Coming Clean

Well, it’s now gone 6:00pm in Hawaii, so I figure anyone who’s likely to have been fooled by my podcast gag will have been fooled and I can come clean about it. Yes, it was an April Fools joke. Haha! Aren’t I just great?

Anyway, lest anyone think the entire podcast thing was a long-con leading up to that ridiculous audio file, it’s not (I’m not anywhere near that organised). We are genuinely making a podcast – I just realised a couple of weeks back that making said podcast provided a great opportunity to prank people (and tighten up my audio editing skills in the process). So stay tuned for news on the real premier of Carthago Delenda Est.

In the meantime I thought I’d elucidate on the sources of that clattering bag of madness I thrust upon you all.

The first part is sourced from the amazing Chriddof and his video Mr Sir…

The mini-episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation was edited together from various sources and was largely inspired by the extremely weird and decidedly not safe for work Star Trek: The Disturbing Animated Series which not longer appears to be available online – which is probably good for the future of human civilisation. The “Enough!” is sourced from the famously horrible cut scenes from the CD-i game Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon.

The Thames TV sign off was another nod to Chriddof, and was hopefully somewhat disorientating to those who grew up watching both TNG and British sitcoms from the 70s.

The next section uses a couple of weird audio files I obtained many moons ago. The morse code is from a record telling the life story of Samuel Morse in m0rse code (morse code records were a thing for a while apparently). The radio signal is a recording from the famous numbers station Lincolnshire Poacher. Over the top of these is Lemongrab’s freakout scene from the Adventure Time episode You Made Me.

His scream of “TAKE OFF YOUR THING!!” is from earlier in the same episode.

The final section consists of samples from The Garfield Monstrosity segment of the My Brother, My Brother and Me podcast, in which the McElroy brothers discuss a fellow with a rather unusual problem (it is self described as “possibly the grossest conversation ever heard by human ears”, so you have been warned)…

These are mixed over the Moog Cookbook’s amazing cover of Hotel California.

The quote “I’m a nightmare weaver, Martha” is from another MBMBAM segment, on the invention of scarecrows.

The final section is stolen wholesale from the end of rx’s cover of The End of the World as We Know It, as performed by George W. Bush – which I still think is one of finest bits of audio/video editing I’ve ever seen. This of course features a sample of Winston Churchill’s speech about the battle of El Alamein in 1942.

So there you go, all the bones that were boiled to make the soup. The real podcast should be along… well I won’t say “shortly”. “Eventually” is probably more realistic 🙂

Carthego Delenda Est

I am happy to report that after spending every evening this week wrestling with Audacity I have finally beaten the two separate recording sessions Rebecca and I did months ago into something I’m not embarrassed (not too embarrassed anyway) to release to the general public. That’s right, episode one of Carthago Delenda Est with Rebecca and James is ready to roll!

In case I’ve neglected to explain this before (I can’t be bothered looking it up right now) the podcast is about lost cities and lost civilisations. Each episode we take a look at a particular city or culture, discuss what we know about it, what we don’t know about it, what happened to it, and what (if any) lessons can be drawn from it. The first episode is (appropriately) about Carthage, the north African city state that challenged the Romans and didn’t come off too well…

We’re not going to officially release it as a proper podcast until I’ve edited up a few episodes (we want a bit of a buffer) but we’ve decided to do a pre-release to get some feedback. So check it out and let us know what you think!


Tyra Banks is the Mind Killer

I have a high tolerance for crap. I mean I listen to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy for entertainment. I would happily watch Manos: The Hands of Fate without the MST3K commentary. But man…

Recently I’ve been listening to a very entertaining new podcast on the subject of medical history named Sawbones. Hosted by Dr Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin, each episode covers a medical misconception that killed and maimed tens of thousands of innocent people over hundreds of years. Given that biology, medicine, history and insane extremes of human behaviour are favourite subjects of mine, I actually already know upwards of 80% of what they discuss, but I enjoy their presentation and interaction and as such have become a dedicated listener.

Over the weekend I discovered that they used to do another podcast, a TV oriented show named Satellite Dish. I checked out a few episodes and quite enjoyed them, so I subscribed. But then… oh the horror!

The last three episodes of Satellite Dish consists of Sydnee explaining to Justin the plot of Tyra Banks’ novel Modelland. I listened to the first of these yesterday, and it damn near killed me.

I don’t mean I almost died laughing. I mean the sheer inanity/insanity of the plot made me feel physically ill. My brain went into some kind of infinite loop trying to reconcile the plot with some semblance of reality or common sense, and crashed. By the end of the episode I was on the verge of a migraine headache and had to have a lie down. TYRA BANKS KILLED MY BRAIN!

I have stared into the abyss and it defeated me. I now understand what people mean on Reddit when they reply with “This post gave me cancer”.

I have deleted parts two and three of the review from my computer and have no intention of ever listening to them. The rest of Satellite Dish I have no problem with – I’m listening to an episode right now – but the final three are forever verbotten. Tyra Banks is the mind killer, and I have no intention of letting her particular brand of insanity pass through me ever again. Yeesh!

The Memory Palace

By way of apology for yesterday’s Fadades Freakout, please let me point one and all to the Memory Palace podcast.

Short little snippets of history that vary between evocative, educational, melancholy and amusing, while never failing to be fascinating. Just the thing for soothing the mind after the ravages of La Colère de Ramsès

Civil Engineering

I just heard that Dave Gorman is leaving Absolute Radio, which means no more Dave Gorman podcast. Booooo!!!

(It also means that Magna Carta Travel and Discount Airfares will never make it onto Fail Lane, and Danielle Ward will never have to figure out what GBOB* means. Sad times indeed.)

But hey, life g0es on. Particularly in New York City.

Somewhat appropriately given the effects of Hurricane/Frankenstorm/Superstorm Sandy I was thinking a few weeks back about how one could go about protecting New York (or at least Manhattan) from sea-level rise – inspired by this particular post on BLDGBLOG.

I eventually decided that the optimum way would be the construction of a number of dams, as follows…

* At the southern end of Arthur Kill at Perth Amboy
* At the northern end of Arthur Kill at Bayway
* Across the Verrazano Narrows
* Across the Hudson River between the George Washington Bridge and Harlem River
* At the northern mouth of the Harlem River
* At the north end of Randalls Island
* Two dams at the south end of Wards Island – blocking the East and Harlem Rivers

Additional to these, levies would need to be raised along the Harlem River.

The idea would be to limit flow into Upper New York Bay to the Hudson, Hackensack and Passiac Rivers. The level of the bay would be controlled by letting water in through the Hudson dam, and pumping it out down Arthur Kill. If flow down the Hudson became too great, it would be diverted through the Harlem river into Long Island Sound.

What’s interesting about this idea is that the level of the bay would be highly controlled, meaning it could easily be lowered by a few metres. This would expose large areas of land for development – once they had been properly dried out and decontaminated from years of pollutants. Sales of the land involved could even make the entire project economically feasible – which it almost certainly isn’t at present 🙂

So that’s the idea. No real point to it, just an idle exploration of the hydrology of New York City that I thought deserved permanent recording before I forget about it and come up with some other crazy idea.

* I don’t know. Figure it out.

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