Ding ding ding, someone who knows what they’re talking about has written in! On the subject of paintings of the visibly pregnant Virgin Mary, Asa says:
I’m a historian of medieval art, so I was delighted to hear the subject come up in AMT328. You were talking about the lack of medieval images of Mary pregnant. There are, though, TONS of these. The trouble is that you need to know the right term to search. “The Visitation” is the term for a scene wherein Mary and her cousin Elizabeth get together to celebrate their simultaneous pregnancies — Mary pregnant with Jesus (of course) and Elizabeth a bit further along in her pregnancy with John the Baptist.
The associated feast was made church policy in 1389, which might be why there are more images starting in the 15th century, but there are also just more of all kinds of images starting in the 15th century. The Knight’s Templar theory you found is almost certainly not right. Pretty much everything said about the Templars is tinged with Dan Brown conspiracy theories.
How do you tell your mum that she is a STUPID WOMAN who is RUINING CHRISTMAS by buying you the WRONG GIFT? Plus other polite and classy problems compose Answer Me This! Episode 328, in which we contemplate:
Plus: Olly plans never to get married, but maybe he’ll change his mind purely to have the themed wedding of his Jennifer Connelly-starring dreams; Helen turns her profound laziness into creative tips; and Martin the Sound Man puts the beats into his favourite Christmas carol.
In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App, available for iThings, Android and Windows devices, Olly reveals the surprise hair inspiration of his mid-1980s barnet: Princess Diana.
Feeling festive yet? Click here to read about and then buy the Answer Me This! Christmas album; and click here to get the delightful Christmas podcasts from today’s sponsor Dobbies Garden Centres – and there’re plenty of Christmas tips and decorations to buy at dobbies.com and in store.
Today’s questioneers face ruin: browser history ruining a surprise; other people ruining the choice of baby names; and ruining your own chances of shagging a houseguest. Don’t ruin your own life by failing to listen to Answer Me This! Episode 325, in which we also discuss:
This questioneer asked to remain anonymous, but you’ll know who she is when she turns up wearing a 12-week scan as a fascinator:
We just found out we are having a baby, we want to tell people but you have to wait three months and in calculating when that is, it turns out it’s on our friend’s wedding day…
Answer me this… should we wait until after the wedding or do we do it then, will that be totally stealing thunder?
If I found that out on my wedding day (i.e. if it were the other way around) I would be really happy for them and I think it would add to the day. But obviously that’s me.
Even if it is not just you, Expectant Attention-Embezzler, the odds aren’t great that the newlyweds are eager for you to ‘add to the day’. But you know you don’t have to make your announcement bang on the three-month mark, right? It’s not like if you don’t tell people then, you can’t mention the child again until its 25th birthday.
Readers, what do you think? Tell people the day before? Tell people the day after? Or on the wedding day, stand around with one hand on your stomach and the other batting away glasses of champagne and let Dame Rumour do the rest of the work for you?
ARE YOU READY for your AUDIO TROLLEY DASH? On your marks: you’ve got precisely 43 minutes and 46 seconds to listen to Answer Me This! Episode 302. GO GO GO GO GO!!!
Topics thrown into the trolley of our discourse include:
David Bowie’s palms
decaffeinated Bob Geldof
the courtship of Cheryl & Ashley Cole
sushi vs sashimi
hyperemesis gravidarum vs ginger biscuits Twin Peaks vs Supermarket Sweep Fire Walk With Me fanfic
the problem with Dale Winton.
Plus: Olly regrets doing this podcast instead of YouTube beauty tutorials; hypocrite Helen is shamed by her inability to pronounce American names correctly; and Martin the Sound Man would rather be sick than drink peppermint cordial to cure the sicks.
Today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for your iDevices, Android and Windows gadgets), Olly relishes funny fail videos along the following guidelines: being hit in the balls IS a funny fail, car crashes are NOT funny fails.
Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘answer’. So use the code ‘answer’. Why wouldn’t you? Don’t you want to treat yourself nicely? Of course you do!
We’ll be back with AMT303 on 27th November 2014; stay strong,
Helen & Olly
••• AMT302 Child-Friendly Rating: 76%. Just a couple of second-tier swears. Small amount of light bawdy content. Pet death may be cause for concern. •••
Discover all these answers, and many more surprises, by listening to the episode right now via one or all of the following methods:
Don’t read below this point if you don’t want spoilers! Listen to the episode first, then come back here and revise its contents.
On the slate for AMT300 are such topics as:
our alternate realities if AMT had never existed evidence of our life of crime
mashed potato vs nutmeg
Peter Jackson vs Raymond Carver
hiding your rubber fetish gear
And the wonderful special guest answerers bending their wisdom to your questions are:
✮Adam Buxton, the man who made us want to do this podcast. He doles out excellent advice on giving your children The Talk, ridding your kitchen of mouse turds, and changing your whole life to avoid minor annoyances. Enjoy more of Adam’s work on YouTube, on Twitter, and at live shows including BUG.
✮Jesse and Theresa Thorn, the first couple of podcasting, the power behind the Maximum Fun throne (at MaxFun, they record everything sitting on thrones). Tackling questions upon Americana and parental embarrassment, it’s a rare treat to hear them on a podcast together – but it’s a regular treat to hear them on their own podcasts, which include One Bad Mother, Bullseye, Jordan, Jesse, Go!, Judge John Hodgman… Yeah, it took us nearly eight years to churn out 300 podcasts; they probably do more than that a month. And just in case you needed even more podcast-related excitement on top of this, it’s MaxFunWeek right now, so you can have maximum fun with other podcast aficionados around the world.
✮Tony Blackburn. TONY. BLACKBURN! Answering YOUR questions and sounding off about wandering eyes, Hobbits and nutmeg! He was the first voice on Radio 1 in 1967, and he currently has shows on Radio 2, BBC Berkshire, BBC London, BBC Three Counties, KMFM, Magic…phew! Switch on a radio, and Blackburn will probably be talking on it. You can also read him at twitter.com/tonyblackburn.
✮ Today’s new email jingle is by the Hackney Colliery Band – because there are few things more stirring than a brass band. To see them live and listen to their records, including their new EP Common Decency, visit hackneycollieryband.co.uk.
Our special guest answerers supplied such a lot of marvellous material, there’s a bumper tricentennial Bit of Crap on the App today – extra questions about tattoos, pineapples, balloon animals, taramasalata, adventures, wedgies, and there’s even a cameo from AMT190 superstar Jon Ronson. The app is available for your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings, but since it’s an ‘appy day, you appless can also stream or download it via SoundCloud. Or just play it here:
Are you ready to hear who’s the winner of AMT295‘s beauty pageant in which the only entrants are the knee-to-ankle portions of Olly and Martin? You ARE? Then waste no time – listen to Answer Me This! Episode 296 (which some would argue IS wasting time. Those people can shut their damn cake-holes):
In today’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices, Android or Windows gadgetry), we continue workshopping our Cynical Statistician Catches The Bride’s Bouquet film, with a little stop to revist Britney and Kevin: Chaotic. (Fun fact: they got married on the very same day as Helen’s brother Andy. Sadly, there’s no shitty reality show about Andy’s nuptuals.)
There’s a grand heritage of stupid ways through which to discover the sex of your unborn baby. The Chinese gender calculator. That thing where someone dangles a wedding ring on a string over the bump and observes in which direction it swings. Apparently if you walk with your right foot first, it’s a boy, but if your left boob is bigger, it’s a girl. And in the 15th-century Distaff Gospels, they recommended sprinkling salt on the head of a sleeping mother, then waiting till she wakes up and says a name, the gender of which will be the same as the baby.
But Clare from Sutton Coldfield suggests people shun all these:
Having listened to the latest episode whilst feeding my five week old baby, I felt the need to wade into the “find out or not debate”.
Conversely to Helen I did not want to find out the sex as I was hoping for a girl and knew I could only cope with a boy if I actually had my baby in my arms rather than worrying about it for months. (I had a girl, panic over!!)
The other point worth remembering is that scans can be misread. We have friend who were told in two scans they were having a girl only to have a boy. I guess not knowing is an easier surprise to handle than this!
Hmm. I wonder if the salt-on-head method is more accurate than the scans.
Why even bother listening to Answer Me This! Episode 274 when you can book PAT SHARP AND THE TWINS to come and do Fun House with you????
Once the disappointment has faded that they don’t actually bring the house with them, they just conjure it in words, then you might as well hear today’s episode:
In which we discuss:
Leonard Cohen’s party anthems
Anne Robinson vs Doris Day
Bourbon biscuits vs Bourbon boozes Breaking Bad vs Streetmate
Bud Lite Platinum vs Old Speckled Hen Platinum Scandal
Justin Timberlake’s part-time jobs
spare American presidents
and six degradations of Kevin Bacon.
Plus: Olly is NOT a winker, whatever you’ve heard; Helen will waive all usual constitutional structure for Michelle Obama; and Martin the Sound Man is happier than you’ve ever heard him. Possibly happier than he’s ever been. Including his wedding day.
In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices, Android and Windows) Olly worries about being out-butched by a baby. Accept what you cannot change, Olly.
You can change AMT by sending in your QUESTIONS: leave voicemails on the Question Line (call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis) and send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org. And you could also change the education of young people by helping Martin raise funds for the charity Arts Emergency: they’ll receive all proceeds of his concept album with Mark Burrows, Kill It With Fire.
You can also give us a bit of money without actually giving us your own money: just take our free LoveFilm trial. With it, you can stream The Perks of Being a Wallflower (as well as thousands of other films and televisuals) then tell us whether you concur with our opinion voiced in AMT233.
Even if you can’t be arsed to do any of those fairly low-stress things, please join us again next Thursday,
Helen & Olly
AMT274 Child-Friendly Rating: 95%. Bit of mid-level swearing right off the mark, but otherwise an episode largely free of ribaldry and profanity. Child-appropriate topics including Fun House, biscuits and Doris Day. The kids are fairly likely to zone out during the politics stuff.
Plus: Olly specifies where his ashes are to be scattered; Helen doesn’t care if her craft legacy dies with her; and despite all his singing skills, Martin the Sound Man doesn’t have the range to sing in Aspects of Love. He’ll never get to be Michael Ball (ball!).
In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App, which is available for iDevices and Android, a revival of Olly’s beloved Hunting of the Snark might become a reality? Come on, Mike Batt – make a young Mann’s lifelong dream come true!
Does a place make a man, or in this case a Mann? If today’s questioneer decides to move his young family to Stanmore, will he find himself raising his own curly-haired cat-obsessed musicals lover? Or will he just benefit from convenient Jubilee Line access and a nice Lebanese restaurant? We consider the benefits of the burb that birthed Olly in Answer Me This! Episode 251:
Today we ponder upon:
the Wiki Wiki Shuttle
wiki wiki Ward Cunningham
phone sex vs. sex
human chorionic gonadotropin
the only non-singing, non-dancing part in West Side Story
the sanitary iPad.
Plus: Olly needs to learn to speak Bloke; morning sickness won’t put Helen off having a baby, but everything else will; and Martin the Sound Man is a big hairy flowerpot, and no returns.
In this week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) we continue our discussion about equine actors; it moves on to child actors, then somehow to Olly having sex with a Battenburg cake. Which is the inevitable end of any discussion if you continue it long enough.
Next week will be a Special Guest Episode, and if you haven’t listened to the episode yet to find out who it will be, here’s your SPECIAL GUEST SPOILER:
That’s right, Dobby from Peep Show/Esther from Shameless/Isy Suttie from Isy Suttie’s comedy shows will be joining us to answer your QUESTIONS. So send them to us: leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis; or email email@example.com.
NO DON’T TELL US. Tell nobody. Find that impulse that lurks deep within yourself to vocalise your opinions upon a matter so boring, so mundane, so underwhelming an indicator of anything interesting about your character; find it, then destroy it.
Then listen to Answer Me This! Episode 248:
Today we ponder upon:
Stevenage slush puppies (not a euphemism)
Ming Dynasty toilet paper
posh Pot Noodles
domestic rubbish vs. commercial rubbish
London, UK vs. London, Ontario
figure skating vs. Dancing On Ice
and Sergey Brin hiding in the bushes.
Plus: Olly’s lukewarm about Google Glass, but looking forward to the installation of his Google Womb; Helen believes the empire waist to be an offence to waists (and empires); and Martin the Sound Man doesn’t like the principles of Ayn Rand, he just looks like he does.
This week’s Bit of Crap on the App (available for iDevices and Android) is a question from Poppy wondering why Skittles’ latest ad campaign is targeting the people-who-eat-bodily-growths market. Cheer up, Poppy; at least they’re not suggesting you wipe your bottom with Skittles then tell them about it.
Tell us your QUESTIONS, though: email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave voicemails on the Question Line by calling 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis. Then treat yourself to a free Audible audiobook as a reward. OK, you can have one anyway, for being so well-behaved (and because we receive a bit of lovely money for each of you who has one; let’s not be coy about it).