Carl's Ark A daffy duck caper; a bold approach to squirrel control; and chimps get a leg up on humans.
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Carl's Ark

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Carl's Ark

Carl's Ark

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PETER SAGAL, Host:

Now, here's a story about when an animal was most unwelcome. It came at the end of a lightning fill in the blank round with Tom Bodett in March 2007. Adam Felber and Angela Nissel provided commentary.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: A shoplifter trying to make a clean getaway from a Seattle Linens N Things was foiled when his girlfriend blanked.

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

TOM BODETT: Told him he'd snatched the wrong colored towels.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: No. Dropped her pet duck.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BODETT: You know, when I'm going to do a caper.

SAGAL: Yeah. Well here's a warning to...

ADAM FELBER: How many times did I tell her before we did this job? We rehearsed it time and time again. Don't drop the duck, I said.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: All you got to do is hold onto the duck and this works.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Geez, I can't believe it.

BODETT: The lady in Gaza at least strapped the alligators on. You think you could felt the duck to you and it's be like a hands-free sort of thing then.

FELBER: Next time I knock over a linens store, no ducks.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: In retrospect, that was the most deeply flawed part of our plan.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

CARL KASELL, Host:

If WAIT WAIT has a favorite animal, it's got to be squirrels. We love their antics, their cute bushy tails and we love the adorable interventions into their natural life cycle. Here's Amy Dickinson answering a question in March of 2007 with Tom Bodett and Adam Felber helping out.

SAGAL: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: In an attempt to control squirrel populations in Palisades Park, California, officials are blanking.

AMY DICKINSON: Injecting them with contraceptive hormones.

(SOUNDBITE OF GONG)

SAGAL: You're right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

BODETT: Was that a guess?

DICKINSON: I did read the paper.

BODETT: Wow.

SAGAL: That's exactly right.

BODETT: Awesome.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: The chimney squirrels, they want to do something humane. They're going to inject birth control hormones into the squirrels. Officials decided on using injections after they discovered that their earlier plan had failed because the female squirrels were storing the birth control pills in trees and forgetting where they put them.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: Couldn't they just get like the Beverly Hillbillies to come over and shoot some?

SAGAL: No, this is California. We don't do that.

BODETT: Anyplace but California. If you could catch a squirrel and hold him still long enough to give him a contraceptive shot, you could also just kill him.

DICKINSON: Right, that's what I'm thinking.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

DICKINSON: You can wring its little neck. Not that we would.

SAGAL: No, no, no, no, this is California. They gave the squirrels family planning.

DICKINSON: I know.

SAGAL: They gave it counseling.

DICKINSON: And a talking to.

SAGAL: Yeah, a talking to.

DICKINSON: A very stern talking to.

FELBER: A little pamphlet, a tiny little pamphlet.

DICKINSON: Tiny.

FELBER: Postage size pamphlet entitled "Straight Talk about Nuts."

DICKINSON: Right.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

FELBER: Thank you.

SAGAL: And finally, here's a question we posed to Adam Felber in April of 2007. A question which inspired a classic rant from Paula Poundstone. Kyrie O'Connor was also there. Adam, this week the National Academy of Sciences announced the results of a study. The chimpanzees have done what more than humans?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Elected the right public servants.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Possibly true.

FELBER: Evolved?

SAGAL: Yes, evolved. Exactly right.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

SAGAL: The University of Michigan studied strings of DNA shared by humans and chimps and found that the genes of chimpanzees have evolved in beneficial ways more than that of human beings. They have proceeded further, better.

PAULA POUNDSTONE: How are they - I don't know what they mean by that.

SAGAL: Well, I mean that they're - well, let me put it this way.

POUNDSTONE: I don't have that much to feel proud about, you know what I mean?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: Yeah. This does kind of take us down a peg.

SAGAL: I just took away one more thing.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, exactly.

SAGAL: The chimpanzees are evolving and we're not.

POUNDSTONE: The thing. So how have they - what did they do? I don't even see what they've done.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: It actually has to do with DNA. They're looking at the DNA from the moment that chimpanzees and humans separated from their common ancestor. And they're looking at the amount of modifications and evolution in the DNA and they discovered more beneficial evolution in the DNA of the chimpanzee.

POUNDSTONE: Well let me just point this out. Who's looking at the DNA?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

FELBER: Yeah. Dr. Bobo?

SAGAL: You seem a little defensive here, Paula.

FELBER: I think she's got a great point. If there is a Dr. Bobo who wrote this article, he's clearly biased. Mad monkey.

SAGAL: This is really ticking you off, I think.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, it kind of does. It just seems like - first of all, what's the point of the study, number one? You know, this study...

SAGAL: Just to make us feel worse than we already do.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, exactly. I don't understand how they're defining evolution then.

FELBER: It's a quantitative thing. They're just talking about the number of beneficial mutations. Like maybe their beneficial mutations aren't completely super terrific and great, but they have more of them.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: Give me an example of a beneficial mutation in a chimp.

SAGAL: How about the ability to grab things with his feet? How's that? Can you do that?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

FELBER: There's one.

POUNDSTONE: I don't need to because if I need something, I go hey chimp, you want to get your foot over here?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

FELBER: You can bet that right now someone out there is typing a very angry letter with their feet.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SAGAL: Thanks to Carl Kasell and all our panelists and guests. I am Peter Sagal. We will see next week. This is NPR.

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