Fact Bag

Sep 14, 2018

The fact bag is back and ready to fact you up. Facts about Clydesdales. Facts about Lewis and Clark. Facts about weird dog studies. Fact bag is always and forever. Long live fact bag.

Heard on Matt And Kim: How To Go Outside And Not Die.

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

While Claire and Sheila get ready for the final round, it's time for us to play a game. This is called Fact Bag.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: We have up-cycled a Schnucks grocery store bag...

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EISENBERG: ...And filled it with trivia questions. Jonathan and I do not know the answers to these. So I'm going to pick out one. Every question is written on an envelope. I'll read a question. Jonathan and I will discuss. Then I'll open up the envelope and find out the real answer. Here we go - first Fact Bag.

JONATHAN COULTON: Fact Big fact.

EISENBERG: Budweiser is headquartered in St. Louis, and its icon is the Clydesdale horse. According to the company standards, how much must a Clydesdale weigh to be eligible to become an official Budweiser Clydesdale?

COULTON: Well, I don't think you should be judging horses in this way.

EISENBERG: Yeah.

COULTON: Making them feel bad - imagine if you were a giant Clydesdale, but you're not big enough to be an official Budweiser Clydesdale.

EISENBERG: Is it big enough? Or is it a certain size?

COULTON: What if you were very large but a particularly hollow Clydesdale?

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: Where do you fit in?

EISENBERG: What if you've got a dad bod for a Clydesdale?

COULTON: You know what, Ophira? I'm working on it. I don't appreciate you - what's a horse weigh - 100 pounds.

EISENBERG: Yeah, 100 pounds, 150 - I think they're...

COULTON: How many of me would you say fit in a Clydesdale?

EISENBERG: I would say seven Coultons.

COULTON: Seven Coultons in a Clydesdale?

EISENBERG: Yeah, seven or eight Coultons. I think they're about 1,000 pounds.

COULTON: You're saying regular horses are around 1,000 pounds?

EISENBERG: Yeah, I'm guessing. Yeah.

COULTON: And so a Clydesdale's another deuce - deuce and a half.

EISENBERG: Couple hundred, 300 - all right, 1,300 pounds.

COULTON: Thirteen hundred pounds, yeah.

EISENBERG: And then what does Budweiser want from their Clydesdales? They want ones with a beer belly, right? They want ones that look like they've had some products.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Fifteen hundred, how about that?

COULTON: Fifteen hundred sounds...

EISENBERG: OK, let's see what it says.

COULTON: We don't know what we're talking about at all.

EISENBERG: We have no idea. Oh, interesting - between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds.

COULTON: Holy moly.

EISENBERG: For context, the average horse weighs about 1,000 pounds, yeah.

COULTON: Got that right.

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EISENBERG: Other qualifications to become a Budweiser Clydesdale - they must be at least 6 feet tall and at least 4 years old and also, quote, "four white stockings, a blaze of white on the face, a black mane and a black tail."

COULTON: Seems like a lot of rules.

EISENBERG: I feel very uncomfortable with all of that.

COULTON: They're body-shaming a bunch of horses.

EISENBERG: Yeah, they're body-shaming a bunch of horses.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: All right, here we go. St. Louis is where Lewis and Clark's expedition began.

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EISENBERG: When Thomas Jefferson sent them out to scout the Louisiana territory, he secretly hoped they'd bring back proof of the existence of what?

COULTON: Single-payer health care.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: A good guess.

COULTON: They were going down to the woods. They wanted to find out what was there.

EISENBERG: They're going into uncharted territory - so like a monster - like, right? - like Bigfoot. Was Bigfoot a myth - or like Ogopogo or something.

COULTON: What's Ogopogo?

EISENBERG: Ogopogo is like the Loch Ness monster of the Okanagan in British Columbia.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: I feel like Bigfoot is not a bad guess.

EISENBERG: Bigfoot, really?

COULTON: Yeah, sure, Bigfoot.

EISENBERG: All right, Bigfoot. A living mastodon - American mastodons went extinct about 10,000 years ago. Thomas Jefferson collected mastodon bones and would even lay them out on the White House floor.

COULTON: Mr. President.

EISENBERG: Jefferson thought mastodons could still be alive. And, wow, presidents have been crazy forever.

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EISENBERG: Jefferson thought mastodons could still be alive and wanted to prove to Europe that America had big majestic animals.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: Take that, Europe.

EISENBERG: Wow.

COULTON: Maybe you'd like to say hello to my living mastodon.

EISENBERG: Yeah, exactly. A 2014 study published in the journal Frontiers of Zoology revealed that dogs react to the Earth's magnetic field in what way? Can they smell magnets? No. Actually I've smelled a magnet before. In my house, I lay out all my magnets.

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EISENBERG: And then I smell each one. I bet my magnets are bigger than Europe's magnets. So what about...

COULTON: Magnetic field - they lie down - that's why they circle. It's because they're trying to find the - they're trying to find the...

EISENBERG: But you know what? That's a good idea. What if it is something about the direction. Like what if...

COULTON: Yeah, no, I'm saying they lie down in the direction of the Earth's magnetic field.

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah, right. That's perfect.

COULTON: They got to spin around until they feel it.

EISENBERG: Right. That's why they go round and round and round, and then eventually they get it.

COULTON: That's right. That's my current theory.

EISENBERG: And then if you follow the nose...

COULTON: Nose is north.

EISENBERG: True north. OK, let's see. Dogs tend to align their bodies along a north-south axis that lines up with the Earth's magnetic field.

COULTON: All right.

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EISENBERG: Oh.

COULTON: Oh.

EISENBERG: When they're pooping.

COULTON: Oh.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Researchers at the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague observed 1,893 defecations...

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COULTON: Hell of a summer job.

EISENBERG: ...To reach this conclusion.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: OK. That's all the facts we have time for today.

COULTON: Oh, boy.

(CHEERING, APPLAUSE)

COULTON: Thanks, fact bag.

EISENBERG: Thanks, fact bag. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.