PETER SAGAL, HOST:
In just a minute, Bill insists the night rhyme is the right rhyme. 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, facial recognition technology is becoming more and more widespread. This week, we learned some places are using it to make it easier for you to get what?
ALONZO BODDEN: Arrested.
SAGAL: Probably but that's not what we were asking about.
BODDEN: Oh, can you give me a hint?
SAGAL: Yeah, it will also know, just from your face, if you want fries with that.
BODDEN: Oh, to get your fast food - to get your burger.
SAGAL: Your burger, yeah.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Fast-food joints across America are using web-enabled cameras to read the topography of your face. And they store the image along with what you ordered, so it can suggest the same thing the next time you come in, right? It's just like a cashier at your favorite restaurant knowing you and asking you the usual when you walk in the door if your cashier were already compromised by Russian hackers.
BODDEN: So, just for example, McDonald's - how much money are they going to spend for facial-recognition software to realize that, when you walk in, you're probably going to want a hamburger?
SAGAL: Yeah, probably.
SAGAL: Well, idea is you come in. And let's say your order - I have no idea. But let's say you order is a Whopper and a large fries and a Diet Coke because you're trying to lose weight. And...
SAGAL: So that's what you order. And then the next time you come in, it recognizes. Oh, hey, would you like your Whopper and fries and Diet Coke? And you say sure - and the next time and the next time until finally it says, dude, is anything wrong.
BODDEN: So are we are as a nation - have we become that busy that we can't say, I want a number five.
BODDEN: Like, we don't have that kind of time.
SAGAL: That's true.
BODDEN: So you just walk in, and they just throw food at you.
ADAM BURKE: Here, take it and go.
SAGAL: That's the goal, right?
ROXANNE ROBERTS: You know what it is?
SAGAL: What is it?
ROBERTS: It's because nobody wants to be bothered. It's like on Amazon where it's like, you may also like - right? - like you don't actually have to work at it. They just throw it at you and say would you like do that.
BODDEN: But that's a sales pitch. You know, it's like if you ordered a Big Mac, and they said you may also like fries. That's a sales pitch. But when you just walk in, and the camera just looks at you, and they just fire a Whopper at your head - imagine when the Uber Eats guy walks in, and they just throw everything at him.
BURKE: They just hit him with a truck.
BODDEN: Oh, yeah. They're just like, oh, this guy.
BURKE: Hand me the beef cannon.
SAGAL: Adam, we all know the subway is gross and filled with bacteria and other yucky things. And according to research out this week, if we ride the subway at the very end of the day, we'll be picking up bacteria from whom?
SAGAL: No. I thought ghosts were sterile.
BURKE: Not the ghosts I know.
BURKE: Can I get a clue?
SAGAL: Well, it's sort of like the end of "Wizard Of Oz." You were there. And you were there. And you were there. And you were there. Just keep saying that.
SAGAL: Everybody, yes.
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SAGAL: At the end of the day, any given space in a subway car has bacteria from everybody who has ridden the subway system that day. I know. It's gross. A study conducted on the Hong Kong subway system showed that when you ride public transportation you are exposed to everything gross anyone did that day - anywhere. It's like the old saying goes. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Queens, someone in Brooklyn gets pinkeye.
SAGAL: So this what they did. Researchers went onto the subway, of course, in the morning before they started. And they took swabs. And they found that each of the train lines - train cars had their own unique set of microbes. But by the evening, swabs of each train had bacteria from all the other train lines in the city. It's like all the bacteria get together and make a giant trail mix. But this time, the raisins are definitely not the grossest part.
BODDEN: I think you know when you get in the subway that you're getting all the germs from everybody.
SAGAL: Yeah, that's why you get on the subway.
BODDEN: I grew up riding the New York subway. I never was like, oh, this will be clean.
SAGAL: It's kind of strangely liberating. Next time the crazy person starts peeing near your shoe don't bother moving, it's going to get you eventually.
SAGAL: Alonzo, a man in China made the news this week. He didn't want to spend three bucks at a car wash. So instead he did what?
BODDEN: Can you give me a hint?
SAGAL: Yeah. And this is true. It would have worked out actually if they hadn't opened the dam upstream.
BODDEN: Oh, he drove into a river.
SAGAL: He did.
SAGAL: He drove it into a river. Sure, you know, you've got a luxury Range Rover. But you don't get rich enough to buy a car like that by wasting money on car washes when there's a completely free river right there. So the guy drove the car into the river, you know, just above the tires. And it was sort of working. He was washing it. And then they really did open the dam upstream.
SAGAL: And the flood sort of submerged the car. And he sort of jumped out and was stranded on this island.
BODDEN: Do you think it was the people who own the three-dollar car wash...
BODDEN: ...Who opened the dam? They were like, oh, we'll show you how to get around our business.
(SOUNDBITE OF THOMAS DOLBY SONG "SHE BLINDED ME WITH SCIENCE")
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