Question: Did Winston Churchill fart during an interview on February 2, 1950?
Short answer: Probably.
Long answer: Winston Churchill was a British politician, and as far as we know, he was not particularly flatulent. However, everyone farts, and we have reason to believe that Mr. Churchill might have farted during an interview with an organization called Pathe Studios, in 1950. He was running for the office of Prime Minister at the time.
We were led to this conclusion by our Flatus Reflector , a novel technology that we have developed to detect fart sounds in audio clips. The algorithm underlying the Reflector is based on our observation that virtually all farts have a common time-frequency signature, and in previous posts, we have used it to exonerate two politicians who were unjustly accused of farting in public. More importantly, for the past few months the algorithm has been scouring the internet for previously unknown fart sounds, in much the same way that other instruments search the skies for extraterrestrial intelligence.
The algorithm works by scanning an audio clip for the characteristic spectral content of farts and returning a value corresponding to the likelihood that a fart occurred at each moment in time. For most audio clips, there is little evidence of fart sounds, and so it was with some excitement that we recently found a blip in the data, corresponding to a portion of an audio clip with a high probability of containing a fart. Here is a section of the output of the Reflector:
A fart-like occurrence is clearly present near the end of this section, as the output of the algorithm exceeds the detection threshold at just after 1.4 s. Examining the time-frequency content of this blip reveals the familiar fart signature:
Note the concentration of power around 275 Hz and the brief duration, which together are diagnostic of farts.
Although the fart is clearly detectable in the time-frequency data, it is not immediately obvious when listening to the unedited interview. Here is a brief clip, containing the section of interest:
The presumptive fart occurs about midway through, and it is quite subtle, unless the event is isolated from the surrounding speech:
History might have been different if this fart had been identified during the course of the election, but in all likelihood, it went entirely unnoticed for over 70 years, until it was uncovered by the Flatus Reflector. Winston Churchill’s party won the election in 1951, with 51.4% of the vote.