737 MAXs Grounded, When Facebook Is Down, College Admissions Scandal : It's Been a Minute After a second fatal crash involving the Boeing 737 MAX airplane, countries around the world grounded the jet this week. Facebook and its suite of apps went offline for some time this week, leaving some social media users feeling disconnected. Plus, what one Ivy League-school graduate of color has to say about the college admissions scandal unveiled by the FBI. Julia Furlan is filling in for Sam this week, and she's joined by SELF editor Sally Tamarkin and WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal.

Weekly Wrap: 737 MAXs Grounded, #FacebookDown, Photoshopped College 'Athletes'

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JEANIE FURLAN: We are Julia's parents, Jeanie and...

ANTONIO FURLAN: Antonio calling from Brazil. This week on this show, Sally Tamarkin, features director at SELF.


And WNYC reporter Arun Venugopal, who covers race and immigration.

A FURLAN: Let's start the show.


GLORIA ESTEFAN: (Singing) This is it. This is life, the one you get...

JULIA FURLAN: From NPR, I'm Julia Furlan, in for Sam Sanders while he's out living his best life on vacation. IT'S BEEN A MINUTE. You did it, everybody. You made it to the weekend. As you heard my incredible parents tell you, our guests today are two of my OGs, Sally Tamarkin, features director for SELF, and Arun Venugopal, who covers race and immigration for WNYC. Hi, guys.



JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter) The song that we're hearing right now is Gloria Estefan. Let's hear a little bit.


ESTEFAN: (Singing) This is it. This is life, the one you get to go and have a ball. This is it. Straight ahead and rest assured...

JULIA FURLAN: It's a beautiful song, but we're hearing it for a sad reason - because it's the theme song for a Netflix show called "One Day At A Time," which was one of the few shows that, like, really uplifted an entirely Latinx cast. And this week, Netflix made the decision to not renew the show for a fourth season...


JULIA FURLAN: ...Which I'm really bummed about.


JULIA FURLAN: Yes, boo. Regular-people fans and also fancy-people fans like Gloria Estefan and Lin-Manuel Miranda have been tweeting for days with the hashtag #RenewODAAT in an attempt to try and get the show back on air. Have you guys watched it?

TAMARKIN: I've seen a bit of it, yeah.

VENUGOPAL: I'm sorry to say I haven't been. I have friends who for weeks and weeks before the cancellation rumors were just, like, oh, my God. This is the best show. You have to watch this. And so I really feel sad about this thing I've never watched.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. It's so good. I feel like, you know, it's on Netflix, so you might as well catch up on the three seasons that are there. It's - I mean, it was such a beautiful show. People are, like, really criticizing Netflix, especially because "Friends" - they paid, you know, $100 million to keep "Friends" on Netflix. So, you know, choices - choices being made.


TAMARKIN: It's going to get another boo from me.

JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter).


ESTEFAN: (Singing) One day at a time, one day at a time, one day at a time.

JULIA FURLAN: OK. To start the show as we always do, each of us here will describe some news from the week in just three words. Arun, you are first. What have you got for us today?

VENUGOPAL: All right. So my three words are hate doesn't die. And I've got to say, I came up with my three words, started thinking about this before we heard the news - this devastating news of those mass shootings in New Zealand. And so I guess it is a very strange and unsettling coincidence. I was writing this about anti-Semitism in America and all these different incidents we're seeing - very unsettling incidents of anti-Semitism.

And then to wake up to this news of this horrific, you know, brutal, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic sort of massacre that's happened in New Zealand feels all too familiar for anybody who's lived in America. This manifesto that people are, like, alternately saying, like, this is what he wrote, and...


VENUGOPAL: And do not give this person the credit he deserves by going and indulging his xenophobic thoughts.

JULIA FURLAN: Right. We should say that at least 49 people were killed by a gunman, and there were two mosques that were attacked in New Zealand in Christchurch. Arun, do you want to talk about the story that you had come up with, that you had prepared with that happened this week? It's - it seems smaller, but it's also very connected to the spread of hate in general.

VENUGOPAL: My original three words kind of idea? Yeah, you know, when I first thought about this idea that hate doesn't die, I was struck by this incident. It happened in Queens in New York City in a neighborhood called Rego Park. It was just a few days ago, actually. It was a couple kids. They were caught scrawling swastikas all over a playground in this neighborhood. And they were arrested and charged with aggravated harassment.

And these were two 12-year-olds. And then, around the same time on the West Coast in Orange County, there were a group of high school students who were having some sort of drinking game. And they formed a swastika out of their plastic beer cups.


VENUGOPAL: And were these people all willfully trying to terrorize Jewish-Americans? Not necessarily - we may not ever know. But I do think it doesn't matter when you think about, like, the effect it has on people in this country, especially Jewish-Americans, who are terrified - and whether it's, you know, this recent massacre at a - in Pittsburgh at a synagogue or other acts of anti-Semitism.

JULIA FURLAN: I think it's also hard to figure out the right thing to say to a group of kids who - maybe they don't understand the consequences of their actions. We want to, like, really hold them responsible, but we also want to teach them. And we want to, you know, make sure that hate doesn't spread. It's really a tangly thing. Do you have any thoughts, Sally?

TAMARKIN: Yeah. I was just going to say, I mean, the fact that kids as young as 12 are getting involved with, like, swastika graffiti - sure, they could have white supremacist views to espouse. Or they could just be kids being mischievous in a way that they know adults will find rebellious. But even if it is the latter, it's so troubling to me that it's so normalized and so mainstream to just, like, throw up a swastika or a Heil Hitler or whatever - or to make a swastika with your beer cups. And we wake up to this news about something that happened in New Zealand or that happened in Pittsburgh or Charleston, and it's really, really hard to know what to say.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. Well, I'm going to move on to my three words, which are - grounded at last. It's a story that really took over the media this whole week. On Sunday, March 10, a Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed in Ethiopia and killed all 157 people who were onboard. This is the second crash of this specific kind of airplane in less than five months. The other one was a Lion Air flight that crashed in Jakarta. Sally and Arun, were you freaked out? Did you have feelings about the crash that really took over our news week this week?

TAMARKIN: I am so not into airplanes and flying. So when something really scary and sad happens, I spend a ton of time reading about it and trying to understand what happened. And that is what I did this week.


TAMARKIN: So that did take up about 70 percent of what I was thinking about.

VENUGOPAL: I somehow managed to not freak out about this as much as - I mean, I guess we'll see when I get on a plane next time how I actually respond to it. And sometimes, the weird thing is your mind can be completely fine with it. Your body, though, reacts in a different way.


VENUGOPAL: That's the weird thing about getting on a plane and how you feel about it.

JULIA FURLAN: Right. And for some people, like, going to the airport is so much worse than going - than for other people.


JULIA FURLAN: And it was interesting to see how, like, throughout the week, there were different countries that were immediately like, we'll ground the plane. We'll ground the plane. We'll ground the plane. And I was a little bit like, OK, OK. But the United States was not quite as fast on that.

TAMARKIN: Yeah, it definitely seemed like it came later than it should have.

VENUGOPAL: You know, it's so interesting you say that because I think, you know, we are in this era where, like, one institution after another - you know, we just lose our faith in it. You know, we become cynical. And you kind of think, like, is this going to be, like, a scientific decision that's made after due diligence? Or is it a politicized decision that has to do with...


VENUGOPAL: ...Who has access, you know, to the FAA or to lawmakers or whatever? And I think it's really unfortunate when you just don't know. And we get such competing information in times like this. So it's kind of scary.

JULIA FURLAN: And we should say that the head of the FAA spoke to NPR this week and said that they didn't want to ground flights until they had more information about what went wrong. But it's definitely hard to feel like you know what's actually true. There's just so much to go through. And it's just a lot of information. It's really overwhelming.

VENUGOPAL: As if there's not other stories we're constantly, like, you know, obsessing over and trying to figure out - it is a matter of like, how much time do I actually...


VENUGOPAL: ...Devote to this particular panic today, you know?

TAMARKIN: Yeah. Yeah, how much time do I have to spend on this particular thing I'm feeling anxious about? And how much data can I triangulate? And how many news sources can I look at? It's a lot.

JULIA FURLAN: The answer is 24 hours a day, any day.


TAMARKIN: The answer is infinite.


JULIA FURLAN: Sally, you're last. What are your three words?

TAMARKIN: Well, Julia, speaking of infinite and endless ways of interacting with the news, my three words are hashtag Facebook down.

JULIA FURLAN: Oh, tell us about it.

TAMARKIN: Well, as you may know, earlier this week, Facebook went down for I think about 14 hours and also the, quote, unquote, "Facebook family of apps," as they call it...

JULIA FURLAN: Right, right.

TAMARKIN: ...Which is a cute way of talking about all of the Internet that they own...


JULIA FURLAN: Most of it.

TAMARKIN: ...Which is Instagram and - yeah - and WhatsApp, Tinder. So people were having a lot of trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram and posting and interacting with it. And I think it affected people in multiple countries.


TAMARKIN: I was affected by my - it made it so that I couldn't, like, compulsively refresh Facebook for no reason...


TAMARKIN: ...Which is what I discovered.


TAMARKIN: Yeah, I know. You would think that.

JULIA FURLAN: But it was...

TAMARKIN: No. I feel like at this point my need to check Facebook has become encoded on my - like, there's something evolutionarily happening where...


TAMARKIN: I just - I instinctually - I'll have Facebook open. And I'll be like, I should open Facebook. And it's like - it's already there. But it's - now it's built in.


TAMARKIN: So there was pandemonium.

VENUGOPAL: There was pandemonium.

TAMARKIN: There was, right? Yeah.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

TAMARKIN: And I think, you know, it affected people in real ways, like, who rely on, for example, WhatsApp to communicate with people internationally.


TAMARKIN: But I think for me and most of the people I was talking to, it affects us just in that - like, for example...

JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter).

TAMARKIN: ...I posted something on Instagram that morning. And I was really hoping to get some likes. I staged a really nice photo.


VENUGOPAL: I'm so sorry.

TAMARKIN: Thank you. Thank you for understanding.

JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter). I recently put my phone to grayscale to try and not use it as much, which basically means that it looks like a black-and-white TV or whatever.

VENUGOPAL: You mean it's uglier, and it's not as pleasurable?

JULIA FURLAN: You know what? You know what happened? I still use all of the apps. I just have no pleasure in using them.

TAMARKIN: (Laughter) Amazing.

JULIA FURLAN: I just get - I'm, like, not happy about it.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: But I'm using them basically just as much as I was when it was color. It's really - I feel defeated, honestly.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter) Oh.

TAMARKIN: But the thing about this particular Facebook outage is that - I've noticed recently that when I brought it up to people - more people than usual when there's some sort of outage in an app we use all the time, more people are like, oh, I didn't notice because, for example, your phone's in grayscale.

JULIA FURLAN: That's right.

TAMARKIN: Or my wife took Facebook off her phone and, as a result, is using it, like, 95 percent less. So she didn't know about it. And I feel like that was the other thing. Like, half of us were experiencing total panic because we couldn't...


TAMARKIN: ...You know, access our social media. But then, like, half of people were, like, floating with equanimity on a cloud being like, I didn't even notice that because I deleted that app.

VENUGOPAL: It's funny because I've kind of been reconnecting with an old friend who a few years ago, I was like, man, like, you've got to get online with the rest of us so we know what's happening in your life. He's like, you know, I'm sorry. I'm just not the kind of person who does that. I don't - I'm not on Facebook. I'm like, you know what? I think you made the right choice.




VENUGOPAL: Absolutely.

TAMARKIN: We've come around now that...


TAMARKIN: ...There's a point where that was, like, the pretentious choice.


JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter).

TAMARKIN: And now it's actually the most honorable, admirable choice.

VENUGOPAL: You're so sophisticated.

TAMARKIN: Yeah. Like, oh, I wish, like - I want to be like you one day, deactivating Facebook.

JULIA FURLAN: No Facebook.


JULIA FURLAN: Incredible.


JULIA FURLAN: It's time for a break. When we come back, you heard about that big college bribery scandal this week where a guy named Rick Singer took wild measures to make sure the children of the rich and famous got into college.


JULIA FURLAN: We have thoughts, and so does one black graduate from one of the nation's top schools. We'll talk about what it was like for her to get in. I'm Julia Furlan, keeping a seat warm for the inimitable Sam Sanders. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR.


JULIA FURLAN: We're back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR, the show where we catch up on the week that was. I'm Julia Furlan, also known as not Sam Sanders but trying, coming to you from New York City with our two guests this week, Sally Tamarkin, features director at Self.

Hi, Salls (ph).

TAMARKIN: Hey, Julia.

JULIA FURLAN: And Arun Venugopal, who covers race and immigration at NPR member station WNYC.

Hey, Arun.

VENUGOPAL: Hey, Julia.

JULIA FURLAN: Hi. Now it's time for a segment that we call Long Distance.


JULIA FURLAN: I know you both have feelings about this one story this particular week - the big college scam story. We're going to get to your feelings a little bit later, but let's take a minute and make some noise about what this college scam thing made us feel. I really want you to open up. Open up.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: Give me a noise. Give me a noise.

TAMARKIN: (Hissing).

JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter).

TAMARKIN: It's probably not good to hiss into a microphone, right?

JULIA FURLAN: Arun, are you crying?

TAMARKIN: Weeping.

VENUGOPAL: Sobbing, yeah.

JULIA FURLAN: The quick details - federal prosecutors this week say they uncovered a scheme where rich parents bought their kids admission to elite schools, like Yale and Stanford and the University of Southern California. Like, 50 people have been charged. A lot of them are parents, Hollywood stars and some big-name-business-leader - you know, people in suits and stuff.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: This guy, William Rick Singer, accepted something like $25 million. He allegedly worked to falsify exam scores and had parents Photoshop photos to make it look like their kids played sports that they definitely did not. We wanted to hear from someone who hustled to get where she is and is shining without having to pay any bribes, so we called up Kaya Thomas. I knew Kaya from when she was on a show that I used to produce, called "Another Round," when she was a sophomore in college because she was thriving so much then, if you can believe it.



THOMAS: Hi, Julia. How are you?

JULIA FURLAN: Oh, it's so good to talk to you.

She's 23. She's a web developer at Slack. And two years ago, she graduated from Dartmouth College - Ivy League. Dartmouth isn't one of the schools implicated in the bribery story, so we should say that. Kaya's journey to Dartmouth started years before, when she was growing up in Staten Island and Harlem. When it came time to attend high school, her parents agreed that she would move with her dad to Westchester - just north of New York City - where the schools were much better. She said it was pretty eye opening. By her second year there, when she tried out some honors classes, she was struggling.

THOMAS: It was just so much harder, and a lot of the peers that I had in my classes had a lot of tutors. All of the kids who were in the honors and AP classes - majority of them were white, rich kids. And some of my best friends to this day are the other black kids who were - struggled through these honors and AP classes together.

JULIA FURLAN: That's right, bonded in struggle, right?


JULIA FURLAN: And what kind of support did you have as you were getting ready to go to college and apply for everything? Did you, like, hire test prep people or maybe bribe people with, like, a couple hundred thousand dollars that you had just, like, lying around?

THOMAS: (Laughter) Definitely not. Definitely not at all. My father really - he's always been a huge proponent of my studies, and my mother, too. But he had the experience of going to college, so he was really, you know, trying to push me to study for my SATs. We actually did a consultation with one of those kind of college prep coaches who helps you with your essays and all this stuff. And she told us that her rate was like 300-plus an hour or something. So...


THOMAS: ...We couldn't afford that. And a lot of the studying that I did was really just on my own with the kind of college prep books and stuff. A lot of the courses were so expensive that you can't really do those test prep courses if you don't have a ton of money.

JULIA FURLAN: I mean, even the books are expensive. I remember trying to just, like, getting a sense for how expensive all of it was and being, like, super overwhelmed even though I was, like, in a pretty good situation.

THOMAS: Yeah, it's ridiculous. I actually worked as a peer tutor. So I tutored some of the wealthy kids in this - I worked for a peer tutoring company as a part-time job. And that's actually kind of how I got an insight into how the other side lived because it was like a whole new world. And the parents - I talked to the parents.

And they would tell me, like, yeah, like, you're one of the many tutors that comes in, and we have other professional tutors for all their classes. And it kind of blew my mind that all these kids have so much help getting through high school.

JULIA FURLAN: Which is all the more incredible that you got into Dartmouth early action because you hustled your actual way to that.


JULIA FURLAN: You must have been super, super psyched about it, right?

THOMAS: Yeah, I was incredibly proud. I can't - I'll never forget reading that - logging into the system and reading that I got in and then just, like, running to my parents and giving them a hug.


THOMAS: But the day I got in - towards the end of the school day, I'll never forget, some of the students - and I know who the students are. They said, oh, she only got in because she was black. And they started spreading that rumor around. And it was really hurtful to be honest because I know I worked so hard. And they don't know how hard I worked or what I had to do to get in. The SATs for me were one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And in order to actually get a decent score, I - for, like, three, four weeks, I woke up every Saturday at 7 a.m. and took a full exam.


THOMAS: So that I can train myself to, like, kind of overcome that anxiety and know that I can do OK. I just know that I worked hard. And, like, I earned my place, and nobody can take that away from me.

JULIA FURLAN: Absolutely.

THOMAS: And seeing, you know, the scandal and all these people just walk their way in, I don't know how they sleep at night to be honest.

JULIA FURLAN: I know, right? I mean, tell us a little bit about Dartmouth. Was it - you know, I mean, Dartmouth is not exactly, like, considered the world diversity capital.

THOMAS: Yeah (laughter), definitely not.

JULIA FURLAN: But yeah, tell us a little bit about what that was like once you were there.

THOMAS: Yeah, I mean, I thought that I was - I had been exposed to, you know, kids of wealth when I was in high school. But going to Dartmouth, it was like a whole other level of kids with wealth. You know, I had kids in my class who - their last name was the same as people whose last names were on buildings. And I was like, wait (laughter) are - is that your family? Like, you don't want to ask. But, you know, it's an incredible amount of wealth that you're exposed to.

And I honestly was oblivious to it for a lot of my time there. It wasn't until later on in my college years, when I started to meet people who were so wealthy, that they started telling me what some of the tells were, how you could tell other people were wealthy. And then I realized, well, oh, everyone must know that I'm not wealthy because I don't have those kind of same attributes.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. So tell me a little bit about your group chats. What's popping off this week as this college scam story - what are people saying in the group chats?

THOMAS: I mean, we are just like - it's not shock in that we're surprised that they've done this. I think a lot of us, what we're really shocked at is the amount, the length that they're going to get their kids, like, these good test scores and to, like, fake their kids' grades and all these accolades. And, like, we're just confused that, like, they couldn't do it themselves. Like...

JULIA FURLAN: I know, they hired a whole adult to go and change the test scores. They Photoshopped faces onto people's bodies. Come on.

THOMAS: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: So now you're grown. And you work in tech, and you work at one of my favorite applications, Slack.

THOMAS: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: And I was wondering a little bit about how you - do you ever feel imposter syndrome in your real, adult, grown life?

THOMAS: Yes, for sure. I think the same idea - you know, dating back to high school and college, the idea that you got where you are because of affirmative action or because of your race or your gender or what have you, I think that sometimes is always there.

Sometimes, you know, I wonder if people think that - not necessary, like, in my - you know, in my job. But do people think that I am where I am because of only this one reason? But how I just try to combat that is just reminding myself of how hard I worked...


THOMAS: ...And the skills that I have because the reality is - and, like, with tech, if I didn't have the skills, there was no way that I would be where I am, right? They're not going to just let in...

JULIA FURLAN: Absolutely.

THOMAS: ...Let me just because a race. Like, what if I can't do the job? I have to be able to do the job. And so I just try to remember that, that I can do the job. So I'm here on my own merit.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah, and before we go, we usually ask our callers what they're doing for fun this weekend. And, like, I'd say that you're having a pretty big weekend. Kaya, tell us where you are.

THOMAS: Yes. I am in Amsterdam for the first time. This is, like, my first time to Western Europe. And I'm really, really enjoying myself. It's such a great city.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah, "Fault In Your Stars" (ph).

THOMAS: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: What is one thing that you're looking forward to doing this weekend? What are you going to do?

THOMAS: This weekend, I'm looking forward to going to the zoo (laughter). I know that sounds - that sounds silly...


THOMAS: ...But I actually haven't gone to that many zoos, like, even in America. So I'm excited to just, like, be a kid again a little bit and go to the zoo and explore it.

JULIA FURLAN: Look, you deserve every little bit of free time. Thank you so much for talking to us.

THOMAS: Thanks so much. Have a great rest of your week.

JULIA FURLAN: You too, Kaya. Bye-bye.

THOMAS: Bye-bye.


JULIA FURLAN: Thanks again to Kaya Thomas, 2017 graduate of Dartmouth College, for talking about her own journey to the Ivy League, the right way.

Back here with Sally Tamarkin from SELF and Arun Venugopal from NPR member station WNYC. What was your reaction to this story this week? Arun, I know you especially have feelings. Talk about it.

VENUGOPAL: Oh, it hits close to home, Julia. Oh, gosh, I have, as you know, a 12th grader.


TAMARKIN: Oh, wow.

JULIA FURLAN: Anokha (ph).

VENUGOPAL: Yeah, that's right. We are just waiting. We're hours from hearing from three schools that matter a lot to her. And so, you know, there's a lot of stress at home. It's - we're very tightly wound. And this story just kind of, like, crashed into our home at precisely the wrong moment.

And it's not like the sheer number of people is this crazy. We're talking about maybe a couple hundred incidents in all, but I think it really just kind of brought home for millions and millions people. I don't think I've seen a story like this, which has so - just flooded my timeline...

JULIA FURLAN: Right, absolutely.

VENUGOPAL: ...With anger and despair about, like, where do we live? You know, this isn't a meritocracy or democracy that we were promised, you know, or think it is.

JULIA FURLAN: I mean, the thing that I felt looking at this story is that, like, if you can put your name on a building and get your kid into college, that's already not a meritocracy. Let's be real here.

TAMARKIN: I mean, on a lighter note, we have been blessed with a wild scam. The thing of photoshopping faces on people - I mean, if that doesn't speak to the immense resources that these people have - and it is, in a way, I guess not that different from the socially acceptable way of getting your kid in, which is buying a building or donating a bunch of money or being a legacy.

VENUGOPAL: I mean, the thing is that it's so hard sometimes to distinguish, like, the actual truth of the story from, like, all the parody kind of takes on it. Like, somebody yesterday on Twitter were saying in response to the fact that Lori Loughlin's - is that her name? - Lori Loughlin's daughter...

JULIA FURLAN: Aunt Becky, yeah.

VENUGOPAL: Aunt Becky's daughter, who's now in USC, that she was on the yacht of the chairman of the board of trustees at USC at the time that her mom was charged. And someone was tweeting, while she was being fed grapes by students on Pell Grants. I'm like, no way. They did that?


VENUGOPAL: They make students on Pell Grants feed this girl grapes.


VENUGOPAL: I'm, like, wow, USC. I'm, like, oh, wait - maybe necessarily. But you know, it felt pretty real, given the context.

TAMARKIN: Right. Where is the satire? And where is the real thing...


TAMARKIN: ...That happens?


TAMARKIN: Yeah, totally.

JULIA FURLAN: 2019 - it's...

TAMARKIN: We're in it. We're in it.

JULIA FURLAN: ...A scam. It's a scam. Arun, I hope that it goes well for you and your whole family.

VENUGOPAL: Thank you.

JULIA FURLAN: And I'm sorry that you had to pay $500,000 to make it happen. Just kidding.

VENUGOPAL: You know, it's all listener-supported public radio funding.


VENUGOPAL: I just redirect it to where it's needed most.

JULIA FURLAN: OK. It's time for a break. When we come back, everyone's favorite game - Who Said That? You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR.


JULIA FURLAN: OK. We're back. You're listening to IT'S BEEN A MINUTE from NPR, the show where we catch up on the week that was. I'm Julia Furlan in for Sam Sanders here with our guests this week, Sally Tamarkin, features director at SELF, and Arun Venugopal, who covers race and immigration at NPR member station WNYC.

Hi, friends.



JULIA FURLAN: (Singing) Now it's time for a game. Are you ready?

TAMARKIN: So ready.

JULIA FURLAN: It's called Who Said That.


KANDI BURRUSS: Who had been saying that?

PORSHA WILLIAMS: Who said that?

KENYA MOORE: Who said that?

VENUGOPAL: I'm scared.

JULIA FURLAN: Don't be scared.

TAMARKIN: I want to say that I am ultra noncompetitive.

JULIA FURLAN: Great. Same.

TAMARKIN: I root for other people.


TAMARKIN: But I am - this is - people are going to listen to this. So...


TAMARKIN: ...I'm not going to throw the game.

JULIA FURLAN: OK. All right, Sally. It's OK. This is a friendly game, and here's how it works. I share a quote from the week. You guys have to guess who said it or at least the story that it refers to or something, like, kind of similar. You know, it's casual. And just shout it out if you think you know it. And the winner - are you ready for this? Are you ready for this?


JULIA FURLAN: The winner gets nothing...


JULIA FURLAN: ...Absolutely nada.

TAMARKIN: A whole lot of nothing.


VENUGOPAL: How much nothing?

JULIA FURLAN: Nothing - a billion nothing.

TAMARKIN: I'll take it. You know what, Julia? I'll take it.

JULIA FURLAN: Okay. First quote - "Luna and I bought a hamster today. Her name is Peanut Butter. John is not thrilled, which makes me love her more." Who said that, Arun and Sally?

VENUGOPAL: Aunt Becky.


TAMARKIN: Oh, my God. Is that real?

JULIA FURLAN: No. It is a wonderful, talented model and a famous cookbook author who is married to a singer, who is very active on social media.

TAMARKIN: Oh, Chrissy Teigen.



TAMARKIN: Nailed it with a thousand clues.

JULIA FURLAN: Yes, exactly.


JULIA FURLAN: The clues are there to help you and support you. Yes, Chrissy Tygen (ph).

TAMARKIN: Oh sorry, sorry. Excuse me. I'm sorry, OK?

VENUGOPAL: Wait, so she's wrong. I say Chrissy Tygen. I get it (laughter).


TAMARKIN: Arun gets the point.

JULIA FURLAN: OK, half a point for each of you.


VENUGOPAL: Half of nothing for you.

TAMARKIN: Yeah, exactly.

JULIA FURLAN: Exactly. Yeah, Chrissy Tygen and John Legend - they got a hamster. And the hamster's name is Peanut Butter. The hamster has, like, escaped multiple times. It's clear that, like, Chrissy is very excited and John is not thrilled about it which, you know, is, like, pet ownership and marriage and, like, families in general. Right?

VENUGOPAL: The cause of so many things

TAMARKIN: I literally cannot think of anything more adorable in the known universe than a hamster named Peanut Butter.

JULIA FURLAN: Peanut Butter - oh, also, you love peanut butter, right?

TAMARKIN: Love peanut butter.

VENUGOPAL: I, too, like peanut butter.

JULIA FURLAN: Right? It's the best.

JULIA FURLAN: OK. So this - that question, half a point for each of you and a point-and-a-half for Peanut Butter the hamster, who is suddenly playing this game.


JULIA FURLAN: (Unintelligible).

VENUGOPAL: World's most famous hamster.

JULIA FURLAN: OK. Next quote - this one's tricky. Are you ready?


JULIA FURLAN: "It's like the Titanic voting for the iceberg to get out of the way." It's a big story that happened this week that is hard to understand.

TAMARKIN: The giveaway is hard to understand.





VENUGOPAL: Oh, my gosh.

JULIA FURLAN: Ooh - Sals, you're doing it.

TAMARKIN: I'm on fire.

JULIA FURLAN: So the quote is from one senior EU negotiator who said it to describe the U.K.'s vote this week to block a no-deal Brexit, meaning the U.K. cannot now crash out of the EU without a plan. So basically, my favorite thing about this Brexit stuff is hearing the House of Commons, like, general yelling that happens because, like, you want to think, like, oh British people - proper - blah, blah, blah. And meanwhile, they're, like - the House of Commons is, like, oh every time. And then there's the one guy that's, like, (imitating John Bercow) order.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter) The gavel.



TAMARKIN: They go for it.

VENUGOPAL: They are entertaining.


JULIA FURLAN: He's an inspiration, that guy - the order guy.

VENUGOPAL: That guy.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. Well, Brexiteers, we'll figure it out someday.

VENUGOPAL: Thoughts and prayers.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah (laughter).


JULIA FURLAN: OK. The final quote...


JULIA FURLAN: Sally, you have 2.7 points.

VENUGOPAL: Seems rigged.

JULIA FURLAN: Peanut Butter the hamster, you have half a point. Arun has just paid me $500,000, so he has 3 points.

VENUGOPAL: Yeah, that's right.

TAMARKIN: Well-played, well-played.

JULIA FURLAN: Thanks for that Venmo.

VENUGOPAL: That's America (laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. The final quote is, "I haven't passed a physical note to someone since the fifth grade." Who said that?

VENUGOPAL: Khloe (ph)?


JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter) Khloe...


JULIA FURLAN: ...Just pulling a name out of a hat.

TAMARKIN: I would like to ding.


TAMARKIN: I'm hitting my buzzer.

JULIA FURLAN: Sally, yes?

TAMARKIN: This is from a story in The Atlantic...


TAMARKIN: ...About teens, who are the best...


TAMARKIN: ...Who pass notes using Google Docs.


TAMARKIN: I love it.

VENUGOPAL: What? Who is this person to my left?

JULIA FURLAN: I mean - oh, I mean, Sally is - like, she knows everything, I guess.

TAMARKIN: Well, that's the only one I knew without getting a ton of clues.


TAMARKIN: And that's because I think teens are the best.

VENUGOPAL: None of the clues helped me at all.



JULIA FURLAN: The quote came from Skye (ph), which is a pseudonym for a 20-year-old who was asked about this trend by Taylor Lorenz in a piece that she wrote for The Atlantic about teens using Google Docs to pass notes in class. Basically, they were using, like, the chat function of Google Docs to scam all of the adults in their life.

TAMARKIN: Amazing.

JULIA FURLAN: Arun, are you having this moment of recognition where you're realizing that your daughter has been using Google Docs to, like, pass notes in class?

VENUGOPAL: I'm, like, why is she throwing her iPad across the class?


VENUGOPAL: This makes no sense.

TAMARKIN: It's amazing, though. Sorry - I'm going to say...


TAMARKIN: They use the comment functionality, and then they delete all the history so no one can see - so they just can't see. It's just - it's brilliant, and it's inspired.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. Teens...

VENUGOPAL: No paper trail, so to speak.

TAMARKIN: No paper trail.

JULIA FURLAN: That's right. It's just a harbinger of how, like, we think something, like, isn't cool - like, a word processing app? Ugh.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: And they're, like, oh, no. This is where we get all our goss (ph).

TAMARKIN: This is how we thrive.

VENUGOPAL: They are taking us into tomorrow.

JULIA FURLAN: That's right.


JULIA FURLAN: I will announce the results of the very stiff competition here.

VENUGOPAL: You don't need to announce it. I think we can just kind of guess. It was sort of a tie.

JULIA FURLAN: (Laughter) Yeah, it was a tie.

TAMARKIN: Yes, it was a tie (laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: You both won. You both won, and Sally won more. But you both won.

VENUGOPAL: More of nothing, which is worse than less of nothing.

TAMARKIN: That's actually true. It actually means that I've lost.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: Congratulations to both of you.

TAMARKIN: Thank you.

VENUGOPAL: Thank you.

JULIA FURLAN: OK. Now it is time to end the show as we do every week. We ask listeners to share with us the best thing that happened to them all week. I always end up getting a little happy cry about this, and I encourage you all to get into that happy cry. Let's be vulnerable and open.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: They all brag about the most wonderful things. Let's take a listen.

BLAINE: This is Blaine (ph).

MATT: And Matt (ph). The best part of our week is sitting here volunteering at member station KOSU in Oklahoma City for their spring membership drive.

BLAINE: We love all the KOSU staff, and seeing the community support on this last day of the drive is amazing. Hope you have a great week.


BRENNA: This is Brenna (ph) calling from Florence, Ala. The best thing that happened to me this week is I published my first book.

MAYA: My son said da-da (ph) to my husband for the first time.

CHRISTIE: I finally got to see "Hamilton," and it was everything that I had been expecting and hoping and dreaming of.

MICHAEL: I came in first in a half-marathon this weekend in just under an hour and 20 minutes.

JEREMY: I got to celebrate my 33rd birthday with my partner Austin and a great group of our good friends.

CLAUDIA: The best thing that happened to me this week was my son graduated from boot camp on Parris Island. He's home for a week before he gets shipped off again to who knows where. But we really appreciate having him devote his life to the service of our country.

ANA: This is Ana (ph) from Chicago, Ill. And I am on my way to the airport today to fly to Stuttgart, Germany, where I'm going to perform in the 23rd International Solo-Dance-Theatre Festival on Saturday. But what's really the best part of my week is that today is also the day that my mom has her last radiation treatment for breast cancer. I know she really wanted to travel with me to see this performance, but I hope that she knows that I really wish I could be with her to see her ring the bell and finish strong and cancer-free.

CHRISTIE: Thanks so much for the show. I love listening.

JEREMY: Thanks. Have a good one.


JULIA FURLAN: Thank you so much to all the listeners. You heard there Blaine and Matt, Brenna, Maya (ph), Christie (ph), Michael (ph), Jeremy (ph), Claudia (ph) and Anna. Listeners, thank you so much for all of your submissions to that segment. We do hear all of them even if we can't play them here. Thank you so much for sharing. And if you want to share your best thing on the show next week, just record yourself, and share it with us anytime. Email your audio file to samsanders@npr.org - samsanders@npr.org. I'm still getting over the emotion.


JULIA FURLAN: That's a wrap for this week.


ESTEFAN: (Singing) This is it.

JULIA FURLAN: We're going out on the theme song for "One Day At A Time," which will be gone from Netflix but forever in our hearts. Netflix, I've got nothing but eye emojis for you about this.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: Thank you so much to my guests this week, Sally Tamarkin, features director at SELF, and Arun Venugopal, who covers race and immigration at NPR member station WNYC. Thank you both so much for hanging out. I really appreciated it.

VENUGOPAL: Thanks, Julia.

TAMARKIN: Thanks, Julia - whew.

JULIA FURLAN: IT'S BEEN A MINUTE was produced this week by Brent Baughman, Anjuli Sastry. Our editors are Alex McCall and Jordana Hochman. Steve Nelson is our director of programming. And the senior vice president of programming at NPR is Anya Grundmann.

And listeners, make sure you come back next Tuesday to hear my conversation with Greta Lee, who's a comedic actress you've seen in "Girls" and "Broad City." Yeah, do you know this? Oh, God, Sally - what's your face?

TAMARKIN: Sweet birthday, baby.

JULIA FURLAN: Yeah. Sweet birthday, baby. You'll find out what that means next week.

VENUGOPAL: (Laughter).

JULIA FURLAN: That's in your podcast feed on Tuesday. Until then, I'm Julia Furlan in for Sam Sanders. Thank you so much for listening.


ESTEFAN: (Singing) One day at a time.

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