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Small talk: E-mail species, antique coins and why you can’t smile in New Jersey

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Kai Ryssdal: We’re gonna end today right where we started, with the news of the week gone by. But… with a twist. The stuff that didn’t quite make the headlines. We’re gonna do it the same way we always do, by sending Marketplace alumni Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam out to ask around.

Rico Gagliano: Chris Brube, intern. What story are you gonna be talking about this weekend?

Chris Brube: Well, there are these scientists in Scotland who did a study of e-mail habits and they came up with a bird for each habit that people had. So, for instance, a person could be a compulsive woodpecker — that means they e-mail every day, every night, all the time.

Gagliano: Okay, so what are you?

Brube: I’m worried I might be a pesky crow. That’s the type of person who really leans on people by sending the same e-mail over and over again with slightly different wording

Gagliano: That’s alright, I’m a pterodactyl.

Brube: What do you mean, you’re a pterodactyl?

Gagliano: We like handwritten letters and we no longer exist.

Brendan Newnam: Celeste Wesson, senior editor. What story are you gonna be talking about this weekend?

Celeste Wesson: A young man in Oregon stole an antique coin collection and he was discovered because he and his girlfriend spent some of the antique coins at face value for pizza and a movie.

Newnam: How much were these coins worth?

Wesson: There was a quarter which he spent to pay his pizza bill worth up to $18,000. 

Newnam: Oh my god… but it had sun-dried tomatoes on the pizza.

Wesson: Of course!

Newnam: That’s a gourmet topping, that’s expensive.

Rico Gagliano: Heidi Moore, New York bureau chief. What’s your story?

Heidi Moore: I’m fascinated by this story that New Jersey has actually made it illegal for you to smile in your driver’s liscence photo.

Gagliano: Oh, so we’re all in compliance already.

Moore: Exactly.

Gagliano: So why can’t you smile?

Moore: Well, New Jersey has this facial recognition software to prevent fraud, but if you smile it distorts your face.

Gagliano: That sounds bizarre… but I can understand why software programmers wouldn’t anticipate anyone smiling at the DMV.

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