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Author: Jim Stormdancer

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Topic Lords, the only place on the Internet where you can hear topics discussed!
47 Episodes
Santa Barbarella

Santa Barbarella


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Chris's album "The Lost Backups" is out now! * * * * Jimmy is on LinkedIn. * * Topics: * 22 years later, I am able to answer Rimbo's question he asked me on the way to Wesside '98: "What is an Obispo" * Why "Starflight" is the greatest PC game ever made * * Drums that you play standing up (and double-sided drums) * * Bulbous Cretin asks: "Tweeting the contents of Fred Flinstone’s frozen carcass before you dig in" * * 16 bits is not enough and destroyed music Microtopics: * Plugging a 21 year old song that you still can't believe you wrote. * Musicians deserving royalties. * The secret fourth guest. * The rolling golden hills driving down the 101. * Knowing all the technical musical terms in Spanish but not knowing how to say "mop." * What would happen to the Cookie Monster if Big Bird was blue. * Whether or not the Topic Lords audience knows about the demo scene. * Whether or not Unreal by Future Crew is the same thing as Unreal Engine by Tim Sweeney. * Demo scenes and then demo parties. * Visiting Montreal and hiding in a high school gym for three days rather than seeing the amazing city with its amazing architecture. * Wanting to hold the Great American Demo Party. * Whether or not you should cover the ice when you hold a huge party in an ice rink. * Assembly 2010 mostly being a big LAN party with the demo scene folks tucked away in the corner. * The sun going down at 11 PM. * Boozembly 2010 taking place in the woods behind Assembly 2010. * Plugging a PC keyboard into your Mac and all the keys work perfectly in Schism Tracker. * Giving up on the Macintosh after decades because Mac hardware and MacOS are terrible now. * A laptop that is so broken that it shuts down every computer on the wifi network you try to connect it to. * Advertising the latest Macbook as having a physical escape key. * Running Ubuntu as an app on Windows. * The secret 16-color CGA mode if you plug in a composite monitor. * Modern nostalgia for the terrible four-color CGA palettes. * Storing an entire universe on a two-sided 360k floppy disk. * Landing on a planet and finding The Ancients and finding enough fuel to get to three stars over. * Stuffing The Ancients into your warp drive because there is no better fuel. * A project where you don't have to worry about bugfixes because if something breaks, the user just runs it again. * The thousands or millions of people out there who would give you money if they knew your product existed. * The market for Frog Fractions-themed N95 masks. * Making a live post to r/tipofmyjoystick asking for the identity of an educational space game during the podcast in hopes that someone replies before we finish recording. * Misremembering which band's drummer plays a snare drum and a tranceaphone. * A drum kit with tom toms so high that you have to jump up to reach them. * Two wildly different drum heads using the same resonation chamber. * Soundproofing a shed by adding 2500 pounds of sheet rock to the walls. * Converting sound pressure waves into heat. * Measuring the frequency response of these egg crates. * Putting squares on the walls having no effect on the sound of your saxophone escaping the room and annoying the people on the other side of the wall. * Walking right up to your wall and speaking and it sounding like you plugged your ears. * Placing yourself in a space by listening to reflections. * Spinning up the Periscope server on Fred Flintstone's frozen carcass so that you can Periscope yourself eating Fred Flintstone. * Making Fred Flintstone's frozen carcass lip-sync to WAP. * Who, exactly, needs to apologize for this topic. * Discovering that humans don't have a gizzard and really wanting a gizzard. * Whether or not a Twinkie is technically meat. * Texas Twinkies. * Wanting to eat 35,000 year old Mammoth meat but it turns into a smelly liquid when you thaw it. * Thousand year eggs not looking a day older than 150. * Which genres CD quality is and isn't good enough for. * Frequency-based MP3 audio being decoded into PCM so it can be sent out of a speaker, and then back into a frequency-based format by your cochlea so it can reach your brain. * The Magic Mushroom PC dot com. * Running at the DOS prompt. * Classical music having way too much dynamic range. * Riding the volume knob to not go deaf while listening to the William Tell Overture. * Visible color banding during dark scenes in a movie. * El Camino except it's Del like Del Taco. * What LinkedIn is for.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Elena plugs whale sharks. * * Good whale shark faces: * * * Kappa is Kappa on and viniferavaria on Twitch. * Topics: * Whale sharks. * Ask Me About My Bizarre Quasi-Fanfiction (Animorphs/Madoka thematic fusion, sword of truth retake, lilite satanist narnia...) * Did you see that video where the Super Monkey Ball superfan went on a quest to find the narrator's voice actor? * Quest to find narrator: * A supposed new SMB game: * A ZZT community member recreated the lost ZZT source code from scratch and it compiles to a byte-identical executable * * Josh asks "" * Van Halen and the brown M&Ms * Bug reports and changelogs from video games that are just close enough to real life to be surreal Microtopics: * The whale shark's incredibly dumb face. * Lilite Satanist Narnia. * The Satanist version of what Narnia is to Christians and Golden Compass is to atheists. * Telling your best friend about the magical key you just found and going off together to have adventures. * Suddenly becoming monarch of a place you've never heard of and having to set policy when you're thirteen years old and have never taken an economics class in your life and also it's a magical kingdom so it uses magic economics anyway. * Building a paradise for people against their will. * Seeing enough sexism that you have to invent a splinter sect to get rid of it. * Nostalgic fiction from people with really weird backgrounds. * An 80s-ass computer terminal with an extremely full ashtray next to it. * Nostalgia for 16th century Polynesia. * Second-hand nostalgia. * Going on a quest to find the voice actor of a beloved video game. * Whether or not Sega is currently producing another Super Monkey Ball. * Whether or not you should monkey some balls. * Turning dials at the edge of a board and a ball bearing falls into a hole. * Going into the recording both with no context for the lines you are about to read. * Actors reading individual lines in a vacuum rather than reacting to each other. * Not having a good way to order the lines in your branching script so you deliver the lines to the actor in alphabetical order. * Using CD audio to store your sounds so you can only have 99 individual things you can play. * The last of the Guild of Weavers. * All the adults getting turned into swans and flying away. * An adventure game where you play a sequence of notes to select a verb. * Not having perfect pitch but being glad that there is a game mode for people who do. * Trying to summon a demon from beyond time. * Escaping reality with the other Weavers and all your friends are horrifically murdered and their ghosts are angry at you. * Pointing a decompiler at the game and typing in Pascal until it basically matches. * Comparing two executables by loading them both in a decompiler, rapidly switching between the windows and looking for differences on the screen. * Using the decompiler released by the NSA to reverse engineer ZZT, so you know the NSA must've reverse-engineered ZZT internally decades ago. * Whether or not the ZZT source code was lost in an interesting way. * How ZZT and Unreal were both sold as a video game but really the part people were interested in was the level editor. * More man-hours than a man has. * MMO developers releasing the client source code but not being allowed to release the server source code. * Nobody wanting to port a million line code base to another language. * Doing your best to elide over the more boring details. * Fixing about 30 complier errors and getting about another 30 because the compiler doesn't have great error recovery. * Going back to Flickr to find even higher resolution photos of bugs having sex. * Changing all the stars on the American flag to bugs. * What was going on in France. * How to fix the problem when your game is crashing in France. * One browser interpreting your integer as a percentage and the other interpreting it as a decimal. * Upending all of science because it's easier than disabling auto-formatting dates in Excel. * Approaching a project with the design goal of being as outrageous as possible. * Playing a game where you're unsure whether the time it crashed was intentional. * The rigid set of best practices for using snack foods to ensure machinery keeps working correctly. * The Van Halen brown M&M story as a conscientiousness filter. * That time Van Halen refused to play because there were brown M&Ms backstage and also the stage wasn't strong enough to hold all their equipment. * Rules that exist mostly as a way to determine how much the participant cares about being a good member of the community. * Forgetting your girlfriend's birthday and going back in time to get her a present. * Spending all day evaluating your list of people you might want to castrate. * Satanists ritually sacrificing themselves. * Being attacked by necromantically re-animated yak hooves and hair. * Your memories of seeing a lovely waterfall being amputated and necromantically re-animated and trying to drown you and it's extremely unclear how to kill the memory of a waterfall. * The process of getting dwarves to a place where they can do dwarf stuff. * Sadness that the badgers never made it into Faeries vs. Badgers. * A son waking up any minute now.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * John B is @YouOldSoAndSo everywhere. * 20th President of the United States James Garfield's proof of the Pythagorean Theorem: * Khan Academy video: * Nick is @NickPancakes on Twitter. Topics: * Micro game jams, Weekend of ZZT * WarioWare D.I.Y. archive: * Super Metroid and A Link to the Past Randomizer (a.k.a. SMZ3): * SGDQ2019 co-op speedrun: * The primary motivation for information acquisition being grist for making and understanding jokes * Ken Jennings' books about knowledge acquisition and comedy: * * * These two contain the sum of all human knowledge: * * * Roblox as the most popular game platform * Downloading Wikipedia: * All roads lead to "philosophy" on Wikipedia: * Adopt Me!, one of the most popular games created in Roblox:! * I Wanna Maker: * Quill points out: this list of things unexpectedly named after people: * "Widenius has three children – My, Max, and Maria – who inspired the names for MySQL, MaxDB and the MySQL-Max distribution, and MariaDB" * Becoming a film nerd * Turner Classic Movies, from the same company that brings you Mortal Kombat: * They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? - 1,000 Greatest Films, compiled using a Metacritic-like approach of looking at other people's lists: * Also, their 1,000 Noir Films list: * The Narrow Margin (1952): * The Tall Target (1951): * A good starting list for train movies, by no means exhaustive or definitive: * List of films on Netflix from the year 2000 and before, total count at the time of search approx. 250, compared to around 3,500 for 2001-2020 : * Kanopy, a movie streaming service you may be able to use through your local library: * Qwikster, b. 2011 d. 2011: * 1939, Hollywood's "annus mirabilis": * 1957 in Film: * Patton Oswalt's book about becoming a film nerd, Silver Screen Fiend: * CBoyardee, Barkley: Shut Up and Jam Gaiden, and the failure of Barkley 2. * CBoyardee's Dilbert trilogy: * Just check it out. * Barkley, Shut Up and Jam Gaiden: * Hardcore Gaming 101 article about the game: * Barkley 2 Kickstarter: * Barkley 2 PAX Prime 2015 interview for PC Gamer: * A longer look at Barkley 2 from that same PAX: * Barkley 2 - Janky Demo: * The gun's of Barkley 2: * Dingletopia, Gortarius' game that actually came out: * Not mentioned in the show, but CBoyardee also did some writing on the 2019 video game Katana ZERO: * Cyberdwarf Body Pillow (Warning: Tsundere): Microtopics: * What the insulin pod had to say. * An extremely sexy insulin pod telegraphing its own death. * Mourning many insulin pods at a rapid clip. * President Garfield's proof of the Pythagorean theorem. * Making your first ZZT game. * Doing fetch quest after fetch quest until two AIs fall in love and a nuclear reactor explodes. * Attempts to archive the user-uploaded games before the Wario Ware DIY servers get shut down. * The only Meat Boy game to come out for the Wii. * A demon that can only exist on sand and is formed of the sand. * ShareCart, the save format shared between many different games so you can save in one game and load in another. * How much Dr. Sbaitso likes you and how much his henchmen like you. * Spending an afternoon trying out randomly generated Game Genie codes. * Flipping random bits to see what comes out there other end. * Generating a hash of a large file twice in a row and getting two different results. * Seeing an exciting glitch in Super Mario 64 and nobody being able to replicate it until someone tries flipping bits in RAM like a solar ray might. * The randomizer hack that combines Link to the Past and Super Metroid into a single game. * Thirty people all making different games and hoping something interesting comes from mashing them together. * Why the heck everyone is suddenly talking about cake. * The primary use for your understanding of the world being making and understanding comedy. * Your filters going to sleep first, so you make weirder connections when you're half-asleep. * How everyone would know all the world capitals if you had also been obsessed with them as a child. * Spending 10% of your brain on how to spell antidisestablishmentarianism and the rest on the lyrics to "We Didn't Start The Fire." * How to download Wikipedia so you can give your son Wikipedia before you give him internet access. * How Roblox is a much more popular game platform than any you've ever touched. * Not knowing how to make games that appeal to children, but knowing how to make games that remind 40 year olds of when they were children. * The incredibly accurate clone of Counterstrike that some rando made inside of Roblox. * Roblox users calling platforming levels "Obbies." * The window in your life where you don't talk to children. * Watching a four year old play Minecraft and they're just breaking and replacing the same block over and over to see if it happens the same way every time. * A Roblox level that is just a series of waterslides. * "I Wanna Maker," for making your own masocore platformers. * How PageRank is named after Larry Page and Debian is named after Deb and Ian. * How Price Club is named after Sol Price and Main St. in San Fransisco is named after Charles Main. * Jim trying to figure out when humans first called a street Main St. and giving up. * "Taco Bell" appropriating respectfully because it respects the romance language adjective-noun order. * Reading about aptronyms in Marilyn vos Savant's column. * Sending your octuplets to a carnival owned by Larry Kidkill. * The late NASCAR racer Dick Trickle. * Changing our names to Fuck and starting a band called The Fucks and that's it, that's the tweet. * Unemployment as a prerequisite for starting any hobby as an adult. * Film Noir figuring out how to tell adult stories after the Hayes Code was enacted. * The constraints of being set on a train leading to compelling storytelling. * The train movie as a slightly less constrained bottle episode. * Whether they allow trains on the Internet Movie Car Database. * Yelling at librarians until morale improved. * Libraries often offering ebooks and movie streaming. * Netflix streaming having a limited selection of movies but the disc mailing service having every DVD, but it takes two or three days to get it. * Filmmakers being huge nerds and that's why they keep making movies about making movies. * 1939 and 1957 in filmmaking. * The history of Barkley Shut Up And Jam Gaiden. * Destroying Manhattan by performing a Chaos Dunk. * Setting your cyberpunk universe after basketball has been outlawed. * The dangers of running a successful Kickstarter. * The game design conceit that there should be way too much of everything. * Bizarre unthinkable development processes that somehow in the end produce a shippable game. * A 397-page forum thread of people asking "Where is Barkley 2?" * The second concrete product of the Barkley 2 Kickstarter, after the CyberDwarf body pillow.
Oops! All Biogel

Oops! All Biogel


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Jenni is emailable at and plugs Chris's cooking channel on Youtube. * * Maxx is on Twitter as @mechcem or emailable at and plugs their game bookclub thing. * Topics: * Not caring if you're duplicating thought work that was done by a ton of people forever ago because you're having a good time. * * Correction on Japanese crop microbiome. * The PXL-2000 camcorder * * This is the first Wikipedia page for a movie that has the entire movie embedded in the page: * * Search and rescue as an excuse for robotics research. * What if poop worked like, you ate dinosaur chicken nuggets, you got dinosaur poops. * It's annoying that it took me so long to realize I love writing dialog trees. Microtopics: * Thinking that other people have had sex, when they haven't. * Making a very good one about fried green boys. * The dominant recessive two alleles punnett square stuff. * All the mystery flowers that have been reproducing willy nilly. * Finding out about Redstone and reinventing computing from scratch. * Whether figuring out all the crafting shapes is a good part of Minecraft. * Waking up in an abandoned cryogenics facility and enjoying the plastic bag upgrade tree. * Waking up in an abandoned cryogenics facility but there's lots of fish sticks so you just eat fish sticks. * Whether fish sticks are frozen fish or are born sticks. * Making a stick into a spear by holding it in your hand. * A shopping cart breaking into almost enough pieces to make a new shopping cart. * The soul of the shopping cart ascending into heaven so you have to play a fishing minigame to get it back. * A good starter project where after your finish it there are birds in it right now. * Beginner knowledge work projects feeling useless because somebody already wrote the program you just wrote. * 3D printer projects resulting in a physical artifact even when there's an error. * Constantly being annoyed that you're not a scientist in the 1300s. * How Tycho Brahe was the "greatest naked eye astronomer" because he owned a sextant and had a bunch of spare time that he spent looking up. * An "octant" possibly being 33% more than a sextant but nobody on the podcast is sure. * Trying to figure out what "congresstant" means. * Japanese far right nationalists being terrified of Koreans touching their rice. * Hearing a Japanese person say a fact about Japan and just assuming that it's true. * Wes Anderson accidentally validating far right Japanese nationalists by putting their caricatures of a foreigner in Isle of Dogs. * Watching Japanese television because your Japanese isn't good enough to tell who's being a far right douchebag. * Muting a TV show and procedurally generating subtitles whenever someone speaks. * Localizing an anime without knowing what characters were originally saying. * Sitting there with your 2020 sensibilities going "oh my god." * Saving video to audio cassette. * The camera that filmed the two minute performance art scene in Richard Linklater's Slacker. * Not having time to watch Monty Python movies but hanging eventually internalizing the whole oeuvre from when fans quote it. * Picking a movie and having to communicate only in lines from that movie for the rest of your life. * Looking for the movie with the most words in it but Google only wants to tell you the movie with the most f-words in it. * Not having seen Casino but deciding to say only things that they say in Casino from now on. * According to this one web page Jim found, Team America World Police only having 1600 words in it. * Hearing a line from Casino and immediately forgetting it. * Singing Come to my Window by Melissa Etheridge except with blueberries. * A mask that covers your eyes but plays a tone in your ears based on the distance of the closest object in front of each eye. * Watching the entire movie inside the Wikipedia page for the movie. * Embedding Myst in Wikipedia. * Putting on your business card that the Frog Fractions Wikipedia page is rated "GA" for "good article." * Plugging the Wikipedia article for Frog Fractions into GPT-2 and learning facts about future sequels. * Insect-inspired robots. * People asking what your robot design is for and always saying "search and rescue" and everybody believing you even though search and rescue people never use robots. * Making robots that are too small to get military funding because they can't carry a payload. * Taking an ultrasound of a fly while it's flying. * Inventing the idiom "cheap as a moth." * Harvesting antennae from dead moths and attaching it to your circuit board with Bio Gel and your circuit board has a sense of smell until the antenna rots away an hour later. * Moths not having a circulatory system but they do some stuff with liquids. * Whether or not Jim's wife needs an army of robot bugs for her park ranger crew. * Your life goal being to annoy your neighbors with the self-replicating robot mosquito you invented. * Smearing bio gel on you battery connectors and then inserting any foodstuff into the battery compartment. * Putting flies on leashes. * A robot-fighting praying mantis with a perfect record. * The mantis refusing to fight any given robot more than once. * Oops, All Biogel. * Enjoying looking at all your little dinosaur poops. * Eating alphabet soup consecutively and sending a photo of the toilet to your message recipient. * Discovering your superpowers at a baby food tasting party. * Eating baby food for the first time and vienna sausages bursting from every pore. * Identifying a strange substance by putting it in your mouth. * Tasting the ash of a cremated person and pooping out their face, then applying the electricity and they come back to life. * Not discovering that you love writing dialog trees until you're 41. * Making a mixtape of Nintendo DS ROMs for your partner. * Writing a dialog tree into a stressful email so you get all the future stressful emails out of the way too. * Your girlfriend reading your dialog tree linearly so she thinks you want to break up, get married, have a baby, and move to Pittsburgh. * Gmail basically being a dialog tree nowadays. * The Gmail Labs feature that predicts the three suggested responses that your recipient will see, so you can rewrite your email until they only get three variations of "Wow, what a great email!" * Ostensibly being a comedy writer but laughing harder at dialog written by an algorithm. * Japanese people making an acknowledgement noise for every word you say, and feeling way too validated. * Reading RPG-style text and imagining somebody making a grunting noise every time a letter appears.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Alexander teaches math at the college level, which has been quite an experience the past few months. * Jonah makes music for video games, for example Pony Island. * Topics: * TI-83 games. Specifically, Tie Fighter / Bobsled / Indy500. * The jazz fusion act that inspired all video game music. * This is the concert we refer to: * But these are the specific T-Square songs included in the episode: * * * * * * "Pronounced EE-wee also known as a robo-oboe" * This particular Adventure Playground seems to imply the purpose of the nails is to allow children to build things. * Wikipedia in different languages has different opinions on stuff. * * Quill asks: "My name is [name] and i'm here to say [...]" rap cliche can be dated back to a 1940's Chiquita banana commercial" * * * * Jamming at full leisure speed. * * Cartography and meteorology on weirdly-shaped fantasy worlds. * * The Doctor Who theme was created before widely available synthesizers. * * * * * * * Microtopics: * Using only the funny TLDs. * Trying to figure it out as you go. * Getting seriously into online homework grading. * Learning the weird object-based Perl they use for checking homework answers. * A podcast with a larger than normal demographic of math teachers. * The most accessible way to develop very small games. * Whether Tie Fighter / Bobsled / Indy 500 is one game or several. * Swapping games over the audio port. * Adding a line from Cool Runnings and renaming your racing game to Bobsled. * Remaking the entirety of Pokemon Red in a TI calculator. * All real world work being done in ways that would get you expelled if you were still in college. * Commissioning your high school classmate to make a bowling minigame in TI-Basic. * A thousand years in the future when nobody knows where TI calculators came from or how they work, but they're still the only calculator allowed on standardized tests. * Jazz fusion's towering influence over video game music. * Thinking a work is wholly original because you have no context for its inspirations. * Playing a riff from Kirby's Dream Land in a solo over Chick Correa's "Spain." * A band fronted by duelling wind controllers. * Having fun exploring and jumping on things. * Jumping into any part of a three hour concert and hearing a water level. * Japanese video games' sense of mystery benefitting from the American ignorance of their influences. * Deliberately exposing children to risk in play. * Rigorous safety procedures pushing back against incredibly unlikely outcomes. * Small children being basically indestructible. * 48 hours of sitting in a room with fans blowing on you, and you're a ghost. * Getting a lot of nosebleeds and hearing everyone's pet remedy for nosebleeds. * Trying all the nosebleed remedies and ending up with a bunch of cool hobbies. * Your favorite nosebleed remedy being dipping your french fries in the chocolate shake, not because it stops the bleeding but because it's delicious. * Wikipedia's surprising plausibility. * Reading Wikipedia and believing things on it even though anyone can edit it at any time. * Private services that seem like they really ought to be a branch of the government. * The pre-history dark ages from which we have no mind uploads. * Each of the Rice Krispies elves singing a verse about their onomatopoeic sound. * Grandmaster Flash watching that Chiquita Banana commercial in the 40s and being like "someday I'm gonna be a rapper and bite that one line." * Tracing a Miami Bass chorus back to a football chant. * The Cool S and the Epic of Gilgamesh being of similarly obscure origins. * The intense frustration of not being able to tell the difference between writing a song and remembering a song. * The damning similarities between "Yesterday" and "Georgia on my Mind." * Music lawsuits being decided by juries of non-musicians. * A Midsummer Night's Dream containing a performance of the Greek play that Shakespeare ripped off when writing Romeo and Juliet. * How to pronounce Ludum Dare. * Taking the weekend to do a game jam and making a game in about four hours and then deciding to watch a movie and relax. * Acrobats with extreme control of their bodies, except for time management. * Learning to scope on the fly by doing game jams. * Starting with a bouncing ball no matter how big your game idea is. * Doing an entire company's worth of git merges and everything collapses into a steaming heap. * Joining a game jam as a scrum master. * Putting separate minigames together into a single game. * Having no idea how to estimate the time it takes to do tasks you do every day. * Making a spreadsheet to find out whether you're making a new web site for your Fall class. * Playing Frog Fractions 2 to find Alexander's chess jam game. * A problem with no fully satisfying solution but hundreds of partially satisfying solutions. * Peeling an orange and then try to make the peel as flat as possible. * What the day/night cycle would be like on a donut planet. * Trying to imagine the political machinations informing the cartography of a fantasy race. * A tide chart for if you have two moons and you're inside a donut. * Land-biased maps where the land is displayed intact but oceans are cut into pieces. * A map displaying any given straight-line path from the front of a penny to the back. * Unwittingly making merciless caricatures of Mr. Lincoln. * You vs. the one she told you not to worry about vs. the one you told her not to worry about vs. the one your mom told you not to worry about vs. the one your mom told you to worry about. * The performance of the 1963 Doctor Who theme. * Doing what feels like interesting work enabled by modern tools and finding out someone did similar work 100 years ago using much more primitive tools. * Cutting audio tape into microscopic strips and rearranging them into interesting sonic textures. * A weird proto-physical synth non-synth thing. * Moving your hand in physical space with no visual reference like a chump. * Artists doing laborious work with primitive tools when they could've just waited 100 years and it would've been so much easier. * A phone app that you take photos with but you have to wait three days after you finish the roll to see the photos. * All the joy of constraint and none of the headache of actually working with 8-bit hardware. * Inventing the math and physics to predict the tides as you're building your tide-predicting machine. * Writing a song about how to get a #1 single and then doing it. * Having a bunch of hit singles and then burning the money you made.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Elizabeth is not on the Internet but plugs, which puts historically accurate books in the hands of Native American children. * Erica is already on the roof of your car and plugs Glittermitten Grove, a game which is full of surprises Topics: * I'm going to have to ask you to leave the goat outside: driving the bookmobile in rural Washington. * Bookmobiles as a center of rural life: * "Every time we avalanched from one end of the stage to the other, the Unabridged Dictionary would come too" and other hazards of driving with books, from Mark Twain’s "Roughing It": * The Ellerbe Lawnmower Races: * Hot Saw: * Arguing with your husband about the insects in your fridge. * The tiny moth that haunts Erica’s fridge: * How do you pick an effective charity? * Erica's effective charities: * American Civil Liberties Union: * Southern Poverty Law Center: * Natural Resources Defense Council: * Doctors Without Borders: * Page Ahead: * Okapi Conservation Project: * Erotica in the public library. * Elizabeth says: "The best way to find the erotica in your library is to use the subject headings in the [WorldCat] catalog []. The easiest way to do this is probably to search the catalog for '50 Shades of Grey' or some other erotic novel you know is in the collection, select the book to open up it’s library record, then scroll down to the subject headings and select 'Erotic Fiction.' That should bring up everything in your local library system. If you’re looking for a particular kink, I suggest searching for a reading list on goodreads, then checking the world catalog, located at to find the library copy closest to you. Remember, even if your library doesn’t own a copy, you can still request an inner library loan- just call the branch nearest to you and ask for help. :)" * Menage series H.O.T. Cops: * Hot cops, the gay erotica series: * A real Tingler: Unicorn Butt Cops Beach Patrol * Hiring assistants (for field biology) and then trying to live with them. * The Bowerbirds Hymn for a Dark Horse, written during an otherwise unproductive field season: * It's all tied up with memories of living in the Rocky Mountains for me, but it's a very North Carolina album. * The Bowerbirds get their own details wrong interview: * Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not just about being neat: * "[Passengers] always run to the side when there is anything to see, whereas a conscientious and experienced steamboatman would stick to the center of the boat and part his hair in the middle with a spirit level," and other wisdom of evenness from Mark Twain’s "Life on the Mississippi": Microtopics: * Breaking format. * Representing Native Americans with integrity and dignity. * A video game that is full of surprises. * A baby who wants string cheese so much he pulls the entire handle off of the refrigerator. * Little walking chaos machines with a penchant for string cheese. * The story of why you don't have a phone. * Dying of dysentery because of string cheese. * Really getting the soap deep into that charging port. * A giant red school bus but instead of seats it has bookshelves. * Bookshelves with seat belts. * A very serious version of the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. * A small town with a population of 300 where nobody sees each other except for once a month when the bookmobile visits. * A literacy earthquake. * A therapy goat that doesn't have any paperwork because you just discovered that being around the goat makes you less anxious. * Spreading hay all over the conference room and letting the guinea pigs loose. * Guinea pigs who are not embraced by the community at large. * Goats and libraries being natural enemies. * An enormous encyclopedia flying at your head every time you hit a bump in the road. * Small children encircling the Bookmobile and chanting because they are excited for books. * Lust for literacy. * Removing the governor from your riding mower and driving it over an obstacle course at 90mph. * Dividing your lawnmower races into weight classes. * Souping up your eight foot chainsaw and every child in town immediately crying when you turn it on because your Hot Saw is so loud. * Taking your three year old to see Jaws. * Sleeping through Alien (1979) as a six month old shaping your creative direction forever. * Buying a corn dog the length of your femur. * A corn dog that is so long that you can't hold it and put it in your mouth at the same time. * Putting down a blue tarp because it's Washington and everything is done with blue tarps. * Covering a tarp with dishwashing liquid and then putting kids in full body rubber tubes and goggles with slug antenna and making them race. * Making your slug race medal out of a metal that is constantly slimy. * Negotiating getting a minifridge with your future roommate. * The special kind of organism that can overcome a plant's defenses to live inside of it. * A moth living in your fridge and your husband is like "that's not my moth." * Not being able to release your refrigerator moth into the wild because you don't know that biome it came from. * Finding out what parts of your diet you share with the moth in your fridge. * A symphony of Roys. * The ant colony that has entirely taken over the bathroom who are all named Roy. * The amount of biomass required to observe you pooping before you'll get embarrassed. * Giving a Lordy award to Refrigerator Roy. * Whether what a given charity uses your money for is even that effective in the grand scheme of things. * Not feeling the need to donate to the charity of the week because you've already given money to an organization addressing the systemic causes of the problem. * Receiving more donations in a week than you have in the past 10 years and not having any idea what to do with the money. * Giving money to the folks in the office passing the hat around, then finding out that they're using the money to go on vacation. * Grocery stores gauging your level of disposable income by asking you to make charitable donations at checkout. * Libraries shifting from providing people books they ought to read, to providing people with porn. * Judging porn by its cover. * Recommending Hot Cops without reading it yourself. * Bodice rippers written in the 90s starting a romantic relationship with a rape, but modern bodice rippers depicting explicit conversations about consent. * Treating every request with dignity because if you have a cranky day you immediately lose the trust of the community. * A middle-aged woman from a conservative community trusting you enough to ask for porn recommendations. * A feud in the garden club about the etymology of the Purple Prussian Potato. * Coming in every week to ask the librarians how the Purple Prussian Potato got its name when it predates Prussia. * A librarian getting through the terrible parts of their job so they can focus on the ridiculous potato question somebody asked. * "Unicorn Butt Cops Beach Patrol" doing what it says on the tin. * Having to sleep in the same tent as your field assistant for months, but not being able to be friends with them because then they won't take orders. * Calling a friend who is a manager at a food processing plant to ask for advice on de-conflicting your field assistants who are constantly blowing up at each other. * Hiring field assistants to measure bird populations for eight months, but instead of counting birds they write a critically acclaimed album about the North Carolina landscape and wildlife. * All these problems going away if you just had a budget to hire people. * Having to carry twice as much water because the adrenaline jockey rushing ahead of you thinks he won't need any water. * Measuring plants for 14 hours a day. * LI-COR machines that measure leaf respiration. * Coming back from your field work after six months and your friends gave up on you because they haven't been able to call you on the phone. * The exhaustion of having to be in charge all the time because you live with your employees. * Refusing to go to town for pizza because you can't afford to be friends with your employees. * Realizing you're becoming somebody's dinner party story. * Developing OCD in your first quarter of college and your roommate moving out because you don't have any coping strategies yet. * Your time to blossom and find other weirdos like yourself, except it turns out even the weirdos don't want to know you. * Discovering that you are crazy in your first year of college and then having to figure out how to navigate this country's broken mental health system while crazy. * Maintaining totally symmetrical stimulus on the left and right sides of your body. * Steamboat captains obsessed with navigating exactly down the middle of the Mississippi river.
Non-Euclidean Christianity

Non-Euclidean Christianity


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Ryan is @RyanIkeComposer on Twitter and @RyanIkeAudio on Instagram and is probably not working on Skyrim 2? * Tyriq is FourbitFriday everywhere and really wants to finish Catacomb Kids. * Topics: * What's a fandom you're not a part of, but kind of wish you were? * Pointless Automatons * * * * * Please help reconstruct this lost pun: "vegan jazz standards" with nutritional yeast * Mallow asks: "how do you grapple with / think about your legacy? (things that sprang to mind included the relevant timeframe, obligations to the future, how/what people inherit from their ancestors, and how (self-)censorship is a way to cut off a legacy)" * Consistency of idiolect * Disfluencies providing value to the listener: * How can we appeal to Gen Z so when they take over we aren't executed along with the Boomers? Microtopics: * Clapping just because it's fun. * A trainwreck of three people talking over each other. * Being in a corridor and punching a weird alien. * Topic thirst. * Pokemon Snap making you even more of a pariah, if that's even possible. * Throwing apples at a Snorlax until it wakes up, like the shitty kid at the zoo. * A reverse body snatcher situation, where you're the only alien walking around in a skin suit. * Enjoying a game more if it doesn't involve collecting things. * Going to a free R&B concert every Sunday. * Going to a white small town Lutheran church which was boring and lame. * The organ coming in for particularly high-energy moments. * Somebody telling you that you are inches away from going to hell in the same basement that they just had an alcoholics anonymous meeting four seconds ago. * Having to worry about all your atheist friends going to hell. * Non-Euclidean Christianity. * Refusing to put anything in your ears to make the music be less music and going deaf for three days. * Big moving contraptions that resemble some sort of life form made out of shafts of PVC that wander along the beaches. * Having no purpose other than to exist. * Having made so many things extinct that you feel obligated to fill the ecosystem with weird new robots. * Sentient scooters running wild in New York City. * An adorable robot that can only roll forward and relies on passers-by to navigate. * Automations existing wholly outside of the human sphere. * A battlebot that got loose in the forest, a ramp rolling around the forest floor flipping over pinecones. * Wanting to believe that battlebots are real so badly that you forget that they have RC drivers. * A robot with a nuke or at least a flail. * A village of Rube Goldberg machines triggering each other forever. * Listing jazz standards except replacing one of the words in each title with "nooch." * One of those jokes that you construct for 17 people to get, but those 17 people really appreciate it. * Slipping in the shower and the last thought in your head before you die is the game of the jazz standard that makes the best nooch pun. * Not being sure whether an answer to your question is possible but proceeding under the assumption that it is. * Not allowing yourself to die until you know the answer. * Carrying around the answer to your life's question in your wallet so whenever you're ready to die you can read it and the paramedics will find you crumpled on the floor holding a note that just says "The Girl From Ipanoocha." * Just wanting to be a person who has a finished game. * Being driven to finish your current project so you can start the next one. * Realizing that just because you made a promise to finish one project, you're allowed to do other things too. * The projects that anyone can come in and finish vs. the projects that will die with you. * Not having the attention span to finish a big project unless you owe it to somebody. * Having some realizations right here on the podcast. * Convincing yourself that the thing you want to do can fit as part of your larger project. * Making music and never playing it for anybody because you're just making music because you enjoy it. * All the great artists of the past having had a record label or a church they were beholden to. * Michelangelo just deciding "this ceiling looks wack, I'm gonna fix it." * Thinking of your unpublished works as increasing your posthumous clout. * Putting your unpublished works in the attic because that's where people find posthumous art. * Selling one album to somebody in New Jersey in your twelve year music career. * Starting a patreon for people who want to support your main work and putting only unrelated works behind the patreon paywall. * Uploading yourself to the cloud and making jam games forever for an audience of nobody. * Adopting new phrases into your lexicon and letting other ones vanish. * Adopting the vocal mannerisms and vocabulary of people you hang out with. * Needing a phrase that means "diggity dang" but replacing each one after six months as you get sick of it. * Talking to someone who doesn't use "umm" or "like" and instead just pauses for the same amount of time, and never being sure if they're done talking or if they are about to headbutt you. * So-called "disfluencies" like "umm" and "uh" providing value to the listener in that they signify that the upcoming idea is more complex. * Why everyone talked so fast in the early 20th century. * Op-eds from Victorian times complaining about how young women are constantly saying "prithee" and "perchance" now. * Needing the revolution to start soon because the boomers are about to die of old age and then the guillotine falls squarely on Gen X. * Boomers writing op-eds about how Gen Z hates Gen X and millennials too, in hopes of inventing a generational divide that they're not on the wrong side of. * Giving the next generation instructions on how and why to destroy you. * The age segregation in the American school system resulting in most people knowing only people their own age for much of their lives. * Cultural generations shortening as cultural change speeds up, until twins born minutes apart are on opposite sides of a war. * Starting an Instagram to try to connect with the kids. * College costing either zero or infinity dollars depending on the letter your last name starts with.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * John * Biker Chicks Tier List. * Jesse * Topics: * Canadian Heritage Minutes * * YouTube playlist of Heritage Minutes: * List of Heritage Minutes on Wikipedia: * What are your tips for collaborating with people with a higher or lower skill level than you? * Are we allowed to talk yet about how for decades all 3D games were incredibly ugly * * The website I build in high school & college is lost to the ages, or: how to reconstruct memories of your past without external records * The lost Willie Brown records * * Willie Brown - Future Blues: * "Grandma Blues" cover (prank?): * PBS History Detectives episode about Paramount Records: Microtopics: * Being a playable character in Frog Fractions 2. * Ranking every Biker Chick from worst to best. * Regretting not having more Canadian Lords on the show. * Still making your TV PSAs even though nobody watches TV any more. * The big robotic articulating arm on the space shuttles. * That time Quebec was going to quit Canada. * A group shot with one teen of every ethnicity and gender configuration. * Reenacting the time someone told the creator of Superman that nobody will care about Superman. * Canada's revolting safety PSAs. * Hanging maple syrup for treason. * The biggest man-made explosion prior to the invention of nuclear weapons. * Celebrating the people who people who became successful after leaving your country. * Trading on the low-key anti-Americanism that is part of the Canadian national identity. * Taking a 45 minute break to worship the military. * Deciding that an idea is important and jamming it into the brain of millions of people. * Doing your best to enjoy yourself even though you are the worst musician at this particular jam session. * The high pressure world of game jamming. * The anxiety of waiting to be picked for a sports team. * Trusting your collaborators. * Not being a mentor so much as a friend who is around to answer questions. * Feeling like you failed your tutoring student but he was pleased and passed his course, so probably it was fine. * The ongoing war between R programmers and Python programmers. * Making your favorite programming language tolerable by totally replacing the syntax. * The smoke effect in Super Mario 64 looking like the MS Paint graffiti tool. * Goldeneye slappy hands. * The difficulty of going back to the video games of the Ugly Period. * Playing old video games on an unreasonably large CRT TV that you can't move by yourself. * Using modern technology to remove the texture filtering from Nintendo 64 games. * Conditioning gamers to desire the next step in graphical realism. * An epic story with three CDs full of cutscenes. * The old movie connoisseurs who want to see only the best examples of terrible stilted 1940s acting. * Making a video game in the mid 00s and having to support both SD and HD aspect ratios. * Moving your web site from Geocities to a cooler hosting provider in France who then stops hosting web sites because of a change in French law. * A gap in your personal history where no written records exist because they were on the early internet. * Letting a web site expire because you built it on old technology that your hosting provider now charges extra to support. * A government form asking you to remember every place you've lived for the past fifteen years. * The threshold for memory sticking. * What we would do with our missing histories if we had them. * Allowing yourself to remember a period in your life and then putting it in deep storage. * The object as a record of a moment. * Dredging the river near the defunct Paramount Records factory in Wisconsin, in hopes of finding pre-war blues records. * Old blues music now being exclusively the province of rich white boomers. * Writing and recording a fake Willie Brown song to prank record collectors. * Recording blues albums so you can sell phonograph cabinets to Black folks who can finally afford nice things. * Your record company being unable to obtain shellac during World War 2, so you go back to making chairs. * Training a neural network on old blues records to recreate a song using the single shard of the shattered shellac record you found. * Finding shards of different shattered shellac records that happen to fit together, and mashing them up. * Digitizing LPs by putting them on a flatbed scanner. * That time a news broadcast showed the QR code of someone's Bitcoin wallet on screen and someone immediately emptied it. * Cutting a new key based on a photograph of someone's key ring, when it's way easier to just break a window. * Recovering ancient room ambience by analyzing the striation on ancient pottery. * Breaking a code by beating the decryption key out of somebody and not having to read any cryptanalysis white papers. * Putting fake information about yourself on Spokeo as part of your personal ARG.
A Delicious Mushball

A Delicious Mushball


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Shane is a Jesuit Regent who used to make video games. * * Donate to the Jesuit Refugee Service: * Nathan makes games mostly about jumping and shooting 2D monsters. * * Topics: * Beforeigners (Norwegian TV show about refugees from different historical periods showing up in present-day) * Trailer: * Curating your child's entertainment so they grow up with good taste * I spent half an hour watching someone solve a Sudoku and it was amazing * * Brandon asks: "Taking care of children vs taking care of pets" * Other jobs game designers would do well performing, after they leave game dev * History of changing worldviews -- not just Darwin, but things like the Big Bang and Continental Drift were originally seen as crackpot fringe theories Microtopics: * Saying your names at the beginning of the podcast and activating your wonder twin powers. * Quality inventive gameplay-driven entertainment. * Doing an earnest plug for once. * Figuring out how to make games for someone other than gamers. * Your game dev heroes being in their fifties and chasing success they had in their twenties. * Taking a vow of poverty and annoying off your wife and child. * Needing to find a patron because your art is not commercially viable. * No longer having your finger on the pulse of indie games. * Assuming the internet will be all over a particular TV series but somehow there are not endless memes about it. * Vikings apparating into modern Oslo and and solving a murder mystery. * The show about Vikings solving a modern-day murder mystery somehow not incorporating The Immigrant Song. * The American remake of Beforeigners where it's still about vikings so the protagonists can be white. * Finding out that a game is only four hours long and asking if it could be two hours instead. * Introducing video games to your child in order of release so they develop a taste for the classics. * Figuring out how to introduce your child to the Internet without ruining them. * Installing an internet proxy to protect your child from depraved porn by replacing it with videos of normal people having normal sex. * Today's teens playing Bushido Blade and discovering that it has a pocket sand button. * The classic game history situations. * Wanting your child to like all the hobbies you think are boring. * Watching a man repeatedly astonish himself at his own ability to solve a puzzle. * Feeling like you are in conversation with the puzzle designer. * Watching a movie over and over again. * Taking the smallest possible step when a problem seems impossible. * One of those Master Class videos if the person was discovering that they were a master while making the video. * A five year old taking the family car to California to buy a Lamborghini with the $3 in his pocket. * Feeling your family tree stretching out forwards into the future and behind you into the past. * Watching your child grow agency and opinions and knowing it's your responsibility to shape them. * You and the cat enjoying each other's company while the cat doesn't die. * Your kid doing something bad and everybody looking at you. * Cheering when your child goes down the stairs correctly. * Game design teaching you to see the world as systems. * Studying economics at an academic level and feeling like you're turning our game design skills inside out. * Trying to convince people outside of game development that being a game developer has taught you anything meaningful. * Being failed up to a level design role because anyone can scrub out a tile map. * Level designers getting more respect when it started requiring technical chops. * Needing a web page and getting your nephew to do it rather than paying an expensive consultant, because frankly 99% of people can't tell the difference. * Trying to write your own CSS renderer because you don't want to just make it a web page. * Trying to convince your friends that you were once a big shot in the game dev world. * The Societate Jesu having an incredible faction progression. * Giving people progressively cooler titles instead of raises. * Getting an extra year of being a priest before you die. * Doing a cool thing while you're alone and getting bummed out that nobody saw it. * Trying to throw fruits and vegetables as close as possible to the ceiling without actually hitting it. * Hating doing marketing so much that you invent a project where the whole point is that it's a secret and you'll never promote it. * How South America kind of fits right into Africa. * Hypothesizing continental drift and the scientific community telling you to fuck right off. * The lost continent of Lemuria. * Fringe scientific theories only gaining traction when existing scientists die. * Taking comfort in the fact that how people in the past were wrong but what we believe now is definitely correct and we'll never have to change our minds. * Being presented with contrary evidence and dying on the spot. * The most delicious bolus. * Eating cookie dough rather than ruining it by putting it in the oven. * The variety of textures and flavors of drinking milk and then eating cookies. (Not dipping the cookies in milk.) * The worldview shift that leads you to change your handle from Cynical Panda to Optimist Panda. * Playing Bomberman '93 with your nine year old and eventually having to explain to him that 93 is your dad's age. * An alternate-history Spock-with-a-goatee video game console. * Living in your house for 30 years and suddenly discovering three additional rooms. * Buying a NES and SNES classic even though you've been playing those games in emulation since the 90s.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Rachel helps run Glitch City. * * * Natalie makes art games. * * Topics: * If there was another animal that was horse sized and rideable, what would you want it to be? * He-Man Sings. * Chicken beauty pageants. * Would Jurassic Park be the same if the dinosaurs were depicted as giant birds instead of giant lizards and can you even be afraid of fluffy dinosaurs? Also, would your first instinct really be to run away from a fluffy dinosaur? * Daylight savings time abuse in speed runs * Zero hour game jam. * Brad asks: "Hands-free browsing seeming great until you sneeze and close all your tabs" * * If humans got an upgrade, what changes would you want to make? E.g. no pooping, only 4 hours of sleep. * Graham, who evolved to survive car crashes. * * Is it bad representation to put a dog in a video game and then not let you pet it? How would dogs feel about this? * The "Cool S" and the alphabet shovel * * Is it morally conscientious to make sourdough, name it, and basically form a bond with it the way you would with a pet, and then eat it? Is it ok to eat something you've named and deeply care about? * What's a terrible food from your childhood that you love? Microtopics: * Living in the same city all your life. * Migrating your physical co-working space to a virtual co-working space. * Splashing around in your artwork. * A horse-sized great Dane that you ride around. * How human civilization would have been different if early man rode giant chickens rather than horses. * The most testosterone-filled Saturday morning cartoon available. * Transforming into a buff confident cat when it's time to save the day. * Chicken dressage. * Whether Poland has unicorn chickens, and if so, why didn't they put them in The Witcher. * Your giant chicken companion laying a giant egg and staring at you expectantly until you eat the egg. * Chilling out and eating bugs and vegetable scraps. * Having a pair of pliers for a face. * The stupendous cowardice of Steven Spielberg refusing to add feathers to the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. * Just how fluffy velociraptors would have to become in order to be considered birbs. * Velociraptors having been about the size of a turkey. * Being eaten by an adorable bird and hugging it from the inside. * Whether Pom Pom is about the size of a beach ball or about the size of a shoggoth. * Sitting on Pom Pom like a pilates ball, and whether he'd be into that. * An extremely clever abuse of our cultural understanding of time. * Making a video game in zero hours. * Preferring tools maintained by small communities. * Making a replacement for Flash without understanding why people like Flash. * Really giving touchscreens the business. * Whether or not touchscreens will be as good as mice and keyboards if we give them another thirty years to evolve. * Noticing a grease print where your ear touched your phone's screen during a call. * Keyboards also being excellent mirrors for how filthy humans are. * Your hands feeling like they're doing something meaningful when you touch your letters. * Starting a hobby where you touch mysterious peppers. * The Schmidt Sting Pain Index making certain stings sound delightful. * The sting of the digger bee: almost pleasant, a lover just bit your earlobe a little too hard. * The sting of the sweat bee: light, ephemeral, almost fruity. A tiny spark has singed a single hair on your arm. * The sting of the bullet ant: pure, intense, brilliant pain, like walking over charcoal with a three-inch nail embedded in your heel. * Whether the Bullet Ant is named so because their sting makes you feel like you've been shot. * Couches, where humans go. * Detaching your stuffy nose and leaving it at home until your cold gets better. * Trying to hide from your employer that you don't need to sleep. * Whether or not you'd sleep on purpose even if you didn't have to. * Switching from food and beverages to photosynthesis. * The Atomic Purple boy showing off his pineal gland in anatomy class. * Whether dogs think other dogs are good dogs. * Putting a dog and a petting interface in your game so that you can pet the dog. * Not knowing how to draw but still being able to draw the cool S. * A fantastically evocative way to talk about typing. * Trying to think of something clever and alliterative to say. * Re-learning how to make the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" hand motion when you're 40 years old. * Getting some sourdough starter in a mason jar and immediately shattering the jar on the ground before you even get the chance to name it "Gerald." * Counting the number of bubbles that your sourdough starter makes. * Eating only a small piece of Gerald each time you make a loaf of sourdough. * The yeast throwing a party while the dough rises. * An alternate reality where it's seen as good and noble to eat the dead. * Feeding your prospective lover your body hair. * Adding an egg to ramen so that it's technically healthy. * A parrot that needs to be convinced to eat fruit. * The simplest carb and fat blast you can imagine. * Feeding your parrot whatever it is you're eating for dinner. * Hot dogs and grapes being the perfect size to choke to death on. * Salad Minus The D.
Fela Cooties

Fela Cooties


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Jay is working on an expansion to Hypnospace Outlaw. * * Rollin' With Tholen * Chris's album "The Lost Backups" will hopefully be out by the time this episode airs. * * * Topics: * 7:06 I'm looking for ideas for my "songwriters" "tarot deck" * The Most Wanted Song * The Most Unwanted Song * 19:05 Did CD-ROM multimedia programs have advantages over later formats (fancy websites, mobile apps, etc.) or is it just nostalgia? * Ishkur's Guide. * * 26:47 Banana Variety Box results * "The Coronavirus Is Bringing Back a 1,000-Year-Old ‘Cheese’ in Japan" * 33:58 Craig asks: "Picking the right speech sample for the breakdown in your '90s techno. Compare and contrast, 'I am not an Atomic Playboy' from Second Reality vs. 'Ow that hurts' from Ballz: The Director's Cut for 3DO" * Ballz. * Second Reality. * Legion of Rock Stars. * 2 Legit 2 Quit. * The Mollusk. * 41:23 The genres available in the ID3 tag. They look like a 14 year old just started naming genres off the top of his head and stopped when he hit 128. Where did this come from and why have we let it persist for so long? * Milton Fludgecow. * 46:14 Who remembers * Microtopics: * Adding even more Internet to your fake Internet. * Hearing someone pronounce their own name wrong in a YouTube video and shaking your fist at the screen. * Changing your name because you're just looking to make your way. * The multitude of four-letter B and K names in the demo scene. * Promoting your album because hopefully you'll finish it before this episode is out. * Dreaming your friend a horrible job history. * A pair of tongs with a sticker on them saying "Super Atheist." * The guy in the pharmacy whose only job is to not give people their prescription. * Getting your doctorate for free because you're dating a doctor. * Forgetting all about Peter Schmidt. * Buying chord pack after chord pack and eventually giving up and buying the ultra-rare G11/F# card from a collector. * An app that scans your Spotify play list and generates a list of constraints to write songs under. * A team of researchers writing the perfect song by surveying listeners about what elements of music that they like the most. * A team of researchers writing the worst possible song by surveying listeners about what elements of music that they hate the most. * A rap opera about life on the farm with a children's choir singing holiday and corporate jingles. * Breaking your jaw harp because your jaw is just too strong. * People hating different kinds of music in 2020 from what they hated in the 1990s. * The identity of the accordion player on the floppy disks Jim dropped as he was arrested by time travelers. * Round Robin Key Clicks From A Skype Call. * Waiting for CD-ROMs in the 90s being faster than modern web pages. * Clicking on Miles Davis' face and reading about Hard Bop. * A topic you are interested enough in to buy a CD-ROM about it. * Jobs paying well until investors realize they're money-losers. * One person's perspective on how all electronic music breaks down. * Information that is thorough and well-presented memetically dominating over information that is arguably more accurate but less accessible. * Finding a guide to obscure music genres and worrying that they might be magic spells. * Eating a bunch of weird bananas and deciding that all bananas basically taste the same. * Militant banana forums rallying the troops to take down Jim's boring banana opinions. * Recognizing differences between apple cultivars. * Growing up eating the Red Delicious because it's red and delicious. * Which apple cultivar Snow White ate. * The apple core as a social construct. * Why the Japanese don't like cheese when your toddler proves that it's super easy to develop a taste for cheese. * Seagulls eating rats now that humans are out of the way. * Whether or not the Ballz Directors Cut for 3DO OST is homophobic. * Analyzing the music theory behind the Ballz Directors Cut for 3DO OST. * Getting a band together and playing a song you all remember poorly and that's it, that's the album. * Having heard 20 seconds of a comedy song and not needing to listen to the remaining five minutes. * Trying to make fun of a clown. * Writing questions that generate techno samples in response. * All protocol and format technology decisions being made by 14 year olds. * Whether or not Chanson is a portmanteau of Chiptune Hanson. * The difference between Afrobeat and Afrobeats. * Not adding Shoegaze to Winamp until 2010. * A pre-Wikipedia attempt to invent the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. * Making your web that is a sequel to your previous web site, so you give it the same name but add a 2. * Wikipedia except that instead of an editorial voice it has a poem about a pomegranate. * The most popular chord progressions staying about the same for the past 20 years. * Sliding an open chord up the neck and leaving the open strings where they are. * There probably being a music theory name for the musical trick you like to do. * Counting in binary while meditating because if you just count in decimal you'll lose track when you think of something else. * A classic web app where you submit a form and the server generates the HTML you will see in response. * Accidentally lording it over someone. * Having a fake thing you fool yourself into believing is important so you can procrastinate doing it and get the real work done. * How to abbreviate Murder Hornet Keeper into a demo scene handle. * Learning German from Wolfenstein 3D.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( This is the show we recorded live at Duckfest 2020! Lords: * Jenni is reachable at * Chris is making cooking videos at * April is @aprilsaur on Twitter. Topics: * Befriending ravens * Just Say No. * What if part of the government apparatus was a PVP mobile game & billionaires willingly sent in tax dollars in exchange for units to pwn everyone else but the game was balanced so they only had a tiny edge? * Clone ethics: can you consent on behalf of your clone? What about a different person with the same name as you? * Larry asks: "Best ways to meet your own death as part of a puzzle or game" * Carnivorous mushroom death at 0:58. * My sister is doing her bathroom sea-monster themed; does anyone have unsolicited recommendations for sea monster bathroom amenities? * The badger story. * How do we survive from when we learn to climb on the furniture to when we get scared of climbing on the furniture? * The white-spotted clearwing * Microtopics: * Plugging an activity nobody but you can do. * Eating trash out of the dumpster and fighting over dead skunk carcasses. * Recognizing jerks and being rude to them. * Feeding tiny bento boxes to nearby ravens. * Mobbing random strangers to demand a tiny bento box. * The ravens constantly pooping on your shoulders but it's ok because it's just your work shirt. * Meeting your shitting on things quota. * Befriending Odin's ravens and becoming Odin. * Being the one who operates firearms in this relationship. * Replacing taxes with a mobile game targeted at Elon Musk. * Elon Musk being defeated at a PVP mobile game by a seven year old in a Tinkerbell outfit and deciding he doesn't like the game any more so the company forms a team whose only job is to lose to Elon Musk. * Creating a GoFundMe to pay your rent while you save the world. * Whether Jenni is the raven or the game designer in her relationship. * Sharing DNA implying shared consent. * Explaining parents. * How consent works with conjoined twins. * All three hosts having a different interpretation of the listener's question. * Puzzles created in the before-times where if you solve them you see the face of god and then die. * Cool ways to die in video games. * A game that is great for people who have a lot of free time and don't have a child. * Requesting ideas for sea monster themed bathroom decorations and getting answers six months after you finished remodeling you bathroom. * A plunger shaped like a tentacle where the plunging part is just a huge suction cup. * All of your failings as a wife being forgiven by your ability to use a firearm. * Not knowing how to safely use a gun so you just kick it down the hill. * Guarding the coast from sea monsters but not being allowed to talk about it. * A shower curtain shaped like an octopus so you can paint a negative space octopus out of water all over the bathroom. * Failing to plan your sister's bachelorette party and she's still waiting to get married eight years later. * A COVID-19 Zoom Bachelorette Party eight years in the making. * Having a Mukbang instead of a bachelorette party. * Whether or not a pirate is a sea monster. * Marrying an indie game developer for the money. * Messaging your future husband on OkCupid because he thinks about Arnold Schwarzenegger wiping his ass a lot. * Being a piler of things. * Owing your wife a game about trolls but first having to train your son to be a game artist. * Skipping a step and having your child draw directly on the fridge. * Being asked to do something about the badger bothering people on the beach and making a joke about the badger badgering people. * The consequences of your county's limited animal control budget. * A badger hiding underneath the bench in the changing room. * Catching a badger with a dog catching stick even though it's not a dog at all. * Having a badger at the end of a stick. * What they call closets in the park district. * Riding in the back of a pickup truck wrangling a badger between your legs. * Carrying around a rattlesnake from a picnic area by putting it in a garbage bag and the snake repeatedly biting through the bag with venom dripping through the holes. * Restraining a snake inside your esophagus until you're ready to release it. * Latin being way older than the girl scouts. * Moving a snake with a steam shovel. * Only moving snakes where if you accidentally slice them in half they become two snakes. * A toddler smashing a drinking glass on the kitchen floor and saying "mess!" * Your child's milestones coming with commensurate levels of danger. * Hitting the ground with 1/10ths of the force as your dad when you fall. * Talking only about animals on this episode and the animal expert heckling you from the Discord. * The glass-like quality of a White Spotted Clearwing becoming revealed against the dappled light of the forest understory. * Making sure your transparent wings don't reflect light by covering them with nanopillars. * The butterfly not getting a cut of your profits from the invention you based on its wing design.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Erica is @yerrikTRB on Twitter, and is thinking about birds * Dan is @danlwarren on Twitter, and is at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology ( His soundcloud is He is writing music for Hypnospace Outlaw Topics: * 1:58 The unreliable narrator in songwriting and/or songs where the POV character is a jerk * We all hope Ben Folds is an unreliable narrator in his song “Brick.” * Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Murder Ballads * Moby Dick is bad * George Michael was maybe not that into monogamy * 15:20 No one should live in this city (whatever city you're in edition) * Chitras flies and things that sting you * Too much water all at once, monsoon edition * * The cheese guy in Okinawa fills in for a clear lack of cheese * Richard Lenski breeds 69,000 generations of E. coli (not yeast) * * 38:51 Toddlers have incredible memories and if you put something somewhere once because you were lazy they'll remember it goes there forever * * Here’s the AI spreadsheet: * AI evolves an organism that is tall. * 43:20 Kaz asks: You guys talked about simulating people's voices, and I'd like to point out that there's been a lot of progress in this area. Take a look here for some examples: * That Obama thing is called Son of Strelka, Son of God. There’s a Youtube playlist here where four of the nine chapters are illustrated/animated: * The album can be downloaded here: * The Trump thing is here: * Evolution Control Committee: * Negativland: * Cassetteboy is one of the most active and well-known people doing this stuff nowadays: * 55:48 ANTS * Acromyrmex versicolor on the AntWiki * Walter Tschinkel’s aluminum ant colony casts * Strangely named ant reproductive strategies * * 1:03:39 Pokemon Stay (the opposite of Pokemon Go): what's happening to outdoorsy AR games these days. * * * * * * Microtopics: * Staying inside and definitely being totally sane. * Being on the Hypnospace Outlaw soundtrack but not being Seepage. * Driving people away from you and writing songs about how they're gone. * Betraying the concept of music by putting it in advertising. * Singing about the fish you're going to eat. * Listening to music for a decade before realizing it's horrifying. * Being deeply obsessed with an art form others explicitly disregard. * An eight year old singing a pop song about sex. * Assuming that a song written in the first person is autobiographical. * Writing a song about cheating on your wife and everybody assuming you're endorsing it so you write a last verse that's like "/s" * The last verse of "I Want Your Sex" being about how George Michael doesn't really want your sex. * Putting together a choreographed dance routine to "I Want Your Sex" at summer camp. * Whether Dad Jr. has anything to say about it. * An angry crowd proclaiming that Jesus is a slut. * The Robert Browning poem where he evidently thought "twat" is an item of nun's clothing and rhymes with "bat." * Describing the white whale as obsidian and ebony because you don't have the internet and can't look up what obsidian means. * A beautiful desert with amazing food where you have scorpions in your house. * A microwasp stinging your hand leaving a patch of cell death that lasts for almost a year. * The dirt being impossible to dig in so there are no storm drains and when the monsoon comes the water rises up to your windshield. * The front door's doorknob being too hot to touch in the summer. * The process of getting into a car when it's 118 degrees outside. * Sedona being much more livable than most of Arizona because it's in the mountains. * Growing up in Oklahoma where it's incredibly hot during the day and cools down two degrees at night. * Going tide pooling where there are dozens of species of snail that * A subtropical jungle with stunningly beautiful coral reefs where all the wildlife is lethal. * Going tide pooling where dozens of species of cone snails are extremely interested in your death. * A fish that looks like a rock in a stream that will kill you if you step on it. * Encountering a dozen lethally venomous animals every time you go to the beach. * Living in the Bay Area where we have programmers. * Resenting programmers but getting along with them really well. * Getting a tech job and having to practice your self-compassion. * Repping the city in the world with the biggest economic disparity. * The power company shutting your power off because they can't be bothered to keep the lines clear of trees. * Discerning the different kinds of plants that are burning in a brushfire by smell. * Being performatively off-put by brushfire smoke that smells different from brushfire smoke in your hometown. * Cheese scarcity in Okinawa. * Whether or not you're allowed to bring suitcases full of cheese into Japan. * If Gandalf really liked cheese. * The Scottish guy who sells cheese in Okinawa for $100 per kilogram. * Long grain rice connoisseurs in Japan importing basmati from California. * Being unable to export farming and food preparation processes because your are getting assistance from local microbiomes. * Japanese laws restricting rice imports so they don't corrupt the local rice microbes, but they don't give a shit about the cheese. * RNA sequencing the brine from a batch of pickles that turned out really well. * Celebrating the 69,000th generation of your yeast culture by posting "nice" on Twitter. * Toddlers learning a lesson far too well. * Telling each other stories from the spreadsheet of all the ways machine learning has failed. * Breaking land speed records by falling over really fast. * Reassembling Barack Obama's audiobook into a story about a demigod with the head of a dog who recreates the world after the apocalypse. * Reality now being more ridiculous than your satire from four years ago. * Spending a lot of time trying to identify birds. * The basis for discussion of whether something is something or isn't something else. * Convincing the people with the money that your field of study will eventually help somebody some day. * The growing sense in the world that maybe not all progress is good and maybe we should skip out on some knowledge. * The number of lines of code it takes to destroy society. * Doing science because there is a trust that some day someone will want to know your results. * Wanting a place to have a conversation about anything other than Elon Musk's kids name. * Starting a podcast and never talking about anything depressing. * Trying to transplant your neighbor's leafcutter ants into your own yard because you are a field biologist who can't go outside. * Being waylaid by ant stings because you are allergic to wasps. * Ants biting you with their mandibles, but only to hang on so they can sting you like wasps because they're technically in the wasp family. * Ants being around long after humans are gone. * Filling an ant colony with lead because humans will get more value out of a model of an ant colony than the ants get out of being alive. * Filling an ant colony with jello and having a tasty dessert. * Ending up in an ant lab and doing ant things. * Studying the effects of climate change on Pokemon. * The exchange rate between Pokecoins and Bitcoins. * Coordinating Pokemon Go raids on Nextdoor. * Asking Pokemon Go players if they're registered to vote and they answer that they're doing a raid when that doesn't tell you whether or not they're registered to vote at all. * Trying to avoid the Audubon society losers at the ornithology conference. * Birds permitting you to identify them even though they could easily fly away.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Elena is on the Topic Lords Discord and recommends * Shannon lives in a cave and recommends Topics: * 2:14 Lucid dreaming and/or recurrent dreams - do you have them? * Can't find the link for Dream Wikipedia here but I'll keep looking. * * 14:04 Eight kinds of fun. * * Real-play podcasts: * * * * The Kiri. * 30:05 Your favorite Dewey Decimal System category? * * * 43:55 NotAButtFace asks "Being 'The Guy With The Hats' to future proof your identity against going bald" * * 55:25 Plants * "Kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage are all varieties of a single magical plant species" Microtopics: * Not remembering what you were going to say about the topics you picked. * Finding a tabletop RPG system to support your supernatural teen romance. * A novel written by Tyra Banks that is basically Harry Potter but for supermodels. * Being aware that you're dreaming but not having control and just being annoyed that you have to spend so long in your fake life. * Dreaming about recording a podcast before waking up and recording the real world podcast and ending up with two podcasts. * Your dream friends being rude to you because you are rude to yourself. * Realizing you are in a dream and trying to convince your dream friends to do what you want but instead they convince you to do what they want because they will die as soon as you wake up. * Improving your dream friend's lives in your recurring Disneyland dream until they have the perfect day and you never wake up. * Careening off the cliff and going "zhoop" and uncrashing the car. * Improving your dream friends' princess dress-up game by leaving the room and observing them from the security room instead. * A creepy carnival in the hills that sometimes shows up. * Remembering eight dreams in ten years. * Jimmy Wales' appearing in your dream to ask for dream money to keep dream Wikipedia running. * The real reason why there's no etymological connection between Samhain and the minced oath "Sam Hill." * Poop Stonehenge. * Ranking the eight kinds of fun. * Everybody ranking submission/abnegation last when listing what they want out of a tabletop RPG. * Submitting yourself to a ritualized task and discovering the pleasures of being clockwork. * Deciding how you want to build your treehouse and then going to fight the moon. * Whether a DM describing an axe swing exceptionally well counts as sensory pleasure. * Listening to a lot of TTRPG podcasts but not playing a lot of TTRPGs yourself because who has the time and energy to organize it? * Agreeing to role play all the people who are missing from this D&D session and immediately drowning everyone, making everything a lot politically simpler. * Remembering everything your players say so you can role play a sapient bird who can only communicate by mimicking things it has heard. * Leaving the elf in the cart because if you take him out everyone will want to interrogate him and you don't want to bother RPing that hard. * Learning how to GM in LARPs where there are no NPCs and all you have to do is set up some plot hooks and then watch the players go wild. * Saying "you are in a shed" and thereby declaring yourself the GM. * Telling people in your RPG session that they're playing themselves and they're like "okay I boot up Animal Crossing." * Not being able to relate to your younger sister because she's too young to have used the Dewey Decimal System. * Describing all of human knowledge using only ten categories. * The Dewey Decimal System no longer having classifications for Mormonism or education of women. * 000-099 being the best Dewey Decimal classification because it has the books about computer programming and UFOs and the paranormal. * Where to find cute animal pictures under the Dewey Decimal System. * Being shown you how to find something with the Dewey Decimal Drawers and being like "why wouldn't you just walk around until you find it." * Recording an episode in the library because where better to find out about topics. * Libraries being wild and raucous places now that the libraries don't shush you. * Going to the library all the time because there are Pokemon there but never going inside because they come out to meet you. * Going four floors underground in complete silence and wondering if you can still hear. * Making sure nobody is in the library shelves you're about to move before turning that big metal wheel. * Going into an anechoic chamber and hearing your synapses firing. * Going into an anechoic chamber and hearing ground hum because you needed to plug in your laptop. * Amazing 3D sound scapes that you can't appreciate because your head is the wrong shape. * Making a game that induces panic attacks and deciding you want to make a less horrible experience next. * People who do actual night dives being less terrified when playing Subnautica. * Knowing a cool guy with hats and liking the hats. * Self medicating using hats. * A twelve year old girl with otherwise extremely thick hair wearing a hat being less suspicious than a middle aged cis man wearing a hat. * Growing a beard to make up for your bald spot because hopefully people will think your head is upside down. * The pros and cons of wearing wigs. * Sending a picture of yourself wearing a wig and colored contacts to your mom and she asks "I don't recognize that friend, who is she and why is she wearing that tacky wig and colored contacts?" * Whether or not plants are so good. * Knowing how far apart to put the holes but not knowing how many seeds to put in each hole and your bok choy all growing on top of one another. * Tiling your entire yard with garden planters so you can actually fit all the cabbage you planted. * Your friends going into the back yard and getting blasted with water by the device you rigged to deter neighbor cats from digging in your vegetable garden. * Beautiful white butterflies that are wrecking the shit out of your cabbages. * All the plants that taste good technically being cabbages. * Not being able to be mad at the squirrels when they eat your plants as soon as they sprout because that's also what you were going to do.
Two-Grass Of The Face

Two-Grass Of The Face


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords this week: * Craig was Jim's collaborator on Glittermitten Grove. * @craigtimpany on Twitter. * * * Shannon does a lot of different stuff! * @plentyofalcoves on Twitter. * Strucci Movies. * Hbomberguy. * Struggle Sessions. * Critical Bits. Topics: * 2:51 What are the best attributes for a collaborator to have? The worst? * 10:45 Craig's favourite language, Tok Pisin of Papua New Guinea. * * 18:17 TempleOS * * TempleOS games. * 31:28 Quill asks: "What's your first memory being exposed to a computer?" * 35:30 Why faking one's non-existence might not be a great career move. * 41:32 Re: media consumption- "there are no guilty pleasures"- do you agree? * 49:26 Did you know that daytime soaps air a new episode every weekday? How is this possible? * Every episode of Passions, on YouTube. Microtopics: * Getting some emails in six weeks. * Tweeting about a book about olives and getting in touch with the author and starting a podcast about olives. * A dumb joke that you are taking very seriously. * Creating one podcast episode per olive cultivar. * Deciding that you'd rather work with people you like than talented people. * The hypothetical coworker who is sufficiently good at their job that you put up with the death of everyone who enters the room with them. * The origin of the 10x programmer myth. * Never having met a 10x programmer, but having met a 10x QA tester. * The 10x singer who sings at 10x the pitch of regular singers. * Noodling vs. deliberate, thoughtful creation. * Whether having rock stars in your rock band is worth all the trashed hotel rooms. * A language derived from Australian sailor slang. * Mouth grass. * Trying to express a technical idea without using technical vocabulary. * The correspondence between the simplicity of vocabulary and the speed of spoken language. * Leaving space for audience participation. * A language that isn't a big compost heap like English. * English 2, where every single word is a swear word. * Making an operating system because God told you to. * Making a new operating system to talk to God because you don't trust MS-DOS. * Whether talking to God has more or less stringent security requirements than a voting machine. * Which mental illnesses make you a better programmer. * Implementing Minesweeper in your new OS in case you get bored talking to God. * The TempleOS indie game scene. * The music video generator Jim is never going to make. * Reconciling how you feel about a mentally ill asshole. * Being very online and really into the N-word. * Everyone loving your forum posts about weird bespoke operating system but being less into your race war posts. * Art and technology paradropped in from an alternate timeline. * Outsider art suspension bridges. * A trash peninsula that no longer has any homeless encampments on it. * Building a castle out of shopping carts and reclaimed concrete. * The text adventure that they named the genre after. * Dad bringing home an Amiga 500 and playing Marble Madness with you. * Accidentally flood-filling the wrong place and getting really upset because you don't know about the undo button. * The cool kid with the advanced Amiga 500 who becomes progressively less cool over time because his dad refuses to get a new computer. * Seeing Doom and realizing that your beloved Amiga is done for, and Commodore going out of business later that year. * Telling journalists that you don't exist when they approach you for an interview. * Backing away from the ARG puzzle you're designing when you realize solving it would involve doxxing yourself. * Building rapport with games journalists, but taking so long to make your next game that they've left the industry. * The impossibility of building a fan following in video games after 2013. * Wearing a ratty fake mustache for your Problematic Jim alter ego. * Lying about how you made the horse talk. * Trying and failing to preserve the mystery by giving a fake mundane answer. * Finding value in a work while still being critical of it. * Becoming the avatar of embarrassing pop music. * Reclaiming "guilty pleasure" to mean something you enjoy by a problematic creator. * Society shaming you more for liking Fall Out Buy than liking a Polanski film. * What it would take to turn the average band into sex pests. * Soap opera production schedules. * Actors playing the same role for sixty years. * Not watching The Simpsons or South Park any more, but figuring that South Park must be holding up better because nobody is posting embarrassing clips of it on Twitter. * Your creative voice ossifying in the 90s and having to write in that voice for the rest of your life. * Remaining in the Garfield mines for the rest of your life when Garfield's legacy of shitposts is already secure. * Hoping that "goodbye" in Tok Pisin is a transliteration of "see you in hell."
Tandem CPAP

Tandem CPAP


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Rachel is on Twitter as @rachel_sala. Check out Glitch CIty! * Laura is on Twitter as @lmichet and the web at Check out Industries of Titan! Topics: * 4:10 All clothes hangers should be made of wood rather than wire or plastic. * 8:32 How do you feel about food mascots shaped like the food you're about to eat? * Will Graham discovers Hannibal's love for sweetbreads at ~3:10 * 12:31 I could put any liquid in my CPAP humidifier. * 18:21 Mallow asks: "Sliding doors. Are people in favor? Opposed? Terrified of them? Feels like in the US we've converged on a kind of door that just isn't that great." * 23:48 If there was one silly skill you could acquire with no effort, like being good at karaoke, what would it be? * * 34:08 People in different eras interpreting subtleties in media differently--for example, people not "getting" all of Shakespeare's jokes, interpreting the ending of The Wicker Man differently, etc. * * 45:07 Multi-Mario races. * World record Mario 1862 run in 37h57m. * Microtopics: * The comfort of a Discord voice channel where everyone is muted. * A Discord voice channel where you go to poop. * Perceiving a pun and wanting to forget it. * Being in total agreement as to whether we should discuss topics. * The hidden cost of plastic coat hangers. * Contemplating the luxury of your collection of fancy wooden coat hangers. * Never having purchased coat hangers in your life but still ending up with a bunch of them. * Accruing heavier and heavier clothing as you age. * Not needing coat hangers because you just drape all your clothes over the back of a folding chair. * A barbecue joint where the mascot is a sapient pig that is super thrilled that you're about to eat him. * Alienation from the food production process. * The weird zone where pigs are slaughtered in an alternate dimension outside our ken. * Chuck E. Cheese's real name. * The sweetest meat you'll ever eat. * Sweetmeats vs. sweetbreads. * A restaurant with the slogan "the sweetest bread you'll ever eat" and the mascot is a talking Thymus gland. * Thymus glands just being in you someplace. * Putting soup in your humidifier and saving yourself the trouble of making breakfast. * Accidentally blasting yourself with mold all night. * Sharing a CPAP machine with your life partner, like a tandem bike. * Adding a splash of bleach to your soup so it won't grow mold in your humidifier overnight. * Taking action to ensure huge amounts of water enters your body because otherwise the water will probably just sit there. * Every sliding glass door having a big colorful sticker on it because once someone ran into it and broke their nose or crashed through or both. * The worst-designed lateral thinking puzzle exacerbating your fear of heights. * All the rollers in the sliding glass door being crushed so you're just dragging a huge pane of glass along the ground. * Sliding glass doors being perfectly safe because they cannot break; they can only become windows. * Increasing the amount of natural light in your home via strategic placement of mirrors. * Holding a mirror and pointing the sun at your face. * Everyone loving your ukulele cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit, but only the first time they hear it. * Knowing how to play a bunch of instruments but they all weigh 300 pounds. * Making a xylophone out PVC pipes you found in a dumpster and playing Ode to Joy on it. * Solving this portable xylophone problem once and for all by googling "portable xylophone." * A gigantic marimba that is built into the room it's in like a supercomputer of sound. * Wanting to go on a weird xylophone tour. * Being good enough to impress people who don't know anything about that particular skill. * Wanting to play an instrument that leaves your mouth free to have a jolly conversation. * Combining our powers to identify the hexagonal pirate accordion. * Circus jazz. * Scottish peasants swaying together like kindergarteners singing a jolly pagan song as the flames approach. * Fifty years ago, being horrified when pagans burn the character representing cops and religious authority alive, but nowadays everybody owns a guillotine and worships Alan Moore's snake god. * Whether the Nicholas Cage Wicker Man being hilarious at release was inspired by the 1970s Wicker Man being hilarious in a modern context. * Jokes that modern audiences don't have the context to understand. * Works written in 17th or 18th century English needing localization as much as works in a foreign language. * Not linking to an edifying Tumblr thread because Tumblr's threading is the worst. * People in the 1940s just talking like that actually. * Movie actors finally learning to act sometime around 1950. * Staying awake for 38 hours to get every star, moon and shine in the 3D Mario series. * Our failings as adult humans. * Doing game jams where you actually sleep. * Scoping your game development project to allow sleep during development. * Romanticizing the idea of staying up all night doing something fun because now you're an adult with adult responsibilities and shirt resilience. * Not being able to justify doing something for fun so you tack on a charity drive. * The shifting sense of what's important and what's moral that defines the human experience over time. * Whether or not you could pay us to play World of Warcraft. * Your guild leader getting in fistfights all the time and eventually going up jail and appointing you temporary guild leader because he doesn't realize you're a woman. * Training your brain to be okay playing just one video game for a while. * A hat that is so ugly you had to give it to a friend. * Giving your goth dog friend pastel outfits to wear on Bunny Day. * Lamenting that there is no other place or time to discuss topics.


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Jenni is reachable at * Chris is making cooking videos at Topics: * 2:42 Suddenly Anxiety and OCD are culturally adaptive behaviors. * 8:16 Opening negotiations with your real-life employer to get them to pay you in Nook Miles * 13:44 Animal Crossing speed runs * Animal Crossing 100% in 19h25m. * Animal Crossing New Horizons All Debts in 1h52m. * Super Mario Sunshine Lockout Bingo at AGDQ 2019 * Animal Crossing Lockout Bingo. * 20:23 Gary asks: "Printing Toilet Paper at Home" * How to make paper out of blue jeans. * * 26:54 Owning 5.25" floppies & suddenly having to be aware of magnets again as a threat in your life * Masquerade. * France's 25-year treasure hunt for a golden owl. * 32:20 Apocalypse gardening and warlord potential * 37:52 Amazon took Murder She Wrote away from us * 47:07 Winding up with more social obligations than you had before quarantine Microtopics: * Being confident in your recording setup because you're too lazy to verify it. * The old lady who lives in your ductwork who you can't hear because she only shrieks exactly when you're talking. * Finding out about the apocalypse from a podcast recorded months ago. * The subtle distinction between self care and overeating. * Feeling better about your anxiety disorder because the world has gotten worse to meet your mood. * A behavior that looks maladaptive but must secretly be awesome because it has survived for millennia. * A poltergeist that keeps turning your stove off. * Worshipping gods that turn out to be evil aliens. * Trying to make "Christian Splinter Faiths" scan to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme. * Going for the cosmetic upgrade before the inventory upgrade and causing your partner physical pain. * Clearcutting the entire island you're visiting because when you leave it will cease to exist. * Harvesting trees in a checkerboard pattern because they grow better that way. * A financial startup specializing in converting British pounds to Nook miles. * Putting pounds and dollars in the same bank account and they crossbreed while they're in there. * 100%-ing Animal Crossing as fast as possible. * Speed runs that are entertaining to describe but not to watch. * Bingo races as the improvisation-heavy antidote to rote speed runs. * Forcing Caleb Hart to livestream Mega Man X any time anyone listens to this episode. * Feeding toilet paper into your inkjet printer to create a cool pattern to wipe your ass with. * Using Silly Putty to copy the stock market info from the newspaper. * Not being able to print toilet paper with your 3D printer, but printing a bidet instead. * Running out of toilet paper and 3D printing corn husks. * Buying the Taco Bell Grande Meal to eat the beans out of the burrito and then wiping your ass with the corn tortilla and wax paper wrapper. * Skipping a step and putting the burrito right in the toilet. * Introducing an awesome person to your friend and then ruining them in the very next sentence. * The outside of the printer paper protecting you from the horrifying inside of the toilet paper. * Pulping spare blue jeans to manufacture your own artisanal toilet paper. * Figuring out how to put your front yard in your back yard to hide it from the HOA. * Reporting your neighbor to the HOA for weeds in the middle of a global pandemic. * Getting notices from the HOA that you need to power wash your driveway and power washing the words "fuck you" into it. * Confusing Day of the Dead and Cinco De Mayo because they both happen in the same year. * An object you need to keep safe from magnets. * Advice on dealing with floppy disks in the Year of our Lord 2020. * Something in France that hasn't been found yet. * A Wikipedia list of things that have not been found in France. * Burying a microtransaction-heavy game in the desert and hoping the person who finds it is a whale. * Throwing a microtransaction-heavy game into the ocean and it traveling back in time and Captain Ahab hears about it and becomes obsessed with finding the whale who owns it. * Trying to think of a really big expensive home and your brain coming back with "a bucket!" * The train stopping slightly and thinking "maybe society is breaking down" and then the train starting again and thinking "I guess I'll just go to my boring job." * Part of you wanting to live in interesting times and be part of historical events. * Bringing your axe made out of a sharpened hubcap to work because Phil's allowed to bring his Leatherman. * Not being able to train to be a warlord in the post-apocalypse because during the apocalypse all the MMA gyms are closed. * Realizing that Amazon Prime Video doesn't have Murder She Wrote any more and wanting to just burn it all down. * The magical time in your life when you thought Netflix's selection of streaming video would only keep getting bigger. * Conflating Murder She Wrote with the Golden Girls. * Deadpanning ridiculous things that happen in St. Olaf, Minnesota. * Angry texts from your mom about how you ruined Murder She Wrote by telling her about the theory that Jessica Fletcher is a serial killer. * A big city businesswoman looking to take over her parents' failing Christmas ornament shop. * CG compositing Christmas ornaments into the background of every shot of Golden Girls. * Everybody playing online games all the time now because their extrovert friends have figured out the Internet. * Extroverts agreeing to watch speed runs with you because they're desperate to talk to anybody. * Finding an eight hour smooth jazz video and eventually realizing it's two minutes of smooth jazz looping for eight hours. * Trying to solve playing music with friends over the Internet. * Solving the problem of jamming with friends over the Internet by only playing music with precogs. * Sticking it to the HOA by dressing up as a weed and when they come by to report you, jumping out and yelling "I'm no weed, I'm a guy!"
Century Of The Fruitbat

Century Of The Fruitbat


Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Chris will find you. He is working on Core Editor. * Chris is @MrChrisLHall on Twitter and is working on Topics: * 2:07 Wikipedia descriptions of fighting game stories * The Rad Project. * 13:05 Is there a 21st century version of the thank-you note? * The Double Disappearance of Walter Fozbek. * The Selective Attention Test. * 26:27 I'm pretty sure I could write a book about anything * Dolphin flip in slow motion. * 32:49 Kevin asks: "Tom Nook: Robber Baron or Captain of Industry?" * 38:37 Melodica purchased online * 48:43 Ursula Vernon is rad * Weird fruit gallery: * 57:01 Peering in on skateboard culture from the outside * So Deep + juggling pins. Microtopics: * Risking sounding like a corporate shill. * Whether or not Wikipedia is pretty great. * Wikipedia's editorial tone when describing ridiculous stories. * Finding a video embed in the middle of a textbook page and trying to press it. * A book with squiggle underlines wherever the author screwed up. * Having to come up with narrative justification for 500 one-on-one fights in a row. * The guy you just kicked off a cliff offering you cakes because nobody should have to fight on an empty stomach. * Your pet frog jumping on a box in your back yard marked radioactive, growing to massive size, then jumping down a huge hole that is also in your back yard for some reason. * The Japanese version of the wacky frog tank story just being factions at war in the post apocalypse. * Mega Man except you are a gnarly wizard instead of a robot. * A floating Buddha named "Surprise" shooting you in the back. * If Astro Boy were a mailman. * Merging the wacky frog tank story and the post apocalyptic war story into a single canonical timeline in the new Switch release. * Writing on paper made of trees with a pen and it's 2020. * Writing a thank you note when a relative hands you a twenty dollar bill. * Writing a jam game for every special occasion because it's more fun than writing a card. * The correct plural of Magnum Opus. * Returning to Lazy Land. * The videos you like best inevitably being taken down due to copyright strikes because that's the world we live in now. * YouTube telling you that some videos have been removed from your playlist but not telling you which. * A digital representation of what it's like to grow old. * Making a USB drive ark and taking two of every genre of music. * Your Google ad profile gaining sentience and making credit card purchases behind your back but also getting a job and making your credit card payments on time. * Going to work and nobody remembering who you are. * Going into the office wearing a gorilla costume and eventually sending in a gorilla to do your job and it turns out the gorilla is better at your job than you are. * Using a gorilla Snapchat filter on a gorilla to make it look like a human who's trying to look like a gorilla. * Waking up in parallel dino world where everyone is a dinosaur and your dinosaur twin waking up in human world where everyone is a human, because you both had a mad scientist neighbor. * Making a note of how to disguise yourself as a dinosaur because you never know when you'll end up in dinosaur world. * Doing a face swap with your cat during the conference call so everyone is too horrified to notice the gorilla in the background. * A pedalboard except it's Instagram filters. * Chaining Instagram filters to create a truly epic fursona. * Reverse college, where you get paid to forget things. * Getting paid a dollar per paragraph about skateboard tricks. * A varial kickflip except instead of splitting the axes of rotation between your feet, doing all the rotation with your front foot. * Writing a book with your 18 month old and it's just the words poop, ball, bath and meow over and over and over. * Your toddler growing up to discover axes and cops, like leaves changing colors in autumn. * A raccoon who is very friendly and has taken a lot of your money. * Whether Tom Nook is a slum lord. * A dog with five fingers, an apron, and a whole lot of bells. * Being in debt forever because your landlord keeps building you a bigger and bigger house. * A 100% speedrun of Adobe Photoshop. * Adding achievements, particle effects, and screenshake to Visual Studio. * Two melodica players coincidentally bringing their instruments to the same party and locking eyes from across the room. * Cheap, portable musical instruments you can have with you at all times and practice with at the drop of a hat. * A tube with six holes in it. * Penny whistles always being in D because it's one more than C. * Wikipedia diving deep into the lore of each musical scale. * The cute face of the otamatone being almost assuredly more entertaining than the notes you play with it. * Penny whistles with a conical bore staying in tune better than cylindrical ones. * The monomyth of the boy who sneaks up on a seal while she's bathing and steals her skin and she turns out to be a beautiful human woman and now she has to marry him. * The origin of the pear-with-teeth meme. * The Biting Pear of Salamanca. * Whether anyone named Ursula is still alive today. * An interesting reaction to discovering that your daughter is made of birch bark. * A dead whale falling to the ocean floor and feeding scavengers for years. * Spending your whole life waiting for a whale to die. * Zombie worms growing like flowers in the lightless garden of a sunken whale corpse. * A tiny kobold fondling an eggplant. * Giving your wife a picture of a fruit with teeth for her birthday. * Your skateboard being stolen twice in the same day. * Angsty skateboarders lashing out at the world around them via sick kickflips. * Fighting everyone around you being morally equivalent to fighting no-one. * A nine year old girl in a tutu doing a double heelflip. * The cost of skateboarding being measured in hospital visits, especially when you are 40 and overweight. * Wearing an inflatable dinosaur suit and skateboarding in a bounce house for maximum safety. * Wanting to get into skateboarding but you're scared of dying and none of your friends have trucks. * Hacky sack looking fun but actually it's a lie built on a throne of falsehoods and pain. * Narrowing an artefact's origin down to the Century of the Fruitbat. * Musicians dancing while they play just to show off that they are good enough at music and dancing that they can do both at the same time. * Being entirely out of both topics and lords.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * Jenni is on an internet break but you can email her at * Gary is @GaryBuh on Twitter and does podcasts at the Duckfeed network. Topics: * 1:41 How did people decide to eat certain vegetables, even though they don't look like food and sometimes taste like shit? * 4:18 Stephen King writing about boners (there is a Tumblr) * * * 12:28 Airplane respiration strategies * * 16:45 Being resourceful when you don't have the correct tool. For example, I recently unblocked a toilet by using a mouse pad in place of a plunger. * 23:28 Replacing combat in video games with other stuff to slow down the pacing * 33:27 What age were you meaningfully aware of your mortality? Did something happen? * 38:06 The MT-80s MIDI boom box * * * 48:21 Things that you do so people will think you're an adult but you can't figure out if there's another purpose for doing them * 55:10 You can only listen to one song for the rest of eternity, you don't get to pick. How much money would it take, what song is the worst. * Gunhouse trailer with the title screen jingle I was talking about: * Here's a better trailer for a later version of Gunhouse, with better music FWIW: * Tony Hawk's Two Second Music Loop Microtopics: * Goin' Polodna. * Goin' Polodna but bein' named Butterfield. * Only car thieves remaining. * Giving your guest a hard time for plugging something when you just asked them to plug something. * Being inspired by an eggplant you once had. * Stockholm syndrome but for vegetables. * A color that doesn't exist on earth. * Trying to cook every substance for every amount of time because you don't have Netflix. * Laundering a horse through a book. * The pe-noose. * Trying to Google which Stephen King book had the necklace of penises. * Deeming a penis to be a boner. * Looking upon a pubic hair topiary and despairing. * Sculpting the day your paramour will die into your pubic hair on the first date. * Fred Meyer's daughter, J.C. Penney. * Not having any particular insight into this boner blog. * Being a little bit hornt up despite being trapped in a Fred Meyer by the murder frog outside. * Whether or not "pud" is short for "pudding" or indeed anything. * A zoetrope showing Goofy pulling down his pants every 7 seconds. * A plexiglass box that is big enough for your head and a fern. * Hacking the oxygen mask to come down when you just need a hit. * Sprinkling some foliage on your head to make it look like the fern next to your head is just a lump on your face. * Sticking your head in the fern box under the seat in front of you and painting your face on your pants so your butt can wear the oxygen mask. * The tactile sensation of unclogging a toilet using a mouse pad. * The best water level for plunging a toilet. * Needing an articulated arm like Krang's to plunge the toilet from around the corner. * Trying to guess the Game Boy games being used to prop up a projector. * The Podcaster's Dilemma. * Maligning the Final Fantasy Legend series. * Deciding that your punishment will be a good night's sleep and a stern toothbrushing. * Playing Final Fantasy Legend while you brush each other's teeth live on AGDQ. * Asking a question that you'd already answered in a previous episode and just copy-pasting the answer from there. * Not being in good enough shape to sleep everywhere. * Ripping through the topics and needing to dip into the extended bucket. * A gigantic bucket of shelf-stable potato soup that you save for the end times. * Setting up a P.O. box so your listeners can send you a big pile of food and toy cars so you can not eat for a week and then eat an enormous megameal. * A Visual Studio plugin that lets you play text adventures anyone while looking like you're at work. * Pressing the boss key to hide that you're playing an ancient video game and your boss asking you why you're writing emails in Word Perfect 2.0. * Having a child to reduce your mortality anxiety. * Having a child so they can do the heimlich when you choke on a ham sandwich. * Subtweeting your cat. * Not being meaningfully aware of your mortality but still making decisions based on not dying. * Overcorrecting and turning into a maudlin fucker. * A boom box with a floppy drive playing canyon.mid. * A product with no conceivable audience except the nerds who will think it's cool and nostalgic thirty years from now. * Opening a cabinet and your coffee mug singing the Zelda "you found the thing" jingle. * The intentionality of listening to music in the most inconvenient way possible. * Listening to music and lighting random pieces of paper on fire. * A very zinelike activity. * Independent movie theaters all vanishing in an eyeblink. * Filling the delivery tube with potato soup and sending it to the bank teller. * Chuck E. Cheese classing it up with woodfired, chef-inspired pizza. * Getting carryout from the Chuck E. Cheese and your chef-inspired pizza coming with a side of orange spider rings. * Sleeping on a mattress on the floor for years until your new girlfriend insists you get a real bed. * Putting a tennis ball on top of the screws you're supposed to attach the footboard to so you know where to park your keister. * Your migrating bedframe, a keter-class problem in the bedroom. * The one time it makes sense to have a strong opinion about someone else's bed. * Wiping down the incision site because if you get an infection after you die it's just never going to heal. * Only being allowed to listen to one song for the rest of your life. * The one song you're allowed to listen to also replacing music you hear in your head or anything you sing. * Trying to sing Happy Birthday to a co-worker but it always comes out as the chorus of "Selling the Drama" by Live. * All music in the world being replaced by the Intel Inside jingle. * The Zelda item noise secretly being the same as the Addams Family theme song. * Going to a concert and suddenly the band can only play the song you are cursed with. * The CIA discovering your musical curse and studying you on the dissection table like in Project ALF. * $10 million per For Fighting.
Support Topic Lords on Patreon and get episodes a week early! ( Lords: * April is a beast lord and Jim's wife. @AprilSaur * Ryan is somehow also Jim's wife? @RyanIkeComposer Topics: * 3:56 The "spigot question" Jim keeps avoiding. * * A second person may be "cured" of HIV. * 13:05 New Decade reading resolution. * * * * I personally recommend starting with "Introductory Antimemetics," which is a good intro to the concepts, then everything starting at "Case Colourless Green," which is the main storyline. * * 22:54 What does the Nakatomi corporation do? * * * 31:07 Favorite zoo animal. * * 40:07 What sandwiches are better suited to a straight or diagonal cut? * 44:28 I stayed in a hotel in Florence in 2009 where our room had a private bidet but the whole floor shared a toilet. Microtopics: * Making a good dad joke on twitter. * The ravens that have been building a nest behind your corpyard at work. * The squabbling raven couple next door. * Being the neighbor who didn't call animal control. * Trying to remember the names of Odin's ravens. * Distributing podcast episodes in a post-internet wasteland. * The kid in middle school who guessed you were from New York because of how you say "basketball." * Why Jim is such a coward. * Reaching deep into the topic bucket and pulling out a black ichorous monster. * A garden hose spigot installed in your butt such that poop sprays forward instead of down. * Bodily fluids canceling each other out when you miss the toilet and so you just end up with a wet wall. * Liking ketchup so much you CRISPR a biological ketchup dispenser into your elbow. * Accidentally triggering your ketchup hands when you're icing a cake. * Putting a cap on your ketchup elbow so you don't drip ketchup everywhere. * Whether your new dispenser is a squishy flesh hose or a brass steampunk spigot. * Reframing your fleshy protuberance that shoots someone else's blood to sound scary and eldritch. * A spigot that shoots liquid money. * Making up for your horrifying blood pranks by giving blood. * Whipping blood into stiff peaks. * Carnivorous merengue. * Using science to make human blood safe to eat. * Letting the listeners hear the good podcast juice. * Falling down on your New Year's resolution starting in March. * Watching the Witcher show and then reading the Witcher short stories it was based on and knowing exactly what's going to happen. * Alchemy and math and words. * Whether or not reading on a screen still counts. * Reading your driver's license every night before you go to bed. * Getting hungry immediately after the body spigot discussion. * Being over your meal by the time you're done cooking it. * Assembling duck a l'orange ingredient by ingredient in your tummy and by the time you finish cooking it you're like "I've already eaten this." * Something standing right in front of you that you can't perceive. * Deciding not to read scary stories to your wife right before bed. * Getting ready for prose form, motherfuckers. * Trying to remember someone's name and only remembering that they have initials. * Medieval fantasy Londons and their relationships to magic. * Reading ahead in the tabletop adventure book. * A vault with 8 different kinds of locks on it, filled with non-negotiable bearer bonds. * A regular bearer bond except you can't negotiate for it. * A non-negotiable bond except you can hold it. * The database documenting the contents of the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark. * Manufacturing tiny toy guns and not being able to fight back against terrorists because your guns are too small. * Explaining why your tiny gun manufacturer has a money basement. * Tiny toy guns using only the tiniest gunpowder. * Writing the first season of your mystery show with the certainty that it'll be canceled after one season. * Having to figure out what polar bears are after your show gets renewed. * When a duck decides to start whispering its quacks. * The most convenient jaguar. * Biting each other in the face and having a good Bear Time. * Bats' closest relatives being humans because all their other relatives died. * Delaying gestation until everyone's pregnant at once. * Bats all giving birth at the same time and overwhelming the health care system. * A zoo except for the sea. * Watching a jellyfish enclosure and asking "what are they doing in there?" * Plastic bags floating around in the sea except they're alive and they'll still be alive after you're dead. * The universe being a big stupid donut. * Nobody giving a shit that you read Great Expectations. * Garfield being the great literature of the coming era. * Allegorical lasagna. * Caramelizing all your onions at once. * Cutting your sandwich into a pair of rhombuses. * Sitting on a stack of the most prestigious award in the country. * Figuring out what axis you can cut a hamburger on diagonally. * When the burrito guy folds your burrito wrong and the first bite is entirely sour cream. * Burrito Gaia, filled with loam, mantle and magma. * Naming your next kid after your least-favorite burrito. * The food dictator making you a cup of Crispix when all you wanted was grilled cheese. * The puzzle with the farmer trying to get a hen, fox and grain across the river except it's your butt, your poop, and a jet of water. * Taking it to squirts-town. * Building a hotel before they invented the combination toilet/bidet. * The french word for when you take a dump in somebody's bidet. * Hygiene strategies if a bird poops on your butthole. * The nose being an evolutionary strategy to protect our mouths from bird poop. * Dunking your whole ass in the ass-height sink. * Just making zoo noises until you've reached the required minimum podcast length.
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