Opening Panel Round Our panelists answer questions about the week's news: first up, the sexiest earthquake.
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Opening Panel Round

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Opening Panel Round

Opening Panel Round

Opening Panel Round

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Our panelists answer questions about the week's news: first up, the sexiest earthquake.

PETER SAGAL, Host:

Right now, panel, time for you to answer some questions about this week's news.

Keegan, last week, an Iranian cleric said earthquakes were God's punishment for scantily clad women. That's what he said. So as a protest, this last Monday, women all over the world wore revealing clothing so as to say, silly cleric, boobs don't cause earthquakes. Then what happened?

M: Then there was an earthquake.

SAGAL: There was an earthquake.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Yeah, there was an earthquake.

SAGAL: An Indiana woman Jen McCreight conceived what she called Boobquake, her term. She said, quote: With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I'm sure the cleric can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn't rumble. But he won't have to because on Monday, there was a 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan.

To speak about the now-proved influence of cleavage on seismic activity, we are pleased to welcome Dr. Peggy Hellweg, a research seismologist at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Dr. Hellweg, welcome to WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

M: What are you wearing?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

D: You can't see, can you?

M: No.

SAGAL: No, we can't. It's on the phone.

D: Well, I'm an expert in earthquakes because I study them, and I'm an expert in cleavage because I have it.

SAGAL: So you do. So you're...

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: So obviously, simply applying the rules of cause and effect, the boobage caused the earthquake. Can we not say that for a fact?

D: I don't think we could say that for a fact. There are, on the average, almost 200 earthquakes every year. That means we - of magnitude 6 and greater. There are earthquakes every day that nobody feels.

SAGAL: But surely, these can be correlated with the amount of cleavage exposed on a given day. You have this power. You can - can't you use satellites to check?

D: I don't think the resolution is quite that high yet.

SAGAL: Really? You know, I think you're wrong. I think the Pentagon is using their satellites to look down our shirts. That's what I think.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No, wait a minute. So if you're saying that boobs don't cause earthquakes, what body part does?

D: Yeah. Well, so, I mean if it's - if the cleric was right, then I think it's not the boobs, it's actually the reaction of the men to the...

SAGAL: Really? So all the men standing around going ah-ooga, ah-ooga and their eyes popping out.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Let me ask you this. Do you think that breast augmentation can lead to greater earthquakes? For example, does that have anything to do with the increasing number of earthquakes in California?

D: I honestly don't think so.

SAGAL: Right.

D: I think prediction about earthquakes are more like the old German saying. (German spoken)

SAGAL: Right, right.

M: Yes, that one.

M: I was thinking that.

M: That old chestnut.

SAGAL: Well, hold on.

D: So when the...

SAGAL: What does that mean?

D: When the rooster crows on the dung heap, the weather stays the same, or it changes.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

M: Yay, Germany.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Peggy Hellweg is a research seismologist at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory in Berkeley, California. Dr. Hellweg, thank you so much for being with us.

D: Thank you very much for letting me join you.

SAGAL: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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