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Small Talk

Small talk: Rewards, lawns, reading

Marketplace Contributor May 8, 2009
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Small Talk

Small talk: Rewards, lawns, reading

Marketplace Contributor May 8, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

KAI RYSSDAL: This final note today. We spend most of our time on the bigger economic stories. Most of our time, that is, except for a minute and a half every other Friday. When Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam interview the Marketplace staff about the other stuff. You know, the news you might talk about at a dinner party.


Brendan Newnam: Phyllis Owens, commentary editor at Marketplace, what are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Phyllis Owens: Well, apparently in the UK the recession has an upside. There’s been a surge, apparently, in the number of people reporting criminals to claim rewards from this charity called Crime Stoppers.

Newnam: So what you’re saying is now that people don’t have money, they’re turning people in for money?

Owens: Right.

Newnam: That means that when times were good, people weren’t turning people in.

Owens: Well, maybe they held back just a little.

Newnam: So before it didn’t bother me that you were a serial killer, but $35 is $35.

Rico Gagliano: George Judson, managing editor, what are you going to be talking about this weekend?

George Judson: Well, in most parts of the country when a house if foreclosed on you can tell because their lawn is foot high in weeds. In California, where we are, the lawn dies. So one town here has figured out, let’s paint those lawns.

Gagliano: With actual paint?

Judson: It’s some kind of biodegradable paint-like thing.

Gagliano: Don’t you wish you could paint over all of your problems, like you just wake up in the morning and paint your bed made?

Judson: I would like to paint myself awake in the morning.

Gagliano: I want to paint my 401(k) valuable.

Newnam: Stacey Vanek-Smith, senior reporter at Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Vanek-Smith: Well, reading is getting really expensive. This week The New York Times announced that it’s raising its price, again — 33 percent. And Amazon just unveiled its new Kindle, big-screen Kindle reader, which is sort of like an iPod for books. It’s almost $500.

Newnam: This actually doesn’t surprise me. I ruined my credit reading “Anna Karenina” actually. I think we should buy futures in haiku.

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