Small Talk: A Swiss bank secret, dogs and finals

Host Alex Trebek poses on the set at Sony Pictures for the 28th Season Premiere of the television show 'Jeopardy' on September 20, 2011 in Culver City, California.


Kai Ryssdal: Here we are, on a Friday, ready for a taste of the news that didn't quite make the headlines. Courtesy of Brendan Francis Newnam, Rico Gagliano and the rest of the Marketplace staff.

Rico Gagliano: Stacey Vanek Smith, reporter, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Stacey Vanek Smith: Well, I'm going to be talking about a message that the Swiss bank UBS sent to its retail banking staff. It's a 43-page code on how to dress.

Gagliano: A 43-page dress code.

Vanek Smith: Oh yeah. You're not supposed to eat garlic or onions. You're not supposed to wear short socks. They want for women flesh-colored underwear. Men are also supposed to wear good quality underwear that is undetectable.

Gagliano: So now basically, everything is secret about the Swiss banking system, except the color of their underwear.

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

Avishay Artsy: Therapy dogs for college students.

Newnam: I'm guessing therapy dogs are allowed on couches.

Artsy: They're allowed anywhere. I mean, university officials are worried about college students being too stressed out right now during finals week. So Tufts University is bringing therapy dogs onto campus.

Newnam: So the idea is to help them de-stress?

Artsy: Exactly. I guess that's great, but what happened to chain smoking?

Newnam: That won't prepare them for the dog-cuddle-dog world out there.

Artsy: No, it won't.

Gagliano: Rod Abid, senior producer of the Marketplace Morning Report, what story are you gonna be talking about this weekend?

Rod Abid: We have just learned that a computer named Watson built by IBM is about to take on the biggest Jeopardy champions of all time on the game show.

Gagliano: The way they took on Garry Kasparov in chess?

Abid: Exactly. Except this one will be televised and has Alex Trebek, unlike the other one.

Gagliano: Will the computer win? That's creepy.

Abid: It's very strange. It raises two questions: One is how does the computer actually operate the buzzer? And the second question is how can it choose the different topics it wants to answer?

Gagliano: That's true. How does it know what it's best at? "I will take 'End of humanity' for $600, Alex."

Ryssdal: More? We've got it. It's a podcast Rico and Brendan do called The Dinner Party Download.


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