Any Questions?

Friday at 6:25 p.m. on Northeast Report Late Edition
  • Hosted by Ian Pickus
  • Local Host Mike Nothnagel and Ian Pickus

About Any Questions?

WAMC's Friday quiz segment, Any Questions?, puts news director Ian Pickus in the hot seat, as he and listeners field questions from resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel. Nothnagel is Associate Professor of mathematics at The Culinary Institute of America, and a crossword constructor for the New York Times and Games Magazine, among other outlets. Often, Mike and Ian switch seats or feature guest answerers, such as Will Shortz, Liane Hansen, John Flansburgh and Mike Doughty. Any Questions? airs Friday during Northeast Report Late Edition on WAMC.

Last week's challenge: Start with the name NANCY PELOSI. Rearrange the letters and you can spell a current country name and a former country name. What are they?

Answer: SPAIN, CEYLON.

THIS WEEK'S CATEGORY: The Arecibo Message

On-air questions: On November 16, 1974, an interstellar radio message called the Arecibo message was sent towards a star cluster in hopes that extraterrestrial life would receive it. Named for the radio telescope in Puerto Rico that transmitted it, the Arecibo message contains coded information about numbers, chemical elements, DNA, human beings, the Solar System, and the Arecibo telescope itself. Since the message will take approximately 25,000 years to reach its intended target, it is considered more of an example of technological capabilities than an actual communication attempt. To commemorate the Arecibo message, this week our questions are about subjects in the Arecibo message.

1. A depiction of the Arecibo Observatory is included at the bottom of the Arecibo message. The observatory has featured in popular culture a number of times, including "Little Green Men", a television episode that features Fox Mulder visiting the observatory to continue his search for extraterrestrial life. "Little Green Men" was the premiere of the second season of what series?
2. Next to a depiction of a human being, the Arecibo message contains an illustration that can be translated in to the average height of a human man, and another that can be translated into the value 4,292,853,750, which was, at the time of the message's transmission, what?
3. The graphic in the Arecibo message depicting the solar system shows the sun and the (at the time) nine planets, with Earth shifted up slightly to indicate the source of the message. In August of 2006, Pluto was reclassified by the International Astronomical Union as a type of object known by what two-word designation?
4. The numbers one to ten are encoded in the Arecibo message in binary format, which uses ones and zeros to express a numerical value. Each place in a binary number represents a power of two, similar to how each place in a base-ten number represents a power of ten. What number would be written in binary notation as 111?
5. The five elements that are the components of DNA are represented in the Arecibo message by their atomic numbers. All five of those elements have single-letter symbols on the periodic table: H, C, N, O, and P. What are those five elements?

Extra credit

1. In September of 2017, what event caused damage to around 30 of the 38,000 aluminum panels that comprise the main dish of the Arecibo telescope?
2. Also depicted in the Arecibo message are illustrations representing the four bases contained in the nucleotides of DNA. These bases are commonly represented by what four letters?

This week's challenge: Start with the word ARECIBO. Change one letter to a D and you can rearrange the result to spell the two-word name (two letters, five letters) of a thing you can use to transmit a message. What is the thing?

About Any Questions?

WAMC's Friday quiz segment, Any Questions?, puts news director Ian Pickus in the hot seat, as he and listeners field questions from resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel. Nothnagel is Associate Professor of mathematics at The Culinary Institute of America, and a crossword constructor for the New York Times and Games Magazine, among other outlets. Often, Mike and Ian switch seats or feature guest answerers, such as Will Shortz, Liane Hansen, John Flansburgh and Mike Doughty.

Any Questions? airs Friday during Northeast Report Late Edition on WAMC. 

WAMC's Ian Pickus receives a message from resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel.

A vote here sign in English and Spanish on sidewalk
WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a post-election quiz.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for their first show of November.

Any Questions #374

Oct 26, 2018

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with their annual series show.

Bobby Orr
Eric Kilby from USA

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel play some "either/orr" this week.

NLCS logo
MLB

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a baseball-themed show, kind of.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel say "yes" to a show about Dr. No.

Any Questions #370: Keys

Sep 28, 2018

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back to unlock a show about keys.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for a show about people with last names starting with "O."

Paul Simon concert poster
Paul Simon

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats for a quiz that has them both feelin' groovy.

An 8 ball

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with the first show of the eighth season.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a "before and after" quiz.

Fire
Pexels

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a show about famous fires.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another show. WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a sweet 16 show.

Don't be blue: WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for the last quiz of July.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats for a show about sports venues.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a "land"-based show.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back for another crack at one of their stranger categories.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to brave another week.

Checkpoint Charlie in 1963
Roger Wallstadt on Wikipedia Commons

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are "swapping spots" this week for a show about alliteration.

A horse
Jim Levulis / WAMC

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back in the saddle again.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel mark the end of the Fund Drive with a show about various misters.

Chocolate espresso cake
The Galley Gourmet

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel celebrate a very special day.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a show about squares.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel try to hit the speed of sound.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are back with a fill-in-the-blanks quiz.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel swap seats to make the jump to hyperspace.

Any Questions #348: _o_o

Apr 27, 2018

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return for another Friday quiz.

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