An Elevator To The Stars! Welcome to another toe tapping episode of Wow in the World! Guy Raz is off to listen to the latest and greatest in world of elevator music and Mindy tags along for the ride! But this music isn't just for any elevator. Oh no! This elevator is going from here ... to the stars! Join Mindy and Guy Raz as they explore the who, what, when, where, why and wow in the world of Space Elevators!
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An Elevator To The Stars!

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An Elevator To The Stars!

An Elevator To The Stars!

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MINDY THOMAS, HOST:

Psst. Hey, Wowzer fams. Before we start the show, I've got one big announcement to make. The Wow in the World Pop Up Party is hitting the road again in 2019 - more shows, more cities, and more live, interactive wow. Our first stop - Reggie...

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

THOMAS: ...Drum roll, please.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM ROLL)

THOMAS: Austin, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

THOMAS: We'll be at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday, February 3. Members of the World Organization of Wowzers get first dibs during the presale, which is open now. For everyone else, tickets open to the public this Thursday, December 20. To snag yours, visit tinkercast.com/events. That's tinkercast.com/events. That's it. We can't wait to see you out in the world in 2019.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Stay seated. Three, two, one, ignition.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Get ready for an adventure of magnificent proportion.

THE POP UPS: (Singing) I don't know what you've been told, but we're in a golden age - so many discoveries that are jumping off the page. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world. Wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: With Guy and Mindy.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: We're on our way, Houston.

GUY RAZ, HOST:

(Singing) Floor one, floor two, floor three, four, five. Elevators are so cool. So come on. Let's ride in the elevator. Elevators are so - what in the...

THOMAS: Good morning, Guy Raz. Can I interest you in some fancy coffee and a tiny cup fit for a baby?

RAZ: Mindy, what in the world are you doing in my kitchen at this hour?

THOMAS: Mine caved in again.

RAZ: Well, what did I tell you about using those off-brand graham crackers for construction?

THOMAS: Off-brand? You mean the Grandma G-Force crackers? That's Grandma G-Force's face on the box, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Well, her crackers are clearly not as strong as she is. By the way, what are you going to do about that caved-in kitchen in your gingerbread house?

THOMAS: I don't know. I guess I'm just hoping someone will come along and offer to rebuild it for me. I mean, it is gingerbread season. So...

RAZ: Oh, right. But in the meantime, you're going to...

THOMAS: Use your kitchen. Got any fish tacos in here?

RAZ: What? No. Mindy, you've got to find someone to rebuild your own kitchen. This is my kitchen. And everything is in its right place. And - are you using my Elevate Your Soul magazine as a placemat?

THOMAS: And as a bib.

RAZ: Mindy...

THOMAS: Why? What is this magazine anyway?

RAZ: This, Mindy, is only the most popular elevator music magazine in America.

THOMAS: Yeah, I'm pretty sure it's the only elevator music magazine in America.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: It's one of my favorites. Check it out - the latest band interviews, where to listen to the latest hits.

THOMAS: Let me see that. An exclusive interview with the biggest name in interfloor transportational music? What is this?

RAZ: That's them, Mindy.

THOMAS: What's what?

RAZ: The band that they're interviewing, The Elevates.

THOMAS: The Elevates?

RAZ: Yeah. Their new album is playing in an elevator in a building downtown. And I wanted to double check where they were playing. Let me see here. There it is. The Elevates' new track will be playing from top to bottom, bottom to the top of 345 Block Street. Block Street. Huh. I know where that is. Let me just - hey, Zoodle.

THOMAS: Oh, boy. Here we go.

RAZ: Where's 345 Block Street?

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: 345 Block Street is directly between 344 and 346 Block Street.

RAZ: Yeah. I know that. I mean where is it in relation to here?

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: 345 Block Street has no known relatives in the area.

RAZ: (Groaning) Zoodle. One last time. In which part of town is 345 Block Street located?

COMPUTER-GENERATED VOICE: 345 Block Street is located in downtown.

RAZ: Ah-ha. See, Mindy? Such a timesaver.

THOMAS: Uh-huh.

RAZ: Anyway, The Elevates' brand-new album is playing in that building downtown.

THOMAS: Hold the phone, Guy Raz. Are you telling me that you travel to different office buildings all over town just to listen to their elevator music?

RAZ: Of course I do, Mindy. Where else would you listen to elevator music?

THOMAS: There's - yeah, you got a point.

RAZ: Anyway, Mindy, I better get going.

THOMAS: Wait. I'll come with you.

RAZ: No, no. That's OK.

THOMAS: Let me just lock up the house there.

RAZ: Mindy, it's my house.

THOMAS: Oh, it's OK. I changed all the locks when I moved into your kitchen.

RAZ: You what?

THOMAS: (Yelling) Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Morning, Guy. Morning, Mindy. Morning...

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) ...Giant pigeon.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

RAZ: (In monotone voice) Hi, Dennis.

THOMAS: (In monotone voice) What's up, Dennis?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Did I overhear you saying that you were going to go listen to some new elevator music. I love elevator music.

THOMAS: (Groaning).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Which band are you going to go listen to?

RAZ: It's a band called The Elevates.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Oh, no, no. You've got to stick with the classics. My favorite elevator band is Awkward Silence. Their instrumental arrangement of "The Girl From Ipanema" changed...

RAZ: OK, great. Thanks, Dennis.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) ...The world. Look it up.

RAZ: Yeesh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Ooh, and Elevator To Heaven? No? Come on, you two. (Singing) La da dee...

THOMAS: OK, Reg. We're going to need you to step on it.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Bing bong, fourth floor. It's just the best...

THOMAS: Come on, Guy Raz.

RAZ: Coming.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Are you going to ride on that bird?

THOMAS: (Groaning).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Oh, it's completely unsafe. Ahoy there, Mr. bird, Mr. giant bird.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) Yes. I am a member of an activist group for imaginary animal rights.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As Dennis) I should give you my card...

GUY RAZ AND MINDY THOMAS: Here we go.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: Thanks, Reg.

THOMAS: Yeah, thanks, Reg. You are now free to go sit on the ledge with all the other pigeons. Have fun.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

THOMAS: OK. So, Guy Raz, this must be the - wait a minute. Are you sure this is the right place?

RAZ: Yep - 345 Block Street.

THOMAS: Kind of looks like a boring, old, concrete office building.

RAZ: I know. Isn't it perfect?

THOMAS: Well, to ride an elevator while listening to elevator music, yeah, I guess it is perfect. Oh, look. A revolving door, my second-favorite kind of door. Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run.

RAZ: Mindy, wait up.

THOMAS: Come on, Guy Raz. You're going to miss out on all the fun.

RAZ: There's not room for two in this door.

THOMAS: Come on. Just squeeze in one more tiny inch. Cozy.

RAZ: You can say that again.

THOMAS: Cozy.

RAZ: (Groaning).

THOMAS: OK. On three, we're going to push.

RAZ: Not too hard, though.

THOMAS: One, two, three.

RAZ: Too hard, Mindy. Too hard.

THOMAS: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.

RAZ: Whoa. Whoa. Wait. Where's Mindy?

THOMAS: Here I am.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Hello, sir. Welcome to 345 Block. Can I help you with anything today? Maybe a Band-Aid?

RAZ: Yeah. We're here to listen to the new Elevates soundtrack.

THOMAS: Yeah. Can you direct us to the elevator that's playing it, please?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Yes, of course. That's playing in the elevators just down the hall. You want to go down this hallway, take the third right, then the immediate left. Walk 24 steps. Then take the first elevator on the left.

RAZ: Great.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Then you're going to want to take that all the way up to the 54th floor. And in your case, I should probably note that here at 345 Block, we don't recommend attempting to exit the elevator until the elevator has come to a complete stop and the doors have actually opened.

RAZ: OK. Great.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) Now I just need you and your friend to sign in here.

RAZ: Sure. Mindy?

THOMAS: Doo doo doo, doo doodeloo doo doo doo. And doo. There you go.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) OK. Great. Have a nice day. Hey, wait. Did you just sketch a picture of an ice cream sundae?

THOMAS: Thank you. Bye. Let's go, Guy Raz. Man, there are more hoops to jump through in this office building than there were at Reggie's aerial acrobatics competition.

RAZ: Oh, but it's going to be so worth it, Mindy. The Elevates' entire album is going to be playing from top to bottom.

THOMAS: From the bottom to the top. OK, so, Guy Raz, what is so special about this album anyway? I mean, I don't think I've seen you this excited since - I don't think I've ever seen you this excited.

RAZ: Oh, Mindy, you can't even begin to understand. This record is an experimental piece that they've created just for...

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: Wait for it.

THOMAS: What?

RAZ: Just for...

THOMAS: Just for what?

RAZ: Just for...

THOMAS: (Groaning).

RAZ: Just for space.

THOMAS: Did you just say that The Elevates have created this album for space? Like what? Like, for the next shuttle launch or...

RAZ: Well, no, Mindy. This album is being designed specifically for a new space program that's being developed at JAXA, which is better known as the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

THOMAS: Oh, I know JAXA. JAXA's like the NASA of Japan.

RAZ: That's right. And they're planning on building the world's first-ever space elevator.

THOMAS: Wow. That's what I call taking an elevator to new heights.

(SOUNDBITE OF RIMSHOT)

THOMAS: Thank you.

RAZ: Speaking of, here we are. OK, 52nd floor, here we come.

THOMAS: Ooh, we're pressing buttons? Don't mind if I do.

RAZ: Mindy, no.

THOMAS: And you get a push. And you get a push. And you get a push. And you get a push. And you get a push. And you get a push. And you get a push.

RAZ: Mindy...

THOMAS: All done.

RAZ: Mindy, you hit every floor.

THOMAS: Sorry, Guy Raz. You know me. I see a button, and I push it. Speaking of which, were you born with one of those belly buttons?

RAZ: (Groaning).

THOMAS: Plenty of time to think about your answer. We're going to be here for a while.

RAZ: Well, I suppose it'll give me more time to set up.

THOMAS: Set up? In an elevator?

RAZ: OK, let me see here.

THOMAS: What in the...

RAZ: Just unfurl this rug.

THOMAS: Wait. Is that a picnic blanket?

RAZ: Uh-huh. Can you hold this?

THOMAS: Yeah, sure. Were you carrying that cooler this whole time?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: What are you doing, Guy Raz?

RAZ: Well, the secret to a good elevator music listening party, Mindy, is that, you know, it's all about the atmosphere. It's an experience. Now can you pass me the Brie and crackers?

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEVATOR DOOR OPENING)

THOMAS: Well, hello there, and welcome aboard the Elevator Express.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Oh, hi. Going up?

THOMAS: You know it. What floor can I get you?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Twenty-one.

THOMAS: OK, great. Let me just see here. Oh, looks like someone's already pressed that one. We'll get you there lickety-split. Can I interest you in some complimentary cheese and crackers for the ride?

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: Oh, I love this part. This is so great.

THOMAS: Hold your horses, Guy Raz. Before this guy got in the elevator, you were saying that JAXA, the NASA of Japan, is building the world's first space elevator?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: So what in the wow is a space elevator?

RAZ: Ah, so glad you asked, Mindy. How about I give you the elevator pitch?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #3: (As character) Ha, good one.

RAZ: Thank you very much, sir.

THOMAS: Elevator pitch. Oh, Guy Raz, making me so proud. OK, what's up with this space elevator?

RAZ: OK. The year was 1895. The place was Paris, France. A Russian scientist named Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was on vacation...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #4: (As Konstantin Tsiolkovsky) Oh, how do I enjoy the French sun. It is so much kinder than the Russian snow (laughter).

RAZ: ...When he came across a newly built and rather spectacular monument in the middle of the city.

THOMAS: Oh, the Eiffel Tower.

RAZ: Exactamundo, Mindy. Tsiolkovsky would later go on to invent rocket travel. But on this trip, he was so inspired by the Eiffel Tower, this magnificent feat of engineering, that he proposed a different way of getting to space - and not by rocket but by...

THOMAS: Elevator? Whoa.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEVATOR DOOR OPENING)

THOMAS: Hello. Welcome to the elevator. Come on in. There's plenty of room for everyone - sort of. Could I interest you in some crudites?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) No, thanks. I'm actually allergic to celery. I'll just catch the next one.

THOMAS: Well, OK. Well, suit yourself. Bye. OK, Guy Raz. So how exactly does a space elevator work? I mean, what does it even look like?

RAZ: Well, it sort of looks like a giant version of those two tin cans with a piece of string between them, you know, that we use to talk to each other sometimes.

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. My Guy Phone X.

RAZ: Right. It kind of looks like that, with one end attached to a giant platform out at sea and the other one way up in space, orbiting the planet.

THOMAS: Huh, like a satellite?

RAZ: Exactly like a satellite.

THOMAS: And so what would the string be made of?

RAZ: It's called carbon nanotube composition (ph) ribbon.

THOMAS: Carbo nano what who-ins (ph)?

RAZ: Carbon nanotube composite ribbon. It's a type of cable that's incredibly strong but also really, really light.

THOMAS: Huh. OK, I think I get it. So you have this cable that goes from here all the way out into space, and then you attach an elevator car to the cable that can travel up and down the cable?

RAZ: You got it, Mindy.

THOMAS: OK, Guy Raz. So I get how a space elevator might work, but why?

RAZ: Well, Mindy, space travel is expensive.

THOMAS: Oh, man, you're telling me. I'm still trying to pay off those space suits we bought at that Black Hole fashion store at the mall.

RAZ: Well, Mindy, it's not just the space suits that are expensive. I mean, refilling the International Space Station with everything from medicine to snacks, using a rocket, costs almost $43,000 per pound of stuff.

THOMAS: Whoa, that's like - hang on, let me see here. Carry the one. That's, like, $20,000 per kilogram.

RAZ: And scientists over at JAXA...

THOMAS: The Japanese space agency.

RAZ: Right. They've predicted that once the space elevator is built, it would only cost around $100 to send up a pound of stuff, or $220 per kilogram.

THOMAS: Imagine how many snacks you could buy with those savings.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEVATOR DOOR OPENING)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As character) Hello. Enough room in there for the marching band?

RAZ: Probably not.

THOMAS: Sure there is. The more the merrier.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #5: (As character) Excellent. Come along, everyone. Just move a little. Move a little. Yeah, that's enough room for me.

RAZ: I think we're all in.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #6: (As character) Oh, someone press the button.

THOMAS: Way ahead of you, kid.

RAZ: Mindy.

THOMAS: Oh. OK, OK. Hey. Excuse me. Nice to meet you. Just trying to squeeze past you here. Just want to talk some science with my best friend over there in the corner.

RAZ: I'm right here, Mindy. But I think someone cut the cheese.

THOMAS: What? In this tiny elevator? Not cool, guys. Whoever taught you elevator etiquette?

RAZ: No. No, Mindy, I think somebody actually cut the cheese in my cheese platter with the heel of their shoe.

THOMAS: Ew. Gross. So anywho, what does JAXA have to do with this space elevator?

RAZ: Oh, right. Well, Mindy, like I said, this idea of a space elevator has been around for some time, but it's never actually been done before.

THOMAS: But...

RAZ: But the Japanese space agency has proposed building one of these space elevators to deliver cargo and astronauts to places like the International Space Station.

THOMAS: That's so wow. So you'll just get into an elevator like this one, press the **********

THOMAS: ********** button that says space deck and then just ride on up into space?

RAZ: Well, that's the plan. Yeah.

THOMAS: So when can I take a ride on this interstella-vator (ph)?

RAZ: Well, sooner than you might think, Mindy.

THOMAS: Yes. Just what I wanted to hear. OK, let me just get my phone out here. Clearing my calendar for next week.

RAZ: Not so fast, Mindy. At Shizuoka University, where researchers are working with JAXA on the space elevator program, they're predicting that we could have an operational space elevator by 2050.

THOMAS: 2050? That's, like, a million years away.

RAZ: Well, it's a pretty big project, Mindy. I mean, it would easily be the longest structure on the planet.

THOMAS: Yeah. Speaking of, how far will this space elevator be able to reach?

RAZ: Mindy, this elevator will have enough cable attached to it to float as far as 60,000 miles above the earth.

THOMAS: Whoa. That's bonker-balls. Let me see here, that's like traveling from New York to Los Angeles 21 times, or 2 1/2 times around the world.

RAZ: That's right, Mindy. And although this astronomical structure won't be ready for another 40 years or so, the Japanese space agency is already performing tests in space to try out some of their materials.

THOMAS: You mean parts that might be used on the real space elevator?

RAZ: That's right.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: (As character) And then I said, move all of my assets out of the bonds dividends...

(SOUNDBITE OF TRUMPET NOISE)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #7: Uh, OK.

THOMAS: Yeah.

RAZ: Heh heh heh.

THOMAS: OK. So where were we? Oh, yeah. So Guy Raz, how are they testing out these future space elevator parts?

RAZ: OK, so JAXA has recently sent two mini satellites into space, which, when in orbit...

THOMAS: Timeout.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE)

THOMAS: In orbit is when an object - whether manmade, like a satellite, or natural, like our moon - is stuck circling around the earth because of the planet's gravitational pull. Time in.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLE)

RAZ: Once they're circling around the planet, these two satellites will split apart. But they won't get far because these two satellites will be attached to each other by a cable about 10 meters long.

THOMAS: Just like my Guy Phone X made out of tin cans and string.

RAZ: And just like a mini version of the space elevator. Because over the next year or so, these two satellites...

THOMAS: ...That are tied together by a tight piece of cable...

RAZ: Right. These two satellites are going to be sending back and forth along that cable a teeny-tiny, little box.

THOMAS: A mini elevator car.

RAZ: Exactly, Mindy. A mini elevator car about the size of a matchbox.

THOMAS: Huh. So I guess these scientists first have to figure out how this kind of elevator is going to work in low-gravity situations.

RAZ: You got it.

THOMAS: Well, I guess I'm going to have to wait until they work out all the kinks before I can take a ride in the space elevator. Let me just set a reminder in my calendar for 2050. And set.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELEVATOR BRAKES SQUEAKING)

RAZ: Oh, looks like we're here at the top, Mindy.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, we've been standing in this elevator for, like, 52 floors, and I've barely even listened to the album. We're going to have to do it all over again on the way back down.

RAZ: Well, I'm glad you said that, Mindy, because I have a surprise for you.

THOMAS: A surprise?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #8: (As character) Hello, and welcome to The Elevates, live and in concert. Tonight, the band will be performing their brand-new, space-themed album in its entirety.

(APPLAUSE)

RAZ: They're doing a live show.

THOMAS: Wait. So we don't have to sit in the elevator for 52 floors to listen to it?

RAZ: Yeah, that's exactly right, Mindy.

THOMAS: Oh, thank you, Guy Raz. Thank you. Thank you. Wait a minute. Did you say that this album was going to be for the JAXA space elevator?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: And didn't you also say that the elevator was 60,000 miles long?

RAZ: Yeah.

THOMAS: So exactly how long is this concert supposed to be?

RAZ: Let me see. Ah, here it is - 7 1/2 days.

THOMAS: This concert goes on for a week?

RAZ: And a half day. Isn't that great?

THOMAS: Um.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #8: (As character) Folks, put your hands together for The Elevates.

(APPLAUSE)

RAZ: Ah, Mindy, there they are.

THOMAS: Huh.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As character) How's everyone doing out there?

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #10: (As character, cheering).

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As character) Oh, wow. Cool. Thank you so much. Thanks for coming out to the live performance of our new elevator music experience, Making Space. Cool, cool, super cool.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #9: (As character) All right. Let's kick it off.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #11: (As character) One, two, three, four.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RAZ: Whoo (ph), isn't this great, Mindy?

THOMAS: Oh, yeah. How much longer does this go on for?

RAZ: Seven days, 11 hours and 58 minutes.

THOMAS: Oh. Eh. Ugh.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #1: WOW IN THE WORLD will be right back. Grown-ups, this message is for you.

That's it. Back to the show.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world.

(SOUNDBITE OF PHONE DIALING)

THOMAS: Hi. Thanks for calling WOW IN THE WORLD. After the beep, get ready to record.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

OWEN: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Owen (ph). I'm from San Diego. My wow in the world is that all of the matter in the entire universe came from the Big Bang. Thanks. Bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

GRACIE: Yello, I'm Gracie (ph). I live in Black Mountain, N.C. My wow in the world is that emperor penguins can be 46 inches tall. That's exactly how tall I am. Say hi to Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

SAM: My name is Sam (ph). I live in Winter Garden, Fla. And my wow in the world is that, sometimes, Pluto is closer to the sun than Neptune.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

MILLIE: Hello, my name is Millie (ph). I'm from Los Angeles, Calif. And my wow in the world is that parrots don't have vocal chords. It's so strange because they can almost talk like humans, sometimes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

MAY: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is May (ph). I live in San Francisco. And my wow in the world is that chewing gum was banned in Singapore until 2004. Happy holidays.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

NORA: Hi, Mindy, Guy Raz and Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BIRD TRILLING)

NORA: My name's Nora (ph) from Portland, Ore. And my wow is wombats sleep on their back with all fours in the air. It's so cute.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

LEELA: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Leela (ph). I live in Charlottesville, Va. My wow in the world is that platypuses are mammals, and they lay eggs.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

MIGUEL: Hi, Mindy and Guy Raz. My name is Miguel (ph), and I live in Pittsburgh, Pa. And my wow in the world is that rainbows are actually a full circle, and we can only see half of them.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

DEMI: Hi, my name is Demi (ph). And my wow is that guinea pigs eat their poop for nutrition.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #4: She also lives in Montclair.

JASMINE: Hi, my name is Jasmine (ph). I live in Murfreesboro, Tenn. And my wow is that everything in the universe, except energy, is made up of atoms. Bye. I love you, Reggie.

(SOUNDBITE OF BEEP)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #5: End of messages.

THOMAS: Hey, everyone. Thank you so much for hanging out with us this week on WOW IN THE WORLD.

RAZ: And to keep the wow rolling, check out this week's scientific conversation starters at our website wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And grown-ups, there you can find more info on how your kids can become members of the World Organization of Wowzers, shop our Wow Shop, upload photos and videos to us and check dates for our upcoming live events. That's wowintheworld.com.

RAZ: Our show is produced by Jed Anderson...

THOMAS: ...Who provides the bells, whistles and silly characters. Say hello, Jed.

JED ANDERSON, BYLINE: Yello.

THOMAS: Our show is written by me, Guy Raz and Thomas van Kalken, who also provides silly characters. Tom?

THOMAS VAN KALKEN, BYLINE: Hello there.

RAZ: Thanks also to Jessica Boddy, Casey Koeffer (ph), Rebecca Caban (ph), Kit Ballenger (ph) and Alex Curley. Meredith Halpern-Ranzer powers the wow at Tinkercast.

THOMAS: Our theme song was composed and performed by The Pop Ups. For more info on their two-time Grammy-nominated, all-ages music, find them at thepopups.com.

RAZ: Grown-ups, you can follow WOW IN THE WORLD on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, at @wowintheworld. And our email address is hello@wowintheworld.com.

THOMAS: And if you're a kid with a big wow to share with us, call us at 1-888-7-WOW-WOW for a chance to be featured at the end of the show.

RAZ: Also, if you haven't already done so, please subscribe to WOW IN THE WORLD on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

THOMAS: Yeah. Leave us a few stars, a review or just tell a friend about the show.

RAZ: Thanks again for listening. And until next time....

RAZ AND THOMAS: Keep on wowing.

THOMAS: Jinx.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GOLDEN AGE (WOW IN THE WORLD PODCAST THEME SONG)")

THE POP UPS: (Singing) Wow in the world, wow in the world, wow in the world, wow in the world.

UNIDENTIFIED CHILD #2: WOW IN THE WORLD was made by Tinkercast and sent to you by NPR.

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