Ask Me Another
9:07 am
Fri March 29, 2013

War [Ugh] What Is It Good For?

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On our stage right now, we have Adam Herbst and Andy Cohen, ready for our next game. Andy, I hear that you are an aspiring hypnotist.

ANDY COHEN: Stage hypnotist. Yes, I got training last month in Las Vegas.

EISENBERG: I feel sleepy right now.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Adam, I love that your least favorite word is iconic.

ADAM HERBST: This is true.

EISENBERG: It's not used well. Well, this is going to be a historic, singularly impressive, maybe even famous trivia match to come right now. This game is called War, Oy, What's It Good For.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Because, you know, war is bad. Fire good. War bad. We all know that, but sometimes good things come from bad situations. So we're going to ask you about products and inventions that were created while trying to build something war-related, but instead, something beautiful happened.

For example, the game hopscotch is believed to have been used as a physical training program for roman soldiers in far off lands. Just like patty cake was supposedly an ancient martial art for fighting. That is a lie. That is not - that is impossible.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: As always, the contestant who gets the most right moves on to our final round at the end of the show. While trying to stabilize sensitive Navy equipment during rough seas in World War II, Richard James noticed that his metal springs fell down the stairs, making a toy that's fun for a girl or a boy.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COHEN: That would be the Slinky.

EISENBERG: Andy, Slinky is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All that thing did was fall down stairs. That's all it did, right? You can sell that now.

COHEN: It's fun.

HERBST: It's fun. Even I agree.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: This invention was deemed absurdly expensive until there was a need to guide nuclear-armed submarines during the Cold War. Now, it saves men from having to ask for directions.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Adam?

HERBST: GPS.

EISENBERG: GPS is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: In 1942, Harry Coover tried making a superior rifle scope out of a heat resistant plastic polymers. He discovered an acrylic resin that would stick to everything it touched. During the Vietnam War, it was used to temporarily stop the bleeding of wounded soldiers. What's the name of this insanely useful product?

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Adam?

HERBST: Crazy Glue.

EISENBERG: Crazy Glue is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Meaning come-come in Tagalog, this toy is believed to have originated as a weapon in the Philippines.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Andy?

COHEN: Yo-yo.

EISENBERG: Yo-yo is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: The U.S. defense agency DARPA hired the Stanford Research Institute team to create an artificial intelligence system that could help the military run a platoon of soldiers. Now, Samuel Jackson tells it to remind him to put the gazpacho on ice.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

EISENBERG: Andy?

COHEN: Siri.

EISENBERG: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Andy, you did it. You won this round of ASK ME ANOTHER. Well done.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So, thank you, Andy, you'll be moving on to our final round at the end of the show. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.