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Podcast 75 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 75: "goodnewsfortheinsane interview."

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


jingle: theme music

mathowie: So, I guess we're on with Paul, goodnewsfortheinsane, our newest -

jessamyn: So Josh, we've started recording, so start recording.

mathowie: Yeah, start recording. (laughs)

cortex: (sighs)

Paul / goodnewsfortheinsane (gnfti): Hi Josh!

cortex: Hi Paul, how you doing?

jessamyn: (titters)

gnfti: I'm good. I'm good. I think I can hear everyone just fine, so I think we're all set.

jessamyn: Paul - you don't care if we call you Paul, do you?

gnfti: No, that's fine. That's absolutely fine.

mathowie: goodnewsfortheinsane is so long.

gnfti: Yeah.

jessamyn: gnfti (pronounced guh-NIF-tee).

mathowie: gnfti (GUN-if-EE).

jessamyn: gnfti (guh-NIF-tee). Nifty.

gnfti: Nifty, whatever, yeah sure. I go by many names.

mathowie: So, you live in The Hague?

gnfti: Yeah, that's right.

mathowie: Is that the center of government for Netherlands?

gnfti: That's true, that's true. Amsterdam is the capital but the government is here.

mathowie: I just figured with the word "the" in the front of a city, that was a little strange. Have you lived there your whole life?

gnfti: Pretty much. I moved around a bit locally but not too far away. I'm from around here.

mathowie: Oh, cool. I remember first spotting you in the Music section, and you've done a bunch of the famous collaboration music stuff. How did you find Metafilter in the beginning?

gnfti: How did I find Metafilter? I think like many people, I can't pinpoint the exact time, but I think I stumbled onto it not too long after 9/11. I think I found the 9/11 thread sometime after the fact, maybe in 2002 or 2003. That's when blogging was taking off here, as well, for the first time, and I'm not sure how I found it. That is, I'm not sure how exactly I found it, but I think that's what I saw first. And I thought it was an interesting place, I'll hang around.

mathowie: Cool.

gnfti: Yeah.

mathowie: I guess you were probably on the Music side of things when it started. Did we add it about 2006, Josh?

cortex: Yeah, it was July 2006, I think.

jessamyn: Well, there was the crazy music thing you did first, Matt. I don't remember when that happened.

cortex: That was 2003, I think.

jessamyn: I loved that, that crazy little page where people could just put little songs up.

cortex: "Email me your mp3s and I will organize everything by hand, because this is the Yahoo web directory."

mathowie: Oh yeah yeah, oh god. Oh god, yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs)

gnfti: I don't think I was around then. I think I joined during the big $5 influx in late 2004.

cortex: Ah, yeah.

gnfti: So I missed that. But I was around when Music Metafilter proper started.

mathowie: Yeah.

gnfti: And I was just recording an album then, so I posted all kinds of rough mixes of new tracks and stuff to Music when I think Music was just starting.

jessamyn: Now are you in a band, or multiple bands, or is it just kinda you playing a bunch of stuff, or what's your music setup at home?

gnfti: Now it's mostly the latter. Yeah, now it's just me just playing all kinds of instruments. I used to be in and out of all kinds of bands, but now it's mostly just the one-man band. I've got a tambourine strapped to my shoe and things like that.

jessamyn: (laughs)

gnfti: (laughs)

mathowie: Your bio says you're an IT guy in Netherlands, and so you just do music on the side for fun?

gnfti: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I work for a Dutch clothing retailer, I do IT for them.

mathowie: Oh, cool.

jessamyn: Are they an online thing, or an in-person thing? Like, do you go

gnfti: Oh that's an in-person thing, oh absolutely yeah yeah yeah. Yeah it's just at the head office, yeah.

mathowie: Sweet!

jessamyn: Oh where does your user name come from?

gnfti: Oh! Well that's a good question! Um...

jessamyn: Thank you!

cortex: [laughs]

gnfti: That was, you might not be surprised to hear, a song I wrote and I'm not going to sing it for you cuz it's really bad. I think I was eighteen at the time, and it was called "Good News For the Insane," and uh...

cortex: You should--you should really uh do a contemporary cover of it and stick it on Music.

gnfti: No, no I shouldn't.

cortex: It'd be great. It'd be--it'd be a good time.

jessamyn: In fact we should all do eponymous musics and put them up on Music. Uh... there's like a "Jessamyn" song that my dad wrote when I was a little kid--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: --which is predicated on the fact that "Jessamyn" rhymes with "specimen" and basically nothing else.

gnfti: Ah, yeah. [laughs] Why haven't we heard that? That should be on there.

jessamyn: Because I'm still learning to play the ukulele, slowly but surely,

gnfti: Ah.

jessamyn: --and uh. Other than that I have to get Jim to accompany me.

jessamyn: You would just slightly challenge him from a distance.

cortex: (laughs)

gnfti: (giggles)

jessamyn: Accordion, maybe, even. What's your favorite instrument, Paul? Of all of your -

gnfti: My favorite instrument. That's a difficult question to answer because, well, I like slightly exotic instruments, and I like small instruments, and when you listen to the songs I've got on Music, a lot of it have glockenspiel and melodica and things like that, which I love.

jessamyn: And the glockenspiel is what? It's one of those little hand-held -

gnfti: A tiny xylophone. Like a soprano xylophone.

jessamyn: And the melodica is?

gnfti: Kind of like a flute with keys. So you blow into it and it -

jessamyn: Like one of those Hooters? The things The Hooters play?

mathowie: The Hooters! Yeah! That's what The Hooters play!

gnfti: Like what? Sorry?

mathowie: There's a man called The Hooters, and the nickname for it is a hooter.

gnfti: Oh, really?

mathowie: They used to play in every song, strangely. It was an eighties one-hit-wonder kind of thing.

jessamyn: They had two hits.

gnfti: What was the hit?

cortex: [laughs] Can't even...

gnfti: I must've heard it. The name doesn't ring a bell...

jessamyn: They did "And We Danced." [sings] "Da da da da da da da da da. We were liars in love and we danced..."

mathowie: I was just thinking it's probably hard to search for "Hooters" on the web now. And get...

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Just turn your safe search on! Turn your safe search on!

mathowie: Yeah [laughs]

gnfti: [laughs]

mathowie: It's not that pornographic about chicken wings!

jessamyn: But people know glockenspiel because you see people play it in marching bands sometimes.

jessamyn: And they're cool in marching bands because you're like "what is that!" because everything else is really normal

gnfti: Exactly.

mathowie: I was hoping to god you weren't going to say...what is the...instrument I cannot stand the sound of: harpsichord

cortex: Oh god, kill me.

gnfti: Oh, harpischord, well that's...that's just like the tone deaf piano. Or piano that only has one loudness setting.

jessamyn: How do you feel about auto harp?

gnfti: It has its place, it has its the past.

cortex: Well and the thing is no one is sitting around playing the actual harpsichord anyway. People are using the harpsichord sound on their keyboard or out of their sampler box. You know, I think anybody who managed to set up and tune an actual fucking harpsichord can put it on as many recordings as they want-

jessamyn: (laughs)

gnfti: Yeah, I agree, yeah.

cortex: -because it's like, that's Tori Amos and some music PhD at Berkeley and that's it, that's the only people who are doing that.

jessamyn: Geek cred.

gnfti: But that goes for many instruments nowadays, doesn't it. I mean, Josh, you might know, personally I loved the sound of the Mellotron, which I think is a great instrument.

cortex: Yeah.

gnfti: It's like an early sampler. It's a keyboard instrument, but every key has a tape player under it with the sound of that note on the tape.

jessamyn: A literal tape player, or like a...?

cortex: Yes, an actual literal loop of tape.

mathowie [?]: Whoa, that's hot.

gnfti: Yes. And so nobody maintains those anymore, it's just the samples now.

cortex: Yes. It's the sort of instrument that could have only existed in the specific timeframe that it did, because it makes no sense these days, because it's a horrible fucking--

gnfti: No.

cortex: It's a nightmare, maintenance-wise.

jessamyn: Of tape, of bands and tapes and...

cortex: It's so many moving parts, so easy to break down... yeah. It's like, ugh. You talk to someone who does recording on an actual reel-to-reel tape machine--

gnfti: Exactly.

cortex: --they'll talk about what a pain it is to just do maintenance on that. And that's just one tape head or, you know, one overall mechanism.

gnfti: Yes.

cortex: Do that times, whatever, sixty keys or whatever a Mellotron has, it's like, Jesus Christ.

gnfti: Yeah--

jessamyn: Ahh, I'm looking at pictures of the Mellotron. Kinda cool!

gnfti: Yeah. I think my mom went to a Moody Blues gig in the '60s and it was delayed by 2 and a half hours because the Mellotron broke down.

cortex jessamyn and goodnewsfortheinsane: (laugh)

gnfti: Yeah. Well, that's the '60s for you.

jessamyn: Well, there's that band that I really like, Holy Fuck, that does all their stuff with...

gnfti: Oh, I love them, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah, with real mechanical music-making things. This seems like it would be right up their alley.

gnfti: Oh, yeah, right. But they use a lot of electronics anyway, don't they? I mean, a lot of purist bands...

jessamyn: Yeah.

gnfti: They tend to go super analog and no synthesizers at all, and the Holy Fuck uses another synthesizer, don't they? Or is it just all analog stuff? I don't know, I don't know the [group ?] that well.

jessamyn: Well, I think it's analog stuff that then gets looped via synthesizers, and they do all sorts of stuff with it? But I haven't listened to them a lot in the last year and a half, so it's entirely possible they've moved on. My piece of trivia about Holy Fuck is that I started the Wikipedia page for the band.

gnfti: Yay! Awesome.

jessamyn: It was just really short. But then I made it and it got deleted immediately, and then undeleted and deleted immediately, because basically any time you make an article with the word 'Fuck' in it, people are like, "No..."

cortex: (chuckles)

gnfti: Right, yeah.

jessamyn: "Teenagers! Ugh."

gnfti: Right. Do you guys remember Uncyclopedia, the Wikipedia parody?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Sure!

gnfti: I started the Wikipedia page on Uncyclopedia.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Aaaah!

gnfti: That's my Wikipedia claim to fame, yeah.

jessamyn: That's pretty good. Yeah, I saw you on Wikipedia! I was like, "Oh, we should be friends!" It's too bad that it's difficult to friend and follow people around Wikipedia. I mean, I guess it's good, that's true.

gnfti: Right. Yeah. Also, I haven't logged in for like four years, so. (chuckles) Yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs) So besides Metafilter and the work you briefly did at Wikipedia, what other websites are your go-to spots? Or are you like me where you're like, "Who's got time for the rest of the Internet now?"

gnfti: Oh, yeah, I get some of that, yeah. The thing, it's strange, because I've been moderating for maybe two months now, and it's the strangest sensation that you do something as a moderator, and you do some work, and then you finish or whatever, and you go, "Oh, right, what's on Metafilter?"

jessamyn: Right! (laughs)

gnfti: (laughs) So I need to find [?]--

jessamyn: My differentiation mechanism is turning my Metafilter Mail off.

gnfti: Yeah.

jessamyn: And not watching the flag queue. Like, I ignore my flag queue, turn my mail off, and then I'm mostly just reading.

gnfti: Yeah.

jessamyn: But it's a difficult, difficult line to walk, I think.

gnfti: Yeah, I never tried to do that. But it's, I don't know, it's a bit of a transition, yeah, yeah. Well, I'll figure it out.

jessamyn: (laughs)

gnfti: So what are my other go-to sites? That's a good question, I don't really know. I read a lot of news. And yeah, it's one of those questions... I'm terribly ill-prepared, I know, just now.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: No, it's okay. We all are, we all are.

mathowie: Well, if you have ten minutes to spare at work, what do you goof off by doing?

jessamyn: Working at Metafilter, I bet.

cortex: Just pull a Palin and say, "All of them." Just say all of them, they come across your desk.

mathowie: (chuckles)

gnfti: No, no, no, I couldn't. Because there's some sites, no. Yeah, I was reading actually just Metafilter, because that's not, because you guys are asking, but that's where I tend to go, and... I dabbled in Reddit, but I can't seem to get the hang of it.

jessamyn: (laughs) Uh-huh.

gnfti: And that's it, and some news, and yeah.

jessamyn: And you're... I can't remember if you or Jeremy is older, but I think you're our youngest moderator now. Is that true?

gnfti: Am I? I'm 31. Am I?

jessamyn: Well, how old...?

cortex: You got me by a couple years, so.

jessamyn: (amused) A couple years.

gnfti: Right, right, right.

cortex: I'm 33.

jessamyn: Right, you've got me by almost a decade and a half, a decade from Matt. Taz is I think older than me. Actually, thanks to the win of instant messenger, I can actually ask Jeremy how old she is.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

jessamyn: (types)

mathowie: I'm gonna guess late 20s? 28-ish?

gnfti: Just tell her a/s/l.

mathowie jessamyn and goodnewsfortheinsane: (chuckle)

gnfti: I still can't get over that I've never heard of The Hooters.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

gnfti: I think it's just one of those bands that, you know, that were popular but that never got out of North America, maybe, in a meaningful way?

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, I mean, they were not...

gnfti: It's a strange [??].

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, they were kind of flash-in-the-pan pop for America.

mathowie: And it was kind of like party music you'd hear at a party, dance music, so sometimes that stuff doesn't really travel very well.

jessamyn: Hey! Jeremy says she is also 31. So what month is your birthday?

gnfti: Oh, hey. A tie.

cortex: You're gonna have to have a dance-off now.

jessamyn: It's not a tie! They're not twins. What month is your birthday in?

mathowie: Oh God.

cortex: What if they are?

mathowie: Plus or minus one year is enough.

jessamyn: What? Okay, okay.

mathowie: (chuckles) Paul, what--

jessamyn: Oh God, like all that awful stuff on Kate Middleton, who's expecting, and people are like, "If she has a C-Section, the doctor has to decide which baby to take out first, and then that baby's the king!"

mathowie: Oh, God.

cortex: Wait. She's having twins?

jessamyn: She's, I don't think she...

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Ohh.

gnfti: Well, it's an interesting conundrum. I mean, it's continuity of government, guys, it's important for us Euro people.

mathowie: (chuckles) It's figurehead succession.

jessamyn: That's right. Not to be a doofy American about this, but your system of government in the Netherlands, because I don't know that much about it?

gnfti: It's pretty much the same as in Britain, really. I think it's called a parliamentary monarchy? So we have a queen.

jessamyn: Okay.

gnfti: Beatrix, her name is.

jessamyn: Wait, say that again? You dropped out for a second.

gnfti: Oh. We have a queen, her name is Beatrix.

jessamyn: Nice! That's a great name.

mathowie: Yeah.

gnfti: Yeah. And so it's a lot like Britain, I think, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: But then do you have a Prime Minister who really runs the country?

gnfti: Exactly, yeah.

mathowie: And then you also have a Parliament that's like Congress, right?

gnfti: Right. Two chambers, just like the U.S., yeah.

mathowie: Huh.

gnfti: So a Parliament, or a House of Representatives and a Senate, yeah.

mathowie: Oh! I was gonna ask you, you use Metafilter a lot and you like it, but you're in Europe...

gnfti: So far.

goodnewsfortheinsane and jessamyn: (chuckle)

mathowie: But you're in Europe. I found, when I was in Italy and I would pop onto Metafilter, it's like, you know, 3 a.m. to everybody in the States and the site was really quiet.

gnfti: Exactly, yeah.

mathowie: Is there anything weird about... or do you just go on late at night when it's kind of bumping for you?

gnfti: Yeah, yeah, that's... I'm a night owl, so that's how I cope with that. It's strange for me now, actually, because I never used to--even for me, I do get up early sometimes--and I never noticed before how quiet it is in the morning and now I have to notice because that's when I work on Metafilter.

jessamyn: We tried to ease you in gradually.

gnfti: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: "Here, work while nobody's awake. Thank you!"

gnfti: (chuckles) Yeah. [Well, that ?] works. But, you know, yeah. So, basically I tend to go on later in the day when it's busier, so.

mathowie: Oh, cool.

gnfti: Basically, yes.

jessamyn: And you're the only moderator we have, I believe, who isn't originally American, too.

gnfti: That's right! That's right.

jessamyn: Do you have an opinion about Metafilter's U.S.-centricism or lack of or things that you notice that we might not notice because we're just all la-la, pass the onion rings?

mathowie and goodnewsfortheinsane: (chuckle)

gnfti: That's the most American thing you can think of, onion rings?

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Off the top of my head? Well, I went out to a bar and they had onion rings and they weren't even from an onion, they were those, you mash up an onion and then you make it into a circle?

mathowie: Ugh.

gnfti: Yeah. Reconstituted onion.

jessamyn: Like Burger King-type onion rings, which are not--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: They're a facsimile of a food that's actually delicious.

gnfti: Yeah. Onion-based delicacy. (chuckles) Yeah, all right. Anyhow. Well, Metafilter, for an American site, is pretty international and pretty internationalist, I would say. And, I mean, I like America, I mean, I've even [???] in America, so that doesn't bother me.

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

cortex: Yeah, but do you like-like America?

jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)

gnfti: I wouldn't... I don't know. I wouldn't marry it.

cortex: If... let's say in theory there was a dance coming up.

jessamyn: (laugh)

gnfti: Yes.

cortex: And, you know.

gnfti: It depends. What's America gonna wear?

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: That's always the question.

cortex: [It'll put ?] on stars and stripes. Stars and stripes for sure.

gnfti: Probably just a flag. Yeah.

mathowie: Just a flag.

gnfti: Exactly.

mathowie: So we've gone about 20 minutes. Any last close it up questions anyone can think of?

jessamyn: Because otherwise we're gonna talk to you for an hour and then be like, "Oh, right, podcast!"

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Yeah, last... yeah. I think we talked to LobsterMitten for like 45 minutes, it was so hard to cut down.

jessamyn: Oh, wait, I have another question!

gnfti: Right. Sure!

jessamyn: Pets. Are you a cat or a dog person?

gnfti: Cats!

jessamyn: You have them, or you just like them?

gnfti: I've got one. Both. (chuckles)

jessamyn: What's its name?

gnfti: Tommy.

jessamyn: Tommy the cat?

gnfti: Yeah. I didn't name it.

mathowie: (chuckles) Primus.

gnfti: Someone else did. But yeah. He's alright. I'm definitely a cat person, yeah.

jessamyn: Are there pictures of this cat on the Internet?

cortex: [??]

gnfti: Mmm... I think I have some on Instagram, yeah. I'll send you a link and you can put it on the podcast page.

jessamyn: I just joined Instagram this month! Great.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: Another person I can go be Instagram friends with.

mathowie: instagram/jessamyn...

jessamyn: iamthebestartist, there was already a jessamyn.

mathowie: Aughh.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Well, no, it's not you, it's them!

jessamyn: (laughs) Exactly.

mathowie: They didn't leave the road open for you.

jessamyn: Exactly. To be fair, I could have gotten on the bandwagon maybe half a decade ago, but.

mathowie: I know, same here.

cortex: Ehh. I still haven't. Not as an ideological thing, I just like, every time I sign up for a service that I don't know if I'm actually going to use, I get a little bit more conflicted inside, and then every time one of those services turns out to be really important and useful, I feel better about myself, but that still hasn't really happened yet, so.

jessamyn: Well, basically I had a friend come visit me when I was in Massachusetts, and it's the only social media he uses.

cortex: Ahhh.

jessamyn: He's not on Facebook, he doesn't use Twitter, he doesn't use whatever the heck else. He barely e-mails. He doesn't SMS, he does nothing. Except, he puts three or four pictures a week on Instagram. And he's got kids, who I adore. And that's the actual way to keep in touch with what he and the kids and his wife are up to. And that's what made me join.

cortex: Fair enough.

mathowie: That's how I came around to it, was looking over Jason Kottke's shoulder at the XOXO conference I was at, and it was like, "Oh my God, I didn't know it was a social network!" Like, I didn't know the twenty people he runs into in New York were all taking two or three photos a day, and it was sort of like Twitter, but as pictures, and I was like, "That's amazing!" Like, I just thought it was crappy filters, you know. "Oh, I want to take an ugly, weird photo."

jessamyn: Well, for people who are serious about photography, it is totally like, "Euggh!"

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But not like I'm that person, but I can see that being a thing.

gnfti: Guys, it kind of was only that until not too long ago, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

gnfti: Because we didn't have, they didn't have public profiles or anything, so it basically was just pictures.

mathowie: Yeah.

gnfti: It's a lot nicer now to use as a social network.

mathowie: And at this point I'm shocked I can't look at recent photos from my people I follow on the web. Like, it's so...

gnfti: Mm-hm.

mathowie: Like, I have a folder on my browser of time-wasters, whenever I have 10-15 minutes to screw around. And it just feels so weird to pull a phone out of my pocket just to be part of that time-wasting.

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

mathowie: It breaks everything for me and drives me crazy. But eh.

jessamyn: That is really interesting, though, is that it's really phone-based, not web-based. Kind of like Path, which I never quite...

mathowie: Eugh, yeah.

jessamyn: Never quite got on board with, even though I enjoy it. And there's a couple people where that's the best way to get in touch with them or track what they're up to, but yeah.

mathowie: You know, the last time I got a haircut, the person cutting my hair, her social network of choice--this is so weird--she was like, "Me and my boyfriend just live on this thing called StumbleUpon..."

jessamyn: Oh my God.

cortex: Oh, Jesus.

mathowie: "We're sending links at each other every day. Anything I read in the New York Times, I'll send it over to him, and then he'll send me over a silly comic, and it's the most amazing network in the world, and I have followers, and I follow people..." and I was just, my eyes were bugging out of my head. Like, StumbleUpon is your social net--like, explain this!

jessamyn: Like, this lady's touching my head?

mathowie: Yeah, I was like, "Explain"... I had her explain it, and it seems like the strangest place for a social network to live, but that's... I mean, that was her everything, this was like, she doesn't even have a laptop, she just does it all on a phone, and...

jessamyn: Well, FriendFeed used to be like that too, and probably still is for some people, you know? You hang out on a blog all day!

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I couldn't fault her. I was just completely amazed when I heard about it.

cortex: Whatever you end up using is whatever you end up using.

mathowie: Yeah, wherever you spend your time, if you find a tribe of people you can... and yeah, that delights, that's worth it.

jessamyn: Right.

gnfti: Sure.

cortex: And that's the story of how goodnewsfortheinsane uses StumbleUpon.

mathowie: Yay!

cortex jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)

gnfti: So that was just listening to the highlights, yeah. For those playing along at home...

mathowie: (chuckles)

gnfti: That's interesting, actually. You know, the first, you know, when Twitter added lists, right? The first list that I was added to was by another guy I only knew vaguely from the early Dutch blogging scene, and was a list called, I don't think I'm still on there, a list called "Old Bloggers".

mathowie and cortex: (chuckle)

gnfti: So, yeah.

mathowie: Cool, yeah!

jessamyn: Paul, thank you for... and what time is it there?

mathowie: 9? 6 p.m.

jessamyn: Like, it's noon-ish my time, so that means it's evening your time, right? Five hours?

gnfti: Yes. Half-past six, about six hours difference. Nine hours with Matt and Josh, yeah.

jessamyn: Oh! Now, in... do you say half-six, or do you, is that not something people say? Like, I've always...

gnfti: That's what we say in English, not in Dutch. In Dutch it would be half-seven now.

jessamyn: Aaah!

mathowie: A-two a-past o'clock, I think, is the... (chuckles)

gnfti: That's right, yeah, yeah, yeah. You have to work on your pronunciation a bit.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: That's right, you can teach us all how to say swears in Dutch.

mathowie: Oh, yeah! Can you give us--

gnfti: You know that Dutch people swear with diseases, right?

jessamyn: No! You know, the Romanians swear with Dracula.

gnfti: Really? Nahh.

jessamyn: Like, 'dracul' is one of the worst swears.

mathowie: Wait, what d--like, you say 'cancer' to someone as a put-down?

gnfti: That is the worst word. That is the worst word.

jessamyn: Aah!

mathowie: Well, I mean, I've, yeah, I went there. But. (chuckles)

gnfti: Yeah.

mathowie: So yeah, if I cut you off in traffic, what would you say to me?

gnfti: Ooh! Uh...

cortex: Well, if his kids were in the car he'd just say 'halitosis', and, you know.

jessamyn: He doesn't have kids.

gnfti: Yeah. Or 'itch', or, yeah, yeah. Exactly. No. No, I wouldn't use a disease, probably. But we do a lot of that. Well, I suppose you could.

jessamyn: Is this one of, like, other people swear, but you don't swear? Is this where we find out you're part of some culty church out there?

gnfti: (chuckles) We have those, but no. No, I would probably say 'klootzak', which just means 'nutsack', I suppose.

mathowie: Ohh!

jessamyn: Nutsack!

gnfti: Yeah. klootzak, with K-L.

mathowie: klootzak.

jessamyn: klootzak.

mathowie: klootzak.

jessamyn: I like that!

mathowie: Yeah!

gnfti: Yes, it's good. Yeah.

mathowie: Alright, thanks for taking time and talking to us, Paul.

gnfti: No problem. It's been fun!

jessamyn: Thanks for talking to us, Paul.

cortex: Yeah, and welcome aboard!

mathowie: Alright!

gnfti: Have fun with the podcast!

jingle: (end of theme: Welcome to the Metafilter Podcast!)

jessamyn: Welcome to Metafilter Podcast 75. Our last podcast was at the beginning of November.

mathowie: So this is December, and all November stuff counts, and we've got a cool Best Post Contest going on, crowdsourced.

jessamyn: Yeah! We can actually start with that, because I'm totally excited about our Best Post Contest. We had some of the... at the end of November, who was like, "Why don't we do a Metafilter contest that doesn't have big iPads but has user-generated little gifts just to encourage people to--"... oh, I notice the tag is 'bestportcontest'.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I must have done that.

cortex: I say tawny.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Ruby's fine.

jessamyn: But so basically, we just had a little contest where all we're doing is tallying the 'fantastic' flags of posts on a weekly basis on Metafilter proper, and then there's user-provided little gifts. So I'm giving away some library conference mugs.

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: Some other people... you can click through. We had people signing up on the wiki to offer prizes. We've had a couple people who have said they were going to sign up and offer prizes. Next week, Taz will discombobulate you with a plate of beans or possibly a bucket of cocks, depending on taste. I have no idea what that means! And I have no idea... oh, LobsterMitten will make an endowment to the Internet Archive in your name.

mathowie: Oh, nice.

jessamyn: And they have a three-for-one matching grant now.

cortex: Nice.

mathowie: Oh, right.

jessamyn: Which is kinda cool. Josh swears he's gonna make somebody a terrible four-part a cappella cover of the pop song of your choice, but there was some dispute about whether you had made good on past--

cortex: That was, that's a different situation. The whole idea here is, this is something I can do in five minutes without really trying, whereas Rhaomi [ˈɹeɪoʊmi]--Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi] wanted a cover of Man of Constant Sorrow, and that's a song I really like, and I want to do a good cover, and I've done a couple of lousy covers of it before, and so I keep putting it off because I'm not happy with it.

jessamyn: And this was when? August?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: This August?

cortex: Well, originally last August, or last December. 2011's official Best Post Contest, I think that was for.

jessamyn: So you'll have this done by the next podcast, right?

cortex: Yeah, hopefully. Hopefully.

mathowie: Sure.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I'm trying to do some more music this month.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: So hopefully it'll work well.

mathowie: So you wanna--?

jessamyn: Do you have any new instruments, Josh? That you're working with?

cortex: No, I don't think so. I've been doing other stuff, so.

mathowie: Do you want to jump over to Projects just to kick us off?

cortex: Oh, sure.

jessamyn: Sure! Projects has been great this month.

mathowie: Yes, it has.

jessamyn: I mean, there's a--

mathowie: There was the great, I loved, I'll kick it off with "The History League" by Jezztek.

jessamyn: Jezztek knocks it out of the park every single holiday time.

mathowie: Whoops! Yeah. Totally does--this is probably one in a series of five or so t-shirt designs of something geeky done in a pop-culture sort of way,

and so this is famous people from history done as if they were NBA teams, sports teams.

jessamyn: Well, not even people, usually, but things.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like the bubonic plague, or the Watergate creeps.

mathowie: Ohhh. I was thinking of the Copernican Revolution, makes an awesome-looking sports team. But yes. Yeah, I guess, yeah, these are--

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, that's super nice.

mathowie: Robber Barons as a train. Yeah, these are awesome. Really cool designs, hilarious.

Cool stuff. And if you check out any of his other stuff, he has some science stuff, some stuff making fun of the Tea Party, some stuff making--

jessamyn: Mustaches through history.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, just lots of cool...

jessamyn: And animals in monocles.

mathowie: (chuckles) That's right. Sir Critters.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

mathowie: That was one of my favorites. And one of the site's favorites for the month.

cortex: Brad Sucks has a new album out, which is always a good thing. Because Brad Sucks is very poorly named.

jessamyn: Doesn't--

cortex: Yes. So yes, just go listen to it. It's a Brad Sucks album, and there's no reason that you shouldn't be doing that right now, so.

jessamyn: And he put some of the demos on Metafilter Music, but now it's done, and you can pay whatever you want to get it from his website or stream it. And he's also super remix-friendly, so if you want to make something with it, he's probably also gonna be super okay with that.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: Yeah! I really enjoyed soma lkcx's project called Dabbler.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Which is basically this neat little website,, you subscribe to it, it's got a little cost associated for it, I think it's two dollars a month, and you can learn a thing, and basically they'll send you information, a little package of picking up the skill or doing a project or learning a thing. So notes, book recommendations, backgrounds, that kind of stuff. And, it's a beautiful website!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Although I'm not really sure what I'm looking at. It appears to be moldy fudge.

mathowie: And then yarn, and then fossilized amber? I wasn't sure if this is something you had to be in Brooklyn to do in some space, or if it was just stuff you did at home.

jessamyn: No, no, somebody commented, actually, and was like, "Hey, is it going to be too U.S.-centric?" and he's like, "We're going to try to not only not Brooklyn-centric, but not US-centric." Although, they just started it, so they're trying. He's the guy from the Brooklyn Brainery, and they do a lot of local classes, and they're trying to branch out to have a larger-than-Brooklyn impact.

mathowie: I like the idea of adult learning stuff. I've been digging - I had no idea that there were such things as community bands where I live now, and there is. People who were in marching band when they were 15, and they're 45 now, and they still do it.

jessamyn: Sure!

mathowie: I think that's awesome, and I think it's awesome that you can go do hobby-like things, or little science classes as adults because that stuff just goes away after we're 20.

jessamyn: That is one of the things. I think that the critiques that are not valid about hipster culture is this kind of DIY-ish "you don't have to be in the symphony, you can just fuck around and play music with a bunch of other people who aren't necessarily just your band." But you can have this big marching band, and you can play around and be goofy and have a good time, and it's good for you! It's good for social cohesion. It's good for learning new skills.

I teach Macintosh classes at the local adult ed program, but some of the other adult ed programs are "build a chair!" "build a stone wall!" They're not all watercolors and holiday cards, though they are that also. And there's a lot of people who take classes just to get out of the house and learn a thing. It's good for your brain.

mathowie: There's a community college in my town, an outpost branch in a remote location, and I've been wanting to take a class in Illustrator for about five years. I never get around to it, just because I'm great in Photoshop and I'm just all thumbs in Illustrator. I always have to look everything up that I want to do and I get super frustrated with it. And there's always some design class that primarily works in Illustrator. And, yeah, I need to do that some day.

jessamyn: That would be neat!

mathowie: I liked Derek Powacek's, fraying on Metafilter's, Cute-Fight. I don't have cute pets at the moment, but this is basically--

jessamyn: Awww...

mathowie: We're getting a cat soon, so.

jessamyn: Yay!

mathowie: Cute-Fight is essentially--Derek says, "Don't say it that way, Matt", when I told him about the first time--

jessamyn: So don't say it! Don't say it!

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: No! It is! It is Hot or Not for

kittens and puppies.

cortex: It's Cat or Not.

mathowie: Yeah. It's just, "Which one's cuter, this one or this one? Which one's cuter, this one or this one?"

jessamyn: Ali vs. Peanut. I vote Peanut.

mathowie: (chuckles) And it's funny. Oh wow, it's more than one photo at a time. Wow, this is hard to... wow. Yeah, cycle through photos for each two dogs, one against the other. But the artwork's really cute. It's just a nice goofy little site.

jessamyn: And if you want you can just look at a page of adorableness that has a bunch of animal photos on it, which is basically what the Internet is for.

mathowie: Exactly. That's all--

jessamyn: Yeah, I know, I totally, I loved that too. The other weird thing that I really liked, which isn't our usual stuff, is Feedipedia, an online encyclopedia of animal feed.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Which elgilito [ˈɛljɪ.liɾoʊ] did. I don't know why you're laughing!

cortex: I just, it's great! This is what the Internet is fucking for, man.

jessamyn: But basically elgilito [ˈɛljɪ.liɾoʊ]--I think that's how you pronounce it, elgilito [ˈɛlgɪ.liɾoʊ]? elgilito [ˈɛljɪ.liɾoʊ]--is a project manager, and it's just got what's in 1300 worldwide livestock feeds! But it's a really nice... I can't, of course, get it to load right now, but--

mathowie: Yeah, it's not loading. All three of us are trying to hit it, so.

cortex and jessamyn: (chuckle)

jessamyn: Probably not--

cortex: That's like [going ?] twice on their expected concurrent usage.

mathowie: Ah, now it works. Wow! Yeah.

jessamyn: It's just really comprehensive and a nice big well-put together site that I just saw and was like, this is awesome.

mathowie: "Roots, tubers and by-products." I love by-products.

jessamyn: Hey, you're the soil scientist.

mathowie: I had a friend that grew up on a farm that I didn't meet until I was like, I don't know, 18 or 19 and I realized that, he taught me about the Seed & Feed? The Seed & Feed being like the center of that whole world, like a rural city in the most--

jessamyn: Absolutely. Absolutely.

mathowie: I had no idea that the most important business in a rural town is basically the Seed & Feed, where everyone gathers, talks about how the crops are doing or the livestock is doing. You pick up a 50-pound bag of feed and shoot the shit, and that was sort of like the center of that community. And now I sort of seek out Seed & Feed stores, I kinda love them, they're awesome.

jessamyn: Dude, we've got one near here. Any time you're in this area, we'll have to take you to the Farm-Way.

mathowie: The Seed & Feed.

I would say one last thing for the December, December's just kicking off, and we have two or three, I think, Advent calendar riffs in Projects already, and a couple December book club things. I would say, if you're listening to this in the next day or so, check out Projects, the front page of Projects, and there's a whole bunch of December-only stuff going on that you won't want to miss.

jessamyn: Agreed. Projects was really good this month. I've been really enjoying it.

mathowie: Oh, wow, a New York City advent calendar. I forgot that one. Yeah. And then Gruesome Tales, the Badvent calendar.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: It's kind of like an Edward Gorey kind of thing.

jessamyn: I don't know if there's any Hanukkah stuff?

mathowie: Is there any Hanukkah stuff?

jessamyn: Hanukkah starts this weekend! It's early this year, and so a lot of people who kinda don't quite get the holiday bug until halfway through December are going to be like, "What?" So.

mathowie: Gonna miss... yeah. Copy... what determines the day Hanukkah is on? Is there some--

jessamyn: It's just occurring... it's according to the Jewish calendar, so, you know, the calendar isn't a twelve-month calendar like the--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah, it doesn't line up the same way.

mathowie: Is it ever in like November or something crazy?

jessamyn: I don't think so.

mathowie: Oh, okay. That's good.

jessamyn: But that's a... yeah, it begins on the 25th of Kislev and goes to the 2nd of Tevet, and I'm sure I'm totally pronouncing that wrong.

Let's see if I can find the dates...

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Go on, [go amongst you ?].

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Do you have any other last Projects, Josh? While Jessamyn examines Judaism law.

cortex: I'm good with Projects. You guys hit the ones that I didn't mention that I was thinking about specifically.

mathowie: Cool.

cortex: Should we move on to Metafilter?

mathowie: Sure.

jessamyn: Yeah, the 6th is the earliest and I think the 22nd is the latest for a eight-year span. So cunning as it--

mathowie: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: Oh, I guess November 27th, next year it's November 27th. Good gracious.

mathowie: Whoa! Comes earlier every... I'm going to have to get my Hanukkah [themed ?].

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: I hope you got me something nice!

cortex: No, I got you eight somethings that aren't very good. But it's... that's how Hanukkah works!

jessamyn: Aughh, it's a bag of candy.

mathowie: Mostly chocolate coins.

jessamyn: (laughs) No. I told you he should--

cortex: I didn't even get the dark chocolate gelt! You had to get the milk chocolate! But the stuff is terrible. It tastes like someone melted a candle on top of a Hershey Kiss. This is, eugh.

jessamyn: It totally does, it's the worst. I told Jim he should tell his son who lives with him now that, "No, no, no, we celebrate Hanukkah," and then he'd totally have to get tiny gifts. He's like, "Nah, the kid wants an effects pedal, I think we'll just do Christmas."

mathowie: Aw, man, that's awesome.

jessamyn: Yeah. It's a nice effects pedal, too.

cortex: No, no, no, you get him a multi-effects pedal, but you only let him use one setting each day--

jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)

cortex: --for the whole eight-day run.

mathowie: Oh, nice, nice!

jessamyn: I will tell him that that will probably be good. So. Moving on to Ask Metafilter, or Metafilter proper?

mathowie: Eh, I guess Metafilter first.

jessamyn: (sing-song) Oh, Metafilter.

cortex: I'd like to talk about the greatest post ever made, Pool Women Cartoon.

mathowie: Oh, I saw that.

jessamyn: This was not any good. I [??] hated this.

cortex: (laughs) It was terrible.

jessamyn: Please tell me what is redeeming about this, because I couldn't figure it out.

cortex: It was just weird, and it was weird and hit me just the right way at the time, I was like, "Yes, this is the good weird." It's a collection of not very good single-panel New Yorker-style cartoons, but they're all about maritime shipping and related things, and they're all just cartoons that run in a maritime magazine, and so it's all just [very, very ?] specific--

mathowie: Oh, this is for real!

jessamyn: Is that's what's funny about it?

mathowie: This is real! This is like... oh my God.

cortex: Yeah. This is not some weird non sequitur prank where someone does a bunch of intentionally bad cartoons, this is just actually niche humor cartoons that I think probably also just aren't very good, but in any case, it's all presented inscrutably where you can look, you can navigate through their folksonomy of tags, so each page--

jessamyn: They spelled 'cartoons' wrong on the main page!

mathowie: [Caw ?]. Oh, I think there's a--

cortex: Well, you know, they're in shipping, not lexicography, what do you want? (laughs)

jessamyn: Lexicography, is that spelling?

cortex: (laughs) No, it's the study of words. Lexicography.

mathowie: Cruise cartoons. Oh my God.

cortex: So yeah, it's just... it's such a weird thing to just wander into, and it's one of those threads where people were just kind of struggling with the lack of...

jessamyn: Duhuhwhaa? Yeah.

cortex: Exactly. And I love that sort of thing sometimes. And other times I delete that sort of thing. I'm very impermanent.

mathowie: This completely changed my opinion of it. I thought it was some ironic, ha-ha, check out how horrible this stuff is, and there must have been some limitations, like we think of a joke in 30 seconds and that's as good as it gets, but these are real! These are real cartoons that they probably syndicate to ships for their daily news, and they're terrible, and that's funny.

cortex: Yeah. So anyway, I liked that.

mathowie: It's amazing. Amazing.

jessamyn: So I very much enjoyed, the one favorite post I had for November was the fire tornado, or firenado. They're basically the spinning air thing, but then stuff catches on fire, and then they just look really, really [ cool. As you know, I'm really interested in weather and sky and space phenomena, and these things are just amazing looking.

mathowie: Wow, so there's tornadoes going on, and then...

jessamyn: Well, and it's not like a tornado-tornado, it's more like a dust devil, you know?

mathowie: Uh-huh.

jessamyn: Like, they don't come down from the sky, they kind of go up from the ground.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

cortex: Yeah, it's sort of a funnel (iOS notification noise) phenomenon.

mathowie: So there's bad weather and winds and then there's a fire and then this temporary weird wind anomaly happens over a fire and it looks amazing.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. So there's dust devils or whirlwinds, and then the hot air can actually make a blurblhhh!, like, go go go go!, and then they look cool, and then people photograph them. And so this was just a neat post by Chinese Jet Pilot, and apparently you can create your own! according to io9, which of course is when this jumped from essentially no one knowing about it to it being a thing that people know about.

mathowie: That's sweet.

jessamyn: Yeah, I loved it.

mathowie: I loved this Farmer's Dilemma, you know, the Farmer's Dilemma is the classic logic puzzle of the river, the boat, and a farmer, and he's got, what, okay...

jessamyn: Chicken, feed, fox, I think?

cortex: Yeah, a fox and a chicken.

mathowie: Fox, chicken, and feed, and how does he do, you know, take two over, all that trickery. And someone just basically riffed on the idea of that world as the basis for a comic, and it's deep and weird and sad and stuff, and then someone on Metafilter breaks it... I mean, I thought it was cute that someone took this childhood logic problem that everyone's heard and made a comic out of it, with all this weird, you know, almost seems like it has... like, the fox has to come out to the dad and mom and say, "I'm a carnivore"--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Which is a little funny. And people were like, "Is this about homophobia or something?" And then Missiles K. Monster just breaks, blows it out of the water with this really--

jessamyn: Who is a user I have never... he's made, he or she has made 70 comments on the whole website, ever.

mathowie: Yeah, I've never heard this. And it was just sort of the graduate seminar version of what you just read, and it's just fascinating, I would say don't miss that. Don't miss that follow-up, because then it's on a completely different level, like, wow, I missed all that stuff! But yeah, it was great.

jessamyn: Cool! I also enjoyed, speaking of other earth stuff--

cortex: Ooh!

jessamyn: --this thread about--I'm probably pronouncing it wrong!--Petrichor [ˈpɛtɹɪˌkɔɹ]? Petrichor [ˈpɛtɹɪˌtʃɔɹ]? It's basically what causes the smell of the earth after a rainfall.

mathowie: Ahh.

jessamyn: And talks about that, basically.

mathowie: Did it talk about the--

jessamyn: And so the post was by mrgrimm and it got eight zillion favorites and it was wonderful, but then there's a ton of people talking about stuff, especially perfume and a whole bunch of other things, and the thread itself was super interesting, and the post was also great.

mathowie: Do they talk about the... I didn't read any of the links on this, I saw it blow by, but do they talk about the production of it? Like, what's... because in soil science world we used to talk about actinomycetes [.æk.tɪ.noʊ.maɪˈsi.ɾis], microorganisms in the soil, and I had a professor who would always, like after a rain, he'd be like, "Doesn't that smell great? That's actinomycetes at work."

jessamyn: I assume that is part of the whole thing. I mean, they talk about how the human nose is super [smell ?]-susceptible.

mathowie: Ten parts per trillion. Sensitive.

jessamyn: But like, you can smell almost none of it.

mathowie: Yeah. Huh.

jessamyn: In the air. And so they were talking about, well, what's the evolutionary reason that you can smell this at all? Does it help you find water, or blahdeblahdeblahdeblah?

mathowie: Yeah. My professor mentioned--

jessamyn: Yeah, actinomycetes [.æ.sɪ.noʊ.maɪˈsi.ɾis]! jamjam mentions actinomycetes [.æ.sɪ.noʊ.maɪˈsi.ɾis] in a comment.

mathowie: Yeah. Cool.

jessamyn: Thank God you're here, so now I know how to pronounce it.

mathowie: Actinomycetes [.ækˈtɪ.noʊ.maɪ.si.ɾis], it should be, I think.

jessamyn: Yeah, actinomycetes [.æk.tɪ.noʊ.maɪˈsi.ɾis].

mathowie: There's three or four major important invisible organisms in soil, like nematodes is one--

jessamyn: Nematodes!

mathowie: Yeah. And they're humongous in soil, like, you have no idea how important it is to keep nematodes healthy in their soil if you want to grow anything in it.

sfx: (dog barking in background)

mathowie: But these are things that the soil people that are playing with rocks and soil that you never see... so this professor would always point out the smell after a rain, he'd be like, "That's the one time you know that these microbes are present and they're expressing themselves," so that's why I knew that fact.

jessamyn: (sings) Nematodes! Nematodes! So interesting.

cortex: A thing that I was really, really happy with, and which promptly cratered at the time but has now I think recovered nicely, the Infinite Jukebox.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: Which is an awesome, awesome app put together--well, website--put together by Paul Lamare from echonest, which I've talked about on a number of occasions before. They make the Remix API.

jessamyn: My browser doesn't support it.

mathowie: What?

cortex: Oh, yeah, it works well in Chrome, I don't know if it works well or at all in others. But Chrome seems to be pretty reliable.

But what it does is you upload a song, or pick one that other people have uploaded, because a bunch of people have been uploading stuff, and it takes that song and analyzes it using echonest's neat song structure analysis process, and then it finds points in the song that are similar to each other, and it'll play back the song, and then every time it reaches one of those branch points where there's self-similarity between different spots in the song, it might jump. And so it keeps going around jumping forward and jumping backwards throughout the song, so you get this arbitrary structural remix of a familiar song, and it's amazing for some songs. For some songs it's ehhh, so-so.
The neat thing is the visualization that it produces makes it really obviously if there's a lot of potential action jumping around the song or not, because it actually arcs connecting from one segment of the song to the other. Anyway, I fucking love this, I listened to stuff on it all week. [Or you can post ?] it.

mathowie: Yeah, you just nerded it up. You just nerded it up too much. It's just great that you play a song and it figures out a loop, and I can't remember what Paul was playing in the office the other day, but it was like, he kept playing the chorus before the final chorus, and so there was this tension building, and it just played for like ten minutes.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, you can do weird--

jessamyn: (sings) La-la-dah! Yeah, yeah, yeah.

sfx: (dog barks)

mathowie: (sings) "This is the second to last chorus! This is the second to last chorus! This is--" and it repeated for about 30-40 seconds and you're like, "Come on! Get over the hump! Come on!" Like, sing the chorus! And we had to skip ahead to hear it.

But yeah. It's amazing that it does this all on the fly.

cortex: I had this amazing time with Bad Moon Rising, which is so structurally similar throughout the song that it just turns into, I mean, it kinda [??], it's like--

mathowie: Yes!

jessamyn: (sings) Bum-bum, bum-bum-bum-bum bum-bum!

cortex: Well, yeah, and you get all the verses out of order and repeating themselves.

jessamyn: (sings) Bum-bum, bum-bum-bum-bum bum-bum!

cortex: It's like a drunk guy at an open mic and he's got fifteen minutes to kill and he only knows one song--

jessamyn: (sings) Bum-bum, bum-bum-bum-bum bum-bum!

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: --and so, you know, he just keeps milking it.

It's... anyway.

mathowie: When I was in a Europe pro bike race, they would sing Sweet Caroline, but they only knew the first part of the chorus.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: That's all anybody knows of Sweet Caroline.

cortex: (sings) Sweet Caroline, ba-bum-bum!

jessamyn: (sings) Da-da-dun!

mathowie: Yeah. (sings) Waa waa waa.

cortex: (sings) Mm-mm-maaa-muh-muh-mm.

mathowie: And then they'd stop. No, they'd stop right there. And I'd be like--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: "Come on! You know the next line! Come on!" But they don't even know the language, so they would just do that fifty times in a row.

cortex: (laughs) That's pretty awesome.

mathowie: "It's not that hard to say 'Good times never felt so good.' Just sing that part! Please! Just for me!" But yeah.

cortex: When I was at Oktoberfest years ago, there was all these drunken Europeans wandering the thoroughfares between the various beer tents, and the song of the year apparently was, I don't even know what the title is, but it was (sings) "He-ey, baby, I wanna kno-o-w, will you be my girl?" And they were just singing that chorus endlessly. I must have heard it so many fucking times in the two days we were there. I don't know what it is, but Europeans love specific portions of older American pop songs.

jessamyn: This is basically how I would choose to listen to music, so I'm hoping I can get this running. I just want to listen to the chorus over and over and over and over again.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (sings) "My baby don't mess around / because she loves me so / this I know for sure." (handclaps: clap-clap clap, clap-clap clap)

mathowie: (laughs) Yeah, it works with super popular pop songs.

jessamyn: (sings) "My baby don't mess around..." Exactly.

mathowie: For some reason this got a lot of favorites now--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: --the Anthony Bourdain flipping out about how he was misused was just an interesting thing. Like, it's interesting a story of... Anthony Bourdain's a big loudmouth, opinionated chef-type guy.

jessamyn: Cook turned mostly celebrity cook and travel guide.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: So he's got travel shows, but he's got this goofy DIY punk-rock aesthetic to his whole thing, and I guess part of his contracts were like, "I will never endorse anything ever,"

mathowie: I guess, part of his contracts were like "I will never endorse anything ever". And then, so, I guess the Travel Channel, when you watch--some people linked to the video, it's amazing. They made like a fake Cadillac commercial out of clips of him, and it was after he had retired from the show, it was just as the last tow episodes were being played. So it was a complete surprise to him to even watch it on TV. Like he never... And it's really just, half-assed, it's just like-

jessamyn: But it a real ad? Like I kinda I read this and I only sorta got it.

mathowie: No, it's kind like a fake promo that was played in the middle of the episode.

jessamyn: But it was legitimately played on the air, right? It wasn't-

mathowie: Yeah. And it was like him cutting a fish and then a Cadillac going up a hill, and then him preparing the fish, and then the Cadillac coming down a forest. And they cut it and it's like, it's total stock footage from Cadillac. It doesn't look anything like the Bourdain stuff. But they're trying to make it sound like "I went to all these amazing places in my Cadillac". It's just so weird.

So it was just basically a lot of people talking about whether or not Anthony Bourdain has a leg to stand on, being a TV guy, and he does admit that he did endorsements once or twice in his life, and he has a free car out of it, but he'll never do it again, and it was mostly like, you know, I guess it was just contract negotiation. But it's fun--

jessamyn: Well, and that's sort of it, right? Like, what's your right to your own image when you've signed away a certain amount of your rights to your own image with people, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. But there's probably some specific language...

jessamyn: I found that concept interesting. The thread itself was ehhh.

mathowie: Yeah, a lot of people fighting about it, whether or not he has a chance.

jessamyn: Well, and just being like, "I hate him, he's a whore!"

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: And you're like, "For God's sakes, can you just have a... ughh." But, yeah.

cortex: Nope, they can't.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: They cannot.

jessamyn: (chuckles) Answer? No.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I am purposely not going to pick anything from December, but it's been amazing. The Best Post Contests really bring out the most amazing, like, every day I feel like Metafilter is stuff I didn't know I get to learn about, every single day this month has been like, I had no idea about the, you know, the terminal at the Honolulu Airport is named after a guy who was the first guy to fly across the Pacific and all that stuff.

jessamyn: Well, and you know what part of that is, too, part of that thing you're feeling, is there's no fucking elections.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Like, I haven't had to read a fucking thing about Mitt Romney, the election thread is closing, what, today, tomorrow?

mathowie: Yayyy!

cortex: Very soon now.

jessamyn: Like, really soon.

cortex: And cleared 8000 comments, so...

mathowie: Oh, Jesus. Our database server will thank you.

jessamyn: Well, and it's been active this whole month in a mostly okay way, actually.

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: People who still want to talk about the election have been talking in that thread--I have no idea how, but--and everyone else doesn't then have to, just the morning-after quarterbacking stuff, if you don't care about it you're not inundated with it, and it worked out really well, you know, big props, Matt, to you and pb for the backend making the monster threads easier to deal with, and way to go everybody for, you know I think this election season has been the best so far just in terms of...

mathowie: But I am so glad it's over

jessamyn: ...lack of toxic poison, yeah.

cortex: Definitely over all just so much more, I don't know, survivable and decent than 2008. 2008 was so terrible.

jessamyn: Yeah, well and we had, I mean, 2008 was basically Josh, you, me, and Matt. (laughs) Which was also...

cortex: True, true. We didn't have that, yeah, we'd go to bed every night and worry about what we woke up to.

jessamyn: Right, and no overnighter. And yeah, it was just auuuugh. So yeah, this has been so much better for so many reasons, which has been just great.

mathowie: Yeah, and I mean, Metafilter's amazing right now, the whole web is amazing, I think it is. (chuckles) No election junk.

jessamyn: (laughs) Matt, did you get your medication adjusted or something? Maybe that's...

mathowie: (chuckles) No, I, yeah, it's good.

jessamyn: It's beautiful. So, over to Ask Metafilter? Team? Or was there more from Metafilter?

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, let's go to Ask.

cortex: Oh, I've got a couple more things I can mention at least quickly.

jessamyn: Toss 'em up! Toss 'em up!

mathowie: Lightning round!

cortex: Glitch is shutting down.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, God, yeah.

cortex: Which was a big sadness on the Internet. Glitch, for people who don't know, was a sort of spiritual successor to the thing that launched Flickr accidentally.

jessamyn: Game Neverending.

cortex: Game Neverending, which was this fun game thing years ago, back in the, you know, this was an epic ago in Web time, and then they were trying to make money off it and they weren't and their photosharing component of the game's Web profile--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: --was really doing well, and they turned that into Flickr, and that made everybody much, much better off. So they turned around and they made Glitch a couple years ago, or last year, or something. I don't remember exactly when they launched it. But--

jessamyn: A couple years ago, I think.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I got email about it and never participated that much.

cortex: Yeah. So they launched this new social sort-of-MMO (but not like World of Warcraft) game, where you run around picking plants, growing things, milking butterflies, and renaming stuff, and it's a really delightful little world, but it never really solidified into the sticky gameworld that they were hoping it would be, and so they're shutting it down, because it's just not reasonable to keep it running. So everybody's kind of sad, because even if you felt it was a flawed game -

mathowie: It was pretty.

cortex: - it was a really nice place. It was really neat. There was a lot to like about it, even if you couldn't find a reason to keep playing it, per se. So there's a big memorial thread for it, as people talk about it shutting down.

mathowie: I feel bad I didn't play it more, but it felt like it took a lot of time. It was very almost Nintendo-ish, more than the old Game Neverending, you could jump and find strange and hidden stuff and Game Neverending was just sidescroller, you just went left, right, and did stuff. And this one you had to jump up in trees and do stuff. It struck a chord with some people; some people were really bummed, like that was what they did all day. But they had something like thirty people working on the game, they needed to have tens of thousands of players using the game to really make it work, and yeah, just wasn't...

cortex: Let's see, there was also, Artw made a really nice post a couple days ago that's just a site that's rounding up a bunch of links on how to write comics, how to survive writing comics, how to start writing comics, how to get better at writing comics.

It's just a great big link dump, and it's a really nice collection. I've been poking into various things. Because I don't even have a particular personal interest in trying to write a comic book, but I read them, I find the process interesting, and it's nice to look at what pros have to say about how they've dealt with the process of being in the industry or putting together these stories or improving their ability to tell a story with sequential art, so. I thought that was really great.

mathowie: So yay.

jessamyn: And it's beautiful. Just, if you want to get into it, here's all the stuff. Yeah, very nice.

cortex: Oh, and Matt totally pointed out some me-bait yesterday. There's a game called Red Rogue, which is a--

mathowie: (laughs) Yes! The circle is complete!

cortex: --sidescrolling roguelike-like that's actually pretty nice, if you're into that sort of thing. I don't know how much it would appeal to someone who isn't into that sort thing--

jessamyn: Isn't that Rouge? Red Rouge--oh, I get it.

mathowie: Rogue.

cortex: Yeah. Jokey title. But yeah--

jessamyn: Well, I don't know how to spell 'rogue' and 'gauge' and words like that, so.

cortex: They're weird words. 'Rogue' I've just internalized at this point, because, you know, I like rogues. But yeah, it's a fun little game. It's worth checking out.

mathowie: Yay! Well, yeah, that's what I was hoping to hear about roguelike. This podcast or it wouldn't be a podcast.

jessamyn: Josh's Rogue Corner.

cortex: Yep. (blippily) Doop doop-doop-doop doop doop-doop-doop!

mathowie: Let's go to Ask Metafilter.

jessamyn: Ask Metafilter! Obligatory cooking link.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: It's winter. "Delicious one-pot slow cooker recipes."

mathowie and cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: "Hearty batch of simmering deliciousness." Very few comments. Very many favorites.

mathowie: Oh, yes.

cortex: [???]

jessamyn: Yeah, but Jim has a slow cooker, and so I'm always trying to be like, "Try a recipe, honey," instead of, "I'm just throwing what's in my fridge into the slow cooker!"

mathowie: It all turns soft and brown eventually. (chuckles)

jessamyn: Yeah! And he likes that, so more power to him. But here's some actual recipes.

mathowie: I noticed there was a definite trend of winter buckling down questions. My favorite was, "I'm going to be inside more, and give me some challenging board games for two players that it's going to be fun and it's going to be over, at most two hours, but a one-hour game, a half-hour game would be amazing, we don't want to play stuff over four hours or several days. We just want something to do at night, two people, and it had to be indoors in the cold months playing the game." And I had no ideas.

jessamyn: But that isn't going to be some epic, takes up the table in the living room for a week.

mathowie: Yeah. And there are all these games mentioned that I did not know you could play in as little as a half hour. Car-sac-cone... Car...?

cortex: Carcassonne.

mathowie: Yeah. Carcassonne, I thought that was an epic weekend-length game, I had no idea it was so quick. People mentioned Ticket to Ride a lot, Dominion...

jessamyn: Ticket to Ride is what?

cortex: It's a game where you try and create a rail network across the map.

jessamyn: Ahhh, okay.

mathowie: Oh, it's like Risk with trains?

cortex: Well, you're trying to... I don't even remember what the point scoring mechanism is, I've only actually played it myself once. But you're usually trying to create relatively long lines, I think there's a long line bonus.

mathowie: Ahh.

cortex: But anyway, trying to service a certain value of rail in order to win the game.

mathowie: It has expansion packs.

cortex: And so it's got that thing... you know the road-building thing in Settlers of Catan, where you're building roads and houses?

mathowie: Sure.

jessamyn: I'll take your word for it.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: There's a network construction as game thing to it, where you're thinking not only about where you want to drive a train to, but where other people want to drive trains through and whether you can intercept that in a way that's advantageous to you by screwing them over and vice versa. And so yeah, it's got some fun angles to it.

mathowie: Cool. Oh, and I guess there was a board game post about Defective Yeti, right?

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: He made a Metafilter post, I mean, he does the annual 'these are good games to buy'. There was a couple buying, shopping guides. Oh, the Metafilter Mall, we totally forgot to mention it!

cortex: We've got time.

mathowie: He's a board game geek, so he always does a good review of the newest board games.

jessamyn: Yeah. He's Shadowkeeper on Metafilter, and he does a gift guide every yeah, and his gift guide was posted to the front page. It's very good.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, the Metafilter Mall, still going on.

jessamyn: Yeah, and we're doing the Metafilter Mall again this year, and we have a ton of people who have made or are providing neat stuff. I've bought a couple things from it. pb again did some great work on the backend, so it's a little bit more self-serve, which means it's a little less Jessamyn writes all the HTML, which makes me very happy.

cortex: Big improvement.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah! But it looks good, and it's cool, and there's lots of neat photos on Flickr of fun things, and I just like it.

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: So it's still open if people want to buy stuff, and it's also still open if people want to put stuff in it.

mathowie: Yep.

jessamyn: If you're one of those holiday shoppers [??].

mathowie: I loved this question about, "What are some weird things I can put in stockings? My parents always put," this person was saying, "my parents always put SunMaid raisins in our stockings--"

jessamyn: Eughh, mine too.

mathowie: So much so that the kids would write letters to Santa...

cortex: Raisins are awesome! What's your guys' problem? Geez.

mathowie: (laughs) They're like devil's fruit.

jessamyn: They stick in your teeth, and eughh.

mathowie: The devil's fruit!

jessamyn: You think it's a candy bar, is what's wrong with raisins.

cortex: Well, but the thing with raisins is they're reliable. Short of letting them sit out for a week, raisins are always going to be raisiny goodness. The problem with an apple or orange is what I would get, and you know what, there's a lot of shitty apples out there, and especially an apple that's been tossed in a sock and then had stuff dropped on top of it. You know, it's like, "This is--"

jessamyn: (laughs) I take your point. I take your point.

cortex: "This is not a good apple!" So give me raisins. It's like space food. It's not great, but you know what it is.

jessamyn: Astronaut ice cream is the best.

mathowie: So this thread is basically like, "I want to start a new tradition of annoying my kids. What can I stick in the stockings?" And people come up with some funny stuff: underwear, vitamins, socks... stuff that as a kid you're like blehhh. But yeah.

jessamyn: Half-chewed carrots from the reindeer.

mathowie and cortex: (chuckle)

jessamyn: Smoked oysters. Lottery tickets.

mathowie: Lottery tickets! Oh my God. So good.

jessamyn: Did I just see bondcliff in there? Or is this bondcliff's... no. It's the kind of thing bondcliff would ask.

mathowie: Yeah. Like "I want to be a quirky dad."

jessamyn: Or, "I am a quirky dad--"

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: "--but I don't have any ideas for this."

cortex: There was a slightly silly question that I still thought was fairly fun, which, "What is the proper name for this particular configuration of facial hair?"

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Whoa!

jessamyn: Good fucking Lord, there was tons of lulzy comments.

cortex: Which is essentially... it's a picture of Glenn Yarbrough, but it's like, is this a Lemmy?

mathowie: Not quite? Wow.

jessamyn: You know, goodnewsfortheinsane could go as this guy for holidays.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: That is such a strange set-up. You have a bare chin, but a goatee that goes under your neck? That is so weird.

jessamyn: And then it looks like he's in full neckbeard, I can't totally tell.

cortex: Yeah, it's not super obvious from the picture which way that goes, but...

mathowie: I guess it's a full beard that's just been trimmed on the chin, that's so... and it's like a sailor, like when they have that chinstrap thing... aah, it's weird.

jessamyn: 'Hide-The-Meatbeard' was The World Famous'... (laughs)

mathowie: That is so weird.

jessamyn: 'Semi-Lemmy'?

mathowie: Yeah, Lemmy doesn't have anything on his chin or his neck underneath.

jessamyn: No, he's got fairly straightforward facial hair. And he's in his 60s, too. I just saw some Happy Birthday, Lemmy thing in Rolling Stone.

mathowie: Oh, God. I can't believe he's alive. (chuckles) When you watch the Lemmy documentary, you're like, he doesn't eat food, he just drinks rum and Coke 24 hours a day.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: He's drunk like 24 hours a day. I don't know how he's alive. It's... yeah, it's crazy. Wow, that's cool.

cortex: He's just built durable.

jessamyn: (laughs) I also enjoyed these eminently practical, "I'm setting up my household. What's the thing that I won't think I need until the minute I need it when I should have already had it?" So kind of like a fire extinguisher, which if you're lucky you never use it, but if you don't have it--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --when you need it, you're totally screwed.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And so it's just a list generating emergency money, 9-volt battery, carbon monoxide detector, a simple plunger, some duct tape... I don't know if I told you guys, I lost my hammer and I've lost it for months now. Like, it's somewhere in the house, my house isn't that big, and it occurred to me I didn't have a spare hammer, and so then of course I had a thing that I needed a hammer for more than absolutely anything, and so now I'm going to put 'spare hammer' on my list of shit I need in the house.

cortex: That makes sense, yeah.

jessamyn: But like, you know, spare car key, a thing you can put flowers in, super glue...

mathowie: Oh, buckets for water in an emergency, that's pretty good.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: There was a, this was probably the most favorited thing last month, and it's the thing I think I've even mentioned on previous podcasts is that we have, every six months, which is, "Oh hey, what's the best thing of things?" You know, if I'm going to invest in good things. And people linked to previous threads. But this was also sparked by--

jessamyn: Darn Tough socks, made in Vermont! Whoooo, they're the best socks!

mathowie: Yeah. Dustin Curtis wrote this blog post where he just said in it, and I feel I'm right there with him, that lately in the last couple years I've gotten into researching the shit out of some purchase I want to make to figure out what's the best possible thing made in the world so I never, ever have to worry about that again, so I can just buy one and let it go from my mind. Whatever potato peeler I got is the last one I'm going to need for the rest of my life. And it's kind of fun to research a whole bunch of stuff, and then once you get it you have to just drop it out of your mind.

So the obvious question after you read his piece is "How on Earth do you start doing research? Does anyone have any shortcuts for the best things of the best things?" So this whole thread is just--

jessamyn: Well, and especially because the Internet is all about trying to convince you that their thing is the new best thing of best things that hasn't been... they try to play off of that cachet without actually there being a thing. So it becomes difficult to Google, you actually have to find reputation managers. That's what epinions was supposed to be doing, back in the day.

mathowie: Right. Right! Wow, yeah, haven't thought of them in a long time.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: And for stuff like furniture, I've found if you spend the big bucks, a couple thousand dollars on a chair or something, it will last forever, I mean, it's like--

jessamyn: But you can spend a thousand dollars on a shitty chair by somebody who's just got a crack marketing team, and that's the track you want to avoid.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. And getting a better thing is actually kinda worth it. And my favorite thing is not just being like, "I never have to worry about this again". Within the last year I've gone through ten different brands of underwear trying to--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: --whittle it down to death match of the best underwear on Earth, and I've sort of gotten to it, but--

cortex: It's like Hot or Not, but for underwear!

mathowie: Exactly. And I've finally found one I like everything: fit, finish, fabric, everything's perfect, but they cost kind of a lot to make, they have this weird subscription, like, you buy them and then they keep sending them to you--

jessamyn: Come on, admit it, any underwear you have to subscribe to by definition can't be the best underwear.

mathowie: I know. But it's... it is, that's the shitty part.

jessamyn: (laughs) There's not a after-market underwear eBay that you could buy?

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

cortex: Only for a very specific clientele.

jessamyn: (sings or otherwise makes pitched noises)

mathowie: Are those Tough, what, Darn Tough socks really great?

jessamyn: Yeah! They just don't wear out.

mathowie: Oh, sweet.

jessamyn: Like, I don't understand it, and they make them in the next town from here, which is how I'm so RRRR, because then they have this annual--I think I've probably talked about it before--they have a sock sale.

mathowie: Ohhh.

jessamyn: So you can buy the seconds of everything these people make.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: And it's two weekends, it's a mob scene, but you can get... and they're expensive but not crazy expensive.

mathowie: Are they like 15-20 bucks a pair or something?

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Is it like 15-20 bucks a pair, like a high-end sock?

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah. I mean, not expensive like fifty bucks a pair. And part of it is, I think they have a contract with the Army?

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: Because they make military socks. If you don't mind wearing Army green versions of these socks, you can get slightly cheaper but just as durable... and they're wool, so they're warm as hell, too, as well as being not-wear-out-able. Because wool socks are great, but moths eat them and you wear them out and whatever, so everybody's trying to find the right mix of wool and something else that will last and as well be warm and as well be comfortable. Yeah, they're pretty great. They make some cycling socks that are actually really nice.

mathowie: Yeah, I like SmartWool and Thorlo but the SmartWools seem to wear out, it's so strange.

jessamyn: Yeah, that's the problem! I have that same problem.

mathowie: And it's like a fifteen-dollar sock and you're like "Arrrgh!" Like, it's almost not worth the trouble to drive 45 minutes to complain at REI and try to get new ones that are just going to wear out again. It drives me crazy. But yeah. Cool! Sweet. Any other AskMes?

cortex: I had nothing else.

jessamyn: Ah, yeah, I just like Ask Metafilter in general. I mean, let me double, triple-check. I've been favoriting less for whatever reason, and that's usually how I keep my lists here. No, you know, I was just looking... well, this one I liked, I mean, it's very, very new but also very favorited by bepe and I like it because it's got the word 'moss' in the title, but basically, "Just give me some nice mellow nature documentaries so that I can chill out."

mathowie: Oh, yeah, I saw that.

jessamyn: And so it's a nice list of movies that you can watch, that, you know, Microcosmos is amazing if nobody's...

mathowie: Yes.

jessamyn: But bepe is, like me, waiting for "the dream movie 'lichens: the untold story'", so that you can just sit there and watch.

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: The forest, basically.

mathowie: The other day I was laying down for a mid-afternoon nap because I was just totally tired, and I was like, man, I wish I had Bob Ross, painting with Bob Ross, cued up on a TiVo. I wish that was a thing I could do, to just like, Bob Ross was just--

jessamyn: You can do that, right, can't you?

mathowie: I guess if he's still on TV I could set a season pass. But I mean, that's what I wanted at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday, I was like, man, I could really go for some Bob Ross, that I would just go to sleep. Him speaking is the most soothing thing in the world.

jessamyn: When I was a kid I used to watch golf for exactly that reason.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Because I did not really understand what was happening, and we had the shitty black-and-white TV so you couldn't even see what was happening, but there was the (mutters softly).

mathowie: (chuckles) Gentle.

jessamyn: Like, it was super golf bedtime story, and I loved it.

mathowie: (chuckles) That's awesome.

jessamyn: Yeah. But television is always trying to sensationalize something or another, you know, make these fakey cliffhangers that don't exist in nature, whereas if you just watch a movie that's just watching a thing it's nice, it can be really calming. Especially if you've got some giant TV so you can have that naturescape taking up a part of your wall.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: But yeah, no, that's what I had for Ask Metafilter. I don't think we talked about Jobs, but I think Jobs has been kinda normal like usual, except for somebody who needs a springtime-themed plush Cthulu doll.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: Which, you know, you do. Well, you know, there was just a post the other day, yesterday, I guess, for musicians wanted to make J-pop style music.

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, I saw that.

cortex: So if you're into that specific niche or want to get into it, that's kind of a cool thing.

mathowie: Yep.

jessamyn: Contact aielen, and yeah, get it together, that would be very cool.

mathowie: Sweet! Good podcast.

cortex: There were a few nice things in MetaTalk, too.

mathowie: Oh, yeah?

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Which, I've got to slow you guys down, because it's like, no, no, it's not all terrible!

jessamyn: You guys! What are you talking about? I'm right there with you.

cortex: We always have to stop you! There we go, let's team up on Matt.

jessamyn: You, Matt.

cortex: (chuckles) Hey, let's double-team... eugh.

jessamyn: Aah!

mathowie: Aww, what?

cortex: (laughs) Brain cleanser.

jessamyn: You are the worst.

cortex: There was a nice little shout-out to Juliet Banana, who was--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Metafilter's hipster-in-residence.

cortex: --in Momentum Magazine.

mathowie: Previously.

cortex: So it was kinda cool, and she's awesome.

mathowie: Previously featured on the podcast.

cortex: I feel like she hasn't been around a ton lately, but I might just be reading the wrong threads, I don't know.

jessamyn: Well, and one of the things, of course, that is great about Juliet Banana is that we call her Metafilter's Own and she's okay with that.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Unlike lots of people we're like, "Metafilter's own!" and they're like, "Who?" There's also a couple charity things that are going on. ThePinkSuperhero and her people are doing a holiday gift drive where they adopt a family and then... where's the stavrosthewonderchicken...

cortex: The MeFight [mɛfaɪt] Club thing? Yeah, that was just the other day, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Here it is. I got it.

jessamyn: MeFight [mifaɪt] Club.

cortex: Boom. They're--

mathowie: Donation station.

jessamyn: Yeah. And they do a fundraiser every year. I mean, basically, we don't do official Metafilter money-raising money-giving things, but if other people want to band together and do stuff, that's totally awesome and way to go, you people and that's cool.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: And NaNoWriMo has come and gone. There was a--

jessamyn: Did you do NaNoWriMo this year, Josh?

cortex: I did 3900 words of it and then I got busy with other stuff.

jessamyn: Thirty nine hundred...

cortex: I enjoyed the words that I wrote.

mathowie: Does that count LARP Trek?

cortex: Oh, yeah, that sort of ate up the [??] the month.

jessamyn: 3900 words, I'm trying to think of what percentage that is.

mathowie: That's 39 percent!

jessamyn: That would be like 78, it's 7--What?

cortex: No, no, thirty-nine hundred.

jessamyn: It's 80 percent.

mathowie: Oh, it's a hundred thousand you're supposed to write?

jessamyn: No, it's fifty thousand.

cortex: You're supposed to write fifty thousand.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

cortex: But I wrote a little under four thousand, so.

mathowie: Yeah. 7.8.

jessamyn: Is what you wrote like a cohesive thing, or is what you wrote the beginning of a thing?

cortex: Yeah, it was the first three chapters of a story I thought I'd... well, no, it wasn't a self-contained work.

jessamyn: Uh-huh.

cortex: It was very much the first two chapters of a book-length story I was trying to think up, but then... I like it, but I wasn't moved to keep working on it, so.

jessamyn: I hear that. I feel that.

cortex: So maybe I'll come back it. But yeah, people talking about succeeding or not succeeding and why and how in the thread, so it was kind of nice to have a wrap-up on that.

mathowie: Cool.

cortex: Oh, and we had the big old mid-month sockpuppet manifesto.

mathowie: Oh, yes.

jessamyn: Oh yeah, that was worthwhile!

cortex: Yeah, that seemed like it turned into a pretty good useful discussion and gave us a nice thing to point to for a lot of future iterations of "here is my sockpuppet or alternate account question," so.

jessamyn: Yeah, so, you know, we've got a ton of new users in the last couple years, and our sockpuppet policy has been kind of euhhh, evolving as we think about it on the mod side, but maybe we haven't been crystal clear about that to users. And so as we were training goodnewsfortheinsane and LobsterMitten, we were like, "Oh, there's probably more nuance to this than we've actually made explicit," and so we made it explicit. It didn't seem very problematic, Josh did a great job writing it all down, and yeah.

cortex: Yeah, it was nice. Turned into a sort of normal, like an automatic Q&A, which was half the idea, so yeah.

jessamyn: Kind of what we wanted.

mathowie: Yeah, that was good. I think we've had some users with like five sockpuppets doing God knows what--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: --so it was good to clarify, "Hey, sometimes that's not cool."

cortex: Yeah, well, and I feel like--

jessamyn: Well, yeah. Oh, sorry, Josh?

cortex: I feel like we haven't had any particularly bad hijinks, which is nice, but yeah, you get people doing stuff that's slightly weird, or using what started as a sockpuppet as a normal account that they're posting stuff on the front page with, or--

jessamyn: But then they go back to their old account.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, a lot of times what happens is people sequentially open accounts, and they kinda mean to be like, "This is my new account now!", but then they go back to their old account for some reason, and once you're doing that with a couple accounts it's sort of a thing. Rarely a real problem, but we just wanted to let people know we kinda expect you not to do that, so if you're doing that maybe don't do so much of that.

cortex: Yeah. Be mindful about this stuff.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Think about the fact that you are a person in a community, not just someone who has a private blog that other people get to comment on.

jessamyn: Who has five logins, yeah, yeah, yeah.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. Alright, cool. I think--

jessamyn: Wait. Wait!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Jesus. Do you have someplace to be?

mathowie: We're at forever. No! You had someplace to be in a half hour. We should wrap it up.

jessamyn: No, right now I gotta go walk my friend's dog. She asked me to walk her dog yesterday morning and I misread the e-mail and so I walked her dog yesterday, and the dog had just been walked and so I went into the house and was like, "Come on, we're going for a walk." It's like, your dog's really kinda tired. And she's like, "You walked my dog today?" So I am now going today for the actual walking.

The only thing I wanted to mention was the "Live Free With Pie" pre-holiday meetup in southern New Hampshire that I think is going to be really fun, on Sunday, December 23rd, that I'm going to be at on my way down from Massachusetts, from Vermont to Massachusetts.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: We should also mention--

jessamyn: Anyone in the New England area who has a kilt--or not--and wants to come to a meetup and have a beer and a food, please sign up!

mathowie: Sweet!

cortex: We should also mention, just in case everybody dies from eating the WHO RUNS FLAVORTOWN?--

jessamyn: (laughs) Oh God.

cortex: --meetup at Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar in Times Square on the 9th.

mathowie: Oh, wow!

cortex: Which has managed to--

jessamyn: 31 people are attending, as near as we can tell, with 12 maybes.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Man, I wanna see photos of that.

cortex: Yeah. It's gonna be something. And this all spun out of repeated deletions of a post about Guy Fieri's American Kitchen because there was a bad review that got posted a few weeks ago, and then there was a different bad review that got posted, and I was like, "Eh, yeah, but put it in the open thread about the bad review of Guy Fieri's restaurant," and that happened 3 or 4 times, and then there was a MetaTalk thread--

jessamyn: And then that went to MetaTalk, yeah.

cortex: And then this meetup was apparently sort of a responding to an inferred dare from the deletion.

mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)

cortex: And, yeah. And then we had to--

jessamyn: But it's the New York people, and I think Greg Nog is going to be at both of those meetups.

cortex: I think so.

jessamyn: (evil laugh)

cortex: Get your Nog on.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Oh my God, I'm reading the Guy Fieri menu. This is... euh.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: The whole thing seems like a parody! I mean, his site looks like a parody.

jessamyn: It seems horrible. But it seems like for a Times Square thing, which is, you know, Times Square is awful.

mathowie: Yeah! Red Lobster, yeah.

jessamyn: Right!

mathowie: Red Lobster, like, that's what you... yeah.

jessamyn: Only it's even more expensive, I think, is the problem.

mathowie: Yeah. God! I can't wait. That's so funny.

cortex: Yeah. I'm ready for the after-action on that one. So.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. How bad was it? Was it really that bad? It probably...

jessamyn: How expensive was it? Yeah.

mathowie: Well, you can look up the menu, but yeah.

jessamyn: But like, what people actually wound up getting versus what--

mathowie: Right. Flavortown!

jessamyn: (sings) Flavortown!

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Cookin' it, livin' it, lovin' it, that's his motto.

jessamyn: Donkey sauce. Hey, now it's hailing here!

mathowie: Cool! Circle's complete.

jessamyn: It's going to be a great dog walk.

mathowie: Alright, cool!

jessamyn: Alright, cool!

mathowie: That is the 75th podcast. (chuckle)

jessamyn: Happy holidays, if I don't talk to you guys before whatever your holiday is.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Alright. See ya!

jessamyn: Bye!

cortex: Buh-bye.


  • beryllium, 175 segments
  • Pronoiac, 17
  • ttwist my arm, 4
  • tyrr, 3
  • yuwtze, 2