Gecko Blower, The Wings of Love
FAITH SALIE, HOST:
In just a minute - you know, Peter likes to put a pun here, but I'm above that. Coming up, it's the Listener Limerick Challenge. If you'd like to play, give us a call at 1-888-WAIT-WAIT, that's 1-888-924-8924.
But right now, panel, some more questions for you from this week's news. Tom, Harvard researchers want to know how tropical lizards are so good at surviving hurricanes, so they tested their storm-weathering abilities by doing what?
TOM BODETT: I saw the pictures, and that's what made me read the article. They (laughter)...
BODETT: The picture's hilarious. They used leaf blowers.
BODETT: (Laughter) And they show this little lizard. It looks like the Geico gecko is, like, holding on for dear life.
SALIE: Yes. It is hilarious.
BODETT: It is.
SALIE: They have this wooden pole, and then they blast these lizards with a hundred mile winds...
BODETT: Yeah. I know.
SALIE: ...With a leaf blower.
BODETT: I can't wait to get home and tell the - boys, get the leaf blower. We're doing science.
SALIE: Yes. The lizard clings to a pole for dear life with its front feet.
SALIE: And its back legs and tail are whipping in the wind. It looks like Tom Cruise holding on after the door blows off in "Airplane," except the lizard is taller.
BODETT: I wanted to see the whole picture. I wanted to see the lab with the three guys with the coats and the clipboard and then the one guy with the leaf blower.
ADAM FELBER: This is basically a bunch of scientists in a lab with nothing to do.
SALIE: That's right.
FELBER: They look out the window. And then they're like, hey, Sal, come in here, and bring the blower.
SALIE: Adam, The Washington Post reported this week on Chris Crowe, an ornithologist who is currently doing what to help preserve a population of cranes?
FELBER: He is marrying them.
SALIE: Oh, I'm going to give it to you. Yeah. He is dating a crane.
(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)
FELBER: He's dating a crane.
SALIE: Yeah. Yeah. The white-naped crane is a bird that mates for life. But one crane at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute named Walnut is a different story. Every mate with whom she's been paired so far, she murders.
SALIE: Like a character from the musical "Chicago," but with less feathers. Chris Crowe, who's not a crow - he's a man - has been assigned to Walnut, the crane - who is a crane, not a walnut - to keep her happy while a suitable egg daddy is found. But think about this man, Chris Crowe. He's so dedicated.
SALIE: Like, that takes a special kind of bird lover.
BODETT: I wonder if his human family knows. It's kind of like an episode of "The Americans" where, you know, he goes to the zoo. And by day, he's, like, married to this crane named Walnut...
BODETT: ...Who's kind of abusive. And at night, he just goes home, pretends just to be a normal person.
FELBER: Or it's part of, like, a wacky '70s sitcom where he's taking the crane out to a restaurant and he forgot he invited his wife and family out to the same restaurant, so he's got to do both dates on both sides of the restaurant.
FELBER: Oh, honey. I love this boa you just left for me in the bedroom. It's so beautiful. Boa? Oh, no. Get out of there, honey.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE LOOK OF LOVE")
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: (Singing) The look of love is in your eyes - the look your heart can't disguise. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.