Bluff The Listener Our panelists tell three stories about a new modern convenience, only one of which is true.
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Bluff The Listener

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Bluff The Listener

Bluff The Listener

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BILL KURTIS, BYLINE: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Faith Salie, Charlie Pierce and Paula Poundstone. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Bill. Right now it is time for the WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME Bluff the Listener game. Call 1-888-WAIT-WAIT to play our game on the air. Hi, you're on we WAIT WAIT ...DON'T TELL ME.

BRANDON WALKER: Hey, Peter. This is Brandon Walker in North Bethesda, MD.

SAGAL: Hey, North Bethesda. We've been around there, north of Washington, D.C. What do you do there?

WALKER: I'm a singer-songwriter, and I teach music at a school in D.C.

SAGAL: Oh, wow. Well, how old are the kids you teach music?

WALKER: Fifth through eighth grade.

SAGAL: Fifth through eighth grade. So does trying to teach middle schoolers music doesn't destroy your love of music?

WALKER: No. Luckily enough I'm at a school that lets me create the curriculum. So the kids learn what I want them to learn. And so we do what I'm interested and it's a great situation. So I'm really grateful.

(LAUGHTER)

PAULA POUNDSTONE: Does music come up?

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Brandon, it is nice to have you with us. You're going to play the game in which you must try to tell truth from fiction. Bill, what is Brandon's topic?

KURTIS: I'd lift a finger to help you, but that would require lifting a finger.

SAGAL: There's nothing worse than doing stuff so every day, there's another device that comes out that helps us not do stuff. This week, we read a story about a modern convenience so convenient we'll never have to move our bodies again. Guess the real story, you'll win Carl Kasell's voice on your voicemail at home. Are you ready to play?

WALKER: Yes.

SAGAL: All right. First let's hear from Paula Poundstone.

POUNDSTONE: Everyone knows if you have a smart phone, you've got the world by the tail. You've got email on your phone. You can surf the web on your phone. You can check your stocks, play music, watch videos, light your way, sharpen your memory and map your destination on your phone. You can impress people with your phone, wake yourself up with your phone. The only thing you can't do conveniently with the six-inch honker, Pop Mega phone is make a call or text. So it comes with a phone. It comes with a small phone called the Little Buddy. So it's a phone that comes with a phone. So when their Pop Mega phone rings, people answer and say let me call you back on my phone. It could have come with a scribe and a horse so when it rings, you dictate a note and send your little buddy off on his trusty steed. It's like a toaster oven that can cook casserole, work as a kiln and a tanning booth, but it can't make toast.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: So it comes with a toaster. A little buddy - it's like a car that has a big screen TV, retractable beds, Wi-Fi. a mini fridge, a pop-up dining table and an Xbox box. And if you need to get anywhere, it comes with a bike.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: It's a college that has its own theater company, symphony, sports teams and a hospital, but you take courses online. It's Harvard's little buddy. It's a wife that comes with a hooker.

(LAUGHTER)

POUNDSTONE: I want a phone that works like a phone. That would be modern.

SAGAL: A big phone that comes with a little buddy - a little phone that comes with your big phone because your big phone is too inconvenient to use. Your next story of a modern convenience comes from Charlie Pierce.

CHARLIE PIERCE: Up until now, the GPS device merely told us how to get from one place to another. Thanks to a breakthrough by scientists at Gresham Technologies, we soon will have GPS devices that not only will tell us how to get where we want to go, but also will eliminate the necessity of our making hard moral choices about the places we want to go. The Roadmaster 450 is a personal GPS device. You download as much of your personal information into the Roadmaster as you can, and the device itself will tell you why you should or should not go to a certain place.

(LAUGHTER)

PIERCE: For example, if you're an alcoholic and you asked for directions to a bar, the silky voice of the machine might ask are you sure you don't want a nice latte instead? Let's go to Starbucks. Or if you ask how to get to a local gentleman's club, you might be warned, remember the last time we went there.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: A GPS device that tells you not only how to get where you're going, but where you go in the first place. And your last story of a technological cure for laziness comes from Faith Salie.

FAITH SALIE: Ever feel like it's just too distracting to peel your eyes away from perusing Etsy to dip your jicama in guacamole? Hate how eating your duck prosciutto with kale pesto on sourdough leaves your keyboard greasy? Then the new nourishing invention IFeed is for you. IFeed is a nine-inch robot that feeds you while you anonymously compose mordent comments for Gawker. You place IFeed on your desk or on the table of the co-op cafe where you're updating your Tumblr blog, and its little, robot arms cut, scoop and pierce your meal and then deliver it to your lips. All you have to do is to remember to open your mouth. Kelly Mooney, one of the two MIT students who invented IFeed says now you don't have to interrupt the momentum of the creative process. Her partner, Sanjip Argawal, admits inspiration came during an all-nighter he was pulling for biochem-2. I was scarfing churros to stay awake, but my keys kept getting stuck with churro dust. Mooney and Agarwal are working on new ways to program the IFeed to shovel in food faster. Two models in beta are the Italian Grandmother who says in robot voice - you look so skinny. And the Jewish mother who says what? - don't you like my cooking?

SAGAL: All right. You could go out and buy...

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: ...One of these three helpful devices. Is it from Paula Poundstone, a big phone that comes with a little phone that's much easier to use than the big phone, from Charlie Pierce, a GPS that tells you where you should go, not just how to get there, or from Faith, the IFeed, a little robot that helps you eat without looking away from your screen? Which one of these is real story?

WALKER: I'm going to go with number one, the big phone that comes with a little phone.

SAGAL: You're going to go with the big phone that comes with a little phone? That sounds most plausible to you?

WALKER: I think so.

SAGAL: All right. Well, we spoke to someone who covers tech to give you the answer.

CHRISTINA BONNINGTON: A phone that comes with a littler phone for when you actually want to text people or make phone calls.

SAGAL: That was Christina Bonnington talking about the Little Buddy she is a staff writer for consumer tech at WIRED magazine. Congratulations. You got it right, Brandon. Well done.

WALKER: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

SAGAL: Well done. You earned a point for Paula, and you've won our prize, Carl Kasell will record the greeting for your voicemail. Very well done. Thanks so much for playing, Brandon.

WALKER: All right. Thanks a lot.

SAGAL: Bye-bye.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BANG THE DRUM ALL DAY")

TODD RUNDGREN: I don't work. I want to bang on the drum all day. I don't want to play. I just want to bang on the drum all day.

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