Episode Archive

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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 questions@importantiftrue.com with your own questions and observations.

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August 10, 2017 Our weekly attempt to decipher greater truths from the bustle and hum of the world gets sidetracked, by the loudest hum ever heard. As we listen to what sounds like the vibration of a tens of thousands of tiny wings amplify with urgency, we ask ourselves these questions: Why would scientists release tens of thousands of mosquitoes into the town of Fresno, California? Why did economists flood Fresno with the world's first credit cards sixty years before they filled it with mosquitos? What is Fresno hiding (besides a lot of debt and itchy skin)? What did Fresno do to deserve this? Is it related to the Canadian priest and his giant robot spider? We'll do our best to figure it all out, and you can help by listening along.

Discussed: Good Time, Robert Pattinson, Robert Pattinson's online nano-controlled adoration swarm, Google-released mosquitoes, Catholic priest's online nano-controlled mosquito swarm, Fresno, credit cards in Fresno, Archbishop-released giant robot cathedral spider, shitty cyberpunk priest duel, mosquitoes vs. robot spider, Jurassic Park but with transubstantiation, Superman producer's giant spider obsession (Wikipedia summary, Kevin Smith video explanation), Jeopardy of the Internet, Twitch Plays Jeopardy, Big Moon!!!, the Moon illusion (not harvest moon), the size of the sun, Dr. Sbaitso, Mr. Sbaitso, 20 million mosquitoes Voltronning into Dr. Sbaitso, meme-resistance CRISPR gene therapy serum delivered by mosquito, the phrase "meme", the truth about putting your phone in rice, the truth about Amazon fulfillment errors, San Francisco fancy-ass pickle bullshit

Send us your questions at questions@importantiftrue.com. 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: 23andMe DNA research service (or use my referral URL if you want!)

Nick's Endorsement: Bubbies pickles that will explode your mouth and tickle your tongue

Jake's Endorsement: Mac, DOS, early Windows, arcade, and classic console emulation in-browser at the Internet Archive

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes

July 26, 2017 If a podcast could answer all your deepest questions about existence, would you listen to it? Before you answer, consider this week's conundrums: Does an Amazon shopping algorithm know your own home better than you do? Are meme GIFs contagious, and if so, can they give your hard drive a cold? When a security robot drowns in a mall fountain, is the robot played by Mel Gibson or Joe Pesci? Now, choose. (If you choose incorrectly, a robot will put you in a dumpster.)

Discussed: Resin Pineapple Bookends with Gold Finish, 9.25" Purple Floral Print Terra Cotta Flower Pot, Amazon shenanigans, mall robot alleged suicide, Knightscope security robots, Minority Report, putting your wet phone in rice, putting your wet murdered security robot in rice, Knightscope security robot buddy cop film, robots that smoke, robots that vape, Mel Gibson, Joe Pesci, robot self-awareness, game theory applied to being put in a dumpster, eye explodes, laser comes out, brain expands, CRISPR-based gene meming, E. coli GIF infections, contracting a case of memes, original memester Eadweard Muybridge, beautiful organic data corruption, The Matrix but you're a hard drive instead of a battery, your hard drive catching a cold, Jurassic Park but like with Minions inside DNA or something, frozen meat from heaven, Italian sausage drug deal, Hansen's soda drug deal

And here's that Brian Eno quote Chris haphazardly paraphrased: "Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit—all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided."

Send us your questions at questions@importantiftrue.com. 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: Chipmunks songs played at 16rpm (Standouts: Walk Like an Egyptian, Heaven is a Place On Earth, Bettie Davis Eyes, Diamond Dolls, Jessie's Girl

Nick's Endorsement: International Space Station Fly-Through 4K, An Inside Tour of the International Space Station 1080p

Jake's Endorsement: 9.25" Purple Floral Terra Cotta Flower Pot

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes

July 20, 2017 A podcast of deeply important questions, asked by you, answered by us as truthfully as we can. This week: What is Jeff Goldblum doing in hundreds of the world's bathrooms? If an artificial intelligence is forced to speak English, are its civil rights being compromised? Could the government turn your mother into a ringtone?

If this episode is found by an Amazon resale bot, we grant you permission to reprint a transcript of its contents on a smartphone case or shower curtain.

Discussed: being implicitly hoisted by a fellow old person, ringtones, global government regulation of ringtones, Nick Breckon's mother as a ringtone, Google DeepMind AI learning to walk hilariously, new robot-created negotiation language, new Nick Breckon-created worthless storytelling language, baffling robot-created stock image phone cases, cheese wheel on bady, slightly creepy matched father/daughter love jewelry, slightly baffling matched father/father love jewelry, Jeff Goldblum shower curtain, Dr. Sbaitso digital voice assitant, Windows 95 Dragonforce MIDI smart home, "Siri, play Zombocom on every surface"

Send us your questions at questions@importantiftrue.com. 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: Travel-related online services Google Flights, TripCase, and Citymapper

Nick's Endorsement: Setting up remote computer control apps like Chrome Remote Desktop or TeamViewer to help your parents with computers

Jake's Endorsement: Graphing the distribution of English letters towards the beginning, middle or end of words

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes, those little floss picks, those things are great

Shoutout To: Jake (not Rodkin), from Ethan—get your own!

July 13, 2017 As you bolt upright in bed, head still swimming, are you awake or do are you still in the realm of dreams? And while you're pondering that, consider these conundrums: Which television program is a bigger ratings success: News Tonight or Nooz Tonite? Is she Lump? If so, is she too still in your head? What is the Matrix? Unfortunately, you cannot be told what the Matrix is. You must listen to this podcast about it.

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

Discussed: Air Bud for a moment, The Matrix, The Matrix: Where Do the Pills Come From?, E-Ink image-displaying dress, multi-dimensional constant meme cycler, intentionally misspelled Nielsen-defrauding TV show names, segue, seg, chaos, "Lump" by the Presidents of the United States of America, mild pointless revenge, becoming the worldwide average, paranoia, neuroses, conspiracies, 99% Invisible podcast episode "On Average," that weird sound we all make nowadays, 4x optical zoom, Schneider lens, photo printer, SD card, look at that horse

Chris' Endorsement: Dry goods canisters for your kitchen pantry
Jake's Endorsement: 17776: What football will look like in the future by Jon Bois
Nick's Endorsement: SpyMeSat satellite photography/surveillance app (iOS, Android)

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes, Casper mattresses and bedding

July 7, 2017 There are more questions, problems, and conundrums out there than can possibly be addressed in a lifetime, but we're doing our part, starting with these: Why did someone hide a room full of monkeys out in the desert, and what are the monkeys inside the room hiding from us? Would you impress your friends with a third thumb, or just sit at home wishing for a fourth one? Is that bee really lashing out because it smells your fear, or is it just put off you didn't consider its feelings? Join us as we chip away at the truth, until we hit pay dirt, or rock bottom, whichever comes first.

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

Discussed: weird Arizona monkey farm, armed clown monkeys coming to steal your guns, extra prosthetic thumb, extra prosthetic thumb guitar lord, Star Wars brain-powered force trainer toy, AI-monitored money game show, our social contract with bees, Bee Movie, sinking into a chair, Jumanji, Jumanji-ing yourself into a board game, Jumanji-ing yourself into a painting, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Chris' Endorsement: The Big Sick

Jake's Endorsement: Supermute for Twitter

Nick's Endorsement: Maangchi Korean cooking YouTube series

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes, Warby Parker prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses

June 30, 2017 If you had the ultimate power of suggestion over your friends, but only when mumbling while pretending to sleep, how would you use it? Will a coterie of highly specialized Christmas spirits put Santa out of a job? Why die alone on Mars when you can watch someone else do it from your living room couch? Answers to these questions and the rest of life's mysteries, coming to your theater this summer.

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

Discussed: Highly-specialized Krampuses, Yule Cat, Salad Fingers, Krampus, the Yuliverse (Yuleniverse?), moving to Mars, getting Truman Show'd on Mars, years-long sleeptalking deception, food genie apocalypse

Jake's Endorsement: OBi200 1-Port VoIP Phone Adapter to turn a Google Voice account into a real landline

Chris' Endorsement: Field Notes Reporter's Notebooks

Nick's Endorsement: Bon Appetit's cooking series It's Alive with Brad

Sponsored By: Hover domain name registration, Quip electric toothbrushes

June 22, 2017 The most deeply important questions on your minds, advised and distilled by us. This week: Why are genies skeptical of your perfect wish to save mankind from itself? Does a robot that eats and poops have a favorite food? Does it feel shame? Is it you? And is there anything more nostalgic than getting the chicken pox from some kid's homemade slime?

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

Discussed: Ecobot III (official site, approving researchers), nostalgia nostalgia, homemade slime, elementary school fads, constructing a genie-proof wish, accidental end of civilization

Chris' Endorsement: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective board game (More info at BoardGameGeek, buy at Amazon)

Nick's Endorsement: Lookwell TV pilot

Jake's Endorsement: Philo and Pem Farnsworth's favorite tunes playlist (Spotify, Apple Music)

Sponsored By: Hover domain name registration, Quip electric toothbrushes

June 15, 2017 This week things really hit the fan. If you're finding yourself clogged up with steaming, burning questions, if you're knee deep in problems and need advice, relax: We're here in a pinch to flush out the truth. This week: What are the Russians hiding in Britney Spears' Instagram feed? What are the real motives of a man who offers free liverwurst to children? And what am I going to do with all this garlic? Plus: How many times can we be hoisted by stories about poo? Find out inside.

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

Discussed: The triple hoisting, Bristol stool scale, apartment hunting, Britney Spears Instagram comment hacking, garlic surplus, the kindly old neighborhood liverwurst man, Christmas and/or Hoistmas traditions that are definitely real, CRISPR clarifications (browse this Idle Forums thread for lots of fascinating discussion from smart people!), crisper clarifications, sleeptalking, shadow sleep selves, breaking bad habits, the Bristol Goblin

Chris' Endorsement: Jurassic Park (Amazon, iTunes)

Jake's Endorsement: Fartbarf (official site; "Dirty Power" album: Amazon, iTunes)

Nick's Endorsement: Earplugs

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes, Freshbooks accounting software

June 8, 2017 What stuff, exactly, are dreams made of? Can a robot priest interpret them and, if necessary, absolve you? And, if you didn't believe our embarrassing story about poop, maybe you'll believe this other guy's? All of your questions, your problems, your fears will be individually discussed and assessed by us personally (or handed off to an automated Gmail feature we just learned about).

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

Discussed: A Landis update, the meaning of dreams, a new truer poo story, Dishonored Hoistmas, Google psychotherapy, ELIZA, Dr. Sbaitso, Reformation-celebrating robot priest

Chris' Endorsement: Lost in La Mancha, the making of Terry Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote"

Jake's Endorsement: Art of the Title

Nick's Endorsement: Stand-up comic Tig Notaro (meeting Taylor Dayne, Conan guest appearance, "Boyish Girl Interrupted" HBO special: Amazon, iTunes)

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes

June 1, 2017 We cannot sanction your buffoonery. But we can, and will, personally hand-deliver your questions to Lord Hoistmas. Questions like: What is the true secret of the real 90s? How do you cleverly cover up an regrettable tattoo? And would you eat the best pizza you've ever had in your life if it came with bees?

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

Discussed: The Real Ghostbusters, good web addresses, Amazon bookstores, Boss Coffee, Tommy Lee Jones, Jim Carrey, trash can robots, Sony Bravia ad, Google Home/Blade Runner 2049 mashup, techno-seniors, tattoos, a history of the Peeing Calvin, crisper, CRISPR, Lord Hoistmas, pizza, bees

Chris' Endorsement: Shoe care products: saddle soap for cleaning, Saphir Renovateur for treating and polishing (usage tips)

Nick's Endorsement: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (Amazon, YouTube)

Jake's Endorsement: Learning about the interoperability of the multimedia devices in your home

Sponsored By: Quip electric toothbrushes, Casper mattresses

May 25, 2017 Your questions, advised definitively. This week: Would you forego the need to eat if it meant you couldn't reproduce? Can a person like sneezing too much? Like, WAY too much? Is the Law & Order theme song actually a dog? And finally, were we—technically—not totally hoisted by a story in last week’s show? Let's take a closer look.

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

Discussed: being a lame adult, Chris' dumb Snopes hoax, terrible tattoos, an excellent tattoo, how to podcast, self-revelation, Second Life bunny genocide, dogs howling at Law & Order, photic sneezing, snatiation, sexually induced sneezing

Nick's Endorsement: The "Shreds" music video series by StSanders

Chris' Endorsement: A Dark Room for iOS

Jake's Endorsement: Kamenstein Perfect Tear Paper Towel Holder

Sponsored by: Quip electric toothbrushes, our Twin Peaks Rewatch podcast

May 18, 2017 The world is full of minutiae so inconsequential and baffling that sorting through it all isn’t worth your time. Good thing we’re here to sort through it for you! This week: How does a factory farmed chicken cross the road? Do the ‘90s have the emotional capacity to love you back? And who will Luigi doorbell ditch next? These questions and more can be safely checked off your list after listening.

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

Discussed: Being left alone in someone else’s house, Second Livestock, mobile phone app reviewing warehouse, scientists imaging your dreams, Batman Forever 60FPS HD footage (more), recurring inexplicable horrible imagery, the 1990s

Nick's Endorsement: "When We Held Kings" by Eric Raskin

Chris' Endorsement: Learning about the Jewish concept of the eruv

Jake's Endorsement: 1. "Snatch" movie trailer, 2. "House" opening titles

May 11, 2017 If you come across a stranger on a dark, empty road in the middle of the night, and they tell you they can answer any question you ask, we hope you pick one of these: Does somewhere exist because you've dreamed about it over and over? Why does Lightning McQueen always keep his doors locked? Has anyone ever made a recipe from the back of a Triscuit box, and if so was their name Tristan? If you never encounter that stranger, but still want those answers, listen to this podcast instead.

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

Discussed Triscuit cracker recipes, implicit egotism and major life decisions, being chased by maniacs while lost, the interior life of Cars, medically-induced nightmares

Jake's Endorsement: Twin Peaks Rewatch Podcast, Twin Peaks TV series (Amazon, iTunes, Netflix)

Chris' Endorsement: Photic sneezing

Nick's Endorsement: Poo-Pourri poo spray

May 4, 2017 One day you open the photos app on your cell phone and find it's identified and categorized all of your best friends. Why look, there's a whole album of Chris playing Jurassicanji. Do you even know anyone named Chris? And there's your buddy Herbert. You don't recognize him, but your phone does, so you go with it. It even correctly sorted all of your anthropomorphic candy friends -- including the skinless ones. But why does it think the genie from Aladdin is also this disheveled man covered in dirt? And it has the new Jaws, but why doesn't it have the old Jaws? How is it saying this chicken is a dinosaur? And why is it confusing your dad with a werewolf? We're out of ideas, but we'll be happy to pass you on to a support manager. Please enjoy this podcast while you hold.

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

Discussed: A lauded short story by Nick Breckon, iOS photos app, unwanted facial recognition, the largest M&Ms Store in the world, Universal Studios Florida, Disney MGM Studios, Jaws

Chris' Endorsement: Review (Amazon, iTunes)

Nick's Endorsement: Actually get a flu shot.

Jake's Endorsement: Cybernetic memory enhancement

April 27, 2017 Learning something new can feel like someone flipped on a light switch in your mind. If that person in your mind could flip the switch off and on whenever they wanted, controlling which things you remember and which you forget, we hope you’d hold onto these thoughts: Why is the Genie from Aladdin afraid of commitment? Did a fourth grader create the world of Banjo-Kazooie, and what grade did he get for it? And, did I just get here, or is that guy with the light switch controlling my brain again? We’ll get to the bottom of it, assuming we can remember to.

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

Dicsussed: The return of NyQuil dreams, appearing on the local news, Disney’s Aladdin, co-dependent relationships, artificial memory augmentation in rats, Alien: Covenant, The Dempster Family (of products, and people), Banjo-Kazooie lore, stealing Banjo-Kazooie lore to cheat on Creative Writing homework

Endorsements from three old people:

Nick: Equator Coffee

Chris: Travel packing cubes

Jake: The British version of the Great British Bake-Off

Important If True

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 questions@importantiftrue.com with your own questions and observations.