Thursday Listening Party

September 25, 2014 by

Ear Trumpet

On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

All ears on ME! I’ve been busy, AMTpals.

First up: here I am on No Such Thing As A Fish, the podcast in which the QI Elves emit more facts than a bookshop throwing a full set of the Encyclopaedia Britannica out of the window (because nobody buys hard copy encyclopaedias any more, grandad). If you like the fact-barrage aspect of AMT, you’ll like this podcast even more, so listen at qi.com/podcast or right here:

Next: I’m on the new (September 25th) episode of the Media Focus podcast, discussing Scottish referendum coverage, political phone-ins, and podcasting itself. Get it from mediafocus.org.uk – and for more media news excitement, do remember to listen to Olly on the box-fresh episode of The Media Podcast that’ll be out tomorrow.

I was also on MacAulay & Co on BBC Radio Scotland to talk to the marvellous Fred MacAulay about a very important issue: patchwork! Because in the turbulent wake of the referendum, at least everyone can agree that fabric scraps are Better Together, amirite? Too soon? Too soon. Ah well. Listen here from the 41-minute mark.

Alright, enough of me twatting on; have you listened to Martin’s beautiful new album Through Intermittent Rain yet? If not, rectify that immediately by dashing off to martinaustwick.bandcamp.com – it’s available for whatever price you want to pay, so get it for £0-£∞ depending upon your budget.

For all the people who are irate after what Olly said about James Brown in AMT298, here’s my favourite James Brown track to soothe you.

What have you been listening to lately? I’m always keen to hear about different shows, so please recommend stuff in the comments!

Tune in to our various other gigs:

Catch up on AMT298 and the episodes preceding it.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a piddling little price at answermethisstore.com, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Inject yourself with caffeine and join him.
I host the monthly Sound Women podcast and am on Let’s Talk About Tech from BBC 5 Live (only two more episodes left, sob!).
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train, The Global Lab and The Sound of the Ladies.

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EPISODE 298 – White Bread World

September 18, 2014 by

Happy Scottish Referendum Day, everyone! To commemorate, in Answer Me This! Episode 298 we decipher what Scotland’s finest non-whisky exports the Proclaimers were going on about. Vote YES to listening:

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

We also contemplate:

actors’ posthumous endorsements
Jacob Frank
godparenting
James Brown’s bridge vs Robbie Williams’s bridge
Henry Hoover
tubby Ryan Gosling vs Peter Jackson
tubby Jared Leto vs gout
tubby Christian Bale vs emaciated Christian Bale vs tubby Christian Bale vs emaciated Christian Bale
being shot in the shoulder vs being shot in the ball
and
‘Uptown Girl’.

Plus: Olly’s pet Roomba hates not hiding under the sofa; Helen hates disco; and Martin the Sound Man hates the ethics of the contracts for Baywatch, which is bad news for anybody hoping of a revival of that show starring Martin. Him running in slowmo down a beach, haversack full of microphones swaying seductively, will have to remain only in your imagination.

Ahem.

In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, which is available for iDevices old and new, Android or Windows playthings, we continue Cathy’s question about godparenting, and whether you’re obliged to buy a silver spoon for a baby. Because what says ‘Welcome to the world!’ as much as a spoon that tastes weird? Maybe we should start putting around the rumour that the traditional christening gift for godchildren is one of our albums or vintage episodes from answermethisstore.com. They’ll probably grow into it.

We cannot grow without your QUESTIONS, so call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And be our online friend at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com, for sponsoring this episode, for allowing people to build and host websites easily and beautifully, and for offering you 10% off their services for a whole year if you use the code Answer.

And joy of all joys, Martin the Sound Man has a delightful new album out, available now HERE. Make an old Sound Man happy by downloading those sounds.

We will return with AMT299 (TWO HUNDRED AND NINETY FRICKING NINE!!!!) on 2nd October, and we hope you do too.

Yours haveringly,

Helen & Olly

••• AMT298 Child-Friendly Rating: 52%. A few medium-ranking swears and an F-level swear. Discussion of dick-shaped vacuum cleaners and Barry Manilow’s penis, which latter may prove traumatic for all ages. •••


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Sea Monkeys <<< Triops!

September 18, 2014 by

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT297

Jordan from Bridgend, South Wales is throwing down the gauntlet to Sea Monkeys:

I never had Sea Monkeys as a child but wanted you to check out what I did have as a child… TRIOPS!

They are similar to Sea Monkeys in the way you hatch and look after them, but they are amazing! When I was a kid I had this huge plastic tank which had tunnels running Off it to different rooms: there was the feeding room, the hatching room and others.

I’d recommend these to anyone who is thinking of getting the crappy Sea Monkeys.

Let’s compare.

Triops: adorable!

Triops: adorable!


Sea Monkey: what a cutie!

Sea Monkey: what a cutie!

Neither really have the cuddle factor, do they?

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gobbing in the pot: the ‘science’

September 18, 2014 by

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Aside from Chris from Washington DC’s revelatory experiences, AMT297‘s gobbing in the pot compelled Simon from Gosport to email us:

I am also a ‘gobber’ when I have a slash and it really ‘pisses’ my wife off (see what I did there).

I don’t do it all the time, but if I use a toilet that has not been flushed or use a public loo (which 99% of the time has a lovely thick aroma of stale piss), I find that as it enters my nasal passage and passes my taste buds, my natural reaction to this ‘delight’ is to try and expel the intruding stench as much as possible. This is normally achieved by holding my breath and gobbing out what I have inhaled in to the toilet.

Does that sound reasonable, or is it a load of old shit?

It sounds reasonable, as a load of old shit (and piss) is most of the problem.

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new wedding rituals

September 17, 2014 by

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Wedding questions are still being flung at us like a barrage of confetti. George and Jackie from Indianapolis write:

We are planning a wedding and like the idea of a unity ritual. However, we think the candle lighting and sand mixing is sort of silly. Do you have any suggestions?

Er, a wedding IS a unity ritual. Do you need to have a unity ritual within a unity ritual? You do? OK, OK… I’m a bad person to ask about this, because even the standard procedures at a wedding are too ritualistic for me. But readers, go to the comments and recommend or invent something delightful for George and Jackie to do, stopping short of humping in front of the congregation.

The bride and groom approach the ceremonial bidet

The bride and groom approach the ceremonial bidet

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Changing lives, one piss at a time

September 16, 2014 by

Fountainhill_az_fountain

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT297

What a thrill it is to learn that the podcast has transformed the life of Chris in Washington, DC:

Your discussion in episode 297 about spitting in the urinal has changed my life. You see, I have severe public piss syndrome. I cannot go in a public bathroom if someone has seen my face or is waiting for me to finish. I tried the technique of spitting beforehand and it worked! Thank you for that.

Answer me this: is there any act that most people have no trouble doing in public that causes *you* embarrassment and anxiety, and do you have any tricks for getting over it?

It’s pretty embarrassing talking shit all the time, but after nearly eight years of making this podcast, I’ve broken through that pain barrier.

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Thursday Listening Party

September 11, 2014 by

On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

200_s

Noises from home:

Exciting news: Martin’s got a new album coming out on Saturday! Go here to preview three of the tracks and to buy; it’s £5 to preorder but pay what you want when it is released. Or, if you are a retronaut who prefers your music on a physical format, wait a couple more weeks and then buy one of the forthcoming limited-edition CDs with a handmade papercut sleeve (if you follow Martin on Instagram, you may have seen some sneak peeks).

There’s a new news-themed episode of the Sound Women podcast, in which Olly’s LBC colleague Petrie Hosken tells me how she felt safer nearly getting kidnapped as a war correspondent in Bosnia than as a woman working in British radio. Good times!

Apparently there’s been some Royal News this week? [Shrug] It’s an ongoing mystery at AMT that none of us give a shit about the royal family, and yet questions about them are always fruitful on the podcast. So whether you give shits or not, have a go on the Answer Me This! Jubilee album for an hour of regal hijinks.

Noises from elsewhere:

The show Strangers is always worth your time, but particularly the recent Love Hurts episodes (part 1 and part 2), in which Lea Thau transforms the question ‘Why are you single?’ from an awful thing Smug Marrieds say to a very personal and reflective investigation into why she has been reluctantly single for the past four years. At least, judging by the exes who appear on the show, she’s dated some Good Sports during that time…

From Strangers to friends: I really enjoyed this Woman’s Hour/Men’s Hour collaboration all about friendship. Of course, they cover the When Harry Met Sally adage that men and women can’t be friends, which Olly and I have been disproving throughout our fourteen-year friendship. If you need additional on-air partnerships as evidence, I direct you to the programme’s guest Geoff Lloyd, whose brilliant Hometime Show on Absolute Radio with Annabel Port crackles with sexless tension.

Various AMT friends have been busy piping up this week. Ruth Barnes from Amazing Radio made a terrific Radio 4 documentary about folk singer Judee Sill, who had a beautiful voice and a tragic mess of a short life.

And finally: I was thrilled to hear two AMTpals and primo podcasters team up, when Little AtomsNeil Denny went on Dave Pickering‘s Getting Better Acquainted. They talk about reading books, prayer, and masturbation – all the solitary entertainments, really.

I’m always listening out for shows to try; please recommend some in the comments.

PS In case you missed it: my Bugling brother Andy and I were interviewed by the Guardian about why the Zaltzman family communicates in jokes rather than human emotions. Click here to read it.

Tune in to our various other gigs:

Catch up on AMT297 and the episodes preceding it.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a piddling little price at answermethisstore.com, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Set your alarm.
I host the monthly Sound Women podcast and am on Let’s Talk About Tech from BBC 5 Live.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train, The Global Lab and The Sound of the Ladies.

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Salad days

September 10, 2014 by
Green peppers even hate themselves

Green peppers even hate themselves

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT297

Zora in LA writes in defence of the indefensible (ie green peppers, the scourge of AMT297):

Green peppers aren’t totally worthless. In many cuisines, they’re used in cooking. Creole cooking is the main example. The bitter pepper adds a note of pleasant sharpness when contrasted with sweeter cooked vegetables. It’s also excellent on pizza, as it provides the same contrast.

And, working in a supermarket as I do, I can confirm that they are indeed cheaper.

But eating them raw? Only sickos do that.

Well, now I’m torn, Zora – I hate green peppers, but I love Creole food. Let me wrestle with my feelings while we contemplate this email from Simon in Germany:

Your recent conversation on Pizza Hut reminded me of something I once saw in a Pizza Hut in China. There they seem to have a “only one visit to the salad bar” policy. So this led to some ingenious solutions as to how to beat the system.

As you can see from the photo attached, the basic idea is to use the more solid and brick-like pieces of salad to build a wall around the lip of the bowl – luckily in China there is a large supply of cubed water melon – and then to fill in the middle using the less structurally sound greenery.

-1

One I saw was about twice the height of that pictured, took 45 minutes to make, and a further another 45 minutes to carry back to the table as any jolt or shake would have brought down their towering shaft of salad.

P.S Surely if you owned a Pizza Hut in China you would have melon balls rather than cubes!

I’m impressed people manage to build such structures on the rim of a small salad bowl. Readers, do share your buffet-cheating tactics and triumphs in the comments.

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EPISODE 297 – buffet psychology

September 4, 2014 by

Hello listeners!

Got any great tips for gaming a hotel breakfast buffet? Do share in the comments; but first, listen to Answer Me This! Episode 297 to learn from the master (ie Olly Mann):

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

In today’s buffet of audio delights, we’re serving:

Sea Monkey refills
second hand wedding dresses
green peppers vs red peppers
Bob Dylan vs grapefruit juice
Steve Wright in the Afternoon vs heroin
Harold Von Braunhut
the Pizza Hut salad bar
Oxford divorces
cryptobiosis
spying on your children
and
gobbing in the pot.

Plus: if you see Olly roving towards you armed with a Tupperware tub, he’s either going to take advantage of your buffet or imprison you with fatal consequence; Helen will be survived by a sackful of raw gingerbread; and Martin the Sound Man is a masochist for grapefruit juice.

In today’s Bit of Crap on the App, we tackle another Great British Bake Off question from Katherine from Sheffield. To find out how we go from that to the Sword of Gondor in just four short minutes, fire up the app on your iDevices, Android or Windows playthings. As a happy by-product of buying the app, you’re funding the show – likewise if you splash out on any of our albums or vintage episodes at answermethisstore.com. So you know that along with your purchase you’ll receive a free dose of our eternal gratitude.

We are also eternally grateful to receive your QUESTIONS: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And be our imaginary friend at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

And because we’re simply brimful of gratitude today, let’s throw a bucketful over Squarespace.com, for sponsoring this episode, for allowing people to build and host websites easily and beautifully, and for offering you 10% off their services for a whole year if you use the code Answer.

By the way, if you’re keen to start your own podcast, book a ticket for this Guardian Masterclass and on 20th September, Helen and a host of other podcasting mavens will teach you all you need to know, and then some.

We will return with AMT298 on 18th September, and we hope you do too. Cheerio!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT297 Child-Friendly Rating: 88%. Light on profane language. Unfortunate TMI about Olly and Martin’s bodily fluids. Question from a parent running surveillance ops on their teenager, which may instill trust issues in your own offspring. •••

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stinky surprise

September 3, 2014 by

4297787895_e6f087ac32

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT296

Here’s an email from Claire from Brooklyn, NY. Don’t read it while eating, because it contains the term ‘rancid spunk’. Thanks Claire!

When my husband and I first moved into our current apartment it was a slight fixer upper and I spent an afternoon deep cleaning the kitchen (scrubbing all surfaces, soaping up the fridge, going through cabinets and drawers, etc).

In the process I discovered a used ‘French letter’ wrapped in some takeout napkins. Not to gross you out too much, but the stench was alarmingly horrific! You seem like nice people, so I hope you never have to find out what rancid human spunk smells like. I think being forced to actually realize that rancid spunk is a thing felt as much like a punch in the face as the actual, repellant particles hitting my nose did.

Anyway, we still wonder whether this lovely cadeau was courtesy of our building superintendent (an illicit encounter during the pre-move-in renovation?), or of the previous tenant having a last hurrah after all the trash cans had been loaded into the moving truck.

Who do you think is the likely culprit, and if this had been you, would you have tried to exploit the situation for a deal on rent or other perk? We didn’t say anything-we just speculated ad nauseam about such questions and over a year later, I still think about it sometimes!

By leaving it for more than a year, you’ve rather spunked the opportunity to use this as leverage for cheaper rent. But if you’re so hell-bent on identifying the culprit, Claire, send off that putrid prophylactic to a lab – there’s plenty DNA to be swabbed.

Readers, have you ever found an unpleasant surprise left behind in your new home? Let us know in the comments.

PS Claire, I do admire that you used such a coy expression as ‘French letter’ in the same breath as ‘rancid spunk’.

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separated at mirth

September 3, 2014 by

H Andy dolphin

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT296

Here’s a funny* thing: my brother Andy (of the Bugle podcast) and I were interviewed by the Guardian about why GSOH runs in the family.

It’s here, if you’d like to read it; it’s worth a look just for the childhood photos.

*as in funny peculiar; the interview isn’t funny haha, despite the subject matter.

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small French lunch

September 2, 2014 by

13d22e8d5b9b17fbb2ab3912671b5976

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Here’s un petit question from Amy:

We are having a debate in the office – how do French people say they’re having a small lunch, if that expression is already bagsied?

As in petit dejeuner, literally small lunch but meaning breakfast? Usually the adjective follows the noun in French, so would that make small lunch ‘un dejeuner petit’? Readers with working knowledge of French, am I right? Help me out in the comments, because I haven’t spoken French since 1994 and my memory is mauvais.

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