Random Questions


One can only hope so.


I always thought blackface was something more from the 20s, not medical school students in the 80s.



It’s almost certainly still a thing literally today.


Minstrel shows and vaudeville in blackface is definitely dead. Doing blackface outside of that context is still a thing. I think many times it comes out of ignorance rather than malice but is nevertheless still reprehensible. I think I told this story before but when I was in fourth or fifth grade in the mid 90’s there was a kid who dressed up as Dennis Rodman for halloween. He wore a rainbow clown wig, a Chicago Bulls jersey and basketball shorts, air jordans, faux gold chains, big sunglasses… and had also painted his face brown with makeup. Nobody said anything because the entire school was white.


On the one hand, dressing up as Dennis Rodman at his peak fame for Halloween is hilarious, whether white or black (the guy is a nut no matter his race).

On the other hand, incorporating blackface in the costume is taking it way too far.

At my high school, which was also mostly white (I can count the number of black kids we had on one hand, and the number is even less if you discount Cape Verdeans, but that’s another topic), the band often did some light hazing of freshman by making them dress up as Homey the Clown, a character from the TV show In Living Color that was popular back then. It didn’t matter what race they were, someone would wear the clown wig and pretend to be “Homey.” However, it never went beyond just wearing the wig and red clown nose.


Costumes that are just clothes are ok. If Ralph Northam had gone to the Michael Jackson dance contest dressed in Jackson’s outfit from a music video, minus blackface, no big deal. Same way with cosplay. Totally fine to wear Anthy’s dress not cool to put on dark foundation to be more ‘accurate’.


Agree with you across the board there.


What do you all use for podcasts on iPhone? I’ve tried the built in app and overcast. What is the best hotness?


I use the built in app. It works.


I use Downcast. Much nicer than the bare-bones built-in app. One thing I like about it is that it supports gestures for fast forward, mark as played, etc. It can be useful if you listen to your podcasts while driving as it lets you control things without having to look at the screen.


Pretty sure that’s what Siri is for?


Siri requires a network connection, which isn’t always 100% reliable.

Also, I’m not sure Siri does 30 second skips (forward and back) and a few other nice gesture features. Some of the podcasts I listen to have ads, and others have segments where I may not be interested in what they’re discussing at the moment, but I may want to listen to the next segment.

Also, Downcast lets you create playlists, which is also nice as I like to listen to my podcasts in a particular order. Last I checked, the built-in app doesn’t do playlists, but it’s been a while (I’ve been using Downcast for several years now).

There are a few other nice features I like in the Downcast app that I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I admit I’m a bit of a podcast power user. For lots of folks, the built-in app probably is just fine.


Dang you must be listening to many many podcasts to need playlists for them. I can’t even finish one podcast in one subway ride. Never gonna need a playlist for them. Also, not driving, I can just choose the next podcast by hand. And I can skip 30 seconds of podcast on my watch.


There’s a thread here on the forum called How do you listen to GeekNights? where people have talked about podcast apps and recommendations.

I use Overcast, and it’s great. It’s like the perfect app for me now, because all of my issues with it over the years have been solved, one by one. It just keeps getting better, so I don’t even mind paying the $10 per year subscription so it doesn’t show ads. I follow the developer account on Twitter, and plugged away at a few small issues over the years, like having a dedicated panel for podcast chapter selection, and every problem so far has been solved (even if not in the way I suggest).

The playlist stuff is good, but now that is bare minimum table stakes for a podcast app. The latest big improvement to Overcast is the search functionality. It used to be useable, but quite slow. Now it has google-style auto-suggestions. It’s so quick it feels like magic, and gets the most obvious result examples for you before you expect.


Holy shit how many podcasts are people listening to that a search is necessary?


This is the search to add new podcasts. For example, on a podcast someone says “I was a guest on this show… go listen to that episode!” and I would like to. Instant search makes that super easy.


Many of us have commutes that take enough time to get through a podcast and a half in just one direction the commute, like me in Portland, OR.

As for my preferred podcast app, that’s still Pocket Casts. I like it’s functionality, like adding to playlists automatically with the option to set for it to be added to end or up next. Additionally, the app has the option to sync online so if you lose or break your phone it will still have your podcasts and where you were in them when you load the app onto a new device. That setting is more common now but when Pocket Casts came out it was a noteworthy feature. It’s also got similar search functionality to Overcast.


I was like that until I moved to the city.

When I commuted via car in the old days, I listened to so many podcasts it was insane.


Apple official podcast app has that, though I don’t use it. No idea how good it is. As I said, how often am I adding new podcasts? I delete podcasts much more often than I seek them out.