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Kai Ryssdal: This final note, a chance on the last Friday of the month to take a break from the headlines and catch up on the news that didn’t quite make the front pages. It comes to us the same way it always does, courtesy of Brendan Francis Newnam, Rico Gagliano and the rest of the Marketplace staff.
Rico Gagliano: Ethan Lindsay, producer of the Marketplace Morning Report. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Ethan Lindsay: “The Jersey Shore.”
Gagliano: Yeah, what else is new?
Lindsay: Yeah, every weekend. But this weekend, there’s an academic conference at the University of Chicago studying “The Jersey Shore.” I have the conference program, it’s very official, right here with me.
Gagliano: Wait a minute. Have we run out of things like science or math to talk about? Or just non-trashy TV shows, there are plenty of those.
Lindsay: We’re focusing on “Jersey Shore” now.
Gagliano: All right, what’s at the conference?
Lindsay: The keynote speaker’s a professor, and she’s talking about the ‘Monetization of Being: Reputational Labor, Brand Culture and Why “Jersey Shore” Matters.’
Gagliano: Does it say if there’ll be hot-tubbing at the reception afterwards?
Lindsay: I wonder who’s going to be attending this conference, because they’re going to all be at the clubs.
Brendan Newnam: Avishay Artsy, assistant producer for Marketplace. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Avishay Artsy: Something called the MAPLE Act.
Newnam: What is the MAPLE Act?
Artsy: Well Sen. Patrick Leahy from Vermont is very concerned that people are selling counterfeit maple syrup, and he wants to make it a federal felony to do that.
Newnam: A federal offense?
Artsy: Yeah, I mean, I’m from New Hampshire and we take our maple syrup really seriously up there.
Newnam: Serious enough to put Mrs. Butterworth behind bars? That’s outrageous!
Artsy: She does have sticky fingers.
Newnam: Oh, that should be a felony.
Gagliano: Jennifer Collins, reporter. What story are you going to be talking about this weekend?
Jennifer Collins: There’s this historic bridge in Kentucky. Officials want to replace it, but they don’t want to destroy it, because it’s historic. So they’re giving it away.
Gagliano: For free?
Collins: For free, to anybody. They’ll give it to a regular person, to an institution, to pretty much anyone.
Gagliano: Has Alaska shown any interest? They have the Bridge to Nowhere, they could start a collection.
Ryssdal: There’s more where that came from. The radio show Rico and Brendan do is called the Dinner Party.