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Panel Round Two

BILL KURTIS: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME, the NPR News quiz. I'm Bill Kurtis. And we are playing this week with Brian Babylon, Faith Salie 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, Bill makes like a rhinestone cowboy. It's the Listener Limerick challenge. If you'd like the 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. Peter, many employers are offering their workers incentives to get fit. They're giving out fitness trackers, and they're telling workers to compete with each other to stay active. Now, The Wall Street Journal reports that these programs really show results as more and more employees are doing what?

PETER GROSZ: Selling the fitness trackers online.


SAGAL: You're - no. No, they keep the fitness trackers. But what are they doing?

GROSZ: They're hiring, like, ringers to wear their Fitbits (laughter).

SAGAL: Yeah, well, basically, they're cheating...


SAGAL: ...Is what they're doing. So your hip, millennial boss gives everybody a Fitbit so you can make sure you get in your 10,000 steps. Well, you could do that or you could strap it to your dog.


SAGAL: Or if you really want a guarantee you'll win that gift certificate to T.G.I. Friday's, you could attach it to a power drill and turn it on.

GROSZ: Yeah.


SAGAL: Those are actual cheats people have used...


SAGAL: ...To win these competitions...


SAGAL: ...As well as was tying it to a ceiling fan. Whoosh-whoosh-whoosh (ph).


GROSZ: That's amazing.

SAGAL: And one absolutely brilliant guy who tied it to his hamster wheel.


SAGAL: And he did win the competition...

GROSZ: Nice.

SAGAL: ...But the hamsters is now his direct supervisor.


GROSZ: If you want to tie it to a dog to cheat, I hope someone's tying it to a Chihuahua because those dogs, they take more steps...

SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: ...Than anything I have ever seen in my life.


BRIAN BABYLON: More dainty steps, yeah.

GROSZ: Yeah, you take like one stride and the Chihuahuas like (imitating noise).


SAGAL: There are companies that run these competitions for your company. They, you know, farm out the work. And they say oh, we'll come in and we'll give everybody a Fitbit and run the competition.

GROSZ: That's a stupid business. Keep going.

SAGAL: Well - and they are getting hip to these cheaters 'cause the results are too off the charts. It's like, they call you up and they say well, we know you tied it to your reciprocating saw...


SAGAL: ...And you know how we know that? 'Cause you're not in Tierra del Fuego where you would have to be...

GROSZ: Right, based on this...

SAGAL: ...If you actually walked that much.

GROSZ: Also, like, it's like a larger, more slovenly gentleman is like, yeah, I walked 80 miles yesterday.


GROSZ: Yep, I don't know what happened.

SAGAL: Yeah, can't get this weight off with 80 miles a day.


GROSZ: So give me the prize, please.

SAGAL: Is it food? Because I'm hungry from walking 80 miles.


SAGAL: Faith, a city in South Korea has started a unique public transportation initiative that will immediately announce on the train if a passenger happens to be what?

SALIE: Immediately announce on the train - is it something about the passenger's characteristic - like, is it...

SAGAL: ...Characteristic of a particular passenger. The reason this is so helpful is because it's very hard to ask a passenger if they are this.


GROSZ: North Korean.

SALIE: It's something that's not...


SAGAL: It's true.


SALIE: It's something that's not apparent?

SAGAL: Well, it could be apparent, you just don't want to guess wrong.

GROSZ: Apparent is part of the clue.

SALIE: Oh, pregnant?

SAGAL: Yes, pregnant.


SALIE: Oh, yeah.

SAGAL: On the one hand, people should and often want to give up their subway seat...

SALIE: Not in New York.

SAGAL: ...To a pregnant women.


SAGAL: On the other hand, you should never say the words oh, are you pregnant to a woman you don't know unless you can see the baby actually emerging from her body.


SALIE: Yeah, you have to be like, is this your mucus plug?


SAGAL: Yeah, really.

SALIE: Would you like to have a seat?

SAGAL: The transit system in the city of Busan, South Korea solved the problem with this technology. Pregnant women carry these little transmitters and when they get onto a train, this pink beacon lights up. The problem is - and it's nice because it's worked out really well and people want to give up their seats. And so the pregnant...

BABYLON: ...I thought it was like - it sounded - I thought it was, like, some Star Trek technology that scans a woman's body.

SAGAL: Yeah.

BABYLON: And then - so it's like a little, like, fob or something?

SALIE: So you have to volunteer to wear it.

SAGAL: Yeah, well, what you do is you ask for it. If you're pregnant, you show up and they say, oh, you're pregnant. Here you go. And they give it to you. You put it to your pocket or your keychain. And then whenever you walk onto the train, it senses that you're there and lights up and lets passengers know that there's a pregnant person who might need a seat.

GROSZ: So you could lie.


GROSZ: And say yeah, I'm pregnant.

SAGAL: You could.

GROSZ: And then...

BABYLON: ...So if I did it and they're, like, hey - I'm like, hey, you don't know me.

SAGAL: Yeah.


SAGAL: You'd be like what do you mean a man can't be pregnant?

BABYLON: You don't know me, man.

SAGAL: That's sexist.


SAGAL: Yeah.

GROSZ: It would be great if it was some weird, like, scanning technology 'cause it'd be like, you are pregnant. And you'd be like, oh, my God, I didn't know.


SAGAL: What a way to find out.

SALIE: Who's the father?

GROSZ: The subway told me. Oh, my god.

SAGAL: Subway, is it a boy or girl? Subway, who's the father?


BABYLON: It'd be like a whole, like, Maury Povich episode...

SAGAL: Absolutely, all of a sudden...

BABYLON: ...On the way to work, wow.


BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS: (Singing) Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up. Stand up... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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