The Q&A Quiz

Who will fare best against the infamous Q&A quiz?
10 March 2023

Interview with 

Xander Byrne & William Mcmahon & Stefanie Ullman& Charlottle Kukowski, Cambridge University




Chris - It's now part of the programme where we put our expert guest more general knowledge to the test in a quiz and you at home can join in too, of course. Team one are going to be Xander and Charlotte and team two, it's going to be Will and Stephanie. And you are actively encouraged to confer between the two of you. Now, round one is called 'know your lingo'. Will and Stephanie - 'apiology' is the study of primates, honey bees, or animal imitation? What do you think?

Will - Primates would be too obvious, wouldn't it?

Stephanie - It's a trick question. I feel. <laugh>

Will - Option three?

Chris - You're going for animal imitation. Animal imitation. Animal imitation. Then you get one of these. Unfortunately you get a noise, which means it's not right. Do you guys know what it is?

Xander - I think it's honeybees because the Italian for bee is like 'ape' or something.

Chris - Yes, indeed. You're absolutely right. Playing a vital role in the ecosystem, understanding the life cycling behavior of honeybees is more important, especially as their numbers have seen a decline because of the phenomenon of colony collapse disorder. Aps is Latin for bee.

Charlotte - Stealing a point. Well done.

Chris - So well done. Over to you, Xander and Charlotte, your 'knowing your lingo' question. Speleology is the study of caves, playing, or storytelling? Speleology. Is that caves, playing, storytelling?

Xander - Reckon probably caves, right? Cause it's like spelunking

Charlotte - <laugh> Spelunking. I haven't heard that one before, but I'm actually also quite sure that it's caves

Xander - Caves then. Right Caves.

Chris - Well then you get one of these. Yes. Get a bing bong. The job of a speleologist is to explore the deep and the dark, mysterious innards of caves. And speluncas in Latin is a cave. So far, Xander and Charlotte on one, Will and Stephanie yet to score. Round two 'communication is the key'. So this will appeal again to you Stephanie, won't it? You are back on and the question is, Will and Stephanie, which of the following animals have the most sophisticated vocal language? Is it prairie dogs, dolphins, or chimpanzees? The most sophisticated vocal language prairie dogs, dolphins, or chimpanzees? What do you think?

Stephanie - I would say dolphins.

Will - How do you define sophisticated?

Stephanie - Yeah, that's a good, that's a good point.

Will - Can you answer that one? <laugh>?

Chris - No, I can't.

Stephanie - Is it the range of vocal signals or...

Will - Dolphin chatter gets good press, doesn't it?

Stephanie - They have quite good vocal skills and imitation skills.

Chris - And they have accents as well, don't they? They speak with regional accents like we do.

Will -
Stephanie's got this <laugh>, she's going to decide, we're getting dolphins.

Chris - You going dolphins? <Incorrect sound> it's actually prairie dogs.

Will - They have regional accents as well?

Chris - They have different warnings which are based on what species of predator might be approaching, whether it's a coyote or a snake or a human. And in addition, they also able to describe what a particular predator looks like and in the case of humans, even when they have a gun on them or not. Dolphins use whistles that identify one another. That's quite impressive. Chimpanzees, despite being our closest relatives, aren't capable of complex vocalizations like humans. So they're a bit further down the pecking order. So no points for that one. Right back to team two Xander and Charlotte, your question is - the world's first telegraph message got dispatched from Washington DC in 1832 and it said what hath God wrought, but who sent it? Was that Samuel Morse, Guglielmo Marconi, or Joseph Henry? Who sent that message in 1832? Well Marconi is very well known in the southeast of England because of course he set his base up in Chelmsford in Essex.

Xander - Oh, okay.

Chris - And there was a main center. Marconi engineering was there for a long time.

Xander - Oh right. Well that is a bit of a clue because presumably that guy wouldn't be in Washington DC so I reckon probably, probably Joseph Henry. Yeah. We'll go Joseph Henry.

Chris - Going, Joseph Henry. And the answer is Samuel Morse. He was a painter originally turned inventor. He composed the set of signals, the dots and dashes that are the morse code that allowed for communication on primitive telegraph machines. Marconi is known for creating the first practical radio, which built on the work of Joseph Henry and other physicists who are around working at the time on electromagnetism. So at the moment, team two, you are still in the lead. So you've got to score on this one. Back to you Xander and Charlotte. It would've been the 89th birthday this week of Yuri Gagarin. He was the first man in space and in his honor we've got this round all about the solar system. So are you ready? Will and Stephanie, one day on Earth is defined as how long it would take the earth to complete its full rotation. How long is a day on Venus in Earth Days?

Will - How accurate do we need to be?

Chris - Is it 10? is it 0.2 or is it 243? How many days would you have to live on earth to have one complete day on Venus.

Will - Median?

Chris - You're going 10?

Will - Yes.

Chris - <Incorrect noise> Oh no, no, I'm sorry. You're doing very well.

Will - This Is consistent.

Chris - Yeah, you're consistent. No, Venus is the unusual one. Do you know the answer to this?

Xander - A really long one, isn't it? It's mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it's a day on Venus, I believe is longer than a year.

Chris - Yes, you're right. Venus takes 225 Earth days to do one lap of the sun. So what we call a year, 365 days. It takes Venus 225 days to do that. But it takes it 243 days, so longer than each year, to complete one revolution, what we would call a day. And the reason that Venus' day is longer than it's here, scientists think, is because it has a very thick swirling atmosphere and that as it spins tugs on the planet and speeds it up more than it should be spinning. Because Venus is quite close to the sun. It should be what we call tidally locked to the sun. Therefore it should turn with one revolution taking one year like our moon does on the earth. So we think that's why it goes a little bit faster. Well let's see how your knowledge holds up on your question on 'in orbit' then Xander and Charlotte. The time it takes the earth to make one revolution around the sun is one year, but how many earth years does it take Neptune to do the equivalent journey? Is it 165 years, 49 years, or 113 years?

Xander - I think it's 165. I think Pluto is like 250 or something. So I think it's probably just whatever the longest answer was.

Charlotte - Oh, I will just blindly go whatever you suggest <laugh>.

Chris - Yeah, you got a bing bong for that. It is indeed 165 years. So when Neptune last had a new year, we had Queen Victoria reigning over the British Empire and also Henry Bessemer had just patented his revolutionary steel making process. So all in the time of one year on Neptune. Isn't that amazing?

Xander - Neptune was actually discovered around the same kind of time. So Neptune's, I think, it's just past where it was in the solar system when we actually discovered it.

Chris - So thank you very much to Xander and Charlotte. You are this week's winners with two points and unfortunately Stephanie and Will. I think we should give them a round of applause. I think we should give them round of applause.


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