Podcast 77 Transcript
From Mefi Wiki
A transcript for Episode 77: "Gay Teen Denouement."
jingle: theme music
sfx: (Music: Anglesey, by haines)
mathowie: Welcome! To episode 77 of the Metafilter Podcast for January, 2013.
cortex: It's a palindrome!
mathowie: stifles laughter
cortex: It's a palindrome.
jessamyn: Is 77 technically a palindrome?
cortex: Yes! Yes!
jessamyn: Is it really?
cortex: Yes, it's forward and back. It's not a very big palindrome, but it's totally a palindrome. You can probably make the argument that 7 isn't a palindrome, but at that point, arguing that a digit, reversed -
jessamyn: What if 8 is a palindrome because you can fold it in half?
cortex: Oh, it's like a bilateral palindrome.
jessamyn: Nice belt.
mathowie: Where was that joke from? I just heard that the other day. "Hey zero, nice belt."
jessamyn: "What did someone say to 8?"
mathowie: Oh god, it was Doug Benson. Doug Benson made that joke. Ah, that was brilliant.
cortex: I just watched a little bit of his "The Doug Benson Interruption" last night.
mathowie: What's that?
jessamyn: I've listened to it, but never seen it.
cortex: It's just a little half-hour Comedy Central show, where he sits on a throne on a stage, and he has comedian friends come up and do short sets and then he just interrupts them constantly.
cortex: It's not bad.
jessamyn: It is sometimes genius, and occasionally super annoying.
cortex: I felt like he didn't interrupt -
mathowie: He gives them real-time notes?
cortex: It's almost like bullshit heckling fun.
jessamyn: He's just doing that stoner thing that he does.
mathowie: (laughs) Wow, I'll have to look it up.
jessamyn: "Doug Benson Interruption."
cortex: It's a good time.
mathowie: Where should we go first on the tour of the Metafilter Universe this week - month?
jessamyn: I don't know, it was a good month for Metafilter, I thought!
cortex: It's been a good time in general.
mathowie: Jobs is super boring. Jobs is all web jobs.
jessamyn: Jim got a job!
jessamyn: Yeah, he took a (stumbles over pronouncing k8t) -
mathowie: (pronounces it "Katie.") I think she goes by.
jessamyn: k8t! She basically had a job that was "I need something -"
mathowie: "- someone at Harvard."
jessamyn: Yeah! "- to go to the library and get a thing for me."
mathowie: I practically emailed him over that one.
jessamyn: I did email him.
mathowie: That's the only person I know there.
jessamyn: Horace Rumpole is also there.
mathowie: Oh, okay.
jessamyn: And I think there's a couple more people there - Lipstick Thespian sometimes works there. At any rate, I was like "dude, go to the library! 25 bucks!" and he was like "yeah!" and it'll be a really interesting project. I am sworn to secrecy, but, it's sort of a neat thing she's working on.
- I was noticing IRL is banging as always.
- Seeing things on IRL with forty comments is not super rare any more. It's kind of awesome. IRL has only been up a year or two. Two or three comments seemed to be the norm for the first year, and now there's humongous comment threads like the Guy Fieri one. I was impressed with this one: a meetup in the middle of nowhere in Belgium -
jessamyn: Oh my god!
mathowie: - with 64 comments, currently. It's the best beer in the world.
jessamyn: It's not the best beer in the world, it's the rarest beer in the world, and so hipsters think it's the best beer in the world.
mathowie: (laughs) Aaah! Beer nerds think it's the best.
jessamyn: Have you had friends who have actually drank it?
mathowie: Yeah, over Twitter, they sort of explain it's pretty good.
cortex: My feeling is, the better a beer is, the less likely it would be to stay super rare in practice, because people are like "this is really good fucking beer. I should also make this beer."
jessamyn: But this is made by a group of monks in fucking Flanders. And they don't export it.
mathowie: They have rules and laws, so it's forced to be rare, because they're getting around a whole bunch of alcohol laws, so.
jessamyn: Being able to make it in the first place. And they're just fussy about it! So there was this crazy thing where they released some of it, in America, briefly, and so it turned into a thing where everybody scrambled for it, and then people wrote about it: "I tried it!" People sent me photographs of themselves holding it.
mathowie: Oh, the Flickr team, when they launched the mobile app, and Flickr got huge two months ago.
mathowie: Their celebration was a few six-packs of this.
jessamyn: (laughs) That's cool. My sister - basically the major at the crime lab, the guy who runs the crime lab - is an esoteric beer guy, and so I don't know if I told you guys about how mrzarquon helped me track down some bottles of Pliny the Elder, which was last year's rare beer, but now the major wants a bottle of this, and so I've been in negotiations with mefites to see what it would take to get them to mail me a bottle. And it's so funny, because it's not for me, it's not even for my sister, who doesn't even drink. It's to curry favor up the channels at the Massachusetts State Crime Lab. You know, it's a favor you could maybe cash in later if you needed it.
mathowie: I heard there was like a, you could eBay a six-pack for two or three hundred bucks or something like that.
jessamyn: Well, you could eBay something that might have been a six-pack of the stuff--
jessamyn: --or it might have been six drained bottles filled with something else.
mathowie: (laughs) I was bummed that I was probably...
cortex: Just an empty PS3 box, beer edition?
mathowie and jessamyn: (laugh)
jessamyn: With a bottle of water in it.
mathowie: I think I was 20 or 30 minutes away from it last year when I was in Belgium, and I didn't even know it.
mathowie: But it's impossible. When you read the rules, it's like, you call a month in advance, there's this one-hour window, you're only allowed to bring a car and put it in the trunk in one case at a time...
jessamyn: But they serve it at some Belgian places, you just have to kinda know where to go.
jessamyn: I mean, it's the pinnacle of in-group/out-group stuff, right? Because of course if you've gone through all that effort you're not gonna say the beer sucks.
jessamyn: Unless you're really that cool. You know what I mean? I've been fascinated watching it all unfold, as someone who drinks Bud Light at the pub, I'm just like, ehhhh, whatever.
mathowie: (chuckles) I like other beers that don't even allow cars, you have to backpack for six months.
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: These people are just way too commercial.
jessamyn: But I agree with you. IRL's really been fun and hopping and there's been some neat stuff going on. And I remember all of our concerns--
jessamyn: --before we launched it that people were going to take it over or be terrible or whatever... oh, are you guys doing the Superb Owl thing again? Josh, I just noticed...
cortex: Oh heck yeah. Yep. That's this weekend.
mathowie: Oh, it's Sunday, huh, yeah.
cortex: And this time instead of hanging out at Greg_Ace's house, which is what we've done for a lot of meetups and that's what the original Superb Owl was last year, we're going to go see a movie, I think we're going to see a zombie movie, and then go to a bar and drink beer and discuss it, so.
jessamyn: That sounds great! Any particular zombie movie? Are you going to see that new one?
cortex: Yeah, whatever that new one is with the zombie with a heart.
jessamyn: Zombie boyfriend?
jessamyn: Yeah. I saw like eight million ads for it on the television last weekend.
cortex: I figure it's either going to be good or not good, and either option is acceptable, yeah.
jessamyn: (laughs) You'll have a lot to talk about either way?
cortex: Yeah, so.
cortex: Plus, I haven't gotten to see a movie with a group in forever, so hopefully that will be entertaining in a way that is more than just us all collectively sitting in the dark in the same theater, but we'll see. I guess basically what I'm saying is I hope we're noisy assholes, maybe that's--
cortex: Maybe my aspirations are a little bit messed up here.
cortex: But we'll see. But yeah, it should be a good time. I'm excited about it. You know, I feel like IRL, yeah, it really has, it's clicking, people are using it well, there's the social side of the side is manifesting in there, which is kind of a big relief that it's not just some sort of graveyard. I still feel like there are things we could experiment with discoverability--
cortex: --like the fact that meetups don't show up so much on MetaTalk is still sort of a change from the old regime, so it's harder for new people who aren't already aware of the meetup scene to be as aware of it. But there's stuff we can play with [??] there.
mathowie: Yeah, we've had wacky ideas.
mathowie: Like if you put in a location, maybe a banner would show up a couple days before an event you might not have been aware of.
cortex: That'd be pretty neat.
mathowie: We were trying to figure out ways that weren't creepy and weren't going to kill the server to look up.
jessamyn: And weren't going to seem totally spammy and annoying, either.
mathowie: Right, yeah. Yeah, we have to think of ways to non-annoyingly mention things to people that might be helpful. (chuckles) Like casual things, like instead of an ad or something, it would be like, "Oh, hey, there's a Super Bowl party in your town."
mathowie: And you're like, "Oh. Wow! That's a thing. Okay, I'll go look."
jessamyn: Well, we have that functionality already, don't we, sort of? But just non-meetup things we don't have announcements for, right?
mathowie: Yeah, no, I was thinking, how would meetup announcements that you didn't ask for that aren't annoying migrate to www.metafilter.com?
jessamyn: Oh, I see what you're saying.
mathowie: What are some ways we could just casually once in a while say, "oh, hey, by the way"? Yeah, we'll have to think about that.
mathowie: I'm just amazed that meetups seemingly in the middle of nowhere can get eight people attending, that's great. Because we always knew it would work in San Francisco, New York, you know, London, but I was worried about the smaller ones, and they seem to be doing okay.
jessamyn: Yeah, I agree.
mathowie: Do you want to go to Projects?
cortex: There were some fun projects.
jessamyn: There were a couple projects that I really liked. This one, Josh, specifically mentions you--
jessamyn: The "Derek Draws Derek", with user cellphone--
jessamyn: --who basically is working on drawing and wanted to draw some self-portraits and so has a wacky Tumblr, derekdrawsderek.tumblr.com, which has now turned into... come on, there's three comments here (cortex laughs), and one of them is remixing, so there's Josh Draws Rupa... Rupa, is that what 31d1's name is?
cortex: Yeah. Yeah, so he started rupadrawsderekdrawsderek.tumblr.com (mathowie laughs), where he's drawing pictures of the pictures that Derek has been drawing of himself, and then I decided I should start joshdrawsrupadrawsderekdrawsderektumblr.com, although you can't have that many letters in a tumblr--
mathowie: Oh, neat.
cortex: So it's actually joshdrawsrupadrawsderekdrawsder.tumblr.com.
cortex: And I'm hoping we can chain this, like, we need a couple more people to keep going, because I ended up making an animated GIF out of our various drawings and their mutations.
jessamyn: Well, see, that's I think how I came into all this on mlkshk, where you put up the picture?
cortex: Yeah, you posted that on mlkshk, yeah.
jessamyn: And then I was like, "Who is this [goofy ?] drawing person?"
jessamyn: But I just enjoyed it, and I thought it was neat, and user cellphone has, he's from what, Iowa? I don't think I have met him. But yeah, he's out there in the Midwest drawing pictures of himself.
cortex: Yep. It's pretty great.
mathowie: I think if you get three more people doing it three more levels, you'd have a show at the Whitney Museum some day.
mathowie: It'd just be animated GIFs on the walls on plastic screens.
jessamyn: Yeah, it's like making a photocopy of a photocopy, or Telephone, where you give a message, send a message in a message.
mathowie: Yeah, it's pretty cool. You know what, though, my favorite Project, and I don't know why I didn't post this to Metafilter, it came up last week--
jessamyn: You still can, Matt!
mathowie: I know. This is... it's brilliant--
cortex: You should post it between now and when you actually post the podcast, to fuck with everybody's brain.
mathowie: Yeah, I might do this right after this. All it does is give you a blank drawing surface and a mouse, and I guess it works on tablets, but you just click and draw and it doesn't show you what you're doing, it's completely blank, and then when you're done--
jessamyn: Until you're done.
mathowie: Yeah, and it gives you a subject, and there's little contests each day, like "Draw a clown!" or whatever, or yeah, the first one was a penis just to get that out of the way for people.
jessamyn: Of course it was!
mathowie: Because he knew that would come up. But I did it, and I could not believe, it was a fun surprise for whatever would happen when I would reveal what I was drawing when I was trying to draw something. Because you can't remember where you lifted your virtual pen, you know.
cortex: Yeah, it's not a specific spatial awareness exercise that we really have much reason to deal with in this context, so it's totally new to try and grapple with neuromechanically.
mathowie: Yeah, so, like--
jessamyn: I drew a flower with a smile in it!
mathowie: That part was... it's fun...
jessamyn: Somebody drew a butt!
jessamyn: Somebody drew a monkey humping a dog.
jessamyn: Ohhh, there's another penis.
mathowie: It's funny when you do it--
jessamyn: Kitty. Spider.
mathowie: --but I'm just like, this is kind of an amazing groundwork for something, like something could be amazing out of this--
jessamyn: Hot pussy.
mathowie: --I can't tell what or why.
jessamyn: No, it's fun. I agree. And it's just a neat little thing, and it's nice-looking, which matters.
mathowie: Blind person draws Derek draws Josh draws Derek?
cortex: Yeah, well, yeah, I'm seeing Matt blindsketches Josh draws Rupa draws Derek draws Derek. I think--
mathowie: That would just be teeth, I guess. I don't know.
mathowie: I don't know! I'm like, this is the greatest idea, and it's one degree away from being an Internet phenomenon. I don't know what it would require to push it over the edge.
cortex: Yeah, well, no. I think having the galleries would help.
jessamyn: Well, and he also does Borescore.org, "Which photo is more boring?"
mathowie and cortex: (laugh)
jessamyn: Just saying, the man is a genius.
mathowie: That was awesome.
cortex: Another neat project was GROKTAR from user big friendly giant, which is this brilliant little premise of, it's basically a guitar-learning website built around guitar tabs, but it'll actually take a guitar tab and play it back on a virtual guitar up at the top of the screen--
mathowie: Oh, neat!
cortex: --so you can sort of interact with random bits of tab you found somewhere if you want to figure out what something is supposed to sound like. Because I think that's the biggest challenge for people who are--
jessamyn: So you feed it a tab, and then it'll play it--
jessamyn: --and then you get a sense of what it's supposed to sound like?
cortex: Yeah, exactly. You can feed it right in there, boom, it'll do its best to play it.
mathowie: How do you make it play? I just clicked three fingers, but how do you...
cortex: Oh, there's a 'play' button over some of the examples down below. You have to spend a little time fiddling around with, but it.
mathowie: I was just looking for[, yeah ?].
cortex: But yeah, no, it's really a pretty clever idea, because, you know, if you're trying to learn how to play something and you're using a tab and you don't super know your way around that, for people like that especially, I think, who are trying to figure out how it's supposed to sound, you can hear it, so.
jessamyn: I have a question about music playing for you, Josh. When you're playing and somebody tells you you're doing it wrong and then you stop playing for a really long time because they hurt your feelings, what's a really good way to get back into playing music again?
cortex: I think it helps to visualize yourself standing across a room from that person and then you visualize flipping them a double bird--
cortex: --and being like "You know, fuck that noise!", and then you sort of mentally flush them down a toilet. And then you just start playing a little bit. You sit down and you play around with... like, even if you're not feeling it, sit down and spend a little time every day with your instrument--
jessamyn: Going through the motions.
cortex: Set small goals, and you get back on that horse, basically.
jessamyn: I'm clearly at that point where I can't tell the difference between...
cortex: I don't think there's any single surefire thing, you just kind of have to remember why you enjoyed doing it and try and make that central to a habit of doing it again.
sfx: (Music: Bury Me Beneath the Willow Tree by usonian)
mathowie: We could just go Josh-free for a minute or two.
jessamyn: Sure! Josh won't care at all about the Japanese woodblock print database, which was my favorite Project.
mathowie: Oh, sweet!
jessamyn: Did you see this? And it's funny, because it's about Japanese woodblock prints, and it has nothing to do with woodblock100! Except for the fact that he--aah!
mathowie: Is a member of it or something?
jessamyn: He favorited it!
jessamyn: But basically this guy is getting images that are in the public domain, so they're free for everybody, I think.
jessamyn: And it's this big database, and jeresig ['dʒɛɚəsɪg]? jeresig [dʒə'ɹɛsɪg]? jer ['dʒɛɚ]--oh, for God's sakes! Oh, sorry, John Resig ['ɹɛsɪg], that's right, I know actually who he is, I just didn't know that was his username, has just made this amazing thing that searches 200,000 prints, and they're all free to use, and it's beautiful, and it's terrific!
jessamyn: I know! I didn't know that was his username, I forgot.
jessamyn: So he's made this awesome thing!
mathowie: Yeah, when I saw that I went, is this a friend of woodblock100? Or what, is this by woodblock--does this have something to do with his recent Kickstarter? But no, wow, very nice.
jessamyn: Yeah! "As it stands this is a unique resource within the realm of prints or really art history studies in general," and yeah, it's just fucking great.
mathowie: How do you pronounce that name? Is it you-key-oh-ee ['ju 'ki 'oʊ 'i]?
jessamyn: Where are you seeing it?
mathowie: You know the name they put to all the woodblock, U-K-I-O... it's all over the website, this word.
jessamyn: Ukiyo-e [.ju.ki'joʊ.i]?
jessamyn: Uki ['ju.ki]--I don't know. I mean, all I know is I think Japanese is like Hawaiian in that you pronounce, it's syllabic, but let's see! Wikipedia says... Japanese pronunciation... oh fuck, I have to go read something.
jessamyn: I don't know! Ask somebody.
mathowie: I'm curious, I've never heard anyone have to... I've read it a million times over the last six months.
jessamyn: "Pictures of the floating world" is what it stands for.
jessamyn: Is Josh back yet?
mathowie: I loved and posted to Metafilter the Houndton Tabby...
jessamyn: That was this time?
mathowie: Yeah, yeah! It happened just after we finished the last podcast.
jessamyn: Ukiyo-e ['ukijo 'i] is what somebody just said. Okay.
jessamyn: Houndton Tabby's amazing!
mathowie: Oh, wow, there's new ones! Cool. There's an O'Brien. There's a Thomas.
jessamyn: Of course there's new ones. Tell us a little bit about it.
mathowie: It is Downton Abbey characters as if they were dogs and cats as prints and paintings and stuff, and they're oddly brilliant and spot-on, like, the breeds go with the characters, and they look the same... yeah, it's just cool. And the creator, I think this ended up being on Anderson Cooper a few days...
jessamyn: Yeah! That's what she said, Lou Stuells, who is partner to usonian, and they both are long-time MeFites, and I just met them at the Nashua meetup in December.
cortex: And I have never said--[the loot ?], yeah--
mathowie: Josh is back.
cortex: Yeah. (chuckles) The fucking thing.
cortex: You know, it probably would not be an issue if I would reboot my computer at all in the month between each podcast, I think I just need part of my--
jessamyn: Come on, man, I turned off my computer last night specifically because I knew I'd be talking to you guys. Plan it!
cortex: See, I just don't like rebooting ever, is the thing.
mathowie: You don't have to. It's based on Linux!
cortex: Because I've gotta reset shit back up. It's terrible.
jessamyn: It is based on Linux, but it does a whole bunch of shutdown routines that are good for flushing caches and stuff like that.
jessamyn: Don't you guys know anything?
mathowie: Eh, I'm okay.
cortex: No, I know, but then I have to interrupt what I'm doing, and I hate that. I have to make sure I've got all my files saved--
jessamyn: Don't you go to bed at night?
cortex: Well yeah, I just let it go quietly to slumber. I don't actually shut it down, that's what I'm saying.
jessamyn: [Mine handbrakes ?] all night while I sleep.
mathowie: My uptime is at 17 days, and that's only because of a power outage. Sweet.
jessamyn: You need a generator, bud.
cortex: I want to know that I've never said the name 'Lou Stuells' out loud.
mathowie: I know, I know, that was a little disturbing.
mathowie: How quickly you broke that up, Jessamyn.
mathowie: "Oh, yeah, that's a great Project by Loose Stools." (chuckles)
jessamyn: Well, because I met her!
mathowie: I know.
jessamyn: I know that's the joke. That's the joke.
mathowie: I want to be happy and sad for them at the same time, though.
jessamyn: You should be happy. She's delightful, and she's happy.
mathowie: It's an affliction.
jessamyn: (laughs quietly)
mathowie: But yeah, it instantly went to, you know, I put it on Twitter and then Kottke posted it, and then Kottke's in the middle of the media world and people picked it up from there, and yeah, I think they've sold a lot of them. They were cool enough to send me some of them, so I enjoy them. They're beautiful.
cortex: That's excellent.
- There was a Project post just this very morning that I kind of liked called 15x17 (mathowie chuckles) by malevolent.
cortex: And it just takes advantage of really, really dumb low-tech ASCII art, essentially, to make tiny fifteen-by-seven-pixel images as tweets, and I'm just, I'm quietly delighted by this, so.
mathowie: Yeah, it screams Mac, or Apple IIe kind of graphics, one of them's a 16 by 16-pixel, giant pixels that are an inch square. That is awesome.
jessamyn: That doesn't say "lol butts" at all!
mathowie: I think it only works on, if you're viewing it on a desktop or, I think mobile doesn't quite work, and if you use a desktop client it gets all munged up, but I don't know.
cortex: Yeah, I'll check to see if it behaves in TweetDeck, yeah, I'm guessing no, because TweetDeck kind of wraps things up.
mathowie: I notice, I have one person I follow who's enamored of Twitter art, and about once a week I'll just see garbage on my phone (jessamyn laughs) and go, oh, I have to walk over to my desktop to see what they meant.
jessamyn: I just always assume it's someone flipping a table and--
mathowie: (laughs) Did you see this thing called Metaphors? I didn't quite get it, so I'm mentioning it just to see--
mathowie: Oh, yeah, Metrophors, where people say, "The x of y is z."
cortex: Well, see, it's like "Boston is the London of the Eastern Seaboard."
cortex: But, you know, probably trying to say something that was actually coherent [in form ?].
jessamyn: That Josh is the Matt of whatever that game-mapping thing is.
mathowie: And then you click, yeah.
cortex: (laughs) Josh is the Matt Haughey of butts!
mathowie: "Algeria is the Maine of Africa because there's no black people", and it's like, that's an old tweet. Huh, that's weird. I thought it was a beautiful, a beautiful UI.
jessamyn: You're paying too much attention to the Twittersphere. "Mongolia is the Romania of Japan"? What?
mathowie: (chuckles) Oh, wow, you can zoom in and get them way more.
cortex: It's really great, I mean, the coherence of any given tweet aside, because you can hardly--
jessamyn: Understand people.
cortex: --blame anybody for that. But yeah, the whole concept is fantastic, I really liked this when I saw it.
mathowie: "Wilsonville is the Canada of Portland"? God. (chuckles) This is--
jessamyn: So wait, I'm looking at the map. "Williamstown is the 'Geelong' of--" What?! New Jersey? "Burlington is the New Jersey of Hamilton."
jessamyn: Alright, Hamilton is in New Jersey... I don't...
cortex: (laughs) I feel like a lot of the humor's got to be very, very essentially local, especially at the small scale.
jessamyn: "Rutland is the Surrey of Kelowna..."
jessamyn: "Richford is the Harlem of Vermont." I get it?
mathowie: Somewhere there's a half-Australian person in Vermont laughing his ass off.
jessamyn: I hope so.
jessamyn: "South Bombay is the Manhattan of India."
jessamyn: Okay. Okay. Okay!
cortex: The whole hyperlocality thing reminds me of this, there's this Facebook group that my wife follows, "Camas Memes", because she's from Camas, Washington--
mathowie: Oh, right. Yeah.
cortex: --which is just right over the river from Portland is Vancouver, which is sort of like a sister city/giant suburb of Portland--
cortex: --even though they're in different states, so there's weird bickering, and then Camas is like a little town off to the side of Vancouver, and so it's a dedicated group of just memes about, like, the Camas-Washougal-Vancouver-Washington Area--
cortex: --that's also hyperlocal, like everyone's, she'll just bust up at something, because it's really funny if you have that very specific context, but I'm like, "Who is that? What is... I don't... What?" You know, it's that weird local scoping of humor. I feel like a lot of these play out the same way, where that might have been a brilliant tweet to like ten people, and everybody else was like, "Okay, I guess it's like Algeria."
jessamyn: Right. And everybody else is like, "It's not for you."
jessamyn: And you're like, "But it's on the Internet..."
cortex: (chuckling) But it's out here! I use the Internet!
jessamyn: Alright! Moving on, team, unless there's anything else about Projects you really enjoyed.
cortex: No, I'm good.
mathowie: Yeah, I'm done.
jessamyn: Ask or MeFi?
jessamyn: Yay, MeFi! MeFi was great this month, I think people were using up their good posts that they made for last month.
cortex: (chuckles) All that flowover.
jessamyn: Yeah, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, the posts were great.
jessamyn: I think so. The one that got posted, it was really right at the very end of, right before we launched the last podcast, was this great post called "The hunt for the Death Valley Germans."
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
jessamyn: Which was by Pogo_Fuzzybutt. But it was basically kind of a fairly standard story about people who get lost in the wilderness and their remains weren't found for thirteen years, but one of the guys who was on the search-and-rescue talks about what it's like being on a search-and-rescue trying to find people who are lost in Death Valley, and the post itself was kind of interesting, but then the discussion was all like a lot of people, loquacious showed up with a couple really great--
jessamyn: --discussions about going to crazy parties in the middle of the desert and... So it was a lot of people talking about the desert and very few people talking about Burning Man. And it was terrific.
jessamyn: I enjoyed this post a lot, as much as you can enjoy that kind of post.
mathowie: Though the weird thing is, I've only been to Death Valley in February twice, and it's glorious, and it's still kinda dangerous, but like, it's...
jessamyn: Sure, sure, sure. Well, didn't you grow up kinda near there?
jessamyn: Or were you like... is this my California prejudice?
mathowie: I mean, it's four hours away from Southern Cal--
mathowie: From like LA, so. Yeah, I only got out there a couple times. It's absolutely beautiful. It's probably in the 80s in February, and there's about two weeks where they actually have wildflowers, because--
jessamyn: Nowadays, right?
jessamyn: Because of global warming? Yeah.
mathowie: No, no, it's always been like that, where there's only one rain in January and that's it. But it's beautiful, and it's rough, and you see lots of wrecked cars out in the middle of nowhere that the people hopefully got rescued, and I can't imagine it the rest of the year. I mean, I've been there in the dead of winter and when you go to the lowest point on Earth to that salt flatbed thing?
jessamyn: Right, right.
mathowie: I think it was in the 90s? And our water froze the night before at our campsite, and we were a couple thousand feet up from there in the foothills, but I can't imagine what it's like in June or July, I could see why people go missing and perish pretty quickly.
jessamyn: Yeah, no, it was super interesting. Which actually brings, sorry, it segues into this other site I liked, post I liked, which was other people in completely inhospitable environments, this was Eyebrows McGee talking about the Kyrgyz people from Afghanistan, and it's just a National Geographic article and some amazing photographs. And the thread is like, eh, you know... people argue about whether calling people 'untamed humans' is racist, and then other people are like, "Shut up! That's what they call themselves!"
jessamyn: But the pictures are beautiful, and it reminded me a lot of Death Valley, especially the way you kind of explain it, Matt, really just foreboding. And empty, which is one of the things that's the most interesting. In America, empty we're used to being forests or fields, not this moonscape kind of thing.
mathowie: Yeah. Yeah. I definitely felt like being in Death Valley in February or whatever you're like, this is a place we're not supposed to be--
mathowie: --and this is the one-month window where we're allowed, kind of like the July in Antartica where everyone runs down there and it's just barely hospitable.
jessamyn: Right, right. Well, I feel that way. We had negative ten degree weather this week, and I'm like, if something goes wrong with my car (laugh)--
jessamyn: --and I'm driving around in rural Vermont, like, this is nature's way of being like, "This really isn't for you," like, get out. Better have your space blanket handy.
mathowie: Did you see the... let's see, I'm going through my favorites. The Moonrise Kingdom script was pretty cool.
jessamyn: I didn't--I haven't really paid that much attention to Moonrise Kingdom.
cortex: Yeah, I haven't seen that film yet, so it's kind of like, oh, I should avoid this.
mathowie: I think there was a great comment in that thread by someone saying that Wes Anderson basically makes movies about adults acting like children, so he finally just made a movie with children in it acting like children, and it's delightful. Like, it isn't, "Ohh, fuck these hipsters", when you watch it, it's just "Aww, this is so nice. These are twelve-year-olds. Acting like twelve-year-olds."
jessamyn: Ah, yeah, that was Harvey Kilobit. So it's a Wes Anderson movie, and what's...?
mathowie: It's basically like a, I would say it's a loose retelling of a Romeo and Juliet kind of classic story. Just like, starcrossed--
jessamyn: Except they don't both die at the end, or they do still die at the end?
mathowie: Nobody dies. Yeah, nobody dies, it's harmless, and it's just crossed lovers, and everyone's very naïve and young and it's fun and it's totally Wes Anderson where he--it's all in this invented 1963-space--
jessamyn: Uh-huh, uh-huh.
mathowie: And everybody's impeccably dated and so lovely looking. But I was just going to say, there's this crazy Flash script with images for each page and what they meant and I've heard the script is really good and different than the movie, that they, like the two main characters bicker a lot more, and there's a lot more depth to their relationship than what you see on screen. And it's just kind of a cool trend that, I think they were starting to put all the scripts up for the Oscars, or is this one's, I heard--oh, it's just from Focus Features. I've seen a trend recently of people linking to pretty much all the scripts for everything that's Oscar-nominated.
mathowie: That was super, super illegal and impossible before -
jessamyn: I remember that used to be, you'd have to find them on secret darknets back in the day.
mathowie: Yeah. Or it'd be like Usenet, and it'd be six months to two years after the movie came out you might find a PDF of it, and so it's kind of cool to see current films and hear about people saying, "Oh, I've read all the scripts for all of the nominated films, and I really think this one," so I just thought that was cool.
cortex: Let's see. I've got a bunch of things.
jessamyn: There was a lot that I liked this month.
cortex: It's been a good month. I've got a lot of games stuff here.
jessamyn: Well, and the main thing, because I was just more interactive, too, you know? So I was spending more time talking to people about stuff, and so I just found more to like because I was there more.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: And nobody was fighting and being awful.
cortex: Yeah, there hasn't been a whole lot of terribleness.
cortex: The most stress we've had--
cortex: Well, you know, it's some... we're out of election season--
mathowie: I'm just saying this, this is for later in the podcast, but I think we had a bit of a honeypot that attracted (laughs) activity.
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
jessamyn: (laughs) We should do that more often! Because it made the rest of the site delightful.
cortex: It's like, every month we come up with some sort of contentious feature change.
cortex: But no, it's like, you know how you have a headache, and you're like, "Fuck this headache," and then later in the day you just, you only realize after the fact that you just don't have a headache anymore?
cortex: I feel like it's been like, it's been two months since the election. And it's like, oh, yeah! The election's over.
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: I realize now, that's why I'm not constantly writhing in a sense of dissatisfaction with basic human nature.
jessamyn: And the inauguration is even over, yeah.
cortex: It's like, we've sort of made it. So I think that's probably part of it. But also yeah, maybe just a little bit of luck. But the thing I liked, there was a post just the other day of--
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: --a blog called Baseball Card Vandals that, it's some guy who vandalizes baseball cards basically goes at it with black permanent marker (jessamyn laughs) and crosses out portions of names and writes additional things and just does all kinds of dumb recontextualization.
jessamyn: I was just going to say, and he doesn't put dicks on everything, but then I just found one.
cortex: Yeah, yeah, not everything.
jessamyn: I guess that's not a dick per se.
mathowie: He's gotta go to the well.
cortex: There's the occasional dick.
mathowie: There's a dick. If you keep rolling.
cortex: But it's not all dicks or anything.
jessamyn: It's a maxi-pad.
mathowie: Just keep scrolling. (laughs)
jessamyn: Alright. Ohh! That's a dick.
cortex: Yep. It's pretty low-brow, but I think it's very effective in being, it's one of those projects where the guy is not like, "Oh, I've got a funny idea and all I can come up with is dick jokes," it's just like, he's really, really okay that what he's doing is--
jessamyn: Sure. No. (laughs)
cortex: --at that level. And he's doing it with confidence and verve.
cortex: So yeah, I thought that was really great. As someone who is fond of deconstructing baseball cards for humor purposes (mathowie laughs), I'm probably the target demo if ever there was one, but still.
jessamyn: How's that website going?
cortex: Which one? (laughs)
mathowie: (chuckles) The base--
jessamyn: The baseball card website!
mathowie: Yeah, you draw on them virtually.
cortex: It's actually been, it's been pretty quiet. I need to go back to the well. I've sort of been through my card stock a couple times, I need to open up a couple of old binders full of cards I have and look for new images, because I kind of ran out of things that seemed funny on the ones that I was currently trying to cull from.
jessamyn: I feel like maybe you need one page that's just "submit to my eight sites"--
jessamyn: And people could click big buttons if they wanted to send you a thing and be helpful, and then you could just kind of [??] onto your various blogs.
cortex: Maybe. I really, I have trouble with sharing the creative processes of things. So like, the baseball card thing, there's lots of funny baseball cards out there, but nobody's ever sent me something that was actually literally the specific form I was doing with Baseball Card Hall of Fame.
jessamyn: Sure, sure.
cortex: And I should probably just get the fuck over that and just update the blogs more often with stuff, instead of being like, "No, I must be purist."
jessamyn: I understand, I understand.
cortex: But it's what I tend to do, so yeah.
jessamyn: I haven't touched my ukelele in four months, so it's, you know.
mathowie: Aww! Not because someone said you sucked, was it?
jessamyn: Someone said I was doing it wrong, and--
mathowie: What?! It's a ukelele! Everyone's doing it wrong.
jessamyn: Ahhh. Well, and aren't you supposed to be able to do it your way? But I kinda understand it, because I'm one of those people who's like, you gotta hang all the mugs in a certain way, so.
mathowie: Oh, come on.
jessamyn: It's not surprising my friends think you're supposed to sing John Denver songs in a certain way.
cortex: Whatever, fuck that noise.
cortex: It's totally okay to have preferences about how you would do something, or even to want to have a constructive conversation with someone about other ways to do things, basically. But you don't say you're doing it wrong, because that's fucking bullshit. That's a terrible thing to do.
mathowie: Yeah. It's shut down. Like, give people constructive criticism to get better, don't just shut them down, fuck that.
jessamyn: That is my feeling.
cortex: Celebrate the fucking process and shit. Assholes.
jessamyn: That is what I said. Oh, I saw! Matt, sorry, this thing that you're...
mathowie: Yeah, this thing I just posted, one of my favorites of the month. This is the glorious happy story of how the nerd Internet works, which is, there was a single photo of an awesome, a guy on one of these new fat bikes where they have four-inch tires and they're covered in studs and he's riding on an icy lake that's clear, so you can see through it, so it's kind of spooky.
cortex: Oh, yeah!
mathowie: It looks like he's riding on water. This one image was on the front page of Reddit, and it was all over Facebook for my cycling friends and stuff, this one image. And if you look at the series of images from that day, there's twenty way more amazing shots than the very first one, just the very first one on this gallery I just clicked into the Skype is the one that was on Reddit. The other ones are way more interesting to me, and beautiful, and I just love that one of our hypernerds, growabrain, who has a Kottke-esque blog about everything on Earth, found the guy from this single unattributed image that was stolen and reposted to imgur, and everyone on Reddit doesn't give half a shit of where everything comes from (chuckle), like, I'm so--growabrain was the only person on Earth that I found actually found the photographer, found the guy's entire gallery, found all his other work, the whole thing is amazing, and there's so much more...
jessamyn: Well, and he's this amazing stock photographer who's taken a bunch of other photos about a bunch of other things also.
mathowie: Yeah. And it's like, there's so much more to... there's always a story behind that single cool image you see on Reddit for five seconds. And nobody on, you know, Reddit isn't even built to--not Reddit, but imgur and stuff, they aren't... there's no attribution, you know, just like, ohh, it's so sad that our snap-judgment Internet culture is kind of like, eh, that's interesting for four seconds, next image, next image, and this is just really cool, where this one image was just the tip of an iceberg of a zillion cool things.
jessamyn: Yeah, I saw it on mlkshk, so I'm psyched to see the rest of it here, because I was like, "Whoa, neat!", and then, yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, I was really happy.
cortex: Yeah, that must be where I had seen it too.
mathowie: And part of me is like, I don't have a clue where growabrain even went digging to find this.
mathowie: Because it's... there's nothing, there's no name or copyright or watermark or anything, it's just, wow.
jessamyn: You just Google Image Search it, and...
mathowie: Someone said reverse image search is a big deal now? I didn't even know that--
jessamyn: Yeah, Google's got a good reverse image search.
mathowie: Oh, wow.
jessamyn: So if the image has ever been on anything that's been indexed by Google, you can just drag and drop it or right-click and drop it, that and TinEye. They're both pretty good.
mathowie: Yeah, TinEye, that's what someone told me about this weekend, and I'd never heard of it in my life, so weird.
mathowie: Yeah, I missed out.
jessamyn: Are you sure you're not having retrograde Internet amnesia? Because I thought I heard about it from you.
mathowie: I don't think so.
jessamyn: I think there's something in the water.
mathowie: (laughs) Alright.
cortex: I've been turning into a mlkshk person the last month or so. I was surprised. I was sort of using it just because I saw other people using it, and I was posting a couple things and paying half-mind of attention for several months, but then somehow I find myself every day going to the popular photos--
cortex: --looking through them, making a funny comment if I have something to say, a few other people follow me back, it's become a [thing ?]--
jessamyn: See if you can support my hypothesis. I think on holidays, and to a lesser degree on weekends, the popular page becomes nearly half pornography.
cortex: It gets a little, yeah.
jessamyn: Because that's when the people are not hanging out with their families, and that's... I don't know. It's really weird.
cortex: Or at work, where they can't get away with posting or looking at it so much.
jessamyn: Good point, good point.
cortex: Yeah, no, it really is, the T and the A both make greater appearances.
jessamyn: I mean, I'm not complaining, I'm just like, "Huh, that's so, I never would have thought of that." And a lot of it's just like, whatever, topless girls looking in the mirror, and I'm like, "Ehhh, whatever."
jessamyn: But I noticed it, and I thought it was interesting.
cortex: Yeah. I'm still trying to get a sense of the place. It's a funky neighborhood. I haven't quite figured it out. But I'm enjoying being there.
mathowie: It won't be as hard as the ramp-up of you have to find the right people to follow. I kind of wish there was a starter pack or something.
cortex: Yeah. I've been sort of slowly trying to slowly trying to make it more of a decent stable of--
jessamyn: Because if you look at just the incoming thread, that's all horrible.
mathowie: Junk, yeah.
mathowie: And it's like, I follow 500 people, and they're all people I've picked up on from Twitter or other places, you know. And it's like, aww, man, I wish this was the experience for most people.
cortex: Have we had a mlkshk MetaTalk thread? That seems like that'd be a useful thing to do sometime.
mathowie: I think we have?
cortex: Yeah. Well, I guess I'll just review our existing tools.
mathowie: Yes, Paul pointed this out to me maybe three weeks ago or a month ago, and I was like, "Oh, yeah, that's right!" and I went down the mlkshk thing going add, add, add, add.
jessamyn: Yeah, that's what I did too.
mathowie: Yeah. It's a good exercise.
cortex: I will do that. That is excellent.
jessamyn: And if you miss people like... oh, fuck, what's her name? Caitlin? caitlinb, who used to be all over Metafilter and hasn't been in a really long time but she's all over mlkshk and it's cool to see her there.
mathowie: Mm-hm. Yeah.
jessamyn: Alright. So, back to Metafilter, this was probably my favorite post of the month by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey, which just takes that song, the Black Betty song, (sings) "Old Black Betty, bam-a-lam, blah-ba-badoobah!"
jessamyn: And talks about, like, it links to eight different versions of it, and then has a huge this is where it came from, and here's some other versions, and here's the New Hampshire hockey team that doesn't play it anymore because maybe it's racist, and in New Zealand they did this thing, and it's just a great post, the end. I like that song, and it was fun listening to I think DMC singing it in one of the clips.
jessamyn: This was one of the posts where I clicked almost every link and was like "Whoo!"
jessamyn: Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey did a great job.
cortex: [I liked that. ?].
mathowie: Yeah, I can't think of any song that the subject of the song has the word 'black' in it and it's played at a hockey game being anything but considered odd and a weird fit and possibly racist.
jessamyn: Well, especially in New England--
mathowie: (laughing) Yeah, New England hockey, is there anything whiter?
jessamyn: I mean, you can kind of understand that, like, okay, maybe you're a little clueless, but yeah, just... Well, and they were totally cool about it! Like, at the point at which it became a problem, they were like, "Nope, we're pretty much done," and there's still some fans that are like RAR RAR RAR RAR RAR, but you know, eff them, they're not the hockey players.
mathowie: Holy crap! We just got an e-mail with the Boy Scouts ending the ban on gay members and leaders? Wow. That's humongous.
cortex: Well, and that says 'close to', and...
mathowie: Oh, yeah, let's wait until that actually happens.
cortex: For those listening along, this is how the admin process works sometimes.
mathowie: This is how the sausage--
cortex: So someone says, "Hey, here's some news that will be a big thing, but it's not actually happened yet, should I make a post about it?" And our answer will be 'no'.
mathowie: (chuckle) Let's wait until it's official.
cortex: Because, you know, just wait. Wait a little bit, and it'll be better.
cortex: So there you go. Inside the process.
mathowie: Did I tell you--
cortex: Oh, no, please go on.
mathowie: --in breaking news-news, my wife was bummed that we didn't have an inauguration thread she could see people chatting about the inauguration in.
mathowie: And I was like, "That's not what Metafilter's for!"
jessamyn: We didn't have one?
mathowie: No, we didn't.
jessamyn: Huh. Because I wasn't really around, I mean, I didn't work that day and so I didn't pay that much attention to it.
cortex: Yeah, I don't remember seeing one either, so it may have just not happened.
jessamyn: Were people just in the chat?
mathowie: Maybe they were, yeah.
mathowie: I was like, "Well, you know, tonight there'll probably be a post that wraps up some stuff, and then you can see what people wanted to say," but that didn't actually...
jessamyn: Tell her she should get an account and make one.
mathowie: Yeah, that's true. [One that we'd ?] delete.
cortex: I liked this post about--
jessamyn: Josh, what was your...?
cortex: It's a post about, the title is "NSF/smashthestate", which is a reference--
jessamyn: Didn't understand it.
cortex: Yeah, it's... password security in the game Deus Ex, a classic game from, oh, Jesus, like ten years ago, maybe more now?
jessamyn: What kind of game?
cortex: It was sort of a stealth future cyberpunk action espionage RPG.
jessamyn: No, I mean, like, do you play it on your computer, or...?
mathowie: Text, or...?
cortex: Yeah, computer game, computer game.
mathowie: Is it first-person sandbox, or just text, or...?
cortex: It was a first-person shooter with RPG elements--
cortex: --and sort of an emphasis on being a little bit smart and explorey. So you could run through the game shooting everybody, but you could also sneak around and shoot very few people if you wanted to. And one of the things you could do was hack computers. But the neat thing about the game is it tended to not really softball the whole password thing, like you could snoop around in someone's room and maybe find the password to their computer or a passcode for a keypad somewhere, but then you'd better write that down, because the game's not going to remember it for you necessarily, so you had to sort of pay attention to stuff and there were clues to stuff, and so this article is looking maybe too seriously but knowingly so at the password security habits of the people in this game world.
cortex: And so like, you know, [pulling ?] passwords and stuff, and it's funny because they managed to have password security in this game that was so bad that it actually resembled what people actually do with their passwords, you know.
mathowie: That's funny.
cortex: So it sort of works. But it's neat, it's a fun look at it because it's sort of a classic game and did interesting things like this, but also late in the thread a guy named Chris Todd shows up to say, "Oh hey, how you doing, yeah, I helped write Deus Ex!"
cortex: So I had a whole squee moment there, and he left a couple comments.
cortex: So yeah, that was awesome all around.
jessamyn: That's great!
cortex: It's like if you really liked Garfield and Garfield showed up in a discussion about Garfield (mathowie chuckles), except, you know.
jessamyn: That's your example?
cortex: That is a terrible example.
mathowie: How about the inventor of lasagna?
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
cortex: There we go. Yeah.
jessamyn: Oh my God, I'm making this spaghetti squash lasagna that's the best food ever. Has nothing to do with Metafilter. You should all know about it.
cortex: I've really been making progress on my previous strong dislike for squash, but spaghetti squash is still on the fucking shitlist.
cortex: It's just, the texture is like, euuhh, it's like what the fuck, if I want spaghetti I'll have spaghetti, not some fucking horrible alien thing.
jessamyn: How about some healthy spaghetti?
cortex: Ehhh, there's like whole wheat pasta.
jessamyn: You're still in your 30s, you don't have to be healthy.
cortex: Yeahhh. I'm trying to develop good habits, you know.
cortex: I think I've actually lost a couple pounds over the last couple years, which is a nice change in direction from the previous several, so, you know.
mathowie: For some reason I was fascinated by this entire post about wood expansion and humidity and stuff and how that influences furniture design and all sorts of things.
jessamyn: Ah, the freeze-thaw cycle!
mathowie: Yeah, it was great. It was awesome.
jessamyn: I didn't see this post by Kid Charlemagne.
mathowie: Yeah. I think I marked it a favorite to read later, just because I read a couple of links and there was a zillion links, but yeah, it was really cool. It's all about why humidity in different rooms cracks your wood and what you can do to fix it. It was pretty cool. And why furniture design has floating parts to it to account for this and stuff.
jessamyn: That's cool! That's super cool.
cortex: This is something I sort of worry about a little bit, because I've got an upright bass, and, you know, it's a big wind instrument, but at the same time I'm not going to temperature treat my house, and I'm lazy, so--
jessamyn: What about a humidifier? Would you get a humidifier?
cortex: Well, it's Portland, so the nice thing is--
jessamyn: So no?
cortex: --there's a certain amount of baseline humidity. But--
jessamyn: Oh, right!
mathowie: We're stable, but low.
jessamyn: It's so dry here. It's so dry.
mathowie: I always worried about Yo-Yo Ma. What the... like, when you travel to a new place, that's going to drastically change your wood instrument's sound. How do they cope with that?
cortex: Yeah, it's gotta be tricky, I don't know.
cortex: I remember playing a clarinet at a little music performance at the zoo one time when I was a kid--
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
jessamyn: (laughs) Pics, please. Pics, please.
cortex: Oh God, if I can find some, yeah. I must have been eleven or twelve, and oh God.
mathowie: [??] freeze?
cortex: Anyway, it was at the zoo at Christmas--
mathowie: Yeah, night.
cortex: --and it was like, no, yeah, 25 degrees out or whatever, and I was just completely out of tune and I had no idea that this would have happened.
cortex: It was learning about physics in real time.
mathowie: I've been around friends at a campfire trying to tune their guitar at a lower temperature because it's nightfall in the mountains--
cortex: (laughs) Yep.
mathowie: --and the super-annoying (guitar noises) baum-baum-baum-baum for twenty minutes. But I'm imagining Yo-Yo Ma going from Boston in the winter to Sydney, Australia in the summer, like, what? Like, oh my God, aww man, that's got to be hell on his instrument.
jessamyn: Well, and I think you just have to let it adjust, right? And maybe to have a package? I mean, there's got to be an answer to that, right?
jessamyn: He must do a thing.
mathowie: Maybe they build in two days before and after for temperature.
cortex: Maybe, yeah.
mathowie: Or maybe he borrows an instrument there that's already... I don't know. It's weird.
jessamyn: I can't imagine the thing that would be more, less invasive or less of a hassle. All right, we can Ask Metafilter! I'll ask [??] while we're talking.
mathowie: Good segue! Anything else on Metafilter?
cortex: Oh, I've got like five more things.
jessamyn: I do too.
jessamyn: We can do, what's it called?
mathowie: Lightning round.
jessamyn: Lightning round!
cortex: All right! You go first.
jessamyn: Guess My Word!
cortex: I knew you were going to do it.
jessamyn: ...is this... how did you know?
cortex: Because you've been posting in that thread ever since.
mathowie: He guessed.
jessamyn: (laugh) Every day there's a new word and you have to guess it and you guess by basically guessing a word and they say it's before or after it in the alphabet and you keep going and there's ranking at the end of every day, new word every day, five minutes, lots of fun.
cortex: Also cheating is really trivial but you'd have to be a dickass to cheat, so you just ignore everybody who got the word in one point every day, so.
cortex: I liked Flesh for the Witch Queen. Well, okay, actually the title is--
jessamyn: This was another one of those blah, blah, ginger posts to me.
cortex: Yeah. What it is is it's sort of support material for a D&D adventure type thing, except for it's just really funny. It's the Secret Party House of the Hill Giant Playboy.
cortex: And the whole premise of it is that some hill giant ended up getting rich, I don't even remember how, I read this a couple weeks ago, but this hill giant strikes it rich, fakes his death, moves to a new hill, sets up a big mansion and just lives the life of leisure of a hill giant, you know--
cortex: --along with his giant buddies and goblins and whatnot. And so it's like this setup for a D&D campaign, except for instead of charging into a dragon's lair you're crashing this hill giant's mansion party. And it's just, it's fucking hilarious. You don't really need to know anything about role-playing games, you don't have any intention of ever playing, just read the PDF straight through and aside from a little bit of jargony stuff that you can sketch around if you don't know any RPG stuff, it's fucking hilarious. So it was pretty great. It's one of those things where people think of, I think, role-playing games if they aren't really familiar with them as just some weird grim dark seriousfacing that nerds do sitting around pretending to be powerful warriors. And, I mean, that happens, certainly, but it can also be actually funny and just fun and goofy and this is an excellent example of it, so.
jessamyn: Party with the Hill Giant!
mathowie: Nice. I liked the birdseye view of America's housing patterns, just because that's a neat single blog post you can scroll through in about three minutes and understand the gist without reading a single word, just like, here's a cul-de-sac, [??] looks like.
jessamyn: Matt, I'm worried you're getting lazy.
mathowie: Oh, no, I'm just saying even if you don't have time to go through and read this, the images are fascinating for how humans... the thing that fascinated me the most about this post was the canal basis. For some reason, when I fly into most of the Midwest, I'm amazed at how many water-based housing developments there are, and I've never known a single person who lives in one, where it's--
jessamyn: That has a little fake canal in it?
mathowie: Yeah, instead of a golf course, it's a lake and all of these things are on these peninsulas, and you see it from the plane because they're so weird-looking, but I'm like, "Who in Wichita, Kansas has a boat dock?". What kind of lifestyle...?
mathowie: I've never known a person like that, I've never heard of anyone I know living in one of these things, and I can't believe, I've seen three or four of them around the country and I'm like, those are fascinating to me. (chuckles)
cortex: I liked this video of a guy testing out--
cortex: Testing his wrist-mounted spring-loaded cellphone. Sort of riffing off the spring-loaded gun scene in...
cortex: "Taxi Driver" and then sort of....
jessamyn: Did not understand any of this. At all.
cortex: It's just totally ridiculous, but it's very funny...
mathowie: It's so funny!
cortex: ...he's got a bunch of other stuff. And, yeah, it's fantastic, so...
mathowie: Just a video. Yeah, Quick Draw when someone calls him. Like, he has this ... yeah. What's not to love? It's just so ridiculous.
cortex: Yep. Yeah, just don't....
jessamyn: Agreed. Loved it!
jessamyn: Speaking of ridiculous: Usually when dumb popular songs get popular I find out about them before this song. But this is one of these like hip-hop songs that by the time I found out about it (by hearing it on the radio) It was already 70,000,000 (seventy million) views on you tube popular? And the thread itself talking about this Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop Song - was like half the people being like,
jessamyn: "Dude that song was from last year.."
jessamyn: And half people being like, "This is great! I never heard it before! I loved it!" So, it's adorable and if you guys haven't seen this video you should, because you would enjoy it.
mathowie: I haven't.
cortex: I want to watch this later.
mathowie: I hate when I discover things that 70,000,000 (seventy-million) people beat me to. (laughing)
jessamyn: I am okay with it!
cortex: That is more my normal music acquisition process.
jessamyn: Welcome! This is what your 40's (forties) are going to be like. Yeah.
cortex: Like you know who I am into right now? The Killers?
cortex: There is this great new band - have you heard of them?
cortex: I am the guy who lives in Canada in the 80's (1980's), music acquisition-wise. Like they just got it on cassette
cortex: Five (5) years after the band broke up.
jessamyn: I like listening to people talking about hunters and collectors in the MetaTalk thread, but yeah, I, uh... yeah! And then the only other thing I wanted to mention was quin's fun post about (I don't know if it is fun.) Basically this giant machine from a watchmaker that has all these parts and is super expensive, and it writes the time out.
cortex: Just manually writes it out longhand.
jessamyn: You have to look at this machine. It's like cyberpornography. Cyberpunk pornography. It's just this giant machine and all it does is writes the time. But it's amazing. It's horological. It's about clocks. That's it. It's a great post.
mathowie: I can't get the site to load to show what it does. Augh.
cortex: I'm just watching the YouTube video.
cortex: That's kinda tremendous. Although the lighting in the YouTube video is terrible, and it's hard to see--
jessamyn: And Nelson is the last person who comments in the thread, who was like, "I want to see the Lego version."
jessamyn and cortex: (laughs)
cortex: Get your fucking [??] on.
jessamyn: So that's it for me and Metafilter. But I enjoyed it.
cortex: [??]--oh, sorry.
jessamyn: Oh. No, no, no, go ahead.
cortex: I was going to say, just a year ago it would have been a joke about Minecraft, probably. Okay, well, things that I enjoyed ultralightning-quick, there's the "Nosy aren't you?" post, which is just a round-up of hidden messages in video games, because programmers and dev teams would hide little bits of text in waste space on a RAM on a cartridge for Nintendo and stuff. Or--
jessamyn: Enjoyed this. By Chrysostom [ˈkɹaɪsoʊˌstɑm]? Chrysostom [ˈkɹɪsoʊˌstɑm]? Have we talked about this name before?
cortex: Yes. We have. I don't remember in what context. I'm going to go with Chrysostom [ˈkɹaɪsoʊˌstɑm].
cortex: I think he clarified, or they clarified, that they also say Chrysostom [ˈkɹaɪsoʊˌstɑm], even though it should be pronounced differently technically speaking, so vindicated.
jessamyn: Great, yes, I saw that post, I liked it. Alright, lightning, go!
cortex: A post that I actually made just because I [tripped across it ?], it was great, it's a Project by--
jessamyn: Wait, wait! I'm going to talk about my own post, if we're talking about our own posts now!
cortex: Well, it's... I just posted it, I'm just the poster. This is a Project by--
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: --oulipan [ˈjulɪˌpæn], oulipan [ˌuˈlɪpiən]? I don't know how you say it, but ONOPO--
jessamyn: oulipan [ˈulɪˌpæn].
cortex: It's a really, really productive design thing--
jessamyn: Oh, you project.
cortex: --of Monopoly stripped of all the flavor. So it's just a pure abstract shape and design thing, and it's really awesome, it's really interesting as a design project. Whether or not it makes the game fun is a different question because Monopoly just kind of sucks--
mathowie: Actually, this is what Monopoly feels like when you're seven--
mathowie: --because you have no idea what Park Avenue is, or Baltic.
cortex: Yeah, Marvin Gardens? Who's Marvin?
jessamyn: You don't understand any of it.
mathowie: Right, like, yeah, it's just--
jessamyn: They're all in New Jersey! Who knew?
mathowie: It's just colors!
cortex: What the hell is a Luxury Tax? So yeah, that was really something I liked.
jessamyn: What's a tax?
mathowie: (chuckles) What's jail for bankers?
cortex: And the one other thing that a bunch of people actually really liked this and I was sort of up and down and back up, but R.E.M. redone in a major key--
mathowie: Oh, yeah.
cortex: They did Losing My Religion, switched it to major key, and a few other things, just sort of in a clever little programmatic fix [and ?] takes this on, just changes the key on them from minor to major, and it really does have a big change in the feel in some of the songs. Losing My Religion feels different but seems sort of plausible. The Doors all of a sudden is a straight-up lounge act, which is kind of maybe what they should have been.
cortex: But yeah, Riders of the Storm is just amazing when turned into major key.
cortex: So anyway, some cool music in there, kind of mindblowing for some people, seemed to go over really well, so.
jessamyn: I have those tabbed to investigate later, so. I'll now put it back in the tabs.
mathowie: Losing My Religion is--the R.E.M. gets surprisingly upbeat, you know, like, "Wow, it is a jaunty tune!"
mathowie: Ask Metafilter, to finish it up?
cortex: Let's do it all--
jessamyn: What do you mean, to finish it up? We should be halfway there! Ask Metafilter. Ask Metafilter!
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
mathowie: We're at one hour.
jessamyn: It's the biggest, most important part of the site!
mathowie: I know, I know.
jessamyn: Don't even start with me.
cortex: I just got an e-mail--
jessamyn: Librarians in the media, for example. Bam!
mathowie: What was the question?
mathowie: That aren't shushing people as a joke, possibly?
jessamyn: No, doesn't even matter! Just list 'em. So it's a list-generating question that I liked. I mean really, you go to TVTropes and they have Hot Librarian, Scary Librarian, a whole bunch of other stuff.
jessamyn: Just before you, you know, wipe Ask Metafilter under the rug, just saying.
mathowie: (chuckles) Where is my fav-or-ite...
- Oh! I thought this was cool for the crap, what crap should I buy stuff, of someone just going, "Hey, what's the state of the art for 'smart homes'?"
jessamyn: Oh, yeah! This thread was really interesting.
mathowie: Yeah, we've been talking about for whatever, ten, fifteen years, and some stuff has come out, and we talked about this in the early 2000s people loved this stuff and this was the way of the future, and so we're kind of in the future, what actually functions and is worth it? Because half of it is still stupid, like, why should there be a tablet in your refrigerator, right? I mean, Samsung is still making refrigerators.
jessamyn: Right, does that solve a problem for anybody?
mathowie: Right, yeah, and this person's like, it's a whole bunch of weird new things, so what works? And then people said what works and what's cool, and a lot of people are like, ehh, you know, I tried, I noticed the nice, and I followed up an answer with it, but, you know, the X10 timing your lights stuff?
mathowie: It seems neat at first--
jessamyn: X10 ruins my life!
mathowie: Yeah, it seems neat and handy at first.
jessamyn: Lights just go on! Off!
jessamyn: How do they turn on? How do they turn off? No one knows. It's random!
mathowie: Yeah, and then that stuff just gets annoying, there's too much upkeep, and yeah. And I, my advice is basically do a minimal amount of this stuff, and here are a couple minimal things that actually work.
jessamyn: Yeah, you said the outside porch lights and stuff like that.
jessamyn: Like, that totally makes sense.
mathowie: Yeah, and if you set it to sunset-sunrise or whatever you feel like, it can kinda be a set it and forget it. But yeah, I've been sitting in my living room once and because I've stayed up past 11:02, you know, all the lights went out in the middle of watching a TV show, and going, "Oh, that's right, I just set it to go off when I go to sleep," which is normally 11, but today I'm up to 11:15, and now it's a disaster, because you're stumbling around in the dark looking for the switches, and yeah, it's ridiculous.
jessamyn: Yeah, I think my father used to use it in his house to be a cue, like, "Time to go to bed!"
jessamyn: But I think if you're not, if that's not the kind of life you have it makes absolutely no sense.
mathowie: Oh, well, we're not robots, is what I realized.
mathowie: It needs a presence monitor, like a motion sensor or something like that, because that sucks.
sfx: (Music: Tiny Screens by allaboutgeorge)
jessamyn: I enjoyed "Help me join my generation or get more cultural references".
jessamyn: "So hey, I'm one of those people who doesn't really listen to the radio or watch a lot of TV. How do I get plugged in so that I know what people are watching and listening to, especially listening to?"
jessamyn: And people linked to a whole bunch of great stuff where you can learn about new music, or music that you might like. It's just a great thread full of here's good places to go to stay on top of things.
mathowie: (chuckles) Do you know what reminds me of this is SNL when they'll do a Taylor Swift joke and I'm like, "I guess that's funny?" Or just on the last SNL where they did the whole musicians squaring off for a fight, and I'd only heard of--
jessamyn: Right, and you were like, "Who's Train?"
mathowie: I didn't--[??] was like, "Is that a real band?"
jessamyn and cortex: (laugh)
mathowie: "Are they making fun of country rock?"
jessamyn: Right, you got the Hootie and the Blowfish joke, right? (laughs)
mathowie: Right. And I got the John Boehner joke, and I don't know who anyone else is, you know, except the Maroon Five guy, and barely know who he is, and that's about it. Yeah. That was funny.
jessamyn: Once you got it. I wonder, is that even on Hulu? I figured it was going to have one of those, there's too much copyrighted music so we're just not going to put it on the Internet.
mathowie: Yeah. Oh, wow, yeah.
jessamyn: Problems with it, which they sometimes to.
mathowie: Parodies are okay, I think.
jessamyn: Not... SNL always goes, like when Zach Galifianakis did that whole Annie, sun'll come out tomorrow thing at the beginning of his monologue they just cut his monologue in half and only put the first half on Hulu.
mathowie: Ohhh, wow. That sucks.
jessamyn: I know.
jessamyn: And I also enjoyed "I want a guide to the history behind The Tudors."
jessamyn: Have you guys watched the Tudors? The Tudors? The Tudors? Exactly.
cortex: Yeah, exactly.
jessamyn: It's all fucking naked ladies. Henry VIII.
cortex: I watched the second season and then went back and watched most of the first season
- and I haven't watched any more since then--
jessamyn: What do you recommend? I have watched the first episode and now I'm afraid I can't watch it at the gym because it's so porny.
cortex: You kind of can't. I mean, if you're worried about naked Tudors...
jessamyn: It's just gonna stay that way, right?
cortex: Yeah, yeah.
cortex: They run with that.
cortex: You're just gonna have to make that not a gym-time show, I guess, unless you want to have that--
jessamyn: I mean, I don't have problems with it, but it's just like there's a dude next to me on a bicycle and if he were watching this I'd be like, "Eugh, come on!"
cortex: (laughs) [??]? Yeah.
jessamyn: So I can't be...
cortex: Yeah, yeah, no, you're just going to have to... I mean, I can't say for sure, maybe season 3 and 4 they keep their clothes on, but I kind of doubt it.
jessamyn: But they certainly don't the rest of season 1.
cortex: Yeah. Yeah.
mathowie: What is The Tudors? I've never heard of it. Like, was it on ABC?
jessamyn: It's like Henry VIII--
cortex: Yeah, Henry VIII done with a certain amount of historical--
cortex: Yeah, a little bit, a little bit.
mathowie: But like, what channel...
jessamyn: And with what's-his-butt as Henry VIII, who's hot. Who is he?
cortex: Oh, I think it was Showtime?
jessamyn: No, no, who's the dude? He's the guy who played David Bowie...
cortex: Oh, James... James Rhys Meyers or something?
jessamyn: Rhys? Yes, he's beautiful.
mathowie: Is it on TV currently?
cortex: Because he's the guy whose name is like the name of the guy who I really like from Indiana Jones, and... you know, the big guy, the big burly Belgian dude who was Indy's contact in the desert.
jessamyn: Oh, that guy, Sallah.
cortex: Yeah. Whose name is not the name of the guy from Tudors, John Rhys-Davies, I think, is that guy.
jessamyn: Oh, right.
mathowie: How the... I've never seen anyone--
cortex: And so every time I'm like, hey, he's... no!
mathowie: I've never seen anyone tweet about The Tudors.
cortex: Which is funny because he would make a great fat old Henry VIII.
jessamyn: Maybe your friends don't have Showtime.
mathowie: Well, yeah, that's true.
jessamyn: I'm a little concerned, Matt, that your entire pop culture lens is restricting itself to Twitter.
mathowie: (laughs) Well, yeah, that's where I'll hear new-ish stuff. So it was a series that was only on from 2007 to 2010 and it's gone now?
jessamyn: I don't know.
mathowie: That's what it looks like. According to Wikipedia.
cortex: Yeah, I don't know. I didn't keep up with it.
cortex: You know, honestly, this is kind of a terrible thing. It's great that, you know, they're willing to run with the whole thing where you establish a character and then she gets killed because, you know, Henry was a nutter and killed off his wives. Spoiler alert!
jessamyn: All of them, right.
cortex: But the thing is, I really liked the actress who gets killed at the end of the second season. Like, that was kind of like, yeah.
jessamyn: That's not his wife in the first season, right?
cortex: Right, right. Right.
jessamyn: Okay. Who's also known as what's-his-name's wife from Downton Abbey.
cortex: Yeah, yeah. Mr. Bates' wife, Mrs. Bates.
jessamyn: Yeah. Yeah.
cortex: Yeah, and then so it's like a... well, I should watch more Tudors because they got rid of the character I liked, you know, it's like, aehh, it's tricky.
jessamyn: Yeah. I'm just looking for Downton Abbey replacements that I can watch being on a treadmill for an hour, and Tudors looks like it's not going to be that.
cortex: Yeah, no, I don't think that's going to do that for you.
cortex: You could try Upstairs Downstairs, that's...
jessamyn: That's what people have said, I think that may be my next.
mathowie: I think I was going to go through Homeland, because I've never seen that, [??].
jessamyn: White people love Homeland.
mathowie: I know.
cortex: I really like Mandy Patinkin, so I'm tempted--
mathowie: Yeah, I love him.
cortex: --I wasn't really interested, but fucking Mandy. I love him.
mathowie: Yeah, Mandy's amazing. And the other thing that keeps me away from it is people go, "It's amazing in season 3 and 4!"
cortex: (laughs) Great!
jessamyn: Oh, right.
mathowie: And you're like, well, so I gotta plow through 24 hours of season 1 and 26 hours of season 2 to get to the good stuff? Like, that sucks.
mathowie: I saw a lot of people pointing to this thread of someone, 20 years old, a girl, never been in a relationship, who's tired of being a virgin, as the epitome of why Ask Metafilter's better than every other question-and-answer site on the Internet. I saw random people tweeting about it just going like, "Everyone's supportive and trying to help this person and it's awesome and there isn't one snide joke there," and yeah.
jessamyn: Nice! I did not see this buzz around. I saw the question just when it went up and people were being nice.
cortex: Yeah, we didn't have to delete any, "Well, I can help you out," sort of...
mathowie: It's pretty much, there's nothing wrong... yeah, right! There isn't a single thing deleted from the admin side. But yeah, a lot of people saying, "Calm down, there's nothing wrong with you, this is totally normal."
jessamyn: "Tons of people are virgins, but if it's bothering you, blah blah blah."
mathowie: Yeah. Right, yeah.
cortex: Yeah. Which is good
mathowie: How to meet people. It was good, supportive, comf--whatever, safe.
jessamyn: Yay, Metafilter!
cortex: It's human relations done correctly.
jessamyn: And I enjoyed, lastly--this is my last Ask Metafilter stuff, which was a very short thread, "Sleater-Kinney used to have a website where they had bootlegs of the band, and it was on this website and you can see the website through the Internet Archive but the stuff isn't there", and people were like, "Oh, hey! You can find this guy and if you click through the forum posts you can find an e-mail address and contact the dude," and the dude contacted the dude and he got hooked up! Yeah!
cortex: That ties in well with, someone made a big old post about Sleater-Kinney this morning, actually, on the blue.
jessamyn: Was it the same person?
cortex: I don't think so. I think it's just a coincidence.
jessamyn: It wasn't Going To Maine, a user I've never really...
cortex: Oh, it was Going To Maine! So maybe...
- did, yes, maybe that all ties together.
cortex: So yes! Sleater-Kinney, sharing it, paying it forward there with a giant post.
mathowie: This is, holy cow! That is awesome.
cortex: So that comes together well.
jessamyn: That's great! Sleater-Kinney really is and was terrific.
cortex: Yeah, no, super great.
mathowie: And I will never forget them ever, because I have to drive to Seattle about once or twice a year--
mathowie: --and one of the off-ramps right before you get into the SeaTac area is Sleater Kinney Avenue.
jessamyn: That's where the name is from!
mathowie: I know! It's like Terwilliger, I'm always gonna think of the Simpsons when I drive by Terwilliger.
jessamyn: (laughs) Right.
cortex: Do you remember that scene in National Lampoon's, I think it was, whatever, European Vacation or something, and they're driving around a roundabout in London, and then they get stuck in it, and so Chevy Chase is like, the first time, "Hey, kids, look! It's Big Ben!" and I was like, "Whoo!", and then they get stuck in the roundabout, so the second time it's like, "Hey, guys, look, it's Big Ben," and everybody laughs, and then they get stuck forever, and eventually he's like, "Hey, kids, look, Big Ben," and everyone's just like, "Shut the fuck up."
cortex: I think if I went to Seattle more often, that's exactly how it would go with the Sleater Kinney exit.
jessamyn: Baup-bau, Sleater Kinney, shut up.
mathowie: Yeah, I think that's exactly how I feel about it. First time I was like, "Ooh, I should take a picture, that's where the band comes from!" And the second time, "Oh, yeah, that's right!" And now that's it, yeah. Yeah, that's Carrie Brownstein.
cortex: There was an AskMe that I liked--
jessamyn: Right, because she's now Portlandia, right?
cortex: Yeah, yeah, she's doing that with Fred Armisen.
jessamyn: So crazy. Sorry, Josh, what were you saying?
mathowie: Oh, that's good!
cortex: The AskMe I liked, "What do most people do with all the cards, letters, notes, trinkets, and other crap that gets collected over the years?" Basically, what do I do with all this stuff that I've been keeping because, you know, it's that stuff you keep? And it's a good thread, people talking about their actual practical prioritization and talking about the value of actually going ahead and getting rid of stuff that you don't actually need--
jessamyn: I like to know who's heartless and who's not.
cortex and mathowie: (laugh)
cortex: Well, and it stuck with me, because that got me and Angela both thinking about stuff we have, and I've got--I'd had some stuff sitting on the floor of my office for a few months that my parents had had in their basement they dropped off, and I kept putting it off, because I should go through this, but it's going to be a whole thing, and that sort of got me off my ass to go through it, and I decided what to do, because I really don't like getting rid of stuff, but there's no reason I need to keep these crates around, so I just scanned it all.
mathowie: Oh, nice.
cortex: I mean, most of it I chucked, but some stuff I just chucked and I scanned it. I ended up scanning like nine hundred pages worth of stuff--
cortex: --and I really miss the, I don't miss a whole lot of things from my old scanning/document imaging shop, but I miss those feed scanners, because that takes a while.
jessamyn: I was just going to say, do you have...? Like, there's a whole bunch of cheapie ones nowadays that are cheap and sort of neat-looking. Do you have just a flatbed?
cortex: Yeah, I've just got, I've got a flatbed all-in-one that works really well, it's a good scanner for a random cheap printer combo thing, and it works fine, it's just, it's slow compared to, you get used to doing sixteen pages a minute autofeeds and it's hard to go back to doing it manually.
mathowie: Man, I am like--
cortex: But I got rid of some stuff, and I felt so good. And I found, among other things, a couple copies of our old high school newspaper that I worked on my senior year.
mathowie: Oh. (laughs)
cortex: So I made a blog post of scans of all that and some extra notes, so.
mathowie: That's right!
jessamyn: I should scan mine, I have my high school newspapers, some of them, in the closet.
cortex: You totally should, that would be awesome.
mathowie: I like how one of your, Josh, one of your big huge articles has a typo right in the title?
mathowie: It's so huge!
cortex: Yeah, there was... our copyediting was not good.
mathowie: And then I'm also imagining you as a know-it-all 16-year-old boy.
cortex: Oh God, yeah.
mathowie: Because these are op-eds, just "blaaah, I'm so smart and all you assholes," I'm like, it's so great!
cortex: Yeah, I look back, I think I was probably really obnoxious to some people at the time. And at the time, you know, it's like you're the hero of your own fucking story, and I had really been a socially unhappy kid in middle school, and I sort of came out of my shell in high school, so I was just kinda riding to some extent a wave of optimism and feeling good about having social interactions with people that were positive and whatnot, and so... in retrospect I think I was probably a pain in the ass to be around sometimes, but.
jessamyn: Oh, who isn't?
mathowie: But on the other hand, you pointed to the bleachers and said "Enron sucks."
mathowie: Like, in 199--what, -8 or something? Like, that's fucking amazing.
cortex: Yep. That was kind of fun.
mathowie: That's incredible. So you were a know-it-all and yeah, it's good.
cortex: Yes. So good job to that AskMe for sucking me into two weeks of sorting and scanning and being in a weird nostalgia place, it was really [good ?].
jessamyn: That's cool!
mathowie: I'm of two minds of this stuff. My parents never saved anything, and they threw everything out when they moved out of the house when I was like 18, and I remember being pissed off about that, because I had friends who could pull up their third-grade book reports, no problem.
cortex: Sure, yeah.
mathowie: And one of the places we used to take Fiona for daycare, that person has teen and college-age kids, and she has everything they ever did as a kid ever, and it's fascinating that she can pull up a yearbook or whatever of photos from when they were twelve years old. And then on the other hand, I like to throw everything away and I don't like clutter, and so my daughter generates just tons of stuff and I don't know... like, we sorta keep some of it, but we have piles and boxes everywhere and it sucks, but then I think it's kinda cool ten years from now to have it, but ugh.
cortex: Well, and it's tricky. I feel like to some extent, if you want to split the difference, you can just try and do the representative thing, like it's neat to have a drawing that a kid made that they were two years old.
cortex: But the neatness factor of seeing one is only slightly less than the neatness factor of potentially seeing twenty, you know.
cortex: So you can just keep a couple specimens or something if you wanted to split the difference there.
jessamyn: Yeah, and ultimately it's not like you're moving or anything.
jessamyn: So you find a little place and that's where you can store the stuff, and every now and again you make a little routine and being like, "Hey, Fiona, look how big you are! This is what you used to think a guinea pig looked like!", and, you know.
jessamyn: Because that's the fun part, really, I think--
jessamyn: Is talking it over with the people for whom it's meaningful.
mathowie: Yeah. And then in the digital world, I never want to lose a thing ever. Like, I have, I am bursting my two and a half terabytes of space and my next computer's going to have over three terabytes of space just so that I can keep... I have every photo from 2003 on I've ever taken, which is over a terabyte of just photos. And I hope to go forward with that forever. But gotta hate clutter. (chuckles) Like, piles of paper everywhere.
- Anything else in Ask Metafilter?
cortex: I'm good.
jessamyn: I think that was all my Ask Metafilter stuff!
jessamyn: I enjoyed it, I participated heavily, and I think Ask Metafilter was doing its job this month.
cortex: Doing the thing it does.
sfx: (Music: Crunklefucker by Elmore)
cortex: Well, there was some fun stuff in MetaTalk we can poke at real quick, aside from the big--do we just want to talk about titles?
mathowie: Yeah, maybe for like two minutes let's just talk about titles.
cortex: Okay. And then we've gotta have a fun stuff chaser.
mathowie: Yeah, exactly. So we added titles, what, the first week of January, it was kind of a nightmare for a couple days, and then we added some extra features to hide them if you wanted to and customize them if you want to, and for the most part, I mean, I don't know. I would guess at this point maybe like 80% of people are okay with it, and--
jessamyn: We can do the math and figure out how many people are hiding them.
mathowie: Yeah, Paul looked it up the other day, and it was more than I thought but not a massive amount, it was like a hundred or something had hid the titles, a couple hundred or something like that. And it's hard to say, you know, there's a couple thousand, two, I don't know, there's twelve thousand people who've done something in the last month, and I think, I forget what the last 24 hours, like the truly engaged is in the several thousand level, so.
cortex: Yeah, I think it's somewhere between like six and eight on the 24-hour thing last time I looked.
mathowie: Yeah. So I mean, it's--
jessamyn: Six and eight thousand?
mathowie: Yeah, so it's like, you know, I would guess three to five percent is probably a good guess, maybe five percent have turned off the titles of the...
jessamyn: Well, and other people may have used Greasemonkey scripts to do different stuff with them.
mathowie: Yeah, that's true. So I would... and it's weird, because I was just in San Francisco running into old friends who still like Metafilter, just read it, and half of them did not notice it until weeks afterwards.
mathowie: They just went, "Something was different, I could tell, I just enjoyed the site a little more, you know, and then when someone pointed out to me what it was, I was like, 'Oh. Hey. Oh, okay. Finally. Sure.'" And on the other--
cortex: Yeah, a friend of mine was like, "Uh, man, what's going on? Oh, you guys changed the font on the titles, didn't you?" I was like, well... (laughs)
jessamyn: Heheheh. Sort of, yeah!
mathowie: From nothing to something. And then the other half were just like, just saying it was really funny how much people hated it. Because almost everyone I talked to was like, "Yeah, it was just a nice little addition that I actually like now, and lets me browse through the site."
cortex: But at the same time it's understandable that the subjective experience of long-time regulars is going to be biased in a different direction.
mathowie: Yeah. And I think--
jessamyn: Well, and we're still working out some kinks with stuff like Ask Metafilter, where now people are putting their question in the title and that's different.
cortex: Yeah, and people sort of--
jessamyn: Like, on Metafilter, the functionality's identical. On Ask Metafilter, the functionality's slightly different, and so people are kinda figuring that out, like, "Well, why is there a title field and a question field?", and so we're still doing user education and everything else.
cortex: Yeah, trying to figure out how this all shakes out, so.
mathowie: Yeah, I mean, it makes more sense in Ask Metafilter, I think it works really well there, and I think we had a lot more positive uptake for Ask Metafilter.
jessamyn: Yeah, I think so.
mathowie: Metafilter, if you've been reading Metafilter every day for years and years, I mean, it was kind of like a game without the titles to try and figure out what this blob of text is about, what's this next blob of text about, and adding a title completely breaks that, yeah, it shortcuts the whole game, and I totally understand the people that didn't want it to be spoiled for them.
cortex: But yeah. So yeah. I imagine we'll continue talking about the details of that over the next month or so.
cortex: There was actually a MetaTalk thread that went up asking about a detail of it as we were recording this, so testament to the ongoing process of change management and all that.
mathowie: Yeah. Cool.
jessamyn: Another thing that showed up in MetaTalk was the Metafilter Music, you can get all the Metafilter Music from 2012 in a torrent that you can download the whole thing. I downloaded it and was listening to it last week. It's really good! Thank you, Pronoiac.
mathowie: How big is it?
jessamyn: Two gigs, two and a half gigs, something like that?
jessamyn: Not giant, but big.
mathowie: That's big.
mathowie: I wonder if we should, like... I don't know, well, I guess that would need everyone's buy-in. Like, if it went to the Archive or something like that, you know, that's free bandwidth for all, kind of. It's pretty sizeable. Ouch.
cortex: Well, and that's the nice thing with the torrent thing is it becomes manageable.
cortex: As a result.
jessamyn: Yeah, and people are mostly gonna just want to get a copy, although it would probably be a good idea, you know, realistically speaking if we could tuck it away somewhere so that at least we'd have it, though I think Pronoiac may be doing that now on his own.
mathowie: Yeah, I think we also have mirrors of it on Dropbox, like the moment... like, updated every few hours. But I was just thinking something more permanent even than that would be kind of cool. Very cool.
cortex: Yeah. And Pronoiac continues to update his blog of listening to stuff, so that's a fun thing to follow if you want a slightly lower effort approach to dabbling in Metafilter Music history.
- Speaking also of MetaTalk and Metafilter in music, there was the thread about someone noting, someone talking about Gottye back in 2008 before Gottye exploded anywhere.
jessamyn: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah!
cortex: So that's kind of neat, and then that turned into a predictably huge entertaining thread full of people telling new lame celebrity exciting stories as sort of a sequel to that--
mathowie: [??] blog?
cortex: Well, there was a Metafilter post--
mathowie: The boring famous people stories or something?
cortex: Yeah, from like, it looks like it was late December of 2011, where yeah, people were, a blog of lame anecdotes and then everybody on Metafilter started telling theirs. I told my Colin Meloy story about the time that I was at the burrito joint near my house, and there was Colin Meloy, and--
jessamyn: Who is that?
cortex: He's the guy from the Decemberists.
cortex: And I was there with sleepy pete and melissa may from the Harvey Girls, and melissa may said, "Eugh..."
jessamyn: Bad guy?
cortex: Yeah. And then I looked and there he was, eating a burrito, so. It was a good time.
mathowie: Oh, I thought you were going to be behind him in line, like, "Come on, can we move forward, pirate rapey guy? Come on, now."
cortex: Do you want, do you want--(laughs)
mathowie: I think I told my story of peeing next to Ice Cube at Lollapalooza in 1993?
cortex: (laughs) Haha, thank you.
mathowie: That was completely pointless. We didn't even speak. It was great.
jessamyn: That's how, you know, peeing is supposed to go, most of the time, I think.
mathowie: Right. Yeah.
cortex: Yeah. I put out--oh, I'm sorry. Do you want...
jessamyn: Oh, I was going to talk about a different thread, so if you're still talking about this one, talk about it.
cortex: No, I was going to talk about a different one too, so go. Proceed.
jessamyn: Alright! This was just one that I liked by LSK, it was just somebody saying, "I really like these posts,"--like the one that I mentioned about the Black Betty thing--"about front-page posts that are one thing and many different versions of it, like the Cups and Balls post that googly did," and so it was people adding the one they liked. Ones they liked.
mathowie: Yeah. That was a fun sort of meta-roundup.
jessamyn: Fun list-generating MetaTalk thread.
jessamyn: Oh, right, right, right! That was cool.
cortex: --with a whole more year's worth of frequency, so that's, you know, for the two people who are really excited about computational linguistics--
jessamyn: Can you explain what that is for people who may be...?
cortex: It's, if you take all the comments that have been made on the site and you count up each word and put it in a big table, you get a count of how many times any individual word's been used on the site, which can be interesting to look at, either to find out dumb things like how many times people have said 'fart' or to figure out maybe changes over time, words that become popular or not, so 'hamburger' had a big spike, yeah.
jessamyn: Normalized or rare.
cortex: So yeah, this is raw data on now 636,000,000 words of Metafilter comments, up through the end of 2012.
jessamyn: That's cool! I'm glad we got that updated.
cortex: I'm going to try and run that every year now.
jessamyn: What's wrong, Matt?
mathowie: Someone--goofball--someone put in the longest word ever used, which is making my screen scroll ten screens to the right.
cortex: (laughs) Sorry about that.
jessamyn: Can't we fix that? Can't pb put in invisible spaces in his magic wizard language?
cortex: Yeah, but then... but yeah.
mathowie: Yeah, we could, yeah. But we'd have to put a whole bunch. (chuckles) I can't believe no one flagged it! It's so annoying. But oh well.
jessamyn: I'm a little surprised no one flagged it too, because I was reading that thread in Recent Activity. Maybe not! Maybe it wasn't Recent Activity.
mathowie: You know what it is? It's OSX hiding scrollbars, you're not slapped in the face with that there's a sideways scrollbar on this page.
jessamyn: I see a sideways scrollbar, what are you talking about? Do you use Lion?
mathowie: Yeah, mine are super-minimal, so I just don't even notice. I just accidentally swept sideways and was like, "What the deuce?" and it went and went and went and went and went.
jessamyn: Yeah, no, I see a big scrollbar at the bottom of my screen. But I didn't comment in that thread, I guess.
cortex and mathowie: (chuckle)
cortex: A couple other quick signal boosts: taz made a handy public service announcement post about a week ago about updating your e-mail that you have on file, since we have lots of people who have sort of moldy old e-mail addresses and then when we hear from--
jessamyn: Or obfuscated e-mail addresses--
jessamyn: Because they were afraid we were going to spam them or something, but we don't, so.
mathowie: We still have 'teddy at yahoo dot com', like as people's--
jessamyn: Right. You don't need to do that. You can trust us.
cortex: Yeah, and if you have a working e-mail then you can actually reset your own password instead of having to write to us, et cetera. So it's useful all around for communication and account verification.
mathowie: Yeah, that's [okay ?].
cortex: I mean, I feel like the obfuscation wasn't even so much people being worried about us spamming as it was just sort of a holdover from years ago--
jessamyn: When you used to do that all the time.
cortex: --when spam filtering sucked so much than it does now, where it's really fucking great.
cortex: Because now I don't even care.
cortex: I get a ton of spam every day, because I've had the same e-mail address for years, but I don't see any of it. I see like one piece of spam a week, and the other ten thousand end up in the fucking spam filter! So.
mathowie: Yeah, a friend, Nelson, pointed out that he was having a positive spam problem where regular things were going to his spam box. It freaked me out, going, man, I haven't done a sweep of my spam on Gmail in like a year.
jessamyn: I just found an e-mail from Quora in there!
cortex: Well, then it's working! (laughs)
mathowie: I went through 24 hours or so, and it was something around a thousand messages in my spam box, and I think there was one--and it was automated, it wasn't a personal e-mail to me--but from some service I used, where I was like, "Eh, that's mildly not spam," you know, an update from some service I'd forgot about, but it was, I was happy there wasn't five e-mails. Not like that fucking Facebook 'Other' inbox bullshit, you know.
mathowie: "Here's two years of e-mails you've been ignoring from well-meaning people trying to contact you," like, I could not believe that when I found that. And it's funny when I see people on Twitter, friends, find that, about once a month someone finds the 'Other' inbox, like, you guys all--
jessamyn: And they're like "What the shit?" Right.
mathowie: You guys all know about this, right?
jessamyn: I do.
mathowie: Like, it's so minor. Oh my God.
cortex: It's bizarre.
jessamyn: I have nine messages in there right now! Let's take a look.
mathowie: Yeah, I've got like 20 going back to 2011, and...
jessamyn: Oh, a lot of it's people who are like, "This is why I'm friending you."
jessamyn: You know? Like, "we've never met but blah."
mathowie: Mine were all people that are not connected to me going, "Oh--"
jessamyn: "But I'm a long-time Metafilter lurker and a rural bookmobile librarian in Utah."
mathowie: Awww. And you ignored them for a year!
jessamyn: No, I friended them yesterday! I friend people even if I don't know who they are.
mathowie: Yeah. Because friending doesn't make sense or matter.
cortex: Hey, my unofficial high school alumni group has invited me to Like a new page titled National Rifle Association: Oregon Members & Enthusiasts. Thanks, guy I went to high school with, maybe.
mathowie: (chuckles) Yeah, no.
mathowie: Anything else?
cortex: Oh, one other fun thing, one other fun thing... National Novel Writing Month (Observed), Metafilter Edition, restless_nomad--
mathowie: Oh, I thought that was brilliant!
cortex: Yeah. Just do NaNoWriMo in the middle of January and February instead! So it's not too late. Get writing!
mathowie: Yeah. There's no holidays and there's no fucking... yeah, you don't have to prepare for Christmas or Thanksgiving or anything else
- and it's cold--
jessamyn: Valentine's Day!
mathowie: Ehh. Well, I think it's over by then.
cortex: Well, you can just, you know, have it up... Plus, the unofficial theme has become gay young adult literature, so maybe everybody can just capitalize on Valentine's Day for a nice dénouement [dɪˈnaʊ.mɔnt].
jessamyn: Dénouement [.deɪnuˈmwa].
cortex: Dénouement [ˈdeɪ.mwa], dénouement [ˈdeɪ.mwa].
jessamyn: Dénouement [.deɪnuˈmɑnt]. Did you take French?
cortex: Dénouement [.deɪnuˈmɑnt]. No. Noo.
cortex: I took a quarter of Spanish in middle school and two years of Japanese in high school, and--
jessamyn: Oh, neat!
cortex: --and then I just mangle everything. I was exposed incidentally to a little bit of German, because that was the popular language at my college for whatever odd quirk of history.
cortex: Yeah, we did German... well, it's sort of like a engineering background of the school, maybe, is what was going on. You could take other languages too, but German was just one of the few ones that we had a good program for, so.
cortex: I don't know. Maybe some moneybagged German endowment or something, I don't know.
mathowie and jessamyn: (make noises of amusement)
jessamyn: So yeah. Dénouement [.deɪnuˈmɑnt], gay teenagers.
jessamyn: In conclusion.
jessamyn: Metafilter's a land of contrasts.
mathowie: I think that's our title, right?
cortex: (laughs) God, that has been such a fucking theme on this site, yeah. What, it must have been some conversation in MetaTalk that kicked that off, but yeah, I've seen everybody's been doing that lately.
jessamyn: Well, it's a Simpsons thing!
jessamyn: But, like, a lot of people have been taglining it at the end of their comments lately.
jessamyn: And it just, I don't know why, it makes me laugh. I never even saw it in The Simpsons. I don't even watch The Simpsons anymore! But, like, I don't know. It's funny.
cortex: Yeah, no, it was Bart giving a shitty book report. So he phoned it in and he was like, "In conclusion, blahblahblah is a land of contrasts," (mathowie chuckles) and then promptly probably got a visit to the principal's office or something, but.
cortex: Yeah. And now we've explained the joke. And ruined it.
cortex: Thanks to everybody, you've been great.
mathowie: Until next time.
jessamyn: No, he's in a thrift store, and he bought a broken keyboard. Get it?
- And then he bought a kneeboard.
jessamyn: It's a video you guys still have to watch, and then you're gonna be telling me funny thrift store jokes.
cortex: Oh, okay.
mathowie: Oh, right.
cortex: Oh, right, right. Okay. Well, I will get that as soon as I actually get that once I've watched that.
cortex: So there you go.
mathowie: Alright. Let's talk to you guys next month.
jessamyn: This was great! Talk to you guys... what?
cortex: Oh, hey, you know, I didn't even--I put music together and I didn't even mention any of it.
mathowie: Oh, just send me the links.
jessamyn: Oh, for God's sakes.
cortex: Shall we just have a tiny MeFi Music Moment to explain all the songs that presumably will have shown up prior to this point in the podcast?
cortex: Anglesey, by haines, which is this really pretty sort of cool driving folk thing, and it's a first post! to Music by this user, so that's exciting.
jessamyn: Hanes is his username, like the underwear?
cortex: haines, like H-A-I-N-E-S, I'll just post this into our little chat log.
jessamyn: Oh, like Alaska.
cortex: Sure. I don't know. I've never been to Haines, Alaska.
jessamyn: I have.
cortex: There's Tiny Screens, by allaboutgeorge, which is this really sort of--
mathowie: Oh, nice!
cortex: --chill vibing hanging out in the Mission District, that's just all atmosphere, it's kinda great, real groovy.
mathowie: That's George Kelly, my favorite journalist/folk singer.
jessamyn: I like George Kelly too, and he has a great voice.
cortex: Yeah, that he does. There's Bury Me Beneath the Willow Tree, by usonian, which is just this tiny little--
jessamyn: usonian! Lou Stuells' partner.
mathowie and cortex: (laugh)
cortex: Lou Stuells.
mathowie: It never stops being funny.
cortex: Just a tiny little solo banjo, like 35 seconds long, but it's a super nice little take on that.
mathowie: Mm, Crunklefucker.
jessamyn: I'll listen to it right now.
cortex: Crunklefucker, by Elmore, which Bunny Ultramod described as a video game soundtrack on a console that has been degrading for a hundred years, which is perfect.
cortex: It's like, it's fart piano synth... it's not actually, but it's like if you couldn't put fart piano on the air because of the censor board, this is maybe the difference you would sort of strike.
- And then Velvet Queen by BobbyGreenMusic, who is actually a brand new user who's only been posting on Music basically, and just a super ass-shaking thing with some guest vocalist Tiger La.
mathowie: Holy crap!
cortex: And it's... it's pretty fucking...
mathowie: Did he make this?
mathowie: This sounds like a fucking pop song on the high production value...
jessamyn: Our people are talented.
cortex: I think he's a guy that does stuff, yeah.
mathowie: Goddammit that's good.
cortex: So yeah. So that's the Metafilter Music Minute.
jessamyn: (sings) Bam-a-lam!
cortex: Boom! (chuckle) Hey, Black Betty.
jessamyn: (lower pitch) Bam-a-lam.
mathowie: Wow. Somebody signed BobbyGreenMusic to a contract of some sort. That is... that's some shit. That's amazing. That sounds like Rihanna or something, good God.
jessamyn: Only good, you mean?
cortex: Holy shit, someone's run down.
jessamyn: Seriously, dude, Rihanna phones it in now. She is a zombie.
mathowie: (laughs) Awesome. Okay, so that's January.
jessamyn: Great! Nice talking to you guys, as always.
cortex: See you later.
mathowie: Alright, see ya.
sfx: (Music: Velvet Queen (feat. Tiger La) by BobbyGreenMusic)
- beryllium, 225 segments
- Pronoiac, 14
- tangerinegurl, 4