Podcast 70 Transcript
A transcript for Episode 70: phylactery, gegenschein, narthex, miasma & catarrh
Minutes 0 to 3
Mathowie: All right! Episode 70 of the Metafilter Podcast, the first one in a long while. We just got ribbed today on Metatalk about that.
Cortex: Yeah, we did, rightfully so.
Jessamyn: Yeah, we did. I didn't even understand that. Could someone maybe explain that Metatalk thread to me?
C: I think the idea is that it has been so long since we have done a podcast, that it was like "two hour extravaganza" because we'll have to catch up, and do a two-hour long podcast.
J: But what was "enough whooshing already?" What does that mean?
C: That I don't know - maybe the sound of nothing? (Jessamyn laughs) I did not get the "whooshing" bit.
M: Where did it say "whooshing?"
J: Good, I thought it was just me, and maybe it was some Star Trek reference I was missing.
C: We'll have to get a followup from the poster of that.
J: Also, about this thread, there is a donut challenge inside of there?
C: I have done my homework on that, actually.
J: I figured maybe you had, and I'm writing down everything I eat, so I'm really not allowed to have a donut, unless I go for an 18-mile hike. So, I will cede these donuts to you, and you can take the donut challenge and just send me a picture of yourself enjoying them.
C: Well, I think we can both take the challenge, I mean, if you prepared a sentence as well, I think you should read it.
Mathowie and Jessamyn laugh.
J: No, I didn't prepare a sentence, I prepared a sentence about how I was just going to let you do it, and besides, with a whole bunch of tricky pronunciation words I'd just be happy to let you have this one.
C: Yeah, I'm going to fuck up the pronunciations pretty badly too.
J: Well, no, I don't know how to pronounce most of them. There's only one of these words I actually know. Maybe two.
C: I actually knew the majority of them. A couple were new to me. And those are the ones I'm probably going to destroy. But: To collect a dozen donuts of the flavor of my choice from Devils Rancher, however we will figure that out -
J: He is a mensch, that man!
C: He is! He's a good guy. So I was showing my grandpa's old phylactery to some Catholic friends who'd invited me to Midnight Mass, and we're standing there in the narthex of St. Michael's, and I look out the window and there's this wonderful gegenschein on the horizon, this glowing miasma of solar dust, like a sneezed-up exudate of God's own catarrh. (transcriber's note: ಠ_ಠ )
J: I love you.
C: Thank you.
M: And if any moderator's going to win a challenge involving donuts, I hope it's you.
J: It was pretty much made for Josh.
J: I mean, Matt, do you eat donuts any more?
M: No, maybe like one an eon.
J: I'm middle-aged, I can't eat a donut any more.
M: Have you ever had - I had a Krispy Kreme -
J: I can't eat many, but I still manage it. Krispy Kreme is kinda funny.
M: I had a Krispy Kreme -
J: Those are kinda fake donuts.
M: Yeah, I felt like I contracted diabetes by the end of the donut.
J & C laugh
J: Remember when they were popular, though? I kind of like them better now that they're not the thing. I know that sounds so reprehensible.
J: But it's like they're a donut, but with the inside of the donut removed.
C: It's like a really, really nice light-flavored sort of beer, like a Kolsch, like a real mild Kolsch of a donut.
Minutes 3 to 6
Jessamyn: Yeah, exactly! You got it exactly. And, you know, it's fine. But yeah, it's like the cotton candy. You put it in your mouth and you're like where did it go?
M: And also my arteries
J: Hot and Now is nice. Having a fresh donut is really nice. Yeah.
M: My arteries hurt. My heart is beating twice as fast.
J: You're what? You're what?
M: My arteries hurt after I touch one.
C: You can feel the walls hardening ...
C: I want a follow up with Devils Rancher on this, actually.
J: Do they have like saturated ...
C: Oh. I'm sorry.
J: Do they have like saturated fat in them?
M: Oh. They must.
J: I thought we just didn't like them because they were just empty calories and sugar.
C: I assume ...
J: I didn't know they also harden your arteries.
C: I assume people saturate the fat as much as ... Well, I mean you fry a donut, right? I mean you make a donut, you know?
J: I guess you're right.
C: I think they saturate the fat as much as possible.
J: Saturate that fat!
C: If there is something that gives saturated fat heart attacks, I think that's what they use to make donuts.
J: (Laughing) I'm going to look this up in my food database.
M: OH! You know they are BAD! It's just how bad are they, I guess?
J: Dunkin Donuts.... Glazed donut....
M: Also ....
J: Yeah! Six grams of saturated fat - which is a fairly decent amount. None of the unsaturated fats.
M: If you look at the calorie counts - especially Krispy Kreme. I mean some of them are psychotic what one donut is capable of.
J: Krispy Kreme Original glazed donut has 190 calories. Which, actually, is NOT psychotic. It's low for donuts.
M: But like the chocolate one that just has ice or sugar on top? It does. It seems like an innocuous donut. It's like five or six hundred for some reason. It's crazy!
J: Do you guys have the thing on the West Coast that we have on the East Coast where places like Dunkin Donuts have calories next to all the things now because New York had that lawsuit? Or maybe California? I don't even remember who had the crazy lawsuit.
C: I don't know.
M: Yeah I don't think so.
C: As a general rule, I have not seen that in restaurants but I don't tend to go into fast food restaurants much and ...
J: Oh. See my closest donut is Dunkin Donuts which is literally - I could roll down the hill to it. But they have little signs next to every donut so I walk in with my donut gift card that some student gave me and I'm like , "Ooh! I'm gonna get a .... whoa..." And I just walk right back out again.
C: See, I don't ... but like when I buy a donut .. and as much as I love donuts and donuts have become sort of I guess a part of my identity...
C: I don't actually EAT that many donuts partly because - geesh yeah you would die - but when I do buy donuts it's usually from this place up the road in St. Johns called Tulip Bakery that's just a little Mom and Pop like donut and cake and rolls and turnovers and stuff like that. They just bake stuff themselves and they are cash only because they don't pay for ahh...
C: Visa and stuff
J: Oh! I see ..
C: And so it's like I have no idea. And I know it's probably bad for me but they are really good donuts and okay so I eat ...
J: (Talking to herself) Oh, wait ... those are in New York ....
C: ... like a maple bar once every couple weeks and it's okay.
J: To the Tulip Pastry Shop, I think you mean, Josh.
C: Oh! Maybe, yeah ...
Minutes 6 to 9
C: I think they have a facebook page ...
J: (Laughing) Because the Tulip Bakery is in New York City!
C: ... it's their entire online presence is a facebook page that says by the way, we do-nut accept credit cards, you know.
Mathowie and Jessamyn: Groan ...
C: But they are really good, so ...
J: Nice! Maybe we should talk about something else.
Mathowie and Cortex: (Laughter)
J: I've enjoyed this.
Mathowie and Cortex: (Laughter)
J: Hey! But actually, Josh (Cortex) I don't know what like the first three words of the challenge mean and I try to make every podcast a learning experience.
M: What do ... yeah.
J: Can you tell me what phylactery means?
C: Okay. Yeah. I actually looked up a couple of these ...
M: Yeah, go through ALL of them
C: Phylactery I already knew. Phylactery it could mean a couple of different things. For the Dungeons & Dragons sort of people will recognize it as sort of a charm carried that contains magical power.
C: I think usually liches had them and so it tends to be a like a amulet charm in a high fantasy sort of situation. But, it can also be used more generally for an amulet or for a Tefillin, a little black Jewish box with a ....
J: Oh that thing! Okay! With the Tefillin.
C: Yes. Yes.
J: Interesting. How would I miss that part?
M: Let me put this in the notes.
Cortex and Jessamyn (Laughter)
M: No, no, no. I'll just link it to dictionary.com.
C: Go to wikipedia. That's what I used to check the couple that were new to me.
M: So wait. The middle thing? Gegenschein?
C: Gegenschein is .. it's a lightening of the atmosphere on the far side of the Earth from the sun. So essentially, midnight. Essentially.
C: It's because you have solar lighting of dust into space and because it's night you've got that .... it's similiar to aurora-type phenomenon, is my understanding.
M: I was sort of like half-listening and all I heard was like Jewish amulet thing .....
M: And I'm like of all the words here that sound Hebrew, gegenschein .... I was like ...
C: Well it's funny because phylactery is not the Hebrew word, is the thing. But ...
M: I guess it's German.
M: I guess this is German.
J: Gegenschein? Yeah. Probably. Or, you know, whatever.
M: So what's a narthex?
C: A narthex is a part of a church.
C: It's on the opposite end from the nave. It's kind of the lobby of a church. Especially if you think about a big church.
J: The entrance.
J: I just typed it into Google images and hope there's no porn.
M: My a .. this is rule 33, 34 porn.
J: There's some handsome man there. I guess he's in a band.
M: Miasma? What's a miasma?
C: A miasma? It's a creeping fog or stench or thickness of atmosphere. Like if you wandered into a smokey bar .. there would be miasma in a smokey bar.
J: It's another D&D thing, right? Wasn't there a D&D miasma?
C: Oh. Probably.
J: I felt like that was where I knew it from, but maybe not.
C: I associate it kind of with the notion of like a nauseating fog.
Mathowie and Jessymyn: (Laughter)
C: You know, I think of a miasma as being like if there's a stench of evil, maybe, or like walking into a hotel ..
M: A bar.
C: It's like full of smoke.
J: No seriously, back in the day they used to think that creeping, like the miasmas were, or miasma, I actually don't know how to pronounce this word, were responsible for things that would get people sick before they kind of understood how ...
J: .... people actually got sick.
Minutes 9 to 12
J: - I actually don't know how to pronounce this word - were responsible for things that would get people sick, before they understood how people got sick.
J: There'd just be a miasma, and so that's why the plague doctors would wear those funny masks.
J: Because to keep the miasma away, not because they actually understood how people really got the plague. Not at first, anyhow.
M: And finally, catarrh (pronounced as "catarrahar") -
J: Which I have no idea if I pronounced right, but it's apparently a sort of mucus inflammation.
J: I have that!
J: I have that right now! I've had that since fucking December! Ew, these are gross pictures.
M & C crack up
J: I don't - I could send you some pictures of my own mucus, but mostly I'm now looking at pictures of other peoples' noses.
M: Ew, gross.
C laughs over:
J: Maybe that's I have right now. What are you laughing at?
C: I just appreciate the sidehanded offer there to send me pictures of gross mucus.
J: The snot that came out of my nose in January and February?
C: You should start a blog for that, just, you know.
J: I was thinking about maybe just making an animated gif (pronounced with a "g as in Greece") or gif (pronounced with a "g as in Germany").
M: Gif. (pronounced with a "g as in Greece") Guh. Graphic.
C: So thanks Devils Rancher, for spawning this half-assed vocabulary lesson, and sentence construction style.
J: Thanks Devils Rancher!
M: He has ample access to FedEx, so you never know.
J: He does. I went on a tour of his factory - (M lets out a notably envious sigh) - I told you guys that, right? No, because we haven't talked about it since -
J: I got to see the Devils Rancher factory - Jeremy and I - restless_nomad and I - both did, when I was down in Austin.
M: How big is it?
J: Giant! It's giant! And they've got a special locker that's all for the Livestrong stuff, because they're a non-profit and so they have to account for every single t-shirt and every single thing. So it's in a special locked-up box, or crate, or I don't know what you'd call it. Jail. T-shirt jail. But yeah, it's impressive! It's an impressive place.
M: And it's a hundred people, making t-shirts, all over a factory?
J: I don't even think it's a hundred - there was like six people there when I was there.
M: Is it like an eighties music video, where there's lots of sparks for some unknown reason?
J: No, but it is a big warehouse, that you can wander around in, and it looked kinda cool. I think I was there during lunch or something, so there weren't a lot of people there. And! It's right next door to the Texas state surplus warehouse, where restless_nomad and I got to stop by, and bought some things.
M: That sounds like the awesome Boeing surplus shop outside of Seattle.
J: It was not entirely different from the awesome Boeing surplus shop outside of Seattle, where I also have been.
M: Which I heard, there's also an MIT one, out by MIT, that's amazing -
M: If you need a 1988 Mac Classic chassis or something like that.
J: Why do you think I don't have one of those in my closet?
M: All right, why don't we go to favorite Projects?
Minutes 12 to end
via the Fanscribed page
Jessamyn: Yeah! Sure!
Cortex: Oh! A bunch of stuff! Cause it has been, what? Has it been two months?
Jessamyn: Two months!
Cortex: Okay. Wow. So we've got some ...
Jessamyn: And we didn't even do anything for April Fools for a podcast this year.
Mathowie: Oh! Right!
Cortex: We were busy. It was bad timing.
Jessamyn: No, no, no. I thought it worked well, I thought people enjoyed what we did do, and then we didn't have to do anything else.
Jessamyn: It was great. It was perfect.
Cortex: Well, there's a couple projects I like from just the other day. Uh, CRM-114, whose Kubrick-inspired username I've probably gushed about on previous podcasts at some point...
Jessamyn: Remind, remind me? Sorry
Cortex: It's a recurring little sort of code-thing that shows up in a lot of Kubrick's films in one form or another, it's kind of an in-joke for attentive fans.
Jessamyn: Neat! Okay.
Cortex: But anyway, he is workin' on a blog called Pocket Tactics, that's a review site for sorta strategy and tactics games on mobile devices, which is something that I tend to enjoy! So, So, I was really excited to see this go up.
Jessamyn: It's a great name
Mathowie: Yeah I saw that and it looked good. My favorite - there was one, really weird! Well, I guess I'll stick the iOS one. Adrianhon's 'Zombies Run' game,
Mathowie: Which I backed on Kickstarter way-back-when because it sounded so wacky. And I haven't actually gone for a run with it - I've been running a couple times a week - I haven't gone for a run using the app yet. But it sounds hilarious. If you pick up, put on your headphones, you run the app. I think they charge $7.99 (Seven Dollars and Ninety-Nine Cents USD) He wrote an essay about how that was the thing to do, instead of charging $.99 (ninety-nine cents USD) You put in your headphones, you pick your playlist that you were going to listen to anyway and it starts telling you a story. So it's like ... you are in this town and OH MY GOD there's some zombies coming!
Jessamyn: Quick! Right! It has you kind of like speed up and slowing down a little bit.
Mathowie: Yeah! You basically run intervals, which is what you are supposed to do as training. You warm up for ten minutes, then you do sprints for a minute of two and then you rest for a minute of two, then you do sprints for a minute or two. You are doing this and it's all story going on in between your songs and I heard it is pretty awesome!
Jessamyn: Yeah I think restless_nomad was using it? Or knew about it. I mean Adrian came to the meet-up in Austin so it was great to give him the high five and be like, "You're so awesome!"
Jessamyn: It was also just .. I think there were a bunch of people there who had been using it and who were really enthusiastic about it. So that's kinda cool.
Mathowie: It's like the best idea in the world. You know. The moment you hear about it.
Jessamyn: It really is wonderful, wonderful idea.
Mathowie: What was your favorites? One of your favorites?
Jessamyn: Well, I liked this really simple usability tester thing.
Mathowie: OH! That was my NEXT one!
Jessamyn: How long does it take to find the most important bit of information on the website?
Mathowie: Yeah! Three quick questions dot com (http://threequickquestions.com)
Jessamyn: Yeah! It's basically
Jessamyn: Yeah! It's called three quick questions dot com (http://threequickquestions.com) and basically you give them the url and you give them five bucks (five dollars USD) and three questions you want people to be able to answer. Like how do you get in touch with us, or what's our phone number, what's our address. I mean the number of times I go to a library website to try and figure .. and then try and figure out what STATE it's in.
Jessamyn: You know, like, what state? Because people take it for granted, you know? They are like, "What? It's Springfield! Everybody knows THAT!"
Jessamyn: And then they'll do ....
Mathowie: How many people? I could not figure that out. How many testers.
Jessamyn: They'll do
Mathowie: How many people? I couldn't figure that out. How many testers?
Mathowie: Ten? For five bucks?
Jessamyn: Seriously, Matt? Did you read this page at all?
Mathowie: I read the FAQ...
Jessamyn: For each question we'll send ten different testers.
Cortex: Where's it say that?
Jessamyn: T, E, N.
Mathowie: I'm going to do a search [unintelligible] ten.
Jessamyn: It's in text too, man, it's not even in...
Mathowie: Oh, no it's in tiny text under the number 2. All right.
Jessamyn: You're not attentive.
Cortex: So how long did it take you to find that information on their site?
Mathowie: I know! You can ask nine other lunkheads like me.
Jessamyn: [Laughs] Well, and part of the thing is too that you, you know if you're used to...
Jessamyn: Well and part of the thing is, too, that if you are used to ... I mean this is the thing I talk about with digital divide stuff all the time. That like, people who are kind of used to this know how to scan until they get to the piece of information they want. Or they know how to ask me or someone else to answer their question for them. But like novice users just flub around and are like, "Arrgh! I don't know!" And then you know, half the time they are like, "Fuck it! I can't ..."
Cortex: Yeah. They don't have to search for the information.
Jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah! I mean I just did my taxes this weekend and the IRS website? I have to say ..
Jessamyn: Whatever the fuck about the IRS but if you search google
Jessamyn: I have to say, like, whatever the fuck about the IRS, but if you search Google and put irs.gov in there, you can find whatever form or thing you're looking for because a lot of their structure makes sense. Like I don't know if you could do it from the first page if you were going through and clicking, but like their stuff is indexed and you can actually, like, you know, I got to find the one page: "here's everything you need to know, filing taxes for a deceased person." And, you know, there's a lot of shit to know and it's all right there and it's not all PDFs you have to click on and whatever.
Jessamyn: So I appreciate good web design.
Jessamyn: And I just think this website is beautiful too. Three Quick Questions is a beautiful website.
Mathowie: I've actually sat in on actual hard-core usability testing done by Adaptive Path when they were doing stuff for Creative Commons, and we had to do things––this stuff is incredibly expensive.
Mathowie: We took out a Craigslist ad. No, I don't think we did it. I think there was a company––like Creative Commons is contracting Adaptive Path.
Mathowie: Adaptive Path contracts a survey company; the survey company places like a Craigslist ad saying: "hey, are you into like––I don't know––creative projects online? Do you want to test out a new website?" And then something like 10 people we got to show up. And we had to pay––I think the three tiers down had to pay the people I think twenty to fifty bucks to a hundred bucks maybe for like one hour of their time. I think it was maybe like fifty or a hundred. Because everyone that we talked to that was under thirty was like, oh, I just do this like once a month.
Mathowie: I just do this like once a month, you know, just to make a little extra lunch money, I work down the street.
Jessamyn: Right, right, right
Mathowie: Yeah. So, the great thing was, I'm like behind, whatever, bulletproof––two way glass or something and some testing. Watching someone use a site that you know like the back of your hand is so incredibly awesome and completely blows your mind because everything you thought was super obvious is not at all to anyone
Mathowie: Everything you thought was super obvious is not at all to anyone at all.
Mathowie: Like out of the ten people, all ten were confused for like a good minute. And we'd ask them questions like "What do you think the site's about?" and then we'd give them some tasks and like only about 20-30% could even start to pick up on the clues, so most of them are still completely confused. And so we do iterations; we do––I think we brought in five testers: everyone's confused. We change the UI overnight, run five more, and got better results.
Mathowie: But there's just so many things, and it's like, I've mentioned before that, like, when I... Each time, it's always an accountant, right, when I've had three or four different accountants over the last ten years, when they first load MetaFilter: "Oh, Metafilter - that's your main work? Oh, what's that? Oh, let me just pull it up." This is the greatest thing in the world, I just always want to record it for all time. They're just "Fwaah?" They're floored. They're just, like, "What? What is this? What am I? What... goes..."
Jessamyn: [Laughs] "I can't figure out what to do!"
Mathowie: "What do I...", yeah. Like, I see a lot...
Mathowie: "What am I... What... goes..."
Jessamyn: [Laughs] "I can't figure out what to do!"
Mathowie: "What do I...", yeah, Like, "I see a lot of stuff here, I have... I don't have a clue, just... ah... I've never seen a blue site before, first of all." And I'll be, "Oh, you click on..."
Jessamyn: Come on, Twitter's blue.
Mathowie: I know! "...Click on the little Comments thing." "Where? What? Wait? What? Oh. Wow! Jeez! That's like ten pixel font. What? You expect people to find that?" And then you know, that happens almost every time. So, five bucks for ten unknown people to try and answer a question, that's awesome.
Jessamyn: Three questions, man.
Mathowie: It's true. And then they pay people a quarter through Amazon- maybe they use Mechanical Turk or something. Somewhere there has to be profit, right? Like maybe it's a ten cents Mechanical Turk thing.
Jessamyn: Why don't we check the F A Q?
Mathowie: You wouldn't say- you wouldn't just say how they - they're pretty much like our testers, or like a, you know, unknown fog. Anyway,
Cortex: You know another project that I liked...
Cortex: Was a... [Laughs]
Jessamyn: What's wrong with vocabulary? It's like you're against learning.
Cortex: Vocabulary's great. It is.
Cortex: Words are the best. Without words, we couldn't have this podcast. Or at least it would involve a lot more grunting and gesturing.
Jessamyn: And that's really not fun.
Cortex: I liked this dumb little thing, and I can call it dumb because it's a friend of mine, Mr Zarquon...
Jessamyn: Oh, this was awesome! I loved this.
Cortex: made "BenderPDX, The Helpful Drinking Robot". It just...
Mathowie: Oh, yeah.
Cortex: He scrapes the Oregon Liquor Control Commission's weekly updates on new liquor licenses and new liquor establishments,
Cortex: and pipes them through bender who just mentions them on twitter as like, "hey, here's the new bars in Portland this week; destroy all humans." It's just a cute little hack, but I love it.
Jessamyn: Right, you can basically follow the twitter feed to figure out who's been, what is it, applying or approved?
Cortex: I think it might do both, but I don't remember exactly what's
Cortex: he was still playing around with it some last time I
Mathowie: You can use this for like new restaurants openings maybe too.
Jessamyn: I don't know if, do restaurants...
Jessamyn: Do restaurants need to be licensed in the same way?
Cortex: Well, yeah, you may... I don't know where you get the data necessarily...
Mathowie: (crosstalk)If you want to sell booze.
Cortex: A lot of restaurants, if they
Jessamyn: Well then you use... [missing audio?]
Mathowie: (Sheets, sheets(?))
Cortex: To some extent you can sort of get restaurant information from it because a lot of restaurants will apply for a limited on site license.
Mathowie: I see Schmeetza Pub and Grub. Is that Pizza Schmizza?
Cortex: I don't know, I wonder if that's related or not.
Mathowie: Whoah! You can get the actual... this is hot!
Jessamyn: You know what's awesome? It is so awesome.
Mathowie: Like, the actual PDF, like filled in by hand by the owner of...
Mathowie: the restaurant.
Jessamyn: It's amazing.
Mathowie: So where'd he find the API? Like where'd he find the data? It's so great.
Cortex: I don't know. I mean
Jessamyn: I think he's scraping it, right?
Cortex: ...it's data that OLCC(?) makes publicly available. So I think he just realized he could just do this and do a little work to translate it, so
Jessamyn: It'll get shut down soon enough, I'm sure
Mathowie: But the Bender-ness of it is funny for two seconds and then it's kind of annoying.
Jessamyn: Quick Robot Trivia question: What's Bender's the Robot's last name?
Mathowie: Nooo! What?
Jessamyn: Yes! I love that.
Mathowie: God, that's a good pub quiz question.
Mathowie: Alright, what other...
Jessamyn: Wait! One more. I also liked, oh no, I guess I mentioned this already. Forget it.
Jessamyn: I'm looking through the things I voted for and ah...
Cortex: While you're looking, I've got another one.
Jessamyn: Of course you do.
Mathowie: Where's the [indistinct]?
Cortex: Which is the... [laughs] it's the moon milk... I guess it's called the pentametron 2013?
Jessamyn: This is my other one!
Cortex: You want to talk about that?
Jessamyn: No no no, go ahead.
Cortex: I don't want to cut you off. But OK, well anyway...
Jessamyn: I'll do a lot more talking later.
Cortex: It scrapes the Twitter firehose, which is like, or, I think it's like the one percent of all tweets get sorta retweeted as this feed by Twitter as a public resource, and it scrapes them looking for tweets that work as...
Jessamyn: Oh, this wasn't the one...
Cortex: ...iambic pentameter.
Jessamyn: ...I was expecting.
Cortex: Oh, you're thinking of your own? Sweet.
Jessamyn: I like moonmilk's Instrument A Day thing, so go ahead.
Cortex: OK, awesome. OK, this, what it does it scrapes twitter for tweets that work as single lines of iambic pentameter, and then it creates, at the moment still unrhyming...
Jessamyn: Iambic pentameter, for those of you who don't know, is "ba-da-da ba-da-da ba-ba", right.
Cortex: "dabadabadaba", yeah, it's Shakespeare.
Jessamyn: "ba-da ba-da ba...", yeah.
Cortex: Ten syllable. And, you know, so, a sonnet is fourteen of those, with a rhyming scheme. This puts them together into sonnets without worrying about rhyming so far, 'cause they just don't have enough data. But yeah, it's awesome, because you get these crazy weird nonsense found sonnets that are really fantastic.
Mathowie: "Thank you the person who invented toast." "Dramatic transformation protocol." That's too many. Well, you know, still needs some tweaking.
Cortex: It's machine processed language, so ...
Mathowie: It's the new aesthetic.
Cortex: ...judging the correct meter of a tweet is a slightly difficult problem to do linguistically, so the system works pretty well, but every once in a while it might make a bad assumption when it can't really disambiguate the context of something, but all in all, it works pretty well, and if you're willing to work it, you can pretty much stretch anything with a bad rhyme, 'cause God knows, Shakespeare did.
Jessamyn: Hee! Yeah, I was talking about moonmilk's Instrument a Day February.
Cortex: I think I missed that entirely.
Jessamyn: Aaaaah, so good!
Cortex: Oh, nice!
Jessamyn: ...little, little instruments.
Mathowie: Whoah, moonmilk is ranj it! Oh, man.
Mathowie: Ranjit, yeah, like I've known him on ...
Jessamyn: Yeah, you know Ranjit.
Mathowie: ...on flickr for ten billion years- I didn't ever put those together.
Cortex: Worlds collide.
Jessamyn: Yeah! [makes a short sharp sound] The tiny sounds of a burning match may be my favorite one, and so the day two was maybe my favorite day, but there's a lot of really cool stuff,
Mathowie: This is...
Jessamyn: ...really cool stuff, cool creative stuff going on..
Mathowie: This is like building an instrument and then playing it...
Mathowie: ...each single day. From scratch. Oh, like with a 3D printer or laser cutter or something?
Jessamyn: I'm not sure what he has. You'd have to sort of follow along. He talks about it in his blog and then has pictures on the flickr, so they go together.
Mathowie: The 8-bit violin looks awesome, but clearly looks purposefully chunky.
Jessamyn: Right, well, 8-bit.
Cortex: It looks pretty sexy.
Jessamyn: Yeah, well I liked it. So that was moonmilk's other project...
Jessamyn: ...that I liked. So those were my projects. I don't know if I've seen any that's come across the jobs pipeline - it's all web this and python that, and...
Cortex: I've got a couple more projects that I can mention really quick.
Cortex: In the same sort of vein - SamsaBot, by willf, which is a markov text generator thing that starts with the text "As Gregor Samsa awoke", and then generates random conclusions to that with a markov. So like "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning to find..."
Jessamyn: Matt, do you know who Gregor Samsa is?
Mathowie: No, this is all [pops and buzzes(?)].
Cortex: He's the protagonist of "Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka.
Jessamyn: Wooooo! Liberal arts education!
Cortex: Shit yeah!
Cortex: He's the guy who turned into a cockroach in "The Metamorphosis".
Jessamyn: In "The Metamorphosis".
Cortex: So normally, "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from troubled dreams, he found he had turned into a cockroach."
Jessamyn: He was a bug!
Cortex: But instead this says stuff like "Gregor Samsa woke one morning to find our world taken over by a cult." or "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning..."
Jessamyn: Or "to find I didn't know the Titanic was real."
Cortex: "As Gregor Samsa awoke from a night of orgasm..."
Cortex: ...after orgasm, download free E-book...
Jessamyn: Aaaah! Stop! I live in New England!
Mathowie: Oh, god, that is horse_ebooks...
Cortex: So, yeah, that was pretty great. In sort of a similar vein, rottytooth put together the very odd looking contraption Drunk Eliza, which is just the classic...
Jessamyn: I saw that.
Cortex: Eliza chatbot from the 60s I think, when that thing was originally written, or something. But it uses a special environment in which the actual data within a program including the strings that make up a chat decay over time...
Cortex: ... so it just gets like really really really bad blackout drunk incoherent as a natural result of how the programming language itself works.
Cortex: So, that's really neat, I liked it.
Jessamyn: I was pretty confused by the whole thing, but I just enjoyed it because of the nonsense.
Cortex: Yeah, just run with the ride.
Mathowie: Sweet. So we just, what else is left? Just... Anything from Music to talk about at all?
Cortex: I do have a number of songs in Music.
Mathowie: Ah, well just...
Jessamyn: I had a...
Mathowie: ...paste them in and I'll play them, in bits.
Cortex: That could work.
Jessamyn: I have one special music ... just one special music story which was sort of an older ... oh, where is it? Was it older, actually? Hold on. Sorry, I'm loading the page.
Jessamyn: Which was actually from a year ago, but I don't think we highlighted it at the moment...
Jessamyn: and it's S&SRanch who's basically playing acoustic guitar accompanying a poem about his old sick dog and I had a couple of friends who had to put dogs down in the last couple of weeks...
Jessamyn: ...and it's always sad and terrible and what can you say, you know it's just upsetting. But I sent them both the link to this song, and both of them just thought it was nice.
Music: "Some say he is a mix of pit bull and doberman I say that he's a Rhodesian Ridgeback mutt It doesn't matter much now though what the big red dog might be
Music: He's old and he's sick and he's dying He still wants to chase a ball but can't So I pull him close to me and remind him of the glory of his youth that he's still....
Jessamyn: I know on Ask Metafilter there's often people being "Waaahhh! I gotta put my pet down." or "My friend had to, and I'm not sure what to do or say or RRRRR!" and so I just wanted to give a big shoutout to s&sranch for this really nice song, and the poem he did last year, which was appreciated by my friends this year.
Cortex: Well, I can talk up the few songs I picked out as a quick Metafilter Music Minute here, if we want.
Cortex: OK, so there was...
Jessamyn: Wait, what?
Mathowie: Let me...
Jessamyn: What are you "crap"ing about?
Mathowie: They're trying to bring the Linux server back up, but something's wrong, and now I'm getting Metafilter with no CSS, so we might get a billion support emails now.
Cortex: Oh, sweet.
Jessamyn: I'm getting Metafilter with CSS, I don't know what's wrong...
Cortex: It might be caching it for you or something.
Mathowie: Oh, yeah yeah yeah, it caches for like an hour or two, so...
Cortex: Well, we'll see what happens there.
Mathowie: Best of Music. Go.
Cortex: Doo-doo-doo-doo! Metafilter Music minute... Chococat had a really nice song called "Kevin is Lonely" about...
Music: He sticks his middle finger up at his mom He sits alone at an empty table He wrote a letter then threw it away He doesn't care if the door...
Cortex: Kevin, who is lonely. And it's chococat,
Jessamyn: He is such a talent.
Cortex: I feel like I don't have to say anything else. It's great. CarrotAdventure
Jessamyn: All his stuff is amazing.
Cortex: CarrotAdventure did this fun noodly electric arpeggiation thing called "Wurlitzer Epitaph".
Music: ♪electronic music♪
Cortex: ...that I really enjoyed.
Jessamyn: I just like those two words together.
Cortex: It's a good title.
Jessamyn: (to the tune of Buffalo Soldier) Wurlitzer Epitaph! In the heart of America!
Cortex: It would totally be like great segue music for like a 1970s 16mm science film strip.
Jessamyn: (more Buffalo Soldier, quietly) oy yoy yoy, oy yoy-yoy yoy...
Cortex: It would be like, the best. [laughs]
Mathowie: I don't think Music...
Mathowie: I don't think any Music songs are going to work because they're on that server. Sorry.
Jessamyn: Music songs, Matt?
Mathowie: Heh. Music songs. (under cortex) Mefi [unintelligible].
Cortex: Anyone listening to the podcast as we record it, don't try and listen to this stuff we're mentioning, in passing.
Mathowie: Right. This means you, TSA!
Cortex: Infidel Zombie, his band, Red on Strike, that I've liked for a long time, are putting out a new album, so he's been posting some stuff and there's a nice sort of slinky bluesy vampy thing called "Lover's Slide" that's one of the new ones they've posted.
Music: slinky bluesy vampy music♪ Sometimes, when you're going out to play you see us Running up and down the street Some guys, well you know what I'm saying... ♪music fades out♪
Cortex: Uh, unsane did a really great cover of The Postal Service song Such Great Heights which has been covered to death.
Mathowie: No way!
Cortex: But his version is really nice. He managed to do something a little bit different with the phrasing and the harmonics work out really well. I came to really like that.
Music: guitar version of Such Great Heights♪ I... I think that it's a sign... The freckles in our eyes are mirror images And when we kiss they're perfectly aligned And I have to speculate ♪fade out♪
Cortex: Dacre, who I think I've... or deck-ra... I don't know how he pronounces his user name...
Jessamyn: It's D-a-c-r-e?
Cortex: ...D-a-c-r-e. Yeah.
Jessamyn: I say "decree"!
Cortex: Sure, sounds good to me.
Jessamyn: Because I have to mispronounce stuff every now and again too.
Cortex: He posted a song called "El amor es un juego"...
Cortex: ..."love is a game".
Jessamyn: [exaggerated Spanish whispering] juego. juego.
Music: ♪synth-y music with autotune♪ Esto es todo lo que quiero Quiero el verano No quiero años pero... ♪fade out♪
Cortex: Which is part of the four chords...
Cortex: ...challenge, which is what we did in March. The music challenge was to do a song with those four chords - the classic big four pop song and rock song chords. Whatever that parody band did - the epic collection of songs that all use that, that they did a medley of. But anyway, it's really classic chord progression, and so we all tried to make songs using it. Which is not very hard - half the songs I write use it anyway.
Mathowie: Can you hum it?
Cortex: You can't really hum the progression, but you know the song "With Or Without You" by U2?
Cortex: The chord sequence in that?
Mathowie: [sings the chords from "With or Without You]
Jessamyn: [Sings the beginning of "All I Want is You" by U2] "You say, you want..." That one?
Mathowie: (still going "bom bom bom bom...")
Cortex: Uh... "With or with out you, with or without you... I can't live... with or with out you..."
Jessamyn: [in reference to "All I Want is You"] No, that's the other one. [over Cortex] "DIAMONDS INSTEAD OF..."
Cortex: I think you've...
Cortex: I think that's a different song.
Cortex: Anyway, listen to the songs, you'll... The point is that you'll
Jessamyn: All the U2 songs are kind of the same.
Cortex: You can check out the four chords challenge for all the songs that are in there and it'll become very obvious what the four chords are soundwise even if you don't know any music...
Cortex: theory, it's like "oh, yeah", it's that sort of... because it's a very effective...
Jessamyn: I probably know four chords. I should have entered this.
Cortex: You probably know these four chords, so, yeah. You can always enter late, you know, there's no real time limit. You can always put something in.
Jessamyn: Maybe I can...
Cortex: And there was one other song that I liked - fingersoffire posted something called "Thunder Without Rain" which is this nice sorta mid-tempo poppy country-ish rock thing.
Music: sorta mid-tempo poppy country-ish rock music♪ ...in the night but we stumbled over dawn And I don't really miss her but sometimes I still find the
Music: mind wandering. Even though the rain has stopped maybe somewhere it's still thundering [drum solo] Once I forgot to call her when I promised so I bought her some flowers instead... ♪fade out♪
Cortex: Which is also off a new album that he's been posting stuff. After disappearing - he'd posted on music four, five years ago [or] something, and then he just fell of the face of the earth as far as that goes. And then he's got an album out, and he's been posting stuff and it's really great, so.
Jessamyn: It looks like he moved to Brooklyn.
Cortex: That would do it.
Jessamyn: [Laughs] Cool.
Cortex: He can [album out here?] So there's your Metafilter Music.
Jessamyn: Thanks, Josh!
Jessamyn: And now I feel I need to mention the Wikipedian in Residence job at Consumer Reports. Because I'm on the Board of the Wikimedia Foundation advisory board...
Jessamyn: Which, I don't know what that means, but it just looked like kind of a cool job and they've probably filled it by now, but it pays real money and you get to fuck around with Wikipedia and Consumer Reports, both of which seem awesome.
Cortex: That's pretty sweet. There's also, we mentioned adrianhon's game, but they're looking for an Android developer to develop it and keep it up to date over there, so if you are an Android developer and want to be involved in adrianhon's awesome game, maybe check that out.
Jessamyn: Hoh hoh hwaah. And adrianhon is really a prince among men.
Mathowie: I have a feeling they filled that position because they sent out an update to all owners of that app...
Mathowie: saying "it's going to come any day soon!", so it's like...
Cortex: Sweet, well, what I meant to say was "you snooze, you lose, suckers!"
Mathowie: I hope it wasn't a put-on, right- "We'll eventually hire someone and finish this stupid thing."
Cortex: Oh, and in a smaller scale, cjorgensen needs a caricature drawn.
Cortex: So I guess if you're a caricature type, get a hold of him. He's offering $81.
Mathowie: I think cjorgensen likes roller skates. [laughs] You'll just have to make a picture of him roller skating. [typing noises]
Cortex: I have a feeling he would consider accepting that. But yeah...
Mathowie: Who doesn't like roller skates?
Cortex: I don't know of any other jobs that...
Mathowie: Oh, man! [pause] IRL has been bumping lately, man!
Jessamyn: No joke!
Mathowie: Like in Portland, there seems there's three things a week now!
Mathowie: There's a lunch, there's a pub quiz, and there's occasional bar nights.
Cortex: That's what it is, it's the lunch and the quiz thing - we've been doing trivia, well, "we" have gone to it once, but I was no help. The trivia's been sort of a weekly thing. The lunch thing we've been doing for the last month now, which just sort of came together because...
Jessamyn: So that's your Metafilter Lunch thing that you were doing?
Cortex: Yeah! We just go to lunch somewhere, you know? And we've been meeting downtown and having lunch at like twelve o'clock or whatever, and it's been really nice. It's like a short constrained thing. We all need to eat anyway, so why not hang out and do it somewhere tasty? So.
Jessamyn: What day of the week is that?
Cortex: It's been like...
Cortex: Tuesday or Wednesday. It shifts a little bit with people's schedules.
Mathowie: It's usually, yeah, Wednesday-ish.
Cortex: And then yeah, we still get together on weekends to drink sometimes too.
Mathowie: Yeah, I've just been...
Cortex: I mean, converse.
Mathowie: [laughs] I have my nearest IRL event set to like two hundred miles, so it includes all the way up to Seattle, and it's like, I'm getting nightly emails several times a week, going "There's something going on!" You know, like "y2karl wants to go bowling", and "there's lunch!", and...
Cortex: Well, that's great, because you can just do that, and that's the thing, and it's not like we suddenly had some influx of new meetup people in Portland, we just realized "Hey, you know, if we're thinking about maybe doing a thing, well, put it on IRL and do it and..." So if your city...
Jessamyn: This organisational tool works as good as any other.
Cortex: Yeah. It's kind of perfect for what it does. So, if you're thinking "Man, I wish there were more meetups in my town", just start posting meetups and you know, if there's literally a vacuum of interest, no-one will show up and you're back where you started, but if people might want to go, boom! Now they know there's a thing. So.
Cortex: So, yeah. I think it's a good idea.
Jessamyn: And we found a bug in IRL that actually led me to have a very small meetup in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Jessamyn: Or, we didn't find a bug, but someone who was trying to have a meetup in Knoxville and was finding that the Meetup thing didn't match, they're like "I type in Knoxville and I get this other town", and I was like "What? Wait a second, I'm going to be in Knoxville!" And we had a perfectly delightful meetup there, which was really cool. Which was... oh, now I can't remember her actual username.
Jessamyn: [singsong] La la la la la, and I know her real name, but I don't know if she cares if her real name is linked to her username... Talk amongst yourselves, I'll figure it out.
Cortex: [unintelligible] Well, you know, speaking of donuts...
Jessamyn: "Linked by," "show new"... workerant!
Mathowie: All right.
Jessamyn: She is great. She and her husband run a motorcycle parts company out of the hills outside of Knoxville. Right in the Smokeys. And it's...
Jessamyn: ...wicked cool. She's really, really cool.
Mathowie: That's an actual thing people can do, still? That's awesome.
Jessamyn: Yeah! I mean, she could probably use some more health insurance and... but, yeah, no, it was cool. We went out, and I got to see birds and and got to see the sunset over the Smokeys, sort of, and it was really cool. So, thanks, IRL, for being just a little broken so I could meet this person.
Mathowie: [laughs] Serendipity!
Jessamyn: And pb of course fixed it like five minutes before it broke anyhow.
Mathowie: Serendipity. Alright, so we should probably go to Metafilter and Ask Metafilter.
Jessamyn: Doo-doo-dooo! Metafilter! Ask Metafilter!
Jessamyn: How's the server? Doo-doooo...
Mathowie: Still down! I'm freaking out slightly... Come on!
Jessamyn: Freaking out slightly's OK. When does pb get back?
Mathowie: He's on the road! He's in the middle of like northern California right now. Like tonight maybe, sometime?
Jessamyn: Awww. Poor old pb.
Mathowie: Oh! He had to call me on his...
Jessamyn: Is that why I can't see a picture of myself?
Mathowie: He called... Yep. He called on his wife's cell phone because he dropped his iPhone in the toilet like yesterday.
Jessamyn: How does that happen?
Mathowie: I don't know! I'd say shirt pocket, maybe leaned over? I don't know - how does that... because I've never done it before.
Jessamyn: I dropped a camera in the toilet once, and that was due to bad camera holster habits. Does that mean pb gets a new one?
Mathowie: I don't... yeah, I mean, I think from Apple...
Mathowie: I think Apple charges a hundred and fifty bucks for a replacement phone when you [unintelligible]
Jessamyn: That's not terrible.
Cortex: pb gets a thirteen year old Nokia flip phone.
Jessamyn: [laughs] Yeah!
Cortex: Use that for a month, and then think about what you...
Mathowie: Ha! Ha!
Cortex: Use that for a month and then think about what you
Cortex: .. what you do to take ...
Jessamyn: Chew on rocks!
Cortex: Yeah. Matt and Josh laugh.
Jessamyn: Well. Metafilter. There was a lot to enjoy about Metafilter in the last two (2) months.
Jessamyn: Here's one by a usual favorite of mine. Which was basically little short videos about DIY crafts-people. Who do things like carve rocks, make honey, build cars, and do ornamental glass and printing stuff by Bora Horza Gobuchul. I enjoyed this very much! I watched some of the videos and I have the rest of them queued for later.
Cortex: Oh man! I want to make a swordguard by hand. It would be totally sweet.
Jessamyn: It takes a lot of work, but you can totally do it! I mean that's the thing about a lot of these crafts is you can TOTALLY do it, it's just hard. But it's not impossible.
Cortex: Yeah. I liked. This would have been just a couple of days after we recorded the last podcast. This is something Waxy was working on a while ... Playfic.
Mathowie: Oh yeah.
Cortex: Which is interactive fiction.
Jessamyn: Oh yeah! I didn't really know what that was. Uh-huh.
Cortex: It's basically.. it's like the old infocom games where ahh.. text adventures. The languages for those are very well documented at this point. There's lots of run-time environments where you can write in them and then run games. And Andy basically took that and built a sort of community of writing around it so you can go there and write like entirely on the web. You don't have to install an interpreter or anything. You just go to the website and sign up for an account and start writing a text adventure. It's got some sort of walk-throughs on how to do basic stuff with this language and all of these sharing tools so other people can play your game and you have this place that's actually made specifically for people to share in this experience in sort of developing and playing this stuff, which is really great! And there's been interactive fiction stuff on Metafilter before so I know there's at least a handful of people on the site who are sort of ga-ga for this sort of thing. I am certainly a big fan of it. It was just a really neat idea and he made it happen.
Mathowie: Yeah it's something he's been working on in the background for about a year or two. He's had the idea for a long time but he really wanted to make it. So he didn't really have to write code at all? I think if you go down to some of the tutorials and look at the actual source it's like a text file. If you just structure your text file in a certain way somehow magically makes it work.
Cortex: What it is, in form seven (7) specifically is the language that does it. It's actually a programming language but it's very carefully structured.
Cortex: Very carefully structured to be sort of natural language so when you are coding you're mostly describing things in what are sort of actual English sentences.
Cortex: You are not using weird looking mark up for like: colon equals underscore (;=_) whatever. You're saying more like: In the room there is a box. On the box is an apple.
Mathowie: And it figures it out, yeah.
Cortex: And it knows enough basic objects that it can assign default properties to things. So if you put something... if you say something is ON something else the game will automatically know the thing that it is on is a surface.
Cortex: you know, and it will give it some assumptions like that so you can set up other things on it and take something off of it. So it's neat! It's not perfect, but as a, nothing-is, and as a way to get into the stuff quickly without having to sit down and spend a lot of brain power figuring out an arcane language. It's pretty great. That's super neat!
Mathowie: Yeah I asked Andy ... what is like .. so it's been out for a few months ... like hey what's the initial launch press has sort of died down.
Mathowie: What's the leading breakout stars of the Playfic world?
Jessamyn: Porn? Porn? Porn? Is the answer porn?
Mathowie: No. He said .. no it's not .. Dr. Who fan fiction!
Mathowie: ... which should not be confused with Slashfic because I was like...
Cortex: Yeah, it would
Mathowie: oh! Well then someone has sex with Harry Potter and the doctor or something but no that's not it at all.
Cortex: No. Just Fanfic.
Mathowie: Fanfic of walking through the whatever .. I am not a Doctor Who person .. was it Tardis or something?
Cortex: Well that's great, 'cause that's...
Cortex: That is a perfect sort of setting because you can have sort of weird adventurous archaeology and strange connections between places because it's Doctor Who! Anything can fucking happen, so.
Jessamyn: Right! He's a Time Lord!
Cortex: Because it...
Mathowie: Right. Suddenly you're in a dinosaur cave, blah!
Cortex: Because that's sort of a challenge with interactive fiction... is you're in one sense trying to use very much a descriptive sort of intuitive real world place and the code is designed to provide a certain amount of reality to help basic object interact and stuff. But at the same time, it's impossible to really elaborately simulate reality so you're really more going for metaphorical story telling
Cortex: When you've got an environment that lends itself to a little bit of whimsy like that, that seems actually like a really smart ...
Jessamyn: Or Leather Goddesses of Phobos!
Cortex: Oh yes, classic.
Jessamyn: I was playing that again a couple of months ago
Jessamyn: .. and was like, "This is so weird and fun! Why did I stop playing this twenty-five, thirty years ago??
Cortex: You know, a hop and a skip from that but Al Lowe is kickstarting a reboot of Leisure Suit Larry.
Jessamyn: I totally saw that!
Jessamyn: Oh my God I totally saw that!
Cortex: I need to start a blog where I just document which random beloved franchise from fifteen or twenty years ago is bring rebooted by the original creators and that I paid fifteen dollars to buy a copy of when it comes out today. Cause it's like.. it's been a daily thing lately. There's a ton of it. This is amazing! It's like my entire childhood is coming back to life in the best possible way.
Jessamyn: I know! I know!
Mathowie: It's all kickstarter, right?
Cortex: Yeah it's been ...
Mathowie: Like since I enabled the social features of kickstarter, I get an email when someone I know funds anything. And now it's like...
Jessamyn: (Laughing) It's all: Matt posts... Matt funds this. Jason Scott funds this.
Jessamyn: That's my whole social thread on kickstarter.
Mathowie: I've seen like three or four games in the last week. I've never... you know, I haven't heard of since the Eighties. I never played, but like all coming back. Including that one.
Jessamyn: Right! Yes! Very cool!
Cortex: We've now gotten our first contact form complaining about it too.
Mathowie: I know! That's so ..
Jessamyn: I just wrote back.
Mathowie: I was writing back, too!
Mathowie: Oh, let's just make it a trifecta.
Jessamyn: Matt you sometimes need to see if other people have written back to see if we ... before you write back.
Mathowie: Oh I, [unintelligible]
Cortex: It's a little bit tricky because the lag thing. Like if we both started writing back before anybody knew anybody else had seen the email. I have that problem every once in a while where I'll write something and you've clearly... you wrote it a minute ago but it didn't get to me until a minute after I hit send on mine.
Jessamyn: Yeah! You have that funny gmail lag. I always sort of wonder why that is.
Mathowie: Who me?
Jessamyn: I don't have that problem with Matt's email
Jessamyn: Or anybody else's but yours is always a little behind.
Jessamyn: Do you use like Thunderbird or something like that, that only checks for mail every so often?
Cortex: No, no. I use the straight up gmail web interface. I would say maybe it was fowrarding from another account. But I think the address we are using on the list is actually THIS address, so that should not be an issue, either.
Jessamyn: Triple N Cortex?
Jessamyn: I dunno.
Cortex: I think gmail just hates me, is what it is. J: Aww the whoopins. I stole it's girlfriend or something.
Jessamyn: Here was the thing that I came to post to Metafilter and somebody had already posted? Was the animated map of current wind in The United States.
Jessamyn: It's just a single link. Click it and watch the wind move around.
Cortex: It is really great.
Jessamyn: .. and go, "Whoah!"
Cortex: I missed that and Angela pointed that out to me, actually. And that was going to go on my list of things to mention.
Jessamyn: The only thing that is bad about it, is that all anybody says is, "Whoah..." You know? Like there's not much talk about.
Jessamyn: It's just awesome!
Cortex: Well yeah you see everything right away. I mean there's not a whole lot else to it. But it's pretty great. It's got daily archives, too, so you can look for wind patterns on days where there was weather.
Mathowie: (In a dooming voice) All right. My favorite favorites for Metafilter! J: (Laughs)
Jessamyn: If this is just going to be like the weird podcast? Then I want to talk about my hairball post, which was awesome!
Cortex: Do it!
Jessamyn: It was the perfect post. You guys ever see Anthony Jeselnik? He does stand up and he's really funny?
Cortex: I don't think so.
Jessamyn: He has like this really sick joke that's very sick but funny? And part of the reason he's totally annoying is he tells the joke and then people are like, "Ahhh! It's awful!" And then he just stands there and he's like: That joke is perfect.
Jessamyn: And like that becomes part of the joke, so ... my disgusting hairball post I think is also .. maybe perfect.
Mathowie: Dude! In people? Ugh.
Jessamyn: It's so cool.
Mathowie: I love the name! Wha.. how do you SAY that? (Word: bezoar) BEE-zar?
Jessamyn: I think beh-ZOAR?
Mathowie: That sounds like metal
Jessamyn: I say BEZ-whar and that's wrong.
Mathowie: Oh. No. BEE-zoar .. (repeated over and over again by everyone) It sounds like a metal cover band! BEZOAR!
Jessamyn: So basically they are like hairballs that grow in the stomachs of people and animals. They are not even hairballs. They're like chunks of things.
Cortex: Impacted stuff.
Jessamyn: And people used to think they could get rid of poison and interestingly - the part that was REALLY interesting that wasn't the gross-out aspect of this post, was that actually they CAN take like a little bit of arsenic out of liquids. Like some of them can actually do some of this stuff because of what's in them. So the things that we used to think were true about them in ancient times actually turned out to be a little true.
Jessamyn: Plus they're wicked gross!
Mathowie: (Laughs) I want to do a google image search for bezoars.
Mathowie: BEZOAR ! (laughing)
Jessamyn: Don't !
Mathowie: (still laughing) This is amazing! This is so amazing!
Jessamyn: I told you. It's perfect.
Mathowie: (whispering)Ah. It's so gross.
Jessamyn: I'm usually pretty, you know, pretty modest. But.. it's perfect.
Mathowie: Just a recent one, was the .. did you watch the hand-made pipe thing? A guy who makes ..
Jessamyn: I skip all the pipe ones because I assume it's spammers and I just don't want to know about it.
Jessamyn: But cthuljew is not a spammer, so I should have looked at this.
Mathowie: This is like a guy who hand-makes smoking pipes for fine men, uh I guess..
Mathowie: And it's just this insanely exhaustive .. if I said there were two hundred (200) images I would be underestimating it.
Mathowie: He must have taken a photo every forty (40) seconds for eight(8) hours of building up this pipe from scratch and like doing every single ....
Jessamyn: Oh! The PHOTOS are beautiful!
Mathowie: Yeah and as someone else mentioned ..
Jessamyn: I'm looking at them now.
Mathowie: Yeah as someone else mentioned - was it fake? Fake mentioned it. When you are making stuff and you know how to make every aspect of something and you want to document it? It's so hard to STOP like every thirty (30) seconds and take a beautifully lit photo.
Mathowie: Like, you just want to go to the next step. You just want to keep going.
Cortex: Yeah, just get it done.
Mathowie: This person must have done something to themselves to force themselves. Maybe they had a friend take the photos cause it's just insanely documented. This one pipe's creation.
Jessamyn: That's amazing!
Mathowie: And it's not even like, in the end, it's not a very useful pipe. Like it's too short and I'm sure the whole burning of stuff isn't right. Like it's so tight. But if you look at the gallery.. there is a gallery at the top.
Mathowie: If you click on pipes you get the gallery and of course he does some awesome Gandalf-looking ones out of a single piece of wood. Wizard pipes.
Mathowie: They're beautiful. I don't even smoke anything and I want one of these wizard pipes.
Jessamyn: (in a dooming voice) The pipe of the Blue Cobra !
Mathowie: And then the thread broke into, like, "Ah! Here's these other custom pipe makers! They are even better" ..and stuff. And they are ALL equally amazing.
Jessamyn: Neat! That's really cool.
Jessamyn: I enjoyed nerds at their finest ... oh I am sorry Josh, did you ..?
Cortex: No. Go for it! I've got stuff, but uh ..
Jessamyn: In the logical fallacies ... An illustrated guide to common logical fallacies
Jessamyn: So it's one of those datavis nerd dog whistles
Jessamyn: Right? Because of course it starts out about logical fallacies but then of course every one starts talking about .. cause it's like, "Hey there is a worked example of how this is used against Cardinal Keith O'Brien's article against gay marriage!
Jessamyn: But, it stayed pretty interestingly on topic instead of 'Bluh-bluh, Invisible Sky Monster', you know, stupid stuff. It turned out to be a really neat, fun, nerdy thread and one of the reasons I kind of like talkin' to people on this web site.
Cortex: I am glad to hear that. I'll go back and check it out. I stayed the fuck away from it because I have, like, no, I have no faith that it would be anything other than something that would drive me fuckin' crazy. So I did not even dip my toe in.
Jessamyn: I mean, it may still drive you fucking crazy. But, it wasn't bad like I thought it was going to be bad.
Mathowie: Yeah. Every time I review the Rhetorical Fallacies, I'm reminded of, like, you know, a recent problem interaction with a human, I go 'Ah, there's a name for what they are going to pull on me. Ah, that's right, i forgot about', like everyone knows the obvious ones like Straw Man and Ad Homonym, but some of these weird ones,
Mathowie: it's almost like a Wikipedia page for the kind of cons that are run against people...
Mathowie: ...like the classic con, where you're like "Wow, that's... there's a name for that? Like I had no idea.
Cortex: Yeah, it's neat that there's a vocabulary for it. It's one of those things where actually I feel like I think it's great that people know the vocabulary for it, and at the same time I never ever want to hear someone mention it, because I know it almost never shows up in a good... Like I'm trying to think of the last time a conversation I was having was improved by someone breaking out the Latin name for a fallacy.
Cortex: Even if they're right, even if there is fallacious reasoning going on...
Jessamyn: They're often right, but so what, right, exactly...
Cortex: It doesn't make the conversation better to name the fallacy - you know, make a substantive rebuttal or something, or explain something better. You know, don't just like, "Oh, well, I can tell you what's...
Cortex: ...wrong with you in Latin, you know, it doesn't... No one's like "Oh God, you're right. You're right... in Latin!"
Jessamyn: No-one on this planet, no.
Cortex: Speaking of nerds...
Jessamyn: [laughs] Were we? Were we?
Cortex: I really liked a post about how to host a...
Cortex: dungeon, which I feel like I don't... I feel like I talked about this podcast, but this happened after the last podcast by weeks, so must not have.
Jessamyn: So it's impossible.
Cortex: Yeah. So apparently I've just effused elsewhere about this. But it's like a twenty-nine page long PDF. You can buy a smaller version...
Jessamyn: Oh, you know you talked about something really like this, though!
Cortex: See, maybe I did talk about this somehow out of order?
Jessamyn: What the [inaudible] Why is that?
Cortex: I don't know, I think I learned about this here...
Jessamyn: Did we talk about it?
Cortex: Maybe. Maybe we were just bullshitting.
Mathowie: Oh, Wait, you guys had a podcast...
Cortex: Yeah, but that was February Fifteenth.
Mathowie: Oh. M: Oh, it was ... C: So I don't know maybe we talked about it. Anyway the short version of this is a really neat sort of Dungeon Evolution game. So it's sorta like the laying the architecture down for what people would then maybe play D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) in. Like instead of playing D&D, you're playing what is the geological .....
Jessamyn: Oh! We talked about The Tome of Awesome ...
Cortex: Oh! Okay!
Jessamyn: (Laughing) Which is similar. .. but not at all the same.
Cortex: Yeah. That could almost be commentary on this, oh yeah. It's a really neat thing, it's fun to play with.
Cortex: If you are a big D & D nerd you would love How to Host a Dungeon and can play the free version. You just need some dice and some tracing paper. So go check it out! It's awesome but I could talk about it for a hour and that is not a good idea, so.
Mathowie: (Chuckles) Man that's awesome. I loved, loved, loved this produce crate label post from February? I don't think you guys mentioned them the last podcast. It was probably like a few days before that podcast.
Jessamyn: Oh! By filthy light thief! Yes. This was beautiful!
Jessamyn: Oh, by filthy light thief, yes, this was beautiful...
Mathowie: Yeah! And if you look at The Boston Public Library's huge flickr pile of awesome labels. This was one.
Jessamyn: Boston Public Library has the best flickr of ALL the libraries. Really. Like everything there is interesting. The Molasses Flood pictures...
Jessamyn: ...them and the Smithsonian are like neck and neck. But the Boston Public Library has been pulling ahead recently.
Mathowie: Holy crap this was hanging in my house while growing up. One of these ... HOLY CRAP! Ummm...
Jessamyn: Which one?
Mathowie: The, ...the last one.
Jessamyn: Oh! Beautiful! Pla--centia.
Mathowie: Because Placentia is where I was born and grew up and that... I think it's gold leaf, that orange on the outside? That square border? I think this thing... This is one of the many stupid hobbies my Dad had...
Mathowie: ...was collecting... This is a... As I re-paid off my college debt-- you know a few years ago, my parents had no money for college for me because my Dad had these ridiculous collections when I was a kid. It was stupid stuff that was expensive. Somewhat expensive. So he was WAY into orange crate labels, like
Mathowie: Like we were in Southern California. You could actually get into old warehouses and see piles of these things sitting around for the last fifty years and you just pick them up and sell them, but he would also sell and trade and some of these were a hundred bucks, fifty bucks, ten bucks each, not in the greatest condition these are all in pretty good .. the scanned ones that Boston did are great.
Mathowie: But this is just a wonderful awesome, awesome round up of like a billion different kinds of crate labels' designers. The design is insane, too, when you just look at them.
Jessamyn: Right, well it's great sort of product design back when product design was like ... a BIG creative thing, sort of in that classic format that I think a lot of people really enjoy.
Mathowie: But it's almost like pointless design, right? Like this went on the side of a box that most customers never saw, you might see it below the produce aisle, like nearly on side of the produce aisle...
Jessamyn: That's what's so great about it!
Mathowie: I know! It's like... I don't know. It's like the inside of a battery compartment.
Jessamyn: It's like people who used to do window painting and window design like all that supermarket circular kind of stuff. It's similar.
Mathowie: Yeah, that's true. Yeah, it's crazy! It's a crazy world. Very nice.
Jessamyn: (laughs) It is a little crazy.
Cortex: I liked this little post about the Sheboygan, Wisconsin police scanner. It's just a silly little thing, but it's a twitter account that tries to tweet everything that comes across the police scanner in Sheboygan Wisconsin.
Jessamyn: I skipped that entirely. Tell me more about it (laughing)
Cortex: Ohh .. it's literally all it sounds like. The post also includes a link to sort of cherry picking some of the funnier or weirder things in it. But, it's just, you know, somebody apparently is transcribing the Sheboygan police scanner stuff. That led to a little bit of conversation in the thread about police scanners in general and to some extent, not the fact that the bigger the town the less fun it is to listen to a police scanner.
Cortex: Yeah, I just thought it was a nice little thing.
Mathowie: I love these when they have Twitter as their output for any goofy concept net artpiece. I mean even if you don't want to read the thread you can just go to the Twitter stream and figure it out in thirty seconds.
Cortex: Yeah. It seems like one of the better uses of Twitter, actually.
Mathowie: Like what? "New gas meter is hissing". That was in the report on Eastman Street.
Jessamyn: You know, I've actually been reading this week a book about that's all Bar Harbor police report stuff that was sort of accumulated and put together--by a Metafilter member, actually--during the eighties. And it does give you a feel of what was important to the community. I mean it's all like, "Wildlife out of control". And he's grouped it so there's like one chapter that's all about like skunk attacks and raccoon attacks and, you know, errant woodpeckers and some of them's about people who fell from heights and who fell from the highest heights in the eighties and stuff like that?
Jessamyn: That kind of stuff is like, you know how there are those history books that have .. they are all made of kind of postcards from a long time ago. Like, "It's the history of whatever!" Like tiny town this that or the other. I feel like somebody could start putting those together from just assembling police logs from various sections.
Jessamyn: Because every time I read this book I just want to [typing sounds] .. looking it up ... I just want to like go to my own newspaper and like start writing down all the crazy police blotter stuff because it's interesting. It give you like a weird sense of the place.
Jessamyn: You guys don't have police blotter in your paper, do you?
Mathowie: Oh yeah. I mean I only occasionally look at it,but it's always depressing. (laughs)
Cortex: I found out when I saw that post that I could listen to the Portland Police scanner just on the web, so I tried that. But yeah, I heard some guy was threatening to jump off a bridge I was like, "Yeah this is a good way to spend my time."
Cortex: But speaking of getting a sense of places, there was a post about sort of a funny thing, it was a, you know, favorability poll which is like: How much do people like or dislike various states.
Jessamyn: Oh! I remember this thread.
Cortex: But I specifically like the comment in it, because that one about, you know, everyone looks up their state and talks about it or whatever, but then .. I don't know what her username is supposed to be .. kagredon? .. But anyway it talked about how
Cortex: Well I'll just read the comment: "A few years ago, my boyfriend and I were bored at school (one of us was waiting for a class or something? I don't know) and we somehow decided to channel this towards Googling "Fuck [State Name]" for each and every state in the union. Then we put it in a table. Then we looked up the populations of each state and calculated the per capita results." And she's got a link to it so it's the "per capita fuck your state name" results across all the states in the Union. It's not scientific or anything, but it is kinda hilarious. So I thought that was a nice elaboration.
Mathowie: So Washington is actually the worst and California is actually is the best? If I am reading this correctly?
Cortex: Well, it depends upon how you look at it I guess. I mean there's ...
Jessamyn: California has the highest population.
Mathowie: Right so they have the lowest per capita.
Jessamyn: Yeah. But like Vermont's per capita is fairly high but you know Vermont is awesome.
Mathowie: Yeah. Hawaii also.
Jessamyn: So... so...
Cortex: But the problem of what produces the actual statements like "Fuck" Washington is probably, you know, a lot of these things may be driven by sports?
Jessamyn: [Laughs] We don't have sports.
Cortex: A lot of them maybe driven by other conflations. Washington vs. Washington DC you know, googling the distinction there may be difficult, so.
Mathowie: Oh, yeah.
Cortex: So if there's a lot of people who hate the fuckin' Red Skins, that's maybe going to tarnish Washington state's name totally unjustifiably.
Jessamyn: The hell you say?
Cortex: I am not saying they should.
Cortex: I am just saying they might.
Jessamyn: [whispering] Racist. Oh right. And the Native Americans as well, yes. I had this felt v-neck Redskins jersey as a kid that I loved the shit out of,
Cortex: ...out of, and I was probably... looked like an idiot in it, but I loved it so much. And I just remembered that, so there you go.
Jessamyn: Pics. Pics please.
Cortex: Stories of of my childhood.
Jessamyn: Pics please, pics or gtfo.
Cortex: I'd love to find a picture of that actually...
Cortex: I don't know if I have any.
Jessamyn: I had some Washington Redskins boxer shorts in college, but I was not quite as enamoured of them.
Cortex: I just, I don't know, I just liked it. It was my first comfort clothing that I can remember, so...
Jessamyn: Your first wubby? My First Wubby?
Mathowie: My first wubby was when fleece was invented...
Mathowie: when I was a kid, like in 1983, I got like a fleece jacket. I wore it every day for like three years.
Jessamyn: Matt, you have made the statement about fleece jackets that I...
Mathowie: Oh, yeah.
Jessamyn: ...bring up all the time - that you get a new one every year because
Mathowie: I have two cats.
Jessamyn: some people look at you and say "Oh, you have cats!"
Mathowie: Then it's time to get a new fleece jacket.
Mathowie: I don't do that methodically any more, but yeah, I used to... because I'd have to get the tall version from REI, and it's a special order...
Mathowie: for tall or extra long sleeves, so like once a year I'd have to order a like seventy dollar fleece jacket to wear around the house until it got too cat-covered to wear outside. And then I had a house only jacket that's just so filled with cat hair I never wear it outside so...
Jessamyn: Right. Did you guys get another cat, speaking of?
Mathowie: Nooo, we're done with cat.
Mathowie: I mean, we have like one cat.
Cortex: Fuck cats!
Mathowie: When that cat... Yeah, when that cat's done, I think we'll just travel the world for a year, and not have to worry about cat-sitting for the first time in twenty years.
Jessamyn: You can probably put your cat over at Josh's house or something. He wouldn't know. I mean, his cats hide all the time anyway.
Cortex: Our cats have gotten better about being out around us, but I have no idea how they would react to another cat. They could .. ah ..
Mathowie: Oh Yeah! I got to pet one of Josh's cats. It's never happened.
Jessamyn: I pet one of Josh's cats. The other one I don't know if I ever saw.
Cortex: Yeah the other one, a lot of people don't ever see.
Mathowie: Did you see this thin wall challenge post? Like I just love the concept. I think this...
Jessamyn: (Dramatically) OH GOD! I couldn't listen I couldn't click.
Cortex: (Laughing) I totally didn't see this.
Jessamyn: Sorry. Please explain.
Mathowie: It's the funniest concept in the world. Which is a guy who lives in an apartment with thin walls and his neighbors get it on periodically. And apparently it happens for several minutes, not too long, and then he thinks of things to do comedically and films himself, so.
Jessamyn: Oh God.
Mathowie: There's a zillion YouTube videos of him like trying to juggle and build things and and tell stor .. he's only got like, whatever, two minutes (laughing) or something ..
Mathowie: It's just like.. (laughing) .. It pulls me back to like, two cheap apartments I had where I had like a woman living above us in one that would go for like TWO HOURS and it would always be three in the morning (3:00am) on a random weeknight. And you'd just be like .. pace .. it's so insanely loud .. you'd be like pacing the room going like, "Finish already! I want to go to sleep!"
Cortex: Oh man. And the thread turned into a limerick-off.
Jessamyn: (Laughing) Yeah! It really did!
Mathowie: Yeah so, I didn't even like watch more than one video for like thirty (30) seconds but I saw was most hilarious. At least .. he's turning this annoying neighbor things we've all had in college or whatever .. in a cheap apartment ... into a good time.
Jessamyn: And to something funny. Right.
Jessamyn: Oh and I wanted to just mention a recent first post that I saw that I liked despite the fact that it has a very like, "It's-My-First-Post!-But-You'll-Probably-Delete-It-But-Whatever!"
Cortex: I know which one you are talking about yeah (Laughing)
Jessamyn: It was REALLY good. The title is: DOUBLE PACK OF CHEEZ DOODLES!! YAAA!! And it's
Jessamyn: about the guy who skied to the South Pole? The Norwegian guy who skied to the South Pole. And QuakerMel who ... is ... new - ish ...? Not that new, actually, but this is QuakerMel (who I think is a lady). Her first post. In fact she's been around two (2) years and a week! put together a really good post about this guy and the title comes from: He had like a food cache and he didn't know what was in it and he's hungry and he's basically just like skiing around like all on his own and he kinda flips out because there's cheese doodles in his food cache.
Mathowie: Oh! You know I stayed away from this one cause it's all reddit, reddit, reddit, reddit every link is to reddit. So I was like, ugh.
Jessamyn: Well it's because he did an IAmA but she picked out some of the stuff. You know the first three (3) links aren't .. well three(3) of the first four (4) links aren't reddit.
Mathowie: Uh Jessamyn sounds like a robot.
Jessamyn: But even the reddit stuff.. what?
Mathowie: Oh now you don't sound like a robot.
Cortex: You went robot for a second. I think you just had a bandwidth spike or something there.
Jessamyn: I'm not even scrolling.
Mathowie: Now you are roboting! (chuckles)
Mathowie: Now you are back!
Cortex: It goes in and out a bit.
Mathowie: Try not to download.
Jessamyn: Dude I am sitting here. I am not even moving.
Cortex: Yeah I know. I am blaming your ISP, not you.
Mathowie: Yeah, yeah!
Jessamyn: I blame my land lady because I have internet but she borrows it sometimes.
Cortex: Oh! So she's torrenting porn right now.
Mathowie: Oh! No, Golden Girls!
Jessamyn: No she's eighty-five years old! She doesn't even know how to reply to email. But like, she called the ISP so that she could get her own DSL? Like, I don't mind sharing. She doesn't use much of it. But! We're now at capacity, so no one else on my street can get DSL.
Mathowie: Oh wow!
Jessamyn: It's amazingly suck.
Mathowie: That is like an amazing east coast, small town problem. You're going to have to go to your neighbor's and ask ....
Jessamyn: We've only had DSL for three (3) years? Four (4) years? Something like that? And I have dry loop so it's even more expensive and she splits the cost with me because she uses it. I'm like, "Seriously, dude, it's twenty bucks, keep it!" She's like, "No! No! No!" but it may be that she is watching Ai Weiwei videos which is what she likes to do.
Mathowie: So people walk down the street, "Can you spare a bit of wifi?"
Jessamyn: That's lame, man. We're Vermont.
Mathowie: "I can't afford it."
Cortex: "Spare some wifi?" (Everyone laughs)
Mathowie: Why weren't they good Yankees and built a bigger DSL cabinet? Come on.
Jessamyn: Boy if you think Yankees would have invented any of this internet, you've got another thing coming. (Laughs)
Mathowie: Well that's true.
Jessamyn: It's all people from away.
Mathowie: Well they still are doing ... memepool, there's still new posts.
Cortex: Well I am going to mention this only in passing cause it turns out to be a terrible fake-out. But, memepool ... Oh no! Wait they are! Holy shit!
Jessamyn: Wait! Did you just fake your fake-out out? Out?
Cortex: I just faked out my fake-out!
Jessamyn: You faked out your fake-out! (Laughing)
Cortex: What the fuck?
Jessamyn: Hey dudes I heard you liked fake outs, so I faked your out while you were out fakin!
Cortex: It was like a four year drought!
Mathowie: Did you think it was an April Fool's long con?
Jessamyn: Pictures of guinea pigs having baths ...
Cortex: Maybe I don't know I will have to keep checking in, maybe he went back to doing it. But okay so memepool updated, and it was like, holy shit, memepool updated for the first time in like four (4) years and even then it was pretty dead by then. There is a post about it and then someone linked to the Hacker News thread about it and Joshi was in there pointing out that, no, it's not actually updating. He just did it as a joke cause his friend's project was kinda neat and then everybody was crushed again! But now it looks like they are updating! Maybe, maybe he decided to start doing it again.
Jessamyn: Maybe a little back story, Josh, for people who don't know who Joshi is or delicious and stuff like that?
Cortex: Okay. Once upon a time there was a site called memepool. And a guy named Cortex sat around reading it in college ...
Jessamyn: (Giggles) Where .. where .. Once upon a Time is in the 90's (1990's), right?
Cortex: Right nineteen ninety-nine (1999) to two thousand (2000). Probably let's say 2000 is when THIS story takes place. Memepool had been a thing that was around for a while. It was a link blog where they would periodically, you know, every day or two, throw up some interesting links to something on the web. What a concept!
Jessamyn: And they had categories! It was the first blog I remember that had categories.
Cortex: Oh! That's right. They did.
Mathowie: Uhhh... yeah they do.
Jessamyn: They always did. So you could follow just "pets" or whatever.
Cortex: And I ended up finding metafilter because the friend of mine who pointed me to memepool, at the time, one day he was like, "Oh yeah! You should check out this other site, too. It's kind of like memepool but with comments." And I started spending time over there ..
Cortex: .. and I don't remember what happened after that. But the point is, memepool used to be a great site!
Mathowie: We used to have a bit of a rivalry.
Cortex: Oh yeah? (Chuckles)
Mathowie: Yeah. I didn't know Josh Schachter at all. Then he would just occasionally send me, kind of like.. I don't know, strange emails. sideways emails about like ..... because I guess these are all great memepool posts, probably better than a good memepool post, probably better than a great metafilter post, like they were always awesome I think, during it's heyday.
Jessamyn: Because there were so many fewer of them and they had no comments.
Mathowie: Yeah. I think like.. he would email me and ask about traffic constantly.. because his traffic was like ten (10) times higher (Laughing)
Mathowie: So it would be like, "Oh. you are up to a thousand (1,000) page views a day? That's wonderful. We are at fifteen thousand (15,000)" (laughing)
Mathowie: He would send me .. we've since become friends. It was just some weird .. we had a weird rivalry the first few years.
Jessamyn: Wait! And he made Delicious? Did you mention that?
Mathowie: Yeah he made Delicious. He made ... other stuff...? He's made a whole bunch of other little projects ..
Jessamyn: But I think he misses delicious because Yahoo destroyed it and stomped its soul out and ..
Mathowie: (Laughing) Yeah.
Jessamyn: Seriously, dude! Yahoo fuckin broke it so it was dead broken dead.
Cortex: At least he got some money out of the deal.
Mathowie: He got a little bit of money out of it, but.
Jessamyn: I think he got a decent amount of money out of it.
Jessamyn: Which I ... I mean how much could we pay you, Matt, to kill your child in front of you? Like, it's amazing.
Jessamyn: It's so sad. (long pause)
Jessamyn: (Laughing) Don't you think?! No?! Am I the only person?
Mathowie: No! No it would be horrible. Everyone's got a price, but it would be horrible!
Mathowie: The thing I love is that ..
Jessamyn: Josh make a note that Matt had no reply when we asked him that.
Cortex: Right. Right! I'll put it in the file.
Mathowie: The thing I love most about this is one of the posts is made by faisal, a guy I met in like ninteen ninety eight (1998) or I think it was January of ninety-nine (1999) at the first blogger meet up ever, faisal was there.
Jessamyn: And where did you live then? Were you in California then?
Mathowie: I was in L-A (Los Angeles) and I came up to San Francisco for Mac World and like Cam World through a meet up with JJG and like ...
Mathowie: Peter (inaudible) was there
Mathowie: Evan (inaudible)
Mathowie: So this guy faisal I think he worked for ask.com back then (chuckles) Ask Jeeves and I like, "Oh man, I've seen that guy and I am so glad he can post on memepool thirteen years after I met him."
Jessamyn: You know, speaking of, Peter (inaudible) is one of the people behind the nineteen-forty (1940)census website.
Jessamyn: I don't think he put it on projects ..
Jessamyn: .. cause he's barely on metafilter, but that was very exciting!
Mathowie: Yes, he quit adapted path to work on a genealogy start-up. So that totally makes sense.
Jessamyn: Yeah. Very cool. It has nothing to do with anything but ..
Jessamyn: Just people ... people we know.
Cortex: But so anyway memepool is posting again. Except for they're not, except maybe they are.
Jessamyn: Right. And there was a thread about it. Sort of.
Jessamyn: And Joshu is a user, a metafilter user.
Cortex: Which I didn't realize - he popped up later in the thread, and I'm like "Right, OK."
Mathowie: [unintelligible] Huh, yeah.
Jessamyn: How long... I mean, he's an old school metafilter user, yeah? Or, not so much.
Mathowie: Yeah yeah, no, he is, and he always wanted just "josh", and someone else got that before him.
Jessamyn: Hey, can we talk about that for like five seconds? About username amnesty?
Mathowie: Yeah, he's like "Someone left one comment in February of 2000, never again. I found it in March of 2000- I should get the joshua account. Goddamnit."
Mathowie: He bugs me every time I see him about that. Like "Can't you just wipe that person from the database and let me have it?"
Jessamyn: Oh, see, my rule is that if they've made any comments ever...
Cortex: Yeah, if they have any recorded activity.
Mathowie: But seriously, last visit was in 2000...
Cortex: I think... I think I'm with Jessamyn on this one. I don't mind the idea of theoretically recycling forever camped...
Mathowie: Yeah yeah yeah.
Cortex: accounts that never had any activity at all. But if there's any, then that's, you know, it's a...
Cortex: bummer that you don't get your user name, but you know...
Cortex: ...it's a matter of record. You know they are there.
Jessamyn: Josh and I are of one mind on this.
Cortex: But if we...
Cortex: ...wanted to start freeing up names that sit there for five years camped and they never came back to pay the five dollars...
Cortex: ...I could be OK with that. What I would want to do there and this is horribly ridiculously fiddly of me, but the archivist in me thinks it's important...
Jessamyn: Put in a little note.
Cortex: Well, yeah, I...
Jessamyn: "This is a".
Cortex: Either make a note - it wouldn't need to be on the new person's page, but I would want the new person signing up with the amnesty thing to be getting a new user number, not like taking over that account...
Cortex: ...for one thing, and for another thing, it would be nice to keep it in the database somehow as a record that this once was back in 2003, you know, kept as a name. But that's just...
Cortex: ...me being ridiculous.
Jessamyn: No, I share that entirely with you. We are of one mind on this.
Cortex: OK, Matt, you're overruled.
Mathowie: No! I'm just saying
Mathowie: that I've had my ear talked off for ten years about this
Mathowie: about this problem, so that's the only reason
Jessamyn: So here's to another ten years.
Mathowie: Yeah. Ha ha, screw you, joshu.
Jessamyn: [laughs] Matt! He's probably listening.
Mathowie: Riight. He probably has a bot that does it for him.
Jessamyn: A listening bot?
Jessamyn: I don't know how the transcriptions are coming on the podcasts, speaking of. Pronoia? Pronia... I don't know how to pronounce it.
Jessamyn: Pronoiac mentioned something about if the podcast was too long it would make the transcriptions take forever, but I wasn't really sure that they were still actively happening.
Cortex: I don't know if I even checked back. Maybe he's been doing it regularly. I mean, it's a nice thing to do, I rarely...
Cortex: Honestly, if I need to review a podcast, that is totally what I would do. I don't usually listen to them.
Jessamyn: Just control-F it.
Cortex: Yeah, exactly. Or scan it, you know.
Mathowie: When he first put it up, I actually contributed a section. I was like, oh, there's five minutes...
Jessamyn: I know, so did I!
Mathowie: Yeah, it wasn't that hard to do.
Cortex: No, it's not too bad, it's time-consuming, but...
Jessamyn: If I had more free time, I would totally do it.
Cortex: Yeah. Maybe I'll try and help them out with another one, some time.
Jessamyn: Yeah, let's see, here's the project page. Where's the chat window?
Mathowie: Jesus, we're at an hour and twenty minutes already.
Jessamyn: Matt, the first twenty minutes was you fucking around with Apache.
Cortex: [unintelligible] on time.
Mathowie: Well, why don't we go fast through Ask Metafilter.
Cortex: Well, I've got a couple of quick ones.
Jessamyn: That. Is. So. Mean. Ask Metafilter is what pays all of us. Give it some respect.
Cortex: I'm all for doing it.
Mathowie: Is that why we put it at the end of the show?
Jessamyn: [Laughs] You put it at the end of the show.
Mathowie: I'm driving the boat suddenly?
Mathowie: Well, go ahead! Lightning round!
Cortex: Josh's quick links... Classic Nintendo games are NP hard.
Cortex: ...says a tech paper that breaks down some basic assumptions about game design...
Jessamyn: Shut up with your P-NP.
Cortex: ...in terms that can be analyzed using mathematical complexity theory. It's neat. You should go read that if you're a huge dork about that sort of thing. Also, the payphone stadium project. Something from like Beckett or whatever the baseball guide was. Back before it was easy to find out what baseball scores were...
Mathowie: Oh, yeah!
Cortex: because there was no Internet, a publisher of one of the... I think it was Beckett, but anyway, one of the...
Cortex: sort of...
Jessamyn: I love this.
Cortex: baseball magazines...
Mathowie: That is so great.
Cortex: compiled a list of payphone stadium numbers that were payphones at baseball stadiums where the payphone was in clear view of the scoreboard so that you could call during a game, hope someone would pick up, and ask them what the score was and find out during the game what the score was. Which was just an awesome idea - there was a neat little post about that.
Mathowie: So great...[laughs]
Cortex: And finally, the fact that I haven't spent twenty minutes talking about this is a miracle to you guys, but there's a game called Economies of Scale, that's just a free...
Cortex: little web-based multiplayer business simulator. You can do sort of manufacturing, and wholesaling and retailing in a simulated...
Jessamyn: Oh, God, I started reading this and it was like "blah blah Ginger blah." What the fuck...
Cortex: It's super wonky. It's fantastically...
Jessamyn: Warning! This is Josh's own post!
Mathowie: Yes, of course.
Cortex: Yeah, I made a post about it because I wanted it to be posted about but it kind of needed a write up, because it's a little bit dense, but it's so awesome...
Cortex: If you were ever "I wish I could be pretend to be a MBA or a..."
Jessamyn: I think about that every day.
Cortex: ...this is the game to go play.
Cortex: I've started Giant Doughnut Incorporated, and I've already got thirty percent of the world market on doughnut manufacturing. So, it's going pretty well for ol' Cortex here...
Jessamyn: In your dream fiction world, right?
Cortex: Yes, yes.
Jessamyn: In your fake world.
Cortex: But it's very fun, if it's your sort of thing. It's super engaging, and I'm really enjoying it. So...
Jessamyn: In real life, you talk to me over Skype for a job.
Jessamyn: I do like this.
Cortex: I kinda actually prefer the real life actual employment situation.
Mathowie: Oh, man.
Cortex: ...but, yeah. It's a fun game, go play it.
Mathowie: Right before we started this podcast, this demoscene roundup megapost was posted.
Cortex: Oh yeah!
Mathowie: I haven't even looked at it...
Jessamyn: Whose is that?
Mathowie: ...but. Uh, z303? Just a...
Jessamyn: I don't even know who that person is. That's awesome!
Mathowie: I know. It's a monster mega... this is like what Andy posts, like once a year. The demoscene demos, every year, with people writing these bootscreens
Mathowie: ...for Amigas. Like crazy... like they fit in eight K of code or something.
Jessamyn: Well you saw the Commodore guy just died today, I think.
Jessamyn: I haven't looked to see if there's a post about it yet, but I'm sure that'll get some 8 bit interest going, also.
Cortex: I follow somebody's demoscene tumblr - it must be a Mefite because pretty much the only people I follow on tumblr are Mefites. It's just demoscene.tumblr.com as well. Which is kind of a neat little...
Cortex: pile of stuff that they threw up there, so... Demoscenes.
Cortex: Yeah. Back in the day.
Mathowie: Yeah. C-64, baby! Alright, let's go to Ask Metafilter before time is up.
Jessamyn: Alri... time is up?
Mathowie: I'll turn into a pumpkin? I don't know.
Jessamyn: Alright, so here's a couple early ones from me. "Hey, I'm getting my gold crown tooth extracted. Does the dentist have to give me the gold back? Yes/No?"
Jessamyn: Answer: probably, but, you know, it's kind of an interesting discussion. This one, if it's not on Josh's list, I will probably eat my shoe, but it's...
Jessamyn: what's the maximum number of ball switches I need to do when I rack up my balls in eight-ball to make sure they're all in the right order?
Cortex: That was my AskMe.
Jessamyn: You know how people do that - you rack up a little triangle. What did you say, Josh?
Cortex: [unintelligible] That was the AskMe I came up with for this podcast. So, yes.
Jessamyn: I knew it!
Cortex: You are correct.
Jessamyn: Yes! Maybe we should do one podcast...
Mathowie: Shit, I can't get to the site.
Jessamyn: Do a little... I know, I can't load MetaFilter right now, but...
Mathowie: Ohhhhh, what the hell!
Cortex: It's working for me.
Jessamyn: Maybe we should do that some time, like we'll do the podcast in the voice of someone else, you know? Like, "and this is what Josh would have picked."
Mathowie: Roguelike! Roguelike!
Jessamyn: "This is what Matt would have picked."
Cortex: We'll do just psychic picks - we'll open up a section before we do Metafilter, we'll each pick what we thought the other person was... we'll do a sealed ballot thing
Cortex: even or something.
Jessamyn: Looks like things are back up, or at least they seem to be working.
Jessamyn: But it it's basically like, each time I rack the balls I have to move them around, and you know how people do that in pool where they take a pair and switch them, and then another pair, and switch 'em. Like, you don't just take them all out and put them all in the right way, you switch them pair by pair, because people are twitchy, and this person is basically asking "how many balls do I normally have to expect to switch?", and it turns into just this delightfully nerdy, I didn't even understand it,
Jessamyn: but I enjoyed watching it...
Jessamyn: ...thread of people talking about math.
Cortex: It's totally a weird little combinatorics and probability question. It's really neat.
Mathowie: Well, here's how... I mean, the easy way to do it that I was taught as like a thirteen year old, is like when you rack 'em all, it's gotta go like solid, stripe, solid, stripe, solid, stripe, at least along the bottom row, and up the side rows, and the other sides if you can as well. Like, is there an even number of balls going all the way around like four, three...
Jessamyn: I think this is...
Cortex: Yeah, it's twelve balls
Mathowie: Yeah, and the eight goes in the middle and then, so, if it's just stripes, solids, stripes, solids all the way around the outside, at least the break will be mostly fair? Like, that was what I was...
Cortex: Well, you know, it's...
Cortex: one of those things where, honestly, if you're to the point where the arrangement of the balls and the break is the determining factor in the game...
Cortex: you're really good at pool, and you already have an opinion about all this stuff anyway.
Jessamyn: [laughs] Right, right.
Cortex: And it's kind of funny too, 'cause I actually ended up removing a couple of early comments from the thread,
Cortex: not because they were necessarily terrible comments, but they were totally arguing with the stated way that you rack thing. It's like, it's not really the question.
Cortex: It's really a math question, not a
Jessamyn: The OP, the guy who wrote it was really like "This is how I rack them."
Jessamyn: And they're like "Rarr rarr rarr rarr." And it's like, "no, we're... this isn't... that's not...".
Cortex: It's the sort of thing that makes you think that a very heated billiards discussion waiting to break out on Metafilter sometime.
Mathowie: Is it like jamming your fingers or something? That's what they didn't like- how close it was, or something?
Mathowie: Oh, no, I see. OK. So dumb. Man, the site is super slow. Can I get to My Favorites?
Jessamyn: [unintelligible] I don't know what's going on.
Cortex: Application server is busy.
Jessamyn: I have a couple more, I mean, if other people...
Cortex: Bring it. Do it.
Jessamyn: This is just one of those standard list generating ones, but I really liked the Wikipedia lists - "How can I find other fun Wikipedia lists. Even though I know Wikipedia has a list of lists, but maybe you could point out some good ones."
Jessamyn: Ah. So...
Jessamyn: Two thousand things Mr Welsh can no longer do in an RPG, list of medical insurance building codes, list of frivolous US political parties, list of animals named after celebrities, and of course, my favorite of all times, which isn't actually a list, but it's really one of my favorite pictures to look at on the internet, is the guide to house cat coat colors and patterns.
Jessamyn: It is kinda nice. 'Cause there's really a finite number, even though it feels like there's all the cats, and they're all different.
Jessamyn: They all get, you know, you can group them all.
Cortex: Yeah, they...
Jessamyn: It's like the kind of thing we have to do in library school for homework.
Jessamyn: Like here's these fifteen cats, group them all and blah blah blah.
Jessamyn: And it talks about whether their little paws are pink, or grey...
Cortex: Yeah, because there's actual underlying genetic basic for it. It's not like just cats coming out of some magical cat hat that just randomly assigns shit, you know.
Jessamyn: [laughs] Though I love that idea.
Mathowie: I would wear that hat all the time.
Jessamyn: I would wear that magical cat hat.
Jessamyn: But yeah...
Cortex: Matt, can we get a company cat hat?
Jessamyn: I just love that poster. [laughs]
Mathowie: Uh, I don't...
Jessamyn: Company cat hat, Matt!
Mathowie: Oh, Metafilter came up long enough to get my favorite post probably of the year. Whoops, I clicked wrong. Um, the uh, movies that portray...
Jessamyn: Oh, yeah!
Mathowie: your job really well and accurately according to a professional of that. So it's a lot of people going "My dad's an accountant, and he really says this is for real." and there's all sorts of stuff like that. Like, a lot of people say Barney Miller is the best... the most realistic cop show, because you just sat around...
Mathowie: ...bored and making jokes most of the time.
Jessamyn: Right, because there's just paperwork and sitting around in... yeah.
Mathowie: And you gotta make jokes because you're so bored out of your skull. But there's a lot of just awesome things, yeah, and it's almost all like, you know, step-fathers and my dad and my uncle does this... yeah. Everyone loves Up In The Air.
Jessamyn: Up In The Air is my life, last month. It's like- it's so true.
Mathowie: Yeah. Specially wearing, like, slip-on shoes.
Mathowie: ...like, owning a pair of slip-on shoes to take them to the airport knowing you're going to have to go through an airport bullshit. Like, that's something that's new. Post 9/11.
Jessamyn: That may be something that's more common for women, maybe? 'Cause like it's pretty easy for us to have a pair of slip-on shoes, I think.
Mathowie: Right. Men, it requires some actual shopping to figure out... oh, wait, now the site's...
Jessamyn: Or you have to buy loafers or something, I mean I guess...
Jessamyn: For some people it's normal but for a lot of people it's not.
Jessamyn: I like those kind-of half sneakers that all the kids wear nowadays.
Jessamyn: They're kind of like kind-of clog sneakers, you know, like they lace up top, but...
Jessamyn: ...but you just slide your foot into them, so they look kind of like shoes, but they're not really like shoes.
Cortex: I don't interact enough with the kids these days.
Cortex: Or I don't look at their feet. That's a problem I
Mathowie: Here's what [talking simultaneously]
Cortex: [talking simultaneously] contact, and I don't know what anyone has on their feet.
Jessamyn: Good on you for the eye contact. That's fine, I can send you a picture of the sneakers.
Mathowie: I only... I judge footwear on how well you can run from being chased, and I would never wear those.
Mathowie: They would just flop around and flop off...
Mathowie: ...and I'm running on glass...
Jessamyn: Who chases you? You just kick your shoes off and run barefoot.
Mathowie: You never know! You gotta...
Jessamyn: No-one chases you!
Cortex: I have to admit, my thing about shoes has been driven for way too much of my life by the same thing... for a long time, I didn't want to have a pair of slip ons and I don't... I still don't own any sandals 'cause you can't
Jessamyn: Do you think it's like a grandpa thing, or what?
Cortex: No, no! Because you can't break into a fuckin' sprint, you know, in sandals!
Jessamyn: It's both of you!
Cortex: And the thing is, I... when was the last time I had to break into a sprint? is the obvious question.
Jessamyn: Or did for any reason. For fun!
Cortex: Well, in high school, in college I did a lot... catching a bus,
Cortex: you know, if you need to catch a bus,
Cortex: there was a point up until maybe twenty-one or twenty-two where if there was a bus that I really couldn't catch, but maybe I could, I was going to catch that fucking bus, you know? And so you...
Jessamyn: And now you're just changed your thinking.
Cortex: ...just break into a sprint. At this point...
Jessamyn: Now you've changed your thinking, right?
Cortex: Yeah, now I find out when the bus is coming...
Cortex: ...before I leave the house. So it's not as much of an issue, and I do own a nice comfortable pair of slip-on loafers that are perfectly nice for wearing around the house.
Jessamyn: I guess I feel the same way about kind of doofy high-heels, but I don't feel the same way about sandals, or Birkenstocks, or...
Jessamyn: Godforsa... Crocs, even. Which you can still wear around here, like normal people.
Mathowie: [laughs] There was a chasing story from South by Southwest, just this last one where some guy got his laptop... Oh, I think he left it in a cab and he ran after it and it... it's some web guy. Some famous web guy leaves his laptop bag in a cab and then it's-
Cortex: [unintelligible, it's something like "I assume Mr Zeldman."]
Mathowie: [Simultaneous] The story starts off with... Yeah, someone like that, where it just said "well, first off, I whipped off my--"
Jessamyn: He wasn't there this year.
Mathowie: He started off with "I took off my flip-flops and put them in my hand and began running barefoot down 6th Street." [laughs] And, like, he runs all the way to the freeway, like a mile away. So, it can happen. [sucks in air] Ah, anything else?
Cortex: It's plausible, I just don't want to live in fear of that moment, you know, I should free up my feet.
Jessamyn: But then he ran barefoot and he was fine.
Mathowie: Which he did catch the cab and got his bag back.
Cortex: It's all doable.
Mathowie: His feet must have been fucked up after that.
Cortex: See, I've done that a couple of times...
Jessamyn: Depends how barefoot ... If you're normally a barefoot person it's not a problem.
Cortex: You get a little bit of callous, yeah.
Cortex: I liked this little AskMe from a few days ago about what good video games are there that are sort of rogue-like, or Risk-like, but that can be stopped and started at any time, which is a key thing...
Jessamyn: Yeah, I saw that.
Cortex: Because it's like...
Cortex: Especially for like for Metafilter, I really like video games that I can just, like, instantly step away from.
Cortex: You know, because...
Jessamyn: To be like "Shit, something's happening...
Cortex: "Something's happening!"
Jessamyn: ...gotta take care of it!"
Cortex: Yeah, that's just gonna have to wait, and playing online games like shooting games against people online doesn't work for that, 'cause of like "Oh, shit, there's work, now I'll just be shot twenty times while I take care of it." And yeah, uh, stuff like this...
Cortex: is great. And he asks specifically about OS X stuff especially as well, which is handy, because it's a bit harder to get your gaming on on a Mac than on a PC, so, yeah, fun little stuff if you're looking for some new little video games.
Mathowie: That's the story of my life, especially after you have a child, is every game has to be a casual game, you can start and stop at any time, because you never know when...
Mathowie: ...duty calls, somewhere, somehow. You can't just sit for hours and play anything ever again.
Cortex: I developed this whole philosophy back years ago when I was working in market research, and I was on the phone all day and there's outbound calling, so I'd dial numbers automatically, and then wait for it to ring, and then someone would pick up and I'd navigate and try to get to someone. Most of these calls don't go anywhere, and the first thirty seconds is all just the phone ringing anyway, and so I had to...
Cortex: ...come up with things to keep myself sane, to do, that I could do all day long but would have to be able to drop, you know, instantly, and then come back to, you know, three minutes later and do in little stitches. I called them "highly interruptible tasks", and...
Cortex: ...yeah, and it was a whole fleet of things that... I carved an entire set of rubber eraser stamps out of pencils, like little like quarter inch tall capital letters with an X-Acto knife, I drew tiny little portraits and cut them out and pinned them to my cubicle wall...
Cortex: ...so eventually there was this horrible tableau of two hundred different faces all staring at anybody who walked into the cubicle. Things like that.
Jessamyn: What's that?
Mathowie: Oh, wow, cool! justinlmania's thing about the hotel wifi putting ads is on the New York Times blog.
Cortex: Oh, nice!
Jessamyn: Nice! I loved that post. I guess we could talk about that -
Jessamyn: - because the guy who was written in it showed up!
Cortex: Let's talk about it! Summarize the situation, for our listeners.
Jessamyn: Back on Metafilter...
Mathowie: I was gonna give him a free refund, because I know him. He shouldn't have to pay.
Mathowie: Go ahead, you sum it up.
Jessamyn: Well, this dude who was working with some clients showed up at a fancy hotel - it wasn't even a fancy hotel. Mid-line but expensive hotel in Manhattan. Flipped open his laptop and was using the... help me out here, guys... free? paid for? wifi.
Cortex: It was the wifi...
Mathowie: Ah, [fake]!
Cortex: ...provided by the hotel. I don't know if it was free or not.
Jessamyn: The wifi provided by the hotel and I can't remember if you paid for it or didn't pay for it extra -
Cortex: I think it was free.
Cortex: And if I remember rightly, he discovered it partly because he was actually looking at his own site, I think at one point?
Mathowie: Yeah, he saw the CSS -
Cortex: He knew something was up.
Jessamyn: I saw this two pixel bar across the top, and was like, what the fuck is that?, and then looked at some of his other friends' pages and was like "I see it there too. What the fuck!?!" And then investigated the code, and found out that they were injecting this weird code.
Jessamyn: Thank you, yes.
Mathowie: Which is usually used for viruses and browser hacks. It's new, and it like redirects I guess all ads on the page to something else?
Jessamyn: Right, you can make all ads on the page turn into ads for your thing, for example.
Mathowie: Yeah, and it's...
Jessamyn: It's really weird and sketchy, and...
Jessamyn: It's something you'd expect some fly-by-night Internet cafe in some other country maybe to do, not something you would expect-
Mathowie: At the Marriott.
Jessamyn: ...a three hundred eighty dollar a night hotel to do.
Jessamyn: "What would a modern diner think of a nice dinner out from the 30s through 60s?" by mikesch.
Jessamyn: Which was just a very interesting kind of conversation about "hey, I've been watching Mad Men, what if one of those people like went like... Ahh! What... [laughs]
Cortex: What would happen if someone from today went into...
Jessamyn: Went back to the thirties and sixties and went to a "nice dinner". You know, what would they think about it? And there was a really interesting conversation, which I thought actually had a sort of interesting segue with The Whelk's funny post back on Metafilter about the Senate menu from 1964. I don't know if you guys saw it.
Cortex: I didn't see that, no.
Mathowie: Almost... also the schmod comment that you can eat in all of them, and they're open to the public, except three?
Jessamyn: I sidebarred that.
Mathowie: Yeah. Sidebar's been... you've been killing it on the sidebar lately.
Jessamyn: It's been popping, hasn't it?
Jessamyn: I've been taking my job seriously, and we've been getting great stuff up there every single day, including ohmigod, do not miss gman's How I've Ruined...
Cortex: Oh, God. [laughs]
Mathowie: God, yeah. [laughs] "Vang Vien"? It's in Laos, like oh my...
Jessamyn: Vang Vieng? "I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but I was a major factor in Vang Vieng becoming exactly the kind of place I despise."
Mathowie: I tried to...
Jessamyn: Fascinating comment.
Mathowie: I tried to watch the video he's showing... it doesn't look as horrible, like, he says "Fast forward to thirty-eight minutes and fifty seconds, and you'll see the shitty place that I turned it into", and it didn't seem that bad. I mean, it's just a bunch of drunken Westerners in a... it looks like a street.
Jessamyn: Well, I guess if you think about a place that wasn't at all like that before?
Jessamyn: I mean, you must have been to places in Hawaii or up in the mountains or wherever where you're like "This is really beautiful, and it's really beautiful because there's just not that many people here," and....
Jessamyn: I'm sure I'll be saying that about Vermont in twenty years.
Mathowie: Everything is... it reminds me of Tijuana, you know, where it's just all these idiot college kids screwing up a cool local culture place, ugh. But apparently there's a big opium den part of it. [laughs] Which is the biggest problematic part. But yeah, I loved that. Any last bits before we go?
Jessamyn: Not really, I mostly wanted to talk about the modern diner dinner thing, and the Courtyard Marriott thing that we were talking about just as you were roboting out was especially good because the guy who was that guy, Justin...
Jessamyn: ...showed up to comment in the thread, which was nice.
Mathowie: He used to be Andre Torres' co-worker, or so I've... I thought he already had...
Jessamyn: Yeah, he's in Federated Media, right?
Mathowie: Yeah, I thought he already had an account but he didn't, but, yeah. He also wrote an amazing post via [?]'s blog about travelling around the world on a container ship, and what it's like? Like it's not...
Jessamyn: Ooooh! I should go read that too.
Mathowie: ...it's not as cool as you think.
Cortex: [laughs] Go figure.
Mathowie: It's a lot of like...
Jessamyn: How cool do you think I think it is?
Mathowie: Well, it's like you're on a ship the size of ten football fields, there's a crew of like ten who mostly ignore you the entire time, because you're just these weirdoes, you know, that are stowaways...
Jessamyn: That's the story of my life right now, Matt!
Mathowie: Well, that's what...
Jessamyn: I could do that on a boat!
Mathowie: [laughs] Oh, yeah, we should talk about April First.
Cortex: Yeah, we sort of mentioned it in passing earlier, but I don't know if we were recording yet. But yeah, the whole silly staff tags for everybody with the various words that mostly start with "st".
Jessamyn: Or that rhyme with staff.
Jessamyn: Or that are similar people's user names.
Cortex: The thread's still open for...
Mathowie: And I just fired up Mathematica...
Cortex: ...the entire month, so if you still want a silly tag, you can go in there now if you somehow missed it the first time, and...
Jessamyn: It looks like it was longboating, and I stayed away.
Cortex: It's, you know, it's kind of inherently that way, yeah.
Mathowie: There'll be a big rush before the last day, I'm sure.
Cortex: If you like old school BBS door games, specifically TradeWars 2000, Philosopher Dirtbike has gotten up a server where he's running a couple of games, so for the people who know what that is, you don't need any more, and for the people who are curious about...
Cortex: ...Internet video games that involve being a space trader, maybe go check it out.
Jessamyn: And for everyone else, the eagle flies at midnight.
Cortex: Yeah, for everybody else, don't worry about it. Don't worry about it.
Cortex: It's always hard to figure out what MetaTalk stuff I wanted to mention if I haven't done my homework ahead of time, like putting together the list, because unlike the...
Cortex: Hey! I did a good job on other stuff today. All that music stuff?
Jessamyn: All the music stuff.
Cortex: That was beautiful!
Jessamyn: Appreciate it. Appreciate it.
Cortex: I don't usually prepare for MetaTalk, because I don't know how much time we're going to spend on it, and I don't want to do a bunch of preparation if we're tired by the end of the podcast already. But the problem is...
Jessamyn: I never get tired!
Jessamyn: I think we should mention the airbnb group.
Cortex: Do it, do it.
Jessamyn: There's an airbnb group. A Metafilter airbnb group that right now is me, and Jim, and two other people.
Jessamyn: Other people, if you want to rent out your room to people, you should join it.
Mathowie: So you make a couchsurfing of yourself, sort of?
Jessamyn: Yeah! Except you can charge people money to stay at your place.
Mathowie: Oh, right.
Jessamyn: But one of them is this really nice private room in Perth. Western Australia.
Mathowie: I've had some really bad experiences with airbnb. I wanted to love it...
Mathowie: Yeah, it was in New York I tried it once, a couple of New York trips ago. And, like, those New York scum-sucking real estate jerks, m;those guys that run, you know, those real estate guys who own a billion buildings, like that infected craigslist, also just...
Jessamyn: Yeah yeah yeah.
Mathowie: ...ported it over to airbnb! Like I thought I was getting some guy's cool little apartment, turns out some guy like "Which building. I've got a million." And at the last second he wants to change it, and he suddenly has one less room, suddenly it's farther away from everything, suddenly it costs more. Like, it was horrible. And...
Jessamyn: Did you report him?
Mathowie: I did, and it was like a... The worst part was, it was like a no refund situation. I even complained to airbnb, and never heard anything back. I was just like "Ugh. Whatever."
Jessamyn: Was this before the big airbnb disaster? 'Cause I've found they've become much more responsive.
Jessamyn: ...since then.
Mathowie: I think it was af... I think it was before the disaster. It was like when they were first new, but, ugh.
Cortex: It sounds like that was a real sort of turning point for them, getting some of that shit together, so.
Jessamyn: Yeah, and it's crappy in really big cities, but I've found in little places, it's a lot nicer to stay with a person than just a really not good motel. But yeah, I've heard it's tough in New York and I think it's tough in San Francisco and a lot of places like that, actually.
Mathowie: Well, you just want people who are, you know, you don't want bad actors, right? Like, paying...
Mathowie: And that's, you know, yeah.
Jessamyn: But airbnb doesn't care, right, because they're just über-capitalist about the whole thing.
Mathowie: Yeah, yeah.
Jessamyn: Is the downside.
Mathowie: And finally...
Cortex: I wanted to mention msalt.
Cortex: His palindome battle! And he won. He is the best palindromist.
Mathowie: In the country. I love that.
Jessamyn: In the country? Was it in the country?
Mathowie: I think it was the national championship.
Cortex: I think so. I think so, yeah.
Mathowie: He had to go to New York or something?
Cortex: Yeah, I don't remember the exact details.
Mathowie: Like, every--
Jessamyn: That's so nice.
Jessamyn: He got written up in The Economist. You know, you *know* you've totally arrived.
Mathowie: Well, I think, truly arrived is when you get a stipple portrait in the Wall Street Journal, but--
Jessamyn: Good point, good point.
Mathowie: --The Economist is pretty fucking good, but. Yeah, oh!
Jessamyn: (laughs) But they've got all these *blogs* now.
Mathowie: He battled the *world* championship in New York. So he's the world's best. I love the idea that he just wakes up every morning while his coffee's being made and he just starts writing palindromes for fun, like that's his, like, thing he does.
Cortex: Well, yeah, that and he's a comedian and a... like, actually a practicing comedian. "That guy's a comedian!" No, no, he's actually good at it.
Jessamyn: (laughs) We're *all* comedians, right.
Cortex: And he's in Portland, I've actually, he has a recurring poker night and I get out and play like once every eight months or something. But...
Jessamyn: That's cool!
Mathowie: Ooh, how much stakes are on the line?
Cortex: It's like a ten dollar buy-in. We're fucking serious, man. That stuff is for real.
Mathowie: What would be a night, fifty bucks? Forty bucks? I don't...
Cortex: Yeah, if you had a really big night you might walk out with like thirty or forty bucks.
Jessamyn: That's donut money, man.
Cortex: Yeah. I tend to play somewhat conservatively so I'll have, you know, the occasional good night and otherwise I'll walk out with between like, eight and twelve dollars of my original ten, so. I'm not a real loose player, I'm pretty predictable. People pretty much fold when I raise.
Jessamyn: You're not really a cigar smoker, either, are you?
Cortex: Well, we don't smoke cigars anyway, you know. It's not like sitting in a dim room playing poker, you know, we're playing at someone's kitchen table or dining room table.
Jessamyn: Oh, see, most of the dudes I know that have poker nights, it's all like cigars and whiskey.
Cortex: No, no, this is much more a bunch of us sitting around just playing poker because playing poker's fun.
Mathowie: I remember when a friend showed me Texas Hold 'Em, when it was kind of new, and I sort of sat in and I played every single hand (chuckles), and like, you know, because I was so unpredictable I was sort of killing everybody.
Jessamyn: Is that not something people do? I don't know anything about it.
Mathowie: Yeah, well, you're supposed to be folding like 80% of the time, usually...
Cortex: Yeah, a lot of the time it costs you nothing to get out if you don't have great cards...
Cortex: ...and it costs you something to stay in if you don't have great cards...
Jessamyn: Oh, I see.
Mathowie: Yeah, so it ends up, like, at least three-fourths of everybody just folds, because the first two cards weren't great, so...
Jessamyn: And you can't make anything out of 'em, so you're like, fold, fold, fold...
Mathowie: And I'll be like, oh! A two and a four! Sure, I can make something out of that! You know, like an idiot.
Jessamyn: [laughs] People are like "What's with this guy?!"
Mathowie: Yeah, I remember when I started playing correctly, I was worse at it. But, you know, you only get to luck out for a little while, with... Like, 'cause you're freaking everyone out by playing every hand, so. Unpredictable.
Cortex: Yeah. Yeah, you're too bad for them to know how to play you.
Mathowie: Right, yeah, you can't bluff. Yeah.
Cortex: And they'll still take you over the evening, but you know they could really lose it on a couple hands where against someone who knew what they were doing they could read them and know when to move in for the kill. Whereas they're moving in for the kill on you and you're like "Okay, I'll see it" and they're like "Fuuuuck, he was supposed to run!"
Jessamyn: (laughs) "What's with him?" Right.
Cortex: Yeah. I wanted to mention the "This Is My Jam" thread 'cause that's what a bunch of people have been having fun with. For those who don't know it--
Jessamyn: Oh yeah! I've been changing my Jam. Have you?
Cortex: I've been on and off. I've never let it go a whole week but sometimes I get the reminder email.
Jessamyn: Oh, no, I let mine go a week and then I'm like "Oh yeah, right!" But I do change it.
Cortex: For those who don't know, This Is My Jam is a music-sharing social site so you put up a Jam and then you follow other people and they follow you and you can listed to everybody's Jams mixed together so it's like... you know, it's like Pandora with humans. And a lot more eclectic. But it's neat. And there was a big thread full of people sharing their handles.
Jessamyn: And a lot of people who like music that I also like. Like, I've actually found music that I thought was really interesting. So it seems to do the thing.
Cortex: Yeah. Yeah, I really enjoyed the variety from it. Like, Pandora's kinda great, but like I recognize everything that comes up on my radio stations if I don't intentionally throw in weird, bizarre shit. Whereas with This Is My Jam, people with throw in weird, bizarre shit for me. So it's really convenient.
Jessamyn: Great! And I made a... oh, sorry, go on?
Cortex: No, I was going to say, there was also a thread that was kind of nice, the "Where were you when you joined Metafilter?" thread, just kind of a nice people sharing memories thing.
Jessamyn: I enjoyed that.
Cortex: Yeah, it was nice.
Jessamyn: Especially because for a lot of people it was a lot more recent. I'm like, "I don't know, who can even remember the '90s!" but-
Cortex: Yeah, I'm trying to reconstruct something from college 12 years ago, and other people are like, "Well, you know, it was the other day..."
Mathowie: "I was on Boing Boing..."
Jessamyn: Yeah, I was just going to say, I made a user script thing that turned This Is My Jam to This Is My Marzipan Pig, but now I can't find it, so. Oh, This Is My Pig. Like, somebody was like, "Oh, I don't like it says This Is My Jam, bleh bleh bleh," so I made a Greasemonkey script that changes it to whatever you want.
Cortex: Oh, that's right, yeah. 'Cause the whole Jam -- And then it turns out it was, you know, Brian Whitman, one of the Echo Nest guys, was involved in that, and I was sorta like talking shit about the name, and then he showed up, and I was like, "Oops, I feel a little bit bad."
Mathowie: So, can you guys explain to me, like in two seconds, what's the point of This Is My Jam? I just saw it on Twitter--
Cortex: It's music sharing! The point is that you can be like, "Hey, here's a song I like," and people who know you--
Jessamyn: To discover music by your friends.
Mathowie: But it's just a single song, right?
Cortex: Yeah, at a time, and you can change it up.
Jessamyn: But you can play them all in a list.
Mathowie: But you have to rebuild your entire friend space like you've done on every other service?
Cortex: Yes, yes.
Jessamyn: Is it really difficult for you to...?
Mathowie: I'm so tired of adding the same 80 people.
Jessamyn: Not me man, it's new every time. Every time.
Mathowie: (laughs) It's a fucking chore!
Cortex: You may not want This is My Jam, then.
Jessamyn: I love it. I can't wait to add friends on a new network. You know -
Mathowie: That's why I never joined Instagram, because I don't want to rebuild.
Jessamyn: I never joined Instagram, either. Yeah! You and I, Matt.
Cortex: And now you don't get to share the billion dollars.
Mathowie: I know.
Mathowie: So what?
Jessamyn: Yeah! You know, I was just thinking about that last night with mlkshk. Like, I cut my hair and I put up a picture of my haircut and people were like, "Oh, nice haircut," and like, I just want to be in an Internet that's small enough that pictures of my new haircut can make the popular page for three hours.
Jessamyn: You know? Like, that's just the world that I want to live in. That everybody gets their own little mini-network where them and their friends are the most important people. Like, not the cool kids, but just, "Hey, it's just me and my friends." So, "This Is My Jam" has that feeling to me, which is one of the reasons I kind of like it.
Mathowie: So if I sign up and we connect with Twitter...
Mathowie: Is it going to find you for me, or do I have to say, "I know Jessamyn at yet again..."
Jessamyn: I think it finds... Ethereal Bligh made a... or, sorry, Ivan Fyodorovich made a spreadsheet at one point that had a list of everybody, I don't know if it's still around.
Cortex: Yeah, you could probably find that and use it. Did we add it to social stuff? If we did that would be something pretty simple, you could just go through that and click on everybody. I think we did.
Jessamyn: I think we did.
Mathowie: I'm just going to add everyone it's suggesting I add. God damn it. (laughs)
Jessamyn: It must be really hard to be you, Matt, like on a minute-to-minute basis, just the friending and the unfriending and the refriending and the defriending.
Mathowie: It didn't choose you. Now I have to find you somehow.
Jessamyn: I don't like you! (laughing)
Mathowie: How do I find -
Jessamyn: My name is Jessamyn.
Mathowie: But there's no search for Jessamyn. Oh, there's "find friends" hidden in a submenu. God.
Jessamyn: This is why you have a website, Matt. (laughing)
Cortex: This has been the "trying to add people to your friends list" report on the Metafilter podcast.
Mathowie: Matt, you have your own website specifically so you can fix all these problems. You know, in your space.
Mathowie: And then I'm probably sending out email to all these fifty people I'm clicking.
Jessamyn: No, I don't think it does that.
Cortex: I just had the worst terrible spammy feature idea. We create a tool on Metafilter that lets you press one button to initiate a script that will auto-join you or auto-friend everybody on the social stuffs list for you without you having to lift a finger.
Mathowie: Oh yeah. That would be cool.
Cortex: We could be a huge vector for terrible abuse.
Jessamyn: Or when you add somebody to your contact list, it would go friend them on every social network you share in common?
Mathowie: Oh, right.
Cortex: It could be a serious...
Mathowie: Follow them on Twitter and Facebook, and...
Cortex: "Social disease network".
Jessamyn: Do you remember that- there used to be this little ASCII bug social networky thing where you'd become friends and you had a bug, and you could move it around on a little grid and you'd mate with bugs and have little baby bugs and... this isn't ringing...
Cortex: I think that was an AIDS awareness exercise in health class.
Jessamyn: Yeah, but only on the Internet! No?
Cortex: No, I missed it.
Jessamyn: You don't remember this? Bugs?
Cortex: Apparently I missed that.
Jessamyn: Fuck. It was really great, I mean, it must have been like, a really long time ago.
Cortex: This sounds like something to research and make a post about.
Jessamyn: You're right.
Cortex: If only there was a site where you could do that.
Jessamyn: I actually have my own blog, too.
Mathowie: Holy shit, Paul Bausch is on it!
Jessamyn: What did you say, Matt?
Mathowie: pb's on this! What is with you?
Jessamyn: I know!
Mathowie: What the fuck! Why didn't he tell me?
Jessamyn: It was in MetaTalk. How much more telling you should we do?
Cortex: Well, and I mean, let's be honest, you and he co-work. He knows what kind of stuff you listen to, so.
Mathowie: I know, like he could have said-!
Cortex: Maybe if he hasn't told you, it's --
Mathowie: Yeah. All right, I think that's about it for this week.
Jessamyn: It's now solidly two hours.
Mathowie: Yeah, woohoo! We earned it.
Cortex: We're done.
Cortex: All right--
Mathowie: Here's your two fucking hours.
Cortex: Well, good podcast.
Jessamyn: Which, actually I figured out why they said that, it's 'cause that was the title of our last podcast.
Mathowie: What, two hours, or something?
Jessamyn: No, the whooshing thing.
Cortex: Oh! Mystery's fucking revealed! There we go.
Mathowie: But I searched for whooshing, and I didn't get it ... in ... Google.
Cortex: Wait, you used Google to search for a podcast instead of like, the site search?
Mathowie: No, no, a reference.
Cortex: Oh, okay.
Jessamyn: I just looked at the podcast website and one of the first words on it is "whoosh." In fact, it's, like, the third.
Mathowie: Oh, whooshing.
Cortex: "Internet History Whooshing Over My Head." 'Cause of the Meme Pool thing. So, it-- full fucking circle.
Cortex: This is the part of the podcast where I use "fucking" as an intensifier in every sentence.
Jessamyn: Unfuckingbelieveable. I bet it isn't as an infix.
Cortex: Alright. Cool. Good podcast. Yeah. We'll do another one in less than two months.
Jessamyn: Nice talking to you guys. We promise.
Mathowie: Oh well, oh yeah, we'll get back together in July. Got it.
Mathowie: Alright, let me hang up. Alright.
Jessamyn: Bye, Matt.