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Podcast 116 Transcript

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A transcript for "Escape from Pony Island, with pb" (2016-05-03).

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


jingle: (theme song)

cortex: Well, hey, welcome to another episode of Best of the Web, the monthly Metafilter podcast. I am Josh Millard, aka cortex.

jessamyn: And I'm Jessamyn.

cortex: And we have with us this month, our very special guest, his last chance to be a guest as a staffer, pb, Paul Bausch. (tries various pronunciations)

p: Hello!

cortex: How the hell did I just come up with "bowsch?"

p: It's "bowsch."

jessamyn: Because "bowsch" is Bausch, the contact lens solution, is pronounced that way, and you said it right!

cortex: It's been ten years, and I think that's literally the first time it's happened out loud. And I was like, oh my god! Which is not unusual for the podcast, I guess.

jessamyn: Really, you've never talked about pb, and used his full name?

cortex: pb or paul, I don't know.

jessamyn: I talk about pb in my internet class when I introduce permalinks. It's really fun, actually to get to do that.

cortex: ...but yes, so for anybody who has not been, I guess, reading literally any part of metafilter the last few weeks, because we've sort of put it everywhere, this is a very exciting/heartbreaking time, because pb is moving on from metafilter.

jessamyn: Who's heartbroken? Everybody's delighted for him.

cortex: Well yeah, but I'm heartbroken.

jessamyn: pb, it's awesome over here!

cortex: [laughs]

pb: It's bittersweet, how about that?

cortex: That's solid!

jessamyn: I think you're heartbroken, Josh!

cortex: Yeah, no, that's mostly it! No, it's... pb's been working for the site for nine-plus years, I guess ten-plus if you factor in part-time early on, and you've been so hugely responsible for what excellent shape metafilter is in.

jessamyn: Absolutely.

cortex: this point as technology, and it's like a HUGE debt the site owes you.

jessamyn: Totally.

pb: Thank you.

jessamyn: Make him keep paying for your phone.

cortex: [laughs]

pb: We haven't sorted that out yet.

jessamyn: [laughs] That's my advice to you.

cortex: But yeah, so we figured, we had the letting-everybody-know-that-pb-was-going-to-be-leaving thread, and someone was like, "Hey! pb should be in the podcast!"

jessamyn: And the we're-hiring-a-part-time-dev thing, also

cortex: Yes, we'll talk about that a little bit, too, but yeah, so anyway, pb's on the podcast and I thought we'd just like, yeah, chat, say "Hi", and talk about ten years, and what not.

pb: Well, thanks for having me here. You've got a nice podcast here.

cortex: Why, thank you.

pb: It's much larger inside than from the outside.

cortex: That's the trick, it's very roomy.

jessamyn: But you can tell us honestly, pb, because your job's not in danger - have you ever listened to the podcast before?

pb: Of course I listen to the podcast, yeah!

cortex: How often exactly, what was your favourite episode? What was the favourite post that I liked, that you liked? [laughs]

pb: My favourite episode - I really liked episode six, [all laugh] which was the last podcast I was on! Fantastic podcast, I don't know where you get these guests.

cortex: That was a solid one, you know. Maybe we can recreate that some day, but yeah, you were on episode six of the podcast, way, way, way back in the day. I think I was on episode two, and then Matt hired me like, the next week [laughs].

jessamyn: Is that how that worked? Did we know you were getting hired?

cortex: I didn't!

jessamyn: I cannot even remember a time before I knew you, so...

cortex: That was a very weird, compressed period of stuff happening on Metafilter, and in my life right in there, so I think it was just everything sort of landed at the same time. But yeah, pb, you started on full time I think a couple months after I did.

pb: OK

cortex: Or maybe you started on full time some time after I started working there but not very long.

jessamyn: One of you should know this.

cortex:'s been a long time

jessamyn: Josh, you run the site, pb you work there. Do neither of you actually know this?

cortex: Neither of us were in charge of it at the time, so...

jessamyn: Errrgghhhhhh....

pb: For about a year, I just went up to Matt's house once a day, or once a week, and worked on whatever he needed worked on.

jessamyn: I thought that's how it always worked.

pb: Well, but then it became full time at some point, I think it was right after that podcast. Maybe that's Matt's mode of operation - he has you on the podcast and then he hires you full-time.

cortex: God, yeah--We had Eyebrows on, and then we hired... Oh, Jesus Christ, we're all... it's the Illuminati is speaking through us.

jessamyn: I think Jeremy got hired and then was on the podcast.

cortex: Yeah, I think so

pb: Oh, OK.

cortex: I think Lobster Mitten might've done the same, I think we may've had her on after she got hired.

jessamyn: I think so too.

cortex: Clearly I need to sit down and do a whole mod and podcast, like, tracking model and figure out what the correlation is.

jessamyn: But let PB talk...

cortex: Yeah.

[short silence]

jessamyn: Maybe he doesn't want to.

cortex: [laughs] Well, you kept going over to Matt's, you guys were co-working, like, two or three days a week for a long time.

pb: Yeah.

jessamyn: There was an office, briefly.

pb: Yeah, there was [laughs]. There was a short-lived office, with no heat, in the middle of winter.

cortex: [hoots with laughter]

pb: It was very cold in the office.

jessamyn: You're in Portland!

pb: It was in McMinville,

jessamyn: Oh, worse...

pb: which is a stone's throw from Portland. Yeah, somehow, Metafilter became my full-time job some time in 2007, and I still went up to Matt's place a couple of times a week, or so.

jessamyn: And you're in Salem, right?

pb: I'm in Corvallis.

jessamyn: You're in Corvallis, sorry. And how far away is that? What's in Corvallis besides you? School?

pb: Yeah, Oregon State, it's a college town.

cortex: Yeah, big, big state college. Is that the Ducks or the Beavers?

pb: It's the Beavers, come on.

jessamyn: Come on!

pb: You're in state, come on!

cortex: I knew those were the two options, so that's something, for me.

jessamyn: Geoducks? No, that's Washington, right?

cortex: Is there the Washington Geoducks?

jessamyn: I think Olympia, Evergreen? Something?

cortex: Yeah, that sort of, like, "somehow it turned into my job" thing is definitely like the early days of Metafilter in terms of hiring.

jessamyn: Yeah, well, and you and I - I don't know, pb, if this is true with you too, Josh and I both had real "job jobs," and then kind of started doing Metafiltery stuff and eventually the "job jobs" kind of fell away like some old husk and we became--

cortex: [laughs] We molted.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah. Did you have another job job before you started?

pb: I think I was doing contracting, so it just sort of fit right in, that could be a piece of it.

cortex: It was just another thing.

pb: Yeah, and then the contracts just dropped and it became Metafilter all the time, which was great.

cortex: That is a good way for it to go. I definitely quit my job when Matt hired me, so that was slightly different.

jessamyn: You were dying to quit that job.

cortex: Oh yeah, it was a delight to be able to do so. It was amazing.

jessamyn: Well, and I had a contract, like a part-time library job that was like a two-year contract, and so when it was wrapping up, I kind of had this conversation with Matt, I was like "Err, you know, we gotta make this official, or I gotta make it official with someone else"

cortex: Yeah, one direction or the other. You and Matt worked together, were you both at Pyra?

pb: Yeah.

cortex: Am I remembering the history there?

pb: Yeah - in 1999 and 2000ish we both worked in the San Francisco office at Pyra.

jessamyn: And is that how you guys met, or had you known each other and you both wound up at Pyra because you both knew each other?

pb: We met there. So I was working with Evan Williams, who was a high school friend of mine, and he said, "Hey, I'm building this thing, come work on it," and so I did that, and Matt was just a guy who was doing cool blog stuff, and when it came time for us to hire, we said "Hey, we should hire this guy" and so that's how we met.

jessamyn: And I heard he wound up spending a lot of time actually just messing around on Metafilter at Pyra and drove everyone crazy.

cortex: [laughs]

pb: I don't remember that part of it...

jessamyn: Because Matt does not listen to the podcast, at least I don't think. Though maybe he does - he could tell us if that's the case.

cortex: This is a call-in show Matt, if you're listening, just call in live here while we're recording.

jessamyn: [laughs]

pb: I do remember that Metafilter actually ran on a desktop tower, you know just a plain beige desktop tower that was under Matt's desk and so Metafilter was also in the Pyra office with us and he just was using the Pyra bandwidth.

jessamyn: Well, and then didn't it move into Jason Levine's closet for a while?

pb: Yeah, I can't remember if that was before or after. The Metafilter server's had a storied history of moving around and he had to shut the site off one time to move it across the country, and...

jessamyn: I remember that. I remember that.

cortex: That's in the dim recesses of my memory.

jessamyn: And so you were already out of Pyra by the time you did anything with Metafilter. You just knew Matt through Pyra.

pb: Exactly. Yeah, and I moved up to Corvallis, Oregon, one year...

jessamyn: So wait, wait, you were in the Bay Area? For how long?

pb: Yeah. Yeah, I was there for five years or so.

jessamyn: Did you move there from the Midwest?

pb: mm-hmm, yep.

jessamyn: What dragged you out to the Bay Area? Was it Pyra, or was there something else first?

p: It was my wife, I met her online and we started talking and e-mailing.

jessamyn: Met her online WHERE?

p: Via Evan Williams --

jessamyn: What?!

p: I know, it's strange. Ev was working for O'Reilly and Associates at the time--

jessamyn: Okay.

p: ...which is, you know, a technical book publisher.

jessamyn: Sure.

p: And he worked with Shandi and I wrote a paper in one of my college courses, I was in college in Nebraska, wrote a paper about... I don't know what it was... it was about how the Y2K movement was like a classic Millennial cult. So I put that on my blog...

jessamyn: Love it, love it.

cortex: This is a pre-Millennial meaning of Millennial, of course.

pb: Exactly, yeah.

cortex: I love the idea of Millennial cults. Anyway.

pb: It's not a lizard person cult, it's the other Millennial...

cortex: Snake person, snake person.

pb: Snake--sorry.

cortex: The lizard people are boomers.

jessamyn: Whaaat?

pb: I don't have all the jargon. But--so, posted this on my blog and Evan sent this link to Shandi and said, "Hey, here's a Y2K interesting perspective," because this was '98 or '99 and there weren't a lot of people who were obsessive about Y2K, but Evan and Shandi shared this common interest in "Hey, the world might end because of computers, it's kind of an interesting problem."

jessamyn: And you didn't know Ev back when you both lived in the Midwest right? I mean, I know the Midwest is more than just...

pb: Oh, I did.

jessamyn: OK.

pb: Yeah, Ev and I were friends in high school.

jessamyn: So the fact that he's from Nebraska and you're from Nebraska, you actually did know each other, it's not just like "Oh, these two guys from Nebraska, of course you know each other!"

pb: Yep, we knew each other, and we had stayed in contact via some chat software, which was an O'Reilly connection too, but that's something totally different.

cortex: It was that old site, right?

pb: [laughs] Yep, chat.animal

jessamyn: What? Is that even a joke?

cortex: Ehhh... it's funny 'cause it's anachronistic.

jessamyn: I don't even understand it, but keep going.

pb: So, you know, emails followed, and so Shandi and I eventually, you know...

jessamyn: Sure. I met my guy on the internet. And then you moved out to the Bay Area with a job, or just to kind of hang out with her and then got a job?

pb: Just to hang out with her, got a job, and then not long after that, a couple months, Ev said "Hey, now that you're out here come work with me," and I said okay!

jessamyn: Dude! That's nice! So on your high school's Wikipedia page, does it list you and Ev as famous people that went there?

pb: I have no idea.

jessamyn: Does it list either one of you?

pb: I don't know.

jessamyn: Where'd you go to high school?

cortex: Can you tell us your high school name and also your mother's maiden name and the last four of your SSN?

pb: (laughs) I don't even know know if my high school has a...

jessamyn: How can you not know these things?!

pb: I don't know.

jessamyn: You don't know what you don't know. OK.

pb: Ev came into the high school from a smaller town just for his senior year, so he might not have felt like that was his high school.

jessamyn: Well, it doesn't matter what he thinks!

cortex: It's what the school can take credit for. I went to Wilshire Poly Tech for college and nice school, I enjoyed my time there, but one of the things that they were very proud of was having Dean Kamen as an alumni, inventor of the Segway and so on.

jessamyn: Who then drove over a cliff in that same technology that he invented.

cortex: Wait...Dean Kamen drove a Segway over a...?

jessamyn: Didn't he?

cortex: Did he? I think somebody died over a...

jessamyn: Who's the guy who drove a Segway over a cliff?

cortex: Man I didn't think it was Dean Kamen. I thought somebody did that, but I could be wrong. Maybe that is, that'd be amazing...

jessamyn: No, you're right, Dean Kamen's still alive. Who drove the Segway over the cliff? Fuuuuck.

cortex: Oh, I don't know. A great man.

jessamyn: All right. You guys keep talking.

cortex: Anyway...(laughs)

jessamyn: Ev's town Wikipedia page claims Ev.

cortex: Well, there you go. There you go.

pb: Well, that's good.

jessamyn: So I'm sorry Josh, go on...

cortex: Oh, I was just going to say Dean Kamen dropped out of WPI but they nonetheless are proud to declare him an alumni up and down during those whole Segway...

jessamyn: Hampshire claims Ken Burns, oh my God. You know, Ken Burns the like...

cortex: The documentarian?

jessamyn: Yeah, he went to Hampshire for like five minutes.

cortex: Well, there you go.

jessamyn: So yeah, Jimi Heselden he's the one who owns the Segway company, but he didn't create it.

cortex: Oh, OK.

jessamyn: And drove over a cliff in the thing.

pb: So I'm on the Wikipedia page for Columbus High School, in Columbus, Nebraska - 'No famous alumni.'

jessamyn: All right, I'm going to change that right now.

cortex: You gotta get in there and add that. Get in there. Collude.

jessamyn: Columbus High School?

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: In Columbus, Nebraska... [sings a little ditty to herself]

cortex: This is some solid work here.

pb: You doing some Wikipedia editing?

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Live!

pb: Wow.

cortex: Yup. It's crazy.

jessamyn: It's pretty straightforward, right? Athletics...

pb: But there's no famous alumni section...

cortex: Ah, this is gonna be such a scandal when this breaks on the Internet.

pb: [laughs]

cortex: So, Paul, are you going to miss these feature-testing rollout threads?

jessamyn: Oh my God, you guys... I can't believe you rolled a feature out right before the podcast so I had to not talk about it.

cortex: Well, why not? I don't know... we'll talk about it next month.

pb: It's been a busy day.

cortex: Yeah, you know? I feel like things have been backed up a little bit just by logistics, there's a bunch of travel in this last few weeks, so getting stuff done when we can get stuff done, especially when pb's on the horizon and getting dimmer, it's like we've gotta move while we can.

jessamyn: Did you just say 'getting dimmer?'

cortex: Uh...I did?

jessamyn: pb, when are you leaving? Not soon enough, right?

pb: I feel like one of those pictures in Back to the Future, I'm just fading out.

cortex: (laughs) Just fading away, 'No, no!' Oh jeez, that would be beautiful.

pb: We've disrupted the timeline.

cortex: I should do something involving you two and Matt just, yeah...I'll get right on that.

jessamyn: Sorry, I'm still putting Ev on the...

cortex: It's OK. I feel like this complicated mix of a desire to sort of like make you kibitz about the whole dynamic of Metafilter and MetaTalk, and at the same time totally not wanting to put you on the spot. So instead I'm going to halfway put you on the spot by talking about the idea of that being a complicated thing to do, which is super-helpful of me.

pb: It is complicated.

jessamyn: Is that passive-aggressive?

cortex: No, no, it's just me being weird. Passive-aggressive would have been much more biting.

pb: It's complicated, because Metafilter works, and it doesn't work.

jessamyn: pb, you don't even have a Wikipedia page.

pb: No. Why would I?

jessamyn: Why didn't you tell me that before I tried to add you? All right. It's just going to be Ev for now. All right, sorry, go on.

cortex: (laughs)

pb: That's good. You have righted a horrible wrong. An oversight.

jessamyn: So yeah, go back to MetaTalk, I mean not go back to MetaTalk, but go back to talking about MetaTalk.

pb: I mean, we get instant massive feedback to any sort of change, which is extremely helpful. So there's that positive aspect of it. And then, you know, I don't really wanna harp on the negative aspects of it.

jessamyn: What's to be gotten out of it?

cortex: It's... suffice it to say, it is definitely a double-edged sword in that sense. Or.. is that the right expression? I guess...

pb: It's a double-edged sword, yeah, there's a good edge, and...

jessamyn: I mean here's the thing, pb, if you become a developer anywhere else, you're probably never going to have to talk to users again.

[pb and cortex laugh]
In fact, whenever your last day is you're never going to have to talk to users after that last day at Metafilter.

pb: I was just thinking, it's a quirk of Metafilter, you know, being born in the age of blogs, when everyone put themselves out there.

cortex: Yeah.

pb: It's a quirk that a developer is even known to the people on the site, because...

jessamyn: and is interactive, yeah

pb: Exactly, yeah. And that the person writing the code is interacting with the people on the site, and talking to them, and giving support. I think that's just the whole bloggy nature of, you know, 1999, 2000--that time--and so we just had it in our minds that of course this is how you do things.

cortex: Yeah.

pb: Of course people are known and they're talking, and they're being themselves in a virtual space.

cortex: Yeah, it's a really interesting point, because there is something very specifically cultural about it, I tend to think of it as just like a random accident of 'Oh, that's how Metafilter is working', but I think you're exactly right, that's why it ended up working that way, that's why it seemed normal to have you communicating with people about stuff where, you know, there's no reason that you would've normally even had any sort of obligation to do so, but also it's like, well that's how Metafilter works, that's the normal thing, you know.

jessamyn: Did you do that at Pyra at all? I mean, I assumed a little bit because you just had a small set of users.

pb: Yeah, I did that quite a bit, we had a whole support forum, and we had massive feedback there, too, and I was constantly talking with users, and listening to feature requests and talking about why or why we couldn't do something. Yeah, so it just seemed natural, coming to Metafilter and doing that same thing.

cortex: We've been lucky for it I will definitely miss that aspect of having you around along with everything else too. That's one thing we've sort of talked about in the expectation-setting post I made the other day.

jessamyn: Don't assume the dev's gonna be around talking to you and being all friendly!

cortex: Exactly. And it could happen, that might end up working out, but we're not going to put that on whoever we hire to do that, it may just not be practical to have that happen, depending on the hours, depending on how they feel about it, it's kind of like that's not the job. If it turns out to be something where they enjoy that social aspect, you know, for the heck of it, great! But it is sort of a lot to ask and to look back in retrospect, it is a lot to have basically treated as kind of a given for the job while you were doing it, pb, so...

pb: It's funny, because Metafilter isn't a technology company. You know, I always thought of it as a customer service company.

jessamyn: Sure!

pb: so even though I was writing code, I felt like I was in the service of making people enjoy being at the site.

cortex: Yeah.

pb: So I think that might be an odd take for a code person, so it's hard to put that in a description.

cortex: Yeah. The work you're doing isn't coming down from a spec or a design document or something, it's coming down from how can we make the site be better at what it is? How can we make it work better for the people using it?

pb: Exactly.

cortex: And again, that real direct line, so... it'll be interesting to work that out going forward. I'm really interested in this whole future state process. It's kind of weird, it's kind of stressful, I think it's going to be a strange thing to navigate in a lot of ways, but it should be really interesting to try doing stuff in a new way.

jessamyn: I think it'll be good news for everybody. I mean, I learned a lot from you, pb, just even as being the moderator, but I learned a lot about how to deal with people who are unhappy and cranky. Like you were always really good at being, like, 'Ohhh, I'm sorry you're having trouble,' when people would be like 'RARR RARR RARR THIS IS BULLSHIT AND YOU'RE ALL A BUNCH OF MONKEYS!' You would always start with 'Oh, I'm sorry you're having trouble,' even if they were clearly having trouble because there was something just wrong with them.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Or they made a mistake, you were always kind of, from the get-go, like 'Oh! Sorry you're having trouble,' and at first I was like 'That's so weird, why is he sorry? These people are...' but it's a really great way to kind of start the exchange, because you can--regardless of why they're frustrated, acknowledging the human thing that we all feel about 'Errrr! This isn't working, and it makes me feel bad, and I'm trying to uurrnnnnn!' I think really helped make a lot of those interactions with users just from the get-go, go that much better, and I've started using that at open library all the time now and it really helps! It super helps!

pb: Ah that's awesome. Yeah, I always try to put myself in the other person's shoes and say 'Oh man, yeah, that would be frustrating,' and it's just nice to hear someone say 'Hey, I'm sorry you're frustrated.'

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: See, I put myself in the other people's shoes and I'm like 'This person is irrational, and needs to eat some food, and they're just - I don't know what is wrong with them, but they need to, like, work out their shit with their mother and get back to me later.' So I suspect you're actually secretly really well balanced, Paul.

cortex: [laughs]

pb: I save those comments for my inside self...

[all laugh]
...and don't share them with the outside world.

cortex: When we were trying to decide what to use for the image for the Best of... post about announcing pb planning to leave, we were sort of bandying around ideas in Slack.

jessamyn: I haven't even looked at that...

cortex: Well, we ended up grabbing, I said almost as a joke like Incredible Hulk I think is what happened, because like the end credits for the TV show specifically is like Bruce Banner hitching a thumb.

jessamyn: I was wondering where the hell that came from, OK

cortex: Yeah, yeah, and then it's got that nice little sentimental piano theme playing, and I love that as like a moving on sort of image. We also talked about Quantum Leap I think, but didn't come up with anything great there, so...

pb: (laughs)

cortex: But the Bruce Banner thing's beautiful because it's like Incredible Hulk, 'You wouldn't like me when I'm angry' and pb you've always been so incredibly nice even when people were being dicks it was like 'You wouldn't like me when I'm a little frustrated and disappointed with the way you're treating this conversation'--like, there's no angry rage jerkwad. I feel like I've got some jerkwad in me, but you've always been surprisingly tolerant and whatnot even when legitimately genuinely frustrated with people on the site, so.

jessamyn: Right. Being truly horrible, you always seem to be able to maintain an even keel. I have no idea how you do it. I suspect drugs.

p: (chuckles) No.

cortex: Always super stoned.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

p: That's great to hear. Thank you?

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Let's say more nice things about you to make you even more uncomfortable. (laughs)

p: Well, I appreciate that. I try not to bring more frustration to the table. It always feels like it's gotta stop somewhere--

cortex: Yeah.

p: --and you've gotta figure out how to go forward.

cortex: That's a really good attitude to have. No, it's part of what's made it such a great time working with you.

jessamyn: And I sort of know the answer to this, but, like, you're not jumping into another job, right?

p: Nope.

jessamyn: You're gonna... are you actually gonna travel, or is traveling just one of those things you tell people so they shut up and quit asking you what you're actually doing?

cortex: (chuckles)

p: Yeah, I'm gonna be--

jessamyn: I mean, I know you've got that great little VW.

p: I have a VW van, and I'm going to try to go some places this summer where I'm not worried about cell phone range.

jessamyn: Yes!

p: So I'm going to be somewhere completely away from the grid if I can.

cortex: Exactly. Just don't have to give it a second fuck.

jessamyn: Josh, are you sure you don't want to roll something out, basically twelve hours before pb leaves on a three-day vacation?

cortex: Oh no, that's a really good idea. Yeah, we should definitely... yeah, we'll do that. (chuckles)

p: I think that's happened before?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I think that happened every time you guys rolled out a feature, and I used to think it was you and Matt working together, and then I realized it was just Matt.

cortex: Yeah, I think we've gotten better at that in the last couple years, too, is at least saying, oh, you know what? Let's not... not on a Friday afternoon.

jessamyn: "Let's do it on a Monday!"

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: "We'll all still be here!"

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, you guys have gotten awesome with that.

cortex: It takes a while to learn that lesson, apparently, but I think we're getting there.

p: Yep.

jessamyn: So you go out camping with the whole family, pb?

p: Yeah. Yep.

jessamyn: Your kids good campers?

p: They love camping.

jessamyn: Nice!

p: They've got the whole system down, yep, they love it.

cortex: They're pretty rad too. They are rad kids.

jessamyn: Eddie and the other one.

p: Samantha, yeah.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Well, I remember Eddie because he was first!

p: Yeah.

cortex: Second children don't count, they're basically backups.

jessamyn: Well, second children don't have as many photographs, in quite as many... and I think I was probably a little bit more on Flickr then... who knows. Eddie and Samantha.

p: Yeah, Eddie and the rest.

cortex: I don't remember, are you coming out to the Newberry crater? I don't remember if you guys were planning on doing that.

p: No, I would love to, though.

cortex: It's... sometime. Sometime this summer. I don't remember the details. It's one of those things I should look up.

p: I'll check IRL.

cortex: Yes. Because yeah, you can come out and then just not care at all. It'll be beautiful. Well hey, yeah, I've really enjoyed working with you, and it was fun to be able to sort of pull you in on here. Anything you want to shout while slamming the door, or talk about?

jessamyn: When is the actual door slamming, actually? Like, when's your last day?

p: It's the end of May, I think, is the official last day.

jessamyn: Whaat? Ohhh. You've got a whole month of people to harangue you and buy you fruit baskets and do things.

p: (chuckles) Yeah. It's great, it's great.

cortex: Yeah, he's got a nice vacation in the middle of it, too, so yeah.

jessamyn: A vacation in the middle of your last month? Why was I not that smart?

cortex: (chuckles) Seriously. You've gotta work these things out.

p: Yes, so, parting words... I think... you know, if I never hear the word 'pony' again, it'll be too soon.

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: If people want to find you on social media, is there a place that you're more sort of out and about and open on social media, or are you just not a social media dude, or...? Because, I mean, I know, like, I love looking at all the pictures you put up on Instagram, but it seems like you've got a small crowd there.

p: Yeah, I'm on Instagram as paul.bausch, and on Twitter, pbausch. I'm still bitter I didn't get pb at Twitter.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Who's got pb?

p: I don't know. Someone who's not updating at all.

jessamyn: A man who works at Samsung who hasn't updated since 2011.

p: I know, it's a tragedy.

jessamyn: Can't you get your buddy Ev to, like, do you a solid?

cortex: (chuckles)

p: I have tried going through channels to get that, but no, it didn't work.

jessamyn: "As cereal becomes more ripe, the head hangs down," is what the actual pb says. He's like a child.

p: Well, we can't take that off the Internet, that would be...

cortex: I hope that's about a Lucky Charms box with a droopy Lucky.

jessamyn: Augh. I don't think it is.

cortex: Oh, darnit.

jessamyn: Sorry, pb, we're never going to let you finish a sentence.

p: And I have a blog, which is And that's where I just repost Instagram and Flickr and everything else, so you can skip all the social medias and just go there.

jessamyn: Hey, there's your van!

cortex: Centralized location. One-stop shopping.

jessamyn: Do you ever post like a thing, like 'Hey, I'm leaving my job, and...'

pb: I don't. I should though, I used to back when people did that.

cortex: Back when any of us updated our blogs.

jessamyn: Shuddup, I updated my blog yesterday!

cortex: Yeahhhh, but you're a librarian.

pb: That's impressive.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: I don't know, you have archival--I don't know where I'm going with it...

jessamyn: I just, you know, I have a little more free time. I don't have a family is really what it is.

cortex: That helps.

jessamyn: I think it does. Yeah no, I just, I did a little envelope project and literally updated my blog yesterday. You don't have like a secret tilde blog or anything? For a while Matt had a secret tilde blog.

p: I did for a while, yeah, and I posted some guitar stuff there, so, maybe that will be the new thing, maybe I'll start posting to my blog again.

cortex: Come back to it, bring it back.

p: Yeah. It's coming back!

cortex: Ahh yeah!

jessamyn: It's gonna be big!

p: Blogging!

cortex: Well you heard it first here, pb's last words: Suck it everybody

p: (laugh) That is not...

jessamyn: What? He said it's gonna be big.

cortex: There was a--little Skype blip so it cut out when he was saying it, but I assure, anyway... [laughs]

pb: No!

cortex: All right, pb.

jessamyn: Just say 'How can I miss you when you won't go away?', pb, so that we can just turn it into a little soundboard and play it for Josh all the time.

[cortex and pb laugh]

pb: Thanks for inviting me! That was fun.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Thank you for coming, everybody's going to miss you terribly, but we know you're not gonna be far away.

jingle: They Though He Was Part of the Ship by The Great Big Mulp

jessamyn: So!

cortex: So! Shall we talk about the things we usually talk about on the podcast?

jessamyn: Yeah! I'm all ready for my first part, which is talking about the number 116.

cortex: Tell me about the number 116.

jessamyn: Well. There's a whole bunch of bullshit about 116 that nobody cares about, but... the two things I really liked about 116 are: It's the atomic number of livermorium, which has gotta be the dumbest name for an element I have ever heard. It's synthetic and super-heavy, I mean there's something cool about super-heaviness, but whatever. It's named after of course the--

cortex: Lawrence Livermore Labs?

jessamyn: Aaabsolutely!

cortex: Go, me! For remembering that's a thing.

jessamyn: And it's a homologue to the whatever the thing, polonium, which we know is the terrible poison that people use to try and kill people that they don't like.

cortex: Yeah. For the assassinating.

jessamyn: For the assassinating.

cortex: What's a homologue?

jessamyn: I don't... click it!

cortex: What? Okay. Now--

jessamyn: I assume it's, you know.

cortex: (chuckles) You didn't paste a link in! I'm going to have to--

jessamyn: I was too busy putting Ev Williams in his high school! I can't believe Paul led me down that whole thing and then Paul doesn't even have a Wikipedia page.

cortex: No, that's okay, that's okay. He deserves a Wikipedia page.

jessamyn: I kind of feel like he maybe doesn't want one, though, right?

cortex: He may not. I mean, maybe he prefers to keep it on the dl.

jessamyn: I didn't want to put him on the spot and ask him, but I felt like maybe he would have said if he had wanted it? I think it's an Ask/Guess culture thing, though.

cortex: That could be, that could be.

jessamyn: So I read the homologue. It's a special case of an analogue.

cortex: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: It's chemistry.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. It turns out I'm just back... I'm gonna back out of the room here.

jessamyn: Waving hands here, I am. I don't even know.

cortex: Just nope.

jessamyn: So the other great thing about 116, and this is the cool part, is it's the actual number of years that the Hundred Years' War lasted.

cortex: Oh, right.

jessamyn: Heheheheheheheheheh.

cortex: They weren't very good at counting. Now, what was the deal with the Hundred Years' War? Like, was it just literally... because it couldn't have been a sustained single...

jessamyn: It was a series of conflicts.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: They were just kind of pissed and, you know, going back and forth. There's a whole list of belligerence if you look... I don't actually know that much about it. All I know is it was long, and there was just these fights. I mean, basically it meant that, like, there was disputed... stuff.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: You should probably ask somebody who really knows. I certainly don't want to go on the record as being like, "Oh, yeah, it was totally this thing!"

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And people are like, "What? You don't know anything."

cortex: I feel like that would be a good dynamic even above and beyond the fact that it's kind of what happens on the podcast sometimes anyway, is like, sort of daring the other person to accidentally be the one who tries hard to explain--

jessamyn: To go on the record.

cortex: --something they don't know about.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Like, just goading each other into going out on a limb on some bullshit.

jessamyn: Well, you know, as a librarian, I'm a little careful about that, you know? Because people trust me--

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: --and I think I know things. Neither of which are necessarily a really good idea. But there's this really funny Gahan Wilson cartoon that I love, which is all about a kid getting up in front of a class and doing a book report, and it--I'll have to just find it, because I can't really explain it. But he basically talks about these two countries or these two towns or whatever that don't exist anymore, and they had this war, and it was all because of a hat and a lady waved her flag from the window and then at the end of it they did the thing and now there's no longer either of these towns anymore, thank you. And the teacher's like, "That was very nice."

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And you're just reading it and it's just garbage, you know. And that's the way I feel about a lot of these ancient conflicts in the history of white people where it's like, oh, some white people had a fight in the 1300s and we still talk about it. Like, no one cares. No one cares. But we do for dumb reasons, and so that's how I feel about the Hundred Years' War.

cortex: All right. Good, solid, that was a very nice report.

jessamyn: Thanks. (laughs)

cortex: Anything else about 116?

jessamyn: Ah, no! I mean, there's some other math bullshit, but none of it's actually that interesting.

cortex: It's the sum of two squares, I guess.

jessamyn: You can go look it up yourself, why are you asking me?

cortex: No, no, I just--

jessamyn: The sum of which squares?

cortex: 10 squared and 4 squared.

jessamyn: Oh, 100 and 16. Hahahahah.

cortex: Well, it's a hundred, yeah, exactly, boom, see? Nailed it.

jessamyn: Nailed it in one. (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Do you know, once you get... was I talking to you about this? Once you get higher up over the thousands in Wikipedia, the pages don't have their, the numbers... oh, actually, it looks like once you get up into 900. What?

cortex: They don't even bother with the stubs anymore, they just...

jessamyn: Yeah! I was looking up some number, and I looked it up and it was like two thousand something something, I don't even remember why I was looking it up. But Wikipedia didn't just say, like, oh, there's no stub, it just redirected me. I was looking up like, say, 2013, and it just redirected me to 2000. Like, fuck it, this is what you want.

cortex: (laughs) Round down

jessamyn: And I was like 'No it is not! I want this other number!' There was some math reason. But Wikipedia's like, 'Nope. Nope.' I've been a little bullish on Wikipedia lately.

cortex: Bullish, or bearish?

jessamyn: Bearish?

cortex: Bearish. Bearish is bad I think.

jessamyn: Shit. Shit.

cortex: But it's kind of weird anyway, it's like, yeah, I mean anyway... Is there a bank with a bear for a mascot? A lot of them had the bull.

jessamyn: Well, that's Wall Street, right?

cortex: Well, yeah, like bearish and bullish on stocks and shit.

jessamyn: Maybe they're having... we've got bears around here, eating out of bird feeders, by the way, again.

cortex: Nice, nice.

jessamyn: Yeah, it's not (laughs). Who doesn't pull in their bird feeders? Idiots. I can only tell you about this because my neighbours don't listen to the podcast. Oh my God, please. Oh look! Googling has turned up some really interesting mascot costumes that you can get that are all money.

cortex: Just nothing but money?

jessamyn: Yeah look, click the link.

cortex: I'm looking, I'm looking, it's loading slow. Oh my gosh - be a giant...

jessamyn: For two thousand dollars, you can be Peter Penny Pincher, who is basically a penny with a bow tie and legs. And hands, but no arms.

cortex: Wow. How is that two thousand dollars worth of costume?

jessamyn: Uh, it's three-dimensional.

cortex: Yeah, but still!

jessamyn: Like if you look down at Pretty Penny Pincher, which is the girl version which has a bow on it...

cortex: No that's insane, that's ahhh...

jessamyn: Mascot costumes are really expensive. This is why I was very happy to be able to get the uh...

cortex: I'm assuming the cost is like somehow a licensing issue because that is not a two thousand dollar piece of technology right there.

jessamyn: The heads are slightly elaborate technology. If you look at mascot costumes they are very expensive. Not usually that expensive.

cortex: Yeah, I dunno, I dunno.

jessamyn: I think these people are just ripping you off.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Let's look at some bug mascot costumes.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Aowww - see?! I like getting to click a link that says 'All bugs.' Ernie the Earthworm. This is the best. Josh, I love talking to you, but man...

cortex: This is, this, yeah...this is what we're doing instead.

jessamyn: Oh! The Hugbug is a thousand dollars without shoes!

cortex: You know what it is right now, it's May, we're...

jessamyn: Well you know what it is, it's fucking 9.20 at night.

cortex: (laughs) That too. We're keeping MeFi weird in May, we'll come back to that, I guess, when we get to MetaTalk, but--

jessamyn: Oh, there's June bugs! They're a twin costume.

cortex: --you should really make a post out of this, if that hasn't already happened, is all I'm getting at.

jessamyn: Yeah, that's a really good point.

cortex: Because this is sort of great.

jessamyn: I, you know, yeah. Keep MeFi Weird.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Very, very much looking forward to this. I told Jim about it and he immediately reposted for HTML5.

cortex: (laughs) I saw that go by on Twitter. That's excellent.

jessamyn: And he's the cutest. The cutest.

cortex: Aww. That man is great. Oh God, what the fuck was I going to say? Oh, I don't know. But yeah, you should post that.

jessamyn: You were talking about springtime?

cortex: Springtime. Oh, I was going to say--

jessamyn: Hey, here's a guitar!


cortex: I was going to say, how's the weather in Vermont? Is that what's bringing the bears out? Just normal bear-eating-bird-feeder time?

jessamyn: It was pouring bloody hell rain since like last night at some point? And I have a mob of goldfinches. Like, literally thirty or forty that have all decided my feeder is the feeder to be at, so there's just this constant relentless bird noise outside my window. In a good way, but, like, it's weird. Because normally, you know, birdfeeder, you have like a bird feeder and birds come, 'thanks for the seed!', and they fly off. This is just a mob of birds that all hangs out on the roof like a bunch of teenagers.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Being like, rararblahbedahbladeblah! So the weather's been nice, I mean, we did get snow last week, but I think this week there's no more snow, and yeah, we're really hoping springtime is coming, maybe, one of these days. Soon. Yes.

cortex: It was 91 here today, so...

jessamyn: What? No.

cortex: So fuck this weather, basically.

jessamyn: No.

cortex: Yeah, no, yeah.

jessamyn: I am so sorry. That is terrible.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: You didn't move to Portland so you could have 91 degree weather.

cortex: Seriously.

jessamyn: You moved to Portland probably because you don't like 91 degree weather.

cortex: I didn't even move to Portland. I've been here for most of the time, you know, because--I stayed here because of the weather, and now this, yeah, I don't know.

jessamyn: You grew up in Portland?

cortex: Yeah, yeah, since I was like 7. I was born in Montana, but there was a childhood divorce and moving around and ended up, yeah.

jessamyn: That's right. You've told me.

cortex: Yeah. So I'm reasonably close to a Portland native, by Portland standards.

jessamyn: Whereas since my grandparents weren't born here I'm just straight out of--yeah.

cortex: (chuckles) Outlander.

We should talk about Jobs, because that's what we talk about before we talk about the other stuff. But we should also talk about Jobs because of--

jessamyn: You keep track of the ordering. I can't even.

cortex: Yeah, no, I was launching into it with an air of self-confidence, like, "As you know, Jessamyn, now is when we talk about, I don't need to tell you this, but for the sake of the listener--"

jessamyn: I always appreciate it, though.

cortex: It's feeling more natural, you know.

jessamyn: Oh, when was the last podcast, though, speaking of things you can tell me?

cortex: Oh, it was--I think we were about a week in last time, I want to say. It was like April--

jessamyn: We're doing pretty good this time, then.

cortex: --April 5th or something like that. Yeah, no, we got real close. I actually thought today was the first. I was confused to find out today is May 2nd. My brain just wasn't keeping track of--

jessamyn: The only reason I know is because Jim and I put together a Laverne & Shirley/Happy Days one-day trivia special--

cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: --which we've been working on for months, and it goes live tomorrow, which is the third, which I knew today was the 2nd.

cortex: So you're moored in time, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. Anybody who wants the questions who's now listening to the podcast, it will have been up and down by the time the podcast's up and I'd be happy to send them to you. A little Laverne & Shirley trivia.

cortex: Two big Laverne & Shirley fans are like "Yes!" Gonna get some...

jessamyn: Happy Days trivia. Well, there's a lot of MeFites on the online trivia thing.

cortex: Oh, that's right, yeah.

jessamyn: But if you're not, and you want these questions, I will give them to you.

cortex: Is it a pretty Penny Marshall-centric...?

jessamyn: Not even listening to you. Whatever you're going to say.

cortex: Okay. (laughs) Penny Mar--she was Laverne, I think, or possibly Shirley. I think Laverne. Penny Marshall?

jessamyn: I thought you were going to go into a bad pun and I turned my ears off.

cortex: No! I was just thinking about Penny Marshall, you know.

jessamyn: Ah, there is a picture of her in a waitress uniform.

cortex: Excellent, there you go - boom.

jessamyn: Oh no - French maid.

cortex: Boom! There you go.

jessamyn: Gary Marshall figures in this.

cortex: Gary, yes. Oh does he? Excellent.

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: Gary Marshall is a recurring character on Comedy Bang Bang, one of my favourite podcasts.

jessamyn: Oh God, Comedy Bang Bang.

cortex: It's fantastic. Not a fan?

jessamyn: No, you know - I confused it with... is Comedy Bang Bang also a television show?

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: OK. The television show sucks. I love the podcast. I don't know why.

cortex: The TV show was very different.

jessamyn: The TV show isn't real, right?

cortex: Yes. The TV show's very contrived. You know what we're going to do, we're going to have you back on the Crapshoot some time and we'll talk about this at length.

jessamyn: I love the Crapshoot - I would love to talk to you guys.

cortex: Yes, we'll do that. But I should not force this into a ten minute discussion of Comedy Bang Bang.

jessamyn: Sure, I would enjoy that, because also I've been looking for more comedy podcasts to listen to, because Mark Maron, I'm over him. And I started listening to Ari mmm what's his name? Shifer? Shifer? Shifer? Shlifer? The guy who I posted a thing about doing mushrooms and his podcast is aaaaaawful. It's all about like... He's just this self-involved fucking dude and he's awful. So I need to talk to somebody about comedy podcasts.

cortex: Yeah, we'll do that, we'll do that. 'Cause I got into a new one recently too, and we'll tie that in, so.

jessamyn: Oh great!

cortex: But jobs - there were several jobs posted.

jessamyn: Besides the pb job.

cortex: Besides the pb job, which we'll talk about a little bit.

jessamyn: So you guys think you're going to be all right with just a part time dev?

cortex: Yeeeeeesss....?! No, I think we'll be OK, I think we'll have to sort of like rework our processes a little bit and sort of figure it out, but that's probably not a bad thing to do once every decade or so, so...

jessamyn: Well, I think maybe the way to look at it is kind of like an on-call dev, you know? Like, you'll work a maximum of 20 hours, but you have to wear this pager.

cortex: Yeah, exactly, I think it's going to be a different situation versus pb sort of full time and then some-ish thing. We're going to find something that's a little bit more properly balanced and...

jessamyn: Well, it seems like it was really smart what you guys did where you were like, "We're actually gonna readjust how we do some things, so the moderators are going to actually do some of the things that we can actually do, and the dev is gonna be more dev-like."

cortex: Yeah, cos Metafilter is such an expression of the way it's grown and changed over the years, we're such a small, ad hoc company, that like, every decision is a result of whatever worked at the time, and

cortex: you litter that back over 16 years, and there's a lot of weird contours and topography, as you very well know, obviously.

jessamyn: Yes, I do.

cortex: So yeah, this might be a chance to stop and say, "Well, maybe just because we've been doing that this way for ten years doesn't mean it's the best way we could possibly do it," so now that we have to adjust anyway, maybe we'll tweak! So I think that'll be good.

jessamyn: Yeah, that'd be cool!

cortex: And yeah, if you are a listener, and you somehow missed the job post, we're looking for a part-time

cortex: database and web administrator to basically do ongoing basic maintenance of the db, make sure stuff is patched on the servers, and tweaking the db as needed to sort of adjust to performance needs shifting, and stuff like that, and potentially also some ColdFusion development--we might get that from the same person, we might do that through another contractor or something, we'll see.

jessamyn: Neat!

cortex: But yeah, it'd be great to be able to find a mefite who's a great fit for that, or if you know

cortex: someone who might be a good fit for that outside the site, we're also looking for folks beyond just the community so we can get a bigger pool of candidates, so yeah. Spread the word.

But there were other companies and individuals also hiring last month, including someone who wants--and I don't know how realistic this is or not, because it's hard to say--but someone wants their poorly-taken wedding photos Photoshopped,

cortex: which if it is doable, and you can do that--what a nice thing to be able to do for someone, to sort of just up "up" those precious memories sort of things. It's always tricky--

jessamyn: "Sweaty, squinty, and overall not-so-great."

cortex: Yeah, it's hard to know what can be done necessarily, but, you know, if you can do it--by gosh, there you go. Here's your moment.

jessamyn: Hey, and that's arnicae who got married recently. How nice!

cortex: Yeah! Hence the wedding. Boom!

jessamyn: Boom! Well, yeah.

cortex: There's also someone looking for a board game that they saw a copy of once in an Ecuadorian bookstore, so they're looking for a copy of a game called--[trying to pronounce]Meezy? Meecy? M-I-S-I? It's a family board game about cats?

jessamyn: "Messy?"

cortex: So uh, yeah.

jessamyn: How is that not findable?

cortex: I don't know! I don't know! But presumably tilde has looked, and so now they're turning to Jobs to try and get someone else to.

jessamyn: eBay listings: Zero!

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Wow, that's a great quest.

cortex: It's a mystery.

jessamyn: There's gotta be a way you can, like, set somebody off and

jessamyn: --meanwhile, I was looking at the research assistant who is also a board game fan! This person is a professor, working on a project, they're examining the sources of inspiration behind crowd-funded board games--

cortex: Oh, neat!

jessamyn: ...and so they need somebody to help look those things up. It looks like that job is gonna be amazing.

cortex: Yeah no, that is pretty neat.

jessamyn: I mean, it's blahblahblah--the user--doesn't pay awesome, but whatever, if it's your thing, it's your thing! And how great would that be?

cortex: blahblahblah is one of the best--no, no, their name is, that's their username

cortex: --it's quote, "blahblahblah," unquote--usernames out there, 'cause it just sounds like you're lapsing into, "And they're like, it's blahblahblah"

jessamyn: "And then blahblahblah"

Oh! One other thing I wanted to mention as part of the podcast is, we gotta get people back on the transcripts.

cortex: Yeah! Yeah yeah--No, we've had several people contribute to efforts very generously over the years of working on that, and it's been a great thing,

but it's also just been, you know, it's volunteers doing it!

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: maybe we'll try and throw a re-up for making that happen in the post for this one, while we put it up.

jessamyn: Yeah! Because from an accessibility standpoint, I know there's a lot of people who would really sort of prefer to read through these, and if we can get people to put them together, that would be lovely.

cortex: Yep. And transcribing's a lot of work, but the system that folks have worked out previously makes it actually pretty easy to do it in bits and pieces, so--

jessamyn: Yeah. You can do five minutes.

cortex: Yeah. It's one of those things where,

if we can get a bunch of people doing a little bit, that'll actually get it done just as well and maybe without as much backbreaking effort as someone trying to [laughs] plow through two hours of us every month.

jessamyn: Sure! Yeah, I mean, most of it, you can literally stop in for a couple minutes and then pop right back out again.

cortex: Exactly.

jessamyn: But it would be nice to get more of the recent podcasts transcribed in a methodical way.

cortex: Yep.

Ahhhhh, would you like to move on to Projects?

jessamyn: I would love to!

cortex: All right! Let's move on to Projects.

jessamyn: Let me see what I highlighted from Projects this month, if anything.

cortex: I will mention, right up front, a very recent post by lmfsilva that came up in the keepmefiweird MetaTalk thread, actually. We're just gonna keep teasing that before actually discussing that, I guess is the big plan here.

jessamyn: Is that your plan?

cortex: That's my plan, yes.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: My plan is the plan. I'm the planner. I'm the one who plans.

jessamyn: Uh, let me tell you something: No, you aren't.

cortex: [laughs] Let me have this fantasy!

jessamyn: [laughs] "Just let me have this moment."

cortex: I just need this!

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: This is--lmfsilva mentioned that they had made a cover of the Nine Inch Nails song "Hurt" using speech synthesis on the Amiga 500, or actually, an emulated one, 'cause their actual Amiga isn't working right now. So they just got the Amiga to say the lines to "Hurt" against a backing track, and it's exactly what it sounds like, and it's weird and it's wonderful,

and I was so pleased because the Amiga 500 was my computer growing up. That was the family computer, and it was such a weird computer to have, 'cause everybody had PCs... just, near and dear to my heart, so I'm so pleased to see them have posted this, and that's what I have to say about that.

jessamyn: Neat! Right up your alley. That's cool.

I really enjoyed gauche's
really nice website on the Disability Integration Act of 2015, which basically is a thing that Senator Schumer is doing, it's civil rights legislation addressing the fact that--I mean, there's lots of issues with how people with disabilities have to deal with stuff in the United States, but one of the things is, especially when you're dealing with, sort of, health insurance situations--
you might be a person who's severely disabled but can still live independently, but maybe your health insurance is only gonna cover you being in an institution, which maybe you don't want, as opposed to living at home, but having to have adaptive stuff to help you out, to live at home.

cortex: Sure.

jessamyn: And so this sucks, and basically, the Disability Integration Act is going to address and sort of deal with that. I haven't dug totally into this, but it's a really interesting

way of dealing with that issue, because it really means, like, if you're a disabled person in Alabama, you might have to be in an institution because the health insurance of the state won't cover you to have the things that you need, whereas if you're a disabled person in California, maybe California will. And that's not fair, number one, because why should somebody in Alabama have to, you know, receive crappier care than someone in California if they're all Americans, blablablah Obamacare, et cetera, so at any rate,
gauche worked on the bill language and introducing the strategy, and securing the co-sponsors. So it's actually like an advocacy thing.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know, not just like "oh, I made this website," but like, "no, I'm really--this is my cause, this is my thing. This is really what I'm working on."

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: So that's very nice, and I was just really happy to see it, because that's always bothered me as somebody who's not a huge disability rights activist,

but somebody who kind of tries to stay on top of it.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And I'm really happy that Senator Schumer and some other people are actually working on it.

cortex: Nice! That's excellent.

jessamyn: Yeah! Nice going, gauche.

cortex: Go gauche.

I liked the--[laughs]

jessamyn: Oh, no. Oh no!

cortex: Well no, here's the thing. I'm just, I'm reviewing the actual destination link, because I can't remember if this is--I don't think--okay, it was not. The title of the Project post is

"The hats of your mortal enemies, turned inside-out and used as flowerpots."

jessamyn: I enjoyed it, but that's also when I stopped reading.

cortex: [laughs] Well, the actual name of the blog is "Listing to Port," it's But I think that is one of the little bits from the writing, it's--every day, this is [tries pronunciations] g-nimmel? gnimmel? It's a creative writing project

with a list every day, and the shape of the list changes, from numeric "1 through 7," to bullet-pointed, to a hierarchical sort of, legal-code shape, and stuff like that--but it's just sort of--

jessamyn: [pained wail]

cortex: ...wandering, non-topic specific, occasionally sort of Dada-ish, and--

jessamyn: "12 excuses for being not less than 15 and not more than 10 minutes late."

cortex: "Instructions for those who wish to take the path through the city and emerge unscathed on the other side." You know? it's covering a lot of ground. "7 lesser-known pirate hordes."

jessamyn: "9 tiny superpowers."

cortex: So, yes--

jessamyn: "The ability to eat dubious and ancient leftovers from the back of the fridge without getting sick."

cortex: That's a very AskMe sort of--

jessamyn: "The ability to tickle yourself."

cortex: Yes.


cortex: Boom. See? There's something for everyone!

jessamyn: I guess.

cortex: So yeah, I don't know. I like a structured creative writing project, I'm sort of a sucker for that--

jessamyn: I am actually a sucker for these classification posts that are part of these.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: So like, "Friday categorization #11," which is all bears.

cortex: Yep. Bears, real bears, polar--

jessamyn: Bears in ill-fitting coats and sunglasses eating meat. Toy bears, on the stairs, in their lairs, bears in rhyming situations--[delighted scream]

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: All right all right, I'm sold. I'm sold.

cortex: All right, there we go, boom. So I liked that, that was nice. Go read a thing. Go read things, people.

jessamyn: Cool! I also enjoyed, because it's really not the podcast if we don't talk about Twitter a little bit, this thing that philosophistry did, which is "Tameline." Like, you know how you got some people in your Twitter that just twitter all the time?

cortex: Yeah! Oh, yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah!

jessamyn: You're that person for me, Josh.

cortex: [laughs] I try to keep it to like, six a day.

jessamyn: You went on vacation.

cortex: Yeah, well, you know, there's special occasions.

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: Yes, no no, I saw this!

jessamyn: ...It's like when GJ goes on vacation. It's the same thing.

cortex: Exactly.

jessamyn: So this thing is called Tameline, and basically it re-sorts your Twitter feed and everybody gets a row. And so, you can click and look at the people, but there's just one row per person--

cortex: Yeah, so if someone's tweeting up a storm--

jessamyn: And then if you wanna read more by that person, great.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But it's awesome.

cortex: See, and this is--I kinda want to play with this at some point. I haven't used it yet, because at this point I just filter people up front based on that. Like, if I'm gonna follow someone, the first thing is "oh, this person's interesting, I should maybe follow them."

jessamyn: And then you go on vacation!"

cortex: Well, but the second thing I do is I go and look at their stream and just try and get a rough estimate of how much they tweet, and if it's too much, I just don't! You know?

jessamyn: I am the same way, but then sometimes people go on vacation.

cortex: Well, yeah. Many people are bursty. But then there's people who just tweet a lot every--like Anil. Anil is awesome, but he tweets a lot.

jessamyn: He hangs out on Twitter in a way that I do not.

Although, I have him on a special list, which is only like, Anil, my sister, GJ, and like four other people.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And so if I wanna check that list, I do, and then if I don't, I just don't.

Well, and especially recently.

cortex: I follow several people who follow Anil,

and so they end up retweeting or replying to something in a way that gets a fair amount of stuff in my filters anyway--

jessamyn: Yeah. I hear you.

cortex: that works out pretty well. But yeah, no, I like the idea of this, because if this was the fundamental design of Twitter to begin with, I would probably follow a few more people who otherwise it's just like, "no, no, it's just gonna be too much, you'll take over my stream."

jessamyn: Right. Or like, brands, even.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: But you know what I mean? Like sometimes--like the state of Vermont, I follow the state of Vermont--

or no, the Valley News. You know, they're not my local newspaper, but my second most local newspaper? But they post, like, TEN TWEETS all in a row 'cause they got a robot doing it, and I'm like "eehhhhhhhhh!!" So. Yeah.

cortex: It's a thing.

jessamyn: You watch Game of Thrones?

cortex: I do! Are you up to date?

jessamyn: No.

cortex: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: I stopped.

cortex: Oh.

jessamyn: I was gonna ask you, but then it occurred to me we couldn't really talk about it on the podcast--

cortex: No, let's discuss plot details!

jessamyn: ...'cause that would be dickish.

cortex: Yeah, no, I watch it. I have complicated feelings about it but not as complicated as the feelings I have about The Walking Dead at this point, which I also keep watching, but…

jessamyn: Oh, you have complicated feelings about Walking Dead?

cortex: It's…

jessamyn: I've never even watched it, like I don't even care about it, so…

cortex: I like aspects of it, I like some of the cast, I'm entertained by portions of what they do, but it's occasionally stupid and occasionally just really kinda gross. Like it's…

jessamyn: Gross like disgusting murder gross, or gross…

cortex: Gross like poor treatment of characters, gross like a

really confused morality that's not even interesting, gross like dumb decisions that lead to stupid situations that never should've happened. The most recent season finale ended on, a super tense 15 minute, it felt like, scene--maybe it wasn't quite that long, but it really felt like it--that was basically just the looming threat of very personal violence--

jessamyn: I can't deal with those anymore!

cortex: ...just to establish how bad a guy was!

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: And it's like, you know, you did a really good job establishing that this is a bad guy who's gonna hurt someone, but like,

I didn't need 15 minutes of just underscoring that.

jessamyn: Of terrorizing.

cortex: I would believe you if you did it in 2!

jessamyn: Right, trust me to figure out where you're going with this!

cortex: Like, I didn't enjoy a single moment of this big season finale you came up with. So it's stuff like that. It's not a show that seems to have a real strong sense of what it's trying to achieve to make humanity any better. Like, I don't look at Breaking Bad and think, "this is high art that's going to fundamentally improve the human spirit" or anything, but Breaking Bad seemed

like it kinda knew what it was trying to do and did a really good job of it, and was at least thoughtful about the way it was bad? I feel like Walking Dead is just sort of riding the fucking tiger on being a show about bad things happening. It's like, "well, what else could be bad?" and it's... [quietly despairing groan] But I shouldn't get more specific for people who aren't caught up, and you don't watch it, so...

jessamyn: No, I hear ya. We won't talk about Game of Thrones at all. I was just kind of curious because my Twitter feeds are very Game-of-Throney lately.

cortex: Yeah, it's definitely back, it's definitely back. I haven't even touched the FanFare threads that I'm sure are huge

just 'cause it's been so busy, [chuckles] I don't have time to read that. But yes, it's definitely been a thing now that it's back, so we'll see where that goes.

jessamyn: Neat! So I think that's it for me and Projects.

cortex: I'll mention one more real quick just because the whole thing is quick. This is a project by darkpony called Most Popular Video in the World, and it literally just does that, it's a page you go to

and it figures out what the current most [??] video is, and it plays it.

jessamyn: HEY! This is something I want to watch right now. Goodbye, Josh.

cortex: Well, you can't I'm sorry. I'm gonna be the bad guy. You have to do the podcast. [laughs]

jessamyn: It's John Oliver! But I don't know what he's gonna talk about. Shit!

cortex: Well, come back. It'll probably still be there. Or maybe it won't! Because that's the whole thing!

jessamyn: Oh, it's him talking about cicadas! It's John Oliver talking about cicadas for three minutes. That's the most popular video of the world right now.

cortex: That's not bad.

jessamyn: That's great, I'm looking forward to watching that later.

sfx: pugh, "The Difference"

sfx: pugh, "The Difference"

cortex: But yeah, should we proceed to Metafilter?

jessamyn: Sure, I don't remember where we go next, but yeah.

cortex: We go to Metafilter.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: [laughs] If you didn't say you didn't know, then we could both pretend--

cortex: If you didn't say you didn't know, we could both pretend: "Oh, yes, Just As Expected! We've totally… we've pulled it off." Uh, what did you like on Metafilter the last three-ish weeks?

jessamyn: Well, let me pull up my… because I got totally side… you know, with pb, usually I favorite all the things, and then before we do the podcast, I go through and I open up all my favorites, and then I've got everything kind of all set to go, but I'm totally not… OH, YES!

jessamyn: THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ANNOUNCING THAT STARTING ON MAY 11TH, their announcements aren't going to be all in upper case.

cortex: That was a beautiful embrace of the nature of the news in your presentation.

jessamyn: Thank you, Hactar!

cortex: Yeah, giving you big…

jessamyn: Yeah, well, and again, it's one of these threads that's great because everybody on Metafilter gets to play grabass. Nobody's like, "No, shut up, I want to talk about this serious thing." And it's just a fun goofy thread.

cortex: Yup.

jessamyn: And I loved it. And that news is good news, I think.

cortex: Yeah, no, it seems --

jessamyn: I mean, how can you explain to your mom that she's supposed to not use all caps when the National Weather Service does it?

cortex: It's like, be a role model, NWS, Jesus!

jessamyn: Exactly.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: I think they were right where Angela was last summer, over in Huntsville, by the way. I think they were in the same building, the National Weather Service.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: If I'm remembering right. Well, at least part of the National Weather Service. Yeah. I have nothing else to say about it, I just think that might be true. I think I remember that being the case.

End of story. But yeah, no, that's exciting. It's like, it's only like, I don't know, thirty years late, something like that.

jessamyn: Yeah. But I mean, it's an interesting story about why they hung on so long, and why they're changing it, and blah blah blah and they're still going to use it, in like super important times, so that you can tell it's super important.

cortex: Yeah. And then, like, it'll mean something.

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: It's like, in theory, if you refrain from cursing, it'll have more impact. I sort of gave up on that idea a long time ago. But…

jessamyn: It doesn't fucking work… It doesn't fucking work…

cortex: Yeah… yeah. I feel like that's…

jessamyn: Those guys.(?)

cortex: …what people will say when they've given up on getting you to not cuss, and they just want you to cuss less. Like at that point, they don't really expect you to stop randomly saying "fuck", but they want you to just crank it down a little- "You know it'll have more impact." "Oh, I never thought about that! It'll mean something!" It's like…

jessamyn: "What I really want is for my words to have more impact! What's that you say? Swear less? Mmmm!"

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: Yeah, cause that'll totally work. Uh, did you...did you watch the animals covering "Where Is My Mind"?

jessamyn: Uh, no, although that, oh yeah, no I totally did! Sorry, I just read the title, which is "Where is my Owooooo?" I didn't even understand, like, okay, so philip-random made this post, uh, which everybody thinks is the beginning of "Keep MetaFilter Weird!" but keep...philip-random is actually kind of against "Keep MetaFilter Weird!" so that's not that.

cortex: [laughs] I don't know if he's against it, I think he's just more against the idea of

jessamyn: Random weirdness.

cortex: declaring it.

cortex: Like he wants it to be just something more organic rather than a stated purposeful act.

jessamyn: But what I got confused at is I've never really watched the original video but Nanukthedog has a comment which was basically like saying somebody made a black and white home video about their dog using this, uh, I, the whole thing confused me. Like that's the Pixies video, right, or no?

jessamyn: If that's just a song, but it's a picture of the guys's dog. It's not the Pixies video, right?

cortex: Yeah no no no. The Pixies video is, I don't remember what the Pixies video was.

jessamyn: But it's not this dog?

cortex: I don't believe so

jessamyn: So yeah. So Nanukthedog's comment sort of made the whole thread for me which is otherwise just an adorable Pixies video with autotuned animals making the noises.

cortex: Yeah. Which, the cats singing the lead vocals is amazing.

jessamyn: Yeah, Cool Papa Bell- "I played this and my dog absolutely lost his shit." (laughs)

cortex: My cats wandered in, curiously, when it was on. Yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, how's your new cat working out?

cortex: Excellent. Boaty McBoatface is (still her name).

jessamyn: That's really the cat's name?

cortex: Yeah, that's the name, that's totally the fuckin' name. I feel like I'm really disappointed that it sounds like the UK science minister is going to kibosh the name for the ship,

jessamyn: (Of course they are.)

cortex: but it also makes me glad that we went with that for the cat, because now it's going to be (that for)

jessamyn: Four years from now people are going to be like "Your cat's name is what?".

cortex: "Like, really? Whut?"

jessamyn: And you're going to be like "Don't you remember when…"

cortex: Yeah. It's a built in secondary anecdote on the topic. So yeah, the cat's great. She's awesome.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: We are enjoying having her around. And she's getting along with the other cat too, and that's great.

jessamyn: Good, that's important, and you can never tell.

cortex: Yeah, and they've been tear-assing around the house occasionally, and I'm not sure that, like, they're both totally happy about it when they're doing it-

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: -but it's also not turning into a fight, so I think they're more just sort of exploring the- exploring the room. Exploring the space, man. But yeah, it's been good.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: Uh. What the hell was I talking about? (laughs) Oh, the cats!

jessamyn: Uh, you were talking about cats in the Pixies video.

cortex: Right right. Anyway.

jessamyn: Or, whatever. Your cat when you were listening to the Pixies video.

cortex: Yup. Yup. Well now I've come to a dead end, because I hadn't queued up my next link yet. So what else did you like?

jessamyn: Oh. Well, I have a very short one, which was, you know, Jim and I are getting into birdwatching, in our separate respective places, and sending each other videos of our birdfeeders, and et cetera, because we're dorks like that, and so he made this cute post that's like, "Hey, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a birdcast, it's bird migration forecasts in real time." And it's awesome, 19 people favorited it. One comment that wasn't from Jim.

cortex: (laughs) That is a solid, solid post. That's a great set of numbers.

jessamyn: And the comment was like, a frowny face comment. Like "this isn't done yet." (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Even though it is done! Sort of. But I mean, it just started.

jessamyn: But, at any rate.

cortex: Yeah. Work in progress. But no, that's exciting.

jessamyn: I- yeah.

cortex: Birders, start your engines. Birders already knew about it, I'm sure.

jessamyn: Yeah! But, I don't know. It was one of those crazy- I mean, the ratio of favorites to comments? That's probably the highest one for the month.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Maybe.

cortex: Yeah, it's, that's pretty solid.

jessamyn: Unless the political posts, I don't even read them anymore.

cortex: Oh, there's so many comments in the political posts that there's no way they could possibly keep up. Like, maybe it's got the lowest?

cortex: Let's see, how many favorite are there on the current politics post? Uh, I'm incurring a real browser tab load hit just to find this information. 40 favorites, 1141 comments, so, uh, yeah.

jessamyn: God.

cortex: But you know, uggh. I have such a- election seasons are terrible,

jessamyn: They are.

cortex: And this one is definitely,

jessamyn: The worst.

cortex: We probably talked about it on the last podcast too, but this one is really, especially bad. And I feel like the temperature has come down on the site a little bit at least, at this point, which is nice-

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: But still, it's tiring. I keep aware of those threads 'cause we kind of need to, 'cause people keep failing to not get sort of annoyingly tedious and scrappy sometimes-

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: -I feel like in 2012 I kind of enjoyed, in a- "fun" is not the word, but I kind of had energy for most of the election cycle to sort of keep track of what was going on?

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: I've so blown way past my budget for, for giving a shit at this point that I just, like, I'm kind of angry that it's still happening.

jessamyn: Aww! Yeah, I hear ya.

cortex: So, you know, I'm looking forward to the...

jessamyn: And what's the Oregon situation, I didn't pay attention if he won the primaries in Oregon.

cortex: They haven't yet. Uh, we, uh, vote...

jessamyn: No wonder I don't know anything.

cortex: Yeah, exactly. We vote, I think May 13th is the actual voting.

jessamyn: You should probably figure that out.

cortex: Well, see, I know, I've got my ballots in the mail.

jessamyn: Oh, okay.

cortex: 'Cause we're a vote by mail state. So at some point in the next...

jessamyn: Oh, the best!

cortex: week or so, I'll pull it out and I'll go check it out and then I'll walk over to the library and drop it off there. I don't even mail 'em, I save the stamp. USPS got nothin' on me. Uh, but, uh, but yeah, so yeah, I'm not sure if Oregon's really gonna have an influence at this point even though both races have been a little bit weird.

jessamyn: Is it...I mean, I mean, it's...'cause, like, in Vermont, like whatever, Bernie literally won every town.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Like, literally, he won every individual town. It's not like there's one town in Vermont that's like, [mutters under her breath] "Fuck that guy."

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like every town. So there was just no, it wasn't interesting at all. But I don't get much of a sense of, like, how Oregon would go.

cortex: Uh, Oregon goes blue, generally speaking.

jessamyn: Don't know what blue means.

cortex: Uh, it tends to go democratic in the general...

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: Um, but not like crazy landslidey necessarily. Like, Portland is a big chunk of the state population and it leans, uh, definitely pretty lefty.

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: Um, but then there's the rest of the state, which is...

jessamyn: Not.

cortex: Not. Like, it's smaller towns, it's rural. Um, it tends a lot more conservative and so, like, there's sort of, like, the idea that there's Multnomah county where Portland is and then there's the rest of the state. And, like, if somehow the two were separated you'd have two very different states next to each other.

jessamyn: Right, well that was one of the reasons I didn't stay in the Pacific Northwest, you know?

'Cause I wanted to live rural and rural in the Pacific Northwest is just not, y'know, not lefty like it is out here.

cortex: Yeah. Uh, but yeah, so I mean that's, it...Multnomah will go, uh, pretty blue. The rest of the state will probably go pretty red but it's a little bit spotty and weird.

jessamyn: Interesting. Okay.

cortex: I, uh, oh there was this post today I really liked. Um, yeah this was today.There's been a bunch of great posts.

jessamyn: Today. It's still May 2nd.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. But this is "How did Superman even find my DeviantArt?" is the, uh, title. This is from Uncle Ira, or I'm sorry, that's the link text...whatever. It's just a big Imgur album, which is not the best possible way to present content. But sometimes that just the way content is. In this case it's a bunch of screenshots of texting between two people. It's a guy named Kyle and his boyfriend--I assume--Jimmy, who in this case is actually Jimmy Olsen. It's Jimmy letting Kyle know that Superman saw his DeviantArt where he draws pictures of superheroes, uh, in maybe sort of compromising pin-up positions.

jessamyn: [drawn out laugh]

cortex: And Kyle is just, Kyle is losing his goddamn mind as Jimmy keeps doling out information about what Superman thought and, and whatnot. It's, it's super-charming in exactly what that ??? sounds like someone finding out that, like, their porny DeviantArt is being seen by the superheroes they're drawing.

jessamyn: Weedhorse69.

cortex: Yeah, [laughs] Weedhorse69.

jessamyn: Well that's the commitment to the gag, right?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Because that's the same as the user name on Imgur.

jessamyn: Because that's the same as the username on Imgur.

cortex: Yeah, exactly. Uh, so it's a wonderful read, it's...I don't think you have to be much of a comics fan to even sort of get it. But just...

[talking over each other]

jessamyn: No, I'm not a comics fan like this...

cortex: as a sort of nice...

jessamyn: and this is hilarious.

cortex: Like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, you can, you can run with that even if you don't pay any attention. Uh, so it's, it's just a, a wonderful...

jessamyn: This is not what I had planned for my legacy.

cortex: fun, charming read. Yeah, uh...

jessamyn: I don't wanna go back to drawing furry porn.

cortex: [laughs] Furry dragon porn, if I remember correctly. [laughs again]

jessamyn: [guttural laugh] That's great, and I assume the thread was fun?

cortex: Yeah, yeah, people were really enjoying it and riffing on stuff a bit. Mostly, a lot of people were really just charmed by it. It's just a charming little take on the whole thing, so, uh...

jessamyn: Hey, have you seen Deadpool?

cortex: I have not. I've not seen Deadpool. I'll see it at some point.

jessamyn: Alright. Alright.

cortex: I was kind of holding out to hear how it did, and it sounds like it did an okay job.

jessamyn: I liked it. Don't take your kids.

cortex: Well, okay. I will, I will... [laughs] I will not take my kid to ???.

jessamyn: Don't take the cats.

cortex: [laughs again] D'you think anybody's... Well, why, I, I should never ask if you think anybody has evr done "X" because of course someone has. But, like, you know, taking a cat to a movie. Just like...

jessamyn: Sure, you can probably take your cat to the movie. I mean, you know, for one thing they might have a therapy cat. Um...

cortex: Well, yeah...

jessamyn: For another thing, you could maybe take 'em and... See I always wanna go to movies now--when I go to movies, which is almost never--and sit in the screaming baby room because there's so rarely screaming babies in there. But then you can just sit there and talk.

cortex: [chuckles]

jessamyn: 'Cause, like, I like to whisper, like, "Hey look at the [murmurs unintelligibly] whatever," but I feel like a dick in a movie theater.

cortex: See, I...

jessamyn: 'Cause it's rude.

cortex: Yeah, it's tricky.

jessamyn: And, and, you know, Jim's not always the best whisperer.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: He tries.

cortex: A loud whisperer?

jessamyn: Yeah, some people are just not good at whispering.

cortex: You, you remember that episode of Seinfeld with the loud whisperer? Uh...

jessamyn: Vaguely, ???faintly???.

cortex: No, there's, there's not actually an episode, it just sounds like a Seinfeld premise. Uh, Seinfeld...

jessamyn: See, this is you doin' that thing where you're tryin' to get me to talk about a thing I don't know anything about.

cortex: No, even as I said it...

jessamyn: Seinfeld..."oh yeah, totally, I saw that one! Oh, well, it wasn't real"

cortex: Even as I was saying it I was regretting it because that's the thing I love, like say what you will about Seinfeld as an actual piece of work and how good or not any given episode was or the show was, I love Seinfeld as a cultural entity and as a fading touchstone. I love the fact that Seinfeld jokes are getting harder and harder to make sure will land in mixed company.

jessamyn: Yeah, totally!

cortex: People are like Who? What?

jessamyn: And Seinfeld has, I really like the way he's kind of become like a comedy old man in a mostly good way? Like, you know, he was getting married to that 18-year-old and I was like "Oh Christ! This is where he really jumps the shark" you know? But he sort of came back from it and he's like a guy that people still really give a shit about and respect and that's nice. I think he's talented.

cortex: Well yeah he's a good comic, he keeps working and he's got his ...

jessamyn: And he knows everybody and Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is amazing!

cortex: Yeah, I've really enjoyed that, what I've seen of it. I haven't watched a ton of it but

jessamyn: Go see the one where he takes Obama. Obama's great, Louis CK's great. Those are my two favorites, although there are many second and third favorites.

cortex: Did you watch the Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner one? I really liked that.


cortex: Oh yeah, no, you should watch that one. It's great.

jessamyn: Alright.

cortex: But they're just like, still, fantastic close friends.

jessamyn: And you can kind of tell who's not actually that funny, like who's a really good performer but maybe isn't the one who writes all their own jokes.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know, like Aziz Ansari who I really love, and I love all his standup. He wasn't kinda off the cuff that riff-y

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: in a way that surprised me, as opposed to Kevin Hart, who was just non-stop split-your-pants laughing funny guy.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But, yeah!

cortex: Yup.

jessamyn: Good show. Alright. Well, I--speaking of, well maybe speaking of... is it?-- I enjoyed the octopus escape.

cortex: The octopus escape?

jessamyn: Just because, you know, there's an octopus.

cortex: I did not see this.

jessamyn: His name is Inky.

jessamyn: It escapes. It was like a doofy news story by existential dread. But then the whole thread is like, "Woooo!!!" And people, like, make jokes: again, fun thing. And then bearwife is in there telling an octopus story, which is really good.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: And people make octopus jokes. I don't know, I just really liked it.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: Yeah; fun, dumb Metafilter.

cortex: I enjoyed, on sort of a similar note,

this post by jharris. "But She was a Bunko Screen Jar" was the title, about a song

jessamyn: Oh!

cortex: A musical recording thing

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: Basically Hell hold music: extension 666. Some company had this two minute and thirty second long looping, horrible... like, they found a horrible song and then they made it worse: threw in static, threw in distorted hold prompts and what-not.

cortex: and it's fantastic. It's weird, it's intentionally bad, but at the same time, not as bad as it could be.

jessamyn: I just love the idea, right?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like you're like, "Oh, hang on, please."

cortex: Yeah, "Let me just put you on hold," and then you get this monstrous, musical thing. So it's fun to listen to, it's fun to read people riffing on it, and talking about what they like and what they didn't. It was just a good time. A real basic good time. Real basic, nice MetaFilter.

jessamyn: Agreed. It was delightful. Looking back a little,

jessamyn: bit to- I think this was- when did the last podcast finally drop?

cortex: The 7th? 8th?

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: We recorded on the 7th.

jessamyn: By blahblahblah, who I think is MVP of this podcast…

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I was like, "Oh, that's not blahblahblah, that's blahlala." Then I was, "No, it's the same." This thing about emojis?

cortex: Oh yeahyeah!

jessamyn: Basically looking at the fact that

jessamyn: some of the emojis on different platforms look different enough that maybe they're not semantically communicating what you want to be communicating, and there's a study that talks about how different people interpret them differently. Linguists talk about whether emoji is a language, and then of course, one of my favorite things from a long time ago is this real-time tracker which will show you the most popular emojis literally right now.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: And the thing that's the most interesting about this to me--and I don't remember if I commented in the thread or not--I did not--was that the realtime emoji tracker was actually posted on Metafilter awhile ago, August 2013, by Rumple, and what's really funny about it is Nelson's comment,

which is basically "I feel bad for U+1FC65 LEFT LUGGAGE. Unwanted." 🛅) which is the least used emoji in 2013, and is STILL THE LEAST USED EMOJI IN 2016!

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: Is it definitively the least-used, or is it tied for last? I don't know where to look on the interface to figure out how it's organized. Like is it one of the

emojis that've been used once, or something--

jessamyn: Oh, I see what you're saying. Is it like a thousand-way tie for last?

cortex: Yeah, exactly.

jessamyn: Let's scroll down... no!

cortex: It's just dead last?

jessamyn: It's last by a thousand.

cortex: Good job, left luggage. That's fantastic.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Of course, now everybody's gonna start going there. Now we've ruined it. It's gonna turn into this total hipster emoji. But what do you do.

jessamyn: I'm gonna go get the lost luggage (🛅) tattooed on the back of my neck.

cortex: [laughs] So, I hope someone gets a Left Luggage tattoo, like to celebrate that whole situation, because I feel that should be worth a thousand points right there, if someone gets it put on their skin.

jessamyn: What did you call them? "Cheevos"?

cortex: Cheevos? Yes, cheevos.

jessamyn: Pssh.

cortex: That'd be a heck of a cheevo. Uh, there was a post by churchhatestucker about…

jessamyn: I love… why is… what is churchhatestucker's username from?

cortex: I have no idea.

jessamyn: I love it, and it always makes me laugh.

cortex: I have no idea.

cortex: Church H. Tucker, Church Haitch Tucker, Church Hates Tucker...

jessamyn: Yeah, that's exactly it. Huh.

cortex: Yeah. Uh... [laughs] His profile page is a cartoon Captain Kirk with "Kirk is a jerk" written on the back of his uniform, so...

jessamyn: Har har.

cortex: I'm delete--I'm deleted! [laughs] "I'm simply deleted!"

jessamyn: What?!

cortex: That's how you pronounce that word, right?

jessamyn: Oh, God.

cortex: D-E-L-I-G-H-T? "Deleted?"

jessamyn: I can't, like, spell and hear at the same time.

cortex: [laughs] Apparently I can't talk, so... yes, he made this post about the d120, a 120-sided die.

jessamyn: OH MY GOD!!!!

cortex: And it's kinda great!

jessamyn: Wait, what even the shit is this? Is it a real thing?

cortex: It's a...di-diaca-triaconta-hedron? It's a real thing, yes.

jessamyn: I'm looking at it!

cortex: It's an actual die that you can actually buy, and it's designed about as well as I think it would be possible to design.

jessamyn: But is it a cheat?

cortex: No!

jessamyn: Like, are all the faces the same?

cortex: No, no, it's got 120 different numbers, and they are distributed mathematically with care to make it reasonably balanced, so like, one side of the die isn't generally going to yield higher numbers than another side of the die.

jessamyn: Wooow! WOWWW.

cortex: Yeah, the video that's the main link sort of goes over, among other things, that.

jessamyn: I'm looking at it, I mean, quietly.

cortex: But they've got some other stuff too. Yeah, it's nice. And giant dice are kind of a ridiculous thing, cause it's like, just use a couple smaller dice--they'll roll faster, they'll stop sooner, it'll be easier--

you have to do a tiny little bit of math, versus like, the--

jessamyn: Well, and ChurchHatesTucker, of course, has the winning comment in the thread--you know, what's wrong with a d12 and a d10? Well, this one goes up to 120.

jessamyn and cortex: [laughing]

cortex: So I thought that was kinda great.

jessamyn: Splunge said, "When I got my D100 I thought I had all the dice I needed. I was wrong."

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Wow, the d100 is weird. It's like in a ball?

cortex: Yeah, it's like a ball--it's like a sphere with weighted inside faces, I wanna say--

jessamyn: bleaaaahhhhh!

cortex: --something like that? It's ridiculous. The d120 is a much more legit-seeming die to me than the d100s I've seen, all else aside.

jessamyn: I love that you have opinions about this.

cortex: Oh, I went to college with--like, I played a little bit of D&D type stuff in high school, but just a tiny bit, but I went to college with a bunch of gamers.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: And so I got a thorough education in, sort of, the mechanics and systems of whatnot.

I never became a big player. I mostly enjoy the comedy improv aspect of D&D, which means I'm great for like, a couple sessions, and then after that I'm kinda like "Yeahhhhh, but--we've been in this dungeon for a while, and..."

jessamyn: I have no tolerance and patience for it.

cortex: Yeah?

jessamyn: 'Cause anytime anything bad happens to me, I'm like, "You did that on purpose."

cortex: [laughs] Well, I mean, it's the game, but yeah, it's kinda tricky.

jessamyn: But that's what I mean! Like, I mean--I dunno. I always felt like the dungeonmaster either had it in for me, or had it in for someone else.

Like, you know, theoretically it's supposed to be math, but it's never just math.

cortex: Well, it's a tricky thing. You gotta find a balance.

jessamyn: [groan of disgust]

cortex: ...and if you've got a vindictive jerk for a dungeonmaster, that's no good--

jessamyn: Who doesn't?

cortex: Well, no, there's a lot of people who know how to run a game in a way that makes it a lot more fun. Like, I had a tremendous amount of fun with the first edition Twitter D&D thing I did awhile back, that Prize Bull Octorok was running. And that was a fantastic time, because it was a bunch of people really doing it for the "hey, let's do this collaborative thing,"

rather than like, "you know what would be really awesome? If I had a sword +2!" I mean, it's just a whole thing. I dunno.Anyway, d120, go for it, also Prince died. And that's been a giant thread full of people talking about Prince--memories and links and stuff--and yes. It was quite a thing, it continues to be a thing, it's still poppin' along.

jessamyn: 57 years old?

cortex: Yeah. Yeah.

jessamyn: No will.

cortex: Yeaahhhh. That's been, like, the late-breaking discussion, is like--

jessamyn: DO YOUR PAPERWORK. A bank is gonna determine what happens to his stuff. Everybody do your paperwork.

cortex: Yeah. And there's, he's got like six half-siblings, and the whole thing is gonna be probably a gigantic mess, it sounds like.

jessamyn: Yes. Another--

cortex: Which, on a familial level, whatever, it's a big giant mess, but it's probably also gonna render his music rights a giant mess forever too?

jessamyn: Right. I am creating a link to Get Your Shit Together, creating your will, power of attorney, everything else.

cortex: (spells)

jessamyn: Yes. Don't let this happen to you.

cortex: But is it "/dʒɪst/", or is it "/gɪst/"?

sfx: (long pause)

cortex: (laughs) Moving on!

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I like…

jessamyn: That's pretty good, right?

cortex: Yeah, that's pretty solid. (laughs) We've got that silence just right, now.

jessamyn: I just wanted you to have that, like, second of "did something happen with the connection coincidentally just when I said that?".

cortex: I no longer even wonder,

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I just embrace it.

I just test it to see, "How long is this gonna go? Which of us will break first?"
I really liked this post--Velocipedia, it's an art project by Gianluca Gimini, who asked strangers to draw pictures of bicycles from memory--

jessamyn: Oh!

cortex: ...and then proceeded to render those in 3-D. I saw you posted some MLKSHK shots.

jessamyn: I posted a picture of it to MLKSHK.

cortex: This is--

jessamyn: I don't remember if I saw this here or not.

jessamyn: by rebent.

cortex: Yeah, I don't know, I think it was sort of going around for a little bit. But it's amazing. It's exactly what I said--

jessamyn: So basically it's like, I tell you, "Josh, draw me a picture of a bicycle," and you're like, "sure," and you do whatever it is that you do, and then I'm like, "great, I'm gonna render this in 3-D to make it look like a real bicycle and you're gonna see that it doesn't even drive."

cortex: Yeah. Yeah, like, "You forgot the pedals," or "You attached one wheel but not the other."

jessamyn: "You can't steer this."

cortex: Yeah, and it's really great, 'cause what they did is, they didn't try and make the 3-D renderings jokey. It's a real attempt at straight-up photorealism.

jessamyn: ...looking like a bike. Yeah.

cortex: Yeah, like an earnest attempt to turn the thing you drew into an actual 3-D object that was designed to be what it is. And, you know, many of these bikes would not function at all, some of them don't have pedals, so you'd just be, like, scootin' along. Some of them forget to attach basic parts of the frame or have things in very weird spots. But they're just rendered very straight-faced, and sort of like this is an actual bike someone found somewhere,

and they're just wonderful to look at. You know, like, looking at where the sketch came to, what they did with the 3-D design, it's really nice to look at the little details that they brought in and how they tried to work with the odder sketches, so yeah, it's just a really nice piece of work.

sfx: ocherdraco, "Take Me to Church"

sfx: ocherdraco, "Take Me to Church"

she demands a sacrifice / drain the whole scene / get something shiny /something meaty for the main course / that's a fine looking high horse /what you got in the stable? / we've a lot of starving faithful / that looks tasty / that looks plenty / this is hungry work / take me to church / I worship like a dog in the shrine of your life

cortex: Tell me about AskMetafilter! Whatcha got?

jessamyn: Well! [long pause]

Hang on.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Clickin'. Clickin'! Well, I asked a question, actually, that I thought was very interesting! I went out and was working in my garden, learning to use a hedge trimmer, and I scratched up my arm--

cortex: Oh, yeah!

jessamyn: and then I took a picture of it and put it on SnapChat, 'cause I'm weird, and my SnapChat is the most boring SnapChat of all the SnapChats. But, the weird thing was,

jessamyn: So I put a picture, like, woah! I scratched my arm up, this is crazy, you know, fucking yard. And then I, you know, posted some other dumb snapchat of my dinner, whatever. And then I noticed when I was looking at like, who looks at your snapchats. Um. That this one picture of my scratched-up arm wasn't getting anywhere. Like nobody was looking at it. But they were looking at the one before it and after it. And if you use snapchat you know that, like, when you look at a story it just auto-plays all the snaps you haven't seen. So it's literally impossible for you to watch someone's story and skip a picture.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know? And so I was like, "well, that's weird," and it wasn't until Jim came down, and he looked at it, and didn't see that picture, and then I looked at my own story and saw that picture, and I was like, "Oh! This must be a thing SnapChat does, 'cause it looks like I'm cutting my forearm up!" And so I didn't know, and I clicked around trying to figure out if that was true, but I couldn't figure it out, so I asked a question, after putting a photo on MLKSHK of this picture, which of course decided to go down in that exact 12-hour

time period. And like, you know, it remains not-totally definitive.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, yes, their community guidelines say you're not allowed to show pictures of your scratched-up arms, but it's not clear--it's just not clear. So at any rate, it was fascinating, I really enjoyed trying to use AskMetafilter to answer my question--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Nobody from Metafilter works at SnapChat, apparently--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: ...which surprised the hell out of me!

cortex: At least no one who saw that question.

cortex: You can't know for sure. Maybe they just weren't browsing

jessamyn: Or weren't at liberty to say.

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah, but that was interesting - I've continued to use Ask Metafilter, and it's continued to be interesting, mostly helpful. But that was kind of weird.

cortex: It's one of those things. Maybe you're going to hit gold, otherwise, yeah, it's just gonna… yeah, be folks speculating. You can't really do much for it. Yeah, I know, I thought that was super interesting too.

I liked--there was this post, this was from March but I don't think we mentioned it. Or if we did, I'm just gonna mention it again. Looking for--

jessamyn: I don't think we mentioned this.

cortex: Looking for fourth-wall-breaking episodes, basically, of Mr. Rogers. This is from PhoBWanKenobi, who was saying hey, you know, me and the toddler have been watching a lot of Mr. Rogers, and we notice there's episodes where he sort of breaks the fourth wall. You know, there's the one where he

turned off the lights and talked about what nighttime is like, the episode where he goes to dog-sit at his real house, you know--basically, things that break out of just the "hey, let's all pretend we're in Mr. Roger's house and everything is status quo" of, you know, a TV show.

jessamyn: Right. Like, "this is pretend, actually."

cortex: Yeah. So this is, "Hey, we liked these, are there more?" And people came up with other examples of stuff--Mr. Rogers introducing his musicians,

jessamyn: Mr. Rogers in the bathroom.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: The potty.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: a book where Mr. Rogers... and apparently, there's an amazing wiki that's all about Mr. Rogers.

cortex: Yesss! Yeah. Yeah.


cortex: Yeah, it's just like, every goddamn thing--which is like, hey, this is what the internet's for, this is what wikis are for. So yeah, I thought that was really cool! That was a neat thing.

jessamyn: Yeah, that's a great question!

cortex: This was, Angela pointed this one out to me.

jessamyn: Yeah, I didn't even see it, actually.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I enjoyed this question, actually from today, which was--user fermion is like, "aaaaah, my house is kind of a mess, we maybe need a professional organizer, help us out." And I happen to know that user The Wrong Kind of Cheese is a professional organizer for a job, and so I hit her up on Twitter, and was like, "hey, I don't know if you saw this question," and she was like, "oh thank you!"

cortex: Oh jeez, wow.

jessamyn: ...and just drops some science on

professional organizing! Which, you know, like, I'm tidy--and I think sometimes, "oh, maybe I'd like to do that for a job, ha ha ha," but like, she really does this for a job.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: ...and so she talks about what kind of certification you have if you're certified, and what do people do, and how much does it cost, and it's just a great answer to a question which is like, "yehhhh, I'm just having these problems, I'm not totally sure how to do deal with this," whatever--and she's like, BOOM! Very good.

cortex: Yeah.

cortex: There was a… where was it? Oh yeah, you made that umbrella museum post that was based off… on the blue, but there was… am I remembering this right? The umbrella museum…

jessamyn: Was that last month? Was that what I just… did I do my "Post A Week" last month?

cortex: I think… I don't… let me try to find…

jessamyn: God! One of us should fucking know this!

cortex: We should, like, link to things,

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: that'd be good.

jessamyn: Right after the podcast

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: I decided I was going to do some stuff, because it was National Library Week, and I made seven posts in seven days on Metafilter, including one about the umbrella cover museum.

cortex: Right. And there was a post- uh, there was a comment from mskyle- m. s. kyle? Ms. Kyle? I dunno- in an AskMe, asking about travel umbrella sleeves-

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: And they linked to the umbrella cover museum...

jessamyn: And then I was like "this would make a great post".

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: Which, you know, kinda did. [laughs]

cortex: [laughs] Well, you know, what do you do. It's a... it's a good post if you make it! That's, I think, the-

jessamyn: Although the rest of my posts I loooovvvveeeddd!

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Like, that was probably my least favorite of the six. Of the seven.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But, it's still.

cortex: Well, it's tricky, if you decide you're going to just straight up do the thing, then-

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: -you're committing yourself to a certain amount of just, "Well, and maybe the thing won't be be great but that's fine!"

jessamyn: Right, the best thing from Thursday wasn't so great. Eh!

cortex: Yeah. I finally got around to posting just the other day the post I've been thinking about making for a while about adermatoglyphia, actually.

jessamyn: Is that where you can draw on your skin?

cortex: No, that's where you have no fingerprints! You have no-

jessamyn: AAAAAHHHHHH!!!

cortex: You have no dermatoglyphs.

jessamyn: AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!

cortex: Just the very rare and basically benign genetic mutation that messes up something with RNA coding- I described it wrong in the post and someone helpfully explained a little bit about the actual genetic mechanism- but the problem is-

jessamyn: Why aren't you linking to this so I can go read it Right Now?

cortex: I's- I was having trouble doing two things at once!

jessamyn: AAHHH! AHHH!

cortex: Did you find it? Or shall I- I'll see how quickly I can type- no, I should just go to my-

jessamyn: Click on your own name in the corner!

cortex: Yeah, I know, I know, here we go. I'll post it in here, we are professional podcasters, ladies and gentlemen, [laughs] but yeah! And it's a short thread, not a ton of comments, got a few favorites-

jessamyn: Immigration!

cortex: -and honestly, that's fair, because it's not that much of a post, um, just because there's not that much out there. It's a super rare condition, nothing notably-

jessamyn: WEIRD! It looks like somebody photoshopped this picture!

cortex: Yeah! You end up with very smooth fingertips, and slightly fewer sweat glands in your hands. So I found a nice little-

jessamyn: Which probably doesn't come up all that often.

cortex: So I found a nice little writeup and a white paper about it, and that's kinda all there is. Like, when you go searching-

jessamyn: I'm sorry I missed this.

cortex: Yeah. It's neat! It's totally a condition.

jessamyn: This is awesome! What a great post.

cortex: So just postin' things. That's my week condensed into a single day with a "I couldn't actually find very many good links" post.

jessamyn: Whatever. Good enough.

cortex: I'm right there with you.

jessamyn: It's awesome.

cortex: Posting. Yeah! That's what it's about!

jessamyn: So. Back to Ask Metafilter,

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: I enjoyed monochrome's question about "WHY do so few people live in the state north of Colorado? It is the least populous state in the nation", second to Vermont, "and almost all its neighbors have twice the population." what. what. what. So there's actually a couple people… barchan, actually who we spoke to last month…

cortex: Yay! Yay, barchan!

jessamyn: It's like "Hey, I'm a fifth or fourth generation, you know, blah bluh blah bluh blah bluh bluh." And she sort of drops some science on, on the thing, and then there's a couple of other comments. You know, like winter is crazy,

it's super windy, it's super dry, and water's a problem, etc. etc. But it's a really interesting thread, 'cause like, I know why Vermont's not very populated, because I live here, you know? But Wyoming is like our other, you know, our low-population sibling. But I never really knew--I mean, I had my guesses, but I never really knew why it's so empty.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Now I feel like I do!

cortex: Interesting.

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: There was a--this is kind of along the lines of your Snapchat "never quite getting a definitive answer" sort of thing--there was this question from pdinnen: "What's the name of this magazine layout technique?" Where they're saying, okay, I've seen this in magazines sometimes--you've got like, a photograph of some items on the left--

jessamyn: Oh yeah! There's gotta be an answer to that.

cortex: Well, and people came up with--so yeah, photograph on the left of a bunch of items, and then on the right you've got sort of labeled, outlined lists of those items, say. Basically, "What is this called?"

And people came up with stuff, a mix of like "I've heard it called this," or "I would describe it as that."

jessamyn: Right, a picture legend.

cortex: Yeah, picture legend or a group photo key, someone else mentioned.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: But no one was able to come out and say BOOM!

jessamyn: No one is like, "I work at Vanity Fair, and we call it this and we created it."

cortex: Yeah, "let me tell you what we call this." Yeah. So I feel like, yeah, like you said, there's gotta be something. There's gotta be, like--and maybe there is no definitive term 'cause it's just not used enough for people to care, and when they use it they say "Hey, let's do that thing," and that's it.

But there's gotta be some editor in the '70s at a magazine who was one of those people who said things with such authority that someone somewhere has a textbook where they wrote down that that person said that, and there's like, "Oh well, it's clearly called this, 'cause back in 1973, Jane Polowski said, oh, well, we call it a This," and so that's what it's called.

jessamyn: Right. And now it's the Polowski layout.

cortex: Yeah. But no one's managed to produce the Polowski layout site or anything. So if you're a person who knows, go find this AskMe and throw it in there,

'cause I'm curious to know what the deal is.

jessamyn: For pb, or anyone else who likes the idea of looking for remote tech support opportunities, "masks-por favor?" "mask-es-o-por-favor?" Shit. "mass..." Oh, SHIT!! I always thought this username was like "Masks, por favor."

cortex: Masks? [laughs]

jessamyn: And it's "mas queso, por favor."

It's "more cheese!"

cortex: Oh, that's beautiful. Yes.

jessamyn: Oh, my God! Have you known this this whole time?

cortex: I--uh, yes? I guess? [laughs]

jessamyn: Augh. AHHH! [sounds of self-deprecation] Anyhow. This person works in a tech support job, loves it, wants to have jobs that they can--she wants to have jobs that she [pause] Alison would like to have jobs that she can take with her, links, names, job ideas,

lemme know. So there's a whole bunch of suggestions. Not a ton! I think there would be more. But, yeah. And pyjammy works for Automattic and hires for the Happiness Team.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: Maybe I could work for the Happiness Team.

cortex: Any team you work for would be the happiness team, jessamyn.

jessamyn: You are the nicest. You just saw me, like, talking to pb about how I can't deal with, you know, how friendly he is.

cortex: [laughs]

As long as they stay on your good side, it's the Happiness Team.

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: [laughs] I saw this question go up and I immediately sort of cringed, but at the same time was like, "I can of get what you're going for."

jessamyn: [laughs]

cortex: And this turned into also a, at this point, rambling and multi-headed hydra of a MetaTalk thread as well, but--

jessamyn: Yeeeees.

cortex: But in any case, I kinda legit get what they're going for, this is brennen saying--

jessamyn: "I like Metafilter, it's a little heavy."

cortex: Yeah--"What's like Metafilter, but not brutally depressing?" [laughs] It's like, "I like the sort of stuff that's on Metafilter, but I'm looking for something that's more consistently gonna be on the up, and not reminding me about the state of the world, sort of, side of things." Just for a brain break.

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: And a bunch of answers, bunch of links to cool stuff to read, but it was also kind of hard not to just like--[laughs] Yeah, it's tricky. Metafilter's a complicated thing sometimes, you know?

But I felt like I should call that out as... yes. But also, oh my gosh, googly eyes. We didn't mention the googly eyes at all.

jessamyn: Ohhh! Yes!

cortex: KathrynT's basically, "I bought a bunch of googly eyes. What am I gonna stick 'em on? I got a whole house!" and yes.

jessamyn: And then there's the highlights thread on imgur.

cortex: Yep.

Which I think, I don't know--did someone turn this into a post on the Blue?

jessamyn: I don't think so?

cortex: I can't remember. I was sort of thinking it was, but I don't have any actual memory of seeing the thread. But anyway, it's fantastic, it's googly eyes all over stuff--maybe it just went around Twitter, and I saw it there. But it's awesome! It was an excellent use of AskMe, and an excellent use of googly eyes, and basically, well done, everyone, 'cause that is a goofy good time.

jessamyn: [pause] Yes. Agreed, and I was happy to see it. I had seen the thread when it went up, but didn't see the pictures.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I think I saw a couple things, like, come around, on Facebook or whatever.

Keeping in line with things that I care about personally, bjork24 asked "What's the most fun/innovative trivia round you've played lately?" and of course, because everyone from Metafilter loves trivia, there's a whole bunch of like, really good comments of interesting ways to do trivia.

cortex: Nice!

jessamyn: Yeah! Just, you know, pretty straightforward. "Hey. Here's some good things. You would probably like them." Et cetera.

cortex: I had one other one. This is sort of in the same theme, but without the Metafilter centrism, is "Fun, distracting websites for down-time." This is from armadillo1224--

jessamyn: I feel like there's one of these every other month or something like that.

cortex: I feel like, you know--

jessamyn: But it's good, because I always learn about websites I don't know.

cortex: Yeah. I'm sure there's some repetition, depending on the overlap between things, but at the same time, it's not like you're going to literally ingest and memorize every thread that comes along, so it's kinda nice to have that rolling "oh, but this is good right now," or "oh hey, here's a lesser-known thing that I like"--

jessamyn: Yeah, I didn't know about at all.

cortex: Yeah, there's a public-service aspect to it, almost.

jessamyn: "Why is Spinoza so popular?" Nope!

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: "Ghosts and tiny treasures." Oh God! It's a whole bunch of ivory-billed woodpeckers. Oh God. Aughhhh, see, now I have to read this!!

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: I don't have any time!

cortex: [laughs] That's the tricky side.

jessamyn: [scoffs]

cortex: I like these threads, but I rarely invest myself in them, because I just--

jessamyn: I don't even--no, I've gotten through the thread, and now I'm reading about starlings in flight! SHIT!

cortex: [laughs] Afternoon delight.

jessamyn: Don't even.

I enjoyed this completely esoteric thread by Silky Slim. Basically, working on subtitles for a movie, "Kiss Me Deadly." A Mike Hammer movie. And there's a girl who introduces herself, and she says, "This is my name, blablabla. But her voice says a thing, but her lips are saying another thing, and he's watching this movie, and it's this old movie--and he's like, "Why is she saying hatch?"
Like, "same mother different hatch"--I don't understand, blablablablablah, what was the writer talking about this, et cetera. And there's not a final answer, but at least user Carol Anne has the book, and the book's like, "We had the same mother but came from different hatches."

cortex: Huh.

jessamyn: Which, I'm not totally sure what that means, like eggs?

cortex: Yeah, I don't know.

jessamyn: Or does it mean like, they came out of the butt? I don't--

cortex: [laughs] "My brother was a piece of shit!"

jessamyn: Well seriously, I don't--

cortex: Yeah, I don't know!

jessamyn: Well? I mean, it's mysterious, right?

cortex: I don't know! I could see maybe the idea is that like, a different "hatch" would be a different group of eggs, as in a different event of fertilization, and therefore a different man, like her mother slept with multiple men, and so--

jessamyn: Right. I want you to say eggs again.

cortex: Uh. Eggs?

jessamyn: [whispers]yeaaah...

cortex: Eggs!

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: Uh...

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: Half-sister! Well, it makes sense, like, Carl's half-sister...

like, you know, same mother, like father is appropriate, even though not what the actual line was, because that's the whole--yeah, no, I buy that. I agree with the general conclusions of this AskMetafilter thread. Anyway. [laughs] Yeah, that's neat!

jessamyn: Good!

cortex: I love old noir patter. Like, I don't read a ton of noir, just 'cause I don't read a ton of books period, but--

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: But what I have, I always have enjoyed, sort of, picking up

on the flow. I went on a real James Elroy kick at one point a few years ago. Read a bunch of his stuff, and that was one of the things I enjoyed about it, was sorta his somewhat conspicuous use of noir patter in his writing.

jessamyn: Yeah! I find it super captivating in movies. I really enjoy getting kind of swept up in it, because I'm like, "I understand all the words that they're saying, but they're in slightly different arrangements, and it makes my brain feel funny."

cortex: [laughs] Yeah.

No, I remember having the same basic experience when I watched Trainspotting, and it's English, but it's Scots, and there's a lot of familiar stuff, but then you also have to sort of work out the differences in a little bit of realtime. Yeah, I dunno.

jessamyn: Right. Why Trainspotting required subtitles.

cortex: Do you have any other AskMe? Should I do a quick MefiMusic minute?

jessamyn: No, that was it, I enjoyed it. I was very interactive with it this month, so I don't have as many favorites, 'cause I was busy just commenting, I think.

cortex: [chuckles] That'll do it.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Well, I'll talk about some music real quick then. People keep posting good stuff. There is a song by The Great Big Mulp, who I have long been a fan of.

jessamyn: His music is great, he is very talented.

cortex: He's fantastic, and this one, they--

jessamyn: You just linked to your own comment?

cortex: What? Oh, I didn't mean to. Oh, I clicked into it via that.

jessamyn: ...where cortex says, "This is really fucking great, man!"

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Hee hee hee.

cortex: [laughs] Yeah! So, the song is wonderful because it's nicely done, he does a good job, I like the sound of the stuff, but it starts off sounding like--I was like, "Oh yeah, this is a Great Big Mulp song! Sounds like a Great Big--"

and then it also starts to, like, decay, in a really fantastic way as he brings in some synthesis and manipulation of the sound, and it just like, gets BETTER! It's fantastic. It's just a really, really neat piece of music, and it's a nice sort of turn halfway through. And then there is "The Difference" by... pugh, I'm gonna say? p-u-g-h? Anyway, she is a Music poster
but hasn't posted in awhile, the first one in a couple years, and it's just a nice sort of vocal and guitar one-take, and there is slightly dodgy recording of a great performance of "Take Me to Church" by ocherdraco, who--

jessamyn: Oh, nice! I love that song.

cortex: ...for anybody who didn't already know, has crazy pipes, and yeah, so it's a good match, and she sort of kills it. You get enthusiastic audience sort of drowning out the vocals at one point--

jessamyn: Oh God, really?

cortex: ...and the piano's a little bit dodgy at points, but ocherdraco is fantastic, and I would love to hear her do that live sometime. And then, "Weekend of Arps" which is the title track from a three-mefite collaboration album! This is, ageispolis--every time, every time I say his name and I don't find out if I'm pronouncing it right.

jessamyn: A-gip-o-lis!

cortex: A-gip-o-lis? Sure!

jessamyn: I don't, no, I'm just...

cortex: A-gis-po-lis?...Age is polieze!

And AppleSeed and CarrotAdventure, all of whom--I've enjoyed their stuff on Music many times, and the three of them working together is just a crazy proposition!

jessamyn: And then, who are the other people in the thread? Jim and Amelia, who are working together on their own stuff! So, that's great.

cortex: And corduroy, who's...

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: I think he's still in Portland.

jessamyn: Standard favorite.

cortex: Yeah. Anyway, a bunch of wonderful people, that's awesome, and I was excited to see that they've been doing this thing together, so I'm gonna have to check out that EP.

And, yeah! A bunch more good music, and we just put up a new challenge. greenish posted a challenge to basically do "music by women." Sort of, July by women, but for music! So, you know, record a cover of a piece written by a woman, or record something as a woman, or collaborate with a woman, or any of the above as well--

jessamyn: Any number of things!

cortex: ...if you're genderfluid or nonbinary,

just like, let's do some non-... let's pass the Bechdel test musically, is the basic idea, you might say. And I'm looking forward to that! I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with, I'm looking forward to trying to come up with something myself... obviously that'll be a collaboration or cover of some sort, maybe a little bit of both. Yeah! I'm excited about that, so that should be pretty rad.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: And, yeah!

jessamyn: Any big things going on in MetaTalk before we sign off and I go eat my popcorn for dinner?

cortex: I guess we can--so we're testing the inline flag stuff, we talked about that a little bit with pb, but we're trying out some modifications to the flag feature, so go check out MetaTalk and see how that's looking, and give us feedback.

jessamyn: And if you don't like it, remember: now's when you need to let people now.

cortex: [laughs] Yep, speak up.

jessamyn: Not later.

cortex: We're looking for input, we're trying to get some feedback on it, so go check that out.

jessamyn: If you find it distracting, and may be somewhat irritable--

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: should let people know.

cortex: There's also--oh, I guess I should paste links, huh?

There's also, we've mentioned several times. We should actually formally discuss it briefly, but keepmefiweird, for May, it's gonna be Keep Mefi Weird Month.

jessamyn: Which I think is great!

cortex: Yeah! Basically, just like, you know...

jessamyn: I mean, why not?

cortex: There's nice oddball posts. Don't overthink it, it doesn't have to be a great big linkfest, it doesn't have to be the best thing in the world, it shouldn't have to be...

jessamyn: Shouldn't necessarily just be weird for weird's sake, BUT--

cortex: But it should be like--you know.

jessamyn: Share those weird links you like.

cortex: If you see a thing that's weird, and you're like, "Eh, that's nice! I should post this on Metafilter!" If there's a little voice in your head that's like, "well, I don't know if I should do that," tell that voice to go fuck himself!

jessamyn: Nope! Do it!

cortex: ...and go post it!

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: And, you know, if it's a terrible post, I'll delete it, and that's okay too. That's part of the great circle of life.

jessamyn: Maybe somebody else will delete it.

cortex: Yeah. But I'm excited about it, and people have been posting a lot of fun stuff the last few days because of that, and that's great. It's, you know.

jessamyn: And it was your birthday!

cortex: Yeah! It was my birthday!

jessamyn: Happy birthday.

cortex: It was my birthday, and I went to Disneyland, with a friend whose birthday it was also. Thank you!

jessamyn: How old are you?

cortex: I am 37! Which is a nice prime number.

jessamyn: Good gracious!

cortex: I am in the prime of my life.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: I guess we should also link to the "pb is leaving" thread.

jessamyn: Yeah! Because people who might just see the title are gonna be like, "What?"

cortex: Yeah. "Incredible Hulk? What?"

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: And also, the details about where we're trying to head next with the tech stuff, and the hiring thread.

jessamyn: Yeah, I really hope that goes your way! I hope you get somebody--I mean, nobody can be pb, but I hope there's somebody who's maybe a great fit in a way that you don't even expect. You know?

cortex: Yeah! Exactly.

jessamyn: So they're not pb, but they're cool in their own way, and help you do or think of a thing that is just awesome.

cortex: Exactly. I'm optimistic about it too. I feel like so far the process is going okay, and we'll see how it all shakes out--and it'll work out one way or the other, as far as stability for Metafilter, but I'm looking forward to seeing what the future holds there.

jessamyn: Cool.

cortex: Also, people are trying to get together a cookbook-type project. At this point, it's a "hey, let's organize a wiki" sort of situation.

But if you're interested in that, go check that out, too!
I think that's the big MetaTalk stuff off the top of my head right now.

jessamyn: Yeah, I haven't checked in to the cookbook idea thing yet. This looks like it's taking off in a nice way!

cortex: Yeah! People have had a lot of ideas, there's people interested in helping out with various things, so I'm hopeful they'll get something organized and put together a nice little Metafilter thing.

jessamyn: Awesome. That'd be great!

Well,cool! It was great talking to you.

cortex: Likewise. It is always a pleasure.

jessamyn: I'm gonna go eat popcorn for dinner.

cortex: Yeah, do it. I think I'm gonna--

jessamyn: I'm gonna upload this file, and I'm gonna look at my fancy hair, which I haven't looked at yet!

cortex: Yaaay! Yes. You should.

jessamyn: I mean, I've looked at it in that it's hanging down in front of me, but I haven't, like, messed with it. So I'm gonna go mess with it.

cortex: Yeah, well, you'll have to post a link in the comments.

jessamyn: Okay!

cortex: All right! Well, talk to you later! It's been a pleasure.

jessamyn: It's been a pleasure! Goodbye, Josh!

sfx: ageispolis, AppleSeed, and CarrotAdventure: "Weekend of Arps"

sfx: ageispolis, AppleSeed, and CarrotAdventure: "Weekend of Arps"

sfx: ageispolis, AppleSeed, and CarrotAdventure: "Weekend of Arps"


  • duffell, 100 segments
  • penguin pie, 82
  • i feel possessed, 40
  • beryllium, 31
  • Secretariat, 25
  • zamboni, 22
  • bookmammal, 18
  • carmicha, 11
  • quaking fajita, 6
  • jessypie, 4
  • Phearlez-Don, 2
  • Zach, 2
  • Eyebrows, 2
  • Pronoiac, 2