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Do Not Enter The Dog Park November 4, 2013 1:14 PM   Subscribe


this is totally night vale for sure, those are the coordinates for all the recent PTA meetings

but i've said too much
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on November 4, 2013 [15 favorites]


Everyone positing that it's something boring like pedometer output or basketball scores ARE CLEARLY WRONG DREAM POOPERS.
posted by The Whelk at 1:31 PM on November 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Now that this thread exists I can post the non-answers that it inspired:

1) I wonder if it being found in a dog park is why I think it is something interesting.

2) My tendency to keep things like this that I find because they are good mysteries or might inspire a good story (combined with a partner who tends to keep odds and ends because he might build them into something) is why we have a three bedroom apartment where 50% of the room space is pretty much unusable.

(Before you suggest it, that same tendency is why my Evernote account needs its own Evernote account.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:37 PM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Clearly attempt at communication between dogs, which use a Base 145 counting system, and aliens that use a Base 110 counting system.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:46 PM on November 4, 2013 [19 favorites]


Weight in grams followed by temperature in Fahrenheit of dog poops left in the park.
posted by alms at 1:55 PM on November 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


Are they flaming dog poops, alms? Otherwise they wouldn't get above 100°F.
posted by ambrosen at 1:58 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


The would if they came from...

[sunglasses]

...hot dogs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:59 PM on November 4, 2013 [60 favorites]


Dogs' normal temp can run above a hundred, and composting organic matter generates heat. Just saying.
posted by alms at 1:59 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The first number is how many other Starbucks can be seen from current position in Starbucks waiting line. The second number is prediction of how many minutes it would take to get a cup of coffee at the nearest Starbucks you are not in.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:00 PM on November 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


Oh hey my younger brother made his first-ever post in that thread!
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:04 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you know an easier way to exchange numerical strings, I'd like to hear it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 PM on November 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


I love the idea of an illegal lottery / numbers racket being run from someone's local dog park. I'm picturing a Mickey Spillane type hoodlum in a fedora and mackintosh being chased out by a pack of angry dog walkers.
posted by afx237vi at 2:14 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Note that they are all in the form of AAA:AAA. This video will explain everything.
posted by Kabanos at 2:25 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am now tempted to start leaving strange notes in my local dog park.

I'm also tempted to go to my local dog park because DOGGIES.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:31 PM on November 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I saw that thread this morning and just skimmed it again. Did no one actually say "person with a mental illness"? Because having lived all my life in major cities, my first reaction to finding inexplicable ephemera is definitely not "this looks important and I must save it for its owner's eventual return."
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:38 PM on November 4, 2013 [11 favorites]




Oh hey my younger brother made his first-ever post in that thread!


I for one welcome our Marinich overlords
posted by sweetkid at 2:39 PM on November 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Oh my God, you have a brother?
posted by limeonaire at 2:41 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


how wide has the manwich dynasty spread
posted by elizardbits at 2:53 PM on November 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


Did no one actually say "person with a mental illness"?

Yeah. Reminded me too much of weird random hypographia, but I'd be curious to be proven wrong.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:00 PM on November 4, 2013


I'm really curious to see the rest of the numbers on that bottom note.

One thing I spotted on the top note is that very few of the numbers on the right side are odd.
posted by Anything at 3:03 PM on November 4, 2013


If there's one community that can crack this, it's this community.
posted by Wordshore at 3:04 PM on November 4, 2013


this is totally night vale for sure, those are the coordinates for all the recent PTA meetings

We need a scientist to weigh in. Has anyone asked Carlos?
posted by Room 641-A at 3:08 PM on November 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


how wide has the manwich dynasty spread

We must stop the manwich spread before its too late.
posted by The Whelk at 3:10 PM on November 4, 2013


Those look like my marathon times: 145 hours and 110 minutes.

I only round up the hours by twos.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:19 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


the manwich spread

Sounds like a new term for "lavaballing," itself a new term for the way some men spread their legs wide on public transit.
posted by sweetkid at 3:19 PM on November 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


Another thing I note on the top note is that on the left there are no two consecutive increases or decreases until 119-120-121 at halfway through.
posted by Anything at 3:30 PM on November 4, 2013


the manwich spread

Or it sounds like what you don't want to find in your sandwich.
posted by Ned G at 3:35 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kind of suspect the answer will be super boring. But I wouldn't know since I've never been to the dog park. There is no dog park.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:37 PM on November 4, 2013


A Dog Park! Who's ever heard of such a thing?!
posted by The Whelk at 3:39 PM on November 4, 2013


We should ask the hooded figures in the dog park what the numbers mean. And by "we," I mean whoever draws the short straw. The rest of us will wait in our homes until the sherriff's secret police signal us with carnations on our porches that it's safe to come back out.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 3:46 PM on November 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


We're never truly safe
posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


The real question is, were there french bulldogs at the dog park? Because I'm pretending there were.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:10 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would assume that it is a code that gives out words based on page and line number, or in my opinion word number, as suggested. It wouldn't be hard to decode, but it would be the trick of knowing which book they were based on.

You know, this is the sort of code that Google could pretty much break if it wanted:
  1. For each book in Google Books, extract the sequence of words specified by the codes.
  2. Compute the probability of each sequence of words being correct using one of their giant n-gram language models.
  3. Examine the highest ranking N sequences manually and choose the one that looks right.
It would probably only take on the order of a few hours on a few thousand machines, which is nothing.

This only works if the key book is one of the 25 million or so that Google has scanned, of course.
posted by jjwiseman at 4:23 PM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's just another front in the war between cats and dogs. Don't eat the bad dog biscuits.
posted by arcticseal at 4:57 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


It would probably only take on the order of a few hours on a few thousand machines, which is nothing.

Thank you, Mr. Penumbra.
posted by tyllwin at 4:59 PM on November 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Sounds like a new term for "lavaballing," itself a new term for the way some men spread their legs wide on public transit.

Oh my god, thank you for the opportunity to re-visit my favorite comment in the history of metatalk.
posted by latkes at 5:09 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe the note's author would prefer the contents to remain private? And not be stapled to a bulletin board and a community weblog?
posted by notyou at 5:33 PM on November 4, 2013


If they contact us, we will handle it. At this point however it's just a list of numbers that a bunch of people are talking about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:40 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


the manwich spread

... is especially good on those little pieces of toast with a nice, sharp cheese.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:03 PM on November 4, 2013


my favorite comment in the history of metatalk

I want to have that comment over for manwiches, get it drunk, and then dance with it in the moonlight.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:10 PM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's a list of somebody else's numbers that a bunch of people are talking about. Were we asked by their owner to figure out what the numbers meant? To speculate about the owner's mental capacity?

If they contact us, we will handle it

Heh. "Sorry, our bad. We assumed your important to you personal info was just some trivia, or maybe the doodlings of a crazy person, and anyway, we didn't think you'd notice us way over here chatting about what it might mean. Not to worry, we couldn't figure it out, so your secret is still safe."
posted by notyou at 6:13 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


We talk about other people's belongings all the time in AskMe. We talk (quite harshly, sometimes) about other people directly. Why is this instance any different?
posted by Rock Steady at 6:17 PM on November 4, 2013


It's a list of somebody else's numbers

Yes. I'm not sure what to tell you, that's how it works. The internet is full of people talking about other people, other things, and other events, not always in a completely charitable manner. Ask MetaFilter, in specific, often has questions about people who are trying to determine or discern things about other people from incomplete information.

As mods, we handle the actual people who contact us if they're alarmed that their personal details or information are available on the site or if they're unhappy that they're being talked about. We are empathetic and we are understanding and we try to work things out with people. Sometimes these people have what seem to be mental illnesses and that does not affect how we treat them and their concerns. We don't tell them "Whatever, it's just the internet"

However, until such a time as someone shows up and says "Hey those are my numbers and these posts make me uncomfortable..." idle speculation that some unknown person might want privacy for random pieces of paper left in a dog park isn't really going to affect how we moderate that part of the site. This is just me trying to set expectations to what I perceive as a complaint or concern about decisions we've made. If you're making an argument that we should be doing something different, you should be more clear about that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:24 PM on November 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


random pieces of paper left in a dog park

I'm too lazy to do it, but please just imagine that I've created a novelty sockpuppet account with that name.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:26 PM on November 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


Apropos of nothing, here's a dog park with bone-shaped doggie ponds.
posted by planetesimal at 6:32 PM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Did not know anything about Night Vale, intrigued now.
posted by sweetkid at 6:40 PM on November 4, 2013


little pieces of toast

they are called toast points you uncultured swine
posted by elizardbits at 6:48 PM on November 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


I wondered, "Oh, which poster is Rory Marinich's brother?" and stupidly worked my way up from the bottom of the thread to the top, clicking on unfamiliar usernames seeing who may have joined recently, kind of puzzling over this new mystery within a mystery, until, "Oh. Must be this guy named Scott Marinich."
posted by MoonOrb at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2013 [38 favorites]


I did exactly, word for word, the same thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:59 PM on November 4, 2013 [20 favorites]


Did not know anything about Night Vale, intrigued now.
Welcome to Night Vale on Metafilter: Welcome to Night Vale: Vigilant Citizen article coming soon? and ALL HAIL THE MULTICOLORED GLOW CLOUD

“There’s a monster at the end of this book. It’s the blank page where the story ends and you’re left alone with yourself and your thoughts.”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:03 PM on November 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


they are called toast points you uncultured swine

What if they're not cut into points? What then, smarty? Huh?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:13 PM on November 4, 2013


A Dog Park! Who's ever heard of such a thing?!

Where else are you going to park your dog? I'm just miffed because there are never any handicapped spaces.
posted by pjern at 7:26 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Night Vale is awesome sweetkid, you're in for a lot of fun.
posted by dipping_sauce at 7:26 PM on November 4, 2013


So what are our working theories at this point, what can we exclude?
posted by vrakatar at 7:31 PM on November 4, 2013


If you're making an argument that we should be doing something different, you should be more clear about that.

Yes, I should be.

If the crowd here were able to infer that the numbers referred to, say, financial accounts, I'm confident that the default moderator position would be to delete post haste.

I think the same should be applied here -- those numbers may in fact be personal and private and the default moderator position should be to assume their owner prefers privacy over broadcast, rather than assume they're fair game until their owner shows up to insist otherwise.

The other stuff in your response -- well that's what the rest of the Internet does and lots of AskMes are about mysterious found items -- read more like chaff than convincing arguments. MetaFilter does lots of things differently than the rest of the Internet does and maybe it's time to think a little harder about the appropriateness of prying into people's lives via their mislaid post-its, uninvited, in AskMe (of all places). A dropped note is much more personal than odd public behavior that might be asked about, for example, or an unrecognized found object. Found photos come the nearest, in terms of personal and private; a quick search didn't turn up any AskMes about identifying people or places in a found photo. Here's one about reuniting a lost wallet with its owner -- a decidedly more helpful endeavor than "Hey! Let's figure this out!"

The AskMe has been updated to note that the post-its have been pulled from the dog park bulletin board. It could be that a random dog walker pulled them, for unknown reasons, or that the owner him or herself retrieved them -- maybe for privacy reasons, maybe because, hey that's where those are, good thing someone thought to leave them here for me to find.

If it comes to light, via the OP's asking around, that the owner pulled them because he or she did not want them displayed publicly, is the moderation affected? Or will it still be the owner's responsibility to police AskMe for his or her lost post its?
posted by notyou at 7:48 PM on November 4, 2013


It seems to me like a pretty unanswerable question, in the absence of additional information. Kinda strikes me as quintessential chatfilter, personally.
posted by threeants at 8:10 PM on November 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


also OH MY GOSH I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY A GRINCH but is there anyone else here who wanted to like Night Vale but totally didn't? I loved the concept but gave up after only a few minutes of feeling like it was unbearably hammy and on-the-nose.
posted by threeants at 8:14 PM on November 4, 2013 [14 favorites]


If it comes to light, via the OP's asking around, that the owner pulled them because he or she did not want them displayed publicly, is the moderation affected?

The OP can ask us to remove the thread if it comes to that.

I think in this case, there isn't a super strong reason to presume the numbers represent something private (I can imagine hypotheticals where just a list of items might be a clear privacy problem, and I might be more concerned about having an AskMe thread about such lists), plus there's nothing personally identifiable about them as far as we know.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:18 PM on November 4, 2013


It seems to me like a pretty unanswerable question, in the absence of additional information. Kinda strikes me as quintessential chatfilter, personally.

Although chatfilter is a discussion that isn't leading towards any sort of solution right out of the gate. This particular issue isn't like that, as there's a problem to be solved. Whether or not you can actually get there is part of the question. Sometimes the solution actually is that it's not solvable.

I'm still holding out hope for this one, though.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:20 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Steve Carlsberg, is that you?
posted by Tesseractive at 8:20 PM on November 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm thinking if your super-secret coded information is super-valuable and super-compromising, tossing it on the ground at the dog park might not be your best move.

No way it's basketball scores. 140+ is out there & happens no more than once or twice a season at best.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:31 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


also OH MY GOSH I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY A GRINCH but is there anyone else here who wanted to like Night Vale but totally didn't?

"If at first you don't succeed, look around and find out who is trying to sabotage you with telepathic interference. It is someone you know." If you kill them, or even just give them a lobotomy, then you'll probably like the podcast.

(The first few minutes of the first episode is not a great sample. I enjoyed it enough at first to keep going, but it took several episodes to really gel for me.)
posted by jeather at 8:41 PM on November 4, 2013


also OH MY GOSH I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY A GRINCH but is there anyone else here who wanted to like Night Vale but totally didn't? I loved the concept but gave up after only a few minutes of feeling like it was unbearably hammy and on-the-nose.

Yes. Love the Twitter account, can't deal with the show. I want it to be so much more unsettling, in a genuine way, but it doesn't connect with me. I understand why others love it, but.
posted by mykescipark at 8:53 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


If the pilot episode doesn't do it for you, but you want to give it another try, at least listen to episode 13 ("A Story About You"). It's basically standalone and definitely scores high on the unsettling scale.
posted by kagredon at 8:58 PM on November 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


also OH MY GOSH I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY A GRINCH but is there anyone else here who wanted to like Night Vale but totally didn't? I loved the concept but gave up after only a few minutes of feeling like it was unbearably hammy and on-the-nose.

Yeah, it's terminally on the nose and hammy, but I've had lots of people talk to me about it who I'm pretty sure didn't listen to podcasts like five months ago. It's more or less the Two and a Half Men of podcasting but as someone who subscribes to 31 podcasts at this writing and wants the entertainment medium to thrive, I'm happy that it exists.
posted by Kwine at 9:11 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's more or less the Two and a Half Men of podcasting

GASP

you shall be the first into the wicker man
posted by elizardbits at 9:12 PM on November 4, 2013 [28 favorites]


Lake Wobegon for Generation X and Y, if that sits a little better probably not
posted by Kwine at 9:16 PM on November 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's an Arkham Home Companion.
posted by The Whelk at 9:16 PM on November 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


eldritch horror? I hardly even know 'er! wokka wokka wokka
posted by threeants at 9:19 PM on November 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


two and a half men is a festering boil on the rectum of network television so literally any comparison is better

even hitler
posted by elizardbits at 9:19 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


okay maybe not hitler
posted by elizardbits at 9:19 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


We have several hilters for your comparison purposes. Would you like them one at a time or all at once?
posted by The Whelk at 9:20 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wondered, "Oh, which poster is Rory Marinich's brother?" and stupidly worked my way up from the bottom of the thread to the top, clicking on unfamiliar usernames seeing who may have joined recently, kind of puzzling over this new mystery within a mystery, until, "Oh. Must be this guy named Scott Marinich."

Some Twitter friends and I were discussing whether it'd be cruel to buy him a username like wolfdreams02 or sevencolors, but in the end I resisted the temptation.

It was a difficult temptation to resist, I must admit.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:38 PM on November 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


Night Vale's quality increases dramatically over the first few months, but if you don't like the core concept then you're just not gonna like the show, no biggie. But, if you did like the concept but thought it could be improved, try A Story About You and/or the two Sandstorm episodes.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:44 PM on November 4, 2013


I just read the transcripts so I can imagine whatever voices I want. Lately I quite like Quentin Crisp.
posted by elizardbits at 9:45 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, if I find out that the numbers were something personal and private I will ask that the post be deleted. I wasn't intending it to be a chatfilter, I was thinking someone would take one look and go "Oh, that's clearly someone counting pine cones, I do the same thing" ... this deepening mystery is very perplexing! Kicking myself for not getting a better picture of both... :(
posted by The otter lady at 9:49 PM on November 4, 2013


We have several hilters for your comparison purposes. Would you like them one at a time or all at once?

Two little Hitlers will fight it out until...
posted by mykescipark at 10:14 PM on November 4, 2013


Must be this guy named Scott Marinich.

I was so hoping for Rudy Marinich
posted by mannequito at 11:52 PM on November 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


also OH MY GOSH I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY A GRINCH but is there anyone else here who wanted to like Night Vale but totally didn't? I loved the concept but gave up after only a few minutes of feeling like it was unbearably hammy and on-the-nose.

I am not a Night Vale fan and I have it in my head that it's because it plays into the Twins Peaks/Deliverance stereotype of Sinister Small Towns which I'm on record as hating, but I think everything is about that stereotype and I probably hear a lot of zebras as far as that goes.

I do really like the NRA slogan stickers! Especially "A list of things that kill people: 1. conceivably anything; 2) not guns."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:34 AM on November 5, 2013


Remember the mystery of "taters" and how it turned to be nothing more than a euphism to avoid using the word 'porn' in work email? Probably something similar here, i.e. not very juicy or mysterious, but one person's particular code for something small.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:39 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I loved the concept but gave up after only a few minutes of feeling like it was unbearably hammy and on-the-nose.

The first episode is kind of meh. It takes 4 or 5 to get really going. For best results, listen to in bed, in a dark room, preferably on some kind of medication for which drowsiness is a known side-effect.
posted by empath at 2:19 AM on November 5, 2013


From memory, a few people solved the taters mystery in the thread, before it was revealed. I wonder whether one of the current answers is correct. None seem really plausible yet, apart from the handwavey "off their medication" ones.
posted by dontjumplarry at 4:01 AM on November 5, 2013


Night Vale is one of the things (including The Areas of My Expertise and The Onion) where I shake my fist at my complete lack of creative follow through. I seethe with jealousy that those things exist and that they were Not My Idea. "I could do that," I think, nose out of joint. "Heck, I'm sure I thought that up first in some journal somewhere."

"But that requires effort," whispers the homunculus of lethargy I made, "And follow through. I promotion. In short, work."

"Aiieee," I howl and hide beneath the covers, my pale face lit only by the light of my laptop as I order Eternal Scout patches and limited edition texts.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:04 AM on November 5, 2013 [15 favorites]


threeants: "also OH MY GOSH I SWEAR I AM NOT ACTUALLY A GRINCH but is there anyone else here who wanted to like Night Vale but totally didn't? I loved the concept but gave up after only a few minutes of feeling like it was unbearably hammy and on-the-nose."

Don't worry, I don't understand* the whole podcast thing at all, so I'm probably more grinchy than you!

Which makes me glad to see that this nightvale thing has transcripts that I can read while I'm at work. Yay!

* - I think other people must have lots of free time or something. When do you have the time to listen to hour-plus long podcasts?!?
posted by Grither at 4:10 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just started listening to Welcome to Night Vale a few weeks ago, after the synchronicity of the more recent MeFi post and seeing mentions of it a few other places. I'm going through the archives an episode a day, and I lament the day I will have finished the archives and will only get two episodes a month after that. I haven't worked out the exact day that will happen, but I think it will be somewhere around Thanksgiving. If that happens I may be decidedly unthankful then.

I like the slightly-over-the-topness which gives it a creepy/funny vibe, but I can understand those who would want something that was just straight creepy. It's interesting to imagine toning WTNV down just a bit so it would become that.

When do you have the time to listen to hour-plus long podcasts?!?

WTNV is only ~20 minutes per episode, but to answer the general question, mostly on my commute, which is 30-35 minutes if the traffic is good, longer if not. I do have some longer podcasts I listen to, but none of them suffer from being broken up into chunks—it's not like they (at least the ones I listen to) tell a single, hour-long story.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:24 AM on November 5, 2013


I kind of went into Night Vale expecting straight-up horror or earnest creepiness, and for the most part it isn't even remotely meant to be that. It's comedy that uses an absurd, wonderful pile-up of far too much supernatural and horror shit for laughs, and is sometimes creepy along the way. It's comedy born out of a love of horror. And Cecil's hamminess in the face of the town's logjam of ancient conspiracies and creeping dread is so much of his charm!

Along with the recommendations for A Story About You, most-recent-but-one episode The Cassette is actually genuinely creepy in parts. I think the radio station is fun. I think the radio station is hidden. I think the radio station is...
posted by emmtee at 4:43 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


DevilsAdvocate: "WTNV is only ~20 minutes per episode, but to answer the general question, mostly on my commute, which is 30-35 minutes if the traffic is good, longer if not"

*facepalm*

Yeah, so... gotcha. I'm an idjit. Sometimes I kinda wish I had more than a 7 minute walk for a commute!
posted by Grither at 5:54 AM on November 5, 2013


No you don't.
posted by PMdixon at 6:00 AM on November 5, 2013 [19 favorites]


Speaking of taters.... Regarding privacy, discretion, and mod intervention, I seem to recall that after the tater mystery had been solved the mods came back and asked (or maybe suggested) that, out of respect to the OP, taters not be used as a punch line. Not that it shouldn't ever be mentioned, or even joked about, but to maybe be mindful of the origins.

And then there was the question asking people to ID a (presumably famous) person on a plane that the asker had taken a picture of, and the mods pulled it. (It turned out to be a politician, I think.) I don't always agree with the mods but I think they of a good job with this type of thing.

“There’s a monster at the end of this book. It’s the blank page where the story ends and you’re left alone with yourself and your thoughts.”

The monster at the end of the book is Grover.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:13 AM on November 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


* - I think other people must have lots of free time or something. When do you have the time to listen to hour-plus long podcasts?!?

I got into them when I lived in an apartment with no TV or internet (yup). I'd download podcast episodes at coffee shops and then listen to them at home while doing chores, or to unwind, or walking to work... then it just started to become part of the fabric of my day! I still am way more into them than most people I know, but I doubt I would have gotten as into them if not for that. (Yes, I also read a lot of books during that time, mother.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:21 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think other people must have lots of free time or something. When do you have the time to listen to hour-plus long podcasts

I listen to them before i go to sleep. A lot of people listen to them during their commutes.
posted by empath at 6:28 AM on November 5, 2013


The monster at the end of the book is Grover.

Well, sure, in the kids' version.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:28 AM on November 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just read the transcripts so I can imagine whatever voices I want. Lately I quite like Quentin Crisp.

you, my friend, have just been promoted to dinosaur admiral
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 6:28 AM on November 5, 2013


Analog Bitcoin SuperMining Attack.
posted by tilde at 6:43 AM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


jjwiseman: It would probably only take on the order of a few hours on a few thousand machines, which is nothing.

If someone wants to write this up as a runnable script, I could probably talk my employer into running it on our cluster.

The compute nodes do not have direct access to the Internet, so it would be best if I can download the necessary data from Google ahead of time into shared scratch space.

PM me if you are interested in setting this up.
posted by Juffo-Wup at 6:52 AM on November 5, 2013


I was hoping this was a call out for making other podcasts seem lesser in comparison ever since I made the Night Vale post.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:00 AM on November 5, 2013


When do you have the time to listen to hour-plus long podcasts

I have an internet job and I like to listen to MetaFilter while I work at MetaFilter. I somehow assumed that cortex and mathowie did this as well. They don't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:05 AM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait... You're listening to Metafilter while working on Metafilter? That's kind of... um... meta. *inception BWAAAWM noise*
posted by rmd1023 at 7:14 AM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, for me it's a mix of things:

1. I have trouble listening to a recording of a conversation I've just recently had; it's all very "look, I was there, man" in my brain when I do that, and my attention span wanders. So I don't listen to the mefi podcast when it comes out, because it's still way fresh in my memory.

2. I have trouble dealing with two verbal streams of information at once; I either have to ignore one, or I lose track of both. So listening to a podcast while reading, or writing, doesn't work for me; I need to be doing something engaging me on some front instead. Since my job is to sit and read and write, and many of my hobbies likewise, that means (a) I can't really listen while working ever unless it's so dead that "work" is more like "glance at periodically to confirm still nothing happening" and (b) I have to actively carve out podcast-listening time by matching podcast playback with non-verbal hobby time.

I actually basically never listened to any podcasts by anyone until a year or two ago, because of point (2) up there. Then we got a car, I started listening to podcasts with my wife when we were on long drives, and I was like, oh, yeah, I actually dig this. Now I'll try to have a couple on my phone for when I need to be doing random stuff around the house or want to working on a drawing project, where it fits in pretty well.

And then I ended up doing these other podcasts as well and am really enjoying doing more of the producing-content side of the equation, but I don't really ever listen to those either. I'm a write-only podcaster, pretty much.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:19 AM on November 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Podcasts are the best thing for me. I have an ~20 minute commute to work, ~40 minute commute to school, and double those to get back to home, and suddenly, I find myself sitting next to an audio player much of the day, and NPR and shitty pop radio just aren't always up to the task of keeping me safe from boredom.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:20 AM on November 5, 2013


cortex: I have trouble dealing with two verbal streams of information at once

Yeah, I could never listen to podcasts at work, even if my space was more private. Times when I listen to podcasts:

1. Driving
2. Mowing the lawn and other yard work
3. Doing dishes or other clean-up projects

As far as Night Vale goes, I'm only a few episodes in and I do like it, but my problem is thus: It's too much of a muchness as it is. It needs, in my opinion, either other voices/POVs than just Cecil, or to be shorter and sweeter, like 5-7 minutes.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:28 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey, guys, the numbers on that list are my numbers and I'm kind of uncomfortable having them discussed all over the Internet. Actually it's just one of the numbers, on the first Post-It. It's my personal PIN number and it means a lot to me, personally. You can talk all you want about the other numbers, that's fine, just don't talk about mine.
It's personal.
Thanks.
posted by Floydd at 7:40 AM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hm... I cook a fair amount, and I'm pretty sure I could listen to a podcast and not totally screw up my food in the 30-45 minutes it takes to prepare a meal!

And yeah, it'd be pretty ideal for me at work, if I didn't feel weird wearing headphones at work.

Thanks for the ideas!
posted by Grither at 7:41 AM on November 5, 2013


Once this is solved we should do the Voynich manuscript next.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 7:51 AM on November 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


When I started my current job, I went from a 40-min commute to a 10-min commute. I'm glad to have the extra hour every day, but I kind of miss the dedicated listening time part of it. If I do a bus commute instead of a car commute, it's more like 30 min, so maybe I'll be listening to more stuff if I end up doing more bus commute days.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:53 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think other people must have lots of free time or something. When do you have the time to listen to hour-plus long podcasts?!?

...wow, now I feel a little guilty because I'm the only one apart from jessamyn to say 'work' (at least I'm in good company?) Work for me will frequently involve days where I'm working by myself on something that takes maaaaybe 3/4 of my concentration--and something like Night Vale is actually kind of perfect, because I need something that's a little more occupying than plain music (or my mind'll wander off), but it's paced in such a way that if I tune it out for a minute to work on a particularly fiddly wire or spreadsheet, I don't miss much (YA audiobooks are also pretty great for this.) I listen to other, more 'talky' podcasts as well, but I sometimes have to pause them because they do require more attention.
posted by kagredon at 9:06 AM on November 5, 2013


cortex: "2. I have trouble dealing with two verbal streams of information at once; I either have to ignore one, or I lose track of both."

Exactly - I simply cannot process reading while listening. I'll listen to a podcast occasionally at the end of a dead Friday, but that's it.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:12 AM on November 5, 2013


I started listening to podcasts when I used to walk to work in Cambridge and it was a new medium and men were real men and etc.

Then I listened to podcasts while driving to work in Sydney. It was incredibly soothing to have Carl Kassel hamming it up while stuck in traffic or when someone cut me off at the intersection. Also, you're driving on the wrong side of the road, ya bloody Aussies.

These days I listen to podcasts while walking to work, while cooking, and while mowing or doing yard work. I've gone into fits of murderous rage over the Podcasts app, deleted it to get my shows back into the music player, gnashed my teeth in impotent rage as iOS 7 took that trick away, moved to Downcast, moved back grudgingly to the Podcasts app, and still don't get why Apple is *so* poor at the whole cloud sync thing.

But I wouldn't dream of trying it while reading. Even music is too distracting when I'm really reading.

(Sorry, I forgot the point I was going for when I started this comment.)
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:33 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


my pale face lit only by the light of my laptop as I order Eternal Scout patches and limited edition texts.

Theoretically, nothing is stopping you from pitching your own script to them.

I mean, nothing is technically stopping you. I'm sure people do it all the time.

*twitch*
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


At least the first ten number pairs can be found in this data set referenced in this book as found through this Google search.
posted by univac at 9:44 AM on November 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Uh oh, patent lawsuit!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:48 AM on November 5, 2013


What if they're not cut into points? What then, smarty? Huh?

Soldiers.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:59 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which are dipped into egg yolk, as is right and proper.
posted by The Whelk at 10:02 AM on November 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: If they contact us, we will handle it.

also

Metafilter: dipped into egg yolk, as is right and proper.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:11 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find my best podcast listening is as follows: walking to the CVS late at night, then wandering around while idly shopping for makeup and sale candy. This works better with Judge John Hodgman than with Night Vale though. For obvious walking-empty-streets-at-night reasons.
posted by like_a_friend at 10:21 AM on November 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Nothing can make a CVS more scary then it actually is tho.
posted by The Whelk at 10:23 AM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, if we're going to talk Night Vale, this one is for the many librarians on MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 10:56 AM on November 5, 2013


The proper thing to do at CVS is to listen to CVS Bangers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:06 AM on November 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've listened to/loved Night Vale since the get-go and my favorite episode is Cassette. Good as a standalone but you must listen until the end.

My only comment on the numbers is based on my obsession with handwriting. Gut instinct says it is a female writer.
posted by morganannie at 11:28 AM on November 5, 2013


Wait... You're listening to Metafilter while working on Metafilter? That's kind of... um... meta. *inception BWAAAWM noise*

I was thinking more of an Xzibit kinda thing.

"Yo Jessamyn, I heard you like MetaFilter, so I put a MetaFilter in your MetaFilter so you could MetaFilter while you MetaFilter."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:04 PM on November 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


This is like speculating over an image in Found magazine but instead of a list that is something like ''buy pregnancy test, stop snorting coke, research broken condoms," it's this impenetrable thing that is either the secret to the universe or somebody's stats homework
posted by angrycat at 12:17 PM on November 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


oh man why wasn't xzibit in inception
posted by neuromodulator at 12:34 PM on November 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


He appears briefly on the screen of a television in one of the scenes, in a clip of a made-for-TV film called "Inception" that Joseph Gordon Levitt's character glances over at.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:36 PM on November 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


He appears briefly on the screen of a television in one of the scenes, in a clip of a made-for-TV film called "Inception" that Joseph Gordon Levitt's character glances over at.

not sure if serious
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:29 PM on November 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


So uhh, this Night Vale - is it worth downloading, say, a massive chunky torrent of dozens of episodes, or would it be better to be a little more selective? Will it make me hysterical because it's so good? Is it actually consistently creepy or is there a lot of talk about baseball?
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:22 PM on November 5, 2013


I think it can be a little uneven, but there are few enough of them that I think you'll want to listen to them straight through. Also, there is a very light amount of continuity (even in the stand-alone recommendations above) that it's worth starting from the beginning to see if it clicks immediately.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:34 PM on November 5, 2013


the first ...three episodes are more jokey then the rest, when it finds its own tone.
posted by The Whelk at 2:53 PM on November 5, 2013


it's this impenetrable thing that is either the secret to the universe or somebody's stats homework

And if it's the latter then they've found an awesome way to get round the 'don't post your assignment on ask-me' restriction...
posted by Chairboy at 3:29 PM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is Night Vale already going downhill? Reassure me that it's not. I feel like it's getting a little stale already and I would love to be wrong.

Anyway, the first year is pretty great and I would grab it all.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2013


How can this MeTa have been going for 130 comments and NO-ONE has commented hoping it's a ski resort?

I am ashamed.
posted by subbes at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2013


Is Night Vale already going downhill?

Not at all. My favorite episode was number 33 of 34. Some I have not loved but most I have listened to several times.
posted by morganannie at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe the note's author would prefer the contents to remain private? And not be stapled to a bulletin board and a community weblog?

I am reminded of the MeFi thread about the dude videoing a polar bear, that desperately wanted to eat him, from inside a Perspex cage where a poster was all THINK OF THE POLAR BEAR THIS IS SO CRUEL
posted by Sebmojo at 5:21 PM on November 5, 2013


At the Indianapolis zoo about a decade ago, I saw a little boy banging on the thick plexiglas that separated him from a huge polar bear. The bear seemed kind of resigned to being tormented by delicious snacks.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:27 PM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


They're lists of analogies. 145:110::132:114::114:110 and so on.

The test is going to be soon so everybody study.
posted by mountmccabe at 8:00 PM on November 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


My favorite episode was number 33 of 34.

Completely agree. When Night Vale commits an episode to setting a mood and being creepy, it does it very well.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 8:05 PM on November 5, 2013


I went down a whole Mozart Köchel catalog number relativity thing there for awhile on this one... "how is K141 related to K108" etc until I realised I was possibly crazier than the person who wrote the numbers to do so.
posted by Admira at 9:09 PM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I read that as mozartkugel and saw no crazy at all whatsoever.
posted by elizardbits at 9:31 PM on November 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is Night Vale already going downhill? Reassure me that it's not. I feel like it's getting a little stale already and I would love to be wrong.

There was a brief stretch where I was just not feeling the episodes, but then I saw "Condos" at the live show in LA, and found "Cassette" to be genuinely eerie, and now my love is restored. Not every episode is gonna be a winner, and I find that the episodes that don't have a strong central premise or mood to establish are the ones that feel a little meh.
posted by yasaman at 10:00 PM on November 5, 2013


...wow, now I feel a little guilty because I'm the only one apart from jessamyn to say 'work'

I've spent a lot of time listening to podcasts at work when I'm in the cell culture room. Spending several hours a day with my arms stuck in a biohazard hood doing intricate, careful, very repetitive tasks is made bearable by listening to something interesting at the same time. There's too much ambient noise from the hoods to really carry on a conversation anyway, so might as well learn something new while I work. During long periods of data entry is also a good time, although those happen a lot less often than the marathon cell culture sessions.

Also yeah, while out walking or doing housework. I always get my kitchen clean on Thursdays when the new Answer Me This comes out.
posted by shelleycat at 2:24 AM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Adding another "at work" - screenshots, compiling, regenerating files, and dead time driving or doing housework.
posted by tilde at 4:45 AM on November 6, 2013


Maybe it's some sort of code.
posted by Mister_A at 8:22 AM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


walking to the CVS late at night, then wandering around while idly shopping for makeup and sale candy.

OMG like_a_friend... Are you me/can we be BFFs?
posted by désoeuvrée at 9:01 AM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


CVS Podcast Besties 4 Life!
posted by like_a_friend at 12:15 PM on November 6, 2013


It just hit me! Night Vale is really Joe Frank broadcasting from Pahrump, Nevada.
posted by Room 641-A at 12:26 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's some sort of code.

Rock-bottom budget numbers station.
posted by Pudhoho at 1:04 PM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


So uhh, this Night Vale - is it worth downloading, say, a massive chunky torrent of dozens of episodes, or would it be better to be a little more selective? Will it make me hysterical because it's so good? Is it actually consistently creepy or is there a lot of talk about baseball?

It is totally worth it and it doesn't take up much room as there are only 34 episodes. If you choose to download it - consider getting from itunes, Stitcher, Libsyn, Feedburner or Soundcloud since it affects their ranking.

I can't comment on hysteria, but can guarantee there is no talk of baseball at all. There are some mentions of bowling and football however.
posted by Julnyes at 1:32 PM on November 6, 2013


I got to "Street Cleaning Day" in my trip through the archives today, and I think it's one of my favorites so far. Especially the end, uncharacteristically touching in its own odd way.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:34 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never take my super-sized femail Doberman to the dog park because she just never stays parked.

Speaking of weird found-writings (may I?) circa 1988 my mother found a box on her deck, probably brought home from Costco, with this written inside:

"Stephen King murdered Stacy McGill in the Seattle Center. If found call Gwen at 999-9999 urgent."

I still have that box just in case.
posted by trinity8-director at 10:39 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


...isn't Stacy McGill one of the Babysitters Club girls?
posted by kagredon at 11:42 PM on November 7, 2013


Yes, who knew Stephen King hung out with babysitters
posted by amapolaroja at 11:43 PM on November 7, 2013


"A Story of You" threw me out of it when it became really obvious "you" was a guy, but I really adore the Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home, and voted for her for Mayor.

At least... I assume all that keening and gyrating was voting.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:21 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


I listen to podcasts in fucking around decompress time while playing vidjagames. Also while making art.
posted by NoraReed at 5:48 PM on November 10, 2013


I believe the future of interial dampners are just sitting around with new elevator technologies suppressed by the folks who fix them, i mean, have you ever seen an elevator repair person, let alone an inspector...yes.
posted by clavdivs at 9:26 AM on November 16, 2013


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