How to become an astronaut? Facts about astronauts Why are Mindy and Guy Raz filling out job applications? And what does that have to do with astronauts?! We've got the questions AND the answers on today's galactic round of Two Whats!? And A Wow! We're challenging you to separate the facts from the fiction about animal astronauts!

Two Whats!? And A Wow! - The Stars of Space

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Hey, Mindy, I have some exciting news for you.


Yes, I love exciting news. What's going on?

RAZ: Well, I was checking the news this morning, and I found a job listing from NASA. They're hiring new astronauts to explore the moon and Mars.

THOMAS: Guy Raz, I have been waiting my whole life for this moment.

RAZ: I know. And I thought we could apply together. Do you have a resume or some sort of document that shows your qualifications and, you know, what kind of jobs you've already had?

THOMAS: You know I do. And here you go.

RAZ: Mindy, this document is 192 pages long.

THOMAS: Do you want the longer version or...

RAZ: There's a longer version?

THOMAS: What can I say? I've had a lot of jobs.

RAZ: Yeah, I can tell. Let's see - a snake milker, lab rat, hair boiler, reindeer walker?

THOMAS: Oh, and I should probably add game show host.

RAZ: Oh, of course, the game show.

THOMAS: Oh, places, everyone, places.

RAZ: And wheels up in three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) And now for everyone's second-favorite game show after working on your posture. It's "Two Whats!? And A Wow!"


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #1: (As character) With your hosts, Mindy and Guy Raz.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats and a wow.

RAZ: Welcome back, wowzers. It's time for an out-of-this-world round of "Two Whats!? And A Wow!"


THOMAS: The scientific game show that separates the wows from the whats.

RAZ: Now, before we begin today's round, let's review where we left off yesterday.

THOMAS: We gave you three scientific statements about animal movements and challenged you to guess which one was the one true wow.

RAZ: Was it A?


RAZ: Mussels, a type of mollusk, walk with a tonguelike organ.

THOMAS: Or was it B?


THOMAS: Blue jays can dance to the beat of music and even adjust their moves to changing rhythms.

RAZ: Or was it C?


RAZ: Despite being slow, sloths are actually excellent jumpers?

THOMAS: And in honor of teacher appreciation week, we have a special guest with the answer to today's winning wow. Please welcome Ms. Conant from Maury Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

STEPHANIE CONANT: Hi, WOW IN THE WORLD. It's Ms. Conant, the science teacher at Maury Elementary School in Washington, D.C. Did you know that mussels, a type of mollusk, can actually walk? Although they aren't the fastest animals on Earth, mussels have a tonguelike appendage that allows them to crawl or dig. A shoutout to all of my Maury cougars out there - take care.


THOMAS: Winner, winner, tonguelike organs for dinner.

RAZ: Ms. Conant, that is correct. Contestants, if you guessed the answer A, that mussels, a type of mollusk, walk with a tonguelike organ, well, you found the winning wow. Congratulations, Ms. Conant, and a special thank you for all the wonderful work you've been doing as a teacher.

THOMAS: Turns out that mussels, although mostly stationary, can get around when they need to. And it's all thanks to a little tongue-shaped organ also known as a foot. The mussel simply sticks this tongue-foot into the sand or gravel and then uses it to pull itself forward.

RAZ: Now, if you guessed B or C, you weren't too far off. While blue jays aren't known for their dancing ability, another bird called the cockatoo is famous for its sense of rhythm. Cockatoos are not only able to dance to the beat, but they're able to adjust their moves when the rhythm changes.

THOMAS: And if you chose C, sloths are one of the few animals, along with elephants, rhinos and hippos, that cannot physically jump at all.

RAZ: Now, Mindy, why don't you tell our winning wowzers what they've won?

THOMAS: Guy Raz, all of our contestants today will be taking home their very own invisible cockatoo backup dancers.

RAZ: What?

THOMAS: Does social distancing have you dancing by yourself? These cockatoo companions will keep you dancing on beat while making your performance pop.

RAZ: Congratulations to all of the winning wowzers.

THOMAS: We're going to take a quick break to work on our astronaut applications, but when we get back, it's another round of "Two Whats!? And A Wow!"


THOMAS: And we're back. It's time for another round of "Two Whats!? And A Wow!" Today's category is...

RAZ: Astronauts. Mindy, why don't you refresh our contestants on how the game works?

THOMAS: You know it. Wowzers, we are about to present you with three scientific statements about astronauts. But - this is a big but - only one of those statements will be a true wow. The other two - just a couple of made-up whats.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR #2: (As character) What?


RAZ: OK, let's get started. Which of the following statements about astronauts is a true scientific wow?

THOMAS: Is it A, spending time in space makes astronauts shorter?

RAZ: Or is it B, astronauts are known to crave spicy food in space?

THOMAS: Or is it C, there is a special toilet on the International Space Station made just for vomiting?

RAZ: One more time - is it A, spending time in space makes astronauts shorter?

THOMAS: Or is it B, astronauts tend to crave spicy foods in space?

RAZ: Or is it C, there's a special toilet on the International Space Station for vomiting?

THOMAS: When you think you have the correct answer, write it down on a sheet of paper and then shout it into the galaxy.

RAZ: And be sure to check back on Tuesday to see if your wow is the winning wow.

THOMAS: But before we go, we have a little scientific challenge for you. We call it operation rocket scientist.

RAZ: We challenge you to build your own rocket ship. Find an old cardboard box, some pillows, whatever useful materials you can find and make your rocket come to life.

THOMAS: And while you might not be able to take off into outer space just yet, it never hurts to try.

RAZ: And don't forget to take photos of your work. And grown-ups, you can send those to us at

THOMAS: Be sure to check back on Tuesday for the answer to today's game, and we'll play another round of...


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats, two whats and a wow.

RAZ: "Two Whats!? And A Wow!" is produced by Mindy Thomas and me, Guy Raz.

THOMAS: Anna Zagorski writes the words, and Jason Rabinowitz adds the wows as our audio producer.

RAZ: Jessica Boddy keeps our facts straight. Jacob Stein rounds out our creative team. And Meredith Halpern-Ranzer powers the wow at Tinkercast.

THOMAS: Special thanks to Jed Anderson and also Anya Grundmann and the team at NPR.

RAZ: Our theme song was written and composed by The Pop Ups. For more on their three-time-Grammy-nominated, all-ages music, find them at

THOMAS: Also, "Two Whats!? And A Wow!" is now a book. The "Two Whats?! And A Wow! Think & Tinker Playbook" is available for preorder now. Grown-ups, visit for more info. And for more up-to-date news, you can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - @wowintheworld. Our email address is

RAZ: And if you're a kid with a big wow to share that could be used on an upcoming episode of "Two Whats!? And A Wow!" - call us at 1-888-7-WOW-WOW.

THOMAS: Thanks again for listening.

RAZ: That's all for now. Until next time...


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