NASA Staff Donates Urine For Space Research NASA workers donate urine for space research, and more news worth an honorable mention.

NASA Staff Donates Urine For Space Research

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Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News, online all the time at Because of listener demand, and because you don't like the news straightforward, you like coming at it from an angle, we give you now The Ramble.

(Soundbite of music)

PESCA: Joining me now, special guest Rambleurs (ph), Dan Pashman...


PESCA: and Trish McKinney.


PESCA: Dan, you want to go first?

PASHMAN: Yeah, sure, if you like. You know, Mike, it's not football season right now, but as a big football fan, I'm following some big news in football, a new twist in the Brett Favre saga. You may - you guys may remember, even Tricia probably remembers...


PASHMAN: That future-hall-of-fame quarterback, Brett Favre, announced his retirement at the end of last season. Well, in recent weeks, he's been making noise he wants to play after all this year.

MCKINNEY: Wait, how does Bonnie Wasserman feel about that?

PASHMAN: I'm sure she has mixed feelings, because he might not be playing in her beloved green-and-gold Green Bay Packers team uniform.


MCKINNEY: (As Martha Generic) Oh, no!

PASHMAN: Oh, yes.

I don't know what hell accent that was.

MCKINNEY: I don't know what that was...

PASHMAN: All right. Moving on. Just one problem, he's still under contract with the Packers, but they've got a young guy that they're ready to start introducing, and they don't really - I'm not so sure they want Brett Favre back.

PESCA: Well, as they say, and this is a Wisconsin phrase, there's a whole lot of meshugass surrounding this.

PASHMAN: I don't think they say that in Wisconsin.

PESCA: No. No.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: But yeah, so Favre wants the Packers to release him so he can go play somewhere else. They're afraid he'll sign with a rival. They'd rather trade him so they can get something in return and control where he goes, and they're at this stalemate. Now, a new development, the Packers have accused archrival Minnesota Vikings of tampering.

MCKINNEY: Dun, dun, dun!

PASHMAN: That is right. Dun, dun, dun is right.

PESCA: But - he was retired, so what's tampering? Can't he talk to anyone he wants?

PASHMAN: He's still under contract - no. He's still under a contract with the Packers, which means that...

PESCA: Right.

PASHMAN: That it is against the rules for the Vikings to go to him...

PESCA: I see.

PASHMAN: And say, hey, if you come back, we'll give you this much money, we'll sign you to this and that. And...

PESCA: Yeah. He's scheduled to make something like 11 or 12 million dollars with the Pack. Like, I know you're a big football fan, and so am I. Maybe it's the season. Have you not - my attitude's been, like, just resolve it. I like Brett Favre just fine, but resolve it.

MCKINNEY: Can we go back to something?


PESCA: Yeah.

MCKINNEY: Why is he coming out of retirement? Like, I hate this...

PESCA: He can't let it go.

MCKINNEY: When people, you know, they say...

PESCA: He loves football.

MCKINNEY: It's my farewell tour...

PASHMAN: You know...

MCKINNEY: It's over, I'm done, and then they - they're like...

PESCA: Dan has a counterpoint.

PASHMAN: A lot of people get annoyed with that. I don't - look, I get annoyed when Jay-Z does it, because we all knew he was coming back, but I mean...

PESCA: Right.

PASHMAN: When you're talking about an athlete, you could - your body will only allow you to play for so long. I believe Brett Favre truly does have a passion for playing football. He really has (unintelligible)...

PESCA: And he had a great year last year, although not a great playoff run.


MCKINNEY: So, he - he truly regrets the decision.

PESCA: Yeah.

PASHMAN: He truly loves playing football.

PESCA: Yeah. And it's his legacy. If he wants to do whatever he wants with it, he can.

PASHMAN: And he can't - you know, in five years, his body won't allow him to play.

MCKINNEY: And Bonnie Wasserman might be happy.

PASHMAN: (As Bonnie Wasserman) Bonnie Wasserman wants Brett Favre.

PESCA: Trish.

MCKINNEY: I shouldn't make fun of her. She's lovely. OK. So, you know, yesterday in The Most we talked about a possible new career move for those of us at the BPP, who are still looking for the next thing we're going to do with - it involved using human waste as fertilizer. Now today, we have an important companion story to that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MCKINNEY: A companion story to pooh on the field, it would be pee in space.

PASHMAN: Naturally.

MCKINNEY: NASA, apparently, who knew this...

PASHMAN: That was quite an intro, Tricia.


PASHMAN: I can't believe you tied those things together.


PASHMAN: Very impressive.

MCKINNEY: I'm talented that way, and I do need a job.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MCKINNEY: So, NASA has a longstanding tradition of asking workers, NASA employees, to donate urine at the office. I had no idea they did this. Apparently, they like to send urine up to space. It's part of a program to figure out how to get rid of stored human waste in space. So, they need eight gallons of number one every day to test the facilities of this one particular space capsule. So, that takes 30 people, and they sent out a memo, apparently, asking for daily urine donations from July 21st to 31st. I mean, we're available after the 25th.

PASHMAN: How much are they paying for that?

MCKINNEY: It doesn't say, but anyway, apparently that memo wasn't supposed to be made public.

PESCA: Yeah. Why? It doesn't cause them any embarrassment.

PASHMAN: Because it relates to privates.

PESCA: It's not like anyone's Rambling about it.


PESCA: "Mama Mia!" One of ABBA's original stars, and now it gets sad, can't remember how the Swedish rock group got its start. Bjorn Ulvaeus - is that his name? - is part of the foursome that rose to fame in 1974. He composed the music for the 1999 ABBA musical, "Mama Mia!" But he says is he has memory loss. It's preventing him from reliving important parts of the band's early days. I will help him with the recap. ABBA rose to fame when the group won the Eurovision Song Contest in England with the song "Waterloo."

MCKINNEY: (Singing) Waterloo...

PESCA: Yes. Bjorn was wearing silver boots and knicker-length pants. I'm kind of envious of Bjorn, because there are certain ABBA songs I wish I couldn't remember.

(Soundbite of song "Super Trouper")

ABBA: (Singing) Super Trouper, beams are gonna blind me, But I won't feel blue, Like I always do. 'Cause somewhere in the crowd there's you.

PESCA: Yeah. And also - Oh, ooh. It would also be good if I wasn't able to remember that album cover where me and my wife - I think he's married to the other ABBA lady - and my band mates wrapped ourselves in tin foil, and posed for all the world to see. So, let's go out on a little ABBA.


PESCA: As we say goodbye...


PESCA: To the Ramble, I think, for a little while. We'll come back with it, you know...

PASHMAN: Yeah. We'll see.

PESCA: Because you, the fans, demanded it. And that is a one-of-a-kind Ramble. It will not be our last. We can promise this. Check out our multi-sport link on our website,

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