Small talk: ski masks with beards, taxis of the future
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Kai Ryssdal: This final note on a Friday afternoon, a chance to escape the heavy-duty news of the week and touch on what didn't quite make the headlines. Courtesy of Brendan Francis Newnam, Rico Gagliano and the rest of the Marketplace staff.
Brendan Newnam: Dalasie Michaelis, web developer for Marketplace. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Dalasie Michaelis: Well these six poker buddies in Texas wanted to start a company, and they threw out a bunch of ideas. The one they decided to go with was ski masks with beards.
Newnam: Wait, what are they?
Michaelis: They're basically ski masks with beards attached to them. So you look like Santa Claus or ZZ Top or Saddam Hussein post-capture.
Newnam: And how's the business doing?
Michaelis: It's doing really well. They sold out their first production run of 10,000 and they're producing more.
Newnam: I didn't realize there were so many kidnappers and robbers who wanted to stand out and have a little style.
Rico Gagliano: George Judson, managing editor, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
George Judson: I'm going to be talking about vending machines that can see you coming.
Gagliano: From where?
Judson: Well in Japan, they've come up with a vending machine that has facial recognition: It can see who you are, what kind of person you are and then it recommends what drink you should have.
Gagliano: So if you look like a drunk, it'll tell you to have a beer?
Gagliano: Does it have a different voice depending on what it thinks you are? Like if you're an old person with a hearing aid, is it like, "PRUNE JUICE!"
Newnam: Nancy Farghalli, editor at Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Nancy Farghalli: New York City is going to be running a contest to find its taxi of the future. And they pick three finalists and one of the finalists is from Turkey.
Newnam: I didn't realize Turkey made cars.
Farghalli: They do, and the coolest thing about this taxi? It has a sunroof, so you can look up and see the skyline.
Newnam: That sounds nice, but for a future cab, I just want it to have a functioning air conditioner, I want it not cost a lot of money and I want it to avoid traffic. Do they have some way of doing that?
Farghalli: It's called the subway.
Ryssdal: If you like that, there's plenty more where it came from: a podcast Rico and Brendan do called Dinner Party Download.