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Ask Me Another Hotline

May 22, 2020

Ask Me Another listeners call in to talk about things they're learned (or re-learned) while practicing distance learning with their kids, because nobody expected the pythagorean theorem to come back into their lives.

Heard on: Hong Chau & Nico Santos: Superheros And Superstores.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.


That was such a fun distraction. I am so glad you called this week.

JONATHAN COULTON, BYLINE: Yeah. Me, too. Me, too.

EISENBERG: Why don't we wrap up by checking the ASK ME ANOTHER hotline?

COULTON: Oh, boy, the hotline. My favorite.

EISENBERG: That's right. Last week, we asked parents who are remote learning with their kids to tell us something they learned unexpectedly.

KATIE CHAPPELLE: This is Katie Chappelle (ph) from Fort Wayne, Ind. I am so embarrassed that I learned this, or that I didn't know it before. But I learned that you can have the same area in two different rectangles and a different perimeter. Nope, it's the same perimeter.

COULTON: (Laughter).

CHAPPELLE: The same perimeter and completely different areas if you change the shape of the rectangle. I had to pretend that I completely knew this to my third-grader.

COULTON: I'm going to investigate this. Have we fact-checked this, by the way?

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Do we know that this is right? Clearly we both need to hit some third grade textbooks and remote learning things.

COULTON: (Laughter) Well, you haven't come across the thing yet where your child is doing something that you don't know how to do in school.

EISENBERG: Well, they were doing the body. They were - I mean, he's 4. They were doing the body. But then he woke me up one morning and went mom, mom, mom, the heart is a muscle.

COULTON: Oh, boy. Yeah, he's right.


COULTON: Did you immediately burst into tears (laughter)?

EISENBERG: No, I actually was like - I was like, is it a muscle? I mean, I really had that moment. I was like, is it a muscle?

COULTON: (Laughter) Is it the same area and a different perimeter or the same perimeter and a different area?

EISENBERG: If you have two different hearts and one has shrunken and one is larger - my heart grew that day. Was it the same area as my last heart?

COULTON: (Laughter) I don't know.

EISENBERG: (Laughter).

COULTON: That was great. Do we have others? Do we have another one we can listen to?

EISENBERG: Yeah, we have time for one more.

MICHAEL DEMARK ANTONIO: Michael Demark Antonio (ph), San Antonio, Texas. I learned while teaching my daughter that the Antarctic Ocean is now called the Southern Ocean. This was only after I argued with her for a few minutes. It was great.

EISENBERG: The renaming of stuff - I mean, I haven't heard of an ocean being renamed until now, so I did not know that. But I know from my little child that they also renamed all the dinosaurs. And also, I don't know how - I don't know the quantity of dinosaur fossils still out there. I have no idea. But I do know that I went to someone to help me ship a painting, and this person specialized in just shipping things...

COULTON: They're like art packers?

EISENBERG: And I was like, well, what are some of the odder things that you are shipping? And they were like, you know what's big right now? Dinosaur eggs.

COULTON: What? I wonder why.

EISENBERG: I don't know. Well, that's...

COULTON: You think it's a pandemic-related thing? People are like, oh, man, I'm finally - now that I have all this time, I can finally ship all these dinosaur eggs.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) I'll just put them in a jar next to my sourdough starter. Feed them both every day.

COULTON: Hatch dinosaur eggs, cross that off the list. Hello, little guy.

EISENBERG: (Laughter) Welcome. You are going to grow up in the Southern Ocean, whatever your name is - Sourdough-saurus (ph). Someone would...

COULTON: (Laughter) Sourdough-saurus.


EISENBERG: That's our show. We'd love to keep hearing from you all, so this week, we want to know about your most spectacular quarantine kitchen failures. For example, after a week of feeding my sourdough starter, I just ate it. I'm so happy I fed it bacon. Call the ASK ME ANOTHER hotline at 848-999-4932. That's 8IT-XXX-IWEB. And don't forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

ASK ME ANOTHER's house musician is Jonathan Coulton.

COULTON: Hey, my name anagrams to thou jolt a cannon.

EISENBERG: Our puzzles are written by Carol Lee and senior writer Karen Lurie, with additional material by Ashley Brooke Roberts, Cara Weinberger and Emily Winter. ASK ME ANOTHER is produced by Travis Larchuk, Kiara Powell (ph), Nancy Saechao, James Barber, Rommel Wood and our intern Nick Garrison. Our senior supervising producer is Rachel Neal. And our bosses' bosses are Steve Nelson and Anya Grundmann. Thanks to our production partner WNYC. I'm her ripe begonias.

COULTON: Ophira Eisenberg.


Support for NPR comes from this station and from the NPR Wine Club, where every bottle tells a story and NPR shows become wines, like Weekend Edition cabernet sauvignon. Available to adults 21 years or older. Learn more at nprwineclub.org. And Jane and Gerald Katcher, supporting the Children's Movement of Florida, dedicated to helping all children enter school with the social, emotional and intellectual skills needed to succeed. More information is available at childrensmovementflorida.org.


EISENBERG: This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.