This week, the case of the Long-Necked Custody Battle.
Best Friends Katie and Meghan went halfsies on a robotic giraffe while vacationing abroad. For years, it entertained friends in their shared college apartment. Now Meghan is headed for a PhD at Stanford, and Katie is staying home and pursuing an advanced degree in illustration. Each wants the other to have the giraffe, as comfort in challenging times. Is Jeffrey the Giraffe staying in Atlanta, or is he headed to Palo Alto. Only one man can decide.
This week on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast, a dispute between friends. Foy argues that breaking the fourth wall ruins film and theater. His friend Matt disagrees. Only Judge John Hodgman can decide.
While we're mentioning mentions on great blogs... our friend Mark Frauenfelder was kind enough to give a mention to Judge John Hodgman on Boing Boing the other day. Reactions are generally excellent, except for one guy, named "Weatherman," who writes: I'm a big fan of Hodgeman, but any show ranked with Sound of Young America immediately shoots to the bottom of my list. That has to be one of the worst shows on NPR, and I'm including Prairie Home Companion. Thanks, fella!
This week on the Judge John Hodgman Podcast, a dispute between friends. One insists that machine guns are a type of robot - they perform a difficult and onerous task, are programmable and he wouldn't want to fight them. The other demurs, and has asked Judge Hodgman for a final ruling.
In episode two of the Judge John Hodgman podcast, Judge Hodgman settles a dispute between a married couple. The wife says their kitchen sink's built-in dispenser should house dish soap. The husband argues that it should hold hand soap. Only one is correct.
(Thanks for our graphic to Steve Wolfhard.)
We're proud to announce the addition of a new podcast to our ranks: Judge John Hodgman.
As on the popular Jordan, Jesse, Go! segment, Judge John Hodgman will be settling disputes, big and small. Each week, two disputants will go before Judge Hodgman (and beloved bailiff Jesse Thorn) to have their disagreement settled in a binding and permanent fashion.
If you subscribe to John's "Today in the Past" podcast, you'll get Judge John Hodgman automatically. If not, you can follow this link into your iTunes. (The information in the iTunes directory should update within a day or two.) Our transitional episode is already up, and features a classic dispute from Jordan, Jesse, Go!. You can download that show directly using this link. If you use a non-iTunes podcatcher, you can subscribe to the URL http://feeds.feedburner.com/todayinthepast.
We'll have a formal launch in a week or so, and we'll get a special page up on the site soon. In the meantime, enjoy the show!
If you have a dispute you'd like to have settled by Judge Hodgman, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We're looking for genuine disputes, big or small. No jokes.
We are working on a TOP SECRET PROJECT and we need YOUR HELP.
Are you involved in a dispute with a friend, relative or lover? Are you willing to submit to a HIGHER POWER to settle this dispute?
If you and your fellow disputant would be willing to talk about your dispute and present your cases via telephone, Skype or in-person in Los Angeles, email email@example.com with the details of your case and your telephone number.
No case is too small, but disputes should be actual. There is no need to be a performer, be funny, or have a funny case. Just a genuine disagreement that needs settling by an ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY.
Again, that email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist podcast and G4 TV's Web Soup joins Jesse and Jordan to talk about the worldwide waffle crisis, the first robin of spring and more. Plus Judge John Hodgman and the case of "is chili a soup?"
Judge John Hodgman was due to render a decision in the upcoming episode of Jordan, Jesse GO!, but because of severe illness, explained below, he has chosen to issue a written rather than oral decision.
Ilia writes in:
Do my boyfriend and I have an obligation to let his mother, brother, and two small yappy dogs stay at our (600 sq. ft.) place during the holidays?
Boyfriend says yes but a few Christmas' ago when we let them and their dogs stay one of her dogs was senile, had no teeth, and wore a diaper and when I tried to change it she tried to bite me. I say get a hotel.
Judge Hodgman responds:
First, let me apologize for not being able to provide you with a live answer, but I am very sick. I have lymph and blood draining from my left ear due to an infection. (How are you?)
But do not be concerned about my lymph and blood loss. Even with a low-lymph supply, I am able to quickly and fairly render judgment.
From an ethical point of view: you are not required to house your boyfriend's menagerie of relations and their dogs, no matter how small and yappy they all may be. This is, of course, a standard and accepted obligation of marriage. But you are not married: you are merely living in sin. If he wants to force his family on you for the holidays, I say he can come up with a ring first.
From a practical point of view, you may still be tempted to offer them lodging, insofar as it is the nice thing to do and will keep the peace between you, your boyfriend, and his family. But this is only putting a diaper on a dying, senile dog, as we say in Hollywood. It is a matter of physics, not of opinion: 600 square feet is not enough to house you all.
It may suit your boyfriend to deny this reality in order to avoid conflict with his own mother; but it is your job as his life companion and sinful co-habitant to help him grow up and explain to his family what any sane adult could see: five sane adults and two dogs cannot share such a space comfortably.
If THEY resist this logic, you will know that they are insane, but I suspect you know this already. Under no circumstances are you required to house insane people--unless you are married.
But never mind the ethical and practical implications: what's the classy thing to do? I'd suggest apologizing for not being able to accommodate them and then buying them two rooms in a clean, dog friendly, inexpensive hotel or motel nearby. It may hurt to spend that kind of money, but consider the cost of doing business as a sane, unmarried adult.
That is all.