106: I Cleaned Out The Bathroom Closet
 transcript  July 3, 2015 6:40 AM   Subscribe

It's episode 106 of the Metafilter podcast, with me and jessamyn and mathowie. We talk about interesting stuff on the site from June 3 through June 30, and chatter a bit about my summer in Huntsville, the problem of putting doing anything off because you don't want to think about doing everything, and why Matt's always turning into a goddam robot. This episode runs just under a couple hours.

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106 is both a centered pentagonal number and a centered heptagonal number


Assistant Director of Alumni Advancement in the other Portland

Curriculum Coordinator in Amherst, MA


The Corey Press, occultified woodcuts by robocop is bleeding

a twitterbot roundup from NoraReed

Grocery Gawker by veggieboy

Channing Tatum text adventure by nerdfish (Channing is dreamy)

twitter bot that awards medals on demand, by Jonathan Harford

(At this point, Matt departs briefly to help out his family with a forgotten-bike-lock situation. And then:)


EQUAL MARRIAGE UNDER LAW megathread following SCOTUS decision

License plates the Massachusetts Register of Motor Vehicles won't let you have

Leap second heralds end of world (spoiler: world doesn't end)

Interactive Hallucinating AI Nightmarescape Twitch Stream (see also melting squirrels et al)

Hacking Chutes and Ladders

Kingsley the Mascot is the best sports mascot of all time (though the Phillie Phanatic is still pretty weird; further mascotry)

Protecting your finances from your aging self

Huge thread about the Charleston/Emanuel AME shooting

Mefites tackle a lightswitch logic puzzle and also something about dragons

St. Peter's Fiesta, complete with 45 foot greased pole climb

Ask Metafilter

Did my boyfriend just get married

How to prep for a VIP visit

Nerd hobbies to get you out of the house

Best podcast recs

Purchases worth every penny

What did it cost to set up an 8-line BBS in the 80s?

High-speed trains vs. America?

St. Louis Public Library centennial (see also: Walker Library paper monster)


Boston Jig by usonian

Launching into OuterSparse by AxelT

Accidents by arxeef


Available wedding officiants checking in

elgito's fantastic Infodump data analysis infographics
posted by cortex (staff) to MeFi Podcast at 6:40 AM (33 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Neat-o. First time that a FPP of mine is discussed. Going to listen to the whole podcast today!
posted by growabrain at 6:46 AM on July 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

Stupidly excited that very soon I will have real broadband for the first time in 10 years, and I can listen to these rather waiting for the transcripts.
posted by terrapin at 9:47 AM on July 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

The first person to upload a song to MeFiMu sampling Cortex saying "scrollverdose" wins.
posted by greenish at 10:03 AM on July 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Cortex? In your state? It's more likely than you think.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:05 PM on July 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have to say that the different temperature scales are one of the most frequent points of confusion and conversation I have with Americans.
posted by nubs at 2:11 PM on July 3, 2015

Maybe I should cross-post my Maron podcast link of the show where he and his producer talk about everything that went in to having the President visit his garage to that AskMe thread. Or maybe it's already been posted there.
posted by hippybear at 4:47 PM on July 3, 2015

There's no link to the "nerd hobby that gets me out of the house" that Jessamyn mentions.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on July 3, 2015

Oops. I'm an idiot. Sorry.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on July 3, 2015

I eat cream cheese by the slice.
posted by michaelh at 8:03 PM on July 3, 2015

I want to distribute local coffee to the mods now.
posted by boo_radley at 8:25 AM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

And ohhhh yeah, thanks for pointing out that bbs question. I used to work for a bbs software company here in Denver and I should probably chime in on that.
posted by boo_radley at 10:55 AM on July 4, 2015

I started the transcript, including surprise squirrels.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:16 PM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is going to sound awfully dissing-the-thing-lovingly-given churlish, but: this one was long, rambly, and spent an awful lot of time talking about things other than MetaFilter.

I know the podcast is basically three-friends-shooting-the-shit, but it feels to me that it used to be more strongly focused on "three friends shooting the shit about a bunch of stuff happening on MeFi." Maybe because all three friends were active mods and so deeply immersed in the daily ebb and flow of the site? One of you would mention a post and the other two would immediately know what it was about and jump in with a "yeah, that was great because..." That happens a lot less now, and I miss it.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:54 PM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

One of the things that changed besides the fact that Matt and I both don't work at MeFi anymore, is that cortex is doing all the editing (I think) So in the past Matt would be a little more restrictive cutting out some of our blabity bla just to keep the podcast to a manageable length and now that's not happening quite so much.

But also, yeah, there's a sense that while I think cortex and I are still on the site a lot, mathowie has been working more at Slack which means less time on MeFi but also more time doing other stuff. So this month there was a lot of Other Stuff going on (Josh's road trip and living in Alabama, mathowie is actively On Vacation Right Now, I was in MA and not VT and I'd just gotten back from a trip to Maine) and there was also a Lot of Site Drama that we didn't talk about because that's not really how the podcast works.

So yeah I don't think you're wrong, the podcasts are getting a little long to me (and I'm one of those "eat your own dog food" people who listens to any podcast I'm on) and we should probably try to stay a bit more focused.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:53 PM on July 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

I am all for well-editied podcasts -- or, let's be honest, podcasts which are edited at all -- so go for it, on the off chance that you have the spare time.

But I must ask: if you tighten things up, can I still say "WHAT HO, MODS!"?
posted by wenestvedt at 7:59 PM on July 4, 2015

That AskMe. Wow. Wow. Great job, AskMefites.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:05 PM on July 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

*adds ''The 'Hello World' of jokey, generative Twitter bots.'' to @likeuberbut's profile*
posted by NoraReed at 5:23 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Working on the t-shirt options. My home experiments have been... unique.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:08 PM on July 6, 2015

To take the opposite stance of We had a deal, Kyle I'm loving the podcasts more than ever recently. So enjoyable to listen to and I get some great posts I had missed from the previous months too.

Also, would totally listen to Matt-afilter.
posted by jourman2 at 6:46 PM on July 6, 2015

I was walking home while listening to Matt-afilter and I thought there were fireworks going off in the distance somewhere. But no, somebody was breathing into their microphone.

Long or not, I enjoyed the podcast! And I allllmost got mentioned twice! (The other AI hallucination post and the other uberbot.)
posted by moonmilk at 7:22 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I would love to learn to make a Twitterbot. I have lots of ideas.

The Philly Phanatic: I used to live in Philly and after a few months of going to games, I turned to some of my Philly-native friends and asked "what is he supposed to be?" Nobody had an answer, really. The best take on it was "sort of a beer-bellied South Philly slob kind of guy as if he were a monster with a horn nose..."

Thanks for the greasy pole shout-out! I totally recommend it as a spectacle to go see if you're ever in the area during that festival.
posted by Miko at 8:51 PM on July 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've been compiling a lot of cool bots made with Cheap Bots Done Quick and am gonna put together a post on making bots with it and cool bots other people have made with it once I get some more.
posted by NoraReed at 9:02 PM on July 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

A friendly reminder to Team Mod: you might want to add this podcast to the sidebar.
posted by zarq at 12:04 AM on July 8, 2015

NoraReed, my Walter Sobchak Bot was made with Cheap Bots Done Quick, although it only dumb-regurgitates from a set of a few hundred canned lines, it doesn't, like, cleverly remix anything or anything. FWIW!
posted by churl at 2:56 PM on July 8, 2015

A friendly reminder to Team Mod: you might want to add this podcast to the sidebar.

Oh balls, I thought I had. We'll get it up, for sure.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:59 PM on July 8, 2015

No worries. No pressure. :)
posted by zarq at 6:37 PM on July 8, 2015

MetaFilter: Thanks for the greasy pole shout-out!
posted by hippybear at 1:59 AM on July 9, 2015

Just got listening to it. I like the blabity bla! But then I am interested in people a nosy person who loves to listen to people talking to their friends like on the bus or something. I thought it was fun, especially with cortex being on such puntastic form. You just can't pay for that kind of comedy gold...
posted by billiebee at 2:51 PM on July 12, 2015

Having thankfully gotten through the little kid games, you need to remember that there can't be a whole lot of challenge in kid board games because they all have very simple goals and usually no more than these:
  • Take turns
  • Follow simple rules
Candyland is a horrible game from an adult point of view, but it is a gateway board game because it has the general layout and feel of a board game but without dice or counting. You find it boring as an adult because the very moment that the deck has been shuffled, the game has already determined the winner. But when your child starts to learn how to take turns, then they can move onto games that are not just non-deterministic, but take simple strategy like "Sorry!" or "Uno" or "Connect 4" (which is a definite step up from tic-tac-toe: when I play that with my son, I ask him ahead of time if he wants me to play at my best or not and adjust my slider accordingly). War is less deterministic because it involves shuffling when your deck goes low. When I was a kid, I remember playing War with multiple decks.

At this point the list becomes:
  • Take turns
  • Follow simple rules
  • Plan/Plot
  • Be gracious
When the Plan/Plot comes on line, then you can start playing games like Forbidden Island which is co-op. Watching my 8 year old play this is a joy because he will plan 4 moves ahead. If you want to improve on the whole "simple rules", you can look at Aquarius or the various Fluxx games (there is a slightly less complicated version called Family Fluxx) wherein the rules change frequently during game play.

In our house it's a little more complicated because we want to include my daughter in the games, but she's cognitively delayed and we either have an adult playing with her or limit the game to one where she can follow the rules. With her, we might play Zombie Dice or Frog Juice or Sleeping Queens or Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule. I will also note that Zombie Dice is a decent step up because as a parent it's pretty easy to keep the game close by making poor choices and pretending to be a gambler.

Munchkin and Castle Panic would work great for my son, but not for my daughter without a lot of help.

tl;dr - the crappy kid games exist and are successful for a reason: they teach simple social interactions that are within the grasp of the young, but investing the time in those games sets a pattern for later game play that actually gets fun for adults too.
posted by plinth at 8:04 AM on July 14, 2015 [5 favorites]

I cannot wait to have a ringtone made of Jessamyn's forced-laugh response to Josh's "oh-fish-al mascot" joke and play it in front of Patti LuPone onstage.

posted by psoas at 2:20 PM on July 16, 2015

I don't know how anyone tolerates me, most of all cortex.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:29 PM on July 16, 2015

The way I figure it, the nice thing about adulthood is you get to move out of your parents' house and start deciding for yourself whose shit you do and don't want to put up with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:40 PM on July 16, 2015

I was walking home while listening to Matt-afilter and I thought there were fireworks going off in the distance somewhere. But no, somebody was breathing into their microphone.

I thought it was thunder at first, then traced it to jessamyn's heavy breathing. I figured she was having Deep Thoughts whilst the boys were babbling.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:08 AM on July 27, 2015

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