PETER SAGAL, HOST:
Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank. But first, it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call to leave a message at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT. That's 1-888-924-8924. Or click the contact us link on our website, that's waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows right here at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago and our upcoming show in Nashville, Tenn. on November 3. Hi, you're on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.
MILLIE DAWSON: Hi.
SAGAL: Hi, who's this?
DAWSON: It's Millie Dawson from Maitland, Fla.
SAGAL: Millie Dawson, nice to talk to you. Where is Maitland?
DAWSON: Maitland is not too far from downtown Orlando, like 20 minutes.
SAGAL: Oh, OK.
DAWSON: From the minute - from the middle.
SAGAL: From O-Town, OK. And what do you do there?
DAWSON: I'm a freelance writer and editor, mostly writing about health and medicine and public health mostly. I like to write about ways people stay out of the doctor's office.
SAGAL: Well, that's important. Well, welcome to the show.
DAWSON: Thank you.
SAGAL: Bill Kurtis, Millie, is going to read for you three news-related limericks with the last word or phrase missing from each. If you can fill in that last word or phrase correctly in just two of the limericks, you'll be a winner. You ready to play?
DAWSON: I sure am.
SAGAL: Here is your first limerick.
BILL KURTIS: We pigeons are apt to succeed. We will learn lots of things for some seed. Simple shapes are a breeze. Now we'll try ABC's. We pigeons are able to...
SAGAL: Yes, to read.
KURTIS: Yeah, Millie.
SAGAL: Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: We think of pigeons as tiny flying sky toilets that flush their waste onto our cars and shirts, but research out of New Zealand could change all that. Apparently, pigeons can read. Scientists trained a group of pigeons to recognize certain words and they were eventually able to distinguish between real words and random combinations of letters. This explains why when a pigeon sees the letters BMW, it knows exactly what that means and zaps it. Here is your next limerick.
KURTIS: My scalp is now totally bare, and, yes, I'm aware of the glare. So here's what I'll do. I'll use black ink, not blue, and get a tattoo of short...
DAWSON: Short hair.
SAGAL: Yeah, short hair.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
DAWSON: Oh, you made it easy. Thank you.
SAGAL: A company in New York is offering bald men a new way to trick people into thinking they have hair - hair follicle tattoos. It's called scalp micropigmentation. It's basically thousands of tiny dots all over your head.
MAZ JOBRANI: Oh.
SAGAL: Now instead of a pathetic bald loser, you'll look like a guy with the world's most horrifying freckles.
MO ROCCA: Wait a minute, is it like Seurat or something? Like...
SAGAL: Yes, Seurat. It's exactly...
ROCCA: Like pointillist?
SAGAL: As you shift - no, the way it works is that it looks like you shaved your head about a day ago.
ROCCA: Oh, that's kind of cool.
SAGAL: So you now - instead of being just a bald guy, you're a cool, hip, urban, graphic designer.
JOBRANI: Is it - it's permanent tattoo or does it, like...
SAGAL: Oh, yeah.
JOBRANI: OK, so if you sweat, it doesn't start coming off.
SAGAL: No, that would be embarrassing.
ROCCA: And if you don't like it...
JOBRANI: Your hair is smudging. It's OK. Don't mind that.
ROCCA: And if you don't like it anymore, then you just get a big flesh tattoo put over it.
SAGAL: Exactly. Here is your last limerick.
KURTIS: With this cold, frothy courage and cheer, big shindigs I no longer fear. Just one more cold brew and I'll hang with your crew. I'm feeling more social with...
SAGAL: Yes, beer. Very good.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
SAGAL: In a stunning new study, scientists from Basel University Hospital in Sweden announced this week that beer, hold on, makes people more relaxed in public.
SAGAL: The researchers say it's a compound in beer called, quote, "alcohol."
SAGAL: It works as a kind of social lubricant making people seek out social situations. Volunteers who drank half a glass of beer were also more attracted to happy faces. Their influence being influenced by a kind of, oh, beer goggles making otherwise unattractive things appear enticing.
ROCCA: The end of research.
SAGAL: It's great.
ROCCA: It's all been done.
SAGAL: I'm so relieved the scientists aren't wasting their time on climate change or cancer. They're busy figuring out that beer makes you happy. Next up, a team from MIT has determined what bears do in the woods.
SAGAL: Bill, how did Millie do?
KURTIS: Millie should be happy. She got them all right - three straight.
SAGAL: Thank you so much. Thanks for playing, Millie.
DAWSON: Thank you. Goodbye.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I LIKE BEER")
TOM T. HALL: (Singing) I like beer. It makes me a jolly good fellow. I like beer. It helps me unwind and sometimes it makes me feel mellow.
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Singing) Makes him feel mellow.
HALL: (Singing) Whiskey's too rough, champagne... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.