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  1. YoGPoD

    Wednesday, November 30, 2011

    Gather 'round, my children, and I'll tell you the tale
    Of a podcast where humor and gaming prevail
    It's not like your yard which is covered with sod,
    It's on the Internet forever and it's called the YoGPod.

    Beautiful, right?  Podcasts inspire the true artist in us all.

    Now that your eyes are bleeding, let's get to it and learn all about the YoGPod!

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Libsyn link for podcasts!
    YouTube Channel!
    They even have their own Wiki!

    Everything gets exclamation points because I'm drinking a soda while I'm typing this!!!

    Lewis:  How is cheese made, Simon?

    Simon:  Well, if you browse Cheesipedia, I'm sure it will tell you-

    Lewis:  No, but tell me, just tell me.

    Simon:  Since the dawn of time, Mankind has struggled with the greater questions of life.  Why am I here? Why do the stars spin in the sky?  And most important of all, the great question: what is cheese?  This is a question which has puzzled scientists, theologians, and the every day man in the street for centuries.  The very nature of cheese is hard to pin down, Lewis.  What is cheese made of?  Can it be used as a wall insulator?  Is it sentient?

    Lewis:  Where are you reading this from?

    Simon:  Cheesipedia. Throurough research into the field has answered at least two of these three questions.  We now know that cheese is made from a substance known as milk, the source of which remains yet a further mystery to the nose, ears and eyes of science. With which yields the delicious substance known as cheese when it is churned, fermented, and generally treated badly by a bunch of farmers in a shed.  We now also know that cheese can be used as a wall insulation, albeit a fairly poor insulation and terribly pungent. 

                                                   - Episode 23, "Simon's Cheesecake Surprise"

    Release Schedule:  It was every week-ish (loose release schedule) up until July 2011 where the podcasts seem to halt.  According to their ever-useful Wiki, there is no set schedule.

    So, in another episode of "ViddyViddy is the last person on the Internet to find something" I have discovered the Yogscast.  It features (mainly) the vocal talents of Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley as they wander through their life experiences, fan mail, and favored memes.  Both hosts hail from somewhere in Europe, I think?  Whatever, they have charming accents that improves everything they say by at least twenty percent

    Taken from their Wiki page under the subsection "Controversy":

    It is generally believed and suggested multiple times in the YoGPoD by Lewis and Simon that listening to the podcast over long periods of time will lead you to becoming generally insane. The fact that you tuned into the YoGPoD shows your insanity and the more you listen to it the further you will lose yourself. Despite this theory, many continue to live amongst the common people.

    The theory was born when a brave Yognau(gh)t, during a long car trip, listened to every episode that had been released at the time and the results were shocking. He started seeing vans carrying huge quantities of Jaffa Cakes across Europe and almost died multiple times from swerving from laughter. Although nobody has actually died yet, as the number of YoGPoD listeners grows new listeners should be made aware of what YoGPoD overdose can lead to. It is believed that listeners to the YoGPoD can cause a sharp decline in mental and cognitive faculty. This can result in a sharp decline in motor functional skills, swiftly reduce the ability to drive in a linear fashion and cause hallucinations. It is also mentioned that he enters a cloud of thick fog at around the same time the Halloween podcast begins. This may suggest that the YoGPoD may even rip the space-time continuum, causing people to switch over to a 'Silent Hill' type realm.

    The YoGPoD is what, in the industry term I just made up, is referred to as a "companion podcast."  This podcast is not their bread and butter, hell, it wouldn't even be their day old pizza left on the counter in terms of their main releases that have garnered them a huge audience.  The Yogscast folks make the YouTubes, and I've lost many an hour to their pixel-based hi-jinks. They are a group of mostly funny, occasionally offensive (not for the wee ones!), creative players of games and muckers-about in geek culture.  Jump into their YouTube channel to see if you like them, get a chance to soak up some of their inside jokes, and if any of that catches your interest then I'm sure you'll like the podcast.

    Music:  The opening theme is a jamming little fan-made tune, which I quite like!  Some episodes of the YoGPoD are live-streamed, and music is played through them, but most of it is removed due to licensing by the time it hits the podcast feed.

    Average Episode Length:  Forty-ish minutes?  Some run over an hour, some run one or two minutes.  Widely varies.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  I feel I say this a lot, but if you enjoy getting little glimpses into the lives of Simon and Lewis, then all their anecdotes will keep you laughing.  These two friends fall into the kind of friendship where they know each other almost too well, and as such are able to bicker and joke with each other on some transcendent level. 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Per my preference of listening to podcasts at work, I don't like all the little animated shorts that are lined up in their archives.  Can't watch them at work, yo!  That knocks about 20 of their episodes off my available list, although I'm sure my poor iPod appreciates the fact that it has to carry a few less podcasts.

    Load it down, turn it up, try it out! 
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  2. I Should Be Writing + NaNoWriMo

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    tl;dr I Should Be Writing is a fantastic resource and font of entertainment for amateur and professional writers alike.


     Are you aware that November 1st is the start of NaNoWriMo?  Are you aware that NaNoWriMo is a event that challenges you to write 50,000 (that's five zeroes, people) words to a story in thirty days, thus proving that anyone can write that story they've always wanted to write?  Are you aware that you can jump into the fun, sign up for free and get writing?

    As they say, "No plot?  No problem!"  Check out their site and join in!  And while your thinking up the first sentence of your soon-to-be-written story, I highly suggest you accompany your throughts with I Should Be Writing.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Subscribe here.
    Sponsor the podcast and site here!  Lots of cool stuff for those who donate.

    The Murverse, home of host Mur Lafferty's creative works!

    I Should Be Writing is a window into the process, thoughts, frustrations, hopes, fears and jubilation of a writer doing their damnedest to make it on their words and wits alone.  Your host is Mur Lafferty, which to be honest is one of the coolest names I've ever heard. 

    Mur Lafferty is brutally honest as she grants you access to the trials and tribulations she faces as a "wanna-be" author.  She will admit to you how she is slacking on deadlines, when personal life takes over and shoves creativity aside and will allow you to share in the little victories that come her way in her journey to becoming a professional author.  The episodes are informative and interesting, often featuring interviews with professional authors, more wanna-be's, and all those who attach themselves to the art and craft of writing

    Release Schedule:  Weekly-ish, with a week or two wait in between some episodes. 

    Music:  Some of the best theme musics that I have heard on a podcast.  I have listened to the archives and most recent episodes, so I believe that the theme song occasionally changes.  They're all good, and some are even catchy!

    Average episode length:  Typical episode is gonna run you an hour, give or take some spare change.  Feedback episodes are about fifteen minutes long.

    Mur offers her fellow authors the best kind of advice one can give:  empirical.  She is in the trenches of authorship, trying her best to make it and making sure that the lessons she learns along the way are heard by others.  I enjoy this podcast for Mur's advice as well as her sense of humor and open manner of talking.  Some of the episodes may ramble as she gathers her thoughts on any given topic, but she will make her point as she sees it and offers it to her listeners to take it as they may.  It is always inspiring to see someone else doing what they can to achieve their dreams, and I Should Be Writing is the second best way that all you wanna-be's can spend your time.

    What's first best?  Writing, of course!

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Oh goodness, let's see...I really like the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" episodes.  They are silly and vulgar, which is often the best kind of silly.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  Mur runs advertisements throughout I Should Be Writing.  This is not inherently bad, but some of the advertisements are a bit on the cheesier side.  There may be cringing, but hey, that's what fast-forward buttons are for, right?

    Do you NaNo?  Let me know in the comments!  Get to listening!
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  3. Sword and Laser Podcast

    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Books!  Books with mostly words, although some pictures are ok!
    This comic © 2003-2011 David Malki !

    Ain't literacy grand?  We here at Viddyviddy Corporations have been strong advocates of reading for entertainment and information alike ever since that one time in 3rd grade when our mom made us read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl.  Combine that with the fact that one day that little kid would grow up to be a nerd with a penchant for escapism, and you get a life-long devotee of the fantasy and science fiction genres.

    Now, I'm going to take just the most wildest of leaps and assume that one or two of you out there in Internet Land are of similar tastes and would rather fork over the cash for a new paperback book than any other current form of entertainment.  If I'm right about that, than maybe I'm right in thinking you should check out the Sword and Laser Podcast.

    Relevant Links:
    Main site!
    Subscribe to the podcast for iTunes!

    Store, featuring lots of books!
    Discussion/Forum thing on Goodreads!

    I have only listened to a handful of episodes so far, but Sword and Laser seems to have a pretty cool thing going.  From what I can cobble together from their FAQ the origins of Sword and Laser were as a book club, and the podcast was eventually added.  Veronica Belmont and Tom Merritt are at the helm of this genre-fueled juggernaut and it looks like they've managed to develop and maintain a community that shares their love of fantasy and sci-fi literature. 

    You can go to their Goodreads page right now and see what books are currently being discussed as well as all the other topics that crop up, including discussion about each episode of the podcast.  They welcome one and all to join their community, so go ahead and see if there's anything that catches your eye!  

    Release Schedule:  Once a week-ish.  From the iTunes archives it looks like they have a weekly schedule that occasionally gets interluded with a few extra weeks between episodes.  Some of the episodes are recorded at conventions, while others are interviews, so there might be a little extra time when it comes to creating and producing those types of episodes.  Fortunately, there is a big backlog of episodes to catch up on when the release schedule starts to lag.  

    Music:  Cute little intro.  And by little, I mean that when you combine it with the opening spiel for their sponsors it clocks in at over a minute long.  oonst-oonst-oonst-oonst

    Average Episode Length:  A sample size of 5 randomly selected episodes gives me an average time of 47 minutes (and some spare change).

    Hosts Veronica and Tom have great personalities (and I mean that in a good way not the "once you get past their faces they're fun!" way) and they can hold your attention for a host-only episode.  The interviews are well-paced and enjoyable as the hosts provide insightful, questions tailored to each guest.  Some episodes wander away from the topic of fantasy and sci-fi and into the realm of cool websites, television and general geekiness, and that's ok by me! 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  The Goodreads thing is really cool!  I've never been able to get into forum discussions, but this looks like it is a bit more manageable and hey, you get to talk about books with other people who like books.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: Spoilers.  If you're not participating in their book discussions or haven't already read the book, you may have to skip some episodes where a book's plot is laid open on the autopsy table.

    Now go on and grab a mug of tea, your favorite comfy chair and a new sci-fi or fantasy book and get to reading!  Then subsequently get to listening! 

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  4. Accidental Creative Podcast

    Thursday, October 13, 2011

    What would come to mind if I told you that I have discovered a podcast that will not only help you actuate your high-level functionality, but also ensure that you're "actioning your deliverables" for a future-proof pathfinder project?

    Yeah.  Me too.

    How about we table that for now and listen to The Accidental Creative instead, eh?

    (What, you were expecting maybe an Office Space joke?  How plebeian.)

    Relevant Links:
    Get the podcast here!
    Can you believe I couldn't find a Wikipedia page on this?
    Store, as well as the book
    Twitter feed!

    Todd Henry wants you to be able to be brilliant, prolific and healthy.  I mean, the guy really, really wants you to be brilliant, prolific and healthy, and he'll darn near crawl through the speakers of your computer to help you achieve these three things.  He wrote a book and hosts a podcast to help you be all the brilliant, prolific and healthy you can be!  So... what does that actually mean?

    "Prolific meaning we're making a lot of stuff, brilliant meaning we're making good stuff and healthy meaning we're making it in a sustainable way."

    These are the tenants that The Accidental Creative have set their sights on, and they'll be hanged if they won't try their best to help you reach your most prolifflebrillealthy-ist self!

    This podcast is part pep-talk for the creative professional, part interviews with others who also aid people in reaching their healthrilliantlific selves as well, part study in why people function the way they do and part insight into practices of successful folks that spend their time taking the thoughts from their brains and turning them into profitable products. 

    Release Schedule:  From my highly scientific research, it looks like there's a release every two-weeks-ish?  Keep your expectations flexible for this podcast, from what it looks like they release as they get material (topic ideas, interviews, recorded talks) so although the schedule may lapse, the content should be solid. 

    Average Episode Length:  A sample size of ten episodes gives me an average length of eighteen minutes.

    Music:  There's a groovy little intro and outro piece.  Maybe it has a little sitar in it, maybe not.

    The big tag line of this podcast is "cover bands don't change the world."  As much as I'm teasing The Accidental Creative for the business-jargon vibe that I picked up on when I first gave the podcast a listen, I like what they have to say.  The people interviewed and speaking on this podcast want to help you become the most competent, efficient and successful version of yourself and aid your endeavors.  Of course, they've made a business out of being motivational, but hey, that fine with me.  The lessons they have to offer are interesting and may provide you with a new way of thinking about how you work.

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Okay, so this is actually incredible intentional, but it is tangential to the podcast so I'm counting it.  Their main site is crazy-filled with articles for you to check out!  There's a bunch of subsections of article topics to check out and clicking on one leads you to reading another and whoops now two hours have passed.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  I suppose some of the interviews can come off as commercials for the books that the guest host has written.  Honestly, that's kind of the point when you write a book is to tour around and talk about it, but you may not get the depth out of the topic you want.   

    This podcast could start out as a time-kill and end up guiding you on a path to a more brilliant, prolific, healthy you!  BRILLILIFICTHY!  Get to listening!

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  5. Humor Authority

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    All right, I'm about to try something new.

    (I'm scared too.) a debut review.  Yes, I just thought that up and yes, I agree on how stupid it sounds.  But that's all I could come up with so it is sticking and you can just hush up.

    Let's dive in to the entire 1 episode of Humor Authority that currently exists, shall we?

    Explorations on the theory and practice of humor... it's ambitious, it might fall apart, might be a huge mess.

    Relevant Links:
    Humor Authority Main site!
    Kris Straub's Twitter
    Kris Straub's Main site, where you can find links to all the things he does.

    First off, Kris Straub is a gol'dang Internet maven (and yes, I had to look up "maven" to make sure I knew what it meant).  Author/Creator/Colorer-Inner of several webcomics, co-creator of those wacky Blamimations, co-host of Webcomics Weekly and innovator when it comes to giving me the willies.  Given time I'm sure he'll head his own brand of microwave dinners and energy drinks, but until then, he makes awesome things like Humor Authority.

     Humor Authority is a podcast that sets out to investigate what makes funny things work.  The plan thus far appears to be that Straub will bring on a guest for each episode and engage them in an open conversation on their opinion and experiences with trying to make people laugh.  The interview style is loose and conversational, leaving Straub and his guest to roam wild and free along the vast plains of what is funny.  

    The first (and only) episode features Ethan Nicolle, illustrator of Axe Cop.  This web comic is... actually, it is pretty funny and I highly recommend it, if not on the basis of how the story is written alone (via the artist's 5 year old brother).

    NICOLLE: I want to say this as humble as possible but I think that me and you have a good grasp on humor in comics.  I don't know if I can say that, I'll say it about you and you can say it about me if you want to.

    STRAUB:  I was gonna start this show with like, "You and I, both crown princes of humor, of the visual art of humor...

    Release Schedule:  I have no friggen' clue.  IT IS A MYSTERY.

    Average Episode Length:  Considering that there is one episode, the average time is fifty-four minutes and seventeen seconds.

    Music:  Something nice at the start that is followed by something nice at the end.

    Unexpectedly Good Part:  Welp, with only a single episode to try and suss this out of... I'd say... from what I can tell it appears the Straub is not limiting himself to a single type or genre of humor.  So rather than just interviewing comic artists or comedians or humor writers, there will be a big spread of thoughts and opinions from all across the grid of making people laugh.

    Unexpectedly Bad Part:  Buh... um, the chance the the interview-heavy style of the show will most likely translate into a sluggish release schedule?

    SO!  Now's your chance to get in on something that's just started and could go big.  Give the first episode a a chance, and if you like it then subscribe or let Straub know that he has an audience for the Humor Authority.  You're listening to the cutting edge of innovation, son!  And that's something to be proud of.


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  6. Hey, you're cool, right?  Of course you are, just look at you, brimming with coolness (I like that shirt, good color on you).

    So that means you like cool things, right?  Naturally.  Your instinctive good tastes lead you to coolness like a lightning bolt to a tragically unconcerned golfer.

    Well it just so happens that I have a cool thing that you should take a look at.  It's not really my cool thing, but it was made by cool people who subsequently want to share their coolness with other cool people.

    Like you.

    It's a documentary (hang on, I'm getting to the cool part) about comics.  Trust me on this one.

    Check out their cool video, which is also totally sweet:

    Those cool people made the documentary and now it is up to cool people like me and you (you are cool, right?) to help them get the money they need to properly finish it and make it the epitome of cool.  We're not talking star-swipes left here, kids.  This documentary will be so cool, you'll be able to take your DVD of it (which you can get when you back this project with $25 or more) tap it on a broken jukebox and make it work.

    That is, if you're cool.  You're cool, right?

    Kickstarter Page.  Drop a few bucks, make something cool happen, get cool stuff in return.

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  7. StarTalk Radio Show

    Sunday, August 7, 2011

    StarTalk Radio Show with Neil DeGrasse Tyson

    Neil DeGrasse Tyson... I think I recognize that name.  Where have I seen him before?

    Maybe it was on one of his many interviews on The Daily Show and Colbert Report?

    Perhaps I've seen him in a totally sweet science-based jam?

    Oh, that Neil DeGrasse Tyson!

    Now you and I get to know him via the magical world of podcasts with the StarTalk Radio Show.

    Although I probably shouldn't use the world "magical" in regards to a podcast steeped in progressive scientific thinking... so, uh, join me, won't you, as we travel into the realm of audio-based digital media that is StarTalk.

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site!
    Want to know something about how the universe works?  Submit a question!

    StarTalk itself lacks a store, but feel free to check out some Neil DeGrasse Related items here.

    You may have gathered that StarTalk is focused around the discussion of discoveries both recent and past, information regarding and just some cool facts about space.  StarTalk has featured throughout its many episodes meteorologists and astronomers to help explain what we can see from earth as well as astronauts and astrophysicists that can reveal all the interesting things that are busy existing in the greater universe.  

    Tyson:  What's your most indelible memory from the entire Apollo era?
    Roger Launius:No question, it's the moon landing.  It was very exciting but I got to tell you, as Neil set foot on the moon I was sitting on the hood of a car listening to the broadcast on the car radio, there was a girl beside me and let me tell you what was going on on the moon was not my first priority.

    Content Rating:  As clean as the room they built the Hubble telescope lens in.  Which, from what I understand, was incredibly clean.  To be honest, there is a fair bit of innuendo-y jokes, but nothing that should make you blush.

    Average Episode LengthKept tight around forty-seven to fifty minutes. 

    I would be remiss in my review if I didn't include all the various guests that StarTalk boasts.  Neil Tyson DeGrasse manages to hook Jon Stewart, John Hodgman, Morgan Freeman (!), a bevvy of respectable NASA-related scientists, more astronauts than you can shake a stick at and when he's not talking to a guest he is chatting with his co-host Lynne Koplitz.  Koplitz provides an "everyman" voice for the podcast, making sure Tyson provides explanations for whatever topic he brings us and keeping him on his toes with witty banter.  It feels like Tyson does best when he has someone to talk with, rather than if he only had the listening audience to talk to, so Koplitz really helps make the show excellent. 

    Tyson:  I love July!
    Koplitz:  I love July, I love July in New York, it's a lot of fun.
    Tyson: Why, what do you do?
    Koplitz:  'Cause the men are so distracted by all the breasts that are out, it's just hilarious.  You can almost make taxi cabs wreck.
    Tyson:So do you have notches on your bra for how many taxi cabs you've wrecked?
    Koplitz:  I have notches on my bra for a lot of things but let's get on with the science, shall we?

    Release Schedule:  StarTalk earns its status as a Radio Show by being broadcast live, every Sunday at 6pm Eastern. 

    Music:  The opening song is ready to GET YOU PUMPED for astrophysics!

    Drinking Game:  Take a drink everytime:
    a) A Latin word is used.
    b) Someone says an acronym.
    c) An astronaut is interviewed.

    Tyson:  What's your favorite element, by the way?
    Jon Stewart:  I'm a huge carbon fan, I enjoy the molecular slut of the table of elements.

    Unintentionally Good PartBILL NYE.  Most shows have a little introductory thing by Bill Nye!  Shut up, you know that's awesome.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:   Well, this is one more nerd podcast so if you're not into DISCOVERING THE MAJESTY OF THE UNIVERSE, I guess you might not like it.  If things like AMAZING SCIENCE and FASCINATING INNOVATIONS don't catch your attention, then this podcast will not intrigue you.

    Neil Tyson DeGrasse's love of discovery and science and math and all that kind of crap is palpable, and his enthusiasm is etched into this podcast.  His guests are erudite and often funny, it is just the right length for its content, and space is awesome.  So go give it a listen, won't you? 
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  8. Just My Show

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    1) Watch this YouTube video:

    2) Go play a few rounds of Mad Libs.

    3) Buy a retro shirt.  Your choice if you want to wear it ironically or not.

    Now go pull up your bean bag chair, crack open a Crystal Pepsi and you're ready for Just My Show.
    You're listening to Just My Show, your number one source for pop-culture.  Here's Eric!.

    Relevant Links: 
    Main Site
    Download via iTunes
    RSS Feed

    Content RatingCleanGets-rid-of-those-waxy-build-ups clean.

    Do you remember something from the past that can be conclusively proven to be superior to comparable items that exist now?  Then Just My Show may be the thing to scratch your nostalgic itch.  Unfortunately, I'm not old enough to have actually experienced nostalgia yet, but I am looking forward to it!

    Host Eric Greenberg is your guide through the wonderful world of Things That Were and are Still Considered Awesome.  He's got yer Top Gun, yer Wang Chung and yer Burt Young all in one place.  

    Just My Show's main staple are the interviews of the celebrities, creators and innovators of the wide realm of past pop-culture.  The interview format is perfect for this podcast:  Eric is an excellent host, guiding his guests as they regale him with interesting stories and tidbits from their careers with.  The interviews are casual in tone and let you get to know the person behind the role they portrayed.  Another bonus is that the people being interviewed are not strangers to a press tour, so they have some practice when it comes to providing an interesting interview. 

    And come on, he interviewed the guy behind Underoos!  How is that not interesting?

    Average Episode Length: A test sample of 5 shows gives an average time of 52 minutes.  The shows looks like they can vary widely on times:  the shortest show is 7 minutes and 21 seconds, while the longest show clocks in at 1 hour, 23 minutes and 15 seconds.

    Drinking Game: Damn, I already used Crystal Pepsi.  Perhaps you can enjoy a delicious Bartles and Jaymes?  

    Release Schedule:  Previous releases look to be irregular, but now they look like they're set for a once a month schedule.  Considering that this podcast is highly dependent on reviews with celebrities, that's an impressive release schedule with all the wrangling it must get to record each interview.

    Music:  A little opening song, a little ending song, I like it! 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Would it be odd to say that Just My Show has a fantastic website?  Apparently it was recently revamped and it's great!  Visually appealing, easy to navigate and there's lots of little fun tidbits tucked around the edges, like links to retro commercials for you to find. 

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  The fact that the interviews are very specific to certain shows or aspects of pop-culture means a subscriber might go a few episodes without having anything pique their interests.  Fortunately this is balance by a fine archive, where listeners should be able to build up a buffer of episodes.

    Just My Show: retro a-go-go, on the go... fo'  whenever you... want mo'?  Give it a listen!
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  9. Not to shill, but...

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Hey!  I've been working on figuring out this whole Web 2.0 thingy that seems to be going on, and I found something cool.  I made a little shop on the sidebar! 

    Yeah, I know, shut up.  Uncle ViddyViddy wants himself a slice of that Internet pie he's always hearing about.

    The part I want you to know about is that I was able to pick a selection of books written by people who also host podcasts!  If you really enjoy a podcast that's been reviewed on this site, give my store a look.  There's a good chance that the host(s) have a book or two to their name as well.

    This site is a chance for me to try and show people things that I enjoy, in the hopes that they enjoy them as well.  I'll try to do the same with the little storefront I've got going on.  Give it a click, ignore it, never see it because you have Adblock installed, pretend to light it on fire, whatever.  I think it is nifty.

    Also, I named it "Uncle ViddyViddy's Pit n' Git."  Technology is a wonderful thing, children.
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  10. The Nerdist

    Friday, June 17, 2011

     Once upon a time, long, long ago, some nerds invented the Internet.  Since then the Internet has long been known to be the realm of nerds and their kin.  Some of the major uses of the Internet include:

    1. Amusing videos involving either adorable animals or people visiting grievous harm upon themselves.
    2. Purchasing items of extreme value.
    3. Distractions from worth-while projects.
    And that's about it, right?  I think I summed up the main points.

    Anyways, it turns out in 2010 some nerds set up a podcast called, go figure, The Nerdist. 

    Chris:  Both my parents are sports fanatics and I did not get that gene, I can't be into something if I can't  participate in it, I don't understand it.
    Jonah:  I'm resentful towards sport growing up because my dad played football, and he never really forced me to get into sports, but society did because of my size.  Like, every time I'd go to a new school its always like "Okay, you're going to play basketball because you're tall, you're going to play football..."
    Chris:  My dad didn't force me to get into it, he just withheld food and hugs until I said that I wanted to put on a uniform.
    Jonah:  You know you can go two weeks without a hug?  Scientifically?

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site
    The Podcast via iTunes
    Podcast Archive
    The Nerdist Book!  That's pretty cool.
    Wikipedia Page
    Nerdist Twitter 

    The Nerdist podcasts covers subjects which are, go figure, tucked within the realm of all things nerdy.  There's mention of table-top gaming, technology, Firefly and whatever topic they wander into.  Hosted by Web Soup's Chris Hardwick and his accomplishes Matt Mira and Jonah Ray, a trifecta of entertaining banter is formed between them.  According to their wikipedia pages, they are all practiced comedians and that really shines through in this podcast.  The hosts nimbly toss jokes back and forth, lining one another up for punch lines and working to get a laugh.  The touch of professionalism gives The Nerdist an edge over some of the other "friendly banter around a mic" podcasts because they have their comedic timing down from the first episode.  

    To be honest (because transparency is just one of the core values of this blog) I've only listened to a handful of episodes from The Nerdist's mighty backlog.  From what I can tell it looks like one of the main draws for this podcast is a veritable plethora of guests hosts.  Taking a gander at the episodes it appears to be a fine stable of comedians, which I believe Chris mentioned in one of the later episodes were all basically friends of his.

    So you can expect a typical episode to provide about an hour of friends, who happen to be comedians, making jokes and talking about things they like for an hour?  C'mon, that is the only selling point we need, people! 

    MusicThe Nerdist theme song is by Anamanaguchi!  It if fully of blips and beeps and I find it charming.

    Average Episode Length:   A husky podcast that clocks in at no less than forty minutes and manages to breach the two hour mark on occasion. 

    Content Rating:  Explicit.  Some vulgaaaaar stuff sneaks in there. 

    Unintentionally Good Part:  Episode 90, about 1:12:10 into it (just nearly the end).  There is a spontaneous song that pleased me greatly.  

    Unintentionally Bad Part:  As it is with anything that features a variable that constantly changes, the guest hosts can provide and issue with your listening enjoyment.  One of the first episodes I listened to had a guest host that I did not like, and I almost dropped the podcast then and there.  Shop around, riffle through the archives to find the guest hosts you like, and delete the episodes you dislike.  Easy solution!

    Nerds, talking about nerd-type subjects and cracking jokes all the while.  Give it a chance, I think you'll like it.  Nerds!
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  11. Savage Love Podcast

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Before we get down to the review, a caveat, dear reader.

    The Savage Love Cast is by no means an all-audience podcast.  If you're familiar at all with Dan Savage's articles at The Stranger, you are already aware of this.  If you are not, allow me to give you a brief summary of the podcast's contents.

    This is, in general, a sex advice podcast.  You should read this review if you are interested in learning about a podcast that discusses, in no vague terms, sex and sex-related... stuff.

    You should not read this podcast review if you are:

    1. Not interested in what goes on in other peoples' bedroom.
    2. Grossed out by hearing about... shall we say atypical inter-personal relationship techniques.
    3. My mother-in-law.  Or anyone related to me or who knows me in person.  Seriously.  I will not look you in the eyes until 2014.
    4. If you are not interested in the following body parts being discussed:

    Relevant Links:

    Android Ap! This is a free download for Android-based phones. It offers access to Savage's articles, full podcast library and "exclusive text and video content.Savage Love Article
    Dan Savage's Blog at The Stranger
    Dan Savages' Wikipedia Page
    Wikipedia's List of Episodes
    It Gets Better Project From the site:  "In September 2010, syndicated columnist and author Dan Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry to inspire hope for young people facing harassment. In response to a number of students taking their own lives after being bullied in school, they wanted to create a personal way for supporters everywhere to tell LGBT youth that, yes, it does indeed get better."

    It's got George Takei backing it, so you know it's a good thing.
    Content Rating:  Excruciatingly obscene.  Not even joking.  In fact, to properly discuss this podcast, the rest of this review will be put behind a jump.  You know, to guard the childrens' eyes.

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  12. A Call for Podcasts!

    Friday, May 20, 2011

    Gentle Reader,

    The time has finally come when I am forced to realize that my podcast-listening habits have fallen into a rut. My listening device is currently packed with 24 podcast that make up my standard listening rotation and that's fine for me.

    But that's bad for me as well. It is easy to fall into habit when it comes to things you like. I can listen to a single podcast several times over, and with a big enough backlog of episodes a single podcast can keep me sustained for a week. There is little motivation for me to seek out new podcasts.

    Which is bad, because, y'know. This whole "podcast reviewer" shtick would end pretty quickly if I just reviewed the same podcast over and over again.

    The Internet is a big place when it wants to be, and trying to discover new podcasts to listen to can become an infuriating game of hunt-and-peck. A lot of podcasts unfortunately fall into a "Quality, Regularity, Entertainment: Pick Two" category. If you manage to find something that is relevant to your interest there is a highly likely chance that they either only have 10 episodes, or it sounds like they were recorded on Xbox live headphones.

    There's iTunes, yes, and you're sure to be able to find all of the top podcasts that are currently sweeping the headphones of the nation. Sticking to their most popular podcasts will most likely reward you with a slew of high-quality, highly entertaining podcasts.

    But A quick Google-ing brings me to these directories:

    Podcast Directory

    NPR Podcast Directory


    Podseek - After clicking around for thirty seconds, my path brought me to a podcast about book making! Neat!

    So I want to know, reader: where do you find your podcasts? Do you have some secret cache of forums that keeps you in the know? Word of mouth? Podcast review sites that aren't mine (you hussy). Give me some new hunting grounds so that I can find new and untamed podcasts to review for you. Let me know where you go!

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  13. So hey guess what I just discovered Paul and Storm.

    Yeah, I know, 2005 called and they want their Internet back. Shut up.

    What have I discovered so far is that I like this song, Paul and Storm occasionally open for Jonathan Coulton, they've been featured on The Bob and Tom Show several times and their podcast is called Paul and Storm Talk About Some Stuff for Five to Ten Minutes (On Average).

    Storm: I made butter a couple of nights ago.
    Paul: You made butter, is that a euphemism?

    Relevant Links:
    Main Site Here!
    Go here to get the Podcast!
    Featured sub-page: the rules to give you an intro to the podcast.
    Getchu some music here!
    Wikipedia entry!
    Paul & Storm Twitter!
    Podcast archives!

    So the title for this podcast is pretttttty accurate. It's Paul and it's Storm and they're talking about things. I'm about five episodes and some of the featured topics have been:

    Felicia Day
    Hoping Felicia Day Notices Them
    Culture-Grown Meat
    Vacations to the Grand Canyon
    Eating Habits
    Pining for Felicia Day

    I think I'm safe when I categorize this in the "nerd banter" field of podcasts.

    Content Rating: Explicit. Curse-type words, possibly naughty-type content contained within.

    Average Episode Length: Not five or ten minutes. Browsing through their archives show that most of the episodes run about twenty to forty minutes! Looks like their intentions of being a quick listen got push aside pretty quickly, but hey, more content for the devoted listener amirite?

    I wanted a status check: did you, in fact, fall into a crevasse and die?

    Drinking Game: Hm, these are always tricky. Drink whenever Paul and/or Storm says something that seems to honestly surprise Storm and/or Paul.

    Release Schedule: A weekly podcast recorded Monday, released ASAP which usually ends up being Monday or Tuesday.

    Music: To quote from their FAQ:
    • The intro music will always be “The By Cracky Beat” from Lowney’s Chocolates. (Find the song and more info here)
    • The outro music will always be “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny” by the Tom-Terry Trio

    Unintentionally Good Part: This podcast is a good "listen and" podcast. It doesn't require your entire attention, thus allowing you to listen and knit, listen and perform surgery, listen and toss sabers back and forth with a trusting friend, ect.

    Unintentionally Bad Part:
    It is one more banter-style podcast on the Internet. There's a lot of them, and if you don't find a rapport with these two dudes you probably won't find this podcast interesting.

    I'm still in the first stages of listening to this podcast, but I like it. Given time and a chance to learn Paul and Storm's personalities I bet it will be a podcast I stay subscribed to. I hope you'll give it a chance and check out their music as well!
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  14. Fear the Boot

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    [Huddle up, dear Reader. Get close.

    Closer. Uncomfortably close. I want to be so far inside your personal space bubble I can tell what you had for lunch. Butterfly-kisses close.

    Closer. I want to tell you a secret.


    Ok, that's close enough. Here's my secret:

    I'm afraid to review Fear the Boot.

    Don't laugh! It is one of, if not the very first, podcast I ever truly enjoyed to the point of downloading the entire archives. Not only that, but is has become some manner of leviathan among gaming podcasts. It's been running since 2006! Over 200 episodes! I don't have the attention span to even attempt to begin to attempt to describe all the myriad topics, host changes, events, charities, games, discussions, arguments, food and beer reviews or anything else they've ever brought up!


    Main site is here!
    Wikipedia page yonder!
    Forums can be found thither!
    RSS Feed!
    Fear the Con! No, seriously, they have their own gaming convention. Did you think I was spouting hyperbole when I said this podcast was epic?

    But no longer can I push away my duties as a podcast reviewer. I must review Fear the Boot or I shall surely perish. I'm like a podcast reviewing shark.

    But I can't.

    But I must! So in honor of the spirit of enhancing the RPG experience and bringing a higher level of understanding to the hobby so loved and thoroughly discussed by the Fear the Boot crew...

    I've made some random encounter tables. Just follow along and soon you'll have created your very own, personalized Fear the Boot experience!]

    CHOOSE YOUR HOST: There are 7 current hosts. Select a d8 and roll three times to determine who will be the main contributors to that episode's conversation (re-roll on an 8).

    1 - Dan Repperger
    2 -
    Chad Wattler
    3 -
    Chris Hussey
    4 -
    Pat Roper
    5 -
    Wayne Cole
    6 -
    John Grana
    7 -

    All right! Now that we've got players on the field, so to speak, let's form the rest of the episode. Now, I understand that not everyone has a set of dice at home outside of the d6 that come with Monopoly, so let's figure out the rest of this with a diceless system, shall we?

    THE EPISODE'S TOPICS: For this one head out to the closest grocery store to your house. Once at the grocery store, pretend that you are a ninja being hunted down by wary guards. When someone notices you lurking stealthily through an aisle, mark what section of the store you were in. Take the first 5 times someone notices you (or less, depending on if you get kicked out by security) and match them to the possible topics listed below:

    Fresh Produce: Gamer health and etiquette.
    Next to the Toothpaste: Danecture.
    Aisle 7 - 12: Talking about Battle Tech.
    Ethnic Food: Convention based. Can include podcasting about Fear the Con, recording from a convention, a recorded panel, or a review of a convention attended.
    Pasta/Dried Beans: Actual, solid gaming advice.
    Frozen Foods: If you're near the microwave meals, then it's a Bonus Episode. If you're closer to the Ice Cream/Novelties, then there will be a Gaming Story.
    Spices/Baking Goods/Salad Dressings: Discussing how to properly build a character in regards to a game's mechanics.
    Next to the Rotisserie Chickens: Discussing how to properly build a character in regards to role playing.
    Beer/Wine: Mocking LARPers.

    PICK A CONTENT RATING: Take a Ritz(r) cracker. Flip it.
    Salted side up: Clean.
    Salted side down: Mild swearing, with possible use of some pejoratives. Bonus episodes are particularly vulnerable to the hosts catching a case of the potty mouth.

    DRINKING GAME: Not the drinking game per se, but here's an interesting blog article from one of the hosts. For a game that actually involves alcohol try this: drive around town until you find a liquor store that has at least one letter in its neon sign blown out, ala the infamous "BJ'S LIQUO STORE." Buy some manner of alcohol there, Schlafly preferable, and drink it during the podcast.

    RELEASE SCHEDULE: One a week, mid-weekish.

    UNINTENTIONALLY GOOD PART: Go to your local friendly gaming store, and spend an afternoon with your friends around the gaming table. That is how the banter will make you feel during this podcast. The hosts are welcoming and proud of the community that has grown from the podcast, and it shows through their attitudes on-mic.

    UNINTENTIONALLY BAD PART: Take all of the dice you can find in your house. Go into your living room, put every die into your hand and throw them as hard as you can so they scatter around the room. Now go find them. The time and tedious effort it will take you to reclaim these dice represents how it feels when the hosts get on a topic that is not relevant to the main podcast. There are only so many times I can listen to Battle Tech stories.

    And, voila! You have yourself the perfect, perfectly randomized Fear the Boot episode! Bask in the glory you yourself have crafted! Or just go listen to the dang podcast. I think you'll like it.

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  15. Webcomics Weekly

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Webcomics! Know 'em, love 'em, love to hate 'em, hate 'em, who cares? If you're a social invalid like myself you've got at least a dozen of them that you check each day and you may have even have deigned to buy a t-shirt or book.

    But what if you're a social invalid that wants to make their own webcomic, possibly devoting and developing the skill, talent, dedication and understanding so that you can make a living as a professional cartoonist? You might want a little bit of a guiding light to help you figure out the long road ahead. You might want Webcomics Weekly.

    Hosted by a quartet of some of the finest webcartoonists avaliable to host a podcast about webcomics, Webcomics Weekly consist of cartoonist on the web talking about webcomics to those who want to make webcomics and want to know more about webcomicry so that they can succeed with their own webcomics (webcomics).

    Webcomics Weekly is a gol' dang font of information. The topics cover the creative and business end alike when it comes to making webcomics. Topics have included:
    • Rulers
    • How to ship merchandise
    • Hand lettering vs. digital lettering
    • Do's and Don'ts of conventions
    • Feedback
    There are four hosts, which provides the listener with different points of view and a variety of methods for everything they talk about.

    Let's meet them, Tiger Beat style, shall we?

    The Heartthrob: Kris Straub.
    He enjoys writing both Starslip and Chainsawsuit, long walks on the beach and listening to you talk about the drama that goes on during 5th period geometry.
    The Bad Boy: Scott Kurtz.
    Will your sign match up with this fiesty gemini? Scott keeps himself lean and mean by letting you know exactly what's on his mind! Turn ons: understanding gutter size. Turn offs: girls that wear too much body glitter!!!!
    The Cute One: Dave Kellett.
    Put your pencils down from this multiple-choice test on heart-breakers! Dave Kellett may have two Masters degrees but that doesn't keep him from wanting to learn all about you!
    The Sweet One: Brad Guigar.
    Here's what Brad has to say about what makes him a fan favorite:

    "Throughout life the way you approach something like that, the way you are able to receive something like is different. For example, if you're ten years old and your dad says something about your mother in a way that indicates that they're actually two married people and it's like "Ew, gross!" you don't want to see your dad kiss your mom or anything like that, it's gross when your ten. But then it's twenty years old and he makes a comment and it's like "Yeah, these are two married people, of course he's going to kiss mom... uh, I don't why I'm doing the whole 'kissing mom' thing... "
    ... thanks Brad!

    Relevant Links:
    Get the most recent episodes here.
    Find the archives (episodes 1-39) here.
    Check out each host's webcomic. I can verify the fact that, if you're me, you'll enjoy all of them.

    Hey Look, Another Site:, a "tremendous resource of practical information for webcartoonists." This site is outside of my purview, but from what I can tell it features in-depth articles/tips/tricks from some of the leaders in webcomicry. It is subscription only, but if you're an actual webcartoonist go ahead and give it a look.

    Content Rating: Majority Clean. Explicit episodes are tagged appropriately.

    Average Episode Length: Most episodes will cost you about an hour of your time, give or take ten minutes. The longest episode is a mere five seconds shy of 140 minutes. The shortest episode clocks in at an adorable 31 minutes. Cootchie-coo, little episode!

    Scott Kurtz: No, dolls and mannequins will come to life and kill you. That's a fact.
    Kris Straub: Yeah, that's a given.
    Brad Guigar: Mannequins too?
    Scott Kurtz: Oh, yes.
    Kris Straub: Why not? Why not, Brad? They're instinct with hellish life! They don't like that they've been made in our image but they can't move. They can't enjoy life! They just have to watch and they're miserable.
    Scott Kurtz: And they're waiting for you to drop you guard.

    Drinking Game: Take a drink each time syndication is mentioned. Drain your glass if it sets off a rant.

    Release Schedule: Weekly-ish. Their track record is a bit spotty when it comes to maintaining the "weekly" part of the podcast. Lucky for you there is a huge backlog of episodes to keep you busy if they skip a week or two! Or three.

    Music: Your choices in music vary from that one song every podcast uses with the two guitars that goes:

    OR the one that goes:



    Unintentionally Good Part: Brad Guigar's laugh. It's like puppy dogs wrapped with rainbows.

    Unintentionally Bad Part: To be fair, I can't peg down a "bad part" for this podcast. I listen to it for the personalities behind the mics. If you're an aspiring webcomic artist, I can't speak for whether or not the information and opinions offered are sound. This podcast serves a small audience; give it a try to see if it's worth your time.

    As someone who has absolutely no investment in making a webcomic, I really enjoy this podcast for the personality of the hosts. Start at the beginning of their archive, give it a shot, maybe you'll enjoy it as well. Let me know in the comments!

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