@stuffisthings : Clifford Stoll has a story about his thesis defense for his astronomy PhD. The four examiners start off by asking him a couple of questions specifically relating to aspects of his thesis and his research, and he's feeling pretty good about it -- this is all the high-level stuff that he's been working on, and he knows it cold.
This goes on for some time, and they're about ready to wrap up, when one of the examiners says "oh, and one last question, Mr. Stoll. Why is the sky blue?" Stoll is dumbfounded -- this is first-year physics, way at the other end of the curriculum from his awesome PhD-level stuff -- and he sort of stammers out something about light entering the atmosphere at an angle. The examiner nods and says "yes, but can you be more specific?" Stoll manages to put together an explanation of how water droplets in the atmosphere diffract the light from the sun, and how that causes the angle. "Yes," says the examiner, "but can you be more -specific-?"
Half an hour later, he's dredging up everything he can remember about subatomic physics ...
@gobblegirl : Allow me to introduce the "Dunning-Kruger effect". In short, it holds that people incompetent at a given task tend to rate themselves above their actual skill level because they don't know enough to recognize their mistakes. The flip side, pertinent to LW2, is that skilled people tend to rate themselves below their actual level of competence because they tend to assume that everyone else has an equal skill level. Dunning and Kruger don't specifically speak to it, but I also think that people competent in a given field know enough to realize how extensive and tricky that field is, while incompetent people don't, and happily assume "oh, it's easy!"
@Megano! : Yeah, this one's basically the culinary version of "Cintra Wilson goes to J.C. Penney" which, I am not ashamed to admit, still cracks me up.
@Beatrix Kiddo : I'm going to guess that the tone of the comment doesn't come across well in print, because the Jacques I know would certainly say "if you are not cooking the turkey, then I am not arriving!" but he'd do it with his best self-mocking faux-hauteur, because he really is funny like that. And then he'd show up anyway.
@JessicaLovejoy : He's actually a sort of casual acquaintance of mine,* and I can say that his accent is completely undiluted and totally delightful. If he had a moustache to twirl while laughing, he would.
* like, "oh hey, I see you like twice a year"
@Jennifer Culp : Also, have you played No More Heroes (another Suda51 joint)? Because I totally vote for one of these columns featuring Travis Touchdown.
@youresmalltime : It's so worth it! It has a nice "aaah, ha ha whatever" attitude that's very enjoyable. (ex : there's a scary opera-singing demon lady who keeps showing up to taunt / thwart you in cutscenes. Obviously, this is a setup for an eventual boss fight. However, when the boss fight actually arrives, it's a side-scrolling shooter level where you and your enemies are inexplicably rendered as little flying jointed paper puppets.)
"List of cryptids" and all, but I don't even get my own call-out? Not even as a possible poltergeist? That hurts.
@rebecca@twitter : Man, if that wasn't on the list I was totally going to mention it because THAT IS SOME X-FILES SHIT RIGHT THERE.
@pank : House ("Hausu") is just jaw-dropping, in every possible way that a movie might make one's jaw drop. It's also pretty easy to find, now that Criterion has done a DVD / Blu-Ray restoration of it. Buy it and astonish / gobsmack your friends!