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The Dinner Party: 'The Great Gatsby,' The Mobro 4000, and more

Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in the film version of
Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby in the film version of "The Great Gatsby."
Warner Bros

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Every week we get your weekend conversation starters with Rico Gagliano and Brendan Newnam, the hosts of the Dinner Party podcast and radio show.

On tap this week:

Gatsby author F Scott Fitzgerald's records go online
We now know he was a bad speller, and that in 1926 he got $16,666 for the film rights to “The Great Gatsby” – around $213,000 in today’s dollars, or about a tenth of a percent of the new movie version’s rumored $200 million-plus budget.

NYC scavenger lives off drain drops
Armed with dental floss and mousetrap glue, this guy has been making a living for years wandering New York City, deftly picking up valuable items people accidentally drop through sidewalk grates.
History: 1987 – Thanks to the Gar-barge, Jersey starts recycling
The Mobro 4000 was a barge, loaded with garbage, that set sail in March ‘87 from New York.  The idea was to use the garbage to create methane gas power at a new pilot facility in No. Carolina.  But North Carolinans protested it, fearing it might contain hazardous waste, and the barge was sent on its way, trying to find someplace on earth that would take the trash.  Its journeys to Louisiana, Mexico and Belize – all of which refused to take the garbage -- became a symbol of overconsumption and the supposed lack of landfill space in the U.S.  It’s a big reason New Jersey, this week in ’87, became the third state in the union to launch a recycling program.