Oct 262014

A few years ago, I developed a habit. If the person sitting next to me on an airplane seemed like they wanted to have a conversation, I’d ask them a bit about themselves — let’s say they worked in civil engineering — and I’d say “Tell me something I don’t know about civil engineering.” The habit became an addiction. I loved learning stuff I didn’t know, and most people loved to talk about their passions, work-related or otherwise.



Stephen J. DUBNER:Hey, podcast listeners. The new episode you’re about to hear is called “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.” It’s a live recording of a new game show that we just invented. As you’ll hear, it was a lot of fun in person. The hope, of course, as that you’ll have fun listening to it as a podcast. Whatever the case, do me a favor and let us know what you think. You can tweet us @Freakonomics, leave a comment on our Facebook page or at Freakonomics.com, or shoot us an e-mail at radio@freakonomics.com. I’d love to hear whatever feedback you have, pro, con, or tangential. Thanks!

[AMBI: Joel MEYER: Alright, so quiet everybody. Start in three, two…]

ANNOUNCER: Live from the Greene Space at WNYC in New York City, welcome to this Freakonomics Radio live event. Here’s your host, Stephen Dubner.


DUBNER: Thank you so very much, and welcome to the Greene Space. Tonight we are going to try something very different, okay? So not only is it a live show, which we’ve never done before, but it’s a brand new show that we invented for this occasion. So I hope you’ll understand if I’m a little bit nervous. I am however, comforted by the fact that you all should actually be a lot more nervous than me, because you, the audience are going to be the stars of the show. Okay, by the time it’s over, I run the risk of being slightly embarrassed, you however run the risk of being completely broken. Now, here at Freakonomics Radio our mission has always been to tell you a) things you always thought you knew but didn’t, and b) things you never thought you wanted to know, but do. For instance, you probably did not know that nearly 100 percent of the turkeys eaten by Americans are the result of artificial insemination. Now, why would that be?

Julie LONG: The modern turkey has quite large turkey breasts, and it actually physically gets in the way when the male and the female try to create offspring.


DUBNER: Yeah, I was expecting more sympathy than that gained…Yeah. You probably do know that men are on many level inferior to women. But did you know just how inferior they — we — are when it comes to getting out of the way of a thunderstorm?

John JENSENIUS: Typically, 80 to 85 percent of the lightning fatalities across the United States are men.



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