Episode 279 – The One Where We Lose Our Marbles… And Nukes.

In This Week’s Show, episode 279, we’ve lost a host – if temporarily – and our joie de vivre for podcast – if intermittently.

In This Week’s Show, episode 279, we’ve lost a host – if temporarily – and our joie de vivre for the podcast – if intermittently.

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while iTunes hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying its patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned that some employers are banning the use of the phrase “Ok Boomer,” so here are some helpful alternatives to sprinkle in your busy work week; Okey dokey about to croaky, 10-4 Dinosaur, Very well sir old as hell, eat my ass mr old as grass.

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

Day Trippin’ Session IPA by Swamp Head Brewery
by Travis

  • BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/21154/127950/
  • BA Rating: 87 – 3.87
  • Style: American IPA
  • ABV: 4.5%
  • Aaron: 8
  • Shea: 7
  • Steve: 6

This Week’s Show

Round Table

The round table this week starts with iTunes reviews. One kinda shitty, and two kinda wonderful!

To Sweet Pea Brown, sorry for all the toilet humor a few weeks back. Well, ok not sorry in the contrite sense, more in the Canadian sense. Soory it wasn’t to your liking but to be honest, when has this show ever shied away from messy jokes. For what it’s worth, we’re working on something that will be much less of that.

To Dave and Rebel Ox, thanks for your 5-star reviews! We appreciate you doing your bit to push the 1-star reviews down the list. That really made our day!

And speaking of legendary woes that turned out not to be glow-worms, Jenn is still pretty ill but on an upward trajectory. We’ve been a bit hesitant to dive into it but with Jenn’s permission to sate your curiosity here are some of the blanks filled in. Jenn had a terrible cold, as is her way, but unfortunately, it turned into pneumonia, or as I believe it’s called in medical circles – milk lung. Dealing with that for a few weeks eventually Jenn’s doctor gave up and drunk-texted his retirement to the hospital. Something about “damnit” and being a “Doctor, Jenn” not a miracle worker. Sadly, Jenn’s health did not improve and her new doctor found pleurisy in her left lung. For those unfamiliar, that’s when your milk lung curdles into Alveoli du mont des cats, or yee-horrible kitten-cheese air-tube as it’s known in America. She’s been in quarantine for some time but we did manage to visit last week. Sadly my ramen did not cure her. Luckily for us all the doctors are feeling positive and if all goes well she’ll be released to work and have visitors as this episode is released.

So if you want to help in Jenn’s speedy recovery … hit up the Facebooks or Twitters and send her a message! Ha, you thought I was gonna beg for iTunes reviews didn’t you? Nope, Jenn’s board and there’s only so much Netflix to watch or bad jokes in Slack to read, so your well-wishes, meme’s, and unsolicited dick pics will go a long way toward keeping her in good spirits.

And from there I’ll simply say, that for a buck a show you’ll get more show, extra shows, and soon a sneak peek of the new thing we’ll talk about in more detail next week.

Patreon Story

ET Press Start To Continue

  • https://www.cnet.com/news/success-atari-e-t-games-found-in-new-mexico-dump/

ET didn’t go home, he fell into a hole in Alamogordo New Mexico.

It turns out that Zek Penn, the director of filmographic vomit like X-2 is making another film, this one, about the world’s worst video game. Upshot – at least this is supposed to be terrible.

ET was a box office smash but more than that, it was anticipated to be a box office smash which meant the pressure was on for toys, memorabilia, and this new fangled thing called a companion video game. For those who aren’t in-game or software development, you need more than six weeks to make a game. Often more than six months. But from start to stop that’s what the team at Atari had to make a game to match Spielberg’s 1983 hit.

The game initially sold millions of copies but fans soon turned and the games would be lost, en masse, for nearly 30 years.

See, in addition, to be a truly shit game with no plot, terrible graphics, and a buggy code base, the game was also literally unbeatable. Because even game testing takes more than six weeks and they had exactly no time for any of that shit.

For years, Atari’s ” corporate shame” — as Johnathan Chinn, the Lightbox co-president and producer of a documentary film being made about the legacy of the E.T. game put it — remained a secret.

Thankfully with the help of gaming historians, researchers, and a fucking ton of money from Microsoft, Lightbox and Fuel Entertainment set out to recover the lost cartridges. And they did!

Legend had it that there were witnesses to the game’s destruction in 1983, “We all heard what was going on,” said Armando Ortega, 43.

“We came out one night in the complete darkness. They had just put a complete layer of concrete on it. It was still fresh….You could tell people had already been scavenging.”

Of course, as excited as they were “that E.T. game sucked. We gave them away because you couldn’t finish it.” The plant was to salvage games, and it went well, they scored enough to give away as gifts and only one of them got sprayed by a skunk. So winning.

The city’s dump was closed in 1986 but they were happy to let the documentary dig it up because then the company would have to foot the bill for bringing it up to code. So at least there was that.

Once dug into, find games they did. And every collector of old video games… like myself… breathed a collective sigh of frustration because what was once an ultra-rare peace of gaming history was, again, just a stupid piece of shit.

“This is one of those stories I’ve been told since I was 5 years old,” said Elan Lee, head of Microsoft’s Xbox Entertainment Studios. “Everybody’s heard the rumors. All my geek friends and gamer friends have been raised on this story. [And it’s] 50/50 between people who really want to find something and people who don’t. It’s almost cooler if the legend took us here and we tried as hard as we could and were still unable to unearth E.T.”

Show Story

Welp, we’ve lost our wits but found our comedic fortitude, it’s time to pull another series of forgotten facts from the internet’s lost and found. But first…

He’s lost all his marbles but found a lovely bunch of coconuts, it’s Shea!

And, he found his way here but lost all sense of propriety, it’s Steve!

And we may have lost Jim and Jenn, but we’re sure to find them once they’ve healed up! Until we’ll have to settle for turning up a surplus of seriously silly facts.

To begin the discussion of missing items, what thing, dear panel, do you suspect is the most commonly lost household item?

If you’re going to say the TV Remote, keys, or phones you’d be… absolutely correct. See, wasn’t that easy?

When asked which items they misplace most, most Americans answer TV Remote, 45%, phone, 33%, and car or house keys, 28%. Other notable items include glasses (27%), shoes (24%), and wallet/purses (20%).

So the usual stuff really.

The average American spends approximately 20 minutes a day looking for stuff. Which works out to about 2.5 days a year, or 150 days of an average lifetime, looking for shit you likely don’t need anyway.

  • https://www.computersciencezone.org/virtual-lost-found/
  • https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lost-and-found-the-average-american-spends-25-days-each-year-looking-for-lost-items-collectively-costing-us-households-27-billion-annually-in-replacement-costs-300449305.html

Now that we know what you’ve lost, we should address how you lost it eh? What is the most common reason for having lost shit?

Nope, not age. About 40% of surveyed Americans think old age is the reason they’ve been misplacing things, but unless those things are your teeth, it’s Millennials who lose the most stuff. Nearly twice as much actually.

Of course, these data come from a PR survey commissioned by makers of tile-like RFID and Bluetooth finders chips. So… grain of salt.

From keys to something a bit more meaningful, panel, what is the last thing you would want to have to explain having lost?

Ok, good answers, good answers. I’m surprised no one said “thermonuclear weapon” though. Because I, for one, do not want to explain that to the kind of people who ask those kinds of questions.

But a surprising number of people have had to. Apparently, to date, the United States alone has lost 32 nukes, six of which were never seen again. Which is horrifying.

But why is Steve the only one whose hard of an actual “broken arrow” which, it turns out, isn’t just the name of a kind-passable John Travolta movie?

Simply, it’s been a while. Turns out the last properly lost nuke was, I’m gonna go with “misplaced” on April 7th of 1989 in the Atlantic Ocean. The Russian vessel Komsomolets, a nuclear-powered attack sub, caught fire and sank… more. It sank more. It’s reactor, two nuclear-armed torpedoes, and all hands were lost. Now, sadly for the crew “lost” for them means dead but for the torpedoes, here’s to hoping “lost” means “fell into a hole in the ocean never to be seen again.”

  • https://www.businessinsider.com/list-of-broken-arrow-nuclear-accidents-2013-5
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_submarine_K-278_Komsomolets

I’m only being a bit glib. They did initially just kind of say “meh, fuck it comrad” but after some pressure, the Kremlin found some time later that year to determine the water wasn’t radioactive. In 1995 an expedition recovered the torpedoes and after decades of frequent water quality testing last year, a Norwegian-Russian joint venture found that cesium-137 levels in the waters around the wreck were normal.

So that was the last-lost nuke, panel, how do you figure the story of the first-found nuke goes?

Well, if you’re Listverse or the Sun it goes like this:

In 2016 Sean Smyrichinsky – yep – was out fishing near Haida Gwaii, an archipelago (an, not the) 80 kilometers west of British Columbia. Because catching boots is so 2000’s amiright?

According to the story, he found a large metallic device shaped like “a bagel”. “I found something really weird, I think it’s a UFO” he either reported to the Candian military or joked to the press depending on where you found the story.

Speaking of stories, they didn’t just assume he was Joe Dirt because in 1950 an American B-36 bomber en route from Eielson Air Force Base crashed in northern British Columbia carrying a Mark 4 nuclear bomb.

The Candian government was, as you might imagine, less than thrilled at the idea of someone spear-fishing a fucking nuclear bomb so the sent out the HMCS Yellowknife to investigate. Shortly thereafter Commander Michele Tessier said, “we are pleased that HMCS Yellowknife was able to locate the object and determine that the object was not an unexploded military munition”. Of the object aviation historian, Dirk Septer said: “it could be anything, whatever he found, it’s not a nuke.”

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38112808
  • https://interestingengineering.com/broken-arrows-the-worlds-lost-nuclear-weapons
  • https://listverse.com/2017/01/12/top-10-astonishing-lost-and-found-objects/

Panel, bringing back the silly, what’s the best way to deal with a lost ball?

… Provided Shea doesn’t chase it out into the street that is.

Well, in Cricket, a “lost ball” is dealt with by low of the new 2017 Code of Laws of Cricket. Basically, if the ball can not be found or recovered the umpire will call a Dead Ball which ceases play. Penalties or runs are based on if the batsman had crossed before the call and the ball must be replaced according to Law 4.5, with a similarly worn ball, as the state of the ball matters for some reason.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_ball

Now, wasn’t that dry. Panel, from small balls to massive rewards, what’s the most valuable garage sale find of recent memory?

It was art, indeed, but not a painting.

Perhaps you’ve heard of Ansel Adams. He was a landscape photographer and I absolutely promise you’ve seen his work. Especially if you’ve ever visited the mountains.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansel_Adams

Not to go too art history on you, Ansel was one of the most famous photographers in the world. And of course, as a successful artist, he had a prolonged period of depression after a studio fire burned a bunch of his work. Many of the items that survived were later lost in the clean up.

Fast forward to the mid 2000’s and Rich Norsigian bought a box of “photo stuff” at a garage sale, took it home, put it under his pool table and immediately forgot about it until he randomly had the chance to get some old junk appraised. Once the art history professional overcame his shock and called the relevant authorities to forensically assess the negatives, they were valued at over 200 million dollars!

Experts, including a former FBI agent and a U.S. attorney, “came to the conclusion that, based on the evidence which was overwhelming, that no reasonable person would have any doubt that these, in fact, were the long-lost images of Ansel Adams,” said Arnold Peter, the lawyer leading the investigation.

Rich would develop many of the negatives until the Ansel estate successfully sued for him to stop, at which point the value of the negatives became their auction value, which… ok.

  • https://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/07/27/ansel.adams.discovery/index.html
  • https://moneywise.com/a/incredible-items-found-at-thrift-stores

So there you go, always buy all the shitty art at garage sales because you never know when a single fridge-art might be from picaso’s macaroni period. Panel, from pictures to picturesque villages, what’s the most ironically named village found in the UK?

I’ll give you a hint, there were once 52 such villages, but following WW2, there were only 14.

Known as “thankful villages” these small, sparsely populated towns have never lost a citizen to a war. Scotland has no such villages following WW2, which cut the number nearly in half.

Towns like Upper Slaughter, in the Cotswold hills of Gloucestershire, are picturesque villas one could be forgiven for mistaking for Hobbiton. The village has sent young men off to fight in various wars for hundreds of years, including both world wars. While many came back traumatized or wounded, none were lost.

This is especially impressive that Upper Slaughter came under direct fire in on Feb 4th of 1944 “I saw it through the skylight,” recalls Tony, who was 14 at the time and sharing a room with his sister. “The first thing we did was dive down under the blankets. “We came out and saw all these flames. We were dodging fires all the way down the road.” The German incendiary bombs did massive damage to Upper Slaughter, but no one died.

  • https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-15671943

If you’re going to war, be from Upper Slaughter. If, however, you want to find the best baguette, where should you go?

Yep, France.

Paris of course. But when?

According to the Observatior due Pain, or, scientific Bread Observatory, the French consume some 320 baguettes a second – averaging out to half a baguette per person per day. So they know their baguettes and to prove the point in April of 1944 Parisians started the annual Le Grand Prix de la Baguette – a city-wide baguette competition.

Before they can be judged each baguette must meet strict baguette criteria: 55 to 65cm in length, weighing 250 to 300g. Less than half submitted make the cut.

Next, a 14-member jury of culinarians, celebrities, and politicians analyse the loves based on five strict categories: la cuisson (baking), l’aspect (appearance), l’odeur (smell), le gout (taste) and the very French la mie (crumb). A baguette’s crumb should be tender but not damp; spring back when pressed; and exhibit the large, irregular holes that show it has been allowed to slowly ferment and develop flavor.

Of course, winning comes with huge acclaim for the baker and their bakery. So much so that a winner is barred from entering the contest again for four years.

  • http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20190825-the-perfect-french-baguette

Thankfully baguettes don’t smell like French cheese, but if you were looking for the smell of feet, where’s the best place to find some?

Feet that is.

That’s right, the Salish Sea.

Since 2007 there have been 21 instances of detached human feet washing ashore.

Weirdly, while it’s become common it isn’t the first instance of feet washing up in BC. in Vancouver in 1887, leading to the place of discovery being called Leg-In-Boot Square. As of September 2018, 15 feet have been found in the Canadian province of British Columbia between 2007-2018, and five in the US state of Washington: The feet include a number of matched pairs. Nearly all the feet have been identified.

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salish_Sea_human_foot_discoveries

Foraging for feet is folly, panel, what common vegetable is also not found in nature?

That’s right, broccoli. Unlike onions, mushrooms, and opium, you won’t find broccoli growing just anywhere because it’s a human invention. Broccoli as we know it was created over years by selectively breeding cabbage for specific traits. It’s the slowest-made GMO you didn’t know wasn’t natural. Brassica oleracea isn’t just the source of broccoli. Its cultivars (a word for plants that can only be produced via selective breeding) include cauliflower, kohlrabi, kale, brussels sprouts, and the cabbages found in grocery stores.

So the next time you buy organic, non-gmo kale, remember that while it might not be GMO in the laboratory sense, it sure as fuck isn’t organic in the ‘found in nature’ sense.

  • Burgess, Chuck, and Joey Williamson. “Wild Garlic & Wild Onion.” Clemson Cooperative Extension. September 2016. Accessed November 15, 2016.
  • Druyan, Ann and Sagan, Carl. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors. New York: Random House, 1992.
  • Tredwell, Emma. “Brassica Oleracea (wild Cabbage).” Kew Gardens. Accessed November 14, 2016

Speaking of things you wouldn’t expect to find in nature, where would you find hot ice?

That’s right, terribly inhospitable planets and laboratories.

Apparently there’s some debate about how many forms of water there are, and if hot ice is even one of them. Recently a study published in Nature confirmed what was hypothesized some 30 years ago, that is, the existence of superionic ice. The study from the Laboratory for Laser Energetics in Brighton, New York basted a water droplet with one of the most powerful lasers on Earth and then, milliseconds later, with x-rays. The x-rays gave visualization to the water’s crystalline structure. See, the laser hit the water and instead of instantly vaporizing it but the compression all but froze the atoms solid for a fraction of second, forming crystalline ice. Unlike the familiar ice found in your freezer or at the north pole, superionic ice is black and hot. A cube of it would weigh four times as much as a normal one. What’s more impressive, is that it is likely to be the vast, like astronomically vast, amount of water in the universe. Worlds like Uranus and Neptune are likely full of the stuff – that is, it’s a major portion of their core. Superionic ice can now claim to be Ice XVIII, or ice Ih. Though that’s a sticking point because depending on who you talk to, there are either 19 or 9 kinds of water. If this is number 19, then we have to square the idea that water can exist without necessarily being H20. See, superionic ice is unique in that it isn’t made of intact water molecules, but instead, it’s a kind of non-Newtonian. The incredible pressure forces the oxygen atoms into a cubic lattice while the hydrogen atoms flow around the oxygen atoms. Because the molecules break apart physicists like Livia Bove of France’s National Center for Scientific Research and Pierre and Marie Curie University, it’s not quite a new phase of water. “It’s really a new state of matter,” she said, “which is rather spectacular.”


So there you have it, from lost nukes to found feet we’ve discovered, forgotten, and rediscovered wonders, horrors, and, hopefully, a few laughs.

Those of you who enjoy these kinds of puzzlers, Jenn’s deep dives, Shea’s quizzes, Steve’s think-pieces, or Jim’s fabulous happy endings (hehe, see what I did there) make sure you follow us on the socials for some forthcoming links and announcements – you won’t be disappointed.

Next Week’s Beer

Rye Lagger from Transient Artisan Ales

  • BA Link: https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/34258/337320/
  • BA Rating: 83, 3.76
  • Style: German Helles
  • ABV: 4%

Happy Ending

  • https://www.citylab.com/life/2020/02/japan-lost-and-found-phone-wallet-purse-tokyo-property-law/604645/

To restore your faith today I’m going to tell you about an entire country that has stepped up their lost and found game.

It is hard to keep track of all your stuff these days, especially if you’re as absent-minded as me. I just learned that if you are going to lose something, your best bet on getting it back is losing it in Tokyo.

Earlier this week BBC reported, 83 percent of cellphones lost in Tokyo last year was eventually retrieved. The scheme for reuniting unlucky people with their wayward valuables relies on a complex mix of infrastructure, legal encouragement, and cultural norms. Taken together, they form a shockingly efficient system that has long been a source of wonder for outside observers.

Japan has been using a community-based approach when it comes to police work for years. There are around 6,300 Koban, or police boxes spread strategically around the country. Now, these aren’t the Dr. Who police boxes you’re used to they are actually small pint-sized buildings looking to be the size of a bedroom.

Across the sprawling metropolis of Tokyo, more than 4.1 million lost items were turned in to police in 2018, a number that has been rising in recent years. Wallets, purses, and umbrellas are among the most common items turned in, along with cash. A record-setting 3.8 billion yen was reported in 2018; three-quarters of that sum ultimately made its way back to their owners.

From a young age, the Japanese distill community values and respect for one another and the police officers are no different. In a Twitter post, a woman named Keiko recounted how her young son found a 50-yen coin in a park in Japan’s Hokuriku region. He insisted on turning in the money—worth less than 50 U.S. cents—at a nearby koban. At first, Keiko worried what reaction the 6-year-old would get from the officers on duty, but the police response surprised her: “Several officers came out, asked where and when the coin was picked up, and filled out the official document” and offered praise to her son. She also praised the response of officers. “My son is just six years old, but they treated his concerns as those of an adult.”

In Tokyo, officers fill in a report at the koban on the lost item and the finder’s identity, the items are held at the police box for one month before being sent to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s newly renovated Lost-and-Found Center. The Center is a six-story facility that hosts some 900,000 lost items, including a 7,100-square-foot room dedicated solely to umbrellas. Apparently on a rainy day up to 3000 umbrellas might be turned in.

Other cities can definitely take a page from Japan’s lost-and-found measures. In 2007 a New York City council member prepared a scathing report on the property recovery scheme used by New York City’s police department and taxi commission, criticizing it as a byzantine “long ride to nowhere.” A confusing, decentralized patchwork of custodians—some of whom are not even aware of their role within the system—and inefficient cataloging methods make phone-and-wallet recovery a crapshoot for New Yorkers. I just imagine an overflowing cardboard box in some basement somewhere.

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