PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Coming up, it's Lightning Fill in the Blank, but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-88-924-8924. Or click the contact us link on our website waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming shows in Kalamazoo on March 20th and San Diego, California on May 1st. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!
COLLEEN COEN: Hi, this is Colleen Coen from Grand Rapids, Michigan.
SAGAL: Hey, Colleen. How are you?
COEN: I'm good. How are you?
SAGAL: I'm fine. How are things in Grand Rapids?
COEN: Oh, they're all right, a little cold.
SAGAL: Oh, yeah. We just found out that in Grand Rapids they rescinded a law in which people now can be willfully annoying. It used to be illegal in Grand Rapids.
COEN: I have not heard that.
SAGAL: It's true, so go for it.
SAGAL: Well, Carl Kasell, Colleen, is going to read for you three news-related limericks, with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly on two of the limericks, you will be a winner. Here is your first limerick.
CARL KASELL: Our peer review's gotten more rigor-ish, we want science to feel less ad-libber-ish. Nonsensical jargon is never a bargain, we're ridding these abstracts of...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: One-hundred-and-twenty science articles have been pulled from various journals because they're total gibberish. MIT students have programmed a computer to spit out nonsense science babble. It got published all over the place. Here's an example, I quote, "Given the current status of efficient archetypes, leading analysts famously desires the emulation of congestion control."
SAGAL: That got published. Now, it doesn't mean anything, makes no sense, making it really different from the scientific writing that does mean something and makes no sense.
SAGAL: The good news though, if nonsense science writing works, then nonsense radio writing can maximize banana optometrist school wagon.
ADAM FELBER: Purple.
SAGAL: Here's your next limerick.
KASELL: Like McNuggets with bones in appearance, our wings have not shown perseverance. Our last roll of the dice is a huge slash in price, we're having a Mighty Wing...
SAGAL: Yes, clearance. Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: McDonald's created the Mighty Wing, a real chicken wing, to provide a more natural, less processed alternative to the McNugget, and America was like, why is there a hard bony thing in my McNugget?
SAGAL: They've got 10 million unsold wings now, and now they're on clearance, 60 cents each instead of a dollar. If McDonald's can't sell them all, don't worry, you will love washing down your McRib later on with the new Bone McFlurry.
FELBER: That's always promising when poultry is on clearance.
SAGAL: Yeah, that's good. Here is your last limerick.
KASELL: Though scientists try to inspire us, some findings are far more desirous. After thousands of years, an infection appears. They have thawed a Siberian...
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: Much like Sleeping Beauty...
FELBER: I was going to go with Miley Cyrus.
SAGAL: Yeah. Much like Sleeping Beauty awoke after 100 years of slumber by a kiss, a giant virus has been woken up after being frozen in Siberia for 30,000 years. Scientists claim the virus is not a threat to humans, but have compared it to influenza and something called HIV.
SAGAL: They say thawing the virus will allow them to better understand our planet and answer scientific questions such as, what's the worst that could happen when we thaw this giant virus?
SAGAL: Carl, how did Colleen do on our quiz?
KASELL: Colleen, you had three correct answers, so I'll be doing the message on your voicemail or home answering machine.
SAGAL: Well done. Congratulations, Colleen.
COEN: Thank you. Thank you so much.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.