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Podcast 62 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 62: Magical Ponycorn Adventure.

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


jingle: theme song

mathowie: Episode... 62? of the Metafilter podcast. Woohoo! Let me see, it's June something, sixth?

cortex: It's the 6th today, yes.

mathowie: So this is mostly--

cortex: 6/6!

mathowie: Oh yeah, Slayer Day.

jessamyn: 1/1.

mathowie: It's mostly... May! Mostly May. [laughs]

cortex: Alright. [chuckling] I can feel the energy. We're really, we're gonna tear the roof off today.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Hey man, I got a belly full of cereal, and I'm ready to go.

cortex: I had French toast and bacon.


mathowie: [chuckles]

jessamyn: French toast is not so good for energy in the morning. It gives you quick energy, but then it doesn't last.

cortex: Well, I also drink like a half a gallon of coffee, so it's... I'm pretty good.

jessamyn: That's too much coffee.

cortex: That's actually why I was not on Skype for ten minutes. I got distracted because I was trying to work out a

Rolling Stones parody called--

jessamyn: I don't want to hear about it. Ritalin. Ritalin. Ritalin. Ritalin.

cortex: --"I Can't Get No Net Connection," and I got, yeah, distracted.

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: So what are we doing? What are we doing?

mathowie: Projects!

jessamyn: Well, I thought we'd talk about May.

mathowie: Oh, okay. There was May Day, and Memorial Day, and that was it.

jessamyn: There was the Rapture.

mathowie: That's right!

cortex: Oh yeah, that was a good time.

mathowie: Ascending, man. Whew!

jessamyn: Well, you know, I only bring that up because I think it's one of the few little site goofy things we've ever

done that didn't [chuckling] actually totally work.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: Oh God, did it not work?

cortex: Yeahh.

jessamyn: Seriously, have we ever done a thing that hasn't worked before? That was new. I mean, sure, there was JRun and ColdFusion downtime and stuff like that, but, you know, some tiny prank only it didn't work. Like, people have hated them before.

cortex: But they generally functioned, yeah.

jessamyn: But there were definitely enough people who e-mailed me and were like, "I don't get it. There's a picture of Flavor Flav, and Metafilter's playing Happy Birthday. [cortex laughs] What is happening?"

cortex: That was, that was, yeah, we probably should have thought that through. The whole, hey, we'll just stream this video on the front page, and we'll stream a local copy so we get around the BMI blockade--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: --and why would it be a problem to stream, you know, one video.

mathowie: 17 megabytes.

jessamyn: When pb is traveling, and yeah.

mathowie: It was 17 megabytes to every single visitor to the front pages of all sites.

cortex: All at once, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, that was psychotic.

cortex: It was not a great plan.

jessamyn: I don't even know how it managed to play Happy Birthday. Does anybody understand that failure mode?

mathowie: I don't know.

cortex: Well, okay, so that was from, I think, pb with the flying butts--

mathowie: A MIDI file?

cortex: --ported over, like, the flying butts code [mathowie chuckles], or some code from when he was trying to fix up, like after we first launched it and the video didn't stream right, I found an MP3 of Rapture and sent him the URL of that to grab that, and I think he was porting over the Happy Birthday joke stuff that we've done to each other--

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: And that had the Happy Birthday Polka, from, like, you know, you log in on your birthday and it's playing that, and I'm like, "Fuck you guys." And so he grabbed that code, but I think he accidentally didn't replace the Happy Birthday Polka bit of it

and so all of a sudden we had a--

jessamyn: Which I did enjoy.

cortex: Yeah, it was--Well, and it kept playing like the first two segments for me, so it was like, "Happy Birth--" [pause] [mathowie laughs] and then I'd reload the page, "Happy Birth--" [jessamyn laughs], and that was. So yeah. That's how I think how that happened [?]. It was a pretty wonderful failure, I guess, you know. It was kind of entertaining how people who were watching were not only like, "Ha-ha," but also it changed every five minutes as we desperately tried to get the site to stop falling apart.

jessamyn: [laughs] I was at a friend's house, I wasn't even home, you know, I was trying to connect to their wireless and I was like, "No, something's wrong!"

and then I was like, "No, something isn't wrong," [laughs], "or it's wrong in a different way."

mathowie: I think, I was cracking up at the MetaTalk thread, because it was like 6 or 7 people got the full gist of it, like, actually got the video and got the flying people and everything worked for them, like in the first five minutes, and then it just got saturated--

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: --brought down our servers.

So that was fun. Do we still--

jessamyn: And we weren't intending to make fun of anyone, just the Internet meme that's been,

you know, buzzing around and all this stuff.

mathowie: Rap-ture.

jessamyn: I don't think anyone took it personally, but I think a couple people were concerned that other people might take it personally.

cortex: Which is, I can sort of see that side of it. I mean, yeah, like, I said as much in the MetaTalk thread about it. I was like, well, obviously, we're not going for a 'Ha-ha, fuck you,' but at the same time I can see how someone who is tired of some of the crappy religious dynamic out there both on the site and out in the larger world might--

jessamyn: Thought that was capital-N capital-H Not Helping.

cortex: Yeah, exactly. So as far as that goes, anybody who was bothered

by that, I hear ya, and sorry about that, but we were just trying to be dumb, not mean.

jessamyn: And failed at being dumb, somehow. [laughs]

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Sorry, team.


mathowie: [laughs]

cortex: Let's see, what else happened?

jessamyn: Though we rebooted the server the other day and ColdFusion had been up for something like 32 days, so that's something.

mathowie: [laughs] That was funny, that that was a record.

jessamyn: Yeah, but still, whatever!

mathowie: I know.

jessamyn: It's nice, it's nice.

mathowie: I know, people with real servers would laugh, like, two years is when you

start even caring. But yeah, one month. [laughs]

jessamyn: It's not our fault we have to do Windows updates all the time.

mathowie: Yeah, stupid. So yeah, the Closed with Rapture page, as it was intended, actually exists, and I think one person looking at it at a time could enjoy it [cortex and jessamyn laugh]. For what it's worth, and with--remember that ill-fated day on May 21st when this could have worked. And hey, we've got it in the can, ready for October whatever. [chuckles]

cortex: Right, yes, we can just reset. I still

I was hoping that we could switch over, and I think pb just said there wasn't support for this, unfortunately. I thought when the YouTube video thing failed, we should have switched over to a MIDI version of Rapture [mathowie chuckles], but apparently there's browser compatibility issues with their...

mathowie: Oh, so sad. So what was your favorite Project of last month?

jessamyn: [sings softly, underscoring mathowie] Boop boop boop boop! Boop! Boop!

cortex: I liked--this is sort of presaging

one of the threads on the Blue I liked, but... I got a chuckle out of the ButtCoin project

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: which is somebody who's just blogging bitcoin stuff.

jessamyn: How did I miss that? How did I miss that?

cortex: It was just a few days ago, it's understated, you know. It was not a big writeup, but yeah, it's just sort of...

jessamyn: I haven't dipped into bitcoin yet so this is very exciting.

cortex: Well, wait until you see the thread...

mathowie: You know

cortex: I link from the blue.

mathowie: I read all about bitcoin and then I actually downloaded the client and I was like, "hey, I'll get on a TSA list, I'll do this."

Ran it, nothing really happened. It was just the buggiest thing in the world. Maybe like three days later, I saw .0001 coins had been made or something, and then I just gave up. And like, ehh. It was just nothing. It was a pile of shit. [chuckles]

cortex: Well, yes. It's like, the people are talking at this point about how to maximize your output, and one of the main things you can do is actually get a nice graphics card and dedicate that, because the GPU's got an architecture much more inclined towards the 'doing lots of operations' processing than a general CPU in a computer, so.

Which is kinda silly at that point, you know, you go out and--I mean, as a speculative thing, the idea of going out and buying the brand new, hot shit graphics card you want on the thought that you can run it against a Bitcoin client when you're not actually playing a game, do that for a month and maybe you'll generate the bitcoins--

mathowie: To pay for it.

cortex: --to pay off it. And if you can pull that off, that's actually pretty fucking sweet. But I think at a certain point, once that idea's out there, that may be a sign that unless bitcoin turns out to be the Singularity, it may be too late to pull that off before the old bubble bursts.

jessamyn: Is it a... [mathowie chuckles] So okay, I know this is like me sounding like the Minecraft person from six months ago, but like, so Bitcoin is like this distributed thing where's there's kind of distributed money, so it doesn't live anywhere, so it's free from laws and rules, and theoretically you can use it to pay for like drugs and pornography, right?

cortex: In theory, yeah.

mathowie: And you--

jessamyn: And things you can't spend money on, for whatever reason.

mathowie: And you create it, no one can create a million coins without putting in the effort. The whole thing reminds me of when--

jessamyn: But is it effort-based, or is it

--did you at some point initially put in a credit card, like...

mathowie: No, no. It's like computer-generated.

cortex: No, no, no. It's entirely--the currency itself is generated. They're currently in the process of generating the fixed sum. So eventually there will be a app. There's like 21 million bitcoins is as many can exist--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: --and right now they're somewhere in like the six or seven million territory, I think. So the idea is--

jessamyn: And who owns them? People who have set up computers with processors that--I mean, I know I could go read something [mathowie chuckles], but I like having [??] explain it to me.

cortex: If you throw the CPU at the problem, eventually you'll generate a bitcoin,

basically. It's got a average level of difficulty based on some cryptographical hoo-ha--

mathowie: What's it take, like, two weeks of idle time or something to make one coin, or something.

cortex: Well, again, depending on what your architecture is. But it takes a while, yeah.

jessamyn: And what are you doing when you're generating this? Are you solving a problem in the background, or?

mathowie: It's just--nothing. Yeah.

cortex: Yeah, you're doing sort of like a crypto hash problem. And I haven't read that carefully on it, because I don't care quite that much, but--

jessamyn: Okay. Sure.

cortex: --but yeah. You're throwing your extra cycles at a hard crypto problem, and the output of that for you

is bitcoins now and then.

jessamyn: So this is like Skee-Ball? Internet Skee-Ball?

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: This reminds me of--do you remember competitive screensavering?

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Like in the, like... 2000--well, let me see, like '99. That's right, not--SETI@home was a thing. I guess SETI@home became like a game, where they had teams, and there was like one--

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: The Wow Number. [?]

mathowie: Like, so I worked at UCLA for a computing group, and we had labs with brand new Pentium Pro IIs

or whatever, and like, one of the Linux students just loaded, like in the background, a SETI@home client on everything, all on the UCLA team, and like, we were just--I mean, it was like competitive screensavers, the dumbest thing in the world, just, you know, calculating junk, all night, all the computers are running, full-time, just so we could, like, move up in the stats and stuff. That's what Bitcoin feels like. Because you're just like, you minimize this client that's just doing mind-numbing math for weeks on
end, for these bogus cheeseball fake currencies, that, yeah.

jessamyn: Okay. See, I thought it was something completely different. Like, Bitcoin in my mind was different. I sorta like it better--

mathowie: Well, it is supposed to be--

jessamyn: Like, Minecraft in my mind was a lot more fun than Minecraft actually is.

mathowie: I have bitcoins and posts--

cortex: Minecraft may be more fun than the Minecraft experience you had. I don't remember if you ever [jessamyn laughs] got past the "being stuck in the bottom of a giant orange room" step to the point of actually--

jessamyn: Nah, no, no, I did some stuff, I built some little things.

cortex: Okay.

jessamyn: I'm afraid of zombies

and, you know, I... ahh.

cortex: That sounds like you're doing it right, then. [chuckles]

jessamyn: Right. [laughs] It's just not my thing. It's somebody else's thing.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But as I imagined it in my mind, it was my thing. You know, and Bitcoin, same way. I was like, "I can buy drugs with these, and I can just get it by doing, and it's distributed, and RAR!" But no, that's not true at all. So okay, I get it.

mathowie: Well, yeah, after you do the mind-numbingly boring, leave the client running, and earn your five coins or whatever over a month or--

jessamyn: You can trade it for stuffed pigs?

mathowie: --I mean, I think it--then, yeah. And, and drugs, and all sorts of crazy stuff. I mean, it's kind of a cool idea, it's a weird implementation, the client just basically doesn't really work for me on my Mac.

jessamyn: Well, and of course everybody's doing the mental calculation of swapping bitcoins in their mind for money anyhow. These vibrators don't even cost that much to begin with.

mathowie: [laughs]

cortex: But now they cost free money. You could actually, you know, if you had an advanced enough vibrator, it could pay

itself off by generating... yeah.

jessamyn: [slightly stifled laughter]

mathowie: Aaaah!

jessamyn: You know, Josh, if you went to the doctor, you could get fifty dollars [cortex laughs] from our health insurance and go buy whatever the hell you wanted. There's all sorts of free money to be got in different places.

mathowie: Ehh, this is so weird. I don't know. It's a fun--

jessamyn: So let's talk about ButtCoin for a second, please?

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: Yeah, it's just the goofiest--

cortex: Yeah, ButtCoin is just a blog that she is doing that's just aggregating various bits of Bitcoin


mathowie: Nonsense.

cortex: So yeah. It's kind of like a portrait of the ongoing weird Bitcoin zeitgeist.

jessamyn: It's adorable! It's like a Tumblr blog about Bitcoin meme. I like it.

cortex: Yeah. So I liked it.

mathowie: It doesn't have, it's not railing on Bitcoin's lack of anonymity, that's where I've heard everyone bitching about it, that it's supposed to be this countryless, featureless, stateless, amazing--

jessamyn: But it's gotta be locked to your IP address, right?

mathowie: Yeah, there's like hash--everyone has their own unique

hash, you can trace every coin back to the creator, so.

jessamyn: Euahhh.

cortex: Well, you can trade it back to the wallet, is the thing, or the transaction.

mathowie: Yeahhh.

cortex: So, like, you don't actually have to identify your transactions all with you; they all identify with a specific wallet.

jessamyn: Your computer, say.

cortex: Well, you could do every transaction with a different ID, essentially. So someone could trace that stuff is going to the same point, but someone couldn't necessarily trace that everything you do is coming from the same person. You could in theory make it come from a different ID each time,

or something like that? I don't know. We should really find someone who actually cares more than we do [mathowie and jessamyn laugh] about Bitcoin to talk to about this sometime or something.

mathowie: I can't find anyone who likes it.

jessamyn: Right. If you're somebody who's interested in Bitcoin, talk to us next month so that we can have a slightly [mathowie laughs] more educated set of questions to ask. We should bring another guest on. I mean, we had restless_nomad last week, or last time, which was great. But it may be time to bring another guest on.

cortex: Maybe so.

mathowie: Yep.

jessamyn: For next month.

mathowie: I loved the Borneo blog, which--

jessamyn: Yes! That was on mine also.

mathowie: --ended up on Metafilter. So cool! I had no idea a member of the site grew up in Borneo, of all places. Was it like a--yeah, surgeon in a hospital--and just all the stuff from their childhood and history and stuff, and I was just like, "Wow! What a cool project!" Can't wait for this thing to, like, old slides from the '60s get scanned in, and someone instantly put it on Metafilter, which is cool. Which ended up... here.

jessamyn: Well, and it's terrific, too, because it's puny human, who interacts a lot on

the rest of the site, and so it's also another way to be like, "Oh! That's something I totally didn't know about you, and this is somebody I've been talking to for years and years."

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So I totally enjoyed that aspect of it as well.

I did not--

cortex: I was pleased by--oh, sorry.

jessamyn: Well, I didn't check in to see it when it was posted to Metafilter, except that somebody there was like, "Hey I live in Sarawak right now!", which was just neat.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Okay. Sorry, go on, Josh.

cortex: I liked the Kobold Pit project, which was [laughs] I like it as much as anything for what it is, I haven't even played it yet [laugh from jessamyn], but the fact that it exists is wonderful. Because there's the game, Dwarf Fortress, which like Minecraft [another jessamyn laugh] is sort of an [???] like Minecraft, has some weird complexity to it and not a great interface and blah blah blah, but it was around beforehand. It's a super, super complicated game, but sort of fantastic in its own way. And then someone, ah--

jessamyn: This is a bunch of letters on a screen.

mathowie: [chuckle]

cortex: Yes, well, that's what Dwarf Fortress looks like. It looks like a roguelike, although it's very much not

an actual roguelike in gameplay.

jessamyn: I want to have a "time to roguelike" indicator on all of our podcasts.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: We should have betting. With bitcoins.

cortex: I'm not sure if it's counted if I'm saying something's not a roguelike, though. That shouldn't qualify.

jessamyn: Sure it is.

mathowie: That's still, yeah, it's a mention. You went there, man.

cortex: So anyway [laughs], someone made a game called Goblin Camp that is a simplified version of Dwarf Fortress, sort of the same idea but a little bit better interface for what's there and a lot simpler gameplay.

And that was posted to the Blue by user Zarkonnen, who then in the process of conversing about it in that thread, ended up threatening to make an even simpler game called Kobold Pit, and then like a day later made this Projects post with Kobold Pit, which is like a simplified version of Goblin Camp, which is a simplified version of--

jessamyn: Does Kobold mean something in your language?

cortex: It's a [mathowie laughs]--oh, come on! It's a classic little D&D monster.

jessamyn: No! I don't know.

cortex: Yeah, no, Kobolds are like, they're like little half-height

ratty humanoids, is what I think of them as.

jessamyn: So it is a real thing.

cortex: Yeah, you know. It's a classic little D&D minion. Low-level mastery.

jessamyn: Oh, it's a D&D thing. I didn't know.

mathowie: I didn't either.

cortex: Yeah, no, no, that's what it is. You fucking non-nerds.

mathowie: Yeah, no, I've never done--

jessamyn: I am so a nerd!

mathowie: Is there an adult D&D league? Like, Intro to?

cortex: I don't know, actually!

mathowie: Like, at the local college?

jessamyn: There was a Ask Metafilter thread about that, actually, fairly recently.

mathowie: Probably Portland Community Colleges probably teach a class in beginning D&D, mentoring, and.

jessamyn: The Wikipedia article on

Kobold is really great.
So that's really great. And then he just whipped it up and then there it is.

cortex: Yep. It was just amusing to have it happen, so goes our [??].

jessamyn: But I have to download it to play, I can't play it from this screen right here.

cortex: I guess. I think it was--

jessamyn: Have you played it?

cortex: No, I haven't played it yet, like I said.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: I'm just so amused that it happened. I looked at some screenshots and stuff, and I approve of this kind of thing.

jessamyn: It's pretty great.

mathowie: Goblins.

I liked--do you have any, Jessamyn?

jessamyn: Yeah, I had one!

mathowie: Shoot.

jessamyn: Just a really basic one, but I

kinda like it because it's like stupid simple and it solves a problem, this thing called Common Copy, where basically if you just have to have, like, stupid text because you're doing a website that does a thing--

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: --and you need kind of boilerplate for form validation errors, or 'forgot the password' form, or whatever it is, this was by Ookseer, and the whole idea is, "Why don't you just copy-paste this stuff so you can focus on your actual

design?" And it's just sort of nice and stupid straightforward. And it just looks--I don't know, I like it.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, I'd forgotten about this. I approved this, and then I forgot I approved this message, and then I forgot, yeah. It was really cool.

jessamyn: Yeah, so Ookseer was the assistant, I don't totally know what that means, but it's just kinda one of those nice one-off one sheet wonder websites, and I liked it. Cheatsheet.

mathowie: Sometimes people do, what do they call those, like, common UI elements grouped together

like screenshots, what do they call that--design libraries?

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Design libraries. People doing--

jessamyn: Yeah, like Christian Crumlish and all those guys do a lot of that kind of stuff.

mathowie: Yeah, they'll be like, "Here's a log-in design library. Here's a new user sign-up form library." But this one's like, actual HTML code, and just chunks of text you can just put into--

jessamyn: Yeah. And, you know, I really feel like people benefit from some of this text basically being exactly the same, you know?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: If there's a login error, it's much nicer to have a fairly basic response

because people get so confused by, you know, cutie-poo mystery responses.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I just--I don't know. I just thought it was really nice. And simple!

mathowie: Yeah. I liked two Projects I think scratch a author's itch, which is like, user gc thought, "Hey! I play some 8-bit and 16-bit games, what do they look like side-by-side by side graphically?"

cortex: Oh yeah.

mathowie: So it's just screenshots of old 8-bit and 16-bit games that this user plays, and it's cool, like as a

museum and an artifact, and then this other one, which is e-per-son-ae? I've never had to even say--

jessamyn: epersonae, you know her! You've met her, you've met her.

mathowie: Yeah, I know her. Yeah. So she buys this giant new bike, sport utility bike as they're called, long tail, you can load like 200 pounds in the back of it, and she just realizes that--and this is what I've realized--once you start riding into a city to run errands on your bike instead of a car, the places where you get to park your

bike are just ridiculous. They're terrible, they're in the--like, they put the poles in the wrong place. They task the guys, you know, that work for the city that just pour concrete and stuff and don't ever ride a bike, don't ever think about it, you know, they just put two poles in the ground, you know, next to the wall, you can't even fit a bike--

jessamyn: Or a plant, right.

mathowie: Yeah. So she just has a blog of nothing but all the ridiculous places she has to park her bike, and some of them are just, like, wedged in the corner of a wall, or just to a supermarket

shopping cart holder because there was none available. And this is just, I don't know, funny scratching their own itch, both of them.

cortex: Yeah, just a thing.

mathowie: Just a tiny thing.

cortex: I thought of the bike parking one the other day when I went to get Thai food for lunch, because there's nowhere to put my bike right outside of the Thai food joint, so I have to like lock it up across the street, and downtown St. John's is so asleep that it's not like anybody's going to come along and boldly steal your bike in broad daylight, I could probably just not lock it up and be okay. But still, it's like--

jessamyn: Still, though.

cortex: I'm conspicuous--it's conspicuous that I cannot put my bike where I am, you know, since I have to go stick it somewhere else.

mathowie: Oh! I just reported for jury duty the other day, and I didn't want to be--they just went on and on, we spent fifteen minutes on where to park your car. And I didn't want to be that guy--

jessamyn and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: But I was like biding my time because I only, I'm two miles away from the courthouse. Like, it's a ten-minute ride, tops. And I just wanted to stick my arm up and go, "I actually know bike racks. Do you provide bike racks anywhere, like...?"

jessamyn: [laughs] What actually happened?

Did you ride your bike, or did you just drive?

mathowie: It was rainy that morning, so I ended up driving.

jessamyn: Aughhhh.

mathowie: I'll totally ride, this June is beautiful.

jessamyn: Good. I would like to know what happens. Oh, and here's another Oregon post that I thought was kinda terrific: The Oregon Ballot Drop Box Locator.

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: There's one on the website, and it sucks, and so OverlappingElvis worked with Scott Duncombe, who does the Bus Project, and got data from and .gov, and made a better drop box locator.

mathowie: Nice!

cortex: I used that to remind myself where the drop box was when I had to vote. Turns out it's still in the--

mathowie: I did not--

jessamyn: Yay! Yeah, I saw your wife voted it up.

cortex: Yep. It's in the library in St. John's, so.

mathowie: Sweet!

jessamyn: So cool. So cool. But I just thought it was nice and a great example of what somebody using open data can basically layer a better-looking front end on something, and, there you go!

mathowie: Now we wait for the city governments to crush it into oblivion [cortex laughs]

because it's too good. These rogue developers!

jessamyn: They can't, it's open data, there's nothing they can do.

mathowie: [laugh] I know, but you know, like Oregon crime--

jessamyn: I know, I know.

mathowie: --oh, God, they hate that stuff. They hate it when you do a better job. Like, just as a person who lives in Oregon, going through Oregon websites, there's just a smattering of just terrible Windows .NET programming all over the place, it's really bad.

jessamyn: I think that would be a really great Project, is to go head-to-head, pick like six states

or fuck, get all fifty [mathowie laughs], and be like, "This is what the Department of Libraries website looks like," you know, because some states do that kind of stuff really, really well, and some states do them totally horribly, but I think what most states don't do is look at other states for guidelines, you know what I mean?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, there's no reason the Department of whatever, Voting, who does the voting? Secretary of State.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: The Secretary of State's website has to be so terrible in, say, Vermont, if what you're trying to do is

encourage people to vote. And I think there's this sense that people are like, "Well, at least it's on the Internet!", and you're like, "Come on. Really? Why don't you make an effort, or do something?"

mathowie: Yeah, that would be a cool Sunlight Labs project, like, maybe identify like ten totally common civic website duties--

jessamyn: Solid waste recycling.

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: Or solid waste whatever, yeah.

mathowie: And then let people rate the best ones in the country, see what filters to the top, which ones are the worst, you know, most poorly performing,

maybe it's just a PDF, you know, in Toluca [?] or whatever, or something.

jessamyn: Well, and give people like five tasks to do, like, "Can you figure out how to pay your parking ticket? Can you figure out how to--" Or whatever you do at a state level.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Or you could do it for cities, I guess. But for states it's a lot more obvious.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. That'd be, yeah. Like, every state has its own tax department, and their own tax website. It's kind of ridiculous that they don't share stuff so much.

jessamyn: Well, that's like the crazy states' rights stuff, right? I mean, it's not crazy necessarily,

I mean, "that's what made this country great!", but at some level, letting the states do this independently also means that they are entitled to fail, kind of. I mean, it's like town websites, or state websites, or city websites.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: There's not... when you get below the kind of big city level, there's not that many standard practices, people kind of just do whatever. This doesn't have anything to do with Metafilter, but, ah.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: But that was a cool Project! [jessamyn laughs] Let's move on.

jessamyn: My cool Project,

my cool hypothetical Project. Maybe that's what we should get people to call in, your cool hypothetical Project.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

I haven't seen any Jobs, there's been almost no--I guess the recovery is not working [laughs with cortex].

jessamyn: Well, I see a lot of people--

mathowie: There's only about 10 jobs in the last month, fifteen maybe.

jessamyn: I've seen a lot of people available, though--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, stavrosthewonderchicken, I think, put himself up, "Wordpressery -- That's Where I'm A Viking,"--

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --which was kind of a nice, like, "I can help you out with some stuff,

I'm taking on little projects." NoraReed, who's a web writer--I mean, this maybe doesn't say anything about the recovery, but there's definitely smart folks I know from the site--I don't know this person at all, but, you know, "Hey, I would like to do some little projects for you for free so I can build up my resume."

mathowie: Oh. Smart!

jessamyn: Yeah. And it's just their little things, right? So you get a free website, they get a little project, and hopefully,

you know, you're not a horrible taskmaster, and hopefully, et cetera. So all of the people who have put theirselves up--Bryan Busch is like, "Hey! I'm a user experience designer, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah."

mathowie: Huh. Didn't he just move to San Diego?

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: This is from a while ago. But cool.

jessamyn: Well, not that long ago. But yeah, I know--

mathowie: Well, he's qualified in Google Analytics, I forgot, I was going to talk to him, because I'm like, "Google what?" I've never even touched Google Analytics.

jessamyn: Are you serious, dude?

mathowie: Aside from the numbers, we just

look at--

jessamyn: [laugh] Aside from the dollar signs.

mathowie: No, no, we just look at, "Oh, 25 million in the last 30 days," or something like that. But we don't--there's so much stuff we could do it with we don't.

jessamyn: You know, that reminds me. I'm giving a talk in Oregon about Ask Metafilter. Maybe I'll bug you guys for a couple basic Ask Metafilter numbers, [unintelligible].

mathowie: Oh yeah, when are you speaking?

jessamyn: Friday?

mathowie: Sweet. Where at? In Portland?

jessamyn: The Dalles [ˈdælz].

mathowie: Oh, yeah. It was Troutdale, or something, or all the way out in the Dalles?

jessamyn: It's all the way out


mathowie: Oh, man.

jessamyn: --so me and Mr. Zarquon are taking a little roadtrip, he's giving me a lift out there, and then I'll just be back in Portland.

mathowie: It's pretty boring, not a lot to do.

jessamyn: We're staying at the Vagabond Motel, it's gonna be great!

mathowie: [laughs]

cortex: I've been enjoying Mr. Zarquon's slow acclimation to the local vocabulary. Because he just makes all the new-to-town-ish sort of mistakes with the how-the-hell-are-you-supposed-to-know-how-it's-pronounced--

jessamyn: Couch [kuːtʃ]! Couch [kaʊtʃ] Street.

cortex: Couch [kuːtʃ].

mathowie: Couch [kaʊtʃ].

cortex: Yeah, Couch [kaʊtʃ] is a big kind of a problem.

But no, he called the Dalles [dælz], like, the Dalles [deɪlz] or something.

jessamyn: The Dalles [ˈdæliz]?

cortex: And I'm immediately like, "Dude, it's the Dalles [dælz]," and I'm like, "Aww, I'm such an asshole," but, at the same time, it's the Dalles [dælz], it's not the Dalles [deɪlz], you know.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: That's not so bad, though.

cortex: No, it's not too bad.

So have fun in the Dalles [deɪlz].

jessamyn: I think I will!

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: I'm giving a talk about Ask Metafilter.

mathowie: What is it? Oregon State Libraries Association or something?

jessamyn: No, it's the Oregon Virtual Reference Libraries people. So if you're a person, and you live in Oregon,

there's like an Ask an Oregon Librarian thing, and you can ask a question. [muttering] Now Googling...
But basically there's a whole team, the L-net: Oregon Libraries Network.

mathowie: Neat.

jessamyn: So you can go there, ask them questions, all the time. You can text them, you can e-mail them, you can meet the people that work there,--

mathowie: Oh, wow.

jessamyn: --and they have a summit. It's great! It's really fricking great.

mathowie: Oh. So Ask Metafilter's right in their wheelhouse of things they need to know about.

jessamyn: That's why I'm the keynote speaker!

mathowie: Keynote?!

jessamyn: Shut up! Yes.

mathowie: That's awesome!

jessamyn: It is.

mathowie: Do you have, like, a flowing robe for that?

jessamyn: Arrgh.

mathowie: I want you to be wheeled in on a skateboard underneath a robe so it just looks like you're... [cortex laughs] That would just be awesome! Make it more awesome.

jessamyn: Like a floating Pope Benedict?

mathowie: [chuckles] Yes.

That's really cool.

jessamyn: Yeah, so I'm giving the keynote, but you know, it's me, so the keynote's at 11. But I'll just be talking about Ask a Question, what we've learned about

six or seven years of Q&A online, but a lot of stats telling people kinda how we collect numbers...

mathowie: Dude, did you do the math? 11 a.m. in Oregon is 8 a.m. in Vermont, that's your speaking slot?

jessamyn: No, it isn't.


mathowie: Oh, wait, that's right, 2 p.m. That's, yeah, that's your speed. [laughs]

jessamyn: I did the math, yes. [laughs]

mathowie: I apparently failed math.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: In fact, people in Texas were like, "What do you mean, 11? Couldn't that be 10? Because it would be 11... blah," and I'm like, "After 8 hours of travel?

No. No, it couldn't." At any rate, this has nothing to do with Metafilter, so. Moving on! That'll be very exciting.

cortex: What should we talk about next?

jessamyn: But there aren't that many Jobs. What did you say, Josh?

cortex: I said, what should we talk about next?

jessamyn: Music, how about Music?

cortex: Well, let me tell ya, last month was fucking amusing--

jessamyn: I loved that song you did. Because I know you're too shy to talk about yourself.

cortex: Oh yeah.

mathowie: [laughs] That's our other betting pool.

cortex: Insert joke about humility being one of many qualities here.

jessamyn: Seriously, though, your song was awesome.

cortex: I--

jessamyn: I mean, I think it's so hard not to talk about yourself when you're putting out stuff like this.

sfx: [music: Old Man (cover) by cortex]

sfx: [music: Old Man (cover) by cortex, continued]

cortex: I enjoyed it. It was a fun month for me, but it was a fun month in general, too. Yeah, I did that cover of Neil Young's "Old Man", you mean?

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: Yeah. No, it was a lot of fun to do. It was weird for me doing, like, the big ol' yelling at the top of my lungs sort of blustery thing. But I had a lot of fun putting that together.

And I actually took the month to try and work it out so it actually came out a little bit more put together than it might have otherwise. Although ironically the singing big and loud thing--

jessamyn: Well, it's rich. You multi-tracked a lot of your vocals, and they sounded really, really cool.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And there's some, what, banjo in there if I'm not mistaken.

cortex: Yeah, there's banjo in there.

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: And yeah. Yeah, it came together well. I was pretty happy with it.

jessamyn: What else was going on in Music?

mathowie: Ana Ng? Someone hates Ana Ng? What?!

cortex: Yeah, I was worried about that.

jessamyn: [sings] Ana Ng and [??] What?

sfx: [music: Ana Ng by mubba]

sfx: [music: Ana Ng by mubba, continued]

cortex: Yeah. So someone doesn't like Ana Ng. And I was so worried, because like, "Ohhh, what are you going to do to Ana Ng just to take out your anger on it?"

mathowie: [chuckling] Easy listening cover.

cortex: But it's actually, it's kind of nice. It's just like a totally instrumental thing, it's a chillout easy listening sort of light jazz feel that actually--

jessamyn: What are you guys talking about?

cortex: Someone did a cover of Ana Ng, I'm trying to find it...

mathowie: Oh, They Might Be Giants, right?

cortex: mubba [mʌba], or mubba [mʊba]. Yeah.

jessamyn: Is there a link to this somewhere?

cortex: There is. I'm looking at it.

mathowie: Where's the link?

cortex: There we go. I got it.

mathowie: So hard, the Flash interface.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: [groans]

mathowie: No, sorry, this is HTML 5, go.

cortex: But yeah, it's nice. It's actually, it was a respectful transformation of the song, rather than a poopin' on whatever song. But there was a ton of stuff this month, because the challenge this month was--

mathowie: [chuckles] Keep On Loving You?

cortex: --to cover a song by a band you hate, or a song you hate. So everybody had to pick something that they had a dislike for going in and then try and do something with it. And some people were sort of like, went the, "Let's make something terrible out of something I think is terrible," route, and some people--more people, I think, mostly--went for, "Let's make something good and different out of what I did."

jessamyn: Ohhh, I guess I did not understand that that's why you were doing this in the first place--

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: --because I ignored the tags and basically everything else.

cortex: Yeah. Well and people made a bunch of, really like, nice, listenable stuff. Uh -

mathowie: Oh!

cortex: So though I think it worked out really well. But there's like Et En Arcata Ego

mathowie: [unintelligible]

cortex: ...made a cover of "Every Breath You Take" as a Bob Dylan cover.

sfx: [segue into music cover]

cortex: It's just like: man after my own heart there, and...

mathowie: Man.

cortex: Corduroy did a-

jessamyn: unSane did a great version of "I Go Blind" which I actually sort of like except not really.

sfx: [segue into music cover]

mathowie: Which one's "I Go Blind"? Oh- [laughs]

jessamyn and cortex: [sing together] Every time I look at you I go blind...

cortex: Every time I look... yeah. [jessamyn laughs] I had not actually ever heard the original Hootie; I went and listened to it afterwards.

cortex: Like, yeah, that's really a remarkable Hootie.

jessamyn: The Hootie version is not very good. That's a great challenge, though, it seemed like it really got people kinda--

cortex: Yeah, people got into it.

mathowie: Wow, that would hurt every fiber in my being to make a good version of a song that I hate. Like, there's a lot of good versions. Like, to redo it....

cortex: Well, that's kind of nice!

mathowie: Awhh, I just hate hearing the lyrics, because it reminds me of the shitty song I hate.

cortex: That is sort of a problem. But I don't know, I find it--

jessamyn: You could just hate the music.

mathowie: That's true. I mean, like, for me it's Don Henley, Boys of Summer.

Most hated song ever.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: That song was my life. My life in high school.

mathowie: I don't--I know, 1985, 6. [jessamyn laughs] But I do not want to make a great version, because every time I even hear the words....

jessamyn: I would love to hear you do a Leonard Cohen [mathowie laughs] version of that song, Matt.

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: Alrighty, if I do--

jessamyn: And you've got a voice for it!

cortex: I'd like to hear you do a musical version of anything, Matt--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I've never heard you do anything musical. I think that would be amusing. [mathowie chuckles]

jessamyn: You have a terrific voice for that kind of thing, Matt. I think it would be good.

mathowie: [laughs]


jessamyn: You do!

cortex: Also worth--

mathowie: I tried--I couldn't even sing Happy Birthday on key in, uh...

jessamyn: You don't have to be on key!

mathowie: In your birth--oh yeah, that's right, Pro Tools is out.

mathowie and jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: Just autotune that one--

jessamyn: Autotune, autotune is... yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. Fix it up.

cortex: I thought I would also mention in passing, it's not really music, but corduroy [jessamyn laughs muffledly] followed someone else's Creed cover by doing a slam poetry version of the Creed song "Higher" in total deadpan, it's fantastic.

sfx: [slam poetry: "Higher", read by corduroy]

lyrics: At sunrise I fight to stay asleep

'Cause I don't want to leave the comfort of this place
'Cause there's a hunger, a longing to escape
From the life I live when I'm awake
So let's go there
Let's make our escape
Come on, let's go there
Let's ask, can we stay?

mathowie: Woww.

cortex: And you should listen to it some time, especially if you've ever actually spent time around people doing open mic

poetry, because it's the best thing. There's seriously too much to go through all the good stuff posted this much, but definitely check out the challenge page, because man.

mathowie: Aw, man. Is there anything more painful than sitting in a coffee shop and someone's going to try out their new slam poetry fetish on you gu--on unsuspecting people, ohh, that's the worst.

cortex: Oh, like, not at open mic, but just like at a random folk coffeehouse?

mathowie: Oh yeah, no, no, open mic, but it's like super local, this is like their first time or third time doing it, and it's just going to be kinda shitty, and you know it, and it's just


jessamyn: Whoah!

mathowie: "I'm emphasising things... in an odd way because I'm new at this!" And you're like...

cortex: I think we've talked in the past about my affection for open mike stuff even...

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: ...and especially when it's bad, because that's how I grew up musically, that's how I got over my initial stage fright as a performer, was going to open mikes...

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: ...and so I've got so much happy emotional baggage tied up in sort of like this experience of people standing up and daring to be sort of crappy at something that I have a hard time

like, I've been to open mics where I just am sort of sick of it after a while because it's nothing but shit, and it's not even interesting shit, it's just people being sort of dully bad at stuff. But still, overall, I'll let that slam poetry guy do his thing, because I want to see people try and find their creative selves even if it's a bit of a stumble.

jessamyn: [laughs] What's the name of that crazy poodle that does all the slam poetry that Lynda Barry draws?

cortex: I don't know. I don't know the name.

jessamyn: Fred Milton. Okay, keep talking.

mathowie: I've had a string--I had years where I'd go to open mics once a week where a friend was playing, and it'd be an hour, two hours of acoustic jams from random people in the audience and it was great. But there's just something about slam poetry that just stink up a good night.

cortex: Well yeah, the best thing is like if it's a mix.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: If you're going to have poetry, I like it to be an open mic where there's a mix of people doing spoken word or reading stuff and people who are doing music, so like, you get a little back and forth.

mathowie: And I loved that first thirty seconds of, "Is this supposed to be

comedy? I'm gonna start laughing...", [cortex laughs] you know, in a spoken word open mic setting. So this person tried to be funny, because it's starting to be really funny, but I don't want to be mean.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: That's a good feeling.

cortex: Was it this month or was it last month, I think it was last month I mentioned this in the podcast, the "Corpsing" post someone did, sort of rounding up video of people trying to keep a straight face and failing during like acting?

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: You get that same sort of effect in that situation at an open mic if you're sitting around with...

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: a couple of people who are like... I have friends who are regulars with me at the open mic we'd go to in high school and so we all sort of knew the scene already, and every once in a while someone would get up and be so aggressively bad, but apparently clueless

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: that you'd be trying to not laugh out loud because you don't want to be an asshole, you don't want to be like "ho ho, you suck!"

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: But this one guy got up, and he wrote a poem called "BROWN SHOWER!" and we just...

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: We were trying so hard not to be an asshole there.

jessamyn: For God's sakes.

mathowie: But I call that 'funeral laughter', like, the most inappropriate--

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: --so painful to hold in, and you know you shouldn't let it out... oh, I hate that.

cortex: Because someone, yeah. It's such an earnest moment, but at the same time, how can you not, you're going to die if you keep it in.

mathowie: Oh my God. Brown shower.

That is a dog. Doing some poetry.

jessamyn: No, it's Fred Milton, he does poetry, he's like this kind of rap poet that shows up in a lot of Lynda Barry's comics, and that's what I always think of when people

talk about bad poetry, that's all.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Sweet.

Alright, should we just do Metafilter, Ask Metafilter?

cortex: Let's do it!

jessamyn: Sure! Which?

mathowie: Umm... Metafilter.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: Well, now.

jessamyn: Let's get this out of the way. [mathowie laughs] The breast reduction thread [cortex laughs] was actually much more interesting than you would think it was going to be.

cortex: Yeah, no, it actually went pretty good.

mathowie: Psssssh, really. I ran away from that. Wow.

jessamyn: Well...

mathowie: Yeah.


jessamyn: Just because there was a whole bunch of people from Metafilter who were like, "Hey! I've actually had this," I mean, you know, there was the usual kind of like "hurf, juh, bluh bluh,"

mathowie: Yeah, "keep 'em big," blah.

jessamyn: But then people actually wound up having a totally reasonable conversation about it, and it was interesting. Just like the circumcision thread from today [cortex laughs] or yesterday has actually gone not particularly badly! I mean, I know it's like the pay you to stay out of jail thing, but really, there have been some conversations on topics that normally

do not lead to good conversations in the last couple days, that have been gratifying.

cortex: With a minimum of...

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Moderator intervention. I don't think none of that [??], but yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, they definitely haven't been without problems. Sorry?

cortex: Yeah, they weren't quite something we didn't have to do anything on. But they did run pretty well, aside from the occasional bit of poking.

jessamyn: Hiccup. Little hiccup. Yeah, exactly.

mathowie: Breast reduction

doesn't bring with it all the baggage of most things, although there's a little bit.

cortex: [laugh] It does bring with it the subject of breasts, which is kinda the key problem.

mathowie: Because it's usually like a medical--I know, I know. But there's always this medical part of it.

jessamyn: The 'boobies' aspect is still there.

mathowie: But there's always this beneficial medical aspect, which is like, "My back was breaking with these 50-pound jugs" or something like that, and you're like, "And my life is better because I did it!", like, I mean, what's wrong--

cortex: Well, which is great.

jessamyn: Great.

cortex: The problem is more the people like, "Oh, why would you reduce them? I looove boobs!"

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: You know, it's like, "Thank you for that contribution," yeah.

jessamyn: "By the way, ladies..." Yeah, exactly.

cortex: "What is your back pain compared to my aesthetic appreciation?", you know.

mathowie: It's always like over the-- [laughs]

Yeah, ugh. Yeah. I didn't think anyone would be that much of an asshole [laughs] in public, but hey, it's the Internet.

cortex: But yeah, it was--

jessamyn: Well, and there's always the random drive-by snarkers, and whether people are gonna react or just move on. I've just seen a lot more moving on lately, which I've been pleased at.

cortex: Yeah. It's nice to see that happening.

mathowie: Yay!

We should slap a Berkins movers' truck on Metafilter [laughs], "Here you go for moving on!"

jessamyn: [laughs] The Moving On Award.

mathowie: Did you guys all get a chance to hear the entire Book of Mormon on Broadway soundtrack streaming on NPR?

cortex: No, I totally missed that.

mathowie: What?! Oh my God.

cortex: Thank you, Aziz [?].

jessamyn: Say it again? I was totally missing that.

mathowie: Oh, so Book of Mormon--

jessamyn: Oh, I skip anything with the word 'Mormon' in it.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: I'm glad you read it.

mathowie: So Matt Stone, Trey Parker did this Book of Mormon on Broadway thing. Which people--which is a comedy, which is a super outrageous--but people say actual Mormons have seen and said it's actually kind of endearing to... like, it doesn't just make fun of Mormons all the time and Mormonism, it actually kind of elevates it by the end of it. But, like, so, yeah, it lead the Tony nominations this year. The soundtrack is impeccable, they hired famous

soundtrack Broadway people, and, you know, like the South Park movie is basically a musical as it is, these guys love musicals. But it is so funny, I mean, they're funny as hell, ColdChef posted it, I would say the two stand-outs... the thread is just filled with people saying which are their favorite songs, but Hasa Diga Eebowai is probably the best track of the whole thing, totally hilarious. A lot of it's parody
so, you know, Matt Stone, Trey Parker have grown up on musicals, so they make fun of... everything's kind of a parody song from a certain musical. So there's things that sound like they're from Les Mis, and there's things that sound like Jesus Christ Superstar, just, note for note, almost.

sfx: [music: Hasa Diga Eebowai from The Book of Mormon]

sfx: [music: Hasa Diga Eebowai from The Book of Mormon, continued]

jessamyn: Great! Well, that'll give me something to download and watch on the plane or something.

mathowie: Well, it's sort of this weird crappy flash player that launches. But swear to God

as soon as this is over, listen to the entirety. It's only like five minute songs.

jessamyn: Oh, OK.

mathowie: Hasa Diga Eebowai - it's a Lion King ripoff, it's total...

jessamyn: I was gonna say...

cortex: Hakuna Matata?

mathowie: Hakuna Matata! So it's a Hakuna Matata parody that's fucking amazing and like, yeah. There's a lot of people in the thread that like in New York, they're like "I can't wait to see it, I can't listen, I don't want to spoil it!" 'cause it's actually good, and funny, and yeah.

jessamyn: Let's not talk about spoilers today, OK?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: (laughs)

mathowie: Bang on.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Josh, can you tell me a little bit about this link?

cortex: I just posted a link

jessamyn: Oh, yeah!

cortex: in our chat there to a game called "Sissie's Magical Ponycorn Adventure", which is a totally fucking awesome thing. As a game, it's no great shakes, but it was designed and the assets created for it by a five year old girl at TO Jam, a Toronto programming thing.

jessamyn: Toe jam?

cortex: Toe jam! Yeah, I guess that makes sense.

Anyway, a guy had his five-year-old daughter in and did a programming jam in which she created the idea and did the voice acting and drew the art for Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure, a five-minute-long point-and-click adventure game that is totally fucking adorable. And yeah. You should really go play it.

jessamyn: She also plays the harmonica.

cortex: She does.

mathowie: Where's the gameplay part? Do you do anything?

jessamyn: Click the game.

cortex: [laughs] Don't try and play it right now,

you... oh, [fan...?]

mathowie: What do I do?

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: What do I do? Rainbows...

jessamyn: Click the game. And it's by danb, who knows games. And I think I actually saw it on his twitter, or maybe your twitter, before this even happened.

mathowie: That's awesome. I've been meaning to come around to trying it out, since I heard about it on twitter everywhere.

cortex: Yeah, it's very fun, it's nice.

jessamyn: I just like the Magical Ponycorn Adventure aspect, it's a great name.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Yep. That is an IP that's gonna take off.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: A client will pick that up, and there will be a series of first-person shooters set in World War II.

jessamyn: That's a great post.

mathowie: Someone on Something Awful, did you ever see they recorded their three- or four-year-old telling just a crazy story, and then they like animated it?

cortex: [laughs]

mathowie: But it ended with like Jesus [cortex laughs], so it was really weird. But I've been wanting to do that, I've recorded a bunch of Fiona's stories...

jessamyn: With Fiona? That's a great idea!

mathowie: I haven't gotten like, an awesome, like, she will say an awesome story and then she can never repeat it, because

it's just like, "What did you dream about last night?" and then that will be some crazy story.

cortex: Just always be recording.

mathowie: Recording, yeah, yeah.

cortex: Pull out your iPhone, hit whatever.

jessamyn: Right. You need voice-activated recorders in every room of your house!

mathowie: Right. Just like Prince.

jessamyn: This is the beginning to many Hollywood movies.

mathowie: [laughs]

jessamyn: And then you find out there's somebody living in your ceiling.

mathowie: Yeah. Plotting. Always plotting.

jessamyn: This was probably my favorite... like, I mean, I had two real favorite-favorites, there was this one and one other one, but this was about the

Racine, Wisconsin's annual prom mania? This was a thing I didn't know about--

mathowie: I didn't know.

jessamyn: --an interesting bit of Americana, and there was somebody in the thread--I sidebarred this, so you may have actually saw it--elmer benson, who was like, "Oh, hey! Let me tell you about when I went to the prom at Racine, Wisconsin and what we did there." But basically it's kind of a rite of passage but the whole town gets involved, and there's a huge parade, and everyone

does this stuff and Racine's kind of a vaguely down-and-outer Midwestern town, and so there's a very interesting link to a movie and people talking about it and the post is made by Potomac Avenue--a film--and then a little bit more information, and then, you know, people kinda talk about it so people take some potshots at Racine, whatever, and then elmer benson shows up with his "This is what I did at the prom," and it was just terrific. Super terrific. I liked it.

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Making prom big--

jessamyn: And people rent giant limos and these guys showed up in a moving truck and unloaded furniture with their dates on it [mathowie chuckles], like, people do this crazy stuff. It's not just like, "Oh, we got a limo and then we all got trashed and went to a hotel." Like, there's a town parade before the prom. Everybody comes out.

mathowie: This is my nerd reaction, nerd knee-jerk reaction is like, making prom bigger and more meaningful [cortex laughs] seems like a step back, like, seems like a bad thing to do, because I wish it was less

important in everyone's life.

jessamyn: Well, I think the whole thing is...

cortex: That's why I didn't read that post, instead I stayed home with my friends and then watched YouTube videos.

mathowie: [laughs] I totally didn't read the post! [jessamyn laughs] I totally didn't have to, I was fine. I was playing X-Boxes, okay.

jessamyn: I mean, the point is, in a community where not as many kids go off to college--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --this is like the thing that shows the transition between high school and adulthood, and whether it should or shouldn't be that way I think is a decent open question.

cortex: It's still the ritual, yeah.

jessamyn: But it's the point.

mathowie: Why don't they celebrate graduation?

Yeah. I get it. I don't want to get it.

jessamyn: Did you go to your prom, Matt?

mathowie: Of course not!

jessamyn: Did you, Josh?

cortex: No.

jessamyn: Huh. Huh.

mathowie: [chuckle] I totally said, "I'm drinking Budweisers and avoiding it," yeah, hated it.

jessamyn: Huh.

cortex: I watched horror movies with my girlfriend and some of her friends.

jessamyn: Huh.

mathowie: You had a girlfriend, that's a step up.

cortex: Yeah, it was something.

jessamyn: You had long hair.

cortex: I did.

jessamyn: All the guys with long hair have girlfriends.

mathowie: I think I one time asked a chick out, and I actually called her a chick--

cortex: [laughs]

I went to the wrong door, this is...

cortex: [is exploding with laughter] Oh God!

mathowie: Being awkward and like 17, just like, I had her address and I was at the house next door, and an old lady answers the door, and I'm like, "Is there a chick named Jennifer that lives here?"

jessamyn: Oh God.

mathowie: And the woman's like, "Kid, you do not go to a stranger's house and ask for a 'chick'."

jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: "Named Jennifer. That is not the way to do things."

jessamyn: Sure ya do!

mathowie: "But no. She lives next door."

And I was, oh, it was awesome. It was just--

jessamyn: Okay. Did you go next door, yes or no?

mathowie: Yes, I did! And then that's where Jennifer lived, and then, yeah. I was gonna go with prom with her, and my parents said like, "Yeah, okay," and then my friend wanted to do it up crazy and I needed like 500 bucks and my parents were like, "Fuck that," so then I was like, "Alright." This was like a month or two months before prom. So I was like, "You know what? We're not gonna go," like, my parents wouldn't cover the limo and the rentals and all that other shit. And I had a job, but I didn't have three to five hundred bucks saved up, so. It's better that I did not.

It was never much of a girlfriend anyway. [laughs]

jessamyn: Jennifer? The chick named Jennifer.

mathowie: Yeah. I was so awesome--I never said 'chick' to a stranger ever again. It was such a great lesson.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Awww.

mathowie: Like, I met the perfect person to teach me how to be a man, and it was this old lady. It was hilarious. Embarrassing me and teaching me at the same time.

I liked this post, "The Old Man in the Lake", about Crater Lake.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: A dead bobbing tree that's been there for at least

a hundred and twenty years or so, and it just floats around, it's crazy. I had no idea this existed, and I was just up there for the first time last summer.

jessamyn: I like the pictures. I did not see this post when it went around the first time.

mathowie: And so it's like a thing that's been around for a hundred years, so everyone popped in going, "I remember that thing! I was there," yeah. It was really cool. And there's just tons of photographic evidence, 'cause it's kind of a touristy place to be.

cortex: And it's funny to me because I'm used to knowing about

it, because I'm from Oregon, but so many people were like, "Oh my God, I had no fucking idea! Crater Lake! Wow!" [mathowie chuckles] You know, it's like people vaguely knew it existed, but the photos all looked Photoshopped because the water's so goddamn blue.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And it is pretty terrific, Crater Lake.

cortex: It is. Except for the goddamned mosquitoes.

jessamyn: Hey, Hero Joy Nightingale just accepted my friend request on Facebook.

cortex: Yay.

jessamyn: Remember Hero Joy?

mathowie: No.

jessamyn: Agh. We talked about her in another podcast.

mathowie: Did we?

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: What did she do?

jessamyn: She was like a young woman who was in a wheelchair and wrote this amazing poetry and then kind of vanished.

cortex: Aaaah, okay, yeah.

mathowie: Ehhh. [tentatively] Sure.

cortex: Not enough for Matt. Keep going.

mathowie: [laughs] Let's move on.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Now I'm just Googling. Somebody asked a question.

mathowie: Here's my monthly actual awesome thing via

Reddit, which was the bloodstained roof story, which was just weird and cool--

cortex: Oh yeah.

mathowie: This is a lovely comic that looks like, I don't know, how do you do this with like ink and watercolor?

cortex: Yeah, looks like.

mathowie: It's beautiful.

Whatever, it's like a ten minute, five-ten minute weird story thing that you don't even know if it's true, but hey, it's cool.

cortex: Yes. It's a good little read. And yeah, I've seen other stuff from that guy before and I really like his style.

mathowie: Man, I wish I still--my comic book fantasy as a non-comic book guy

is like, great writers and great artists need to get together, and it so rarely happens, but this is pretty good writing and pretty awesome visuals. But I've always been searching for that 100 visuals and 100 story, and it's usually not that great of a story.

cortex: A thing that I liked was this Top 50 Worst Video Game Voices post [mathowie chuckle], which was just like, five minutes of amusement, but it's like,

it sounds like, the first--

jessamyn: I was like, is this on Cracked?

cortex: No no no, this is just some guy's YouTube video. And the thing is, I hear "worst video game voices," and I think it's just going to be a bunch of clips of bad voice acting from video games. Which is kind of amusing in its own right, but it's a little bit opaque if you don't know the games. But instead this is some guy who's got a great super-emotive face--

jessamyn: And he's lip-synching.

cortex: --lip-synching them all, and expressing as well, and occasionally having conversations between characters, and it's really really fucking fun to watch. It's like totally joyful stupid thing to watch.

mathowie: [laughs]

cortex: And the thread is predictably people talking about bad voice acting from video games and such. But yeah. Just a whole lot of fun. That made my day.

jessamyn: Oh hey, did you see this post? Related. From a couple days ago? It was like, an Australian radio play that turned into a TV show with actors lip-synching the radio play from the '50s?

cortex: Huh. No.

jessamyn: And now it's on YouTube?

cortex: Fantastic.

mathowie: It sounded so bad I didn't want to press play.

jessamyn: You know, it wasn't great [mathowie laughs], but like the idea behind it

was... I mean, it's got like kind of Doctor Who-esque low production value--old Doctor Who-esque low production value, and...

mathowie: Wow, it looks like 1930s, what's that movie, Metropolis or whatever?

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Like, so weirdo old art deco-y looking.

jessamyn: It's a '50s radio play, a '90s TV show, and then it vanished for 20 years and showed up again on YouTube.

mathowie: So they're just lip-synching the actual '50s show?

jessamyn: That is what I think is going on.

mathowie: Wow. Weird.

jessamyn: So it just reminded me of what Josh was saying about voice actor guy. Which I looked at, and you're totally right, he's awesome.

Now, for the best post [cortex laughs] of May, I think we need to go to storybored's Best Toy Maker collection of videos. It got 230 favorites. But it's basically this guy, Arvind Gupta, who has been making toys out of crap that's lying around for 30 years.

mathowie: Whoa.

jessamyn: So he basically is like, "Take a pencil, and some glue, and a couple of pieces of magnet, and do this, and you have a hoverboard!" Or whatever the thing is. But you watch them, and the videos are like no bullshit, you know, it's not like one of those ten-minute videos where somebody's just dicking around for two minutes instead of just putting the thing together and showing you how it works? He just puts the thing together and shows you how it works. And it's great, and he's just totally normal, and they're all like two minutes long.

Check this out. Climbing Butterfly.

mathowie: I'm watching Helicopter Cup... Wow!! Helicopter Cup is good.

cortex: I'm watching--

jessamyn: They're all good. They're all good. The Perpetually Spinning Pencil, How To Fold The Flexagon, and they're just all like... he just makes lots of really simple toys from stuff you probably have in a drawer, and tells you a little bit of science but not too much, and they're like two minutes long, and it's great.

mathowie: Oh wow, Climbing Butterfly, neat.

jessamyn: See? And you love his voice. I love his voice.

mathowie: I can't hear it now with headphones, but wow, cool! And he went and spoke at TED, that's awesome.

jessamyn: And he spoke at TED! "Turning Trash Into Toys For Learning."

mathowie: Pitch in [?]--

jessamyn: So it was my favorite post from the month.

mathowie: Very cool.

cortex: That was pretty great, I totally missed that.

jessamyn: Aww, it was so good. I literally sat around and clicked and watched every single video, I was just totally stoked.

cortex: I really liked the post about the

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, because I had no idea about that, that it was like this co-owned--

jessamyn: I still don't. Tell me more!

cortex: Well, it's a church in Jerusalem built, at least in theory, on the site of Jesus' having been crucified and died and all that.

jessamyn: Is that what Golgotha is?

mathowie: [laugh]

jessamyn: Shut up, you didn't know!

cortex: Yeah, it's the hill where the crucifix is, I think? Yeah, I'm a real Biblical scholar myself [mathowie laughs], so.

mathowie: This is all Bitcoin to me, so it's [??].

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Your mom played at a church, you gotta learn something.

cortex: Yeah, well, I just--I didn't go to the old-school stuff.

mathowie: So the ladder... whaat?

cortex: Anyway, so it's like, it's this church that's like co-owned, managed by like six different sects at this point, and they all control different bits of the church, and this ladder has been sitting on a balcony by a window on the second floor since like 1852 because that's where it was when a edict went down

that fixed who was responsible for what, and nobody knows who the ladder is the property of, and so everybody's just agreed not to touch it. And then somebody maybe moved the ladder at one point kinda recently, and then maybe moved it back.

jessamyn: [laughs] You know, I saw the tags 'religion' and 'batshitinsane' and I was going [cortex laughs] nowhere near this post at all. It was just dead to me. I had to use my psychic killfile and I just never saw it.

cortex: Yeah. It could have been terrible. But it was actually fine. People just sort of talking about like--I mean, there was a little bit of

GRAR-y back and forth about the whole, like, whether we really know whether this was where Jesus is, which is like--how is that going to be resolved in a Metafilter thread? But aside from a little bit of sniping, it was totally fine. And it was really kind of a fascinating thing. I really want to know a little bit more about some of the history of that. I may go look at, because--

jessamyn: Well, and it contains--the post contains a really good set of links to, like, what the story is, where the places are... So like, there's an Atlas Obscura link, which is great, but Atlas Obscura often doesn't

have a bunch of stuff in it, you know? And so then there's a link to a local news thing, and whatever. It was well put-together--

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: --for something that could have turned into like, "LOL, crazies," or "crazy [??]", and it went pretty well. Plus, I love Atlas Obscura any time it shows up.

mathowie: This is probably the highest-rated comment favorited last month, the story of the, "What's the best burger in America? Shake Shack, Five Guys, or--"

jessamyn: I sidebarred this!

mathowie: Yeah. "Or In-N-Out." And then this one guy's awesome

story 50 years ago of, like, crossing the street some tiny, was it? like Kansas - what? - uh, school to go a Western Auto Parts store that had this little grill in like, the corner of the place and how the owner of it made his own burgers and every day 10 kids would walk across the street - they were talking about school lunches and the best - oh yeah - the best burger ever and this is like, his memories of basically - awesome fresh meat, perfectly cooked, every day, prepared for him while he was in school, like - was the best burger ever,
will be better than anything anyone could ever produce. And it's just a great little story.

jessamyn: I like that story. I thought that was pretty terrific.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And I like the idea of like a weird little hamburger place in the back of an auto parts store.

mathowie: And also this is - I mean, he describes it - this is like in the days of - what? - it's like, a single mom, right, where that's like a weird thing, and y'know, like, single moms don't have time to make lunches, which is also seen as -

jessamyn: Right, she was at work.

mathowie: This is like -

jessamyn: You had to get special - yeah. Permission.

mathowie: And it's like a huge failing, y'know, in the '50s or '60s that, y'know, your mom didn't make you lunch, or that she has to work, or that you don't have a dad, like, so it's like, y'know, he's - he's there with these 10 other outcast-type kids, y'know, getting a burger at an auto parts store.

jessamyn: Which they got every day.

mathowie: (laughs) That's so great! And like, and I think a guy who owns an auto parts store could sense that and treats them lovingly and stuff, and gives 'em an awesome burger every day. Just a great story. Let's move on - Ask Metafilter, if you have anything left on Metafilter?

jessamyn: I only liked the How Modern Spam Works post, but I don't have to say much more about it than that.

mathowie: Oh, yeah! That was cool.

jessamyn: "The Spam Value Chain." How people make money from spam. And there was a guy who was the author on the work who showed up--or lady? God, kaytwo? [sings, mid-pitch] Aaah! Chris? [slightly sing-song, higher-pitch] Aaah! I don't know!

cortex: The person who--[laughs] Just run with it!

jessamyn: Shit, I have no idea. Okay, that person showed up and was the author

on the thing and talked a little bit about in the thread, which was cool. The end.

mathowie: I think it's a dude? [laughs]

jessamyn: I don't know, it's somebody named Chris!

mathowie: Nah, there's a picture on the person's webpage which looks like a guy.

jessamyn: Oh, come on.

mathowie: Playing Whack-A-Mole.

jessamyn: You're looking at the picture and you can't figure it out?

mathowie: Well, it's from the back! Here, you figure it out from this.

jessamyn: [chuckle]

mathowie: I think it's a dude playing Whack-A-Mole, but.

jessamyn: That's definitely a dude playing Whack-A-Mole.

mathowie: Women can have short hair.

jessamyn: Not that, not that, not like that, no.

mathowie: I didn't even

I didn't read, just something that was in my, "Oh boy, I want to read this sometime when I have time," but, like, is it just total burner phones and having to deal...

jessamyn: [laughs]

mathowie: Research this like a drug dealer would and stuff.

I don't know, spam is scary. I mean, we know Steve Champion, right? Like, he told me stories of, I guess it was last year, some Russian mobsters actually kidnapped an American anti-spam guy while he was vacationing abroad and like, he's basically
probably dead, he's been missing for months.

jessamyn: What? Who is that? I don't know that story.

mathowie: But guys, like, there's this small group of 30 or so Linux hacker dudes that basically run all the anti-spam stuff in America, and one of them is basically disappeared off the face of the earth and is probably dead.

cortex: Huh.

mathowie: And it was like, that's when they were like, "Holy... these people are not fucking around," you know, they're making millions of dollars--

jessamyn: Right, they're the mob.

mathowie: --clogging--yeah. Clogging inboxes, and they will kill us if they

get the chance, like, holy shitballs. I'm probably misremembering this [jessamyn laughs], and some super-nerds listening can probably correct this, but I'm pretty sure it was a, like, high-ranking anti-spam guy who's basically dead.

jessamyn: [cracking up] You're like that guy on Saturday Night Live. "No, I'm pretty sure."

mathowie: [laughs] "I heard some things!"

cortex and jessamyn: [laugh]

mathowie: "Heard some things." Alright. Let's go to Ask Metafilter.

jessamyn: Alright. Starting off Ask Metafilter, my favorite thing that I think will resonate

with many Metafilter people is the, "I'm looking for a good mathy gift for my friend. [mathowie laughs] Like a Klein bottle hat, or a spherical puzzle, except something I haven't seen before."

cortex: Oh man, a Klein bottle hat? That'd be sweet.

jessamyn: The Klein bottle hats are amazing.

mathowie: I don't... Where does it end?

cortex: Although what happens when it rains, though?

jessamyn: And I totally want one. But the Klein Bottle openers, which is made by one of these 3-D printer ladies... like, check that shit out.

mathowie: Oh, it's a Klein bottle hat

and scarf or something? And never-ending? Wow. Crazy.

cortex: That was a pretty great bottle opener there.

jessamyn: It's very expensive. But it sure is nice.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: But it was just kind of a nice thread about nerdy presents. And it wasn't holiday time, so I actually read it.

mathowie: They don't have all the dumb t-shirts? I've seen so many math joke t-shirts.

jessamyn: Yeah...

mathowie: Like gang signs, S-I-N-E-S--

jessamyn: Oh yeah, I've seen that one.

mathowie: Oh, there's a million of them.

jessamyn: But this was the thing, like, trying to

get outside of the lulzy t-shirt thing, what do you get someone?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So there was some neat advice. Klein bottle opener? I liked that idea.

mathowie: Sweet.

I thought Timeliness Award Winner of Useful Information was a, "School gets out tomorrow. What do I do with my kids to keep them occupied for the summer?" Like--

jessamyn: So that they don't go stupid?

mathowie: Yeah, like, reading, writing, arts, crafts, anything,

what can we do? And lots of great ideas for little things to do in the summer to keep your brain alive. Lego Mindstorms is mentioned, like, math programs...

jessamyn: "Teach your kid how to use an abacus"? That'll go well.

mathowie and cortex: [laugh]

mathowie: People--My daughter loves her abacus! It's a Montessori thing. [jessamyn laughs] They mention the Khan Academy--have you played with the Khan Academy lately? It turned into a massive game, like, it has badges, and, like, "You got a point for answering ten fractions correctly!", you know.

"Super 100% Percent! You're going so fast!" Like, it's really funny. It's this total "Achievement Unlocked!" kind of thing now.
Does any of that make sense? [laughs]

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Yeah, no. I was--I knew the Khan Academy because I was just looking--you know that website, The Setup, where people ask you like what kind of gear you use?

mathowie: Oh, yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: And I was just looking at this guy Ben Kamens, and he was like, "I'm the lead developer!" And I was like--

mathowie: Wow!

jessamyn: "Khan Academy, isn't that like a John Resig thing or whatever?"

mathowie: No, it's just one guy.

Oh yeah, Resig.

jessamyn: Yeah. And so then I went to go look at it, and I was like, "Oh my God! It went totally different." And he's got a blog talking about what they've been doing on the back end, too, and it's kind of amazing stuff.

mathowie: Yeah, it's funny, they went from just YouTube videos to total achievement... I mean, I've played with it for, I just set aside five minutes to play with it, and I could not stop after a half-hour, because I was just like, "I am a master of multiplication tables!", you know, when you pick something you're good at already

you're just flying through stuff, like, what are the hardest story problems possible in algebra, basic algebra, that I used to hate, and it's actually pretty easy. But yeah, it's pretty cool that they took those goofy YouTube videos and made it into a thing.
Sorry. Ask Metafilter. Anyone else?

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: I have nothing from AskMe this month that doesn't involve me telling people to cut it out, so.

mathowie: [laughs] Or message from the poster.

jessamyn: Well, there were a couple kind of, there were a couple sort of....

cortex: Yeah. Which, you know, yeah, some of those are interesting, but I also feel like when someone's like, if it's an anonymous post that someone needs a follow-up on, I always feel a little bit weird about it if it's like a personal problem sort of question, because it's like, "Hey everybody, go look at this neat personal problem!" So. Yeah. You know what I mean?

jessamyn: There were a couple standard ones that I sort of liked. Like, "I'm going to be a mom,

what advice could you give to a mom to not screw up," like, okay, "What advice could you give a new mom to not screw up her relationship with her kid the way your mom screwed it up with you?", or whatever. Does that make sense?

cortex: [laugh] Yeah.

jessamyn: [laugh] But it was very, people really liked it, and besides occasionally RRR-RRR-RRR kinda grumpy butt-hurt stuff, there's actually a lot of really good advice,

like, "Here's ways to start off on the right foot as a mom and not make the same mistakes everybody else has made," basically.

mathowie: Man, so much of it is just, "show up and be loving," I mean, really? Like, so much of it is just "be stable, don't be crazy," I mean, auhh.

jessamyn: But "be stable" is a really big thing--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Especially if you're not from a real stable environment. So many moms, if you read the thread,

so many moms have like body image problems--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --or competition problems, or... making sure their kid gets the things they didn't get but not really knowing how to do that, so being really pushy in other ways--whatever. Like, there's a whole being just shrewish and harpyish, like, there's a lot of ways to just do that wrong.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I think people kind of forget that.

hal_c_on actually asked a pretty interesting question about picking up math as an amateur

mathowie: Oh yeah!

jessamyn: Which I just kind of liked. I mean, the tattoo tie-in is fairly thin, but it's the title, "How do I point out the idiocy of math tattoos?" But basically he's like, "Look! I did good on my math SATs, I kinda like math, I'd like to think of looking into math as a hobby, but I'm not totally sure what to do." And of course every single person gives him good

Best Answer-level advice--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --and for people who--Khan Academy, again!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Number one thing.

mathowie: I hang out with a lot of math professors, and I've realized that, aside from basic algebra and basic geometry and a little bit of trigonometry I've used twice, I've never had to use anything, you know, from calculus on, ever in normal life. Unless you work in some very specialized field, as, like, a physicist or something,

I've always thought, like, these adults I'm hanging out with who are math professors still think about really bizarre equations every day, you know, they go in to work to chip away at this impossible problem, and, like, so few adults do that. And I totally, I saw this--

jessamyn: Right, that there becomes this huge chasm between the high-level math people and everyone else.

mathowie: Yeah, and I saw this question and I was like, "Yeah, how do you pick up...?" And I love that they put it in sports, hobbies, & recreation, because he wants to do it as a hobby.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: But yeah. But yeah, like, aside from college, I never had to push math boundaries. I mean, really, I was done in 9th grade when it comes to almost everything I've ever had to do, including, like, crazy whatever, differential array--or, two-factor arrays in Javascript or something are not that hard, like, everything is like basic algebra.

So it's a skill you don't need. [laughs] There's no need.

jessamyn: In conclusion, I make money off the Internet!

cortex and mathowie: [laugh]

mathowie: There's a--

cortex: Once you've got counting down, you're--

mathowie: Yeah, you're done. I saw that thing you sidebarred this morning about organic raw milk, that was like the best thing I've read about raw milk ever that wasn't--

jessamyn: Oh, wasn't that kind of cool? I was surprised that ewagoner didn't--

mathowie: Yeah!

jessamyn: I don't know if ewagoner jumped into that thread or not. He may have missed it.

mathowie: Every time a raw milk person, you go, "Why should I drink raw milk?", there's like, "Because it's clearly better!" But this is like truly, this is a person with a science background--

jessamyn: This is like, "Let me explain."

mathowie: Yeah. Like, "This is what happens in the pasteurization process, this is what happens with homogenization, this is what those words mean, this is what you should look for in a dairy, this is what I grew up on--"

jessamyn: "This is what farmers do," which I found helpful.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, it reminds me of the also, his grandma's 93 and in perfect health, like, because they've been drinking this raw milk their lives, it reminds me of that--

jessamyn: Well, causation and correlation are two very tricky things--

mathowie: I know! Also--

jessamyn: And if you knew more about math, you would know!

mathowie: [laughs] That's not math, really, that's, ah....

jessamyn: Sure it is!

mathowie: Statistics, mostly.

It reminds me of the old wired Dutch people, so tall...

jessamyn: Josh, is statistics math?

cortex: Statistics is indeed math.

mathowie: Yeah, that's true, subset.

cortex: Well, okay. Useful statistics is math. [mathowie laughs] Shitty statistics is more of a pop news reporting thing.

mathowie: Art.

jessamyn: [laughs] Okay. Sorry, Matt, you were saying?

mathowie: [chuckle] Nope, go ahead. Anywho, that was great. That was the best defense of raw milk I've ever heard that wasn't, like, foo-foo--

jessamyn: Yeah! I just thought that was an interesting thread that didn't get

too argumentative, I mean basically the thread was premised on, the mom, they're having a baby, or they're--I don't remember what the deal was, they're having or had a baby, and... gosh, let me just read this and make sure. Okay. They have a baby, they're switching from formula to whole milk, the mom wants organic, the husband thinks it's a waste of money, and she's just like, "I'm just trying to actually figure this out," like, she's not like, RAR RAR RAR RAR RAR, fight fight fight, she's just like, "I'm just trying to figure this out," and--

mathowie: Yeah, and that was actually, there was actually a good bit of information, that there's an organic milk brand that's available everywhere, where I live, called Horizon, and this person points out exactly why Horizon is like the worst dairy on the West Coast.

jessamyn: Because they mix milk from everywhere--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --and organic doesn't hardly mean anything, and the cows don't eat grass, and all the stuff.

mathowie: And because of the mixing, you have way higher chances of something bad happening, and if you're talking about babies, like this is always--like, I have a friend who just works in the

local court systems, so when I see a dumb "Vote for this judge," I'll ask, "Hey, I don't know what these six names are, I have to pick three of them, which ones should I pick?" And like, "That guy's an idiot! That guy's awesome! That guy's horrible!"

jessamyn and cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: Right, because he knows them all.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I have my local public defender friend, same thing.

mathowie: Yeah, so it's great that there's someone with insider info, that's like real world awesome useful info, like, Horizon's everywhere! And now I know to avoid it, just for my own personal food safety.

So that's something I learned today. [chuckle]

jessamyn: Cool!

mathowie: Think that's about it?

jessamyn: I think the only other thing I saw from Ask Metafilter that I kinda liked was just this small, another kind of popular favorite type thing, "Homemade beauty concoctions." The thing that I did not know? Yogurt aspirin masks.

mathowie: Whaat?

cortex: Huh.

jessamyn: I don't know!

mathowie: Oh, the aspirin's acetic acid [actually, acetylsalicylic acid: correction courtesy of Blasdelb], which is in like a face cleaner I use.

jessamyn: Well?

mathowie: Isn't that also like Oxy--that whole

fifteen-year-old pimple cream stuff is mostly just aspirin smashed into stuff?

jessamyn: Good question! I do not know. This thread just has, you know, whatever, you mix vinegar with this, that, or the other, and then you get this thing that does this, you use honey to this, you use avocadoes to do this, you use olive oil to do this. I always like these threads, because I'm like, "Oh yeah, right! I don't have to go shopping for this." Although man, avocadoes would be slightly spendier [mathowie and cortex laugh] than any of my current beauty


mathowie: That's why a small tube of it costs nine dollars at a store.

jessamyn: Augh. Aughh. Yes indeed, totally.

So you're going to MaxFunCon again this weekend, Matt?

mathowie: Yep, yep, really quick.

jessamyn: And Josh, you are not?

cortex: I am not. I will be here for the meetup at my house!

jessamyn: Hanging out with me. Right!

mathowie: They sold me tickets, I was really bummed. But you're gonna be here in two days, right?

jessamyn: Yep! [???]

mathowie: Sweet!

sfx: [music: The Worst Things by chococat]

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sfx: [music: The Worst Things by chococat, continued]

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  • beryllium, 206 segments
  • Q, 8
  • flex, 6
  • zamboni, 6