94: Incremental RPGs
 transcript  July 8, 2014 5:53 PM   Subscribe

This episode of the podcast was recorded on July 7th and features Jessamyn, cortex, and me going through the best of the last 30 days of the site, and the whole thing runs about 1hr 35min long.


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94 is a Smith Number

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Build me a new wood base for my bike's rack

Copy Editor for Fiction

Buy me a Penguin Doll in a sweater sold on an island off the coast of Melbourne

MeFi Projects

Stained Glass building time-lapse by yesster

2014 US Open National Soaring Contest blog by tss

Ignoranti Podcast by MrMustard (reminded me of Like I'm an Idiot)

Regret Labs Science Podcast by a47danger

Globe Trot: 50 dancers in 23 countries around the world by Mitchla (was posted to MeFi)

World of Objects - found photos in eBay/Craigslist listings out of context by kingfelix

@godtributes - twitter bot by ignignokt

MeFi Posts

Paper Airplane toss at a World Cup Friendly #waitforit

JulybyWomen project

Pangram Tweets, a bot that finds every tweet with every letter of the alphabet in it (example: SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT THE “FRIENDZONE”. MAYBE YOU SHOULD JUST VALUE A WOMAN’S FRIENDSHIP AND QUIT EXPECTING THEM TO FUCK YOU. JESUS FUCK.)

e-book backup (scans of a kindle bound as a book, how to write in different fonts, newscasters staring, iPhone 1 case for the iPhone 5, his about page)

Watch every lightning strike in North America in real-time

The Articulatory IPA: MRIs/xrays/surgical video of people pronouncing difficult sounds

This is Phil Fish: a case study in internet celebrity

The TV Show Community is getting another season

Space Lich Omega, an incremental RPG

The history of Entertainment Weekly, from the beginning to the present

Visualizing Algorithms demonstrates how they work with Math and lots of cool demos (escabeche's book on Math, and tour stop, photo)

149 acetate recordings of Bob Dylan found and archived for prosperity

Roko's Basilisk (WWW: Wonder, citation NOT needed)

The history of the Calvin Peeing sticker

Ask MetaFilter questions

Help me un-peanut butter-ify my breakfast?

What are some interesting things about Microsoft Excel? (excel games)

What other examples of hip new lingo are found in very old works?

Help a non-coffee drinker buy a coffee maker?

How do they issue parking tickets so quickly after time runs out?

Suggest good groupings of movies worth watching (example: Wikipedia list of films by common content)

Recommend some non-violent TV

How do you blog anonymously without being identified?

Library books (and e-books) vs. physical copies of books for kids

Help us identify intermittent allergic reactions?

MetaTalk

Celebrate the 10th birthday of MeFi Music!

MeFi Music

You Might Remember When We Performed, For Example by ageispolis
posted by mathowie to MeFi Podcast at 5:53 PM (38 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

The Excel thing actually links to the peanut butter question.
posted by jgirl at 6:59 PM on July 8, 2014


Fixed!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:21 PM on July 8, 2014


TIMING!
posted by not_on_display at 8:19 PM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


This penguin?
posted by unliteral at 9:39 PM on July 8, 2014


Woo, I made the podcast!
posted by Small Dollar at 9:52 PM on July 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Making the podcast is better than coming in third in the Best Post Contest.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:38 PM on July 8, 2014


Woo, I made the podcast!


One day. One day!

/shakes fist impotently
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:32 PM on July 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Telephone Couch! I think I need one of those.
posted by ignignokt at 5:19 AM on July 9, 2014


Telephone Couch! I think I need one of those.

You can put it between your fainting couch and your dialect coach!

WHAT HO, MODS.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:26 AM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


*waits for the transcript*
posted by terrapin at 6:40 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


One day. One day! /shakes fist impotently

I'm a bit bummed that the My Little Pony Shower didn't make it myself, but I just take it as a sign of the calibre of the conversation around here.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:45 AM on July 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Your My Little Pony Shower will always be number 1 in my heart.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:19 AM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Vote #1 quidnunc kid for My Little Pony Showers for Everyone.
posted by Jahaza at 9:34 AM on July 9, 2014


As a hammock fan, I was especially pleased by the discussion of hammocks on the podcast this month. The world needs more hammocks.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:13 AM on July 9, 2014


And then yesterday I got myself a pretty righteous sunburn on my face and chest and belly by spending several hours reading in the hammock. IN THE SHADE. GODDAMMIT.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's because you dissed Smith, Cortex. Deep in her heart, the Sun is a Smithie.
posted by julen at 10:30 AM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh gosh a post I made was in the podcast. I feel like I leveled up! I have to say that I would not have made the post if it hadn't been for the JulyByWomen initiative. Thanks to viggorlijah for setting that up.

This is reading like a speech for the Academy and I feel like the orchestra is about to drown me out here so I'll just usher myself to stage right.
posted by sockermom at 1:43 PM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the baby well-wishes and the godtributes mention, mods! It always feels good to be mentioned in the podcast. I think a pretty good service for forgotten old people living in nursing homes would be a podcast that does nothing but mention them and things they've done recently.

There actually are non-Dunkin donuts in New England! Jessamyn, if you find yourself with free time in the Cambridge/Somerville zone, there's Verna's in North Cambridge and Union Square Donuts in Union Square. (Warning: USD has the bonkers price of $3/donut.)
posted by ignignokt at 3:28 PM on July 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn, is there really a "Women's Guide to Calculus"???
posted by escabeche at 5:21 PM on July 9, 2014


The transcript is open!
posted by Pronoiac at 6:37 PM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oooh I'm sooo glad you referenced the How Not To Be Wrong book! I picked that up in the store a few weeks ago and totally had no clue it was written by a mefite until this post!
posted by odinsdream at 6:49 PM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


ignignokt: There actually are non-Dunkin donuts in New England!

[Citation needed]
posted by wenestvedt at 7:37 PM on July 9, 2014


jessamyn: And the phone number is 493-7775, and the guy just happens to know that that's three times five time five times sixty-five thousand, eight hundred and thirty seven?! No one knows that! Who knows that?

65,837 is one of only five currently known Fermat primes, or primes of the form 22n + 1, so it's not quite as improbable as it seems that Wilansky would have recognized the number as a prime after dividing out all of the straightforwardly recognizable threes and fives. (That's not something I knew off the top of my head, but after hearing the number it sounded close to a power of 2 and I figured it was probably either a Mersenne prime (primes of the form 2n - 1) or a Fermat prime.)

Also I keep hearing about how good How Not To Be Wrong is from lots of people and hope to get around to properly picking it up at some point!
posted by beryllium at 7:47 PM on July 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Or, actually, no, I am terribly wrong, the Fermat prime is 65,537 and this is with an 8.... so never mind that hypothesis! Clearly I need to stop commenting until I've read escabeche's book. :)
posted by beryllium at 8:04 PM on July 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn, is there really a "Women's Guide to Calculus"???

Not strictly titled that, no. This is the book that I read which might have well have been called that. It really tries to make calculus accessible and interesting, but most of her examples were ones where decent averaging would mostly have answered the actual real-world questions she was posing and there was a bit too much referring to her husband, the real math-smart guy for my tastes. I'm sure she's a lovely person but I didn't need this sort of encouragement, though maybe other people did?

Also how do you pronounce escabeche? Is it Basque?
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:54 PM on July 9, 2014


So I pronounce it as if it were a Spanish word: "es-ca-beh-cheh" but I think it's more a Portuguese/Brazilian dish than a Spanish one and apparently I'm saying it wrong from that point of view. On the other hand, it's my username and I pronounce it how I like to.
posted by escabeche at 9:34 PM on July 9, 2014


it's my username and I pronounce it how I like to

That was my favorite Supremes song from the 1960s. They were so ahead of their time.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:05 AM on July 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


Lesley Gore surely?
posted by escabeche at 12:57 PM on July 10, 2014


I felt like Jessamyn was extra sassy this time. It may have been confirmation bias but I lol'd anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 2:05 PM on July 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


"full of beans" my mother might have said.

Also I am reading a better math book now.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:48 PM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


And the phone number is 493-7775, and the guy just happens to know that that's three times five time five times sixty-five thousand, eight hundred and thirty seven?! No one knows that! Who knows that?

I went to school with a guy who would ask you your phone number so he could factor it. He was pretty weird. I hope the world has found a safe place for him.
posted by maryr at 8:46 AM on July 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


He's probably a Mefite
posted by wheelieman at 10:48 AM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I went to school with a guy who would ask you your phone number so he could factor it.

If that was seriously the weirdest person you met at MIT then you must not have gotten out much, I think.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:21 PM on July 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Rumor had it that dude also used to hide under the covers in other people's beds and then jump out to scare them. So bonus points there.
posted by maryr at 12:40 PM on July 11, 2014


I've only just seen that Ignoranti gets a mention in this. Thanks for that. I should point out though, that jessamyn didn't actually speak to me, but to my friend, Rohan. I'm the co-host on the show and thus far have been limited to helping to introduce the guests and appearing in the promo videos (which have now mercifully dropped off the front page). Anyway, just to say that the jessamyn interview is now up here.
posted by MrMustard at 12:52 AM on July 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Ah, my bad, I didn't see any name stuff in your profile and just jumped to conclusions. I was really happy with how that interview came out.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:27 AM on July 16, 2014


Always late to the party.

With regards to calculus, I think the real issue with Calculus is that the standard mechanism for how it's taught is through limits and ε-δ proofs.

It's like "hey, let's take an abstract notion of math and approach it from an abstract mechanism."

The problem being that abstraction necessary for calculus sometimes doesn't develop until 10-20 (and later in men than women).

I had a lot of trouble with Calculus in high school, but when they finally got to real-world applications of Calculus including ballistics and min-max problems, I was rocking that. I loved min-max problems (idea: minimize the use of one resource while maximizing the output. for example: design a box with the maximum volume that uses no more than a particular area of cardboard).

And then I resented how long it took to get to the meat of the course.

When I got to college, I retook the course and was excited that it used the same text book. Until I found out that it was a different edition with fewer examples and worse explanations.

Always hated the explanations of integration by substitution - there seemed to be this huge gap between "here's a seemingly intractable integral" and "we just replaced this hairy expression with u du and Folger's crystals." When I finally had someone take that slowly (and this case he used a stick figure instead of u) it hit me that this was backwards macro substitution - all I had to do was figure out what the right #define was to make the whole mess more tractable.
posted by plinth at 10:36 AM on July 18, 2014


When in the Worcester, MA area, try Donut Cafe.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:21 AM on August 5, 2014


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