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Topic Lords


Every week, Jim invites different friends to guest on Topic Lords and be excited about whatever they've been fixated on this week.


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Every week, Jim invites different friends to guest on Topic Lords and be excited about whatever they've been fixated on this week.




226. Ilk-Action Lawsuit

Lords: * Ryan * Alexander Topics: * Getting so agitated that you cook dinner * What's an acquired taste that's worth acquiring? What's one that's not worth the effort? What's the point of even "acquiring" a taste for anything when there are probably infinite options you don't have to teach yourself to enjoy? * Texturally enhanced alternative beverage * Bagme Bloma * Microtopics: * How the science gets done. * Measuring the height of a flagpole by measuring its shadow. * Using calculus to find the surface area of a potato. * Measuring and re-measuring until you get the result you want. * Confronting your professor about their involvement in Frog Fractions 2. * Country and Western music fused with synth heavy prog rock. * Using the gun to parallel park. * That time Ryan died while recording Topic Lords. * Getting so agitated that you do some differential equations. * New guy just dropped: guy who whenever he thinks about death he has to make a sandwich. * The first step towards rejecting a task: assessing the task. * Today is a good day to fill your Prius with snakes. * The Raccoon Prius story. * Hilarious mothers. * The inside of a Prius: nothing but corners. * Officer, it's not what you think. No, not that either. * Putting the AC on so the python in the back seat gets sluggish. * Getting a fork and spoon and twirling up snakes like spaghetti. * A taste worth busting your ass for. * An oral history of tricking alcohol post your tongue. * An entire generation that has never had to work to enjoy things because there are so many things that are easy to enjoy. * Twelve year olds from Alabama calling you a cuck. * New ideas that you haven't been thinking of even without looking at your phone. * Hiking: it's just hard walking. * Getting so agitated that you developed a taste for hiking. * The guy in the Fred Meyer buying Reese's cups while wearing a tuxedo. * The Men's Wearhome. * The Men's Wearhouse employee who is not allowed to tell you that they don't have anything for fat people so he brings out less and less flattering outfits until you take the hint. * Orbitz. (The soft drink from 1996.) * A proto-boba. * Drinking a random test tube from a bioengineering lab. * What if everyone had a number floating above their heads that represented the number of times they had to drink Orbitz before they developed a taste for Orbitz and now that Orbitz is out of production everyone's number stays the same forever * Big Dick's Energy. * Flavor-blasted slushies. * The sense-horror of drinking an Orbitz. * Shelf-stable tapioca pearls. * A free-to-play game for your tongue. * Texturally subdued beverages. * Decaf Red Bull. * The hypothetical beverage enthusiast who wants a decaf Red Bull. * How to make Orbitz in your toilet. * How many Orbitz you have to drink to reach Nirvana. * eBay sellers insisting that you don't drink the thirty year old novelty beverage they're selling you. * Thinking a poem is a Middle Earth thing but it's actually a regular Earth thing. * Poetry that is alliterative rather than rhyming. * Making art by fucking around with a new medium. * Music in a foreign language. * What Simlish sounds like in different languages. * A quest to discover why they started dotting the letter Y. * Expecting scrolls in 3 to 5 days.


225. Showers: It's Wet In There

Lords: * CisHetKayfaber * BaseCase Topics: * Raising third cultural kids as a second cultural individual * Figuring out how to do creative projects that take longer than a weekend when you aren't getting paid for them. * Someone sent me money on Venmo and now I need to sign up for Venmo if I want to have the money * Farmyard Song * * * We've been subscribed to Universal Yums for over a year now, and the sweet snacks range from "unremarkable" to "unbelievably great" to "not my cup of tea but interesting", whereas the savory snacks are mostly bad. What's going on there? Microtopics: * Not being permitted to plug anything. * A unique situation in which you are gendered a lot less. * Australian Treat Arnott's Mint Slice. * Crossover of snacks from Australia to Japan. * Gentleman's agreements among cookie manufacturers. * Patenting your cookie recipe. * Touring school administrators. * Being friends with a lot of Coca Cola people. * Really enjoying multiculturalism. * Producing a good person. * Taking credit for the time your daughter didn't play Mario for six months. * Focusing on the aspects of the situation that you find meaningful. * What does and doesn't count as a childhood development milestone. * Being good at the work people are expecting you to do. * Doing worksheets outside. * What children report back from their experience at school. * Attempting to pirate the Montessori curriculum. * A really fun month. * Projects you can accomplish in a weekend. * Why you don't have more to show for all your free time. * Refusing to call someone stupid or lazy and having to figure out why they're actually failing. * Coping strategies to get things done. * Advice that is not helpful for neurodivergent people. * Breaking a task into subtasks and putting them on a schedule. * The first time you encountered the concept of a to-do list. * Brain tech. * Hammock time. (Or shower time.) * Showers: It's Wet In There. * Exultation of showers. * Watching someone start a hobby and immediately excel at it. * Finding a good community to learn how to do a thing. * Joining a discord with experts in many things. * Learning how to program and realizing that this makes you good at everything because programming is the hardest thing humans do. * Sending money to a phone number vs. sending money to an email address. * Canadians wishing each other money. * Nice things to do when you don't want to defraud people. * Opening a whole raft of phishing opportunities. * Visa getting a cut of every transaction that happens ever. * Whether every person in the world could live in Canada. * The Cocaine Mayor. * A traditional that is credited to Aaron Copeland. * Cats saying "fiddle-eye-fee." * Not being a raging misogynist but engaging in raging misogyny anyway. * The era when the onomatopoeia for a dog barking was "bow wow." * Onomatopoeia that is literal like "bang" vs. onomatopoeia that is more of a stretch like "shimmy shack shimmy shack." * Riffing on Aaron Copeland's sexuality. * Trying to shit enough to keep up with your toilet paper subscription. * A product built for people who have kids but do not have kids. * The mechanism by which the "Launch Frog Fractions 2" button launched Frog Fractions 2. * The great Loot Box crash of 2019. * Snacks that come with an instruction manual. * Ketchup flavored potato chips. * What you reach for when you're feeling snacky. * A potato chip palate that is just far too sophisticated. * Smoked ham potato chips. * Harry Potter jelly beans ruining snacks forever. * Only liking eating things that taste good. * This is bad, but is it bad in a new, interesting way? * The worst kind of bad. * Observing a terrible sprawling work and thinking "wow, you really did a thing here." * The recontextualization of earlier elements based on later knowledge. * Discord Lords. * Listening to ads because you have gloves...


224. Following A Garden Hose Around In The Dark

Lords: * Jason * * * Nathan * Mommy's Best Games Everywhere Topics: * When I paint my nails I don't paint my thumbnails. This is because I see my thumbnails all day long but I don't see my other fingernails nearly as often, and so every time I do I'm like "Whoa!!!!" * Jukebox griefing * Nintendo farmed out the development of Donkey Kong to an outside dev team, because they didn't have an in-house video game team yet. Donkey Kong was that team's first game. Their second game was Zaxxon. * Hypothetical explanations for the paradox * * Thinking about RGB color programming for games, then wondering about how the color actually happens on monitors. * Bach drew a loopy doodle at the top of the cover of his original manuscript of "The Well Tempered Clavier". It looks like he was just warming up his pen-hand, but scholars have been arguing for years that it contains secret codes about how to well-temper a clavier Microtopics: * Interactive Fiction Land. * Panoptikum Budapest. * Bumpy Grumpy's emotional arc. * Frantic Frank. * Men and male-presenting persons with painted nails. * Painting just one fingernail dark green and wondering whether that's a hankie code thing. * What's going on with my thumbs? * Your non-thumb fingernails. * Painting your nails and repeatedly rediscovering them. * Looking like an android. (But in a cool way.) * Forehead loaves. * Starting to pay attention to where your fingers are. * Why not to wear a magnetic nose stud. * Being old enough to remember when you had to walk up to the jukebox to queue up Beat It by Michael Jackson ten times in a row. * Getting into a jukebox griefing war with someone you've never met. * Walking up to the jukebox and typing in the binary code of the WAV file you want to play. * Binary data played back at audio rates. * The math describing Mario's jump arc. * Making the first racing video game and thinking "well that's racing games sorted." * Satoru Iwata's understanding of Mario's last name. * Mario: a weird little dude. * Drill Dozer. * How to run a video game business when games are sold on cassette tape for six pounds which is way too heavy for a video game. * Platformers where you go off the edge of the screen and end up on another screen and each screen has a name. * Inflation hypothesis and the youngness argument. * Earth is purposefully isolated. (Planetarium hypothesis.) * They are here undetected vs. they are here unacknowledged. * Arguing about a sexy robot. * Ironically Sexy Robots * The Fudd Paradox, by Ray Bradbury. * People who just want to toss salad and don't want to know about your weird slang. * Gender-expansive anthropomorphic rabbits. * Blank verse vs. free verse. * Burning Monkey Solitaire. * What your cat sees when he's swatting at Kratos. * How blue is blue? * Watching old episodes of Bob Ross and you can't follow along any more because they don't make Mummy Brown anymore. * The Opaque See-Through TV. * Seeing a see-through TV at CES and asking the guy at the booth what use case is of a see-through TV and he's like "to look cool at CES." * Ribbed monitors. * The secret textures of the Nintendo 3DS. * All kinds of words that you don't know how to pronounce. * The Moogseum. * Bach's looping doodle. * The structure of the J.S. Bach speedrunning community. * A community obsessing over minutia and never worrying about whether it's true or important because it's just some bullshit you made up and agreed to care about. * Hungry music theorists who need human connection. * Sponsoring AGDQ with your clavier etudes. * Black MIDI. * Using up all the claviers in the world during your clavier speedrunning event. * The Fetaverse. * Making an arcade cabinet.


223. Three Hats To Scoop Up A Mouse

Lords: * Andrew * * Aubrianne Topics: * Knitting patterns are open source clothing * This one weird trick will make your videogame feel original * Esper says: "JRPGs are just menu games. Everything that's happening is an option in a menu doing some math, there's almost never timing involved. Why do they have to be 'battles?' I've always wanted to make a JRPG set in 1990 where instead of getting in battles, you're just a band from Detroit on tour. There's probably enough going on that you could make interesting JRPG 'battles' and story and characters out of that. 'Audience response' as an HP meter that goes up instead of down, I guess." * I noticed myself using insert. It turns out I use insert. * * Esper says: "The best summation of Black Mirror I ever heard was: 'Can I have an apple?' 'No, there are only Cyber Apples.' 'Can I have a Cyber Apple?' 'No.'" * Aphantasia but for audiation. Is that a thing? * Microtopics: * Wool socks. * The thing Jim heard about wool. * Making a rope out of human hair. * Whether there are multiple Columbos or just one. * Which one of you is the programmer and which one is the rubber duck? * A human 3D printer. * Keeping your hands busy. * Stim vs. fidget. * How to end a conversation that is not during a D&D session. * Discovering that your entire personality is a coping mechanism. * YarnTube. * The fine line between dressing like a grandma and dressing like a really slutty grandma. * It's a tube. Figure it out. * Doing it badly until you figure out how to do it better. * Making a game that is fun even if it doesn't have health bars. * Instead of doing the easy and obvious things, do something really hard instead. * Why video games have conflict. * Disaccord between you and everyone else in the video game. * Definitely arguably. * Kids learning from people who are not their parents. * Smashing a bunch of things together until fun emerges. * It's not a game where you jump over pits and it's not a game where you hit people with swords so what even is it?? * Dating anime ladies by clicking through text. * A caveat among recommenders. * Video game dialog that makes you feel conflicted about shooting Nazis. * Remembering people's tweets. * The Rule of Thirds of video game dialog. * Executing a bad idea very well. * No One Weird Trick for learning to play cello. * The insert key as part of your typing repertoire. * Whether pause/break still works. * A keyboard without the LinkedIn key. * Getting your grandma online. * Pushing the pizza key on the keyboard and the CD-ROM drive opens and there it is. * Rifled plumbing that allows sewage to flow in a clockwise spiral while clean water flows in a counterclockwise spiral and they never touch. * A surprise poem where none of your fruit is food. * How to make a poem fit on Pinterest. * No combat in my poems. * Doing your best to make a good thing but never thinking your own work is good even after you experience great success. * A grocery list with a Black Mirror twist ending. * Having money in Venmo but you need to sign up for Venmo to get it. * Listening to a thing if you want to know what it sounds like. * Anauralia: the silent mind. * It takes your whole brain to be you, it doesn't have time to be other people too. * Not watching Black Mirror so that you can believe everyone when they tell you lies about Black Mirror. * It was Emma Thompson all along. * The difficulty of remembering Maggie Gyllenhaal. * Getting ripped while sitting motionless at your desk. * That fat jiggling machine from the 50s. * A weighted hula hoop to massage your guts. * Jorts Horse. * A bunch of millennials shitposting. * Trying to distribute your games locally by stapling a floppy disk to a telephone pole * Microtransaction pump games. * Sneaking into an arcade with a new arcade game in your back pocket and furtively shoving your new game between...


222. Barkley In Retrograde

Lords: * Chris * Esper Topics: * Geocaching * The Miyoo Mini and other handheld emulation consoles * I still think I could've made it as a highly paid Super Mario Bros. 35 coach. I should've gone for it. * There's Not a Person Alive by David Donihue * * The strange semiparasocial relationship between a podcast editor and the people on the podcast * Struggling to relearn high school Spanish Microtopics: * The editor of a podcast. * The #1 podcast for topic fans. * Chopping at some audio until it becomes a podcast. * Editing a recording into a podcast that's nothing but ums, mouth smacking noises and uncomfortable silence. * Zoom dynamically sensing when you're saying something dumb or boring and muting you. * Saying yes with the Sonic ring noise and no with the Sonic taking damage noise. * A cozy pleasant show full of fun facts. * Prepping for a paradigm. * How to put audio on film. * Going on a web forum and receiving a quest to find a magnetic box stuck underneath a metal staircase. * Geocaching on the Moon. * Geocaching vs. Geohashing. * A French pun for your board game night that nobody can remember because it's in French. * c:geo. * Finding a geocache by climbing a tree and pulling a paperclip attached to a fake piece of bark. * What to do if you're the one who picks up a travel bug. * Fake bolts where the center unscrews and it's hollow inside. * Developing a sense for when a geocache is nearby and always being wrong. * Miyoo Mini Plus. * Custom firmware that fixes your terrible handheld game system. * The Dream of the Playdate. * The Anbernic R something something letters numbers. * C-ctrl. * Going back to the Tekken 3 well. * A video game bar in Japan that only has Americans in it. * A very reasonable number of video games to flip through. * Emulators with daily runs. * Multi Bowl. * A game that legally can not exist. * Johann Sebastian Joust and its meta. * Getting one point in Rampage. * Advice that can literally no longer be helpful for anybody. * How to be an effective Goomba. * Looking at Jim's win/loss ratio and being inspired. * As Garfield said, "nothing good can stay." * A stainless soul lying inspired. * Bad experiences shared by every human. * A very smooth-brained day * Rampant poetry plagiarism on TikTok. * A food ASMR video where someone is repeatedly stabbing chicken with a fork. * Videos of hamsters running in wheels while listening to Dragula by Rob Zombie. * Whether the fish enjoys playing Pokemon. * A sweet 16 bracket of Best Kinds of Shark. * Rerecording the Topic Lords jingle with a swarm of bees. * The qualifications required for the person who designs electric car backing up noises. * Which apps to use to help you remember Spanish. * Speedrunning High School Spanish. * Learning Japanese from anime. * A 24/7 Livestream of digital cats lying around the house. * Hallucinating new languages around the house. * 52 Pickup with Gita Jackson and Alex Jaffee, about the most important comic book series of this century.


221. Fisher-Price My First Right Click Menu

Lords: * Chris * Alex Topics: * Living without software updates * I like Cyberpunk 2077 * I had a friend who would argue with the people collecting signatures in support of a proposed law. Not about the proposal itself, but the methodology behind it. * PIECE A SHIT, possibly by Sam Pink * Microtopics: * Lords of Topics. * Asking your mom if this Thanksgiving turkey is Frog Fractions 3. * Haiku Hero. * How to talk to the press. * An email from the guy who sent me the quirky thing from before. * The Last Biceps. * Filling your house with electronics that continuously ask you to do things. * How to interact with the Internet on an old un-updated computer. * Snap craft something or other. * Turning off Windows updates for over a year and nothing bad happens because security best practices are bullshit. * Visiting to find out about the beads in Jim's ears. * Searching Google for the little balls in your ears. * Your phone popping up a window saying "you're a year and a half out of date, would you like to update?" and hitting the back button as fast as you can. * Windows updates adding AI functionality to MS Paint. * Making uneducated guesses about how someone else's code works. * Searching for a program on your computer and Windows gives you Bing results for that program's name. * A sneaky hacker man doing non lethal takedowns. * Making a complicated video game and then patching it into a completely different complicated video game after the guides have all been written. * Trying to explain to someone why the story of Half-Life is cool and realizing halfway through your explanation that it's not that cool actually. * Cool things that build immersion. * A guy saying "have a seat" and a contextual actionicon appearing over a chair. * Voluminous closets full of costumes for virtual dress-up. * Delivering exposition in cars. * All the weird things people will put on their body in the cyber future. * A fictional city halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. * Recovering a stolen painting by showing a satellite. * A city with lots of neat stuff to do. * Querulous Friend's Advocate. * The Everyone Gets a Pony Initiative of 2023. * Filibustering people collecting signatures in front of the grocery store. * How much do you believe in the political causes you're promoting? * Watching your friend play games in a little window on your second monitor. * Mr. Feeny recording car AI voices. * Getting into World of Warcraft because you are stressed about starting a new job. * Level 1 Superman killing rats to collect 10 rat pelts. * Fun ways to fight crowds of mooks. * The things you see on your limbs when you see your limbs. * Replacing all the mirrors with cyber mirrors. * The doctor pulling out your cyber eyes and putting them in a drawer and all you can see is the inside of the drawer. * Lost games dev techniques such as palette swaps. * A screenshot of a book. * A poem painting a picture of a time and place. * Maybe Sam Pink. * Writing a bunch of messages to someone and making their phone vibrate every five seconds for a full minute. * Notification throttling. * Fanciful technological panaceas. * Ultra poetry where each line has animation and timing. * Making a word wiggle in a sine wave to indicate that it's a spooky ghost noise. * Poem Lords. * Seven poems on the itinerary. (But we'll only have time for three of them.)


220. An Oral History Of Men Riding Cats

Lords: * Abby * * Michael * * Topics: * That moment when the podcast ads don't play * Lobsang Rampa * I had a dream where I needed to recolor my teeth. Why don't video game character creators support this? * "I've Been Writing You A Poem," by Abby Denton * Cats you can ride, pre-He Man Microtopics: * Cyber Cafe. * Tiny Barbarian DX. * An exciting new way to give me money. * The gamut of barbarian sizes. * Learning the power of chat from Alan Partridge. * A podcast deciding that you're not worth advertising to. * Launching into the jokes and the fiending. * 99% Inaudible. * Elvira's lawful good rival. * Sugarhill Oiljack. * Roundtree's fruit pastilles. * A more colorful playful treat time. * The comic book guy sizing you up and stapling appropriate ads into the comic you're buying. * Finding out a lot of very interesting information about Texas Railroad Commissioner and forgetting it all immediately. * Page after page of ads and then a back cover. * A hardcore Bush-era ad explaining that Klonoa's gonna kill your mom. * Two Dollar Groos. * Writing a fan letter to the guy who letters Groo the Wanderer. * Groo ASMR on GrooTube. * A man in the 50s. (And the 60s.) * A plumber from London who found success writing books about Tibetan mysticism. * What English sounds like to an Italian speaker. * Prisencolinescionalciusol. * Lobsang Rampa getting an extra bump from people misspelling Danganronpa. * Painting your teeth mother of pearl. * The Xbox 360s mii knockoffs. * Breath of the Wild's NPC faces. * Mr. Potato Head Plug and Play Mouth. * Mainly a tooth-oriented game. * Dentists wearing a back sack over their head. * How dentures happen. * Insulin price caps. * Explaining to the nice lady who works at the grocery store that the company she works for is monstrous. * Trashy people in all walks of life. * Why shouldn't I be able to give Bayonetta missing teeth? * Post-hoc nightmares where they only upset you after you wake up. * The bladder comes to me, I don't go to the bladder. * Changing the scansion on the fly. * Writing a poem for a relative who won't appreciate it. * Whether children only like 3D animation now. * Whether it's cheaper to do 3D or 2D animation. * Wanting to play with the person you see even though they can't step out of the phone. * People who love being perceived. * This poem's threen. * Vamping about an ambiguous number because of diabetes. * Feeling shaky even though you are not shaking. * Fat cats in Washington and what they're sitting on. * Two people in the universe with perfectly incompatible needs. * The only member of your family who didn't go into the hard sciences. * The giant cats in Tom and Jerry going their weird shifting their muscles walk. * A mockery of a crown. * There he is; the poopy man. * Thinking of a man riding on a cat. * The Lure of the Basilisk. * The Gandalara Cycle. * Teleport vs. New Body. * A big cat-riding opportunity. * Riding around on a cat made of pure vinyl. * How did Cringer get like that, Prince Adam? * Little jokes you do with your partner. * Wingor, Trunkor and Unkor. * She-Ra taking it back from the boys.


219. Jeff Bezos's Butthole Guy

Lords: * Jay * Jenni * Topics: * The dying art of learning a skill on a message board, such as pixel art or having long hair * The Baldur's Gate 3 butthole chart * * * Is giving people ideas helpful? * * James asks "Why is configuring the thing more enjoyable than using the thing?" * I read one time that the way you know if you live urbanly or rurally is if you live in the city you know a place and if you live in the country you have a guy Microtopics: * Three people with social anxiety. * Your left ear not working at the post office. * 80 people in a post office screaming at each other. * Keeping your broken item and just buying another because you don't want to go to the post office. * Naming your band after a way to transmit audio. * I'm good that they're exist. * Getting your New Year's Resolution off of the Mastodon Tooter. * Finding a kid at Applebee's to sit next to. * Forming a seal on your face when there's hair. * A hip burger or hot dog joint hanging a sign saying "Take it to Squirts-Town" over their condiment counter. * An app to track how much emotional load you've dumped on each friend recently. * Preparing to hold space for your feelings. * Going outside and banging on pots and pans at midnight. * Getting really into Casey Kasem's Rockin' New Year. * Getting twelve grapes and trying to eat a grape on every bong of the clock. * How far apart are the bongs? * Whack it for a huge dong! * The second message board you signed up for. (After The Sims.) * Entirely abandoning the idea of drawing with your hands. * The Three Tile Rule. * New Year, New Wife! * Being approached in a Trader Joe's by a guy who runs a message board for men with long hair. * How to find people to follow on Cohost. * Searching for a technical issue on the internet and finding a post on a message board asking your question and the answer is to "google it." * Message boards about tying knots. * A ghost giving you a hug. * Shadebobs and searching on Youtube for shadebobs. * Shadebob Squarepixels. * Turn-based speed runs. * Oxygenarian runs. * Starting with meat. Ending with meat. * Whether it's okay to do a Butthole Chart for people who are still alive. * The Shade of the Butthole. * Special people with hairy buttholes. * When God asks you to bring him 50 buttholes, what body parts he'll accept as the butthole. * Butthole purism. * Personality traits that correspond with butthole traits in popular culture. * What to do if you don't like the shade or the smell of your butthole. * Going on T because you want a hairier butthole. * Whether billionaires are real people. * The Butthole of Dorian Gray. * Hiring a person to take care of your butthole situation. * Making eye contact with the guy who cleans Jeff Bezos's butthole but you can't stop and help, you have to catch your train. * PiCoSteveMo outcomes. * Self-driving taxis paving the entire planet. * Suggesting ideas as a way to make sure nobody will implement those ideas. * Receiving a new CD for Christmas in the post-Napster era. * What we can still use as stocking stuffers now that CDs and DVDs don't make sense any more. * Your life partner going through a Brandon Sanderson phase and giving you a huge Brandon Sanderson book to read. * What you call the plug that goes into a plug. * Getting paid to learn to solder. * Deliberately introducing mpeg artifacts into a video stream. * How to troubleshoot a motherboard now that they don't beep any more. * How many Intels they're up to now. * A memory of fun that you can't go back to. * Awful Fantasy. * Putting a foul-mouthed rom hack on your SNES Classic and then forgetting that happened when you give it away to your friends' kids. * Imagining how great a product is going to be while you're buying the product. * Asking for a toy for Christmas even...


218. Darmok And Jalad Go To White Castle

Lords: * Stevie * Avery Topics: * A tour of silly medieval musical instruments * The House of David, the baseball cult who all looked like oldtimey barbers. * Arguing with Winston about how needing to pee works * Avery's Non Mammalian Milk Corner * Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing over 7,000 Pounds * Microtopics: * Why the show works like that. * Asking people if they understand what's going on. * Spy software. * Exactly the kind of game you don't want to explain. * Someone who has a sense of humor and thinks something is funny. * A hat you can put on your frog. * Why frogs are so damn popular. * The game with the magnifying glass. * Whether the recorder is a real instrument or a crappy toy for babies. * Just how thicc this bass recorder is * The supercomputer that's also a couch. * Talking to your mom on the phone for 45 minutes because she can't stop listing medieval instruments. * Recorders that are double recorders. * Michael Fassbender teaching his clone how to play the flute. * Eating a pair of garden shears. * An umbrella handle that was given growth hormones that sounds kind of like a stylophone. * An instrument that is curved so that you can play it on horseback without bonking the horse. * The sackbut. * A selfie stick but for a trombone. * Sausage bassoons. * Unholy Rackett. * How long how many strings look it up? * Insufflation tubes and dudelsacks.. * Versatile, like the Pogues. * Bears riding unicycles but not very well. * Overblowing. * Jim the Overblower. * Bringing up bugles to someone who works hospice. * How many songs you can play on a bugle. * Not wanting to play Beatles Rock Band because you with at BevMo. * A photo of an early 20th century cult/baseball team that looks like a modern-day metal band. * Not being able to make it to the majors so you settle for House of Dave. * Someone who's never played Blaseball trying to explain Blaseball. * Amusement parks started by cults. * A pretty good way to end a baseball league. * Additional amusement. * Preserving tiny railways built by a baseball cult. * A busy man who has no time to pee. * Peristalsis. * Persons currently experiencing hubris. * What happens to your knowledge when you're not actively thinking about it. * When you can truly say you know the capital of the United States. * Waking up needing to pee and trying to fall back to sleep so that you forget you need to pee. * Having a dream about urinals overflowing. * Cutting nature at its joints. * Preparing for Topicking. * Whether the Jejune Institute made money. * When Sacky Meets Butty. * Signing a contract in someone else's blood. * Yet another non-mammalian milk. * Jacked, yoked, ripped and swole spiders. * Imagery that's only unsettling because you don't regularly drink spider milk. * Vestigial web butts. * Sympathy for the young. * Putting on a spider silk dress and never being able to take it off. * A communal spider butthole web. * Blinded by the milk, wrapped up in a douche. * The first boutique New York restaurant to serve spider milk pancakes. * Cutting out all the parts where people say something dumb. * Drum Pants. (It turns your pants into a drum set.) * We have seen the a Queen of Cheese. * The worst rhyme scheme. * A poem that screams 5th grade. * Why does this web site have line numbers? * Are you a bad enough dude to save the president's cheese? * A poetic technique that can be really cool (but not in this poem) * Confusing this mammoth cheese with another mammoth cheese. * The most mammalian of all mammals. * My Mother Milked a Million Mostly Male Mammoths. * A huge ice cream tub carried by four ponies. * 35 tons of milk * Extremely fake beards. * A thing people once said to sell chicken.


217. Rotate Your Plate Breakage

Lords: * Maxx * Nick Topics: * Puzzmo * I'm worried about my tableware rotation strategy * Ennigaldi-Nanna's museum *'s_museum * It Was A Coffin That Sang, by Olena Davis * Microtopics: * Instead of giving someone a business card, stamping your information on them so they have to call you before they take a shower. * Where's George? * George isn't here. George was never here. * Canadians looking forward to when they can walk around with King Charles' face in their pocket. * Giving the barista a coupla chucks for a cup of coffee. * Money with RadarSat on it. * inaturalist dot org. * Taking a photo of a weird plant with a weird seed pod. * The fantasy of collecting information. * The game where you try to name every street in San Francisco. * Running all the streets in your city over the course of a decade. * Games Genie. * Lexicographic Ordering and Time Travel. * A sanctioned topic. (It's on the list.) * Wario Ware presenting you with a full sized crossword and giving you six seconds to solve it. * A fun little histogram. * Finally implementing the letter T. * Doing the crossword on paper and making your daughter enter your answers into the app. * Will Shortz coming out of his orb to carry out a hit on a competing puzzle. * Fugue Orbs. * Comparing the interface design of Connections and Red Herring. * Things Relating to Wonder Woman. * Extremely well SEO'd pestilences. * Arranging your dinner plates in a stack vs. in a queue. * Using all your plates evenly so they all break at the same time. * Rotating the Stock. * The dangers of Low-Sodium Perpetual Stew. * Default plates from the food service factory. * Airplane boarding algorithms and how to convince everyone in the terminal to follow yours. * Plates that are made for using. * A whole Jefferson, in your Republic dollars. * The urge to queue. * Lanesplitting your backpack. * History: it's a lot older than we think * Ancient cash registers. * Pranksters organizing the topic bucket. * How many museums deep are we? * The human wife. * Efficient.. Successful. Human. * Top five lists of your life. * How small a flavoring agent has to be to be considered a spice. * A twelve foot tall statue of either Zeus or Poseidon. * Myth- and Nationhood- Making. * A museum where you can feel wood cut with various tools. * Hearing about a cool metalworking museum but fixating on how the bathroom works. * Cool Bathroom Ghost. * The toilet commenting on your performance. * Piping bookshop noises into your bathroom. * Robert Stack's Solved Mysteries. * Being sad and trying to have a good sadness. * Michael Brough talking about his design process. * Fun exercise vs. shitty boring exercise. * What to do about the world ending. * Driving in circles around the McDonald's drive-thru ordering more and more coffee until they catch on. * Telling a joke on Twitter and an archaeologist getting it 1000 years from now. * The world's oldest joke. * A fart joke from 1900 BCE. * Reconstructive historical linguistics. * The linguistics of swearing and taboo. * Eater of bees. * Top five stanzas.


216. I Forget What We Do But We're About To Do It

Lords: * Tyriq * Jay Topics: * I recently moved and I think I understand Having Stuff more now. * Teaching my 3-year-old to use a mouse and keyboard. Kids learning software being a ghost of its former self. * Interface traps * Yelp! Review for God by Willow James Claire * * Starting a YouTube Channel for kids and the lack of useful information on the topic. Microtopics: * Ben and Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream. * Washing the ice cream off of the cookie dough ice cream and baking cookies. * Snacking dough. * Living on your own and owning silverware for the first time. * Losing a fork that they don't make any more and having mismatched forks forever. * A hodgepodge of styles. * Different spaces each with their own internal consistency. * Going to your ex-roommate's Halloween party as a guest for the first time. * Parties that you can leave. * Finding out you were right about what you thought you'd like. * Moving house in an hour. * Your kid banging on the keyboard to write nonsense messages in discord but he forgets to hit enter to send so you have to do it for him. * Teaching kids to read by giving them a Kindle tablet. * Typing "stop" fifty times in notepad. * Dell Rugged. * What Mavis Beacon is up to nowadays. * Computers as the exciting future vs. computers as the boring shitty present. * Getting a laptop without a touch screen so your kid can learn to use the mouse. * Different ways to not understand folders. * Whether the problem is that Gen Z doesn't know what a folder is or whether it's that they sometimes still need to know what a folder is. * Apps that appear to be native apps but they're secretly running in a web browser. * Coming into possession of a child. * An overworld where you can walk in 8 directions and bump into NPCs. * Boots Quest. * Auto Shooting Survival. * Roguelike Turn-Based Auto Shooting Survival. * Mini Yoto. * Using the insert key on purpose. * The Jay's Wife of Scroll Lock. * The two Smush tracks on the Hypnospace Outlaw soundtrack. * Why there are separate shift and caps lock keys but no separate toggle insert and hold to insert keys. * Sticky Keys. * Caps lock keys that physically toggle. * Toon Boom Harmony and other way too expensive subscription software. * Can't draw can't see pencil in toon boom reddit * Lock the taskbar, lock the taskbar. * The pros and cons of different start menu orientations. * Getting kissed in the vegetable aisle, so to speak. * Talking about dungeons and dragons and getting something slightly wrong about dungeons or dragons. * The laws of physics preventing you from kidding boys. * On the one hand growing up as a trans poet in Arizona. On the other, drinking a whole lot of strawberry kiwi kombucha. * Four out of five stars for inventing an extremely dry mouth. * A dry, scratchy, sandpaper cat tongue. * A song about a ghost eating toast. * Watching your kid watch things. * Where to put video content on the internet. * Ideas that are occluded by ideas that are better search-engine optimized. * Whether librarians are scarier in Germany. * Combining three people with social anxiety to make one really big person with social anxiety. * Fixing kids software for 100 people because it's too hard to fix it for the whole world. * X for Extreme.


215. Taffy Arbitrage Tips

Lords: * Ben * JohnB Topics: * Game & Watch Gallery * Halloween's never on the weekend, so I made Novemberween * Square mattresses * Eight Line Poem * * * The most entertaining bit of the new Spider-Man 2 game has been sitting on a bench Microtopics: * Fellow Traveler. * Citizen Sleeper: at least one person's game of the year. * State fair taffy. * Where to find seasonal taffy bargains. * Terrifying taffy flavors. * Single game LCD handhelds. * Gunplay Yokoi. * Withered technology. * The RC car that can only turn left because right was cut for scope. * Games where things are bouncing across the screen. * Tiger Electronics Double Dragon. * The earliest, most boring Game and Watch game. * A fun clock that's fun to watch. * Putting your face as the juggler in Ball for the Game Boy Camera. * What they did before d-pads. * A Print the Legend situation. * Mario Bros II for the Commodore 64. * Porting Game and Watch games to card stock. * Releasing a floppy disk reader for the Game Boy Advance in 2023. * Mario's Bombs Away, in Panorama Vision. * Moving slower the more gold you're carrying. * Toad walking across a bunch of seagulls. * Trying to get 16 player Faceball up and running. * The Burger King vs. Hungry Jack's era. * The Lost Lost Levels. * The most polite pumpkin head person you've ever met. * Inventing a new Halloween that happens the first weekend after Halloween so you can get candy at a discount. * Implicating the viewers in your terrible horror movie marathon. * Terrifying cakes with spooky words on them like "mortgage" * Tammy and the T-Rex. * A spooky guy in a helmet who races people in his car (and kills them) * Putting pieces of Stonehenge into circuitry to make children's faces turn into bugs. * A movie about a cat that vomits up another cat. * A very spooky four dollar pumpkin man. * Neglecting upkeep on your house for thirty years to celebrate Halloween. * Novemberween every Sunday. * How to celebrate Labor Day. * Rotating a square mattress 90 degrees. * Going into the mattress store and unrolling the amount of mattress you want from the spool and getting it cut to order. * Alternate reality How It's Made videos. * The Manchester Department. * Super Passive Aggressive Xenomorph Roommate Irritation Simulator. * Rolling the dice to determine which side of the cube mattress you're sleeping on tonight. * Rotating the tires on your racecar bed. * Asking the cat for poem opinions. * Sometimes the sun is just the sun. (Not this time though – it's David Bowie.) * Plugs within plugs. * All the different games named "Spider-Man 2" * Using your Spider Radar to track down the next objective. * A video game where you go on a holiday to Greece and stab a bunch of people. * The distressing absence of Mario Odyssey 2. * Finally, a Super Mario game you can finish without hating yourself. * A grown-up with adult things to do, like cooking bacon and receiving mail. * The Trophy Seller in Nier Automata. * Kosmology Hungry Jack.


214. Oh Shit! That Guy's Got Horse Legs!

Lords * Daniel * * * Alexander Topics: * Octopus dreams * Perception of memories. Why does actual recency and percieved recency often seem so at odds * Hike on 58 * * World of Warcraft over the years / WoW Hardcore Mode * The highest honor you can receive in mathematics is to have your name uncapitalized. * Polywater * My brain is polluted by trochaic trimeter recognition Microtopics: * Preventative care. * COVID lucky streaks. * Being able to go to the ER. * How to spell Cocoon. * Moth guys carrying orbs on their backs. * Boss battles that you wouldn't expect. * Wilford Brimley's agelessness. * Octopus nightmares. * The octopus equivalent of rapid eye movement. * Meeting sapient crows and asking them whether Y or Z should be up. * Which memories stick better. * Perception of time when you have a routine vs. when you don't. * Arranging your life to maximize perceived lifespan. * Different ways to have an adventure. * Shooby doooby doggie. * A sports rule that sounds like a 17776 plot point * Why the Bob Emergency is an emergency. * The best quarterbacks getting stuck in an endless hike and football ending forever. * The one person who hasn't played Frog Fractions but just listens to Topic Lords because they like topics so much. * Summer's lease. * Reading a poem aloud without knowing what "ow'st" means or how to pronounce it. * Words that used to rhyme but don't anymore. * Meter recognize meter. * Writing all your sonnets during COVID lockdown. * A poem about a dude that Shakespeare is not in love with. * Woe is me, etc. * Piss Jugman vs Piss Jugm'n. * Making phonetic reforms that don't take. * Smoothing off any rough edges or peculiarities. * Permadeath taking inspiration from real life. * A fun thing that you wouldn't have expected to see. * Enjoying spending time in the world. * Hold the W key and cruise through it. * The difference between wanting something vs. liking it. * Abelian. * The opposite of how you would think honor works. * Great honors: brands hate them! * Whether to capitalize "lynchian," "kafkaesque" or "quixotic" * Eternal abstract universal objects. * Teaching truck drivers where to put their piss jugs. * The highest honor Piss Jugman can receive. * The surname Piss. * What is the average Piss lifespan? * A real life Bobby Tables moment. * The Polywater Gap. * Water that scientists have sweated in. * Buying a can of Soviet Scientist Sweat in a Japanese vending machine. * Polyester intoxication. * Liquids with a lower freezing temperature than water. * The Polywater Doodle. * A metabolism described by Richard Feynman. * Brain Pollution. * The particular better of the first line of Aqualung by Jethro Tull. * Singing "parallelipiped" to the tune of Aqualung. * Hearing random phrases in your life. * Spelling "yogurt" backwards. * Trying to understand the New York Times' effect on man. * A killer rap album based on alliteration rather than rhyming. * Poetry that rhymes on the second to last syllable rather than the last. * The baffling cosmology of Butter Dorks.


213. Urine-Based Interactions With The Scientific Community

Lords: * Erica * Ryan Topics: * Dog Bone Facts * We went to Cuba * * * Cancelling Texas: Praise the Sun * My sister has played video games her whole life and somehow doesn't know about [the thing everyone knows happens in Final Fantasy VII] and I need help shielding her from this knowledge. Microtopics: * The COVID booster as a form of recreational drug use. * Puking, but not for the listeners at home. * The only way you can know if you're doing well. * WavHog. * Trying a lot of things that aren't working out. * A chat log that's organized poorly. * An ever-growing cacophony. * The million dollar web page. * Buying ad space on a web page that's entirely ads. * Gordy and the Monster Moon. * Little Buddy mode vs. Little Nemesis mode. * Making a noise whenever you wonder about something. * The sound of the aurora borealis. * The Northern Lights explaining to you how many bones are in a dog's body. * Peeing on your equipment to keep the foxes away. * Maintaining curiosity about things. * Burying a question and seeing if it comes back to you. * Recording a podcast even though you don't know anything. * An information strategy that is much more enchanting than looking things up. * Leaving through your journals. * Tannish white hair. * Burying a dog bone so that it grows into a dog bone tree. * Farms with no distinct edges. * Cholera vegetables. * Inventing your own COVID-19 vaccine. * Putting a whole country in a snow globe. * Tube ham. * Drinking a soda branded "your ass." * Knight Anoles. * Gerrymandering Florida to fix Cuba. * Lord Kensingtonitis. * A bacterium named after a Jules Verne quote. * The only known organism to exist in an ecosystem containing only itself. * A biome that's just a bunch of clones of you making a go of it together. * Slurping up radiation from the good good surrounding bedrock. * All the little guys out there being interesting. * The credentials you need to call yourself a scientist. * Which bacteria are most bothered by their Wikipedia pages. * Everyone's MRCA. * Meteorites throwing amino assets into space. * Extremely grabby carbon. * Moldy bathtubs all over the universe. * Little Buddy mode but for bacteria. * The works of Florence P. Wordsmith. * The origin myth of the Noid. * Whether the Noid is wearing a suit or if that's just his skin. * Yo! Noid and Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void. * A layer of water that's waving up and down. * Empathizing with how the Noid sees the world. * Writing a poem about the Noid and, instead of hiding it in shame, putting it on the internet for all to see. * Getting a game over before you finish the first level but at least you killed a lot of seagulls with a yoyo. * The sun making a big X over Texas. * Drilling for oil in the Permian Basin. * The last total eclipse of the sun of our lifetimes. * Checkmate, scientists! * Solar noon. * Grab your glasses and get lookin'! * Meeting Topic Lords all summer. * Going sightseeing to find out where all your gasoline comes from. * Going to see the solar eclipse or just closing your eyes to get the same effect. * A big pile of polygonal Doritos killing another pile of polygonal Doritos. * Making sequels to the Final Fantasy 7 remake. * The porn web site named after a Final Fantasy 7 plot point. * vs. * Retransliterations. * Husbands who are dead (asleep). * The option that makes you look like less of a douchebag. * Watching a Final Fantasy documentary before you watch it with your girlfriend to make sure it won't spoil a major character's death for her, and it shows the death onscreen but you missed it during the vetting process, but it's okay because she couldn't visually parse the Playstation-era graphics anyway. * Sending your sister to media literacy classes so that she can understand when Aeris dies. * A pile of snack chips fighting each other. * Showing Star Wars to kids who have never...


212. Back In My Day, Kids Actually Crossied The Road

Lords: * Mitch * * * Andrew * Topics: * Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the first mainline 2D Mario game since... (how many Super Mario games are there? update) * Original video: * New survey: * Owning the domain for some reason * When I took my driver's test, a kid ran out onto the road in front of me, I braked, and the proctor made a check mark on his forms. * Love in the Age of Google by Brian Bilston * * The Burrito Run (a form of physical exercise) * The WarioWare series has become increasingly story-driven in every game since WarioWare: Snapped! (DSi, 2008) Microtopics: * Your names. * Jokes that have or have not been done. * The real Jim Stormdancer. (On my birth certificate.) * A game which has no sequels. * Pizza Panda dot Pizza. * Cultivating an audience who loves clicking links. * A polling feature that is great for polling people. * Why not use one thing? Just have one place where you post everything. * How to make your audience stop clicking links. * 358 games that might or might not be Super Mario games. * A game called Super Mario Bros. Something. * All the different years there hasn't been a new Super Mario game since. * A controversy, but not one people care about. * New guy just dropped: guy who gets in arguments about whether New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a mainline Super Mario game. * Super Mario Bros. and Friends: When I Grow Up. * Super Mario and his friends discussing what career paths they might take. * Looking at all these MS-DOS colors. * Brian A. Rice, Inc.: it's just a guy! * Mario games for MS-DOS. * A Mario fan theory that has been disproven extremely recently. * Princess Peach and Princess Daisy having a conversation about something other than a man. * The description of Daisy in Smash Ultimate trying to come up with convincing reasons why Peach and Daisy are different people. * New Super Mario Bros. Mii. * Super Mariologists studying Super Mariology. * Super Mario Bros. Special. * A smeary snapshot of your mind. * A Mario game that was extremely expensive to make. * Working on a game until it's ready. * If you like Mario games, then it's one of them. If you don't then it's not. * Super Mario Bros. Tudor. * Super Mario Bros. Oneder. * Getting email for dogs at * A hobby you used to be able to have. * Enough people making up fake emails for their dogs that some them send email to your fake dog email domain name. * Rip the old * Space Jam: a New Legacy. * Reusing to capture all the people clicking on novelty domain names that redirect to * A very small scale conspiracy, between one driver's test examiner and one child. * Being too flustered to deliberately fail your test. * A checkbox on the DMV test labeled "did not assassinate my arch rival, whom I now owe five dollars." * Back in my day kids actually Crossied the Road. * A smoke made with the fume of sighs. * A poem that scans as a poem. * A million monkeys using a million trackers. * One extremely busy monkey using a million trackers. * A new form of physical exercise. * Terraforming the hill to make your exercise routine more effective. * Copylefted exercise routines. * There are very few perfect things in life but this is the perfect exercise routine. * Dogs who are like dogs. * Dog theory. * What's more habitual than eating lunch? * Mathematical proof that all horses are the same color. (Except for the horse of a different color.) * Booger joke fart joke silly game. * A history of storytelling in the Wario Ware series. * Wario's hiring process. * A thing that happens after Wario puts a toilet on his head. * Why the latest Wario Ware game has microgames in it. * The Wario Ware employee who joined the company...


211. Window-Peering Jim Checking Out Your Cats

Lords: * Cort * * Elena Topics: * My due date is literally tomorrow * Dogme 95 for web development * Visits from the neighborhood cats * Potato, by Jane Kenyon * * Cooperative board games are hard to design * Space themed coop trick-taking card game: * Building a conlang generator from the phonology up * * Linear algebra cursed conlang: Microtopics: * The Be Real App. * Posting your mortifying skin condition for all the internet to see. * Being born. * The Dance Dance Revolution song "20,November," by Earth Wind and Fire. * PiCoSteveMo. * Tossing around hastily drawn concept art with your team. * Being born, again. * Having a kid for someone else. * Eating cigarettes off of the sidewalk. * A grab bag of thousands of possible pregnancy symptoms. * Literacy as a symptom of pregnancy. * A visceral reminder that you are part of a long chain of humans. * Which came first, humans or birth? * The comfort of the humans who are still around having individual experiences even after you die. * Tips n Tricks for dealing with fear of death. * Inviting dead people onto the show. * Asking for more pro-death art so you can feel better about death. * Pro-life, in the literal sense. * Flowers and mushrooms growing up through the bones. * Returning to the universe to nurture it. * Dumb Ways to Die. * Sum: 40 Tales from the Afterlives. * Thought experiments about something weird that could happen. * The Egg by Andy Weir. * Covering birth and death in the same topic. * Looking at photos of yourself from five years ago and thinking "oh shit!" * I am choosing to no longer have conscious experience, mom. You wouldn't understand, mom. * Swedish with a mouthful of potatoes. * Dogme 95. * Enpoopification. * A protocol for exchanging information on a computer. * Rewinding to a kinder, simpler web. * Avoiding all this gestures at the world * New rule: no web servers more powerful than a Raspberry Pi. * The cool thing that was on the web in the mid-90s. * Making art and putting it on the internet and getting a fan base. * The teenage gamer comic series making a comic about prostate exams. * Sharding the internet. * El Goonish Shive. * Anime hammers that you do when someone is being a pervert. * Coming to personal revelations regarding your neurodivergence or gender situation. * How to be a successful artist. * Not knowing if your favorite webcomic had ads because you use an adblocker. * Working at your parents animation studio as an inbetweener. * Merging your cats into one cat. * Neighborhood coyotes. * Cats beyond the reach of fear. * Window-peering Jim: he's just checking out your remodel. * Putting a GoPro on your neighbor's cat and livestreaming the inside of their house. * Cats with amazing life stories that they'll never tell you. * The consort of coffee grounds. * Making shepherd's pie for an entire hamlet. * A possibly accidental double line break. * A line break corresponding to a conceptual boundary. * The Story of Mel: a Real Programmer. * Adding left angle brackets to the start of every line until word wrap makes it a poem. * Blackout poetry. * Pumping gas as an element of Cottagecore. * A hamlet is just a city in New Jersey. * The fireworks on your forehead game. * A game where everyone stops talking. * The Yelling Game. * A dedicated period of yelling. * Space-themed trick taking games. * The Spaceteam card game. * Coming up with a set of place names that sound like they're from the same culture. * Assigning syllable groups to a morpheme. * Asking Claude. * Interpolating the obvious things. * The Sonority Hierarchy. * A gradient from less vowel-like to more vowel-like. * Cursed Conlangs. * Generating syllables and mushing them together.


210. Good Ideas For Sam Barlow

Lords: * Andrew * * Kate * Topics: * British food is good, actually * Really enjoying programming in MonoGame (and stop motion animation) * Lightswitch abstraction limit * Un petit d'un petit * The Old Timey Computer Show * Trying to get your friends to play a game that sucks to learn * Winston has discovered that the ending of a story is usually the most exciting part, so he doesn't want to watch whole movies any more, just the last twenty minutes of each Microtopics: * Moonstone Island. * A tiny fox in a big world. * Cherry blues. * Something within your culture that is awful and bad. * Whatever can grow in the wet and dark. (Potatoes.) * Cool Whip based salads. * Yorkshire pudding. (The fluffy one.) * The non-spicy gravies. * J. Kenji Lopez-Alt's roast potato recipe. * Lamb going with mint and pork going with applesauce. * How to eat Vegemite or Marmite. * A man at the end of the table whose entire job is to carve meat for you. * A place to take your picky grandma to eat. * Bodega cats and bodega kids. * Doing stop motion animation as a goof. * The fun part of Dunning Krueger. * Doing a magic trick without knowing how the trick works and amazing yourself. * Leaning into the good times. * Accidentally getting good at an employable skill. * Flailing at the wall until the light switches are in the right position. * Off: just a different kind of on. * Doing your first pull request. * The fountain pen of the version control ecology. * Getting a bunch of little plant men to turn the lights on and off for me. * Poetry written in nonsensical French that is homophonic with English nursery rhymes. * An entire book for a very specific kind of nerd to have a sensible chuckle. * Allowing yourself one E, as a mistake. * A joke written back when people knew what am omnibus was. * Vintages footage from 1980s computer shows. * Dousing CD-Rs. * The Free Cake and Donuts Half-Hour. * Getting as many 35+ computer dorks as you can under a box before you pull the string. * Making two children fight each other on the British equivalent of Crash Bandicoot. * A policeman on a unicycle. * The imagined experience of programming the ZX Spectrum. * The other Cambridge. * Mac PCs. * The Oliver Twins. * Turning on all the shaders to make your programmer art look good. * Finding three extra Dizzy games in the attic. * Trying to tell your friends about a family tradition and while you're telling them you realize how messed up it is. * A pile of 500 cards that should really be a computer game instead. * A rule where every time you play a card you have to sigh a little bit. * A game where you torture your friends. * A food with the letter E in it. * Trying to have fun despite your friend who is making you play the game. * Have you guys heard about conclusions? * A bunch of stuff happening and then there's a riddle. * The Go Left Problem. * When games have secrets. * Pushing at the edges of a game and the game pops up a dialog saying "I noticed you pushing at my edges." * A password named "Susan." * A DVD where every interface to start the movie starts it at chapter 2 and chapter 1 is a secret. * Reading just the last word of a book. * Watching the first episode and the last episode of a sitcom and trying to guess which actors missing from the last episode died and which went to prison. * How to find your Mastodon name.


209. Do Caterpillars Anticipate?

Lords: * Will * Chris Topics: * Canoes * Blowing soap bubbles with your hands, making cricket noises, "party tricks" * * Nothing Is Too Small Not To Be Wondered About, by Mary Oliver * * Would zombies try to hide the fact that they were zombies? * Magic Microtopics: * Soda Drinker Pro for the Nintendo Entertainment System. * Finding someone to port your game to NES via LinkedIn. * The Vivian Clark Experience. * Making certain contortions slightly easier. * Rock climbing. (Not a topic.) * The Phantom Lapboard. * The Only Viable Product. (OVP.) * What if you could mouse and keyboard on the couch? * Growing up in a canoe family. * Paddling vs. rowing. * Carbon fiber paddles for canoe racing. * Waterwalker by Bill Mason. * Your favorite memories of a kayak. * Waking up in your kayak to see a snapping turtle staring at you. * Floating up and wiggling all over the place. * Kayaking to lunch from your office. * Living in a ski cabin and your office is at the bottom of the mountain. * Living at a Lagrange point and your office is at the bottom of the zipline. * Boston Unity Knights. * Doing a game jam every month for four years. * Knowing enough people in your field that you no longer need to network. * Five really worthy zero-hour games. * Making a therapeutic horror game. * Going to a terrifying party in an abandoned train tunnel and finding a burned-out police car. * Questionable poisonous air filled with unknown tunnel organisms. * Doing mouth stuff in VR. * Making the soda line up with your mouth. * The Ferris Bueller water drop noise. * The thing where you play a blade of grass like a reed instrument. * Cheek-flapping noises. * Magic tricks vs. Party Tricks. * Inhaler magic. * Twenty levels of spinning pens. * A different horrible knife game. * A game about chopping off fingers named "Chop the Finger." * Shooting arrows in the air while your friend run away. * The keyboard shortcut for finding someone to port your game to NES. * A web site where you endorse people as thought leaders. * Entering the LinkedIn cheat code on Xbox 360. * Porting your video game to a robotic arm. * Making it move when you think about it. * Uzi Nissan v. Nissan Motors. * It can happen to you or someone you know! * Picturing conceptual rabbit holes in your head. * Sylvester Stallone's Mom's web site. * Sylvester Stallone's mom doing palm readings of your ass. * All our favorite apps, such as buffalo wings and boneless spare ribs. * Thinking about a cricket's interiority. * Putting some nature in your poem. * Using cricket noises to tell what temperature it is. * Having the same number of wings you've always had. * Do any bugs make a plan. * Leaving "I gave up" pheromones * Leaving a map of a physical space in the space. * Sizable ants. * Fewer scorpions than you'd expect. * Putting a bug into your awareness. * Pseudoscorpions hanging out on old stuff. * Little guys in random places very occasionally. * Zombies going to Whole Foods. * Going quiescent until a dude walks by with a tasty-looking scalp. * Painting a brain on your helmet to fool the zombies. * A short-hair wig taped to your grandfather's basketball. * Dropping your scalp like a lizard tail and the zombie shakes your scalp back and forth in its teeth. * An analyst commissioned by a think tank to write a book explicating how to deal with the zombie apocalypse. * Sound Reading Trainer. * Having a bunch of magic props that you never show anyone how to use. * The casino OJ got arrested at. * Tommy Wonder. * Reviewing a product on YouTube without ever showing it or saying what it does. * How stage hypnosis works.


208. E.T. Shot First

Lords: * Hallie * Tyriq Topics: * People really like potatoes and I don't get it * I wear shorts now. * Why are these ants on my desk? * The go-getters of predawn gym * Non feathered dinosaurs in the public imagination * Esper says: Magic: the Gathering does have feathered dinosaurs as part of its mesoamerican-inspired setting, which look cool as hell. Not all of them are completely covered or anything, but Gishath is a good example of how to make a dinosaur look really intimidating and powerful while still having feathers. * McPop Microtopics: * Not counting the Zelda game you made. * Mashing up the hummus beans. * Tahini texture. * Garbanzo merengue. * Cutting-edge vegan technology. * Making video games until you learn better. * The freezer popsicle that's just a tube of flavored water. * Potato struggle sessions. * Curly fries versus seasoned curly fries. * A waste of a hearty food that should last longer. * Century potatoes. * Burying a potato in the ground and setting a peat bog on fire. * Taro chips. * The bag in the grocery store that says "veggie sticks" and there's a picture of fresh vegetables on the bag but inside it's just potato slurry fried into stick form. * Anti-shorts positions. * A tattoo in a conspicuous place. * Showing up to a game jam in a Voldo harness. * A tattoo that makes it look like you've been scratching a rash. * Getting a cool tattoo and starting going to the gym because you want to be worthy of the tattoo. * A slovenly dude in a fedora getting a sick tattoo of a slovenly dude in a fedora. * Yakuza style tattoos except it's all video game shit. * Leaving an olive under your desk. * What the ants are into lately. * House Ants. * Storehouses of finger dust. * Letting the ants have the olive. * Mice with an exoskeleton. * Sitting on a toilet made of ants and instantly becoming one with the ants. * A bottle of Ginger Ants. * Extremely tangy abyss. * What is in my mouth? What is in my bed? * Rolling a ball of goo over your keyboard. * Finding some good goo and keeping it to yourself. * The validity of shipping yourself with things. * Merging your cats. * Motivated brothers. * Waking up at 5:30 to go to the gym. * Go-gettitude. * Chronotypes. * Expressing all the aspirational aspects of yourself. * The only person flexing in the mirrors. * Why is this young teen here so early? * Pretty ripped. (For a child.) * Giving up on waking up before dawn and becoming the kind of go-getter who gets later things. * Reconstructing dinosaurs based on what people think they should look like. * Semi-mythical creatures. (That actually existed.) * Microraptors that are slightly melty. * 65, with Adam Driver. * An interesting concept, executed poorly. * The Pepsisaur. * Adam Driver running away from horny dudes crawling around in mocap suits and the test audiences hate it so they CGI in some horny humanoid dinosaurs. * Having kids and patching ET so the government agents don't have guns and then after your kids grow up, patching ET so they have extra guns. * Twelve gauge flashlights. * Lemmings but with babies. * One of each type of eye. * Eyes that are so human looking that it kind of fucks you up. * A reverse The Fly situation. * McPopHouse. * The Junta of Tralfaz. * Picking up a new key and trying it on every locked door you've ever seen. * Pressing insert to empty your sexual tension meter. * Back before Microsoft Word owned the .doc extension. * A hoary pld PD Turbo 3.0 include file circa 1985. * Sentences from shareware documentation that have been in your head for 30 years. * BBS Doors. * Legend of the Red Dragon. * Reprising your role as Olmec.


207. Muppet Bird Generation Ship

Lords: * Lesley * Nathan Topics: * Thinking of survival shows like Alone, is "wilderness survival" a sport? * Regional differences in the tone and caliber of NextDoor posts * Pastry arbitrage * The Light That Shines When Things End * * Wild takahē (TAH-kah-hay) have been reintroduced into the mountains of New Zealand * How are we feeling about the Boston Robotics advancements? Welcome our new robot overlords or not? Microtopics: * Hyper Light Breaker. * Bumpy Grumpy. * Recording a podcast from inside a toilet. * Fishtank bubbling noises. * Assigning a point value to eating reindeer lichen. * Eating your belt because someone famous ate their belt once in the 19th century. * Starving contests. * Calling in an air drop for your favorite outdoor survivalists. * The reality show where a guy is living alone in an apartment scouring thousands of magazines for offers of free stuff. * The "it's a living" joke. * Pez Guy. * Trying to redeem Pepsi tokens for a fighter jet. * A boiler room full of people tilting soda bottles. * Weary cereal mascots. * Hippies living in a canyon until Topanga emerges. * Making a Nextdoor post about a guy peering in your window and the replies are like "it's cool it's just Window Peering Jim checking out your remodel." * Making a Nextdoor post about finding a baby goat and what do I do and a reply saying "you need to call the Goat Goddess" and another reply saying "I'm the Goat Goddess and I can help you." * Encouraging microcultures. * Surfacing positive comments to the top of Youtube videos. * Using technology to steer people away from being terrible. * Writing a story about a guy with a sword. * Writing a parody of bad fanfiction and building Minecraft worlds to support your world building. * Whether jokes are funnier now or if old jokes are just out of fashion. * Trying to relate to the kids by saying "I can has cheeseburger?" * How art used to happen before copyright law fucked everything up. * The dudes at the farmers market selling tomatoes that are obviously from the grocery store. * The farm with a sign that says "come pick pumpkins at our pumpkin patch" but the pumpkins are just sitting on the ground and by pick they just meant "select." * The Quasi-Authentic Experience. * A pumpkin velcroed to a vine. * A large hill. (Not a mountain.) * Making the light a liar, at least until your mid-thirties. * Ruining an otherwise amazing moment. * A Minority Report precog murder kind of situation. * Whether the light has a bell too. * A poem that's just a shower thought if you think about it. * Taking the eggs to an incubation center. * Muppet Bird flavor. * Cutting open a cookie monster to reveal the cookie layers inside. * Seeing the Cookie Monster's leg in the window of the butcher shop. * The roast chicken saying "It's a living!" as you slice it up. * Robots that sound like bees. * Slipping on the ice and hearing the bees. * Whether fun robots are even scarier than serious robots. * Moxie the child companion robot. * A dog named Spot and his SDK. * Too loud, too scary, too many bees. * People who can pollinate. * If it's empty, fill it with bees. * Memes that the kids don't think are old because they have fallen out of the cultural memory entirely. * Still being on Twitter because you have games to sell.