Panel Questions

Oct 6, 2018
Originally published on October 6, 2018 10:49 am
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BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR news quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. We're playing this week with Paula Poundstone, Roxanne Roberts and Peter Grosz. And here again is your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Bill.


SAGAL: In just a minute, it's constitutional - Mr. Kurtis becomes the Bill of Rhymes 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. Roxanne, the Trump administration has made some interesting scientific discoveries, including the one that fuel-efficient cars are dangerous because people might drive them more.


SAGAL: But happily, they've also discovered that a little bit of what might actually be good for you?


SAGAL: Exactly right.

PETER GROSZ: (Groaning).


SAGAL: No, it makes sense.

GROSZ: The hits keep coming.

SAGAL: It makes sense. It gives you a healthy glow, you know?


SAGAL: You might have thought that radiation in any amount is bad for you. That's what our government has said for decades. But the current administration says rolling back regulations on radiation is OK because a little of it is good for you. They say it stimulates the body's repair mechanisms and can make you healthier. They may be anti-science, but they're pro-mad science.



GROSZ: Is that, like, free chemo for everybody or something?

POUNDSTONE: Wait a minute. What state - like, OK, like, West Virginia - he keeps saying, coal's great, coal's great. What state is the radiation state that...


POUNDSTONE: ...That votes for him...

GROSZ: It must be Nevada.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: ...That he's trying to hold onto? Is it Nevada?

SAGAL: No, in general, they're against regulations because regulations cost money. But don't worry about being exposed to radiation because it's good for you. It stimulates the immune system, makes you healthier. It's really going to come back to bite them when everybody grows a second head, and both heads are allowed to vote.


GROSZ: It sounds like a doctor from the '50s being, like, you should smoke Chesterfields.

SAGAL: Yeah.


POUNDSTONE: So there are scientists involved in this?


SAGAL: There is one scientist...


SAGAL: ...Who is known for this outlier...

ROBERTS: Which department is this?

SAGAL: I'm not even sure. He's probably the EPA. I don't...

ROBERTS: Because the EPA just did a huge study about science, but they didn't let any actual scientists be involved in that...

SAGAL: Yeah, but...

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, because no - scientists have a bias.

SAGAL: Towards science.


POUNDSTONE: Towards science - and so you want to keep them out...

SAGAL: Right.


SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: And they're nerds, and we can't have nerds at our party - Squee's (ph) coming.


GROSZ: Come on, man - Squee hates nerds.


POUNDSTONE: But you know what? Can I just ask everyone listening at home right now to take out your 1982 calendar? And...


GROSZ: To be fair, give everybody, like, five or ten seconds to find it.

SAGAL: Find it, yeah.

GROSZ: I'm sure it's close by.

POUNDSTONE: Well, no...

SAGAL: They're filed away. You can't just...

POUNDSTONE: You know what? I'll tell you where it is - it's right beside your 1981.

SAGAL: That's true.

POUNDSTONE: So go get it.


POUNDSTONE: Just go get it.

SAGAL: Peter, this week...


SAGAL: We read a study that suggests breaking up with who might be the most difficult of all breakups?

GROSZ: Like, a cable provider or cell phone provider or something like that (laughter).

SAGAL: That is pretty hard, I've discovered. But that's not what the study says.

GROSZ: Is it a human being or...

SAGAL: It is. It's a particular kind of human being. I'll give you a hint. No one told you life was going to be this way. Your job's a joke. You're broke. Your love life's DOA.

GROSZ: Just your regular friends?

SAGAL: Yes, your friends.



SAGAL: It's much harder to break up with your friends than with a romantic partner, it turns out - or so they say.

POUNDSTONE: You don't need to break up with your friends. You just - there's just attrition. You just don't get together.


GROSZ: Exactly - you just don't call.

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, whereas, presumably, your spouse is living in the same dwelling with you.

SAGAL: Yeah.

POUNDSTONE: And so you have to make another arrangement if you don't want to see them anymore.


SAGAL: A study in the Journal of Personal Relationships...

POUNDSTONE: There is no Journal of...


POUNDSTONE: That's ridiculous.

SAGAL: There is.

POUNDSTONE: The Journal of Personal Relationships...

ROBERTS: Is that - that's a real thing?

SAGAL: It is.

POUNDSTONE: How often does it come out?


POUNDSTONE: It's the Journal of Personal Relationships.

SAGAL: It's always there when you need it, Paula.



SAGAL: This study says...

POUNDSTONE: No, I was asked to write an article for the acquaintance section.