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Podcast 84 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 84: "Pumpkin!" (2013-09-10).

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


jingle: (theme)

mathowie: Let me see - episode 84 of the podcast. It's been a while - July 26th.

jessamyn: Happy back to school, everybody.

mathowie: Happy impending fall, and winter's coming.

jessamyn: (screams) Aagh!

I'm ready for it.
I found a little map -

jessamyn: I'm ready for it. Oh, I found a little map for you, Matt, which has really nothing to do with anything on Metafilter, but it's a little map that shows you roughly where the foliage is.

mathowie: Oh neat!

jessamyn: It's on milkshake, do you have your chat window open?

mathowie: Milk.. Milkshake... There's your cool haircut! I don't see a map anywhere.

jessamyn: I just sent you a link in the chat, it's not in mine, it's in the "How it works" shake.

mathowie: Ohhhh. Whoa! Dude!

jessamyn: And the "How it works" shake also has a picture of Wonder Woman in bondage, which I

think got there by mistake?

mathowie: (laughs) Wait, why isn't this--did you just save it to yours? Hey, Johnson!

jessamyn: I didn't save it to mine at all!

mathowie: It shows as you posted.

jessamyn: What shows as me? Oh, because I posted it to the How It Works shake.

mathowie: Oh, okay. Oh, but it's not in your personal, right.

jessamyn: But you can post stuff to a shake without it appearing in your shake.

mathowie: I forgot about that shake, shake, shake.

mathowie: So Vermont is sort of late September, early October, it looks like.

jessamyn: Yep!

mathowie: Alright, cool.

jessamyn: Yep, it's cool. Happy Autumn, I'm looking forward to it.

mathowie: Neat. Alright, it's autumn. We have... jobs, lots of jobs.

jessamyn: I haven't looked at Jobs, you said there were a whole bunch of them, so tell us about them.

mathowie: Yeah, there's a lot of them, there's a lot of web jobs, front-end engineers, there's some weird ones like someone needs... twiggy32 needs a person to draw a webcomic they've written, I think?

jessamyn: I sort of like that.

mathowie: And the subject matter is going to be not safe for work, so that's awesome. (chuckles)

jessamyn: Very exciting. Very exciting.

mathowie: That's a unusual job I like seeing show up. That's probably my favorite.

jessamyn: This says often not safe for work.

mathowie: Well, it's about dating, and so there's, you know, things will happen on dates.

jessamyn: (sounds of quiet amusement)

mathowie: Do we do Projects? Projects, Projects...

jessamyn: Projects, I loved Projects. Let me talk about Projects some more.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: lollusc has made a Scrabble Pro Scrabble Trainer app.

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: So it's an Android app, so I haven't played with it, because I do not have an Android, but maybe you can.

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: That basically allows people to choose between dictionaries and then practice and get racks and then try and score the best score they can score.

mathowie: Oh, I never looked at the screenshots. When I read about it I thought it would just spit at you weird, like, "Here's four-letter combos, come up with every word possible!" because I think that's what Scrabble pros do, but this is cool. They show full racks, and every--

jessamyn: Yeah. This is like a trainer that actually has you in real life situations, and yeah, it's...

mathowie: But these aren't words! These are... ugh.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Excuse me?

mathowie: You know... I don't know. I like classic, honest Scrabble, and not people who memorized a hundred three letter words that are Greek.

jessamyn: Then what you want is a game that isn't Scrabble. May I suggest Words with Friends?

mathowie: (laughing) Like Candyland! Ohh, I never play that. But no, that looks cool.

jessamyn: Well, it does have a more comfy dictionary.

mathowie: That looks cool.

cortex: I think what you really want is, like, you want family time Scrabble.

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

cortex: You just want sort of like pre-competitive Scrabble, Scrabble in a universe where people never got hardcore about Scrabble.

jessamyn: Well, and if you agree with those rules, those can be your house rules. "I'll just forget that I know xi [ˈzi], qi [ˈtʃi]..."

mathowie: Right.

jessamyn: [ˈkwi], and whatever all those other awesome-scoring words are.

mathowie: Well, it sounds--

cortex: That's tricky, too, because how do you figure that out? It's like, no using any of the words that I'm going to be annoyed if you use. You won't know until you try to play them.

jessamyn: I actually pretty much know what those words are.

cortex: Well, yeah.

jessamyn: After a decade or two of playing them and people being like, "Fuck! That is not a word!"

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

cortex: Fair enough. I guess you just play safe accordingly.

mathowie: I notice people who...

jessamyn: [CH?]? What do you think?

mathowie: Eh.

cortex: I think that's bullshit.

jessamyn: But those same people would think DR is a word.

cortex: I would like to know [??] those people are idiots.

mathowie: What? No way. That's an abbreviation.

jessamyn: I know. See?

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: That's why we have a dictionary, so we don't fight.

mathowie: But I notice people who play lots of crosswords, also, end up knowing every crazy two- and three-letter word from playing crosswords.

jessamyn: [ˈeɪˌri], [ˈiˌri]

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And they get to know acronyms, too, because you can play acronyms usually in crosswords.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: That's helpful. Sort of.

mathowie: Jason Scott posted his DEFCON documentary when he released it, and I just happened to see him play it at a

a premiere a couple days after he posted this.

jessamyn: Where at? Where'd you see it?

mathowie: It was in New York. It was in some basement of some art gallery, and it was (chuckling) a terrible setting for a movie, because there were people's heads in the w--like, the screen went down to the ground, and--

jessamyn: Oh, the worst!

mathowie: It was the worst! And everyone in there was a friend of Jason, so they're grinning it and bearing it, but there are these two old ladies, I think were just, they go to art galleries or something behind us, they're just [??], (old lady voice) "I can't see anything, Ethel, can you see anything?"

They just kept complaining the whole time, and then they left.

jessamyn: Oy. Oyyy.

mathowie: They were people that were in the movie at the show and stuff. It's pretty good. It's not as good as all of Jason's other stuff because he was... I mean, this was basically the DEFCON people came to him and said, "Can we pay you to make a documentary?"

jessamyn: To do a movie about this. Uh-huh.

mathowie: And just because I've been a big fan of documentaries and studying how people make them and stuff, and one thing that just kept coming across is he interviews a zillion

people, like the people who created DEFCON. Everyone tells stories about how amazing DEFCON was, and I've heard from documentary film-makers, those are the hardest documentaries to film, when you have a billion stories, because you have to, it has to be on film, what happened, what actually... you can't just have a story about something. You need to either--

jessamyn: About people saying, "It was the biggest fish ever!" without actually having a picture of the fish.

mathowie: Right. Right.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: So you have to have a picture, or you have to re-enact it, which is cheesy and not really a documentary, or you have to actually follow

people around so you accidentally catch it on film. So Jason was at DEFCON, I guess, last year, with three crews for--

jessamyn: Well, and he goes regularly anyhow, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, but he had three camera crews for 72 hours, and they didn't really film anything magical, just didn't happen to happen in front of them, and so it's a lot of old dudes reminiscing about DEFCON from ten years ago.

jessamyn: Oh, like this thing that happened.

cortex: So it's sort of an anecdotumentary.

mathowie: Yeah. And it's pretty good. It's just, it would have been better if they said, "Oh, there's a crazy thing that happened at Hackathon!" and they actually filmed it and they actually had footage, you know, because--

jessamyn: Well, and that was sort of what his adventure game thing was about. It was a lot of people kind of talking about things that happened twenty years ago, and he can actually drag some pretty good drama out of that when done right. But it is, it's tricky and difficult, I thought.

mathowie: Yeah, by the end, like had some awesome editing where some guy breaks down in tears talking about how this changed his life, and it changed his--

jessamyn: Oh, it's one of those documentaries.

mathowie: No, no, no, no! I'm just saying, you know when you have a dry documentary and you know the filmmaker saved the best interview for the very end, where someone chokes up, you know, and you're like--

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: It was one of them. I just watched a documentary about freakin' VW Buses, and some guy breaks down at the end about how the bus is part of his, and you're like, oh my god, that's so touching! But also manipulative by the filmmaker.

jessamyn: Well, one of the things that Jason said in the thread about it, which filthy light thief posted, was, you know, that that complaint is one that he's heard a lot, and part of the issue is DEFCON had this no press policy.

mathowie: Mm-hm.

jessamyn: For two solid decades, which meant that that there aren't, almost by definition, there's no...

mathowie: Footage, yeah.

cortex: Yeah, there's no stock to go to.

jessamyn: Yeah. There's no accurate record of earlier things, which is too bad.

cortex: Well, I mean, there is that one episode of the X Files.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: Technically it was a two-parter. They went to DEFCON, Scully got drunk, she was being all drunk and flirty and it was a thing.

mathowie: Hmm. (laughs)

jessamyn: Is this a joke, or is that actually true?

cortex: No, no, it was actually a really funny episode, or pair of episodes. The Lone Gunmen were there, it was all... oh, man, maybe that was a fun episode that led to the Lone Gunmen's heroically sacrificing themselves at the end, which was really dumb.

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

cortex: Anyway, this has been me vaguely remembering X Files. (laughs) Let's carry on.

mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)

jessamyn: Don't you have a podcast about that?

cortex: I--oh, shi--pfff.

jessamyn: I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to...

cortex: Pour one out for that old website that one of these days I'll go back to.

jessamyn: Aww.

mathowie: I can't wait for his arcade.... he's working on an arcade documentary and a documentary about tape, just the media of tape, and something about 6502, which processor is that? Is that the Atari?

cortex: That's the Atari, yeah. Well, I'm sure it was lots of things, but I associate it with the Atari.

mathowie: But yeah, I'm looking forward to his arcade documentary, which should be, I guess, a year or two from now, so yeah.

jessamyn: Cool.


mathowie: Any other Projects?

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: I... Josh?

cortex: One neat one is, and I can't remember, I think this is after we recorded the last one, because we did a little bit early in July and then we're doing this one late at the start of September, so I think--

mathowie: Oh, no, I think we've did that.

cortex: Did we?

jessamyn: I think we mentioned it.

mathowie: Yeah, we've mention--

cortex: Okay, well, then, never mind. The fortieth parallel's still cool, but...

mathowie: Oh, you know what? I mentioned it--

jessamyn: Wait. We did something else, right?

mathowie: Yeah, I mentioned it on Metafilter, then the guy joined Metafilter to say some stuff, and then he posted it to Projects, and then I was like, well, I'm not going to fault him for...

cortex: (laughs) So this went backwards. So this was a post thing?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Oh, okay.

jessamyn: Right. Because didn't we mention it along with that flight arrows post from last month?

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. He posted--I was like, "What?! This isn't the way it normally works. But sure, I guess..."

cortex: Well, that explains my confusion, because I was sure I'd seen this, and I felt like we had talked about it, but at the same time, the links weren't visited and there was no 'it's posted.'

jessamyn: The dates may get impossible, yeah.

cortex: Oh, well, that's still a cool thing.

mathowie: So that was backwards. Did you see--?

cortex: (at the same time) Well, what I wanted to say--

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

cortex: --I really liked this other (chuckling) post.

mathowie: Oops, wait, I grabbed the wrong... did you love the, I loved the anagram generator. Did you see that one?

cortex: I think... I saw something? Maybe.

mathowie:, derange it?

cortex: I don't know if I saw this. I saw some other anagram thing recently. This may be just a...

mathowie: Yeah, it's, quarantine made this anagram maker and it's just beautiful and simple and so clean.

cortex: Oh, awesome! Yeah, there's a couple out there that are a little bit 1997-looking.

jessamyn: Ugly? Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I'll have to try this out. That's great. [??]

mathowie: And this looks exactly the same on a phone, like, the first time I saw it on a phone it perfectly fits, you know, it's really tiny, narrow, and simple, it's really good.

cortex: That is slick. Yeah, no, I--you know, there was--

jessamyn: It's taking forever.

cortex: There was an a--well, it takes a while, it's a complicated thing to do. Give it some time, let it do its thing.

mathowie: (chuckles) 'Jessamyn West' becomes 'messy net jaws'?

jessamyn: Aaah!

mathowie: (chuckles) 'Matt Haughey' becomes 'haughty mate'. Oh, come on, that's not even--!

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: What was the Lisa Simpson joke? That was the Lisa Simpson joke, right there.

cortex: 'Jeremy's iron'.

mathowie: (chuckling) Yeah.

cortex: It's just a weird little thing, but I liked this post bobdow posted about the Mothership 2013, which is a big 4,000 RGB LED light Burning Man car.

jessamyn: Oh, I loved that also!

mathowie: Oh, man.

cortex: They converted, what was it, he says, a '92 Toyota Tercel, cut it up a bunch and turned it into this great big slow-rolling UFO. It's pretty awesome.

mathowie: Whoa. Holy crap.

jessamyn: I like it not only because I love the thing, and people kinda riding around on it, but also because watching it kind of lope around with Burning Man in the background gives you kind of a loose idea of Burning Man for the people who've just never been to Burning Man before.

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: In a not-scary way.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Wow, they cut a car in half. Wow.

cortex: That's my favorite part of the... I mean, the whole thing is nice, but I love the fact that there's the front end of this random old Toyota just driving around that ends at the driver's seats, you know, it's...

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: I enjoy what they did there. That was some nice stuff.

jessamyn: Yeah, no, that was also on my Projects list. I thought it was terrific.

mathowie: (laughs) This video broke YouTube's related brain.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: I have nothing but... I have nothing but lists of how to braid your hair and do your makeup, like, what? Like, Mothership? I guess the word 'mother' made it female? Weird. All the related videos are strange.

jessamyn: Oh, that's funny! I'm getting that same stuff too. Stupid YouTube.

mathowie: It's all... yeah! How dumb could you be, YouTube? Augh.

cortex: Pretty dumb. YouTube can be pretty dumb.

mathowie: Pret-ty dumb!

jessamyn: Pretty dumb!

cortex: (percussively) Pret-ty pret-ty, pret-ty pret-ty dumb!

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: [I have never so liked ?]--what?

cortex: I've never even watched that fucking show. I'm quoting a Larry David line

from Curb Your Enthusiasm, I've never seen it or heard him deliver it. I don't know. (sighs)

jessamyn: I didn't even know that's where it was from.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. I just realized just... yeah.

mathowie: Oh, Horse of Thrones! Oh, this is so great.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Horse of Thrones.

jessamyn: I did not see your... what? Talk a bit.

cortex: I beat you to the pace. Horse of Thrones is really simple. It's just a Tumblr where they stick horse_ebooks tweets on top of stills from Game of Thrones. Juxtapositional humor.

jessamyn: And horse_ebooks is just nonsense to begin with, right?

mathowie: Yeah, yeah.

cortex: It's like weird maybe semi-human intervention, probably Markov chains, spammy nonsense.

mathowie: To promote an ebook company of some sort? It's so strange.

cortex: (laughs) Or something, I don't know. But anyway, this blog is by jeudi [ˈd͡ʒuˌdi]? jeudi [ˈd͡ʒuˌi]? I don't know how to pronounce this person's username.

jessamyn: I say jeudi [ˈd͡ʒudi].

cortex: I'm going with jeudi [ˈd͡ʒuˌi]

jessamyn: Jewy? [ˈd͡ʒui]

cortex: Judy? [ˈd͡ʒudi] Yeah, Jewy [ˈd͡ʒui], yeah. I'm just going to start saying that all the time at socially inappropriate moments.

jessamyn: Happy New Year!

cortex: "How's your sandwich?" "Oh, it's jewy."

jessamyn and mathowie: (chuckle)

mathowie: Oh, god.


cortex: (takes a sip of an unidentified beverage in a glass, sets it down on a surface) Dead air.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: When does Game of Thrones start back up again?

mathowie: Oh, probably the spring, right? It's been... right?

jessamyn: I don't know.

cortex: I have no idea, I'm...

mathowie: Downton Abbey's supposed to start this fall.

jessamyn: Community starts in the spring.

mathowie: Really? Augh.

jessamyn: That's what they keep saying. Or winter, whatever that is.

mathowie: Oh, like February they let the first half-season run without them. Bummer.

cortex: You guys gotta be like me and just be constantly years behind because Netflix hasn't picked it up yet.

mathowie: (laugh) Yeah.

cortex: It's so liberating.

jessamyn: I'm watching Spaced now. Is that good enough for you?

cortex: Spaced? Yeah, awesome. Go you.

jessamyn: It's terrific. And very old.

cortex: I wish I could see it again for the first time.

jessamyn: I know! I know. I've been enjoying it a lot because there's a lot of great Simon Pegg supporting interesting stuff. He was on Mark Maron's podcast--

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: --and just talked about Spaced most of the time.

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: Because... I don't know why. Because he was talking about how he'd gotten his big break, and that was in some ways kind of his big break.

mathowie: Does it have an annoying laugh track like IT Crowd?

jessamyn: I don't even know. It's one of those things, I don't notice it, so I wouldn't know if it had one. I don't think so.

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: Oh! Although, speaking of other things I'm very behind on, I'm in season 2 of Doc Martin, and the lady that runs the IT Crowd crowd in the basement has just shown up as his replacement

secretary, and it's wonderful.

cortex: (laughs) Wait, was this the one you were saying, was this the spin-off from... not St. Elsewhere, but...

jessamyn: No, no, no, no.

cortex: No, it was...

jessamyn: This is like a BBC Cosy kind of thing.

cortex: Yeah, but it was a spin-off from something, and so it can't be... oh, I'll have to look it up. But yeah.

jessamyn: I think it was a spin-off from a movie? Or another show? Like, there was another Doc Martin show, and then there was this one?

cortex: Yeah, I think he was a character on another show, or something, but I might just be making this shit up.

mathowie: [??] I'd never heard of--

jessamyn: I think he was also Doc Martin on another thing.

cortex: Oh, so--

jessamyn: And then it turned into this seven- or eight-season thing.

cortex: Oh, okay.

mathowie: I've never heard of Doc Martin. Is it a BBC thing or something?

jessamyn: Yeah. But it played on PBS around here, so a whole bunch of people started seeing it, and then I spent a lot of time in a vacation location over the summer that has a library with a giant DVD collection, unlike mine. So I spent lots of time just ripping DVDs down to my computer so I would have them for

winter cycling.

mathowie: Shweet.

jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah, it was.

Here's another thing that I liked, which is just WTH? Athens.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: This is by staggering termagant, basically, who lives in Athens, and got tired of driving around being like, "What the hell?" And so he pitched a column for the local newspaper, and they took him up on it--him? her? them? oh, the worst! I am the worst--Robin? So, see, I still don't know.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: Shit! I'm guessing...

mathowie: Married to Leslie, has a child named... (laughs)

jessamyn: I'm guessing female.

mathowie: ...Lane.

jessamyn: So she?... At any rate, there's a collection of columns, and there's sort of neat... it's neat!

cortex: That is neat.

mathowie: Yeah, it's cool. They're like little micro-interviews with something weird happening. I thought it'd be like a funny Tumblr blog of a-ha, like I've always threatened to make--

jessamyn: No, no, it's serious writing.

mathowie: Yeah. I always threatened to make a Tumblr of making fun of Portland when there's something just oh so Portland happening, but this is cool.

cortex: I briefly tried to do a sort of satirical terrible things on Craiglist for free in Portland Tumblr for a while, but then I realized to some extent every time I try to be like, "Who would ever want this?" my wife would be like, "Well, if somebody does...", like, uh, that's a really good point. And so I was left with either just being a dick just to be a dick, or not updating, so I stopped updating.

jessamyn: Which is really not your nature.

cortex: Yeah, it's, I don't really, I don't like getting into the, hey, I'm just going to fuck with you because I can sort of thing. It doesn't, it's not really my milieu. It's hard to...

mathowie: Yeah. So, it's like, "What's the deal with those guys with the signs spinning them on the roadside?"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: "Well, here's an interview with three or four [???]."

jessamyn: Didn't we talk about that last month, also, the sign flipper people?

mathowie: (chuckles) I don't think s...

cortex: We may have. There was a couple great ones near me where they've closed the circuit and there's a pawn shop or something...

jessamyn: Wait, did we not talk about the sign flippers? Because if so--

mathowie: We did talk about the sign--it's been a while.

cortex: Maybe we should talk about the flign flippers. Flaflofl!

jessamyn: Well, then I'm going to have to talk about them, because I think there was a sign-flipping post. But at any rate, keep talking.

mathowie: Oh, one--

cortex: Well, there's this, so this is one odd--sorry. (laughs)

mathowie: Go ahead.

cortex: Well, if you want to keep talking about what you're talking about, then I can come in with the sign-flipper when [she finds it ?].

mathowie: No, no, sign flip and then I'll tell you about one other [??].

cortex: Okay, so there's this pawn shop where they took a mannequin, like some mannequin of some lady, blonde wig standing there dressed up in whatever clothes,

holding a sign, and then they attached a pneumatic pump to--

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

cortex: --whatever you call that, the kind of gear that makes something oscillate.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: So she's, it's a fake person standing there waving a sign around obnoxiously, and it's brilliant.

jessamyn: Boogyeh! Yes.

mathowie: Yeah. I've seen that happen somewhere else, and it freaked out my daughter, because she thought it was a person, and then it wasn't.

cortex: (chuckles) It's super weird. It's uncanny valley shit.

mathowie: And then I was like, oh my god, what do those guys that make ten bucks an hour feel like? They've been replaced by a mannequin robot! Ohh.

cortex: Yep. Someone spent fifteen bucks.

jessamyn: By a mannequin and yeah, a vibrating motor.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Yeah, this was, sorry, there was a Metafilter post about it that I had put on my list of stuff to talk to you guys about and then totally forgot. So I'll bring it up during Metafilter time.

cortex: Alright.

mathowie: I loved, this was like the most weird Athens, was this one post I just put in the chat, which is a car wash owned by an Indian dude, and he has an Indian grocery store in it. Like, it had a mini mart, and so it's just stocked with Indian food. Like, that's awesome!

jessamyn: The best. The best.

mathowie: But if you pulled in, you'd be like, "Whoa, this is w..." Like, wow, there's thirty kinds of dal. I did not know that.

jessamyn: And there's stuff that tells you how to make, at the very bottom, how to cook your chickpeas up.

mathowie: Hah, yeah. (chuckles) That's awesome.

jessamyn: No, yeah, that's cool. It seems like a really great idea, and the person just, Robin just pitched in and was like, alright then.

mathowie: I loved that, just, "There's weird shit in this town, can I write a column?" "Go ahead!" Like, that's good.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I should maybe offer to write one in my town. Although I'd find one of those things where everyone's like, "Yeah, we know."

mathowie: (chuckles) That's so Vermont.

cortex: See, we've got this little local paper for St. John's, specifically, and North Portland.

jessamyn: Which is your neighborhood, right?

cortex: Yeah, yeah. It's this little portion of the northern quadrant of town and it's, they put out, I think it's like a monthly thing, and it's actually printed, but it's like eight pages full newspaper print, newsprint, I guess they call that.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: (chuckles) And it's like, four of the eight pages are written every month by

the same guy who's sort of like the local historian, self-nominated, and it's like a high school paper, you know?

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: [??], it's not super great, and it's kind of pretty darned light on content, and I kind of feel like there's this and then there's the St. John's Facebook group.

mathowie: Ohh.

cortex: Which, see, is at least as active, although it's people being Facebook-y people. And I feel like I could pitch to this newspaper a "What's up on Facebook" newsblotter column.

jessamyn: Ahahaha!

cortex: To sort of tie the two together and try and, you know, yeah.

jessamyn: That is not a terrible idea.

cortex: It's not a terrible... although I've got enough stuff going on right now that--

jessamyn: It would involve work.

cortex: Yeah. It'll have to wait until I've decided I'm disenchanted by some other project that's already eating time, because it seems like it would be effort.

jessamyn: Right. Wait until it gets more wintery.

cortex: Yeah, yeah.

I had--

mathowie: Any last Projects?

cortex: I've got one more. I've gotta totally get some nepotism on.

jessamyn: Uh-oh.

mathowie: Oh, Jesus.

cortex: My brother--well, he made a fucking board game!

mathowie: Oh, yeah, that's cool.

cortex: I think I've probably mentioned it at some point. But it's out, you can actually buy it, we got our copy in the mail, it's a ton of fun if you're like an RPG geek type person and you like a little bit of running around killing things in a dungeon using little miniature figurines on tiles--

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: --it's great. It's a good time.

mathowie: Oh, so there's no dice, there's cards instead of dice?

cortex: Yeah, it's just cards, it plays real fast. He did a really nice job of figuring out a way to take that combat stuff and strip it down so it's super simple--

mathowie: Nice.

cortex: --instead of being a great big 200-page rulebook fucking thing.

mathowie: Hah!

cortex: Like, the rulebook for actually playing the game is shorter than the rules in the player's handbook for just grappling in actual D&D.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Which is a famously complicated stupid... like, it's just, every, you want to talk about rules-lawyering, try talking about rules-lawyering how to do kung fu.

mathowie: Oh my...

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I love RPGs, but there are things that... (laughs)

mathowie: Did you listen to one of the last Judge John Hodgman podcasts? He settled a dispute between two guys that had been playing a D&D-type game for thirteen years together.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: And they're like growing older, right? They started college, now they're in their thirties, and they meet monthly in this... and one of the guys is like, you know, man, it just takes so long... like, we encounter strangers, and we talk, and we do,

what do they call it, there was a thing for talking, what did they call, I can't remember the word for it, but he just said, we talk and we talk and we talk, and we spent like twelve hours around this one stranger in the forest came up to us, and so he said, I want to make our lives more exciting, so he just fights, and it pisses everyone else off.

jessamyn: (laughs) Instead of talking and loading the stuff.

mathowie: Right. He just goes in, Lee1roy Jenkins-style, and just like, and he's the fastest of them all, so he starts a fight--

jessamyn: "There's a new stranger. Punch him in the face!"

mathowie: Right! And they're like, "What?!", and then, so there's seven people playing and I guess six of the people hate it, and he's like, "I'm just trying to make our... I just don't want to sit here for two weeks talking about some elf in the forest. Let's just kick his ass." And so it's funny--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: --because they have this ridiculous long-ass thing on Judge John Hodgman, and they actually kind of get into a fight during the call--

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: But then, in the end, it's really good. It's really good, because they kind of captured a moment in it. But it's nothing but rules, it's nothing but oh my god, it just made me

never want to play (chuckles) anything with a twenty-sided die ever.

jessamyn: I think it just is a good rule about not playing any game for thirteen years, right?

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Like, RPGs are really fun, but I think like all games, you either have to be kind of in it for the long haul... but you still, the long haul should be a little bit, not wicked long, you know? People change.

mathowie: Yeah, I think they had been playing the actual same game for three or four...

like, the same characters for three or four years, and that's what, and they're like, well, it's just because your character can run fast that you run faster than us and start a fight and then ruin the game for us.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: It's just so... it's fantastic.

jessamyn: So he runs ahead of them to pop this elf in the face or whatever?

mathowie: Yeah. He always gets the first roll, I guess, in any encounter, because he's the fastest or most agile.

cortex: He's got initiative, man. You know, it's...

mathowie: (laughs) Yeah. It's just, it's so... I've never played D&D in my life and I loved the hell out of this

hour-long podcast about ins and outs of hyper-D&D specific rules.

cortex: I would love to see you sitting in on a game of D&D.

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: I don't even know how it would go, but I would just like to... because it's such a weird specific sort of style of gaming that trying to figure it out as you go is sort of its own interesting process. It's worth experiencing even if you don't want to do it ever again.

mathowie: (laughs) I like how your brother made a Berserking card for (laughing) you're just going to kick ass.

cortex: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: Sure!

mathowie: That's awesome.

cortex: There's a bunch of stuff in there. Yeah, it's, I'm actually really proud of it.

mathowie: How long has it--?

cortex: It's really awesome. Like, you know, he's my brother, I would have been like, hey, good job, you made a game, even if it had been a piece of crap. But it's actually really a good game.

jessamyn: Way to go French Fry.

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: How long does it take to play a game, or do you just play it forever, or...?

cortex: You can play it, like, if you all know what you're doing you can play a quick 15-20 minute game, you can do it more as a series of dungeons over the period of a few hours, you can

probably do some sort of epic campaign, but it wasn't really designed with that in mind specifically.

mathowie: Hm.

cortex: So yeah, it's nicely modular that way. You can just have someone lay out, okay, here's a dungeon, let's pull out some monsters, boom, let's go, and then you can just get into it. So it's nice that it's not that pile of setup necessarily.

mathowie: Does it--how did he find people to print it and make it? Like, is there a...?

cortex: Oh, geez.

mathowie: Is there a CafePress of game, or do you find someone in Portland, or...?

jessamyn: Well, he had a Kickstarter, right? And then...

cortex: Yeah, he had a Kickstarter, and he was recently going to do something that was I think sort of a hybrid

small-run semi-commercial printer. Like, not CafePress, but still in that sort of business model of, "Okay, we can produce some stuff," and he thought he was going to get the pieces and assemble them at home and then send those out, but there was a whole big thing, you can read the Kickstarter updates on it, but basically Hurricane Sandy happened.

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: And so that delayed printing for months because the folks he had set up the print run for, they were affected, and he was like, "You know what,

you're going to need business when you do get back on your feet, I want to stick with you because you've set up a good thing, and so let's make this right and I'll wait and then you can print it once you guys are back up and running." And then they, like, I don't know, lost their mind and finked out on him anyway because who knows. So then he had to change anyway, so he went to a commercial printer, and so it's actually like an actual commercial print run.

mathowie: Oh, cool.

cortex: Which cost him a few more thousand dollars out of pocket to hit the, whatever, 250 unit minimum that they do.

But as a result the whole thing is really nice quality, because it's like commercial printing material, and it's just a really great box, so.

mathowie: Oh my god, eighty dollars! Wow.

cortex: Yeah, well, it's a big pile of game in there.

mathowie: Games cost... yeah. Well, I mean, I... yeah. I could, I think, what's that stupid railroad game I bought?

cortex: Ticket To Ride?

mathowie: Yeah, yeah, and that's like sixty dollars for a board game!

cortex: Oh, yeah. It's the state of things. A good-sized board game with a lot of stuff in it's, yeah,

a sixty, seventy, eighty dollar thing now. It's kind of crazy, but at the same time, compared to what I paid for Resident Evil 6, which was a piece of shit that (laughing) I'm never going to play again, eh, for a board game you can do with friends, it starts to make a certain amount of money value. Or you and three people going to the movies, you know, so.

jessamyn: Who goes--?

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah, it's very close to the cost of an Xbox game or something.

cortex: Yeah. So a good board game I don't really feel bad about spending, I don't buy them a ton, because it's still expensive, but it's easier for me to feel alright about it, because I'm buying something that

that's gonna continue being this thing that we can keep coming back to.

mathowie: Yeah. Alright, cool.

Should we go on to Metafilter stuff?

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: Let's do it.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: Well, actually, that would be a great, well, sort of a medium--

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

mathowie: Bumpy segue.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: A medium segue. But, back to the thing that I thought I'd already talked to you guys about is skatz posted a thing on the artistry of sign spinning.

Which is basically a Daft Punk--

sfx: (audio plays in background)

jessamyn: --video that celebrates--

cortex: I hear somebody's audio.

jessamyn: You know, I'm trying to watch it and talk to you guys at the same time.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: That celebrates the sign spinner people, and I had, you know, I don't know if it's an East Coast/West Coast thing, I had never, literally never, seen people do this before, and I guess it's a completely big thing on the West Coast.

cortex: It's all over Portland, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So I enjoyed the post itself, which is kind of a Daft Punk video, and then I enjoyed listening to people talk about it, because they see them, and then I went and saw the sign spinners, some of the sign spinners on Ellen on a related video--

mathowie: (chuckle) Are these guys--?

jessamyn: Including that guy--oh, sorry?

mathowie: Are these guys all real? Is this real?

jessamyn: Yes!

mathowie: Like, this looks... this looks like a parody of signs. Like, they're so insane.

This is insane.

jessamyn: What do you mean?

cortex: These guys are better than the average for Portland, but it's not...

mathowie: They're doing like handstands and spinning it fifty times in the air, landing on their heads, like...

jessamyn: They're very talented individuals.

mathowie: Did someone just pay dancers to do this for a day?

jessamyn: (laughing) No! They're sign spinners.

mathowie: Alright.

cortex: Well, and it's L.A. There's a lot of free-floating talent.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: They are dancers slash sign spinners.

cortex: There's a lot of unemployed people with potentially marketable skillsets, so.

mathowie: Yeah. (laughs) These are insane!

cortex: Yeah. There's been a kid actually just down the street from me, like, there's a Pizza Hut near me and they apparently put a couple weeks' worth of employment into a guy with a sign, and he always just looks super fucking cheerful every time I drive past. Like, he's not amazing or anything at spinning, but he's having a good time, he's like, "I can't believe I'm getting paid ten dollars an hour to stand here spinning this fucking sign around!", you know?

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Probably a summer job, I haven't seen him in a week or so. But yeah, no, this is great.

I just hope this is--

jessamyn: And josher71 basically popped up and said, "Hey, I sign, I hold signs," and talks a little bit about it.

cortex: Oh, nice!

jessamyn: I just loved the little tiny thread.

cortex: Yeah, that's great.

mathowie: The ones in Oregon are pretty sad, they're just like pizza places I've seen and pawn shops. It's like "Buy Gold!" or "$8 For A Large Pizza" is all I ever see. And it's mostly people fake air-guitaring I see a lot.

And throwing a sign. But yeah, I've always seen Southern California sign flippers are being awesome.

jessamyn: Yes. It was impressive.

mathowie: And you can always be replaced by a mannequin.

cortex: (laughs) So up your game, son.

mathowie: (chuckles) There was this actual nice comic about sports. Did you see this? It was The Toast, which is like the new comic that's getting passed around constantly. I noticed

a zillion links to on Facebook or Twitter.

jessamyn: Not me!

mathowie: But it's basically this writer, Molly Brooks, I guess, is behind The Toast, and she just writes this thing about how fiction and real life aren't that different, and how sports is wonderful once you understand the story behind, and this is why people are insane about sports. It was really good! Even though I hate sports and I'm not a huge fan of comics either, it was really good.

jessamyn: How can you not be a fan of comics?

mathowie: I mean...

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: You know, I'm not a fan of the hype around comics. Like, there's just...

jessamyn: Oh, they're too popular for you? Comics.

mathowie: No, people won't shut up about superhero comics, and as a kid I always just found them kind of insulting, like, ohh, Spiderman, whatever. X-Men, whatever. They'd never been interesting to me, and people spend their entire lives obsessing over them. I always felt like I'm missing something.

cortex: You've gotta do what I've done lately, and get yourself a Marvel Unlimited subscription on your


mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: And just read every Punisher comic book ever printed, because it's... I think it's probably the comics version of a cleanse.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: You know, by the end of it something has just been changed inside of you.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: And it gives you a little bit of perspective on the experience of narrative continuity and so on.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Oh, this is the lady that did the street harrassment comic. That's where I've heard of her recently.

cortex: Yeah, that's why I was recognizing the style.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I wasn't saying I don't like her, I just was saying I didn't think I'd heard of her, but I--

mathowie: No, you support street harassment, I understand, that's what you're saying. You hate it.

jessamyn: You know how I support street harassment!

mathowie: (chuckles) Oh my god! I just noticed in my favorites griphus' [ˈɡɹaɪfəsˌɛz] post was a post--

jessamyn: griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs].

mathowie: griphus [ˈɡɹɪfɪs], that's right. I was going to make this post, and then the double-linker showed me that he beat me by two weeks to it, which is...

cortex: Yes. You'll see in the bottom of that thread is a comment from me to basically the same (laughs) point.

mathowie: Aww, man, yeah!

cortex: I was like "Oh my god, this is amazing, I'm going to--fuckin' griphus!!"

mathowie: I started writing it up! And I was like, "How did I miss this two weeks ago?! I look at every post!" But yeah, it's this guy who just takes, he's awesome, tripod images over twelve to twenty-four hours, and just splices--

jessamyn: Oh, that's where this is!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I saw one of these pictures on mlkshk and did not understand what I was looking at.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, I put it on mlkshk because I loved it so much. I was like, this needs to be--

jessamyn: Like the Sydney Opera House picture was the one that you had...

mathowie: Oh, the Raleigh one.

jessamyn: Or the Raleigh Hotel.

mathowie: Yeah. And it's like, it's so simple! I've been doing sequences and stuff in Photoshop. What he's done here is so brilliant and easy and should have been done ten years ago. It's really cool. So you'd get, what is it, a photograph, it's a static microsecond when he took that photo, but he takes them over twelve hours and then stitches them--

jessamyn: With a tripod, right?

mathowie: Yeah. And he stitches them back together however he feels like, so night and day appear in the same photograph.

cortex: Yeah. It's really neat.

jessamyn: It's lovely.

mathowie: So neat! And I was so like, "D'ohh! You beat me to it."

cortex: In summary, we're going to ban griphus.

mathowie: (laughs) That's right. For owning time travel.

jessamyn: No one's banning griphus.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: He owns a time travel device, and he beat us by two weeks.

cortex: So I can tease him. We podcast, you know. It's the brotherhood.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: We've been through that Hellraiser hell together.

mathowie: Changes people.

jessamyn: (chuckles) Here's one of those posts that you wouldn't think you would love at all, but I enjoyed only because I was a real big fan of The Misfits during the years 1985 to maybe 1988, and Pope Guilty made a post that was just basically links to a Tumblr blog, which is brief summaries of the song lyrics of The Misfits, who have a whole bunch of completely disgusting songs.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: "Every night I kill classmates who were mean to me and girls who expressed a negative view of me, bringing grim souvenirs home for my mother."

mathowie: Wait, these are their summaries? Oh, yeah, these are their summaries.

jessamyn: It's like a one, it's a single-serving Tumblr post.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: "I am killing the entire human race with my army of space zombies. Can I get a little appreciation here?"

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: But if you know the songs--which are gross and over-the-top and you know, I mean, fun in a certain way, but unpalatable, but it's funny... I don't know. It's funny to me.

Maybe only to me. But I enjoyed seeing it because I would never have tripped over this.

cortex: How do you feel about The Misfits versus the later solo work of Mr. Danzig?

jessamyn: Oh, come on, that man is ridiculous!

cortex and mathowie: (laugh)

jessamyn: The Misfits were like a time and place thing, right? They were important to me because I was a young person at the time that they were already kind of on their way out, but Danzig is ridiculous, and everything else I think is maybe ridiculous. In fact, The Misfits may be ridiculous, but I

can remember when they were important to me, you know what I mean.

cortex: Well, and I think The Misfits, it seemed a little bit more like something that was cohesively, you know, I don't know if they were self-aware, I wasn't like, I'm saying this, I was a little young. But at least it felt like the whole thing felt wacky, whereas Danzig, the video for "Mother"--

mathowie: (chuckle)

cortex: It was like the most thorough self-parodying thing I feel like I've ever seen.

You cannot be that serious while being ridiculous.

jessamyn: Except you get the feeling that he is serious business. And that's why it's so weird.

cortex: Well, yeah, no, I wouldn't pick a fight with him. I wouldn't (laughing) tell him to his face that it was so ridiculous.

jessamyn: You're taller than him, dude! He's a very short man.

cortex: Yeah, but he's got all the muscles and the eggroll-looking thing.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Being taller than him would not stop him from wiping the floor with me, I am sure. It just means he'd have more leverage to do the wiping with.

jessamyn: Sure, sure, I hear ya.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Man, Internet memes, I'll never think of Danzig without thinking of him holding bags of kitty litter and walking in a parking lot. Like, ohh, Internet memes. I'll never think of Keanu Reeves except for Sad Keanu, every time, that's the first image that flashes in my head.

jessamyn: That says more about you than it does about Internet memes.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: It's the Internet!

cortex: I still [gotta find ?] an inductive proof. I've still gotta work that out.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: I had this theory that you can take the phrase, you know, saying X says more about Y than it does about Z--

mathowie: Ohh.

cortex: And then you can plug that phrase itself in as Y, so saying that saying X about Y says more about Z says more about W than it does about Q, you know, and you can keep expanding it.

jessamyn: I love it when you talk about math.

cortex: And I'll post a thing sometime. I'll make a blog post.

jessamyn: I would enjoy that.

cortex: I'll keep myself honest on this.

jessamyn: Okay. Okay.

cortex: Speaking of Internet memes, there was a nice post of the Geocities archive of Mr. T Ate My Balls, which was a nice throwback for everybody.

mathowie: Oh, neat! Yeah.

jessamyn: Ohhh. Yes!

cortex: That Mr. T, (laughing) he sure loved eating balls.

mathowie: That was the dumbest thing.

cortex: (laughing) It was!

mathowie: I mean, that was the first meme I ever saw. I remember being there while it happens, going like, "This is so dumb! Why are people repeating this on every site I go to?" Ohh, it made no sense. It was just...

jessamyn: I didn't understand it when it came out. I don't know where it came from. I remember the Ate My Balls mega-page.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Just all of it. Good lord.

mathowie: Like, why did it start? It's so dumb! It's just, I guess, absurdity. It's just like, let's just mke up an absurd phrase and spread it around everywhere. Like, I remember the, what, All Your Base was soon after it? I think All Your Base was probably from '98 or '99, and it's like, yeah, at least that's a thing! It was a funny phrase in a video game.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: But Ate My Balls, Mr. T...

jessamyn: Ate My Balls chatroom, screensavers...

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: The Institute for Testicular Consumption...

mathowie: Oh, right, and then like...

jessamyn: Ate My Balls Most Wanted...

mathowie: Dick Gephardt Ate My Balls is a page? What?! Oh my god, it makes no sense.

cortex: Yeah. And that's the appeal.

jessamyn: Please see previous we're all old discussion.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Yeah. I loved this post about, because it's one of those Metafilter things where I just didn't know it existed, that there was this thing in the world.

It's an angry photographer's blog pointing out other photographers, small-town photographers, that just steal images. And I guess this is thanks to Google's reverse image search, when this person stumbles upon, "Chattanooga, Tennessee wedding photographer!", with way too nice of photos, and you do a reverse image search and you find out, oh, they stole these from... and this is the wall of shame blog. It's nothing but...

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: It's unbel--it just, like, who would do this?!

They're trying to pass off hundreds of famous photos as if they're their own, and everyone in the thread's like, "this is so crazy! Why would they do this?" and they put their watermark on other people's photos, and they cut off watermarks on stuff they find. It came out in the thread that, people are like, "oh, these people are just trying to get more wedding photo business, so they put the most impressive crazy photos, that are straight out of Vogue, that look subtly like they're at some famous person's wedding, so, you'll pay them $500 to show up to your wedding."
And it's a total rip-off. They're going to get terrible photos (heh) compared to what they show.

cortex: Yup.

mathowie: It's just - I didn't even know this existed! Why would you do this?

jessamyn: Wow! Especially when it's so catchable, right?

mathowie: Well, now it's catchable. I think they thought they could get away with it. Like Google reverse image search is sorta new, last six months, maybe.

cortex: I think the thing is now it's trivial. I've seen this sort of thing before, but it was always more, slightly higher-profile, stuff,

where it was like, "Really? You used that stock photo art?" or et cetera, where it was easy to notice when something that showed up in a marketing campaign got re-used in a different one or something like that, but yeah, now that you can just say, "Hey! Tell me where else you've seen this arbitrary image, giant robot overlord!"

mathowie: (chuckle)

jessamyn: Well, and that you can have a small-reach website to people who aren't particularly web-savvy who could just never know that those are not your photographs.

cortex: Exactly, yeah.

mathowie: And there's also some of these where this guy, the person who runs this,

site, goes onto Facebook and goes, "Hey, you're stealing images from here and here!" And there's always amazing stories of, "Oh, my intern put up those photos! Ohh!"

jessamyn: "They stole it from me!"

mathowie: Or, like, "Oh, we didn't even know! We had a junior person did a Google image search when I told them to look for a similar photo, and they accidentally posted..." Like, and some of them double down, they just go, "No, yeah, I took that. No, I don't care what you say, I took it." Like, there's crazy stuff.

Oh my god, there's a really bad Photoshop where someone just took a photo out of Vogue and put someone else's head on it.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: It's so bad!

jessamyn: Oh, that was her own head, if I recall correctly, if I'm looking at the same thing you're looking at.

mathowie: Oh my god.

jessamyn: Like, she Photoshops her own head onto a model's...

mathowie: Oh, yeah! [??]

jessamyn: So yeah, it's fascinating. nevercalm's post.

mathowie: I did not, yeah, I did not know... and it, you know, I guess in those small towns you'd never know this existed, and it's kind of cool that

someone put these...

jessamyn: I mean, the best thing you could hope for is yeah, you could Google and someone would be like, "They steal things!"

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah, man.

mathowie: Whoosh!

cortex: Or you could be like that crazy spammer dude we were dealing with a month or two ago who just wanted to keep, however he could, posting the article about the apartment scammer in New York or whatever.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah. That was weird.

jessamyn: Oh, god, that's right, I forgot about that! That's fading into the distance now.

cortex: Yup. Maybe that was two months ago that was going down.

mathowie: Yeah, it was a couple months ago.

cortex: I don't know. That seems to be about the horizon for my Metafilter bullshit memory, like, if it's been more than two months, that was a thing that happened in the past somewhere, and I will move my brain on to worrying about more contemporary Metafilter issues.

jessamyn: See, for me there's the pre-Jeremy and taz days, where before Jeremy and taz, we had fewer people to remember stuff with.

mathowie: Mm.

jessamyn: So I was telling Jeremy about some user and I was like, "Oh, yeah, blablabla, you know about them," and she's like, "What? No. I totally do not actually know that."

cortex: (laughs) Yep.

jessamyn: So I had to go back and be like, "Oh my god, I can't believe that was before your time!" Because we can have people who have seven years of being awful before Jeremy even showed up, you know, so if they've been relatively dormant for two, three years, her and taz wouldn't necessarily know the behind-the-scenes stuff, and yet we'd all be like, "Ohh, that guy."

cortex: Yeah, it's just some old user showed up, yeah.

jessamyn: Or lady. But it's usually a guy. But yeah.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Yeah, sort of related, the flip side of that, with my memory of what's gone down and what hasn't, I was talking about this

little bit over e-mail, I think, last month or something, the fact that now that we actually have proper shifts and that we're actually working something like 40 hours a week each, rather than being sort of constantly vaguely on call 168 hours--

jessamyn: Sure, sure, sure.

cortex: --I do miss a little bit the total information awareness (laughing) that I had when I sort of was constantly, but now--

jessamyn: Well, there's some people you just don't overlap with as much anymore. Like, when I don't work on the weekends now,

I miss people who are very active on the weekends entirely.

cortex: Yeah, exactly. So it's like, yeah, it's interesting, I was just, I basically ended up having a four-day weekend here because I was at the beach and LobsterMitten took my Friday morning shift, and so (laughing) I feel like I'm four days out of everything that happened and spent this morning just trying to claw back.

jessamyn: You really are, actually. This particular four days, yes.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. (laughing) Which was smart of me. Go me!

jessamyn: Thanks for jumping back in!

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Oh, man. Thursday. (laughs)

jessamyn: So here's another thing that I enjoyed. The post by timelord, who is a long-time user, but hasn't, this was their first post, which was how I saw it, and the title is "I--"

cortex: Wait, you're telling me a long-time user who's only just now being active is some some sort of time lord? They're some sort of...

jessamyn: You interrupted me for that.

cortex: Yeah, I'm, yeah, I know. (laughs) It felt better in my brain than it did when it finally came out. Do go on.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Wait. One day a year they play polka on a train?

jessamyn: Well, not only that, but with their post "I Am A Ski Train Polka Master," it's basically public television, Alaska public media and PBS digital studios did these little "let's talk about Alaskans". And one of them is the yearly ski train with the polka band. But a whole bunch of other ones, a hooligan fisherman, which was not really what I though it was, "I inherited a sled dog team," the paramotorist, which was also not what I thought it was, and if you scroll

down it's a teeny, teeny thread that had eight comments and twelve favorites!

mathowie: Aww.

jessamyn: But charmedimsure, one of our users, plays in the polka band sometimes!

mathowie: (laughs) What?!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I know!

cortex: That's awesome.

mathowie: Wow. Man, there's some weird Venn diagrams.

jessamyn: Totally, totally the best, charmedimsure. Who I met at one of the smallest Metafilter meetups I have been at, in Alaska.

mathowie: You went to a Metafilter meetup in Alaska?

jessamyn: Yeah, because I was out there for the Alaska Library Association conference, and I had a meetup!

mathowie: Holy shit. That's awesome.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: I didn't know we ever had one in there.

jessamyn: Yes!

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: Yeah, you know, we should start compiling data and see if we've had one in every state. I assume so, but maybe not in Montana?

cortex: Hmmm.

mathowie: We've got all the continents. Oh, I'm sure The Deej had a meetup in...

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Well, the problem with Montana is whether there's anybody else within an hour's drive of Deej who's a Metafilter user.

jessamyn: Wyoming... North and South Dakota... I'm curious!

mathowie: Yeah! Let's--

jessamyn: At any rate, it was a delightful little thread, and everybody should check out those videos. They're short, interesting, and will teach you about Alaska and what words like 'paramotorist' mean.

cortex: That is excellent.

mathowie: Was it a parachutist, or was it a...

jessamyn: It's a person who basically has one of those paragliding things--

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: But then once you get up, you sit in a little thing with a fan on the back of it and drive around in the air.

mathowie: Huh. Flying cars, the future.

jessamyn: Amazing. Super amazing. And the guy who talks about it is just this kinda cool, kinda hippie dude.

Is this the Doctor Who thread? What is this?

cortex: This is the... I liked this post, mulligan made this post about online dating lorem ipsum, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's basically lorem ipsum random text generation thing that takes a bit of stuff, presumably straight, from--

jessamyn: Aaah! (gasping with laughter)

cortex: --dating profile stuff, but then...

jessamyn: Oh, no.

mathowie: But it's awesome. It's like every middle-aged white person, what they talk about.

jessamyn: "I am oddly aroused by motorcycle collection, polyamory, other shenanigans well-built."

mathowie: Neutral Milk Hotel, Myers-Briggs, like everything snowboarding, vegetarian...

jessamyn: "If I make fun of you, it's because I like you. Extreme, I am a hoarder, but only top-shelf stuff."

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: Speaking of Neutral Milk Hotel, one of the best little details in the thread

is a user says, they quote, because everybody's generating and quoting bits they think are funny, so they quote Neutral Milk Hotel and then wrote, "Just found the name of my new band!" and then someone else is like, "You know that is a band, right?"

cortex, jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)

cortex: Because it's like, yeah, it totally sounds like a made-up, that would be a great name for a band name. They just went and existed, those jerks.

mathowie: Aww.

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Born ten years too late.

cortex: Yep.

jessamyn: I did not see that when it came out.

mathowie: That's funny.

I loved this Make Magazine year of, or best videos of a guy who just makes stuff in his shop and films it with time lapse, on probably a Go-Pro, and it sounds -- there's no music, just ambient noise, and it's like "I'm gonna mill down this entire thing and make a table out of this plank of wood", and prrrt prrrt [powersaw noise] and they only take like three minutes and you watch them make something over the course of a week, compressed to like three minutes. They're just mesmerizing and amazing, and
they're so good. It's just like, "Here I'm going to make this thing on a lathe", and drrrt, and you just watch the wood just fly away, and it's really cool. I don't know why, it's like watching Bob Ross paint, it's just awesome to watch this guy make these amazing things. It's just twenty steps of woodworking and stuff, just super sped up.

cortex: Would you say...

jessamyn: I'm watching "DIY skeleton key".

mathowie: I love the horse antler mount he made,

cause it's just...involved.

jessamyn: Wow.

mathowie: Jessamyn, you probably -- I saw you posted on mlkshk one of the Hilda pinups? I had that in my favorites.

cortex: Oh yeah, was there -- there was a post about that right?

mathowie: Yeah, there was a post.

cortex: Okay.

mathowie: Here it is.

jessamyn: Yeah! That generated some...uh...

cortex and matt: (laugh)

jessamyn: It was eunoia's post, "America’s Forgotten Pin-Up Girl", Hilda, who was kind of a plus sized pinup Queen...

and there was some fun pinup pictures and I enjoyed them, but of course there were a little bit know, a little bit of odd back and forth, like always.

cortex: Yeah, that was one of those "I'm not on duty, so I'm not going to read it" threads, [Jess laughs] cause I liked that there was a post about it and I'm sure there's lot of cool stuff but I can imagine three different arguments that I'm not going to read, like for pleasure. So...(laughs)

jessamyn: Right, right right. I just enjoyed this picture because I thought Hilda looked like heatmiser.

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

With the hair. [Cortex laughs]

jessamyn: But it is one of those things, like should you be happy that pinups are all sorts of different kinds of women? If you're a, sort of a sex positive person? Or, is the whole concept of pinups sort of inherently, uh, problematic which, I've now learned the word "problematic" is to some people problematic, but...

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: [incredulously] What?

jessamyn: Whatever! But it's an interesting, it's an interesting thing to talk about. Like I said in the Metatalk thread, I mostly want to know how people feel about these things,

not whether they share my belief system about the whole thing. So to me, having kind of these funny pinups of people who are built more like more people I know is...neat.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: But other people had different opinions.

mathowie: Yeah, most of the like, positive comments I saw were like "Oh my God she's so sexy", like...

jessamyn: Totally!

mathowie: ...and also, plus sized but like "Wow, super sexy! I've never seen this one, this pinup in all of the 40s pinup stuff, where was she?" and stuff.

jessamyn: Yeah, I don't...

mathowie: "Problematic" is problematic. (laughs)

cortex: I was going to say, with problematic, if people think "problematic" is problematic you should tell them that they're problematizing it, and then [Matt laughs] I guarantee you, they will immediately latch on to "problematize" being problematic, and then you solve the problem by...shifting it.

mathowie: (laughing) Did you see this-

jessamyn: I'm not telling them anything.

mathowie: -on the flip side, did you see the steamy -- it was linked in the thread -- steamy homoerotic world war two ads for towels? These are actual ads for a brand of towels

and there are all these naked men? Like-

jessamyn: I should basically get Buzzfeed to... not load in my browser any more.

cortex and matt: (laugh)

mathowie: But these are full of- these are amazing! Like, this is in a magazine, these ads? (pause) This is the most-

jessamyn: Stilll waiting for them to load...

mathowie: Aww.

sfx: (pause)

mathowie: It's fast for me-

jessamyn: Oh! (laughs)

mathowie: They're kind of incredible.

jessamyn: Dude, that's adorable! They are totally homoerotic, that's great.

mathowie: Um, I like-

jessamyn: Dudes sitting around being all naked -- well back when people used to swim naked more than they do nowadays.

I like the first one or the second one because it says "What, no bath salts?" Which-

mathowie: Huh?

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: -has a particularly ironic, modern twist.

mathowie: (laughing) Just getting naked with my fellas, and takin some bath salts.

I like this thread about the Dead Horse Bay, it was pretty cool, 'cause I've been there, and had photos to share...

cortex: Oooh. Horse rendering plant.

jessamyn: From [username] nonasuch. Oh, the horse rendering plant! Yeah, I did not see this thread at all.

mathowie: Yeah! It was sort of like the end of Brooklyn, like no-man's-land, like immigrants live there and it's just rendering of dead horses and garbage, like it's the worst, it's like all of Manhattan and Brooklyn, sorta. This was the worst place to be in New York a hundred years ago. And there's sort of this bay that still, there was some contention in the thread, but I had heard from a guy who studied it, an anthropologist, that this was the result of,

like, they put in some freeway through the middle of Brooklyn, and they just basically bulldozed through apartment buildings and dumped them on this beach. Which wasn't a beach before, it was like a marsh or something, and it sort of eroded away to a beach. Some of the thread was like, no, that was a landfill, but the anthropologist guy showed us that this happened in summer of 1953, and every bottle you pick up, like, there's nothing from 1954 in the entire pile.
And you can tell, he showed us 7-UP bottles in 1953 had a very unique graphic on it, and that's the only ones we could find and stuff.

cortex: Huh. That's really neat.

mathowie: So, and sitting out there, and it's like, you can just take the subway to it, and the weird part is, you can pick up a perfectly preserved 7-UP bottle from 1953 and clean it out, like, they don't really have that many barnacles on them or anything, and you can go to a fleamarket in Manhattan and sell it for ten bucks, and that's what some people

do. Like, they just pick up the garbage and... and it's also like, when you see it, it's just like a sea of glass. It's kind of beautiful even though it's gross, and it's mostly old garbage, and when I posted photos on Flickr people were like, half the people were like, "That's beautiful," and half the people were like, "That's disgusting. Why haven't we excavated it?"

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Right, like that's super easy.

mathowie: "Why doesn't the EPA... why isn't that a Superfund site?", you know. Like, "This is disgusting. Why are you celebrating this?" It was really weird. People, man.

jessamyn: Speaking of buried treasure...

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Well... this post, by Kid Charlemagne, which basically happened kind of nearby here--here being Massachusetts, I guess, not Vermont--but Wayland High School, preparing to move? They found a great plastic Samsonite briefcase that had information and scrapbooks and stuff from a guy who had been one of the death camp liberators at the end of World War II, with a whole bunch of pictures--

mathowie: Whoa!

jessamyn: --and a whole bunch of interesting information about that. Fascinating. Faascinating. And a nice website about it.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Not a super busy thread, but very interesting. Forty comments, seventy-three favorites.

cortex: Huh.

mathowie: I sort of saw the thread and read it and was like, oh, yeah, I'll need to get to that. Like, I didn't click the link. I'll go to that some day.

jessamyn: I clicked through. I was having a slow news day, and so I clicked through all the pictures, and there's a ton of letters, I mean, because the thing is, a lot of the people who did that kind of stuff in the Army or

whatever didn't really talk about it.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: There was a lot of stuff that was kind of too horrible to really deal with, especially in the conventions of the day. And so scrapbooks like this are one of the ways we can actually learn some stuff that people may not have talked about openly otherwise.

mathowie: Did they accidentally find it, or was it one of those time capsule thingies, or...?

jessamyn: I don't remember.

mathowie: Huh. Well, I mean, it couldn't have been a time capsule. That would be weird to put all this really sensitive World War II info in a time capsule.

jessamyn: Well, and it was after the fact, so...

mathowie: Yeah, yeah. Wow. That's creepy. But cool.

jessamyn: Yes. Super interesting, very high-resolution. And the people made a really nice website about it, which was great.

cortex: Well, speaking of a high school...

jessamyn: Mm? Mm?

cortex: ...this post includes songs that I heard in high school.

jessamyn: (slightly musically) He-he.

mathowie: (laughs) Niice.

cortex: This is a post by schmod collecting a bunch of, well, to a site, a SoundCloud user account--

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

cortex: Collecting, yeah, just isolated vocal tracks from various songs. And I always like that sort of thing.

jessamyn: How do you do this? Is this a thing you can use tools?

mathowie: There's--yeah, there's a tutorial.

cortex: You can [??] tools so far as you can get your hands on stems, which are sort of partial remixes of different pieces of a recording. So instead of finding all 24 tracks of a 24-track session,

there might be stems that have the main vocals on one track, the harmony vocals on another, the drum and bass on another, guitars on another, something like that.

jessamyn: Got it, got it.

cortex: So, and people pull some of these sometimes, you can pull them out of, the Guitar Hero games have to isolate the various parts because when you screw up, that part goes away until you start doing it right again. So they've got the separate tracks for those, and they re-recorded some of those for those, so people extract that data and can get the vocals that way.

Bunch of different approaches, basically.

jessamyn: I'm now listening to you explain this over Shannon Hoon's vocals for No Rain. Which is pretty good.

cortex: (laughs) Which are great. They're so weird, and [??] listen out of, because the song has a weird shimmery feel to it as a song, but then you get rid of everything else and you realize part of that is just straight-up in the vocal tracks.

jessamyn: Right, right, right, yeah.

mathowie: (sings) No rain!

cortex: We were speculating over in the thread how exactly they did that, whether it was a chorus or a [phasor ?] directly, or... so yeah, it was just, it was neat to listen to.

jessamyn: [Phasor. ?]

cortex: And if you haven't listened to a cappella vocals from these songs, it's really interesting to strip away all of the context.

Because there's so much--there can be, at least, so much nuance and so much character in just the vocal delivery. But we tend to think of them as a song, a whole thing that a band is doing.

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

mathowie: Wow! That No Rain sounds amazing.

jessamyn: Doesn't it?

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: (hums three notes: F#-G#-E)

mathowie: Should we go to Ask Metafilter stuff?

cortex: I want to mention a couple quick just sort of knowledge drop-in comments.

jessamyn: I have two quick ones. Sorry. Metafilter was great this month.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: (chuckles) Well, it's been a long month.

cortex: Well, and it's a long month for us, right, it's been a month and a half, so you know, what do you do.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I liked, there was a post about the guy who... (laughs) the title of the post...

jessamyn: Oh, the... (laughs)

cortex: "The Downtown Hotel is once again requesting donations of human toes." There was a hotel that [??] sell a drink--

mathowie: Oh, right, yeah.

cortex: --that you can drink with an old severed toe in it.

mathowie: (sighs) Augh, Tod.

cortex: And some guy swallowed it and walked out. But specifically there's a comment from gompa, who has in fact drunk the toe,

or done the toe, rather, you know, had the drink with the toe in it--

jessamyn: Aah. Euh.

cortex: And he just writes a few paragraphs about the situation. It's a really nice little bit of--

jessamyn: Why did we not put this on the sideblog?

cortex: I don't know! I mean, I favorited it. I think--maybe we'll go back to it after the fact.

mathowie: Because it's too gross? (laughs)

cortex: No, maybe we'll go back and do that after the fact.

jessamyn: Maybe we couldn't find a good picture to go with it.

mathowie: (laughing) Oh, god, the toe.

cortex: Maybe, yeah. I think it should go up, I just, yeah. I had favorited it, and I'll never remember to come back to it now.

mathowie: Let's do a quick Flickr...

jessamyn: You know that's how stuff gets on the site.

cortex: I know, I'm lazy.

mathowie: Flickr stuff...

jessamyn: Things.

cortex: I just, if I don't know exactly how I want to frame it, I kind of freeze up, and that's

really lame of me, but it's what happens.

mathowie: Oh, think--

cortex: I'm like, oh, well, maybe at some point I'll have the perfect framing for this, and then half the time one of you two ends up putting it up there. Half the time, I'm...

mathowie: Severed toe.

jessamyn: Letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

cortex: I know, exactly. That's the problem. I'm getting all wrapped up in my shit about it, and I need to not do that, so.

mathowie: Severed toe.

jessamyn: Alright. I have two quick links that I promise not to talk about that people should look at. The oldest surviving broadcast video recorded electronically to videotape,

a post about quadriplex videotape by crapmatic.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: It's amazing, and sort of a look at broadcasting and how we have early recordings of television stuff.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: And, number two, everyone who was curious about what all the Kendrick Lamar stuff was, cashman put together a terrific, terrific post with lots and lots of good resources that many people just decided to ignore and start arguing about.


cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: But, not only was the thread delightful, it turned into a rap battle at the end, which everyone who enjoys rap battles would probably enjoy these nerd rap battles. I was surprised there were so many MeFites who were so good at rap-battling type of interaction.

cortex: I think it's nice to be able to do it on paper, is part of it. I mean, that's not to belittle the people who jumped in--

jessamyn: You mean, yeah, not having to do it in a [??].

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: --but it's, there's something about people take fifteen minutes and knock it out rather than

do it right there, right then. I did a jokey little one in a MetaTalk thread, I think, that was related to that, but even that was me sitting and thinking, okay, how can I put this together? Whereas you put a mic in front of me, it's like, "My name is cortex / and I'm here to say"--

mathowie: (laughs) Exactly.

jessamyn: Nothing rhymes with Jessamyn. I mean, very--

mathowie: Ohhh.

cortex: I mean, you've gotta say that in a thread like that, and then you'll get a bunch of people come up with some clever ways to work around it. You just jam words together that independently rhyme with parts of your name and stuff like that.

mathowie: "Nothing rhymes with Jessamyn / Except for the [mess o' men ?]?

jessamyn: The [mess o' men ?] and 'specimen'.

mathowie: (chuckle) Ohh.

jessamyn: Euhh.

cortex: Bless 'em in their little hearts, you know.

mathowie: Ohhh!

cortex: You break it across the middle of a phrase, you...

jessamyn: You break it across the middle of the phrase!

cortex: I just did!

mathowie: Hashtag rap!

cortex: Oh snap!

mathowie: Alright.

cortex: (laughs) Oh, I also wanted to mention real quick, bfootdav came into the recent Chelsea Manning thread, which, yeah, it's sort of a heavy drama thread to read through, but they dropped in a bunch of

info specifically about their take on the mechanics of what might be going on with Wikipedia--

mathowie: Oh, nice!

cortex: --process for figuring out whether or not and when to re-name it from Bradley Manning to Chelsea Manning as the title of the page. So it was, I thought it was interesting as a, all of the politics, all of the surrounding context aside, here's just the actual sausage-making bullshit that you need to take into account for what's probably mechanically happening on the site.

jessamyn: Well, and we did have a couple of other people, in addition to that, go over to

Wikipedia and kind of come and report back, because it was--

cortex: Yeah. (chuckles)

jessamyn: --very complicated to figure out exactly what was going on, yeah.

mathowie: The most interesting thing about Chelsea, Bradley Manning's story is--

jessamyn: Just say Chelsea Manning. Just say Chelsea Manning.

mathowie: Yeah, I know, I know. I just meant the entire, the quote-unquote controversies, seeing that lobbed into popular culture? Like, we've been in, like, man, trans issues Metafilter for two years, and to see it lobbed

into popular culture, and seeing people react to it, is just an interesting litmus test, right?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: That people are like...

jessamyn: As people do not handle their shit, you mean?

mathowie: Right, yeah, yeah. The people... like, the Wikipedia thing blew me away when they weren't falling back on the weird "Have to have a sex change!" or "Chromosomes matter", which is what I usually hear from weirdos. But the Wikipedia people seemed to be hung up on, "What is the legal name? Once the government says..."

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: "...Chelsea Manning is named Chelsea, then we'll change it." I was like, "What?! I've never heard that."

jessamyn: Well, and it's the definition of kind of rules-lawyering, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: When they get just really uptight about wanting an authority that is other than the authority of the person who's having the thing, right?

mathowie: Right. Oh, I guess we could use--

jessamyn: It's weird to watch that whole thing happen.

mathowie: --Wikipedia's supposed to reach out to outside sources and authority for what's on Wikipedia and I guess that's some attempt? It was, I've never heard that,

I've never heard that, you know, someone being lame to some transgender person and leaning on the legality of names, like, ever.

jessamyn: Really? Then you actually haven't been reading even the threads on Metafilter.

mathowie: (laugh) I mean, I hear so much about chromosomes, you know, and sex, so much more. Like, augh, wow.

cortex: Just check your non-full-time mod privilege, man.

mathowie: Hah. Want to go to Ask Metafilter? (three tongue clicks)

Let's see, we go back to January...

jessamyn: July, you mean.

cortex: (laughs) Well, you know, however far.

mathowie: July, I mean. Starts with a J.

jessamyn: Well, I wanted to point out a couple of just short ones that I enjoyed that pointed me to things and that were kind of open-and-shut cases. One was "Help me find this comedy short about pumpkin spice obsession,"

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And this was by sparklemotion. They basically asked the question. Ten minutes later somebody posted it, but I watched this adorable comedy short about people

losing their minds about pumpkins.

mathowie: (chuckle)

jessamyn: And it was really a good use of several minutes of my life.

cortex: (chuckles) That's awesome.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Because I'm one of those people who kind of enjoys pumpkin beer and I'll cook a pumpkin every now and again, but watching people lose their collective shit over a flavor that actually a lot of people don't actually like is amusing. I like the color, too.

cortex: Yeah, I grew up hating pumpkin, and I've been clawing my way back, but I've actually gotten

out of a lot of things I didn't like as a kid or whatever, but it turns out that pumpkin I still just don't like the texture of it at all. I'll drink a pumpkin beer. I was averse to all spice for a while because I associated it with pumpkins and pumpkin pie and whatnot, but it turns out allspice is fine in a pumpkin beer, just beer that has some tasty flavors in it. But man, pumpkin, yeah. So I'm (laughs) I'm going to have to watch that just to see (laughing) how everybody reacts.

mathowie: That's a running joke, right? That, like, oh, it's officially pumpkin in everything season. Like, woohoo.

jessamyn: Right, right, that's, yeah, exactly. That's kind of what the video's about. And then just another open-and-shut, I don't know how people do this, "Help me find a book," it took an hour, but basically, "I don't remember anything about this book, but the cover of it was a kid jumping between rocks."

mathowie: (laughs) That's amazing.

jessamyn: Here's the...

mathowie: People remember the covers.

cortex: Man, I don't remember what question it was, but there was a thread like that, I want to say recently--oh, you know what it was? Someone sent in

an anonymous, "Oh hey, can you post this to AskMe because I can't log in," or, I don't remember what the deal was. But anyway, they wanted to offer a suggestion, and it was like someone, the same thing where it was like, "Hey, I don't remember what book this was, but I kind of remember some things about it." And people had like a dozen suggestions and none of them turned out to be the right one.

mathowie: Aww.

cortex: But yeah, no, it's like that. It's the video store question, the, you know, "You know that movie? The one! I think the guy was in it! The guy was in it, yeah."

mathowie: "With the guy?"

jessamyn: "The guy with the thing. Who was, he did the thing."

cortex: Yeah. Next we'll do the airline peanuts thing.

mathowie: I was just looking at my favorites, and didn't we talk last month about the weird wedding question of, like, can you invite yourself to a wedding, because it's a Catholic wedding, and they're public?

jessamyn: It was the guy with the mom, yeah.

cortex: Oh god, that one, yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: And there was, and then this was in my favorites! But it was after our podcast recorded, but it's a very similar situation. It's pretty much the same situation.

cortex: I'm sure it comes up.

jessamyn: No, this is the post.

mathowie: Ohhh.

jessamyn: Did we not--?

mathowie: No, we didn't talk about it on the podcast. We recorded the podcast two weeks before this post!

So we must not have... wow. I thought that was on the last podcast.

cortex: You know, this might have just come up in e-mail.

mathowie: Yeah, maybe so.

cortex: It may have just been dealing with, you know, there's some deleted comments, it was probably something tied to that and we just, we were talking about it over e-mail.

mathowie: Yeah. I didn't know this was a thing you could do. (laughs) Invite yourself to a wedding.

cortex: Well, it's weird.

jessamyn: I swear we talked about this on the podcast! That's so weird!

mathowie: I know, right? We talked about it at length!

cortex: Maybe there was a weird echo. Like someone asked something, basically the same thing, three weeks earlier, and then it came back around or something. I don't know. I don't know!

mathowie: Oh, I had also favorited, in a different, well, call-back to Metafilter is the Kendrick Lamar thread spawned an Ask Metafilter question about--

jessamyn: Oh, yeah!

mathowie: "Is there good hip-hop with minimal swears?" Which is something, as a parent, I'm on the look-out for now. (laughing)

jessamyn: Sometimes? Well, and that was kind of the downside to the whole Miley Cyrus twerking nonsense, is that Macklemore did a beautiful version of Same Love which is totally not sweary and closed out the Video Music Awards,

and backed off at the end of the song to two women singing to each other. It was amazing! And it didn't get any coverage because twerking.

cortex: Yup.

mathowie: Yeah, you know, my TiVo taped it and I went back and watched it and that's only like 90 seconds--

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: --and it is like a minstrel show, it's so over-the-top, and you can tell she's trying to just outrage everyone and get rid of her childhood persona. And it was so made to

rile the world up. It's so fake. It's so ch--

cortex: Well, it is very cookie-cutter, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Can I propose that we just don't even...

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: (laughing) Devote more time to the subject.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Don't start idling about it? I think that's good. Yes. Resolved! Gavel. Clunk.

mathowie: Done!

Oh, here's a cool one for Internet old people like us. "What was the first site to ever have an up-down vote system?"

jessamyn: Oh, yeah!

cortex: O-ho!

mathowie: So like everyone attributes it to how Digg used to be, because they were the ones that ran with it, but then people were like,

"I liked Hot or Not as a option," but people were like, "Well, Slashdot let you vote +1/-1, but that wasn't like a big up-down." But then people noted that Amazon had, you could say yes or no whether a comment from Amazon was, and eBay had feedback of positive and negative in the mid-nineties, so--

jessamyn: But Hot or Not really was the vote on this, yes or no on this.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: It really established it. And, plus, you know, they use the ten-point scale, so they're granularity, man.

jessamyn: Yes.

mathowie: Oh, right. It just wasn't up-down, though, yeah. I guess that misses the mark, because that was zero out of ten. Oh, I'd forgotten about that. I thought it was up-down, but I think you're right. Yeah, there was a slider, or something?

cortex: I think it was radio buttons. It was like one through ten radio buttons.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah. So that was fun, as an old Internet person. (laughs) To try to go, "What was the end?" Yeah, that's right.

jessamyn: Speaking of the old Internet people, I also enjoyed

yet another "let's help me find some really good stuff on subreddits like you guys are always telling me exist but I cannot find."

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: It was a short thread but it had like twenty or thirty little subreddits that are neat! And worth looking at.

mathowie: Culinary advice. Huh. Neat.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Wow.

I liked this one about tactics for a 24-hour mountain bike race where you have multiple team members, you have to do laps, and someone was trying to mathematically figure out so, do we go faster?

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Do we use the square root of something to figure out when people should be riding, and it came to, you know, just don't kill yourself out there, and just try and do a lap or two at a time.

jessamyn: And no one drives themself home, that's what I enjoyed.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Yeah. And basically, the math was bullshit, everyone was like, yeah, don't do the math thing, just go to your abilities. (chuckles)

jessamyn: Ride as much as you can.

mathowie: Yeah. Did you--?

jessamyn: Yeah, there was no super Ask Metafilter, like, no kitty stuck in a closet or, you know.

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: I think this one about the most amazing one who ever lived, just give me stories of these incredible women probably had the most favorites for the entire month, I would guess. It had a zil--

jessamyn: Did it?

mathowie: Yeah, I saw it mentioned on Twitter a bunch from random people

So there's just all these stories of these amazing women who did...

jessamyn: I enjoyed this thread, by [user] Just this guy, y'know.

mathowie: It was...

jessamyn: Though it didn't make it--yeah, it was second, second in all-time favorites.

mathowie: Let me see the last three times. Ohh. Yeah. The old life-changing realization monthly thread. Was the most popular.

jessamyn: Here's a thread that I had hoped was more... I mean, it got a lot of favorites, but not a lot of responses, and I had hoped it would be more popular, was "I really like those explain-y


mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: "Like Slate's Explainer, the Economist's Explainer, xkcd's What If column. What else will I like?" And I was kind of one of the early commenters, like, "Oh, you might like Ask the Deep Space expert." But I would think, like, Ask The Pilot got a lot of traction after the...

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: What incident was it? The recent--

mathowie: The Hudson River?

jessamyn: Oh, no no no no, that dork who claimed he was on the plane that almost crashed and didn't, who wrote the article and people were like--

mathowie: Oh, yeah, yeah, the New York Times.

jessamyn: "you made it up" and then asked the pilot and it's like, "yeah, pretty much." But I'm sure there's lots of those little columns that you never hear about until something blows up and then you have to ask, you know, "Ask an Egyptologist what's going on with that!"

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: And suddenly the Egyptologist gets super popular.

mathowie: It's almost like you need to know the weird term we use as your phrase for Googling. Like, you know, I guess we're going to call them explainers now, so that's a

pretty unique phrase, you know. Like I was trying to tell, someone was telling me about how some amazing article they're writing, and I was like, "Oh, that's that new genre of amazing articles that are super-long about things we all know about inside and out and yet we don't know the backstory."

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Like the Blues Brothers and the Big Lebowski now has one, what did they call it? The Oral History of Blank, that's what--

jessamyn: Right, right, right, right.

mathowie: So I'm like, gotta call it, whatever you do when you publish it, you call it

Oral History of Blank, the thing we all know about, and then you'll get a bazillion people finding it. Cool.

jessamyn: Right. Because that's how they now know to look up. This is one of those things we learn in library school! And it's so gratifying to see other people learning how to do it.

mathowie: Yeah, it's kind of like social word make-up stuff.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh uproariously)

jessamyn: We call it 'creating a thesaurus', but yeah.

mathowie: Yeah, we socially--

jessamyn: 'Controlled vocabulary' is what it's called, but yeah.

mathowie: It's also like the taxonomy, the tag taxonomy, the tags...

jessamyn: Having a taxonomy, yes.

mathowie: Yeah, that we make up our tags on the fly. Very cool. That's about all I had.

cortex: Neat! I liked this--sorry.

jessamyn: Oh, I loved this thread! Sorry, go on.

cortex: It was a question from nathancaswell saying, "I just read an article about the real estate market in Detroit," and he linked to a number of houses that were for sale for less than five hundred bucks, and basically, "what's the deal with that?" Because obviously you don't sell something for five hundred dollars that's a house unless there's something going on, and just sort of asking what else is going on with this that you would be able to do that, and

a bunch of people talked about various other, yeah, costs and liabilities and reasons why it can't be looked at as just a cash bargain. You have to think about everything that comes with owning it and the territory and what it can do to the neighborhood in terms of--

jessamyn: Right. And it's like, look, if people who think they can make money flipping houses don't think they can make money flipping a five-hundred dollar house, don't think you're going to make money or have a nice place to live or


cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Is it not in the documents or whatever? Like, there isn't rules that if you buy it you should be forced to make it not be basically condemned? Like, shouldn't you be...?

jessamyn: No! I mean, you may be thinking of improvement zones that they've done stuff, like Philadelphia and DC--

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: --where it's like, "we're gonna give you this house cheap that the city owns, or the bank owns"--

mathowie: But... yeah.

jessamyn: "But you've gotta make a deal that blahblahblah." These are just human beings who own houses and are like,

"Fuck it, if you'll give me five hundred dollars, you can have it."

mathowie: Forty bucks?! Oh my god, that's...

jessamyn: But I mean, you know, there are places where... you know, real estate is almost free, they're just not places most people, if they had choices, would want to live.

mathowie: Oh, right, like there's that town in Kansas that was basically paying people to come from New York or California, like, they'd give them five acres and a house if they would just promise to live there for a year or two.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Huh. Wow!

jessamyn: But, you know, it's hard to have a job. I mean, especially with dorky Internet people like me, who has a job where I can take anywhere, it's appealing to think about, but realistically speaking you've got to think about what else do you want. Do you want a police department? Do you want a fire department? You won't have those in inner-city Detroit if you buy these houses.

mathowie: Yeah. You'd also have to be a super-construction person.

jessamyn: Or be able to pay someone.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But still, you'd have to watch your house every night to make sure people weren't taking things, because there's a lot of people who are really

down and out and having a very difficult time.

mathowie: I liked that people pointed out in the thread repeatedly, like, "If there was a way to make money on this that was easy, people would have done it already!" You know, because it sounds on paper, oh, buy it for two hundred dollars, I don't know, paint it and sell it for five hundred, I'm sure someone already tried that, you know, and it's not gonna work.

jessamyn: Right, and then people steal your paint, and then, yeah, exactly.

mathowie: Or copper pipes, or something, yeah.

jessamyn: Right, right, right.

mathowie: Whoa, there was a Business Insider about... here's the downsides of everything about this. That's cool.

jessamyn: Yeah, that I think somebody linked to in the thread.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: I also enjoyed this post, by... bluh, bluh, bluh... hold on. (sings) Da-da-da-da-da-da! It's very long, I was at the bottom...

mathowie: Going to college...

jessamyn: Oh, it's an anonymous post! And basically, they were like, "Look. I want my daughter to feel like it's okay to be sexually active at college, so I want to give her a survival kit, I want to toss in condoms and lube, what else should I

put in it?" And aside from the "maybe you shouldn't put condoms and lube in it, because those things are basically free at college anyhow, here's some suggestions". But there was some good conversation and I think a lot of good ideas, and, you know, it came on the heels of that Metafilter post where, the "Dear Daughter: I hope you have awesome sex" Metafilter post that people had mixed feelings about to begin with, but, you know, thinking about, "Okay, how do I send my daughter off to college?" We have a lot of Metafilter users who are college-age-ish who talk about, like, "This was helpful for me, this was not
particularly helpful, blah blah blah buh blah," and it turned into kind of one of those good list-generating threads.

mathowie: (chuckles) I loved that "quarters for laundry" is probably the most popular.

jessamyn: No joke, right? But we all need.

mathowie: Like, oh, yeah, it is a thing. We all have to do laundry! Don't they have magnetic swipe cards at this point in most...?

jessamyn: Some schools do. Some schools do.

mathowie: I liked the, the one that tugs at my heartstrings is, "just send her off with a heartfelt letter about how much you love, admire, and believe in her."

That's as good as it gets.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughs)

mathowie: Ha-ha! (laughs)

jessamyn: And that and the five dollars'll get you a double latte at the local coffee shop.

mathowie: Might get you a spin cycle.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: (chuckles) Is that about it?

jessamyn: I think that's it for what I was looking at!

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: I've got a little bit of Music if we want to roll that.

mathowie: Sure.

jessamyn: I love a little bit of Music.

cortex: There was, I think we mentioned in the last one and it was sort of in progress, but the David Bowie--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: --Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars cover project, where everybody--well, not everybody, a bunch of people signed up to cover one or another random track assigned to them, and we ended up getting a bunch of those! And (laughing) we ended up slightly improving how playlists are generating on the Metafilter Challenge page once we realized that some of the assumptions were made--

jessamyn: Because there wasn't a way to do, yeah, playlists that span multiple months.

cortex: Yeah, it wasn't catching later entries because of the assumptions we've made. So now I think they're all in there.

But, I mean, there was a bunch. I can't mention them all, but just a few that I remember really liking. Slothomatic did this nice cover of Starman.

sfx: (Music: Starman by Slothomatic)

mathowie: Oh, nice.

cortex: That I thought was really sort of cool, and I think this was like, this was their first attempt at recording anything, so as far as that goes that's like fuckin' A, you've got something cool going on here.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Way to go, Slothomatic!

cortex: kaboomer, who's posted a few--

mathowie: Who's not slothy.

cortex: Sorry, what are you saying?

mathowie: Oh, I was saying, who's not slothy after all.

cortex: (laughs) True, you know. It really... well, maybe it took him a while. kaboomer did a bunch. I really liked the

the Moonage Daydream they did, in particular.

sfx: (Music: Moonage Daydream by kaboomer)

cortex: It was just like a great big epic take on this big old song. So that was pretty awesome. nicolin, who does really nice acoustic guitar stuff, did a really laid-back take on Soul Love that I thought was just gorgeous to listen to.

sfx: (Music: Soul Love by nicolin)

cortex: And then, yeah, and there's a ton of them. People, we got something like, I don't know, upwards of a dozen, maybe eighteen, something like that, total submissions. We started in on the Metafilter Request Raffle is the next big challenge that's happening, where people can send in a request for a given sort of song! Anything you want, any level of specificity,

just send it in to an e-mail address. There's a MetaTalk post about this that I'll find a link for here somewhere. But yeah. Basically you throw it in the bucket and then random MeFite musicians who are interested will say, "Hey, give me a raffle entry," and they'll take whatever that challenge is and they'll go ahead and try and record a song for it. So you can check out the MetaTalk thread for more detail about that.

jessamyn: Is this where I ask people to do my "the greatest thing about a wiki is that anybody can edit it" song?

cortex: Yes! This would be precisely where to do that. Go to that MetaTalk thread...

jessamyn: Does this e-mail go to you?

cortex: No, no, no, it's not, thankfully, no.

jessamyn and mathowie: (laugh)

cortex: I am not a responsible party in that one. I just, I'm just a [??].

jessamyn: The messenger. The messenger.

cortex: Yes. But we have our first fulfillment. dubold did a recording of Mystery Science Theater 3000 per someone's request to do something genre-bending covering that, so he did a really nice Magnetic Fields

pastiche version of the theme from MST3k.

mathowie: Magnetic Fields. (chuckles)

cortex: So that's pretty great.

mathowie: Oh, wow.

jessamyn: So if I had lyrics and no song to go with it I could put that in a raffle?

cortex: Sure! I would say why not? Send it [??]

mathowie: That's half the work done!

cortex: Yeah. Boom. Yeah, you're saving them some effort.

jessamyn: Great. We should probably put that on the sidebar, because I think people would like to know about that. That's really excellent.

cortex: Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, we definitely should.

mathowie: Yeah!

cortex: I wanted to make sure the basic ironing out of the kinks happened.

jessamyn: Sure, sure, sure.

cortex: And then I figured, yeah, we'd do that this week.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: And two other quick things, not really any challenges, but a really neat little cut-up mash-up

--well, just cut-up, really--project done by we are the music makers, which is a great name for someone posting on Music.

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: It's a neat sort of video and audio thing cutting up some street performance by street musicians, so it's just a cool thing all together.

mathowie: Huh.

sfx: (Music: Moonshaking Masher by we are the music makers)

cortex: And then just this morning there was a great track posted by es_de_bah, just a great little rock track that I really liked listening to, so I thought I'd mention that.

sfx: (Music: Christmas Eve (redhanded) by es_de_bah)

cortex: And boom! That's the Music Minutes.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Thanks for that report!

mathowie: Sweet! Awesome.

jessamyn: Back to you, Matt!

mathowie: I think we're wrapped up.

jessamyn: Perfect!

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Also, there was a comment in MetaTalk where someone said, "Do emus even live in villages?", and It's Raining Florence Henderson said, "They live in emunicipalities."

mathowie: Ohh, wow.

cortex: There's your bad, bad, bad, bad pun for the--oh, actually, you know, I want to mention one other whole post!

mathowie: For the month. Pun. Pun of the month.

cortex: In the same spirit, there was a great, terrible font pun thread in MetaTalk that spawned out of a question about thematic posts where people all start doing something--

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And then it turned into everybody doing type jokes. It was very self-fulfilling, so. That's a great little post on both fronts, there you go!

jessamyn: Nice work.

mathowie: Awesome.

jessamyn: Oh, and I think we also changed the way we closed threads, so instead of them being a calendar month they're now 30 days, or did we not decide to do that?

cortex: I don't know if we actually did that yet. We were talking about that.

mathowie: I don't know if he pushed the code out, but yeah, Paul was working on it.

jessamyn: Alright.

mathowie: But yeah, we should do that, because it's just weird.

jessamyn: But now he's camping.

mathowie: (laughs) He's probably camping.

cortex: Well, not until this weekend. Well, actually, I guess, yeah, maybe he's still camping.

mathowie: [??] it was a weekend, he's always camping if it's a weekend.

cortex: Yeah, fair enough, I guess.

jessamyn: Good! I would be too. Except living in Vermont is a lot like camping.

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

mathowie: Alright, cool!

jessamyn: Alright! Nice talking to you fellows.

mathowie: 'Til next month.

cortex: See ya in three weeks, I guess, probably.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: We're going to get back on the top of the month if we can.

mathowie: (chuckle) Yeah.

jessamyn: Alright.

mathowie: Alright, bye.

cortex: Buh-bye.

jessamyn: Bye.

sfx: (Music: Metafilter Request Raffle - MST3k Theme by dubold)

sfx: (Music: Metafilter Request Raffle - MST3k Theme by dubold, continued)

sfx: (Music: Metafilter Request Raffle - MST3k Theme by dubold, continued)

sfx: (Music: Metafilter Request Raffle - MST3k Theme by dubold, continued)

sfx: (Music: Metafilter Request Raffle - MST3k Theme by dubold, end)


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