Looking for a past episode? Peruse the show’s episode index!
Episode 31: For All I Know He’s A Pole Dancer (14 Aug 2017): Tea: Qimen Caixia (“Sunrise Keemun”) black tea. Damon discusses tech that makes cochlear implants more versatile. Michael looks at methodologies of language learning. Also: little black worms, high quality science from Jurassic Park, listener assignments, taking a break, the new update for No Man’s Sky, Damon’s lack of impulse control, personal bankruptcy, going off script, the risks of playing a game in alpha, librarian glasses, Russian greetings, shout outs to San Francisco, taking business trips to ancient Rome, the new Doctor, the importance of context, and early-season Halloween costumes.
Episode 30: The Episode of Titles Episode (31 Jul 2017): Tea: Dian Hong Jin Ya (“Golden Buds”) black tea. Damon talks about shoe technology. Michael tackles the basics of blockchain. Also: ice cream and bitterness, asparagus, Latin problems, the Pope, building a base, gas masks, extra bones, cylons vs. Knight Rider, pop culture of the 1980s, prosthetics and keeping body parts around the house, survival lip-syncing, imagining with your hands, voting abnormalities, and some social media site trivia.
Episode 29: The Spirit of Tea (17 Jul 2017): Tea: Meng Ding Mao Feng green tea. Damon explores his own DNA and also covers new technology for the visually impaired. Michael ponders how the future we envisioned in the 1980s differs from the future we’re living now. Also: Finnish vs. Latin, the Spirit of Tea, spicy Chinese food, how Michael knows how long to brew tea, Mystcraft for Minecraft, external GPUs, mutants are not zombies, driving around town in a police vehicle, playing video games in a small hole, sending spit through the mail, caffeine metabolism, keeping the Milky Way in California, soulless eyes, the Jetsons, and Spiderman.
Episode 28: Happy Day Between Independence Days (4 Jul 2017): Tea: Fo Mei (Buddha’s Eyebrow) green tea. Damon talks about his experience making something in augmented reality. Michael shares his thoughts as a non-driver on autonomous vehicles. Also: getting the date wrong, throwing tea into the lake, breaking news 100 years in the making, two brides for two brothers, machine learning on Pokemon data, being unable to turn down a free zombie, living in a closet under the stairs, boring cars, lifelong bets, moose, five stupid people standing on a track, psychopaths, hand signals, and building a wall around your bed.
Episode 27: Happy Birthday To Us (19 Jun 2017): Tea: Jun Shan Yin Zhen yellow tea. Damon describes recent photography projects he was involved in. Michael talks about his Father’s Day “miracle.” Also: getting confused about geography, tea prices, GitHub, making movies with strong female leads, brand impressions, seat belts from the 1970s, messenger bags, drag queens, the Vietnam memorial, talking to Thomas Jefferson, clever fundraising strategies, hearing too much about Apple, jokes getting old at different speeds for different people, name changes, genetic testing surprises, online research technology, the Y-chromosome, and a couple of shout outs.
Episode 26: It’s Morning Somewhere (6 Jun 2017): Tea: Gu Zhu Zi Sun (Purple Bamboo Shoot) green tea. Damon recaps the keynote from Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference. Michael takes a hard look at Facebook’s corporate ethics. Also: pouring boiling water on things, getting grossed out by surgery pictures, confusing WWDC and WWJD, trying to watch videos in class, movies (especially Wonder Woman) and comic books, e-ink screens, Galaxy Quest and American Gods, and moderating comments on Google Plus.
Episode 25: Jazz Musicians We Are Not (23 May 2017): Tea: Bi Luo Chun green tea. Damon reviews the WannaCry virus and its brethren. Michael summarizes the news out of the Google I/O conference. Also: quitting caffeine (and color vision), bad water, the need for tea tasting vocabulary, the Saga Street Song, scooping reality with a melon-baller, the importance of listening to our advice, the darker side of encryption, bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions, not partnering with criminals, getting developers to go outside, olives for dessert, Damon says “Alexa” out loud, and the first step to Skynet.
Episode 24: Bag of Words (8 May 2017): Tea: Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) wulong. Damon explores land line phones and the WeChat app. Michael takes on the episode title: the bag of words technique. Also: embossing printers, rubber fingers, another trip down Saga Street, a mea culpa, knowing how to read, land line phones, blanking the names of things or people, convenient noodles, dangerous tongue twisters, spam filters, and the retro-cool of mid-century tech.
Episode 23: The March for Science (24 Apr 2017): Tea: Da Shan Tian (Sweet Mountain) sheng puer. Damon and Michael head off to the March for Science to interview people about their favorite science and technology topics. Also: being cool, fingerprint readers, Apple ripping off a Google design, hand size, new phone rumors, naming evil hacker groups, transportation for villains, and the new CenturyLink Saga.
Episode 22: 50 Shades of Yellow (10 Apr 2017): Tea: Meng Ding Huang Ya (Mt. Mengding Yellow Buds) yellow tea. Damon plays with wires as he automates his home. Michael finds the previous week’s news pulling him back to discussions of government-grade privacy. Also: describing something vs. experiencing something, nib creep, the Turkish Crime-Mobile, “G” is for “Power” (or maybe “Fan”), Santa the thermostat, alien technology, and hunter-gatherer eBay.
Episode 21: Tea Drunk (27 Mar 2017): Tea: Liu An Gua Pian (“Melon Slice” or “Sunflower Seed”) green tea. Damon talks about the developing drama around a purported iCloud ransom. Michael touches on where you can and where you can’t make choices about your information online. Also: Sichuan spicy dry green beans, a Sprint Saga update, bad predictions of male pregnancies, another kind of fountain pen technology, ballpoint ink accidents, Leonard Nimoy and Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost, the world’s best playlist, Applebee’s gift cards, extortion strategies, 13 email addresses, PR for crime, more tea, herd immunity, virtual private networks, El Chapo, selling eyeballs, and searching for underwear.
Episode 20: Spider-Mike (13 Mar 2017) Tea: Golden Peacock (Jin Kong Que) black tea. Damon talks about automating work. Michael looks at different fountain pen technologies. Also: second floor windows, daylight saving time, tea farm ownership structures, confusing Mandarin and Spanish, getting lost in interstellar space, being rude, phone keyboards, bullets vs. bullets, therapists, Michael’s ancestral home, wax cylinders and vinyl records, drawing on the walls, Kodachrome, geoducks and oysters, old museum-goers, dynamiting boats, and being invaded.
Episode 19: Fuzzy Bits from the Misty Mountains (27 Feb 2017) Tea: Meng Ding Mao Feng green tea. Damon covers the “Cloudbleed” vulnerability that’s in the tech news recently. Michael considers cybernetics and machine learning. Also: hobbit feet, paper and pens in the news, being insecure, passing out, fifty (or more) shades of grey, The Goonies, turning green, being a beginner vs. being a wizard, and Candy Crush.
Episode 18: Green Granola (13 Feb 2017) Tea: Golden Guan Yin wulong. Damon talks about full drive encryption and encrypted chat apps. Michael considers encryption and security from a behavioral perspective. Also: water boiling technique, rhyming, sniffing microphones, automated reminder spam, Michael’s parents, 13 different operating systems, protecting your Justin Bieber collection, password managers, fast food, malicious encryption (ransom ware), going through your recycling, privacy vs. marketing, and making informed choices.
Episode 17: A Bag of Mice (30 Jan 2017) Tea: Emperor’s Orchid (Wang Zhe Zhi Xiang) green tea. Damon talks about permission concerns in the hot new app, Meitu. Michael considers the friction between different levels of technology. Also: brown towels, InCoWriMo, Sprinting, the planet Baltimore, laptop touch screens, cutting arguments, never using Bluetooth, dongle reprogramming, putting stupid things on your face, Mahler and Mozart, video rental stores that still exist, game nights, favored tin foil brands for making hats, a monster orchid voice, and a topic for our next episode!
Episode 16: The Miscellaneous Sounds Episode (19 January 2017) Tea: Qimen Caixia (“Sunrise Keemun”). Damon talks about the shift to a new studio. Both discuss public information as a security risk. Michael looks at a new VR experience coming in early 2017. Also: buzzing phones, dripping rain, spilling hot water, table bumps, echoes, rustling paper, last minute adjustments, winging it, physics, photography, sniffling, and more!
Episode 15: My Tasty Strips (3 January 2017) Tea: Palace (Gong Ting) Puer. Damon discusses some problems with ebooks and other cloud-storage solutions. Michael talks machine learning, language, and translation. Also: inappropriate names for digital assistants, cellphone problems and improvements, making fudge, Michael’s crowded desktop, job loss to automation, basic universal income, and of course a reference to Skynet.
Episode 14: It’s a Five Not a 7 (22 December 2016) Tea: Yellow Sprig (Huang Zhi Xiang) Dan Cong. Damon discusses the innovations of 2016. Michael covers web projects that make people safer. Also: Hacks and hacking, confused assistants, searching in Latin or when you don’t know how to spell, visualizing words, Michael dissecting Damon’s brain, Nerf, fear of VR pink-eye, language translation…and it’s our last episode of 2016!
Episode 13: These Tea Balls Smell Good (5 December 2016) Tea: Silver Dragon Jasmine Pearls. Michael differentiates between “scented” and “flavored.” Damon describes his week in Vegas learning about Amazon’s AI services. Also: helicopters coming to get us, watermelons, getting a lei in Hawai’i, cranky old men, the first movie Michael ever saw a second time, the Amazon Echo Dot, Damon’s preferences on comic book adaptations, getting Twitter love, genealogy in the age of Skynet, and definitely not hiding a military base. And, at the 40-minute mark, we start our spoiler-filled discussion of the film Arriva
Episode 12: The Jet Lag is Real (21 November 2016) Tea: Qi Dan (Da Hong Pao). Damon talks about his recent trip to Japan and Michael talks about taking the long view of technology and language. Also: tea and mental powers, sources of aftertastes, empathising with old plants, getting tongue-tied, sneaking into public spaces, derailed trains (of thought), the inconvenience of having your house burn down after an EMP pulse, an ASSIGNMENT for listeners (watch the film Arrival before listening to the next episode), and sending and receiving mail.
Episode 11: Mistakes and Bad People (7 November 2016) Tea: Bai Hao Yin Zhen (“White Hair Silver Needle”), a white tea. Damon talks about a sea change in internet usage and recent attempts by bad folks to take down the web. Michael goes over the basic ideas of machine learning and how you may already be using it. Also: brussel sprouts, clean barns, the flavor of missing children, emotional buying, the slow motion vision in a moment of horror, the Facebook Pixel, violations of the Fair Housing Act, smart devices and the Internet of Things, installing antivirus software on your refrigerator, the start of Skynet, face recognition, figuring out who your “sweetheart” is, Westworld, and rabbit holes.
Episode 10: The Google Dreamcatcher (24 October 2016) Tea: Shi Feng Long Jing (“Lion Peak Dragonwell”). Damon covers fresh water from thin air. Michael talks about Google’s recent hardware launch event, including the new Google Pixel phone. Also: talking in binary, tourist traps, the difficulty in moving a hole to a new home, predicting the year of the zombie apocalypse, a follow up on differential privacy (Google did it first), how to say “desalinization plant” in German, the hands on a hummingbird’s tongue, and the danger of having your fingers stolen.
Episode 9: Secret Tea Machine (10 October 2016) Tea: Zi Juan Purple Leaf Sheng Puer. Damon and Michael change things up and take a field trip to the Northwest Tea Festival. Technology mentioned includes drain tables, steaming vs. wok-fired processing methods, non-drip teapots, matcha grinders, gaiwans, mulch, superabsorbent materials, mini tea factories, remote-controlled tea farming …and a secret tea machine! Also: appearances by Friday Elliott, Jason Chen, Michael’s students Asher and Sarah, Cinnabar Wright, Elyse Petersen, James Norwood Pratt, Rajah Banerjee, and Nigel Melican.
Episode 8: The Time Travel Episode (21 September 2016) Tea: Que She Sparrow’s Tongue 2016. Damon talks about the new iPhone. Michael talks about technological approaches to reduce sexism and racism. Also: Time travel, payment systems, Damon threatens violence, Michael holds his tongue, scientists holding Peeps races in the lab, robots that can prove they’re not a robot, cow privacy, the latest Twitter updates, machine learning, and suspicious activity.
Episode 7: Shaken, Not Stirred (6 September 2016) Tea: Yiwu Sheng Puer. Damon talks about going to PAX. Michael talks about spy technology. Also: Michael calls Damon a lush, Damon threatens to slap Michael, Kenny G, nuns, D&D, liquids on electrical equipment, not knowing how to speak languages, gamification, fake movies, carbon paper, technology in the US presidential election, encryption, and Leonard Nimoy’s birthday.
Episode 6: Polkamon GO (22 August 2016) Tea: Mo Gan Huang Ya. Damon talks about Pokemon shennanigans, and Michael talks technology in education. Also: plant genetics, glabrous vs. pubescent, playing style, dark social, UTM and hash fragments, bagpipes and accordions, Ingress, day camp, GPS, geocaching, the Dewey Decimal System, learning math, and room temperature.
Episode 5: The Channel Master (8 August 2016) Tea: Ming Qian Anji Bai Cha, a green tea called “white tea.” Damon talked about his experience as a new cable cord-cutter. Michael dives into the many ways you are tracked beyond search engines and ads leaving browser cookies. Also: Drinking tea for health and weight loss tea, launching stuff with a VCR, pop-up ads in physical books, trying to sell things people can get for free, lawsuits, new forms of light, and Michael being impressed when Damon made a choice rationally.
Episode 4: The Justice Pitcher (25 July 2016) Tea: Lao Shu Dian Hong. Damon and Michael make corrections and talk about motion sickness. Damon covers the growing issue of counterfeits on Amazon, and Michael takes a swing at tech journalists who aren’t good at tech or at journalism. Plus: Triangles in photography and tea, pens that don’t work, and some Tech Tea news!
Episode 3: My Cup is Bigger on the Inside (11 July 2016) Tea: Doctor’s Blend. Damon and Michael touch on virtual reality again, then discuss their mutual love of Myst and what games they’re playing these days or anticipating in the coming months. Michael tells when he’d rather have analog tools over technology, and Damon reports on how his analog and digital photography compare. Plus: Godzilla, questionable TV choices, conspiracy and collusion, alien critters trying to find mates, and the release date for ancient game of Go.
Episode 2: Raspberry Pi (28 June 2016) Tea: Bai Hao/Oriental Beauty. Damon talks differential privacy and tracking. Michael mentions the Raspberry Pi and its use in a couple of open-source style alternatives to home assistant devices. Both show off their knowledge of sports and play the “which social media site is best” game. Plus: shout outs, virtual reality (VR), games, and more!
Episode 1: Hot Spearmint Juice (15 June 2016) In this episode, Michael introduces Damon to “hot spearmint juice,” explaining why some things that are called tea really aren’t. Damon recaps the keynote of Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC16). Both discuss aspects of the new and upcoming “home AI” devices like the Amazon Echo, and the announced purchase of LinkedIn by Microsoft.
Episode 0: Introduction Meet your hosts, Damon and Michael.