August Quiz: A question of 8s!

It's the 8th month of the year, so we quiz our expert panel with questions fit for August...
24 August 2021

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Our dream teams include; animal behaviour expert Jo Wimpenny, disease historian Kyle Harper, nanomaterial physicist Jess Wade and entymologist Dave Goulson... 

Eva - We have a little quiz at this point in the program,e, and you can play along at home too. I'm splitting you guys into teams. You're now going to be two teams of two, Jess and Dave, you're team one; Kyle and Jo, you are team two, and you can of course confer to see what you think the answer might be. August is the eighth month of the year. So, this week's quiz is all about the number eight. In Round One, two of the answers are true and one is false and we need you to pick the false one. Jess and Dave, the first question is for you: Oxygen is the eighth element in the periodic table, which of the following about oxygen is not true. A) oxygen is the 10th most abundant element in the universe. B) oxygen is not flammable or C) liquid oxygen is blue. What do you reckon?

Dave - Oh, yes. My immediate reaction is that it's not flammable because, it's kind of necessary for things to burn, but, but then you're the physicist. So, I'm guessing this is probably your territory. Not mine.

Dave - I don't know because my favourite element by far is carbon. Feel like I could have nailed any answer on carbon but oxygen, I'm like, I'm going to offend all the chemists I work with every single day. Um, yeah, I'm happy to go with what you suggest, Dave, let's go with that.

Eva - So B oxygen is not flammable. That's your answer.

Jess - Yeah.

Dave - Fingers crossed.

Eva - I'm afraid. You're wrong. It's actually A) oxygen is actually the third, most abundant element. Not the 10th. Liquid oxygen is indeed light blue. And while oxygen makes other things burn much more vigorously, pure oxygen itself doesn't burn. Instead it's called an oxidiser. Kyle and Jo here is your first question. All arachnids have eight legs, which of the following animals are not arachnids, A) ticks, B )scorpions or C) spider crabs.

Kyle - Ticks are definitely arachnids. Trying to think of...

Jo - I would go with spider crabs, but I'm also quite worried that as a zoologist I definitely shouldn't be this.

Kyle - I think it's spider crabs. I think you're right, let's go for it.

Eva - You're correct. Spider crabs are crustaceans and they have 10 legs. Ticks, scorpions, mites and spiders are all arachnids. And recently we realised that horseshoe crabs are neither horseshoes nor crabs, but are also arachnids. Time for round two, which is all about unusual units of measurement, Jess and Dave get ready. Your first question is: In Imperial measurements, eight of which make up a mile, A) rod, B) chain or C) furlong.

Dave - Oh, well we were under pressure off after the first one. I hesitate to say, because the honest truth is I haven't got a clue. A total guess from me Jess would be furlong, but I really am clutching at straws or chains or rods or something.

Jess - So we've got rod, chain or furlong. Yeah. I'm going furlong. And I should get that because I'm a physicist and I work at Imperial.

Dave - Yeah. Well, we agree. Even if we don't really know the answer, let's go with it.

Eva - You're correct. It's C, there are four rods in a chain, 10 chains in a Furlong and eight furlongs in a mile. Furlong, as everyone knows now, furlong means furrow length and it was the length a team of oxen could plow before needing a rest. So, there you go. Kyle and Jo, your question now on the Beaufort scale, how are force eight wind speeds described A) is it a breeze? B) is it a gale or C) is it a hurricane?

Jo - Oh dear. I don't think I know much about this. I'm assuming that they get more severe as you go higher.

Kyle - Yeah. So it's a gale. You think it's a gale.

Jo - I'd go with gale then.

Kyle - The middle found safe. Let's do it.

Eva - Correct. It is B) The Beaufort scale is a scale from zero to 12, where zero is completely calm. And 12 is a hurricane, eight is a gale, and on land, it describes when twigs break off trees/generally impedes progress. At sea foam is blown in well-marked streaks along the direction of the wind. So, if you notice any foam blowing in a certain direction, you can say, ah, I know this is rated eight wind speed, and is a gale, wonderful. Well done. So what have we got now? We've got two points to team two and one point to team one. So, there's all to play for round three; we've got a supermarket sweep for our final round. We're really testing your credibility as experts and seeing if you know your apples from your oranges, Jess and Dave, according to a YouGov survey in 2021, which is the eighth, most popular fruit in the UK? Is it A) green grapes? B) lemons or C) clementines?

Jess - Oh gosh. This is so hard. Do you think people were really told lemons was an option or do you think they were just asked for their favourites? Because I think if they were asked, they wouldn't naturally think of a lemon.

Dave - I would guess not lemon, but I am really struggling over the other two. Both are quite nice. I'm happy to eat either.

Jess - I have a feeling it's clementines. I think grape score higher.

Dave - Okay. I'd be very happy to go with that guess.

Eva - Correct. It is clementines. You're right. Green grapes do score higher. They are third and lemons are ninth. So there you go. They are close, close to clementines there. Kyle and Joe, you have a similar question this time about vegetables. In the same poll what was the eighth most popular vegetable in the UK? Is it A) red onions, B) broccoli or C) sweetcorn.

Jess - It better not be sweetcorn or I'll be embarrassed. It's the worst.

Jo - I agree, actually, I would say perfectly would go higher.

Kyle - I like, I like that.

Jo - I don't know that we've had any A) answers yet. I'm just going on what?

Jess - No, ours was an A) our first answer was an A). And, red onions are a staple of so many dishes I do not believe they'd score that badly.

Jo - Typing a favourite. No, they're just like necessary aren't they. I'm overthinking this.

Kyle - They'd be my number one.

Jo - Shall we just go broccoli?

Kyle  - Let's do it.

Eva - It is actually red onions. Broccoli scored sixth. And sweetcorn was 20th. So Jess will be pleased. The country has not let you down.

Jess - I'm happy for broccoli. I'm really glad.

Eva - And if my calculations are correct, that means we've got two points each on each side, which means it is time for the tie break. Now for this round, for this question, the closest team to the correct answer wins. Eight is the largest cube number in the Fibonacci sequence, which is the one where you add the previous two numbers together. So 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc. What is the largest square number in the Fibonacci sequence? What do you reckon?

Dave - Take a punt. I'm in your hands on this, I feel a physicist has a better chance for the biologist here.

Jess - Could you just choose any square number above a hundred and we'll go for that.

Dave - 144.

Eva - All right, Joe and Kyle,

Kyle - I was thinking 256.

Eva - All right, guys, in that case. Dave and Jess you're right. It is 12 squared. It is 144. You are now crowned The Naked Scientists' big boffin brains of the week. Congratulations. You can go tell your families that you won!

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