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Podcast 72 Transcript
A transcript for Episode 72: Best Post Contest Results.
jessamyn: Hi, this is post #72 of the Metafilter podcast. We're sorry we haven't done more of these [mathowie laughs], but clearly it's incredibly difficult for us.
mathowie: Wow, four podcasts all year, and it's August--September.
cortex: We gotta step this up.
jessamyn: I blame you.
mathowie: It's completely my fault.
jessamyn: Although I have to admit, this is because we're all getting better at taking vacations, so it's like good news, bad news.
cortex: Yeah, it's like
- a dark lining on a silver cloud.
mathowie: Silver clouds.
- So we will eventually work up to our very, very favoritest best post. I think we all have our personal favorites. I have dozens here marked, and all for different reasons, but--
jessamyn: Well, and how long have we been doing--people have pointed out that we haven't been actually doing
- the August--Matt, maybe you'd like to share the history of the Best Post contests that we've done.
mathowie: Well, was the first one in 2006, so that was December, so I think we started doing them in December every year, because--I don't know, it was--we were bored?
jessamyn: Well, and people get cranky around the holiday season--
jessamyn: --and we wanted to have something people could focus on--
jessamyn: --besides fighting about the holidays and being stuck with their families.
mathowie: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
jessamyn: If you don't like that kind of thing.
mathowie: Yeah, we noticed a
- high correlation of Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations and Ask Metafilter crazy questions about hating their family [cortex laughs] and just overall site tomfoolery being rampant during this period, so yeah, it was a good idea to channel some of that angst into searching the Web for interesting stuff. And I think December, people are out, they're always away on Christmas parties, and having Metafilter's overall quality
- goes down, because people are out running around doing stuff so much. So yeah. I thought it was pretty cool to do this in the summer, you know, we kind of have a lull and everyone's off in August, so, same deal. And, yeah, it looks like we've done a few Decembers. I think we've only had one or two in August?
cortex: Yeah, there was some specific one that happened in August that was like, I think it was a slightly different format or something, but--
mathowie: Yeah. Wow, look at all these, they all have different formats, just--top three, top
- three formats, top, like, yeah.
jessamyn: We're not super organized, maybe you've gotten that idea.
cortex: Well, I think we're just flexible.
jessamyn: and by 'we' I mostly mean you guys--
mathowie and cortex: [laugh]
jessamyn: --because I'm really organized, and it pains me to look at my Google Doc. [laughs]
mathowie: Yeah, but you didn't organize it--I mean, I didn't even define, like specifically decide--it's just, "go out there and make great posts, people!" Like, there's not a big
- ton of organized, we're going to do this, that and the other--
cortex: It's a little loosey-goosey.
mathowie: So I think we'll probably just do a top three. And I think we all have personal favorites. I've got the same categories, you know, lots of them. Like, best bike-related post, best Olympics post, yeah.
jessamyn: I have a best library post, and a best Olympics post. And a second-best Olympics post [cortex laughs], the silver Olympics post, if you will.
mathowie: I think the Olympics posts are good, there were lots of them, but because we didn't really focus
- on--nobody made posts about specific results or anything. There wasn't like, "Oh my God, Bolt wins the 100-meter." Like, there's nothing like that. It was like, "Hey, look at the science of sprinting." Those are way cooler.
jessamyn: Yeah! Well, maybe we could start out talking about Olympic posts--
jessamyn: --because I definitely have a couple. Josh, do you have any?
cortex: I don't know if I have any specific Olympics posts.
jessamyn: Oh, that's fine.
cortex: I sort of enjoyed the fact that there was coverage, but yeah.
jessamyn: I enjoyed both the fact that there was coverage and that nobody lost their shit as they have in previous years. I think it's because we all sort of hated NBC
jessamyn: --as a country--
jessamyn: Not even as a country, as a world, you know? But, I mean, the Americans got together and hated NBC, and everybody else got to be like, "No, you see, we really are better than America,"--
jessamyn: --and, you know, everybody just sort of felt good about the whole thing, and it worked out pretty okay, I felt like.
cortex: It was a nice sort of, yeah. I concur. I concur with your analysis.
mathowie: I think maybe if it was in America and we had the results first, maybe the
- majority of site users would have been posting that stuff and ruining it for everyone else, but being on the wrong side of that was great.
jessamyn: Well, and this was sort of, I felt, I don't know about you guys, but I felt this was like tipping point year, where, even if you were paying attention to the Olympics, it was completely unclear how you were going to get your information about the Olympics--
jessamyn: Like, I think most people who really cared about it weren't sitting around waiting until NBC's broadcasts, they were streaming or downloading it from somewhere else, or they were, like, just
- reading the BBC online, or who knows what they were doing!
cortex: Yeah, the liveblog the Guardian was doing was fantastic, the whole--
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah!
cortex: I mean, it usually is, whenever they're doing that, but, yeah, no, that was my primary resource for Olympics stuff was just their daily liveblog as it went snarking along.
jessamyn: Yeah, I went to the Olympics website a lot, or I read other blogs that talked about that kind of stuff, like, I don't care about spoilers, and so I'd be like, "Tell me who wins, so I know whether to stay up--
mathowie and cortex: [chuckle]
jessamyn: --until 11 o'clock at night to see the thing
- or not!"
cortex: See, were you able to watch it in any decent way? I guess the thing is, I don't have even local reception set up, like, I don't get over-the-air TV, so everything we watch is either Netflix or streaming on the Internet, and that was such a pain in the ass.
jessamyn: Kind of in a stolen way, like [laughs]--
cortex: Yeah, that's what I was doing. Like, I got some jackass rebroadcast of BBC2 via some totally sketchy site,
- but it reliably worked.
jessamyn: Right, right, right, yeah, me too. I wrote a big post about, like, on my own blog, about how to watch the Olympics if you're getting thwarted--
cortex: Oh yeah, that was right.
jessamyn: --by this, that, or the other. And I used, in fact, a lot of Ask Metafilter threads, because there were a lot of people from different parts of the country--the world, sorry--like, "I'm in Africa, and I want to watch this, but blah," or, "I'm in America, and I want to watch this," or, "I'm actually in Scotland, and I have these needs," so there were a lot of good Ask Metafilter
- threads that helped me inform other people. But yeah, I had some BBC feed from some crazy janky whatever that worked, most of the time.
mathowie: Yeah, I actually got the NBC iPad stuff to work, which is surprising because my--oh yeah, there's your guide. I was surprised because HBO to Go doesn't work, because my cable company doesn't--they have to,
- like, pay for it or something. So I was surprised that I could get NBC, and I got--it's so, you had to jump through five hoops, and create accounts on both sites, and then link them together, and it's terrible--
mathowie: --But, I mean, I got to the point where I was watching, like, I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to watch a bike race, you know, with no commentary whatsoever, just raw audio and--
jessamyn: Well, and that's the best part, right?
jessamyn: Like, just make Bob Costas shut up!
mathowie: Yup. And they always, yeah--I have to suffer in cycling with this guy Al Trautwig,
- who I think does, like, football--
jessamyn: Come on, that's the best name ever!
mathowie: I know, I think he does football stuff, he doesn't know about cycling, and they always put him on because he sounds like a normal announcer guy, and ugh, he's always clueless--
mathowie: --he's like the Fred Willard, "Tell me exactly what's going on here!"--
mathowie: and you're like, "Aw, shut up, man." So yeah, actually--
jessamyn: Matt means, like, Fred Willard in the movie Dodgeball.
mathowie: That's--No! What's the--Best in Show.
jessamyn: [laughs] Before he got caught wanking off in the movie theater.
mathowie: Best in Show!
jessamyn: Oh, Best in Show!
jessamyn: And then he was also on Dodgeball, right?
mathowie: Ehhhhh, I don't think so.
cortex: I've repressed most of my memories of Dodgeball; I thought that was terrible.
jessamyn: That movie was awesome!
cortex: It was--it had pieces that were funny--
cortex: --and that had the potential to be funny, but it was the perfect example of, I feel like someone--
cortex: --fucking up an otherwise promising screwball comedy by just hitting the notes exactly wrong every time.
cortex: It's like someone playing, like, with one string on their guitar just enough out of tune that you can tell that if they knew how to tune their guitar,
- it would've been like, that'd be a great song, but it sounds like shit, and you're like, "Oh, fucking stop it!", so I have feelings about that movie, I guess.
jessamyn: I feel that way about Super Troopers 2, so I totally hear what you're saying.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
mathowie: [laughs] Remember the Olympics?
cortex: Oh yeah.
jessamyn: Remember Metafilter?
mathowie: What was your favorite post, Jessamyn, of the Olympics?
jessamyn: Oh! Well, you know, I had two that I liked very much. There was the one that was super-popular on the site, which was basically, "Hey! You can figure out what kind of athlete you look like,"
- which was super interesting.
mathowie: Oh! Yeah, you put in your height and weight, and I think I got a rower guy or something for me.
jessamyn: Yeah, I, um--let me do it again, because I don't remember what I got.
mathowie: It's good because--
jessamyn: I'm most like the Indonesian weight-lifting men.
mathowie: [laughs] Wow.
cortex: Well, you know--
jessamyn: I don't know, man, it's weird.
mathowie: Is that a compliment?
jessamyn: I don't know! He looks handsome!
- But yeah, you know, with someone who's my short stature
- but I'm not skinny like a gymnast, yeah, I'm down with the weight-lifters.
cortex: I'm most like Thomas Schneider, who's from Germany and whose sport is 'athletics'.
cortex: What is that? I feel ripped off.
mathowie: All of them.
cortex: Athletics? Oh, he does relay running, 4 by 400. Okay.
mathowie: Wow, that's pretty good.
jessamyn: Yeah, the Micronesian weightlifter is down with me. But it was one of those fun threads, just because everybody's got something to say--
jessamyn: --but because you're talking about athletes, there's not a lot of weird body image stuff,
- and people are like, "Dressage? What the--rrr!", and I enjoyed that as a thread, for, like, people talking about stuff, but then my favorite probably post, which would have been my favorite single-link post, except there's a second link stuck in there--
jessamyn: --and we know how that goes.
cortex: Flexibility, you know--there's a little bit of interpretive--
mathowie: Ohhh, some [unintelligible].
jessamyn: Thanks, Josh. Thank you. Yeah, it was just talking about Speedo. I mean, there were a lot of interesting kind of marketing press releases
- that turned into stories about the Olympics. I mean, Nike had their crazy--
mathowie: Yeah, shoes.
jessamyn: Yellow shoes, and whatever. But so Speedo basically had this amazing swimsuit, and everybody shaved time off their time, and then they made it illegal because it was too fast--I mean, it's like the history of the golf ball, where it's like, you have to make it kind of fast, but not too fast, that the item itself is part of--
cortex: Yeah, there's gotta be some sort of constraint there, where refining it is okay, but completely fucking the assumptions of the game is not so okay, because then everybody's upset that the ball is ruining your golf game.
jessamyn: Yeah, exactly! And I of course thought it was interesting, because if you're one of those people that just, like, watches the Olympics for the TNA factor, like, the dudes are wearing, like, nothing, and the women are wearing these, like, things, you know, the Fastskin. They're the most dressed people in the entire Olympics.
- So I was sort of a little--
cortex: Yeah, it was like a wetsuit, almost, yeah.
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah. And so that was an interesting, just, I liked the link. And, of course, you know, people talked about the stuff. Oh! But go on with the ones you liked, and then there was one more that I liked, but I have to find it, because I didn't write it down.
cortex: That post could also have been, like, Best Post to Have Six Different Comments Deleted From The Beginning Of The Thread--
cortex: --Mentioning What The Actual Link Should Be Because It Was Broken Originally. But that's an admin-only category, because other people can't see this giant
- old swath of devastation that is the beginning of that thread.
jessamyn: [laughs] Right.
mathowie: I liked this post on the physics of Olympics stuff done by the Wired site, you know, Wired blog did a bunch of sports science stuff, which I thought was pretty cool. I thought this post also had the New York Times stuff, but I don't think it does, like--I love the New York Times visualizations, I don't think they showed up in an Olympics post, probably just comments on this one. But, yeah, just really cool,
- like hey, in the same vein of, let's not talk about actual results on the site, let's look at the bigger picture, I thought. There's lots of cool stuff on the web about this, and this one--
jessamyn: Yeah, and just as an entertainment event the Olympics were interesting in their own right in addition to being a sporting competition, that was my takeaway.
cortex: Yeah, and they're using--
mathowie: Yeah, and I love that they're going after the science of it. Because, I don't know if you guys noticed, did you see any track and field?
mathowie: Like, you know the hammer throw is done, you spin, you throw, it's crazy.
jessamyn: Sure, sure.
mathowie: There's something to do--did you see shotput?
mathowie: There's now a break in shotput, which is like, do you do it the old way, or do you do it the new hammer way, where you spin, like, six times, and your window of success is so narrow to--you have to release at the right time. And it's really cool how people can start looking at, "Is it really better?" Because their results were pretty similar.
jessamyn: Yeah. And you have people who are like,
- "Look, the math implies that blah."
- I mean, I just look at the pole vault and am like, I don't know how anyone can ever even do this--
jessamyn: --so I'm completely impressed by everything. But yeah! Remember--I don't know if it was four years ago or eight years ago when all the backstroke guys--and ladies, I guess--started out and did their entire first lap pretty much under water, and it was like a new thing, and people were like, "What? What?" Instead of actually backstroking the first lap? And that was another one of those things.
mathowie: In the turnaround change, and now the turnaround change is, like, mandatory, like you're supposed to go--like, they do a quarter of the pool after they turn around on the walls, and that's completely okay and expected now.
mathowie: It's okay. Another one--this is stupid, and yeah, sorry, body issues and all that [laughs]--but I thought this was funny--
jessamyn: Oh, I enjoyed this!
mathowie: "What if every Olympic sport was photographed like beachball?" I swear to God,
- every newspaper site in August--the infection of the web with those 'related stories' that aren't really related at all--
mathowie: --with the little thumbnail. It was always a woman's butt from volleyball. In every newspaper, it could be the New York Times, it could be the whatever, Providence Journal, like, local newspapers--they always had a woman's butt, and it said, like, "The Hottest Bikini Pics from Beach Volleyball!"
jessamyn: [disturbed half-laughter] Right.
mathowie: And it was just--it was, like, cool for the first day as a dude,
- but geez, it was demeaning and stupid. It was unbelievable. It was so over the top. So it was funny to see someone-- Someone tweeted this to me, and it showed up on Metafilter, and--yeah, it took off really quick. Pointing out how inane this practice is. I think it was just all a cheap ploy for pageviews from every publication that did it.
cortex: Yeah. No, no, yeah. You can get away with it, because it's
- Although I have to say, the wrestling pics pretty much look like wrestling pics--
cortex: --it's still some guy sticking his head into some other guy's crotch and they're both grimacing.
cortex: That's what wrestling photography looks like. There's nothing else going on. I did see one of those cheap, skeezy 'related on other websites' little collections of square pictures and links things that had a picture of a woman in a thong, or, you know, a volleyball bikini bottom, or--
jessamyn: [laugh] Or a sporting outfit.
cortex: Quote unquote, whatever. And then it just had the word 'Waffles'.
cortex: I don't know what was going on there, but yeah. Okay. I dug deep here, actually. I said I didn't have an Olympics post, but it turns out that I do have what I'm going to declare to be an Olympics post.
jessamyn: Fair enough.
cortex: We all know how much I enjoy--
jessamyn: I knew you would think this!
mathowie and cortex: [laugh]
jessamyn: I think next year we have to pick the ones that we think our colleagues are going to pick. This was an awesome post. Go on, Josh.
cortex: That would be an awesome thing to do. We should do that. I feel like we sort of informally did that a little bit last year,
- but just live. But yes, so everybody knows that I love QWOP, because QWOP is the best videogame ever made--
jessamyn: Can you just tell people briefly what QWOP is, for those of us who may not--
cortex: Yes. QWOP is a track and field video game, wherein you control both of the calf and the thigh muscles of each of the legs of the runner dude, and your job is to try and run 100 meters as quickly as possible.
jessamyn: Is it really like the muscles? Or are you really just controlling the general areas? Like, does it claim to have anything to do with muscles?
cortex: Well, it's--I mean, that's what your muscles are doing, expanding
- and contracting along those major muscle groups, so you could argue--it's not super scientific, I'm sure, it's just inverse kinematics.
jessamyn: Okay. Well, I didn't know, yeah.
cortex: But that's the idea, yeah. Q and W and O and P are the two letters you press on either side to control--
jessamyn: Oh God, I've tried to play it, I know.
cortex: Yeah, yeah. So QWOP. Yeah, so people mostly fall over in it.
cortex: But anyway, Bennett Foddy, the guy who made it, he then recently made a game called CLOP, which is basically QWOP, but you're controlling all four legs of a unicorn.
cortex: And it's great, because it's
- just like QWOP.
cortex: So nobody made a post about it. That is, the user nobody. A post was made by a man named nobody.
cortex: And yeah. And it was before the Olympics, technically, but I think it's pretty much dressage, as I understand it.
mathowie: Sure, that's a connection.
jessamyn: It beats Mitt Romney's wife doing that thing, their horse, any day.
cortex: Exactly. Take it, Rafalca!
mathowie: Other good posts... do you have any favorite--
jessamyn: Can we move on? Can we move on from Olympics now?
mathowie: Yes. Yes.
cortex: I think we can.
mathowie: Let's move on to--I don't know--YouTube posts, maybe?
mathowie: There was so many.
jessamyn: I don't have a single one!
cortex: I've got one that is YouTube-y.
jessamyn: Alright, go on, you guys.
cortex: I made up categories for all of these that are all too long-winded--
cortex: --because I couldn't come up with short color [?] ones.
jessamyn: That's fine.
cortex: So this one is the winner for Best Post about Scotch, and it's actually even really a good post that I'm not just mentioning because it's about scotch, which is the post about Ralfy's YouTube channel,
- by user veryape. And Ralfy is just a nice gentleman from Scotland who likes the Scotch whiskey and does very charming lo-fi amateur videos talking about scotch: how to smell it, how to taste it, how it gets made, distillery tools and whatnot. So it was just a nice--this is one of those posts that was like a bunch of links that were all just links to specific content from the same source. So it was like that whole, "Is it a single link, or is it a multi-link?"
jessamyn: Sixty-two favorites, eighteen comments. Great! Yay veryape!
cortex: It's a ton of content to watch, but like, you can watch and it's, hey, that was nice.
mathowie: And he just records himself talking it through and making it. It's funny.
cortex: Yep. And it's really nice. So if you're interested in scotch, or interested in booze, it's fun stuff to watch. So yeah. I liked that one. That's my YouTube-y post.
jessamyn: Nice. That was when I was on vacation.
mathowie: My favorite YouTube-y post was
- The Games We Play video, just because this is one of those things where something you do your whole life until someone mentions it you don't realize anyone else does it.
sfx: [a piece of silverware dings against a glass]
cortex: I loved this post.
mathowie: I loved everything about this post because every time I would be a passenger in a car probably up until several weeks ago I would just constantly look at shadows and be jumping from shadow to shadow--as if, yeah. I was like, there are so many things in this video that, I was like, I've done that my whole life.
mathowie: Like, I had no idea other people did that.
jessamyn: This is great! This totally happened while I was away, and I did not see this at all. Wonderful.
mathowie: Yep. It was pretty cool.
jessamyn: Yeah. We had to, like, hold our breath over the bridge, and when we went by the cemetery, and--
jessamyn: What? It's the law!
mathowie: Yeah, I've heard these things, that's awesome.
jessamyn: Well, because we went on a lot of car trips, and we were stuck in the back with Auto Bingo, and if you didn't make your own fun--
cortex: Yup. You kind of had to keep yourself sane.
jessamyn: And the rule was, "Be Quiet."
jessamyn: Be quiet. Dad's driving.
- Or Mom's driving. Or whoever was driving. And so, yeah.
mathowie: There was the Baby Got Back supercut, that was pretty good...
jessamyn: Did not see that at all. Link, please?
mathowie: Yes. Wait! I actually got the wrong link. ColdChef posted that. But my favorite remixy YouTube was the song made from--
jessamyn: Gotye! No?
mathowie: No, the song made from Break--
jessamyn: Shut up, that one was great! You shut up too, Josh.
cortex: No, it was great. It's the same one I was thinking of. It's just--
mathowie: I don't like that. No, the Breaking Bad remix was incredible, because the music actually comes out awesome. It's someone basically cutting up the first two seasons of Breaking Bad.
cortex: See, I didn't really look because I'm still--
jessamyn: Oh. See, I haven't seen Breaking Bad yet, so I couldn't see this because of spoilers.
cortex: Exactly. Yeah, I had the same problem.
mathowie: I don't even know, I mean there's kind of spoilers, there's just
- funny phrases here, I guess, but there's no plot points in that.
jessamyn: netbros said, may be spoilers.
mathowie: Maybe, I guess.
mathowie: But that's a stretch.
cortex: I'm just better safe than sorry. I'm really enjoying--we're actually digging into Breaking Bad right now--
mathowie: Oh, sweet.
cortex: --and so we're in the middle of the second season, and so I'm--like, I kind of take it as a given that I'm going to get spoiled on a lot of stuff just by virtue of not being able to avoid threads if they get flagged--
cortex: --but this one so far I've been pretty good about. So yeah, I just stayed away from that because I didn't want to accidentally plant a little seed.
mathowie: [sighs] All righty.
cortex: Because the worst thing is, it's not even just like--it's bad enough when you find out that, you know, Snape kills
- Dumbledore or whatever, but like--
cortex: When you find out some--oh, shut up.
- When you find out some little detail--
jessamyn and cortex: [laugh]
cortex: --that's not even super-important, but you can divine from the fact that that detail does not match up with what you know so far that that's going to come somewhere, and then you end up just watching--
jessamyn: And then you wait for it.
cortex: --for that. You're like,--
jessamyn: And you're nervous.
cortex: "Where's that moment?" Yeah. So it's like, I try and avoid even the little things if I'm actually trying to not get spoiled on something. Because that drives me crazy.
cortex: Or, you know the--yeah. Okay. This is totally--
jessamyn and mathowie: [laugh]
cortex: --nothing to do with anything--
jessamyn: That's fine.
cortex: But that reminds me of
- this--I saw the David Lynch version of Dune when I was pretty young, probably 8 or 9 the first time I saw it. And then I saw it again years later, and I was waiting for a couple of scenes that just didn't happen, and I didn't realize that there had been a different cut of the film at the time.
jessamyn: Oh God.
cortex: And so I spent the entire film waiting for a couple moments that I was like, "How could that happen? That should have happened before--", you know, it's that same phenomenon.
cortex: You get primed for something. It's like, "Don't think of an elephant," you know, it's... aaagh.
jessamyn: So yeah, I guess I do have a single-link YouTube post because I liked that Gotye post--
mathowie: Oh, okay.
jessamyn: --which was basically, everybody who does somebody I used to know, and they do their own versions, and then Gotye made a mashup including all these different versions of it that are on YouTube into his own mega mashup. And it was just, I don't know. There was a lot of people in the thread who were like, "Wow, Gotye, who knew he was more than a one-hit wonder?" and there's a whole bunch of people who were like, "Everybody? Everybody?"
- So it was a nice meeting of, like, Gotye fans and people who only know that one song talking about it, and then Rory Marinich talks at length about something and then I tuned out.
mathowie: I noticed a trend of five or six MeFi Project posts that got promoted to MetaFilter. My favorite of all of them--there was a couple good ones--my favorite was Ms. Attribution, I don't know if you saw this, it's basically a--
cortex: Oh, yeah.
mathowie: Oops, I linked to the Projects version of it.
jessamyn: Hey, it's quin!
mathowie: But it's hilarious posts of just, famous old people misattributed quotes.
jessamyn: And posted by davidjmcgee. Two of my favorites, working together. That's great!
mathowie: Yeah, it was hilarious, they're good. They're just goofy quotes from movies and pop culture attributed to famous historical figures. It was very good.
jessamyn: "Party on, dudes."
cortex: [laughs] "Buddy, you're a young man, hard man, shouting in the street; gonna take on the world someday."
cortex: "You got blood on yo' face, You big disgrace. Wavin' your banner all over the place. -President Abraham Lincoln."
jessamyn: "Please hope me. -Custer"
cortex and mathowie: [laugh]
jessamyn: It's a good thread. It's a very good thread.
mathowie: Yeah, it was a good one. How about your favorite--did you guys have any favorites in that regard?
cortex: I don't know if I had any Projects that got promoted--you know, I've got one, I'm gonna to call this, technically--
cortex: --because I don't think it ever ended up on Projects,
cortex: but it should have been, but it wasn't, so it's just a straight post.
jessamyn: Is this the languagehat one?
cortex: No no no--
cortex: --this was shrinp, which is like shrimp, but with an n instead of an m, and I don't know why, but but this was made by--
jessamyn: It just has an 'm', it says 'm'--shrimp.
cortex: Well yeah, that's the title, because it was being silly.
cortex: But yeah, it was by, the thing designed by 31d1--
jessamyn: Wait, this is your own post?
cortex: It is.
mathowie: [growly noise]
cortex: And so we don't even need to have a discussion--
cortex: --about how it can't win even though it's clearly the best single-link post of the month.
- We'll just let that go by because we're all adults here.
jessamyn: You've been horrible ever since you cut your hair.
cortex: [laughs] Only since then?
cortex: But, uh, it's great! It's just a--it's a dumb website, that you go to shrinp.com slash anything--
cortex: --you want to type in, and then if it has it cached already something for that it will show you an image and the word you put over it, kind of like You're The Man Now Dog but even lower tech. If it doesn't have it in its database it will go and do, like, a Google I Feel Lucky image search
- and just, whatever the image it pulls up will be whatever it shows on there, and so it's potentially completely not safe for work if it happens to grab a random image, and it doesn't do anything except for what it does, and it's just--it's great. It's like reading tea leaves, except for with an image search engine instead of tea leaves, I guess.
jessamyn: I don't even understand how it gets this one for Matt.
mathowie: What? [laughs]
cortex: Do do--
mathowie: Let me see. I saw the cortex one.
cortex: [laughs] You may
- have, like, tweeted it or something.
mathowie: Oh yeah, I tweeted that. I tweeted that, so. I tweeted that as an awesome thing someone did. Like Parenting 2.0.
cortex: shrinp actually refreshes stuff every twenty-four hours, so what we're discussing now probably won't even be what comes up for that when people click on the link.
jessamyn: And so then--wait, remind me. It came from somebody in Projects, or it should be a project because you linked to it?
cortex: Yeah, I don't think it ever got-- It should be in Projects because it's a great project by a MeFite.
mathowie: Because it's a user.
cortex: Yeah, it's a user.
jessamyn: Oh, who's the--?
jessamyn: Oh, nice!
cortex: Although technically at this point I think his active account is the one that's ASCII art of two turntables and a microphone. [ [@I][:+:][@I] ]
jessamyn: [mutters to self] ...two turntables and a microphone...
cortex: But I don't know how to say that other than that, so I just called him--
jessamyn: It's not the one that looks like boobs, though, is it?
cortex: No, they'd be very square boobs, no, no, this isn't the boobs guy.
jessamyn: Okay. Oh, that's what that is?
cortex: Yeah. Yeah, it's like a little DJ set-up.
cortex: So anyway, that's--I liked that.
- That's kind of a Projects post, sort of.
jessamyn: Cool! One more that I liked which kind of moves towards the slightly more links, because this one has two, if you don't include the via one. It doesn't really fit in any other category, except that I felt that it perfectly typified the "nifty thing you found on the Internet" that someone might not have seen that would encourage discussion from other people, was the Earth Science as an Art Department, who they melted the salt and they make their own lava flows.
jessamyn: And so the webpage has pictures of the lava flows that they're making and there's some videos and... It was like, totally--eight comments, nine favorites, completely awesome post as far as I was concerned personally, from moonmilk.
cortex: Yeah, I totally didn't even see that, that's awesome.
cortex: Now we'll stare at the salt.
mathowie: [laughs] Right.
jessamyn: Sorry, guys. [laughs]
mathowie: I can't get the Earth Magazine site to load.
jessamyn: Yeah, I couldn't get it to load today either, but you can trust me, it's great.
mathowie: Oh, as I was going through all the links over the weekend, I could not believe how much link rot happens within four weeks, two posts.
jessamyn: I know. I know, it's the terriblest.
mathowie: Like, there must have been four or five credibly good posts that just were dead. And lots of them were videos where someone just took the video down. It wasn't a copyright issue, it was more like, I don't know, embarrassment or something.
jessamyn: "Oh, the Internet's looking at me, so forget it."
mathowie: Yeah, "Oh, ten thousand of the Internet is looking at me, I need to drop this immediately."
cortex: See, and I'm wondering if phenomena-wise that's something that we're going to see less of as people become more savvy about the potential of visibility, or we're going to see more of as people get more casual about that idea that they could be like, "Oh, I was posting this, but now I just--"
jessamyn: "I could just take it down any time," yeah.
cortex: Oh God, like those kids from fuckin' Tumblr who were writing us contact form e-mail demanding that that we take down--
mathowie: Oh yeah.
cortex: --the post that linked to their Tumblr blog because we had
- not received permission to link to it.
mathowie: Asked, yeah.
cortex: I was like, whaaa?
mathowie: Do you understand how the Internet works, kids?
cortex: I never get any response from either of the ones who we responded to. I didn't respond to the one who said, "Please read. Fuck you. XOXO," so I don't know if they would have responded if I'd inquired, but the other two, I wrote back very straight-faced, and said, "Well, no, that's not really how it works, but can you explain--"
jessamyn: Why you need the link to your Tumblr--
mathowie: Right, yeah.
cortex: "Can you elaborate on what issue is and we can talk about it," and they just never--
mathowie: That was a very, like cam-girls
mathowie: -you know, suddenly discovering us. That was awesome.
cortex: That's why we have closed signups. That's why you have to pay your five bucks, so we don't get cam girls 2.0 from some angry, tumbler tweens.
cortex: 'Cause that's the best part, is they probably didn't have a credit card, so they couldn't have signed up even if they were willing to part with the five bucks, so-
cortex: So it worked out okay.
jessamyn: Right up there with the guy who asked if we could accept payment in bitcoin.
Corex and Matt;[laughing]
cortex: I, I can't believe you said no!
jessamyn: See! I wanted to hear Matt laugh in real life, 'cause his email said "HA HA HA HA HA", but-
mathowie: [pained] Oh my god, fucking bit coin.
jessamyn: -this is so much better.
cortex: I can't believe you said no, you should have gone with that. Like, I mean, you wouldn't have been able to use it for anything, but-
jessamyn: I didn't say no, I just said, not rea--I didn't even understand the question!
mathowie: Well... yeah, it's bullshit.
cortex: It's like a guy from Ecuador, who wants to-
jessamyn: How do you pay for something in bitcoin? What do you-
cortex: You essentially send somebody...some bits. [Matt scoffs] Like you transfer it to their "wallet".
mathowie: That it supposedly took a long time to "generate" on their processor, so you can't make money, really...
cortex: Yeah, it's like, that's-
mathowie: Oh it's such bullshit.
cortex: Yeah, it's a whole rabbit hole we should yeah, not go into [cracking up] probably because-
jessamyn: It never, it never really took off, though right? And we can't accept bitcoin, because we don't have a wallet? I'd have to have my own wallet?
mathowie: [breaks out laughing]
cortex: Well, it would be trivial to accept it, it's just what do you do with it at that point.
jessamyn: Why are you laughing?
mathowie: Because it's so fucking stupid! [Jess laughs]
cortex: You can set up a bitcoin wallet faster and easier than you can set up a PayPal account, the only problem is the thing inside of it will be stupid, 'cause you'll never be able to spend it anywhere. Except for on, alpaca wool socks and-
mathowie: [Sarcastically] Oh, you can buy computer parts, and-
cortex: Maybe, yeah.
mathowie: Oh god. I'm waiting for Ron Paul to want to change to the bitcoin standard.
cortex: [laughs] There's a real room for synergy there.
mathowie: Yeah, totally.
cortex: I have this post that I liked that was just a couple links, and included actually, a languagehat.com link, which was the post on the entymology of "fart". This is my pick for The Best Post About Farts. [Matt laughs]
- By the man of twists and turns, and it's yeah, just, looking at-
mathowie: History of farts. Sweet.
cortex: Yep. Tracking it back through the ages. How we came to this word. What it meant before it meant farting. Stuff like that.
jessamyn: There have been three fart, posts about farts this year, and then prior to that there wasn't one until, since March 2008? How is that possible?
cortex: Obama ruined it for the fart industry. He regulated farts.
jessamyn: For the flatulent.
mathowie: Three and a half years of silent but deadly.
Cortex and Jessamyn;[laughing; "aaaah"]
mathowie: The one actual tumbler post, tumbler blog
mathowie: -I liked was the dog shaming one. [Cortex laughs]
jessamyn: By elizardbits.
mathowie: But I would have to say the boyfriend shaming one was funnier, if you saw that one-
jessamyn: WAIT. Send me a link.
cortex: Yeah, I didn't see that.
mathowie: I think it was on, Facebook or mlkshk.
jessamyn: I saw the one picture on mlkshk, but it's not a whole blog, is it? Or is it?
mathowie: Yeah. No, but I thought it was a funnier use of the concept. Wow, it's the top result, that one single picture on mlkshk.
jessamyn: It was like, I ate the creme-brule that my girlfriend... "I ate all the bread pudding my girlfriend made for a dinner party tonight".
mathowie: Yeah. This is like so much better than the dog shaming, cause, yeah it's funny as shit.
cortex: I thought that dog shaming, was...some of the dog shaming stuff was great; I thought it was really right on, and then some of it was people who were, not really getting-
jessamyn: Clearly had issues.
cortex: Yeah, people who were maybe kind of having difficulty dealing with the fact that they owned a pet, or taking out their rage on their pet passive aggressively, or people who couldn't bring themselves to actually shame their dog, so they would shame them by saying "I am the cutest widdle..." -- that's not...no!
cortex: Just don't even show up if you're going to just say your dog is cute; that's dumb.
jessamyn: Right, right; you need a couple parts: the dog has to be making some suitably ashamed face, they need to have actually done something that's totally normal for dogs, but is slightly weird in the dog-people interaction, and-
cortex: Exactly, I feel like it was uneven. 'Cause some people really got it, some people seemed like they didn't so much. But still.
jessamyn: Yeah, cat shaming is confusing in that regard because there's too many people who seem to not quite...get it. But I'm looking forward to the expansion of the shaming meme,
jessamyn: because I do, I have enjoyed dog shaming in the past. Thank you elizardbits, for sharing it with Metafilter.
- [slight pause of dead air]
- Well, if we're going to talk about farts, I'm going to talk about libraries.
mathowie: How are those related?
jessamyn: This post by Catch, was basically a... just sort of library porn thing; talking about the library of the Abbey of St. Gall, whole bunch of manuscripts, libraries open to the public, they've got a whole bunch of codices, and-
jessamyn: they are available online, and they are beautiful.
mathowie: What is a codice again? I'm-
jessamyn: It's just a, a collection-
mathowie: I'm being the Fred Williard of this program. "And what exactly is a codice, again?"
cortex: A codex.
jessamyn: Well, a codice is, yeah, um, hmmm. [Cortex chuckles]
mathowie: It's just a collection? Fancy word? They have e-codices.
jessamyn: I'm going to actually look it up, so that I don't step on my own-
mathowie: Bern bibliotheque!
jessamyn: [typing] "Define codice"...
mathowie: Burgerbibliothek, woo.
mathowie: Burger is better?
jessamyn: "Books made of handmade paper."
jessamyn: So early manuscripts that are sort of held together -- basically, after scrolls, after wax tablets, a collection of pieces of paper with stuff on them was a codice, or...codex for more of them. I should really know this because my Puzzle Hunt team was called Codex but I-
jessamyn: I'm just not so bright this summer, so.
cortex: Well, it is one of those awesome..."-ex" words, like codex singular, codices plural. Like index, indices, that's the pattern.
jessamyn: Agreed. Agreed, love it. Love it.
- But there's just a lot of beautiful old pages of books that have been scanned and that you can look at and they are lovely. And...as much as this post does seem slightly like pandering,
Mathowie, Cortex;[burst out laughing]
mathowie: Oh, would you call it Jessamyn bait? It's Jessamyn bait!
jessamyn: Because I'm such an easy mark, right? [Mockingly] "Jessamyn, she loves books, here's a Pretty Book; she'll love this".
mathowie: Oh, and I can't believe we haven't heard, there was a roguelike, there was a few game posts, I was like "This is total Josh bait, come on".
cortex: I'm, I've got a couple game things-
mathowie: There you go!
cortex: -I've got at least one game thing-
mathowie: You fell into their net.
cortex: -but not a ton; not a ton actually, they didn't.
mathowie: That's good.
cortex: I liked them, but they didn't, nothing...grabbed my face so much, for the most part this month.
jessamyn: But like, look how pretty that book is!
jessamyn: It's from the second third of the ninth century. The ninth fucking century!
cortex: It's pretty bad ass.
jessamyn: It is.
mathowie: Wow, it's got Venn diagrams.
cortex: It reminds me, that reminds me of that Codex Seraphina thing, which still hasn't gotten a proper mass printing, but that was the weird art-
jessamyn: Seraphinianus? Is that the one you mean?
mathowie: Is that the, plants?
cortex: Yeah, I think so, the one with the completely bizarre, is it even a language or is it just a language-like scribbling, annotation one along with the illustrations?
jessamyn: Or is that, or are you talking about the Codex...
jessamyn: ...the Codex Seraphinianus was one, that was an illustrated encyclopedia -- I think you're talking about the Voynich manuscript?
cortex: No, I think I'm talking about the-
mathowie: The one with plants and animals?
cortex: -because it was like an illustrated-
jessamyn: Check that.
cortex: It was full of pictures and writing, but the writing wasn't writing, it was just a weird, fake script. But then it had illustrations of a variety of weird surreal things in it.
jessamyn: Right, well check the link that I just-
mathowie: It's from 1981; spoiler alert.
cortex: Yeah, no that's the one.
mathowie: Yeah, ok.
jessamyn: Oh okay, because I thought you might be talking about this one, which I often felt that it was sort of a play on words, not a play on words but was a real thing that's slightly older...[trails off]
cortex: [recalling] Yeah!
jessamyn: But it's a lot, it's a lot older. So this thing is a real thing, and people are like, "Oh it was...it's a hoax document", where Seraphinianus is just supposed to be cool and weird.
cortex: Yeah, it was explicitly somebody's art project.
jessamyn: Right, whereas the Voynich manuscript, nobody's really sure...
jessamyn: ...you know they're fairly certain that it's a hoax, they have lots of theories -- I actually went and got to see it, at Yale you can go look at it.
jessamyn: Yeah. They'll show it to you.
cortex: There was something recently about, I don't remember; it may have been a poster who was bringing the things together, or an essay somewhere but it was the Voynich manuscript and...now I can't remember -- the Kubrick obsessed tile work, the mosaic stuff...Toynbee. The Toynbee Tiles.
cortex: Something about juxtaposing that with the Voynich manuscript, maybe just in terms of weird "What is even going on here? Is this outsider art, or outsider...documentarianism from someone living in a slightly different universe?
jessamyn: You know that's always like the super complicated question, right? Is this strange and weird and interesting, or is it just a crazy person and, er...
cortex: Yeah and how do you navigate that-
jessamyn: I don't know anything about the Toynbee Tiles, this is great.
cortex: Yeah Toynbee Tiles, I was aware of that because, big Kubrick friend growing up and so.
cortex: But hey, if we want to talk about complicated things where it's hard to sort out the art versus just the weird behaviour thing, my post for The Best Post That Turned Into Sort Of A Complicated Mess And Generated A Metatalk And A Couple Timeouts For The Guy It Was About And Highlighted The Weird Difficulties-
mathowie: [Jessamyn, Matt chuckling] Oh man.
cortex: -That Come Into Dealing With Mental Illness As Part Of The Holistic Experience Of Web Community Interactions was: the LoseThos [pronounced "lose those"] post that dmd made about the operating system.
mathowie: Oh God.
jessamyn: That's how you pronounce that?
mathowie: Oh yeah, lose those.
cortex: Well he was, it came up in the thread and someone was like "What's with the name?", and he was like, "Oh, the name was terrible; I-"
cortex: "-I was thinking about Windows, and then was well, win-dose, lose-those, and it was terrible."
jessamyn: Oh, brilliant! Ok, thanks.
cortex: So, it was some random thought he had that in retrospect he seems to think was kind of a dumb name, but that's true of most operating systems, so. But anyway that was all really-
jessamyn: You want to give a little arc, about how this all happened and-?
cortex: Yeah...so, the operating system -- this guy named Terry Davis wrote this operating system as sort of a hobby operating system to be like a Commodore-64 programming environment, but for modern hardware...
cortex: ...so you could use the power of an actual, contemporary computer but have that sort of, programming experimentation self education thing that, the Commodore 64 was a cool thing to learn to program on.
- So he wrote this, and it's been a big long labor of love, and it's a fairly ambitious operating system project, but the guy's also a diagnosed schizophrenic, struggles with his mental illness,
- that's been a big part of how his interactions with programming and web communities have played out because it has created a lot of tension and weird interactions or not-so-successful community interactions.
jessamyn: With other communities, before he even came to Metafilter.
cortex: Yeah. Like Hacker News, Reddit, a couple of other places, OSDev, which is a big operating systems development community. So dmd made a post about his operating system, and then fairly quickly--he must have just noticed the
- traffic--because he signed up and started commenting.
jessamyn: And then that got called out in MetaTalk.
cortex: Yeah, in MetaTalk. And so it became this pair of parallel conversations with and about this guy. And it was kinda weird, because it's a tricky thing, where it really highlights that thing, where on the one hand this guy is dealing with mental illness, and I don't feel like we even got him on a particularly good day as far as that goes--he seemed like he was not necessarily being super lucid all the time when he was on the site--but at the same time
- he was responding to people and it went okay when people were taking it as a, "Hey, let's talk about this tech you're doing," and it went not so okay when it was more on the weird side or him just talking to the room because there was a lull. But it was really kind of fascinating, and it's one of those things where the B alternative to trying to make this sort of thing work would be to say people who are being weird can't discuss stuff on the site, and
- it's all really weird, complicated stuff.
jessamyn: And it became an interesting MeTa discussion, and we kinda gave him a time out when he was not really hewing back to talking to people, but then he came back and we went through that cycle one more time, but now he's around? Or not around? Or who knows?
cortex: I think he said he's around. He's just got a little bit quiet; he's not pasting random word dumps into the thread, so.
jessamyn: So good!
cortex: So yeah. So we'll see how that goes. But yeah, that whole thing was fascinating, if also a little stressful and kind of a lot of work from a community management side.
cortex: And the OS itself is really neat, and people were playing and trying to get it running. It can be a little bit tricky to get it working for various technical reasons in ambulation layers, but yeah, it's actually a really cool project he's put together.
- So anyway, that was a whole big thing.
mathowie: So why don't we go to the heavy-hitters, like, what are our best--
cortex: I've got more stuff.
jessamyn: I have more stuff!
mathowie: Dude, we've been going one hour and it's like--
cortex: Okay, well, we can start--
jessamyn: So what? You went to the bathroom!
cortex: We can start doing a--
mathowie: Lightning round?
jessamyn: I mean, we can do lightning round for a couple other--
cortex: Yeah, let's just elevate our pitch the rest of the also-ran stuff.
jessamyn: Alright. I enjoyed griphus' thing about generating polygons, feeding them into a face detector, mutating them to see if they get better in the face detector [cortex laughs], and eventually getting a totally mutated polygon that looks kinda like a face.
cortex: This is fantastic! Oh, I totally did not see that.
- I am fingering it now and I'm going to go back to it. Because that is--if I had known that it was there, then maybe it would be on my list.
mathowie: That was pretty cool.
jessamyn: And, the person who made it is actually in the thread, which was the part that somehow I didn't notice.
mathowie: I just noticed their Tumblr said, "Oh hey, I didn't make this, somebody else made it," but then I guess they found it--cool.
cortex: That reminds me of--oh, I wouldn't even know how to search for this--but there was a thing a while back, a programming project,
- that I would say years ago, where someone was figuring out how to evolve a good depiction of a high-resolution picture using just a small collection of polygons. So it would start with the original picture, and it would throw a bunch of random colored and shaped triangles onto a canvas and see how much it looked like the actual target image by comparing pixel per pixel. And then it would evolve a bunch of random children of that, and whichever version looked more like the target image would then breed.
- It was like an evolution, like a genetic programming thing. And it got to the point where they were creating fairly reliable blurry versions of art pieces out of twenty or thirty polygons, transparent-colored triangles overlapping with each other. Which is the same sort of spirit thing, but God I have no idea how that--I know one of the examples was the Mona Lisa that they used, but I don't know how I'd find that. But anyway, that reminds me of that.
jessamyn: So much for the lightning round!
cortex: Yep, sorry.
mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh]
cortex: Okay, I'll-- My next--
jessamyn: Not that what you said wasn't interesting.
cortex: [laughs] My winner for the category of Best Liveblog Thread About Putting A Fucking Car On Mars is the thread about putting Curiosity on Mars, by egor83 made the post.
jessamyn: So awesome.
cortex: I mean, it was totally just everybody liveblogging, and it's not really something that works normally for Metafilter, but every once in a while, yeah, we put a fucking car on Mars.
jessamyn: Well, and it was one of those really interesting things because there had
- been an earlier gigantor post by ddbeck, which was great, which was a backgrounder, so that when egor83 did his, some people were like, "RRRRAR, there's already a post!", but other people were like, "This is where we bullshit about it! The other one is serious business," and I think together they fit together really well.
cortex: Yeah. You got the encyclopedia post and then you've got the crazy random AOL chatroom, sort of the two sides of the coin there.
jessamyn: Right. Bobak Ferdowsi. Whoo!
cortex: Yay, Bobak.
mathowie: Should I go over my favorite-favorites?
jessamyn: I have one more medium favorite.
jessamyn: Which is just the images from SF conventions of the past.
mathowie: Oh, yeah! Wasn't that just a couple days ago? Oh no, first day.
jessamyn: Because they're just neat. No, no, no, it was from the first of August.
jessamyn: It was my first favorite. But it was basically, you know, one of the things about
- cons, generally speaking, is people have always dressed up, and they've always taken lots of pictures of each other. And so basically this is a couple random photos and a couple sets of photos from the mid-American fan photo archive that have, you know, some old sets of photos from the Hugos from 1957, for example. And so now when we're bitching on
- io9 about "RRRAR, the Hugos aren't being livestreamed!", if you look at the crazy photos from 1957, when Arthur C. Clarke was a young man, and everybody wore suits, and there's like 20 people there. It's just really--I don't know. One of the things I like about SF is the big tradition of the fact that people have been doing this kind of stuff forever, like fanzines and all the stuff, and so it just made me happy.
mathowie: When was Slave Leia? Was that, like, '81, I guess with--
cortex: Yeah, it would have been after--
jessamyn: Star Trek was in '81.
mathowie: You mean--
jessamyn: Or Star Wars, sorry.
mathowie: Because how was this possible to be in L.A. in 1980, this one photo I'm showing you? It almost looks like a Slave Leia outfit and some sci-fi guy.
cortex: Well, this goes sort of like your Conan and Boris Vallejo stuff. There's definitely prior art for women standing around in bikinis.
mathowie: Yeah. [laughs]
jessamyn: Right. Everything old is new again.
cortex: It was not actually Lucas who came up with that one.
mathowie: I loved the wallpaper in the photos from 1980. [cortex laughs] It's just the most glorious, awful hotel wallpaper and carpet I've ever seen in my life. All so great.
cortex: Well, I will actually honest-to-God lightning-round my stuff just to get it out there without going on forever. [mathowie laughs] My other custom category picks were Best GOP VP Pick Thread That While Being Very Long Isn't Nearly As Long As The Palin Thread, a.k.a.
- The Best Attempt To Make A Decent Post Even Though You Know Nobody's Going To Read The Damn Links--
cortex: --On This One, Because Come On!, which was Rhaomi's Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate post.
jessamyn: I loved this post.
cortex: It was very nicely put together. It was, like, unnecessarily nicely put together.
mathowie: And that was probably like the third attempt or something. Didn't we delete a couple?
cortex: Probably, yeah. I think we did, yeah.
jessamyn: Was it? I don't know if we--
cortex: Or did he get out in front of that? I feel like we deleted a couple dumb, "Hey, Paul Ryan, whaddya know?", you know.
mathowie: Yeah, there was, and someone was super pissed off about it, I remember.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
mathowie: Like, "It's 5 a.m., how dare you not put this up?"
cortex: Well, you know what it is? I remember now. It's because the announcement had not been made, but it had been sort of leaked, but it wasn't super clear.
cortex: And then it was getting more confirmed that the leak was true--
cortex: But it was still just dumb, "Hey, that's the news," posts, so we knocked them down.
jessamyn: "This fucking guy!", yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, between midnight and 5 a.m. it was still a rumor.
cortex: And then Rhaomi made the post, I think, while it was still technically a rumor.
cortex: But it was like, "This is actually a good post. This is not a problem with somebody jumping the gun, this is
- seriously, someone put in some work, so okay."
jessamyn: Well, and to hear him talk about it, he said he had kind of won in the wings, I don't remember if we actually spoke to him about it, or we just kinda knew this.
mathowie: Well, I think he e-mailed us and said, "Hey, hold off, I'm almost done with the crazy post."
jessamyn: [laughing] Was that what he said?
mathowie: Yeah, something like that.
jessamyn: I thought he was more like, "Hey, is this okay, even though it's not 100% official but I do have this good post, blah."
mathowie: Well, it was probably a reading at bedside at five in the morning, so it was just
- like, "Oh yeah, the gist of it is, there's going to be a good one, so let's just wait."
cortex: Another post that I thought was awesome was the Super Mario Brothers--
jessamyn: Oh, the Paul Ryan Situation.
- Sorry, go on.
cortex: Someone has been doing a programming thing adapting Super Mario Brothers, the original, as a 2600 game for the Atari.
jessamyn: Can you explain what this means to those of us with... not-that?
cortex: Okay. So Super Mario Brothers came out on the Nintendo
- Entertainment System in, like, 1985? 1986?
cortex: And people are probably generally familiar with the concept of Super Mario Brothers, and the original game.
cortex: Which was actually really nice-looking at the time for a home console, that's part of why NES did so well, because this was, well, this was great compared to, you remember the 2600?
cortex: Like, really crappy blocking graphics. Very limited hardware.
- So some guy is, just for the hell of it, trying to adapt Super Mario Brothers to the actual 2600 hardware, which is--
jessamyn: Thank you. Oh, I'm looking! Okay, okay. [laughs]
cortex: Yeah. And it's very blocky, it's very stripped-down, but at the same time it works. And so yeah. It's just great to read about the process of, like, if you were going to try and remake 2001 using nothing but a Betamax camcorder and a couple of lampshades, it's like, you know you aren't going to recreate it, but you can do your best to find the soul of thing, and create this very stripped-down, very constrained remake. So I thought that was super awesome.
jessamyn: And this is another post by griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs], too.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: I think you pronounce it that way.
cortex: I say griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs]--
mathowie: I say griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs].
cortex: Yeah, I think we say this every time.
cortex: Yeah. We should ask him, we should--
jessamyn: Yeah. We should really ask him.
cortex: The worst part is, we've probably had this conversation--
mathowie: [laughs] Six times.
cortex: --you know, he's shown up in a couple podcasts, and said, "Oh, yeah, I say it this way," and we're like, "Oh, okay, that's great," and now here we are.
jessamyn: And we were just like, "Whatever, we don't care."
cortex: Yeah, we don't actually want to know, we just want to talk about ourselves.
jessamyn: Although I know that Rhaomi--I'm pretty sure I know that Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi] is like that and not like Rhaomi [ˈɹoʊmi].
cortex: Yeah. No, I remember that one. Yeah. Because I think that may have been news to Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi] that we all thought his name was pronounced like Naomi.
cortex: Because yeah, it was probably a previous podcast thread, and yeah.
- The other one thing that I have to mention is a post by a sock puppet, about the Women of the Lawrence Welk Show.
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: And the amazing thing about this, it's two-fold. Part of it is that it got everybody talking about their weird childhood memories of Lawrence Welk, and the context of
- that, and then on the flipside, the website itself is just kind of amazing, because it's like, 1995-looking website--
jessamyn: [on inhale] Ahhhh.
cortex: --you know, to the point where you think it's designed that way as a joke. But I'm guessing probably not. I think it's just actually the Lawrence Welk-iest fucking website you ever saw. And it's like, call the women who were on Lawrence Welk with bio writeups about them that all seem a little bit vague on the details in some cases and basically, they ended up happily married, or maybe we don't know what happened with their relationship, because there's no
- tales of un-Christian woe showing up in these bios or anything like that. So the whole thing is weird, but it's kind of fascinating.
jessamyn: I mean, especially because these things, even though, I mean--I don't know how on Lawrence Welk, like, this era, was on the air, but you still have Saturday Night--
mathowie: It's still on!
mathowie: It's still on. It's so weird.
cortex: Do they just have, like, random people standing in for Lawrence Welk, or do you just mean syndication?
mathowie: No, no, they replay it every Saturday night from 6 to
- 8, or something, on OPB.
cortex: Oh, I bet it'll keep going in rebroadcasts forever.
jessamyn: But Saturday Night Live does a Lawrence Welk send-up, which to me is funny because this was, like, one tiny TV show when I was a kid, but I guess it still resonates with some set of people, and this website is fascinating.
cortex: It's really great.
mathowie: Yeah, it's pretty awesome. It's like a museum piece. And it's all so, like,
- oh, what was the word I'm thinking of--it's so non-ironic.
jessamyn: 'Sincere' is the word you're looking for.
mathowie: Yes. Totally! I'm so used to being ironic about everything.
cortex: I don't remember what not being like that is.
mathowie: It's 100% sincere, and you read the bios of the women, and it's like it was written by a writer who writes the Parade Magazine in the Sunday paper, just so glowy--"Oh, this person's in their 80s, they've been happily married for forty years, their child graduated college,"
- like, it's so awesome. It's so weird.
cortex: Well, that's all of my just-because also-ran awards, so, if you guys want to move on, I'm now prepared spiritually to do so.
- You're okay with that.
cortex: [in a meditative voice] Yeah, I can deal now, I can let it proceed. I don't have any more posts about farts.
jessamyn: I've only got two more posts
- I want to mention that are both my sort of contenders.
mathowie: Let me go from to silly to awesome, I don't know.
mathowie: I love the lottery simulator one, just because in Oregon, lottery's a big deal. I wish it wasn't. It's super annoying.
jessamyn: It's a regressive tax on the poor, you know.
mathowie: Exactly! And tax on people who are bad at math, is always the running joke. And so you basically run this
- libra--er, library--
mathowie: You run this lottery generator, and it basically runs six random numbers, in milliseconds, thousands of times. Like, you just let it run, and it's just like, Week 1-2-3-4-5-6, and you can sit there and watch for the equivalent of, let's say you bought a one-dollar ticket every Saturday for ten years. And you'll figure out that you never win anything. You always lose.
jessamyn: Right. It's a simulator of your lack of winning.
mathowie: Yeah. And I'm driving
- around, I see these billboards, $80 Million, $200 Million, $300 Million, there's lottery signs all over Oregon, they claim it helps our schools, but it's so sad, you know.
jessamyn: Well, and they always reduce the education budget by however much it's supplemented by the lottery anyhow, so it's a giant scam.
mathowie: Yeah. And then every bar here is basically a gambling hall because they have this weird keno version where you just drink and smoke and stare at numbers and piss away money. So everything about it is ugly.
- And this is awesome, like. the lottery sucks because Math! is the answer.
cortex: [chuckles] Yup.
mathowie: It just shows you you'll never win anything. And my parents were crazy gamblers and wasted tons of money on this their whole lives.
jessamyn: I thought they bought orange crate labels.
mathowie: They did lots of stupid things to piss away money. [jessamyn and cortex laugh] As says the guy with his eighth bike purchase this week.
cortex: Wait, isn't it--
jessamyn: Every time you buy a bike, Matt, either I want a raise or I want you to give a bike away to a kid somewhere.
mathowie: [laughs] Oh, I usually give them away to someone.
jessamyn: I want to see a picture of that also.
mathowie: There was a happy young woman who got my wife's old bike, yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: Wait, you buy a bike so your wife has to give a bike away?
mathowie: [laughs] No, I got her a new bike. [jessamyn laughs] Her old bike went to a fourteen-year-old kid who wanted to race.
jessamyn: Nice! And your new bike is attractive.
mathowie: Let me see, so there's that, I loved that one. I guess all the rest of my favorites are
- all these mega-encyclopedia posts.
jessamyn: Well, mega-encyclopedia posts was one of our categories back when we had structure in our lives.
mathowie: The Great Big Sea post from...
jessamyn: Was that zarq?
mathowie: zarq, yeah. I remember seeing Great Big Sea open for someone I really wanted to see. I'd never heard of these guys, I casually show up to a concert, and they're wailing away, and I liked them better than--I don't even remember who I went to see.
- Maybe it was--probably early '90s? I don't remember what their big song was, but I loved them ever since then, and this was an encyclopedia post about every awesome video. There's official videos, audio...
jessamyn: And it has this wonderful comment by item, which just says, "I don't care how big it is, zarq, but just who the hell is going to pay my physical therapy bills after the inevitable 15 straight hours of Riverdancing I'm about to undertake?"
mathowie and cortex: [have been laughing through the comment]
mathowie: Yeah, they were kind of like the hipster version of
- like what northern Ireland or Scotland or wherever they're from. It's just vaguely from-over-there stuff. But yeah, it was good stuff. The Mega Beer Post was amazing... who did that, flex? No, a man of twists and turns. This is a mega-post on craft beer, and how craft beer was like something from the Great Recession--
jessamyn: You realize they're from Canada, Matt, and they're not from Ireland or
mathowie: Who? Great Big Sea? Oh, that's right, Newfoundland! I think they're from Newfoundland.
cortex: It's the Ireland of Canada.
jessamyn: Shut up.
mathowie: It's so far up there, I forgot they were Newfies.
jessamyn: Just sayin'.
mathowie: I literally have not thought about them since 1999 or so, so when that post came up I was like, "Oh, my God! That thing I saw in college, that band!"
- So yeah, I really loved that post. Yeah, Mega Beer Post, Camel Corps post, that was amazing, I think
- that's filthy light thief.
jessamyn: Camel Corps was one of my favorites.
jessamyn: This was a terrific compendium of original essay post with lots and lots of links by filthy light thief, talking about the U.S. Camel Corps, the short-lived experiment by the U.S. Army before the Civil War.
mathowie: I love the idea of everything in the prehistory of America, when they go to anything that deals with animals, when there's a problem, "Oh, yeah, let's just disband it
- and let them run wild," that's just always a thing people do.
jessamyn: Yeah, we'll just let the zebras run around San Cimean, and if they live, they live.
mathowie: "Hey, I want book birds from Shakespeare! [cortex chuckles] Let's release starlings in Central Park," like, all the stupid things that were done in America.
cortex: Well, your alternative was like, "Hey, let's shoot them all in the head," right?
cortex: You set yourself for a complicated situation as soon as you start collecting.
jessamyn: You could bring them back back home!
cortex: I guess.
jessamyn: I also liked, on the filthy
- light thief is awesome tangent, ahhhhhhh...
cortex: [slightly sing-song] Vocal fry!
jessamyn: ...the "Ichi, the last of the Yahi: of two worlds and in three centuries", talking about this guy who was in California, Native American, kind of lived in the so-called wild and then got bizarrely captured, and it was just a terrible--I have a book about Ichi in my nightstand, he had tuberculosis and blah blah blah, his brain
- was lost until 1999, they repatriated his remains in 2000, it's actually a--and it was very well-documented. The book that filthy light thief talks about at the bottom is one that I'm working my way through; it's very interesting. But the post was terrific, and taught me a few things I didn't actually know about this super sad story.
mathowie: Whoa, Ursula K. Le Guin's father wrote a book about it. Wow.
- Wow. Yeah, this was one of my favorites too. It was pretty cool.
- What other mega-favorites?
jessamyn: Well, the only one I have left is the, I would go to bat for this as my favorite of all the posts, so I don't know if you're at that point yet.
mathowie: Oh, the Church of the SubGenius?
jessamyn: No! It's a High Weirdness by Mail post, that just happens to lead with that.
cortex: Yeah, it sorta leads with that.
- That is also, I am batting for that one hard too.
mathowie: There was so much, I didn't even go through it.
jessamyn: Josh! Do you know what that means? We have enough votes!
cortex: Yay! You're overruled, man. You're outta here.
jessamyn: It doesn't matter what you think, Matt, the electoral college has spoken!
- [by this point, everyone is dissolving in laughter]
mathowie: Hey, I'm Ohio, come on!
jessamyn: We love America!
mathowie: I'm Florida! You have to campaign for me.
jessamyn: So basically, this hit a very specific button, like a book that came out in
- 1988, which was just when I was in college, which was the perfect time, that was all about crazy shit you could get in the mail--books, zines--and some of it was weird, like Flat Earth stuff, and whatever, and the Raëlians, and Battle Cry of Aggressive Christianity, Jimmy Swaggart Gift Catalog, but some of it was like the Unlocked [?] stuff, and environmentalist stuff, and how to get money and disappear, and the Weekly World News kind of stuff, and
- basically, what JHarris did was took the book as a jumping-off point and then made a post that was where he found links to the things that each chapter was about, if that makes sense, am I making sense?
mathowie: Yeah, no, yeah.
jessamyn: So he copied the little descriptors of what the different chapters were, but then
- found links where you could go read more about them. It was amazing, and it was amazing specifically for weirdos like myself who all remember this, and so it made a lot of people really happy.
cortex: Well yeah, it was great because I liked what JHarris did with it, because it's not just like, "Here is a copy of a bunch of the capsule texts from this book," it's more like, "Here is a summary of what was
- going on with the capsule texts on some of these," and him not looking just at specific entries in the book, but also at Ivan Stang's apparent attitude towards these things. Because it's all kook lit, you know, under a very big tent of nutty literature of all sorts of things. But Stang was the guy who started Church of the SubGenius, so he's kind of an odd guy, and on the one hand a lot of deliberate humor there, but also kind of just a little bit of an odd guy.
- So, some of the stuff you might look at and say, "Wow, that's crazy," it's like, "Yeah, but maybe they're onto something. Maybe this perpetual motion machine actually, uhhhh..." It's interesting. Its character is part of it.
jessamyn: It's in the spirit of exploration, it's not the "Look at these assholes," kind of things, but it's also not, you know, "Wake up, sheeple." It's just a lot of weird stuff that--
cortex: Yeah. It's more like, here's a map of weirdness.
cortex: Like, you know, if you would like to navigate these waters, here's where you start,
- you know, without making any judgment about the merits of that particular journey. Just like, here is a goddamned resource for the world of weird.
jessamyn: Yes. And I thought it was terrific, and it made me happy, and I go back to it to click around and see what else I might want to learn about. A lot of these books were important to me becoming me during this late 80s period of my life, and so it was great to get to revisit them now that I'm a
- middle-aged lady with a job.
- We've lost Matt.
mathowie: Oh, no, yes, I agree.
cortex: He's just being contemplative. He's being bowled over by nostalgic--
mathowie: No, no, I'm looking through the popularist favorites list, which I don't think [??] there's anything I totally missed, because yeah.
cortex: Well, there's stuff that I saw but really didn't dig into at all, so it's not like they were bad posts, but they just aren't on my list because I only had so much time.
jessamyn: I was on vacation for
- a good chunk of the month--
jessamyn: --and check back on this stuff, but it's possible something got through my--
cortex: And realistically, this is the nature of this whole thing. I mean, we're not doing some sort of scientific attempt to survey and rate the posts of the month, you know, we're looking at, "Hey, let's look at a bunch of great posts." And, yeah. Nobody read the whole site, so everybody missed stuff. And I kinda like that we've got this loosey-goosey sort of like, the things that we didn't miss collectively.
jessamyn: And Matt has a list of Jeremy and Taz's things that they liked for whatever their wacky honorable mentions will be.
cortex: Oh, excellent.
mathowie: Well, I have just Taz's favorite post, and it's this one, "Divine Lorraine," about crazy apartments in Philadelphia.
cortex: Oh, yeah.
mathowie: [laughs] Designed--wait, what? Sold to a guy who thought he was--
jessamyn: Oh, and this is just from a couple days ago, by jrossi4r--what is that?
- jrossier? I don't know what--
cortex: I've always read it in my head as jrossier.
jessamyn: Except he lives in Apartment 4R--she lives in Apartment 4R? Forget it, don't even ask me.
cortex: Yeah, I don't know. It's like Apartment 3G, you know?
jessamyn: I've just always read it and never thought about it. Say again?
cortex: It's like Apartment 3G, with Margo and Luann and Tommy...
jessamyn: That was the worst comic strip.
cortex: It's still going. It's still actively going.
jessamyn: I'm sorry, that is the worst comic strip.
cortex: No no no, Mary Worth is the worst.
jessamyn: I get them confused.
mathowie: We need to do a comics podcast. [laughs]
cortex: [laughs] Clearly. We're overdue for episode 2.
mathowie: We have so much fodder here.
jessamyn: But didn't you get--didn't Jeremy send you the ones? Didn't restless_nomad send you the ones?
mathowie: No. I thought Jeremy was going to join us on the podcast today, so.
jessamyn: Oh, except when she said, "I'm around," that means she's going to work for us.
cortex: Yeah, she's covering for us so that I'm not just being completely terrible.
mathowie: Oh, it was in the, "Hey, when are we going to meet for the podcast?" and she's like, "Don't forget I'm around!" and I was like, "Okay."
cortex: [laughs] No, no. She's just dutifully keeping things from
- melting, so that we can--
mathowie: Oh, okay.
jessamyn: And she just got back from the conference, because she took the weekend off this weekend too, so.
- I think she's enjoying the slightly zombie downtime, actually.
mathowie: I'm sure she'll post on the thread, I guess, her favorites.
cortex: Well, I'm obviously a big fan of the High Weirdness post. Another one that I liked, that was more on structurally the multi-link side but not mega-post, was
- this post about the British space program.
jessamyn: Oh, this was amazing!
cortex: Yeah, this was--
jessamyn: By garius!
cortex: Yeah. And it starts with, it's one of those things that, like--
jessamyn: I'm sorry, you should say what it is, because I've been reading it.
mathowie: Whaat? I didn't even see this.
cortex: It's the story of the history of the British space program, which you may not have heard a whole lot about, because there I guess wasn't a whole lot of British space program compared to some of the other national space programs. But it starts, the above-the-fold of it is
- just a little capsule about Operation Backfire. Which would have been a fine post on its own, sort of like the equivalent to the American Operation Paperclip, which was, World War II is over, a bunch of crazy science got done as part of this whole war thing, the Germans lost, let's go find out how they made their rockets, and basically repatriate that, you know,--
cortex: --body of knowledge. So you had the U.S. doing that, you had the U.K. doing that, apparently
- somewhat in conflict with each other at times. But yeah, that was the set-up for Britain eventually designing some rockets and actually putting a satellite named Prospero up into orbit around the Earth. And they launched that--a bunch of, it's a terrible series of setbacks and things not working, but they finally, the program's being cancelled, but they successfully finally
- launch this satellite, and that was like, the day they became part of the small handful of countries that have launched satellites, and also the day that their space program ended, because it was still cancelled. Put a satellite in space, okay, fine, but we're still cancelling the space program, so that was the end of it.
jessamyn: And the satellite is still up there.
jessamyn: Moving around.
cortex: With a broken tape recorder.
cortex: So anyway, it's yeah.
jessamyn: But the batteries still work, and they used to fire her up on her birthday.
- But they tried to wake her up for her anniversary last year, and her activation codes have been lost, and she's never gonna make any noise again.
jessamyn: That may be my second-favorite post, actually.
mathowie: Beep, beep, beep. Just like, sadly beeping to no one.
jessamyn: Oh my God. Oh my God. It's so Ground Control to Major Tom, it's amazing.
mathowie: Yeah, yeah. Except there isn't, like, a dead monkey trapped inside of it.
mathowie and cortex: [laugh]
mathowie: Man, I went through every post
- with a fine-toothed comb and I missed this. Probably because the end of the month and I was getting tired.
cortex: Well, and there was just so much, you know.
mathowie: Yeah, like, on the 1st and on the 30th/31st, like, there's a billion posts on the bookends of the month. I think people are starting off strong and ending strong.
- So, top three, we're going to go with the Crazy High Weirdness as the winner.
jessamyn: It's not crazy, it's just weird.
mathowie: Okay, weird...
cortex: It's high. It's high weirdness, you know.
mathowie: How do we pick the next-second-best post and third-best post?
cortex: Well, we could talk about the ones we liked the most, I guess.
cortex: Like, we've mentioned the ones that were on my short list.
mathowie: I liked that one.
cortex: Like, I thought the Empire of the Stars one was great. As far as single-link YouTube posts, even, I've really loved that one about The Games People Play, because I thought that was--
cortex: --it was a great little video, it was totally just some guy doing a thing that he thought was great,
- he made this charming video, it turns out he's a Metafilter member, but that wasn't even in the post.
cortex: People had a great time in the thread talking about--you know, that moment we were talking about, with the whole, where you realize that it's not just you, everybody did these things. So I thought that was really charming. So those were my three favorites.
mathowie: Well, so...
jessamyn: Whose post was that?
cortex: That was by Christ, what an asshole, actually.
mathowie: Well, filthy light thief had two or three good posts, had the Ichi one, what was the other one I loved?
jessamyn: Camel Corps, right?
mathowie: What was the other one? Was it? Yeah, I--geez.
jessamyn: Camel Corps! Camel Corps.
mathowie: Yes, yes, that's right.
jessamyn: [bursts into song, ascending in pitch] Camel Corps... Camel Corps!
mathowie: You said it so fast I'm like, "kettle corn?"
mathowie and jessamyn: [laugh]
mathowie: "Why are you talking about kettle corn?"
jessamyn: There were no amazing cooking posts that I recall, at least this month, and those are usually good pandering posts that pick up a lot of favorites. I also liked The Games People Play
- one a lot, and I also would just give filthy light thief a two-fer if we can for his consistently good for the month of August--because he did a couple of other posts. I mean, he was knocking it out of the park all month, honestly.
mathowie: Day after day after day, yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: The Tangerine Dream video post was kind of amazing...
cortex: [laughs] Right.
jessamyn: I mean, I'm just looking, he did the
- library post, which was, again, I feel like there was one post that he did for every single one of us.
mathowie and cortex: [laugh]
mathowie: Oh God, I have this on my shortlist. filthy light thief did a post on a time-lapse video of Icelandic landscapes. It's just like, time-lapse pans with amazing music playing on Vimeo full-screen. I was watching that all day long, like, it was really good. So maybe second place to
- filthy light thief for maybe the Ichi post, or the Camel Post?
jessamyn: Or both! Can't we--
mathowie: Yeah. Sure! We can make up our own rules.
cortex: Month-time achievement award for the, uh.
jessamyn: Yeah, and a third one for the Games People Play, or if you want to...
mathowie: No, I think that one's good.
jessamyn: And then we can each give one individual, this is my personal pick or whatever.
mathowie: Favorite wacky thing.
jessamyn: We'll send you a postcard kind of thing.
- Ohhh... finally.
jessamyn: Come on, act excited, it's cool.
mathowie: We're at an hour and a half of recording!
jessamyn: [whispers] For God's sakes.
mathowie: So happy to be done at this point.
mathowie and cortex: [laugh]
mathowie: So, yes. Congratulations to...
jessamyn: filthy light thief!
cortex: and Christ, what an asshole!
jessamyn: Christ, what an asshole!
- Special thanks to the number of runners-up that we will be mentioning
- in the thread, and thank you everybody for making the month so interesting and terrific.
cortex: And thanks for sticking around after the month and continuing to post stuff anyway, because hey, that's what we do, right?
cortex: Because that's Metafilter.
cortex: Every month is a Great Post Contest.
cortex: We just don't always award the prizes.
cortex and mathowie: [laugh]
cortex: All right. Should we call it?
jessamyn: Call it!
cortex: And we'll do a normal podcast sometime
- less than two months from now about everything else.
- beryllium: 0:00 to 29:30, 40:30 to 75:30
- ceribus peribus: 30:00 to 40:00