Thursday Listening Party

April 23, 2015 by

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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.

What have you been listening to this week, dears? Please share choice shows in the comments!

The Radio 4 series The Reunion is very often a kick, and I can barely wait to listen to this episode about the glory days of the Hit Factory, reuniting Pete Waterman, Jason Donovan and Sinitta.

I was pretty tickled by the My Old Address Book episode of Wiretap. It’s a pretty ticklish show all round.

One Bad Mother is a really fun show whether you’re a parent or not, and they just made it past the 100 episodes landmark! Well done, Mothers!

There’s some very good stuff on Everything Is Stories. I was particularly struck by the ‘Everything Can’t Be Something’ episode, combining the headiness of 60s Hollywood and the headfuckness of religious communes.

This weekend, you can hear Olly on the new Media Podcast episode, and on LBC. A new episode of The Allusionist has landed, in which I learn all about space. Hear it at theallusionist.org/spaces or below:

In AMT312, we advise questioneers on how to get a job in Antarctica, how to wipe their bums on gold, and how to spell yogurt/yoghurt/yoghourt (OK, we’re not 100% certain on that point). Catch up, and rejoin us next Thursday for AMT313.

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EPISODE 312: phonemes gone wild

April 16, 2015 by

Steel yourself, because you’ll never look at highlighter pen(i)s in the same way again after you hear Answer Me This! Episode 312:

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Today we learn about:

working in Antarctica
Jews for Jesus
props in the House of Commons
Thomas Jefferson’s ice cream recipe
gold toilet paper
despatch boxes
Queen Elizabeth Land
not looking dodgy at night
House of Cards
Adolf Hitler, Bible-bomber
yogurt vs yoghurt vs yoghourt
the Guardian Style Guide
and
Quiztina Aguilera.

Plus: Olly’s pub quiz victory strategy is ruined by cocks; Helen would rather swear on the dictionary than the Bible; and Martin the Sound Man is vanilla-blind. Quick, throw a benefit gala for him!

There’s bonus Jews for Jesus jazz in today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App, available for iThings, Android and Windows gadgets.

Be a dear and send us your questions: leave voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and send emails to answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. And be our online pal at facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly.

Thanks very much to Squarespace.com for supporting this episode, and for giving you 10% off their website-building and -hosting services for a year if you use the code ‘ANSWER‘.

We’ll return on 30th April 2015 with AMT313, please return too!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT312 Child-Friendly Rating: 21%. Martin the Sound Man deploys the word ‘cunty’ in the first couple of minutes, but in protest at poor provision of services for the visually impaired, which is a cause your children ought to support. Shortly followed by a discussion of crude cock’n’balls drawings, with which the average child will already be more than familiar. Question about penis size at the end of the show. While the content is clean in between the penis references at either end of the show, there are a few swears sprinkled throughout. In sum: not an episode to enjoy on the school run.•••

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Magnum problem

April 15, 2015 by

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT311

Jon in Taiwan is vexed by vexillology:

My brother in law and his family are going to Hawaii tomorrow. I want to just be happy for them but one question troubles me.

Answer me this: In Magnum PI, Magnum’s boss or buddy – I don’t remember which – is British and had a Union Jack flying at his office. Why??? I thought Hawaii is the USA?

I have never seen Magnum PI, so from that position of ignorance, and going only on the evidence supplied by Jon, I deduce that a Union Jack would be thus deployed as a shortcut to establish that the character is a big British Brit. Perhaps he also drinks tea, wears tweed golfing bags and says, “What what?”

To add to Jon’s confusion, the Hawaiian flag does incorporate the Union Jack:

HawaiiFlagPicture4

Most of all, I’m sad that this issue is interfering with Jon’s wish to be happy for his brother. Somebody, please step in and deliver the truth in the comments. A family’s contentment depends upon you.

PS Union Jack, ‘Union Flag’ – don’t even bother.

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hairdressers’ hairy feet

April 15, 2015 by

 

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT311

If there are any hairdressers, trichologists or mythbusters reading this, please go to the comments ASAP to answer this question from Hollie in Reading:

My boyfriend is adamant that hairdressers never wear flip flops because if they get cut hair on their feet it can attach itself and grow!

Is this true?

We have been arguing about it for 5 years and he is wearing me down. It sounds so ridiculous but he is certain and even got a hairdresser friend to tell me ‘the truth’ and she agreed with him! Is he right? Can hair attach itself to other people’s skin?

I would imagine that hair trimmings, particularly short ones, could stick like a splinter into a hairdresser’s foot, hence them choosing more protective footwear. But, just as a splinter in your foot won’t grow into a sapling, NO OF COURSE SOMEONE ELSE’S HAIR TRIMMINGS CANNOT TAKE ROOT AND GROW OUT OF A HAIRDRESSER’S FOOT.

I’m not a scientist, so maybe I’m wrong. But cut hair is dead, so surely I’m not.

Next question: if someone has particularly sweaty feet, could you grow cress inside their damp trainers?

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fans’ underwear: the aftermath

April 14, 2015 by

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT311

Here’s the stage-eye view of the practice of impassioned underwear-throwing at concerts, as discussed in AMT308. Connor writes:

I recently worked as a lighting technician on One Direction’s Sydney show.

On their tour Down Under, bras and garments from down under so to speak were tossed on stage. As one of the first people on stage after the show, I saw the cleaning staff just scooping them up with gloves on and tossing them in the bin.

In a rather lovely moment of classic rock behaviour intersecting with the digital age, the few bras that were still on stage as I was working all had the Twitter handles of the throwers with pleas for the boys to follow them, as having 1D follow you apparently is the ultimate achievement these days for some tweens.

What an analogue approach to web 2.0 comms.

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holiday buddies

April 14, 2015 by

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT311

Anonymous Man finds himself with an unwanted travel companion:

I am a single gay man in his early thirties. As part of being a gentleman that enjoys the casual shag every now and again, I go get my bits checked in my local GUM clinic 2-3 times a year. Unfortunately, my most recent trip ended with me having a round of applause* in my throat.

I was given a jab in the bum and a several pills as a massive dose of antibiotics, and told to come back in two weeks to make sure all was well and good. However, it will be three weeks until this appointment as I am heading on holiday before then.

The was to be a somewhat sexy holiday, and thus my dilemma is this: should I abstain from sex, even though it is overwhelmingly likely (99.6%, by rough internet research) that I will be cured at this time? As someone that engages in semi-regular casual sex, I’m aware of the risks of having sex with a stranger (that all parties should take into account); in my case, the percentage wouldn’t be based on how adventurous I’d been but on the efficacy of treatment.

I try to be honest and up front (I have contacted all those who needed to know about this bout, in case they need to get themselves checked) about stuff like this, but I think this degree of honesty would probably make the question moot.

Thoughts?

*applause = the clap = gonorrhea – but I’m sure you figured out already.

Readers, what do you think? Would condoms not make this a non-problem even if he’s 0.4% uncured? Provide your medical and sexual advice in the comments.

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Thursday Listening Party

April 9, 2015 by

John Baldessari

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.

What have you been listening to this week? Here’s what I have been feeding my ears:

Cheese fans, chew on this episode of Gastropod, which is a very interesting tour through the history and science of cheese (a rather more thorough one than ours). Cheese begat written language! What a magnificent substance it is.

Similarly detailed is Song Exploder, on which musicians dissect their own songs to show how they were composed and produced. It’s fascinating stuff. I was particularly tickled by the National‘s tale of harmonica versus a perforated eardrum.

In Out of Date, each week Dave Cribb and Pete Allison go on dates then do post-match analysis. Is it wrong that I kind of hope they don’t find love so they have to keep making the show? (Of course it is wrong. I know that. Shut up.)

What we’ve been up to:

You can hear Olly on his new LBC show 8-10pm Fridays and 6.30-10pm Saturdays, and on The Media Podcast, a new episode of which will appear by the end of this week.

On Monday, I was on Woman’s Hour‘s craft special, teaching Jane Garvey how to make a kimono out of charity shop scarves. She took to sewing like a duck to snooker. A triumph! Anyway, if you want to make your own and the audio is not a fully instructive tutorial, click here. It’s a lot easier than it sounds.

In the new Allusionist, I spoke to crossword-setter (and AMT listener!) John Feetenby about how he creates those dastardly cryptic clues. He even managed to come up with one for ‘Zaltzman’! That’s a career high. Visit theallusionist.org/crosswords for more.

In AMT311, we discussed the Starbucks logo, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and avoiding being eaten by rats while you’re having sex. Catch up, then return next Thursday for AMT312.

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EPISODE 311: mermaid with a crotch

April 2, 2015 by

Good news! Well, good news for Olly and everyone worried that his nocturnal job was causing him to collapse in on himself like a dying star: he’s got a new job on LBC, presenting a show 8-10pm Fridays and 6.30-10pm Saturdays. The first one is tomorrow, so tune in! Meantime, listen to Answer Me This! Episode 311:

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

Therein:

the Queen of Starbucks (scroll down to the bottom of the post for the NSFW original Starbucks logo)
the Hollywood Walk of Fame (apply here for a star)
a bowling alley in your home
the dangers of being a stock photo
the other Michael Jackson
the other Harrison Ford
the real struggle in Moby-Dick
Buddha vs Budai
Night Nurse vs Night Nurse
lazy Barbra Streisand
critiquing your dick pics (link extremely NSFW)
and
the first known waterbed.

Plus: Olly would rather that rats do not accompany his sexytimes; Helen is still laughing about the typo on her grandmother’s gravestone; and and Martin the Sound Man enjoys his own parallel version of AMT.

In today’s Bonus Bit of Crap on the App (available for iThings, Android and Windows gadgets) we realise why it’s probably for the best that we don’t have a spare £200,000 to install a home bowling alley. Just imagine the bloodshed…

Shed no blood, but shed your QUESTIONS, by leaving voicemails on the Question Line – call 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis – and emailing answermethispodcast@googlemail.com. You can befriend us online facebook.com/answermethis and twitter.com/HelenAndOlly to deliver us your verdict on today’s episode.

We’ll return on 16nd April 2015 with AMT312, joiiiiiiin ussssssssss,

Helen & Olly

••• AMT311 Child-Friendly Rating: 40%. Strong swear word very near the beginning. 10 minutes in, there’s a question about nudie photos that you may wish your younglings to avoid. But after that, it’s pretty safe. If you start listening around 15 minutes in, it’d be at least 80% child friendly. •••

old-starbucks-logo-01-2014

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beans means Who

April 1, 2015 by

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CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT310

Does anyone know of an earlier instance of a baked bean bath than this one supplied by Drew from Knoxville, Tennessee? He writes:

With two episodes now discussing baked bean baths, I’m shocked no one had referenced what arguably may be the first verifiable instance of the practice: Roger Daltrey reportedly risked pneumonia shooting the cover for The Who Sell Out in 1966. Apparently the beans were cold. Daltrey does look dazed and uncomfortable in the photo. Of course it was for parody, not charity.

The Who did in fact include on the album a jingle for Heinz Baked Beans. Eight years later, Ken Russell forced Ann-Margret to swim in baked beans (and soap suds and chocolate sauce) for several days of filming a scene for The Who’s Tommy.

Warning: this scene is harrowing viewing. Like a dirty protest in a bikini.

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stay strong, Lizzie!

April 1, 2015 by

CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT310

Unfortunate questioneer Lizzie was made redundant in AMT308 and dumped by her long-term live-in boyfriend in AMT310. But if it’s any comfort, Lizzie, you’re not the only questioneer to become jobless, dumped and homeless in the space of a month. Sam currently in the Netherlands writes:

Basically the same thing happened to me in January of 2013. It was hard work at the time, but in retrospect it was great.

Less than a month later I had an offer of a nice job in another country which I took, and just less than a year ago I met my current girlfriend in that country. The job was a bit better paid than my last one so I have even managed to start saving money for the first time since I went to University.

So, I’d say that as well as being positive, take this opportunity to do something with your life that you would have liked to do but haven’t considered for long because of personal responsibilities.

And put you ex’s nads in a jar.

We’re all rooting for you, Lizzie! As Yazz would tell you, the only way is up*. Let us know if you need to borrow a jar.

*I hope this isn’t tempting fate. I really don’t want Lizzie to call in AMT312 to tell us that all of her loved ones died and she’s broken her collarbone.

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Yazz sightings

March 31, 2015 by

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CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT310

Behold the following correspondence from Ellie, 24, from Newhaven, East Sussex, having escaped from Bangor, Northern Ireland:

Your Yazz-related jingle from episode 310 reminded me of a Yazz-related occurance from my latter years of secondary school.

Stick with me…

In my A-level history class, two girls were discussing someone called Yazz who was singing with their church (Hamilton Road Church, Bangor, Northern Ireland).
“Yazz?” I enquired, as it is a peculiar name.

“Maybe her parents liked 80s singer Yazz, as in, ‘The Only Way Is Up’?” I joked. No one chortled but, nonetheless, I didn’t expect them to know the reference.

“Oh, is THAT the name of her song?” one girl replied. “Yeah, someone was saying she sang in the 80s.”

I’m not a Christian myself, but I asked my god-fearing auntie whether this was true and sure enough, Yazz visits and sings with the church often.

Answer me this: what the ruddy heck was Yazz doing in Bangor of all places?

Secondly, is ‘The Only Way Is Up’ some reference to heaven?!?!

As a 80s music enthusiast and sinner, I must know.

Firstly, I assume Bangor is a stop on Yazz’s regularish tours performing songs from her recent Christian albums. Secondly, Yazz didn’t write ‘The Only Way Is Up’ herself, but you certainly could interpret the lyrics as having an ecclesiastical spin. (You could also reasonably interpret them as being about a lover, a friend, or a merry band of squatters.)

Readers, feel free to analyse Yazz’s movements and spiritual life, AND/OR to share your own Yazz tales. Ever had an interesting interaction with Yazz? Or a barely Yazz-adjacent experience like Ellie’s? The only way is down, because that’s where the layout puts the comments.

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One of the great unanswered questions…

March 30, 2015 by

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CLICK HERE TO CATCH UP ON AMT310

A question we are often asked but have never answered is why there are pairs of shoes dangling from telegraph wires.

If this question has always plagued you, I refer you to this short film The Mystery of Flying Kicks, in which several theories are posited, though a definitive answer remains elusive. Sometimes you’ve just got to accept you’ll never know why the shoes are on the damn wires, but I realise this is a bitter milkshake to swallow.

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