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  1. Stuff You Should Know

    Wednesday, August 18, 2010

    Alternate Titles:
    Two Guys Read Wikipedia
    Factoids: the Gathering
    LMGTFY

    This podcast is...wait for it...two guys, explaining how a process, social activity, natural event or other subject...works. This should not surprise any of us as the podcast is an offshoot of How Stuff Works, a site where you can learn about...

    wait for it...

    how nearly anything works. Uncanny, right? It's like they did this on purpose!

    Ever wanted to know how deja vu works? Curious if there are dead bodies on Mt. Everest? Pondering the ethical dilemma of exorcisms? Want the low-down on habeus corpus? If you want any information of dubious relevancy related to you via two guys yakking, than SYSK comes highly recommended.

    For an example, let's take a look at the erudite discussion surrounding saunas.
    Josh: Kind of that Roman, Dionysian, orgiastic vibe in going on in the saunas was one of the reasons they were eradicated by Europe because in the early 16th century Europe got a little...tense.
    Chuck: Yeah, the Protestant Reformation just ruined everything.
    Josh: They were kind of like, "You can't do that! You put a hat with a buckle on right now!"
    Chuck: "Yeah, you can't do that either! Or that! Or that! Or that! Get out of that sauna!"
    Josh: "Start crying! Right now!"
    Sauna Epsiode, 27 Minute Mark.

    Hosts Josh Clark and Charles W. Bryant take on each topic with the same indefatigable enthusiasm shown here. This is impressive as there are topics such as scabies and what can be done with dead bodies.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site
    Download Episodes through iTunes!
    Blog Entries!
    SYSK Twitter Feed
    Wikipedia Entry
    Podcast.com Site

    Episode Length: A sample size of 20 episodes gives me an average length of 35 minutes. This is interesting because if you look at the entire library of episodes, the time increase is huge. Early episodes are far, far shorter at about 5 minutes each, where the most recent episode at the time of this review weighs in at a heft 44 minutes and 48 seconds. This type of variation could prove beneficial for listeners! Need a long episode? Need a quick, in-between errands episode? SYSK has got you covered.

    Release Schedule: Bi-weekly. The perfect schedule for a voracious listener. Also the perfect schedule for a less-frequent listener, because it's not like the episodes expire or anything.

    Music: That one song that everyone who uses GarageBand uses in their podcasts. That, and sound effects from either Wheel of Fortune or The Price is Right.

    Content Rating: Clean. The hosts might sneak in a few potty-humor jokes every now and then, but typically OK for all audiences. You can easily tell if the content is for you based on episode titles.

    Unintentionally Good Part: The "peanut-gallery" style discussion about each topic. The hosts are more than willing to lend their own personal opinions and stories about whatever topic they're talking about and do so frequently.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: The scholarly research about each topic is...dubious, at best. This is not a podcast you want to cite on your research paper. I haven't been able to unearth their research methods for each topic but I'm assuming it revolves around the use of an Internet search engine and...that's pretty much it. But I might be wrong! They might employ several interns who jobs involve cross-referencing articles! I doubt it though.

    Drinking Game: Drink each time the hosts address each other by name.

    Unrelated Rating: Five out of five correct answers on a pop quiz. A+ and a smiley face.
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  2. 2 comments:

    1. Josh said...

      I shall have to check this out - sounds like a lot of fun.

    2. Tim said...

      A while back I listened to about three of their podcasts. The first one to check it out since it sounded interesting. The second to see if maybe their first one was a fluke and not representative of the quality of their content. The third to confirm that listening to them jabber on would eventually lead to suicide.