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The Sound Kitchen

The pre-historic bandit

Audio 12:35
David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade

This week on The Sound Kitchen you’ll hear the answer to the question about the small feathered Chinese dinosaur. There’s loads of listener news, some great music, and of course - the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo and enjoy!


Hello everyone!

Welcome to The Sound Kitchen. You can catch the programme on-the-air every Saturday at 6:15, 7:15, 14:45 and 16:45 universal time. You’ll hear the winner’s names announced and the week’s quiz question, along with all the other ingredients you have grown accustomed to: your letters and essays, “On This Day”, quirky facts and news, interviews, and great music … so be sure and tune in every Saturday.

For our DX enthusiast friends: Our shortwave frequency is 9735 kHz on the 31m band, from 06.00 to 07.00 UT every day. We’ve had reception reports from Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US, and although the frequency is “aimed” (or however that works) towards the African continent, give it a try. You never know … and be sure and send us your reception reports. Maybe we can get more time, which would be wonderful.

You can also hear our programs on WRMI and WRN. These broadcasters diffuse our programs out of the goodness of their hearts, but unless you tell us how you heard us, we have no way of knowing … so do write and tell us how you listen to us.

If you have an internet radio and would like to add RFI English to your pre-set buttons, send an e-mail to and we'll get the link to you.

We want you to call us! We have a phone number you can call to leave us a message, so we can hear your voice! Just call, give your name, your country, and a short message - something like “I love RFI”, because of course you do – and we can put you on-the-air! We had some trouble with the old number, so if you tried to call and could not get through, try again (please!). The correct number to call is: + 33 1 84 22 95 82.

Congratulations to RFI English reporter Laura Angela Bagnetto! Laura Angela just won an incredibly prestigious international journalism award: the United Nations Correspondents Association Bronze Prize for her coverage of Humanitarian and Development activities of the United Nations. She won for her series of reports in Chad in the south with Central African refugees and in Lake Chad (on the Chad side) with Chadian Internally Displaced Persons and Nigerian refugees. Laura Angela is not only a top professional, she’s a woman with a big heart, and we are all so proud of her! Do send a little congratulatory note to her at – she will so appreciate it! 

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club members!Joseph Babatunde Oduntan from Osunstate, Nigeria; Mamadou Alimu Jallow from Serekunda, The Gambia and Haruna Iddrisu from Kumasi in Ghana. So glad you have joined us!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write me at and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy.

A hearty welcome to three new official RFI Listeners Clubs! All three are in Murshidibad, India: the United RFI Listeners Club with Debakamal Hararika as president; the RFI Fan Club with Naved Raiyan as president and the RFI World Radio Club with Biswanath Mandal as its president. Welcome!

If you would like to create an official RFI club, or transform your existing listeners club into an RFI club, scroll down for more information.

The RFI Listener Relations department is asking all you football playing radio fans to send in photos for the “Ma RFI” web page (it’s in French). They want action photographs, not posed team photos. It’s a cool idea – players and playing fields from around the world. Send your action football photos to, and I’ll send you the link to see the page with other football playing RFI radio fans. Don’t be shy!

RFI Clubs, take note: As most of you know, Chrystelle in the Listener Relations department has gone off to pursue new adventures, but before she left she urged Sebastien and I to challenge you to a Club Contest. We decided on a humorous photography competition. This is what you have to do: take a photo of your entire club membership with the RFI banner, doing something in the kitchen, or something to do with cooking … and … make us laugh! So put on your silly thinking caps, get out your pots and pans or whatever you choose, and get all your club members in the photo with the RFI banner … and take a funny picture! You'll recieve an official notice soon with all the details, but you can start thinking about it now.

A warm welcome to Audrey Iattoni (, who is your new contact person for all RFI Club business. Remember to copy me ( when you write her, so that I stay in the loop too!

It’s time to start thinking about your New Year Resolution(s) – and get them to the Sound Kitchen. I’ll put all your letters in a box, and draw them out blindfolded. Well, maybe just with my eyes closed, but you get the point. If your resolution is chosen, you’ll receive a special RFI prize, so start thinking of all the good things you want to do (or be) in 2018.

This week’s quiz: On 4November, I asked you a question about a small, feathered dinosaur that lived between 133 and 120 million years ago in north-eastern China. They had long tails and short arms, and the longest specimen researchers have found is only about a metre in length. It had a “bandit mask” - darker feathers around its eyes, contrasting with lighter feathers on the rest of its head. Almost like sun-glasses!

You were to send in the name of this little feathered dinosaur.

The answer is: Sinosauropteryx, which means "China dragon bird".

It’s interesting, this “bandit mask”. In some animals, like raccoons and badgers, it's an advertisement that they're aggressive. But some non-aggressive birds have a bandit mask, too – and scientists think there are two reasons for that: 1)  to reduce glare from lightreflected on the feathers around their eyes (think about the athletes who paint dark stripes under their eyes);  2) camouflagefor the eyes, making them harder for predators to spot. The Sinosauropteryx research team said that because there's no real anatomical evidence that the little guys could have defended themselves well, and given the evolutionary relationship between modern-day birds and the China Dragon Bird, the bandit mask surely served the same purpose for the Sinosauropteryx as it does for modern-day birds.

The winners are: RFI Listeners Club member Abiola G Ajayi from Windhoek, Namibia; Abdul Momin from the Karatoa RFI Radio Listeners Club in Sirajgonj, Bangladesh; Dewan Rauf, a member of the Lolona Listeners Club in Naogaon, Bangladesh; Ms Sheuly Jahan, also from Naogaon, Bangladesh and Bhaikan Hazarika, from the Universal DX Club in Assam, India.

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: Duke Ellington: “The C Jam Blues”; Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Flight of the Bumblebee”; Natalia Lafourcade: “Soledad y el Mar”.

Have a musical request? Write me and let me know!

This week’s question: You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 25 December to enter this week's quiz. The winners will be announced on the 30 December program. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

To find out how you can win a special Sound Kitchen prize click here

To find out how you can become a member of the RFI Listeners Club, or to form your own official RFI Club click here


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