John Siracusa

Siracusa Says

A fun collection of things John Siracusa has said on podcasts

HTML Threshing Machine

Markdown is readable, HTML requires a threshing machine.

Podcast: Reconcilable Differences
Episode: 161: ASCII Salad Bar
Time Location: 00:29:52

The Markdown is meant to be readable as is by human beings, and not merely, like HTML, a, you know, sort of a pre-compiled format that you chuck into a threshing machine and that it grinds out into the real format.

John's Special Relativity

Polarizers and special relativity: they're all the same.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 500: All the Nerds in the Room

John: A feeling I would get when I used to tell… this is going to sound nerdy…

Casey: NO!

John: The feeling you get when you tell people about special relativity.

Marco: Have you done this a lot??

Casey: Yeah, this is just something you do from time to time?

John: When I was a kid I used to do it, right, so here’s the thing

Casey: This is the least surprising thing you’ve ever said

John: This polarizer thing, if you haven’t ever seen this before, it will give you a similar feeling of learning about special relativity. Special relativity when you explain it to people, or when you first learn it, in my case when you’re a kid or whatever, like the ideas behind it, like wait a second. Everyone in the world has known that this is true, and no one has told me??

You're in a Religion

As soon as somebody's asking for money, you're in a religion.

Podcast: Robot or Not?
Episode: 214: Religious or Spirtual
Time Location: 00:01:45

Maybe the money thing is even better. Maybe you’re super spiritual with you and your five friends and there’s an org chart among your five friends, but is somebody asking for money? As soon as somebody’s asking for money, you’re in a religion.

Hard Pear People

John will eat a pear when it's way too hard because it's better than not having a pear.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 120: One Magical Wire
Time Location: 02:03:59

John: Are there hard pear people?

Marco: Yes!

John: I’ll eat a hard pear, right? I’m not against it. But you’re saying people who don’t like soft pears? It goes too soft and they’re like, “that’s it, I can’t handle it.”?

Marco: Yeah, people who just basically treat pears like apples and just bite them when they’re solid as a rock.

John: I can do that, I’m not against that, but I agree that they get… it’s like banana ripeness, have you seen the variability in the ripeness of bananas people are willing to eat? Some people will eat them super green to where you feel like they’re going to get a stomach ache, some people wait for them to go entirely brown on the outside, and some people are in-between. I think pear is, maybe the continuum is more abbreviated?

John: I will eat a pear when it’s way too hard because it’s better than not having a pear.

Angry Impairment

John doesn't care if you get angry at him.

Podcast: Hypercritical
Episode: 3: The Mouse is Not a Finger
Time Location: 00:05:59

I don’t think I would feel impaired if hundreds of thousands of people were following me and everything I said got angry responses. People get angry about everything. Including me.

Chin Mask

The all important chin must be protected.

Podcast: Reconcilable Differences
Episode: 189: The Cutting Edge of Technological Grievance
Time Location: 00:22:20

When I saw another masked person, we make eye contact and be like “Can you believe these people?” Like, what are they doing? You’re going to be in a tube with other people breathing each other’s air, and you’re not gonna wear…

And then occasionally you’d see there’s a mask but then it’s a chin mask. They got the chin mask. They’re not at a restaurant. They’re not eating, they’re not drinking from their water bottle. They’re chin mask… they’re sitting there.

People Are Not Thumb Drives

You can't transfer your memories to a baby, and even if you could, the baby would not be you.

Podcast: Robot or Not?
Episode: 192: Backup Brain
Time Location: 00:02:25

John: Trying to transfer your memories to a baby, that doesn’t make any sense, and it doesn’t change the baby into you, even if you could do it.

Jason: So premise rejected.

John: Mmm-hmmm.

Jason: Sorry, Vitor, I tried.

John: People are not thumb drives.

These Birds Are Out Of Control

Birds poop on John and steal sandwiches out of his hand while he's eating them.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 495: Five Points For Smell
Time Location: 01:16:07

While this is happening, I’m eating my sandwich. We make our own little sandwiches and bring them to the beach. I’m eating my sandwich, and a bird comes from behind me, in the air, and takes a bite of my sandwich that is in my hand, that I am in the process of eating. He didn’t get the sandwich because I grabbed it as they went away, but he took a bite out of it. And of course now I have to throw out that whole sandwich because it’s got bird bite on it, alright? I don’t want the bird slobber. It’s in my hand, right?

That happened to I think one other person so the new move was while we’re eating lunch, hold your food close to your chest and be aware that the nearest bird may be behind you. We’re watching in front of us, we’re watching all these birds, watching them or whatever, I thought I was covered.

And there was an umbrella too, the thing flew like under the umbrella, over my shoulder, over the back of the seat, and you know, while still flying went aah-chomp! and tried to grab the sandwich out of my hand.

These birds are out of control. I don’t know what has gotten into them. They’re not afraid anymore, and they’re poopin’ on us, and they’re stealing our food out of our hands while we eat it.


Nothing in John's house is level.

Podcast: Accidental Tech Podcast
Episode: 494: Ultra-Wideband Park Bench
Time Location: 01:25:02

I do like this stand, it’s served me well. It’s got glass shelves, holds everything up pretty well. I did micro-level it because of course nothing in my house is level.

It’s mostly level. If you put a level on it and look at the little bubble, it’s between the two lines. But is it in the middle between the two lines? Almost!