178: Leisure Suit Larry's, Uh, Pixels November 10, 2021 9:38 AM   Subscribe

We got a rootin' tootin' podcast here. Darn tootin'. Can you both rootin'- and darn'- something that's tootin' in the same paragraph like this? I don't know. I really don't know. I might be going to podcast jail. Before that happens, though, here's me and jessamyn chattering about MetaFilter, the nature of daylight, representation vs. allusion in crappy old Sierra erotic comedy adventures, MetaFilter, the concept of (for some reason) No Nut November, "Meta", and who knows what else because we're both still getting used to the time change. It runs exactly, precisely, to the second 90 minutes.

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- Jessamyn is a bee
- I got a tattoo and literally everyone guessed right
- remember, remember, the No Nut November, the Poe's Law'd Sienfeldian plot
- Jess recently enjoyed reading Finna
- I recently enjoyed rereading Dune, I don't have a link or anything, I just did is all
- also Sierpinski Triangles
- okay, on review I totally recognize that yodel breakdown in Focus' Hocus Pocus

- Property project management and maintenance by Barbara Spitzer
- Drop off a document at the PA Secretary of State in Harrisburg by Sheydem-tants

- The Worst House On The Internet by missjenny (MeFi Post)
- Are You a Clickbait Genius? by malevolent
- Saturday Afternoon Ikea Trip Simulator by dng (MeFi Post)
- Mini-Project: Convert exported Metafilter comments to HTML, JSON, or MBOX by Kadin2048
- Mystic Paths - A new word board game! by meinvt

- anyone who enjoys wild birds is a birder! birding is for everyone! by jessamyn
- Aspirational rhetorical loquaciousness by simmering octagon
- The United States Postal Service: "Non oficialis motto!" by not_on_display
- Uh oh by Cookiebastard
- Fractal vise by clawsoon
- Welp, there goes my evening ... by dancestoblue
- Off, dud, over, under, upon, hot, ono, oof, hi, lo, etc. by tss

Ask MetaFilter
- help me find more podcasts by jessamyn
- HBTY HBTY HBD* HBTY by QuakerMel
- How fast/reliable is TSA's lost and found? by LSK
- What's a good name for an office can crusher? by box
- Programming/computer science/IT terms that refer to obsolete tech? by potrzebie
- Burying ethernet cable (or wireless??) by wenestvedt
- I want to learn art by Brittanie
- Donated to take a campaign over its goal. Goal changed afterwards. wtf? by scruss
- Have Jazz Hands, Will Jazzercize by meese

- MeFi Mall 2021 by hippybear
- MetaFilter Gift Swap 2021 Signups by curious nu
- MeFi Holiday Card Exchange by needlegrrl
- NaNoWriMo 2021 by womb of things to be and tomb of things that were
- Roll, Truck, Roll by lauranesson
posted by cortex (staff) to MeFi Podcast at 9:38 AM (24 comments total)

... I hate to say this but I’m here to listen to cortex and Jessamyn talk about nnn... it is what it is brb
posted by one4themoment at 4:25 PM on November 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

For jessamyn and anyone else who isn't an oldster goofball weirdo: Potrzebie
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:01 PM on November 10, 2021 [3 favorites]

I knew it from there but it didn't occur to me until just Friday that I'd been saying it wrong all this time. I always thought it was Potz-REE-bee.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:35 PM on November 10, 2021

re: books of printed numbers: I feel like there was definitely an industry of this. Not just random numbers! I think probabilities (z-tables), and lots of engineering-related fields (thermodynamics for fluids at different heats & pressures). Anything that's really obnoxious to calculate by hand before digital calculators. This is probably a good AskMe...

Also have been in a place of "I walked through all my podcasts" these days so appreciated the "what next?? challenge: I don't like your favorites" question.
posted by curious nu at 8:00 PM on November 10, 2021 [2 favorites]

"I walked through all my podcasts"

To the tune of Walking in Memphis?
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:25 PM on November 10, 2021

re: re: books of printed numbers: definitely a thing including mathematical things like trigonometric functions and logarithms. I'm not that old and my high school math books still had pages of logarithms printed in the back. Either scientific calculators were still kind of spendy and not every kid had them but also calculators were typically forbidden in math and science classes where I was. (Which I'm guessing is no longer a thing.)
posted by sevenless at 9:31 AM on November 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

Logarithms! I knew there was something I was forgetting. Yes, we had charts of these in math texts, and I remember instructors talking about full books of them.

Which I'm guessing is no longer a thing

Yeah, once you're into algebra, calculators are often required, typically a $100+ graphing calculator. And even a basic $20 TI or Casio have a base-10, base-x, and natural log button all ready to go.
posted by curious nu at 10:12 AM on November 11, 2021

I was somehow thrown for too much of a loop thinking about specifically random numbers in book form to dig in on the more systematic tables of numbers, yeah. I don't think I ever had to use a book like that, but I had math teachers old enough to talk about growing up using them and at least one who very specifically and fervently wanted us to appreciate the niche that slide rules once occupied and why they were such a killer tool prior to digital calculators.

It's interesting texture to the whole march of history of calculation that long, long before calculators displaced these manual tools, the earliest mechanical computing machines were essentially for printing the manual stuff out in the first place so all the table calculation didn't have to be redone manually each time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:44 AM on November 11, 2021

I used those books as a kid. Dad was an engineer at a steel fabrication plant and I remember playing (then) programming his ancient HP calculator.... but I'd go into work with him on the weekends and along with slide-rules were all the books of numbers tables. They had used them only a few years before. Get your numbers, take note of the decimal place, look up the numbers and add what you find, take that and look it up to go back to find the answer, put the decimal point in the right place and BAM the answer to five significant places. Logs natural and base 10, sin, cos, tan, degrees, rads.... back and forth you go flipping pages and table hunting numbers. Quite fun.
posted by zengargoyle at 12:10 PM on November 11, 2021

I designed and typeset a table of logarithms, basically because I could and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm also working on recreating the machine that generated RAND Corp's mighty A Million Random Digits statistical tables, but for now I'm sticking with a TTL near-analogue because finding the right tube-based noise maker from 1947 would bankrupt me.

The mightiest book of tables of all are the giant Steam Tables that every thermal power plant operator I've met keeps on a shelf in their office. Steam is a messy and illogical substance, and before computer models and spreadsheets, steam tables and lots of hand calcs were the only game in town.
posted by scruss at 12:58 PM on November 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

I have a book of logarithms, published in Dutch, not that it matters. It was my fathers, though he threw it out in about 1979 and I have kept it since for reasons unknown. Makes me think it should become the inexplicable part of my secret beans package this year. Hm.
posted by maxwelton at 6:01 PM on November 11, 2021

Q: What's a logarithm?

A: Birth control for lumberjacks.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:45 PM on November 11, 2021

A bee and a frog! Perfect pairing.

Excellent timing, I am currently recovering from the flu shot trying not to get a migraine so a podcast is perfect, and yours is one of the few I can listen to without feeling I should be doing some at the same time.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:42 AM on November 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

is this where i say i didn't know metafilter's own professional white background proponent anil dash co-created NFTs because of tumblr
posted by fleacircus at 12:01 PM on November 12, 2021

Also a note on weird accidents of timing: I'm basically glad this got recorded before the lowtax obit news because I have no idea what I would have had to say about that but probably would have felt compelled to try and find out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:02 PM on November 12, 2021

Also I think it was during this recording that I was struggling with the phrase "comfort blanket"? Security blanket, is what.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:30 PM on November 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

"Security blanket" is just a comfort blanket with +4 damage against anxiety.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:37 PM on November 12, 2021

A weight-of-long-known-comforts-ed blanket, basically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:07 PM on November 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

long-known-comforts-Ed is a statistical outlier, and should not have been counted.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:18 PM on November 12, 2021 [2 favorites]

I don't care if that doesn't get a single favorite, I made myself laugh
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:20 PM on November 12, 2021 [1 favorite]

Also in the same category of books are tables of integrals, expansions of common functions, differential equations, that sort of thing. Whole books that are just tens of thousands of solved equations. Even in college at the turn of the century, when most of us had graphing calculators that could do numerical integration in exams, they were really useful. They still are, occasionally. But, by my time, the encyclopedia-sized volumes of ephemeris tables (used for figuring out where objects in the sky will be at a given time) were only ever used as monitor stands.

In other random podcast response chatter: I found a copy of a Leisure Suit Larry game in a dumpster when I was an early teenager without a modem. I played through the whole damned thing, always hoping it was leading up to something more explicit. I was disappointed. It makes me wonder who their audience actually was, if it wasn't me.

I like the idea of tattoos, especially paired ones. But, I've never trusted that I'll continue to care about anything long enough to not regret it. The two geeky ones among my friends that I find delightful are an inch-wide band around the wrist with the solar spectrum and the distance to pulsar map from the Pioneer and Voyager plates.
posted by eotvos at 1:00 PM on November 13, 2021

I don't know if the listener statistics are being updated, but I've listened to every episode since the podcast started. So you have at least 16 😉
posted by jazon at 6:18 PM on November 13, 2021 [2 favorites]

I listen! So 17!

I am also tickled PINK that the pixelly dicks cartoony graffiti junk project featured in the podcast. You have time - it’s the warp after next.
posted by janell at 9:19 PM on November 15, 2021 [1 favorite]

It occurs to me that I may not have said your name in the podcast, janell, despite you being extremely on record as local mefite loom friend in past discussions. There's a part of my brain that defaults to "don't disclose details about people" that is probably a good default to have but kicks in unnecessarily sometimes.

Anyway, the dick loom thing is janell's.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:54 AM on November 16, 2021 [1 favorite]

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