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Small Talk

Small Talk: A Swiss bank secret, dogs and finals

Marketplace Staff Dec 17, 2010
Small Talk

Small Talk: A Swiss bank secret, dogs and finals

Marketplace Staff Dec 17, 2010


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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