Graveyard Shift Linked to Cancer Some of the most popular stories on the Web today.
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Graveyard Shift Linked to Cancer

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Graveyard Shift Linked to Cancer

Graveyard Shift Linked to Cancer

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


Welcome back to THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News.

Luke and Alison are not alone.



STEWART: We've been joined in the studio by our hardworking team, which means one thing. It's time to look at the most e-mailed, the most clicked-on stories on the Internet. It's The Most.

(Soundbite of music)

BURBANK: Let's - as Trish McKinney assiduously - what does assiduous even mean?

STEWART: Oh, my gosh. She just jumped off the phone and on to the microphone, prepared to give us...

BURBANK: I was going to say, as she assiduously - I'm just going to keep using that until someone tells me what it means.

(Soundbite of laughter)

BURBANK: She's about to schedule our next guest; that's done. Now, she's here to talk to us from BPP brain trust headquarters - Trish McKinney, editor of the show.

TRISH McKINNEY: It's all about the multitasking.

BURBANK: It really is. What do you got?

McKINNEY: Yeah. Hey, so I have one of the most clicked-on stories on USA Today, and it's about a movie that's - that's coming out, December 7th, called "The Golden Compass." And this movie has somehow managed to anger both Christians and Atheists. I think that's a pretty impressive feat.

BURBARK: A twofer.

McKINNEY: A twofer. I have not read the book that it's based on; I have not seen the film. So I'm going to let the trailer do the talking, so let's play this.

(Soundbite of movie, "The Golden Compass")

Unidentified Man #1: There is a world where witches rule the northern skies, where ice bears are the bravest of warriors, and where every human is joined with an animal spirit who is as close to them as their own heart.

Unidentified Woman: Are we going to see the child?

Unidentified Man #2: I should think so.

Unidentified Man #1: But this world is dominated by the magisterium which seeks to control all humanity.

STEWART: Oh. Which...

McKINNEY: Okay. Yeah.

BURBANK: Where is this The Most at? Did you already mention that?


BUBNK: Okay.

McKINNEY: So basically, this - the magisterium that was referenced in the clip is a pretty thinly veiled reference to, I guess many people believe, the Catholic Church. So William Donohue, head of the Catholic League, is coming out against the film, accusing it of anti-Catholic bias; he wants parents to stay away. And the - Ellen Johnson, the president of the American Atheists, is also referenced in this article. She's worrying that it's not anti-church enough.

(Soundbite of laughter)

McKINNEY: Go read the article at

Dan, what do you have?

DAN PASHMAN: Hey, guys. We've got the most e-mailed here from Yahoo! News. And I'm afraid it's bad news for all of us here at the BPP, who get up, oh, so early to bring this show to the wonderful people out there. It appears that working the graveyard shift has been linked to cancer more strongly than ever before, and it's actually going to be added to the World Health Organization list of probable causes of cancer.

STEWART: Oh, that's not good.

PASHMAN: Working the graveyard shift will be considered a possible carcinogen, and the American Cancer Society says it will likely follow the WHO's lead. And the American Society had considered work-cancer link to be uncertain, controversial or unproven.

So basically, it has to do with the fact that the hormone melatonin, which can suppress tumor development, is normally produced at night. And so if you're awake at night, you're not producing your melatonin. You can take melatonin, but some people say that that will cause your body to then produce less, so that is a bit of an issue.

We should add though that there are some skeptics out there, and the quote-unquote probable carcinogen tag, this article says, means that the link between overnight work and cancer is merely plausible.

BURBANK: There have been a lot of studies out recently that link not sleeping to a whole bunch of negative...

STEWART: A whole bunch of problems.

BURBANK: effects, so I got to say, let's play it safe; get about 10 hours a night.

PASHMAN: Should we have nap time...


PASHMAN:, halfway through the show?



PASHMAN: Get those little square carpets?

BURBANK: I call that the Newscast.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I just nod off.

BURBANK: All right. Well, let's keep with the Yahoo! News beat and ask Angela...


BURBANK: ...our lovely producer. What do you got for us from Yahoo! News?

ANGELA ELLIS: Well, yesterday, in our morning meeting, we talked about possibly doing a Most about that story from South Korea, the man who supposedly was killed by the exploding cell phone battery, and it's a good thing that we didn't. We were warned against it by somebody.

BURBANK: I can't remember who said that sounded a little bit sketchy. Oh, wait. That was me.

ELLIS: Yeah. Well...

STEWART: Sent off your news radar.

BURBANK: Yeah, which I didn't even know I had.


BURBANK: But apparently, it lies dormant until needed.

ELLIS: Well, it was quite correct because today's most e-mailed story on Yahoo! News is that the whole thing was a hoax in the first place. And it's got to be the stupidest cover-up attempt of all time. The guy's coworker hit him with his car, accidentally killed him, and then said, the cell phone did it, to police. But he confessed last night, but it was all a hoax.

STEWART: Wait, he hit him with his car and then tried to blame it on a cell phone?

ELLIS: Yeah, hit him with the car, killed him dead and was like...

BURBANK: And then he...

STEWART: And then he planted the cell phone on him?

ELLIS: And then he put the cell phone - planted the cell phone on him or something.

BURBANK: And said the cell phone did it.

ELLIS: They're not sure if he set it on fire or something, but anyway...

BURBANK: As soon as I saw a photo of the cell phone later in the day, I really knew it was a rat because the thing is - the cell phone's kind of melty but it just - it couldn't - that didn't seem like the kind of thing that could end someone's life.

ELLIS: Well, it doesn't cause internal body damage...

BURBANK: Right. Right.

ELLIS: ...found in this man, surprisingly.

BURBANK: All right.

STEWART: Hmm. Matt Martinez.

MATT MARTINEZ: Hello. I have the most e-mailed story from Salt Lake Tribune, and it's actually a letter to the editor.

BURBANK: Word up, Salt Lake.

MARTINEZ: Word up, Salt Lake?

(Soundbite of bell)


MARTINEZ: Salt Lake City Councilman-elect JT Martin is protesting a four-block move of the Blue Boutique - it's an adult store. He claims that the new location is somehow dangerous to Utah morals because a family filled with kids lives near the new store. So a fellow named Nick Bernard(ph) wrote into the Salt Lake Trib and asks: If a couple has had enough sex to fill their family with children, why are they so against the sale of lingerie and adult toys? He's writing from Colchester, England.


MARTINEZ: So, there you - yeah.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MARTNEZ There you go. Can I do my other Most or I would have to move on?

STEWART: Please. We'll let you finish up.

MARTINEZ: Okay. It's the number one most e-mailed story at, which is actually pretty surprising - a story by Larry Abramson that one in five -nearly one in five college students takes at least one class online, which is -it's pretty big. So people will be having their reunions maybe online someday -drinking alone in front of their computer.

STEWART: And you put up the best picture of you ever just like in ...

MARTINEZ: Yes, exactly.

BURBANK: Exactly.

STEWART: If you gain five pounds, you just take it from the neck up, you know?


BURBANK: The less of someone's, like, actual body that's in the photo...

MARTINEZ: Yeah. Just Photoshop some abs.

BURBANK: Yeah. Somebody's just eyeball looking into the camera - loved it.

STEWART: All right. Angela, Dan, and Matt, thanks for The Most.

BURBANK: And Trish.

MARTINEZ: You're welcome.

STEWART: And Trisha.

BURBANK: And Trish.

MARTINEZ: Bye-bye.

BURBANK: I looked up assiduous, by the way. I did. It means diligent. I was using it correctly.

(Soundbite of bell)

STEWART: You were using it correctly.

BURBANK: Thank you.

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