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Podcast 78 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 78: "Finishing Moves."

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


jingle: (theme music)

mathowie: All right, we're here at episode 78 of the Mer (stumbles) -

(cortex and jessamyn laugh)

cortex: It's ruined! The whole thing's ruined!

mathowie: Can't edit anything. Let's just move on.

(general laughter)
What were you saying, Jessamyn, about swearing?

jessamyn: Film costs money!

I'm going to try to make it a no-swearing podcast for me.
Just for fun, and because I'm tired of paying for Mo Nickels.

cortex: I'm going to try. I've forgotten in previous ones entirely. So I'm going to try as well.

mathowie: What's funny is that since it was pointed out to me, I thought the last one we were pretty sparse, I caught myself and heard myself saying the f-word once - and I was like "ah well, I let one slip up at the end" and then the numbers were like 17, 8, 13.

jessamyn: Right, right.

cortex: Wait, the f-word? Which one is that?

mathowie: It was just all swearing.

jessamyn: Feet.

cortex: (laughs) Dammit.

mathowie: I just assumed... I remembered one, out of ninety minutes I remembered one, and it was 15 or something, was the real number.

jessamyn: Yeah. I cut down considerably not even on purpose. I think I was just having a better day.

cortex: I think for me a big part of the problem is just I like to use effing as an intensifier without even thinking about it.

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: And if I'm excited about something, I tend to intensify stuff, and so just like it, pow! Lift-off.

jessamyn: Sure. Sure.

mathowie: Yeah. I caught myself using it.

jessamyn: It's the exclamation point. The spoken exclamation point.

cortex: Yes. The underscore, if you will.

mathowie: The one I remember, I think I was expressing frustration, and my extreme frustration, which I was just using it like a spice from the spice cabinet. (chuckles) Like, "I am so effing frustrated about that." And then went, "Whoops, I let one slip."

jessamyn: Wherps!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: When did the last podcast go? The last podcast was January 29th.

mathowie: Yeah. And we had recorded it maybe on the 28th, I think?

cortex: Something like that.

jessamyn: Yeah, I think it got up real quick.

mathowie: So anything from February counts, for sure.

jessamyn: A short month, February.

mathowie: Yep. 7% shorter than the rest of the months.

jessamyn: The worst!

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: It's not that much shorter.

jessamyn: I'm glad it's over, to heck with it!

cortex: 7% would be a lot, man, you're just making shit--stuff up.

jessamyn: (gasps)

mathowie: Ah! Gosh.

cortex: No, because it's shorter by a... well... I won't do the math on this.

mathowie: Man. How many minutes in are we?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: how many minutes in are we?

jessamyn: it's 28 vs 30 vs 31, right? Or do you have to get the average of all the other months?

cortex: I think we need to average them, so it's probably 28, well, technically it's 28.25 if we're going to go that way

jessamyn: we're not, we're not actually...

cortex: ...versus 30.6 or something like that. So, I don't know, someone do the math, let's move on. I need to accidentally curse some more, we can't do that while we're discussing mathematics. You know I've actually been not cussing...

in the comic strip I've been doing, in LARP Trek, I've been trying to keep--

jessamyn: Is that true?

cortex: Well, I... they don't really cuss on Star Trek, is the thing, and I'm trying to stay mostly faithful to that and approach the relative rhetorical tone of the show even if everybody is suddenly a little bit snarkier than they normally would be on Next Generation. So I'm trying to come up with non-curse-word, mostly atheistic expletives.

mathowie: Mmm.

cortex: Because it's also, Star Trek is so, or at least human starfleet is so relatively godless in its presentation, like, not to say that people don't have religion in the 24th century of human culture--

jessamyn: No, I know, but they don't swear built around a deity the way they would.

cortex: Yeah, exactly, you know. You don't see a whole lot of casual sort of Christian references and expletives and whatnot. So I've had to come up with ways to phrase things more in terms of made-up explet--like, "For Zephram's sake!" after Zephram Cochrane, the inventor of the warp drive, you know, things like that.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: So it's actually, I get in this headspace a little bit, I guess. I just need to pretend I'm writing a strip and then I'll be okay.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Where are we going to get LARP Trek t-shirts?

cortex: You know, it's tricky. I've thought about, The Whelk actually drew me a nice picture of Riker a while back, I was thinking I could put that on a t-shirt, and maybe I'll do that. But it's tricky, because I feel like anything I do to aggressively monetize a comic strip entirely built out of screenshots--

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: (laughs)

--of Paramount property, I'm just angling right for that C & D, and I'd rather happily go along making my dumb little comic strip without trouble from corporate.

mathowie: Yeah. Also, t-shirts--

cortex: The t-shirt just didn't have any copyrighted stuff on, that seems like it would be okay, like, you know, if it's my words and a drawing of Jonathan Frakes, that's not really treading on IP, so I'd just have to market it without using the word 'Trek'. But yes.

jessamyn: I'm so sorry, but which guy is Jonathan Frakes?

cortex: He's Riker.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: Number One.

jessamyn: I'm saving Star Trek for my old age.

cortex: Oh, it's all on Netflix. There's a treasure trove waiting for you.

jessamyn: I don't have it! Netflix.

cortex: Oh, whatever.

mathowie: What?!

jessamyn: What?!

mathowie: Eight dollars a month.

cortex: That's for not having a TV.

mathowie: Arrested Development is coming! You've got to. Come on.

jessamyn: I... can acquire these things other ways.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: I have a Usenet subscription, I don't need Netflix.

mathowie: I heard from a Netflix employee that people can sign up for thirty-day free demos and watch an entire series and cancel and that that happens sometimes.

jessamyn: Wait, wait, say... people can, or cannot?

mathowie: Can, yeah. But the amount of people that cancel is very, very small, so they're cool with it.

jessamyn: Oh, interesting!

cortex: All the beefing... eh? Beefing? I used a different b-word than I was gonna.

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: About the crappiness of the service and the selection and whatnot, I understand where people are coming from, but at the same time, it's still crazy convenient. Like, it's what we have and we can't even get through the amount of TV we want

to watch, even from their terrible anemic selection. I just got West Wing on it now, and I can finally go through that, so yeah. It's a nice look into the future when that's what we have to complain about.

jessamyn: I just don't want to spend any more time staring at my screen at all. And where I do want to watch stuff is at the gym, where I don't have streamability so I have to have downloadable stuff.

mathowie: Aww. No wifi at the gym?

jessamyn: Not really, it's a pain in the ass, you gotta go to the--

mathowie: Ohhh!

jessamyn: Whoops! You gotta go to the library. I'm working on it!

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: You gotta go to the library and get a password, and then it expires every month, and... well, but having downloadable stuff on my iPad is totally fine.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: But so I just go a different way.

cortex: Yeah, no, and I dig that. It works for us less that way, just because we like an episode or two of something in the evening once we're sort of done with our respective... you know, I'm off the clock, I've gotten whatever projects I'm working on done, Angela's gotten done with her schoolwork for the night, yeah.

jessamyn: Right, yeah, see, that's when I'm working.

cortex: Yeah, so. And we've got the projector, so we can sit down and sit on the couch and have some dinner and watch a nice big

screen of something, so.

jessamyn: I've been watching The Tudors, which continues to be porny.

cortex: Eh? Yep. It's pretty (laughing) shameless. But I enjoyed watching it.

jessamyn: Yeah! Did you get all the way through it?

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: No, I just watched the... did we talk about this last time?

jessamyn: I forget what you said, though.

cortex: I watched through the second season.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: And then I really liked the girl who got killed at the end of the second season.

jessamyn: I haven't watched that episode yet.

cortex: Spoiler alert: Henry VIII not a nice guy to his wives.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Aww, no.

cortex: But yeah, I just haven't felt super compelled to get back into it, because that was my favorite character on the show, and now she's dead, and it was like euh.

jessamyn: Which character is it?

cortex: His wife, is that Anne Boleyn?

jessamyn: The original wife or the second wife?

cortex: The second wife.

jessamyn: I mean, I know Anne Boleyn gets killed, so yeah. Everybody knows that.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, the second wife, who he was gaga for during the first season and then the second season is basically their relationship.

Anyway, yeah.

mathowie: Let's go on to Metafilter stuff.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: Should we talk about Metafilter, do you think? I don't know.

mathowie: Yeah, maybe a little.

cortex: Ehh. Yeah, okay.

mathowie: Couple things.

cortex: Whatever.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: Alright, so, Projects maybe is always where we start.

jessamyn: Projects was great.

cortex: There was a lot of good stuff.

jessamyn: Projects I totally enjoyed. In fact, two of my favorite Projects were on the same day, this very short month.

cortex: That's a big day.

jessamyn: One of which probably you guys will mention, but maybe not, is Blasdelb, after us mentioning several times--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --that the way he liked to discuss science was terrific and he seemed to have a bunch of people that liked it but sometimes it didn't wedge into Metafilter so great, you know, he would link to stuff behind paywalls maybe, or stuff that was very sciency.

mathowie: Yeah, PDFs...

cortex: Sort of the classic positive version of 'get your own blog', like, "You should really make a blog for this, because that would be a great fit."

jessamyn: Right, like, "You have a lot to say about this, and your analysis is very good. At the same time, it should be in its own place, so that people who want to do that can get really deep into it,

and it doesn't," yeah. So at any rate, he made a blog called Links To The Damn Paper, which is very good, and then became a very nice Metafilter discussion--oh, that's right, we have our little chat window, I can put this in.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And it's just, it's terrific! The blog itself is nice, and the whole goal is discussion community talking about freely available biology research. So hey, here's a paper for people who are interested in this, let's talk about

it! And so recently there's been "How does rainforest logging affect sea turtles?" or "Zombie ants and mind-control fungi". And I guess he's got... it's not just him, there's other people writing there too.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But it's just super nice looking, and he calls it "an antidote for modern science journalism", because it actually talks about the sciency stuff and not just the headline.

cortex: Cra-zy.

mathowie: Try this as an experiment. What's that Quartz website - qz dot com, you know, it's a new hypernews microcontent site.

cortex: Ah, I don't know it.

jessamyn: I don't know it either!

mathowie: It's got a beautiful interface, but it's annoying. It's qz dot com. People have been raving about it, because it looks like an iPad app, in your browser.

jessamyn: It certainly does.

cortex: I misunderstood and went to quartz dot com and that's apparently the National Scientific Company for clear fused quartz tubing and rods.

mathowie: (laughs) Nice.

If you click on any science-y thing, it's like, two paragraphs, a blurb -
- whatever, fat, makes you fat suddenly -

cortex: (muffled laugh)

mathowie: - I don't know, whatever the dumb thing is -

jessamyn: It keeps wiggling around as I'm trying to read it.

mathowie: Yeah, it's trying to be too smart for its own good. As an experiment, go from a pop news site and try to get to the paper. It is so hard. I love what they're doing here, because it's so hard for - some popular thing comes out, there's horsemeat in everything, you know is the popular thing. Where is the actual original article?

jessamyn: And especially because you see things that get kicked around -

- and people make lifestyle decisions based on these things. "Like coffee is going to kill me? I'll stop drinking it or whatever!" And you're like, "no, read the paper. Coffee in mice is bad for this reason, and here's why it doesn't apply to you." Or whatever the thing is.

cortex: Or that the thing is statistically significant in a sense that it generates a change between a 0.0001% risk and a 0.0002% risk. So it's a 100% increase in risk! You know, shit like that. Stuff like that.

mathowie: Whoa!

cortex: Gosh darn it!

jessamyn: Dagnabbit!

mathowie: We have to highlight every single one of these or we'll never stop.

cortex: For Cochrane's sake!

mathowie: But I thought... I mean, it would take me ten links to go from popular news aggregator back to anything remotely, then you can get to the university, then you have to go to their press releases...

jessamyn: Well, and sometimes you can't even get to the thing--

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: --because the science paper itself is behind a paywall--

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: --but if you go to the author's page, you can get a pre-release or whatever, but it's a lot of work, and basically what happens is, there's a press release

that comes out, which is the university or the scientist being like, "Whoo! Check me out!"

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And then everybody just works off the press release.

mathowie: Yup, yup. That's where I always found a dead end. Sometimes universities would say, "Here's the actual paper." But most of them would just give you the abstract as a PDF, which isn't that great.

jessamyn: Horrible. Which goes to a larger annoying issue about having publicly funded research being made publicly available, which is sort of my

hobbyhorse that has nothing to do with Metafilter.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And there's been some exciting stuff happening with it this week!

mathowie: Yeah! Yep.

jessamyn: I should have my own This Week in Good Library News.

mathowie: Yeah, the, what is it the White House said they supported officially, right? That all funded research...

jessamyn: Well, there was a petition, and there's the faster legislation, which is trying to make some of this happen, but they actually--I don't remember who it was, the office of so-and-so...

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: Basically issued a statement

saying, here's our new guidelines for, the Obama administration basically says publicly financed science research - in certain criteria - should be made available. But it actually came from a We the People petition, which was kind of exciting, I thought.

mathowie: Yeah, I thought that was cool. I think I signed it, too, because it was...

jessamyn: I signed it!

mathowie: Like, Creative Commons alumni were pointing to it on Twitter like a month or two ago saying, "Everyone go sign it!"

cortex: Go do a thing!

mathowie: I should have retweeted.

jessamyn: Yeah, and actually I learned another thing about the We the People stuff. They've actually started raising the number of signatures you need in order to get an official response.

mathowie: Yes.

jessamyn: Maybe you told me that, Matt.

mathowie: No, no, it was all over Twitter a couple weeks ago. People thought--

jessamyn: From I guess it was 25,000 to 100,000, is that...?

mathowie: Yeah, I think so, yeah. And I think people thought it was the White House being aloof, but I think it was them saying the tools really work, and let's get them to work--

jessamyn: And you guys are screwing around.

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: And basically turning everything into zombie jokes.

mathowie: Yeah, the Death Star thing was kind of goofy, and yeah. People loved it, but I thought it was a dumb waste of time.

jessamyn: Right. And you can get 25,000 people on the Internet to support any old crazy thing.

mathowie: Right, right, like rename a bridge Stephen Colbert Way or whatever.

jessamyn: Heheheh.

mathowie: I liked Lokheed's Project about the autistic boy's ten-year romance with the Snow White book that came out of--

cortex: Oh, yeah!

jessamyn: So exciting!

mathowie: This is a nice little lineage, you can see it in the post, of

I think it came up originally on Metafilter as a comment, maybe, and then it became a post, and then it was a Project, and then it became a book. It's kind of cool. And I think it's slightly fictionalized, or is it...?

jessamyn: I think it's pretty straightforward, actually!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: At least, that's what people are sort of saying in the comments, like him and the kid's mom have since split up, and he doesn't really pull punches about that.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, and for anybody who's been following Lokheed on Metafilter

this whole time, that's been kind of a story we've all followed along with, and I'm really glad he put something out like this.

mathowie: Yeah, I thought it was pretty cool. And there's no, it's no miracle story, and it's like, yeah, it's pretty solid, straight ahead, and yeah, sounds pretty cool.

cortex: That's neat.

jessamyn: I didn't even click this link, Josh, can you tell me what this is?

cortex: Oh, okay. (chuckles)

mathowie: Ohh.

cortex: six-or-six-thirty made a Tumblr called Horse_egifs [ˈhɔɹs ˈi.jɪfs]--

mathowie: GIFs [gɪfs]!

cortex: --described in the Projects post as "[t]aking a Horse_ebooks approach to gifmaking [ˈgɪf.meɪkɪŋ]." I said GIF [jɪf] and GIF [gɪf] in the same sentence.

jessamyn: I don't even understand what that means.

cortex: Everybody's, yeah, I know. So okay, so there's this Twitter account called Horse_ebooks that got famous for being weird, basically.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: That I know. I mean, I understand all the words.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Yes. Okay. So what six-or-six-thirty did, and you can just read the Projects post for more detail, but basically they're taking very tiny random selections from videos and just turning those into GIFs [jɪfs] and posting them

blind to the blog without context.

jessamyn: six-or-six-thirty's a lady.

cortex: She, okay. And it's kind of like, honestly, it's like [Vime ?] but better? (chuckles) is kind of my feeling. Like, it takes away the human element of [Vime ?], but it's just these wonderfully entrancing random little bits of video as GIF [jɪf], and the complete lack of human interaction in selecting the

portion you see creates this weird wonderful cutup sort of Dada thing. So yeah, I guess it's, if you--

jessamyn: So basically finding random videos, taking little slices from them, putting the results in a Tumblr?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yes. Randomly taking slices from them is the key thing.

mathowie: No, it's not random-random, I mean, they're all slightly interesting? I don't know.

cortex: I don't...

mathowie: I wonder what the underlying, like, does there have to be so many views, comments, or ratings, or some... like, they're slightly interesting, they're not editing out the best two seconds

of something weird, it's just something weird and compelling-looking.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: And they had to have had some popularity, too.

cortex: I... well, it's whatever came up in search results, it sounds like, on random keywords.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

cortex: So I think they're probably in that sense, it's likely that there's---

mathowie: Oh, it's probably the number one search result, you know, it's just gonna [be filter ?].

cortex: Possibly something like that, yeah. But in any case, no human selection of video for quality or whatnot. I liked the uncontrolled nature of it.

mathowie: Yeah. And after it was on Projects I saw it on Twitter mentioned by a zillion people.

cortex: I think it got posted and it sort of went from there, too, so.

mathowie: Yeah. I thought it was pretty awesome. It's totally, totally random. Horse_egifs [ˈhɔɹs ˈi.gɪfs].

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And speaking - not exactly - of ebooks, the other thing that was on the same day, my favorite day, was Pronoiac, who of course knocks it out of the park in all sorts of different ways, has made a

ebook index of free ebooks for the Kindle--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Which I of course care about because now I have a Kindle.

cortex: Wait, so you download this ebook and it's a collection of links to other ebooks?

mathowie: Pointer. And it works on a Kindle.

jessamyn: Yeah. Basically, you can go to the Magic Catalog and get kind of a weird clunky terrible interface and you have to Control-F through it to look through it and it's just a mess, and so Pronoiac made it into a thing for the Kindle, so you can

browse a book with links to free books, and then get books on your book. Get your ebooks on your ebook.

cortex: That is excellent. That reminds me of the time in high school at the library I had to find some article and it was a bit of art criticism in a 40-volume set, and that was the first time I'd ever pulled out a book that was nothing but an index of pages in other books.

jessamyn: Yeah, I know, right?

cortex: And I was like, "What the hell?" But this is like that but in a way that's not silly.

jessamyn: I think 'hell' is okay, by the way. I got charged for 'hell' two podcasts ago, but I...

mathowie: Aww.

jessamyn: I think 'damn' and 'hell' are not swears. How do you guys feel about that?

cortex: I feel similarly in my heart of hearts. I recognize that it is more complicated for people who have objections to the use, but yeah, I think that's a defensible position to take.

jessamyn: Sure, sure. It's just good to set expectations, I think.

cortex: Yeah, exactly.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: But yeah. And now I have a Kindle, I haven't touched a book in a month. It's so weird.

mathowie: Yeah, it's kind of fun but also disturbing, right?

jessamyn: Right. I am completely disturbed.

mathowie: Like, you get it and you go... Right, I didn't want one on day 1, and then I got one eventually because everyone raved about them and then I was like, "Darn it, this is so useful!"

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Like, I'm looking at my shelv--so much shelving, I must have hundreds of feet of book shelving in my house if you total them all up. And I'm like, augh.

jessamyn: Well, and I look at them all now and I'm like, "Why aren't you keyboard searchable?"

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: It's true.

jessamyn: But it's a neat little thing and I've tried it and I enjoy it, so other people should try it and enjoy it. It's a clever...

cortex: It's a clever idea. Go Pronoiac.

mathowie: Oh, sweet! Josh, explain this one to me, because I... is it just one big joke, or what?

cortex: I think it's sort of like straight-faced jokes. Slow Paparazzo is a project by...

jessamyn: How do you pronounce this guy's...?

cortex: I'm going to go with dontoine [dɒntwɒn], I think his name is Dontoine [dɒntwɒn]. It's like Antoine but it's Don. dontoine [dɒntwɒn]?

jessamyn: Okay. 'Cause his real name is Antoine, so.

mathowie: Yeah, sure.

cortex: I feel justified, then. Anyway, Slow Paparazzo,

to quote the post itself, "Whenever I see a celebrity I take a picture of where they just were." So it's a collection of photographs of basically innocuous unremarkable places where a celebrity had previously been.

mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: That's nice and weird.

mathowie: But you know, you look at it... is it just one big art joke? I don't, like, are they just taking the photos and then making up the caption, or is there some sort of realism?

cortex: They claim not to be, in the thread, so I mean, it's...

mathowie: "100% For Reals," it says.

cortex: It's one of those [Kauffman ?] things, where it's like, maybe saying it's real is their way of joking?

jessamyn: Hey, Lee Shriver! I went to college with him.

cortex: But you know, how do you know, so. I'm taking it at face value.

mathowie: I don't... how do you... hmm. Whoa!

jessamyn: I'm with you, Matt, it makes my head hurt.

mathowie: (laughs) No way!

cortex: It's a thing to do because it's an odd thing to do. That's all.

mathowie: He's actually caught in a photo... of famous people?

cortex: Yeah! Yeah.

mathowie: So he's actually doing this moments after they leave a scene?

cortex: I think that's the idea, yeah.

jessamyn: Because he sees them around, but then instead of taking a picture of them, he waits for them to leave.

mathowie: Right. Or perhaps he's a PA or something and he can take a photo after everybody's done.

cortex: Maybe.

mathowie: That's pretty funny!

cortex: Or he just lives in L.A. or New York or something.

mathowie: Right. I couldn't tell if it was just one big put-on or what, but this is kind of better than I thought it was.

Alright, cool. I've got, I only had two favorite Projects.

jessamyn: Josh, are you gonna mention the roguelike? Josh?

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: No, actually, I didn't have that on my...

mathowie: What?!


jessamyn: Okay, well, I didn't understand it so I'm not going to mention it.

cortex: No no no, you [have ?] to paste it now.

jessamyn: But I would like to mention Josh's Bird Presidents.

mathowie: Yes. I [??] mention that.

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Because it overlaps things I like, which are Josh and birds.

cortex: Aww.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Seriously, though! This is really funny, even though, you know...

mathowie: It never got posted to Metafilter? Darn.

cortex: Not everything does. You're just gonna reinforce the... (laughs)

mathowie: Most things. No, this was actually one of the--

jessamyn: Right. Not everything Josh does does.

mathowie: It's a good project. It's funny.

cortex: I'm enjoying it.

jessamyn: Well, I like it because I like the stuff you draw. I mean, LARP Trek is fine, but all the jokes are totally lost on me.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Whereas jokes like Grebe Washington? Hilarious.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Guan Adams, Ptarmigan Jefferson? And the pictures are really good. You're very good at drawing these birds. I don't understand that font you draw.

mathowie: Crowsevelt? Aww. Crowsevelt.

cortex: I know, it's a point of contention. Angela doesn't particularly like that font either. It's something I actually started doing for a different project and then sort of carried it over because I wasn't sure what to do there, but I don't know.

jessamyn: I mean, I don't dislike it, I just don't understand it. Like, I don't know anybody who draws letters like that.

mathowie: Did you make it?

cortex: It's just me experimenting with something, yeah.

mathowie: You can make it as a font.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Well, I have been doing this all by hand, so a font would [??].

mathowie: Are you drawing this with an ink pen?

cortex: Yeah, I'm just using a little super-fine-tipped Micron ink pen drawing these on 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 inch cards.

jessamyn: Theodore Crowsevelt!

mathowie: Yeah. Oh, I see a hand smear on Albatross Lincoln. So it's real.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, I've been a little bit sloppy a couple times with eraser and fresh ink.

jessamyn: Of course it's real!

cortex: Crowsevelt is what started this, actually.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: And it was because of you and your mlkshk account, Jessamyn, because--

jessamyn: Me?

cortex: Well, you had tweeted something, and then Calvin Coolidge wrote to you, I think. Or Woodrow Wilson.

jessamyn: Oh, right, Calvin Coolidge tweeted at me! That was awesome.

cortex: Yeah. And I saw that and I was like, "Aww, yeah! Dead presidents tweeting about stuff. Who else could tweet about stuff? Maybe a bird."

jessamyn: Because I said I was being a Justice of the Peace and I was gonna do a thing, and he was like, "Good on ya!" and I was like "Whoo!".

cortex: (chuckles) Exactly.

jessamyn: "Props from dead Calvin Coolidge!"

cortex: So then my thought process, in the ordered fashion it does, went, "Huh. Dead presidents. Who else is a dead president that could tweet at someone? Theodore Roosevelt."

jessamyn: You were like, "All of them."

cortex: And then I was like, "Theodore Crowsevelt", and then I was like, "Oh, I'll draw this," and yeah, that's how the whole thing happened, so.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: I gotta get back to them. I've had sort of a hiatus for the last week and a half doing some other stuff and dealing with cat stuff and so on, and so it's like, they've sort of dried up and I need to get back to it, because I've been enjoying doing it.

mathowie: Yeah, I've been enjoying sitting around thinking, "Hmm, how could Grover Cleveland be birded up?"

cortex: (laughs) It's actually, yeah.

mathowie: And then you've already done it, usually.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I haven't [??] a Coolidge.

jessamyn: Well, you're working through them all by date, right?

cortex: Yeah, I'm doing them in order. So next I gotta do Garfield, who I think is going to be... he's a tricky one, because there's no real great matches for it, so I think I'm going to do James A. Guineafowl, because Guineafowl's kind of a funny name

and it's got some of the same letters.

mathowie: Mmm.

jessamyn: Wait, which, I'm sorry, which what?

cortex: James Garfield?

jessamyn: Ohh.

cortex: Our 19th president. No, 20th president.

mathowie: 20th? Did you do two--

jessamyn: Are you doing them all the last names?

mathowie: No, it's sometimes the first name.

cortex: It's [some ?] first name and some last name, just whatever...

jessamyn: Because there's a whole bunch of, you know, jaybirds.

cortex: Yeah, but I did a blue jay already, and I don't want to do just Scrub Jay Garfield.

jessamyn: Steller's Jay.

cortex: Yeah, but they're all jays! It's, I don't know. It feels a little bit too repetitive. It's too easy.

jessamyn: I hear that.

cortex: I'm favoring variety.

jessamyn: Good!

cortex: Plus, all the small birds look the same, so I don't want to do them more than I need to.

jessamyn: They do not all look the same.

cortex: Ehhh, they pretty much do. I don't know, I'm kind of an expert on birds now.

mathowie, jessamyn, and cortex: (laugh)

cortex: Another Project that I liked is Corduroy has a cover album he just put out.

mathowie: No way! Sweet.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: So yeah. Not a whole lot to say other than, hey, Corduroy's a great musician and you should go listen to the music he recorded.

jessamyn: He is! Where is Corduroy nowadays? He was moving around for a while.

cortex: He's in Portland, I believe, at this point.

jessamyn: Sweet!

cortex: I haven't actually seen him in a while. But yeah, as far as I know he's still out and about in [??].

jessamyn: Wow, he's covering a whole bunch of bands I like, and Coldplay,

mathowie and cortex: (laugh uproariously)

cortex: Ohhh.

mathowie: That was awesome.

jessamyn: Did I tell you guys when I went to go see Bobcat Goldthwait do standup, and he was doing his thing, and he's like, "Who's that band that sucks?" and I happened to be sitting near the front and I was like, "Nickelback?" and he points at me and he's like,

"Nickelback! Right!"

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: I felt bad, because I don't actually hate Nickelback. I don't even hate Coldplay, you know, but they're easy targets.

cortex: Yeah, Coldplay's fine, they just got more famous than they deserved because that's the way unequal distribution of stuff goes.

mathowie: What was the '90s--?

jessamyn: They're very sincere.

mathowie: What was the '90s version of the worst band? It had some guy named Scott something...

cortex: Oh, Creed, with Scott Stapp.

mathowie: Creed, yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Yeah. (sings unintelligibly?)

mathowie: '95 to 2000, Creed works as a joke. 2000-2005, it's Coldplay.

jessamyn: And somebody did a standup about Creed, too.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I'm trying to even remember. Like, one of the usual guys, like Louis CK or somebody you love did some joke about the guy from Creed being awful. Oh, no, it may have been Arj Barker, in which case I take it back.

mathowie: There's a famous story, I think, of John Roderick going to a major label with the long winners right when it formed and got an A&R guy in an office in Hollywood, "We're gonna put you on the Atlantic label or whatever, you're gonna be

big, kid," and he's pitching the guy, and listening to the tape, and he's like, "You know what, I'm not going to go with this. I think grunge is dead," this is like 1993 or something, like, "I think this alt-rock thing is on its way out, I'm sorry, dude, we're not gonna pick you up, Mr. Roderick. But whoever comes in next, I'm gonna sign that guy, he's gonna be a megastar," and it turned out to be that Scott guy from Creed.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: That actually happened, and the guy was right.

(chuckles) Sauna Sounds Cover Album. I'll put it in a little--

jessamyn: Have you listened to it, Josh? Is it awesome?

cortex: I've listened to bits of it, and I've enjoyed it.

jessamyn: Cool!

mathowie: The "We're Going to be Friends" sounded good.

cortex: I'm so terrible at listening to music. I have to make such an effort to listen to something that's not already on my iTunes, and putting stuff on I'm lazy about, so it's, you would think as a musician...

jessamyn: Do you just put it in the music mix thing? Mixy [??]?

cortex: You know, I haven't recently because I worry that I'll flake, which I definitely did once.

jessamyn: That was the other reason I was late today, is I had to go to the post office and mail off a bunch of CDs.

cortex: Ah, well, good.

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Calvin Coolidge told me to tweet you and tell you to get on you.

jessamyn: Hahaha.

mathowie: I was trying to think the other day, I don't have a lot of partial attention time to have music on all the time, like, I was thinking back when I was a teen, I listened to all new albums all the time, I had hours because I was playing video games over and over again and I didn't really care about the sound of the video games.

cortex: Oh, I can't listen to other music while playing a game, it just feels like a violation.

mathowie: Oh, man.

cortex: It's like, I want to experience the artwork as a whole.

mathowie: In college I wanted to be a music reviewer, because I was like, I got four hours a day to sit around, I can totally get through so many new albums this way. And it was just because, it's finally started to warm up around here, and I started listening to music while I was riding my bike on long rides, and I was like, wow, I haven't sat down for an hour and listened to random playlists in a long time where I wasn't just forcing myself not to fast forward, because I was wearing thick gloves and it's kind of a pain in the butt.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: So I was just like, "Man, I don't have an hour-long commute each way to listen to random music." It's a bummer.

cortex: See, I can make time for listening to the music, like, I can do that while at work at home here.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I can't do something where I really need to pay attention to the words, but the music side, so it's more the active process of getting the new stuff on playback and going and finding the new stuff and whatnot that I'm bad about, so.

jessamyn: That's what I find the mix stuff is good for, often, like bringing in completely random

elements. In fact, when I made my mix CD, I actually went through and picked up a whole bunch of stuff off This Is My Jam, because I've been linking to a particular kind of music and I was like, "You know, I think that could all work together!" And so I had to figure out how to fight with the This Is My Jam interface so that I could find my older jams.

cortex: Oh, it's getting better. They've really been doing a lot of work on the site, it seems like.

jessamyn: No, it's great! Well, and that's another vector for listening to new music, too. You follow a couple people you like, and you're like,

"Oh, hey, they have good taste in music."

mathowie: Yep. And you know burning CDs and mailing them is purposely an anachronism at this point.

jessamyn: I'm not listening to you. What?

mathowie: You could be just tweeting out your Spotify list to other people--

jessamyn: I don't use Spotify!

mathowie: I'm just saying that the next phase of a Metafilter swap could be so easier.

cortex: I think [we're going the other direction. ?]

jessamyn: Yeah, but carson actually stays... I mean, he does it this way on purpose, sort of, in order to have that

kind of, "Ooh! A swap!" and whatever. Like, it would be totally easy to be like, "Here's a gigabyte of things," but that kind of almost ensures people aren't gonna listen to it, and there's no curation attempt, really. I mean, yeah, I totally hear you, but I think this is specifically trying to be a different kind of thing.

cortex: See, I want to have a swap that goes in the other direction, and the entire swap and you send five people a floppy disk on which you've encoded a single song at low enough bitrate to fit

into 1.44 megabytes--

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: And that's the one file on it, and you send it out, and maybe it'll play when they get there, if they can find a computer that both has a disk drive and can manage to play back an MP3, and you know.

jessamyn: I am sitting within five feet of such a computer.

cortex: Well, good for you.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Because I booted up my old Toshiba Satellite just to mess around with it this week, and man, was it fun looking at these ancient...

cortex: See, I think I've given out all my older computers to friends in need at this point.

mathowie: Apple made a USB to floppy drive when the iMac came out, but that was, wow, 15 years ago. (chuckles)

jessamyn: Is that true?

mathowie: I was laughing because every day I go downtown to lunch there's a computer store, like a computer repair guy, and you know what the name of his business is? A Prompt Computing.

jessamyn: Aaah! And everybody's like, "What?"

mathowie: And every time I walk by, I'm like, it's more ridiculous every single day. It gets a little more ridiculous and I love


jessamyn: Is it like A: Prompt?

mathowie: No, it's like letter A and then Prompt, like A Prompt Computing, and then you're like...

jessamyn: Adorable. Adorable.

mathowie: And it's just like, who... you had to be born before 1975, I think, to even know what that means, and wow. Love it.

Do you want to move on to Metafilter stuff?

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: I've got one more [??] pick.

mathowie: Wow, you did prepare.

jessamyn: You said you were already done.

cortex: I didn't say I was done. I can assure you.

mathowie: I said I was done.

cortex: I probably said I was done about something.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I was probably done about, like, you know, plaid. Plaid is done. Anyway (laughs), there's a couple nice little shorts, I should check back and see if there's a new one, actually, by edlundart.

mathowie: Oh, wow.

cortex: A series about Franklin the Ladies' Cat, which is just this nice little animation on real photography thing about a cat who loudly misrepresents his success with the ladies. And it's adorable and

he just does the whole thing and it's [??].

jessamyn: I saw that! I have to say, it was not at all my thing.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: It's a very specific thing.

jessamyn: And edlundart has a song I have on heavy rotation, like, he's a talented dude, and this was just not my thing for some reason.

cortex: Just didn't do it for you?

mathowie: I just liked it technically. I was like, "What software is he using? That looks so cool!" Like, to be able to superimpose fake shadows and stuff, it's pretty good.

cortex: Yeah, that's nicely done.

mathowie: Is it just whatever motion plus I forget .. after effects or something?

cortex: I don't know. I don't know how he did it, actually.

mathowie: Hm.

cortex: Maybe somewhere he talks about the process but I have not seen it. Anyway, I thought it was cute.

mathowie: It looks great. Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah I thought it was a great project but I .. followed along .. was like, "I don't get this"

cortex: (Laughs)

mathowie: Oh there was one....

jessamyn: Someone would love this.

mathowie: There is a one last.. I'll just mention this because it's timely. It's not super super awesome but the fifty Cadbury Eggs I'm going to eat in the next month before Easter

or something? If you click on each Cadbury Egg on the site they tell you how it, like, what he was doing at the time when he ate it. And it's just a goofy little... Cadbury Eggs are a temporary awesome thing in the world and yeah.

cortex: It's cute.

mathowie: I'm going to eat - oh she - I'm Going To Eat 50 Cadbury Eggs is pretty insane. (Laughing) You can sponsor them I guess? It's awesome.

jessamyn: That's terrific. I should pass this on to my friend who has a thing for Cadbury Eggs.

mathowie: Yeah.

mathowie: Oh. We forgot to mention Jobs, but there really wasn't much of any jobs.

jessamyn: Was there any at all?

mathowie: There's one. Being an IT Manager for a Food Co-Op in Austin? That just sounds..

jessamyn: Oh that one's good.

mathowie: Yeah. That sounded cool. Like, you know, get to do computer stuff for a good cause.

jessamyn: Oh and there was the pretzel delivery but I assume that's already happened.

cortex: (Laughing) Hopefully.

mathowie: Yeah. Or the pretzels got stale. (Laughing)

Alright. Metafilter-y stuff?

cortex: Well there's a bunch of stuff.

jessamyn: I have one favorite.

cortex: Oh, really?

mathowie: Uh-oh.

jessamyn: I mean there were other things that I liked that I'm sure I will dig up. But my favorite favorite? Was Stark's post about Foxes jumping in a Northeasterly direction. I don't know if you've watched like videos of foxes. Like they jump up and pounce on their prey and it's adorable.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And turns out, they all jump in like the same kind of direction. And that's the direction that's more successful and blah-blah-blah they have like magnet senses, maybe, ect; ect;

jessamyn: So this was just like one of those threads where everyone's like, "What?! Foxes?!" and it also lead to a post by ChuraChura about fox mating which wound up on the Best of blog, I think.

cortex: Oh. That's right. Yeah.

mathowie: I saw that, yeah.

jessamyn: The Best Of Blog is basically all mating animals all the time.

cortex: (laughing) It's been a thing.

mathowie: (laughing)

cortex: I wonder if it's not.. maybe it's not the foxes. Maybe it's their sockes?

jessamyn: (Laughing)

mathowie: Ouch.

cortex: (laughing) Thank you, and good night! (laughing)

mathowie: I love having a kitten because the kitten -- we have a big giant winter downy comforter and if you throw something on top of our bed, the cat acts exactly like one of those foxes.

jessamyn: Just pop!

mathowie: Walks up and then hops WAY up in the air to pounce on whatever it is. It's very funny.

jessamyn: Pop. Pop, pop.

mathowie: My favorite post for the entire month, possibly year,

was the one on the blind world series. So good. Even though there's only like, I don't know, five comments here? The story was awesome and fascinating.

jessamyn: Tell me. Tell me what it's about!

cortex: Yeah I meant to read this but I never got back to it. What was the deal?

mathowie: It's basically like a sports-blog-nation. You know, the people that do Verge and - what's the other one? - Polygon. You know this is their original thing. I guess the Daily Kos guy started this. The sports-blog-nation's just a heavy sports writing stuff and it's basically got like

a life long baseball fan talking about going to the blind World Series? And how amazing it is and how much better it is than baseball and once you've been there, you basically don't care about the exploits of pesky millionaires, you know, jumping from New York Yankees to whatever. He's like, "Go watch the blind play! It's so amazing!" You know.

jessamyn: I feel like yeah blind sporting events are really nifty. I don't remember if I've made or was thinking of making a post on blind soccer

a long time ago.

mathowie: Oh! Wow.

jessamyn: But yeah yeah that's cool. I'm going to have to go now.

mathowie: It's a really long piece that's like, you know, five-thousand words and most of it's explaining how it works. Which is like, okay.. the ball beeps. They only have two bases and the bases beep. And people kinda like echo locate for the ball and this is basically how the whole thing happens and how competitive. Like these people all have day jobs and they travel to the mid-west each year for like .. it's a true World Series. There's like Japanese people

and it's not one of those fake, you know, Major League Baseball World Championships where there aren't anyone from the rest of the world showing up. But it's just awesome. It's just an awesome story of like you know, people who are playing baseball because they love to play baseball. Not because they are getting paid eight million dollars a year. In the world of sports journalism that's all anyone ever writes about is, you know, how rich..

jessamyn: Rich.. these rich people. Yeah. Well and, you know, there's all this sort of minor leagues and feeder leagues and local leagues and whatever that are

more authentic. More excited.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Not millionaire baseball players.

mathowie: Yeah like people were talking about there's an actual world series going on, I think this week or next week? I forgot where it's at. It's like the World Baseball Classic is happening and it's like Cuba vs Taiwan is going to be the big showdown. It's like why don't we happen .. yeah that's right. It's in Japan and Puerto Rico.

jessamyn: Ahh.

mathowie: There is a World Baseball Classic, yeah. That's what true baseball fans are saying is way more impressive and interesting

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

mathowie: And I also roll my eyes every time I see a World Series in America end and everyone dances around saying they are World Champs when it doesn't make any sense to me.

jessamyn: Because you didn't play people in other countries.

mathowie: Right. You might as well say you are universe champs at that point. (Laughs) Ya know? Clink!

jessamyn: Well Miss Universe. That's always bee a thing, right?

mathowie: (Laughing) That's right. We haven't gotten anyone from Mars yet to show up.

Cortex and Jessamyn: (Laughing)

cortex: I liked this thing

cortex: [Laughing] I liked this thing called Pixelated Blood which is just somebody sat down and for whatever reason made an exhaustive compilation of finishing moves and final blows.

mathowie: (Chuckling)

jessamyn: Can you tell me what a finishing move is?

mathowie: Knock-Out Punch!

cortex: In fighting days, roughly speaking, a finishing move is a special move that can only be preformed at the end of a fight. So you're playing...

jessamyn: So the other guy's like stumbly and then you do the thing and then they explode in blood and die.

cortex: Yeah.

Yeah, you've got them down to little or no health and then there's a special combination you can press to invoke some special move that does something crazy, like Mortal Kombat sort of really put finishing moves on the map, I feel like, with tearing out someone's skull--

mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)

cortex: --or, you know, their spine, or throwing them into spikes that happen to be in the background that level, or things like that, so.

jessamyn: Yeech!

cortex: So it's just like two hours of it, and it's ridiculous, but it's interesting to browse through whether you're conversant or not in the genre because there's so much variation in the visual presentation from game

to game and the approach to it that it's kind of an odd little thing to page through.

mathowie: I think I remember Punch-Out!!, you built up a special punch over the course of an entire match, and you can only use it once, but if you used it and missed, you lost all your power, so people never liked to use it--

cortex: Yeah, I think you--

mathowie: I just remember being in an arcade and I hit the button for a friend, going like, "Dude, I think it's the, let's go!"--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And he's like, "What are you doing?!"

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Because he lost, his energy went down in half, and then he got knocked out and I owed him a quarter. (chuckles)

cortex: Yeah, it was a thing where you had to successfully hit and successfully dodge or block other hits to I think build up star power--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And then you could use some sort of special uppercut.

mathowie: Yes.

cortex: And early on that wasn't such a big deal because you could just literally punch out Glass Joe with jabs and rights and whatnot, but by the time you got to Tyson or whoever they changed it to after Tyson got in trouble, you would basically have to be perfect about dodging and jabbing and then you could finally use the uppercut, and then if you did that

like three times then you'd be able to beat him, otherwise you were just dead.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And so I guess it's sort of like a pre-history of the finishing move.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, ripping out a spine was always my favorite.

cortex: Yeah, it's kind of hard to beat that.

jessamyn: Euugh.

mathowie: (laughs) It was totally awesome, man.

jessamyn: Euugh. (laughs)

I also enjoyed this very practical post, from the beginning of February, and I have to say it out loud,
so it's called "Get--"... "Get Your Sh--"

mathowie: Oh, we can bleep it. "--Your Stuff Together."

jessamyn: (laughs) "Get Your Shit Together." Basically, this was a woman who had a husband who died in a bike accident, and she was a young woman, suddenly widowed, being like, "Oh my gosh, what am I supposed to do?" And she put together this website that helps you figure out what you're supposed to, how you're supposed to deal with setting up your life so that you've made some of the decisions for your partner or for

your family or whatever, and of course have caught on in the New York Times, and then Madamina made a post that includes that and links from a couple other websites, you know, "Designing Your Death Dossier: The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die," blah blah Wall Street Journal. But it's good! I know a lot of people, especially in our community's age range, have questions about that kind of stuff or don't know really where they would go, and of course there's always people who are trying to sell you something. But a lot of it you
can just sort of do on your own, as long as you don't mind doing some planning, and it's cool! It was a cool post, and was useful.

cortex: That's neat.

mathowie: Yeah, I liked it, and I thought about, this is all the dumb grown-up-y stuff I've had to learn over the last ten years or so, and I've always thought, "Yeah, why doesn't someone just do this, you know, make a site?"

jessamyn: Well, and if you come from a family where this is just a normal part of being a 30-year-old or a 40-year-old,

you kind of just know it, because your parents are like, "RAR, do this!" But if you don't--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: --and a lot of people don't, you just not only have no idea, but you may be dealing with parents who are not handling this kind of stuff, and you have to make decisions or figure out things about them, and it's all challenging, super challenging.

mathowie: Oh, there's also stuff like, like when you have a child you're supposed to get life insurance. My parents never told me that.

jessamyn: Right!

mathowie: And that was something I sort of read, you know, from blogs, and I was like--

jessamyn: Well, and they were in a different kind of class than you are, in some ways.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah.

jessamyn: And that really affects the decisions you have to make. I mean, watching people deal with their parents and wills, it's a much different situation if your parents mostly left debt as opposed to assets.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But I mean, it's true, for a lot of people, dealing with a will, if your parents just don't have anything, just letting the probate court handle it and ignoring the whole thing is actually more effective than...

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Saves you money, time, and hassle.

And we've definitely seen people on Ask Metafilter who have been like, "All my parent has is this run-down car and whatever."

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Different situation.

mathowie: I'm always amazed at the running into peers that just missed one of these total things that everyone says you're supposed to do. Like, gosh, I should probably... (chuckles) This is great, because it's just like a ten-page little site, with simple stuff, just like five paragraphs on a page, which go, "Oh, hey, about this, do this.

About this, do this."

jessamyn: And as much as a lot of this should be legally handled, a lot of it you can just kind of at least perfunctorily handle--you know, like your living directive and that kind of stuff, letting people know what your goals are so that at least somebody has an idea of what you'd even want, which I think is the big question a lot of times.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know, like it's one thing to be like, "Don't forget, I have a secret bank account," but it's totally another thing to be like, "No life support," or whatever.

mathowie: Yeah. I'm also thinking that it's like, if I've sort of decided to be like, how to be an adult, like all these dumb things you never think about, or maybe you didn't have parents that knew what different kinds of life insurance were, or retirement accounts, like all this stuff just reminds me of, oh, there's so much... augh.

jessamyn: Yeah, well, and if you're in sort of more of the corporate world some of that stuff just gets kinda taken care of, you know? Like you have a person, and you can ask them a question, whereas if you're not, or especially if you're a freelancer, a lot of

that stuff's mysterious, super mysterious.

mathowie: Yeah. Like, I really think there should be a site for, if you're gonna have a baby you should do these five things, like get a life insurance account for you and your spouse, if anything happens so the other person can support the child, and start a... those 529 plans! Like, this is something--

jessamyn: Is that education stuff?

mathowie: Yeah. So the 529 is the tax-free shelter for education funds. Like, I've told a zillion friends

and hardly anyone's done it, but I set it up for my daughter when she was born, and now it's like amazing. And I set them up for my cousins a couple years as a little Christmas gift, like, you have to start with a thousand dollars, that's a little bit of a drag. But I set it to a hundred dollars a month, like it was a level where I thought, I won't quite notice it, you know.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: And it's like, I can't remember how many years have gone by, three years, maybe, since I set it up?

jessamyn: You'd be like, I'd be spending this money on candy bars and sushi.

mathowie: Right! Yeah. And it's like, I just looked at it at Christmas time going, you know, my brother was asking me what he should get my daughter, and I was like, you know, I don't quite get his kids gifts anymore, because I'm still paying them basically a hundred dollars a month on the down-low.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: But I looked at it, it was like ten thousand dollars and eight thousand dollars for the two kids.

jessamyn: Which is nice!

mathowie: And I was like, "This is magic money that came from nowhere that I would... a rounding error, you know, in my bank account." Like, it's so great if you just set it and forget it. But yeah.

jessamyn: Well, and it's one of those things people... there was a thread about trees in Ask Metafilter, and people were talking about blah, planting trees, and people were like, "Well, the best time to plant a tree was always 40 years ago--"

mathowie: (chuckling faintly) Yeah.

jessamyn: "But the second best time is now."

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: So, you know, same kind of thing. Which was why I appreciated this website. The end.

mathowie: Cool! Yeah. It's pretty nice.

cortex: I liked the post about the guy who has a store called We Buy White Albums.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: It's by a guy named Rutherford Chang, and it's an actual storefront in New York, but it's also basically an art project. And he's collecting like every copy of the White Album on vinyl that he can, and indexing them, because they've all got serial numbers or whatever, and yeah, so it's just like this white store full of copies of the White Album, and it's really neat because he's looking at all the... you know, these are all used records that people had and done various things with from taking very good mint-condition care of to drawing elaborate graffiti on the front to

spilling coffee on it, and the actual disks themselves are anywhere from in great condition to in not so great condition. And he's actually recording the audio off of each of them as well, so there's a couple of really neat samples he's posted so far of...

jessamyn: Of how they're different?

cortex: Well, he recorded the first side of a hundred different copies of the album so far, like off of vinyl, and layered them all together, and so you get this increasingly cacophonous thing

as the albums drift apart and some of them skip and whatnot...

jessamyn: Oh, because they get off time with each other.

cortex: Yeah. And it's really sort of amazing to listen to, and I really enjoyed that. He also did eight versions of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which is less crazy to listen to but also pretty interesting, so.

jessamyn: (sing-song) I'm going to start to sing to this!

cortex: But yeah, I just thought, I don't know.

jessamyn: (still slightly sing-song) You can keep talking!

cortex: The whole thing just hit me the right way. I liked this as a weird sort of monomaniacal project to work on, so.

So yeah. That's all.

mathowie: I saw that there's a photo of the guy in the store on the other day, and I was just, it's just so great. This is a guy with a billion White Albums.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: It's [just ?] awesome.

Where is the one... oh, I had one of my super favorites, right in my wheelhouse, Park Bike Tools has a whole bunch of helper videos on YouTube and stuff and tips, and
Park is this famous company that makes basically the best tools for bikes, and the most expensive, they're basically like, I don't know, the fancy cutlery, kind of, of the bike world? But all the hardcore mechanics--

jessamyn: The Leather Man?

mathowie: Yeah. And it's basically, you'll see blue, blue handles on everything, it's Snap-on Tools, I think, is the big car mechanic favorite tools. So Park is the thing for bike mechanics. Pretty much the best out there, and it's great that they have a monster amount of

technical repair stuff and videos and helper stuff and it's completely supporting their own industry, which is great. But they're not--

jessamyn: Nice! I'd never heard of this. Way to go, [??].

mathowie: Yeah, it was just very cool, super useful.

jessamyn: I enjoyed this ridiculous thread about poutine.

mathowie and cortex: (chuckle)

cortex: What's not to like?

jessamyn: It was kind of a weird thread, because we got a lot of e-mails about it, because it was from

MILNEWSca, which is basically a military news user.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

mathowie: Military news of Canada, and this is military news of Canada. But it's cool news!

cortex: And as far we can tell the guy has nothing to do with it.

jessamyn: Well, and it's one of those things, the guy's got his own blog, and he made a short link to this but then turned it into a longer post, not much longer, for Metafilter... but a couple people noticed it, which was weird. But! Everybody loves talking about poutine! And the fact that it's gonna be

in boil-a-bag rations in the Canadian government, which is, as this user points out, it's French fries with gravy and cheese curds, and people talk about what that stuff is. But it was just whatever, it was this fun blah-buh-blah thread where people talk about poutine and it was fun and I enjoyed it.

mathowie: Yeah. Everyone loves poutine. Mostly in a half-joking way, but also a stunt food way.

jessamyn: Have you had it?

mathowie: No! I mean, it sounds...

jessamyn: Good Lord, it's so good.

cortex: It's tasty. And terrible for you, I'm sure.

mathowie: Really? Where can I...?

jessamyn: It's so bad for you!

mathowie: Where should I go to get, like, where's the best...?

cortex: I don't even know if there's really a poutine place in Portland.

mathowie: Oh, no, I meant of all the Canadian cities I've been, where should I have gone to get it? Like Montreal is better than Toronto?

jessamyn: Montreal, I think?

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: I don't even think it matters! I think if you're there and you find the place and then you get to a place... I mean, I went to one place when I was in Toronto and other people were like,

"Aww, too bad you didn't go to a cooler place," and I'm like, "Whatever, who cares?"

mathowie: That's what I wanted. I guess I could Yelp it for poutine.

jessamyn: It's French fries!

mathowie: (chuckles) French fries with gravy and curds, is that it?

jessamyn: Cheese curds.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And other stuff and maybe a pickle? I don't know, people talk about it. I mean, I'm not Canadian. But you can get it in northern Vermont, because there's a lot of truck drivers going up and down.

mathowie: I am not much of a fan of cheese curds, and I know that's weird.

jessamyn: Well, it's not like runny cheese, it's like squeaky cheese. You know that, right?

mathowie: Yeah, but it's the flavor. Like--

jessamyn: What are you [??] at?

mathowie: I've been in a cheese factory, at the Tillamook Cheese Factory on the coast, they let you have curds, which they don't even sell.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: And they say, like, "Oh, well, here's our 'in development' cheese, have the curds!" And then, I don't know what Midwestern cheese curds taste like, because I've never been there, but it just tastes like tasteless plastic, you know, it just tastes like not-done cheese to me.

jessamyn: Yeah, it's like string cheese. It's not super flavorful a lot of the time.

mathowie: And, I don't know ..

cortex: A nice chewing. Yeah.

mathowie: It's like I am chewing stuff that just has a little bit of cheese flavor in it and I'm really ..

jessamyn: And it's high in protein!

cortex: How do you feel about? Have you had Halloumi?

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: No, what?

cortex: It's a grilling cheese, it's like a--

jessamyn: Spell that word.

cortex: Haloumi? Oh, uh, H-A-L-O-U-M-I, maybe?

mathowie: I've never heard of that.

cortex: It's a--

jessamyn: "A mild salty Cypriot cheese

made from goat milk.

cortex: Yeah. It's a little bit different.

jessamyn: Brine cured!

mathowie: Oh! It's from Greece!

cortex: And you can literally slap it on a grill and it's not going to melt through. It's just going to grill up and get hot and -- Oh it's soo amazing! And it's sort of the same kind of thing though. So if you don't like that, you might not

mathowie: Oh! You know? I think I have had it. What's that place? It's in downtown Portland. The Greek Key place. I think I've seen it.

cortex: Oh! Ahh .. the the one with the giant inflatable

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: octopus?

mathowie: Yeah. (Laughing)

jessamyn: What?!

cortex and mathowie: (Talking at the same time)

mathowie: They are a huge Greek ...

cortex: It's in Greek in their name.. oh God what is the name of the place?

mathowie: Yeah something super greeky.

cortex: Yeah. So there is this Greek restaurant

that has a giant inflatable purple octopus that sits on top of it.

mathowie: Probably the equivalent of like calling a Little Caesar's pizza place Italian, you know? Like it's so ridiculous.

cortex: I don't think it's that bad. But, yeah.

mathowie: It's pretty ridiculously Greek. Like inside.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, but ... I think I've seen this - like someone ordered at the table.

cortex: We've had it at barbecues a couple of times over at .. uh .. Mr Zarquon's [phonetic] place and ..

mathowie: So it tastes better than mozzarella?

cortex: It tastes different. It's awesome specifically for what it is.

jessamyn: It's salty, right? Because it's briney.

cortex: It's like a dry salty mozzarella. Kinda. I mean, it's in that same sort of territory

just a little bit more.. Comes on a bit stronger and you can heat it up significantly without it melting all over the place. So. It's pretty great.

mathowie: Hm.

cortex: Halloumi! (small pause, no one responds) This is .. this is ..

jessamyn: OHPA!

mathowie: (Laughs)

cortex: This podcast is brought to you by a cheese called Halloumi.

mathowie: Oh it's a bummer we don't have [moderator] taz like on speed dial. She could bring us up to speed on this stuff.

cortex: (Laughing)

jessamyn: .. because she'd really love to talk to us in the middle of the night.

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: A lot of great stuff -- yeah let's call her up at two in the morning!

cortex: This is like our version of the Howard Stern Show (in a half-asleep voice) "What? What do you guys need?"

mathowie: Uh .. We need some cheese knowledge

jessamyn: You know what? It's nine-thirty (pm) there. She's probably awake.

mathowie: Yeah it is pretty late. Yeah maybe not that late, yeah.

cortex: (Laughing)

jessamyn: It is pretty not that late.

cortex: (Laughing)

jessamyn: Okay. Anything else from metafilter?

cortex: I liked this post about Biblionaut! It's a nice little ....

jessamyn: [interrupts] That sounds like BOOKS!

cortex: Well, it's not really about books.

jessamyn: It's not, is it?

cortex: It's baiting you. But it's a nice

piece of writing. It's basically sort of somewhere between prose and poetry set to a sort of audiovisual thing. It's one of those things where the text comes slow in the context of some sound and visual presentation and you click through the whole thing. But I really liked it. I usually don't have a whole lot of patience for that, but I found this one really nice and meditative and interesting. So if you've got ten minutes you want to kill on something sort of ponderous, go ahead and click on that! And that's my review of that post.

jessamyn: Alright, I just did.

cortex: Well, don't do it right now.

jessamyn: Talk amongst yourselves, you guys.

cortex: Oh, geez. Well, another post that I liked was this discussion of--

jessamyn: (gasps) Spaceman.

cortex: --growing up with Star Trek: Next Generation that was linked from The Awl, I think, a lady named Anne Helen Petersen writing basically about her connection with Next Generation as someone growing up and sort of looking back on it now, and it was just a nice meditation and I'm sort of obviously in a Star Trek sort of space right now with the comic strip, so.

jessamyn: Sara C.!

cortex: Yes! Sara C. posted that.

jessamyn: I just think it's worth continuing to name our users when we possibly can.

cortex: (chuckles) That's a good idea. So yeah, I thought that was a nice read.

mathowie: Did you guys see that crazy thing about wood management stuff?

jessamyn: Absolutely!

mathowie: Like, this is the most Ron Swanson-y post of the entire month, but, like...

jessamyn: What does that mean?

cortex: (chuckling) Ron Swanson?

mathowie: Oh, Nick Offerman's character on Parks and Rec who's a--

jessamyn: That much I know.

mathowie: "I'm the only man who does woodworking."

jessamyn: Oh, okay.

mathowie: I am the only man who does woodworking. Offerman does woodworking seriously in the off-season of - like that's what he does. That's his [??]

cortex: Parks & Rec is actually a documentary about Nick Offerman.

mathowie: (Laughing) Yeah. He's not exaggerating much of himself on that show. But yeah. it's just awesome. All kinds of crazy best bits from Wood Central with is a long time woodworker forum that's like older than metafilter.

jessamyn: Oh! Neat! Yeah, no. I know Wood central. That's cool.

Yeah cause, as you know, my cousin is a crazy woodworker. I believe you know that.

mathowie: Oh what. Does he have like a following? Or..?

jessamyn: He .. yeah.

mathowie: Or like a show or something?

jessamyn: He has a nickname. He used to be the editor of Popular Woodworking magazine?

mathowie: Oooh. I love that.

jessamyn: And now he quit that job to start a independent press and woodworking shop and it's called Lost Art Press. Check this out. It's really nice, actually.

mathowie: Yeah, show me.

jessamyn: So they make a book called The Anarchist Toolchest and they publish a couple other books.

mathowie: Are they getting into a woodworking guy on PBS from Boston, who looks like he's from Australia? Have you seen this guy? Longhaired blonde guy who's a crazy woodworker. I don't know what the show is called. My Tivo just happened to tape it, because I watch a lot of PBS shows about stuff and it's super good.

jessamyn: You should get this book. You would like it.

mathowie: Yeah! But I don't do any of this stuff, (laughs) hardly ever.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I used to love reading those popular woodworking magazines, just because "oh my god, this is what true craftsmen and artisans can do," and I rarely do any of it, but I just love looking at it all day.

jessamyn: Well, woodworking's challenging, because you kind of have to be all in for big chunks of time to do a good job, and -

because there's always going to be somebody who's completely amazing and way - you know - way ahead of where you'll ever be and it's hard to accept that sometimes.

mathowie: Yeah. I mean that was the thing. I loved Norm Abrams woodworking show. I don't think it's on anymore, but, just because there was a way I would think about how you are going to build a chair and then the way he comes up with this so much more amazing. It's like watching Perl programmers that can all ..

jessamyn: Well that's exactly it. It's got that same ..

mathowie: You know. He has ten days to do something. Like the, the show I just saw

that I like of this guy from Boston. He made a bent plywood chair? Out of like twenty five pieces of bent plywood? And so you have to bend your plywood while it's hot and steamed and flexible and you have to set it is a jig and it has to sit there for two weeks.

jessamyn: And put a shit-ton of glue on it and eight million clamps.

mathowie: Well you, what was killing me was he had twenty five pieces that had to sit for two weeks in a jig.

jessamyn: Right. Right! (Laughing)

mathowie: For me, that's like, "Oh! So every two weeks you make one piece!" No. He makes like a single sheet of plywood and he'd fit like eighteen

jigs on it somehow.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Like he optimized how he could pack them in there. And it's just like, "Oh my god! That's brilliant!" So he made the chair in two weeks. I like it. It's unbelievable.

jessamyn: Look at this mug shot. It's so-many-mustaches!

cortex and mathowie: (Laugh)

mathowie: Ha-Ha! Everyone's got a hat on. Every single person.

jessamyn: Well they are wearing the Wood Central hat.

mathowie: Yeah. That's awesome. So many mustaches.

cortex: That's pretty excellent.

jessamyn: And beard-oes

mathowie: Oh my god. They got a

jessamyn: And there's like three ladies.

mathowie: This is an entire strip of dead guys. (Pause) Wow. Wow that is a beard!

cortex: (Laughing) Yeah. Woodworking is interesting stuff. Sigh. I hope no one actually died woodworking.

jessamyn: Oh! And there's my cousin way down at the bottom, actually. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom? And then you go up second from the bottom, three in from the right. Chris.

mathowie: (Laughs) Oh Chris Schwartz?

jessamyn: Yep!

cortex: Awesome!

mathowie: He doesn't have grey in his beard! Come on.

cortex: He's working on it. It takes time.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: It's an old picture.

mathowie: Wow he looks young. He looks like w whipper-snapper compared to these guys.

jessamyn: He's my age so, he isn't. But those guys are older, yes.

mathowie: One woman! Two women, wow.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: I'm just trying to find the only women.

jessamyn: I think I counted six, total.

mathowie: Oh! There's the guy that has the creepy Amish-y kind of woodworking show on PBS because he doesn't use any power tools. Roy Underhill.

jessamyn: That's what - Chris is like that, too, actually.

Like all hand tools?

cortex: What's that one New American Workshop or something?

mathowie: That guy is exhausting! He has the suspenders and the like goofy Dickens hat and everything is like, "Well ya got your chisel and you start making a thing... "

cortex: I totally grew up watching that. My Dad's ...

mathowie: (Laughing)

cortex: He enjoys carpentry. And so yeah I have internalized a certain amount of sort of ambient woodworking attitude based on that.

jessamyn: Yeah my Dad was the same way, unfortunately. Yes.

mathowie: If you scroll all the way down. In the second to last group of -what is it- well known woodworkers? The guy in the middle? He's middle top. Roy Underhill

that's the guy from the TV show that does all the ..

jessamyn: Oh! Oh Yeah! Chris is friends with Roy.

mathowie: (Chuckles) Yeah. I just don't like that ... He uses like a freakin' hand drill. Like the kind that look like you're mixing a cake, you know, by hand?

jessamyn: He when the Revolution comes, you are going to want him in your team.

mathowie: Exactly.

cortex: I've used a hand drill. They're sort of terrible but they are also very clever.

jessamyn: Did you see the - I think we linked to this once on Metafilter - the You Tube video which is just that guy cutting his fingers?

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: What?

cortex: Like it's a super cut of finger cuts? (Laughing hysterically)

jessamyn: It's like a Roy Underhill outtakes video that is just him getting injured.

mathowie: Oh it must happen all the time over the last twenty years or something?

jessamyn: Yeah and it's all on film.

mathowie: Oh geeze.

cortex: That is pretty great.

mathowie: That's what I felt bad about when I was at -- I actually went to the Myth Busters set a couple times? Last time I was there I could tell the crew, the network, everyone's just running everyone ragged.

They are filming twelve hours a day and I'm like, it finally dawned on me that Holy Cow the stuff they are doing is actually really really dangerous.

cortex: Somebody is going to die!

mathowie: Right! Like they've gone on for twelve years and never had more than minor injuries like stitches and I'm like, "That is going to change at the pace that they're.." Like I could see everyone's nerves were frayed.

jessamyn: It a total space shuttle situation, right?

mathowie: Yeah and then it was funny. Like two weeks later someone got like really injured and it was a big

controversy -- like they basically had to renegotiate their contracts about hours per week of filming because ..

jessamyn: Good!

mathowie: They did not want to die. But I was there and I saw like Holy Cow that's bad. This is dangerous stuff. Like it looks silly on TV but you're like... when you are there, you do not know if something is going to blow up in your face at any time. You know?

jessamyn: One of the things I like about that show is that they don't play the super titillating aspect of it for laughs, you know?

mathowie: yeah.

jessamyn: The super, like, danger. They are not like, "Whoa-whoa-whoa I gonna wave this saw around." They are like, no. You put on your frickin goggles and helmet and get behind the wall and ..

mathowie: Bullet-proof glass. Yeah and it looks almost like they are over-doing it? But when you are there it feel like they are under-doing it.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: There was Lexan Plexiglass stuff all over the place which is supposed to be bulletproof. But you'd never know when they plug something in the first time whether it's gonna explode or flay across the room and go through that

plastic. And it was a little gnarly. (Laughs) And I guess, yeah, they - I think it was Jamie - got kind of injured and they never showed it on TV. Like they did not make a big deal about like, "Coming up next! He's gonna bleed!"

cortex: (Chuckles)

mathowie: Which is what every other show does.

cortex: Well yeah. It's like a bad path to go down. It's cheap and it also sets up heightened expectations.

mathowie: Well it's just cheap emotion to they get more viewers.

jessamyn: It's like whoring.

mathowie: Yeah. (Laughs) I am proud they did not do that.

cortex: Exactly. It's buzzfeed up your tv.

mathowie: HA HA listicals.

jessamyn: I heard you say it.

mathowie: All right so I think that is all my Metafilter stuff. What about Askmetafilters?

cortex: I have two real quickies for Metafilter still. There is a nice Atari VCS demo. A demo scene is basically getting as much as you can out of hardware and Atari 2600 is obviously not much hardware. So it's kinda neat if you are into that thing. If you don't want to learn about the details you can just watch it and say, "Hey that's a fun little screen saver

running on someone's Atari." So that's a cool thing. And also there was a nice little thread about the newest largest prime number having been discovered that ...

jessamyn: Oh, right! I read about this somewhere else. I didn't know that metafilter was talking about that.

cortex: Yep! And in fact it claims, the article contains some quotes from [user]escabeche! (Chuckles)

mathowie: Oh YAY!

jessamyn: Hey, Jordan! He's a friend of mine!

cortex: So there you go. That's a neat thing if you like numbers or primality.

jessamyn: Yay, Jordan! Yay, prime numbers! Yay, team!

That's awesome.

mathowie: I like how insider super awesome knowledge used to be buried in blog comments and now CNN calls them for a quote. (Chuckles) It's kind of -- I like how the world has progressed and these people who are super smart and good at what they do - they only existed on their own blog or on metafilter as a comment, like, have ascended into the world. (Chuckles) It makes me feel proud.

jessamyn: Such as it is, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. Oh it actually is CNN. I was just guessing.

cortex: (Chuckles)

mathowie: This must be on CNN, right?

But yeah that is awesome that CNN can call this person who is a math whiz. That's awesome. System works, people!

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Onto AskMetafilter?

cortex: Do it!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Favorite thread! Um, a little chatty, very fun: What is the Bless Your Heart of your field?

mathowie: Oh! God yeah! That was on my list.

jessamyn: So this is from [user] lemonadeheretic and the question is, "A lot of professions seem to have some uncommon insults specific to their field ..

mathowie: (Laughing)

jessamyn: .. which are kinda like Bless Your Heart

, etc etc etc. And so, a couple interesting -- "All Hat and No Horse", which is real ranchers talking about dude ranchers, calling another photographer's work "snapshots"...

mathowie: Oh wow -- children running through a library making noise are called 'spirited'? That's awesome. [Cortex laughs]

jessamyn: Spirited children. So, so when a librarian is telling you about a kid they're like "Oh, you know so-and-so is really spirited",

and you're like, Oh my God, the kid destroys the library, now I know! But you can say it in front of another parent and they don't necessarily know that they' know...

mathowie: This is like Minnesota Nice at large, right? Kinda?

jessamyn: But it's profession specific, so you might not even know that...

mathowie: Right, right. It's secret code, jargon, but also Minnesota nice.

jessamyn: Yeah, "he's not really a litigator" talks about lawyers who don't [Matt laughs] actually ever go into court,

mathowie: I was reading a few of these to my wife, the-

jessamyn: Calling people catalogers means that they don't have any social skills. [Matt laughs]. Even though there are many catalogers with lots of social skills, don't get me wrong, but it's kind of a veiled insult because so many of them don't, or it's the job you take when you don't want to interact with people.

mathowie: Oh, this is so great. Yeah, I thought it kind of got off to a rocky start because people were like "what exactly do you mean I don't get it", and then they, and just yeah, it turned into something amazing.

cortex: I liked this little question about the, basically according to a study that people report, women talk more then men by an order of like three to one, and this gets quoted everywhere and it's total bullshit, but the question was essentially "What is the source of this bullshit?" So people sort of tracked down the actual articles and who-

mathowie: Oh my god!

cortex: -who linked the bullshit first. And then they bring it back around to [site] languagelog,

cause a couple guys over there are Mefites or readers, and so there's a languagelog post referring to this specific page as part of a discussion of that particular line of...of cow poop, man how many times did I say BS there.[Jessamyn laughs]

mathowie: Oh this is infuriating, that it goes all the way back to a James Dobson article where he just made it up, like he's a horrible person from that Focus on the Family...augh god.

cortex: Yeah. So anyway-

mathowie: Oh that's infuriating.

cortex: -As someone who's entertained by looking at crappy reporting and pop linguistic study, I thought that was great.

mathowie: Wow. I was just using languagehat the other day trying to figure out the origin of a word. I think it game up in Google results. It was quite handy.

Where's the - I have a two parter, which is [Jess laughs] one was contentious and when I mention it you guys are gonna go "ugh, that one", cause the person asking it kind had a weir-

jessamyn: I know what it is!

Oh, maybe I don't. [Cortex laughs]

mathowie: -well you probably do, it-

cortex: [laughing] Well you gotta go there and download more, honestly.

mathowie: -it had a weird attitude but It started when I found the "I'm going to be forced to eat at Red Lobster, what should I actually eat?" Or what can I get away with-

jessamyn: I didn't see that at all!

mathowie: It's actually funny because they sound kind of-

jessamyn: The biscuits are not gross at Red Lobster!

mathowie: This person basically was going on the assumption that it's the worst food ever -- I've never eaten there, but like what, is there anything safe on the menu that I can eat and is it...dolphin safe and like all sorts of stuff, but like

they're, I think it was some pre-wedding thing they were supposed to do with a friend, and people are like "get off your high horse", and "be nice to your friend", and "just eat", and but a lot of people are like-

jessamyn: I didn't even see this thread [Cortex: I- I-], this is the first time I am looking at this thread right now.

mathowie: So it's per-

cortex: -It-I-

mathowie: There was a lot of flags, yeah.

cortex: -I was working and I did a lot of work in there, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, there were a lot of flags and people were questioning the asker a lot, it was rough ground, was funny to me, because earlier that day I had seen a Red Lobster commercial like I had seen for a thousand, million times in my life,

but it was the first time ever that I thought, "Hey that lobster looks pretty darn good", and I actually Google searched, two hours before I saw this thread, if there was actually a Red Lobster in my state (there's only three), and I've never eaten at one in my life. And I thought this was hilarious because, I'm sort of a food snob and I was thinking of Red Lobster, and this was perfect timing.

mathowie: So, the other thing that goes along with this is from a, it was posted from a better place, which is "What are the best things to order at bad chain restaurants?"

Like, if you're-

jessamyn: There are no Red Lobsters in Vermont.

mathowie: If you're stuck in a Chili's in an airport, is there anything actually good, or what is your guilty pleasure at, Chick-Fil-A or something like that. And it's, yeah, it's just tons-

jessamyn: I...also did not see this! Was I sick, or something? [Matt, Cortex laugh]

cortex: You were pretty drunk, it was... [Matt laughs]

jessamyn: I was working! Oh I guess it was - huh. Okay. This is great, these are both great. Alright.

cortex: See and I remember this one specifically because I had to delete something from it too,

because like, someone mentioned Chick-Fil-A, and someone else is like "Chick-Fil-A! farghle"-

jessamyn: [growling] braagh! [laughs]

mathowie: Oh man, this person-

cortex: [chuckles]-I feel ya, but don't do that!

mathowie: This person highlighted almost every single comment, which is a little goofy, but-

cortex: Eh, they were really happy. You know, people do things.

mathowie: But it's good! I was like Yeah!, I mean once in a while -- I'm trying to think of the last thing, there's something...[trails off]

The last time I was at just a terrible terrible place and actually enjoyed some food.

jessamyn: You know, because I go to the terrible terrible places so rarely,

I always enjoy the food when I go there, because it's just different than what we call Jessi-chow at home, you know? It's not squash, it's not a burrito, there's no English muffin in it... You know I went to Popeye's when I was driving cross country this summer, and like... wow, that food is like a punch in the face, sort of?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But like, once? It's kind of delicious because it's different.

mathowie: I remember just grabbing something random off of Popeye's once,

jessamyn: Goood biscuits, too.

and it wasn't that great, and I had to ask Anil, "Hey what should I-", and he's like "Oh god, stay away from that, you should stay away from the shrimp that's deep fried, go for the chicken...", like and the next time I went-

jessamyn: Well generally speaking staying away from the seafood [Matt chuckles] and staying away from the big slabs of meat is good advice for anything.

mathowie: Yeah. [pauses]

jessamyn: But what did you get? What did you wind up getting?

mathowie: Ah, I can't remember but-[Jess: disappointed noise] it was good the second time I was there.

Wow, there's a lot of mentions of Cracker Barrel? Like, I used to, I've never been there in my life, I think it's more of a midwest thing, I feel like I'm missing out on-

jessamyn: I went to Cracker Barrel, once.

mathowie: I feel like I'm missing out on so much comedy, like every comedian has to travel around the country and they always end up there, and they always have jokes about Cracker Barrel.

jessamyn: Well you wind up at Cracker Barrel because it's like a real restaurant, you know? So, if you don't want to go to McDonalds, you go to Cracker Barrel and there's actual table service and you can get soup or whatever, and so a lot of times it may be your only restaurant option.

mathowie: I thought it was more like a buffet thing? Like a cafeteria? Or is it more like a-

jessamyn: It's more like Golden Corral.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

cortex: Oh man, Golden Corral.

jessamyn: Cracker Barrel's just got like biscuits and it's like meat and potatoey, very midwesterny, like my father used to love that place. Loved it.

mathowie: Yeah my grandfather, I remember we'd go visit him in Arizona and he always insisted on taking us to some horrible like, cafeteria style dining place? And I loved it as an eight year old because I could have-

jessamyn: Sure.

mathowie: -have all the mac'n'cheese I wanted, and there was a, you know, like a pump action-

jessamyn: [excitedly] Oh my god! We had a community supper this week [Matt chuckles] and I got to have three different kinds of macaroni and cheese!

mathowie: Oh my god.

jessamyn: So good.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: So good.

mathowie: I saw your post on that, that looked really [Jess giggles] fun.

jessamyn: [giggling] Heh, it was really fun.

mathowie: A whole bunch of grumpy, like winter people going "Arrrgh!" and they had to meet each other in public, that's so great!

jessamyn: But it's such a potluck, and it's for like, all your neighbors. So it's kind of, I don't know, you never know who you're going to run into.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But I'm sorry, go on Matt, you were...

mathowie: Oh I can't rememb- oh, my daughter is now obsessed with our local weird, cheap food buffet [Jess laughs] that I've never been to. I had Shakey's pizza as a kid, which was like "five dollar buffet, all the pizza, pasta, chicken you can, like..."

jessamyn: Right, it's like a Little Caesar's, or something.

mathowie: Yeah, as a sixteen year old, like, I don't know how they stayed in business [Cortex laughs], I ate so much food. It was classic for like, baseball guys or dudes in sports who eat a lot of food would go there 'cause it's so cheap, and's Izzy's up here, Izzy's deli I think it's called?

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

mathowie: And I've never eaten there and she's obsessed with it cause all her friends are, and she's like -- I think we were at Disneyland last month, and it was the first time she remembers being in a buffet situation, where she could pick what she wanted, and how much...

jessamyn: Oh, that's right, how was your trip?

mathowie: Oh, it was a blast! It was amazing. It was fun.

jessamyn: It looked like it was a good time.

mathowie: It wasn't as warm. It was basically the same weather as Oregon.

jessamyn: Uh-huh, hah.

mathowie: They were going through a cold snap, so that sucked.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: There was one day that was 65 degrees and we made an effort to go in the pool outside, you know, just because it was just barely warm enough to stand it. But other than that, it was a wonderful time. But she was obsessed with buffet-style eating after that. Like aww, I want to be able to pick as much as I want, and then a dessert bar, and so yeah, I haven't taken them.

jessamyn: Right. Well, when you're a kid a dessert bar is like...

mathowie: Oh, it's the greatest thing in the world.

jessamyn: There's just nothing better.

mathowie: Yeah. It's the greatest.

Any other Ask MeFis?

cortex: I had a couple quick...

jessamyn: I had a couple that I liked. empath is going on a big cross-country trip and asked for advice traveling cross-country on a budget, which of course I always love these because really, if I had another job, if I got to pick my job from not available jobs but from what I'd really like to do with all of my time, driving

back and forth across the country in other people's cars would probably be way up there. So there was a whole bunch of people who were like, "Whoo! Here's advice," and it's a nice kind of live vicariously through someone else's trip thread.

mathowie: Oh my God, that would be, yeah, if I could make any job, if I magically made money, I would just basically drive from L.A. to New York, New York to L.A., back and forth, taking photos and slowly going across...

jessamyn: That's my job, Matt! You just stole my job.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: I had a job for a minute and a half, and you took it.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: I've always been like, man, it would be great to be sponsored by a car company or Nikon or something. There's gotta be a business model which is like, a zillion people want to follow a blog of a guy just meandering across America. You know, like doing, what's the famous photographer, Robert Frank or something, that did the Americas, like in the '50s? That's what I want, I just want slices of life, every day, from random places in America.

jessamyn: You could probably do a Kickstarter, amazingly enough.

mathowie: What was the... yeah, it's gotta be like the Dancing Matt guy, but you're just Boring-Ass Driving Matt, and you're--

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh)

jessamyn: That's what you should call it!

mathowie: I loved, like, Philip Greenspun's--

jessamyn: 'Ass' is a swear, though.

mathowie: Ooh, darn it.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: It was a notional title, though, so it doesn't count.

jessamyn: Oh, yes, thank you.

cortex: It was mention versus use.

mathowie: Like, we've all read Philip Greenspun's 1997 or '98, he basically drove from Boston to Alaska.

jessamyn: No, we haven't. What are you even talking about?

mathowie: Did you read that? No, he's like an MIT--

jessamyn: No!

mathowie: Famous MIT guy who wrote the first free software...

jessamyn: I know who he is. He owned

mathowie: Yeah. So go look at Travels with Samantha, which is on somewhere. He drove from Boston--

jessamyn: Yeah, it was very early bloggy roadtrip thing.

mathowie: Yeah. And he had to find an AOL modem each night to upload his essay of the day, kind of. But he drives over the course of three months from Boston to Alaska and back, you know, up and down the Yukon Highway, but he basically goes to Seattle and then goes north, I think. And it's awesome. I mean, I vicariously read through that, you know, probably in the year

2000 over the course of a week, because, I mean, there's like a thousand-word essay for every single day, takes a while. But yeah, I wish that was a job for something, for someone.

jessamyn: Right. But that you didn't have to drive a giant truck.

mathowie: Right, yeah.

jessamyn: 'Cause that's a job!

mathowie: Like, what if... I don't know, those new Fiats, like, why didn't Fiat just say, "Hey, let's get some awesome Tumblr blogger to just drive across America in this new car and take cool photos and [??]," you know, someone's who a pretty--

jessamyn: I think it's because they don't have to, you know?

mathowie: Yeah. It just seems like, for promotional reasons, you could get a lot of mileage out of a famous blogger or someone's who's a good writer and photographer doing something.

cortex: Well, I think it's a little bit tricky, because unless it's someone who has already established a reliable identity as a corporate-safe travelogue person, you're potentially setting up--

jessamyn: Right! It'd be like, "And then I went to the strip club! Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!"

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I mean, the thing that I would find most compelling would be the stuff that Fiat probably wouldn't want showing up on that blog, you know, I would be happy to read someone's

Gonzo travelogue, but I don't really want to hear about how once again, the food was excellent and the Fiat was reliable. It's like, ehh, why am I going to read that?

mathowie: Aha, yeah.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: I'm sure you're having a grand time, but whatever.

mathowie: Also, Fiat wouldn't want you to pull into Louisiana and be like, "Look how segregated this place is!"

cortex: Yeah, exactly, it's true.

mathowie: [??], holy, shocking!

cortex: So yeah, I think that's probably why not.

mathowie: Or, "Look how boring North Dakota is. This is horrible!" Yeah.

jessamyn: North Dakota is awesome.

mathowie: Oh, this is cool. I'm going to look at empath's stuff, this is awesome.

cortex: I liked this sorta silly little AskMe that was--

jessamyn: Oh, gosh. (laughs)

cortex: You know, "What's the name for the phenomenon when all the numbers on the clock are identical?" So, like, 11:11 or 4:44, you know, what's the name for this?

mathowie: Is there a...?

jessamyn: And everyone's like, 'confirmation bias'.

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

cortex: I had to delete a few comments and leave a note saying, "No, no, not 'what's the name for noticing it?', 'what's the name for the actual numbers?'"

jessamyn: For the thing, like, "oh, it's 1234567!", or whatever.

cortex: Yeah. So people just sort of come up with [??]. There was nothing conclusive, obviously, but... fun stuff.

mathowie: There should be a name.

cortex: It's one of those things that's like, oh, yeah, I guess that is a thing, you know. But there was that, and the other number-related one that I liked was the "Give me songs that count," question.

jessamyn: That was fun!

cortex: Where MsMolly was looking for songs that have counting in them to make a mixtape out of, so.

mathowie: Oh, yeah! That was the best thing ever.

jessamyn: And everyone's like, "Pixies!", and she's like, "You just said that."

mathowie: (laughs) Everyone wanted to say Feist, too, like, Feist Feist Feist Feist Feist.

jessamyn: Feist, shut up! I was first in the thread with Feist!

mathowie: Oh, okay. That was the first thing I saw in it.

jessamyn: You shut up!

mathowie: Ha-hah! (chuckles)

jessamyn: I linked to her singing it on the Muppets! Muppets.

mathowie: Yep. (whispers) This is [??].

jessamyn: I enjoyed the "Please explain Ron Jeremy to me. I do not understand him," thread.

mathowie: What?!

jessamyn: Well, I mean, if you're a person who isn't really plugged into that whole world--

mathowie: He's in the news?

jessamyn: --you're like, "This is the guy who's big in porn? Really?" And so they were like, "Why is that?" and a lot of people talked about it.

mathowie: Aneurysm near his heart, he might die, or something? Oh, this is from months ago?

Or is this new? Oh, this is new. Okay.

jessamyn: New-ish.

mathowie: Yeah. I don't think there's any good explanation for that.

jessamyn: Well, because he's really nice, apparently.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, true, yeah.

jessamyn: Like, he's a good guy to work with, people like him, and he's been in the business like forever, which is not usually true with dudes in porn, apparently.

mathowie: There was a documentary about him a few years ago, I think I watched...

jessamyn: Apparently he self-financed that!

mathowie: I think I watched most of it, and it was [??].

jessamyn: I saw that. It was good!

mathowie: It's like all porn documentaries where they seem okay, and there's a little bit of sadness over the whole thing, because they're so alienated from society, kind of?

jessamyn: Well, and watching porn outside the context of, "Yeah, I'm going to watch porn," definitely gives you time to reflect on, "What am I doing?" Which puts a different tinge to it than, "Ho-ho, porn!" or whatever.

mathowie: Yeah. I think the theme of all those "We're out here in the valley because we're not really allowed to be downtown or

where regular people, you know--"

jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: "And then we can barely tell our parents, because, so, we don't have a lot of friends, we mostly just hang out with other porn stars because they're the ones who understand us." And the whole thing is a little bit of a bummer.

jessamyn: Well, I think like any other tiny niche community, it's just that there's a lot of people who want to know about this one, and a lot of people with those people who are like, "Heh, see you naked," that kind of thing.

mathowie: Yeah. You know, the most useful Ask Metafilter post of all time

to me, because I actually used it, because I actually was having this problem. I've been worried about my cabin fever lately, and it's, I haven't been getting much sun, so I was like, oh, I gotta start taking vitamin D again, the vitamin D pills are like horse pills everywhere I've looked, so I'm like, oh, I'll just take a multivitamin, which has at least some vitamin D, and I used to eat gummy vitamins, what I've been doing the last five years, and then I got these stupid braces, so I have to go back to a tablet.

jessamyn: Oh, you got braces, that's right! How is that going?

mathowie: Eh, it's good. It's hard to say words like SF Sketchfest without tripping up.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Eh, you're doing well. I wouldn't have known.

mathowie: I've practiced.

jessamyn: Nice work.

mathowie: So I need a daily vitamin I can swallow, and I have these gigantic tonsils I probably should have had out as a kid, and I've always been a terrible pill-swallower and every vitamin in the world is huge, and this is from a Google search I stumbled on it, this is from last year, actually, "Help me find small vitamins." And someone says,

there's a One A Day that's pretty small. And you can buy them on Amazon, and I bought them, and they're great, they're like half the size of any other tablet.

jessamyn: Yaay! And that's got vitamin D!

mathowie: So yeah.

cortex: (chuckles softly)

mathowie: And I've got a, what do you call it, a Philips ultra-bright white light, also is what I'm doing in the mornings.

jessamyn: Oh, like one of those SAD lights?

mathowie: Yeah, it's monster. It's like a two-foot tombstone of light, you know, I just put it in my office while I'm reading e-mail in the morning for a


jessamyn: Nice!

mathowie: I can't tell if it's better. I feel better, but I can't tell if it was that, if it's placebo or what.

cortex: Ehh, who cares?

jessamyn: Well, at some level, who gives a shit?

cortex: If you feel better, you feel better, you know?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: If you feel better. It almost doesn't matter, just ignore your friends teasing you.

mathowie: It's also the sun's coming out more and more, so. Today is supposed to be the first 65-degree day of the entire year. I can't wait.

jessamyn: Our snow is melting here.

mathowie: Oh, does it get muddy and weird?

jessamyn: Not quite, but the snow is starting to go away instead of just continue to come.

mathowie: Pile.

cortex: Our ants have showed up.

jessamyn: So, yeah. And sugaring! Sugaring. Sugaring's coming up next month.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: Sugaring?

jessamyn: Sugaring.

cortex: Sugaring? Is that a maple tree thing, or...?

mathowie: I was reading... maple, yeah.

cortex: Okay.

jessamyn: Yeah! We take the sap out of the trees and then everybody, you have to cook it down--

mathowie: Smells great.

jessamyn: And everybody does it over these--I mean, not everybody, but everybody does it mostly over these big wood fires and these little sugar shacks so you don't burn your house down--

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Because the fire goes all the time, and so there's this kind of sweet smell in the air.

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: For probably a week or two. Including at the school that I do computer stuff at, because they have a sugar shack there. I'll try to get some pictures.

mathowie: Does that get old? Like people in Hershey, Pennsylvania kind of hate where they live, but I always love accidentally smelling that stuff for a short time.

jessamyn: I don't think so? I mean, I think around here there's just kind of like a syrup culture, you know?

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: So it's just, like... chocolate, I think for some people, they can't eat it or they don't like it or it's like a snack, whereas around here syrup's just, even though it should be a snack,

it's kind of like food.

mathowie: A staple.

jessamyn: Yeah! I mean, people keep it in their pantry the way you'd keep sugar in yours. So I don't think so, but I don't know. Maybe it's just me not being from here. I certainly don't get tired of it.

mathowie: I was reading a Little House on the Prairie book to my daughter a year ago or so and they talked about making their maple syrup right when the snow's going away so they throw it on fresh snow and they eat it and it's like maple snow?

jessamyn: Absolutely. Sugar on snow is a huge thing.

mathowie: That's a real thing?

jessamyn: Oh, are you kidding?

mathowie: It sounded like the best thing in the world ever, like the best idea that's ever been made up by humans.

jessamyn: Allow me to link you to Serious Eats on the matter.

mathowie: Sweet! I was hoping that wasn't just a fiction in a book, you know, made up from a hundred years ago.

cortex: Yeah, from Portland it sounds like really? Because we just don't have enough snow to ever reliably have clean snow to put something on and put in your mouth.

jessamyn: Well, because the deal is, if you put the sugar that's just hot, like, that you just cooked down,

on snow, it gets kinda chewy, a little bit?

mathowie: Hm.

jessamyn: So it crystallizes, and then it turns into this crunchy stuff. It's really, you gotta try it, you really gotta try it.

mathowie: Is that like peanut--oh, so like peanut brittle, kind of?

jessamyn: Eh...

mathowie: Or is it softer?

jessamyn: More like rock candy.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: Rock candy but a little softer on the outside.

mathowie: That looks awesome.

jessamyn: So if you go to community suppers or whatever, there was like a free sugar on snow thing that they did. It wasn't near here, it was kind of far away.

mathowie: I would drive. (chuckles)

jessamyn: But there's a lot of places that'll do it as kind of a touristy thing.

mathowie: I would drive from where I am to there to get some, it sounds so good. And I'll take photos along the way and blog it!

jessamyn: So here's the sugar on snow schedule for March. I mean, it's a couple weeks off, actually. There's Miss Vermont.

mathowie: But what happens if it doesn't snow? Is it supposed to snow around that time?

jessamyn: I don't know. I think last year everything kinda sucked because there wasn't...

mathowie: Yeah, did they just use like, what's that snow cone ice or something?

jessamyn: (laughs) I don't know, actually.

mathowie: They had to have a backup.

jessamyn: It's one of those things that if you have little kids, you're really into it, and if you don't have little kids, you just kinda hope you trip over it because it's amazing.

mathowie: Wow, you get to purchase new crop syrup to take home.

jessamyn: I have old crop syrup.

mathowie: Is aging good or bad?

jessamyn: I don't think it matters?

mathowie: I don't think it matters. It's just how much you boil it down.

jessamyn: It depends if you have a preference. Like, because certain kinds of syrup go faster than others.

mathowie: Well, Grade B, of course, is the best.

jessamyn: Well, around here... it depends, you know? It really, it's weird.

mathowie: Grade C might be better?

jessamyn: I like getting Grade C from the librarian--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Because it's just this molasses stuff, and usually I can get it, but when they're out they're out.

cortex: Is that what you were getting the other day after your haircut?

jessamyn: That was Grade B, yes. The haircut, my haircut and maple syrup, fifty bucks.

mathowie: Oh my God, that jug you had looked am--when you said, "Oh, I've got a jug of syrup," I was like, wow, you know, I have to go back to Trader Joe's

about once every two months because we've run out of syrup because we have pancakes, you know, it's a Sunday morning thing.

jessamyn: A gallon. A gallon.

mathowie: And then it's, yeah, that is a monster amount of syrup.

jessamyn: Well, and I just give it away to people after a while. Because it's cheap.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And it lasts forever. But it just means that your fridge is like 30% syrup.

mathowie: What is... the Trader Joe's stuff is like 20 bucks for, God, maybe 16 ounces.

jessamyn: Trader Joe's is a ripoff.

mathowie: (chuckles) It's usually pretty good.

jessamyn: I mean, usually people say about 40 bucks a gallon.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And then if you split it in half from there, so. I don't know how many pints are in a gallon.

mathowie: Yeah, I think I'm actually paying double that.

cortex: There are eight pints in a gallon.

mathowie: Do you want to close it up?

jessamyn: Oh yeah, so it should be five bucks for a pint.

mathowie: And it's not. It's like 20.

jessamyn: You know, by that math, which of course it totally isn't.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Well, I mean, I think it'd justifiably be six or seven and still be fair just for the smaller container.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Extra cost and overhead. But yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, right.

cortex: But yeah.

mathowie: I think it's the way drug dealing works, where everything (dissolves briefly into chuckles)--

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: An ounce is 200, but we're gonna sell it for 400 on the street, or you can buy it by the eighth for a hundred, so yeah.

cortex: You've gotta mark it up down the chain, I mean, come on.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Everybody's gotta get a slice.

mathowie: I loved this, I think this is the most favorited thing of all month, the "Looking for useful sites like Instructables, Lifehacker, and Cool Tools for a library blog post," and then everyone just puts down every awesome resource there is. Which is just super


jessamyn: I knew nothing about this DIY pet stuff!

mathowie: Just a billion favorites and not that many comments, but lots of super useful stuff.

jessamyn: And we should be wrapping stuff up anyhow.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Good Lord, it's almost time.

mathowie: Two hours.

cortex: Do you want a quick (slightly sung) do-do-do-do! music run down?

mathowie: Sure.

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: So this month the music challenge, I'm just going to mention some stuff from that because it's been fun and there's been plenty of good stuff, it's the major-minor challenge, which I may have mentioned

when we recorded last month--

mathowie: Last one.

jessamyn: You did. I didn't totally understand it, so.

cortex: So last month there was a thing going around the Internet where somebody changed Losing My Religion and three other songs from a minor key to a major key by altering the sound files, and it makes for a funny thing! Songs sound different when you change the mode and the key. So the idea was, let's do that with songs! And a bunch of people recorded songs that had previously been in minor key in major key or vice versa, including

some of the ones that I liked was Walk Into De Funeral Parlor Jig, by usonian. Which was an accident, he didn't know that was the challenge, he just did that.

jessamyn: He's very talented.

cortex: So it's a neat little banjo and tambourine thing.

sfx: (Music: Walk Into De Funeral Parlor Jig by usonian)

cortex: chococat--do I even need to say chococat did something cool?

jessamyn: Continues to be terrific?

mathowie: Oh, Walking on Sunshine? Aww.

cortex: It's an amazing chill-out minor key Walking on Sunshine do-over.

sfx: (Music: Walking on Sunshine by chococat)

cortex: Similarly amazing, but more on the charming side than the super-polished side--

mathowie: Oh, this is too great.

cortex: But Obscure Reference and DMelanogaster doing There Goes The Sun--

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: Which is not just putting Here Comes The Sun into a minor key but also inverting all of the lyrics into this gloomy fatalist thing. So it's like, (sings) "And I say, it sucks now, doo-do-do-doo doo-doo-doo..." Yeah. It's fantastic!

sfx: (Music: There Goes The Sun by Obscure Reference and DMelanogaster)

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: For the Pink Floyd fans, there is a seven-minute-long reworking of Astronomy Domine into a minor key, which takes

a song that was already kind of weird and spacy and turns it into sort of a nightmare dirge, and that was pretty awesome. That was by pyramid termite.

sfx: (Astronomy Domine by pyramid termite)

cortex: And gosh, what else, Doleful Creature--

mathowie: You did!

cortex: Huh?

mathowie: You did Jimmy Buffett--

cortex: Oh, I did, yeah, I did Margaritahell.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: I did some Pink Floyd [??].

jessamyn: How was it?

cortex: It was good, I enjoyed it! I was pretty happy with how it came out.

sfx: (Music: Margaritahell by cortex)

mathowie: Oh, wow.

cortex: Doleful Creature did The Lonely Karmic Cop, which was a rework of Karma Police, and it's really really pretty, just a piano with vocals thing,

that's like, it's very different. Karma Police is kind of a hard song to just say, "Oh, well, put it a major key, or a minor key," because it's a little bit more complicated harmonically. But he did a really nice job of changing it, and it's kinda cool.

mathowie: Yeah, it's kinda upbeat.

cortex: And unSane did a Radiohead cover, too. There's a bunch of good stuff. I mean, look at the main major-minor link for the whole list.

mathowie: Oh my God.

cortex: But yeah, just really neat stuff.

mathowie: The downbeat Walking on Sunshine is the theme song for my seasonal affective disorder.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: It's like how I feel come to life as a song. It's so good!

cortex: It's fantastic.

mathowie: (low-pitched and drawn out) Walking on Sun-shine... oh my God, yes.

cortex: So yes. There's your Music Corner! (percussively) Duh-dun duh duh-duh-duh!

mathowie: That was fantastic and amazing.

cortex: Why is my MeFi Music Corner theme song like a news broadcast theme song? It doesn't make sense.

mathowie: Because it has typewriters? There should be typewriters! There should be typewriters.

cortex: The only thing it has in common is that it's music. I don't know what I'm thinking.

mathowie: (beatboxes as underscore)

cortex: There was probably also stuff in MetaTalk, but we've been going for what, like, two hours now?

mathowie: Yeah, that's enough.

jessamyn: Yeah. Anybody who's doing the Metafilter Music Swap, get your stuff in the mail! And I don't think there's been major stuff that's been going on in MetaTalk, so... there's a lot of talking about a possible Metafilter, massive Metafilter meetup kind of thing, and there's a group of people organizing it who are not me, and if people are interested in that they should contact ThePinkSuperhero or orange swan who I think--or Miko, I think--are some of the people on the planning committee for that.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: And I think we've only sworn three or four times in this entire podcast.

cortex: Probably.

mathowie: Which is a new record!

jessamyn: Yay, team! We're trying. It's hard.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: It's darn hard.

mathowie: I guess I could bleep it when I'm editing, I just don't have a...

cortex: (laughs) God, no. Don't, no!

mathowie: There's no built-in bleep sound in...

cortex: Don't do that.

jessamyn: No, don't even. Don't even.

mathowie: I tried to do once, and I Google searched for "how do you make the bleep sound in GarageBand," and it, like, what key is it, what tone is it? Like, is it a stock sound? I couldn't find

anything. And I think I ended up recorded myself myself going "bleep!", just put it over, layered it over.

jessamyn: (laughs) Well, and I think a lot of times if you listen to stuff on the radio that's been bleeped, they just drop the vocal out.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: So listening to Macklemore or something becomes this ridiculous exercise. What? What? What?

mathowie: "Twenty dollars in my (pause), and I got (pause), and (pause), and awesome!"

jessamyn: (sings) "This is (pause) awesome!"

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: (laughs) Alright. Good work, team! See you next month.

cortex: All right! Yeah.

jessamyn: It was great talking to ya!

sfx: (Music: The Lonely Karmic Cop by Doleful Creature)

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sfx: (Music: The Lonely Karmic Cop by Doleful Creature, end)


  • beryllium, 159 segments
  • tangerinegurl, 43
  • ceribus peribus, 29
  • Pronoiac, 7
  • ocherdraco, 1
  • mathowie, 1