Changelog & Friends – Episode #15

#define: a game of fake definitions

with Amal Hussein, Taylor Troesh & Lars Wikman

All Episodes

Jerod gathers a group of friends for our first game show experiment here on Changelog & Friends! This is a game of obscure jargon, fake definitions & expert tomfoolery. Our contestants checked their imposter syndrome at the door, because they either know what these words mean or they fake it ’til they make their peers think they do.



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Notes & Links

📝 Edit Notes


1 00:00 Let's play!
2 00:37 Game show & Friends
3 03:57 How to play
4 06:16 Round 1: Megger
5 14:32 Round 2: Rubber Sheet Model
6 21:45 Round 3: Zeigarnik Effect
7 28:57 Sponsor: Passbolt
8 33:16 Round 4: NMR
9 42:49 Round 5: Riemann Hypothesis
10 51:07 Round 6: Zitterbewegung
11 1:01:12 Round 7: Give it a GOOG
12 1:09:09 Sponsor: Statsig
13 1:12:52 Round 8: Caisson
14 1:18:10 Round 9: How do you do?
15 1:27:28 Round 10: Petechiae
16 1:36:58 And the winner is...
17 1:37:29 Winner's circle
18 1:39:06 Game feedback
19 1:43:03 Coming up next


📝 Edit Transcript


Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧

Welcome to #define, our very first game show experiment here on Changelog & Friends. This is a game of obscure jargon, fake definitions, and expert tomfoolery. Our contestants checked their impostor syndrome at the door, because they either know what these words mean, or they’re going to fake it till they make their peers think that they do. Let’s introduce our players in the order they will be playing. First up, our very own Amal Hussein from JS Party. Welcome, Amal.

This is not the way I should be finding out that I’m going first, I’m just putting it out there… [laughter] But okay.

I should have prepped you on that? Is that what you’re saying?

Yeah. That’s okay. I really – I want to go last. We’re gonna reverse this link list, okay?

Gosh… It’s like classic Amal. She’s always got a problem with something you’re doing. She’s like against Jerod, every time.

I know. We’ve played game shows with you before. We know that the rules will be changing.

Hello, everyone. Meet the person who will be going last, which is me… [laughs]

Playing second, we have Taylor Troesh from Welcome back, Taylor.

Howdy. Very nice to see you guys.

Nice to see you as well. After reading your blog and your satire, I figured “This guy has a way with words.” And so I think you’re well-positioned to do well in this particular game. What do you think?

I like words. I feel like they often are against me… [laughs]

Okay. You couldn’t think of the word there, I could tell. Up next - who’s that? It’s our old friend, Lars Wikman. Welcome to the show, Lars.

The pronunciation just gets better and better.

I want to do it well. Am I doing it well?

I think you’re pretty good on the first name now. It’s kind of weird coming out of an American still, but I couldn’t tell you what’s weird about it anymore. So you’re doing well.

Okay, I’ll take that.

It’s like a fine wine… He’s just aging, but the aging is, like, his pronunciation. It just keeps getting better.

I started off doing it your way as a bit of a joke, because it’s difficult for me to do it. But then over time, I’m like “Well, I’m getting a little bit better at it, and he likes it… So let’s just take away the satire and just call him Lars”, you know?

Yeah, that’s my name.

So I appreciate that I’m doing well. Okay.

It’s a pleasure to be here, as always.

For you Americans in the audience, it’s Lars Wikman.

Lars Wikman.

So if you’ve heard that name before, that’s also him. Finally, playing last, because hey, we’re gentlemen around these parts, it’s Adam Stacoviak…

How am I still going first?

Amal’s denied… [laughter]

Yeah, help…

I can’t change the game. The game has been decided; you can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.

Alright then, whatever…

On video I’m waving my tiny hand…

Adam is here… He was bragging before he started that he got much sleep, he’s done his stretches, he’s got his coffee…

That’s right.

He’s ready to dominate.

Mentally and physically prepared to dominate. And I have my tiny hand to prove it.

He’s also wearing a Texas hat. Like a good Texan, showing that Texan pride, you know?

You’ve gotta rep, you know?

He’s gonna be calling him Lars Wikman.

Lars Wikman. That’s how I say it. Sorry…

There you go…

That’s fine…

And of course, I will be your host. My name is Jerod. Here’s how the game works. I will provide a word; that word also has a definition. These words are in the arena of STEM. The original conceit was that they would be old, obscure computer science jargon. Unfortunately, there’s just not enough of that, and so I broadened it to anything in the world of science, technology, engineering, medicine, maybe even science fiction. We shall see. But they are generally technical terms. You may know the definition, you probably won’t. If you know the definition of the word, you will submit that to me, and you will receive three points. If you don’t know the definition of the word, you will submit a fake definition that is plausible, and we will gather them all together and we will read all the definitions, including the real one. Then, you will take turns - and Amal will go first - guessing which definition you think is correct. If you do guess the correct definition, you get two points. For each person you fool into guessing your definition, you get one point. There are 10 rounds of play. The person with the most points at the end wins. And by the way, I’m also playing, because if all four of you fail to guess the correct definition in a particular round, I get five points.

This is like – the house always wins, kind of situation.

We’ll see who wins. So I have a vested interest. Any questions before we kick right in?

Can you do the rules again, one more time?

No. [laughter]

Well, just the first rule. What’s the first rule? Or the first, how do you win? You either – you make somebody guess yours, or you fool them into guessing the plausible?

Yeah, I’ll do the points again.

Yeah, do that, please.

So for each round, there’s a word. If you submit to me the correct definition of the word, or close enough that I know you know what it means, you get three points right away.

So that’s three. If instead you guessed the correct definition once we’ve compiled them all, then you get two points. For each person that guesses your fake definition, you get one point. So in any particular round, you could get the two, and you could also get some ones if people guess yours. Makes sense?

Makes sense.

[06:07] Okay. And 10 rounds, the person with the most points at the end wins. I think we’ll figure it out a little bit as we go. Let’s start this game of #define. Round one. The word for round one is megger. Please submit to me your definition of the word megger.

And that’s not to be confused with meager, right? To be clear.

Correct. Megger. I also put it in the chat if you want to read it. You’ll DM those to me whenever you’re ready. Take your time, think it through. Try to sound like a dictionary. Lars is in. Oh, no. You’ve sent me a bunch of plus signs.

I needed to demarcate the conversation line to the game.

Oh, I see. You’ve started a new segment of our conversation, wherein you are going to define things. I understand. Alright, I’ve got Lars’es… Taylor, I’ve deleted your message, because you’ve put it in the group chat…

Oh, my gosh…

Did anybody see it?

I copied it and deleted it. So I have it, and nobody else saw it. So from now on, please DM that to me.

I am so sorry. I have limited real estate here on my screen.

All good. I thought that might happen, so I was kind of waiting for someone to say something in there…

Sorry about that.

All good. As long as no one saw it, we are legit.

I’m pretty sure this is actually just the nickname of a girl named Meg…

This is where I feel like I need a po-po-poker po-po-poker face… It’s like “Hm, am I lying? Am I not?”

That’s not what she says though…

Isn’t it poker face?

No. No, that’s not what she says.

It’s poker face, isn’t it? That’s the name of the song.

No, sorry. You’re all wrong.

What does she say?

What does she say?

School us.

Is there like a not-safe-for-work version?

Yeah, it’s not safe for work.

Oh, my god…

This cannot be on the pod.

This was supposed to be the safe for work version, so…

Well, that is the safe for work version then. And you’re right.

Alright, everybody’s in?

Alright, I have all definitions. I will read them all now. Listen closely, you’re going to pick which one you believe is correct, and you’ll tell it to me in order. So a megger is a math ledger for storing large datasets, typically known to be a precursor of blockchain. Used by mathematicians and academics. A megger is a specialized instrument used to measure electrical insulation resistance. A megger is also known as – sorry… [laughs]

Is this the same one, or what is this?

Sorry. Yes, this is another definition.


What’s happening here?

It’s the next one, for sure. It has to be the next one. It seems legit.

It seems legit… [laughs] Alright.

Yeah, this is not the correct one.

Wow, Jerod is red. I’ve never seen you turn red, honestly. Okay. Wow… This is the hardest I’ve seen you laugh all these years, you know?

I’m trying to read this with a straight face… With a poker face, and it’s impossible. [laughs]

Wow, this is a – we need like a robot Jerod.

I’m gonna read a different one and come back. A megger is a small, often wooden box, used for storing a tangled nest of wires. Amal, you’re not helping here…

[10:05] Sorry. [laughter] I’m just realizing, all these sounds so official, but like clearly, people are making s**t up, you know?

Totally. A megger is a hardware device for measuring network traffic in data centers, or also known as – gosh, this one’s funny… Also known as megger flask - a tool used to mix a hydrous solutions together, with the goal of achieving a homogenous solution. Okay… [laughs]

What’s so funny about that?

That’s just chemistry.

It’s good. It’s good.

It’s good.

It’s anhydrous, for what it’s worth…

I know, but I couldn’t tell if that was a typo or not… [laughs]

No, the typo was with the goal of achieving a homogenous solution. Not is achieving… [laughter]

Okay, fair enough.

I’ll fix that…

So Amal wrote that one.


Well, maybe. Alright, we will start… We promise that other rounds will go better, as the host… It’s just “also known as megger flask” just got me, for some reason. It was just awesome. Alright, we will go to Amal. So do you need any definitions reread? Do you remember them? Which one do you think is the correct definition?

What was the one that you read before mine – well, what was the one that you read before? [laughs]

I read all of them before yours… [laughter]

Oh, boy…

Oh, gosh…

Okay, a hardware device for measuring network traffic in data centers?

Is that the one that you’re thinking of? I can reread some more… A specialized instrument used to measure electrical insulation resistance. A small, often wooden box, used for storing a tangled mess of wires. Also known as megger flask, a tool used to mix anhydrous solutions together, with the goal of achieving a homogenous solution.

Yeah, I’m gonna go with that anhydrous. Let’s go with that anhydrous one. That sounds real legit.

Alright, Amal goes for anhydrous. We now turn to Taylor. Which definition do you think is correct?

I think it was the first one.

The first one was “A math ledger for storing large datasets.”

Yeah. It sounds right.

Alright. We now turn to Lars. What do you think is the correct definition?

I liked the part where you said insolence, so I’m going with the insulation thing.

[laughs] Okay. Lars goes for insolence. And Adam. Which one do you think is correct?

Hm. What was the second one again, Jerod? Number two?

A hardware device for measuring network traffic in data centers?

Yes, I’ll go with that one.

Alright. All have been submitted. Okay, Adam, we’ll start with you. You thought that a megger is a hardware device for measuring network traffic in data centers. I’m sorry, that was Lars’es definition. So we’ll give one point to him. Good job, Lars. And Lars, you thought it was a specialized instrument used to measure electrical insulation resistance… And you are correct. So you get two points.

I’ll take it.

I’m glad my instincts are correct, because that’s what I would have really picked, if I wasn’t trying to…

Taylor went with the math ledger. That was Adam’s definition. So Adam gets a point for having Taylor guess his. And Amal’s definition - she voted for herself, which you cannot actually do, so it’s zero points awarded…

It’s a tactic…

It’s a tactic to convince people that yours is the correct definition. Unfortunately…

Trying to legitimize it, yeah.

Yeah. Unfortunately, I had already bombarded you with laughter on yours… I will work harder not to do that next time. I apologize.

Give her the point. You tanked her opportunity.

You did. You did. I would agree.

Fair enough. Fair enough. That’s a good point. I will give you one point. So after round one…

Can you read the correct definition again? What was the true definition?

[14:00] Yes. A megger is a specialized instrument used to measure electrical insulation resistance. And that was hard for me to read as well.

Also known as insolence…

And this is separate from the megger flask. This is not the same definition. It’s a whole different one.

A megger flask is Amal’s creation.

Nice. That was good.

For some reason, just because that definition started with kind of redefining the word, like “Also known as a megger flask”, I was like – it just made me laugh. Alright. We will move now to round two. Your word for round two - rubber sheet model. More than one word, but it’s a term. Rubber sheet model. Please submit your definitions for a rubber sheet model now.

I’m literally sweating, guys, I’m laughing so hard. It’s also warm in here, so that didn’t help, but man… I lost it. I never thought the hardest part of this would be actually reading out the definitions aloud. I’m going to increase the font size. Also, as an FYI, I’m reading these in like random orders. So when you say “Can you read the second one again?”, it’s very difficult for me to know what you’re referring to. Reference a concept in there at least…

It sounds like a you problem, Jerod.

It is, but it’s also one that I don’t think I can solve in the next few minutes…

Random axis…

It’s like, somebody forgot to – you’re just using the wrong data structure, you know?

Yeah, the order is undefined.


That’s right.

If you keep asking for an offset, you’re just gonna get one of them.


The best part about how funny that answer was, that definition was, is that it was actually a serious, straight across the bow…

Yeah, it wasn’t that ridiculous, was it? For some reason, just “also known as megger flask”, just… It made me think of Megalodon, or something… I don’t know. I started thinking about a giant shark-like creature.

Well, my other definition was gonna be like a portable centrifuge, but then I was like “That sounds way too science fiction.” Also, who wants a portable centrifuge? I mean, maybe if you’re like a gourmet barista maybe, where you’re like “I want to mix the perfect coffee…”

Alright here comes Adam’s. We’re ready to rock. Let me just put this in. A rubber sheet model is used in factory injection molds during the early prototyping phase of a metal cast. Or - a rubber sheet model is a physical analogy for demonstrating the effect of mass and gravitation in space-time. Or - a framework used to provide a template for bootstrapping a wide variety of rubber sheets with consistency and uniformity as a primary objective. Or - a concept in software design that allows for flexibility and expansion in various directions. Finally, a model used for creating gypsum molds for casting in other materials. This round we start with Taylor. Which of those sounds the most correct to you?

Well, we have two that I think are around molding, so I’m gonna pick one of those. Maybe pick the gypsum one, because I think gypsum is a little bit too random for somebody to think of, you know…

Okay, a model used for creating gypsum molds for casting other materials. That’s Taylor’s vote. We’re going out to Lars. What are you thinking?

Okay, I’ll go with the other molding one then, the factory one.

Using factory injection molds during the early prototyping phase of a metal cast?

I like “an early prototyping phase.” Let’s go with that.

There we go. Alright. Adam, what are you thinking?

What was the last one again?

I don’t know…

[17:58] Maybe copy and paste on our main channel, so I can visualize and read them afterwards and choose one.

I don’t know if that’s good. That requires more massaging by me of the texts.

It does. What a shame…

Just listen.

Alright. What was the first one again? That sounded the most official.

Used in factory injection molds during the early prototyping phase of a metal cast? That’s the first one I read.

Let’s go with that one.

Alright. Lars and Adam, both going for that one. Amal?

What was the template one? Could you read that again?

A framework used to provide a template for bootstrapping a wide variety of rubber sheets with consistency and uniformity as a primary objective.

Okay, I think that. Let’s go with that.

The criteria on which we select is uncanny. It’s like, how do you even make a selection?

Well, how are you guys making your selections?

Must have rubber hand. That’s my key here. This is my strong hand. Take my strong hand.

Alright, Amal, you thought that a rubber sheet model was a framework used to provide a template for bootstrapping a wide variety of rubber sheets with consistency and uniformity as the primary objective. I’m sorry, but that was Adam’s definition.

That’s a falsehood.

I should have known from the reaction that he had. He was like “Ha-ha-ha-ha!” [laughs]

Oh, reading faces…

Yeah, that was obvious…

Valid, valid. Reading the face.

Well, yeah. I mean, he was just like “Oh, I wonder what’s the criteria that people use to select…” But anyways. But it’s fine, because I still won, in some other way, which we’ll find out soon. So…

Ohh, she’s bustin’ it. Taylor, you thought a rubber sheet model would be a model used for creating gypsum, because nobody would come up with gypsum. But, actually Lars came up with gypsum, so that was Lars’ definition.

You’re not the only one who likes words…


This is a nerd podcast.

This is, totally.

I mean, you should expect nerdy words. The obscure words have their shining moment today, I think.

Like injection molding?

That’s correct. Yes.

Meanwhile, both Lars and Adam thought that a rubber sheet model was used in factory injection molds during the early prototyping phase of a metal cast… But as was forecast by Amal, that was her definition, so she gets two points.

I knew it wasn’t my casting thing, because I made that one up. [laughter] So I picked the other one.

That’s awesome.

Well, Amal can brag all she wants, but I get the last laugh, because nobody guessed the correct definition…

Oh, my God…

…for rubber sheet model… Which is a concept in software design that allows for flexibility and expansion in various directions.

Isn’t that funny that none of us picked the software?

Yeah, that sounds fake.

Yeah, that sounds hella fake.

So five points for me… And it turns out I’m winning, after two rounds.

I said the space-time one because I was thinking of that bed sheet. They always put the planets on that bed sheet in the physics videos…

Oh, yes.

And so I was thinking that’s what they were talking about.

I’m not aware.

But this is a software thing…

Citation needed on the software thing.

Someone once came up with it in IBM, and it was never actually used.

Right, yeah. It’s like in a textbook somewhere, so it’s official, but it’s not actually used in real life. You know what’s so funny - I love that this is actually beyond the world of software, because I think the answers are more interesting.

Yeah, it was too pointed with just software. I think this makes it a lot more difficult and interesting. Alright, after two rounds, in first place is Jerod, with five; second place is Lars with four, third place is Amal with three. Adam has two, and Taylor, scoreless, I believe after two rounds, if my math is correct…


[laughs] Okay, well –

I’m going for negative.

Well, there’s plenty of time left. Let’s move now to round three. Our word for round three, or our term, is - Zeigarnik effect.

[21:54] This is when I really wish I was Greek, or took like a Latin class, you know, to break down a word…

I don’t think effect is a Latin word…

You don’t think it is? I mean, somebody who’s –

I think it’s a name, and an effect.

I think the Greeks would argue that everything is Greek. It’s all Greek!

Jerod, can I get the country of origin?

Yeah, I’m trying to find our direct message… It’s disappeared on me; this new Slack has just got some issues… Here it is; into there. That’s the term - Zeigarnik effect.

Oh, interesting.

Oh, hey… Zeigarnik…


Sorry, nik, yeah.

Still early there.

I have it in front of me and I still couldn’t spell it. [laughter]

Just the name of some Swiss guy - I’m assuming Swiss, or something - doesn’t give a lot to go off of.

Here’s what I could probably do… I could probably randomize the order now, and put the numbers in my spreadsheet, in the order in which I’ll read them… And then can ask me to read the first or second one again, and then I’ll have them –

Oh, looks like you fixed your problem.

I love that.

You’re putting keys in your dictionary.

I love Adam just continued to do it anyways, even though I asked him not to do that… He’s like “Can you do the first one? What was the last one?” I’m like “Dude, I have no spatial –”

That’s the order I heard it, so I’m sorry. It’s my reference point.

It’s fine. No, I understand it makes sense for you as the –

And I’m going to continue to go that route until you change.

I was convinced it was just a stone cold troll, was my read on it.

Yeah, I thought he was trolling, to a certain degree…

I was totally trolling. That’s how you got to do it man.

Alright, I have one definition here. I’m still missing three.

I felt slow this time.

Well, as slow as you were, you were still the first one in.

I think Zeigarnik just doesn’t give people much to work off of.

It took me an extra long amount of time because I knew exactly what the definition was, and…

Oh. Right.

You had to type it up.

I had to search really deep in my archives…

Oh, wow. That almost sounded convincing. [laughter]

I had to recall all the facts about Alfred Zeigarnik…

Yeah, yeah.

Copy-paste to spreadsheet, put in order of numbers… Answer number one is…

Alright. The Zeigarnik effect is a repulsion of two basic liquids due to polar functional groups. The tendency to remember uncompleted tasks better than completed ones. The state change between polymatter particles when opposing magnets forces are applied to metallic objects; discovered by classical physicist Edgar Zeigarnik. A measured result of extreme sensory deprivation combined with high altitude sickness. The impacts are feeling colors, and hearing shapes. Or - the phenomenon where an electrical motor can be run in reverse to absorb energy; commonly used in electric vehicles for regenerative breaking. Lars, you get to go first this time. Which of these do you believe is the Zeigarnik effect?

I like the one where you see colors and hear shapes, or whatever.

Okay. A measured result of extreme sensory deprivation combined with high altitude sickness; the impacts are feeling colors and hearing shapes. We go now to Adam. Which do you think is the real definition?

Number two.

Number two, the tendency to remember uncompleted tasks better than completed ones?

That’s right.

Is that what you’re referring to?

Alright. And Amal? How about yourself?

Could you repeat the physicist one again?

Yes. The state change between polymatter particles when opposing magnetic forces are applied to metallic objects. Discovered by classical physicist Edgar Zeigarnik.

Yeah, that sounds interesting. Let’s go with that.

Alright, that’s Amal. Last up, Taylor. What are you thinking?

[26:18] I think Zeigarlic effect is when they put too much garlic on your pasta, and it ends up being so good. Just so tasty.

Just so good.

I say “Bring me Zeigarlic.”

That one can’t be true, because there’s no such thing as too much.

There’s no too much garlic. Exactly. Never too much.

Can’t be real.

But I think the Zeigarnik effect is the memory one.

Number two.

The one that Adam voted for.

Number two, exactly.

Alright. So Adam and Taylor. Okay.

It’s tempting, but I’m gonna stick with the mind. I’m curious…

I was tempted by the memory one. The Edgar one, I feel like someone put a name in there to seem serious…

You know what? Hold on… Can I change my vote?

Oh, darn it. I’m sorry, for the editors, let me say darn it, instead of what I said before.

You can say “Zeigarnit!”

Yeah, Zeigarnit?

Zeigarnit. Well, somebody put the word Edgar Zeigarnik in there in order to fool Amal, and that person was Adam.

Oh, for sure. Yeah. 100%. I realized that. I was like “Yeah.” Adam, I keep falling for your BS. Something’s going on here.

Ah, I’m so believable.

I know.

It’s the tiny hand.

Meanwhile, the impact of feeling colors and hearing shapes was voted by Lars, but that was Amal’s baby. You made that one up, Amal. Nice job.

I know. I’m on a streak.

I thought that was pretty cool. The impacts are feeling colors and hearing shapes.

That happened to my friend that was having a baby. She was like giving birth, and then – it’s called synesthesia, or something like that. I don’t know. That’s the actual real term. Yeah, anyways…

Adam and Taylor teamed up to vote for the tendency to remember uncompleted tasks better than completed ones. That is the actual Zeigarnik Effect. Good job, guys.

Oh, yes!

Nice! I’m out of the zero point –

You are on the board, Taylor. So two points for Taylor, three points for Adam, because he had the correct answer, plus one person guessed his. Amal scores one, and Lars throws up a zilt show in round three.

Welcome to the club.

So after three rounds, there’s a tie for first place between Jerod and Adam… This is kind of poignant; this is kind of correct. This is our show after all. Lars has four, Amal has four, and Taylor’s on the board with two, but any person’s game here, because we have six rounds left to play.

We move to round four.

Break: [28:58]

This is a TLA round, a little bit different. This is a three-letter acronym. I’m simply going to provide an acronym. There’s also a correct use of that acronym, with a definition. So you are going to come up with your own acronym, and then define what it is. The acronym is NMR. So that’s your three-letter acronym, NMR. You will provide to me what it stands for, and what that is. Submit to me your answers whenever you have them. This is still in the same general category of STEM. Come on, y’all. I’m looking for some acronyms here.

Expand those TLAs…

So close. So close.

Taylor provided three of them, and no definitions.

I’m giving you a fourth… [laughter]

He’s brainstorming in my DMs…

Jerod, how do you handle the case where a TLA is overloaded? Because we could submit the correct one, and it might not be the one you have.

No, the one I have is the correct one. Your premise isn’t correct.

Oh, my God… Alright.

I love this one…

Can I google a spelling? I’m gonna say yes.

Well, just spell it phonetically, because I’m the one who has to pronounce it. No one’s gonna read it.

Really? Okay.

Just don’t spell it funny, because then he’ll ruin in.

Yeah, exactly.

Don’t say “a.k.a Megalodon”, or whatever you said.

Megger flask…

Megger flask… Alright, I see Adam is typing…

Last-minute change in chat, but it’s correct.

The metagame is of course figuring out how Jerod selected these, and whether he went for interesting or boring terms.

Alright, we’ve got our last one, I believe… Alright, we’re all in. Ready to go?

Our three letter acronym is NMR. Neuromagnetic resonance, a subprocess of magnetic resonance imaging, MRI; used to specifically calibrate each neurocapture node, which captures full-spectrum images of active brainwaves. Number two, neuromotor response, a wide set of neurophysical responses used as a category in medicine. Number three, nephrological micellar retusa. That’s a hard one to pronounce. A disease of the kidneys, where the filtering tubules develop clogs and cause return of unfiltered blood into circulation. Number four, neuromuscular reeducation - a physical therapy technique used to improve neuromuscular control and coordination in patients.

How is that NMR?

Neuromuscular reeducation.

Reeducation? [laughs]

Really pushing the boundaries there.

I’m gonna pass on that one… [laughs] But okay.

And last, but not least, number five…

Gosh, here he goes again.

No More Roombas - a movement to reclaim our floors from the tyranny of robots.

Hey man, that sounds way more legit than anything, anything that was read before this. That sounds so legit.

Alright, we start with Adam this round. Adam, which definition do you think –

The correct definition is number two.

You’re thinking neuromotor response?

That’s right.

Yeah, I think so too, for what it’s worth… But you didn’t ask me yet.

Alright. Well, I’ll ask you next. Amal, what do you think? Number two?

Neuromuscular response. Because that’s like –


Yes. Motor. Same thing.

All of the first one sounds pretty interesting, too.

Adam and Amal are on the neuromotor response. Taylor, which one are you thinking?

You know what has motors? Roombas.


We need to rid ourselves of them.

That’s true.

Let’s go with that kidney one. I don’t think Jerod would have picked an acronym he couldn’t pronounce, but I’m drawn to it.

[38:05] Okay, you’re thinking of nephrological micellar retusa?


I mean, it would make sense for an acronym too, right? Like, who wants to say that? Just call it NMR.

That’s right.

That is a hard thing to say. That’s true. Okay. Lars?

I am tempted by that one as well… Can you read it again?

Nephrological micellar retusa - a disease of the kidneys where the filtering tubules develop clogs and cause return of unfiltered blood into circulation.

Do I feel like one of us wrote that? I’m skeptical… I’ll go with that one.

Lars is in… We have some lumping here, which is good for your host, because the more you guys lump, the least you spread the field out across all definitions. There’s a metagame for you…

Adam, should we spread out? I feel like we should spread out.

Yeah, I think somebody should pick number one.

I think you should. I think you should pick number one.

Adam, do you want to switch to number one?

I’ve already chosen number two. I feel like, Amal, you should go with number one. Because they’re both in the same realm. They’re both in like the neuro somethings.

Let’s do the opposite of ladies first here, okay?


Adam first.


Number one for the number one Texan in my heart, you know?

I really believe number one is not the answer, in consideration of number two. So I’m gonna stay with number two.

Okay, let’s start with Taylor and Lars, this lump of cells filtered around the kidney…

Oh, gosh…

Thinking there’s no way I would pick one that I couldn’t pronounce, but slugging it anyways… And you would have been right, because I never would have picked that one. I can’t even say it. That’s Amal’s. She wrote that one.

I knew it was Amal’s, because she’s been laughing every time you say tubular… She’s like laughing. Tubula.

I couldn’t even say that one. I was trying my best. Did I pronounce it right?

Tubules. I don’t know if I spelled that correctly. You did say correctly. Adam is just giving you a hard time, because Adam is trash, okay? [laughs]

Okay… Oh, okay…

Fightin’ words, okay? [laughs]

Well, let’s find out about that trash, because you and him teamed up on neuromotor response, which happens to be Lars’es definition, so you’re both also wrong.

Aww… You know, Lars, I’m so happy to see that you fooled both of us, really. You deserve this, buddy. Honestly – especially after falling for my things multiple times now… So it’s great.

I like it that you put a lot of definition into yours. I make mine really, really dull, and it seems to be working okay…

Well, no, I was just – I remember the first time I learned about nephrology, it was like my friend that was dating this medical resident, and I’m like “Oh, interesting. What are you specializing in?” And he’s like “Nephrology.” And he pointed to his kidneys, because no one knows what nephrology is… And I was like “Is that liver?” He’s like “No, it’s your kidneys. I’m a kidney specialist.” I’m like “Okay, great.” Whatever.

Pointing to just your organs… That’s like –

That’s a power move, you know?

Well, ophthalmologists do it too, because no one knows what – apparently, I guess the average American doesn’t know what an ophthalmologist is. So it’s whenever you meet an ophthalmologist, they’re like “Ophthalmology”, you know? Pointing to their eyes.

Yeah. I’m glad not all doctors point at the body part that they specialize in… Okay, well, the person smiling ear to ear here should be Jerod, because I score five points. Nobody got the actual correct answer, which was neuromuscular reeducation - a physical therapy technique.

What?! That sounded fake.

That’s very real. And the score is very real… So after four rounds, first place, Jerod with 10. Second place, Lars and Amal, tied with six. Adams slips into third with five, and Taylor’s still sitting on three.

That round really upset me.

Yeah, I think we need to all unite. Like, who cares who wins? It just can’t be Jerod, okay?

[41:58] Play the spread game? Are you gonna play the spread game?

See, the thing is, you have to go for the definitions that sound fake. Like Roombas.

[laughs] No more Roombas… I was laughing at that, because it was kind of silly… But the more I thought about it, it actually could be a legitimate thing.

A hundred percent.

Not in STEM.

Well, you know there’s the – what’s that fake conspiracy about the birds aren’t real, or something?

Oh, that’s a good one.

Also not STEM.

That’s totally STEM.

Yeah… [laughs]

I mean, I could see the Swiffers and mops of the world uniting… Because mops and Swiffers have been in battle, but like now they’ve joined forces against the Roombas.


So they’re like “Yeah, we don’t care.”

You think big broom?


Big broom put the lobby on?

That’s exactly right.


I think there’s inanimate objects unionizing right now, as we speak.

Alright, let’s move to round five. We are back to regular old terms. No acronyms on this one. Our word, our term for round five is Riemann hypothesis. Riemann hypothesis.

Riemann is a person, I would imagine, right?

I will not divulge…

Similar to the garlic effect…

Ziegarnik… [laughter] Ze garlic.

It’s the effect that documents how vampires won’t come near you if you wear garlic around your neck. It’s the garlic effect. No more Roombas… Someone should start that movement. I’m gonna google that, see if it exists.

I’ve been writing a piece about Roombas with fart spray used in military applications… And the big reveal is you have a US senator that has been acting very strangely recently. It turns out that he’s been a Roomba with fart spray the entire time.

Wait, what?

What do you mean he’s been a Roomba with fart spray?

Is he like a bioterrorist weapon, or something?

Is this like Ferris Bueller, where he acts like he’s in his room, but he’s not? …this guy just puts a Roomba with fart spray in his office, so you can’t see him, or… What’s going on here?

He’s wearing a trench coat, so nobody knows.

What does the fart spray have to do with this? I’m so confused. [laughter]

Military applications…

“He’s wearing a trench coat, so nobody knows…” [laughs] That reminds me, I saw a recent clip and there was a – sorry, I’m distracting you guys; you’re trying to think. I’ll stop talking.

We’re just ignoring you the same way we ignore your scores…

You’re gonna have to [unintelligible 00:44:41.15]

Lars, that’s like some A+ smack talk right there. That’s great.

First they ignore you…

Slowly – we have to chip away at his confidence. That’s how we get him. Jerod is like so stoic, you know? The only way you can get him is through inflicting self-doubt.

Well, we’ll see if the guys actually can execute on the spread defense or not, but I’m sitting pretty right now. Okay, I think we have them all here.

Well, I actually knew this one, so I’m stoked to get some points.

Oh, that’s impressive.

That is the easy way to score.

I mean, you shouldn’t have told us that, because now we’ll just copy you.

Let me double-check this one here… We might have our first drill… He might not be joking.

Do you know it, Taylor?

Alright. So Taylor… Taylor is correct. So Taylor’s definition is correct. He gets – well, I’ll say that. Let me gather the rest. Alright, so Taylor’s definition is correct. Taylor, you score three points, and you will sit out the rest of this round. Obviously, you can’t guess definitions…

Wait, how do I get three points for getting it right, and you get five points for doing nothing? [laughs]

Doing nothing?! Excuse me…!

This is why we ignore Jerod’s score.

I resent that notion.

[45:58] What a scam, dude… [laughter]

This is a scam.

I mean, technically, Taylor, I’ve gotten every single one correct every round, so I’m not sure what you’re talking about. Meanwhile, us plebs will guess what the definitions are…

Oh man, the house should have an alternate definition, and he should still play to get more points.

What do you mean? He knows what it is.

Yeah, I mean, if the house has the correct definition, right? So the correct definition’s in there…

Right… But Taylor knows what it is. Why is he gonna guess? Because he would guess the right one? He already knows what it is.

Yeah, because now everybody can fake it. It’d have been better as a reveal after the round, that he was the winner, because he actually submitted the correct answer.

Well, if you do it after the round, you get two points for being right. But if you do it right away, you get three points for being right. So he gets more points this way. Let’s play this round.

The Riemann hypothesis is an unsolved problem related to the distribution of prime numbers. Or number two, a claim that all people inherently do good when given equal opportunities and resources. Number three, an educated guess framework used by mathematicians. And number four, the theory that special brown fat inside the body explains why some people stay warmer in cold, and have generally better health outcomes.

Did you say brown fat, or round fat?

That special brown fat.

Wow. I thought that was always like whey-colored, you know?

Alright, we start with Amal. Of those - hey, only four definitions to guess from this round; so you have a good chance of drilling it… Which of those four do you believe is the correct definition for the Riemann hypothesis?

Could you repeat the first one again?

An unsolved problem related to the distribution of prime numbers.

And what was the second one?

Read them all.

The claim that people inherently do good when given equal opportunities and resources.

Hm… And the third one? You might as well just read them all.

Are you listening?

I am now.

An educated guess framework used by mathematicians.

Okay. Let’s go with the math one.

The educated guess framework used by mathematicians?

Okay. Taylor already guessed… So Lars, your turn.

Alright. I’ll grab prime numbers. Adam, it’s up to you to take the good people…

Okay, he’s playing the spread game. He wants Adam to take the good people. Adam, you like good people.

I’m going with good people. I’ve gotta spread it out.

He’s spreading it out.

We know Taylor doesn’t have a correct answer, so the house is somewhere in there…


Yeah. But he can’t reveal, because he knows too much. Alright. Well, playing the spread game, Amal thought perhaps the Riemann hypothesis was an educated guess framework. That’s a good educated guess… But unfortunately, it’s wrong. Adam came up with that. One point for Adam. Adam meanwhile went with the good people…

By force, really.

Unfortunately, there are no good people. That’s wrong also. And Amal came up with it. So you guys are swapping points.

Ah, man… [laughter]

So either Lars picked his own, or he picked the correct one. What do you think the odds are? Taylor knows that the Riemann hypothesis is an unsolved problem related to the distribution of prime numbers. So two points there. Congratulation, Lars. You got it correct. Taylor, tell us more, because yours was more precise. I had to actually look up to make sure it was the right one. It was. What is this thing all about?

What I’ll say about this is this is the first time my mathematics degree has actually helped me in the real world. [laughter]


I didn’t think we brought qualified people onto this…

Detail it for us. It’s interesting.

If you solve the Riemann hypothesis, you get a million dollars. There’s a bounty out there.


It’s one of six or seven problems called the Millennium prize. So you’ve probably heard of P versus NP. That’s one of them. Riemann hypothesis is like kind of just as big of a deal, because it would tell us a lot about the prime numbers.

Which is not 2, 4, 6, 8.

Yeah, this would be a really great like Goodwill Hunting Part Two… Let’s bring it back. Matt Damon’s like 55, He’s got a belly, needs some money… You know? We solve this math problem and get him rich. I would watch that movie…

And now he’s the professor. He’s the shrink.

[50:20] Yes, yes, yes, exactly.

He’s gotten out of math because he solved them all.

I don’t actually know how old Matt Damon is, but for what it’s worth, 50 is not even middle age.

Are you doing paper mache over there? I mean, what’s going on?

Oh, sorry. Oh, I’m like opening my mail… I’m sorry, I should stop doing that. [laughter] Sorry, I just realized…

We’ve heard it the whole time.

Oh, you heard everything?

You’re on a podcast, Amal.

Of course… I’m sorry. I’m spacing out.

A paper mache… [laughter]

Alright. Well, big round for Taylor, pretty good round for Lars. Hey, good round for all of you all, because I scored zero points, and that’s what you’re after… Still however in the lead with 10, Lars with eight, Amal seven, Adam six, Taylor still in last, but you have five now, so you are coming back. We move to round six… And your word for round six is zitter bewegung. [laughter]

Yes, I said that correctly. The word for round six is zitter bewegung. It’s spelled zitter bewegung. I’m saying it better every time I say it.

That’s the whole thing?

That’s the word.

It looks like a German word.

Can I phone a friend?

Do you have German friends?

Oh, yeah. So many.

No, you can’t phone them. This is not “Do You Want to Be a millionaire?” or “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

I wish I spoke better German.

Yeah, so if you have a background in German…

I barely took French, but German is Nordic enough that there’s some familiarity in there.

Zitter bewegung. It’s hard to say.

There are so many other ways it could be pronounced though…

That pronunciation is according to the website that says how to pronounce things.

Yeah, I think so.

That’s just a bot…

Yeah, I don’t know…

I don’t know what it is either. It’s when you google “how to pronounce”, and you paste a word into it, and the first one gives you that button, and you push it.

Did you guys see the bug in the Google Translate thing a few months ago, where if you posted like chicken in Google Translate, and you asked for it to like pronounce, it would go [unintelligible 00:52:43.23]

Seriously? That’s awesome!

It was the funniest thing.

What [unintelligible 00:52:51.03]

You could find that online. People have videos of it, but they [unintelligible 00:52:56.20]

They fixed the bug.

I used a Text to Speech API at one point. It was pretty good… We were trying to do accessibility. It was an education product… But some of the stuff people pasted, especially if it came from Word documents, had like weird characters in there… And suddenly, the whole thing would go [unintelligible 00:53:23.12] circumflex.” Because like a circumflex is a particular typographic character… [laughter] I don’t know what characters made it go [unintelligible 00:53:33.00] but it had like a weird breath…

What was the vibe of the breath? Was it creepy? Was it too loud, that hurt your ears? Was it funny?

Kind of creepy, speaking voice level… And then it would say “circumflex”, which is just a weird word to throw in there. It’s like a full sentence, and then someone put it in a weird period at the end. Like full stop.

Okay, I have Taylor’s… Y’all aren’t making this easy on me. Oh, I should get the order figured out while I wait. Here’s Amal’s…

Wait, I’m editing.

[54:19] Okay, go ahead.

I just got an email that all the prices are increasing on my domains. What’s going on there?

Yeah. Domainflation.

Yeah, like…

Which host?

What’s costing more there, right?

Yeah. Is it costing more for them to like mine the bits out of the –

Everyone’s gotta pay bills, you know?

Which host?

This was through Namecheap, but…

That hurts even more, you know?

Yeah, right? It’s like, come on.

Like, cheap is literally in the name.

We’re also changing our name to… Name.

Name, yeah. Name not as cheap… Alright, I think we have – okay. Everybody ready. Zitter bewegung - a scientific method developed in Switzerland, primarily used in chemistry. Zitter bewegung - the official state fish of Hawaii. Zitter bewegung - shortened to gung, otherwise known as gunk in layman’s terms, is the buildup of undesirable substances. Zitter bewegung, the German word for the bittersweet, which is combined, but conflicting feeling of happiness and sadness. Zitter Bewegung - the rapid, oscillatory motion of particles such as electrons in quantum mechanics. There you have it, five definitions for zitter bewegung. Let’s start with Amal.

I’m gonna need those definitions again… [laughter]

Which ones in particular? Should I just do them all again?

All of them, yeah.

Okay. Number one, a scientific method developed in Switzerland, primarily using chemistry. Number two, the official state fish of Hawaii. Number three, shortened to gung, otherwise known as gunk… [laughter] Oh, no… [laughs] Otherwise known as gunk… [laughter]

Oh, my God… Guys, I’m gonna need a bathroom break after this.

Number four, the German word for the bittersweet.

Oh, my God.

Number five, the rapid oscillatory motion of particles. That’s not the full definition, but come on, I’ve given it to you one and a half times. Which one do you think it is?

Oh, my God. I think we’re just gonna have to go with spread here… What was the first one again? Sorry, you don’t have to say the word, just the definition.

A scientific method developed in Switzerland.

Oh, God. Now that’s some –

You don’t have to say the number you’re selecting, just say the general feel. Is it the gunk? Is it the –

I don’t like any of these, to be honest…

Is it the state fish?

I have a vague sense that we can eliminate the gunk…

I mean, honestly, last time I thought reeducation was fake.

But Adam was laughing too hard at the gunk.

I was laughing at Jerod. He can’t get it out.

I want to go on record, I made it through all five the first time, without laughing. It was the second time that got me.

Which one is not the fish? I don’t –

Which one is not the fish? There’s five definitions. Four of them are not the fish. [laughter]

Out of the top two.

I don’t know what your top two are.

Okay, just… Can I go again later? Or do I have to go now?

It’s your turn.

Oh, my God. I’ll go with number three. Number three.

Number three is the shortened to gung. Otherwise known as gunk.

Oh, sure. Let’s do there.

You know what? No. I’m throwing away points. Let’s do four. What’s the fourth one?

The German word for the bittersweet.

[58:10] Let’s just go with number two, state fish, whatever.

Oh, my God…

Alright, state fish of Hawaii. Taylor likes that choice. [laughter]

How in the world does he get points for that? There’s no way…

Redistributing the wealth. I love it.

We’re not finished yet here. We go now to Taylor. Which one are you going to pick? Are you also going to go for the state fish?

Not number two…

No. Get a spread, get a bread.

Yeah, let’s spread out. Let’s spread out.

Go for gunk.

I think I’m gonna go for the bitter sweet.

He’s gonna take the bitter sweet. Alright. Now we go to Lars.

I really like the bitter sweet one, but I don’t see how it’s STEM. So I’m going too with the oscillating things.

Lars goes oscillating.

Oh, there is an oscillation option?

No, there wasn’t. No.

No for you anymore… You’ve gone already.

She’s over there doing paper mache. “Can you read those again? I wasn’t listening…” [laughter] Adam, what’s your guess?

I’m going with the fish. [laughter]

Adam goes with the fish. Okay.

Not the gunk, or the Swiss chemistry?

The gunk and the Swiss chemistry, both apparently not believable…

But hilarious…

Adam and Amal thought that zitter bewegung is the official state fish of Hawaii, but we all knew that was Taylor’s, because he made it clear… [laughter] So Taylor gets two points. That was a great one though. It deserved the points. Meanwhile, Taylor himself went for the bittersweet… But that was Amal’s definition, so one point for her.

Nice, nice.

Lars applies the spread, and logic and reasoning, by picking a stem definition. Oscillatory motion of particles such as electrons in quantum mechanics. Yes, that is exactly what zitter bewegung is. So Lars scores two for himself…

Wow, nice.

…and keeps me off the board.

Can we give extra points to Lars for listening to instructions and using clues? I feel like he used everything that was available to him to land the plane safely.

He did.

So I think points for Lars. Or not Lars, it’s Larsh…

But he didn’t make Jerod laugh, though.

I think I could have given you the definitions as well, at least roughly…

Well, anytime you redefine the word and the definition, I just think it’s funny. Like “No, it’s not that…”

Read it again, Jerod. Let’s see if you can get through it.

Zitter bewegung - shortened to gung, otherwise known as gunk… [laughs]

I told you…

Otherwise known as gunk… I love it.

In layman’s terms.

Yeah. In layman’s terms. It’s gunk.

That’s hilarious.

Alright. Let’s read these scores here. I’m tied for first. I’m no longer alone in first place. Jerod and Lars, tied at 10. So he’s made an epic advancement. Amal with eight. Taylor with seven. You’re now no longer in last. Adam is last, with six.

We threw you some points, Taylor.

Thank you, thank you. I needed it.

So it’s still a very tight game…

I should not have given him that bonus point… Gosh. Freakin’ fish…

We now move to round seven. This is a special round. I call it “Give it a goog.” It includes the Google web search engine. So I have fed into Google the phrase “Software developers are…” and I stopped, and I let it autocomplete the rest of the sentence. Of course, it provides multiple completions. The top completion I have fetched and held on to. Your job is to complete the sentence, and trick everybody into thinking that you wrote the thing it actually responded with. So if you were to search Google for “Software developers are…”, what would be the number one search suggestion to finish that phrase?

I think it’s important that we set the context here, because it’s specific to Jerod’s search history, too.


Yes, it is.

Private browser…

[01:02:07.13] What? I mean, private? Really? What’s private nowadays? Come on…

He went through an exit node in Sweden, too.

Tor Network, private browser…

Oh, Tor? Okay, okay. So like vanilla, vanilla…

I was at Strange Loop, in the hotel… So let’s remove any sort of subjectivity.

Uh-oh… It might have been my search history then.

[laughs] Okay, it had Taylor’s search history.

I feel like there’s no such thing as vanilla. There’s still some reference points that are used to aggregate, but…

Fair enough. But your job is to come up with what you think it would say.

And write it down and send it to me at the end, and we will see what happens. Give it a Goog.

We’re not supposed to actually use…

No. That’s the name of the round.

So literally, just software developer. That’s all you typed. Right?

“Software developers are…”

Are. Okay.

Do not actually give it a Goog. We just named the round Give it a Goog. Alternate names include “Google says”, “Autocomplete me”, and…

“I’m feeling lucky.”

“I’m feeling lucky.” That’s a much better name. Good job, Lars. Alright, I have Taylor’s, Lars’es, and… That’s it. Just missing Adam’s at this point.

Mm-hm… I’m thinking hard on over here.

It’s like, you have to write literally one word, because that’s what Google [unintelligible 01:03:27.10] It has to be the right word, of course…

My favorite one of these is – for a long while you would type in “French military victories”, and it would say “Did you mean French military defeats?”

Oh, yes, I do remember that one.

That was classic.

That was plastic. Maybe you’re ready, Adam… Gosh.

I’m going with the simple version here.

Alright, we have all five. Well, I gave it a Goog, and I said “Software developers are…” and it autocompleted one of these five saying. Software developers are… Weird. Software developers are smart, but still have problems finding a girlfriend. Software developers are overpaid. Software developers are rich, or software developers are the new accountants. We will start with Taylor.

Actually, when I hear all those, I think people are going to say overpaid… Because you know, you’re in an organization and you just see the person in the cubicle just going late into the night, and you have no idea what that person does… Why is that person getting paid? Yeah, I could see that. Alright, overpaid.

Alright. Overpaid. Lars, to you.

Weird. I’ll go with weird.

Weird. Alright. Adam, to you.

So many answers that are so correct… What’s the first one, Jerod?

Weird. Second one was smart, but still have problems finding a girlfriend. Third was overpaid, fourth was rich, and fifth was the new accountants.

Not the overly descriptive one, that’s for sure.

Easier thinking or trying to read people’s faces. Can’t tell.

Hm… Probably doing both.

Make sure to spread. Lock Jerod.

We’re just a socialist organization now. It’s like…

I would guess the same one that everybody else guessed, if I were you.

There’s only one guess so far, right? Taylor. Well, Amal… Who guessed first?

Taylor and Lars. Weird and overpaid have both been selected.


Adams goes with overpaid, not applying the spread…


And we go to our last guest, which I guess would be Amal.

[01:05:53.19] Yeah, for me it’s between weird and overpaid… Let’s just do overpaid, and whoever’s this is – hopefully it’s right, but if it’s not, then somebody’s getting a lot of points, which is good, because that somebody hopefully isn’t Jerod.

So Google wanted to autocomplete “Software developers are…” Three of you thought the correct word was overpaid. Lars, were they correct about that?

No, but I get some points, I think.

He gets some points. That was his, so three points to you, sir.

Nice. [laughs]

Meanwhile, you thought they were weird… Taylor, was he right about that?

No, no. Um, yes, he was right…

No, he was not. He guessed yours.

I mean, they are weird, but Google doesn’t think that.

I figured one of you would take rich, at least…

Nobody took rich, nobody applied the spread. You guys bundled up on one, which I appreciate, having scored five points…

I’m trying here!

The actual thing Google said to me when I started with “Software developers are…”, the new accountants.

That’s crazy.

Oh, that’s surprising.

That was interesting, I thought.

That was so leftfield… I mean, I had a feeling; I was like “I wonder if that’s it”, but I was like “Really? I don’t know.”

The girlfriend thing was no, but new accountants - I could see that happening.

I figured that that was like a reference to an essay or something, or some article, and it was… Yeah, that was my guess.

A headline.

Yeah, some sort of training article that everyone’s writing about…

It could be a book title.

A lot of people linking to it, maybe… I don’t know, I didn’t actually click on it.

You know what came up for me? “Software engineers are not engineers.” [laughs] Sorry, software developers are not engineers. Sorry. Software developers… Software… Isn’t that crazy?

What is interesting is that I couldn’t get it to repeat that one, actually. I tried to get it to repeat, and it’d be different. So it was like different every time now, for some reason.

Oh, no, number two is the new accountants for me.

Oh, it is? Okay, cool.

For me, number two is overpaid…

Aaah…! [laughter] I mean, I agree that that would be something I would expect people to put into a search bar.

Yeah. Not engineers. New account engineers.

Not real engineers…

Yeah, I think that the completion of those is usually like the public sentiment in a way, right? That’s what people are like searching for, versus the truth…

Versus the truth…?!


I mean, uh-oh…

What are you trying to say, Taylor? Are we the new accountants? I mean, let’s psychoanalyze this. What does that even mean?

Some of us are a little bit weird…

Oh, I see… [laughs] And we might be a tad overpaid… Is that what you’re saying? We might be overpaid.

I’m not… [laughs]

Overpaid or lazy was a pretty good pitch, just to kind of go into some of recent sentiment around engineering orgs…

Lazy would have been a good one. Well, overpaid really did get everybody… So that keeps Lars close to first place. I have 15, he has 13… Within reach…

You’re not in the game, Jerod.

I’m literally winning…

You’re the host…

Amal and Taylor both have eight, Adam still sitting at six. There are three rounds left, so it’s not without reach. But if you guys – if you flop another round, I will win… So I would advise to spread from here on out. Let’s move to round eight.

Break: [01:09:08.05]

Our word for round eight is caisson.

Not to be confused with JSON, right?

Right. Maybe it’s caisson, or caisson…

Or kaizen.

No, it’s caisson. It’s not kaizen. Let me put it into the chat. It’s spelled c-a-i-s-s-o-n.

Can I get the country of origin?

I don’t know what it is… It looks like maybe it’s French.. Yeah, I would guess French. But I don’t know what it is.

I’m thinking French, from caisson…?

Don’t they sell those in bakeries…?


Well, they almost sell them…

Taylor, you’ve got a really good dry humor, my friend. Points for you.

Amal in early this time… Oh, no.

Yeah, you wish…

You just chatted me.

The French episodes where Gerhard talks about infrastructure… No?

Sorry, I was in the chat. I would have given you a really good response, of course. Yeah, it is. We’re all distracted. Oh, I get it, it was a Kaizen joke. Do you guys ever do that, you you listen in retrospect? Like, you listen to the sentence after it’s over with? I just did that. Pretty good, Lars. Pretty good.

Yeah, it’s like a buffering problem…

It is.

That’s like “That took forever to flush.”

This might be my best one today, y’all….

We’ve got three…

I mean, it helps that I like sort of know what it means, so…

We’ve got four. Okay, our round eight word is caisson… Which is a watertight structure used for underwater construction. Or the sheath around network wiring. Or a method for extracting gluten from wheat, that has been used since the 1600s. Or a controversial chess opening. Or the small intestinal casing of a rabbit, which is commonly used in French fine dining.

Gosh, we know whose that is…


Let’s go back to Amal.


I was reading that super-clean, by the way. I was reading it super-clean. Okay.

Thank you, thank you everyone. Be here all week.

We start with Lars this time. What do you think, sir?

Run the two first by me again…

The first two? A watertight structure used for underwater construction, and the sheath around network wiring.

And the one after that?

[laughs] That’s the first two? A method for extracting gluten from wheat. A controversial chests opening, or the intestinal casing of a rabbit, which is used for French fine dining.

Yeah, no rabbits… Let’s go with the underwater one.

No rabbits… [laughs] Okay, underwater construction. Taylor, what are you thinking?

I also thought it was the underwater construction, but I’m going for that spread…

Fight the Jerod.

So let’s do the wiring sheathing.

A sheath around network wiring, okay. Adam?

[01:16:11.06] The chess move.

The chess move. And Amal.

I was gonna go with the network wiring, but then, um… We have to spread the… What’s unpicked?

The small intestinal casing of a rabbit? [laughter]

Yours…? [laughter]

Dang it…!

Or a method for extracting gluten from wheat.

I recommend number two.

Yeah. We have to play strategically at this point. We cannot have you win, so…

Okay. You’re banding together, to pick everything except for Amal’s…

…for the better of humanity.

Well, here’s the question - if you hadn’t giggled, was anybody buying it until the giggle happened?

No? [laughs] No hesitation from Adam. He was not buying it.

I’m not sure about STEM…

Well, an intestinal casing is… That’s scientific, right?

That’s biological.

It’s the French cuisine.

It’s the anatomy of an animal. I mean, that definitely fits inside the realm of science, right? But the French fine dining is where it went haywire… [laughter]

Less is more. Lesson learned.

Yeah, may be.

Don’t overly explain your definition.

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

Well, a master application of a spread, considering there was five definitions, and you picked the four that had a chance… So yes, one of you landed on it. The question is who. Let’s start with Adam. He went for a controversial chess opening… That was Taylor’s. So one point for Taylor there.

Whoa… Good job, Taylor.

Taylor went for the sheath around network wiring. That was Adam’s, so swapping points there. Amal guessed a method for extracting gluten. That’s Lars’es, so one point there, which means Lars got the correct definition, a watertight structure used for underwater construction. That means he gets two points for being right, plus the one he got from Amal, so that’s three points.

So after eight rounds, Lars moves into the lead with 16 points. I am in second with 15, Taylor with 9, Amal with 8, and Adam with 7. And we move now to round nine. This is a special round called “How do you do, fellow humans?”


How do you do, fellow kids?


In this round, I turned to ChatGPT and I asked it to make up a fictional word that relates to STEM in a single-sentence definition of the word. It then returned to me what it returned. Your job is to act as if you are ChatGPT, and how it would answer that prompt. The exact prompt was “Make up a fictional word that relates to STEM, and a single-sentence definition of the word.” So you will submit to me what your best fake ChatGPT response would be.

So make up the word, and then to find the word?

Make up exactly what you think it replied with, or something that is feasible for that.

How are we supposed to guess this correctly?

Your ability to approximate a GPT…

Oh, okay.

Work the spread… Grind… This is all it’s about…

[laughs] Listen to this guy who’s in first place talking about the spread… He’s very concerned now.

Oh, I see. I see. Because you’re gonna tell us both the definition and the word, right?

I have written down Chat GPT’s response, and I will also read all of your responses. And you will guess which one is ChatGPT.

Do you mind repeating the –

The prompt?

I’ll put it in the chat. The exact prompt is “Make up a fictional word that relates to STEM, and a single-sentence definition of the word.”

Knowing ChatGPT, the single-sentence response was two paragraphs…

So you’re gonna get a lot of text here.

Taylor’s already in. He’s the first one in.

I’m putting this in the group chat, because where else would I put it?

Why are you putting it in the group chat?

I’m just messing with you.

He’s being facetious.

Okay, okay, okay. I was like “Wait a second…”

[01:20:04.02] So that’s like three of five times…

The software developers code was a pretty good complete…

Gosh, here we go… Verbatim, Jerod. Verbatim. You have to read it verbatim.

Okay… [laughs] Can I survive it verbatim? We have all definitions?

We think so…

Okay, I prompted ChatGPT “Make up a fictional word that relates to STEM, and a single-sentence definition of the word”, and it responded with one of these five responses. Number one, sheheldism - when salt dissolves in water, and forms a wave pattern in the water. Number two, clorpus, the underbelly of a cha-cha engine. Number three, hyperincision - a very small and precise medical procedure performed with nanoscale-edged robot scalpels. Number four - xylofluxotron, a groundbreaking device capable of converting sound vibrations from musical instruments into a clean and sustainable energy source. Number five, “I can help with that. Hydraloader is the word. The definition of the word is a pipe-like object used to move liquid substances. Hope that helps.” We start with Taylor.

Well, it’s definitely “I can help with that.”

Going with “I can help with that?”

Yeah, yeah.

Okay. Lars.

So it’s the completely unedited response from ChatGPT that we’re trying to go for…?

Then it’s “I can help with that.”

No, I’m pretty sure “I can help with that” is Adam’s… Because he said verbatim.

You think so?

So then I was like “Oh, it’s Adam’s.” And I like Adam, so I wanted to throw him a point. [laughter]

Good logic.

Sneaky, sneaky… Oh, I love that.

But now, Lars, you’re making me feel bad, because I’m misleading people…

Yeah, misleading people… [laughter]

You misled me, Taylor… Okay?

Or did he? The verdict is out yet.

No, you didn’t actually mislead me. I actually thought that was legit. I was like “Good job, Adam”, because I was like “Yeah, ChatGPT always starts with something helpful and ends with some things like helpful.

He could also be playing mind games right now, because he wants these points for himself.

It’s true.

Taylor, or Adam, or Jerod?

Yeah, all of them. [laughter]

All of them. They’re all against me.

I love it. I love it. Which one do you want? The first one.

The first.

That was the sheheldism? When salt dissolves in water and forms a wave pattern in the water?

The second one was…

That’s clorpus.

Which was…?

Oh, sorry. I thought we all knew. The underbelly of a cha-cha engine. [laughter]

I Just wanted to verify which one Taylor’s was…

[laughs] I was fine until I looked at – I read it fine until I looked at Taylor’s face, and I couldn’t hold it any longer.

I caught the laugh the first time, but I couldn’t remember which one was which, so yeah… I’ll go with the salt wave thing.

Taylor already had his answer submitted. It was submitted. The answer was submitted.

Adam is not happy with this game.

And then Taylor was like “Hey, listen, listen, this is my logic here.”

Adam, mind the spread…


Mind the spread… Lars is winning, you know… Do you want him to win? I mean…

Yeah. He’s from Sweden, he’s already winning. I mean, let’s be real.

That’s true. Alright, Amal, what are you going with?

I’m gonna play the spread game. I was gonna go the ones that were already selected, but… What was number four?

Four was the xylofluxatron. Two was clorpus, three was hyperincision.

Okay, xylofluxatron. Let’s go with that.

[01:24:04.01] Okay. And that leads with Adam. What are you going with, sir?

Well, the incision one was Amal, because I saw her giggle with the incisions… What was the first one again, Jerod?

The first one was when salt dissolves in water. The second one was clorpus, the cha-cha engine.

Three was hyperincision.

Let’s go with the cha-cha engine.

Cha-cha engine. Alright. Well, let’s start right there, then. Adam thought perhaps ChatGPT’s fake word plus definition would be clorpus, the underbelly of a cha-cha engine. That indeed was Taylor’s. It was very difficult to read that one without laughing, because he was just on cloud nine over there.

My initial submission was “I am sorry, but as an AI language model I cannot create big definitions.”

I actually thought that was legit… I thought it’d be a decent answer. But we all know that they can make stuff up all the time. [laughs] But I did like the response.

It’s what they do, yeah.

So Adam picks Taylor’s. Meanwhile, Taylor picks the “I can help with that. Hydraloader is the word, etc. Hope that helps.” And yes, that was Adam’s and he is giving Adam a point. He almost tricked all of us into selecting that…

You have to admit I had y’all tricked.

Yeah, no, you really – I was gonna pick that.

Had Taylor not given his logic away, it was the selection down the board.

Sorry, sorry… Yeah, it was either that, or one of the others. Like, it immediately divided the field.

It stood out because it was so believable. Nobody else’s was like full response. I thought like “How would the ChatGPT truly respond?”

The question is, Adam, had you not told me to read it verbatim, would we have actually fell on for it? Because I was going to read them verbatim regardless, so…

And Taylor, if you had submitted the “I’m sorry, as a language model”, yadda-yadda, that would have been two answers that felt more like ChatGPT than any of the real ones.


But I thought of the cha-cha engine and I had to do it. [laughter]

The cha-cha engine was really selling it. It was good.

It’s the underbelly of a cha-cha engine. Now, Lars picked the sheheldism, which is when water salt dissolves in water and forms a wave pattern in the water. That was Amal’s…

Yeah, Adam, that was mine…

I’m allowed to giggle.

She giggles all the time.

Giggle does not equal –

It’s your tell. It’s your tell.

Or she could giggle at a different time, and really screw with you.

Yeah, exactly.

I think she giggled because it was a feasible one…

Yeah, that’s why. That’s why I giggled. Good job. That’s exactly why. I was like “That sounds real. The hyperflexism sounds real.” Or whatever it is. Yes.

Now, nobody picked hyperincision… That was Lars’es. So he didn’t score any points there. Amal picks xylofluxatron, which was ChatGPT’s response, was xylofluxatron.

[laughs] See, I didn’t even realize [unintelligible 01:27:07.01]

So Amal gets two points for that, three points on the round. But for everybody’s sake, she saves me from scoring five, which would have given me the victory. After nine rounds, we have in first place with 16, Jerod with 15, Amal with 11, Taylor at 10, Adam at 8. We move now into our final round. And the word for this round is petechiae. There you go, I put it in the chat for you to read it yourselves. The word is petechiae. Sorry, I said it wrong. Petechiae. That’s it. I’ve been saying it wrong. It’s petechiae. My apologies. Okay, submit your definitions as soon as you have them.

[01:28:01.26] Is this also STEM?

It’s all STEM. It’s all STEM.

It’s a lot more poker face kind of dealings in this game than I would have expected…

Yeah, you wonder if it’d be a completely different game without video.

Probably not nearly as fun.

It’s really hard not to smile, laugh or giggle when your definition is being read, I imagine. It’s hard for me to read them.

I think it’s hard for Taylor not to write funny ones.

I know, all of his are just on the edge of being like “Gosh, can I read this with a straight face or not?”

Very few of them are on the edge of being believable…


Uh-oh… Should I change this one? I put “petechiae - Adam’s middle name…” [laughter]

Adam’s middle name… [laughs] That’s classic. Adam Petechiae Stacoviak. Well, this is for all the marvels - can Lars actually convince everybody to use the spread, or will they gang up on him and actually try to score points naturally?

I know. I mean, I think we should discuss that right now. I mean, how do we want to play this, y’all? I mean, Jerod is still on the leaderboard, right? He’s like number one…

I’m in second…

Oh, you’re in second. Okay.

Doesn’t he always win like Family Feud, and all of those?

Frontend Feud? Oh, no, the debate shows. I always declare myself the winner of the debate shows. Frontend Feud we play it straight.

Yeah. So I think we just – I think at all costs Jerod can’t win.

You’re just against me.

It’s not that I’m against you, its that I’ve been on so many rig’ged games with you, where you just always win.

[laughs] Rigged!

Yeah. So it’s like…

“I’ve been on so many rigged games with you…” Wow.

Yeah. Which is – now I want to rig this game, to rig you back, you know? So that’s my…

Fair, fair. Alright, for our fun final round, petechiae. We have five definitions. The first one is the reverse form of patina, which derives from its Latin origin word patinae. It’s the process of reverse rusting, when objects are placed in a vacuum with 0% humidity. Number two, tiny red or purple spots on the skin caused by broken blood vessels. Number three, the chief animal byproduct used to create toothpaste. [laughter] I hadn’t read the final word and it surprised me. [laughter]

Oh, my God…

I should have read the whole thing in my head.

No, that reaction – we need to get that video. That video needs to go on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube… It needs to go everywhere. Your face just like realizing that that was funny… And then you just burst out laughing. That was priceless.

I need to preread the entire thing.

Can we get that one again?

Yes, the chief animal byproduct used to create toothpaste. Or, number four, the smallest bone in your body, which is located in your head. Number five, an Atlantic algae that is being investigated by scientists for its regenerative properties.

Ooh. Oh my God, these are all really good.

These are good, you guys.

Great job, everyone. We’ve really –

Stepped up our game.

…we started on the bottom and now we’re on the top, y’all. The top of our game.

Ten rounds.

We’re ending this on a high.

I no longer want to use toothpaste.

We’re gonna start with Adam… Do you need me to reread any of these?

If you’re not first, you’re last. I’ve been going last…

Only if you promise to laugh again, Jerod.

[01:31:51.03] I can’t make any promises, but likely…

Yes. First, you must reread that one, of the toothpaste, which is not my selection. It’s not my selection. The last one is my selection.

The last one, which is the Atlantic algae.

Yes. Let’s go with that, the Atlantic algae.

That’s being investigated by scientists for its regenerative properties.

That’s right.

Okay, that’s Adams.

I believe that’s the truth.

I’m gonna go with the capillaries, the broken capillaries…

The broken blood vessels?

Good choice, whoever wrote that one.

Oh, really, Adam? Is that a good choice? You know what, I’m gonna take it back.

Okay… [laughs]

My last point is not going to Adam. [laughs]

Where are you gonna put it?

Could you read the second one again, or the first one?

The first one was the reverse form of patina, coming from patinae. The process of reverse rusting.

That sounds like something Taylor would make up. What was the third one?

But he made up the toothpaste.

That was him, the toothpaste one? I don’t even –

How do you know that…?

Do you think he was the toothpaste…?

How do you know that?

Yeah, I don’t think there’s such a thing as reverse rusting.

Well, it also says it’s placed in a vacuum of 0% humidity.

That’s the science.

Is it really Taylor Mr. Math?

It’s the science.

For the love of the spread, let’s just go with that.

You’re gonna go with that. Okay. So you’re going to the reverse rusting. Alright, we move now to Taylor.

Well, I know it’s not the smallest bone in the body, because doctors told me that mine was my funny bone…

Is that subjective, or is that like for everyone?

No, it’s science. It’s total science.

That means that I’m going with the – not the capillaries, but the blotchy skin, whatever that is…

Tiny red or purple spots on the skin?

Yeah. I know it doesn’t sound right, but also, I’m drawn to it, for some reason.

[laughs] Very mysterious, Taylor.

It doesn’t look right, but…

I thought that the capillaries was the same as the red blotch, because broken capillaries do cause redness… So…

That’s the one that Adam was excited that Amal picked it.

Yeah, but you know…

So you switched it, but Taylor’s gonna pick it anyways. He’s drawn to it.

I’m drawn to it.

He’s drawn to it. Okay, Taylor’s going to the skin problems. He’s just drawn to them. And Lars is the last one.

What’s left that hasn’t been picked?

The unguessed one is the chief animal byproducts used to create toothpaste…

Yeah, nah.

…or the smallest bone in your body, which is located in your head.

I don’t think that’s correct, but I’ll take the bone.

You don’t think it’s correct, but you’ll take it. [laughs]

My whole thing was Adam has called me out too many times. I’m not giving any points to Adam.

I need to prevent Jerod points.

I think that could be a show title. “I don’t think it’s correct, but I’ll take it.”

Yes, that’s right. Literally. “I don’t think it’s correct, but I’ll take it.”

I always thought the smallest bone in your body was in your ear. That’s what I was told.

It’s true. Which is technically in your head.

True. True.

I mean, bingo.

Alright. Well, Lars gets that one. He didn’t think it was right; he was right, it was not correct, and it was Amal’s. So… [laughter]

Thanks. Thanks, Lars.

Meanwhile, Amal went for the reverse patina. That’s reverse rusting, and that was made up by Adam. Nice one, Adam.

What?! Adam?! What the hell…?! [laughter]

You fake-pushed me into something. You know what? We’re gonna have to play this again, y’all. We’re gonna have to do this again. This is unfair. I’m sorry…

In fact, Adam almost won me the game, because the correct answer was “Tiny red or purple spots on the skin, caused by broken blood vessels”, and he almost scared everybody off it… But Taylor was drawn to it.

That was my first choice…!

And so Taylor gets two for getting the correct answer.

You know what, I’m gonna just – the lesson of this game is trust your instincts, okay? As long as Jerod doesn’t win…

That was a good definition, right?

That was good. Meanwhile, Lars also scored a point, because his was the Atlantic algae, that’s been investigated. And Adam guessed it, so that’s one for him.

I knew that was wrong, but I could not select the correct one, which was mine…

Right. Funny…

[01:36:11.03] [laughs] Fair enough. Alright, well, you guys successfully spread, and Taylor saved the game by being drawn to red or purple spots on his skin.

So who was the patina one, the reverse patina? Who made that up?

That was Adam’s.

Oh, sorry. Oh, my God… See, in my rage, I’m already forgetting.

I think you guessed Adam’s in almost every round. I think he really had your number.

Yes. You were drawn to my words. You liked my words…! Admit it.

I do. I do. I do.

I give fake good definitions.

It’s all these years of listening to Changelog, I blame that.

That’s right.

Right. We’re just so authoritative with what we say; you’re like “It has to be true.”

Last time I checked, bandwidth for Changelog was provided by Fastly.

Learn more at Okay, Lars, congratulations, my friend. After 10 rounds of #define, you are the champion, with 17 points. Congratulations! [applause] And because we don’t have much to give away around here, what we’re going to give you is an open microphone. So we do have people listening, and I hope - maybe by the end of this they aren’t anymore, but… If you had anything you could say to the listening audience as your victory dance, you get to say whatever you want, and you get to say it right now.

I guess I’ll shill. Go to and check out my series of recent blog posts on unpacking Elixir. I want you all to get really, really deep into Elixir. It’s a good language, a good ecosystem, a good community… And I’ve been writing a ton about it recently. So get in on it.

Is it Underjord or Underjord?


Yeah, for us Americans over here, could you spell it out?

We could do a bonus round where everybody writes what they think they’ll find when they go to Just kidding, you’ll find some awesome blog posts about Elixir, just as Lars said.

A picture of a yurt? Just kidding…

I think there’s a series of four recent unpacking Elixir series blog posts. You can put those in the show notes if you like. Or you can just go to Hacker News on any given day and chances are I’m there.

Oh, flex. I like that. Find him on Hacker News, on the front page, usually number one…

Like top 10, top 20? What are we talking about?

Yeah, sure.

He could hit the frontpage more often if he wrote about good programming languages…


I’m just kidding. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.

Do you know how easy it is to get Elixir on that frontpage?

By the way, is written in Elixir. [laughter]

Ah, friendly fire. Friendly fire. Fair enough. Well, this has been our first game of #define. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did… Lots of more laughs than even I expected. I apologize in advance for not being able to read definitions without giggles, but… It’s just the way it went down, y’all. Any final thoughts, criticisms, feedback from the panel on this particular game? Because it’s an experiment; we can change things. We make up the rules as we go. I think Adam’s reluctance to not use numbers paid off, because we ended up finding a solution there, making the game better… Anything else we can do to improve #define for future generations?

Never get better at reading them. It’s an important part of making it fun.

A few more people…

Yeah, I think more people will be good. More definitions.

[01:39:51.26] Less rounds and more people.

Less rounds, more people.

Yeah, less rounds, more people. I love that.

We could reduce the points that the moderator gets for a miss, from five down to three, maybe.


Increase? I mean, then you’re just playing the spread every round, but… I think the spread would get annoying if you actually think you know what the answer is, but you’re playing for the spread… I would guess. What do you guys think? Late in the game, where you’re like “Ah, I’ve gotta spread here, but I don’t really want to…”

Is there really a point to having it be a game against the moderator as well? I think it makes people play more carefully, especially since it’s so heavily weighted towards finding the correct definition.

I think it created more of a kind of meta playing, which I thought was probably a good move.

Yeah. It adds another level to the game, to a certain extent. And there’s more interaction because you all try to convince each other what to pick or not to pick based on what strategy we’re playing, and then you could just – you could go against that strategy. I think there’s another level there. I don’t know. Well, this game was very much inspired by a podcast I listened to, which I will commend to our listeners if you like this style of game. There’s a podcast called The Incomparable Game Show. They play lots of games, and one of those games they play is called Low Definition, which I have basically modeled this off of and just moved it into a STEM world. So if you liked this, they’ve got tons of episodes, and you can go listen to those.

Also, let us know; we will do more of these here on Changelog & Friends if you want to hear more. If instead you just want to hear our web browser hot takes every week, let us know that, and we’ll just do that every week as well. So that’s all from me. Adam, final thoughts before we let everybody go?

It was so much fun guessing correctly and incorrectly, of course. It was a lot of fun. This is a fun game. I dig it.

And I’ll be back.

Awesome. Taylor, Amal, Lars, thanks so much for playing.

You’ll be deceiving ,more like it, right? Instead of “I’ll be back.”

I think I’ve put out some solid answers out there. Yeah, for sure.

Yeah, you did.

I mean, to you, Amal - I mean, you guessed me more often than anybody, so… You like my brain.

I know. I’m gonna have to talk to my therapist about that. [laughter] We’ll be unpacking that.

I’ll hand you a cut sheet of all my answers, so you can revisit them.

I’m gonna tell my therapist to post articles on [laughter]

Oh, yeah… UnderGeorge… It’s a different – maybe a wrong website, wrong forum perhaps…

Underjord. Jord.

The homepage of Lars Wikman.

So what I’m gathering here is I should go with the u7d approach and just shorten it.

Is that a Unicode thing, or…? I’m missing it.

No, it’s like K8s.

The letters between Under and Jord. That’s the UD. There’s seven between. It’s like a16z.

[unintelligible 01:42:43.27] A16z, i18n, alright, sorry. I’ve exhausted my ability to reason. Let’s say goodbye. Thanks, everybody, for hanging out. We’ll be back next week. Bye, friends.

Bye now.




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