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Panel Questions


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 Negin Farsad, Mo Rocca and Adam Burke. And here again is your host, a man who just asked for a slight change to his intros. It's Peter de Sagal.


SAGAL: Thank you, Bill. In just a minute, Bill is taken to The Hague and charged with war 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.

Mo, people have marveled at prehistoric cave paintings like out of Lascaux. Now, scientists now suggest that the strange artistic genius of those cave paintings might have happened because the artists were what?

MO ROCCA: Drunk.

ADAM BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Close enough - stoned out of their minds.


ROCCA: Stoned.

SAGAL: Yeah. Well, for centuries, we've wondered how these ancient cavemen created their art. And one possible answer is the lack of oxygen in these deep caves created a condition called hypoxia, which can lead to feeling elated or high. Now, the scientists tested this by going into the caves at Lascaux with a black light lamp. And it just blew their minds.


ROCCA: Lascaux bros. I love it.

SAGAL: Yes, indeed.

NEGIN FARSAD: Was it just, like, images of, like, Cheetos on the wall? And like...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: It's a - it would be really funny if, like, next to the amazing paintings of animals and hunters, there are, like, little smears of Cheeto dust.

FARSAD: Yeah (laughter).

SAGAL: It's like, a-ha.

FARSAD: (Laughter).

ROCCA: Well, I mean, has anyone seen Ringo Starr in that movie "Caveman?" I mean, they all do act kind of like a stoner. So...


BURKE: OK. But Mo, I hate to break this up. I don't think that was a documentary.

FARSAD: I know. You're pointing to that like it was a work of science.

SAGAL: If I remember correctly, that's one of those movies that advance the scientific idea that an ancient cavewoman wore bikinis made of fur?


SAGAL: Mo, there is a new service available for people who love to read but hate to read. A new company is offering new versions of classic literature that are what?

ROCCA: Oh, edible? It's so interesting...


ROCCA: I wondered if there's a service where it's acted out for you.


ROCCA: But that would just be a movie.


ROCCA: Can you give me a clue?

SAGAL: You barely even have time to curl up with it.

ROCCA: They're reduced to, like, tiny 30-second ads.

SAGAL: Well, almost - I'll give it to you. They take all kinds of books, and they reduce them to 12 minutes.


SAGAL: Think of it as the Quibi of reading. What's Quibi? I don't remember. Anyway...


SAGAL: If you love to say you are an avid reader but want to be able to read a full book during a Hulu commercial break, then is the site for you. They have this online catalogue of books, best-sellers, classics. And if you sign up, they will distill them into a length you can read in 12 minutes. Now, this is good. This does not ruin books. Sometimes, it improves them. Even a short story can be better if shorter. For example, for sale, baby shoes, the end. See?

BURKE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: This still sounds too long for me. I want the "Anna Karenina" TikTok. Ooh, there's a train coming - and that's it.


ROCCA: Not all books get better when they're shorter. Nobody wants to read a book called "Moby."


ROCCA: But people would want to read a book called...

BURKE: (Laughter).

SAGAL: Yes. I guess it depends how you cut it.

Mo, a woman in Scotland got fed up and moved from the house she loved because she was sick of seeing what?

ROCCA: Her neighbors is not going to be interesting. I need a clue, please.

SAGAL: They kept yelling out the window, wash, rinse, repeat. You forgot to repeat again.

ROCCA: Oh, got sick of seeing shampoo voyeurs, people who are watching...


ROCCA: ...Her wash her hair.

SAGAL: No, she wasn't being watched.

ROCCA: She got sick of watching other people wash their hair.

SAGAL: I'll give it to you. She was sick of watching her neighbors bathe in their bathroom all the time.


SAGAL: So she's moving. A woman sold her home. She bought this beautiful home in the Scotland countryside. The next thing she knows, the land next to her house is sold. A house is built on it. And that house's bathroom is basically right outside her kitchen window.

ROCCA: Oh, gosh.

SAGAL: Right. So her dream was to be alone and the neighbor's dream was get a load of this bad booty.

BURKE: (Laughter).

ROCCA: It's tough in New York. I mean, I'm right across the street. I mean, I look directly out into the reading room of this library. And during the pandemic, the reading room has been closed. So I've been able to go back to kind of being in my natural state, you know? Because before, like, let's just say people weren't getting a lot of reading done.


SAGAL: You're saying...

ROCCA: I'm pro-literacy. And I want people to read. And they weren't reading when I was walking out of the shower.

BURKE: Yeah, they were more interested in the second half of "Moby."

FARSAD: (Laughter).

ROCCA: Exactly.


THE HOLLIES: (Singing) Look through any window. Yeah. What do you see? Smiling faces all around... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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