Three Podcasts, Three Dancing Blobs, And One Dirty, Low-Down, Lying, Cheating GPS: What We Learned At Nerdist This Week
by Perry Michael Simon on April 29, 2011
Sometimes, you have to make your own entertainment.
This morning, I had to drive up to Hollywood at 6 am to cover another convention, so I played the GPS ETA Game. That’s my own little competition. My GPS is notoriously inaccurate on many levels — it insists, for example, that I take every single exit on the 405 freeway, then immediately get back on the same freeway, no matter what the traffic is like — but I still use it, for the Bluetooth and for traffic reports, and for the game.
Here’s how it works: I’ll set my destination, then see how close the thing comes to estimating the actual time it takes to get there. Okay, so I’m bored. And boring. But when it’s 6 am and you’re driving some of the dreariest concrete ribbons in America, it’s downright thrilling.
Hollywood is about 45 minutes from my home. Or an hour and 45 minutes. It can go either way at any time of day. So I put Hollywood in the GPS and set out, and saw that the GPS was telling me that I was on a course to make it in 35 minutes.
Impossible. Cannot happen. But there it was on the GPS screen. I got on the 110 freeway and headed towards downtown, and it kept telling me that I was on course to set a new land-speed record. That sounded great, but I noticed that the time wasn’t changing even though actual time was running out. At the appointed time, I was still approaching downtown. And that’s when the appointed time changed. It didn’t announce that it was recalculating, it didn’t apologize, it just added another five minutes, and that’s… cheating.
We rely upon technology so much that we often trust it more than our own instincts. Most of us know not to assume that if the GPS, having analyzed all routes and the prevailing traffic conditions, says we’ll arrive at 6:36, we’ll arrive at 6:36. But some people surely do. And then there are the delicious victories when you wind up pulling up to your destination BEFORE the GPS said you would. Ha! Take that, Lady Garmin! I am superior to your feeble calculations! I AM THE GREATEST DRIVER IN THE UNIVERSE!
But when it’s wrong the other way, it seems unfair. And when it changes its estimate on the sly… not even the usual exasperated “recalculating”… well, what’s that thing trying to pull? YOU SAID 35 MINUTES. IT TOOK 55 MINUTES. YOU LIED. YOU LIED!!!! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF???
Maybe I shouldn’t bother using the GPS anymore. It only makes me crazy.
And I’ll probably do it again on the way home. Hey, it can be really boring on the 110.
It wasn’t, however, boring around Nerdist this week. To wit:
1. That Show had its season debut. You watched, Kyle reviewed. He also showed us a timeline infographic that tried to clear up what happened when to whom. And we had a few more random items about That Show, including a Royal Wedding Dalek.
3. Shannon dropped in to show us the greatness that is Wibbledy Wobbledy, which is instant joy.
4. The first of this week’s Nerdist Podcast Trilogy was a recording of the PaleyFest event at which Jimmy Fallon was interviewed by Chris. If you’re a Fallon fan, you loved it. If you weren’t a Fallon fan, chances are pretty good that this one would convert you.
5. Patrick played Portal 2. Verdict: Positive.
7. Friendster flushed people’s content, which surprised those of us who forgot it still existed. It reminded us of other flashes in the pan.
8. Urlesque waved bye-bye with a tear-jerking video of three years of Internet memes. It’s so hard to say goodbye to RickRolling.
9. We’re Number One! The podcast is, that is. On iTunes’ comedy chart. Cool.
11. If you were waiting for an iPhone app that turns bar codes into music, your wait ended.
12. The Hostful Podcast discussed the Mira’s Trench, baseball (sort of), and other randomness.
14. MTV did a compilation of reality show elimination lines. You’re fired!
15. This guy wants robots. From you.
16. How cool was this? Chris, Matt, Jonah, and Kevin Smith, animated.
17. There’s a lot going on at NerdMelt. Again.
19. The last of the three podcasts this week included a one-on-one with the Aceman.
And that brings us to Enjoy Your Weekend Burrito time. Let’s go do that, shall we? But check a map first. THat GPS, it’ll just send you to a pizza joint or something.