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Podcast 58 Transcript

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A transcript for 58: "December Awesome Post Contest Results".

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


jingle: (theme music)

mathowie: (chuckles) Okay, so this is episode 58.

jessamyn: You just checked, yeah.

mathowie: 58 of the Metafilter Podcast, and we'll just do this as a short one for the Awesome-est Post of Ever December 2010 Contest.

jessamyn: Where "short" means maybe only an hour. (laugh)

mathowie: Yeah. No! Way shorter.

jessamyn: Way shorter? All right.

mathowie: Yeah!

So how do we even start? (everyone laughs)

jessamyn: You're the boss!

mathowie: I have forty! - geez, almost forty things in my doc.

jessamyn: I have (counting) 1, 2, 3... nineteen (I think) that I liked, that I pulled out as ones that I thought were super-terrific.

mathowie: God, I've got, like, forty.

cortex: I've got a smaller list.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Not because there wasn't good stuff, but I'm trying to go with the stuff that I specifically remember engaging with. Like, I mean, there was a bunch of posts that frankly, you know, I don't read every single post, and it was a busy enough month that I didn't have time to do that unusually. So it's like, I looked at the ones that I read that I remember liking and that I think I, I think hopefully I liked for some reason other than "just happens to be pandering to my interests". So there was like, there was at least one Minecraft post that was a perfectly nice little post, but it's not really worth

mentioning in this context because it was just a Minecraft post. So I got like--

jessamyn: I read every post.

cortex: Yeah? You deserve a gold star.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Hey! Maybe I can extend my gold star another week.

cortex: (chuckles) I was going to ask about that. I mean, we'll have to retire it at some point, obviously, but I didn't know there was a specific plan for that, you know. It seems like if we do it sooner rather than later, before it becomes too much of a fixture, because then we'll have the whole, "Oh my God, what happened to Jessamyn's gold star?" thing.

jessamyn: Yeah.

That would be pretty funny, though.

cortex: And somewhere [???].

mathowie: I was thinking of one month, just January.

jessamyn: That sounds great.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And then when Josh hits his five year, he can have his own star.

mathowie: Or Metafilter Pro can give stars to anyone.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (groans) Now you're going to have to edit the fucking thing, Matt!

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: You do this to yourself!

All right, well, here's the thing that I noticed about the posts, that there were basically two posts that everybody on Metafilter thought were amazing, one of which was one that I also personally felt was amazing, and the other
of which I just wasn't, I don't know. But as far as posts that were the absolute best post for December, it almost seems like there were two crowd favorites.

mathowie: Yeah, I agree. I'm--

jessamyn: Did you guys--

cortex: I know at least what... I mean, I agree generally, I've got a few big posts, but one of them is one that you're talking about, I'm sure, the Star Trek--

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Or, the Star Trek Titanic post.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Hitchhike--yeah, starship...

cortex: That Star Wars post, you know!

jessamyn: Rhaomi's Starship Titanic Post.

mathowie: Yeah, that was my favorite.

jessamyn: In fact, Rhaomi had almost a thousand favorites in only two posts' worth of posts in December.

cortex: Jesus. That's nuts.

jessamyn: So we can quibble about which one of these posts (cortex laughs) we like the most.

mathowie: Oh, I like that one.

cortex: Well, I think the Hitchhiker's Guide post wins just because of the added context of [??].

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Not only was it a fantastic post about something that's

kind of a not-well-known, didn't-really-come-off-well bit of niche nerdery at the time, you know, but also the fact that--

jessamyn: 'Niche nerdery' was exactly what I was thinking.

cortex: Yeah. Well, and that makes for a good post in the first place, I mean, niche nerdery on any subject, this is sort of nerdy nerdery, I guess. But then the fact that the post goes up and we end up with yoz showing up and giving all this extra crazy fucking [?] basically making a whole 'nother post inside the

post from a insider perspective was just like... and I realize Rhaomi couldn't actually plan that, but oh my God! It was the best thing ever. I thought that was stunning.

jessamyn: It was the best thing ever, and, in numbers nerdery, if Rhaomi hadn't made the stupid Gawker password post, this would have been his 42nd post, and as you know--

cortex: Ahhh.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: --42 is sort of a number.

mathowie: 420 favorites.

jessamyn: But, his first comment that--right. I know, I know! 420 favorites, dude!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And then, his first comment that mentions it would have been his 42nd post itself has 42 favorites.

mathowie: 42 favorites. (chuckles)

jessamyn: It's crazy. It's like 2011 being the sum of all those primes, you know, consecutive primes.

mathowie: Yeah. Eleven of them.

jessamyn: And you're like, "Whooooa!", and that's like, it's numbers, everything's made of numbers, you can always find a good number thing. But this has some good number things attached to it also.

mathowie: And this touches on all my favorite things about a great Metafilter post, which is uncovering some bizarro history I had no idea about uncovering--

jessamyn: Tells a neat story, fan stuff.

mathowie: Yes. And tells me something something about some subgenre of nerdery I was previously unaware that it existed. And then the comment on top of it was just mindblowing, all the insider information, it was just crazy.

jessamyn: Yeah! And it had links to audio recordings, it had links to playthroughs, it had links to little celebrity cameos within the thing itself, you know, Douglas Adams did some of the cameo voice stuff. And I don't know about you guys,

but like, I watched the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy BBC stuff that came out, which I think was on Hulu last month, and, you know, I had the original--I think it was an Infocom game, it was terrible, and so it was kind of neat to see--

cortex: No, it was awesome. It was, I mean, it was terrible in the sense of terror, as in--

jessamyn: It was impossible.

cortex: Yeah. It was a wonderful, wonderful fucking death trap for any gamer.

jessamyn and mathowie: (chuckle) cortex: It's so great, because it was a game that was so evil--

jessamyn: Because you played it forever. Because it was impossible.

cortex: Well, yeah, and the thing is, it was totally, oh, you have to figure the correct order of

operations to do stuff sort of game. But it wasn't like you have to do--

jessamyn: Put the fish in your ear, and then... right.

cortex: Well yeah, but you couldn't just do four things, like, figure out the four things you have to do in order and then, okay, you can deal with it. You can do that, and you sort of figure stuff out, but there's so many callbacks in the game that, like, you can fail to do one little innocuous thing at the beginning of the game and get to the very fucking end and lose!

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: And there was just, I mean, it's really, it's terrible game design, but it's terrible game design in a sort of iconic wonderful fucking in the spirit of the thing

sort of way.

jessamyn: It was probably the first game I ever hated.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: For that reason! Because I was like, "This is abstruse! I can't... ugh!" But, you know, and loved at the same time. But hated, really, also.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But I played it on some... I don't even remember the computer, an IBM PC Junior or something like that.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And so everything everything kinda sucks on a PC Junior.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: So yeah, I think we agree that this was our favorite, like, probably best

post for December. And, you know, from that we should then back up and talk about some of the other stuff that we really liked.

mathowie: Yeah. I think this post would have been in my top three no matter what, anything that was left as a comment, just because it reminded me of, like, what was that weird thing Andy Baio found that was like the bus drive through... oh, Penn & Teller's video game--

cortex: Oh, yeah. Yeah, Desert Bus.

mathowie: Like, uncovering something like that 20 years later. Yeah, Desert Bus.

cortex: Well, and yeah, I would say like this...

Hitchhiker's Guide, the video game, the original text adventure, is kind of like the Desert Bus of--

mathowie: (chuckles) Yeah. It's pointless and horrible.

cortex: --Infocon games, you know. It's basically flipping you the finger.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: And people love it anyway because, yeah.

jessamyn: Well, and even if you're not into Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy you can appreciate what might be very interesting about this.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Like, you don't have to be a gamer, you don't have to love Douglas Adams, you don't have to... you don't, yeah.

You don't need specialized knowledge to be able to get it, but if you have specialized knowledge, you're going to be really into it. I mean, maybe. I'm sure people will find reasons to hate this post.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle) mathowie: No, don't challenge them. (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs) Okay! So. Moving on. What other posts did you guys like?

cortex: I was--

jessamyn: Do you want to bat around categories? Did you have categories for them? Because I broke a whole bunch of like "favorite giant mega-post", "favorite single-link post"... do you guys have categories

for yours?

cortex: I roughly separated mine into big and small. So I've got a few more big ones and then a handful of small ones that I also thought were kinda fun.

jessamyn: Okay. Do we want to start with... maybe next time we should plan out how we're going to do this.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Let's do the big ones first. Let's start with bigger ones.

jessamyn: Okay! Okay. The big mega-link posts?

cortex: Yeah, that sort of stuff. Like, I for example, and I--

jessamyn: Oh, with an honorable mention for Miko's end of November Alice's Restaurant post, which I just wanted to mention.

cortex: Oh, yes.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Again, as being tremendous, but not in December.

cortex: I can't remember if we did a podcast in December after this post went up, because I feel like maybe I mentioned this before, but the Mystery Science Theater musical moments round-up.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: We definitely talked about Mystery Science Theater next--

cortex: Okay.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Because you were trying to explain to me the difference between that one guy--

mathowie: Mike.

jessamyn: --and that other guy, and I thought one of them was the robot.

cortex: Ah, right, the Mike and the Joel stuff.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: Well, this is just a--

mathowie: Still awesome.

cortex: To mention it again, it remains awesome (jessamyn laughs), and it was in December, and it's just this big round-up JHarris did of lots and lots of musical bits out of MST3K, which is nice, because, as I think I said last time, MST3K is wonderful in sort of a slow burn sort of way, and being able to pick out the bright spots in it is a kinda nice way to deal with what is otherwise hundreds of hours of sorta mixed bag TV. So I thought it was really fantastic.

jessamyn: JHarris does consistently good posts, I think, too.

cortex: He is. He's a nerd's nerd.

jessamyn: Right!

cortex: I think I want to be him when I grow up.

jessamyn: What needs to happen for that to happen?

cortex: I don't know. Do I kill him and take his skin?

jessamyn: (laughs) Stop!

mathowie: Eat his heart and take his power?

cortex: (laughs) Oh, yeah, like in the beginning of, what is it, Freddy... oh no, not Freddy, Jason Goes To Hell, that's what happens.

jessamyn: Oh, of course.

cortex: There's the eating of Jason's oversized gruesome heart by the guy doing the autopsy.

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: And then people start dying!

jessamyn: Which brings up my favorite (cortex laughs)--well, my other favorite megalink post, which I also mentioned in the last podcast, but it was the mega Misfits assembly post.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Which was 256, who also made a bunch of great posts this month. Did this really great

kind of essay what's going on with Misfits from way back then until now, talking about Danzig and what happened. I don't think I have to super mention it again, because I mentioned it last month, but it was pretty good! And the thread is cool, because it's people talking about the Misfits and when they saw Misfits and all the things. There's comments from Brainy and adipocere and a couple others
put their personal recollections, which is another thing I really like in a thread.

mathowie: You know, when I was looking, I was looking over the month last night reviewing everything, just skimming every single day's posts, there was a giant load in the first four days of awesome posts, and then in the last five days of the month there's a giant load of awesome posts. So that we're repeating stuff that we taped (cortex chuckles) in the first five days, you know, is when we saw all this stuff, it totally makes sense.

jessamyn: I like how you call it 'taped'.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: It's a little funny.

mathowie: It is. I still say 'album'.

jessamyn: Any other--you still say what, 'album'? Yeah. The other mega-link post, which is just to mention for people who would love it, and I think everybody else probably skipped it, was from another person who made a lot of really good posts, infinite intimation. It's basically a gigantic post about fritters.

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: I missed that entirely somehow.

jessamyn: "What species of food is 2000 years old, has evolved copious adaptive variations, and still tastes as delicious as ever?" Josh, you may know the fritter in your world as the 'doughnut'.

cortex: Oh no, I am familiar with the fritter, I just missed the post.

jessamyn: Yeah, it's a good post.

cortex: Me and fritters are on good terms.

jessamyn: Heheh. Heheheh. And the word 'fritter' is hilarious.

cortex: It is. It's one of the great words of

silly food vocabulary.

jessamyn: Mini fritter. Angry fritter.

mathowie: (chuckles) My Italian grandmother would call them... oh, what did she call them, 'frites'? Because it's just fried, fried dough balls, and sometimes they were sugary, sometimes they were savory. But yeah.

jessamyn: Well, there's zucchini fritter recipes, banana fritter recipes. Then there's also beignets, cuchifritos--

mathowie: Oh, right.

jessamyn: --tempura, we all love good tempura, I think--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --buñuelos, and some other words I can't pronounce. Croquettes, it's kind of like a chicken fritter.

But this was a really good post too, and it was long, long, long. And really good.

mathowie: What if I challenged you guys to come up with a best video you saw last month on Metafilter, if you had to pick one?

jessamyn: Oh! (chuckles) Easy, easy!

mathowie: What? I've got like four, I can't decide which--

jessamyn: I have two single-link YouTubes that both made me stupidly happy.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: One of which was "Fuck your Honda Civic, I've got a horse outside."

mathowie: Ooh, I didn't even see that.

jessamyn: And I don't know why I loved it. Like, it makes no sense. It's these guys, the Rubberbandits, they're from Limerick, Ireland, and they're just kinda dudes who do this hip-hop-y, rap song stuff in this kind of jokey way, and they perform with plastic bags over their heads?

mathowie: Yeah, what's up with that?

cortex: That they do!

jessamyn: I don't know!! And I've looked at their other stuff, and it's like, "Eh, it's okay," but there's something really funny

about the video (mathowie chuckles), or it just poked me in my completely funny... I don't know. It just made me totally happy for no reason I could figure out, and I enjoyed it tremendously. And it happened in the middle of the month, which was not where a lot of the other stuff I was falling in love with came from. "Fuck your Honda Civic, I've a horse outside." It's all about being at a wedding and you're flirting with this girl who's actually like a famous model in real life. And all these guys have their kind of hot rod cars that they want to take her home in,
and he's like, "Fuck those guys, I've got a horse."

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And he does, and they ride off into the sunset. But it's like a fun stupid jokey sweary video, and it made me laugh.

cortex: I had a... the only thing on my shortlist that was a video--it's not a single video, but it's a collection of single videos--it was the Dancing Alone to Pony post that oinopaponton made.

jessamyn: Oh! Yeah, yeah!

cortex: Because it's this great big tableau of lots of different people who posted crappy amateur YouTube videos

of themselves dancing along to the same song. And it's really--

jessamyn: What song is it?

cortex: What?

jessamyn: What song is it?

cortex: I don't even know the name of the song. I think it might be Pony.

jessamyn: Okay, I'm gonna have to play one of these videos, hang on.

cortex: Oh, according to the first comment it appears to be Pony by Ginuwine. But yeah, it's just, it's fantastic because it's such a, you don't get this opportunity to really look at people doing the same thing in their own idiosyncratic way

in this sort of context very much, you know. I mean, you don't--

jessamyn: They're usually mimicking a video, like the Beyoncé Single Ladies or something like that.

cortex: Well, or even if they are, you don't necessarily get to see like forty different people doing it, is the thing. Like, if you hear someone singing a song along with themselves, or sing along with a radio, that's one thing. But being able to compare forty different people doing would be a different sort of experience. And so I really liked this because of the way it took all these and put them together, and I think I made a comment in the post saying, you know, someone really needs to edit these all together, because I think that would be even more fantastic, watching,

like, align them all and watch forty different people--

jessamyn: Literally watching them simultaneously.

cortex: Literally, yeah. So, maybe a rainy day project.

jessamyn: Well, and I liked it too because I think it was kind of the exception that proves the rule about Tumblr blogs, you know? Because there's a lot of kind of cheap easy Tumblr blog posts that are like, "Eh, well, whatever, whatever, whatever." But then occasionally you see one like this and you're like, "Yeah!" That's completely bizarre and esoteric enough that it makes a great Tumblr blog and it makes a great post.

cortex: Yeah. So what were your videos, Matt?

mathowie: Oh, when you were talking about a supercut, that reminds me of Vimeo's favorite movie of the year was the--you've seen this video, someone just splicing together people dropping their camera.

cortex: (laughs) I have not seen this.

mathowie: It's just like, it's like three minutes of "Whoops! Whoops! Whoops! Whoops! Whoops!" Like, it's so great.

jessamyn: I have not seen that. Link, please?

mathowie: Oh my God, if I can find it.

cortex: Like, is it amateur footage of that?

mathowie: Yeah, it's someone just grabbing found footage and making a supercut, kind of.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: See, when you say supercut I think haircut.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: (chuckles) Well, it's 8 dollars or less and it takes, I don't know.

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: What... how, Vimeo, dropping, cam-er-a... (chuckles)

jessamyn: Oh, watching other people look things up on the Internet makes me twitch.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Dude, that's your job! (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs) Not in real life.

mathowie: Fuck, it was... aaargh, I've seen it a million times this year but it was also like... oh, "oops". It's called "oops".

jessamyn: Oh, that won't be hard to find.

mathowie: No, no, I think I've found it. "oops", finalist in this year's Vimeo awards. They have Vimeo awards?


jessamyn: (chuckles) Where have we been?

mathowie: Oh, okay. I found it!

jessamyn: Send the link over the tubes.

mathowie: Here it is. Now let's all listen as we watch it. Ten minutes of it! But it's, I mean, you watch ten seconds of it and you'll get the point that it's kind of awesome.

cortex: I'm bracing myself for droppage.

mathowie: Come on!

cortex: I'm going to liveblog this video. I see a guy.

mathowie: Wait, is this not it?

cortex: I don't know.

mathowie: Okay, well, just go up to like 50 seconds into it.

cortex: Okay.

mathowie: And it goes a while.

jessamyn: This isn't funny, it's just this kid!

mathowie: Flip it! (chuckles)

jessamyn: That's a girl on the ground.

cortex: Oh, it's the footage from the cameras themselves that are being dropped.

mathowie: Yes. He made it.

cortex: Okay, that makes--I was trying to figure out how the fuck someone had found so many shots that people had managed to get of other people dropping their cameras. Like, it was just gonna be a series of static one-shots of person holding camera--

mathowie: (chuckle) No.

cortex: --BOOMP!

mathowie: No, it's exactly what you said, where people, instead of making a Tumblr blog of people's awkward videos, you make a cut of that.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: So this guy went out and found

everyone's awesome... the beginning's a little slow, but it eventually speeds up, and...

jessamyn: I gave up.

mathowie: It's good, I swear.

cortex and jessamyn: (chuckle) jessamyn: I believe you, I believe you.

mathowie: This isn't, I remember it being really fast, like "whoops, whoops, whoops, whoops, whoops" over and over.

cortex: Maybe you watched the theatrical cut.

mathowie: (chuckles) Now maybe I'll watch the made for the mall crowd, I don't know.

jessamyn: Billy Rennekamp.

mathowie: Dang! Maybe this isn't the right one. I remember it being so much faster. Anywho, sorry.

Let me see, my favorite... I have lots of... Let me see, this...

jessamyn: I have one more already that you guys can look at in thirty seconds while you're all looking things up on the Google.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: This is by griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs] and it's basically the shortest single-link YouTube post that I saw, where somebody's pug falls into the toilet. (pause) Ba-whoosh.

cortex: Is it griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs] or griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs]? I always thought of it as griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs].

jessamyn: Uh-oh.

cortex: I have no reason to think I'm right, but.

jessamyn: I think of griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs] because I think of

griffin, but I don't know. I guess now we'll ask him.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Two points to griphus... dor. [ˈɡɹɪfɪsdɔɹ] Yeah.

cortex: That dog is in that toilet. That is totally a thing that's happening.

jessamyn: Well, and I like it because it's got this stupid dramatic music--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --and the guy is clearly losing his shit. And he's got an entire channel devoted to how much he loves this pug, so it's not like, "Haha, my dog is in the toilet, stupid asshole dog."

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: It's like, "Oh my God, it's my beloved animal and it fell in the toilet."

mathowie: "But I'm laughing."

jessamyn: "And I'm going to make a 30 second

video," you know, and put dramatic music.

mathowie: Let me hit you with all of my videos. This is the Mirror, Mirror video on Flickr was really cool, it's just some weird video effect with--

cortex: Yeah, that was kinda neat.

mathowie: --mounting the camera on the front of your car, and then--

jessamyn: How do you pronounce this user's name?

mathowie: Aaack! I accidentally closed a tab. Uh. Let me see.

cortex: Phire [ˈfaɪ̯ɚ].

mathowie: Phire [ˈfaɪ̯ɚ]!

jessamyn: Okay, me too.

cortex: I like to shout it in a crowd if you're--

jessamyn: Oh, wow, that's really cool, Matt, I like that.

And the music is awesome.

cortex: It's neat, but in the thread people are talking about, you know, they should do this for other footage, too. And I'm not sure it would work anywhere other than a cityscape--

mathowie: No. Yeah.

cortex: --because you wouldn't have anything really jamming up.

jessamyn: Sticking up.

cortex: Yeah.

Or anything that would be--

jessamyn: It would just be sky and sky in my place.

cortex: Yeah. I guess you get some trees, but I don't think you'd get the same effect from seeing a doubled-over tree as you would from seeing a doubled over-skyscraper that could be some sort of floating... So yeah. I'd be curious to see if anybody actually really made it work in the same compelling way outside of a city.

jessamyn: Oh! Oh. Sorry.

mathowie: I loved the--

jessamyn: This was one of my favorite also.

mathowie: Yeah. This is probably my--

jessamyn: SpacemanStix's post.

mathowie: Yeah. The video of mounting... both of these are those Hero, what are they, GoPro Hero cam--

jessamyn: Oh, it's got that awesome music! Which awesome music is this?

mathowie: (laughs) I'm trying to listen to it without sound so I don't interrupt my own thing while I'm talking.

cortex: I don't have the sound on, but yeah, it says Flo Rida, "Right Round."

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: You Spin My Head Round.

cortex: Yeah. Which there was a really great cover of on Music, years and years ago.

jessamyn: (sings) Right 'round like a record!

cortex: (laughs) This is pretty fucking sweet.

jessamyn: Oh, wow!

mathowie: So yeah, that's the mounting a camera on a sword.

jessamyn: This is not helping my vertigo at all.

mathowie: Yeah, mounting a camera on a sword, it's awesome.

cortex: This seriously looks like something out of a 3-D engine test.

mathowie: As someone said, you will see this in a Hollywood action film in the next six months, probably, being filmed. This'll be the action sequence.

jessamyn: Wow. Wow. Wow!

mathowie: That's probably my favorite video of the month. But, I would say in long-form video, the Don't Steal A Hacker's Computer video

was great, from my picks.

jessamyn: Yes! That was on my list as well.

mathowie: What, was that 45 minutes long or something? I loved every second of it, though.

cortex: Ooh.

jessamyn: By Avenger50--you've gotta say everybody's name, it's like, yeah.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, right, sorry. Oh, yeah, recognition awards.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: It's the Year in Awards! And we go through them really quick.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: This is my favorite Christmas post, or holiday post, was the 25 years of kids coming down the stairs video was very--

jessamyn: What did I just tell you? By The Whelk.

mathowie: By The Whelk, yeah.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: I haven't finished my sentence yet. That was just a cute and heartwarming goofy...

The water sculptures posted by gman was great, just because as a photographer you learn really quickly the dumb tricks you can do that look cool, and one of them's dripping water, doing ultra-high-speed photos of that, so you get like crazy drips, but for someone to just let go of water in the air, I'm kicking myself I never thought of that. It's so simple and awesome.

jessamyn: Hey, did you see Kottke going back and forth with Grimmelmann on Twitter yesterday?

mathowie: Yeah! Yeah, the person who--

jessamyn: About whether you can call these things a liquid sculpture because there's

some other artist that does a thing called 'liquid sculpture', and I guess Kottke--

mathowie: No, well, it was just the copy of the trademark" holder.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: And I've gotten trademark e-m... he's getting random e-mails from someone going, "Hey, someone asked a question on your site or posted a link and they called something, whatever."

cortex: "They strung two common words together and I strung them together first."

mathowie: Yeah. "'Inflatable roller coaster'! And I'm the guy that owns fucking 'inflatable roller coaster'."

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh) mathowie: "It's not that, you know, the thing's being linked to, so could you take that down?" I'm like, "That's ridiculous!" You know, people can describe things

in any words they want.

jessamyn: And that was sort of what was going with [??], I guess? I only sort of, you know.

mathowie: Yeah, Jason, I think Jason wanted some backup to tell the guy to buzz off.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: And then the Stormpocalypse video of 30 seconds of snow pile-up was just plain awesome.

cortex: That was pretty neat, yeah.

jessamyn: By who?

mathowie: By... oops, lost that tab...

jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: Rory Marinich. I've never had to pronounce that last name, or second name.

jessamyn: Rory Marinich!

mathowie: Yes, that was like--

cortex: That's like the least troubling username we've talked about all podcast.

mathowie: (chuckles) I've just never, ever...

cortex: At least it's a name! You should just say it, man.

mathowie: I've never had to speak it--

jessamyn: I thought 256 [two five six] was pretty good. Or do you think maybe it's 256 [two hundred and fifty six]?

cortex: I'd say it's hard to say.

mathowie: 256 [two fifty six].

jessamyn: (groans)

cortex: Two to the eighth? I mean, you know, there's a lot of ways to go with that.

mathowie: Ohhh. (chuckles)

cortex: He would be a huge pain in the ass if he insisted that's how it was pronunced. But, you know.

jessamyn: Pronunced?

cortex: Pronunced.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: It's how 'pronunced' is pronounced.

jessamyn: (groans louder)

mathowie: (groans quietly)

jessamyn: You do this just to taunt me at this point!

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: Alright, go. What's next?

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Are there any other made-up categories?

cortex: I've got more posts but no more videos.

jessamyn: I didn't have that many videos.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Sorry, Josh, what?

cortex: Yeah, I was just saying the same thing. I've got more posts, but I just didn't have video stuff.

jessamyn: I had a low video quotient, I guess, because the bar was kinda high for YouTube stuff.

mathowie: Oh, you guys did your favorite videos, each one.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Well yeah, I'm just saying I don't have any more.

jessamyn: But I only had a couple.

mathowie: Yeah. So.

jessamyn: I had a couple other single-link posts that I really liked, because I felt like it's good to give the nod to, you know, a post doesn't have to have a whole bunch of links in order to be kinda terrific.

mathowie: Mm-hm.

jessamyn: So another one by gman, which was a link to the guy from Zug who just ate candy for a week.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: I didn't like that very much.

jessamyn: Did you see that?

cortex: I... I... yeah.

jessamyn: Did you not like it because it made you sick, or because you don't like Zug, or...?

cortex: No, I just didn't like the writeup that much. I thought it was...

jessamyn: I thought it was a little too--

cortex: It was cute, but it was,

it just didn't have a whole lot of substance to it. I felt like it was more like one of those things where he decided he was going to have some numbers going up and down during the month and then after that he basically just filled in the things to eat and the stuff to say about them.

jessamyn: Yeah. And I'm not totally convinced he ever actually did it, but.

cortex: Yeah. It just felt a little inauthentic, you know, I...

jessamyn: I would think you would just be throwing up after like three days of only candy.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah. And I guess to some extent I'm upset that the blog wasn't, like, that the writeup didn't involve a more

interestingly visceral descent into madness, you know. I mean, if you're gonna eat candy for a week I--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah! Right, right, right!

cortex: I want some fucking Hunter Thompson shit, you know. I want things to go badly. I don't just want, "Well, by this point, I didn't like candy very much." You know, it's like euhhh.

jessamyn: Right, but were you puking? Did you break out in zits?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Did you wind up with some sort of like, yeah.

mathowie: It needed a--

jessamyn: Butt problems?

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Tell me about the high-volume screaming match you end up having with the postman on day 6 because you've lost all grasp on

human socialization and things just appear to you in dim shapes.

jessamyn: Two-dimensional. You become a two-dimensional...

cortex: (laughs) I mean, the post was perfectly nice (chuckles), I don't mean to shit on everything.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

cortex: I just, that's how I felt about it.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Like you would if you'd eaten candy for five straight days.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: I know! Like, I'm not trying to be gross, but I would really want some sort of reality, some underbelly, like, tell me about the consistency of your... refuse.

jessamyn: Well, especially because Zug occasionally does these really, really

crazy in-depth, like Cockeyed, kind of.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: Like, "This is how I tried to light a fire for like three straight days!" And, you know, the prank they did at the Super Bowl--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, the prank they pretended to do at the Super Bowl, with the lights. Like, that was really cool and in-depth. And this, I was hoping for more, I guess. You know how occasionally like the oatmeal guy does stuff and you're just like, "This is stupid linkbait."

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Not funny like your other stuff.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I didn't--But I liked the idea of it, I guess, and how it

ran away in my head, not the actual writeup.

mathowie: (laughs) I think because it was an idea first, that's probably why it came out...

cortex: If it was better than it was, it would have been great.

mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh) jessamyn: As will many things, actually.

cortex: And that's our Best Post. Thank you, everybody.

jessamyn: (laughs) Goodnight! And there was also this one, which was just kind of, I think, it was one of those more favorited than commented.

mathowie: Oh my God, I loved that.

jessamyn: It was just teeny, right? It's like three by seven, eight... wait.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine... it's thirty pictures.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: From Bell Labs in the late '60s.

cortex: And it's great stuff! I really liked that one as well.

jessamyn: Yeah! But the pictures are cool, and there's some little commentary, and there's a guy playing the guitar, and the tape librarian, and I don't know, I just liked this for what it was, which was a very simple sort of really straightforward kind of post.

mathowie: Is that the post where people were talking about their memories...

oh, I think it was a different retro post, where they were talking about clothes colors weren't as bright? And that every time you look at pictures from the '60s or '50s or '40s, it's like duller and duller and duller colors. And that's not film production, and that's not your memory, it's actual, they just didn't have...

cortex: They just had crappy pigments back then.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: It's how they made clothes. And how they made colorful clothes.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, I just love... yeah, I love that post.

cortex: When I looked at the Bell Labs post, it was totally getting hammered at the time, so all the pictures were loading slow, so it felt like authentically older to me, too.

jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh) cortex: Because it's like it was like 1993 again, and I was, you know, using a...

jessamyn: And you were watching a JPEG load.

cortex: Yeah, that 2400 baud modem.

mathowie: Yeah! If you click on any of them it loads like a humongous image, and everyone was hammering it (cortex chuckles), and it would take like five minutes to get one... and I'm like, "Do I really want to see the beehive hairdo bigger?" Like, I think I'm okay with a thumbnail.

cortex: Speaking of sort of old-school--how's that for a segue?--

jessamyn: Hey, that's good!

cortex: I kinda liked this post about cutaway artists and cutaway drawings, you know, engineering diagrams and such.

mathowie: Oh, nice. Missed that.

jessamyn: You know, I didn't even really check this out! This is delightful. By...

cortex: By clorox.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: clorox made this post about cutaway drawings.

jessamyn: It's like you guys were never kids.

cortex: (sighs) I just, I'm excited about the post.

jessamyn: (giggles)

cortex: I got distracted.

mathowie: Ah, I love cutaways.

jessamyn: Wow.

cortex: Well, because it's interesting, because as a post, it's totally the antithesis of the common, like the current sort of Tumblr blog of single images on the subject thing, because it's a big

fucking forum thread, like, it's a gigantic thread on a forum somewhere. So you have to click through to the next page and look for the next few pictures scattered throughout that page of forum posts. And it's a little bit tedious--

jessamyn: Wowww.

cortex: But it's great pictures...

mathowie: (chuckle) 184 forum pages of stuff.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: And like, interspersed is, "That's awesome! That's awesome! That's awesome!"

cortex: Yeah. So it's like, someone could totally clean this up and present it more nicely, but this way it's kind of like--

jessamyn: Wowww. It's really cool!

cortex: --it's like before you had this clear sense that you should consolidate things in a clear presentation, and people were just

posting shit on forums.

jessamyn: Well, and this is like the forum, kind of. I mean, this is how forums work.

cortex: Exactly.

mathowie: Man, this is before AutoCAD, which would make this easy to do cutaways.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: They actually had to draw the entire frame of the car, and then the outside of the car, and then... augh, it's crazy work.

jessamyn: Technical drawing was my best subject in junior high.

mathowie: (chuckles) Awesome.

jessamyn: Wow. Wow! These are amazing.

cortex: Yeah, there's a bunch of just cool stuff in there.

mathowie: My favorite tiny post about a new blog I'd never heard of

was about the Retronaut one, which I wasn't happy to see like two days later someone made another post about Retronaut or something like that. But it was awesome. By Bora Horza Gobuchul.

jessamyn: I don't know how to pronounce that guy's name.

cortex: Bora Horza Gobuchul!

mathowie: Exactly. What he said.

cortex: Guhh. And it had eight comments, which was so...

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: The first of which is a joke about hipsters, and the third of which is a response to the joke about hipsters.

mathowie: (chuckles) Right. But it had a lot of favorites, so it's just a blog of someone

trying to live in the past, like, tongue-in-cheek, like, here's all the awesome old stuff, retro stuff. But I loved the 50 years of Japanese concept cars that were pointed out. Awesome.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: And it's like in order from like 1958 all the way... like, you know, what did Toyota do in '92 that they thought would be the future, and it kinda looks likes today's cars, and it's pretty awesome.

jessamyn: Oh, wow! And this timed exposure... there's all sorts of little nuggets hiding here. The three-year exposure.

The longest photographic exposure.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Wow!

mathowie: It's just a [??] smear.

cortex: I think there was a post about that.

jessamyn: Probably.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Which is just, yeah, really fantastic. Or maybe I just saw it somewhere else on the Internet. But I love, yeah, the longest exposure, I love the tracks of the sun through the sky.

jessamyn: And the shadows and stuff like that.

cortex: There's just so many, there's so many details, go figure, in this three-year-long exposure.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

Right. Oh, I saw this post too, it was terrific!

cortex: The "Understanding Pac-Man Ghost Behavior" post from griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs].

mathowie: Ohh, I missed that.

jessamyn: griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs]?

cortex: griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs]. I'm going with griphus [ˈɡɹaɪfəs].

jessamyn: griphus [ˈɡɹifəs]?

cortex: Maybe it's grip-huss.

jessamyn: Matt, tie-breaker?

mathowie: griphus [ˈɡɹifəs].

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Ohhhh!

cortex: Oh, shit.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Anyway, it's a post about how Pac-Man ghosts move. Someone references early on in there another older site that we've talked about before called the Pac-Man Dossier that also talks about a whole lot of details.

And it's just really analyzing the shit out of how this game works. And it's a simple little game, but it's also a complex system, depending on how you look at it, and yeah. So. This might be sort of pandering to me, in terms of interests.

jessamyn: I fucked up a trivia question by not knowing what the first fruit was in Pac-Man.

cortex: Oh, shit.

mathowie: Cherry.

jessamyn: I know! Thank you! Thank you!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I assumed it went like A B C or something, was like apples, bananas, cherries. I just punted.

mathowie: I just remembered it only lasts like three

or four screens, and I'd always get the cherry on the first one, so yeah.

jessamyn: Good point, good point.

mathowie: So from all the whatever, ghosts... all the writing the guy did on ghost behavior, like, I remember kids in the '80s having the patterns wired, like, I had the whole--

cortex: Oh, well, yeah. I mean, you don't necessarily need to understand the mechanics of how it works to find the pattern that works.

jessamyn: You just memorize the pattern and don't fuck it up.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: That's the biggest criticism of Pac-Man and a lot of older games like that is their AI just doesn't

have a design that lends itself to chaos, you know.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: You don't get surprising behavior even if you don't actually understand what causes the behavior to happen, you can get it down because it's deterministic and it's repeatable and you can just sorta hammer through by rote.

mathowie: Mm.

cortex: But you can also look really fucking carefully at how it works and make awesome stuff like that blog post.

jessamyn: And make nerds happy.

mathowie: In other games posts, I loved Alter Ego, the post about--

cortex: Oh, yeah.

mathowie: --a weirdo, a weird and minimalist text game from what, the '80s?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Or not text? With weird icons, and it's just strange... and I downloaded the iPhone and played it for like four hours (cortex chuckles), I think I got to toddlerhood, maybe?

jessamyn: Is it fun? Is it worth getting, or...?

mathowie: It's interesting.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: It's like a five-dollar game, but you just click on icons and then it gives you just questions like text-adventure style, like, because you're a baby for the first

ten hours of the game. It's like, "Your mom is cooing at you. Are you happy?" "Yes." And like, how do you, and then what do you do? And you have like two choices on everything. And then stuff happens.

cortex: Yeah. Well, and it's one of those things I would say, I think it's worth checking out just as an art game experience. I mean, whether or not you end up thinking, "Wow, this is a really fun game," or not, you know, just as somewhat of a difference from how video games have been, you know, popularly evolved and popularly perceived. It's a nice example of

something that's much more experimental in terms of how to deal with narrative and character.

mathowie: Yeah. Oh, and that post is by Rhaomi [ˈɹeɪoʊmi] again. Awesome.

cortex: Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi].

jessamyn: Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi]. Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi]. That one I know.

mathowie: (gasp of frustration) Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi]. Rhaomi [ˈɹaʊmi].

cortex: But there's also linked in that post some free stuff as well that you can play online.

mathowie: Oh yeah, you can play it in your browser for free, so try that.

cortex: Yeah, so.

jessamyn: Nice.

cortex: So, yeah. I liked this dumb little post about--

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

cortex: --pictures of people from

oinopaponton. I'm just going to go with... because I think I've mentioned another one by them already.

jessamyn: Yeah, we talked about oinopaponton in MetaTalk recently.

cortex: Ah.

jessamyn: About where the name came from, and yeah.

cortex: Ah, okay.

jessamyn: Oh, these are great!

cortex: Anyway, I did, the post is like, "Every year my wife and I throw a party, and when I send out photos I add famous people." And it's just some guy who Photoshops famous people into crappy snapshots.

mathowie: But they're good! It's good Photoshop.

cortex: And yeah, he does it... some of the Photoshops are not perfect, some of them are just really fucking great. But it's all just,


mathowie: It's convincing.

cortex: Oh, look, there's John McCain with a beer at my party. And it doesn't look like John McCain badly Photoshopped in, it looks like John McCain having a bad picture taken of him at a party. You know, it's...

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I only know who some of these people are.

mathowie: Yeah, I know, so that's what... (chuckles)

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: That was the "I don't own a television" kind of comment. Most popular--

jessamyn: I know Keanu Reeves. Reese Witherspoon.

mathowie: Yeah. Most popular comment was, "Who are half of these young women I'm supposed to know who they are?"

cortex: Someone annotated this stuff for you guys, if that helps.

jessamyn: ...three, four, five, six. Who's number six down? Who are those guys?

cortex: It's Shia Labeouf and some dude.

mathowie: Shia Labeouf and some guy with the...

cortex: Yeah, from Transformers and that new Wall Street sequel [??].

jessamyn: Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah. He was on...

mathowie: Who's Kristen Stewart?

jessamyn: That's what he looks like now? Wasn't he on Saturday Night Live or something like that?

cortex: I don't think so.

jessamyn: George Bush I recognize. Oh, alright.

mathowie: Oh, that's the chick from Twilight, okay, I see.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Snoop Dogg... Obama...

mathowie: Larry Fishburne. Is that Fishburne's wife or daughter or something?

cortex: This is a terrible podcast right here. We should move on to another post.

mathowie: I know. It's comedy gold.

jessamyn: (laughs) Alright, well, I had a different--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs) Uhhh...

cortex: Quick! Now let's take turns naming fruit we can think of.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Banana...

jessamyn: Apple!

mathowie: Cherry! Cherry, first level.

jessamyn: Fuck!

cortex: Kumquat.

jessamyn: My last single-link post that I really liked, because it spawned kind of a really interesting

discussion, was by caddis, which was a--

cortex: [??]

mathowie: Ohhh.

jessamyn: --a link about, it's a big post from what, the Journal of Food and Culture, from Gastronomica, talking about how... this woman who's a French chef, she got three stars from Michelin, and she's only the fourth woman in the history of France to receive the honor, and why is that, blah blah blah blah blah blah, and so, you know, there was a big--a thread

that sort of talked about gender issues without too much of people being [??], because I remember at the time--

mathowie: I watched Top Chef since the very first season. This comes up, me and my wife, every single time the season starts. We're like--

jessamyn: "Why is everyone a dude?"

mathowie: "Aren't there more women?" And then you honestly go to, "Why is everyone on the Food Network, almost everyone at the top, celebrity chefs are almost always guys." And then it's like this power CEO asshole kind of thing is who rises to

to the top [??].

jessamyn: Because that's you become the top guy is by getting the least sleep and the most driven, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. And by steamrolling everyone in your path, kind of. And the few women that make it, you know, people call bitches behind their backs, which is crazy, also, you know. Because they're acting like a highly motivated dude? That everyone's--

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: It's messed up.

cortex: You know, speaking--

mathowie: But it's actually, it's messed up because culturally,

you know, women are usually the cook in traditional history, but at the very top... it's so weird.

jessamyn: And that's the... I feel like we talked about this in another... this was like a Freakonomics issue, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: That once the job becomes highly statused... this is what happened with, oh God, what was it? Professors, teaching... I can't remember what their example was. But, you know, this is a traditionally female profession, but then once it becomes highly statused all of a sudden there needs to be a way

for, you know, men to fight each other to the top, and then it becomes an overwhelmingly male profession. I'm trying to remember what...

mathowie: Look at the Bell Labs photos, and every... programmers used to be all women. And I have lots of friends with moms that programmed deep parts of the Sybase SQL server in the '60s and '70s and stuff, and then suddenly today's computer science courses have 20% women in them, it's weird.

cortex: Well, speaking of the past and cooking, I liked

this post about 14th century European cookbooks.

mathowie: They are going to build cities around that segue. (chuckle)

cortex: I think that may be best segue of the podcast.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Hey, by thirteenkiller!

cortex: By thirteenkiller, yes.

jessamyn: I think we all agree on how to pronounce that.

mathowie: Thriteenkillah.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle) cortex: I just thought it was really neat, because it's like hey, you know, this is not something where... a cookbook is sort of like a thing of utility, we use

cookbooks that are by definition contemporary, because that's, you know, they're printed recently. I mean, if you think of an old cookbook, you think of something from the '50s or the '20s, maybe.

jessamyn: Joy of Cooking, right.

cortex: Yeah. You don't really think about back when the language was not even casually parsable by the modern speaker. But I mean, shit, people were cooking, you know, six hundred years ago, obviously, so. I thought was just really neat.

mathowie: But there was no printing, so were these handed from stories, or...?

jessamyn: There was still writing.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, I guess. This is handwritten stuff. But not mass-produced.

cortex: Yeah, you just weren't running off lots of copies quickly or anything.

mathowie: Oh, these recipes are awesome. Do you want... I'll just read one real quick.

cortex: Well, that's the thing, too, because yeah, it's a whole different world of available ingredients, too. So it's like you're not...

mathowie: Yeah. "Scald and wash the red deer testicles very well--"

jessamyn: Aaaah!

mathowie: ; "--in boiling water. Cook them well. Cool them, slice them into cubes neither too large nor too small, and fry them in lard." Oh, it's awesome.

jessamyn: (smacks lips) I bet that's delicious, too.

mathowie: Minnesota State Fair, here we go.

jessamyn: Heeheehee.

mathowie: Awesome.

jessamyn: All right! Now for just in general topics, I think we should also look at Snowball Cam, which was appreciated very much. Mobile spy camps that scoot along, and it has a snowball camera, that when the... okay. So there's these spy cameras that scoot around the arctic islands of Norway, they've got electric motors, they

scoot around on skis but when they're threatened by bears, they release an onboard decoy device, the Snowball Cam. This is a woodblock100 post.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Anybody who hasn't seen this is... it's this giant bear attacking this crazy...

mathowie: Ball.

jessamyn: You can watch them eating a thing--

mathowie: (chuckle) Bloody face.

jessamyn: --and then the camera's just kinda near there, and it's cute. And the thing looks like something you see in WALL-E or something--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: It's got like these little...

mathowie: (chuckles) Why are they hassling polar bears?

cortex: Oh, gods.

jessamyn: I like the bloody-faced polar bears, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: (chuckles) It's just hanging out like, "Hey, what's up?"

jessamyn: Like, isn't that totally not what you think of?

cortex: "I'm just, I mean, the carcass here."

mathowie: You don't see people selling Coke with that polar bear.

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh) jessamyn: Exactly, right? Because they're giant, you know, carnivores of the icy...

mathowie: Kind.

jessamyn: The icy kind.

cortex: But they're so cute when they're rolling around on their [?].

jessamyn: But it's cool! It shoots this little snowball out, and it's adorable. It looks like some sort of dopey cartoon, but it's real.

mathowie: Speaking of

frozen icy winters--

jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: I loved the Holidays on Ice, the...

jessamyn: Oh, yeah!

mathowie: A roundup post about what happens when deer fall through ice or get stuck on lakes and stuff, and there's this whole world of people who rescue them, and how to rescue them in a right way and a wrong way. And this creepy... eight reindeer fell into the lake at a Christmas park.

jessamyn: In a Christmas park.

mathowie: And they're frozen, they're half-submerged, and it's freaking people out, and there's nothing they can do 'til spring.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: And kids have to see this... oh, it's so funny and gross.

cortex: That's hilarious.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh) jessamyn: This was great. This was a post by waldo, who's another long-time user, consistent quality poster. And it's a great post. This post kind of was in my "posts that are good stories," that are really good... that the post itself tells a good story. My favorite one of all these

is "The Hero of Canton, the man they called Mr. B. Virdot."

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

jessamyn: Which was a mysterious benefactor who put an ad in the paper. I mean, you should read it yourself, I can't tell it any better than filthy light thief told it. It was an anonymous person [who] gave money to a whole bunch of families with a pseudonym and nobody knew who it was until... whatever. 70 years later, was that it?

mathowie: Yeah. This is like in 1933.

jessamyn: And no one even knew who the person was until the guy's daughter gave her son a suitcase full of letters and checks by that guy.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And the guy's name was Samuel Stone, and this was, you know, his way of giving back. And then they had this big get-together with like the descendants or grandkids of the people who had received money or whatever. It's a wonderfully put together post.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And, you know, holiday spirit and all the stuff. And it also tells kind of a neat story.

mathowie: Feel-good hit of the season.

jessamyn: Yes. It's the feel-good hit of the century.

cortex: I liked as a sort of little neat tech thing the post by ardgedee [ˈɑɹdgɛdi]--ardgedee [ˈɑɹdgɛdi]?

mathowie: ardgedee [ˈɑɹdgɛdi]... yeah.

jessamyn: R-G-D.

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: I think of it as 'arg'.

jessamyn: R-G-D. R-G-D. Like the letters.

mathowie: arg. arg?

cortex: R-G... oh, okay, whatever.

mathowie: ...G-D?

cortex: Anyway, arg made this post--

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: --about something from Dan Kaminsky,

who's effugas [ˈɛfu.gəs], or however you say his username.

mathowie: effugas [ɛˈfu.gəs]? (chuckles)

jessamyn: Eff you, gas!

cortex: Anyway, so Kaminsky put together a little phone that just literally changes the color palette of something it's pointed at so that people who are colorblind have a reasonable chance of actually correctly identifying the colors of the things that they're looking at. So it's like a tiny little window into augmented reality thing. But it's also totally fucking brilliant, and there's a ton of colorblind people out there, so it just really--

mathowie: Was it--

cortex: It seemed like a nice little clever hack, and there's some discussion

in the thread about it. But I thought that was neat.

jessamyn: Did effugas [ˈɛfu.gæs]... did effugas [ɛˈfu.gəs] show up?

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: He did.

mathowie: First comment. Is he... isn't like 10 or 20 percent of males have some red-green colorblindness? It's really high.

cortex: Something like that, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. And then I just found out some women and no men have an extra color receptor.

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: So instead of the three color receptors they wind up with a fourth one, and so they have like--

mathowie: They go CMYK instead of RGB?

cortex and mathowie: (laugh) jessamyn: I don't know!

cortex: When they made the screen they had lengthy arguments.

mathowie: We call them Illustrators versus Photoshoppers. Oh, so Andy Baio is red-green colorblind, says it totally works and he loves it.

jessamyn: That's so great.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: He can figure out what socks to wear.

mathowie: (laughs) Or, oh, my brother-in-law is red-green colorblind. Every car he owns he thinks is gray. It's always funny.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: And he has a hard time finding his car in parking lots. Like, he has to buy unusual cars, because everything's gray.

cortex: He should just make an art car at that point, you know.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Or just put one of those deelyboppers on your...

mathowie: Antenna.

jessamyn: Yeah. Man, that's gotta be really weird.

mathowie: Yeah. I loved this monster post by a great poster of the month, infinite intimation, just for the tiny one throwaway line, trivia questions so you'll win every trivia contest forever, which is,

"What was Darwin's most popular book?" And it's not Origin of Species.

jessamyn: On the Formation Of Mold?

mathowie: Yeah. Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms With Observation of Their Habits was his best-selling book, so.

jessamyn: During his lifetime, you mean?

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. You'll win every trivia contest based on that, which is...

jessamyn: That's awesome. And this is kind of a crazy gigantic post.

mathowie: And my last tiny favorite, tiny... this is the tiniest thing in the world, the--

jessamyn: Wait, wait! I have a tiny favorite too!

mathowie: Well, this is my one tiny favorite.

jessamyn: Is it the same one? No!

mathowie: This is the--

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Oh, I loved this one!

cortex: Oh, yeah.

mathowie: The guy who--

jessamyn: Charlie--

mathowie: Cleveland Browns season ticket holder, oh yeah, posted by CharlieSue, about the Cleveland Browns season ticket holder fan who was getting annoyed with the paper airplanes, so he sent this really weird... like... what did you do before e-mail back then? Actual letter, sends a letter to the--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: --Cleveland Browns saying like, "I do not appreciate people throwing paper airplanes. Somebody could hit someone

in the eye," and their response, it's just vintage classic, like the way lawyers used to be able to talk in 1974.

jessamyn: "Some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters."

mathowie: Yeah. "Attached is the letter we received. I feel you should be aware that some asshole is signing your name to stupid letters." And that's the lead lawyer for the organization. You can't do that anymore. It's so great.

jessamyn: But it was true, it wasn't a hoax, did they figure that out?

mathowie: Yeah. Nope, yeah, that was good.

cortex: Yeah, well, I don't know if it ever got established.

jessamyn: And the thread was funny because everybody starts fighting about how to pluralize and possessivize the word "Browns".

cortex and mathowie: (laugh) mathowie: Oh, Metafilter.

jessamyn: Oh, now, if you're talking about tiny posts, I have to mention just a dopey pandering to me favorite post by... lalalala, NoraReed, which is just little stuff. (pause) It's different links to people who

do kind of micro art or micro versions of things. So like, the world's smallest pony, here's the Obama family carved out of a piece of rice put in a pin, here's tiny soccer players... it was just everything kinda tied together with this kinda tiny theme, and I enjoyed it very much.

cortex: And this is all totally fodder for Look At This Little Thing, which I see someone actually mentioned in the thread, but it's a Tumblr blog of just tiny stuff.

jessamyn: This better not be your own post.

cortex: No no no, this is sarahnade, is the MeFite who does Look At This Little Thing.

mathowie: Dude, you need things for scale. Everything's... can't tell.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Hey! That skateboard's got moss on it.

mathowie: I know, it's awesome. Skate park on a skateboard in a skate park on a skateboard. It's hilarious.

jessamyn: Whoo, recursive, recursive!

cortex: My other little thing is, there was a post about Nethack, and this is totally me just falling for pandering, but

vapidave linked to a--

mathowie: I'm just gonna tune out. Go ahead.

jessamyn: (sings) La la la la, to dream the impossible dream...

cortex: --post about an essent... you guys are suck. You're like poop in podcasting form.

jessamyn: Your sentence no verb!

cortex: Whatever. No, no, I was--

jessamyn: I'm listening.

cortex: I verbed the noun.

mathowie: I've got year-end accounting to do. So go ahead.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I got to the word 'vegan' and started to get confused.

cortex: Anyway, it's about Nethack and it's complicated and I always like those and there's some fun talk about it. JHarris inside writes out a nice long glossary of the post so that people who have no idea what the fuck it's talking about can sort of find their way through.

jessamyn: I love it when JHarris does that.

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: That's so wonderful.

cortex: So great, it's just a neat little thing. I mean, it's probably not up for any Best Post awards, but it was a post I liked last month, so.

jessamyn: Good! It was a nice post. vapidave does consistently good stuff also.

cortex: I have one other big post too.

mathowie: Where's my official post announcing the contest? I can't find it, goddammit.

jessamyn: For God's sakes, Matt!

cortex: It was probably by you to MetaTalk.

mathowie: Oh, right.

jessamyn: (laughs) And the only thing you've posted to MetaTalk until the infographic.

mathowie: MetaTalk...

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Click on your profile page!

mathowie: You're right! I didn't go back.

jessamyn: (laugh)

cortex: How can you have trouble finding your own... oh, man.

mathowie: I know.

jessamyn: You're user number 1, if that's helpful.

mathowie: I'm gonna make a post to MetaTalk asking where it is.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: "Does anybody remember?"

mathowie: "Does anyone know where that..."

jessamyn: "Something about..."

mathowie: So wait, we were supposed to have best single-link post, best multi... I'm just trying to go by the official rules.

jessamyn: Wait, are you done yet? I have a couple more.

mathowie: I know, I'm just recap!

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh) mathowie: We're typing things up. What was the best single-link? What was the best multi-link? What was

the best mega-link? Aah, what...

cortex: I feel like what we should do is we should finish talking about the ones we like here--

mathowie: Yeah, okay.

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: And then we can decide on e-mail what the official choices are.

mathowie: This is me subtly telling everyone to shut the... (chuckles)

jessamyn: Hey! We've got a job to do here.

mathowie: Close it up, baby. We're at one hour, so.

cortex: That's pretty good.

jessamyn: Alright. I have a few more.

cortex: Okay.

jessamyn: There were a couple, Burhanistan posted this thing in MetaTalk recently about watching a topic unfold and what were good threads where people have watched

the topic unfold.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: And I have to say, I enjoyed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell thread.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Because they said, "it's been repealed," but it hadn't actually been repealed yet, but it got repealed in the course of the thread. It was interesting listening to people talk, mostly talk, a little fight. The Bookmark Not Found, about Yahoo sunsetting, and watching everybody migrate to and other things.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And there was a couple associated Ask Metafilter threads. And last ongoing story

that I enjoyed was the Bring It On post by Rhaomi, which was all about the Gawker Media hack, which was probably the biggest news to a lot of online nerd culture people of last month, because of course tools emerged as the story unfolded so that you could figure out just how fucked you were and just how much people could figure out about this, that, and the other. So as far as 'news as it unfolds', that was my category that I made up--

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And those were the three stories that I liked the most from that.

mathowie: Did you get a copy of LastPass going like I did? I love it now.

jessamyn: LastPass, what is LastPass? No.

mathowie: It's just a password manager and creator and works great in Google Chrome, and, like, I don't even know my Metafilter password anymore, I don't have a clue, it's ridiculously long and complex and it's awesome. It's great. Now I don't know my password to anything.

cortex: It's passwordpasswordpassword.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: 12345678.

mathowie: Nine! They added the extra number so it'd take 2.7 more years to figure out, yeah.

jessamyn: (chuckles)

cortex: It's the first fifteen digits of pi, baby.

mathowie and cortex: (chuckle) cortex: Man, how many proud nerds do you think have stupidly unsecure passwords, because of like, "Oh, well, I've memorized pi, so I'll just use a bunch of digits from that, ha-ha," like no one else can figure out the digits of pi.

Random thought.

mathowie: (chuckle)

cortex: You know, the one thread I remember most fondly that was mentioned in that MetaTalk post--I don't have it open right now, so I can't grab the link, but

the tennis match one. Mostly just because I was there and I watched so much of that fucking thing along with a bunch of other people and watched that ridiculous marathon of hours and hours and hours of a tennis match that just would not end, so.

jessamyn: I don't even think I know what you're talking about. What?

cortex: In the MetaTalk post that Burhanistan made.

jessamyn: Real tennis, or is tennis a metaphor for something?

cortex: Yeah, real tennis. No, no, this was actual tennis. I signed up a sockpuppet account for one of--

jessamyn: Photoshop tennis, or tennis?

cortex: No! The actual Wimbledon shit. I think Burhanistan mentioned in the--

jessamyn: There was a long tennis match?

cortex: Yes! Like, it went three days long.

mathowie: Oh, right, yeah. Yeah.

cortex: And a bunch of us sat around screaming at the thing.

jessamyn: What? How do you play tennis for three days?

mathowie: Eh, it went like nine hours or something, but it feels like three days.

cortex: Well, no, it was a few hours on the first day and several more hours on the next day and then like another hour on the third day and then finally they managed to pull off a break point. It was ridiculous. It was dozens and dozens of games to a side.

jessamyn: And this was in... there was a post about it?

cortex: Yeah, yeah, no, I--

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

jessamyn: I'm sorry, I don't mean to be--

cortex: I think it was mentioned in the MetaTalk post that Burhanistan made that you were just pulling those various as they happened

threads out of.

jessamyn: Oh, okay. But it didn't happen in December necessarily.

cortex: No no no no. I was just replying to it [?].

jessamyn: Oh, cool.

cortex: I was just trying to be congenial, you know.

jessamyn: Oh, the 29-minute...

cortex: Casual human interaction here, you know.

jessamyn: The longest tournament rally in tennis history?

cortex: Yes.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Okay. "It was the worst day of my life," is the title.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: So, here's my special snowflake category. Are you ready?

jessamyn: Yes.

mathowie: 'Best actual thing that was actually a Reddit comment that wasn't horrible or misogynistic or terrible or lame or...'

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: ...yeah. It was just good. Just one comment that you can actually read, you don't have to fish out of 55 reply tabs or something, but it's good.

cortex: This is the 'damning with faint praise' category.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: Good job, Reddit, you don't always disappoint us.

mathowie: Suck. I know, I--

jessamyn: Why are you guys picking on Reddit? Now the MetaTalk thread is going to be entirely about how you don't appreciate Reddit.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: No, I find Reddit--

jessamyn: Ix-nay on the Eddit-ray, ay-kay.

mathowie: (laughs) I just find Reddit so hard to read physically, their UI's so crufty and then people are kind of crazy on Reddit sometimes and there's sort of a streak. But this is great. Great story of a guy who breaks down on the side of the road, and it's just this, like, why he helps out people on the side of the road and hitchhikers now. And it's a great little story. Actual thing from Reddit I liked for the month. That was it.

jessamyn: Nice! Oh, here's another pandering personal favorite of mine. "James Burke's popular television show Connections is available in its entirety online."

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: SpacemanStix's post, fairly straightforward, almost a single-link post.

mathowie: We even talked about that on a previous podcast.

jessamyn: We talk about Connections all the time.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Because it's the best television.

mathowie: Yep. Way before its time.

jessamyn: But I just wanted to pull that out because it was great. Yes, way before its time.

cortex: My last thing--

jessamyn: Oh! Oh. Yeah?

cortex: --and I guess I will invent the category

'best post that would prevent me from ever having to pay for any games again if I could just be entertained by this stuff'.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Zed made a--and for our European readers, his username is actually Z-E-D. That's zed-ee-dee.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: Not just the letter zed.

jessamyn: cortex isn't being foppish.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: (laughs) I can hear 'u's in your 'colours' that you're saying.

cortex and jessamyn: (laughs) jessamyn: 'Favourite?'

cortex: So it's a post called Just Add Dice, and it's just a giant round-up of dice-driven games.

Like, just a huge... a bunch of game systems, you know? And so it's basically varyingly short or long rule sets that you use dice to play games with. And it's just... it's this amazing round-up of stuff that you could seriously play games for the rest of your life with nothing but this stuff and some dice. And I think it's a huge rainy day resource, especially for anybody who has any special fondness for that kind of game system stuff.
So I thought that was really fantastic. It's a little bit niche because not everybody's into that, but it's a really neat post about it. So good job, Zed.

jessamyn: Love it.

mathowie: Alright. So, are we done? Are our final tallies ready?

jessamyn: A couple that didn't get mentioned that I thought were sort of honorable--

mathowie: (chuckle of amused exasperation)

jessamyn: Come on!

mathowie: (full-on chuckle)

jessamyn: Just a couple other more stories, I'm just gonna drop them in here quick.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: zerobyproxy did a great thing about this woman who had a hundred thousand negatives and nobody ever knew she even

took pictures.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: And this unknown photographer's work came to light, which was nice. ocherdraco's early in the month post got a lot of people talking about it in MetaTalk, about this woman with her private language--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: And she vanished in 1939, and nobody ever saw her again, but there's this box of her writings that's around, which was just sort of terrific.

And, last comment, guy does a post about walking on the moon, who shows up on his blog... well, he's an NPR guy, let's be fair, but who shows up to give him a comment but Mr. Neil Armstrong? Boo-yah!

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: That's another woodblock100 post. That was everything I had on my list, except to say that the people I hadn't mentioned, kipmanley, woodjockey, and bwg all made consistently good posts all month, none of which I pulled out specifically but I noticed their names again and again when I was looking at stuff that I really


mathowie: Write them in the chat so I can write it up so I don't forget.

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

mathowie: So we're all in agreement best post ever was the one on the history in the [?]--

jessamyn: Ever in December.

cortex: I think the Titanic post, yeah, that was....

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah. Starship Titanic. Thumbs up.

mathowie: Alright.

cortex: Easily James Cameron's best work.

mathowie: Ha-ha!

jessamyn: (descending pitch) Ha-ha-ha.

mathowie: Needs more explosions.

jessamyn: Erf. Erf.

cortex: Because he made a movie called 'Titanic'.

jessamyn: Wait, what?

cortex: Nothing. I-- (laughs)

mathowie: (laughs) So what's the best single-link post? This is where I'm like, I don't know what...

cortex: See, I feel like we're gonna have to just yell at each other in e-mail for a while to hash that one out. I don't know if we can just come to a quick consensus here.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Why did I make these official categories? They only sound good.

cortex: I don't know. I was gonna suggest that we should just sort of have three vague categories of 'mama bear', 'papa bear', 'baby bear', and just not be too specific.

jessamyn: You know, we can... why don't we do that? That's fine.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: I'm not... I mean, I know we said we'd do one thing, but when have we ever done what we're gonna say?

mathowie and cortex: (laughs) jessamyn: You know. You know? I'm fine with that, changing it to 'mama bear', 'baby bear', and 'papa bear', or whatever you wanna, you know, 'Vermont,' 'Portland,' and 'London'--

mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: Like, whatever you want to do.

mathowie: So, I guess--

jessamyn: Because I was just afraid that if we didn't have some categories and honorable mentions, we'd all agree on the best post and then not have anything else to talk about,

and I wanted to be able to include as many good things as possible in the podcast.

cortex: You know, I...

mathowie: Oh shit, I said I'd give $100 gift certificates to the people with the three other official categories.

jessamyn: That's why it matters!

mathowie: I guess we have to stick with those.

cortex: We will work in those confines, then.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Okay.

cortex: Okay, well, I... yeah.

mathowie: Single-link, multi... hang on.

jessamyn: Let's hash that out over e-mail.

mathowie: I can't tell the difference between 'multi' and 'mega', that's what I'm thinking about now.

cortex: Eh, a few links versus a lot of links.

jessamyn: 'Multi' just means more than one--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And I think 'mega' means more than ten, I think was what we said.

mathowie: But it doesn't get the grand prize winner, isn't the grand prize...?

jessamyn: The grand prize winner could have been anything.

mathowie: Right, yeah. Alright. So we'll hash it out in e-mail and post it on the notes for this podcast.

cortex: Alright.

mathowie: Sound good?

cortex: That sounds great.

jessamyn: Yeah. And then you'll have to contact people and tell them to put a PayPal address in their profile and all the stuff.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep.

jessamyn: Or however you want to do it. Does Rhaomi already have an iPad?

mathowie: (laugh) I don't know. Is he in Australia?

jessamyn: Did I tell you my sister got two iPads for Christmas?

mathowie: Whoa! Rockin'. So what'd she do?

cortex and mathowie: Stereo? jessamyn: Just gave one to her boyfriend.

mathowie: Aww.

I would hang one around my neck.

jessamyn: Because one was engraved.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: So she kept that one, and the other one she gave back to the boyfriend who gave it to her and he's gonna get her an iPhone 4 instead.

mathowie: Oh, cool.

jessamyn: I guess so.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh) mathowie: So are we calling this done?

cortex: I think so.

jessamyn: Yes! Thanks to everybody for making so many good contributions in December, you know, I thought it wound up being a really good month for all sorts of reasons.

cortex: Yeah, it was nice.

jessamyn: Often holiday time is the worst time on Metafilter, and I felt like this year was a wonderful exception to that.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. It was especially, everyone came out of the gate swinging, and they ended up...

jessamyn: Yeah! Pew-pew-pew!

mathowie: They sprinted to the line, that's for sure.

jessamyn: Well, and when people had a bunch of time home with their family, they--some of them, at least--appeared to spend some of that time making awesome posts to Metafilter, so we appreciate that.

mathowie: Screw you, Grandma! I've got some posts to write.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: So we'll do another podcast like in a couple weeks maybe, where we do normal podcast stuff?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Alright.

mathowie: Yeah. Because we should probably talk about, as a teaser, that Ask MetaFilter "Help me, what the hell was this letter I received?" was pretty interesting.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Wha? What?

mathowie: (chuckle) Did you not see this thing? It's a mystery letter from Eastern Europe.

cortex: There was a Music post and everything. Oh, man. Yeah, we'll get to that next time.

jessamyn: Oh, that, that, that.

mathowie: Yeah, that was great.

jessamyn: Sorry, sorry, sorry Yeah, I just didn't understand it from your descrption.

mathowie: That was great.

cortex: Also [???].

jessamyn: Yes. We'll talk about the mystery letter and the song and all the other stuff in a couple weeks.

mathowie: Yep.

cortex: Alright!

mathowie: Alright, cool.

jessamyn: Great!

mathowie: Alright, see ya.


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