Vultures Prey On Surgery Patients' Peace Of Mind Vultures prey on surgery patients' peace of mind, and more news worth an honorable mention.
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Vultures Prey On Surgery Patients' Peace Of Mind

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Vultures Prey On Surgery Patients' Peace Of Mind

Vultures Prey On Surgery Patients' Peace Of Mind

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Hey, thank you for listening to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News, online all the time at I'm Alison Stewart, and one of the things we always wanted to do with the show is we didn't - we wanted to be a news show that didn't discriminate, that - the definition of news was broad, and I think we perhaps made it broader everyday during The Ramble.


STEWART: I'm a broad. Two broads, doing The Ramble, let's hit it.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: This is editor Tricia McKinney...


STEWART: Who is going to Ramble with me today, our guiding force, our editorial force of the show.

MCKINNEY: Yeah. So, let's Ramble to Beijing, shall we?

STEWART: Yes, we shall.

MCKINNEY: You know, there's some Olympic Games going to be happening there fairly soon.

STEWART: I heard something about that.

MCKINNEY: So, you know, we've done a lot of stories, actually, in The Ramble about things that China is doing to prepare the people of Beijing for foreign tourists.

STEWART: Right. They had to learn how to stand in lines, was one of them.

MCKINNEY: Yes, yes.

STEWART: Pollution issues.

MCKINNEY: Yes. And you know, things like renaming items on menus so that people who are - you know, like, retranslating things into words so that people here, especially in the U.S., understand. Well, the latest one is there's a new campaign of the List of Eight Don't-Asks. So, people of Beijing are not supposed to ask foreign tourists some questions that apparently are common to ask each other in China. So, you're not - according to List of Eight Don't-Asks, they're not supposed to ask people about their income.


MCKINNEY: It's like people - I don't know, do people just walk up to you and ask how much money you make? I don't know. Don't ask about age.


MCKINNEY: I like that one.

STEWART: I broke that rule yesterday. I asked somebody how old they were.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MCKINNEY: Oh, really? You can ask somebody that if you - if you think they look a lot younger than they are, I think. Don't ask about love life or marriage. Don't ask about health, which I think is weird. Can you say, how are you? Maybe you can't ask probing questions about people's health. Don't ask about someone's home or address. Don't ask about personal experience. Don't ask about religious beliefs or political views. That one makes sense.


MCKINNEY: And don't ask what someone does. It's all in this poster that they put out of Olympic etiquette.

STEWART: I like the blogger who said, are there eight don't-tells?

MCKINNEY: Yeah, right.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MCKINNEY: Yeah, a bunch of people have responded on different blogs, and this is all in a Reuters story, and one of them was, like, I want one of these - I want my housekeeper to read it. Perhaps then she can stop asking me how much everything is.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: My next Ramble. Apparently, the FBI is celebrating its centennial, and as a part of it, there's a list of 10 myths about the FBI. This list is circulating. Now, what makes me laugh is that this is from the FBI's website, so...

MCKINNEY: That would be called a tautology.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: There you go. That's why she's the editor.

MCKINNEY: I went to grad school.

STEWART: Some of the myths, for example, myth number nine, the FBI has an X-files.

MCKINNEY: They don't?

STEWART: They say they do not have an X-files, but listen, every paragraph has a sort of - well, here's this line...


STEWART: Yes, we do have files on some unusual phenomena, like cattle mutilation, UFOs, and Roswell, but generally only because people reported something and we made a file of it. That's one of them. The other one is myth number four, the Bureau routinely spies on the American people. They say, no, they don't!

MCKINNEY: Of course they say, no, they don't.

STEWART: But - here's the sentence - it's always been a delicate balance between harnessing the tools at our disposal to solve crimes and prevent attacks and upholding the civil liberties of Americans. Over the course of a century, we've made some mistakes.

(Soundbite of laughter)


STEWART: But they've been few and far between compared to the vast amount of work we do every day.

MCKINNEY: I believe that.

STEWART: So, that's at, if you want to read the list.

MCKINNEY: All right. I have one. So, how'd you like to go to a hospital where there are vultures outside your window?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I love this story. This is such a funny story.

MCKINNEY: This is from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. So, it's a - there's a hospital, an orthopedic hospital in Wisconsin, I think it's in a Milwaukee suburb, and apparently, vultures have recently started congregating outside patients' windows. They are turkey vultures. They are large. They're brownish. They have bald red heads. They have a wingspan up to six feet. They started showing up about three weeks ago. They like the pre-op rooms on the third floor.

STEWART: Oh, no.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MCKINNEY: They sit on ledges and window sills outside and look in.

STEWART: That's unbelievable.

MCKINNEY: Some patients are not too thrilled with the idea.

STEWART: Yeah, I can imagine that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

MCKINNEY: You know, it's not the kind of hospital where - I mean, you go to there to have, like, knee surgery and stuff. So, it's, you know, they're not - you know...

STEWART: That's what you think.

MCKINNEY: People don't really tend to die a lot in hospitals like this, but there you go.

STEWART: Do you like Scrabble?


STEWART: I've played Scrabble since I was a little kid. My grandmother used to play and she used to let me look at all her tiles. Well, Scrabolous (ph) is not playing fair, says Scrabble, the maker...

MCKINNEY: I thought it was Scrabulous.

STEWART: Scrabulous? Thank you. You're right. It is Scrabulous. I just can't pronounce it.

MCKINNEY: It's on Facebook. I used to play that all the time, and then I stopped because I kept losing.

STEWART: I know. Well, they don't like that. Scrabble apparently has filed suit against the developers of Scrabulous. I can't - am I saying it right?

MCKINNEY: Yeah. You're saying it right.

STEWART: OK. I just never said it out loud, frankly.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: So many people on Facebook - my friend Ellen is obsessed. Hasbro sent a letter to Facebook asking the social-networking site to shut down - that word...

MCKINNEY: Scrabulous.

STEWART: Thank you - at noon pacific time Thursday, but the game was still up. The suit claims copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

MCKINNEY: So, we shall see what happens. Triple word score!

STEWART: Tricia McKinney, thanks for The Ramble.

MCKINNEY: Thanks, Alison.

STEWART: And everything else.

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