Panel Round Two
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 Kyrie O'Connor, Adam Felber and Alonzo Bodden. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody. In just a minute, Car celebrates the fifth day of Christmas with five golden rhymes. It's the listener limerick 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. Alonzo, the NSA - the NSA, National Security Agency needs its agents to be prepared for anything. Last week before Thanksgiving they issued a memo to their agents on how to deal with what dangerous high-stake situation that might've arisen?
ALONZO BODDEN: Oh, I don't know. The NSA - what danger could they have listened in on. I have no idea.
SAGAL: Well, keep in mind they issued these right before the Thanksgiving Holiday.
BODDEN: Yeah, right before Thanksgiving. Don't stand behind a turkey.
BODDEN: To - wait, they were warned what, not to talk about what they do at Thanksgiving dinner or...
SAGAL: Well, almost. It was a memo giving them a guide to dealing with awkward questions at Thanksgiving dinners.
BODDEN: Oh, yeah, I would know that.
SAGAL: So the NSA has not gotten a lot of good press lately despite their program to instantly detect and drone strike anyone writing bad press about them. So to help NSA agents heading home for Thanksgiving dinners, supervisors issued a list of talking points to address anticipated questions from the family, like what exactly do you do for the organization that is eroding our freedom? And is all this spying on civilians the reason you haven't yet found a husband?
BODDEN: I hate to go ethnic on you, but you try pulling some talking points on a black mother at Thanksgiving dinner, there's going to be trouble.
BODDEN: I'm going to tell you about your secrets, child.
SAGAL: Adam, listen please to Carl Kasell.
KASELL: You pulled my dreads out, dog.
SAGAL: So that's what happened to them.
ADAM FELBER: My bad dog.
SAGAL: Yeah. Carl, was quoting Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington, from a New York Times piece about how a top concern for many NFL players this year is what?
FELBER: Getting their hair pulled.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: This has been a banner year for hair in the NFL. More and more pros are growing long beautiful hair. It's a trend like with beards in baseball or major felonies in college football.
BODDEN: There's within the rules to pull the hair.
BODDEN: I mean, that's the crazy thing about football. There's so many places you can't hit but you can go ahead and grab their hair like, you know, eight-year-old girls in the schoolyard...
BODDEN: ...just yank him to the ground. So the smart thing would be to not grow the hair.
SAGAL: But yet they must because you know these guys, they're so vain.
FELBER: They want to stand out and the NFL forbids wearing buttons.
SAGAL: Kyrie, during...
KYRIE O'CONNOR: Yes.
SAGAL: Yes, Kyrie, during the height of the Cold War there was no greater secret than the nuclear launch codes that would've started nuclear Armageddon. Well, now we know it's been revealed that for two decades the nuclear launch code was what?
O'CONNOR: Well, let me see. It was like 0000000.
SAGAL: Yes, you're right.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: It was 0000, you got it, 0000.
SAGAL: So in 1962, President Kennedy said, okay the nuclear launch system has to have a code that we have to put in to keep it from being accidentally launched. But the pentagon didn't like this. They didn't want to have to wait to destroy the world if they needed to. So for almost two decades from then until 1977 the launch code at every U.S. missile silo was 00000000. And if you didn't know the 000 password or you had forgotten it, not to worry. There was a password hint question.
SAGAL: See all these launch officers going, what was my mom's maiden name? What is that?
BODDEN: Didn't anyone read in the manual where it says this is the password for the first nuclear weapon, then you have to put in your own password for the rest of the nuclear weapons?
SAGAL: Yeah, it's the factory setting. When you get the nuclear weapons they're set to 000. They want to encourage you to put in your own password. You know, we should be thankful it was so simple. Can you imagine if all the officers in the silos were having to deal with, like, capsha?
SAGAL: Oh, what is that? Was that an E? What is that?
FELBER: Yeah, the last words of humanity. Does that say smellish?
FELBER: What's smellish?
SAGAL: Kyrie, Neanderthals have always had the reputation of being a more brutish, brow-ridgier cousins, but according to groundbreaking new research, Neanderthals were actually what?
O'CONNOR: Oh, because I'm obsessed with Neanderthals, I know the answer to this. Neat freaks.
SAGAL: Yes. They were very house proud, Neanderthals.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Turns out Ugg the Neanderthal was making hand weaved wreaths long before Martha Stewart. According to these archaeological remains found in a dig in Italy, Neanderthals kept their cave-dwellings extremely neat, very well organized. There were separate areas for butchering animals, and then here for cooking, and there for sleeping and their clubbing each other.
It was like a modern Brooklyn condo. It was just like that.
O'CONNOR: Well, you know, now that everybody, except people whose ancestors are all from Sub Saharan Africa, now we know that everybody has a little Neanderthal in them. Like, all of a sudden the stories are getting a lot more positive about them.
SAGAL: Yeah, I know. They're trying to brush them up. It's true.
BODDEN: It's like 2000 years from now they're going to be like, you know, young single college guys were very neat.
FELBER: Look at this ancient dorm we found.
BODDEN: Yeah, where they kept the beer cans in one place and...
BODDEN: Well, what happened, the pizza boxes eroded after a 1000 years.
SAGAL: I see. You're saying that we can't really tell.
O'CONNOR: And also a single sock on the floor in their cave, no.
BODDEN: You think Neanderthal women are thinking, oh so now they get credit for being neat?
BODDEN: Oh sure, they did all the housework.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.