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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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

April 20, 2017 You've been given the chance to re-live your life from the start, with everything you know now. A chance to right wrongs, a chance to show them all? Maybe, if you're lucky. A chance—with our help—to really figure out the mysteries of the world that you missed the first time through? Things like: What do roosters have against Swedish labor unions? How did Sinbad hide himself in plain sight, in every child's copy of the movie Kazaam? What was that guy yelling about outside your apartment that one time? What is a "tooth worm?" Definitely. In fact, we just did. Your life wasted, you pursue one final question: Can you re-live your life from the start, knowing absolutely none of this?

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: ugh... "memes", Swedish labor union screaming rooster, Nick Breckon overhearing a disaster, psychic billionaire baby, John Titor, Early Edition, beautiful medieval teeth, tooth worm, Kazaam/Shazam, First Kid trailer on the Kazaam VHS

Nick's Endorsement: Boston Cooler (Vernor's Ginger Ale over vanilla ice cream)

Chris' Endorsement: Buckwheat tea, aka soba tea

Jake's Endorsement: Late Night Work Club animated short films

April 13, 2017 No one asked us to answer these questions. No one asked these questions at all, but as hosts of this podcast we must do our best: If a tree falls in the middle of a forest and it doesn't leave a will, who gets all its stuff? What's hidden in Chef Boyardee's past that someone really, really wants you to know? And when you meet a robot in the mall who could see through time, space, and maybe reality itself, what do you ask it? We'll need your help with that last one, but leave the rest to us.

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: knife-wielding stabbing machine, The Tree That Owns Itself, Pepper the robot, Wetzel's Pretzels, Chef Boyardee, dumpsters

Jake's Endorsement: Better Call Saul (all seasons on Amazon & iTunes)

Chris' Endorsement: Sliding down the stairs on your heels as a kid (or something)

Nick's Endorsement: Walking an unfamiliar city alone

April 6, 2017 The truth often hides just beneath the surface. Especially when that surface is a Furby’s skin, which is also a ghost. So what happens when our children decide they love their robot friends more than us? Before that can happen, how many pounds of spiders would it take to devour us all? Where is the body of Cervantes, and what's it doing? Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

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: Cuties, a girl and her water heater, robot propaganda, Cervantes, "Alone Together" by Sherry Turkle, two thousand pounds of spiders, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Bob Hoskins on a blue screen, MIDI piano cacophony

Nick's Endorsement: Ice cream sundae with vanilla ice cream, Spanish peanuts, and Sanders Hot Fudge

Chris' Endorsement: The cold shower capper

Jake's Endorsement: Something True, true tales from the footnotes of history

March 30, 2017 The universe is infinitely complex, filled with unlimited possibilities. To get to the truth we must tear down our preconceptions and ask real questions, like: Why does your friend remember a movie that never existed? How bad of a driver does your car really think you are? And which members of E.T.'s original family were human-pranking assholes?

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: buff bros, pork chops, Cafe X, way-too-smart cars, gyroscopic smart spoon, Hopkinsville Goblin Encounter, E.T. (Amazon, iTunes), The Net (Amazon, iTunes), The Conversation (Amazon, iTunes), the ending to Predator (sorry for the poor quality), the Mandela Effect,

Jake's Endorsement: Interacting with humans

Chris' Endorsement: The rapturous reaction to last week's shoehorn endorsement

Nick's Endorsement: The experience of watching this subway saxophone confluence that occurred on a New York subway train. One must feast on this meal in the proper order: the opening course, followed by the entree. Mwah.

March 23, 2017 If you could go back to King Arthur times, how would you impress all those medieval idiots? Would you dazzle them with memes? Would they celebrate you, or hoist you? Who's the man, they might ask? Are you the man? Find out, in over 45 minutes of audio content you'll actually want to listen to!

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

Discussed: Snapple, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Credit Human, Egg Cuber, meme dreams, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones DVD release TV spot, Jeff Goldblum

Jake's Endorsement: Illinois Institute of Technology fight song

Chris' Endorsement: shoe horn (approachable normal sized shoe horn; intimidating weird large shoe horn)

Nick's Endorsement: Hot Winter Hot Sauce

Also: Listen through to the end for a sneak peek at our new true history miniseries, Something True!

March 16, 2017 Some questions are like an itch you can't scratch, or worse, an itch you can scratch as much as you'd like, but the itch doesn't go away. Today we indulge our compulsions and scratch away at the unscrachable, like: When did George Clooney start showing so much skin? Why does the flu virus really want you to party? And what drew three painters of video game box art to the same back-alley brawl, in the same town, on the same night? We will tread these paths again and again until we discover the truth, or are tricked by our own minds into believing we have. Plus, thanks to a helpful reader, major steps are taken to record for all time the 45 brains that control existence.

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

Important Reference Material: self-driving car, self-driving flying car, robots wearing skin, The Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, flu-prompted sociability, Streets of Rage cover art, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Amazon, iTunes), Steven Spielberg's early career, 45brains.online

Nick's Endorsement: Flonase Allergy Relief (Nick promises this is not a paid endorsement)

Chris' Endorsement: Kitchen salt jar (alternatively: a "salt pig." ugh.)

Jake's Endorsement: Berkeley High School morning announcements

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.