Questions Questions: When everyone drank beer instead of water, because it was too polluted, were people always drunk?

    This week's programme was a smorgasbord of tiny bespangled bugs, teapots, ancient granite furniture and...wing woms.

    Listener Keith Rogers posed a question about the reasons behind the differing shapes of tea and coffee pots. Stewart was joined by Antiques Roadshow star Henry Sandon, along with his favourite Worcester porcelain, to explain.

    Stewart found shelter from the gale force winds of the Cornish moors by the giant stone tables of old - called quoits. He met archaeologist Andy Jones along the way to explain their significance.

    Emily Williams performed an Alice in Wonderland shrinking act go undercover with the flea circus.

    And, yes, we've teased you long enough. A wing wom is...

    Listen again to find out.

    Now onto next week. On Thursday 11th August, Stewart will be solving two natural world puzzles that have been taxing a couple of our listeners. One high up in the clouds and one buried deep, deep down. Listen in to find out if the earth is getting fatter and to explore the reasons behind the phenomenon known as crepuscular rays.

    Plus, Dave Dodd will be telling you how much power you're using to read this blog post, and we lose Stewart in a maze. Well, not really since he wouldn't be able to bring you his piece on the social functions of the landscape puzzle if we had.

    If you'd like to help us with the following problems, do get in touch:

    Question 1: When everyone drank beer instead of water, because it was too polluted, were people always drunk?

    Question 2: At what point would a man holding onto the back of speeding car become airborne?

    Question 3: If you have an allotment by a busy road, how does it affect the plants? Are they still safe to eat?

    And, of course, send us any of your own questions. There's still plenty of time for the QQ Team to get digging.

    Please send them to questions.questions@bbc.co.uk, call us on 03700 100 400, or leave them as comments on this blog.

    We also welcome questions and comments on Facebook and Twitter using the hasttag #R4QQ. You can also post your comments here on the blog or reach us directly using the Contact Us form.

    The Questions Questions team

    • Editor's note: The picture is from the archive and the caption reads: "Mild and Bitter 02/03/1966 © BBC left to right: Eric Merriman who has written and will be introducing the new revue series Mild and Bitter with the stars June Whitfield and Peter Jones." In no way am I implying that a) they're drunk or b) the water in 1966 was too polluted to drink. I just didn't have any pictures of beer drinkers from more polluted times - PM.

    Comments

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    • Comment number 2. Posted by jayesse

      on 4 Aug 2011 18:53

      I seem to remember hearing something about rebrewing so that beers of differing strengths were made becoming gradually lower in alcoholic content.Hence 'small beer'.

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    • Comment number 1. Posted by velobella

      on 4 Aug 2011 17:47

      I don't know whether the amount of drunkenness was greater than today but I do know that the beer was far weaker in the past, and wouldn't have tasted much like we get now.

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