This is a transcript of our episode “Teleportation vs Telekinesis”

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Announcer: From the brains behind brains on its Smash Boom Best.

Carlos: The show for people with big opinions.

Molly Bloom: Hi. I'm Molly Bloom and this is Smash Boom Best, the show where we take two things, smash them together, and ask you to decide which one is best. Today, it's another superpower showdown. Challenger one is teleportation, the ability to instantly zap yourself to any place in the world. Challenger two is telekinesis. That's the power to move things with your mind. Which tele will take the crown? Here to help us decide is our judge, Carlos. Welcome, Carlos.

Carlos: Hi there.

Molly: Carlos, before we get started, what comes to mind when I say teleportation?

Carlos: Paris. You want to go? We can go right now.


Molly: What about when I say telekinesis? What do you think of?

Carlos: I can move it with my mind.

Molly: (laughs) Carlos, when you're not here with us judging awesome debates, what kind of stuff do you like to do?

Carlos: Well, when I'm not here with you judging debates, I'm actually probably in real life at a debate. I debate for my high school, Loyola. Go, Bulldogs.

Molly: What advice do you have for our debaters today?

Carlos: Really, just be yourself. Remember to have fun.

Molly: It's time to introduce our debaters. Repping telekinesis, the ability to use psychic energy to lift and move stuff, it's Menaka Wilhelm. Hi, Menaka.

Menaka Wilhelm: Hey, Molly. Hey, Carlos.

Molly: Menaka, in one sentence, why is telekinesis the coolest power?

Menaka: Why move one thing — yourself — when you could move all the things?

Molly: Oh, I like it. Well, arguing for teleportation, the power to instantly travel from point A to point B, it's Jed Kim. Hi, Jed.

Jed Kim: Hello, everybody. Very proud to be repping teleporters everywhere.

Molly: (chuckles) Jed, give us one sentence on why teleportation is tops.

Jed: With teleportation, you never have to miss out on anything ever again.

Menaka: Oh, with the FOMO appeal.


Jed: It's real.

Molly: I have a feeling this debate is going to be worthy of its own five-part comic book series but remember, Carlos, it's up to you to decide which power is the coolest. Do you feel up to the challenge?

Carlos: Yes.

Molly: Okay. We're going to do a quick recap of the rounds. First, it's the Declaration of Greatness. Jed and Menaka will lay out their best arguments using science, history, and pop culture to make their case. Each side will also get a 30-second rebuttal. Round two is the Micro Round. This is a creative challenge that both sides have prepared for in advance. Then it's on to round three, the Sneak Attack. Debaters will get a surprise challenge. They'll have to think quickly to win this one. Finally, round four, the Final Six. Both sides have exactly six words to win over our judge. Carlos will be giving out points along the way, but he'll keep his scoring a secret until the very end.

Listeners, we want you to judge too. If you'd like to keep score on an official scorecard, you can download one on our website, If you have any comments to share with us about the debate or the judge's decision, head to and send us a message. All right. Jed and Menaka, are you ready to show off your superpowers of persuasion?

Menaka: Definitely.

Jed: Oh, yeah, without a doubt.

Molly: All right, and so it begins.

Announcer: Declaration of Greatness.

Molly: Now, Carlos, you have two points to give out this round, one for the best declaration and one for the best rebuttal. They can go to the same person or not. It's totally your call. Got it?

Carlos: Yes, I do.

Molly: We flipped a coin and Jed, you're up first. Let's hear your take on teleportation.

Jed: Teleportation vs. telekinesis. Let’s imagine it’s an actual fight. I’m Jed, teleporter extraordinaire. And I’m going up against someone called, I dunno, uh, Mind-O? Oh, that’s terrible…

MIND-O: Tremble before the great Mind-O!

JED: Hey, he’s into it! Ok, so we’re all on the same page, teleportation is disappearing and reappearing in another place in an instant.  So let’s lay down some ground rules: First, I don’t need machines to teleport; I can just zip around using my own body. Second, I can take whatever I’m holding with me. Otherwise I’d leave my clothes behind. Third, and this is important, I don’t have to be looking at my destination, despite what Nightcrawler from the X-men movie X2 says: 

NIGHTCRAWLER FROM X2: “I have to be able to see where I’m going. Otherwise I could end up inside a wall.”

Jed: That is nonsense. Two things cannot occupy the same space! What happens when you walk into a wall? Do you accidentally end up inside it? No, of course not! You bounce off. If something is in the spot where I want to teleport to, I either can’t go, or I end up next to it. 

Okay, let’s rumble Mind-O!

MIND-O: Welcome to your doom! I’ll crush you … with this parking meter! (Grunting: Hnnggrhh...)

JED: Don’t worry. He won’t get me. I mean, I just disappear before anything hits me. Aw man, now he’s throwing a goat at me? Where’d he even get a goat? 

MIND-O: You’ll never defeat me! 

JED: You know what? Let’s bail. Ok, look, yeah, moving things around with your mind seems pretty cool. But telekinesis is mainly good for people too lazy to get up and walk to the kitchen for snacks. 

Teleportation, now that’s useful! For society! It completely solves the problem of transportation! 

Think of all the time you waste during rush hour or all the poor animals that get killed every day by cars and trucks. Plus, let’s not forget about the pollution! Vehicles cause a little under a third of the U.S.’s carbon emissions. If everyone could teleport, climate change wouldn’t be as bad as it is today. 

It’s no wonder people have been fantasizing about teleportation for more than a century. You’ve got teleporters in the X-Men, you’ve got Star Trek. 

Even the witches and wizards in Harry Potter apparate, which is just the magical version but with a weaker name.

Plus, as a teleporter, I can go anywhere. Like Paris! I’ve been here 400 times. Because my tummy gets hankerings for the most delicious croissant on the planet. 

(mouth full) Hey random adorable French kid, what’s better, teleportation or smellekinesis? 

Kid (in French): You’re spewing crumbs on me, you grotesque American.

Jed: That’s right, teleportation! Gimme five, up top. 

Kid (in French): Maman!

Jed: Let’s move on! We have to be quiet now, because we’re in a library. Because I wanted to look up what that French kid said to me. But also, this brings up another great thing about teleportation. I can find things out faster than the Internet. Don’t believe me? You search for uh, “How many toes does the Great Sphinx have?” And I’ll…

Librarian: Shh!

Jed: Eighteen! Or 16 -- it’s kind of hard to tell if some of them are toes or just weird bumps. Let’s go again. What’s the weather like in Kathmandu? 

Librarian: Shh!

Jed: Rainy. Very, very rainy.

Librarian: Sir, you are dripping water all over the books! 

Jed: Teleportation is also great for building strong relationships. Do your grandparents live in a different state or country? Did your best friend move to a far off town? Doesn’t matter. You could have dinner with them tonight. And for you science-minded people, here’s something that’s really wild. Just a few years ago, scientists were able to teleport photons from Earth up to a satellite 300 miles away in space! Technically, what they did was teleport information about one teenie-tiny proton on Earth to a twin proton on the satellite. It was a big deal, and it means a step towards superfast, super powerful computers and a much more secure internet. 

And some scientists think human teleportation will be possible in a hundred years, give or take. 

Jed: What would you do with that power? Go visit the rarest animals? Get the most epic selfies? Explore the universe? You could, thanks to teleportation. 

Oh yeah, and I guess I never answered the question of who’d win a fight -- a teleporter or a telekin...ese...ter? Well, let me just put on my super heavy duty parka and…

MIND-O: Oh, looks like the scaredy cat is back! That coat won’t protect you from … THREE GARBAGE CANS!!!

Jed: Just gotta pop in…grab the guy.

MIND-O: Take your hands off me!

Jed: And, ok, here we are at the South Pole. Whoo! It is brisk! 

MIND-O: Oh, my giant head! It’s so c-c-c-c-cold!!!

Jed: Should I leave you here , or do you promise to be good? 

MIND-O: Please don’t leave me here! I’ll b-b-b-b-be g-g-g-g-good-d-d-d-d. 

Jed: And there you have it! Teleportation absolutely wins in a fight. And it should also win this debate! Jed out!

Molly: A transporting and tremendous declaration from team teleportation. Carlos, what stood out to you from Jed's declaration?

Carlos: Well, no more roadkill.


I would no longer think about hitting a cow with my car, possibly, in the future.


Molly: What parts of his arguments did you think were most persuasive?

Carlos: Leaving the telekinetic person in the North Pole to freeze to death, that's a sticky-- Well, not sticky, more of a freezing situation to get out of.

Jed: It's effective. Am I right?

Molly: (laughs) Menaka, I see you scribbling down comebacks with your telekinetic powers. You have 30 seconds to respond to Jed and your time starts now.

Menaka: First of all, I'm hearing a lot of ground rules. I'm hearing weak boundaries. There's a lot of stuff we had to set up for teleportation that you don't need a machine. Telekinesis, you just use your mind. You already have it in your head. You're all good. It's there. Also, lots of the stuff that you mentioned is for yourself. Going cool places for yourself. There's more to the world than just your own self, your own interests. I did like when you said you could visit other people. That seems like you could bring joy to other people, but that's a concession that, you know --

Molly: Time.

Menaka: We don't need any concessions here.

Molly: (laughs)

Jed: Solving climate change is not just for me, Menaka.

Menaka: That's true but I think telekinesis could help solve climate change too.

Jed: Oh, we'll see.

Menaka: We will.

Molly: (laughs) Well, Menaka, we're going to see right now. It's time for you to switch from defense to offense. Your turn to wow us with the power of telekinesis. Go.

Menaka: Hi! Oh, am I a little off mic? What a perfect opportunity to show off the beauty of telekinesis. Rather than ugh, reaching my hand out and adjusting things, I could move the mic to me. Just. By. thinking. about it! 

Ah, much better. Telekinesis is the power to move stuff around, without touching it. Usually, telekinesis is chalked up to being a brain power. But I think there’s some heart in there, and that’s what’s really the best about it.

Let’s start at the beginning. The word ‘Telekinesis’ first pops up in English in 1890. It has Greek roots: Tele means far away, and Kinesis means to move. 

Teleportation? Also has Greek roots, but it’s later to the scene. Teleportation first shows up in a book in 1931. So, for anyone keeping track at home, we’ve been writing about telekinesis for 41 years longer than teleportation! And I’m pretty sure that’s not a coincidence. People are fascinated by the idea of moving things without touching them. 

So naturally,  they’ve been trying to prove their telekinetic powers for a long time. One telekinesiologist — that’s what I call someone working on practicing telekinesis — was an international celebrity named Eusapia Palladino. 

Eusapia: There are many doctors and professors, many counts, princes and kings, but in the world there is only one Eusapia! There is one Eusapia!

Menaka: I didn’t make that up — Eusapia is reported to have actually said that. Often. Eusapia was famous for her psychic abilities. She claimed to do lots of things: talk to the dead, sprout tiny blue flames from all over her body, and levitate objects. Telekinesis!

Eusapia: You see! The table has lifted! My powers are proven!

Menaka: She performed all over Europe and the United States. Very high profile people came to watch. Like, Marie Curie, who you may remember for discovering radioactivity. 

When Eusapia performed, there was astonishment. There was awe. There was also debate. Researchers at Harvard and Columbia studied her talents, and found some things suspicious.

Man Under Table: Yeah, she definitely lifted the table with her foot. 

Eusapia: How dare you disrespect my powers! There is only one Eusapia!

Menaka: To be clear, I’m not saying whether or not Eusapia was actually lifting tables. But I am saying that we are desperate for telekinesis to be real! And of course we are! Telekinesis would make so many things better. 

Getting a hummus and cracker plate without lifting a finger? That would be great. 

But that’s small potatoes compared with what big scale telekinesis might be able to do. It could improve the world! What if we got good enough at telekinesis that we could move stuff we needed with our minds -- like food and supplies -- instead of burning a bunch of fossil fuels to ship everything around? Or what if it was possible for people to relocate dangerous materials — like nuclear waste — without getting anywhere near it! Or, if a bunch of telekinesiologists could work together and push away hurricanes and tsunamis with their thoughts before any natural disasters had a chance to hurt anyone?

Weather reporter: Hurricane Delia is headed for the coast, but don’t mind it — the International Agency for Telekinesis will have it pushed off before it’s anywhere near us, leaving us with just a chance of drizzle. Now back to you, Meg.

Menaka: Telekinesis is for the generous of heart. The helpers of the world. It’s for wise, kind souls who care. 

Movies and TV shows back me up.

Think Star Wars! At the end of The Last Jedi, things look bleak — Finn and a bunch of other members of The Resistance are trapped in a cave. Until Rey moves a bunch of boulders with her mind, and frees them!

Telekinesis helps you take care of your friends! 

Or what about Stranger Things — the character Eleven has awesome telekinetic powers. In one episode, bullies are forcing one of her friends, Mike, to jump off a super high cliff into a lake. They’re counting down to his jump.

And he jumps — but when the bullies run out to look over the edge of the cliff they see Mike floating in mid air. Eleven pulls him back up to safe ground! And not only that — she  scares off the bullies, too.

It’s a powerful tool for generous souls.

Outside of movies and tv shows, in very real research labs, engineers are working on technology that gets pretty close to telekinesis. And it would also help a bunch of people. 

I’m talking about brain-controlled prosthetics. 

Prosthetics replace missing body parts. So they might stand in for a foot, or an arm — and they can be tricky to use — some of them are stiff, or hard to maneuver. Some don’t move at all. 

Brain-controlled prosthetics would be different. These prosthetics would measure brain signals with a brain implant, or maybe a headset — and then, thought commands, like, “raise my hand!” or “wiggle my toes” would control the prosthetic’s movement! Prosthetic wearers would be able to move their replacement limbs just by thinking about it! 

It’s like a real-world  form of telekinesis — using your mind to move an object! And just imagine how many lives these prosthetics would change for the better! 

So. Telekinesis? It’s a caring power, one that lets you help people out, from a distance. We definitely tele-ki-need-it.

Molly: A moving argument for telekinesis. Carlos, what did you think of Menaka's declaration?

Carlos: The Stranger Things analogy, the way Eleven helped take care of her friend with the telekinetic powers moves you to think, "Wow, maybe telekinesis would be a very people-centered approach."

Molly: For sure. Jed, you've got 30 seconds to poke holes in Menaka's argument and your time starts now.

Jed: First off, moving a microphone. Boom. Teleport. I'm over here. Boom. I'm back. Boom. Over there. Boom. I'm back. Also, you mentioned the Eusapia. That was totally fake. This is a person who's just lying to people. This is not a reason to support telekinesis. Finally, yes, in Stranger Things, Eleven saves her friend but if she were a teleporter, she could just zap in, grab him out of mid-air, and bring him back to safety, and she wouldn't get nosebleeds.

Molly: And time. Two very passionate arguments for their sides, teleportation and telekinesis. You have two points to award, one for the best rebuttal and one for the best declaration. Think about who made the best points, who had the best facts or stories, who had the cooler things to tell you about their side. Don't tell us who you're awarding the points to, but mark it down on your score sheet.

Carlos: Got you. Got you.

Molly: Have you awarded your points?

Carlos: Why, yes, I have.

Molly: Was it a tough call?

Carlos: In the beginning, yes. Then a little bit of thought and I think I got it.

Molly: Wonderful. Listeners at home, if you need more time to think, you can always hit pause with your mind or just teleport over to the pause button, whatever's easiest. Jed, Menaka, how are you feeling about your chances?

Jed: Oh, I'm pretty confident that teleportation just got two points.

Menaka: I’m feeling pretty good. There’s a lot to feel good about.

Molly: Okay everyone. Take a breather - rehydrate if you need to. We’re going on a quick break.

Carlos: Yep. We’ll be right back with more Smash Boom Best!


TODD: Todd Douglass here with 776 time debate champ, Taylor Lincoln! (silence) Taylor? (silence) Taylor? Wow, that’s weird… she was just…


TODD: AHHHHH! You scared me!

TAYLOR: (raucous laughter) Sorry! Sorry! I just got inspired by today’s debate! I went ghost hunting last night, and captured a whole GROUP of ghosts having an argument on tape! They were arguing about whether they should postpone their annual Ghostly Ball or not. 

TODD: What?! That sounds terrifying. 

TAYLOR: (shrugs) Meh. It wasn’t really. They seemed pretty chill. And they didn’t even notice I was there! Annnnyway. One of the ghosts was definitely a lawyer when she was alive. She was really persuasive!

TODD: (wary) Okay… 

TAYLOR: You’re gonna be really impressed, I promise. And it’s not scary! 

TODD: Fine, fine, fine. Roll tape!

GHOST I: Whoooo thinks we should call off the Ghostly Ball?

GHOST II: Whoooo thinks we should party anyways!?

GHOST III: Whoooo is afraid of Hubert the new human in our house?

GHOST IV: Whoooo wants everyone to just BE QUIET!? (Silence.) Thank you.

GHOST II: No, but like. So -- YEAH. We should have the party. As always. Right? I mean, Hubert the Human should know what kind of house he is living in. Cuz, yeah! Am I right?

GHOST IV: (confident and collected) No, you’re not right. We do not want to scare Hubert the Human right off the bat. It goes against our tried and true strategy of easing humans into our presence. We appear in a mirror or two, we open doors at night -- move a few objects around… but we always leave a doubt in their mind. If we host the Ghostly Ball next week, he will almost certainly realize that his house is haunted, and he might call the Ghostbusters... and we really don’t want to have to go through THAT whole process again. So let’s wait to host the Ghostly Ball. We’ll host it when he goes on vacation.



TAYLOR: Told you! She nailed one of the most important elements in a debate… 


TAYLOR: Right. The Delivery is how you speak. If you speak fast, stumble over your words, and include a lot of unnecessary language, you’re gonna have a hard time winning over your audience. 

TODD: But if you practice or write out what you’re going to say ahead of time, and speak slowly, confidently and charismatically, your audience is going to trust and understand what you’re saying -- and that goes a long way. 

TAYLOR: Let’s see who the ghosts ended up siding with.

GHOST IV: So, let’s have a vote. All in favor of postponing the Ghostly Ball, please say Woo-ya.

GHOST III: Wooooo-ya

GHOST I: Wooooo-ya

GHOST V: Wooooo-ya

GHOST I: All against please say Na-hoo.

GHOST II: Na-hoooooo

GHOST IV: It’s settled then. The Ghostly ball will be postponed until Hubert the Human goes on vacation.

TAYLOR: Case closed! Ghost Lawyer for the win. 

TODD: Take a page out of that ghost’s book, and always focus on making a calm and confident delivery. 

TAYLOR: It can make or break a debate!

TODD: Keep cool and carry on debate-heads, and we’ll catch you next time on…

TODD/TAYLOR: (in unison) State of Debate!

Molly: You're listening to Smash Boom Best, the show about showdowns. We love the debate ideas you send our way like this one from Georgia, from Brisbane, Australia.

Georgia: My debate idea is spies versus explorers.

Molly: We'll check in again with Georgia at the end of the show to see who she thinks should win. Now it's time to get back to this science fiction face-off, teleportation versus telekinesis. Debaters, are you all powered up?

Jed: Oh, definitely.

Menaka: Oh, yes.

Molly: Now it's time for the--

Announcer: Micro Round.

Molly: Your micro round challenge is Letter to the Editor. We asked both debaters to write a letter to their local paper complaining about the other side. Jed, you went first last time so Menaka, you're up. Time to get cranky.

Menaka: Dear Editor:

Longtime reader, first time writer: Had to share a few thoughts on your recent cover story ‘50 Places to Teleport ASAP’.

In theory, the freedom to go anywhere, anytime should mean that more people could go more places — all different kinds of places, at all kinds of times. But I live in Los Angeles, and I know that’s just not how this works. This is a giant city with so much different stuff to offer — and still, a bunch of people flock to just a few painted walls for... identical selfies. 

Similarly, I bet thousands of teleporters each day would head to hot destinations.

And those hot-destination teleports? They’d be more like telepoots. Think of the lines! Traffic jams of teleporters waiting for their turn to get their perfect picture!

Also, who would clean up these hotspots? Inevitably humans would leave trash and detritus. Pristine, beautiful places would never be the same. 

Finally, If humans were traveling via teleportation, it would be super energy intensive. According to physicists at the University of Leicestershire in the United Kingdom, it would take about TEN TRILLION GIGAWATT HOURS OF POWER to teleport one person into space. 

That’s over 50,000 times more energy than all of human civilization used last year. So, even for teleports around Earth, if humans had to eat anywhere near enough food to supply all that energy… we’d all need WAY more calories than Michael Phelps. Who has time to eat that much??

So please, for the love of camera rolls, undisturbed locales, and reasonable appetites, don’t publish anymore teleportation nonsense! If you cannot exercise more caution in the kind of traveling you encourage, please process my subscription cancellation, attached for your convenience.


Molly: Well done. Jed, now it's your turn to shake your fist and complain about telekinesis. Have at it.

Jed: To Whom it May Concern:

The Op/Ed you published last week, Teleki-neato!: Moving Hearts and Minds with Minds that Move Hearts, raised one benefit of this new telekinesis trend. Organ transplant doctors not physically touching a patient’s heart is more sanitary. 

However, it failed to mention many real problems: 

Like how there’s always stuff whizzing around the streets now thanks to telekinesis! I got hit in the face by a flying pizza just yesterday! Later, I was at the bookstore about to pick up the last copy of a bestseller when some mind-mover grabbed it right out from under me - and they weren’t even at the bookstore! How rude!

But my biggest gripe is the heat! All of these people are flexing their brains. Now, using a body part expends energy, and all these psychic gymnastics mean excessive heat generation. 

I own an ice cream shop, and I see so many telekinetics coming in. I feel sorry for them as they jostle each other, desperate for ice cream to soothe their overcooked crainiums.

One fellow recently showed off by signing his credit card purchase using his mental powers. The pen was wobbling; he was sweating; I had to step back from the furnace that was his forehead. “Just use your hand!” I wanted to shout. He finally collapsed, too spent to eat his now-melted bowl of pralines and cream. 

At that moment, a teleporting customer popped in, made her purchase and blinked away. 

“That was cool!” I said. “Literally. She didn’t even have to open the door, so none of the air conditioning got out.” 

Melting in Minneapolis

Molly: Excellent letters. Very persuasive. Carlos, you get one point this round. Think about which letter you liked best. The criteria is completely up to you. Which was crankier? Which was more persuasive? Which had a better sign off?

Jed: Which one was just better? Teleportation.

Molly: Have you awarded your point?

Carlos: Yep, I think I awarded my point this round.

Molly: Perfect. Now, sneakier than a teleporter appearing out of nowhere, more startling than someone pulling the rug out from under you with their mind, it's the--

Announcer: Sneak Attack.

Molly: Your Sneak Attack challenge is Tongue Twister. We want you to make up a tough tongue twister about your side, like the classic, "She sells seashells by the seashore." Make it as tricky as you can but remember, you have to read it out loud. Got it?

Jed: Yes.

Menaka: Got it.

Molly: We'll give you a few minutes to write while we jam out to some lovely hold music.


Now you see me, now I'm gone

Normal transportation makes me yawn

Teleportation takes me everywhere

Psychic powers I still find

Bending spoons with my mind

Fast. Creep. Boom. Oh, wait

Is that a ghost?

Molly: Jed, you're up first. Let's hear your tongue twister.

Jed: Zip, zap, zoom, to Zaire. Quick as a zither or a zebra. Don't dither. Zig back into style. Feeling so Zen. Telekinesis is zstupid. Shall I zing you again?

Carlos: Zingy.

Molly: Would not want to say that 10 times fast. Menaka, let's hear yours.

Menaka: Teleporters trampling the planet, taking trips to their top picks. Tap out, teleporters. Try trips near your territory.

Molly: Oh, another twisty one.

Jed: Try tips?


Menaka: Trips. Try trips.

Jed: Did you just twist yourself? (laughs)

Menaka: It twisted my tongue. That's what it was supposed to do, Jed.

Molly: She twisted her own tongue.


Okay, Carlos, you've got a choice to make. Which tongue twister wowed you the most? You can grade on style, humor, difficulty, who twisted up their own tongue. It's up to you. Have you marked down your point?

Carlos: Yeah. I'm going to have my pen telekinetically write it down for me.

Molly: Perfect. Jed and Menaka, how are you both feeling?

Jed: Me? I'm feeling great but can we wrap this up? After this, I got to zip over to Hawaii.


Molly: All right. It's time for the final round.

Announcer: The Final Six.

Molly: Debaters, you've got just six words. This is your last chance to convince Carlos that you deserve the title of Smash Boom Best. Menaka, you're up.

Menaka: Do the dishes with your brain, because we talked a lot about how telekinesis is useful for other people but there's also a lot of stuff in our lives that we don't want to touch, we don't want to have to do with our own hands and it would be really useful.

Jed: This is like 72 words.


Just because you say them super fast doesn't make them one word.


Molly: We don't know how she typed it. It could have been no spaces, I guess. All right. Jed, your six words. Choose carefully.

Jed: Travel without limits or car sickness.

Molly: Both teams have argued their hearts out. Now, Carlos, it's up to you. Award a point for this final round, then tally up your points that you've awarded throughout the game. Are you ready to crown a winner?

Carlos: Why, Molly, I think I am.

Molly: Excellent. All right. Carlos, the winner is--

Carlos: Well, by golly, Molly. Let me zip zap and I'm going to go with teleportation. Great job, Jed.

Jed: Yes. Yes. All right, Carlos, we're going to Hawaii. I'll pick you up in five seconds.


Carlos: Oh, wow. This is so exciting.

Menaka: You guys, can I come?

Carlos: Of course.


Menaka: I've never been to Hawaii.

Jed: You can carry all our luggage.


Menaka: Okay. Got it.

Molly: Carlos, can you walk us through just a little bit of your thinking, a couple of key moments that swayed you towards teleportation?

Carlos: For sure. Coming out of the first two rounds, I awarded my first two points to teleportation, of course. I felt like telekinesis, they're lazy people.


The third round, I had to give it to telekinesis. People would leave trash everywhere.

Jed: We teleporters are a dirty bunch.


Carlos: Let's see. The tongue twister. I felt as though Zs was a lot harder.

Jed: It's the closest I'll ever come to freestyle, by which I mean writing stuff down with my pen while I have five minutes to do it.


Carlos: Fourth round, your six words. I had to give this one to telekinesis. While there were a bunch of extra words, I like how she tied in the fact that there might be a future in which I'm doing the dishes.

Jed: I must admit it has always been a fantasy of mine to juggle things using my mind and I was a little bit jealous that you got to argue on this side, but teleportation is pretty awesome.

Menaka: I know. Teleporting for travel is incredible. I'm so glad you're bringing me to Hawaii. I'll be sending over a cheesecake to your house to celebrate your victory. Expect it later tonight.

Jed: Thank you.

Molly: Well, Carlos crowned teleportation the Smash Boom Best today, but who do you think won?

Carlos: Agree, disagree, it's all good either way. Let us know. Just head to our website,, and cast your vote.


Molly: That's it for today's raucous debate. Smash Boom Best is brought to you by Brains On! and American Public Media.

Jed: It's produced by Molly Bloom, Rosie Dupont, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten.

Maneka: We had engineering help from Veronica Rodriguez.

Jed: We had production help from Elyssa Dudley, Kristina Lopez, and Menaka Wilhelm.

Molly: Anna Weggel is the voice of our hold music and our announcer is Marley Feuerwerker Otto. Jed, is there anyone you want to give a shout out to today?

Jed: Yes. I need to thank Leo Duran, Megan Hazel, and my fantastic French team, Silva and Lena Pique.

Molly: How about you, Menaka? Anyone you want to thank today?

Menaka: Big thanks to Rosie Dupont and Alex Flood, who did the voices in my declaration of greatness, and to all of the telekinesiologists out there. Keep trying. Maybe someday.

Molly: [chuckles] Carlos, do you want to give any special thanks today?

Carlos: My debate coach, Ms. Gross, for letting me know about the opportunity and thanks, Menaka and Jed, for participating.

Menaka: Of course. My pleasure.

Jed: Thank you, Carlos.

Molly: Awesome. Before we sign off, let's hear some more from Georgia. Remember her? She suggested a spies versus explorers matchup. Here's who she thinks would win.

Georgia: I think explorers will win because they're not as risky as spies and they discover new things in the world that people have never seen before.

Molly: Good point, Georgia. If you've dreamed up the best debate idea ever, we want to hear about it. You can share your ideas or just say hi at We love hearing from you. We'll be back soon with another debate battle. Bye.


Jed: Menaka, you did a great job of making me feel terrible about myself as a person.


Carlos: She was very tele-kind-nesis.

Jed: Tele-unkind.