cheap to make, but they sell it for a lot of money.
clock.jpg

How do you get your clock completely accurate?

What is the best way to set your watch as accurately as possible?
Routemaster

What are the counters on bus wheels?

On the back wheel of a bus, there is a counter – a small box with numbers. If they are counting, what is the purpose?
caravans.jpg

Why are all caravans white?

Why are all caravans and motor homes white or cream-coloured?
london best dressed

How does a pattern get on to fabric?

I'm looking at the dress I'm wearing and wondering: How did the pattern get on the fabric?
mens-shoes.jpg

Why do posh shoes disintegrate quickly?

When you wear a pair of shoes - then leave them for a year, then wear them again why do they disintegrate?
bus-stop.jpg

What does 'tail stop' mean on a bus stop?

On a bus stop in Hendon, there is a sign saying "Tail Stop". What does it mean?
cheese-grater.jpg

What is the back of a cheese grater used for?

I've got the most important question for you: what is the back of the cheese grater used for - the tiny star section?
cloths.jpg

Why are all dusters yellow?

Why are dusters yellow? Why can’t you get them in another colour?
listen-radio.jpg

How are radio audiences measured?

The James O'Brien Show just announced record figures. But how do you know how many people are listening to LBC? How is it measured?
penny-farthing.jpg

How do penny farthings stop at traffic lights?

If a penny farthing came to some traffic lights, how do they balance themselves before moving again, if they can't reach the ground?
calculator.jpg

Why are numbers different on phones and calculators?

Why are the numbers on a calculator arranged in the opposite way to those on a phone?
blackwall-tunnel.jpg

Why is the Blackwall Tunnel's height limit one-way?

Northbound in the Blackwall Tunnel, there is a height restriction, but there isn’t southbound. Why?
rizla.jpg

Why do cigarette papers have the corners cut off?

You can three different types of cigarette paper – red, blue and green. The green ones have two of the corners cut off, but none of the others do. Why?
mushroom.jpg

What is the mushroom building in Basildon?

On the A127 near Basildon, there is a giant mushroom-shaped building. What is it?
roundabout.jpg

Which roundabout has the most exits?

I was using my satnav last week and wondered this: what’s the roundabout in the UK with the most exits?
jeans-pocket.jpg

What is the small pocket on jeans?

What is the little pocket of the right-hand side of a pair of jeans?
phone-dial.jpg

What are the "win a cruise" phone scams?

I often get phone calls with a message saying "Press 9 to win a cruise". What happens if I do press nine?
whitevan.jpg

Why are most Transit vans white?

Why are 90% of transit vans painted white? Why not black or another colour?
alarmclock.jpg

Why is snooze on an alarm clock nine minutes?

On an electric alarm clock, why does it give you a nine-minute delay before it goes off, as opposed to another number?
oxo.jpg

Why can't you buy pork stock cubes?

Why can you buy chicken, lamb, beef and vegetable stick cubes, but you can't but pork stock cubes?
plane-landing.jpg

Why do planes have their blinds up on landing?

On aeroplanes, you have to have the blinds up on take off and landing. Why do they insist on it?
roadsign.jpg

What are the yellow shapes on road signs?

On the motorway, when you see the sign for the next exit, you see a yellow shape on the sign. What do they mean?
policecar.jpg

What happens to the old police cars?

What happens to the old police cars? You never see any police cars older than a few years.
unitednations.jpg

If you're born in the UN building, what nationality are you?

If you are born in the United Nations building in New York, which is owned by the member nations, what nationality are you?
guns.jpg

Has a gun fired into the air ever hit anyone?

When you see celebrations and people are firing off guns into the air, where do the bullets go to? Have they hit anyone?
pizza-box.jpg

Why do round pizzas come in square boxes?

Why do round pizzas come in square boxes? Surely it's a waste of packaging.
cds.jpg

Why are CD and DVD boxes different sizes?

CDs and DVDs are the same size. So why is the packaging a different size?
guantanamobay.jpg

How did America acquire Guantanamo Bay?

How did America acquire Guantanamo Bay, seeing their relationship with Cuba has been non-existent for a long time?.
James O'Brien

Why do people say their name on the radio?

When people are waiting to speak on the radio, why do so many of them repeat their name when they hear it instead of the presenter's name?
westend.jpg

Why doesn't London have a North End?

Parts of East London are called the East End. Parts of West London are called the West End. Why is there no South End or North End?
decorator.jpg

Why do we paint wearing white?

Why do painters and decorators always wear white overalls - never any other colour?
shipbuilding.jpg

How do they build ships on a slope?

When you build a ship on a slope, how do they get everything level and plum?
 carrying

Why do we go "one, two, three..." when picking things up?

Why not "a, b, c" or something else?

 

 

 corned beef

Why are corned beef that shape?

Why are they tapered? Why are they not the same shape as other cans?

 

 

 alphabet.jpg

Why is the alphabet in that order?

Who put it in order?