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Welcome back from the weekend, folks! It’s What’d We Miss Monday, where we discuss some of the stories we missed over the last few days. Today, we discussed Encanto taking over the charts (and our hearts!), Olympians going to great lengths to avoid COVID and an update on the Webb Space Telescope! Plus, updates from abroad and a sweet Make Me Smile!
Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:
- “Olympians Face a Daunting Final Qualifying Event: Staying Healthy” from The New York Times
- “Miranda Talks About Bruno, And the ‘Encanto’ Phenomenon” from Bloomberg
- “A Glut of Cauliflower Is Coming to Britain” from Bloomberg
- “China sends 39 warplanes toward Taiwan, largest in new year” from the Military Times
- Tom Malinowski on Twitter
- “Orbital Insertion Burn a Success, Webb Arrives at L2” from NASA
What’s making you smile this week? Let us know. Send a voice memo or give us a call at 508-82-SMART (508-827-6278).
Make Me Smart January 24, 2022 transcript
Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.
Kai Ryssdal: It’s not so bad. Not so bad. Not so bad, which is honestly not a bad way to go through it. Hey everybody I’m Kai Ryssdal. Welcome back to Make Me Smart. It’s Monday today and making today make sense what we do on this podcast.
Marielle Segarra: I’m Marielle Segarra. Thanks for joining us. It is what did we miss Monday, where we talk about one big news fix of the day, as well as any other stories that you or we might have missed over the weekend.
Kai Ryssdal: So I’ll confess straight up. I couldn’t pick one story of the day. There’s a couple over the weekend and some from this morning. I mean, there’s just a lot going on. That’s the catch. There’s a lot going on.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, I was wondering, I didn’t see anything in there proposed by you. And I was like, well, this will be fine.
Kai Ryssdal: I didn’t have one. I didn’t have one. So I’ll tell you what, why don’t we just go through the roster of what we have. And then maybe listeners can pick one. I don’t know, we could have a little popularity contest. Why don’t you go first? What do you got? What did we miss? What do you like? What’s of interest to you?
Marielle Segarra: Okay, yeah, you know, it’s funny, as I was looking at all these, I was like, we have such different interests here.
Kai Ryssdal: We definitely do.
Marielle Segarra: But okay, so I saw a story in The New York Times about how athletes are preparing for the Winter Olympics, and specifically, not all the training that they have to do, but how they’re desperately trying to avoid getting COVID at the last minute. And so like all of the extreme things that they’re having to do, not necessarily because they’re worried they’re gonna get super sick, but they don’t want it to derail what they’ve been training for four years. Or you might even argue a lifetime. So like the Australian there’s an Australian figure skater who I mean, they have to take a flight to get to China. And she doesn’t want to pull her mask down even to eat on a really long flight just in case.
Kai Ryssdal: I don’t blame her for a second.
Marielle Segarra: Totally. Yeah, I mean and stuff like the Canadian men’s curling team they’re all spending the three weeks before the Olympics sequestered at a rental home in Vancouver just not seeing family missing one guy’s like missing his daughter’s dance recital or something. It’s tough and it sounds kind of lonely.
Kai Ryssdal: Totally lonely and and look the the pay off, is not, you know, remunerative depending on the sport, right? If you’re in one of the biggies, you’ll do fine. But the payoff is in a job well done and a life goal achieved. And then you have to get on with things. I’ll tell you what, though, for all this quarantining and mask wearing on a long flight and all that jazz, somebody’s gonna get it this thing is everywhere. I’m telling you, my wife has been more careful than anybody I can think of. And she got it. So you know.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, it’s tough to explain why some people get it and other people like work in hospitals and still haven’t gotten it. Also there was a story in the AP this weekend about the movie “Encanto,” the Disney movie. Have you seen it?
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, I have not, my kids have though.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah it’s really good. It’s about a Colombian family that most of them have some sort of gift or magical power, like one can see the future and one can talk to animals. And one can just like sort of inexplicably make flowers grow, which doesn’t seem like that exciting. Like, of all the of all the magic powers you could have. But the music from it has been really popular. So Lin Manuel Miranda wrote a lot of the music and or maybe all of it. Yeah. And a couple of the songs you can really hear him in. And one of them “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has been at the top of the charts. And I believe it’s has supplanted Adele for the in the top spot.
Kai Ryssdal: No way! For reals?
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, yeah. And six songs from the movie have charted on the Billboard Top 100.
Kai Ryssdal: Wow.
Marielle Segarra: And so it’s doing even better than some of his other stuff, which is like Hamilton and In the Heights, and a lot of really …
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, we’ve heard of that one – Hamilton?
Marielle Segarra: Yeah. So I just thought the story was interesting, because one, you never know what’s going to be the big hit. And then also, he talks about why maybe this movie is resonating. And besides the fact that for Latino audiences, it’s like seeing yourself represented. It’s also about a family that’s like living in one big house and having to try to get along with a lot of clashing personalities, which can resonate during COVID. Right. So there’s something to that too.
Kai Ryssdal: Yes. To all of that. Also, just the power of Disney. The power of Disney, you know. Totally true.
Marielle Segarra: Disney is great. I’m a big fan.
Kai Ryssdal: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. What else you got?
Marielle Segarra: Well, I have one that I just thought was interesting, a short news item about a glut of cauliflower in the UK. So apparently cauliflower is bigger on the holidays in the UK. And there are cauliflower growers.
Kai Ryssdal: And other things you didn’t know. Sorry. I just couldn’t help it.
Marielle Segarra: That’s what this story says. Yeah, I guess I don’t know maybe there are some recipes that particularly use them. But or like that use cauliflower. But so there are cauliflower growers in the UK, it was a bad growing season. Everything was delayed. There weren’t enough cold nights. So supermarkets had to import from France and Spain. But now all the cauliflower is ready. And there aren’t enough people who want to buy it. So the growers have offloaded it at like Tesco, which bought it at a discount, the supermarket chain. And now Tesco is selling it at half price. So I was just thinking about the sort of economic chain reaction that happens after a surplus, right? If you have a surplus and not enough people to buy something, you cut the price and then probably people will look in their circular whatever and be like, “Oh, cauliflower is half price. Like I’ll just cook with that this week.” And then I’m sure you’re gonna see like recipes pop up on Pinterest for how to use all this cauliflower. I know a good smoothie that uses it and doesn’t taste like cauliflower.
Kai Ryssdal: Oooh oooh ooh. I’m sorry, that’s a hard no, that is the hardest possible no, no. No.
Marielle Segarra: Cocoa powder in there. Cinnamon.
Kai Ryssdal: Nope.
Marielle Segarra: Okay, it’s really good. I’m gonna send you the recipe.
Kai Ryssdal: Oh kill me now.
Marielle Segarra: Um, yeah, so that’s interesting. I have one more, but I feel like you should go now.
Kai Ryssdal: Alright, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna go. Cauliflower smoothie. I just, I cannot. Okay.
Marielle Segarra: Just try it.
Kai Ryssdal: Mine are on the more serious side. But I’ll start with my one fun ish one. And that is listeners to this podcast know I’m a space geek. I like all things NASA and all just moon and space orbiting. And I think that’s cool. Kimberly and I think talked about or maybe it was you and me, frankly, I forget, I apologize, the James Webb Space Telescope, that one’s going out to the Grange point to observe and all this good stuff. Anyway, it got there. It’s a million miles away from Earth. It’s in orbit happened today. And it’s going to be doing all kinds of cool observations, which is just I think awesomely cool. And a great achievement, which is just cool.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, that was you and Kimberly. But I did listen to that episode. I will say like, I saw this link that you put in and it just is so, some of this is so technical, like the diagram in there. I was like, What is this about? What does this even mean?
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, yeah, you kind of have to think on it for a minute to make the Lagrange points make sense. But it’s kind of cool. It’s kind of cool. Okay, now to the serious stuff. So a tweet today from Congressman Tom Malinowski. Tom Malinowski was in the Obama State Department. Now he is a member of Congress represents the seventh district in New Jersey. And he tweeted out today, and this is a quote, “My office is now getting calls from folks who say they watch Tucker Carlson, and are upset that we are not siding with Russia and its threats to invade Ukraine. And who want me to support Russia’s, quote, reasonable positions.” And I just can’t even believe that I’m just it makes my brain hurt, because people are talking about a land war in Europe with this Ukraine thing. And here’s Tucker Carlson, poisoning people’s minds. And that does nobody any, any, any good at all, and especially on a day when the Biden administration put 8,500 Americans on alert to potentially go over to the eastern NATO countries and say, “Hello, we’re here, don’t screw around.” So that’s just that’s a big problem. But here’s the other thing that is happening that I don’t think enough people are paying attention to. And that is on the other side of the world. China, this weekend, sent 39 jets toward Taiwan, and Taiwan launched its air defense system. And I think what’s happening here is that China is seeing what Putin is doing in Russia, and saying, “Hmm, if he can just sort of do things and kind of hang out and the United States doesn’t really do anything, then we’re going to try something with Taiwan, because we’ve been working on this for 50 years.” And I think that’s going to be a big problem.
Marielle Segarra: That’s the argument, right? That emboldens that kind of behavior.
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Exactly. And look, I’m not saying we need to send, you know, the first armored division into Ukraine, because that would be an equally huge mistake. But this is a very dicey situation that is quite perilous, I believe. And that’s what I got.
Marielle Segarra: What are the? I don’t so I guess when I ask this question, it’s like, depends on the expert. you ask, I’m sure. But what are the options on the table that aren’t terrible?
Kai Ryssdal: Yes. So I had, on Marketplace on Friday, I talked to a guy but the nae of Eddie Fishman, he was in the Obama State Department with Kerry and he worked on the 2014 sanctions after the invasion of Crimea. He’s now at Center for New American Security and a bunch of other places anyway. His position, although that might be a little strong, he thinks there’s a range of economic sanctions that we could do, which would cause Putin to perhaps second guess but the challenge as he points out is, once we do the really big economic sanction, which is fundamentally cutting Russia off from the international banking system, right and collapsing into economy, then Putin’s got nothing to lose. And so once we do that, it’s kind of Katy bar the door for whatever he wants to do. And that’s a really big problem. But the other part of it is that the sanctions don’t come without cost to Western Europe, and the United States, like if we sanction his oil and gas, right, Russia’s number two oil and well, depending on where we are in production cycles is, you know, top three in the world petroleum producer, and that’s a real problem if you need petroleum like, oh, say Germany really does need its natural gas badly. So there are no good options that are not terrible. And that’s the good news.
Marielle Segarra: Seems like it’s often the way in these like really complicated national relations issues.
Kai Ryssdal: And you have to wonder like how Biden and Blinken are sleeping at night because it’s just really freaking hard. It’s just really hard.
Marielle Segarra: That’s the job, right.
Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, totally. That is the job. The other job of person involved in this podcast belongs to Charlton Thorp.
Marielle Segarra: Wow, pretty good.
Kai Ryssdal: He’s paying attention. On Mondays rather than me and Marielle having to scrape through things that made us laugh on the internet, of which there are sometimes not that many. We let all y’all have you say, listeners send stuff. And today, Jim on Twitter, send us this one. Oh, my goodness. It’s it’s a tweet from Jim that says, “If three quarters of a bag of Chips Ahoy are broken to the point of needing a spoon, is that a supply chain issue?” Well, it depends on what your household says, Jim. But here’s what Chips Ahoy said on Twitter, they said, “Oh, no, Jim, we’d like to report this to the team. So DM us with a UPC code and expiration date” so that they can replenish his supply of Chips Ahoy.
Marielle Segarra: Just send the man some free cookies.
Kai Ryssdal: I know sometimes, you know, sometimes complaining on Twitter gets you things. I’m just saying. I’m just saying.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, I feel like I complained about one time I sent the Tide pen people a letter. I was like “your caps, like they just fall off.” I was like, “I don’t need anything free. I just wish you would fix the caps.” And then they just they sent me some free Tide pens. But no, no cap fix.
Kai Ryssdal: I mean, I need to tweet more about beer. That’s what I need to do.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, that was an old fashioned, like, a letter or something that I said, cuz I’m old school like that. Okay, well, we’ve got one more Make Me Smile from listener and it is actually a voice memo.
Kai Ryssdal: Oh, nice.
Jenna: Okay, it’s Jenna calling from New York. And my name is file is something I’ve noticed that Kai does. He’s always saying, “we’ll get out of your way or we’ll get out of your hair.” That always makes me smile, because it reminds me of my mom, who when she gets bored, having a phone call with me says, “Okay, well, I’ll let you go now.” I look forward to the next time that Kai tells us all that he’ll just rush the podcast so that we can get back to what we’re doing, when we’ve in fact sought it out and are very much looking forward to what you all have to say.
Kai Ryssdal: Jenna, I love you. And thank you for writing that or sending us that voice memo. Because number one, my mom does the exact same thing when I’m on the phone. And I swear to you, it happens like it’s seven and a half minutes into the phone call every single time. We could be talking about whatever and then she’s like, “Well, okay, I’ll let you go now.” So God bless mothers everywhere. But number two, look, here’s why I do it, we promised way back in March of 2020. When we went daily with this thing, we promised we would be 15 minutes. And look life is busy. And we get that and I really appreciate that all y’all want to hear what we have to say but I guess I just don’t want to overstay my welcome. I guess that’s where I am. That’s where I am. That’s what I got.
Marielle Segarra: That’s nice of you. You know what?
Kai Ryssdal: What?
Marielle Segarra: My mom when she’s bored of talking to me, actually legit says like, “I don’t want to talk to you anymore.” Okay, bye. Or she’ll be like, she’ll be like, “I’m bored.”
Kai Ryssdal: That’s harsh. Wow.
Marielle Segarra: She does, it’s kind of funny.
Kai Ryssdal: I’ll take my mom over your mom. I don’t know. That’s tough.
Marielle Segarra: Yeah, it hurts. Love you mom.
Kai Ryssdal: Oh, my God. Yeah. It’s like a family. It’s totally a family joke.
Marielle Segarra: That must be where you picked it up.
Kai Ryssdal: It must be. It totally must be. My mom also does not listen to this podcast. So I have no danger of being found out for calling her out on this thing. Anyway, we’re done. You know why we’re done? Because we’ve been 15 minutes and we promised I’m back tomorrow withKimberly. We’re doing the metaverse because oh my god, do I have questions? Some really frivolous but also some really substantive because like it or not. The metaverse in some way, shape or form not even necessarily connected to Facebook is going to be the future. So we’re gonna talk about that.
Marielle Segarra: And we are still taking your questions for Wednesday’s show. If you want us to make you smart about something send us your question by email to firstname.lastname@example.org Or you can call us and leave us a voice message. Our number is 508-827-6278 or 508-UB-SMART.
Kai Ryssdal: Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera with help from Marque Green. Today’s program was engineered by Charlton Thorp.
Marielle Segarra: Our senior producer is Bridget Bodnar and the director of on demand is Donna Tam.
Kai Ryssdal: Donna, Donna, Donna.
Marielle Segarra: I have a craving now for a cauliflower smoothie. I think I’m gonna go make one.
Kai Ryssdal: No! No way.
Marielle Segarra: Just try it once.
Kai Ryssdal: I will not!
Marielle Segarra: Can’t even taste it.
Kai Ryssdal: No, smoothies are like bananas, a little orange juice and yogurt or the fruit. That’s it. You don’t need cauliflower.
Marielle Segarra: Kale, bok choy.
Kai Ryssdal: Oh my god!
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