Episode 121 : Full of Light and Rainbows

This week on the Hat, we’re still living in last week. It’s all good, though. We discuss alcohol, technology, evil, and the finer points of joining the Hard Hat fan club. Enjoy!


Dear The Magical Talking Hat, What do you look for in a computer desktop wallpaper?  — Kiya B.

Dear Vocal Extensions of The Magical Talking Hat. What think would happen if you met with your alternate universe counterparts? — Mark McKibben

Dear magical talking hat: Which fictional fantasy world would you want to visit, Middle Earth, Westeros, Forgotten Realms, Eberron, The world of Dark Crystal? — Veremond


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16 Responses to Episode 121 : Full of Light and Rainbows

  1. jas says:

    Hmmm, you’re before the sun, eh? But then what is before you? ex nihilo? I don’t think so ;p So then everything living is responsible for life. Without life, life itself would be impossible

  2. jas says:

    Common knowledge or learned in school is a fallacious choice. I think what they mean is common knowledge or something learned that is specialized enough that not everyone learned it in school. Say for instance the fact that Seneca women had the right to vote at least 500 years before the 19th amendment was passed….just to segue into the next section.

  3. jas says:

    Tony’s right about property holders. It was only white Protestant property-owners who had the right to vote. I’m not sure how much property was required. It was only about 10-15% of the population. The Tea Party Nation President, Judson Phillips, called for a return to property ownership requirements in 2010.

  4. Bloodsparrow says:

    American children get several Independents Days. at their 16, 18, and 21st birthdays.

    • Bloodsparrow says:

      Living in Texas I’m really tired of this sort of discussion about alcohol.

      The amount of hassle I have to put up with any time I want to make Fruit Cake and need rum is RIDICULOUS.

      I’m not saying people don’t abuse it, but it has uses beyond inebriation. If you’ve had vanilla extract, you’ve had alcohol just as an example. Alcohol brings out certain flavors and is good for marinades and tenderizing meat, it’s also a preservative (hence it’s use in fruit cake).

      • Bloodsparrow says:

        Also Captain Picard says it’s useful as a coolant. You’re not going to argue with Captain Picard are you?

        ARE YOU?

    • Bloodsparrow says:

      The MEME you want to make.

      Get that shit on Reddit and Tumblr. I can’t help you with that…

    • Bloodsparrow says:

      I might go with Forgotten Realms as it’s got the most creature comforts while coupled with a picturesque setting and going there would instantly transform you into a level 6 magic user of some kind.

      I wouldn’t mind Middle Earth, depending on where I got to live. I think I’d want to live in the Shire.

      Westros. Fuck no.

      Dark Crystal. Visit? Yes. Live there? Um. No.

      I don’t know I’d really like to live in Skyrim.

      Ebberon is like Forgotten Realms in the way that Cricket is like Baseball. It’s got more of an anime bent. I wouldn’t say that it was lower fantasy. If anything it’s got MORE magic than Forgotten Realms (if you can believe it). Because it’s all about, “What would society really be like if magic was a thing and plentiful. So there are street lights powered by magic, etc.

      • Bloodsparrow says:

        Hobbits like inebriation very much, so it surprised me William wants to go to the Shire.

        I would have expected him to want to live among the humans.

      • Bloodsparrow says:

        Freeport! not Baulder’s Gate…

        Somewhere I spoke at length on where some co-workers and I would have liked to live in the various towns of the Icewind Dale computer games… I’ll have to find that blog post.

  5. jas says:

    If you haven’t seen Ken Burn’s documentary on Prohibition I highly recommend it. I had never realized how huge a problem alcohol consumption was in the 18th and 19th centuries in the US compared to today. Prohibition was still a huge mistake, but you sort of see where some of the impetus came from. And then there was also the association of beer with Germany–that helped to turn people against it post WWI.

    Alcohol consumption in other cultures–I’m pretty sure I’ve read of the use of alcohol to enter an altered state of mind in certain cultures, and that is something that is done under specific rituals (sort of the way Native Americans used tobacco).

    On the question of why alcohol plus particular flavors. First, I don’t think alcohol has only the effect of inebriation. It does have some flavor, but even more it has a feeling in the mouth and throat–in strong amounts it’s a feeling that dissuades you from gulping. You have to sip. And that’s why I think it goes well with strong flavors versus the kinds of things one drinks to quench thirst. A nice strong ginger beer for instance has a kind of similar effect without the alcohol content.

  6. jas says:

    Absolutely the evil thing to do is to know how to play bridge 🙂

    The fact that Tony and William don’t know how to play while Alt-Tony and Alt-William do would be no impediment to a game since if you ever seen a bridge game you’ll know that one partner knows everything about how to play while the other knows nothing. Of course on the question of which is which, opinions differ.

    As to what would happen when all 4 of you met? I think the Evil versions must have a shadowy version of the quality of the people from our world. So given the obnoxious/boring binary, and the idea of the “banality of evil,” I’m going with Evil William as last man standing.

  7. jas says:

    Yeah the Avatar reaction was intense. I used a quotation from a letter to the editor in the Globe for a paper I was writing in which a young man in his 20s talked about how much he longed to be in that world and escape from his “unsatisfying life.” I think it was the feeling of connection to others with a shared purpose that got to people–and the others being not only one’s own species but everything. It was probably also the tree houses 🙂

    Which is why I’d love to visit Lothlarion. It’s probably a bit “precious” for everyday living though.

  8. jas says:

    Hah, I was just looking at the email I sent in with my first question–eons ago (3/21/2011)–I had attached a comment there about the history of alcohol consumption so that must have been an early topic as well.

    I’ll c&p what I said in the email: “according to “Drinking in America” (Lender & Martin): “the period from the 1790s to the early 1830s was probably the heaviest drinking era in the nation’s history…The old notion that alcohol was necessary for health remained firmly fixed. It was common to down a glass of whiskey or other spirits before breakfast, ‘and so conducive to health was this nostrum esteemed,’ noted a journalist in 1830, ‘that no sex, and scarcely any age, were deemed exempt from its application.’ ”


    in search of historical, but not gender, accuracy”

    the remark about gender accuracy had to do with my question (which I am resubmitting!) and the subject line was “a question and correction” so something above must run contrary to what was said in the episode.

  9. Beth says:

    Women’s suffrage was the 19th amendment (proposed in 1919 if it helps to remember it – didn’t get ratified until August 18, 1920, but that’s not a useful mnemonic). 18th amendment started prohibition (18, what the drinking age used to be), and 21st (what the drinking age is now) repealed it.

    I don’t personally measure my freedom based on my right to vote. Anyone not in indentured service, has been counted as a whole person in the census since 1790, so that means we’ve been free at least since then.

  10. Mark says:

    So TMTH is powered by humanity’s belief in toast but in turn TMTH is responsible for all life on Earth?

    Light/Color/Reflect: I’d say that’s something I learned back in school and it’s not something I just “knew”.

    United States Constitutional Amendments: It was the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote and the 18th that prohibited alcohol.

    Alcohol vs. Squid: Alcohol wins every time, even when it’s Jägermeister and I hate Jägermeister. Squid is just nasty; though I do know people who enjoy eating it.

    Tony doesn’t like Scotch? So sad.

    Computer wallpapers: I tend to like randomly changing ones either from a curated collection of images (frequently my own photos). I’ll use a utility to randomly change my wallpaper every hour or 15 minutes based on certain keyword searches. I believe the people who sit down and customize their wallpaper & computer themes with a great deal of thought are likely designers who do that sort of work for a living.

    Finger gestures: One summer while I was working at that same company; my department had a picnic with alcoholic beverages. It was a hot day and there was little else to drink, so I ended up perhaps having more alcohol than I normally would. Turns out I made that same sort of single, raised finger gesture every time somebody took my picture at that picnic. Whoops. *grin*

    au Counterparts: Yes I made a typo and yes I meant your evil au counterparts that do the mystery episodes. Also, why bridge if the 2 of you don’t know how to play? Why not bonking? Are you the good/neutrals? Or maybe you’re just the slightly less evil versions of some other Tony & William out in the multiverse? Any arm wrestling would probably come about in deciding who gets to pick on the non-evil version of William first.

    Which Fantasy World?: I think New Zealand sounds nice, but which I’d want to go to depends on what time frame I’d show up in these worlds. Additionally would I just appear as my current self in these worlds or as somebody who grew up there? Or …. ?

    FR vs ME: Middle Earth is somewhat lower fantasy (slightly less magic) than Forgotten Realms; but I don’t know that I’d call Middle Earth less “rich”.

    Tolkien: It was less a celebration of the rural folk, and an argument against the industrial revolution.

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