Quiz about These Mad Hungarians were Really Martians
Quiz about These Mad Hungarians were Really Martians

These Mad Hungarians were Really Martians! Quiz


While some Hungarians--like the Gabor sisters--were unquestionably from Venus, others were really from Mars! A metallic voice clicks, "Take. Me. To. Your. Leader." Let's go meet the Martians...

A multiple-choice quiz by queproblema. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
queproblema
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
316,109
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
1748
Awards
Editor's Choice
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. The Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, thinking a superior race of extraterrestrials should have already arrived on Earth, demanded, "Where are they?"
Leó Szilárd declared, "They are among us, but they call themselves _____________."
What did they call themselves?
Hint

Geniuses
Martians
Hungarians
Aliens

2. An elite cadre of Hungarian scientists was facetiously called "The Martians". There were several reasons for this. Which of the following was NOT one? Hint

Hungarians are "Magyars," which sounds similar to "Martians."
Since Hungarian is unrelated to most European languages, it must have come from Mars.
They were super smart, just like Martians!
Just like the interplanetary traveling Martians, they were afflicted with wanderlust.

3. Besides being born in Budapest in the early 1900s, what other circumstance of birth did the Martians share?
Hint

They were all born on a Tuesday.
They were all born into poverty.
They were all born into Jewish families.
They were all eldest sons.

4. Leó Szilárd, with help from two other Martians, got Albert Einstein to sign a letter he wrote to the American president about developing a nuclear bomb. To whom was it sent? Hint

Franklin Roosevelt
Lyndon Johnson
Theodore Roosevelt
Andrew Johnson

5. The result of the Einstein-Szilárd letter was a project on which a number of the Martians worked. What was it called? Hint

The Manhattan Project
The Space Race
The Cabrini-Green Project
Martians for Nuclear Warfare

6. Crippled and cantankerous, the brilliant Edward Teller was dubbed "the father of the hydrogen bomb." He was a likely inspiration for the mad scientist in a 1960s black comedy. Which creepy doctor? Hint

Dr. No
Dr. Strangelove
Dr. Jekyll
Dr. Frankenstein

7. Theodore von Kármán wasn't involved with building the bomb; instead he helped start Caltech's JPL. What is the JPL? Hint

Johnson Presidential Library
Jupiter-Pluto Launch
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jedi Planetary Livecast

8. Which of the Martians not only pioneered computer architecture, but advanced the theory that machines can self-replicate?
Hint: He never graced the cover of "MAD" magazine.
Hint

Dennis Gabor
Paul Erdős
Eugene Paul Wigner
John von Neumann

9. Many of the Martians were involved in the development of weaponry. Who just happened to be the Roman god of war? Hint

Ares
Mars
Venus
Jupiter

10. It may help, but you don't have to be from Hungary to be a Martian! Who was my favorite Martian, the co-star of that 60s sitcom where a reporter comes to the rescue of a Martian who--whoops!--crash-landed his flying saucer?
Hint

Ray Walston
Leonard Nimoy
Robin Williams
Lucille Ball


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The Italian physicist, Enrico Fermi, thinking a superior race of extraterrestrials should have already arrived on Earth, demanded, "Where are they?" Leó Szilárd declared, "They are among us, but they call themselves _____________." What did they call themselves?

Answer: Hungarians

No fair! You thought the answer was supposed to be "Martians." But that's what Szilárd said.

Edward Teller asked, "Why are just Hungarian scientists considered to be, in some sense, 'aliens'?"

This quiz is about a group of brainy Hungarian emigrants who eventually became U.S. citizens, although sometimes they wryly claimed to be Martians.

No more tricky questions, but no promises they'll all be easy....
2. An elite cadre of Hungarian scientists was facetiously called "The Martians". There were several reasons for this. Which of the following was NOT one?

Answer: Hungarians are "Magyars," which sounds similar to "Martians."

That's according to earthling Francis Crick, who, with fellow-earthling James D. Watson, discovered DNA's double helix structure, and may have been responsible for assigning the epithet 'Martians' to these great men of science. Since Budapest was the scientists' hometown, they were thought to be descendants of Martian invaders who had crash-landed in the vicinity. Or so went the tale.
3. Besides being born in Budapest in the early 1900s, what other circumstance of birth did the Martians share?

Answer: They were all born into Jewish families.

Jewish contributions to society are staggeringly greater than their numbers.
The Martians were secular, not observant, Jews. Some had converted to Christianity or become agnostic.

Most were born into affluence; some were eldest sons, some weren't. I'm obsessive, but not enough to find out on what day of the week these guys were born!

"Tuesday" is named for "Tyr," the Nordic version of "Mars."
4. Leó Szilárd, with help from two other Martians, got Albert Einstein to sign a letter he wrote to the American president about developing a nuclear bomb. To whom was it sent?

Answer: Franklin Roosevelt

Szilárd urged the United States to make a bomb before the Nazis did, but he wanted it to be demonstrated to the Japanese as a deterrent, not used against them. FDR received the letter, but Truman authorized the use of the bomb.
5. The result of the Einstein-Szilárd letter was a project on which a number of the Martians worked. What was it called?

Answer: The Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project produced "Little Boy," dropped on Hiroshima, and "Fat Man," dropped on Nagasaki. Martian participants included Szilárd, Eugene Wigner, John George Kemeny, Edward Teller, and John von Neumann.

Cabrini-Green was a housing project in Chicago. The Space Race was between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. during the Cold War.

Martians for Nuclear Warfare? Yikes! Shades of H.G. Wells!
6. Crippled and cantankerous, the brilliant Edward Teller was dubbed "the father of the hydrogen bomb." He was a likely inspiration for the mad scientist in a 1960s black comedy. Which creepy doctor?

Answer: Dr. Strangelove

The movie's full title was, "Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb."

Unlike Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Teller was not wheelchair-bound; he wore a prosthesis after losing his right foot in a streetcar accident. Decades later he would become a vocal advocate for the "Star Wars" Strategic Defense Initiative.

In 1991, Teller was awarded the very first and highly uncomplimentary Ig Nobel Peace Prize "for his lifelong efforts to change the meaning of peace as we know it." He also received dozens of honorary doctoral degrees and legitimate prestigious awards.
7. Theodore von Kármán wasn't involved with building the bomb; instead he helped start Caltech's JPL. What is the JPL?

Answer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Von Kármán was the JPL's first director, from 1938-1944. Two of JPL's projects are the Cassini-Huygens (Not Cabrini-Green!) mission to Saturn and, yup, the Mars rovers and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
8. Which of the Martians not only pioneered computer architecture, but advanced the theory that machines can self-replicate? Hint: He never graced the cover of "MAD" magazine.

Answer: John von Neumann

The "Von Neumann Architecture" that forms the basis for your computer's RAM was of Martian design. John von Neumann suggested self-replicating machines only as a thought experiment. 21st century scientists, however, are exploring the possibility of self-replicating spacecraft, but more along the lines of cloning than involving any romance with Rhoda the Robot.

Alfred E. Neuman, "MAD"'s puckish cover scamp, is neither Hungarian nor Martian.

Martian Dennis Gabor, the "Father of Holography," wasn't related to apparent Venusians Magda, Zsa Zsa, and Eva, even though all four were born in Budapest.

His buddies thought Martian Eugene Wigner, a Nobel laureate, was as smart as Einstein. Among his many awards for scientific achievement is one from Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, where he chaired a committee for their annual conferences.

If Teller was the most disagreeable of the Martians, Paul Erdős was the most eccentric. Investing all his thought, energy, and money in his true love, mathematics, he retained (and often mislaid) his Hungarian passport as he wandered the globe solving problems, collecting doctorates, winning prizes, and offering many of his own.
9. Many of the Martians were involved in the development of weaponry. Who just happened to be the Roman god of war?

Answer: Mars

Who but Mars?

The Greek god, Ares, corresponds to Mars.
Jupiter was the Roman equivalent of Zeus, king of the Greek gods.
Venus, like her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite, was the goddess of love and beauty.
("Men are from Mars, women are from Venus...").
10. It may help, but you don't have to be from Hungary to be a Martian! Who was my favorite Martian, the co-star of that 60s sitcom where a reporter comes to the rescue of a Martian who--whoops!--crash-landed his flying saucer?

Answer: Ray Walston

Bill Bixby was the young reporter and Ray Walston the stranded Martian in "My Favorite Martian." His levitating finger and swell retractable antennas riveted our juvenile imaginations.

Ray was 50 when he played Uncle Martin; at 85 he was Armitan (Anagram it! Hint: it starts with "M.") in the movie version. A year later in a commercial for AT&T he inquired about long distance rates to Martians living in the United States. Hmm, maybe he really WAS from Mars....
Source: Author queproblema

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