Russian Thieves Steal Metal Bridge

News worth an honorable mention.

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BILL WOLFF, host:

We're back on THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

It is time, Alison Stewart.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Mm-hmm.

WOLFF: For The Ramble. A series of very interesting stories that aren't necessarily important, but are fascinating. Wouldn't you agree?

STEWART: I would agree.

WOLFF: So, let us begin. The Daily Mail reports that Russian police are hunting scrap metal thieves. Yes, scrap metal thieves, who stole a 200-ton metal bridge.

STEWART: A whole bridge?

WOLFF: A bridge, in a nighttime raid. The bridge in eastern Russia vanished overnight. A bridge. I repeat, a bridge.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Wait, was it a bridge?

WOLFF: A bridge vanished overnight was part of the only road leading to a local heating plant. Bosses at that company said the cost of replacing the bridge would be 10 times the value of the scrap metal derived from the theft. The company estimates the bridge will cost over 20,000 Pounds, $39,000, the current exchange rate, to replace, and will be made of concrete.

STEWART: Ah.

WOLFF: Live and learn.

STEWART: Live and learn. All right, this is for the artistic folks out there. We get The New Yorker at our house.

WOLFF: We do.

STEWART: I think everybody on the staff subscribe to The New Yorker. There's that - always that profile every year of that sort of dandy on the cover with the big top hat and the monocle.

WOLFF: Generally known as the New Yorker guy.

STEWART: The New Yorker guy. Well, the New Yorker guy was created by the first New Yorker editor, for the cover of the first issue in 1925. He's on at least once a year for an anniversary issue.

WOLFF: Mm-hmm.

STEWART: But now, The New Yorker is inviting you to quote, "re-imagine him."

WOLF: Oh, dear.

STEWART: Give him an update, a makeover.

WOLFF: Oh, dear.

STEWART: Oh, my gosh. It is like morning TV. It's called The Eustace Tilley Contest.

WOLFF: It's like new Coke.

STEWART: Yeah. It's perhaps.

WOLFF: It's like Budweiser Select. Why are you messing with a good thing?

STEWART: Well, you know how some creative people out there…

WOLFF: Okay.

STEWART: …who want to try their hand at this.

WOLFF: Okay.

STEWART: What we like about the contest is to enter, you just upload your entry to Flicker. So, anybody can browse through all the entries. The deadline happens to be on January 24th.

WOLFF: Huh. All right, well, we'll see. I'm skeptical.

STEWART: I don't even know parts of it myself.

WOLFF: I'm skeptical. Next up, Australian Open Tennis champion Serena Williams has a broken heart. But she has found comfort in the motivational book "Who Moved My Cheese?"

STEWART: Now, I've had a broken heart.

WOLFF: Really?

STEWART: Yes and I've read "Who Moved My Cheese?".

WOLFF: Uh-huh.

STEWART: I wouldn't necessarily put the two together, I wouldn't think that that one would necessarily make you feel better about the other.

WOLFF: Well. I appreciate the reporting because I've never read the book and my heart is made of cast iron. Serena - back to Serena - she wrote on her blog about being dumped by her boyfriend. She doesn't name the guy. But it was thought, I'm sure, by gossip rags everywhere to be an American actor named Jackie Long - apologies to both Serena and Jackie Long if that's not true.

Writing about "Who Moved My Cheese?" Serena said, quote, "I then realized that I was afraid to change, afraid to move on. I was afraid to find new cheese. I thought there was only one cheese out there. But after reading the book, I realized that there is all types of cheese out there," end quote. Most of them are highly caloric and smell funny.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WOLFF: There you have it.

STEWART: Have you read the book, "Who Moved My Cheese?"?

WOLFF: No.

STEWART: It's not about getting along with workers who move things in the refrigerator. That's what a lot of people think about.

WOLFF: Uh-huh.

STEWART: It's about these two mice and somebody moves the cheese, they go to the same place everyday to find the cheese.

WOLFF: Uh-huh.

STEWART: Then one day, they go, the cheese isn't there. It's about - you adapt when the cheese is not there or you just keep going back to the same place where there's no cheese and being grumbly about it. That's sort of the concept of the book.

WOLFF: Well, I…

STEWART: So, now, you have to buy it.

WOLFF: I think we know which one of us is which one of those mice.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting - this is very interesting - reckless skiing can get you the same sort of sentence and fine as a DUI conviction. If you ski recklessly, you could go to jail for six months and be fined up to a thousand dollars and be arrested on the spot. A version of this reckless skiing law could be adopted by the Park City, Utah council next month.

WOLFF: Hmm.

STEWART: So, the proposal would not allow drunken skiing or boarding. They just say it's a…

WOLFF: So, you can get drunk and ski, but reckless skiing.

STEWART: Skiing, no. But I'm assuming that one might lead to the other.

WOLFF: You think.

STEWART: And as we said, this is in Park City. And we want to give a little shout-out. We're actually going to be doing the show live from Park City, Utah, next weekend. We're going to Utah to - for the Sundance Film Festival.

WOLFF: If by we, you mean you.

STEWART: I'm going to Utah for the Sundance Film Festival.

WOLFF: By the way, I don't have a lot of rules in our marriage.

STEWART: Yes. Yes.

WOLFF: You're not skiing.

STEWART: I'm not skiing even though you don't want to see me ski.

WOLFF: No.

STEWART: But KCPW, thank you very much for letting us do the show from other studios. Then we're going to go talk to someone - writers and directors and…

WOLFF: Agents and Hollywood creeps.

STEWART: I hope not too many Hollywood creeps.

WOLFF: Good.

STEWART: I'm going to try to stay away from them.

WOLFF: I hope not. Finally, New Scientist magazine has compiled a huge list of weird phobias. And we're just going to go through them right now. How about nucleomituphobia? That's the abnormal fear or hatred of nuclear weapons. I don't think there's anything abnormal about that. Odontophobia. Odontophobia, that is the fear of dental work. Again, who doesn't have that?

STEWART: My sister. She's a dentist. Come on.

WOLFF: Then I'm afraid of her, as you know.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WOLFF: Then there's pentheraphobia, which is the fear of mother-in-law. Now, you may have that. I certainly do not.

STEWART: I don't know. My mother-in-law is lovely.

WOLFF: You have globophobia. That's the fear of balloons, which seems a little bit ridiculous, and it reminds us of this classic.

STEWART: You haven't watched "Maury" then.

WOLFF: If you haven't seen Maury Povich, you haven't heard this.

(Soundbite of TV show "Maury")

Unidentified Woman: And people (unintelligible), people make fun of me and (unintelligible) came in, I mean, I'm afraid of them. When I think about big balloons, I just want to throw up and run away. What I hate most about it, he goes, and then she came…

STEWART: I cannot believe Maury Povich has made an entire series on his show of people who have fear of things like balloons and clowns. And that woman actually had a fear of pickles.

WOLFF: I can believe anything about Maury Povich. He is a small G, god among men. That's all I can say.

(Soundbite of laughter)

WOLFF: Readers are not only contributed phobias. They also contributed solutions. If you have poopophobia(ph), no, maybe it's pupaphobia.

STEWART: That's better.

WOLFF: Sorry. Sorry

(Soundbite of laughter)

WOLFF: That's the fear of puppets. There's an online counseling service, if you're afraid of puppets - just for you. But I personally…

STEWART: Yes.

WOLFF: …would keep that one to myself. Don't let that get around.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Certainly. Actually, I've been looking up to see if there's actually a word for pickle phobia.

WOLFF: Pickle phobia?

STEWART: There would be one for balloons. I don't know. Brinophobia(ph) - I don't know what it is. We're going to keep looking.

WOLFF: Pickles are nature's perfect food. They both make you thirsty and quench your thirst as you eat them. They're salty and watery. Uh, so good.

STEWART: That does it for The Ramble.

WOLFF: Don't you wish it could go on forever?

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