Those hungry little ring-tailed lemurs of Madagascar

The Sound Kitchen
The Sound Kitchen David Franklin/Getty Images/A Terrade

This week on The Sound Kitchen, you’ll hear the answer to the question about the ring-tailed lemurs of Madagascar. There’s “On This Day”, listener news, music chosen by Amir Manzoor from Khanpur, Pakistan – and of course, the new quiz question. Just click on the arrow in the photo above and enjoy!


Hello everyone! Welcome to The Sound Kitchen weekly podcast, published every Saturday. 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 listen every week.

We want to hear from you.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. The number to call is: + 33 1 84 22 95 82.

For our DX enthusiast and shortwave listener friends: I am sad to announce we no longer have a shortwave frequency. Maybe, if enough of you write, we can have Paris Live broadcast on shortwave. Send an e-mail to thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr if you would like to hear RFI English on shortwave. Be sure you include your country and why shortwave is important to you – inability to get on the internet, no FM near you …

In the past, we’ve had reception reports from Algeria, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Sierra Leone, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, the UK and the US. And that’s just from people who are requesting QSLs, not the listeners who have counted on hearing us via shortwave because that is the only way they can listen to RFI English. Please write if you would like to hear RFI English on shortwave.

There’s a new musical segment on The Sound Kitchen – your favorite songs. What I want you to do is to send in your favorite song by a female singer, and tell why that song and that singer are important to you. Every week I’ll play one of your suggestions, and then we’ll change to male singer, band, instrumental, film, your children’s favorites … but until the end of December, we’ll focus on women, so to your pens! Write to me at thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr, and be sure you include your city and country in your note. I think it will be quite nice to share your favorite music as well as your thoughts about it – thanks to Daniel Singleton, the RFI English Head of Service, for the idea!

Did you know there’s an RFI English newsletter? On the very top of our homepage, there’s a little tab that says “Newsletters”. Click on it and fill out the form, and every day you’ll receive the latest from the RFI English website.

Welcome to our new RFI Listeners Club members.There’s Ulysses Beahquoi from Yekepa, Liberia as well as two new members from The Gambia: Musa Baldeh from the Central River Region, and Abubacarr Manneh from Serrekunda.

So glad you have joined us!

You too can be a member of the RFI Listeners Club – just write me at english.service@rfi.fr and tell me you want to join, and I’ll send you a membership number. It’s that easy. When you win a Sound Kitchen quiz as an RFI Listeners Club member, you receive a premium prize.

RFI Clubs: Be sure to always include Audrey Iattoni (audrey.iattoni@rfi.fr) from our Listener Relations department on all your RFI Club correspondence. Remember to copy me (thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr) when you write her so that I know what is going on, too. N.B. You do not need to send her your quiz answers!

We’ve made a Facebook page just for you, the RFI English Clubs. It is a closed group, so when you apply to join, be sure you include the name of your RFI Club and your membership number. Everyone can look at it, but only members of the group can post on it. If you haven’t yet asked to join the group, go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/583819955292977/ and fill out the questionnaire !!!!! (if you do not answer the questions, I click “decline”).

Are you interested in forming an official RFI Club, or transforming your existing club into an official RFI Club?  Here’s how: http://en.rfi.fr/culture/20141218-how-form-official-rfi-listeners-club

This week’s quiz: On 13 October, I told you about an exhibit at Paris’ Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Museum about Madagascar … which made me think of the island’s funny little animal, the lemur. There are over 100 species of lemurs, but the one we usually picture when we hear the word “lemur” is the ring-tailed lemur. I asked you to tell me about the lemur’s diet, what they eat.

The answer is:Just about everything! The ring-tailed lemur is an omnivore, although they eat primarily fruits and leaves, with a particular fondness for the tamarind tree. If available, tamarind trees make up about 50 % of their diet, especially during the dry winter season. They will eat flowers, herbs, bark and sap, too. But scientists have observed ring-tail lemurs eating decayed wood, spiders and their webs, insect cocoons, caterpillars, cicadas – even small birds and chameleons!

The winners are:RFI Listeners Club member Zenon Teles, for the Christian - Marxist – Leninist - Maoist Association of Listening DX-ers in Goa, India; Rabeya Begam, a member of the Nilshagor RFI Fan Club in Nilphamari, Bangladesh; Bernard Egbe from Abuja, Nigeria; Fulmala Bain from the Pariwer Bandhu SWL Club in Chhattisgarh, India and Krzystof Borki from Poznan, Poland.

By the way, Krzystof Borki sent his answer in on a picture postcard, which is just waiting to be sent to a young student somewhere on this planet of ours … teachers, you know about that, don’t you? I save postcards and stamps from all over the world to send to you for your students. If you would like stamps and postcards for your students, just write me and let me know. The address is thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr

Congratulations winners!

Here’s the music you heard on this week’s program: Soler: Sonata # 88 performed by the great Spanish pianist Alicia de Larrocha; Rimsky-Korsakov: “The Flight of the Bumblebee” and “Chaap Tilak”, performed by Amida Perveen and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

Do you have a musical request? Send it to thesoundkitchen@rfi.fr

This week’s question ... You'll have to listen to the show to participate. You have until 31 December to enter this week's quiz; the winners will be announced on the 5 January 2019 (!) podcast. 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.

Send your answers to:



Susan Owensby

RFI – The Sound Kitchen

80, rue Camille Desmoulins

92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux



By text … You can also send your quiz answers to The Sound Kitchen mobile 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.

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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