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Podcast 87 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 87: "Dungeons and Dragons" (2013-12-10).

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


jingle: (theme song)

mathowie: So, welcome to episode 87 of the Metafilter Podcast. I'm Matt.

cortex: I'm -

jessamyn: Jessamyn.

cortex: Josh.

jessamyn: Aow.

cortex: Oh of course -

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Man, we have to figure out an order of operations. Let's do it again!

jessamyn: What-ho!

cortex: What-ho!

mathowie: Oh, that's right, we have to go what-ho!

What is the order?

cortex: I don't know.

mathowie: Should it be Josh first or Jessamyn first?

cortex: Well, we could--

jessamyn: I come first both alphabetically and in seniority.

mathowie: Yeah, there you go.

jessamyn: Josh, if you have anything else to say, go, now is your time.

cortex: No, actually, I think Jessamyn should be in the middle, because I always pan me a little left and Matt a little right, and then Jessamyn's the middle, and it's easier to tell her apart from the two of us, but then there's the two of us on either side of the stereo channel, so I think if--yeah.

mathowie: Well, there should be a Jessamyn between us. That would separate us.

jessamyn: Right. That's exactly what he said.

cortex: Yes. So we'll do it right to left, Matt and then Jess and then me. We're going to establish this, and then we're going to completely forget this by next month, but--

jessamyn: I'm not going to forget.

cortex: But that seems like a good plan. Okay, fair enough. Well then, you're in charge of reminding us.

jessamyn: Okay!

mathowie: Alright. So we're redoing it, right?

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: You know, 87 is the sum of--

cortex: I think we should just keep rolling anyway. I...

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

cortex: I think this is quality stuff. (chuckles)

jessamyn: So 87 is the sum of the squares of the first four primes, gentlemen. If you're interested in...

cortex: Nice! Well done. I was going to say, it seemed like a nice number, but I hadn't done any research, so that's...

jessamyn: But not technically a nice number, right.

mathowie: What are the first four primes? 13...?

jessamyn: So the sum of the squares? I don't even know what that means. I'm reading it. Squares of the first--

cortex: 2, 3, 5 and 7. Square each of those, add each of those squares together.

jessamyn: Oh. So 49 plus 25 plus 9 plus... wait, isn't 1 a prime?

cortex: 4. No, 1 is not a prime. 1 has only one factor. A prime is defined as a number with two factors, itself and 1.

jessamyn: Oh, thank god you're here. Great!

mathowie: So 3, 5, 7, 9? No, wait, 3, 5, 7? 3, 5...

cortex: I say this with confidence, and I think that's actually largely defended in the way people do math. But it is also just some bullshit someone made up at some point.

I mean, it's one of those things where you can get--

jessamyn: Right. It's like, does 'commercial' rhyme with 'commercial', yes or no? Weell... Weeeelll... Weelll!

cortex: You can get in a real throwdown argument about whether or not 1 is prime, but you'll lose, because it's not!

mathowie: Imaginary!

jessamyn: Oh, you know! I saw a version of Elementary--speaking of imaginary, which this technically rhymes with--where one of the entire plots centered around somebody who may have found the P = NP solution.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

jessamyn: And someone else would kill for it--

cortex: Ha-ha!

jessamyn: Because some rich guy offered a lot of money for it.

cortex: Sure.

jessamyn: And so it was all about who would have killed the mathematicians. Very exciting. [??]

mathowie: Oh, if someone had figured out P = NP, you'd want to kill that person? (chuckles)

jessamyn: Yeah! Well, you'd want to figure it out, or yeah, because you can use it in cryptography.

mathowie: Ohhh.

jessamyn: So if you were the cryptography company you'd want to either get the answer or make sure nobody else got the answer? It was all predicated on the cryptography company getting the solution but then selling it back to the government

and not letting anybody else get it?

cortex: Yeah. This sounds a lot like the basic conspiracy plot in the movie Pi, too, the whole Darren Aronofsky film about the guy who, yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, gosh, that's right. I saw that a long time ago. Yeah. Not as weird.

cortex: Yeah. (laughs)

jessamyn: And they wrap it up at the end. But one of the people's a lady mathematician, so I'm always pleased by that.

cortex: Yay!

jessamyn: Yeah. So yeah, Jobs, there's not really a lot there. You would think there would be some kind of, like, pick up a thing for me in

Canada and drive it across the border... I enjoyed, when did we do the last podcast?

cortex: It was just right at the start of November.

mathowie: Yeah. So anything from November.

cortex: So basically all of November is game.

jessamyn: So Ian A.T.'s logo designer for a fictional '90s kids' show was the one that I liked, just because I like Ian A.T., and...

cortex: I don't know what thing you're talking about here.

jessamyn: The Job! I mean, we're both looking at the same Internet, are we?

cortex: Oh, the Job! Sorry. You both said Jobs was like nothing, (chuckling) so I didn't even bother

bringing it up, I was like, bye, I'm not going to bother, yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, so you moved on. You moved on!

cortex: I was like, what Project is that?

jessamyn: (chuckles) Oh, I'm sorry. Are we on Projects already?

cortex: Sorry, please, please, please do discuss this. Discuss this logo.

jessamyn: No, there's nothing to discuss, it's just, he needs a logo that looks like it comes from a show but one that didn't exist, and so you had to work with Ian A.T. to make that happen.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: That works.

mathowie: I guess it would have color splatches and lightning bolts, I think?

jessamyn: That's exactly what he said, lightning bolts.

mathowie: Yeah. (whispers) Lightning bolts!

cortex: Oh, plus Salamandrous just posted a job this morning saying, hey, can you basically make me a fitted bedsheet that's plastic to deal with my cat pissing on my bed?

mathowie: (snickers)

cortex: So if you know how to do that, help a bro out there, because no one should have to deal with their cat peeing on their bed. We have thankfully not had to deal with that so far, so the day that that comes, man, I don't know.

mathowie: Doesn't that usually point to something horrible is wrong, if a cat's peeing on the bed?

jessamyn: No. Cats pee on beds constantly.

cortex: Well, or to the cat being an asshole. Cats are just insane.

mathowie: I mean, I think they've done it twice to me in my entire life, all cats combined, but...

jessamyn: You may just be extraordinarily lucky.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: My sister has had a problem with this, my mother has had a problem with this. I didn't have a problem with this, but it's like, if you have fussy cats--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And then you piss them off, and you know, what's pissed off to a cat? Who the hell knows!

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Then they, you know.

cortex: "Someone moved my chew toy."

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: "It may have been me. But I'm angry about it!"

jessamyn: RARRR!

mathowie: Ohhh.

jessamyn: And some people maybe don't care if the cats pee on their bed, so that's not the revenge thing that the cat does.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: But if you care, then the cat knows, and then, yeah.

cortex: We've been really worried about our cats figuring out the kitchen counter. Because five years in, they still haven't done that. It did take them a while to figure out they could get on the table and that they could actually jump straight up to it without a chair, but the kitchen counters are kind of high in our house, so they so far haven't figured out. But we got a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving from a local meat place, just an 11-pound bird, and

oh my god, so great. I don't really tend to like turkey-turkey.

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: The white meat especially is like blech. The dark meat I'm fine with. But the smoked thing, oh, it's great! Because you just, you heat it up. You don't need to cook it, because it's already cooked, so you just heat some up, and we heated some up on Thanksgiving.

mathowie: Oh, nice.

jessamyn: Yeah, you can eat it like ham, more like.

cortex: And then yeah, exactly. And it's just leftover, and oh, we had a bunch of turkey sandwiches. Angela's actually kind of sick of the turkey sandwiches. I'm actually still kind of down with them, so. But the cats, the cats! Oh my fucking god, our cats just are insane

for smoked turkey.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: Like, they've been coming into the kitchen just meowing, like... I mean, they did sort of react to us in the kitchen with suspicion that there might be food in general, I mean, that's not totally new.

jessamyn: Sure. That's a cat thing.

cortex: But they are insane about the smoked turkey! And they've upped their game in being in the kitchen, and we saw one of the cats craning her neck last night, looking up.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: And (laughing) Angela's like, "No! No!", and just chased her out of the kitchen, because we don't want to have to deal with the

[assumption is that ?] the cats will actually get at food on the counters, because that's a fucking game changer.

mathowie: Augh.

jessamyn: Right, yeah, totally.

cortex: So yeah. And I blame smoked turkey, basically, because man.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: What? You have some hipster cats, there.

cortex: Seriously.

mathowie: Only into smoked turkey.

cortex: (laughs) They don't even like catnip! Like, smoked turkey is literally catnip to them, as far as I can tell.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: It seems to be psychoactive, whereas actual cat weed does nothing.

mathowie: My last two cats, not the ones that I have now, but one time, I didn't eat beef for fifteen years, and then I started eating a little bit every now and then, and I can't remember, we made some sort of meat dish, and there was some fatty pieces on the side, and for some reason we gave them to the cats, and it was like, they went insane. And we were like, "How does this ever occur in nature, that a bunch of cats take down a cow?" Like, they were just licking their paws for hours--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: They were fighting each other, biting each other over the last bit.

jessamyn: I just recently saw a picture of a bunch of cats eating some big dead thing--

mathowie: Oh my god.

jessamyn: --with bloody muzzles. I can't even remember, it's not the kind of thing I would Google willingly.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: But yeah, I mean, you know, they eat mice! Like, mice aren't that tasty, I don't think, but they eat the fattiest little animals they can get in nature. They just don't get cows very often.

mathowie: Yeah. Well, we were like, naturally, how often would cats run across cow meat and man, they just went primal on it.

(laughing) That's why we were like, holy crap.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: This doesn't happen in nature! Why are they acting like this?

jessamyn: A dead deer on the side of the highway?

mathowie: Yeah, maybe.

jessamyn: Who even knows? I don't even know. But I slept in two separate beds this weekend because I visited my sister and my mom, and both of them had one of these things on top of it.

mathowie: Ohh, man.

jessamyn: Because the cats are just hairy. They're not even little pee-ers. They're just covered in hair, and so if you want to give your guests a vaguely hair-free experience in their guestroom, you put a blanket on top of the bed.

mathowie: Nice.

jessamyn: It's just the poison blanket, as we call it.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Sacrificial.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Do we move straight into Projects?

jessamyn: Sure!

mathowie: Alright.

jessamyn: I enjoyed this Project by missjenny, who did copywriting for this, which is basically, "Hey! Why don't you chip in and donate some money to the Food Shelf, and we'll put your name on a can of corn or something." It's a site for a homeless shelter, you can get naming rights to the stuff in the pantry.

mathowie: Ohhh.

jessamyn: And it's just a way to get people to donate, but the website's really neat-looking?

mathowie: Oh, man.

jessamyn: Like, really neat-looking.

mathowie: That's beautiful.

cortex: Yeah, it's really slick. A lot of people seemed to really dig that. I think I saw someone paid to name a tampon after something Game of Thrones, or something like that. I don't remember exactly what it was, but.

jessamyn: Yeah, name the fire extinguisher, name the apron, name your own pencil...

mathowie: Do they have results of things that got names?

jessamyn: I think they just started. I'm not totally...

mathowie: They raised $22,000. Wow. That's awesome.

jessamyn: Yeah. Enough to help four people out of homelessness, and it's just a neat project.

mathowie: This is beautiful.

jessamyn: Yeah! It's a completely knock-out site, Jenny did the--missjenny did the copywrite stuff on it, and it's just a neat idea. Because, I mean, 'tis the season, right? You get a lot of people donating for a lot of different reasons, but this is sort of an interesting way to go about it.

mathowie: Yeah, I thought that was super compelling.

jessamyn: As well as kind of subtly giving people information about what you need to do to run a homeless shelter. People have backpacks and storage lockers and we have to buy soap and hand sanitizer and coffee mugs and bus passes, and as you read it, you kind of get to know more about what the homeless shelter's actually doing. Teddy bears, walk-in freezer, floss.

So I think it works on a whole bunch of levels, and it's really nifty, and it got posted to Metafilter right on or around Thanksgiving.

mathowie: Oh, sweet. I really liked this Project of decorated lunch bags for my two kids from Presidente de China. This reminds me of a friend, early Metafilter user CrazyUncleJoe, he does...

jessamyn: Oh, yeah! I see those things on Facebook all the time.

mathowie: Yeah. I think I follow him on Flickr, and it's like, he's been doing an elaborate

warning sketch. Like, I think he's a lawyer, or a sales guy, but he's always been a doodler, and so he does this stuff for--

jessamyn: And he's good at it! Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, and he does it for fun. And he's had this, like, I think he made up basically a comic, sort of, on her lunch bags, his daughter's lunch bags, for the last seven years or something like that. And this reminded me, this was a person who set up a Tumblr blog of every morning, what they drew on their lunch bags, and it was a lot of historical stuff, like I guess they go to Wikipedia and they look up stuff, and then they

draw some really cool stuff.

cortex: Draw, or apparently carve a linoleum or woodblock print sometimes, because holy shit, check out this Olmec print.

mathowie: Yeah, I know.

cortex: That is fantastic.

jessamyn: It's really great, yeah. Here's a link to Joe's stuff, just by the way, if you wanted to add that in.

mathowie: Oh, right, yeah. [??] his photos.

cortex: I kind of want to go play Spelunky now. I still haven't beat Olmec, he's the big boss at the end of this game called Spelunky that we were just talking about on Metafilter again this last

month. Maybe I'll find the post for that.

jessamyn: Spelunky?

cortex: But yeah, you have to fight a giant Olmec head that tries to smash you, and so.

jessamyn: I have a game etiquette question to ask you, Josh.

cortex: Shoot.

jessamyn: You have people that come over to your house and play games, right?

cortex: Every now and then, yeah.

jessamyn: And you go over to other people's houses and play games.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: I've had people over to my house to play games, and I wound up with one extra game and one missing game?

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: But I don't know how long ago that happened?

cortex: Oh, man.

jessamyn: And I don't want to be that person who's like, "Who stole my shit?"

And yet it's my favorite game.

mathowie: Aww.

jessamyn: And I'm just wondering if there's a polite way to say, "Hey, I've got your game, and by the way, maybe you have my game?" Or if that's just kind of what happens when you play games at other people's houses that sometimes stuff goes away.

cortex: No, the thing you said is what I would say. I would, if I had a reasonable idea of who might have it, I would say, "Oh, hey, by the way, I think maybe you ended up with my copy of Foo."

jessamyn: Well, I have a... like, there's a group of people who might have it, because it was this big holiday weekend thing.

cortex: Oh, well, if, yeah. If it would be reasonable to

toss out an e-mail to all of them, that's what I would do. I mean, I don't know.

jessamyn: Even if it was a couple months ago?

cortex: Sure, yeah. It's like, I'd say, "Hey, oh my gosh, I'm just realizing--"

mathowie: "I just realized!" Yeah.

cortex: "--this now, but a couple months ago we had that game thing, and I can't find my copy of Foo. Did anybody end up with...?"

jessamyn: "And I have this stupid copy of this Wii piece of shit, and I want Katamari back."

cortex: (laughs) You should probably be a little more politic in how you phrase it, but yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs) But that's a normal thing that people do?

cortex: Yeah. Oh, yeah. With ours, generally speaking, I think people end up showing up and leaving with what they had just because it tends to be

organized a little bit more as a meetup and I think so people--

jessamyn: Well, and this was like, children were involved, so it could be anything.

cortex: Ah, yeah, so who fucking knows.

jessamyn: Right. Right. And I was not paying much attention to the gaming beanbag and console, so.

cortex: Yeah. So, you know, I think that's totally normal. Just be like, "Oh, hey, by the way, I just now realized, but I'm not sure where X is. Did anybody end up walking home with that after the thing we had?"

jessamyn: Right. Nobody likes this game but me, come on.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: But I've had to play Monkey Ball in the meantime, and I hate it.

cortex: Euh.

mathowie: I thought you were talking about board games, and I was like, "How do you miss a board game? How do you pick up the wrong board game?" But a bunch of discs...

jessamyn: Exactly.

mathowie: But a bunch of discs, that makes sense.

jessamyn: Right. Well, and we have some of them that are in bags, and I don't think we had the box for this one, so euh. Yeah, who knows. Thank you. Thank you.

mathowie: Yeah. Alright.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Any other Projects, Josh?

cortex: I have a few, yeah.

jessamyn: I--oh. Yeah, go ahead.

cortex: I liked the Automatic Caution Door thing, it's just a simple little generated thing, but it's the sort of thing that makes me chuckle.

This is something made by oulipian [ˌwɪˈlɪpiən]? oulipian [ˌuˈlɪpiən]?

jessamyn: oulipian [ˌuˈlɪpiən]? I say oulipian [ˌuˈlɪpiən], I don't even know.

cortex: Yeah, I don't remember if we... Yeah, I feel like we've done this before.

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh)

cortex: But anyway, it's great. It takes that--

jessamyn: "Ruptured Double-Think Spleen." "Amateur Information Mimes." "Wrecking Ball Magic." Wow.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Wowwww. "Mysterious 1999 Bamboozler." "Because opposite of reasons." Hohohohoho.

cortex: It's just sort of fun to [??]. And it got a Metafilter post, it looks like, too, although [??]. Anyway. I liked that. I thought that was cute. That was a thing.

mathowie: Neat.

jessamyn: It's wonderful. You're right. I hadn't clicked through.

cortex: There's a somewhat more linguistically ambitious one called Pizza Clones that's a little bit hard to explain, but it's sort of riffing on the idea of snowclones, which I'm sure I talked about some time in the last several years, phrases that, yeah.

jessamyn: Yes. I went as a snow clown for Halloween one year.

cortex: Oh, yeah?

jessamyn: Yes. Snow clown.

cortex: But yeah. This looks for tweets making a couple different assertions and then tries to generate an automatically-generated tweet that marries those two insertions together? So if someone, yeah, it's... (laughing) go look at it! It's hard to explain.

mathowie: "Every sweater is an ugly sweater that has some kind of macabre twist"? Is it all based on the pizza joke?

jessamyn: "Every deal is a huge deal as long as you're happy, proud of you, and I'll support you"? "Every tweet is an exciting tweet unless it's about business, LOL"? (laughs) Yeah, no, I get it. It's weird.

mathowie: Is that a Mitch Hedberg joke, the...? Or is it Eugene Mirman? Who...?

jessamyn: They do all seem like Mitch Hedberg jokes.

mathowie: Yeah. Like every pizza...

cortex: Well, yeah, it's the structure for the setup of a good joke inverting a couple of things, but without the actual thinking of a joke thing ahead of time. It's just looking for the syntactic construct in tweets, and yeah.

So yeah. aparrish made [??].

jessamyn: "Every picture is an accurate picture unless you want me to get you pregnant." I don't even.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Whaat?

jessamyn: (laughs) Whaat?

mathowie: Some are more successful than others.

cortex: (laughs) As tends to be the case with random language generators.

mathowie: Speaking of Twitter, I loved this, the, what is this? Oublio? Oublio.

jessamyn: Yes! This one I loved too.

mathowie: So a guy--

jessamyn: See, Oublio and oulipian, it's just ridiculous.

mathowie: Yeah. Oublio by jeddie is a pretty good Project. Just plumb the API for a bunch of popular services and show the most popular image or video right now this second. And I think they change every hour or so. But what this taught me is I have no idea, like, I am farther from pop culture than I thought.

jessamyn: What is going on in the world, right.

mathowie: Right. Like the most popular Twitter post was an old man in a backyard with some young people, and I was like, I don't get it. And it took me five minutes of research to realize it was one of the members of One Direction's grandfather, and then

one of the members of One Direction was in the photo in his grandfather's backyard. And that was the most fav--I mean, it had been retweeted six thousand times or something. And I was like, what? What's One Direction again? It was awful. (chuckles) The thing is, to click on the most popular thing on Instagram or the most popular thing on Reddit is to go, do I even know what these things are?

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Like, what is this again? Huh?

jessamyn: I can relate slightly more to the videos, at least.

mathowie: Yeah. Except they autoplay. Aah! The videos autoplay.

cortex: Hey, you're living on the edge, man.

jessamyn: Have you noticed that Vines autoplay now on Facebook?

mathowie: Oh, do they? I haven't noticed that.

jessamyn: (with exasperation) Yes. Terrible.

mathowie: People read, they send their Vines to Facebook?

jessamyn: Well...

cortex: And yet no animated GIF support. Which, I mean, what the fuck.

jessamyn: What--exactly.

mathowie: Well, you can, yeah, I think you would, don't you write or something, it turns any vine into a gif.

cortex: Does it?

jessamyn: Oh!

mathowie: Yeah, there's a URL hack.

cortex: I did not know that.

jessamyn: And animated GIFs can be like six megabytes of shit, too.

cortex: But that's no help, because then you still can't post an animated... yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. But someone made a Vine-to-GIF, all you do is change the URL, it's pretty cool, if you want to share something.

jessamyn: I'm not really with the Vine yet.

mathowie: Yeah, the Vine's exhausting.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Because it's one of those things where it doesn't, the web view, it exists on mobile, pretty much, only, and there's a crippled web, there's no, you know,

I don't like this trend, this trend where--

cortex: Yeah, I remember that was going on, there was some other thing I liked, Cinemagram was doing the same thing as well.

mathowie: Instagram did that. Yeah.

cortex: But literally all it had was a mobile phone client. You couldn't go to a web page that was worth a goddamn to show these things to other humans in a normal way.

jessamyn: Like your mom, or some non-smartphone person.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: All you can do is get a URL of that video to share on a desktop. But you can't look at recent Vines that you follow.

jessamyn: Right. No discovery layer.

mathowie: Yeah, they just added this to Instagram, and that made Instagram a million times more useful for me. To be able to be like, "I have five minutes to waste! I would like to look at recent photos from my friends." And not have to go, "oh, let me dig my phone out of my pocket and start..."

cortex: Some 19-year-old is listening to this and being like, "What a bunch of old motherfuckers."

mathowie: We're old people, yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: "Why don't they send a telegram to them of all their recent tweets?"

cortex: "Those fucking dinosaurs!" (laughs)

mathowie: But it's like, I love to sit at a desktop still and look at social media during the day. I don't always like to dig my phone out. But I guess if your phone's your only contraption, you're fine.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: That was my feedback. I am mentoring some start-up dorks in Portland, and they came out with an app that was pure mobile and it was this way to share links privately and you can have discussions with groups of friends or single people, and I was like, "Why is there no web view?" Like, there was barely any web integration whatsoever. And they were like--

jessamyn: Well, and if you make something for mobile, web integration is easy? Or no, because...?

mathowie: It usually is. I mean, most apps these days are just one pile of JSON, so you know, that's like Javascript, XML API kind of stuff. And you make a mobile client that talks in JSON, and you can make a web client that talks in JSON, that just grabs these blobs of XML output from your server and just makes a nice page out of it.

So it's not that hard, it's just you have to double up your work. So everything you do on mobile you have to be able to do on desktop...

jessamyn: Right, right.

mathowie: Or they purposely cripple it, which also drives me crazy. Like, you can do 50% of what you can do on Instagram on the web. You can't post new photos, you can't get your recent activity, you can only get that on your phone... there's a...

jessamyn: I have a difficult time even logging in because I have all of these crap-blocker things on my browser, and whatever Instagram wants you to do to log in is the thing my crap-blockers think I need to not be doing.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Well, it's probably some scary Facebook Beacon probe bullshit.

jessamyn: That's a good point.

mathowie: Anything else on Projects?

jessamyn: No, that one was the one that I liked.

cortex: I liked... and I want to like it more, and I haven't gone back to see if this has been--

jessamyn: You want to like it more. There's just liking, man!

cortex: (laughs) Well, there's like, and there's like-like.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: (laughs) This Writing Blocks, this thing that raisindebt made, which, it's a really clever, cool thing.

jessamyn: Which is an amazing username, because it works on so many levels.

cortex: It does. Like, at least two. At least two.

jessamyn: Yes. I think three, also.

cortex: But yeah, Writing Blocks, you type and it just hides your words behind blank blocks, so it's one of those 'don't obsess about what you're writing after you've written it, just keep going,' sort of?

jessamyn: (starts typing)

cortex: And it's really great. I had a little bit of trouble with the interface. I don't remember what specifically the problem was, but something didn't work quite right for me, and I didn't go back and futz with it more, but I really liked the idea.

jessamyn: How do I find my stuff now?

mathowie: Was it just like a word, a writing exercise thing? Just get your fingers moving?

jessamyn: How, where, but now I just...? How do I get my words?!

cortex: I think you can copy and paste and it'll actually be there in the clipboard. It's just not...

mathowie: But are you supposed to use it for a morning, let's get my fingers moving, let's get my brain going, daily writing practice.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's, like, you know.

jessamyn: I am the worst typist in the world, is what this has revealed to me.

cortex: Do your sit down and knock out five hundred words or whatever sort of thing.

mathowie: Huh. That would be interesting, to do the posts as I do my journal. The daily writing practice, I use it for my journal. So you're not really obsessing about what you just wrote.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: I guess there's zero editing, because you'd have no idea after you write.

jessamyn: Because you're not editing. You paste it into an editor.

cortex: Yeah. Exactly. Which is a real common problem. Yeah. It's easy to write two hundred words and then sit down and think about those two hundred words and try and sort of edit and try and figure out where to build from there--

jessamyn: Work on your formatting.

mathowie: "Well, I don't like that last sentence. I want to throw it in the trash."

cortex: Yeah. And none of that's necessarily bad, but that's separate the editing process from the just get some fucking writing done process is a thing a lot of people struggle with that. So this is sort of in service of that.

mathowie: Huh. Neat. Neat. Anything else on Projects, or are we...?

jessamyn: Nope!

cortex: I'm also going to plug sleepy pete's and melissa may's new EP.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: That I'm on a little bit, but mostly from a recording from four years ago that I played some guitar on, and also--

jessamyn: I was going to say, yeah.

cortex: I appeared briefly in the radio play as an office douchebag, so that's kind of fun too.

jessamyn: (laughs) Was that difficult to stretch for you, Josh?

cortex: It was really, I had to look deep inside myself for my Ed Hardy stuff.

jessamyn: (deep chuckle)

mathowie: Where's Ad Astra, is that from Rushmore or something? What is it? Or is it from Maximum Fun? Or from Latin?

cortex: Oh, I'm sure it's some meaningful literary thing. But they both have master's degrees and I don't, so.

mathowie: Oh, I just remember--

jessamyn: I have a master's degree, too, and I don't know what the hell it means.

cortex: (chuckles) Well, in like literature.

jessamyn: Can you guys hold off one sec? The UPS guy is here.

cortex: Okay.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: I'll be right back, talk amongst yourselves.

mathowie: Ohh, this was on the MaxFun, I think maybe Jordan and Jesse go, they used to say Ad Astra, because it means 'to the stars' in Latin.

cortex: Ahh. That would work.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: (faint sounds of jessamyn)

cortex: It should really be Ad Astros, as in, "Let's go to an Astros game."

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: And then people would be like, [??]

mathowie: To the stars! Astros, stars. That's right.

cortex: Let's go to Houston. Let's go to the stadium in Houston.

mathowie: Well, no, we won't see [??] Texas, but yeah.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (to UPS guy) Thank you, thank you!

cortex: You know, we've been watching Friday Night Lights recently.

mathowie: Uh-huh.

jessamyn: Woo-hoo! Drum kit.

cortex: Yay! Like a straight-up drum kit?

mathowie: For the Wii?

jessamyn: Like an electric drum kit.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: It's for Jim, for his birthday. And his birthday was Friday, and he has--

mathowie: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Spoilers.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: No, he knows! He knows! He knows! He knows!

mathowie: No one ever listens to this, don't worry about it.

jessamyn: His birthday was Friday, and I'd already gotten him a GPS, because he doesn't have one, and he doesn't have a smartphone? But then his mom was like, "He wants a drum kit!" and I'm like, "What? He plays guitar!" She's like, "I don't know!"

cortex: Yeah, it's a thing. Guitarists want to learn to play drums. That's why I bought a drum kit, too.

jessamyn: Well, he knows how to play drums, but he doesn't have any drums, and he lives in an apartment, so even though he can get an actual drum kit--

cortex: Ahh.

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: --that would just be a nightmare, so.

cortex: An electronic drum kit's perfect, then.

mathowie: Can you wear headphones and play drums quietly?

cortex: Yeah! Yeah. You just, I mean--

jessamyn: I'll find you guys a link, you'll be interested in it.

cortex: Yeah, all the noise you get off an electric kit like that is just literally the stick hitting the surface, and the surface isn't designed to be noisy, so you just--

mathowie: Oh, wow.

cortex: I'm sure his neighbor, if they sat quietly and listened, they could hear some thwacking in the apartment, but I think that's a pretty reasonable level of noise expectations, so.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: That's awesome. I hope he enjoys it.

jessamyn: Yeah, it was marked down, and everybody in the family chipped in, so me and my mom, my sister, his mom, his dad, and so... and the Amazon guy brought it to the top of the stairs, which never happens.

mathowie: Holy shit. That's like a full-on kit.

jessamyn: Usually they make me struggle. What?

mathowie: This isn't a single pad, this is a full-on--

jessamyn: No, no, no, I mean, this is what he wanted.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: But then he's gotta promise that he plays with it every day.

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

mathowie: Like a child. (laughs)

jessamyn: Yeah. You don't have to include the link in the (laughing) podcast wrap-up. I was just showing you

you guys what it is.

cortex: Yeah, that's neat. That's a nice-looking little kit.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: And it was Cyber Monday cheap, and Amazon Prime, and whatever.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: That must be a big-ass box.

jessamyn: It's very big. And now it's preventing me from leaving the house.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: It's the size of a refrigerator.

jessamyn: So it's a very good thing that I already went to the post office.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: Also--

cortex: Electronic drum kits are known fire hazards. It's a real problem.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Because you can play them and you're just smoking!

jessamyn: But this is good, because I've been waiting for this guy, and it does, it's, yeah, it's thirty pounds.

mathowie: So should we go to Metafilter stuff?

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: Sure, yeah.

jessamyn: As opposed to Ask Metafilter stuff.

mathowie: I loved, loved, loved the, this is from December 1st, the Planet Money, how they made the t-shirt thing is an incredible--

jessamyn: (excitedly and quickly) My friend Robert did that!

mathowie: That is an incredible bit of journalism through a web browser, like, it autoplays a video, then scrolls down--

jessamyn: I thought you hated autoplay!

mathowie: Well, it's kind of neat?

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: I think you press play, but when the movie's over, it automatically scrolls to all the data and the background information, and then you scroll down through that, which is beautifully displayed, and then there's the next chapter, and the whole thing is, like, it's a new way of doing storytelling on the Web, and super fascinating.

jessamyn: I agree. The presentation was another exciting part of what was already a really interesting story, which I was stoked about, yay NPR.

mathowie: Yeah, like, remember Snow Fall, right, the famous New York Times story where they went nuts on the HTML, like this, I mean...

jessamyn: I do not remember Snow Fall, actually, I'm sorry.

mathowie: Oh, it came out last summer and sort of revolutionized the journalism industry, because everyone thought, oh, god, this is what the future of newspapers is going to be like, like shit flying around everywhere... it took a team six months to make this amazing story, but the story itself is pretty boring, it's about, I never even read the whole thing, when you ask anyone, Snow Fall's this famous, it's a catchphrase now for whiz-bang HTML

shit flying around with a bunch of words, but nobody ever reads the actual story. But this Planet Money, the story is fascinating.

jessamyn: Well, and it guides you through it, which makes it super... yeah. I mean, you've gotta set aside some time, but it's not that much time, and the story itself is something we all care about, too, I mean, I think?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, that whole "where did my stuff come from?", especially among food people, is huge!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And so this is an equally useful, "where did my t-shirt come from?"

mathowie: I was surprised. A lot more straightforward, because I'd heard some rumors that they were getting arrested trying to film parts of this, like, where did the seeds for the cotton come from? And where did they grow, and then where's the factory? That there was so much corporate secrecy involved--

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: --that they were basically always risking arrest.

jessamyn: Interesting.

mathowie: But, on the flip side, they're standing in a clean room in the Monsanto headquarters with a scientist who was like, and I was like, "I thought they said they got arrested

doing this?" Like, they obviously were welcomed into this one section. But it's fascinating, there's all sorts of disturbing labor stuff about where shirts come from. It's really cool.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: And I guess the whole thing's on GitHub, so you can download the web code that was used to make it and use it for whatever project you want to do.

cortex: Nice!

jessamyn: Yeah, I saw this because my friend Robert was part of it and so yeah, he did this thing on technology subsidies, which was part, I think, of that.

mathowie: I don't listen to the Planet Money podcast, but Paul said--

jessamyn: I don't either.

mathowie: Paul said they've been going on about this t-shirt thing for every other episode.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Yeah, every other episode is some aspect of it, but they devote way more time to it. So he said, like, this is a nice compressed, like, I avoid those podcasts, so he said this is basically a compressed version of what they've been covering for like a year.

jessamyn: Yeah. Yeah. Robert got to go to the t-shirt factory. I gotta go bug him then!

mathowie: Neat.

jessamyn: But yeah, if people want to look at some of the individual stories, you can actually track them down. If you don't have time for this for some reason.

mathowie: And the highlight of the whole thing is the South American woman who sews the shirts saying, "I imagine these shirts are for gigantic Americans."

jessamyn: (laughs) Oh, no!

mathowie: Like, she goes, "I cannot believe the size of the garments I'm sewing."

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

mathowie: And they show her sewing like XXXL, you know, they're so much bigger than her.

jessamyn: And some of them are football players, but... euh.

mathowie: And I was like, "I don't think everyone in America is enormous," she just keeps going on. Gigante, gigante, she just keeps saying it.

jessamyn: I would have to mention, of course, zarq's completely thorough--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: --here's every Muppet Movie episode. Or, I'm sorry, every Muppet Show episode.

mathowie: Muppet Show.

jessamyn: Just all of them. They're just all here.

mathowie: Yeah, I guess...

jessamyn: If you like the Muppet Show, go click this. It's all the shows.

mathowie: Someone was telling me that Muppet Show used to be kind of edgy in the '70s, because I was--

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: I was like, did you watch that Lady Gaga Muppet special?

jessamyn: I did not, no.

mathowie: It was the strangest thing.

jessamyn: I thought she had an outfit made of Muppets.

mathowie: She might have, in the past. But it was just really, it was on at 10:00 or 11:00 at night, and her, ColdChef had tweeted,

like, I can't describe seeing Lady Gaga's sideboob next to a felt frog, you know, what the feelings I'm feeling right now.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Like, it's really strange. So we're watching it, yeah. She had, at one point she has a condom on her head, and sideboobs galore, and singing with Miss Piggy, and you're like, what was it for? And someone was like, well, in the '70s they had the Doobies on and stuff, it was kind of edgy and counterculture.

jessamyn: In its own way, at the time, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. And there was a lot of weird Andy Williams. (laughs) Like, we had gotten some of the DVDs of the first few seasons, and I was trying to explain to my daughter, well, this person was famous in the 1940s, and then they were on this show in the '70s, and then I barely knew who they were in the '70s, and even as an adult now, I... they had some Billy Barty kind of stars, like, people from the '40s movies, kind of, would be on the Muppet Show sometimes. George [Bert ?]...

jessamyn: Right, as sort of elder statesmen. Vincent Price was on, and well, you can

look at this list, and it will say!

mathowie: But try and explain it to a seven-year-old in the 2010s, you know, what that person is or why they're famous. It's just kind of funny.

jessamyn: Right, right.

mathowie: I was like, wow, yeah, that person's very, that person died a long time ago, probably.

cortex: I will say, though--

jessamyn: Oh, no.

cortex: zarq did follow that up with a post about Andromeda that took a similarly thorough approach to cataloging everything.

Which makes me think that mostly zarq just reacts to television shows by cataloging.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Because I can't imagine why anyone would put this much work into fucking Andromeda, because oh man.

mathowie: What is Andromeda?

jessamyn: What is Andromeda? I can read, I guess, so.

cortex: It has, Kevin Sorbo is in charge of a ship--

mathowie: Terrible sci-fi?

cortex: --trying to make the galaxy right, it was some Gene Roddenberry thing.

mathowie: Huh.

cortex: It was like Xena in space-ish, in terms of production values, and also some of the cast members. I don't know. I'm probably taking a shit on something that a bunch of people actually secretly hugely love, I didn't even

read the post, I just remember seeing it go by, but man, fucking Andromeda.

mathowie: It was on the Sci-Fi Channel, it was never on a major network?

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Huh. I've never heard of it.

cortex: Yeah. I--(laughs)

jessamyn: I know nothing, nothing, nothing about it. Nothing, just nothing.

cortex: So anyway, if you watch all the Muppet Show episodes and want to watch all of the something else episodes--

jessamyn: No.

cortex: zarq's got another post there for you, is I guess the end of the story. (laughs)

mathowie: Oh my god, the... oh, man, I gotta load, I just noticed that the, what was it, that Breaking Bad in your browser meth game?

cortex: Oh, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Happened after the last podcast?

cortex: I guess so, yeah.

mathowie: I obsessed over this for basically a day. I mean, I started playing this, I mean, it's a very simple game, it's kind of like Lemonade Stand except with meth. (chuckles)

jessamyn: I don't even know what you guys are talking about this. I mean, I'm seeing this link, but what's so weird about it?

mathowie: Well, so you start, it's one of those click games. You know, one of those dumb click games, like, there's been some that are like...

jessamyn: I don't think I have played a click game. I mean, not to just be one of those, "I don't have a TV"...

cortex: Well, Cookie Clicker. Cookie Clicker.

jessamyn: I don't, no!

mathowie: Yeah, Cookie Clicker is a famous one where the only interface is, you just click a blank page that says, "You clicked 25 cookies! You have 30 cookies! You have 50 cookies!" And then when you get to 100 cookies you're unlocking things and you get bonuses...

cortex: Yeah, well, and Candy Box.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Candy Box was the thing that inspired Cookie Clicker, and that was sort of huge on Metafilter, I think I talked about it at the time.

jessamyn: You just point at the screen and click and...? How does it...?

mathowie: But this one is a little more directed, this is kind of like, you're doing Breaking Bad, but you have to cook meth, and you have to sell meth, and those are two different buttons. But at some point you don't even touch it any more...

cortex: You're producing stuff so that you can buy better infrastructure to produce more stuff and so on and so on and so on.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So it's like Sim City but for really dumb people?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Kind of, yeah.

cortex: It's... it's hard to describe.

jessamyn: Alright, alright, alright, I'll take your word for it.

mathowie: Actually spend five minutes on it, yeah, spend five minutes on it and you might totally love it, or not.

jessamyn: I don't have five minutes for this, it doesn't sound like.

mathowie: (chuckles) I was hooked immediately, because it's so dumb and simple and fun, and after I think two days I had unlocked everything. Oh, looks like I haven't logged in in a month, and my meth production is running in the background, so.

It looks like, yeah, it looks like I have--

cortex: See, I've been continually playing Cookie Clicker for--

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: --months now. Like, I'm looking at my game, that reminded me to pop in and pop some Wrinklers.

jessamyn: Pop some Wrinklers?

cortex: I'm trying to raise the 1.2 quintillion dollars--or cookies, I should say--I need to buy my next antimatter condenser and up my output a little bit.

jessamyn: I feel like I'm just going to wake up one day and everybody's going to be talking like you guys.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Yeah, I have 61 quadrillion dollars--

jessamyn: That's not a number!

cortex: It is!

mathowie: And it's not enough to buy everything. They keep improving the game so you can play it longer.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, really.

mathowie: Yeah. At first you could basically finish the game--

jessamyn: That's not predictable.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Well, but it doesn't, it's a free game. It's not something where they're getting in-app purchases or anything.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: This is totally somebody digging around.

jessamyn: Not now.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Yeah, you know, whatever.

jessamyn: Don't you whatever me.

cortex: No, I'm not going to whatever that.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I have strong opinions about shitty video game monetization schemes, and I'm glad that these aren't.

mathowie: Yeah, no, this is a harmless fun game.

cortex: This is people doing it right.

mathowie: I would say try it. If you love it after five minutes, you'll love it after two days, and if not, that's fine too. It's very, I was addicted immediately.

cortex: But Cookie Clicker's still better.

mathowie: (laughs) That's fine.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: I think I played Cookie Clicker for 30 seconds and went, oh, this is dumb.

cortex: Oh, see, you didn't get anywhere with it, then.

mathowie: I didn't get anywhere with it.

cortex: See, the meth one relies largely on the idea of the narrative of the show being imported into this thing.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Whereas Cookie Clicker only slowly reveals its actual narrative content once you get surprisingly far into the cookie-baking infrastructure development process.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: So it's two different hefts to it.

mathowie: Yep.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Yep.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I enjoyed this very short but kind of, it's a short thread but an interesting thing.

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

jessamyn: The Libyan terrorists who blew up the plane and then the families of the people on the plane, the surviving people on the plane, created a memorial, which is visible from Google Earth, with the help of local inhabitants.

mathowie: Google Maps, yeah.

jessamyn: And it's just a short, pretty, it's one of those viral Nova things, which I'm hesitant to even link to because I kind of feel like they're clickbaity annoying blah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But it has a good collection of pictures that shows the memorial, which is really super beautiful. And of course it comes from--it's, I guess people put this stuff together on imgur [ˈɪmɪd͡ʒ]--imgur [ˈɪmˌgɚ]? How do you say that word, Josh?

cortex: I say imgur [ˈɪmɪd͡ʒɚ].

mathowie: Imgur [ˈɪmɪd͡ʒɚ], yeah, is how I say it.

jessamyn: Imgur [ˈɪmɪd͡ʒɚ]. Alright. I have no idea. But I guess people put together little albums

of this stuff, so somebody basically poached all the pictures from an album, put it on viral whatever--

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: --and then, but it kind of tells the story.

mathowie: It's pretty insane.

cortex: There's a whole fucking mess of who fucking knows who's doing what attributional shit.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Imgur, on the one hand, may be poached from, but also often poaches from... so it's such a fucking mess. It's like Ebaum's got [??] into a whole giant schmear of non-attribution bullshit that people get up to.

mathowie: So it's weird--

jessamyn: But it's a nice-looking memorial, so. (laughs)

mathowie: What's weird is they built this in 2007, and then it was everywhere

like three weeks ago for the first time to me.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Had it always been sitting there since 2007 completed? Or they had to wait for Google Earth to go and Google Maps to go around there to finish it up?

cortex: Maybe. Or for it to occur to someone to go look, because I spend a lot of time hanging around Google Maps just looking close in at the desert in Libya? I mean, yeah.

mathowie: [??]

cortex: [??], yeah.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: So who knows, who knows. That's the way it works, though. Things just, one day it explodes, and it's, yeah.

jessamyn: Appear. Don't appear. Yeah.

mathowie: In terms of single-image posts, I thought this one was--

jessamyn: Oh, and that was from carmicha, just FYI.

mathowie: This post, I think it's just a single image on DeviantArt, about here's how to draw abs for real, and you're like, oh, well, okay, how great is that going to be, some comic, like a tutorial on drawing superhero nudes for your muscly comics.

But it's fascinating. Like, it's surprisingly fascinating when it talks about body types, and the entire muscle, like it gets into anatomy and stuff, and how people build themselves up in certain ways and why you draw it--

jessamyn: And in itself is drawn lovelily.

mathowie: Yeah. And there's all this stuff I just didn't know how the human body worked in that way. I just never thought about it. It's really cool. It talks about the strongest man competitions, those dudes that look pudgy to us because--

jessamyn: "A character who is fit due to their life as a farmer won't have super-defined abs unless they also do piles of crunches."

mathowie: Yeah. It's surprisingly great for, you think it's just going to be a dumb thing, like, hey, here's how you make your superheroes look better.

jessamyn: Not if it's coming from the man of twists and turns, I don't!

mathowie: It was awesome. I thought that was awesome.

jessamyn: He links to quality stuff. That was great! I missed that thread entirely.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I mentioned the Spelunky post in passing, so here's the Spelunky post that got everybody talking about Spelunky again that edeezy posted, talking about an eggplant row, which is, there's so much to explain I'm not going to bother explaining.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Basically, one of the neat things about this game is there's lots of little pieces that interact with each other in funny ways, and some of those things are actually pretty hard to pull off. For example, you can--

jessamyn: You can read JHarris' spoiler comment if you want to.

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

mathowie: But it's impossible to carry an eggplant around through some of the levels, and someone did it for the first time?

cortex: Yeah. Someone found a way to do it... well, to do it solo, specifically. Because you can play multi-player, and then you can--

mathowie: Oh.

cortex: --cooperate, and someone can hold the eggplant while someone else dies, I think, is the normal process. But someone figured out how to manage to have the eggplant be somewhere that they could escape to even by themselves, which is...

jessamyn: Is it in their butt?

cortex: Yes, yes, it's--(laughs)

mathowie: Is Spelunky like Minecraft in that, is it like a very small, single person made this and it's wildly popular, sort of, or...?

cortex: In that sense, yes. It doesn't really have much else in common with Minecraft. But it was made by a guy named Derek Yu, who made the original version in a program called Game Maker, actually, which was sort of like a game development kit that has somewhat constrained abilities compared to just generally programming in a program [??] from scratch, but it lets you get started easy. So it's an easy thing for someone who doesn't know a ton about programming to do. And I don't know if he didn't know a ton about programming or if he just decided to use it because it'd be simple, but he made it, it was very popular, and then he remade it,

and released it on Xbox and then PC and PS3 and all that now.

mathowie: But it's not like, EA doesn't own it now...

cortex: I don't think so. I think he still basically owns and controls it.

mathowie: And it's probably one of those stories where one man is a millionaire because of this great game.

cortex: I would imagine he's in pretty good shape because of Spelunky sales, yeah. He's sold a lot of copies. But I don't know. I never looked into the details. Anyway, it's a fun game, and it's hard, and yeah, JHarris talks a bunch about it in that thread.

mathowie: JHarris really schools everyone on it [??].

cortex: Well, it's a roguelike-like. It's a platform or puzzle game that has a lot of roguelike elements to it. And he's a huge, he makes me look like somebody who has only the most passing interests in roguelikes.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: He wrote At Play, he wrote a column for years about roguelikes.

mathowie: Oh, wow.

cortex: You know, the guy, he's got, JHarris wins at roguelikes on Metafilter, basically. He's the king nerd.

jessamyn: You guys hang out?

cortex: I don't think I've ever met him in person.

jessamyn: Huh.

cortex: But we've certainly BSed about playing stuff online. He hangs out on MeFight Club sometimes, too, so.

mathowie: Huh.

cortex: So yeah. Anyway, it's a bunch of weird stuff. If you want some game dork stuff, go check that out.

mathowie: Another post I haven't even delved into but I think I would predict that this is going to be mentioned on Ask Metafilter forever when people ask for good videos or interviews. The 92Y released all their past interviews, so this is like, the 92nd Street New York City

YMCA has been for the last decade or two interviewing super famous people.

jessamyn: Going back to 1949.

mathowie: Holy crap.

jessamyn: I'm just reading ahead.

mathowie: I mean, I would hear about it randomly from New Yorker friends that, "Oh, I'm going to go see Steve Martin at the Y," or "I'm going to see Malcolm Gladwell," like, just all these huge, super-famous people. And those things existed, and they might have been on the radio once, but now they have on-demand video of all their

things going all the way back. So there's Kurt Vonnegut, Lou Reed, there's a whole bunch, and I haven't even delved into this but when I saw it I went holy cow, this is amazing.

jessamyn: Are they videos, or...?

mathowie: They're on YouTube.

jessamyn: I'm just wondering if they're extractible so I can listen to them in the car.

mathowie: You know, I was just telling Paul, I was pissed off that YouTube updated their mobile

app. They used to use, I guess, the iPod audio controls, so that you could launch a video in YouTube--

jessamyn: And just play it.

mathowie: And you could switch over to Maps or whatever, and it would be playing the audio in the background. Because I could just load up these things that aren't visual at all and listen to an interview while I--

jessamyn: But also still have your phone.

mathowie: Yeah. And now when you switch away from the YouTube app, it goes silent. And I was like--

jessamyn: Yeah! That's what the podcast app that I listen to the most does, too. It's strange.

But only sometimes. So I'm not totally sure. I think something changed, but not... it didn't entirely change. But I think for apps that have a sound feature, like, I can switch over to text, but I can't switch over to text and start texting using the voice commands.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I'm not sure. It's weird.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, yeah, voice commands, yeah. Anything with audio, that always breaks up.

jessamyn: Right, that even has audio built in.

mathowie: That always blows things. But yeah, I think this will come up

in every Ask Metafilter question ever for--

jessamyn: Like, "More stuff like this, please!"

mathowie: Right. Like, "Aww, I'm sick today, and I'm tired of Netflix. What should I watch?" People will start plugging these things, all their favorites.

jessamyn: (skeptically) Tired of Netflix. That's like getting tired of YouTube.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Well, sometimes you get tired of Netflix just because everything's not quite... it's like this virtual world where the movies are kind of B-level movies.

jessamyn: (chuckles) See, I don't have Netflix, and so I always think of Netflix as the thing that would cure my boredom, so I can't even

know that.

cortex: There's a lot of stuff on there. It's just tricky because it's not everything, you know. I've actually been going to a physical video store now and then, in the last month or two.

mathowie: Whaat?

cortex: Well, I've been doing that horror movie podcast with griphus for like, geez, close to a year now.

mathowie: Oh, right.

jessamyn: Right, right, right!

cortex: And so we've mostly done stuff that's on Netflix. But there's been a couple of things that weren't. We wanted to watch--

jessamyn: You know, both you guys can probably get stuff at the public library, too, FYI.

cortex: Well, the video store in this case happens to be a lot closer than the library, so. And I'm a lazy person.

jessamyn: (grumbles)

mathowie: [??]

cortex: And also, I'm not sure if the library would have a copy of Phantasm, because it was kind of hard to find. So yeah, I've actually been going into this local place called Videorama and renting the occasional horror movie.

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: It's kind of nice doing that for the first time in literally years and years.

jessamyn: Wait, which video store is it?

cortex: It's a chain called Videorama.

mathowie: In Portland [??].

jessamyn: Huh. Okay. Not one that I know.

cortex: Yeah, they exist, I think they're owned by the same company that owns a gym called West Coast Fitness, so they're always in the same building together.

mathowie: Huh.

cortex: Which I always kind of wonder if they've got a two-for-one deal where if you get a workout membership, then you get two rentals a month or something.

mathowie: That's also kind of like a dentist having a candy story, so you create couch potatoes, and then you have people work out to, and then you have them couch potato [??].

cortex: Yeah, there you go, there you go! I'm kind of surprised they don't have little mobile DVD players on top of every workout machine, because that would be a real synergy.

mathowie: Featuring Videorama's library!

cortex: And that way you can work out for like two hours, because you gotta [??].

jessamyn: I mean, that's--but that's what I do! I take my stuff and I

hand-break it and put it on my iPad and perch it on my stuff.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah. That seems to be a real common thing, so.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: It seems like they should get on that. Maybe they had the good sense to realize...

jessamyn: And Multnomah County has two copies of Phantasm, just FYI.

cortex: Do they? Fair enough, fair enough! I stand corrected.

mathowie: BiblioCommons.

jessamyn: In fact, they even have a Great Horror Films and a Cult Movies and Horror Films Worth Seeing list that might help you find other things that they have.

cortex: It may have significantly improved since the last time I tried to get videos from them.

jessamyn: What's actually improved is their interface has improved, so yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. Oh!

jessamyn: I don't know if their collection has improved, but you can find what they have better.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Josh, I listened to your podcast with griphus with Andy Baio, that was fantastic.

cortex: Oh, that's actually with churl, that's the other podcast. (laughs)

mathowie: Oh, right, sorry, that's right. Alright, I'm getting all your podcasts mixed up.

cortex: Yeah, that's The Crapshoot, that one's not about horror movies.

mathowie: Yeah, that one's really good, that's good! That's good. You guys are getting drunk on crazy stuff.

cortex: It was a good time. Andy was a lot of fun. Oh, man, yeah, the Joose, the Joose.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: They're drinking terrible malt liquor beverages, like--

jessamyn: Is that what you have to do to be on that podcast?

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: No, no, it was Andy's--

mathowie: It's a feature.

cortex: We usually have a couple beers, but Andy apparently really wanted to drink some Four Loko on the podcast, and they went to--

jessamyn: (low-pitched vibration of apprehension)

cortex: So he and Jesse stopped to buy some Four Loko. But they couldn't get Four Loko.

mathowie: But they got the worst stuff.

cortex: Yeah. So they got some Joose and some Sparks and said, well, I don't know what's necessarily worse, exactly. [??] the Four Loko guys.

mathowie: Sounds awful.

cortex: I think you're sort of in a class at that point where (laughing) it's kind of hard to get too snooty in one direction.

jessamyn: Beneath it.

cortex: But [??], like 12% malt liquor Joose stuff, basically.

mathowie: Alcohol. For a dollar!

cortex: For a dollar, yeah. And it was bad and we drank a lot of it.

mathowie: 24 ounces, augh.

cortex: It was a good time, but Andy's never allowed to bring juice into my house ever again.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: (laughing) That was a one-time deal, so.

mathowie: Let me see...

jessamyn: I enjoyed this... I had a couple that I really liked that were odd. This one, it was mostly like, the link, whatever,

interesting, the post by marginaliana, but then the thread, it's basically about Andy Kaufman, who, as you know, died a long time ago, and there's always been a bit of a fake death rumor, and then at the Andy Kaufman awards in New York City, a woman showed up who said she was his daughter, and it was probably--I mean, pretty much definitely just more of that joke, but you've got to kind of appreciate the long con that is Andy Kaufman's fake death.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And so the thread was just interesting people chit-chatting about that kind of stuff, and I enjoyed it a lot.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: Yes. (laughs)

jessamyn: Because he is really dead, I mean--

cortex: Yeah, he's gotta fucking be--

jessamyn: But the fact that there's even doubt introduced is always...

cortex: Yeah, it's such a weird part of his legacy that's... anybody else, other than like Elvis, maybe, for a period, if you're like, "Oh, yeah, this person who's absolutely dead and people saw him dying and he's dead--I bet he's alive still!",

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: It's like, shut the fuck up, what are you talking about? But then it's Andy Kaufman and you're like, (drawn-out falsetto) "Oh, yeah, but what if..."

mathowie: One of Andy Kaufman's gags was the, what was the New Jersey guy he used to be and he claimed he wasn't Andy Kaufman?

cortex: Oh, yeah, his sidekick.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Gah, why do I not remember his name?

mathowie: So I think that's probably where this all started, is that he would be in character on shows claiming not to be Andy Kaufman. And then I had heard that other people had played the character? (chuckles)

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Sometimes on David it actually wasn't Andy Kaufman being this weird New Jersey guy.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, Bob--ah, fuck. How am I spacing on this?

mathowie: And it wasn't the wrestling stuff... yeah. And he did die kind of weird and suddenly of some weird cancer, right?

jessamyn: It wasn't that sudden, actually.

mathowie: Oh.

jessamyn: But yeah, you know, died in Los Angeles of a cancer that he'd had for a while but a lot of his fans didn't really know, I think, he had it, and yeah.

mathowie: That's so--

cortex: Tony Clifton. Tony fucking Clifton.

mathowie: Tony Clifton, that was it.

jessamyn: Yes!

mathowie: He had a weird nightclub.

cortex: And yeah, Bob Zmuda would maybe be playing him sometimes, and yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. And Bob Zmuda's still around.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And a lot of his... because he died really young, and so a lot of his contemporaries are still around and kind of into that. But also because of who Kaufman, you know he would have loved the story, you know.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, it's clearly kind of done in his honor, not to kind of, yuck yuck yuck, he's not dead and we're goofing on him. It's clearly something he would have enjoyed.

And I liked the thread, so yes.

mathowie: Yeah. Cool.

cortex: Let's see. I liked that we got a guy who signed up to talk about his thing--well, he didn't really talk about it in detail, but he showed up to say, "Hey, oh, yeah, I made this!" But this little generative art piece called Clocks, which is written in a Lisp variant, and that's enough to get me on board, because Lisp is a weird, wonderful old language that doesn't get a whole lot of love.

Anyway, [??] wrote up a nice little thing and then showed up after the post to say, oh, hey, well, let me tell you about writing stuff in Lisp. And yeah. I just liked that. So it's a neat thing to look at and the guy signed up, but.

mathowie: So are the little screen-grabs if you leave the clock running for hours and hours, that's what it'll look like eventually?

cortex: I think, yeah. It's a bunch of different variations on the underlying engine, and they just run and run and run, and it's all generative code, so you get these

different patterns.

mathowie: Yeah, just because they're so simple when you launch them, and you're like, oh, the screen-grab showed fifty colors!

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: But yeah, I guess it eventually gets there. Wow, some of these are beautiful.

cortex: Yep. So it's neat stuff.

mathowie: Neat.

cortex: And yay for Lisp.

jessamyn: And they're for sale! Interesting. I missed this entirely when it showed up.

mathowie: I don't get the part where you buy the code for the generated... I don't understand. But I guess it's a way to take donations.

cortex: Yeah. I mean, why not?

I like that the name of the page is Remuneration, so, you know.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

cortex: But yeah, and if you ever hear, the thing about Lisp, if you ever hear people making programming-related jokes about parentheses, they're talking about Lisp.

mathowie: Ah.

cortex: Lisp is the one with all the parentheses.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: The fact that there's embedded parentheses in the post text by Jpfed is absolutely intentional.

jessamyn: Is a tip of the hat. Tip of the hat.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Thanks.

cortex: If he stuck in a car or a cdr there it would have been perfect.

mathowie: It's like everyone--oh, right. Oh, yeah, there's... everyone who comes out of MIT has to learn that, right?

Is that the thing? I seem to know a zillion MIT people who do that.

cortex: Probably, yeah. It would probably be hard to get off the MIT campus without at least a passing knowledge of Lisp.

mathowie: I loved this dumb, there was this dumb post by Artw called Bias for Action about working at Amazon Fulfillment Center, and it's a work of fiction. You want it to be true, it's so hilarious. It's just basically like, "I'm a loser working in an

Amazon Fulfillment Center in a dead town in West Texas, and here's my story of three months in the place." It's pretty realistic, like, I wouldn't doubt if this writer actually did a part-time job there to get... because it sounds so believable. But then the details break down when people are like, "Oh, I want that book mentioned in it!" but it doesn't exist. But it's just a hilarious story of basically youthful dumbass rebellion in an Amazon Fulfillment Center,
and it's just a good five-ten minute story that I would suggest people read, because it's funny!

jessamyn: Oh! I assumed that this was... oh, I don't know. Just some "Amazon sucks" thing that was real.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, I did too.

jessamyn: And I didn't want to read it because... yeah.

cortex: Because yeah, boring.

mathowie: This came right on the heels of the Amazon 60 Minutes thing.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Which was the first time I've watched 60 Minutes in like five years, and I taped it, and I watched the whole drone launch, and so I thought this was

a counterpoint, like a...

jessamyn: That drone shit.

mathowie: (laughs) Well, I thought it was like, oh, you know, that they made the fulfillment centers seem amazing in the show, because they're kind of technologically amazing, but they never talked to a human working there, and I thought this was like, oh, this is a counterpoint of how awful it is. But it's just a very funny story, in the end. Turns out this guy writes these amazing stories, and he has books of these amazing stories.

jessamyn: Great. I will go look.

cortex: Yeah, I'll have to go back and read it sometime.

jessamyn: (grumbles)

cortex: (grumbling) You've convinced me. It's probably not bad.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

mathowie: It ends on a slightly blue note, I will warn you there.

jessamyn: Warn the parents of...

mathowie: A very immature, you know, goes a little blue at the end.

jessamyn: I think I got that from the comments, actually, in the thread.

mathowie: Yeah. His final action [??]--

cortex: [??] by drone.

mathowie: But yeah.

cortex: Another code thing I liked--apparently I liked code things--this one is an ASCII fluid simulator. It just literally

takes the content of a terminal window and then treats it like fluid and animates the fluid in real time.

mathowie: Hmm.

cortex: And it's [??]. I said as much in the thread, but when I first looked at the video in the main link, I thought it was just shitty ASCII art for the title screen of it fluid, and then I realized, no, no, someone has carefully arranged their obfuscated C code. That actually is the code for the fluid simulator all in one screen spelling the word 'fluid'.

mathowie: Oh, wow.

cortex: Which is a clever sort of trick.

jessamyn: So great.

cortex: Yep. Just a nice little thing.

jessamyn: That's so nice!

mathowie: Wow. Does it have accelerometer hooks or anything?

cortex: (laughs) Not that I know of, but...

mathowie: It'd be funny if you could tilt your screen or something.

cortex: That'd be pretty sweet. Well, I mean, I don't see any reason you couldn't try and tie that in.

mathowie: Yeah, I don't know if it's available...

cortex: But it might be hard to still fit all that on the one screen of code, but.

mathowie: That's awesome.

jessamyn: And it's just a well-done video, like, the music is neat and you can watch them typing out the commands and yeah.

If you like that sort of thing, it's a good example of that sort of thing.

mathowie: Any other Metafilter posts?

cortex: I had--

jessamyn: I had--

cortex: Please, you. Proceed.

jessamyn: Just a couple that I enjoyed because of the discussions, and both of them were threads where, when I saw them go up, I was like, oh god RARR!

cortex: (laughs) It was going to be terrible, and...

jessamyn: That turned out to be okay, one of which was the interesting one about Why I Make Terrible Decisions, the poverty thread?

One of the things that was the most interesting about it, you know, it's a woman sort of talking about, look, I have these issues and I still smoke, I think, was one of the examples. But talking about... the sort of internal mental struggles that you deal with when you're poor in addition to it. But it's one of those internet posse things where in the process of talking about this one issue, which turned into some predictable arguments, a lot of people kind of looked into this woman,
and they were like, "Well, what's her life actually about?" and she put up responses that other people kind of responded to, and that was in and of itself kind of interesting. It was sort of like the thread which I think...

mathowie: Is this the same person that wrote a thing on being poor and then people on the Internet thought it was all a hoax?

jessamyn: Yeah, and it isn't, but it was confusing.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, she put together different scenarios that then people thought were her. I mean, she raised


mathowie: Ooh.

jessamyn: You know, through doing this, because she needed money to fix her teeth and whatever, and so the Internet gets kind of weird about it.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Which is an interesting juxtaposition with the stiffed tip thread--

cortex: (laughs) God, yeah.

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: --about the gay waitress who got one of those "I'm not--"

mathowie: But that was fake as well? Like...?

jessamyn: That one was, as near as we could tell, fallen at least into the unproven if not outright hoax category, because everybody--

mathowie: And then there's, there's also a post going around about some Jesus guy dropping like ten thousand dollar tips? There's been all these overlapping stories.

cortex: Oh, yeah, I think, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Which, I remember seeing that and seeing people say, "You know, if you have that size of a charge, it's going to get refused and marked as fraud, so they're not actually tipping anybody five thousand dollars, they're just--"

Right. Well, then the guy posts claiming that yeah, American Express called me right after this, but I assured them it was real. But that was weird--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. Well, and with Photoshop you can do anything.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And, I mean, it's sort of interesting, the gay waitress one was interesting to me--and the fact that she's gay doesn't have much to do with this after the initial thing. Because there is provable data, you know, like, she either did or did not get tipped. She claims not, the people claim yes, they provided a receipt, so euhluheuhleuhleuhluh! She claims she gave all this money to the Wounded Warrior Project, they claim they never got any money.

mathowie: Aww, man.

jessamyn: It's interesting watching the thing get taken apart.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And whereas the poverty thread, there was actually a lot of people kind of backing up what that woman said, even though the sort of asking for a whole bunch of money seemed a little sketch, in this thread it's exactly the opposite, you know, you get people that are like, "Well, this is kind of how the point-of-sale thing works at a register, and..." And they turned into sort of interesting conversations.

mathowie: Huh. About class war and...

jessamyn: Yeah. About not just that topic, which also my last thing that I wanted to point out was Drinky Die posted a thing about,

which is a set of photo essays about a woman talking about her weight loss progression, and about what a bummer it was to get to the end of it and having lost all the weight, but then just being there being a lady with a whole bunch of saggy skin and then not having anything else to go for, kind of.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And the fact that after she lost all this weight, from being a very heavy person to being kind of a normal-sized person, that wasn't actually what made her happy, you know?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And it's a poignant look at that that turned into a discussion that wasn't just the usual 'eat less' stuff, which is useless and not a useful conversation.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: So I was pleased by it, and I thought Drinky Die did a good job with the post, and the thread turned into an interesting conversation. So that's all I had for Metafilter.

cortex: I wanted to mention this really sort of callback Metafilter post, but--

jessamyn: Uh-oh.

cortex: Well, this came up in MetaTalk!

jessamyn: I'm going to start commenting about my own posts if you start this!

cortex: No, it's not one of mine.

jessamyn: (snickers)

cortex: No, this is a thing that happened in MetaTalk. So in MetaTalk, Deathalicious made a post last month saying, "There was a video posted to the blue a long time ago which featured a person at a table showing off items." And blahbuhblahblahblah, does anybody remember what this was? And I immediately thought of something, but then I realized that wasn't what they were asking about, and (chuckling) three other people thought of the same thing that I thought of initially.

jessamyn: (laughs) That wasn't the thing.

cortex: Yep. And we all, so me and Deathalicious were both trying to, people were making suggestions, like, no, no, it's not that, no, no, it's not that, and someone finally nailed it down later that day. It was, I think Deathalicious found it themself, actually, ended up tracking it down with some more searching. And it's Chop Cup, which was this video that I really enjoyed at the time, and then...

mathowie: This is so weird!

jessamyn: And then probably completely forgot about.

cortex: Yeah, yeah! I hadn't thought of it literally in years, probably since 2009 or whenever the original post was.

mathowie: The whole actual video--so there's this video of a cup and ball trick, but it's weird perspective joke?

cortex: Yeah. It's a straight-faced set-up for just a mindfuck reveal. And it's simple, and it's nicely done, and yes, I love it. I was so happy to be reminded of it. So I was glad that that happened, and I appreciate Deathalicious remembering that and trying to track it down so we could all see it again.

mathowie: That was amazing.

jessamyn: Neat!

mathowie: Watch the 'making of' video afterwards. It's an enormous production for a silly little video. (laughs)


cortex: Also, there was another--

jessamyn: I love it when you guys point out stuff that I just didn't see at all and now I'm like, "Whoo! Now I've got extra directed stuff to look at."

cortex: Well, then, you'll love this Lovecraftian roguelike-like post that--

mathowie: Oh, god.

jessamyn: Oh, come on.

cortex: --Ipsifendus made. (laughs) This has actually just been sitting, I can't even, there was a bunch of--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: The Markov chain made this post so that you would mention it on the podcast.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: We call that 'pandering'.

mathowie: Why don't we just interview the programmer who came up with

the Markov, who came up with this post? (laughs)

cortex: It's, you know, you come up with more social engineering hacks, I guess. But anyway. If you're looking for a Lovecraftian roguelike-like, there's your post. There you go. That's all I have to say.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: It's actually, it's on my 'to play' list, I haven't gotten around to playing this goddamned thing in a couple weeks and I really want to, but I've just been working on other stuff and yeah, so.

jessamyn: But that's what's great about Metafilter! 47 people can favorite this, and 37 people can comment, and the rest of us can ignore it completely, and this is the works.

cortex: (laughs) Exactly.

jessamyn: And it's delightful!

mathowie: My last post on Metafilter I want to mention was just interesting, weird!

jessamyn: Oh, that just happened, right?

mathowie: Yeah! This weird cloud phenomenon last week in the Grand Canyon.

cortex: Oh, yeah, yeah!

mathowie: Temperature version layers are totally normal. You see ground fog everywhere.

jessamyn: We get it here all the time in the rivers.

mathowie: Yeah, we get it in [??] Valley when the ground cools down faster than the air above it, and you get this weird fog ten feet off the ground, but once every decade or so

it happens in the Grand Canyon and fills the canyon with fog. And if you just jump on these Flickr searches for 'grand canyon fog', they're all from last week. You need these really special weather conditions for it to happen. That the Grand Canyon looks really weird filled with fog, like, it's so amazing!

jessamyn: Because it's so huge, and it's so full of clouds.

mathowie: Yeah, and you can't see--

jessamyn: It looks like Peru all of a sudden.

mathowie: Yeah, you can't see anything into it. I'm just so used to seeing these familiar shots from the familiar spot, you know, the overlook points.

But it's nothing but clouds. And it's just a, once a decade, I guess, this happens, and it just happened.

jessamyn: Yeah, there's snow along the border. Huh, that's cool! It's nice to see kind of a weather phenomenon that's actually improved something. Instead of just like, "RAR, a skunk froze to death crossing the road!"

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: "We're having these crazy blizzards!"

cortex: Oh, that poor skunk. (chuckles)

mathowie: Well, that also reminds me of, I think, I probably mentioned this post a year or two ago when there was a similar post on, what's the

Uluru Rock in the middle of Australia. It rains there once every five years.

jessamyn: I remember we talked about that when it happened. Here's the frozen skunk.

mathowie: Yeah. You get these really cool-looking waterfalls, and it's just this sudden total dumpage of water that has nowhere to go. (chuckles) Oh god, a frozen skunk. God.

cortex: That poor little guy.

mathowie: I did not see it. He's dead now, you know.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Tsssh!

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: He's dead--(laughs) He died, you know! Oh, you screwed up the tagline, man.

mathowie: (chuckles) That's the classic mlkshk comment. "She's dead, you know." Like, anything for laughing at.

jessamyn: You died, you know.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: I enjoy just trying to come up with bad puns on that, so.

jessamyn: Of course you do.

cortex: I think people, to the extent that they are aware, are probably sick of me being so in love with that. But I don't comment a ton on mlkshk. I'm relatively restrained.

mathowie: Wow. Extruded ice popping out of a frozen pipe. Woww.

jessamyn: Has nothing to do with Metafilter.

mathowie: I know.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: [??]

cortex: We're just going to talk about stuff on the Internet now.

mathowie: Crazy weather. Alright, Ask Me--

jessamyn: (laughs) I saw this picture of a cat!

mathowie: (laughs, high-pitched) It was so cute!

cortex: Did you see that corgi on... that was on Metafilter, right? Someone posted that? The corgi on a merry-go-round?

mathowie: Oh, I never watched it.

jessamyn: Who knows.

cortex: Oh, man. I'll just track down the link in case anybody hasn't seen it, because it's...

jessamyn: Good. We'll talk about Ask Metafilter, which you rarely visit anyhow.

mathowie: Yes.

cortex: Exactly. Keep yourselves busy, I'll find the corgi.

mathowie: Let's go to Ask Metafilterrr...

jessamyn: Alright. Well, of course, the classic Ask Metafilter thread of the last month was, "Do you close the bathroom door

when you're home?"

mathowie: Oh!

cortex: Oh, yes! (laughs)

mathowie: Didn't read it.

jessamyn: By signondiego, which was of course one in a long stream of "Can we talk about bathroom habits briefly?"

mathowie: Long stream, really? Long stream? (chuckles)

jessamyn: Oh, I don't... (softly) I don't know. I was just... I don't know.

cortex: I should go update my old blog post about Ask Metafilter threads about bathroom etiquette.

jessamyn: Yeah. 123 answers, just--

mathowie: Did anyone sum them up or anything?

jessamyn: Uhhh...

mathowie: I would think dudes are gross and probably don't close the door.

jessamyn: It's not about closing the lid, it's closing the door!

mathowie: I meant, yeah, the door.

jessamyn: People with cats have...

mathowie: Ohhh!

jessamyn: People with cats have a process, whether it's shut the door to keep the cat out or you have to open the door so the cat can get in.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: The cat's just going to freak the fuck out.

jessamyn: People with roommates tend to close the door, because of course.

mathowie: Yeah, that's respectful. But if you're home alone...

jessamyn: People with children, sometimes one or the other, but on purpose, you know?

mathowie: I will admit, I was peeing with the door open, my cat... I think he was pretty new at the time?... ran in, and was fascinated by the whole thing, puts his paws on the side--

jessamyn: Aah!

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I almost peed on his head! I was just like, "What are you doing?!" And now we have a new kitten--

cortex: (laughs; indeed, he barely ever stopped laughing)

mathowie: --who, one time I left the door open, jumped on the rim of the bowl and almost fell in, and I was like, oh god, door closed from now on.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: See, that is a thing I don't worry about, you know? When I'm in the bathroom, I'm guarding that

bowl, and I'm close to it. You're tall, too, which is a problem.

mathowie: Yeah. Well, they were just, they're obsessed with water and faucets and yeah.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, our cats tend to...

jessamyn: Do they have a fountain? Do they have a fountain?

mathowie: No, they don't!

cortex: (chuckles) It's like golden fountain.

jessamyn: Aah!

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Now they're totally obsessed with when we brush our teeth they jump up on the counters and like--

jessamyn: Get them a fountain. Get them their own fountain.

mathowie: Yeah, that's what we need to do. Yeah.

cortex: Our cats used to be sort of interested, but now they, if the bathroom door is cracked open but not wide open,

they'll sort of poke their head in to see what's up and then leave, and that's about as interested as they get at this point. If the door's closed but not latched, they can't figure out--they haven't figured out opening doors by leaning on them yet, so they just sort of stick a paw under like, "What the fuck is going on here?!"

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: "I don't know what the deal is!" But push it open, heck no.

jessamyn: Well, and I've got one of those bathrooms where the toilet's at the end of a little hallway that's created kind of by the tub and so...

cortex: Sure, yeah.

jessamyn: You can't see, even with the door open, somebody could walk into my apartment, they wouldn't even know where the bathroom was, much less where I was or whatever. Like, I think some people have set-ups that are different, you know.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Somebody walking into your house would see you or something, I don't know.

mathowie: Yeah, I never would have predicted cats were such a huge predictor. Every other answer has, like, "Well, this is how many cats I have. Of course I have to do this, this, and this." (laughs)

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: I had no idea that was the one variable.

cortex: I found the blog from--five years ago I made this.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: Where I rounded up a bunch of bathroom questions, bathroom etiquette questions on Ask.

jessamyn: Oh, great!

cortex: So I'm sure there should be like three times as big at this point if I updated it, but yeah.

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: But you haven't updated since August, so that's unlikely.

cortex: Well, well, yeah, yeah, well. That's the whole thing.

jessamyn: (laugh)

cortex: I'm updating other things! I never update my blog when I actually have a project going on, because I'm distracted by the project, so.

jessamyn: Which is what, LARP Trek?

cortex: LARP Trek, the two podcasts besides this podcast that we do, working on a couple little things

too, but yeah, those are the big ones, the podcasts and LARP Trek are keeping me busy.

jessamyn: Neat! LARP Trek's been a long--

cortex: Plus I'm playing in a band again now, so.

jessamyn: What's it called?

cortex: It's the Harvey Girls, actually. I'm playing drums with them again.

mathowie: Neat.

jessamyn: Really!

cortex: (clarifying parsing of his previous statement) I'm playing [again with them] [on drums now], so yeah. Started doing that a few months ago.

jessamyn: Terrific! That's great news.

cortex: Yeah. It's a fun time. It's fun to be able to play drums in a band. Because I've been playing drums for a few years now, but just by myself in the basement and for recording and stuff, so actually playing with other people has some

nice added elements to it. It's nice making music together all at once and stuff.

mathowie: Is holding the rhythm for like five to seven minutes during a song difficult at all? Do you ever drift? Like, I notice I do that on a piano, like, I can't, without a metronome, I can't...

cortex: Yeah. I bet I do drift a bit. It's one of those things where it's like, you don't really notice if you don't notice.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: So I haven't noticed it fucking up our songs, and they haven't been complaining about it, so hopefully it's (laughs)

pretty okay, but we'll [??]

jessamyn: (laughs) It's only a problem if it's a problem.

cortex: Exactly. It's been feeling pretty good, so I haven't been too worried about it. But it's also kind of early days. Like, it really is. It's the first couple months that I've been playing drums with somebody. And we started playing together, and then like immediately Hiram needed emergency back surgery, and so we didn't practice for a month.

mathowie: Ohh.

cortex: We got a few practices in, and then we took a month off, and we've been playing again the last few weeks, so.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Neat!

mathowie: Whatever happened to this weird Christmas pudding with coins in it--?

cortex: Oh, Jesus, yeah. (laughs)

jessamyn: That was one of mine!

mathowie: Like, is this a British thing?

jessamyn: They didn't update! They didn't update! Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's a real thing. You bake... it's a pudding, but it's not a pudding. It's not a pudding like you think of pudding.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: It's like a cooked cake with a coin in it, basically. And that's the tradition, but the question, of course, from calico is "Can I microwave the pudding with

a coin in it?" And I think a lot of us have been like, "RARR! You never, ever put anything metal at all in the microwave ever!" But realistically, at least what I can see from the answers, is it's probably o...kay? Even though probably maybe not a good idea anyhow, but it was a weird and interesting thread.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, I just didn't know what was going on. It sounds so crazy. (laughs)

jessamyn: It's just like a cake with a coin in it.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know, like, what are the ones? King cakes?

mathowie: Yep, yep. In New Orleans.

cortex: Yeah, with the little baby.

jessamyn: They have the little baby in it, but it's a little plastic baby, so I guess worst case it gets melty.

mathowie: Still sounds dangerous. (chuckles)

jessamyn: It does! I destroyed a plate in the microwave last week, because, you know, I assume nowadays that anything plastic is microwave-safe. Nope!

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: This was an old plastic plate, and I put it in the microwave for a minute, and it just shredded. It turned into plastic flakes.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: I think when I took physics I understood why metal goes crazy in a microwave. I think it was something to do with the way water molecules shake in a microwave is how you heat the metal, basically, is that times ten zillion, and so all the energy concentrates there, and that's why you get sparks, and...

cortex: I'm going to explain it the same way the guy at Oil Can Henry recently explained to me how something in my car worked. It's because of molecules. It's because of molecules.

mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: Nice. (chuckles) The most popular question in the last month was--

jessamyn: I didn't even look.

mathowie: --"What have you been wrong about your whole life and realized, and once you realized it, changed your life?"

jessamyn: Aughhh. So many flags.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: But it's... yeah, I know. It's mostly self-defeating. In the end, it turned out to be mostly self-defeating, like, not everyone needs to love you.

jessamyn: "I'm not an idiot."

mathowie: Right. A lot of impostor syndrome and a lot of "I don't have to please everyone in the world was really liberating when I figured that out", but there's a lot of good resources in there. Yeah. I thought that was pretty interesting.

jessamyn: I enjoyed sonika, formerly grapefruitmoon's comment in this thread. "The minute you realize that yours is not the only plot that's going on around you, it changes your outlook."

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know, talking about being grumpy with her ex-husband and being like, "Oh! That's my view, but his view is probably

looking at me the same--ohhh!" And then how that kind of helped her [??] a bunch of stuff.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: We have a lot of "everyone's fighting their own battles" stuff kind of helps people out.

jessamyn: Yeah. Yeah.

mathowie: Realize, oh, that's, yeah, you never know, be a little nicer to people, because you don't know what kind of battle they're fighting.

jessamyn: Always good advice for holiday time.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: There's sort of a perennial but "What tabletop games are good for two to six people?"

And it says "in their 20s" and I think it's sort of fair to say, hey, this is me and my friends in context maybe versus sitting around with my grandma playing Scrabble or something? Because, you know, Scrabble's for old people, I guess, is... I don't know where I'm going with this, but yes, anyway. Board games! Board games you sit and play. It's always a good round-up.

mathowie: I find it's problematic to find things that are two-people games.

cortex: That's the hard thing, yeah.

mathowie: Because everything seems to be three to six, and that requires planning to get that many.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: You can always find another single person to play a game, you know.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: But, yeah, the games aren't as complex.

cortex: Well, yeah, it tends to be easier to design a game that behaves in an interesting way with three, four, five people. But the two-person specifically is tricky.

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: Right, because with two people it's like, it's either you or it's me! It's me or it's you!

cortex: Yeah. Everything is very zero-sum.

mathowie: Right. Classic UNO, when you get a run of Skip cards and you're only two players--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: You're just like, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, yep, I'm still going!

cortex: This is a game called 'fuck you.' Yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Yeah, it's not fun at all. I didn't know there was a such thing called Suspend, reverse-Jenga? That looks really fun.

They link to it in the post, like this is a thing we do. It's like reverse Jenga! Wow, you can make things bigger. Or something. Huh. That's a weird game. Everyone I know does Cards Against Humanity, but that's three people. You need someone to be the judge, right?

cortex: Well, and I feel like that game's really better when you have like five or six.

jessamyn: It's a real party game.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, there's no point in playing it with two people.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, you can't, but also, it makes no sense.

cortex: It'd be like a design review meeting at the Cards Against Humanity company.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

cortex: You know, I could see two people going through a set of cards.

jessamyn: Right. "Does this go with this? This go with this? What, what, what?" Yeah.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Carcassonne, Settlers... I think I've got some of those games on the iPad, so you play with like five or six computer people? But I think even on the easiest, I'm trying to understand Carcassonne or whatever it was called, Puerto Rico or something, and yeah, I was terrible at it.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Five people were whipping my ass, and I was dying.

Because I just didn't...

jessamyn: That's how I am with the little race games on the Monkey Ball.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Like, you want to play with computer characters? No. I don't want to come in eighth. I'd rather come in second.

mathowie: (chuckles) Every time.

jessamyn: Oh, speaking of! HoraceH passed his Massachusetts driving test, thanks, I hope, to some advice that many people gave him, including several very comprehensive posts by Scientist. But the question was basically like, "Look. I'm taking my Massachusetts driving test in Lynn.

I want to know from people who have taken this test, (laughing) preferably in this location, what do I need to know? What's going to help me? How will I fail?"

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Is it harder in Massachusetts, or do they test you more often? Is it stuff that--?

jessamyn: No, no, no. But, you know--

cortex: Judging by the driving in Massachusetts, it can't possibly be.

mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)

jessamyn: There's no way.

mathowie: Did you do it at 16, or was it something you had to do as an adult?

jessamyn: I did it when I was 16.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: My sister did it when she was an adult. And I think driving tests are probably the same anywhere, but there's probably kind of regional

specific things they care about and maybe even location-specific? Like, one of the things in Massachusetts is like, if you test at Fitchburg, the test always goes the same place, for the most part.

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: And I think that's also true with Lynn. And so asking, yeah, you're going to go on a hill and do a three-point turn and make sure you don't do this, blah, blah, it can be helpful, especially for somebody who's really worried about their skills, like nah, there's not a lot of traffic, so if you're not good at driving 55 miles an hour yet,

that doesn't matter.

mathowie: I just remember when I was 16, one of my friends had taken the test like a month before me and passed and me and all my friends were trying to get 100%.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Like, we were super A star writtens and stuff, and we were trying to--

jessamyn: Sure.

mathowie: And I remember he was like, "Okay. It was in this neighborhood somewhere, and we had to stop, so, stop, and then so you park on the curb, and he made you do a three-point turn," and he's like,

"I think it was this neighborhood. And it turns out, like it was exact, I mean exact curb location of everything in my test.

jessamyn: Ha! Right!

mathowie: Like, a friend just like sporadically going, "Okay so like..." cause this was like two towns over or something where the test was. It was like, "This looks like the right neighborhood! So I parked next to this curb and then you are going to want to back up and this guy is going to be a stickler about you have to look backwards while you are in reverse the whole time. Like, he's going to watch your head positions so do that. And like over exaggerate it and stuff. So I did all of those things

jessamyn: (Laughing)

mathowie: And it was exactly what my friend, who was guessing

jessamyn: Sweet!

mathowie: So that was awesome. The only thing I git busted on was like stopping at a crosswalk. Like, my wheels weren't behind all the crosswalk lines. Like, I think one of them might have went over the lines.

jessamyn: Hm.

mathowie: But that's the way my dad drove.

cortex: Plus you threw it in neutral and then revved the engine and people when they walked in front.

mathowie: (Laughs)

jessamyn: (Laughs) C'mon! C'mon!

mathowie: I remember like coming home and like yelling at my parents like it was their fault. My dad just ...

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: He always parked in crosswalks. Like every single time he came to a light he just sort of like put the front

wheels in the crosswalk like an idiot.

jessamyn: So against the rules.

cortex: Well, if i'm going to make a right on a red, then I am going to crawl right up there and it's technically kind of ...

mathowie: He would go right to it.

cortex: But I -- and it's like you look, you check the sidewalks too. You check and see is anybody actually -- cause if someone's actually approaching, like they will plausibly actually want to cross on a crosswalk I'll stay back because yeah don't be ..

mathowie: Yeah

cortex: Don't be - don't be a dick to a pedestrian. But like if it's fuckin' dead out, you know, I am not going to be worrying about having my nose in the crosswalk because it's like no one else is going to be using this thing.

mathowie: Right. I got docked three points for that. (Laughing)

cortex: Yeah. I think when I got my license which was, you know, just seriously a couple of years ago now at this point. I got docked for not checking to my left before moving into a turn lane?

mathowie: Hmm.

cortex: And I felt like that was kind of a dick dock because, you know, I didn't check to see if and insane person was literally driving on the wrong side of the road and accelerating across a solid line. Which and like you know what? I should

probably try and be aware if someone's doing that, but they shouldn't really expect

jessamyn: Wait. I don't even understand. What were you - what were you doing?

mathowie: Before he moved into a left turn lane ...

cortex: Okay so I am driving down a street that is like a two way street and it's got a reserved left turn lane that appears, you know, in the last 200 feet before I --

jessamyn: Okay. Okay

mathowie: So someone behind you might be doing that thing where ...

cortex: So I am driving in my lane and I -

jessamyn: Oh. You don't check behind you and move into the left turn lane?

cortex: Yeah I didn't check ..

jessamyn: That is crazy

mathowie: That's over protective. I also remember ..

cortex: I also passed the test. The guy was not a dick.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Just one thing, you should really check that. I was like okay well um... and now when I am coming up to one where there's actually like a cement curb there where it's like it would be impossible for anyone not in a tank to drive there?

mathowie: (Laughs)

cortex: I like, I don't look but I think about (laughing) the fact that I am not looking and it's basically that guy fucked with my head, is what happened.

mathowie: I still remember to this day my driving instructor when I was 16 for drivers ed. For an entire semester would get

on us about always looking left and right. Even going through a green light intersection.

jessamyn: Sure!

mathowie: That was his thing. Like you had to or he was like -

jessamyn: You get t-boned at one of those things one time ... and like yeah.

mathowie: Changes your life.

cortex: Defensive driving.

mathowie: Especially if there is no one around around you and this golden green light and there's people on both sides waiting to always check and I still do to this day.

jessamyn: I do too.

mathowie: Just in that one in a million chance ..

jessamyn: I took my test in a stick shift car because that's all my parents had? And so

I kinda knew how to drive stick

cortex: (Laughing)

jessamyn: But my driver's ed car had been automatic

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: That is extra hard. That's .. yeah. that's hard.

jessamyn: But yeah. The guy was basically like, "Work on your clutch control!" And I was like, "Okay!"

cortex: (Laughs)

mathowie: (Laughs)

jessamyn: And that was - that was it. I clearly knew how to - knew how to drive.

mathowie: Yeah. There was good post on intellectual stand up comedians

and I would just hook in, people list a whole bunch of good comics that do smart humor, but I also--

jessamyn: Oh, neat! By jbickers.

mathowie: Someone changed my life when they said, "Search these names on Spotify, if you're a member," like, there are so many comedy albums. Comedy albums, so, I have this weird love-hate relationship with them, like, I listen to a lot of comedy podcasts, and comedians come on when they have a new album, and I love these comedians, and I'm like, "I should support their work. I should buy this nine-dollar album on iTunes." But you literally want to hear it once, maybe twice, ever.

And I never want to hear it again, but it's ten bucks, it's in the cloud forever, it comes up when you just put your music on random, there's all sorts of drawbacks to having a zillion buying it.

jessamyn: Right, right.

mathowie: And then someone said, "Oh, you can just get them on Spotify!" Hopefully that comic gets, whatever, fifty cents for you listening to an album. But if you want to hear things once, which is probably what you want to do, check Spotify. A lot of people's comedy albums are there.

cortex: Interesting.

jessamyn: Yeah, I did not know that. I'm always going to YouTube and being like, "What's the longest YouTube of this guy I can find?", basically.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Oh, yeah, the best part of it is that someone goes, "Oh, you'll love the bit blahblahblah does about blank," and if you just search their name and the bit you'll always find it.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: I'm amazed. That's a culture search engine at this point. It's amazing.

cortex: Yeah, folkonomy didn't happen, but people just uploading clips of fucking everything on YouTube is...

mathowie: Accurately describing it, you know?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Like, yeah, like who was... Hannibal Buress pickle juice bit, is what I heard from Adam Savage last month. And you put those words into YouTube, and you will get his three-minute joke, you get a five-minute version, it's awesome.

cortex: It's the future, man.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And I found the corgi post, by the way. Corgi running around on a merry-go-round. So there you go. That's there.

jessamyn: Oh, this.

mathowie: Corgi.

cortex: Yes. It's exactly (laughs)... it could not be more straight-facedly described. That's what it is.

jessamyn: Oh my god, corgis.

mathowie: (chuckles) Something about corgis are hilarious.

cortex: And really, just in general, if you need to have a good time, the 'corgi' tag is I think probably...

jessamyn: (earnestly) What is that dog doing?

mathowie: He's just running.

cortex: He's just running around on a fucking merry-go-round (laughs)

jessamyn: (slightly more insistently) Why? Why wouldn't he just stop?

cortex: Because! Because it's fun!

mathowie: He's stoked.

jessamyn: I don't understand this at all. The dog's name is Meatball.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Oh my god.

cortex: Animals enjoy things. That's the way they are.

jessamyn: I like Trevor Noah. That's the guy who I think is smart that I will now post to that thread because it is still open.

He's a South African mixed-race comedian who talks about stuff?

mathowie: Oh, yeah! That guy's fascinating.

jessamyn: I heard him on a Marc Maron live episode on the panel, and was like, oh my god, he's hilarious. Like, his dad is Swiss German and his mom is South African, and just, he talks about that.

mathowie: And he gets to come to America and experience the way we are racist towards black people.

jessamyn: And how we all think he is Mexican. And then--

mathowie: Yeah, it's a complete newness to him. It's really, it's fresh, it's awesome,

and it's very funny.

jessamyn: Yeah, no, he is great. So, excellent, I will post that to that thread.

mathowie: That guy's fascinating.

jessamyn: I had two more kind of old-timey posts.

cortex: Do it.

jessamyn: That I liked on Ask Metafilter, one of which was, "I like making my own sodas from as scratch as possible, help me with soda recipes, go." And there's, you know, just a couple different ways to make your own root beer, some stuff on Hillbilly Housewife, switchel,

I posted is making a comeback. Not so much stuff there, but it's still open, so I posted thinking other people might be able to post stuff there.

mathowie: Hmm.

jessamyn: And my other favorite, "jobs that were unique to the Renaissance and colonial America."

mathowie: Hmm.

jessamyn: Although it's not "unique to the Renaissance and colonial America", it's really "unique to the Renaissance or colonial America", but it's interesting thinking about the jobs that we had in America during colonial times that we don't have any more.

I thought. People who made arrows, that's all done by machine.

cortex: Fletchers, yes?

jessamyn: Yeah. Yeah, fletchers!

mathowie: And someone made a list including Blockbuster employee who rewinded. (chuckles)

cortex: All that D&D finally paid off.

jessamyn: (laughs) Right, right, right.

mathowie: Rewinding video cassette tapes all day is (chuckling) a job that no longer exists.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Oh, man, that was the thing I was going to tell you guys! bondcliff, as you know, has the same birthday as Jim, so Jim and Jim, their names are

James David, and they were both born on December 6th, 1969.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Like twenty miles away from each other. It's crazy.

mathowie: What.

jessamyn: So we had a birthday party at Jim's place, the other Jim, chicken and waffles Jim, as we now call him, because he had chicken and waffles for dinner at this place. Along with maryr from Metafilter, who also has a December 6th birthday, and another friend of chicken and waffles Jim whose birthday was December 6th. And so it was ten people, four of whom had the same birthday but the reason I bring it up is because

bondcliff's son is now really into Dungeons & Dragons.

mathowie: Ooh, neat.

jessamyn: And it is so much fun to hang out with a nine-year-old and talk about monsters.

cortex: (laughs) Yep.

jessamyn: That I haven't really thought of in 25 years, but I was into but not super into D&D when I was a kid, because I lived in the country and there weren't a lot of people to play with. But he has friends and checks these books out of the library and they go on campaigns and he's very enthusiastic about various monsters.

And we had a really good time, and it has a brief Metafilter angle because it was three MeFites at the birthday party.

cortex: Does he have an opinion about Beholders?

jessamyn: I don't know! I didn't ask. I'm not sharp enough to ask. What kind of opinion might he have?

cortex: I don't know. I mean, it's just a classic. They're the giant floating eyes with tentacles, so. Oftentimes the tentacles also have eyes, and they're just, they're pretty badass monsters, so you can broach the subject of Beholders.

jessamyn: Of Beholders next time I hang out with him?

cortex: And then you can go all dad humor if you don't get the real meat there, and if he's like,

"Oh, yeah, [they suck ?]," you say, "Oh, well, yeah, that's really, you know, it's in the eye of the beholder," and--

mathowie: Awww.

jessamyn: Aaah!

cortex: Hitch up your pants and, yeah.

jessamyn: Yuck yuck yuck, yuck yuck yuck.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Whomp. Is bondcliff counting the days until he reprimands his son and his son says, "You're not the DM of me!" or something?

jessamyn: (laughs) I do not know. I do not know.

mathowie: It's gotta be days. It's gotta be days less than 300 from now. (chuckles)

Oh, there's no update to this post, but I wanted to hear an update of this post, of the, "I found a bunch of personal dictation tapes in a box in a thrift store."

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, dirtdirt's post!

mathowie: "And they're probably Carl Sagan, and what should I do with these?" And a lot of people are like, "Oh, contact the university and Carl Sagan's..." Carl Sagan's family are all on Twitter and stuff! Like his wife and his son and...

jessamyn: Get in touch with dirtdirt and ask him for updates, because we need to know what happened.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, the last post is from like a month ago going "Oh, please post an update!" [??] some university.

cortex: (chuckling) I was hoping a little bit that he wouldn't have said anything on the site at all since then, and we could develop a conspiracy that he'd been murdered by the Carl Sagan anti-whatever, that conspiracy... yeah, I just kind of blew this attempt at paint it as a conspiracy thriller. But yes, anyway, Carl Sagan. I'll stop. (laughs)

mathowie: Cornell and the Library of Congress are in charge of all his stuff, and... I guess it's pretty mundane stuff.

It's stuff to tell a secretary to type up stuff. But it's interesting. Yeah, I wonder what happened. We can just contact dirtdirt.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, drop him a line. Send him a MeFiMail.

mathowie: What happened?

cortex: We've got our own mail system on the site. I don't know if you know about that.

mathowie: I will use the Gmail system of pigeons.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: To e-mail him to see what's up. Alright, is that it for the month?

cortex: You got any more Asks?

jessamyn: Well, we've got a ton of stuff going on in MetaTalk that's all holiday stuff.

The MeFites' Choice Contests are going on and people are voting.

cortex: Right, that'll be going on all month.

jessamyn: There's Secret Quonsar Swap. The mailing deadline was last week, and people are getting stuff in the mail. My Secret Quonsar sent me some soap which I really liked, which I had asked for, so it's okay, it's not sort of an odd insult.

cortex: (laughs) By the way, you might want to use a little bit of this!

jessamyn: (laughs) They don't even--you don't know me! (laughs)

ThePinkSuperhero and friends are supporting the family, again? Let me track down that thread. And there's a cookie swap going on, and I'm not even sure what else is happening in Me--

cortex: There was recently, yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, and the Metafilter Mall! Of course.

cortex: Yes, yes, the mall! Go buy things from MeFites.

mathowie: Oh, right.

jessamyn: Is up and running, and people are getting stuff. I mean, it's kind of neat, the Metafilter Mall and the Secret Quonsar often go together if--

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: --people sort of do it right.

cortex: MeFites buying things from MeFites to give other MeFites.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Yeah! That's nice. I mean, I usually get a thing or two from there. My Secret Quonsar thing is of course late because I was getting things from other people that needed to go to other people, which was another reason I had to go to the post office in a blizzard. But yeah, cookies and gifts and thanks, Quonsar and we're giving away prizes and the Metafilter choice thing. I don't know if there was anything else that was going on that you guys wanted to point out.

cortex: There was the MST3K Turkey Day thing, which was fun.

jessamyn: Oh, that looked like fun!

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

cortex: It was! People were just hanging out in Chat all day watching MST3K and goofing and repeating lines and...

jessamyn: As MST3K watched movies, right?

cortex: Yes, yes.

jessamyn: I mean, I didn't do it, but I--

cortex: Yes. So like nine hours of classic Mystery Science Theater episodes with periodic contemporary interstitials by Joel doing trivia, making jokes, and whatnot. Yeah. It was a good time. A good time was had.

jessamyn: Nice!

mathowie: So Joel still owns the term MST3K?

cortex: I don't know how that worked out.

mathowie: You know, everyone else goes by RiffTrax, the other guys?

cortex: Yeah. Yeah.

mathowie: There must be some weird trademark dispute.

cortex: Yeah, I don't know how it all ended up playing out. But people seemed to be generally okay about the whole thing, and...

mathowie: Whoa, the site is gone!

cortex: Oh, weird.

mathowie: It's a placeholder! It's gone.

cortex: Huh. Ephemera. [??]

mathowie: Yeah. We did it and we're done, awesome, boom, slam dunk it.

jessamyn: That's interesting.

cortex: Also, griphus got married, so.

mathowie: Ooh.

jessamyn: Oh, right, that looked like another good time! An Ask Metafilter-enhanced marriage, I think.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: A lot of people, he asked some questions, and that looked like it was great. Good on him.

cortex: Although it totally messed with our podcast schedule, so (deadpan) I'm just angry as hell about the whole thing.

mathowie: Oh, darn.

cortex: I don't think I had anything else from MetaTalk, but yeah. Yeah, all those things going on.

jessamyn: I made a menorah.

cortex: Oh, yeah?

jessamyn: Just if we're talking about Thanksgiving. Hanukkah.

cortex: Oh, nice, nice.

jessamyn: I have a turkey rack. And a turkey baster.

mathowie: Oh, that's hilarious.

cortex: I proposed drilling holes in the back of the turkey at Thanksgiving over at my parents' house so that we could use that as the menorah as well,

since we're doing Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

jessamyn: That's a brilliant idea. How did that go over?

cortex: Uhh... people didn't seem to really want to do that.

jessamyn: (laughs) Too bad! Too bad!

cortex: Yeah. So we just, we lit candles in an actual menorah instead.

jessamyn: Yeah. We lit candles for up to five days this time.

cortex: Wow.

jessamyn: Which is about as far as I get through Hanukkah with Jim.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Who's the only one who really knows the song. Like, I can say the words, but he knows the song, and so I like the song, but I don't know how it goes.

cortex: Rock of Ages, or... which one?

jessamyn: No. (sings) Baruch atah adonai (words get less distinct)...

cortex: Oh, oh, the actual melody for the, yeah, prayer, okay.

jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah.

cortex: See, we always just say the prayer and then we've got a little menorah that's got a music box in the bottom, and you turn it on and it starts--

jessamyn: Shut up! You do not.

cortex: We do! Seriously. So it plays Rock of Ages, so it's just like, it goes (sings) ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding ding!

jessamyn: Wait, wait, wait, the menorah plays Rock of Ages?

cortex: Yes, it's, the base of the menorah is a little music box that plays Rock of Ages.

jessamyn: Is Rock of Ages a Jewish song? It is not.

cortex: Euhh? (chuckling) I associate it with Hanukkah. But I don't know. Ask my dad, I guess. I don't know what the history of the association

between the two is, but.

jessamyn: Oh. It's a Christian hymn and a Hanukkah hymn.

mathowie: Whoa.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: Yeah, I think it's probably one of those things that got sort of coopted by the Christians, probably. That's probably what happened. Those darned upstarts! "Oh, my religion's less than 2000 years old, mmuh?"

jessamyn: Wow! Are they the same? Or are they different things? So, like, here's Rock of Ages, Hanukkah hymn. Because I'm used to like, (sings) "Rock of Ages, rar de rar!" It is an awful song.

cortex: So this one, yeah, this one is (sings) "Rock of Ages, moo nu nu! Sa doo-ba-doo, bada-doo-boo-doo! La-da-da-da-dah, da da da da-da-da dah-dah. Bah da dah! Da ba de dah! Ba dah."

mathowie: Do you read Hebrew sheet music left to right or right to left? (chuckles)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Oh, I can play this one. Right. It's a freaking dirge.

cortex: But the best thing about the music box, regardless, is that it starts at a fairly sprightly pace when you've twisted it up, but then it slowly winds down,

So it goes, (sings) "Ding, ding. Ding. Ding!" And, you know, it gets real slow.

jessamyn: Right. (sings deeply) "Bonnng!"

cortex: But the twist is on the bottom of the menorah, so if the candles are burning you can't just pick that thing up and twist, yeah, so, anyway.

mathowie: Speaking of winding down.

cortex: That's what Hanukkah means to me, is us all getting tired of the fucking music box after like the second night.

jessamyn: (laughs) For me it's all scraping wax off the countertop and whatever I've decided to build a menorah out of this year.

cortex: We used just candles and a CD-ROM one time in college, me and [Andrew ?] did a--

jessamyn: That's smart!

cortex: Ehhh, nothing to actually stick the candles in is a little bit of a problem, but yeah, you just melt the bottom a little bit so they'll sort of adhere to the surface. It worked out okay.

mathowie: Alright. Anything else for the month?

cortex: I think I'm good.

jessamyn: No! It's been an enjoyable month heading into the holidays. I hope it stays enjoyable. I hope you guys have a great rest of your holidays. I'm halfway through our holidays.

cortex: Maybe we'll get a little bit more snow after that half-inch we got the other day, so.

jessamyn: It's snowing snowing snowing here. I'm going to see if I can actually

get out, get some milk or whatever before we get stuck in here.

mathowie: We just have ice.

cortex: I also had trouble with that, but just because I don't like being cold. Like, it's a long way to the car, I gotta walk all the way down--

jessamyn: You need electric sheets!

cortex: Oh, no, no, staying inside is fine. Leaving--

jessamyn: You have electric sheets?

cortex: Yeah, no, well, we have an electric blanket.

mathowie: Oh my god, we got the electric bed warmer thing that goes under your mattress pad!

jessamyn: That I've been talking about for years?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Game-changer.

mathowie: We got one, the first night was a little bit gross, because it feels like some stranger was in your bed for

eight hours, but it is awesome to jump into a warm bed instead of a cold one.

jessamyn: Well, and you can keep your heat real low in your house, is what I find useful about it.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: And they don't use very much electricity.

mathowie: Oh, you leave it on all night.

jessamyn: I don't.

mathowie: Oh, yeah. I think it's a little too warm to do that, but yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Neat. Alright, cool. Are we all done here, then?

cortex: I think we are.

jessamyn: I think so!

mathowie: That's 2013 in the bag.

jessamyn: Nice talking to you fellows, as always.

mathowie: Alright. Talk again early in the year.

cortex: Yeah, see you all next year.

jessamyn: Yes!

mathowie: Alright.

jessamyn: Okay!

mathowie: Bye.

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