Small talk: rabbits, windmills, rodents as fashion

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: This final note to end the week, a Friday finally after five busy days. So what if we take a break from the big news and see what didn't quite make the headlines?

Courtesy of Rico Gagliano, Brendan Francis Newnam and the rest of the Marketplace staff.


Rico Gagliano: Avishay Artsy, assistant producer, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Avishay Artsy: It's about two rabbits, Cathy and Miffy.

Gagliano: Sounds lovely.

Artsy: Yeah. Well it's actually kind of contentious. Miffy is this well-known Dutch children's book character rabbit, and the creator has sued Sanrio, the Japanese company behind Hello Kitty, because they have a character named Cathy that looks a lot like Miffy.

Gagliano: So it's rabbit versus rabbit. Who won?

Artsy: Miffy won. Cathy can no longer be sold in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Gagliano: So Miffy's next book is going to be called "Miffy Crushes Her Enemies Using All Legal Means at Her Disposal."

Artsy: Yeah, parental guidance strongly recommended.

Brendan Newnam: Adriene Hill, sustainability reporter for Marketplace. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Adriene Hill: Well, it turns out we're painting our wind turbines -- our big windmills -- the wrong color.

Newnam: Wait, they're white, the color of clouds. That seems perfect.

Hill: It does seem perfect. But the white, the color of clouds, also attracts bugs, which attract bats and birds, which then get killed by the windmills.

Newnam: Oh that's right, the birds get butchered in the windmills.

Hill: Very sad. So instead, it turns out we should be painting these things purple.

Newnam: Purple windmills sounds a Lucky Charm marshmallow.

Gagliano: Dalasie Michaelis, web developer. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Michaelis: Well a bunch of Brooklyn fashion designers are going to be staging a show pretty soon, and they're going to be using the nutria, the fur of the nutria, which is this giant rodent which has been overrunning Louisiana.

Gagliano: So that's a nice way of saying they're going to make clothes out of rat fur.

Michaelis: Clothes and capes and wraps and shawls and, I think, even a fur-lined wedding dress.

Gagliano: This is like the ultimate anti-PETA fur, you realize, because nothing a protester could throw on it would be more disturbing than the actual clothes.

Michaelis: That's true.

Gagliano: Like, oh, you threw blood on me? I'm wearing a rat!


Ryssdal: There is, believe it or not, oh so much more where that came from. It's a podcast called Dinner Party Download that Brendan and Rico do.

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