Important If True

Three friends try and figure everything out.

Three friends try and figure everything out. Join Chris, Jake, and Nick as they delve into the weirdness of life, pop culture, and technology—and do their best to explain it as absurdly as they can. Write in to with your own questions and observations.

Weekly, publishes Thursday.

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Episode 50:
4468, Y'all

February 15, 2018 On this podcast we explain the unexplainable. We solve the unsolvable. Our method is simple: We take the tiniest problem you might have, the grain of sand scratching at the back of your mind, and we roll it down a hill to see what it might pick up along the way, until that grain of sand has picked up dirt and sticks, until it's grown and grown, until it's the size of the Earth itself. Does that mean that any question, any problem, no matter how small or dumb, when properly spun out past its breaking point, can explain the important truths of life itself, of our existence on this planet? Probably not, but we'll keep trying for some reason. So ask away! Just don't ask us to explain this podcast. Fifty episodes in, it's abundantly clear that's one question we'll never answer.

Discussed: Valentine's Day, Valentine's Boxing Day, what this podcast is, David Lynch, a Mythbuster, busting, Thimbleweed Park, real-life hint system, staying on the phone, Albert Brooks, the quantum physics of the universe, y'all, the Google/Facebook mega-matrix, Alexa, J.J. Abrams, 4468 Cloverfield, the incomprehensible infinitude of data we have at our disposal, trading hint futures on Wall St., real-life save system, Edge of Tomorrow, Live Die Repeat, respawning to prevent organ failure, Silicon Valley anti-toxin tech bro Peter Thiel, the most useful life (to benefit Peter Thiel), Lore Lord Bean, Important If True 35: "Hammacher, Schlemmer, and You", the death of tragic goose Thomas, the mixing up of Flemish words, too much clam in the beverage, Clamato, massively popular Canadian drink the Caesar, weathered old bromides

Thank you all so much for listening to 50 episodes of Important If True! Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Nick's Endorsement: Blue Planet II (Blu-ray, Amazon Video, Netflix)

Jake's Endorsement: Slow Burn, a Slate podcast about the Watergate scandal

Chris' Endorsement: A Very Fatal Murder, an Onion podcast satirizing true crime podcasts

Chris' Secondary Endorsement: Extra long-handled shoehorn

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes (your first brush head refill free), Tracy Carlson

Recent Important If True Episodes

More episodes in the Archive

February 9, 2018 Send us your problems, your conundrums, your mysteries, no matter how important, and we'll do our absolute best to figure it all out. This week: What is the loneliest food? Is it a sandwich? If "you don't just eat" Pringles, what DO you do with them? And, why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? In this case it may be because the bird is an immobile cement statue you have mistaken for your wife. But don't worry, we're on it! Join us.

Discussed: Dodgson (nobody cares), calling people on the phone, The Coldblum, Nigel "No Mates" the Lonely Gannet, radicalized Men's Rights Birds, dorky-looking Night Herons (god what nerds), bird catfishing, The Lake Merritt Center for Thirsty Birds, Pringles: You Don't Just Eat 'Em, a name like Smuckers, Fuddruckers, The Nigel Experiment, A scientist's thoughts on the Crow Box, the loneliest food, sandwiches, the Red Vines waxy pound, The Guardian's history of the British packaged sandwich industry, [ASMR] ~British Packaged Sandwich Industry~ podcast crisp mouthfeel.mpeg, Orson Welles' frozen peas commercial outtakes, street pizza, bird self-recognition, bird-on-human political gaslighting

Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Jake's Endorsement: Jordan Eldredge's full-featured Winamp 2 running in your web browser

Nick's Endorsement: Teaching yourself to draw, even if you do it badly

Jake's Chained-On Endorsement: Taking a community college introduction to studio art or drawing class

Chris' Corrective Endorsement: The Android version of New York Times Crossword, which exists, contrary to previous claims

Chris' Endorsement: MP Matt Hancock's inexplicable personal social network "Matt Hancock MP" for iOS and Android

Sponsored By: Quip toothbrushes (your first brush head refill free), Video Death Loop podcast

February 1, 2018 There are Great Mysteries out there. Conundrums so staggering and profound they can only be resolved by the world's greatest minds. What do you do when your barista knows your name, but you've never managed to learn theirs? How can Mario crush his enemies when he knows the pathetic, lonely lives they lead? And, is that crow trying to sell you cigarettes? We think if these are the sorts of questions you're looking to have answered, we will do a very servicable job. Join us!

Discussed: Inaccurate rules of the universe regarding monthly transitions, video of cat on bowl on Roomba, paying it forward at a local coffee shop, not paying it forward, instant dread and shame, getting to know your local barista, completely failing to know your local barista after dozens of visits and the silent-but-deadly social death spiral that transpires as a result, Tim Horton's, Timmy's, Dunkie's, Georgie, the time Georgie burned the Dunkie's, Unkie Dunkie the Baloney Slicer, crow cleanup crews, Crowded Cities, the crowbar, The Official Crow Box, craving a smoke thanks to crows, Joe Camel, ravens, Her Majesty's Ravenmaster, raven seeking attention, shitty teens, Larry the Crow, childhood misconceptions, Koopa Troopas, Blanche DuBois, A Streetcar Named Desire, Proust's "madeleine" moment from Remembrance of Things Past, headcanon, the impossibility of communicating your deepest most tragic interiority across language and age barriers, being waxed house baby, being wax house babied, even longer hypothetical Wikipedia cons, hit film "Wax House, Baby," fictional film "Wax House, Baby" within the hit film "Wax House, Baby", hit song "Wax House, Baby"

Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Chris' Endorsement: iOS and Android telemarketer-identifying and -blocking app Hiya

Jake's Endorsement: Alternative 1980s comic book compendium Sam & Max: Surfin' the Highway (digitally on Comixology or in the beautiful Eisner-nominated Anniversary edition designed by our very own Jake!)

Nick's Endorsement: SyncSketch, for collaborative online sketching

Sponsored By: Steam virtual inventory buyer and reseller Captain Invictus, aka A Vacuum Full of Bees (also listen to the Hat Baron saga as recounted on the Idle Thumbs Podcast), Quip electric toothbrushes with your first brush head refill free

January 27, 2018 This week's episode is about Trust: when to extend it, when to withhold it, and when to cling to it because nothing else makes sense. When the same strange couple you don't know sends you a Christmas card every year, do you trust your mom that it's "just some friend's parents you've forgotten," or do you follow your heart and grift them before they can grift you first? Do we let ourselves believe a robot can write poetry, or is there just some hippie hiding in there? If a voice on the other end of a phone asks "can you hear me?" why not tell them "yes?" Plus, we manage to uncover the truth behind the mysterious "Cut Your Hair" phone calls, and receive a transmission from a universe long ago banished and thought to be lost.

Discussed: Receiving Christmas cards from people you don't know, misguided counter-espionage, de-scrambling anagrams, chatbot poetry, Racter, Eliza, deconstructing Racter, bots as reflections of their creators, the problems with using machine learning to create an artificial Frasier, embracing the flaws of an artificial Frasier as an aesthetic, the standalone tonal language of Kelsey Grammer, poop-related topics leaking in from a banned dimension, Utah-based flat vocal affect call centers, robocalls recording your voice to turn identity into an Arnold Schwarzenegger soundboard, the bizarre grift outlined in Reply All: The Phantom Caller, the truth about the Cut Your Hair phone call, Sneakers

Send us your questions at If you enjoyed this and would like to subscribe to an ad-free feed, please consider supporting Idle Thumbs by backing our Patreon.

Jake's Endorsement: Sneakers (1992) (Amazon, iTunes)

Accidental Endorsement: Sneak King (Xbox, Xbox 360), a free game from Burger King

Nick's Endorsement: Strider video game speed run and live tutorial on speedrunning, a part of Awesome Games Done Quick speedrunning marathon for charity

Chris' Endorsement: Darkman (1990) (Amazon, iTunes)

Chris' Real Endorsement: watching clips from Would I Lie To You on YouTube

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