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Small talk: Cuddle class, an Occupy Wall Street class, when Virginia starts classes

College students sit in a classroom. New York University plans to offer a class on the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Kai Ryssdal: A final note to put a puncutation mark on the last five days. The news that didn't quite make the headlines. It comes to us, as it always does, courtesey of Rico Gagliano, Brendan Francis Newnam, and the rest of the Marketplace staff.


Rico Gagliano: Jennifer Collins, reporter, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Jennifer Collins: I'm going to talking about cuddle class.

Gagliano: So would I, if I knew what it was. What is it?

Collins: OK, so Air New Zealand has this new seating arrangement. Basically two people pay for three seats. They lift up the arm rest and then they can cuddle by laying across all three seats.

Gagliano: That's really sweet.

Collins: Yeah, except for now flight attendants are having to be trained to break up amorous couples.

Gagliano: They weren't before?

Collins: Apparently, yeah.

Gagliano: You're already packed pretty tight on most flights. You end up almost

Brendan Newnam: Matt Berger, digital director for Marketplace, what's your story?

Matt Berger: New York University announced that they're coming out with a class called Occupy Wall Street.

Newnam: Isn't the whole point of Occupy Wall Street to eliminate class, so this seems counterintuitive?

Berger: That is a good point, but it's a real class. It's offered by the school's Social and Cultural Analysis department.

Newnam: OK?

Berger: And it's going to focus on the history of debt and finance.

Newnam: And of course, one of the qualifications for getting into the class is going into debt to be able to afford to take the class.

Gagliano: Jonathan Karp, senior editor, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Jonathan Karp: I'm going to be talking about a story in Slate about how in Virginia you can't start school until after Labor Day.

Gagliano: Why? That's a law? Why?

Karp: Yeah, they passed a law because they said it would hurt tourism if you start school before Labor Day. And apparently they have a very strong lobby from the amusement park industry.

Gagliano: So basically if students went back to school, they couldn't be earning money off of them, you know, riding rides?

Karp: They wouldn't be earning money, that they wouldn't have teenagers to work at the sites...

Gagliano: Maybe they could just come to a compromise and start school early, but actually hold classes on roller-coasters. Right?

Karp: Right. That would teach them a lot about our markets.


Ryssdal: There's more where that came from. The radio show Brendan and Rico do is called The Dinner Party.

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