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Podcast 82 Transcript
A transcript for Episode 82: "Good for July!" (2013-07-02).
jingle: (minimalistic jazz, not the usual theme music)
cortex: Salutations, cats and kittens! You're listening to the Metafilter Smooooth Jazz Radio Hour, with your hosts Mathowie, Jessamyn West, and Josh Millard. Take 'er easy out there.
mathowie: All right! Episode 82.
mathowie: Of the podcast.
jessamyn: What's interesting about the number 82?
cortex: It's twice a prime. It's 41 times 2. But there's nothing really interesting about 41 offhand, so. The sum of its digits adds up to ten.
jessamyn: It's the atomic number of lead.
mathowie: Ooh, Pb.
jessamyn: It's the sixth magic number. It's a happy number. Which means starting with any positive integer, replace the number by the sum of the squares of its digits and repeat the process until the number equals one.
- Numbers for which the process ends in 1 are happy numbers. Those that do not end in 1 are unhappy numbers.
- I don't understand that at all.
mathowie: What's the next happy number after 82? Is it like something huge?
cortex: Well, was it Tolstoy or Dostoevsky that said that all happy numbers are the same--
jessamyn: Oh, shut up! (laughs)
mathowie: (laughs) Nice.
jessamyn: I don't even understand what I just read! Alright.
mathowie: Sounds a lot... that's some math woo.
jessamyn: Well, I like numbers, as you know, but yeah. Sometimes there's just not that much interesting about a number.
mathowie: Should we drop right into Projects? Or is there anything at the top of the hour?
jessamyn: Sure! I didn't pay that much attention to Projects, so I would love to hear what you guys did. I have lists for every other category.
mathowie: I've got a billion for Projects. Let me see.
jessamyn: Let me make sure I don't have anything. But Matt, what'd you like?
mathowie: Well, the oldest one I got... so everything from June counts, basically.
- Houghton [ˈhɔtən] Library's Tumblr, from Horace Rumpole.
jessamyn: Houghton [ˈhoʊtn]! Houghton [ˈhoʊtn]!
mathowie: Houghton [ˈhoʊtn].
jessamyn: I think?
mathowie: Like a library on Tumblr!
jessamyn: Where Horace Rumpole works.
mathowie: Yeah. Like everything they digitize, anything that's cool and notable they pop onto the Tumblr. There's basically a post a day.
jessamyn: Why isn't there a link? Why aren't you throwing a link in my chat?
mathowie: Oh, shit. 'Cause everyone sees everything I'm doing, right?
jessamyn: What? You know, this is how psychosis starts, Matt.
mathowie: Yeah. I think it's on the tiny laptop screen I'm forgetting.
jessamyn: What? Josh, is he making sense to you?
mathowie: (laughs) The tiny laptop screen, I'm monotasking with everything maximized instead of having five windows at once, so it's slightly difficult.
jessamyn: How do you even know you liked this if you're not looking at it?
mathowie: No, I am!
jessamyn: Oh, the Houghton [ˈhoʊtən] Library Tumblr, here. God--
jessamyn: I have to do everything around here.
cortex: (laughs) This is what the Virtual Desktop thing is all about. I know you tried it and didn't like it, Jessamyn, but this is how I keep myself--
mathowie: Oh, yeah, switch desktops.
jessamyn: What's Virtual Desktop?
cortex: The multiple spaces.
jessamyn: Oh, I didn't like it only because I got trapped.
cortex: Yeah. Well, and I feel like the problem is, yeah, the implementation is wonkier in modern OSX than it was a couple revisions ago, when they seemed to actually be supporting it instead of grudgingly allowing it to continue to exist, so.
mathowie: If you get stuck, it's just up-down-up-up-left-left-right-star.
jessamyn: Is that a video game joke?
mathowie: I think so.
cortex: It is, but you fucked it up. Oh my god.
mathowie: Konami joke.
cortex: Jesus Christ, that's like getting a tattoo of a Japanese kanji on your arm, but it actually says "dog food" instead of "beautiful butterfly".
jessamyn: Don't you swear at me. You don't like my dog food tattoo?
cortex: No, no, I--eh, it's nothing against dog food tattoos, you should just know that that's what your tattoo says. Likewise, Matt's just never--
jessamyn: Once we started eating our own dog food.
cortex: I'm just going to say, Matt's never going to beat Contra. It's not going to happen.
mathowie: (laughs) Right, I'm going to get messed up.
jessamyn: He's going to work for the Sandinistas instead? I am confused.
mathowie: Alright, I am going to keep going.
jessamyn: Wait, no, no!
jessamyn: The Houghton Library! We should--
mathowie: No, it's cool! It's library stuff. Every day they post something that's cool in their collection.
jessamyn: You know that I gave Horace Rumpole his Metafilter account.
jessamyn: He may have been the first MeFibrarian that got signed up under the "librarians use MetaFilter for free" policy.
mathowie: Did you just make up that word, or is that...? Me-fi-brarian.
mathowie: (chuckles) It hurts. It hurts my ears.
jessamyn: You better not--you better pretend that that is a joke that you just made, and that you have missed the fact that this has been part of Metafilter canon for seven or eight years.
mathowie: Oh, I just never pronounced it all as one word.
jessamyn: Me-Fi-brar-ian. What?
mathowie: Okay. I never read it that way. I always put lib- [lɪb] in front.
jessamyn: Libmefibrarians [ˈlɪbˌmiˌfɑɪˌbɹæɹiənz]?
mathowie: Mefilibrarians? [ˈmiˌfɑɪˌlɪbˌɹæɹiənz] It's not very smooth.
jessamyn: Librarians [ˈlɛɪˌbɹæɹiənz]. Josh, how do you pronounce L-I-B-R-A-R-Y?
cortex: Librarians [ˌlɛɪˈbɹæɹiənz]? Library [ˈlɛɪˌbɹæɹi]?
mathowie: Library [ˈlɪˌbɹæɹi]?
jessamyn: Okay. (laughs)
cortex: Library [ˈlɛɪˌbɹæɹi]? Librarians [ˌlɛɪˈbɹæɹiənz]? It's... all the syllables are in there, but I pack them together pretty tight.
mathowie: I got a two-fer of two more cool Projects. One is called--explain this, the math to it, to me, Josh.
mathowie: Voronoi [ˈvɪɹoʊni] Monologues. It's just this generative art.
jessamyn: Voronoi [ˈvɪɹoʊˌnɔɪ]? There's an extra 'o' in there.
mathowie: Yeah, if you look at it it's generating art, which is cool.
jessamyn: Oh, I love these! (gasps) Wow.
mathowie: Yeah. They're just, yeah, I didn't know what they were called until now. But I wish there were--
jessamyn: I draw little scribbles like this all the time. What is this?
mathowie: I wish there were galleries, but he only has one? Or he or she only has one? The other one is Glitchometry, which is like--rottytooth just makes glit--
jessamyn: pmcp is Pete. I assume that's a dude.
mathowie: Daniel Temkin is the other guy who does, rotty--
jessamyn: rottytooth! I've met him.
mathowie: The glitches are beautiful!
mathowie: It's nothing but glitch art. And some of these, I wish they were wallpapers. These should be products. Where's this one...? Oh god.
jessamyn: Have you seen some of the other Projects he's done? He's done a ton of, like--well, a ton, five or six--he did Unicode Frenzy, which you might remember?
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
jessamyn: And Drunk Eliza.
mathowie: (laughs) Oh, right.
jessamyn: And Unichar, the ranking system for Unicode characters. He's done some amazing viz stuff.
cortex: He has the heart of a true prankster programmer. I consistently enjoy his stuff. Yeah, I was going to mention this one, too. Well, and it's great, because what he's doing, I mean, he's producing these... he talks about it a little bit in the post, but he's actually basically using a sound editor to generate the images, so this is totally a, you know--
mathowie: Wow. Screams?
cortex: Algorithmic synesthesia thing, to turn one source of information into the seed for a different sort of medium, which is actually really cool.
mathowie: Some of these are crazy beautiful!
cortex: It's very neat stuff.
mathowie: So is he just screenshotting output from something while he's screaming into a microphone or something?
cortex: I'm not sure exactly of the details. I looked at them and just thought the idea sounded cool and the things looked pretty, but I haven't really dug into it deep.
jessamyn: (gasps twice)
mathowie: And if you scroll through the blog really fast, it creates its own glitch art. That's actually amazing.
jessamyn: It's giving me, yeah, a little twitch.
mathowie: So there's only two pages, there's about twenty or thirty demo images, but half of them are extraordinary.
jessamyn: Wow. Wowww. Wow.
mathowie: Even the most recent one is beautiful.
jessamyn: They're all beautiful.
mathowie: Are these tiles? Could I tile... I want a 1998 GeoCities site now so I can tile these as backgrounds.
jessamyn: I think they do!
mathowie: They kind of look like they do.
cortex: It seems like you could probably at least make the effort to crop it to a tiling, even if the specific images themselves, I'm not sure if they...
mathowie: I have a f--looking at the corners, they look like they tile as is, like they're screengrabbed out that way?
cortex: Yeah, you're actually, maybe they, yeah.
mathowie: So yeah, those are two--
jessamyn: All I know is when I scroll, I can barely hear you dudes, because it just makes everybody go wuhbeduhwuhbeduhwub.
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
mathowie: Too much information. Yeah, those are the two cool glitch art projects, or whatever, generated from math, kind of, artworks.
cortex: Yes. I should mention, from my friends and one-time bandmates, The Harvey Girls, have an EP out, as noted in the post, their second EP of the year, of four, so, and he was just borrowing, sleepy pete was just borrowing some of my recording equipment to work on possibly the third one, or possibly a separate project, I'm not sure. But anyway, hey, more music from them! They make nice music, so that's cool.
jessamyn: Neat! They make great music. All their music is wonderful.
mathowie: They're going to do four EPs in 12 months?
mathowie: That's hard.
jessamyn: They're very talented.
mathowie: That's a lot of work.
cortex: That's doing the work. That's getting in there.
- I'm actually really interested in this Shape Note Project from The White Hat, but I literally just saw it because I apparently didn't look at Projects yesterday afternoon or whatever, but he has consistently made some really great music and posted it on Music, so I'm curious to see what he was doing here. So I'm just going to blindly recommend this.
jessamyn: Oh, neat!
cortex: This is my no-peek Project selection.
mathowie: Sweet! Did you guys--
jessamyn: And proceeds from the album go to the Free Clinic in Haiti.
mathowie: Oh, nice. Did you guys see CHAIRDANCE, the global office dance party?
cortex: (laughing) I did not.
mathowie: This is great! You just take an animated GIF of you dancing in a chair at work, and it's just a Tumblr blog filled with people dancing at their desk, usually with headphones. And just scroll through them, they're awesome. (laughs) Just people dancing in a chair.
cortex: I very much approve of this.
jessamyn: Aww. Is that carsonb?
mathowie: I think there are a lot of MeFites. My favorite one is sexy guy.
jessamyn: I think that's parmanparman?
cortex: Oh yeah, that is for sure carsonb.
jessamyn: Is it?
cortex: Or an amazing doppelganger. Which one are we looking at? Oh. That--
jessamyn: With the bicycle behind him?
mathowie: Yeah, yeah. And then--
jessamyn: With the bicy--yeah, of course that's carsonb.
cortex: Yeah, the one with the bicycle.
mathowie: Dude, are you doxxing people? (laughs)
cortex: Yes, totally.
mathowie: You're visually doxxing people.
jessamyn: His real name is Carson!
mathowie: I know! I just... wow. He went 8-bit, kind of.
jessamyn: I'll doxx ya. What'd you say?
cortex: Yeah. And we've got Greg, and we've got Yakov, griphus.
cortex: Losing his glasses. (laughs)
mathowie: Dude in the pink shirt looks a little, oh, yeah.
jessamyn: Who's the guy above Greg Nog? Do you know?
mathowie: Guy with the beard?
cortex: I don't know.
jessamyn: I don't think I do.
mathowie: Guy in the pink shirt looks a little... who's the sexy guy that's in all the movies, in Drive, what's his name?
cortex: Ryan Gosling.
mathowie: Ryan Gosling.
mathowie: He's got a Gosling vibe to him.
cortex: You think he's doing sort of a "hey, girl, I--"
mathowie: Yeah. Wait, he's not animating for me!
cortex: "I'd let you dance in my chair"?
mathowie: I think I may have overloaded my processor. I'm not getting animation on--
jessamyn: griphus lost his glasses!
jessamyn: Or maybe he got his glasses.
cortex: Oh, maybe that's a reverse one, and he's just trying to not show off his amazing glasses-donning technique, so he ran the video to make it look like it's just a mishap instead of an amazing performance.
jessamyn: This is great. You know, I don't know who all these people are. I want to know these people, the ones who I don't know.
cortex: This Tumblr is now followed. Hell yeah.
mathowie: Why wasn't this an idea a decade ago? It's so good.
jessamyn: I don't know. Have you, on mlkshk, do you, are you signed up for Friday Night Dance Party?
mathowie: (laughs) Yeah, I do see those, yeah.
mathowie: You can't avoid it.
jessamyn: It's a similar idea. (laughs)
mathowie: Right. I don't know where they get them! I don't even know how you search for that kind of stuff, but yeah, I loved it.
jessamyn: Search for what kind of stuff?
mathowie: How do you find a new dance party GIF from a 1950s movie or something?
jessamyn: I think a lot of them you make them.
cortex: You just be watching something on cable and be like, "Oh shit! That person's dancing, I should screencap."
jessamyn: I kind of gave up on it because every good idea I had was already there.
mathowie: Yeah. And I'm like, I don't know where they get them from. Do they go to Google Image Search? Do they search for things?
jessamyn: I think you go to YouTube and you search for dancing and then you use a GIF maker.
mathowie: Oh, that's too much work.
cortex: Yeah, just capture that shit.
sfx: (ambient noise from cortex's mic)
mathowie: Whoa, I heard a truck go by in Josh's headphones and then mine. (laughs)
cortex: This is so exciting. I guess people, we haven't mentioned this while we started recording, but Matt is currently sitting on my couch in my house.
jessamyn: And wait, and where are you then, Josh?
mathowie: Takin' it.
cortex: I'm in my office. I'm in my home office, where I make the magic happen.
jessamyn: Where is your home office? I know where your couch is. Is your home office upstairs?
mathowie: It's right next to the couch.
cortex: It's in the corner of the house. No, it's attached to the living room, but there's actually a couple of doors you can swing closed.
jessamyn: Kinda next to the kitchen?
cortex: No, it's like, if you walk right in the door, if you kept walking you would land in my office ten feet later.
mathowie: Can you try to walk through...? (chuckles)
jessamyn: Right in what door? The front door that's on the side?
cortex: Yeah, exactly. So my office is on the other side of the house.
jessamyn: I thought you'd land in the couch.
cortex: No, no, no, you'd have to veer right a little bit to land on the couch.
cortex: Straight forward through my door is a big yawning six--well, five-foot-wide archway that I've closed the doors on so we've got a little bit of sound isolation here.
jessamyn: You have pocket doors?
mathowie: Yeah, no, no, no.
cortex: No, they're not pocket doors, they swing.
cortex: Pocket doors would be great, actually, because what happens is I usually put shit in front of the doors while they're open and then I have to move that shit if I want to close them.
jessamyn: Yes. Yes. I feel your pain, brother.
mathowie: Oh, Josh! And in your living room, you have that giant stand-up bass. We should record a new theme song!
cortex: (laughs) I'll just walk away from my microphone.
mathowie: No, no, not now, after it's over!
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
cortex: Maybe so.
mathowie: Like, you were--like, Josh, grab this seven-foot-tall giant bass and just plucked a nice little melody that was...
jessamyn: (sings) doom-dum-dum-dum doom-dum-dum-dum doom-dum-dum-dum dum-dum...
mathowie: Yeah, like (sings) doom-ba-doom-ba-ba-doom-ba-doom-ba-doom-ba...
jessamyn: Yeah. It could be like superhero theme podcast music.
mathowie: Oh, actually, yeah. (laughs) With a flute, like (high-pitched) doo-doo-whoo! Yeah. That could work.
jessamyn: It's been a really long time. I do like the podcast song.
cortex: I know, it's like, the rough draft I did for the replacement song I think I did two or three years ago now.
cortex: It's like, oh, okay, well that's, you guys like that okay? I'll redo that, I'll do a nice recording of that. And then... (sucks in breath)
jessamyn: One of these days.
mathowie: If we just record the bass, we could talk over it and it would sound cool, and it could be whatever, it could be new each week over the bass. [??] see sixty seconds of bass.
jessamyn: Each week, Josh!
cortex: I'll just record sixty, seventy, eighty minutes of improvised bass solo every week, and...
mathowie: What?! No! Bass. That's what looping stuff is for.
cortex: Well, I guess every month, but yeah. No, we could totally do that. I could totally--
jessamyn: You could record it every week, and we could just choose one week randomly from all of your work product.
cortex: Right. That's probably the best plan, if I do four and then we can all review each of the ninety-minute bass solos from that month--
jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)
cortex: And pick out the one we like best that feels like it fits the tone of...
mathowie: Whichever one ends in a happy number.
cortex: Yeah. No, I think this is a good idea, this is a really [??] plan.
jessamyn: Happy number! I still don't understand it. I gotta go read about happy numbers.
mathowie: Anyone else got Projects? I got one last one.
jessamyn: No! I liked Projects just fine, but I didn't... eh.
mathowie: Here is a cool one called Photoganic by wilit? willt? I can't tell an 'i' from an 'l'.
mathowie: And it's like, you log in with Instagram, or you log on with Facebook, and it goes and grabs sixty or ninety of your old images and it makes a crazy collage. And it's just a random, and it's cool. It's pretty, it only takes thirty seconds from start to finish, and you get a nice little collage in the end. And I think you can even link to them, so you can share them on Twitter and stuff, like "check out my photo collage." It was probably a one-day hack. I thought it was pretty damn cool.
jessamyn: It's neat-looking! Man, Instagram's filters. Was I telling--I wasn't telling you guys.
jessamyn: I went kayaking, and I got one of those things that you put your iPhone in, so you can carry it around while you're kayaking like an asshole, but you can touch it through the plastic, so you can take pictures, and I had it map my kayaking trip, so you can see the little dot. But if you take the pictures through the little plastic, it makes everything look like Instagram.
jessamyn: Even though it's not Instagrammed?
mathowie: Like the plastic... so the plastic that goes over the hole where the camera phone is brownish or something, so it's Instagrammy?
jessamyn: No! But it just... here, I'll send you guys a... It's just, it reflects light slightly differently.
jessamyn: So like, that's a picture.
cortex: Yeah, it's some wobbly sort of refraction and some sort of halo effect.
mathowie: Oh, yeah. Wow!
jessamyn: And it makes everything look Instagrammy, even though that's just a picture I took and uploaded right from there.
mathowie: I was impressed you actually went kayaking, because there's so many steps. (chuckles)
jessamyn: I know! Well, Jim and I were both like, I got kayaks for my birthday, which was last September, but then the weather sucked immediately, and I didn't have racks, and so I had to get racks, I got them from some guy on Craiglist--
jessamyn: But then I had to install them, and then you have to lift these things, and they're 45 pounds, and now that I've been biking and not swimming I have no upper body strength anymore, so we had to get a ladder and stand next to the car and then strap them in, and then I had to get a parking permit to park the car at the kayak. Augh. And then you had to pack little snacks, because you've still got to get the kayaks back on the car when you're done. It was crazy.
mathowie: And then you have, you can't go down a river, because you gotta come back to where your car is, right, you know?
jessamyn: We did that by mistake because we are jerks.
jessamyn: We went down, like, I was like, "Which way do you want to go?" And anyone who knows anything knows that there's one correct answer and one answer that idiots do.
mathowie: (chuckles) Downriver.
jessamyn: And so we did the idiot one, so we had this wonderful leisurely kayaking for an hour and a half, and then we turn around and we're just kayaking straight into the wind, like, "AAAAH!" (laughs)
jessamyn: And fortunately the winds kind of came down a little bit. But I have to learn some things. Or maybe I'll just never go again! But, you know.
cortex: Either way works. Either is a reasonable response, I think.
jessamyn: I was pleased that I'd even managed to do it at all, let's just put it that way.
mathowie: Yeah, I saw the photos and I went, "That is so much planning."
jessamyn: But the river's like a mile away! So it's not that much planning.
mathowie: Oh, okay.
jessamyn: But it is and it isn't, you know? If you had a pick-up truck... this is why surfers drive VW Buses.
jessamyn: You just throw the surfboard in and you sleep in it and you, everything's there.
mathowie: Also, the ultimate is have a third non-interested person to park your car five miles downriver--
mathowie: So you can leisurely just go down and have it be fun and over with.
jessamyn: Right! Well, and that's like tubing, too.
jessamyn: So I have to learn about tides, because this is a tidal river.
mathowie: Oh, wow.
jessamyn: So there are smart ways to go if you're paying any attention at all, which I am not. So it was exciting, but, in short, my pictures look like Instagram pictures and I'm happy I didn't drop my phone in the river.
mathowie: Alright, that's all I had for Projects. Oh, I wanted to mention something new this time. I get two, probably, Kickstarter posts to the--if you go to kickstarter.com/metafilter, it's just all Kickstarter projects by Metafilter members, and if you look at it--
jessamyn: Which is cool.
mathowie: Yeah, it's a zillion projects, it goes back. It just shows every successful project or in-progress project. And one of them was--
jessamyn: But not the failed projects?
mathowie: Yeah, they started scrubbing the failed ones.
mathowie: Which I thought was ok--like, that's a design choice of theirs, alrighty. But one of them--
jessamyn: Hey! My friend Jason got his thing 495% funded! How fucking awesome is that?
mathowie: Yeah! He asked me to post it today, and I've already seen, people I follow have already backed it, like Cory Doctorow backed it, and...
jessamyn: It's a badass thing, to be honest.
mathowie: It's really cool! It's this little palm-size... I just want to mention my favorite project of the month from a Metafilter user on Kickstarter, if and when they come up, is this one. And it's a palm-sized little box that spits out wi-fi and uses a little power and it's basically a hard drive and you can put any free files you want.
jessamyn: You put any files you want, whether they're free or not, let's be honest.
mathowie: (laughing) Yeah. The instructions are, just connect to the wi-fi signal called LibraryBox, launch your browser, and then just download anything you want. And I think he had them for a hundred bucks, but they got sold out, so he's doing them for a hundred and fifty bucks, I think, is the ones that are left.
jessamyn: Yeah! I mean, the idea was, if you're a library, because Jason's a librarian in Tennessee, how do you share your electronic files that don't have DRM stuck all over them and make you do all these crazy contortions to get them? What if you just had a digital music file from a musician in your community, and you just wanted to let people have it, but you know, do you put it on your website? That just seems stupid, to make everything go through HTTP,
- and so this basically is a plug-and-play way that you can have a file-sharing system, I mean, if you're a library, or if you're just a person, that you can put stuff on. And it's very cool, and very simple, and Jason does support, and he's the nicest man in the world. And yeah, it's all very cool.
mathowie: He also mentioned some libraries just have weird filtering software. Like, they might keep file downloads--
mathowie: They might block those from patrons. So this is a way to just say, "You know what? We're just going to put--" And one of them has just a, you just put a USB flash drive on the side, so any PDFs, you want to load the entire Gutenberg project on it, go ahead, you know, you just put it there and let people download. And since it's going to be on a local network, it's not going to be subject to any restrictions on the network, so.
jessamyn: And it's all open-source, and he's made some little 3-D printer containers for them. It's just, the whole thing is amazing.
mathowie: Yeah, it looks pretty cool.
jessamyn: It's so great. I'm so pleased.
mathowie: Yeah, if I could think of a use for it, yeah, I would get one.
mathowie: This is really cool.
jessamyn: Yeah! I haven't looked at this page in a while though, it's neat.
mathowie: Do you--
jessamyn: Wildlife of St. Martin. One of my favorites from a while ago.
mathowie: Sweet. Could go to--should we go to Metafilter stuff, or is there anything else?
jessamyn: Sure! Well, was there anything in Jobs?
mathowie: I don't know if there was any Jobs. (chuckles)
jessamyn: What did you say, Josh, sorry?
cortex: I didn't, I think that was Matt having a burp or something.
jessamyn: Burp! Burp!
mathowie: Oh, yeah, I was just thinking about the Jobs. There were some web jobs, and the weird MRI job--
cortex: (laughs) That thing.
mathowie: But I thought it was kind of cool, because they're paying you pretty well to take an MRI?
jessamyn: And you get to probably keep your own MRI. That's neat. I'd like a picture of my brain. I have one. It's nice to look at.
mathowie: I had to take a... yeah, like... oh, that's right! I couldn't have my phone anywhere near the MRI, so I don't--
jessamyn: Because it's a giant magnet.
mathowie: Right, but they, and they make you lock away all your belongings far away. But yeah, it's hard to get your own data, really. And this sounds cool, even it's kind of wacky how someone (laughs) is getting volunteers, probably to support some cheeseball pseudoscience, it sounds like. But it's fine. Paid well.
jessamyn: Oh! And wenestvedt [ˈwɛnɛstˌvɪt]--how do you guys pronounce this username?
cortex: (chuckles) Uhhhh.
jessamyn: I see this guy all the time. Will. I think I know him. But I don't know how his name is pronounced.
mathowie: wenestvedt [ˈwɛnˌɛstˌəˌvɛt]?
cortex: wenestvedt [ˈwɛnɛstˌvɛt]? Or possibly wenestvedt ['vɛnɛstˌwɛt].
mathowie: Oh, his name is Will Enestvedt.
jessamyn: Right, it's his actual name.
mathowie: Is that Dutch? I think it's Dutch.
jessamyn: But he's looking for a Unix system administrator in (sing-song) Providence, Rhode Island!
jessamyn: Which I thought was actually kind of a cool Job. And it's near where my dad's place is, so I would come down and hang out with you if you got that job.
mathowie: What's JWU.edu?
jessamyn: Johnson & Wales.
mathowie: Johnson & Wales. I've never heard of it.
jessamyn: Oh, yeah! They're a big old, they're kind of an old-school...
mathowie: Liberal arts?
cortex: It was founded by--
cortex: --for President Andrew Johnson and some whales.
mathowie and jessamyn: (sounds of mixed amusement and exasperation)
cortex: They got together and said, "You know what we should do? We should start a school."
mathowie: Also, you can major in narwhal. Ert!
jessamyn: And flensing!
mathowie: Baleens are the school colors.
jessamyn: Yeah, I went to their campus down in North Carolina when I was down there, and they have a huge culinary program, and they did all the catering for the event that I was at, which was kinda cool.
mathowie: Whoa, that's kind of distributed. Charlotte, Denver, North Miami, Providence. That's all over.
jessamyn: Yeah, and they're based in Providence, but they're real getting-jobs oriented, and that's probably a good job, and Will's a nice guy, so.
mathowie: Hm. Cool.
jessamyn: Yeah! So Metafilter proper, or...?
mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, MeFi proper.
cortex: Let's proper it up. Let's get proper.
jessamyn: Metafilter was awesome this month.
jessamyn: I know I say this every month, but--
cortex: (laughs) But for once, you're not lying.
mathowie: I have a billion.
jessamyn: I have four. But only because I was smart enough to actually favorite things in advance so that I paid attention. So I have one that segues into Ask Metafilter, so I'm going to start with the thing I feel like Metafilter is for. It's a post by The Whelk, and it's by Orson Welles, of all things, but basically this was when 70-year-old Orson Welles--
jessamyn: Was having lunch with director Henry Jaglom, and they taped the conversations, and so these are taped conversations with Orson Welles in them from the '80s, and they're transcriptions of the tapes, but it's just about Orson Welles being a (laughing) weird pain in the ass.
jessamyn: But it's from thirty years ago, forty years ago, and it's just fun, and it's a fun thread.
mathowie: You've all heard that famous drunken Orson Welles trying to do a commercial and yelling at the food?
cortex: Yes, yes.
mathowie: Is that for frozen food or was it for the wine? I forget.
jessamyn: Wasn't it for peas or something? I thought it was.
mathowie: Yeah, yeah, it's just like--
cortex: Yeah, there were a couple.
mathowie: [??] peas, and he's like, "Don't you tell me what to do! I'm Orson fuckin' Welles! [??] peas are great." It's just awful.
cortex: "Well, you know, old lady, this is shit!" Yeah.
jessamyn: Orson Welles Drunk in Commercial Outtakes.
mathowie: I have to agree with Mad_Carew, or not agree with but sympathize with Mad_Carew's second comment on the post. This is why I was actually totally unaware what this was about, because I saw the title go by in Twitter--
cortex: --of "Orson, you're behaving like an asshole."
jessamyn: And you thought it was about Mork and Mindy?
cortex: And I really assumed, I was like, oh sh--no, I thought it was about Orson Scott Card.
mathowie: Ah, Orson. Yeah.
cortex: And I was like, aw, I don't even fucking want to see that. And so I think I just blocked it out of my mind and never even looked at the actual post on the site. So that's good to know. I ought to go back and check that out. I get kind of a kick out of Orson Welles being a curmudgeonly asshole, even though it's probably speaking to him being profoundly unhappy in the situation.
jessamyn: Oh, and exogenous--
cortex: But that reminds me, oh, one of my favorite, one of the first things we ever got on Metafilter Music that I didn't actually put on that compilation album at the time, because there was no way to clear the rights for it, was the thing that Durhey did cutting up some audio from Colonel Sanders doing a really bad recording session for a commercial spot, and he just sort of took this bubbling blowing your lines thing and turned into this awesome little song called "Chicken 180" that I love.
mathowie: Colonel Sanders. (chuckles) 2006, wow.
mathowie: Did you see the America's Founding Fathers in Pin-Up Poses?
jessamyn: I'm listening to this.
cortex: (chuckles) I did see that. That was...
mathowie: It's just ridiculous.
jessamyn: No, I saw "pin-up poses" and was euh. Euhhhh!
mathowie: Well, it's funny because it's old fathers, whatever, fathers of our country trying to create sexy poses, Franklin's a jo--it's like the Mudflap Franklin. It's hilarious. It's just silly.
cortex: It is pretty fantastic.
jessamyn: And is that what the whole blog is about, or is this just a single post on a single blog?
mathowie: Yeah, it's a single post on a blog.
cortex: Yeah, just a one-off that someone did. They drew some up.
mathowie: Oh, wow, I put one of my own posts in favorites.
jessamyn: That's okay, Matt!
mathowie: Can I pull a Josh?
cortex: That's a, no, yeah, do it, do it. You guys need to embrace your...
mathowie: It's called pulling a cortex. Pulling a full cortex. Is the post... I'd never, so this thing called PopSpots New York City, this guy's blog, he's kind of a historian of sorts about culture, and it's been posted about, I think, a couple times before on Metafilter, where he finds a famous location, like in a painting or in an album cover, and then dives deep on it. And he formats these weird, because, you know--
jessamyn: Love it. Love it!
mathowie: Yeah. So he has these mile-long pages with ten thousand words, but he gives you the answer up front, like, "Hey, where was this photo taken?" "I determined it was here--"
mathowie: --"on the map." And then if you scroll down, it goes back to step one, which is like, "Okay, what do we know about the album? What year was it made, when was that photo probabily taken? Okay, where--" And the one for this Grateful Dead album is insane. Like, it took him literally two or three years of research to figure it out. And you can go back, if you go through the site, he does that famous, you know that painting of the people at the diner in the middle of the night with the glass windows and like--
jessamyn: Hopper. The Hopper Painting?
cortex: Yeah. At [??].
mathowie: Yeah. He figures out exactly which street corners in the West Village in New York and at that angle, and then he goes back and finds the exact, like he's like "This is a a street corner," this is, it's a flower shop currently, but it used to be a restaurant of some sort, a counter, so yeah. The whole site is amazing. popspotsnewyorkcity.com.
jessamyn: Love it. Love it.
mathowie: The Grateful Dead one's awesome, because it just took an amazing amount of research. And it turns out the building's not even there anymore.
mathowie: Which is kind of a drag, so he kind of makes an artist's interpretation of what it should look like today.
jessamyn: I haven't made a post since January. I probably have to get on that.
cortex: I was thinking about making a post about a... there's this game I've been playing in the last few days that I've been enjoying the hell out of, because I played the demo a couple weeks ago. And the thing is, that's what's giving me pause. I should see if there's any good writing about it, because really, it's like, "Here's a downloadable demo for Windows." Which is ehhh, it's not really... that's a bit far to go. I'll totally post a game that runs in a browser, but saying "hey, go download this thing," feels like it's kind of cheesy for the meat of a post.
jessamyn: Wait, say that again? I'm not sure I understood.
cortex: So it's a game that I'm liking a great deal, and there's a free demo for it, but it's a demo that you actually have to download, you know, and only for Windows. So you'd have to go to the webpage, download the demo... it's not like you can just go to a browser window. And usually I try not to post games unless there's something crazy substantial about it worth downloading.
jessamyn: Oh, I see what you're saying.
cortex: Because yeah, I don't want to just be like, "Hey, go download this thing and then buy it," because eh, it's a little bit thin.
jessamyn: But, I mean, how full-featured is the demo?
cortex: It's a good demo. It's a pretty solid demo. I mean, it really, really sold me on the game, so. And it's sort of a roguelike-like game.
jessamyn: Oh, Josh. (laughs)
cortex: I know. So I don't know. Maybe I'll turn that into a proper post. Maybe I'll find some good writing about it now. It's been long enough for people to talk about. But I don't even remember why I started talking about that. I've just been insufferably into this game, basically. You are hearing what I feel like.
mathowie: Oh, self-posting.
jessamyn: Because I was talking about not having made a post in a long time and I think you were talking about...
cortex: Exactly, and I was thinking, oh, I, when did I make--I haven't made that post! Yeah, that's what happened.
cortex: Oh, I posted in April and March.
jessamyn: Oh, and speaking of, Jim made his two hundredth post, which I know is not at the level of--
mathowie: That's a lot.
jessamyn: --our prolific posters, but--
cortex: But it's a big number and it's round.
jessamyn: --he did a post about the oldest cartoons on the Internet versus the oldest cartoons on the World Wide Web, and it was kind of just a short adorable post about cartoons.
mathowie: Oh, what would it, would it be by Usenet in the early days?
jessamyn: Yeah, or...
mathowie: Oh, yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: But yeah, Usenet first, and then what was accessible by http, and something something something something. But it was fun, it was a bunch--
mathowie: Wow, these are in color!
mathowie: I thought--they're tiny, but I thought they would be way lower res for that day and age.
jessamyn: I mean, it's funny, right, because the old Internet mostly wasn't in black and white, you know.
mathowie: Yeah, so the cartoons are 80 to 150 kilobytes. Like, in 1993 that was like a minute or two.
cortex: Oh, but the best thing about that post, and I'm not sure, I didn't go back and look to see, but the guy who does Doctor Fun is a long-time MeFite.
cortex: And his first comment on the site is in that post saying "I bet that Doctor Fun guy joined Metafilter and then never posted anything."
cortex: And so there's like eight people who figured it out, (laughing) I think, and that's why it's got eight favorites.
mathowie: Oh, he joined two years ago.
mathowie: That's hilarious.
jessamyn: Wait, wait, that's the guy?
cortex: That's the guy! Yeah.
jessamyn: Did somebody mention that?
cortex: I mentioned it in his admin page, but I didn't actually get into the thread at the time. I was just doing my morning rounds, it's like, "oh, hey, that must be the guy, okay."
mathowie: Oh, I thought that was on MetaTalk. I thought people made a big deal about it.
cortex: Did it come up on MetaTalk? I don't think--
jessamyn: There was another MetaTalk thing about another guy that showed up today, but it's not this guy.
mathowie: Oh, that's funny.
cortex: Yeah, no, this is, lagomorphius is David Farley, the guy who does Doctor Fun. So it's....
cortex: And I love that he just slow-played that fucker.
cortex: He was like, "Oh, I'll just leave a sly little--" It's like the sort of thing that I would curse someone and ban them if it was spam--
cortex: But from someone just being wry about saying, "Oh, hey, that's me," oh, it's amazing, so.
mathowie: Setting the trap.
jessamyn: Nice! I didn't even see that. That's cool.
cortex: Yep. Just a subtle little play. Go Dave.
jessamyn: Pew! Pew!
mathowie: Did you see this YouTube video of this guy making ice instantly from cold water? I think it got posted--
jessamyn: Is this one of those, you can open a soda bottle and--
mathowie: It's kinda like you're gonna superfreeze, here's the recipe for how to superfreeze water below freezing point and here's how to get it to crystallize on command? And it's like, if you just watch this quick two-minute video of, you put this stuff in the freezer at this temperature for exactly this long, and if you're really gentle with the water bottle, it turns--
mathowie: You can jostle it and it'll crystallize and turn to ice. So you can pour it out onto something and it'll start making ice like a sand castle. It's crazy.
jessamyn: I have seen that video and it's like a really long video!
mathowie: (laughs) I jump around on YouTube videos a lot so I can see what I need to see, because it's good. But yeah.
jessamyn: (laughs) It just seemed like a commercial to me. Like, "now how much would you pay?"
mathowie: I know, but he's not--right.
jessamyn: I was like, "Still zero!"
mathowie: Right. They're kinda slick produced goofy podcasts, kind of, videos.
mathowie: But yeah. I think the guy's shown up on our site a couple times who does it. He does some with soda too. But the water one was neat.
cortex: I was really happy to see a spinoff, really, of something that I probably mentioned a couple years ago when it was posted originally.
jessamyn: That was by quin. Sorry. Mention everyone's name.
cortex: Oh, right.
jessamyn: It's like Romper Room. Sorry, go on, Josh.
cortex: (laughs) Well, there's this post just last week by Foci for Analysis about an AI car simulator that does genetic algorithm fitness trials with little abstract-drawn cars.
mathowie: Oh, wow.
jessamyn: So wait, is it like the little thing that did the little bicycles?
cortex: Yeah, I think so.
jessamyn: Aaah! (laughs)
mathowie: But this generates them on the fly.
cortex: But what it is is it's not the same guy, it's somebody else took the same inspiration and the same engine and then did his own version, so this one, the other one had some other flexibility, but this one does the side-by-side trials, which is really awesome [??].
jessamyn: How do I play this? Or do I not do anything? Do I just watch?
mathowie: You just let it go.
cortex: You just watch.
mathowie: Yeah, you let it go. When it fails, they create new cars.
cortex: Yeah, you can adjust--
cortex: --some of the parameters on the right-hand side. So different mutation rate: the higher the rate, the more random changes there will be each generation.
cortex: The number of elite clones is how many of the best top n cars will actually just come back identically in the next run.
jessamyn: Elite clones.
cortex: So you can sort of modify the rate at which those change.
mathowie: So you're saying if I have a thousand browser windows open, eventually I'll design a Jaguar [??].
jessamyn: How is this not the same thing as the other one?
mathowie: The other one you gotta build yourself, I think, right?
cortex: No, I think there may have been an editor on the other one, but the other one had a different set of parameters for the cars.
jessamyn: (quickly) Aah!
cortex: And you could only watch one car go at once. You didn't get the side-by-side trials.
jessamyn: How is this not a car? I mean, how is this not a bicycle?
cortex: Well, it's sort of a bicycle. Bicycle, car, whatever you want to call it. The original was called BoxCar 2D.
jessamyn: Wait, this one has a shadow thing.
jessamyn: That goes ahead while the other one dies! Can you explain this?
cortex: Yeah. The shadow is the best-run to date, the car that got the farthest.
mathowie: Oh, you can view them. Yeah, you can view the best ever.
jessamyn: Aah! Mine's stuck!
mathowie: Yeah. And it'll regenerate when it dies. Or you can just hit "new population".
jessamyn: Where? Oh, thank god.
mathowie: Wait, "Surprise!"? What's that do? Nothing. (laughs)
cortex: It runs faster and I think it [??] graphics.
jessamyn: My god, they all die so quickly!
cortex: Well, you gotta give it a few generations to evolve. I like the ones that--
jessamyn: I only have four that are still ali--well, wait, what--aa! I'm finding this very upsetting.
cortex: It just keeps one... (laughs) It's nothing to watch meditatively on a spare tab.
jessamyn: Okay, so one of them won. But now what happens? Now it's dead.
cortex: So now it starts a new generation.
mathowie: Then it starts over as long as it can.
jessamyn: Now they're all dead!
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
jessamyn: And so when they all die, you get all new ones?
cortex: You get mostly new ones. But the new ones are based off the previous generation, and they're modified a little bit, like the size of any given triangle changes, or the size of a wheel.
jessamyn: This requires a certain amount of patience, is what you're telling me.
cortex: Yes. It's something to watch how things improve over time.
jessamyn: (distressed shout) Aah! It fell into a hole! Augh.
mathowie: Don't get emotionally attached. (chuckles)
cortex: I didn't mean for this to be so upsetting for you.
jessamyn: (staccato cry)
cortex: This is definitely something to do in a Zen sort of state, not if you're feeling particularly, maybe... if you're having, like...
jessamyn: I had a mouse get stuck in a place in my kitchen and I knew where it was--
jessamyn: --and I couldn't get to it.
jessamyn: And it couldn't get out, and I just had to listen to it hop.
jessamyn: For days.
jessamyn: This reminds me of that.
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
cortex: You definitely need to (laughing) not be coming from an overly empathetic place while watching these horrible mutant freaks die rapidly.
mathowie: (laughs) Robots.
jessamyn: (still empathetically) Oh, they're just all falling in the same hole! Augh.
cortex: Well, and one thing is, you can put in a seed--
jessamyn: Ah! Ahh! Oh. Ohh!
cortex: --like where it says "enter seed here" or whatever, and that'll just be the random string that it'll base the world off, so we were in the thread, people started putting in specific strings like MetaFilter, if you put in MetaFilter then you get the same roadmap that everybody else who puts in MetaFilter gets, and then there's specific geological features that we're trying to figure out how we could get past various landmarks. Like, at 132 meters in on the MetaFilter map there's Mount MetaTalk, which a lot of cars have trouble with but eventually people were getting past.
jessamyn: Augh. They all fall in the same hole.
jessamyn: And so is there some place that I can go look to see which one wins? I mean, because obviously there's gotta be one that's the best, right? Fittest?
cortex: Yeah, the order they finish in--
jessamyn: (intake of breath) Aah! Augh.
cortex: --whatever finishes best will be number 1 in the next generation, and if you turn up the elite clones you'll get more of the cars that were in the previous run. So if you turn it to 5 then the 5 that got farthest the previous time will be number 1 through 5, accordingly, and then the rest will be newly-generated children.
jessamyn: But why don't they get more wheels? Ohh.
cortex: This one doesn't do more wheels. That's one change.
mathowie: There's limitations.
cortex: BoxCar 2D had up to eight wheels. This one, it's always a two-wheeler. I think he just wanted to have it slightly more contr--
jessamyn: Oh. Ohhh!
mathowie: It's light-hearted fun if you can handle watching robots die.
jessamyn: Augh. They all get stuck in the same hole. Augh.
cortex: But then eventually something will get past it.
jessamyn: [I'm going to ?] close this tab.
mathowie: My favorite post--
cortex: (laughs) No, let's just keep watching this for the rest of the podcast.
mathowie: (laughs) Let's keep watching robots dive to their death. Robo-lemmings is what they should have called it.
jessamyn: By user Punkey, whose name I do not know despite the fact that Punkey has been around since 2005.
mathowie: Yeah, I've never seen this person posting before. But this is the best thing ever if you're a car guy and you like wacky YouTube shows. This shouldn't be as good as it is. It's better than pretty much any car show I've seen on TV, and it's supposed to be two guys that work for Motor Trend, for Hot Rod Magazine, and this is like their day off once a month, they just film something. Like something super-random, like, "Oh hey, let's fly to the Middle of Nowhere, Texas and give ourselves a budget of like 1500 bucks on Craigslist and buy a random car and see if we can drive back to L.A. as cheaply as possible." And they're always building hot rods, pulling something out of the junkyard and running it on the drag strip within 24 hours, kind of, doing the wacky stuff.
jessamyn: Did you notice their favicon looks almost exactly like Metafilter's?
mathowie: The Motor Trend one?
jessamyn: The little MT looks a lot like our little MF?
cortex: It's the Motor Trend Favicon of the Year.
mathowie: (laughs) I can't see it. And then--
jessamyn: Aah! There's a dead coyote in mine!
mathowie: Oh yeah, it's called Roadkill.
mathowie: It's the unfortunate part. They shouldn't open with that. That's the dumbest part of the show.
mathowie: But it's supposed to be two dorks that work at a magazine, and they just go on wacky adventures in their cars, but it's really, really, funny, and these guys are amazing. Their cars break down constantly. Not an episode goes by where they haven't almost blown up an engine. But they can fix it with two or three tools on the side of the road with random screws.
jessamyn: Amazing. Amazing.
mathowie: And it makes me never want to own a car that wasn't produced in the 2000s.
mathowie: These guys will be driving, they'll be like, "Sounds like it's running a little fat. I betcha we should re-change the jets and the carb," and like, "I got some in my other pocket," and they'll do it on the side of the road.
mathowie: It's like, they always hear the problem before it happens, and they catch things right before they explode.
jessamyn: Or they create the problems from completely working automobiles!
jessamyn: That's what my father would always used to do. He'd be like, "Let's get this running better!" and he would take something that was running and turn it into something that wasn't running at all.
mathowie: Yeah. They are trying to make them go as fast as possible--
mathowie: --and some of them, they attach leaf-blowers to engines for a fun little super-charger. They're funny.
mathowie: I don't know, I loved this. I can't believe I sat there watching, like, over the course of a week I watched every 20, 25-minute show, thinking, "This should be on TV, this is so good."
jessamyn: Nice. And it's just their YouTube channel, basically, right?
mathowie: Yeah, and I guess the last Friday of the month they come out with a new video and they've been doing this for a year and a half, so this post captured everything up to the very last episode, you know, for the last two years or something they've been doing it. And I guess Motor Trend, if you, it's hard to find just these episodes on YouTube, because they put out, every single magazine puts out several video podcasts of some sort, so it's like, this is the best of all their magazine titles that they've tried to make a show out of.
mathowie: So if you like cars, it's pretty fun.
jessamyn: This was the thing that I thought was the most under-appreciated post of the month. It's basically one of those posts that got more favorites than comments, and it's kind of like a promotion for an, I don't even know, [??]? Something?
- But it's basically these three dudes who are quadriplegic who are using this new software that enables them to make beats or combine music stuff or whatever, and they work with DJ Fresh to lay down tracks, to put together this music thing, despite the fact that they have almost no ability to move their hands, feet, legs, whatever. And the video's just kind of really neat. One of the guys is actually a DJ, the other two guys are musicians.
- And so they do this interface stuff where they can essentially with their thoughts, or, you know, the way they're moving the muscles in their heads or whatever, make different musical tracks that they can mix together, and the output that they make is amazing, and the video's actually really cool. If you're interested in this kind of stuff, and you can get past the fact that it's kind of a [??] advertisement, it was just a really nifty thing.
cortex: Good job, prepmonkey.
jessamyn: Yeah. I thought it was neat.
mathowie: Totally missed that.
jessamyn: And the music is really cool.
mathowie: I really liked this post about Animal Crossing and race.
jessamyn: I skipped that entirely. Skipped. Skiiiipped.
mathowie: Oh, yeah, I mean, I skipped, the conversation was pretty good, but just the, this is one of those things where it's like, I don't know, one of those things where I'd just never thought about something. Animal Crossing is a game for handheld Nintendo devices; they've had them for different variations for the last 10-15 years, and there's a new version that came out for the, what did they call it? The 3DS or something? And it is, (laughing), it's kind of like the, it's a sim--I don't know, it's like The Sims online, you just walk around and you do stuff and you water your plants and you send letters to people, and it's a silly little game for kids, like a social network, kind of. And if you're with your friend in the same--
cortex: Some adults play it too, man, geez. Fuck it off. (laughs)
mathowie: Yeah, I know, lots of adults play it. I mean, it's designed, and the guys have like--
cortex: No, it's very kid-friendly.
cortex: It's one of those games that you can safely give a kid and not be like, "Oh, shit, am I going to have to explain anything?"
mathowie: And if you're in the same room with your friends, you interact in the game using local networking, which is fun. But I never thought of race, because you're kind of animals, or you're cartoony, but you can't change your skin tone, so someone--
cortex: Yeah, I mean, you're a person. The town is full of animals, but then you're usually basically just looking like some eight-year-old kid, essentially.
mathowie: Yeah. And very cartoony.
cortex: In this case, an eight-year-old kid who's destined to be the mayor of the town, so it's like a Parks and Recreation side plot and then some, but still.
mathowie: And I think there used to not be gender in it, but everyone was male, and there's all sorts of ways for people--
jessamyn: (spit-take) That is actually a gender, you know.
mathowie: Yeah, yeah. (laughs) Well, there were no gender choices before.
mathowie: So this one has no... you can't change your skin color! So this biracial person wrote a long blog post about how they figured this hack where you go and get tanned, and if you kinda leave it not in sleep mode, but you leave the game running all the time, you can be tanning all the time, and you can actually achieve your real-life skin color.
jessamyn: But it's a total headache.
mathowie: Yeah, it's this insane, any time the person's not playing the game, they leave it in tanning mode just to maintain what they want to look like, because it's programmed by people who never thought of that eventuality or option.
mathowie: I thought it was cool.
cortex: That is neat.
jessamyn: There was a very recent post that I thought was totally fun, which is the 30-year anniversary of Trading Places, by COD.
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
jessamyn: Trading Places, you might remember, is the Dan Aykroyd/Jamie Lee Curtis/Eddie Murphy movie, and this article that is linked to by COD is what they call an oral history of the movie, but just talking about how it was the greatest Wall Street movie ever made, it launched the careers of Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis and kind of got Dan Aykroyd into serious acting and resurrected Don Ameche's career, and there's a whole bunch of interviews with not exactly the principals but some of the other people, especially John Landis, the director, talking about what it took to get that movie made, and the thread is just a bunch of fun people sharing their favorite dopey lines and a whole bunch of other stuff, and I enjoyed it.
mathowie: This seems like a new trend this year I've seen three or four times on Slate, or the The Awl, or somebody, they do this crazy exhaustive, they do all the research they possibly can about an old movie. So there's a, I think Vanity Fair did it about The Blues Brothers, just amazing behind-the-scenes stuff I've never heard about. And it's like ten zillion words, and they just did it for I think The Big Lebowski too, like they interview people like what happened behind the scenes, off-set, give us a bunch of on-set stories. The Blues Brothers one is basically Belushi being coked out of his mind and them trying to manage him, and it was really hard to even film each day because he would be coked up and stay up for days on end.
mathowie: I know. Which isn't... but there's all this crazy stuff I just never thought about, you know, it was all these stories from thirty years ago. You're like wow, that sounds very difficult.
jessamyn: (laughs) Right, right, right. And you never knew any of it at the time because people weren't really talking about it...
mathowie: And even until then, I know, you know, he was into coke, but I'd just been oblivious of what that meant day-to-day for him to make an epic movie. And they talk about the struggles of just putting out Blues Brothers. They thought it would be, major theater chains refused to carry it because they thought it would appeal to a black audience and they didn't want a black audience at white theaters, and there was all this weird racism that played into it.
- Because Ray Charles was in it, and John Lee Hooker was in it, and it was [??] Cab Calloway.
cortex: It's like a bunch of blues musicians or something. It's crazy.
mathowie: Right. And then all the theater owners were like, "What? White people like this?" Like, they were completely...
mathowie: And it played for like a year or something in most theaters? It was psychotically popular. So they talk about how it launched all their careers, too.
- There was a cool, I don't know, cool to me as a bike thing, Bicycling Magazine, which is the most vapid, just junk, "here's new junk coming out you should buy," kind of. It's like (laughing) the People Magazine of cycling. They tried to do an in-depth report on helmet design, and it's actually pretty good. It's got kind of an annoying layout, but [??].
jessamyn: Talking about why people are continuing to get brain injuries despite the fact that there's lots and lots of good helmet technology.
mathowie: Right, and it's like this gazillion word piece about the history of helmets and how, it's kind of based on two standards, one in 1950 and it was updated in '98, and it's pretty much not been touched since? And it's just kind of like, "What happens if you fall from ten feet up to hard concrete? Let's make a helmet that does that."
jessamyn: On the top of your head.
mathowie: Yeah, it's like, the helmet design is only designed for catastrophic accidents, and yeah, they've now seen the data, less people are dying from catastrophic accidents, so the helmets are doing what they should, but we're not slowing down brains in lower-speed crashes, and people are getting really, the brain injury rates are going up.
- So they're trying to design a helmet, if you made a helmet that just slowed your head of an acceleration of a moderate way, if you got into a horrendous crash you'd die, so it's hard to make a helmet do both things, but most of it, most of this article is about the bicycle helmet industry doesn't even, for most of them, don't even care. They stick to 1950s, these things are all hard, there's no padding in them, they're just for catastroph--
jessamyn: Well, because they don't have liability, right? I mean, basically.
mathowie: Right. Yeah, and this whole thing is like, why has the industry failed us? Why aren't they trying to make a helmet that's good at low speeds, good at high speeds, good at small wrecks, good at big wrecks? And they talk about, there's a European standard coming out of Scandinavia, and there's only two or three helmets on the market that even fall under it, so. I ended up buying one of them just to see what it's like, and so far, so good.
cortex: Have you tried getting in a series of increasingly terrible accidents to sort of...?
mathowie: (laughs) I have a plane on freeways, trying to up the ant--
mathowie: No, yeah, it's supposed to have some sort of inner structure that can work in a slower-speed crash and still has a harder outside for the worst kinds. But yeah. Yeah, it's just like a long, depressing piece on how helmets haven't changed for 50 years for bike riders.
jessamyn: Well, that was basically the Unsafe At Any Speed thing that Nader did, right? That really started the seatbelt thing, that he was like, "Cars aren't safe at all, basically, so why not? What's not the problem?" You know, it's when you realize that capitalism actually maybe doesn't have your best interests at heart if they don't have to financially.
mathowie: Yeah, and this article is like, "Why don't we care more? Why isn't anyone doing anything about this?" But a lot of things with bikes, nobody cares, because it's all low-stakes, it's not a major thing in America, all that junk.
jessamyn: Well, and the bike rider's not going to go out and kill somebody else, really.
mathowie: Right, true.
jessamyn: That's the real thing, right? That people are like, "Oh, bike rider can go kill themselves," but it's not like they can plow into a bunch of schoolchildren and cause other people's children damage.
mathowie: Right, right, yeah.
jessamyn: I mean, you could try, but.
mathowie: (laughs) Yeah, it's hard with a 20-pound bike to cause any damage.
jessamyn: Are you ready for my segue Metafilter into Ask Metafilter post?
cortex: Oh, I've got a couple things I want to mention still. So no, I'm sorry. You'll have to stow that segue.
jessamyn: Oh, go ahead, go ahead. No, that's fine.
mathowie: Charge it up.
cortex: Oh, I should have thought of someone who would own a Segway so I could stick the landing on that joke.
mathowie: (laughs) Joe?
cortex: Yeah. Like a Palo Alto...
jessamyn: But unfortunately, you didn't. Go on.
cortex: Nope. What I'm doing here conceptually is I'm creating a complement to a segue, which is the un-segue, where I stumble around talking about Segways instead of failing the transition.
jessamyn: I like the fact that Segway [ˈsægwɛɪ] rhymes with Bagway ['bægwɛɪ] with you.
cortex: Yes. I'm a bag-sag-tag-rag ['bɛɪg 'sɛɪg 'tɛɪg 'rɛɪg] person. I was just discussining this with someone else, the whole bag-vague ['bɛɪg 'veɪg] merger, it's been called.
mathowie: Bag ['bɛɪg].
jessamyn: Bag-vague ['bɛɪg 'vɛɪg]?
cortex: I say bag ['bɛɪg] to rhyme with vague ['vɛɪg] and everything else. You know, it came up... I think someone e-mailed me after the last podcast, or e-mailed after, it was someone who was listening to the We Have Such Films To Show You podcast I've been doing with griphus, because they noticed I kept saying "dragon" ['dɹɛɪgən].
cortex: And they were like, "Do you always say 'dragon' ['dɹɛɪgən]?" And I was like, "Oh, yeah," I mean. And yeah, because it was like dragon ['dɹɛɪgən] versus dragon [ˈdɹægən], and he was wondering if dragon ['dɹɛɪgən] was something specific to it or if I would say dragon [ˈdɹægən] in other contexts, or what. I was like, "Nope," and yeah.
jessamyn: That dragon [ˈdɹægən] doesn't rhyme with wagon [ˈwægən]. Or it does with you, because you say them both like that.
cortex: Oh, yeah, yeah. It's a wagon [ˈwɛɪgən] and a dragon ['dɹɛɪgən], a dragon ['dɹɛɪgən] and a wagon [ˈwɛɪgən].
jessamyn: And it rhymes with ray gun. ['ɹɛɪ 'gʌn]
cortex: Well, no, not quite. Well, the ray ['ɹɛɪ] in there, but ray gun ['ɹɛɪ 'gʌn], dragon ['dɹɛɪgən], ray gun ['ɹɛɪ 'gʌn].
mathowie: Who was the President in the '80s?
cortex: Reagan. ['ɹɛɪgən]
mathowie: Oh, okay.
cortex: He gets his own little... I just don't want to cross-contaminate at all there.
cortex: Yeah, so anyway (laughs), and that is my segue to segueing to my unrelated post--
cortex: --that I want to mention, the 24 best Mr. Show sketches, in order.
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: Oh wait, but here's a different Top Ten, oh, wait, here's a different Top 10, oh, here's an AV Club interview. Because hey, Mr. Show! This is, I feel actually weird about this, because this is as much as anything for my own personal reference, because I've basically seen no Mr. Show--
cortex: --even though I basically love everything that everybody who was involved has done since then.
jessamyn: Me too. You and me too. I am exactly the same.
mathowie: Really? I--
cortex: I have been listening to a bunch of Comedy Bang Bang, or Comedy Death Ray, it was, earlier on, as a podcast.
mathowie: Yeah, Scott Aukerman.
cortex: And I love it, and Scott Aukerman is a fucking genius, he's a man of my own heart.
jessamyn: You should listen to him interviewed on, I think also on Mark Marin's podcast, or maybe it's Bob Odinkirk.
jessamyn: But there's another thing that made me totally want to see Mr. Show, and David Cross, obviously.
mathowie: I think I was lucky enough to have HBO in the mid-nineties, like some friends in grad school had HBO? I've seen every Mr. Show a million times. They're so good.
cortex: I've seen like five skits, and they're all things that came up on Metafilter.
jessamyn: Me too. Me too.
mathowie: Oh, man.
cortex: So I've got this whole treasure trove I gotta get into.
mathowie: I remember--
jessamyn: Yeah, Jim's always like, "You wanna watch Mr. Show?" and I'm always like, "Yeah, but we gotta finish watching Arrested Development," or something else first.
mathowie: (chuckles) And the pre-taped call-in show is pretty much the greatest high-concept comedy piece ever done. And it's Star-Burns from Community wrote that.
jessamyn: Love him. Dino Stamtop [ˈstæmˌtɑp]--oh, gosh.
mathowie: Dino... yeah.
mathowie: That's a lot. (laughs)
jessamyn: Hopdopoulos [ˈhɑpˌdɑpəlɪs]?
mathowie: Stamatopoulos [ˈstæməˌtɑpəlɪs]? Stamatopoul [ˈstæməˌtɑpəl]--yeah. "I'm With Rapist", these are all...
jessamyn: Stamatopoulos [ˈstæməˌtɑpəlɪs]? Oh, now I'm a terrible person, hold on.
mathowie: It's really hard to watch "The Story Of Everest." I like how they said this was totally polarizing, because The Story Of Ev--
jessamyn: Stamato [ˌstəˈmætoʊ]... Stamat [ˌstəˈmɑt]--
mathowie: (chuckles) It's a long, yeah.
jessamyn: Stamatopoulos [ˈstɑmɑˌtɑpəlɪs]. Stamatopoulos [ˈstɑmɑˌtɑpəlɪs]. Alright.
mathowie: (yawns) Oh, yeah. So he's Mr. Show.
jessamyn: He's a genius. Sorry.
mathowie: Mr. Show is repeated on some network. My TiVo's constantly taping them, recording them on some other, I don't get HBO anymore. So somebody's syndicating them.
cortex: I wouldn't be surprised if Comedy Central was running it or something.
mathowie: Whoa! (laughs)
cortex: (laughs) It's all Greek to me.
jessamyn: That's his name in Greek!
mathowie: My favorite last... can I do one last Metafilter post and then we can segue?
jessamyn: And then we'll do my segue. (sing-song) My segue!
cortex: I will mention, without any explanation, my obligatory game and Star Trek-related post then for the month and just leave it at that.
mathowie: (laughs) [Are they ?] just one?
cortex: There's the Open Source Game Clones, which has open-source implementations of classic game engines and whatnot, so if you want some free old-school gaming, go check that out, and then there was a discussion about how Voyager was--
mathowie: The best.
cortex: --according to somebody who was full of poop, the most Trekky of all Trek franchises, which is obviously not true.
jessamyn: You just copied the same thing twice?
cortex: How did I do that? That's weird. I...
jessamyn: I do that sometimes.
cortex: I don't understand. That's... I pasted in, is what I did.
jessamyn: Something wrong with your cache.
cortex: You know, I pasted the other one into the address bar there instead of copying.
cortex: There we go. Yes, it's a thread about Voyager and basically how everybody that the author is either correct or totally incorrect about his assertions about Voyager. And yeah, it's always fun to argue about Star Trek with nerds--
cortex: --so we got up to 238 comments in there. So yeah.
mathowie: I caught my wife arguing.
jessamyn: Way to go, nerds!
mathowie: Arguing with a neighbor about which was the best Star Trek series.
mathowie: (chuckles) Pretty much this thread happening.
cortex: Yep. That shit can draw blood. You gotta be careful.
mathowie: Next Generation, no! Voyager, no! Well.
- My favorite was this bizarre art made out of video called Absolutely No Words, and it's just a YouTube video of--
jessamyn: By codacorolla. Come on, you people.
mathowie: Yeah, sorry. And it's every WWF superstar who's basically shouting about how great he's going to be in his next match, but someone clipped, did a supercut of just them taking a breath before they start to speak.
mathowie: And it's mesmerizing.
jessamyn: Oh my god, it's amazing.
mathowie: It's amazing and mesmerizing, and it's just like (breathes in heavily several times in succession), and it's just all these cuts, and you just see Hulk Hogan just getting bigger and bigger, and he's just inhaling--
jessamyn: (huffs breath intensely several times as well)
mathowie: It goes for like ten minutes! It's amazing. And I would say a similar thing, which wasn't on Metafilter but should have been, I should have posted it as a comment. Someone took a clip of Lance Armstrong winning a Tour de France stage, and they just took out a single frame of where his legs are in the same exact position in every frame, and it just looks like he's magically--
mathowie: --hauling ass up a mountain under no power whatsoever, like he's on a motorcycle, and it's kind of the same thing. It's just sort of this glitch art kind of way of cutting video. And it's strangely funny and mesmerizing. But yeah, I love this.
mathowie: The WWF one's just amazing. (laughs)
jessamyn: Hey, Matt, there's Tour de France on my TV. Is that happening now, or is it some kind of weird repeat thing?
cortex: It is happening, I think. I think it just started, right?
mathowie: No, it's happening. It started on Saturday. Yeah, started Saturday, it'll go to the end of July.
jessamyn: Okay. Because I was just clicking around the television, and I was like, "I thought everybody would be freaking out if the Tour de France was actually happening," but I didn't know.
cortex: I think everybody's just dispirited.
cortex: Like, fucking Lance.
mathowie: And they run it on NBC Sports's channel, whatever weird channel that is, and it just runs basically, they just rep--it's a four-hour stage they'll play six times a day.
cortex: (sings) A four-hour stage.
mathowie: For 24 hours straight it'll just be repeated.
jessamyn: (laughs) All right! Now it's time. I have a Metafilter post and an Ask Metafilter post and they go together.
cortex: Do it.
jessamyn: So, the Metafilter post is Hobbit-ception, which is about these Tolkien fans--
mathowie: Oh, yeah!
jessamyn: --and they've got this website. And they watch the trailer for the new Hobbit film, and then Peter Jackson saw their reaction video, and then he showed the reaction video to the cast of the new Hobbit movie and filmed them watching these girls fan a reaction to the trailer.
mathowie: And then... reaction.
jessamyn: And then there was a video that was the girls' reaction to the Hobbit reaction.
jessamyn: And it's just sweet. Because everybody's just stoked and happy, and I just liked it. If you like any of these people at all, the whole thing is completely adorable.
mathowie: And in previously on Metafilter news, Astro Zombie's girlfriend couldn't get to the Wall-E trailer--
jessamyn: Oh, right.
mathowie: So then he filmed her, and then the people at Pixar saw that, and then she saw the video of them watching that, and they ended up flying them out to see the premiere because it was so awesome. (laughs)
jessamyn: Right. Which I thought was nice too.
mathowie: So how does this...?
jessamyn: But this whole reaction video thing is a part of the Internet I don't know that much about. I just know people do it, and occasionally I'll watch it but not that often, but I'm used to it from shock videos.
jessamyn: Like, watch 2 Girls, 1 Cup, aah! That kind of thing. So it's nice to watch people being stoked about it.
mathowie: So how does this tie into Ask Metafilter?
jessamyn: Which segues into my Ask Metafilter post that I liked just because it was so weird. "Do elves make pie?" It's like four words, simple. "In any of Tolkien's work, do elves make or eat pie, and if so, what kind?" That's it.
jessamyn: "P.S. Tarts count as pie."
jessamyn: This is by (cracking up) Nibbly Fang, and it turned into just this very funny discussion of when, where in the Tolkien universe people are eating pie-like things. And somebody finds a whole bunch of fan drawings of Tolkien elves baking pies on DeviantArt, and maybe the elves are actually a pie-less people, but I think the conclusion, not to spoil it for anybody, is that elves do have pie.
jessamyn: But it was just a fun conversation.
mathowie: Yeah, I think they talk about pies in The Hobbit, but they don't talk about making them.
jessamyn: Well, and this was elves, too, not hobbits.
mathowie: Oh, right.
jessamyn: Like, everybody knows hobbits have pie. They eat like crazy, those hobbits.
mathowie: Oh, elves, the wispy people who live forever in that one town.
jessamyn: With the pointy ears. [??] Yeah.
cortex: (evidently convulsing with laughter)
mathowie: They don't seem like pie people.
cortex: I get this feeling that you are only casually familiar with the concept of elves somehow, like, oh, right, those skinny things I've seen every once in a while on TV or on the covers of books.
jessamyn: Well, I mean, because there's elves the generic, right? Like Keebler elves, we know they bake all sorts of stuff. But elves in Tolkien are a very specific...
cortex: I think they actually just pick it up at the supermarket. I don't think the Keebler elves actually do a lot of work in the kitchen.
jessamyn: Haven't you seen the commercials? They spend all the time baking up in that tree.
mathowie: Aw. Kitchen.
cortex: (chuckles) I don't know. I think it's just a big show they're putting on.
mathowie: Oh, that was a joke in Shrek, that an oven is no place for a--a tree is no place for an oven.
mathowie: So you have fires galore.
jessamyn: But when we were kids, not only did those elves make the stuff, but there was a little treehouse that you could buy that was a toy with little elves, and you could mess around and pretend to make things.
mathowie: There was a Playmobil set?
jessamyn: You know, like Barbie Playhouse except it was like an elf treehouse.
mathowie: Aw, I don't remember that.
mathowie: I'm going to have to eBay that shit.
cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)
jessamyn: eBay that shit!
mathowie: Keebler elves toy.
jessamyn: So yes, so now we're in Ask Metafilter with "Do elves make pie?"
cortex: Well-landed segue. You nailed it.
jessamyn: Thank you!
mathowie: Toy. Looking for Keebler--oh my god, 1975, General Mills.
jessamyn: Yeah, I was seven.
mathowie: Kenner made a treehouse with Keebler elves in it. Holy cow.
jessamyn: Send a link, Matt, and then start paying attention to us again.
mathowie: Looks pretty cool. Looks pretty cool. [??]
jessamyn: But it was all over television, back when television was all the thing that we all watched together, you know what I mean?
jessamyn: I wanted this thing so. much. So much.
mathowie: Wow, and it's produced by Kenner, which is pre-Star Wars I. They became the biggest toy company in the world because they got to do the Star Wars toys.
jessamyn: Is that true?
mathowie: I would assume that became... I mean, that's when toys took off, like kid toys being worth something, kinda.
jessamyn: Yeah, the Weeble Haunted House? Very exciting. Alright, go on.
mathowie: There was a strange... this was a very popular post. "How do you slow down the time in your head?" You know, as you get older two years becomes five years becomes ten years and oh my god, life is going so fast as I get older, how do I slow it down?
jessamyn: That's your problem.
mathowie: That's all.
jessamyn: By long haired child. A lot of new names in this podcast.
mathowie: Yeah. There's a lot of ideas to start doing things that are slightly annoying, go sit in waiting rooms, learn to start running.
mathowie: Like going running, doing things that are purposely kind of repetitious.
jessamyn: "Take some LSD immediately." (chuckles)
mathowie: Or write every day, or read a little every day, so at least it feels like time is, you're using your time wisely. So there isn't really any great solutions here, but I just thought that was a common feeling we can all share.
cortex: That whole intentionally annoying yourself thing was a little tiny side character bit from Catch-22, if I remember right. One of the guys in the bomber squadron was always pointedly doing the most tedious, boring, pointless, dumb thing in his tent just because he wanted to maximize his perception of the length of time he was living because he was justifiably afraid of dying in a bombing run or something.
mathowie: Yeah, that's Dunbar.
jessamyn: So he wanted to fill up all his time with things?
cortex: Exactly, yeah. He wanted to be keenly aware of every passing moment, so that he'd feel like he was getting as much out of life as he could in terms of quantity.
cortex: Since he had a very dangerous job.
mathowie: His name is Dunbar. It's mentioned a couple times in thread.
mathowie: And there's the bit from Catch-22 where they play the dialogue so you can understand it.
cortex: Excellent. Yes.
mathowie: But yeah. That was a very popular post.
jessamyn: Neat! One of those, we always seem to have one as-it's-happening post. You know, usually it's somebody who's trapped somewhere. But in this case, it was "WHAT just happened to the moon?!"
mathowie: (laughs) I didn't see that.
cortex: (laughing) Oh, God, Jesus Christ, that question.
jessamyn: Where a woman and her boyfriend are in Colorado and they saw the moon sink below the horizon really, really fast! (laughs) And, of course, as being somewhat nervous Internet people (laughs) are convinced that something really terrible is happening, and it became a very nice thread where people talked about astrophysics.
mathowie: Is it just the mountains, maybe? Visual?
jessamyn: Read it!
cortex: Well, it's just that the moon sets pretty quickly!
cortex: I mean, the short answer is, if you pay attention when the moon goes down, it doesn't take very long, because the moon's got a very small arclength, and, you know.
jessamyn: Like, it's moving all the time, you just don't notice it relative to anything else.
cortex: Yeah. Exactly. So when it's on the horizon you can actually see how quick it's going. But we think of the moon as looking a lot bigger than it actually does look in terms of the size of the sky, you know.
jessamyn: Of what percentage of the sky it takes up. It's actually very little.
cortex: Yeah, it's a really tiny little fucking thing, so yeah.
cortex: So of course it goes away quickly, but the first time you notice it it's like, "Whoa!"
jessamyn: Exactly. I mean, the sun sets fairly quickly, too. It's just you're rarely staring at it.
cortex: Yeah. You just don't stare at it quite so much, yeah. If you're paying attention to the sunset, you'll notice fairly quickly the transition from 'start to go down' to 'down'.
cortex: But yeah, you don't watch it.
jessamyn: I had a couple more things that I loved from Ask Metafilter! Including another nuanced reading list question by SkylitDrawl. "I want to read disturbing novels." So creepy stuff, except for not Chuck Palahniuk, because they don't like Chuck Palahniuk. And so it's not only a wonderful thread of tons and tons of creepy stuff, but julthumbscrew actually puts together a canonical list of all the things that are suggested in the thread, so for someone who just wants a (creepy voice) creeee-py! a creeepy list! there it is.
mathowie: Is it like Goodreads or something, the list?
jessamyn: No, it's just right there.
mathowie: Oh, she just made a list. Okay, I thought it would be like Goodreads.
jessamyn: She just typed a list: you know, words in sequence.
mathowie: Oh, Lolita, wow. The Road, ee.
jessamyn: Lolita's creepy. I don't know if The Road is creepy. Oh, The Road, not that Road.
cortex: Yeah, the Cormac McCarthy Road.
jessamyn: Yeah. Well, and there's that other movie The Road. Was it called The Road?
mathowie: I think so, yeah.
jessamyn: That post-apocalyptic one, with Viggo Mortenson in it?
jessamyn: You guys seen that?
cortex: Well, isn't that based, am I thinking of the right one? I think that's based on the Cormac McCarthy novel.
jessamyn: Oh, see, I haven't read the Cormac McCarthy novel, so maybe you're right.
cortex: Yeah, I think that's the case. As someone who hasn't seen or read them, I'm clearly (laughing) qualified to assert this with confidence.
jessamyn: (shouting) Isn't that about! Isn't that the one!
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
jessamyn: Let me see. Oh god, it is.
cortex: It had [??] in it that was so nice on the General Hospital, I think it was.
mathowie: Whoa, there's a--
jessamyn: You know, if I had known before I watched this movie that it was a Cormac McCarthy book--
mathowie: (chuckles) Could have skipped it.
jessamyn: --I might not have even watched it.
mathowie: So wait, there's a comic book called My Friend Dahmer?
jessamyn: I just read it, actually! I have it in my possession right now. It's really good.
mathowie: Is it horrible? Oh, it's good. It's creepy?
jessamyn: Yeah, well, it's by a guy who went to high school with him, and then didn't have anything to do with them afterwards, but talks about what a weird dude he was, but not only how he was weird, but his whole family was weird, and nobody was paying attention to him, and he clearly had this terrible drinking problem.
- I mean, the guy is basically like, "Look. I'm not making excuses for any of the horrible shit that he did, but I'm just explaining what kind of a raised by wolves... his parents were going through some terrible divorce, and at one point he wound up living at his parents' house alone when he was 16 and each parent thought he was with the other parent.
mathowie: Oh, man.
jessamyn: It's an interesting graphic novel that I got--
mathowie: Does he feel guilt? That he didn't...
mathowie: Does he feel guilt that he didn't do something or something? Like about...
jessamyn: Well, he wasn't, I mean...
mathowie: I mean, I've heard Dahmer was really weird as a teen and hurt animals, and I've heard people that grew up with him say, "Oh, we should have really ran him into the cops."
jessamyn: But a lot of people didn't really know. I mean, a lot of what this guy's like is "Look, I was 16 too, but there were lots of adults who should have realized that this was a 16-year-old with this alcoholic crazy drinking problem and cops that he interacted with that kind of..." I mean, sure, everybody kind of points in other directions. But I don't think it's a guilt thing as much as just a "God," you know.
jessamyn: "Now that I know, we can pay much more attention" kind of thing. Because you know, I don't know, you all know people who are weird when you're 16, and you're weird too, or you feel like you're weird too when you're 16, and the difference between being weird at 16 and a dangerous scary person is maybe less clear to another 16-year-old than it should be to an adult.
jessamyn: Feh. But it's very good. I recommend it. It's not graphic at all, because he doesn't really do anything as a young man.
mathowie: Let me see... aww.
mathowie: I liked the thread about "we want to get straight-married in California while we're on vacation because we were waiting, as a straight couple"--
mathowie: "We were waiting until marriage freedom had passed, and now it has and we're on vacation. Hey, can we get married while we're in California in a week, and is there any problems with that?" And a lot of people suggest some stuff, but I guess there was a follow-up, I guess they're not going to do it and they're going to wait until they get back or something. (sing-song) Eh-de-doot-doot-doot, yeah.
jessamyn: Oh, they said for practical purposes, yeah.
jessamyn: They're coming up on their 25th anniversary. Aww. Aww.
- And they don't want to put a tangent on their celebration. That's cool.
mathowie: Yeah. That's funny. Do you know people? I know people like this, that have not gotten people for--I know people who've just had a baby that didn't get married. They own a house together, they're waiting until marriage rights passed before they would [??].
jessamyn: When I initially got married, that was kind of, you know, we had kind of an odd joke marriage, and part of the whole stance was, look, it's stupid that two straight people who don't even live together can marry each other and get all these benefits, and two gay people who are in love and in a long-term relationship can't. So we spent a lot of time bitching about that to other people, who I think it was completely lost on, but.
mathowie: I have some gay friends--
jessamyn: They were like, "You guys don't even know each other!" We're like, "Yeah, you don't have to!"
mathowie: (laughs) You can do it for healthcare!
jessamyn: You know, as long as one of us isn't trying to immigrate, nobody cares. We can just get all the benefits for 60 dollars at a drive-up window in Las Vegas, and that's offensive. Super offensive.
mathowie: Ah, that is. Wow. Yeah, I have some gay friends that own multiple properties together, and I don't think they're gonna get married because they've spent tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees for five years.
jessamyn: Getting all the documents.
mathowie: Yeah, they basically have paperwork that "you can visit me in the hospital no matter what your family says; I, the signed, say so," kind of thing. They pretty much had to make a marriage on paper through whatever laws they could.
mathowie: I always wished someone open-sourced that; like, why didn't some rich couple say, "You know, we paid $100,000 of legal fees, here's how you make all the rights of marriage without it," kind of. But now we don't have to.
jessamyn: Well, I think there are some turnkey solutions, it's just you have to go through a lawyer anyway to make them legal.
mathowie: Yeah. Sweet
jessamyn: And it's a thousand things! I mean, (laughs).
jessamyn: And some of them depend on the state. Like, no matter what you sign, unless one of you adopts the other one, you don't get Social Security benefits and all that other stuff.
mathowie: Yeah, isn't there a webs--
jessamyn: Which is why the DOMA decision is such a big deal.
mathowie: There's a single-page website with the 384 rights or something you'll never get unless you're married or something. There's some website for that. I forget what it's called.
cortex: Sort of riffing off the reading list one, there's actually a post from just, I think this was just yesterday, from jbickers asking for basically what amazing TV show to watch next.
mathowie: (laughs) This is--
cortex: Which is handy for me, because I'm always sort of trying to, because I don't know, I don't pay attention, I end just sort of seeing things mention in passing, so every once in a while one of these big digests of "oh, this is amazing and this is amazing" is really kind of handy. Although then I end up having to cross-reference this against Netflix to figure out what I can actually watch easily, but still.
mathowie: (laugh) What's available. I think it's summer. We get these questions all the time, but definitely in the summer, when all the shows finish up in May-ish or so.
cortex: Yeah. Everybody's like "oh shit."
jessamyn: And people are like "I don't know!"
mathowie: "We got three months to kill, what new series should I pick up?" Those are great.
jessamyn: Yeah, there was another one of those with strong female leads that I enjoyed, very, very similar thread. So somebody who likes the Mindy Project and Being Erica, you know, what's got a smart female protagonist that I will like?
mathowie: Do you watch the Mindy Project?
jessamyn: No, I haven't seen it.
mathowie: It's pretty funny, but I think it was cancelled, because the last episode of the season, she went off to Haiti for the year,
- for a medical Doctor without Borders thing. And I'm like, "Does that mean the show's over?" Because it's supposed to happen in New York.
jessamyn: No, it says it was renewed for a second season, at least according to Wikipedia.
mathowie: Wow. Maybe they'll just jump forward in time, like, "Well, that Haiti trip was crazy."
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
mathowie: Like classic Mad Men, how it jumps a year into the future.
jessamyn: So my friend who used to write for Mad Men is now writing for Hannibal instead.
mathowie: What's Hannibal?
cortex: It's the recent TV series based on the pre-history of one Hannibal Lecter!
jessamyn: Maybe you've heard of him.
mathowie: Ohhh. What channel is it on? I haven't heard that they made a show out of that.
cortex: It's on Hannibal Channel.
mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)
mathowie: So it's a fake--
jessamyn: Hannibal Planet.
mathowie and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: Nice one.
cortex: (still laughing)
mathowie: So it's like a prequel to the movie?
cortex: (still laughing)
mathowie: Hannibal Planet!
jessamyn: I assume it's... I mean, the only channel I ever watch is Comedy Central. Oh, it must be on NBC, because I must see it during Saturday Night Live.
cortex: Yeah, it's one of the major networks.
mathowie: Oh, it's not like good cable where they can say shit.
cortex: (laughing) One of the so-called major networks at this point, I guess.
jessamyn: (laughs) The Formerly Major Artist... the Networks Formerly Known As Major.
jessamyn: But yeah.
cortex: Yeah, no, griphus keeps mentioning that when we're doing the Hellraiser podcast, and I keep seeing bits of it mentioned places, and elizardbits has taken to posting about it on her blog, so.
jessamyn: Well, if you need any intel, let me know, because he's... I mean, he was under such strict NDAs, he couldn't even talk about Mad Men at all. Like, we'd be like, "You can tell us!", he'd be like, "I can't tell you anything."
mathowie: Does he ever get to see a whole script, or do they do that things with just sides where you only see--
jessamyn: No, no, no, they get to see, they don't have cliffhangery stuff. But just the whole process, he couldn't talk about any of it, he signed all sorts of shit away, which was tough. And then didn't get renewed, which he was all pissed off about, so he's going to be on Hannibal, which is cool. Exciting.
mathowie: Is Man Men over? I thought the sixth season was supposed to be the end.
cortex: No, it's one more series. One more season.
mathowie: Ohh. I thought this was supposed to be the last one. I mean, that's what they said a year or two ago. Like, there'll be one last season--
jessamyn: It's insufferable and I can't stand it, so I don't know.
mathowie: Yeah, it's hard to watch.
jessamyn: Hard to watch.
mathowie: I'm finally, I'm going through, I'm basically three episodes from the end. In the last week, I've plowed through the entire season. It's hard to watch--
cortex: Well, I think that's the thing not to do. It's fine if you watch one, maybe two.
cortex: If you cram through them in short notice it's a bit of a put-it-downer.
mathowie: You want to know what happens next!
cortex: Well, I know you do! I'm just saying, why care for [??] well-being, you know?
jessamyn: I don't! I want them all to die. They're all awful people. Everyone.
mathowie: I hate Don Draper. Like, I can't actually even watch the Don Draper guy.
jessamyn: I just want time to pass so they all eventually drop dead.
mathowie: (chuckles) There was an awesome silly post about "What to name our RV blog?" desjardins is hitting the road to live in an RV, and there's a lot of awesome RV puns that people are sharing, and I loved "RV There Yet?" for the blog title.
mathowie: Was probably my favorite.
jessamyn: Did she mark a...?
mathowie: She said it's not available. .net, .org is taken, and .com's an SEO placeholder. But I really loved the name and stuff.
jessamyn: "RV Having Fun Yet?" is pretty good. That was unSane.
mathowie: Yeah, there was a lot of good RV-related puns. Or if you own an RV repair store, you might want to look at this thread and call your RV shop many of these.
jessamyn: Right, right, right, right. Yeah, I'm looking forward to reading about how that goes.
mathowie: Yeah, also the idea of, man, I was thinking after I read this thread, I was thinking how much American culture, we love road trips, and we love travel, but not a lot of us do it, and a lot of us only do it once in a great while, like you're going to drive across the country--
jessamyn: Dude, tons of people do it all the time! You do it all the time! What are you talking about?
mathowie: I don't travel by car across states very often.
jessamyn: Oh, see, I do.
mathowie: The way people envy the RV... like, that sounds amazing. I mean, I'll do that someday before I die, but I wish I took more road trips.
jessamyn: I'm driving to St. Paul, Minnesota on Thursday.
mathowie: From... Massachussetts?
jessamyn: Here. Vermont.
mathowie: Sweet. You're moving a car?
jessamyn: I've got a friend who needs a car delivered.
cortex: Is that a one-day drive, or is that your starting...?
jessamyn: It's like three days, something like that.
mathowie: I've got an idea of a--
jessamyn: I'm going to have a meetup.
mathowie: Sweet. In your car?
jessamyn: In Minneapolis, I hope.
- And yeah, I'm going to stay with a friend of mine in Cooperstown. He works at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library.
jessamyn: It's going to be really fun. You should do it! It's easy to do it! Do it. Do it!
mathowie: Yeah, I just need an excuse.
jessamyn: Do it! (pause) You need an excuse not to. Do it!
jessamyn: I drove across three states today, man, and I was in a different state yesterday. (pause) Do it! It's easy in New England, though.
jessamyn: I mean, I can see other states from here.
jessamyn: It's true!
mathowie: (laughs) Kind of like Alaska.
jessamyn: Alright, I've got one more from Ask Metafilter that I loved because it is about numbers!
cortex: (whimsically) Numbers!
jessamyn: "Non-counting words for numbers."
cortex: Oh, yeah, this one!
jessamyn: By Ookseer. So basically, we have grouping words, like a dozen is another word for twelve, or a gross is another word for 144, or score is another word for 20, but they're not the words you use for counting. How does that work in other languages? And so there's a whole bunch of people
- talking about a whole bunch of things in the languages that they speak.
cortex: How did it take like twelve comments for someone to get to fortnight? It took them a dozen to get to fortnight!
jessamyn: (stifled laugh) Because fortnight is in English, (laughing) and the question was not about English.
cortex: Yeah, well.
mathowie: [??] some stuff about--
cortex: It's English-English, not American-English, so I don't know.
cortex: (chuckles quietly)
mathowie: French, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Japanese is listed...
jessamyn: Yeah. It was just kind of a fun list-generating question that I liked very much.
- But that's it, for me, on Ask Metafilter. Gentlemen?
cortex: Anything else, Matt?
mathowie: The only other thing I, only the last thing I had was this Ask Metafilter where someone just said, "Hey, what was that one site of the guy that was clever?" and someone said, "This one?" And they're like, "Yep, that's it."
mathowie: And it was over.
mathowie: But this was basically a meme several years ago, I never saw it, that some guy's personal résumé site was basically an Amazon page,
- and it's like, "I am an amaz--", like, the product you're buying from this fake Amazon is him, and there's all these fake... like, all these five-star reviews from people he worked with and stuff. It's very funny, it's clever, and it's like, "Wow!"--
jessamyn: And then he wound up getting a perfect job.
mathowie: Yeah, and it looks exactly like Amazon, you add him to a wishlist, and it's funny. I was like, "Damn, it's brilliant," like, yeah, one of those ideas that's good to--
jessamyn: And I'd never seen it before, well, basically right now.
mathowie: Yeah. And I guess it was a couple years ago that this happened.
- And this was someone who wanted to basically (laughing) copy that idea, I think. But yeah, it was cool. I had never seen it.
mathowie: So, Josh, I guess, we'll use some of those EP music files to bumper music this?
cortex: Oh, that could work.
cortex: [Bump, bumper at a ?] party style?
mathowie: Is there a new Metafilter Music Challenge about to drop?
cortex: It just dropped.
jessamyn: To drop. To drop.
cortex: We're doing, it's a Summer Cover Fest challenge, where we're covering the shit out of Ziggy Stardust,
- oh, I guess, the Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust. Is that the name of the album, or is Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars?
mathowie: Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars. Both!
jessamyn: Spiders from Mars. I think? I think!
cortex: Yeah, I don't remember.
mathowie: It says both!
jessamyn: If only there were a place...!
cortex: Anyway, Ziggy Stardust, everybody knows that it's fucking Ziggy Stardust, anyway. We're going to do Ziggy Stardust, the album, so we've taken assignments, and one or two people are covering each of the songs so far. If you want to get involved, you can just pick one, or you can go into the thread and say, oh, hey, I want to be involved.
- If you want to collaborate, because you want to do something but don't want to do a whole recording yourself, you can go to the thread and say "Hey! I can do this or that, does anybody want to work together?" And yeah, just by the beginning of September, we should have a double album's worth of covers of this awesome old David Bowie album. I still don't know really what the hell I'm going to do with mine. I got... aw, shit, I can't even remember which one it is right now. (laughs) I got one of those songs and I have to cover it.
jessamyn: You'll do great.
cortex: Yeah. But yeah, it should be fun. It should be a good time. So looking forward to seeing what comes of that.
cortex: I guess we had a couple MetaTalk feature tweaks and such as well. There was the change to the boxes in Recent Activity, so we've got a frame instead of a shaded box for--
jessamyn: Oh, that's right!
mathowie: Makes sense.
jessamyn: I think dissent and uncomfortableness has died down over that,
- but we wanted to make the style more consistent all the way across. So in Recent Activity, it used to be weird that your own comment was in a dark box, which actually means Best Answer in the Ask Metafilter thread itself.
cortex: Yeah, exactly. So now we've got the frame for your own answer, and a shaded answer is consistently a Best Answer when it shows up. And then we also rolled out the Contact Form checkbox agreement.
jessamyn and cortex: (chuckle)
cortex: As a hopefully...
jessamyn: Wait, Contact Form checkbox? Oh, the MetaTalk checkbox.
cortex: Yeah, when you go to post a post to MetaTalk, we've always had that bullet point up at the first thing on the page saying, "hey, by the way, if you just need to get ahold of a moderator, the Contact Form's a great way to go! So if this doesn't need to be a community discussion, you can just let them know." And I feel like that works sometimes, but it's also easy for people to glaze past stuff and then go and make their post, and so we put the checkbox there that has a little, you have to check it to say, "Yes, I am aware
- that I can use the Contact Form to reach the moderators for stuff that's not a community discussion sort of thing."
jessamyn: It seems kinda stupid, but I think it's really been helpful.
cortex: Yeah, I think it--
jessamyn: It's been helpful for me, anyhow. And it also keeps people in the MetaTalk threads from being like, "What did the mods say when you asked them?"
cortex: (laughs) Exactly.
jessamyn: And there were a couple fun MetaTalk threads, including, I may have actually been pronouncing this guy's name wrong the whole time. quidnunc [ˈkwɪdˌnʌŋk]?
cortex: (confirming) quidnunc.
jessamyn: the quidnunc kid?
mathowie: (also confirming) quidnunc.
cortex: Yeah, the quidnunc kid, I think.
jessamyn: Okay. scrump put together a MetaTalk thread about all the reasons you should vote #1 quidnunc kid, and jonmc had a thread that I enjoyed that was just, he did a little book display.
cortex: Oh, yeah, the bookstore he works at, the Strand.
jessamyn: At where he works, at The Strand, and they called him the Resident Pop Culture Expert, and so then we started a big thread about what your actual title, real or imagined, at your job is.
cortex: I was surprised, because I was expecting it to be like six books about The Clash. He surprised me with his selection.
mathowie: Haa. Whemp whemp!
jessamyn: I don't get it.
cortex: He really likes The Clash.
mathowie: Because he always talks about rock music. (laughs)
jessamyn: [??] about The Clash. Does he? I don't know.
cortex: Well, among others.
jessamyn: I don't know!
cortex: I'm going to feel really silly if I'm just swapping two things in my head, but I'm pretty sure The Clash were among them.
jessamyn: (laughing) Okay.
cortex: (laughs) Yep.
mathowie: I think that's about it?
cortex: Oh, there was also the 8,600-comment-long alphabet thread [??] post.
mathowie: Oh, jeez.
jessamyn: I'm not even clicking that link! Don't you click that link either!
cortex: Which, yeah, don't click--yeah. I put it here but don't click on it. Seriously.
jessamyn: It's super long! It'll hang up your computer! It'll lose your socks!
cortex: I'm putting it there for posterity, but no one should actually visit it, because it's just an alphabet thread. But it exists, and it'll be at the top of those commented lists now.
mathowie: Burning up the server.
cortex: Oh, and there was also the penpal thread!
jessamyn: Oh, I didn't check in on that after that opened up. Were you checking in on it?
cortex: I think it was in my Recent Activity. It's been quiet for the last couple weeks, but I think people are sort of, a bunch of people said, "Let's do this!" and now it needs to sort of get organized and actually happen. But if you have a late-breaking interest in participating in penpal stuff with MeFites--
jessamyn: And having a Metafilter penpal, go right ahead!
cortex: Yep. Go check it out.
mathowie: I like postcards. Postcards are good.
cortex: You can penpal with postcards, I suppose.
jessamyn: Postcards are great! I have some waiting for me, because I was gone for weeks, so now I have a stack of mail that I've just been looking at while I've been talking to you dudes. (whispers) Stack of mail. Who knows what's in it?
cortex: (chuckles) Is it taunting you like, "Oh my god, I want to--"
jessamyn: There's nothing more exciting than a stack of mail you haven't opened yet!
mathowie: (chuckles) It could be so many bills!
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
jessamyn: I don't get my bills through the mail anymore! They're mostly all e-bills or whatever.
jessamyn: (whispers) Stack of mail! Not bills! Newspapers!
jessamyn: Wedding invitations!
mathowie: It's already June. June's already over! You probably missed a wedding!
jessamyn: It's July, man.
mathowie: You missed a wedding, I bet.
jessamyn: I didn't miss a--(laughs) Shut up!
mathowie: (chuckling) You should have opened your mail.
jessamyn: (laughs) Although, I think I told you this, that my meetings, my Justice of the Peace Board of Civil Authority meetings, they tell me about the meetings by letter.
mathowie: (laughs) Like, they send you meeting minutes by letter?
jessamyn: Yeah! Well, they send me the minutes, but then they also tell me when the next meeting is going to be.
jessamyn: So if I'm out of town, even if I might be back in time for the, or I could be back, I don't know about it because they've sent me a letter that's just sitting in the post office. Whereas if they'd e-mailed me, I would know immediately.
mathowie: (chuckling) I was going to ask, is this delivered by owls?
cortex, jessamyn, and mathowie: (laugh)
jessamyn: I know!
mathowie: And I hadn't put my owl food.
jessamyn: I mean, granted, I'm probably the youngest person on the Board by fifteen years.
jessamyn: And I'm not that young, but still, really? The post?
mathowie: Yeah. Can you show them a Google Calendar? (chuckles)
jessamyn: I don't know!
mathowie: Jump ten steps ahead of where they should be.
jessamyn: Right. "Let's all use Doodle!"
jessamyn: Well, and the meetings are random. Like, everybody just talks about when's a good day for them,
- so we don't have, like, "Oh yes, Tuesday at 6." It's like, (high-pitched) "I don't know, is everybody around on Thursday? Oh, not this Thursday. What about next Thursday? No, but Wednesday's good! You all free Wednesday?" Augh. I want something regular that goes on my calendar. It's too much to ask.
mathowie: Alright, I think we're... done?
jessamyn: Anything else, Josh?
cortex: I think I'm good. I'm empty.
jessamyn: Anything else, Matt?
mathowie: Nope. Good for July. Talk to you in August.
cortex: Good for July!
jessamyn: Good for July!
mathowie: Good for July.
jessamyn: It's great talking to you, gentlemen, as usual.
cortex: (laughs) A pleasure.
mathowie: See ya. Bye. New theme song!
jessamyn: Bye, new theme song!
mathowie: Alright, bye.
sfx: (Music: Chicken 180 by Durhey)
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sfx: (Music: Chicken 180 by Durhey, continued)
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- beryllium, 250 segments
- Pronoiac, 1