Panel Round Two

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More questions for the panel: Walk a mile in my feet, Lizzie on the Dole, 4-Dimensional Books.

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News Quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Faith Salie, Mo Rocca and Tom Bodett. And here again is your host, at Mandell Hall at the University of Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl climbs atop his favorite dinosaur the terhymasaurus rex. It's the limerick listener challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-Wait Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news. Mo, Barcelona science lab has answered the prayers of pretty much no one with their new virtual reality kit. It allows couples to do what?

MO ROCCA: Well, have sex? It's Barcelona so (unintelligible).


SAGAL: No, it's a virtual reality thing.

ROCCA: Please give me a clue.


SAGAL: Well, you can sort of walk a mile in your wife's pumps.

ROCCA: Oh, to cross dress.


SAGAL: No. You can kind of do that in the old fashioned way, last I checked. A lot of people say that couples have problems when they can't understand things from the other person's perspective. So this is supposed to help.

ROCCA: To read their minds.



ROCCA: To go into their - this is going to - oh, to see things through their eyes.

SAGAL: Exactly right.



SAGAL: Right? Ever wondered what you look like through the eyes of your girlfriend? You don't want to know.

ROCCA: Well, isn't that called a mirror?


SAGAL: Well, no. This is how it works. So the Spanish lab is offering this gender swap experiment. So you and your significant other...

ROCCA: Are you sure this isn't an Almodovar movie?

SAGAL: It could be. (Unintelligible) the next one. So you stand there with your significant other and you both put on these headsets. And they have a screen in front of the eyes and they have a camera pointing forward, right? So what they do is they transmit the view of each person to the other. So you look through your viewfinder and you see what your partner is seeing, right?

ROCCA: But unfortunately you're seeing that awful viewfinder.

SAGAL: Well, nonetheless...


ROCCA: OK. Yeah, yeah.

SAGAL: So I'm looking at you, Mo. So if we had these things on I would, instead of looking at you, I'd see a screen that showed your view of me. So I'd say, oh this is what I look like to Mo.

ROCCA: I like this idea.


TOM BODETT: Yeah, but I mean...

ROCCA: So I would be looking at you and I'd be seeing myself.

SAGAL: Right. You've be seeing...


SAGAL: ...but - and that pleases you.

ROCCA: I'm sorry, it just came out.


SALIE: Wait. That's the worst Hallmark card ever. I'm looking at you and I'm seeing myself.

SAGAL: ...seeing myself. Oh, god.


SAGAL: Faith, it's a tough time now for everyone still. This week we had a prominent person who seems to be down to her last few dollars. Who is it?

SALIE: Oh, it's the Queen of England.

SAGAL: It is the Queen of England.


SAGAL: The Queen of England, once hailed as the richest woman in the world...


SAGAL: now pinching pence. An official report says that the royal reserves are down to about a million pounds. They just can't survive on the $50 million a year they get from British taxpayers. One of the problems is they can't keep up all the old palaces. For example, Buckingham Palace needs a completely new heating system. And these days they just can't find enough commoners to stand around and blow into the air vents.


SAGAL: So the royal family is going to have to figure out a way to earn some money at long last.

SALIE: Marshmallows.

SAGAL: Could be.

BODETT: Yeah, there you go.



SAGAL: Or how about this? How about this? This could work. Hello, I'm Prince Charles. If you've enjoyed the last eight centuries of this monarchy, I encourage you to pledge your support today.


SAGAL: Or if that doesn't work, they can sell the one thing of value they're able to produce, royal babies.


ROCCA: Royal babies.

SAGAL: They're good at making them.

BODETT: Um-hum. Yeah.

SAGAL: Seldom do...

SALIE: They're not fast though.

ROCCA: They're like pandas. You don't get a lot of them.

SAGAL: Yeah, well exactly.


ROCCA: Pandas, all they do is eat bamboo.

SAGAL: It's easier though to get the royals to mate.


ROCCA: A Princess Ling Ling...


ROCCA: U.K. That' would be great.

SAGAL: Tom, researchers at MIT have developed a device that's about to make reading books on the subway, like say "50 Shades of Gray," even creepier. What is this device?

BODETT: God, this isn't like that brave new world feelies thing is it?

SAGAL: It is.

BODETT: Really? Wow.


SAGAL: It will allow you to feel the book you're reading.

BODETT: Whoa, can you imagine like Cormack McCarthy?

SAGAL: Oh, god.


ROCCA: Isn't this called Braille?

SAGAL: No, no.


SAGAL: Different concept, Mo. These books are called sensory fiction and they come equipped with sensors that are hooked up to this vest you wear. And so as you read you experience the emotions of the characters replicated by LED lights or air pressure bags, vibration, heat. So when Harry Potter scar burns you'll get a crippling migraine. And when you start reading a Philip Roth book, right, and the middle aged character has to go in for a prostate exam, you slam the book closed before it's too late.


BODETT: So you mentioned that you could enhance your reading on the subway. So you walk on the subway with a big vest of wires hanging (unintelligible).

SAGAL: That'll help.


BODETT: And LED lights. That's nice, yeah.


SAGAL: What's interesting though, if you think about it, if this catches on, you know, just like with 3D technology they start making the movies so they'll look good in 3D, people will start writing books and take advantage of this vest technology. It's like, wow, this new Jonathan Franzen novel sure has a lot of shoulder massages.


ROCCA: So people really will get arrested for reading "Lolita" now.

SAGAL: Yeah, pretty much.



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