Archive for the ‘Answer Us Back! Your time to opine’ Category

egg (in)digest(ion)

October 13, 2015

“Do it right, or you won’t like where this egg is going.”

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT324

AMT324‘s question from Swapna about how to peel a hardboiled egg really got you going. Scores of you wrote to advise Swapna to add vinegar to the boiling water, or bicarbonate of soda, to soften the shell; or that she should use week-old eggs rather than fresh, so the once pert young albumen no longer clings to the shell; or that the water should be cold, or warm, or hot. Taleb recommends this brilliantly comprehensive post, Lauren this episode of the (always delightful) Dinner Party Download. Here are a few of the many highlights from the eggstravaganza in our inbox: (more…)

How we met

September 30, 2015

101meetcute

Since AMT322, we’ve been enjoying hearing how you found AMT – through us appearing on other shows like JJGo or Ian Collins or No Such Thing As A Fish, or mentions on 99% Invisible or The Bugle; or thanks to articles we wrote or were mentioned in; or because it was early 2007 and we groomed you on MySpace. Please tell us in the comments how you found us! But we’re guessing most of you found us by accident, or through word of mouth. Like these champs:

Davi from Boston (formerly Davi from Maryland): I started listening to it because of the recommendation of Becca from Chicago, of Andrew Lloyd Webber Ice Skating Question fame. I started in 2012 and haven’t missed an episode since!

Hannah: I discovered your podcast whilst suffering from a bout of insomnia and browsing the podcast library. The name caught my attention as did the bright yellow “cover art”. It quickly became a regular bed-time favourite.

But did it cure the insomnia or make it worse?

Alex in Glasgow: I actually found out about you guys through my friend, your longtime listener Eliot from Wrexham!

I think Eliot from Wrexham may have been a MySpace quarry, as aforementioned.

Verity from Oxford: I am a recent Oxford graduate who was introduced to AMT in July by my tutor, who helpfully suggested it as a distraction following my objectively-fine-but-slightly-disappointing finals results. I have since binge-listened to about a year’s worth of episodes.

I’m interpreting that to mean we’re part of the Oxford syllabus.

Charlie from Berkeley, CA, originally from Cleethorpes: I first found about about it from a friend of mine, Ken from San Francisco (featured in episode 261 with his This American Life-esque announcement). We were hanging out last summer, and I’d had a terrible evening, but Ken knew how to cheer me up – with a dose of Helen, Olly, and Martin the Soundman, of course.

As a British ex-pat, originally from Cleethorpes (and now, by some miracle of the British state education system, living in Berkeley CA and finishing up a doctoral degree in clinical psychology), I couldn’t help but be tickled by the podcast. I’ve been especially tickled by the fact that both Cleethorpes and the Bay Area have gotten several mentions, and cracked up on BART during the guest episode with Ian Collins who got lost after sleepwalking in a caravan park in Cleethorpes as a child.

We can never guess why AMT does it for you, but we’re definitely glad it does. Thanks for listening!

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

Multitasking at concerts

September 28, 2015

200472887-001-two-businessmen-and-businesswoman-gettyimages

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT323

In AMT321, Daniel from Essex worried that reading a book during classical concerts would be a faux pas. Daniel, if you’re ever rumbled in the act, produce this permission slip from Lorraine:

I think it is definitely a thing for some concerts! Let me explain. A friend of mine once went to a harpsichord concert (why would she force that upon herself is a mystery to me), and was extremely surprised to see that they did not dim the lights at the beginning of the concert. She was even more surprised to see people taking out their books and starting to read! However, after about (that is not a joke) THREE hours of harpsichord concert, I bet she would’ve killed to have something to read.

So apparently it’s not always bad etiquette to bring a book to a classical music concert!

Alright, so books are OK; what are the rules about donning noise-cancelling headphones and a TV hat?

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

Casper the dead ghost

September 27, 2015

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT323

Retro feedback time! Jeff from Litchfield, New Hampshire has raised the spectre of mid-2013:

I was listening to episode 261 where someone asked how Casper the friendly ghost died. I have the answer.

According to issue #8 of Crazy magazine (December 1974) he was murdered by his abusive father after he watched his mother be stabbed to death. Later he got his revenge with Wendy the witch by letting his father’s new girlfriend burn alive and Wendy cast the the spell “Butcher knives fly like mad, and slice up Casper’s mean ole dad”.

I should mention that my mother bought me this issue when I was 6. I’m assuming she didn’t know this was in it.

And I’m assuming a 6-year-old didn’t clock that this is a parody, and Kaspar the Dead Baby is not canonical Casper the Friendly Ghost material. They have different names and faces:


kaspar1

Great material though. Abuse, murder, immolation – really LOLtastic.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

cat bequests: the aftermath

September 17, 2015

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT322

As a chaser to the last post about dog-sitting, let’s check in on Carlee from Wellington who appeared in AMT316 to ask, as she had taken care of her flatmate’s cats for the majority of the previous nine months, how she could propel her flatmate to bequeath her (Carlee) the cats in the event of her (the flatmate’s) death during a business trip. Carlee writes:

Since AMT316, nobody has died, but I have moved out, and am enjoying a lifestyle that does not involve being woken up by someone else’s cats every night.

When I visited her recently the cats gave not one shit about me – didn’t show any sign of recognising me, let alone welcoming me back, so I retract my earlier intentions towards them.

Regardless of what that tells you about the emotional capacity of someone who can dispassionately and self-servingly contemplate the death of a flatmate, it certainly illustrates my suspicion that cats are sociopaths to whom all that human love is utterly meaningless. Olly, just try to prove otherwise.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

dangerous donkey selfies

September 15, 2015

Angry-donkey

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT322

The dangers of selfie sticks (and donkeys) are illustrated in this email from Wayne:

I’m listening to AMT322 where you talk about people with their wands of Narcissus taking photos of themselves with animals.

This reminded me of a recent trip to the New Forest, where we saw a young girl get done over by a juvenile donkey she was trying to take a selfie with. She got the poor animal in a headlock to take the photo, at which point the cute and cuddly equid head-butted her and then kicked her for good measure.

All three of us in the car (myself, my wife and my 8 year old son in the back) all said the same: “Well that serves her right.”

It amused us for the journey back to the camp site.

Have you ever had a dangerous close encounter with a wild beast? Or with an idiot who is having a close encounter with a wild beast? If it was non-fatal to all involved, step cautiously into the comments to tell us about it.

PS Here are some of the warning signs I saw around the geysers at Yellowstone National Park. THINK SAFETY, PEOPLE. Or, at the very least, think more than not at all.

12 Ys safety
11 Yellowstone warning

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

WWTBA Millionaire lifelines

September 14, 2015

phone-a-friend

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT322

Phone a friend, email a friend/podcast; Tony in New York writes:

I listened with great interest to the segment from AMT322 about the use of Google on Phone-A-Friend for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and I realized I may be able to shed a bit of light on how things are done on the show now in the States.

You are correct that they don’t have phone-a-friend anymore, because it’s become far too easy to search the answers on the fly, but the other lifeline games you mentioned (Ask the Expert and the others) were, at best, one-off games in previous seasons.

I was on last season as a lifeline, and this season as a contestant (my episode airs in two weeks, so I’m still sworn to secrecy as to how I did), but the lifelines have been as follows:

Last season, there were four lifelines:
• Jump The Question, which allows you to move to the next question up the ladder without receiving the money associated with it;
• 50/50, which removes two of the four possible answers;
• Ask The Audience;
• and your “Plus-One” Lifeline, who had to be with you in the studio. This Plus-One comes in with the contestant in the morning, at which point everyone’s phones are immediately taken away upon entering the building. There’s no more phoning out, there’s no connection to the outside world during taping, and they mic the lifeline’s chair heavily, to discourage coughing-clues or other shenanigans.

This year, they’ve dropped the Jump The Question, leaving contestants with just 50/50, Ask The Audience, and Plus-One. This sucks. On the upside, though, they’ve stopped scrambling the relative difficulties of the questions, and are now laying the questions out in steadily increasing levels of difficulty.

Hope this helps.

It helps US, Tony, but did it help YOU? Once your episode has aired, please write back with the full inside scoop.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

Ritz is Ritzy

September 2, 2015

article-2251595-169BDD19000005DC-456_634x399

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT321

We’ve had a fancy email from fancy fancy listener Toon:

In AMT319 you assumed none of your listeners were patrons at the Ritz. Well, I have stayed at the London Ritz as a kid. I have a rich uncle who took us out for a weekend in London, and booked a few rooms in the Ritz like other people book a B&B.

I must say the experience was rather underwhelming (to my child self, at least), and I was frankly embarrassed by the grovelling and somewhat 19th-century attitudes of the staff.

On the other hand, grovelling and 19th-century attitudes are what most Ritz patrons are paying for.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

business cards

September 2, 2015

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT321

AMT321‘s discussion of networking has spurred Jab to write:

With regards to business cards.

After an event or meeting and back home (or hotel), simply put all the cards on a table close together and take a single photo with your phone.

I have a folder called ‘MEETINGS’ where they all go.

The benefits of this are that the people you met in the one place stay in the same photo and the date of the pic tells you when you met them. Plus you can bin the cards straight away.

Before I did this (which seems obvious now) I had a bunch of cards with little or no idea what circumstance or when I met the person. Like Olly’s 200+.

This does seem to be a sensible system, but it does remove all the fun of staying in on a Friday night to alphabeticise your business cards.

Feel free to go to the comments to share your own business card management system; I’d hate to deny you that pleasure.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

tequila feedback

September 1, 2015

o-TEQUILA-facebook

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT321

Here’s AMT321-related booze news from Steven:

Frozen mojitos are good but frozen margaritas are better.

Also, Desperados don’t have any tequila in, it’s just beer with squash in it (not knocking it, I love them).

Also, interestingly, slammers are not what you – or anyone – think they are. Tequila slammers are just tequila and 7 Up. What you’re talking about are just plain old tequila shots.

God, I never knew I held so much tequila pedantry.

Readers, if any of YOU are holding tequila pedantry, now’s the time to let it flow. Go on. We can all do some shots to take the edge off.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

protest names

August 20, 2015

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT320

More child-naming intel has arrived from Edwin:

Your discussion in AMT320 of registering a baby reminded me of a story out of Sweden I read in the news once about a child allegedly named “Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116”, pronounced “Albin”.

Wikipedia also tells me that protest names are not so unusual in Sweden.

Of course! Why not use your child to represent your own gripes? They’re only a HUMAN BEING, after all.

(By the way, were any of you given names because your parents were trying to make a political or sociological or some other kind of point? And how did that work out for you?)

Also, several of you wrote in to tell us what happens when you let children choose their own names: you get surgeons named Loki Skylizard. Apparently he was aged eight or nine when he opted for this, and kudos to him for sticking with it when it is perhaps not a name in which most people undergoing heart surgery will feel particularly confident.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH

Naming the names

August 19, 2015

latest

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT320

Regarding AMT320‘s discussion about naming babies, Jeremiah writes:

You made a comment referencing the character Six in the beloved 80’s sitcom Blossom, in the context of a discussion of names and their derivation. I happen to remember watching an episode of Blossom in which the origins of the name Six were explained. Blossom and Six are having an intimate conversation in which Blossom asks Six how she got her name. Six replies without missing a beat, “That was how many beers it took my dad to think of it.” Cue laugh-track.

According to Wikipedia, “A later explanation is that she was the sixth child in her family”. But apparently the behind-the-scenes truth is “One of the show’s writers came up with the name ‘Six’ because he knew a girl in school called ‘Seven’.”

Whatever it is, perhaps Susan from Riverside, California will feel some relief about her own situation:

In episode 320, you talk about babies who aren’t named right away. I am one of those babies.

I was born on Easter Sunday in 1962. I made my parents leave Mass early. I always thought I was a special girl, but it wasn’t until I was in my mid-20s when I found out the truth: my parents didn’t know what to call me!

When my mom told me this, she was laughing about it the whole time. She started talking about the hospital I was born in and then she said, “You know they called and asked me, are you ever going to name that child?”

She was still laughing, but she sounded kind of pissed that they would bother her about it. I got the sense that she felt she’d name her kid when she was good and ready to name her kid.

I asked her about it after I heard your podcast. She “thinks” the hospital called when I was about 3 weeks old. But when she said, “We knew your middle name was going to be Alexa” my heart just sank. My middle name is Alexia. She couldn’t get it right, so I don’t trust her on the whole 3 weeks scenario.

I was afraid to ask her if she actually knew my name! I have always wondered what they called me during the alleged 3 weeks that I was __________ Alexa, Alexis (whatever).

The real pisser is that I have an older sister who had a name, no problem, so it isn’t like my parents didn’t know what to do!

But it all turned out alright, didn’t it, Susan?

We also heard from Nick Barker, who gave his son the middle name ‘Chu’. Chu Barker. Say it to yourself. Faster. Chu Barker. Says Nick: “I figure, as it is his middle name, he can choose whether to use it or not. At the moment he likes it.”

PS: This week, the Office for National Statistics released the list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales in 2014. For the second year running, Oliver tops the boys’ list. In the girls’ list Helen was 763rd. SORT THIS OUT, PODCAST FANS.

ALBUMSCLASSIC EPISODESBOOKiTUNESSOUNDCLOUDFAQ
iPHONE APPANDROID APPFACEBOOKTWITTERYOUTUBEMERCH