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Podcast 91 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 91: "Because Math?" (2014-04-03).

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


jingle: (theme music)

mathowie: Welcome to Episode 91 of the Metafilter Podcast. I am Matt.

jessamyn: I'm Jessamyn.

cortex: And I am the hollow coldness and addled ghost of Josh.

jessamyn: What? Josh has a cold.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: So it is April 2nd, we just had a very successful April Fool's yesterday that worked out pretty good.

jessamyn: Hurray!

jessamyn: Hurray! Nice work, team!

cortex: It went really well. People seemed to genuinely like it, which is nice, because like, April Fool's is always such a bullshit sort of, 'oh yes, your lie about how someone died, or somebody...'

jessamyn: Right, my friends are mean, I forgot they were dicks. Right.

mathowie: You're tricking people, and you don't want people to feel bad, and it's hard to walk that line. But I think we did a pretty good job. Nobody's... we weren't punching down. You know. If we have to...

mathowie: completely explain the joke, it was a fake version of Ask Metafilter filled with fictional characters.

jessamyn: With fifty questions asked by fictional characters from games, books and movies.

mathowie: books, movies, yeah, mostly books. And the funny part was people on Metatalk were like 'ohmigod, this is a ton of work! How did you guys do it?' And I was thinking, 'Well, it was really only like three or four days of coding, but we spent a year...', like, right?

jessamyn: We started collecting them in April last year —

jessamyn: We started collecting them in April last year —

mathowie: yeah

cortex: yeah

jessamyn: — and then there was a big down period and then we re-started.

cortex: Yeah, I'm not sure it counts as spending a year if for ten of those months we didn't actually touch it, but still, yeah, we planned ahead.

mathowie: But that first month, there's something like twenty questions written on the original Google doc, and then we just finished it up at the end pretty quick. And I just, I thought it was hilarious that —

cortex: yeah

mathowie: Well, the best jokes take a while to percolate.

jessamyn: [snerk] I had Jim help too. It's like one of those things he's particularly good at.

jessamyn: Like, I'm kind of, like, I could do a lot of, like, weird anxious characters being confused, but he can kind of find the funny... in... stuff, so he wrote a couple, which I didn't want to talk about too much in MetaTalk, but I figure I'll mention on the podcast. Thanks, Jim! Yours were funny.

mathowie: Yeah, I was writing a bunch of them, but I realized, the well-worn path is to be like, "Oh, I'm having a relationship problem with this other main character in this very popular piece of literature." And that's, like, it's not funny. What are we making fun of? Ask Metafiler and people's real problems?

mathowie: So instead — you crystallized it perfectly, Jessamyn, that like, maybe making a side joke about Metafilter or nerddom in general which was, "Here's this huge humongous relationship problem I'm having with another character. What tiny technical solution can I —

jessamyn: — can I get hung up on —

mathowie: — can I just get, can I just download in thirty seconds... point me to the Lifehacker post that will solve all my problems! Thank you!"

jessamyn: Well, that was the Last Supper gag, which was probably one of my favourites. You know, I'm having this big party with some of my

jessamyn: You know —

mathowie: yeah

jessamyn: — "I'm having this big party with some of my friends, etc., etc., —

mathowie: yeah

jessamyn: I need an iPhone app to split the bill twelve ways."

mathowie: There were some great comments. That was a big deal. So, in the past we'd just do one-off pages or we'd just do a —

cortex: Yeah, back in 2007 we did the big — that was the first time we did, sort of, fake AskMe. We just wrote a bunch of questions, but it was just a big static HTML page designed to look like it.

mathowie: Yeah, and the last —

jessamyn: And then you clicked anything and it took you to real AskMe.

cortex: yeah

mathowie: And last year was Pinterest, but those are just, like, skins on Metafilter. So this one, we, like, you can answer, "Jesus", if you want.

mathowie: And some of the answers are terrific.

jessamyn: In fact many of the answers are terrific. After we got over the initial bumpy, like, "what the hell is wrong with you?", then people kind of got into the joke, and it was great! And then they did an answer key, which is up on the Wiki, and, so if you don't know what some of them are — and Lord knows, I don't know some of them, like, don't think we know them all, because we totally don't — you can figure out what was actually going on.

mathowie: Yeah, I couldn't figure out, like, a full quarter at least. I'd never —

jessamyn: yeah

mathowie: — read those books —

jessamyn: yeah

mathowie: Yeah, and then, some of them were explained —

jessamyn: Well, 'cause, some of them, you'd have to read the book, —

mathowie: yeah

jessamyn: — and some of them, not necessarily.

mathowie: And some of the comments were extra funny if you knew the author's work, and, like, I didn't. You know, stuff that totally flew over my head.

jessamyn: Sure, sure.

mathowie: But when it's explained to me, I could tell that it's super clever.

jessamyn: Right, right, right. "Tell me what's funny about this again?"

mathowie: That's super clever, and super amazing. Yeah. So, yeah, that went really well.

mathowie: I don't think anyone felt bad, which is —

jessamyn: No, I mean, people claimed we could have had more non-Western representation, which, yeah, I could be more widely read in general. That's not a bad suggestion, but I don't think it was so much a critique. And yeah, a couple people were confused, but that didn't seem too awful.

mathowie: For the most part, April Fool's, especially among my nerd friends, is looked down upon as the stupidest day of the year, when everyone tries to do comedy, badly, and are terrible at it. Like, that's the going theme.

mathowie: on Twitter.

jessamyn: I was sort of curious if, like, emergency rooms wind up with more people because, you know, you set up a funny bucket to drop ping pong balls on somebody, but then it fell in somebody's eye, and then... I just, I was curious. Somebody must know the answer to that. Lazy web, help.

mathowie: Ah, that would be such a bummer. Stupid April —

jessamyn: Oh, and I have to point out that 91 is a repdigit in base 9.

So it's 111 in base 9. That's kind of cool.

cortex: It is?

mathowie: Oh, neat.

jessamyn: It's also the smallest positive integer which is expressible as the sum of six distinct squares. So, if you take 1 through 6, square 'em, add 'em together... 91.

mathowie: Man.

cortex: Bam.

jessamyn: That's your math minute. That's your math minute.

mathowie: Somebody stays up figuring that out.

jessamyn: Yeah, all I have to do is read it in Wikipedia, but, pretty cool.

mathowie: Let's see, so, we're recording on the 2nd. Last time we recorded was March 5th. So everything from, I think, March 5th on, counts.

mathowie: It looks like in Jobs, there's some web jobs, some...

cortex: There's not a lot.

mathowie: Um...

cortex: Yeah, not much to talk about there.

mathowie: Not much. Nothing jumps out as super amazing to me.

jessamyn: Are you kidding? Hair cut and colour models? I would like a haircut and colour. And it's sort of interesting, because, like, you can be any height, sex, gender, width, weight requirement. But you have to wear nude undergarments —

mathowie: What?!

jessamyn: — and you get a white-shirt, and you have to wear your own black pants.

jessamyn: Well, basically, it's for people who are doing a student portfolio shoot, —

cortex: Oh...

jessamyn: — so you have to get a Sassoon cut and colour.

mathowie: Oh, I see.

jessamyn: Nothing crazy.

cortex: Oh...

jessamyn: And then, you can get a free haircut.

cortex: See, I guess this does nothing for me, because — I think we've discussed before my general anxiety about haircuts, at another time.

jessamyn: All of us. All three of us.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah. So, the idea of, like, volunteering to go get someone to cut my hair in a way that I did not even — going to try to ask for, it's just, no, it's...

jessamyn: But don't you sometimes feel that there's something a little liberating?

jessamyn: Like, I think my problem is that I know exactly what I would like, but I have no way of communicating it —

mathowie: And I'll never be happy.

jessamyn: — so if somebody did something random, and I could be like, "I don't know, I didn't fucking pick this." But they could do something that would look okay on me, that actually might be totally fine. You know?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I can see that angle; I don't —

jessamyn: It's like wearing hand-me-downs, and you're like, "Well, I wouldn't have picked this, but it pretty much works, so whatever."

mathowie: Well, j—

cortex: Yeah, no, I can see that side of it. I think I'd have trouble getting to a state of, like, inner peace about it, is the thing.

jessamyn: No, I hear that. I hear that.

mathowie: B-

cortex: I am that way with clothes, like, I have a hard time actually looking at a piece of clothing and thinking, "Wow! That's what I really want to wear!" But then, you know, I'll be sort of, "Eh, I guess this is okay." And then, like, a year later, it's the thing I'll never take off, cause it's ??? —

jessamyn: But does your lady dress you, or do you dress yourself?

cortex: I dress very perfunctorily. She helps, as far as that goes.

jessamyn: Uh huh.

cortex: She's, you know, she's willing to bring home a pair of pants, or a thermal, or a shirt, and —

jessamyn: — be like, "This would probably look good on you."

cortex: Yup. And I'll put it on, it's like, "Yeah, okay, that's okay."

cortex: And then, yeah, it'll be like, "Yeah, no, that has holes in it, you should stop wearing it." "But I like it so m-"

jessamyn: Right, "Now you're done."

cortex: But I never know going in, you know? And hair is even worse, because, I mean, I can't even take it off, you know, leave it in the drawer.

mathowie: But Josh, we both have, as dudes, the option of, just shave it off. Which you've done before.

cortex: Yeah, I've —

jessamyn: I have that option. Shut up, I have that option.

mathowie: Oh, yeah, it doesn't— Societally, it's super easy for us to get away with it.

jessamyn: I live in Vermont; it's pretty easy for me too. But I hear you, I hear you.

mathowie: Is it? So, this is kind of cool. This is probably, like, a hundred and fifty dollars' worth of salon time, right? Like that would ???

jessamyn: Sure. Cut and colour? Sure. Free t-shirt? Sure.

mathowie: And that takes, probably, hours?

cortex: But it's kind of like, if you don't specifically want, though, that's like a coupon book for a store you're never going to shop at. Like, here's a hundred and fifty dollars in coupons for, you know, this food that you're allergic to.

mathowie: Aww...

cortex: Just eat up! You know?

mathowie: I just realized it was yesterday today. What a bummer.

cortex: Oh.

jessamyn: We suck.

cortex: Oh well.

jessamyn: Oh well.

cortex: We should have podcasted sooner.

mathowie: They should have given us more time!

jessamyn: Well, we'll have to ask Taupe how it went, then.

mathowie: Yeah. I was — yeah. Well, hm. Okay. So that was ??? job.

jessamyn: And there was somebody who could make leather embossed bookmarks, which I thought was cool, of course, because I would.

mathowie: Yeah, that's different.

In a good way! That was... yeah.
[others laugh]
It was unique!
Not trying to sound like I didn't like it. I loved it.

jessamyn: As if.

cortex: Why'd you marry it?

mathowie: There were a billion projects, so I'm sure you have a billion projects to talk about.

jessamyn: I have, like, three.

mathowie: Okay.

cortex: I also have some projects.

jessamyn: We have such projects to show you.

cortex: Yes. I sent a — That one Hellraiser question I wrote I then sent to Jakob, uh, griphus a note —

jessamyn: I was hoping he would find it and see the higriphus tag, which was the cutest thing! The cutest thing!

mathowie: [laughs] I did not notice that!

cortex: Yeah, no, I sent him an IM about it, saying I handmade you a thing.

mathowie: It's extra hard to write and not give away a joke.

cortex: Yeah, I was having trouble finding specifically, like, tag humour to go with, so I got very perfunctory about mine.

jessamyn: My tags were like, "I am a bug", "I am a bear", that kind of stuff.

cortex: Speaking of projects, and of things we were talking before... I'm going to ride in on the Official Metafilter Dean Kamen Segway —

mathowie: yeah

cortex: — and mention the Tech Industry April Fool's joke generator that —

mathowie: yup

cortex: — bwerdmuller posted.

cortex: Which just generates exactly what it sounds like: random tech industry bullshit April Fool announcements. And it's pretty much perfect.

mathowie: yeah

cortex: Like, it's almost sort of like dull and predictable, which is exactly right.

jessamyn: No, I laughed, though. I laugh every time.

mathowie: It is like, so, it's perfect, it's like 3% different than reality. It's like, half of these things —

jessamyn: "Please support our Kickstarter for a Klingon-language modern-day take on the power glove involving bad taste references to current events."

jessamyn: That could happen.

mathowie: Totally. And it also —

jessamyn: And "" —

mathowie: I know!

jessamyn: — has got to be the best URL.

mathowie: It uses one of the wacky new URLs that just came out last month. Like, I've always wanted to launch something just because they're so ridiculous.

jessamyn: And 'cause it's in Helvetica.

mathowie: Why is ".academy"? I don't understand why they went with that. Like, ugh. So dumb.

cortex: Has Khan Academy registered —

jessamyn: Why who went with that?

mathowie: The ICANN people, they have a list of like a hundred new domain endings, and they're like, "We're gonna test it out with these ten or

mathowie: fifteen, like, in spring of 2014." So they did! And they're just super random. They're super random, they don't really —

jessamyn: Because MOOCs are all the rage, and people think all of our education is going to be online in this idiot way in the future.

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: How is Khan Academy not —

mathowie: Is Khan Academy

cortex: There's nothing at I can't ???

mathowie: It doesn't redirect?!

cortex: No. So I don't know if they're, like, sitting on it in a really really low key way, or if they actually didn't camp it. But, man.

mathowie: They should. Uh, hm. Speaking of our favourite people who make lots of projects, like Ben Werdmuller —

jessamyn: YES!

mathowie: — aparrish, who posts a lot of projects, did an awesome twitterbot app. And there's been many twitterbots in the past. This one was lines from "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover" by Paul Simon, which is, you know, a lot of, I've heard a lot of comedians make jokes about the song because there's only something like twelve things mentioned, or eight things mentioned,

mathowie: the entire song, so it doesn't even live up to the title of the song, and then the methods are pretty dumb, in [that] they're not even really doing what the lyrics say they're going to do. So, this is a twitterbot that just comes up with rhymes on people's names, but it's like, there's some lo—

jessamyn: Paddle the hitch, Rich.

mathowie: There's some logic there. They're way funnier than a bot just making up words should be.

jessamyn: Crawl on a dare, Claire.

mathowie: There's something to do with the rhyming scheme code, that was, like, highly optimized.

jessamyn: Clutter the crank, Hank.

cortex: Drudge in the flan, Jan, and get yourself free.

jessamyn: Doot-doo-doot-doo.

mathowie: Anything with flan is always funny. And it was posted to Metafilter.

jessamyn: I did not see that thread. How'd that thread go?

cortex: I don't —

mathowie: I saw the Projects one. I didn't follow the Metafilter one, but I was just happy to see it get advanced further into the world.

Oh, I posted on Twitter and Laughing Squid Scott guy picked it up and bazillions of people started... he made a post about it and stuff

jessamyn: Nice.

mathowie: It sort of hit the big time.

jessamyn: I have to say, I was in love with the Exponential Binary Clock Countdown! Basically, it just sort of talks about what exponential growth is actually like, and it counts to 2^63 at 100 increments per second. And then it's on an

8 x 8 grid, and I don't know. It's just kind of cool. For people who don't like the blinky stuff--

mathowie: Seizure alert.

jessamyn: --you actually have to go to it real quick. But there's a link you can click so the blinky stuff doesn't blink.

mathowie: Yeah, I don't like the blink. Let me see, toggle.

jessamyn: Seizure-friendly.

mathowie: (chuckling) Stuff blinking really fast.

This perfectly illustrates the mathematical exponential law where someone says, what was it, like, if I give you a penny on day 1,

jessamyn: That's exactly it. Would you prefer to get a penny on day 1 and two pennies on day 2...

mathowie: And I'll double it.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: Right. And then somehow you're going to have $2,000,000 or $200,000,000 by the 30th day and you think as a kid, "Whaat?! That's impossible! Pennies are nothing!"

jessamyn: Right. Double pennies doesn't do anything.

mathowie: Right. This illustrates that in two lines you're waiting until the year 4000 to afford to finish its operation.

jessamyn: And they do mention the chessboard thing under the "What the hell is this?" link.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: And I should mention this is from locrelite [ˈloʊkɛʳˌlɑɪt]? Peter Welch, who is not, I think, any of the other Peter Welches that I know? Is that possible? How many Peter Welches can a person know?

cortex: Well, I mean, if you want to talk possible, everyone you meet could be named Peter Welch.

mathowie: I didn't understand--

jessamyn: Let me see. This is not... either the... well, I have one who's a representative in Congress, and one who was a library student who I met a million years

ago. This is neither of them. So all-new Peter Welch.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: locrelite, username, and I really enjoyed this. He's made one Project post and one comment to Metafilter ever. He's been a member since 2011.

mathowie: It's pretty cool.

jessamyn: Nice going, locrelite!

cortex: In the next three years he's going to leave two comments.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: And then four after that, then...

mathowie: Aaaah!

jessamyn: I don't get it. I don't get it.

jessamyn: I don't get it.

mathowie: In the year 4018, you will be an active member.

jessamyn: I don't get it.

mathowie: I liked TileArray, by Quarantine, and it is... you upload an image to this web app, and it makes like a photo mosaic. And what he uses for photo mosaics are like album covers from wikipedia?

jessamyn: Every square image at Wikipedia, but most of those are album covers.

cortex: Yeah, and if you look at...

jessamyn: Hey, there's a picture of you, Matt!

mathowie: Yeah, and if you mouse over it, it'll

mathowie: just start zooming for you, 'cause of like twenty megabyte images. So based on my feedback, I went 'oh, these are great - the demos you did, the animated GIFs, that's something I could show someone'.

jessamyn: Huh. It's totally freaking me out.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: laughs

mathowie: You have to show people the twenty megabyte image and like I don't want to kill the server, you know...

jessamyn: Beast Wars is your eyeball, Matt!

mathowie: So, uh, apparently this app was updated, where it makes an animated GIF of anything...

mathowie: you upload now, so the zoom-in... you don't have to download the 20MB original, you can just look at the zoom. It's really cool.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: This is amazing.

mathowie: It's just —

jessamyn: There's a picture of Richard Dawson. There's an octopus! OCTOPUS...

mathowie: So you can make this for anything you want. It's a blast. Wesley Crusher... s-weet.

jessamyn: Wow and it's funny how few... like, you zoom into certain places and you see like, you know, there's six different album covers that

jessamyn: wind up making a

mathowie: Yeah, a pattern.

jessamyn: fancy thing. Wow, this is great, great project, love it.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Hey, there's a picture of Josh, the guy who made it.

mathowie: I think it's because of math that it works out? It's...

jessamyn: laughs

cortex: It's probably because of Math.

mathowie: Yeah, probably math. It's just

jessamyn: Is this a math question mark podcast? Maaaath?

mathowie: That's the theme of every podcast.

jessamyn: Maaath?

cortex: For each post, we ask 'yes or no, Is It Math?'

mathowie: Oh, it's Math. Everything's Math.

mathowie: Did you see the Finnegan's Wake one?

jessamyn: That is what I'm looking at right this instant,

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: it's brilliant.

cortex: Go ahead with it - I was - I had it on my list.

jessamyn: So basically this is stokast, who is Elling Lien, who made a thing where they? ... he looks... Oh God. Gender gender gender... who knows.

mathowie: They're Canadian. That doesn't help.

cortex: laughs

jessamyn: Don't even open your mouth any more, please.

cortex: Well, I mean they're Newfies, but you know.

jessamyn: Grrrr

cortex: laughs Please continue.

mathowie: New paragraph!

jessamyn: OK! So, this person took the first few paragraphs of Finnegans Wake, printed them on strips of paper, punched out the vowels, including y, and ran the cards through one of those punch box music... one of those music box players. I mean, you can see it in the YouTube video because otherwise it's a little confusing.

mathowie: Gling gling gling gling

jessamyn: to figure out. But basically it plays music from where the holes in the vowels are for the first few chapters of Finnegans Wake and you can watch... whispers I'm pretty sure that's a dude... you can watch him cranking and hear what it sounds like.

mathowie: It's surprisingly musical! It's essentially a random number generator that makes music, because... math, probably, but it's...

jessamyn: laughs

jessamyn: Because, dots.

mathowie: It sounds pretty good, and the... what's half the of genius here is the idea. I'm going to take a famous work and I'm going to print it out, and I'm going to punch out one letter, and somehow music's going to come out, and then it does. It's amazing. Like, I just love the idea that led to this, whatever it was.

jessamyn: It is beautiful, and I loved it. The project was just... yeah. Lots of votes, no comments. Thank you, stokast.

jessamyn: stokast is the crank turner and hole puncher.

mathowie: Yeah, and if you do nothing else today, just push play on the YouTube video.

jessamyn: It's not even very long.

mathowie: I know - it's 30 seconds and it's just 30 seconds of joy where you go, wait, what's going to happen? Oh! You know what, that's pretty amazing.

cortex: And I want to say, there's something that's sorta fantastic that may or may not be a coincidence here with the username, but stokast makes me think stochastic which is... stochastic music generation is a...

jessamyn: Is what?

cortex: Is sort of a general area

cortex: of algorithmically generated music. Stochastic music is... you look at the... like, people like John Cage and so on. People who take an approach to, let's see if we can find a way to generate this not by traditional note by note composition, but by taking a method, an algorithm for generating it which is exactly what this is, I mean it's essentially a...

jessamyn: An algorithm, yeah.

cortex: A transformational way to generate music out of a happenstance...

cortex: ... arrangement of letters in a piece of literature, so it's basically stochastic music from stokast.

jessamyn: The best!

mathowie: laughs

jessamyn: I always think of Jocasta, Oedipus's mom, but - eh. I have no imagination.

cortex: laughs

jessamyn: Hey, did you have more Projects?

mathowie: I just had one last one.

jessamyn: OK.

cortex: Go for it.

mathowie: I just thought this was interesting, I didn't know jeffamaphone worked on...

jessamyn: sings jeffamaphone

mathowie: Yeah - I didn't know he worked on Stellar, which is kind of a popularish

mathowie: iphone, ipad, ios app that came out.

jessamyn: So this is not to be confused with Steller which is cocky's (phonetic) thing, right?

mathowie: No not at all. Yeah .. it's kinda like ..

jessamyn: So frustrating! Same name.

mathowie: It's kinda Medium plus there's a photo site I love called and this is kind of a combination of Medium and Exposure.

jessamyn: Oh Exposure! I just liked it on facebook like two hours ago.

mathowie: Yeah so Stellar looks a bit like exp .. but it's more like .. it mostly exists on your phone as an app only

mathowie: The web view of their stories aren't that great, if you ask me. Cause they are optimized for mobile. But ever since I saw Medium and ever since I've had an iphone I thought, "There needs to be like an amazing storytelling app where..." Like, when you are on a phone and you are out and your capturing photos or video ...

jessamyn: That you can put it together in a little narrative

mathowie: Yeah!

jessamyn: ... Not just like a slide show.

mathowie: Yeah. And there'd be .... you can streamline that somehow. Or you just type out a couple paragraphs

mathowie: and take the six photos I took today because I'm looking at Cherry Blossoms and I am in Japan for the first time. Like I spent a day doing this. Phone? You are a smart computer - make it look beautiful and that should be possible. And there's not that many people that have tried. And so I thought this was a pretty cool app that kinda tries to do that. And it's really hard, you know, on a phone to like I want that image bigger and I want the words.. you know another paragraph here. But somehow you can do it with touch which is kind of amazing.

jessamyn: Which is amazing. You know I spent all morning basically fighting with Gandhi's website builder piece of shit application that only works on certain computers.

mathowie: (Laughs)

cortex: (Laughs)

jessamyn: So anything that can make like build a thing not have you want to kill the thing before you are done with the thing is great UI as far as I am concerned.

mathowie: You should try the Exposure site out. I think they give you a free account maybe you are allowed to write one or two stories. Just like grab a bunch of images

mathowie: you took one day and like you know, whatever, Plovers at the coast from February 2nd and like you just drag them into your browser and they are gorgeous and you could line them up and like the whole thing is like.. you just make beautiful pages with like no knowledge necessary and you are just pointing and clicking and it's amazing.

jessamyn: Nice!

cortex: I have one other project that I want to mention as well. This is a game from one of our

mathowie: (snickers)

cortex: game developers on metafilter.

jessamyn: Oh! Is it a cookie clicker? Is it a road like?

mathowie: (Laughs)

cortex: It's actually neither, believe it or not.

jessamyn: I don't.

cortex: It's a diesel punk ship building RTS called Air Ships!

jessamyn: RTS? Sorry ...

cortex: Real Time Strategy.

mathowie: Like Risk?

cortex: Clicky micromanage. Like Starcraft ...

mathowie: Civilization ...

jessamyn: Rotating triple shooter ...

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: What would be my 1980's gaming reference? Civilization? (Laughs)

cortex: Warcraft, before World of Warcraft was an RTS

mathowie: Okay.

jessamyn: Doom.

cortex: Doom 2000. Doom was an FPS. That's totally different. First person shooter vs real time strategy.

jessamyn: (Raspberry)

cortex: Sighs.

mathowie: It looks beautiful. I love the retro graphics.

jessamyn: It's cute as hell. I've seen some screenshots of it. I think from you, Josh, right?

cortex: Maybe, yeah. He's been posting about it at mefite club so I've seen some of the earlier stuff come along.

jessamyn: Uh huh.

cortex: And you can buy it on early access now.

mathowie: Are you like fighting World War 2 or something?

jessamyn: Oh! And he's doing an AMA on reddit. Like right ....

jessamyn: Oh no. He's retweeting somebody else's reddit with the same first name letter. Forget it!

cortex: (Laughs)

jessamyn: No I mean (loudly) Forget it!

cortex: It also has a whole heraldry system, which is , (laughs) just like a completely unnecessary but awesome thing.

jessamyn: So you can have your own flag?

cortex: Yeah you can set up your own traditional code of arms type flag.

jessamyn: We do that at my trivia league. It's weird.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: But yeah. It's neat and looking like it's coming along well.

mathowie: So you are fighting a fictional war as like a General? Or?

cortex: You are piloting an airship

cortex: and fighting other ships. So you know, sort of, floating steam punk airship type things.

mathowie: Blimp.

jessamyn: What makes it steam punk?

mathowie: Why isn't it called Blimp Fight?

cortex: I dunno. Take it up with him. (Laughs)

mathowie: (Laughs)Or out zepplin each other? I dunno.

jessamyn: What is steam punk about it?

mathowie: It looks old.

cortex: Ah just in the esthetics. It's sort of like flying ships powered by, you know, late nineteenth century steam with shit tacked on sort of? You know. Just yeah.

mathowie: It's steam punky.

jessamyn: Great!

mathowie: Sweet!

cortex: Yeah. It's looking pretty neat.

mathowie: Why don;t we move onto metafilter best things ever from March.

jessamyn: Sounds good. I had all sorts of favorites. Metafilter was like just completely knocked me out this time around. I think the first thing we have to talk about is the fact that now everybody's stuck on 2048.

cortex: (Laughs)

jessamyn: A tile game.

mathowie: (Groans)

jessamyn: Shut up! Do you make that noise!

mathowie: No! No!

jessamyn: I like a game and it's all (groan)(Laughs)

mathowie: No! That wasn't bad. That was like Oh! Like Oh I got I spent every waking minute playing threes for like two months, so.

jessamyn: I don't know what threes is. I haven't actually played it. Is threes like it?

mathowie: (Makes groaning sound) No, God.

cortex: (Laughs)

mathowie: You just trolled the internet. Oh!

jessamyn: Shut up! I'm not trolling! You know know me. I am nothing but sincere.

mathowie: Well the third comment is 2048 is a rip off of threes. Threes was the original.

jessamyn: It says knock off. Knock off and rip off

are different.

mathowie: Well ...

jessamyn: So you have to make threes.

mathowie: Threes came first and then..

jessamyn: It's the same fucking game though, right?

mathowie: .. like a couple of days later. It's different.

cortex: It's similar. It's clearly .. so threes came out and then people were like oh hey this is clever and started doing other versions.

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: And then 2048 is the most interesting iteration of the things that came out

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: cause it's someone saying oh hey I like this idea. I'm going to play with it. I'm going to open source my version so people who have been playing

jessamyn: Right. And so people have made like (??) versions

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And the number one version which is my favorite.

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: But then they went back onto an ios app and now it's the most popular one in the store. But this all started I think because the threes developers were like we are indie game - I'm not trying to be a dick here - but they are kinda like I mean you can read up the entire history of it. They've written it up. It's kinda like We're indie game, you know, sorta geniuses and we're going to do this amazing game. They spent a year and a half like developing it.

They just basically were taking away ideas the whole time until it was the simplest mechanics possible but like most replayable. In the end they were like we're going to make it two bucks and there's no free version. And like that's what we are going to do. You know, the market ...

jessamyn: Then did they retire? Or what happened?

mathowie: No it sold really well. But like among nerds love it. But, you know, I don't know about you, but when I talk ...

jessamyn: It's not a breakthrough thing. It involves math and so people are like fuck!

mathowie: No, no! It's super simple. I think it's the $1.99

is the biggest stumbling block cause 2048 you can get for free in the app store is like the number one downloaded thing right now.

jessamyn: I get it. I get it.

mathowie: Like have you? Like outside of nerds -- if I talked to my aunts .. uncles that have iphones .. like they have never paid for an app in their life. They would not even imagine it. They are just like you do what now? You give your credit card to apple? Are you nuts? And I'm like how .....

jessamyn: Don't you have to give your credit card just to even use the store? Or no?

mathowie: You might? I think you can get around it and have it ask you when you make a purchase? because I know my brother and his kids ... like they all have iphones but they don;t ever buy anything. And I am like 99¢ is a bridge too far? So I'm saying like ...

jessamyn: For people with like credit card issues maybe it like totally is.

mathowie: Yeah. But I wish threes was like free and you can unlock it for a dollar after you get to the tenth level. You know, which is something crappy game people do, but I would have been fine with it.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: I basically have to tell people ...

jessamyn: Wait.. there's more levels? It has levels?

mathowie: Well I mean it just keeps going and going. They could have had like a top tile or something like that.

jessamyn: Oh so there isn't a top tile. You can just keep going and going. I get it.

mathowie: And like in the world I've gotten up top six thousand tiles or something like that.

jessamyn: Okay.

mathowie: But really thress is brilliant and amazing. But I have to like beg people to download it and try it because you don't get a trial on ios.

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: You have to cough up $2-$4

mathowie: I don't know what it is going for now.

jessamyn: Sure.

mathowie: But like, they may.. they probably did pretty well, but ...

jessamyn: No. I hear you.

mathowie: Yeah. So it's unfortunate when like a billion people make knock-offs. You can make it in javascript. In a browser. You know. There's an actual knockoff of Threes itself. That someone who works at github I think made and linked in the thread. But like so that is the big story. That like Threes came out. Cost a couple bucks so people started making clones. The clones basically overtake it and people don't even know that threes exists.

jessamyn: Well here was my path, right? I read Chocolate Pickle's what is a 2048 combo Ask Metafilter question.

cortex: (Laughing) That's right.

mathowie: Oh.

jessamyn: I basically needed to answer it immediately cause I'm a nerd and I'm like google knows this. And then I looked it up and I found the answer on Hacker News

mathowie: (Laughs)

jessamyn: Or Stack Exchange which is a whole bunch of people talking about it. And then I was like Oh! (funny sound) and then I started playing it and then Jim was like you've ruined my life and I was like no, it was ruined when I got here.

mathowie: (Laughs)

cortex: (Laughs)

jessamyn: And then we had to go to the metafilter thread

jessamyn: And then you know, found all of the knock offs but I mean it's sort of funny watching - cause basically there was an XKCD cartoon which is how I found out about it - or how it got onto my radar. But then it was fun to like enjoy this thread with a whole bunch of other mefites. Many of whom talk about Threes. And you know ...

mathowie: Yeah the whole iOS ..

jessamyn: Everybody having their little hacks like, "Don't do this!"

mathowie: Yeah

jessamyn: Blah bla blah blah

mathowie: And this has caused like a panic in the games developer world.

jessamyn: Oh! And now there is a History of Threes

Metafilter post which I hadn't even seen.

mathowie: Yeah. So there's a lot of people - cause one of the guys that was involved in Threes actually made Dangerous Fishing - which is a really bizarre, amazing game.

cortex: Ridiculous Fishing, I think.

mathowie: Yeah. Ridiculous Fishing - that's it. And it's like another you have to pay two bucks and you have to trust people when they say, "Oh. You drop an anchor and catch fish and you throw it in the air and you shoot it with a shotgun and you get points and it's super fun." And that sounds like the dumbest game in the planet, but it's super fun! His game was ripped off

before ... clones of it appeared online before he released his actual game. They saw screenshots at game developer conferences or something and aped it or something?
Or they saw a Beta?

cortex: (Laughing)

mathowie: So it's really crazy.

jessamyn: It's so bad.

cortex: It's a tricky thing.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: I mean It's a really weird thing sort of about the rapid churn approach to - cause like if you are making a casual game it's not gonna have the sort of like "This is gonna require a year of asset development thing"

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Like no one is going to rip off Assassin's Creed. You know. Because like who has the budget

who is also in the business of just doing a shameless rip-off. It just doesn't work in that sector. But on iphones certainly, if you know what you are doing, and it's a simple enough premises you can turn out a hackey copy of something in a week. You know?

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Especially if you are sort of a small skeezey shop that does that with a team. You can really sort of ...

jessamyn: Skeezey Team!

mathowie: (Chuckles)

cortex: cash in on a game idea which is a weird thing.

jessamyn: I'm playing Flappy2048

cortex: (Laughs)

mathowie: This is all happening in the backdrop of

flappy birds goes away and sort of opens the door to clones and there's a billion clones. And yeah. So ...

cortex: Well yeah. Clone .. yeah.

mathowie: So state of the clone is like kind of what every games developer ..

jessamyn: Well and people talk about sort of abandonware, right? Like it's pretty clear that Trees isn't abandonware... but is flappy bird?

mathowie: Well he said he's going to bring it back someday, but yeah.

jessamyn: But if .... yeah.

mathowie: He should have never taken it away! But ...

cortex: (Chuckles)

mathowie: I can't, you know, tell them what to do.

cortex: Who knows. Yeah.

jessamyn: I felt like I basically slept though Flappy Bird. But at any rate I really enjoyed the 2048. I mean it's one of my favorite things about metafilter. Right? Is like you discover a thing and you think it is fun and interesting and you want to talk to people about it and BANG! Here's fifty people who also all want to talk about it but for about two days, you know?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: And then they get over it and do something else. I haven't played 2048 in days. That's probably okay.

mathowie: I'll be playing Threes forever.

cortex: And it's neat because like I mean setting aside the weirdness of it being sort of on the tail of Threes which was

a much more long lasting labor of love. Versus someone saying, "Oh hey I can implement this." You know. Setting aside whatever weirdness there - I think it's really great that 2048 exists as something that literally like Oh yeah here is the code go crazy because I really like that people have been playing with all of these variations and doing them number wang or the 3d version that someone did where it ..

jessamyn: (??) the (??) one is hard.

cortex: Yeah the (??) one. Oh I thought it was released in both number wang and (??) sort of made it clear how much it is not a game about math even though

it trivially‎ uses math? And I mean the same thing goes for Threes. You know, in either case basically you are just matching numbers ...

jessamyn: It's ladder matching.

cortex: ... in a tier and the fact that the colors get darker orange with each match in 2048 makes it so that you can put legally anything on the tiles and it still works. You can put shooting things on there. You can put random numbers from numberland ..

jessamyn: But there is a value to having like having higher value tiles you wanna snug away and lower value tiles you want more available. Like it's helpful to know what's technically

a higher number.

cortex: Oh sure.

jessamyn: You know what I mean?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean it's not just like, yeah.

cortex: Yeah. So the (??) one is trickier in that sense I guess because if I remember right it's starts you throw weirder and weirder wacky colored patterns instead of sort of a spectrum like 2048 does.

jessamyn: Yeah. Yeah there is no continuum. It's like now he's got a pizza. Is that more or less than googly eyes.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I don't .. who knows ...

cortex: Yeah sort of a memorization game

mathowie: Yeah

cortex: to some extent that where you're you want in the hierarchy.

jessamyn: Which whatever. It's a stupid five minute time waster.

mathowie: Jessamyn!

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: You should try Threes to see cause the mechanics are slightly different

you get a little tiny bit more control. Like, when you press left not everything goes left. Or ...

jessamyn: Well that's what it looked like when I was looking at the animated gif it was confusing.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Everything doesn't slam against the wall? It doesn't keep moving until it can't any longer. It only moves one space. So it's a lot more precise?

cortex: Yeah. It's got a different feel. And it's really ....

jessamyn: It sounds like I would freak out a lot less.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Maybe, yeah. I don't know. I've played a bunch of it. I never got my 2 bucks worth. It's kind of a go to I have five minutes to kill game. I'm terrible at it.

jessamyn: Right. That's [??] 2048. I need to start thinking about something else... guh, guh, guh, guh, what was I doing? Yeah.

cortex: Exactly.

mathowie: So the mother of all, I think, crazy projects was the time travel of The Office, the American version of The Office time machine. I don't know if you guys saw this.

cortex: Yes, I did see this.

jessamyn: Post by waxpancake, our friend.

mathowie: So it's this... yeah, and it's a page where you just put in a year and it gives you every reference

in the entire, what, 7-8 years of The Office run that mentions that year and it's crazy and I was talk--

cortex: Or mentions something specifically tied to that year in pop culture.

mathowie: Yeah, and they're shown on screen, so you know when the reference is coming, and so I'm sitting there talking to Andy about this like a week later going like, "So you got a Python script, and you got show transcripts you can download, so did he come up with a database of number references, or is there

some Python code that looks at Wikipedia for notable events in each year? This all had to be randomly generated, right?" And then Andy goes, "No, this guy Joe just sat down for a year and a half--"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: "--with a pad of paper and watched every episode."

jessamyn: Dude, that's super fun! I would love that!

mathowie: Yeah. He wrote down in paper every reference that was weird and odd and then looked up the years and then built it. And I didn't play, I played with it with all the years I could remember--

jessamyn: Human eyeballs.

mathowie: When I graduated high school and stuff, but it goes back thousands of years, it goes in the future way farther than I thought.

jessamyn: I hope he got a grant for this.

mathowie: It was a crazy obsessive pet project that's totally insane.

cortex: When I first came across it, I didn't actually have context for it, I think I was just following someone's link from somewhere else, so then I was like, "Oh, okay, I'll take a look," so I ended up watching the 1997 clip. And I thought that's all it was, and I was like, "Who sits down and decides they just want to find every reference to

pop culture from 1997 in The Office? It's so weird!" And then the next one started up, it's like, "Oh my god, it's every year! Okay." It suddenly made more sense. But yeah, I think it's nubby, it's insane, it's wonderful, I am pleased that this thing exists.

jessamyn: And people appreciated it for serious, yeah.

I really loved--uhp, what?

cortex: Oh, I was going to say, another thing just sort of on the subject,

things that waxy pointed out that are supercut related, there was a post about--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

cortex: --about a supercut someone made of all the bits of Seinfeld without any people in the shot. So it's just a bunch of mostly establishing shots of the outside of Jerry's apartment, or the inside of Jerry's apartment, or a few other locations.

jessamyn: B-Roll!

cortex: And it's like six minutes long, and it's this weird meditative thing that just sort of decays from constant weird funk bass stuff to, it suddenly gets quieter and quieter

as it gets to shots that don't have any. It's... I would say meditative is a good word for how I felt at the end of it if you sort of sit quietly through it.

mathowie: I think I was, minute one, this is awesome. Minute two, I hate funk.

cortex and jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: Minute three, like, wow, this show really was about nothing! Minute four, I'm going out of my skull. Minute five, what is going on? Minute six, I don't believe in a God.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I can't believe you watched it all the way through! I usually, if I don't like it, two minutes, done.

mathowie: It's just like, somewhere in the sixth minute you're just like, "Oh my god, this is... augh." Yeah. Something. (chuckles)

jessamyn: So on the obsessive art topic, this was one of the things, this was the thing this month where I came to post it to Metafilter and I found out it was already posted to Metafilter? Jesse Krimes, who went to prison? for some reason? Drugs, I don't remember? Basically made art out of

pieces of fabric--yeah, he had lots of cocaine, I guess--made art out of pieces of fabric that he kind of smuggled out, like used sort of transfer from hair gel and stacks of newspapers?

mathowie: Ohh!

jessamyn: And put it on pieces of fabric and smuggled it out of the place, and it doesn't really sound like anything when I talk about it, but you've actually gotta go look at the thing, and it's amazing.

mathowie: Yeah, I saw--

jessamyn: It's just this huge giant mural, and he's kind of a weird interesting dude who was in prison for a while, and this was his project!

mathowie: I saw the big images and was like, this is beautiful, it's amazing, and I heard the story, but I didn't look at the details, so I had no idea, like, what fabric has these prints on it? But he was doing transfers, it sounds like, from magazines?

jessamyn: Yeah, basically burnished from the news pages onto prison bedsheets with a plastic spoon using hair gel as a

transfer agent.

mathowie: And are these like, if you look up close, are they mosaics of a zillion little images?

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, yeah!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I mean, look at--click the link, Matt.

mathowie: Yeah, I know, I'm looking at it, and you can't tell what zoom level you're on at any one point.

jessamyn: Well, if you scroll down, you can...

mathowie: I guess the bottom half of it is kind of chaotic, and the top half is kind of...

jessamyn: Yeah, the top half is mostly clouds.

mathowie: Mostly artsy.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: So the mosaic stops at the bottom. Yeah, it's crazy.

jessamyn: But it was neat! There wasn't a lot going on in the thread, but I just thought the project

was sort of cool and it was cool to, I don't know. I just think art stuff is interesting and this was a sort of non-traditional look and that kind of thing.

mathowie: Yeah, that was really pretty cool. Did you see... this happened, I think, right when we recorded this, and I sat down and watched it... where did it go?

jessamyn: The missing Malaysian plane?

cortex: (chuckles softly)

mathowie: No, the... hm.

jessamyn: Well, we should probably mention that, because we have a--

mathowie: Megathread.

jessamyn: --1945-comment thread, and divabat, who made the original thing, started a Tumblr blog to kind of put together what we actually know about that situation, which of course we still don't know fucking anything about it.

cortex: Yep. Plane still missin'.

jessamyn: But she made an amazing Tumblr blog that's really cool that is worth pointing out.

mathowie: Oh, sweet.

jessamyn: I don't even know if she put it... I don't even know if she put it on Projects.

mathowie: What's the URL? Somewhere in the megathread.

jessamyn: It's whereisblahblah, MH470.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Yeah, she did an... let me see, where is... Yeah, it's, and it points to a Tumblr blog. She was just a great source of information, the thread went to bumpy to not bumpy or whatever, but there you go.

mathowie: Huh. Yeah, I've been treating it like True Detective. I don't mean to make light of such a crazy huge event, but I've been waiting for the finale before I'm going to

dive... I couldn't handle spending hours a day reading every latest thing about this story. I'll kind of wait until they finish it and they find it and then I'll go back and read about how we got to that point, because that would be interesting to me.

jessamyn: Sure. Otherwise it's super stressful, yeah.

mathowie: Yeah! The not knowing day after day... I mean, I just, the whole, from the moment I heard about it, I'm just amazed that this is possible in the year 2014.

jessamyn: I know.

mathowie: That you can lose a plane seems crazy.

And it only seems crazy for the last 20 years. I think if you asked me in 1985 I'd go yeah, sure, I mean, yeah, satellites are new, you know. This could totally happen. But now it doesn't seem totally possible at all!

jessamyn: Right! Right, right. No, it's crazy. But at any rate, that thread is amazing and divabat did just some terrific work on that Tumblr blog. It's her and a pilot putting stuff together. It's very exciting.

mathowie: Oh yeah, my friend Nelson--

jessamyn: So you were talking about whatever you were talking about.

mathowie: Oh yeah, so my lightweight post that went up right after our podcast went up was a Graham Norton show that had most of the cast of whatever that George Clooney war movie was that came out last month?

jessamyn: Who even knows? I don't know.

mathowie: So it's Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey, and apparently--

jessamyn: Oh, is it Monument Men? No, what was it?

mathowie: Yeah, Monument Men, Monument's Men?

jessamyn: Monument's Men. My sister saw that.

mathowie: And they're on the Graham Norton show, and apparently they drank a lot before they went on.

And it's the most freeform hilarious loose talk show, I mean, I would say, it's worth your time to sit down and watch this 40 minutes of commercial-free Graham Norton show from start to end. It's--

jessamyn: Alright, I'm a tool. Graham Norton is who?

mathowie: Graham Norton's a--is he Scottish?

jessamyn: Oh, that guy!

mathowie: Yeah, he's a late-night comedian in the UK.

jessamyn: Okay.

mathowie: And he's had a show probably for like at least ten, fifteen, twenty years, he's always been a late-night,

he's like Jimmy Fallon over there.

jessamyn: Sure.

mathowie: And it's just so, it's so good! They even have a musical cast that comes out and goofs around with them, and I guess they're just so drunk... I mean, Bill Murray's a riot. The whole thing is so...

jessamyn: Are they like drunk scary creepy, or are they just drunk like 'we've been drinking'?

mathowie: No! They're giggly. And everything is--

jessamyn: Okay. Giggly is fine, drunk scary creepy is less fine.

mathowie: It's harmless giggly funny, and you're just like, I mean, half of it's, I can't believe this is on TV, I can't believe...

they don't care! They're like, "We're never gonna see this show, we're in the weird country, we're just on this tour--"

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: "--we've had too much to drink..." I mean, it was only later on that people were like, "They must have been drunk, because they're so at ease." It's crazy.

jessamyn: Right. Nobody's like this in American television.

mathowie: Yeah. And so the post is kind of, hippybear maybe oversold it as the greatest talk segment ever.

jessamyn: Well, that's just Metafilter, yeah.

mathowie: But it was, I laughed my ass off for the whole half-hour or whatever.

cortex: I feel like people should be more willing to make a post saying, "Hey, this is a pretty good thing!"

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: And just, get away from the superlatives and all of a sudden a whole line of arguments goes away.

mathowie: "The greatest thing ever!"

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: But that's my position on lists, too. People shouldn't make Top X lists, they should say, "Here's X good things."

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: Although at that point I guess I'm sort of proposing...

jessamyn: "X Good Examples of Blah."

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: "Here's a perfectly whelming level of listing."

jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: "These six... are alright!"

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: So it's 52 degrees outside today, so I can actually talk about this post without being frozen and angry.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: But Eyebrows McGee made an amazing post... did I just do that? We just talked about not doing it. But the post was really good, about the international frozen water trade.

mathowie: Ohh.

jessamyn: So this brief period in time, before we had electricity to refrigerate things, people... but we did have international transportation, people would cut blocks of ice out of ponds and then

ship them off and sell them! And do stuff! So there was a demand for ice before there was an ability to make ice. And so Eyebrows McGee just put together this great post about how that worked and then how basically as soon as refrigerators showed up, it was all over for the frozen water trade.
And as you guys know, because I probably told you, I went to the Ice Harvest Festival in Brookfield and actually got to pull a 60-pound block of ice out of
a lake.

mathowie: Wow.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: And it's really, really hard.

mathowie: How do you do it safely, without cutting away the ice where you're standing, kind of?

jessamyn: It doesn't even matter if you cut away the ice where you're standing! Hold on just a second, I will...

mathowie: Is it dangerous [??] everywhere, or...? I was just thinking, if you're chopping away at the layer of ice, and--

jessamyn: Piece of shit, Flickr's redesign means that all of my shortcuts don't work anymore.

mathowie: Awwww.

jessamyn: Aughhhh! Plus, their redesign.

mathowie: Yeah, I know.

jessamyn: Fuck, I can't believe they did that!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I can't believe it!

mathowie: Don't get us started.

jessamyn: Ohhhh, Matt!

mathowie: You know what's... there's gotta be a parallel here with selling ice and bitcoin. (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: The cryptocurrency, you know, like, whoa, when people could make their own cryptocurrency, bitcoin went the way of the ice cube.

jessamyn: Why can I not find this? Euhhh...

mathowie: Yeah, I think even my grandma talks about when she was a little kid buying ice from the ice man as a block that you stuck in a thing in your house

that did the refrigeration before your refrigerator?

jessamyn: Oh, here it is. (pained exclamation) They sort it the opposite direction!

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: Ohhaohohh! I hate them so much. How did this happen?

mathowie: Yeah, I think everyone, yeah, Flickr is a difficult...

jessamyn: Right. They threw all their support people under the bus.

cortex: I think you mean [who ?] made this happen?

jessamyn: Check in this picture! Check the picture! That's me.

mathowie: Woww! Oh, so you're pretty far from the hole, so that's kind of safe.

jessamyn: Well, I cut the thing first.

mathowie: Oh, crazy.

jessamyn: I cut it out of there, and then you have to hook it up, and two people kind of need to do it. There was a dude helping me. And then you have to pull it out.

mathowie: Daamn. Is it... it looks pretty clear, like awesome cocktail ice, too?

jessamyn: It is, it is, it is.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: So I enjoyed this post specifically because--and I got Dr. Wu, Metafilter's Dr. Wu, to come with me. And I was like, "It's gonna be super cool!" and then there was eleven people there.

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: And I'm like, "So glad you came out!" It's like five degrees, him and his wife have driven an hour.

mathowie and cortex: (chuckle)

mathowie: "Welcome to our biggest meetup ever for ice cutting!"

jessamyn: (laughing) Totally, totally! But at any rate, the post was good, we had a really nice time talking in the thread and it was great, and now that it's warm out, I can look back on it fondly and not get cold just reading it, so.

cortex: (chuckles) Well, speak--

mathowie: Yeah, the first five minutes of Frozen start with cutting ice to deliver it--

jessamyn: Is Frozen a princess story?

mathowie: Uh, yeah...

jessamyn: Alright, fuck it, then.

mathowie: With a twist, but yeah.

jessamyn: Fuck it.

mathowie: It opens with this, and it reminded me, oh, I should go to Wikipedia after this movie's over and look up when people

used to sell ice. So I'm glad this post was made.

cortex: Well, speaking--

jessamyn: Yeah! And there are some neat books about it, but it's just cool that there's stuff on the Internet that you can actually go check.

mathowie: (chuckles) Speaking of segues...

cortex: (laughing) I'm trying so hard to nail the segue.

jessamyn: Come on, Josh!

cortex: Speaking of difficult-to-obtain cold things in the 19th century, there was a really nice post about... well, basically a really nice write-up on Damn Interesting that Chrysostom posted about the late 19th century quest for

extremely cold liquid elements, sort of talking about--

jessamyn: Hey! That's cool!

cortex: --liquefying hydrogen and helium and some of the things before that.

jessamyn: There's a lot of reading here. Can you summarize? Did they just have to, was a lot of it holding stuff at high pressure, or... no? Yes?

cortex: Yeah, there's a lot of pressure hijinks. And getting stuff like hydrogen and helium liquid is really hard because you have to get really, really low in the temperature scale. And this was all without any electricity.

jessamyn: So it has to be cold and pressurized, kind of.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Mm-hm.

cortex: So they ended up building basically chains of depressurization, so they cool some pressurized, relatively high liquid temperature element and then they would expand it out into a big chamber, and so it would cool and turn into a liquid. And then they would use that liquid to cool the next compressed thing--

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Whoooa! It's turtles all the way down!

cortex: --and expand that, and chain it on down.

mathowie: So this is like an 1850s Large Hadron Cooler kind of thing?

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: It's crazy stuff. People lost eyes, there was an ongoing rivalry across

Europe, there was...

jessamyn: And props for this doofy headline, too. I mean, title. [ed: the title is "Absolute Zero is 0K."]

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: I love it. Dudes in suits.

mathowie: Oh my god, typographic jokes. (chuckles) That's amazing

cortex: But yeah, it's a really interesting story, it's worth reading the whole thing, and yeah, I really liked it.

jessamyn: Love it.

cortex: I forget sometimes to stop and actually just read a longer piece about something neat, so

this was me remembering to do that.

jessamyn: Yeah, sometimes--

mathowie: Oh my god.

jessamyn: What?

mathowie: Sorry. (laughs) I found the Horace Rumpole post that I loved to death, which was a blog of--

jessamyn: He is a talent.

mathowie: --special collections librarians at the University of St. Andrews.

jessamyn: The best.

mathowie: They bust out all these 1700s books and they decided to make like a Lifehacker blog of 'we're going to follow the advice from 17, 1800s, and they're making pancakes,

and they pull up every recipe they've gotten going to the 1600s, and they're really, they get a little weird.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Then they make them, and then they eat them and they go like, "The thing with the sour cream that didn't have butter was not good."

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Here's a picture of it. It's so good! So every week they're doing a how-to from a deep historical reference and they try it out. The food ones are the best, because... the pancakes ones are like, they're just weird pancakes.

And so they're doing this for a year, and Horace Rumpole did up a post when it got started. I think it's going to run for the whole year.

jessamyn: Oh my god, that is amazing.

mathowie: Yeah, they're up to, that was week 18 in February, so yeah, it's probably going to go to almost the end of the year.

jessamyn: Echoes From The Vault. Wow, thanks for pointing this out. I did not see it the first time around, and it is... I should just follow and read everything Horace Rumpole posts because he's such a talent and this is relevant to my interests.

mathowie: Yep.

jessamyn: But it's so funny! 92 favorites, 8 comments. (laughs)

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

mathowie: It's totally, it's totally in your wheelhouse, and it's also just funny to do something super modern. It is so... because how-to advice is just all over the Internet, and it's so funny to just be like, let's see what they said in 1785 about how to treat that.

jessamyn: Right.

This was the one that I kept thinking was Horace Rumpole, but it was MartinWisse, who said that for International Women's Day, which was in the first week of March,
the British Library's medieval manuscripts blog showcases a selection of manuscripts that belong to some of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages. So it was just kind of a cool one-off and then some links to other stuff you could read, but basically books that belong to famous women. I think women have gotten the short shrift in a lot of history for various reasons, and so it's cool to be like... I'm watching The Tudors, which I think I talk about repeatedly?
But it's just basically like watching him run through wives, and it's a little depressing. There's not a lot of female characters that are particularly cool, and it's hard to say whether that's because of who wrote the history or just because women weren't doing stuff, or women that worked doing stuff were in nunneries or whatever. So it's cool to learn about women who owned these really interesting and fancy books. Thanks, MartinWisse, your post was awesome.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: Oh, one other thing that I enjoyed reading...

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Was this write-up, davidjmcgee made a post about an article on Polygon about what went wrong with Street Fighter: The Movie.

jessamyn: There was a movie?

cortex: Yeah, there was! It was not very good. It had Jean-Claude Van Damme starring as an all-American (laughing) character from the game, which is just, what?

jessamyn: What went wrong?

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: Everything, basically.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Cocaine.

cortex: Well, it was a successful screenwriter in his major Hollywood directorial debut, and then meddling video game executives from Japan, and everything just sort of--

jessamyn: I was just reading about that GameJam meddling video game executive nightmare.

cortex: Oh, Jesus, yeah.

jessamyn: So, man.

cortex: That's another thing, but yeah.

jessamyn: That's a thing they do, right?

cortex: Yep. But yeah, this was just... everything sort of fell apart, it was one of those things where enough things went wrong that there might have been an okay movie and instead they ended up with a really

crappy one. They ended up not being able to shoot most of the actual fight stuff that was originally in theory going to be in there, which is kind of wrong because it's a video game about people fighting.

jessamyn: Fighting. In the street!

cortex: So yeah, a lot of special moves never ended up getting in there because they had to put off the fight choreography, and then the guy who was actually competent at shooting the fight choreography was just trying to get it done instead of worrying about the meddling executives, because he was sort of out of the way and doing second unit stuff.

And the whole thing, it's kind of amazing, this was Raúl Juliá‎'s last film, you know, he was busy dying--

jessamyn: Awwww.

cortex: And he did this because his kids liked the video game and hey, it was money for his family after he was gone. But the whole thing is just, it's bizarre, it's a really interesting terrible read.

jessamyn: Well, and it was a while ago. But so the article's recent, but the thing that happened was a while ago.

cortex: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, this is just a recent run-down of what happened. This was, I don't know, fifteen years ago, maybe?

mathowie: Oh my god, I'm just scanning through the story. It just keeps getting worse and worse.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: They get addicted to massage parlors doing sex stuff? Oh my god. This is a nightmare.

cortex: Yeah, the whole thing just sort of collapsed. But it's, yeah, again, just a really interesting read, so.

mathowie: Yeah. Wow.

jessamyn: In our special celebrity... well, it's not really celebrity. At any rate, this post that daisyk did, which is terrific, talking about this--

mathowie: Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: --kid who... well, kid, whatever, he's in his 20s--hired snowboarding gear, went to the Stubai glacier, and just never came down.

And then they found him fourteen years later frozen in the ice, dead, and the guy... and it turns out there was a cover-up, like, it looked like he had hurt himself and then he got kind of run over by a snow groomer or something, it was just awful. But daisyk put together a really interesting post about the cover-up, about what happened, about who was responsible, about the after-the-fact analysis, and
the thing that was super interesting is that Linda McPherson, who is Duncan McPherson's mom, showed up in the thread just to kind of say hi, and people were decent to her.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Which was nice. So the post itself was amazing, and then having Duncan's mom show up and just add a couple other things to it was fun to read.

cortex: Yeah.

Another one of our big long threads, although not as long as the Malaysian one by a long shot, was the thread from just a week ago with the announcement of--

jessamyn: Skipped this entirely.

cortex: --Facebook buying Oculus Rift.

jessamyn: Sum it up for me?

cortex: So Oculus Rift is this sort of erstwhile indie darling--

mathowie: (laughing) Tell me what the Metafilter figured out why Zuckerberg would buy it and what great things are coming out for it.

cortex: (laughs) No, still no one knows really, basically.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Oculus Rift is like a VR thing, like a Second Life-y thing?

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Well, it's a 3-D headset. It's hardware.

jessamyn: Okay.

cortex: It's a headset that you put on and then you're seeing in 3-D.

mathowie: It was Kickstarter.

cortex: But more importantly, you're getting head tracking, so you look around, you look around in the game, which is a big, big thing if you get it right, and they are actually finally getting it right. VR's obviously come and gone, it had several flashes in the '90s and really never got anywhere. But now, basically, it's cheap enough to build these things and the computers are fast enough to run these things that it's started to look good. And so Oculus Rift was this independent thing that got Kickstartered,

and it's grown and gotten... previously it had gotten 80 million dollars in funding from a couple rounds of VC, so it was already getting sort of weirdly invested if you're really thinking of the purely independent side of it.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: But then Facebook just up and bought it a week ago for 400 million in cash and another 1.6--

mathowie: Two billion, yeah. Stock.

cortex: --billion in shares. Which is crazy and everybody's like, "Oh, well, shit. This thing that we were really excited about being this independent gaming

thing happening is now suddenly this extremely corporate gaming thing."

jessamyn: "Is now ruined."

cortex: Yeah, it's...

jessamyn: "By these dicks."

cortex: So it's a weird thing.

mathowie: I still think of Oculus Rift being like two degrees away from Andy Baio, you know, like, oh, this other indie developer has one, and I know someone who owns one, and it was such a tiny little Kickstarter thing. And then they got John Carmack to quit his job at id Software, the guy who invented Doom and Quake.

cortex: id. It's id, it's just id.

mathowie: id, yeah.

cortex: Which is very important. (laughing)

mathowie: And then Facebook, you know, Facebook sees it as the next mobile world they need to move into or something? It's weird! Are there going to be games for it? It never really came out, it's always been a developer preview.

cortex: Well, yeah, the thing is, a few days before this happened they had been showing off the second revision of the dev kit, which was looking even better than the first one, and so that happens, everybody gets excited, and now it's pre-orders, and then a few days later, oh, by the way, Facebook has just bought us.

So it's weird timing. A bunch of people who had been maybe sort of riding a new high crest of enthusiasm all of a sudden are feeling kind of sucker-punched right after they tossed 350 bucks on a dev kit or something.

mathowie: It had so much future potential!

jessamyn: Awww!

cortex: And honestly, I still think it does.

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

cortex: I am optimistic that--basically, my guess is that I don't think Facebook is going to sufficiently fuck it up before they put out a first version.

mathowie: Right.

cortex: The commercial release is coming, it's really far along, I expect it to come out, I can't think of anything Facebook

could rationally do that would actually get in the way of it being a cool headset that comes out and a bunch of game support. From there it might go sideways, but at that point we've sort of seen that this thing can actually work and other people will happily eat Facebook's lunch if they manage to fuck up the core thing that makes this interesting, so...

mathowie: I heard people say they use it for architectural walkthroughs and it's really amazing to people, and that's stuff that was outside of gaming that who knows if Facebook would ever support, but...

and then how does this make money for Facebook in the end, you know? Are there ads on the walls of the games? It's so... part of me, from the moment I heard it until now, is like, oh, it's like reading General Motors just bought the Hershey Chocolate Company. Gosh, I hope that makes for a good chocolate bar someday, but it doesn't make any sense to me. It's so weird.

cortex: Yeah, we'll see what happens. But, huge thing, anyway, and then had a big long discussion the site that's still sort of percolating a little bit.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: Bumbling along.

mathowie: I posted it because my eyeballs were falling out of my head when I read the news.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: Like, "Whaat just happened?" Yeah. Do you want to move to Ask Metafilter? I had a bunch of little teeny Metafilter posts, but they're all just...

jessamyn: Those were all the Metafilter ones that I had except for... yeah, teeny ones.

cortex: I've got one teeny one I need to mention.

mathowie: Okay, shoot.

cortex: Bringing back around to derivatives of other games. This is literally a derivative of the clicker game, Derivative Clicker.

mathowie: (chuckles) Oh, god. Clicker clicker.

cortex: Which is a sort of Cookie Clicker-like where you're actually

buying math-related things.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: I clicked on this and clicked right back, was like, "Nope. Nope. Nope!"

cortex: Yeah, I got you. That's what Cookie Clicker--

jessamyn: Badger going over the hill. Nope!

mathowie: This is too many. This was a click too far!

cortex: (laughs) Yeah.

jessamyn: Did you make the Cookie Clicker AskMe thing, Josh, or did somebody else?

cortex: I did, yeah, yeah. That was me.

jessamyn: It was very funny.

cortex: I enjoyed the chance to sneak it into one more (laughs) aspect of the site.

mathowie: (laughs) Don't let the grandmas unionize.

cortex: But anyway, this was kind of nice, it's interesting, it's got its own thing. If you remember your calculus and integrals and derivatives, the title will actually make some sense.

jessamyn: Shut up.

cortex: And if you like very large numbers, then this is for you.

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: End of review. So there you go.

jessamyn: (shortly) Thanks. Moving on.

cortex, mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)

mathowie: Ask Metafilter!

jessamyn: (excitedly) Ask Metafilter! "Tell me where you put your hands when you sleep if you sleep on your side!" A wonderful survey of Ask Metafilter people talking about--

mathowie: Oh, wow.

jessamyn: --sleeping.

mathowie: Did someone break a wrist and has to worry about it now?

jessamyn: She wakes up with her fingers asleep.

mathowie: Oh.

jessamyn: And is like, "Well, that sucks. How else do you sleep if you sleep on your side?"

mathowie: (chuckles) Sleeping well.

jessamyn: And asked people! It was an interesting--

cortex: To me, I intermittently wake up with a little bit of numbness in my hand or arm because I've been sleeping on it, but it's not consistent enough for me to actually do anything about it.

jessamyn: Me too.

mathowie: God, I have to think. I guess they're just laying by my head under my pillow, usually, unless that's too hot, and then they're next

to me.

jessamyn: See, I always sleep in exactly the same way. It's one of those insomnia things, it's like, if I put my hands and my fingers just like this, then I can... that's the trick! I don't understand people who don't know how to...

mathowie: (chuckling) Post-iPhone, I'm always on the, if you're looking at the bed on the left side, and so I'm on my right side on the edge right next to the nightstand, I'm using an iPhone with my right hand.

jessamyn: Which is where your charger is or something?

mathowie: Yeah, exactly.

jessamyn: You use your phone in your bed?

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Yeah, so I'll play THREES or read a Kindle book, and I'll do that until my right side, which is on the bottom, gets so sore, my neck is getting sore because I've been doing that for 20 or 30 minutes, as soon as I put my phone in the charger and roll over, I instantly go to sleep.

jessamyn: Because you're not in pain any more. (laughs)

mathowie: Yeah. I know if I'm starting to feel like, "Ow. My shoulder is getting my neck. It's getting tense," it's time to roll over and go to sleep.

jessamyn: Put the phone down, yeah.

mathowie: Wow.

jessamyn: Yeah, it was just interesting reading, I have nothing else to say about this except I enjoyed reading how other people who side-sleep sleep!

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: "How do you fix sleeping wrong?"

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: That's not easy.

jessamyn: And it's National Poetry Month.

cortex: Yay!

jessamyn: So here's the National Poetry Month Ask Metafilter "help me find a good poem" thread.

cortex: Oh, neat.

jessamyn: With 27 good... well, 27 people giving many, many good poems.

mathowie: Sweeet. I feel like I'm this guy for comics, like, I've always wanted to be into comics, and everyone I know is into comics except me. I'm always like, "Hey," every three years I have to ask friends, "What's a good comic?"

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: And right now the answer is Saga, and ten years ago it was like, there's Maus, there's all these classics, you know.

cortex: I gotta read Saga sometime.

mathowie: R. Crumb.

jessamyn: Well, see, that's one of the things that Facebook is really good for, because you can see what your friends are reading and then be like, "Is that any good? Do you like that?"

mathowie: Right, but I don't want a deep cut. I want the biggest possible thing for the last five years.

jessamyn: Then type into Amazon and be like, "I'm lazy. Comics?" Question mark.

mathowie: Yeah. (chuckles)

jessamyn: And then you'll get what everybody's reading. You need a librarian, Matt. One who knows you.

mathowie: Yeah. Yeah.

jessamyn: That's how I get graphic novels. My librarian knows me.

mathowie: And yeah, everyone I know is just so far down the rabbit hole. They're like, "Well, this guy's inking style is really cool, but..."

jessamyn: (laughs) Portland is just hard. Portland is hard. (laughs)

mathowie: And so much of it is like um about the artwork. And I have found in the things I have looked at that are supposed to be amazing was that ... things I found that were amazing the story, you know it's like a great artist who, I mean, you can't expect one person to be the most brilliant writer in the world and the most brilliant artistic person or a ...

cortex: Well and usually .. usually you have teams working on ...

mathowie: Teams, yeah.

cortex: .. working on the real solid stuff.

mathowie: So I have seen lots of beautiful comments with like so-so

mathowie: story lines and stuff. So it's hard ..

jessamyn: And the reverse!

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: I almost couldn't deal with what .. V is for Vendetta because the inking was just blech. The pictures were bad.

mathowie: I've asked friends for like the best writing and Scott Pilgrim came up and I read the whole series before the movie came out and I really liked it. And the art is so-so and they have like different artists doing stuff but, yeah. Yeah. I need Comics 101 greatness.

cortex: Clearly you should post yourself an AskMe.

jessamyn: Yeah I hear there is a website that can help you with that.

mathowie: I love this - this one was pointed out to me by a friend on twitter that like someone asked me .. does the really great thing ..

jessamyn: By jojobobo !

mathowie: (Laughing) Yeah like there is a Dutch nursery rhyme. It goes something like this cause I don't speak Dutch!

cortex: (Laughs)

mathowie: 'Ro(roi?)-bosch-a-tich' Like and your like what??? And people got it. Like ...

jessamyn: Nice!

mathowie: Like they got the right answer.

jessamyn: Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo answered

cortex: (Cracks up)

mathowie: (Cracks up)

jessamyn: jojobobo's question!

mathowie: That is a senseless joke, I think.

cortex: (Still laughing) Yep.

mathowie: But yeah people ...

jessamyn: I just love that guys username.

mathowie: If I was just phonetically putting down sounds I heard in another language's nursery rhyme? I don't think the chances of someone figuring it out. It's like second comment and it took .. what? it took twelve minutes to get the right answer.

jessamyn: But if it was an American nursery rhyme you might be able to recognize it if it was close.

mathowie: How do you type out like .. what's the baby .. when the bough breaks? How would you write that down?

Like da-da-dah-dah ...

jessamyn: Rah-Kah

No but he's talking about the pronunciation

cortex: yeah that's one that doesn't have solid .. like I think part of the thing is this has yeah some specific ..

mathowie: .. Rocka-bah-bah ...

jessamyn: They just don't.. they just don't know what those words mean.

mathowie: Right, yeah. Someone wrote down rock-a-babbie

jessamyn: Rock-ah-bah-bah you'd be like, "Oh. Right. "

mathowie: Yeah. yeah it's probably Rock a Bye Baby ..

cortex: It's like the episode of the original Star Trek where they find the cavemen who still know

The Pledge of Allegiance or The Constitution but they are ... it's all gotten incomprehensible through evolution. From separation from Earth's civilization. Nobody? Nobody?

mathowie: I did not see that.

jessamyn: Star what?

cortex: (Laughs)

mathowie: Looking for a Star Trek with good writing and ...

cortex: Well fuck me. Continue amongst yourselves.

mathowie: None of my friends have shown me a Star Trek with good writing yet? (Laughing)

jessamyn: I don't even know. I'm saving Star Trek for when I have surgery. Some kind of surgery and I need to just sit and watch something for four days.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: That and Doctor Who.

mathowie: Yup. Which one, though?

jessamyn: Wait, now I've forgotten...

mathowie: Any other questions?

jessamyn: Of course!

mathowie: Shoot.

jessamyn: But why can't I find the one that I had? Piece of shit computer.

mathowie: New Flickr!

jessamyn: New Flickr, you piece of shit!

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Pudding... Oculus Rift... side-sleepers... shit! I had one more. Alright. Talk to yourself, Matt,

I have to figure out where I hid this.

mathowie: My second favorite post of the month was... this is very specific.

jessamyn: Aah! Found it. Go on, sorry.

mathowie: "Show me the most amazing performances by artists at the top of their game, not just music, but anything, but where things were just, someone who's going 110%." And they're mostly music, and that's what I thought of. I answered it with a music video.

I saw also a Letterman appearance, this all started with a David Letterman music appearance where, you know, sometimes a band just comes out and they just rock the shit out of it, you've never heard of them...

jessamyn: And the audience is like "Whaaaa!" and everybody's....

mathowie: And you get goosebumps and you're watching it through a TV and it's from days ago in your DVR--

jessamyn: Right.

mathowie: --and you're like, "What just happened?! This is my favorite band in the world now and I'd never heard of them two minutes ago.

jessamyn: Right, totally.

mathowie: Yeah, like Janelle Monáe...

jessamyn: I was like that watching TV on the radio on Saturday Night Live, actually.

mathowie: Oh, yeah!

jessamyn: I was like, "Who are these guys? I need to be friends with them!"

mathowie: (laughs)

Right, and you're like, "These are like the art house kids that were all into their thing, and they're still into it!" Yeah, you can tell.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: So this is basically a list of 40, just the most amazing performances from, they're almost all music...

jessamyn: Who's the post by?

mathowie: fritillary [ˌfɹɪˈtɪləɹi]? fritillary [ˌfɹɪˈtɪləɹi]? It looks like 'military' except with 'frit'.

jessamyn: fritillary [ˌfɹɪtɪlˈɛəɹi]! Yeah, who knows. Neat!

mathowie: Yeah, there's a lot, oh, Tori Amos is a good one, if you've ever seen Tori Amos on stage, she's--

jessamyn: Aah! She's serious business.

mathowie: She has to be scraped off the stage with a shovel, you know, she's completely, she goes nuts on that piano.

jessamyn: Right, yeah, yeah.

mathowie: I've never been the hugest fan of her, but when I've seen her do stuff live, I'm super impressed.

jessamyn: Yeah, she's very passionate.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Hurf durf Bösendorfer, as it were.

jessamyn: What?

cortex: She plays the Bösendorfer.

jessamyn: Where'd you come from?

cortex: I found the Star Trek episode, but also--

mathowie: (laughs)

jessamyn: I love you.

cortex: --Bösendorfer's just such a great name for a piano company, so...

jessamyn: What?

cortex: Tori Amos. She plays Bösendorfers. She plays a Bösendorfer. That's her brand.

jessamyn: Is this you explaining a joke to me again?

cortex: No, it's not a... yeah, kind of. Well, I mean, that's not just the joke--

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Keep explaining, it'll get funny.

cortex: --just "Hurf durf Bösendorfer" was the joke. But anyway--

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: --the Star Trek episode was The Omega [ˌoʊˈmɛɪgə] Glory.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: The Omega [ˌoʊˈmɛɪgə] Glory, which...

jessamyn: Omega's [ˌoʊˈmɛɪgəz] one of those words you say funny.

cortex: Do I say it? Oh, are you like Omega [ˌoʊˈmɛgə]?

jessamyn: Omega [ˌoʊˈmɛgə].

mathowie: Is this uh Star Trek Wiki come in Klingon? Cause I don't like to read in English.

cortex: (Laughs) I would not be shocked if there is a translation product but I think .. memory-alpha's primarily in English.

mathowie: (Laughing)

cortex: Maybe change it to KL-dot-memory-alpha-dot-org

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: it would be in Klingon it would not be ...

jessamyn: (phonetic)eye-plegie-next-to-flaggin-too-pep-like-for-stan.

cortex: I also found a clip

mathowie: (chuckles)

cortex: ... of one of the key scenes from the episode

jessamyn: Oh! Of course you did!

cortex: Yes.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: But yes, no. Classic! I remember seeing this as a kid and I remember my Dad sort of like trying (laughing)

to explain it, but both being a boyhood fan of the original series, but also finding the whole political metaphor so incredibly hamhanded that he had trouble not sarcastically deconstructing it--

jessamyn: Being serious about it.

cortex: Even while (laughing) he was trying to explain it. And I'm probably like five years and watching this on syndication with him. Anyway, yes. Suddenly apparently I remember that.

jessamyn: Neat!

mathowie: Neat.

jessamyn: I also enjoyed, by--this is one of those eponysterical kinds of things--

scaryblackdeath is writing a fictional character background and needs to know some lethal but surmountable diseases! So basically someone overcame a childhood disease that was supposed to be fatal but then recovered fully. So what are some diseases that fit that? And so people had, you know, congenital heart defect, maybe asthma, then the nerds start interacting, appendicitis,
bitten by a spider, rabies, HIV positive, aplastic anemia... you know, that kind of thing.

mathowie: Huh.

jessamyn: Yeah.

mathowie: Do you know any adults? I have...

jessamyn: Adults? I know a couple.

cortex: (laughs)

mathowie: No, adults where they tell you when they're like 70, "Oh, yeah, have you ever seen I walk with a limp?" or some minor, minor thing in their life, they're like, "Because I was bedridden with polio for like a decade."

jessamyn: My dad had polio! Maybe.

I mean, he's dead now, so who knows, right?

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: But my grandmother and his sister say he had polio, and he says he didn't.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: So what the fuck do you do with that?

mathowie: That's weird. But this is someone who used to run marathons, and I'm like, "You had polio as a kid? You couldn't walk? Whaat?" And it's a 70-year-old person in front of me saying, "Yeah, I had polio, it's no big deal. I got over it."

jessamyn: Right. And you're like, "What? No? Aah? Er?"

mathowie: I guess when you're in your seventies you're prone to get related diseases,

like I think shingles is somehow related to polio viruses, so that can come...

jessamyn: Probably.

mathowie: But yeah, there's a lot of kidney disorders in here. My wife had the whole childhood kidney syndrome that almost killed her, and yeah.

jessamyn: Interesting. You should have mentioned it in the thread.

mathowie: But I guess she's short as an adult because of...?

jessamyn: Your wife is short? She's taller than me!

mathowie: She's 5'2" or something.

jessamyn: Oh, no, she's my height.

mathowie: So I think she probably would have been 5'6" or 7" if she had normal kidneys, right?

jessamyn: Is her family tall?

mathowie: Yeah, everyone's six feet or even her mom's like 5'7", probably.

jessamyn: Whuhh. Whuhh. Yeah, my mom's 5'7". Maybe I've got a kidney problem. Huh.

mathowie: (laughs) Eh, you got over it.

jessamyn: Ehhh! I got bettah!

cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)

mathowie: What Star Trek episode is that from?

cortex: Seven nerds just physically exploded.

jessamyn: Ha-ha, what ho!

cortex: What ho!

mathowie: Ha Ha Ha ... Any other questions? You must have a pile.

jessamyn: Travel bucket list!

mathowie: Nice.

jessamyn: What would you consider to be the must-do travel spots in your city, town, state? If I had fifty days left to live and could visit one thing in each state what would it be? And of course it's nerds so it's all like, "Here's seven things!" But uh it was cool People gave him like the one thing for a lot of states. It was interesting. I don't .. I didn't even really see it when it went up .. um? A couple of weeks ago?

mathowie: Huh.

It has a billion-zillion favorites. And there's not that many answers.

jessamyn: It doesn't have a lot of answers and it's still open... so?

mathowie: I want to answer!

cortex: Well you can go do that.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: Don't do it right now. Don;t do it right now.

mathowie: Have you been to the fossil beds in Oregon, Josh? As a kid or anything?

cortex: No, I've never been. And ..

jessamyn: Where are they?

cortex: Uh Eastern Oregon.

mathowie: East. East/North.

cortex: Yeah. We'll probably go out there at some point this year.

jessamyn: By the ape caves?

mathowie: But even as a kid....

jessamyn: The lava caves.

mathowie: Yeah.

Even as a kid I always wanted to go to the dinosaur things, I loved dinosaurs, in Montana or Utah or wherever we found the first giant dinosaur on the side of a mountain and saved it and put a building around it.

jessamyn: Heh!

mathowie: But I realized, even as a kid I was like, I don't know if I want to drive like 36 hours to see rocks on the wall. I was 8 and I was like, I cannot sell this in this house to my parents.

jessamyn: (laughs)

mathowie: Like, we're going to go look at rocks. And now

I'm like, hmm, that's like a six-hour drive almost to Idaho to get to those... is that really the best thing in Oregon? I don't think it is. I think Crater Lake is cooler.

cortex: Well, it depends on what you're into. I mean, I don't know. Crater Lake is pretty awesome, though. It's kind of hard to...

mathowie: Have you... yeah, have you, Jessamyn, have you ever seen the Grand Canyon in person?

jessamyn: Of course I have! I've seen everything.

mathowie: Was it as great as you read about?

jessamyn: No, it looks like a postcard.

mathowie and cortex: (laugh)

jessamyn: You know what's really cool, though?

Canyon de Chelly--which is spelled Chelly, C-H-E-L-L-Y--because it's a manageable size? Like, the Grand Canyon's amazing, don't get me wrong, I didn't mean to be like, ehh, snooty. But being there in person doesn't get you that much more than looking at a lot of really cool pictures, as opposed to going to Canyon de Chelly, where you can walk around, you can go camping there, you can see a bunch of petroglyphs.
It's more human-scale, and it's easier to kind of get your head around, and there's more of a human story? Like, the Grand Canyon is a story about a river, ultimately.
But other canyons that people actually live in have the stories of the people who lived there, which are, to me, much more interesting.

mathowie: This looks like a canyon built by two major rivers. It's pretty small! I'm zooming out on Google Maps looking at it. Oh, it's almost to the Mexico border. Wow, I've never been there! I've been everywhere in Arizona but never in that section. Huh. It's like the northeast section. Wow. Maybe it's my blind in one eye, limited

peripheral vision, but I was... you know, you read about--

sfx: (bird whistle)

mathowie: --I think I was 20 or 18 when I saw the Grand Canyon the first time. And I'd heard about it so much that I wasn't prepared to be overwhelmed. I thought it'd be a disappointment. And I was blown away by how big it is. I didn't think it'd be like the entire horizon to me. It looked bigger than I imagined.

jessamyn: Yeah! It was a lot bigger than I expected it to be.

mathowie: I've heard a lot of people go to, they leave from New York, they fly to Phoenix, they drive four hours north, they get all the way there, and they go, "Whaa? This is it?" (chuckles)

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: Like, Jesus Christ, they could have read about this, yeah. I've heard a lot, half the people I know probably don't like it, and the other half are like, "It's bigger than you think! It's amazing." I was just curious.

jessamyn: Yeah, I mean, whatever. I loved it, I would love to go back, but I went on a lot of driving around Arizona, and there were other, I'm happy I saw it, but I would much rather go

see something that I felt like I could kind of look around it more.

mathowie: I like all the things in Arizona where native tribes lived in the walls stuff, like there's...

jessamyn: Canyon de Chelly. Canyon de Chelly. You would enjoy it.

mathowie: There's several... I feel like I've been to three different parks somewhere in that state where it's like, oh, people lived on these walls, and it just seemed so crazy when you're a little kid. Like, Jesus, I could die any day just walking down my little six-inch path.

Sweet. That's a good one.

jessamyn: Yeah!

mathowie: Way more favorites than comments. It needs more comments. We need at least 50 comments, like, one from each state, from a person.

jessamyn: I know, right? Well, some people did post multiple state things, of course.

mathowie: Right, but... yeah.

cortex: We could always just proactively Best Of it to try and, you know.

mathowie: Ehh, there isn't enough...

jessamyn: I'm mentioning it now, aren't I?

cortex: Yep.

mathowie: Yeah.

jessamyn: So it's fine.

mathowie: I love the best thing to do is just get a raft and a cooler full of beer. (chuckles) That is a pretty good thing to do.

jessamyn: That's pretty good advice. But, I mean, that's the other thing, right? Like, "Ooh, bucket list, bluh buh bluh." The person asked a specific question. Shut up. Answer.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: Yeah, I know of that question really prior to this discussion only specifically in the tradition of me knowing about things from AskMe in the podcast mostly because I'm annoyed about them, I had to delete a comment

in there that was like, "You know, bucket lists are a bad idea--"

mathowie: Ohh.

cortex: "--and you should not listen to what other people say." I was like, "Well, that's an okay opinion to have, but the question is 'Tell me where I should go.' Let people just tell them where they should go, you know? Come on."

jessamyn: Right.

cortex: (pulls in breath, then exhales) People.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: (exhales)

cortex: Why do we have humans on our website? That's what I want to know. Why can't we get something like robots that, like, you know...

jessamyn: Right. We don't need moderator robots, we need moderator communities!

cortex: Exactly. And then everything would be so simple. I think it would really streamline our workflow.

mathowie: (emits a soft sound of skepticism)

jessamyn: Synergize our... yeah.

cortex: Yeah.

mathowie: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: It would really position us well for targeted acquisition. Maybe we can get Zuckerberg--

jessamyn: Don't even joke about that.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: You monster!

mathowie: Oculus.

Any other questions? Josh, you, and me? Questions?

jessamyn: That was it for me.

cortex: Where do babies come from?

mathowie: Where do babbys...

cortex: Ohh, you mean from this... oh. Um. (laughs)

jessamyn: Don't make me.

cortex: No, I got no other... no other AskMes specifically to mention.

jessamyn: I got a Music to mention.

cortex: Yeah?

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: That's good, because I've been headcoldy and don't have a list this time, so. It's the Jessamyn Music Minute! (underscores softly) Doot-doot-doo-doot-doo-doot-doot!

jessamyn: Yes! It's the Jessamyn Music Minute. I did not pay much attention, but Jim actually made a song for somebody in the MeFites' Choice Awards in 2013 and finally finished his song last week.

mathowie: Oh, neat.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And basically made a song about the FPP Sans Protovision, but basically it's about war games.

It's a war games song, and it's kind of interesting and it's very funny.

mathowie: Sweet.

jessamyn: And I just thought you would enjoy it.

cortex: Yay! Go Jim.

mathowie: Oh, I guess I should mention the beta of the Metafilter Music iOS app.

jessamyn: Oh, right, right, right! Please.

mathowie: I mentioned in Metatalk somewhere, I'll have to look it up, is...

jessamyn: You monster.

mathowie: I'll look at the link in a sec. It's probably two weeks away from being a thing.

And it's actually--

jessamyn: Is this like really two weeks, or is this just a number you made up because it sounds good?

mathowie: Oh, no, last time I talked to him he said mid-April he'll probably release it as a 1.0 and it'll be publicly on the App Store and...

jessamyn: Okay.

mathowie: It'll probably be the only result for Metafilter that's not super skeevy and weird and...

cortex: (chuckles)

mathowie: ...requires me to yell at someone. And it just plays Metafilter Music and the podcasts, and he was smart enough to use the native iPod contr--like, when you make an app you can choose how the

audio, if the audio plays just on the app or if the audio plays system-wide, so he chose system-wide, which means you can press play, switch apps, lock your phone, do whatever you want, switch over to something else, or just drive for four hours and it'll just keep playing, which is cool, and recently the YouTube app by Google disabled this, and they changed their audio to only the app. Because I used to listen to two-hour lectures in the car. Because there's nothing to look at, you know? It's just a camera pointed statically in a
classroom. And now YouTube has to be running, so they can show you ads, and you can't launch a Maps app to figure out where you need to drive to. It's super annoying. So it's good that he's using native audio controls and you can play it and do other stuff.

jessamyn: That's going to be fun! That'll be really cool.

mathowie: Yeah. And it'll be a free little app. And it streams it directly off of the Amazon servers that we moved to that

will actually charge me money for every time you press play.

cortex: (laughs) Ha-hah!

mathowie: Costing Metafilter a few pennies, but yeah, it'll be interesting.

cortex: Let's see...

jessamyn: I'm still trying to figure out how to search my tags on Flickr. Ignore me.

mathowie: (laughs)

cortex: We also had the big Metatalk thread about Television Without Pity closing.

mathowie: Yeah.

cortex: And the idea of having a Metafilter subsite. We've been talking about the idea.

But it was an interesting thread reading both what people sort of related to with Television Without Pity when it existed and what sort of things people would actually want on a Metafilter media thing. And we've of course been talking about how such a thing would work, which I'm sure we'll continue to do. But yeah, I thought that was sort of an interesting temperature of the site thread.

jessamyn: Yeah! It was a fun discussion listening to people talk about stuff. I enjoyed listening. I don't participate in a lot of TV-talking threads generally, and so it was interesting listening to people just talk about the stuff.

mathowie: Sweet.

cortex: And... I'm not sure if I have any other Metatalk stuff, either.

jessamyn: I think that's maybe it for me!

cortex: Alright. Well, I think maybe we're good.

jessamyn: Maybe we're good!

mathowie: Cool.

cortex: I think maybe we're great.

mathowie: (chuckles) We're all crazy.

jessamyn: I'm great. You're great. Matt's great.

cortex: We're fantastic.

mathowie: Have an incredible April, everyone.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Yes.

cortex: We'll see you in a month or so!

jessamyn: We'll see you in a month or so.

mathowie: So long.

jessamyn: Bye!

mathowie: 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)


  • beryllium, 124 segments
  • tangerinegurl, 59
  • stebulus, 31
  • fever-trees, 8
  • zamboni, 8
  • Tobu, 4