2013 – A Year In Review

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Wow, another year down, another year of podcasting in the books. In this special episode, we review some of our favorite moments from the podcast in 2013. From interviews with professional gamers, to recording our first ever studio album, it has been a busy year for the Good Guys and we hope that you have enjoyed listening to us as much as we have enjoyed producing the podcast.
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To wrap up the year, we calculated the scores for all of the challanges that we have completed over the past 12 months. Just in case you have forgotten, here are the challanges that we did this year:
– Hug-a-thon challenge
– Donkey Kong challenge
– Victoria’s secret underwear challenge
– Poetry reading challenge
– Halloween costume challenge
– Wikipedia challenge
– Formal dinner challenge
– Classical music challenge
– Art challenge
– Food journal challenge
– Charity challenge
– Whittling challenge
– Paper airplane challenge
– Thrift shop challenge
– Complete nutrition challenge
– Jeopardy! challenge
– Sensory deprivation challenge
– Geochaching challenge
– Firestarting challenge
– Origami challenge
– Spa challenge
– Scary movie challenge
– Letter writing challenge
– March madness challenge
– Wobble challenge!!!!

Mitch once again is the winner with 87 points, followed by Puff with 78 points, and Perek with 77 points. Geo is left scraping the bottom of the bucket with a measly 75 points…
We also review our year long challenges and propose new challenges for 2014.

Once again, a huge thank you to all of you for listening!

Best Guys to Know – 2013 Edition

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As 2013 comes to a close, join us to remember some of the best guys to know of 2013. There are many notable GGTK who surfaced in 2013 including a number who just missed our list: Bill Nye, Peyton Manning, Justin Timberlake and Garrett Camp, just to name of few.  But the 4 gentlemen listed below represent not just what was good about 2013, but what we hope is in store for 2014.  Have a listen to our newest podcast as your favorite Good Guys to Know discuss who they think were the Best Guys to Know from 2013.  Thanks for listening!

#1: Pope Francis: 

Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis
Photo from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Francis

Esquire voted Pope Francis the “Best Dressed Man of the Year.” Some quickly scoff at the notion that His Excellency could garner such credit.  However, his choice in garb has made more significant contributions to the Catholic Church than most realize.  The most notable aspect of his fashion statement is its simplicity. Commonly, you will see this pope donning a white robe and white skullcap, a distant cry from the more ornate costumes of his predecessors.  He also opted out of the traditional red leather Prada shoes that were previously a staple of papal dress, and chose the simplest ring to round out his ensemble.  This fashion statement has lead some to say that “this Holy Roman Emperor really does have new clothes!” http://www.esquire.com/blogs/mens-fashion/pope-francis-style-2013

For Christmas this year, the Pope gave presents to 2,000 immigrants living at a shelter near the Vatican.  The purpose of the presents was to allow the immigrants to connect with family over the holiday season.  He provided them with postage for letters, a prepaid calling card, a free metro transit card, and a signed Christmas card.  Take that Santa! Additionally, he is regularly known to sneak out at night dressed as a regular priest, to serve the homeless.  All of these actions have gained him the nickname “The Pope of the Poor.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/pope-francis-christmas-immigrants-_n_4473273.html

Continuing to break tradition, instead of shacking up in the papal apartment, a 12-room luxury suite on the top floor of Apostolic Palace, Pope Francis chose to live in a small studio apartment in the Vatican.  Plus, instead of the glistening bulletproof Pope-mobile. Pope Francis drives a 20-year-old car with over 180,000 miles on it. All of these actions recently landed Pope Francis the title of Time’s Person of the Year.

The Pontiff also was more involved in pop culture and social media than any of his predecessors.  For one, HE TWEETS! His often-poignant tweets have gained him more than 3.4 million Twitter followers.  Follow him @pontifex.  He also has taken the only Papal “selfie” which is quite timely considering “selfie” is the 2013 Word of the Year.  As if all that weren’t enough, he was also the most talked about topic on Facebook and the most searched term on the Internet in 2013 (http://www.people.com/people/package/article/0,,20755963_20764775,00.html

 

#2: Elon Musk:

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photo from www.businessinsider.com

Reason #1: He is the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

Reason #2: He is the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.

Seriously, it’s hard to argue against the powerful odor that Elon Musk left on 2013.  Our most loyal listeners would be sharp to remember that we have previously done podcast main pillars on both of Mr. Musk’s remarkable companies (We also highlighted his “Hyperloop” concept in our Future Transportation podcast.)  Did we mention that he also co-founded PayPal?  I think instead of referring to Elon as the Best GGTK of 2013, we might just crown him the Best GGTK of ever.  Let’s all pray he continues his life-altering ways in 2014!

In fact, Elon Musk may just warrant his own pillar someday.  Literally every fact I read about this guy is more impressive than the last.  Don’t believe me?  Dabble in his Wikipedia entry (I bet you read the whole thing.) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elon_Musk

 

#3: Jimmy Kimmel:

photo from http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/jimmy-kimmel-joins-letterman-leno-11-35-article-1.1233873

Since launching Jimmy Kimmel Live! In 2003, Mr. Kimmel has methodically carved out a niche for himself in late-night TV.  Moving stride-for-stride with Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel is helping to usher in the next generation of late-night talk shows. What makes him a GGTK?  First, he’s funny and he has a knack for finding and creating some of the best viral videos on the Internet.  In 2013 Kimmel continued his annual challenge for parents to tell their kids that they had eaten all of their Halloween candy.  The uploaded videos creatively depict everything that is right and wrong with kids today. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RK-oQfFToVg

And then there is the “Worst twerk fail EVER” video.  What Kimmel did was create a video of a girl twerking and accidently setting her pants on fire!  With no promotional fanfare this video went completely viral! It currently has over 15 million views on YouTube and was featured on local news stations across the nation.  Two months after it ravaged the Internet, Jimmy came clean, announcing that the video was a hoax; a prank aimed at news outlets who will show just about anything to get more viewers.  Well played Jimmy, well played. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSJMoH7tnvw#t=145

Warning: these videos are addicting and completely hilarious.  Thank you Jimmy to your contributions to 2013!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXlDHdaQoiI#t=226

 

#4: Nelson Mandela:

Mandela

2013 was the year the world said ‘goodbye’ to Nelson Mandela.  His life was remarkable (both good and bad) in every way.  After serving more than 27 years in prison for defending his political beliefs, he was elected President of South Africa, the country’s first black president.  His life work centered on overcoming apartheid and fostering racial reconciliation.  One of the most influential South African men to ever live, he was their founding father of democracy; “Washington and Lincoln rolled into one.”  Among his many accolades, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work for “the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa” in 1993.  He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States, by President Bush in 2002.  Some people quickly admonish Mandela for his socialistic (bordering on communistic) beliefs, and his relationships with some of the world’s most brutal dictators, but a complete view of his life confirms that he was a truly a GGTK.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Mandela

 

And there you have it!  The Best Guys to Know of 2013.  Let us know what you think of our choices and add your own in the comments below! And Happy New Years!!!

Affluenza

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affluenza

In this episode, the Good Guys deconstruct the theory of affluenza, a term which has recently gained infamy due to a tragic case of drunk driving in a wealthy Fort Worth suburb.  Opinions abound regarding the sentence handed down to the young perpetrator, and we do our best to get you informed of the details on both sides of this heated debate.  Please leave us your comments; we love to check the pulse of our listenership!  Enjoy.

Perfectly Seared Steak

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Any good guy to know should have a perfectly seared steak in his culinary quiver. On this podcast I rehash this incredible article by Kenji Lopez of Serious Eats. He used to work on my all-time favorite cooking show/magazine; Cooks Illustrated. They take a super scientific approach to cooking and stop at nothing to determine the best way to do things.

So listen to the episode or read that article for the juicy details. (See what I did there?) Here are the top questions that we answer:

– What cut of steak to use

– What is the order of importance when selecting the actual steak: Dry-Aged, Marbling, Thickness, Bone in or Boneless?

– What is the best pan to use?

– What is the best fat to use?

– What is the secret weapon?

– How do you know when it’s done?

Here’s a before and after of the steak I cooked in preparation for this cast. The first picture is about 30 minutes into the ‘mini-brine’ that I explain on the podcast so would be the worst time to throw it in the pan.

Full disclosure, this after picture is a solid medium to medium-well. Not my desired result, but I have never used the secret weapon so it cooked a little faster than expected. My wife still said it was the best steak I had ever cooked, and you can see that the crust looks real real nice.

Also, stay tuned until the end to see if our next contestant is able to BAMBOOZLE a Good Guy.

Also, there’s still plenty of time before Christmas to support the podcast by buying our Christmas album. Check it out on all the mobile stores, or for the best deal on the web, go to CDBaby!

 

Bitcoin

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Hey everybody!  We have a very special announcement this episode.  The Good Guys have released a Christmas Album!  The album goes live today anywhere you usually buy digital music.  Find us on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, or CDBaby.  The name of the album is “A Very G.G.T.K. Christmas”.  Enjoy!

Bitcoin is all over the news lately.  I decided to take a deep dive into what this thing is and try to figure out how it works.  Bitcoin is one of a handful of new (since 2008) cryptocurrencies.  These are digital currencies that are spent, controlled, produced, and validated using encrypted data methods to keep things secure and traceable.  Anyone in the world with a computer has access to these things, and vendors are starting to adopt them and accept them as form of payment as it becomes more popular.  The recent hype is mostly about the price fluctuation, Bitcoin is a currency, after all, and has a price strongly rooted in supply and demand.  Since the currency is newer, there is less volume of trading, so each transaction actually has an impact on the price, at least to a much larger degree than the US Dollar, for instance.

One of the more interesting aspects to the Bitcoin system is what is called mining.  As you may know, the amount of currency in a market can have some serious impact.  Without a central bank or authority to print money out of thin air, there has to be a way to allow more currency to be generated in a similar way to how hard currencies like gold and silver can be mined.  The mining process is where the math and computer science gets a bit out of control.  A proof-of-work system is set up within Bitcoin to allow people with some extra computing power to contribute to the Bitcoin network and validate transactions.  By cooperating and validating these transactions, people are rewarded with new Bitcoins, which can be a lucrative process if you are successful.

For the rest of us without an extra supercomputer sitting in the basement, Bitcoin is proving to be a fast and easy way to pay for goods and services, without having to send a cut to a middleman like a bank or clearinghouse.  Merchants need not send 8% of the sale to a credit card company as a processing fee.  The currency is decentralized and has very little overhead, so there is no need to pay exorbitant fees for any of the transactions.  To set up a digital bit coin wallet, and find an online exchange where you can trade your US Dollar, Euro, or whatever you’ve got in your bank account for Bitcoins, start at the Bitcoin website (http://bitcoin.org).

Thanks for listening everybody – check out that Christmas Album!

Fast Food Secret Menus

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The Secret Menus of Fast Food Restaurants:

Many fast food restaurants have long histories of secret menus.  These menus are often reserved for regular customers who after months of devouring custom ordered food, finally have their unique orders accepted as part of a so-called secret menu.  Over the years, these secret menus start becoming not-so-secret to the point where the customer, and the experienced fast food employee, are ready these special off the menu items.

On our latest GGTK podcast, we explore the world of fast food secret menus. Thanks for listening!

In N Out:

Easily the most famous of the secret menu fast food establishments.  Much of In N Out’s fast food aura is owed to the fact that their normal menu is ridiculously simple.  There are 5 items on every In N Out menu:

  1.  Double-double
  2. Cheesburger
  3. Hamburger
  4. French Fries
  5. Shakes

 

However the number of items on the secret menu at In N Out far outweigh the number of items on their regular menu.  Here are some of their highlights:

–  Animal style: lettuce, tomato, a mustard-cooked beef patty, pickles, extra spread (it’s sort of Thousand-Islandy) and grilled onions. You can even get your fries Animal Style.

–  Protein Style is a burger wrapped in a lettuce leaf instead of a bun.

–  Grilled Cheese

–  And you can get just about any combo of meat and cheese that you want if you order it like you’re ordering lumber: 3×3 gets you three beef patties and three slices of cheese, 4×4 gets you four of each, and so on. It doesn’t stop there. Rumors of 100×100 have been spreading!

Check out the In N Out secret menu at: http://www.in-n-out.com/menu/not-so-secret-menu.aspx

McDonalds:

There is no way Ronald would allow his gourmet restaurant to be outplayed by any in regards to the secret menu. Here is a short compilations of secret menu items that you can order at McDonalds:

–  The All American: a plain hamburger with pickles and ketchup.  Totally classic in every way.  Make it an All American combo by adding small fries and a coke.

–  “Land, Sea and Air:” beef patty, chicken patty, and Filet O’ Fish in one sandwich, with tartar sauce

–  Monster Mac: 8 beef patties, cheese, special sauce, lettuce, pickles and onions.  220g of fat, 11,500 calories which equates to 3 days worth of fat for a grown man.

–  McLeprichon – This shake is only available in March and is composed of the shamrock shake mixed with the chocolate shake making a mint chocolate shake.

–  Pie McFlurry: Buy an apple pie and request for it be blended into your McFlurry

 

Chipotle:  This fast food chain is home to the most legendary of secret menu items: the quesarito.  Additionally, it might be the most accomodating in regards to creating your own secret menu.

–  They have a store policy that says that if they have the item available, they will make it for you.  This includes but is not limited to: nachos, quesadillas, taco salads, and single taco, even mini burritos made from soft taco shells.

–  Quesarito: this is a quesedilla/burrito hybrid.  They take a tortilla filled with melted cheese and then open it back up, stuff it full delicious buritto ingredients and roll it up just like a burrito.  Except there is delicious melted cheese all over.  The mythical quesarito is also reported to have over 1500 calories.

Read more about the Quesarito at: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1671981/the-mystery-behind-chipotles-secret-1500-calorie-super-burrito

And to round out your wholesome meal, check out some of these other renegade items from secret menus:

 

Restaurant: Wendy’s

Order: The Grandslam

What is it? 4 patties stacked on a bun.  Also known as the Meat Cube.

Restaurant: Taco Bell

Order: secret green chili sauce

What is it? A remnant of times past, this is a simple green chili sauce that will do wonders for your taste buds at this often bland restaurant.

Restaurant: Chic-fil-A:

Order: Chicken quesedilla

What is it?  The restaurant combines it delicious chicken with tortillas from it’s wraps for a delicious concoction.  Warning: be careful when messing with perfection at as fast food restaurant that is leaps and bounds above it’s competitors.

 

The most important thing that everyone needs to remember about ordering items off of a restaurant’s secret menu is that the items may be so secretive that the innocent teen behind the counter may not even know what you are talking about.  The next most important thing is don’t give up.  Enlighten the youngster in hopes that fast food junkies that follow in your footsteps will be able to indulge in some of the greatest and most creative foods every created. Happy eating!

 

Have you tried ordering off of a secret menu?!?  Leave your experiences in the comments below.  Thanks for listening!

Drug Development

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drug-development

 

Where does that blood pressure medicine come from, and why does it cost so much!?  Drug companies must be making a killing, right?  Well, it’s complicated.  Listen up to this week’s podcast to educate yourself on the lengthy and expensive process of new drug development.  Follow along below to see the info in text and pictures.  Enjoy!

 

 

 

Dan Plan part II

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First of all, if you haven’t listened to our interview with Dan McLaughlin from last year,  go listen to it now! This episode we check in with Dan and the progress he’s made towards becoming a professional golfer by deliberately practicing for 10,000 hours.

DanPlanUnicycleTo find out why I produced this ridiculous amalgamation of clip art, you’ll have to listen to the whole interview. Among other things we check in with Dan on:

– His recent change of coaches and swing

– How he did in his most recent tournament

– How he deals with crazy blog comments

– If Portland is too cool for golf

Learn more about Dan on his website, and don’t forget to donate!  Thanks for another great interview, Dan!

 

Podcasting

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podcast

I’ve had lots of conversations with listeners over the past few years, and one topic that always seems to really grab hold of a lot of them, is how we actually podcast.  Just the fact that the 4 of us are not in the same room, zipcode, or sometimes state is enough to get the conversation really rolling.  Below is a quick outline of what we discuss.  Please shoot us an email with any questions you have about software, hardware, iTunes, WordPress, or whatever else you can think of.  We love putting the show together using all these methods, thanks for listening.

 

Step 1:  Get a decent Microphone (and while you’re at it, headphones).  Bad audio is really hard to sit through – especially when there is no video to accompany it.

  • The Good Guys use a combination of Audio Technica AT2020USB, Blue Snowball, and Blue Yeti microphones.  Check ’em out.

 

Step 2:  Software.  A good multitrack audio recording software tool is a must for a podcaster.  We use 4 different ones for our show.

  • Audacity (Free, awesome, both mac and PC)
  • GarageBand (mac only, lots of bells and whistles for musicians)
  • Soundtrack Pro (Part of the Final Cut Pro video/audio editing suite.  Very powerful)
  • Adobe Audition (Part of the Adobe Creative Suite.  Also very powerful)

 

Step 3: Start recording.  Whether you are putting together a multi-host double ender, or recording your own musings for the world to hear, the most important things is to just hit record.You’ll find out all kinds of things you didn’t think you needed or wanted.  Just keep a backup and go.

Step 4: iTunes.  It’s super easy to submit your podcast to iTunes, but you need to have your content in an iTunes friendly XML format.  Unless you really love writing giant CML files, we advise using some sort of content management plugin that will do the work for you.  We used to use PodPress for wordpress, but switched over to PowerPress and are loving it.

 

Formal Dinner Manners

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Formal Dinner Manners:

A good guy to know is comfortable in all situations. While most of us probably claim to have good manners, we could all probably use a refresher on the rules and etiquette of a formal dinner. Have a listen and learn some new tips to impress your friends, the ladies, and maybe even… your friend’s lady! Thanks for listening!

 

General Rules of Dinner Etiquette:

Take your cues from the host.
Chew with your mouth closed; don’t talk with food in your mouth.
Bring food to your face not face to your food
Say please, thank you and excuse me

When preparing to attend a formal dinner, know your crowd. Try to anticipate just how fancy the dinner will be and dress accordingly. Better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. If the dinner is at a friends house, it is appropriate to bring a small gift such as wine, or flowers or my personal favorite, gourmet olive oil. Also, be sure to arrive on time but not to early. Most hosts are busy preparing the meal until just before you arrive. Don’t be more than 10 minutes early.

 

If the meal is less formal and there is a buffet or family style serving, take an average size serving. Also, you should never double dib on dishes that are meant for the whole group.

 

The Napkin

Place your napkin on your lap as soon as you sit down (never tuck it into your shirt)
Do not shake out the napkin. Simply unfold it and put it on your lap.
The purpose of the napkin is to be able to wipe food from your mouth and also to remove any inedible pieces of the meal such as bones or fat

Dinner Place Setting:

– Everything revolves around the plate: forks on the left, spoons on the right, knives on the right.

– Work from outside to inside

– Your drinks go in the upper right corner (your water goblet or glass is always the largest, followed by red wine and finally white wine. Largest glass should be closest to the center.)

– Bread plates go in the upper left corner

– Never place used utensils back on the table.

Table setting

Random Dinner Etiquette Facts:

– The prayer should be said (or initiated) by the host; the toast should be offered by one of the guests.

– If you need to lift your soup bowl to get the last bit of soup, tilt the bowl away from you so as to not splash any soup on yourself.

– If someone asks for the salt, always pass both the salt and pepper. They should never be separated during a meal.

– Never reach across the table. If you have to rise from your seat, that is too far. Simply ask someone to pass the item instead.

– If you are eating meat, always cut one bite-sized piece, eat it, and then cut the next piece.

– When you are finished, the way to signal to your host or server that you are done is to place your fork and knife in the 4 o’clock position. The fork should be tongs up and the cutting blade of the knife should face the fork .

– Practice makes perfect.

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2010/03/26/guide-dining-etiquette-table-manners/

 

http://www.askmen.com/