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Podcast 80 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 80: "Your Go-to Salad." (2013-04-30)

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


jingle: (theme music)

mathowie: All right. So, episode 80 of the Metafilter Podcast. Eight zero.

jessamyn: Whoo!

mathowie: Whoo!

cortex: The big eight ought! The big "can't believe grampa's not dead yet."

mathowie: This is the year we beat the Russians in hockey. Yay. 1980.

jessamyn: Hey! I have told you guys that there are people from my high school on that team, right?

mathowie: Really?

jessamyn: Yeah! [Mark Bourbeau ?]?

mathowie: I thought I saw one of the hockey dudes and he was really old, like he was 50s, or he must have been the coach.

jessamyn: Well, I mean, we're in our--they would be in their mid-40s. It's not that much of a stretch. The guys who were seniors when I was a freshman are almost 50 now.

mathowie: Yeah, I guess that could have been a player. Huh.

jessamyn: Huh. Sports ages you, too.

mathowie: Yeah. Sportsball.

Let me see. Where should we start? Sadly--

jessamyn: I am completely unprepared.

mathowie: Augh.

jessamyn: I got back from Kansas at two in the morning last night, and I had a wonderful trip and met lots of Metafilter people, but I am not particularly prepared for this, so I will do my best. I expect you guys to carry me this time.

cortex: You know it.

mathowie: Where in Kansas were you?

jessamyn: I flew into Kansas City, I stayed in Lawrence, I did a talk in Topeka, and then I went to stay with donnagirl and her two adorable dogs in Manhattan, the Little Apple.

mathowie: Yay!

jessamyn: It was super fun, I had a great time, and I love Kansas so much.

mathowie: That's like all the Kansas things. I guess you skipped Wichita?

jessamyn: Well, it's one little corner. I didn't go to Wichita, and I didn't go to any of the farther away places. But Lawrence was really fun! And as you saw, Josh, interrobang showed up briefly at the meet-up and drew you a little cartoon.

cortex: Which was awesome! Thanks, interrobang.

jessamyn: Yeah! And I'll send you the actual cartoon, which I have, but I wanted to e-mail it to you.

cortex: Excellent. That was delightful.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, paste the link. Paste the link in so I can share it.

jessamyn: It's not even on the Internet yet.

mathowie: Oh, Jesus.

jessamyn: I've just basically booted up and got my mail.

mathowie: I thought it was in Flickr. Oh, okay.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: I thought it was in Flickr or something.

jessamyn: No, I e-mailed it to you guys. I know you confuse e-mail and Flickr, Matt, but.

mathowie: Everything's in a web browser.

jessamyn: (gibbers, then laughs)

cortex: It's on the computer! That's all I know.

mathowie: (chuckles) The computer.

Man, I was looking at Jobs. How sad is this?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: There was one job posted. You had one job for the entire month.

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: You've been waiting to make that joke.

mathowie: And it's one lame, "Help me ship something," not even a real job.

jessamyn: It's not lame, Matt.

mathowie: Well, I'm just saying, the last few months, the economy was picking up, we were getting four or five submissions. Now one.

jessamyn: "Help me get a gift to Tokyo." That's a nice game.

mathowie: Yeah. 14,000 miles away, that seems extreme. But I guess that's probably correct.

jessamyn: Come on, Matt, you know the circumference of the Earth, right?

mathowie: 26-ish? No, that's straight through.

jessamyn: Yeah! I don't know, that's about right.

cortex: Yeah, actually, 14,000 does seem like it's farther than it should be. Maybe it's just measuring in the wrong direction. Or [??] geolocation.

mathowie: Well, it's a combination of--

jessamyn: Oh, because you guys are close-ish.

mathowie: Yeah, I know, we're on the West Coast. That's why maybe it's measuring the wrong way around.

jessamyn: I think you're right! Let's get pb on that, stat!

mathowie: (chuckles) No, let's blame it on Google.

You want to do Projects?

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: Let's do Projects.

mathowie: Projects, I got lots of Projects.

cortex: Yeah, it was a darn good month for Projects. There was a bunch of stuff that I was kind of delighted by.

I'll start with something incredibly opaque.

mathowie: Oh, that was one of mine!

cortex: Pilar--oh, was it? If you want to take it, go for it.

mathowie: No, no, go!

cortex: No, no, no, this is one that would normally be the one that I'm taking and everybody's like "What?" so I think you should jump on this.

mathowie: No, no, you're the one that could actually explain what's going on.

cortex: Okay.

jessamyn: Just start talking about it!

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: This is a Project called Pilaroid--like Polaroid, right, but with pi, by invitapriore, where it's a blog that posts 500 x 500 pixel

images representing random big swaths of digits from the first billion digits of the number pi, because the theory is, if pi is normal, statistically speaking, which means basically things are distributed in a nice random way, then you should in theory be able to find any string of digits in it somewhere, since it goes on forever. So if you take a random collection of--

jessamyn: You sort of have to, right? I mean, it's not even a theory, that kind of has to be true, yes?

cortex: Yeah, yeah. If it's normal eventually, every string will appear in there, because it goes on for infinity, and that's the way that works. So in theory, if you grab a bunch of digits in a row and make a random picture out of them, there's a chance that you'll get an interesting picture. And if you look at the site, you'll see nothing but apparently colorful white noise--

mathowie: (laughs) Noise!

cortex: --because the chance of getting something interesting is infinitesimally small. But still! It might.

jessamyn: But you might be able to get a picture of a hippopotamus.

cortex: Exactly. It's in there somewhere, in theory.

mathowie: Is it one color for each number, so it's just ten colors, ten numbers?

cortex: No, it's more complicated than that. Several digits in a row get combined to create the color values of each pixel, so it's actually containing a lot of digits in the underlying data.

mathowie: Huh. You rarely see even a stripe.

jessamyn: I am completely in love with this.

cortex: Yup.

mathowie: I know. The funny part is, you're like, "These are all the same," and then you start staring at them and are like, "Okay, there is some differences here." (laughs)

cortex: Yup.

jessamyn: Did you ever really look at your hand...?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I know. Dude, we live in the blip of one of these pixels!

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And sometimes, yeah. Picasso!

cortex: In theory, any one of these could look like a zoomed-in version of the other one, yeah. So there's nothing striking on it so far, but, you know, in a few billion years, it'll keep updating, eventually we'll probably see something that looks a little bit like Jesus or something.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: So I thought that was great. I thought that was a nice little...

mathowie: Why not just do it dumber? Like, just the color equals the number? Because then you could see a stripe.

cortex: Well, it shouldn't make a difference. I mean, you wouldn't be any more likely to get a stripe.

mathowie: Well, if you saw 33333, at least you could see it visually.

cortex: Well, a little bit.

jessamyn: cortex is being polite.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: This is so great. Like, "yeah, you're a stupid idiot who doesn't understand math." We should all be required to just pick our favorite out of fifty of these and fight to the death over our favorite one.

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Because they're so incredibly almost the same but not at all.

jessamyn: It's like having a favorite chicken.

mathowie: Yeah. God, I love that. It's so weird.

jessamyn: Well, my favorite, which is another semi-nonsense but different from nonsense is, of course, CRAPCHA.

cortex: Yes.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Stands for Completely Ridiculous And Phony Captcha that Hassles for Amusement, by MeFite thomaspark [ˈtɑmˌəs ˈpɑɹk], which I'm actually completely... oh, wait, maybe it's thomaspark [ˈtoʊmˌɑs ˈpɑɹk].

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: I thought I had the dude's name. But at any rate, I enjoyed it because, you know, every now and again you have to do one of those CAPTCHAs, and a lot of times it tells you a thing but sometimes it seems like a Zen koan that's telling you something about your life.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And sometimes you get what looks to be a picture of a bug, and you're like, "What the hell?" And so this is just kind of riffing off of that, and you can see what people guess,

and it has weird nonsense pictures in it, and that's it. I enjoyed it. It's kind of like a single-serving one-off joke thing based on CAPTCHAs, which of course drive everybody totally crazy.

mathowie: I loved it, but it was just so insanely cruel to...

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Well, it's only a joke. It's not real life.

mathowie: (laugh) Yeah, well, he's like, "Go ahead and use it on your system just to screw with people." I was like, "That's so bad."

jessamyn: Well, and I'm interested in the whole CAPTCHA idea, because as somebody who works with a lot of novice users, CAPTCHAs are actually hard. They're probably harder for seniors than they are for robots. But having something that's like "point to the picture of a kitty"? Super easy! But CAPTCHAs, super hard, and I've always hoped that there was a way to do the same "Are you a human or a robot?" kind of calculation but without having a weird, impossible-to-read word

that... because it's hard to even explain to somebody why they have to do that thing. The concept that they're competing with robots for access to a free thing on the Internet is not a sense-making proposition for most people.

cortex: It's not actually, yeah, until you know it as a natural part of the information economy, as it were, it is kind of a weird thing.

mathowie: How about when you lose three times in the battle versus being proved a robot?

jessamyn: It's the worst, right? I mean, I know I can be unfeeling.

mathowie: I mean, you're just pounding your desk, like, "I AM HUMAN!"

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: Totally. Totally.

mathowie: "STOP THIS! LET ME IN."

cortex: Well, I was also charmed by thingonaspring's Project, Badly Drawn Video Games Using MSPaint, which is exactly what it sounds like.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: I didn't click through to this, but I was appealed, I enjoyed the idea of it.

mathowie: And the site is coming.

cortex: It's exactly what it sounds like. He's--or they--are just drawing--

jessamyn: Thing on the screen.

cortex: --images from video games, but badly with MSPaint, and it's super charming. I was delighted to be like, "Oh, yeah, that's, and that's, and that's..." There's all recognizable, even in the crude style. So yeah, I thought that was great.

jessamyn: I don't recognize any of this. Clearly I have not spent enough time gaming.

mathowie: I recognize about a third.

cortex: Cultural literacy, man.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: (snickers) Culture?

cortex: Pop culture's culture.

mathowie: I once tried to put a Post-It note on a cat, but that didn't work.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: But to-do cat is pretty damn good. (Laughing) It's so glorious.

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: Just one stupid image. (Cortex still laughing) Classic macro. And you make a to-do list and it actually sticks around. Uses your browser as local storage. And you can actually make a working to-do list ..

cortex: (chuckling)

mathowie: ..that you can return to and solve your problems and ..

cortex: That's awesome.

mathowie: It's so great. It starts with like an image macro joke and then, yeah. Went from there.

This is like a joke you would make on twitter and someone actually built it which is awesome.

jessamyn: I am now typing.

mathowie: (Chuckles)

cortex: (Laughing)

jessamyn: I should prepare for the podcast.

cortex: Ah - Ha!

jessamyn: But now it says I should buy a boat prepare for the podcast.

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: Well that is also on your to-do list.

mathowie: Well you can wipe out the boat.

cortex: You should always buy the boat.

jessamyn: No I can't.

mathowie: Hmm.

jessamyn: I can't wipe out the boat.

cortex: I think you just type in a new entry. It's like, that's just the default text.

jessamyn: But then it just says, "Buy a boat" still. I should buy a boat. Prepare for the podcast, drink more coffee, unpack .......

mathowie: (Laughing)

jessamyn: Receipts.........

cortex: You should always buy a boat. Just deal with it.

jessamyn: Dude, I sold a boat. That was enough of a problem.

cortex: (laughs) Clearly, you more than anyone needs to buy one, then.

jessamyn: (laughs) Needs to buy a boat because I am down one boat.

cortex: [??] numbers.

mathowie: You should never use another to do list again. You've completed the ultimate task, which is selling the boat.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: It's probably the hardest thing to do.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: It's like Tom Petty said in that song.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: (sings) "Selling a boat is the hard-est part..." Yeah.

mathowie: Ha-ha, Jesus.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Oh, right, another Project from sciencegeek, just called Lots of plants, lots and lots of plants. Just a blog of their backyard garden and all the gardening they do. And the photos are fantastic.

jessamyn: Oh, beautiful!

cortex: Hey, [??].

mathowie: All these awesome macro photos of flowers and stuff from gardens nearby where this member. It's just beautiful. It's a Tumblr blog filled with backyard gardening stuff and beautiful, beautiful images.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: Wow! Those are really pretty. Female. sciencegeek is a lady.

mathowie: Alright.

jessamyn: You can click through to the profile and sometimes people say these things.

mathowie: I just usually go gender-neutral, but sure.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: I'll be gender-normative for you.

jessamyn: Normative? Normative is calling females females?

mathowie: (chuckles) I just call everyone 'they'.

jessamyn: Josh!

cortex: Hey, don't look at me, I'm just... you shouldn't...

jessamyn: Help, I'm being impressed.

cortex: I don't know, I was trying to pull out a thing here, but I'm just gonna screw myself up.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Well, when someone says, "I'm going to make a blog of my backyard plants," you're like, "Well, hmm, how interesting can that be?" But these are amazing photos. Just incredible. And it's just traveling all over New York and stuff, so.

jessamyn: I like the pictures of the little birds.

mathowie: Like the High Line photos, those are pretty.

So yeah, that was a really cool personal blog.

cortex: I was mildly entertained by this project by mccarty.tim, Shibegeist, which takes the dumb

Shibu Inu dialogue meme and then instead of using any specific text it just pulls content out of random tweets, so it's sort of like a zeitgeist Shibu Inu image. Do you guys, do you know this meme, with the Comic Sans random...?

jessamyn: Of course I know the meme.

cortex: Okay.

mathowie: I actually didn't until I saw this, and then, yeah, I sort of? When did that start?

cortex: A while ago.

jessamyn: I run into these things on mlkshk, but other than that.

cortex: Yeah. Anyway, I was charmed.

jessamyn: I didn't know it much, but I knew it a little.

cortex: Oh, I also enjoyed RogueShell--

jessamyn: Of course you did!

mathowie: (laughs) God.

cortex: --which Matt sent me an e-mail about, by aycheedee.

mathowie: The sun is warm. The sky is blue. And Josh enjoyed a rogue.

cortex: I liked the roguelike thing. Well, it's actually pretty great. Because what it is--well, it says, it's a browser console for ASCII roguelikes, so basically you can go to this website and you can play roguelikes or watch

other people play roguelikes. Which is actually a really cool thing. It's something we always had to hack together backassward.

jessamyn: How is that a really cool thing?

cortex: Well, you can watch someone else play, which can be nice, because if you aren't super great at it, or you just want to share the experience of someone having a really good game, then you can spectate. Normally you would just have to read about someone afterwards saying, "And then I did this, and then I did that, and oh my gosh, you wouldn't believe it, but..." This way, you can be like, if someone's having a good game or a very bad game, you can follow along in real-time.

It's kind of a neat thing.

jessamyn: Neat!

cortex: So yeah. That's a cool thing they put together.

mathowie: Sweet. Any other Projects? I'm pretty Project out.

jessamyn: No, I was pretty set. There was a lot of people who made just really nice professional things. I mean, as always, Projects is kind of terrific. But no, let's move on.

mathowie: Okay. Let me just see if I have any errant votes from April. Nope. Okay.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: I've been taking... because it's hard to, I used to organize it by votes, and then you can also favorite a Project, so I start favoriting, and I have to remember, did I vote for it and favorite it? And yes, I did.

Okay. Metafilter?

jessamyn: Terrific!

mathowie: I have a billion. Let me try and whittle it down.

jessamyn: I have a short list, and of course Jim has sent along his favorites, because whenever I tell him I'm doing a podcast, he's like, "Make sure they all see!," for instance, the Capybaras in hot tubs post.

cortex: (chuckles) That's essential, though.

jessamyn: By homunculus. I am pretty much one of those people who does not care at all about these kind of, here's a picture of an animal doing an animal thing. But! Capybaras in hot tubs, the world's largest rodents, actually has changed my mind about that. They're not being cute, they're being chill. And just sitting around being warm and I enjoyed this.

mathowie: When I scanned the front page and saw that, I thought it was Chupacabras in hot tubs, and I was like, "I wonder what that--"

jessamyn: The goat suckers?

mathowie: Yeah, I was like, "What does that look like?"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And I was like, "Ohhh."

jessamyn: No, dude, the whole thing is completely crazy.

mathowie: Cute fuzzy.

jessamyn: A capybara can weigh 100 pounds.

mathowie: Whaaat? Wow. They're just like... I don't know what the hell they are. They look like marmots, kind of?

jessamyn: Yeah! Giant guinea pigs, kinda?

mathowie: Oh, yeah. What would they...?

jessamyn: A cousin of the guinea pig.

mathowie: Where do they actually naturally... oh, South America.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Average weight of 100 pounds.

jessamyn: Seriously, that means they're out there, big as me.

mathowie: God.

jessamyn: Big as me. Or heavy as me, and not big as me, which is even worse.

mathowie: Damn.

jessamyn: Yeah. So this was just one of those, you know, it's a link, it's a couple photos, and then a whole bunch of people are like, "Oh my God!".

mathowie: God, there's so many of them, let me try and think, why did I like this? This thing was an amazing demo

what's it called, MōVI [ˈmuˌvi]? MōVI [ˈmuˌvə]--like, M-O-V-I. MōVI [ˈmoʊˌvi]? MōVI [ˈmoʊˌvi] is what they're calling it? It's this new steadycam invention these guys came up with.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: They use an accelerometer and a little bit of microprocessing on a simple steadicam rig to basically counteract any movement you're doing, so there's some demo videos of a guy just wildly working his arms while he's holding a digital SLR camera, and the video, and the thing stays

absolutely horizontal no matter--

jessamyn: I think I saw an animated GIF of that, of all things.

mathowie: It's so crazy! And if you watch the demo video, it's just a goofy little five-minute demo video of what was it, ballet people in a ballet studio, and they run outside, and they jump in a cam, and they go have a street dance, and the camera never stops, and it's running down stairs, and they hand the camera to a guy on roller blades. There's some shots where you're like, "I don't know how they're doing this," and they have to show you how they did

it. It was like a guy on roller blades holding onto a cab. So you see the camera zoom over to the cab, she jumps in, and then the camera goes inside while she's on her phone, and you're just like, "How does that...?" It's floating in the air, how does this happen? There's no jostles or anything. It's really incredible. And most of the thread is film nerds complaining whether or not this is revolutionary or it's gonna--

jessamyn: Or if we're gonna put people out of business, or not, or...

mathowie: Make all movies super annoying.

cortex: No, as much as anything, there's a bunch of people saying, "Well, you know, yeah, you can do this, but obviously this guy's not [Martin] Scorsese, because the editing is..."

jessamyn: Mocking the users in the podcast is probably not a great idea.

mathowie: (laughs) No, it's mostly like video -

cortex: No, no, the discussion of... yeah. I don't know. The stuff I was reading off-site, I was seeing a lot of people being like, "Yeah, but you can't call this important because it's not being," you know.

mathowie: A lot of people said, this five-minute video, the entire thing is with moving shots, so it gets old, right?

They're like, "Oh, it's too much of a gimmick, because they did it for five minutes straight." And it's like, yeah, but can you imagine it--

cortex: It's a demo. It's a demo, really.

mathowie: Yeah, and they're supposed to...

cortex: The whole point is just showing it.

jessamyn: Right, it's to show it off.

mathowie: Yeah, it's just the most amazing technology that really could change movies from now on. It's kinda crazy.

jessamyn: The one that I really liked, because it was a perpetual time sink for the two weeks until the link went down entirely--speaking of cameras--was basically this guy--so, it's brilliantine's second post, and

brilliantine's other post--see, now I'm doing that same thing. brilliantine's maybe a lady? Lady.

mathowie: Oh!

jessamyn: It's basically a page, and you can't go see it now--

mathowie: What?

jessamyn: --so if you didn't see it, it's too late.

mathowie: Aww.

jessamyn: But basically they found a ton of unsecured webcams--you know, like you get a webcam and they'll put stuff on the web, but if you haven't locked down the page where the web content goes to, there's some hidden live webcam.

And so you could go to these pages that would be nine webcams or four webcams, approximately geolocated, and you could just watch random people in random parts of the world. And it was super-random! Like, they're oddly boring.

mathowie: Aww. This is sad. This is sad that it's gone. Yeah, they were totally innoc--I mean, this whole thing, I saw it on other blogs, is like, "Oh my God, this is total information awareness, and these people don't even know, and there should be court orders," and they're so innocuous. It was literally a camera pointed at dogs, or a storage

shed, or... like, they were so...

jessamyn: Yeah. I saw some dudes walking in a river, I saw, you know... yeah! But it's kind of, I get...

mathowie: And everyone's searching through to try to find the most interesting ones. I think it was like three people and a volcano, U.S. Forest Service office was the most interesting one I found.

jessamyn: (laughs) Yeah, exactly!

mathowie: And they're just looking at computers and drinking coffee and walking back and forth.

jessamyn: But there's thousands and thousands of them, so it reminds me of the pi project, because it's mostly

random noise, and then every now and again you're like, "oh hey! I saw a thing." But you can kind of tell other people about seeing a thing, which makes you feel slightly better about the fact that you're spending... like, not only are these cameras pointed at nothing, but you're watching that.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: It's pretty sad it's all gone.

cortex: Well, it's not all... I mean, the site's gone. I mean, the cameras are still up. There's someone who will do it again.

jessamyn: The site's gone. The webcams are all still there.

mathowie: No, but everyone linked to the permalinks on that site for, "Check out this cam of someone distilling vodka," or something.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: But you can't find them now. Aww, it's so sad.

cortex: Yeah. It's a bummer.

mathowie: I mean, there were tens of thousands...

cortex: But that sort of thing's almost guaranteed to be ephemeral, though.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I mean, it's the nature of the thing.

jessamyn: Well, and that's kind of what I liked about it is that, yeah, it was a thing and a whole bunch of people were communicating about it in the thread for a week and a half and then it's gone.

mathowie: That's a bummer.

jessamyn: So all we have is people talking about the thing but not the actual thing.

mathowie: Super--

cortex: I liked--oh.

mathowie: I was just going to say, super quick, did you see the brass band cover of Thrift Shop? That was pretty enjoyable.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Yes!

mathowie: And they were from the Netherlands or something? I assumed it was like--

jessamyn: I love that stupid song. I'm so sorry. I just totally love it.

mathowie: Yeah. It's great as a brassy instrumental. That's all I want to say.

jessamyn: (musically underscoring cortex) Boop-boop-boop, boop boop-boop-boop!

cortex: I liked the post about the Hershberger Award--

mathowie: What?

cortex: --that was made by Apoch, that...

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

cortex: Do you think he's named for, whatever, Starship Apoch from Aliens? I don't know.

jessamyn: Why don't you just ask?

cortex: I guess I could look at their profile page.

mathowie: Isn't Apoch a Matrix person? Apoch was one of the Matrix guys?

cortex: Maybe. I don't remember.

mathowie: 1999.

cortex: Maybe, I don't know.

mathowie: This is a great story.

cortex: Anyway, yeah, it's just a great little story that some guys--

jessamyn: Can you sum it up for me? I missed it entirely.

cortex: So some guys thought, basically, a player at their college was not getting the recognition he deserved for being a great basketball player, and so they

created a fake award called the Hershberger Award, and awarded the top fifteen rookies in the nation, including that guy. And they sent out fake certificates, and the whole thing... it just went better than it should have, and--

jessamyn: But why is it fake? I mean, they were real certificates, right? Like, what's a fake certificate?

mathowie: No.

cortex: It was a fake association.

jessamyn: Oh, I see, I see.

cortex: Like, they made up the National Association of College Basketball Writers specifically to create this Hershberger Award to recognize these rookies, and then everybody wrote about it.

And it was never awarded again, because it didn't actually exist.

jessamyn: Ohhh.

mathowie: What are the guys in Canada, the Yes Men, are they the guys that do this?

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: It's like, these guys worked the press release engine, they made fake business cards.

jessamyn: They do PR hoax-y stuff, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, they pulled off an entire PR hoax of the entire sports writing industry in 1973 just to further advance their own high school basketball career. It's hilarious.

And they fooled everyone, and Sports Illustrated wrote about them and stuff. It went all the way up.

cortex: The article talks about them.

jessamyn: Speaking of Sports Illustrated--oh, sorry.

cortex: I was just saying, the article talks about them following up with a few of the people years and years later and saying, "Oh, by the way, this was totally a hoax thing we did when we gave you that award," and pretty much everybody laughed, which is good.

jessamyn: So wait, people who got the awards didn't know they ever...? Didn't know they weren't real?

cortex: Right, right. Yeah, nobody knew except for the hoaxers.

jessamyn: And it didn't come out immediately afterward. I mean, I have to go just read the post.

mathowie: Right, it never came out.

cortex: Just read it, it's great.

jessamyn: Cool!

mathowie: It never happened. That's so great.

jessamyn: Speaking of Sports Illustrated, there was just a nice Sports Illustrated post today about Jason Collins, who's this been everywhere, done everything NBA player who just wrote a very long article about being the first active player in major-league American sports to openly declare that he is gay.

mathowie: Finally! Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. But the article's really good, so anybody who is looking for a long-form essay about this kind of thing should read it, because

it's good. I read it this morning and I liked it.

mathowie: Yeah, I just asked a gay friend what he thought about it, and he said, "It is so awesome they let him write his own story!" It's super personal, it's super great.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: There's been lots of speculation in sports for years, because it's famously, people only come out when they retire. And it's... I mean, I know there's macho-ness in sports, and so you don't want to, you know, you'll get heckled on the court or on the playing field if you admit it.

I don't know. But you'd know--

jessamyn: Right, and people make hurf durf locker room jokes constantly.

mathowie: Yeah, and you know like ten percent of all human beings are pretty much gay, and they're going to be in everywhere, and it's weird that in pro sports they've never had anyone admit. I just saw, what's her name, Rapinoe, the awesome American U.S. soccer player, she plays in France, but she's openly gay. She said it's really weird in France, like people treat her really strangely, and she thought Europe would be really hip to it,

but they are not.

cortex: Huh.

jessamyn: Interesting.

mathowie: Yeah, it's been strangely problematic for her. And he is a free agent now, so I hope someone picks him up for next season, that they don't make an example out of him and make him retire.

jessamyn: Well, and he's in his 30s now, too, which, you know, in his mid-30s, so he's kind of an oldster as far as pro basketball playing is concerned.

mathowie: Yeah, he's probably got one or two more years, maybe.

jessamyn: And he's seven feet tall! Which I know is normal for basketball, but can you imagine?

He's got a twin brother, they're both seven feet tall.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Just, I have a hard time getting my head around. And he was Joe Kennedy's college roommate at Stanford. The whole article is so interesting.

mathowie: Holy cow.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: That's awesome.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: I really liked aparrish's--this was actually a Project that turned into a MeFi post, I guess--but aparrish has a Twitter feed called POWER VOCAB TWEET that just several times a day tweets vocabulary words with definitions.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Is it real?

mathowie: That's the question.

cortex: Well, the Twitter account is real. The words are not.

jessamyn: These words are made up.

mathowie: I know, but--

cortex: Yes, it's randomly generated words with randomly generated definitions.

mathowie: But if you just look at them, they're so believable. Like, it's so close to real, you're like... I first, so I had to review all the Projects going up. I saw this and I was like, "Huh. Am I really dumb? I don't know any of these words?"

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: And then it took me thirty seconds to realize they're all fake and completely made up. But they're so close to reality.

cortex: "Broanusoidal. Adjective. Gradually decreasing in tempo and broad in manner." It's like, sure, maybe someone said that at some point.

jessamyn: Well, and anybody who's ever had to cram for vocabulary for GRE or SAT totally sympathizes with why a thing like this might seem like a thing you would want to do, and yet... don't do this one.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Do you think texting and blogs and more casual conversation is going to reduce our vocabularies and get rid of stupid, pointless words? I was thinking about this the other day, how I had to memorize a stack of two thousand pointless words I've never used or read about again in my entire life when I did the GRE. And I don't know, I don't read classic literature very much, and so I don't come across weird words that often. I wonder if they're on the way out.

jessamyn: Well, I sort of think it depends. But the thing is, you have a specialized vocabulary, too, it's just yours is specialized nerdy internet vocabulary.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know? I think that's one of those things that you don't recognize that your vocabulary is specialized in a different way, because those words seem normal to you.

mathowie: Well, I was thinking about how popular--I guess sci-fi's kind of techy--I don't know, I'm trying to think of books I've read. I can't remember the last time I had to break out a dictionary to figure out what the hell this person meant in this sentence. They don't... I'm used to, the last five-ten years of everyone around me saying, "Just use simpler language."

Like, there's no reason to say 'utilize'. Just put 'use' in the sentence, because everyone understands that. Just write straightforward. Don't try to...

jessamyn: Yeah, but I think it's a status marker, though? I think there are a lot of people who use bigger words both to be very super precise, but also because bigger words are associated with more knowledge, bigger understanding. I mean, I think there's a lot of plain writing for the web that is super useful and communicative and good for user experience, but I think people who are writing

fiction, there is value in having your work be slightly more nuanced, I guess, or esoteric, or something like that. So I think it has its place in a certain place, but it's not probably the places you're spending a lot of time going, is my guess.

cortex: Yeah, I think basically what it comes down to is there's always going to be these various conflicting forces there, because there's always going to be people inclining towards neologism and people who

are going to be inclined to really just try and preserve vocabulary and then people who are mostly going to be interested in just keeping up with concurrent idiom and slang, and so you have all these different pieces in there. I don't think people who are word horses are going away any time soon just because there's also new venues for casual or idiomatic modern speech. I think it's going to be everybody in the big old mixing pot of lexicography, basically.

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: Well, and I think that people can be more creative even with simple Twitter-type speech. The difference between writing "the drama" and "teh dramaz" is, you know.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: But that kind of stuff is what I enjoy playing with language nowadays in order to get a slightly different point across even when you're using the same general words. So I don't know. I think it's interesting and has nothing to do with the Metafilter post we were talking about.

cortex: Eh, whatever.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: But yeah, like 'teh', I think, is a really good example--

mathowie: Esoteric [??].

cortex: --of how there's this combination of this notion of modern slangy dumb talk but also something very complicated linguistically going on, like the fact that T-E-H has gone from being a typo to just a joke about a typo to being almost a register in--

jessamyn: Its own word, right.

cortex: Yeah. When you deploy 'teh', you're not just saying, "Oh, see, you typed 'the' wrong," you're actually, at this point, communicating an assumption of an awareness of a flavor of discourse

colored by everything that that's charged with, so the fact that you're leading off with 'teh' colors whatever follows it no matter how you spell it because you're saying, "Hey, we know that this is a mode of discourse, and that's what I'm referencing." So it's really complicated stuff.

jessamyn: Right. That I assume you understand, but maybe you don't. Right.

cortex: Yeah. So yeah, it's neat stuff.

jessamyn: Speaking of which, I had the pleasure of getting a beer with cog_nate, Metafilter user cog_nate--

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Who is a librarian in Kansas and a linguist, and did his thesis on... god, I think it was Cherokee but maybe it was not? Oh, Native American language!

mathowie: Oh, cool.

jessamyn: That basically used to be tonal and isn't tonal anymore.

mathowie: Hmm.

jessamyn: But still has tonal artifacts from the way the language used to be, and so he was telling me about it, like, "I'm sure you totally don't care about this," and I'm like, "What? No! So interesting! Tell me more about your thesis project."

mathowie: How can you not?

jessamyn: So he was one of the many Metafilter people I met on this trip and his thesis.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: He has been in my house.

jessamyn: Really?

cortex: Yeah, well, he's old friends with sleepy pete and melissa may, and so he came to visit them.

mathowie: Oh, Kansas connection.

jessamyn: Wait, what? How did I...?

cortex: They're from Lawrence.

mathowie: They're all from Lawrence.

cortex: [??] from-from Lawrence, but.

jessamyn: Well, I knew that, but I somehow didn't know he know them? Oh my God.

cortex: Yeah, no, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, he's wonderful. And we went out for--

mathowie: Yeah, Metafilter's really eight people.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: And they're all from Lawrence, yes.

jessamyn: Right, because I was staying in Lawrence, and he went to the talk that I gave in Topeka, and so we went and had a drink afterwards, and it was, yeah. Which, the bar turns out to be owned by the dude who owns the best bar and gastro club in my neck of the woods here, which I was completely flabbergasted by, so.

mathowie: Huh. Wow.

jessamyn: Back to our regularly scheduled podcast.

cortex: Hey, Matt, what's this about the Club Hangover? Matt?

mathowie: This is my favorite post the entire month. Someone at KCBS unearthed these preserved tapes of a club in San Francisco that had famous, famous

jazz musicians. It's Dixieland and New Orleans jazz, and it's this archive of half-hour shows that were playing on the radio from '54 to '58. And the sound quality is impeccable.

jessamyn: Nice.

mathowie: The recording is impeccable. It sounds better than a live album should be. And this is, you know, it's 1954, it's just a microphone in a room. And so they're a half hour long, and me and Paul were

working the other day, and we were listening to this for about two or three hours, and the joke bomb of it was, we started it, and they play a song, "Welcome to the Club Hangover, and here's Louis Armstrong," and then we're like, "Oh, wonder if the announcer's gonna do that weird '40s guy announcer thing," you know.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: And then in between the first few songs, he comes on every so often. And it becomes a refrain, if you listen to this for hours on end, he'll tell you the location of Club Hangover

about five times an hour, their exact location, how they're there until 2 a.m., and you can come on down if you're not doing anything in San Francisco. And he talks in that weird cadence of (imitates it) "Welcome to Club Hangovah!" It's just so goofball, and we're like, why do people talk like that on the radio? They just have to sound important or something? So the music is impeccable and amazing, and then the announcer is hilarious. But they're amazing recordings.

sfx: (applause)

Club Hangover announcer: Well, I guess we all recognize that as [??] of Relaxing at the Touro, Muggsy Spanier's theme. So it means we're all ready to go for another half-hour from Club Hangover, so here we go with something that came out of the original Dixieland jazz band. Muggsy Spanier and Sensation Rag!

sfx: (Music: Sensation Rag, played by Muggsy Spanier)

mathowie: And it's just this one page of MP3s, and you can just listen to chunks of the

same show. People kept coming back every Friday night. I assume this was a Friday show. Everyone's got wacky names. "Muggsy Spanna! Muggsy Spanna and his jazz orchestra!" It's hilarious. But so good. Super good music. And almost everyone does, the audience will always go nuts for something everyone's heard of, and they all play When The Saints Go Marching In, which is hilarious because in my super-beginner--

jessamyn: (sings) Doo doo doo-do-do doo!

mathowie: Yeah. It's in my super-beginner piano book, and I can play it--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: And as soon as they say it (imitates announcer voice) "Next up, Saints Go Marching In," and the whole audience goes nuts. That's their favorite song, and you're like, "Really? God."

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: It's a pretty simple song. But some of them play 'A' Train, they play a lot of jazz classics. Just super, super good.

jessamyn: Well, and that's one of those posts that's just the platonic wonderful Metafilter post.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: "Here's some random thing I found, it's super interesting, and it's just some random web page, but it's got all this deep content in it."

mathowie: Oh, and it's a wacky webpage that was probably made in Front Page in 2002 and it hasn't been touched. It's great that someone discovered this, because these audio recordings are so high-quality.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: I was listening to them on tinny iMac speakers all day and they sounded fantastic.

jessamyn: Nice.

mathowie: But I was thinking, gosh, I wish this was on Spotify and I could just listen to it out in the car or something. So good. So don't miss those. Super good audio.

cortex: Rock and roll.

jessamyn: Good. Long.

cortex: Uh. But. Let's. But.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: No, you!

cortex: I just want to do this for as long as we can.

jessamyn: Er! Er.

cortex: I. Uh. I was. Uh. This has been the Woody Allen hour! Thank you.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I, I, uh. I, uh.

I can't stop. Oh, God!

jessamyn: Good Lord!

mathowie: Bob Newhart.

jessamyn: Aah!

cortex: I loved this post. This was a good post. @UnfinishedS is the Twitter handle for a Twitter feed in which Gavin Speiller posts the first pages of his unfinished screenplays. And they're not actually genuine unfinished screenplays, they're jokes, but the joke is that the first page--

jessamyn: What is it with the jokes?

cortex: They're funny. They make you laugh.

mathowie: Wow, it's a whole page of jokes! That's a lot to write a joke. It doesn't fit on Twitter.

cortex: Yeah, well, the first two-thirds is a straight-faced parody or rewrite of

a familiar trope-ish screenplay, and then it makes some sort of weird turn at the end, and it's great.

mathowie: I assumed maybe 140 character jokes, but this is an entire page of jokes.

cortex: No, no, no, there's links to entire pages. And he's writing it up and then taking a picture with his camera and posting that on Twitter, which is fantastic.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: But I thought they were hilarious. And it's one of those things where once you get the shape of the joke, it's pretty formula, but it's a formula that works really well. I really liked it, so.

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: Thank you davidjmcgee.

cortex: Yes. Good posting.

mathowie: There was one post that struck close to home, which was, at the end of my street when I lived in LA, I lived right off Venice Boulevard, I was one block away from the Jurassic--was it Jurassic Technology?

jessamyn: Museum of Jurassic Technology.

mathowie: And next door to it was a similarly strangely named called--what is it called, God--it's the Center

... goddammit, let me find it again. The name is just so weird. It's the Center for Land Use Interpretation.

jessamyn: Oh! You know, as you were grasping for that, I bet it was them. They are so interesting. They do very interesting stuff.

mathowie: Yeah. And I was like, what does that mean? Because I was sort of in an environmental science background.

jessamyn: You know about dirt!

mathowie: I was like, "What did those guys do?" And it was just the most nondescript place in the world, and it turns out

that they come up with land use regulation and planning stuff for the entire country, and all because there was a massive gas explosion right on Venice Boulevard right near their office in 1976. Apparently some city workers were digging in the street, they knew there was a gas line, the gas line was actually eighteen inches higher than it was supposed to be, and they struck it, and it exploded and killed nine people, and it was this horrible tragedy.
It blew up half the street, they had to repave it. And so these guys came up with that 'call before you dig' system and the color--

jessamyn: Oh, that's where that started! Yeah, with the little...

mathowie: Yeah. These guys in this room figured out the color wheel, what color goes with what service, and that's completely standard to me as a homeowner since 2003 that whenever I dig anywhere I have to call this number, they come out, they call it--what do they call it, they have an awesome name for it, it's like 'infrastructual graffiti'. (chuckles)

When you see, like, yellow is power, red is, I think... oh, red is power, yellow is telephone... or gas, gas is yellow, red is telephone, and I know purple is waste water. Yeah, all those stupid markings that the city comes out and... you know, if you're going to dig in your yard you gotta do it so you know what to look out for. And I had no idea it was invented down the street from where I used to live.

jessamyn: Neat! Oh, here's the Metafilter post about the CRAPCHA, by the way, that you can add to the podcast post.

cortex: Ah, yes. Nice.

jessamyn: xingcat [ˈzɪŋˌkæt], xingcat [ˈtʃɪŋˌkæt] posted it to...

mathowie: Josh, what did you think of the Hummingbird music notation? You're a music...

cortex: You know, I didn't even look at it. I had a bad attitude, and...

mathowie: Aww.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I've seen alternate, I read a bit of a description of it, and the idea sounds interesting, but at the same time I saw a couple comments in the thread that were recapping my feeling about similar things I've seen before.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: I think it's not a terrible idea, but at the same time I think there's so much inertia to overcome to move to a new notation system that anything that doesn't mindblowingly exceed whatever currently exists is going to have a real tough road.

mathowie: Probably.

cortex: It's like alternate keyboard layouts. Like, there is nothing wrong with Dvorak or Colemak--

mathowie: Right. It's never gonna win.

cortex: But there is also, it's not gonna happen. We're gonna get rid of keyboards before we get rid of QWERTY, because everybody uses QWERTY and it works well enough, you know?

mathowie: I thought it was a hilarious breakdown in the comments of people who are music majors that have invested twenty years of life into music are like, "This is the worst idea ever!"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And all the intro music people like me were like, "This is so great! I can figure out what a G is a split second." It's second nature when you look at the new notation. It just doesn't do time as well as I like, but as a guy learning piano for the last four or five months, I'm constantly looking at music notation going like, augh.

cortex: Well, yeah, and that's, time is...

mathowie: That shortcut is because ink was expensive in Italy in 1600.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: That's why we do that. And maybe we should revisit that. Maybe we can write a rest on every line if we have to. There's all sorts of... I can just tell that all the shortcuts are stupid.

cortex: Well, the timing is really interesting, because you can make the argument--I think the way Hummingbird works, and other things have done this too, is the length of the symbol, there's basically basically a leg that goes the length proportional to the time that that gets played, right? Something like that?

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah.

cortex: So the longer the note, the longer the actual written note. Which is a great idea, but the thing is, we aren't actually that superb as a species of doing fractions based on proportional distances to translate that into actual hard numbers.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: We can size something up approximately, but you don't want to be approximately right when you're playing a note if you're trying to do something in time.

mathowie: Right.

cortex: You need to know really the time on it. So the process of decoding a formal traditional musical note system may be

a little abstract. You're like, "Oh, a dot makes it a little bit longer? What?"

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: But at the same time, it tells you exactly that no, that's one and a half times the normal length. So you don't have to trust your eyeballing to tell you what it is. You can tell for sure looking at the written note, oh, that's intended to be exactly this. And you can even look at a badly handwritten version of it and say, oh, that's intended to be this. So there's a lot of durability in some ways built into traditional notation.

mathowie: That's the one thing Hummingbird takes away. It puts a symbol inside the note, so you can't use that for time anymore, because it's telling you what note that is. Which, it's a fantastic shortcut, but then it kills the time part. And what I've realized, now that I can read music pretty well, time is everything between a garbage mash of notes that I'm hitting right versus a song. If I just get the timing, if the timing isn't 95% right, it sounds like garbage.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Yep.

mathowie: Even though I'm getting everything right, just because, oh, my eighths or sixteenths or vice versa. I have my piano teacher, "can you play that for me?", so I know what it's supposed to sound like, because not every song is familiar.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Anything else?

cortex: I thought this--

jessamyn: Are you learning to play on a piano-piano, Matt, or a keyboard?

mathowie: I have a piano at home, and then keyboard for lessons.

jessamyn: Neat. Sorry, Josh, go on.

cortex: That's okay. Depending on how good the keyboard is, the distinction gets more and more abstract.

mathowie: Yeah, it's just the action is too regular on the keyboard, you know, because it's a machine made for playing music versus the piano, where some are heavy notes and some are light.

cortex: Well, and there's a bunch of different approaches to even doing the mechanical key movement. Like the piano I have, the digital piano, is actually really nice action-wise, but it's a more expensive one. The cheaper ones are still good but they don't go as far in recreating the mechanics of the key action.

Anyway, I really liked this post about a Shaker hymn that got onto Soul Train.

jessamyn: About what?

mathowie: A Shaker.

jessamyn: Oh, a Shaker hymn. Neat!

cortex: Yeah. Come Life, Shaker Life, 1835, it was written, and then sometime in the '70s it shows up on Soul Train being done by Richie Havens or whatever. That's folk music. It's not just, I said something in that thread about how it's not just hippies sitting around in bell bottoms singing about flowers, it's music that people make and then do weird stuff with and it gets this weird long

strange life cycle because people just pick it up and use it and do what they want. Anyway, it was a really neat whole thing.

jessamyn: This post is amazing. By Polyhymnia.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Oh, so the Soul Train performance... oh, it's on Dailymotion. I'm like, where's the video shortcut link?

cortex: Yeah, it's not a YouTube.

mathowie: Just shut up and read the video.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

mathowie: Aw, well. Still cool.

cortex: But yeah, I thought that was great.

jessamyn: Speaking of music, one of those things that I just like from the Internet and I didn't really notice until I was poking around this morning was this

post that was just, it's a really small post from two days ago, but it's basically a gig from Dinosaur Jr. live at UMass in 1986, and it's one of those little... just one of those really fun things to find on YouTube, concerts you were at from thirty years ago, twenty-five years ago.

mathowie: Aw, God. It's so VHS. (chuckles)

jessamyn: It's very VHS, but Dinosaur Jr. is still a band! Or a band again, or whatever.

And so it was just... you know, it was a small post, it was a 20-minute video, but I was probably at that show?

mathowie: Yeah, that was my first--

jessamyn: Or if I wasn't at that show, I was at fifteen shows that were just like. And--I think I've told you this before--but Murph and I used to deliver pizza together at El Greco Pizza in Amherst, because Dinosaur Jr. didn't pay the bills at all at the time.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: So it's just, I don't know, another one of those reasons to love the Internet, because you can find stuff from your own history buried in there, and people can drag it out for you.

mathowie: Awesome.

jessamyn: By vrakatar [ˈvɹækəˌtæɹ]? vrakatar [ˈvɹækəˌtæɹ]? vrakatar [ˈvɹeɪkəˌtæɹ]?

mathowie: When I saw that post, my first thought was, "I wonder if Jessamyn was there? I think she was at UMass."

jessamyn: You know, I don't think I saw Dinosaur Jr. at UMass, because they played at Hampshire all the time.

mathowie: Oh, right.

jessamyn: So I don't know, but you know.

mathowie: Did you guys see the post on moving an SR-71 through--

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: No.

mathowie: That's one of those wacky retronaut, where someone just goes, "Check out these wacky photos from fifty years ago

about this thing you've never even thought about," and it's fascinating. So SR-71 was designed in Long Beach, or wherever Boeing was, and then it had to go to Area 51 in Nevada. So how do you move a giant secret spy plane?

jessamyn: That no one's allowed to see.

mathowie: Yeah, so there's all these--they break it into really big parts, not a lot of parts, and they had to custom-design a truck and move it at five in the morning and stuff.

jessamyn: And shut the whole highway down.

mathowie: Yeah. It's insane. The photos are amazing.

And yeah, they just shut down streets and scooch under bridges and...

jessamyn: Well, and it is one of those things that always kind of freaks me out, like... there's a lot of the cult of the immature nowadays, where people are like, "Yeah, whatever! I can build a better mousetrap." And you look at these guys who have to know the exact width of the entire highway (laughing) from where they leave all the way to Area 51 specifically so they can build this thing to scale, and it just makes you

kind of appreciate the expert knowledge that had to go with that kind of stuff before there were crazy distributed databases that could give you that information, if there even are. I loved this post.

mathowie: The thing I was thinking about, how crazy it was that people were worrying about this in whenever it is, 1960 maybe, or something? What year is this taking place? People were freaked out about word getting out that they were doing this, but I was thinking, there's no drones,

there's no Google Maps flyovers, there's no...

jessamyn: 1962.

mathowie: I guess there are spies. But how would they even pick up on this, except I guess they might be listening to a police radio, where they're, "I shut down the highway for the mystery package."

jessamyn: Well, I mean, people still argue that that happens nowadays, that you see these weird white vans, unmarked white vans driving around that are taking secret stuff from secret place 1 to secret place B.

mathowie: Well, this one's pretty obv--I mean, it's so large.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: It's ridiculous. But yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, I'm sure people were calling the radio station, like, "What the hell is that?!"

mathowie: Yeah. I see massive pipe things on military trucks on the freeway once in a while, and I assume that could be part of a missile or something.

jessamyn: I see parts of windmills a lot.

mathowie: Hm.

jessamyn: Like big, giant windmill blades. And, of course, giant pieces of marble and granite, because they come out of the quarries here. Which is slightly different because you know what they are.

mathowie: Yeah. Man, why didn't they break it down more? But oh well.

jessamyn: See, exactly. "I would have done it!"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: When you see the trailer, it's so ridiculous, the size of the trailer for the body of the plane. It's insane.

jessamyn: (laughs quietly)

mathowie: Alright, one last one, really quick, the eight minutes of Patton Oswalt--

cortex: (laughs) Jesus, yes.

mathowie: --doing the next Star Wars movie riff. He completely improved the whole thing. The show came on, the Parks and Rec episode, with him on it, and they showed thirty seconds of it, and it felt like such a humongous ripoff that

it's so funny for eight minutes and it keeps going and they only used, God, thirty seconds of it in the show at the most, and that was a big let-down, because I was just going to see, oh, how are they going to make this, [??] cuts and show it as people stream out.

cortex: Well, yeah, but if you'd come at it the other way around, if you'd seen it on the show and said, "Oh, that was funny," and then you got to see this after, it's like, "Oh my God, that's awesome, I gotta see the whole thing, too."

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I mean, they're not gonna take a third of the running time of a show to let Patton Oswalt rant.

jessamyn: [??] Patton Oswalt.

mathowie: Well, I thought, how would they get the point across? Because people stream out slowly in the room and he clears out a room. It's great, because people are so bored. I thought they'd do a bunch of cuts, where they fade in and fade out and you still... and then the X-Men get in here.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: I thought they'd make it seem like a lot of time passed.

jessamyn: That he's still talking, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, but they were just like, he starts talking and all of a sudden they cut to everyone gone, and they're like, "Ohh, why did you have to filibuster me?" It was so... but this is amazing. Don't miss it.

And people made movie posters out of it and stuff. It was really funny.

jessamyn: And this is actually by Finn Brunton, user finnb, who is a professor of information at the iSchool at the University of Michigan, and he wrote a book about spam!

mathowie: Whaa?

jessamyn: The dude himself who made the post is actually super interesting as well, which is kind of cool.

mathowie: Shadow History of the Internet.

cortex: Unlike most of our users, who are very boring people.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: No! But every time I find a new user who's new and fascinating, I'm just always that hap... I'm pretty sure I've met him.

cortex: No, no, I'm right there with you. It's actually, it is one of the things I like about the site, is that I will sometimes, I'll end up, I'll do that, like I'll see a new user doing something and I'll end up clicking through and I'll find their webpage and then I'll get distracted and then I'll come back and it's like, "Where the hell did I find this webpage? What is going on here?" and then eventually I put it back together, oh, it's that guy who just signed up, right.

jessamyn: I'm literally getting to the point where I just need a better history manager for my browser because I need to ask it questions about my own life.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Duude.

jessamyn: Like, how did I get to the thing about the thing?

mathowie: That's a... wow.

jessamyn: I mean, it's like knowing to search my e-mail for Ecamm so that I can re-download Call Recorder.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I really was smart enough to search my e-mail for Call Recorder, but that didn't do it.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: I need a sophisticated history manager for Firefox that turns my links into mind maps.

mathowie: That should be a Google product. Like, not Google Now, but Google Then, like what you have seen.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: I wish my browser history was--

jessamyn: Well, theoretically it is, right? I mean, I could have them track everything I'm searching for, but what I need is to track the things I've actually looked at.

mathowie: And you need AI to put concepts together.

cortex: Right.

jessamyn: Absolutely.

mathowie: You needed that Call Recorder for Skype, but it's actually at this other URL. Like I have to, my... this is the dumbest thing in the world, and I have to permanently remember this rule in my brain.

jessamyn: Matt confession time.

mathowie: All my investments are at TD Ameritrade, I just moved it to.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: But! The URL is like or something. It's some dumb--

jessamyn: Because they're trying to be helpful? Yeah, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: It's supposed to be a commercial product, so I always go to TD Ameritrade, and it's like, "Nope, don't recognize your login."

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: And I go, "Oh. What's that fake home...", like, they try to make a product out of, "We're a big hug for your investments!" And it's got some dumb name like... oh, God, I hate that rule.

jessamyn: I think healthcare is the same... like, looking up health insurance is the same way.

mathowie: (laughs) Right.

jessamyn: It's like mysuperhealthcare or whatever, and I'm like, I know the name of the company but just, aaah! This is what bookmarks were supposed to be for.

mathowie: Oh God, yeah. I have two giant 'Other' folders with like 700 bookmarks, and then I have the bookmark bar of like ten things, and that's all I have. I have the worst system.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: I just had to bookmark something the other day, and I was like, "I don't want it on my bar of ten things I use every five minutes, so where's it going to go?"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And it goes in the giant Other pile.

jessamyn: I just e-mail it to myself at this point, with a whole bunch of words in there that I know I

can keyword search and get it out of there.

mathowie: (laughs) You have to think of all the words possible, I bet.

jessamyn: I know. I know.

cortex: Well, but the nice thing is, if you're thorough at putting the keywords in the e-mail, then you don't have to remember all of them, you just have to remember one of them, you know.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Yeah. We need outboard brains.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Yep.

mathowie: Alright, let's go to Ask Metafilter.

jessamyn: Ask Metafilter! Awesome as per usual. Just let's start at the top. In the monthly

food post, this month is about salad. Anybody who eats salad probably has a salad they make. I remember, Matt, last time I hung out with you and your wife, she was like, "This is the salad that I bring to every single thing, because it's easy, it's got four ingredients, it tastes delicious, and it's a little unusual, so there's not gonna be one there already."

mathowie: Oh, yeah! I think it's quinoa, maybe, and bean, and corn, and it's...

jessamyn: And a little guacamole, and some cumin.

mathowie: And a whole bunch of lime, and it's super good.

jessamyn: Yeah. And it's amazing, but... so Kay can basically get perfect at it and bring it and everyone's like, "Wow!" But for her it's just making the same salad over and over again, so it's easy. You don't have to be like, "Augh, it's another party, what salad to make?" And I've started making it, and now people are like, "Oh, Jessamyn, you make such great salad!"

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: And I'm like, "I don't really, like..." But so basically this is like, what's a salad you could eat over and over and over again?

mathowie: Nice.

jessamyn: "The criteria: 'fresh ingredients you can get in most stores, which you will never tire of, and can eat twice a week for the rest of your life.'" But there's a lot of people who have good mixed-up salad things, and so if I ever get bored with my salad, I can find somebody else's salad and eat it.

mathowie: I had a good five-year run with garbanzo beans and spinach leaves and I guess ranch.

jessamyn: Yeah, exactly, right?

mathowie: I loved that combo. Oh, we had to stop doing that quinoa-corn-bean salad

because going to a bunch of picnics with Montessori people, they eventually totally bit it, and you'd show up and there's three quinoa salads with corn and beans.

jessamyn: Ahahahaha!

mathowie: So she had to give it up because everyone else wanted to replicate it.

cortex: Bastards.

jessamyn: Exactly.

mathowie: It became a normal.

jessamyn: Well, then you can switch to the carrot, sesame seed, and peanut salad, which is the other sleeper salad that I make.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: This basically makes Kay a salad hipster, then, right? Because she's like, "Oh, yeah, I used to make that salad before it was..."

mathowie: "Before it was cool."

cortex: Whatever.

mathowie: Haah!

cortex: "Yeah, now I make this with a leafy green from South America. It's pretty obscure, you probably haven't heard of it."

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: See, my favorite kind of salad is, you take some kale, and then you take some bacon, and you cook some bacon and then you cook the kale with it, and then eat that.

jessamyn: That is a very good salad also. Did you post it in the thread? Post it in the thread.

cortex: No, no.

jessamyn: Post it in the thread.

mathowie: Oh, bacon fat can improve kale.

cortex: Well, it's not really a salad, is the only problem with it.

jessamyn: Sure it is!

cortex: But there's kale. I'm not sure if you cook down kale and a bunch of bacon it's salad anymore.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: I was trying to make a joke in light of myself. Is salad actually that broad of a category now that you can sauté shit into salad?

jessamyn: Yeah! Can't you?

cortex: I don't know. I think of salad as being inherently essentially uncooked vegetables. Like, once you're cooking it you're just fucking frying something up.

jessamyn: I think of it as being primarily vegetables in a bowl, but if one of those things is cooked kale and the other is bacon, with a dressing.

cortex: Well, I mean, the bacon grease and some salt is your dressing, because, I mean, bacon grease.


cortex: I don't know, I mean, it's like, it's stir fry. That's like saying stir fry is salad if you don't put noodles in it. Or even if you do. See, I don't know. I guess I'm revealing myself to be closed-minded.

jessamyn: But stir fry is stir fry! There's got to be some line, right? It's a continuum.

cortex: I guess.

jessamyn: Stir fry at one end, salad at the other.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: I'm surprised to see you be so complacent about the placement on the continuum of bacon and kale. I guess I'm more closed-minded than I thought.

mathowie: What about a heated spinach salad? I know lots of salads are heated slightly. You wilt spinach salad sometimes with

garlic that's really good warmed.

jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, yeah.

cortex: Well, we actually do a steak salad thing every once in a while. I guess we'll be...

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Well, no, it's actually a salad-salad, it's, you know, greens and whatnot.

mathowie: I remember in the '70s meat salads and blenders.

cortex: But they've been doing a... you do some steak, and then you cut it up and you drizzle over this balsamic and garlic sauce over a bunch of spinach or whatever.

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: Basically, yes, it needs to have a dead animal in it for me to endorse it, I guess, is...

I'm very bad at being vegan.

mathowie: Wow, there are a lot of spinach recipes. Josh, did you see this one of "What are today's best avant-garde video games?"

cortex: I did not! How did I miss that?

jessamyn: From dontjumplarry. Let's keep everybody's name in the tape.

mathowie: Oh, yeah. It's really good, because it's all the weirdest, all the non-normal games, and I had just happened to be reading about how amazing, what, Papa y Yo, some game that came out a year or two

ago. I don't even know what platform it was for. And it's basically about a guy, it's a guy basically doing this biographical thing of his youth where he lived in a barrio in Brazil and his dad was an alcoholic, and it's sort of an alcoholic monster, is the father of the boy, and the boy has to run around and save himself, and it's all the painful shit from this guy's past in this game. So when it's on The Verge, it gets like a 3 out of 10, because people don't even understand it.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And it was basically a Buzzfeed story going, "Give this thing a second chance! It's fucking mindblowing. It's insane."

cortex: Yeah. There's been--

mathowie: Guy basically worked for an EA Sports or something like that, and this is what is he did in his free time, he made an indie game about his father's alcoholism and growing up. It's fascinating.

jessamyn: Euhh.

cortex: Yeah, I was going to say, there's a big blossoming of--not that this was never done before, but it feels like the last couple years there's been this re-blossoming, in particular, of

confessional or journaling games that are doing that very personal thing with some of the toolsets that make it easier to build something like that, and yeah, it's a neat thing. I recognized the--

mathowie: What was the big video game Andy Baio was telling me about about where you lose your son in a crowd in the first cut scene and then you have to spend the whole game trying to save him from kidnappers and it's just one of those--

jessamyn: I hate these games.

mathowie: It's just one of those, it came up in the, remember Roger Ebert saying, "Games aren't art because they can't make anyone cry"--

And Andy's like, "It is horrible when you lose your child in the game. You try so hard."

cortex: Yeah, the game Heavy Rain, I think, is the one he's talking about.

mathowie: That's it! Yeah.

cortex: And that's so interesting, because I've played that, and I liked it, and I played the previous game by the guy who made that. That and the previous one were both fairly experimental. They did interesting things but also had a lot of problems as games mechanically. But it's kind of worth it. It's sort of like that weird indie 'I have an idea' sort of approach, except for happening to get more AAA production costs involved.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: But it's really interesting. People have talked about Heavy Rain, and one of the things that I think is interesting, this came up on Penny Arcade back when that game was new was that yeah, some people will play the game and be like, "Oh, well, this is interesting, and oh, hey, where'd my son go?" and then other people will play it and their heart will be racing and this is one of those things where it kind of matters whether or not you're a parent.

jessamyn: It pushes your little buttons, yeah, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, parent.

cortex: Because the people who were parents would play it, and they would just be the worst fucking experiences. It was like watching a seriously

grabbing-you horror movie, because you're like, "Holy shit, this is such an anxiety."

mathowie: Yeah. (chuckles)

cortex: Whereas me, I'm like, "Well, yeah, obviously that guy doesn't want to lose his kid and let's see where this goes," but I'm not connecting with it viscerally, but a lot of people would be like, "Holy shit."

jessamyn: Sure, sure. At an emotional level.

cortex: Yeah, so.

mathowie: A bunch of people mentioned Fez in this, and after seeing the video game movie I downloaded Fez and played it a little bit, and there was nothing really, I don't know how weird it is, it's just kind of like a Mario World kind of thing.

cortex: Well, it's interesting for the perspective-pushing it does.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: It's neat that it so aggressively takes the idea of rotating perspective and works with that mechanically. And it's also neat that it takes it from the approach of, there's no death in game, which is an interesting disciplined choice to make about how to approach it, even though death in a lot of platforms is pretty minor in the first place, because you don't really die, you just lose a guy because you fell down a pit. But still. But that perspective thing is interesting. I don't know. I liked Fez.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I agree it's not crazy mindblowing, but it was very nicely done.

jessamyn: And flibbertigibbet had the comment that has the Best Answer. If you just want to cut to the chase, this comment has many, many... much good information in it.

mathowie: Yeah, that's good.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Journey. Did you ever play Journey? Josh?

cortex: I did! I got to it very late, but I enjoyed it.

mathowie: Is it good? Bad?

cortex: I thought it was, no, I thought it was very nice. It's a simple game, it's relatively short, but it's just beautiful and the flow of it is nice and it's a satisfying ending once you finally get to the end, and yeah, no, I would strongly recommend it. It's a very nice-looking game.

mathowie: Cool.

jessamyn: So! A couple of other posts that I really liked. This one is--I will try and omit spoilers for Game of Thrones, but there was definitely this badass ending to a Game of Thrones episode where you sort of noticed if you paid any attention to people who talk about it, they were like, "Oh my God, that was so awesome!" And so

DirtyOldTown made a post saying, "I really like those scenes in films, a scene where I like to call the You Have Chosen the Absolute Wrong Person to Fuck With scene." Like, somebody feels like they have one person under their thumb, but then it turns out that person is actually like, "BAM! No, you don't!" And I want examples of this trope, so of course TV Tropes has a...

mathowie: This is all spoilers, right?

jessamyn: No, no, no, not necessarily! I mean, I'm not saying any more than that.

mathowie: Oh, no, I'm saying all the answers.

jessamyn: Yes. All the answers are probably spoilers.

cortex: Oh, yeah, if you're spoiler-averse, definitely stay out of the thread discussing.

jessamyn: But yeah, so there's a TV Trope called "Oh, Crap". House of Cards has this a lot. I've been watching House of Cards lately, so I find that interesting. Princess Bride, I just saw Princess Bride over the weekend again, same kind of thing. Et cetera, et cetera. It's just a fun thread with people talking about it, and once I finally saw the Game of Thrones episode, I was like "YEAH!" So if you like that, you may like some of these examples.

If you're spoiler averse, stay the hell away from this thread entirely.

mathowie: You know, there's this recent trend, I've been watching a lot of old--well, not old, just past TV seasons the last few weeks, and I'm noticing, somewhere around 2005 or something, there was this new genre of show where nothing bad ever happens to anyone, and I think the first one I noticed was Entourage, the douchy all-guys, and it's like Sex and the City for guys show.

They never have any setbacks. It's basically just total fantasy world, and it's like, now I'm thinking back, there's not a lot of Oh, Crap moments in all these seasons of shows I've been watching, because there's not real huge setbacks anymore. There isn't... aww, I'm thinking of all the TV series I watch, and nothing really bad ever happens to anyone anymore. It's weak. Weak-ass writers, I would assume.

jessamyn: (laughs) Okay.

mathowie: And people want to be happy all the time.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: What's with that?

jessamyn: You know, I think I've said this before on the podcast, but after 9/11 I just don't want to go through any more bummer...

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I expect my entertainment to be--

jessamyn and mathowie: Entertaining.

jessamyn: --and not dragging me through stuff like that.

mathowie: Are you--remember last summer I wrote about The Avengers affected me, because it was like 9/11 PTSD feeling?

jessamyn: Yeah. We talked about that.

mathowie: Have you seen this summer's dozen blockbusters? They're all crazy terrorist imagery of buildings exploding, like

Iron Man and that G.I. Joe movie and every... Star Trek. Star Trek looks horrible. They're just slicing through a fake New York and taking down buildings.

jessamyn: Eugh.

mathowie: And I'm like, "God, stop it, dudes! We get it! 9/11 affected you as a writer."

jessamyn: As a creative individual.

mathowie: Yeah. You don't have to mimic--or you know what I think it is? People making movies want people to have a visceral reaction to their movie, and the only thing you can

go to at this point to get people to do that is let's go with 9/11 imagery, that'll always get their heartstrings tugged and that'll amp them up to 11. I don't know. It seems like a lazy thing that people are doing now.

jessamyn: Well, it's the same kind of thing, right? That you tap into somebody's, I mean, like with the video games you guys were talking about.

mathowie: Yeah. Worst fear.

jessamyn: Latent big feelings about a big issue, and you get your little issue to pick at that particular

scab and then you can get more emotions out of what's just Tom Cruise being Tom Cruise in a movie.

mathowie: Tom Cruise-ing around.

jessamyn: Right, right.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

cortex: Tom Cruise-in' for bruisin'.

mathowie: All Tom Cruise is doing in his last Jack Reacher and the whatever new movie he's in, it's just shit blowing up and he's jumping out of windows as they blow up. It's crazy.

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

mathowie: On another note, I loved this "best date ideas ever" thread, because it's just

happy light... "What are other things you can do for a date? I started dating someone who wanted new things," this from heavyp08, and you know, these are like, "Go to your local historic society!" This things I don't think of. Oh, yeah, that's right, there probably is a house in the next, within 20 miles of me.

jessamyn: Oh God, I took Jim to the local historic society open house once, and he got buttonholed by some "Let me tell you about the town in 1926!" and I was like, "Oh God, he's trapped." But I didn't want to be trapped

and it was not a good idea for a date.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Except that afterwards we were both like, "Phew! Glad we escaped from that one." The historic society's fascinating, but maybe not for a date.

mathowie: There's a lot of cool just little lightweight--it doesn't even have to be a date, this is stuff that I do with my family. Like, I love, "Let's go to the Major Taylor Velodrome in Indianapolis and rent a bike and ride around it." That's ridiculous and awesome and goofy.

jessamyn: Minor league baseball is one of the things I love to do.

mathowie: Yeah, botanic gardens are always good, a medical history museum...

jessamyn: Mini-golf.

mathowie: Oh, they were asking around Indianapolis, I guess. "Go to a hookah bar."

jessamyn: Hookah bars.

mathowie: Indoor picnics? What's an indoor picnic? Geez. I don't think I've ever done that.

cortex: It's a picnic indoors.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Right, I mean, what part of the indoor picnic is confusing to you?

mathowie: Well, versus lunch on a table, I guess.

jessamyn: Indoor picnic is on the floor.

mathowie: It's on the floor with a blanket. Okay.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: People just go parking at a Dairy Queen? That's awesome.

jessamyn: Sure!

Parking at the Dairy Queen.

mathowie: Ooh, stargazing came up. The darkest county in all of mainland America is in eastern Oregon, and I totally want to go there for the meteor shower in August.

jessamyn: That is a great idea! Bring sleeping bags and folding chairs and take Fiona.

mathowie: Yeah. They said the light is so bright just from the stars, not even the moon, that your arm will cast a shadow at 2 in the morning from the starlight.

jessamyn: That's what my place is like!

mathowie: That's crazy.

jessamyn: Actually. Yeah!

mathowie: That's awesome.

jessamyn: It's wonderful.

mathowie: Yeah, I totally am looking forward to that in August.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: Sweet!

jessamyn: Here is another Ask Metafilter thread I liked. It's kind of a straightforward, "Hey, I'm a 44-year-old overweight woman getting into better shape, and I'm starting to run, and I ran a mile for the first time in my life, and I'm signed up for a 5K."

mathowie: In two weeks. Oh, ouch, two weeks is a--

jessamyn: "What's my responsibility as a slow, heavy runner at a 5K, and what should I expect?" And people just gave--I loved it because it's a short thread, people gave incredibly helpful, like, "That's awesome! This is what you should know," and a whole bunch of information, and it just made me happy.

cortex: That's awesome.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: She got a lot--I think it's she? Occula? Yep.--got a lot of support, and a lot of people saying what to expect, and I just really liked that straightforward, asked-and-answered

fun thread.

mathowie: Yeah, it's pretty much, if you just avoid the fast people at the start and go your own race.

jessamyn: Well, and you're kind of expected to start kind of slightly further back, but they talk about if there's timing chips, the timing chips will time you right when you go over the line, but if it's just a start gun, if you start way in the back your time starts, but it starts, but you may already be a quarter-mile back behind a bunch of people if it's a huge thing, and blah-de-blah-de-blah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: At any rate. Stuff I didn't know, and I thought was interesting.

mathowie: Very cool.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: They didn't really give her training advice. I guess this was just for the race, yeah.

jessamyn: No, I think she's got a personal trainer and she's not, you know, that's not her concern exactly.

mathowie: Yeah. One mile to three miles in two weeks is a little rough, but you can just go... you know, I'll go out for--

jessamyn: But she's planning on kinda walk-running it, you know.

mathowie: Yeah. And a lot of that is, if you went out for ten minutes, you can do a mile. And then tomorrow you go out for twelve minutes, and in two days we'll try fourteen, and you can pretty much work up from there.

jessamyn: Dude, new runners are not doing ten-minute miles. (laughs)

mathowie: That's, yeah, I guess... twelve?

jessamyn: At all.

mathowie: Really? Ten is pretty slow.

jessamyn: Yeah! Twelve is slow.

mathowie: Really. Okay. Yeah, I guess eleven is, I could do that forever, kinda.

jessamyn: I mean, ten is like five miles an hour.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Fifteen is four, and that's like speedy-walk, so for a lot of people it's somewhere right in that sweet spot. But I'm a slow runner, so maybe that's just me being like RAR RAR RAR.

mathowie: Oh, the other day I realized a sub-four mile means you're going over fifteen miles an hour, and that thought, that's psychotic. Running over fifteen miles an hour? Like, that's decent on a bike.

jessamyn: I return to the, maybe you need a remedial math class.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: No, no, I just never thought of it that way! I never thought of the miles per hour. Running's always slow. It's just running, right? I just never thought.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: See, that's funny, because I run on a treadmill, and so I'm acutely aware of exactly how fast I'm going.

mathowie: Ohh. Yeah, I always--

jessamyn: I mean, in the winter I do.

mathowie: I guess I always look at distance. I never look at miles per hour.

jessamyn: Yeah, well, because if you're doing fitness stuff and you want to lose weight, the calorie difference between walking three miles an hour and four miles an hour is substantial. And if you're a person, the difference between walking that fast isn't a big deal, so it's better to step on it if you're trying to lose weight or eat more snacks to compensate. So I've spent, I pay a lot of attention to this.

mathowie: (laughs) So, yeah, you have treadmill knowledge that I don't have.

jessamyn: Yes. Treadmill knowledge. But only very specific my-treadmill knowledge.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Oh! And I got an exercise bike off Craiglist, which was like the best thing ever.

mathowie: Oh, cool. Did you have to lug it upstairs to your place?

jessamyn: Well, I mostly meant no. It's for my dad's place.

mathowie: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: Because my dad's place has this horrible ancient treadmill that makes crazy noise, and so I was like, "I'd really like an exercise bike." And so I found one on Craigslist, Jim wrestled it into his car, and then we wrestled it out of the car and just into the first


cortex: Is this an old-school exercise bike, or a more modern one?

jessamyn: No. It is a new-school exercise bike, with little graphs and programming and...

mathowie: And it's probably barely used. (chuckles)

jessamyn: Well, exactly, right? Used exercise equipment is awesome, because it's just somebody else's failed dreams, a lot of times.

mathowie: (laughs) It runs on sadness!

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: And a 9-volt battery.

mathowie: There was this thread on, "What does a 9-year-old boy need to know?" that...

jessamyn: Oh, I loved this thread!

mathowie: Yeah, it was so great! It was like, "I'm getting a 9-year-old gentleman friend his first wallet. What should I put in it?" And it was all this great advice and wacky stuff and great story. Oh, I didn't get a best--

jessamyn: Was this the thread where the person was talking about that they had a little laminated card that they had a little money stuck in?

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, and an emergency number.

jessamyn: It was like the get-out-of-jail free one-time money thing.

mathowie: Yeah. I put that on the Best Of blog, but it didn't get a Best Answer. But it got 200 favorites.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: But yeah, it's an awesome... let me pop that in there, just an awesome answer for 'call me day or night, get out of jail free.'

jessamyn: Right. Here's your one 50-dollar bill.

mathowie: Yeah. That'd be a lot of mental weight over my head for the rest of my life, to never touch that.

jessamyn: To not spend... well, do you do kind of the emergency 20 in your car thing? Like, where there's some hidden money in your car just in case you don't have your wallet and you need cash for some reason?

mathowie: I've never been good about that, but I have a jacket I wear on my bike, and it has always like 20 dollars in it as emergency money. And I think it's down to 15 because I had to use it once. I used five bucks.

jessamyn: See, I have an emergency 20 in my car that I just, the number of times I've managed to need my emergency 20 is just...

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Just poor planning on my part. But, you know, it's just, you always... because a lot of times, you know, we have toll booths, crap like that, and you're like, "Oh God, where's my... my wallet's in the trunk.

All right, emergency 20!" And then it just fills up with change, too.

mathowie: (sighs)

jessamyn: (sighs)

cortex: This is maybe just not as much of an issue living in Portland, because any time... I almost never need actual cash, and when I need cash, there's an ATM nearby, so it's like, eh, you know.

mathowie: Also, you can sing a song to get a sandwich at most Portland--

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

cortex: I should try that sometime, see if that works.

mathowie: (laughs) It's never happened, I just thought you were going to go there with the, "Actually, in Portland"--

cortex: (laughs) I just say my name, and they're like, "Hey!"

mathowie: If you can just hang in the hackeysack circle for about five minutes, you can get anything for free.

cortex: Just toke 'em up, man, just toke 'em up.

mathowie: Is anything else... Ask Metafilter?

cortex: Not here.

jessamyn: Not here! I don't think.

mathowie: We're at almost an hour and a half, so anything in...?

cortex: I can do a quick Music Minute (sings) doo-doot-doot, doo-doot!

jessamyn: (sings) boop-de-doo-be-doop-boop-be-doo!

cortex: Which has been established, we do a news noise because it's music news.

mathowie: (laughs) Makes perfect sense.

cortex: A few things that were nice--it was actually a super busy, awesome month on Music, so I'm just going to mention a few things from the last few days, even.

mathowie: Is there a good challenge or anything?

cortex: The challenge has been 'backwards', and I think there's been very little of that, maybe, but--

mathowie: Sounds hard.

cortex: But a bunch of stuff in general. One backwards thing was by edlundart--

jessamyn: Who always does consistently good work on Metafilter Music.

cortex: He does a great job, yes.

sfx: (Music: Backwards by edlundart)

cortex: So he did a song called Backwards. It's sort of an ambient pretty thing that I thought was very nice.

mathowie: (chuckles) 11 Day Tripper is amazing.

sfx: (Music: 11 Day Tripper by chococat)

jessamyn: In 11/8?

cortex: (laughs) Why not?

mathowie: It's this weirdly... yeah, it's a really strange instrumental. [??]

jessamyn: It's making my brain hurt.

mathowie: I know.

cortex: (laughs) There's It's A Cryin' Shame (That I Appear To Be Drunk In Charge Of A Mix, Officer)

is maybe sort of the unofficial full title of a song that was posted by Hoops McCann, previously known as MajorDundee.

sfx: (Music: It's A Cryin' Shame (That I Appear To Be Drunk In Charge Of A Mix, Officer) by Hoops McCann)

jessamyn: Oh, hey, neat!

cortex: Yeah, I guess he felt like changing up his username. So he's been posting multiple mixes. This is like the third version, so if you're into looking at someone going through the process of trying to rework something, that's a sort of neat endcap on that.

There was Hex on Everlys, by user l2p.

sfx: (Music: Hex on Everlys by l2p)

cortex: Which he said was basically just an attempt to pretend that a punk song by his band had been stolen and demoed on acetate by the Everly Brothers.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: And it's just a charming little acoustic thing. There was Dirty Deeds (Done at Market Rate) by t(h)om(as).

jessamyn: (laughs) I saw that one.

mathowie: Twenty dollars, same as in town.

cortex: Yeah. Basically, he was like, "I've got this track that I like, but I don't have lyrics or melody for it, so

I sort of put it out there for anybody who wants to have a go at that," which I always like it when people do that collaborative brainstorming stuff on the site.

sfx: (music: Dirty Deeds (Done at Market Rate) by t(h)om(as))

cortex: So yeah, if you always wanted to write a melody for something but didn't want to have to do any of the work, go check that out.

mathowie: Isn't that how R.E.M. works? I think I remember hearing Michael Stipe say it. Like, the entire band would bring him eight songs completely done and he would have to come up with lyrics to it, and I always, that always was like, "Wow, that's gotta be incredibly hard." I always think of song first, and then the music.

cortex: Yeah, it's so weird to me, because I start with lyrics and melody, but everybody's different.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: But my favorite of all of these is The Artichoke King, by jake, because it's just this amazingly awesome upbeat chiptune thing that, as he notes, it was done with a Nintendo basetracker.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: So if you actually have a homebrew card you can play this via your Nintendo. But it's totally awesome.

mathowie: Oh my God, it's so fast.

sfx: (Music: The Artichoke King by jake)

cortex: That's just like a sugar rush. It's awesome.

jessamyn: Oh my God, it's super fun.

mathowie: Oh yeah, that is amazing.

cortex: So that's Music Minute. (sings) Doot-doot-do-doo!

You know what I should do is I should add an extra hour into this process ahead of time and send these to you so you listen to them ahead of time and then we'll all be totally set.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: That sounds great!

cortex: But hey, at least I'm remembering to do this, so baby steps. We'll get there.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Great! Well, in MetaTalk, Matt, Josh had a birthday. Happy birthday, Josh.

cortex: Yay! Thanks.

mathowie: Matt was interviewed in Wired and they made a funny squiggly drawing of him.

cortex: That they did.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Which was pretty interesting. And we had a couple, I mean, aside from the argy-bargy MetaTalk posts, we had a couple including the "I'm a noob and I'm afraid of MetaTalk but I really enjoyed phaedon's answer" in this thread about how to stop getting angry about the small stuff, and it turned into kind of a nice

little post about how to, yeah, deal with grumpiness and out-of-control-ness, and, my favorite MetaTalk thread, I think, of the past month was this one from batmonkey a couple days ago after all of the marathon bombing and a lot of scary stuff that affected a lot of Metafilter users, this was kind of a, toot your horn, everybody give yourself a high-five for something nice you did, and it's just kind of a nice
long thread of people talking about a cool thing maybe they did lately, and everybody's like, "Hey, that's cool!" and I just enjoyed it.

cortex: Yeah, it was fun, it was supportive, people being able to humblebrag a little bit.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I liked that there was a mix of people saying, "Hey, I'm so happy about this thing I did" that's a thing they accomplished, and then people who were, "Hey, I'm so happy that I did this complete non-event that was a bullshit thing that I'm mentioning because this is the thread where we talk about shit we did!"

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: (laughs) Yeah, "I went and saw Danzig last night," was one of them.

cortex: Yeah, it reminded me of those dumb celebrity stories threads, with, you know, yeah, this one time I was in a stall two stalls over from Iggy Pop when he was throwing up, and that's my story.

jessamyn: Hey, what's his name, Gronkowski, was actually in Manhattan, Kansas drinking with sorority girls when I was there, but I didn't get to see him.

mathowie: Aww. Well, you had a good night.

cortex: That's a pretty good story.

jessamyn: That's mine. That's my near miss.

cortex: You should go add that.

jessamyn: But it was all over [Valleywag?], or whatever it was.

mathowie: Cute babies? Wow. Oh, and I guess since we last recorded we had the April Fools' joke.

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Hey!

mathowie: I think we barely alluded to something coming up on Monday in the last podcast, but yeah. The aftermath!

jessamyn: Right, right! And that went really well and people liked it!

mathowie: Yeah. That surprisingly went really well.

cortex: And we definitely learned that we absolutely need to not bullshit around with the tedious attribution stuff even when it seems like it's a [??] joke.

mathowie: Oh, God.

cortex: That was definitely a lesson learned, we shouldn't have been lazy.

mathowie: Yeah, Jesus.

cortex: But that ended well, too. I'm glad we [??].

jessamyn: We shouldn't have been lazy, but we are.

mathowie: When you put too much work into a joke it stops being a joke and it acts like work.

cortex: (laughs) Yeah.

mathowie: That's the basic gist of it. But yeah, I liked it. It was, I thought, "oh, we're going to make a 'kittens on Pinterest' joke, that's two years out of date, maybe?" But people thought it was funny.

jessamyn: And then it turned into, "Alright, let's all compile lists of pictures and!"

mathowie: Oh, and there was also the magical, "You guys are seeing something besides kittens? How?!" They wouldn't see that drop-down.

cortex: (laughs) Nobody could find the drop-down.

mathowie: I guess it's kind of subtle, it's color on color, but when that--there was always the second wave, of, like, "oh, hey, that was pretty funny... oh my God, the other

ones are way funnier!"

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Sandwiches! Everybody really liked the one that you made with just the slogans on top of the pictures.

cortex: That went over well.

mathowie: Yeah, and people were like, "Oh, that's so brilliant and wick--" and I'm like, you know how I was just banging on Photoshop wanting it to be over so bad.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: I was just slamming in these stupid, God--

jessamyn: Don't lift the curtain, Matt!

mathowie: Yeah, it was funny. It was excruciating for about two hours to just line it up and figure out in Photoshop how to do it as fast as possible, and yeah.

jessamyn: You did a great job, and people liked it. And I'm always happy when we manage to pull off yet another April Fools' thing that people enjoy, people don't feel bad about, and generally winds up good.

mathowie: That doesn't, yeah, doesn't aim the joke at people or make fun of people or anything, yeah. I think [the most crime ?] of laughter.

jessamyn: (laughs) Exactly. And, I wanted to say, last but not least, there was this sort of thank you mods thread about some of the marathon bombing stuff, and I just came home from

being away for ten days, and I had a mailbox full of postcards.

cortex: Aww, yay!

jessamyn: From various people, one of which is only addressed to Box 345, 05060, from Celsius1414, something from luckynerd, something from twiggy32, something from [??] misozaki, Ms. zamboni, Lorena--but I don't think it's Lorena Cupcake, because I don't think

these are her kids--wiskunde, a friend of mine in South Africa who just happened to send me one, and nonane. So thank you everybody for sending postcards, I love the mail, and it's always cool to have fun stuff in the mailbox when I come home.

cortex: That is so nice.

mathowie: Neat.

jessamyn: Along with my free bag of dog food from Klout for being an influencer.

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

mathowie: Oh, God.

cortex: (still laughing)

mathowie: You know, I actually broke down and logged into Klout, if you're making jokes about it, and I was like,

mathowie: broke down and logged into Klout 'cause you were making jokes about it and I was like, "Oh, there's this free, like, Bluetooth headphone set from Sony."

jessamyn: I got those.

mathowie: Yeah, and I was like, "Hey, that's something I'd actually use," and then they showed up and they're those gross headphones that go inside your ear canal that give me the heebie-jeebies and I can't handle it.

jessamyn: (Laughs.) Give them away to a kid.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And it's like, it's small too, like, they don't hold that much stuff.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And they don't, they don't really Bluetooth, though, right? Like, you can't...

mathowie: Yeah, it's Bluetooth to your phone, so you play music from your phone.

jessamyn: Oh, I didn't know that. I thought you could only put music on it and I was like, "These are horrible."

mathowie: Oh yeah, they might have like a little bit of memory on them when you connect it to USB, but it's pretty much much, it'll connect to your phone and then you play it. So there's no cord bouncing around, that's all it is. But, ugh, I can't stand things in my ears. Ew.

jessamyn: (Laughs)

cortex: I want to briefly, uh, blatantly self-link. Mostly because it's not just me but also griphus.

jessamyn: And you haven't.

cortex: And I haven't, um, but, uh...

jessamyn: All day today.

cortex: I know. Uh, we, we, we, we, me and griphus started doing a

cortex: podcast a couple weeks ago after a brief Facebook, uh, conversation in which he declared that he was amazed and, to discover that there were nine Hellraiser movies and that they're all on Netflix streaming, which I had discovered...

jessamyn: Weren't we talking about Hellraiser last podcast too?

cortex: Maybe?

jessamyn: 'Cause I was asking you if that was the one with the pinhead guy.

cortex: Oh! We must have, yeah. I think that's, that's just a wonderful coincidence, then, 'cause this was, yeah, this started more recently than the last podcast. Uh, but anyway, so we're watching, uh, there, all nine of them, they're all on Netflix Instant and I, I sort of dared him to do a

they're all on Instant, and I sort of dared him to do a podcast with me, and we've done a couple episodes now, and it's a good time, and it's called We Have Such Films To Show You, because that's a line from the first movie, "We have such sights to show you," says Pinhead. So yeah. If you like listening to me and griphus natter on enthusiastically for a couple hours at a time about bad horror movies from the '80s, give it a listen!

jessamyn: That sounds like fun!

mathowie: Oh! So that's the Pinhead Guy series of movies.

cortex: Yep. Yep. (deep menacing voice) "Time to play!" (croaks)

mathowie: I might have seen one of them.

cortex: "Tear your soul apart!"

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: He's got some good lines.

mathowie: Awesome.

jessamyn: Good!

mathowie: Alright, sounds good. Thanks, all. 'Til next month.

cortex: Alright. Yeah!

mathowie: Alright, bye.

jessamyn: Nice talking to ya.

sfx: (Music: Human Factor by Brodyaga)

sfx: (Music: Human Factor by Brodyaga, continued)

sfx: (Music: Human Factor by Brodyaga, continued)

sfx: (Music: Human Factor by Brodyaga, continued)

sfx: (Music: Human Factor by Brodyaga, continued)

sfx: (Music, Human Factor by Brodyaga, end)


  • beryllium, 193 segments
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/3480000.txt:c;I was trying to make a joke in light of myself. Is salad actually that broad of a category now that you can sauté shit into salad?

/3480000.txt:c;I don't know. I think of salad as being inherently essentially uncooked vegetables. Like, once you're cooking it you're just fucking frying something up.

/3600000.txt:;ago. I don't even know what platform it was for. And it's basically about a guy, it's a guy basically doing this biographical thing of his youth where he lived in a barrio in Brazil and his dad was an alcoholic, and it's sort of an alcoholic monster, is the father of the boy, and the boy has to run around and save himself, and it's all the painful shit from this guy's past in this game. So when it's on The Verge, it gets like a 3 out of 10, because people don't even understand it.

/3630000.txt:m;And it was basically a Buzzfeed story going, "Give this thing a second chance! It's fucking mindblowing. It's insane."

/3720000.txt:c;Because the people who were parents would play it, and they would just be the worst fucking experiences. It was like watching a seriously

/3750000.txt:;grabbing-you horror movie, because you're like, "Holy shit, this is such an anxiety."

/3750000.txt:c;Whereas me, I'm like, "Well, yeah, obviously that guy doesn't want to lose his kid and let's see where this goes," but I'm not connecting with it viscerally, but a lot of people would be like, "Holy shit."

/3870000.txt:;DirtyOldTown made a post saying, "I really like those scenes in films, a scene where I like to call the You Have Chosen the Absolute Wrong Person to Fuck With scene." Like, somebody feels like they have one person under their thumb, but then it turns out that person is actually like, "BAM! No, you don't!" And I want examples of this trope, so of course TV Tropes has a...

/4080000.txt:m;All Tom Cruise is doing in his last Jack Reacher and the whatever new movie he's in, it's just shit blowing up and he's jumping out of windows as they blow up. It's crazy.

/5010000.txt:c;I liked that there was a mix of people saying, "Hey, I'm so happy about this thing I did" that's a thing they accomplished, and then people who were, "Hey, I'm so happy that I did this complete non-event that was a bullshit thing that I'm mentioning because this is the thread where we talk about shit we did!"

/5070000.txt:c;And we definitely learned that we absolutely need to not bullshit around with the tedious attribution stuff even when it seems like it's a [??] joke.