Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
Fri June 29, 2012
Panel Round Two
Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 11:13 am
CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ-Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR News quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. We're playing this week with Mo Rocca, Kyrie O'Connor, and Alonzo Bodden. And, here again is your host, at Playhouse Square in Cleveland Ohio, Peter Sagal.
PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Thank you. Thank you, Carl. In just a minute, Carl hosts a new game show called The Price Is Rhyme in our listener limerick challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-Wait-Wait. That's 1-888-924-8924. Right now, panel, some more questions for you from the week's news.
KYRIE O'CONNOR: Yes.
SAGAL: In a sign of just how fractious things have gotten in the U.S. Congress, the Washington Post reported sadly this week on what great Senate tradition that has come to an end?
O'CONNOR: Oh my goodness. Well it's not the pages, because they got rid of those a while ago. I'm turning into Mo. A great tradition of...
SAGAL: They used to do something in the Senate but they don't do it anymore because nobody gets along well enough.
O'CONNOR: They used to do something in the Senate, but...
ALONZO BODDEN: Pass laws.
SAGAL: Crazy, I know.
O'CONNOR: I think I'm going to need a hint.
SAGAL: Well, it's kind of hard to hint to. But it's the sort of thing that bespoke an older more casual, even southern era. Does anybody know?
BODDEN: Shake hands.
O'CONNOR: Wear hoop skirts.
MO ROCCA: Wear straw...
SAGAL: Why, Senator Lott, you look fetching tonight in your...
SAGAL: I like that. It's close, actually.
O'CONNOR: It's close to hoop skirts?
SAGAL: It sort of is. Should I just tell you because...
O'CONNOR: Oh I don't know. I don't want to lose the point. Apparently, I'm close.
SAGAL: Apparently, the Senate has cancelled Seersucker Thursday.
O'CONNOR: Oh, I was just getting there.
SAGAL: To seersucker?
O'CONNOR: The word seersucker popped up in my brain just then.
SAGAL: Seersucker Thursday was a tradition created by Mississippi Senator Trent Lott back in the 90s, after the Senate cancelled his popular "White Robes and Hood Wednesdays."
SAGAL: Dozens of senators would don, you know, the stripy white summer fabric, and they'd get together - seriously - for an ice cream social. We assume that they would begin and end most of their sentences with "I say." I say there, I say.
ROCCA: I do declare.
O'CONNOR: What, they've turned into Foghorn Leghorn.
SAGAL: They don't want to look frivolous.
SAGAL: Exactly. Doesn't everybody turn into Foghorn Leghorn in a seersucker suit? They don't want to look frivolous in these contentious times. They don't like each other. One idea, Senators: if you want to keep Seersucker Thursdays going, just create Leather Man Fridays.
SAGAL: One look at Harry Reid in his leather chaps and America will be begging you to go back to the seersucker.
SAGAL: Mo, as an experiment, Google set up a huge network of computers to replicate the human brain. Then they showed this artificial brain the internet. And it turned out they had made it incredibly human like because the brain started doing what?
ROCCA: It started, well it started Googling.
ROCCA: It started...
SAGAL: It started Googling itself.
ROCCA: It started Googling itself.
ROCCA: No. It started something more - OK, it checked its email. It started looking for - oh, give me a clue.
SAGAL: Well, it especially liked the one that played on the keyboard.
ROCCA: Oh, the one that played on the - it started downloading iTunes.
ROCCA: Music. Liked the one that played - YouTube - looking at cat videos.
SAGAL: Yes, looking at cat videos.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: This massive linked computer, designed to replicate the human brain, started looking at the internet and immediately it started picking out cat videos.
SAGAL: It's true. Google showed it thousands and thousands of web pages. And by itself, this brain figured out what cats were and that they were really cute, especially when they're pretending to play the piano or riding around on a rhumba.
ROCCA: Why don't the candidates, why don't Romney and Obama just put on cat videos as campaign ads, because they're so riveting?
SAGAL: They're amazing. You can't stop watching them.
ROCCA: You can't stop.
SAGAL: It's reassuring. It turns out that when computers finally become self-aware and sentient, they're not going to try and kill us like the movies always tell us. They'll be too distracted by cat videos.
SAGAL: We thought it would be The Terminator; it's going to be The Procrastinator.
SAGAL: I'll be back, later.
SAGAL: Kyrie, to make a point about the injustice of America's approach to immigration, Representative Louis Gutierrez invoked what heroic figure on the House floor?
ROCCA: Oh, I love this.
O'CONNOR: I would love it too, if I knew the answer.
ROCCA: Gosh, I wish it was my question.
SAGAL: I'll give you a hint. I'll give you a hint. There's some suspicion that this person crossed the border just to have an anchor baby, baby, baby.
O'CONNOR: Justin Bieber.
SAGAL: Justin Bieber.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Bieber, Justin Beiber, Gutierrez pointed out, is a Canadian citizen. And Gutierrez told the sad story of how for his last concert tour, Bieber paid a coyote to smuggle him over the border from Toronto, and was found wandering lost somewhere near Tonawanda, New York.
SAGAL: No, that's not true. Actually, what Gutierrez did was he made a point about racial profiling by showing pictures of Bieber and his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, and asking who looks like an immigrant.
SAGAL: It's a trick question, of course. Selena Gomez is not his girlfriend, he's still sleeping with his blankie.
ROCCA: Actually, is Obamacare going to cover Bieber Fever?
SAGAL: That's a good question.
SAGAL: I don't know. Under the individual mandate, it's possible.
BODDEN: Well, you know...
ROCCA: For some it's pre-existing.
BODDEN: Major league baseball, in their rookie camp actually tells their Latino players they have to carry ID when they play the Arizona Diamondbacks.
ROCCA: Is that true?
BODDEN: They actually tell them you have to have ID because you're showing up at the ball park and you're not mowing the lawn.
BODDEN: Oh yeah, blame me.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.