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Judge John Hodgman Episode 262: Capital T and That Rhymes With P and That Stands for Justice

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Judge John Hodgman and Bailiff Jesse Thorn clear the docket and rule on pizza ordering, when to watch the next season of Game of Thrones, cereal dust, learning to drive as an adult and more.

Judge John Hodgman is going on tour to dispense live justice with Bailiff Jesse Thorn! Mark your calendars and get your tickets! Check out the right hand side of this page or visit www.johnhodgman.com/tour!

Here's a list of Hong Kong recommendations from listener Joseph, in reference to the Baggage Claims episode:

Take the airport train into the city and get off at Kowloon station. The station is connected to the International Commerce Center, which has a bar on the top floor (the 118th) called Ozone. It's in the Ritz Carlton, and the concierge will offer to store your bags while you go up (it's free and not as awkward as it sounds). The bar itself is a little too sleek for its own good, but even if you're not a member of the Mossack Fonseca crowd, it's worth going for the view. Order a beer and go to the semi-enclosed outdoor area and you'll look across the harbor and see the world's most impressive skyline from its tallest building. Not bad!

In terms of food, Hong Kong is best know for two things: dim sum and siu mei (the roast meat you see hanging in restaurant windows). For dim sum, if you're not afraid to go local and fight their way past the hungry grandmas, I would go to Lin Heung (two locations: one in Central and the other in Sheung Wan, both on Hong Kong island). They're both very local and well established, but the staff probably won't know much English. The other option is to go to a more foreigner-friendly place where they can order from a menu. There's no shame in this option and I would suggest Dim Sum Square in Sheung Wan. Sheung Wan is our kind of hipster neighborhood, so you can check out the galleries and cafes and whatever on Tai Ping Shan Street.

For siu mei, the heavy hitter is Joy Hing, which is located near the bar district in Wan Chai. It's been around forever and has or had a Michelin star. I usually get a plate of rice and a mix of barbecue pork (char siu) and that crispy roasted pork with the snappy skin (siu yuk). But really the standard of all these siu mei places is quite high, so you can pop into any shop you see. My neighborhood spot-- Sun Yuen on Queen's Road West--is great too. Wherever you go, it shouldn't cost more than maybe 6 USD.

As for going out, my favorite spot is Visage 1. By day it's a single-chair salon on a hidden alley down some steps from one of the nightlight areas (Soho). On Saturday nights, however, it turns into a jazz(ish) bar. It gets incredibly cramped (there's no stage), but there's always excellent live music. You don't have to be a "jazz person" to enjoy it. I spent one of my best nights there getting jabbed in the ribs by the bow of a fiddler in a bluegrass band comprised of off-duty Disney performers.

I'd also suggest you stroll around Mong Kok, which is the neighborhood people think of when they think of Hong Kong. It's crowded and filled with those iconic neon lights (for now--the government is campaigning to reduce light pollution, so they won't be around much longer). The area around Public Square Street is a good spot for people watching and the kind of street life theater that makes it fun to live in a city: old people do their outdoor karaoke and there are a lot of sex shops and fortune tellers. There's one guy who uses a psychic bird to read your fortune. It can be a bit dodgy but you'll be fine. The neighborhood also is home to the city's Nepalese community and there's at least one great Filipino restaurant, Belinda's Food Trip, which I think is staffed by off-duty domestic helpers and the food is top notch. Fun to walk around in, especially at night.

Hong Kong isn't a cultural superpower, but there are some things to check out. Cantonese opera is a dying art, so you should catch a show at the Sunbeam Theatre before their lease expires. Nearby is Oi!, a exhibition space housed in a nice colonial building, and Parasite, a contemporary art center that gets artists from across Asia. Back across the harbor is an 'artist village' called Cattle Depot which has people doing interesting work; there's a great arts space there called Videotage which does a lot of installation art and new media stuff. And there's the burgeoning artistic hub in post-industrial spaces in Chai Wan, though I don't know much about it. The museums are all a bit meh, except for the charmingly awkward Geological Museum on the campus of Hong Kong University. Actually, across campus the University Museum has a decent collection of Chinese antiquities and paintings. Nice old-school tea room, too.

Finally, you should get out of the city. Two suggestions: hike/walk/ramble across a small mountain called Dragon's Back on the south side of HK island. It can be crowded (it's Hong Kong!) but it has beautiful views of the coast and you'll usually see a few paragliders in the sky. The trail ends near Shek O, a little beach town caught in the 60s. You can take a bus back to the city. Easy and worth it. The other choice is to spend a day on Cheung Chau island. The island doesn't allow cars and really there's just one fishing village, so it's pretty slow paced compared to the rest of HK. Good seafood too. You can walk around the island in a couple hours. There's also a decent beach there, which I think is where one of HK's few Olympic gold medalists learned to wind surf. Take the ferry from Pier 5 in Central to get there.

Also, it's a long flight, so there's plenty of time to read Ackbar Abbas' Hong Kong: Culture and Politics of Disappearance. I've never read a more insightful account of the forces that have shaped this city, both physically and culturally. It's probably at the library and worth a look.

One more tip: you definitely should not go to Lan Kwai Fong, our dystopian nightlife district, unless you're into getting vomited on by drunk Australians.

Thank you, Joseph!

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Judge John Hodgman Episode 261: Grand Theft Risotto

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Guests: 
Kenji Lopez-Alt

KLAXON KLAXON Judge John Hodgman is going on tour to dispense live justice with Bailiff Jesse Thorn! Mark your calendars and get your tickets! Check out the right hand side of this page or visit www.johnhodgman.com/tour! That is all.

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Mike brings the case against his mom, Maribeth. He says Maribeth knowingly took her daughter-in-law's recipes for a family cookbook and passed them off as her own. Maribeth says that the attribution was implied and there was no wrongdoing.

This week with Expert Witness Kenji López-Alt, Managing Culinary Director of Serious Eats and author of The Food Lab!

Thanks to Jonathan Reiter for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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EVIDENCE

Submitted by Mike

Click to view the PDF of The Brogan Family Cookbook

Judge John Hodgman Episode 260: All Laws are Off

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Judge John Hodgman rules on overfilling ice cube trays, the best spelling of Elliot for a baby, dog park etiquette, podcast recommendations and more.

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And Check out David's Patreon to crush Matt!

If you're curious to know about Magic the Gathering methods suggested by listeners, you can find them below!

Hannah suggested that the friends play:
"Constructed, in which players make their decks ahead of time with whatever cards they can get their hands on. This format is the problem the plaintiff is complaining about.
Or drafting, where they each open a pack of cards and take turns picking cards from those packs until each has built a suitable deck for play. At which point, the two play with these new decks that did not exist prior to the game at hand."

Mark suggested another mode of play:
"I've used this one in friendly, non-tournament play and it helps even the playing field. Everyone brings their favorite decks, and each player randomly selects one of the decks that was brought." Essentially, each player has an equal chance of using an "overpowered" deck during a given match.

and Gabe thought of these:
Reject rare draft
(in which each player donates 45 cards and then drafts cards. The rares are "donated", as everyone takes home the deck they draft and no attempt is made to return the rares to the original owners.)

Peasant
(In Peasant a deck may contain up to 5 uncommon cards and the rest must be common. Peasant Magic was created by Rob Baranowski who felt that players with limited access to cards should still have an opportunity for competitive play.)

Back draft
(where each player tries to build the worst deck possible, because each player gives another player that deck to play in the tournament.)

Sponsored Bonus Episode: Livin' That CALI415 Life

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Guests: 
Rhea Butcher

BONUS: Judge John Hodgman, Bailiff Jesse Thorn and Expert Witness and Automotive Enthusiast Rhea Butcher clear an all-automobile-related docket in a sponsored bonus episode of Judge John Hodgman. They'll weigh in on whether you can avoid being a jerk with a vanity plate, how to decide whose car to drive to the malt shop, new-car advice, and more!

Rhea Butcher's upcoming show Take My Wife will be available on Seeso.

Here's an amazing extended list of best practices from listener and car expert Nick:

* Warming up your car in the winter. In the vast majority of instances, this is unnecessary. This is something that people typically do for their own comfort. They claim that the warm-up is good for the car, but they tell themselves that to assuage their guilt about wasting fuel, polluting unnecessarily, and perhaps doing more harm than good to their car. The crux, for most of these people, is dishonesty and laziness. The car is designed to be warmed up by driving gently until normal operating temperature is reached.

Exceptions include: older carbureted vehicles, sub-zero temperatures, some turbocharged vehicles

* Proper air conditioning use. The proper way to cool a car’s interior quickly after it’s been baking in the sun is to turn the A/C to the coldest setting, set the blower motor to high, be sure the intake is in the fresh air position (not recirculate), and roll all the windows down. This is the fastest way to get the car comfortably cool. I have a friend who refuses to believe this, claiming that the best practice is to keep the windows up. He is wrong and will stay wrong.

Exceptions include: rain, insect swarm, otherwise foul circumstances

A note on fresh air vs. recirculate: the best strategy is to keep the setting on fresh air, using the recirculate setting sparingly as conditions dictate. Keeping the selector set to recirculate all the time can lead to the car smelling stale, making the car’s owner “that guy” with the gross car. The smell comes on slowly enough that “that guy” is the last one to know how gross he is.

* Fast lane etiquette. The primary purpose of the far left lane is passing. Cruising in the left lane is not only rude and entitled, it often leads to clusters of traffic and encourages frustrated drivers to attempt to make up for lost time by speeding. Furthermore, the fast lane is no place to prove a point to the car behind you. The proper thing to do is make way for faster cars should they approach from behind, helping to prevent traffic clusters. The faster car, after remaining behind the slower car for a sensible amount of time, is permitted a quick flash of the headlights to signal the driver in front. That driver’s responsibility is to make way without taking offense.

Exceptions include: HOV lanes, heavy traffic, surface roads

* Clearing snow and ice before driving. All piled snow should be removed from the vehicle in a way which doesn’t cause damage to the paint. In most cases, a brush will suffice. Once bulk of the snow has been removed, every window and mirror on the car should be cleared entirely, along with every exterior light (brake lights, headlights, turn signals, etc.).

No exceptions.

Thanks, Nick!

Judge John Hodgman Episode 259: No Acquitting for Taste

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Abtin brings the case against his girlfriend Kelsey over the decor in their new apartment. Abtin wants to go modern and classy. Kelsey says that would be boring and wants furnishings that are more quirky and unique.

BONUS: In reference to the docket item submitted by home-schooled fantasy writer Hunter in Episode 252, we have an audio letter from the Fresh Bananaman Jonathan Niederer. Listen here!

Thanks to Karen Polowick for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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EVIDENCE

Submitted by Abtin

Judge John Hodgman Episode 258: In Moto Parentis

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Leigh files suit against her son Duncan. Duncan is ready to take to the open road on a motorcycle. His parents aren't fans of the idea, and want him to wait until he's older and can shoulder the cost and risk on his own.

Thanks to James Hupp for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

Or send in your case at www.maximumfun.org/jjho or by emailing hodgman@maximumfun.org!

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Judge John Hodgman Episode 256: Baggage Claims

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Ty files suit against her partner Zach. Zach is obsessed with earning and using airline points and miles. Ty also likes to travel, but she wants to give up the crazy schemes and choose their vacation destinations and itineraries the "normal" way. Who's right? Who's wrong?

Thanks to David Stephens for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

Or send in your case at www.maximumfun.org/jjho or by emailing hodgman@maximumfun.org!

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Judge John Hodgman Episode 255: Anecdontal Evidence

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Guests: 
Teresa McElroy

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for your support during the MaxFunDrive! We won't bother you for another year. And if you missed it, you can still join anytime at www.maximumfun.org/donate. We always appreciate your support.

With expert witness Teresa McElroy of Shmanners! Bob brings the case against his fiancee Alessandra. They have a "no boring stories" policy when they are at home together. Now Alessandra wants an exception for stories about the workplace. Should they change the rules? Only one man can decide.

Thanks to Jesse Huston for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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Judge John Hodgman Episode 254: Greasy Rider

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Guests: 
Alton Brown

We're going strong in the second week of MaxFunDrive!!

Become a member today and support the production of Judge John Hodgman every week. This show could not exist without your support!

During MaxFunDrive, we hope you'll share your thoughts about the show with us and your friends. You can enter to win an the Breville Smart Oven in our Twitter contest - just Tweet the reason you give to MaxFun, or why others should, with the hashtag #ToastToMaxFun and the link www.maximumfun.org/donate.

Plus Judge Hodgman is still doing his Instagram shoutouts to donors at the leadership level - hear more about it on this episode.

With Special Expert Witness Alton Brown! Stephanie brings the case against her partner Jeff, who works as a chef. Jeff will often leave his smoky and bacon-y aprons and detritus in his car. Stephanie thinks that the car should remain neat and clean; Jeff says the mess is manageable, and comes with the job. Who's right? Who's wrong?

You can find Alton Brown on his website (where you can find recipes, tourdates and more) and on Twitter!

Thanks to Jon Combs for naming this week's episode!

Judge John Hodgman Episode 253: Decease and Desist

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It's MaxFunDrive time! Become a member today and support the production of Judge John Hodgman every week. This show could not exist without your support!

During MaxFunDrive, we hope you'll share your thoughts about the show with us and your friends. You can enter to win an the Breville Smart Oven in our Twitter contest - just Tweet the reason you give to MaxFun, or why others should, with the hashtag #ToastToMaxFun and the link www.maximumfun.org/donate.

You can meet up with other fans on MaxFun Meetup Day, March 22nd! Find one in your area here, or email us if you want to set one up in your city.

Plus Judge Hodgman is still doing his Instagram shoutouts to donors at the leadership level - hear more about it on this episode.

We premiere a new segment this week, Status Conference, plus a dad goes on trial. Marc brings the case against his wife Polly. They had a beloved dog who passed away several years ago. Marc would like to assemble and prepare a display of the skeleton in memory of their pet. Polly thinks this is weird and gross. Who's right? Who's wrong?

Thanks to Korey Atterberry for suggesting this week's title! To suggest a title for a future episode, like Judge John Hodgman on Facebook. We regularly put a call for submissions.

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