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Podcast 56 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 56: Who Set What on Fire?

Pronoiac set up a Fanscribed page, and most of this transcript came from there.


Mathowie: Episode 56 -

Jessamyn & M (together): - of the Metafilter Podcast.

M: Best of the best of the best, for mostly October.

J: And a little of November.

M: Sure. What should we do first? IRL-ly stuff?

Cortex laughs.

J: How about some music to, you know, Josh?

C: Uh, yeah, about that. So, Minecraft.

M: Oh, Jesus.

J: Right, yeah, I know about Minecraft.

C: We had some real nice music.

J: Does Minecraft widow work if you talk about it at your job? Or is there some other word for that?

M: Oh, Paul is putting the finishing touches on the Metafilter interface in Minecraft, so you can just stay in Minecraft and monitor the site.

C: Excellent! That'll really help.

M: That would actually provide some service.

C: That'd be pretty bad-ass. Minecraft needs a little bit more extensibility so you can do crazy stuff like that. I think it's going to get weird in the next year.

M: Dig down under your house to the admin basement, and then you could look at the flag queue.

C: Well, you could just embed a GL-rendered iframe, you know - into an object, so I could actually go into my house and look at Metafilter and see if there's anything going on there.

M: You could build a screen on the wall.

J: That's how it works in Second Life, right? This is kinda like Second Life, right?

C: I think they have stuff like that in Second Life, yeah.

M: Hm.

J: Hmm.

C: I don't think we should actually do that in Minecraft, because I don't want Minecraft to turn into Second Life.

M: So what are the best posts on Mefi Minecraft this week?

C laughs.

J: Well, I heard there was an Empire State Building, and -

C: There totally is.

J: - actually, we could start with, since we're not going to be able to talk about anything but Minecraft -

C laughs.

J: - we could start with Metatalk, and the Mefite Club Server, which they didn't want me to sidebar because it's a little, you know -

C: It's a little "firehose" that way.

J: It's a little "inside baseball," but for people who are listening to the podcast, "inside baseball" is probably okay, so this is like "blah blah blah bacon" to me, so Josh, maybe you can explain what this means & why people are so excited about it.

C: Basically, the deal is, for the past several months, there's been a Minecraft server running, via the folks over at, (ed. note: Cortex pronounces it "meh-fight," not "me-fight") which is the gaming spin-off community.

J: Oh, is that how you say it?

C: That's how I say it, yes. That is in fact how it is said. And the server was called Aporkalypse, I don't remember exactly how the name came around, but there are pigs in the game, and I assume it has something to do with that, it's lost in the sands of time as far as I'm concerned, but anyway, Aporkalypse - stavrosthewonderchicken, as well as toomuchpete & odinsdream, have all been doing various bits of excellent work to, sort of, make this world that everybody's creating, sort of accessible from the outside. So now there's a site called, that integrates a gallery function, for screenshots and videos -


C: this is something that stavros put together, & I think that's still in progress a little bit, for the new site.

J: Yeah, it had six pictures that were all the same the last time I looked, but that was last week.

C: Yeah, but we've got a gallery function that's working behind the scenes that'll get ported over.

J: And a really good map! A really nice map.

C: Yeah, a really nice map that's based on - we regenerate the map itself every couple of weeks, and it gets bigger in those couple of weeks every time we generate it, but there's annotations all over it now, too, using sort of a Google Maps interface, so you can actually find different things on the map, and figure out where they are in relation to each other, in this functionally very big world. So that's kinda really neat, and yeah! And there's sort of a Terms of Service, and "hey, this is the deal, if you're interested in playing on our world" sort of thing.

J: Which just talks about not destroying other people's stuff.

C: Yeah, exactly. Because there's been a few issues where, and this is part of the problem with Minecraft right now, is that it's nothing but open servers. I mean, you can't create a secured server in the game by default. So you can sort of restrict people's ability to do stuff on the server with some third-party stuff, but there's nothing to stop some random person from coming to your server. We've had some weirdness on the server, to the point where it seems like maybe one or two people have actually been acting like total dickasses -

J: But you wouldn't know unless you had them actually agree to a Terms of Service kind of thing.

C: Yeah, well, and to some extent, the Terms of Service doesn't stop someone from being a dickass, but, at least it makes it very clear that this is not just a "hey, come in & burn down random wooden structures you find" sort of server, this is a "hey, come help build interesting things" sort of situation.

M: You can't figure out a way to do logins or something?

C: Well, we've got login information -

J: They know who it is!

M: Oh.

C: Well, no, we don't know who it is, is the problem. It's got login information, but we (previously, at least) haven't had logging of individual behaviors in the thing. Because I mean, if someone logs in, that doesn't tell us anything but that they were on the site.

J: Oh! So there's not tracking of what individual people are doing.

C: Yeah, we don't know if they built the Empire State Building, or set someone's stuff on fire.

J: So you might not have even made that Empire State Building.

C: Well, it wasn't mine.

J: Or whoever made it.

C: Yeah.

J: You don't know who made it.

C: Well, we kinda do, because, you know, people aren't going to not take credit for doing something awesome.

J: Sorta like Al Queda in that way.

C: Yeah, it's very much like that, yes, that's the analogue I was looking for.

(C & M laugh)

C: Anyway! So we're working on tightening some of that stuff up, and toomuchpete has been building some logging so we can actually see "who put what block where," "who set what on fire," which hopefully will provide some accountability should any further griefing type of behavior exist.

J: I think "who set what on fire" is the name of this podcast.

C: Yes.

M: What was that?

J: "Who set what on fire."

M laughs.

C: But other than that, it's been going great. Some really neat stuff continues to happen. I'm continually impressed. There's a bunch of civics works projects going on: people have been zoning out neighborhoods, which is kind of silly in an arbitrarily large world, but also makes these really cool, concentrated bits of micro-scale building -


(via Fanscribed page)

- people building on 8 by 10 lots in a neighborhood. You get this crazy pile of architecture, like a screenshot from SimCity.

jessamyn: Sure, artificial restrictions causing people to try and make the most of whatever those restrictions are.

cortex: Exactly! And people doing all kinds of cool stuff. There's been this huge amount of work into building high-speed transit, essentially. Someone on the internet figured out that if you shake water in a special way - physics on Minecraft is a little bit weird, and you can exploit that to make things like directed water rays. And so, people built -

jessamyn: I heard you never lose your tools.

cortex: Not if you're clever. That's actually a bug that will go away eventually, but for now it's convenient.

jessamyn: But the water thing is just a feature?

cortex: But the water thing is just a feature, yeah. You can create directional water flow, and then you can use that to create really fast boat routes between two parts of the map.

jessamyn: So you build rivers, essentially?

cortex: Kinda. More like channels. More like water slides, really. [laughs].

jessamyn: Okay!

cortex: So you can get in a boat and ride all these water slides and cross the map in, like, two and a half minutes instead of

fifteen minutes walking.

jessamyn: Oh, I see what you're saying.

cortex: So yeah, it's kinda cool stuff.

jessamyn: So last question: you say stavros [ˈstɒv.ɹoʊs]?

cortex: stavros [ˈstɒv.ɹoʊs]. stavrosthewonderchicken? He has been doing--

mathowie: stavros [ˈstæv.ɹoʊs].

jessamyn: stavros [ˈstæv.ɹoʊs].

cortex: Oh, I say stavros [ˈstɒv.ɹoʊs], yeah.

mathowie: Eh, it's barely a difference.

jessamyn: Of course you do.

mathowie: [laughs] MeFite. [ˈmɛ.faɪt (meh-fight)]

cortex: Whaddaya want? [laughs]

jessamyn: Okay, thanks, Josh! Now we're done talking about Minecraft.

mathowie: So, thanks for telling us about Music.

mathowie jessamyn and cortex: [collectively dissolve into laughter] mathowie: Those are a lot of great tracks. I can't want to listen to them.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: I was looking over--

jessamyn: We'll look forward to the next Music podcast.

cortex: I just need to bury myself in some music at some point. I've just been away, I've been distracted by video games.

mathowie: [laugh] I think the whole world is. It's probably why--

jessamyn: I'm not! I'm here at work. Hello?

mathowie: It's probably why young people didn't vote this last election!

cortex: They were playing Minecraft.

jessamyn: But people did vote in the election, didn't they?

mathowie: What?

jessamyn: Didn't they? Did young people really--

mathowie: No, didn't you hear? The demographics of voting last Tuesday

was like, in America, after the 2008 election that Obama won, I think it was, 18-24 exceeded the number of 65 and older voters.

jessamyn: Oh, interesting. And this time, not as much.

mathowie: And this time, it was half as many 18 to 24-year-olds, and more 65-year-olds than last time, so it essentially doubled. There were twice as many senior citizens as young people voting.

jessamyn: Well, which maybe makes sense in terms of

their, I mean, there's a lot more people over 65 than people between 18 and 24.

mathowie: Right, but why didn't they vote in 2008? I don't know. But they got emboldened this time.

jessamyn: Yeah, I followed the Foursquare election stuff and, wow. There was how many people? Sixty check-ins the entire state of Vermont. That's basically like 0.001% of the population, I believe.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: New Hampshire had 225, Oregon had 108.

mathowie: Oh, Oregon had 108 because we don't--I mean, you check in at home!

cortex: Why would you even check in? Do you check in at the fucking post office?

jessamyn: Yeah, you do! They had all the polling places on Foursquare.

mathowie: There's no polling place.

cortex: There's no polling! You fill out your votes on a fucking--yeah, we mail our--

jessamyn: Ohh! But then you stand outside the post office and you fucking check in! That's what I did. I checked in from home, I live so close to my post office.

cortex: Whatever.

jessamyn: Arrgh. Is this another getting out of bed problem?

cortex and mathowie: [laugh] cortex: I consider the voting more important than the Foursquaring, you know.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

cortex: I was not gonna bother to fucking check in at my front door when I stuck my ballot on the clothes bin or whatever.

mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh] mathowie: You know, that's probably what happened this election, you just left your thing on the clothes bin instead of actually...

cortex: Yep. That's why all the important votes failed by one.

mathowie: Exactly.

cortex: Even the ones in other states where I can't vote.

jessamyn: Hey, we actually had someone who won by one vote!

cortex: Yeah?

In Vermont?

jessamyn: One of the local state senators or state representatives.

mathowie: They don't do a runoff?

cortex: That's, like, 30% of the vote, Matt.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: Nope, you win by one fucking vote! No, it was like 882 to 883, and she won the rep position. They might do a recount, but, no, probably you just win. By a vote. You win!

mathowie: Ohh! They do runoffs here if there are enough write-ins that neither of them got 50% of the vote, which sometimes happens.

jessamyn: Oh, that happens to us with governor and stuff like that, but not

with little poozly offices.

mathowie: Oh, even our little tiny county supervisor, they did that.

jessamyn: Oh, really!

mathowie: Yep. It was crazy.

You know what I saw in IRL was kind of cute, the Thanksgiving for orphans in Portland? I thought that was a cool idea to use IRL for that. Like, anyone who doesn't have family crap to do, why don't we try--

jessamyn: I think that's a great idea. Except for the fact that no one's going? Oh, this is two days old.


mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: I was like, that's real sad. Greg_Ace is like, "Hey! Everyone come over!" and everyone's like, "Eh, no."

jessamyn and mathowie: [laugh] mathowie: They've got three weeks to figure it out, I think, until Thanksgiving, so I think they're good.

jessamyn: Yeah, I think that's a great idea. Portlanders should go to Greg_Ace's house. And churl's going to give them an extra microwave.

mathowie: I think it was organized in MetaTalk a few times. Josh, you've been to one of them at sleepy pete's, right?

cortex: Yeah! I mean, that one was maybe

slightly--I don't remember how formal that was. But yeah, it was over at sleepy pete and melissa may's, and, yeah, we had a few people over, and had some Thanksgiving, and it was fun.

jessamyn: I'm going to be with Metafilter people for Thanksgiving kind of randomly. There will be four of us, eating turkey over here in Vermont.

mathowie: Sweet!

cortex: I was amused by the, "What the fuck should I be for Halloween?" Projects post.

jessamyn: Oh yeah, there was--

cortex: I mean, it's a totally dumb little thing, but it's exactly my sort of dumb little thing, where they hooked it up to I think Wikipedia?

mathowie: Wikipedia.

cortex: And so you should dress as a sexy random article title from Wikipedia.

mathowie: It's clever. It's an old joke, but it's a clever build, is what I thought.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: When I saw it come across the transom [?], I was like, aughh, more sexy costume jokes, I'm so tired of these. But then I was like, oh, these are hilarious! And that somebody wired it up to Wikipedia is brilliant. "Sexy Robert Morgan (poet)"

jessamyn and cortex: [chuckle]

jessamyn: Which goes again to our other, What the fuck--and I know this is sort of U.S.-centric, we'll try to get out of it--but the, What the fuck has Obama done so far?, which we were talking about before we started recording.

cortex: Ooh.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Sexy Dynamic Microprocessor Associates, that's pretty good.

mathowie: Yeah, that's what I got.

cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: Yeah, the What The Fuck Has Obama done--that's an awesome, I don't know. The news media's so negative

it's like, augh, so tough to remember he did any of these things.

jessamyn: Well, I think people's attention spans are for some reason completely short, limited, and non-creative.

mathowie: Oh, there's daily outrage, and there's monthly high notes, and so everyone remembers the daily outrage of the day, and whatever bullshit's on the news here in America, and augh, so bad. It's almost like from the moment Obama entered office they wanted to write the story

that he's Jimmy Carter, he's got a bad set of circumstances and he's going to be a marginal president and everything's going to go wrong under his watch and we need to put him out.

jessamyn: I've set up a forum [?] by Jimmy Carter. That man's strengths were not in his presidency but in being an awesome statesman dude, that the presidency let him go do, you know?

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: What's this, Josh?

cortex: I liked the Wheeeeeeeee!

project. It's sort of simple and dumb, but it's just, Potomac Avenue made a tumblr blog with just images that could in theory be captioned with "Wheeeeeeeee!"

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: That's a gussed-up Doré illustration.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: That's a guy being chased by a hippo.

cortex: That's a bunch of flying Windows logos.

mathowie: I don't know how to--oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Chased by a bear... tilt-a-whirl. Yeah, this is great. Can you not read the word 'whee' without thinking of Angry Birds, though?

Matt? Josh, I don't know if you play it enough.

cortex: I didn't play enough for that to become an issue for me.

mathowie: No, I still think of being eight years old and on some sort of slide, still, whenever I read, 'wheeeeeee!'

jessamyn: Wow, I just think of that crazy Angry Birds thing.

mathowie: Is it printed on there somewhere?

jessamyn: No, but it's the noise that they make every time you shoot an angry bird. It's like, the repetitive noise.

mathowie: Ohh. I always play it in silent mode, so I'm missing out completely.

jessamyn: Mine has now broken so that I can only play it in silent mode, and that's probably just as well. Somebody probably pressed a little setting, "Save Jessamyn from Annoying Angry Birds."

Wait, what's this?
Wait, are we moving to Jobs? I have a project.

mathowie: Okay, go project.

jessamyn: Just one more. This is one that I liked because I participated in it, back when everybody was going around doing the It Gets Better thing, and everybody was trying to find the most famous

or whatever person that did the most interesting It Gets Better thing, and we saw Hillary Clinton do one, and Barack Obama did one, and then there was the archbishop in New Hampshire that did one, or the bishop, and then there was that guy in Texas, and liketitanic did a project called, "Write your principal", and it's a really, really straightforward basic project to encourage people to write their either current or former principal at their school
and tell them that they care about bullying and especially having safer schools for LBGTQ teenagers. And I wrote my principal, and I got a really nice note back from him.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Sometimes it's nice to know what schools are doing to make sure queer kids of all stripes--and everybody else, really--aren't getting bullying, and to know that other adults take this kind of stuff seriously, if you are an adult, or, if you are a kid, that your peers are taking it seriously.

mathowie: What did they say? Did they just give a pat, "We are aware of it"?

jessamyn: No, actually, it's sort of interesting. In my school, the school that I work in has a lot of at-risk kids. It's a vocational school, and so kids are already dealing with a whole bunch of bullshit. And one of the things that the teachers do at the first quarterly teachers' meeting of the year is--they don't have that many kids, it's a small school--and they basically have a list of all the kids, and they pass them around to all the teachers, and the teachers put their initials next to a kid's name if they've made a connection

with that kid, like, you know enough about the kid, or you talk to the kid about their day, or whatever the thing is. You kind of know who you've made a connection with and who you haven't. And then they look at the list and if there are kids that no teachers have specifically connected with, people get assigned to make sure that there's somebody who that kid knows that they can talk to or that that kid has a personal connection with. And it's a way of making sure that every single kid in the school has an adult who knows them, has talked to them, knows what their
situation is, even a little bit, so that they don't fall through the cracks. It's basically just to keep the falling through the cracks thing from happening. And they specifically deal with LBGTQ issues almost on a one-on-one basis, because it's a really small school and there's not that many gay teens, though there are some of them, and bullying based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, whatever. It's just completely against the rules in any case. So I got a really nice note back from them, and I thought it was a useful exercise.
I think it's a nice site.

mathowie: The MeFi Research Club, I noticed this before. It looks like they did a Kickstarter project.

cortex: Oh, I remember that, yeah.

mathowie: Do a tour of community-run projects and do presentations and stuff, and they got funded, completely. I should mention there's a zillion Kickstarter projects that get posted to Projects now, but those don't feel like completed projects, those always feel like

they're... I mean, as much as I love Kickstarter, it's like half-begging, half, like, "Give me this money, then I'll do this thing."

jessamyn: Right, well, it's like, sign your petition kind of thing.

mathowie: Yeah, we want to publish, "I did this thing", instead of "I want to do this thing."

jessamyn: Should we put that in the sign-up page for Projects? Have we already?

mathowie: Yeah, Paul added a--

jessamyn: "No Kickstarter, please."

mathowie: Yes, he added a, "please, no more Kickstarter."

jessamyn: I mean, not that Kickstarter's not great, but yeah, I agree with you.

cortex: If you don't have a thing yet, if all you're doing is

saying "hey, come to the place where you can give me money to give me money," it's not really a project.

jessamyn: But you can put your Kickstarter project in your profile, and then people can see it when you post about stuff, and they can fund you if they want to.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Or, in this case, they have a project, a site that's working and done for it, then they're also throwing a Kickstarter thing, and then if you followed the project link you'd see that on their sidebar. So it doesn't have to be directly about it.

jessamyn: Right. Cool!

mathowie: Awesome.

jessamyn: Awesome. Let's move on.

mathowie: Jobs, I thought this was an interesting job, being a post-doc researcher at USC in the School of Communication, which is really cool, and they've always had awesome research fellows there, like people doing Facebook and Twitter and God, even Friendster research in the early 2000s.

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, Annenberg is really cool. That looks awesome.

mathowie: It's like, Joi Ito's sister runs it, Justin Hall used to go to school there, Leonard Lin went there, like, all these old, old Metafiltery bloggy people. It's good stuff.

jessamyn: Neat! Yeah, I didn't see a ton on Jobs, although it seems like people posting their availability seems to be working real great.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, yeah. I'm surprised more people aren't doing it, but it's only--about 20, maybe? have done it so far.

jessamyn: Yeah, well, we should mention it again.

mathowie: Sign it up!

jessamyn: There's an availability thing, and it will actually link you to jobs that are in your same category.

mathowie: Yes.

jessamyn: I mean, a lot of this is probably geography, that if you're not moving you have to be near a job in the first place.

mathowie: But some of the stuff's contract, a lot of the web building jobs, and it's cool when you look at any random web job, and it's like, Available: two people that know how to do this, which is like, oh, okay.

jessamyn: Yeah, do your WordPress theme, or make your little widget. I picked up a little gig helping somebody read their master's thesis to make sure the English sounded

like English, and I got a sausage in the mail.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh] mathowie: That's just an awesome sentence.

jessamyn: And a chocolate bar. And the sausage was probably illegal. I don't even think you can mail sausages from other countries here.

mathowie: Was it English as a second language, so they wanted to make sure it sounded like native English or something?

jessamyn: Yeah. And he had two people reading his thesis, one of whom was French, and one of whom was German, and he speaks all the languages, but English was the one that they settled on for the paper, and so

he was like, it's my second or third or fourth language, and I just want to make sure it makes sense. So I was like, great, easy!

mathowie: Yeah. Sweet.

jessamyn: Easy-peasy. Oh! And since we're at a little stopping point, the wiki's been upgraded to Wikimedia version blah point blah or whatnot, but I just wanted to say, hey, if there's people who are looking for projects to get involved in with Metafilter there's all sorts of little stuff that could happen on the wiki. And there was a recent MetaTalk thread talking about that.

mathowie: Oh, where was the thing about the wiki? There it is. I made a joke about it.

I wonder if anyone picked up on it. Oh! Not a single favorite. Come on.

cortex: What was the joke?

mathowie: Well, adrianhon runs the wiki, and I thought this was all a bullshit giant ARG for a new movie about wiki spammers.

jessamyn: Oh, I read that, that was funny!

cortex: Oh. I chuckled, I just--

jessamyn: It's pretty damn inside baseball, though, Matt.

mathowie: Yeah. You'd have to know what he does for a living. But I thought the Londoners would know--oh well.

Moving on. Should we just go to Metafilter and Ask Metafilter stuff?

cortex: Sure.

jessamyn: Sure! Since we appear to be on no particular track today anyhow.

mathowie: Where are my Metafilter favorites? do-do-do.

jessamyn: Well, first of all, since it's only Monday and Saturday was just a second ago, and again, in the United States we just set our clocks back and that's why we're all crabby and unreasonable Monday morning--

mathowie: Even though we got an extra hour of sleep.

cortex: [chuckling] Yeah, shouldn't we all be well-rested?

mathowie: We should be extra awesome.

jessamyn: I'm discombobulated! I get one hour less of daylight every day. One extra hour of sleep doesn't make up for that.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: Well, that's because you sleep through sunrise anyway, don't you.

jessamyn: Who doesn't sleep through sunrise?

cortex: I don't sleep through sunrise.

jessamyn: Wow.

cortex: Well, I mean, in the middle of summer, when it's light before 6 a.m., that's one thing, but any other time of year, I'm up before the sun is.

jessamyn: Really?

cortex: Really.

jessamyn: Isn't there a Bob Seger song about that?

cortex: I don't know.

jessamyn: I think "Those are the memories that make you a wealthy soul", Josh.

cortex: Are they?

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: Well, that's pretty cool.

jessamyn: And this is a song sung by dads about turning back their clocks, and it's turned into a nice thread about people talking about dads, and it was fun.

cortex: Oh, that, yeah!

mathowie: I saw that mentioned on Twitter and never watched the video until right now, and holy crap, yeah.

jessamyn: It's really funny because it gets a lot of funny dad jokes without being totally stereotypical

annoying. And it's all really these people's dads, acting like dads. It's funny. I sent it to my dad, I never heard back from him. I hope he thought it was funny.

cortex: Well, the big blog drama in the last week was the Cooks Source thing, which we had a good post about that's still sort of ticking along--

jessamyn: Oh, that was great! Matt, did you hear about this?

mathowie: Oh yeah, completely. I heard about it completely on Twitter, so I didn't even know there was a MeFi post about it, but I mean, I looked at Cooks Source

It looked like a fucking hacky bullshit--it sounds more impressive than it is. When I heard the story, I was like--

jessamyn: Whoa, it's a magazine, like, you think Cook's Illustrated.

cortex: Yeah, like it was Cook's Illustrated or something, turned out to be just some podunk little tabloid.

mathowie: Whoa, yeah, yeah. It was not Cook's Illustrated, it came across like, huh, I wonder if that's those weird people in Vermont or New Hampshire that really know how to cook really well, the guy with glasses. No, that's not quite it, but... [laughs]

jessamyn: That's Cooks Illustrated. Chris Kimball. He doesn't really live here. He lives in fucking Boston.

mathowie: Aww. Can I still like him, though?

jessamyn: He's got a house up here, though. You can like him as much as you like any summer people.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh] mathowie: Spoken like a true maintainer of townies. [laughs]

jessamyn: It's sleeting today, for God's sakes!

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: But should we explain what actually happened, and why this pushes Metafilter's [???] buttons so well?

cortex: Probably, probably. Because I didn't think the thread itself was anything particularly interesting, aside from if you like the Scooby Squad sort of thing of people linking together various bits of a weird situation

being picked apart.

jessamyn: Yeah, so basically, there's this lady, she wrote a great article about apple pie that isn't even on a foodie blog, it's on a medievalist blog, I think? Talking about about how apple pie has been around since blah blah blah, and then Cooks Source, which is this kind of weird tabloid-y rag, basically copied it whole cloth, and published it, in print, with the original writer's name on it. And the original writer was like, "That's kind of weird," e-mailed Cooks Source, saying, "That's really not that cool. Could you give me an apology and make a

donation?" And it was like a hundred bucks or something, it wasn't something crazy, to the Columbia School of Journalism.

cortex: To a journal school, yeah.

jessamyn: And the lady wrote back this incredibly bitchy, "What? The web is public domain! And your article needed a lot of editing. And by the way, you should be lucky we didn't just put someone else's name on it." So oh my God, the wrath of thousands of Internet nerds scorned. And foodie Internet nerds especially, because it's the perfect storm of blogging

and rudeness and copyright law and food, and it turned into this--not on Metafilter particularly, but the cook's Facebook page turned into the Scooby Squad, basically, being like, "Here's a ton of other articles they ripped off!" and it was a very lively thread with a common enemy without the "I hope she should be raped to death" aspect that I always hate.

mathowie: Was there an actual printed magazine?

cortex: Yeah, no, there was actually the, they had the website not very long, it sounds like people were speculating that the website might be something that's new this year.

mathowie: The site was hacked, now.

jessamyn: Yeah, somebody posted some whois information, which I was just wondering if that's okay if it has phone numbers in it.

mathowie: Is it Cooks Source Magazine?

jessamyn: It's cookssource, like, with two 's's in the middle, dot com.

mathowie: But the site itself may be completely, yeah.

cortex: Oh yeah, I mean, the site's pretty much blank now.

But the whole thing was weird in that Internet clusterfuck sort of way.

mathowie: Nerd rage.

jessamyn: Someone sticks their foot in it and doesn't think their e-mail's going to be sent to thousands of angry people.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. The righteous indignation aspect was strong.

cortex: It's the sort of, you can see that as sort of a meta thing.

jessamyn: And it was really cut and dried, too. There was no, "Well, I could see..."

mathowie: You know what's awesome? If you do a search for Cooks Source magazine, the actual site is on the third or fourth page.

Everything is like, "Internet attacks! Nerd rage brings them to justice! Plagiarizing bloggers!"

jessamyn: [chuckles] Oh, nerd rage.

mathowie: Wow, NPR did a piece.

cortex: [chuckles]

jessamyn: The NPR piece is nice, actually. Because of course, NPR, they're NPR, they've got kind of a way of viewing things. But they did a fairly interesting and somewhat amusing bit on them.

mathowie: What? Yelp has a post about it? What? That's weird.

jessamyn: Of course Yelp has a post about it!

mathowie: Right, they just--yep. All traffic must go through Yelp.

Huh. Wow.
You know what I thought was really cool? Did you ever watch the Right-Wing Radio Duck?

jessamyn: No, no, what?

cortex: [chuckles]

mathowie: Did you ever watch this? This was like from a month ago.

jessamyn: I don't click anything with Glenn Beck. Like, I have Greasemonkey protect me from that.

mathowie: [laughs] Well, someone very sharply took a library of 1940s Disney cartoons and then took a whole bunch of

Glenn Beck sound clips and perfectly married them. It sounds like a better idea than execution, but it's executed perfectly. Where it's all this stuff about how everyone needs to get a job, and there's Depression-era Mickey Mouse, where they don't have jobs and they're looking for jobs and people are shutting the door in their faces. And it perfectly makes Glenn Beck seem like an arrogant asshole. And he actually liked it and was playing it on his show
and stuff.

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: Which is weird. Like, he has no--I mean, he has self-awareness, but he fakes like he doesn't on screen, like, "Hey, here's another thing from someone who loves me, check this out!" "I got a kick out of it," I think, is what he said. But it's pretty awesome. It's so cool.

jessamyn: That's cool.

mathowie: Super illegal remix, I'm surprised it's still online.

jessamyn: Is it still online? Did you look today?

mathowie: It's still online!

jessamyn: Whoo!

mathowie: I thought it would have been shut down by Fox, or Disney, or Fox and Disney.

jessamyn: Whoo! All right, I have to give a shout-out to the Professional Ear Cleaner thread.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: By Ahab, who's a more relatively new user, and not only does it have lots of disgusting ear-cleaning videos--

mathowie and cortex: [laugh] jessamyn: --the likes of which you are never going to see again in your life, with music and crap like that, but it's got some interesting links, too, the history of

the ear-cleaning thing in India, and I thought it turned into a fun thread. And it had this wonderful comment by one of our local doctor MeFites about how he can't stomach--he can deal with all sorts of pus and other disgusting shit, but earwax freaks his shit right out.

mathowie: I love the advice of, "Never put anything smaller than your elbow into your ear." That basically, anything you stick in your ear

is bad, sharp stuff, Q-tips are bad, everything, you can injure yourself.

jessamyn: You might like this video.

mathowie: Do you want to hear my disgusting earwax story?

jessamyn: Of course, Matt!

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: I have been told by doctors all the time--Oh my God that's disgusting, that video of earwax.

jessamyn: He's got a bug in his ear.

mathowie: Eughhh.

jessamyn: Do you see it? Do you see it?

mathowie: No, I turned it--I shut it down.

jessamyn: There's a bug! There's a bug in his ear! It's amazing!

mathowie: Gross.

jessamyn: Aughh.

mathowie: I've always been told by doctors that my ears produce the wax of ten men. Every time they go in they're like, "Whoa! Wow."

jessamyn: Does this have to do with your thyroid?

mathowie: No, no, my whole life.

jessamyn: Okay.

mathowie: They've always just been like, "holy shit, you produce a lot of wax." And I also have this, "you produce a lot of saliva," dentists tell me, which is actually good, because it washes away bad stuff.

jessamyn: Right, because it's got antimicrobial properties or whatever.

mathowie: Yeah, so they go, every doctor I've ever seen goes into my ear and goes, "Holy cow, yeah, you make

a lot of earwax." And so I used to just--I never Q-tip, I think it's kind of gross, I just leave it there, it falls out whenever it needs to or I smear it out or something. But one time I'm talking to my faculty adviser for my master's degree, we're going over my data or something, I'm in his office, it was one of the last times we met right before I was going to submit my thesis. And I just felt an itch in my ear--

jessamyn: Uh-oh.

mathowie: And we're talking, I'm speaking, and

it's like--it's not that gross, it's pretty much like what her doctor describes here. There's just something itchy in my ear, I stick my finger in, not looking, I'm in the middle of a sentence, and scoop something out, and his office trash is right next to me, and I flick my finger into it, because it was some wax on my finger. It's a metal trash can, and it goes, "Pang!"

jessamyn: Aaaaaah!

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: And I finish my

sentence, and in my head I'm like, "What the fuck?" I pulled out some gigantic nugget of wax, and yeah, it was disgusting. My adviser didn't say a word, we just kept talking, and I left. That never happened again in my life.

jessamyn: I don't even understand how that does happen. Like, your ear's a little tube, and how do you get a marble-sized thing out of a little tube by poking into it? Ears are mysterious to me!

mathowie: I don't know how it got hardened

to the point where it was itching the inside of my ear, I just accidentally--I don't know how I yanked it out, but it was really fun and goes to say [?]--

jessamyn: Well, if you look at these videos, you can get some tips.

Not the bug one, though, that one's pretty awful.

mathowie: Thanks for showing it to me, then.

jessamyn: Sure, you're welcome! Well, that was actually the first time I'd seen it, too. I was afraid to watch it alone.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh] jessamyn: So thanks, you guys. [laughs]

mathowie: Awesome.

I got a million favorites.

cortex: I like the, this is totally dumb, but it also completely killed me the night that I watched it: Area Girl Very Amused By Webcam Special Effects. Which is just a two-minute YouTube video of some girl, like there's the swirl effect you can do on a webcam, and so she's just sitting there in front of her webcam watching the screen and distorting her face into various cartoon shapes

by putting it at various points in front of the swirl. And she's just completely losing her shit and having a fantastic time with it. And I watched it and I was weeping within no time. It just completely slew me. She was just having such a tremendous time, and I could see myself being exactly that sort of dork in front of a swirly webcam, so I thought that was fantastic.

mathowie: The what? Google just sent me something.

cortex: Google just sent you something? Is it an invitation to a birthday party?

jessamyn: In the mail?

mathowie: No, FedEx. Bottle bags? It's like a grocery bag, eco-bag, weird. I think I filled out a survey or something.

cortex: Ah.

mathowie: Strange.

cortex: Oh, there was also the crazy robot hand, the robot that picks things up by using suction to cause a balloon hand to grab stuff.

It's just a neat little technology thing, but I thought it was pretty cool.

jessamyn: Oh, that's neat!

mathowie: Did you see the gigantic bubbles video?

cortex: No.

mathowie: Oh my gosh, it's awesome.

jessamyn: I apparently missed every good post this month, and I thought I'd seen a lot of really great posts. This is great.

mathowie: Just randomly start the Giant Beach Bubbles video, jump to certain spots. It's just a guy who's got an awesome--it's basically, I mean, I don't know if this got, I know if you want to improve your bubble solution, you just buy bubble solution

and you add a little bit of, was it glycerol? I think it was glycerol, and it adds a whole bunch of water tension to the bubbles, so you make giant crazy wavy bubbles. And this is a guy taking that to eleven, and he's got two sticks with strings on them, so he can make twenty-foot-wide bubbles on the beach in the wind, and they're just amazing.

cortex: Yeah, that's slick.

jessamyn: Wowww.

cortex: We had the Klutz kit when I was a kid, the bubble-maker--

jessamyn: I remember the Klutz kit!

cortex: Yeah, you could make foot-wide bubbles, but that guy has definitely taken it to--

mathowie: And when you see them snap, it's like getting a bucket of soap dumped on your head, so little kids are going to get [dissolves in laughter with cortex]. And actually, the bubbles break in slow motion. They actually break along the bubble, and the bubble is thirty feet long, so it takes a second or two to burst.

jessamyn: Meanwhile it's a bubble with a big chasm in the middle of it.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: That's cool!

mathowie: What else? Well, the other 'gee whiz' stuff is the rain falling on

Uluru in Australia, just amazing photos.

jessamyn: Oh! I saw these.

mathowie: Yeah. That was really cool.

jessamyn: Basically, it very rarely rains in the middle of the Australian desert, and there was a guy who was staying there, and he was a photographer and he went to bed at night and it started to rain and he was like, "Oh my God, I hope it's still raining in the morning," and then he got up and it was still raining and so he got these pictures, really great pictures, of water cascading down the sides of Uluru, which is

not very often a thing.

mathowie: The post has a link to "rain+Uluru" at flickr, and it's awesome just to see regular people's photos from that same day from all over the place, people's feet in two feet of water at the base, and cool looking waterfalls, and stuff. It was really awesome.

jessamyn: That one's the best. There's a rainbow right next to it [Matt laughs] and a raincloud over it?

mathowie: It's a little HDR'd up too much, but yeah.

jessamyn: [sighs] Are you saying my taste is cheesy?

mathowie: No, I'm saying this person's a little not -- unnatural, like trying to make a calendar out of their photo.

jessamyn: Oh, I see what you're saying. Well, yeah yeah yeah.

cortex: I think what he's saying is that you have an excellent future in, uh motel decoration. [Matt laughs]

jessamyn: I'll accept that. I'll accept that.

mathowie: You could art direct a hang in there kitty, on a wire with two paws. Yes. Poster.

cortex: So, in video game news that's not Minecraft,

there was just this post, I want to mention for anybody-

mathowie: There's such thing?

cortex: -who is a RPG sort of nerd, that Lord_Pall put together a nice roundup of some at this point getting oldish-school, computer RPG's that have gotten a lot of love over the years. And so if you need a couple hundred hours of extra RPG in your life, this post is a [chuckles] good place to start. But yeah, that's all.

mathowie: Was there a post about the Xbox Kin -- what is it called? Konnit?

jessamyn: Kinect.

cortex: There was, yeah. Kinect.

Yeah, are you -- considering...

mathowie: I don't even -- I've never bought an Xbox 360 and I kept waiting "Oh, I'll wait 'till that next game comes out, then I'll buy one...then I'll buy one...then I'll", I never have and now I'm "Eh, my daughter would probably want to pet a tiger".

cortex: Yeah, well it's just another 150 bucks on top of the, three or four hundred.

mathowie: I think they sell it for 299 or 399 as a pack, with a game or two.

cortex: Ah.

mathowie: But you know, I don't even use my Wii anymore, it's just been sitting for six months,

do you want to, play?

jessamyn: I, I'll have it.

mathowie: [laughs] I should send it to you. It's cracked and everything, you can download-

cortex: Oh man.

mathowie: -and burn a DVD to it...

cortex: Oh, [laughing] I thought you meant you dropped it...

jessamyn: [hopefully] And I could watch DVD's on it?

mathowie: I think you can, can you?

cortex: I've never tried, I think it may actually not have-

mathowie: This actually has a mod-

cortex: -built in DVD playback support, even though it uses, you know, a DVD as a disc I think.

jessamyn: No but if it's cracked you can put a DVD-

cortex: Oh -- yeah, I suppose so, yeah.

mathowie: This has a hardware mod chip in it, so I'm sure it's possible...

cortex: I didn't bother to crack mine, because I... I wasn't that hurting for interactive experiences.

mathowie: It was early on, and I was like, eh, what the hell, and then I tried it and I downloaded a Japanese train conductor game, where all you do is run the train, it's like the daily commuter train.

jessamyn: Hee.

mathowie: And everything's in Japanese, and it's really confusing, and it's really, really hard.

jessamyn: After the last podcast joeclark told me how I could play a Wii on my monitor here.

mathowie: What?! How?

jessamyn: I don't know, he linked to some stuff.

mathowie: Oh, yeah. There's some hacky way.

jessamyn: Whatever!

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: I could play Wii and not have a television. That would be great!

mathowie: You've got that giant 27-inch monitor, whatever it is.

jessamyn: Yeah, it's awesome. Who needs a TV?

mathowie: Anything else on Metafilter... did you guys see the Face is All Red [His Face All Red] comic?

jessamyn: Mm-hm.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, I thought that was nice.

mathowie: It was just a tight little five-minute comic that's, I don't know, maybe five pages? It's just very cool. A lot of webcomics come across Metafilter,

but this was a nice one that was told in an interesting way. I liked the artwork, and I liked the writing. I'm never very happy with artwork plus writing in comics, it's like, one is good, the other one is always bad.
And the last one for me, "Mondo Tees".

jessamyn: Oh, I saw this one. I love this!

mathowie: Yeah, so lots of people are just,

I mean, I think a lot of artists wait around for things to happen, or them to get a gig, or for someone to notice them. And some people are just like, "Fuck it, I'll just do stuff, and who knows what will happen." And there's a lot of people that are doing movie posters or album covers for the hell of it. And they're just awesome.

jessamyn: So good. That Evil Dead poster is amazing.

cortex: Yeah, I kinda want to frame it.

mathowie: Yeah, it's cool.

That's the Alamo Drafthouse--I need to watch the, what it is it? Four Lions, is that their movie that just came out?

jessamyn: Huh?

mathowie: There's a British comedy movie about terrorists trying to blow up London.

cortex: Oh, yeah, that.

mathowie: And then no one would release it in America, so the Alamo Drafthouse made a movie company so that they could buy the rights to it and release it. [cortex laughs] The funny part is, it was on the Internet six months ago, you can get a copy from all the usual places. So I have it sitting on my hard drive for the last three months.

jessamyn: And you haven't seen it?

mathowie: And every time, like, "Hey, wife! You want to watch a movie? Sure! How about the terrorist comedy?" and she's like "Uh-huhhh. I want something funnier."

jessamyn: [laughs] Don't you guys have friends? This is what you invite friends over for.

mathowie: Eh, no, not when you have children to get rid of.

jessamyn and cortex: [laugh] jessamyn: This is what date night is for, then.

mathowie: Yeah, true. But then you have to go out, and nobody was releasing this until, I think it opened this weekend in north L.A. and Austin.

I wish I lived in Austin. The Alamo Drafthouse sounds awesome. You can buy beers and stuff.

jessamyn: Yeah, I remember going there the first time I went to South by Southwest, in 2000 or whatever, because I mostly went to go see movies and I just happened to go to some of the interactive stuff, and I'd never been to a movie theater where you could drink beer before, and it was wonderful.

cortex: You should really live in Oregon.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: I think I'm gonna do that, this is the first South by Southwest, I think I'm just going to go see movies

instead of whatever latest CSS, HTML5 BS is.

jessamyn: It's a great idea. It's really fun. I mean, I don't know what it's like now. It was nice before because we could actually get into stuff. I don't know how mobbed it is. But there's a couple movie theaters that are a little off the beaten track. It's great, especially if you've got a bike--cycle out there, lock your bike up, go see a movie or two, and yeah, it'd be awesome.

mathowie: Yeah. Sweet.

That's all, I'm tapped out for Metafilter.

jessamyn: All right. I have a couple things I like from Ask Metafilter, and then I have a couple things to get back to in MetaTalk, but mostly short. This was super-popular Ask Metafilter thread called "You pay for WHAT?"

mathowie: Yeah, that was good.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: And it's basically like, hey, once you realize you can actually do things yourself, what's totally not worth paying for? Like, what's not worth paying for somebody else to fruit it up for you. So like, make your own applesauce, make your own

bagels, make your own surf spray for your hair, sew on your own buttons, you can install your own faucet, you can--I don't know how sex works in this one, but somebody suggested it [mathowie is faintly amused]--tuning up your bicycle, making baby food using a food mill, making your own butter, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. It's a great thread, it's full of wonderful things, and people just mostly agree with each other, and it's delightful. "You pay for WHAT?". Excellent
Ask Metafilter thread.

mathowie: Yes, very good.

jessamyn: And one more in a row, and then these are mostly my main ones, but "I would like to read a blog for women that isn't Jezebel, i.e., that isn't horrible."

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: So a whole bunch of people... Because you know, Jezebel, great. They're a great blog, I'm happy they exist, but they really are kind of the HuffPo GRAR machine for female topics. And they're really super-aggressive moderators, which

seems to make everybody also mad at them. I haven't run afoul of Jezebel's moderators, but you see people on Metafilter talking about the same issues--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --and they're like, "I mentioned this on and I got banned!" It just seems like it's a difficult community, and I sort of fondly remembered when Heather Champ owned it, and it was just this blog about stuff. So people recommended some other really good, interesting blogs about

--topics that are interesting don't always have to be feminist stuff, but it also isn't the kind of rage machine stuff like the Duke fucklist PowerPoint, et cetera, et cetera.

mathowie: I think it, I mean, I only see Jezebel when it's something big they do, and it's not horrible--I don't see the day-to-day outrage crap. But I think any blog that gets big enough, it's like there's this--I mean, speaking as a guy who started to make some money on a PVR blog, if I had to make

something up to post about every day or four times a day, I would be manufacturing a lot of outrage and stuff just to keep page views up and stuff.

jessamyn: Well, and it's Gawker, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So you get paid to a certain extent by, I believe, how much traffic and pageviews and whatnot you generate.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, I really believe that remuneration strategy has something to do with driving traffic, which then means you need to not only talk about touchy topics, but encourage people to

fight about them.

cortex: I should start a Gawkwer-ish outrage-y gossip blog about Minecraft. Just like, completely made-up Minecraft drama that doesn't exist and has no basis in reality, but you know.

mathowie: [laughs] How about people breaking into other servers and burning stuff down.

cortex: Yeah, just make it a big old thing, that'd be good.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: This is my obligatory comment about the rest of your blogs.

cortex and mathowie: [laugh] cortex: You have to think of it, people are thinking so

three-dimensional when they say, "Oh, Josh, you abandon projects." [jessamyn chuckles] You don't imagine each blog is something that would have its own lifelong... each blog is just a trail in four-dimensional time and space. I'm moving along a trail of blogs. It's propulsion.

jessamyn: Oh, like how you wrapped up "Look At This Cat" by the domain expiring? Really? Really?

cortex: Yeah, that was not my fault. That was--

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: There were two different service who had fuck-ups that led to that situation.

jessamyn: So what's the third dimension on the X-Files blog?

cortex: It's--we'll get back to it.

mathowie: [laughs] Said too much.

cortex: I wish I could just get myself out of the X-Files blog, because I really like it, but it's also a lot of work to do.

jessamyn: Big big question--how's that going?

cortex: I'm actually in the process of properly shutting that down [jessamyn laughs]. I sort of secured some--Well, it's dead, it's really, really dead, so I figured I might as well actually close it down so I don't have it dead for everybody except for spambots, so.

mathowie: Pointless Fliers must live.

jessamyn: When's the next Music podcast coming out?

cortex: What? Oh, yeah, I don't know.

jessamyn: Music podcast. You heard me. [laughs]

cortex: [laughs] But see, really what this is, what we're talking about is the wealth of creative energy I display over the years. There's some heartbreak in there, but there's also the willingness to go out and do it, the thousand little half-climbed Everests, because they were there.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: It's like the guy in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest who tries to throw the sink through the window--

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: --can't do it, and is like, "At least I tried, you fuckers." Is that what you're saying?

cortex: Yeah, yeah, exactly. I am Jack Nicholson in

a, I think, Oscar-winning role, is what I'm trying to say about my career.

jessamyn: Did you know that there was two people who later went on to be in Taxi who were in that movie?

cortex: Really?

jessamyn: Yeah. I got some points in trivia for knowing that.

cortex: Nicely done.

jessamyn: Mmm, thank you. Let's move on.

cortex: Was what's-his-face... oh, this is not going to go anywhere, I'll just drop it.

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: I liked, well, this is actually the things my wife liked, which is [becoming a recurring statement now?? -- phrase not intelligible], which works well, because it's better than me saying, I have nothing from Ask Metafilter.

jessamyn: She has good taste.

cortex: She found a

thread via a more recent question, someone linked to this thread from 2005 about "What is the best kind of cooking oil?". And it's really straightforward, it's just, "Hey, tell me about the merits of cooking oils," and people saying, "Well, here are the merits and such of various cooking oils." But it's kind of awesome.

jessamyn: Oh, hey! You know, I know where she found that. She found that from the "Does cooking olive oil ruin it? My girlfriend and I are having a fight," thread.

cortex: Oh, yeah, yeah, I wasn't going to bother linking to that thread. [laughs]

jessamyn: Well, I think it's worthwhile to understand how discourse has maybe changed on Metafilter in five years.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: Well, there's also such different presentations. I mean, there's like, "Give me some recommendations because I want to know which sort of oil to cook in," and then there's, "My girlfriend's crazy, isn't she?", you know, it's, errr, slightly different approaches. [mathowie chuckles] I think it's not so much fundamental discursive differences as just apples and oranges.

mathowie: I was looking at the old cooking oil thread going, "Oh, I wonder if people mentioned the smoke point of all these?", because that's a really important

factor. It's mentioned eleven times in geez, only like twenty comments. [cortex chuckles]

jessamyn: You have a counter, or did you actually count it?

mathowie: I just did a Ctrl-Find. Ctrl-F in Chrome counts it up for you.

jessamyn: But can--Ohhh, see, another reason I should switch to Chrome. That is actually my question a lot. "How many times is this term represented in this long thread?"

mathowie: Yeah, it's cool.

jessamyn: I just have to copy it into Microsoft Word.

mathowie: Here is an awesome post-election thread.

There was this weird law in Iowa. So the Supreme Court decided to legalize gay marriage in Iowa, or something, in the last year or something, and three of the justices are up for re-election, and they're running unopposed, so they don't run any sort of thing, but there was this concerted campaign, actually turns out there was this right-wing--I don't know, what do you call them, what's the opposite of a think tank?

jessamyn: Faction?

mathowie: No, it was like a PAC.

cortex: Angry mob?

mathowie: Yeah, like an angry mob. Organized, though, with money, like PAC--

jessamyn: Peanut gallery?

mathowie: Yeah, to vote, you don't vote on them, if they don't get 50% of the electorate's votes, they get voted out of office even though they're unopposed. So this is a way--

jessamyn: So this gets voted and then new people get appointed?

mathowie: No, you have to vote on them, but they're not running against--they're running unopposed every time.

jessamyn: So what happened?

mathowie: This religious organization said, "Everyone, leave your ballot blank, or vote 'none of these'."

jessamyn: Okay.

mathowie: So they got 46%, 48% of the vote, people voted for them, so the three justices who were up for re-election got ousted. And then someone on Ask Metafilter said, how can I contact them to send flowers, or a thank you note, or something for being courageous enough in Iowa to vote to legalize gay marriage

for a human equality stance? You know, they lost their jobs over it. And it was pretty cool. There was lots of people just posting, "Me too," in 1996 AOL chatroom parlance. But eventually someone figured out the address to the judicial branch building and the names of the judges that you could send them mail to and say nice things to, because yeah, it's like the entire state rallied against them, which is pretty messed up.

jessamyn: Matt, why did you send me a link to while you were talking about that?

mathowie: Oh, we were talking about feminist blogs! You can see glimmers of hope in that URL, of, like, it's an okay feminist blog, but then it's owned by AOL and they have to post some bullshit every day about some Hollywood garbage.

jessamyn: Today is National Sex Toy Day.

mathowie: Is that today?

jessamyn: [laughs] Did you not get flowers?

mathowie: It comes earlier every year!

jessamyn: [makes sounds of pained amusement]

mathowie: Shouldn't you buy batteries?

jessamyn: [laughs] I got you batteries, why?

mathowie: [laughs] It's National Sex Toy Day!

Now, I was saying, back on the feminist blog, I want someone who does a woman-centric blog on the side, not as--

jessamyn: As a job.

mathowie: --a business that's trying to garner traffic. I want it to be someone's side gig.

jessamyn: Well, and a lot of times that stuff comes up with just regular blogs by women who then wind up with a post about

feminist stuff that winds up getting sort of sent around the internet, you know what I mean?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I think that's where a lot of the interesting feminist discussions come from, not by the very policitized, sort of angry feminists or the very academic feminist who winds up with these factions who don't understand them, and then kind of just a passel of people who stay on that blog and fight, you know what I mean?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Instead of having somebody be like, "Hey, this is something I was thinking about that affects my job as a

zookeeper," or whatever the hell they're doing, and yeah. I don't know. I was just--did you read that thing that went around the intertubes yesterday, about--they needed somebody to write a female comic--oh, fuck, now I don't know exactly what it is, but it was like the, "We need a woman to write a humor column for us! Let's find a woman humorist!" And this woman basically wrote this very funny column about every stereotype you have about females, like
"Why do you need a female humorist? Why don't you just get a humorist, someone who's female who's good at it," et cetera, et cetera. I'll have to figure out what the link is for that.
But same kind of thing: you want something where it's not just that person's ax that they're grinding.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But somebody who just likes to talk about issues concerning whatever, being female.

mathowie: Did you see this monster thread about, "I need put-down nicknames for my friends"?

jessamyn: Where?

mathowie: Every crazy playground taunt you could possibly imagine. I mean, not safe for work mostly, but some are just funny.

cortex: Did not see this.

jessamyn: Of course it's safe! It's all words.

mathowie: No, I mean, nobody flagged it, because it's kind of in good humor, like numb nuts and idiot hole, like, who calls each other that? Fucknoodle, assjack--

jessamyn: Cowardly pickle. Dickless wonder?

cortex: And then in all of this, 'Chester'. Chester is apparently some sort of... [laughs]

jessamyn: Tasmanian dorkwad?

mathowie: Duckbutter?

cortex: Now we're going to get an angry MetaTalk thread from people in the UK who point out that Chester is actually something incredibly inappropriate.

jessamyn: Scaramouche? Chester's the name of a town up near me.

mathowie: Chuckleheaded hamsmithing butter-eater? Wow.

jessamyn: Cheesequake.

mathowie: These are pretty funny.

jessamyn: Butt crust.

mathowie: I just like comments that open with, "I think the funniest taunts are anything that includes 'balls'," and then they go through the list.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: Sugar lumps was the new one that I just learned from those New Zealand guys.

Concords? Flight of the Concords?

mathowie: Oh, yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: This is a good video.

cortex: [laughs] We'll all now zone out and do our own thing for a few minutes.

jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: No, no, I wanted to try the--did you see this thing on the

yogurt cup cake?

jessamyn: Oh yeah, that was a really popular thread.

mathowie: It sounds awesome!

jessamyn: And yes, it would be great to try it. Basically, very straightforward. "I used to make this wonderful cake that involved using a container of yogurt and then measuring all the other ingredients using that container of yogurt. What is that cake? Go." 226 favorites. It only had like 22 comments, it was answered in the second comment, and

people--there was nothing really to talk about. Asked and answered, your honor.

mathowie: That sounds awesome.

cortex: Yeah, classic referenceability.

mathowie: So a yogurt cup is what, eight ounces? Half a cup?

jessamyn: Depends on the yogurt, but yeah, I think so.

mathowie: I mentioned to my wife, and she's like, Oh yeah, it's like the Golden Ratio or whatever, like half of a--everything's based around that unit of measurement, so it's really easy to bake by just grabbing a cup of flour, cup of whatever, half a cup of blah. It's a really easy... everything is divisible by it.

Here's our monthly, "help me waste time on the Internet." This is just like, give me really good interviews.

jessamyn: Oh, yeah! This was funny. And like many, I just want one general topic, tons of people flagged it, but I think it's got enough specifics that it wound up being okay.

mathowie: It was a lot of useful stuff! I was happy to answer my latest favorite thing in the world is Kevin Pollak's chat show.

jessamyn: Who?

mathowie: Kevin Pollak? You know, stand-up comedian who's been in a few movies...

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, he is great! God, he's funny!

mathowie: So he's basically been completely copying Charlie Rose. I mean, exactly. He built a set that looks exactly like Charlie Rose. [cortex laughs] And he does interviews with mostly comedians or actors, and they run over two hours. And it sounds insane and horrible, but it's like the best DVD commentary you ever--I mean, you get to hear what elementary school

Jerry Seinfeld went to and why, and you get so deep into everyone's lives. I mean, I've noticed that I'm in love with everyone's career after I've heard two and a half hours about their lives, like every possible tiny micro little thing that ever happened to them, like, you just get to know them so much better. They're amazing, and he's done, like, 70 of them, so
it's like, it's 140 hours of content, and I've been chipping away at it for six months, and he does a new one every Sunday night, so it's like, every time I'm driving a car, I have to start chipping away at this two-hour--it might take me three car trips to listen to a single episode, but it's really good.
And he does this video, and they're like half a gigabyte in size, it's crazy. But they do have an audio version. I mean, I'm listening to them in the car, so I'm not watching them. There's not really anything much
visual to it. But they're really really really good.

jessamyn: Terrific! That's great.

mathowie: And it's surprisingly free, and he's totally like, "Eh, I'm just going to do this for two to three years and see what comes of it." Like, "I don't know if this should be a show, I don't know if I'm going to make money on it." Clearly, it costs a lot. He has a whole crew, multiple cameras and stuff, and microphones, and they're doing it live and they record it and send it out,

like, ASAP, but it's really cool. And I think that's it.

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: Anything in MetaTalk?

cortex: There were a few things, yeah.

jessamyn: A couple quick things in MetaTalk. All of Metafilter Music has now been downloaded and is available on a torrent, although I don't know how much people are actually seeding or downloading. I downloaded the whole thing, it fucked up my ratio forever, but...

cortex and mathowie: [laugh] jessamyn: It's 22 gigs of music. But it's kinda cool

to be able to get it all if you want it, just all at once, if maybe you haven't been paying attention. So that was just a PSA for that. And the annual Halloween costume thread is, as always, a delight.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: That was fun. Also, it's National Novel Writing Month, so there's a thread for that, and it's a week in the month already, so if you felt like 50,000 words in four weeks is too easy, then this is a good time to

try and do it in three!

jessamyn: Horrible. 17,000 words a week.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah. I'm pretty much, I don't know if I'm ever going to do it again.

jessamyn: Although I guess, I mean, think about it. How fast do you think you type?

cortex: I type pretty fuckin' fast. I mean, I succeeded one year and I came close another year, and it's not a problem with typing. I can type plenty fast. [mathowie laughs] The problem is, you know, ideas.

jessamyn: Thinking.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, actually coming up with something coherent and interesting to write. The one that I finished is not

something I'm shopping around, I'm not trying to pick up an agent on that thing. It was kinda shitty. Because I wrote it in a month and I'm not a practiced fiction writer.

jessamyn: Maybe you need a character with a really long name so that you can use, like, eight words every time you include that.

cortex: The Haaa [?]. Yeah, but it--I guess. I think that would just be terrible.

jessamyn: See, I wrote an actual book this year, so I--

cortex: Yeah, whatever.

jessamyn and mathowie: [laugh] cortex: [falsetto] "Look at me, I'm literate!" Yeah, I don't know.

Someone asked about the Metafilter: blah blah blah blah blah tagline thing.

jessamyn: What? Oh, I don't even think I commented in that thread! What wound up there?

cortex: I just, I re-ran it, so people started pulling stuff out. But mostly it was like, "Hey, this happened back in 2007," and I was like, "Oh, okay," and I pulled out the script and tweaked it a little bit and ran it again, and so now it's got another three years worth of dumb tagline jokes.

jessamyn: Terrific!

mathowie: I smell a Tumblr blog!

cortex: [laughs] No, we really need an official site chatbot or something. When are we bringing the Jabber server

back, Matt, come on?

mathowie: Ohhhh.

jessamyn: Yeah, how about the Jabber server? People were using TinyChat for a while, but lately... not so much.

cortex: It was not so great. Yeah, I mean, it really needs to be something integrated that's going to, I think.

jessamyn: Well, and TinyChat was confusing, some people are on video, some people are on audio, and some people are just typing. I don't want to be--

cortex: Well, and it was a shitty interface, too, I mean, it was like, the scrollback was tiny. The only good thing TinyChat had going for it was the fact that people were amused by it temporarily.

jessamyn: And it was easy.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, it was really butt-simple if you knew the password to log in and chat people.

cortex: Yup.

mathowie: Hmm. [laughs]

jessamyn: Jabber server!

mathowie: Oh, that's a...

cortex: There was also--I don't know if you want to talk about it or anything, but the shirt discussion that came up a week ago?

mathowie: Oh, yeah. I should get on that. I was just looking at my desktop.

cortex: You should. If you're trying to make this happen for Christmas, it'll have to [be open??] soon.

mathowie: Yeah, I know. My desktop is littered with, like, Shirt 1, Shirt 2, Shirt 3.gif, things I was uploading.

But yeah, I like the last thing I posted there, and most people seemed to like it, and I think we'd do it as a pre-order thing, definitely.

jessamyn: Because the problem is inventory, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: It's a pain in the ass.

jessamyn: You don't want to have a trucking garage full of shirts that you mail out every two days.

mathowie: Yeah, it's a pain in the butt. It comes and goes in waves. But yeah, that's what Devils Rancher was telling me from the very beginning, he's like, "You know, most t-shirt sites, they'll tell you 2-3 weeks delivery? That's because they haven't made them yet."

mathowie: But like, "Really?"

cortex and jessamyn: [laughs] mathowie: Major companies... I always thought, eh, two weeks, I could see, yeah, okay, you're really popular, maybe you have to send out ten thousand, you'd have a backlog. But he's like, "No, we just do it all in one day, with all hands on deck but it's basically, we don't do shit for two weeks to see how many things people buy." So that's what we would do.

jessamyn: I think that's great!

mathowie: Yeah. We would probably put a banner across the top saying we'll take orders,

maybe, I could probably do it to the end of November and then send them out like first week in December, if... Oh, but then they actually take a week or something to print, we have to carve out a slot in the printing queue. Yeah, I'll talk to him today about that. I should do that. The other thing is, it's hard to find a blue shirt that comes close. We have to use that really bright blue that's like kinda eh that we used before.

jessamyn: People did seem happy with the gray shirts, though.

cortex: Yeah, the gray was definitely better than that that blue.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I don't think ever using that blue again is--

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: That blue doesn't look good on a single person. The only thing it's good for is you can recognize somebody wearing it in an airport.

mathowie: [laughs] Yeah.

cortex: I think we should sell pennants. People can wave those over their head.

mathowie: Yeah, I wanted the gray one yesterday. Someone said that should be what we're... [trails off unintelligibly under jessamyn]

jessamyn: Did you say pennants or penance?

cortex: Both sounded the same to me.

jessamyn: Because we should make Metafilter pennants. That's a great idea! To hang over your bed, you know, like a big triangle? And those could be a disgusting blue, because no one has to wear them.


cortex: Well, I think I said pennants, but I don't know what the other word that you think I said, unless you're talking, like, Catholicism. [mathowie laughs]

jessamyn: Yeah, well, that's what I thought, that you have to wear a t-shirt as a sort of penance.

cortex: Ah, I see what you mean. No, I meant triangular baseball pennants.

jessamyn: And then I was like, "Am I so old that Josh doesn't know what I'm talking about?"

cortex: Although it would be fun to get into selling plenary indulgences or whatever.

No, no, I just like, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. Pennants!

mathowie: Oh, you're thinking a foam finger that says "Metafilter #1".

jessamyn: No.

cortex: [laughs] That'd be kinda good though.

mathowie: Or a helmet that can accept three beers and have a tube.

jessamyn: You could get one, Matt, that said "User #1".

mathowie: [chuckle] Right. Pennants.

I tried to get some--I want to test some pennants made, some of these.

jessamyn: And stickers.

mathowie: Yes. I tried to get a test umbrella made, but those things cost a lot and they have big minimums.

jessamyn: And all you do is stab somebody in the eye with it anyhow.

mathowie: [chuckle] That's true.

All right, I think we are ready to wrap up then.

jessamyn: Anything else, Josh?

cortex: I don't think I have anything else. Yeah.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: As soon we're done I can play some more Minecraft.

jessamyn: Good talking to you guys.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: [laugh]

Credits / Dibs

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