How to Survive the C21 Seat

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Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Welcome back to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

I'm Alison Stewart, your host with the most - literally, I'm not bragging - I have the most blogged, e-mailed, viewed and commented stories on the Web. Critical mass - we bring it to you every day. Actually, I don't - this is part where I get to sit back and all of our producers get to do more hard work, I should say. This is The Most.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: And I've noticed, it's ladies' night, or morning. All the female producers…

TRICIA McKINNEY: Totally. (unintelligible)

STEWART: …good-looking chicks…

McKINNEY: …on The Most.

STEWART: Sitting around the mic.

McKINNEY: It's girl power.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CAITLIN KENNEY: Yeah.

STEWART: Okay. Your Scary Spice and you're editor Tricia McKinney.

McKINNEY: I'm editor Spice.

STEWART: All right, editor Spice. You know what? Hold on, Editor Spice. We're letting producer Spice Caitlin, go first. What do you have, Caitlin, and where is it from?

KENNEY: Well, speaking of the lovely Spice Girls, my story is from The Times Online, the Most Curious section. It's talking about how many British people are eating at McDonald's. We thought it was big here in the U.S., well, in Britain, it's really taking off. There were more than 88 million visits to the Golden Arches in the U.K. last month alone. Their sales are up nearly 10 million based on a previous year. And all of this is despite the government's best efforts to get people to eat healthier a day. They're pushing this big five-a-day fruits and veggies thing. But it turns out all really - people really crave is burgers and fries. But…

STEWART: We talked about this last week about them…

KENNEY: Right.

STEWART: …banning the advertisement of junk food on programs where anybody - I think it's 16 and younger…

KENNEY: Yup. I think so.

STEWART: …can watch.

KENNEY: And the fast food in the U.K. is really growing larger than it is anywhere else. You know, so it could be a number of reasons. They do serve porridge at the U.K. in Britain.

STEWART: Hmm, yum.

KENNEY: So maybe that's it. Who can resist some tasty porridge (unintelligible) every morning.

STEWART: Insert your bad British food joke here while it's still good.

McKINNEY: What's wrong with porridge?

STEWART: Editor Spice Tricia McKinney.

McKINNEY: Yes, hello. This is also British. I don't know why we got so anglophile this morning. But I have one of the most e-mailed stories from Yahoo! News. And it's about the QE2, one of the world's most famous cruise ships. It is on its - final voyage. It set off yesterday from Southampton, that's in England. And it's heading actually over here to New York along with another ship, the Queen Victoria, which is on its maiden voyage.

They're going to travel together across the Atlantic and they're going to get here - I don't know, pretty soon. And then it goes around the world. And then - well, no. I shouldn't say around the world. I don't know where it's going. It's going a lot of places. And it's going to end up in a pretty cool place in that world's largest manmade island in Dubai. You know, the one that's shaped like a…

STEWART: Palm Island.

McKINNEY: …palm tree. So it's going to - it's going to end up at a specially-made pier there. And it's going to be a floating hotel…

STEWART: Wow.

McKINNEY: …in the spring.

STEWART: That's kind of interesting. Anybody who've been to Dubai…

McKINNEY: Yeah.

STEWART: You've been to Dubai?

McKINNEY: Yeah.

STEWART: I have a friend who actually designs hotels. And…

McKINNEY: I'm sure that person is very popular there.

STEWART: He's very popular in Dubai.

McKINNEY: Yup.

STEWART: They asked him - they asked him for the oddest - they asked him if he could paint dolphins gold so they could match the…

(Soundbite of laughter)

McKINNEY: They're not kidding. It is insane. It's like La-la land. Everything you think couldn't actually be made true is real life in Dubai.

STEWART: It's true in Dubai.

McKINNEY: The land of dream.

(Singing) Land of dream, land of dream.

Now it will have…

PAULINE BARTOLONE: It has this world's largest…

McKINNEY: …(unintelligible).

BARTOLONE: …the world's largest building…

McKINNEY: Yeah. I don't know if it's done yet, Pauline.

BAROTOLONE: Yeah.

McKINNEY: But, yeah, they're trying to build the world's largest building.

STEWART: All right. BRYANT PARK PROJECT promotes from Dubai. I see it coming up.

Rachel, our newscaster, what do you have? Which most from where?

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Speaking of flights, one of the longest flights I ever took was from New York to Dubai. And that sitting in bad seats on airplanes is really difficult as notes one particular author who wrote a piece for the New York Times. This comes from the most on the NewYorkTimes.com. This is about surviving seat 21C.

And if you just bear with me, I'm just going to read a little bit of it because you can't really paraphrase it. Here is what it says: Before buckling in, please note that the man standing in the aisle next to you is about to make a request. He wonders if it would be okay for you to switch seats with his wife, who is in the middle seat three rows ahead. She is the one seated between the former linebacker and the canola oil salesman, and is peering over the seatbacks at you with wide and imploring eyes.

The man will ask this in a voice sufficiently loud that all passengers seated within several rows will look up from their Sudoku puzzles and await your answer.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTIN: If you say no, the passengers will all wonder: Why do you hate married people? You must be bitter and a lonely person. He goes on to say, there is the issue with the armrest and you need to put it down. But the only way you can do that is if you kind of elbow butt the guy next to you. But then, pretend you didn't really do that. It's - there are a lot of useful tips in there.

STEWART: All right.

MARTIN: Be sure to check it out, yeah.

STEWART: We'll link through it on our blog. Pauline, you have someone that I am not really sure how you're going to get through…

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: …without grossing out our entire audience. But I'm going to put you up to the challenge.

BARTOLONE: Maybe I'll spare you the details. I have the most e-mailed on the New York Times and npr.org. This is very popular this morning. Apparently people have found a new solution to relieving congestion, nasal irritation, colds, allergies, what-have-you. Anything going on with your nose, people are using neti pots, aka nose bidets, aka nasal irrigation.

STEWART: That is - put that in such three lovely terms…

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: …I'm so impressed with you.

BARTOLONE: Just think of nose bidet. Nose bidet says it all. Basically, it's like a little tea pot and you shove it up one nostril.

STEWART: Yeah.

BARTOLONE: And you tilt your head. I looked it up on YouTube. There's tons of videos and instructional videos. You should work it out.

STEWART: Of course there are.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PAULINE: And you shove it up one nostril, and then you tilt your head, and you just pour eight ounces of water. And it goes through the other…

STEWART: It goes through your nasal …

PAULINE: …nostril.

STEWART: …passage and down the nostril?

PAULINE: Yeah. And it sounds really gross. I mean - but the people look, who were doing it on YouTube, it looks like it's very comfortable. It looks like it's soothing, because it's, you know, like…

STEWART: Well, they're all drunk.

BARTOLONE: …(unintelligible) water.

STEWART: That's what it is.

BARTOLONE: They have been doing this in bars.

STEWART: Now, so this is supposed to help you in terms of flash out any sort of infection.

BARTOLONE: Yeah, any impurities, especially if you've allergies. And apparently, it's an ancient yoga tradition. But Oprah made that popular…

McKINNEY: Oh, Oprah.

BARTOLONE: Last spring. So that's why everybody is using it now.

STEWART: The O stamp of approval.

BARTOLONE: Is that where this is going the O stamp for cleanses. The next…

MARTIN: If Oprah does it, everybody does it, I guess.

STEWART: Just remember.

MARTIN: (Unintelligible).

STEWART: And we'd like to welcome back, Laurence Borough(ph) (unintelligible) who helped…

LAURENCE BOROUGH: Hello.

STEWART: …actually launch the blog in the show over the summer. And then, felt the need to go to grad school at Columbia journalism or something like that. But you're with us for a couple of weeks.

BOROUGH: I'm back.

STEWART: You're back.

BOROUGH: I've got a top e-mailed story from Technorati.com. It's for a Web site called TechCrunch.com. It's reviewing the new Wikipedia search engine. Have you guys heard about this? It's called Wikia and it launches and its sort of early version today. So this guy in TechCrunch.com says it's not good…

STEWART: Oh.

BOROUGH: …at all. He says it doesn't work. The idea is that it's not going to be - a Google sort of doesn't disclose fully how it ranked its search results so this will be sort of transparent.

So if - and I typed in THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT on Wikia and our Web site came up. So then I had a choice to give it five stars, like this is definitely the best site for what I searched. So we can all participate - that's the idea. But as of today, people aren't too happy with it.

STEWART: Hmm. Well, I know what the staff will be doing late here - five stars everybody. Wikia, get on it.

BOROUGH: Doing our video stacking.

STEWART: Exactly. Ladies, thank you so much for helping us out with The Most.

McKINNEY: Thank you.

STEWART: And, of course, if you want to read about any of those stories, you can go to our blog: npr.org/bryantpark.

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