MIKE PESCA, host:
Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We're always online at npr.org. Scientists have studied a couple phenomena I'd like to talk about right now. One is laughter. When one person laughs, sometimes it has a viral effect and gets other people in the room to laugh. Also, there's something known as echolalia, which is one person speaks and the people around him, perhaps, will start just parroting back...
IAN CHILLAG: Just parroting back.
PESCA: Just parroting back, just parroting - this needless repetition.
PATRICIA MCKINNEY: Needless repetition?
PESCA: Needless repetition.
CHILLAG: Needless repetition.
MCKINNEY: Is there a need for this repetition?
PESCA: So in - there seems to be no need for this repetition. So what I'm saying is, were one to Ramble...
(Soundbite of music)
(Soundbite of laughter)
PESCA: And were others to be in the room, perhaps there would be a group Rambling effect.
CHILLAG: Perhaps there would be a group Rambling effect.
MCKINNEY: Ooh! I do feel like Rambling. Oh, yeah.
PESCA: We're going to see what happens as we Ramble with others. Trish, start us off on our Ramble.
MCKINNEY: All right. Well, I have a story about Japanese TV host, Monta Mino, who has broken a record for the most live hours on television in a week.
PESCA: Who was the previous record holder?
CHILLAG: Who has...
MCKINNEY: Monta Mino, yay, Japanese TV host! So, on Thursday, Mr. Mino received a certificate from the Guinness World Record people acknowledging 22 hours and 15 seconds of live hosting in one week in April. So I thought this was 22 hours and 15 seconds consecutively, but it's not.
CHILLAG: Yeah, yeah.
MCKINNEY: It's broken up over a week.
CHILLAG: I know, I mean, we do - what, 15, 14?
PESCA: That's nut - isn't the Jerry Lewis telethon...
MCKINNEY: I totally was like, wait, what about Jerry Lewis? I don't know. Anyway, so Mino, this guy, he's 63. He hosts eleven TV programs, including news shows, talk shows, wildlife shows and quiz shows. And at the awards ceremony, he said, how about a live show on Sunday?
CHILLAG: Can't get enough.
PESCA: There are a million public-access hosts throughout America, specifically like six in the Sioux Falls area alone who do this.
CHILLAG: Yeah. Well, maybe he has the most hours where people are actually watching.
PESCA: OK, that could be, yeah.
MCKINNEY: Could be.
PESCA: Yeah, an unwatched TV show, will it really make a sound?
MCKINNEY: I wonder how much he makes.
PESCA: Will it really win a record? Yeah. I hope he's paid by the hour. Ian?
CHILLAG: The Beijing organizers are promoting an official chant routine for spectators at the Olympics. So everything will be in order. Everyone will be doing the same cheer. Worry not. Apparently there's a common chant at Chinese sporting events, which is kind of being adapted for the Olympics. The...
PESCA: There's a common chant at Yankee games when the umps blow a call, but I won't get into that.
CHILLAG: Yeah, yeah. So, the Ministry of Education, the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee, and the Party Office of Spiritual Civilization Development and Guidance partnered up to make this happen. It's a four-part cheer to get people cheering in a, quote, "smooth and civilized manner." So here's how it works. You take the popular Chinese cheer, Jiayou, which means "add oil," which I think really means, like, pour it on, or go for it, go, go, go.
MCKINNEY: Add oil?
CHILLAG: Yeah, I think, it's, you know, like pour it on.
MCKINNEY: Rev it up. Step on the gas.
PESCA: No, no, no, balsamic, please.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CHILLAG: So another partner here was CCTV and they put together an instructional video. Let's hear the cheer from that.
(Soundbite of instructional video)
(Soundbite of cheering)
CHILLAG: So I know you guys don't speak the language, so we're going to do it in English. So here's what you do. You say Olympics, add oil. But when you say Olympics, you kind of make it two syllables and clap, so...
PESCA: Well, you do it once and we'll follow.
CHILLAG: OK, here we go. Here we go. Olympics (clap, clap), add oil. And I'm giving thumbs up when I say "add oil."
CHILLAG: And then when you do it again, you say, China (clap, clap).
CHILLAG, MCKINNEY and PESCA: (Together) Add oil.
CHILLAG: And you raise your fists in the air. OK?
PESCA: All right.
CHILLAG: So are you guys ready? Here we go.
PESCA: One, two, three.
CHILLAG, MCKINNEY and PESCA: (Together) Olympics (clap, clap), add oil! China (clap, clap), add oil!
CHILLAG: I blew it, I blew it.
PESCA: Oh, I didn't? OK.
CHILLAG: So it's pretty good, right?
MCKINNEY: I'm ready.
PESCA: It's foolproof.
(Soundbite of laughter)
CHILLAG: Yeah. Apparently, like, Reuters says that the lack of sport etiquette has been a big concern for organizers, so they're trying to nip that in the bud.
MCKINNEY: Can we use this for, you know, American, too, athletes, too? Can...
CHILLAG: Yeah, they say you can adapt it to any country. You just replace China with the country of your choice.
PESCA: Professional baseball (clap, clap), add steroids!
CHILLAG: OK, that's not quite - yeah.
MCKINNEY: All right, so let's move on. I have a story about a woman from England. Her name is Gillian Stone. She went to visit a farm where they sell emu eggs as a novelty food. So even though the eggs are bigger than a chicken egg, they're about the size of a mango, and they're like green in color, forest green. So they caught her eye, and let me let her tell the rest of the story.
(Soundbite of BBC News video)
Ms. GILLIAN STONE (Chicken Breeder, East Sussex, Great Britain): So we bought three, brought them home, stuck them in the incubator, and 52 days later, with a little bit of help, Osborne arrived. So he was destined to be an omelet, and now he's an emu.
MCKINNEY: From omelet to emu, the Osborne story.
MCKINNEY: Anyway, that was from the BBC. They showed footage of little Osborne the emu running around. He was like about a foot tall.
CHILLAG: Oh, that's so cute.
MCKINNEY: He's going to be six feet tall when he grows up.
CHILLAG: So cute.
PESCA: I'm so stupid. Eggs for eating, can they all become chickens?
MCKINNEY: See, I...
CHILLAG: No, no.
CHILLAG: (Unintelligible) I've been promised no.
MCKINNEY: It was fertilized.
PESCA: They had us believe no. All right. Maybe you heard a story last week about an outrage at a Texas junior high school after a presentation on Islam was held at the school. The principal now has a new job. The assembly was given by two women from the Council on American Islamic Relations in Houston. It was titled "Islam: Respecting Diversity." The president of the council was offered to present at Friendswood Junior High School because a Muslim boy there was attacked.
The presentation became a hot topic on Houston talk radio. Oh, yeah, it was burning up the airwaves down there. And the predominantly Christian community expressed concern. One woman - parent, quoted in the Houston Chronicle said, "We can't say 'one nation under God' in school, so I definitely don't think the presentation was the right choice. I'm not a prejudiced person, but Muslims, from what I know of the faith, don't want to be incorporated with America. Look at what's going on in the world right now with the war and 9/11."
MCKINNEY: Oh, my God.
PESCA: Anyway, the Friendswood Junior High School principal has accepted another administrative position. Thanks for the assembly, Mr. Principal.
MCKINNEY: Can I just say, I have lots of family down in that area.
CHILLAG: You know what? I saw some of the PowerPoint from this presentation. It was really stuff like, what country has the most Muslims? You know, what is Islam? Very basic.
PESCA: All right. That's The Ramble. Go to our website, npr.org/bryantpark.
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