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Series 3, Episode 3: You’ll Log

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Series 3 brings 2023 to a close with a festive special that reaches the parts that other festive specials don’t reach… 3D programmable tree lights, the real reason people kiss under the mistletoe and a disappointingly bleak Laboratory Christmas Party take us into the new year with more detail than anyone could possibly need or want. Thank you, as ever, for listening!

  • 00:56 – Steve’s bit
  • 08:38 – Matt’s bit
  • 28:21 – Helen’s bit

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Corrections and clarifications:

  • Helen has re-found her binary advent calendar, and it has only 5 doors! 1, 2, 4, 8 and 16 are enough to get every number up to the magical 24. Unfortunately the physical calendar is long gone, but you can find a photo in the show notes below…
  • On twitter, James Cooper has added some helpful etymology! In a great example of language reflecting nature, the Saxon words that make up mistletoe, ‘Mistel’ and ‘tan’ can be translated into ‘poo on a stick’. More Mistletoe facts here.

And here’s an extra-large festive sack of extra Unnecessary Detail from this episode:


A square full of very precisely positioned numbers

Percy Ludgate’s Table


Another square filled with very precisely positioned numbers

Matt Parker’s Table


The numbers 0 to 9 with other numbers underneath

Percy Ludgate’s Smaller Table


The numbers 0 to 9 with other numbers underneath

Matt Parker’s Smaller Table


Matt next to a Christmas tree with lots of baubles on it at very precise heights

Matt with his suspended baubles of very precise heights


Matt’s Log Table Christmas Tree – check the show notes above to find a high res file if you want to download it


Helen’s Binary Advent Calendar, for realz. For context, it was the size of an A3 piece of card with hidden boxes taped to the back,

A Podcast Of Unnecessary Detail is part of the Acast Creator Network. Thanks for listening!



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