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Yarn Bombs, Banjos, And Checking In: What We Learned At Nerdist This Week

There’s an item at the L.A. Times website today about a ComScore study saying that a little under one in five smartphone owners use check-in apps like Foursquare and Gowalla, and that surprised me a little, because I assumed that those things were, like, so SXSW two years ago. And I don’t see a lot of them in my Twitter and Facebook timeline, but that might be because my brain skips over those posts. You’re at the ArcLight Theaters in Hollywood? You’re now the Mayor of Kroger in Troy, Michigan? Good for you. I’m not sure why you thought I’d need to know that, but okay.

I don’t use those things, for several reasons. You can guess the obvious ones: It seems foolhardy to let the world know where you are (or aren’t) at all times, and it’s a little annoying to have to “check in” everywhere. But there’s one other reason for me not to use those apps, namely that I don’t go anywhere interesting. That’s not a complaint so much as an admission that, for me, there’s no point in recording that for posterity.

I can see how some people would use an app to let their friends know, say, that they’re at a particular club or concert so that they can all get together socially to do social things like social people do. That’s not me. Here’s what I would be entering:

Perry checked in at home.
Perry checked in at the post office.
Perry checked in at Ralph’s.
Perry checked in at home.

Repeat ad infinitum. I don’t need an app for that.

Yes, check-in apps, besides being highly invasive of your privacy, are a convenient way to let the world know that you are the Most Uninteresting Man in the World, assuming you’re me. I’m admitting that to you, because we’re friends. Everyone on Twitter and Facebook? What they don’t know won’t hurt me.

Do you use Foursquare or Gowalla or location tools in your social media activities? You can talk about that in the comments. For me, it’s time to review what we did here at Nerdist this week:

1. Each week starts with Kyle’s review of the latest episode of That Show, which, this week, included pirates. Kyle was underwhelmed. I, once again, didn’t see it yet, which made editing the thing a little awkward. Good thing I don’t remember that far back.

2. Mindy guided us to the joys of using kits to make very cool things the easy… well, easier way.

3. Chris found the instruction sheets for the Ikea TARDIS — Tjardiis — and Ikea Deloreans and other stuff, from the folks at College Humor. It’s full of nice touches, like the little figure in fez and bow-tie smiling at his assembled TARDIS.

4. Matthew B. introduced the rest of the world to Ohio’s Rotolo’s Pizza jingle. It’s epic.

5. Emily wandered through the front of the store at Meltdown and found that they’re selling cels from Beavis and Butt-Head. You want them.

6. The podcast welcomed Ed Helms. He’s got a new movie coming out. You knew that. You couldn’t NOT know that.

7. The Cincinnati contingent, Matthew G. and Becca, advised us to listen to some music from Owen Pallett and Little Scream. They’re both playing at the MusicNow Festival curated by The National’s Bryce Dessner. You should go. Have a three-way at Skyline Chili before the show and… no, not that kind of three-way. That would get you arrested.

8. Two new DVDs of That Show came out. Kyle was on it.

Photo by Mindy Holahan

9. After Ed Helms and the boys spent a lot of time talking about banjos and bluegrass, we met this 8-year-old banjo virtuoso. We were suitably wowed.

10. An online test Ted found tested us in how fast we could type out Princess Leia’s transmission to Obi-Wan from A New Hope. I… can’t.

11. Why is everything in Philadelphia wrapped in knit sweaters? Was the Rocky statue chilly? Did the trees need a splash of color? No, it’s all about the yarn bombs, and Mindy gave us a primer. It’s art, y’all.

12. Rovio and Google announced the browser version of Angry Birds for Chrome. Everyone immediately ran off to play… hey, come back here!

13. The pending return of Thundercats led Ted to wax poetic about cartoon theme songs past. This made me feel old, because my most memorable cartoon themes are mostly, oh, about 20 years older than everyone else’s favorites.

14. We met The Questionauts. The podcast network has expanded. We are pleased.

15. The Galactic Empire Times reported on the announcement of the death of Obi-Wan Kenobi, in a manner quite reminiscent of another recent death announcement. I’d like the Galactic Empire Times better if they had comics.

16. In videos posted by Ted, kids created a Empire Strikes Back musical, while Batman got a beatdown.

17. In honor of Bike to Work Day, we saw The Empire Strikes Bike. I had a metallic green Schwinn Sting-Ray when I was a kid. Not the same.

18. Despite the title Acid Party, this week’s Hostful Podcast involves neither liberal ingestion of hallucinogens nor use of caustic substances. And Chris disclosed that the guys will be doing the podcast live from Comicon this year. Tickets are not yet on sale, but you’ll want to go.

19. Can you resist cats in tanks? NO, YOU CANNOT.

20. Mmm, a video game tribute using animated gummi bears. So much sugar, so little time.

So that was the week here at Nerdist. As I write this, it’s a lovely Friday evening, the sun is slowly setting and there’s a night of fun and magic awaiting me just a short drive away in exciting Los Angeles, U.S.A. I’ll be checking into bed instead. I’ve been working since 3 am. Sleep is plenty enough excitement for me. Have a great weekend, and enjoy your burrito, wherever you get it.



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  1. Thank you. And having lasted through several Philly winters (forecast: gray from November through early April, occasional blizzards), I think you’re right. (Winter is a major reason I ended up here instead of staying there…)

  2. LesserBeing says:

    I read the nerdist site almost every day but i still read the summary. Either im an idiot or you rock, lets go with the latter. BTW rocky was cold, those philly winters are no joke.

  3. LesserBeing says:

    I read the nerdist site almost every day but i still read the summary. Either im an idiot or you rock, lets go with the latter