25: The Train Episode April 14, 2008 10:36 PM   Subscribe

Show #25 features recaps from the past two weeks of MetaFilter. It was recorded on April 11, 2008 and runs about an hour long.


Helpful Links

Podcast Feed
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Direct mp3 download

MeFi Music

Love More, All My Hearts (Are Belong To You), and Marie, all by kingbenny (there is an album of these songs available for purchase/download)

Links mentioned in the intro section

Upcoming Cambridge and Salt Lake City meetups. Meetup video from a recent Chicago meetup.

Lots and lots of users with "pants" in their name.

Projects

The Bicycle Tutor instructional videos.

Paperdoll blog

YouTube vs. MetaFilter comments ended up on the Freakonomics blog. They should use Stupidfilter to delete junk from youtube (MeFi thread about Stupidfilter).

MeFi links

Wendell Berry post with a personal account of meeting him.

Multiple SIDosis

"Political ties to a secretive religious group" post features a comment by the author of the book being discussed.

Jurassic 5 does hip-hop for kids at babyloveshiphop.com. Other funny URLs.

Snoop Dogg on The View thread features a youtube video from the crew, as they prepared the lighting/sound for Snoop Dogg.

Recycled Bowling Balls thread

Ask MeFi links

Why does the pharmacy take so long to fulfill a prescription (pieoverdone ftw)

The Spring Cleaning thread (unSane's 100s of trees being planted)

Getting a shock when pulling out a plug slowly

Why do Tilt-Shift photos look like toys? (some examples on flickr)

How to speak with stutterers

Do I need a social life?

What are the most useful dead-tree catalogs? (MeTa follow-up)

I want to buy a train car and travel in it. How do I do this? (pjern worked on a private train before)
posted by mathowie to MeFi Podcast at 10:36 PM (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

YAYYYYYY!!!! Just before bedtime! Now I have to stay up!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 11:07 PM on April 14, 2008


Seriously. What the fuck Rhode Island.
posted by allen.spaulding at 5:23 AM on April 15, 2008


I find your voices strangely calming. You should make an air travel relaxation program, just the two of you recapping posts, with Jessamyn occasionally picking on Mathowie for having a distorted idea of the width of America.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 5:30 AM on April 15, 2008


allen.spaulding: Seriously. What the fuck Rhode Island.

The Christians, they don't know elementary soundwork. No wonder the lions always won.
posted by Kattullus at 6:25 AM on April 15, 2008


yay, Pants.
posted by Pants! at 6:33 AM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


You should make an air travel relaxation program

Listening to people talking about the internet in the one place that there is NO internet access would drive me up a wall. I often wonder if this stuff has any appeal whatsoever to people who aren't already immersed in things-MeFi?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:57 AM on April 15, 2008


Man, I haven't heard that Snoop Dogg song until just now...had to close it because I was laughing too much at work.

I think you guys did a good job of capturing the threads that featured real-world interaction with the subject matter and appreciate that kind of focus to the podcasts.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:00 AM on April 15, 2008


Damn, I just last weekend got all the bikes out and tightened them all up and lubricated all the chains and wheels with WD-40. Now I find that that's the worst thing I could have done. Glad to see that Bike Tutor link, which I missed...I've been looking for a site exactly like that.
posted by chococat at 8:17 AM on April 15, 2008


You should make an air travel relaxation program

Listening to people talking about the internet in the one place that there is NO internet access would drive me up a wall.


I save the MeFi podcasts specifically for my airplane trips! Love what you kids are doing out there on the intertubes.
posted by donovan at 9:29 AM on April 15, 2008


> Listening to people talking about the internet in the one place that there is NO internet access would drive me up a wall.

I do all my podcast listening while at the gym or doing housework. It's just like reading bloggers blogging about what they found on other blogs, only hearing instead of reading. And without a field for comments. And I like the Mefi podcast more than I'm making this sound.

Spoken word gets me moving more effectively than high-energy dance music does. And get off my lawn.
posted by ardgedee at 10:58 AM on April 15, 2008


I totally cosign the request for a dramatic reading by cortex of YouTube comments.
posted by clavicle at 11:05 AM on April 15, 2008


Hey, Georgia has trees, ok?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:27 AM on April 15, 2008


I listen to most podcasty things while walking around, etc., but always save the MeFi one for when I'm at the computer. I need to have this thread open and click on the links as j&m talk about them to get the full experience.
posted by danb at 12:15 PM on April 15, 2008


re: Private railcars:

It's kind of a historical accident that PV (private varnish, from the days of railroad passenger cars being made of highly varnished wood) ownership is having a mini-resurgence: When Amtrak was created on May 1, 1971, it inherited almost all the passenger rail cars in the United States. Railroads saw this as a good tax dodge, and dragged out almost everything on the roster to transfer over to the newly created corporation. It quickly became clear that Amtrak had scads of railcars in excess of their needs. It didn't take long for them to realize that since each railroad's passenger cars weren't plug-compatible with each other , they needed to get rid of all the aging, maintenance-deferred rolling stock in favor of modern, uniformly interoperable cars. As new cars came on line, and some of the inherited rolling stock was rebuilt to conform to the new standards (480v 3 phase electical power, etc) all the old equipment was auctioned off in a series of auctions that lasted about 5 or 10 years.

Some old coaches were going for as little as $1000, and nicer Pullmans and observation cars would sometimes pull upwards of $10,000. Of course, they required inspections and conversions before being allowed to operate on Amtrak trains, and that cost a lot of money. I bid, in the 1982 auction, IIRC, on a Pullman 10-6 sleeper car for 5 grand. I lost the bid, and the car I bid on back then I hear is now rolling on the American Orient Express.
posted by pjern at 12:28 PM on April 15, 2008


I got a little curious about the fate of the car I bid on after writing the above post, so I went looking. I found it.
posted by pjern at 12:41 PM on April 15, 2008


I like the MetaFilter podcast. I think I would like it lots more (love it, even) if the audio levels weren't all over the place.

Can I has compressor?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:13 PM on April 15, 2008


I felt like we finally got my levels right, but my voice is up and down a lot and mathowie speaks a little more softly and at one general level. We may need to bring up his voice a little, but otherwise the levels seem okay. What specifically are you objecting to?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:36 PM on April 15, 2008


Wow, there are 39 users with "pink" in the name.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:36 PM on April 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


i'm a star.
posted by drpartypoopercrankypantsesquire at 2:39 PM on April 15, 2008


On railcars: There's a bed and breakfast in Sequim, WA where all the rooms are cabooses (and breakfast is served in a dining car). We stayed in one of them over Labor Day weekend last year, and I got to talking to the owner about the cabooses. His ultimate goal is to have 8 (he has 6 now), but as the project has gone on cabooses have become more and more expensive. One he wanted to get eventually went at auction for $55K. His first one cost something like $12K to purchase and truck out to the peninsula.

If you ever get the chance and you're a train/nostalgia sort and you're going to the Olympic Peninsula, it's definitely worth a stay.
posted by dw at 2:55 PM on April 15, 2008


I especially liked jessamyn's idea of traveling to town on a hand-pumped car on the railroad, although mathowie had no reaction to it.

pix plz
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:59 PM on April 15, 2008


What specifically are you objecting to?

Not "objecting to" so much as whining about. No biggie, really.

Anyway. There's usually a lot of trailing off and YELLING, which leaves listeners three options: Turn the volume down, sacrificing the quieter bits; turn it up, sacrificing ears; constantly adjust the volume manually.

This minor inconvenience can be avoided by simply compressing or limiting the audio in the sound editing freeware of your choice.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:11 PM on April 15, 2008


Pants? Pssshh. Everyone knows the hats are where its at.
posted by SassHat at 5:27 PM on April 15, 2008


You guys are getting pretty good at this podcasting thing. It sounds more like listening to an NPR produced show about MeFi than the early simple shows, which were also lots of fun. They just seem more professional now. I also really like that you now put links to the threads being discussed into the MeTa announcement, although I am usually far from an internet connection when I listen, doing laundry, waiting for my kids at tennis, fishing etc. Anyway, it lets me know what to expect, and makes it easy later to catch something cool I missed earlier. It may seem like I am always on MeFi, but I miss more than half of the threads it seems, especially in AskMe which just has tons and tons of threads. Anyway, great show.
posted by caddis at 6:55 PM on April 15, 2008


I especially liked jessamyn's idea of traveling to town on a hand-pumped car on the railroad, although mathowie had no reaction to it.

If that strikes your fancy then check out Buster Keaton in Railrodder. The car is not hand pumped, but it sure isn't the Orient Express either, and it's trans-Canada.
posted by caddis at 7:27 PM on April 15, 2008


What the podcast needs is a trip through the Levelator.
posted by kindall at 8:40 PM on April 15, 2008


kindall, sys rq: You could pull out a specifically problematic part, run it through the Levelator, & post it to Music. I might do this the next time I listen & remember to note times...
posted by Pronoiac at 1:08 AM on April 16, 2008


This was the first MeFi podcast I've heard, and I liked it. jessamyn writes like she talks. Is cortex ever a participant? Or pb?
posted by Locative at 3:07 AM on April 16, 2008


Pants? Pssshh. Everyone knows the hats are where its at.

Tell it, sister!

Is cortex ever a participant?

Yes, as are others. I tend to like the podcasts better when there are more than two participants, but that's just me.
posted by languagehat at 8:38 AM on April 16, 2008


Oh, my. I listened to two podcasts last night for the first time and am in LOVE with them. It's kind of like listening to a weekly sports recap.
posted by Stewriffic at 11:09 AM on April 16, 2008


I broke my pod, so the doctor put a cast on it. It itches like holy hell, and I can't scratch it.

Oh, what? It's something different? And how would you know anything about my pod? Have you been peeking in the spaceship?

Great, now I've said too much.
Please stare into this red light. Thank you.
posted by not_on_display at 3:51 PM on April 16, 2008


If I'd known this would happen, I would written those songs with more MeFi threaded in-jokes. Damn.
posted by kingbenny at 8:53 AM on April 17, 2008


Would HAVE written. Crap.
posted by kingbenny at 8:53 AM on April 17, 2008


I just wanted to say that Jessamyn's vocal tic (Blah!) reminds me of my sister and therefore makes the whole podcast feel like one of my family's dinner table conversations.

Now pass the beans.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 1:42 PM on April 17, 2008


Bad URLS: previously. Lots of great examples. I'm reminded of Arrested Development's combination of analyst & therapist...

I ran Levellator on the whole thing. Here's the mp3. The original levels looked like this. I could put, say, the original on the left, levellated on the right, but I thought that might be less popular. (I do that sort of thing a lot when I edit audio, but then, I'm admittedly weird.)
posted by Pronoiac at 10:23 PM on April 17, 2008


The Levelator seems to do a bit of a number on the music (or maybe it's just the MP3 recompression). Maybe Levelate the talking before merging in the music...
posted by kindall at 9:58 PM on April 18, 2008


Another vote for fixing the volume. I listen during my commute, and some parts are so faint (even with the volume red-lined) that I just can't hear what you're saying.

My sister used to work at Donn's Depot in Austin, which is basically made out of rail cars and a station house. Definitely worth a trip.

Donn once ejected me from the premises for peein' in the caboose, as it's for ladies only. Sorry, Donn.
posted by popechunk at 5:55 PM on April 25, 2008


popechunk: Could you try the levellated version? I'm curious if it's helpful or not.

kendall: Yup. I'd typically presume the musicians could manage their volumes, & re-encoding the modified mp3 definitely introduces artifacts. Selectively applying the Levellator would be better, but I didn't feel like busting out an audio editor yet.

Other possible annoyances of Levellator:
* Noise floors - the background hiss might get amplified, during quiet parts. A noise gate might help with this.
* An almost constant loudness might be tiring.

posted by Pronoiac at 11:50 AM on April 26, 2008


er, kindall, that is.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:58 AM on April 26, 2008


I totally cosign the request for a dramatic reading by cortex of YouTube comments.

Matt's impression of a "censored" Google user is pretty good.
posted by Tehanu at 1:52 PM on April 28, 2008


BTW, the 'wheels on the rails' thing is called HyRail..

full disclosure: I have an unhealthy fascination concerning the post-apolcalyptic use of rails, including rail cars
posted by eclectist at 11:41 PM on May 1, 2008


Matt saying 'Molestation Nursery' was a treat.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:04 PM on May 4, 2008


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