Who's Bill This Time?
BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON’T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. Hey, East Coast, avoid that winter chill and get some of this winter Bill - Bill Kurtis.
KURTIS: And here is your host from the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Bill.
SAGAL: We have got a great show for you today. We are going to be talking to later on to the U.S. secretary of labor, Thomas Perez. But first, there is this big snowstorm on the East Coast, we all know. And we got a stern memo from our bosses at NPR - this is absolutely true - and they told us what snowstorm cliches they absolutely do not want to hear on the air during this storm. For example...
KURTIS: Big chill, hunker down, old-man winter, Jack Frost, deep freeze, nipping at our nose, snowpocalypse.
SAGAL: So that's the list. One other forbidden term is white stuff. But come on, guys, this is NPR. Without white stuff, we won't have anything to talk about.
SAGAL: Seriously, if you're snowed in, what better way to pass the time than by giving us a call. The number is 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. It is time to welcome our first listener contestant. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT… DON’T TELL ME,
JESSICA SEALES: Hi, this is Jessica from Atlanta, Ga.
SAGAL: Hey, how are things in Atlanta?
SEALES: Certainly warmer than they are up there, I guess.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah, pretty much. It would have to be - seventh level of hell I think is warmer. That doesn't make any sense...
LUKE BURBANK: Yeah.
SAGAL: ...Because actually...
BURBANK: Is that the cold one?
SAGAL: That's the cold one, but you wouldn't know that unless you had recently read "Dante's Inferno." So I'll just move on. But welcome to our show, Jessica. Let me introduce you to our panel this week. First up, it's a comedian performing at the Wharton Center at Michigan State University on February 18, Paula Poundstone.
PAULA POUNDSTONE: Hey.
SAGAL: Next, it's a contributor to "CBS Sunday Morning" and host of "Science Goes To The Movies" on PBS, Faith Salie.
FAITH SALIE: Hello, Jessica.
SAGAL: Finally, it's the man behind the world-conquering podcast "Too Beautiful To Live" and the host of public radio's Live Wire, it's Luke Burbank.
BURBANK: Hey, Jessica.
SAGAL: So Jessica, you know how we do this. We'll start our show with Who's Bill This Time? Bill Kurtis is going to recreate for you three quotations from the week's news. Identify or explain just two of them, Do that, you will win our prize - Carl Kasell's voice on your answering machine or voice mail if you are not, in fact, 80. All right...
SAGAL: You ready to play?
SEALES: I am super ready.
SAGAL: Here is your first quote.
KURTIS: You farm families and teachers and teamsters and cops and cooks, you rock 'n' rollers and holy rollers, let's get in some squirmishes and kick ISIS [expletive].
SAGAL: That was from the mouth of someone endorsing Donald Trump this week. Who was it?
SEALES: Sarah Palin.
SAGAL: Sarah Palin, yes.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL, APPLAUSE)
SAGAL: Ms. Palin, who our younger listeners might not either know or believe...
SAGAL: ...Was once the governor of an actual state. She re-emerged onto the national scene to endorse Donald Trump for president. Now, true to her style, she didn't so much deliver a word salad as a kind of word slurry, an uncooked mixture of nouns, verbs, adjectives.
SAGAL: Nobody really knows why she endorsed Donald Trump. He's not really a conservative. He grossly insulted her former running mate, John McCain. Who knows? Maybe she just thought Trump was one of her children. There's Track, Tripp, Trap (ph), Trump.
SAGAL: Little Trifalger (ph) over there.
SALIE: She was amazing. It was like - like a poetry slam, like - what's that guy who wrote "Hamilton" - Lin-Maunuel Miranda.
SAGAL: Lin-Manuel Miranda.
SALIE: He's got to watch his back. She was right-wingin', bitter clinging, proud clingers of guns. And we're going to bend over and say thank you, enemy. It was like bam.
POUNDSTONE: It was astonishing, it was freestyling. It was all those things, but it wasn't good.
SALIE: Oh, no, no.
SALIE: No, no, but it was riveting.
SALIE: Here's how it was good, Paula - here's how it was good - Donald Trump couldn't say a word. He was shell-shocked.
BURBANK: That was to me the most incredible part was watching Donald Trump try to do his impression of a normal human...
BURBANK: ...When someone else is getting all the attention. It was...
SAGAL: Yeah. It was increasingly uncomfortable.
BURBANK: ...Totally freaking him out on stage, You know there was a moment before she went on stage where he saw her back there, pacing and huffing Funfetti and was like this was a terrible mistake.
POUNDSTONE: I have two German shepherd mix dogs, and is...
SAGAL: Can I just pause and say I am dying to know...
SALIE: Where this is going?
SAGAL: ...How you bring two German-shepherd mix dogs back to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump.
POUNDSTONE: And just so people know, I'm not remotely saying - I'm not comparing them to dogs. That's not what I'm saying. But I am saying I have two German-shepherd mix dogs, and one, although not the brighter of the two, is definitely the pack leader. And when they go to come in the house, my dog - my other dog, Sirius (ph), has to sit behind Ramona. And if he doesn't and they come in the house, Ramona bites him. And my guess would be that...
POUNDSTONE: ...When they went backstage, he bit her.
SAGAL: All right, Jessica, here is your next quote.
KURTIS: Bizzarely, that makes the cost of what's inside a barrel less than the cost of a barrel itself.
SAGAL: That was the Daily Mirror...
SAGAL: ...In the U.K. marveling at how low prices have sunk for what?
SAGAL: Yes, oil.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Very good, Jessica. U.S. crude...
SAGAL: ...Was down to less than $27 a barrel on Wednesday. Reasons include an oversupply globally and the fact that it really tastes terrible.
BURBANK: What about the lite sweet, though? That's pretty good, right?
SAGAL: No, lite sweet crude is a lie, trust me.
SAGAL: What this means is that Americans are enjoying the lowest gas prices in decades, down to less than a buck a gallon in some places. It's like the 1970s all over again, but without the really good movies and wife-swapping,
BURBANK: Could we say, though, couldn't have happened to a nicer industry?
SAGAL: But if - it is sad they are struggling...
SAGAL: So oil is so cheap, they have to figure out a way to raise prices. So they've gone the Brooklyn route. They're now selling single-source artisanal gasoline.
SAGAL: Oh, this is our finest vintage. It's a 2012 Abu Dhabi.
POUNDSTONE: Do you know, I have never - never, even once in my life paid attention to how much gasoline costs because it is a moot point if you want your car to move.
SALIE: That's right. It's like arguing with your dentist...
SALIE: ...Over a bill - over the dental bill. Like, you just have to it.
SALIE: You just - you've got to pay it. You've got to have teeth, you've got to drive your car.
BURBANK: Well, we'll see what the small claims court says about that, Faith.
SAGAL: Here, Jessica, is your last quote.
KURTIS: Killing Pluto was fun, but this is head and shoulders above anything else.
SAGAL: That was Caltech astronomer Michael Brown. He was announcing the news that he had just discovered what?
SEALES: Planet 9.
SAGAL: Planet 9...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: From outer space, yes.
POUNDSTONE: Hey, hey...
SAGAL: Very good.
SAGAL: This is very exciting news for astronomy buffs and for the people who just don't think Canada is going to be far enough away if Trump gets elected.
SAGAL: Dr. Brown and his astronomers published a study which indicates the existence of an enormous ninth planet somewhere out there beyond Pluto, before Goofy.
SAGAL: We can't see it. It's too far away. It's too dark out there. They deduced its existence on its effect on the smaller objects - these smaller planetoids that we can see. It's just creeping around out there, watching us.
POUNDSTONE: So it's big?
SAGAL: Yeah. It's, in fact, 20 times the size of Earth, they deduced.
POUNDSTONE: Wow. So - all the malls...
POUNDSTONE: Oh, there could be a Forever 21 there already.
BURBANK: Yeah, literally forever...
SAGAL: Pretty much.
POUNDSTONE: Yeah, yeah, I go to Forever 21...
SAGAL: Well, the worst part is, do you know it takes 20,000 years for it to take one trip around the sun. So if you live on that planet and you don't get what you want for your birthday, you're just not going to get it.
POUNDSTONE: Now, don't - do other, like - do other astronomers feel stupid for not having seen it? Like - it's like when your...
SAGAL: Well, no one - this is the interesting thing...
SALIE: Well, they haven't even seen it, right?
SAGAL: Nobody has seen it. There are these...
SALIE: They deduce it.
POUNDSTONE: Oh, they just sense it?
SAGAL: No, yes - that's how they did it. There's other objects that are orbiting the Earth - or excuse me, orbiting the sun a very far distance out. And they're looking at them and going hmm, their orbits are kind of odd, as if there were a large object out there right in this position that was sort of warping their orbits. And they deduced that that's where it was.
POUNDSTONE: Well, this isn't science. This is the sort of thing my son would say.
BURBANK: Your son is Neil DeGrasse Tyson, though.
POUNDSTONE: I'm so proud. Yeah, no, he would just, like, make up - oh, I couldn't do it because - well, like, honey, didn't I ask you to take out the trash? Well, there was a big, giant planet.
SALIE: But do you think that...
POUNDSTONE: I don't see it. Well, mom, you wouldn't see it.
POUNDSTONE: You just sense it.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Jessica do on our quiz?
KURTIS: Wonderfully, she got them all right - 3 and 0, Jessica, congratulations.
SAGAL: Well done, thank you so much for playing, Jessica.
SEALES: Thank you.
POUNDSTONE: Bye Jessica.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
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