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Podcast 118 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 118: "We Should Have Asked a Chemist" (2016-07-01).

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


jingle: (theme song)

jessamyn: We should open the door now, and let everyone in.

cortex: Let's do it!

Hey! Welcome to another episode of Best of the Web, the Metafilter monthly podcast. I am Josh Millard, aka cortex.

jessamyn: And I'm Jessamyn.

cortex: And this is episode 118. The podcast is now old enough to smoke and also be a hundred years old.

jessamyn: It's old enough to be the oldest person on the earth, I think now, right?

cortex: I think it's 120 or 121. Were we talking about this last episode?

jessamyn: I feel like we were.

cortex: No we were, because we were talking about the -

jessamyn: Oh, because I was all pissed off that the oldest people, and then there's an oldest men list.

cortex: What about the oldest men list.

jessamyn: Right-- (laughter) Which it totally is! That is exactly what it is.

cortex: 'Cause I want to say, the oldest woman, I think was 122, 123, or something at the moment, or at that moment, so... but I could be remembering wrong. Anyway...

jessamyn: Probably still, now.

cortex: Yeah, I think humanity's still got an edge up on the podcast, but not for long.

jessamyn: She's dead, though. The 122 year old lady.

cortex: Oh, was she the oldest person ever to date? Was that the--?

jessamyn: Yes. And she was French. I mean, if you believe Wikipedia, which... (Inspector Clouseau laugh)

cortex: There's a lot of French trolls trying to take credit for elderly humanity on Wikipedia.

jessamyn: And right now, the oldest person in the world lives in Italy and is 116, so we weren't quite right. We would've been right two months ago.

cortex: All right.

jessamyn: Second oldest: Jamaican.

cortex: J-Jamaican me crazy?

jessamyn: No.

cortex: I don't know why I wanted to say that. Why did I say that?

jessamyn: Because it's a 'your mom' joke offshoot, and you can't help yourself. I always glare at people like that, because so many of the Jamaica… riffs, even though, whatever, I appreciate good wordplay- you know, my experience on this podcast notwithstanding,

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: but Jamaica has... you know, there's this non-consent "riff" in most of it, "Jamaica?" "No, she wanted to!" and you're like, AUGH!

cortex: Yeah- yeah.

jessamyn: No! Stop! That's against the rules! Like, I was watching some standup comedian and he was talking about how difficult dating was, and then he went off and made some chloroform joke, and I was like, "Dead to me!"

cortex: Ughhh...

jessamyn: Right! Like, it's so unnecessary! There's funny jokes about dating you can make that aren't that. Oooh. Bleh.

cortex: Yup.

jessamyn: But Jamaica! You would never think the world's second oldest person lived there.

cortex: Now we know, now we know.

jessamyn: It's not known for its longevity.

cortex: Yeah... but it would be, you know, maybe a lot of relaxing on the beach is good for you.

jessamyn: I'm sure relaxing on the beach is good for you! That's what I did yesterday when you were too sick to pod!

cortex: Yes, yes.

jessamyn: I went and got a sunburn so that I would sleep well.

cortex: I'm feeling considerably improved if still a little bit congested.

jessamyn: Good! So, the number 118--

cortex: Yes, tell me about 118!

jessamyn: Not really much going on, but that is how many elements there are in the periodic table, which is interesting, and I might actually be able to remember that.

cortex: Now is that…

jessamyn: It's also an element.

cortex: Is that how many specifically have been shown to exist in a material way, or is that how many we know should exist theoretically, including the...

jessamyn: I'm reading, like, eight words. "The-number-of-elements-on-the-periodic-table." You think I know this because I know this?

cortex: Uh, I don't know…

jessamyn: I know this because I looked it up.

cortex: I was just curious if you had more.

jessamyn: So I think it's the things that are really there. Yes?

cortex: Sounds good to me.

jessamyn: Good!

cortex: This is where we should have a chemist on sometime, to tell us more...

jessamyn: You know, I would love to have a chemist on. Chemists are super--

cortex: If you're a chemist, call us! 1-800-

jessamyn: Right. "Well actually, you big dopes, blah-de-blah-blah-de-blablah-blah."

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And there's some mathy things that are interesting about 118.

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: "Four expressions for 118 as the sum of three positive integers have the same product." What?!!!

cortex: Uh-buh-ooo?

jessamyn: So there's three sets of numbers that add up to 118 but also, when you multiply them together, they all multiply into 37,800? That's kind of interesting.

cortex: That's not nothing, yeah.

jessamyn: That's not nothing, but it doesn't have a "word." It's not called "The Jessamyn Numbers." But maybe it could be, because clearly there's no name for that!

cortex: Write a paper!

jessamyn: "Write a paper"...awww, there's homework!

cortex: I know, that's the bullshit, right? If you want to get something named after you so you can live in perpetuity in the annals of academia, you have to fuckin' publish something? What?

jessamyn: Well, you could spend a lot of money, and they'd name a library after you.

cortex: That could work.

jessamyn: I think in Vermont, you don't even have to spend that much money to get a library named after you. I'm thinking you could do it for, like, 500 bucks, maybe.

cortex: It's a buyer's market!

jessamyn: Yes! Yes! That is what I am hoping. So! I'm glad we squeezed this in before the holiday weekend, incidentally.

cortex: Yeah! Here we are, I guess we should--

jessamyn: You have plans? Gonna barbecue?

cortex: I am going to attend a barbecue--actually, I have a bunch of plans. I have great plans. I have Metafilter-themed plans, even, to an extent.

jessamyn: Lovely.

cortex: rtha and gingerbeer are coming into town for a couple days.

jessamyn: What?! That's so great!

cortex: Yeah! It's always nice to see them, and they've put us up before, so we'll put them up this time.

jessamyn: Dude, that's awesome! I'm so excited!

cortex: Yeah, there's a Case/Lang/Veirs concert at the zoo.

jessamyn: Wait, what was that word? Is that a person?

cortex: Case/Lang/Veirs, it's Neko Case, KD Lang, and Laura Veirs doing a musical act together.

jessamyn: Oh, oh, oh! Neko Case used to play basically like every other weekend in Seattle. She is so great.

cortex: Yeah, she's pretty awesome. And the other two are awesome too, so it should be fun! So yeah, they're gonna come down, we're gonna go to that, and then Mr. Zarquon usually does a barbecue for the Fourth, so we'll do that the next day.

jessamyn: Wait, you guys just rolled out some new admin-facing thing, that I just noticed this instant?

cortex: Oh, the comments thing?

jessamyn: Yeah. Great! 'Course, it's fucked up in Classic view.

cortex: Well, it's a work in progress.

jessamyn: And it's not for me anyhow.

cortex: It's a work in progress, and you don't work here, what's your problem? What's your problem? Come on!

jessamyn: It's awesome-looking!

cortex: Yeah, it's a sort of frequent-commenter analysis thing that we're fiddling around with. Frimble's been trying to piece something together based on a couple of ideas for--mostly dealing with fast-moving threads, but the idea…

jessamyn: It's great! I literally just saw it now, and did not see it when I was looking at Metafilter an hour ago.

cortex: Yeah. It shows up situationally depending on the thread, so once somebody, once at least one person in the thread has commented enough to hit some threshold of five comments or something, then it'll start showing that widget in the thread.

jessamyn: Fascinating.

cortex: 'Cause the idea is like…

jessamyn: Ask Metafilter as well as Metafilter?

cortex: I think it might just be on the Blue right now, but I'm not sure.

jessamyn: Man, I'd put it on Ask Metafilter, but I'll talk about that later. People get really fussy about their fuckin' food.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: All right, well, neat. Moving on, 'cause this is inside baseball.

cortex: Yeah, anyway.

jessamyn: So you're doing a whole bunch of stuff this weekend.

cortex: Doing a bunch of stuff, so I'm gonna have a nice weekend. What are you doing? What are you up to?

jessamyn: I am doing kind of the reverse! Basically, my University of Hawaii class wraps up today. We had our last Slack chat yesterday. So class ends tomorrow, at basic--today's Friday, right?

cortex: Yeah, today's Friday.

jessamyn: Today at midnight. And my grades are due fucking Tuesday.

cortex: (laughs) Sweet holiday. Sweet holiday.

jessamyn: I was sort of wondering, like, why are they asking me to teach this? It's such an honor! No. It's the fucking worst time. It's a six-week class. There's three holidays in there, or two holidays. King Kamehameha Day and Memorial Day, AND then all your grades are due before the Fourth of July. So what I was GONNA do is drive up to Vermont and go to the cutie-poo parade. But I think what I'm gonna do instead is stay down in Massachusetts, do grading, chill with Jim, I'm probably gonna hang out with SlapHappy and his family. There's a parade in this town that I never go to, because I always go to the parade in my town, but instead I'm gonna stay down here, hang out with SlapHappy and his wife, and his parents, who are really nice, and live near here, and we're gonna see the parade, and do some food, so it's gonna be super low-key, and then Tuesday, I hand in my grades, and my sister and me and Jim get in a car and get on Route 20 and drive west.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: And our goal is to drive the entire length of Route 20 - in stages - and I think our first stage will take us maybe around Chicago.

cortex: I don't really know anything about Route 20, so.

jessamyn: Well, Route 20 is the longest highway in the United States. It begins in Boston and it ends in Newport, Oregon.

cortex: That's a good stretch right there.

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: Solid stretch.

jessamyn: And we love, we all love road trips. So, you know, we picked out some little AirBNBs, we're gonna stay in a friend's lake cabin, I'm looking for a place to stay in Chicago, if anybody's got a place where two or three of us could stay. Otherwise, whatever, we'll just get a hotel. And we're just gonna do some road trippin'! Get some apps on the phone, Jim's in charge of playlists, we're gonna scoot-scoot-scoot! It'll be nice. So Fourth of July is taking kind of a back seat to road trip planning.

cortex: That is an excellent plan.

jessamyn: I'm really excited. I love road trips so much.

cortex: It's, there's...yeah. I have nothing to finish that sentence with. Road trips are good! Let me reiterate: yay road trips. Thank you.

jessamyn: Well, did you go... like, was your family a road trip family?

cortex: Not really. You know, we did occasionally. We had family down, like, California, so we would drive every once in a while, but it wasn't a big thing.

jessamyn: You didn't do, like, "Everybody get in the car, and now we're gonna go camping, and we're gonna stop at all the funny restaurants you like"? 'Cause I had a couple of relatives who were a day, or a day or two's drive away. And so we would all pile in the car, we'd get a box of games between 'em, my parents in the front, me and my sister in the back, you'd get to stop at roadside restaurants which we never got to do otherwise, and so I always have these kind of fond memories about them, and so getting to go on one when you're sort of a grown-up, and can actually have even more of a time, you don't have to stop in fucking Gettysburg, you can stop at the world's largest ball of postage stamps. Very cool. So, yeah.

cortex: I think part of the thing is, in Oregon, we had family, but they were all, like, basically in town or the vicinity,

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

cortex: so there was no one a couple hours away, per se, but also Oregon--there's just not a whole lot to come across on the way in Oregon. Like, if you're going from Portland to Seattle, okay, there's sort of, you know, that, but after that you're just driving all the way down to like, Central California before--

jessamyn: Well- or you go out to the lava fields of eastern Oregon.

cortex: Well, yeah, but there's nothing on the way, is what I'm saying.

jessamyn: Oh, yeah, I've made those trips. There's nothing on the way.

cortex: Yeah, there's a lot of neat stuff to go see, but there's not a lot of crazy roadside character per se.

jessamyn: Right, well the crazy thing about this, is starting this trip, we're just gonna be in frickin' Boston on shitty Boston shitty roads.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Jim literally lives a mile off of the road, so we're gonna drive to Boston, basically pass his house, start in Kenmore Square, and then drive back and pick him up, and then proceed on our way. And it's a lot of beautiful Massachusetts, but the first part of it's gonna be the worst part of the whole trip. Just because we're like, "god dammit, we're gonna do it."

cortex: Yeah. Well, it sounds fun. It sounds like a good time.

jessamyn: I think it will be! You know, road trip. Summer road trip. Sitting in the air conditioning, wearing sunglasses.

cortex: Shall we talk about Jobs in our brief fashion? I did want to… one thing jumped out at me on Jobs, and this is from earlier this month. spbmp is looking for looking for a full-time systems software engineer to work on software used by astronomers and operation engineering for the Hubble and James Webb space telescopes, motherFUCKER.

jessamyn: I love that, they just put "space telescopes" in parentheses, like [makes ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ noise]

cortex: It's like, "We need an engineer, FOR TELESCOPES, BY THE WAY.

jessamyn: [¯\_(ツ)_/¯ noise] Ain't no thing. Ain't no thing.

cortex: So yeah, if you're into engineering a goddamn telescope, boom. Look 'em up.

jessamyn: You know, my dad used to do telescope engineering. He enjoyed it. I mean, right out of college, too. Very cool.

cortex: Oh yeah?

jessamyn: Yeah! Like, going into places and setting up satellite observatory stations, back in the day, when they had kids do that.

cortex: I did not know that was a thing.

jessamyn: Yeah, '60s. Long time ago. So I have to, of course--oh, so we're on the phone, so I don't have a place where I can put these chats. Oh, I'll just open an instant messenger window to you.

cortex: That works, that works.

jessamyn: Is that okay? We're coming to you from our half-assed studios in Massachusetts where I do not have my amazing headset, and so as a result we're doing this janky phone thing.

cortex: There's a certain amount of string and duct tape involved.

sfx: AOL Instant Messenger sign-on noise

cortex: Oh my gosh, that was a noise!

jessamyn: Oh, was it? Sorry.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: OK, so, I would be remiss if I did not point out the public library director job posted by timepiece, which is in a coastal community in Virginia, which actually looks kind of good, it's outside of Hampton Roads. It's a library that's got almost a million dollar budget, it's got a staff of twelve, it serves 13,000 people, and the job pays decently well! Full-time job, in Virginia, doing library stuff. So. Librarians. Looking for a good library director job? Go do this.

cortex: That's a solid-ass paycheck right there. For librarying. Come on. How good can you get? Come on.

jessamyn: Yeah! And, there's also Quisp Lover's sort of "food surfing"...I don't totally understand? But it's nominally one of those web-surfy research jobs. So it's a food writer, they're doing a "groundbreaking, high-visibility project" which I don't totally know and finding cool stuff in order to do...I don't even know. So, it's fun, and it's work. Apparently. But I like the looks of it, and it's been interesting, I mean, I follow Quisp Lover around on Ask Metafilter, so. It's neat. And I like that it says, "Location, Colon, Earth." Colon.

cortex: "No lazy procrastinators" in bold, so a whole bunch of people just stopped.

jessamyn: Awwwww. You know, I'm not sure if I'm a lazy procrastinator or not.

cortex: I like to think of myself as a fairly driven procrastinator.

jessamyn: Well, we've talked before about the virtuous cycle of procrastination, where you procrastinate with a project with another project, and you just stay working all the damn time. That's kinda me.

cortex: I think setting the forces in opposition gets shit done.

jessamyn: Yeah, to keep working.

cortex: Yep.

sfx: usonian, "Melon Jig".

cortex: Well, let's talk about Projects. Let's talk about things that people posted on Projects.

jessamyn: Well, I have to point out your great project that you finally wrote up on a thing, which is awesome. You and your Menger sponge fetishism.

cortex: Oh yeah yeah yeah, the wall thing.

jessamyn: I mean, maybe I could ask you without having to read a single thing, but "sponge", they just call it a sponge 'cause it's a thing with holes in it? Like, sponge doesn't have some other meaning.

cortex: I think so, yeah. I don't know if there's any deeper specific meaning there, but I've always assumed that it was just that, yeah. Just, basically, "hey, here's a thing that has lots of holes in it." And I mean, that's the nature of the fractal, too, is there's a lot of holes in it, infinitely many holes once you go down far enough, to the point where it has literally no mass anymore, once you go far enough with it. I think it's--there's also the Sierpinski carpet, that is the 2-D version of that. I don't think carpet is necessarily a term of art or anything, it's just like "yeah, it's like a fancy carpet, it's got a pattern on it". But I don't know, that's an interesting question. I would be curious to know if there actually was a stronger history of mathematical terminology for that stuff.

jessamyn: Right, like if it's a mathematical shape or something. But do you want to talk about this thing, which for people who haven't been following it from inception to completion like I have, might be interested to know about your painting project.

cortex: Yeah, it's a three-dimensional mathematical object that's got a bunch of holes cut out of it in a predictable way, but what I actually made is just a painting on a wall, so it's a 2-D view, an isometric view, of this cube-like structure, but it's got a real regular pattern of how the bits are cut out, that if you do the math, so to speak, you can lay out all these tiny little triangles, and they add up to this big three-dimensional-looking thing. And that's what I did; I just took a yardstick and drew the whole thing out on my wall, a good yard and a half wide, and then went and spent an entire weekend manically painting smaller and smaller bits of black and white onto my orange walls so that you end up with this sort of white-and-black-and-orange 3-D looking thing. It was a lot of fun, actually. I'm really happy with how it came out, and it's let to me at this point working on oil painting, which is a weird hop and a skip, but I was doing all this painting with house paint, and I was like, "What if I used artsy art paint?" So I've gone from making a really nice, crisp, clean-looking awesome design on my wall to muddling through beginner oil painting...

jessamyn: Paint slop, yeah!

cortex: It's a real change of pace, but I'm having fun with it so far. But yeah, I painted that thing on my wall, and I'm real happy about it. So yeah, it's come together nicely.

I want to mention, just 'cause this is a delightful little use of the everywhereness of Hamilton...

jessamyn: Oh, I just saw this too!

cortex: Yes. epersonae's HamilIpsum. Random text-generator, you know, Lorem Ipsum, except using Hamilton, so you can fill your webpage with "How does a bastard orphan turn around bend over I'll show you where my shoe fits. Awesome. Wow." You know, just free-associating Hamilton chunks to fill up your--

jessamyn: Because everybody's totally familiar with it, so it's...yeah.

cortex: Exactly. Which, I still gotta watch it at some point, or listen to it.

jessamyn: Right. I, too, have not done anything with Hamilton except been at a Hamilton read-along/sing-along at a library conference.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I hear Matt Haughey has gone.

cortex: Yes!

jessamyn: Internet says.

cortex: Yes, Matt Haughey and pb.

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: Yes. There's this nice Silmarillion character map that brappi put together.

jessamyn: Silmarillion is...?

cortex: That's the Tolkien book that--I don't know if he never finished it, or if he finished it and it just didn't get as much attention as the rest--

jessamyn: All right, I can google this.

cortex: Yeah, it's in the same general universe--

jessamyn: Published posthumously! Extensive incomplete narrative, the universe of Eä, in which are found the lands of oh, blah ghhrrdrigjuerorjnofghhhhh...okay.

cortex: Anyway, if you're into that sort of thing--

jessamyn: And I'm not!

cortex:'s got a nice map of stuff. It's just nicely designed, you know.

jessamyn: Are there women in it?

cortex: I don't know, I've never read it. Again, we're only gonna discuss projects related to literary works with which neither of us are like, you know, closely familiar.

jessamyn: Oh, that's good! You know, I kind of like that idea, because it's fun to listen to unless you actually know what the thing is, and then it's completely maddening, like "Hamilton, isn't that about Hamilton's duel with Aaron Burr?" "Nooooo, it's about something totally different, mostly! Arghhh!"

cortex: It's about a talking pig named Hamilton, and the adventures he has on the farm as he learns about friendship and honesty...

jessamyn: ...Friendly spider... Well, I also enjoyed--just from--this is relevant to my interests--one of the things I've been doing at my dad's place is kind of getting rid of stuff in the Museum of Dad that doesn't really have to still be here anymore. Like, stuff that served a purpose when this house was different, when it didn't have two middle-aged ladies living in it, and a bunch of other stuff. And that includes a lot of kind of old--like, some stuff that doesn't--it's not sentimental, it's just extra, like old magazines that we're not reading anymore that don't have anything special in it, and one of them was these old bonsai magazines. steve.wdc, if you want these, let me know and I will send them to you in the mail. But my father used to be a big bonsai guy for a while, but then he wasn't, so even in his lifetime, there was a whole ton of time where he was not a bonsai guy, whether or not that had anything to do with, you know, his wife being like "Get these bonsais out of here," or who knows, right? But, I've just been looking through bonsai magazines literally for the last two days, and so, "In Training, photographs of bonsai trees," that steve.wdc photographed, is a book, sort of an ad for a book, but it's just a beautiful book with these kinds of amazing pictures. And he talks a little bit about the bonsai master who crafts these trees over time. It's not just like, "oh, there's a neat-looking tree." But it actually has--and it was posted to Metafilter, and it was a short but appreciative thread there.

sfx: [PAUSE]

cortex: Oh that's--okay.

jessamyn: The end!

cortex: Okay, no no--

jessamyn: Oh, I sent one link twice--

cortex: yeah, yeah…

jessamyn: no, the third link is different from the other two links.

cortex: Oh hey, okay.

jessamyn: It starts with "www"…

cortex: Folks, we are professional podcasters…

jessamyn: and not "projects!"

cortex: Yeah, but it starts with "http://" and then I just started glossing, and it had the same stuff, and I was being lazy. My laziness is…

jessamyn: Are you on cold medicine, or are you just having a cold?

cortex: No! I feel like that might help, actually.

jessamyn: Cold medicine.

cortex: I don't think it's a cold, I think it's just straight-up sinus misbehavior, that's what it is…

jessamyn: You got a Neti pot?

cortex: I do, I do.

jessamyn: Neti pot, Neti pot.

cortex: Maybe I'll give that a shot. I think some Sudafed might've been good, 'cause it would've just amped me up.

jessamyn: You know, there's some days where I'm just like "You know, I don't even have a head cold, but maybe what I need is Sudafed." And then I catch myself, but maaaaan.

cortex: "I just need a little hit!"

Any other projects you wanna hit?

jessamyn: Yeah, in the interest of making this speedier, which I think we were going to, any last project-y stuff?

cortex: I think I'm good. I think I'm good for now on the projects.

jessamyn: I do have to mention that in IRL, which we rarely talk about, I actually attended a meetup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and our trivia team, which was me, and not_on_display, and maryr and...ohgod, who else was on my trivia team... we actually won!

cortex: Yay!

jessamyn: Yeah! And it was challenging! And the Taters, we were--London Symphony Taters was the name of our team, because Metafilter teams always have the word taters in there somehow. And I had just come from getting in a car accident! Not a bad one, but I was in traffic, and I rear-ended the person ahead of me, because I was like, "Oh shit, I'm in traffic, I should turn my phone off," and reached to turn my phone off, and... rear-ended the person in front of me, which was terrible.

cortex: Oh jeez, oh jeez.

jessamyn: It was very slow speed, and so their car had a scratch, and my car was just mangled, you know, because it's made of plastic, and so it all turned into a mess--but it could drive fine! So I drove my weird mushmobile to trivia, and was like, "mwaaaaaaugh!" and then Jim's like, "It's fine, just hang out, have a beer, play trivia." Annnnd, our team won! Which was a good portent for the fact that everything was going to be okay, which it was. Took my car to an awesome bodyshop, got some awesome bodywork done on it, car looks better than ever, I'm a more careful driver, I got a mount to put my phone in, so I don't have to fumble for it to turn it off, and lessons were learned! That's my story.

cortex: Yep. That's how they getcha. The... physics...

jessamyn: Who gets you? What?!

cortex: Just seems like the thing you say, right?

jessamyn: Have you ever been in a car accident?

cortex: I have not.

jessamyn: I mean, a car crash, I guess, because I am really one of those people who's like, it wasn't an accident. I was not paying enough attention. Super shitty.

cortex: Yeah, a car fuckup.

jessamyn: Right. At least I wasn't texting, but, you know.

cortex: I have not, to date, been in any sort of car mishaps.

jessamyn: Good!

cortex: I'm a defensive driver, generally speaking, so I've definitely avoided a couple, so I feel good about that. You know, some....fucking kid on a skateboard, these kids today...

jessamyn: Where are we going with this?!

cortex: There's a street in Portland, it's a, sort of non-highway, but large-ish surface street corridor...

jessamyn: Which street? I have been there.

cortex: MLK.

jessamyn: Oh, yeah yeah yeah, okay.

cortex: For some of it, it's two lanes in each direction, and for some of it, it's just four lanes north, and in the section where it's four lanes north, it's a wide busy street for just random SE Portland. What it is definitely not is somewhere anyone should EVER be skateboarding, like, for ANY reason.

jessamyn: Sure, it's a highway. Don't skate on the highway.

cortex: Yeah, and, I'm coming around a corner, and some motherfucker's bailing off of his skateboard--like, right in the middle.

jessamyn: Oh God!!

cortex: Not even to one side or the other, but in the middle, he's 30 feet from any sidewalk, I don't know how the fuck he got there, what he was doing, but he's in the process of bailing as I'm making a right turn and I see him, I stop, and I'm sort of like, "What the hell?" and he's like "What the hell?" and he gets up, and I really-- he was probably--I don't know how it happened, it probably involved him doing something super stupid, but I'm sure he was also very concerned about the fact that he was bailing in the middle of this busy street,

jessamyn: Sure, I mean, you know…

cortex: …but you get that amped-up looking thing, and I really--I was like, "there's a possibility this motherfucker's gonna hit my car with his skateboard to express his existential terror at me not murdering him." It was just such a weird moment, and I was totally angry at some kid on a skateboard, like "Oh my God, how'd this…"

jessamyn: "Kid! I could've killed you, kid!"

cortex: Yeah, I'm the adult in the car debating whether or not to roll down the window and give some kid a lecture on skateboarding.

jessamyn: I have to say, the lady who--like I said--her car was scratched, she'll have to get some bodywork done, but not, you know, whatever--was incredibly nice about the whole thing. I was like, "Whoops, sorry, my bad, here's all my information!" and she was like, "Yep! Fine." Like, "Great, no big deal." She wasn't like, "You fucking kid!" or whatever. In fact, she was probably half my age, so maybe that helped.

cortex: That's kind of a good thing, actually, if people can deal with non-terrifying situations like that as "Well, you know what, we've got this system that mostly works and it does what it can to account for the fact that there's gonna be human error and distraction and whatnot, but every once in a while things are gonna get a little bit fucked up, and when that happens and everything's okay, let's just do the next step in the system."

jessamyn: Right, that's how it's supposed to work. There's no thing that gets helped by me hollering at somebody. I mean, and I appreciate--it's hard. If you're really, really scared, one great outlet for that is to go holler at somebody, like "You scared the shit out of me!" but it doesn't usually have a useful effect on the other person at all, so maybe if you can just skip that part, you'll do better. You'll not increase the amount of disharmony in the world.

Oh, hey, did you get the letter I sent you?

cortex: Ah, yes. Yes I did, thank you…

jessamyn: Yaay!

cortex: for that letter. I need to get better at tweeting a quick… 'cause every time I get a letter from someone, which is to say usually maybe you or GJ…

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I think like, "Yay, I got a thing! I should write him back, and I should go tweet him!" And then I forget about it- and I forgot about it.

jessamyn: That's totally fine. I mean, I don't do it because I'm like "why didn't you tweet about the letter I sent you, it was cool.", but I sent it because I thought you'd like it, because I know you have a typewriter.

cortex: Yeah, no, it's a nice…

jessamyn: So I typed you a letter.

cortex: Exactly.

jessamyn: And put it in a fun envelope.

cortex: I will type you one as well.

jessamyn: Don't make…

cortex: It's what will happen.

jessamyn: have your mouth make promises your fingers can't keep.

cortex: I will probably think about typing you a letter?

jessamyn: (laughs) Sounds great.

cortex: Let's put it that way. That's probably…

jessamyn: I will think about typing you a letter. And I will think about getting one.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Awesome!

cortex: Uhhh… yes. Well, um, what the hell am I… I'm… so failing to navigate this website that I run. (laughs) Omi… Shall we move on to Metafilter, by the way? Would you like to just…

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: Discuss about…

jessamyn: Metafilter was super fun this month!

cortex: the Metafilter posts

jessamyn: I kinda really made an effort to be involved. You know, I always feel better about any… whatever, you know me, I love Metafilter anyhow, but I always like Metafilter more when I'm, well, when I ignore every political thread always. But…

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: …also when I make posts. Because posts are fun, and people are fun. So I made, you know, a couple of posts this month, and was, you know, happy about it.

cortex: Yeah, it's a good way to be.

jessamyn: I think I made three posts this month, which is a lot for me. They were all really fun, and people had fun conversations, and then that was it. They were low-key. Low-key fun posts.

But what it meant was, I was clicking around Metafilter more than usual, so I have actual things to talk about that I enjoy.

cortex: Excellent. Well, tell me about some of these things.

jessamyn: Well, one of the ones that was interesting in its "oh please, nerds" way, was this person… woman who biked alone across the United States, 4400 miles, Oregon to Virginia, in 18 days.

cortex: Wow.

jessamyn: ...That's, for those of you keeping track at home, 235 miles a day. She slept 4-5 hours a night, and she completely blew away the first woman and the first American to win the race, and she blew away the previous person by 3 days, the previous woman's record by 3 days. So of course there's a little bit of, you know, concern trolling in the thread, like, "Wraaaughh! How could she win? Why didn't she sleep? She must have been hallucinating," blah, but, it's just sort of interesting about endurance--I mean, you know, I can't ride a bike for an hour, so watching this woman and what she did--unsupported means you carry all your own shit, also, I don't know I mentioned that. So it's not like she's got a sag bike that can be like, "Oh, your tire fell off? Here's a new tire."

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And it was just sort of a neat post, by Etri… Etrigan? [tries various pronunciations]

cortex: Etrigan?

jessamyn: Etrigan? Yeah, who always makes good posts, but this was an interesting one, and I totally enjoyed it.

cortex: Yeah, that's crazy. I totally missed that. You know, most of my favorite posts this month, I think, are all sort of silly things, just because, as much as I love the idea of not reading political posts, it's been a lot of that--

jessamyn: Right, you don't get to make that a reality so much.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: I mean, my God, the Brexit stuff has been crazy--

cortex: Oh yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: I mean in the world! I can only imagine what it's been like on Metafilter.

cortex: Yeah, it's been pretty breakneck[???] on Metafilter.

jessamyn: And "only imagine" because I don't even read the headlines on those, you know?

cortex: It's kind of funny, Brexit has been especially difficult in some ways to keep up with, just because there's been a big volume of it, and partly because I feel like it's a slightly different set of people who are commenting heavily in the Brexit thread vs. say, the election stuff from the US over the last several months. And as a result, I feel like to some extent, I have plenty of complaints if I wanted to spend time complaining about it, about the structure and the nature and the recurring issues with US election discussion threads, but one thing we've got going for us with those, at this point, is we've had a lot of months of practice--

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: people have at least, sort of like, at least gotten over the various genuinely annoying things about the way conversation goes there and gotten slightly better at sort of saying "oh fuck, this thing again."

jessamyn: At talking to each other, and they know who all the people are who are having the conversations.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, if nothing else, they've gotten respectively tired enough of each other's shit that they've sort of learned to step away from it a little bit--

jessamyn: Sure.

cortex: ...and the Brexit thing has been just a ton of--more breakneck than most of the US election threads, you know--

jessamyn: and I think, for a lot of Americans, who aren't super plugged in, the implications only really showed up like, the week before. Unless you're really into other-country politics, you weren't, sort of, on top of this, and then it was everywhere all of a sudden, and then there was the vote, and then it was terrible, and then all your UK friends were crying, and then--

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: ...I mean, especially in Metafilter circles, who have a pretty specific--I mean, it's like the American thing, right? Nobody on Metafilter's voting for Trump. Or almost nobody, if anybody is.

cortex: Almost nobody. There's one angry guy on Twitter, but he doesn't comment anymore. [chuckles]

jessamyn: Are you serious?

cortex: Yeah, it's a whole thing.

jessamyn: [amused noise] Well, I'm sorry if I made any of that harder for you.

cortex: No, no--I'm certain he doesn't listen to the podcast, either.

jessamyn: But like, the Brexit thing--watching it happen, and watching people you care about be like, "No seriously, this changes everything, and we're fucked," and seeing your election coming up, and not feeling--for me at least--I mean, I usually feel like I understand social issues, but I didn't understand a lot of this. I had to do a lot of backup reading really quick, and in sort of internet-person format, I was like, "Oh! Well, now I have an opinion," which... bluuuurrrhhhh. you know. I mean, I've been on mailing lists where people were like, "Uh, Americans, you have to kind of shut up and stop telling us what your…

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: …easy opinion on the whole thing is, because if it weren't complicated, we wouldn't be here already now."

cortex: Yeah, yeah, and that's definitely been an aspect of the whole thing that's made it a little tricky at times too. And, you know, they've been really interesting to read, too, as far as that goes, because that's the flip-side of it, it's like yeah, okay, I'm not really familiar with UK and UK/European politics and so, being able to see a bunch of detailed discussion about it has been interesting. That's definitely the upside for it, and I've seen a lot of people saying, "hey yeah, thanks for having these because I've learned a whole shitload as someone who was not super plugged-in on this," or "hey, this has been a relatively sane place to discuss this, even if it's been, you know, at times contentious by Metafilter standards."

jessamyn: Right! Well, I've learned a lot just about the European Union in general, which was something I, you know, basically understood, but didn't totally understand, and now I feel like I have much more of an understanding of, like, who the EU commissioners are, what they do, that one guy is a heart surgeon, blah blablah blablah, and that's been useful for me also, I mean, whether it has any other utility in the larger American world, who knows.

sfx: Chimes, by ageispolis

jessamyn: But I feel like you were going somewhere else with the beginning of this sentence, that was not about that shit.

cortex: Oh, I don't even remember.

jessamyn: Well, because you were like--

cortex: Oh just, yeah, okay. No, I got you, I got you. I'm clawing my way back. Yes. So I have a bunch of like, it feels like especially stupid or lightweight posts this time around

just because there's been so much--

jessamyn: ...not stupid

cortex: ...stuff. Yeah, I haven't really been engaging in depth on fascinating, educational stuff. I've been more enjoying things like this thread from a day or two ago about variations on "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter."

jessamyn: Whaaaaat? You're gonna send me a link, right? In the chat window?

cortex: Oh, shit.

jessamyn: Me! I'm your friend.

cortex: Yeah, so should I be pasting my links into IM?

jessamyn: Only if you want me to look at them.

cortex: Okay, well I wasn't sure--you were right on top of it on a couple other ones, and I guess that was just things you'd looked at, so I was confused. All right! I will do so. We'll keep ferrying these back and forth, sausage-making [???]

jessamyn: Oh good point, so you're gonna have to go look those up.

cortex: Well, and that's fine. You IM, I'll paste them, it's all good. It's going well. So!

jessamyn: Man, when cortex is the top poster/top commenter in a thread...

cortex: I know! It's like we built this tool, and there I am.

jessamyn: Is the tool collapsible for you guys?

cortex: It's not at the moment. This is really just a couple days old.

jessamyn: ...All right, I'll be fine.

cortex: frimble's been fiddling with trying to get

it working out, so, you know, we'll iterate on it, but right now we're just sort of trying to see what it even looks like in action. We should probably explain this in MetaTalk at some point--

jessamyn: [knowing scoff]

cortex: ...but we'll wait until it's a little bit more baked.

Anyway. This is a post from Johnny Wallflower, it is, I would uncharitably describe it as, oh, "just some fucking Buzzfeed pile of photos," listicle, etc., but at the same time--

jessamyn: ...but for some reason, it's hilarious.

cortex: Yeah! You know, it's like, I can understand

the thinking that goes past that to saying, "Yeah, but I'm gonna post it anyway," because it turns out the content is just, like, obvious knockoff products: "Arm & Hatchet" instead of "Arm & Hammer"...

jessamyn: I want that Massachusetts t-shirt so badly. Every time I see it, I just want it. For those of you who haven't, it says "Boston," and then (attempts to enunciate "Msaeachubaets") or something.

cortex: (Laughs)

jessamyn: Like, it's a word that has some of the letters from Massachusetts, and then some other letters, like a "B," that are just not in Massachusetts, and then it's got kind of like an orange-and-green with a white stripe and a flag

that's got eleven stars and I don't know how many stripes, and I don't know why it's funny.

cortex: It's just, yeah, something about the absurd failure to hit the mark, it's delightful.

jessamyn: (laughs)"Sharpie's unfortunate friend Skerple."

cortex: Skerples!

jessamyn: (laughing wildly)

cortex: But yeah, so the last--(laughs) four or five things...

jessamyn: "Funny person who's definitely not a potato."

Yeah, I didn't see this.
the first time.

cortex: Yeah, the last four or five items on this are all butter variations. So there's "You'd think it's butter!" and "Could it be butter?", "What? Not butter!",

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: "Isn't it butter?", "Memories of butter," "Unbelievable this is not butter!"

jessamyn: "Isn't it butter!" (laughs)

cortex: So this has led to the thread, you know, it's got some discussion of various things, and jokes about various things in there, but then it also just basically turns into, you know, people coming up with

new butter ideas, and it's up to a couple hundred comments now, only like 20 of which are mine. (laughs)

jessamyn: "This can't possibly be butter," "Butter? GTFO!"

cortex: "I accept that it's not butter."

jessamyn: "I can't believe butter isn't this."

cortex: "I know what you did last butter."

jessamyn: "Butter off dead." (laughs) Oh, this is great. I can see why you love this so much.

cortex: (laughs) Yes. So it just sort of goes from there. I found it very delightful, so yes. I utterly contradict any grousing about the Buzzfeed thing,

because obviously it made this all possible.

jessamyn: Great! Well, I very much, along those same lines, enjoyed the "Are you having one of those days? At least you're not stuck inside a Barney head, right?" by Etrigan.

cortex: Yes! Yes.

jessamyn: ...which was one of those things I found somewhere else and was like "Everybody's already talking about this on Metafilter, right? Please." And then I came over, and was not displeased, especially because, like, whatever, it's a girl stuck inside a Barney head, but it's kind of funny because it's on Twitter,

and they've got a sense of humor about the whole thing, and she's fine--and it turns into a thread about "that time you got stuck in that thing." And so people are telling stories about "I got my arm stuck between the inner and outer tubs of a washing machine," "I got stuck in a dressing room with one arm tied to my head"...

cortex: "I got stuck between a railing"...

Oh God, that also took brief divergence into...

jessamyn: Fingers in car doors? How do people get fingers stuck in car doors?

cortex: You know, just some motherfucker closes the door when your hand's in it, sister.

jessamyn: But like, how does it even close?

cortex: Well, that's the thing. So there's a comment from Mitheral at the end of the thread currently, basically saying "hey, I've heard lots of stories about fingers in car doors without hearing any of serious injuries as a result. I wonder if fingers not being destroyed by being closed in a car door isn't one of those hidden pieces of engineering," which I kind of wonder if that's the deal! Because like yeah,

maybe there's just a big enough of a gap in the frame of a lot of doors that, you know--

jessamyn: ...that your finger-flesh gets squeezed but your finger bone doesn't get severed.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. Like, enough that you're gonna have a bruise and maybe a cut, but it's not gonna snap your finger in two? Honestly, if you were designing a minivan, and one of the questions you had to deal with was, "How many dumb fucking kids are gonna get their hands destroyed in the door of this sliding thing, this awesome sliding door on this minivan," back when they had those--

jessamyn: ...that they love to fuck around with.

cortex: Yeah! Like, you know, you have to--

jessamyn: ...and your answer better be zero.

cortex: Yeah, from a design perspective, you have to know,

kids are gonna fuck that up real bad.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: ...and, you know, yeah, if you can come up with, "Hey, I've got this idea, it'll cost us $10 to change the design of the door, and also, kids won't be shattering their fucking fingers all the time."

j:You know, we really should've called up wachhundfisch and had him read his comment about getting his fingers stuck in the immersion blender and not being able to take them out, and having to take his bloody-hand-immersion-blender-et-al to the German emergency room
There's a picture of it, too! It's slightly bloody but it's also completely hilarious, and the whole comment is just comedy gold. I love it. "This happened four months ago and I'm 25."

cortex: (laughs) I actually had this momentary thought, and I wish I'd followed through, of making a MetaTalk post earlier this week to say, "Hey, do you have stories about getting stuck in stuff? Call in! Send us a recording, we'll stick it on the podcast."

jessamyn: How do you not follow through on those? I really want--

cortex: Brexit. Brexit.

jessamyn: ...Let's try and think about this for next month.

cortex: I agree, I think we should plan--

jessamyn: A call-in something.

cortex: ...a couple call-in ideas and make 'em happen, 'cause they'd be great to do.

jessamyn: Yeah, just have a voicemail box, a Google voicemail box where people could call in and leave their one-minute thing based on some thread.

cortex: Yep. No, it could be good. We should try and make that happen for the next one.

jessamyn: All right! I'll think about it.

cortex: But yes, I liked this thread a lot too, I thought it was a lot of fun. It's funny, because it's mostly funny stories about being stuck in stuff with the occasional terrible

like, the immersion blender mishap, Jimmy Fallon tearing his finger off, or whatever the hell that was.

jessamyn: Oh, with his wedding ring. Yeah, I got locked in my dad's garage, and had to take apart the garage door opener to escape in the middle of the night.

cortex: Oh, Jesus...

jessamyn: That was pretty good. And it's a story that I'd written back when I had a Vox blog a million years ago, so I actually had to go track it down on Typepad, where you could import all your Vox blog posts from God only knows how long ago, so that was fun in and of itself, but it is kind of a funny story.

cortex: Yeah. [short pause] I really enjoyed this very weird thing, 'cause it's the sort of thing that someone does on the internet for some reason: seinfeld.wad. ".wad" is just the--

jessamyn: I've played Doom!

cortex: Yeah okay, so yeah, you know. Well, for the listener--

jessamyn: We've talked about Doom before!

cortex: For the listener, who may not be aware, ".wad" is just the suffix for the map files that came in Doom.

jessamyn: So you can get, like, other WADs on the internet

that can let you have different maps, or different looks for your maps that you do have.

cortex: Yeah. If someone does some crazy total conversion of Doom into a game about My Little Pony, then you could probably download pony.wad and just run that with Doom, and so on.

jessamyn: Does "wad" stand for something?

cortex: Probably, probably. Probably stands for something, but...

jessamyn: [uncertain noise]

cortex: [zany voice] WAZZAP,DUDE! That's probably what it is.

jessamyn: Really?

cortex: [laughs]I'm sure it's a reference to some sort of thing from

that early ??? days, but I don't...

jessamyn: We're looking it up!

cortex: Someone is grasping their copy of "Masters of Doom"...

jessamyn: "For other uses, see WAD (disambiguation)"...

cortex: No thank you!

jessamyn: Why does this...oh, "Where's All the Data?" It stands for "Where's All the Data!"

cortex: Oh, Jesus fucking Christ...

jessamyn: Shut up, that's awesome! Come on, that could have been so much worse.

cortex: No it is kinda great, it's kinda great. No, it's true, it's true.

It's kinda great and terrible all together at once.
Anyway, somebody--this is a post by griphus, by the way--

jessamyn: ...who shaved off all his hair!

cortex: Yeah, well, his face hair in particular.

jessamyn: I think his head hair too!

cortex: Well yeah, but his face hair's definitely been much more of a presence than his head hair, I would say, in the last while. I feel like he's had shortish, or close-cropped head hair for a while, but he's had the beard, and now he's like, he sort of went down more to the mustache, and now he's like all, just,

skin? Face-skin? That's not a phrase anyone should use. You know, his face-skin! You can really see his face-skin now!

jessamyn: Aaaaah! ...Who has the really great Facebook URL, which is just, which is really pretty good. But sorry, go on.

cortex: Anyway, seinfeld.wad is a Doom II, or I guess Doom, map that's just the inside of Jerry Seinfeld's apartment on Seinfeld, and Jerry and Elaine and

et cetera--why am I failing to name Seinfeld characters?--are all there, and that's all it is. It's literally just a Doom map that's Jerry's apartment building. His apartment, and the hallway outside, and there's a secret compartment that Newman's hiding inside of

jessamyn: heh, heh, heh...

cortex: ...and that's it. And I love it. It's dumb, it's so dumb, and I love it. It's a dumb joke map for a game that's way old.

jessamyn: ...that nobody played in 20 years.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Well, speaking of dumb, and things you should never do: here's the "Build your very own horizontal beehive/bed," by schmod.

cortex: Wow. I'm unhappy just from the capsule review.

jessamyn: "Sleep with bees: free plans." I think GJ might like it because it essentially looks like a coffin, only there's bees in the bottom of it. I don't understand why this is any good, but it's essentially like a thing you can sleep on that has bees in the bottom part.

cortex: So, I want to be clear: this is not a joke, this is not a straight-faced longform riff on a terrible idea, 'cause...

jessamyn: I mean, it's a real thing! It's a--

cortex: I don't want to be close to bees--ever! I certainly don't want to be asleep close to an entire building designed for bees.

jessamyn: I'm fairly--I mean, if it's a long con, they've got people

No, I'm pretty sure, I mean... no!

cortex: Yeah, no, it doesn't read like a joke. I'm willing to believe that for people who exist in the world, this is an idea that they react to not with confusion and horror. I'm willing to believe that.

jessamyn: I mean, and I don't have confusion and horror, I just don't think I would enjoy it, because it would be loud.

cortex: Well, also, there would be a million bees right under where you're sleeping!

jessamyn: I don't have that problem!

cortex: Oh my God!

jessamyn: I love bees!

cortex: You love a million--like, have you done the "bees crawling all over you bee suit person" thing?

jessamyn: Why would I?

cortex: Why--why would you sleep in this--oh my God! I don't know. I don't know. I'm really, I'm--

jessamyn: I think they stay in their place, though. I think there's bees beneath you, but I don't think they're--

cortex: It just seems like the numbers are--like, here's the thing. Let's say you have a nice website, where--

jessamyn: I do have a nice website!

cortex: ...well, like a community website, say.

and say there's like ten thousand people there, and generally speaking, these are very nice people, they're good people--

jessamyn: Can't even imagine where you're going with this.

cortex: Yeah, I know. So the thing is--

jessamyn: But I don't want to sleep with all of them? Is that what you're saying?

cortex: Well no, no, whoa whoa whoa, what I'm saying is, and they're really good people, and you're like "hey, I really like these people, this is a good place to be, it's fun to hang out"--it's a great crowd, it's a really great crowd. It's not like the comments sections on the Internet, it's really nice. Nonetheless--

jessamyn: Just for, as an example--

cortex: ...out of ten thousand of those people, probably at least ten of them

are the kind of people that you don't necessarily want to fall asleep and just be unconscious while they're wandering around, just because, maybe they're gonna have that weird lapse of judgment that leads to something like being fucking stung.

jessamyn: No! The bees stay in their bee-house!

cortex: I, I don't, I don't--

jessamyn: They're underneath you! They can't get through! Did you look at these plans?

cortex: I'm just sayin'. Small insects get through things--I don't know, I'm not on board.

I can't hack it.

jessamyn: You gotta trust the process, man!

cortex: I think I'm gonna let other people trust the process, I think is where I'm going with this.

jessamyn: Although--to be fair, when we go back to the Metafilter thread about the whole thing, from schmod, basically you're like, "Shut up."

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: "It's all of the woo with 500% more nope." Also, somebody says "Missing the 'coveredinbees' tag, which I will add right now.

cortex: Do you ruin people's "missing the x tag" tagging?

jessamyn: Oh, that's a joke? I just thought they meant it.

cortex: I feel like, you know, it's interesting actually, I think there may be some ambiguity there, but it feels to me to have the structure of a joke, like they're not actually complaining about the lack of tags so much as--

jessamyn: Well, I know they're not complaining, but I also think there's utility to the coveredinbees tag, which now has two posts associated, and not just one, but no, I see what you mean.

cortex: It's just that, that's the conflict that keeps me from necessarily adding jokey tags, but then I think I've done it once or twice--

jessamyn: Well, see, you work there, and I fucking don't!

cortex: ...Yeah, that's the upside, that's the upside.

jessamyn: It's not just the single upside.

cortex: [laughs]That's one of the myriad upsides.

Here's one that I like.

jessamyn: Well, it's also like a fucking coffin, is this bed, is the real problem.

cortex: Yeah, well, it's impressive that they managed to find a way to make that not be the main thing that struck me as odd about it.

jessamyn: Like sleepin' in a fuckin' coffin! I mean, I would, maybe, but yeah, maybe not like this. I just think it would be noisy.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: Sorry, you were moving on, I was not.

cortex: I want to get away from the bees!

jessamyn: [laugh]

cortex: I wanted to note this post. This is by Mr.Pointy, and it's a post about a blog called It's very much a kind of blog,

and it's a weird one, I mean, the site is literally a weird site--

jessamyn: I don't even know what I'm even...

cortex: It's a giant weird mess of crossing things together and maybe conspiracy-type stuff, cultural references and whatnot, you know, basically, the ungenerous way to put it would be "it's sort of a timecubey sort of thing," and I don't know that that's a particularly unfair bit of ungenerous, but, it's also just, like--this is some serious

internet weirdness, and I like internet weirdness. And it's a tricky thing, because a post like this--

jessamyn: Oh yeah, no, I see what it is. Interesting.

cortex: tricky, because we have historically deleted a lot of things like this on Metafilter over the years, because they often get posted with, basically, "ha ha, look at this crazy fucker," you know?

jessamyn: Right. "This person has a mental illness!"

cortex: Yeah. And so just having it, I don't know that this post is super generous on that front, exactly, but it's at least, you know, not going for the ha-ha

cortex: thing, and people sort of acknowledged it was weird, but also sort of read through it and mentioned stuff, and I thought that was a decent compromise outcome for really weird stuff. But yeah, basically, that's all. I liked that it got talked about a little bit, and I liked that it got talked about a little bit without being just a giant pile of people being dick about [???]

jessamyn: Well, and if you go to the main page of the site and you read the post that was actually put up a couple of weeks ago,

the person looks like they make sense, you know what I mean? I mean, maybe not entirely--

cortex: But it's got more of a sense of, like, "Hey, I like looking for connections in things," rather than, you know, "This is the manifesto that I'll leave behind after I go on a shooting spree" or whatever the fuck.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: It's not someone seeming to be melting down or whatever.

jessamyn: Right, yes. Exactly.

cortex: Any other specific Metafilter stuff you wanna hit?

jessamyn: I did, and now I'm trying to figure out why... sorry, sometimes when I really like a comment, I favorite the post so that I can find the comment again--because I favorite so many comments I'm never going to be able to sort of find it again... errrr... I'm just trying to figure out...

Here's the post, and maybe you could figure out--I mean, I'm sure there's one comment in there I'm really excited about.
and I'm trying to figure out what it is. I think it has to do with chicken sexing, and I can't find it. I'm so sorry, this is the worst.

cortex: It's okay.

jessamyn: It's bad radio.

cortex: This is, you know, what radio's usually like, is what people don't realize. Actual fast-based interesting content is really rare. Mostly radio's just like, a static void of noise. That's why SETI has such a hard time.

jessamyn: hehhh.

cortex: ...finding good stuff to listen to. It's mostly just background radiation. Radio, radiation--eh, you see?--that's actually, I don't think those have anything to do with each other, but...

jessamyn: Background radio noise, background radiation noise?

cortex: Yeah, yeah, I'm doing what I can. I'm doing what I can. I'm trying to fill some space here. [laugh]

jessamyn: Yeah, no, I can't actually figure it out. Basically, it's a post that I had flagged as a favorite, it's by Johnny Wallflower about animal rights activism stuff, and it's not gonna cull all the male chicks at

egg-laying factories, which is not normally a thing I'd be into, so I figure there has to be some [pause] ...maybe it's the Steven Universe joke?
Oh. Yeah, no, that's totally it. [laugh] No, it's on American Dad. So basically, it's a thread about baby chickens, but it reminded me of--there's the comment that Servo5678 makes.
when he says "when male chicks are culled, he assumes this means they are given fancy clothes and allowed to dance." And there's this adorable Vine about a little chicken dancing, and for some reason it hit me in a way, in the feels, and I think that's my thing. I don't even know.

cortex: All right. I buy it.

jessamyn: And the last thing I just wanted to point out, but I don't have that much to say about it, but I enjoyed reading it very much, is by Artw, an open letter to the female hat-wearing dog from Go Dog Go.

cortex: [laughs] Yes! I didn't even know that got a Metafilter post, but I saw, I think you posted it on MLKSHK or something--

jessamyn: Yeah, I posted something on MLKSHK, I don't think from this--but it's basically, like, a lady who reads Go Dog Go, which is a lot about, like, "Do you like my hat?" "I do not like your hat." "Do you like--" You know, it's basically written at a second-grade level or a first-grade level. But there's a feminist reading of it, which is just this lady dog, 'cause it's a poodle, even though, you know--who knows?--keeps trying to impress this male dog

and failing, and hey, female dog, you know, you deserve better than this. But, what's great about it, and it's like, a Dr. Seuss book from whatever, the '50s, and then I think got redone in the '70s, but what's great about it is that there's a couple of dog party pictures, where there's a giant tree and all the dogs are partying in the tree, and so the Metafilter thread turns into "I'm the tree party ice cream thief dog" kinds of comments.

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: "I'm the grumpy dog trying to take a nap in the middle of the party," and so everybody finds, like, a funny thing to enjoy about this post. I mean, the post itself is funny, but also maybe a little bit like "Really? You read all that into..." I mean, like everything on the internet. But the Metafilter thread is lovely. Thank you, Artw, for posting it there.

cortex: Nice.

jingle: [Music]

cortex: Shall we move on to AskMetafilter?

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: Let's move on to AskMetafilter.

jessamyn: So. Josh.

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: Do you think that cooking meals at home is a good use

of your time?

cortex: Are we doing a Blue Apron ad now? [laugh]

jessamyn: We are not. The surprisingly contentious AskMetafilter thread, the one that I actually had to unfollow because I kept flagging it, and you guys did not delete enough of the comments from it--

cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: I mean, whatever. I'm not--

cortex: That's the standard complex doom that comes with still having access to admin tools.

jessamyn: It's me, not you, basically.

But it was interesting, it's basically this guy, ManInSuit, who's like, "Hey, I read things about time management, and they say delegate what you can, I don't like cooking, we've got a toddler, but it feels like I save money, but not enough money to justify--can I just eat takeout every day? Here's my question!" You know, "We live in Toronto, I'm really curious about this." And some people chimed in
with like, Yes, or No, or whatever, and then it got really hot at the end of it, where like, a couple people just turned it into a wrestling match of "No, you absolutely fucking can't," or "Yes, you totally always can, what is wrong with you?" "What is wrong with you?" "No, what is wrong with you?" and it was just really interesting because it never occurred to me that people would kind of holy-war it, you know? It did not occur to me that it would be a judgy topic.

cortex: Yeah, it's...

jessamyn: And the same people continued

to get, you know--there was a couple mod comments in there.

cortex: So, my relationship with this thread--I think almost all of the moderation that happened on that one, happened during a shift when I wasn't even around, so I'm aware of it, but I didn't--

jessamyn: Right, I didn't see you in it, I saw, like, LobsterMitten and restless_nomad and I sent, I think, LobsterMitten a note at one point. And then I just unfollowed it, because I was like, "I'm clearly wrapped around the axle about this topic"--surprisingly to me!

cortex: Yep;

jessamyn: I need to just, you know--

cortex: Just give yourself that space.

jessamyn: ...which I did, and I was happy, very happy, about that. But it's one of the few threads that has not been in Metatalk where I literally go back to my comments to read it even though it's not in my recent activity because I'm wondering what's going on.

cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: You know, like, I don't even look at Game of Thrones anymore, but I look at this thread.

cortex: Yeah. [laugh] And the debate behind it, it's interesting to me, because this is one of those things where I can see both sides--

jessamyn: Me too!

cortex: ...where I had some reason to glance at it, and I was like, "aaah, you know what, I'm not even fucking [???]" 'cause it's like yeah, I can see totally an argument for, "Well, yeah, but cooking lets you do stuff that is hard to do with takeout," but then, on the flip side, you know, "takeout can be a good way to save yourself effort," and find the balance in their, blah blah blah...

jessamyn: And if you're a freelancer, maybe that's super necessary, or maybe you can't cook as healthy, I mean, especially if you live in a big city.

Like, in my town, there's not a question. I can't eat out every day the same way I would eat at home, 'cause there's only like three or four places, and a lot of them are like, ehhh, the Chinese place or the pizza place, which are lovely, but I could not sustain myself healthily eating there. But like, you know, in a big city, where you can get vegan food delivered? Compared to living in a suburb, where you can't get stuff delivered? I mean, a lot of it, I think, has to do with where you are. But it was fascinating to me
reading everybody kind of mixing it up about this.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Strong feels.

cortex: Yeah, people, they got the feels.

I want to mention this question from PuppetMcSockerson, "Rubik's Cube themed bedroom for kid."

jessamyn: LOVED IT! Yes! This was also on my list too.

cortex: Yeah. This became...

this became? Me talk...good. Yes, I think Secretariat pointed out this to me, 'cause someone--

jessamyn: Well, you're linked in it.

cortex: Yeah, someone mentioned the Menger sponge thing. Callback!

jessamyn: Is it "Menger?"

cortex: "Menger?" I say Menger.

jessamyn: I say Men-jer. [laugh]

cortex: I don't even know!

jessamyn: Okay!

cortex: The chances that I'm going to actually hear a conversation about this in... like... words. Oh, Jesus Christ--talking! Talking not good today!

jessamyn: So you haven't had the cold medicine yet.

cortex: No, no! I'm starting to think maybe that should be my next

jessamyn: You haven't had the cold medicine yet.

cortex: No. I'm starting to think maybe that should be my next plan. Anyway...

jessamyn: So, Karl Menger was a student of Hans Hahn, you wanna talk about other totally crazy names.

cortex: These sounds pretty German, so I'm thinking Men-ger is probably correct.

jessamyn: Because they didn't do the soft g?

cortex: Yeah, I think not so much. Mostly hard g's in German.

jessamyn: Okay!

cortex: But, you know, I don't speak German, so...I'm just leaping from fake expertise to fake expertise here. This is the dilettante show, with cortex...

jessamyn: [laugh] You think? Maybe?

jessamyn: You think? Maybe?

cortex: At least I own it, you know. I'm ignorant and willing to bullshit about it, and proud!

Rubik's Cube-themed bedroom for kid, basically, yeah! PuppetMcSockerson's looking to do a Rubik's Cube themed decoration for the kid's room, and looking for ideas, and there's a bunch of fun ideas in there, and...yeah, some cool things. Ah--I walked past a car with a bumper sticker with a melting Rubik's Cube the other day, I meant to grab a picture.

jessamyn: What does that even mean?

cortex: Imagine an ice cube, except for it's a Rubik's Cube, and it's been sitting there,

and it's melting, so there's a pool of melted Rubik's Cube--

jessamyn: But it's like, colors and stuff?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Neat!

cortex: Just a little drawing on a bumper sticker. Anyway.

It seems like a cool project, and people should go ideate in there.

jessamyn: Yeah! And there's some neat ideas, and I just enjoyed this. Because, yeah, you know--I mean, I don't know about you, but my kid bedroom was just, you know, I got stripey curtains that matched my stripey comforter, and that was kind of cool, but the rest of it--like, we lived an old farmhouse that just wasn't that interesting.

jessamyn: Like, I would've killed to have, like, a cool bedroom with weird shit in it. Any weird shit, at all, not like antique furniture, and blehhhhh. So every time I see these, I'm like, "Yeah! Go be those cool parents Yeah! That's the best!"

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: So, I thought they were good.

I enjoyed, from a thought-experiment-help-me-solve-this-funny-problem, this funny thread by permiechickie, which is basically like, "All right, you're a young het couple in San Francisco
trying to give each other gifts for their anniversary, how do I 'gift of the magi' this?"

cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: So like, one of them buys a rare video game for an antique gaming setup, and the other one sold it in order to buy whatever.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: So, it was just--it was funny, listing--I mean, there's not even a lot of answers, but it was, from a thought-puzzle perspective, you know, record collector, vintage turntable, ukelele,

ukelele lessons, sold the 3D printer to buy her ukelele lessons, those kinds of things.

cortex: Yeah, no, it's... I like that premise. I really like the gift of the magi just as a general bit of pop culture to riff on, so I'm suddenly sort of excited about this.

jessamyn: I remember I set the Gift of the Magi to the tune of J. Geils' "Centerfold"

for like, a--

cortex: [roaring laughter]

jessamyn: for like, a school project, you know... [breaks into a song] "She sold her hair! Long locks were no longer there! 20 dollars she sold them for, then went to another store. A fob for Jim! She buys the perfect gift for him..." blah blah blah.

cortex: You should revisit this. You should put this on tape.

jessamyn: I can't remember what I had for goddamn dinner two days ago. [laugh]

cortex: Well no, no,

cortex: Well no, no, just revisit it from scratch. You don't have to, like, recreate your lyrics perfectly, just sit down and rewrite it.

jessamyn: Yeah, that's a good idea. I could probably do it on the ukelele, I think.

cortex: Yeah, no, totally.

jessamyn: hmmmmm! Good idea! Thanks for the inspiration!

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But yes, it was a fun, goofy thread.

cortex: Yeah, that's pretty excellent.

I like this--duffell... gotta paste the right thing in here for you, sorry... duffell is looking for recursive food!

jessamyn: I didn't understand this when I read the top of it. [pause] Ohhhh!

cortex: I think what they're looking for is basically food that, in a sense, reiterates itself in a sort of recursive manner.

jessamyn: So like, root beer float made with root beer float ice cream. I get it.

cortex: Right. Yeah.

jessamyn: Oh, or you make salmon pate, and then shape it into a fish. Wow! So this is a short thread, but everything in it is amazing.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: A burrito stuffed with burritos, a pizza made with pizza--

cortex: Yeah, there's a bunch of great ideas.

jessamyn: ...Cake batter ice cream.

cortex: Someone had the idea--zippy said, "Decorate the table with plastic dinosaurs," which is a beautiful subtle little touch, since you know, dinosaurs turn into oil, oil is used to make plastic, plastic used to make dinosaurs--boom!

jessamyn: Too subtle for me.

cortex: Well, you know. It's interesting, because I feel like there's a lot of stuff in the thread that's taking a different direction on this, because there's not a ton of obvious things to do on just one specific direction, so have people really thinking laterally.

jessamyn: Making coffee with caffeinated water,

make nachos by melting cheese over nacho cheese Doritos...

cortex: The one thing that strikes me is, everything is gonna have to be labeled pretty clearly at this party, 'cause you're gonna have to convey the idea of each piece. Because if you eat double consommé, you're not gonna be like, "Oh my gosh, I can sense the fractal nature of this consommé!"

jessamyn: [laugh] Wait, double consommé is what? Doesn't consommé just mean soup?

cortex: It's broth, essentially? Or stock? There's probably distinctions here that I'm not making

but like, you might make stock or broth by taking a bunch of chicken bones and boiling them in water for a long time to leach out the flavorful stuff and then you soup out all the grit, and you're left with a flavorful broth. So that's like, chicken bones and water, turns into broth. So then if you take Ticken Jones, Chicken Joe, Chuck Chiggity--

jessamyn: Chicken Johns!

cortex: If you take Chuck Jones, and some broth--

jessamyn: Beep beep!

cortex: ...and then you make broth with it, then you've got like, double broth, a double consommé.

jessamyn: Oh, yeah! Like making coffee out of coffee.

cortex: Yeah. Anyway, it's a fun thread, a bunch of clever ideas in there, not just mentioning it because I managed to get a Best Answer--

jessamyn: [bobcat laughing noise]

cortex: ...but I do kind of like the idea I came up with of using fiddlehead ferns to make a fiddlehead, 'cause that's like, yeah!

jessamyn: But nobody likes fiddlehead ferns.

cortex: Eh, they're not bad, if you cook 'em--I wouldn't want to [???] myself

jessamyn: They're fun to look at, and they don't feel that fun in your mouth.

cortex: That's fair, I guess.

jessamyn: I mean, we can go to restaurants.

Well, you probably can too, right? Where they serve 'em to you?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Eh.

cortex: I think if you cook them just right, you know, add some butter in there, you know, it's not bad.

jessamyn: But then you're just mostly eating butter.

cortex: Yep. Which is an okay outcome. I'm okay with that.

I mean, there are foods that like, even if you put a lot of butter on, that I'm still kinda like "ehhh," so in that sense, fiddleheads are definitely not just getting by on the butter.

jessamyn: All right.

cortex: What else you got for AskMe?

jessamyn: Well, I always enjoy these threads in a weird sort of way, which are the "I basically hate people, help me not hate people."

cortex: [chuckles]

jessamyn: Because I think it's a specific kind of internet person that both simultaneously wants to engage with the world, and yet has this revulsion-level problem with every human being.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: You know what I mean?

and they're usually really smart people, so they realize this is a problem, and yet they just don't seem to be able to think their way out of that box. And so this is somebody who's like, "I'm pretentious! Help!" And so, it's a nice thread of people being kinder than this guy deserves in some ways! I mean, 'cause it's hard, right? Because if you're pretentious... people find that distasteful!

cortex: [laugh]

jessamyn: People really tried, I think--some more than others, and the thread got a little overwhelming, a little bit--but people really tried to give good advice. I mean, I don't have the same problem, but I do sometimes have the, like, "Arghhhh, I'm just in that mood where I like myself but hate everybody else." Like, normally I kind of like and hate myself and other people equally, and I generally like most people and I like me. But there are these days where I really like myself and hate everyone else! Who knows why that happens? It's ridiculous.

cortex: That's just where the balance is that day.

jessamyn: And it's toxic! Like, you need to not leave the house, not go to work, not call your friends--it's horrible. You just have to, like, make it go away, and realize you're doing it, because it's terrible. So this thread was helpful for being like "Well, you're probably doing it because of this, this may be why this is happening, here's how you can do that..." You know, "It's okay to not like parties," which I think sometimes people need permission for? Because every party you see in major media is like "woo, parties, they're the best!"

and you're like, "I don't get it! They're not the best!" You know, they don't have to be the worst, but it's interesting watching those kinds of threads and people having those conversations, and I think they're good.

cortex: You got anything else from Ask you wanna mention?

jessamyn: Wellllll...

cortex: [laughs]

jessamyn: I liked amicamentis's list-generating question about alternatives that are surprisingly worth it

--so, like, you know, you did something a little differently, you used Suave conditioner to shave your legs or whatever instead of shaving cream, you save a ton of money, and it's just as good.

cortex: Oh, right, right, right.

jessamyn: So, it's a thread full of, you know, little mini-lifehack nerds, but you know, have you ever had a grilled cheese where you put mayo on the outside of the grilled cheese? Like, it sounds disgusting, and yet--

cortex: I have actually, yeah.

jessamyn: makes the most magical grilled cheese in the world

that does not taste like it has mayonnaise on the outside of it. It just turns into some wonderful other thing.

cortex: You just fry that stuff up, yeah.

jessamyn: So like, some people shave with soap, some people put bacon on a cookie sheet instead of frying it in a pan, some people blah blablah blablah blablablablah, there's a lot of different takes on this suggestion, but it's kind of a fun list-generating thing that you can go back to and learn a bunch of stuff.

cortex: Yep.

[long pause]

jessamyn: Nothing else! You don't hang out on AskMetafilter much, do you?

cortex: I don't, so much. You know, the one other thing I can mention in passing, as much as because I'm amused by the work I had to do in it--

jessamyn: So, you still continue to post things in the Skype window, and I know this, because I'm getting alerts on my phone.

cortex: Well, I'm posting everything in the Skype window too, so that I can use that to create my thing--

jessamyn: Oh, I see, I see.

cortex: Just, in this case, I forgot to immediately send it to IM.

jessamyn: Oh, I saw this! [delighted laugh]

cortex: This is a question from Too-Ticky just saying, "Hey, I don't understand last week's Oglaf comic,"

and it seems to be, basically, sort of like a yoga cultist joke, but the thing is, Oglaf is a comic--

jessamyn: I love Oglaf!

cortex: ...that is very funny, and about half of the strips have tits or dicks in them, so its...

jessamyn: They don't even have tits or dicks, I mean, they have like, fucking and all sorts of other stuff sometimes.

cortex: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: Like, it's not just an R-rated thing--

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

jessamyn: is occasionally an X-rated comic.

cortex: Yeah, like, famously the origin story for Oglaf is that it started out as an attempt to draw porn and immediately collapsed into a jokey comic strip,

but sort of kept the sexy, sexy times.

jessamyn: Well, and it's so good, I mean, of the kind-of, sort-of "adult" comics that I've read, most of them are terrible, and Oglaf is very funny and very well-drawn, and racy and sexy at the same time, you know? So, very cool.

cortex: So the thing with Oglaf is, it's not always--like, some of the strips are totally clean, like this one is totally reasonably clean, I'd say--

jessamyn: Right. Yeah. But Oglaf itself is not.

cortex: ...But, it's a comic that's a very dirty comic in general

and so it tends to have dirty comic ads around it. And so I think what happened is, Too-Ticky has an adblocker, and so doesn't see the ads, and so just went to the comic strip, looked, and said, "Oh okay, I don't know what's going on with this week's comic," posted it--

jessamyn: and then other people were like, "DUDE!"

cortex: [laughs] Yeah, so we got flags and emails saying, "Uhhh, there's some real Not Safe For Work stuff there."

jessamyn: Yeah, I don't see any of those ads. I have my adblocker on. All I see is a comic and a picture of an owl.

cortex: Yep. So I had to go in and leave a note

and a Not Safe For Work warning on the post. And then there's like, seven comments of people trying to figure out what's essentially just a, not-swinging-super-hard yoga joke. So yeah, that's the least contentious AskMe that I needed to moderate in my recent activity, so that's what I'm going with.

jessamyn: [laughs] Well, and I think the only other thing that I saw that I thought was interesting was recently, a couple days ago, just this AskMetafilter thread, African-American woman,

usually wears her hair relaxed but had it in an afro, and a friend of hers kind of made a thing about it, like a... caucasian friend of hers, sorry, white lady, and was like, "oooh, you look like Jimi Hendrix" and kind of like wouldn't shut up about it.

cortex: Oh Jesus, yeah. [chuckles ruefully]

jessamyn: And so starpoint, who asked the question, was like, "You know, I kind of think it hurts my feelings," you know, and she's like, "I deal with this shit a lot, I usually am like whatever, but this totally got stuck in my craw,

should I say something? What should I say? Am I out of line?" and the comments were interesting, of course, because there's a lot of like, "rar, you need to let it roll off your head, blah, rar, whatever." And then there's other people who are like, "You have no idea of the history of black women and other people talking about their hair." You know, like other people thinking it's their business what black women do with their hair. I mean, women get it to some degree, but black women get it to a much larger degree, and you know, black people in general have problems just going to a regular
fuckin' barber and having someone who can give you a good haircut, and there's a whole thing in the culture about "good hair," and so it was interesting watching for me, in the thread, people who kind of knew the historical context within which this question was being asked, and people who were like "Why are you so uptight?" and just, mmluuaaaghh! and the whole question about like, "Is it calling someone racist?" Like, are you calling your friend racist if you're like, "Don't call me Jimi Hendrix and don't talk about my afro." And...a little bit of going back and forth!

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But you know, it's AskMetafilter, so it was a little moderated, and as well, I think it got dealt with well.

cortex: Yeah, it seemed like, all in all, it worked out okay, as a question-and-answer situation.

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: But yeah, no, it was an interesting dynamic. I saw bits of that and was like, "yeaa...wuuuuhhhh, how do we sort this out exactly?"

'Cause you can't make everybody have the same context, and of course, that's partly why AskMe is useful, and partly why sometimes it's a little bit frustrating to figure out how to do it.

jessamyn: Right, well, you know, and I went to Hampshire, where we learned about this stuff in college, like it's a real thing--which it is. But to people who don't, they're like, "mehhhh, you're just social-justicey, mraaah." And you're like, "Well, the context is real," but not everyone is there, and how do you get them there?

cortex: Yeah. Yeah.

jessamyn: Fascinating to me!

Any big stuff going on in MetaTalk? I mean, keepmefiweird was the month before, right?

cortex: Yeah, yeah. You know, there's been a couple discussions basically about large threads and keeping track of threads, which are totally worthwhile MetaTalk discussions, but I don't have interesting to say about on the podcast. There were a couple of fun things I can think of in passing--aniola posted this question about "What's the word for the first time you experience something new, and it reminds you of an imitation of itself?"

jessamyn: Oh, I--yeah!!

I saw that, it kind of confused me a little bit.

cortex: Well yeah, I'd say the start of the thread is mostly people trying to puzzle out exactly what it even means, and then I think people sort of started to figure out some general frameworks, and somehow Weird Al Yankovic became a major theme for several of us who had that experience with, basically, growing up on Weird Al parodies of songs, and then hearing the real songs, and being sort of like "Whaaa? That doesn't sound right."

But yeah! It was just sort of a fun thread, bunch of yammering about things. Also, if I remember right, a brief debate over whether it should be a MetaTalk vs. an AskMetafilter, but the argument was basically "Well, if someone's trying to remember if they encountered this on Metafilter somewhere, then it's a MetaTalk, sure!" But sometimes you just got a gray area.

jessamyn: Right! I was a little surprised to see that in MetaTalk. But whatever!

cortex: There was also this MetaTalk from dorian a week ago, saying, "Hey--"

jessamyn: [excitedly] Oh, I love that post so much! This is how we used to DO, people!

cortex: Yeah, looking through an old laptop and found, like, 10-year-old meetup pictures, which is pretty rad.

jessamyn: and then ColdChef and I and a couple--Devils Rancher--linked to a whole bunch of ones that we still have, up on Flickr!

cortex: Yep!

jessamyn: Yeah. Man, I look through there, and I'm like, whatever happened to afroblanco[??]? You know, like a lot of people, I kinda know where they went, even if I don't kinda know what they did, or they just clearly weren't central to MetaFilter's thing,

so they kinda wandered off, but like you know, amberglow, still think about him, afroblanco[??], still think about him.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: That kinda thing.

cortex: I just answered, I don't know particularly helpfully, necessarily, but to the extent I could, a question from alan[??] about simcards. So he's still around--

jessamyn: Eyyyyy!

cortex: ...but he hasn't been around so much, he hasn't been coming to meetups for the last, I don't know, seven years or so. But I'm assuming he's still in Portland, I guess he may have moved.

jessamyn: You should check.

cortex: But yeah, it's interested being reminded, like, the cycling-through of the meetup scene over time.

jessamyn: Right. Right right right.

cortex: Yeah, that was pretty cool. I enjoyed that.

jessamyn: Yeah! And Brownpau and his wife had a baby, also!

cortex: Yeah, yeah, they did! Indeed!

jessamyn: I feel like we need to have--remember there was a brief period of time where we had like... "What's your good news?!" threads. We maybe need another one of those.

cortex: Yeah, maybe it's time for another good news roundup.

cortex: I can do a quick mention of some Metafilter music here. A "minute", as it were, of that.

jessamyn: Please.

cortex: Just to mention a few nice things that I enjoyed from this last month. U-S-O-nian, or, uh…

jessamyn: Usonian.

cortex: _Usonian_ posted "Melon Jig".

jessamyn: That one I'm comfortable about.

cortex: OK. Usonian posted "Melon Jig", which is a another nice little banjo composition. Well, I mean it's not his composition, but it's his referencing… sounds great!

jessamyn: I love listening to the banjo stuff he plays.

cortex: It just, it always makes me smile. In a wildly different register, cicadaverse posted "Times Tomorrow", which is a several minute long sort of, like, well, heavy guitar rock instrumental, and it's just this nice sort of driving, not, not too much changing in it, just sort of, like sort of slightly sledgy, driving, sort of instrumental pedal sort of thing. So I liked that.

cortex: It would be a good mood piece, you know, if you're in a "mood," put on that piece. There's also, ageispolis posted "Chimes," which is exactly what he says it is, a Windows 2000 logoff sound and also Phife Dawg. So you've got some Windows jingle, chopped up to hell and back, and then throw in some Tribe, and...yeah. It's kind of amazing, is what it is.

cortex: And then a very, very lovely recording by chococat with greenish on harmony vocals for a Song Fight entry he was doing.

jessamyn: Nice! greenish has just the best voice of all the voices.

cortex: Yeah, and the two of them sound really great together on this.

jessamyn: I mean, and chococat does great work too.

cortex: Yeah. And chococat won his Song Fight! So good job there, too.

jessamyn: Nice.

cortex: But yeah, nice stuff. Nice stuff all around, really good music. That's what Music is for.

and yeah, I don't know, I think that might have cleared my Metafilter slate!

jessamyn: Great! Well, those are all the things from me, and I'm really glad we found a way to make this work before vacation weekend, and my road trip, and everything else.

cortex: Me too! Yes, I hope you have an excellent time on the road trip. I look forward to--

jessamyn: I hope you have an excellent time with your barbecues!

cortex: Yes, it'll be a nice weekend, I think. Yeah! Well, I'll talk to you next month!

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: All right!

sfx: chococat with greenish, "Leviathan"

sfx: chococat with greenish, "Leviathan"

sfx: chococat with greenish, "Leviathan"

sfx: chococat with greenish, "Leviathan"

sfx: (silence)


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