Small Talk

Small talk: Quiet flying, NYC taxi lights, exam answers

Marketplace Contributor Mar 2, 2012

Kai Ryssdal: This final note of a Friday in early March, a chance to catch up on the news that didn’t quite make the headlines courtesty of Brendan Francis Newnam, Rico Gagliano, and the rest of the Marketplace staff.

Rico Gagliano: Joanthan Karp, senior editor, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Jonathan Karp: Virgin Atlantic Airlines has this new Upper Class Dream Suite, big beds. And they’re training flight attendants to whisper, to speak very calmly at 20-30 decibels.

Gagliano: Because it’s like, that’s especially soothing or something?

Karp: That’s what they say. They want to give their passengers the most comforting and relaxing experience possible.

Gagliano: But when they go through the curtain into coach all bets are off, I guess?

Karp: “Quiet in the back! They’re sleeping up front.”

Gagliano: “You want fish or chicken?”

Brendan Newnam: Matt Berger, digital director for Marketplace, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Matt Berger: Well taxi cab drivers in New York City this week announced that they’re going to change the lights on the top of their cab, which let you know if they’re available or not.

Newnam: I’ve always found this confusing. I never remember whether their illumination means they’re on duty or off duty.

Berger: Well it’s even more confusing that that right now. There’s actually four potential availabilities because they have multiple lights. So they’re simplifying it to only have one light and it’s either on or off, available or not available.

Newnam: I wish people had these signs. It would make life a little easier.

Berger: Or even if the taxi cabs came up with other signs. So like, takes credit card/doesn’t take credit card. Or very angry or likes to talk a lot.

Newnam: Will take you to Brooklyn, is not taking you to Brooklyn.

Berger: Exactly.

Gagliano: Jeremy Hobson, host of the Marketplace Morning Report, what story are you going to be talking about this weekend?

Jeremy Hobson: So there’s this new website called, which is sort of questions that would be on a test or an exam and really stupid answers that the students gave.

Gagliano: All right, some examples?

Hobson: OK. Briefly explain what hard water is. Answer: ice. What is a vibration? I don’t know if this is a physics class or something like that. Answer: There are good vibrations and bad vibrations. “Good Vibrations” were discovered in the 1960s.

Gagliano: Baby boomers right now are going, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ A+!

Ryssdal: The radio show that Rico and Brendan do is called The Dinner Party.

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