Athletes Training for the Beijing Smog Some of the most popular stories on the Web.
NPR logo

Athletes Training for the Beijing Smog

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Athletes Training for the Beijing Smog

Athletes Training for the Beijing Smog

Athletes Training for the Beijing Smog

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Some of the most popular stories on the Web.

TOURE, host:

It's time for the most important part of the show perhaps…



TOURE: …which is why we call it The Most.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Where is Ian? He's running into the studio.

TOURE: We have Ian. We have Matt. We have Trish, Rachel.

STEWART: I think she's trying to get her little girl, who's actually going to be here for a later pre-tape, so we might not have Trish. Let's start with Ian.

IAN CHILLAG: Okay. So I went on the Daily News site and there's a little thing that says, you know, most e-mailed stories at the bottom. Number eight or nine, it just says they're tiny, evil and everywhere in the city. It's actually not as bad as that sounded.

TOURE: My cousins are here?

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: There's a bedbug epidemic.

TOURE: Really?

CHILLAG: Yeah. In 2004, there were 537 calls about bedbugs. This year: 6,889.

TOURE: Oh, my gosh.


TOURE: What?

CHILLAG: One exterminator says I've treated maternity wards, five-star hotels, movie theaters, taxi garages, investment banks, white-shoe law firms, Brooklyn apartments in Greenpoint, Dumbo and Cobble Hill - not where I live…

TOURE: I know. Cobble Hill. Yeah.

CHILLAG: …thank the good Lord, and the chambers of a federal judge.

MATT MARTINEZ: Yeah, they don't discriminate.

(Soundbite of laughter)

TOURE: Yeah. Those bedbugs…

CHILLAG: Those bedbugs, they do not discriminate.


CHILLAG: It's rough stuff out there. It's - they're making a comeback. And mostly the chemicals they use to get rid of bedbugs, you can't use anymore. They use, you know, they use nasty stuff.

STEWART: Napalm?

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: Yeah. No, DDT. They use bad stuff to get rid of bedbugs.

STEWART: That is bad stuff.

TOURE: (Unintelligible).

CHILLAG: And so how are you going to get rid of them now? I'm sure there are ways, but it's not easy. These things can live far away from you…

TOURE: Yeah.

CHILLAG: …and then they crawl in, and they bite you. And then they run away.

STEWART: Poor Matt.

TOURE: I think a lot…

MARTINEZ: I'm just saying.

TOURE: You got to watch out for these things.

MARTINEZ: And you know the other thing, about them living far away from you. There's all these things in the story…

TOURE: That's why it's The Most.

MARTINEZ: …it sounds like somebody is writing horror, but it's just journalism. Phrases like they can survive for a year and a half without a blood meal.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: That's really gross. They come out of the woodwork at night to feed on human blood. But that's what's just kind of like they do.

STEWART: That's what they did?

CHILLAG: That's what they do.

STEWART: That's how they roll.


TOURE: Believable. There's been a lot of kooky stuff on the show this week.


TOURE: Matt, can you take us to a happier place?

MARTINEZ: I can take you to a very happy place. Google Trends, which pretty much tracks what people are searching for on the Web - every Friday, this is what happens. You have the - basically, what happened on last night's episode of "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" And it's basically like…

STEWART: Is that where if they can't answer the questions, they're all embarrassed?

MARTINEZ: No, because - yes. Everybody is like Googling all of the questions. And so here are the top five Google Trends today. At number five, Mayan civilization. Number four, capital of Michigan. And by the way, most of the Google Trends are usually like Heath Ledger, Lindsay Lohan, you know, or something like that. Okay. Number three, "Grapes of Wrath." Oh, by the way, do you know what the capital of Michigan is? Anybody?

STEWART: Of Michigan?

MARTINEZ: Anybody? Of Michigan.

TOURE: Dearborn.


STEWART: Ann Arbor.

MARTINEZ: Ann Arbor. No.

STEWART: No. Wait.

CHILLAG: Wait. Let me Google.

STEWART: It's not Detroit. It's not.


(Soundbite of bell)

MARTINEZ: Lansing.

STEWART: Lansing, of course.

MARTINEZ: Lansing, Michigan. Also at number three, "Grapes of Wrath."

STEWART: Who is John Steinbeck?

CHILLAG: John Steinbeck.

TOURE: Who is John Steinbeck, yes.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: And, you know, number two is "Tropic of Cancer." But I don't know whether it's a latitude or…

TOURE: Henry Miller's book, "The Tropic of Cancer."

CHILLAG: Are you smarter than a fifth grader? I'm guessing it's not Henry Miller.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: All right. You never know, fifth graders are getting smarter all the time. And the number one hottest trend on Google Trends is "Gulliver's Travels," the Jonathan Swift novel.

TOURE: I just love that the computer is now the TV helper-outer.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: Right. Exactly. It's the TV helper-outer. That's what they should call it.

TOURE: That's true.

MARTINEZ: Anyway, those are the Google Trends right now.

TOURE: Brobdingnag…


TOURE: …came from "Gulliver's Travels."


TOURE: Great word. Rache…



TOURE: International Herald Tribune's got something really interesting about the Olympics and pollution and - what do you got?

MARTIN: Yes. This is the most e-mailed - one of the most on the IHT. The title of the story is Olympic Teams Vie to Find Ways to Deal with Beijing Pollution, which kind of speaks for itself. If you've ever been to China, Beijing is really polluted. Like, really bad - people walk around with masks all the time. So Olympic athletes are thinking how am I going to compete in this environment, and they're asking their coaches and Olympic officials literally questions like should I train behind a car with some bad exhaust coming out in order to prepare myself for this? Should I train on a highway during rush hour…

TOURE: Wouldn't that hurt you in the long term as an athlete?

MARTIN: I mean - yeah, as a human.

TOURE: Why don't you just start smoking? What the heck.

MARTIN: Needless to say, they don't want them to do this but they do say as soon as they get off the airplane in Beijing they should put on one of those masks and not take it off until they have to compete.

TOURE: Sort of like the - sort of performance-enhancing, performance de-enhancing the whole thing.

MARTIN: The whole thing.

TOURE: Alison.

STEWART: My most is from Yahoo News. It's one of the most viewed, and the title is Spouses Who Fight Live Longer. Now, this is not an excuse to just have a throw down with your hubby or your wife later on. They're saying the point is that a good argument can help a relationship, but also that you have to fight in a good way and you have to reconcile because baring all of that resentment and anger that it festers and it gets inside of you and it leaves a higher stress levels. So it's better in some way to learn how to fight fair, resolve your fighting because if you just kind of hold it in and do the, fine, fine, that can lead to your death.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTINEZ: It seems like a lot to ask.

(Soundbite of laughter)


STEWART: Fine. Fine - not good for your health.

TOURE: But I wonder, can you separate, like, the long-term value of fighting versus, like, you know, the easy short-term value of fine, forget it. I don't care.

STEWART: I know.

TOURE: I don't care.

STEWART: I don't know.

TOURE: It's hard.

STEWART: You get peace with one and probably a shorter life as well. But that is on Yahoo News. Of course, we linked all of these stories on our blog,

Thanks everybody.

TOURE: Bye-bye.

MARTINEZ: Bye-bye.

TOURE: Can we have a music?

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.