Judge John Hodgman Episode 100: The Book Case


Julie brings the case against her husband Jason. Julie says Jason is a book hoarder, letting old novels and textbooks rot away in their garage. He says he's acquired a great collection of books and is working his way through the stacks. Who is right? Who is wrong? ONLY ONE MAN CAN DECIDE.




Special thanks to listener Steve Ciabattoni for suggesting a variation of this week's title!

Audio-Visual Cat Evidence as Referenced in the Docket

Submitted for consideration by Shaun, seeking clarification on Abyssinian Cats

Abyssinian Cat Video - Docket Clearing, Judge John Hodgman Episode 100 from Jesse Thorn on Vimeo.


Cat affection?

Naw, that looks like that cat is tasting that lady. I am unconvinced of the animal's good intentions. Especially amongst all the "ows."

Happy 100!

This was my first Judge John Hodgman episode and I feel like it was made for me. I live with my partner in a 425 sq foot apartment and between the two of us we have well, well over 500 books (I tried to count and couldn't) and unlike the couple in question, NO GARAGE! I will strap him down and make him listen to this podcast. We must repent and stop going to black-market book stores.

Phobia or Fear?

I submit that the fear of floating freely outside a spacecraft IS a phobia for astronauts NOT because it would be remarkable for a teather to fail or for an astronaut to have to unhook themselves for some other reason (because this has happened and may therefore be a legitimate source of concern) BUT becuase it is a situation so easily rectified.

According to the principle of conservation of momentum, P(initial) = P(final), therefore all a floating astronaut would have to do to be propelled towards the craft would be to throw a small object (perhaps a wrench or other tool) behind them. The math is very simple, as long as you have a basic understanding of physics & vectors - a 150 kg astronaut throwing a 1kg wrench at a velocity of 10 m/s in the direction opposite the craft would be propelled towards the craft at a speed
(151 kg)(0 m/s) = (150kg)(x m/s) + (1 kg)(-10 m/s)
0 = (150)(x) - 10
10 = (150)(x)
10/150 = x
1/15 = x
.066 m/s = x
Therefore, if the astronaut were 5 meters from the craft, he would be back at the craft in 5/.066 = 75 s, or a little over a minute.

Astronauts, their ranks generally being composed of highly trained supermen (and women) who both fly fighter jets and earn PhDs in physics, would almost certainly know how to apply basic physics to get them out of this sort of jam, and would have no trouble thinking "on the fly", as it were. Only foolish non-astronaut mortals like us would be so silly as to be scared of such an occurrence.

Memory Palace

As somebody who works in the world of antiquarian books, I have a post-verdict defense to submit on behalf of the defendant.

Inspiration is often fleeting, and books are a physical reminder which may re-kindle (suppress the pun) an interest and allow one to organize one's thoughts. I suggest the defendant investigate Francis Yate's book The Art of Memory if he wishes to pursue this line of defense.

There are many famous precedents for accepting far MORE books into one's life, as evinced in Holbrook Jackson's an Anatomy of Bibliomania.

Jesse Huisken

Pee books

I have to say in relation to Bailiff Jesse's comment about the library not wanting you to hold onto your old books - please, please, please don't bring books that have pee on them to your public library. As a librarian, I can tell you we don't want them. We will throw them away if they have any variety of urine or other bodily fluids on them. (Especially cat pee.)

re pee books to library

Hey someone,

Bailiff Jesse just meant that if the guy in the case checked out a book from the library (with his philosophy that he can never get rid of books) then the library would be unhappy about that. Har har.


Phobia vs. Fear?

According to my favourite website phobialist.com which I use constantly to research for my own podcast, kenophobia is the irrational fear of voids or empty spaces, and astrophobia is the fear of celestial space.

Whereas, with regards to former 'N Sync member, the fear of music is melophobia.

Therefor I submit that the fear of going into space with Lance Bass might be astromelophobia.

Hottest regards,
Toren "Caustic Soda" Atkinson

No... thank you!

My thanks to the court for 100 episodes. I'm heading over to your fancy internet tip jar as we speak.

100 episodes? Might be time to finally add the mustache to the logo, eh?