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Small talk: Less babies, golfing with sharks, a luxurious toilet
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Kai Ryssdal: This final note to wrap things up this Friday. Some news that didn’t quite make the headlines. Courtesy of Brendan Francis Newnam, Rico Gagliano, and the rest of the Marketplace staff.
Brendan Newnam: Paddy Hirsch, senior editor at Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Paddy Hirsch: In America, we’re actually giving birth to fewer babies.
Hirsch: Yeah, because of the economy. It seems that Americans gave birth to 4.3 million babies in 2007, just before the recession kicked in.
Newnam: Totally bad timing. They’re probably unemployed, right?
Hirsch: Well, you’d hope the babies are unemployed. But since then, our birth rate has dropped. Last year, it was down to 4 million only.
Newnam: But doesn’t it follow that if the economy is down, then people aren’t working, which means they have time for, you know….
Hirsch: Yeah, but I think that you’re so stressed out when you’re unemployed — or the economy is so stressful — that you have fewer kids. It’s the absolute reverse of a baby boom.
Newnam: It’s a ‘baby, not tonight. ‘
Rico Gagliano: Millie Jefferson, director, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Millie Jefferson: Reuters has a story this week about a golf course in Brisbane, Australia, that has a special kind of wildlife in waters along the greens.
Gagliano: This is a water hazard?
Jefferson: It’s a big hazard because it’s sharks.
Gagliano: Like “Jaws” sharks?
Jefferson: Yeah, like a local river flooded the golf course and when the waters receded…
Gagliano: It left sharks on the golf course?
Jefferson: Exactly. They can do one of two things. It will be a really awesome reality TV show with people fishing balls out of the lake or they can throw sharks on the barbie.
Newnam: Matt Berger, digital director for Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Matt Berger: The New York Times did a review this weekend for a $6,400 toilet.
Newnam: And they wonder why people are occupying Wall Street.
Berger: Well anyway, for $6,400 it’s got a heated seat, it’s got a blow dryer, it’s got music, it’s got a remote control. The seat raises and lowers automatically with a little beam of light.
Newnam: Wait. So this basically has a computer in it?
Newnam: What happens if the computer crashes?
Newnam: Yeah, without a paddle.
Ryssdal: There’s plenty more where that came from. The podcast Rico and Brendan do is called Dinner Party Download.