True or False

My favorite part of WaitWait Don't Tell Me is “Bluff The Listener” in which the three panelists each tell us an absolutely ridiculous story…one of which is true. I get it wrong about half the time.

So here, today, are some stories from the news, the blogs, or nowhere, one or more of which might be made up. Guess which are true and which are false. Answers below.

  1. “The International Space Station, once a place where astronauts would share food and facilities, is said to be embroiled in a Cold War-like stand-off after a Russian cosmonaut complained he is no longer allowed to use a US toilet or the US gym machine. Gennady Padalka, a veteran Russian cosmonaut, says that space officials from Russia, the United States and other countries now require cosmonauts and astronauts to eat their own food and follow stringent rules on access to other facilities, including lavatories. Padalka, who will be the station's next commander, says the arguments date back to 2003, when Russia started charging other space agencies for the resources used by their astronauts and other partners in space station responded in kind.”
  2. Hours before the polls closed, Republican Jim Tedisco, candidate in the special Congressional election in upstate NY (NY-20, traditionally a heavily Republican district, but one where Obama did well) filed an ex parte motion, the effect of which would be to investigate and overturn the election results if he lost. He also asked for an injunction against the results being certified — even before knowing what they were.
  3. My credit card company printed the following helpful message on my latest credit card statement.
    Helpful Tip to help prevent you from missing a Due Date. Pay your bill once you receive it. If it's paid then you can't miss the due date! Paying bills before the due date prevents the risk of late fees and extra finance charges.

    After insulting my intelligence in this way, it tried to sell me various financial products because I am a “valued cardmember”.

  4. A law prof recently blogged the following bad job interview experience:
    Though I was only going to spend one night in a hotel, because I was flying in one morning and leaving the following night, I was given a confirmed reservation for three nights, and told just to “ignore this, it’s a billing issue.” When I checked in, I found myself housed in party suite outfitted with an enormous hot tub. It reeked of cigarette smoke, and the bed spreads were crusty with, uh, DNA.

  5. Supporters of Norm Coleman, still behind in the ballot counts, suggested they could draw out legal challenges for months or years in order to keep Minnesota from having two Senators.
  6. Wells Fargo Bank in California is now offering payday loans to customers whose paychecks are routinely direct-deposited. For $2 for each $20 advanced until the next payday, which equates to an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of 120%.
  7. A furious wife has called in divorce lawyers after spotting her husband's distinctively damaged car on Google Street View. It was parked outside another woman's house; he said he'd been out of town on business.
  8. South Florida Daily Blog linked to this post.

#1: True

#2: True. The judge didn't grant the injunction, but did enter orders to have all records preserved.

#3: True.

#4: True

#5: True

#6: True

#7: True

#8: Not yet.

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One Response to True or False

  1. Joe1 says:

    Why don’t they just put meters on the facilities, including the lavatories, and issue cards to the astronauts and cosmonauts so that they can use any facility at any time? Wastewater treatment plants in the US that treat water from several jurisdictions keep track of the volume of wastewater that originates from each jurisdiction; it shouldn’t be that difficult to do the same on an individual basis. The administrators know, to the ounce, how much food and water is lifted by each supply ship. Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard to calculate how much waste is generated by each crew member. I think the real complaint here may be that some crew members are cleaner than others.

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