The Sound Kitchen

Transatlantic transmissions

Audio 10:59
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Are you one of this week’s lucky winners? Are you ready to try your luck on today’s quiz question? Click on that little “Listen” arrow above, and join in!


Hello everyone!

Welcome to The Sound Kitchen. You can catch the programme on-the-air every Saturday at 4:52, 6:22, and 7:52 universal time. You’ll hear the winners' 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 tune in every Saturday! 

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Did you know there is such a thing as official RFI Clubs? Up until now, they have always been French clubs, but now we want to open them up to all our listeners … let’s show the French how involved in RFI the rest of the world is! You can either transform your existing radio club into an RFI Club, or create a brand new one.

Then, any time you plan special events – be they humanitarian, cultural, or sports-oriented; if you want to host an environmental programme or a day dedicated to health issues - RFI will help you with ideas and free promotional items for your members. If you are interested in either changing your radio club into an RFI club, or if you would like to create a brand-new RFI club, write my colleague Sébastien Bonijol in our Listener Relations department.

Sébastien Bonijol
RFI – Relations Auditeurs
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130, Issy-les-Moulineaux

Which leads me to another item of interest: the RFI Listener’s Club. Our Listener Relations department has decided that everyone can belong to the RFI Listener’s Club, but you will only be issued a membership number, not an identity card. Only members of an official RFI Club will have identity cards. As an RFI Listener’s Club member, you will still win a premium prize if you win a Sound Kitchen quiz. So no reason to not join – although having an official RFI Club is really far cooler.

If you only want to be a member of the general RFI Listener’s Club – that’s great, too! Just send me (or Sébastien) two identity photographs – and you can send them via e-mail, as jpeg files - along with the photos, send your full name, your postal mailing address, and if you have one, your e-mail address. You’ll receive an RFI Listeners Club number; include that number every time you enter a quiz, and if you are a winner, you’ll get a premium prize!

Nota bene: The RFI Listeners Club used to be called “Club 9516”. So if you are a member of the “Club 9516”, you are already a member of the RFI Listeners Club. Your “Club 9516” membership number still works – no need to reapply. Just include your membership number on your quiz entries.

Look at that beautiful link to the Sound Kitchen Listeners Cookbook! It actually happened! I’m very happy about it, and I hope you enjoy looking at it – and trying out some recipes. Please feel free to send in any comments you have, and we would love it if you’d send in photos – of you, and your completed dish. Don’t hesitate to use the “zoom” tool on countries where there are a lot of forks; that will separate them so you can read the titles easier. Click on the title, and the recipe will appear. 

Today’s question was read on 16 February, and was about our mutual love, radio. I asked you to send me the year in which radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi successfully sent the first trans-Atlantic radio transmission. The answer is: 12 December, 1901. The signal was emitted from Cornwall, Britain and was received in Newfoundland, which is now a part of Canada. The distance between the two points was about 3,500 kilometers. So the answer to the question is: 12 December, 1901.

There is a lot of disagreement over whether the transmission really did work. It wasn’t a blind test: to be completely “scientific” about it, the sounds that were to be emitted should have been a secret, but Marconi knew what the sounds he was to listen for were.

He knew he was to listen for three clicks - Morse code for the letter “S”. Furthermore, there was no independent confirmation of the reported reception. Never-the-less, Marconi is known as the “Father of long distance radio transmission”, and he was honored for his work by the Nobel committee: he shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1909 with Karl Ferdinand Braun.

There is no doubt that the next year, in 1902, a transmission from the Marconi station in Nova Scotia, Canada, did cross the Atlantic, and the year after that, U-S President Theodore Roosevelt sent a transatlantic message of greeting to King Edward VII of the United Kingdom.

The winners this week are: Maruf Dewan, from Espoo, Finland; Shiuly Khatun, from Sirajganj, Bangladesh; Kepher O. Gichana, from Kisii, Kenya; Mr. Inam Ullah Shahid, from Lahore, Pakistan, and Jean-Maurice Devault, from Montreal, Canada.

Congratulations winners!

This week’s question is about the papacy. Unless you are living under a rock, you know the world’s Roman Catholics have a new pope – an Argentinian Jesuit, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio – now more simply known as Pope Francis. Remember the “dirty-war” in Argentina in the 1970’s? A period of state- terrorism, in which thousands of people “disappeared”?

Well, the Argentinian Catholic Church has been loudly criticized for remaining rather silent through it all – when it has not been proven to actually have been in league with the military dictatorship.

And the new pope has not escaped the scrutiny - he was head of the country’s Jesuits during the Dirty War, and is accused of … what? What was Pope Francis, the former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, accused of doing during Argentina’s Dirty War? Hint: The accusation stems from a criminal complaint filed against him in 2005, which was later dropped.

Send in your answer by 29 April, and be sure and tune in on 4 May to see if you are one of the lucky winners! As always, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer … and, if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number. 

Send your answers to:


Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
BP 9516
75016 Paris


By SMS … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen cell phone !!!!

Dial your country’s international access code, or “ + ”, then 33 6 31 12 96 82. Don’t forget to include your mailing address in your text – and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Remember, it’s not just the quiz which wins you a prize. If your essay goes on the air, you’ll find a package in the mail from the Sound Kitchen. Write in about your community heroes – the people in your community who are quietly working to make the world a better place, in whatever way they can. I am still looking for your “This I Believe” essays, too. Tell us about the principles that guide your life … what you have found to be true from your very own personal experience. Or write in with your most memorable moment, and/or your proudest achievement. If your essay is chosen to go on-the-air – read by you – you’ll win an RFI radio!

Send your mini book reviews, your musical requests, your secret “guilty” pleasure (mine’s chocolate!), your tricks for remembering things, your favourite quotations and proverbs, descriptions of the local festivals you participate in, your weirdest dream, or just your general all-around thoughts to:

Include a phone number, so I can call you.

I look forward to hearing from you soon!

All the best,


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