Fact Bag

Jan 4, 2019
Originally published on May 17, 2019 10:01 am

Fact Bag is back. Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton rummage through an actual bag filled with actual facts. Fact Bag.

Heard on Jay Pharoah And Adam Pally: Licensed To 'Champaign ILL'

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


EISENBERG: Yeah, that's right. I have a bag full of trivia questions. Jonathan and I do not know the answers. Every question is written on an envelope. And then I'm going to read the question. We're going to talk about it. And then we'll open up the envelope and find out the real answer. OK, Jonathan, here we go. The beaded lacewing is a delicate-looking flying insect. One particular species of this insect feeds on termites in its baby larvae stage. How does it stun its prey?

JONATHAN COULTON: So it's a baby larva.


COULTON: It feeds on termites.


COULTON: And it stuns the termites...


COULTON: ...By...

EISENBERG: Cleaning the bathroom - what?


COULTON: What a nice surprise. Thank you.

EISENBERG: I can't believe it. Oh, I'm being eaten.

COULTON: (Laughter) Yeah.



COULTON: Well, let's see. It could exude poison.

EISENBERG: Yeah. It could know...

COULTON: It could have a stinger. That would be a very boring answer (laughter).

EISENBERG: It could have a stinger. Right.

COULTON: With its stinger.

EISENBERG: It could surprisingly know all the dialogue from "The Big Lebowski." That would stun me...

COULTON: That would be surprising.

EISENBERG: ...Especially if it was in larva stage.

COULTON: It could get up and walk even though it has no legs. What is happening?

EISENBERG: That would be crazy. No. What if it masks itself as a small, little, chunk of delicious wood...

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: ...That a termite might love?

COULTON: And then it takes off its mask and says, surprise, suckers. I'm a larva.

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: Yeah, that sounds right. Let's go with that answer.



COULTON: So wood mask...

EISENBERG: Wood mask (laughter).

COULTON: ...Which is removed suddenly.

EISENBERG: It's passed down generations.


EISENBERG: All right. Let's check out what the answer is. According to Wired magazine, when a baby larva gets hungry, it stuns a termite with a vapor-phase toxicant released from its anus.




EISENBERG: Its farts are powerful enough to immobilize six termites with one blow.



EISENBERG: Little did you know. Yeah. All right - highbrow, lowbrow.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: All right. Fact Bag - what did the past tense of the word help used to be?

COULTON: Halp (ph).


COULTON: The past tense...

EISENBERG: Tense of - so it wasn't helped.

COULTON: Hell (ph).

EISENBERG: Ha (ph), help...


EISENBERG: This makes no sense.

COULTON: Help, ha, ho, holp (ph).

EISENBERG: I like this. I just want to hear you do this.

COULTON: ...Haw.

EISENBERG: Yeah, I think that was it.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: I think it's that one.

COULTON: What else could it be besides helped? That doesn't even make any sense.

EISENBERG: I think it was the second one you did. What was the second one?


EISENBERG: Yeah, that one.

COULTON: That's with a (laughter)...


COULTON: That's an O with an umlaut.

EISENBERG: (Laughter). OK, very good - (gasping) holp.



COULTON: Wow. Wow. Wow. OK. I've got a natural affinity for this sort of thing.

EISENBERG: Yeah. What are you - Mary?

COULTON: Yeah (laughter).

EISENBERG: The past tense of help used to be holp...


EISENBERG: ...Derived from German. Over time, the verb help became regularized, meaning we now just add the letters E-D to the end to make it past tense. There are still many other irregular English verbs, including know and its past tense, knew.

COULTON: All right.

EISENBERG: All right. Fact Bag. Let's go back in.

COULTON: You never know what you're going to get in the Fact Bag.

EISENBERG: You never know what you're going to get. According to Google Trends, who was the most searched-for person across the world in 2018? I'm going to...

COULTON: Carmen Sandiego.


COULTON: 2018...

EISENBERG: Yeah, way back then.

COULTON: ...The most searched-for person.

EISENBERG: Yeah. Robert Mueller.

COULTON: Robert Mueller.

EISENBERG: Yeah, right. It could be any celebrity of any kind. Oh, maybe it was Elon Musk. That's my other contender.

COULTON: Yeah. I mean, it could be Donald Trump, I suppose.

EISENBERG: Could be.

COULTON: Why would you Google him, though?

EISENBERG: Yeah, just look around.

COULTON: Yeah, just look around...


COULTON: ...Or another - any surprise celebrity things happen, like - because that's why you Google somebody. Who is that, now?

EISENBERG: Right, right. Right.

COULTON: Now, who is that? - you say. Then you go to the Google.

EISENBERG: But it goes so quickly.

COULTON: Who is the person who moved from least famous to most famous? - the greatest distance from no fame, from small amounts of fame to big amounts of fame. Who became famous in 2018?

EISENBERG: I think it's Cohen.

COULTON: Michael Cohen.


COULTON: It could be somebody related to Trump that we've never heard of before but now we hear of all the time.

EISENBERG: I think that's the way to go. OK...

COULTON: Yeah, sure. Let's do that.

EISENBERG: ...Or was there a Kardashian baby that I missed?


COULTON: Probably a few - I don't know.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) All right. Let's - what are we going with?

COULTON: Michael Cohen.

EISENBERG: Michael Cohen.

COULTON: There's a better answer. And it's going to be inside this envelope.

EISENBERG: Let's hope there's fun inside of here.

COULTON: I hope so.

EISENBERG: Let's see. The answer is (gasping) Meghan Markle.


COULTON: Meghan Markle.


EISENBERG: That was the clear who - whoa.

COULTON: Yeah, that was it.

EISENBERG: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yup, exactly. Meghan Markle is the current Duchess of Sussex. She married Prince Harry in May 2018.

COULTON: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: The other most searched people were Demi Lovato, Sylvester Stallone, Logan Paul and Khloe Kardashian.


EISENBERG: All right. Here's our final Fact Bag. Fact Bag...

COULTON: Fact Bag.

EISENBERG: During the Industrial Revolution in the U.K., you could get a job as a knocker upper.


EISENBERG: What did that job entail?

COULTON: Knocking up.

EISENBERG: Knocking up.

COULTON: A knocker upper.

EISENBERG: Yeah. That's - is that like comedy writers? You know, punch up - but instead, back then, it was called knock up.

COULTON: (Imitating British accent) Knock it up.

EISENBERG: (Imitating British accent) You're going to knock up.

COULTON: (Imitating British accent) That's not very funny. We should knock it up.

EISENBERG: (Imitating British accent) We got to knock it up.

COULTON: Isn't it a Britishism when you knock on somebody's door, you say, I'm going to knock you up? Isn't that a thing?

EISENBERG: Is that a thing?

COULTON: I feel like that - maybe I just made that up (laughter)...


COULTON: ...Or maybe I've just misunderstood some conversations over these years.


EISENBERG: Right, or they're just knocking on your door. Can they knock on your door to tell you the time or something?

COULTON: Just (imitating thud) (laughter).

EISENBERG: Is that back then?


EISENBERG: Get up. Go to work.


EISENBERG: It's the Industrial Revolution. Get up and go to work.

COULTON: The classic door-to-door time tellers...

EISENBERG: That's right.

COULTON: ...That they have in all the British movies.

EISENBERG: That's what I'm going with.

COULTON: Mary Poppins, time to - hello, is the time teller knocking you up?

EISENBERG: Hey, being a human alarm clock. I think it would be...

COULTON: Well, that's pretty close.

EISENBERG: ..Pretty - it.


EISENBERG: Knocker-uppers use poles, hammers or pea shooters to make noise on their clients' homes to wake them up, rates depending on wakeup time. Rates depending on wakeup time? Wow. They're advanced. And how far the knocker-upper needed to travel. They knew what they were doing, these knocker-uppers.

COULTON: (Laughter) It was - it is knocking up. I'll knock you up tomorrow morning at 6, they would say.

EISENBERG: Yeah. That's going to be 200 quid.

COULTON: Two-hundred quid.

EISENBERG: All right. The fact bag is empty. Give it up for fact bag.

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