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Panel Round Two

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 P.J. O'Rourke, Paula Poundstone and Luke Burbank. And, here again is your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.


Thank you, Carl. Thank you everybody.


SAGAL: In just a minute, Carl will fire up the Limerick barbecue and grills some portabella mush-rhymes.



SAGAL: It's vegan. You'll like it.


SAGAL: 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. P.J., a new study suggests that doing what can lead to immoral behavior?

O'ROURKE: Oh, I know all about this.

SAGAL: I know you do, that's why we directed this question to you, sir.

O'ROURKE: Yeah, drink.


SAGAL: Yes, they just figured that out. It's why the people in like the Whole Foods parking lot are so vicious about stealing your parking space.

O'ROURKE: Eating organic food?

SAGAL: Yes, eating organic food can make you immoral.


O'ROURKE: Eating organic food.

SAGAL: According to a new study.



O'ROURKE: Get out of here. I'm sorry.


O'ROURKE: I dislike vegans as much as the next person but...


O'ROURKE: But they're nothing compared to drunks.


POUNDSTONE: Wait, Peter, who did this study?


SAGAL: Scientists did it, Paula, and this is what the scientists did. The scientist...

POUNDSTONE: Who made him a scientist? Did he just...


O'ROURKE: Did he find that badge?

SAGAL: He had a white lab coat. I wasn't going to ask for a diploma.


POUNDSTONE: If he had a white coat, he might have been an ice cream man.

SAGAL: You never know.


SAGAL: Look, there are listeners out there right now who was wondering why they ended up, you know, organic strawberries and shooting a guy, and I can explain.


POUNDSTONE: All right, OK.

O'ROURKE: But we're not letting you.

SAGAL: I know.

POUNDSTONE: I'm there.

SAGAL: All right, well we're going to explain. We're going to explain.

O'ROURKE: All right.

SAGAL: So they took these groups of people. And they didn't even feed them organic food, they showed them pictures of packages of organic food.


SAGAL: Some people were shown organic products. Some people were shown regular junk food or normal food. And then those same people were given quizzes and questioned about various things that were to ascertain their level of sort of moral turpitude.

O'ROURKE: Well if you sat me down and showed me a bunch of pictures of organic food, I'd punch you too.



O'ROURKE: What a thing to do to somebody.

SAGAL: So what they determined was that there's something about organic food that makes people feel virtuous simply by virtue of experiencing it or having it. So therefore they feel they can get away with something bad because they're already done something virtuous. You see?

O'ROURKE: Well that's where Democrats come from. I don't see what it has to do with organic food.


LUKE BURBANK: But, you know the other part of this study, Peter...

SAGAL: Yeah.

BURBANK: Which was that they - so some of the people were shown foods that were labeled as organic; some people were shown stuff that wasn't organic but it was, you know, like relatively healthy, kind of innocuous stuff. And then some people were shown like brownies and things we'll call comfort food. I think we're bearing the lead here because the people who looked at the comfort food were nicer.


BURBANK: They were less judgy. They were just in their own shame spiral.

SAGAL: Exactly.


BURBANK: From like looking at brownies, that they weren't judging anyone else, which you know...

SAGAL: I must make up for my disgrace by looking at this brownie...


SAGAL: ...by helping this person in need.

BURBANK: Yes, which I...

SAGAL: Well, the people who had the organic kale were like "let the bastard die. What do I care?"



SAGAL: Paula, a new review of shipwrecks, records of shipwrecks since the Titanic, shows that along with not having enough lifeboats, and playing chicken with icebergs, sailors around the world also immediately gave up what idea after that tragedy?

POUNDSTONE: Of going down with the ship.

SAGAL: Pretty much, yes. What they gave up was women and children first.



SAGAL: Look, men tried to be chivalrous on the Titanic, and where did it get them? It got them to the bottom of the ocean, or best case scenario, in Aunt Millie's spare dress.


SAGAL: So here's the problem though, so everybody heard about women and children first on the Titanic. It was really one of the only times it was ever put in place.

So in a shipwreck, you can imagine later on, ten, however many years later, the ship's going down. The women and children are like, this is great; we're going to go first. And the ship's crew is like, all right, of course, we're going to board the lifeboats, women and children first. But first, we have some pre-boarding.


SAGAL: We'd like our silver and platinum passengers plus any men on board. We invite them to pre-board at this time. Also, if there are any families of men who need extra time, if you have any luggage like a Y chromosome, please...


SAGAL: P.J., thanks to a scientist at MIT, one of life's great struggles has finally been solved. This scientist has figured out how to increase the speed of what?

O'ROURKE: Hmm. I need a little hint there.

SAGAL: The study was done in conjunction with the Hienz 57 Institute.

O'ROURKE: Speed of ketchup.

SAGAL: Yes, the speed of ketchup.



SAGAL: Getting ketchup out of the bottle.


SAGAL: He has managed to solve that problem.

O'ROURKE: You got to go to MIT to figure out...

SAGAL: Well, no, listen...

O'ROURKE: You know what you do, you take the ketchup, you put it in one of those little plastic squeeze bottles. You can get ketchup that goes 70 miles an hour.


O'ROURKE: Just lay it on the table and go wham.

POUNDSTONE: But it's still stuck inside the - I think this is really a contribution.


SAGAL: Well, let me explain. So MIT researcher, and let's be honest, America's greatest hero, Dave Smith has invented a substance that makes the inside of the ketchup bottle almost frictionless, so the ketchup speeds right out of there. It is called LiquiGlide. Dr. Smith is not the slightest bit embarrassed that.

BURBANK: Nothing gross here.

SAGAL: Nothing gross here.


O'ROURKE: The guy's at MIT and he never saw a squirt bottle of ketchup, you know. I mean these people...

POUNDSTONE: But the squirt bottle...

O'ROURKE: ...don't get out enough.

POUNDSTONE: The squirt bottle does not solve the problem of what we call the "shy" ketchup.



SAGAL: Explain, Paula.

POUNDSTONE: Well, you know what does solve this, and you don't have to go to MIT to figure this out? It's a larger cap on the ketchup bottle.

Yeah, but then see what happens is - yes, I think you're probably right. But the way the ketchup bottle is currently shaped, you can't get a knife all the way - because you can't get up under the eaves.

O'ROURKE: I see.


POUNDSTONE: The shoulders of the bottle.

O'ROURKE: It's important. It is important, yeah.

POUNDSTONE: To get the shy ketchup.

O'ROURKE: The shy ketchup.

SAGAL: So you think the ketchup just doesn't have a lot of confidence?

POUNDSTONE: Yeah, we always call it that. When something won't come out in our house, it's shy.

O'ROURKE: It's shy.


O'ROURKE: Never mind.


(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.